July 15, 2006

Saturday Night Hangout

Filed under: General — Tom @ 6:06 pm

Hangout

Armed Retaliatory Attack by Hispanic Men at Southwest Ohio Construction Site: Media Whitewash Begins (Updated)

Filed under: Immigration,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 12:04 pm

See Updates below for more details about this violent and life-endangering situation.
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Last night in Hamilton Township, Ohio, an ex-urb about 30 miles northeast of Cincinnati, we may have received a sneak preview of the consequences we face, even in America’s heartland, of our government’s decades-long abandonment of border control and immigration sanity.

You can already see the local media attempting to downplay the severity and significance of the confrontation, especially, as seen in the Updates below, when you compare what was revealed in the video broadcasts to what made it into the related published Internet reports.

This armed attack occurred roughly 5 miles as the crow flies from BizzyBlog headquarters.

The headlines from the local TV stations’ web sites don’t even begin to hint at their stories’ frightening content:

WKRC-TV

Police: Armed Feud Erupts At Construction Site After Supervisor Fires Employee

Police look for as many as ten people wanted for an armed attack at a Warren County construction site.

Hamilton Township Police say a worker named “Max” retaliated against his supervisor after he was fired Friday.

It happened on State Route 22, just north of Route 48. (note: story incorrectly said “State Route 223″ — Ed.)

The group was armed with guns and baseball bats.

Local 12′s Joelle Girone spoke with parents whose children were near the attack.

911 operator: “911 what’s your emergency?”

Caller: “I’ve got Mexicans out here on the job with guns!”

“I’ve got four kids,” said Robyn Kerman, concerned parent. “And to have it happen in my backyard is a little scary for me!”

Joelle Girone: “Police describe the scene here as chaos. The group fired off as many as 10 gunshots with children living just feet away.”

“People running in all directions,” said Lt. Jeff Braley, Hamilton Township Police. “Shots being fired in different directions.”

Hamilton Township Police say an armed feud erupted Friday at a construction site after a supervisor fired an employee for being late.

Police say the Hispanic worker, known as “Max,” started a fight and then left. They say he came back one hour later with as many as nine other Hispanic men, armed with baseball bats and guns.

Some “feud,” with no indication of how many people were involved until the “subheadline.”

How about this headline: “Armed Hispanic Men Wreak Havoc at Construction Site after Employee is Fired”? That says everything that needs to be said (actually, not quite — see Updates below), and only took 75 characters, including spaces, three fewer than the 78 WKRC used in a headline that said very little.

WCPO-TV

Supervisor Says Employee Became Violent After Being Fired

Police are looking for as many as ten suspects after a fight broke out at a Warren County construction site after an employee was fired and later sought retaliation.

It happened at a worksite for All-Good Construction on SR 22 in Hamilton Township.

The supervisor of the construction company reportedly fired the worker earlier in the day after he said the man had repeatedly not shown up for work.

The employee told the supervisor he’d be back as he left the site.

The supervisor said he eventually did make his way back, only this time with a car full of other men who fired shots and repeatedly swung baseball bats at the him in what onlookers describe as “pure melee.”

The supervisor called 911 and hid in a nearby wooded area.

Police have put out several calls for various agencies to be on the lookout for a white Dodge Durango that the suspects might have fled the scene in.

WCPO has a picture of one damaged truck. Something tells me that this is only a small hint at the true extent of the damage caused.

You would think from WCPO’s headline that only the fired employee was involved. What I want to know (and I’ll bet someone does and isn’t saying), is whether the violence was carried out by an organized gang and not just “other men” who know the fired employee.

I channel-surfed into the tail-end of one report about this on one of the local newscasts last night. The reporter went to great lengths to “reassure” us that the worker involved was “here legally” (if so, how is it that we don’t know the full name of “Max”?), but said nothing about the status of the others who came back with the employee after he was fired. I’d like to know that too.

24 hours later, The Cincinnati Enquirer has absolutely ….. no ….. coverage. Correction — See Update 3 Below.

Will our PC media ever give us answers to the questions about this frightening incident raised here?
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UPDATE: Here are some items from WKRC’s actual video report (loads painfully slowly; browser compatibility is dicey; the relevant report is in the first third of the video) that “somehow” didn’t make it into what was published on the Internet:

“Police say property was damaged, two people assaulted, one of them narrowly escaping a bullet to the head by shielding himself with this board:

BulletBoard

Police say “Max” was looking for his boss.

….. (nearby parent Robyn) Kerman says that just on her side of the street 20 children live and play.

UPDATE 2: The WCPO report (also painfully slow-loading, and in RealPlayer; browser compatibility is dicey; relevant story begins at about 5 minutes into the broadcast) adds these items:

  • Makes it clear that “Max” intended to kill his supervisor, and all of the attackers were looking for the same supervisor.
  • The group involved is believed to be from the City of Hamilton, Ohio, which is a 30-40 minute drive from Hamilton Township, Ohio.
  • The supervisor didn’t escape injury entirely — “He got beat a little bit” by the suspects, according to someone on the scene.
  • The builder was (ahem) “not able to identify who this worker was to police,” but the reporter said he was assured that “Max” is a legal citizen.

How do these facts get into the bandwidth-hogging video but then “somehow” NOT make it into the nearly bandwidth-free published story?

UPDATE 3, July 17, 2 PM: There was the briefest of coverage in the Enquirer Saturday in “Local News Briefs” in the print edition:

A construction foreman told police a worker he fired early Friday returned later in the day with eight other men armed with handguns and baseball bats. William D. Johnson said a worker named “Max” started a fight with him after being fired and returned with the men an hour later. Johnson told police the group rammed his truck with their car, fired 10-12 shots and struck another employee, James Parsons Jr., multiple times with the bats as Parsons tried to come to Johnson’s aid. Before police arrived, the men fled the scene in a white SUV, Johnson told police. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries and Parsons was taken to a hospital.

Big whoop. The items doesn’t even say where in Hamilton Township the incident occurred, or the Hispanic ethnicity of the men involved. Very, very, weak. I called The Enquirer’s West Chester bureau and confirmed that no other coverage has appeared since Saturday.

UPDATE 4, July 17, 4:30 PM: Boy, is this report from locally-based Journal-News, and of course its implications, ever different from what WCPO-TV said in its Friday night report in Update 2 above (HT Michelle Malkin):

A construction company supervisor said the incident began when a worker at the 21 Oaks subdivision construction site off U.S. 22/Ohio 3 was asked to produce paperwork to prove he was a legal immigrant. When he failed to produce the paperwork, he was fired.

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Wizbang Weekend Trackback Carnival participant.

The Toledo Blade on Immigration: You Must Be a Racist If….

Filed under: Immigration,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:08 am

….. You Agree with What Colorado Just Did to Control the Costs of Illegal Immigration.

From a Saturday Blade editorial:

In Colorado, for example, a package of 11 anti-immigrant bills passed this week was criticized by Republicans as not punitive enough. While the measures ostensibly are aimed only at illegal immigrants, the message there and elsewhere has an undeniably racist tone.

Here is what has The Blade editorial board’s knickers in a knot:

Illegal immigration bills passed in Colo.
Updated 7/11/2006 8:29 PM ET

DENVER (AP) — State lawmakers approved a measure late Monday that would force a million people receiving state or federal aid to verify their citizenship, part of a package of bills dealing with illegal immigration that Democrats called the toughest in the nation.

The measure would deny most non-emergency state benefits to illegal immigrants 18 years old and older — forcing people to prove legal residency when applying for benefits or renewing their eligibility. The measure passed the state Senate 22-13 and the House 48-15. Both are controlled by Democrats.

“At the end of the day, everybody who serves in this building as senators or representatives knows we’re making Colorado history,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald. “We want to be able to look in the mirror and say we did legislation that is tough, enforceable and humane.”

Republicans said the bill didn’t go far enough, and left glaring loopholes, including allowing benefits for minors and denying voters the chance to have a direct say on the issue.

The bill would apply to Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, energy assistance programs and aging and adult services. Republican Gov. Bill Owens said an estimated 50,000 illegal immigrants could be thrown out of those programs.

“It simply puts teeth into existing federal regulations,” Owens said.

Since The Blade can’t possibly object what Colorado has done on substance, it recklessly throws around the “R word,” even though the legislation is about clamping down on providing government services to people who have violated the law by even being in the state. And since nothing specifically included in the Colorado legislation can be accurately characterized as racist, The Blade pretends to be able to read the minds of the bipartisan coaltion that passed it and concludes that the “tone” is racist anyway. What a lovely thing to say about the 63% of Colorodo Senators and 76% of Colorado House members who supported the legislation, and the state’s governor who signed it. Even if you want to claim that The Blade is limiting its criticism to the Republicans who wanted the legislation to go further (which I don’t buy, based on the excerpt’s clear language), the Republicans’ objections cannot possibly be seen as racist by any reasonable person.

The above is the kind of irresposible opinion-rendering you’d expect from editorial writers at International ANSWER and La Raza. But this is now what aparently passes for political discourse not just on the far left, but even at “mainstream left” newspapers like The Blade.

Weekend Question 1: How Long Can the Realtors Successfull Defend Their Racket?

Based on reading this USA Today article Thursday, the answer appears to be “as long as they can work the political system to their advantage”:

Realtors fight discounters with restrictive state laws

When Kathy Kirk sold her Oklahoma City home Wednesday, she paid her discount real estate agent $998 instead of a traditional commission. That’s because even though her agent had listed her home for sale and handled closing documents, Kirk showed the house and negotiated the price herself.

Agents and potential buyers who came to see the house were surprised that Kirk, a 49-year-old nurse, was representing herself.

Though she still had to pay the buyer’s agent a 3% commission, she “got a lecture from a couple of them, saying, ‘You’re really making a mistake,’ ” recalls Kirk, who got a price above what she’d hoped for and saved $3,847 in commissions. “One told me I didn’t know how to negotiate, that I was vulnerable and wasn’t going to get the price I wanted for the house. They obviously felt this was a real threat to them.”

The threat is real. And traditional real estate brokers are fighting the Justice Department and lobbying state lawmakers to protect their business model, which generated $60 billion in commissions last year. Associations of Realtors — big political donors in many states — have pushed for state rules to bar real estate agents from providing less than the traditional full suite of services.

So far, Realtor groups in nine states have lobbied successfully for laws requiring all brokers to provide the full services. (Oklahoma Realtors succeeded in getting a law passed late last year, but the state attorney general said it couldn’t be enforced against discounters.) Ten other states have passed laws that forbid agents to rebate part of their commission to buyers.

The result: Brokers who offer a la carte services at lower prices have sometimes been shut out.

The article goes on to note that Illinios, Missouri, and Texas have passed “minimum service” laws that essentially mandate “full service,” but that the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have been pushing in the free-market direction with some success.

The threat of discount competition has always loomed, but has intensified because consumers have more information available to them now than they ever have. As is often the case when an industry’s business model is threatened, the realtors have for years been running to the politicians in a big way. Realtors have consistently been among the leading political-giving groups/ They shower both parties with money to hedge their bets on who will have power in the future.

The realtor cartel’s self-aggrandizement efforts are especially offensive because of the housing-price runup of the past five years. In any other industry, competition would tend to lower the commission rate so that realtors as a group would end up with roughly the same or slightly rising income. That hasn’t happened. In California, where a million-dollar home is only considered upper-middle class, a individual realtor can sell 10 homes in a whole year and “earn” an income well into six figures. Why shouldn’t homeowners rebel at the idea of paying a real-estate firm 60 grand for what is often a lot less than a few weeks’ work and decide to take on part or all of the work themselves?
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Previous post:
– Aug. 12, 2005 — End the Realtor Racket

Positivity: Brother’s Blood Saves Sister

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:09 am

A man helps a sister he didn’t even know about:

Marrow miracle
By DIANE COCHRAN – The Billings Gazette – 07/09/06
Brother’s blood saves sister he never knew he had

BILLINGS (AP) — Mike Ford didn’t know whether to believe the voice coming out of his cell phone.

Ford was on his daily commute along Interstate 5 in Seattle last summer when he took a call from someone who identified herself as a private investigator.

‘‘She said, ‘I’ve got some good news and some bad news,’’’ said Ford, who works at a Coca-Cola bottling plant. ‘‘‘The good news is you’ve got a sister.’ I was like, A what? A sister?’’’

The bad news was even more startling: His sister was sick, and the blood flowing through Ford’s veins held her only chance at survival.

Ford wasn’t sure what to make of what he was hearing, but he was certain of this: If he did have a sister who needed his help, she would get it.

‘‘I knew I was going to do it,’’ he said. ‘‘I would do whatever I had to do.’’

Sha’Ri Eggum’s family was planning her funeral.

The Billings woman was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on May 3, 2005. Two days later, she started chemotherapy.

But the treatments were a long shot. Doctors at the Hematology-Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies didn’t expect them to make the 32-year-old hair stylist better.

‘‘She had a really bad leukemia,’’ said Dr. Patrick Cobb, who helped Dr. Martin Lucas treat Eggum. ‘‘If you don’t treat it aggressively, most people die from this.’’

Acute myeloid leukemia is a cancer that destroys a person’s bone marrow, and bone marrow produces blood cells.

‘‘The only way to cure this is to get a bone marrow transplant,’’ Cobb said.

A transplant must come from someone who has the same tissue type as the person who is sick. In most cases, clinicians look for potential donors among a patient’s blood relatives.

But Eggum was adopted, and she had never had contact with anyone in her biological family.

When a blood relation cannot donate, clinicians turn to organizations such as the National Marrow Donor Program, which keeps a registry of potential donors and their tissue types.

Tissue types vary among races, and historically, registries have struggled to recruit minority donors. That means a leukemia patient with minority heritage — especially Asian, Latino, American Indian or black heritage — is less likely to find a match through a registry than is a patient of white descent.

Eggum is part black and part Indian, which further reduced her chances of finding a match from a registry. In fact, there wasn’t one.

‘‘The doctors kind of gave up on me,’’ she said.

Her sister didn’t.

Tanya Serrata, who is five years older than Eggum, also was adopted. Last spring, Serrata hired a private investigator to find her birth parents.

Before the detective got to work, Serrata found out about Eggum’s grim prognosis. She asked the investigator to switch gears and look for Eggum’s biological family instead.

‘‘She needed it more than I did,’’ Serrata said.

Growing up, the girls always knew that Eggum had a biological sibling, who was listed incorrectly as a sister on Eggum’s adoption paperwork. They also knew her biological mother’s name: Judith Ford.

Eggum had tried to find her birth mother once before. The summer she turned 25, Eggum lived with her adoptive dad in the Seattle area, where she knew she had been born.

She spent a day paging through the Ford listings in the telephone book and even tried calling a few of them.

‘‘I just asked for Judith Ford,’’ she said. ‘‘(I asked) Do you know Judith Ford? Judith Ford? Judith Ford? Judith Ford?’ I must have called 40 people that day.’’

Six years later, it took the private investigator a week to find the right Judith Ford and her son — Eggum’s biological brother.

Eggum got the news in her hospital room.

‘‘It was crazy,’’ she said. ‘‘I was like, ‘Wow.’’’

Mike Ford still hadn’t met his sister when he got tested to see if he could give her his bone marrow.

‘‘It was such an incredible long shot,’’ Cobb said. ‘‘There was only a one in four chance that he would be a match even if we did find him.’’

This time, the odds were in Eggum’s favor: Her brother was a match.

In September, the day after the siblings met for the first time, Eggum checked into the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where she began treatments that killed all of her bone marrow.

Weeks later, it took two hours to withdraw enough stem cells from Ford’s blood to give Eggum’s body a new start. He watched a Dracula movie during the procedure.

The next day, Oct. 20, the cells were transmitted into Eggum’s bloodstream. She watched the same Dracula movie — without knowing her brother had picked it a day earlier.

Ford’s stem cells made their way into her bone marrow and began producing healthy blood cells. They are replicas of the ones produced in his own body.

Clinicians monitored Eggum for 100 days after the transplant to make sure her body wouldn’t reject it. At the end of that time, she was declared to be in remission.

‘‘This has been a real miracle,’’ said Eggum’s mom, Ilene Stroup. ‘‘It’s so important for adopted children to know of their background for medical reasons.’’