Germans, Yanks Defended Castle Against Nazis

Germans, Yanks Defended Castle Against Nazis — As this crazy but true World War II story creeps into the public eye due to a recent book expect to soon see a movie.

On May 5, 1945, a unit of American tanks, German soldiers and two former French prime ministers along other VIPs and their ladyfolk defended a medieval castle from a Nazi attack.

Hitler had been dead dead five days when the incident occurred but VE Day was still three days away,

Castle Itter in Austria was being used as a prison for French leaders captured after France’s surrender including prime ministers Édouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, who hated each other; and generals Maurice Gamelin and Maxime Weygand.

A German SS unit was sent to execute the prisoners. The Germans guarding them chose to defend them. A small American tank unit arrived. The prisoners were armed. A battle raged.

With ammunition nearly out, a rescue by the American army occurs.

It was the only time a medieval castle was defended during the war. It was the only time Americans and Germans fought as allies. Some sarcastic person might say it was one of the few times the French actually fought.

Expect a movie.

Germans, Yanks Defended Castle Against Nazis

Germans, Yanks Defended Castle Against Nazis

Walk For The Wounded Is Sat

The 5th Annual Walk For The Wounded which benefits wounded soldiers and their families is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 18 at Rose Tree Park on Route 252 in Upper Providence Township.

Speaker is Brigadier Gen. Andrew Shafer, Jr. and activities include a 9-hole mini golf course, helicopters, moon bounce, games, military vehicles and food.

There will be a special ceremony to honor Seal Team 3 Chief Chris Kyle, the decorated marksman
and author of the  best selling book “American Sniper” who was killed by
a  veteran with mental issues that he was trying to help.,

Admission is free.   It’s a great family  event! Walk (or don’t walk)   Donate. Change Lives.

Those who can’t go, can donate online at  www.­walkfo­rthewounded.­org

Hat tip Cathy Craddock.

Asian Carp Battle May Be Joined By Feds

Asian Carp Battle May Be Joined By Feds — Sen. Pat Toomey reports that an  amendment he introduced with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to help prevent the invasion of Asian carp in the Ohio River basin will be included in a broader water resources development bill, which makes its passage much more likely.

This amendment would enable the federal government to have a more effective partnership with state and local entities that are working to slow the spread of Asian carp, Toomey said. The Senate agreed unanimously that the Brown-Toomey amendment will be included in the Water Resources Development Act.

“The possible invasion of Asian carp in southwestern Pennsylvania’s iconic three rivers and our state’s beautiful great lake warrants action in Congress, and I am pleased that my colleagues agree that more needs to be done. These waterways are vital for both commerce and recreation, and the federal government must act as a cooperative partner with state and local governments to stop this invasive species and protect the Ohio River basin’s ecosystem and economy. My amendment with Sen. Brown will help do just that, and I applaud the Senate’s strong show of support for it,” he said.


Asian Carp Battle May Be Joined By Feds

Cryptowit

By William W. Lawrence Sr

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Yvu Dopal

Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: Every unpunished murder takes away something from the security of every man’s life.
Daniel Webster

Liquor Privatization Done Right

Liquor Privatization Done Right
By Nathan A. Benefield

Picture this: You’re on your way home from visiting family in Delaware and decide to stop at a wine store near the Pennsylvania border. As you walk through the parking lot, something seems off.  For every Delaware license plate you see, there are three Pennsylvania plates. An aberration?  Hardly.

As a recent investigative video shows, liquor stores in New Jersey and Delaware are filled with Pennsylvania shoppers every day.  The video, produced by the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, should shock no one.

We already know consumers shop with their feet—even the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board acknowledges it.  Their survey of Philadelphia region residents found nearly half shop in other states, costing the commonwealth hundreds of millions annually in sales due to “border bleed.”

Consumers want greater convenience, selection, and lower prices.  They want beer, wine, and liquor to be sold in local grocery stores.  They don’t want to drive as far, or make multiple stops.  And they want the ability to buy alcohol in whatever quantity they choose.  That’s why a Delaware shop had three times as many Pennsylvanians as Delaware shoppers.  But we can bring them back.

Lawmakers, customers, and activists celebrated the historic vote in the Pennsylvania House to end the government liquor store monopoly. Indeed, lawmakers accomplished what many pundits doubted was possible—and what several governors had tried and failed to do—by even holding a vote on a liquor store privatization bill.

But consumers and taxpayers have nothing to toast—not until the Senate and House agree to legislation that will earn Gov. Corbett’s signature. The challenge for lawmakers is balancing the free market consumers want with the demands of those already vested in the current system.

The state Senate has begun hearings on privatization and it is a near certainty they will do something, but what that something will be is far from certain.  Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, who chairs the committee taking up the House-passed bill, says he supports privatization, but what does privatization really mean?

Here are two key things that must happen in any bill to deliver for consumers and taxpayers:

First, lawmakers must increase retail competition.  This means licensing more stores to sell wine and spirits so consumers don’t need to cross state lines, allowing beer distributors and grocery stores to carry wine and liquor for greater convenience, and creating meaningful competition even if they don’t shut down the state-run stores immediately.

No Pennsylvanian wants to see a government monopoly replaced with a private one.  And providing a mechanism to close down state stores once private competition has ramped up, as the House-passed legislation did, will finally get government out of the booze business and allow the PLCB to focus on its regulatory mission.

Second, lawmakers must end the government monopoly over wholesale operations.  The wholesale monopoly allows government bureaucrats to determine what is sold in Pennsylvania and what isn’t, to set artificially high prices for every bottle sold, and to limit competition and selection.

The PLCB’s wholesale monopoly is the source of endless frustration for restaurant, winery, and bar owners and has produced a series of boondoggles on the taxpayer’s dime.  One of the biggest PLCB blunders is the branding and marketing of their own wine label, TableLeaf.  This government wine takes prominent shelf space away from Pennsylvania labels, yet the brand state taxpayers own is actually grown and bottled in California and directly competes with wineries right here in the Keystone State.

Thanks also to the PLCB wholesale monopoly, consumers were treated to the infamous wine kiosk program—elaborate vending machines in grocery stores that required a public breathalyzer test, identity verification, and a video sobriety test prior to allowing a sale.

It’s decades past time to get government out of our Prohibition-era liquor system. Pennsylvanians have suffered from the PLCB’s conflicts of interest and taxpayer-funded boondoggles for far too long.  Until lawmakers pass a plan that satisfies both consumers and stakeholders, we will continue to see shoppers stream across state lines for the convenience our government monopoly has failed to deliver.

Nathan A. Benefield is Director of Policy Analysis with the Commonwealth Foundation (CommonwealthFoundation.org).

 

Liquor Privatization Done Right

Internet Radio Fight Concerns Crony Capitalism

Internet Radio Fight Concerns Crony Capitalism –Internet radio promises convenience and variety unimaginable to those whose thinking is limited by the finite bands of the broadcast spectrum. One of the things that keeps it from fulfilling its potential is copyright regulation namely a government mandate that it pay a higher set of royalties than its broadcast brothers

Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Jared Polis (D-CO) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) are trying to change this.

The usual powerful and greedy crony capitalists are fighting them, however. Hollywood and the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) like things as they are because it gives them more control and more money. Sensitive liberal activists Sheryl Crow, Cee Lo Green and Rihanna have signed a letter that the unfair existing structure be kept.

When are people going to realize that those who call themselves “liberal” are not. When a celebrity says he or she “cares” he or she means about himself.

Internet Radio Fight Concerns Crony Capitalism

Internet Radio Fight Concerns Crony Capitalism

USS Somerset Commissioned In Pa.

USS Somerset Commissioned In Pa. — The USS Somerset, the ninth  amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class will be commissioned in Philadelphia, reports Sen. Pat Toomey.

“In February, I asked Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to commission the
new Navy ship in the city of Brotherly Love and he informed me (last) week
that he agrees,” said Toomey.

The Somerset joins  USS New York and the USS Arlington in remembering the heroes of September 11 as in T honors the heroes of United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville in Somerset County.

A ship is commissioned when it is put into active service. The Somerset was christened in July 2012.

USS Somerset Commissioned In Pa.

Demonizing Toomey On Guns Is Shooting Blanks

And what produced such vitriol from a loud but
ultimately small segment of the Republican base? What did Toomey do that
saw him decried as another “Benedict Arlen” — an unflattering reference
to longtime liberal GOP Sen. Arlen Specter?

He thinks background checks for gun buyers are a good idea.

Yep.
That’s it, lock, stock and barrel. Pat Toomey’s smoking gun “sin” was
advocating a bipartisan compromise on the contentious gun issue, whereby
all people buying firearms at gun shows and via the Internet would be
subjected to a tortuous 60-second background check. Rather than thanking
him for his common-sense approach, however, many Republicans came after
him with both guns blazing, calling him a “traitor.”

Sadly, the
“cause” for which many of these critics fight has morphed from
reasonable positions to ones of stupidity and, ultimately,
self-destruction. The GOP’s results in last year’s presidential and U.S.
Senate elections proved that in spades.

Toomey seems to
genuinely believe he’s doing the right thing, and there is no reason to
think his efforts are politically motivated. The irony, though, is that
his position will clearly help him in what will be a challenging
re-election in 2016. But instead of embracing Toomey as one of their
own, the hard Right continues to pound him — despite his being one of
the staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment.

Talk about shooting blanks.

A
primer is typically an explanation to the uninitiated as to how
something works. In the case of background checks, however, it has
become obvious that many of the so-called experts — the “initiated” —
are nothing of the kind. So for their benefit as much as anyone’s, let’s
set the record straight:

1. Most significantly, background
checks are not federal gun registries. Neither do they lead to them.
Period. Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, the federal government does
not have a registry of who owns guns, much less how many and what kinds
people possess (neither should it). Likening background checks to gun
registries is comparing apples to school buses — they are unequivocally
different (you can have a background check but decide not to buy the
gun). So when entertainer Ann Coulter inflames the Right (and sells more books) by saying that background checks lead to registration … to confiscation … to extermination, just consider the source. Oh, this is the same Ann Coulter whose column last month was pulled by Fox News after opining (she says joking — does it matter?) about John McCain’s daughter, Meghan, getting murdered. Enough said.

Here’s what’s
puzzling. For people who believe that expanding background checks will
lead to gun registries, where have they been for the last decade?
Background checks aren’t new, so, by definition, if we are simply
expanding an existing system — without changing it — then under the
critics’ rationale, wouldn’t we already have such a registry? They can’t
have it both ways.

2. Here’s the process for buying a
gun in many states: After selecting your firearm, the dealer conducts a
background check through the FBI’s NICS criminal database, which usually
takes less than a minute. If you are cleared, you fill out the required
paperwork, which the dealer is mandated to keep for 20 years, and
you’re a gun owner. Should that gun be used in a crime, the serial
number will be traced to the manufacturer, distributor, dealer, and
ultimately to you. Not exactly the Big Brother database some claim it to
be, huh?

3. Background checks are not a conservative/liberal,
Republican/Democrat issue. Since they do not impede or infringe upon a
law-abiding citizen’s right to own a firearm, it’s not “gun control” at
all. It’s criminal control.

4. The checks work: There have been
1.8 million denials since 1998. In 2010, half of those denied had felony
convictions or indictments, almost 20 percent were fugitives, and 11
percent violated state laws. Put another way, would we be better off
with almost 2 million people walking around with guns who shouldn’t have
them?

5. The proposed expansion of checks has an exception for
family-to-family purchases, focusing instead on closing loopholes for
sales over the Internet and gun shows. Currently, federally licensed gun
dealers, even at gun shows, are required to perform checks, but private
sellers are not.

Two points here: A). Critics contend that the
private sellers account for a relatively small amount of gun show
purchases. So what? By that logic, not many more people will be
“inconvenienced” for the one-minute check, so what’s the hang-up? B.)
What’s the alternative? To allow convicted felons to buy a gun with
quasi-legal impunity? Granted, felons (and the mentally disturbed)
aren’t allowed to possess firearms, but any criminal with half a brain
will get his gun via this loophole rather than risk getting caught in an
undercover sting. If not background checks for these high-risk folks,
then what? Just hope and pray they don’t take advantage of the system?
Good luck.

6. While idiocy is not illegal, it would behoove some
gun-rights people to get a shot of common sense. Here’s an idea: Don’t
show up at a gun rally or counter-protest with AK-47s on full display,
as some routinely do. And don’t blame the “liberal media” when they post
that shot on the front page. Do you want to look cool (newsflash: you
don’t) by touting guns in public, or do you really care about protecting
gun rights? Because I’ve got news for you: The two never, ever go
hand-in-hand. Leave the guns at home, wear something that isn’t
camouflage, and articulate a reasonable message with a calm demeanor.
You’d be surprised how much more effective you’d be at convincing the
Great American Middle of your side — and it will be them, not you, who
will ultimately decide this issue.

7. Background checks are
useful, but not a panacea. The FBI database is only as good as the
information it receives from states. If criminal and mental health
records aren’t routinely sent and/or updated, it won’t be as effective
as it could be. It’s not perfect, but that’s not a reason to scrap
expanding it. Nothing can or will ever fully prevent lunatics from
engaging in a shooting spree, but a background check system is a solid
first line of defense. Again, the question stands: If not, then what?

Is
expanding checks a slippery slope, opening the door for more
regulations? Like anything, diligence is required, but the short answer
is “no,” since the system already exists. Those fiercely opposed are
actually doing themselves a disservice, for their position will be
blasted away when a convicted felon engages in mass murder using a gun
purchased via the Internet or gun show loophole.

It’s time to
shoot straight with the hard core and demand they employ reason rather
than emotion. If not, when the smoke clears after the next tragedy,
those gunning for major restrictions will get there faster than a
speeding bullet.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and commentator. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.