September 14, 2005

Quote of the Day: “Squeaky Weeniedom”

Filed under: Economy,General,Quotes, Etc. of the Day — Tom @ 3:01 pm

Excerpt from an e-mailer to Instapundit (at the end of the post):

…. we don’t know when we have it good. Unemployment has been at 5% for 23 years, and inflation 5% or less — and we bitch about the terrible economy. We freak at a war that claims 3 lives a day and maybe 6-8% of the Federal budget — our grandfathers who fought in Okinawa would be ashamed of us. A huge hurricane roars ashore in the Gulf Coast and — mirabile dictu — not more than probably a few hundred people are killed, and generally speaking most everyone is being helped and is OK within a week or so, despite the enormous destructive force. But, oh dear, that’s some monstrous failure at which fingers must be pointed.

Eh, I tell you, any of our ancestors would be ashamed of our squeaky weeniedom. They hacked out a country from wilderness, natural and human, and wrestled with awful terrible questions, from freeing ourselves from slavery and struggling to erase its lingering consequences, to beating back the poison of fascism of the left and the right across half the civilized world. *And* they went to the Moon, discovered penicillin and heart transplants, invented transistors and sliced bread. Well, I lied about that last one…

What are we leaving our children? What are we daring? Why would anyone a hundred years hence consider calling us a Great Generation? As opposed to one of the most spoiled and whiny generations of Americans ever? I’m hard pressed to say.

BizzyBlog Blast from the Past: The Real Entitlement Generation

Yet Another Reason Why I Call Business Week “Biz Weak”

Biz Weak printed a semi-coherent screed (“Tragedy and Telecom “) by one Leo Hindery Jr. about how telecom deregulation contributed to a “total breakdown in communication during a time of extreme crisis.”

Oh, and they forgot to fully disclose who he is, leaving the reader to believe he is an interested observer attempting to be objective.

Not quite, as Powerline notes:

Oddly, Business Week omits Hindery’s most notable experience in the telecom world: as CEO of Global Crossing. Yes, that Global Crossing–the company that made a number of investors rich, including former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, but turned out to be riddled with fraud, and collapsed into one of the biggest bankruptcies ever.

Is Hindery’s involvement in Global Crossing the only connection between him and McAuliffe? Well, no. In fact, Hindery was a contender to succeed McAuliffe as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee:

Biz Weak Readers deserved to know, and should have been told, about Hindery’s political background. The fact that they weren’t was, well, weak.
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UPDATE: Per Powerline, Biz Weak has modified Mr. Hindery’s bio without noting why they changed it: “Leo Hindery Jr. is a former CEO of telecom carrier Global Crossing, has been active as a Democratic fund-raiser and organizer, and worked on Dick Gephardt’s Presidential campaign in 2004. He’s currently managing partner of InterMedia Partners, a private investment firm. He’s also a former CEO of the YES Network and CEO of TCI and its successor, AT&T Broadband.” Powerline takes credit for pushing the change; hey, who says it wasn’t BizzyBlog (haha)?

Kelo Eviction Notices Issued in Apparent Defiance of CT Governor

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:07 am

Welcome Volokh Conspirators! Other posts you might find interesting for today include the ones on the WaPo-NY Times headline conspiracy, the Delta-NWA bankruptcies, and the “evil” industry that dominates The Working Mother Best 100 List. And if you need some “up” stories, go here.
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The issuance of Kelo eviction notices is a double-cross, with the language twists normally used only by authoritarian governments:

NEW LONDON — Despite promises to abide by a moratorium on eminent domain takings, the city agency in charge of development has sent notices to residents in Fort Trumbull ordering them to leave by the beginning of December.

On Monday two residents received certified letters from the New London Development Corp. requiring them to leave in 90 days and to pay rent to the NLDC in the meantime.

The Fort Trumbull properties were at the center of an eminent domain case that reached the Supreme Court, which ruled that the city is allowed to seize the properties to make way for slated economic development.

“One of my tenants just had a baby,” Richard Beyer, who owns a property at 49 Goshen St. that received one of the eviction notices, said today. “It’s just mind-boggling.”

These are not the first such notices residents in the area have received since the city began planning to take the land by eminent domain but they are the first since the Supreme Court decision this year, Beyer said.

“I think it’s a misunderstanding,” David M. Goebel, chief operating officer for the NLDC, said today.

Goebel said the notices were not eviction notices and that in issuing them the NLDC simply was obeying the law.

In July, according to the Associated Press, the NLDC agreed to abide by a suggestion made by Gov. M. Jodi Rell that eminent domain actions should halt while the General Assembly reviews relevant state law.

“It’s not only a slap in the face to the governor and the legislature, but it’s a case of the NLDC breaking their word,” Scott Bullock, a lawyer for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, said today.

The Institute for Justice represented the property owners’ case before the Supreme Court.

Goebel, though, said the NLDC’s understanding is that the moratorium applies only to new eminent domain proceedings.

The proceeding in Fort Trumbull dates back to Nov. 14, 2000, Goebel said.

“We have to do what’s best for the taxpayers,” he said.

Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in the case that reached the Supreme Court, said today she believes the moratorium was meant to apply to all eminent domain seizures.

“That’s Mr. Goebel’s interpretation of what the governor said, but I think it’s blatant disregard for Governor Rell,” she said.

Bullock said his group will now press the New London City Council and the General Assembly to pass a mandatory, rather than voluntary, moratorium on all eminent domain proceedings.

According to a copy of the eviction notice obtained by the Journal Inquirer, residents are being required not only to leave by Dec. 8 at the latest, but also to pay $600 a month to the NLDC in the interim.

Tyranny, thy name is Kelo. Connecticut’s and New London’s legislators have a limited time to put a stop to this nonsense. Here’s hoping they mean it when they say they want to protect the existing property owners.
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UPDATE: Todd Zywicki at Volokh noted on Sept. 19 that the governor forced withdrawal of the eviction notices.

Positivity: ModestNeeds.org

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

What a cool idea (HT Generic Confusion; this post is meant to be a dose of good news, not a request for a contribution):

(more…)

I Do Not “Yahoo!” Follow-up

Filed under: Corporate Outrage,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

NoYahooEnglish
(image courtesy blogbis.blogspot.com)

Unfortunately I had to go to Yahoo! News to verify the company’s defense of the actions described in this previous post (essentially giving the Chinese government the info they needed to jail a dissenting journalist for 10 years), but you won’t have to, and I won’t supply the link (HT Hoy Story via Ace, who likens the company’s excuses to the Nuremberg Defense; bolds are mine):

Yahoo’s Yang say hands tied in China Internet censorship case

HANGZHOU, China (AFP) – Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO – news) chief Jerry Yang said his company was complying with local laws when information on an Internet user was passed to Chinese police in a move leading to the jailing of a mainland journalist.

Yang, speaking at the Alibaba China Internet Summit here, also said he wasn’t happy with the 10-year sentence to journalist Shi Tao, jailed for passing on a government censorship order through his Yahoo e-mail account.

“We did not know what they wanted information for, we are not told what they look for, if they give us the proper documentation in a court order we give them things that satisfy local laws,” Yang told journalists

“I don’t like the outcome of what happened with this thing, we get a lot of these orders, but we have to comply with the law and that’s what we need to do.”

Shi, 37, was convicted in April for “revealing state secrets,” by using his email account to post on the Internet a government order barring Chinese media from marking the 15th anniversary of the brutal June 1989 crackdown on democracy activists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Last week, Yahoo’s actions were revealed in the court’s verdict, copies of which were posted on overseas Chinese websites.

According to the verdict, the California-based company’s Hong Kong subsidiary, Yahoo Hong Kong, gave the details to China’s state security.

Shi, who worked for the Hunan-based Contemporary Business News, has insisted he is innocent, arguing that the government order was not a state secret. (Duh–Ed.)

Yahoo co-founder Yang stressed his company must comply with local regulations, but said he was also concerned with the safety of Internet users in China.

“We are all here in China that represents quite a lot of opportunities, not only on the business side, but also on the social side,” Yang said.

….. Also speaking at the summit was former US president Bill Clinton who sidestepped talk of China’s jailing of Internet political dissidents, but indicated web censorship could have a commercial backlash in the future.

“In China, I think that so far the political system and restraint on political speech in the Internet has not seemed to have any adverse commercial consequences,” Clinton said.

“It will be interesting to see whether that is true of the future.”

It won’t be true if Yahoo! customers and users around the world do everything in their power to become ex-customers and non-users, and thus cause the “adverse commerical consequences necessary to get the attention of cynically opportunistic snitches like Yahoo!.
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UPDATE, September 14: Yahoo! is getting press today for starting up a blog that is seen as a beginning of an effort to create an alternative media outlet to compete with the Mainstream Media. It’s hard for me to be impressed, when the gentleman involved has a history with CNN, which twisted its news from Iraq for years to curry favor with Saddam Hussein, and when Yahoo! itself would appear to be willing to the same in similar circumstances (“complying with local laws and customs,” y’know).