On Oct.25, Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 941, sponsored by state Sen. Jake Corman, which increased the maximum fines for public drunkenness and underage drinking from $500 to $1000.
Demonstrating the hard-nosed commitment to law enforcement he displayed during the 23 months he investigated the Jerry Sandusky case, Governor Corbett noted that the legislation reflects his philosophy that justice, in order to work, must be administered with firmness, compassion and common sense.
Perhaps the Legislature and Governor Corbett could use the same strategy to address another problem. Despite the slowdown in gas production, the DEP website suggests that the natural gas drillers aren't doing any better at obeying the laws designed to protect the state's environment. According to the DEP website, repeat offenders were not fined a single dollar for any of these incidents. But this shouldn't be surprising. Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future has reported that during the first three months of Governor Corbett's administration enforcement actions dropped from the Rendell administration's ratio of one enforcement for every 1.7 violations to one enforcement for every 8.69 violations. Likewise, Clean Water Action of Pennsylvania has analyzed 2011 DEP violation records and found that 9 out of 10 violations resulted in no penalties whatsoever.
In fairness to the Governor and Corman, I suspect that underage drinkers and public drunkards have not been as generous as the drilling companies have. According to marcellusmoney.org, Corman has received $91,290 from the gas industry, which is overshadowed by the $1,813,305 that has been given to the governor.
Who would dispute that the gas companies have earned the right to be left alone while they are poisoning our state? But at least we no longer have to worry about 18-year-olds spilling 12 ounces of beer in our state forests.
President Obama said in his election night victory speech, The best is yet to come.
It seems to me that he borrowed those words from that song Frank Sinatra made famous many years ago. Since our beloved re-elected president spoke those words, we've had: the David Petraeus scandal; more details about the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack; news about Iran firing on an unmanned drone that was flying over international waters; news of several companies laying off people that was deliberately withheld from the American people because of the election; and of course the news of the looming fiscal cliff that means increased taxes for the majority of Americans.
If these things are examples of the best is yet to come under President Obama and his administration, then God help the USA and the American people who voted these people back in power for four more years.
It's truly amazing how many scandals the Obama administration is getting away with and not being prosecuted for.
For the past number of years I've been trying to process and understand why people subject themselves to getting tattoos. I'm still processing.
I keep asking what's the message in all that ink? To be honest I haven't any answers other than it's the spirit of the 21st century culture, following the crowd. What a lame excuse. However, it's the only one I can possibly hang my hat on.
Anyone who professes to be a Christian should know what Scripture says about tattoos. In Leviticus 19:28 there is this warning: You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am the Lord. He said this to protect his people, the Israelites, from the pagan cultures of the Egyptians and Canaanites who were steeped in witchcraft and the occult.
My question is why would anyone who is born with one of God's most precious gifts, the body, opt to inflict an indelible stain that has its roots in rebellion, pagan worship and idolatry? I just don't get it.
Regardless of their choices, as a Christian, I must, and do, love folks with tattoos exactly where they are. It would be folly not to. The reasons why people subject themselves to getting a tattoo or having their body pierced are lame at best. I just don't get it.
I would like to express thanks to the Comedy Club in Wilkes-Barre and the Live With Autism Foundation for a great night on Saturday, Nov. 24. A fundraiser was held for the foundation based in Mountain Top. The comedians were very funny and a great time was had by all.
A letter submitted by Tom Bindus on Oct.19 concerning my political views is misleading and in true mainstream media fashion contains many omissions, half truths, and loaded statements.
Mr. Bindus knows little about the Libertarian philosophy and certainly less about me. I have never been a supporter of Mitt Romney or Governor Corbett. I know of no Libertarians who would be. Some may vote for them as what may be perceived as the lesser of two evils. I don't endorse evil to any degree.
My prior article was in support of Aaron Kaufer over incumbent Phyllis Mundy in the 120th legislative district race and was not an endorsement of any political party.
As for us not believing in Social Security or Medicare, yes it is true that we believe the private sector can do a better job than the government in most areas. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Medicare will bankrupt the country in a few years.
I do believe a private insurance system allowed to work in a true free market environment can work, but it is too complicated of a subject to delve into deeper here.
The givers that produce I referred to were the taxpayers. I made no inference to corporations that game the system. I, nor any Libertarian I know, would ever approve any of the crony capitalism (fascist economics) that buys both political parties including his Democratic party.
Yes, every man woman and child should be taught to be industrious, responsible, and try to fend for themselves, just like the spirit in which this country was founded.
Those who fall through the cracks should be helped up by friends, family, neighbors, and churches just as in the days before government programs destroyed the social fabric of this once great land.
Only as a last resort should the taxpayer be asked to aid those few totally incapable of helping themselves.
Although the movie, Won't Back Down is about a failing school , a monster teacher who is protected by union seniority , the part that really affected me was a few lines said by veteran actress, Viola Davis.
In referencing the failing schools in Pennsylvania, she said that those in charge of our government really don't want students to succeed.
The proof is in the many prisons being constructed to house these students.
According to the article in the Philadelphia Inquirer published Oct. 9, 2012 Governor Corbett has a prison problem.
On the governor's watch, the state has engaged in a massive $685 million expansion of its prison system. In his short time as governor, Corbett has overseen the completion of a new $200 million 2,000 bed prison in Center County, which currently sits empty -- perhaps because the state does not need it and cannot afford to staff it.
And last summer, the administration began construction on two new state prisons on the grounds of Montgomery County's Graterford prison, which will house at least 4,100 and cost $400 million to build.
Corbett's Department of Corrections secretary, John Wetzel, would have us believe that these facilities would simply replace the existing Graterford prison. On a recent radio appearances,Wetzel suggested that such renovations to Graterford could be done for $50 million -- much less than the $400 million being spent to replace Graterford.
In the Sept. 23, 2012 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the article Scores fall in city at probed schools lists the 53 district school and 3 charter schools who had suspicious PSSA test results.
For the first time in a decade, student performance on the PSSAs got worse, not better. Now, less than half of all city public school students read on grade level and exactly half can do math on grade level.
I recommend the film Won't Back Down not because of the teachers' unions but because of seeing and thinking about how ineffectual schools and administrators are preparing our students for prison instead of life on the outside as productive citizens.
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