Returning the COLA

State Rep Marcy Toepel:

State law requires an automatic cost-of-living adjustment for state officials this year. I will not keep this COLA. Instead, I will return it to the state. PA will face a multi-billion dollar deficit next fiscal year. State officials should not be receiving COLAs. We ask our citizens to do more with less and I feel state officials must lead by example and do the same. Returning this COLA is the right thing to do.

More like this please.

November 24, 2010 at 9:27 am Comments (0)

Re: Airport Scanners

“Enough is enough!”

I think we’re going to be hearing a lot of people saying that in the coming few years as this administration continues to offend the sensibilities of ordinary Americans.

It wouldn’t be a bad campaign slogan for 2012, assuming of course that the Republicans don’t nominate someone from the Old Guard [which they probably will].

November 24, 2010 at 2:49 am Comments (0)

No, I don’t like airport scanners

With no offense to my esteemed co-blogger Mr. Freind, enough is enough.

The list of indignities to which the Federal Government will subject its citizens is by no means nearing an end, nor will it end unless the public puts pressure on the government to modify their methods.

Americans are tired of submitting to the kabuki theater of “Airport Security” which is nothing more than a politically correct exercise whose primary purpose is to create the illusion of safety while, more importantly, avoiding incurring offense to an easily offendable group. Maybe the outrage and the issue is overblown, but Americans need to draw a line somewhere to get the government to change to a more reasonable and effective policy like profiling. The choice between groin pats or a low dose of radiation to take a picture of my naked body in order to fly seems as good a place as any to draw that line.

Here’s a thought: harass the people who are most likely to blow up a plane; it’s not like you don’t know who they are. And kindly leave the rest of us our 4th amendment rights intact.

Illustration of my point courtesy Iowahawk:

November 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm Comments (0)

Scaringi 2012

And the first challenger appears…

Marc A Scaringi, a former staffer for Rick Santorum in the mid-1990s, has announced his intention to run against Sen. Bob Casey in 2012.

“We have a President and his allies in Congress who are trying to transform an independent, prosperous people into dependents and wards of the government,” Scaringi said in a statement. “Casey is one of those.”

In a press release Tuesday evening, Scaringi touted the Tea Party movement, saying its “the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Reagan changed his voter registration from Democrat to Republican and became our nation’s 40th president.”

November 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm Comments (0)

Don’t Like Airport Scanners? Take The Bus To London!

When both sides in a negotiation refuse to budge, the impasse is usually detrimental to both parties.

With that in mind, perhaps I can be of assistance in mediating the exploding conflict involving body-imaging scanners and pat-downs at some of the nation’s airports. 

On one side, we have the government that, despite its reluctance to employ profiling with these measures, is standing its ground.  On the other, we have groups such as We Won’t, advocating that travelers not fly because the scanners are “strip searches;” if they do, however, they are encouraged to opt out of the “porno-scanners” and “raise holy hell.”

And I thought this was going to be a difficult negotiation.

There’s a very simple solution: do everything to accommodate the We Won’t Fly people. True, that’s not an effective negotiating strategy most of the time, but in this instance, it works perfectly.

Travelers in America will be somewhat safer, and the We Won’t Fly gang can take the bus to London.  I hear Greyhound has some great deals this time of year.


The outcry over these security tactics is, as with most things reported in today’s media, vastly overblown.  Sure, there are the loudmouths who stage protests, video themselves in pre-planned confrontations with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners, and post fallacies on their Facebook pages, but they are a small minority.

Truth is, most Americans don’t have a problem with the full-body imaging scanners at all, nor do they object to a rigorous pat-down should one opt out of the screening process.  It is an unfortunate but necessary precaution in a post 9/11 world.  That’s the reality, it’s not going to change — and it shouldn’t.

Some critics argue that those not opposing the procedures are like sheep, simply rolling over to the almighty government’s demands.  They miss the point entirely.

No one is holding a gun to their head.  They don’t have to step onto that plane. Period.  If they don’t like the way things are being done to thwart terrorist attacks, they can find alternatives.  Flying on commercial aircraft is not a right, but a privilege.  And while the airlines are private companies, they rightfully fall under government security regulations.

Why should the other 300 passengers on a plane have their security —READ: their lives — compromised because a few individuals are upset that a scan reader sees a computer-generated outline of a person’s body?  A screener, by the way, who sits in a windowless office and cannot view the person being scanned.

That in mind, a few points need clarification:

1)      Does anyone really believe a screener in a remote location, who can’t see the person being scanned, is really getting his jollies by looking at what amounts to black-and-white humanoid images all day?  What’s next?  The “Hottest Airport Scanner Images of 2011” wall calendar?

2)      America is fast becoming one of the most obese countries in the world. So to bolster Point # 1, how much physical stimulation are screeners getting when they are continuously performing pat-downs on the likes of Passenger Pat…. who at 385 pounds, could easily play defensive lineman in the NFL, showers twice a month, and whose gender is unknown?  Hey, to each his own, but that takes the cake.  Literally.

3)      Those images, by the way, are ….

Read the rest and post a comment at Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Post:


Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau,

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a guest commentator on Philadelphia-area talk radio shows, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX.  He can be reached at

November 23, 2010 at 10:42 am Comments (0)

Torsella Headed to UN

Nothing to see here, please move along.

President Obama’s nominee for a high-level United Nations reform position dropped out of the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania last year shortly after Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties and won an endorsement from the White House.

Joe Torsella, chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, was nominated this week for U.S. ambassador for the U.N. Management and Reform, a post that has been vacant since Obama took office.

A spokesman for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who appointed Torsella to the chairmanship, told the Philadelphia Daily News that he was not aware of the U.N. job but has “recommended Joe to the White House for a number of positions.”

Rendell was among the Democratic leaders who embraced Specter in the race, which drew national publicity after his primary opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak, revealed that the White House tried to lure him out of the contest with a high-level job.

The White House later disclosed that it had former President Bill Clinton offer Sestak an unpaid position on an intelligence advisory board if he would stay in the House. But Sestak went on to defeat Specter in the primary and lose to Republican Pat Toomey this month in the general election.

…. and I hope President Obama has positions for Senator Specter and Admiral Sestak already lined up.

November 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm Comments (0)

Quakes Dominate!

It was a good weekend for Pennsylvania football. The Nits, the Stillers and the Iggles all acquitted themselves well, but the real news was Penn’s successful defense of its Ivy crown by crushing Cornell 31-7.  The Quakes wound up the season undefeated in league play for the second straight year. Congratulations to coach Al Bagnoli, who this season became the winningest coach in Penn’s storied history, and to his doughty Quaker warriors who once again brought pride to West Philly. Light ’em up, men, and toss a toast to dear old Penn.

November 22, 2010 at 2:26 am Comments (0)

Nutter’s Delight

Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter doing Rapper’s Delight.

It’s actually pretty good.

(tip to JWF)

November 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm Comments (0)

Megyn Kelly in GQ

Here she is!

Read about it here.

November 20, 2010 at 12:23 am Comments (0)

This is why we need term limits

I wish I could say I was shocked, but really I’m not.

Pa. state Rep. Joe Brennan causes four-car accident, gets beer while awaiting police, officials say (h/t the inimitable Chris Lilik at

Pennsylvania state Rep. Joseph F. Brennan started a four-car, chain reaction crash last week in South Bethlehem, according to police.
Brennan stepped away from the crash site for a few minutes, police said, as he went into JP MacGrady’s bar. The crash occurred in front of the bar. One of the involved drivers, Jose Jimenez, of Allentown, told police that he saw Brennan go into the bar after the crash.

“If it was a Dunkin’ Donuts, I would have gone into Dunkin’ Donuts,” Brennan said of his choice to pop into JP MacGrady’s while waiting for police to arrive. “That’s where the accident happened, that’s where I pulled over.”


According to a police report, Brennan was found inside JP MacGrady’s, seated at the bar with a nearly full glass of beer before him. One officer alleged that Brennan claimed he was not involved in the wreck at all, but a second officer wrote that Brennan admitted he was at fault and understood he would be cited for careless driving.

So, he would have had a cruller in front of him if it were a Dunkin Donuts? That sounds legit.

Oh, and there’s one other thing…

Jimenez was also cited. He allegedly does not have a valid driver’s license.

That’s because he allegedly is an illegal immigrant. I’m just going to go with that.

Oh, by the way, I wonder which party Rep. Brennan belongs to? Hmm…it has to be here somewhere…. Oh, here it is in paragraph 10, right next to the pee-wee football scores!

Kravatz said none of the officers directly involved in the initial contact with Brennan knew he is a state representative, and that Brennan did not make mention of his elected office. Brennan, D-Lehigh/Northampton, was re-elected Nov. 2.

Hey, “Representative” Brennan. You’re an embarrassment to the Commonwealth. Resign.

November 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm Comment (1)

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