Omnibit Of The Day

The first day of summer is the longest day of the year but it is rarely the hottest due to seasonal lag. The extra daylight is heating the atmosphere but is also being absorbed by the earth and water. It won’t be for another month or so when the earth and water reach equilibrium with the atmosphere and start releasing back the heat they had been storing.

And that is why July and August have the reputation for being the hot months rather than June.

Politicians And Primal(ary) Fear

Politicians And Primal(ary) Fear — Bill Shuster coming from the most Republican district in Pennsylvania, voted YEA to the bankrupting 2008 Farm Bill but changed his tune this year due to a  serious primary challenge from a competent opponent says activist Bob Guzzardi

He submits for your enlightenment the evidence:

Farm Bill Vote 21 May 2008

Yesterday’s (June 20) vote

“‘Primary’  is the only word incumbents hear,” said Guzzardi and he urged all who cared to support Shuster’s 9th District primary opponent, Art Halvorson

He praised HeritageAction and specifically Mike Henry and Kurt Brown for changing Shuster’s stance regarding agricultural crony capitalism.

He also praised Donna Ellingsen and Jamie Cox who visited Congressman Joe Pitts in the 16th District who had voted NAY in 2008 but appeared to be waffling this time. Guzzardi says Pitts’ district had become “less conservative” and his vote was in question. He did the right thing in the end, though.


Politicians And Primal(ary) Fear

NSA Revelations Boost DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo, a search engine competing with Google and Bing that was all but unknown two weeks ago, is getting a big boost from the revelations that the Obama administration has been in cahoots with those corporate one-percenters at Google/Microsoft/Facebook etc. to learn the web histories of just about everybody in America.

DDG boasts that it keeps no records of personal information of those making searches hence  authorities have nothing to find in the event they should be subpoenaed. It says its revenue is from those paying for keywords in searches.

CEO Gabriel Weinberg explains it here.

The engine can be found  here.  It’s easy to make it the default with Firefox. One suspects, though, not so much with Chrome or Safari.

NSA Revelations Boost DuckDuckGo

NSA Revelations Boost DuckDuckGo

Americans Becoming Prisoners To Fear

“Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.” — Pastor Charles Stanley.

It is without question that we find ourselves in the middle of a downward spiral. There are of course many reasons for America’s decline — the death of manufacturing, dependence of foreign oil, political correctness — but there is one that overrides them all, a cancer so insidious that it eats away at the very essence of this nation’s life force.


It has grown at an exponential rate largely due to the 24/7 super-hyped news cycle, and now that fear threatens to destroy the very fabric that holds America together.

Its latest victim was the NFL, which this week banned pocketbooks and bags from all its games in the name of “security,” a move largely in response to the Boston bombings. (Although, not surprisingly, it is selling its own NFL clear tote bag as an acceptable alternative.)

How many bombings have there been at NFL games? None. For that matter, how many terrorist bombings have there been in the nation during the Age of Fear (post 9/11)? One. And, no offense to the victims, that was amateur night.

So given the infinitesimally small probability that there will be any bombing, let alone one at an NFL game, why the overreaction?

Because that’s the society in which we have chosen to live, naively believing that we can be “100 percent” safe.

Sure, most fans are upset at the NFL’s new rule, but that ire will fade, stadiums will still be filled (with concession revenue way up), and we will accept yet another stupid regulation based on nothing but a myth, succumbing to fear once again. And every time we give in to fear, it becomes further embedded in the next generation as “normal.”

It’s time to take the gloves off as to what is really behind the mass shootings in our country, since too many continue to blame extraneous things.

It’s not guns — not “assault weapons,” magazine capacities or the availability of firearms, since all were more restricted at the time of the Columbine massacre, and less restricted before, when there were no such attacks. It’s not violent video games and television, though these things don’t help when coupled with complacent or out-to-lunch parents. And it’s not because mental health has been hijacked by political correctness.

They are all Band-Aid solutions on a gaping wound.

As Pogo famously said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We are the problem.

We have warped a generation, producing manic children conditioned to fear everything — can’t walk to the bus stop alone because you’ll be kidnapped; can’t ride a bike because you’ll get hit by a car (despite a Kevlar helmet and 78 protective pads); can’t play sports because you might get injured; can’t play cops-and-robbers because you might become a mass murderer; can’t settle your own disputes on the playground, so parents must pick their children’s teams. Everything is so precisely planned and organized — what the hell is a “play date?” — by helicopter parents obsessively hovering over their children. The creativity and curiosity that comes with being a child has been erased, replaced with a structure so unnatural that social skills are nearly nonexistent.

But it doesn’t stop there. We have ingrained such an irrational fear of suffering “hurt feelings” that many teachers don’t grade tests (some would do better than others, so it’s best to make everything equal and tell everyone “good job”), we don’t keep score at sports games and league standings are often taken offline so as to not offend the last-place team. Everyone gets a trophy because we have mandated a homogenous society, and individual achievement is often frowned upon if not outright ridiculed.

We have attempted to whitewash all “bad things,” which, not that long ago, were known as something else: Valuable life lessons.

We have become so fearful of risk — God forbid someone might not succeed at something — that children don’t know how to fail.

And when they don’t learn how to fall down — an inescapable human trait, by the way — they don’t know how to pick themselves up and try again. Instead, they are growing up in an artificial world of absolutes that we created — that everything must be 100 percent guaranteed safe.

We no longer encourage, let alone teach, entrepreneurship and self-reliance, having relegated “no risk, no reward” to the trash heap. The result? Many of today’s job seekers, fearful of being on their own, go on interviews with their parents! Mom and Dad negotiate salaries, ask the questions, take over the process and ream out the hiring manager when Junior doesn’t get the job to which they think he was entitled.

Many end up merely dysfunctional until the real world shatters the protective cocoon that has surrounded them for so long.

But for some — a small fraction, thankfully — they snap when something finally doesn’t go their way. Someone doesn’t like them, they get fired, a teacher or boss disciplines them, and they go on a rampage. They kill whatever is in their way, and, usually themselves, because of their complete inability to deal with Life.

Just a generation or two ago, children walked home from school, even at lunchtime. School doors were never locked. Fights in the schoolyard were quick, and the “combatants” were friends again 15 minutes later. Children played ghost-in-the-graveyard until they were called in, and all survived. Scoreboards weren’t turned off in a rout, and losing teams always worked harder to get better, which served them well in school and, later, the workplace. And you know what? There were virtually no shootings, and no one lived in fear. Imagine that.

Since the nation’s beginning, Americans’ courage has been exceptional. Our Founding Fathers risked (and many lost) everything, when they could have done nothing and enjoyed the good life. Americans engaged themselves in ferocious wars to save the world from tyranny, yet never flinched. Civil rights leaders, at risk to life and limb, overcame unimaginable hurdles to achieve freedom and justice.

With such a legacy of success, why have we become so scared of our own shadow, impotent to build upon that history and forge ahead in arguably the most exciting time in human history?

The real world doesn’t change — it has been and always will be filled with risk and danger. Managing those things without being a prisoner of fear is the only way for a nation, and a people, to prosper.

It’s time for the helicopter parents to come in for a permanent landing, or soon we will all crash and burn.

Chris Freind can be found at


Americans Becoming Prisoners To Fear


Toomey Summer Interns

Emily Filburn of Carlisle and Colleen Harmon of Shippensburg will be serving as summer interns for Sen. Pat Toomey (R)

Miss  Filburn, of Carlisle, Pa., will intern in Toomey’s Harrisburg office working on constituent inquiries and outreach efforts. She graduated from Trinity High School and attends California University of Pennsylvania, where she majors in public relations and minors in Spanish.  She is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Society.

Miss Harmon,   is also interning in his Harrisburg office where she will be supporting my staff with constituent inquiries and outreach efforts. A graduate from St. Joseph’s Catholic Home School, she attends Christendom College in Virginia, and majors in English and literature. She plans to pursue a career in law and public service.

Toomey Summer Interns

Toomey Summer Interns

Murnaghans Thank Supporters

To all of you who have taken up Sarah’s cause and signed this petition to change the Under 12 Rule – thank you!  Your incredible efforts have helped change policy and save lives.

On June 10, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) board unanimously passed a resolution to allow children under 12 to be considered for the adult lung transplant list on a case-by-case basis by OPTN’s Lung Review Board.

Three days before, a federal judge had granted Sarah and another boy – Javier Acosta, who is also in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with end-stage cystic fibrosis – a temporary restraining order that allowed them to be considered for an adult lung transplant based on their Lung Allocation Scores (LAS).

On June 13, we received news that adult donor lungs became available and Sarah received a lung transplant.

Sarah got lungs quickly after going to the adult list because her LAS finally mattered and she was the sickest one on the list. She had an LAS of 91 out of 100 when transplanted.
We are in the early stages of recovery and Sarah’s battle has been rough, but we’re continuing to fight.

As difficult as this process has been post-surgery, we appreciate that OPTN has now opened the door for other children in Sarah’s unique position to become eligible for adult lung transplant.

The OPTN’s decision does not mean that children under 12 will automatically go to the front of the transplant line. They will not receive special treatment, but they will now be placed on the waiting list based on the severity of their illness the same way people 12 and over are listed.

We hope Sarah’s story moves people to become organ donors, because more than any ruling, it is the heroes who donate their organs that save lives.

God bless you all for standing by Sarah.  Thank you to Congressman Pat Meehan, Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Lou Barletta, Governor Tom Corbett and all of the other elected officials who fought to change the Under 12 Rule. To all of Sarah’s supporters who signed this petition, we thank you and ask for your continued prayers in support of Sarah and all people waiting for organ transplants.

Janet, Fran, Sarah, Ella, Sean and Finn Murnaghan


Murnaghans Thank Supporters

Grilled lamb chops sweet and sour mint sauce — Tonight’s Meal

Tonight’s meal by Chef and Mrs. Chef Bill was grilled lamb chops served with a sweet and sour mint sauce with sides of lemon-buttered crowns of broccoli and dirty rice and a starter course of vichyssoise.

Chef Bill grilled the chops and made the vichyssoise. Mrs. Chef Bill handled the sauce — with the mint coming straight from the garden, the broccoli (thanks Nikki) and rice.