Corbett’s Transition Team

The full roster of names was released today, and Ethan @ Keystone Conversatives does the math.

43 CEO’s
1 Pastor
1 Father
2 Tea Party Leaders
12 State Senators
9 State Representatives

I think I would have preferred more tea partiers and less legislators, but the large number of CEOs, people with actual experience in running a business is heartening.

November 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm Comment (1)

City Hall has a Village

Not a Christmas Village, just a Village.

The sign that hangs above the 80 wooden booths that make up the traditional European Christmas Village on the west side of City Hall used to say “Christmas Village,” but this morning, it’s missing a word.

The sign, strung up in lights, says just “Village.”

City Managing Director Richard Negrin says workers took the word Christmas down because of complaints.
“I’ve received a number of complaints throughout the past few months and apparently over the past several years about the fact that village wasn’t more inclusive,” he says. “It really is not just a Christian village, it’s more of a holiday Village.”

My family was planning on going down to visit the “Christmas Village.”

I guess we’ll be going to Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, Pa instead.

November 30, 2010 at 11:08 am Comment (1)

Quote of the Day

Victor Davis Hanson on the confused morality of Wikileaks:

So, should we laugh or cry that State Department legal eagle Harold Koh is now using the powers of his new office (quite rightly) to remind leakers of the harm that they do to the operations of the U.S. government? The Bush-era author of “Can the President Be Torturer in Chief?” is now writing briefs explaining why the Obama administration’s use of judge/jury/executioner Predator drones against suspected terrorists (and anyone who goes up in smoke in their vicinity) is sanctioned by U.S. law. (I’d prefer to be waterboarded at Guantanamo by live questioning inquisitors than blown up by a no-questions-asked robot in Waziristan.)

November 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm Comments (0)

Shameless media appearance plug

Check out WFYL 1180 AM Monday morning between 10 AM and 11 AM where I will be a guest on Barry Papiernak’s show. 

If you are not a Montco local, check out live streaming here.

November 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm Comments (0)

Pennsylvania Oddities


Here‘s a link to the Pennsylvania page of the Atlas Obscura.

If you are traveling around the Keystone State you might want to check out some of these bizarre and sometimes disturbing places — for example, the Mutter museum in Philly.

November 28, 2010 at 11:28 am Comments (0)

Rendell VETOs Castle Doctrine

Self defense for me, not for thee.

Three more bills met Gov. Ed Rendell’s veto pen, including one that would have expanded a person’s self-defense rights to use deadly force in certain circumstances outside their home or car.

Rendell took action on the bills Saturday, all of which passed the state Legislature in recent weeks.

The self-defense bill would have expanded Pennsylvania’s so-called “Castle Doctrine” and offered immunity against civil lawsuits in certain cases.

Rendell had said he believed it’d create more violence.

Considering that this passed the House and Senate pretty handily the last time, it’s only a matter of time before Governor Corbett signs this into law.

November 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm Comments (0)

Plumbing the Depths of Corruption

A nice discussion of the seamy side of Congress, one that names names.

And the MSM wonders just why so many people are so fed up with the political class.

November 27, 2010 at 12:56 am Comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving

Ronald Reagan, 1981

America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history. In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving thanks to God for all of His blessings. … In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. Americans have always understand that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.

November 25, 2010 at 11:39 am Comments (0)

PA-39: It’s over

Levdansky concedes.

An attorney for state Rep. David Levdansky said Monday that he and his client won’t be challenging the results of the election in the 39th Legislative District.

But attorney Angelo Papa of New Castle said he has “concerns” about the lack of a paper trail on Pennsylvania’s touch-screen voting machines.

Their decision lets stand the victory of Levdansky’s Republican opponent, Rick Saccone of Elizabeth Township.

Saccone’s victory over Levdansky (I will never get tired of typing that) is the only Republican pick-up in Allegheny county and marks the first time a Republican has represented the district in at least 40 years. Most of all, it marks the end of the reign of a petty little tyrant who is the poster child for term limits.

Levdansky is (sorry–was) one of those politicians who thought nobody would figure out that what he did and what he said were two different things. Levdansky spent 26 trying to create a public persona, but his lies finally caught up to him. Here are some examples:

Myth: Levdansky supported gun rights.
Fact: He was supported by Ceasefire PA, voted against the Castle Doctrine, and flipped off members of Firearm Owners Against Crime from the floor of the House. He was also forcibly and physically removed from the clubhouse at the Clairton Sportsmen’s Club which is just…entertaining.

Myth: Levdansky was pro-life.
Fact: He was rated “pro-choice” by Planned Parenthood. How he ever thought he’d be able to keep us a charade like this is beyond me.

Myth: Levdansky was a “stand-up” guy.
Fact: His ex-wife got a restraining order against him because he was physically abusive. Note that I said “ex” wife.

It should be no surprise, then, that instead of doing the honorable thing and simply conceding the election on November 2 or shortly thereafter, Levdansky drug it out for nearly three weeks. It’s almost like he can’t let go or something. Either that or he’s a dishonorable SOB. Take your pick.

November 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm Comments (0)

Re: Airport scanners

Apparently the big “opt out” protest turned out to be much ado about nothing. Which is too bad, since this is clearly a case of government power run amok: A gross violation of our 4th amendment rights for an ineffective security procedure. The Inky’s Daniel Rubin talked to an anonymous TSA employee about the impending protest:

My pal at the TSA has three words for the protest:

“Bring it on.”

Screeners get paid (not much) by the hour, he reminded me. They are in no hurry, as opposed to passengers. Screeners will win this contest. Every time. It’s a stupid protest.

Nothing makes me feel safer than an adversarial low-paid hourly employee with absolutely no incentive to do a good job and unlimited bureaucratic power. And wait till the Obama Administration unionizes them! Nope, this is not a system open to abuses at all.

Rubin eventually gets to the point of his article a couple of paragraphs later, which is that we should submit to the unconstitutional search of our bodies in the name of keeping us safe, but oh, by the way, were you aware that only 80% of cargo is being screened? That’s what we should be protesting. I beg to differ. 20% of packages is one big giant gaping hole to drive a bomb through, especially given the scare last month. When TSA can get that right, then they can start making the case for pornographic searches.

Politico notes that the outrage and negative attention to the TSA procedures is being noticed in Washington:

“The question is, which kind of privacy do you want to have?” said Stewart Baker, a top Department of Homeland Security official during the Bush administration. “This has been a pretty searing experience for DHS. Obviously, we’re not going to do more in this area [of physical checks] and it would be welcome if we could do less….The alternative is to look for terrorists in advance.”

Yes, please. The kind of privacy I’d like to have is the kind where it is not wantonly sacrificed to appease the those with the most delicate of all sensibilities. Offending them makes them want to blow things up; but not offending them seems to have the same exact effect, doesn’t it?

By far, the most succinct and eloquent explanation of the unconstitutionality of these searches comes from NR’s Andy McCarthy:

At a number of the nation’s most heavily trafficked airports, in the midst of the Thanksgiving holiday, when people routinely fly in order to be with faraway loved ones, the TSA is saying: Let’s suspect everyone of being a terrorist, no matter how groundless the suspicion, and move immediately to the most intrusive search procedures in our toolkit.

This is a rank violation of the Fourth Amendment. In my long-ago trial, it would have been thought obscene to make violent drug traffickers the measure of every person’s privacy rights. There would have to be something more — some concrete basis for suspicion, particular to the person. Yet, the TSA is making the savage jihadist its lodestar for navigating the threat it audaciously presumes to be posed by every American.

Must read it all.

And, hey, if you are still worried that an opt out protest of the TSA is going to delay you or make you miss your flight?

Well, you can always take the bus.

November 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm Comments (2)

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