June 2, 2006

Kelo-New London Update: Gov. Clarifies Position; Holdouts React; Pressure May Be on Council; Another Settlement

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:42 pm

Also see Saturday Updates:
- When Is AP Going to Get a Kelo-New London Report Right?
- The Beyers Settle; Positions Harden Ahead of Council Meeting
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Status Map:

The image is from Google Earth. It is not current in that, as I understand it, most, if not all, properties except those of the holdouts have been razed.

The property locations superimposed on the map were obtained either from a recent New London Day article (requires registration; will be unavailable without subscription after roughly June 7) or through a property search at the New London Assessor’s online database. Although it is all public information, I have chosen not to reveal exact addresses or to provide a link to the assessor’s office.

KeloStatus060106

Also, I have learned that “Parcel 4A,” which is where the owner-occupied houses are to be moved, is the rectangular area in which Susette Kelo’s house is at the bottom right (red box). As I understand it, if there is a settlement, Kelo’s and other owner-occupied houses would be moved to other spots within that parcel.

Latest Developments

Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell clarified her position (full text of her previous letter is at this prior post) on the situation of the Kelo-New London holdouts today in a follow-up letter to New London’s mayor, according to this press release from The Institute of Justice (IJ) — and she clarified that it’s closer to that of the holdouts (full text of letter is in the Update below):

The owners of family-occupied homes got a much-needed boost today from Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Today, in a follow-up letter to New London Mayor Beth Sabilia, Gov. Rell clarified her previous position, stating that she supports giving deeds back to family-occupied properties, with full inheritance rights and ability to sell the homes. The City would have a right of first refusal if the owner decides to sell, something the homeowners said they support.

In a previous letter of May 31, Gov. Rell wrote that she wants everyone who is not an owner-occupant of Fort Trumbull to leave the neighborhood. ….. That would have made them essentially meaningless pieces of paper and was no different than the “lifetime occupancy” proposed by the city.

“It is great news that the governor has come through and made clear that she supports giving real deeds back to the family-occupied homes, something Susette Kelo and her neighbors have fought for since day one of this battle,” said Scott Bullock, senior attorney for the Institute for Justice, which continues to represent the homeowners. “It is disappointing, though, that the governor does not support the small businesses who are keeping rental homes in Fort Trumbull, and we ask her and the City Council to reconsider that position.”

“Governor Rell has now made her position clear with regard to my home: I should have my deed back,” said Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in Kelo v. New London. “I really hope that the New London City Council now votes in favor of this on Monday.”

Bill Von Winkle (said): “These rental properties represent my family’s livelihood. The government shouldn’t take what’s rightfully mine just to make way for other private owners. I’m glad to see the other homeowners may be protected, and I hope the Governor and the City Council will respect the rights of the small businessman, too.”

Both sides agree that the Kelo and Cristofaro properties are owner-occupied (red and orange items above). Apparently there is a dispute over one of the three Von Winkle properties (the middle one in light blue); the holdouts and IJ contend that the middle property is owner-occupied, while the City Council and the New London Development Corporation do not, because Mr. Von Winkle was not living in it at the time of the taking (though apparently he is living in it now and lived in it for a period of time before the taking).

All in all, it seems that the parties are much closer to a settlement than they were 72 hours ago.

The IJ and Mr. Von Winkle make an excellent point about the disparate treatment of the remaining properties, because it’s clear that there is really no distinction between owner-occupied and rental property in The Constitution (remember that?):

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The Constitution doesn’t care whether the “private property” involved is owner-occupied or not. Absent the odious Kelo ruling last June, it wouldn’t matter what the property is used for, just that it’s owned privately.

It’s one thing to say you’re right, but it’s another to get public opinion on your side. The defense of Susette Kelo and the holdouts has relied almost entirely on the emotional image of a homeowner being dragged out of his or her home just ahead of the bulldozers, not of a tenant being told he or she has to find another place to rent. In an ideal/just world, that difference wouldn’t matter, but in this case I think it will. If the holdouts attempt to push for the protection of the rental properties they risk losing it all, as I don’t see the Governor going any further than she has. And “thanks” to the Kelo ruling, as she has made clear already, she doesn’t have to. In fact, we shouldn’t forget that thanks to the Supreme Court ruling she could sit by and watch evictions take place, and to her credit has not.

So assuming that the holdouts don’t demand protection of the rental properties, the pressure on June 5 will be squarely on New London’s City Council to follow through on what the Governor has requested.
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UPDATE: Here is the full text of the Governor’s letter today:

Dear Mayor Sabilia:

I want to take this opportunity to clarify two aspects of my May 31, 2006 letter to you and your colleagues on the New London City Council.

First, in my letter I recommended that the City offer to the occupants who have not reached settlements relocation of the occupant’s primary residences (but not investment properties) to an appropriate location on Parcel 4A. I want to be clear that my recommendation was directed to those structures that have been used as familial residences for the past several years on the Fort Trumbull peninsula.

Second, I also recommended that the City provide to the relocated occupants restrictive deeds to the portion of Parcel 4A to which they are to be relocated. The deed restriction should allow the transfer the property by and between an occupant and the occupant’s immediate family members. The deed restrictions should provide the City with a “right of first refusal” at fair market value at the time of sale should the occupant or the occupant’s heir decide to sell or transfer the property to a third party other than an immediate family member.

Please feel free to contact my office should you have any questions.

Very truly yours,
M. JODI RELL
Governor

UPDATE 2: New London Councilman Charles Frink, one of the two councilpersons who opposed the “rent for life” arrangement the Council demanded in February and imposed the May 31 deadline over, was quoted in The Day today (requires registration after one day, and paid subscription after seven days) as follows:

Councilor Charles W. Frink continued to call Thursday for returning deeds to the properties to the remaining Fort Trumbull plaintiffs.

“I think that the city has a moral obligation to return those titles,” Frink said. “As a taxpayer in New London, I cannot accept the possibility that I might get some relief in taxes by throwing my neighbors out of their houses. It is a violation of life in a community.”

UPDATE 3, 7:40 PM: Hot off the wires at The New London Day — Another party has settled, and the mayor is resisting part of what the governor wants:

Another Eminent Domain Plaintiff Accepts City’s Offer

Another plaintiff in the Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain case has settled, Mayor Beth A. Sabilia said tonight.
“We have another settlement. I will not disclose with whom or at what price,” she said.

The settlement is the third this week.

….. The City Council will address Rell’s proposal at its June 5 meeting, Sabilia said. In a letter to the governor dated today, Mayor Sabilia affirmed the city’s longstanding position that lifetime occupancy on Parcel 4A or financial settlements remain available to the remaining plaintiffs but the city will not return transferable deeds.

“The City Council’s position has been consistent. The deeds of anything more than life-time possession will not return to the former property owner,” Sabilia said in her letter to Rell.

“The proposal outlined in your letter of today is not consistent with the Municipal Development Plan, with the City of New London’s Zoning Regulations, nor with the directives set forth in the State of Connecticut’s financial endorsement of the revitalization of the Ft. Trumbull area,” Sabilia said in the letter.

I don’t understand why “right of first refusal” fails to seal the deal for Ms. Sabilia. It looks like June 5 will be an interesting evening in New London.

UPDATE 4: Here is the full text of Mayor Sabilia’ letter to Governor Rell, which was written AFTER receiving Rell’s SECOND letter today:

Dear Governor Rell:

On behalf of the City Council of New London and the residents of the City of New London, I again extend our sincerest appreciation for your assistance in attempting to mediate the disputes between the occupants of the Ft. Trumbull peninsula and the City of New London. As you are aware, the City of New London and the state’s mediator, Dr. Robert Albright, have been working tirelessly to seek outcomes which are mutually agreeable and consistent with state laws and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

I am in receipt of your May 31, 2006 letter, as well as your letter of earlier today. Please be assured that I will share your recommendations of the May 31, 2006 letter with the City Council at its meeting on June 5, 2006. With respect to your letter of earlier today wherein you write that you seek to clarify your position on your two recommendations, first let me thank you for taking the time to make your position clear. I will certainly share that letter with the City Council as well.

I do appreciate and I agree with your concern that only those properties that have been used as familial residences for the past several years be permitted to relocate to a portion of parcel 4A. At best, only two such properties might exist at Ft. Trumbull. All of the other occupants do not qualify under your proposal.

With respect to your second clarification, I again applaud your efforts to seek an accommodation of the two remaining occupants that may fulfill your first condition. You recommend that the City provide restrictive deeds to those occupants and that said occupants be permitted to transfer, by deed or by devise, the property to immediate family members or to a third party. The restriction, however, would be that the City maintain a right of first refusal and be permitted to purchase the property at fair market value.

To be clear, my proposal to allow the relocated occupants life-time possession would require a deed of that interest to the two occupants. The City Council’s position has been consistent. The deeds of anything more than life-time possession will not return to the former property owner. The proposal outlined in your letter of today is not consistent with the Municipal Development Plan, with the City of New London’s Zoning Regulations, nor with the directives set forth in the State of Connecticut’s financial endorsement of the revitalization of the Ft. Trumbull area.

The United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut, as well as a judge of the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut found that the City of New London has carefully and exactingly followed state and federal law throughout this long and arduous process. We will continue to do so.

It is my firm belief that the City Council’s unwavering commitment to the Municipal Development Plan, together with the generous assistance of your office, will result in settlements with the remaining occupants in the Ft. Trumbull area.

Again, thank you Governor Rell for your assistance. Should you or your staff have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Very truly yours,

Elizabeth A. Sabilia
Mayor of the City of New London

Rich Karlgaard Follows Up on Why Socialism Isn’t Dead

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:05 pm

It’s because a lot of people hate capitalism. But why?

Karlgaard, whose column title was inspired by a TCS Daily column by Lee Harris that I commented on a few weeks ago, reviews the record (requires subscription) and then attempts to make sense of things (difficult, given the thought processes involved):

The milder forms of it have yielded economic stagnation where and whenever tried: England in the 1970s; France today. The more impatient strains–”socialism in a hurry,” as Lenin reputedly called communism–did nothing but plunder economies and destroy lives. Their fine leaders ordered the deaths of more than 100 million people–Lenin and Stalin (40 million), Mao (60 million) and Pol Pot (2 million), not to mention that syphilitic dictator of the German National Socialist Party, Adolf Hitler (11 million directly, another 35 million through the war he started).

By all rights socialism should be dead, sealed in a steel vault and buried in Hell. Yet the disease lives. You might even say it’s spreading when you look at the ascent of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Ken Livingstone in London and the “progressive” American Net-based left (which says Hillary Rodham Clinton is too far right). What accounts for socialism’s reappearance? To discover the answer, we must ask another question. Why do so many people around the world hate its opposite–free-market capitalism?

….. No matter how you look at it–from business starts to job growth to salaries to share prices–the American form of free-market capitalism delivers the goods. But you’ll never convince socialists and their fellow travelers on the trendy Left that anything good has occurred. Or that freedom–in the form of reduced regulation and taxes–is responsible.

There’s the bottom line: Socialists can’t accept the notion that millions of people making billions of individual (and in the socalists’ view, mostly “selfish”) decisions every day can possibly achieve results superior to those that can be attained by allowing “intellectually superior” elites to run things. The hubris that these elites can essentially do all the thinking for these millions, substitute their judgment, and make those billions of decisions for them, is breathtaking, but it persists nonetheless. It leads to nothing but frustration (and as history has shown, much worse) when those darned people won’t all do what they’re supposed to do.

Karlgaard’s piece concludes with a great point in the one area where Harris’s piece fell short — the existence of role models:

Harris says free-market capitalism needs a “transformative myth of its own” to fight the myth of revolutionary socialism. But don’t we have that? I thought that’s what entrepreneurial heroes were all about. Bill Gates and the Google boys are still heroes to millions of Chinese and Indians, if not to the French or Bolivians. That’s why, though I share Harris’ concern about socialism’s odd new vitality, I think capitalism will win the battle for men’s minds.

Heroes go at least all the way back to great inventors like Edison and great industrial minds like Henry Ford. If they’re not known, it’s because no one is telling their stories. That needs to change.

Here are a few, for starters: Sam Walton, Clay Mathile (Iams Company), Alfred Sloan, Tom Monaghan, and Charles Koch.
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UPDATE: New York Nonsensical — The hiatusized EU Rota sends me news about the Socialism 2006 conference in New York City June 22-25. He appears to be interested in going if the “Capitalism and Sexuality” session (go to 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday) has breakout modules. Well, there IS a lunch break right after that, and you don’t HAVE to go to lunch ….. but I would advise EU that the pickings appear to be better with pro-democracy babes, especially this one.

The May Employment/Unemployment Report: Some Perspective, Please

Filed under: Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:55 am

The good news: The unemployment rate of 4.6% is the lowest since June 2001.

The not-as-good news: The jobs increase of 75,000 is even smaller than indicated by May’s figure alone, as March and April were revised downward by 25,000 and 12,000, respectively. So the net increase in the number of people working is at the end of May is only 38,000 more (75-35-12) than what was originally reported at the end of April.

I don’t even have to tell you whether the business press is focusing more energy on the reduction in the unemployment rate or the mediocre jobs number, do I? Typical is MSNBC headlining an FT.com report: “US Employment Growth Stalls in May.” (New Media’s Drudge, by contrast, has focused on the positive with a simple headline “4.6%” since the BLS release until the time of this post.)

So how about some perspective? Let’s take a look at those who aren’t working for a moment. This is from the full Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement today:

Persons Not in the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)

About 1.4 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in May, the same as a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 323,000 discouraged workers in May, down from 392,000 a year earlier. Discouraged workers were not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them. The other 1.1 million marginally attached had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

George Bush can’t make discouraged workers look for work, but conditions have improved to the point that there are about 18% fewer of them than a year ago. George Bush also can’t make people decide to put work over family and self-improvement through education.

And not that it’s the be-all end-all, but the stock market liked the report because the jobs number may mean inflation isn’t as big a potential problem as has been thought.

Also, don’t forget yesterday’s outstanding productivity and wage gains news:

The productivity of American workers rebounded at a rapid clip at the start of this year and wages posted a solid gain as well, the government reported Thursday.

The Labor Department said that productivity, the key factor in rising living standards, rose at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the January-March quarter, better than the 3.2 percent increase initially estimated a month ago. Salaries and benefits per unit of output rose by 1.6 percent after having fallen by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

Though the media energy is and will be on the jobs number, it’s ridiculous to try to claim that the employment or economic picture is bleak.

And at some point someone ought to break the ice and ask: How many of the 7 million unemployed, particularly blacks (8.9% unemployed) and teenagers (14.1%), could be working if jobs they could do weren’t being done by ….. by ….. by illegal immigrants?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: NixGuy covers an article by a “progressive” prof who believes that blacks should support any Democrat instead of anti-illegal immigrant black Republicans like gubernatorial candidates Ken Blackwell and Lynn Swann because (among other reasons) of their stance on illegal immigration. Seen in the light of the final sentence of this post, that would have to be seen as acting against self-interest in a big way.

UPDATE 2: The Media Blog at National Review justly rips the “low job growth means troubled economy” meme that has developed (HT Mary Katharine Ham at Hugh Hewitt’s place; she calls the economy “So Cool You Might Just Burn Yourself”):

This is madness ….. It is likely that the economy will not repeat last quarter’s astonishing growth — how long can 5.3 percent expansion be sustained? But looking at the press coverage of today’s jobs report, one would be forgiven for thinking that by August, the most difficult decision facing average Americans will be whether to eat Whiskas and Friskies. We’re at near-full employment. Is this a problem of unrealistic expectations, or is there some other agenda driving this relentlessly downbeat coverage?

I know. Go here for a BizzyBlog blast from the past as to why business reporting is the way it is.

Kelo-New London Update: Full Text of Governor’s Letter and Status Map

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:15 am

For immediate background visit this June 1 post (“Kelo-New London Update: And Then There Were Four”).

Late-Breaking on June 2: Governor Clarifies Position; Holdouts React; Pressure Appears to Be on Council
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Here is the full text (printed in The New London Day on June 1; a link at the Governor’s site could not be located) of Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell’s Wednesday letter to New London’s mayor:

May 31, 2006

Dear Mayor Sabilia:

We will soon mark the one-year anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision in Kelo vs. City of New London. As you well know, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the City of New London yet certain plaintiffs continue to occupy property owned by the City on the Fort Trumbull peninsula. During much of the past year, you, the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) acting at my direction, and the state’s mediator, Dr. Robert Albright, have attempted to seek a resolution between the City of New London and the peninsula’s occupants.

In that time and at my request, DECD has repeatedly sought to facilitate mutually agreeable settlements between the City and the occupants. I realize that you as well have made significant efforts to resolve the disputes between the individual occupants and the City, including structuring settlement offers which forgive Use and Occupancy Fees and Charges owed to the City.

Yesterday I met with DECD Commissioner James Abromaitis, Dr. Robert Albright and others and directed Dr. Albright to meet around the clock, in advance of tonight’s deadline and your Council meeting next week, to seek agreements with the remaining occupants. I am pleased to report that owners Dery and Brelesky have in fact reached agreement today and that we will continue our efforts to reach agreement with others.

Neither the State of Connecticut, nor I as Governor, possess the legal authority to overrule a decision of the United States Supreme Court or to order the City of New London to return property titles to the occupants. Despite several opportunities, including a special legislative session called for the purpose of considering changes to the State’s eminent domain laws following the Supreme Court’s decision and the recently concluded regular legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly has failed to act in a comprehensive manner on this issue. The City of New London possesses the legal right and authority, as evidenced by both the Connecticut Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court decisions, to proceed with the plan to develop the entire Fort Trumbull peninsula.

Mayor Sabilia, I request that you share with the New London City Council at the Monday, June 5, 2006 scheduled meeting of the Council certain points:

(1) With regard to the remaining occupants, please advise the Council that we will continue our assiduous efforts to reach agreements with the remaining property owners but that state funds that have previously been made available to the City to assist in reaching a financial settlement shall be withdrawn and will be unavailable as to any remaining occupants who have not reached an agreement as of June 15, 2006;

(2) With regard to the remaining owners who have not reached settlements with the City, the State of Connecticut recommends that the City offer to relocate their primary residences (but not investment properties) to an appropriate location on Parcel 4A, accompanied with a deed to the parcel upon which their homes will be relocated. Such deeds should include restrictive covenants to protect the development and cause title to the properties and all improvements to revert to the City upon transfer or death of the title holder. As title holders, the occupants would discharge all of the duties and responsibilities of ownership consistent with City ordinances and state law.

Time is running out and it is my continued hope that the situation can be resolved by agreement of the parties. Court decisions and the laws of the State of Connecticut as they currently exist are clearly on the side of the City of New London as it proceeds with the Fort Trumbull development. As such, I am also asking that the City continue its efforts to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. The development of the Fort Trumbull peninsula is central to the revitalization of the City of New London as it strives to improve the quality of life for its residents. The parcel holds tremendous potential for New London and southeastern Connecticut as a whole.

I remain sympathetic to the efforts of the few remaining owners and hold out hope that they reconsider the State’s offer of a financial settlement by June 15th. I am urging all parties to quickly settle any remaining disputes.

Very truly yours,

M. JODI RELL
Governor

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Status Map

The image is from Google Earth. It is clearly not current; as I understand it, most, if not all, properties except those of the holdouts have been razed.

The property locations superimposed on the map were obtained either from yesterday’s New London Day article (requires registration; will be unavailable without subscription after June 7) or through a property search at the New London Assessor’s online database. Although it is all public information, I have chosen not to reveal exact addresses or to provide a link to the assessor’s office.

KeloStatus060106

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Selected Previous Kelo-New London Posts:

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (060206)

Free Links:

  • Delta pilots have agreed to new concessions — It seems as if that headline has been around for 15 years. Let’s hope it’s the last for quite a while.
  • The Germans are please by the fall in their unemployment rateto 10.8% from 11.5%. Hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.
  • Google appears unlikely to create its own web browser — Smart move. Let everyone else worry about plugging security holes.
  • This would appear to be a very good time to buy a Ford or GM vehicle — zero percent financing, prepaid gas cards, and aggressive rebates are all in vogue. This probably doesn’t say much for the Big Two’s ability to make money in the near term, but as long as the companies don’t disappear, that’s not your problem. If you’re curious, GM’s unit sales in May were down 16% from a year ago; Ford was down 2%, and Toyota was up 17%.
  • Biz Bias example of the day — Here’s how the first four paragraphs from the actual press release for the Vistage Confidence Index read from the company that did the work to produce it:

    CEO economic confidence remains positive, but pace slows

    Chief executives of small and mid-sized businesses say the overall U.S. economy continues to improve, but its torrid pace of growth will slow during the second half of 2006, according to the Vistage quarterly CEO survey, the Vistage Confidence Index. With this positive economic outlook, CEOs still find hiring and retaining good people a more immediate concern than addressing rising energy costs or proposed immigration reform.

    The Vistage Confidence Index fell to 97.8 in Q2, 2006, down nearly seven points from the vigorous 104.2 established in Q1. More than 1,800 CEO members of Vistage International, the world’s largest CEO membership organization, responded to the Q2 survey.

    “Firms anticipate the economy is slowing from its robust pace, but it will continue to remain positive,” said Richard Curtin, Ph.D., a consultant for the Vistage Confidence Index and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan. “Overall, firms point to a continued economic expansion amid tight labor markets and heightened cost pressures.”

    “A nearly equal number of firms expect conditions to improve as to worsen in the next 12 months, in sharp contrast to a year ago when three times as many firms expected a faster, rather than a slower rate of economic growth,” said Dan Barnett, Chief Operating Officer of Vistage International.

    Although it played the story itself pretty straight, here’s what Reuters did with the headline:

    Survey: CEOs See Economic Growth Slowdown

    It would appear that the Reuters headline writer thought that it was his/her mission to tone down the enthusiasm. Doing that is not even their job, though based on their Wednesday treatment of the “wow” Midwest PMI report, it instead seems like their obsession.

  • Caught green-handed (HT The Agitator via Instpundit) –

    Before President Bush touched down in Pennsylvania Wednesday to promote his nuclear energy policy, the environmental group Greenpeace was mobilizing.

    “This volatile and dangerous source of energy” is no answer to the country’s energy needs, shouted a Greenpeace fact sheet decrying the “threat” posed by the Limerick reactors Bush visited.

    But a factoid or two later, the Greenpeace authors were stumped while searching for the ideal menacing metaphor.

    We present it here exactly as it was written, capital letters and all: “In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world’s worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE].”

Positivity: Soldier with Heart of Gold Gives Purple Heart to Seriously Injured Newswoman

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

I’m overwhelmed by the following item relayed by Newsbusters’ Brett Baker, who saw Shelia MacVicar report the following on the CBS Evening News Thursday:

“Something happened that surprised and moved all of us this afternoon. A young American soldier came up to Kimberly’s brother, Michael, and told him that he’d met Kimberly in Iraq two years ago after he’d been wounded with shrapnel in his arm. The soldier had his Purple Heart with him, and he told Michael that he’d now like Kimberly to have it because, he said, she suffered as much as any soldiers. That Purple Heart is now beside Kimberly’s bed.”

This is also reported in a longer story about Dozier’s condition at the CBS web site.

Dozier is in critical but stable condition in Germany as a result of an IED attack that killed two of her CBS colleagues earlier this week. All the prayers in the world for her speedy recovery, and for the soldier with the heart of gold.