Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ohio Township Judge Makes A Way For Tea Party Constitution Day Rally

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ohio Tea Party

Ohio Tea Party rally at the Cuyahoga County Fairground, Berea, Ohio, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP photo)

( – A district court judge in Northern Ohio ruled late Wednesday that Tea Party activists will be able to celebrate Constitution Day on Sept. 17 with a rally in tiny Andover Township, Ohio, despite the fact that the township initially tried to block the event because it was too political.

As previously reported, the trustees of Andover Township denied the Andover Tea Party chapter use of the public square at the center of town based on the group’s “political affiliation.”

The group wanted to use the square for a rally with patriotic singers to commemorate Sept. 17, 1787, the day the U.S. Constitution was implemented.

But on Aug. 25, the trustees sent a letter saying: “Due to your group’s political affiliation, in our opinion as a case by case option we are denying your request to use Andover Township Park.”

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a libertarian legal group in Ohio, filed a request in federal court for a temporary restraining order on Sept. 10. The center’s executive director, Maurice Thompson, pointed out the irony in the Tea Party’s First Amendment rights being infringed upon as they sought to celebrate the same document in which it is contained.

“The first thing you note is the extreme irony of the unconstitutional prohibition of the commemoration of the Constitution,” Thompson told

“(A)nd the second thing that’s notable is either the extreme arrogance or ignorance of many local government officals," said Thompson. "There’s so much focus on federal government, yet some of the worst actors are at the ground level.”

Thompson described the case as “pretty straightforward,” and said he expected a ruling in his clients’ favor before the event, citing a call with the judge in which the judge told the township they were “not in a very strong position here.”

Indeed, Judge Donald F. Nugent granted a “preliminary injunction that shall remain in effect until further notice,” allowing the Andover Tea Party group to go ahead with their planned rally.

At a later date, Nugent said he will determine the case on the merits, deciding whether the authority cited by the trustees violates the First Amendment rights of the Tea Partiers to peacefully assemble.

In their letter, the trustees cited a 2006 resolution, Andover Resolution 06-104, which “prohibit(s) any for-profit advertising or political signs on the Andover Square” and that permission to use the square would be made by the trustees “on case by case bases.”

“You know, the First Amendment is something that everybody knows enough about to make this an easy issue,” Thompson said. “These people again are either ill-intentioned or thoughtless -- we really don’t know which. Either is bad government.”

Members of the Andover Township board of trustees did not respond to’s requests for an interview.

IHOP Restaurant Takes On IHOP Prayer Group

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(CNN) -- IHOP has filed a lawsuit against a church group called the International House of Prayer claiming that the group is illegally using the pancake house's famous acronym.

The legal flap started earlier this month when the International House of Pancakes filed the lawsuit in a federal court in California.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based church group "selected and adopted the International House of Prayer name, knowing it would be abbreviated IHOP. IHOP-KC intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization," the lawsuit says.

Lawyers from the pancake restaurant say the odds are stacked against the church group and provided the court with pages and pages of documentation of websites, newsletters and signs on buildings where the prayer group allegedly used the IHOP acronym.

The use of the acronym infringes on the restaurant's trademark, the restaurant contends.

So, IHOP, the pancake house, is asking a judge to get IHOP, the church group, to stop using the letters IHOP.

The restaurant says it has used the acronym for more than 30 years


JMC Ministries Response

Written By: Miranda Caverley

To be quite Honest we are not surprised that IHop (pancakes) Is sueing IHop (prayer) We follow the International House of Prayer and I commented once saying, "I just don't see how they can use IHOP when the Pancake Restaurant is using it as well. I bet there will be a lawsuit in the near future." We ourselves have seen other ministries have to either shut down a website or even a facebook group because they used the name of someone elses already existing business or organization.

We hope that IHOP and IHOP can get this worked out as easily as possible and they both can continue in their work, one feeding the body and one feeding the soul.

Team Of Americans Head To Chile' To Help Rescue 33 Men In Collapsed Mine

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At the San Jose Mine, Chile (CNN) -- Brandon Fisher has the deep orange hue of someone who has a sunburn on top of a sunburn. The creases under his eyes are evidence of how little sleep he has had lately.

Fisher and a small crew of American drillers are the tip of the spear for Plan B, one of the three drilling teams racing to rescue 33 trapped miners buried 2,300 feet below the ground.

It's a high pressure assignment expected to continue for months in Chile's remote and unforgiving Atacama Desert.

Fisher's crew has been working around the clock for more than a week. Despite the grueling schedule, he said he's up for the challenge.

"We have got humans in the ground. It doesn't matter if they are Americans or Chileans," Fisher said Monday in his first interview since arriving in Chile eight days earlier.

"We have the ability to help them out, and that's the whole reason we are here. Miners are miners; it doesn't matter what country they are from."

Fisher is based in Berlin, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the state's mining country thousands of miles from Chile. His company, Center Rock Inc., aided in the rescue of nine miners who were trapped for more than four days after the 2002 collapse of the Quecreek Mine. He has drilled oil, gas and water holes and the foundations for the Trump Tower in Chicago, Illinois.But those assignments pale in comparison to the difficulties of rescuing 33 men who became trapped August 5 when the copper and gold mine they were working in collapsed around them.Fisher became involved in the rescue effort when the company that distributes his custom-made drills in Chile put the Chilean government in touch with him."They understood our plan," Fisher said of the Chilean government. "Hopefully we will get a hole in the ground successfully."Creating that "hole" -- as the drillers call it -- is as risky as a tightrope walk over a minefield as the drill attempts to widen a 5-inch opening previously drilled when rescuers were searching for the missing miners.Eventually Fisher's drill bits could widen the hole to a diameter where the miners would be rescued one at a time in a specially designed cage.

43.6 Million Americans Living In Poverty The Highest Since 1960''s

The number of people living in poverty has climbed to 14.3 percent of Americans, with the ranks of working-age poor reaching the highest level since at least 1965.

The Census Bureau says that about 43.6 million people, or 1 in 7, were in poverty last year. That's up from 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent, in 2008.

The number of people lacking health insurance rose from 46.3 million to 50.7 million, due mostly to the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession. Congress passed a health overhaul earlier this year to extend coverage to more people.

The statistics released Thursday cover President Barack Obama's first year in office, whenunemployment climbed to 10 percent in the months after the financial meltdown.

The median — or midpoint — household income was $49,777.

U.S Home Foreclosures Highest Since The Mortgage Crisis Began

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LOS ANGELES -- Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis.

The increase in home repossessions came even as the number of properties entering the foreclosure process slowed for the seventh month in a row, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

In all, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month, up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009, RealtyTrac said.

August makes the ninth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis. The previous high was in May.

Banks have been stepping up repossessions to clear out their backlog of bad loans with an eye on eventually placing the foreclosed properties on the market, but they can't afford to simply dump the properties on the market.

Concerns are growing that the housing market recovery could stumble amid stubbornly high unemployment, a sluggish economy and faltering consumer confidence. U.S. home sales have collapsed since federal homebuyer tax credits expired in April.

That's one reason fewer than one-third of homes repossessed by lenders are on the market, said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac.

"These (properties) are going to come to market, but very slowly because nobody wants to overwhelm a soft buyer's market with too much distressed inventory for fear of what it would do for house prices," he said.

As a result, lenders are putting off initiating the foreclosure process on homeowners who have missed payments, letting borrowers stay in their homes longer.

The number of properties receiving an initial default notice -- the first step in the foreclosure process -- slipped 1 percent last month from July, but was down 30 percent versus August last year, RealtyTrac said.

Initial defaults have fallen on an annual basis the past seven months. They peaked in April 2009.