” Washington, D.C., doesn’t have many farms, or farmers. Yet thousands of residents in and around the nation’s capital receive millions of dollars every year in federal farm subsidies, including working-class residents in Southeast, wealthy lobbyists on K Street and well-connected lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
In neighboring Chevy Chase, Md., one of the nation’s wealthiest communities, lawyers, lobbyists and at least one psychologist collected nearly $342,000 in taxpayer farm subsidies between 2008 and 2011, according to the watchdog group Open the Books.
Taxpayer subsidies were also paid out to Gerald Cassidy, the founder of one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms, Cassidy & Associates; Charlie Stenholm, a former congressman; and Chuck Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack continues to receive subsides even though he has overseen the agency that pays them since 2009.
” All of it is entirely legal,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books, a group that created an online database and mobile app to track the subsidies.
To illustrate just how far the subsidy program has strayed from its original purpose, Open the Books calculated payments going to three major cities with few, if any, modern ties to farming: Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago. Taxpayers sent $30 million to those residents over the past four years to compensate them for converting farmland to conservation areas and for growing soybeans, cotton, corn, rice and other crops.”
Tag Archive: NYC
” In the middle of the night in March of 2012, NYPD officers burst into the Bronx home of Gerald Bryan, ransacking his belongings, tearing out light fixtures, punching through walls, and confiscating $4,800 in cash. Bryan, 42, was taken into custody on suspected felony drug distribution, as the police continued their warrantless search. Over a year later, Bryan’s case was dropped. When he went to retrieve his $4,800, he was told it was too late: the money had been deposited into the NYPD’s pension fund. Bryan found himself trapped in the NYPD’s labyrinthine civil forfeiture procedure, a policy based on a 133-year-old law which robs poor New Yorkers of millions of dollars every year; a law that has been ruled unconstitutional twice.”
” ” They do this all the time, to so many people I know,” Bryan, a bartender of 21 years, told us in the office of the Bronx Defenders. Before the raid, he had planned on using the cash to take his girlfriend on a cruise. “A lot of people, when they get arrested, they know that their money is just gone, and they know that the police are taking it to enrich themselves.”
Civil forfeiture, the act by which a municipality can seize money during an arrest, has always been a controversial weapon of law enforcement. The practice became more prevalent in the 1980s, when jurisdictions around the country began pursuing cases involving money in both civil and criminal court in an effort to fight organized crime and deprive criminals of their income, even if they couldn’t imprison them.
This summer The New Yorker published a sprawling investigation on how cities use the practice to bolster their cash-strapped coffers by seizing the assets of the poor, often on trumped up charges.”
” The same is true in New York City, where the civil forfeiture process has long been used by the NYPD to seize money from those least likely to be able to get it back.
” It’s very difficult for the victims of , most of whom are from a lower socio-economic class, to do anything in the court system, much less win a civil forfeiture case,” said attorney David B. Smith, the nation’s leading expert on forfeiture law.”
“ Any arrest in New York City can trigger a civil forfeiture case if money or property is found on or near a defendant, regardless of the reasons surrounding the arrest or its final disposition. In the past ten years, the NYPD has escalated the amount of civil forfeiture actions it pursues as public defense offices have been stretched thin by the huge amount of criminal cases across the city.
” One of the main problems with civil forfeiture is that you’re not assigned a lawyer, it being a civil and not a criminal case,” Smith explains. “Most people can’t afford lawyers, and that gives the government a tremendous advantage.” “
Legalized theft , pure and simple .
A prank from the makers of Devil’s Due , a movie premiering soon , inflicted on the unsuspecting citizens of New York City .
Published on Jan 14, 2014” An animatronic “devil baby” in a remote controlled stroller goes on a rampage through the streets of New York City and hidden cameras record people’s reactions.”
Unforgettable Photographs Capture a New Perspective On The world’s Most Magnificent Scenes From Bryce Canyon To Big Ben
" Dancing lights: The unique majesty of Aurora Borealis as photographed in the early morning hours in the arctic circle. Also known as the Northern Lights, these fascinating light shows are at their peak when sunspots occur with the most frequency " " Inspiring: Like the striking view of London, this shot taken from the Empire State Building of the mega city of New York sums up humanity's ability to take on almost supernatural feats"
” A new pictorial volume from the world travel experts at Lonely Planet puts a new and unique perspective on some of Earth’s most inspiring scenes.
Looking up from the bottom of Utah’s majestic, rust colored Bryce Canyon National Park shows the park, for those who’ve been there, as its never been seen before.
Among striking shots of an ocean feeding frenzy and Aurora Borealis is a panoramic view of London and Big Ben at dusk that proves human landscapes can be just as breathtaking as those from mother nature.
The title of the book, Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World, does not disappoint.
This sampling of the book’s 200 or so scenes that depict precisely what makes Earth a living masterpiece is sure to leave you wanting more . “
See more at the Daily Mail
“Huddled masses yearning to breathe free” isn’t the first phrase that comes to mind when describing tourists in 21st century New York City booking stays through Airbnb, the wildly popular website connecting residents wanting to pick up some extra cash with out-of-towners looking for cheap alternatives to a traditional hotel. Although the terms and conditions have changed, the commercial impulse is much the same. Take a twenty-something couple named Lauren and Rob, who asked that I not reveal their last names because of the legal issues surrounding Airbnb. They moved to the Big Apple to make it in showbiz. Struggling to make ends meet, they now cover about half the cost of their $2,250-a-month Manhattan apartment by renting out their living room couch for $65 a night.
But unlike New York of a century ago, when capitalist transactions between consenting adults were generally allowed, the government has been waging war on the short-term rental business. A new front just opened that might ultimately drive many of New York City’s roughly 15,000 resident users to quit Airbnb. Last Friday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena demanding that the company hand over a spreadsheet listing all its hosts statewide, their addresses, the dates and durations of their bookings, and the revenue these bookings have generated. News of the subpoena was chilling for many of the people whose names will appear on that list because they’ve been using Airbnb in violation of the law (more on the legality of Airbnb in a moment). Seth, a Manhattan lawyer who started hosting short-term rentals of his Upper East Studio during a period when he was out of work, says he’ll probably quit as soon as his lease is up. “The subpoena is scary,” he says, fearing he’ll have to hire a lawyer and pay a big fine.”
” An explosion inside a New York Chinatown building caused by a woman who set off 24 bug bombs at once led to a fire and the partial collapse of the building.
According to firefighters, the woman had let off 20 canisters of bug bombs on Wednesday and on Thursday deployed two dozen more – only this time she forgot to turn off an oven’s pilot light.
The flame ignited the huge cloud of flammable insecticide causing a fire that ripped through the building and injured a 15 people, including four firefighters.”
” Beware, Hamptons idiots — the D-bag patrol is on the prowl.
A Facebook page that documents the maddening antics of East End summer crowds has exploded in popularity this season, gaining nearly 1,000 followers with hundreds of postings of beachgoers at their worst.
Founded by a fed-up year-round resident, “Douche Spotter” has posted pictures of men pumping gas in Speedos, grown women arguing over parking spots and clueless moms getting high-end strollers stuck in the sandy beach.
Even Paul McCartney’s ex, Heather Mills, is captured on the site getting a traffic ticket in her white convertible.”
” NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s an education bombshell.
Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.
The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.
They had to re-learn basic skills — reading, writing and math — first before they could begin college courses.
They are part of a disturbing statistic.
Officials told CBS 2′s Kramer that nearly 80 percent of those who graduate from city high schools arrived at City University’s community college system without having mastered the skills to do college-level work.”
This story brings an awful lot of things to mind , but I’m not quite sure how to address them … More on this in time … Except who could leave out the one immediately obvious comment about how ” if we(taxpayers) just invested MORE in education ” we(NEA , UFT) would be able to teach 18 year olds how to read . Eleven point six BILLION just isn’t enough .
- Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Eighty Percent of NYC High School Grads Lack Basic Reading Skills (moonbattery.com)
- Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read (forum.prisonplanet.com)
” The pilot can be heard reporting the aircraft on radio calls captured by LiveATC.net, a website that posts air traffic communications.The pilot said, “We saw a drone, a drone aircraft.”The FAA says the pilot did not take evasive action and the plane landed safely.”
” The city’s hedge-fund executives are flying south — and it’s not for vacation.
An increasing number of financial firms, especially private equity and hedge funds, are fed up with New York’s sky-high city and state tax rates and are relocating to the business-friendly climate in Florida’s Palm Beach County.
And they’re being welcomed with open arms — officials in Palm Beach recently opened an entire office dedicated to luring finance hot shots down south.
“Florida is a state of choice,” said Thalius Hecksher, global development chief for Apex Fund Services, who moved many of his operations to Palm Beach. “It’s organically grown. There’s no need to drag people down here. It’s a zero-income-tax jurisdiction.”
” Offering a remarkable view of New York City, photos by a ThyssenKrupp Elevator staffer show an escalator being pulled to the top of the new One World Trade Center.One of 11 escalators to be installed on the site, this piece of machinery dangles high above Lower Manhattan as workers hoist it up to the 101st floor.”
” After effectively barring conservative columnist Ann Coulter from speaking on campus last week, the Jesuit college Fordham University welcomed infanticide and bestiality advocate Peter Singer for a panel discussion on Friday.
According to Fordham’s media relations website, Singer, a tenured Princeton bioethics professor, spoke from 4 to 6 p.m. in a panel the university promised “will provoke Christians to think about other animals in new ways.”
Singer has long lamented the societal stigma against having sex with animals.”
For those of you interested in such nonsense , the likes of which is taking place nationwide at our institutions of ” higher education ” Professor Jacobson has a website devoted to the issue : College Insurrection . We highly recommend it .
- The emerging Fordham scandal over its cancellation of Ann Coulter (legalinsurrection.com)
- We’re Still Waiting For That Tolerance The Left Demands Of Others (youviewedblog.wordpress.com)
- Fordham v. Coulter week at College Insurrection (legalinsurrection.com)
- Ann Coulter’s Speech At Fordham Is Cancelled After Fordham Realizes She’s Ann Coulter (jezebel.com)
- Ann Coulter vs. the Jesuits: A college invite is rescinded (blogs.ajc.com)
- Fordham Repudiates Ann Coulter (patheos.com)
- Fordham President Blasts College Republicans For Booking Ann Coulter’s “Repugnant Speech” (alan.com)
” For the people who will be affected by Sandy in the coming 36 hours, this will test you like no other event. Not everyone will be impacted the same but millions of people are likely to lose power, suffer some extent of damage and have a long road to recovery ahead. The hardest hit areas will likely be the beaches where an incredible amount of energy from the wind is being transferred in to the Atlantic Ocean. Be mindful of the power of surge and if you were asked to evacuate, do it. I know it’s an aggravation but you do not want to go through what people in Mississippi did during Katrina with that surge. While we’re not expecting 28 feet, there could be enough to level homes and businesses. Heed the advice of your local officials and hang in there….it will be a rough time coming but we will all get through it even if it’s a painful process. “