Saturday, August 28, 2010

‘Haus Der Deutschen Wissenschaft:’ The Hotel Paradise For Nazi Scientists

Tom Lehrer: Wernher von Braun

Henry Kolm had an interesting job as a 21-year-old.

He smuggled Nazi scientists into Boston Harbor.

He’d meet most of them off Nixes Mate, the smallest of the Harbor Islands — no more than gravel shoals — where a beacon warns ships coming into the harbor. Then, he and a Boston whaler captain named Corky would scoot them out to Long Island and a secret hotel fashioned from the barracks of the old Civil War derelict known as Fort Strong.

The prize get, the leader of the pack and the star of the show at Fort Strong was Wernher von Braun, Germany’s uber-engineer of rockets — most notoriously the V-2.

But technically they were illegal aliens … and many of them, like von Braun, were Nazis to boot. So Project Paperclip had to smuggle them out to Long Island to keep Immigration, Customs and, more importantly, the State Department from finding out they were here....

Full story here.

Times sure have changed.

The lighter side of CERN

The Particle Physics Song

Pensée du jour

"Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."

--American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Ole the wrestler

A Russian and Ole, the Norwegian wrestler, were set to square off for the Olympic Gold medal.

Before the final match, the Norwegian wrestling coach came to Ole and said, "Now, don't forget all the research we've done on this Russian. He's never lost a match because of this 'pretzel' hold he has. Whatever you do, do not let him get you in that hold! If he does, you're finished."

Ole nodded in acknowledgment.

As the match started, Ole and the Russian circled each other several times, looking for an opening. All of a sudden, the Russian lunged forward, grabbing Ole and wrapping him up in the dreaded pretzel hold. A sigh of disappointment arose from the crowd and the coach buried his face in his hands, for he knew all was lost. He couldn't watch the inevitable happen.

Suddenly, there was a scream, then a cheer from the crowd and the coach raised his eyes just in time to watch the Russian go flying up in the air. His back hit the mat with a thud and Ole collapsed on top of him making the pin and winning the match.

The crowd went crazy. The coach was astounded.

When he finally got his wrestler alone, he asked, "How did you ever get out of that hold? No one has ever done it before!"

Ole answered, "Vell, I vas ready to give up ven he got me in dat hold, but at da last moment, I opened my eyes and saw dis pair of testicles right in front of my face. I had nuttin' to lose, so vid my last ounce of strength I stretched out my neck and bit dose babies just as hard as I could."

So the trainer exclaimed, "That's what finished him off!"

"Vell, not really. You'd be amazed how strong you get ven you bite your own nuts!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Charley Reese is a syndicated columnist known for his plainspoken manner and conservative views. He was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971–2001. This was published in the 1980s but is worth reading again.

By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.....The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ..

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan...

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power..

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
Peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he hollers;
Tax him more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax...

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Still think this is funny? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had hardly any national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the hell happened?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Munchausen numbers

You have probably heard of the syndrome (not to mention the one by proxy) and, likewise, the Baron, but have you heard of a Munchausen number?

No? So, let me bore/enlighten you a second (delete as applicable). We have natural numbers - the ones we use to add up with. Now they can have many properties, but a Munchausen number is pretty special.

Their specific property is that the sum of their digits raised to themselves is the original number. With the number one, it works spectacularly and easily well.

After that, you're in trouble.

1 ... 11 = 1
2 ... 22 = 4 (2 out)
3 ... 33 = 27 (24 out, oh dear)
4 ... 44 = 256 (start sweating)

What's the smallest example? The answer is here.

Mathematical imagery

More beautiful images at Jos Leys' site.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom from Ben

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."

"And where is the prince who can so afford to cover his domain with troops, as that ten thousand men, descending from the clouds, could do an infinite amount of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?"

Benjamin Franklin, Father of the Airborne

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's even in the Bible!

From Ecclesiastes Chapter 10:

2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
  but the heart of the fool to the left.

3 Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense
  and shows everyone how stupid he is.

4 If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post;
  calmness can lay great errors to rest.

5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
  the sort of error that arises from a ruler:

6 Fools are put in many high positions,
  while the rich occupy the low ones.

Whom to vote for

At a recent family reunion on the beach, family members inquired about whom they should vote for in the upcoming elections as a number of candidates are making their first run at offices for which there are no incumbents.

While it is nearly impossible to examine the platforms of all the candidates running for office, voters should take the time to check out the promises and background of the candidates who are running in their district or for candidates running for countrywide or statewide seats. Before you throw away that silly brochure that the candidate or his worker left on your doorknob or fence post, check out the candidate’s credentials and platform or promises. And while probably no candidate is going to promise to raise your taxes – otherwise known as political suicide – there are subtle clues that should raise the eyebrows of taxpayers.

One thing taxpayers learned from this past session is that the public employee unions are not abashed in calling for raising taxes to keep public employees whole. So it only seems logical that voters who don’t want their taxes increased should not select candidates that have endorsements by public employee unions, as those candidates will be obligated to hop to the tune of the union’s flute if elected.

What has become increasingly clear in recent years is that many elected officials have very little life experience, that is many have not held a “real” job to the point that they understand what the challenges are to meeting a payroll, making sure that all of the forms are filed for their business or that all fees and licenses are paid. Not having any clue of how the laws that they will consider and/or eventually adopt will affect every day life has been the norm for lawmakers in recent years. As a result, the cost of living and doing business in Hawaii has become more costly as newly elected officials want to “save the world.” So look for candidates that have some real life experience, have held a “real” job and know what it is like to make ends meet and survive in what is an already expensive place to live.

And what about those promises of providing this or that service or a new public facility? Translate those promises into more money that will be needed to deliver those promises. That means those eager candidates, once elected, will come asking for more and more tax dollars in order to make good on those promises. Ask those candidates who promise added services or facilities how they expect to pay for them. The old adage that “there is no free lunch” comes quickly to mind.

At a time when state and county governments are mandating “furlough Fridays,” promising new services runs counter to saving those services taxpayers have already come to expect. To the contrary, look for candidates who promise to “right size” government so that taxpayers can afford what government services are truly essential to the health and welfare of the community. When candidates promise “better” services, be wary of how they expect to achieve a better quality of service. Do they plan to merely throw money at an existing service to improve it or do they have a creative way of improving those services with the existing financial resources?

What taxpayers learned during this past session is that elected officials find it difficult to cut spending especially when there is a vocal constituency for this or that service. One just has to look at the department of education’s efforts to reduce costs by closing schools where the enrollment has dwindled to the point that the cost per student to just maintain the infrastructure soars per student enrolled in those facilities. No one wants to be the “bad guy” who reduces or eliminates the current level of services. On the other hand, no one wants to shoulder the responsibility to equate an inefficient government with higher taxes.

And lest you think that taxpayers escaped a major tax increase this past session just because there was no increase in personal income tax rates or the general excise tax, taxpayers should remember that incumbent lawmakers approved an increase in the barrel tax on petroleum products that will affect the cost of everything from the gas at the pump to your household electric bill to the box of cereal at the grocery store. They also reinstated the state’s tax on inheritance and estates and hiked the tax on cigarettes and rental cars.

So as you shop for a candidate to support or vote for this fall, ask the candidate knocking on your door whether or not they are willing to make those difficult decisions to rein in the size of government. If they can’t, then you can bet your tax dollar that they will come after your pocketbook for more taxes.

Lowell L. Kalapa is the president of Tax Foundation of Hawaii

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If You Don't Want to Hire Felons, You Need a Good Reason

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is warning employers that it is illegal to use a prospective employee's past conviction records, even for serious felonies, as an "absolute measure" as to whether they should be hired because this "could limit the employment opportunities of some protected groups."

This is, the EEOC says, because blacks and Hispanics are over-represented among felons.

"Blacks and Hispanics also have an unfortunate higher high school and college dropout rates than whites and Asians -- surely this could be determined to be a disparate impact. Does that mean the EEOC could mandate that employers cannot consider an applicant's education? Where will it stop?" asks Justin Danhof, general counsel of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "It is unfortunate that the EEOC is placing outdated racial politics ahead of the American workforce at a time when employers should be encouraged to hire, but this mentality will likely make businesses think twice about plans for expansion. Employers should be free to consider the full content of an applicant's character when making hiring decisions."

Yup, this edict is true.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bud's story

I got shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, a Sqdn. Commander. After I returned in 1973...I published 2 books that dealt a lot with "real torture" in Hanoi.

Our make- believe president is branding our country as a bunch of torturers when he has no idea what torture is. As for me, I was put thru a mock execution because I would not respond... pistol whipped on the head....same event. Couple of days later...hung by my feet all day. I escaped and a couple of weeks later, I got shot and recaptured. Shot was OK...what happened afterwards was not.

They marched me to Vinh...put me in the rope trick,...almost pulled my arms out of the sockets. Beat me on the head with a little wooden rod until my eyes were swelled shut, and my unshot, unbroken hand a pulp. Next day hung me by the arms ... rebroke my right wrist... wiped out the nerves in my arms that control the hands... rolled my fingers up into a ball. Only left the slightest movement of my left forefinger. So I started answering with some incredible lies.

Sent me to Hanoi strapped to a barrel of gas in the back of a truck.

Hanoi ...on my knees... rope trick again. Beaten by a big fool. Into leg irons on a bed in Heartbreak Hotel. Much kneeling... hands up at Zoo. Really bad beating for refusing to condemn Lyndon Johnson. Several more kneeling events. I could see my knee bone thru kneeling holes.

There was an escape from the annex to the Zoo. I was the Senior Officer of a large building because of escape... they started a mass torture of all commanders.

I think it was July 7, 1969... they started beating me with a car fanbelt. In first 2 days I took over 300 strokes.... then stopped counting because I never thought I would live through it.

They continued day-night torture to get me to confess to a non-existent part in the escape. This went on for at least 3 days. On my knees... fan belting...cut open my scrotum with fan belt stroke.... opened up both knee holes again. My fanny looked like hamburger... I could not lie on my back.

They tortured me into admitting that I was in on the escape... and that my 2 room-mates knew about it. The next day I denied the lie.

They commenced torturing me again with 3- 6- or 9 strokes of the fan belt every day from about July 11 or 12th to 14 October 1969. I continued to refuse to lie about my roommates again.

Now, the point of this is that our make-believe president has declared to the world that we (U.S..) are a bunch of torturers. Thus it will be OK to torture us next time when they catch us... because that is what the U.S. does. Our make-believe president is a know-nothing fool who thinks that pouring a little water on someone's face, or hanging a pair of women's pants over an Arab's head is TORTURE! He is a meathead.

I just talked to MOH holder Leo Thorsness, who was also in my squadron, in jail... as was John McCain... and we agree that McCain does not speak for the POW group when he claims that Al Ghraib was torture... or that "water boarding" is torture.

Our president and those fools around him who keep bad mouthing our great country are a disgrace to the United States.

If it got the Arab to cough up the story about how he planned the attack on the twin towers in NYC... hurrah for the guy who poured the water.

"Bud" Day

George Everett "Bud" Day (born February 24, 1925) is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Command Pilot who served during the Vietnam War. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. service member since General Douglas MacArthur, having received some seventy decorations, a majority for actions in combat. Day is a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Birds of a feather

From the email inbox:

John "Poppo" Popovich is the best sports reporter/sports director in Cincinnati and he is a great guy. He lives out in the country in Indiana, due west of Cincinnati.

Popo's Morning Rush
July 30, 2010

Father of the Groom
Before I came to Cincinnati, I was a news reporter at WOC in Davenport Iowa. I covered a lot of city council and a lot of political stuff. One of the guys I covered was Ed Mezvinsky, who was the Congressman from Iowa's first district. Seemed like a pretty nice guy, but when he ditched his wife for a New York reporter, the Iowa voters ditched him.

My most vivid memory is that he sat on the House Judiciary Committee that was deciding the fate of President Nixon. Anyway, years later, "Fast Eddie" got caught with his hand in the till. He cheated investors out of more than $10 million dollars. He has gone to prison for several years.

A week ago, his son married Chelsea Clinton.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Voronoi diagrams

From Wikipedia:
In mathematics, a Voronoi diagram is a special kind of decomposition of a metric space determined by distances to a specified discrete set of objects in the space, e.g., by a discrete set of points. It is named after Georgy Voronoi, also called a Voronoi tessellation, a Voronoi decomposition, or a Dirichlet tessellation (after Lejeune Dirichlet),

In the simplest case, we are given a set of points S in the plane, which are the Voronoi sites. Each site s has a Voronoi cell, also called a Dirichlet cell, V(s) consisting of all points closer to s than to any other site. The segments of the Voronoi diagram are all the points in the plane that are equidistant to the two nearest sites. The Voronoi nodes are the points equidistant to three (or more) sites.
Now see it in action. Mesmerizing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Written on the wall in the men's toilet in the math department


A test for primality, using regular expressions


That's it!

The Czechs remember

An interesting piece of WW II history remembered and celebrated in the Czech Republic.

Mau Piailug - rest in peace

From The Economist:
In the spring of 1976 Mau Piailug offered to sail a boat from Hawaii to Tahiti. The expedition, covering 2,500 miles, was organised by the Polynesian Voyaging Society to see if ancient seafarers could have gone that way, through open ocean. The boat was beautiful, a double-hulled canoe named Hokule’a, or “Star of Gladness” (Arcturus to Western science). But there was no one to captain her. At that time, Mau was the only man who knew the ancient Polynesian art of sailing by the stars, the feel of the wind and the look of the sea. So he stepped forward.

As a Micronesian he did not know the waters or the winds round Tahiti, far south-east. But he had an image of Tahiti in his head. He knew that if he aimed for that image, he would not get lost. And he never did. More than 2,000 miles out, a flock of small white terns skimmed past the Hokule’a heading for the still invisible Mataiva Atoll, next to Tahiti. Mau knew then that the voyage was almost over.

On that month-long trip he carried no compass, sextant or charts. He was not against modern instruments on principle. A compass could occasionally be useful in daylight; and, at least in old age, he wore a chunky watch. But Mau did not operate on latitude, longitude, angles, or mathematical calculations of any kind. He walked, and sailed, under an arching web of stars moving slowly east to west from their rising to their setting points, and knew them so well—more than 100 of them by name, and their associated stars by colour, light and habit—that he seemed to hold a whole cosmos in his head, with himself, determined, stocky and unassuming, at the nub of the celestial action.

How well we in Hawaii remember that voyage! When European sailors hugged the coast of the Med, and never ventured much past the Isles of Dogs, (the Canaries) the Polynesians, hundreds of years before Columbus, were sailing the world's biggest ocean. How pale is the English word for the boundless vast "in-finity". A negation! The Hawaiians had two words..."out of sight up" (infinitely big, the ocean) and "out of sight down" (infinitely small, you in your war canoe).
The world's greatest seamen never got around to inventing the wheel (they never had a need for it.) Winds, tides, currents, scents of the land driven out to sea, the stars, the sun, the moon...they could do this. The Hawaiian and Tahitian languages have many similar words.

Lima (hand) = 5 (Hawaiian)
Luna (hand) = 5 (Tahitian)
Lua Lima (two hands) = 10 Hawaiian)
Lua Luna (two hands) = 10 (Tahitian)

In one version from New Guinea the word for "forty" was "mattress"...a man sleeps together with his wife on such. I am not making this up.

Many years ago, our destroyer came upon two women in a small sailboat. We had just come out of the edge of a hurricane which had savaged our home island of Oahu. It had been overcast for an entire week. No stars, no sun, no moon. "Where are we?" semaphored (I love verbing nouns) the women. Our navigator told them where they were withing 100 square feet on the surface of the ocean (this was before GPS...we had it but they didn't.) "Would you like to come aboard for dinner?" our captain asked them. "No thank you, we are sailing around the world and would rather remain aboard our own boat" they replied. "We can ship over fresh fruit, ice cream, whatever you would like" we said. "No thank you very much for our position; we are OK" and they sailed off into the gloom. Modern-day Hawaiians. With a boost from NASA. But still...they were far better sailors than anyone aboard the USS Brewton. Our captain knew this, and we, admiringly, coveted their company for dinner.


Pi - to 5 trillion digits

The Plouffe formula is very clever but elementary to derive.

A building made in the shape of a Möbius strip

(click picture to read more about this building)

What's next...a Klein bottle hospital??

The Pope in Alaska

The Pope took a couple of days off to visit the rugged mountains of Alaska for some sightseeing. He was cruising along the campground in the Pope-Mobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Vote for Obama" hat and a "Save the Trees" T-shirt, was screaming while struggling frantically and thrashing around trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly.

As the Pope watched in horror, a group of Republican loggers, wearing "Go Sarah" t-shirts raced up to the commotion. One quickly fired a 44 magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached up and pulled the bleeding, semi-conscious Democrat from the bear's grasp. Then using long clubs, the three loggers finished off the bear and two of them threw it onto the bed of their truck while the others tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.

As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give you my blessing for your brave actions!" he told the men. "I had heard that in America there was a bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic environmental activists, but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true."

As the Pope drove off, one logger asked his buddies, "Who was that guy?"

"That was the Pope," another replied. "Well," the logger said, "he sure doesn't know squat about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait still alive, or do we need to go back to Massachusetts and get us another one?"

How fast is the Beacon of Gondor

Around the Civil War [sic], Morse signals from Washington DC could be sent to San Francisco. This is how the news of Lincoln's assassination was dissiminated. Of course when it was raining, you had to wait. Under ideal conditions, it took about a few hours or so.


"Breitbart is a media genius"

From my email inbox:

Andrew Breitbart is a media genius.

He proved it originally with his brilliant handling of the ACORN ‘hooker’ scandal which he skillfully manipulated so that the corrupt media was forced, against its will, to broadcast corruption in one of Obama’s most powerful political support groups. But Breitbart’s handing of that affair is nothing compared to his brilliant manipulation of the Shirley Sherrod ‘white farmer’ scandal.

It all began last Monday, July 22, 2010. As the country watched in horror, Breitbart released a snippet of a tape on his “Big Government” site which showed an obscure black female official of the Dept. of Agriculture laughing to a roomful of NAACP members about how she’d discriminated against a destitute white farmer and refused to give him the financial aid he desperately needed. As she smirked to the room, she’d sent him instead to a white lawyer – ‘one of his own kind’ – for help. The black woman was Shirley Sherrod – and almost immediately she became the center of a firestorm of controversy which exploded throughout the country. Within a day of the release of that infamous tape, the head of the Dept. of Agriculture, spurred on by Obama, demanded – and received – Sherrod’s resignation. Breitbart had won.

But then seemingly Breitbart’s actions began to explode in his face. As Sherrod screamed in protest, FOX News released the entire text of her speech last March to the NAACP. And there on tape Sherrod was shown supposedly repenting of her racism against a white farmer and instead championing his fight to win funds to keep his farm afloat. Within hours of that entire tape being revealed, the entire world turned against Andrew Breitbart. Conservatives throughout the country were enraged that he’d endangered their reputations by releasing a ‘doctored’ tape. Breitbart, they thundered, had dealt a fatal blow to the conservative media. I confess that I also was horrified at what I saw as the clumsiness and stupidity of Breitbart in ‘doctoring’ a tape to make a supposedly innocent woman look guilty. But now I discover I have been as guilty of haste to judgment of Breitbart as the Dept. of Agriculture was of Ms. Sherrod.

Only now am I realizing the real purpose for Breitbart’s release of that tape snippet. It was to allow him to cunningly trick the media into exposing one of the most shocking examples of corruption in the federal government – a little known legal case called “Pigford v. Glickman”.

“In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997.” The case was entitled “Pigford v. Glickman” and in 1999, the black farmers won their case. The government agreed to pay each of them as much as $50,000 to settle their claims.

But then on February 23 of this year, something shocking happened in relation to that original judgment. In total silence, the USDA agreed to release more funds to “Pigford”. The amount was a staggering $1.25 billion. This was because the original number of plaintiffs – 400 black farmers – had now swollen in a class action suit to include a total of 86,000 black farmers throughout America.

There was only one teensy problem. The United States of America doesn’t have 86,000 black farmers. According to accurate and totally verified census data, the total number of black farmers throughout America is only 39,697. Oops.

Well, gosh – how on earth did 39,697 explode into 86,000 claims? And how did $50,000 explode into $1.25 billion? Well, folks, you’ll just have to ask the woman who not only spearheaded this case because of her position in 1997 at the “Rural Development Leadership Network” but whose family received the highest single payout (approximately $13 million) from that action – Shirley Sherrod. Oops again.

Yes, folks. It appears that Ms. Sherrod had just unwittingly exposed herself as the perpetrator of one of the biggest fraud claims in the United States – a fraud enabled solely because she screamed racism at the government and cowed them into submission. And it gets even more interesting. Ms. Sherrod has also exposed the person who aided and abetted her in this race fraud. As it turns out, the original judgment of “Pigford v. Glickman” in 1999 only applied to a total of 16,000 black farmers. But in 2008, a junior Senator got a law passed to reopen the case and allow more black farmers to sue for funds. The Senator was Barack Obama.

Because this law was passed in dead silence and because the woman responsible for spearheading it was an obscure USDA official, American taxpayers did not realize that they had just been forced in the midst of a worldwide depression to pay out more than $1.25 billion to settle a race claim.

But Breitbart knew. And last Monday, July 22, 2010, he cleverly laid a trap which Sherrod – and Obama – stumbled headfirst into which has now resulted in the entire world discovering the existence of this corrupt financial judgment. Yes, folks – Breitbart is a genius.

As for Ms. Sherrod? Well, she’s discovered too late that her cry of ‘racism’ to the media which was intended to throw the spotlight on Breitbart has instead thrown that spotlight on herself – and her corruption. Sherrod has vanished from public view. Her ‘pigs’, it seems, have come home to roost. Oink!

Robert W. Fortner