Muir Boda announces candidacy for Salisbury City Council

The City of Salisbury stands at a crossroads in her rich and storied history. There are tough choices that lie ahead and they need to be made now. Continually putting off issues has brought us to this point, where gangs are controlling our streets, businesses refuse to come to Salisbury and personality issues hang over us like a dark cloud.

On one hand we can continue down the path we have been steadily going for years. Economic stagnation, rising crime rates, gang problems and an assault on property rights which is fueled by name calling, personal vendettas and an outright refusal of elected officials willing to address the issues that this city faces. We have alienated the business community, neighborhoods and our law enforcement community. Leadership and responsibility have been sucked up into the black hole of gridlock, making our government ineffective on major issues.

On the other hand we have a choice of electing leaders who are willing to put aside personal differences and egos to help move our city forward. We need leaders to reach out to our disenfranchised neighborhoods, embrace our business community and encourage everyone to join together and resist the gang violence and crime that is destroying our city.

I believe a three pronged approach to reducing crime is needed from a City standpoint. Strengthening economic opportunity, providing law enforcement with the tools they need to succeed and challenging our faith based community to step up and support our civic organizations in reaching out to those who need and are crying for help. All of these are intertwined and cannot fully succeed without the other.

The economic situation we face is dire and we need to make changes now. We need to create an environment that is conducive to business and it begins with a welcoming attitude. We need to approach our business community with an attitude of – what can we do for you? One way I believe we can help businesses, is by creating a streamlined process into one office for purposes of doing business in the city. This will reduce confusion and set clear expectations and fix a process that currently drives business away.

There are many more issues that we face and I believe they should be approached with common sense, integrity and a servant’s heart. Public servants are just that, servants. Not Lords or masters, they are here to serve the citizens, taxpayers and all who enter into our boundaries for peaceful purposes.

We have much work to do and I believe it is our duty to pass on this great city better than we received her. We are obligated to make her stronger, safer and more beautiful for the generations to come after us. Leaving her deep in debt, rundown from violence and with less opportunity is not only wrong but I believe immoral.

Join me as we work to restore dignity and pride in Salisbury. We must return civility to our debates and respect to the council chamber. That is where we must begin, that is where I intend to begin.

Muir Boda
Candidate for Salisbury City Council

One in Three South African Men Admit to Committing Rape

A new survey says more than one in three South African men admit to having committed rape.

A 2010 study led by the government-funded Medical Research Foundation says that in Gauteng province, home to South Africa’s most populous city of Johannesburg, more than 37 percent of men said they had raped a woman. Nearly 7 percent of the 487 men surveyed said they had participated in a gang rape.

More than 51 percent of the 511 women interviewed said they’d experienced violence from men, and 78 percent of men said they’d committed violence against women.

A quarter of the women interviewed said they’d been raped, but the study says only one in 25 rapes are reported to police.

A survey by the same organization in 2008 found that 28 percent of men in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces said they had raped a woman or girl. Of the men who had committed rape, one third did not feel guilty, said Rachel Jewkes, a lead researcher on both studies.

Two-thirds of the men surveyed in that study said they raped because of a sense of sexual entitlement. Other popular motivating factors included a desire to punish women who rejected or angered them, and raping out of boredom, Jewkes said.

“Rape is completely trivialized by a great number of men. It is seen as a legitimate activity,” she said.

Jewkes believes South Africa’s history of racial division and associated trauma is part of the reason of the high incidence of sexual violence in the country.

“Apartheid has contributed to culture of impunity surrounding rape in South Africa,” said Jewkes. Men who were abused or experienced trauma during their childhood are much more likely to rape, she said, adding that apartheid destroyed family life, fostering violence and anti-social behavior.

Read more here.

World gone ‘Loko’… party like it’s 1929!

In a crowded Washington DC bar one recent Friday night, a patron carrying a nefarious-looking black plastic bag pushes his way past bearded hipsters and preppy Capitol Hill staffers, stopping at a table packed with weekend revelers.

“Check this out,” he says, holding up the bag. He pulls out a tall colorful can of Four Loko, a fizzy-lifting drink loaded with caffeine and booze that has made headlines recently when it was banned by the Food and Drug Administration.

Nearly everyone at the table lunges to touch the taboo cocktail, pulling it in close to finally catch a glimpse of what they had heard so much about.

“I’ve got a fridge full of this stuff,” says the grinning supplier. “I loaded up.”

It’s not every day a hip crowd goes bonkers over a malt beverage that tastes like raspberry battery acid and sells for a Jefferson at the gas station next door. Since the federal government announced a vendetta against the idea that you could profit from putting liquor and caffeine in a can, everyone wants a shot at the tin Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. You can’t resist it.

Nevermind that many of the party-goers are three drinks into other concoctions of caffeine and alcohol — Rum and Cokes and Vodka Red Bulls abound — the only banned substance at the table was the fruity-flavored Four Loko.

The drink has earned a bad rap in recent months. Local media outlets have reported that empty Four Loko cans have been found at the scene of car accidents and near raucous college parties that left students filling hospital beds. State attorneys general around the country have moved to ban the drink; New York Sen. Charles Schumer called on his state to get rid of it; and the FDA sent warning letters to companies that sell the product. Advocates against the drink say that the mix of caffeine and alcohol are dangerous and they accuse the manufacturers of marketing the products to children.

Read more here.

18 Former ACORN Workers Have Been Convicted or Admitted Guilt in Election Fraud

The scandal-plagued ACORN may no longer exist, but its tarnished legacy lives on in court, as the activist group and its former employees face criminal punishment.

So far this year, at least 18 former workers have admitted guilt or been convicted on varying charges of election fraud. The punishment has ranged from probation to several months of prison time.

ACORN, once a powerful advocate for low-income and minority voters, shuttered its operations amid plummeting revenues in March, six months after conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute caught on video some of the group’s employees offering them tax advice.

But the group is still facing charges in Nevada on conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters.The trial, originally scheduled to begin Monday, has been postponed likely until next year.

Former workers across the country already are being punished for their criminal activities.

In Miami, seven former ACORN voter registration canvassers were convicted of “false swearing-in an election,” and sentenced to probation and community service and banned from participating in future political campaigns, according to court documents.

In Pennsylvania, six of seven former ACORN workers who were charged in an investigation were convicted of unsworn falsification and interference with election officials. Four have reached a plea agreement on reduced charges and will serve two years of probation. Cases against two others who entered pleas to reduced charges are pending.

Read more here.

Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail

Having admittedly “reached the end of [his] rope,” President Barack Obama sent a rambling 75,000-word e-mail to the entire nation Wednesday, revealing deep frustrations with America’s political culture, his presidency, U.S. citizens, and himself.

The e-mail, which was titled “A couple things,” addressed countless topics in a dense, stream-of-consciousness rant that often went on for hundreds of words without any punctuation or paragraph breaks. Throughout, the president expressed his aggravation on subjects as disparate as the war in Afghanistan, the sluggish economic recovery, his live-in mother-in-law, China’s undervalued currency, Boston’s Logan Airport, and tort reform.

According to its timestamp, the e-mail was sent at 4:26 a.m.

“Hey Everyone,” read the first line of the president’s note, which at 27 megabytes proved too large for millions of Americans’ in-boxes. “I’m writing to you because I need to clear up some important issues. First and foremost, I want to say that this has nothing to do with the midterm elections because I was going to send an e-mail regardless of the outcome. However, I guess one could argue that, in the end, the midterms are an important measure of a president’s overall success, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call the results a referendum. Legislatively, I feel I’ve had a lot of success that I think history will judge quite favorably. I mean, pretty much every modern president has seen his party lose seats during a midterm, you know?

“Anyway,” the e-mail continued.

A 150-page printout confirms that while Obama’s points are generally cogent in the first quarter of the message, the increasingly chaotic spacing, multiple spelling errors, and near total lack of commas rendered the later portions almost impossible to parse.

Excerpts indicate an erratic use of capitalized and underlined words, with the phrase “Stopped a second Great Depression” mentioned 14 times in a bolded red font double the size of surrounding text. In addition, the e-mail contained multiple links to the Wikipedia entry for Social Security and line graphs of Ronald Reagan’s year-by-year approval ratings.

Read more here.

U.S.-South Korean Naval Drill Aimed Only at North Korea, Pentagon Assures China

Responding to China’s first official protest over plans by the U.S. and South Korea to hold joint military exercises, the Pentagon assured the communist country Friday that the naval drill is aimed only at North Korea, Reuters reported.

The Pentagon also said that the U.S. military has routinely operated in waters off the Korean peninsula “for years,” Reuters reported.

The exercise involves the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and is planned to happen on Sunday in the Yellow Sea.

Beijing’s protest, in a statement from the Foreign Ministry Friday, was noticeably more restrained than when the U.S. announced similar plans, involving the same aircraft carrier, in July.

Read more here.

The irrelevance of START

It’s a lame-duck session. Time is running out. Unemployment is high, the economy is dangerously weak and, with five weeks to go, no one knows what tax anyone will be paying on everything from income to dividends to death when the current rates expire Jan. 1. And what is the president demanding that Congress pass as “a top priority”? To what did he devote his latest weekly radio address? Ratification of his New START treaty.

Good grief. Even among national security concerns, New START is way down at the bottom of the list. From the naval treaties of the 1920s to this day, arms control has oscillated between mere symbolism at its best to major harm at its worst, with general uselessness being the norm.

The reason is obvious. The problem is never the weapon; it is the nature of the regime controlling the weapon. That’s why no one stays up nights worrying about British nukes, while everyone worries about Iranian nukes.

In Soviet days, arms control at least could be justified as giving us something to talk about when there was nothing else to talk about, symbolically relieving tensions between mortal enemies. It could be argued that it at least had a soporific and therapeutic effect in the age of “the balance of terror.”

Read more here.

Live Free or Die! (When the Right Guy Is President)

I’m thrilled so many of you are causing a commotion over the creepy, occasionally amorous and always intrusive policies of the Transportation Security Administration. It’s about time. All this nonsense about our patriotic duty to surrender the Fourth Amendment to (illusory) safety deserves all the scorn Americans can muster.

But setting aside the indignities of flying, this debate also helpfully illustrates the hypocrisy of partisans.

Not so long ago, the left positioned itself as the defender of innocents against the Bush administration’s war on terror, which was “just one tiny step away from fascism.” The Constitution was sacred, especially when we faced danger — and even more especially when a Republican was president.

It was not long ago that Democrats were regularly quoting Thomas Jefferson, who never actually said that “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” (Every nanny-state initiative in existence exempted, of course.)

Yet today, left-wing pundits, typified by syndicated liberal columnist Ruth Marcus, implore Americans to grow up, become better automatons, get moving and submit. The admired liberal columnist Michael Kinsley first offers us tales of TSA kindheartedness and then tells us the same.

Many left-wing publications that cautioned us against George W. Bush’s ham-fisted intrusions now defend Barack Obama’s ham-fisted intrusions.

We all remember when Democrats passed the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act (with bipartisan support) to ensure that travelers have a right to, among other things, sit in a plane with a “comfortable cabin temperature.” Well, how about the right not to have a stranger prying into your granddad’s testicular area? Or how about making sure that the actual Bill of Rights is afforded at least the same deference as the bill of rights for passengers?

At least read the old guy his Miranda warning before confiscating his denture cream and bottle of water. Even real terrorists are given that much.

Read more here.