Monday, June 30, 2008

Where The Hell did...

...June go? It seems like just yesterday, the kiddies were still in school and I was dreading a long, hot summer (summer is my least favorite time of year...I'm fat a big man and I sweat alot suffer the discomfort of the heat and humidity.)

I haven't even made vacation plans yet. Sheesh!

I guess we'll have a family meeting at dinner tonight and decide when and where. I'll keep you posted, but it will most likely be upstate New York (to visit my aunt and uncle-I'll post some pics from previous trips later this week!), with a weekender at the shore later in the summer.

If we finagle it right, we just might be able to fit in a weekend camping trip in the Poconos.


Read Full Text/Comments

Montco Officials Outline Goals for Budget


From: "Castor, Bruce"
To: "Matthews, Jim" "Hoeffel, Joseph"
Date: 6/30/2008 7:50 AM
Subject: Budget review committee
CC: "Graf, Robert" , "Ferman, Risa" , "Becker, Nancy", "Latzer, Steven"


Kindly note that I propose the following persons be added to the budget review committee. In keeping with the limitations set forth by Chairman Matthews, both are of supervisory rank and are aware they may not participate in the review of the budgets for their own departments.

The Honorable Nancy Becker, Recorder of Deeds
Steven Latzer, Esq., Chief of Staff to District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Mr Graf: please add a Resolution for consideration to the next Commissioner's Meeting to reflect the above.

Thank you.

Commissioners consider fiscal concerns for 2009; no plans to increase taxes
(ed. Note: plans to increase taxes YET!)
By MARGARET GIBBONS, Times Herald Staff

COURTHOUSE — While most people are thinking of their summer vacations, the thoughts of the Montgomery County commissioners are on the preparation of the county’s 2009 budget.

The commissioners this week outlined their budget goals.

These goals are:

• Not increasing taxes.

• Maintaining a fund balance sufficient to protect the county’s highly-coveted Triple A bond rating.

• Reducing the county’s complement of fulltime employees.

• Limiting fulltime staff hirings to newly mandated or grant-funded requirements.

The commissioners included these goals in a resolution they passed to formalize the creation of a budget review committee.

This committee, which is composed of senior staff members, performs the initial review of all county departmental budgets.

Prior to putting the committee together several years ago, the county commissioners would do the line-by-line review of each budget.

“It was a seven-to eight-week process that was very draining and laborious, sitting through dozens and dozens of departments and going over such things as toilet paper,” said Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews.

Now, the commissioners use the review committee to go over the preliminary “wish lists” to free up the commissioners’ budget time more for policy issues such as employee healthcare. (Click Link to read the rest of the article:)

The review committee last year slashed some $5 million to $6 million in requests before the commissioners even saw the departmental budgets.

However, while the commissioners used the review committee, they never formalized the creation of such a committee by resolution.

This week’s action took care of that.

In addition to outlining the 2009 budgetary goals of the commissioners, the resolution directs the committee to consider the commissioners’ priorities when conducting their reviews.

These priorities include enhancing economic development, continuing the “greening” of the county through conservation and land preservation and addressing traffic congestion.

Those appointed to this year’s committee are: county Chief Operating Officer Robert W. Graf, who will serve as chairman; Chief Financial Officer Randy Schaible, who will sit as vice chairman; and, Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Maza, Executive Assistant Eleanor Schneider, Solicitor Barry Miller, Health Director Dr. Joseph DiMino and Human Resources Director Peter Leis.

Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., the odd man out in the current administration as a result of a power-sharing arrangement between Republican Matthews and Democratic Commissioner Joseph M. Hoeffel III, noted that most members of the committee are aligned with Matthews, Hoeffel or both.

He asked to appoint his own representative to the committee and Matthews agreed.

Castor said he will submit the name of his representative after giving it some thought since he was not aware that the committee was going to be acted upon this week.

The county this year is working under a $483.8-million operating budget that is financially fueled, in part, by a 2.84-mill real estate property tax.

Margaret Gibbons can be reached at or 610-272-2501 ext. 216.
Read Full Text/Comments

Monday Morning Funnies

Read Full Text/Comments

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Re: Matthews sighting

Seldom welcomed in his old haunts, King James was spotted on Thursday evening perched at the bar at the Blue Bell Inn.

He was witnessed doing what he usually does when encountering most county Republicans these days: Animatedly defending himself waving his arms around like the conductor of a choir trying to explain his back room deal with Democrat Joe Hoeffel.

Except this choir has only a few members and no patrons.

No one is interested in the symphony being conducted by the King.

A symphony of one.

The operative word here is "phony".

Play on King James, play on.

The song may stay the same, but your audience is gone.

The only thing actually missing for you is a fat lady singing next to you.

Read Full Text/Comments


Private joke...
For those of you who know, no explanation is needed.
For those of you who are puzzled, sorry. No explanation will be given.


Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gas Prices "Drove" me to it...

...and, for the last time, she didn't LET me.....

If you are a regular reader, you know that I bought a motorcycle last week. The reasoning behind the purchase was twofold...I love motorcycles (I had one a lifetime ago, when I was too young and too dumb) and gas prices.

I drive both a minivan and a Dodge Durango. The minivan gets decent mileage, but the Durango sucks gas like Monica get the picture. I get about 14 mpg on the highway with the Durango, about 22-24 mpg with the Grand Caravan. Although the Caravan is better on gas, the wear and tear that is a byproduct of both my wife, Karen, and myself driving it to work every day (we work different shifts) is going to put it in a n early grave. Thus was born my decision to buy a motorcycle.

And it wasn't a knee-jerk decision...I'd been toying with the idea for some time now, looking on the internet and at private sales for over a year. I did spend most of the time researching an old school Harley Davidson "bobber"

style of chopper, but finally decided on a cruiser-class bike.

The cruiser I was most interested in was the Truimph "America",

but quickly cast off that pick as the engine wasn't powerful enough to withstand my 6'4" 275 lb frame. I had come to the conclusion that I was destined to be a quadro-tyre drive, when I saw a beautiful, white cruiser class bike in the Plymouth Square shopping center. I was lucky enough to engage the rider in conversation and he quickly extolled the vitues of what he called "metric cruisers", which is politically correct speak for "Jap-Crap".

Anyway, almost 9 months later, I proudly own a "metric cruiser". I've driven it for a week now and it gets around 44 mpg. My lovely wife, Karen was instrumental (emphasis on the mental) in our decision to purchase the bike, with the normal reservations, of course.

She asked me this, two days after I bought the bike: How did spending (dollar figure withheld) save us money? Well, pretzel logic or not, we will see a significant decline in our monthly credit card statement, as I purchase all of our gasoline on my VISA rewards card (and I get to redeem the points for cool hunting and fishing gear!).

My promise to her was that, although I am an experienced rider, I had not ridden a motorcycle for 25 years, therefore I have signed up for the DOT Motorcycle safety course (advanced rider) and will take the course on July 6th.

So, there is the story of how your humble blogger came about buying his motorcycle. It was a mutual decision between my wife and myself, with over a year of research and comparison shopping.

So, when you see my wife out and about, please don't feel the need or urge to ask her why she let me get a bike...
Read Full Text/Comments

Sara Palin, Revisited (Again!)

She's smart, she's beautiful, she hunts and she wants to drill for oil in her home state.

Sarah Palin, though humble, is still my number one (hell, she's my only one) pick for VeeP. C'mon, the right thing!

Meanwhile, watch this 8 minute video of an interview with Governor Palin concerning the above mentioned drilling in ANWR and off the coast of Alaska:

The lady has a lot of class...McCain could do worse for a running mate. Unfortunately, it's probably going to be Mitt. (Sigh)


Read Full Text/Comments

Reading School Super Stands Behind Decision

Reading schools chief stands by decision not to charge Obama campaign
David Mekeel
Reading Eagle

Reading, PA - The Reading schools superintendent is standing by his decision not to charge Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama for a political rally in the high school in April.

Dr. Thomas R. Chapman Jr. renewed the defense Tuesday, a day after Republican board member William F. Cinfici challenged the fee waiver, saying it is possibly illegal and definitely unethical.

District Solicitor John C. Bradley Jr. said he would have a legal opinion by Thursday.

Chapman refused to say what he would do if Bradley said it was illegal.

"That's a hypothetical," he said. "I don't answer hypotheticals."

Cinfici said waiving the fees to use the Geigle Complex was an in-kind campaign contribution. He wants the district to bill Obama. (click link below for the rest of the article)

Cinfici said waiving the fees to use the Geigle Complex was an in-kind campaign contribution. He wants the district to bill Obama.

Chapman responded Tuesday: "Certainly I can understand Mr. Cinfici's questions or perspective. But I believe the decision to treat the event as an educational one is and was appropriate."

Lawrence M. Noble, a political attorney for the Washington, D.C., law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said it isn't clear who is right.

According to Noble, the general rule is that the waiver might not have been a contribution if the district has a history of waiving similar fees for other organizations.

Cinfici conceded that the district has granted such waivers in the past, including for the inauguration of Mayor Tom McMahon.

Cinfici also rejected a suggestion that it was all right to waive a fee for Obama because his former opponent, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, also was offered free use of the Geigle Complex in the days before the Pennsylvania primary.

"We invited both likely presidential candidates to come to Reading (High School)," Chapman said. "My belief is that our children benefit from those types of events."

Clinton turned down the offer because Obama had reserved the April 20 time slot she wanted. She held her rally in Wilson High School on April 19 instead and paid that district $6,460.

Had Obama been charged, the bill would have been $6,500, Chapman said Tuesday.

Cinfici said he doubted it was legal for the district to excuse presidential candidates from fees other groups are required to pay.

And even if it is legal, Cinfici said, a waived fee is a political contribution.

He said he strongly doubted that the district is allowed to contribute to political campaigns and even if it is he still has two objections.

The first is that it is unethical to use taxpayer money to benefit a particular candidate. The second is the Obama campaign was not sent an itemized bill of the in-kind contribution for its campaign finance report.

Representatives from the Federal Elections Commission said they could not comment on the issue because if a challenge is filed, the FEC would have to hear it.


The School Board Solicitor has given an opinion! Click here to read the article in today's READING EAGLE.

Read Full Text/Comments

King James the Turd Sighting!

We have a sighting...details to come shortly.

Image altered in Photoshop
for my own general amusement!


Read Full Text/Comments


State Rep Mike Gerber's (D-148) dad passed away yesterday.

Although we are on different wavelengths politically, my most heartfelt condolences go to out the Gerber Family during this difficult time.


Read Full Text/Comments

Funny stuff

I just finished reading this article (Rendell says it may be time for Bill Clinton to 'get over it') that I found on GrassrootsPA, and had to chuckle when I read the comments section:

Kick Hillary to the Curb June 26th, 2008 11:37 am ET

I don't think Ed Rendell is over it!!!!!! He will never get re-elected as PA governor, it's Bob Casey's chance now!!!!!
Obviously, people that are clueless to the fact that Fast Eddie Rendell cannot run again as Governor shouldn't be so bold as to comment on a political subject.

I wonder if Barry Miller posted this?


Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Definition of "Political Correctness"

I'm sure some of you have seen this at one time or another, but I just discovered it last evening and decided to share it with you:

“Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional liberal minority and by the main-stream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”
I couldn't find anybody to attribute the quote to, but suffice to say I didn't write it (although I wish I had!)

Have a great day.


Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Without a doubt, Obama has to pay-up. I know, as treasurer for my committee, I can't take a postage stamp without listing it as a contribution in kind. For the school district to give away to Obama something they usually charge for is, in fact, a contribution to his campaign. The key principle in the determination is this–it is something of value? Answer: brainer.

They'll try like hell to spin this differently, probably something like we don't welcome change.

Anyway, HT to JCS for this article.

The Associated Press

READING, Pa. - A Reading school board member says he doesn't think it was legal for the district to waive fees associated with a Barack Obama rally at the high school.

William Cinfici (sin-FEE'-see) says waiving the fees associated with the April rally represents an in-kind donation to the Democrat's campaign. He says that's illegal and unfair to taxpayers.

Other board members say the decision to waive the fees is not illegal. School officials say they don't know exactly how much the fees would total.

Cinfici has asked the board's solicitor to look into whether it was legal.

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton held a rally at nearby Wilson High School and was charged $6,460. Clinton won the state's April 22 primary, but Obama has since earned enough delegates to be the party's presidential nominee.


Information from: Reading Eagle,
And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

PA Grandfather is Charged in Death of Grandson

I don't pretend to know case law on any of this, but, do they really have to charge the guy with anything? I'm sure there was no malice involved, nor was it intentional.

Somehow, it's hard to fathom this guy suffering any more than he has been since this terrible tragedy happened. Letting him mourn with his family and put this terrible ordeal behind him is probably the best outcome for all involved.


6/23/2008, 1:25 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

MEDIA, Pa. (AP) — A suburban Philadelphia man has been charged in the death of his grandson who was left inside the man's SUV on a sweltering day nearly two weeks ago.

Delaware County authorities charged 59-year-old Edward Kanterman on Monday with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 14-month-old Nicholas McCorkle.

Authorities say Kanterman forgot to drop the toddler off at daycare the morning of June 10 and drove to work at the CHI Institute, where he left the child in the back seat. He discovered Nicholas about five hours later.

Prosecutors say the temperature inside the vehicle was 110 degrees and the child's internal temperature was 107.2 degrees when he arrived at the hospital. Nicholas was taken off life support five days later.

Kanterman is free on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Read Full Text/Comments

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Hippy-Dippy Weatherman Turns in His Umbrella

George Carlin, irreverent comedian, dies at 71
By Mel Watkins
Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin, the Grammy-Award winning standup comedian and actor who was hailed for his irreverent social commentary, poignant observations of the absurdities of everyday life and language, and groundbreaking routines like "Seven Words You Can Never Use on Television," died in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He was 71.

The cause of death was heart failure, according to Abraham.

Carlin began his standup comedy act in the late 1950s and made his first television solo guest appearance on "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1965. At that time, he was primarily known for his clever wordplay and reminiscences of his Irish working-class upbringing in New York. (click on link to read the rest of this article)

But from the outset there were indications of an anti-establishment edge to his comedy. Initially, it surfaced in the witty patter of a host of offbeat characters like the wacky sportscaster Biff Barf and the hippy-dippy weatherman Al Sleet. "The weather was dominated by a large Canadian low, which is not to be confused with a Mexican high. Tonight's forecast . . . dark, continued mostly dark tonight turning to widely scattered light in the morning."

Carlin released his first comedy album, "Take-Offs and Put-Ons," to rave reviews in 1967. He also dabbled in acting, winning a recurring part as Marlo Thomas' theatrical agent in the sitcom "That Girl" (1966-67) and a supporting role in the movie "With Six You Get Egg-Roll," released in 1968.

By the end of the decade, he was one of America's best known comedians. He made more than 80 major TV appearances during that time, including the Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show; he was also regularly featured at major nightclubs in New York and Las Vegas.

That early success and celebrity, however, was as dinky and hollow as a gratuitous pratfall to Carlin. "I was entertaining the fathers and the mothers of the people I sympathized with, and in some cases associated with, and whose point of view I shared," he recalled later, as quoted in the book "Going Too Far" by Tony Hendra, which was published in 1987. "I was a traitor, in so many words. I was living a lie."

In 1970, Carlin discarded his suit, tie, and clean-cut image as well as the relatively conventional material that had catapulted him to the top. Carlin reinvented himself, emerging with a beard, long hair, jeans and a routine that, according to one critic, was steeped in "drugs and bawdy language." There was an immediate backlash. The Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas terminated his three-year contract, and, months later, he was advised to leave town when an angry mob threatened him at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club. Afterward, he temporarily abandoned the nightclub circuit and began appearing at coffee houses, folk clubs and colleges where he found a younger, hipper audience that was more attuned to both his new image and his material.

By 1972, when he released his second album, "FM & AM," his star was again on the rise. The album, which won a Grammy Award as best comedy recording, combined older material on the "AM" side with bolder, more acerbic routines on the "FM" side. Among the more controversial cuts was a routine euphemistically entitled "Shoot," in which Carlin explored the etymology and common usage of the popular idiom for excrement. The bit was part of the comic's longer routine "Seven Words That Can Never Be Said on Television," which appeared on his third album "Class Clown," also released in 1972.

"There are some words you can say part of the time. Most of the time 'ass' is all right on television," Carlin noted in his introduction to the then controversial monologue. "You can say, well, 'You've made a perfect ass of yourself tonight.' You can use ass in a religious sense, if you happen to be the redeemer riding into town on one — perfectly all right."

The material seems innocuous by today's standards, but it caused an uproar when broadcast on the New York radio station WBAI in the early seventies. The station was censured and fined by the FCC. And in 1978, their ruling was supported by the Supreme Court, which Time magazine reported, "upheld an FCC ban on 'offensive material' during hours when children are in the audience." Carlin, refused to drop the bit and was arrested several times after reciting it on stage.

Carlin released a half dozen comedy albums during the '70s, including the million-record sellers "Class Clown," "Occupation: Foole" (1973) and "An Evening With Wally Lando" (1975). He was chosen to host the first episode of the late-night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" in 1975. And two years later, he found the perfect platform for his brand of acerbic, cerebral, sometimes off-color standup humor in the fledgling, less restricted world of cable television. By 1977, when his first HBO comedy special, "George Carlin at USC" was aired, he was recognized as one of the era's most influential comedians. In the years following his 1977 cable debut, Carlin was nominated for a half dozen Grammy awards and received CableAces awards for best stand-up comedy special for "George Carlin: Doin' It Again (1990) and "George Carlin: Jammin'" (1992). He also won his second Grammy for the album "Jammin'" in 1994.

During the course of his career, Carlin overcame numerous personal trials. His early arrests for obscenity (all of which were dismissed) and struggle to overcome his self-described "heavy drug use" were the most publicized. But in the '80s he also weathered serious tax problems, a heart attack and two open heart surgeries. His greatest setback was the loss of his wife, Brenda Hosbrook, who died in 1997. They had been married for 36 years. Carlin is survived by wife, Sally Wade; daughter Kelly Carlin McCall; son-in-law, Bob McCall; older brother, Patrick Carlin; sister-in-law, Marlene Carlin and long time manager, business partner and best friend Jerold Hamza.
Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, June 21, 2008

CLEAN and Re-Seed

Legislators seek to bring back crime-fighting program
By MARGARET GIBBONS , Times Herald Staff
Sat, Jun 21, 2008

(HT to JCS for the photo)

COURTHOUSE — The disbanded CLEAN (Combined Law Enforcement Agency Network) Team, an elite group of law enforcement officers who focused on quality of life crimes in Norristown neighborhoods, may soon be back on the streets.

State Reps. Jay R. Moyer, R-70th Dist., and Mike Vereb, R-150th Dist., Friday announced they have drafted an amendment to the state’s budget to include a $240,000 allocation designed to serve as “re-seed” money to revive the program.

While millions have been and will be spent on the revitalization of Norristown’s downtown business district, “we can’t lose focus on the neighborhoods,” said Vereb.

“The reality is that no matter how attractive we make the downtown area, no matter how many incentives businesses get to relocate here, people are not going to come unless they feel safe walking down the streets,” said Moyer.

The pair said their decision to offer the amendment was prompted by a recent hearing they held on blighted conditions in the county seat. Several witnesses cited the success of the program and asked that it be reinstituted. (click link to read more)

Their comments came during a press conference the two, flanked by members of the law enforcement community, held on the steps of the county courthouse in Norristown.

County Assistant District Attorney Todd Stephens, the last captain of the CLEAN Team, was among those participating in the press conference.

Stephens said new offices, new parking garages and even new sidewalks are coming to Norristown.

“What strikes me is that, without a dedicated group of law enforcement professionals who are focused on the quality of life for those living and working in Norristown, all of that will go by the wayside,” said Stephens.

“You can build nice sidewalks, but if all you have standing on them are drug dealers and prostitutes, they really do you no good,” said Stephens.

The district attorney’s CLEAN Team, introduced with much fanfare in November 1999, went belly-up on June 30, 2006, citing a lack of county funding.

Instead of funding the CLEAN Team, the county commissioners, over the objections of then-district attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., opted to go in another direction. The commissioners decided to underwrite Norristown’s costs in hiring four new police officers provided that Norristown, using its own funds, matched the hiring of county-paid officers on a one-to-one basis.

The CLEAN Team was the brainchild of both former district attorney Michael D. Marino and Castor. It was designed to help Norristown revitalization efforts by tackling quality of life crimes including littering, graffiti, prostitution, panhandling, outdoor drug sales on street corners and nuisance bars and properties.

The unit initially included more than a dozen county detectives, sheriff deputies, county security officers, Norristown police officers and a county assistant district attorney. However, citing budget and personnel constraints of their own, Norristown and the sheriff had withdrawn all officers by the time the unit was disbanded.

When Castor announced that the unit was being disbanded in 2006 for lack of funding, he called it “the most effective crime-fighting program we have.”

In addition to making residents and visitors feel safer, Castor said, the unit developed its own intelligence network that proved invaluable in fighting crime in Norristown.

“Ultimately what we want to do here in Norristown is make it a place where people feel safe, where they feel safe coming to visit, coming to work and living,” said District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Ferman said if the seed money for the program is secured, she will do what she can to obtain additional funding from the county and other sources to keep the program operating.

The $240,000 would not be a one-time grant, said Vereb. Instead, it would be a line item in the budget each year unless someone takes action to remove it.

Vereb said he hopes the allocation will serve as a springboard to launch discussions of the state funding similar programs elsewhere in the state and county.
Read Full Text/Comments

Why Obama Can't Win

Glommed From Tony Phyrillas' Blog:
Charley Reese on why Obama can't win
Pottstown Mercury/Gazette
Posted on Tue, Jun 17, 2008

Obama Can’t Win

Barack Obama may have secured the Democratic nomination for president, but I don’t think he will ever see the inside of the White House except as a visitor.

He has two things going against him. He’s African-American, and he’s way too liberal for most Americans. Barring a gargantuan blunder by the Republican candidate, John McCain, those two factors will put Obama on the short end of the vote count.

Race is a factor in America, though no one is going to admit to being prejudiced to a pollster or a journalist. Nevertheless, I believe there remains a substantial number of people who simply will not vote to put an African-American in the White House.

Presidential races are won by stitching together percentages of constituencies. Unlike the Democratic nomination process, the general election is a winner-take-all system. In close races, small constituencies can mean the difference between winning and losing a state’s electoral votes. (Click on the link below to read the rest of the article)

Obama has been very clever by holding rallies in places like Iowa, Minnesota and Oregon. What do these states have in common? They are white, liberal states with a very small percentage of black residents. Contrary to TV ads, which like to blame parents for teaching their children to be prejudiced, most people develop their prejudices based on their personal experiences.

A very liberal friend of mine confided one day that he was shocked when his middle-school son said to him, “Daddy, I hate (N-word).” When questioned, it turned out that a few African-American thugs were waylaying younger white kids in the restroom, beating them up and stealing their lunch money. The spineless school administrators had done nothing to stop it.

So this is a case in point. The boy had been taught from childhood not to be prejudiced. They had lived in California and had contact with few African-Americans. So the lesson was all theoretical. Moving into the South, however, gave this kid his first person-to-person experience with African-Americans, and it was, in his case, a bad one.

The point being, in states where blacks and whites interact, there is bound to be more friction. Don’t be fooled by the la-la land created on television. Some whites don’t like blacks. Some blacks don’t like whites. I would like to be wrong, but I don’t think we’ve yet reached the nirvana the TV pundits are proclaiming. Obama’s win was historic, but so was emancipation, and we all know what happened after that historic event.

I’ve been leery of Sen. McCain because he seems inclined to bomb Iran. However, now that Obama has sold out to the Israeli lobby, that’s a moot point.

Furthermore, there is not a stupid idea about gun control that Obama hasn’t supported either verbally or with his vote.

The Second Amendment was not written for duck hunters. It was written for self-defense and for defense against tyranny. Obama ought to talk to some of the people who survived the civil-rights revolution about how they stayed up all night with their private firearms to protect their families. He ought to research the old Jim Crow laws, which banned blacks from owning certain kinds of firearms.

If my choice is between a guy who may bomb Iran and one who shows such contempt for the Constitution as to support gun control, then the Iranians need to start working on their bomb shelters.

A man ignorant of or contemptuous of the Second Amendment cannot be trusted to obey any of the Bill of Rights. He cannot be trusted to appoint sensible judges. Americans need to send a clear message to all politicians that our rights are non-negotiable.

If people think the Second Amendment is archaic, then try to repeal it. Until then, it is as binding as the rest of the Constitution and must be respected.

Write to Charley Reese at P.O. Box 2446, Orlando, FL 32802
Read Full Text/Comments

Classicly Awesome Cartoon!

Read Full Text/Comments

A Very Busy Good Day

Yesterday was a busy day. I had a few errands to run, my son and daughter both go hair cuts and the grass needed cutting.

In between the hair cuts and the grass cuts, I picked up this:

I've always been a bike enthusiast, and have been shopping for one for about a year–until I came upon this sweet ride. The bike is three years old, but has only 1160 miles on it.

It's been about 25 years since I last had a motorcycle, and, after a brief ride last evening, felt like I'd never stopped riding.

With gas prices being what they are ( and the future not looking too bright) I say feh! to the oil companies, I'll ride for a month on a $16.00 tank of gas (which is about 10% of what I pay now a month). And I'll look good doing it (at least in my mind)!


Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, June 19, 2008

City Urges Scout Suit be Dismissed

Or, in other words, when you have no standing, move for dismissal. The city is so going to lose this "smear" campaign against the Boy Scouts.

Philadelphia Daily News

The city asked a federal judge yesterday to throw out a complaint by the local Boy Scouts chapter that seeks to prevent the city from evicting the chapter from its city-owned headquarters unless it pays $200,000 a year in rent.

The local chapter, the Cradle of Liberty Council, pays the city $1 annually to lease a city-owned 1928 Beaux Arts building at 22nd and Winter streets, near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Deputy City Solicitor Robert D. Aversa said in a 30-page brief that allowing the Scouts to continue rent-free occupancy "amounted to an improper and undesired subsidization of discriminatory use of city-owned property."

The Boy Scouts of America bars atheists and anyone who is openly gay from being a member.

The city said yesterday that it had attempted to resolve the issue by asking Cradle of Liberty to "state unequivocally" that it would not discriminate while using the building and grounds.

When Cradle of Liberty refused to "adopt a nondiscriminatory membership policy," City Council passed a resolution on May 31, 2007, terminating its rent-free arrangement with the Scouts, the city's court filing said.

Alternatively, the city said that the organization could pay $200,000 annual rent or "vacate and surrender" the headquarters building on May 31, 2008.

The city said that Cradle of Liberty waited almost a year, and then filed a federal suit on May 23 "in anticipation" of being evicted. The Scouts remain in their headquarters pending resolution of the legal matters.

A 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision said that the Boy Scouts is a private group and thus can associate with whomever it wants and government cannot interfere with that right.

Cradle of Liberty charged in its suit that the city opposed such rights and decided to "punish" the local chapter by demanding that it repudiate the national membership policy.

The local chapter also said that the city was censoring it by "singling out" Cradle at the same time that it maintained free or modest leases with others, including church groups, who limit membership. The city said in its filing that neither claim passed legal muster. 215-854-2656 *

Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


June 18, 2008 -- Montgomery County Republican Committee (MCRC) Chairman Robert J. Kerns today announced the appointees to the organization’s Executive Committee.

“With a renewed sense of vigor and excitement about our organization instilled in the committee, I wanted to engage the more than 700 committee members in the process of forming the Executive Committee. Each committee member votes to elect their own Area Leader. The fifteen Area Leaders selected by the committee members are automatic members of the Executive Committee for the first time ever.” Kerns said.

This is a departure from past practices, where a chairman selected the group of a size and membership of his choosing. “In the past you could just make it up as you went along, I’m trying to ensure everyone’s voice is heard so we can make decisions and present them as a united party focused on delivering ethical, fiscally responsible government in this county.” Kerns said.

“In a diverse party there is room for all views. By investing the committee members in the selection process, there is a greater likelihood that all views will be heard as we select candidates, take positions and grow our organization. I promised a “bottom up” approach to decision making instead of everything coming from the top down. This is part of that new approach to leadership in the party.” Kerns said.

In addition to Kerns, who chairs the Executive Committee, the organizations Vice Chair, Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas and the MCRC treasurer, Dr. Robert Griffith, are automatic members.

Kerns selected five individuals from regions around the county to serve on the committee in addition to the Area Leaders and MCRC officers.

“I am confident that the Executive Committee will provide sound leadership for our party with a vision for making Montgomery County an even better place to live.” Kerns concluded.

Click on the link to see the full membership of the Executive Committee:

Montgomery County Republican Committee Executive Committee Members

MCRC Officers
Robert J. Kerns – Chairman (Upper Gwynedd)
Mayor Sharon Thomas – Vice Chair (Pottstown)
Dr. Robert Griffith – Treasurer (Abington)

Area Leaders
Charles Garner (Area 1 Leader) (Gilbertsville)
Gail Yoder (Area 2 Leader) (Pottstown)
Hon. Robert Godshall (Area 3 Leader) (Souderton)
Douglas Hager (Area 4 Leader) (Lower Providence)
Robert Sander (Area 5 Leader) (West Conshohocken)
Nicholas Salamone (Area 6 Leader) (Plymouth Township)
Tracey Specter (Area 7 Leader) (Lower Merion)
Hon. John Fichter (Area 8 Leader) (East Norriton)
Marie Cavanaugh (Area 9 Leader) (North Wales)
Albert DeGennaro (Area 10 Leader) (Whitpain)
Todd Stephens (Area 11 Leader) (Horsham)
Hon. Jon D. Fox (Area 12 Leader) (Abington)
Robert Gerhard (Area 13 Leader) (Cheltenham)
Charles King (Area 14 Leader) (Springfield)
John Armstrong (Area 15 Leader) (Upper Dublin)

Chairman’s Appointments:
Jennifer Brown, Lower Merion Township Commissioner
Vahan Gureghian, MCRC Finance Chairman (Lower Merion)
Brian Miles, Whitpain Township Municipal Leader
Robert Montemayor, Upper Merion Township (Former Area Leader)
Marcy Toepel, Douglass Township Municipal Leader

Contact: Robert J. Kerns 610-279-9300
Read Full Text/Comments

I Knew This Was Coming... was just a matter of when. The feebs at the Barnes Foundation have decided not to pursue an appeal. How can they fight so hard to keep it and then just "roll over"?

‘Friends’ Will Not Appeal Ruling
By MARGARET GIBBONS , Times Herald Staff

COURTHOUSE — The grassroots Friends of the Barnes Tuesday announced that it will not appeal a Montgomery County Court ruling barring the organization from re-opening litigation that cleared the way for the renowned Barnes art collection to be moved from Lower Merion to a new museum in Philadelphia.

The announcement comes on the heels of a similar decision by Montgomery County to abandon its legal effort to re-open the same litigation.

The Friends of the Barnes’ decision comes as no surprise because its members have said they believed that, of the two, the county had the best chance of succeeding.

Both the county and the Friends of the Barnes last year filed petitions to intervene, with an eye towards re-opening the litigation and providing new arguments as to why the $6-billion’s worth of Impressionist art should be kept in Lower Merion.

County Orphans’ Court Judge Stanley R. Ott, in denying both petitions to intervene, last month ruled that neither the county nor the Friends group had status under the law to intervene in the case.

After reviewing that ruling, Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews and Commissioner Joseph M. Hoeffel III decided that an appeal of Ott’s ruling had little chance of success and that further legal action could result in the courts imposing financial sanctions against the county for taking what could be considered a frivolous appeal.

Commission Bruce L. Castor Jr. was the lone commissioner who favored an appeal, claiming there was little likelihood that the county would be sanctioned for exercising its right to appeal.

With no timetable for the move and the museum not yet built in the city, both the commissioners and the Friends group said they will pursue alternative measures to keep the art collection in Lower Merion. These measures include trying to negotiate a compromise with Barnes trustees to legislative action to try and block state funding for the move.

The Barnes museum, which owns artwork that includes paintings by Matisse, Renoir and Cézanne, is located in Lower Merion on property owned by the late Dr. Albert C. Barnes.

Struggling financially, the Barnes Foundation went to the county court in 2002 to get approval to relocate the art collection to a new gallery that will be built in Philadelphia to make the museum more economically viable. Court approval, which was subsequently given in 2004 after protracted litigation, was necessary because Barnes, in his will, had specifically detailed that the collection remain in place.

Since that court ruling, the county has offered to take out an approximate $50-million loan and then use that money to purchase the Barnes properties, leasing those properties back at the yearly cost of the county’s debt service.

The trustees could invest the $50 million at a higher interest rate, using that revenue to pay the lease costs and using the remaining revenue for an endowment.

Also, the township has passed less restrictive regulations concerning the museum operation, including allowing more visitors, to beef up the museum’s revenues.

Margaret Gibbons can be reached at or 610-272-2501 ext. 216.

Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Truth is Hard to Dispute When There's Video

While making an appeal to stop Governor McCheesesteak's planned furlough later this month (vis a vis, Senate Bill 1122), former Speaker John Perzel's mike gets shut off by the 'pretend" Speaker (he even says, "shut it off"), who proceeds to lie and say he didn't shut him off. I love living in the video age!

Read Full Text/Comments

Hoeffel and Matthews are Reprehensible Cowards

Say "Bye-Bye to our County Treasure-Cowards King James the Turd and Prince Kartoffelkopf don't think the Barnes paintings are worth fighting for:

Officials Abandon Barnes

Commissioners decide to end fight in effort to keep art collection in county
By MARGARET GIBBONS , Times Herald Staff

COURTHOUSE — Montgomery County has abandoned its legal efforts to keep the renowned Barnes art collection in Lower Merion.

Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews and Commissioner Joseph M. Hoeffel III said Monday they have decided not to appeal a ruling by county Orphan’s Court Judge Stanley R. Ott that denies the county status in the litigation.

The county last year had petitioned to intervene, with an eye toward reopening litigation that in 2004 gave the Barnes trustees approval to move the $6-billion’s worth of Impressionist art to a new but as yet unbuilt museum in Philadelphia.

The judge rejected that petition, as well as a similar petition filed by the citizens’ Friends of the Barnes, in a decision he handed down last month. The deadline for filing the appeal of that May ruling is today.

Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. repeatedly has called on his fellow two commissioners to file an appeal.

“Of course we are very disappointed with that decision,” said Nancy Herman, a spokeswoman for the Friends of the Barnes. “They had nothing to lose.”

Hoeffel disagreed with that claim.

“We do not have a reasonable expectation of reversing the four-year-old court decision allowing the Barnes to build a gallery in Philadelphia,” said Hoeffel. “Any further appeal of the recent decision denying standing for the county could bring sanctions against county taxpayers.”

The commissioners’ decision came after they received an e-mail message from county Solicitor Barry M. Miller, who recommended no appeal be filed.

“I believe that our common goal can best be achieved through other means,” said Miller.

“We made a great effort but that effort resulted in failure,” said Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews.

He cited the county’s offer last year to take out a tax-exempt bond of about $50 million, then using that money to purchase the Barnes land and buildings. The financially troubled Barnes Foundation could invest that money at a higher interest rate, using those earnings to pay the county a yearly rental fee equal to the county’s debt service, according to a plan devised by Thomas J. Ellis, the former commissioners’ chairman who is presently a bond counsel.

Also, the invested $50 million could serve as an endowment against which the foundation could borrow if necessary.

The trustees rejected that proposal out of hand.

One of the options under consideration is a proposal by Hoeffel to meet with the Foundation trustees, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Gov. Ed Rendell to discuss keeping the Barnes collection in Lower Merion.

“Our best chance of keeping the Barnes in the county is by working with the trustees but no one has been able to speak with the trustees because of the animosity that has been caused, in part, by the litigation,” said Hoeffel.

While Matthews is willing to give “discourse” a try, he said he is not optimistic that the county will be successful.

“How can you share in a treasure when you are cutting out its unique wholeness?” said Matthews, noting that not only is the art important but the building in which it is displayed and the eclectic manner in which it is displayed that is a reflection of the late Dr. Albert C. Barnes.

Castor was not available for comment Monday.

However, at last week’s meeting of the commissioners, he said the county had nothing to lose by exercising its right to an appeal on standing that has never been heard before the state Supreme Court.

Castor, a lawyer, said he did not believe the county would be financially sanctioned for pursuing its right to appeal. Convinced of this position, Castor pledged to pay any sanctions out of his own pocket.

Those sanctions, which would at a minimum cover the other side’s legal fees if the county lost, would run into the “tens of thousands of dollars,” according to Miller.

The appeal would also give the county leverage in getting the trustees to meet with the county, according to Castor.

The Barnes museum, which owns artwork that includes paintings by Matisse, Renoir and Cézanne, is located in Lower Merion on property owned by the late Dr. Albert C. Barnes.

Struggling financially, the Barnes Foundation went to the county court in 2002 for approval to relocate the art collection to a new gallery that will be built in Philadelphia to make the museum more economically viable. Court approval, which was granted in 2004 after protracted litigation, was necessary because Barnes, in his will, had stipulated that the collection remain in place.

So, Lets see....King James has given away the courthouse, now the Barnes, what possibly could be next? Ah, right...the City of Philadelphia has been pushing "regionalism" for over a this the year they get their wish? If we give away our assets incrementally, maybe we won't notice, eh, Turdmeister? Right, Kartoffelkopf? Feh!


Read Full Text/Comments

Monday, June 16, 2008



Contact: Bruce L. Castor, Jr.


"Up to the very last minute I hoped one of my colleagues would decide to honor the pledge they made last year when we campaigned for this office and join me in supporting an appeal. That support never came. The passing of the deadline means the loss of the Barnes is a virtual certainty We were entitled to an appeal and instead of pursuing that my colleagues just gave up. It is very disappointing and difficult to comprehend why they wouldn't at least try to appeal. It's a sad day for Montgomery County."

It is, indeed, a sad day for all of Montgomery County. 2/3 of our county commissioners believe that the Barnes belongs in Philadelphia, not in Montgomery County, as Dr. Barnes had wished when he wrote his will.

I guess I'll just tear up my own will and give Judge Ott and the commissioners the power to dispose of my assets as they see fit. Now that precedent has been set, there's no limit to the atrocities that the courts can do to our most treasured of traditions, the legacy to our heirs and to those we deem worthy to receive our legacy.

It's truly repugnant to see the cowardice shown to us by commissioners Hoeffel and Matthews in their handling of this issue.

If I had four hands, I'd give them both 2 thumbs down.

By the way, this reeks of regionalism, doesn't it?

Read Full Text/Comments

No Decision Regarding Barnes Issue

Margaret Gibbons wrote this report for Friday's Times Herald:

Commissioners remain split on whether to file appeal
By MARGARET GIBBONS, Times Herald Staff

UPPER DUBLIN — The Montgomery County Commissioners Thursday night did not reach a decision on whether to continue their legal efforts to keep the renowned Barnes art collection in Lower Merion.

County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. made a motion to file an appeal of an unfavorable county court ruling, but it died for lack of a second.

However, no formal vote is necessary for the commissioners to make an appeal. The deadline for filing an appeal of Orphan’s Court Judge Stanley R. Ott’s ruling denying them status in the Barnes litigation is Monday.

Commissioners Joseph M. Hoeffel III and Commissioners’ Chairman James R. Matthews said they doubted the county would be successful in an appeal. Instead, both favored Hoeffel’s proposal to end the county’s involvement in the litigation and engage the Barnes Foundation trustees in discussions aimed at keeping the approximate $6-billion’s worth of Impressionist art from moving to a new museum in Philadelphia.

Both cited concern that if the county filed an appeal it would leave the county open to financial sanctions that could run in the “tens of thousands of dollars.”

Castor, confident the county would not be sanctioned, pledged to pay any financial sanctions out of his own pocket.

An appeal would give the county leverage in bringing the trustees to the bargaining table, according to Castor.

Hoeffel and Matthews said they would wait until county Solicitor Barry Miller provides them with his thoughts on the situation. Numerous supporters determined to keep the art collection in Lower Merion pleaded with the commissioners to continue their legal efforts.
Mark my words, the two democrats have no intention of filing that last appeal. I hope they're happy with the legacy they've created for themselves...that of do-nothing cowards-afraid to stand up for the people of Montgomery County when the going gets tough.

At least we know Castor owns a set. Thanks for being a stand up guy, Bruce. Some of us actually appreciate the guy in the white hat.

Read Full Text/Comments

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I'm sitting here, quietly enjoying the post-breakfast peace of Sunday morning. It is Father's Day, and I get to relax today (yeah, right).

Yesterday, as I posted previously, I spent time with my dad, who will be 69 years old this coming August 2nd. We went fishing, caught our limit of "sunnies" and bluegills (the limit being "I'm tired of catching "sunnies" and bluegills), then went back to the camper to have dinner with Granny and Pappy.

Dinner was grilled chicken, grilled rabbit (thanks to JD), and baked potato. Chicken was juicy, rabbit was delicious, and the baked potato always tastes better from the grill.

We talked about everything but work (a first) and sat, enjoying the night until the rain rolled through. We took our leave then, as the camper isn't big enough to have us all crowd into it at once.

As we drove home through the rain, we marveled at the fantastic light show that only G-d would provide for us. I think that my young-uns became a little less afraid of and a bit more awed by lightning during the ride home.

As I laid in bed this morning, I heard the tell-tale sounds of my family, downstairs making Sunday breakfast. Jesse had wanted to take me out to breakfast, but, as I said in my post yesterday-I'm trying to lose weight and a trip to the buffet would be seriously counter-productive.

Anyway, the sounds of spatulas hitting the pan and the oven door opening and closing brought me out of the post-slumber fog that I seem to be in most mornings...the fog that comes with too little sleep. So I got up.

I went downstairs and sat in "my" chair, as I am wont to do when I am still a bit foggy from sleep. I turned on my laptop and checked email, then to the blogs, all the while, the sounds of breakfast being prepared filling my head. At this point, nobody knew I was up and about.

I could tell what was on the menu by what was coming from the kitchen..."Jes-check to see if we have Crisco...You don't need to stir those constantly...yes, I do, they'll they won' wants gravy, that's don't need to stir those...yes, I do...well, I don't...well, dad does...don't start the eggs until the biscuits are done....I'm not..." and so on. We're having my favorite home-cooked breakfast–eggs, biscuits, grits, bacon, sausage and southern style gravy.

I like to lay down a pile of grits, top them with butter, then lay on the eggs, and top it all with southern style gravy ( made with sausage, butter, flour and milk). So I did.

The biscuits are for sopping up what's left on the plate that will not yield to my fork. Sausage and bacon? You gotta have the meat, right?

But I digress. The family put together a fantastic breakfast for me, bestowed upon me cards and gifts, and now I sit, with no other sound than the hum of our air conditioner, writing this entry for the blog.

As for breakfast, I think I've consumed enough calories and carbs to keep a team of horses nourished for a week. So much for the diet. I'll be leaving in about a half an hour to cash in my Dick's Sporting Goods gift card for some really cool stuff that I absolutely cannot live without, and I'll come home happy to know that my family still thinks I'm king, at least for today.

Life doesn't suck at all.

Happy Father's day! Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Awesome! Weekend Plans

Tomorrow is Father's Day. One of the things I like to do on Father's day is go out for breakfast. Since I am trying to drop about 40 pounds, I think I'll stay home this year and have a home-cooked breakfast. The other thing I like to do is go fishing. Since the opening of bass season usually coincides with Father's day, I try and get out every year.

Which is what I will be doing later this afternoon. I made plans for my 12 year old son, Jesse, and myself to fish with my dad today. We'll be meeting at his weekend retreat ( a trailer in a campground in Chesco) and taking his canoe out from there. He's suggested Hibernia State Park, which I've never fished. Karen and the Princess will be hanging out at the pool with Granny.

We'll fish for a few hours. We'll talk about work (we're both in the printing business), and we'll talk with my son, Jesse, about school and summer. Nothing earth shattering, but, all very important. Why?

My dad is my hero. He's always set a great example for us and, although we'd never admit it when we were younger, he was usually right–about everything. By taking my son, I'm hoping that someday, he'll instill the importance of spending time with his father on Father's day in his own kids.

Anyway, we'll stay for dinner then come home and crash...hard.

Tomorrow, my kids get me all to themselves. I'm thinking a movie, but maybe we'll just go fishing.

Happy Father's Day!


Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Re: Montco Daily Dose

Alex Charyna from the 'cooler posted a "daily dose" tonight about the new traveling minstrel show called the County Commissioners Meeting. As I observed, there were several dynamics going on at once. From left to right sat Prince Kartoffelkopf, King James the Turd, Court Jester, Barry Miller and Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr.

Hoeffel seems to think he's some kind of comedian, as he was wisecracking here and there while we, the taxpayers paid him to do so. Bad decision, had your junior high years to get that out of your least have some decorum and act the part you are playing this time 'round.

Matthews sat there looking like "Corky" from "Life Goes On" half the time, the other half, he was acting like some "Rainman" type of savant...I kept waiting for "ten minutes to Wapner" to come from his lips. He had that vacuous, brooding look, like he was waiting on the short bus and it was (shudder) 10 seconds late. I understand he was arguing with constituents after the meeting was adjourned. What A Boob!

Barry Miller must have some demons working in his head...I saw him stare around the room looking kind of vacant...the same kind of vacant look you see in Charles Manson's eyes. His deal with the devil must have been a doozy.

Bruce, as always was eloquent, poised and had some very good input as to the disposition of the Barnes Foundation. KJ3 and the tuberdome just kind of brushed him off...I finally saw it with my own eyes. The other two kept skirting the issue, never once assuring the public that they'd fight, tooth and nail (as we would want them to) to keep the "Barnes" here in Montgomery County.

Anyway, I digress...Alex mentioned that I left before the meeting was over, but, that I was taping the event-both accurate statements. I would have stayed, though, if only my battery had lasted just a bit longer. I've wanted to get a spare, but, I do tend to procrastinate. I'll order one next week.

Here's a link to the 'cooler and Alex's take on the meeting, as well as his report about know, the guy who effed up the party for 4 years and lost over 75000 republicans to the d's? He's getting an award for "lifetime achievement" or something. Maybe for most fashionable "popped collar" with a manbag? Read it all here:

Happy Friday...Have a pleasant day.
Read Full Text/Comments

Beaver College: Would a school by any other name smell as sweet?

Earlier this week, Alex at posted a response to an earlier post and made reference to Beaver College and the subsequent name change to Arcadia University:


Re: Crisis June 10 2008

Filed under Pennsylvania by AlexC

Fred, did you know that the Trustees of Arcadia University had to change the school’s name from Beaver College because of guys like you?

“[The name] too often elicits ridicule in the form of derogatory remarks pertaining to the rodent, the TV show ‘Leave It to Beaver’ and the vulgar reference to the female anatomy.”

- former President Bette Landman

It is kind of funny though.

Well, I found this article, from the October 2000 issue of Maxim Magazine. It was a prank phone call to what was then Beaver College, made just before the name change took effect (warning–article contains some textual innuendo):

Beaver College: Would a school by any other name smell as sweet?

The closest most college freshmen get to a woman’s nether regions is to steal a deep breath from a panty-filled dryer. But at Beaver College, a 2,700-student college in lush Glenside, Pennsylvania, students are drowning in innuendo. After 150 years of the school’s being the butt of everyone’s jokes, its trustees have agreed to change its name. Seizing our last chance, we sent our intrepid reporter to get to the bottom of the situation.

“Beaver College, Office of Enrollment Management. How may I help you?”

“Hi, I’m looking to transfer from, uh, Ball State, and I was hoping you could answer some of my questions and help ease my entrance into Beaver.”
“[puzzled silence]”

“What’s your financial aid package? How much will I have to pay to get into Beaver?”
“Hmm…That depends on all sorts of things: your income, whether you’re an independent or dependent student. So I couldn’t really give you an answer to that.”

“What’s your retention rate? Is it a quick finish for most students at Beaver, or do they like to take their time down there?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know the statistics on that. I know that some people leave, but I don’t know the exact numbers.”

“Is Beaver primarily a commuter school? I mean, is there a lot of in-and-out at Beaver?”
“I think it might be 60–40, or 70–30, most of them residents.”

“Let’s talk about athletics. Does Beaver have a swim team? Because I’d really like to dive for Beaver.”
“We have a swim team. I don’t know if that includes a Beaver diving team. I know we have a pool.”

“Does Beaver have its own barber school?”
“[without hesitation] No.”

“What’s the climate like in Beaver? I’ve heard it can get really hot and moist down there, especially in the summer. Is that true all year long?”
“Well, no, we’re on the East Coast. So we have summer, spring, [long pause]…fall, winter.”

“That’d be all of them. Do students need to bring protection with them when they go into Beaver?”
“It’s a very safe campus.”

“If traditional methods of getting into Beaver should fail, could you recommend a strategy for a backdoor entrance?”
“I’m not quite sure I know what you mean.”

“Oh, shoot—my mom’s coming. See ya…[click]” And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

The Audacity of Change

Below is a great article by Larry Elder sent to me by Joe Meo (Whitemarsh Republican Committee Vice Chair) via our new committeeman, Brian Rosenthal. The article points out something about Obama that reeks of a cheesesteak with swiss know, John Kerry style flip flopping:

Warming Up to Obama's Message of Hope and Change
Larry Elder
Thursday, June 12, 2008

For Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the stars certainly seem aligned.

Seventy percent of Americans consider the economy in a recession. Two-thirds consider the war in Iraq a bad idea. A new Gallup Poll shows Obama leading presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain 46 to 44 percent. And the ratings for "American Idol" fell 10 percent. Given all this, plus a swooning, pro-Obama media, what's a Republican to do?

Guess it's time to look on the bright side, and find something positive about the possibility of a President Barack Obama.

I called Margaret, a Republican friend who lives in Chicago. Do me a favor, I asked her, and attend a prayer service at St. Sabina -- the church led by Father Michael Pfleger. YouTube star Pfleger, as a guest of Trinity United Church of Christ, called Sen. Hillary Clinton a white supremacist, resentful of the ascension of Barack Obama. Pfleger yelled that Clinton felt entitled because she felt, as he put it, "I'm white!" He also preached that any white person with a "401(k)" or a "trust fund" needs to surrender it -- presumably to blacks -- or consider themselves part of the problem. Rumor had it, I told Margaret, that Rev. Jeremiah Wright was expected to attend St. Sabina's upcoming prayer service.

She agreed to go. Take a Bible with you, I suggested, so no one will think you're a reporter. And should security refuse to let you in, scream, "I'm black!" Now, she's white, but still …

At St. Sabina a security team did, indeed, stand in front of the church, warily eyeballing newcomers. They stopped Margaret, despite the Bible in hand. She was about to scream as security shooed her away, "I'm black! I'm black!" But, she admitted, she was afraid that they would think she was deranged and call the authorities. (read more-click the link below)

"Mission aborted," she dejectedly e-mailed me. But she did go back to the church after-hours, and sent an attachment of photos of her dog with the church in the background. Cute dog.

Don't feel too bad, I told her, because I find myself warming up to Obama's message of change and hope. To lift her spirits, I offered a few examples.

Obama rejects the Bush my-way-or-the-highway "cowboy" foreign policy. Obama repeatedly said he wishes to meet with enemy/thug leaders without preconditions. But wait!

He now says only if he decides to meet in the first place. And if he decides -- to which he may not -- he'll do so without preconditions. And if he decides not to, his decision will have been made without preconditions, unless, of course, he decides to meet after all -- but only without preconditions. And if he decides not to meet, he'll make that decision without any preconditions, just as he would make the decision to meet without the precondition of no preconditions. But if he decides to meet, without preconditions, he'll do so solely when, where and if he decides to -- without preconditions.

That's change.

Unlike President Bush, who "neglected" the Israeli/Palestinian peace process until the waning days of his administration, Obama intends to immediately get on it. Last week, he told America's Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) -- America's leading pro-Israel lobby -- that he supports a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the sole, undivided capital of Israel. (The Bush administration, currently in negotiations with the Israelis and Palestinians, hasn't taken a position on this thorny issue, preferring the parties to negotiate between themselves.) After Obama's statement, the Palestinians immediately cried, "Foul!" and said there would be no discussions with that stipulation! Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, called him no different from Bush. Thus, with this demand, a President Obama threatens to derail talks from the very beginning. But wait!

The next day, Obama said that, well, "obviously" the issue of Jerusalem should be decided by the Israelis and Palestinians -- adopting the same position as "cowboy" Bush.

That's hope.

On deterring Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Obama accused the Bush administration of "saber rattling." Obama's Web site calls for aggressive diplomacy, but mentions nothing about a military option. But wait!

He told AIPAC, "Let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel."

What about Iran's Revolutionary Guard? When Sen. Clinton voted to declare the Revolutionary Guard a terror organization, Obama criticized her, and deemed the vote irresponsibly militant. But wait!

He told AIPAC that Iran's Revolutionary Guard is, indeed, a terror organization. So why did he vote otherwise, and attack Clinton? Well, said Obama at the time, it was an unnecessarily belligerent move. But apparently, now they are terrorists because, well, it isn't as belligerent to say so today as it was to say so yesterday.

That's more hope and more change. So, I told Margaret, here's hoping you find this hopeful. If not, I'll change it.
Read Full Text/Comments

More Barnes News

County may appeal ruling on Barnes Foundation move
6/11/2008, 7:53 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — Montgomery County commissioners may decide to appeal a judge's ruling refusing to hold new hearings on moving The Barnes Foundation's renowned art collection.

Dr. Albert Barnes' will said his art collection had to remain exactly where it was on his suburban estate. The foundation went to court to break the will, arguing that the only way it could stay afloat financially was to move the collection to downtown Philadelphia. That would put it closer to other tourist attractions and get around suburban rules restricting the number of visitors. A judge ruled in 2004 that the collection could move.

Opponents of the move want new hearings on the decision, but the judge said last month he wouldn't hold them. Montgomery County commissioners may decide at Thursday's meeting to appeal that.


Read an article from the Times Herald dated 6/12/08: Kerns Goes to the Barnes

And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Candidate I Can Get Behind

Denny Crane for President!

Check out this video posted on "Blonde Sagacity" blog:

Read Full Text/Comments

MCRC News Release, Vol 1, Issue 2


Contact: Robert J. Kerns 610-279-9300

June 11, 2008 -- Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns today urged the County Commissioners to abide by their campaign promises and do everything in their power to keep the world-renowned Barnes Museum in its current location in Lower Merion.

The Commissioners must decide no later than Monday June 16th to appeal an adverse court ruling on the matter. Yesterday a coalition of people known as "the Friends of the Barnes" met with Commissioners Matthews, Castor and Hoeffel to urge them to appeal the ruling. At that meeting, Commissioner Castor, a lawyer, former District Attorney, and Shareholder/Director of the Blue Bell based litigation firm of Elliott, Greenleaf and Siedzikowski presented a legal analysis of the merits of an appeal. Castor concluded that the issue is not "settled law" as it related to the ability of a county government to bring a court action of this type, and further determined that the County could not possibly face any "sanctions" from the court for taking an appeal since Pennsylvania law allows losing parties to appeal without fear of reprisals.

Upon reading a news account of the meeting the commissioners had with Friends of the Barnes, Kerns asked Castor his legal reasoning. Kerns, a lawyer and former county solicitor (who worked with Commissioner Hoeffel) concurred with Castor's conclusions: "It would be a tragedy for the county to lose the Barnes. There is absolutely no down side to the county filing an appeal. Commissioner Castor's legal analysis is right on the money. Every litigant is entitled to an appeal."

In May, a Montgomery County Judge ruled that a county lacked "standing" to bring a court action to try and keep the collection from being moved to Philadelphia. However, that question has not yet been addressed by the state supreme court. The trial judge relied on a court decision from a court lower than the supreme court in making its determination that the county lacked standing. The judge also ruled that the county had a reasonable basis for bringing the suit and that therefore no "sanctions" were warranted.

Concluded Kerns: "All the commissioners are on record saying they would do whatever they could to 'save the Barnes.' Now is the time to step to the plate."

Read Full Text/Comments

Obama: "Some of My Best Friends are Jewish"

A fellow Whitemarsh committeeman, turned me on th this guy. Great writer with great insight.

Obama vs. McCain on the Middle East

by Daniel Pipes
Jerusalem Post
June 5, 2008

With the Democratic Party primaries over, American voters can focus on issues of political substance. For instance: How do the two leading candidates for U.S. president differ in their approach to Israel and related topics? Parallel interviews with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, who spoke in early May with Democrat Barack Obama and in late May with Republican John McCain, offer some important insights.

John McCain and Barack Obama, in close discussion.
Asked roughly the same set of questions, they went off in opposite directions. Obama used the interview to convince readers of his pro-Israel and pro-Jewish bona fides. He thrice reiterated his support for Israel: "the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea"; "the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is … a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world"; and "You will not see, under my presidency, any slackening in commitment to Israel's security."

Obama then detailed his support within four specifically Jewish contexts.

* Personal development: "when I think about the Zionist idea, I think about how my feelings about Israel were shaped as a young man—as a child, in fact. I had a camp counselor when I was in sixth grade who was Jewish-American but who had spent time in Israel."

* Political career: "When I started organizing, the two fellow organizers in Chicago were Jews, and I was attacked for associating with them. So I've been in the foxhole with my Jewish friends."

* Ideas: "I always joke that my intellectual formation was through Jewish scholars and writers, even though I didn't know it at the time. Whether it was theologians or Philip Roth who helped shape my sensibility, or some of the more popular writers like Leon Uris."

* Philosophy: "My staff teases me sometimes about anguishing over moral questions. I think I learned that partly from Jewish thought, that your actions have consequences and that they matter and that we have moral imperatives."

(read: "Some of my best friends are Jewish" What a creep!-B.)
In contrast, McCain felt no need to establish his Zionism nor his pro-Jewish credentials. Taking them as a given, he used his interview to raise practical policy issues, particularly the threat from Iran. For example, asked about the justness of Zionism, he replied that "it's remarkable that Zionism has been in the middle of wars and great trials and it has held fast to the ideals of democracy and social justice and human rights," then went on: "I think that the State of Israel remains under significant threat from terrorist organizations as well as the continued advocacy of the Iranians to wipe Israel off the map." Again referring to Iran, McCain committed himself "to never allowing another Holocaust." He referred to the threatened destruction of Israel as having "profound national security consequences" for the United States and he stressed that Tehran sponsors terrorist organizations intent "on the destruction of the United States of America."

A second difference concerns the importance of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Obama presented it as an "open wound" and an "open sore" that infects "all of our foreign policy." In particular, he said, its lack of resolution "provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions." Asked about Obama's statement, McCain slammed the idea that radical Islam results mainly from the Arab-Israeli confrontation: "I don't think the conflict is a sore. I think it's a national security challenge." Were the Israeli-Palestinian issue resolved tomorrow, he pointedly continued, "we would still face the enormous threat of radical Islamic extremism."

Finally, the two disagree on the import of Israelis continuing to live on the West Bank. Obama placed great emphasis on the topic, commenting that if their numbers continue to grow, "we're going to be stuck in the same status quo that we've been stuck in for decades now." McCain acknowledged this as a major issue but quickly changed the topic to the Hamas campaign of shelling Sderot, the besieged Israeli town that he personally visited in March, and whose predicament he explicitly compares to the mainland United States coming under attack from one of its borders.

Goldberg's twin interviews underscore two facts. First, major-party candidates for the U.S. presidency must still pay homage to warm American ties to Israel, no matter how, as in Obama's case, dramatically this may contradict their previously-held views. Second, whereas McCain is secure on the topic, Obama worries about winning the pro-Israel vote. And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Obama Countdown