Clowns To The Left, Jokers To The Right, Here We Are: Just Plain Stuck.

The town of Satellite Beach, Florida has about 10,000 residents and sits right on the Atlantic Ocean. Located just south of Patrick Air Force Base and the Kennedy Space Center, it is, for the most part, a nice town until you start to delve into the politics of the city a bit. We have written about the City Council several times in the past, and those writings should give readers a feeling of what can happen when a down is divided politically.

None of the previous examples prepared us for the recent spout of lunacy.

First, let us introduce you to the City Council and the “players” in this incident:

Starting on the left (A) is Fire Chief Don Hughes.

Behind Chief Hughes and barely visible (B), is Chief of police Jeff Pearson.

Sitting on the dais, left to right is (C) City Manager Mike Crotty, (D) City Attorney Jim Beadle, (E) Councilman Lloyd French, (F) Councilman Greg Billman, (G) Mayor Joseph Ferrante, (H) Vice Mayor Scott Rhodes and finally, (I) Councilwoman Sheryl Denan.

Not pictured is citizen volunteer Bill Speigelhalter whose involvement in this issue wil be made clear not by the City Council, but by Speigelhalter himself.

In a City Council meeting of May 16, 2012, and as seen in a clip below, Vice Mayor Rhodes asks about the use of a “Citizen on Patrol” vehicle. (Please, no snickers concerning “Citizens on Patrol.”) He says he was forwarded a picture by a city resident showing the COP car being used to pick something up from a local WalMart and the person driving appeared not to have been on official business.

During the discussion, and you can listen for yourself, Chief of Police Jeff Pearson and Councilman Lloyd French say they have seen the photo too.

As audience members (also known as citizens of Satellite Beach) listened, several things were learned. First, the COP car is often used by the city to send city volunteers on errands that pertain to city business. Doing this is cheaper than dispatching a city paid employee using a city car to make the supply run. Secondly, when the car is being used by a volunteer, the volunteer should be in some sort of city “uniform” which designates them as a city volunteer.

As the discussion wound down, what was clear was making trips in the COP car without proper attire reflects badly on a city that is hurting for money and that all volunteers would be reminded of the uniform policy. No blame assessed – no recriminations – just “this may be a problem, let’s fix it and move on.”

End of story, right?

Not so fast.

Check Please!

Our home state of Maryland is at it again. This time there is a new shot being fired across the bow of the state legislature and the Maryland Courts.

At issue are some rulings by the Court which have caught the ire of the legislature.

The most recent instance involved the Maryland Court of Appeals making new law by declaring in the case of Tracey v Solesky the mere act of owning a pit bull is a prima facie case for negligence if the pit bull attacks someone. In essence, the Court disregarded the actual law on animal bites and attacks, and simply made a new law.

In another case, the Court stuck down a law which created economic caps on awards for lead paint containment if the owner of the property had done that which the law required him to do. The end result is that for the property owner, following the law is no safe haven from lawsuits and huge damages.

Now, according to the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland legislature is getting fed up with passing laws, and then having the Court of Appeals write its own laws which are contrary to those written by the legislature.

And this is where the true idiocy of the whole mess comes to the forefront.

This is what one Delegate to the Maryland Legislature had to say about the courts and the legislature:

This court definitely is revealing that it has some very strong views about shaping Maryland law, and to that extent, some people will criticize [the judges] as being activist,” said Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. The “court will defend itself by saying it’s moving the law of Maryland incrementally forward. It all has to do with where you stand.”

This is an amazing statement. The Court has no business “shaping Maryland law,” “moving the law of Maryland incrementally forward,” or being “activists.” The Maryland Constitution is basically the same as that of the US Constitution with regards to the scope of the actions of the Maryland Courts.

Therefore whether you agree or disagree with the Court saying a pit bull is dangerous is not the issue. The issue is the Court had no legal or Constitutional right to make such belief part of the laws of the state of Maryland.

In doing so, the Court overstepped Constitutional checks and balances.

A spokesperson for the Court exemplifies the problem:

UPDATE: Aaron Worthing / Walker Arrested In Maryland.

Last week we were honored to take part in a “blogburst” on convicted perjurer, drug deal, and domestic terrorist Brent Kimberlin.

One of the people we talked about and who later was gracious enough to appear on the Steve Bussey Radio Experience this past Saturday was Aaron Walker, who blogs under the name of “Aaron Worthing” at Allergic2Bull.

Today, Tuesday May 29, Walker was arrested in a Maryland Court.

The details are sketchy, but we do know the arrest has to do with Walker’s interaction with Kimberlin.

According to the Blaze, there are two scenarios floating around for the arrest:

The Blaze spoke to a clerk at the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County who confirmed that Aaron Walker was in fact arrested following his hearing with Brett Kimberlin. According to the clerk, he was arrested on second degree assault charges that were previously filed by Kimberlin when Walker, following a separate court hearing, took and held at bay Kimberlin’s iPad. Other reports on the web indicate that Walker was instead arrested for violating the “peace order” for which he was appearing in court.

If Walker was arrested for blogging about Kimberlin, the judge has destroyed the Constitution. If the “second degree assault charges” are from the incident on January 9, 2012 where Kimberlin claims he was attacked, that too is a load of fecal matter. How do we know that?

The incident was video taped by the courthouse cameras.

We are going to use Walker’s own graphic to identify the people, and after that, you can watch the video.

Stupid Letters To The Editor – Will SOMEONE Teach History?

Once in awhile there is a letter to the editor that is so moronic as well as void of facts and understanding, one wonders how the person who wrote it manages to walk without dragging their knuckles.

Such is that case with a letter written to the Florida Today by Tommy Gillis of Port St. John and published by the newspaper on May 24, 2012.

We realize and understand that letters are opinions, but on some level, one would think the newspaper would have some responsibility to make sure the premise of the letter has some – a smattering would be good – of facts before throwing it out to the public to read.

Here’s the letter in its entirety, and after that, we’ll break down the issues with it.

Churches Should Stay Out of Politics or Pay Taxes

I see the Catholic Church is suing the Obama administration for requiring it to provide health care coverage to its employees.

Great place to work, huh? Maybe the administration will hire the same lawyers to defend itself against the church that the church used to defend itself in its unthinkable cover-up of pedophiles and child molesters.

Let’s not forget organized religion pays no taxes. It receives tax-exempt donations and uses them for political gain. Look at the Mormon church and its support of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last year.

Why should churches get a tax break on political donations and not you or me?

Organized religion should get out of politics or pay taxes on their donations.

Where is the tea party? What would Jesus do?

Oy vey.

Let’s start off with the very first line:

In Remembrance – Memorial Day.

Don’t weep for me
O’ Land of the free
When it was my time to fall
‘Twas for my country’s call
‘Twas for the land that I loved,
That I gave my all
And for the land that I loved,
I did freely give
And in her freedom
And her courage
I’ll continue to live

c. 1993 Patricia Krull

Freedom’s Forge – A Book Review.

Ever had one of those “oh crap, how could I have missed that?” moments? A moment of enlightenment? A moment when what you believe is replaced with a bigger, greater truth?

Such is the book “Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II,” by historian Arthur Herman.

There are many long held myths Herman rips apart in his meticulously researched book.

The first is the myth most grew up with in regard to the American economy and America’s entrance into World War II. We were basically taught that prior to the war, the country was in a great depression and when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, forcing the US into the war, the economy and production of goods stopped, turned on a dime, and made what became known as “the arsenal of democracy.” Reality is much more interesting.

Prior to Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt had placed a call to General Motors head William Knudson – a Danish immigrant. Knudson had worked with Henry Ford and helped establish the first true optimized production line. After leaving Ford. Knudson went to GM, where he turned GM around to become a force within the automobile industry.

But it was “the call” that changed all that.

Knudsen? I want to see you in Washington. I want you to work on some production matters.” With those words, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enlisted “Big Bill” Knudsen, a Danish immigrant who had risen through the ranks of the auto industry to become president of General Motors, to drop his plans for market domination and join the U.S. Army. Commissioned a lieutenant general, Knudsen assembled a crack team of industrial innovators, persuading them one by one to leave their lucrative private sector positions and join him in Washington, D.C. Dubbed the “dollar-a-year men,” these dedicated patriots quickly took charge of America’s moribund war production effort.

Henry J. Kaiser was a maverick California industrialist famed for his innovative business techniques and his can-do management style. He, too, joined the cause. His Liberty ships became World War II icons—and the Kaiser name became so admired that FDR briefly considered making him his vice president in 1944. Together, Knudsen and Kaiser created a wartime production behemoth. Drafting top talent from companies like Chrysler, Republic Steel, Boeing, Lockheed, GE, and Frigidaire, they turned auto plants into aircraft factories and civilian assembly lines into fountains of munitions, giving Americans fighting in Europe and Asia the tools they needed to defeat the Axis. In four short years they transformed America’s army from a hollow shell into a truly global force, laying the foundations for a new industrial America—and for the country’s rise as an economic as well as military superpower.

The production numbers for the US during the war are simply staggering. While Freedom’s Forge gives more details, the numbers show the US produced more products than the other countries in the war – combined. At the same time, the US did this with a lower percentage of men fighting and a lower percentage of women working in factories than any other country. In addition, as a percentage, the US economy produced more for domestic goods vs. war goods than any other country. All of this was due to the vision and foresight of William Knudson and men like Henry Kaiser.

One Step Closer….

If one looked at the scores of the NCAA Lacrosse Semi-Finals today, they would have seen finals of 7 – 5 and 16 – 10.

Knowing the styles of the teams, one would have thought the the score of the Loyola vs. Notre Dame game was 16 – 10, and the Maryland vs. Duke game was 7 – 5.

As it turned out, one would be wrong.

Somehow in the past week, the Maryland team was taken over by pod people and ran the Duke Blue Devils out of the stadium 16 – 10. You read that right. Maryland scored 16 goals in a game. Maryland had scored 16 goals twice previously this year: 16 goals against Marist and 17 against Georgetown. With all due respect to those fine schools, neither are Duke.

The 16 goals Maryland put on the board against Duke was the most Duke had allowed all year.

We were shocked.

Maryland took 29 shots and scored 16 times. That is an obscene 53% scoring rate.

Maryland now faces in state rival Loyola on Monday at 1 PM.

No matter what, the lacrosse champions will be from the Free State and can celebrate with steamed crabs.

We here at Raised on Hoecakes wish to congratulate Loyola on their fine season and reaching the finals. However, we sincerely hope they lose and our beloved Terps will be crowned champions.

Fear the Turtle!

Another Bite Taken Out Of The Free Speech Apple.

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) – those pesky un-elected and non-accountable bureaucrats – have struck again. A decision by the EEOC in a seemingly benign ruling over t-shirts in the workplace may have long term lasting effects on free speech.

The case is Dawson v. Donahoe.

At the time of events giving rise to this complaint, Complainant worked as a Mail Processing Clerk at the Agency’s Post Office facility in Dothan, Alabama.

On July 21, 2011, Complainant filed a formal complaint alleging that the Agency subjected him to discrimination on the bases of race (African-American) and reprisal for prior protected EEO activity when, on various occasions, employees wore t-shirts emblazoned with the Confederate flag and management took no action to deter them.

Initially, the EEOC ruled the case could not go forward, saying:

The Agency dismissed the claim for failure to state a claim, finding that Complainant was not aggrieved and that the actions alleged were not so severe as to state a claim of hostile work environment based on race or reprisal.

Earl W. Dawson, the Complainant, filed an appeal to the EEOC and now the EEOC has said his discrimination complaint can go forward.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, the Agency’s dismissal is REVERSED and the complaint is REMANDED to the Agency for further processing pursuant to the following Order.

The question one has to ask is “why?” What changed the EEOC’s mind? The EEOC gives some woefully weak reasoning when it restates the case within the decision:

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