Report: McNair found dead
Updated: July 4, 2009, 5:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair has been killed, a source has confirmed to ESPN.com.
McNair, 36, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head in downtown Nashville, police spokesperson Don Aaron said. A female victim was also found dead. Aaron said the woman has not been identified, pending notification of next of kin.
The incident happened near 2nd South & Lea Ave in Nashville.
McNair played 13 seasons in the NFL, 11 were with the Titans. He played his final two years with the Baltimore Ravens, retiring after the 2007 season.
"We are saddened and shocked to hear the news of Steve McNair's passing today," Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Aadams Jr. said in a statement. "He was one of the finest players to play for our organization and one of the most beloved players by our fans. He played with unquestioned heart and leadership and led us to places that we had never reached, including our only Super Bowl. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they deal with his untimely passing."
McNair was picked third overall in the 1995 draft out of Alcorn State by the then Houston Oilers.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Report: McNair found dead
Thursday, July 02, 2009
July 2, 2009
Help me out here. President Obama immediately "meddles" in the affairs of Honduras, denouncing a military coup, the intent of which is to preserve the country's constitution, but when it comes to Iran's fraudulent election and the violent repression of demonstrators who wanted their votes counted, the president initially vacillates and equivocates.
Are we expected to accept this as a consistent foreign policy? Even Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was reluctant to call the removal of President Manuel Zelaya a coup, if for no other reason than it would stop U.S. aid flowing to the impoverished Central American nation.
The fingerprints (or in this case the boot prints) of the Castro brothers, Venezuela's dictator Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua are all over this. If one is known by the company one keeps, the specter of the Castros and their protege dictators joining Mr. Obama in denouncing the Honduran military coup is not reassuring.
Clearly Mr. Zelaya was the choice of the dictators to help spread "revolution" to America's back door. The coup is a setback for them, although perhaps temporary, depending on how much pressure "world opinion," which can be as fickle as some politicians' marriage vows, can assert.
One of the flaws in U.S. policy in this and in the Bush administration has been our commitment to elections as an end and not a means. Elections can put scoundrels in power and the election that elevates them is often the last one a country sees until the miscreants are overthrown. That has been true of Hamas in the Palestinian legislative elections of 2006, Germany under Adolf Hitler, as well as Mr. Ortega and Mr. Chavez in their countries, among others.
The United States should be supporting electoral processes that put people in office who are committed to the rule of law and representative government.
The threat by Mr. Chavez to send his troops into Honduras should be another signal to the Obama administration that thugs can't be made nice by talking to them. So far, the world's tyrants have been unresponsive to Mr. Obama's offer of a new start and a pushing of the "reset" button, which Mrs. Clinton famously offered Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The word on the device she gave Mr. Lavrov was meant to say "reset" in Russian; instead, roughly translated, the word meant "overcharge." Overly optimistic might be a better word to describe this nascent administration's approach to bad guys. They are getting the message, but it's a different one than Mr. Obama hoped to send. The message is that Mr. Obama is weak and can be had.
It is one thing for a president to be liked, but in a dangerous world with dictators who have, or wish to acquire, nuclear weapons and by these and other means destroy the United States, it is better that an American president be feared.
Does this administration have a Plan B for dealing with thugs and dictators should their rules of social and diplomatic etiquette fail to produce their announced objectives? Suppose Kim Jong-il follows through on his threat to launch a missile at Hawaii on July Fourth? If he does and America shoots it down, what happens then? If missile defense fails (the administration and Congress are cutting the budget for a missile shield) and the missile hits Hawaii and kills a lot of people, what then?
Will there be strong denunciations, United Nations resolutions, or a rapid and devastating retaliation? Given this administration's commitment to "dialogue," I'm not betting on retaliation. More like hand-wringing and wondering aloud what we might have done to make them hate us, as we heard from many leftists after Sept. 11.
The administration is being tested on several fronts, as Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. predicted. Honduras is one of many challenges. Will the administration meet them, or retreat? We may know sooner than many of us might expect.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/02/2009 04:44:00 PM
Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden dies at 97
2 hrs 10 mins ago
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden, known for his distinctive nose and roles opposite Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "On The Waterfront," has died, officials have said. He was 97.
Malden's passing was announced on Wednesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), where he served as president from 1989 to 1992.
A statement distributed by the Academy said the actor, who starred in more than 50 films, died at home surrounded by family members. No cause of death was disclosed.
Born Mladen Sekulovich in Chicago in 1912 to a Serbian father and Czech mother, Malden was the eldest of three sons and grew up in Gary, Indiana.
He developed a love of acting after appearing regularly in school plays and in productions organized by his father at a local church.
Malden worked in Gary's steel mills from 1931 until 1934 before accepting a scholarship to Chicago's Goodman Theater.
Another scholarship student, Mona Greenberg, became his wife in 1938. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year.
After tying the knot Malden forged a successful Broadway career, appearing in landmark productions such as Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and Tennessee Williams's "A Streetcar Named Desire."
During this time he developed working relationships and lifelong friendships with director Elia Kazan and co-star Brando.
Malden's recreation of the role of Mitch in "Streetcar" earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1951, and he scored another nod in that category for playing Father Barry in "On the Waterfront."
After moving to Los Angeles in 1959 to pursue his film career, Malden landed roles in films including "One-Eyed Jacks," "The Cincinnati Kid," "Birdman of Alcatraz," and "Patton."
In the 1970s, Malden made a transition to television, starring in the popular series "The Streets of San Francisco" which introduced Michael Douglas. Douglas credited Malden as his mentor ever since.
Besides his work on stage and screen, Malden was equally famous for a string of TV commercials for American Express travelers checks in the 1970s and 1980s in which he famously implored: "Don't leave home without them."
Of his American Express ads, in which he invariably sported a Trilby hat and came over as a hard-nosed detective who'd seen it all, Malden once said: "It was a pleasure. It was a joy. I loved every minute of it."
"I'm a workaholic," Malden said. "I love every movie I've been in, even the bad ones, every TV series, every play, because I love to work. It's what keeps me going."
Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Release Date: July 24
Preorders: July 14
America did not elect a new president on November 4th, 2008. America enabled a cult leader to take over the White House. A man with no executive experience, deeply disturbing associations and gaping holes in his history was elevated to the highest office in the land; not based on merit, but impelled by the force of a mass movement.
The machinery for an Obama type of takeover was fired up long before Obama showed up. In fact, Obama himself is the least important detail of the plan. Much has been made of Obama’s soaring oratory and personal charisma. While charisma is a fundamental requirement of a cult leader, Obama does not own a monopoly on personal magnetism, and upon reflection, we will see that he brought very little to the table.
In Obamanutz: A Cult Leader Takes the White House, we explore all of the variables that allowed a candidate as deeply flawed as Barack Obama to capture the presidency. Until now, the focus has been on Barack Obama and his story. This approach overlooks the complex convergence of several political, economic and social issues that made Obama’s election possible, if not inevitable.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/01/2009 02:41:00 PM
June 30, 2009
The Communist Party USA’s position on the recent non-coup in Honduras is markedly congruous with Barack Obama’s:
“The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) joins with the world in denouncing the coup d’état this morning against the legally elected president of the Republic of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, by the Honduran military, in which, according to a statement by the president’s wife, Mr. Zelaya was threatened and beaten before being sent into exile in Costa Rica.
- The CPUSA denounces alarming reports of physical attacks by troops against the ambassadors of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in Tegucigalpa, and calls for protection of all diplomatic personal; and, if the reports of the attacks are confirmed, punishment of all the responsible parties for this gross violation of Honduran and international law. The CPUSA further:
- Demands that president Zelaya and other members of his government be returned to power immediately, and that the troops return to their barracks.
- Demands the immediate release of all labor, community and student leaders who have reportedly been rounded up by the army, and the restoration of freedom of the press.
- Recognizes that the Obama administration has repudiated the coup, and insists that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton hold firm to this position, refusing diplomatic recognition and any military aid to Honduras until President Zelaya is restored to power.
- Calls upon unions and other people’s organizations in the United States to actively support our brothers and sisters in Honduras in resisting this brutal military coup d’état.”
This should confound no one, since the Communist Party USA was publicly exhiliarated about Barack Obama as a candidate. On January 31, 2009, Sam Webb of CPUSA gave a speech extolling the blessings of the Obama presidency and denouncing capitalism, which, according to Webb, exists to oppress blacks. Leftists have no sense of irony.
There was no coup in Honduras. The government of Honduras functioned as it was constitutionally mandated to do. Former president Manuel Zelaya attempted cling to ascendancy by circumventing the constitution. Venezuelan tyrant, Hugo Chavez, operating as the Latin American David Axelrod, has been abetting Zelaya. In a proceeding that could no longer happen in the United States, the Honduran Supreme Court issued an order to stop Zelaya’s efforts to go forward with his re-election referendum. Concomitantly, the Honduran congress, unencumbered by a doltish speaker, proclaimed Zelaya’s efforts to become dictator for life unconstitutional. The Honduran Army, acting on orders from the Supreme Court, dispatched the unharmed Zelaya to the tropical paradise of Costa Rica. Presumably, he wasn’t eligible for Uighur Island.
Obama, predictably, rebuked the constitutionally required ouster of the incipient oppressor for life.
“Nevertheless, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quickly issued statements saying that his removal was somehow a violation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. This was a clever ruse designed to disguise the fact that all of the major elements of constitutional power in Honduras, except for the increasingly unpopular and power-hungry president, acted on behalf of the people.” (Source)
Last January, envisioning a future need to safeguard Obama’s diadem, the prescient Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) introduced H.J. Res. 5:
111TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. J. RES. 5
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JANUARY 6, 2009
Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Passage of Res. 5 would assure that Obama won’t have to go through a similarly tumultuous crucible.
The President of the United States has disdain for democracy. He has taken an anti-Israel mien, hectoring the lone democracy in the Middle East about capitulating to demands from terrorists. Never mind that Israel has time and again succumbed to barbarians. Obama sat passively while the people of Iran made a desperate entreaty for the president’s support in grasping their freedom .
The leader of the free world has no problem cavalierly discounting the extermination of inculpable citizens, most of them young people. Obama has broadcast that he is breathlessly awaiting a tete-a-tete with the depraved hellions.
Other rapacious tyrants on Obama’s Face Book Friends List include Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Historically, Obama’s comrades have all been communists, including his Chicago mentor, Alice Palmer, a woman whom the perpetually duplicitous narcissist in chief ultimately hoodwinked for his own political gain.
Young Obamanutz are not aghast over Obama’s favorable sentiments toward communism. They don’t recall the Soviet Union or Mao’s bloodbaths. Socialism, communism, Marxism; none of these dogmas daunt them, due to years of being marinated in Ayers- based education
Jeffrey Folks writes about his time in Yugoslavia in the 1980s:
“Anyone who has lived inside the demoralized, unproductive, gray prison of a communist state, as I did in the mid-1980s knows to what depths of impoverishment the egalitarian fantasies of socialism inevitably lead. They lead to decades of frustrated poverty and lifetimes of untreated illness culminating in early death. I remember the columns of death notices for men and women in their forties and fifties that appeared in the local newspaper. Gradually I learned to associate those death notices with the lack of fresh foodstuffs, the travesty of state health care, and the pervasive demoralization of an enslaved population drowning itself in cheap alcohol and cigarettes.”
The government of Honduras performed as it should, which is more than we can anticipate from ours during Obama’s hegemony. Barack Obama is, once again, taking a stand against liberty and democracy.
Joy Tiz, Joytiz.com, born in Chicago, recalls when many democrats were actually normal people who were just wrong about everything. Joy holds a M.Sc. in psychology and a JD in law.
Joy was a columnist at Americas Voices and has written extensively on topics including the legal aspects of self defense, canine behavior and politics. Her book I Love My Dog, But . . . (Avon 1999) received excellent reviews. Joy’s next book, Obamanutz: A Cult Leader takes the White House will be available for order on 7/24.
An unapologetic capitalist, Joy currently owns a real estate brokerage. She is also the owner of three magnificent and staunchly conservative German Shepherds, a Quarter Horse lacking in work ethic and Zirc the Wonder Colt.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter at: Joytiz
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/01/2009 02:25:00 PM
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Health Reform: A critically ill premature baby is moved to a U.S hospital to get the treatment she couldn't get in the system we're told we should emulate. Cost-effective care? In Canada, as elsewhere, you get what you pay for.
IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure
Ava Isabella Stinson was born last Thursday at St. Joseph's hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Weighing only two pounds, she was born 13 weeks premature and needed some very special care. Unfortunately, there were no open neonatal intensive care beds for her at St. Joseph's or anywhere else in the entire province of Ontario, it seems.
Canada's perfectly planned and cost-effective system had no room at the inn for Ava, who of necessity had to be sent across the border to a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital to suffer under our chaotic and costly system. She had no time to be put on a Canadian waiting list. She got the care she needed at an American hospital under a system President Obama has labeled "unsustainable."
Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit reports Ava's case is not unusual. He reports that Hamilton's neonatal intensive care unit is closed to new admissions half the time. Special-needs infants are sent elsewhere and usually to the U.S.
In 2007, a Canadian woman gave birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia Jepps. They were born in the United States to Canadian parents because there was again no space available at any Canadian neonatal care unit. All they had was a wing and a prayer.
The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician flew from Calgary, a city of a million people, 325 miles to Benefit Hospital in Great Falls, Mont., a city of 56,000. The girls are doing fine, thanks to our system where care still trumps cost and where being without insurance does not mean being without care.
Infant mortality rates are often cited as a reason socialized medicine and a single-payer system is supposed to be better than what we have here. But according to Dr. Linda Halderman, a policy adviser in the California State Senate, these comparisons are bogus.
As she points out, in the U.S., low birth-weight babies are still babies. In Canada, Germany and Austria, a premature baby weighing less than 500 grams is not considered a living child and is not counted in such statistics. They're considered "unsalvageable" and therefore never alive.
Norway boasts one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world until you factor in weight at birth, and then its rate is no better than in the U.S.
In other countries babies that survive less than 24 hours are also excluded and are classified as "stillborn." In the U.S. any infant that shows any sign of life for any length of time is considered a live birth.
A child born in Hong Kong or Japan that lives less than a day is reported as a "miscarriage" and not counted. In Switzerland and other parts of Europe, a baby is not counted as a baby if it is less than 30 centimeters in length.
In 2007, there were at least 40 mothers and their babies who were airlifted from British Columbia alone to the U.S. because Canadian hospitals didn't have room. It's worth noting that since 2000, 42 of the world's 52 surviving babies weighing less than 400g (0.9 pounds) were born in the U.S.
It must be embarrassing to Canada that a G-7 economy and a country of 30 million people can't offer the same level of health care as a town of just over 50,000 in rural Montana. Where will Canada send its preemies and other critical patients when we adopt their health care system?
As we have noted, in Canada roughly 900,000 patients of all ages are waiting for beds, according to the Fraser Institute. There are more than four times as many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units per capita in the U.S. as in Canada. We have twice as many CT scanners per capita.
Expensive? Wasteful. Just ask the Jepps or the parents of Ava Isabella Stinson.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/01/2009 10:08:00 AM
Only time will tell if the Iraqis succeed, but at least now they have a chance -- and a good one -- to become the first self-sustaining democracy in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world.
American troops have now begun the first phase of withdrawing from Iraq and, under the US-Iraqi status of forces agreement, will be completely out by the end of 2011.
The Iraq War has been one giant roller coaster ride:
We executed a brilliant invasion and toppled their brutal dictator in a matter of days. (Cheers.)
Saddam Hussein was hunted down, tried and hanged. (Applause. )
Yet no sooner had President Bush declared, "mission accomplished" than the insurgency began. (Oops. )
Our occupation turned into a disaster of mismanagement, and large sections of the country succumbed to Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. Al Qaeda gained a foothold and looked to make Iraq the base for operations throughout the Middle East. (Teeth gnashing, doom and gloom.)
In spite of calls for immediate withdrawal, President Bush doubled down with the surge, replaced our military leaders, increased our troop strength and changed the rules of engagement. It was a huge gamble, but it led to one of the greatest turnarounds in recent military history. (New round of applause.)
As a result, we're now leaving Iraq with our heads held high, not with our tail between our legs. We're leaving behind an Iraqi government that, despite all its shortcomings, has a decent chance of success. We're turning security over to an Iraqi army that is multi-ethnic and finally able to stand on its own.
Enormous problems remain in Iraq, but they will be for Iraqis to solve. They still have to sort out who gets what of their oil wealth. They have to share power between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. They have to maintain order and prevent insurgencies from sprouting up and foreign fighters from entering. They have to hold their neighbors at bay. Only time will tell if the Iraqis succeed, but at least now they have a chance -- and a good one -- to become the first self-sustaining democracy in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world.
The war against radical Islam is far from over, but an essential battle has just been won. The roller coaster tide may not be finished for Iraq -- but the United States is getting off the train.
Kathleen Troia "KT "McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administration, and was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Her Web site is KTMcFarland.com.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/01/2009 10:02:00 AM
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Crime: Yes, 150 years is a long sentence for a 71-year-old criminal. But few will shed tears for Bernie Madoff as he goes to jail. And yet, the man who financially ruined hundreds of people holds lessons for the rest of us.
Read More: Judges & Courts
Madoff's trail is littered with bankruptcy, broken dreams and bounced checks. Most, if not all, his victims will spend the rest of their lives no exaggeration there trying to recover from the financial devastation he wrought.
The magnitude of Madoff's crime boggles. He took $17 billion from investors in his fund which boasted of beating Wall Street's major averages with double-digit returns year after year. Such consistent, outsized returns should have been a red flag.
This, of course, is reminiscent of the infamous Charles Ponzi, who in the 1920s vowed to double people's money in just three months. Things went well as long as those willing to join his scheme outnumbered those cashing in. Once the arithmetic reversed, however, it crashed spectacularly.
But compared with Madoff, Ponzi was a piker. Ponzi's fraud, even in today's dollars, would be just over $150 million. By comparison, Madoff was a pro: He sheared his sheep clean.
"He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values," said victim Tom Fitzmaurice.
In short, Madoff was a consummate con man, fleecing many intelligent, accomplished people. These included the managers of dozens of hedge funds and celebrities as diverse as Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and actor Kevin Bacon, who is now a lot closer than six degrees to thousands of broke investors.
But there's a lesson in this for the rest of us too. We routinely and blindly place our money and faith in financial operators in both the private sector and government knowing little about who they are, what they do, how they do it and how they're doing.
Worse, too many know little if anything about investing or the economy or government finances. Such basic financial ignorance makes us all vulnerable. We'll find out only when we go bust.
Few people, for example, seem aware that our government, Madoff-like, will spend close to $10 trillion in the next decade on various bailouts, pork projects, stimulus plans and other failed notions.
Worse still, Social Security and Medicare in the long run are actuarially short by $47 trillion a stunning level of insolvency. And as the Congressional Budget Office reported last week, public debt as a share of GDP is set to explode from 41% in 2008 to 181% by 2035.
These, too, are frauds, perpetrated by government on taxpayers. Yet they have, inexplicably, failed to raise Americans' ire to Bernie Madoff levels. For Madoff's investors, it's too late. What about the rest of us? Will we wake up before this bigger Ponzi collapses?
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 6/30/2009 12:05:00 PM
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Judiciary: The Supreme Court's overturning of high-court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's ruling in the New Haven firefighter case exposes what lies at the core of her misguided philosophy: stark racial favoritism.
Read More: Judges & Courts
Thanks to the court's ruling Monday in Ricci v. DeStefano, all the YouTube video clips from Judge Sotomayor's old speeches and conferences take on a clearer meaning now.
Her claims that she was cheated when she took the racially skewed SATs, her contention that a Latina judge is morally superior to a white male judge, her mock sotto-voce declaration that appellate courts make policy they have all been distilled and disposed of in one shot by the high court majority.
The court ruled 5-4 that the city of New Haven was guilty of reverse discrimination. Fearing lawsuits, New Haven had thrown out the results of fire department exams it conducted after only two Hispanics and no blacks from its firefighter ranks scored high enough to warrant promotions. It got sued anyway, as 18 firefighters claimed they were victims of reverse discrimination.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, including Judge Sotomayor, sided with the city. One of Sotomayor's fellow 2nd District judges Clinton appointee Jose Cabranes charged that the panel's Lilliputian opinion contained no "clear statement of either the claims raised by the plaintiffs or the issues on appeal," plus "no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case."
As Justice Kennedy's opinion noted, "there is no evidence let alone the required strong basis in evidence that the tests were flawed because they were not job-related or because other equally valid and less discriminatory tests were available to the City." He concluded that New Haven had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids employer discrimination.
But what need is there for pesky things like evidence when a judge has "empathy" the quality that President Obama said was so important in a Supreme Court justice? A justice can sit back and declare that in her view the members of a downtrodden minority group are more worthy of favors than those in the majority appellate court policymaking at its purest (more properly known as judicial imperialism).
And wasn't that exactly the approach of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who took the extraordinary step of reading her dissent from the bench on Monday?
"By order of this Court," she complained, "New Haven, a city in which African-Americans and Hispanics account for nearly 60% of the population, must today be served as it was in the days of undisguised discrimination by a fire department in which members of racial and ethnic minorities are rarely seen in command positions."
In other words, qualifications and excellence are secondary at best just get your city services to reflect the racial makeup of the population, or else. Race is the paramount consideration, now and forever.
As Justice Samuel Alito noted, the whole process was knee-deep in corrupt, racially motivated influence.
"Almost as soon as the city disclosed the racial makeup of the list of firefighters who scored the highest on the exam," Alito points out, "the city administration was lobbied by an influential community leader to scrap the test results, and the city administration decided on that course of action before making any real assessment of the possibility of a disparate-impact violation."
That "leader" was the Rev. Boise Kimber, a personal ally of seven-term New Haven Mayor John DeStefano who, as Alito noted, once took to the television airwaves and "threatened a race riot during the murder trial of the black man arrested for killing white Yalie Christian Prince. He continues to call whites racist if they question his actions."
In 2002, Mayor DeStefano made Kimber chairman of the city's Board of Fire Commissioners, in spite of his lack of fire department or municipal management experience.
Apparently, none of this matters to judicial activists like Judge Sotomayor or Justice Ginsburg and the three other unreconstructed liberals on the high court.
What does matter is treating people as members of ethnic groups rather than individuals a vice that has caused untold suffering throughout American history, and which we should long since have transcended.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 6/30/2009 11:59:00 AM
Monday, June 29, 2009
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Climate Change: A suppressed EPA study says old U.N. data ignore the decline in global temperatures and other inconvenient truths. Was the report kept under wraps to influence the vote on the cap-and-trade bill?
Read More: Global Warming
This was supposed to be the most transparent administration ever. Yet as the House of Representatives prepared to vote on the Waxman-Markey bill, the largest tax increase in U.S. history on 100% of Americans, an attempt was made to suppress a study shredding supporters' arguments.
On Friday, the day of the vote, the Competitive Enterprise Institute said it was releasing "an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency."
In the release, the institute's Richard Morrison said "internal EPA e-mail messages, released by CEI earlier in the week, indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the administration's agenda of regulating carbon dioxide."
Reading the report, available on the CEI Web site, we find this "endangerment analysis" contains such interesting items as: "Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."
What the report says is that the EPA, by adopting the United Nations' 2007 "Fourth Assessment" report, is relying on outdated research by its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The research, it says, is "at best three years out of date in a rapidly changing field" and ignores the latest scientific findings.
Besides noting the decline in temperatures as CO2 levels have increased, the draft report says the "consensus" on storm frequency and intensity is now "much more neutral."
Then there's one of Al Gore's grim fairy tales the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and glaciers the size of Tennessee roaming the North Atlantic. "The idea that warming temperatures will cause Greenland to rapidly shed its ice has been greatly diminished by new results indicating little evidence for operations of such processes," the report says.
Little evidence? Outdated U.N. research? No reason to rush? This is not what the Obama administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were telling us when they were rushing to force a Friday vote on Waxman-Markey. We were given the impression that unless we passed this cap-and-tax fiasco, polar bears would be extinct by the Fourth of July.
We have noted frequently the significance of solar activity on earth's climate and history. This EPA draft report not only confirms our reporting but the brazen incompetence of those "experts" that have been prophesying planetary apocalypse.
"A new 2009 paper by Scafetta and West," the report says, "suggests that the IPCC used faulty solar data in dismissing the direct effect of solar variability on global temperatures. Their report suggests that solar variability could account for up to 68% of the increase in Earth's global temperatures."
The report was the product of Alan Carlin, senior operations research analyst at the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE). He's been with the EPA for 38 years but now has been taken off all climate-related work. He is convinced that actual climate observations do not match climate change theories and that only the politics, not the science, has been settled.
Thomas Fuller, environmental policy blogger with the San Francisco Examiner, wrote Thursday in a story developed in conjunction with Anthony Watts' Web site wattsupwiththat.com: "A source inside the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed many of the claims made by analyst Alan Carlin, the economist/physicist who yesterday went public with accusations that science was being ignored in evaluating the danger of CO2."
All this is particularly interesting because of the charges by Al Gore, NASA's James Hansen and others that the Bush administration and energy companies actively suppressed the truth about climate change.
One of the e-mails unearthed by CEI was dated March 12, from Al McGartland, office director at NCEE, forbidding Carlin from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues such as those in his suppressed report.
Carlin replied on March 16, requesting that his study be forwarded to EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, which directs EPA's climate change program. Carlin points out the peer-reviewed references in his study and points out that the new studies "explain much of the observational data that have been collected which cannot be explained by the IPCC models."
For saying the climate change emperors had no clothes, Carlin was told March 17: "The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. . . . I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office."
In other words, the administration and Congress had their collective minds made up and didn't want to be confused with the facts. They certainly didn't want any inconvenient truths coming out of their own Environmental Protection Agency, the one that wants to regulate everything from your lawn mower to bovine emissions and which says the product of your respiration and ours, carbon dioxide, is a dangerous pollutant and not the basis for all life on earth.
The problem the warm-mongers have is they now are in a position of telling the American people, who are you going to believe us or your own lying eyes? Forget the snow in Malibu, the record cold winters. Forget that temperatures have dropped for a decade.
In April, President Obama declared that "the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over." Apparently not, for as he spoke those very words his administration was suppressing science to advance a very pernicious ideology.
God save us from liberal "empathy." After President Barack Obama announced his empathetic Supreme Court nominee this week, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, we found out that some people are more deserving of empathy than others.
For example, Judge Sotomayor apparently "empathized" more with New Haven, Conn., government officials than with white and Hispanic firefighters who were denied promotions by the city on the basis of their race.
Let's hope she's as empathetic to New Haven residents who die in fires fought by inferior firefighters as a result of her decision.
In the now-famous firefighters' case, Ricci v. DeStefano, the New Haven Fire Department administered a civil service exam to choose a new batch of lieutenants and captains. The city went so far as to hire an outside consultant to design the test in order to ensure that it was job-related and not racially biased. (You know, just like all written tests were pre-screened for racial bias back when we were in school.)
But when the results came in, only whites and Hispanics scored high enough to earn promotions.
Such results never entice Democrats to reconsider their undying devotion to the teachers' unions that routinely produce students who can't read, write or do basic math. Obviously, disadvantaged children from single-parent homes suffer the most from inadequate public schools -- and their tragic outcome bedevils the entire society for the rest of the students' lives.
Instead, Democrats hide the failure of government schools by punishing the high-scoring whites, Asians and Hispanics, who presumably learned everything they know at home. (If only successfully applying a condom were relevant to firefighting, public school graduates raised in single-parent homes would crush the home-learners!)
So naturally, New Haven city officials decided to scrap the exam results and promote no one.
Seventeen of the high-scoring whites and one high-scoring Hispanic sued the mayor, John DeStefano, and other city officials for denying them promotions solely because of their race.
The district court ruled that there was no race discrimination because the low-scoring blacks were not given promotions either -- citing the landmark case, One Bad Apple v. The Rest of the Barrel. (That's the sort of sophistry we're taught in law school.)
Concerned that Sotomayor's famed "empathy" might not shine through in cases such as Ricci v. DeStefano, the Democrats are claiming -- as Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said on MSNBC -- that she was merely applying "precedent" to decide the case. You know, just like conservatives say judges should.
This was an interesting claim, in the sense that it was the exact polar opposite of the truth.
To be sure, there is "precedent" for racial discrimination by the government, but Plessy v. Ferguson was overturned in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education. If Sotomayor had another case in mind, she wasn't telling: The lower court's dismissal of the firefighters' case was upheld by Sotomayor and two other judges in an unsigned, unpublished opinion, titled, "Talk to the Hand."
Not only that, but Sotomayor's fellow Clinton appointee, Jose Cabranes (who sounds like an "empathetic" fellow), issued a blistering dissent from the appellate court's denial of a rehearing specifically on the grounds that the case "raises important questions of first impression in our Circuit -- and indeed, in the nation."
A "case of first impression" means there's no precedent. If there were a precedent, it would be a case of, at least, "second impression."
If it were merely "empathy" that explained liberal judges' lawless opinions, one might expect some liberal judges to have empathy for the white and Hispanic firefighters being discriminated against today, and others to have empathy for the hypothetical black firefighters discriminated against in times past.
But all liberals only have empathy for the exact same victims -- always the ones that are represented by powerful liberal interest groups. As Joe Sobran says, it takes a lot of clout to be a victim.
Thus, the media and Democrats seem to find successful Hispanic attorney Sotomayor much more "empathetic" than successful Hispanic attorney Miguel Estrada.
After aggressively blocking Estrada's nomination to a federal appeals court during Bush's first term solely on the grounds that he is Hispanic and was likely headed for the Supreme Court -- according to Senate Democrat staff memos -- now Democrats have the audacity to rave that Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice!
If Sotomayor is not more empathetic than Estrada, liberals at least consider her more Hispanic -- an interesting conclusion inasmuch as Sotomayor was born in New York and Estrada was born in Honduras.
Forty-four of 48 Senate Democrats voted to filibuster Estrada's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, with congressman and professional Hispanic Raul Grijalva assuring them that just because "he happens to be named 'Estrada' does not give him a free ride."
The truth is liberals couldn't care less about Sotomayor being Hispanic. Indeed, liberals often have trouble telling Hispanic people apart, as James Carville illustrated on "Good Morning America" Wednesday morning when he kept confusing Miguel Estrada with Alberto Gonzales.
"Empathy," in Liberalspeak, is nothing but raw political power.
Ann Coulter is Legal Affairs Correspondent for HUMAN EVENTS and author of "High Crimes nd Misdemeanors," "Slander," ""How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)," "Godless," "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" and most recently, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 6/29/2009 11:07:00 AM
Sunday, June 28, 2009
TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead at Florida home
By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer
1 min ago
TAMPA, Fla. – Billy Mays, the burly, bearded television pitchman whose boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean made him a pop-culture icon, has died. He was 50.
Tampa police said Mays was found unresponsive by his wife Sunday morning. A fire rescue crew pronounced him dead at 7:45 a.m. It was not immediately clear how he died. He reportedly was hit on the head when an airplane he was on made a rough landing Saturday, and Mays' wife told investigators the TV personality didn't feel well before he went to bed that night.
There were no signs of a break-in at the home, and investigators do not suspect foul play, said Lt. Brian Dugan of the Tampa Police Department, who wouldn't answer any more questions about how Mays' body was found because of the ongoing investigation. The coroner's office expects to have an autopsy done by Monday afternoon.
Mays' wife, Deborah Mays, told investigators that her husband had complained he didn't feel well before he went to bed some time after 10 p.m. Saturday night, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
"Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days," Deborah Mays said in a statement Sunday. "Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times."
U.S. Airways confirmed Sunday that Mays was among the passengers on a flight that made a rough landing on Saturday afternoon at Tampa International Airport, leaving debris on the runway after apparently blowing its front tires.
Tampa Bay's Fox television affiliate interviewed Mays after the incident.
"All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping," MyFox Tampa Bay quoted him as saying. "It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head."
McElroy said linking Mays' death to the rough landing Saturday afternoon would "purely be speculation." She said Mays' family members didn't report any health issues with the pitchman, but they said he was due to have hip replacement surgery in the coming weeks.
Born William Mays in McKees Rocks, Pa., on July 20, 1958, Mays developed his style demonstrating knives, mops and other "as seen on TV" gadgets on Atlantic City's boardwalk. For years he worked as a hired gun on the state fair and home show circuits, attracting crowds with his booming voice and genial manner.
After meeting Orange Glo International founder Max Appel at a home show in Pittsburgh in the mid-1990s, Mays was recruited to demonstrate the environmentally friendly line of cleaning products on the St. Petersburg-based Home Shopping Network.
Commercials and informercials followed, anchored by the high-energy Mays showing how it's done while tossing out kitschy phrases like, "Long live your laundry!"
Recently he's been seen on commercials for a wide variety of products and is featured on the reality TV show "Pitchmen" on the Discovery Channel, which follows Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs. He's also been seen in ESPN ads.
His ubiquitousness and thumbs-up, in-your-face pitches won Mays plenty of fans. People line up at his personal appearances for autographed color glossies, and strangers stop him in airports to chat about the products.
"I enjoy what I do," Mays told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. "I think it shows."
Mays liked to tell the story of giving bottles of OxiClean to the 300 guests at his wedding, and doing his ad spiel ("powered by the air we breathe!") on the dance floor at the reception. Visitors to his house typically got bottles of cleaner and housekeeping tips.
As part of "Pitchmen," Mays and Sullivan showed viewers new gadgets such as the Impact Gel shoe insert; the Tool Band-it, a magnetized armband that holds tools; and the Soft Buns portable seat cushion.
"One of the things that we hope to do with 'Pitchmen' is to give people an appreciation of what we do," Mays told The Tampa Tribune in an interview in April. "I don't take on a product unless I believe in it. I use everything that I sell."
Discovery Channel spokeswoman Elizabeth Hillman released a statement Sunday extending sympathy to the Mays family.
"Everyone that knows him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth," Hillman's statement said. "Billy was a pioneer in his field and helped many people fulfill their dreams. He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend."
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