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Baton Rouge Woman Writes Letter to the Media Saying Everything Americans Have Been Waiting to Say

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H/T Independent Journal Review. 

Bravo Heather Bravo. 

Heather Cross’s entire family lives in Louisiana, but she’s called Baton Rouge home since 2002.

Image Credit: Heather Cross

Image Credit: Heather Cross

 

She’s lived through Hurricane Katrina and now the historic flooding that has affected the state in the last two weeks. Cross tells Independent Journal Review that the two major weather events are similar, yet very “different”:

“Hurricane Katrina was also very devastating, but in a totally different way. Plus, the sheer geographic area affected in ways big and small is way broader [this time]. I think maybe 50 percent of the state has been affected by flooding and waters are rising in some places.”
To put things in perspective, Cross says she’s from the Lafayette area and both of her hometowns, which are an hour-and-a-half drive from one another, have been devastated by the flooding.
After seeing the national news reports, or lack thereof, Cross took to Facebook to express her outrage over the media’s coverage of the historic flooding.

Heather Cross

last Wednesday

Dear CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, Good Morning America, the Today Show and whatever other news organizations professing to employ people who refer to themselves as Journalists:

cc: all Facebook Friends (as promised)

FYI There is a flood in Louisiana.

You’ve met us before. You came and camped out over here during a very painful period in our existence about a month ago. You went into a neighborhood you’ve never been in, in a state it’s quite possible that you’ve never visited (despite that you are “very well-travelled”). Although, I realize you are sophisticated, and accepting of “other” cultures, you managed to pass judgment on an entire community in your own country, who were mourning and struggling to figure out – what the hell just happened – and where do we go from here – all of us (well most of us) – in good faith. You didn’t offer help, you didn’t offer support, you offered criticism – and then you left.

Oh you came back, a few weeks later, a lunatic, who also had never been here, showed up and murdered three of our finest citizens. In broad daylight. In the middle of town. You came back. With more criticism. More speculation. More side taking. When in the community I live, we were basically all on the same side. We’re all in this together. I hate to pull a hashtag, but seriously #unBRoken.

Not one person I watched on the national news during the weeks following Alton Sterling’s death, or the murder of three police officers gave my friends, my family, my neighbors – any credit or the benefit of the doubt. Nope. The entire news media looked for someone to blame. Depending on what network you watched the target of blame was Sterling himself, the cops, the South, the guns, the whatever. Not one person I watched on the national news assumed that the whole city was by and large, and in good faith, just trying to wrap our brains around what happened, and trying to make our city whole again.

I think you people are stone cold silent about this flood, because really, there’s no agenda to push. There’s no side to take. There’s nobody to blame. So even though you don’t seem in the least bit curious, here’s what’s been happening around here since you left.

First – as previously stated. There was a Noah’s Ark Level Flood. It affected all of us. Black, white, dog, cat, man, woman, child, transsexual.

While it was still raining, a spontaneous, private, and well-meaning navy of ordinary people assembled themselves. They were black, white, asian and otherwise. They weren’t protesting anything. They got into their own boats, spent their own money, spent their own time, risked their own lives. Black people saved white people. White people saved black people. Nobody asked what color you were before knocking on your door. These are not first responders on some list somewhere. These are a bunch of guys who like to hunt and fish and as a result own flat bottom boats and they assumed that the actual police and other first responders, not to mention their fellow citizens – could use a little help. So they just showed up. Nobody told them to. They wanted to.

Meanwhile, across town, a spontaneous, private and well-meaning army of ordinary people assembled themselves in a 7 warehouse, un-airconditioned sound stage. (And FYI, it’s REALLY hot in August in Louisiana). They found some fans. And they had plenty of room. They gathered canned goods, bottled water, Gatorade, Neosporin, BandAids, Toothbrushes, deodorant, hairspray, sleeping bags, chairs and pillows. They set up kitchens with their tailgating party supplies. Nobody told them to. They just did it. Why? All because people who just lost everything about a half hour ago, got plucked off of their rooftops in helicopters and this army knew that they needed somewhere to go, and something to eat. Pretty much instinctively.

Meanwhile, across town, people who usually lived as one family unit in well-kept homes slept on air mattresses in friends homes watching flood waters threaten every memory, every belonging, every photograph, everything they spent their whole lives building, every spot their child took their first step become over-run with ruin, knowing it would be months, if not years before they clean up the mess. People who lost homes in Katrina, went through the same thing again. People who don’t own much to speak of, have nowhere to return to. All of these people woke up in a place where they have nowhere to send their kids to school. Indefinitely. All of these people I’ve seen, are sad, they are tired – but they are resilient – they are smiling.

We have not even begun to count our dead, much less bury them, and we’re still in mourning over the events from last months. For the love of goodness the least you could do is offer us a little encouragement.

I suppose a bunch of self-sufficient folks that actually love one another, and are trying to figure things out isn’t as interesting to you as casting gross stereotypes over people who live fly-over country. But we are a little bit baffled after all that unwanted attention we got a few weeks back, when we actually need you to get the word out, you are nowhere to be found.

As much as it pains me to ask, we need you to shine a light on this. There are people here who need help. Let’s take a time out from monitoring Donald Trump’s Twitter Feed and deal with this one. We need attention because we cannot rebuild our infrastructure, our schools, our homes, our businesses without the money that the attention will bring. So here is what we need you to explain to people that don’t live in Louisiana:

1) This water damage was caused by rain. Not a tidal surge. There’s a difference. I don’t have lots of time to explain, it – but the main difference is, that this is such a bad ass amount of rain that it only happens every 1000 years. Yes. One thousand years.

2) As a result of how infrequently this happens (yes every 1000 years) Nobody knew this was coming. We thought it would rain. We did not realize we would get almost three feet of rain in some places. 14 trillion gallons water is now trying to drain out of rivers, and bayous and ditches that are stretched beyond capacity. Think about that. Where’s all the water gonna go? Hell I don’t really know, but I can tell you this on its trip to the Gulf of Mexico (which is incidentally where a lot of your rainwater goes) – it’s gonna travel over places it hasn’t been for one-thousand-years. Sometimes that’s the first floor of your house. Sometimes – it’s the only floor of your house. Sometimes its your entire business. That supports you, and supports others. Either way, you have no place to inhabit for months because you can’t live in a house that’s been covered in water or sell your wares out of a store that nobody can get to.

3) This flood affected people from every walk of life. It did not discriminate between the good side of town, or the bad side of town. It was an equal opportunity offender. It just tried to ruin half a state. Despite what you may think, we’re fairly united against this slithering, slimy common enemy. We have only just begun to figure out how to dig our way out. Maybe you can help us figure it out. At this point, we’re open to suggestions, or at least some assistance in ripping out wet sheetrock.

4) You can buy maximum value flood insurance, and it will not – repeat not – cover the cost of the average price of a home in East Baton Rouge Parish. Plus, notably, flood insurance must be purchased separately from regular homeowners/property insurance. Most Homeowners insurance policies will cover you if you suffer any other form of natural disaster – by that I mean earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires. But for some reason, not floods. Nope. That is limited. There are maps that insurance companies have where they think it could possibly flood. There are uninsured houses right now, that are in a place that some beancounter in an insurance company did not think it would flood. Maybe someone could check out what the hell is going on with flood insurance. We certainly talk a lot about health insurance.

5) There’s stuff we have that cannot be replaced.

6) Al Sharpton, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, Kim Kardasian, and others – are nowhere to be found. (Although props to Taylor Swift for the cool million she sent us).

This education is sorely needed because the few, and I mean very few, articles I have been able to locate on the national news have said nothing about the above 6 points. But the best part? The comments. They clarify how uneducated the rest of the United States is about Louisiana (while usually, and ironically calling the people in Louisiana uneducated). In addition to the fact that “environmentalists” who love the Earth do not realize that Baton Rouge is NOT on the coast or below sea level (my favorite irony), these people think we are cultural Neanderthals. They don’t realize that we have our own music, food, language and culture. It’s a gift, and we are grateful and proud of it. It’s your fault you won’t take the time to understand it – not mine.

However, the recurring criticism and/or question from these “commentators” is why don’t these people just move? I have two responses to you.

The First, by way of example: Remember the Tsunami that happened in Thailand? A bunch of people on expensive vacations got mowed down by an unpredictable, unforeseeable weather event. Not once did I hear anyone ask: why would you go on vacation where there could be a Tsunami? Nope. All the people I know were too busy praying novenas and donating money to go to some country they may never see to stop and ask such a thing.

The more significant reason we don’t move away is because this is the kind of place that prays novenas and sends money to places we’ve never been in the hope of sending help and comfort to people we have never met. We are the kind of people that assemble a volunteer army, and a volunteer navy whose sole mission is to spread love, support and a hot meal to our neighbors and community. We’re dropped off in a shelter with a couple thousand of our new friends, and honestly still find a way to laugh together. The Cajun Uber joke on Facebook is priceless. That’s it. Our joie de vie is in our DNA, and it grows out of this soil, and it is contagious. But only in this place. On this little part of muddy earth. We know all our cousins. We live a block from our grandparents. Plus the food is really, really good.

Come hell or high water, we’re not going anywhere. You’re welcome to visit anytime. We promise, no matter what, we will love you anyway, we will always send rescue, and we will always find a way to make you smile. And after all that we will, most definitely, feed you.

Love,
The State of Louisiana
#unBRoken

#CNN #FoxNews #MSNBC #ABCNews #CBSNews #GoodMorningAmerica#TodayShow #Louisianastrong #historicflood2016

For days, relentless rains fell and rivers swelled. Communities across South Louisiana flooded. Even people living on high ground were forced to flee …
CLASSY.ORG

The Baton Rouge-based attorney notes that she made the post before Donald Trump and President Obama announced they were coming, separately, to the area. She wrote:

“Dear CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, Good Morning America, the Today Show and whatever other news organizations professing to employ people who refer to themselves as Journalists:

cc: all Facebook Friends (as promised)

FYI There is a flood in Louisiana.

You’ve met us before. You came and camped out over here during a very painful period in our existence about a month ago. You went into a neighborhood you’ve never been in, in a state it’s quite possible that you’ve never visited (despite that you are ‘very well-travelled’). Although, I realize you are sophisticated, and accepting of ‘other’ cultures, you managed to pass judgment on an entire community in your own country, who were mourning and struggling to figure out – what the hell just happened – and where do we go from here – all of us (well most of us) – in good faith. You didn’t offer help, you didn’t offer support, you offered criticism – and then you left.”

She continued, saying this is a community that has been in turmoil in recent months, all while under the scrutiny of the national media:

“Oh you came back, a few weeks later, a lunatic, who also had never been here, showed up and murdered three of our finest citizens. In broad daylight. In the middle of town. You came back. With more criticism. More speculation. More side taking. When in the community I live, we were basically all on the same side. We’re all in this together. I hate to pull a hashtag, but seriously ‪#‎unBRoken‬.

Not one person I watched on the national news during the weeks following Alton Sterling’s death, or the murder of three police officers gave my friends, my family, my neighbors – any credit or the benefit of the doubt. Nope. The entire news media looked for someone to blame. Depending on what network you watched the target of blame was Sterling himself, the cops, the South, the guns, the whatever. Not one person I watched on the national news assumed that the whole city was by and large, and in good faith, just trying to wrap our brains around what happened, and trying to make our city whole again.

I think you people are stone cold silent about this flood, because really, there’s no agenda to push. There’s no side to take. There’s nobody to blame. So even though you don’t seem in the least bit curious, here’s what’s been happening around here since you left.”

Cross went on to praise the Cajun Navy, as well as other citizens who’ve stepped up to help the community in their time of need, which should be the real focus of the story:

“While it was still raining, a spontaneous, private, and well-meaning navy of ordinary people assembled themselves. They were black, white, Asian and otherwise. They weren’t protesting anything. They got into their own boats, spent their own money, spent their own time, risked their own lives. Black people saved white people. White people saved black people.

Nobody asked what color you were before knocking on your door. These are not first responders on some list somewhere. These are a bunch of guys who like to hunt and fish and as a result own flat bottom boats and they assumed that the actual police and other first responders, not to mention their fellow citizens – could use a little help. So they just showed up. Nobody told them to. They wanted to.”

She tells Independent Journal Review she wouldn’t wish what happened in Baton Rouge to her “worst enemy.” Citing the school, road and office closures, Cross says life has totally changed for her and her neighbors:

“The neighborhoods that people live in are gutted. Mansions to simple, middle class homes — rich and poor — are all affected. It’s not like you can live in a house which got inundated with water. It smells terrible, there’s no sheetrock, it’s literally dangerous.

Lots of them, and I mean lots, [of homeowners] did not have flood insurance. And these are RESPONSIBLE homeowners. They did everything right. They didn’t have the insurance because they weren’t in places that ever flooded.”

According to ABC News, more than 60,000 homes were damaged in the historic flood.

Cross explains that the media’s coverage of Baton Rouge, in general, tends to show Southerners as a “bunch of uneducated hicks,” which, especially in such a tragic time, is painful to see.

She has a few suggestions for journalists:

“What the media could do in the future, when covering any aspect of the South, would be to put their preconceived notions about it aside. To maybe not start with a hypothesis about what it’s like to live here, but instead, to meet the people who live here, and give them the benefit of the doubt, and then develop the hypothesis.

There are definitely racial issues ongoing in the South that need attention, I’m not saying ‘don’t talk about it,’ I’m just saying that we have come a long way and most Southerners are in good faith.”

Roughly 102,000 survivors have registered to receive federal aid for everything from home repairs to cleanup work. Thirteen people died during what’s now being called the “Great Flood.”

Cross says she has seen the most heartbreaking and heartwarming things in the past two weeks and her love for her city has only grown stronger.

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6 Reasons Liberals are Incapable of Governing

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This is from Town Hall.

 

 

When you think poor governance, you think liberalism. Barack Obama could fairly be called the worst President in history and one of his biggest competitors for that crown is Jimmy Carter, whose name primarily brings to mind the words “malaise,” “hostage crisis,” and “liberal peanut farmer.” Lyndon Johnson? Other than the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which more Republicans voted for percentage-wise than Democrats, his presidency was a complete disaster.

Some Democrats might point out John F. Kennedy’s time in the White House, but in all fairness, he’d probably have more in common with Republicans like Scott Brown or Chris Christie than he would with liberals today. Bill Clinton could fairly be called a liberal, but after the Republican Revolution of 1994 that came as a reaction to his liberalism, he was so chastened that he spent the last 6 years in the White House banging chicks and trying to fight off impeachment instead of pushing an agenda.

Of course, liberal incompetence isn’t just confined to the White House. Who botched the hurricane preparation for New Orleans so badly that tens of thousands of people were stuck in a city built inside of a geological soup bowl when Hurricane Katrina rolled in? Liberals. Who bankrupted Detroit? Liberals. Why are states like Illinois, Michigan, and California on track to default on their debts in the next few years? Liberals.

Why are liberals so bad at governing?

1) Their political alliances require a lot of corruption: If you boil the political pitch liberals make down to its essence, it’s basically, “Vote for us and we’ll give you ‘free’ stuff and let you do whatever you want.” Of course, somebody has to pay for all of the “free” stuff and as often as not, when you bend the law to let one person do whatever he wants, it gets done at someone else’s expense. You want special privileges for the unions? You have to screw businesses to make it happen. You want gay marriage? Well, then you’ll have to force Christians to violate their religious beliefs to get it. Want to give free contraception away? Then somebody has to pay for it and chances are, people think it’s a dumb idea. Liberals believe in deciding who wins and who loses in society based on political concerns, not merit, and it shows in the mediocrity of their performance.

2) Their close-mindedness keeps them from getting feedback: Liberals live inside a closed feedback loop. Conservative criticism of liberal policies is treated as wrong by default because those of us on the Right are supposedly awful, mean, racist people who hate poor people and puppies. Yet, liberals embrace tribalism to such an extent that they are only allowed to criticize each other for tactics or for not being liberal enough while support for liberal programs is as immutable as religious doctrine. There is no debate of significance on the Left about whether Obamacare is a good idea or whether the government can “afford” to spend more money on any new programs. Even the “moderate” liberals who talk tough about being pro-life or against gun control because they’re in a purple district will always cave on a liberal principle if they’re needed for a crucial vote. This is part of the reason you always hear so much talk about a “civil war” on the Right. Conservatives are open-minded enough to have ferocious, free-wheeling debates about the issues while the drones on the Left aren’t free thinkers.

3) They don’t care if their policies work: Liberalism was not, is not, and will never be about putting the best policies in place to help the most people. If liberals did care about results, they wouldn’t be liberals in the first place. To the contrary, liberalism is all about taking positions that make people feel good about themselves. If a policy bankrupts small businesses all across the country, but makes liberals feel compassionate, they view it as good policy. If a policy tramples over the rights of hundreds of millions of people, but makes liberals feel tolerant, they view it as good policy. If a policy mires tens of millions of people in poverty, but it makes liberals feel like they care, they view it as good policy. When you govern based on how policies make you feel, not whether they work or not, you’re nothing but an oblivious bull running through a china shop because the sound of all the breaking glass makes you happy.

4) Their strategy is centered around amassing government power: If people can take care of themselves, then they don’t need liberals telling them what to do “for their own good” and that just won’t do. So, liberals have embraced big government not because it’s effective at solving problems, but because it’s a good tool to use if you want to control people. Unfortunately for liberals, centralized control of a nation of over 300 million people can’t work. There are too many people, too many professions, and too much complexity for D.C. to handle. Put another way, if you put a genius at cooking in charge of making regulatory decisions for the banking or medical industry, she would be practically guaranteed to hopelessly screw it up because she wouldn’t have the specific knowledge needed to make good decisions. Oh, and guess what? Most politicians and bureaucrats aren’t “geniuses.” A lot of them aren’t that bright at all and many of the ones that are, have the inflated sense of self-esteem that comes from going to a good school and being told, “You’re smart,” your whole life without ever going out in the real world and testing yourself. “Big government” leads to “big disasters” and there was not, is not, nor will there ever be liberals smart enough to change that.

5) They don’t like America very much: Conservatives start with the assumption that America is a great nation that’s worth preserving. Liberals don’t share that assumption. Liberals are like a man that looks at his beautiful wife who took care of him, doted on him, and worshipped him for his whole adult life and thinks, “I bet that somewhere there’s a super model who’d do everything my wife does AND never ask me to take her out to dinner once in awhile. I want a divorce!” When you don’t love this country, when you don’t appreciate the INCREDIBLE economic prosperity and freedom we’ve had, when you feel no gratitude for all of the sacrifices that were made to get us to this point, how can you be trusted to govern?

6) They believe the ends justify the means: Liberals don’t care about rules unless the rules benefit them in some fashion. Of course, rules that are only rules when they benefit liberals are no rules at all. Why should you follow the law if illegals are allowed to break the law with impunity? Why shouldn’t you cheat on your taxes if a tax cheat like Tim Geithner can be Secretary of the Treasury? If Barack Obama can break the law any way he wants, just because he wants to do it, why shouldn’t YOU be able to break the law, too? What this erosion of respect for law and order leads to is a society based on legalism, where people only obey the letter of the law as long as they feel that they won’t get caught. Lies becomes routine, corruption becomes endemic, cover-ups become standard — in other words, the degeneracy of the Obama White House becomes the norm whenever liberals are in charge.

Third-World Detroit… A Glimpse of America’s Future

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This is from Joe For America.

This is America’s future beyond any doubt.

I pray we can reverse this course before this happens.

 

 

It seems the current occupant of the White House is determined to solidify his title as the “Worst President Ever”, as he is in the process of creating a crisis of mass proportions along the U.S. southern border. Throngs of illegal immigrants, most of whom are minors, are pouring over the border in search of the rainbows and unicorns that Barack Obama, Harry Reid and other demon spawn in Washington have promised. The reality that is greeting them however, involves being warehoused in cesspools of disease and hunger.  In fact, the situation has become so dire, that it is now being compared to Hurricane Katrina, and Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) worries that many children will lose their lives trying to get here.

As thousands flood our borders daily, seeking amnesty and free handouts, they need only look at a certain city within these United States to realize what liberal promises are worth. If you want to see a lib squirm, mention the word “Detroit.” Detroit was one of the most prosperous cities in the country in the 1950s, when America’s auto industry was at its prime, but fat cat union bosses killed the goose that laid the golden egg with their desire for handouts and special favors at the expense of the industry that kept the city alive.

Detroit’s economic collapse has resulted in bankruptcy to the tune of $18 billion, as jobs and taxpayers flee the area. Even impoverished Tijuana, Mexico, had a lower unemployment rate at the end of 2012, at 7.4%, than Detroit at 10.2%. Now, languishing in blight, bankruptcy, and despair, this once-great city is no longer of any interest to Obama or his fellow Democrats. After all, if they have the votes of Detroit’s population sewn up, and it’s been run by Democrats since 1962, why put forth the resources?

An article in Crain’s Detroit Business points out that, while politicians are busy hand-wringing over young illegals, the infant mortality rate in Detroit is higher than some third world countries, including Mexico. In fact, infant mortality is the leading cause of death for children in Detroit, with violence coming in second, but when jobs are scarce so is prenatal care. These children are American citizens, but they have no political capital to the “progressive” elites, the way foreign children seeking amnesty do. In addition, overall life expectancy in Detroit is the lowest of the top 25 most populous metropolitan areas. When there is no “hope”, longevity loses its luster anyway.

This is what happens when people become accustomed to suckling at the government teat. “Progressives” of both parties are nothing but dependency pushers, and they are no better than street corner heroin dealers. They serve their own purposes and they cherish the power that dependency provides.

The time is now for the pushback. The Eric Cantor dismissal was a good start. There has been speculation that his desire to reach an amnesty agreement with Obama is what did him in. There has been further speculation that any hope for an immigration deal this year leaves with him. Don’t count on it. The momentum is on the side of “We The People”, but now is NOT the time to retreat.

This country is teetering dangerously close to the point of no return. The flood of illegals at our borders may very well help Barack Obama “fundamentally transform” America into a place where every major city mirrors Detroit. The bitter irony is that the illegal immigrants now invading our country may soon discover that the great “promised land” they once dreamed about looks very much like the tattered mess they left behind.

For a great analysis on how Detroit went from being a beacon of industry to being brought to its knees, check out Ben Howe’s documentary, Bankrupt – How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit. Follow him on Twitter@BenHowe.

 

 
Read more at http://joeforamerica.com/2014/06/third-world-detroit-glimpse-americas-future/#GWadAU2UIGsivhBD.99

Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin found guilty of corruption

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This is from Fox News Politics.

I never thought Ray “School Bus”Nagin would be convicted.

It will be interesting to see how much time he gets.

 

A jury convicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Wednesday on 20 of 21 federal corruption counts, including bribery, marking a stunning fall for the feisty official who gained a national profile following Hurricane Katrina.

The 57-year-old Democrat, who led his city through the aftermath of the 2005 storm, was found guilty of charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office.

He will remain free on bond while he awaits sentencing. Each of the charges carries a sentence from three to 20 years, but how long he would serve was unclear and will depend on a pre-sentence investigation and various sentencing guidelines. No sentencing date was set.

Nagin sat quietly at the defense table after the verdict was read and his wife, Seletha, was being consoled in the front row. Before the verdict, he said outside the New Orleans courtroom: “I’ve been at peace with this for a long time. I’m good.”

Nagin, who left office in 2010 after eight years, was indicted in January 2013 on charges he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of local businessman Frank Fradella.

He also was charged with accepting thousands of dollars in in payoffs from another businessman, Rodney Williams, for his help in securing city contracts.

Nagin is best remembered for his impassioned pleas for help after levees broke during Hurricane Katrina, flooding much of New Orleans and plunging the city into chaos.

Nagin testified that key witnesses lied and prosecutors misinterpreted evidence including emails, checks and pages from his appointment calendar linking him to businessmen who said they bribed him.

The defense repeatedly said prosecutors overstated Nagin’s authority to approve contracts. His lawyer said there is no proof money and material given to the granite business owned by Nagin and his sons was tied to city business.

The charges against Nagin included one overarching conspiracy count along with six counts of bribery, nine counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy and four counts of filing false tax returns. He was acquitted of one of the bribery counts.

Each charges carries a sentence from 3 to 20 years, but how long he would serve was unclear and will depend on a pre-sentence investigation and various sentencing guidelines. No sentencing date was set.

Prosecutors say he took hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes including money, free travel and granite for Stone Age LLC, a family granite business.

They allege the corruption spanned the time before and after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.

The charges resulted from a City Hall corruption investigation that had resulted in several convictions or guilty pleas by former Nagin associates by the time trial started on Jan. 27.

Fradella and Williams, both awaiting sentencing for their roles in separate bribery schemes alleged in the case, each testified that they bribed Nagin.

Nagin’s former technology chief, Greg Meffert, who also is awaiting sentencing after a plea deal, told jurors he helped another businessman, Mark St. Pierre, bribe Nagin with lavish vacation trips. St. Pierre did not testify. He was convicted in the case in 2011.

Nagin said he did not to know his vacation trips to Jamaica and Hawaii were paid for by St. Pierre. He also said he wasn’t told that a family trip to New York was paid for by a movie theater owner who, prosecutors said, received help with a city tax issue after Katrina wiped out the theater.

 

 

Tales of the Red Tape #40: The USDA Rabbit Police

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This is from The Foundry.

The Federal Government is bloated and out of control.

We need a President that will be willing to eliminate

departments from this government monster.

 

Photo courtesy of Marty Hahne

Photo courtesy of Marty Hahne

 

There’s no good way to deliver this disturbing bit of news except to come right out with it: Marty the Magician and others in the business of pulling a rabbit from a hat are under strict orders from the federal government to develop a “contingency plan” for handling their critters in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

And, no, a recipe for Hasenpfeffer won’t suffice.

Said plan will be evaluated once a year, when enforcers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) make their annual unannounced bunny home inspections. Oh, and all magicians are required to carry a copy of the contingency plan at all times and make it available for inspection while in “travel status.” After all, animal owners might want to consult the rabbit-rescue protocol amid the chaos of saving their families from a deadly hurricane or tornado.

With the July 29 compliance deadline looming, the USDA recently sent Marty the Magician (aka Marty Hahne of Springfield, Missouri) an eight-page communiqué detailing requirements for the plan, which must:

  • Identify common emergencies most likely to occur,
  • Outline specific tasks required to be carried out in response to each of the identified emergencies,
  • Identify a chain of command and who (by name or by position title) will be responsible for fulfilling these tasks, and
  • Address how response and recovery will be handled in terms of materials, resources, and training needs.

All of which means that Marty must prepare for all the calamities that could possibly befall Casey the Rabbit while making the rounds of more than 150 performance venues he visits each year, including schools, libraries, churches, and homes.

The goal of the rule, according to the USDA, is to “increase the regulated community’s awareness and understanding about their responsibilities to protect their animals in emergency situations.” (That might seem reasonable enough only if one assumes that animal owners have absolutely no desire to protect their furry friends—or their investments.) But the agency also acknowledges that “many” animal handlers developed and implemented contingency plans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina—some seven years before the government issued its mandate.

Alas, this isn’t Marty’s first encounter with the bunny patrol. By law, magicians must be licensed by the federal government to use rabbits in their acts, as specified in Title 9, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Parts 1-4 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Marty’s first home inspection didn’t go so well. He was written up because Casey’s travel cage lacked stickers indicating “live animal” and the arrows pointing upward (in the event he’s tempted to carry the cage upside down). When questioning the enforcement action, Marty was warned that verbal abuse of an inspector carries a fine of $1,000 per incident.

One might be forgiven for thinking (hoping!) this hare-brained regulation is an anomaly. It isn’t. In reality, the bunny rule epitomizes the incessant expansion of government interference in our lives. In the Obama Administration’s first term alone, the cost of major regulations increased by$70 billion annually—and that’s just for 131 of the thousands of rules actually issued. If only they could disappear with the wave of a magic wand.

Posted in Enterprise and Free Markets [slideshow_deploy]

 

The Sheep of Watertown

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This is from American Thinker.

 The SS and Heinrich Himmler would be proud.

While I understand the need to search for criminals.

I do not understand violating The Fourth Amendment .

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Franklin’s Contributions to the Conference on February 17 (III) Fri, Feb 17, 1775

 

The events following the Boston bombing were instructive as to how far we have fallen as a free society.  After having failed at their most basic fiduciary responsibility of keeping the country safe (surely more to come on this in the future), the government aggressively flexed its authority over its subjects, the residents of Watertown, Massachusetts.  Juxtaposed with the recent national debate on more stringent gun laws, the future of Americanism is in question.

Most disturbing was to watch the nameless and faceless domestic paramilitary forces all “ninjaed up,” going house-to-house, conducting warrantless searches.  So much for the Constitution’s 4th Amendment protections.

Residents were aggressively forced from their homes at gunpoint, physically pushed from their properties, ordered to put their hands over their heads, and personally searched on the streets, while their homes were subject to search without consent.  The footage found here, as an example, should disturb any American in the alleged land of the free.

While an unusual event, Watertown isn’t the first taste of government-enforced thuggery in the name of law and order.  Reflect back to Hurricane Katrina.  As in the Boston bombing government failure, after failing at all levels of government to respond to the hurricane, the follow-up response to the devastation included disarming law-abiding citizens.

Law enforcement went door-to-door confiscating We the People’s means of self-protection, during a time when looting and robbery were prevalent.  As one of many examples, watch the video here of an elderly woman physically assaulted, tackled, and knocked to the floor in her own kitchen by what can only be described as thugs with badges, so that they could take her sole means of self-defense away.

It is hard to justify or condone the sudden transition of your fellow citizens — the local smile-and-wave, protect-and-serve police force — to the enthusiastic thuggery depicted in this type of video.

As Harry Reid admonished us in the recent gun rights debates, “I’ll vote for the [“assault weapons”] ban because maintaining the law and order is more important than satisfying conspiracy theories who [believe in] black helicopters and false flags.”

Perhaps Senator Reid and his Democrat cohorts didn’t observe the black armored personnel carriers on the streets of America, or the excessive magazine capacity in use by the domestic paramilitary.

Perhaps Senator Reid and his cohorts didn’t see that the domestic paramilitary possessed truly automatic assault weapons of war, which they pointed at We the People as they went door-to-door during these forced evictions and searches.  Perhaps the number of rounds fired well beyond the 10-round magazine capacity determined to be enough by Senator Feinstein during the shootout with the bad guys didn’t register with these progressive senators.

Massachusetts in general and the Boston area in particular are subject to some of the most stringent gun control laws in our country.  We have learned that these two domestic criminals (not enemy combatant-terrorists, according the Obama administration) were illegally in possession of the weapons they used during the shootout, not to mention the bombs they detonated.

While I am sure that this “common sense” is a bit confusing to the likes of Senator Pat Toomey (RINO-PA), criminals, by definition, don’t follow the rules.  Also, as a future tip for Senator Toomey, when you find yourself at odds with your supporters, separated from your own political party, and on the same side of gun control legislation as the Democrats (the recently failed Toomey-Manchin gun control bill), use that as a red flag going forward.

 

The quick and easy transition from citizen to sheep in Watertown was breathtaking.  Shelter-in-place was the order from the government minders.  Obediently, this major metropolitan area submitted.

Unfortunately, the relative ease of closure and disruption of a major metropolitan area was likely not missed by those who may wish in the future to spread terror among us.

Massachusetts has one of the lowest rates of gun ownership in the nation.  What went through the minds of the sheep while sheltering in place as the wolf prowled around their doors?

How emasculating it must feel to be a husband or father whose only response to grave danger to yourself, your wife, and your family is to cower in your home, door locked, awaiting the wolf to prey upon your family, with the shepherd your only hope of salvation.

With the backdrop of Boston as the location of so many of the American Revolution’s historic events that gave rise to the ideals of Americanism, it is disturbing to see how easily and quickly the government took control over an acquiescent We the People.

How can the government manage us and protect us if we won’t submit?  What have we already traded, and what will we trade in the future for a false sense of safety…the American birthright of freedom and liberty our founders fought and died to secure?

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/the_sheep_of_watertown.html#ixzz2Rd44bPZ5
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Are We Serfs?

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This is from Jan Morgan Media.

My response is “HELL No We are not Serfs!

We bow to No One “Except The God Of Abraham,Jacob and Issac.”

We are free Americans by the Grace of God.

These Communist DemocRats better understand this fact.

Dianne Feinstein, pursuant to her communist ideas, has proposed legislation to ban “assault weapons”.
The list of guns that you and I would not be allowed to own, if this legislation is passed, is lengthy.
It would immediately make many of us criminals. Though many of our legislators have publicly stated that the chances of this passing are slim, what happens if it does pass? How will the government enforce it? Will government agents start knocking on doors and confiscating our guns by force?

You may laugh at the thought of it but watch the videos of the gun grab that happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. If you don’t think it can happen in America, think again.

As if that is not enough, Senator Feinstein added more fuel to the fire. She has written exemptions into the legislation that would make it okay for those who protect – wait for it – LEGISLATORS, to carry these same outlawed weapons. If you are a member of her security team you will be allowed to own weapons she does NOT want regular Americans to own. She is to be protected, you are to be left in the cold.

Before America, before people had the land of milk and honey to escape to, there were two classes of people. The rich and the serfs. The rich owned everything, including the poor slobs who worked their land, and the serfs had no hope of climbing out of their poverty. They lived and died according to the whims of the elite. That changed in America. We created the middle class. We provided an environment where all men were equal. We eliminated serfdom. Dianne Feinstein would bring it back.

How dare this hideous woman, or any progressive, think they can pass laws that hurt those of us who are the foundation of America. How dare they place themselves above the rest of us. It has become clear to me that those who rise to position in government are convinced they are smarter than the rest of us and that we need them to nanny us for our own protection. How many of you believe you are too stupid to make your own decisions? How many of you would have the hubris to impose your will or ideals on others? How many of you will sit quietly by while these elitists strip away our rights and return us to serfdom?

I hope you’re good and angry. I know I am. I will not be a serf, subject to the whims of would be elites. If this gun grabbing legislation passes I will become a criminal in the eyes of the law. But legislators are just people too, not infallible, and not all laws are just. I am not a serf, and I will fight to my last breath to keep it that way.

Read more: http://janmorganmedia.com/2013/01/are-we-serfs/#ixzz2Jr0axYUN

The Need for Semi-Automatic “Assault” Weapons

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This is from Town Hall.

The first time Conservative’s need to stop using assault weapons.

Assault Weapons is a made up Liberal term to scare the sheeple.

We need semiautomatic weapons not assault weapons.

 

By now, we’ve heard the argument about semi-automatic “assault” rifles: nobody needs one. We’ve heard the only reason why someone would obtain this kind of weapon is so they can kill people, which is far from the truth. We’ve also heard the argument from both the Left and the Right that a pistol is how someone protects their home.

“I really don’t know why people need assault weapons. I’m not a hunter but I understand people who want to hunt,” Republican Rep. Peter King said on Morning Joe earlier this week. “I understand people who live in rough neighborhoods or have a small business and want to maintain a pistol to protect themselves as long as they’re properly vetted and licensed. But an assault weapon? ”

While the use of pistols in the home are helpful, they’re not the best weapons to use when it comes to protecting property. This is why people need a semi-automatic rifle which yes, can come in the form of an AR-15.

Let’s go back in history for a moment. While everyday life in America compared to the rest of the world is pretty darn easy and relatively safe, the reality is things can change overnight, regardless of whether you live in a decent neighborhood. Take for example the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when business owners were forced to defend their property from angry mobs causing severe chaos: $1 billion in property damage, 50 dead, 4,000 injured, 3,000 fires set and 1,100 buildings damaged. In this case, a handheld pistol was in no way sufficient, but semi-automatic rifles were.

Business owners in LA’s Koreatown knew what was coming their way, so they armed themselves with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles in order to defend their property. They stood on their rooftops as they watched black smoke pour down the street. The cops weren’t there to help them.

“One of our security guards was killed,” Kee Whan Ha told NPR in April 2012, 20 years after the riots took place. “I didn’t see any police patrol car whatsoever. It’s a wide open area. It was like the Wild West in the old days, there was nothing there, we were the only ones left.”

Business owner Richard Rhee felt the same way and told the Los Angeles Times, “Burn this down after 33 years?… They don’t know how hard I’ve worked. This is my market and I’m going to protect it.”

“Assault weapons” saved Koreatown and it’s fair to say the people holding them saved the lives of many that day.

Then of course, there was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans became a place of complete anarchy in a matter of hours. In addition to property owners being forced to stave off mobs of people roaming for food, water and shelter to survive as the government failed to provide emergency services, they had to protect themselves against dangerous looters. But not only were New Orleans residents forced to defend themselves against immediate threats to their person and property, residents also had to protect themselves from the government.

As the water started to recede, leaving New Orleans a chaotic wasteland, police officers began going door to door confiscating weapons. Who did they take them from? Mostly poor black residents in New Orleans’ 9th Ward.

The New York Times reported in September 2005, “No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms.” The paper pointed out that rich residents and business were allowed to hire hundreds of security guards with firearms to protect them. Sadly, the poor in New Orleans didn’t have the same luxury.

Superintendent of police at the time P. Edwin Compass III said, “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”

What happened days before weapons confiscation was tyranny of the worst kind. Henry Glover, a 31-year-old black man was shot and killed by New Orlean’s police officers. They also burned his body.

A New Orleans police officer was laughing after he burned the body of a man who had been gunned down by police in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, a fellow officer testified Thursday.

The testimony came during the trial of officer Greg McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, who are charged with burning the body of 31-year-old Henry Glover in a car after he was shot and killed by a different officer outside a strip mall on Sept. 2, 2005. Three other current and former officers also are charged in Glover’s death.

A former officer, David Warren, is charged with shooting Glover. Prosecutors say Glover wasn’t armed and didn’t pose a threat to Warren.

Scheuermann and McRae are accused of beating people who drove Glover to a makeshift police headquarters in search of help. The three men were handcuffed when the officers drove off with the car containing Glover’s body.

Former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe are accused of falsifying a report to make it appear Glover’s shooting was justified.

When politicians and gun grabbers tell us we “don’t need” semi-automatic, “assault,” or “military style” weapons, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

 

George H.W. Bush Fighting Fever in ICU

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This is from ABC News.

No matter you political views please say a prayer for George H.W.Bush.

I know the helpless feeling of having a loved one in ICU.

George H.W. Bush Fighting Fever in ICU (ABC News)

 

Former President George H.W. Bush continues to fight a stubborn fever in the intensive care unit atHouston Methodist Hospital.

“Following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever, President Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital on Sunday where he remains in guarded condition,” Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath revealed in a prepared statement. “Doctors at Methodist continue to be cautiously optimistic about the current course of treatment. The president is alert and conversing with medical staff, and is surrounded by family.”

McGrath earlier told ABC affiliate KTRK that the former president was awake and joking with doctors, but had yet to respond to medication designed to reduce the fever.

Bush, 88, has been in the intensive care unit in Houston’s Methodist Hospital since Sunday, and hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he was brought to the hospital with a bronchitis-like cough. A hospital statement released on Dec. 13 predicted the former president would be discharged before Christmas.

Hospital Media spokesman David Bricker told ABC News that Houston Methodist Hospital will be releasing an updated statement on Bush’s condition, but could not provide a timeline for the release and added that such information would be revealed when doctors felt it was appropriate and in accordance with the wishes of the Bush family.

READ: President George H.W. Bush on Life and Lasting Friendships

President Obama reportedly was being updated on Bush’s condition but hadn’t spoken directly with the Bush family.

A young Navy fighter pilot during WWII and former CIA director, Bush developed a warm relationship with his successor, Bill Clinton, teaming up to raise money for Asian tsunami victims in 2004 and then again in 2005 for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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Obama Lied to Victim of Sandy to Win Votes

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This is from Godfather Politics.

The victims of Sandy have learned a hard lesson.

They have learned Obama’s promises are as empty as his suit.

Like all socialist Obama has the ability to con people with his words.

Obama makes people think he cares when he does not care.

A little over a week before the Nov 6 election, Hurricane Sandy roared up the east coast and did its best to destroy several states.  The nation watched as over 6 million people were left without power or water.  A month later, some people are still without power.  Thousands of homes and businesses were totally or partially destroyed by the super storm.

The costs of damages from Hurricane Sandy exceed those of Hurricane KatrinaNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie places his state’s costs so far at $29.4 billion and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says his state’s costs have already reached $30 billion.  Both governors are asking the federal government for federal disaster aid.

On Oct. 31, only 6 days before the election, President Barack Obama toured some of the storm damaged areas in New Jersey.  He spoke to a number of residents who were hit hard by the storm.  He seemed genuinely compassionate when he hugged Donna Vanzant and promised her that she would be helped.  She operated the North Point Marina which was completely destroyed by Sandy.

Camera’s clicked away as Obama put his arms around a teary Vanzant and tried to comfort her.  A photo of the emotional embrace was posted on the White House website, showing what a caring and concerning person Obama was.

But it was all a lie and Vanzant’s encounter with the President was nothing but a pre-election photo op and nothing more.  Even a month after Obama instructed FEMA to help her, she has received absolutely no help.  Worse yet is that her insurance company told her that nothing is covered because the water that caused the damage came up and not down.  Donna is upset, distraught and feels lied to.

Fox and Friends interviewed Donna Vanzant and here is what she said:

“I was very excited and felt warm by the embrace thinking this is really going to happen. I’m going to get the help I need because he promised that. I’ve gotten no help. I’ve gotten nothing but ‘No, you’re not covered for this. No, you’re not covered for that.’”

Donna Vanzant experienced the same lie and false concern as did the parents of two of the victims of the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.  When the bodies of the four Americans arrived back in the United States, Obama embraced Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith and she cried on his shoulder as he promised to inform her on how her son died.  Over a month later, much like Donna Vanzant, Pat Smith had heard nothing and couldn’t even get anyone from the White House, State Department or Pentagon to even talk to her.

Anyone who can repeatedly lie to the face of someone experiencing the grief of losing a son or their entire business is nothing but a callous and heartless charlatan.  Folks, this is the real Barack Obama who doesn’t give a damn about you, me or anyone in America except himself and his buddies.

Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/8312/obama-lied-to-victim-of-sandy-to-win-votes/#ixzz2DeDOJAv9

 

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