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.

More Bad News For Murphy

A week ago Commonwealth Court Judge Dan
foiled a plan by the incumbent Democrat to get a conservative third-party candidate on the ballot in Pennsylvania’s  8th
Congressional District

Now there are reports that internal GOP polling shows that that Democrat, Patrick Murphy, is behind Republican challenger former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick 48-41 percent.

Murphy knocked off Fitzpatrick by just 1,518 votes in 2006. He easily held his seat two years ago getting 57 percent of the vote in his race against Tom Manion.

Hat tip to

Will Mel Gibson Stump For Sestak?

Joe Sestak appeared at a CAIR fundraiser in 2007 and you could chalk it up to ignorance and Kumbaya-naivete that he didn’t know that the group had been connected to Islamic extremism and terrorism by the FBI.

Ignorance and naivete are not traits you’d hope to see in your congressman but they don’t mean that he particularly wants to see any particular nation get wiped off of the map.

Last week , Sestak brought in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to endorse him. Bloomberg, a Tea-Party-hating Republican, has been unwavering in his support for Feisal Abdul Rauf’s Victory Mosque near the 9/11 Ground Zero site.

Rauf is someone who sympathizes with Hamas and thinks the United States is an “accessory” to the 9/11 attacks. But Bloomberg is a Jew and no Jew would want to empower a group that would seek to wipe Israel off the map so that makes it OK and beside religious tolerance is a good thing especially when one is trying to open a sharia-based banking center in Dubai to access Islamic banking and monetary systems

Yesterday, however, Sestak brought from Nebraska former Senator Chuck Hagel to campaign for him. Hagel, also a Tea-Party-hating Republican, was one of just four senators who refused to sign a letter in support of Israel in 2000; one of 27 senators to refuse to sign a letter asking President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections in 2005 and just one of 12 who refused to ask the European Union to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, among other things.

So Joe, who’s coming next week? Mel Gibson?

USS Olympia Vs Stimulus Signs And Yankees

USS Olympia Vs Stimulus Signs And Yankees

Historical apathy is threatening to do what the Spanish Navy could not and that is send the USS Olympia to a watery grave.

The cruiser which is berthed at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia was the flagship of Admiral Dewey’s fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898 during the Spanish American War and from which he uttered the famous command “You May Fire When You Are Ready, Gridley”

It is the oldest steel-hulled ship afloat, and is an important record of 19th century transitional technology.

The owner of the ship, the Independence Seaport Museum, says it cannot afford the $20 million-plus to maintain it.

While $20 million is a lot, spending it on the ship would provide honest American jobs to save an treasure than could never be recovered if it should be lost. It would certainly be less of a waste than spending $20 million in federal money on propaganda signs for the “Stimulus” Act; or $20 million to repair a minor league ballpark in Lackawanna County for the New York Yankees, an institution that wouldn’t blink at paying that plus 50 percent for single-season’s work from a third-baseman.

Worst comes to worst maybe they can move it down the river to Delaware County which has managed to find $30 million for a soccer stadium and talk the state into chipping in another $47 million.

A nation that forgets its history is not going to last. Those in the 19th century understood this.

USS Olympia Vs Stimulus Signs And Yankees


Obama To Mandate AIDS Integration In Prison?

South Carolina is expecting a lawsuit by the Obama administration aimed at ending its policy of segregating prisoners with AIDS that has been in place since 1998.

The administration claims the policy prevents infected prisoners “from participating in activities and jobs of their choosing”; is unconstitutional and that the separation “stigmatizes” prisoners with AIDS.

Since the policy was put in place there has just been one transmission of HIV/AIDS to an uninfected prisoner

Lingenfelter Off Ballot In Pa-8

The Republican’s road to returning as the party representing Pennsylvania’s 8th District in Congress got a little easier after a successful petition challenge knocked conservative independent Tom Lingenfelter off the ballot, Thursday.

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini ruled that 769 signatures on the petition were invalid because they were obtained by circulators who lived outside the district.

Lingenfelter attorney Larry Otter argued that the Department of Stateinstructions simply said circulators “must be a qualified elector of theCommonwealth of Pennsylvania.”Pellegrini, however, said a ruling by the state Supreme Court that they must be district residents took precedence over the Department of State directions.

Among those circulating the petitions for Lingenfelter were two interns working for Democrat incumbent Patrick Murphy. The Republican in the race is former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, who Murphy beat by 1,518 votes in 2006.
Lingenfelter received more than 5,000 as a third-party candidate in 2008, in the race that saw Murphy easily win reelection with 57 percent of the vote over Republican Tom Manion.

Murphy, an Iraq war veteran, has claimed to be a moderate. With Obama in office, however, he has shown himself not just to be an extreme social liberal, with his support for abortion and gun control, but a fiscal one as well supporting Obamacare and the stimulus. He has voted with Nancy Pelosi 99 percent of the time.

Lingenfelter remains on the ballot in 143rd District State House race.

Hat tip to