Sunday, November 22, 2009

Government's eminent domain failure

Judge Souter's gift keeps on giving. Kelo was the Supreme Court at its worst.
When will they learn?
New London (AP) - Weeds, glass, bricks, pieces of pipe and shingle splinters have replaced the knot of aging homes at the site of the nation's most notorious eminent domain project.

There are a few signs of life: Feral cats glare at visitors from a miniature jungle of Queen Anne's lace, thistle and goldenrod. Gulls swoop between the lot's towering trees and the adjacent sewage treatment plant.

But what of the promised building boom that was supposed to come wrapped and ribboned with up to 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues? They are noticeably missing.

Proponents of the ambitious plan blame the sour economy. Opponents call it a "poetic justice."

"They are getting what they deserve. They are going to get nothing," said Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in the landmark property rights case. "I don't think this is what the United States Supreme Court justices had in mind when they made this decision."

Kelo's iconic pink home sat for more than a century on that currently empty lot, just steps away from Connecticut's quaint but economically distressed Long Island Sound waterfront. Shortly after she moved in, in 1997, her house became ground zero in the nation's best-known land rights catfight.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Contractor: New Zumix building project to be completed this month

ZUMIX project near completion

WOBURN, EAST BOSTON, MA, ISSUED NOVEMBER 20, 2009…Landmark Structures Corporation, a leading full service General Contractor/Construction Management Company since 1993, anticipates a November completion date for a joint venture renovation project between ZUMIX and the East Boston Community Development Corporation.

Landmark Structures has served as General Contractor for the estimated $2 million project that encompasses the renovation of a 9,000 square foot former firehouse at 260 Sumner Street in East Boston into the new home of ZUMIX, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to building community through music and the arts.

ZUMIX and the East Boston Community Development Corporation, in a joint venture, purchased the former fire house from the City of Boston. More
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

21st Century Schziod Man -- The Ian Wallace Run

WOW! The late Ian Wallace with Marc Bonilla on guitar rendering magnificently an "uncanny" classic.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CIvil liberties under Obama; A word to the wise

How can this be under the poseur Obama?

In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.

The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Web site "not to disclose the existence of this request" unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization.

Kristina Clair, a 34-year old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department's subpoena. (The Independent Media Center is a left-of-center amalgamation of journalists and advocates that – according to their principles of unity and mission statement – work toward "promoting social and economic justice" and "social change.")

The subpoena (PDF) from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded "all IP traffic to and from" on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to "include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information," including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers' Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.

"I didn't think anything we were doing was worthy of any (federal) attention," Clair said in a telephone interview with on Monday. After talking to other Indymedia volunteers, Clair ended up calling the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which represented her at no cost.

Who's watching Eric Holder?

Monday, November 09, 2009

A little history lesson: the victims of Communism

Masters of the Universe; Too big to fail

This is a joke right?
With Goldman taking a daily beating in the PR department for everything from its runaway profits to "Government Sachs" conspiracies to swine flu vaccines, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein decided to give his side of the firm's story in a lengthy interview with The Sunday Times of London.

But some things are probably better left unsaid, most notably Blankfein's declaration that Goldman is "doing God's work."

It's an unfortunate phrase on many levels. What Blankfein was trying to say is Goldman serves a "social purpose," as The Sunday Times reported he also did say. "We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital," Blankfein said. "Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It's a virtuous cycle."

There is an element of truth to that statement but it shows a level of tone-deafness that's surprising, even coming from a Wall Street CEO. As Henry and I discuss in the accompanying video, there are concrete steps Goldman could take to refurbish its image, which is going to take another hit in the court of public opinion.

Given the ongoing outrage about Goldman's bonuses - estimated to exceed $20 billion for 2009 - a year after the company was rescued by the U.S. government (whether they admit it or not) - Goldman's supporters are probably wishing Blankfein had chosen to speak softly and carry a big checkbook.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I disagree

Macca's hard on himself and the Beatles. As a songwriting duo I have yet to find any better than Lennon and McCartney.

Monday, November 02, 2009

A little wisdom from the Angry Economist

Collectivism sucks.
Really it does. Fear the smart set; they think they never make mistakes.