September 3, 2011

Kelo Update: Tax Abatements, a Rubbish Heap, and Continued Establishment Press Neglect

KeloHouseMonumentIn June 2005, in its Kelo vs. New London decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the City of New London, Connecticut could condemn and take over private property, including that on which Susette Kelo’s pink house sat, for a “public purpose” (a redevelopment plan worked up by the city’s New London Development Corporation), instead of limiting the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment application to “public use,” as the Founders intended.

The Supreme Court justices who supported the ruling largely justified it on the basis that “The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it (the city) believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including–but by no means limited to–new jobs and increased tax revenue.” Carefully formulated or not, nothing even remotely positive happened after the ruling until very recently, and nothing even remotely resembling decent national media coverage of post-ruling events has ever occurred.

Until August, in the five years after the final post-ruling showdown, during which Connecticut’s governor essentially had to intervene to keep the city from calling in the bulldozers while the final holdouts were still on their properties in June 2006, nothing has happened. Developers have withdrawn, and Fort Trumbull anchor company Pfizer has left town (a smaller company moved into the facility in a special deal involving — of course — city incentives).

Finally, the city appears to have gotten a developer interested in building condos. Well, sort of, as readers will see. I noted in April, the city was again prepared to offer tax abatements.

On Monday, August 15, as Kathleen Edgecomb at the New London Day reported, the abatement deal was approved, out of which the developers received quite generous tax breaks, even though the city hasn’t seen the details of what the developers wants to do (bolds are mine throughout):

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Report: Planned Parenthood Targets Minority Neighborhoods; Press Ignores

It’s no secret that the establishment press continues to serve as a virtual PR mouthpiece for Planned Parenthood. Among the canards employed in its defense is that the organization provides a wondrous array of reproductive health services. Abby Johnson, a former Texas facility director for the organization and others have shown that abortion constitutes 98% of such “services,” and that taxpayer funds which aren’t supposed to pay for abortions are routinely “combined into one pot, not set aside for specific services.”

For several years, Life Dynamics Incorporated has documented an even more sinister aspect of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry which its press defenders steadfastly refuse to call out, namely that it takes the lives of a disproportionate number of pre-born African-American and Hispanic babies. A new study by LDI (“Racial Targeting and Population Control”) shows that this result is no accident, as, in LDI’s words, “family planning” clinics “are disproportionately placed into minority neighborhoods” (full PDF report; HT Life News; bolds are mine throughout; internal link added by me):

… as far back as the mid 1900s, some well-known eugenicists were arguing that the most effective way they could advance their agenda would be to concentrate population control facilities within the targeted (minority and primarily African-American) communities.

… In Maafa 21 (a 2009 documentary — Ed.), evidence is presented that Planned Parenthood and others within the abortion and family planning lobby took this approach when choosing locations for their facilities and that this practice continues to this day.

… For years, these people have consistently argued that the most effective way to reduce the number of abortions is to prevent unplanned pregnancies by making birth control chemicals, devices and information widely available.

This is why, until fairly recently, Planned Parenthood and so-called “family planning” advocates have acknowledged that they have placed locations “where the need is” in minority communities.

Forty years after Roe v. Wade, it should clear that the formerly acknowledged strategy has done nothing but keep the pipeline of preborn babies eligible to be exterminated filled:

… in contemporary America, the rate of pregnancy among black women is almost three times as high as it is for white women and, though they make up less than 13% of the female population, black women have about 37% of the abortions. In other words, the family planning lobby’s argument that they concentrate their facilities in minority communities because that is where the need is, cannot be reconciled with their long espoused claim about the connection between contraception, pregnancy and abortion.

Exactly — which is why the abortion industry is denying it ever said what it formerly freely admitted:

Seeing that they had painted themselves into this corner, their options were to either abandon the assertion that contraception is the way to reduce abortion rates, or reverse field and start denying that their facilities are disproportionately placed into minority neighborhoods.

They chose the latter.

Virtually overnight, they went from claiming that they target minority communities with noble intentions to claiming that they don’t target them at all. Then, to support this revised strategy, they began quoting a new report by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) showing that only one in 10 Planned Parenthood clinics is located in a minority community.

The LDI study blows Guttmacher’s contention to bits. LDI developed databases of all Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities in the country, their zip codes, and each zip code’s minority (black and/or Hispanic) component. Here is some of what it found:

The numbers are staggering. As just one example, consider Texas which has 94 Zip codes with at least one population control facility. Of those, only 22 are not disproportionately black and/or Hispanic. (In other words, 72, or 77% are. — Ed.)

As the charts demonstrate, similar patterns are found across the country and they do not vary appreciably by the size of the state. In Connecticut – a state thoroughly dissimilar from Texas in size, culture and geography – there are 21 Zip codes in which population control facilities are located and only six are not disproportionately black and/or Hispanic.

… (Frequently) there are multiple facilities in disproportionately minority ZIP codes. For example, in New Jersey, ZIP code 07631 has a black population 286.7% of the state’s overall percentage and a Hispanic population 163.9% of the state. That ZIP code alone has four population control facilities. Similarly, Minnesota ZIP code 55404 has a black population that is 797.1% of the overall state percentage and a Hispanic population 537.9% of the state. In that ZIP code there are three population control centers.

Again, this pattern is repeated in state after state. We identified 116 ZIP codes with more than one population control facility. Of those, 84 were disproportionately black and/or Hispanic. What this means is that, when the American family planning industry places multiple facilities in a ZIP code, that ZIP code is more than two-and-a-half times as likely to be disproportionately minority as not.

… In the end, this data speaks for itself and does not require a lot of analysis. The numbers make it clear that the African-American and Hispanic communities have been targeted and logic makes it clear that this did not happen coincidentally or unintentionally.

The data does speak for itself if one takes the time to look through all of it. Maybe it’s because I’m a numbers guy, but I would have been more impressed with the study’s write-up if it had compiled state-by-state and national summaries of the results into a one- or two-page fact sheet. In the current media culture, it helps to have things in a form which can be virtually copied and pasted by reporters, because they normally won’t take the time to pull anything together on their own — especially on a topic which might upset their ideological applecart.

That said, what Life Dynamics has found is explosive enough that there really is no excuse for its findings to be ignored. But, as one would expect, they have been.

It will surprise no one that searches on “abortion” at the Associated Press’s main site and the New York Times returned nothing referring to the Life Dynamics study. A Google News search on “Life Dynamics” (in quotes, sorted by date) returns six results, none of them establishment press outlets.

By contrast, as the study notes, there was extensive media coverage during the 1980s and 1990s of research purporting to show how minorities were targeted by tobacco and alcohol companies. The press has jumped to the defense of minority victims — some legitimate, many not — in these and so many other areas. So what, other than ideological self-defense, explains the silence in the face of clear evidence of life-taking industry targeting by a group which used to brag about what it was doing but now pretends it isn’t happening?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

IBD Editorial: ‘No New Jobs Means No New Growth’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:10 am

ObamaOMG090211Friday evening, in the wake of the government’s “ØMG” employment report, Investors Business Daily articulated the obvious — something the clowns in the press, who keep insisting on unskeptically quoting second-half growth estimates which are impossibly, naively, optimistic as if they’re somehow unaffected by all that is happening — either don’t get, or don’t want to get (bolds are mine):

Two numbers from the Labor Department’s report now show that GDP may well be taking a dive.

Aggregate hours worked, a proxy for real GDP used by Wall Street economists, fell in August from July and has fallen a third of a percent since May. And those lucky enough to still have jobs saw their wages drop. Weekly earnings in August averaged $789.68, down $3.34 from the month before.

It’s hard to show any GDP growth at all when both earnings and the number of hours worked are shrinking.

Then there was this cheery tidbit from a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond: “After a long period of unemployment, affected workers may become effectively unemployable.”

… How did we get here? Ask any reputable economist, and you’ll get an earful.

An onslaught of federal rules that has lifted the regulatory burden to $1.8 trillion a year. An $830 billion stimulus that has failed utterly to create new jobs. A $2.3 trillion Fed money-printing binge that has pushed up food and commodity prices but done little else.

Then there’s the $4 trillion of debt that’s been added in just three years — an amount that will weigh on America’s output and opportunity for decades to come.

As for President Obama’s upcoming jobs speech, don’t expect much. The main planks of his jobs program that have been leaked so far have already been tried. Not one has worked as advertised, and we’ve lost 3.25 million jobs since he entered office.

Tragically, emerging from this economic funk will require major changes of which Democrats in Congress and the White House seem incapable.

The reasons to question whether we can survive the next 17 months with the nation as we’ve known it continue to grow.

Timely Weekend Read: ‘Exploding The Biggest Lie In History’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:52 am

Bill Flax at Forbes:

In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.

In other words, fascism and Nazism were/are far-far left. Communism is far-far-far left. Each is/was diametrically opposed to personal freedom, religious freedom, and economic liberty. Thus:

… labeling Tea Partiers as fascists doesn’t indict the Right. It indicts those declaring so as radically Left.

Exactly.

Carve out the time to read the whole thing.

Positivity: Celebrating 92 years as a beautiful baby

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:29 am

From Fort Thomas, KY:

Gilbert Laycock plans to celebrate his 93rd birthday at the Alexandria Fair’s baby contest, bouncing back to where he won first prize as the cutest tyke in 1919.

The baby contest at the 155th Alexandria Fair & Horse Show will be at noon Saturday, Sept. 3.

Laycock, of Fort Thomas, said his mother always made sure he knew he’d won the baby contest as they doted on him because he was an only child.

“You are the hero of the family, and nothing you can do is wrong,” he said.

Although too young to remember the baby contest himself, it left a lasting impression, Laycock said.

“It makes you think you’re a winner,” he said. “If you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and you’re happy with what you see, you’ve beat the game.”

When he won the baby contest, Laycock said his family lived in a house on Ky. 8 in California. Later, the family moved to Liberty Street in Cincinnati for several years before eventually settling in Southgate by the time he was ready for high school.

While attending Newport High School, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class, Laycock said he worked part-time as a dishwasher and apprentice baker in Southgate with an eye toward saving for college. Laycock said he also met his wife Grace, who was a neighbor of his in Southgate.

“My wife and I were high school sweethearts,” he said. “We never ever dated anyone else.”

To signal they were ready to see each other at night for a date, they’d each turn their porch lights on and then go outside, Laycock said. Married on Thanksgiving Day in 1939, the Laycocks plan to celebrate their 72nd year of marriage this fall. …

Go here for the rest of the story.