Comcast Customers Surprised By Lost Channels

Comcast without any real warning has begun encrypting the channels that they had led owners of digital-ready TVs to believe would remain accessible to them sans the cheap digital adapter boxes with the even cheaper remotes.

It happened in the Windsor Circle area of Springfield, Pa on Wednesday. Other areas of the town were still getting channels without encryption as of Saturday but don’t expect it to last.

Comcast  had given away the digital adapters for free without an increase in cost but many owners of new TVs declined to hook them up because of the low quality remotes, unnecessary complexity and wire snarls, poorer picture quality and loss of functionality.

Others never bothered ordering them because they had been led by Comcast to believe they were unnecessary for owners of digital-ready TVs.

An explanation for the unexpected action that appeared on Wednesday appears to have been removed. It basically said the new policy was in regard to Comcast concerns about theft of services.

And of course, the tech support people were unable to tell you what had happened and not just due to the language barriers. Comcast apparently didn’t tell them what they did.

People are angry.

Verizon, btw, is offering an equivalent service to Comcast for $50 per month less.


Comcast Building Lobby Comcast Customers Surprised By Lost Channels

Comcast Customers Surprised By Lost Channels

Wee Willie Weber R.I.P.

Bill “Wee Willie” Weber died Sunday morning. He was 81. Many of a certain age who grew up in the Philadelphia area will remember him showing afternoon cartoons such as AstroBoy on Channel 17. He was noted disc jockey for WIP in the late 1960s and early 1970s and for WPEN from 1989 to 2005.

He’d been doing a late-morning show, Second Cup of Coffee, on
WHAT (1340 AM).

Mr. Webber was chairman of the Broadcast Pioneers board. He is
survived by his wife, Constance, and children Bill Jr. and Wendy.

R.I.P. Wee Willie and thanks for the memories.

Race, Libertarians And Democrats

Race, Libertarians And Democrats — Rand Paul, who is the GOP senatorial nominee for Kentucky and the son of America’s most famous libertarian, said on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show that  business should be allowed to discriminate with regard to how they serve customers which is something prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Section II ).

While he also defended the landmark law in general terms and condemned racial discrimination he was raked over the coals by the wolves who run the establishment media for the sake of the sheep.

Here is something to ponder: throughout America’s history every ethnic group faced discrimination from those on top at the time. This is true of the Irish, the Italians, the Swedes, the Eastern Europeans (upon who was bestowed the slur “honky”,  and, in fact, if you go back far enough was the inspiration for the word “slave”), Japanese, Chinese, Cubans and even the Germans.

All of course persevered and eventually prospered in the face of the bigots in business.

So what made the black experience different? The answer is government. Laws were passed to require that restaurants and hotels and buses have separate accommodations for blacks and whites. Officers of the law ignored with impunity crimes committed against blacks, and even at times joined in their commission. Agents of the state conspired to keep blacks from exercising their votes much less their rights to speak and lobby, often by sanctioning terror.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was progress in that it ended these things, but what if it stopped short of prohibiting business owners to be bigots? Maybe blacks would end up with the same stature in small business that they enjoy in professional sports and entertainment which were never really subject to civil rights legal action. Does it occur to anyone that businesses that refuse customers don’t survive?

Something else to ponder: the group that imposed the government oppression of blacks was not the libertarians.

It was the authoritarian, anti-business, big government Democrats. And don’t think those Democrats were just  disgruntled Confederates from the 19th Century.

Progressive hero Woodrow Wilson — the Democrat who gave us the income tax, the IRS and Federal Reserve Board — turned Washington D.C. from a racially integrated city in 1913 to a racially segregated, Jim Crow town.

Fitz Hollings,  the Democrat senator from South Carolina and ally of Bill Clinton, was the one who who started flying the Confederae battle flag over South Carolina’s Capitol to protest the civil rights movement in 1962.

Robert Bryd’s support was integral to the government take over of health care in March. The Democrat senator from West Virginia and one-time Senate Majority leader was once a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan.

It was Democratic mayors, governors and police chiefs that turned firehoses and police dogs on civil rights marchers in the 1950s and 1960s.

If the Rand Pauls of the world ran things Jim Crow would never have existed, and if they ran things in 1964 Jim Crow  would have ended with a lot less turmoil and heartache, and blacks and whites today would be about as divided as Italians and WASPs are today.

Race, Libertarians And Democrats
Race, Libertarians And Democrats



Race, Libertarians And Democrats


Corbett Kills Subpoena After Stiff Sentence For Cott

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett directed that the subpoena to Twitter Inc. for the records of the accounts for bfbarbie and CasablancaPa be dropped after Brett Cott was sentenced this morning for his role in Bonusgate.

Cott, who was an aide to State Rep. Mike Veon, received 21 to 61 months along with fines totaling $11,000 and a requirement to pay $50,000 restitution to the state.

Why pile on Corbett must have figured.

The subpoena was an attempt by Corbett to connect to Cott  statements disparaging the investigation after being found guilty of theft of service, conflict of interest and conspiracy to commit conflict of interest following a six-week trial that ended in March.

The statements would have shown a serious lack of remorse.

Convicted in the same trial were Veon, a Democrat who represented the 14th District from 1985 to 2006, and two other Veon aides.

Bonusgate involved tax money being used to pay political aides for campaign work in the form of large year-end bonuses. Ironically, much of work performed by the staff hacks involved keeping candidates to left of the Democratic Party off the ballot.

Cott, for instance, was reportedly instrumental in keeping Carl Romanelli, a Green Party candidate, off the ballot for U.S. Senate in 2006. He was paid salary of $223,000plus bonuses of over $39,000from 2004 to 2006 and apparently little of his time was spent on constituent services or legislative matters.

The subpoena from the state Investigative Grand Jury was signed by Judge Barry F. Feudal. It was the cause of the moment yesterday as speculation went around the nation that Corbett, who won the Republican gubernatorial nomination Tuesday, was trying to squelch critics or expose whistleblowers.

More irony is that these same “free speech” and privacy advocates outraged over the exposure of a thief have been silent on the matter of George Donnelly who  spent two days in jail  and faces eight years in prison for trying to videotape a confrontation involving federal officers and a man trying to distribute fliers in front of the federal courthouse in Allentown.

Meanwhile, the Senate Democrats, today, passed a financial regulatory bill that allows the government to collect data on any person operating in financial markets at any level, including the collection of personal transaction records from local banks, including customers’ addresses and ATM receipts.

Wonder how many of the Anti-Corbettites are going to express concern.

Maybe Corbett’s Not Evil After All Or Live By Tweets Die By Tweets

The May 6 Grand Jury subpoenas of Twitter Inc. for the records of bfbarbie and CasablancaPa per the request of Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett involve tomorrow’s sentencing of convicted felon Brett Cott according to Kevin Harley, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

Harley said details will be forthcoming at the sentencing.

Cott was the top aide to State Rep. Mike Veon , who represented the 14th District from 1985 to 2006. Cott, along with his boss and two other aides were convicted in March after a six-week trial on charges relating to Bonusgate in which legislative staffers  were given bonuses with state money for campaign work.

Cott is specifically guilty of theft of service, conflict of interest and conspiracy to commit conflict of interest.

If Cott spent the last two months ripping Corbett anonymously via Twitter it really doesn’t show much in the way of repentance for his ill deeds and it really doesn’t bode well for the sorry sack of pick-your-favorite-word-starting-with-an-s if he can’t figure out why he should be repentant.

Corbett’s Twitter Headache May Go Viral

Pennsylvania attorney general and GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett has an unexpected viral headache ruining the glow of his primary triumph.

Corbett in his job as A.G. subpoenaed Twitter Inc., May 6, for the records of two account holders who have been harshly critical of his handling of Bonusgate , in which tax money was used to pay political aides for campaign work in the form of bonuses.

Wrongdoing happened and Corbett got guilty pleas and his corruption investigations — while starting with Democrats — eventually netted high-ranking Republicans as well.

So why were the accounts bfbarbie and CasablancaPa subpoenaed? It can’t be a simple matter of slander/libel since Corbett is seeking the information via a grand jury, and as a public figure it is unlikely what was said about him would come close to even meriting a case.

If he doesn’t come up with a good explanation for his action, though, don’t be surprised if it causes his campaign surprising damage. The matter is being discussed in a very unfavorable way on political and technical blogs throughout the state and nation.

Not to mention Twitter, of course.

A call has been placed to the Attorney General’s office asking for Corbett’s side, and Corbett’s office responded. See the next post.

8 Years For Videotaping Outside Fed Courthouse?

8 Years For Videotaping Outside Fed Courthouse? — A libertarian activist who began videotaping when federal officers confronted his three-man group distributing fliers outside the federal courthouse in Allentown, Pa. has been charged with assaulting a court officer after he struggled to keep court officer Claire Burns and Deputy U.S. Marshal Enrique Trevino from taking his camera.

The incident began after Ms. Burns, who was part of a contingent of several officers, approached Julian Heicklen of Fully Informed Jury Association — a group that feels jurors are often not adequately aware of their powers and obligations under the Constitution — and Heicklen began to argue.

George Donnelly began videotaping the incident. Ms. Burns attempted to take his camera, Donnelly struggled to keep it and Trevino and other marshals came to her assistance.

Donnelly was arrested and charged. He was released on his own recognizance after spending two days in custody. He must remain in his home and wear an electronic bracelet until his May 25 hearing.

The charge comes with an eight-year jail sentence.

Here is the story from the The Morning Call of Allentown .

Here is the one from FIJA.

See if you can spot the differences.

8 Years For Videotaping Outside Fed Courthouse?

Dem Beats Gleason’s Choice To Keep Murtha Seat

Mark Critz, the aide to the late Congressman John Murtha, won a special election Tuesday to fill the remainder of his term which ends Jan. 3.

Critz, a Democrat, easily beat Republican Tim Burns, who state GOP Chairman Rob Gleason had tapped over Bill Russell, the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who ran against Murtha in 2008.

Critz got 53 percent of the vote to Burns’ 45 percent with Libertarian Demo Agoris getting the rest.

There will be a rematch in November for a fresh term since Burns beat Russell in the GOP congressional primary race while Critz defeated two novice primary challengers.

In other races extreme liberal Congressman Joe Sestak ended turncoat Arlen Specter’s career beating the party-endorsed incumbent in the Democrat U.S. Senate primary. He will face Republican Pat Toomey this fall who easily beat activist Peg Luksik.

Attorney General Tom Corbett won the Republican gubernatorial primary over tenacious Sam Rohrer, the representative for the 128th District in the State House. His likely opponent in the general election will be Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato who won the four-man Democrat race.

What might complicate the race a bit is Robert Allen Mansfield , a sergeant in the National Guard with service in Iraq, who has announced that he will run as a independent candidate. Mansfield is an African-American conservative from Philadelphia who had been a Republican and who has a fascinating life story. 

In the Democrat lieutenant governor race,  it appears rather shockingly that Scott Conklin who represents the 77th District in the State House has beaten endorsed candidate Jonathan Saidel, the former Philadelphia city controller, and Doris Smith-Ribner, a retired Commonwealth Court judge.

In the GOP lieutenant governor race, the winner of a field of nine is very unshockingly  Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, who was strongly pushed by Tom Corbett.

Double Voting In Murtha Land

UPDATE: According to the Pennsylvania Independent, there were 178 double ballots distributed, of which 120 went to Republicans, 55 went to Democrats and three went to independents.

Upon realizing her mistake, Amber Lilley, a Democrat and the judge of elections at the North Union Township Fourth Precinct, contacted Fayette County Election Bureau Director Larry Blosser who directed her to secure the cast ballots and re-set theelectronic voting machines.

The ballots will be held and the election board will hold a meeting to decide what to do with them.

In a precinct in which the late John Murtha won with 62 percent of the vote two years ago, 175 people were given two votes to cast this morning in the special election between Republican Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz, who had been Murtha’s aide, to fill the remaining seven months of Murtha’s term in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District.

The precinct judge of elections at North Union 4 in Fayette County says she mistakenly thought she was required to give separate ballots for the primary and general elections.

Murtha beat Republican Bill Russell with 58 percent of the vote in 2008.

There have also been reports about Critz illegally campaigning inside polling places in Cambria County.

It’s Primary Day In Pa

It’s primary election day in Pa. with the polls opening at 7 in the morning and closing at 8 p.m., and what will be decided is who the major party candidates are for the general election on Nov. 2.
Returns can be found here .
There will also be a special election to determine who will represent Pennsylvania’s 12th District in Congress for the remainder of the term left vacant by John Murtha’s Feb. 9 death. The term will end Jan. 3, 2011.
Senate Races
The race getting the most attention is the Democratic U.S. Senate primary fight between incumbent and party-endorsed party-switcher Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak of the 7th District who is not seeking re-election to his congressional seat. Polls show it to be neck and neck.

Seeking the GOP U.S. Senate nomination are businessman and former Congressman Pat Toomey and activist Peg Luksik. Toomey is the strong favorite.
12th Congressional District

The special election has Republican businessman Tim Burns facing off against Democrat Mark Critz , who was Murtha’s aide and touts himself as a knowledgeable Washington insider.
There is also a primary race, however, and it is in the realm of possibility that the winner of the special election will not be on the November ballot. The GOP race is between Burns and William Russell who was the Republican candidate for the seat in 2008.
Critz has an easier path with his opponents being novices Ryan Bucchianeri and Ronald Mackell Jr.
Other Congressional Primary Contests
3rd District

Incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper has a Democratic primary challenger in Mel Marin. Republicans seeking to take on the winner in November are Clayton Grabb, Martha Moore, Steven Fisher, Mike Kelly, Ed Franz, and Paul Huber.
4th District

Keith Rothfus and former U.S. attorney Mary Beth Buchanan battle to be the GOP nominee vs. incumbent Dem Jason Altmire.
6th District

Manan  Trivedi and Doug Pike are striving to be the Democrat nominee while GOP incumbent Jim Gerlach faces a challenge from Patrick Henry Sellers. 
8th District

Republicans seeking to take on Democrat incumbent Patrick Murphy are Michael Fitzpatrick, Gloria Carlineo, James Jones and Ira Hoffman.
10th District

Republicans Malcolm Derk, David Madeira and Thomas Marino are fighting to be the nominee against vulnerable Democrat incumbent Christopher Paul Carney.
11th District

Democrat incumbent Paul E. Kanjorski faces a primary challenge from Corey O’Brien. Winner takes on Republican Lou Barletta in November.
13th District

Republicans seeking the nomination to take on Democrat incumbent Allyson Schwartz in November are Brian P. Haughton, Joshua Quinter and Carson Dee Adcock.
15th District

Republican incumbent Charles Dent faces a primary challenge from Mat Benol. Winner faces Democrat John B. Callahan in November.
17th District

Democrat incumbent Tim Holden faces a primary challenge from Sheila Dow-Ford. Seeking the GOP nomination are Dave Argall, Allen Griffith, Josh First and Frank Ryan.
19th District
Republican incumbent Todd Platts faces a primary challenge from Michael Smeltzer. Winner faces Democrat Ryan Sanders in November.
Governor Races
In the GOP governor’s race, party-endorsed Attorney General Tom Corbett is facing  challenge from State Rep. Sam Rohrer and it appears to have him surprisingly worried .
The Democrat who want the gubernatorial nomination are
Dan Onorato, the Allegheny Countyexecutive; State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, who represents the 8th District which includes large parts of southwest Philadelphia andsoutheast Delaware County,  Jack Wagner, the state auditor general; and Joe Hoeffel, a Montgomery County commissioner.
Lt. Gov Races
With regard to the lieutenant governor slot, nine Republicans are seeking it. They are:
Chet Beiler — former Lancaster County GOP chairman
Steve Johnson– York County businessman
Russ Diamond,founder of PaCleanSweep
BillyMcCue, a businessman
JohnKennedy, a former state representative
Jim Cawley, a Bucks County Commissioner who calls himself a “fiscal conservative” and is being pushed by Corbett.
Jean Craige Pepper, who once ran for state treasurer and whose platform seems to be that she’s the only girl in the game.
Stephen Urban, a Luzerne County Commissioner
Daryl Metcalfe, the state representative for the 12th District who just submitted a bill based on Arizona’s illegal immigration law.

The Democrats running for lieutenant governor are party-endorsed Jonathan Sadel, a former Philadelphia city controller;  DorisSmith-Ribner, a retired Commonwealth Courth judge; and Scott A. Conklin, the state rep for the 77th District.
State Senate Races
While there are no contested Republican State Senate primaries, there are several on the Democrat ticket which are:
4th Senatorial District

W. Lamont Thomas
Leanna Washington (incumbent)
6th Senatorial District

(seat held by Republican Tommy Tomlinson)
John Jordan
Bryan Allen
8th Senatorial District

Anthony Hardy Williams (incumbent who is also running for lieutenant governor)
Carmen Hopson
14th Senatorial District

(Seat being vacated by Democrat Raphael Musto)
John T. Yudichak
Tom Leighton
22nd Senatorial District

(Seat being vacated by Democrat Robert J. Mellow who is retiring to enjoy a $313,000 annual pension )
Joseph J. Corcoran
Charles J. Volpe
Jim Wansacz
John Blake
Christopher Doherty
Christopher Phillips
32nd Senatorial District

Ronald Gallo
Richard Kasunic (incumbent)
Other races
To see the contest primaries in the 203 State House districts visit here .
To see the races for State Democrat Committee visit here
To see the races for State Republican Committee visit here .