Friday, January 18, 2013

What should Governor Corbett Privatize next?

      Tom Corbett doesn't want to be the first governor in over 40 years to only serve one term. He doesn't want to be remembered as "FRACKING TOM CORBETT!" decades from now when Pennsylvania's tap water is so contaminated you can use it as lighter fluid.
      Nor does he want to be remembered as the guy who as Attorney General took his sweet time going about investigating convicted serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky, and literally killing Joe Paterno.
      Also, Governor Corbett took a lot of campaign contributions from people who had agendas, and if he does get voted out, time is short to meet those obligations.

    So our Governor has strongarmed through a deal to privatize the Lottery. The only stop gap in front of him is that his Successor as elected Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, gets an opportunity to review what has now been pointed out to a possibly not so beneficial financial deal for Pennsylvania. We are going to have to see how that plays out.

    But while the Lottery Soap opera plays, the Governor has put out a Spin off show several years in development, SELL THE LIQUOR STORES!
    I really don't know how I feel about this, I grew up in the Midwest where you can buy Vodka in the grocery store, and beer at the gas station, and I kind of miss that.

    But my main point is that it seems the Governor wants to privatize anything he can to make a buck.
    So I have a suggestion: Why not just privatize all of government, elected officials and all jobs? We could outsource it to the far east like everything else and save Billions. No more crisis with the public employees retirement system!
    I'm sure there is a Company somewhere overseas that could import laborers willing to work for a dollar a day.

     By now you have to realize I am not serious, and I am making light of the stuation.
    The truth is I want the residents of Pennsylvania to wake up and take a look at what the elected legislature, controlled by one party, and their elected Governor, of that same party are doing. We need to ask ourselves if this is what  WE THE PEOPLE of Pennsylvania truly want, or what people of a ideology bent on enforcing their will on a majority through decades of gerrymandering want.

   I ask my fellow voters: Is selling the Lottery and Liquor stores at the top of your priorities for our Government? I always thought it was about better management, not selling of the crown jewels for a short term fix. But that is what it looks like.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

PA State Senator Daylin Leach Suspects that some of his colleagues are smoking Pot

I just love our state legislature. A few years back I tried to get a job there, bur I failed. Still, it seems to be one of the most funfilled places in America for doing mischief and getting away with it.

   Yesterday on a radio show, State Senator Daylin Leach, a guy known for a wicked sense of humor, told the interviewer that he suspected a number of our elected representatives are users of marijuana.
   Read all about his comedy HERE.

   Now we all know those rascals are not above midnight pay raises, sweet heart car leasing deals, and giving themselves the best health care anyware, while restricting care for kids living in poverty.
    So why the uproar over the idea that a few might be using a little wacky tobaccy?

    We have had several of our local legislators get a DUI (or two or three) Remember Rep Thomas Druce from Bucks County and his vehicular homicide that he tried to cover up?. In 2005 We had a state rep claim he took the midnight pay raise so he could replace his furnace. (We promoted him to Judge, because he did pay it back.)

    I could go on and on, but it has occurred to me that the legislature might have a higher percentage of criminals than the general population. Maybe the next time we need a new state prison we could just convert a building on the State house grounds? With their generous health plan, we might even offer them medicinal marijuana to help them cope with their terms, be it in the legislature or prison, or maybe both simultaneously. I'm sure John Perzel, Vince Fumo, Mike Veon, and Bill Deweese would be okay with it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dennis Pearson: Allentown Mayoral Candidate.....Really?

From Time to Time, I get some stuff in the rumor mill that makes me blink. The most recent is that East Allentown/Rittersville Neighborhood Association President Dennis Pearson is considering the possibility of challenging current Mayor Ed Pawlowski in the primary.

   Now Stop Laughing. I know you are laughing, STOP IT!

   Okay, you stopped. Now think about it. Dennis has been a community activists for decades. He has run unsuccessfully for State Representatice and an at large County Commissioners seat, and he does have name recognition. He has lived in Allentown all his life, and he does know the ins and outs on just about every local issue.

   But really, could you imagine how a debate between Mator Pawlowski and Dennis Pearson might play out?! I honest to God wish I lived in Allentown so I could sign a nominating petition for Pearson. He might not have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, but by God, it sure as hell would be entertaining!

Teacher is a Porn Star? if only our local School Districts had these kinds of Problems

Everybody was shocked recently when a new kid showed up for his first day of classes at William Allen High School packing heat.
    I wasn't amazed at all that it was someone in authority that busted him, and that not one of his schoolmates ratted him out.
   It kind of says something about our culture in that the kids didn't seem fazed at all. Nor should we be surprised that privately there is speculation that there are likely a small number of students carrying in the Allentown school district everyday.
     But if I had a choice between kids packing heat, and Teachers being porn stars, I have to say I would rather live with the latter.
     A three female judicial review panel has ruled that Stacie Halas, 32, is unfit to teach science at Richard Hatdock Intermediate school in Oxnard California.
    So out in California (Where else would THIS happen?) a teacher was fired from her Middle school teaching position after some of the kids in her classes saw those videos online and linked her to them. Remember that 80's hit "I'm hot for Teacher" by Van Halen?  I went to an all male Catholic High School, my study hall was never like that.
   Anyway, in the big picture, as we worry about kids dodging bullets in the class room, why would you fire a SCIENCE teacher who likely can explain sex education better than anybody else in the district?
  Honestly, It would not surprise me if she moved to the Lehigh Valley and was hired right away, either by the East Penn or Parkland School districts, because they spend tax money like drunken sailors. Allentown wouldn't hire her, she's overqualified, they can't afford her, and there's always the possibility that a member of the School board would require her to prove she has adequate experience.

It's Mayhem, not Morning in America

     It has been a month since evil came to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I waited to post until I could do it clearly.   
     Like anyone else, I bow my head in prayer everytime I hear about some nutjob who starts shooting into crowds of unarmed innocents, be it a theater, a school, or anywhere else.
    I don't like that certain weapons are so readily available, and I cringe when NRA "Spokespeople" say the answer is more weapons, and that schools should be patrolled by armed security.
    But trying to control  the availability of assault weapons in this Country is like trying to raise the Titanic and sail it into New York Harbor. There are at best estimates, somewhere between 300 million and 500 million firearms in the hands of private citizens in America.

   Does anybody really think you can get a handle on even 10 % of them that are NOT in the system?


   I wish that we could put a cork in the bottle and lock the genie back in, but I don't think that will ever happen. The only way to even make a dent in this cycle of violence is to make adequate mental health treatment readily available, and in some cases, FORCE People to accept care. Yes, that idea brings about threats that it could be abused, but it is about time that we put the rights of everyone to walk freely and without fear in the community above the rights of a crazy person to scare everyone.

   I have a carry permit. I rarely have need of it, but I like having it on occasion. I believe anyone who can meet the criteria should be able to get one, but I also feel that the criteria could be toughened up. I don't believe that the average citizen has a right to own a semi automatic assault weapon. Firearms have only one purpose: KILLING. And you should only shoot to kill as an absolute last resort to defend your life or the life of another.
      What does it say about American society that we all need to be armed to the teeth to prevent killing each other? Why do we risk allowing people who it is reasonable to suggest aren't always going to act responsibly to have deadly weapons? Why can't anyone see how this circle of violence has evolved in America? We need more firearms to protect us from the firearms that are already out there?

   My bottom line is this: I don't worry about me acting irresponsibly with a firearm, but I do worry about others. Our constitution (at least in my interpretation) guarantees me the right to protect myself and my property from others. I am actually glad that Pennsylvania has the "Castle" defense on the books. I also don't believe I need military grade weapons to ensure that. Either a Mossberg Pump Shotgun or a Glock 9 MM will do me just fine, thank you

    But that doesn't stop stupid crazy people from picking up a firearm (and I mean any firearm, from 22 pistol to an M-16) and randomly firing away. We have all these laws on the books that haven't stopped anyone who commits murder from doing it. What makes us think one more law will make a difference?

   There is a saying that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

   I would add that gun laws don't stop people from killing other people, but I truly believe that a potential victim with their own firearm at least has a fighting chance.
    Now before you go thinking I am actually for arming everybody, I would add that I think arming teachers and bringing more weapons into schools is about a bad idea as there could be. We are promoting a cycle of violence that seems without end. If we start arming teachers and having armed officers patrolling the schools, we are telling kids that to expect violence is the norm, not the exception.  We are turning up the speed on the evolution of our culture into what some might call the "Culture of Death."  So who is to blame?
      We can't blame video games.

      We can't blame Hollywood

       We can't blame Firearm Manufacturers
       We can't blame the media

        We can't blame the Government for not protecting us.

        Again, who should we blame?


          This is the America that we have made. We voted for the politicians, we buy the stuff that the ad people market to us. They sell us what their surveys tell them we want, and like it or not, we seem to like what we have got. The Allstate Insurance Commercial has it right, they say the "Mayhem" Commercials are the most popular they ever had. Mayhem, just what America wants, and just what America gets.

        We made this country what it is. If we don't like where it is headed, it is up to us to change it, and change starts with each and every individual. I don't know where to start, but I do know we better start soon.