Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Saturday night baseball: Halladay’s no-hitter VIDEO

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Even my mom was talking about this one:
Halladay throws no-hitter as Phils win playoff opener

Halladay pitched the second no-hitter in postseason history. He stands beside the Yankees’ Don Larsen, who pitched a perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, as the only ones to do it.

Here’s the video, via TigerHawk,

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Philly bloggers: the city wants your $300

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Pay Up
Got a blog that makes no money? The city wants $300, thank you very much.

Even though small-time bloggers aren’t exactly raking in the dough, the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in any “activity for profit,” says tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann. This applies “whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year,” he adds.

So even if your blog collects a handful of hits a day, as long as there’s the potential for it to be lucrative — and, as Mandale points out, most hosting sites set aside space for bloggers to sell advertising — the city thinks you should cut it a check. According to Andrea Mannino of the Philadelphia Department of Revenue, in fact, simply choosing the option to make money from ads — regardless of how much or little money is actually generated — qualifies a blog as a business. The same rules apply to freelance writers. As former City Paper news editor Doron Taussig once lamented [Slant, "Taxed Out," April 28, 2005], the city considers freelancers — which both Bess and Barry are, in addition to their blog work — “businesses,” and requires them to pay for a license and pay taxes on their profits, on top of their state and federal taxes.

Democrats gouging bloggers

I’m sure that the local Democratic party leaders will be happy enough to explain why it’s vitally necessary to hit up individual folks for licenses to (among other things) blog – and why it’s vitally important to concentrate on the ‘law’ part of ‘boneheaded law,’ and ignore ‘boneheaded’ completely – but out here in Real-Person Land the phrase “absurd nonsense” comes to mind.

Via Mark Hemingway, who points out,

To say that these kinds of draconian measures are detrimental to the public discourse would be an understatement.

Particularly when you consider that most bloggers don’t even make $300 in a year.

UPDATE
Investor’s Business Daily has an editorial on it Abridging Too Far

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US asks Paraguay to extradite suspected Hezbollah financier, formerly of Broooklyn and New Jersey

Friday, June 18th, 2010

News from the tri-border area:
US asks Paraguay to extradite suspected Hezbollah financier

The United States has asked Paraguay to extradite a Lebanese national suspected of funneling money to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah from the South American nation, court sources said Wednesday.

Mussa Ali Hamdan, 38, was arrested Tuesday in Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier, a region the United States has repeatedly cited as being exploited by militant groups that “finance terrorist activities.”

Hamdan is accused of 31 crimes, according to Interpol. The US extradition request cites his alleged material support for Hezbollah “including falsified documents.”

The suspect is also accused of counterfeiting US currency and conspiracy to commit passport fraud, according to the request.

Hamdan appeared Wednesday before judge Hugo Sosa Pasmor to confirm his identity as part of an extradition request, and then was transferred to Asuncion’s Tacumbu penitentiary.

Local media, citing local security officials, have said Hamdan was financing Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is blacklisted as a terror group by Washington.

A cosmopolitan area and significant tourist spot, the Triple Frontier is also considered a major spot for smuggling and other organized crime. Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina however deny their shared region is a hotbed for terror financing.

Hat tip Dan Collins.

Hamdan is wanted in Philadelphia,

Commissioner Antonio Chena, who runs the local Interpol office, says Moussa Ali Hamdan is accused in Philadelphia of 30 crimes, from counterfeiting money and documents to trading stolen cellphones and videogames. The most serious accusation in his arrest warrant is that he exported stolen cars to Lebanon to finance terror organizations there.

Hamdan is a former resident of West Collingswood, New Jersey,

authorities last year over his alleged role in what officials called a U.S.-based Hezbollah terror cell was arrested in Paraguay on Tuesday and faces extradition to the United States, authorities said.

Moussa Ali Hamdan, 38, a native of Lebanon who for a time lived in a $600-a-month efficiency apartment in West Collingswood, was a central figure in a four-year probe led by the FBI’s Philadelphia Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Investigators were digging into the terrorist organization’s fund-raising and weapons procurement in the United States.

Hamdan, a naturalized U.S. citizen, worked as a carpet installer in Cinnaminson in 2007 and 2008, and operated a low-end car dealership along Route 130. During that period, he bought more than $154,000 worth of what he thought were stolen electronics and cars from undercover agents, authorities said.

Many of the meetings took place in the Deptford Mall parking lot.

Hamdan resold some of the merchandise for personal profit, according to authorities. But he smuggled a portion of the merchandise to be sold overseas to benefit Hezbollah, they allege.

Hamdan proved to be a pivotal figure in the investigation. He led undercover agents and informants working with the investigation to high-level Hezbollah operatives who sold counterfeit cash and sought to purchase assault weapons to be shipped overseas, according to the indictment.

The investigation resulted in the November indictments of 26 suspected Hezbollah operatives and sympathizers in federal court in Philadelphia. Among them was Dani Tarraf, an alleged Hezbollah weapons procurement officer who authorities say gave undercover agents a $20,000 down payment on Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

Patricia Hartman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, said Wednesday that her office was seeking Hamdan’s extradition. She could not give a timetable on how long that process could take.

Hamdan fled the country before he could be arrested in the United States last year, authorities said.

Working with Paraguayan police and Interpol officials, task force investigators tracked Hamdan to Ciudad del Este, a crime-ridden city in the loosely policed “tri-border” region of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. The area is a hotbed of Hezbollah activity and fund-raising, said Matthew Levitt, a terrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“His arrest there underscores the global nature and reach of Hezbollah’s financial and logistic support,” he said.

Hamdan was arrested after somebody tried to obtain a Paraguayan national identification card for him, law enforcement sources said.

According to the Associated Press, Commissioner Antonio Chena, who runs the Interpol office in Paraguay, said Hamdan would be jailed in Asunción, the country’s capital, pending a formal extradition request. Under Paraguayan law, he can be held there for six months.

And get a hold of this:

With the help of Hamdan, a deal was brokered for Harb to sell the informant $1 million in counterfeit money. The first installment of the fake cash, about $10,000, was mailed to Philadelphia hidden in photo albums, the indictment said.

Harb led investigators farther up the Hezbollah chain of command. Last June, he arranged a meeting between an FBI informant and Hassan Hodroj, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, in Beirut.

Hezbollah wanted 1,200 Colt M4 machine guns, a model used by U.S. special forces, and would pay $1,800 per gun, Hodroj said, according to the indictment. They were to be shipped to a port in Syria.

By November, law enforcement sources said, undercover agents had persuaded Harb to travel from Lebanon to Philadelphia, where he was to inspect the guns and provide a down payment.

Investigators planned to wait in Philadelphia and arrest Harb just as they had Tarraf, the sources said.

But high-level infighting between U.S. intelligence agencies prevented Harb from acquiring a visa, said the sources, who said Harb’s apprehension could have led to another major arrest and invaluable intelligence.

According to this article, he’s originally from Brooklyn,

A New York man was arrested in Paraguay and ordered held Wednesday pending extradition to the United States on charges of conspiring to finance the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah, which Washington classifies as a terrorist organization.

Moussa Ali Hamdan, 38, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is accused of trafficking in stolen cell phones, video games, computers and cars with the aim of financing and supporting Hezbollah with counterfeit money and documents. He faces 25 years in prison if convicted of 31 crimes detailed in an indictment filed in November in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors say Hamdan began buying what he thought were stolen goods from a U.S. government informant in late 2007, and the alleged conspiracy grew from there.

Hamdan and nine other suspects allegedly agreed to sell the informant counterfeit currency and buy and sell stolen goods to raise money for Hezbollah, which forms part of Lebanon’s coalition government as a political movement.

Specifically, Hamdan is accused of fencing and exporting more than 1,700 cell phones, 400 Sony PlayStation 2 systems, and three used cars. He also allegedly met with the informant to discuss the sale of counterfeit U.S. currency to support Hezbollah.

His Paraguayan lawyer Elizabeth Amarrila says the accusations are false.

Hamdan, who has dual U.S.-Lebanese citizenship and carried his U.S. passport, spoke briefly to a Paraguayan television station after his arrest, saying he came to Ciudad del Este with several friends in search of work. He said he has been falsely accused by U.S. police only because he’s Muslim — and that if he were Christian, they would not have charged him.

Patty Hartman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, confirmed Hamdan’s arrest and said U.S. authorities are seeking his extradition. She declined further comment.

I’ll be talking about this in today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern.

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The World Series post, for mom

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

My mom suggested I do a post on the World Series. Since I don’t know a thing about baseball and it’s best to listen to one’s mom, here’s a Power Line analysis of the series.

Living in Princeton, we are geographically halfway between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. I’ve been to Yankee games (which I treated as a social ocasion), but never to a Phillies game and have no preference. Good luck to both teams.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Philly, ACORN edition

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

With the ones in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Brooklyn, San Bernardino and San Diego, about the only thing to differentiate ACORN from the traveling Broadway show hit The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, is one… in Texas, but hey, they got one in Philly, just in case you were looking for it!

ACORN Video: Prostitution Scandal in Philadelphia, PA Part I

Here’s the video:

By the way,

We muted the audio of the ACORN employees on the video released today due to ACORN’s legal attack upon us. We call upon ACORN to state publicly now that it has no objection to the public release of any its employees oral statements to us. If they are interested in the truth, why wouldn’t they do so?

We’ll see what the unedited tape looks like once Breitbart releases it, but look at it this way, with the the ones in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Brooklyn, San Bernardino and San Diego, you can’t help but realize: These are your tax dollars we’re talking about. These are the people who, as “community activists” have no scruples at all to advise a pimp and a prostitute intent on bringing children illegally into the country to whore themselves.

And you’re paying them.

More from Doug Ross.

More posts on ACORN here.

Wednesday night tango: Philadelphia

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Phillytango

The Inquirer has a great article on the Philadelphia tango scene, Time to tango
The region is seeing a renaissance in traditional and “nuevo” forms, thanks to those TV dance shows and a tight economy.

Among the dancers they mention: Andrés Amarilla and Meredith Klein, Guillermo Elkouss and Vittoria Natale, and Kelly Ray and Lesley Mitchell.

Here are Andrés and Meredith at last year’s Princeton U Tango Festival, dancing nuevo to Playground Love:

Thanks to M for the article.

Check out the tango files.

Bulldoze the hell out of them!

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Government planning destroyed thousands of homes in the mid 1960s, causing major social upheaval, and they’re ready to do it again:

US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive
Dozens of US cities may have entire neighbourhoods bulldozed as part of drastic “shrink to survive” proposals being considered by the Obama administration to tackle economic decline.

The government looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature.

Local politicians believe the city must contract by as much as 40 per cent, concentrating the dwindling population and local services into a more viable area.

The radical experiment is the brainchild of Dan Kildee, treasurer of Genesee County, which includes Flint.

Having outlined his strategy to Barack Obama during the election campaign, Mr Kildee has now been approached by the US government and a group of charities who want him to apply what he has learnt to the rest of the country.

Mr Kildee said he will concentrate on 50 cities, identified in a recent study by the Brookings Institution, an influential Washington think-tank, as potentially needing to shrink substantially to cope with their declining fortunes.

Among the cities the article mentions:

  • Flint
  • Detroit
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Baltimore
  • Memphis

All to be going into the woods.

I’ll do a little research and find out what party has controlled these cities in the past thirty years.

UPDATE
Althouse wants to know,

What will these non-urban buffer zones really look like? Even if it is something like a forest — made of very fast-growing trees? — or meadow, what sorts of animals — rodent and human — will run wild there?

Update 2
Chicago Boyz:

What the HELL is wrong with these people? Yes, that is exactly what it means! Economically vibrant cities don’t shrink! Bulldozing deserted areas of cities maybe their only remaining response to such a massive failure but it’s insane to talk about the necessity as if it arose from some brilliant economic insight instead of pure desperation!

Indeed.