Not Goldman, Jeffrey. The leftist academic went toe to toe with Harvard Prof. Niall Ferguson and was bloodied.
When Sachs claims that America doesn't spend enough on public education, Ferguson misses a chance to tag Sachs with the haymaker that the U.S. spends more money per capita on education than any other country in the world.
That, however, is the only opportunity Ferguson misses.
The Chevy Volt, President Obama's attempt at taking us green, is a serious failure. Our taxpayer dollars floundered away on another dreamy, eco, green fantasy. How many jobs will stay at Government Motors if these electric cars rust on dealer lots? The progressives celebrated when King of Prussia mall placed electric vehicle charging stations at it's mall. They were not smart enough to know that K of P mall did it for the specific tax credit. I don't get free gas for going to the mall, do you? Why should a Chevy Volt owner get a free charge? Feel free to let the mall know how you feel. K of P mall.
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, has a Volt collecting dust at his Butler car dealership. He said he isn't surprised by the lack of interest in the vehicle.
"The American people are smarter than the government -- they're not buying that car," he said. "I just pay interest on it, insure it, and in another week or month we'll scrape snow off it."
Why is our government investing, spending stimulus, in business in the first place? I always thought if people wanted it, companies would sell it. But again, like the curly cue light bulb, we are being charged (Taxed) to have government make our decisions for us. Who ask them to? Not me, not anyone I know. I like having choices, and the best ones the people adopt. It is all progressive ideologues who think they know better than you and me. These progressives all went to a same particular schools and truly believe, deep in their hearts, that they are smarter and better prepared to tell the rest of us what we need and want. So I will become a criminal if I skip over the border and bring back some 60, 75 and 100 standard light bulbs. I'm sure some progressive elected official will attempt to make that a felony, like the Maple Syrup controversy.
What if I told you that Widener University School of Law are picking up the legal costs of the students who brought the charges against Professor Lawrence Connell? You wouldn't believe me one little bit would you? But you would be wrong.
"The university has both an implicit legal and moral obligation to investigate such charges and defend and indemnify students who bring these types of charges in good faith," said Widener spokesman Dan Hanson in an interview. "Failing to do so would not only have a chilling effect on any students who may consider filing such complaints in the future, it would be counter to the university's legal responsibility to protect students from retaliation under such circumstances." Mr. Hanson said Widener is obligated to protect the students under multiple federal statutes including Title VI of the Civil Rights of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Professor Connell was exonerated in a 52 page decision that captured the hearts and souls of nationwide Law Professors who mostly supported his teaching methodology. Many said it is common to use examples of known people in their teaching methods. Now Mr. Connell is sueing the woman who defamed his good name, and Widener University is paying to defend the students. What is wrong with this picture?
Herman Cain and his campaign is denying/dodging allegations that he was accused of sexual harassment back in the mid 1990s when he was president of the National Restaurant Association.
According to a report in Politico, the organization settled two complaints with two separate women that Cain spoke crudely to them in a sexual way.
So here we go.
It is an interesting sort of allegation that asks if you have ever been "accused" of something, but it is damning in it own right. If Herman Cain could say, "Yes, almost 15 years I was accused, falsely," he should say so. Running for president, he certainly should have been prepared for the question and ready to answer it. And he obviously wasn't.
If the NRA and/or its insurance carrier paid these women to go away, the Cain campaign is probably finished. But the whole thing smacks of another low-tech lynching of a successful black man who dared to veer from liberal orthodoxy.
It should remind everyone that if you're a white, liberal president, you can be a serial adulterer, harass women for sex and be caught having sex with a White House intern, lie about it all under oath, and STILL retain the support of the Democratic party.
Republican voters have higher and more demanding standards of behavior of their presidents and presidential candidates.
UPDATE: Cain denies:
"I have never sexually harassed anyone, let's say that. Secondly, I've never sexually harassed anyone, and yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association, and I say falsely, because it turned out, after the investigation, to be baseless. The people mentioned in that article were the ones who would be aware of any misdoings, and they have attested to my integrity and my character. It is totally baseless, and totally false, never have I committed any sort of sexual harassment."
Progressives frequently complain that the U.S. spends more money on healthcare than any other country in the world to justify a single payer system. But they never complain that we also spend more money on education than any other country and get worse outcomes. I wonder why that is.
Harrisburg politicians spent and mismanaged the city into bankruptcy. Steve Malanga explains how.
Under seven-term Mayor Stephen Reed, who governed from 1982 to 2010, Harrisburg had a long love affair with borrowed money, using it to spur projects of dubious value. The city invested millions of dollars in a stadium in the late 1980s to attract a minor league baseball team. When the Harrisburg Senators threatened to leave in 1995, the city bought the team with borrowed money. In 2009, even as the fiscal clouds darkened, it sank another $45 million, including $18 million in new debt, into upgrading the stadium. The team was attracting 2,488 fans per game.
Then there are those historical artifacts. Mr. Reed, once described by a local newspaper as a man who "never met a municipal bond he didn't like," wanted to borrow to open a network of museums. He spent some $39 million on a National Civil War Museum that opened in 2001. It has struggled for years to attract crowds. Undeterred, the mayor borrowed some $8 million to buy artifacts—including a Gatling gun, a Wells Fargo coach and a document signed by Wyatt Earp—for a proposed Wild West museum, though most of the purchases were made without the knowledge and consent of the city council. Plans for a Wild West museum and a National Sports Hall of Fame, financed by a $30 million bond offering, mercifully fell through.
Liberals are anything but progressive when it comes to helping poor black kids escape failing schools run by and for administrators and teachers' unions. They are as regressive and pro-status quo as George Wallace.
The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell FoxNews.com.
Someone's got to counsel fake pimps on how to run the sex trafficking operations.
Listening to some of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street reminds me of this story:
Two old Russian peasants are walking down a path when one kicks a bottle and a genie pops out. The genie says, "I will grant you both one wish."
Excited the first peasant says, "Oh comrad genie, I am a simple man. All I could ever wish for is a prized goat. One that would provide fresh goat milk for my family and that I could show off to my neighbors.
The genie says "Granted" and poof a beautiful, prized goat appears next to the peasant. Then the genie turns to the second man.
Philadelphia's Daniel Berger is a rich man who has made millions being a class-action attorney. He thinks rich guys like him should pay more taxes. But he won't give the government any more of his own money voluntarily, unless all his fellow millionaires are forced to give involuntarily.
Also, he thinks that many people who attended the Tea Party protests did so because they are "white supremacists." Specifically, they reminded him of the "Ku Klux Klan."
According to the story, Berger thinks taxes on the wealthy should be increased 13 percent. I doubt he means that the federal tax code should make the top marginal rate 49 percent for rich guys like him, but it isn't clear what his plan is from the article.
Mr. Berger sees no problem with the amount of money the federal government spends, either by taking it from citizens or by borrowing it from future generations. It is Berger's considered opinion that the federal government needs more money and he, being a "Patriotic Millionaire" is willing to provide it, as long as others are coerced into joining him.
A skeptical journalist might wonder if Berger is playing him for a sucker. After all, Berger knows there is no reasonable chance for such a tax increase to pass in the near future and so he is quite safe in proposing it.
Berger has already failed the test of putting his own money where his mouth is when it comes to voluntarily giving more of it to the government.
Furthermore, he has already made his millions. Any future tax increase would be on future income, not past windfalls of his class-action settlements, which notoriously benefit lawyers more than their clients or anyone else. (If you've ever been sent a voucher or a check for $1.13 thanks to a class-action lawsuit, you'll know what I mean.)
And Berger promoting himself as a generous and "patriotic" citizen as he slanders working, middle class Americans because of their concern about government overspending is far from admirable. Actually, it's kind of tacky.
One more thing, the headline: 21st-century Robin Hood advocates higher riches for poor to help middle class What does that even mean? And how do higher "riches" for the poor "help" the middle class? It sure doesn't say in the article.
In a letter to editor, former Penn Delco School Board member, Carol Cannon takes issue my columns conerning the bussing of daycare students in the district.
In these difficult economic times, it is especially disconcerting when a member of the press maligns the good works of a non-compensated board that is trying to do right by the children and the taxpaying residents, aka community.
I didn't mean to disconcert, Ms. Cannon. But the focus of the original column was to point out the ridiculousness of a change in the district's bussing policy that did nothing but unnecessarily hurt working parents and their daycare providers.
In a follow-up column I praised the board for finally listening to the parents involved and changing the policy.
It was daycare provider Ann O'Connell who called me in August because she and the parents she served weren't getting anywhere with district officials to resolve the matter.
In her letter, Ms. Cannon cites the problem of parents living outside the district who illegally attempt to put their kids in Penn Delco schools. But that had nothing to do with this particular matter. Superintendent George Steinhoff didn't mention it once during our conversations about issue. He cited the need for "consistancy" as the primary reason for the policy change.
I suppose what rankled Ms. Cannon was after complimenting the school board, I wrote:
Next week, it will be back to your regularly scheduled programming of state-sponsored foolishness and bureaucratic buffoonery.
But let's face it, Penn Delco has a history and Ms. Cannon knows it better than most.
Just a few short years ago, she served on what was perhaps the most dysfunctional and wacky school board in the state of Pennsylvania, if not the country. Its randy and money-grubbing president went to jail, another board member was arrested and charged in a separate matter and its fired solicitor sued EVERYBODY.
A subsequent Penn Delco board acted stupidly in cancelling a long-term lease for a ballfield built by the volunteers of the Aston Valley Baseball League leading to another lawsuit. Then this.
It is hardly unreasonable to have low expectations of this particular school board. Uncompensated or not, it spends a lot of money and has a lot of power. Like other school boards in this county, it needs to be kept an eye on when its members don't do "good works."
There are six fields in which jobs are drying up. Including this one:Journalism.
According to the story:
What happened: In short, the Internet. With more readers absorbing their news online, the demand for print has fallen and newspaper jobs are dwindling. Another 4,400 jobs in this industry will disappear by 2018 (out of 69,400 total in 2008), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A good replacement job: Online reporter. While print is drying up, there is demand for more information on the Internet. Another option to consider: communication specialist in a corporation.
Work for those greedy bastards? I'd just as soon live in a tent at City Hall. ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!
Millions of women obtain abortions because they do not want baby girls.
It’s shocking, but incontrovertible: Two decades ago, Harvard economist Amartya Sen, in an arrestingly titled article, documented the statistical reality that “More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing.” In a recently published book, Unnatural Selection, journalist Mara Hvistendahl convincingly demonstrates that the overwhelming reason for the increasingly large demographic disparity in the male-female birth ratio is sex-selection abortion. Hvistendahl estimates the number of missing or dead now to be 160 million and counting. Women have abortions because (among other reasons) they are able to learn the sex of their unborn baby and kill her if she’s a girl.
A few states, including Pennsylvania, have outlawed gender-selection abortions. But it would be a good question for next year's presidential debate.
Do you support the right of American women to have abortions if they are unhappy with the gender of their fetus? If not, would you support a federal law that prohibits sex selection abortions? President Obama?
Chester Mayor Wendell Butler, a putative Republican, is doing something that no Republican mayor in the country is doing. He is tying his political fortunes to his supposedly excellent relationship with President Barack Obama. And he's putting it on billboards.
This might make some sense in a city like Chester with a large black population, but its still pretty weird.
Even weirder though, is Democratic State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland's claim that Butler has never met Obama.
“He ain’t never in his life, never, ever, ever, ever met Barack Obama,” the state representative said. “Mayor Butler in his life has never met Barack Obama. How do I know he’s never met him? Because I met him.”
As if, his alleged meeting the president, precluded Butler from meeting him.
For his part Butler claims in a written statement:
“I had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama when he was a congressman announcing his candidacy at the Conference of Mayors in Miami. A select group of bipartisan mayors were able to listen to his presentation and vision for our great nation..."
One problem: Obama was never a congressman. He went from being a Illinois state senator to being a U.S. senator.
Can't anyone here play this game?
UPDATE: Someone named "Anonymous" posted this comment about Butler's written statement:
There are two types of congressmen, Representatives to the House of Representatives and Senators who form the Senate. The former are usually referred to as Members and are addressed properly as "Mr." or "Ms." The latter are formally referred to as merely Senator. Both, however, are seated in the Legislative Branch and the collective body is known as Congress of United States of America... As in a "Joint Session of Congress", meaning both the House and the Senate. It's a favorite way for our current President to make a reelection campaign speech such as his recent grandiose Jobs Act announcement. But, anyway, Mayor Butler was correct when he said that then-Senator Obama was a congressman. He is a man and he was a member of one of the two chambers of the Congress... That matters less than the real fact that the Obama administration chose Chester and they did so knowing that the Mayor is not one of their lackeys. They made the choice based on merit, and based on what Mayor Butler has accomplished, not based on party lines...
This is wrong on many levels.
1. There are not "two types of congressman," in the normal and most accurate way of referring to congressional office holders. There are "congressmen" and there are "senators."
2. While a senator can be said to be a "member of congress," to call him a "congressman" is inaccurate. No doubt, if during his time in the U.S. Senate someone had referred to Mr. Obama as "Congressman Obama," he or his office would have corrected them.
3. What this suggests is that either Mayor Butler or the person on his staff who drafted his statement mistakenly thought Barack Obama was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives before he became president. And having made that mistake can't now admit it.
4. It makes you wonder if "Anonymous" is that person.
UPDATE II: con·gress·man n. a man who is a member of the U.S. Congress, especially of the House of Representatives. senator (ˈsɛnətə) —n 1. (often capital) A member of a Senate or senate 2. any legislator or statesman
The fact that a law that is unlikely to impede a single good faith voter -- and that only gives voting the same elements of security as writing a check at the store, or obtaining a library card -- is controversial does say much about the raw feelings in our current politics. The ugliest, hardest forms of disfranchisement were practiced in our lifetimes, and its still conventional rhetoric in black political circles to say those times are on the way back. Witness a last-minute automated call to black voters in the 2010 general election by state Sen. Hank Sanders, an ingenious lawyer and a skillful legislator who knew better, but who also knew the attack would resonate.
How they get there, how much they spend, how fast they fall, and what it means for the rest of the country. From the article.
The super-high earners have the biggest crashes. The number of Americans making $1 million or more fell 40% between 2007 and 2009, to 236,883, while their combined incomes fell by nearly 50%—far greater than the less than 2% drop in total incomes of those making $50,000 or less, according to Internal Revenue Service figures.
Of course, the trauma of giving up a Gulfstream or a yacht can't compare with the millions of Americans who have lost their only job or home. The Siegels (David and Jaqueline) will make do in their current 26,000-square-foot mansion...
Instead of this monstrosity:
Robert Frank writes...
... The Siegels show how the cycle of high-beta wealth plays out in the lives, values and economy of the rich. Before 2008, Mr. Siegel's company, Westgate, was earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the family. The Siegels poured $50 million into Versailles, which seemed reasonable at the time. When friends asked David why he wanted to build the largest home in America, he had a simple answer: "Because I can."
"I was cocky and I didn't care what the house would cost because I couldn't spend all the money I was making," Mr. Siegel says.
When Westgate couldn't roll over its debts, he had to bail out the company with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own. He fired half of his workforce of 12,000 people and sold off assets. Mr. Siegel says that today, Westgate is "highly profitable" and demand is strong, but revenues are still half their peak levels due to lack of financing.
The Siegels took their first hard look at their own lifestyle. They fired 14 of their 15 housekeepers and lost their private chef, named "chef Jeff." They pulled their kids out of private school and put them in the local public school.
Is your heart bleeding, yet? Well, it shouldn't. But what your brain should tell you is that when the wealthy take a beating, it's often the housekeepers who suffer.
Margin Call got very good reviews so I'm going to see it tonight with Mrs. Spencerblog.
UPDATE: Not as good as Moneyball, but good. Especially, in so far as it doesn't treat everyone in the financial industry as if they're monsters. These were and are human beings, some of whom ignored warning signs and did things for money no one should be proud of.
My print column, which today borrows heavily from this blog, is up. (Why should print readers be denied the brilliance of what goes on here?)
From the comments, and for the record, I don't think it would be wise for the NAACP to take out an ad that tells black people to "Stop having babies you can't afford to raise." And to "stop acting like ho's and hoodlums so maybe you won't be in jail." Such a message, put that way, strikes me a mean-spirited and bigoted.
As for Daisy Dukes and her outrage at the protest group Occupy Interboro to Nourish Kids (OINK), it is nothing but a facetious figment of this writer's imagination. Oh, that OINK would become a reality. Potential occupiers of Interboro lunchrooms are welcome to the name.
Meanwhile, at Occupy Wall Street, residents are getting fed up.
Infuriated lower Manhattan residents went ballistic on Zuccotti Park protesters at a chaotic Community Board 1 meeting tonight while blasting politicians for allowing the siege to continue without any end in sight.
"They are defecating on our doorsteps," fumed Catherine Hughes, a member of Community Board 1 and a stay at home mom who has the misfortune of living one block from the chaos. "A lot of people are very frustrated. A lot of people are concerned about the safety of our kids."
My fellow DT blogger and former head of the county Democratic Party, Cliff Wilson applauds the protesters and hopes the movement grows in political influence.
I say, first things first. First, potty-training, then acceptance into the Democrat party mainstream.
Roger Kimball doesn't think much of the Occupy Wall Street movement and he makes good fun of intellectuals and old hippies who do.
The columnist Nicholas Kristof, for example, took one look at the spoiled children and social misfits cluttering up Zuccotti Park and declared that it was “reminiscent of Cairo’s Tahrir Square.” Here’s a question: How many things had to go wrong in Mr. Kristof’s brain for him to make that comparison with a straight face? “Reminiscent of” implies “analogous to.” In what sense is an aggregation of permanent adolescents in a park in downtown Manhattan analogous to the regime-changing tumult that exploded in Egypt last winter? In no sense. Mr. Kristof’s heady tweet was nonsense.
The NAACP, supported by the ACLU, has filed a federal lawsuit against Philly airport for refusing an ad chastising America for its incarceration rate.
Sez the ad:
"Welcome to America, home to 5 percent of the world's people and 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Let's build a better America together."
Hmmm. The case raises all sorts of questions.
The ad suggests America would be a better place if it didn't lock up so many people. That is certain arguable. It is true that America locks up more people and for longer periods of time than any country in the world.
It is reasonable to assume that what offends the NAACP is that so many of these prisoners are black men. While black men make up roughly 6 percent of the population they represent almost 40 percent of prison inmates.
The NAACP is on record for "ending the war on drugs," which it sees as expensive, useless and disproportiately hurtful to black people.
No doubt if certain drugs were legalized in this country fewer people - and fewer black people - would be sent to jail. What the overall effect on society would be is certainly debatable. And it is a question that should be debated. But at the airport?
The NAACP maintains that the authority that runs the airport doesn't have the constitutional right to refuse their message. One wonders how the NAACP would feel if the Ku Klux Klan sought to run an ad at the airport that said, "Welcome to America, home to 25 percent of the world's prisoners, 40 percent of whom are African American. Go figure! Let's build a better American together."
Would the ACLU jump to defend the First Amendment Rights of the Klan? Probably not. And rightly so.
The ad minders at PHL apparently deemed the NAACP's ad at odds with the image they are hoping to project for the region and the country. Does the First Amendment oblige them to accept any ad message that any group wants to promote? I doubt it. But we'll see.
The greedy oligarchs that run the Interboro School District are demanding parents actually pay for their children's lunches and are viciously cracking down on those who don't.
"We tried something,” said (district finance officer Ken) King. “We tried to be liberal. And when we talked about it, we wanted the kids fed.”
But King and the board say that students’ families have taken advantage of the district (to the tune of $37,000) and are now “bleeding” the district.
So, now they're talking about actually denying children the lunches they need to get through the day - unless they PAY FOR THEM. School lunches should be a RIGHT, not a privilege for the wealthy few.
This is an OUTRAGE and it will not stand. Our group Occupy Interboro for Nutrition, Kids (OINK) will be taking over lunchrooms across the district starting tomorrow morning.
Our demands are as follows:
1. A school lunch debt forgiveness program to be instituted immediately. 2. Only locally grown, organic food served in every lunchroom 3. "Vegans Only" eating sections. 4. More diversity among the lunchroom staff. 5. Free desserts with whipped cream and a cherry on top. 6. Ken King's head.
OINK is prepared to Occupy Interboro for as long as it takes our demands to be met. Come stand, sit and lie down with us for justice.
MARCUS HOOK — Glenn J. Turner is a convicted drug dealer and attempted cop killer who was once tagged as one of the “most vicious and violent” motorcycle gang members in the country.
Could it be that Turner, a former reputed vice president of the Pagans who was charged Monday with killing or maiming domestic animals — namely, his son’s two cats — was driven by his love for his ailing Doberman pinscher, Nunya?
Yale Law School professor Harold Koh vilified John Yoo for his so-called "torture memos" legally justifying the use of harsh interrogation tactics during. Now, Mr. Koh is justifying President Obama's undeclared war in Libya and the drone strikes that assassinate foreign and American-born terrorists. They also kill innocent women and children.
As it happens, drone strikes and other Obama war decisions can be legally and morally justified. The problem, however, is that they are hard to justify based on the principles Mr. Koh so loudly advanced before he joined the Obama administration. The legal contortions Mr. Koh introduces in his defenses today as much as admit that.
It is eminently possible that a war might look one way from Yale and another way from Foggy Bottom. A public servant facing that reality has two honorable choices. If he found himself embracing authority he had once denounced others for defending, he would apologize to them. If he still believed his original positions, he would resign.
UPDATE: I was remiss not to mention the case of Arthur Bomar in today's column. He's been on death row for 12 years. Some 70 appeals later, Aimee Willard's killer is costing the commonwealth and Delaware County millions. Yes, he deserves to die for his crimes. But he won't anytime soon. Another reason to either change the law or commute all these death penalty sentences.
The Nation reports that the bottom 99 percent is "risiing up" to demand its due. But the numbers just aren't adding up.
So far only a few thousand people across the country have joined the Occupy Wall Street protests. In a country of 315 million people that means only about .0000001 percent of the 99 percent are "rising up."
Unemployment is at 9 percent and not even all those people have joined the OWS protest. The vast majority of those people are actively engaged in looking for work, or not working until their benefits run out. Most are not "rising up," they are hunkering down, cutting their expenses and hoping the economy turns around.
The country's economic fortunes will not be turned around by demonizing corporations and taxing the wealthy more. But it obviously makes some people feel pretty to say so.
...OWS’ defenders correctly say it represents progressivism’s spirit and intellect. Because it embraces spontaneity and deplores elitism, it eschews deliberation and leadership. Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful.
So, it's official. Our state capital is bankrupt. It has filed for Chapter 9 protection from its creditors. The mayor of the city disagrees with the move and so does governor's office which calls the filing "illegal."
Harrisburg, which has a population of around 47,000, is the largest municipality to file for bankruptcy since Vallejo, Calif. in 2008,according to Mr. Spiotto. Vallejo has a population of approximately 117,000
"To the extent there was a stigma associated with municipal bankruptcy, that is rapidly declining," said David Skeel, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Recent history shows Chapter 9 is no panacea; Vallejo spent three costly years resolving its 2008 bankruptcy filing. Mr. Spiotto adds that about one in every three municipal bankruptcy cases has been dismissed since 1980.
Why should there be any stigma? Harrisburg is just another America city that has failed politically and financially to live within it means. It offered good salaries and terrific pensions to city workers that were wholly unsustainable. It's publicly-funded trash to steam plant is a financial disaster.
It's intention now is to screw its bondholders. Fine. But it will no longer be able to borrow money at typically low rates cities enjoy. That's a killer. The city should have taken the governor's deal for an appointed receiver to handle things until it could climb back to solvency. Instead, the process is being dragged out. First a judge will have to decide whether the city even qualifies to file for bankruptcy (it may well not) and that just puts off solving the city's financial problems months or maybe years.
Stigmas, in the past, have been valuable in the promotion of good and responsible behavior. We seem to have gotten rid of a lot of them over the course of the last 30 years.
Old stigmas are being replaced by new ones. Leftists have successfully stigmatized "intolerance" and are working on stigmatizing "wealth." Ironically, in so doing, the left, itself, has become less tolerant, and the country is becoming less wealthy.
As the Occupy Wall Streeters rail against corporate greed and millionaires in New York, the fact is the economy has led to there being fewer of them to tax. The city is losing tens of millions in revenue to pay for their workers and provide services to its citizens.
Went to the Occupy Philly protests Tuesday. My print column is up.
In it you'll meet N.A. Poe, a Delco-born comic and videographer, who has been sleeping under Billy Penn's hat for almost a week.
Here's one of his videos:
He has all the necessities for a good protest hang: tent, junk food, a cute girlfriend and weed. I talked to him for about 10 minutes. He's no idiot. But, at 32 years old, he has failed to launch.
UPDATE: I should mention in fairness, that everyone I met and talked to at the "happening" was pleasant, earnest and polite. Everyone except the red-headed kid working the free food line, who, when I asked him what time the line opened, replied, "How the f*** do I know." But a minute later, even he changed his demeanor and asked me if I was interested in a bowl of oatmeal.
Especially polite and meek are the homeless bums who have gravitated here for the free food, smokes, and the company of others. Normally, they would be told to shove off.
The presence of the police has no doubt helped keep the peace. Of course, they have to be paid and have already cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime. Money, the city has not. Mayor Nutter has been smart to allow the protesters to blow off what little steam they have and wait for the protest to peter out, which it will in the not too distant future.
UPDATE: Comment of the Day:
" Its easy for Mr. Spencer to criticize these unemployed people looking for work. Hell, everyone would love to have a cushy position like Mr. Gil Spencer has. Getting paid a good salary for the mindless dribble he supposely earns for his "work/writing". Gil has been stealing a pay check from the Daily Times for years. "
The Commenter is right, it is easy for me to criticize these unemployed people, but who says they're looking for work? Besides, I'm not criticizing them for being unemployed, I'm observing that they don't have a clue about what getting whatever it is they want. I admit my luck in having a job and getting paid, but I'd probably be making a far better salary if I'd chosen to go into a different field of endeavor. But I made by bed.
One more thing. It's isn't "mindless dribble" It's mindless drivel. Mindless dribble is what bad point guards do. If the commenter doesn't know that, he's ill-equipped for this cushy position.
From: n.a. poe [email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 11:41 AM To: Gil Spencer Subject: scumbag exploitative quasi journalism
hey f---face, great article...i can see why you write for such a prestigious newspaper. go f--- yourself.
Now there's the revolutionary spirit and anger needed to bring hope, change and justice to America.
" I just don't understand why everyone is attacking the wealthy. I guess by some standards, I am considered wealthy but not by my standards.
My father always told me to save a little for a rainy day and retirement. When I was 12 and had a newspaper route, Dad always insisted that I save $2 for retirement and $2 for savings out of my $10 per week profit from delivering newspapers. I did pretty well too. I was able to save enough to buy my first used car and maintain it.
I always thought Dad was a pretty smart guy so I have followed his advice throughout my life. When I went to College, I worked two jobs as a janitor and a dishwasher to pay for my education. I always managed to save a couple of bucks each and every week. I didn’t go to expensive colleges either. I started out at Delaware County Community College and took every class possible before transferring to West Chester University. Who cares if you went to Villanova or St. Joseph or even the University of Pennsylvania? The expensive University will help you get your first job. However, after your first job out of College, most people don’t care where you got your education; they want to know that you are capable and will perform. I work with a guy who graduated from the U of P. We work side by side and earn the exact same amount.
The day my daughter was born, I started saving for her college education with a $2 per week investment which I increased from time to time based upon my income. When she was 18, there was enough saved so that it wasn’t necessary for her to take student loans.
For the past 30 years, I have always had two jobs so that I could achieve my financial goals. The power of compound interest is a beautiful thing.
When I bought my home, I always paid an extra $20 - $40 bucks a month into my mortgage because I knew for each $1 I paid in mortgage, that was one less $1 I would pay interest on. I paid off my 30 year mortgage in 18 years. I am 55 and have never once owned a new car. Every car that I have ever owned were used and my current cars are both 15 years old and run great, so I don't need a new car. I maintain them. I save up to buy the things that I want to buy that I consider to be a luxury, cameras, computers and vacations. Truthfully, if I wanted to do so I could take it out of my savings to make the purchases, but I like the excitement of saving to make the purchase while continuing to save for a rainy day and retirement. It’s actually fun and I appreciate my purchases so much more.
Am I wealthy, not in my mind, Do I have a million dollars? Yes, I finally achieved my goal.
Some people may consider me to be cheap. I consider what I have done financially to be living within my means while planning for future known events. My family always had two weeks of vacation in the summer, Great Christmas gifts etc.
The difference between what I did and what I see happening today is that everyone is charge card happy. They spend without even thinking about the ability to pay the debt that they have accumulated. I see people I work with struggling from pay check to pay check driving expensive new cars and taking multiple expensive vacations per year. I just don’t get it?
So, you want to tax the millionaires? Why should be punished with an extra tax bourdon because I choose to save and do without in order to plan for the future? Why should I feel sorry for those folks who choose to spend every dime they earn and then some? "
If there is one thing I know, it's that the 1% loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate, that is the ideal time to push through their wishlist of pro-corporate policies: privatising education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over.
There is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it's a very big thing: the 99%. And that 99% is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say: "No. We will not pay for your crisis."
Unless 310,000,000 people took to the streets the other day, Ms. Klein's 99 percent is somewhat exaggerated.
By the way, why would the top one percent "love" a crisis? I know, I know, she explains it all in her book, but who outside the dumbest, most ill-educated leftest actually buys into any of that crap?
Admittedly, today's column about Frank LaCon raises more questions than it answers but it is a fascinating and very sad case.
A man going through an unwanted and contentious divorce ends up hopelessly debilatated by progressive demential. Several readers have speculated that it might have been brought on by alcoholism. As far as I know that is not the case. There is no mention of it being alcohol related by the court-appointed shrink who examined him and found him to be in desperate need of full-time nursing care.
The cause of the disease is unknown. But it is similar to the sort of dementia pro football players have gotten as the result of concussions during their career. LaCon, his family tells me, played college football and suffered his share of concussions.
Whatever the cause, the family raises serious questions about how the case was treated in Common Pleas court. And it is fair to wonder if the roles had been reversed and LaCon's wife had been the one suffering a debilitating disease, the judge would have handled the matter in the same way. I will be following up as the case proceeds.
Greg Vitali is furious with Gov. Corbett for refusing to tax the gas drilling industry more. And where is Delaware County's slice of the pie? How dare those rubes in the Alabama part of the state get to keep all the bulk of the proceeds from the gas found under their land. Not to mention the stockholders of the gas companies that are profiting so unfairly from Pennsylvania's inability to tax their profits at a "fair" rate.
Meanwhile, jobs are flooding into the region. Can't have that. How about a DOE grant to start a solar panel company at the soon to be vacant ConocoPhillips plant in Trainer? So what if it fails. At least our hearts would be in the right place.
Spencerblog admits nothing. But our favorite fan, as described by Jason Gay, is:
THE SLEEP-DEPRIVED FOURTH GRADER
Knows more about baseball than parents. Convinced Little League team to emphasize stats like VORP. Writes fan mail to Rays GM Andrew Friedman. Would trade Justin Bieber for cash and prospects. Doesn't mind late-starting evening games. Stashing Red Bull under bed for energy. Falling asleep the next day in geography. Folks about to get concerned phone call from teacher. Unworried about getting grounded. Will run Cubs in six years.
... that's what author Michael Lewis did and he came back with a terrific and enlightening piece for Vanity Fair about the economic calamity in California brought on by the public pension crisis. As depressing as the situation is, Lewis (Liars Poke, The Blind Side, The Big Short and Moneyball) makes it oddly exhilarating.
It plays on the same theme as Moneyball, which is that economic distress can bring new ways of thinking about and solving a problem.
In this piece, Lewis introduces us to people of sound mind and strong values who work to deal with the wreckage of profligacy and political gutlessness.
People like San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, Vallejo city manager Phil Batchelor and firefighter and new Vallejo Fire Chief Paige Meyer. These are all amazingly thoughtful, decent and remarkable men.
For instance here's Lewis on Batchelor:
His day job, before he retired, was running cities with financial difficulties. He came out of retirement to take this job, but only after the city council had asked him a few times. “The more you say no, the more determined they are to get you,” he says. His chief demand was not financial but social: he’d take the job only if the people on the city council ceased being nasty to one another and behaved civilly. He actually got that in writing, and they’ve kept their end of the bargain. “I’ve been in a lot of places that have been in a lot of trouble, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” he says. He then lays out what he finds unusual, beginning with the staffing levels. He’s now running the city, and he has a staff of one: I just met her. “When she goes out to the bathroom, she has to lock the [office] door,” he says, “because I’m in meetings, and we have no one else.”
The piece is long, and you can skip some (but not all) of the stuff about former governor Schwarzenegger. But Lewis' conclusion is not to be missed. And for it to hit home, you've to meet Reed, Batchelor, and Meyer.
I highly recommend it. Because the same troubles felt in San Jose and Vallejo are also being felt much closer to home. And they will require the same smarts, sacrifice, decency and steadfastness to attack them.
UPDATE: Also interesting are the insights of neuroscientist Dr. Peter Whybrow, who explains the psychological effects of affluence and abundance. What do you think happens to a ridiculously fat pheasant?
Cain said the reason that black people overwhelmingly vote for Democratic presidential candidates is because they've been "brainwashed."
Sounds about right.
More and more liberals are resorting to playing the race card as Obama's flailing and failing presidency runs deeper and deeper into the weeds. It's now gotten to the point where a conservative black man is accused of racial bigotry for noticing how little Democrats have actually done for black people in the last 40 years. And still blacks vote for Democratic candidates. Why? Some bad habits are hard to break.
Friday's column on the coming closings of the Sunoco and ConocoPhillips refineries can be found here.
Katie Feeney from the Clean Air Council, felt compelled to respond:
If Mr. Spencer wants to get serious about the 3 E’s – Energy, Economy and Environment – then he should begin by ceasing to perpetuate the false myth being brought on by House Republicans like Rep. Jim Gerlach, Rep. Patrick Meehan and Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick that America must pit jobs against public health.
Recent Congressional attacks on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, and federal health safeguards will not help the economy, because a healthy economy begins with healthy citizens.
For example, H.R. 2401, also known as the TRAIN Act, which passed recently in the U.S House of Representatives, would yield 175,000 more asthma attacks and more than 25,000 premature deaths in the first year alone if made into law, due to smog, soot, and toxic air pollution. Clean Air Act safeguards have contributed nearly $2 trillion in economic benefits since 1990 while saving 160,000 American lives this year alone. The polluter predictions of economic calamity have never come true, and credible economic reports have determined that clean air standards promote economic growth and create jobs.
I take great offense to Mr. Spencer’s suggestion that environmentalists are rooting for a failed economy. Environmentalists strive to see good-paying jobs that enhance our energy security and cannot be shipped to China. Currently, there are more clean energy jobs in the U.S. than oil and gas jobs – 2.7 million in clean energy and 2.4 million in oil and gas. If the clean energy industry were afforded similar subsidies that have been enjoyed by the coal, nuclear and oil and gas industries for decades, they could create even more American jobs.
Jobs are important but it is irresponsible to suggest that we can only have them by forfeiting public health and the future of the plant (sic) to wealthy, fossil fuel-based corporations.
I'll deal with some of Katie's concerns in tomorrow column. In the meantime all I can say is...