Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bachmann says U.S., rich in unused energy resources, being hobbled by 'radical environmentalists'.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / August 27, 2011

Michele Bachmann Environmentalists Energy
AP/The Huffington Post First Posted: 8/27/11 01:25 PM ET Updated: 8/27/11 06:43 PM ET
(AP/The Huffington Post) POINCIANA, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann claims the U.S. has more energy resources than any other country but isn't exploiting them because of "radical environmentalists."

Bachmann said with shale oil, natural gas and coal, the United States shouldn't be "begging" others for oil and energy supplies.

She said, "We are the king daddy dogs when it comes to energy," but that environmentalists are preventing resources from being tapped.

With untapped oil reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the nation's coasts, shale oil in Western states, and rich natural gas and coal deposits, she said the U.S. "is sitting on a mother lode of treasure."

As president, Bachmann said she would unlock those resources and eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The radical environmentalists have demanded that we lock up all our energy resources," she added. "President Bachmann will take that key out of the door. I will unlock it."

The Saturday crowd at an up-scale retirement community in central Florida cheered wildly.

And Bachmann got a similar reception when she promised to eliminate the "job killing" Environmental Protection Agency, saying that she would close the agency down in a single trip. "We will turn out the lights and we'll lock the doors," she said.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

American small towns are being converted into Islamic welfare enclaves.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster /  August 24, 2011


Newly arrived Somali immigrants flock to small towns and cities such as Lewiston, Maine; Shelbyville, Tennessee, St. Cloud, Minnesota, Clarkston, Georgia, and Jamestown, North Dakota, where they head straight for the local welfare office.


The Jamestown Sun reports that 400 Somalis have applied for public housing in the past four months. The Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kansas and nearby small towns have created the Somali Community Center of Southwest Kansas in order to tap into public welfare programs. Within this section of the heartland, white Christians have become the minority.

In East San Diego, the newly arrived Somalis have created a Little Mogadishu. The streets are lined with Somali stores, shops, and mosques. In the midst of this ethnic enclave stands the Iftin Charter School, where K-8 students are introduced to Arabic. 99% of the student population is Somali; Arabs constitute the remaining 1%.

The American Somalis now display the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the country. They also remain the least educated. According to Andrew Liepman, the deputy director of intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center, Somali-Americans face “greater insularity compared to other, more integrated Muslim immigrant communities, [which] has aggravated the challenge of assimilation for their children.”

This problem is crystallized by the present situation is Lewiston, Maine, where African Muslims, many from the Bantu tribe, began arriving in 2001 at the rate of 100 a month.
Mohammed Maye, the president of the African Community and Refugee Center in Clarkston, Georgia posted a map of Lewiston on the wall of his office. “Go to Maine,” he advised the Somali immigrants. Abdullahi Abdullahi, the president of the Somali Community Development Organization in Clarkston, upheld this advice by telling his fellow countrymen that, unlike Georgia, Maine has terribly cold winters, but “the welfare system is better.”
Lewiston, indeed, was better. The small town in Maine with a population of 30,000 provided welfare to anyone in need, with the state picking up half the tab. Recipients, including the Muslim refugees, were allowed a generous five years of assistance before their benefits became terminated, and extensions for several additional years on the public dole were not difficult to obtain. Single parents could stay on welfare and go to college.
Public housing was also available, although, with the influx of Somalis, the housing projects became packed to capacity. Many of the new project dwellers were single Somali mothers with large broods of children. Those who are unable to obtain public housing were handed Section 8 vouchers, which the federal government provided to subsidize their rent in private apartments. The northern city with its frigid climate became welfare heaven for the arrivals from the vast desert areas of northern Africa.
The newcomers have shown scant interest in securing employment. When Renee Bernier, the president of the Lewiston city council, offered to hire 30 Somalis at the rate of $8 to $10 an hour to hold warning signs at construction sites, few displayed interest. The handful, who did apply, said that they were only willing to work between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Somali population of Lewiston now exceeds 40,000.  H/T MICHAEL

Four NC Democrats named "Most Vulnerable" (no -- not "Most Valuable") by 'The Hill'

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / August 24, 2011

The result of record deficits haunts incumbent Democrats
North Carolina Republican PartyRALEIGH, NC – Four members of the North Carolina Democratic Congressional Delegation have been named “most vulnerable” by The Hill, a non-partisan Washington, D.C. publication.

Rep. Larry Kissell took home the top prize of “Most Vulnerable Democrat”, followed by “#4 Most Vulnerable Democrat” Rep. Heath Shuler, and “Honorable Mentions” Rep. David Price and Rep. Mike McIntyre.

These four were members of the 111th Democrat-controlled Congress that helped pile a whopping $4 Trillion on to our national debt in just 2.5 years under the leadership of President Obama.

It is also notable that the 111th congress failed to pass a congressional budget to determine government spending, one of the core responsibilities that they are supposed to perform.

NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes had this to say:It is interesting to note that there is 1 “vulnerable Democrat” for every $1 Trillion added to the debt under President Obama.

"The fiscal irresponsibility of these four and their Democratic colleagues led to a jump in unemployment to unacceptable levels both nationally (9.1%) and in our state (10.1%).

"The people of North Carolina want responsibility and leadership restored in Washington, D.C., and that happens by replacing these members of Congress next November.”

Paid for by the North Carolina Republican Party

Here's the nitty and the gritty on Golden LEAF, a scandal-ridden political slush fund still running wild in NC.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster 

Want to get really sick and disgusted? Inside information on the swindle known as the Golden LEAF Foundation should do the trick. Sketchy bookkeeping and backdoor deals have been rampant.

Carolina Journal News Reports / August 23, 2011

Golden LEAF has operated often as a political slush fund. 

Along with the Tobacco Trust Fund and the Health and Wellness Trust Fund, these operations distribute North Carolina's share of the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies.

As much as $2.6 billion in unaccountable spending is involved. Check here for updates on the boondoggles these funds underwrite, along with legal and legislative attempts to rein in the spending.

(4.28.11) House Budget Proposal Redirects Tobacco Settlement Funds
RALEIGH — Under the GOP House budget plan, the Golden LEAF foundation would lose its $68-million allocation next year, and the Tobacco Trust Fund and the Health and Wellness Trust Fund would be abolished.

(2.04.11) General Assembly Can Dissolve Golden LEAF, Other Tobacco Funds
RALEIGH — In recent years, defenders of the funds receiving money under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies have said the funds could not be transferred or diverted to the state’s General Fund because the use of the funds was directed by court order.

(2.02.11) Senate Committee Guts Golden LEAF’s 2011 Allotment
RALEIGH — For years, Republicans and limited government advocates have criticized Golden LEAF as a political slush fund, but Democrats at the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee hearing defended it as a job-creator.

(12.09.10) Perdue Targets Boards and Commissions
RALEIGH — Appointments to boards and commissions traditionally have been considered a major element of political patronage. Perdue is seeking to eliminate dozens of boards to which Republicans are poised to make significant appointments.

(8.09.10) Golden LEAF Funds Yacht Slips, iPod Touches
RALEIGH — Others grants include funds for renovating a vacant structure in Winston-Salem to house a “green business incubator” and an initiative to encourage consumers to spend at least 10 percent of their grocery budgets on locally grown foods.

(8.02.10) Tobacco Trust Funds Footbridge to Nowhere
RALEIGH — The state-run trust fund was meant to assist North Carolina farmers, farm workers, and related businesses displaced by tobacco’s declining fortunes. It handed out a record number of grants this year.

(11.23.09) Golden LEAF Retains Close Ties to Easley
RALEIGH — As federal prosecutors investigate alleged campaign finance violations and other suspected wrongdoing by embattled former Gov. Mike Easley, his law partners and other associates continue to play key roles in the management of the Golden LEAF Foundation, which distributes half of the state’s tobacco settlement money.

(7.17.08) A Lab, A Grant & A Bad Odor
Doing a sales job on a biodefense lab in Granville County hardly qualifies as legitimate expenditure of Golden LEAF funds.

(5.28.08) The Global TransPark’s New LEAF
To the extent they hear the details, most North Carolinians will be angered, not appeased, by the latest TransPark/Golden LEAF deal.

(11.03.06) Nip Venture-Capital Idea in the Bud
Here’s such a bad idea that the right response, as Deputy Barney Fife might put it, is to “nip it in the bud.”

(8.17.05) Teapot Museum Creates Tempest
RALEIGH — A proposed Alleghany County museum that would display 6,000 teapots worth more than $5 million has become the poster child for pork barrel spending in the recently passed state budget. A $400,000 earmark for the Sparta Teapot Museum was frequently mocked in the media in the past week, and by Republicans in the legislative minority. But Rep. Jim Harrell III, an Elkin Democrat who sought the funding in the state budget, said the museum's critics don't know enough about the project to evaluate its worth.

(1.10.05) Golden LEAF Defends Funding
RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley and members of the General Assembly will again have to tangle with a large state budget gap when they return to work later this month, and millions of dollars from North Carolina's share of the national tobacco settlement will likely help close it. Policymakers took a combined $240 million from the Tobacco Trust Fund and Health & Wellness Trust Fund in 2002 and 2003. But they have failed to touch the foundation that they designated to receive the other half of the state's tobacco settlement money: the Golden LEAF Foundation, which will seek to protect its funding again in 2005.

(12.20.04) No to Horse Parks, Yes to Tourism
RALEIGH — The Golden LEAF Foundation stopped funding equestrian parks this year, at least temporarily, but instead it found several other tourism-related projects in North Carolina worthy of support in its annual round of grants. The foundation’s board determined that more than $1.5 million should assist community plans to develop local tourist attractions. It funded several off-the-beaten-path projects, including $135,000 to aid Jackson County in “the transformation of the closed…landfill into a regional center for the growth of the arts and crafts community, the local agriculture and native botanical industry, and heritage tourism based on the region’s long history of craft excellence.”

(8.13.04) Golden LEAF Rides New Horse
RALEIGH – After funding the Carolina Horse Park Foundation for three consecutive years, Golden LEAF has found another equestrian organization to support. The Piedmont Equestrian Park and Conference Center, based in Gaston County, is a nonprofit organization that was set up by the county and city to help attract economic development. The slow development of the project has made local officials apprehensive. "Guess who’s going to get accused or squandering this money if this thing flops?" asked one county commissioner. "Everybody on this board."

(5.03.04) This is Not a Parody
It's a story about subsidized entities asking for more subsidies for a profitable industry that's moving North Carolina business out of state. And it's true -- really.

(2.22.04) Separate but Equal -- On Economic Development
The February cover story of Carolina Journal provided evidence of a conflict between economic-development policy and the NC constitution.

(2.13.04) Auditor Reports on Nonprofit Funding
RALEIGH — The State Auditor’s Office has delivered to the General Assembly and the Easley administration a new report detailing grants to nonprofit organizations by state agencies last year. The annual report catalogues all grants made by state agencies to nonprofits such as Smart Start partnerships, economic development groups, and community service agencies. Legislators last year set a deadline of Jan. 31 for compiling the report as part of an effort to increase oversight of nonprofit agencies. Most of the nonprofits met the reporting requirements in time, but a few did not.

(12.23.03) Golden LEAF lists 2003 grants
RALEIGH — The Golden LEAF Foundation awarded $300,000 each to Columbus County and the Town of Windsor for infrastructure improvements at two new state prisons. The nonprofit foundation, established by the General Assembly to distribute half of the state’s portion of the 1998 tobacco settlement, also decided in 2003 to fund a Southern-Pines-based horse park for the third year in a row. The Carolina Horse Park Foundation began in March 1998 primarily as a nature conservancy group to prevent land development, and changed its name twice as it transitioned into an equestrian events support organization.

(8.08.03) Another Round of Promises & Pork
North Carolinians have also had more than their share of false promises and costly political boondoggles. And now it's happening again, with biotechnology.

(2.12.03) Businessman Sues Group Affiliated with Golden LEAF
Don Carrington breaks a story about a businessman who has sought to build an ethanol plant in North Carolina for more than 20 years and is suing a consortium of interests including the North Carolina Grain Growers’ Cooperative, which is heavily financed by Golden LEAF.

(12.20.02) Golden Leaf Official’s Business, Brother Linked to $10 Million Grant
Don Carrington reports that two brothers, one the chairman of Golden LEAF and the other a director of a grain growers cooperative, own businesses associated with a $10 million foundation grant to build a soybean-processing facility and a related biodiesel fuel plant.

(10.30.02) Easley, Basnight Manipulate Golden LEAF, Papers Show
The Golden LEAF Foundation, which administers half of North Carolina’s share of the national tobacco settlement, claims to operate independent of political persuasion. But documents obtained by Carolina Journal suggest that Gov. Mike Easley and N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight wield significant influence over the nonprofit foundation, reports Paul Chesser.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Social Degeneration -- a refreshing and courageous essay on race in America

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / August 23, 2011


08-16-2011 7:35 pm  Thomas Sowell -

Someone at long last has had the courage to tell the plain, honest truth about race.

After mobs of young blacks rampaged through Philadelphia committing violence -- as similar mobs have rampaged through Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee and other places -- Philadelphia's black mayor, Michael A. Nutter, ordered a police crackdown and lashed out at the whole lifestyle of those who did such things.

"Pull up your pants and buy a belt 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt," he said. "If you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy," the mayor said. He added: "You have damaged your own race."

While this might seem like it is just plain common sense, what Mayor Nutter said undermines a whole vision of the world that has brought fame, fortune and power to race hustlers in politics, the media and academia. Any racial disparities in hiring can only be due to racism and discrimination, according to the prevailing vision, which reaches from street corner demagogues to the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Just to identify the rioters and looters as black is a radical departure, when mayors, police chiefs and the media in other cities report on these outbreaks of violence without mentioning the race of those who are doing these things. The Chicago Tribune even made excuses for failing to mention race when reporting on violent attacks by blacks on whites in Chicago.

Such excuses might make sense if the same politicians and media talking heads were not constantly mentioning race when denouncing the fact that a disproportionate number of young black men are being sent to prison.

The prevailing social dogma is that disparities in outcomes between races can only be due to disparities in how these races are treated. In other words, there cannot possibly be any differences in behavior.

But if black and white Americans had exactly the same behavior patterns, they would be the only two groups on this planet that are the same.

The Chinese minority in Malaysia has long been more successful and more prosperous than the Malay majority, just as the Indians in Fiji have long been more successful and more prosperous than the indigenous Fijians. At various places and times throughout history, the same could be said of the Armenians in Turkey, the Lebanese in Sierra Leone, the Parsees in India, the Japanese in Brazil, and numerous others.

There are similar disparities within particular racial or ethnic groups. Even this late in history, I have had northern Italians explain to me why they are not like southern Italians. In Australia, Jewish leaders in both Sydney and Melbourne went to great lengths to tell me why and how the Jews are different in these two cities.

In the United States, despite the higher poverty level among blacks than among whites, the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994. The disparities within the black community are huge, both in behavior and in outcomes.

Nevertheless, the dogma persists that differences between groups can only be due to the way others treat them or to differences in the way others perceive them in "stereotypes."

All around the country, people in politics and the media have been tip-toeing around the fact that violent attacks by blacks on whites in public places are racially motivated, even when the attackers themselves use anti-white invective and mock the victims they leave lying on the streets bleeding.

This is not something to ignore or excuse. It is something to be stopped. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia seems to be the first to openly recognize this.

This needs to be done for the sake of both black and white Americans -- and even for the sake of the hoodlums. They have set out on a path that leads only downward for themselves.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

©Creators Syndicate