Lee Hernly

A blog on Family, Life, Mac, Music, Sports, Tech

Month: January 2010 (page 1 of 5)

Help The People of Haiti

Like millions of people around the world, I’ve been shocked by the terrible events in Haiti.

Only now is the true scale of the disaster emerging. Reports now suggest nearly 75,000 people may have died, with hundreds of thousands made homeless.

The work ahead to recover from this tragedy is immense. So here’s our goal: $1 billion for Haiti. That’s how much Haiti owes to the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and a handful of other organizations and countries.

Sign the petition below to ask Haiti’s creditors to act quickly and cancel Haiti’s debts:

http://one.org/us/actnow/drophaitiandebt/index.html?rc=haitidebtpasteform2

As Haiti begins to rebuild, we can help by lifting this debt.

Thank you.

Joy Behar Strikes Again (Video)

The menacing, hateful Joy Behar opened her mouth and stuck her foot in it in regards to the upcoming Super Bowl commercial with Tim Tebow and his Mom. Tebow and his Mom speak about choosing life over abortion.

She said that Tebow:

“just as easily have been a rapist pedophile”

Really? That’s just sick. What an awful thing to say but not uncommon for the rotund, hate-filled leftist talk show host.

But she’s not alone.

Gateway Pundit writes:

Heartless progressive women’s groups don’t want Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow to speak. They don’t want him to tell his story. They wish he was never born.

The Women’s Media Center and over 30 other liberal and women’s advocacy groups sent a letter to CBS urging the channel not to air a Super Bowl ad about Tim Tebow’s birth. The Heisman Trophy winner and Focus on the Family will air an ad during the game on Tim’s story.

You see throughout the history of the progressive movement, abortion has been seen as one way for progressives to get rid of the undesirables. Founding Bloggers has a terrific post on the history of modern-day progressives they do not want you to know.

Sarah Palin, from her Facebook page, correctly points out that these progressives are looking at this issue from a backwards point of view:

Women’s Rights groups, like NOW, commendably call out advertisers and networks for airing sexist and demeaning portrayals of women that lead to young women’s diminished self-esteem and acceptance of roles as mere sexed-up objects.

What a ridiculous situation they’re getting themselves into now with their protest of CBS airing a pro-life ad during the upcoming Super Bowl game. The ad will feature Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mom, and they’ll speak to the sanctity of life and the beautiful potential within every innocent child as Mrs. Tebow acknowledges her choice to give Tim life, despite less than ideal circumstances. Messages like this empower women! This speaks to the strength and commitment and nurturing spirit within women. The message says everything positive and nothing negative about the power of women – and life. Evidently, some women’s rights groups like NOW do not like that message.

NOW is looking at the pro-life issue backwards. Women should be reminded that they are strong enough and smart enough to make decisions that allow for career and educational opportunities while still giving their babies a chance at life.

Save D.C.’s MetroRail/MetroBus System By Privatizing It

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, in a recent interview with Reason.tv about his proposal to privatize the Virginia ABC stores, says:

“we can’t just do things the same old way…. Certainly there’s nothing I gleaned from the [Virginia] constitution that would have me think it’s better or required to have the government controlling distilled spirits.”

This same type of attitude should apply when it comes to Washington, DC’s Metrorail & MetroBus system.

Tonight at 5:30pm, the Metro board, NONE of whom take Metro regularly, will hear from passengers on various proposals as the Metro board tries to plug a $16 million dollar shortfall for the current fiscal year. These prpoposals range from fare increases to reductions in service. The board will then vote on Thursday morning in regards to this current shortfall.

In July, the same Metro board will have to deal with a projected $175 million dollar shortfall in next years budget. This is why the Washington Metro system is a prime example of the failure of our socialized transit model, and why transit systems should be privatized.

So how did we get here?

Up until about 1964, transit systems in general were profitable until the last time Democrats in Congress had a super majority in Congress. Why? Because they were privately owned and not subsidized. Then, in 1964, Congress passed the Urban Mass Transit Act in order to assist low-income folks from impending closings of train service in various cities around the country that were closing lines because of low ridership. Where in the Constitution does it permit Congress to subsidize and regulate transit systems? Answer, it’s not in there.

So what happened? Places like Washington, DC, behind billions of dollars in new subsidies from the Federal Government, built our current Metro system.The system is funded by the surrounding localities as well as the Federal Government. Alexandria’s Vice Mayor Kerry Donley has proposed to double the gas tax (PDF) in Virginia in order to maintain Alexandria, VA’s committment to Metro stating:

“Travelers and visitors to the region should pay more of the burden as they are the direct beneficiaries of the reduced congestion brought to us by the Metro system,”

This is bad idea by Vice Mayor Donley because residents in Northern Virginia already pay between $.30 to $.50 higher prices for gas than the rest of the Commonwealth. Raising taxes to cover Alexandria’s share for Metro, especially in a recession that is expected to get worse, will not solve the problem. Governments in general are not good at running businesses (e.g. the U.S. Post Office, Amtrak).

Did you know? Transit subsidies are vastly out of proportion to other modes of transportation and have made transit the most expensive way to travel. That’s right. In subsidies, it costs about $.15 per mile when you fly, $.24 per mile to drive and on average $.80 per mile to take rail transit. Using that figure, my commute each way between Alexandria and D.C. costs Metro $7.20 for a $2.65 fare. See the problem?

John Stossel writes about ‘The Rail Scam’:

“The average subsidy per ride on all LA rails is $10.53, according to data from transportation consultant Tom Rubin. For someone who uses the rail to go back and forth to work every day, that adds up to a subsidy of $5,369 per year — enough to lease that person a Toyota Prius for the year.”

Lastly, I would hope riders at the public hearing ask the Metro Board to NOT ‘skimp’ on safety and maintenance. Why? As the Washington Examiner points out, in December, 191 Metro trains were emptied of their passengers and taken out of service because of mechanical and door problems. That was a 56 percent increase over the previous month and does not include incidents involving ice on the tracks, sick customers or a train that was emptied Dec. 14 because of graffiti.

So, if Metro wants riders to choose from whether the transit agency should cut service, raid its capital fund (e.g. skimp on safety and maintenance), or increase fares, riders should insist that the board to privatize the system. This will allow transit companies to compete to provide innovative transit options that we ALL can enjoy. We riders will get better service,and our communities will benefit as well.

After all, haven’t local Governments thrown enough money down the Metrorail/MetroBus well?

Dr. Dan Mitchell, from the Cato Institute’s Center for Freedom and Prosperity, is back with a new video “Stimulus II: A Sequel America Can’t Afford.”

Labor Department numbers show that the Obama Administrations $787 billion stimulus was a flop. Instead of holding the unemployment rate at 8 percent or below, the jobless rate soared to 10 percent. Now there is discussion of second so-called stimulus, which politicians are calling a jobs bill. But making government bigger, this CF&P Foundation video explains, is a recipe for long-run stagnation and lower living standards, regardless of what the policy is named.

The normal cycle for post-war recessions lasts 12 months, and we’re currently 24 months + into this current recession. The recovery is bound to occur soon, and the President knows that the first Stimulus bill won’t be credited for helping to revive the economy, considering that most of the Stimulus I money got spent in 2009 and it helped increase unemployment, not steady or reduce it. If President Obama wants credit for rescuing the economy, Obama needs another bill — and another round of deficit spending.

Pay close attention to where Dr. Mitchell explains economic course corrections and how timing is everything. Mitchell gives the example of what Ronald Reagan did in the early eighties to reverse not President Jimmy Carter’s economic policies, but President Nixon’s policies which included wage and price controls.

You can find more of Dr. Mitchell’s videos on YouTube.

On January 7, Mayor Bill Euille wrote the following:

“First, in regard to the heavily used King Street Trolleys, which have carried more than one million riders since the service began in early 2008, the city’s decision to purchase hybrid trolleys was made in recognition of 1) the environmental benefits of having transit vehicles that emit 95 percent less pollution than the current trolleys; 2) the transportation and tourism value that the trolleys provide; and 3) the environmental value of using these hybrid vehicles in a busy retail area such as King Street. In the 21st century, elements of marketing Alexandria as a place to live, work or invest in will include environmental initiatives such as the use of hybrid trolleys. For the $0.2 million cost to the city and the $2.4 million federal cost, the hybrid trolleys represent a very sound investment in the city’s economic — and environmental — future.”

First, where do many of the ‘one million riders’ come from? Because of the convenience, I have taken the trolley on numerous occasions since the trolleys debuted in 2008. On the rides I have taken, most of the ridership is fellow residents and NOT tourists. 

The trolley is also very unreliable. Last Sunday, after waiting for 25 minutes for the trolley along with several folks near the Hotel Monaco at a trolley stop, the trolley came up King Street and passed us by. I ended up sharing a cab with the same folks to the King Street Metro.

Second, many studies, including one by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, shows that hybrid vehicles reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 15% on average. So the environmental benefits of these new trolleys will be minimal at best and NOT the 95% figure boasted by the Mayor.

Lastly, the City Council is taking money from my kids and yours in order to pay for these trolleys. Most of the purchase price is being funded by a $2.4 million grant from the stimulus package – money that will need to be repaid sometime in the future. Who is going to end up paying back the $2.4 million dollars for this expenditure? Not you or I, but our kids. And that’s just plain wrong.

This purchase of ‘new’ trolleys during a very severe recession, which is going to get worse, is akin to my going to Fendi and purchasing my wife a $38,000 purse that she doesn’t need and using my 18 month’s old allowance to pay for it.

It is time for the City Council to realize that bills MUST be paid with existing resources instead of on the backs of others. Local governments MUST do more with less money. The City Council should do and promote what every family in America is already doing; surviving with existing financial resources.

Our City Council should show some grit and determination to stop the epidemic of uncontrolled and out of control spending when the piggy bank is already gone. This has plagued our City for YEARS as liberals like Mayor Euille have been spending the City’s money like drunken sailors. This has to stop.

Every member of City Council who authorized this purchase should be ashamed of themselves from Mayor Euille, Vice Mayor Donley, Frank Fannon, Alicia Hughes, Rob Krupicka, Del Pepper, and Paul Smedberg.

The Washington Post’s Jason Reid Reports that the Susan Lucci of the NFL, London Fletcher, is finally getting his due:

The Saints’ victory over the Vikings in the NFC Championship game means there’s an opening at linebacker in the Pro Bowl, with Jonathan Vilma playing in the Super Bowl.

And that means that London Fletcher, elected to the team as an alternate, will replace Vilma in the game next Sunday night in Miami. He’ll join the Redskins’ other representative, Brian Orakpo.

Fletcher commented on the news late Sunday night, via Twitter:

“12 years and 1 Overtime later….FINALLY Pro Bowl bound. Well worth the wait! God is great!!!”

(Cross posted @ SportingNews.com)

Conan O’Brien’s Exit Interview (Video)

Steve Carrell stops by to give Conan O’Brien his exit interview from NBC. Pretty hilarious stuff. I’m gonna miss ‘CoCo.’ Hopefully, he ends up someplace that wants him like Comedy Central to team with Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart. That would be a great two hour block of comedy. One can only hope…

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