January 19, 2007

Supremes Refuse to Hear Eminent Domain Abuse Appeal

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:36 pm

This is really weak (New London Day link requires free registration after a short period of time, and a subscription after a week):

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear the eminent domain case of two Port Chester, N.Y., businessmen who planned to build a CVS pharmacy on their property until it was seized by the village so that another developer could build a Walgreens pharmacy there.

The plaintiffs asked the court to hear the case and clarify its 2005 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London …..

….. Didden and Bologna have alleged that they were told by the Village of Port Chester to meet with its chosen developer for the redevelopment district, G&S Port Chester. On Nov. 5, 2003, G&S Port Chester principal Gregg Wasser allegedly demanded a 50 percent interest in the CVS project or an $800,000 payment from Didden and Bologna and said the village would take their property within the redevelopment district if they did not comply.

Didden and Bologna refused, and one day later the Village of Port Chester filed a condemnation petition to take their property so that it could be leased to G&S Port Chester for construction of the Walgreens.

…. Claiming that the condemnation was for purely private financial gain and not for a public purpose, Didden and Bologna sued in the case, Didden v. Village of Port Chester. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case in 2004.

Didden and Bologna appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which also let the condemnation stand, saying the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. City of New London didn’t allow Didden and Bologna to challenge a taking within a redevelopment district.

The court said Didden and Bologna could only challenge the taking of their property by challenging the entire redevelopment plan, which had been expanded in 1999 to include their property, and that a statute of limitations prevented such a challenge to the plan.

In other words, Catch-22 — The Kelo ruling supposedly doesn’t allow the challenge of a taking within a redevelopment district, and it’s too late to challenge the validity of the whole redevelopment district, because of the time it took to litigate the challenge the within-the-district taking!

What a disgrace.

Weather Channel Climatologist Tells Weathermen: ‘You Villlll Agree with Globaloney’ (UPDATE: Ala. Weatherman Rips Back)

Here’s one of the latest examples (HT Amy Ridenour) of global warming intimidation, among so many examples it has become impossible to keep up them:

Weather Channel Climate Expert Calls for Decertifying Global Warming Skeptics
January 17, 2007

The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to “Holocaust Deniers” and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program “The Climate Code,” is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their “Seal of Approval” for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.

“If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval ….”

Intimidation by two sitting US Senators was noted here back in December.

One of the best indicators of a bogus argument is when supporters of it attempt to silence those who disagree with it. By that sole yardstick, the claim that any global warming that my be occurring is primarily caused by human activity is one of the all-time whoppers.

A reminder: Most cable systems have their own local weather channel that gives you what you need to know more quickly, more often, and without the agenda.


UPDATE: James Spann, an Alabama weatherman hits back hard (HT Drudge; bolds are mine) –

Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?

I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them. Here are the basic facts you need to know:

* Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at “The Weather Channel” probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab.

* The climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here. It will always change, and the warming in the last 10 years is not much difference than the warming we saw in the 1930s and other decades. And, let’s not forget we are at the end of the ice age in which ice covered most of North America and Northern Europe.

If you don’t like to listen to me, find another meteorologist with no tie to grant money for research on the subject. I would not listen to anyone that is a politician, a journalist, or someone in science who is generating revenue from this issue.

Spann’s in double trouble with the PC crowd, because he invoked God.

(Aside: Can’t wait for someone to take a shot at him because he’s in the Yellowhammer State.)

The Alabama weatherman brings up an excellent point tying in to media coverage — Since corporate or industry sponsorship of research is typically reported (and often, by inference or specifically criticized as “tainting” the findings), why isn’t the fact that a person or group is funded by government or other grants aimed at “proving” globaloney routinely disclosed?

UPDATE 2: This is too funny. It’s the 235th comment at Spann’s post in Update 1 –

Man-made “Global Warming” is crap (for reasons listed by others above, among others)

But what I wanted to point out a hilarious/idiotic quote from Cullen:

It’s like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It’s not a political statement, it’s just an incorrect statement.”

Interesting, however she wasting her time telling us, and should choose a different audience to inform about how hurricanes rotate. After all, it was Al Gore’s Inconvenient Piece of Crap that used a backwards rotating hurricane on it’s posters, promotional items and DVDs!!!

Anyway, just wanted to point out how funny it is that this “expert” (read: lying alarmist) Cullen brings up hurricane rotation, unaware (or dishonestly ignoring) that the Gore crew (who is on her side) couldn’t get it right before having the image printed MILLIONS of times all over the world.

(If this is new information to you, simply look up the movie on Amazon, then go out and search for satellite images of hurricanes. I challenge you to prove that the “Inconvenient” hurricane was rotating the right way).

UPDATE 3, Jan. 21: Cullen, in a hypocritical response for the ages, decries “A Very Political Climate.”

Follow-up on Last Week’s Botched AP Report on Retail Sales

Last week, Associated Press reporter Martin Crutsinger portrayed a nominal increase in retail sales in 2006 of 6.0% as a slowdown compared to the 6.9% result from 2005.

Of course, as I noted last week, the nominal figures above ignored inflation. Taking inflation into account made 2006′s and 2005′s increases roughly the same in real terms, thus nuking Crutsinger’s contentions (“as Americans were battered by soaring gasoline prices, rising interest rates and a cooling housing market”) relating to why 2006 was lower (because it wasn’t).

I said “roughly” in the previous paragraph because December’s inflation report had not yet been released. Now it has been:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in December, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The December level of 201.8 (1982-84=100) was 2.5 percent higher than in December 2005.

(Note: Use of figures NOT seasonally adjusted is appropriate because an entire year is involved. In other words, all of the seasons are in there already.)

2006′s real increase in retail sales was 6.0% less 2.5%, or 3.5%. 2005′s real increase was 6.9% less 3.4% (see last week’s post), or ….. the same 3.5%. Both figures are actually pretty impressive after-inflation performances, essentially signaling a 3.5% increase in the component of GDP relating to the retail sector.

As I said last week: “Slowing,” schmowing. “Battered,” schmattered.

Headline Correction to Tax Article

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:15 am

MarketWatch article headline carried at Fox News:

Tax Deductions Likely to Be More Confusing Than Ever This Year

Corrected headline:

Fair Tax Needed More Than Ever This Year

The Incredible Growing Layoffs at Time

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was supposed to be about 150 People (HT Return of the Conservatives) who were going to lose their jobs at Time and its other magazines.

Now it’s 289:

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Today’s job eliminations at Time Inc. totaled 289 mostly editorial posts after all was said and done, including layoffs at crown jewel People, flagship Time and other magazines from Entertainment Weekly to Sports Illustrated.

….. Of the 289 jobs eliminated, 117 are coming from the business side. Of the 172 editorial jobs being axed, the company hopes 86 will come from volunteers taking buyout packages — while the other 86 are simply losing their posts.

….. Time also shut down its Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta bureaus.

Just wondering — If one of those “evil corporations” nearly doubled their projected layoffs between rumor and announcement, would the rest of the press be standing by idly or demanding some kind of investigation? I for one would be very curious to see if what Time disclosed to comply with the federal law requiring disclosure of layoffs of 50 or more people in any location is in sync with what the company actually did.

A Good Example from Toledo to Follow in Cincinnati

Filed under: Education — Tom @ 6:05 am

The University of Toledo isn’t raising tuition next year (HT Right Angle Blog).

I wonder if University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher noticed — or cares. UC thought that the state’s 2006-2007 tuition increase cap of roughly 5.5% was a hardship, and it gave rise to across-the-board budget “cuts.” Apparently several years of 9%-10% tuition increases caused UC to think that it could go on wasting money at an increasing rate forever.

Positivity: Cancer survivor to donate spec home profits to charity

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

In Montana:


BILLINGS (AP) — Nearly 11 years ago, Jim Dawson was battling cancer.

Now the Billings man is healthy, the owner of a construction company and grateful for all he has been given. And he’s giving back.

Dawson, who owns Dawson Builders Inc., is building a spec home in the Billings Heights with mostly donated materials and labor. When the house is sold for what Dawson hopes will be in the $170,000 range, he plans to donate all of the profits — $80,000 to $100,00 — to Provision International.

‘‘My reason for doing it is because I’ve been blessed over the last 10 years, since coming off my death bed,’’ Dawson said, sitting in a makeshift office in another of the homes he’s built.

Dawson considers his healing from Hodgkin’s lymphoma a miracle. He discovered he had the deadly disease in January 1996.

‘‘I was cured probably about the first of March that same year,’’ Dawson said, ‘‘and I have the X-rays to prove it.’’

He underwent 100 radiation treatments through May of that year. After the first 50, the cancer had disappeared.

Dawson’s physician wouldn’t go so far as saying the healing was a miracle. But he did write a letter saying the cancer disappeared ‘‘amazingly rapidly,’’ Dawson said. ‘‘He said ‘your body is really responding to our treatment.’ ”

Dawson is convinced God intervened and healed him. And it was when he was recovering from cancer that the idea started to form in his mind that he wanted to be a blessing to someone else.

In 1997, he went back into the house-building business. Now Dawson is doing well, with a number of his homes under construction in the High Sierra Subdivision, behind Skyview High, and more under way in the Eagle Ridge Subdivision, just off the corner of Wicks Lane and St. Andrews Place.

He never forgot his idea to repay the blessings he had received. Dawson knew of Dick Larson — Larson used to work as a state building inspector though the two had never worked together.

A friend of Dawson’s told him about Larson’s international ministry of collecting medical equipment and sending it overseas.

‘‘That’s about all I knew,’’ Dawson said.

Then, a couple of years ago, the two met through mutual friends and got to talking. They chatted several times over coffee and lunch, and, the more Dawson heard, the more he knew he had found the ministry he wanted to help.

‘‘It was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for — Montana-based and a low overhead so the vast majority of money goes right to the work they’re doing,’’ he said. ‘‘And the person at the head of that organization is 100-percent genuine and on fire about what he’s doing.’’

Last spring Dawson shared his idea of blessing the ministry with Larson, ‘‘which floored him — he couldn’t believe it,’’ Dawson said.

The builder decided to use a lot he had owned for about six years. He approached subcontractors and suppliers with whom he had worked and asked them to consider donating their time, talents and materials to the project.

‘‘I let them know what I was doing and let them do what they wanted,’’ Dawson said. ‘‘It’s been amazing how many people jumped on board.’’

To date, nearly $65,000 has been donated in the lot, the material and labor ‘‘and we’re not finished yet,’’ he said.

The house is well on its way to being completed. The split-level south-facing dwelling is fully enclosed, and work is being completed on the interior.

The house, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs, has 1,217 square feet on the main floor and 1,130 square feet in the unfinished basement. It also includes vaulted ceilings and a 14-foot bay window in the living room.

Dawson expects the house will be completed in two to three months. Once it’s sold, all of the money made from the sale will go to Provision International. …..