October 16, 2005

Wholly Toledo

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:46 pm

Wholly Toledo Update: ABC and Other Headline Writers Get it Completely Wrong

It would have been humorous yesterday if it weren’t so sad: The local radio newscasts here in Cincinnati made every attempt to describe what happened in Toledo without using the dreaded “R word.”

The AP doesn’t hesitate to call it a RIOT, but reporter John Seewer waits five paragraphs before telling us that the stated “reason” for the mayhem was an event that hadn’t yet occurred, and that because of the rioting, never took place (HT Drudge; bolds are mine; my heckling is in italics):

Emergency Declared After Anti-Nazi Riots

TOLEDO, Ohio–A crowd protesting a white supremacists’ march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said. (so the march must have happened)

When Mayor Jack Ford and a local minister tried to calm the rioting, they were cursed for allowing the march, and Ford said a masked gang member threatened to shoot him. (again, we still think the march happened)

At least 65 people were arrested and several police officers were injured before calm was restored about four hours later.

Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help. (finally, an admission of what REALLY caused the rioting)

“It’s exactly what they wanted,” Ford said of the group that planned the march, which was canceled because of the rioting. (oh, the march DIDN’T happen. So how was it “allowed” in the first two paragraphs? I guess leading with “A gang-dominated crowd taking advantage of a white supremacists’ planned but cancelled march” would have been a bit TOO accurate.)

At least two dozen members of the National Socialist Movement, which calls itself “America’s Nazi Party,” had gathered at a city park to march under police protection. Organizers said they were demonstrating against black gangs they said were harassing white residents.

The violence broke out about one-quarter of a mile away along the planned march route shortly before it was to begin. One group of men pounded on a convenience store, and others overturned vehicles. There was a report of a shooting but police hadn’t found a victim, Police Chief Mike Navarre said.

About 150 police officers chased bands of young men through the area. Officers wearing gas masks fired tear gas canisters and flash-bang devices designed to stun suspects, but the groups continued throwing rocks and bottles. Several officers and firefighters suffered minor injuries, Navarre said. At one point, the crowd reached 600 people, officials said.

Finally, police marched shoulder-to-shoulder down the street shouting to people to stay inside, and the crowd of several hundred broke up.

At least 65 people were arrested on charges including assault, vandalism, failure to obey police and failure to disperse, Navarre said. He said the white supremacists had left hours earlier. (nice of you to wait until the 10th paragraph to tell us that they weren’t even around)

“We frankly could have made a couple hundred arrests easily,” Navarre said. “We just didn’t have the resources on hand to arrest all of them.” (well, why don’t you publicly ask for eyewitness accounts and videotape so you can arrest the rest of the thugs instead of just giving up, as you appear to be doing?)

The mayor had appealed to residents the night before to ignore the march. He said the city wouldn’t give the Nazi group a permit to march in the streets but couldn’t stop them from walking on the sidewalks.

When the rioting began, Ford tried to negotiate with those involved, but “they weren’t interested in that.” He said people in the crowd swore at him and wanted to know why he was protecting the Nazis.

They were mostly “gang members who had real or imagined grievances and took it as an opportunity to speak in their own way,” Ford said. (so rioting is a form of “speech”?)

“I was chagrined that there were obvious mothers and children in the crowd with them,” he said. (you can’t come up with a stronger word than “chagrined” when you see mothers supporting their sons’ lawlessness?)

….. Keith White, a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march in the first place. (uh, Mr. White, the march didn’t take place)

“They let them come here and expect this not to happen?” said White, 29.

This is incredible. Every attempt is being made to blame the actions of thugs on a march that didn’t happen. No way. Toledo has been devolving into a mini-New Orleans or mini-Detroit for some time now, and yesterday’s riot is just the latest evidence of the downward spiral.

A question for the local Chamber of Commerce: Exactly why would I as a businessperson want to set up shop in Toledo?

It’s probably hoping for too much, but perhaps having a gang member openly threaten to shoot its mayor might shake him, and the city, out of its permissive complacency.

UPDATE: This post would not be complete without a look at how The Toledo Blade handled it:
- Headline: “Nazi visit ignites violence; 60 arrested as crowds rampage”
- The Blade waited until the ninth paragraph to tell us the Nazi march was cancelled.

Also, note that for both AP and The Blade, the clear message we’re supposed to take away is that it’s the Nazis’ fault, not the rioters themselves, as if people have no control over how they respond to people they don’t like.

UPDATE 2: Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion was on this late last night, and wonders what Martin Luther King would have done (“Not riot, that’s for sure.”).

UPDATE 3: It would be nice to think that the Ohio Civil Rights Commission might be investigating the allegations of “black gangs they said were harassing white residents” cited in the article. That would be doubtful–they are far too busy addressing a supposedly more important matter.

UPDATE 4: Michelle Malkin is on it, and says “Don’t believe ABC News and AP.” She points an ABC News link that has Seewer’s AP article headlined “White Supremacists Riot in Toledo, Ohio” and sub-headlined “Mayor of Toledo, Ohio, Declares Emergency, Sets Curfew After Hundreds of White Supremacists Riot.” Uh-huh. Also worth noting: Mr. Seewer, though he does allude to “black gangs” in the piece, never mentions the race of those who participated in the rioting.

Kelo and Property Rights Update: Judicial Tyranny in Oregon (Ballot Measure M37 Struck Down)

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:45 am

Dec. 15: New Post Reference–”Kimberley Strassel on Oregon’s M37 and Judicial Tyranny”

Here are the first two provisions comprising the core of Oregon Measure 37:

(1) If a public entity enacts or enforces a new land use regulation or enforces a land use regulation enacted prior to the effective date of this amendment that restricts the use of private real property or any interest therein and has the effect of reducing the fair market value of the property, or any interest therein, then the owner of the property shall be paid just compensation.

(2) Just compensation shall be equal to the reduction in the fair market value of the affected property interest resulting from enactment or enforcement of the land use regulation as of the date the owner makes written demand for compensation under this act.

At first glance, the Measure appears redundant and unnecessary, as the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment says that the government cannot take “private property …. for public use, without just compensation.” But, apparently it was needed in Oregon, where “land-use planning” has been enshrined into near-sacramental status.

The voters overwhelmingly passed Measure 37 (warning: link is a PDF) last November, by a margin of 61% (1,054,589 votes) to 39% (685,079). It carried in every county except one.

You can probably guess what’s next. On Friday, a judge overturned it:

SALEM — A judge on Friday overturned a voter-passed property compensation law as unconstitutional.

Marion County Circuit Judge Mary James struck down the law as violating five provisions of the state and federal constitutions.

The state will appeal the ruling, said Kevin Neely, spokesman for Attorney General Hardy Myers, whose office defends voter-passed laws

The compensation law — passed as Measure 37 on the November 2004 ballot — requires that state and local governments either compensate land owners when regulations lower property values or waive the rules.

James said the statute violates equal protection provisions of the Oregon Constitution and a state constitutional ban on suspending laws except by authority of the Legislature.

She also ruled that the law breaches the separation of powers between government branches, “intrudes on” legislative authority and violates due process protections under the U.S. Constitution.

Oregonians In Action, which supported the measure, was understandably bitter and angry:


“This is the height of judicial activism,” commented Dave Hunnicutt, President of Oregonians In Action. “It’s another kick in the face to the citizens of this state who want nothing more than protection of their right to use their land as they could when they bought it, to Dorothy English and Gene and Barbara Prete, and to all those people who have bought property over the years, only to have the State of Oregon change the land use rules and take away their rights.”

“How much longer will people have to wait to be treated fairly?” said Hunnicutt. “If Judge James is correct, then Oregon property owners have no way to protect themselves from changes in land use laws.”

…. “With the exception of the plaintiffs, no one in the legal community gave this lawsuit a chance of succeeding. Apparently, they didn’t realize how intent Judge James was on invalidating the law.”

The land-use tyrants at organizations like 1000 Friends of Oregon are, of course, thrilled. After all, they, like their environmentalist brethren, believe that landowners have NO right to compensation, and that the 5th Amendment requirement for compensation is an “entitlement” (in the “handout” sense). Washington, Jefferson, and Madison are spinning in their graves.

Land-use tyrants aren’t even trying to mask their outlook any more. According to the Measure 37 web site (scroll to near the bottom of page), one lawyer sympathetic to M37′s opponents attempting to overturn the law was quoted as saying e-mailed this (form of contact was e-mail, per OIA/M37′s Ron Myers): “I will put a couple of enlightened attorneys up against a million Oregonians any day, since the masses do not make right in this Republic, no matter how many you stack up against the wall!!”

This case appears destined for the US Supreme Court. Is it becoming clearer why having strict constructionist judges there is important?

UPDATE, Oct. 19, 7:30 PM: Another web site questioned the existence and veracity of the quote in the second-last paragraph. Full information on exactly who sent the e-mail containing the quote was just e-mailed to me by Ron Myers of Oregonians in Action/Measure 37. Whereas I originally left it to the reader to decide whether M37′s supporters could be trusted to post an existing and accurate quote from an opponent on its web site, I now don’t doubt the quote’s existence or accuracy at all. Supplement to Update, Oct. 20: Mr. Myers informs me that “The M37 website never states that the attorney in question is for any of the adverse parties to this matter and in fact he is not.” I have changed the above characterization of the quote to reflect that information from Mr. Myers.

UPDATE 2: A commenter at Todd Zywicki’s Volokh post says that the measure grandfathers in certain landowners and leaves newer landowners at the mercy of regulators. I’m only seeing procedural differences in Paragraphs (5) and (6), and nothing that would affect fundamental rights or compensation.

Put a Fork in “Serenity”–It’s Done in the US

Filed under: General — Tom @ 10:39 am

Don’t blame me: I gave “Serenity” a great review.

But the reality is that it has zero momentum, and that Universal may be giving up on the film’s theater run.

Friday’s estimated box was $710,000, good for only 12th place in what I see as another weak-looking lineup. It’s in fewer theaters (1,709 vs. 2,189), down 54% from the previous week and over 80% from opening night. Cumulatively, it’s just over the $20 million mark.

As to support from Universal, I looked for any kind of ad for the movie in Saturday’s Cincinnati Enquirer, and found none. I looked at where it was showing, and in at least one instance the theater was only scheduled it one time in the entire day.

I understand that the “Firefly” series had quite a following overseas, so it may be that the film’s chances of breaking even will come there. It opened last weekend in the UK and Australia, and did a combined $3.5 million.

UPDATE: The Oct. 14-16 weekend estimate is only $2.3 million.

Positivity: “Ultimate Love Story” Ends

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:07 am

After 57 years: