Once A Community Organizer, Always A Community Organizer

President Obama has reentered the political scene. He is in the process of buying a beautiful waterfront home on Martha’s Vineyard. He is also involved in an organization called “Redistricting U.” The organization’s website is Allontheline.org.

Here is some information from the website:

  • “I’ve always believed that training is at the heart of organizing. It’s why I made it a priority in my 2008 campaign and throughout our larger movement for change in the years since. … The movement for fair maps will determine the course of progress on every issue we care about for the next decade. And we can’t wait to begin organizing when the redistricting process starts in 2021. We need to build this movement from the ground up – right now.” — President Obama
  • As a campaign of the National Redistricting Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, All on the Line’s primary purpose is the advocacy and the promotion of social welfare. However, in limited instances, and only when consistent with our values and mission, All On The Line may engage in grassroots electoral work.
  • All On The Line is a campaign of the National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF), an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), which is chaired by Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States.
  • The All On The Line campaign began, in part, when NRAF combined forces with Organizing for Action, an organization founded by Obama aides that grew out of President Obama’s campaign infrastructure. The power of ordinary people coming together to enact change is central to the beliefs of President Obama and Eric Holder, and they are both active in this effort and supportive of this campaign.

The states targeted by this organization for redistrict6ing are Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It is interesting that all but one of these states voted for President Trump in 2016. President Trump lost in Colorado by less than 5 percent.

So what is this really about? President Obama is watching his legacy being destroyed as President Trump is rebuilding the American economy. President Trump is on track to be reelected despite the efforts of the mainstream media and the hysterics of the Democrat presidential candidates. Redistricting reform is the name President Obama is giving to his efforts to make sure President Trump is not reelected.

 

The Auto Industry Has Lost A True Innovator

CNN is reporting today that auto industry icon Lee Iacocca has died. He was 94. He is credited as having played a major role in the creation of the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler minivan. As someone who has driven Ford Mustangs since the early 2000’s, I am grateful for his inventions.

The article reports:

Born Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 15, 1924, to Italian immigrant parents, he would go on to lead two major American car companies.

Iacocca started working at Ford Motor Company in 1946, and was a major figure in the development of the Ford Mustang — the first vehicle of its kind. He was named president of Ford in 1970, but was fired by Henry Ford Jr. in 1978.

“I began my life as the son of immigrants, and I worked my way up to the presidency of the Ford Motor Company,” Iacocca wrote in his 1984 autobiography. “When I finally got there, I was on top of the world. But then fate said to me: ‘Wait. We’re not finished with you. Now you’re going to find out what it feels like to get kicked off Mt. Everest!'”

He was then hired by Chrysler Corp. in 1978 and became the company’s CEO in 1979. He is credited with saving the company from bankruptcy.

Iacocca urged Congress to authorize the Treasury Department to guarantee $1.5 billion in bank loans for Chrysler. Chrysler needed the bailout to survive back to back recessions in the early 1980s. Chrysler repaid the loans early. Treasury made money on the stock it received as part of bailout packages.

With the help of more fuel efficient and competitive products such as the so-called K-cars — which included the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant — Chrysler became strong and profitable again.

Iacocca led Chrysler during an era in which Asian and European imports first started to take a significant share of the US automakers’ portion of the American car market.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, my husband was commuting 50 miles to work each way. We owned a significant number of K-cars during that time. I hope Lee Iacocca is spending his time in heaven designing a new breed of sports cars for angels to take for a spin!

He was truly an American success story.

This Is Good News

CNS News reported on Thursday that Pennsylvania has passed a law making Female Genital Mutilation as a first-degree felony in that state.

The article reports:

Currently, 32 states have laws against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), but women and girls are unprotected in 18 states, including Pennsylvania.

Murt added, “My bill has been endorsed by the AHA Foundation, established by human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in 2007 to promote freedom from FGM, honor violence and forced marriages.”

He continued, “According to the group, more than 500,000 women in the United States are at risk of this procedure—166,000 women under age 18. The organization ranks Pennsylvania 11th in the nation for this risk, with more than 19,000 women at risk for the procedure, 6,000 of them under the age of 18.”

This is not a benign procedure. The procedure is painful and often done without proper anesthesia. The healing period is long and painful. The procedure can also cause frequent urinary infections in women. It can also cause problems in labor and the delivery of children. This is not an acceptable practice–it is barbaric. It should be outlawed regardless of its acceptance in some cultures. It is not acceptable in America.

Actions Have Consequences

Most Americans strive to preserve the environment, despite how the more radical environmentalists portray them. The problem occurs when there is a small risk to the environment but a benefit to people.  Anything civilization does will probably incur a small risk to the environment, but benefits and risks need to be weighed carefully. New York State is paying a price for the actions of some of its more radical environmentalists.

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about some consequences of recent environmental activist victories.

The article reports:

If you know anything about New York in the modern era (both the state and the Big Apple), you’re likely aware that it’s not exactly a friendly landscape for the oil and gas industry. The “Keep it in the ground” crowd has a lot of influence with the Democrats who control the government. That why, back in 2013, when the new Constitution Pipeline was proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s rich shale oil fields to New York, activists were able to block the construction despite it already having been approved by federal regulators. Similarly, when National Grid (the local energy consortium) requested an extension to the Williams Co. Transco pipeline, they were also tied up because of the outcry from environmental activists.

Here comes the surprise that nobody could have possibly seen coming. The city and its surrounding downstate region are still expanding with new construction projects, but their energy suppliers have told them that they will not be able to supply natural gas to any new customers because they’re already at capacity.

The article concludes with some interesting irony:

The additional ironic twist to all of this is they don’t even need those long pipelines to begin with. Or at least they wouldn’t need them if they were thinking clearly. The southern section of upstate New York is sitting on some of the richest natural gas deposits in the country in the form of the Marcellus Shale deposits. It’s the same formation delivering all of that natural gas over the border in Pennsylvania. But Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic buddies pushed through a moratorium on any and all natural gas drilling and it’s still in place today.

The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.

I guess if you live in New York, you’d better make sure you have a working fireplace that you can cook on. The environmentalists put questionable science over the practical needs of people.

More Good Economic News

The following is a Press Release from U.S. Steel:

U. S. STEEL ANNOUNCES STATE-OF-THE-ART STEELMAKING TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT AT MON VALLEY WORKS

PITTSBURGH May 2, 2019–United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) announced today it will invest more than $1 billion to construct a new sustainable endless casting and rolling facility at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, Pa.,and a cogeneration facility at its Clairton Plant in Clairton, Pa., both part of the company’s Mon Valley Works. The cutting-edge endless casting and rolling technology combines thin slab casting and hot rolled band production into one continuous process and will make Mon Valley Works the first facility of this type in the United States, and one of only a handful in the world.

“This is a truly transformational investment for U.S.Steel.We are combining our integrated steelmaking process with industry-leading endless casting and rolling to reinvest in steelmaking and secure the future for a new generation of steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania and the Mon Valley,” said David B. Burritt, President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S.Steel. “U.S.Steel’s investment in leading technology and advanced manufacturing aligns with our vision to be the industry leader in delivering high-quality, value-added products and innovative solutions that address our customers’ most challenging steel needs for the future. We believe that adding sustainable steel technology to our footprint will create long-term value for our employees, our region, our customers and our investors.

The installation of endless casting and rolling technology will give U.S.Steela world-class asset that will improve the quality and attributes of its downstream products for customers in appliance, construction and industrial markets. With this investment, Mon Valley Works will become the principal source of substrate for the production of the company’s industry-leading XG3™ Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) that assists automotive customers in meeting fuel efficiency standards. This project, in addition to producing sustainable AHSS, will improve environmental performance, energy conservation and reduce our carbon footprint associated with Mon Valley Works. First coil production is expected in 2022,contingent upon permitting and construction.

With this investment, U.S.Steel continues its more than a century-long commitment to innovative steelmaking in Pennsylvania. The technology will allow for optimization of the Mon Valley Works and other U.S.Steel facilities without increasing the company’s overall steelmaking capacity. The new endless casting and rolling facility will replace the existing traditional slab caster and hot strip mill facilities at the Mon Valley Works. Current and future employees will enhance their skills with more advanced manufacturing to operate and maintain the new facility through training programs developed in partnership with local universities.

As part of the project,U.S.Steel will also include construction of a new cogeneration facility, equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control systems at its Clairton Plant,to convert a portion of the coke oven gas generated at its Clairton Plant into electricity to power the steelmaking and finishing facilities throughout U.S.Steel’s Mon Valley operations.

Once completed, the new advanced steelmaking technology and state-of-the-art cogeneration facilities will incorporate the best available control technologies. Based upon current design and engineering data that is accompanying our air permit applications, we expect that the project will result in significant improvements in emissions compared to the existing facilities to be replaced, including reductions in emissions of Particulate Matter (PM) of approximately 60%, PM10 and PM2.5 of approximately 35%,sulfur dioxide of approximately 50%,and nitrogen oxides of approximately 80%. The project exemplifies our continued commitment to conserve resources and improve air quality in the Mon Valley.

Additional details on the investment, including an investor presentation,can be found at http://www.ussteel.com/MonValleyInvestment.

President Trump’s economic policies are working for everyone.

What Were These People Thinking?

Unfortunately politics is a blood sport. That is nothing new. It has been that way since the days of Julius Caesar.  Fortunately, not everyone in our nation who votes sees things that way. Many of us voice our opinions, but have no interest in threatening or promising to embarass people who do not do exactly what we want them to do. But there will always be a few people who say things or act in ways that actually harm their cause rather than help it.

Hot Air posted an article today that makes me wonder about the mentality behind a particular political campaign.

The article reports:

Supporters of Democratic candidate Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania’s First District have been going house to house and leaving some door hangers reminding people to vote. Nothing wrong with that message, of course, but these particular pieces are being described as Orwellian because of the implied threat they contain. Rather than simply saying you should get out and vote, the hangers have a cheerful message reminding the resident that records of whether or not you voted are public.

This is the door hanger:

I strongly believe everyone should vote. However, I wonder if this door hanger is helpful to the cause.

Private Property Rights

According to The American Policy Center:

In a “Fifth Amendment” treatise by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (12/10/97), he writes: Our state, and most other states, define property in an extremely broad sense.” That definition is as follows:

“Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.”

The right of use has come under fire in recent years. One instance of property rights being violated occurred recently in Pennsylvania.

Yesterday Todd Starnes posted the following:

The owners of a Pennsylvania farm have been ordered by the Sewickley Heights Borough to cease and desist holding Bible studies on their private property.

Borough leaders accused Scott and Terri Fetterolf of improperly using their 35-acre farm as a place of worship, a place of assembly and as a commercial venue.

They were served a cease-and-desist order in October 2017, the Post-Gazette reported.

The Independence Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the farmers against the borough alleging an egregious violation of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the lawsuit, the Fetterolfs were threatened with fines of $500 per day plus court costs for having Bible studies at their home, having meetings where religious songs are sung, conducting any religious retreats for church leaders or seminary students or conducting any religious fundraisers.

The article concludes:

The lawsuit accuses the government leaders of violating religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and equal protection.

“Government should not target religious activities for punishment, particularly when similar secular activities are permitted,” attorney Jeremy Samek said. “In America, no government can categorically ban people from assembling to worship on one’s property.”

To that point, the lawsuit alleges the borough allows other activities and gatherings – ranging from political rallies to a Harry Potter event.

So if government leaders allow muggles to cavort in Sewickley Heights Borough, they should afford the same rights to Christians gathering for Bible study on private property.

There are situations where it might be appropriate to limit a home Bible study–if parking becomes a problem in the neighborhood or if the noise level was inappropriate. However, this was on a farm–I doubt there was either a noise or a parking problem. This is simply an illegal attempt to limit religious activity, and I suspect the Sewickley Heights Borough will lose the case in court. However, the thing to remember here is that in many cases the people holding the Bible study would not have the resources to fight the case in court. There are a number of legal advocates for Christians under attack that are handling this sort of case. We should all be grateful for these organizations–they are protecting our right to the free exercise of our religious beliefs.

We Might Want To Deal With This Before November

The Washington Times posted an article today stating that The Public Interest Legal Foundation has identified more than 100,000 noncitizens who are registered to vote in Pennsylvania.

The article reports:

More than 100,000 noncitizens are registered to vote in Pennsylvania alone, according to testimony submitted Monday in a lawsuit demanding the state come clean about the extent of its problems.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which has identified similar noncitizen voting problems in studies of Virginia and New Jersey, said Pennsylvania officials have admitted noncitizens have been registering and voting in the state “for decades.”

But state officials have stonewalled PILF requests for access to the data that could expose the problem, the group says in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Harrisburg.

“For months, Pennsylvania bureaucrats have concealed facts about noncitizens registering and voting — that ends today,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said.

He said Pennsylvania had already admitted to a “glitch” dating back to the 1990s that had allowed noncitizens applying to renew driver’s licenses to be offered the chance to register to vote. Mr. Adams said he now wants to find out how bad the problem is overall.

Pennsylvania officials wouldn’t respond to the lawsuit, nor to the 100,000 noncitizen number.

The article further reports:

The PILF did manage to obtain some records from county officials and filed some of their findings in the new court case.

One man, Felipe Rojas-Orta, canceled his registration last year, filing a handwritten note saying he was not a citizen. He had, however, registered as a Democrat and voted in three separate elections, including most recently 2016, the year of the presidential race.

Another woman had her registration canceled in 2006 as a noncitizen, yet re-registered to vote twice — and cast ballots in some elections. That woman is still active in the system, the lawsuit says.

The federal “motor-voter” law requires states to make voter registration available at motor vehicle bureaus, but also pushes states to try to keep their voter roles clean. Under the law, private parties can sue to press states to perform the cleansing.

It is time to end “motor-voter.” States need to confirm the citizenship of people who are registering to vote. Noncitizens voting in our elections is a much more serious problem than any interference by foreign governments. It is also time for states to purge their voting records of dead people. There was a situation locally where a person checked the voter rolls and found out that there were three people claiming her home as residence in order to vote that did not live there. It was very difficult to get those people removed from the voting rolls. If we want honest elections, one place to start would be to clean up the voter rolls.

Some Of This Actually Makes Sense

On December 12, a website called Energy in Depth posted an article about some of the negative claims made about shale drilling in Pennsylvania. At this point, it might be a good idea to note that much of the negative information published about fracking has been funded by Saudi Arabia. Might it be that American energy independence is a threat to the middle east monopoly of energy?

At any rate, the article reports:

  • There was no identifiable impact on death rates in the six counties attributable to the introduction of unconventional oil and gas development. In fact, the top Marcellus counties experienced declines in mortality rates in most of the indices.”
  • “The proportion of elderly-to-total population increased significantly in the top Marcellus counties compared to the state. Based on this fact, death rates in these six counties would be expected to increase, but this expected increase did not occur.
  • Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in infant mortality in the top Marcellus counties, as the mortality rate significantly declined (improved), even surpassing the improvement of the state.”
  • “Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in deaths related to chronic lower respiratory disease (including asthma) in the top Marcellus counties, as the overall chronic lower respiratory disease mortality rate declined (improved) or was variable for the six-county area. The only exception was Greene County where the increased mortality rate was consistent with the increase in the elderly population.”
  • “During the period that unconventional gas development was introduced to these counties, the trends reflected a positive economic change in the area. Therefore, any increases in the death rates in the top Marcellus counties cannot be associated with negative changes to the economic viability of the population.”
  • “Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in deaths related to cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, influenza or pneumonia, nephritis or nephrotic syndrome, or septicemia in the top Marcellus counties, as the mortality rates significantly declined (improved).”

The article reminds us that the money brought into the community through the development of natural resources actually increased the longevity of the citizens as the average household income and employment in these counties improved. In a nutshell, people with more disposable income often eat better and get better healthcare. That may not be fair, but that is the way the world works.

The article concludes:

The new report adds to the growing body of research that shale development is protective of public health, and has led to reductions in local air pollution.

The full report is available here. Mickley (Study author Sue Mickley) also recently discussed the report on Shale Gas News. Click here to listen to the interview.

 

When The Government Tries To Control Families

The American Spectator posted a story today that illustrates how twisted the government’s involvement in families can be.

One night on his way home from work, Greg Euston was involved in an auto accident. As a result of the accident, he was partially paralyzed. His parents stepped up to the plate to help with his care.

The story reports:

Today, Greg works from home as a software engineer. Next year, one son will graduate from college, and the other will begin his service in the U.S. Navy. While Greg still needs help with daily care, he has succeeded at the most important task that we parents face. He provides a loving home, education, and parental guidance for his children.

Getting in and out of bed, dressing, meal prep, and almost all other daily tasks require assistance. For 13 years, Greg has had an aide for 40 hours of every week. Tom and I take turns going to Greg’s house in the evenings. We rarely spend the night under the same roof.

This isn’t a job for us. This is caring for our son. This is necessary.

However, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf didn’t see it that way.

The article continues:

Like us, most of Pennsylvania’s 20,000 home care workers care for a family member or close friend. We learned of this scheme by mail when we were asked to elect the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania — a partnership of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to represent us against our “employer.”

To represent us against our son.

Mr. Wolf went out of his way to share our names and contact information, without our consent or request, with those unions. The governor further stacked the deck by lowering the standard participation requirements for union elections. In the end, the union won with just 13 percent of home care workers voting “yes.”

I’m not opposed to unions, but forced representation? How could a union possibly improve our family’s situation? So far, the only “improvement” they propose is to limit when and how we care for our own son.

What’s in it for the union? As much as $8 million in dues annually. It’s a case of political payback, pure and simple.

AFCSME and SEIU were two of the largest contributors to Mr. Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign, donating nearly $1.5 million between them.

This is an example of elected officials working against the interests of those who elected them and for the interests of big donators. This was on the state level, but obviously things are not any different on the federal level. The fact that the unions can make large donations to candidates is the reason I support the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. If unions can buy candidates, corporations should also be able to buy candidates. At least that provides some degree of balance. If the people of Pennsylvania are smart, they will remove Governor Wolf from office when the next election occurs. If they do not remove him, they deserve what they get. In the end, the voters decide what level of corruption they are willing to tolerate.

 

Sometimes You Just Have To Wonder What Motivates People

In the 2016 Presidential Election, the third party candidates received about 4 percent of the votes. That is a combined total. Most estimates say that Jill Stein received about 1 percent of the vote. So why is Jill Stein demanding a recount? What does she have to gain?

Fox News posted an article today pointing out that Jill Stein’s call for a recount in several states has received twelve times more news coverage from ABC, NBC, and CBS than her campaign.

The article reports:

When Jill Stein was the Green Party’s candidate for U.S. president, the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) only gave her 36 seconds of coverage. However, as soon as she launched a campaign to contest the presidential election and demand a recount of ballots in several key states, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC managed to find 7 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage for her in just four days.

On November 26’s NBC “Nightly News,” anchor Lester Holt began a story on the recount by implying that the election may not be over yet, “if you thought the presidential election was behind us, word came today from the Hillary Clinton campaign that it will back the state-wide election recount effort put on by third party candidate Jill Stein in three key battle ground states.”

So what is going on? We all remember how the media treated Donald Trump. We all remember that the media did not want Donald Trump elected or his policies to be put in place. Why? Because the news media and the Democrats have a working system that pays well and provides access. Donald Trump is a threat to that system. Any doubt that can be thrown into the election results can be used to de-legitimize the Trump Presidency and the Trump Administration. That is part of the story. But there is even more. Jill Stein ended her campaign with serious campaign debt. She has already raised more money for the recount than she did for her campaign. (It would be interesting to know where the recount money is coming from.) The excess money raised for the recount can be used to pay off her campaign debt. Hillary Clinton has signed on to the effort because it keeps her in the spotlight in the hopes of running again in 2020. That is the only way foreign governments will continue paying large amounts of money to hear Bill Clinton speak or donate large amounts to the Clinton Foundation. There is no chance that the election results will be overturned (and a strong possibility that voter fraud on the part of the Democrats in Wisconsin may be discovered–The Gateway Pundit).

Get out the popcorn–this is going to be interesting.

The Definition Of Chutzpah

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning shameless audacity; impudence. Every now and then, I find a really good example of the concept.

Yesterday Fox News posted a story about a group of refugees suing a school district in Pennsylvania because they feel that the district is not providing the quality of education they are entitled to.

The article reports:

“[The] Plaintiffs are refugees who have fled war, violence, and persecution from their native countries,” reads a statement from the lawsuit. “Having finally escaped their turbulent environment to resettle in America, these young immigrants yearn to learn English and get an education so they can make a life for themselves.”

The refugees hoped to enter McCaskey High School, known for its superior academic program, but instead were sent to Phoenix Academy, an alternative high school for “underachieving” students in the district. Phoenix students are subject to pat-downs, banned from bringing personal belongings like watches and jewelry and forced to wear colored shirts that “correspond with behavior.”

I would like to point out that there are also American students who were not permitted to attend McCaskey High School who attend the Phoenix Academy. Why should the refugees get preferential treatment?

The article reports:

Officials for the school district say the six students were sent to Phoenix for a special program geared towards their needs.

“[The District] believes the lawsuit is without merit,” Superintendent Damaris Rau said in a statement. “We are confident we are doing an excellent job supporting our refugee students who often come to school with little or no education.”

A special “acceleration program” at Phoenix was created for under-credited students, both refugee and non-refugee, which gives them the opportunity to earn credits toward a high school diploma by the age of 21, Rau said.  

At Phoenix, the students receive various services including remedial services, English classes for Second Language Learners, after school programs, job and computer skills as well as mentoring services, Rau added.

I wish the refugees well, but I find it rather amazing that a lawsuit would be brought when you consider that these refugees are being given a free education and whatever aid they need to help them settle here. I am sorry that they have been placed in a school that may not be the best in their city, but it seems to me that they need special classes in English and other skills that the school they are attending is providing. I really think that suing the school district is tacky.

And The Next Step Is?????

There is such a thing as a slippery slope. In terms of upending the concept of traditional marriage–a union between one man and one woman– that slope began with Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. This was the case that struck down sodomy laws in Texas and thirteen other states. While I question the idea of the government having any jurisdiction in what goes on between consenting adults in their own homes, this case opened a true Pandora’s Box. Those who support homosexual marriage say that there will be no further definition of marriage other than to allow homosexual couples to marry. However, that does not seem to be the case. Yesterday World Net Daily posted a story showing a situation that should give pause to all of us.

The story reports:

Norman MacArthur and Bill Novak, father and son, though not biologically, will soon be husband and … whatever, reports the Patch of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

The pair, both in their 70s, have been together for 50 years and registered in New York City as domestic partners in 1994. But when they moved to Pennsylvania, they discovered their domestic partnership wasn’t recognized, and legalized same-sex marriage was nowhere on the horizon.

…When the United States District Court declared unconstitutional Pennsylvania’s marriage laws prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional in 2014, Novak and MacArthur wanted to tie the knot in marriage, but their earlier legal gambit now became an obstacle. Pennsylvania law doesn’t permit marriage between parents and children.

…So, a week ago, the father and son’s Petition to Vacate Adoption Decree was approved, and the pair simply became two single men now allowed to marry.

So let’s look at this. They were not actually father and son, so they were able to dissolve that relationship in the courts. However, what would happen if a parent and child wanted to marry? Could the parent disown the child and proceed? Homosexual marriage redefines the traditional definition of marriage. To people who hold a Biblical view of homosexuality and of marriage, it is not acceptable. To people who simply believe in tradition, homosexual marriage in not acceptable. There are two possible answers here that might make things a little more palatable for both sides–one is to simply make marriage a civil matter and let the churches perform whatever marriages they choose (no penalty to churches who do not want to perform homosexual marriages) or to give civil unions the same legal rights and benefits as marriage. Neither is a perfect solution, but I believe both are fair to each side of the argument.

The gay community needs to understand that there are people in our society that simply do not condone what they are doing–just as they often do not condone the practice of Biblical Christianity. Equal under the law is not a concept that allows people to randomly sue other people who do not share their views. Unfortunately our society has forgotten that. We have had thousands of years where marriage was between a man and a woman. This has been an important building block of our civilization, and I believe we tamper with that building block at our own risk.

 

 

This Is Definitely The Other Side Of The Story

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article at Page Six about Valerie Gatto, Miss Pennsylvania, a contestant in the Miss USA pageant.

The article reports:

Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto, 24, who will compete for the Miss USA crown on Sunday, told NBC’s “Today” show that she wants to use her mom’s rape experience to teach women to be more aware of sexual assault.

“Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” she told the network.

“Being a voice is life-changing, and I just want to keep going.”

The article goes on the explain that her mother was raped in Pittsburgh–a man attacked her on a busy street and dragged her behind a building. The man had intended to kill her mother, but was frightened off after the rape.

The article concludes:

Now the pageant contestant uses the traumatic experience to teach others about the reality of sexual violence.

“Unfortunately, we have to be aware of these crimes,” Gatto told “Today.”

“I hope to show others how to be proactive, what to do, to be present, to be aware of your surroundings.”

She said that she hopes that winning the Miss USA pageant can provide her with a larger platform to educate and inspire people.

“There’s not that many role models for young women out there today that are actually positive and uplifting,” she told the Tribune-Review.

“That’s why I got into pageantry.”

Gatto graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, pursued acting opportunities, and most recently won the crown in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant.

Wow.

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Rewriting History For A Generation That Doesn’t Remember It

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The attacks of September 11th in New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania happened almost 13 years ago. There are many people in America under the age of 20 that have only vague memories of those attacks. We need to make sure we tell them the truth about the attacks. It would behoove us to realize that the people who initiated those attacks are still at war with us, even if we are no longer at war with them.

Well, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is hoping that as we remember those attacks in the museum that will open shortly at the site of the New York City attacks, we will forget what caused them.

CNS News posted an article today about the efforts of CAIR to urge organizers of the museum to edit a video presentation on al-Qaeda, to remove terms such as “Islamist extremism” and “jihadism.” That is the equivalent of removing the word Nazi from World War II history books about Germany.

The article reports:

CAIR said in a statement that the use in the video of terms like “Islamist extremism” and “jihadism” – and the “generalizing” way in which they are used – “conflate Islam and terrorism and carry the risk of misinforming museum visitors, particularly those unfamiliar with Islam.”

“After repeated requests to correct misrepresentations, the film ignorantly implies a religion, rather than a group of criminals, was to blame for the September 11 attacks,” said CAIR-NY board member Zead Ramadan. “Instead of unifying all Americans against evil-doers, this film continues to offensively cast suspicion on faith rather address the terrorist act.”

Note to CAIR: the people who hijacked the planes shouted, “allahu akbar.” That is not the shout of dedicated Methodists.

The hijackings of 911 were done in the  name of allah. The Koran encourages this sort of activity. Rewriting history does not change the facts, just as acting as if we are not at war with radical Islam does not change the fact that they are at war with us.

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Prayer Before Meetings Backed By The Supreme Court

Yesterday Reuters posted an article on the Supreme Court’s decision to allow prayer before public meetings. Please note that it was a five to four decision. Our right to prayer at public meetings was upheld by one vote.

The details of the decision can be found at the Supreme Court’s website. The decision included the following:

An insistence on nonsectarian or ecumenical prayer as a single, fixed standard is not consistent with the traditionof legislative prayer outlined in the Court’s cases. The Court found the prayers in Marsh consistent with the First Amendment not because they espoused only a ge- neric theism but because our history and tradition have shown that prayer in this limited context could “coexis[t]with the principles of disestablishment and religious freedom.” 463 U. S., at 786. The Congress that drafted the First Amendment would have been accustomed to invocations containing explicitly religious themes of the sort respondents find objectionable. One of the Senate’s first chaplains, the Rev. William White, gave prayers in a series that included the Lord’s Prayer, the Collect for Ash Wednesday, prayers for peace and grace, a general thanksgiving, St. Chrysostom’s Prayer, and a prayer seeking “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.” Letter from W. White to H. Jones (Dec. 29, 1830), in B. Wilson,Memoir of the Life of the Right Reverend William White, D.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Pennsylvania 322 (1839); see also New Hampshire Patriot & State Gazette, Dec. 15, 1823, p. 1 (describing a Senate prayer addressing the “Throne of Grace”); Cong.Globe, 37th Cong., 1st Sess., 2 (1861) (reciting the Lord’s Prayer). The decidedly Christian nature of these prayers must not be dismissed as the relic of a time when our Nation was less pluralistic than it is today. Congress continues to permit its appointed and visiting chaplains to express themselves in a religious idiom. It acknowledges our growing diversity not by proscribing sectarian content  but by welcoming ministers of many creeds. See, e.g., 160

America is a Christian country. There is room for everyone here, but at its root, America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Congress has chaplains and opens with prayer. This ruling gives local government bodies the right to open in prayer also.

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The Dangers Of An Unjust Judge

Today’s New York Post featured the story of former Judge Mark Ciavarella, a Luzerne County Pennsylvania judge, who is now serving 28 years in prison for accepting $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit prison facility to house the teenagers he was sentencing to jail for minor infractions.

Kids for Cash is a movie that tells the story of some of the families that were impacted by the judge’s dishonesty. The trailer for the movie can be found on YouTube:

The stories of some of the children impacted by this dishonest judge can be found at the website kidsforcashthemovie.com. Please follow the link and read the stories. After you read the stories, take some time to hug your children today.

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Unsettling News

Even as we focus on budget battles and the problems of the ObamaCare website, there are still other things going on in the world. One of the more disturbing stories to come out this week was about another possible dry run for a future 911-style attack.

Yesterday The Week posted an article detailing an internal memo from the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, which warns of “several cases recently…of what appear to be probes, or dry runs” of 911-style attacks.

The article reports:

It’s common practice for potential terrorists to carry out dress rehearsals of their planned attacks, and most major terror strikes of the last few decades have involved a dummy-run of some sort. Some have even accidentally involved celebrities.

Before al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in western Pennsylvania, killing almost 3,000 people, they carried out a number of dry runs — including one on a flight carrying Oscar-nominated actor James Woods. Four of the future attackers were apparently sitting in first class with Woods on the Boston to Los Angeles flight, and behaved so strangely — sitting erect in their seats and staring ahead for the whole flight — that the veteran Hollywood star called the FBI the day after 9/11 to report his unsettling experience.

As long as radical Islamists exist, we will have the threat of terrorism. The hope is that if there ever is another 911-style attack, passengers will react like those on Flight 93 (only this time successfully landing the plane).

This is very unsettling news, but hopefully we have learned from past experiences.

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Found On Facebook

Patriot Graves

Of all the dangers facing our country, perhaps the greatest danger of all is the one that still doesn’t make many headlines — our collective national amnesia. Our history textbooks are sanitized to be politically correct and give our children little sense of the greatness of the nation they live in. The Founders are seldom mentioned unless it is part of a controversy about slavery or some other scandal.

I am often struck by how often decent American kids have nothing good to say about their own country. Their knowledge of the sacrifices made to establish and preserve their freedom is virtually non-existent. They are the recipients of the greatest freedom and opportunity that any society has ever produced, yet they are unaware of the price in flesh and blood that was paid for it.

At my father’s table, I learned love of country in a way that only a Marine could teach it. Dad taught me that patriotism wasn’t a theory — it was flesh and blood, real sacrifice and pain. You are your children’s most important teacher. They are listening.

This weekend, as we celebrate Memorial Day, tell your children about the sacrifices that had to be made to stop the march of fascism and the cancer of communism. Tell them about the beaches of Normandy and the Bataan Death March. Tell them about why there was a Berlin Wall and how free men brought it down.

Remind them about 9/11, what happened at the Pentagon and over the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Take just a minute in the next three days to teach them to love the things we love and honor the things we honor.

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It All Sounds So Sensible…

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation aimed at taking handguns and assault rifles away from 20,000 Californians who acquired them legally but have since been disqualified from ownership because of a criminal conviction or serious mental illness.

Now on the surface, that sounds like a really good idea, but let’s take it apart for a minute. Who determines the disqualification? Can one person determine the disqualification?

The article reports:

“This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

This law allows for confiscation of guns from ‘potentially dangerous individuals.’ Gun confiscation is definitely not part of America‘s tradition. I have recently posted a few articles that really make me wonder about what this law would be like down the road.

On April 6, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a U.S. Army training instructor listing Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with Al Qaeda and Hamas during a briefing with an Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania, Would Christians have their guns confiscated under the California law because they were seen as ‘potentially dangerous?’

On April 12, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a New York man who had his guns confiscated because his 10-year-old son talked to some his classmates about bringing a water gun, paintball gun, and BB gun with them to the house of a schoolyard bully. He was told he could get his guns back when his son is eighteen and moves out of his house. Needless to say, there is a lawsuit making its way through the courts.

On March 28, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about attempts to take Second Amendment rights away from America’s veterans.

There is a pattern here. The guns are being confiscated not only from criminals, but from law-abiding citizens deemed dangerous. The thing the lawmakers have forgotten here is that the guns most criminals have are not registered and they are not likely to be confiscated. Therefore, all you have done is to disarm law-abiding citizens because some authority considers them a threat. That is not a really good idea in a free society.Enhanced by Zemanta

The Grand Jury Report In The Kermit Gosnell Case

Kermit Gosnell is the abortionist on trial in Philadelphia for killing babies. I am not going to print the Grand Jury Report because they are so disturbing, but here is the link.

There are many aspects of this case that are very troubling. How did this man find people who were willing to work with him in this abortion center? Why haven’t the pro-abortion groups come out with a statement every day condemning what went on in this abortion center? Why did the neighbors who heard the babies cry keep silent?

I hesitate to compare abortion to the Holocaust, but there are some parallels. There were people willing to participate in murder, neighbors kept silent, and the clinic had been operating for more than ten years. The government also complied by not holding abortion clinics to the same standards as other medical facilities.

This is an excerpt from Grand Jury report:

We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed. Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent:

It is by design

Many organizations that perform safe abortion procedures do their own monitoring and adhere to strict, self-imposed standards of quality. But the excellent safety records and the quality of care that these independently monitored clinics deliver to patients are no thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. And not all women seeking abortion find their way to these high-quality facilities; some end up in a filthy, dangerous clinic such as Gosnell’s. There the patients have to depend on DOH oversight to protect them – as do babies born alive, and helpless but viable fetuses after 24 weeks of gestation. Yet no protection is forthcoming. State health officials knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury. These officials were far more protective of themselves when they testified before the Grand Jury. Even DOH lawyers, including the chief counsel, brought private attorneys with them – presumably at government expense. Gosnell’s clinic – with its untrained staff, its unsanitary conditions and practices, its perilously lax anesthesia protocols, its willingness to perform late-term abortions for exorbitant amounts of cash, and its routine procedure of killing babies after they were delivered by their unconscious mothers – offers a telling example of how horrendous a Pennsylvania facility can be and still operate with DOH “approval.”

It is ironic to me that one of the reasons that the pro-abortion movement gave for legalizing abortion was that it would put an end to expensive, back-alley abortions and thus make women safer. This clinic was worse than any back-alley abortion and had the added ability to prescribe drugs (one patient was killed by an overdose of the drugs prescribed). I doubt that we can put the toothpaste back in the tube and put an end to the abortion business, but those who support unlimited abortion need to know that it has become a very lucrative industry and that genuine compassion for women is not part of the current picture–it’s about the money.

I need to mention at this point that I understand that there are circumstances when abortions are necessary for medical reasons. In those cases, I have no problem with a doctor performing an abortion in a hospital under ideal conditions. I would also like to mention that I am not sure that women who have abortions come through the procedure without emotional scars regardless of how ‘easy’ the procedure may seem. Many years ago I was asked to play the piano at a memorial service for an aborted baby. The mother was in counseling, and her counselor had recommended that the mother have a memorial service for the aborted child as part of her emotional healing from the abortion. I have also known a number of women who were unable to have children because of the scarring after a legal abortion. We need to think about the emotional and physical toll of this procedure.

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Something To Think About

A friend sent me a link to the video below. I admit I wasn’t sure what to think when I watched it. Then I saw an article at Fox News that really caused me to wonder. Please watch, and draw your own conclusions:

The lead paragraph in the article at Fox News:

A U.S. Army training instructor listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with Al Qaeda and Hamas during a briefing with an Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania, Fox News has learned.

…The incident occurred during an Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on extremism. Topping the list is Evangelical Christianity. Other organizations listed included Catholicism, Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, Sunni Muslims, and Nation of Islam.

The military also listed “Islamophobia” as a form of religious extremism.

Army spokesman George Wright told Fox News that this was an “isolated incident not condoned by the Dept. of the Army.”

There needs to be a serious investigation of who put this training brief together. This sort of ridiculousness is happening at a time when the American military is refusing to use the world Islamic terrorist and has declared the Fort Hood shootings as ‘workplace violence.’ Something is very wrong here.

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Sometimes There Really Is A Cost To Ignoring The Constitution

The Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” do many of our current lawmakers not understand?

I know you can twist the words in ninety directions to attempt to change what they say, but the words are pretty straightforward. Anyway, a state is about to pay a price for choosing to ignore those words.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article yesterday about a new gun law about to be signed by Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. The bill limits magazine capacities. The executives at Colorado-based Magpul, a company that manufactures high-capacity magazines, has announced that if the Governor signs the bill they will leave Colorado for friendlier venues and take hundreds of jobs with them. Two legislators from the State of Pennsylvania have already put out the welcome mat for the company.

The article reports:

A Colorado-based magazine manufacturer said it would leave the state if the new restrictions were passed, taking hundreds of jobs with it. Democrats tried to ease the concerns from Magpul Industries, saying the company can still manufacture higher-capacity magazines if they were sold out of state.

Waller blasted Democrats on that amendment, saying it was hypocritical because they are telling the company “you can sell (magazines) at any other place where any of these tragic shootings have happened.”

Waller called the exemption “a monumental inconsistency in their thought process.”

What was the message here? Colorado won’t allow people to purchase high-capacity magazines because that will supposedly decrease violence, but they’re happy to export them to other states? One can’t blame Magpul for failing to trust Democrats to leave that loophole open for very long, not after their demonstration of hostility to Magpul’s industry.

I will admit that I don’t know why anyone needs a high-capacity magazine, but when the government starts limiting something it never seems to know where to stop. From what I have heard from people who know, high-capacity magazines jam easily and are actually not as deadly as lower-capacity magazines in many cases. At any rate, this law is an infringement–something the Second Amendment says is not allowed.

We need more Americans like the executives of Magpul who are willing to stand up for what they believe.

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From A Friend On Facebook

This is not new, but it is more relevant every day:

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. This guy’s response is Hilarious, but read The State’s letter before you get to the response letter.

This is an actual letter: State of Pennsylvania ‘s letter to Mr. DeVries: SUBJECT: DEQ … File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20;Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity.. A review of the Department’s files shows that no permits have been issued Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2013.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries: Re: DEQ File
No.. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr..Price,

Your certified letter dated 11/17/09 has been handed to me. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run, Pennsylvania .

A couple of beavers are in the process of constructing and maintaining two wood ‘debris’ dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials ‘debris.’

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. (Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam concern is, aren’t the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation — so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.

The Department’s dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.

If you want the damed stream ‘restored’ to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers — but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers’ Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2013? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice by then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.
THANK YOU, RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS

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