Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Art of the Steal

Laurence McCall has a lot on the ball. Part II.

Independents' Day

George Will on the Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie's new book about rise of libertarianism:
"Declaration of Independents" is suitable reading for this summer of debt-ceiling debate, which has been a proxy for a bigger debate, which is about nothing less than this: What should be the nature of the American regime? America is moving in the libertarians' direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous. This has, however, opened minds to the libertarians' argument.

The essence of which is the commonsensical principle that before government interferes with the freedom of the individual, and of individuals making consensual transactions in markets, it ought to have a defensible reason for doing so. It usually does not.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

This Man Wants Your Guns

video

Darby Borough Police Chief Bob Smythe says the gun buy back event held last week in his town was a big success. Some 57 guns were exchanged for $100 gift cards to Shop Rite.

There is no evidence that these buy back programs have ever made a dent in crime in any of the cities where they've ever been tried and they've been tried for years.

Still, the chief was pretty convincing when I visited with him Wednesday. If nothing else a few pretty poor people got money for food in exchange for whatever guns they had laying around their homes. Not the worst way to blow $5,700.

Meet Laurence McCall

Last week I wrote a column about how the EEOC is looking to make it easier for ex-cons to sue businesses that decline to consider them for jobs. I think it's a dumb idea.

Ex-con Laurence McCall respectfully disagrees.

video

McCall has a interesting past. As a teenager he stole more than $300,000 in paintings and other artifacts from the Alfred Deshong Museum. How he managed that is the subject of tomorrow's print column. Stay tuned.

The Rev Al Hour



MSNBC/Comcast is apparently thinking of giving racial rabble-rouser Al Sharpton his own cable show.

In his classic film, "Network," screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky imagined a world where such people would be brought into your home by cynical TV executives.

Wonder if negotiations with Rev Al resembled those for the "Mao Tse Tung Hour."

(Warning: Bad words galore.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Do You Trust?

John Hinderaker thinks liberals distrust of private business is kind of stupid.
Many liberals think that the primary purpose of government is to protect them from private industry. I have never understood that. History suggests that it is governments that should be viewed warily, not private enterprise. When has the electric company ever hauled people out of their beds, lined them up against a wall and shot them? When has an automobile manufacturer ever asserted the right to appropriate big chunks of anyone’s income, whether they like it or not? Companies just compete for my business. They supply me with things I enjoy and need, and, with rare exceptions, I like them.

The government, on the other hand, takes close to half of my income by force, drives up the cost of everything I buy with indirect taxes and needless regulations, complicates what should be easy transactions, and will surely do worse the moment we all stop paying attention. So I count on private companies to help protect me against government.

The Better Angels

Lancing the LCB Boil

In Harrisburg today, hearings will begin on legislature to privatize the LCB. Yesterday I spoke to two state reps, one Republican, one Democrat, who pointed out the political pitfalls to reform. My print column is up.

Tearing down an entrenched bureaucracy is like lancing a boil. It isn't pretty and it can be painful. It takes commitment and political guts.

As JFK said back in 1961: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy - but because they are hard!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama as Howard Beale

I watched the President's speech last night. In it, he blamed Republicans for refusing to raise taxes on corporate fat cats and their jets for the debt-ceiling crisis in which Washington finds itself. Again! As if raising taxes on the wealthy is the solution to Washington's spendy ways.

At the end of his speech he asked Americans to go to their windows, open them, and shout at their Republican congressman and senator, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

That's what the President did last night. Are they yelling in Atlanta? Tuscon? Oklahoma City?

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats have decided that the President is not part of the solution when it comes to these negotiations, he's part of the problem. They've decided to work on a short-term solution without him.

At least, he got to "make his witness."



UPDATE: From Peter Roff:
In his speech, Obama quoted Ronald Reagan who, at one time in his presidency, signed off on a deal known as “TEFRA” that was supposed to cut the deficit through the closing of tax loopholes and the introduction of tougher enforcement of tax rules. And, at its center, was a promise of $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenue.

Sound familiar? Well, as most everyone who warned Reagan against the deal predicted, the revenues increases came about straight away while the spending cuts mysteriously never seemed to materialize.

Actor G.D. Spradlin is Dead at 90

G.D. Spradlin was so accomplished at playing nasty jerks in the movies, I thought he was one. He wasn't. A veteran of WWII, he was an accomplished lawyer and businessman, rich beyond his wildest dreams, before becoming an actor on a whim. He was a supporter of JFK in 1960 and soon thereafter ran for mayor of Oklahoma City. He lost. His loss was the silver screen's gain.

His obit is here.

Best known for his role as the arrogant corrupt Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather Part II, he was typecast long before that.

Keystone Fracking Leaves Empire State in Dust

Pennsylvania is kicking New York's butt in natural gas exploration, jobs created and taxes collected.
More than 2,000 wells have been drilled in the Keystone State since 2008, and gas production surged to 81 billion cubic feet in 2009 from five billion in 2007. A new Manhattan Institute report by University of Wyoming professor Timothy Considine estimates that a typical Marcellus well generates some $2.8 million in direct economic benefits from natural gas company purchases; $1.2 million in indirect benefits from companies engaged along the supply chain; another $1.5 million from workers spending their wages, or landowners spending their royalty payments; plus $2 million in federal, state and local taxes. Oh, and 62 jobs.
Remember, that's PER well.

Meanwhile in New York, a virtual moratorium on drilling is keeping that start from realizing such benefits.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Leaning Tower

The Ivory tower leans left.
"The tendency of liberals to pursue advanced education isn’t a result of higher I.Q. or less materialism or any such indirect factor,” Dr. Gross told me. He pointed instead to a direct factor: the liberal reputation of the profession since it came of age in the Progressive Era. “The liberalism of professors is explained mostly by self-selection,” Dr. Gross said, arguing that conservatives avoid fields with reputations that don’t fit their self-identity.

Norway's Coddling of Killers

According to Norway's incarceration laws, the man who killed more than 90 people to promote his right-wing anti-immigration manifesto can only be locked up for 21 years.

How about that?

The Mass Murderer and the Writer

The mass murderer in Norway was a right-wing hater of what he considered to be the Islamization of his country. He blamed the liberal government for these policies which was why he attacked a government building and the children of Labour Party officials at an island camp.

He read Bruce Bawer's thoughtful work on the dangers of ignoring the rise of Islam in Norway.

Bawer responds today in an OP-ED piece:
It came as stunning news that Norway had been attacked by a blond, blue-eyed, anti-Islamic terrorist. It should not have been: Several of us who have written about the rise of Islam in Europe have warned that the failure of mainstream political leaders to responsibly address the attendant challenges would result in the emergence of extremists like Breivik.

But I was stunned to discover on Saturday that Breivik was a reader of my own work, including my book "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within." In comments posted in 2009 on a Norwegian blog, document.no, Breivik expressed admiration for my writings, but criticized me for not being a cultural conservative (although he was pleased that I was not a Marxist, either).

...In Norway, to speak negatively about any aspect of the Muslim faith has always been a touchy matter, inviting charges of "Islamophobia" and racism. It will, I fear, be a great deal more difficult to broach these issues now that this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.
Read it all.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

LCB, R.I.P.?

The time has come to put an end to the most ridiculous, obnoxious and inefficient system for the distribution of alcohol in the galaxy. But not everyone thinks so. My print column is up.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse, 27, Is Dead



"They tried to make me go to rehab, I say, 'No, no, no."

Too bad. Sad loss.

Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed Terrorist?

Finally, an alleged "Christian fundamentalist" instead of a Muslim jihadist, commits a horrific act of terrorism in Norway, of all places.

Finally, the left has a terror suspect it can believe in.

Down Comes Kirton

Darby's Tasha Kirton, the owner of the Rottweiler puppy that died after being left out in her yard for hours in the scorching heat, is being vilified for her neglectful actions. A second puppy is being treated for heat exhaustion.

She claims that she would never intentionally leave her dogs outside in such heat. According to the story, she has five kids leaving the impression that her defense is that she got distracted from knowing where the puppies were and that they were in harm's way..

She bought the two puppies from a breeder in North Carolina. Typically, such breeders want to know who they are selling their animals to and that they are going to a good, responsible home. What did Kirton tell the breeder that convinced them to sell her the puppies? Or didn't the breeders bother to ask? Is there any evidence that the dogs were otherwise neglected or abused.

People make mistakes, get distracted by daily routines and tragedies happen.

Is she any worse than the grandfather who forgot about and left his toddler grandson in the back of his car for hours, killing him?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Funnies

Another Rape Allegation Bites the Dust

Jaimie Lee Jones, a cause celebre for Sen. Al Franken after she claimed to have been gang raped by fellow workers at KBR in Iraq, has lost her civil lawsuit in Texas.

Her story was lurid but so full of holes the Space Shuttle fleet could have flown through it.

Even the left-wing author of the this Mother Jones story on the trial had to admit being surprised by the lack of evidence and inconsistencies in Jones' tale.

Kim Strassel sees the episode of an effort of the Trial Bar to open up new courses of legal action with the help of gullible (and bought off) senators like Franken.

What a dope!

The EEOC: That's Entertainment

The EEOC, just like the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, is entertaining the idea that convicts should have stronger rights to sue employers that choose not to consider them for jobs.

It's an entertaining idea. My print column is up.

UPDATE: A recent case of a convict trying to sue his way into a job.
A man who has been in state prison twice for at least three counts of robbery really wants to work at Red Lobster. So much so that he's suing the seafood chain to hire him, alleging that the manager at the Times Square branch rejected his application because of his criminal history which is discrimination. And the (New York) Post's experts "say he has a case."

Robert Smith applied for a "kitchen help" position in February by completing an application online and "honestly answered the form's question about prior convictions." He never heard from them, so when he called (and got through on his fifth try), manager Nicole McVaughn allegedly told him, "I'm sorry to have to give you this info, but in my position as manager I don't hire convicted felons." At which point, the Post explains, "The robster saw red."
The "case" the "robster" has to bring is thanks to past rulings of liberal judges and government agencies like the EEOC, that have twisted civil rights laws to mean.

Clearly, no state legislature nor Congress meant to include convicted criminals as a protected class, and yet here we are with the EEOC and others proclaiming such legal protection based on "disparate impact" and imposing on business owners regulations that no normal person would think fair or sane.

It is one thing to suggest that giving ex-cons a second chance is a nice and good thing to do. It is quite another to require it under penalty of a government sponsored-lawsuit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Propositions

Joe Phillips is a gregarious guy, who is misunderstood by some people. At least that's what he told me when he called me a couple of months ago to explain his arrest for propositioning a mother with her child in a drug store parking lot.

Now, he's been charged with propositioning a guy. At least he's broadminded.

Who Is This Person?


Oh! I know. Bad hair day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hacking Hacks and the Cops, Readers and Pols Who Looked the Other Way

Holman Jenkins on the News Corp hacking scandal.
Had police pursued obvious wrongdoing and jailed a few journalists back in 1999, a lot fewer British citizens would have been victims of privacy invasions. Those who've likened the hacking scandal to Britain's Watergate are onto something. After the Watergate break-in, behavior that had been tolerated, routine and abetted by official agencies became, overnight, untolerated and prosecuted. Remember, it was the FBI's No. 2, blowing a whistle on his own agency, who played "Deep Throat" to the press.
It would never occur to me to hack into someone's phone messages to get information for a news story. But if somebody else hacked into somebody's phone messages and found out some juicy interesting stuff, I admit I'd probably read it.

I've recently come to the opinion that journalists ought to come with warning labels. But then so should just about everybody.

Pop Goes the Ed Bubble... Eventually

Michael Barone writes:
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, is adept at spotting bubbles. He cashed out for $500 million in March 2000, at the peak of the tech bubble, when his partners wanted to hold out for more. He refused to buy a house until the housing bubble burst.

"A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed," he has said. "Education may still be the only thing people still believe in in the United States."

But the combination of rising costs and dubious quality may be undermining that belief.

For what have institutions of higher learning accomplished with their vast increases in revenues? The answer in all too many cases is administrative bloat.
Read it all.

Books Without Borders

Borders Express stores are closing. Joseph Schumpeter called it "creative destruction." Still, sad.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Obama: Vast Majority of Americans Want Higher Taxes

Obama: 80 percent of Americans are on his side and for higher taxes... just not on themselves. They want them to be paid by other people. You know, "the rich." Go figure.

Friday Funnies

The End of Teetotalitarianism

It's time to get rid of the LCB, disrespect the Casey Anthony jury, and find out how Barack Obama lied about his dying mother was treated by her health insurance company. My print column is up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Justice and Cost Savings Too

The death of killer Mark Geisenheyner was no tragedy. My print column is up.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is Green the New Stupid?

[Posted By Jake]

The EPA first stuck their nose in our bathroom. We laughed. Their incompetence was entertaining. The Federal government mandated low-flow toilets and shower heads to save water, and save the planet. Of course, you had to flush twice and take showers that were twice as long to get clean, but that's just your normal clueless bureaucratic bungling.

Then the EPA moved on to light bulbs. They outlawed regular incandescents and forced us to use the more expensive, funny-looking compact fluorescents (CFL's). These bulbs are supposed to save energy, and (you guessed it) save the planet. The problem is that these CFL's contain toxic amounts of mercury and require special handling and disposal. We're still laughing at the bureaucratic bunglers, but their "green" stupidity might be doing more harm than good.

Now Obama, in an election push to placate his liberal, environmental base, has authorized the EPA to announce a ridiculous 56 miles-per-gallon mandate for 2025, with the phase-in of these new regulations starting in 2017. That's a mere two product cycles for today's models.

A couple of weeks earlier, Al Gore took time off from groping masseuses to criticize the President for not standing up for "bold action". So, of course, Barack, leading from behind once again, responds with a grand "green" gesture, regardless of its real world practicality or financial impact.

What's left unsaid in all this progressive posturing is that the Obama administration has bought the silence of Detroit with their bailouts and embraced the environmental cult's worship of electric cars with our money. The Federal Energy Department has spent $465 million on Tesla and $529 million on Fiskar Automotive. Both companies are owned by Silicon Valley friends-of-Barack, so coincidentally these funds happen to be nice political grease, also. The simple fact that electric cars are inferior performers, too expensive, and unwanted by the American consumer is irrelevant to the "green" agenda.

In 2009, Energy Secretary Chu, a Nobel laureate like both his boss and the Goracle said, "...maybe I'm optimistic, but there's very little debate that a new green energy economy will bring economic prosperity."

Sorry, Mr. Secretary, that just sounds too much like toilet humor to me.

Casey Anthony: "No Regrets"

Accused murderess Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing her three-year-old daughter. She will be free next week to get on with the rest of her life. My print column is up.

Here is a question I didn't think of until now.

If a stranger had been the last person seen with Caylee Anthony alive and told the raft of lies that Casey Anthony told poice would a jury have acquitted them? If that person had asked a neighbor to borrow a shovel two days after Caylee's disappearance, If he or she abandoned their car only to have it found with the trunk reeking of death, if he or she wrote in their diary that:
"I have no regrets, just a bit worried. I just want for everything to work out okay. I completely trust my own judgement & know that I made the right decision. I just hope that the end justifies the means. I just want to know what the future will hold for me. I guess I will soon see — This is the happiest that I have been in a very long time. I hope that my happiness will continue to grow — I’ve made new friends that I really like. I’ve surrounded myself with good people — I am finally happy. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t change."
If the child's body was found wrapped in a blanket from that person's home. If the stranger claimed that the child accidentally drowned and pointed the finger at their father as the person who got rid of the body... If a stranger did all that, would they have been found "not guilty" of the crime?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

BHO Airways

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Funnies

Flight Risk?

A US Airways boarding agent at Philadelphia International Airport recently had a passenger designated a "flight risk" because she had taken her photograph with the intent of lodging a complaint against her for being rude.
Commercial photographer Sandy DeWitt was recently escorted off a Miami-bound US Airways flight for taking the photo of a rude employee’s nametag for use in a future complaint.The employee, Tonialla G., reportedly chased DeWitt aboard the plane, and confronted her after the latter was already in her seat. DeWitt told Ms. G. that the photo was unusable, having turned out too dark, and attempted to further placate her by displaying the offending photo and deleting it on the spot.

This was apparently not enough for the irate boarding area agent, who barged into the cockpit and demanded DeWitt be branded a “security risk.” Her wish was granted, and DeWitt was promptly removed from the plane by two flight attendant as passengers looked on. “I announced to the other passengers that I was being removed because I took a photo,” DeWitt is quoted as saying. “I announced that photography is not a crime.”

Back at the Philadelphia International Airport terminal, DeWitt was informed by US Airways manager Michael Lofton that she would not be allowed to replane, as she was considered a security risk. Adding insult to injurious labels, the American Airlines flight she was directed to had already departed, and no additional Miami flights were scheduled for that day
I fly US Air quite a bit and I have never had a problem with any of its employees. I've noticed more and more that the company is getting more and more out of its workers by expanding their duties. Now it is not uncommon for me to see the same employee who checked my ID and bag at the ticket counter to be at the boarding gate. This, no doubt, is good business but its got to put some more stress on its workers.

The above, clearly sounds like a case of an employee overreacting to a dust-up with a paying customer. While it is not illegal for a photographer, or anyone else, to be snapping your photo for the express purposed of making out a complaint against you, it is certainly bothersome and somewhat obnoxious. Simply put though, the employee had no right pursue Ms. DeWitt onto the plane and demand she be taken off. In so doing, she and the pilot who backed her up have opened the airline a lawsuit, not to mention public ridicule.

Of course, there is always the chance the airline will be able to show that Ms. DeWitt's own behavior justified the actions of their employees. We'll see.

From Bloodbath to Krobath

More on Gary and Trish Krobath and the county DAs office stepping up to the plate to help them. My print column is up. Meanwhile, another one of Mark Geisenheyner's victims has died.

It has also occurred to me that with all the money the state and county will save from having to feed and house Geisenheyner as well as the cost of taking him to trial, repairing the home and replacing what the Krobaths lost will be a relative pittance.

Not that I think that killing killers before they can be tried and convicted of their crimes is good policy. But if it works out that way, it's not all bad. Just sayin'

Scientology: Read All About It

A fearless and fascinating new book "Inside Scientology" garners a good review.

Check this out:
With (church founder L. Ron) Hubbard in seclusion, David Miscavige took over the organization, becoming Stalin to Hubbard's Lenin and St. Paul to his Jesus. He executed a "brutal purge," Ms. Reitman writes, eliminating potential opponents, including Mary Sue Hubbard, the founder's third wife. According to the author, Mr. Miscavige beat subordinates and forced senior executives to play a violent game of musical chairs, with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" playing on a loop.
I recall playing "kill the cow" at the end of meetings when I was (briefly) in the Boy Scouts, but nothing this much fun.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Help for the Krobaths

Gary Krobath reports that he and his wife Trish just located the last of their four cats. They all went running for cover when the Delco SWAT started shooting tear-gas cannisters into their Trainer home during the stand-off with murderer Mark Geisenheyner.

They were at the vet this morning getting the cat checked out. He was hunkered down way back in the attic and still a little shell-shocked.

Gary said the DA Mike Green has approved them staying five more days at a hotel while they figure out where they are going to live in the coming weeks.

They rented the home on Post Rd. from their immediate neighbors but its in no habitable condition.

Many Daily Times readers have expressed interest in seeing to it that the couple get some help.

This morning I spoke with Tara Mead, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and asked her about the state Victim Compensation Assistance Program. Last year, VCAP helped more than 5,600 crime victims shelling out almost $15 million, including for "crime scene clean-up."

She suggested the Krobaths quickly contact them or a local victims help agency soon. A claim can be filed online by logging on to www.pacrimevictims.com.

More later.

UPDATE: I have just been informed that Delaware County (in conjunction with Montco) will take responsibility for all the damages done to the Krobath's home and property. The Krobaths will be put up in a hotel or other housing - and will even get a food allowance - until the home is restored to liveable condition.

UPDATE II: Another fund has been established to help the family with their immediate needs. Checks can made payable to the Krobath Benefit Fund, account no. 5894233542 at Wells Fargo Bank.

UPDATE III: Tara Mead has asked to be redesignated from "spokesman" to "spokeswoman" because, as she points out "Last time I checked I was female :) (my husband will vouch for me)."

It is becoming more and more routine to be more gender specific in describing people in professional positions. It used to be quite common and acceptable to refer to the "chairman" of a government committee, even if that person was a woman. Now some writers and others refer to that person as a "chairwoman" if she is female. Others have reduced that particular position to "chair," to de-genderize it. It also dehumanizes it, turning the person into a piece of furniture.

Interestingly, it is no longer politically correct to refer to female movie stars as "actresses." They want to be called "actors" and refer to themselves that way. Of course, you would never refer to a female "handyman" as a "handywoman" or "handyperson." But "spokeswoman," I suppose, works and probably better than "spokesperson."

In my business, it used to be that female reporters, especially tough ones, were honored to be called "newspapermen." Now, we're all asexual "journalists." So it goes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Homophobe Card

Roman Catholic scholar George Weigel explains the the totalitarian impulse of those who would impose the acceptance of gay marriage on others, including civil society and religious institutions.

If, as its proponents claim, resistance to gay marriage is nothing more than hateful bigotry, why should Americans tolerate institutions like the Catholic church? Such immoral institutions should be marginalized, if not stamped out completely.

Already the churches and people who hold such traditional views of marriage are being vilified by gay activists and their straight liberal allies. The pressure to accept the new government-approved definition of marriage is growing more and more intense.

Writes Weigel:
As analysts running the gamut from Hannah Arendt to Leszek Kolakowski understood, modern totalitarian systems were, at bottom, attempts to remake reality by redefining reality and remaking human beings in the process. Coercive state power was essential to this process, because reality doesn’t yield easily to remaking, and neither do people. In the lands Communism tried to remake, the human instinct for justice — justice that is rooted in reality rather than ephemeral opinion — was too strong to change the way tastemakers change fashions in the arts. Men and women had to be coerced into accepting, however sullenly, the Communist New Order, which was a new metaphysical, epistemological, and moral order — a New Order of reality, a new set of “truths,” and a new way of living “in harmony with society,” as late-bureaucratic Communist claptrap had it.
When the gay lobby went after the Boy Scouts of America to pressure that organization to accept openly gay scouts and scout leaders it prevailed upon politicians and local governments not to do business with the BSA. Point out the thuggish tactics used by gay activists and you get called a homophobe and a bigot yourself.

As Weigel points out:
... (this) line of attack nicely demonstrates the truth of Oscar Wilde’s famous observation that the only way to rid oneself of temptation is to yield to it. For crying “homophobia” is a cheap calumny, a crypto-totalitarian bully’s smear that impresses no serious person.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of unserious people who take themselves quite seriously when they play this ugly game.

In Defense of A Terrible, Evil, Despicable Human Being

Philly's own Joe Queenan wrote this about Lebron James a month ago. I smelled it. It's still good.

Sez Joe:
I, like most basketball fans I know, rejoiced when the Dallas Mavericks beat the Heat last Sunday. It was the triumph of the team over a gaggle of hired guns, the triumph of a bunch of selfless unknowns over a galaxy of selfish superstars. Everyone who loves basketball took pleasure in Goliath’s ignominious defeat. This in itself is remarkable because people from Boston and New York and Philadelphia and Los Angeles are not in the habit of rooting for sports franchises from Dallas, particularly since the appalling and repellent Mark Cuban owns the team. To have an entire planet root for a team from Dallas, owned by a schmuck, and led by a native of Germany gives a pretty idea of how much LeBron James is disliked.

Shooting of the Day

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 20-year-old man was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot four times on a basketball court in Southwest Philadelphia.

Police say the man was shot twice in the back and twice in the buttocks by an unidentified man at the Kingsessing Recreation Center on 49th Street near Kingsessing Avenue at about 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.

He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for treatment.

No arrests were made. The cause of the shooting was not immediately known.
TOP TEN POSSIBLE CAUSES:

10. Drug deal gone bad.

9. Too much video-game watching.

8. Too much disrespecting.

7. Victim never passed the rock.

6. Victim violated no-dunking rule.

5. Victim played the dozens.

4. Shooter bullied.

3. Victim didn't roll on high pick and roll.

2. It was over a girl.

1. Idiot with a gun.

A Killer in the House

Gary Krobath had one concern when an armed Mark Geisenheyner showed up at his home in Trainer Sunday night to tell him about all the people he shot and killed over the weekend: Getting his wife and himself through the night alive.

My print column is up.

Our Over-CAFE-inated President

Holman Jenkins has Barack Obama's number for saying and proposing foolish things. In this case, on forcing the auto industry to make lighter, smaller cars, that American car buyers don't want and won't buy.
If ever a president seems to have learned nothing from the times he's living in, Barack Obama is it. Economies around the world are foundering from an accumulation of policy excesses produced by the sort of straight-line, robotic thinking he's applying to so-called corporate average fuel economy rules.

If more money for less work is popular, thought Greece, twice as much money for half as much work will be even more popular.

If 64% of Americans owning their own homes is a good thing, thought Bill Clinton, 67% is better. If 67% is good, thought George Bush, 69% is better.

If forcing auto makers to build cars that deliver an average of 35.5 mpg is good, believes Mr. Obama, forcing them to deliver 56.2 is even better.

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thanks For Stopping By, Mark!

Alleged mass-murderer Mark Richard Geisenheyner told an old prison buddy in Trainer he wouldn't be taken alive and he wasn't.

A just and chosen end for an evil man.

UPDATE/Correction: I talked to Gary Krobath, the man whose home Geisenheyner holed up in, and he told me that he is not a prison buddy of Geisenheyner, that the two of them met while working for a landscaping company in Aston 10 years ago.

More on my interview with Krobath in tomorrow's print edition.

A Bad DSK

Dominque is out the frying pan in NYC, only to find himself in the fire at home.

See our editorial.
His reputation as sexual miscreant precedes this incident, making him susceptible to potential “honey pot” ploys and blackmail, something even his supporters have had to acknowledge.

What the future holds for him remains to be seen.

The good news is that ultimately America’s imperfect system of justice more or less worked.
UPDATE: Bret Stephens admits to being a bit disappointed that the case against DSK has cratered.
Not that I ever took any joy in the thought that a presumably vulnerable woman had apparently been raped by a man with a reputation for promiscuous and predatory appetites.

But I did enjoy the thought of this mandarin of the tax-exemptocracy being pulled from the comfort of his first-class Air France seat and dispatched to Riker's Island without regard to status or dignity. And I admired the humble immigrant who would risk so much for the sake of justice. And I smiled at the spectacle of France's Socialists finding their would-be savior exposed by American prosecutors when they had been hypocritically observing a code of silence about his habits. And I liked seeing the IMF red-faced for whitewashing DSK's previous escapades.
OK, me too. But I was skeptical enough to want to see a full-blown investigation into the background of his accuser. And I'm surprised it took NYC police and prosecutors so long to find out and admit she lacks any and all credibility to substantiate her claim.

Tax Them! Not Moi!

Froma Harrop sez: The People Want Higher Taxes.
Poll after poll shows that the American people want higher taxes. That's not the same as liking higher taxes. The people have simply concluded that higher taxes are preferable to the alternative -- so vividly portrayed in the Republican plan to do away with government guarantees in Medicare.

And Republicans don't even have that ugly option to offer anymore. After voters in western New York rioted over it by handing a formerly safe GOP congressional seat to a Democrat, many Republicans have been jumping ship. Odd that House Speaker John Boehner continues to sail on with nothing in the hold but a vague threat to let America default on its debt if ... if what? If Democrats refuse to make the drastic spending cuts Republicans are afraid to push.
But then she adds this fascinating fact:
...A Quinnipiac poll found that 69 percent, including nearly half of Republicans, want taxes raised on households making more than $250,000. A later Ipsos/Reuters polls shows three-fifths wanting to raise taxes to cut the deficit.
In other words, "The People" are for higher taxes as long as they're imposed on Other People. Only one in 50 households in this country take in more than $250,000 a year. Only one in five take in more than $100,000. It's hardly surprising that "The People," who make less are for raising taxes on those make more. Nearly 50 percent of Americans pay NO federal income taxes. Many get direct subsidies from the U.S. Treasury by way of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The day the Democrats can up the number of people who pay no federal income taxes to 51 percent of the people, they will have a tough-to-beat majority of voters in this country, but hardly a noble one. When it comes to policies that rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the support of Paul.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Just Plane Crazy

[Posted By Jake]

Our President is made of such stern stuff. When called out by the Republicans for his failed leadership on tax cutting, he responded with... a press conference. Why bother to actually do something constructive when you can instead lecture the unwashed masses? You could just hear all the liberal frauds and pretenders shouting "you go girl" as Barack tried to revive his faltering approval ratings with yet another virtuoso performance of finger-pointing and class warfare.

He questioned the diligence of Congress, congratulated himself on his own work ethic, misstated his daughter's birthday, and condemned no less than six times the corporate jet stimulus he previously endorsed. It was a mouthful of misrepresentation that only our narcissist-in-chief would have the temerity to attempt.

So exhausting was this exercise in political pandering that he immediately jetted out of town for a Democrat fundraiser, right here in Philadelphia. The irony of the regular availability of Air Force One for his re-election campaign, versus those corporate jets he was denouncing, somehow was lost on the towering intellect of our fearless leader.

While Congress was challenged to stay in Washington and keep working, our hypocritical President will be enjoying another in a long line of family vacations, this time a leisurely July 4th holiday at Camp David. There he will be celebrating his daughter Malia's real 13th birthday, despite the press conference announcement otherwise.

Can you imagine the self-righteous howling from the liberal thought police had any Republican dared appropriate his daughter's teenage milestone for partisan purposes, and then get it wrong? How about criticizing his own stimulus incentive? Disregard the fact that the tax break for corporate jets was the centerpiece of his argument labeling Republicans as out of touch with the common man. You know, out of touch like forgetting your daughter's age.

This particular tax break is only worth $300 million a year, versus the billions in out-of control spending the Democrats refuse to cut. Here's an idea -- if the corporate jet tax incentive so riles our President, all he has to do is curtail the First Family's vacations and his record-breaking rounds of golf, and that money could be made up in no time. Does anybody expect that reasonable and appropriate "shared sacrifice" from Team Obama anytime soon?