22 August 2011

USA: Executive order to push agencies on diversity

Obama will be presenting his much anticipated jobs plan in September - maybe. Jobs in America are becoming scarcer by the day, and the American people are crying out for some leadership on this issue - hence the reason that Obama has been forced to come up with a n actual plan to back his claims that he has a solution to get Americans back to work - or something. Amazingly he can wait until September to release something that affects millions of Americans, yet, before he flew off to Martha's Vineyard to frollick in the sea and hit a golf ball, he found the time to sign an executive order requiring his government to increase diversity in the workplace! How's that for priorities? I guess his only priority is to show the middle finger to Whites once again and to also try and win back his Black voters - some of whom may have realised by now that he really doesn't know what he's doing. In any case, the American government will be more 'diversified' (i.e Whites need not apply) in the near future. Aren't you lucky!

President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity

The administration has had diversity on its radar for a while and last year said it would take steps to build a more varied workforce. In fiscal 2009, according the federal government, white men held more than 61 percent of senior pay-level positions among workers. The long-awaited executive order marks the highest-profile response to what has been a perennial concern.

“The federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a conference call Thursday. “We will only succeed in our critical mission with a workforce that hails from, represents and is connected to the needs of every American community.”

The details of the initiative have yet to be worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body, as did Obama’s 2009 executive order on veterans’ employment, the diversity initiative will lean on a council of deputy agency chiefs, along with the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

That group will be responsible for creating a government-wide plan within 90 days. According to the order, after the government-wide plan is released, each agency must present its own specific plan for diversity within 120 days. The plans must reflect initiatives on a number of issues, including recruitment, training and promotion.

Berry said the executive order elevates the issue to a level of attention that will prevent this initiative from falling by the wayside as have previous diversity efforts.


Swaziland argues over South Africa’s R2.4bn loan

The money hasn't even been handed over yet, but already the Swaziland people are fighting about who's going to get it. The R2.4 BILLION loan that South Africa is giving Swaziland is being fought over like hyenas at a carcass. Let's take a step back and ask why is Swaziland in so much financial strife. Could it be because all education - including university - is free? Could it be that  Swaziland depends on free money annually from the Southern African Customs Union, so that when tiny stumbling blocks like the Global Financial Crisis happen and they don't get all their free money, then suddenly the country goes bankrupt? Could it be that Swaziland lives above it's means - a lifestyle afforded it by all the free money? Why, yes, yes, I think it's all the above. When a country can't even produce any kind of wealth, and relies on free money to live and pay its debts, then what do you expect? So, just how does the South African tax payer expect the loan to be repaid - ever? The Swazi's are like a bunch of children who still believe in the tooth fairy and unicorns. Reality tends to hit hard though when the tooth fairy turns out to be Cinderella's evil step-sister and the magic money-tree turns into the pumpkin. Yet South Africa bails them out? It must be wonderful spending other people's money on your pet projects, without impunity. Another African success story.

Image Title

Despite the R2.4bn (Swazi emalangeni is equal to the rand) loan from the South African government to its cash-strapped neighbour, Swaziland is sinking deeper into debt.

While the money is yet to be given to Swaziland (the first instalment will be paid at the end of August), various institutions and organisations disagree on what government should do with the money.

Most of the Swaziland government’s business creditors feel the money should be used to pay them, while others believe it should go towards the country’s education institutions.

The country’s only university and public schools have closed because of a lack of funds.
By the end of May government owed independent businesses R1.4 bn.

Businesses feel their debt should be paid first, once government receives the first instalment of about R800m. South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said the loan will be released in three instalments, at the end of August, October and February 2012.

“A lot of companies are closing down because government has not paid them,” said Hezekiel Mabuza, vice-president of the Federation of the Swaziland Business Community (FESBC).

“We hope government will use the loan from South Africa to pay us, otherwise more businesses will close down.”

FESBC has a membership of 500 small and medium businesses, and so far over 50 have closed down because government has failed to pay them for supplied goods and services.

“What’s worse, we can’t get stock on credit from South African suppliers because we have outstanding debts,” said Mabuza.

The country’s cash flow problems started in 2010 when Swaziland received 60% less of what it used to get from the Southern African Customs Union.

The regional customs union used to contribute more than half of Swaziland’s national budget, but the revenue dropped after the global economic meltdown.

But the country’s education sector has also suffered a severe blow because of the lack of funds. The reopening of the University of Swaziland (Uniswa), the country’s only university, has been put on hold because government does not have adequate funds for scholarships, which are awarded to all students who get accepted to the university.
According to Uniswa registrar, Sipho Vilakati, the institution’s budget for this academic year is R241m.

Government has not paid a cent towards the institution so far and the university, which was supposed to reopen on August 8, after the holidays, is yet to begin lectures.

“The date for the start of lectures this academic year is yet to be decided by the university senate,” said Vilakati.

Staff salaries have not been paid in recent months because of the lack of adequate funds.

Public schools also had to close prematurely on August 5 because government has not paid fees for orphans and vulnerable children and for ordinary pupils under the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP).

Out of the R148.5m owed for orphans and vulnerable children, government was only able to pay schools R37.7m.

For the FPEP, which caters for Grades 1 to 3 in all public schools, government owes schools an estimated R47.7m.

Government is also yet to pay the Examinations Council R3.7m for exam fees for orphans and vulnerable children.

“Unless we get the money to run schools, there is no way we’ll reopen for the third term,” said president of the Swaziland Principals’ Association, Charles Bennett.

Education is not the only sector affected by the economic crisis.

People living with HIV-Aids feel the money should be directed to the health sector, particularly to ensure the country has adequate supplies of ARVs and services of HIV-positive people, such as home-based care.

“Government has repeatedly said the health sector will be prioritised, yet we see it crumbling because there are no drugs in hospitals and boycotts by staff have become the order of the day,” said president of the Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV-Aids, Vusi Nxumalo.

In July people living with HIV-Aids took to the streets after the country’s buffer stock of ARVs fell below the prescribed three-month supply.

Since the loan was announced on August 3, the Swazi government has remained silent on how the money will be used.
Instead, Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini commended King Mswati III for obtaining the loan, further fuelling fury among progressives who had called on South Africa to withhold the loan to force Swaziland to democratise.

The southern African country is ruled by the monarchy and political parties are not allowed to contest power.
“It goes to show how undemocratic some governments that appear to be democratic on the surface can be,” said Institute of Democracy in Africa programme manager Thembinkosi Dlamini, referring to South Africa.

Also furious about this loan is the Congress of South African Trade Unions whose spokesperson Patrick Craven said workers were disappointed at the vague conditions attached to the loan.

Annually, the Swazi government hosts the Smart Partnership Dialogue where the king and citizens from different sectors of society discuss development issues.

However, political parties are excluded from these discussions.

The conditions by the South African government included broadening the dialogue to include all stakeholders and citizens guided by the Joint Bilateral Commissions for Co-operation agreement, which promotes democracy and the respect of universal human rights.

“So long as there are no strict conditions to compel King Mswati’s regime to concede democratic reforms and to share the country’s wealth among the people, the loan will simply be used to maintain the status quo,” said Craven.

And without the conditions for regime change attached to any loan, Swaziland will continue asking South Africa for more money, said secretary-general of the Swaziland Federation of Labour, Vincent Ncongwane.

“Without fixing the loopholes, this loan is not going to help us,” said Ncongwane.

Swaziland approached South Africa for the loan after the African Development Bank refused to award Swaziland a R1.2bn loan because the country failed to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations.
The IMF advised the Swazi government to reduce public servants’ salaries by 4.5% and politicians’ salaries by 10% to save government R240m. However, salaries remain untouched after trade unions opposed the move. The IMF will return to the country at a date yet to be confirmed to further assess the fiscal situation.

Lite Moments.....

21 August 2011

Michelle’s Separate Travel Costs Taxpayers Thousands

Good to see that the Obama's continue living like average Joe - you know, flying around on tax payers money to places like Martha's Vineyard. Not only do they fly on private planes, but for their latest vacation they took a plane each, hours apart, at enormous cost to the tax payer so that Mrs O could get a few extra hours of vacation time in. I wonder if they realise how the public perceives them? Either they're aware and don't care, or aren't aware because they're out of touch with reality. Or, maybe, they've realised that O is a one-term non-wonder and intends to milk the situation as much as possible before he's booted out of the WH in 2013. One thing for sure is that Mrs O is going to have her nose out of joint when she's no longer FLOTUS with perks, but Mooch from da Hood.

Michelle Obama and President Obama traveled to Martha’s Vineyard just hours apart, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses so she could have just a bit of extra vacation time.

Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which got its information from the local airport. The first lady’s office has been silent on her travel. President Obama arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.

The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.

Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.

This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.


18 August 2011

On Day 938 of his presidency, Obama says he'll have a jobs plan in a month or so

Obama is on official business. That's why the US tax payer has forked out $1million for his shiny new luxury bus - so that he can go on that official 3-day campaign road tour, into the heart of White communities, trying to convince White people he's got a plan to create jobs for them, or something like that... He doesn't need to go into the Black communities, because no matter how awful he's doing in the WH, he's got their race vote locked down tight. But, back to the job creation circus he's got going on. He's only had the last 938 days to actually do something about jobs, but hey, nothing like leaving it to the last year of your 4-year term to try to deliver something. No, he's had more important things to do than focusing on jobs - like Obamacare; stimulus spending; bowing down to the Muslims; engaging in another war in the Middle East; insulting Tea Party members; insulting Republicans and Congress; party, party, party; vacation, vacation, vacation; playing 72 rounds of golf; raising the debt ceiling...twice; and other important stuff. So you see, he really didn't have a lot of time to concentrate on people's jobs. But, now he's all ready to climb in with that plan he's been talking about for years now - which he'll be releasing soonish.... maybe in September or so. And after all that hard work on the campaign job-creating trail, he's just ready for his next vacation. So he's off to Martha's Vineyard for the next 9 days to relax in the sun, maybe play some golf, and to gloat about how well he did fooling the American people......again.

Obama's new armored Bus 8-16-11

OK, let's see if we can sort out this White House jobs package hocus-pocus because President Obama is counting on us not to. And no one wants to fail to not disappoint him:

Last winter in his State of the Union address, oblivious to the gathering storm over the nation's national debt, the Democrat proposed massive new spending and loan programs -- he calls it investments -- to extend unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts and to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges and other union-made infrastructure kinds of stuff. He had a plan he would share soon.

When in trouble, give a speech. Say, early September. Before all this Rick Perry 40% of the nation's jobs come from Texas stuff really gets going.

The president has mentioned the plan often, despite widespread skepticism due to the lack of stimulus that came from spending $787 billion in stimulus money that was for sure going to hold national unemployment at 8%, but it's now 9.1%.

So, perhaps another such plan might work.

As this administration sees reality, those Republican tea party terrorists kind of hijacked the marathon talks about raising the national debt ceiling, stubbornly and unreasonably making the debt negotiations over reducing the debt and spending rather than over spending spending.

As a result, it's all their fault that Standard & Poor's lowered the federal government's credit rating for the first time because the rating agency didn't see sufficient cuts.

The next day after the spending cuts agreement, with his obedient cabinet in attendance as witnesses, Obama said, yes, spending cuts were important as long as they didn't affect vast investments for the future to extend unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts and to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges and other union-made infrastructure kinds of stuff.

Other Democrats are designing job plans costing $200 billion per year.

Because the country hasn't heard enough of Obama calling on Congress to do things and his job approval touched a new low of 39%, he laid on a three-day campaign swing through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois this week at taxpayer-expense because the White House declared it an official trip.

Because Obama wanted to hear from regular Americans, he's encased in an armored Darth Vader bus with heavily-tinted windows so no one can see him looking out at regular Americans.

And as the commander-in-chief meanders through the Heartland in this black vehicle, the entire road in both directions is cleared of regular Americans for the president's entourage and motorcade to pass by safely.

The bus is reported to cost about $1 million, which works out to about $333,000 per day for this foray among regular Americans.

On its second day out, Tuesday, Obama's bus made a couple of stops to chat with high school athletes and to acquire healthy presidential provisions -- one for ice cream cones (POTUS got vanilla) and another to load several bags of popcorn.

At his speaking engagements, Obama stressed the need to extend payroll tax cuts and to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges and other union-made infrastructure kinds of stuff. Also some free-trade agreements. This was a repetition of what he had said on the first day of his Grand Ground Tour.

On his 938th day in office President Obama also said he would soon have a completed jobs plan. Maybe early fall, something like that. And he complained, "We could do even more if Congress is willing to get in the game."

Tomorrow with all this heavy work in his rear-view mirror, the president is scheduled to join his family on Martha's Vineyard for a nine-day vacation.


UK: Our prisons walls are too high to look over, moan terror suspects

Oh, the poor dears. I demand you take down those prison fences immediately! What were you thinking? The poor terrorists can't see the horizon through the cladding surrounding their play-pen, which has apparently damaged their eyesight. Well, you know, they don't appear to be too clever, these terrorists, because if they would just tilt back their heads and look at the sky, they could see for miles and miles, uninterrupted. In fact, if they looked hard enough, they could probably see their hero in all his glory, waiting with their 72 virgins. Or, they could just give up fighting their deportation and return to their homelands, where they can see whatever they liked. But, hey, never ever say the UK are a bunch of push overs! No way. Their response to the terrorists demands sent out a clear, tough message....not. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick agrees with the men and has criticised the cladding because it stops the men seeing into the distance. Ah FFS. It's not enough that they get 60 hours a week to romp out of their prison cells. It's not enough that they have their own gym, kitchen as well as prepared meals. It's not enough that it's cost tax payers £1.6million for just two of the men as they fight their deportation - for the last 11 years. No, now they bloody well want to see the rolling green hills as well. Britain has become the loony isle. No amount of harsh sentences for the looters and rioters is going to get the country back on track. When you have libtards running the joint, then what hope is there??

High security: Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire holds the suspects who have complained about the cladding put around the edge of the exercise yard because it stops them seeing into the distance 

Suspected terrorists are complaining about a fence around the exercise yard in their high-security prison which restricts their view of the horizon.

The alleged extremists are locked up while the Government tries to remove them from the country.

But the inmates have complained the limited view is damaging their eyesight, a prison inspection report revealed.

And astonishingly, inspectors accepted their complaints, criticising the cladding put around the edge of the exercise yard because it stops the men seeing into the distance.

They men are being held in the detainee unit at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire and are prevented from mixing with other inmates.

Some months ago, prison bosses offered to allow them to join activities involving paedophiles and rapists who are isolated from the rest of the prison for their own protection.

But this was rejected because the terror suspects feared they would be ‘stigmatised’ by being seen with the sex offenders.

The report recommended removing the cladding so the prisoners have a clear view into the outside world.

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: ‘While detainees’ treatment and conditions were satisfactory in some respects, too little attention was paid to their uniquely isolated and uncertain position.’

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said inmates treatment was satisfactory, but that too little attention was paid to their isolated position

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said inmates treatment was satisfactory, but that too little attention was paid to their isolated position
Chief Wanker Inspector, Nick Hardwick
The report added: ‘For most of the time, detainees were confined to the unit and largely deprived of contact with the range of people that was possible for convicted prisoners in the main prison.

‘This had resulted in a feeling of claustrophobia. ‘The fence surrounding the exercise yard was clad, therefore preventing detainees from seeing into the distance. All detainee unit cells overlooked the inner courtyard and detainees therefore had no opportunities to see into the distance, and some complained of deteriorating eyesight.’

The high-security detainee unit at Long Lartin holds seven suspected terrorists.

Three are foreign nationals whom ministers want to deport to their home countries.

The other four are awaiting the outcome of legal challenges to extradition requests by the U.S.

They are thought to include Babar Ahmed, whose case is being considered by the European Court of Human Rights.

Two of the men have been held for more than 11 years as they fight deportation, at a cost of more than £1.6million.

The average cost of a place in a high-security prison is £74,000 per year.

The report revealed the men are allowed out of their cells for nearly 60 hours a week.

They also have access to gym equipment and their own kitchen, as well as prepared meals.

UK: Migrants need 415,000 new council homes

Yesterday it was revealed that the UK population had soared by 409 000 people last year. As a result, the government will need to build 45 council homes per day for 25 years - or, 415 000 houses - just to cope with the ever-increasing population requiring ‘free’ housing. Immigrants account for most of the housing needs as all they have to do is rock up with a heart-breaking tale of woe and, ka-bam, they get a free house, paid by the tax payer. Somali’s are much more heavily dependent on the state to provide them with homes than people from any other minority group (see table below). Eight out of ten Somalis were found to live in homes provided by the taxpayer. So, that means that of the 150 000 odd Somalis in Britain, 120 000 are living in a free house. There must be a lot of sob-stories coming out of Somalia! Now, if Britain were clever, they would stop importing these Third-World people and let them sort out their own countries. How else is it going to happen? But, we already know that isn’t on the cards. British jobs are now being taken by immigrants at a faster rate than under the Labour Party. The number of British people of working age with jobs has plummeted by nearly 100,000 since David Cameron took office – but nearly 300,000 foreigners have found work. For a Conservative, he sure is acting the opposite. Could he be a wolf is sheeps clothing? Why, yes, I think he is. Anyone that speaks so posh is usually an empty suit.

Comparison ... social housing

FORTY-five council homes a DAY will have to be built to house the tidal wave of immigrants, a shock report reveals.

This means 415,000 extra homes will be needed over the next 25 years - at a cost to taxpayers of £1billion a year.

The findings in the report by pressure group Migration Watch UK are a startling illustration of the immigration timebomb.

The building rate will be the only way to keep families off the streets - unless the current influx of 200,000 a year is stemmed.

Waiting lists for social housing in England have mushroomed by 60 per cent over the past eight years, largely due to immigration.

The report claimed just 17 per cent of people born in the UK live in properties owned by local authorities or housing associations. That compares with 80 per cent of migrants from Somalia and 49 per cent of those from Turkey.

Migration Watch UK accused politicians of covering up the problem. Chairman Sir Andrew Green said: "Either the Government must cut immigration very substantially as they've promised or they must invest very large sums in the construction of extra social housing."

The crisis has been worsened by the Labour government's failure to replace council houses that have been sold off. That slashed the number of homes available to the needy by almost 500,000 between 1997 and 2007.
The two worst affected regions are both immigration hotspots.

In London, 12 per cent of all families were on housing waiting lists in 2010, and in Yorkshire and Humberside the figure was 11 per cent.

Overcrowded? Britain will have the highest population in Europe within 40 years, according to projections made by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency


Chavez to nationalise Venezuela's gold sector

Chavez is continuing full steam ahead with his socialist state-control vision. His next take-over target is Venezuela's gold industry. According to him he's doing it as a question of prudence and protection, but it's never that uncomplicated with communists. Next year is election year in Venezuela and chances are good that Chavez may be ousted out. And do you think he's going to sit back and let that happen? I don't think so. If he is voted out he will most likely resort to violence and to his army to stay in power - just like Mugabe. This will probably lead to the West imposing sanctions on the country and he therefore needs his gold reserves on hand and his communist allies - Brazil, China, South Africa, Russia, India - close to his side for support. Yes, Venezuelans are going to have this tyrant as their leader for a long time yet, or until his cancer kills him.

Venezuela will nationalise its gold industry and is moving its international reserves out of Western countries, President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday in a combative step ahead of his re-election bid next year.

The moves will make the finances of South America's biggest oil exporter even murkier as the 57-year-old socialist leader gears up for an election battle that was already looking close even before he was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Chavez has put large parts of Venezuela's economy under state control and is now targeting the gold industry after his government quarreled with foreign companies who complained that limits on how much gold they could export hurt their efforts to secure financing and develop projects.

Chavez seems to have lost patience and decided to put the whole industry into state hands.

"We're going to nationalise the gold and we're going to convert it, among other things, into international reserves because gold continues to increase in value," the authoritarian but charismatic president said in a phone call to state TV.

"I'm going to approve a law to begin taking the gold areas, and there I count on (the military) because there continues to be anarchy, mafias, smuggling."

Toronto-listed Rusoro, owned by Russia's Agapov family, is the only large gold miner operating in Venezuela. It produced about 100,000 ounces of gold in Venezuela last year.

The nationalisation of the gold industry fits with Chavez's broader plan to repatriate his country's bullion and shift most of its cash reserves out of Western nations to political allies including China, Russia and Brazil.

"It is a question of prudence and protection," Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said on Wednesday.
A Venezuelan official at regional body Unasur said the group was considering a similar move to repatriate part of the estimated $500 billion its members have in reserves abroad.

"It's a legitimate act, a sovereign act, unquestionable and indeed necessary," Ali Rodriguez told Venezuelan state TV.

Chavez, who has undergone two sessions of chemotherapy in Cuba since he announced in June that he had cancer, often rails against the reliance on the US dollar as the global reserve currency of choice.

The move is in line with Chavez's ideological world view: during his 12 years in power he has often bashed the United States and sought to align Venezuela with emerging powers and opponents of Washington such as Iran.

Giordani said the transfers were under way, and that mounting debt worries in Europe and the United States showed that Venezuela needed to diversify where it kept its reserves.

Transferring funds to China for safe-keeping would appeal particularly to Beijing, which has invested billions of dollars in Venezuela's nationalised oil industry.

Some critics have suggested Chavez might be worried about the possibility of sanctions against his government if there is violence in next year's election campaign, and so is trying to ensure state reserves are stored more safely.

The former soldier appeared to allude to the possibility of reserves being seized by foreign powers.

"Look what's happening in the Arab world with the use of international reserves ... (there is) practically a confiscation of those resources, which is something we have to prevent at any cost, linking our economies to the BRIC nations and South Africa," Chavez said on Wednesday when he called into a news conference by his finance minister.

Venezuela has international reserves of $US29.1 billion. About 63 percent of that is in gold worth $US11 billion held overseas and $US7 billion at home, the government says.

One way it could boost its bullion reserves was to nationalise the gold industry, which had largely stagnated.

Production at the state-run gold miner plummeted last year and the company appealed for a $US70 million government bailout.

Venezuela has been relatively small in the gold world, with formal mining producing about 6 tonnes a year. But it boasts some of Latin America's biggest gold deposits, buried below the jungles south of the Orinoco river.

Chavez agreed last year to let gold miners export up to 50 per cent of production, up from 30 per cent previously. The other 50 per cent must be sold to the central bank.

But that did not satisfy foreign companies like Rusoro, which said the limits made it much harder for them to get financing abroad, develop projects and create jobs.

One victim of the dispute has been a huge but long-troubled project called Las Cristinas. It has been in limbo since the government canceled a development license with another Canadian miner, Crystallex, in February.

Rusoro had expressed interest in Las Cristinas, which has not been developed since the 1980s but has reserves estimated at 17 million ounces. Locals once found a 1-kilo nugget there. But Rusoro's chief executive told Reuters in June it could not take on the project unless the government scrapped its export rules.


Germany's green power push cools in the face of cutbacks, competition

At some point in the near future, Western governments are going to have to admit that they've been conned by the 'Green job' revolution. The latest to admit defeat is the German government, who are scaling back on their generous solar rooftop subsidy scheme - because they have no more money. It's easy to tell the world that you're all for Green energy, but a totally different story to live with the consequences down the line. Spain lost 2 private sector jobs for every "green" job they created - and now they have thousands of windmills and no jobs for their people. See, the energy produced is so heavily subsidised that when the government is in financial strife, it scales down their contribution. And whoops, up goes the energy prices and cost of living, and down go the job prospects. In Germany, the solar companies have realised that they can't compete with China on price and are starting to post huge profit-loses. As a result, China will soon be accounting for 85 per cent of all solar-cell production. So when the next lunatic Greeny tells you that going green will create jobs, just refer them to this article. But here's the kicker. Because of the RISE in energy costs in Germany, German companies are taking their business off-shore into Asia! So, how funny is that? Green energy is forcing companies into Asia, taking thousands of jobs with them. China and Asia are licking their lips, taking all our jobs and money because they don't IMPLEMENT cheap fossil-fuel energy restrictions like the West is falling over themselves to do - just ask the Australian Gillard government as they still believe in the tooth fairy and Green nirvana and a carbon-dioxide tax-grab. China will one day be the biggest capitalist country on earth and the West will be communist! That's what we're heading for. And how ironic is that?

THE German green power revolution is facing hard times because of government cutbacks and stiff competition from Asia.   

In addition, the decision to abandon nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan is not having the positive spin-off that German solar companies may have expected.

Some of Germany's biggest and best-known industrial companies are questioning whether they can afford to continue to do business there. A string of recent profit slumps by German solar-cell companies underscores the depth of the crisis for solar business.

One-time industry leader Q-Cells has announced a second quarter loss of almost E355 million ($486.6m) and will shift production to Malaysia and close half its German manufacturing capacity.

Another solar company, Solon, has reported a first-half loss of E63m because of weak demand.

And Phoenix, a solar photovoltaic company, has reported a 60 per cent sales slump to E141m.

Not all of Germany's solar companies are in the red but it has been a dramatic turnaround for a sector that has always had a special status in the country that has led the world in rooftop solar rollout.

But as demand increases, production of solar technology is increasingly moving to China which will soon account for 85 per cent of all solar-cell production.

Germany is still the world's largest solar market, with about 54 per cent of all systems installed, but almost half of all new systems installed in Germany come from Asia.

German manufacturers cannot compete with China on price, but price is not the only problem they face.

The German government can no longer afford to continue its generous rooftop subsidy scheme in the face of falling prices.

The feed-in tariff has been cut from 33c to 28.74c per kilowatt hour, dampening demand.

Meanwhile, German chemical giant Bayer has warned that rising electricity prices may force it to relocate its manufacturing base to China.

Bayer employs 35,000 people in Germany, but chief executive Marijn Dekkers told the German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that energy prices posed a genuine threat to the company's manufacturing operations in the country.

Mr Dekkers, a Dutchman, complained that Germany, which has the highest energy prices in Europe, was becoming less attractive to energy-intensive sectors such as the chemical industry.

German energy prices are expected to rise following the decision by German authorities to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, making the country the first major industrial power to take the step in the wake of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant.


South Africa: SABC ‘on the brink of collapse’

Why am I not surprised by the news that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is on the brink of collapse? Let me see....Well, for one, there have been numerous 'golden handshakes' when ever the SABC employed an AA in a high managerial position. It was literally a revolving 'golden handshake' door - one in, one out etc. A get-rich quick AA dream job. Then, you have the issue of biased reporting and program selection, so naturally people with intelligence have deserted the SABC and switched to pay-TV. Then you have the inevitable corruption that seems to happen when you have AA candidates in power of the finances. Get the picture? Get the test-pattern? This is an organisation that is partly propped up by the government; receives TV license money (guess who pays their license fees and who doesn't?) and also receives revenue from advertising - and they still can't balance the budget! Even after 17 years under ANC power, it just has to be Apartheid's fault somehow!

Hat tip: Julian B
Johannesburg - The loss-making South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is set to embark on a three-year downsizing process in a move to cut costs, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“We are not going to fire anybody but offer voluntary packages. We are going to allow people to resign or take early retirement,” spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told reporters.

The public broadcaster employs 3 600 people and broadcasts in the country's 11 official languages.

Kganyago said the goal was to trim staff to “3 000 within three years”, adding that the wage bill was the highest source of costs.

The SABC is partly funded by the state and other revenue comes from television licence fees and advertising.

The embattled broadcaster has been hit by management resignations and aided by government bailouts to stay afloat.

“We have inherited an almost insolvent corporation on the brink of collapse,” board chairman Ben Ngubane told Parliament on Tuesday. - AFP

17 August 2011

USA: Nation’s youth trending toward diverse majority

America, America, America. What are we going to do with you? You were supposed to be our beacon of light - our American Dream, not our future nightmare! I wonder if Americans even care that by 2050, 62% of the nation's children will be 'ethnically diverse'? Or that 'immigrants' will account for 82% of the projected population increase from 2005 to 2050. Or that by 2050, 54% of the population will be made up of the current minorities?? Yeah, well, wake up and smell the coffee because that's what your country is going to look like America. By 2050, the elderly will be counting on the new 'ethnical diverse' majority to pay their pension and medical bills. I guess one small consolation is that by the time the new majority requires pension, the White man won't be footing the bill. Ah, the American Dream hasn't turned out so dreamy after all. Americans were eager to share their wealth with anyone less fortunate. Pity that this attracted the wrong type of migrant. But, we all know how this ends. The browner the population becomes, the quicker to Third-World conditions. It was fun whilst it lasted though, right?

By 2050, minorities will account for 54 percent of the U.S. population. Today, those Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, Black, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or mixed race account for 34 percent. Among the nation’s children, ethnic diversity will be even more pronounced — jumping from 44 percent today to 62 percent by 2050. It will no longer be accurate to refer to these ethnically diverse groups as minorities.

Immigration plays a leading role in both the growth and changing composition of the U.S. population. Immigration is the single reason why the United States has not aged as fast as most European countries.

The Pew Research Center finds that immigrants and their descendants will account for 82 percent of the projected population increase from 2005 to 2050. Nearly 20 percent of Americans will be foreign-born in 2050, compared with 12 percent in 2005, the Center projects. On the other side of the age continuum, by 2050 one in five people will be 65 and older and 59 percent of those will be white. That same year, when 19 million people will be age 85 and older, 67 percent of them will be white.

These changes signal that America is changing color while aging. Although older adults are becoming more diverse, for the next four decades, we will have a predominantly white older group, and a predominantly ethnically diverse younger group following. This seems to create social tension, especially when older adults express less tolerant views of an ethnically diverse population.

Although older adults might be perceived as biased against ethnically diverse younger populations, they must, at the same time, rely on these same populations to generate the funds for their federal benefits. Especially, in light of the fact that both Social Security and Medicare rely exclusively on younger workers’ contributions.

In what we euphemistically term a “pay-as-you-go” system, today’s younger workers contribute to the benefits of current retirees, including undocumented workers. In a now outdated but pertinent 1994 study, Donald Huddle estimated that total revenues from undocumented workers was $10 billion, including $7 billion in Social Security taxes.
Because of proposed changes under discussion for Social Security and Medicare, any changes to these federal benefit systems will have grave impact on younger workers who are currently supporting today’s older adults. And these workers will predominantly be ethnically diverse. The “pay-as-you-go” system might become a “pay-and-go” system. Older adults have an obligation to maintain current privileges to younger Americans.


The Audacity of Africa

The author of the article below gets it. He gets that Africa is just a huge money-pit and guilt-fest. Not much more to add, apart from read the article - it's guaranteed to hit the right spot. And as the author says - Africa, go to hell; and look East for your future handouts as the West has paid enough.

Amid new images of starving Africans we are told the United Nations is using a word it rarely utters—famine. It is the next supposedly global crisis, though no one ever explains how a succinctly regional matter can also be a global one.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Baroness Valerie Amos has called on would-be donors to “dig deep for Africa.” Only a (so-called) baroness would ask Western nations with high unemployment rates to give to someone else. In response, the author will now utilize a phrase which seems to roll all too frequently off the tongue these days—go to hell.

Harsh? Not particularly.

Although Africa has a new famine every few years, it yet cannot seem to put together the pieces of the simple equation: Constant Sexual Activity + Desert + Tribal Warfare = Starvation.

“We had nothing whatsoever to do with the crisis, yet we pay to solve it.”
It is not a lone locale or a single nation which is affected—it is a large chunk of an entire continent. This most recent racial roundup of your meager money is brought courtesy of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. In total, the United Nations estimates more than 12 million people are in “urgent need.”

Is it not reasonable to inquire about what these people failed to learn from famines in Biafra (1967-70)? Or Uganda (1980)? Or Ethiopia (1984-5)? Or Somalia (1991-93)? Or Sudan (1998)? Or the Congo (1998-2004)? Or Rhodesia (AKA Zimbabwe 2000-09)? Or Sudan again (2003)? Or Malawi (2005)? Or Niger (2005-06)? Or Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya redux (2006)? Or Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya yet again (2008)? Or all of East Africa (2008)? Or Kenya still once more (2009)?

Worse, these aid agencies have the gall to call it “food assistance.” Food assistance is when one must request horseradish a second time from a negligent waiter. This is food coddling, overpopulation production, or at a minimum, massive nutritional welfare.

While it is difficult to observe emaciated Africans, a piquant preventative is to not notice them in the first place.

For those who recoil in horror at my words, the author humbly advocates that any African donations be immediately redirected to him in care of this publication, whereupon your hard-earned income will promptly be squandered toward supporting a bevy of lovely beauties (post-adolescent, unlike many African “brides”) to be licentiously entertained in St. Tropez or Las Vegas, location at the donors’ discretion. As a Western concession, taking potshots at any passing fellow tourists will be forgone.

While the parable is absurd, the principle is not. Who among us would not enjoy interminable, consequence-free intercourse?

A recent TV news report broadcast an interview with an African woman who arrived at a refugee camp after nearly a month of walking…with her five children. She was joined by other families of similar expanse. Aside from Gypsies and Mormons, with how many families is the average reader acquainted that has five children?

The difference between these Africans and Westerners is that very few of us have had the privilege of enjoying five children. In the West we have to pay for them ourselves. We don’t rely on others to provide basics such as food for us. Most lamentably, ours are never born to begin with—and the world is much the lesser for it.

The cost of welfare in the United Kingdom for 2011 is judged to be almost £110 billion. In the United States it is estimated in 2011 to be around $700 billion. There are also highly disproportionate costs for housing assistance, healthcare, and educational aid (as in the US, where public schools frequently receive significantly higher sums per child in “urban districts” than those spent on their pigment-deficient counterparts). Similarly large charges accrue throughout the West. The greater loss in the particular genius, not to mention overall genus, of squandering such spectacular sums rather than investing in our best and brightest is impossible to tally.

These costs are our reparations for the “sin of slavery” and nature’s incorrigibility. Fair enough: We are responsible for our actions and perhaps those of our ancestors. Yet one wonders why the Africans who were never carried off from the continent need be our perpetual dependents.

After caring for our own Africans brought here to home, we apparently must also pay for those left behind to endure the Great Scramble a century later. And what has an African colonial period of roughly two generations cost the West? No less than six generations of reparations payments and likely more to come. What has been our debt on a few hundred million dollars taken for useful purposes from interior lands in those scant years? Over a trillion in aid, resettlement in our own homelands by virtual unassimilables, and the contagion of crime which the Third World ever infects upon the First.

Africans were carried complete from the Stone Age to the Technological Age and given a wholly developed continent-wide infrastructure which they merely had to operate responsibly. In just over a quarter-century without supervision, these modern benefits have either decayed, atrophied, or been Orientalized. If anyone need be caring for the Africans now, should it not be their new masters, the Chinese?

While this recent catastrophe may not be the fault of those who suffer from it, another salient and seldom-made point is that neither is it the fault of the writer, the reader, nor most of the other millions living a half-globe away but are forced to foot the bill. We had nothing whatsoever to do with the crisis, yet we pay to alleviate it.

Already we hear conditions in Africa are worsening and the famine is spreading and, frankly, one simply ceases to care. Were these people left to their devices, one could hope for a reprieve of the tragedy for their sake. As they are wholly beholden to us, one only hopes that we will be granted a reprieve of them for our own sake.

If any of this aid truly made the slightest impact on Africa’s enlightening, so be it. One would tighten the belt, pull up the boots, and set shoulder to boulder. Yet it never does. Africa is today what Africa has always been: a desperately poor money pit which swells in everything we provide and in return provides us with nothing but another tale of mortal woe approximately once every half-decade.

For the current and all future famines in Africa, one suggests they peddle their pathos elsewhere. Go East, Young African! After a literal half-century or more of taxation-theft, wealth-redistribution, and colossal opportunity-costs for your benefit, the West has had enough.

As every taxpayer from Krasnodar to Kansas City already knows from perusing their compelled-compassion curtailed paycheck, when it comes to Third World beggary, we already gave at the office whether we wanted to or not.


USA: Free Meals for all Detroit Schoolchildren in Fall

How's this for liberal idiocy. In order not to 'stigmatise' Detroit Public School children who qualify for free school lunch, EVERYONE is going to get free school lunch.....and breakfast.....and snacks. Someone obviously missed out on the memo that America is BROKE. Not content to socialise Detroit alone, the program will be rolled out to Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. Hmmmm - I wonder which race is going to benefit from these programs. It couldn't be vote-bribing meals could it? Nah, I'm sure Obama wouldn't stoop that low. Apparently, kids who are on free meals feel just terrible to be identified as low-income and so skipped their free meals. Now, all the kids will line up and get their meals handed to them for free - breakfast, lunch and snacks. Here's just one idea that could've helped to avoid this cost. Why not issue all kids with identical swipe cards or clip cards - some will have money loaded on and some won't. And guess what, they'll never know who paid and who didn't! See, I just solved your stigmatised problem in two seconds and it didn't cost the USA tax payer a cent - apart from the cost of the cards, which I suspect, is a lot cheaper than supplying meals to all school kids. With idiot politicians and liberal do-gooders running America, there really isn't any hope of cutting the welfare and entitlement mentality. This isn't about meals or the hurt feelings of kids. It's about keeping the American people reliant on government for their basic needs like food, health and housing - and vote buying. The more the people depend on the government, the more power the government has over them. The idea of 'we the people' is a long-ago dream, along with the myth that politicians are voted in to look after the people's interest. It's all about power baby.

DETROIT - All Detroit Public Schools students from kindergarten through 12th grade will get free breakfast, lunch and snacks starting this fall under a federal pilot program, the district announced Tuesday.

Michigan's largest public school district said the program's goal is to "ensure all children receive healthy meals, regardless of income."

Most Detroit schoolchildren also meet income rules for free lunches.

Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program during the upcoming school year. Districts in Michigan can participate if at least 40 percent of their students are entitled to public assistance.

"One of the primary goals of this program is to eliminate the stigma that students feel when they get a free lunch, as opposed to paying cash," said Mark Schrupp, the district's chief operating officer.

"Some students would skip important meals to avoid being identified as low-income. Now, all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay. Low-income students will not be easily identifiable and will be less likely to skip meals."

The district said it still encourages parents to fill out family income surveys because funding for tutoring, after-school programs, extra teachers' aids, classroom technology and other services are still linked to income


Australia: Refugees behind $40,000 ATM scam

Hey, criminals of the world, head on down to Melbourne, Australia. Here you'll find touchy-feely judges who are eager to fall for any sob story in order to allow you to avoid jail time. Three Sri Lankan 'refugees' have been found guilty of skimming UK credit cards and stealing $40,000. They were handed jail sentences, but the lilly-livered judge suspended the prison terms for two because they had "survived torture, beatings and other atrocities before fleeing to Australia". Well, blow me over. Next time you're in trouble with the law, just say that you've endured horrendous torture and beatings and you too can get off scot-free - if you're the right color. Seems like they are just ideal candidates for citizenship these days. These criminals should have been put in prison, where they would have had at least 10 months to think about what they had done wrong. It would have given then lots of time to appreciate their Australian freedom and lifestyle - freedom that they scammed out of the Australian tax payers who continue to fund their upkeep. What more can a person say about this travesty of justice that is sold as justice?  Then people want to know why the moral decay of the West is in full flight.

Karan Nada
Karan Nada

Ramesh Rasanajagam
Ramesh Rasanajagam

THREE refugees who used credit card details skimmed in the UK to steal thousands from Australian banks have been sentenced.   

All three were handed jail terms, but a Victorian judge has suspended the prison terms for two of the Sri Lankan men, who survived torture, beatings and other atrocities before fleeing to Australia.

The global fraud scheme involved card numbers stolen in Britain being emailed to Australia and encoded onto blank Coles Myer and Crown cards, which were then used to withdraw cash at ATMs.

During the trial, the court heard more than 1500 credit and debit card details were stolen in the scheme to fleece major banks.
Victoria Police seized a computer at an Endeavour Hills address and found 27 draft emails sent from England, with PINs and matching account details stolen from people in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

Karan Nada, 42, of Endeavour Hills, Ramesh Rasanajagam, 32, of Hallam, and Udayakumar Vivekanandan, 32, all pleaded guilty.

The group withdrew $40,000, made up 317 fake cards and tried to steal another $70,000 across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT in 2008.

Judge Roy Punshon said he was guarded about Nada's prospects of rehabilitation given he had committed similar offences before.

A card skimmer was found at his house in 2006.

He jailed Nada, an Australian citizen, for 16 months and ordered that he serve at least 10 months.

The judge said Rasanajagam, a father of two and now a permanent resident, suffered post traumatic stress after being kidnapped in Sri Lanka and was entitled to a discount for co-operating with police.

He was given a suspended 18-month jail term.

Vivekanandan's immigration status was suspended pending the outcome of the fraud case. But Judge Punshon said he was entitled to mercy and suspended his 12-month jail term.


16 August 2011

South Africa: Constitutional law expert supports wealth tax

There's nothing more revolting than a White liberal wallowing in sanctimonious White guilt. Pierre de Vos - some libtard who thinks he's a clever constitutional law expert and the White South African conscience - has come out in support of Desmond Tutu's call for a White wealth tax. According to Mr de Vos, a wealth tax on White South Africans who earn a minimum amount of money, is not only important, but is welcome and constitutionally valid! Wow. Such words of wisdom - where has this man been all my life? How about we start with you and your wealth Mr de Vos? Yes, why don't you and your fellow White apologists be the first to show us your White guilt money. Black Africans are nothing without their liberal White handlers and Mr de Vos is a prime example of one such handler and enabler. They stir up the hatred for their Black brethren - and then try to justify their deceit by hiding behind big words like guilt and common sense and conscience and redress. Please click on this link to Mike Smith's rebuttal to Mr de Vos - it's too good not to read. In the meantime Mr de Vos, I salute you with a huge ONE FINGER SALUTE. May your wheel turn one day and may you enjoy it when it happens as I know I will. And thanks for the offer, but I'll be keeping my dirty blood-money all to myself. Luckily I don't feel that same White guilt you're so eager for me to pay for and I'm off to spend me some dollars.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos came out in support on Monday of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's call for a once-off wealth tax imposed on those who benefited from apartheid.
"Not only is a wealth tax on white South Africans who earn a minimum amount of money constitutionally valid," De Vos wrote on his blog, Constitutionally Speaking. "It is also an important and welcome idea that must be supported by all right-thinking South Africans with even a smidgen of a conscience or common sense."
The tax would be a small gesture towards reconciliation and redress, he said.
"If I had been born black and poor, I almost certainly would not have gone to University and I would almost certainly never have been a Law Professor at UCT [University of Cape Town], earning quite a nice salary, thank you."
De Vos criticised the FW de Klerk Foundation for rejecting the idea of a reparations tax, and for saying in a media statement that it would be unconstitutional to do so.
"Such measures are not 'reverse discrimination' or 'positive discrimination' but are rather 'integral to the reach of our equality protection'."
ConCourt ruling
De Vos cited a ruling that was handed down by the Constitutional Court, titled Minister of Finance versus Mr Van Heerden in July 2004.
In this case, Van Heerden had complained that parliamentarians who first joined parliament in 1994 were getting better pension benefits over a five-year period than those who were parliamentarians in the apartheid era.
"Mr Van Heerden, an old apartheid era parliamentarian, complained that the scheme discriminated against whites because the vast majority of new parliamentarians in 1994 were black and those who served before 1994 were mostly white.
"The court rejected this argument, pointing out that Mr Van Heerden was still going to be far better off in terms of his pension than any parliamentarian who entered parliament in 1994 for the first time."
De Vos argued that this judgment supported Tutu's idea of a once-off reparation tax, which the Archbishop again raised during a lecture at the University of Stellenbosch last week, in reference to a recommendation made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
"A once-off wealth tax imposed on white South Africans who earn more than a certain amount as a small gesture towards reconciliation and redress would almost certainly pass the Van Heerden threshold because whether one supported apartheid or struggled against it, one invariably benefited from it if one is a white South African (whether born before or after 1994)," said De Vos.
Annual tax
He would go even further and suggest that an annual tax be imposed for up to two years.
"Why not impose such a tax of – say – two percent or three percent of one’s annual income for a period of a year or two and then divert that tax into a special fund, administered by a respected panel of experts...
"How many school libraries could be built with that money? How many fully stocked laboratories could be built with that money? How many soccer fields and pavilions could be erected with that money?
"How many new computer labs with internet access could be provided to students who now can only dream of having access to computers and the internet?," asked De Vos.
"The problem is, of course, that some white people – out of shame or ignorance or maybe a bit of both – do not want to admit that white South Africans almost all benefited from apartheid."

Too true.....

free fish

Lady Gaga dresses as a nun... and gets spanked by dog-collar wearing Jean-Paul Gaultier in new TV documentary

I'm no religious freak and I don't have a problem with people making fun of religion - as long as all religions are treated and ridiculed equally. Far too often than not, it's the Catholic faith that is denigrated and attacked by the anti-religious, Left leaning special ones. The latest is Lady Gaga - who is 90% hype and maybe 10% talent - though in her small mind she thinks she's important. She's decided that the world would be a better place if she dressed as a Nun and some fashion designer - dressed as a Priest - spanked her. As you do. It's quite fashionable to make fun of Christians, and if you mock Catholics then you hit the liberal jackpot. So, let's see how long it takes her to dress in a Burka/Niqab and have Muhammed flog her - in front of a Muslim audience. Yeah, never going to happen - these self-important idiots don't have that much courage. Christians are easy targets as they're taught to be tolerant, compassionate and to turn the other cheek. Islam teaches kill first and ask questions later. Here's one tip for Lady Gaga - The Beatles..... 

Tasteless: Lady Gaga and Jean-Paul Gaultier dress up as a priest and a nun for the TV special Gaga by Gaultier which will air in the US network CW on September 12

She's always been unafraid to shock, and taboos give her little pause for contemplation as she tears through them with her spiked fingernails, crushing accepted norms with stack-heeled boots.

But for all her gimmicks - from the meat dress to the womb - Lady Gaga has still managed to (just about) stay on the right side of the taste boundary - she's been edgy rather than appalling.

Until now, that is, because in a short clip released from her forthcoming documentary Gaga by Gaultier, the Lady, in cahoots with the legendary fashion designer, has perhaps taken it too far.

The 25-year-old dressed up as a nun, while Gaultier, 59, donned priest's attire, before the singer kneeled on chair to be 'spanked' the Frenchman.

It's a provocative image, but also frivolous, and in typical Gaga style, designed to provoke controversy for publicity's sake, rather than make any deeper point.

Read more here

Chicago: Black and white creates gray area in fire department mileage scandal

Oh the chickens, they're a coming home to roost! A few years back, Deputy Fire Commissioner Nick Russell, a former president of the African-American Firefighters and Paramedics League (!), made a lot of noise about the 'lack of diversity' in the Chicago Fire Department. Since 2008 he's been in charge of the Fire Prevention Bureau in the city, but he's recently be 'reassigned' out of the department as lo and behold, doesn't a recent investigation reveal that mileage-reimbursement fraud in his Bureau was rife. No, you don't say! A city Inspector found 54 employees in that division had submitted more than $100,000 in bogus expense claims in a single year. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has defended his decision not to fire the accused saying that the expense of trying to fire them would likely exceed the amount of the loss. How's that for a strong, capable Mayor who wants to take control back of the city! Well, the cat is now out of the bag as to why. You see, the Fire Prevention Bureau is at least 70 percent Black and Hispanic, and it's just not going to be right for the Lefty Mayor to go around prosecuting his Black and Hispanic buddies. No sirree. Now, if it had been Whites he'd have been all over them like a rash and they would've been made an example of. It's estimated that 83 percent of the firefighters implicated in the investigation's findings are Black and Hispanic. Earlier this year, the city lost a court case and was ordered to pay some $30 million in damages to Blacks who applied for Fire Department jobs but were denied based on the results of what courts have found to have been a discriminatory entrance exam. Not content to get jobs that they aren't qualified for, they obviously feel it's their right to inflate their expenses as well - even though they hold secure, well-paying, Union jobs. But, here's the kicker. A former president of the African-American firefighters organisation, Annette Nance-Holt, told reporters that “We were never trained in mileage.” Well, they think they have the IQ to become brave firefighters, but now don't have the IQ to complete a form where all they have to do is write down the correct mileage? Yeah, this is who the Chicago people are expecting to save them in a crisis. Good luck Chicago.

Fearless Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel

I believe I now know why Mayor Rahm Emanuel was so measured, so passionless, in responding to reports last week about widespread mileage-reimbursement fraud in the city’s Fire Prevention Bureau.

Word had leaked out that an investigation by city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson found 54 employees in that division had submitted more than $100,000 in bogus expense claims in a single year — a brazen alleged theft of scarce public resources.

Yet instead of vowing to make an example of the offenders to underscore his commitment to high ethical standards, Emanuel fretted that the expense of trying to fire them would likely exceed the amount of the loss, at least for that one year.

“I’ve talked to the (fire) commissioner about dealing with this systemically, culturally and then, if we need to, on a personnel basis,” he told reporters.
Why the lack of vehemence? It’s not like he owes the firefighters any special consideration – their union endorsed his opponent Gery Chico in February’s mayoral election.

And it’s not like the evidence in the case – gathered by investigators who simply measured the distance between fire-inspection sites and compared it to the far larger distances recorded on expense forms --- is weak or in dispute.

No, the delicate problem is this:

The Fire Prevention Bureau happens to be a haven for minority firefighters in a department that is otherwise, problematically, predominantly white.
Overall, the Chicago Fire Department is roughly 70 percent white even though the city is only about 40 percent white.

But the Fire Prevention Bureau is at least 70 percent black and Hispanic, according to Gregory Boggs, president of Chicago’s African-American Firefighters and Paramedics League.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said he didn’t have the data to confirm Boggs’ estimate, but noted that because most of those assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau requested to be transferred there, any racial disparity doesn’t reflect deliberate segregation of employees.

Fair enough. But the upshot, Boggs said, is that 83 percent of the firefighters implicated in the IG’s investigation of mileage fraud are black and Hispanic.

This would be awkward enough under any circumstances. But is particularly awkward given the federal appellate court ruling in May that the city must pay some $30 million in damages to blacks who applied for Fire Department jobs but were denied based on the results of what courts have found to have been a discriminatory entrance exam.

Additionally, the court ruled the city must hire 111 new African-American firefighters.

Boggs said the perspective of the African-American Firefighters and Paramedics League is that the investigation was at least in part retaliation for the prolonged legal action.

Deputy Fire Commissioner Nick Russell, a former president of the African-American Firefighters and Paramedics League, was active in bringing attention to the lack of diversity in the department and has been in charge of the Fire Prevention Bureau since the summer of 2008.

The department decision to reassign Russell in the wake of the reported scandal was the focus of a protest rally on behalf of the accused firefighters at St. Sabina Catholic Church on the South Side earlier this week.

Boggs said Russell and the others implicated in the investigation were merely following the long-standing practice in the bureau of inflating mileage reports to compensate for the actual expenses of insuring and operating personal vehicles on city business.

In a TV interview at the rally, Annette Nance-Holt, a former president of the African-American firefighters organization, told a WFLD-Ch. 32 reporter that “We were never trained in mileage.”

I was never trained in it either, but here’s what I imagine it says in the manual: “Report the actual number of miles you drive for work. The end.”

Nance-Holt, a fire captain who co-founded the non-violence advocacy group Purpose Over Pain, Inc. after her 16-year-old son, Blair Holt, was slain on a CTA bus 2007, was a prominent early supporter in the black community of Emanuel’s mayoral bid, but she said Thursday that she hadn’t spoken with him about this issue.

Tarrah Cooper, a spokeswoman for Emanuel, says I’m reading this all wrong: “Absolutely not,” she replied when I sent her a version of the above explanation why Emanuel is stepping so gingerly here rather than stamping his feet.

“The abuse or misuse of taxpayer’s money will not be tolerated,” Cooper said. “Investigations are underway and we will discipline individuals engaged in wrongdoing to the fullest extent warranted.”

Not without a big fuss they won’t.