Trump's Weiner Prediction; Army Bases Losing Playboy

Sunday, 04 Aug 2013 02:54 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Americans More Concerned With Privacy Than Terrorism
2. San Francisco: Just 28 Residents for Each City Worker
3. Bankrupt Detroit Still Building $450 Million Hockey Arena
4. Lawyer Files Suit Blaming Israel for Jesus' Crucifixion
5. Fear of Sinking Home Prices at New Low
6. We Heard: Donald Trump, Print Media, Obama on TV
 

1. Americans More Concerned With Privacy Than Terrorism

For the first time, Americans say they are more concerned about privacy and civil liberties than protection from terrorism, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals.

Following revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance program, 47 percent of respondents said that the government has "gone too far restricting civil liberties," while just 35 percent think it has not gone far enough to protect Americans from terrorism.

Back in 2010, the last time Pew asked this question, 47 percent said "not far enough" compared to 32 percent who said "too far."

According to Pew, the new poll "is the first time in Pew Research polling that more have expressed concern over civil liberties than protection from terrorism since the question was first asked in 2004."

Republicans and Democrats are in agreement on this question — 43 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats think the government has gone too far in restricting civil liberties, as do 52 percent of independents.

The age group that feels most strongly about this is the 18-to-29 demographic — 60 percent think the government has gone too far. The only age group that disagrees is the 65 and over demographic.

Notwithstanding any misgivings about the surveillance program, half of respondents said they approve of the government's collection of phone and Internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts, while 44 percent disapprove and the rest had no opinion.

Respondents were split on whether the media should report secret methods the government is using to fight terrorism — 47 said yes, 47 percent said no.

A majority of respondents, 56 percent, believe the courts do not provide adequate limits on what data is collected, compared to 30 percent who believe they do.

Seven in 10 believe the government is using the data it collects for purposes other than countering terrorism, and 63 percent say the government is collecting not only phone numbers and email addresses as it claims, but also what is being said in phone calls and emails.

And of those respondents, 27 percent think the government has listened to their own calls or read their emails.

Editor's Note:



2. San Francisco: Just 28 Residents for Each City Worker

Given that one out of every 28 residents in San Francisco is on the city payroll, one can only wonder how a city like San Diego can get by with just one city worker for every 137 residents.

Using the Census Bureau's 2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll, the Washington Examiner calculated the ratio of residents to city workers for American cities with a population of at least 200,000.

Washington, D.C., has the lowest ratio, just 25 residents for each city employee, and Bakersfield, Calif., has the highest — 246 residents per employee.

Washington "has the distinction of providing services that in many other places are often split among multiple levels of government, including state, local, and county authorities," the Examiner notes.

"Bakersfield's population has quadrupled in the last 40 years, and its public employee workforce may have lagged behind."

San Francisco is right behind Washington on the list of 107 cities. With a population of 805,235, the city has 28,660 employees, with an average annual salary of $90,702 and an annual payroll of more than $2.56 billion.

New York has the highest payroll, $18.6 billion, with 252,701 city workers — one for every 32 residents — earning an average of $74,270.

But those figures don't tell the whole story. The Census Bureau excludes all teachers and education professionals from being counted as city workers, and yet they make up the largest single group of local government employees. It also doesn't count employees of separate divisions such as the Baltimore City Housing Authority and the Chicago Park District.

Other large cities with low ratios include Baltimore, which has only 43 residents per employee, Denver (49 residents), Cleveland (50), St. Louis (50), Philadelphia (51), Atlanta (51), New Orleans (52), and Seattle (56).

Bankrupt Detroit has 61 residents per city worker, more than 19 cities on the list.

Los Angeles has 73 residents per employee, Chicago has 78, Houston has 95, and Miami, 101.

Bakersfield has 1,410 employees and a population of 347,483.

Other cities with high ratios of residents to workers include Fremont, Calif. (241 residents per employee); Irvine, Texas (233); and Las Vegas (225).

Editor's Note:



3. Bankrupt Detroit Still Building $450 Million Hockey Arena

Detroit on July 18 became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection, but the city still plans to spend more than $400 million of Michigan taxpayer funds to build a new hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit's budget deficit is believed to be more than $380 million, and Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager appointed to oversee the city's finances, has said long-term debt was more than $14 billion and could be between $17 billion and $20 billion.

But Orr and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder support the arena project.

"I know there's a lot of emotional concern about should we be spending the money," Orr said.

"But frankly that's part of the economic development. We need jobs. If it is as productive as it's supposed to be, that's going to be a boon to the city."

Yet critics of the project say it won't have enough economic impact to justify the cost, and is the "wrong spending priority" for a city in Detroit's woeful shape, CNN Money reported.

About 40 percent of Detroit's streetlights are shut off to save money, more than half of its parks have been closed, and police response time is nearly one hour. Detroit also needs funding to demolish some of the 73,000 abandoned structures in a city where the population has plummeted from nearly 2 million in 1950 to about 700,000 today.

The state Legislature approved funding for the arena in December. The arena will be paid for with a $450 million bond issue to be repaid over 30 years. Taxpayers will be footing nearly two-thirds of the cost, $283 million, and private developers will cover the rest. Including interest, taxpayers are projected to pay $444 million for the arena.

The Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings now play, is antiquated by modern arena standards, according to CNN Money.

But state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer said: "There are so many investments that should trump a sports stadium."

She added that if the vote on funding the arena were held today, after the bankruptcy filing, "I wouldn't put my money on it passing."

Editor's Note:



4. Lawyer Files Suit Blaming Israel for Jesus' Crucifixion

An attorney has taken "frivolous lawsuit" to a new level by filing a petition with the International Court of Justice saying the state of Israel should be held responsible for Christ's death.

Dola Indidis, a lawyer in Kenya and former spokesman for the Kenyan Judiciary, claims the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was unlawful. In addition to Israel, he names as defendants Tiberius, who was emperor of Rome at the time of the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, several Jewish elders, and the Republic of Italy.

"I filed the case because it's my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth," Indidis told the Nairobian, a Kenyan news outlet.

"His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office, and prejudice."

While the individuals named in the petition have been dead for 2000 years, "Indidis insists the government for whom they acted can and should still be held responsible," according to the Jerusalem Post.

Indidis hopes the court in The Hague decides "that the proceedings before the Roman courts were a nullity in law," he told the Kenyan website Standard Media.

"Some of those present spat in his face, struck him with their fists, slapped him, taunted him, and pronounced him worthy of death.

"I am suing as a friend."

The attorney first filed his case in the High Court in Kenya, but it was rejected. He then applied to have it heard at the ICJ.

He asserts that his case has a "high probability of success."

But a spokesperson from the ICJ told the website Legal Cheek: "The ICJ has no jurisdiction for such a case. It is not even theoretically possible for us to consider this case."

Editor's Note:



5. Fear of Sinking Home Prices at New Low

Just 12 percent of American homeowners believe the value of their home will go down over the next year, a Rasmussen Reports poll reveals — the lowest finding since Rasmussen began tracking the question in April 2009.

The survey found that 34 percent of homeowners think their home's value will be higher a year from now, up from 18 percent a year ago, when 25 percent thought that home prices would sink in a year. And 51 percent believe their home's value will remain about the same.

Homeowners are also optimistic about long-term housing values. Nearly half, 49 percent, believe their home will increase in value over the next five years, and only 11 percent think it will decrease.

Just a year ago, 38 percent of homeowners thought their home would be worth more in five years.

Rasmussen also found that more Americans than ever believe homeowners who can't afford their mortgage payments should sell and downsize rather than get assistance from the government.

Only 18 percent think the government should help homeowners with difficulty in paying their mortgage, and 70 percent think those homeowners should downsize. Twelve percent are undecided.

Just 15 percent of current homeowners favor government assistance for those struggling to pay their mortgage. Eight percent of Republicans feel that way, compared to 25 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of adults not affiliated with either party.

Other disclosures from Rasmussen Reports:

  • Only 5 percent of homeowners have missed or been late with a mortgage payment in the last six months.
  • 6 percent think it is at least somewhat likely that they will miss or be late with a payment in the next six months, including 2 percent who think it is very likely.
  • 60 percent of homeowners now say their home is worth more than what they owe on their mortgage, the highest percentage this year.

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard…

THAT Donald Trump branded Anthony Weiner as a "pervert" in March — before the latest revelations about Weiner's sexting.

At the American Conservative Union's CPAC 2013 gathering, the billionaire was asked about Weiner possibly running for mayor in New York City.

"Well he's a pervert," Trump said. "I mean the guy's a whack-job pervert. In politics, that doesn't necessarily deter you in this country."

Trump went on to say: "The guy's a sick pervert, and we need good people. He's not going to change."

On July 22, Trump tweeted: "My comment last March — 'Anthony Weiner is a sick pervert, you think he will change? He will never change.'"

THAT in a sign of the times, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which operates stores on military bases, will permanently stop selling 891 magazines due to low demand.

Bases are now equipped with WiFi and allow iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and other digital devices, so military personnel can read magazines online.

Magazine sales on bases fell more than 18 percent from 2011 to 2012 alone, the New York Observer reported.

The magazines no longer available include a wide variety of titles, from The New York Review of Books to The Marine Corps Gazette to Playboy.

THAT President Barack Obama will make a guest appearance on "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday, his fourth visit since taking office.

His last appearance as a guest on Jay Leno's program was on Oct. 24.

On this visit, NBC says he will talk about "job initiatives and the economy."

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Editor's Note:



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