Saturday, January 4, 2014

It has been an interesting 60 days.....

   Since I last posted. That is what happens when you work for an employer that mandates 6 day, 60 hour work weeks and makes a big deal out of giving you one day off, like it is a big favor. But it is a job, so I should be thankful.
    But what I am really thankful for, are the wonderful publicity hound politicians that populate our world, near and far.
    Starting close to home, the man who spread more Bull $H#T than anyone in Northampton County History, Ron Angle, has angered his neighbors by spreading human waste to fertilize his farmland. If I know Ron, he didn't buy it from a supplier, he likely drained it from his own septic system to keep it from bursting from holding his family's lifetime supply.

     Statewide, between Fracking, attempting to privatize the Lottery and the State Liquor Stores, has there ever been a bigger failure of a Governor than Tom Corbett? The Price of gas went up a wee bit on the first of the year, forcing regular citizens to pay more, while Frackers still don't pay anywhere near their fair share as they continue to destroy Pennsylvania's watershed and environment. Thanks TOM! I suppose you figure it will all even out when we can get gas from our tap, but by that time, it will likely be cheaper to buy water by the bottle from WaWa than the Lehigh County Authority.

     Let us talk about Marriage:

      Anybody besides me see the total irony in that Same Sex couples are getting marriage licenses in Utah, the state that has fought to downplay the fact that Polygamy kind of sort of takes place out there? Can you imagine the issue if a man wanted  three MALE wives, or a woman multiple FEMALE husbands?
      Just goes to show that the bigots should be careful what they are hating on, it just may come back to bite them in the ass in a way they never thought about.
     For the record, I think government should recognize all marriages, but churches should have the right to exercise their beliefs, for or against.

      One more thing that is on my mind.

       Amazon wants the FAA to eventually approve their flying drones, mini aircraft that will deliver packages throughout a metropolitan area. I don't know if it will happen, but I will say this: They are fooling themselves if they think they can deliver everywhere. The drones are to fly at lower than 400 feet altitude, and I can say with certainty that certain aspects of the populace are going to see those things flying by, whip out their firearms, and pretend they are shooting at targets in a carnival game. I can see gangs staking out flight paths between the Amazon launch site and certain high income neighborhoods just to bring them down.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Death in the family

  My Friends:
      On Thursday October 3rd, just after 9AM I authorized a veterinarian to give my dog Sally a lethal injection. She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer on Saturday the 28th. She had a few good days before I saw her take a dramatic turn for the worse around 4 AM Thursday morning, when she couldn't breathe to the point that she could not walk herself to the door to go out.
      I want to share with you a note that the staff at my vet share with me. The Author is unknown:

                      The Last Battle

  If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And Pain should keep me from my sleep
Then will you do what must be done?
  For this-the last battle - can't be won
   You will be sad I understand
   But don't let grief then stay your hands.
   For on this day, more than the rest,
 Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years
You wouldn't want me to suffer so,
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me to where my needs they'll tend
Only stay with me until the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time, you will agree
It is a kindness you do for me
Although my tail it's last has waived
From pain and suffering I have been saved
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing you do
We've been so close - we two these years
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

My wife and I rescued Sally from the Dixon street shelter in Allentown on the fourth of July weekend of 2003. She was an adult Springer/Cocker Spaniel mix in need of a home. The Irony is that she made our home a happier place with her presence. We don't know how old she really was, but we are forever grateful to God for the gift of her presence.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Election Crystal Ball Time!

        November 5th just 44 days away, and that means it is time for what some readers lovingly refer to as my "HALF-ASSED" Predictions.

        I would like to start with Northampton County Executive. I believe that it is highly probable that present Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan will win with, at  the worst, a 60 to 40 % landslide.
   When all is said and done, Bangor Mayor John Brown's political body will be a "moulderin in the grave."
        Bob Donchez will be the next mayor of Bethlehem, no matter what folks might have heard a about a write in campaign from a former Bethlehem City Council member. That uh, candidate is currently indisposed, but I did hear he has a campaign office in Graterford Prison.

         Skipping over to Lehigh County, It appears that running simultaneous campaigns for Mayor of Allentown and Governor of Pennsylvania will not hurt Ed Pawlowski in the least. I appreciate the efforts of Michael Donovan, but I deal in reality. Ed P will get 75% of the vote in Allentown. What hurts him a bit is that City Republicans will come out to vote for Executive Candidate Scott Ott and it should be no surprise if a majority of them vote for Donovan down the ballot. But with a ratio of 2.5 Ds to 1 Rs, It only helps Ott overall, not hurt Pawlowski.

   And that leads us into the Lehigh County Executive race. When it comes to municipal elections Countywide, R's consistently out perform the D's when it comes to turn out, negating the huge D registration edge. That makes this race too close to call. But right now, much to my chagrin, I have to give Scott Ott a 52 to 48% winning margin. It could easily change, and there are a bunch of possible variables that could conceivably shift the balance in he turnout.
    One of those definite variables is the Parkland library funding question. That could bump turnout in the Parkland School district among Democrats in a proportion substantial enough to carry Tom Muller to Victory by itself.
     The other POSSIBLE variable is if the air quality folks in Allentown win their court challenge and get their issue on the Allentown City Ballot. I am not saying either issue will win, what I am saying is they will drive turnout more than the candidates will.

   So there you go, six weeks before V Day.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Collateral damages: In Syria, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions

All over Syria, people are dying. It has been going on for a couple of years now

Let us be honest with ourselves. All we really know is that the evidence is pretty convincing that a chemical weapon was used on civilians There were likely close to 1500 people killed in the use of that weapon, and the photographic evidence shows very clearly that at least more than 400 of the dead were children.  And this was likely not the First time a weapon like this has been used there.

    Do we really know who did it? I ask that question because I think before we play judge, jury and executioner, we damn well better be sure. We know that Syrian rebel forces have captured government facilities around the country. Are we absolutely sure that some rogue Al Queda element could not have done this precisely to provoke the United States and its' allies into a blundered involvement in this slaughter?

      I want to be clear, I have no use for the President of Syria. For decades his family has supported the Hezbollah folks who have launched numerous attacks against United States forces around the world. I remember a marine barracks in Beirut getting bombed in October 1983, killing 240 Marines.
   That was courtesy of Hezbollah, one of the players in the Syrian nightmare playing out live on Al-Jazeera and CNN nightly.

     "The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend." That is terrible logic to try and apply here.

      It is way too easy for politicians to say stupid things about redlines being crossed, and much harder to find the morale high ground to actually do something about it.
      Both sides in Syria repulse me, and part of me wants to see them wipe each other out. But the other part of me knows that as members of humanity, we have a morale duty to protect the Innocents involved and try to find a way to end the bloodshed. I have never met a child that asked to be born into bloodshed.

      Which brings me to my sticking point. Since the Camp David Accords in 1979 that brought peace between Egypt and Israel, the Syrian Government has been busy building up its' own formidable Chemical weapons stockpile to counter a threat it perceived from Israel's Nuclear weapon's program.
     Who helped them with that? Why, Great Britain, Germany, Russia and China, for the most part. That's right, Industry in those countries made a tidy profit helping the Syrians build their arsenal.

   And that's why I think those responsible for giving them those weapons should take the lead in doing something about it. Why does America have to take the lead on this? We are going to be busy enough keeping Israel from getting drawn into the mess. In a crazy side note, Israel has been supplying medical care to Syrian refugees since the fighting started. Compassion knows no borders, why can't common sense?

       Russia is Syria's biggest ally, and the Chinese one of the biggest suppliers of missile technology and equipment. They should be the ones pressing to solve this problem, and getting advice from us, not the other way around. Assad is their guy, they should take responsibility for him.

     Unfortunately, I don't think that will ever happen. I also think we are damned if we do, and damned if we don't

     With all the war crap we got into under the previous President, I never feared the threat of a possible globally involved strife as I do now. You look at the history of what happened at Sarejevo in 1914, and how one assassination brought about a global conflict. Then compare that to Damascus today. I am not a conspiracy theorist or Rapture nut, but I see some serious political dominoes lining up to fall.
      The killing has to stop, so we are going to have to launch Cruise missiles and kill more people, some innocent, some not so Innocent. It reminds me of Vietnam, where we destroyed Villages to save them.

         I don't know what we should do, but I don't want to see us go down that road again. The road is once again paved with good intentions, and most assuredly it is still the road to Hell.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Connection to former Ohio Governor Gilligan.

The former Governor of Ohio, John Gilligan, passed away Thursday. While he was Governor of Ohio, he lived at an address on Parkway boulevard, less than 2 miles from where I Lived just across the railroad track, in East Columbus, Ohio.  I attended St Charles Borromeo Preparatory School in the late 1970's, where I had a teacher who had a great influence on my life. Dr. Michael J. Gilligan, the governors' son. I had him for English my Sophomore year, and British Literature my Junior year. One of the reasons I started writing a Journal when I was 15 years old was because of the urging of Dr. Gilligan. I wrote a paper about a how the song "Hummingbird" by the Duo Seals and Crofts had influenced me, and he gave me an A. He encouraged my literary interests, and I continued to write everyday, including my time in College at Ohio State University, and especially my several years overseas in Military service.
    I  even got to meet Dr. Gilligan's younger sister Kathy once when she stopped by our campus. That would be Kathy Sebelius, former governor of Kansas and presently a cabinet Secretary for Presient Obama. That is my 6 degrees of separation story. I doubt any of them would ever remember me, but I remember them. May he rest in peace. He made difficult decisions in a difficult time and took responsibility for them. It is a shame so many of today's political elected can't follow his example.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

So Friday, I get a call from my Congressman Charlie Dent

  Yes it was an automated call, but it was a call. It invited me to come to the railroad station in Kutztown at 1:00 PM on Monday, August 26th for a Town Hall meeting. It is taking place at the Railroad station in the 100 block of Railroad street. I am a registered Democrat, my Congressman is a Republican. But my Congressman is also the rightfully, legally elected representative of Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional district, and I respect him. I do wish we had a member of my political party as a representative, but I respect the opinion of my neighbors, and I respect Mr. Dent. I have approached Mr. Dent and his office numerous time with issues that are personal to many of my fellow veterans, and he and his office has always done their best to resolve them. I honestly believe that Mr. Dent is not a "PARTISAN" member of Congress. He represents ALL the people of the 15th fairly. There are times I wish he were more in tune with my views, especially when it comes to healthcare, but I will not disparage a man who takes the time to hear and discuss differing points of view.
    Anyway, Monday, August 26th, there is a Town Hall meeting with our Congressman in Kutztown. I encourage all of you to go, because I will be hard at work in a warehouse, earning money to pay my share of our staggering debt.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Not Neccesarily the news....or is it?

         If you ever want to read a great story on just how all the media goes about manipulating us read this story about how ESPN uses questionable stories to create a news cycle about an issue that has no importance whatsoever. ESPN created a BULLSH#T story about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick completely out of thin air.
        And what should really get you thinking about the mainstream media is a news story today that NBC Television has an episode of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" coming out this fall that has a White Chef based character based on Paula Deen, shooting an unarmed young Black man who she perceives as following her on the street. NBC admits the young black man character is based on Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed when killed by George Zimmerman in Florida last year. They are even PROMOTING the episode already. Read about it here.
        So we have one national media outlet creating news, and another using news to create so called "Fiction." 
   Am I the only one to wonder just how blurred the lines really are? NBC is plainly smushing together two real events to create a fictional story that will raise ratings for a show and earn them money.
   Meanwhile, ESPN is using real people to create events and situations that are really nothing but the opinions of their sport personalities to drive a news story they created, raise ratings, and create revenue.
         So what is news, and what isn't? Can anybody tell the difference anymore? What is news, and what is not?