Concern Over New Philly Newspaper Owners

At an auction conducted on Wednesday, the struggling and increasingly irrelevant Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News as well as their Internet arm “” were all purchased by a group of creditors.

The new owners have quickly come under fire from the top politicians at both the Commonwealth and the City levels.

Governor Ed Rendell, the former 2-term Mayor of Philadelphia, voiced his concern that he believed that newspapers should  be owned by people from the area. He further stated “In the end, the newspaper is nothing if not the people who work for it. If you take that away, you take away it’s soul.”

Mayor Michael Nutter, the current Philly head honcho, called on the new owners to make their decisions on how to proceed with the operation of the papers “based on great journalism” rather than being overly concerned with the financial bottom line.

Both of these comments mask the actual concern of these two leading Democratic Party politicians. Their real primary concern is that with new ownership will come a basic change of direction in the editorial content and presentation of the two papers.

For decades, the Philadelphia Inquirer and even more overtly the Daily News have been outwardly liberal in their political and social commentaries and with the vast majority of their political endorsements. It is this liberal ideology as directed by Rendell and Nutter’s Democrats that has demoralized Philly and reduced it to a shell of it’s former greatness.

Rather than using their status as the city and region’s main newspapers and internet presence to call for reform and change to a system that has resulted in massive numbers of citizens and businesses fleeing the city over the last few decades, the two papers have continually backed the status quo.

The newspaper business has been dying all across America for the past couple of decades. This is partly due to the Internet, partly due to 24-hour news, sports, weather, and entertainment television channels. But there is still a niche that properly run newspapers could fill. Unfortunately most have been taken over, as Philly’s papers were, by partisan political shills. As this became more and more obvious, more and more people turned away from regular readership and subscriptions.

The “soul” that Rendell speaks of, those editors, writers, and staffers who put the newspapers out on the streets, and the old ownership that hired them, supported them, and encouraged them to push that liberal agenda and back those Democratic politicians is directly to blame.

Rather than maintaining the former status quo and leaving every worker untouched, and leaving the newspapers to continue their failed direction that has in turn failed the citizens of Philadelphia, the new owners should do exactly the opposite of what Rendell and Nutter are hoping.

If it is determined that Philadelphia needs and has the viability to support two newspapers, which is dubious at best, or if only one should survive, change is absolutely vital. The editorial direction and content of the papers and website in every department needs to reflect a much greater diversity of opinions. Particular attention needs to be paid towards making Philadelphia, other localities, Pennsylvania, and national pols much more accountable.

Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter, as well as a number of individuals who work for both newspapers, and any number of liberal activists all around the Philly region are concerned over the possible direction that the new ownership will take. They should be concerned that their domination of the conversation, one-way in the wrong direction for decades, will cease, and that Philadelphia may indeed see it’s newspapers become what they were meant to be all along, a true watchdog.

Tea Party Should Not Be A ‘Third’ Party

There has been a great deal of angst among the Lefty Lib community regarding the emergence over the past year or so of what has become known as the ‘Tea Party’ movement.

The liberals who now control the Democratic Party should be concerned, because they and their political leaders led by President Barrack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have awoken a sleeping giant.

That sleeping giant is the true Conservative movement that the majority of Americans feel a natural affinity towards. The people who make up real main-stream America.

Hard-working, family-rearing, tax-paying, God-fearing, America-loving, law-abiding folks who want government out of their lives. Who recognize that low taxation, modest regulation, secure borders, and the teaching of and support for American exceptionalism are the true path to lasting recovery, not the socialist style policies of the Obama administration.

That sleeping giant has been embodied by the Tea Party.

The term, based on the ‘Boston Tea Party’ protesters of Revolutionary War days, evolved from those people at the grass roots levels of the Conservative movement who held and/or attended town hall meetings that sprang up across the nation during 2009 in response to the various government takeovers, bail outs, and spending programs enacted and proposed by Obama and the liberal Democrats.

Since those numerous and emotional town hall events, the Tea Partiers have taken to the internet, the radio waves, and the blogosphere to continue to push a return to basic, traditional American values and away from the government entitlements, social programs, and massive spending undertaken by the Dems.

But a problem has cropped up among some within the Tea Party movement itself. They have become so disenchanted, rightly in many cases, with some recent and current Republican politicians that they have floated the possibility of becoming their own ‘third party’ in American politics. This new formal ‘Tea Party’ would be wholly conservative in every way.

There is one major flaw to such an idea. It is a loser.

The only people who would actually benefit from a third ‘Tea Party’ made up of conservatives would be the Democratic Party and all of it’s ultra-liberal politicians, constituencies and benefactors. Such a party would basically amount to a splitting up of the Republican Party, leaving the Dems to dominate organized politics for the foreseeable future, and dooming America to their socialist tendencies, the very programs and ideals that the Tea Partiers stand against.

The ‘Tea Party’, such as it is, should remain exactly what it is – a movement. It should never try to become a third political party, thus damning itself to the destruction of the very causes for which it was established. What it should do, however, is hold Republican politicians at every level – particularly at the state and national levels – to traditional American and Conservative standards and values.

Remaining organized, active, and vocal will ensure that no longer will the Republican Party nominate a Progressive candidate as it’s standard bearer, as it has in recent years with both George W. Bush and John McCain. Instead the Republican Party will have as it’s out-front leaders those who support less governmental spending and intervention in our lives, lower taxes, a strong military, secure borders, a judiciary that interprets rather than creates laws, and programs and policies aimed at keeping America strong and independent.

Those on the leading edges of the various groups that make up the most vocal sections of the Conservative movement in America must keep the heat on the politicians and the Republican Party as a whole, while at the same time tempering and better channeling the emotions of those who would sabotage the Party and imperil it’s future from within.

Only by sticking together and remaining strong will we be able to overcome the Liberals, the Progressives, and the Democrats, elect conservative Republican majorities, and begin to roll back the Obama policies, dismantle the Obama programs, and return America to common sense.

New York Red Bulls – 2, UNION -1 (Twice)

Twice within a short span of four days, the New York Red Bulls hosted and bested the expansion Philadelphia Union by the same scores of 2-1. Both games were held at New York’s Red Bull Arena, with the first being an official MLS regular season match and the 2nd representing a play-in to the U.S. Open Cup tournament.

In the first match, the Union 11 again came out fast, as has been their habit in these early games of the franchise’ history. They took the action to the Red Bull end, but couldn’t bury the ball in the net, and then as the pace became more even the two clubs battled into a 0-0 tie at half.

As has also been the case, they again found themselves behind by a goal on the road when New York scored on a header just five minutes into the 2nd half. The Union continued to plug away, and just moments later they got the equalizer in a familiar fashion. Alejandro Moreno broke free in the Bulls end, slid a pass along the ground towards the goal, and a streaking Sebastien LeToux (pictured) tapped it in for his 4th goal to tie the score at 1-1.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Union downfall also came along in familiar fashion. A handball in their own end resulted in a penalty kick for the Red Bull’s Juan Pablo Angel, who buried the shot to put New York on top 2-1. The Union were unable to get the equalizer, and thus dropped their 2nd straight road match thanks to a 2nd half penalty kick goal. The loss leaves the club with a 1-3-0 record in the early season.

Four days later, the Union headed back to New York for the Open Cup qualifier. The U.S. Open Cup tournament is the oldest soccer tournament in the States. It is open to any team that is affiliated with U.S. Soccer at the professional or amateur levels. Held annually since 1914, the Cup began to include pro teams such as those from MLS in 1995.

The tournament organizers matched Philadelphia and New York in this play-in match, part of a process that would lead to a final 16 teams who would ultimately compete in the official U.S. Open Cup tournament. The winner of this qualifier match would move on to face the New England Revolution of MLS, and the winner of that match would advance into the actual tournament.

So back to Red Bull Arena it was for the Union and coach Peter Nowak. When asked whether he would treat this as an exhibition and play his bench or reserve players, or if he would use most of his regulars, Nowak replied: “Is there a trophy? Then we’ll play the best players!” Clearly, Nowak is desirous of beginning a winning tradition as quickly as possible.

Connor Ching put the Red Bulls on top in the early minutes of the match, knocking his own rebound past Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz for a 1-0 New York advantage. Then just minutes before halftime, Ching took a beautiful crossing pass and drilled a shot past Seitz to put the home club up by a 2-0 score.

For the 2nd half, Nowak inserted the club’s leading scorer, Sebastien LeToux, into the match. It would prove to be initially ingenius but ultimately devastasting. LeToux quickly got the Union back into the game when he took a crossing pass from Cristian Arrieta and slid it into the net to pull the Union within 2-1 in the 68th minute.

That was the initially genius part. The Union continued to press for the equalizer, but with about 8 minutes left to play, LeToux suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury and had to be carried off the pitch. Having already used up all their substitutions, the Union were forced to play short a man. Despite this disadvantage they continued to take the play to New York, but were ultimately unable to knot the score, falling by that 2-1 margin for the 2nd straight match to the Red Bulls.

The Union have shown a ton of ability in their early matches, and the youngest club in the MLS looks like the will be competitive in most of their matches. It will help them to get some more home matches as the MLS schedule moves along. However, they will need to find the leadership and intelligence to avoid the big mistakes at key late moments if they are to truly turn the record around in their first season.

Real American Hero: Brandon Darby


For the past couple of years I have written a semi-regular series of articles here titled “Real American Hero”, all of the previous entries of which can be viewed by clicking on that ‘Tag’ at the bottom of this original post here at the website.

Beginning with the very first article whose subject matter was Arizona Senator and former American POW John McCain, each of the entries has highlighted a hero from the American military.

These were people who put their lives on the line, and in many instances laid down those lives, for their country. And except for McCain, every one of them was virtually anonymous outside of their own closest inner circle of family and friends.

But it is not just within the military that we can find individuals whose significant contributions have gone mostly unnoticed, and this article is going to begin the process of incorporating some of those civilian stories into the series as well.

The story of Brandon Darby, a former radical leftist activist who openly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government turned Real American Hero, is a fitting one with which to begin.

Darby is a good ol’ Texas boy who grew up to harbor and cultivate anti-government and anti-establishment feelings. He became an outspoken critic of fellow Texan George W. Bush during his presidency, in particular following Hurrican Katrina. It was in the relief response to the Katrina disaster in Louisiana that Darby began to come to some prominence.

As Matthew Vadum tells the story in Town Hall magazine, Darby used $50 of his own money to co-found the group ‘Common Ground’, a supposed relief agency that was in actuality a far-Left political activist organization that included a number of former Black Panther members. It was during and thanks to his experiences with this group that Darby’s social and political viewpoint began to change and mature.

During the process of trying to restore some semblance of order and peace and rebuilding of lives in New Orleans, Darby met and began a relationship with an NOPD commander named Major John Bryson.

At first completely distrustful of and at odds with one another, Darby and Bryson began to see as they worked both together and separately for the rebirth of the Crescent City that not only were each not the other’s enemies, but they were indeed on the same side.

Then in 2006, Darby undertook a trip to Venezuela as part of a group seeking funding from the Marxist government of Hugo Chavez to keep Common Ground in operation. Chavez had been subverting American influence in the region by funneling discounted fuel oil through Congressman Joseph Kennedy of Massachuessettes, whose TV commercials painted Chavez as a friend to America’s poor while portraying President Bush as disinterested at best.

When Darby arrived and began to meet with the Venezuelans it became obvious that helping New Orleans and Americans was the last thing on their minds. What they really wanted was to set up a terrorist network of guerrillas that would operate out of the swamps of Louisiana and begin work towards undermining the American government further.

As Vadum also reports, Darby was further alienated from his original Leftist beliefs when a long time friend from Texas, Riad Hamad, tried to hijack a new relief group that Darby was trying to start called ‘Critical Response’, which would have sent medics into Middle East and African war zones to help civilians who were caught there in cross-fire exchanges.

When Hamad began to suggest that the medics could be sent to Israel and put on motorcycles or in ambulances that could be fitted with bombs to kill Jews, Darby decided that law enforcement needed to be informed and approached the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. This was a radical departure for the Lefty radical who previous to his relationship with Major Bryson in New Orleans would never have trusted law enforcement.

Darby was having the epiphany that many intelligent former Leftist and liberals have when they begin to wake up and realize that the world is not some utopian social experiment, but a real place where real people have to live out real lives, and where the worst power ever wielded has come from Marxist, Socialist and Communist governments. Darby began coming to an appreciation for the brilliance of the American system.

Without letting on to any of his many friends among the Leftist community, Darby began to work with the FBI as an informant in matters relating to these threats from Radical Islam and other segments of the violent underground community.

It was here that Darby took the actions that completed his transformation from radical to right, from revolutionary to American hero.

At the request of the FBI, Darby infiltrated the Austin (Texas) Affinity Group, which had become allied with other radical organizations to form what had become known as the “RNC Welcoming Committee”, a group that planned not to welcome but to completely disrput the Republican National Convention in Minnesota in 2008.

During his infiltration of the group, Darby met with and eventually informed on two individuals, David McKay and Bradley Crowder. These two had manufactured homemade riot shields for use in St. Paul to help radicals block the streets and keep GOP delegates from attending the convention.

Their group also gathered gas masks, slingshots, helmets, knee pads, and even manufactured Molotov cocktails. Thanks to the cooperation of Darby, their plots to injure and possibly kill people at the convention were thwarted.

Darby could have continued to follow his original far-left impulses. He could have taken the Chavez regime money and fully funded his own organization and went along with plans to undermine America.

He could have fully established his medic network in the Middle East and aided plans for attacks on Israel. He could have justified in his own head that somehow he was using the terrorist and Marxist groups himself to help needy people.

Instead, Darby saw what was right. He saw that violence and power and hatred were what these organizations were truly about, not any kind of change in order to help real people. And as he truly compared these foreign groups and governments to his home, he awoke to the beauty of America.

Brandon Darby woke up in time to help save American lives and help keep the American system of peaceful political selection moving forward.

As he said to Vadum: “I started to realize how brilliant and miraculous the American system of checks and balances was…that has been working since this nation was founded. I realized just how hard a task that is.”

He went on to state: “I’m proud of helping people, but I’m ashamed of what I used to believe. Thankfully, I had the honor of serving my country by working undercover with the FBI and participating in efforts to protect the safety and civil rights of others.”

Clearly, Brandon Darby now gets it, finally. Having traveled the road of anti-establisment liberal to right-thinking American traditionalist myself, I can fully appreciate much of the journey that Darby has taken.

You could have never told me that I would grow to become an American law enforcement officer, just as I’m sure you could not have told Darby that he would ever become an FBI informant. But in his willingness to do the right thing, and in his awakening to a full appreciation of the greatness of his nation, Brandon Darby certainly qualifies as a civilian Real American Hero.

Toronto FC – 2, UNION – 1

After going almost two weeks between their first-ever match on the road in Seattle to their first-ever home match back in Philly, the Union took the pitch for the 2nd time in 5 days at Toronto.

The Toronto FC (football club) have one of the most rabid and supportive fan bases in all of MLS, and so for the 2nd time in their young history, the Union 11 were going to be in extremely hostile conditions on the road in front of almost 22,000 Toronto partisans.

The Union came out strong and confident, riding the high of their weekend home victory over D.C. United, and were generally dominating play against Toronto in the early going.

But the momentum and the ultimate outcome of the game all changed suddenly and dramatically. In the 34th minute, Union defender and team captain Danny Califf was handed a red card and tossed from the game for delivering what appeared to be an intentional elbow to the head of Toronto forward Julian de Guzman.

With Califf tossed from the game, the Union would be forced to play the rest of the match shorthanded by a man. That was bad enough, but also on the ensuing free kick Toronto’s Dwayne De Rosario drilled a shot that overpowered Union goalie Chris Seitz, slipping through Seitz’ hands and into the net for a 1-0 Toronto lead.

Things appeared pretty bleak for the Union at that point in the match being covered nationally on ESPN2. They were trailing 1-0 on the road in an extremely hostile arena and had to play shorthanded. But hope reared it’s head again just before halftime.

That hope came in the form that it usually has for the Union so far in the early matches of this first season, with a rush from Le Toux, Moreno, and Torres.

An offensive attack led by forwards Sebastian Le Toux and Alejandro Moreno rushed forward into the Toronto third of the pitch, the ball was slipped over to Roger Torres along the wing, and Torres drove a bending cross towards the goal. Jordan Harvey came slashing in and punched the ball past Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei and the Union had a 1-1 tie.

In the 2nd half the Union rarely played as if down a man. They took much of the play to the Toronto end, not willing to yield the result to the hosts and continuing to press for their own victory. However, it was just a matter of time before being shorthanded resulted in Toronto opportunities. With less than 10 minutes to play, Union goalie Chris Seitz was called for a foul that yielded a penalty kick for Toronto. De Rosario drove the kick home for a 2-1 lead, and the undermanned Union were unable to gain the equalizer.

Despite the disheartening road loss, the Union have to take positives from this match. They played well overall, in fact they outplayed Toronto for most of the match, even when shorthanded. Were it not for Califf’s red card, the match may indeed have turned out much differently. The youngest team in MLS has proven that it has both heart and fire, but has also shown itself to be a bit undisciplined at times and has hurt itself with costly mistakes. These things can be expected with a mostly young expansion club, but with tough matches upcoming manager Peter Nowak needs to drill a little more discipline into his fiery young Union 11.

The Philadelphia Union are off and running in their first-ever season with a 1-2-0 record through the first three matches. Their next match will again be on the road, this time with a visit to the New York Red Bulls at 4pm next Saturday, April 24th. The match will be covered on local cable TV by the ABC Live Well network, available on Comcast and most other services.

Live Well will cover nine Union matches (including the next three), 6ABC will cover six matches, three matches will be covered nationally on ESPN2, and six will be covered by Fox Soccer Channel. As of right now, there are three matches whose local broadcasts are yet to be determined.

Stay tuned here at my website for updates on all of the Union matches throughout the season.