Altmire: You F’d Up. You Trusted Us.

Not exactly, but I like to blog while referencing Animal House.

March 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm Comments (0)

Spanier’s Histrionics

Tom Shakely writes on NRO’s Corner, making a point I made on this forum several days ago:

Penn State president Graham Spanier has been engaging in hard core histrionics in response to Gov. Tom Corbett’s state budget proposal, which would reduce taxpayer appropriations by 53 percent.

“Abraham Lincoln is weeping today,” declared Spanier in a press conference earlier this month, warning the cuts would be “historic” and would push tuition costs higher, and the university toward privitization. But Penn State’s total budget amounts to more than $3.5 billion, and Governor Corbett’s proposed cuts would result in a funding cut of $153 million.

While Penn State is a rather unique example — state appropriations account for only about 10 percent of its budget, and tuition at the school is the highest in the nation among public colleges — Governor Corbett’s proposal would force the school to reduce its spending by less than 4 percent, assuming it wanted to avoid tuition hikes.

He then links to a more general discussion of the issue of academic funding cuts. Check it out here.

March 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm Comments (0)

Webpoll: Size of PA House?

Speaker Sam Smith thinks the size of the lower house of the Assembly ought to be reduced to 153 members from its current size of 203.

Proponents say this will save a little money on our fairly expensive legislature, the second largest in the nation despite being only the sixth most populous state.

Opponents say this will concentrate power, shortchange rural areas, and make it more difficult to remove troublesome lawmakers.

What say you?

(Poll closes Friday April 1, 5pm. No joke.)

March 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm Comments (2)

NFL Players Are “Slaves,” But NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Remain Silent

Talk about a political football. At a time when most municipalities are running in the red, another line item must now be factored into budgets: new history textbooks.

That’s right.  It turns out that the real reason for fighting the Civil War was the North’s desire to steal the incredible wealth of the slaves. Apparently, despite subjugation by their owners, the majority of slaves were millionaires, and those who weren’t still received a guaranteed minimum of $310,000 per year.

Shocking as this recent historical find seems, it was certified by Minnesota running back Adrian Petersen, and as we all know, anything a National Football League (NFL) player says must be true. Petersen’s plethora of antebellum knowledge was revealed as he enlightened the nation by comparing the NFL labor dispute to “modern-day slavery.”

At issue is how to divvy up $9 billion in revenue between owners and players.  Talks have broken off and management has locked out the players.

Summing up how the players were being treated during the negotiations, Peterson said, “It’s modern-day slavery, you know?”

He added, “People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too.”

That brilliant Petersen Principle, though, remains a bit unclear. Were those “regular” people — those not involved in the NFL negotiations — average Americans who will work the first four months of this year just to pay their local, state and federal tax burden? As in, a “slave” to the government?  A government, by the way, that “regular” Americans send more money to than they spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.

Or was Petersen’s defense of regular people referring to the poor and disadvantaged NFL saps who only make seven figures a year, compared to Petersen’s $10.5 million, and whose six-year contract is worth almost $41 million?  And for those making the League minimum of $310,000, well, they should probably pick cotton in the off-season just to make ends meet.

It must be tough being an NFL slave.


The Petersen case underscores just how hypocritical some “leaders” have become regarding race relations.  As a result, we aren’t the color-blind country we should be, but instead see the gulf between black and white only widen.

Take the pathetic defense of Petersen’s remarks from his agent Ben Dogra (who obviously has a financial interest in seeing this flap go away). Rather than condemn the statement for what it was, he defends it with meaningless rhetoric. “I think anybody that knows Adrian knows that (he) is a very strong-willed and passionate individual,” Dogra said. “The game means an awful lot to him.”

Gee, thanks for clearing that up, Ben. In other words, because he makes eight figures a year and is “passionate,” it’s okay to equate his situation to slavery, which, by the way, is still rampant in parts of the world.

But it gets better: “People should not just take his statements per se word by word. It’s a difficult time. He would love to play. I’m sure that everybody would love to see football continue in the NFL… nobody should really look at those words and take them out of context.”

Nice try, Ben.  But how exactly are they “out of context?”   He compared his situation to slavery.  That’s a fact.  It wasn’t a slip of the tongue, and there’s no gray area here. His “passion” and “love of the game,” while admirable, have absolutely nothing to do with his racist remarks. He shouldn’t get a free pass for outrageously disrespecting the misery that slaves in America endured.  A life, by the way, that they couldn’t walk away from, unlike Petersen, who at 25, could quit his work today and live comfortably for five lifetimes.

But he has been given a free pass.  And that is the real — and wholly unreported — story.

Adrian Petersen will come and go.  He’ll probably make some half-hearted apology written by PR specialists and appear at events to make him seem more racially-sensitive (although he has yet to do so).  And he’ll dazzle on the gridiron for seasons to come (especially if he learns to stop fumbling).  But in the big picture, Petersen is irrelevant.

No, the biggest frauds of all need to be exposed.  Through the whole flap, nary a peep was heard from the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world. And where was that bastion of cowardice, the NAACP?

Conspicuously silent, but what else is new?

And this is precisely why they  have no credibility left.  Condemning racism of all kinds and promoting equality should be their goals, but instead, it’s the polar opposite.  To them, separate and unequal trumps unity, and the condemnation of racism is done on an extremely selective basis. Translation: jump on the bandwagon in cases involving a “racist” white person, but go on vacation when the person is black.

The list of being on the wrong side is long: the Duke lacrosse team falsely accused (who were innocent), the Tawana Brawley case which Sharpton enflamed with racial rhetoric (where rape allegations by white men of a black girl were proven false), the ridiculous firing of Don Imus, and the Jena Six case in Louisiana, when Jackson reportedly ripped then- presidential candidate Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white.”

But when a situation like that of Adrian Petersen comes along, providing a perfect opportunity to explain why slavery comparisons are so hurtful and destructive, their silence is deafening.  And their credibility, whatever is left of it, crumbles.

The conversation at kitchen tables and watercoolers around the nation is that Jackson and Sharpton are worthless, and the NAACP promotes racism far more than it fights it. But fear of being labelled racist and bigoted keeps most people — and most media commentators — from taking on these hypocrites, and speaking the truth.

Racism still exists in America, albeit to an infinitely smaller degree than it once was.  Perhaps the greatest example of that progress was illustrated when a black President — itself a remarkable feat — gave the eulogy of Senator Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK. 

Unfortunately, that progress has come in spite of, not because of, people like Sharpton and Jackson.  But there is a silver lining. Their blowhard political grandstanding and blatant hypocrisy have become such trademarks that they not only lack credibility, but more important, relevance. No one cares what they have to say anymore because their platforms have been built on a house of cards.

The biggest tragedy of all is that, had these men — dynamic orators of great charisma — truly fought the good fight, America’s racial divide would be measurably smaller.

What a shame.  Leaders who preach color-blindness but really only see black-and-white…are a terrible thing to waste.


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 regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia.  He can be reached at

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March 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm Comment (1)

Bieber Bus Assault

No, not Justin Bieber.

A man riding a Bieber bus from Philadelphia to Reading pulled down his pants, put a plastic bag over the female bus driver’s head and grabbed one of her breasts, state police allege.

The bus driver for Bieber Bus Lines managed to shed the plastic bag and ordered the half-naked man back to his seat for the duration of the ride to Reading, where police were waiting.

Carlos Perez-Rodriguez, 35, whose last known address was in Reading, was one of three passengers on the bus and sat two rows behind the driver. While on Route 422 in Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County, Perez-Rodriguez got out of his seat between 11 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. He walked toward the bus driver while she was driving about 55 mph on the four-lane highway and placed a plastic bag over her head, according to arrest papers.

That’s insane.

Perez-Rodriguez created a hazardous condition for the driver and passengers and other vehicles on the road. Police said the bus driver managed to remove the bag from her head and safely pull the bus to the side of the road while Perez-Rodriguez grabbed at her breast and exposed his genitals to her and passengers.

The bus driver then escorted Perez-Rodriguez back to his seat while his pants remained around his ankles. Because of company police, the bus driver could not order him off the bus. He remained in his seat until arriving at the bus terminal in Reading, where he was taken into custody.

March 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm Comments (0)

Byko: DROP Decision Political

The reason that informed observers were betting that Lynn would deny the petition is political. As a Common Pleas judge, when Lynn stands for election he would like the support of the party, and both Tartaglione and Tasco are powerful ward leaders. DROP is so intertwined with politics that the case never should have been adjudicated locally, but that was the required first step.

Lynn further ridiculed the petitions by laying out a scenario so woolly it needs to be sheared:

“If the court were to follow the reasoning of the petitioners, which is that a DROP retiree cannot run for elected office, the court would not only render an absurd result, but a ludicrously elitist result as well. Potentially, thousands of former, long-time city employees who happen to have retired using the DROP would be disenfranchised from running for election . . . .”

That water-boards logic.

Elected officials are not “hired” by the city, they are “hired” by the voters (and for this reason don’t belong in DROP, and weren’t in it, as first drafted).

Elitist? Lynn’s ruling protects the elitists, the money-grubbing elected officials who saw an opportunity to strike it rich at taxpayer expense – and took it.

City workers who have retired are free to come out of retirement to take some other city job, even run for office. If they “unretire” to fill the same job, what the hell is the purpose of DROP, Judge Lynn?

In a DROP-linked development, the Fraternal Order of Police, almost unbelievably, did not endorse a Rizzo – Frank – for re-election, because of DROP. The GOP also is shunning its top city vote-getter.

March 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm Comments (0)

Schwartz Bests Pelosi In Fundraising

Nancy Pelosi did preside over the biggest loss of control in the House of Representatives ever.


Schwartz, located in a the democratic stronghold on southern Montgomery County and Philadelphia, raised nearly $3 million during the 2010 campaign. This sum, nearly double that of the average house member, was donated largely by individuals (59%). However, major industries that donated to her campaign include Lawyers/Law Firms and Health Professionals. She has donated over $350k to the Democratic National Campaign Committee since 2009. Other major expenditures from Schwartz include more than $1.5 million spent on media through Media Strategies and Research located in Fairfax, VA.

It’s going to be a damned shame when she gets gerrymandered into a fight with Chaka Fattah for her seat in 2012.

Damned shame.

March 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm Comments (0)

Protesting Fitz

Nine showed up.

The Thomas Jefferson Club blog details the lameness.

Unfortunately, if you want to get noticed, you need more than nine protesters. So when Fitzpatrick came out of his office, he just got into the waiting minivan and drove away. His spokesperson claimed that they didn’t even notice the protestors.

As might be expected, the protestors were disgusted. Watch the video here. The feigned outrage is pretty funny, especially when one of the protestors remarked that Patrick Murphy would “stand up”, whatever that means. Perhaps they’ve forgotten that Murphy avoided the general public throughout the entire healthcare debate, refusing to hold a town hall.

March 28, 2011 at 11:59 am Comments (0)

Ban the Box Gaining Ground

… Milton Street candidacy survives.

An ordinance expected to be adopted by City Council that would ban many employers from asking about applicants’ criminal history until after an initial interview was delayed Thursday when the sponsor offered amendments.

The amendments, which Council approved, define the criminal-justice agencies such as courts, police departments, and prisons, that would be exempt from the law.

Most of those agencies are barred from hiring ex-offenders by state or federal laws, but the amendments would give them specific exemptions under the proposed city ordinance.

At first I thought it was only city government that was affected. It’s not. It’s most private employers too.

I guess City Council is smart enough to realize that they want ex-cons in all economic sectors, not just government. (There are probably too many already! 😉 )

March 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm Comments (0)

Whoopie Wars Escalate

It’s a whoopie-pie arms race.

The war over whoopie pies between Pennsylvania and Maine has been taken to another level, after enthusiasts in Maine made one Saturday that weighed more than 1,000 pounds in an attempt to help cement the treat as the official state dessert. But, the war over whoopie pies will continue.

Lovers of the sweet treat want to defend it as a prize of Pennsylvania. Jim Chudovsky, general manager of Bird-In-Hand bakery in Lancaster County, says he’s heard of recipes nearly 100 years old.” I’ve heard some reports that people have some recipes that date back to the 1920s.”

I think it’s time for Governor Corbett to send the Pa National Guard. We should take a few lobsters and flannel shirts hostage.

Mysteriously, the article includes a picture of a regular pie crust. What auslander wrote that article?

March 27, 2011 at 11:55 am Comments (0)

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