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Taxpayers paying for Jackson's funeral?
9 years ago
Published: July 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES — The talent has exited stage left and the tears have been dried, but the discord over the cost of the memorial service for Michael Jackson held in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday appears to be escalating.

On Tuesday, the city attorney, Carmen Trutanich, took the highly unusual step of appearing during the public comment period of a City Council hearing to announce that his office was investigating how Los Angeles taxpayers came to foot a bill for police protection and other city functions at the service, at a time when the city and state are running out of money.

On Wednesday, the city controller, Wendy Greuel, sent a stern letter to the Los Angeles emergency management department demanding to know why it had spent $48,826 on sandwiches from a deli 80 miles from Los Angeles to feed police officers. (Sandwiches from Subway would have cost $17,491.25, she pointed out.)

“Rest assured our office is investigating how this whole phenomenon occurred from the get-go,” Mr. Trutanich said when addressing the council.

Two City Council members have also challenged the expenditure, and on Wednesday the radio airwaves, blogs and Twitter feeds crackled with criticism.

“I admit I shed a tear with Mariah, Queen and Paris,” said Jody Greenblatt, a pharmaceutical executive who lives in Los Angeles. “But I cry more at the thought of teachers’ pink slips, forced furloughed days, unemployment rates sky high and a state bankrupt.”

Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the city, said the final cost to the city of the memorial at the Staples Center was $1.4 million.

The unusual public outcry in the politically atomized Los Angeles underscores both the dire straits of the city — with its $320 million budget gap and 11.4 percent unemployment rate — and its difficulty in raising money from wealthy entertainment-industry leaders.

The fallout from the memorial could also prove to be an embarrassment for Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, who was out of the country during the memorial and whose efforts to stave off costs and criticism amounted to a fund-raising request on his office’s Web site . Ms. Hamilton said $17,000 in donations came in via the city’s Web site, but it has suffered prolonged server crashes.

Last month, the mayor scrambled to line up private donations to pay for a victory parade for the Los Angeles Lakers after a police union official criticized the city’s plans to split the $2 million cost of the parade between the team and taxpayers. Among those who contributed were the usual cast of generous donors to Los Angeles events, like Eli Broad, Casey Wasserman and Jerry Perenchio.

“There is a good, strong culture of philanthropy in L.A.,” said Rich Caruso, a Los Angeles developer who plays host to several public events each year. “But it is a handful of people and usually always the same people.” He added: “I think it’s an outrage that taxpayers paid for that memorial. The Jackson family should pay for it.”

Two council members have also suggested that the Jackson family help defer costs. Jesse Derris, a spokesman for the Jackson family, said the family was unavailable for comment.

The Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owner of Staples Center and the promoter of Mr. Jackson’s planned concert series in London, donated the center for the event, but has also been a focus of requests for help to pay for its related costs. (Tickets were free and distributed via lottery.) Calls to the company were not returned.

9 years ago

Does anyone else besides me, know that California is broke? We have a Democratic body of politicians who have done to California, what Obama is currently in the process of doing to the Union...

Why do the liberals, even after it is proved to them that socialism is a parasitic way of life, which sucks the life out of everything it touches... "everything" - why do they keep promoting it and why do those of us who know the difference, especially under this current administration, allow it to happen?

And what the heck is the article above all about?

9 years ago

NY rep. stands by Michael Jackson 'pervert' video

Published: 7/8/09, 10:45 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York congressman who posted a YouTube video blasting Michael Jackson as a "pervert" and child molester is standing by his words.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," Rep. Peter King denied that there was anything racist in his remarks.

The Long Island Republican told host Bill O'Reilly that he "was saying what millions of Americans really felt."

In a 2003 documentary, Jackson admitted to letting children sleep with him in his bed at his California home but said it wasn't sexual. In 2005, a jury acquitted Jackson of charges that he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor.

9 years ago

The problem is not with socialism itself, but with people having unrealistic expectations of what socialism can do for them. It should always be a temporary event to fix the economy until the free market can function once more. Whenever you attempt to make something like that permenant and claim it can solve most of our social problems, as the Communists did, you fall into lunacy.

If only Karl Marx had never existed, half the shyt that has occured in the 20th Century wouldn't have occured.

But in Obama's mind, he is not promoting Communism or even socialism, since he probably thinks of socialism in terms of European politics, like most Americans would. Blame the legacy of FDR for that.

9 years ago

03/06/09 - Norman Matoon Thomas believed in socialism. He had no evil intentions and he had no desire for government control. He just wanted life to be better for everyone. He just wanted to spread the wealth and did not trust free markets. But the only way for government to foster his hope to spread the wealth was through government control and because of that, few remember N. M. Thomas.

Before becoming a socialist politician, Mr. Thomas was a Presbyterian pastor and a pacifist. And while he opposed our entry into World War II he also opposed communism and fascism but his greatest opposition was to the American economic system.

But such beliefs never got Norman Matoon Thomas very far.

The height of his political career was achieved after the death of Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs in 1926. Upon Debs death Thomas took the helm and ran the Socialist Party until 1955 when he stepped down from his leadership post but continued to be the Socialist Party’s most visible spokesman.

Along the way, Thomas did run for Governor of New York, twice, but lost. In between those unsuccessful runs for office he ran for President of the United States as the socialist candidate in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944 and 1948. Each time he lost resoundingly.

The closest he ever came was in 1944 when he maxed out with no electoral votes and 880,000 votes from the general electorate.

In each of his elections and throughout his leadership of the Socialist Party, he failed to convince a preponderance of Americans that socialism was the way to go and in what was probably his most famous speech, at the conclusion of one of his last bids for elected office, Thomas said “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism”, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Well ladies and gentleman that day is right ahead of us.
Right now we are witnessing the rapid transformation to that day and place. The place where ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit and motivation is replaced by government bureaucracy. Where the food on the table is not earned by you or selected by you, but is placed there by a government that will increase in it’s size and power. A government that will increase its control upon us.

As Thomas made clear through his words, governmental liberalism is a political philosophy that is essentially based in the very roots of socialism. And as a liberal thinker, President Obama has shown that to be true.

During his campaign for President he came right out and said that he wants to spread the wealth.

To many, that sounded good. It sounded sincere and defendable. Yet the problem is that the wealth President Obama wants to spread is not his. It is our ours. As President, he has no government wealth to spread. Our government is only as wealthy as our people and if they are not making money, the government isn’t making any money. This is a lesson that many nations have already learned and apparently, it is one that we will have to learn again.

I for one believe as Margaret Thatcher did when she said “the problem with socialism is that you run out of everyone else’s money.”

I for one do not believe in the socialism that America has rejected for so long, during and after the life of Norman Mattoon Thomas. I just do not believe that Socialism can sustain itself in any way that allows our nation to benefit from the freedom that it is suppose to be a bastion of.

And just as much as I do not believe in Socialism, I equally believe that most Americans don’t either.

I believe as Norman Thomas did. That most “American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism”, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program”

Such is the case today.
We are witnessing a conversion of our democracy to socialism that will take years to undo all because we elected a socialist who got away by calling himself a Democrat.

In that same speech, Norman Thomas went on to say “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

That was said 65 years ago yet today, it rings truer than ever.

The question is, when will Americans wake up and realize what Norman Mantoon Thomas realized. That political liberalism is socialism and when will they realize that socialism is futile.

Hindsight is 20/20...

9 years ago

The Governator of the Great State of California lied to me and got my vote when he called himself a Republican...

I use his photo for the bottom of my bird cages so my babies can poop on his face... lol. That is how I feel about what Arnie did to California with his socialistic notions and his wifes influences.

Socialism does not work. It is driven by greed and those who rule the "greed" which is the "Party"...

While I have found cause to be suspect of Wikipedia in recent months... I do find some of their researches to be more unbiased than others... While I do understand that Wikipedia is a continuous work in progress; to relate to us the definitions and events of history and other issues in a encyclopedic way... I did find this article quite interesting regarding socialism...


9 years ago

Great posts Dale and Barb! You both have shown how the Liberals are trying to make socialism work (why, I have no idea, because it does not work... it has been proven...)

But the reasons that you both have provided at least gives us a sense of where their politics are, so where are their common senses? If only the Liberals of the United States would just dump Obama's socialistic tendencies, and also dump the European lean that is trying to muscle in to our government, we would be okay, even with our problems. But because that is not the case; and Obama proves that as he is pushing and forcing us into places we, as a free people don't want to go; we are becoming victims of Marx's failed socialism... We are becoming victims of something that our Constitution was designed to protect us from...

Under FDR wasn't there a Progressive push as well towards more socialism in America? Dale, you and talked about that a while ago and I cannot find the thread... *care2 we need better bookmarkers for our threads...

In the Communist Manifesto, which I posted earlier, it is amazing how Marx's brain worked and how many zombies, like Obama actually bought into the propaganda and are trying to keep it alive.

Here is part of the read that gives an insight into the mind of the dysfunctional socialist.


I. Bourgeois and Proletarians

The first section, "Bourgeois and Proletarians", puts forward Marx's neo-Hegelian version of history, historical materialism, claiming that

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

The section goes on to argue that the class struggle under capitalism is between those who own the means of production, the ruling class or bourgeoisie, and those who labor for a wage, the working class or proletariat.

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It ... has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment” ... for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation ... Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones ... All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.


The essential condition for the existence, and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers.

Marx explains that the Proletarians will eventually rise to power through class struggle. The Bourgeois constantly exploits the Proletarians for their manual labor and cheap wages, ultimately to create profit for Bourgeois. Marx explains that the Proletarians rise to power because of revolutions against the Bourgeois such as riots or creation of unions. Marx suggests that while there is still class struggle amongst society, Capitalism will be overthrown by the Proletarians only to start again in the near future. The Communist Manifesto states that ultimate communism is the key to class equality amongst the citizens of Europe. -GM

Continued -

9 years ago

II. Proletarians and Communists The second section, "Proletarians and Communists," starts by outlining the relationship of conscious communists to the rest of the working class: The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement. The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole. It goes on to defend communism from various objections, such as the claim that communists advocate "free love," and the claim that people will not perform labor in a communist society because they have no incentive to work. The section ends by outlining a set of short-term demands. These included, among others, the abolition of both private land ownership and of the right to inheritance, a progressive income tax, universal education, centralization of the means of communication and transport under state management, and the expansion of the means of production owned by the state. The implementation of these policies, would, the authors believed, be a precursor to the stateless and classless society. One particularly controversial passage deals with this transitional period: When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. It is this concept of the transition from socialism to communism which many critics of the Manifesto, particularly during and after the Soviet era, have highlighted. Anarchists, liberals, and conservatives have all asked how an organization such as the revolutionary state could ever (as Engels put it elsewhere) "wither away." In a related dispute, later Marxists make a separation between "socialism," a society ruled by workers, and "communism," a classless society. Engels wrote little and Marx wrote less on the specifics of the transition to communism, so the authenticity of this distinction remains a matter of dispute.

10 Conditions For Transition To Communism
9 years ago

Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

  1. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  2. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  3. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  4. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  5. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  6. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  7. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  8. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equal distribution of the population over the country.
  9. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[7]

According to the Communist Manifesto, all these were prior conditions for a transition from capitalism to communism, but Marx and Engels later expressed a desire to modernize this passage.[8]

One more interesting Socialist fact from the Manifesto
9 years ago
IV. Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties

The concluding section, "Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties," briefly discusses the communist position on struggles in specific countries in the mid-nineteenth century such as France, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany. It then ends with a declaration of support for other communist revolutions and a call to action:

In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

Workers of the world, Unite![9]

See also

This post was modified from its original form on 09 Jul, 19:42

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