Don’t Build The Dang Mosque

The first rule of tolerance is if it’s not a two-way street it’s not tolerance. The second rule is pointless provocation is not a sign of tolerance.

While there may very well be positive aspects to Islam, that that religion was integral to the motivations of the 9/11 hijackers is not something that can be denied and for Feisal Abdul Rauf to want to build, not a small humble structure, but a towering edifice near the site of most of those murders shows gross insensitivity at best, and despicable finger-in-the-eye, start-a-fight triumphalism at worst.

And if  space really were the issue, Rauf could probably save a few tens of millions dollars by moving 10 blocks north rather than south, and probably end up with more room.

Tolerance is good. To promote it, rather than object to protesters exercising their rights to do so, we should seek to open churches — Trinitarian or Unitarian — in churchless Saudi Arabia.

And it the name of tolerance, we should also listen to what the protesters have to say, and not judge them.

Welcome John Gilmore

Welcome John Gilmore, who is BillLawrenceOnline.Com’s first guest author.

Judy, badge number 2 is still available.

John is a Unitarian minister and school teacher who grew up in Chester, Pa. and his views may not be what you are used to on this site.

Diversity, however, is not what this site fears.

So, again welcome John.

Which World do You Want to Live in?

There have been horrible protests taking place in New York City and all over the country because some of our fellow citizens would like to build a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero (the former site of the Twin Towers and five blocks away from their present mosque they have outgrown) in New York.  Several people have been protesting.  They feel insulted that that group would dare to want to build a mosque there, mainly because it is Islamic.


In the street day after day we find people protesting, almost coming to blows because this mosque is moving from 12th to 2nd St. and building a community center.  Some protest for religious freedom, to allow the to build the mosque.  Others protest in the name of patriotism, thinking that the Moslems are all guilty for the attack on the Twin Towers.  It is a real fiasco. 



In contrast 

Moslems, Christians, Mormons, Unitarian Universalists, and various other religious organizations, met together at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Philadelphia to provide for the homeless, poor, and unemployed.  Thousands of people who were in need showed up.  


While all of the fighting and bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred are being played out  the real religious people who are dedicated to the principles of love, are working to make the world better by providing for the poor and broken-hearted.  I think it is important nowadays to find a group  that does similar things.  I want to be a part of that group.

All the anger, hollering and fighting to stop people from building a religious institution and community center has little to do with God and much to do with unresolved anger and deeply entrenched egos.

What can we do about this?  Find a group working to heal the world so you can channel your creativity into that.  Leave a great legacy to your children and grandchildren;  a legacy of a better world and the memory of a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who made the right decision, when times got rough, and stood on the side of love.  For love is all that we really have to improve things.  The ability to love and to create is probably the most important thing that we can give to the next generation.   The self-righteousness is something we should just as soon leave behind.

Dr. John W. Gilmore


Scott Ritter, Whatever Happened To?

Remember Scott Ritter? He was the former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. Circa 2003 you could find him on just about any cable news show describing how evil America was for invading Iraq and how Bush was a liar etc. So in these Obama years what has he been up to?

He has been in the Poconos; in a Monroe County courtroom to be exact, trying to get charges dropped that he set up a rendezvous for improper relations with a 15-year-girl he met on the internet. The “girl”, of course, turned out to be a Barret Township police officer.

In 2001, he was nailed in a similar sting. He has said that had been an attempt by The Man to silence his expose of Bush and Evil America.

Update: Ritter was convicted on six counts and sentenced to 18-66 months in state prison.


Scott Ritter, Whatever Happened To?

 Scott Ritter, Whatever Happened To?

GOP Up In Pa

The  Reuters/Ipsos poll released, today, has Republican Pat Toomey up 47-37 percent among likely voters over Democrat Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania Senate race. Among registered voters, a category historically more favorable to the Democrats, Toomey is up 40-37 percent.

Meanwhile, the latest Rasmussen Poll has Toomey up 45-39 percent among likely voters with Toomey ahead 48-42 percent if leaners are factored in.

In the governor’s race, Reuter/Ipsos has Republican Tom Corbett head of Democrat Don Onorato 49 percent to 34 percent.

In other election news, Sestak has launched his first attack ads in which he accuses Toomey to be in the pockets of Wall Street and features a CNBC interview from 2007 in which he advocates ending corporate income taxes.

The ad buy is estimated to cost $110,000 and will run in every market but Philadelphia.

Toomey has responded saying he was just trying to explain to consumers that it is they who ultimately pay for taxes on corporations, and that he recognizes that a 0 percent corporate income tax is is “impractical for a host of reasons”.

Some friendly advice, Joe. You are living in a greenhouse on the “capitalist tool of Wall Street” matter so be careful about throwing stones. It’s not like Toomey ever voted to take $700 billion in taxpayer money to bailout Goldman Sachs et al. That’s not his name there in the yes category of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

It’s funny that even though the TARP bailout was pushed by President Bush most Democrats voted for it and most Republicans voted against it.


SEPTA’s Silent Running

It’s the second day of the return to service for SEPTA’s Route 101 and Route 102 trolleys although one might suspect that many of those who live along the routes might not be aware of it.

The new continuous-weld tracks are that quiet.

Kudos SEPTA. Nice job.

One important caveat. If you should happen to be a teenager using the tracks as a hiking trail to school or wherever, you may want to change your habit. The trolleys are really that quiet.

Sestak Earmark Violated Rules

Congressman Joe Sestak who represents Pennsylvania’s 7th District and is the Democrat’s nominee for the senate race in that state  appears to have funneled a $350,000 earmark to a for-profit business. Beside such a thing being hypocritical and a violation of honest government etc, it also now violates House rules.

Sestak got the money for the Thomas Paine Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates keeping religion out of government. It was to be used for developing an offshore wind turbine.  What does the Thomas Paine Foundation have to do with wind energy? Why nothing. It’s owner, however, is Drew Devitt,  who also owns New Way Energy LLC,  and that has quite a bit to do with wind energy.

New Wave Energy is in Chester Township, Delaware County, which is actually in the 1st District represented by Bob Brady, also a Democrat, and who requested $1 million for the same project.

Devitt has admitted the money will go to him according to the Allentown Morning Call, — his home address is listed on the earmark request — and could be used for commercial application.

Sestak, btw, is now saying his office did due diligence to make sure the money was going to a non-profit. That’s right, Joe. The perfect criteria for getting tax dough to build a windmill is being able to throw a hissy fit over a Nativity scene. And why would you be shoving tax dollars to a common scold like the Thomas Paine Foundation, in the first place?

Hat tip to PoliticsPa.Com .

Finch Fuzz Say Respect My Authoritah

Finch Fuzz Say Respect My Authoritah — In the early morning two days after the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era carried a feel-good feature about how a grandmother nursed back to health a house finch found by her German shepherd and how the bird became a pet and followed her around the house singing, a Pennsylvania Game Commission Officer and three armed cops showed up at her door with a warrant.

They wanted the bird. Yes, the grandmother, Pati Mattrick, — OK, she’s a 57-year-old grandmother — had broken the law . Apparently it is illegal in this state to heal a sick bird. One must turn it over to licensed “rehabbers”.

The incident happened in May but is now starting to percolate into the rest of the state and, unfortunately, the nation. Having fools and petty tyrants in authority are never things about which one should boast.

Hopefully, the accompanying cops were restricted to just one bullet each and prohibited from keeping their service weapons loaded.

Kudos to Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman who seems sincerely ticked. “At best, this case was a grossly misguided abuse of law enforcement discretion,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. ” At worst, it was just plain cruel.”

Earlier this month, he decreed that all game officers go through his office to obtain search warrants rather than simply via a local magistrate.

Finch Fuzz Say Respect My Authoritah

Finch Fuzz Say Respect My Authoritah


Something’s Gotta Give On Public Pensions

Something’s Gotta Give On Public Pensions — Pittsburgh’s ever-shrinking pension fund was valued at $272.2 million on June 30 and had a liability of $989.5 million. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl wants to lease the city’s parking meters and garages by which he hopes to raise  $200 million to dump into it and stave off a state takeover.

As though the state doesn’t have pension financing issues of its own.

And that brings us to reality.

Neither the state nor municipal tax burden can be increased without, ultimately, impoverishing the unconnected class which most of us happen to be albeit the Democrat-voting side of “us” doesn’t generally believe it. Meanwhile, there are necessary government services that need to be funded. Pensions, as mean as it may be to say, is not one of them. In other words, the people fixing our roads and patrolling are streets are not the ones receiving pensions. Granted, they expect to. They consider pensions to be part of their wages and if they should see those who have gone before lose their pensions they might not patrol the streets as diligently or even stop altogether, but that just gets us to the next matter which is how to resolve the issue.

One is to let reality run its course. If, for example, the fund has to cough up $989 million but can only pay out $272 million, divvy what is there and walk on. It’s not like it’s never happened in the private sector .

That, however, would be extraordinarily cruel. One would expect in the case of Pittsburgh a lot of those pensions are going to secretaries and garbagemen and are not all that big in the first place, and trying to live on 28 percent of it would be extremely hard.

A better, kinder and much more moral approach would be to set a limit on outlays to, say, $40,000 regardless of whatever was in the contract until Pennsylvania’s economy can grow itself out of the deficit. This would apply to every state and municipal worker from every living governor on down.

One can survive very easily on $40,000. One unwilling to accept this sacrifice in this present crisis was never worthy of holding authority in education or on the bench or in the legislature, anyway, and should consider it due chastisement.

Something’s Gotta Give On Public Pensions

Something's Gotta Give On Public Pensions

Trips Should Be Seamless When Trolleys Return

The months-long, $34 million  renovation project of the SEPTA 101 and 102 trolley lines in Delaware County, Pa. ends Monday and service resumes.

The new continuous-weld rails should make the trips much smoother for passengers and, hopefully, quieter for residents near the tracks. One engineer has informed us that no major work should be required on the lines for at least a half-century.

And kudos to the drivers of the replacement buses who have gotten high marks from those having to use them.