Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Moratorium on the Death Penalty in PA is wrong

        There are so many issues that our new Governor has to deal with, and I never thought that the Death Penalty would be one.  The issue here is that the Governor is disregarding his oath of office to upheld the laws of the Commonwealth. By refusing to do his duty as Governor, he is disregarding the will of the people.
        We have a justice system that I admit is flawed, but that is why we rarely execute anyone in Pennsylvania, and over 200 citizens are sitting on death row. The legislature passed laws making the Death Penalty part of our legal system. A Governor signed those acts into law.

      They have not been repealed.

      So until such day as the citizens of Pennsylvania see fit to elect a legislature with a directive to change the law, then it is the duty of those presently elected to office to govern by those statutes.

      For the record, I believe all life is sacred, but to protect the greater welfare of the community, we need the deterrent of a Death Penalty for those with a wanton disregard for the lives of others. You can disagree with me all you want, just respect my right to disagree with you, and we can all live together in peace. It is not as hard as some would make it out to be.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't Poke the Bear (AKA Lehigh County DA Jim Martin)

       So today in the paper, I read that Our local Law enforcement Grand Poobah has filed a defamation suit against a local Blogger. Said Blogger, whose name will not be mentioned here, has had an issue with how the County's Top Law enforcement officer handled a case concerning a crime in which the Blogger's daughter died due to the actions of another. The Blogger felt that the DA was not as interested in the pursuit of justice as he could have been.
      Depending on your perspective, that argument could be made about every criminal prosecution. Victims likely feel that criminals aren't getting punished enough, while criminals may feel that they are getting an extra heavy handed version of punishment.
      The Blogger feels that the DA didn't do a good enough job, and has spent what is now approaching nine years since the crime publicizing his opinion of that.  I have personally researched a lot of cases handled by the District Attorney's office over the years, the one that always bothered me the most was how the Charles Cullen (So called Grim Reaper Nurse) case shook out. I had questions on the lack of cooperation by the DA's office with the families who were suing the hospitals. But that is done and over with. The courts resolved it, and it is done. There was no sense in picking a fight with the DA that was not winnable.  Others were hot to trot to slam the DA, but I thought it was irresponsible, and not just a bad idea to post unfounded accusations, innuendo, and opinions not based on facts on the Internet. If you can't prove without any doubt that something is true, you should not post it, or go on local media and spout it as Gospel. Even if it is true, you should consider if there is any benefit to bringing it up for discussion. There are consequences to picking fights just for the hell of it.
      
        Which brings me to one of my favorite memories from growing up. Whenever I, or any of the neighbor kids got in a fight, after breaking it up, My Mom would regale us with the story of why we should never, "Poke the Bear."  The idea was we should never go looking for a fight, because you never know when the person you pick a fight with just might turn on you and kick your sorry ass.
         In the often told Bear story, a farmer decided to shoot the bear living in a cave at a far off point of his property even though the bear had never posed a threat to him or his livestock. The farmer was just being mean, and only wounded the bear. Sure, the bear COULD have been a threat, but he lived his life and more or less left the rest of the world alone. Unfortunately, the Farmer couldn't resist the opportunity to poke the bear by shooting him, so after getting shot the Bear then mauled the farmer, and the Farmer ended up dying. Then the Game Warden came, and killed the Bear.
        Once again, The moral of the story was, don't start a fight for the hell of it, because in the end, nobody wins.

        The Blogger has been poking DA Jim Martin for far too many years, and now the Bear has turned to come and get his pound of flesh. All stories end differently to some degree. The game warden in this case is going to be a judge. The only thing I am certain of is that no one is going to win.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How many More?

Another shooting today. In Seattle. Please tell me, how many more have to die? I am a military trained handler and owner of firearms. I have a concealed carry permit.
  I am a responsible, trained handler of firearms.
     Yet we allow any fricking nutcase the right to buy weapons and ammunition. The NRA supports this. I can't support that. The NRA needs to rethink its' priorities. Thank You.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Two Southwest Lehigh County Townships announce Merger!

   In an announcement that did not really come as a surprise, Officials from Upper and Lower Macungie Township today made public their plan to merge and create one municipality of 80,000+ citizens.
     This new town will be called "JAINDL" after the family that owns all the available farmland/eventual warehouse space. It is expected that Macungie and Alburtis Boroughs will succumb to pressure and allow themselves to be absorbed into "JAINDL".
    Some residents might complain, but they will likely be distracted by their bluetooth while driving and soon forget what they were complaining about. Resistance is futile.

    APRIL FOOL!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

John Hangar hangs it up....and some theoretical poll results

    And then there were five Democrats running for the Pennsylvania nomination for Governor. After turning in his signatures earlier this week, John Hangar announced today that he is withdrawing, citing a lack of funding as the major reason. That leaves State Treasurer Rob McCord, Philly area Congresswomen Alyson Schwartz, Businessman and poll leader Tom Wolf, Former DEP secretary Katie McGinty, and former State Auditor Jack Wagner.
    Want to know what the top secret formula says right now, if the election were held today?

       Wolf             29%
       Schwartz       23%
       McCord        22%
       McGinty        15%
       Wagner         11%
     

       Like any poll, these numbers are as reliable as the pile of Cow chips, but with over 30 variables in the equation, give me some credit for trying to predict something. It is thoughtful to note that if Schwartz and McGinty could combine their support, one woman could defeat all three of the men.

       It is more than two months until Primary day, and I believe there will be a monumental shift in the support landscape once the financial forces the candidates have are brought to bear. It all depends on who launches the best campaign offensive. I personally don't believe Tom Wolf can beat Corbett. On that regard I fully expect his lack of experience in government to become a central issue.

       I believe that Kathleen Kane's decisive win in 2012 for Attorney General shows that Pennsylvanians are more likely to vote for a woman to replace Corbett than a man. It is my personal opinion that Schwartz should have kept her seniority in Congress. It is too late now to withdraw and throw her support behind McGinty, so it is entirely likely that the vote of women across the State will be split between the two, allowing either McCord or Wolf to be the nominee. In that case, Corbett's chances for winning another term improve drastically. I am not writing that he will, but that it makes his task easier. The Corbett campaign will be merciless in their attacks no matter who the nominee, and despite all the protestations, negative campaigning on the whole, always works.

Monday, March 3, 2014

America Should stay the hell out of the Ukraine situation

  I think what Russia is doing is wrong. I think it amounts to nothing more than bullying because they don't like those who have taken power. But I also think it is a family dispute that America should stay out of. International law be damned, i don;t believe America should involve itself in this dispute. The best analogy I can think of, is this: What id Texas or California decided to secede from the United States? Their economies are big enough, and what if Russia told either of those two states they would support them? The United States would be miffed about a foreign power intervening in what would, for all intents and purposes, be a family dispute. We need to consider that Russia has bitten off more than they can chew, and let them try to digest it. We are not the world's policeman, as much as we would like to be. Let Russia stew in its' aggression. They have to live with it. We should not. The Ukraine is not worth World War three. You can disagree all you want, but look at the situation long term. We did such a great job with afghanistan and Iraq, who are we to tell Russia how to handle Ukraine?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lehigh County Commissioner Vic Mazziotti protests too much.

                We are almost two full months into The Tom Muller Executive administration, and the County Commissioners finally approved Dan McCarthy as Tom Muller's right hand man.
                The irony here is that the hold up was Bull crap concerns from the "Reform" caucus of commissioners having concerns about how giving McCarthy the job would bolster his pension more than $8k a year. Even after McCarthy graciously offered to publicly turn down the added benefit, the caucus played games with his appointment, not letting an absent Commissioner vote by phone.

      The irony is that Vic Mazziotti lead the attack against McCarthy.

      That is right, Vic Mazziotti. The same Vic Mazziotti, who after winning election to his Commissioner seat in November 2011, stayed at his then job as Fiscal Officer for Northampton county until March 2012.
      That gave him 6 years on the job in Northampton County, fully vesting him in his pension, at over $40K a year. At the same time, he cut a side deal up in Luzerne County to work part time for another $3k a month.
        Sort of like the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it?  Even after McCarthy publicly offered to disavow taking the extra pension, Mazziotti kept up the attacks.

     Vic Mazziotti has no place to question anybody getting a public pension, when he is as bad a pig at the trough than anyone he could point a finger at.

      The man did little to help John Stoffa in Northampton County during his years there, but he made sure he got paid. The working people get annoyed when people like Mazziotti slide by, getting paid to do nothing, and then when they do move their bones, it is only because they are politically motivated. For a guy whose entire campaign was financed by a very small circle of extremists, claims of partisanship in appointments rings hollow. It would be in the best interests of Lehigh County if in November of 2015, Mr Mazziotti finds somewhere else to spout his special brand of extremism. This is year three of the reform team, and they have not kept ONE of their campaign promises.

      They promised to repeal the 16% tax hike. That didn't happen. In reality, because of the forced ill advised property reassessment, approximately half the the residential home owners in Lehigh County had their taxes go up. The problems that existed in January 2012 are still here. They have done little to address them. Instead they have picked fights on hot button political issues such as benefits for same sex partners to draw media attention. If you can't solve a problem, create one that you can, seems to be their thinking. But even then, they aren't all that successful.

  I can give the "Reform" team members an appropriate campaign slogan for 2015:

    "We create the Problems, so You can find your own Solutions!"

   A little long for a bumper sticker, but with the money they have to throw around, they can afford a billboard or two.

   When Mazziotti and crew were running for office, they claimed they had a plan. Two plus years in, they still haven't unveiled it. Maybe they are afraid the NSA is listening to their phone calls, or President Obama has a spy satellite monitoring their every move, I don't know. But at this point, I don't think believe they have any plan at all other than just to screw everything up worse than it ever was.