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Self-Driving Technology Proves Fatal With Tesla Crash — No Consistent Sustainable Profits Ever — High Stock Prices Promoted By Wall Street Investment Bankers– Tesla Is Speculation Not An Investment — Drivers and Investors or Buyers Beware! — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2016. Filed under: American History, Articles, Autos, Blogroll, Business, Climate, Culture, Economics, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Environment, Faith, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Inflation, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Newspapers, Nuclear Power, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Reviews, Television, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Tesla Driver Killed In Crash with Autopilot System Driving

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2014 Tesla Model S vs 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550! – Head 2 Head Ep. 54

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Scum and Scummer. Let’s take a look at Goldman Sachs (GS) and Tesla (TSLA) (May 18, 2016)

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Tesla and Solar City Merger – How To Profit With Powur And The Potential Tesla Solar City Merger

Tesla Cars: A Loss Leader for Innovation?

Tesla: No Profit Until 2020?

Tesla’s Earnings Miss the Mark: What Happened?

Elon Musk says Profits from Tesla are mostly re-invested

Tesla motor hacked!

Why Tesla’s Stock Is Heading to $200: James

Jim Chanos: Tesla Is an Overpriced Car Company

Elon Musk defends Tesla for not being profitable (2012.11.13)

Tesla Motors Model S: Part 33 of Many! Problems Resolved

Tesla Motors Model S: Part 17 of Many! ISSUES! PROBLEMS!

Tesla Motors Model S: BATTERY FAILURE!!! TESLARATI.com

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How the Tesla Model S is Made | Tesla Motors Part 1 (WIRED)

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_lfxPI5ObM]

How Tesla Builds Electric Cars | Tesla Motors Part 2 (WIRED)

Electric Car Quality Tests | Tesla Motors Part 3 (WIRED)

Fatal Telsa crash shows limits of self-driving technology

 DEE-ANN DURBIN

The U.S. government is investigating the first reported death of a driver whose car was in self-driving mode when he crashed. Joshua D. Brown, 40, died May 7 when his Tesla Model S, which was operating on “autopilot,” failed to activate its brakes and hit a truck in Florida.

The crash raises questions about autonomous and semi-autonomous cars, their capabilities and their limits. Here are answers to some of those questions:

___

Q: ARE THERE SELF-DRIVING CARS ON U.S. STREETS RIGHT NOW?

A: Yes, but in limited numbers. Various companies, including Google, Ford and Uber, have test fleets of autonomous cars running in specific areas, including Mountain View, California, and Austin, Texas. Right now, those vehicles always have a steering wheel, brakes and a driver ready to take over in case of a problem, but prototype cars without steering wheels are also being developed.

___

Q: HOW DO THEY WORK?

A: A network of cameras, radars and lasers feeds information to the car’s computers, helping to fill in the gaps in the GPS system, which knows how to get the car from point to point. Cameras let the car see what’s around it, while radar senses things in the dark or in inclement weather. Lasers constantly scan the road and give a three-dimensional picture of what’s going on.

___

Q: ARE THERE LAWS ALLOWING SELF-DRIVING CARS?

A: Right now, it’s a patchwork. Eight states — including Nevada, Michigan, Florida and Tennessee — and Washington D.C. have laws allowing autonomous vehicles. Other states have legislation in the works. Later this summer, the federal government is expected to release guidelines for the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.

___

Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SELF-DRIVING CARS?

A: Self-driving cars have the potential to save lives by anticipating accidents before they happen. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Friday that 90 percent of car accidents are caused by human error, and distracted or drowsy driving accounts for some 13 percent of those crashes. The accidents cost about $870 billion a year globally.

___

Q: CAN I BUY A SELF-DRIVING CAR?

A: No. A few automakers offer cars and SUVs with semi-autonomous modes that can perform some functions without help from the driver, including maintaining a set speed, braking, changing lanes and even parallel parking. Semi-autonomous features can be found on high-end vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti and Volvo. Some lower-priced models have them, too. Toyota, for example, plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on its vehicles by 2017, ahead of a self-imposed deadline of 2022 that most automakers have agreed to.

___

Q: WHEN WILL COMPLETELY SELF-DRIVING CARS BE AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS?

A: That’s not yet clear. Volvo plans a large-scale test of driverless cars in Sweden next year. Google wants to make cars available to the public around the end of 2019. BMW, Intel and Israel’s Mobileye have teamed up to roll out the cars by 2021.

IHS Automotive, a consulting firm, predicts that the U.S. will see the earliest deployment of autonomous vehicles, with several thousand on the road by 2020. That number will rise to 4.5 million vehicles by 2035, IHS says. But even if the vehicles are on the road, they might not be in your garage. The earliest self-driving cars might be on-demand taxis, employee shuttles or other shared vehicles.

___

Q: WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGES TO GETTING AUTONOMOUS CARS ON THE ROAD?

A: Driverless cars need detailed maps to follow, and companies are still mapping roads. They also can have trouble staying within lanes in heavy rain or snow. And, as the Tesla crash showed, there will always be scenarios that driverless cars can’t foresee or navigate correctly. Brown’s car didn’t see an oncoming tractor-trailer because it was white against a brightly lit sky. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car’s radar is also designed to tune out what looks like overhead signs to prevent false braking.

___

Q: HOW COULD THE TESLA AUTOPILOT NOT SEE SOMETHING AS LARGE AS A TRACTOR-TRAILER?

A: Raj Rajkumar, a computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who leads its autonomous vehicle research, said computers can’t be programmed to handle every situation. But Tesla may need to adjust its radar, he said.

Tesla would not comment directly on the radar and computer programs, but the company issued a statement saying that it continually advances its software by analyzing hundreds of millions of miles of driving data. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking at the design and performance of Tesla’s system as part of its investigation.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/fatal-telsa-crash-shows-limits-185423753.html

Tesla has plenty of customers, but still no profit

Tesla is a hot mess—there is no path to profitability

Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 | 1:55 PM ET

Tesla shares got a little pop in after-hours trading Wednesday after the electric car maker delivered an earnings report in line with expectations and an optimistic outlook.

But I think the stock’s run is already over.

The primary reason? Profitability.

Elon Musk

Getty Images
Elon Musk

Tesla stock soared for a few months starting in February following news that pre-orders for the electric-car maker’s Model 3, with a price tag of $35,000, were approaching 400,000 units.

But, as well-known short seller Jim Chanos so perfectly put it in an interview with CNBC: “We have all kinds of questions on the profitability of the business.”

First, the Model 3. This was Tesla’s play for an “affordable” electric car but it appears to be affordable for everyone EXCEPT Tesla.

Tesla loses more than $4,000 on each of its high-end Model S electric sedans; and that model’s cost is between $70 and $108k. With margins like that, one has to assume a $35k Model 3 can’t be the answer to solving Tesla’s red ink.

Tesla’s income statement reveals the company is hemorrhaging cash at a robust clip. Furthermore, according to TheStreet Ratings, they have a net profit margin of -26.38 percent and a quick ratio of 0.49, which means they have 49 cents in available cash to pay every $1 of current liabilities.

Worse than its lousy earnings and cash flow, Tesla is grossly overvalued compared to its peers. Tesla’s market cap is more than $30 billion, compared to Fiat Chrysler at around $10 billion and Ferrari at around $8 billion. Being valued at 3x more than FCAU — an established and profitable company — looks especially absurd when considering FCAU produces annual sales of over $130 billion, while Tesla produces revenue of only $4 billion.

Furthermore, Tesla’s market cap is nearly two-thirds of General Motors‘ market cap. This is despite the fact that General Motors has a history of selling 10 million cars at a profit each year and Tesla sold less than 100,000 cars last year at a loss. They would have to sell 6.6 million cars this year to justify its current valuation. With less than 400,000 cars on pre-order that doesn’t appear likely anytime soon.

In a February interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Former GM executive Bob Lutz noted that, “[TSLA] costs have always been higher than their revenue…They always have to get more capital. Then they burn through it.”

First, he pointed out that, on the back of falling oil prices, demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is slowing. Second, there is growing competition that will cut into Tesla’s margins as prices for EVs fall. Tesla has a lot of competition over the next few years. The industry is already awaiting the Apple car with bated breath that is set to launch in four years. And GM’s Chevy Bolt is similarly priced with a similar range and is set to come out this year. And then we have the Nissan Leaf expected to more competitive in the coming months and years. And add to that first generation vehicles like the BMW i3.

And in China, they have the EV Company LeEco, which recently unveiled its very first electric car that includes self-driving and self-parking capability using voice commands via a mobile app. Besides LeEco, there is another Chinese EV auto maker that sold more electric cars last year than Tesla, Nissan or GM, it’s called BYD Co. and is now targeting the U.S. market.

Lutz believes that competition from industry heavyweights like these could “kill” Tesla in the future.

“The major OEMs like GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, etc … they have to build electric cars, a certain number, in order to satisfy the requirements in about half of the states. Those have to be jammed into the marketplace, otherwise they can no longer sell SUVs and full-size pickups and the stuff that they really make money on. So that is going to generically depress the prices of electric vehicles,” Lutz warned.

Lutz also explained that companies such as General Motors will not be making any money on their “Tesla killer.” They are making these vehicles to appease Washington.

“The majors are going to accept the losses on the electric vehicles as a necessary cost of doing business in order to sell the big gasoline stuff that people really want. Well, Tesla does not have that option,” Lutz said.

But Musk has a strategy for driving down the cost of his electric car that hinges on achieving economies of scale, bringing down the production cost of the battery pack by 30 percent. This hinges on the success of their future Nevada home called the “Gigafactory.”

The Gigafactory is a one-stop shopping in battery-pack production. The company currently buys battery packs through a deal with Panasonicand has partnered with Panasonic in this venture. Production volume at the Gigafactory is anticipated to be the equivalent of over 30 gigawatt-hours per year; this would mean the Gigafactory would produce more storage than all the lithium battery factories in the world combined. The $5 billion dollar plant is as big as the Pentagon Tesla, and Tesla is hoping to produce 500,000 lithium ion batteries annually.

Musk recently laid out his Energy-branded battery ambition in rock star glory. At the event spectacle, Musk declared that his batteries would someday render the world’s energy grid obsolete. “We are talking about trying to change the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world,” he said.

Musk envisions his affordable, clean energy will one day power the remote villages of underdeveloped countries as well as allowing the average homeowner in industrial nations to go off the grid.

But before you sever your ties with your electrical company, it’s worth noting that not everyone thinks Musk’s plans are achievable – at least not in the time frame he envisions.

Panasonic, the supplier of the lithium-ion cells that form the foundation of Tesla’s batteries, and partner on the company’s forthcoming battery factory — calls Musk’s claims a lot of hyperbole.

“We are at the very beginning in energy storage in general,” said Phil Hermann, chief energy engineer at Panasonic Eco Solutions. “Most of the projects currently going on are either demo projects or learning experiences for the utilities. There is very little direct commercial stuff going on. Elon Musk is out there saying you can do things now that the rest of us are hearing and going, ‘really?’ We wish we could, but it’s not really possible yet.”

And far from the grand stage with little fanfare buried in their November 10Q Tesla also sought to tamper investor’s expectations: “Given the size and complexity of this undertaking, the cost of building and operating the Gigafactory could exceed our current expectations, we may have difficulty signing up additional partners, and the Gigafactory may take longer to bring online than we anticipate.”

With a company saddled with debt and cash-strapped, who is going to shoulder the burden of a delay in the Gigafactory realizing its full potential? That would be shareholders through stock dilution or the American tax payer – but most likely a combination of both. There are those who believe that Musk’s real genius is in following government subsidies.

Tesla’s model relies strongly on a “green” administration. According to the Los Angeles Times, all of Musk’s ventures: Tesla Motors, SolarCityand Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

The promise is that the Tesla stockholders and the tax subsidizing public will greatly benefit from major pollution reductions as electric cars break through as viable alternative and gain access to mass-market production.

And frankly, I’m not convinced that electric cars are even good for the environment. First, it’s important to note that at this time, these cars don’t power themselves — they are plugged into an outlet in your garage that connects to an electric power plant. Second, there are a lot of environmental questions about the lithium battery itself. In a 2012 study titled “Science for Environment Policy” published by the European Union, a comparison was made of the lithium ion batteries to other types of batteries available such as; lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and sodium Sulphur. They concluded that the lithium ion batteries have the largest impact on metal depletion, making recycling more complicated.

Musk may be a genius and a visionary but the truth is that Tesla has an unproven business model and a stock that is massively overpriced. Even if some year in the distant future there exists the charging infrastructure and pricing available to make electric vehicles conducive to supplant the internal combustion engine, Tesla faces an onslaught of competition that will most likely drive its profit margins further into the red for years to come.

So, as far as I’m concerned, the stock is not a buy — no matter what earnings say. The math just doesn’t add up.

Commentary by Michael Pento, the president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies and author of the book “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.” His weekly podcast is “The Mid-week Reality Check.”

Disclosure: Neither Michael Pento nor the firm own any positions in Tesla stock. However, several Pento clients own puts on Tesla.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/03/tesla-stock-is-not-a-buy-no-matter-what-earnings-say-commentary.html

 

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Rubio Robotic Repetition Response Ruins Record — Broken Bubble Boy Bursts Bubble — Needs To Borrow Obama’s Teleprompter — Trump and Cruz Win New Hampshire — Bubble Boy – You Get What You Give! — Videos

Posted on February 20, 2016. Filed under: Articles, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Education, Entertainment, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 619: February 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 618: February 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 614: January 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 613: January 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 612: January 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 611: January 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 610: January 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 609: January 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 608: January 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 607: January 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 606: January 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 605: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 604: January 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 603: January 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 602: January 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 601: January 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 600: January 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 599: January 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 598: January 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 597: December 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 596: December 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 595: December 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 594: December 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 593: December 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 592: December 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 591: December 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 590: December 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 589: December 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 588: December 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 587: December 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 583: November 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 582: November 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 581: November 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 580: November 23, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015  (more…)

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Capitalism vs. Socialism — Videos

Posted on January 9, 2016. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Fraud, government spending, Heroes, history, History of Economic Thought, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Money, Movies, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

mith marxsocialism capitalism 2capitalism_socialism_communismcapitalism-vs-socialism-vs-communismcommunism-vs-capitalism capitalism-socialism-and-communism-spelled-out-in-their-pros-political-poster   nolan-chart-basicphilosophies
nolan-chart-majorphilosophies

capitalism-vs-socialism
Capitalism_Socialism_Libertarianism_Anarchy_and_Fascisme__4
   jokejCapitalism_communism socialism-vs-capitalismposter

Capitalism vs Socialism

Cartoon – Ronald Reagan on Big Government Programs

Reagan and Obama Face-off in the Ring – I Want Your Money Movie Clip

Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman & Capitalism?

Ayn Rand on Socialism and Dictatorship

Ayn Rand Schools Socialist Phil Donahue

Ayn Rand on Donahue 1979

Atlas Shrugged – ‘The Money Speech’ Mike Maloney

Ayn Rand ‘Man’s Rights’ From ‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal’

Milton Friedman – Socialism vs. Capitalism

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Odc.3 – Milton Friedman – Free to Choose (1990) – The Failure of Socialism Napisy PL

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

Thomas Sowell (former Marxist) Dismantles Leftist Ideology

Thomas Sowell on Capitalism Part 1/2

Thomas Sowell on Capitalism Part 2/2

Uncommon Knowledge: Thomas Sowell on the Vulgar Pride of Intellectuals

Friedrich Hayek: Why Intellectuals Drift Towards Socialism

Friedrich Hayek on Socialism

Friedrich Hayek: Free Market vs Socialism

Friedrich von Hayek: His Life and Thought

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Mass Media Big Lie Campaign To Take Down Trump With Out of Context Propaganda! — Trump Never Said He Wants All Muslims In U.S. To Register– The So-Called “Journalist” Did! — Hit and Run Political Character Assassination Attempt By Hillary Clinton Journalist Supporter — Hunter Walker — Videos

Posted on November 21, 2015. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Babies, Blogroll, Bomb, Books, British History, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Cult, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Demographics, Diasters, Documentary, Drug Cartels, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Energy, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, Money, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Religious, Rifles, Security, Speech, Spying, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Technology, Terrorism, Torture, Transportation, Vacations, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015  (more…)

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Peter Harry and Pat H. Broeske — Howard Hughes: The Untold Story — Videos

Posted on October 18, 2015. Filed under: Airplanes, Art, Blogroll, Books, Business, Crashed, Culture, Documentary, Entertainment, Money, Movies, Music, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Radio, Spying, Strategy, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

the untold story

 howard-hugheshughes-howard-HughesH1RacerPlane1932hughes plane

Oct. 31, 1947: Howard Hughes, millionaire plane manufacturer, sits at the control of his giant eight-engine wooden flying boat H-4 Hercules later known as the "Spruce Goose."

ell hughes

billie-dove1
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howard-hughes-wife-jean-petershughes womanKatherine Hepburnjane petersjane-greer-8stardust-bettjane peters

Howard Hughes – The Man And The Madness – Documentary – Biography

A documentary on the eccentric billionaire who was a pioneer in both aviation and film production. Unfortunately his obsessive-compulsive behavior and drug abuse made him a mysterious, bizarre recluse in the eyes of the public and the media. Interviews with business associates and newly discovered archival footage shed light on the Hughes enigma.

Local Billionaire Marries Socialite – This Forgotten Day in Houston

Hell’s Angels 1930 Re-Release Trailer

Hell’s Angels – Anjos do Inferno (Completo) Legendado 1930

Hells Angels Premiere

The Story of Howard Hughes – Documentary Films

The Secret History: Howard Hughes, Bizarre Billionaire (1/5)

The Secret History: Howard Hughes, Bizarre Billionaire (2/5)

The Secret History: Howard Hughes, Bizarre Billionaire (3/5)

The Secret History: Howard Hughes, Bizarre Billionaire (4/5)

The Secret History: Howard Hughes, Bizarre Billionaire (5/5)

The Affliction of Howard Hughes: OCD – Aviator – Martin Scorsese – Leonardo DiCaprio

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The Aviator – Trailer – HQ

Howard Hughes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Howard Hughes, see Howard Hughes (disambiguation).
Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes.jpg

Howard Hughes in February 1938
Born Howard Robard Hughes, Jr.
December 24, 1905
Humble, Texas, U.S.
Died April 5, 1976 (aged 70)
en route to Houston, Texas, U.S.
Resting place Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas
Residence Houston, Texas
Nationality United States
Education Thacher School
Alma mater California Institute of Technology
Rice University (dropped out in 1924)[1]
Occupation Chairman and CEO of Summa Corporation
Founder of The Howard Hughes Corporation
Founder of the Hughes Aircraft Company
Founder and benefactor of theHoward Hughes Medical Institute
Years active 1926–1976
Home town Houston, Texas
Net worth $1.5 billion (equivalent to $6.22 billion in today’s dollars).[2]at the time of his death (approximately 1/1190th of U.S.GNP)[3]
Board member of Hughes Aircraft,
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Religion Methodism
Spouse(s) Ella Rice (m. 1925–29)
Terry Moore (m. 1949–76)(alleged)
Jean Peters (m. 1957–71)
Aviation career
Known for Hughes Aircraft; Films.
Famous flights Hughes H-4 Hercules ( Spruce Goose), Transcontinental airspeed record from Los Angeles to Newark NJ (1937), round the world airspeed record (1938)
Awards Academy Award (1928)
Harmon Trophy (1936 and 1938)
Collier Trophy (1938)
Congressional Gold Medal(1939)
Octave Chanute Award (1940)
National Aviation Hall of Fame(1973)
Signature
Howard Hughes signature.svg

Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was an American business tycoon, entrepreneur, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, inventor, filmmaker and philanthropist. During his lifetime, he was known as one of the wealthiest self-made people in the world. As a maverick film tycoon, Hughes gained prominence in Hollywood from the late 1920s, making big-budget and often controversial films like The Racket (1928), Hell’s Angels (1930), Scarface (1932), and The Outlaw (1943).

Subsequently, he formed the Hughes Aircraft Company and hired numerous engineers and designers. He spent the rest of the 1930s setting multiple world air speed records, built the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 “Hercules” (better known to history as the “Spruce Goose” aircraft), and acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines (TWA), which was later acquired by and merged with American Airlines.[4] Hughes also acquired Air West and renamed it Hughes Airwest. This airline was eventually acquired by and merged into Republic Airlines (1979–1986).

Hughes was included in the Flying magazine list of the 51 Heroes of Aviation, ranking at No. 25.[5] He is remembered for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle in later life, caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and chronic pain. His legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Early years

A young Howard Hughes, April 1912

Hughes’ birthplace is recorded as either Humble or Houston, Texas. The date is also uncertain, though Hughes claimed that his birthday was Christmas Eve. A 1941affidavit birth certificate of Hughes, signed by his aunt Annette Gano Lummis and Estelle Boughton Sharp, states that he was born on December 24, 1905, in Harris County, Texas.[N 1] However, his baptismal record of October 7, 1906, in the parish register of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Keokuk, Iowa, has his birth listed as September 24, 1905, without reference to the place of birth.[N 2]

His parents were Howard R. Hughes, Sr., a successful inventor and businessman from Missouri of English descent,[6] and Allene Stone Gano. His father had patented thetwo-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in previously inaccessible places. The senior Hughes made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, and founded the Hughes Tool Company in 1909. Hughes’s uncle was the famed novelist, screenwriter, and film director Rupert Hughes.

Hughes demonstrated interest in science and technology at a young age. In particular, he had great engineering aptitude, building Houston’s first “wireless” radiotransmitter at age 11.[7] He went on to be one of the first licensed ham radio operators in Houston, having the assigned callsign W5CY (originally 5CY).[8] At 12, Hughes was photographed in the local newspaper, identified as being the first boy in Houston to have a “motorized” bicycle, which he had built from parts from his father’s steam engine.[9] He was an indifferent student, with a liking for mathematics, flying, and mechanics. He took his first flying lesson at 14, and later attended math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech.[7][9]

Allene Hughes died in March 1922 from complications of an ectopic pregnancy. Howard Hughes, Sr., died of a heart attack in 1924. Their deaths apparently inspired Hughes to include the creation of a medical research laboratory in the will that he signed in 1925 at age 19. Howard Sr.’s will had not been updated since Allene’s death, and Hughes inherited 75 percent of the family fortune.[10] On his 19th birthday, Hughes was declared an emancipated minor, enabling him to take full control of his life.[11]

Hughes was an excellent and enthusiastic golfer from a young age, often scoring near par figures, and held a handicap of three during his twenties. He played frequently with top players, including Gene Sarazen. Hughes rarely played competitively, and gradually gave up his interest in the sport to pursue other interests.[12]

Hughes withdrew from Rice University shortly after his father’s death. On June 1, 1925, he married Ella Botts Rice, daughter of David Rice and Martha Lawson Botts of Houston. They moved to Los Angeles, where he hoped to make a name for himself as a filmmaker.

Business career

Main article: Summa Corporation

Hughes enjoyed a highly successful business career beyond engineering, aviation, and filmmaking, though many of his career endeavors involved varying entrepreneurial roles. The Summa Corporation was the name adopted for the business interests of Howard Hughes after he sold the tool division of Hughes Tool Company in 1972. The company serves as the principal holding company for Hughes’s business ventures and investments. It is primarily involved in aerospace and defense, electronics, mass media, manufacturing, and hospitality industries, but has maintained a strong presence in a wide variety of industries including real estate, petroleum drilling and oilfield services, consulting, entertainment, and mining. Much of his fortune was later used for philanthropic causes, notably towards health care and medical research.

Entertainment

Hughes entered the entertainment industry after dropping out of Rice University and moving to Los Angeles. His first two films, Everybody’s Acting (1927) and Two Arabian Knights (1928), were financial successes, the latter winning the first Academy Award for Best Director of a comedy picture.

The Racket (1928) and The Front Page (1931) were also nominated for Academy Awards.

Hughes spent $3.8 million to make the flying film Hell’s Angels (1930). It earned nearly $8 million, about double the production and advertising costs. Hell’s Angels received one Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.

He produced another hit, Scarface (1932), a production delayed by censors’ concern over its violence.

The Outlaw (1943) was completed in 1941 and featured Jane Russell. It also received considerable attention from industry censors, this time owing to Russell’s revealing costumes. Hughes designed a special bra for his leading lady, although Russell decided against wearing it.

RKO

Main article: RKO Pictures

For a period of time in the 1940s to late 1950s, Hughes Tool Company ventured into the film and media industry where it then owned the RKO companies, including: RKO Pictures; RKO Studios; RKO Theatres, a chain of movie theatres; the RKO Radio Network, a network of radio stations.

In 1948, Hughes gained control of RKO, a struggling major Hollywood studio, by acquiring 25 percent of the outstanding stock from Floyd Odlum‘s Atlas Corporation. Within weeks of taking control, he dismissed three-quarters of the work force, and production was shut down for six months in 1949 while he undertook the investigation of the politics of all remaining studio employees. Completed pictures would be sent back for re-shooting if he felt that his star (especially female) was not properly presented, or if a film’s anti-communist politics were not sufficiently clear. In 1952, an abortive sale to a Chicago-based group with no experience in the industry disrupted studio operations even further.

Hughes sold the RKO theaters in 1953 as settlement of the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. antitrust case. With the sale of the profitable theaters, the shaky status of the film studio became increasingly apparent. A steady stream of lawsuits from RKO’s minority shareholders became an increasing nuisance, charging him with financial misconduct and corporate mismanagement, especially because Hughes wanted to focus on his aircraft-manufacturing and TWA holdings during the Korean War years. Eager to be rid of the distraction, Hughes offered to buy out all other stockholders.

He had gained near-total control of RKO by the end of 1954, at a cost of nearly $24 million, becoming the closest thing to a sole owner of a Hollywood studio seen in three decades. Six months later, Hughes sold the studio to the General Tire and Rubber Company for $25 million. Hughes retained the rights to pictures that he had personally produced, including those made at RKO. He also retained Jane Russell’s contract. For Howard Hughes, this was the virtual end of his 25-year involvement in motion pictures; his reputation as a financial wizard emerged unscathed. He reportedly walked away from RKO having made $6.5 million in personal profit.[13]

General Tire was interested mainly in exploiting the value of the RKO library for television programming, though it made some attempts to continue producing films. After a year and a half of mixed success, General Tire shut down film production at RKO for good at the end of January 1957. The studio lots in Hollywood and Culver City were sold to Desilu Productions later that year for $6.15 million.

Real estate

Beyond extending his business prowess in the manufacturing, aviation, entertainment, and hospitality industries, Hughes was a successful real estate investor. Hughes was deeply involved in the American real estate industry where he amassed vast holdings of undeveloped land both in Las Vegas and in the desert surrounding the city that had gone unused during his lifetime. In 1968, the Hughes Tool Companypurchased the North Las Vegas Air Terminal.

Originally known as Summa Corporation, The Howard Hughes Corporation was formed in 1972 when the oil tools business of Hughes Tool Company, then owned by Howard Hughes, Jr., was floated on the New York Stock Exchange under the Hughes Tool name. This forced the remaining businesses of the “original” Hughes Tool to adopt a new corporate name Summa. The name “Summa”, Latin for “highest”, was adopted without the approval of Hughes himself, who preferred to keep his own name on the business and suggested HRH Properties (for Hughes Resorts and Hotels, and also his own initials).

Initially staying in the Desert Inn, Hughes refused to vacate his room and instead decided to purchase the entire hotel. Hughes extended his financial empire to include Las Vegas real estate, hotels and media outlets, spending an estimated $300 million and using his considerable powers to take-over many of the well known hotels, especially the organized crime connected venues and he quickly became one of the most powerful men in Las Vegas. He was instrumental in changing the image of Las Vegas from its Wild West roots into a more refined cosmopolitan city.

Technology

Another portion of Hughes’s business interests lies in aviation, airlines, and the aerospace and defense industries. Hughes was a lifelong aircraft enthusiast and pilot. At Rogers Airport in Los Angeles, he learned to fly from pioneer aviators, including Moye Stephens. He set many world records and commissioned the construction of custom aircraft for himself while heading Hughes Aircraft at the airport in Glendale. Operating from there, the most technologically important aircraft he commissioned was the Hughes H-1 Racer. On September 13, 1935, Hughes, flying the H-1, set the landplane airspeed record of 352 mph (566 km/h) over his test course near Santa Ana, California (Giuseppe Motta reached 362 mph in 1929 and George Stainforth reached 407.5 mph in 1931, both in seaplanes). This was the last time in history that the world airspeed record was set in an aircraft built by a private individual. A year and a half later, on January 19, 1937, flying the same H-1 Racer fitted with longer wings, Hughes set a new transcontinental airspeed record by flying non-stop from Los Angeles to Newark in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds (beating his own previous record of 9 hours, 27 minutes). His average ground speed over the flight was 322 mph (518 km/h).[14]

The H-1 Racer featured a number of design innovations: it had retractable landing gear (as Boeing Monomail had five years before) and all rivets and joints set flush into the body of the aircraft to reduce drag. The H-1 Racer is thought to have influenced the design of a number of World War II fighters such as the Mitsubishi Zero, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and the F8F Bearcat;[15] although that has never been reliably confirmed. The H-1 Racer was donated to the Smithsonian in 1975 and is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

Round-the-world flight

On July 14, 1938, Hughes set another record by completing a flight around the world in just 91 hours (3 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes), beating the previous record set in 1933 by Wiley Post in a single engineLockheed Vega by almost four days. Hughes returned home ahead of photographs of his flight. Taking off from New York City, Hughes continued to Paris, Moscow, Omsk, Yakutsk, Fairbanks, Minneapolis, then returning to New York City. For this flight he flew a Lockheed 14 Super Electra (NX18973, a twin-engine transport with a four-man crew) fitted with the latest radio and navigational equipment. Hughes wanted the flight to be a triumph of American aviation technology, illustrating that safe, long-distance air travel was possible. While he had previously been relatively obscure despite his wealth, being better known for dating Katharine Hepburn, New York City now gave Hughes a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes.[16] In 1938, the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas—known at the time as Houston Municipal Airport—was renamed after Hughes, but the name was changed back after people objected to naming the airport after a living person.

He also had a role in the design and financing of both the Boeing 307 Stratoliner and Lockheed L-049 Constellation.[17]

Hughes received many awards as an aviator, including the Harmon Trophy in 1936 and 1938, the Collier Trophy and the Bibesco Cup of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1938, the Octave Chanute Award in 1940, and a special Congressional Gold Medal in 1939 “in recognition of the achievements of Howard Hughes in advancing the science of aviation and thus bringing great credit to his country throughout the world”. According to his obituary in the New York Times, Hughes never bothered to come to Washington to pick up the Congressional Gold Medal, which was eventually mailed to him.

Hughes D-2 and XF-11

Main article: Hughes D-2

The Hughes D-2 was conceived in 1939 as a bomber with five crew members, powered by 42-cylinder Wright R-2160 Tornado engines. In the end it appeared as two-seat fighter-reconnaissance aircraft designated the D-2A, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-49 engines. The aircraft was constructed using the Duramold process. The prototype was brought to Harper’s Dry Lake California in great secrecy in 1943 and first flew on June 20 of that year.[18] Acting on a recommendation of the president’s son, Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, who had become friends with Hughes, in September 1943 the USAAF ordered 100 of a reconnaissance development of the D-2, known as the F-11. Hughes then attempted to get the military to pay for the development of the D-2. In November 1944, the hangar containing the D-2A was reportedly hit by lightning and the aircraft was destroyed. The D-2 design was abandoned, but led to the extremely controversial Hughes XF-11. The XF-11 was a large all-metal, two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-4360-31 engines, each driving a set of contra-rotating propellers. Only the two prototypes were completed; the second one with a single propeller per side.[19]

Near-fatal crash of the Sikorsky S-43

In the spring of 1943 Hughes spent nearly a month in Las Vegas, test flying his Sikorsky S-43 amphibian aircraft, practicing touch-and-go landings on Lake Mead in preparation for flying the H-4 Hercules. The weather conditions at the lake during the day were ideal and he enjoyed Las Vegas at night. On May 17, 1943, Hughes flew the Sikorsky from California carrying two CAA aviation inspectors, two of his employees and actress Ava Gardner. Hughes dropped Gardner off in Las Vegas and proceeded to Lake Mead to conduct qualifying tests in the S-43. The test flight did not go well. The Sikorsky crashed, killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Hughes employee Richard Felt. Hughes suffered a severe gash on the top of his head when he hit the upper control panel and had to be rescued by one of the others on board.[20] Hughes paid divers $100,000 to raise the aircraft and later spent more than $500,000 restoring the aircraft.[21]

Near-fatal crash of the XF-11[edit]

Main article: Hughes XF-11
File:1946-07-11 Hughes Plane Crash.ogv

1946 newsreel

Hughes was involved in a near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, 1946, while performing the first flight of the prototype U.S. Army Air Forces reconnaissance aircraft, the XF-11, near Hughes airfield at Culver City, California. An oil leak caused one of the contra-rotating propellers to reverse pitch, causing the aircraft to yaw sharply and lose altitude rapidly. Hughes tried to save the craft by landing it at the Los Angeles Country Club golf course, but just seconds before reaching the course, the XF-11 started to drop dramatically and crashed in the Beverly Hills neighborhood surrounding the country club.[22][23]

When the XF-11 finally came to a halt after destroying three houses, the fuel tanks exploded, setting fire to the aircraft and a nearby home at 808 North Whittier Drive, owned by Lt Col. Charles E. Meyer.[24] Hughes managed to pull himself out of the flaming wreckage but lay beside the aircraft until he was rescued by Marine Master Sgt. William L. Durkin, who happened to be in the area visiting friends.[25] Hughes sustained significant injuries in the crash, including a crushed collar bone, multiple cracked ribs,[26] crushed chest with collapsed left lung, shifting his heart to the right side of the chest cavity, and numerous third-degree burns. An oft-told story said that Hughes sent a check to the Marine weekly for the remainder of his life as a sign of gratitude. However, Durkin’s daughter denied that he took any money for the rescue.[27]

Despite his physical injuries, Hughes was proud that his mind was still working. As he lay in his hospital bed, he decided that he did not like the bed’s design. He called in plant engineers to design a customized bed, equipped with hot and cold running water, built in six sections, and operated by 30 electric motors, with push-button adjustments.[28] The hospital bed was designed by Hughes specifically to alleviate the pain caused by moving with severe burn injuries. Despite the fact that he never had the chance to use the bed that he designed, Hughes’s bed served as a prototype for the modern hospital bed.[29] Hughes’s doctors considered his recovery almost miraculous. Hughes, however, believed that neither miracle nor modern medicine contributed to his recovery. Instead he vigorously asserted that the natural life-giving properties of fresh squeezed orange juice were responsible. (He only drank orange juice he had personally witnessed being freshly squeezed.) [29]

Many[who?] attribute his long-term dependence on opiates to his use of codeine as a painkiller during his convalescence.[30] The trademark mustache he wore afterward was used to hide a scar on his upper lip resulting from the accident.[31]

H-4 Hercules

Main article: Hughes H-4 Hercules

The Hughes H-4 Hercules with Howard Hughes at the controls

The S-43 Sikorsky in Brazoria County Airport in Texas

Brazoria County Airport Texas: The S-43 Sikorsky prototype

Hughes Aircraft Company logo until 1985.

The War Production Board (not the military) originally contracted with Henry Kaiser and Hughes to produce the gigantic HK-1 Hercules flying boat for use during World War II to transport troops and equipment across the Atlantic as an alternative to seagoing troop transport ships that were vulnerable to German U-boats. The project was opposed by the military services, thinking it would siphon resources from higher priority programs, but was advocated by Hughes’s powerful allies in Washington, D.C. After disputes, Kaiser withdrew from the project and Hughes elected to continue it as the H-4 Hercules. However, the aircraft was not completed until after the end of World War II.[32][33]

The Hercules was the world’s largest flying boat, the largest aircraft made from wood,[34] and, at 319 feet 11 inches (97.51 m), had the longest wingspan of any aircraft (the next largest wingspan was about 310 ft (94 m)). (The Hercules is no longer the longest or heaviest aircraft ever built; both of those titles are currently held by the Antonov An-225 Mriya.)

The Hercules flew only once for one mile (1.6 km), and 70 feet (21 m) above the water, with Hughes at the controls, on November 2, 1947.[35]

The Hercules was nicknamed the “Spruce Goose” by critics, but was actually made largely from birch (not spruce), rather than of aluminum, because the contract required that Hughes build the aircraft of non-strategic materials. It was built in Hughes’s Westchester, California facility. In 1947, Howard Hughes was summoned to testify before theSenate War Investigating Committee to explain why the H-4 development had been so troubled, and why the F-11 had resulted in only two prototypes after $22 million spent. General Elliott Roosevelt and numerous other USAAF officers were also called to testify in hearings that transfixed the nation during August and again in November 1947. In a hotly disputed testimony over TWA‘s route awards and malfeasance in the defense acquisition process, Hughes turned the tables on his main interlocutor, Maine SenatorOwen Brewster, and the hearings were widely interpreted as a Hughes victory. After display at the Long Beach, California harbor, the Hercules was moved to McMinnville, Oregon, where it is now part of the Evergreen Aviation Museum.[36]

Hughes Aircraft

Main article: Hughes Aircraft

Hughes Aircraft Company, a division of Hughes Tool Company, was originally founded by Hughes in 1932, in a rented corner of a Lockheed Aircraft Corporation hangar in Burbank, California, to build the H-1 racer. During and after World War II, Hughes fashioned his company into a major defense contractor. The Hughes Helicopters division started in 1947 when helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold their latest design to Hughes for production. The company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor manufacturing numerous technology related products that include spacecraft vehicles, military aircraft, radar systems, electro-optical systems, the first working laser, aircraft computer systems, missile systems, ion-propulsion engines (for space travel), commercial satellites, and other electronics systems.

In 1948, Hughes created a new division of the company, the Hughes Aerospace Group. The Hughes Space and Communications Group and the Hughes Space Systems Division were later spun off in 1948 to form their own divisions and ultimately became the Hughes Space and Communications Company in 1961. In 1953, Howard Hughes gave all his stock in the Hughes Aircraft Company to the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Institute, thereby turning the aerospace and defense contractor into a tax-exempt charitable organization. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute sold Hughes Aircraft in 1985 to General Motors for $5.2 billion. In 1997, General Motors sold Hughes Aircraft to Raytheon and in 2000, sold Hughes Space & Communications to Boeing. A combination of Boeing, GM and Raytheon acquired the Hughes Research Laboratories, where it focused on advanced developments in microelectronics, information & systems sciences, materials, sensors, and photonics; their workspace spans from basic research to product delivery. It has particularly emphasized capabilities in high performance integrated circuits, high power lasers, antennas, networking, and smart materials.

Airlines

In 1939, at the urging of Jack Frye, president of Trans World Airlines (TWA), Hughes quietly purchased a majority share of TWA stock for nearly $7 million and took control of the airline. Upon assuming ownership, Hughes was prohibited by federal law from building his own aircraft. Seeking an aircraft that would perform better than TWA’s fleet ofBoeing 307 Stratoliners, Hughes and Frye approached Boeing’s competitor, Lockheed. Hughes had a good relationship with Lockheed since they had built the aircraft he used in his record flight around the world in 1938. Lockheed agreed to Hughes and Frye’s request that the new aircraft be built in secrecy. The result was the revolutionaryConstellation and TWA purchased the first 40 of the new airliners off the production line.

In 1956, Hughes placed an order for 63 Convair 880s for TWA at a cost of $400 million. Although Hughes was extremely wealthy at this time, outside creditors demanded that Hughes relinquish control of TWA in return for providing the money. In 1960, Hughes was ultimately forced out of TWA, although he owned 78% of the company and battled to regain control.

Before Hughes’ removal, the TWA jet financing issue precipitated the end of Hughes’ relationship with Noah Dietrich. Dietrich claimed Hughes developed a plan by which Hughes Tool Company profits would be inflated to sell the company for a windfall that would pay the bills for the 880s. Dietrich agreed to go to Texas to implement the plan on the condition that Hughes agreed to a capital gains arrangement he had long promised Dietrich. When Hughes balked, Dietrich resigned immediately. “Noah”, Dietrich quoted Hughes as replying, “I cannot exist without you!” Dietrich stood firm and eventually had to sue to retrieve personal possessions from his office after Hughes ordered it locked.

In 1966, a U.S. federal court forced Hughes to sell his TWA shares because of concerns over conflict of interest between his ownership of both TWA and Hughes Aircraft. The sale of his TWA shares netted him a profit of $547 million.

In 1970, Hughes went back into the airline business, buying San Francisco-based Air West and renaming it Hughes Airwest. Air West had been formed in 1968 by the merger of Bonanza Air Lines, Pacific Air Linesand West Coast Airlines, all of which operated in the western U.S. By the late 1970s, Hughes Airwest operated an all-jet fleet comprised of Boeing 727-200, Douglas DC-9-10, and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30jetliners serving an extensive route network in the western U.S. with flights to Mexico and western Canada as well.[37] By 1980, the airline’s route system reached as far east as Houston Hobby Airport and Milwaukee with a total of forty-two (42) destinations being served.[38] Hughes Airwest was then acquired by and merged into Republic Airlines (1979–1986) in late 1980. Republic was subsequently acquired by and merged intoNorthwest Airlines which in turn was eventually merged into Delta Air Lines.

Personal life

In 1929 Hughes’ wife, Ella, returned to Houston and filed for divorce. Hughes dated many famous women, including Billie Dove, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers andGene Tierney. He also proposed to Joan Fontaine several times, according to her autobiography No Bed of Roses. Jean Harlow accompanied him to the premiere of Hell’s Angels, but Noah Dietrich wrote many years later that the relationship was strictly professional, as Hughes apparently personally disliked Harlow. In his 1971 book, Howard: The Amazing Mr. Hughes, Dietrich said that Hughes genuinely liked and respected Jane Russell, but never sought romantic involvement with her. According to Russell’s autobiography, however, Hughes once tried to bed her after a party. Russell (who was married at the time) refused him, and Hughes promised it would never happen again. The two maintained a professional and private friendship for many years. Hughes remained good friends with Tierney who, after his failed attempts to seduce her, was quoted as saying “I don’t think Howard could love anything that did not have a motor in it.” Later, when Tierney’s daughter Daria was born deaf and blind and with a severe learning disability, because of Tierney’s being exposed to rubella during her pregnancy, Hughes saw to it that Daria received the best medical care and paid all expenses.[39]

In 1933, Hughes purchased unseen the Rover, a luxury steam yacht previously owned by British shipping magnate Lord Inchcape. “I have never seen the Rover but bought it on the blue prints, photographs and the reports of Lloyd’s surveyors. My experience is that the English are the most honest race in the world.”[40] Hughes renamed the yacht Southern Cross and later sold her to Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren.[41]

On July 11, 1936, Hughes struck and killed a pedestrian named Gabriel S. Meyer with his car, at the corner of 3rd Street and Lorraine in Los Angeles.[42] Hughes was certified as sober at the hospital he was taken to after the accident, but an attending doctor made a note that Hughes had been drinking. A witness to the accident told police that Hughes was driving erratically and too fast, and that Meyer had been standing in the safety zone of a streetcar stop. Hughes was booked on suspicion of negligent homicide and held overnight in jail until his attorney, Neil McCarthy, obtained a writ of habeas corpus for his release pending a coroner’s inquest.[43][44] By the time of the coroner’s inquiry, however, the witness had changed his story and claimed that Meyer had moved directly in front of Hughes’s car. Nancy Bayly (Watts), who was in the car with Hughes at the time of the accident, corroborates this version. On July 16, 1936, Hughes was held blameless by a coroner’s jury at the inquest into Meyer’s death.[45] Hughes told reporters outside the inquiry, “I was driving slowly and a man stepped out of the darkness in front of me.”

On January 12, 1957, Hughes married actress Jean Peters. The couple met in the 1940s, before Peters became a film actress.[46] They had a highly publicized romance in 1947 and there was talk of marriage, but she said she could not combine it with her career.[47] Some later claimed that Peters was “the only woman [Hughes] ever loved”,[48] and he reportedly had his security officers follow her everywhere even when they were not in a relationship. Such reports were confirmed by actor Max Showalter, who became a close friend of Peters while shooting Niagara (1953).[49] Showalter told in an interview that because he frequently met with Peters, Hughes’ men threatened to ruin his career if he did not leave her alone.[49]

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

In 1953, Hughes launched the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Miami, Florida, and currently located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, formed with the express goal of basic biomedical research, including trying to understand, in Hughes’ words, the “genesis of life itself”, due to his lifelong interest in science and technology. Hughes’ first will, which he signed in 1925 at the age of 19, stipulated that a portion of his estate should be used to create a medical institute bearing his name.[50] When a major battle with the IRS loomed ahead, Hughes gave all his stock in the Hughes Aircraft Company to the institute, thereby turning the aerospace and defense contractor into a for-profit entity of a fully tax-exempt charity. Hughes’ internist, Verne Mason, who treated Hughes after his 1946 aircraft crash, was chairman of the institute’s medical advisory committee.[51] The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s new board of trustees sold Hughes Aircraft in 1985 to General Motors for $5.2 billion, allowing the institute to grow dramatically.

The deal was the topic of a protracted legal battle between Hughes and the Internal Revenue Service, which Hughes ultimately won. After his death in 1976, many thought that the balance of Hughes’ estate would go to the institute, although it was ultimately divided among his cousins and other heirs, given the lack of a will to the contrary. The HHMI was the 4th largest private organization as of 2007 and the largest devoted to biological and medical research, with an endowment of $16.3 billion as of June 2007.[52]

Nixon scandal

Shortly before the 1960 Presidential election, Richard Nixon was alarmed when it was revealed that his brother, Donald, received a $205,000 loan from Hughes. It has long been speculated[by whom?] that Nixon’s drive to learn what the Democrats were planning in 1972 was based in part on his belief that the Democrats knew about a later bribe that his friend Bebe Rebozo had received from Hughes after Nixon took office.[citation needed]

In late 1971, Donald Nixon was collecting intelligence for his brother in preparation for the upcoming presidential election. One of Donald’s sources was John H. Meier, a former business adviser of Hughes who had also worked with Democratic National Committee Chair Larry O’Brien.[53]

Meier, in collaboration with former Vice President of the United States Hubert Humphrey and others, wanted to feed misinformation to the Nixon campaign. Meier told Donald that he was sure the Democrats would win the election because Larry O’Brien had a great deal of information on Richard Nixon’s illicit dealings with Howard Hughes that had never been released;[54][55] O’Brien didn’t actually have any such information, but Meier wanted Nixon to think he did. Donald told his brother that O’Brien was in possession of damaging Hughes information that could destroy his campaign.[56] Terry Lenzner, who was the chief investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, speculates that it was Nixon’s desire to know what O’Brien knew about Nixon’s dealings with Hughes that may have partially motivated the Watergate break-in.[57]

Glomar Explorer

In 1972, Hughes was approached by the CIA to help secretly recover Soviet submarine K-129, which had sunk near Hawaii four years earlier. Thus, the special-purpose salvage vessel Glomar Explorer was born. Hughes’ involvement provided the CIA with a plausible cover story, having to do with civilian marine research at extreme depths and the mining of undersea manganese nodules. In the summer of 1974, Glomar Explorer attempted to raise the Soviet vessel.[58]

However, during the recovery a mechanical failure in the ship’s grapple caused half of the submarine to break off and fall to the ocean floor. This section is believed to have held many of the most sought-after items, including its code book and nuclear missiles. Two nuclear-tipped torpedoes and some cryptographic machines were recovered, along with the bodies of six Soviet submariners who were subsequently given formal burial at sea in a filmed ceremony. The operation, known as Project Azorian (but incorrectly referred to by the press as Project Jennifer), became public in February 1975 when burglars obtained secret documents from Hughes’ headquarters in June 1974.[59] Though he lent his name to the operation, Hughes and his companies had no actual involvement in the project. The Glomar Explorer was eventually acquired byTransocean Inc., an offshore oil and gas drilling rig company.

Obsessive–compulsive disorder and physical decline[edit]

As early as the 1930s, Hughes displayed signs of mental illness, primarily obsessive-compulsive disorder. Close friends reported that he was obsessed with the size of peas, one of his favorite foods, and used a special fork to sort them by size.

While directing The Outlaw, Hughes became fixated on a small flaw in one of Jane Russell‘s blouses, claiming that the fabric bunched up along a seam and gave the appearance of two nipples on each breast. He reportedly wrote a detailed memorandum to the crew on how to fix the problem. Richard Fleischer, who directed His Kind of Woman with Hughes as executive producer, wrote at length in his autobiography about the difficulty of dealing with the tycoon. In his book, Just Tell Me When to Cry, Fleischer explained that Hughes was fixated on trivial details and was alternately indecisive and obstinate. He also revealed that Hughes’s unpredictable mood swings made him wonder if the film would ever be completed.

In 1947, after the U.S. Government rejected his massive H-4 Hercules, Hughes who had suffered a near-fatal aircraft crash in 1946 told his aides that he wanted to screen some movies at a film studio near his home. He stayed in the studio’s darkened screening room for more than four months, never leaving. He ate only chocolate bars and chicken and drank only milk, later urinating in the empty bottles and containers. He was surrounded by dozens of Kleenex boxes that he continuously stacked and re-arranged. He wrote detailed memos to his aides giving them explicit instructions not to look at him nor speak to him unless spoken to. Throughout this period, Hughes sat fixated in his chair, often naked, continually watching movies. When he finally emerged in the spring of 1948, his hygiene was terrible, he had not bathed nor cut his hair and nails for weeks although this may have been due to allodynia (pain response to stimuli that would normally not cause pain).[30]

After the screening room incident, Hughes moved into a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel where he also rented rooms for his aides, his wife, and numerous girlfriends. He would sit naked in his bedroom with a pink hotel napkin placed over his genitals, watching movies. This may have been because Hughes found the touch of clothing painful due to the allodynia. He probably watched movies constantly to distract him from his pain—a common practice among patients with intractable pain, especially those who do not receive adequate treatment.[30] In one year, Hughes spent an estimated $11 million at the hotel.

Hughes began purchasing all restaurant chains and four star hotels that had been founded within the state of Texas. This included, if for only a short period, many unknown franchises currently out of business. He placed ownership of the restaurants with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and all licenses were resold shortly after.

Another time, he became obsessed with the 1968 film Ice Station Zebra, and had it run on a continuous loop in his home. According to his aides, he watched it 150 times.[60][61][62]

Hughes insisted on using tissues to pick up objects, to insulate himself from germs. He would also notice dust, stains or other imperfections on people’s clothes and demand that they take care of them. Once one of the most visible men in America, Hughes ultimately vanished from public view—though tabloids continued to follow rumors of his behavior and whereabouts. He was reported to be terminally ill, mentally unstable, or even dead.

Injuries from numerous aircraft crashes caused Hughes to spend much of his later life in pain, and he eventually became addicted to codeine, which he injected intramuscularly.[30] Hughes had his hair cut and nails trimmed only once a year, likely due to the pain caused by the RSD/CRPS, which was caused by the plane crashes.[30]

Hughes had this 1954 Chrysler New Yorker equipped with an aircraft-grade air filtration system that took up the entire trunk

Las Vegas baron and recluse

The wealthy and aging Howard Hughes, accompanied by his entourage of personal aides, began moving from one hotel to another, always taking up residence in the top floor penthouse. In the last ten years of his life, 1966 to 1976, Hughes lived in hotels in many cities—including Beverly Hills, Boston, Las Vegas, Nassau, Freeport, Vancouver,[63]London, Managua, and Acapulco.

On November 24, 1966 (Thanksgiving Day),[64] Hughes arrived in Las Vegas by railroad car and moved into the Desert Inn. Because he refused to leave the hotel, and to avoid further conflicts with the owners, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early 1967. The hotel’s eighth floor became the nerve center of Hughes’ empire and the ninth-floor penthouse became his personal residence. Between 1966 and 1968, he bought several other hotel-casinos—including the Castaways, New Frontier, the Landmark Hotel and Casino, and the Sands.[65] He bought the small Silver Slipper casino just so he could have its trademark neon silver slipper moved. Visible from Hughes’ bedroom, it apparently had kept him up at night.

After Hughes left the Desert Inn, hotel employees discovered his drapes had not been opened in the nine years he lived there, and had rotted through.[66] An unusual incident marked an earlier Hughes connection to Las Vegas: during his 1954 engagement at the Last Frontier hotel in Las Vegas, flamboyant entertainer Liberace mistook Howard Hughes for his lighting director, instructing him to instantly bring up a blue light should he start to play Clair de lune. Hughes nodded in compliance—but the hotel’s entertainment director arrived and introduced Hughes to Liberace.[67]

Hughes wanted to change the image of Las Vegas to something more glamorous. As Hughes wrote in a memo to an aide, “I like to think of Las Vegas in terms of a well-dressed man in a dinner jacket and a beautifully jeweled and furred female getting out of an expensive car.” Hughes bought several local television stations (including KLAS-TV).

Hughes’ considerable business holdings were overseen by a small panel unofficially dubbed “The Mormon Mafia” because of the many Latter-day Saints on the committee, led by Frank William Gay.[68] In addition to supervising day-to-day business operations and Hughes’ health, they also went to great pains to satisfy Hughes’ every whim. Hughes once became fond of Baskin-Robbins‘ banana nut ice cream, so his aides sought to secure a bulk shipment for him—only to discover that Baskin-Robbins had discontinued the flavor. They put in a request for the smallest amount the company could provide for a special order, 200 gallons (750 L), and had it shipped from Los Angeles. A few days after the order arrived, Hughes announced he was tired of banana nut and wanted only chocolate marshmallow ice cream. The Desert Inn ended up distributing free banana nut ice cream to casino customers for a year.[69] In a 1996 interview, ex–Howard Hughes communicator Robert Maheu said, “There is a rumor that there is still some banana nut ice cream left in the freezer. It is most likely true.”

As an owner of several major Las Vegas businesses, Hughes wielded much political and economic influence in Nevada and elsewhere. During the 1960s and early 1970s, he disapproved of underground nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. Hughes was concerned about the risk from residual nuclear radiation, and attempted to halt the tests. When the tests finally went through despite Hughes’ efforts, the detonations were powerful enough that the entire hotel where he was staying trembled with the shock waves.[70] In two separate, last-ditch maneuvers, Hughes instructed his representatives to offer million-dollar bribes to both presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.[71]

In 1970, Jean Peters filed for divorce. The two had not lived together for many years. Peters requested a lifetime alimony payment of $70,000 a year, adjusted for inflation, and waived all claims to Hughes’ estate. Hughes offered her a settlement of over a million dollars, but she declined it. Hughes did not insist on a confidentiality agreement from Peters as a condition of the divorce. Aides reported that Hughes never spoke ill of her. She refused to discuss her life with Hughes and declined several lucrative offers from publishers and biographers. Peters would state only that she had not seen Hughes for several years before their divorce and had only dealt with him by phone.

Hughes was living in the Intercontinental Hotel near Lake Managua in Nicaragua, seeking privacy and security,[72] when a magnitude 6.5 earthquake damaged Managua in December 1972. As a precaution, Hughes moved to the Nicaraguan National Palace and stayed there as a guest of Anastasio Somoza Debayle before leaving for Florida on a private jet the following day.[73] He subsequently moved into the Penthouse at the Xanadu Princess Resort on Grand Bahama Island, which he had recently purchased. He lived almost exclusively in the penthouse of the Xanadu Beach Resort & Marina for the last four years of his life. Hughes had spent a total of $300 million on his many properties in Las Vegas.[64]

Memoir hoax

In 1972, author Clifford Irving caused a media sensation when he claimed he had co-written an authorized autobiography of Hughes. Hughes was so reclusive that he did not immediately publicly refute Irving’s statement, leading many to believe the Irving book was genuine. However, before the book’s publication Hughes finally denounced Irving in a teleconference and the entire project was eventually exposed as a hoax.[74] Irving was later convicted of fraud and spent 17 months in prison. In 1974, the Orson Welles film F for Fake included a section on the Hughes biography hoax. In 1977, The Hoax by Clifford Irving was published in Great Britain, telling his story of these events. The 2007 film The Hoax, starring Richard Gere, is also based on these events.[75]

Death

Howard Hughes’ gravestone

Hughes Family Gravesite atGlenwood Cemetery

Hughes was reported to have died on April 5, 1976, at 1:27 p.m. on board an aircraft owned by Robert Graf and piloted by Jeff Abrams. He was en route from his penthouse at the Acapulco Fairmont Princess Hotel in Mexico to the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Other accounts indicate that he died in the flight from Freeport, Grand Bahama, to Houston.[76]

After receiving a call, his senior counsel, Frank P. Morse, ordered his staff to get his body on a plane and return him to the United States. It was common that foreign countries would hold corpse as ransom so that an estate could not be settled. Morse ordered the pilots to announce Hughes’ death once they crossed U.S. territory. (Morse, 2015)

His reclusive activities (and possibly his drug use) made him practically unrecognizable. His hair, beard, fingernails, and toenails were long—his tall 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) frame now weighed barely 90 pounds (41 kg), and the FBI had to use fingerprints to conclusively identify the body.[77] Howard Hughes’ alias, John T. Conover, was used when his body arrived at a morgue in Houston on the day of his death. There, his body was received by Dr. Jack Titus.[78]

A subsequent autopsy recorded kidney failure as the cause of death.[79] Hughes was in extremely poor physical condition at the time of his death. He suffered frommalnutrition. While his kidneys were damaged, his other internal organs, including his brain, were deemed perfectly healthy.[30] X-rays revealed five broken-off hypodermic needles in the flesh of his arms.[30] To inject codeine into his muscles, Hughes had used glass syringes with metal needles that easily became detached.[30]

Hughes is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas, next to his parents.[80]

The red brick house where Hughes lived as a teenager at 3921 Yoakum St., Houston today serves as the headquarters of the Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas.

Estate

Approximately three weeks after Hughes’ death, a handwritten will was found on the desk of an official of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. The so-called “Mormon Will” gave $1.56 billion to various charitable organizations (including $625 million to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute); nearly $470 million to the upper management in Hughes’ companies and to his aides; $156 million to first cousin William Lummis; and $156 million split equally between his two ex-wives Ella Rice and Jean Peters.

Hughes left his entire estate, in his last will, and according to his senior counsel (Frank P. Morse) to the Hughes Medical Institute as he had no connection to family and was seriously ill. This is contrary to the many wills that have surfaced after his death. The original will, that included payments to aides, never surfaced and was apparently in a home surrounding the Desert Inn Golf Course, belonging to the mother of an assistant. He had no desire to leave any money to family, aides, churches, including William Gay and Frank Morse (Morse, 1976). Hughes was not Mormon and had no reason to leave his estate to that church. Frank P. Morse is still the attorney of record for Hughes. Gay has devoted his life to the Mormon Church. (Morse, 2015)

A further $156 million was endowed to a gas-station owner named Melvin Dummar, who told reporters that late one evening in December 1967, he found a disheveled and dirty man lying along U.S. Highway 95, 150 miles (240 km) north of Las Vegas. The man asked for a ride to Las Vegas. Dropping him off at the Sands Hotel, Dummar said the man told him he was Hughes. Dummar then claimed that days after Hughes’ death, a “mysterious man” appeared at his gas station, leaving an envelope containing the will on his desk. Unsure if the will was genuine, and unsure of what to do, Dummar left the will at the LDS Church office. In June 1978, after a seven-month trial, a Nevada court rejected the Mormon Will as a forgery, and declared that Hughes had died intestate. Jonathan Demme‘s film Melvin and Howard, written by Bo Goldman and starringJason Robards and Paul Le Mat, was based on Dummar’s story.

Hughes’ $2.5 billion estate was eventually split in 1983 among 22 cousins, including William Lummis, who serves as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hughes Aircraft was owned by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which sold it to General Motors in 1985 for $5.2 billion. The court rejected suits by the states of California and Texas claiming they were owed inheritance tax. In 1984, Hughes’ estate paid an undisclosed amount to Terry Moore, who claimed she and Hughes had secretly married on a yacht in international waters off Mexicoin 1949 and never divorced. Moore never produced proof of a marriage, but her book, The Beauty and the Billionaire, became a bestseller.

Awards

Popular culture

Howard Hughes has now emerged as one of the 20th century’s most iconic business and aviation figures spawning a wide range of cultural references.

Film

(Chronological)

Television

  • In The Simpsons episode “$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)“, Mr. Burns refuses to leave his room after the opening of his casino and develops a paranoid obsession with germs and cleanliness; his hair and nails become unkempt, all of which parody Hughes’ later life. He also makes a small model airplane called the Spruce Moose (a reference to Hughes’ Spruce Goose), which he believes is a real, flyable plane.
  • In the Beverly Hillbillies episode, The Clampett-Hewes Empire, Mr. Drysdale gets enthusiastic when he hears the news that Jed Clampett is going into the airport business with “Howard Hughes” and does everything he can to make “Mr. Hughes” as welcome as possible (even putting together a small girl chorus singing “We Love You Howard Hughes”)…until he discovers to his chagrin the “Howard Hughes” Jed Clampett is partnering with is not the famous billionaire airplane aficionado; he’s nothing but a plain old, impoverished, henpecked husband farmer whose last name is Hewes (H-E-W-E-S).

Games

  • Andrew Ryan, partially based on Hughes, is a fictional character in the 2007 video game, BioShock. He was an industrialist business magnate in the Post-WW2 1940s, and seeking to avoid governments, religions and other ‘parasitic’ influences, ordered the secret construction of an underwater city, Rapture. 15+ Years later, when Ryan’s vision for an Objectivist utopia in Rapture falls into dystopia, he hides himself away and uses armies of mutated humans, “Splicers”, to defend himself and fight against those trying to take over his City, including the player-character Jack within the first game.[86]
  • Robert House, largely based on Hughes, is a fictional character in the 2010 video game, Fallout: New Vegas. He was a naturally gifted engineer and aerospace enthusiast, much like the real Hughes. The game takes place in an alternate reality in 2281 after a catastrophic nuclear war in 2077. Mr. House defends Las Vegas against most of the missiles, and preserves his life through robotics, cryogenics and computers—eventually controlling the post-apocalyptic New Vegas, which the player character experiences. Many references are made to the life of Hughes, including a family-owned tool company, a crashed plane in Lake Mead, and an in-game photo similar to the famous photo of Hughes standing before a Boeing P-12.
  • In L.A. Noire, Hughes makes an appearance presenting his Hercules H-4 aircraft in the game introduction.[87]
  • In Team Fortress 2 a hat referencing him can be obtained, named Barnstormer, the description of which references his film career, his aeronautics past, and some of his obsessions. The class that uses this hat is also a reference, since it is the Engineer.

Literature

  • Howard Hughes appears as a character in Death and Honor (Putnam, 2008), W.E.B. Griffin‘s fictional account of the clandestine espionage activities of agents of the United States Office of Strategic Services (the “OSS”) during World War II. In the novel, Hughes is portrayed as an unofficial intelligence community insider.
  • Howard Hughes also appears as a character in James Ellroy‘s L.A. Quartet and Underworld USA Trilogy. In the latter saga, Hughes is described as reclusive, eccentric and mentally disturbed. He plans to take over the mafia’s casinos in Las Vegas to establish a “germ-free environment” for his residence.
  • Stan Lee has repeatedly stated he created the Marvel Comics character Iron Man‘s civilian persona, Tony Stark, drawing inspiration from Howard Hughes’ colorful lifestyle and personality. Additionally, the first name of Stark’s father is Howard.[88]
  • Jonas Cord, primary character in the Harold Robbins novel, The Carpetbaggers, is a literary twin of Howard Hughes.
  • In the novel Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut, the character Mary Kathleen O’Looney has several traits that were obviously modeled after Howard Hughes (living as a paranoid homeless person while simultaneously being immensely rich and the CEO of a huge corporation, her orders validated by her fingerprints only).
  • Howard Hughes is discussed in an essay by Joan Didion, “7000 Romaine, Los Angeles 38”. The essay is included in the collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem.

Music

  • “Howard Hughes’ Blues” is a song about Hughes by John Hartford; it is a track on Hartford’s album Morning Bugle.
  • In the Jim Croce song “Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues“, the narrator refers to himself as “an undiscovered Howard Hughes”.
  • Hughes is referenced in the 1975 hit single, ‘Wall Street Shuffle’ by the top-selling UK band, 10cc.
  • In the Stan Ridgway song “I Wanna Be a Boss”, the narrator refers to himself as planning to be more famous than Hughes, including references to growing a long beard and watching Ice Station Zebra in the nude.[89]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hughes

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2016 Honda Accord — Vidoes

Posted on October 5, 2015. Filed under: Autos, Blogroll, Communications, Computers, liberty, Life, Links, Transportation, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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David Friend — Watching The World Change: The Stories Behind The Images of 9/11 — Videos

Posted on September 14, 2015. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Blogroll, Books, Catholic Church, Communications, Constitution, Documentary, Employment, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, history, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Psychology, Raves, Religion, Religious, Religious, Resources, Reviews, Security, Sunni, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

watching the world change

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Authors@Google: David Friend

“[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day.”

ROBERT STONE

About the Book

Watching the World ChangeWatching the World Change The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11 David FriendThe terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was the most universally observed news event in human history. That the event was so visual is owing to the people who, facing disaster, took photographs of it: imperiled office workers, horrified tourists, professional photographers risking their lives. Conceived by Osama bin Laden as the toppling of an image of America right before the world¹s eyes, the tragedy swiftly came to be defined by photography, as families posted snapshots of their loved ones, police sought terrorists¹ faces on security-camera videotapes, and officials recorded the devastation and identified the dead.

In Watching the World Change, David Friend tells the stories behind fifty of the images that altered our sense of our world forever‹from the happenstance shots taken by bystanders as the first tower was struck to the scene of three firemen raising the Stars and Stripes at the site. He tells unforgettable stories of photographers and rescuers, victims and survivors. He shows how advances in television, digital photography, and the Internet produced an effect whereby more than two billion people saw the terrible events as they happened. He explores the controversy about whether images of 9/11 are redemptive or exploitative; and he shows how photographs help us to witness, to grieve, and finally to understand the unimaginable.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 464 pages Size: 6 x 9 24 Pages of Color Illustrations/Notes/Index $30.00 Hardcover

http://davidfriend.net/book_about.php

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Is Pope Francis The First Watermelon Pope? – Green On The Outside, Red On The Inside — Trying To Convert Catholics To The Religion of Anti-Scientists Alarmist Socialists — Skeptical Capitalist Heretics Unite — Pope Francis Wrong On Science, Wrong On Economics, Not An Authority — Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Videos

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Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 490 June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489 June 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 487 June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486 June 16, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 479 June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Story 1: Is Pope Francis The First Watermelon Pope? – Green On The Outside, Red On The Inside — Trying To Convert Catholics To The Religion of Anti-Scientists Alarmist Socialists — Skeptical Capitalist Heretics Unite — Pope Francis Wrong On Science, Wrong On Economics, Not An Authority — Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Videos

Galileo – “Faith can never conflict with reason” –

~Pope John Paul II – November 4, 1992

climatefactorsCO2andTemp600millionyrstopresentgeocraftDansgaard-Temperature2hansen-1988-a-b-c-scenariosclimate change failco2_800kclimate-reconstructions-1-million-yearsicecore_recordsgreenlandice_fig5

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Freeman Dyson on the Global Warming Hysteria April, 2015

Freeman Dyson: A Global Warming Heretic & Denier

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Fred Singer

Global Warming Debate – Dr. Fred Singer (1 of 2)

Global Warming Debate – Dr. Fred Singer (2 of 2)

Professor Fred Singer on Climate Change pt 1

Professor Fred Singer on Climate Change pt 2

Unstoppable Solar Cycles

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Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (2 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (3 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (4 of 5)

Prof. Fred Singer on Climate Change – CFACT (5 of 5)

MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.

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And yet it moves.

~Galileo Galilei

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The Current Pope’s Advisor On Climate Change (Really?)

Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Climate change: state of play

UC San Diego Professor Advises Pope on Climate Change

How climate-change doubters lost a papal fight

By Anthony Faiola and Chris Mooney

Pope Francis was about to take a major step backing the science behind ­human-driven global warming, and Philippe de Larminat was determined to change his mind.

A French doubter who authored a book arguing that solar activity — not greenhouse gases — was driving global warming, de Larminat sought a spot at a climate summit in April sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Nobel laureates would be there. So would U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs and others calling for dramatic steps to curb carbon emissions.

After securing a high-level meeting at the Vatican, he was told that, space permitting, he could join. He bought a plane ticket from Paris to Rome. But five days before the April 28 summit, de Larminat said, he received an e-mail saying there was no space left. It came after other scientists — as well as the powerful Vatican bureaucrat in charge of the academy — insisted he had no business being there.

“They did not want to hear an off note,” de Larminat said.

The incident highlights how climate-change doubters tried and failed to alter the landmark papal document unveiled last week — one that saw the leader of 1 billion Catholics fuse faith and reason and come to the conclusion that “denial” is wrong.

It marked the latest blow for those seeking to stop the reform-minded train that has become Francis’s papacy. It is one that has reinvigorated liberal Catholics even as it has sowed the seeds of resentment and dissent inside and outside the Vatican’s ancient walls.

Yet the battle lost over climate change also suggests how hard it may be for critics to blunt the power of a man who has become something of a juggernaut in an institution where change tends to unfold over decades, even centuries. More than anything, to those who doubt the human impact of global warming, the position staked out by Francis in his papal document, known as an encyclical, means a major defeat.

“This was their Waterloo,” said Kert Davies, executive director of the Climate Investigations Center, who has been tracking ­climate-change deniers for years. “They wanted the encyclical not to happen. And it happened.”

Growth in the Internet of Things promises to transform life, work and industry.READ MORE

Papal advisers say Francis signaled his intent to draft a major document on the environment soon after assuming the throne of St. Peter in March 2013. His interest in the topic dates to his days as a bishop in Buenos Aires, where Francis, officials say, was struck by the effects of floods and unsanitary conditions on Argentine shantytowns known as “misery villages.”

In January, Francis officially announced his goal of drafting the encyclical — saying after an official visit to the Philippines that he wanted to make a “contribution” to the debate ahead of a major U.N. summit on climate change in Paris in December.

But several efforts by those skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change to influence the document appear to have come considerably later — in April — and, maybe, too late.

In late April, the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, a free-market group that serves as a hub of skepticism regarding the science of human-caused global warming, sent a delegation to the Vatican. As a Heartland news release put it, they hoped “to inform Pope Francis of the truth about climate science: There is no global warming crisis!”

It was meant to coincide with the same April meeting that de Larminat was trying to attend. Heartland’s activists were not part of the invited contingent, either, Heartland communications director Jim Lakely said.

“It was a side event,” he said. “We were outside the walls of the Vatican. We were at a hotel — literally, I could throw a football into St. Peter’s Square.”

Seven scientists and other experts gave speeches at the Heartland event, raising doubts about various aspects of the scientific consensus on climate change, even as several also urged the pope not to take sides in the debate. It’s impossible to know how that influenced those in the Vatican working on the pope’s document — which one Vatican official said was at “an advanced stage.” But Lakely said his group did not see much of its argument reflected in the final document.

“We all want the poor to live better lives, but we just don’t think the solution to that is to restrict the use of fossil fuels, because we don’t think CO2 is causing a climate crisis,” Lakely said. “So if that’s our message in a sentence, that message was not reflected in the encyclical, so there you go.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-climate-change-doubters-lost-a-papal-fight/2015/06/20/86af3182-15ce-11e5-8457-4b431bf7ed4c_story.html

Read Pope Francis’s full document on Climate Change

n the 192-page paper released Thursday, the pope lays out the argument for a new partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change — a position bringing him immediately into conflict with skeptics, whom he chides for their “denial.” And you can also read 10 key excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/18/read-pope-franciss-full-document-on-climate-change/

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

In his encyclical, read by a nun at the Vatican on Thursday, Francis focused on the harm climate change poses to the poor. CreditMax Rossi/Reuters

Francis has made it clear that he hopes the encyclical will influence energy and economic policy and stir a global movement. He calls on ordinary people to press politicians for change. Catholic bishops and priests around the world are expected to discuss the encyclical in services on Sunday. But Francis is also reaching for a wider audience, asking in the document “to address every person living on this planet.”

Even before the encyclical, the pope’s stance against environmental destruction and his demand for global action had already thrilled many scientists. Advocates of policies to combat climate change have said they hoped that Francis could lend a “moral dimension” to the debate.

“Within the scientific community, there is almost a code of honor that you will never transgress the red line between pure analysis and moral issues,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and chairman of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “But we are now in a situation where we have to think about the consequences of our insight for society.”

Francis has been sharply criticized by those who question or deny the established science of human-caused climate change, and also by some conservative Roman Catholics, who see the encyclical as an attack on capitalism and as political meddling.

Graphic: On Planet in Distress, a Papal Call to Action

Governments are now developing domestic climate-change plans to prepare for aUnited Nations summit meeting on the issue in Paris in December. The meeting’s goal is to achieve a sweeping accord in which every nation would commit to new policies to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. Many governments have yet to present plans, including major emitters like Brazil, which has a large Catholic population. The encyclical is seen as an unsubtle nudge for action.

“It gives a lot of cover to political and economic leaders in those countries, as they make decisions on climate change policy,” said Timothy Wirth, vice chairman of the United Nations Foundation.

Catholic theologians say the overarching theme of the encyclical is “integral ecology,” which links care for the environment with a notion already well developed in Catholic teaching: that economic development, to be morally good and just, must take into account people’s need for things like freedom, education and meaningful work.

“The basic idea is, in order to love God, you have to love your fellow human beings, and you have to love and care for the rest of creation,” said Vincent Miller, who holds a chair in Catholic theology and culture at the University of Dayton, a Catholic college in Ohio. “It gives Francis a very traditional basis to argue for the inclusion of environmental concern at the center of Christian faith.”

Photo

Metropolitan of Pergamon John Zizioulas, left, and Cardinal Peter Turkson presented the 184-page papal encyclical on Thursday.CreditAndrew Medichini/Associated Press

He added: “Critics will say the church can’t teach policy, the church can’t teach politics. And Francis is saying, ‘No, these things are at the core of the church’s teaching.’ ”

Francis tapped a wide variety of sources in his encyclical, partly to underscore the universality of his message. He cites passages from his two papal predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and draws prominently from a religious ally, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He also cites a ninth-century Sufi mystic, Ali al-Khawas.

“This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church,” Francis writes. The Bible teaches human beings to “till and keep” the garden of the world, he says. “ ‘Tilling’ refers to cultivating, plowing or working, while ‘keeping’ means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving.”

His most stinging rebuke is a broad critique of profit-seeking and the undue influence of technology on society. He praises achievements in medicine, science and engineering, but says that “our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

Central to Francis’ theme is the link between poverty and the planet’s fragility. The pope rejects the belief that technology and “current economics” will solve environmental problems, or “that the problems of global hunger and poverty will be resolved simply by market growth.”

“A huge indictment I see in this encyclical is that people have lost their sense of ultimate and proper goals of technology and economics,” said Christiana Z. Peppard, an assistant professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University in New York. “We are focused on short-term, consumerist patterns.”

Encyclicals are letters to the clergy and laity of the church that are considered authoritative. Catholics are expected to try to sincerely embrace their teachings. But more specific assertions in them can be categorized as “prudential judgments,” a phrase that some critics have invoked to reject Francis’ positions on issues like climate change or economic inequality.

Many conservatives will be pleased with the encyclical’s strong criticism of abortion, and its dismissal of arguments that population control can be an answer to poverty. However, Francis sharply criticizes the trading of carbon credits — a market-based system central to the European Union’s climate policy — and says it “may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.”

Above all, Francis frames the encyclical as a call to action. He praises young people for being ready for change, and said “enforceable international agreements are urgently needed.” He cites Benedict in saying that advanced societies “must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency.”

“All is not lost,” he writes. “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?_r=0

The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis

The scientist who influenced Laudato Si, and who serves at the Vatican’s science office, seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God.

By ILLIAM M BRIGGS Published on June 22, 2015

1.4K432641
William M Briggs

St. Francis of Assisi’s hymn Laudato Si’ spoke of “Brothers” Sun and Fire and “Sisters” Moon and Water, using these colorful phrases figuratively, as a way of praising God’s creation. These sentimental words so touched Pope Francis that he named his encyclical after this canticle (repeated in paragraph 87 of the Holy Father’s letter).

Neither Pope Francis nor St. Francis took the words literally, of course. Neither believed that fire was alive and could be talked to or reasoned with or, worse, worshiped. Strange, then, that a self-professed atheist and scientific advisor to the Vatican named Hans Schellnhuber appears to believe in a Mother Earth.

Gaia

The Gaia Principle, first advanced by chemist James Lovelock (who has lately had second thoughts) and microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, says that all life interacts with the Earth, and the Earth with all life, to form a giant self-regulating, living system.

This goes far beyond the fact that the Earth’s climate system has feedbacks, which are at the very center of the debate over climate change. In the Gaia Principle, Mother Earth is alive, and even, some think, aware in some ill-defined, mystical way. The Earth knows man and his activities and, frankly, isn’t too happy with him.

This is what we might call “scientific pantheism,” a kind that appeals to atheistic scientists. It is an updated version of the pagan belief that the universe itself is God, that the Earth is at least semi-divine — a real Brother Sun and Sister Water! Mother Earth is immanent in creation and not transcendent, like the Christian God.

What’s this have to do with Schellnhuber? In the 1999 Nature paper “‘Earth system’ analysis and the second Copernican revolution,” he said:

Ecosphere science is therefore coming of age, lending respectability to its romantic companion, Gaia theory, as pioneered by Lovelock and Margulis. This hotly debated ‘geophysiological’ approach to Earth-system analysis argues that the biosphere contributes in an almost cognizant way to self-regulating feedback mechanisms that have kept the Earth’s surface environment stable and habitable for life.

Geo-physiological, in case you missed it. Cognizant, in black and white. So dedicated is Schellnhuber to this belief that he says “the Gaia approach may even include the influence of biospheric activities on the Earth’s plate-tectonic processes.”  Not the other way around, mind you, where continental drift and earthquakes effects life, but where life effects earthquakes.

He elaborates:

Although effects such as the glaciations may still be interpreted as over-reactions to small disturbances — a kind of cathartic geophysiological fever — the main events, resulting in accelerated maturation by shock treatment, indicate that Gaia faces a powerful antagonist. Rampino has proposed personifying this opposition as Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

Mother Earth gets the flu and instead of white blood cells and a rise in temperature to fend off the infection, it sends white ice and a decrease in temperatures. How? Geophysiologically! I remind the reader that our author, writing in one of the world’s most prominent science journals, does not use these propositions metaphorically. He proposes them as actual mechanisms.

Schellnhuber echoes the theme of a cognizant, i.e. self-aware, planet in another (co-authored) 2004 paper in Nature 2004, “Climbing the co-evolution ladder,” suggesting again that mankind is an infection, saying that mankind “perturbs … the global ‘metabolism’” of the planet.

Tipping Points

Schellnhuber, a one-time quantum physicist who turned his attention to Mother Earth late in his career, was also co-author of a 2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper “Imprecise probability assessment of tipping points in the climate system,” which asked select scientists their gut assessment about the arrival of various “tipping points.” Tipping points are a theme of Schellnhuber’s research (see inter alia this and this).

Tipping points are supposed moments when some doom which might have been avoided if some action had been taken, is no longer possible to avoid and will arrive no matter what. Tipping points have come and gone in climate forecasts for decades now. The promised dooms never arrive but the false prophets never quit.  Their intent is less to forecast than to induce something short of panic in order to plead for political intervention. When the old tipping point is past, theorists just change the date, issue new warnings and hope no one will notice.

One of the tipping points Schellnhuber asked about was the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, depending on what the temperature did. All of the selected experts (who answered the questions in 2004 and 2005) gave moderate (~15-25%) to quite high probabilities (50-80%) for this event to have occurred by 2015. The ice did not melt.

Schellnhuber Michelangelo Gaia

Schellnhuber presented more tipping points to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2014 in the co-authored paper, “Climate-System Tipping Points and Extreme Weather Events.” In that paper, Schellnhuber has a “scientific” graph with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Adam “flicking” a planet earth over a methane tipping point, such that the earth would roll down into a fiery pit labeled the “Warming Abyss.” Hell on earth.

The Problem of People

Schellnhuber is most famous for predicting that the “carrying capacity” of the earth is “below” 1 billion people. When confronted with this, he called those who quoted him “liars.” But he then repeated the same claim, saying, “All I said was that if we had unlimited global warming of eight degrees warming, maybe the carrying capacity of the earth would go down to just 1 billion, and then the discussion would be settled.”  And he has often said that this temperature tipping point would be reached — unless “actions” were taken.

The man is suspicious of people. In that same interview he said, “If you want to reduce human population, there are wonderful means: Improve the education of girls and young women.” Since young women already know where babies come from, and since this knowledge tends neither to increase nor decrease population, the “education” he has in mind must be facts about how to avoid the consequences of sex. Austin Ruse discovered a 2009 talk in which Schellnhuber said the earth “will explode” due to resource depletion once the population reaches 9 billion, a number that the UN projects in 2050. Presumably he wants earth to avoid that fate, so he mustsupport the population control that Pope Francis so clearly repudiated in his encyclical.

Bad Religion

Confirmation bias happens when a scientist manipulates an experiment so that he gets the outcome he hoped he would get. When Schellnhuber invites only believers in tipping-points-of-doom to characterize their guesses of this doom, his view that the doom is real will be confirmed. And when he publishes a paper that says, “Scientists say world is doomed” the public and politicians believe it. Scientists skeptical of the doom are dismissed because they are skeptics. This isn’t good science. It’s really bad religion, and a pagan one at that.

Global warming research is characterized by an insider’s club. If you believe, you’re in. If you doubt, you’re out. This is also so at the Pontifical Academies of Science where Schellnhuber was appointed by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. The bishop locked scientists with contrary views out of the process, scientists he has repeatedly dismissed as “funded by the oil industry.” Given this, how likely is it that the Holy Father was fully aware of the views of the chief scientist who advised him?

https://stream.org/scientific-pantheist-who-advises-pope-francis/

Background Articles and Videos

An Honest IPCC Scientist Tackles ‘ClimateGate’

Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

“…On June 2, as Congress debated global warming legislation that would raise energy costs to consumers by hundreds of billions of dollars, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released an 880-page book challenging the scientific basis of concerns that global warming is either man-made or would have harmful effects.

In “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and 35 contributors and reviewers present an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals.

The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.

The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific research that became available after the IPCC’s self-imposed deadline of May 2006.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). …”

http://www.climatechangereconsidered.org/

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Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Story 1: Part 1 of 2, Christian Crusades Commences: Congress Declares War On Islamic State and Islamic Republic of Iran? All We Are Saying Is Give Total War A Chance —  Obama’s DC (Delay and Contain) Strategy vs. Neoconservative Strategy of Total War — There Is No Substitute For Victory — Videos


“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“There is no substitute for victory.”

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

~ General Douglas MacArthur


“If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Satire of Henry Kissinger 


Give Peace A Chance (1969) – Official Video

War – Edwin Starr

In 90 seconds: Iran & Iraq: An ancient rivalry – BBC News

What does Iran’s strategy against Islamic State mean for us?

General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Thomas Barnett: Rethinking America’s military strategy

In this bracingly honest and funny talk, international security strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett outlines a post-Cold War solution for the foundering US military: Break it in two. He suggests the military re-form into two groups: a Leviathan force, a small group of young and fierce soldiers capable of swift and immediate victories; and an internationally supported network of System Administrators, an older, wiser, more diverse organization that actually has the diplomacy and power it takes to build and maintain peace.

The Islamic State, Iran, and the Geopolitics of the Middle East

Obama Asks Congress To Declare War On Islamic State | Authorization for Military Force Against ISIS

Why US Attack Iran Full Documentary – British Army Documentary 2015

ISIS World’s Richest Terror Army – Full Documentary 2015

Origins of ISIS – Special Coverage

O’Reilly: Obama Has No Strategy to Defeat Islamic Jihadists

Krauthammer’s Take: Obama Does Not Think He Needs a Strategy to Defeat Islamic Terrorism

The Situation Room Special Report: The War Against ISIS (2015)

Top Commander: Islamic State Not Making ‘Major Advances’ in Iraq

What is driving American civilians to fight ISIS around the world?

Islamic State: The rise of Iraqi insurgency

US Airstrikes Against Islamic State ISIS or ISIL – 10,000 Militants Killed

U.S., Allies Conduct 23 Air Strikes Against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria: Task Force

ISLAMIC STATE – US raids hit jihadists fighting rebels

Obama Rallies America To War & Why ISIS Should Be Thrilled

Pinned Down by the Islamic State: The Road to Mosul (Part 1)

Life After Islamic State Massacres: The Road to Mosul (Part 2)

The Islamic State (Full Length)

The Powers Behind The Islamic State

Why US Airstrikes Won’t Defeat ISIS

Fighting Back Against ISIS: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 1)

The ISIS Uprising: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 2)

Kurds Fight for Control of Kirkuk: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 3)

RAND PAUL TELLS US THE TRUTH “CIA FUNDED ISIS UNDER OBAMA ADMIN TO PROMOTE MORE WAR IN MIDDLE EAST”

US vs. the Islamic State: Why Hasn’t Congress Authorized War? (On Assignment, Oct. 3, 2014)

ISIS : Lt. General McInerney says Obama helped build ISIS with Weapons from Benghazi (Sept 03, 2014)

2015 new BBC Documentary The Iraq War – Baghdad’s History

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 1 of 3

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 2 of 3

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 – Part 3 of 3


“I have known war as few men now living know it.

It’s very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.”

~General Douglas MacArthur

War Powers Clause

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording:

[The Congress shall have Power…] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

A number of wars have been declared under the United States Constitution, although there is some controversy as to the exact number, as the Constitution does not specify the form of such a declaration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Clause

The Pentagon’s ISIS Strategy, By Its Own Accounting, Is a Mess

By Bing West

On June 5, at a Pentagon press conference, Lieutenant General John W. Hesterman III, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, vigorously championed both the success of the bombing in Iraq and Syria, and the Defense Department’s method for controlling air strikes. The briefing illustrated how, as in Vietnam, the military becomes politicized and loses focus.

A few observations:

Attrition is not a strategy.

The general began by saying that bombing was “killing 1000 [ISIS] fighters a month.” These deaths, he asserted, have “a profound effect upon the enemy.”

Stop right there.

Bombing is not a strategy. It is weapon, like a rifle. If attrition were our strategy, then the measure is the number of enemy killed as compared to the total number of fighters plus replacements. For years in Vietnam the CIA and the military claimed that bombing was having a severe effect and that North Vietnamese morale under B-52 strikes was at rock bottom. Maybe so, but North Vietnam eventually conquered South Vietnam.

Pentagon officials shouldn’t be political mouthpieces. It was disappointing that the general asserted, “air power is giving coalition nations the time to execute the effort to finish Daesh. . . . There’ll be tactical setbacks . . . [but] we are fully committed to a strategic defeat of the Daesh terrorists.”

“Fully committed” is a political pledge only the commander-in-chief can make. And President Obama has promised we will not be fully committed. Generals must refrain from being thrust out in front to defend political decisions.

Our mission in Iraq and Syria is incoherent.

No can define the American military mission, because it has no clearly articulated political strategy or end state. Yesterday, retired General McChrystal criticized Hesterman’s Air Force briefing. In his book, he wrote, ”I directed all units cease reporting . . . insurgents killed. . . . I wanted to take away any incentives that might drive commanders and their men to see killing insurgents as the primary goal.”

Today, killing is being trotted out as the primary measure of American effectiveness.

Who speaks for American military objectives and means?

Air-strike control is much too centralized.

I called in strikes in 1966 on the ground in I Corps. No pilot ever hesitated or questioned me. Over the course of dozens of embeds since 2003 in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have been on the battlefield with our air controllers and observed the process firsthand. The difference in air-strike control is huge.

In his briefing, Hesterman declined to mention how centralized and difficult it has become for a JTAC or a pilot to release a bomb. Today, a pilot is held morally responsible for satisfying himself that the controller on the ground has made the correct call. The videotape of every bombing is reviewed back at base, often by a lawyer. The pilot shares the responsibility for dropping a bomb, regardless of what the man on the ground tells him. I have been out there on the lines looking at Taliban, and heard the air controller next to me talking to the air officer at battalion, with a lawyer present, talking to higher headquarters, while the pilot circled, asking questions about the certainty of the target. The confirmation loop today is much, much longer than in previous wars, both in terms of time and in the number of personnel involved.

When he was asked about the centralization of air support in his briefing, the general answered with these words: ”we use a multitude of sources to initially ID the enemy. Then JTACS in operations centers do a collateral damage estimate and we de-conflict friendlies. And, a senior officer then clears the sortie . . . JTACs are in operations centers watching with ISR . . . in some cases, [op centers] have better situational awareness because they have more input.”

Let me ‘deconflict’ those elliptical sentences: When an air-support operation is conducted in 2015, operations centers hundreds of miles from the target review what the pilot is watching, record what he is saying, give him advice, and overrule him in those cases where the senior watch officer is not convinced.

Is the application of air strikes in 2015 more centralized and more sensitive about civilian casualties than it was during Vietnam, or the bombing of Serbia in the 90s, or even the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003? Of course it is. For the general to imply that the system has not become more centralized during his 32 years as a pilot was disappointing. At the least, our senior military leadership should acknowledge and forthrightly defend this centralized trend. In sum, the threat in Syria and Iraq will not be eliminated by generals who assert “we are fully committed,” and who take credit for killing from the air without acknowledging serious issues with how we apply air power and whether we are on the path to defeating an enemy we won’t even acknowledge is Islamist. — Bing West, a former combat Marine and assistant secretary of defense, has written three books about the war in Iraq, including No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/419474/pentagons-statements-isis-are-rather-worrisome-bing-west?target=author&tid=901768

Bing West

Henry Kissinger: “If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”

ACCURATE SATIRE: Kissinger, the most famous living practitioner of international statecraft

In a remarkable admission by former Nixon era Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, reveals what is happening at the moment in the world and particularly the Middle East. [please note this is a SATIRE, which in many regards says the truth regarding the current situation, the interview is fiction, it never took place, some of the quotes are from Henry Kissinger]

Speaking from his luxurious Manhattan apartment, the elder statesman, who will be 89 in May, is all too forward with his analysis of the current situation in the world forum of Geo-politics and economics.

“The United States is bating China and Russia, and the final nail in the coffin will be Iran, which is, of course, the main target of Israel. We have allowed China to increase their military strength and Russia to recover from Sovietization, to give them a false sense of bravado, this will create an all together faster demise for them. We’re like the sharp shooter daring the noob to pick up the gun, and when they try, it’s bang bang. The coming war will will be so severe that only one superpower can win, and that’s us folks. This is why the EU is in such a hurry to form a complete superstate because they know what is coming, and to survive, Europe will have to be one whole cohesive state. Their urgency tells me that they know full well that the big showdown is upon us. O how I have dreamed of this delightful moment.”

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Mr Kissinger then added: “If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming. Also, even though the elite will have their safe havens and specialist shelters, they must be just as careful during the war as the ordinary civilians, because their shelters can still be compromised.”

After pausing for a few minutes to collect his thoughts, Mr Kissinger, carried on:

“We told the military that we would have to take over seven Middle Eastern countries for their resources and they have nearly completed their job. We all know what I think of the military, but I have to say they have obeyed orders superfluously this time. It is just that last stepping stone, i.e. Iran which will really tip the balance. How long can China and Russia stand by and watch America clean up? The great Russian bear and Chinese sickle will be roused from their slumber and this is when Israel will have to fight with all its might and weapons to kill as many Arabs as it can. Hopefully if all goes well, half the Middle East will be Israeli. Our young have been trained well for the last decade or so on combat console games, it was interesting to see the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game, which mirrors exactly what is to come in the near future with its predictive programming. Our young, in the US and West, are prepared because they have been programmed to be good soldiers, cannon fodder, and when they will be ordered to go out into the streets and fight those crazy Chins and Russkies, they will obey their orders. Out of the ashes we shall build a new society, there will only be one superpower left, and that one will be the global government that wins. Don’t forget, the United States, has the best weapons, we have stuff that no other nation has, and we will introduce those weapons to the world when the time is right.”

End of interview. Our reporter is ushered out of the room by Kissinger’s minder.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/accurate-satire-henry-kissinger-if-you-can-t-hear-the-drums-of-war-you-must-be-deaf/28610

1980-1988,  Iraq-Iran War: Helping Both Side Lose

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Round Up The Usual Suspects: Waco Texas Police Massive Arrests of Bikers, Massive Bail Set by Judges of $1 Million, Massive Civil Law Suits For Wrongful Arrest and Detention and Violating Civil Rights — 170 Arrested But 115 Have No Criminal Record — Waco Busted — Taxpayers Will Be Paying The Bill For A Very Long Time — I Say We Let Them Go — Videos

Posted on June 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Babies, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Education, Freedom, history, Homicide, Law, liberty, Life, media, Motorcycle, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Police, Politics, Radio, Rifles, Security, Taxes, Television, Transportation, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 480 June 8, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 473 May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Story 1: Round Up The Usual Suspects:  Waco Texas Police Massive Arrests of Bikers, Massive Bail Set by Judges of $1 Million, Massive Civil Law Suits For Wrongful Arrest and Detention and Violating Civil Rights — 170 Arrested But 115 Have No Criminal Record —  Waco Busted — Taxpayers Will Be Paying The Bill For A Very Long Time — I Say We Let Them Go — Videos

back-patch-vest-motorcycle-gang

cossacks-vs-bandidos

bandidos

-bandidosbiker mug shotscossacks1

Twin Peaks Waco- What the Video Will Show (as soon as it is released)- Biker Witnesses’s Perspective

Stephen Stubbs (aka “Bowtie”), with permission from biker eye witnesses, releases details of the Twin Peaks Waco incident from May 17, 2015. Until now, the police don’t even know much of this information.

Casablanca (1942) Round Up The Usual Suspects

Biker Fight

Start of biker brawl at Twin Peaks in Waco TX.

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association:

The Waco situation of recent days raises serious concerns. It seems unprecedented that you have 170 individuals charged with the same or similar crimes and identical bail amounts set at 1 Million Dollars each. When you consider the constitutional prohibition against excessive bail as well as the requirement for probable cause prior to arresting an individual, the risks of abuse in the Waco case seem obvious.

Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer – What is probable cause?

ere, DFW criminal defense attorney Cheves Ligon explains what is required for police to arrest you. You can’t be arrested without probable cause, which can seem confusing. No matter what you’ve been accused of the police must be able to prove your arrest complied with the 4th Amendment.

What Is Probable Cause?

Shocking Waco/Cleveland Shooting Update

Motorcycle Club Member Files Federal Lawsuit Alleging Violation of Rights

Marine Unfairly Arrested In Waco Shooting

What happened in Waco Shootout?

3 BIG Questions about Waco Twin Peaks Biker Shootings

The Truth about the May 17, 2015 Shooting Tragedy at Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco, TX

Waco, Texas: Biker Shootout or Police Massacre

Inside the Bandidos Motorcycle Gang

Biker explains Waco, Tex. brawl

Biker gang turf war: Bandidos and Cossacks have a rivalry going back to the 1960s – TomoNews

Bandidos Mc The Hardest Motorcycle Gang Crime Documentary

Hells Angels MC 2015 ★ Outlaw Motorcycle Crime Gangs 01 ★ Documentary

Biker: Police ‘clueless’ after Waco shooting

Waco Bikers on Being Jailed: ‘They Made Us Feel Like Animals

(EXCLUSIVE) Massive Biker Gang Shootout in Texas : Bikers Clubs, Police Speaks Out

Biker Gang Shooting, Texas Biker Gangs Mass Shooting Waco Police Full Press Conference Multiple Dead

9 dead in motorcyle gang gunfight at Texas restaurant

Every which way but loose – ma vs black widows

Every Which Way But Loose – The Black Widows At Their Yard

Any Which Way You Can (1980) – Black Widows Get Asphalted

Officials criticized as 143 bikers sit in jail weeks after Waco shootout

When her husband was arrested after a shootout at a biker club gathering at a Twin Peaks restaurant May 17, Sheree Clendennen figured security camera video would soon clear him.

“At first I just thought they’re going to take all these guys, look at the video, see who’s innocent and let all these guys go,” said Clendennen, 29, of nearby Hewitt.

“Then week two it was like ‘Oh my gosh — they’re not letting people go. They don’t care what’s on the video,’” she said of police. “With all of the security cameras and all of them out in the parking lot watching what went on, there is no reason all of these guys should have been held so long.”

But 17 days later, of the 177 people arrested in connection with the shooting that killed nine people and wounded more than a dozen, 143 remain jailed this week, many in lieu of $1 million bail. Some face at least a monthlong wait for a bail-reduction hearing, and attorneys say it’s unlikely their clients will post bail. They have been arraigned but have not been formally charged.

‘Wholesale roundup’

Prosecutors have 90 days to present a case to indict to a grand jury before those in custody are entitled to reduced bail.

The bikers were arrested on allegations of engaging in organized crime, but none have been specifically charged in the shootings and the investigation is still in progress this week, said Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton.

The delays in prosecuting those at the scene of the shooting have triggered legal complaints and controversy, including a hearing Thursday about whether two state district judges should recuse themselves.

“It’s unprecedented, this wholesale roundup of people,” said F. Clinton Broden, a Dallas attorney who represents Matthew Clendennen. “It seems like something out ofCasablanca — just round everybody up. You’re arresting people for being at the scene of a crime. It’s scary that this can happen in America.”

Amy Kuzniarek, a spokeswoman for the McLennan County district attorney’s office, said this week that “this is an open, active criminal case. … Therefore our office cannot and will not comment.”

Clendennen, who has no criminal record, is a landscaper, father of four, former firefighter and member of the Scimitars motorcycle club. He recently filed a complaint with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct against the justice of the peace who arraigned him, and a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Waco, McLennan County and prosecutors, alleging he was wrongfully arrested and detained.

“He spent 17 days in jail, he’s likely to lose his business, he’s sole provider to his current family, a wife and two children, and he shares custody with his ex-wife, who is going back into court to get custody,” Broden said.

In his complaints, Clendennen claims that McLennan County Justice of the Peace Walter “Pete” Peterson said at arraignment that he set the bikers’ bail at $1 million “to send a message” and that District Attorney Abelino Reyna created “fill-in-the-blank” arrest warrants without probable cause, alleging that the bikers were not cooperating and were therefore not victims.

Petersen declined to comment this week.

Bail reduced

Broden said his client did cooperate, but that even if he didn’t, “that’s his Fifth Amendment right. He got Mirandized.”

As for Clendennen’s arrest, Broden said “there’s got to be individual probable cause. They’ve got the tapes of the scene. There’s no reason they can’t be reviewed to make determinations. You just can’t keep bystanders locked up because you don’t know who did the shooting.”

Clendennen’s attorney negotiated to have his bail reduced to $100,000, and his family chipped in to bail him out Wednesday, paying $10,000 to a bondsman.

Sheree Clendennen said her husband immediately returned to work before he loses any more landscaping customers. His next court date is set for Aug. 6.

Broden noted that for some others, bail reduction hearings have not been scheduled until late July. “My guess is the Department of Justice is going to have to come in at some point. It does not seem the local people are competent to handle this in a constitutional manner.”

Spokesmen for the Justice Department referred questions to local officials this week.

At least 47 of those arrested qualified as indigent and have had attorneys appointed to represent them, according to Cathy Edwards, the local indigent defense coordinator.

She said attorneys for the indigent are typically appointed from a list the county maintains but she has had to draw from surrounding counties because only 15 attorneys on the list are local.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150605-143-bikers-still-jailed-weeks-after-waco-shootout.ece

Local bikers gather Sunday in Arlington to show support for those still jailed in Waco

Nearly 100 bikers gathered Sunday morning near the old Six Flags Mall in Arlington to show their support for the 143 people still jailed in connection with a shootout last month outside a Waco restaurant.

The bikers plan to ride together to Waco where they plan to meet hundreds of other motorcyclists outside the McLennan County Courthouse to protest how law enforcement has treated the people arrested after a shootout that killed nine and wounded more than a dozen. Authorities arrested 177 people after a shootout May 17 outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, and 143 remain jailed, many in lieu of $1 million bail.

The 177 bikers were arrested on allegations of engaging in organized crime, and critics have said that police lumped everyone under the same umbrella. They say that most of the people who were at the Twin Peaks aren’t criminals and had no part in the shootout. Many jailed have no criminal record, and those who do have prior misdemeanor charges.

“I think they were trying to set an example, throw their weight around,” Dwayne Stobaugh said Sunday morning of Waco police. “There may have been a few bad apples, but not all of them.”

Stobaugh, an independent biker, said he wanted to ride to Waco for the rally to show “that not everyone who rides a motorcycle is a gang member, because we’re not.”

“It’s all peaceful protest,” he said. “We’re not there to stir up any trouble.”

He said he has been to six Confederation of Clubs meetings, like the one planned at the Twin Peaks in May. He described the meetings as peaceful gatherings where members discuss issues important to them, like motorcycle safety.

Mel Robins, a member of Sons of Liberty Riders, said bikers are being unfairly stereotyped and harassed by police. He said the arrests in Waco have “slanted public opinion against bikers.”

Many restaurants now have posted signs saying bikers wearing their club vests won’t be allowed inside, and police are stopping motorcyclists on the highway for what seems like no reason, he said.

“Bikers are basically regular people,” Robins said. “They’re doctors, lawyers. I’m a grandfather, a veteran.”

There are an estimated 300,000 bikers in Texas, and most of them aren’t involved in criminal enterprises, as authorities suggested was the case in the Waco incident, Robins said.

Several bikers gathered Sunday morning expressed concern for those still in jail. Many of those jailed are facing long waits for bond reduction hearings.

“You’ve got innocent people in jail,” Robins said. “You have ruined lives.”

http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2015/06/local-bikers-gather-sunday-in-arlington-to-show-support-for-those-still-jailed-in-waco.html/

WACO BIKERS’ ATTORNEY ESSENTIALLY ‘POURED THE F*** OUT’ IN HEARING TO REMOVE BIASED JUDGES

bikers

by LANA SHADWICK

The attorney for nine of the Twin Peaks bikers told Breitbart Texas that he was in effect told “You Sir, are poured the f*** out.” A hearing was held this week on motions to remove three McLennan County judges who set and retained $1 million bonds on bikers arrested at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. The attorney argued that the judges demonstrated bias and should be recused from making future rulings.

Austin lawyer Adam Reposa argued that the $1 million bonds were unreasonably oppressive, unconstitutional, and the judges clearly showed bias in setting them.

Breitbart Texas reported the story when Reposa filed his motions to remove these judges.

Breitbart Texas also reported that two of the same judges had three bikers re-arrested after they bonded out on reduced bonds. Their bonds were reset to $1 million but they were able to bond out again. The article was entitled in part, Waco Judges Gone Wild.

The judge appointed to hear the motions to remove the judges, retired criminal district judge Doug Shaver from Houston, denied the motions to recuse and said that the bond process should be expedited so the men would not be a burden on taxpayers who are paying to keep them in jail.

Reposa told Breitbart Texas that “At the end of the hearing, the judge focused less on the innocent people and their constitutional rights and more on the taxpayers.” He also focused less on the $1 million bonds and more on them wearing a patch (referring to the bikers’ motorcycle club membership).

The defense lawyer also added, “There has been no focus on due process, or probable cause. There is no probable cause connected to a crime. We are going on 24 days of all 170 being arrested on a defective probable cause affidavit.”

Those arrested and incarcerated are concerned about losing their jobs, and losing their wages while incarcerated. A $1 million bond costs approximately $100,000 in order to bond out.

Reposa argued at the hearing on the motions to remove the judges that the judges’ impartiality could reasonably be questioned – one of the standards for removing a judge from hearing a case.

Reposa filed the motion to remove Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson because he not only set $1 million bonds for 174 bikers, but added he was doing so to “send a message.” Peterson does not have a law degree.

According to the Waco Tribune Herald, Peterson said “I think it is important to send a message… We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.”

Motions to remove Judges Matt Johnson and Ralph Strother were also filed because they approved the $1 million bonds, and ordered that no other judge could rule on motions to reduce the bonds.

The judges were questioned by Reposa during the hearing on the motions.

Breitbart Texas talked to Houston-based lawyer Kent A. Schaffer, who has over 30 years of criminal law practice. Schaffer called the bonds “absurd and unconstitutional.”

Schaffer continued, “Bond is supposed to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court, but this judge set bonds based upon his desire to teach the defendants a lesson, and not out of some concern that they will not appear in court.”

He said “The hearing should not take place in front of the same judge who has already made comments that evidence his lack of respect for the constitution and the rule of law,” Schaffer told Breitbart Texas. Sending a message is not one of the factors that is to be considered by the court in setting a bond.”

Breitbart Texas talked to Randy Kubosh of Kubosh Bail Bonding in Houston, which includes Harris County, Texas, the third largest county in the United States. He called the $1 million bond “astronomical” and noted that the bail schedule in Harris County for a non-capital murder is $50,000.

Kubosh said, “Bail is supposed to guarantee someone’s appearance in court, not punish them.” He continued, “It appears that the judge intended to be punitive,” he added.

Breitbart Texas also talked to Joe Ash, of Ash Bail Bonds in Waco. He said that “$10,000 is mostly what we see on that charge (engaging in criminal activity) but I can also pull up at least 40 cases where it was $5,000.” Ash has two clients who were involved in the Twin Peaks incident and it cost them $100,000 to bond out on a $1 million bond.

Breitbart Texas also obtained this statement from the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association:

The Waco situation of recent days raises serious concerns. It seems unprecedented that you have 170 individuals charged with the same or similar crimes and identical bail amounts set at 1 Million Dollars each. When you consider the constitutional prohibition against excessive bail as well as the requirement for probable cause prior to arresting an individual, the risks of abuse in the Waco case seem obvious.

Reposa told Breitbart Texas that “The judges have broad discretion but then the constitution steps-in.” He added, “That’s where the constitution is being denied.”

The Austin lawyer said “I think the judge agreed that you can’t hold someone on a $1 million bond if they don’t have probable cause or a criminal action against them, but I was chopped off.”

“The judge basically admitted that people are in jail that don’t belong there which is a problem, but he did not believe it rose to the level of questioning the bias of the judges.”

According to the Waco Tribune Herald, the judges have approved reduced bonds for 58 bikers after agreement were reached between the district attorney’s office and defense lawyers. The publication also reported that 47 bikers have been released from jail as of Thursday evening.

The judges who testified during the hearing said they had not rejected any agreements for reduced bonds since negotiations began on May 30th.

http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/06/07/waco-bikers-attorney-essentially-poured-the-f-out-in-hearing-to-remove-biased-judges/

AP: Majority of 170 bikers arrested have no convictions in Texas

Records searched by The Associated Press show more than 115 of the 170 people arrested in the aftermath of a motorcycle gang shootout outside a Central Texas restaurant have not been convicted of a crime in Texas.

Waco police have said that all those arrested after the shooting belonged to criminal motorcycle gangs. Most of them were being held on $1 million bonds Thursday, charged with engaging in criminal enterprise. Nine people were killed in Sunday’s shootout.

Although dozens of those arrested do have criminal records, 117 did not have any convictions listed under their names and birthdates in a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The database also shows five of the people killed had convictions in Texas.

DPS acknowledges its data may contain some errors and omissions.

___

6:30 p.m. (CDT)

Police are being less specific about gang affiliations of the nine people killed in a biker shootout outside a Texas restaurant.

Waco police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Thursday all those killed or injured on Sunday were members of five criminal motorcycle gangs at the restaurant for a biker meeting. A day earlier he told The Associated Press that all those killed were members of the two rival gangs at the center of the violence.

Family members of one of the men killed — 65-year-old Jesus Delgado Rodriguez — dispute Swanton’s claims. They say Rodriguez was not part of a gang and did not lead a life of violence.

An Associated Press review of court records and a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety found no criminal history in Texas for Rodriguez.

___

4 p.m. (CDT)

A Texas restaurant that was the scene of a motorcycle club conference that ended in gunfire is being sued by a restaurant next door.

A lawsuit was filed Thursday in Dallas. Attorneys for Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant allege the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco was grossly negligent and reckless in hosting the gathering of armed motorcycle gang members on Sunday.

Don Carlos attorney Tony Buzbee says his client was forced to close and was designated as a crime scene despite having had no role in the event. He says “inviting armed rival gangs to a place where alcohol is served is not only unwise, it is reckless.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation for lost profits and property damage.

The Dallas-based corporate parent of Twin Peaks didn’t return a message Thursday seeking comment on the lawsuit.

___

3:30 p.m. (CDT)

The district attorney for the county where nine bikers were killed in a gunfight outside a Texas restaurant is defending the $1 million bond set for about 170 people charged in the incident.

McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told The Associated Press on Thursday that he supported a local judge’s decision to set the bonds that high.

One person is known to have posted bond so far.

A confederation of motorcycle groups had gathered at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco Sunday when a dispute in the parking lot escalated into deadly violence.

Reyna mentioned the size and scope of the violence, what led up to the shooting and “the fact that a lot of these individuals weren’t even from our county.”

Reyna says he doesn’t know whether he will ask for outside prosecutors to help with the large number of cases.

___

2:30 p.m. (CDT)

Military records show one of the nine bikers killed outside a Texas restaurant was a Purple Heart recipient who served in Vietnam.

Jesus Delgado Rodriguez of New Braunfels, Texas, was an active-duty Marine from 1969 to 1973. He received the Purple Heart, as well as a Navy commendation medal and several other awards. The Purple Heart is given to those wounded or killed in action.

Rodriguez’s family says he was not part of an outlaw biker gang, despite police claims that all nine bikers who died were members of criminal gangs.

An Associated Press review of court records and a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety found no criminal history in Texas for Rodriguez.

A confederation of motorcycle groups had gathered at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco Sunday when a dispute in the parking lot escalated into deadly violence.

___

1:30 p.m. (CDT)

Family members of a man killed in a biker shootout at a Texas restaurant say he was not part of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

That contradicts police claims that all nine bikers who died were members of criminal gangs.

The son of 65-year-old Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, of New Braunfels, told the San Antonio Express-News that his father did not lead a life of violence. An Associated Press review of court records and a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety found no criminal history in Texas for Rodriguez.

Family members said Rodriguez had belonged to two now defunct motorcycle clubs but was not part of any club when he was shot and killed at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco.

Waco police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told the AP on Wednesday that all those killed were members of the Bandidos or the Cossacks. Swanton did not immediately return a message Thursday.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/twin-peaks-biker-shooting/ap-majority-of-bikers-arrested-have-no-convictions-in-texas/article_1cf81656-0006-11e5-85aa-b7097581c3b8.html?photo=1

4 Reasons that Waco Biker Gang Shootout Reflects Badly on Police

One of the bikers arrested sues Waco police for having no cause for the arrest.

What was initially reported as a motorcycle gang shootout that killed nine and wounded 18 to which police heroically responded last month in Waco, TX, at the Twin Peaks restaurant seems a bit more complicated, and bit worse for the cops, than that as further details have been revealed.

This week one of the people arrested at the scene, Matthew Clendennen, filed a lawsuit directly against the officers involved in the incident (Manuel Chavez by name, the others as John and Jane Does) as well as the city.

From that suit filing, in which Mr. Clendennen presents himself as a man with no criminal record, former fireman, small business owner on whom employees depend, and father of three who also depend on his ability to earn income, not to rot in jail. He insists he committed no crime and had no intention of committing any crime when he was arrested while in the Twin Peaks restaurant in the aftermath of the shooting event, and that:

Despite the fact that…Clendennen committed no criminal acts he was arrested at Twin Peaks on or about May 17, 2015 without probable cause and his motorcycle  was illegally seized….On or about May 18, 2015, Chavez, aided by [unnamed other police officers], presented a criminal complaint (the “criminal complaint”) against…Clendennen to Justice of the Peace Walter H. “Pete” Peterson (Peterson)….The criminal complaint alleges that Plaintiff Matthew Alan Clendennen committed the capital offense of engaging in organized criminal activity and is attached hereto as Attachment A.

It is believed that Peterson was chosen by Chavez, Does 1-10 and Does 11-20 because he is a former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper with no formal legal training……the identical criminal complaint used in Plaintiff Matthew Alan Clendennen’s case was used to justify the arrest of more than 100 other individuals and only the names were changed in the various criminal complaints.

The complaint alleges absolutely no individualize probable cause to establish that Plaintiff Matthew Alan Clendennen engaged in organized criminal activity. Moreover, Chavez…failed to inform Peterson that Plaintiff Matthew Alan Clendennen was not a member of the Cossacks nor the Bandidos and that he did not participate in any of the violence occurring at Twin Peaks but instead hid from the violence.

Clendennen is claiming that 170 people on the scene were just rounded up and arrested, in many cases had their motorcycles stolen by police, and were given a uniform $1 million dollar bond with no particular individual reason to believe they had committed any crime at all. He’s actually trying to hit not just the city government, but the specific officers who arrested him, with liability for violating his rights. He claims to be at risk of losing both any custody of two of his children and his landscaping business while in jail.

According to this local NBC report, it will be months before those arrested at Twin Peaks get a probable cause hearing. But this week the insanely high bond was reduced for many of them, andsome of them started getting out.

There are at least four reasons to wonder if the police account and actions about the motorcycle gang shootout that they allege to have pacified are above reproach:

1) As Clendennen’s lawsuit notes, there is insufficient reason to believe that all the 170 arrested even committed any actual crime.

2) The police originally claimed that all those they arrested were members of the two “criminal gangs” most implicated in the deaths, the Bandidos and Cossacks; Associated Press found that not only were they not all members of those specific gangs, but whatever the criminality of the gangs, 115 of the arrested had no criminal records in Texas at least.

3) The police originally claimed over 1,000 weapons were confiscated on site, a number thendowngraded to 318; but having a weapon on one’s person is neither evidence of having committed nor having planned to commit a crime, but certainly can when announced to the press make some nervous people think, wow, glad the police started opening fire on that crowd!

4) Despite police reports that the fighting and shooting began inside the restaurant and spilled out, closed-circuit footage of the restaurant seen by AP and reports from the restaurateurs to the APindicate the shooting began outside, which is where the police already were.

The police were already surrounding the restaurant in force, ready for action. Exactly how and why they began firing on the bikers and what happened before then should not necessarily be trusted merely from their mouths. They still have not officially announced how many of the dead or wounded were shot by police themselves.

https://reason.com/blog/2015/06/02/4-reasons-that-waco-biker-gang-shootout

Waco restaurant video shows bikers, others seeking cover

As gunfire broke out in the parking lot of a Texas restaurant, dozens of motorcycle riders ran inside seeking cover and tried to guide others to safety, security video reviewed exclusively by The Associated Press showed Wednesday.

The video, shared by representatives of the restaurant, shows bikers on the patio ducking under tables and trying to get inside. At least three people were holding handguns. One biker was seen running with blood on his face, hands and torso.

The footage shows only one round being fired — by a biker on the patio who then ran inside.

Authorities have said the shooting began during an apparent confrontation between two rival motorcycle gangs — the Bandidos and the Cossacks. Some bikers have complained that police acted too hastily in making arrests and scooped up riders who had nothing to do with the violence.

Before the shooting begins, the inside of the restaurant appears to be mostly empty. Bikers and other patrons can be seen walking to the windows facing the parking lot where most of the shooting happened.

When gunfire erupts at 12:24 p.m., most bikers, other patrons and staff immediately run away from the windows and into the restaurant’s interior. At least three people can be seen holding handguns.

One camera angle shows bikers running into the men’s bathroom. When there’s no space left in the bathroom, they dash toward the kitchen.

Another camera angle, on the far side of the restaurant from the gunfire, shows patrons who are not wearing biker gear crawling behind tables toward the kitchen. At least three bikers appear to be gesturing for the patrons to crawl to safety.

None of the nine video angles shows the parking lot.

Only one angle, taken from inside a back office in the restaurant, had audio. At 12:24 p.m., a woman is heard screaming, “Oh my God!” That’s followed by multiple cries of “Get back!” Two minutes later, three gunshots are heard. It’s not clear who fired.

Video shows police with assault rifles entering the front door at about the same time. As two officers enter, bikers can be seen lying on the floor with their hands spread.

Before the shooting, at least 20 members of the Cossacks gang can be seen on the patio. Members of the Scimitars, Boozefighters and Leathernecks can also be seen on the tape. While no Bandidos are immediately visible, police and one member of that biker gang have said some of their members were at the event.

The AP was shown the video by representatives of the Twin Peaks franchise, who have said the fighting began outside the restaurant, not inside as police have previously said. The franchise did not release the video publicly, citing the ongoing investigation.

Waco police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said police have the video, but he had not seen it and would not discuss its contents.

Authorities on Sunday swept up around 170 bikers who descended on the restaurant. Among those arrested was Theron Rhoten, who had just pulled into the parking lot on his vintage Harley chopper when the bullets started flying.

Rhoten showed up at the Twin Peaks restaurant for a regional motorcycle club meeting. But, according to his wife, he soon found himself in the middle of a deadly shootout involving scores of other bikers.

Katie Rhoten said her husband ran for cover and was later arrested, along with motorcycle-riding friends and other “nonviolent, noncriminal people.”

“He’s good to his family,” she said. “He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t party. He’s just got a passion for motorcycles.”

Police have said that all those arrested were part of criminal motorcycle gangs, but only five of the nine people killed had criminal histories in Texas, based on court records and a search of their names in a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In addition, Manuel Isaac Rodriguez was arrested in 2010 and served probation for unlawfully carrying a weapon at a bar in Lewisville.

Police have acknowledged firing on armed bikers, but it is not clear how many of the dead were shot by gang members and how many were shot by officers.

Authorities have said the gathering of five biker groups was to resolve a dispute over turf. Some bikers dispute that, saying the meeting was organized to discuss laws protecting motorcycle riders and other subjects.

Katie Rhoten said her husband, a mechanic from Austin, called her from jail and said that he and two other members of Vise Grip motorcycle club ducked and ran for cover as the violence raged around them.

The arrested bikers have all been charged with engaging in organized crime and each is being held on $1 million bonds.

The eight members of Theron Rhoten’s group, the Vise Grip Club, specialize in building and riding vintage and antique motorcycles, particularly pre-1970 Harley Davidson big twin choppers, according to spokesman Brian Buscemi.

Buscemi said the bimonthly meetings have been happening for 18 years.

“Yes, there was a problem at this scene, and it was absolutely horrific,” he said. “But there just also happened to be a significant amount of people there who had nothing to do with it.”

http://news.yahoo.com/wife-biker-inmate-arrested-texas-innocent-072105757.html

One Quarter Of Twin Peaks Shootout Suspects From Central Texas

Forty-two of the approximately 170 suspects in custody in connection with the deadly shootout between rival biker gangs and police Sunday at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant are from Central Texas and 17 are from Waco or a Waco suburb, according to information released Wednesday.

That supports the early contention that most of the bikers involved in the brawl that left nine dead and 18 injured were not local.

One Suspect Freed On Bond

One of the members of a motorcycle gang arrested in connection with the gun battle Sunday outside of Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant was in the process of posting $1 million bond Wednesday at the McLennan County Jail.

Jeff Battey, 50, was among the 170 bikers arrested after the shootout Sunday that left nine bikers dead and 18 injured.

All 170 were charged with engaging in organized crime and were ordered held in lieu of $1 million bonds.

Battey had to post 10 percent of that amount, or $100,000, in cash, in order to secure his release.

Hundreds Of Weapons Recovered

Meanwhile Wednesday, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said investigators recovered about 300 weapons from the shooting scene including everything from pocket knives to assault-style knives to guns to chains to brass knuckles, to an AK-47 and body armor.

Earlier in the day, Swanton said about 1,000 weapons were recovered.

He said on-scene investigators were relaying the information to him.

“The crime scene officers specifically stopped at my request to count weapons and have now been able to determine that count and it is 318 and still counting. We do expect the numbers to continue to rise,” he said late Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators found weapons hidden throughout the restaurant, evidently abandoned by bikers as they attempted to flee, Swanton said.

“They have been found in sacks of chips, stuffed between bags of flour, stuffed into the bench seating, hidden in shelves, thrown into trash cans, placed in the kitchen stoves, discarded on floors and even so far as to attempt to flush a handgun down a commode,” he said.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, investigators had recovered 188 handguns, an AK-47 rifle and 157 knives, he said.

Swanton walked through the restaurant earlier Wednesday

“When you enter through the doors, it is just an eerie feeling knowing what occurred there, he said.

“There was blood everywhere, evidence in the bathroom.”

“It’s a pretty traumatic looking scene,” he said.

“It’s almost surreal.”

“There’s blood splatter blood evidence everywhere there still food on the tables half eaten hamburgers half-drunk margaritas. It’s the most surreal thing I’ve ever seen.”

“There are still purses on the table from a small number of citizens.”

“We’re talking unimaginable numbers of evidence that we’re going to have to live from this crime scene,” he said.

“Blood still on parking lot is an environmental issue at this point,” he said.

Meanwhile Wednesday San Antonio officials confirmed that one of the men arrested in connection with the shootout is a retired San Antonio police detective.

Martin Lewis 62, worked for the department for more than 30 years before he retired in 2004.

He remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bond charged with engaging ni organized crime.

Autopsy Reports Released

Preliminary autopsy reports released Tuesday identify the nine bikers who died Sunday afternoon in a shootout with rival gang members and police at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant, and at least two of them have local ties.

The nine bikers, all of whom were members of either the Bandidos or the Cossacks, all died of gunshot wounds.

Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, 65, died of gunshot wounds of the head and trunk.

Jacob Lee Rhyne, 39, died of gunshot wounds to the neck.

Richard Vincent Kirshner, Jr., 47, died of gunshot wounds but the report did not specify where he was shot.

Richard Matthew Jordan, III, 31, died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Wayne Lee Campbell, 43, died of gunshot wounds to the head and trunk.

Daniel Raymond Boyett, 44, died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Matthew Mark Smith, 27, died of gunshot wounds to the trunk

Manuel Issac Rodriguez, 40, died of gunshot wounds but the report did not specify where he was shot.

And Charles Wayne Russell, 46, died of gunshot wounds to the chest.

Jordan and Boyett both lived in Waco at least at one time, according to online Texas driver’s license records.

Boyett’s most recent renewal listed an address in the Chalk Bluff area just outside of Waco.

Jordan’s most recent license renewal, however, showed a Pasadena address.

Online records show addresses in New Braunfels for Jesus Rodriguez, Ranger for Jacob Rhyne, Arlington for Wayne Campbell, Keller for Matthew Smith, Allen for Manuel Rodriguez and Tyler for Charles Russell.

No records were found for Richard Kirshner.

Eight of the dead bikers were members of the Cossacks and one was a Bandido, authorities confirmed.

About 50 weapons were recovered at the shooting scene including guns, knives and a chain with a padlock that could be used to beat someone, police said Monday.

Other weapons have been discovered in some off the vehicles towed from the shooting scene, police said.

Investigators, meanwhile, continued to process evidence for a third day Tuesday at the Waco Twin Peaks restaurant where a gun battle between rival biker gangs and police left nine dead and 18 injured.

Stores on the west side of the Central Texas Marketplace from Men’s Warehouse to Kohl’s were open again Tuesday, but those on the south side, from Cabella’s to Best Buy were still closed Tuesday.

Access to the south side of the complex was still restricted.

The shooting investigation will take weeks if not months, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said during a news conference Tuesday morning.

He later said investigators hope to clear the crime scene by mid-morning Wednesday.

Crews continued to remove an estimated 135 motorcycles and at least 80 cars and pickup trucks from the restaurant’s parking lot Tuesday, a process that started Monday evening.

Police are escorting the flatbed trucks carrying the cycles and vehicles from the scene to an impound site, Swanton said.

Seven of the 18 bikers injured in the shootout remained in hospitals Tuesday, Swanton said.

All of them are in stable condition and most are improving he said.

He declined to release the names of the nine bikers who were killed, however, because investigators are having trouble locating family members to notify, he said.

Swanton discounted media reports that four of the nine bikers were killed by police, saying that will be impossible to determine until autopsies and ballistic tests have been completed.

“Is it possible? Yes. Is it a fact? No,” he said.

Most of the dead, the injured and the about 170 suspects arrested after the shooting are not from the Waco area, he said.

By mid-morning Tuesday, more than 160 suspects had been booked into the McLennan County Jail, according to online records.

The incident that triggered the violence evidently occurred in the parking lot Sunday as a coalition of several biker groups gathered to meet in the patio bar area of the restaurant, Swanton said.

Members of a biker group that wasn’t part of the coalition showed up and it appears that “someone had their foot run over” in the parking lot he said.

Investigators have identified crime scenes inside and outside of Twin Peaks including bathroom areas, the restaurant area and the patio bar area, he said.

They’ve found evidence of “some type of altercation inside,” he said, including blood.

“We will figure it out,” he said.

“We do know that we have crime scenes inside and outside and we know that assaults occurred inside and outside the establishment,” he said.

He confirmed that there have been “credible threats to law enforcement in and around our area,” but said those have toned down over the past 24 hours.

“We’re thankful for that,” he said.

“We are asking (the biker groups) to stand down, we are asking them to let us sort through our investigation and we will be honest with them as we have with you and will continue to be,” Swanton told reporters.

Patrol officers have arrested a few bikers in the area, he said, and report that they are seeing fewer bikers Tuesday.

The violent feud likely hasn’t ended, though, he said.

Is this over? Most likely not,” he said.

“We would like it to be. Would like some sort of truce,”
he said.

The 18 Waco officers and four Texas Department of Public Safety Officers involved in the incident remain on duty as Waco police, Texas Rangers and the DPS Criminal Investigation Division investigate, he said.

Charges Filed Against About 170

The approximately 170 suspects arrested after the shootout Sunday were all charged with engaging in organized crime and were ordered held in lieu of $1 million bonds.

Investigators are questioning them and are encountering varying degrees of cooperation, Swanton said.

One of the 170, Justin Nash Waddington, is a drainage maintenance supervisor for the City of Killeen, city spokeswoman Hillary Shine confirmed Tuesday.

She had no further comment.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Tuesday he plans to keep all 170 suspects in his jail for as long as he can.

There were 161 inmates charged in the shooting listed on the McLennan County Jail roster at 10 a.m. Tuesday and a few suspects remained to be booked, McNamara said.

“We’ve had to make sure (the inmates) are separated by gang,” McNarama said.

So far they’ve caused no problem in the jail, he said.

McNamara said his staff is capable of handling the influx and there is ample room to keep them all until their court dates begin to be set.

Affidavits and arrest warrants totaled more than 500 pages, an official said.

At least some and technically all of those in custody could be charged with capital murder because of the number of victims, Waco Swanton said Monday.

All of those killed and injured were members of the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle groups, authorities said.

No officers or bystanders were hurt.

Restaurant Franchise Revoked

Meanwhile the Twin Peaks corporate office Monday revoked the franchise of the restaurant where the shooting occurred.

“We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one,” the company said.

“Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants.

“We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are revoking their franchise agreement immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured,” the statement said.

Trouble at Twin Peaks among rival bikers had been brewing for some time, District Attorney Abel Reyna told News 10 about two weeks ago.

Reyna said local police were on heightened alert in anticipation of trouble on Thursday nights, when Twin Peaks hosts a Biker Night.

Reyna said some weeks ago trouble erupted between two local motorcycle gangs and that spilled over into gangs from the Dallas-Fort Worth area showing up to support the local groups.

Jay Patel, Operating Partner for the Waco Twin Peaks, issued a statement Sunday evening that said the restaurant management and employees share in the community’s trauma.

“We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today.

“We share in the community’s trauma.

“Our management team has had ongoing and positive communications with the police and we will continue to work with them as we all want to keep violent crime out of our businesses and community,” he said.

On Monday, however, Swanton said the restaurant’s owners were not cooperative with police.

“They have some answering not only to do to you, but to our community as well,” he told reporters.

Late Monday afternoon the restaurant’s operators issued another statement in which they said law enforcement officials did not ask the operator or the franchisor to cancel the patio reservation on Sunday.

The event Sunday afternoon was not a Bike Night, the statement said, but instead the result of a “regular patio reservation made by a female customer who has been to the restaurant previously.”

“Based on the information to date, we also believe that the violence began outside in the area of the parking lot, and not inside our restaurant or on our patio, as has been widely reported,” the statement said.

“We are disappointed that the franchisor, Twin Peaks, made a sudden decision to cancel our Waco franchise before all of the facts are learned. We will continue to assist the authorities in any way possible that will assist in their efforts to bring the wrongdoers to justice,” the statement said.

The statement said the restaurant has hosted seven Bike Nights since last fall “without altercations such as this.”

“We are in the process of gathering additional facts, and urge that people avoid rushing to judgment before those facts are fully known,” the statement said.

Security Tight At Crime Scene

Police were on alert for additional violence Monday and security was tight around the crime scene.

Snipers were positioned on the restaurant’s roof and on overpasses that overlook the crime scene to protect not only investigators, but also the media gathered to cover the shooting.

The danger Sunday at the restaurant was significant, Swanton said, but on Monday he described the scene as secure.

He confirmed, however, that death threats have targeted uniformed police officers.

The nine bodies of gang members who died in the shooting have been taken to various morgues for autopsy.

McLennan County Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson ordered the autopsies, but declined to identify them until their families have been notified.

They all were from Texas, he said.

Three of the dead were found in the parking lot just outside of the restaurant, four were found in front of the building and one had been dragged behind a neighboring restaurant, Swanton said.

All nine were members of two of the five gangs involved in the melee, he said.

Waco crime scene investigators assisted by officers from federal, state and county agencies including the FBI, the ATF and the Department of Public Safety, were meticulously diagramming the crime scene Monday, Swanton said.

Once that process is finished, Swanton said, about 100 motorcycles and many of the 50 to 75 private vehicles in the restaurant’s parking lot will be towed away as evidence.

Investigators say they expect to remain at the scene at least until dark Monday night, Swanton said.

Portions of the Central Texas Marketplace, meanwhile, remained closed on Monday as the investigation continued.

Stores on the west side of the complex from Men’s Warehouse to Kohl’s were open Monday morning, but those on the south side, from Cabella’s to Best Buy were ordered to remain closed.

Traffic into the shopping center off Interstate 35 and Loop 340 was still restricted Monday.

Restaurant’s Alcohol Sales Suspended

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Monday announced it is suspending alcohol sales at the restaurant for seven days because of the shooting.

State law allows the agency to suspend a business license to sell alcohol after a shooting, stabbing or murder on premises that’s likely to result in subsequent leadership.

“Any wrongdoing uncovered during the investigation could result in further action against the restaurant, including monetary fines, further suspension, or cancellation of its TABC license to sell alcohol,” the agency said in a press release Monday.

“Our investigators will continue to work with the Waco Police Department to collect statements from any party involved, especially the restaurant staff,” said Maj. Victor Kuykendoll, TABC District 2 Regional Commander.

“We will continue to investigate the operations of the restaurant to determine if they failed to properly manage the folks on the premises and enabled this event to take place.”

The Harker Heights Twin Peaks restaurant has the same owner as the Waco restaurant, the TABC confirmed Monday, but the license suspension will not affect the Harker Heights operation.

The restaurant will be allowed to resume normal operations after seven days, pending the results of the investigation, which could take several weeks to complete.

Once police clear the crime scene the restaurant could resume food sales, but Swanton said Monday he hopes the owners will allow for a cooling-off period and will keep the business closed for the immediate future.

DPS Director: Twin Peaks Gunfight Unprecedented

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, a former FBI agent, said Monday that the shootout Sunday was the first time “we’ve seen this type of violence in broad daylight.”

McCraw’s agency sent Texas Rangers to process the crime scene and special agents who target motorcycle gangs.

McCraw says DPS is constantly monitoring biker gangs and that motorcycle gang violence dates back to at least the 1970s.

Officers “Did A Hell Of A Job”

Waco police anticipated possible violence Sunday based on the previous disturbances at the restaurant and on unspecified intelligence.

Eighteen uniformed Waco police officers including an assistant chief, sergeants and one rookie were standing by outside the restaurant Sunday and responded within a matter of seconds after the violence broke out between members of five rival gangs, Swanton said.

“They did a hell of job in response to a very deadly scene,” he said.

He declined to name the gangs, saying “we’re not going to give them publicity,” but they included the Bandidos, the Cossacks and the Scimitars.

The catalyst for the violence was a fight that broke out in a restaurant restroom and spilled into the outdoor party bar area, Swanton said.

Shots were fired inside the restaurant and bikers were shot, stabbed and beaten before the fight quickly moved outside to the parking lot, Swanton said.

As the officers responded, the bikers directed gunfire in their direction, police said.

“Our officers took fire and responded appropriately, returning fire,” he said.

The number of shots fired and who fired them won’t be released immediately pending completion of the investigation, he said.

“Those officers quickly gained control of a very violent scene and took numerous biker individuals into temporary custody,” he said.

They called for backup and officers from agencies throughout McLennan County responded, he said.

Officers from those agencies remained at the scene Monday, he said.

Off-duty officers who were shopping nearby also responded, even though they lacked protective gear, Swanton said.

Diners and some employees locked themselves in a freezer to escape the violence.

The scene at the Market Place between Don Carlos and Twin Peaks was absolute chaos, Swanton said earlier.

“It is one of the most violent scenes I’ve seen in my 34 years as a police officer in Waco,” Swanton said.

Swanton said officers recovered more than 100 weapons from the scene and there were several vehicles that had bullet holes in them.

The 18 injured victims were taken by ambulance to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, Providence Health Center and two were reportedly transferred to Scott & White Hospital in Temple because of the severity of their injuries.

Their names and information about their conditions weren’t available Monday.

Neither Hillcrest nor Providence would comment Monday on how many patients from the shooting they have or on security measures in place in the aftermath of the violence.

Scores of suspects were transported in vans and buses to the Waco Convention Center downtown, which was also under tight security.

The suspects were processed there before they were transferred to jail.

Officers also were also sent to the Flying J Truck Stop, at New Road and Interstate 35 because of reports a large number of bikers had been seen gathering there.

Customers At Nearby Restaurant Took Cover

A witness who was having lunch across the parking lot at Don Carlos said he and his family had just finished eating and walked into the parking lot when they heard several gunshots and saw wounded being taken from the fight scene.

“We crouched down in front of our pickup truck because that was the only cover we had,” the man, who asked not to be identified, said.

He and his family were traveling to Salina, Kansas and decided to stop for lunch.

He said he saw several wounded men being treated.

He also said there were several police officers at the scene and ambulances were responding to the scene to aid those hit by gunfire.

Ambulances from Waco and a number of surrounding communities responded to the scene, Swanton said.

Area businesses, after learning of the shooting, sent water and food to officers at the scene, he said.

Baylor University police deployed additional officers as a precaution after the gun battle, but in an email said the campus was never in any danger.

“Baylor police have been monitoring and will continue to monitor the situation,” the campus-wide email said.

Waco Mayor Thanks Officers

Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan, Jr., issued a statement Monday evening in which he thanked the law enforcement officers and first responders to “joined forces to control and minimize the tragic loss that occurred in our city.

“We are fortunate to have such well trained professionals who are prepared at a moment’s notice to step forward, risking their own life and safety, to protect the lives of others and to make a strong collective statement that we will not tolerate wrongful acts of violence in our community,” he said.

“I am thankful that innocent bystanders were not harmed in this incident and I want to assure all of our citizens that your safety is and has been our priority and we are confident that this rogue event will not disrupt or endanger our community,” he said

“Waco’s location on I-35 has always been a strategic advantage but in this case it only facilitated the convening of a large group of people with criminal capability. We are fairly certain most of the criminal activity was perpetrated by non-residents. We want to also assure the tourists and other travelers that Waco is safe and secure and back to work,” he said.

http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/Waco-Shooting-Near-Twin-Peaks-In-Waco-304043711.html

Biker Sues Waco, McLennan County, Alleges Unconstitutional Arrest, Detention

A lawyer representing one of the more than 170 bikers arrested outside of a Waco restaurant May 17 has filed a civil rights lawsuit saying his client’s arrest and detention is unconstitutional.

F. Clinton Broden released a statement Friday saying 30-year-old Matthew Alan Clendennen, arrested outside the Twin Peaks restaurant earlier this month after nine people were killed and 18 injured, is suing the City of Waco, McLennan County and Waco Police Officer Manuel Chavez.

In the suit, “Chavez is accused of signing a “fill in the name” warrant he knew lacked individual probable cause and deceiving the Justice of the Peace who signed the criminal complaint. The City of Waco and McLennan county are accused of “caus[ing] the arrest and detention of numerous individuals…regardless of whether or not there was individualized probable cause to arrest and detain a particular individual.”

Broden’s news release on the suit goes on to say Clendennen is a longtime McLennan County resident, a Baylor graduate and a former firefighter for the Hewitt and Marlin fire departments. It also says his client’s continued detention is putting a strain on the shared custody of his children, the management of his landscaping company and the welfare of his employees.

Broden said Clendennen, a member of the Scimitar Motorcycle Club, was present on the patio but took cover in the restaurant after a fight broke out. He said his client did not engage in any violent behavior and did nothing to encourage such behavior.

“Mr. Clendennen was arrested on a “fill in the name” criminal complaint and has been incarcerated for almost two weeks on a $1,000,000.00 bond. As a result, Mr. Clendennen’s ex-wife has petitioned for full custody of the two children they currently share custody of and Mr. Clendennen is at risk of losing his landscaping business although his father is attempting to run the business in his absence. If Mr. Clendennen loses the business, his employees will be without jobs,” Broden said in a news release.

“In order to arrest somebody in the United States, the Supreme Court has made clear that there must be individualized probable cause to believe that a particular person actually committed a crime. In this case, there was absolutely no evidence that Mr. Clendennen committed any crime” said Broden.

Broden’s statement added that bond hearings to reduce the $1 million bonds are not being heard until June 5 and, after consultation with the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office, the Justice of Peace has refused to schedule a “probable cause hearing” until Aug. 6.

“In America we normally do not hold an innocent person in custody for three months before according them a probable cause hearing. From a constitutional perspective, what is occurring in McLennan County is extremely troubling,” Broden said.

Waco police spokesman Sgt. Patrick Swanton could not immediately be reached for comment, per the Associated Press.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Biker-Sues-Waco-McLennan-County-Alleges-Unconstitutional-Arrest-Detention-305521171.html

Released Waco bikers: ‘They made us feel like animals’

For the first time in two weeks and one day, Morgan English ran into the arms of her husband, William. They are bikers from Brenham, Texas, but have spent every day since May 17 inside the McLennan County Jail.

They were among the 170 people arrested in the aftermath of the bloody May 17 shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Nine people were killed and 18 others were injured.

The Englishes’ attorney was able to negotiate a smaller bond to secure their release.

“They made us all feel like animals, like they herded us,” said Morgan English.

The couples’ attorney, Paul Looney, said William and Morgan English had nothing to do with the violence that day.

“They intentionally went there because they knew there was going to be a big gathering of bikes,” Looney explained. “They had absolutely no clue that anyone had any other agenda at any time.”

The Englishes said they had no part in the fight, and aren’t members of the Cossacks or Banditos gangs.

Still, Waco police handcuffed them and some 170 others at the scene.

“They didn’t pinpoint who did what; they didn’t ask, ‘Are you innocent? Tell us what happened.’ They just arrested all of us!” Morgan English said.

Looney presented their case to the county’s district attorney on Monday, who reduced their bail from $1 million to $25,000, making their reunion possible.

“This has been like a death in the family,” Looney said. “Everybody has come in, and they’ve sat by the phone waiting for the next call from jail.”

The Englishes now wait to see where their case goes next.

Bikers will be back in Central Texas this weekend as the All For 1 Waco Freedom Ride is set for Sunday. Bikers will end up at the McLennan County Courthouse in support of those still in jail.

Waco witness: ‘It was a setup from start to finish’

Richie was the first to die, then Diesel, then Dog.

Whatever else they were in life, the men with the biker nicknames were Cossacks, loud and proud and riders in a Texas motorcycle gang. And that’s what got them killed, shot to death in a brawl with a rival gang in the parking lot of a Texas “breastaurant” that advertised hot waitresses and cold beer.

“I saw the first three of our guys fall, and we started running,” said their brother-in-arms, another Cossack, who said he was there a week ago when the shooting started at the Twin Peaks restaurant.

The Cossack, president of a North Texas chapter of the motorcycle gang, asked not to be identified because he is in hiding and said he fears for his life. He is a rare eyewitness speaking publicly about the Waco shootings, one of the worst eruptions of biker-gang violence in U.S. history.

Since last week’s violence, Waco police have offered few conclusions in their investigation. But they have said that the violence was touched off when an uninvited group, presumed to be the Cossacks, showed up at a meeting of a larger confederation of motorcycle clubs dominated by the Bandidos.

In several interviews in recent days, the Cossacks rider offered a different story. He said the Cossacks were invited to the Twin Peaks patio that day — by a Bandido leader, who offered to make peace in a long-running feud between the two gangs. That invitation was a setup for an ambush, though, according to the Cossack. That’s why the dead included six Cossacks, one Scimitar (an ally of the Cossacks) and only two Bandidos.

The biker’s story could not be independently verified; most of those involved in the shootout are still in jail. But significant parts of his account square with police statements, as well as security camera videos obtained by The Associated Press.

The biker culture has unwritten rules that everybody in its world knows and has predictable consequences for stepping out of line.

So when a biker from the Bandidos, the oldest gang in Texas and one of the largest in the world, ran into a young Cossack in the Twin Peaks parking lot last Sunday, everyone knew what was coming. First words, then fists, then guns. Within seconds, Richie, Diesel and Dog were dead.

“I took off,” the Cossacks rider said. “I got out of there. I didn’t have a weapon. I couldn’t fight anybody.”

At odds for years

It started with a phone call.

About a week before the gunfight, according to the Cossack, a leader of the Bandidos, a man named Marshall from East Texas, contacted Owen Reeves, the “nomad,” or leader, of the Cossacks’ Central Texas region.

The two gangs had been at odds for years. The Bandidos consider themselves the big dogs of the Texas biker world, and other gangs — or clubs, as they prefer to be called — generally don’t cross them.

The Bandidos wear their claim to the Lone Star State on their backs. Their vests have“Bandidos” across the shoulders, just above their logo, a caricature based on Frito-Lay’s Frito Bandito. Below, the word “Texas” is stitched boldly in an inverted crescent.

That crescent, the “Texas rocker,” has long belonged to the Bandidos, and they consider it a provocation if someone else wears it without permission, which is exactly what the Cossacks did.

The Bandidos are second in numbers only to the Hells Angels and have as many as 2,500 members in 13 countries, according to the Justice Department, which considers the group a violent criminal enterprise engaged in running drugs and guns. The Cossacks, a smaller group, do not show up on law enforcement lists of criminal gangs, but the group has been growing more aggressive in recent years. Officials have warned of the potential for violence between the two gangs.

“We don’t claim any territory, but the reason that the Bandidos have such an issue with us is that we wear the Texas rocker on our back, but we don’t pay them $100 a month per chapter to do it,” the Cossack said.

On May 1, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the state warning about the Bandidos having “discussed the possibility of going to war” with the Cossacks, largely over the issue of the Texas rocker.

The bulletin noted that on March 22, several Cossacks attacked a Bandido with chains, batons and metal pipes. On the same day, Bandidos attacked a Cossack with a hammer and demanded that he remove the Texas rocker from his vest.

After all that, the phone call from Marshall was a welcome olive branch, the Cossack said.

Marshall invited the Cossacks to Twin Peaks last week when the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents was scheduled to hold a major meeting. Those meetings are generally about bikers’ rights, safety and other administrative issues. The Bandidos dominate that organization; the Cossacks are not members.

Marshall said that the Bandidos “wanted to get this cleared up,” according to the Cossack, who was relating what he said Reeves told him.

“He said, ‘Bring your brothers, hang out, and let’s get this fixed and we can all leave in peace and be happy.’ He was talking to our chapter in Waco. … The leader of our Central Texas chapter said, ‘OK, I’m going to make this happen.’ ”

Reeves, who was jailed after the melee, could not be reached for comment. No members of the Bandidos could be reached for comment.

On the patio

Last week, about 70 Cossacks on Harley-Davidsons thundered down Interstate 35 through Waco and rolled into the parking lot of the Twin Peaks.

The Cossack said he and the others congregated on the outdoor patio and started ordering food and drinks. They chatted with other bikers from smaller mom-and-pop bike clubs ahead of the 1 p.m. confederation meeting.

Guns and other weapons are a common part of biker culture, and the Cossack acknowledged that members of his gang were armed.

“But not all of us,” he said. “We had no reason to believe that this was going to go that way.”

The parley with the Bandidos had been set for 11 a.m., the Cossack said, but the Bandidos didn’t arrive until about 12:15, when about 100 of them pulled up in a long, loud line of Harleys.

Trouble started almost immediately, he said: One of the Bandidos, wearing a patch that identified him as a chapter president, ran his bike into a Cossack standing in the parking lot. The Cossack who was hit was a prospect, a man seeking to become a full member of the club.

“They came up really fast, and the prospect turned and faced the bikes,” the Cossack chapter president said. “He fell backward into other parked bikes. The guy who hit him stopped and got off of his bike and said, ‘What are you doing? Get … out of my way. We’re trying to park.’”

Cossacks quickly jumped to the prospect’s defense, he said: “Guys were saying, ‘You’re disrespecting us,’ or, ‘We’re not backing down.’ ”

In a blink, it started, he said: “Two punches: One from them, one from us.”

A Bandido with a patch identifying him as sergeant-at-arms of the same chapter threw a punch at Richard Matthew Jordan II, 31, known as “Richie,” who was from Pasadena. Jordan punched back.

“At that point in time, the sergeant-at-arms shot Richie point-blank,” the Cossack said.

Police said Jordan died of a gunshot wound to the head.

“Then all the Bandidos standing in the parking lot started pulling guns and shooting at us,” he said. “There were maybe 60 or 70 of us in the parking lot. … We took off running. We scattered. Three of our guys went down instantly. They caught a couple more that tripped and fell, and Bandidos were shooting at them.”

He said that the second man to die was Daniel Raymond Boyett, 44, a Cossack known as “Diesel.” Police said that the Waco man died from gunshot wounds to the head.

The third man down was “Dog,” Charles Wayne Russell, 46, of Winona. Russell’s cause of death was listed as a gunshot wound to the chest.

The Cossack said that he believes the Bandidos had no intention of making peace that day.

“It was a setup from start to finish,” he said.

A parking issue

The Cossack’s story has been impossible to verify, but it is largely consistent with what police have said about how the brawl began.

Waco police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said the shooting started in the parking lot with a confrontation over what he called a parking issue. A leader of the Bandidos, who goes by “Gimmi Jimmy,” told The New York Times that there had been no incident in the parking lot but that he had heard there was a fight in the restaurant bathroom. He did not respond to numerous emails.

The Cossack’s account is also consistent with a Twin Peaks security video. The Associated Press reported that the video shows the shooting started in the parking lot at 12:24 p.m., and that panicked bikers started running into the restaurant to flee.

The AP reported that the video shows one shot being fired, but it did not say who fired the shot.

After the bloodshed, Texas authorities warned of the threat of further violence, saying that the Bandidos had called for reinforcements from outside the state.

“History has a way of repeating itself,” Swanton said. “Violence amongst these groups leads to more violence amongst these groups.”

The Cossack said he, too, believes more violence is brewing. He said he received a call late Thursday from a friend in Bandidos leadership, who warned him to get out of his house and spread the word that the Bandidos were “coming hard” after Cossacks.

He said he was told “they’re going to hit houses. They’re going to hit funerals. And if another Cossack or a cop gets in the way, so be it.”

Tim Madigan and Kevin Sullivan,

The Washington Post

Related

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http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150524-witness-it-was-a-setup-from-start-to-finish.ece

Waco Police Massacre: 14 Cops Officers Fired “thousands of rounds” on 200 Bikers Killing 9, Wounding 18

The death toll from the “Twin Peaks” shootout was greater than the total number of homicides Waco police investigated in all of 2014 – And all of the “Twin Peaks” dead were shot by police.

Previously Waco Police Spokesman W. Patrick Swanton stated 22 members of law enforcement were present prior to the outbreak of the shooting.  Including 10 members of the Waco SWAT unit, 2 sergeants, 1 rookie, the Asst. Police Chief and 4 state troopers.

Newly released information today includes the Waco Police stating 14 Waco PD officers were involved in firing shots which killed 9 bike club members and wounded 18 more.

The 14 officers involved in the gun battle are all now on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in officer-involved shootings, Swanton said. (link)

In addition Sgt Swanton previously stated that all of the 170 arrested bikers were known “criminal gang members”.  However, a review by the Associated Press of court records finds at least 115 of the 170 had no police records:

waco-24-mugshots

Waco police have said that all those arrested after the shooting belonged to criminal motorcycle gangs. Most of them were being held on $1 million bonds Thursday, charged with engaging in criminal enterprise. Nine people were killed in Sunday’s shootout.

Records searched by The Associated Press show more than 115 of the 170 people arrested in the aftermath of a motorcycle gang shootout outside a Central Texas restaurant have not been convicted of a crime in Texas.  (link)

After previously saying he had not watched the CCTV video from the restaurant/bar yesterday (Wed) -which was reviewed by Associated Press reporters- Swanton now says he has watch the CCTV video.

He said he has viewed surveillance videos of the violence, and said they tell a different story from the some of the accounts being spun online.

“We can’t wait to show you what truly happened,” he said. (link)

Which is a disingenuous statement at best because all they need to do is authorize the restaurant to release the video, and the public can decide for ourselves.

waco-11

One of the bikers the police killed, Jesus Delgado Rodriquez (65), was a purple heart recipient.

Family members of a man killed in a biker shootout at a Texas restaurant say he was not part of an outlaw motorcycle gang.  That contradicts police claims that all nine bikers who died were members of criminal gangs.

The son of 65-year-old Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, of New Braunfels, told the San Antonio Express-News that his father did not lead a life of violence. An Associated Press review of court records and a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety found no criminal history in Texas for Rodriguez.

Family members said Rodriguez had belonged to two now defunct motorcycle clubs but was not part of any club when he was shot and killed at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco.

Waco police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told the AP on Wednesday that all those killed were members of the Bandidos or the Cossacks. Swanton did not immediately return a message Thursday. (link)

In addition from a lawsuit filed against Twin Peaks by the neighboring restaurant Don Carlos it is claimed the police fired “thousands of rounds” toward the bikers; striking not only bike club members but also Don Carlos customer vehicles.

Summary and personal thoughts:  It is entirely possible that some of the bikers were criminals; and it is also entirely possible that twitchy police responded excessively and overreacted to a perceived threat.  These two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

Who shot at whom first; who did or did not pull the trigger; and what might have spurred the 14 police officers to fire “thousands of rounds” at a group of 3 to 5 potentially armed bikers when the downrange backdrop was a patio filled with hundreds of unarmed bikers is not yet known.

Look closely at this picture:

waco-11

You can see bullet holes in the customer vehicles in the Don Carlos parking lot.

♦ NOTE: Direction of fire from Don Carlos toward Twin Peaks.
♦ NOTE: The downrange backdrop of that fire (for the bullets that miss their target) is the patio of Twin Peaks.

However, apparently pointing out a strong possibility for an overreaction by twitchy police is now considered “Conspiracy Theory”, or something.   A radio broadcast today calls our previous outline (which quoting MSM information) as conspiracy theory. [Listen at 8:15]

I find it interesting how intelligent people cannot bring themselves to believe the police may have influenced, initiated, created and/or worsened the events with their militarized (SWAT) presence at a bike club meeting.

Ruby Ridge?… How about M.O.V.E (Philadelphia)? … Or maybe Waco 1.0? … or perhaps more recently “Baby Bou-Bou” ringing any bells?  Cops make mistakes too !!

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 10.43.57 AM

Doesn’t anyone else find it curious that an Asst. Police Chief was on scene at Twin Peaks along with the SWAT unit, presumably as scene commander prior to the shootings, and yet no-one has heard from him/her?

Doesn’t anyone else find it curious that initial police statements claimed they had “an active intelligence operation” on the “Bike Gang” which customarily would include monitoring (camera’s, video, etc) and yet the police release NO VIDEO to support their “we were under fire” claims?

A previous comment by J.D. sums up the strange sniff of it all nicely:

I’m former law enforcement for over 20 years. I have ridden with 2 different LEMC clubs. I worked undercover back in late 80’s and have dealt with 1% clubs many times. I have friends in 1% clubs.

I’m pro law enforcement but have a funny feeling that there is lots of horseshit in the story that Waco PD is telling.

I have family living and Working in that area. They have had interaction with the clubs and never felt scared or intimidated. Always felt safe.

Now are we going get the truth or more bullshit? I’m tending on believing the bikers sides on this deal more with every day that passes. Too many people arrested and charged with RICO that were just spending time at TP.

I think LE has overstepped it’s authority on filing these type charges on most these people. $1,000,000 bonds??? BS…

Even if you find reasonable excuses for all the LEO contradictions (fight in bathroom, shots inside, all killed were inside/dragged out etc.);  even if you ignore all the misleading statements by law enforcement spokesman Patrick Swanton (100 weapons, 50 weapons, 1000 weapons etc); even if you ignore the lack of willingness to produce factual data to support their claims, ….you are still left with a ridiculous assertion that 170 non-criminal people deserve a million dollar bond because they rode a motorcycle last Sunday to a meeting, and possibly witnessed what happened.

The total number of bikers on scene, according to Swanton, was 200.  170 are arrested, 18 were wounded, 9 were killed, that totals 197.  So only 3 people were non-conspirators?

This nonsense about weapons found in vehicles etc. is just that, nonsense.

If you go to a Waco Texas Wal-Mart on Sunday, rope off the parking lot, arrest the first 200 people you see and search their pick-up trucks, suv’s and various vehicles you’ll probably come up with a similar set of statistics.

50 out of 200 people captured at Wal-Mart with prior arrest records; some with pocket knives, chains, handguns, and even rifles in their vehicles etc.  

shocked2bbaby

So what? None of that is illegal or unlawful. Ridiculous. Go to a Bass Pro shop on Saturday and you’ll probably find even better stats if that’s the goal.

Another factor which makes it all the more curious is these are the ACTUAL talking points Sgt. Patrick Swanton is relying on to justify the shooting.  This innocuous nonsense is what they are focused on.  That itself indicates -to a reasonably discerning person- there’s something uncomfortable about the narrative the LEO responders are trying to avoid.

That’s not conspiracy, that’s just common sense.

It is not conspiracy theory the incident occurred at 12:24pm Central Time (1:24 pm Eastern) and in around 90 minutes, 2:04pm CST (3:04pm EST) this press conference was held, giving the specifics of 9 dead and 18 wounded and a restaurant owner who needs to be shut down for non-compliance.

http://truthvoice.com/2015/05/waco-police-massacre-14-cops-officers-fired-thousands-of-rounds-on-200-bikers-killing-9-wounding-18/

Bikers jailed under $1 million bonds; one bond-reduction hearing set

By TOMMY WITHERSPOON

The more than 170 members of biker gangs that Waco law enforcement officials say were involved in a deadly biker gang shootout Sunday at Twin Peaks won’t be going anywhere soon.

Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson set bonds for 174 gang members charged with engaging in organized criminal activity at $1 million each.

“I think it is important to send a message,” Peterson said. “We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.”

MORE: Partial list of suspects charged in shootout

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Jimmy Don Smith, 59, of Caldwell, moved quickly Monday in getting a bond-reduction hearing set. Dan Jones, a Bryan lawyer, was in Judge Ralph Strother’s 19th State District Court on Monday to request the hearing for Smith, a mechanic with Novosad Enterprises of Caldwell. Strother set the hearing for June 5.

Peterson declined to release the identities of the nine men killed Sunday because he said only one man’s family has been notified that he knows of so far.

He said all but two of those killed were not from the Waco area, but declined to say where they were from.

Even if the men bond out of jail, they likely won’t be riding their motorcycles home. The motorcycles were confiscated as part of the massive law enforcement investigation, and sources say they likely will be seized and forfeited by McLennan County through civil forfeiture procedures and sold at auction.

In affidavits to support the arrests of the bikers issued by Peterson on Monday morning, Waco police Officer Manuel Chavez officially identifies the groups as “members and associates of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.”

While Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton declined to identify the opposing groups Sunday, he said at least five motorcycle gangs were involved in the altercation.

“The members and associates of the Cossacks and Bandidos were wearing common identifying distinctive signs or symbols and/or had an identifiable leadership and/or continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities,” the affidavit says. “The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains a database containing information identifying the Cossacks and their associates as a criminal street gang and the Bandidos and their associates as a criminal street gang.”

After the shootout, firearms, knives or “other unknown edged weapons,” batons, clubs, brass knuckles and other weapons were recovered from members and associates of both gangs, the complaint alleges.

Other weapons also were found on their motorcycles.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/police/bikers-jailed-under-million-bonds-one-bond-reduction-hearing-set/article_38b881ef-0278-51ab-bc82-8c8a05b224da.html

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Rick Perry Announces His Candidacy For President in 2016 — Enters A Very Crowded Candidate Field — Run Rick Run — Big Interventionist Government Statist (BIGS) Cheerleader — Voters Beware of Identity Politics Videos

Posted on June 12, 2015. Filed under: American History, Autos, Blogroll, Communications, Employment, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Talk Radio, Transportation, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Rick Perry Announces His Candidacy For President in 2016 — Enters A Very Crowded Candidate Field — Run Rick Run — Big Interventionist Government Statist (BIGS) Cheerleader — Voters Beware of Identity Politics  Videos

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Rick Perry Announces Running For President in 2016 | Presidential Bid | FULL SPEECH

Rick Perry Announces Running For President in 2016 | Presidential Bid | FULL SPEECH

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a crowd at an airport hangar outside Dallas today that he would seek the presidency a second time, saying he was running because “it’s time for a reset, time to reset the relationship between government and citizen.”

“We have the power to make things new again, to project America’s strength again, and to get our economy going again,” Perry, 65, told those gathered at a public airfield in Addison, Texas, to hear the longtime politician formally announce his campaign. “That is exactly why today I’m running for the presidency of the United States of America.”

Five Things You Might Not Know About Gov. Rick Perry
Perry Poses For Mugshot, Treats Himself To Ice Cream Cone
Perry, whose more than 14 years in office made him the longest-serving governor in Texas history, joins a stronger presidential field than he faced four years ago. Already, nine other Republicans have formally announced presidential candidacies, and at least half a dozen more are expected to jump into the 2016 race.

His speech, the plane he stood in front of and the prominent veterans joining him onstage highlighted his credentials as one of just a few 2016 presidential contenders who have served in the military. He flew planes while in the Air Force for five years in the 1970s.

“I was proud to wear the uniform of our country as an Air Force officer,” Perry said, praising his father, a World War II veteran, and even George Washington’s selflessness. Perry rose to the rank of captain during his time in the military.

Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris Kyle, who inspired the movie “American Sniper,” appeared onstage with Perry along with several other notable veterans, including Marcus Luttrell, a retired Navy SEAL whose book “Lone Survivor” was made into a feature film.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry made it official on Thursday, joining the already-crowded field of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Perry, whose infamous “Oops” moment during the last GOP primary derailed what had been a promising start to his 2012 campaign, announced his latest bid at a rally inside a hot airplane hanger north of Dallas.

“We’re at the end of an era of failed leadership,” Perry told supporters. “We are a resilient country. We’ve been through a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression — we even made it through Jimmy Carter. We will make it through the Obama years.”

Perry was joined onstage by Taya Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, author of “Lone Survivor.”

Rick Perry, the former Texas governor whose 2012 campaign for the White House turned into a political disaster that humbled and weakened the most powerful Republican in the state, announced Thursday that he will run for president again in 2016.

Mr. Perry is the latest candidate to officially enter a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders, declared and undeclared, several of whom have Texas ties and have overshadowed him in recent months, including Senator Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush, Mr. Perry’s predecessor in the governor’s mansion.

“We will make it through the Obama years,” he told a cheering crowd at a small municipal airport here in Addison, a northern suburb of downtown Dallas. Saying, “It’s time,” he declared in an impassioned speech, ”I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.”

The location had to do with his giant stage prop – a C-130 plane, the type he flew serving in the United States Air Force in the 1970s.

The plane – parked behind the stage and emblazoned with “Perry for President” – illustrated one of the ways Mr. Perry plans to distinguish himself from the other Republican candidates, by emphasizing his service in the military and his support from veterans, several of whom joined him on stage, including Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy SEAL whose memoir inspired the movie “Lone Survivor.”

In his speech, Mr. Perry also sought to separate himself from other Republican contenders by casting himself as a leader who has done the work rather than a politician who talks about doing it, pointing to his handling of natural disasters and crisises at the border and his 14-year tenure as governor of a state with the 12th-largest economy in the world.

Rick Perry announces his run for President

Rick Perry announces presidential run

Rick Perry Talks Immigration

14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President – Alex Jones Tv

Rick Perry’s Border Solution is A Bait and Switch

NAFTA Superhighway Update

Rick Perry Betrays Texas on ‘Superhighway’ Deal with Spain

Rick Perry “very strong” in opposition to border wall

Rick Perry: a border wall is “ludicrous”

More Video: Rick Perry: Border Fence is “Nonsense”

14 REASONS WHY RICK PERRY WOULD BE A REALLY, REALLY BAD PRESIDENT

Bilderberg favorite Perry
Supporters of Texas Governor Rick Perry are not going to like this article at all. Right now, Republicans all over the United States are touting Rick Perry as the “Republican messiah” that is going to come charging in to save America from the presidency of Barack Obama. Many believe that if Rick Perry enters the race, he will instantly become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Perry certainly looks the part and he knows how to give a good speech, but when ordinary Americans all over the country take a hard look at his record, they may not like what they see. The truth is that Rick Perry is a big-time globalist, he has raised taxes and fees in Texas numerous times, he has massively increased the size of government spending and government debt in Texas, he has been trying to ram the Trans-Texas Corridor down the throats of the Texas people and he tried to force young women all over Texas to be injected with the Gardasil vaccine. No, Rick Perry is not going to save America. In fact, he would likely be very, very similar to both Bush and Obama in a lot of ways.

Right now, Rick Perry is trying to portray himself as a “good conservative” so that if he enters the race he will be accepted by Christian conservatives. If Rick Perry did win the Republican nomination, he would have a great chance of winning the general election because he would very much be an “establishment” candidate.
But before Republicans get too excited about Rick Perry, there are a whole lot of things that they should know about him.

The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.

•  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

•  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with an untested and unproven vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”

Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.

He is not the “conservative Republican” that he is trying to claim that he is. He is simply another in a long line of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only).

If Rick Perry becomes president, he will probably be very similar to George W. Bush. He will explode the size of the U.S. government and U.S. government debt, he will find sneaky ways to raise taxes, he will do nothing about the Federal Reserve or corruption in our financial system and he will push the agenda of the globalists at every turn.

Look, the truth is that another four years of Barack Obama would be a complete and total nightmare.

But so would four years of Rick Perry.

America deserves better than the “lesser of two evils”.

Unfortunately, the American people have been dead asleep and have been sending incompetents, con men and charlatans to Washington D.C. for decades.

Hopefully things will be different in 2012.

http://www.infowars.com/14-reasons-why-rick-perry-would-be-a-really-really-bad-president/

The Presidential Contenders: Gov. Mike Pence

Potential 2016 dark-horse candidate: Mike Pence

Is Pence still considering a 2016 presidential run?

Perry launches 2016 bid for White House

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his 2016 presidential campaign Thursday, hoping the second time’s the charm after his 2012 bid fizzled following a debate gaffe and other challenges.

The three-term Republican governor, who has spent months traveling and studying policy issues in preparation for another run, made it official at an event in Addison, Texas.

“Today, I am running for the presidency of the United States of America,” Perry said.

Perry railed against the economic and foreign policy record of the Obama administration, calling the former a result of tax-and-regulatory policies. On foreign policy, Perry faulted leaders of both parties for making “grave mistakes” in Iraq but said President Obama “failed to secure the peace,” with the Islamic State now seizing cities American troops fought for.

“The truth is we are at the end of an era of failed leadership,” Perry said.

His campaign is likely to run heavily on Perry’s economic record as governor. A “Perry for President” website, which went live Thursday morning ahead of his announcement, includes stats highlighting tax cuts and other policies from his lengthy term. The campaign also released an announcement video.

More on this…

  • Perry: Americans don’t have to settle or apologize

He’s also one of the few military veterans in the field. Parked next to the small stage Thursday was a hulking C-130 the cargo plane, like one he flew for the Air Force.

Perry, though, becomes the 10th Republican to enter the race — and one of several current or former governors in the mix. Underscoring the competition he will face to stand out, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s team confirmed hours before Perry’s announcement that Bush would announce his campaign plans June 15.

Perry, in preparation, has made several visits to the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and will look to erase the memories of his 2012 campaign.

When Perry entered the Republican race last cycle, he was considered to be among the front-runners. Then, at a November 2011 debate in Michigan, he forgot the name of the third federal agency he said he would close if he was elected, then muttered “Oops.” In that moment, he went from powerhouse to punchline and gradually faded from contention.

However, Perry still has the policy record that made him an early force last time.

Perry left office in January after a record 14 years as governor of Texas. Under him, the state generated more than a third of America’s new private-sector jobs since 2001.

While an oil and gas boom fueled much of that economic growth, Perry credits lower taxes, restrained regulation and limits on civil litigation damages. He also pushed offering economic incentives to lure top employers to Texas and repeatedly visited states with Democratic governors to poach jobs.

Perry was thought to be a cinch for four more years as governor in 2014, but instead turned back to White House ambitions. His effort may be complicated this time by a felony indictment on abuse of power and coercion charges, from when he threatened — then carried out — a veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors. That came when the unit’s Democratic head rebuffed Perry’s demands that she resign following a drunken driving conviction.

Perry calls the case against him a political “witch hunt,” but his repeated efforts to get it tossed on constitutional grounds have so far proved unsuccessful. That raises the prospect he’ll have to leave the campaign trail to head to court in Texas.

Perry blamed lingering pain from back surgery in the summer of 2011 for part of the reason he performed poorly in the 2012 campaign. He has ditched his trademark cowboy boots for more comfortable footwear and wears glasses that give him a serious look.

Perry also traveled extensively overseas and studied policy with experts and economists at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Lately, Perry has traveled to Iowa, which kicks off presidential nomination voting, more than any GOP White House candidate.

“People realize that what the governor did in the high-profile debate, stumble, everyone has done at some point in their lives,” said Ray Sullivan, Perry’s chief of staff as governor and communications director for his 2012 presidential bid. “I think he’s already earned a second look, particular in Iowa.”

One thing Perry hopes to emulate from 2012 is his fundraising, when he amassed $18 million in the first six weeks.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/04/former-texas-gov-rick-perry-to-join-2016-gop-field/

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won’t run for president
By JONATHAN TOPAZ 5/19/15 5:13 PM EDT

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won’t run for president in 2016, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
The Republican governor said Monday that he would run for a second term next year, which he will likely officially announce at the Indiana Republican Party’s Spring Dinner next month. Indiana law disallows candidates from running for two offices on the same ballot — and a legislative effort to allow Pence to run both for the White House and governor hasn’t gone anywhere.

Asked whether there is now no scenario in which Pence will run for president in 2016, spokeswoman Christy Denault replied: “Correct.”
Pence told POLITICO in February that he was still considering a bid, but that he couldn’t run for both offices. “Indiana law, in terms of a federal office and a state office, doesn’t permit that,” he said.
The governor, 55, spent more than a decade in Congress, at one point serving as chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
President Barack Obama is shown. | AP

For a time, Pence was seen as a strong 2016 contender. An evangelical governor who often touted his balanced budgets and job-creation record, he was considered by some in the party as a candidate who could bring together the establishment and social conservative wings of the party. Many of his former staffers have assumed top roles with GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, and the brothers’ Americans for Prosperity political group supported his efforts in office.
But Pence recently suffered a series of missteps, most notably his support for a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that earned national attention following major criticism from the business and gay rights communities. Pence declared in a defensive interview on ABC’s “This Week” that he wouldn’t change the law, which critics argued would allow for businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian individuals.
Under mounting national pressure — including Apple CEO Tim Cook pledging to boycott Indiana and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy calling Pence a “bigot” — Pence oversaw a change in the law to ensure it didn’t allow for discrimination. The governor’s approval rating subsequently dropped nearly 20 points in the state.
Pence also earned ridicule for planning to launch a state-run news service funded by taxpayers, a plan his administration quickly scrapped after it was roundly criticized. And Pence’s prospects suffered due to the sudden rise of another Midwestern Republican — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has quickly emerged as a front-runner embraced by top donors including the Koch brothers and conservative activists.
An elderly supporter of US Republican presidential hopeful John McCain displays her voting choice.

The 2016 gubernatorial election may be a rematch of the close 2012 race between Pence and former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, who has already declared his candidacy. Former Indiana Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh, who also served two terms in the Senate, said he won’t run in 2016.
Indiana GOP chairman Jeff Cardwell praised Pence’s decision to run for reelection in a statement Monday. “Gov. Mike Pence is a conservative leader and dedicated public servant who always puts Indiana first … We are excited the governor will formally announce his plans to seek re-election during our annual Spring Dinner,” he said.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/indiana-gov-mike-pence-wont-run-for-president-in-2016-118110.html

The legend of Al Gore and Rick Perry

A new ad from Ron Paul says Rick Perry was Al Gore's
A new ad from Ron Paul says Rick Perry was Al Gore’s “Texas cheerleader.” We dig into the legend of Perry and Gore and find that while Perry supported Gore, he was not chairman of the campaign, as many have claimed.

It’s a legend of Texas politics and a hatchet for foes of Gov. Rick Perry, front-running candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The story goes that as a Democratic legislator, Perry chaired Democrat Al Gore’s presidential campaign in Texas.

The legend has been aired routinely for more than 13 years, originally by a Democratic opponent of Perry’s, and in news reports—all but unchallenged by Perry. Even we at PolitiFact Texas repeated the story as fact.

Of late, there’s a July 16, 2011, reference to Perry chairing the Gore effort in Timemagazine, and an Aug. 29, 2011, item in The New Yorker magazine saying Perry “became a Republican after shouldering the thankless task of running Al Gore’s 1988 Presidential campaign in Texas.”

This week, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, likewise bidding for president, premiered an advertisement calling Perry “Al Gore’s Texas cheerleader.”

Cheerleader, maybe.

But interviews with political players in Texas and Tennessee and news articles from 1988 have convinced us that, although Perry endorsed Gore, he was not his Texas chairman.

Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Perry’s presidential campaign, recently told us by email: “We have no record or recollection of any leadership position” for Perry in Gore’s 1988 campaign.

Asked why Perry did not say as much when a 1998 opponent repeatedly lofted such claims, Sullivan replied: “We did not (have) access to information about the Gore ’88 campaign organization and therefore 10 years later could not definitively say one way or the other.”

Perry says he voted for Republican George H.W. Bush in November 1988, Sullivan said.

Political journalist R.G. Ratcliffe of Texas, who also reports for the Austin American-Statesman, recently declared in a blog post that Perry did not chair the Gore campaign in Texas. That prompted us to take a closer look at the Perry-Gore connection.

Austin consultant George Shipley, who advised Gore’s 1988 campaign, told us in an interview that Perry “made, to my knowledge, one, possibly two press tours, but he was not what I would call that active in the campaign.”

Sherman lawyer Bob Slagle, who supported Gore while chairing the state’s Democratic Party, told us in an interview that Perry “may have been chairman for some area around Haskell County,” Perry’s home county, but he was no more than that.

Similarly, two staff members in Gore’s 1988 effort said Perry was not its Texas chief.

Tennessee lawyer Tom Jurkovich, Gore’s Texas director, told us by email that “we may have named (Perry) to a ‘steering committee’ or as one of several campaign ‘co-chairs,’ typically honorific titles with no real role … (Perry) wasn’t highly involved in the campaign, however, and had zero operational responsibility.”

Mike Kopp of Nashville, who did press outreach for Gore, was more emphatic, saying in an interview: “We didn’t have a chairman in Texas; we didn’t have co-chairs,” either. “We weren’t that organized; we didn’t have that strong a ground game.”

Perry, who switched to the Republican Party in 1989 before winning his first statewide office in 1990, has since said he realized around that time that Gore was not his man. Still, he did not— could not—deny he’d come aboard with 27 fellow Texas House Democrats who endorsed Gore at a Jan. 5, 1988, Texas Capitol press conference.

Perry and the other legislators saw Gore as the best conservative Democrat in a field that included Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, Missouri U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

A Jan. 7, 1988, news article in the Abilene Reporter-News quotes Dusty Garison, Perry’s district aide, saying: “Rick thinks it’s important that conservative Texans who have traditionally voted in the Democratic Party not vote in the Republican Party simply because they want to vote for a conservative presidential candidate.” Gore, Garison said, appears to be a candidate who can bring the party back to “mainstream America.”

But Gore’s candidacy faded after he fared poorly in Southern primaries. He wound up third in the March 1988 Texas primary, trailing Dukakis and Jackson.

Garison recently told us in an interview he doesn’t remember Perry having an official position in Gore’s campaign.

Perry’s “chairmanship” appears to have originated as a campaign attack that stuck after it was seemingly confirmed by Perry himself. Sprinkle in Nexis fever—the tendency of journalists to echo news clips they find using the Nexis database—and the legend abides.

A review of news articles archived by the Legislative Reference Library shows that Democrat John Sharp made the charge about Perry’s leadership role in the Gore campaign when Sharp faced Perry in the 1998 race for lieutenant governor.

In March 1998, Perry’s camp pressed Sharp to say whom he’d support in that year’s governor’s race between Gov. George W. Bush and Democrat Garry Mauro. Sullivan was quoted in a March 15, 1998, Dallas Morning News article as saying that while Perry would back Bush, Sharp had “supported Mike Dukakis in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992, (Democratic Gov.) Ann Richards in 1994 and was preparing to run against Gov. Bush in 1997. In 1998, will John Sharp continue his long opposition to the Bush family in Texas or change his position for political gain?”

“Texans deserve a straight and honest answer,” Sullivan said.

The newspaper reported Sharp’s campaign then claiming that Perry served as a state vice chairman for Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign in the state. In an April 1998 debate with Perry, Sharp charged Perry with being Gore’s “co-campaign manager,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram then reported.

In a Sept. 15, 1998, Dallas Morning News article, Sharp is quoted making the “co-chairman” claim again. Perry acknowledged that, the story says, but said there was a “push to get a conservative Southerner” elected president.

“Going through that was part of what started me through the process of changing parties in 1989,” he told the newspaper. “I came to my senses.”

It was Perry’s September 1998 acknowledgment that fed our conclusion in a January 2010 fact check that there was some truth to Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina’s claim that Perry had been Gore’s “campaign manager.” We again leaned on the 1998 article in rating Mostly True a similar claim by Rep. Ron Paul.

Sharp now acknowledges he was making a charge he could not prove.

Sharp, who lost a second bid for lieutenant governor in 2002, later helped devise a business tax overhaul at Perry’s behest. He’s poised to become chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

He recently agreed Perry wasn’t chairman of Gore’s 1988 Texas campaign. When reminded that he said things otherwise on the hustings, Sharp said: “Never could prove it.”

We couldn’t prove it either. We failed to find campaign-related documents potentially listing titles, if any, given to the Texas legislators who came out for Gore.

Interviews suggest campaign leadership titles may have been casually shared.

Hugo Berlanga, a former legislator who was then speaker pro tempore of the Texas House, said in an interview that the members committing to Gore, who was then a U.S. senator, were going to be his Texas co-chairs. “The bottom line, whether he was a coordinator or co chair, (Perry) was involved,” Berlanga said.

Bobby Aikin, also among legislators then for Gore, said in an interview: “I think each one of us claimed to be a co-chair or coordinator or some-such like that.”

So, say so long to the “Chairman Perry” legend?

Sure, barring contradictory evidence.

Finally, we’re re-rating our fact checks that echoed the chairman description.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/sep/07/legend-al-gore-and-rick-perry/

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Normandy-Surviving D-Day(full )HD Documentary

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Economic Illiterate Obama On Life’s Lottery Winners — Wealth, Job and Income Creators Pay Over 70% of Federal Income Taxes — Obama Wants More — Greedy Progressive Politicians Use Government To Steal Other People’s Money — Videos

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Story 1: Economic Illiterate Obama On Life’s Lottery Winners — Wealth, Job and Income Creators Pay  Over 70% of Federal Income Taxes — Obama Wants More — Greedy Progressive Politicians Use Government To Steal Other People’s Money — Videos

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified?

Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong.

See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

“The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”

~Frédéric Bastiat

Obama Dismisses Wealthy Americans As ‘Society’s Lottery Winners’

Obama: Tax Hedge Funds More

EAT THE RICH!

IDIOTS – Who pays the most taxes – Franklin vs Marx

Why the Rich Never Pay Taxes

Why The Rich Pay Lower Taxes

Summary of Latest Federal Income Tax Data

December 22, 2014
By Kyle Pomerleau,Andrew Lundeen

The Internal Revenue Service has recently released new data on individual income taxes for calendar year 2012, showing the number of taxpayers, adjusted gross income, and income tax shares by income percentiles.[1]

The data demonstrates that the U.S. individual income tax continues to be very progressive, borne mainly by the highest income earners.

  • In 2012, 136.1 million taxpayers reported earning $9.04 trillion in adjusted gross income and paid $1.1 trillion in income taxes.
  • All income groups increased their income and taxes paid over the previous year.
  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers earned their largest share of income since 2007 at 21.9 percent of total AGI and paid their largest share of the income tax burden since the same year at 38.1 percent of total income taxes.
  • In 2012, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers (68 million filers) paid 97.2 percent of all income taxes while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 2.8 percent.
  • The top 1 percent (1.3 million filers) paid a greater share of income taxes (38.1 percent) than the bottom 90 percent (122.4 million filers) combined (29.8 percent).
  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a higher effective income tax rate than any other group at 22.8 percent, which is nearly 7 times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.28 percent).

Taxpayers Reported $9.04 Trillion in Adjusted Gross Income and Paid $1.19 Trillion in Income Taxes in 2012

Taxpayers reported $9.04 trillion in adjusted gross income (AGI) on 136.1 million tax returns in 2012. This represents $725 billion in additional income over 2011 on 500,000 fewer tax returns. While the majority of the income gain went to the top 5 percent of taxpayers (those making $175,817 or more), every income group experienced an increase in income in 2012. Due to the increase in incomes, taxes paid increased by $142 billion to $1.185 trillion in 2012. Taxes paid increased for all income groups.

The share of income earned by the top 1 percent increased to 21.9 percent of total AGI, the highest level since the peak year of 2007 (22.9 percent of total AGI). The share of the income tax burden for the top 1 percent increased to 38.1 percent from 35.1 percent in 2011, also the highest level since the peak in 2007 (39.8 percent).

Table 1. Summary of Federal Income Tax Data, 2012

Number of Returns*

AGI ($ millions)

Income Taxes Paid ($ millions)

Group’s Share of Total AGI (IRS)

Group’s Share of Income Taxes

Income Split Point

Average Tax Rate

All Taxpayers

136,080,353

9,041,744

1,184,978

100.0%

100.0%

Top 1%

1,360,804

1,976,738

451,328

21.9%

38.1%

> $434,682

22.8%

1-5%

5,443,214

1,354,206

247,215

15.0%

20.9%

18.3%

Top 5%

6,804,018

3,330,944

698,543

36.8%

58.9%

> $175,817

21.0%

5-10%

6,804,017

996,955

132,902

11.0%

11.2%

13.3%

Top 10%

13,608,035

4,327,899

831,445

47.9%

70.2%

> $125,195

19.2%

10-25%

20,412,053

1,933,778

192,601

21.4%

16.3%

10.0%

Top 25%

34,020,088

6,261,677

1,024,046

69.3%

86.4%

> $73,354

16.4%

25-50%

34,020,089

1,776,123

128,017

19.6%

10.8%

7.2%

Top 50%

68,040,177

8,037,800

1,152,063

88.9%

97.2%

> $36,055

14.3%

Bottom 50%

68,040,177

1,003,944

32,915

11.1%

2.8%

< $36,055

3.3%

*Does not include dependent filers.

Top 50 Percent of All Taxpayers Paid 97.2 Percent of All Federal Income Taxes; Top 1 Percent Paid 38.1 Percent; and Bottom 90 Percent Paid 29.7 Percent of All Federal Income Taxes

Figure 1 shows the distribution of AGI and income taxes paid by income percentiles in 2012. In 2012, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers (those with AGIs below $36,055) earned 11.1 percent of total AGI. This group of taxpayers paid approximately $33 billion in taxes, or 2.8 percent of all income taxes in 2012.

In contrast, the top 1 percent of all taxpayers (taxpayers with AGIs of $434,682 and above), earned 21.9 percent of all AGI in 2012, but paid 38.1 percent of all federal income taxes.

Combined, the top 1 percent of taxpayers (those with AGIs above $434,682) accounted for more income taxes paid than the bottom 90 percent (those with AGIs below $125,195) combined. In 2012, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid $451 billion in income taxes, or 38.1 percent of all income taxes while the bottom 90 percent paid $353 billion in income taxes, or 29.8 percent of all income taxes paid.

The Top 1 Percent’s Effective Tax Rate Is Nearly Seven Times Higher than the Bottom 50 percent’s

The 2012 IRS data shows that taxpayers with higher incomes pay much higher effective income tax rates than lower-income taxpayers.

The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers (taxpayers with AGIs under $36,055) faced an average effective income tax rate of 3.3 percent. As taxpayer AGI increases, the IRS data shows that average income tax rates rise. For example, taxpayers with AGIs between the 10th and 5th percentile ($125,195 and $175,817) pay an average effective rate of 13.3 percent—four times the rate paid by those in the bottom 50 percent.

The top 1 percent of taxpayers (AGI of $434,682 and higher) paid the highest effective income tax rate at 22.8 percent, 6.9 times the rate faced by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers. The top 1 percent’s average effective tax rate for 2012 of 22.8 percent was slightly lower than that of 2011 (23.5 percent).

Taxpayers at the very top of the income distribution, the top 0.1 percent, which includes taxpayers with incomes over $2.2 million, actually paid a slightly lower income tax rate than the top 1 percent (21.7 percent versus 22.8 percent). This is due to the fact that very high income taxpayers are more likely to report a greater share of their income as taxable capital gains income. This leads to a slightly lower effective tax rate because capital gains and dividends income faces a lower top income tax rate (23.8 percent) than wage and business income (39.6 percent). It is important to note, however, that capital gains taxes at the individual level are the second layer of tax after the corporate income tax (which is 35 percent).

Appendix

 Table 2. Number of Federal Individual Income Tax Returns Filed 1980–2012 (In thousands)
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
1980 93,239 932 4,662 4,662 9,324 13,986 23,310 23,310 46,619 46,619
1981 94,587 946 4,729 4,729 9,459 14,188 23,647 23,647 47,293 47,293
1982 94,426 944 4,721 4,721 9,443 14,164 23,607 23,607 47,213 47,213
1983 95,331 953 4,767 4,767 9,533 14,300 23,833 23,833 47,665 47,665
1984 98,436 984 4,922 4,922 9,844 14,765 24,609 24,609 49,218 49,219
1985 100,625 1,006 5,031 5,031 10,063 15,094 25,156 25,156 50,313 50,313
1986 102,088 1,021 5,104 5,104 10,209 15,313 25,522 25,522 51,044 51,044
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 106,155 1,062 5,308 5,308 10,615 15,923 26,539 26,539 53,077 53,077
1988 108,873 1,089 5,444 5,444 10,887 16,331 27,218 27,218 54,436 54,436
1989 111,313 1,113 5,566 5,566 11,131 16,697 27,828 27,828 55,656 55,656
1990 112,812 1,128 5,641 5,641 11,281 16,922 28,203 28,203 56,406 56,406
1991 113,804 1,138 5,690 5,690 11,380 17,071 28,451 28,451 56,902 56,902
1992 112,653 1,127 5,633 5,633 11,265 16,898 28,163 28,163 56,326 56,326
1993 113,681 1,137 5,684 5,684 11,368 17,052 28,420 28,420 56,841 56,841
1994 114,990 1,150 5,749 5,749 11,499 17,248 28,747 28,747 57,495 57,495
1995 117,274 1,173 5,864 5,864 11,727 17,591 29,319 29,319 58,637 58,637
1996 119,442 1,194 5,972 5,972 11,944 17,916 29,860 29,860 59,721 59,721
1997 121,503 1,215 6,075 6,075 12,150 18,225 30,376 30,376 60,752 60,752
1998 123,776 1,238 6,189 6,189 12,378 18,566 30,944 30,944 61,888 61,888
1999 126,009 1,260 6,300 6,300 12,601 18,901 31,502 31,502 63,004 63,004
2000 128,227 1,282 6,411 6,411 12,823 19,234 32,057 32,057 64,114 64,114
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 119,371 119 1,194 5,969 5,969 11,937 17,906 29,843 29,843 59,685 59,685
2002 119,851 120 1,199 5,993 5,993 11,985 17,978 29,963 29,963 59,925 59,925
2003 120,759 121 1,208 6,038 6,038 12,076 18,114 30,190 30,190 60,379 60,379
2004 122,510 123 1,225 6,125 6,125 12,251 18,376 30,627 30,627 61,255 61,255
2005 124,673 125 1,247 6,234 6,234 12,467 18,701 31,168 31,168 62,337 62,337
2006 128,441 128 1,284 6,422 6,422 12,844 19,266 32,110 32,110 64,221 64,221
2007 132,655 133 1,327 6,633 6,633 13,265 19,898 33,164 33,164 66,327 66,327
2008 132,892 133 1,329 6,645 6,645 13,289 19,934 33,223 33,223 66,446 66,446
2009 132,620 133 1,326 6,631 6,631 13,262 19,893 33,155 33,155 66,310 66,310
2010 135,033 135 1,350 6,752 6,752 13,503 20,255 33,758 33,758 67,517 67,517
2011 136,586 137 1,366 6,829 6,829 13,659 20,488 34,146 34,146 68,293 68,293
2012 136,080 136 1,361 6,804 6,804 13,608 20,412 34,020 34,020 68,040 68,040
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
Table 3. Adjusted Gross Income of Taxpayers in Various Income Brackets, 1980–2012 ($Billions)
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
1980 $1,627 $138 $342 $181 $523 $400 $922 $417 $1,339 $288
1981 $1,791 $149 $372 $201 $573 $442 $1,015 $458 $1,473 $318
1982 $1,876 $167 $398 $207 $605 $460 $1,065 $478 $1,544 $332
1983 $1,970 $183 $428 $217 $646 $481 $1,127 $498 $1,625 $344
1984 $2,173 $210 $482 $240 $723 $528 $1,251 $543 $1,794 $379
1985 $2,344 $235 $531 $260 $791 $567 $1,359 $580 $1,939 $405
1986 $2,524 $285 $608 $278 $887 $604 $1,490 $613 $2,104 $421
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 $2,814 $347 $722 $316 $1,038 $671 $1,709 $664 $2,374 $440
1988 $3,124 $474 $891 $342 $1,233 $718 $1,951 $707 $2,658 $466
1989 $3,299 $468 $918 $368 $1,287 $768 $2,054 $751 $2,805 $494
1990 $3,451 $483 $953 $385 $1,338 $806 $2,144 $788 $2,933 $519
1991 $3,516 $457 $943 $400 $1,343 $832 $2,175 $809 $2,984 $532
1992 $3,681 $524 $1,031 $413 $1,444 $856 $2,299 $832 $3,131 $549
1993 $3,776 $521 $1,048 $426 $1,474 $883 $2,358 $854 $3,212 $563
1994 $3,961 $547 $1,103 $449 $1,552 $929 $2,481 $890 $3,371 $590
1995 $4,245 $620 $1,223 $482 $1,705 $985 $2,690 $938 $3,628 $617
1996 $4,591 $737 $1,394 $515 $1,909 $1,043 $2,953 $992 $3,944 $646
1997 $5,023 $873 $1,597 $554 $2,151 $1,116 $3,268 $1,060 $4,328 $695
1998 $5,469 $1,010 $1,797 $597 $2,394 $1,196 $3,590 $1,132 $4,721 $748
1999 $5,909 $1,153 $2,012 $641 $2,653 $1,274 $3,927 $1,199 $5,126 $783
2000 $6,424 $1,337 $2,267 $688 $2,955 $1,358 $4,314 $1,276 $5,590 $834
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 $6,116 $492 $1,065 $1,934 $666 $2,600 $1,334 $3,933 $1,302 $5,235 $881
2002 $5,982 $421 $960 $1,812 $660 $2,472 $1,339 $3,812 $1,303 $5,115 $867
2003 $6,157 $466 $1,030 $1,908 $679 $2,587 $1,375 $3,962 $1,325 $5,287 $870
2004 $6,735 $615 $1,279 $2,243 $725 $2,968 $1,455 $4,423 $1,403 $5,826 $908
2005 $7,366 $784 $1,561 $2,623 $778 $3,401 $1,540 $4,940 $1,473 $6,413 $953
2006 $7,970 $895 $1,761 $2,918 $841 $3,760 $1,652 $5,412 $1,568 $6,980 $990
2007 $8,622 $1,030 $1,971 $3,223 $905 $4,128 $1,770 $5,898 $1,673 $7,571 $1,051
2008 $8,206 $826 $1,657 $2,868 $905 $3,773 $1,782 $5,555 $1,673 $7,228 $978
2009 $7,579 $602 $1,305 $2,439 $878 $3,317 $1,740 $5,058 $1,620 $6,678 $900
2010 $8,040 $743 $1,517 $2,716 $915 $3,631 $1,800 $5,431 $1,665 $7,096 $944
2011 $8,317 $737 $1,556 $2,819 $956 $3,775 $1,866 $5,641 $1,716 $7,357 $961
2012 $9,042 $1,017 $1,977 $3,331 $997 $4,328 $1,934 $6,262 $1,776 $8,038 $1,004
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
 Table 4. Total Income Tax after Credits, 1980–2012 ($Billions)
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
1980 $249 $47 $92 $31 $123 $59 $182 $50 $232 $18
1981 $282 $50 $99 $36 $135 $69 $204 $57 $261 $21
1982 $276 $53 $100 $34 $134 $66 $200 $56 $256 $20
1983 $272 $55 $101 $34 $135 $64 $199 $54 $252 $19
1984 $297 $63 $113 $37 $150 $68 $219 $57 $276 $22
1985 $322 $70 $125 $41 $166 $73 $238 $60 $299 $23
1986 $367 $94 $156 $44 $201 $78 $279 $64 $343 $24
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 $369 $92 $160 $46 $205 $79 $284 $63 $347 $22
1988 $413 $114 $188 $48 $236 $85 $321 $68 $389 $24
1989 $433 $109 $190 $51 $241 $93 $334 $73 $408 $25
1990 $447 $112 $195 $52 $248 $97 $344 $77 $421 $26
1991 $448 $111 $194 $56 $250 $96 $347 $77 $424 $25
1992 $476 $131 $218 $58 $276 $97 $374 $78 $452 $24
1993 $503 $146 $238 $60 $298 $101 $399 $80 $479 $24
1994 $535 $154 $254 $64 $318 $108 $425 $84 $509 $25
1995 $588 $178 $288 $70 $357 $115 $473 $88 $561 $27
1996 $658 $213 $335 $76 $411 $124 $535 $95 $630 $28
1997 $727 $241 $377 $82 $460 $134 $594 $102 $696 $31
1998 $788 $274 $425 $88 $513 $139 $652 $103 $755 $33
1999 $877 $317 $486 $97 $583 $150 $733 $109 $842 $35
2000 $981 $367 $554 $106 $660 $164 $824 $118 $942 $38
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 $885 $139 $294 $462 $101 $564 $158 $722 $120 $842 $43
2002 $794 $120 $263 $420 $93 $513 $143 $657 $104 $761 $33
2003 $746 $115 $251 $399 $85 $484 $133 $617 $98 $715 $30
2004 $829 $142 $301 $467 $91 $558 $137 $695 $102 $797 $32
2005 $932 $176 $361 $549 $98 $647 $145 $793 $106 $898 $33
2006 $1,020 $196 $402 $607 $108 $715 $157 $872 $113 $986 $35
2007 $1,112 $221 $443 $666 $117 $783 $170 $953 $122 $1,075 $37
2008 $1,029 $187 $386 $597 $115 $712 $168 $880 $117 $997 $32
2009 $863 $146 $314 $502 $101 $604 $146 $749 $93 $842 $21
2010 $949 $170 $355 $561 $110 $670 $156 $827 $100 $927 $22
2011 $1,043 $168 $366 $589 $123 $712 $181 $893 $120 $1,012 $30
2012 $1,185 $220 $451 $699 $133 $831 $193 $1,024 $128 $1,152 $33
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
Table 5. Adjusted Gross Income Shares, 1980–2012 (percent of total AGI earned by each group)
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
1980 100% 8.46% 21.01% 11.12% 32.13% 24.57% 56.70% 25.62% 82.32% 17.68%
1981 100% 8.30% 20.78% 11.20% 31.98% 24.69% 56.67% 25.59% 82.25% 17.75%
1982 100% 8.91% 21.23% 11.03% 32.26% 24.53% 56.79% 25.50% 82.29% 17.71%
1983 100% 9.29% 21.74% 11.04% 32.78% 24.44% 57.22% 25.30% 82.52% 17.48%
1984 100% 9.66% 22.19% 11.06% 33.25% 24.31% 57.56% 25.00% 82.56% 17.44%
1985 100% 10.03% 22.67% 11.10% 33.77% 24.21% 57.97% 24.77% 82.74% 17.26%
1986 100% 11.30% 24.11% 11.02% 35.12% 23.92% 59.04% 24.30% 83.34% 16.66%
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 100% 12.32% 25.67% 11.23% 36.90% 23.85% 60.75% 23.62% 84.37% 15.63%
1988 100% 15.16% 28.51% 10.94% 39.45% 22.99% 62.44% 22.63% 85.07% 14.93%
1989 100% 14.19% 27.84% 11.16% 39.00% 23.28% 62.28% 22.76% 85.04% 14.96%
1990 100% 14.00% 27.62% 11.15% 38.77% 23.36% 62.13% 22.84% 84.97% 15.03%
1991 100% 12.99% 26.83% 11.37% 38.20% 23.65% 61.85% 23.01% 84.87% 15.13%
1992 100% 14.23% 28.01% 11.21% 39.23% 23.25% 62.47% 22.61% 85.08% 14.92%
1993 100% 13.79% 27.76% 11.29% 39.05% 23.40% 62.45% 22.63% 85.08% 14.92%
1994 100% 13.80% 27.85% 11.34% 39.19% 23.45% 62.64% 22.48% 85.11% 14.89%
1995 100% 14.60% 28.81% 11.35% 40.16% 23.21% 63.37% 22.09% 85.46% 14.54%
1996 100% 16.04% 30.36% 11.23% 41.59% 22.73% 64.32% 21.60% 85.92% 14.08%
1997 100% 17.38% 31.79% 11.03% 42.83% 22.22% 65.05% 21.11% 86.16% 13.84%
1998 100% 18.47% 32.85% 10.92% 43.77% 21.87% 65.63% 20.69% 86.33% 13.67%
1999 100% 19.51% 34.04% 10.85% 44.89% 21.57% 66.46% 20.29% 86.75% 13.25%
2000 100% 20.81% 35.30% 10.71% 46.01% 21.15% 67.15% 19.86% 87.01% 12.99%
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 100% 8.05% 17.41% 31.61% 10.89% 42.50% 21.80% 64.31% 21.29% 85.60% 14.40%
2002 100% 7.04% 16.05% 30.29% 11.04% 41.33% 22.39% 63.71% 21.79% 85.50% 14.50%
2003 100% 7.56% 16.73% 30.99% 11.03% 42.01% 22.33% 64.34% 21.52% 85.87% 14.13%
2004 100% 9.14% 18.99% 33.31% 10.77% 44.07% 21.60% 65.68% 20.83% 86.51% 13.49%
2005 100% 10.64% 21.19% 35.61% 10.56% 46.17% 20.90% 67.07% 19.99% 87.06% 12.94%
2006 100% 11.23% 22.10% 36.62% 10.56% 47.17% 20.73% 67.91% 19.68% 87.58% 12.42%
2007 100% 11.95% 22.86% 37.39% 10.49% 47.88% 20.53% 68.41% 19.40% 87.81% 12.19%
2008 100% 10.06% 20.19% 34.95% 11.03% 45.98% 21.71% 67.69% 20.39% 88.08% 11.92%
2009 100% 7.94% 17.21% 32.18% 11.59% 43.77% 22.96% 66.74% 21.38% 88.12% 11.88%
2010 100% 9.24% 18.87% 33.78% 11.38% 45.17% 22.38% 67.55% 20.71% 88.26% 11.74%
2011 100% 8.86% 18.70% 33.89% 11.50% 45.39% 22.43% 67.82% 20.63% 88.45% 11.55%
2012 100% 11.25% 21.86% 36.84% 11.03% 47.87% 21.39% 69.25% 19.64% 88.90% 11.10%
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
Table 6. Total Income Tax Shares, 1980–2012 (percent of federal income tax paid by each group)
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
1980 100% 19.05% 36.84% 12.44% 49.28% 23.74% 73.02% 19.93% 92.95% 7.05%
1981 100% 17.58% 35.06% 12.90% 47.96% 24.33% 72.29% 20.26% 92.55% 7.45%
1982 100% 19.03% 36.13% 12.45% 48.59% 23.91% 72.50% 20.15% 92.65% 7.35%
1983 100% 20.32% 37.26% 12.44% 49.71% 23.39% 73.10% 19.73% 92.83% 7.17%
1984 100% 21.12% 37.98% 12.58% 50.56% 22.92% 73.49% 19.16% 92.65% 7.35%
1985 100% 21.81% 38.78% 12.67% 51.46% 22.60% 74.06% 18.77% 92.83% 7.17%
1986 100% 25.75% 42.57% 12.12% 54.69% 21.33% 76.02% 17.52% 93.54% 6.46%
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 100% 24.81% 43.26% 12.35% 55.61% 21.31% 76.92% 17.02% 93.93% 6.07%
1988 100% 27.58% 45.62% 11.66% 57.28% 20.57% 77.84% 16.44% 94.28% 5.72%
1989 100% 25.24% 43.94% 11.85% 55.78% 21.44% 77.22% 16.94% 94.17% 5.83%
1990 100% 25.13% 43.64% 11.73% 55.36% 21.66% 77.02% 17.16% 94.19% 5.81%
1991 100% 24.82% 43.38% 12.45% 55.82% 21.46% 77.29% 17.23% 94.52% 5.48%
1992 100% 27.54% 45.88% 12.12% 58.01% 20.47% 78.48% 16.46% 94.94% 5.06%
1993 100% 29.01% 47.36% 11.88% 59.24% 20.03% 79.27% 15.92% 95.19% 4.81%
1994 100% 28.86% 47.52% 11.93% 59.45% 20.10% 79.55% 15.68% 95.23% 4.77%
1995 100% 30.26% 48.91% 11.84% 60.75% 19.62% 80.36% 15.03% 95.39% 4.61%
1996 100% 32.31% 50.97% 11.54% 62.51% 18.80% 81.32% 14.36% 95.68% 4.32%
1997 100% 33.17% 51.87% 11.33% 63.20% 18.47% 81.67% 14.05% 95.72% 4.28%
1998 100% 34.75% 53.84% 11.20% 65.04% 17.65% 82.69% 13.10% 95.79% 4.21%
1999 100% 36.18% 55.45% 11.00% 66.45% 17.09% 83.54% 12.46% 96.00% 4.00%
2000 100% 37.42% 56.47% 10.86% 67.33% 16.68% 84.01% 12.08% 96.09% 3.91%
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 100% 15.68% 33.22% 52.24% 11.44% 63.68% 17.88% 81.56% 13.54% 95.10% 4.90%
2002 100% 15.09% 33.09% 52.86% 11.77% 64.63% 18.04% 82.67% 13.12% 95.79% 4.21%
2003 100% 15.37% 33.69% 53.54% 11.35% 64.89% 17.87% 82.76% 13.17% 95.93% 4.07%
2004 100% 17.12% 36.28% 56.35% 10.96% 67.30% 16.52% 83.82% 12.31% 96.13% 3.87%
2005 100% 18.91% 38.78% 58.93% 10.52% 69.46% 15.61% 85.07% 11.35% 96.41% 3.59%
2006 100% 19.24% 39.36% 59.49% 10.59% 70.08% 15.41% 85.49% 11.10% 96.59% 3.41%
2007 100% 19.84% 39.81% 59.90% 10.51% 70.41% 15.30% 85.71% 10.93% 96.64% 3.36%
2008 100% 18.20% 37.51% 58.06% 11.14% 69.20% 16.37% 85.57% 11.33% 96.90% 3.10%
2009 100% 16.91% 36.34% 58.17% 11.72% 69.89% 16.85% 86.74% 10.80% 97.54% 2.46%
2010 100% 17.88% 37.38% 59.07% 11.55% 70.62% 16.49% 87.11% 10.53% 97.64% 2.36%
2011 100% 16.14% 35.06% 56.49% 11.77% 68.26% 17.36% 85.62% 11.50% 97.11% 2.89%
2012 100% 18.60% 38.09% 58.95% 11.22% 70.17% 16.25% 86.42% 10.80% 97.22% 2.78%
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
Table 7. Dollar Cut-Off, 1980–2012 (minimum AGI for tax return to fall into various percentiles; thresholds not adjusted for inflation)
Year Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Top 10% Top 25% Top 50%
1980 $80,580 $43,792 $35,070 $23,606 $12,936
1981 $85,428 $47,845 $38,283 $25,655 $14,000
1982 $89,388 $49,284 $39,676 $27,027 $14,539
1983 $93,512 $51,553 $41,222 $27,827 $15,044
1984 $100,889 $55,423 $43,956 $29,360 $15,998
1985 $108,134 $58,883 $46,322 $30,928 $16,688
1986 $118,818 $62,377 $48,656 $32,242 $17,302
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 $139,289 $68,414 $52,921 $33,983 $17,768
1988 $157,136 $72,735 $55,437 $35,398 $18,367
1989 $163,869 $76,933 $58,263 $36,839 $18,993
1990 $167,421 $79,064 $60,287 $38,080 $19,767
1991 $170,139 $81,720 $61,944 $38,929 $20,097
1992 $181,904 $85,103 $64,457 $40,378 $20,803
1993 $185,715 $87,386 $66,077 $41,210 $21,179
1994 $195,726 $91,226 $68,753 $42,742 $21,802
1995 $209,406 $96,221 $72,094 $44,207 $22,344
1996 $227,546 $101,141 $74,986 $45,757 $23,174
1997 $250,736 $108,048 $79,212 $48,173 $24,393
1998 $269,496 $114,729 $83,220 $50,607 $25,491
1999 $293,415 $120,846 $87,682 $52,965 $26,415
2000 $313,469 $128,336 $92,144 $55,225 $27,682
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 $1,393,718 $306,635 $132,082 $96,151 $59,026 $31,418
2002 $1,245,352 $296,194 $130,750 $95,699 $59,066 $31,299
2003 $1,317,088 $305,939 $133,741 $97,470 $59,896 $31,447
2004 $1,617,918 $339,993 $140,758 $101,838 $62,794 $32,622
2005 $1,938,175 $379,261 $149,216 $106,864 $64,821 $33,484
2006 $2,124,625 $402,603 $157,390 $112,016 $67,291 $34,417
2007 $2,251,017 $426,439 $164,883 $116,396 $69,559 $35,541
2008 $1,867,652 $392,513 $163,512 $116,813 $69,813 $35,340
2009 $1,469,393 $351,968 $157,342 $114,181 $68,216 $34,156
2010 $1,634,386 $369,691 $161,579 $116,623 $69,126 $34,338
2011 $1,717,675 $388,905 $167,728 $120,136 $70,492 $34,823
2012 $2,161,175 $434,682 $175,817 $125,195 $73,354 $36,055
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
Table 8. Average Tax Rate, 1980–2012 (percent of AGI paid in income taxes)
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
1980 15.31% 34.47% 26.85% 17.13% 23.49% 14.80% 19.72% 11.91% 17.29% 6.10%
1981 15.76% 33.37% 26.59% 18.16% 23.64% 15.53% 20.11% 12.48% 17.73% 6.62%
1982 14.72% 31.43% 25.05% 16.61% 22.17% 14.35% 18.79% 11.63% 16.57% 6.10%
1983 13.79% 30.18% 23.64% 15.54% 20.91% 13.20% 17.62% 10.76% 15.52% 5.66%
1984 13.68% 29.92% 23.42% 15.57% 20.81% 12.90% 17.47% 10.48% 15.35% 5.77%
1985 13.73% 29.86% 23.50% 15.69% 20.93% 12.83% 17.55% 10.41% 15.41% 5.70%
1986 14.54% 33.13% 25.68% 15.99% 22.64% 12.97% 18.72% 10.48% 16.32% 5.63%
Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 13.12% 26.41% 22.10% 14.43% 19.77% 11.71% 16.61% 9.45% 14.60% 5.09%
1988 13.21% 24.04% 21.14% 14.07% 19.18% 11.82% 16.47% 9.60% 14.64% 5.06%
1989 13.12% 23.34% 20.71% 13.93% 18.77% 12.08% 16.27% 9.77% 14.53% 5.11%
1990 12.95% 23.25% 20.46% 13.63% 18.50% 12.01% 16.06% 9.73% 14.36% 5.01%
1991 12.75% 24.37% 20.62% 13.96% 18.63% 11.57% 15.93% 9.55% 14.20% 4.62%
1992 12.94% 25.05% 21.19% 13.99% 19.13% 11.39% 16.25% 9.42% 14.44% 4.39%
1993 13.32% 28.01% 22.71% 14.01% 20.20% 11.40% 16.90% 9.37% 14.90% 4.29%
1994 13.50% 28.23% 23.04% 14.20% 20.48% 11.57% 17.15% 9.42% 15.11% 4.32%
1995 13.86% 28.73% 23.53% 14.46% 20.97% 11.71% 17.58% 9.43% 15.47% 4.39%
1996 14.34% 28.87% 24.07% 14.74% 21.55% 11.86% 18.12% 9.53% 15.96% 4.40%
1997 14.48% 27.64% 23.62% 14.87% 21.36% 12.04% 18.18% 9.63% 16.09% 4.48%
1998 14.42% 27.12% 23.63% 14.79% 21.42% 11.63% 18.16% 9.12% 16.00% 4.44%
1999 14.85% 27.53% 24.18% 15.06% 21.98% 11.76% 18.66% 9.12% 16.43% 4.48%
2000 15.26% 27.45% 24.42% 15.48% 22.34% 12.04% 19.09% 9.28% 16.86% 4.60%
IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 14.47% 28.17% 27.60% 23.91% 15.20% 21.68% 11.87% 18.35% 9.20% 16.08% 4.92%
2002 13.28% 28.48% 27.37% 23.17% 14.15% 20.76% 10.70% 17.23% 8.00% 14.87% 3.86%
2003 12.11% 24.60% 24.38% 20.92% 12.46% 18.70% 9.69% 15.57% 7.41% 13.53% 3.49%
2004 12.31% 23.06% 23.52% 20.83% 12.53% 18.80% 9.41% 15.71% 7.27% 13.68% 3.53%
2005 12.65% 22.48% 23.15% 20.93% 12.61% 19.03% 9.45% 16.04% 7.18% 14.01% 3.51%
2006 12.80% 21.94% 22.80% 20.80% 12.84% 19.02% 9.52% 16.12% 7.22% 14.12% 3.51%
2007 12.90% 21.42% 22.46% 20.66% 12.92% 18.96% 9.61% 16.16% 7.27% 14.19% 3.56%
2008 12.54% 22.67% 23.29% 20.83% 12.66% 18.87% 9.45% 15.85% 6.97% 13.79% 3.26%
2009 11.39% 24.28% 24.05% 20.59% 11.53% 18.19% 8.36% 14.81% 5.76% 12.61% 2.35%
2010 11.81% 22.84% 23.39% 20.64% 11.98% 18.46% 8.70% 15.22% 6.01% 13.06% 2.37%
2011 12.54% 22.82% 23.50% 20.89% 12.83% 18.85% 9.70% 15.82% 6.98% 13.76% 3.13%
2012 13.11% 21.67% 22.83% 20.97% 13.33% 19.21% 9.96% 16.35% 7.21% 14.33% 3.28%
Source: Internal Revenue Service.

(1) For data prior to 2001, all tax returns that have a positive AGI are included, even those that do not have a positive income tax liability. For data from 2001 forward, returns with negative AGI are also included, but dependent returns are excluded.

(2) Income tax after credits (the tax measure above) does not account for the refundable portion of EITC. If it were included (as is often the case with other organizations), the tax share of the top income groups would be higher. The refundable portion is legally classified as a spending program by the Office of Management and Budget and therefore is not included by the IRS in these figures.

(3) The only tax analyzed here is the federal individual income tax, which is responsible for about 25 percent of the nation’s taxes paid (at all levels of government). Federal income taxes are much more progressive than payroll taxes, which are responsible for about 20 percent of all taxes paid (at all levels of government), and are more progressive than most state and local taxes (depending upon the economic assumption made about property taxes and corporate income taxes).

(4) AGI is a fairly narrow income concept and does not include income items like government transfers (except for the portion of Social Security benefits that is taxed), the value of employer-provided health insurance, underreported or unreported income (most notably that of sole proprietors), income derived from municipal bond interest, net imputed rental income, worker’s compensation benefits, and others.

(5) Tax return is the unit of analysis, which is broader than households, especially for those at the bottom end, many of which are dependent returns (prior to 2001). Some dependent returns are included in the figures here prior to 2001, and under other units of analysis (like the Treasury Department’s Family Economic Unit) would likely be paired with their parents’ returns.

(6) These figures represent the legal incidence of the income tax, although most distributional tables (such as those from CBO, Tax Policy Center, Citizens for Tax Justice, the Treasury Department, and JCT) assume that the entire economic incidence of personal income taxes falls on the income earner.


[1] Internal Revenue Service, SOI Tax Stats–Individual Income Tax Rates and Tax Shares,http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Individual-Income-Tax-Rates-and-Tax-Shares.

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Hell On Wheels — Government Train Wreck Kills 8, Injures 200 Plus — Speeding At Over 100 Miles Per Hour in A 50 MPH Zone — Northeast Regional Train 188, from Washington to New York — Democrats Want More Money and Subsidies For Amtrak — Stop Subsidizing Silly Walks — $1 Billion Per Year For 44 Years in Subsidies To Amtrak — $45 Billion Total — Hell of A Way To Run A Railroad — Shut It Down — Videos

Posted on May 14, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Investments, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Movies, Music, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Press, Radio, Railroads, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Speech, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Story 1: Hell On Wheels — Government Train Wreck Kills 8, Injures 200 Plus — Speeding At Over 100 Miles Per Hour in A 50 MPH Zone —  Northeast Regional Train 188, from Washington to New York — Democrats Want More Money and Subsidies For Amtrak — Stop Subsidizing Silly Walks — $1 Billion Per Year For 44 Years in Subsidies To Amtrak — $45 Billion Total — Hell of A Way To Run A Railroad — Shut It Down —  Videos

In an aerial photo, emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train wreck, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia, after a fatal Amtrak derailment Tuesday night, in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Federal investigators arrived Wednesday to determine why an Amtrak train jumped the tracks in a wreck that killed at least six people, and injured dozens. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In an aerial photo, emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train wreck, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia, after a fatal Amtrak derailment Tuesday night, in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Federal investigators arrived Wednesday to determine why an Amtrak train jumped the tracks in a wreck that killed at least six people, and injured dozens. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

image.adapt.960.high.amtrak_train_derailment

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Government Subsidies and Incentives Explained by AMC’s Hell On Wheels

7 killed, over 200 injured in Amtrak crash

Speed Eyed as Possible Cause of Amtrak Crash: Sources

GOP moves to slash Amtrak budget nearly 20% day after fatal train crash

Time to derail heavily subsidized Amtrak

Randal O’Toole on transportation privatization

Rep. Denham Talks Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act

New York Bound Amtrak Train Derails Near Philadelphia, 50 Injured (BREAKING NEWS)

Amtrak Train Derails, At Least 5 Dead 

Former Congressman Patrick Murphy Shares Experience Aboard Philadelphia Derailed Amtrak Train – CBS

“Should the Government Subsidize…Silly Walks? | LearnLiberty”

Why Are Gas Prices So High?

Government Subsidies

Microeconomics – Subsidies

Obama Addresses Poverty in Washington Panel

Obama: Tax Hedge Funds More

Source: Amtrak train thought to be going twice as fast as it should have been

Amtrak Train That Derailed Was Going 100 M.P.H., Officials Say; 7 Killed

Amtrak Bill Continues History of Wasted Subsidies

Congressional Republicans were elected on a platform of cutting spending, but taxpayers will continue to pay for Amtrak’s losses for at least 5 more years if a bill that just passed the House becomes law.  Can’t Congress do better?

Amtrak has cost the government over $45 billion in subsidies over the last 44 years, allowing it to finance the upkeep of unprofitable routes, overstaffed trains, and the mismanagement of its food services.

The bipartisan Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 would subsidize Amtrak by an estimated $7 billion from 2016 to 2020.  It passed the House by 316 votes to 101 votes on Wednesday and is now headed to the Senate and, presumably, President Obama’s signature.  Amtrak has been operating without official funding authorization since the previous bill expired in October 2013.

Despite generous taxpayer subsidies, Amtrak has run operating losses every year since it began operating in 1971. Although these losses are declining, in 2014, the railroad reported what it described as a “strong” result, with an operating loss of only $227 million.

The operating loss is unlikely to continue to decline due to the losses in Amtrak’s long-distance routes, which bleed about $600 million annually. After factoring in depreciation and other expenses, Amtrak lost a total of $1.1 billion in 2014.

The railroad’s food and beverage service has been singled out in recent years by both government watchdogs and Congress for its wasteful use of government subsidies.  Amtrak lost over $900 million from 2003 to 2013 on food services alone.

In a 2012 congressional hearing, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) noted that a $9 cheeseburger sold on an Amtrak train actually costs $16 after factoring in the services’ operating expenses, and the $7 shortfall is subsidized taxpayers.  A 2013 Inspector General report found that employee-pass riders who are offered free trips on Amtrak also received complimentary meals, resulting in a $240,000 loss for the railroad in 2012.

A provision in the 2015 bill requires Amtrak to develop and implement a plan to eliminate the losses from its food and beverage in five years, but a similar rule passed decades ago failed to achieve savings. Amtrak was required by Congress to turn a profit from its food and beverage service in 1981, but the railroad never complied. A 1997 law went a step further by requiring Amtrak to operate subsidy-free by 2002, but losses continued, along with government subsidies.

The 2015 bill lacks an effective mechanism to force Amtrak’s food service to become solvent in an enforceable timeframe, thus allowing Amtrak to continue losing money without fear of losing its subsidies.  The millions lost from its food services are dwarfed by the billions spent on labor costs and mismanagement of funds, and will continue as long as subsidies prevent accountability for the losses.

The $1 billion in annual subsidies have not covered all of Amtrak’s expenses, and the company has incurred an estimated $1 billion in non-federal debt.  The 2015 bill authorizes $625 million in federal funds to pre-pay Amtrak’s non-federal debt as the railroad has been unable to renegotiate favorable terms to result in savings.

Amtrak’s largest expense is labor, salary, and benefits, which cost over $2 billion in 2014.  Maintaining fully-staffed trains on infrequently-traveled routes has contributed to high labor costs, but the pay rate of Amtrak’s employees raise its costs substantially. The average onboard employee made $41.19 an hour on Amtrak in 2012, while railroads that contracted out services to private companies paid their employees $7.75 to $13.00 an hour.

Base pay may already be substantial, but regulations and poor oversight allowed employees to pocket $185 million in overtime pay in 2013.  The management allowed employee misconduct and wasteful business practices to thrive, even as at the same time it hindered plans to make train stations accessible to the disabled to comply with the Americans with Disability Program.

Amtrak’s did not meet ADA’s goals due to lack of structure and a strategy, according to a 2014 IG report.  Management activities took up 46% of the $100 million budget, $6.5 million was spent on unrelated projects, and an undetermined amount was shipped out of state on non-ADA projects.

The ADA program’s failure was rooted in a lack of vision, goals and objectives, and was compounded by a lack of accountability and decision making authority. The IG’s summation of the ADA program reflects problems inherent to Amtrak’s culture. Its promises of reform have never fully materialized into solvency, and its failure to follow congressional mandates never resulted in penalties.  Amtrak has never made a profit because it doesn’t need to.

Privatizing Amtrak is the only option certain to prevent billions of taxpayer dollars from being wasted while providing the benefits that accompany competitive services. Congress should develop a plan to privatize the railroad and allow for private companies to compete for routes.

America has successfully privatized rail before, as freight railroads were once unprofitable enterprises subsidized by the federal government until the industry was deregulated and sold to private investors in the 1980s.  The industry has thrived since routes were opened up to competition.

Amtrak has had 44 years to become solvent without success.  Reducing labor costs can be an effective interim measure, but deregulating the passenger rail system is the best way to ensure improved service and lower fares for consumers. Cutting Amtrak’s subsidies and ending its monopoly is a responsible alternative to passing inneffective reforms.

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Breaking News: An American With A Mission: 61 Year Young Mailman Lands on West Front of Capitol To Deliver 535 Airmail Letters To Representatives and Senators In Congress Demanding Campaign Finance Reform — Mission Accomplished — Nice Landing — Videos

Posted on April 15, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Documentary, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, People, Photos, Politics,