February 8, 2006

McEwen Election Law Claim Update: Full-Committee Hearing Scheduled

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:50 pm

At my request, I received a fax today of a letter dated yesterday from the Ohio Elections Commission. This letter said, in part:

RE: Case No. 2005E-087
Blumer v. McEwen, et al.

This case has been scheduled for a hearing at 10:00 A.M. on March 16, 2006 in the office of the Ohio Elections commission located on the 6th floor of the Wyandotte Building at 21 W. Broad St., Suite 600, Columbus, OH 43215.

All parties are expected to appear at this hearing and to present evidence in support of his or her position. Hearing procedures are set forth in Rule No. 3517-1-11 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure. At the hearing you will have the opportunity to:

  1. Give a brief opening statement outlining whe you intend to show through your evidence;
  2. Offer exhibits and call and question witnesses;
  3. Question witnesses called by the opposing party;
  4. Give a brief closing statement summing up the case.

You may request the Commission to issue a subpoena to compel the attendance of person(s) ath the hearing for the purpose of giving testimony or producing documents.

At Page 21 of the transcript of the January 11 Probable Cause Hearing provided to me by the court reporter, Ohio Elections Commissioner Benjamin Marsh is recorded as having said (before the panel made its probable cause finding), “Clearly, if this matter is set for hearing , it should be done fairly promptly. The hearing should be fairly prompt.”

There appeared to be agreement among the OEC Director and the other Commissioners present that promptness was desirable.

I will leave it to the readers of this post to decide whether the elapsed time of over two months between the Probable Cause and Full-Committee Hearings is indeed “prompt.”

This is all fine with me. And as I suggested in the previous post on this matter, maybe someone should ask the other party or his representatives about their patience level, especially now that the date has been set.

As has been the case since the complaint was filed, I will continue in non-blogging and non-commenting-elsewhere mode regarding local and state politics until at least the hearing date.

Dec. 29 — Election Law Complaint Filed
Jan. 11 — Probable Cause Hearing
Jan. 17 — Probable Cause Finding Letter

The “No WMD” Lie (Yet Again) at Coretta Scott King’s Funeral — And a Challenge

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:16 pm

NOTE: I’m going to keep this post at the top for a day or so in hopes that as many people as possible finally “get it.”

I guess I’m just going to have to get used to making this point every three months or so for the foreseeable future, because this lie comes up again and again as (excuse the expression, given today’s source) Gospel truth.

Drudge is reporting today that at the funeral of Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said this (bold is mine):

“She extended Martin’s message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there.

Drudge further reports that “The mostly black crowd applauded, then rose to its feet and cheered in a two-minute-long standing ovation.”


I am so totally sick and tired of the absurdity of the “no WMD” argument, the failure of the Mainstream Media to read their own news reports during the time our forces have been in Iraq (and during the 7-plus years since late 1998 when The Clinton Administration forcefully made the same WMD claims–See Supplements below), and (yes) the failure of this administration and the congressional majority to defend itself on the topic.

So, here we go, yet again, with a revised version of this post from last year, followed by a challenge for all non-believers.

The “No WMD” Lie

Did you know this? From Atlas Shrugs (scroll to end of post), based on member-only information at Human Events Online (external links added in response to Comment 1 below):

Did you know WMDs have been found in Iraq?
* 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium
* 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents
* 17 chemical warheads containing cyclosarin (a nerve agent five times more deadly than sarin gas) (May 8, 2006 Note: Original SFgate link was removed; link is to saved content at BizzyBlog)
* Over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas
* Roadside bombs loaded with mustard and “conventional” sarin gas, assembled in binary chemical projectiles for maximum potency

This is only a PARTIAL LIST of the horrific weapons verified to have been recovered in Iraq to date. Yet, Americans overwhelmingly believe U.S. and coalition forces found NO weapons of mass destruction.

These stats and much, much more are in a book by Richard Miniter called “Disinformation: 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror.”

* * * * *

A commenter at the previous “The ‘No WMD’ Lie” post questioned the sources of the stats. As before, I have included links to stories from sources that most would consider “actual news,” specifically (listed in order of appearance):

  • a US embassy press release (7/8/04), based on a 7/6/04 Department of Energy press statement.
  • The Washington Post (8/14/05).
  • SFgate.com via AP (7/2/04).
  • Military.com via AP (7/7/04).
  • CNN (for mustard gas-5/17/04).
  • Fox News (for sarin gas-5/17/04).

Finding all of this took 10-15 minutes of Googling. All of the links still work.

So here’s the challenge I issued to the commenter last fall (that he or she failed to respond to), and the challenge I issue again to Rev. Lowery, anyone in the crowd that stood up during the above-mentioned 2-minute ovation, and anyone else out there who thinks they’re up to it:

Discredit EVERY ONE of the stories relating to the WMD items listed above.

General trackbacks to this post will be accepted, but I will only post comments that discredit EVERY source. Don’t waste your time with a comment unless and until you can discredit EVERY source listed. Comments are moderated.

NO partial credit will be given, and no partial answers will be posted. Trackbacks that I determine are really attempts to post partial solutions to get around my full-solution requirement for comments will either not get posted or will be deleted in short order.

Rev. Lowery: You, your rooting section today, and everyone else who agrees with you, are all stating as indisputable fact that there were NO WMDs in Iraq. YOU and all who agree with you are the ones who have set this challenge bar so high.

Good luck.

SUPPLEMENT: (carried forward) Worthy of a hearty reprise: “If The Bush Administration Lied About WMD, So Did These People — Version 3.0.” Names named with quotes from 1998 include Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright, Scott Ritter, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle, Joe Lieberman, Barbara Mikulski, and Dianne Feinstein. Oh, and John Kerry.

SUPPLEMENT 2: (carried forward) Porkopolis notes that we need to add Jimmy Carter to the list of Democrats with chronic amnesia (he added more on November 6), and provides a link to another item for the hard drive–Bill Clinton’s December 1998 speech justifying air strikes on Iraq:

The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

Porkopolis asks: He had to have them to be able to use them, right? RIGHT??

SUPPLEMENT 3: (carried forward) A blast from the past from elsewhere — From the incomparable Atlas Shrugs–”Moe, Larry, Curly: There Were No WMDs!”

UPDATE: Here’s an Associated Press report by Nedra Pickler on what Rev. Lowery said:

“We know there were no weapons of mass destruction over there, but Coretta knew and we knew there are weapons of misdirection right down here,” Lowery said, complaining that were far too many in the U.S. are living in poverty and without health care insurance.

UPDATE 2, Feb. 8: Atlas Shrugs, Pundit Review, Anchoress and many others are also pointing to the newly-revealed 12 hours of Saddam tapes as a possible source of information about WMDs. All of what they’re covering is very important, but to reiterate — Until someone discredits the sources above, this post shows that plenty of WMDs have been discovered already. Anything new that is learned will be icing on the cake (perhaps very thick icing, but icing nonetheless).

UPDATE 3, Feb. 9: This entry on the SCLC at Encarta indicates that Lowery headed the organization from 1977 until 1998, when he resigned and was succeeded by Martin Luther King III.

UPDATE 4, Feb. 17: Supplemental information from other blogs and other sources (HT RG Combs for all):

Extra, Extra, Read All About It! Credit Card Data for 240,000 Subscribers to NY Times-Owned Newspapers Exposed

Filed under: Corporate Outrage,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Privacy/ID Theft — Tom @ 2:14 pm

Two newspapers owned by The New York Times really stepped in it about a week ago. Techdirt has, well, the dirt:

The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette — both owned by The New York Times — exposed the credit card data of up to 240,000 subscribers. What’s so stunning here isn’t the mere leak of the data, since that’s becoming so common, but rather how it was leaked. The Worcester paper prints its delivery routing slips on internally recycled paper — the paper it used last weekend happened to be some sort of internal reports with all the credit card numbers on them. The paper now says it’s taken “immediate steps” to increase security, and it’s set up a hotline for subscribers to call and see if their credit card data was compromised. Why is the burden on their subscribers? Shouldn’t the papers be proactively letting people know their card numbers could be circulating? It’s continually amazing how so many of these data leaks aren’t the results of anything active, like hackers, but rather just products of sheer stupidity.

The Boston Globe’s mea culpa is here. The headline (“Globe and Worcester T&G customer credit info mistakenly released”) seems relatively benign compared to others I’ve seen on the subject.

The Times itself? It ran one four-paragraph story about the incident — from Reuters.

John Stossel Explodes the Myths of Urban Sprawl

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:00 am

In his remarkably good commentary on “Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior” (the myth of high gas prices was dealt with at this previous post), Stossel takes on the “problem” of urban sprawl:

MYTH — Urban Sprawl Is Ruining America

Suburban sprawl is evil. The unplanned growth, cookie cutter developments is gobbling up all the space and ruining America. Right?


But in town after town, civic leaders talk about going to war! They want “smart growth.” They say sprawl has wrecked lives.

So-called experts on TV say all sorts of nasty things about the changing suburban landscape.

James Kunstler, author of “The Geography of Nowhere,” said, “Most of the country really is living in these mutilated and defective environments.”

Kunstler and others say suburbs are despicable places. He calls them, “uniformly, low-grade miserably designed environments that make people feel bad.” Even ABC News’ “Nightline” ran a program called “America the Ugly.”

What upsets many critics most is the loss of open space.

But is open space disappearing in America? No, that’s a total myth. More than 95 percent of the country is still undeveloped.

You see it if you cross this country. Only a small percentage is developed. Yes, in some places, like some suburbs, there are often huge traffic jams.

But lots of people, while they don’t like the traffic or the long commute to work, like where they live.

“I like that I have a nice piece of property, and I have privacy,” one woman said.

Another said, “Even with all the congestion, it’s a wonderful lifestyle.”

The anti-sprawl activists say more Americans should live the way I do. I live in an apartment, and most days I walk or ride my bike to work. But should everyone have to live the way I do?

I like my lifestyle, but I chose it, voluntarily. Other people want to make different choices the critics don’t call “ideal.”

Some of the critics want to force my lifestyle onto others by limiting where they can build. Portland, Ore., for example. It’s widely hailed for its so-called smart growth plan. A central bureaucracy approves all new development. A highway marks the boundary beyond which no new homes are permitted.

But of course that means the other side of the road is dense. The planners hoped the density would get people out of their cars, but it hasn’t. And the price of land has skyrocketed.

“Smart Growth” is a euphemism for excessive state regulation by elitist bureaucrats and “urban planners” who don’t think we’re smart enough to make our own decisions on where to live and/or build. They’re wrong.

Also, as noted at this previous post, sprawl has been accelerated because too many central cities have high crime, lousy schools, and high taxes.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (020806)

Free Links:

  • The Telecoms, ISPs and search engines are going at it bigtime: “BellSouth and AT&T, formerly SBC, plan to offer Web content providers new fee-based services that would assure speedy delivery of movies, games and other offerings over DSL broadband lines. Verizon is also considering enhanced services but has been vague about its plans. Yet Web stalwarts such as Google and Amazon say the strategy would turn the equal-opportunity Internet into a two-tiered market. One for phone companies, which are offering video services themselves, and their paying partners; another for websites that refuse to pay up. They also fear that while cable companies have not discussed similar plans, they would follow suit. “ This author wonders if “Without ‘Net neutrality’ will consumers pay twice?” I suspect that we may be seeing one of the consequences of allowing Ma Bell to nearily put itself back together again.
  • Censored sports name — The (*&%*&^(*^s are starting up. I’ll have to check with my lawyer to see if I’m allowed to type that eight-letter word that starts with an “O” and has five rings associated with it. “Censored” is the right word, as the enforcement of the O _ _ _ _ _ _ s brand has had special legislation written just for its benefit.
  • Nanos, nanos — One of reasons Apple is so successful with the iPod is that they just don’t stand still. There is yet another product line revamp, this time on the low end.
  • BMW “caught” by Google — for alleged “manipulation of its search engine.”
  • Christian, meet lions — Defending Google’s book scan project in a speech to book publishers (HT Techdirt) seems like asking for trouble. But the speaker makes a passionate case for access to knowledge that’s hard to ignore. And here’s a bit of irony — a publisher is offering books online for free.
  • Ebay has a hard time in the EUit says that “the fragmented system of 25 different national taxes made it difficult for users to sell across borders.” This is something to remember if anyone seriously believes that charging sales tax on Internet auctions would work in the US, where hundreds of jurisidictions have varying sales tax regimes.
  • This shouldn’t be necessary, but thanks primarily to a Kansas pseudo-fundamentalist preacher’s tactics, state legislation to prevent demonstrations at funerals or during funeral processions is very necessary. I can’t wait for the arguments against such laws claiming that The Founding Fathers envisioned picketing funerals as protected speech. Maybe they’ll also pass a law against funeral-crashing for politicial purposes.
  • Mike at TechDirt explains why Yahoo! and AOL plan to charge marketers to email their users: “AOL and Yahoo! are basically going to try to charge marketers for the fact that their own spam filters don’t work all that well and are blocking legitimate messages.” That’s like a guy who can’t fix your car charging you a daily fee for car rental while he continues to not fix it–forever.
  • This IPO Should be an IPU — Digital Music Group went public last week. Techdirt justifiably wonders if another Internet bubble is starting: “The company hits many of the Bubble 1.0 bad IPO checkmarks: company is less than a year old? Check. Company has almost no revenue? Check. Company is in a highly competitive space with little to no differentiation? Check. Company has huge losses over its short life span? Check. Company is almost totally dependent on one supplier who could cut off its revenue supply easily?” Hey, that looks like me. I’m calling an investment banker this morning.

Wyoming Couple Celebrates 72 Years of Marriage

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:13 am

Herb and Marie Fabricius of Cheyenne credit love and faith: