Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Multiculturalist asleep at the wheel kills and injures limo riders
A Walmart truck driver who is thought to have fallen asleep at the wheel causing a fatal six-car crash that critically injured Tracy Morgan turned himself in, police confirmed on Sunday.
Kevin Roper, 35, was released on $50,000 bail said Sgt. Gregory WIlliams of New Jersey State Police after the pile-up that caused the death of Morgan's best friend, James McNair, 63.
This comes as it was revealed that Morgan, 45, pleaded for help in the chaotic aftermath of the deadly crash that killed his friend on the New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday.
The 30-Rock star was left with serious injuries after the limousine bus he was riding in was hit from behind and came off the road.
'I climbed around and heard Tracy screaming for help,' said his driver, Tyrone Gale. 'I climbed up on the body of the limo bus...but I couldn't reach them.'
New Jersey State police have said that they believe the Walmart truck driver was dozing and failed to see traffic slowing in front of him before it was too late - rear-ending the Mercedes limo-bus that was carryi Morgan and his entourage.
As friends and family flock to the bed side of Morgan, 45, the Walmart CEO said that if it is proven one of his company's trucks was involved in the fatal smash then they will accept the consequences.
'That facts are continuing to unfold,' said CEO Bill Simon to The New Jersey Star Ledger. 'If it's determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility.'
Simon said he was 'profoundly sorry' that a Walmart truck was involved in the accident, and the company said it is cooperating fully with law enforcement. It is not clear whether Roper was driving the Walmart truck.
Simon pledged the company would 'do what’s right for the family of the victim and the survivors in the days and weeks ahead.'
This comes as it was revealed the truck driver who allegedly fell asleep at the wheel has been charged in the horrific crash which left comedian Tracy Morgan in a critical condition and his closest confidante James McNair dead.
30 Rock star Morgan and his entourage were being chauffeured from a show in Delaware back to New York City about 1am Saturday, when the truck driver rear-ended their limousine bus and caused a fatal six-car pile up on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Morgan's 'traumatized' ex-wife has revealed 'he's not in good shape' after being pulled from the wreckage with a broken leg among other injuries. He is reportedly in a critical but stable condition.
Morgan's assistant Jeffrey Millea, 36, and comedian Ardie Fuqua are also in a critical condition, while 62-year-old McNair, who performed as Jimmy Mack and was one of Morgan's closest friends, died at the scene. Comic Harris Stanton was treated and released from hospital. Two others in the limo were unhurt, including the driver.
Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, has been charged with death by auto and also faces four counts of assault by auto. Bail was set at $50,000 and he is expected to surrender.
Morgan and Millea, from Shelton in Connecticut, were flown to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with critical injuries.
Morgan's publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement: 'His family is now with him (in hospital) and he is receiving excellent care. We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today.'
The New Jersey Turnpike was closed for more than five hours after the crash.
Just hours before the fatal crash, Fuqua had posted a picture on Instagram of Morgan performing at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware.
Morgan had been booked for the casino's entertainment, with a show called Tracy Morgan - Turn It Funny!, with tickets costing between $35 to $65.
Morgan had been due to perform the same show in North Carolina tonight, but that leg of the tour has been canceled.
Morgan has three grown sons with his ex-wife, and a daughter, Maven Sonae, born last July to his fiancee, Megan Wollover.
Conference for men will have to hire police protection, organizer says
Organizers of a controversial conference scheduled to be held in Detroit later this month said they must pay police to provide security during the event, because of threats.
The International Conference on Men’s Issues is scheduled to take place at the DoubleTree Fort Shelby in downtown Detroit on June 26-28, but thousands of people signed a petition calling for it to be canceled.
Dean Esmay is helping to organize the conference put on by A Voice for Men and said the group’s mission is to fight for specific issues confronting men and boys, such as homelessness, suicide prevention and incarceration.
But the group has been critical of feminism, and Esmay said the presumption that one is “guilty until proven innocent” is a problem men have in sexual assault cases and domestic violence cases. The group’s positions have drawn harsh critics locally and even internationally.
“The threats have escalated to include death threats, physical violence against our staff and other guests as well as damage to the property,” said a letter provided to the Free Press by a group official, who said it was sent by hotel staff.
The letter, dated May 29, said that a minimum of seven officers will be needed in the hotel at all times during the conference but that could increase and the group hosting the event will be responsible for the cost.
Messages were left for management of the DoubleTree, but they could not be reached for comment Monday.
A spokesman with the Detroit Police Department said he could not find any police reports of death threats and said it’s “very unusual” that police wouldn’t be contacted for a death threat.
“We’re definitely going to look into it,” said Officer Adam Madera.
He said officials with the DoubleTree contacted its the department’s secondary employment unit — which allows for businesses and other organizations to request police officers at events — but they did not specify why.
Meanwhile, more than 2,300 signatures appeared on an online petition Monday on change.org expressing opposition to the conference and calling for it to be canceled.
“The petition to cancel the conference has worldwide support, and we're getting the word out almost exclusively through social media,” said Kelly Jackson. She started the petition last week.
A Voice for Men regularly posts messages on its Facebook page. One shows a picture of a man and says, “Presumed guilty until proven innocent ... because women would never lie about rape.”
Another shows a picture of a skeleton and says, “Feminism is going to help men, too. We just need to be patient.”
Esmay said more than 200 people are expected to come to Detroit for the conference that will feature 14 speakers. He estimated the cost for police will be about $20,000.
Based on some of what they’ve seen on social media and petitions, Esmay thinks there’s a good chance people will protest.
“We would welcome them if they’re peaceful protesters,” he said. “We protest ourselves. ... It’s the American way.”
Racial quotas for local zoning decisions?
In October, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is set to finalize a rulemaking to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to achieve racial and income integration.
In 2012, HUD dispersed about $3.8 billion of these grants to almost 1,200 municipalities. These range from the rather small — Nashua, N.H. received $583,000 that year. To the rather large — New York City received $210.9 million of the grants.
Now, under the new rule, HUD will empower itself to nationalize local zoning decisions in every single one of these localities in an attempt to create evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income.
“This is a utopian pipe dream, and social engineering at its worst,” Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens said.
“Neighborhoods are constituted not based on racial quotas, but on economics,” he added.
Mehrens called on the House of Representatives to defund implementation of the rule via a rider to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill coming up next week.
A trial run for the rule has already occurred in Westchester County, N.Y., where the department has attempted for years to rezone the area as a condition for receiving millions in grants.
County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, told HUD to go pound sand, and simply rejected the receipt of $5 million of grants from 2012.
Westchester lost out on some $7 million of grants from 2011 for the same reason.
“It is unfortunate that HUD, which claims to champion the needy, once again is threatening to withhold funds for affordable housing,” said Astorino spokesman Ned McCormack in April. “But the county is not going to turn over control of the local zoning of its six cities, 19 towns and 20 villages to bureaucrats in Washington for $5 million in grants.”
HUD was demanding that the county build 750 units of affordable housing in 31 more affluent communities.
Now, Astorino, running for governor this year against Andrew Cuomo, is challenging in federal court the legal basis under which HUD can even condition the grants in exchange for changes to zoning.
Now, call me a cynic, but this probably has nothing at all to do with integrating communities on the basis of race or income. More likely, this is a pretext to tilt the political scales on the national and local political scenes for the next generation to favor Democrats.
It is no secret that Republicans with their low tax message tend to do better among the middle and upper middle classes, while Democrats with their social welfare regime tend to do better among the poor.
The solution for Democrats? Via regulation, force communities dependent on federal funding to build more homes and apartments where Democrats are likely to live.
If for no other reason, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives should defund the new rulemaking, which represents an existential threat to its continued viability as a national political party.
But, leaving that aside, it’s also completely insane from a policy standpoint. Forcing wealthier communities to build so-called affordable housing units could depress property values, increase local taxes, and place a greater strain on public services.
It also violates the constitutional balance of powers between the federal, state, and local governments. The federal government has zero role, constitutionally, in local zoning decisions. That is a matter for county and municipal boards.
Besides, it will not do a thing to alleviate actual housing discrimination, ALG’s Mehrens noted, “Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal for decades. There is no discrimination in people choosing for themselves where they want to live, and yet that is exactly what HUD is seeking to regulate.”
Charity Guy Drives Cancer Patients for Free, NYC Taxi Commission Tries to Seize His Car
On Monday, TLC officers impounded the car of 25-year-old Yeshaya Liebowitz and issued him a $2,000 citation, the Daily News reports. His crime: offering free rides to cancer patients as part of his work with the Jewish charity Chesed.
"I tried to explain to him we're not a car service," Yeshaya Liebowitz, 25, said of the Monday misadventure in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
The TLC officer wasn't interested and instead made off with the car, leaving the two sick, elderly passengers stranded on the side of the road and Liebowitz holding the hefty citation.
The New York Daily News has been reporting on a recent push by the Taxi & Limousine Commission to crackdown on gypsy cabs—unlicensed drivers who pick up passenger or help out neighbors, friends, or relatives when they need a lift in exchange for some cash.
Gypsy cabs, of course, are the original ridesharing technology. Lyft without the pink mustache, Uber without the app. Ridesharing makes taxi commissions awfully nervous. And when powerful monopolists get nervous, they tend to get mean.
This incident has a "happy" ending. A local politician intervened and the summons was dismissed. But those charity workers had better be careful. Challenging urban taxi commissions can be a dangerous move, just ask Reason's own Jim Epstein who was arrested for trying to film a meeting of the D.C. Taxi Commission.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.