Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mark Levin the Deceitful Collectivist Neo-Con

Mark Levin has fashioned an image for himself as an individualist and lover of liberty. But his image contrasts greatly with how he actually tries to influence his listeners' votes.

We covered earlier how strange it was for him to view the government as totally incompetent at home but yet totally infallible abroad in the form of the military.

Recently, Levin spent an entire hour attacking Ron Paul as unAmerican and not Conservative. For Levin, "Conservative" seems to entail possessing an unquestioning support for all of "America's" foreign policy. But is it really "America's"? Levin is using deceptive collectivist language to try to get people to believe Ron Paul doesn't like America, and thus them.

America, properly defined, is the land, the people, animals, buildings, etc. Even if "America" is construed to mean the people living there, Ron Paul could in no way be said to be anti-American because 99.9% of Americans have virtually no influence on its foreign policy. America's foreign policy is shaped by elites and powerbrokers on the global scene. Many of these are avowed Internationalists who regard the UN above the US. Yet, for opposing the preferred policies of these sorts, Levin says Ron Paul is anti-American.

Levin also insinuated that Dr Paul doesn't like the troops since he opposes the present foreign policy. Because Ron Paul receives more campaign contributions from active duty military servicemen than all other GOP presidential candidates combined, then perhaps Levin might say that these men are anti-American too. Either the troops tend to like an America hater, or Mark Levin is a deceiver.

Levin then whined about being called a neo-con by some people on the Internet. Limbaugh has whined similarly. But because these gentlemen always try to influence their listeners to support neo-cons such as Gingrich, then they might as well be neo-cons despite any differences they might claim. Their credibilty is waning.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Talk Radio Goes for Gingrich

Many "conservative" talk radio show hosts want The Gingrinch to steal the election.

Chief among them is Sean Hannity, who became upset when Rand Paul mentioned on his show that The Gingrinch voted against the Reagan Republicans when he voted for the Federal Department of education in 1979. Hannity peeped in reply that Gingrich is a supporter of charter schools, to which Rand Paul replied that The Gingrinch favors federal government control of education just as Obama does. Hannity became so upset that he resorted to a Red Herring, saying that Gingrich had some faults just as Ron Paul allegedly had faults in foreign policy, to which Rand replied that Ron's views on foreign policy do nothing more than align with the constitution.

Rush the repetitive Limbaugh is incessantly setting up the false dilemma of the election being between Romney and Gingrich only. You wouldn't know any other candidates were running from listening to him.

Laura Ingram, who is chummy with Ed Rendell of all people, has been worshipping the glorious vision of Newtonian politics with the same vigor that she once used to laud the deep piety of Rick Perry. Ingram also seems to believe that uttering the name "Ron Paul" is against FCC regulations.

Additionally, other media outlets--liberal and conservative-- seem obsessed with giving Newt positive coverage.

But no matter how much talk radio et al lauds Gingrich, ultimately his chances will depend on how he himself appeals to the people. The media tried to uphold Rick Perry as a serious candidate, and he has plummeted in the polls due to his stupidity and phoniness. Hopefully, the phony conservative Gingrich will also be seen for what he is.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Villainous Stabile Stumbles

The infamous villain Vic Stabile, known for trying to get third party candidates kicked off the PA state-wide ballot, has fallen to the Democrat Devid Wecht. Stabile donated money to Arlen Specter when it was apparent that Specter might switch to Democrat. So, this is not a loss for the Republican Party; the loss occurred when the evil state committee endorsed Stabile.

Salavantis Wins

The Luzerne County DA results:
Stefanie J. Salavantis (R) 31,776
Jackie Musto-Carroll (D) 30,811

A wise Democrat who voted for Salavantis told us the main reason Musto-Carroll lost was that her Musto name had gone bad in the wake of Ray Musto's corruption scandal. Just as though who live by the sword die by the sword, those who live by name recognition die by it as well.

The campaign ads of Salavantis probably played a role as well. Regardless, Salavantis has won a monumental upset victory.

Although Salavantis will probably have to do a lot of learning on the job, she will not be a Democrat politician from a political family who is afraid of upsetting the corrupt establishment, and in any case we can expect Salavantis to be an improvement over the former overrated DA.

If Salavantis really does try to fight corruption, this could be one of the best things ever to happen to county government. Many corrupt insider Democrats around the county will be moaning and groaning about this. The rest of us are fairly thrilled though.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Judge of the Superior Court Endorsement 2011

We endorse writing in Paul Panepinto. Republican Vic Stablie is a monster who tried to subvert the state constitution and get third party candidates thrown off the state-wide ballot. He is also a big donor to Arlen Specter, and even contributed money to his campaign when it was apparent that he might switch to Democrat.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Luzerne County Council Endorsements 2011

We have read a lot of info about the candidates, heard a lot of inside information on them from the political world, seen most of the 28 speak, and now hereby list our endorsements:

1. Tim Mullen (Libertarian)
2. Mike Lacey (Libertarian)
3. John Ruckno (R)
4. Eugene Kelleher (R)
5. Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt (R)
6. Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko
7. Blythe Evans (R)
8. Stephen A. Urban (D)
9. Harry Haas (R)
10 Jeremy Packard (Independent)
11 Kathy Dobash (R)

Criteria: Freedom from political connections, support of keeping taxes low, vision for the future, knowledge of liberty philosophy, practical knowledge.


1. Tim Mullen (Libertarian) Probably the hardest working candidate for council, Mullen is on a mission to stop corruption and liberate taxpayers from a heavier tax burden. His appreciation for small, efficient government will help him see through flimsy boondoggles such as CityVest. He has the street smarts to see through BS, and is the ideal candidate to reduce the county's debt and and to fiscal integrity.
2. Mike Lacey (Libertarian) Lacey is the most pro-small business candidate. As owner of a small family pharmacy in Freeland, he understands that the elimination of corrupt privileges given to insiders known as "pay for play," will attract small businesses and increase the tax base in order to pay off the debt. He has the best vision for the future of all the candidates.
3. John Ruckno (R) Ruckno comes from a family of builders, which may turn off many, but one must note that the Rucknos are not nearly as political as builders like the House of Sordoni. The only person he has contributed money to is state senator Lisa Baker (R). He seems to be honest, and has made a solid pledge to pay off the debt and preferably without raising taxes. He brings some practical financial experience to the table as well.
4. Eugene Kelleher (R) Despite his gallantly corny commercials, Kelleher has the honesty and smarts to make a good councilman. He has been endorsed by Walter Griffith, and will be an independent watchdog for those of us without connections to government.
5. Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt (R) Joyce has stood against the political tide when it is wrong, and has a history of refusing to support corrupt politicians and has suffered for it. She has diverse career experience, good communication skills, and is also quite an expert on HomeRule government, having received advice from people with varied views on it. Most importantly, she is willing to listen to advice and really will give citizens a "voice" when they vote for Joyce.
6. Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko (American Independent) Many may roll their eyes that the guy who always calls into Corbett quoting the Bible is running for Council, but for anyone who has met him, Buck is an honest man who has the right type of attitude to be a force for good in Luzerne County government. He brings practical experience, having negotiated union contracts in the past, and having watched the political scene closely for a long time. He knows who all the bad guys are and who to watch out for. He'll be a wise old addition to the council, and would seem to appeal to both D's and R's despite his Bible thumping ways if everyone knew enough about him.
7. Blythe Evans (R) Evans has a good message that includes paying off the debt and reducing waste in government. But he gets too caught up in shenanigans and bizarre campaign posturing. If he can at least abstain from such political ways, he'll make a good councilman.
8. Stephen A. Urban (D) Urban has been more of an outspoken critic of corruption than anyone else in county government except maybe Walter Griffith. Although Urban sometimes plays the part of a politician, he usually speaks out. For those who may be mad at him for switching parties, friends close to Urban say he's still the same man.
9. Harry Haas (R) Haas comes from a good ideological background, but his reputation of being a "party person" is troubling. He also seemed to cower before the Times Leader staff when he said he wouldn't rule out raising taxes, which is what the numbskull reporter wanted to hear. (Reporters just go by how calm and nice a candidate speaks; they totally disregard all points of substance--unlike we here at the NuPo ;-) Haas is also very over-rated. In the end though, we think Haas is an alright candidate worth considering.
10 Jeremy Packard (Independent) Packard seems to believe that all the council needs to do is stand back and let the manager manage. This may work if the manager is good, but if the council elects a bad manager, and the majority wants him to stay in power, then Packard's ideal of a Home Rule Government will be a failure. Word also has it that he may be more connected to the rich than anyone else, who are probably looking for handouts. However, many good people have vied for Packard, and he seems like someone who will think about things intelligently.
11 Kathy Dobash (R) "She's crazy, but she won't put up with any corruption", says one supporter. Dobash has gained respect as an activist and advocate for transparency and taxpayer defense. Although she may be a little severe at times, in the end she'll be a force for good.

We understand that many prefer Democrat-types to vote for. We have tried in vain to find good ones, but most seem to have an unrealistic view of government. Overall, their appetite for government programs will prove problematic for the cause of paying of the colossal county debt. Their vague platforms are problematic as well. Nevertheless, because some of our readers may think otherwise, we've decided to list some of the top Democrat-types:

1. Stephen A. Urban (D)
2. Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatcko (American Independent)
3. Rick Williams (Independent) Williams is obviously on the left end of the political spectrum, being a Democrat up until March 2011, and listing the word "progress" on his literature. Nevertheless, he is smart enough to do good job on matters where such beliefs cannot cloud his vision.
4. Tim McGinley (D) McGinley's stern countenance is fitting for a former principal, yet he seems to have an overly rosy view of the charter, having called it "the best form of government possible". He has played a role in grant-writing, and may believe he can legislate prosperity. Otherwise, he seems like an honest candidate with a lot of managerial experience, who wants to help the county.
________
All other candidates are decidedly not endorsed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

District Attorney Race Endorsement 2011

The DA race is between Democrat incumbent Jackie Musto-Carroll and Republican Stefanie Salavantis.

We endorse Salavantis, because although she is quite inexperienced, she will find it difficult if not impossible to be as criminally negligent (or complicit?) as Jackie Musto-Carroll was with regard to Kids for Cash.

The most damning indictment of Carroll is her effort to block the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from reviewing whether the Luzerne County juveniles, who were denied legal counsel, were entitled to relief. Musto-Carroll comes from a predatory class of Wilkes-Barre area Democrats which feeds off the poor unconnected masses. They are a class because they are literally all related to each other--like some sort of nobility.

Salavantis is totally unrelated to this questionable group as far as we know, and we have an inkling that J-Mo is heavily overrated even when it comes to whatever experience/accomplishments she may have. It is clear that J-Mo is a politician with political aspirations and a bad blood-line, so it may be a breath of fresh air to see the albeit inexperienced Salavantis take office.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reply to "Make Educated Council Choices" Letter

Here's a letter to the editor that appeared in the October 23, Times Leader, and below is our commentary on it:
Make Educated Council Choices
On Nov. 8, the residents of Luzerne County will be selecting 11 out of 28 candidates for the new county council. It is extremely important that the voters elect the most qualified, experienced and ethical candidates to these council seats.

The goal of this home-rule government is to reduce politics as we have seen it in the past. I sincerely hope that will be true! But let’s not be na�ve to think that politics is dead in Luzerne County, because it’s not. That is why it is up to the voters to make a conscious decision by voting for the candidates who will serve us best and not be driven by the party politics of the past.

The Democratic Party of this county already is handing out slate cards to vote for all 11 Democrats for county council. Does the Democratic Party, which seemingly has controlled Luzerne County for the past number of decades, actually believe that these 11 candidates are the best choices?

To date, the Republican Party has not endorsed any candidates nor has it suggested that 11 Republican candidates would be the best choices during this time of transition. I hope that remains the same until election time.

Also, there are some candidates who are registered Independents and campaigning as if they are independent individuals. But just because these individuals are not registered with a political party does not necessarily mean they are not political and have political ties. Let’s remember that independent candidates often hold views more extreme than the two major political parties, are too narrow in view or have hidden affiliations with a party but don’t formally identify with it in order to avoid subjugation of its policies.

Party politics is what has turned Luzerne County into a nationally recognized example of widespread political corruption, back-door deals and scandals. The party politics, which have overwhelmingly dominated this county in the past, need to be overcome.

This election should not be about party affiliation, gender, race or in which community the candidate lives. It needs to be about the individuals who understand this new home rule charter, have a solid education and most important have a track record of making ethical decisions.

The voters have an opportunity to change this county and have the ability to shut the door on party politics, which has driven our county into a hole.

Angelo Zingaretti
Wilkes-Barre
The point that really struck my interest was how Zingaretti insinuates that being "extreme" is mutally exclusive with being independent. He even hints that the reason some candidates are third party is that they're too Republican to be a Republican or too Democrat to be a Democrat--which seems to me to be somewhat self-refuting. If they were too "Republican" to be a Republican, then how exactly can they be described as "Republican"? He equivocates being a moderate with being an independent, which is nonsensical since "moderate" implies trying to moderate between two sides. Yet, if being moderate is a "side" in and of itself, then one could be moderate and an independent, especially if one views the parties as being extreme and unnatural. In the political spectrum, Angelo views any deviation from moderation as a downward slide. But here's the catch: yesterday's moderate will be different from today's moderate and from the one 20 years from now, and from the one 20 years ago. So if you really want to believe in something specific, then you should try to hold a philosophy that isn't determined by the ones around it. Thoughtless "moderation" is a sort of graduated nihilism because it bespeaks an ever-changing dynamic with no real philosophical foundation. If you're going to be a moderate, then you might as well be apathetic, since you're subject to those around you.

And this is the problem with KING'S COLLEGE, where Zingaretti attends; that all the political science students either come out being limp-wristed moderates or raving Democrats. It seems that moderation is good as long as it implies accepting the intellectual Democrat way of thinking. These are all sophisms that slide off easily.

So it depends how one defines indpendent, and what one wants to be independent from. A moderate is independent of consistent ideology, while an "extremist" is independent of the status quo point of moderation. Extremists rely heavily on ideology and moderates rely on the ever-changing collection of ideologies.

The worst impliciation of his point is that there is somehow a "right answer" that is irrespective of ideology. On the contrary it's all about ideology, especially in the long run. Therefore, one can be independent and on an "extreme" of one concieved spectrum or another.

The writer sees party politics the problem behind the corruption in Luzerne County, which is somewhat true. (The real problem is a sort of naive tribalism and regionalism whereby people choose candidates because they know them and only because they know them--and they hope to get a job or another benefit from them. Many times they get votes simply because of family ties. This is why Mayor Leighton is related to city attorney Bill Vinsko and via marriage to police chief Dessoye. The problem is that their a bunch of parasites, who collude to live off the rest of us.

Zingaretti then criticizes the Democrats for passing out slate cards. The reasoning behind the slate cards for the Dems is such: Each Democrat candidate is at a huge advantage over each Republican candidate, so if each Democrat voter really wants his favorite to make it, he must bullet vote for him/her. But, the irony is that this pervasive bullet voting may undermine the Democrats advantage if all the Republicans vote straight party. But Terry Casey and the Luzerne GOPers have decided not to issue a slate card in order to sacrafice county council candidates in favor of concentrating on the higher risk/reward prospects of Dick Hughes and Stafanie Salavantis. However, most Republicans will probably bullet vote in the hopes that their candidate will edge out a Democrat, and we may end up with all Democrats on the council.

Zingaretti correctly asserts that third party candidates often associate with major party people. Rick Williams and Packard both switched their registration of Independent in March of 2011. Williams had been a Democrat and Packard a Republican. Williams associates with Democrat candidate Elaine Maddon Curry, who is very statist and socially liberal, and his promotion of "progress" on his campaign literature reveals that he himself is probably a concerted big-governmenter. Also, some of Republican Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt's supporters are also helping Libertarian Tim Mullen. Republican Bill James is reportedly helping Democrat Michelle Bednar.

But all in all, I thought the piece by Zingaretti was thought-provoking, and I fully endorse his aversion to blind party partisanship.

TL Letter: Money Spent on War Could Fix Local Problems

Tom Gunshannon of Larksville recently wrote a letter to the Times Leader that makes a lot of sense:
As I read about the attempts by our elected officials to get approval for $300,000 for the repair of the Coal Street Creek Bridge in Plymouth, I can’t help but wonder where our priorities lie. It appears that the “approval” of the needed $300,000 is a hard stretch for our state and federal legislators and local officials.

Yet we can spend more than $1 billion a day on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These wars are costing us $300,000 every 26 seconds. Can’t we stop shooting and bombing over there for 26 seconds and bring that money home to fix our bridge?

Isn’t it time that we let the rest of the world stand on its own two feet and stop playing policeman of the world? Couldn’t we start spending all these billions of American tax dollars on the citizens of the United States for a change?

Don’t the citizens of this country deserve a little aid and consideration at long last? Is that really too much to ask?

Tom Gunshannon
Larksville
It appeared in the September 6, 2011 edition of the Times Leader.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leighton Lied to Supporters

At the mayoral debate at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton lied to his supporters when he said the contract between Wilkes-Barre City and LAG Towing "is being enforced."

The moderator asked "Why don't you enforce the towing contract with LAG Towing." After mumbling some inaudible complaints to the moderator, the mayor said that "the contract is enforced", which drew boos from the crowd.

The mayor lied because the contract mandates that logs of each tow be kept. These logs do not exist and haven't been kept for over 75 months, as city officials were forced to admit. The logs are necessary to ensure that an independent auditor can verify that LAG is fulfilling another provision of the contract: that LAG charge industry standard. LAG owner Leo Glodzik lied to the Times Leader, saying $200 was the standard rate for a rollback tow, when in fact it is around $80.

The reasoning is simple: the contact mandates logs be kept; logs aren't kept; therefore the contract isn't being enforced.

If the mayor has brainwashed himself to believe that the contract can be enforced by not being enforced, then we could speculate that he is of such bad will, that he is capable of making himself believe anything. But we'd like to point out that the emporer has no clothes.

Whatever experience he may have, if his perceptive abilities are so unspeakably bad, then he is not fit to be mayor.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Walter Griffith Endorses Candidates

Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith has endorsed several candidates for the new Luzerne County Council:

Eugene Kelleher (R)
Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko (American Independent)
Kathleen Dobash (R)
Steven J. Urban (R)
Tim Mullen (Libertarian)
Gina Nevangloski (R)
Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt (R)
William Bill James (R)
Harry Haas (R)
Michael Lacey (Libertarian but his campaign literature says he's an Independent).
Steven A. Urban (D)

For more, see his article in the citizen's voice:
Don't Vote Straight Party in the Nov. 8 Election

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Musto-Carroll Refuses to Answer Questions

The Luzerne County Young Republicans Group published the following press releases:
Sept 30
In light of the recent sentencing of Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan for their roles in the “Kids for Cash” scandal, The Luzerne County Young Republicans (LCYRs) seek answers to lingering questions surrounding Luzerne County corruption. How could this scandal have continued for years without any County Officials noticing? Would the scandal have been prevented, or at least its effect been minimized, if other County officials had done their jobs?

The Interbranch Juvenile Commission shed light on these questions. In its report, the Commission concluded that District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll failed to perform her duties and showed no interest or concern for the juvenile court system during the “Kids for Cash scandal.”

In addition to her negligence, Musto Carroll engaged in nepotism and cronyism by hiring Mark Ciavarella’s daughter and daughter-in-law in the District Attorney’s Office. Jackie Musto Carroll’s actions reek of corruption and the LCYRs believe she owes the residents of Luzerne County an explanation for her behavior.

The LCYRs request that District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll formally answer each of the following questions and return the same to the LCYRs.

1. Why did you fail to discover the Kids for Cash scandal?

2. By your own admission, you never set foot in a juvenile courtroom during the Kids for Cash scandal. Why did you ignore this part of your job when it could have prevented the scandal from occurring or at a minimum limited its effects?

3. Under your watch, the Assistant District Attorneys were not adequately trained and as a result failed to recognize and challenge the routine deprivation of juveniles’ constitutional rights by Mark Ciavarella. Why did you fail to train your Assistant District Attorneys when proper training would have prevented the scandal or at a minimum limited its effects.?

4. Despite the obvious nepotism and cronyism involved, why did you hire Mark Ciavarella’s daughter and daughter-in-law in the District Attorney’s Office?

5. Did Mark Ciaveralla ask you to hire his daughter and daughter-in-law, or contact you in any way regarding the hiring process?

6. Do you believe that nepotism or cronyism have any place in government?

7. Given the Interbranch Juvenile Commission’s finding that you “stood by and abdicated” your responsibility as a prosecutor, how can the residents of Luzerne County have any faith that you will not to continue to abdicate your responsibility since you have already set abdication of responsibility as a precedent?

8. Given the Commission’s finding that you “demonstrated no initiative, interest, or concern with what was occurring in juvenile court,” how can the residents of Luzerne County feel confident that you can effectively lead the charge of protecting our children?

9. Why did you fight to block the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from reviewing whether the Luzerne County juveniles, who were denied legal counsel, were entitled to relief?

The LCYRs have sent the above questions to Jackie Musto Carroll. We request that she answer and return the above questions to the LCYRs by October 14, 2011.
___________________________________________

Oct 18
Jackie Musto Carroll has once again ignored the residents of Luzerne County. On September 29, 2011, the Luzerne County Young Republicans (“LCYRs”) sent Musto Carroll 9 questions regarding her contribution to the “Kids for Cash” scandal, as well as her record of nepotism and cronyism. The LCYRs requested Musto Carroll answer our questions by October 14, 2011. The day for reply has come and gone without any response from our District Attorney.

In May of 2010, the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice released its report on the “Kids for Cash” scandal. In its report, the Commission concluded that Jackie Musto Carroll “stood by and abdicated” her responsibility. The report further concluded that Musto Carroll “demonstrated no initiative, interest or concern in was occurring in juvenile court.” Despite admitting to never setting foot in a juvenile courtroom during the scandal, Musto Carroll stubbornly continues to deny that she failed the County in any way.

For well over one year, Jackie Musto Carroll has refused to address questions regarding her contribution to the “Kids for Cash” scandal. Despite an official report finding her to be negligent, she has consistently brushed aside the legitimate questions and concerns of her constituents. As an elected official, she has failed in her obligation to answer for her actions and inactions while in office.

Jackie Musto Carroll has made time to host fundraisers and plan rallies for her re-election campaign, but she refuses to make time to answer the most important questions of this election.

Our 9 questions have provided Jackie Musto Carroll with an opportunity to clear her name less than one month before the election. Musto Carroll’s failure to seize on this opportunity to vindicate herself, provides even more support for our claim: that her actions and inactions contributed to the “Kids for Cash” scandal.

The LCYRs are disappointed in Jackie Musto Carroll’s continued disrespect for the residents of Luzerne County. Despite her refusal to address our concerns, we will not let go of this issue. We intend to continue with our demands and push her to answer our questions.

For additional information, contact:
Luzerne County Young Republicans
LuzerneCountyYRs@gmail.com
We wonder if the Young Republicans' beloved Tom Marino also knew about Kids for Cash.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wilkes University County Council Forum Recap

This is a review of the forum held at Wilkes University on October 17, 2011, to which all county council candidates were invited.

Our reporter arrived 5 minutes late but by that time Packard, Brominski, Hatchko and Walsh-Waitkus had already spoken, but later each was asked the question "How would you ensure that the county manager (who the council will appoint) will act independently, professionally overseeing the day-to-day operation of county government."

Jeremy Packard (Independent) said he looked forward to being a swing vote as an independent and didn't want agendas from the major parties to impede the manager from doing his job.

Edd Brominski (D) said it was important for the manager to receive input from the council but also for the council to let the manager do his job.

Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko (American Independent) related his experience in negotiating union contracts, and promised to go to the papers if he were to notice any impropriety.

Jane Walsh-Waitkus (D) answered in a calm, articulate way, but didn't say anything of much substance.

Our reporter was there for the rest of the speeches. All in all, most candidates did better than they had in the KING'S forum held on Sunday night. They were afforded more time and seemed to benefit from it. There were more audience members there too--over 100 total.

Jim Bobeck (D) gave a much better speech, and went over some specifics of the charter and stressed the need for the council to let the manager do his job and to enforce the charter's ethics code. But Bobeck managed to say something dumb in one of his asides, when he implied that main problem with Alcohol Prohibition was poor enforcement; on the contrary, it was that people still wanted to drink.

Eileen Sorokas (D) did a better job, and highlighted the newness of the home rule government.

Sal Licata's (D) speech was essentially the same one he made Sunday, and it was kind of boring. He said that when sitting on boards he always made decisions that were "in the best interests of everyone" --which is quite a statement. In economics terms, he claims to have always maximized utility and to have known how to do so. In reality, he probably meant to say that he acted in the best interest of all instead of favoring one group or another, an important point to make given that Licatas abound in government.

John Ruckno (R) did very well in his speech, and called for fiscal responsibility, restraint, and the need to live within our means. He said he preferred to balance the budget but not through raising taxes. He also favored a zero-based budget. He also stressed the need for a nation-wide search for the county manager.

Tim McGinley (D) emphasized the skill he had gained over the years. He said the council would have to endeavor in team-building and consensus building in order to build the trust necessary to make the home rule government work.

Rick Morelli (R) said he had the necessary experience with municipal bonds to know how to address the county's debt problem and cited his 17 years of financial experience and full scholarship to Villanova. Ethics provisions, which still needed to be voted on, should have teeth in them, according to him.

Linda McCloskey-Houck (D) called for tax relief "if possible" and praised the Working Families Ticket, which includes herself, Licata, Morcavage, and Walsh-Waitkus. It was a little platitudinous.

Bill James (R) introduced his career experience, said as councilman that he would offer "no crap or bull", and proceeded to spend the rest of his speech on the success of his progeny.

Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt's (R) speech was similar to her's on Sunday, but she added her role in the Wyoming Valley flood protection committee, which had pushed to get the dikes raised in the 1970's, 80's and '90s. She stressed the need to balance the budget but without raising taxes, and again ended her speech with a somewhat trite "May God Bless America." May God Bless Luzerne County would've been better.

Harry Haas (R) had a better speech. He said he liked that the council was part-time, and governed by citizen legislators. Although government is difficult to change for the better on the Federal level, said he, change could more esaily be accomplished at the county level. A good county manager was also important to Haas.

Elaine Maddon Curry (D) also had a better speech, listing the role she played in stopping the Hazleton School board from hiring teachers and in instituting a conflict of interest policy. On the side table, cards bore her name along with Bobeck's. She lamented that the voters themselves couldn't elect the county manager.

Blythe Evans (R) noted that it would take the county 17 years to pay off its debt--allowing for $30 million yearly surplus. He wanted to cut spending to reduce the debt, and to find a tough county manager.

Theresa Morcavage (D) said that she witnessed corruption in her 22 years of being employed with the county and said she knows how to stop it. She stressed the importance of following the provisions of the charter and making a strong ethics code.

Rick Williams (Independent) said that at the county level there is no difference between D's and R's and that all candidates ought to run as independents. He noted his experience as head of an architect firm and the need to attract business to the area to increase the tax base. He called for a gutsy manager who would make tough decisions until the 7 out of 11 councilmen fire him.

Tim Mullen (Libertarian) noted that we're all in trouble when interest rates go up and that if they do we'll have to sacrifice in order to service the county debt. Alluding to his combat experience, he compared the relationship between the council and the manager to that between an officer in the military and a sergeant, saying that the relationship should be firm but not overbearing in a micro-managing way.

Kathy Dobash (R) said she wouldn't be a wallflower and that she would file a right-to-know request if she didn't receive proper info from the county manager.

Mike Lacey's (Libertarian) speech wasn't as smooth as his previous one at KING'S College, wherefrom he graduated. His vision for the county remained impressive, however, as he said that the county had a good location, being between New York and Philly, and that bringing business in would be accomplished via a stable government, where pay-for-play would be abolished. He called for citizen-input in the new government, and noted that once the manager made a decision, the council would have to support and not undermine it, much as his staff supports the final decisions at his pharmacy.

Stephen A. Urban (D) [the elder] spoke, and the audience "oohed" at the mention of his name. He said that he had showed integrity as commissioner and that a whistle blower like him was needed. He then cited the lack thereof in Wilkes-Barre City government. Like Morcavage, he wished the county manager to be elected instead of appointed.

No-shows were Michelle Bednar (D), Stephen J. Urban (R) [the younger], Gina Nevenglosky(R), Brian Bergman (Libertarian), Mike Cabell (R), and Eugene Kelleher (R).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

County Council Forum Recap

This is a recap of the speeches presented by candidates for Luzerne County Council at a forum hosted by the League of Women voters that took place at KING'S COLLEGE. It is more a commentary on their speeches and not on each of them as a whole. I begin with the best ones.

Pleasant Surprises
Salvatore Licata's (D) speech was quite good. His points included taxpayer relief, the creation of a business friendly environment, and fighting crime. You can't lose with those points.

Eugene Kelleher (R) began his speech with some humor, and proceeded to stress the importance of an independent manager. He did well.

Jeremy Packard's (Ind) speech was very polished, but he seemed to favor a strong county manager and a weak council. The spirit of his outlook seemed a little too Hamiltonian for my tastes. Nevertheless, the speech was good.

Blythe Evans (R) seemed eager to be an independently-minded candidate.

Decent Speeches
Tim Mullen (Libertarian) emphasized the need to address the county debt but said he wouldn't do so by raising taxes or increasing fees. He seemed humble and honest as he said he would make up for any lack of experience with common sense.

Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt (R) listed her diverse career experience and also made a solid pledge not to raise taxes. Her ending sounded a little trite but at least she made some solid promises.

Ed Brominski (D) noted that when he was in county government, budgets were balanced, and listed his volunteer efforts.

Rick Williams (Independent) discussed his architectural career and called himself an "Independent Independent".

Jane Walsh-Waitkus (D) calmly related her government and business experience, but she didn't seem to list any specific policy stances.

Linda McClosky-Houck (D) spoke well and noted her extensive involvement in her church; but she also didn't make any definite policy proscriptions.

Tim McGinley (D) gave a good oration, except for the part when he said that the Home Rule charter was "the best form of government we could possibly have." This may have been hyperbole, but even for a hyperbole it seemed a little unreasonable. Probably none of the framers of the constitution thought it was ideal, since each camp had to give up certain things to their opponents.

Disappointments
Having witnessed the booming speeches of Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko (American Independent), it was not a little disappointing to see him appear so nervous up on the stage as he awkwardly read his speech. Toward the end he seemed to return to his old self, however. Hopefully he does better in his upcoming speeches because, despite what some might say, Buck actually knows a lot about corruption, has experience with government contracts, and has a strong moral backbone. A person like him would benefit the council.

Harry Haas's (R) speech seemed to ramble from point to point, and was a little disjointed.

John Ruckno's (R) was decent, but he didn't mention any stances or policies. Hopefully he will in the future because he seems to be a strong candidate given his business and financial experience.

Elaine Maddon Curry (D) spent too much of her speech on her role in getting a drama theatre built. Building a bunch of theatres won't do much to actually increase Luzerne County's earning potential or improve its overall economy in the long run.

Rick Morelli (R) seemed to stammer quite a bit and came across as insincere. (We're a little biased against him, and with good reason.)

Theresa Morecavage's (D) speech was bland.

Kathy Dobash (R) emphasized the need for transparency and pledged to be a protector of taxpayer dollars. She sounded a little too angry though.

Eileen Sorokas (D) read from her sheet in a sing-songy way. She was correct, however, in stating that she is an independently-minded candidate. Our experience has verified this.

Jim Bobeck (D) was perhaps the biggest disappointment. Despite having an impressive resume and being somewhat of a front runner, his speech was overly melodramatic. The cadence of his voice made him sound sort of like a beatnik in a jazz cafe, and he actually compared the home rule charter to the Declaration of Independence. Anyone who knows history would realize how tasteless this was. The rest of his speech was vague.

No-shows included Mike Cabell (R), Gina Nevenglosky (R), Stephen A. Urban (D), Stephen J. Urban (R), Michelle Bednar (D), and Brian Bergman (Libertarian).
_________________________
We ask that the reader not judge the candidates from this analysis alone, and sorry if we've been too biased or harsh.

Monday, October 3, 2011

W-B City Government & LAG Towing Forced to Produce Records

Crusader against corruption Mark Robbins won a Right-to-Know Request appeal against Wilkes-Barre City Government and its tow truck contractor Leo Glodzik--owner of LAG Towing. The contract between the two parties mandates logs of each tow be kept in order to ensure that Glodzik is charging industry standard. These logs haven't been kept in 75 months, and W-B City council, the mayor, and the police chief have all refused to enforce the contract even after beaucoup media scrutiny throughout the summer. Now, W-B City government must produce the documents. We could be on the verge of a giant corruption scheme being exposed. More to come.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Letter to NuPo: Cut Back on County Spending Before Cuts are Forced on Us

The following was submitted by Tim Mullen, candidate for Luzerne County Council:
Structural deficiencies in our national economy guarantee us a lower standard of living. The greatest crisis of the last 70 years was greeted with the solution to "just go shopping."

Government and households have spent beyond their means. Luzerne County took the lead and is saddled with a debt approaching a half billion dollars.

The time has come to pay the piper. I am the one candidate that will tell you everything you don't want to hear. We can face our fate head on now by voluntarily sacrificing, or unpleasant changes will be forced upon us in the near future.

Some have accused me of used tired old sound bites such as "no tax increases" or "no more borrowing." I am one candidate that will "walk the walk" not just "talk the talk." As promised in past writings I will offer solutions, not empty rhetoric.

As your county council member I would ensure that we have another layer of checks and balances by restoring the powers lost by the county controller under the new charter. This can be done by legislating into the administrative code the ability of the controller to review purchases and contracts prior to approval of the executive branch (county manager). This can be done without violating the covenants of the charter.

The council has no control over hiring and firing within the courts, but it does have the ability to approve the court's budget. It may have been forgotten, but it is the taxpayers that mandate how much it requires to run the courts, not the courts themselves. Luzerne County courts are now overstaffed 20-25 percent more than similar sized counties.

I would advocate for a budget in line with similar sized counties.
I am not a lawyer and I have no relationship with the courts.
I am a taxpayer advocate.

Let it be up to the courts to decide whether the money should be spent on personnel or paper clips and how much of each.

Cost analysis of each department will be done by the controller's office, not department heads under the charter. Department heads will always ask for more than they would ever need. It will be, however, up to the council to hold the controller's feet to the fire to ensure that performance audits are done in a timely fashion.

Implement into the administrative code that audits will be done by different auditors in a two year rotating schedule versus the present system which allows a cozy relationship to develop between the auditor and the audited.

I have only scratched the surface in looking for ways to run a leaner more efficient county government. Yes there may be cutbacks in county services as well as county personnel. I reiterate, it is best to do so now while we have some say in the matter rather than when it is forced upon us.

Tim Mullen
Kingston Township
Candidate for Luzerne County Council
To read more of Tim's writings, go to http://www.votemullen.com/blog.html

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ensemble Chaconne to Play at KING'S College

Press Release:
Ensemble Chaconne will perform a selection of 18th century London chamber music using classical instruments during a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the J. Carroll McCormick Campus Ministry Center at King’s College. Admission is free.

The concert will feature masterpieces by Handel and Vivaldi and selections by other great European composers who settled in London during the latter part of the century.... To continue reading see http://www.kings.edu/news_and_events/ensemble_chaconne

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cars for Cash Protest Shines Spotlight on Corruption

Citizens rightly outraged by the underhanded dealings between tow truck operator Leo Glodzik III and Wilkes-Barre City Government and Police held a protest Saturday September 17th.

Traffic was a little thin, and the city hall building was closed on the weekend, but the press showed up, and mayoral candidate Betsy Summers made sure the few cars that did pass by heard her loudspeaker into which she chanted "Investigate Glodzik-gate!" The organizer of the event, Mark Robbins, brought police tape to wrap around the proverbial crime scene of city hall and others wrote messages on poster-boards that they commenced to wave before passing vehicles. All in all, it was a brisk sunshiny day of righteous protest.

Notable attendees were protest organizer Mark Robbins, Libertarian Party of PA chairman Lou Jasikoff, Wilkes-Barre mayoral candidates Betsy Summers and Lisa Cope, as well as Luzerne County Council candidate Tim Mullen, the good tow truck operator Bob Kaluboski, and Republican Primary W-B mayoral candidates Frank Sorick and Karen Ceppa. Many other anti-Leighton protestors attended and added up to about 25 people in all. Ron Paul supporters staged a complementary Ron Paul sign wave at the site, and some partook in the protest of Wilkes-Barre government corruption.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Leighton Protest Recap (Updated 9/17/11)

(Updated 9/17/11)

Mark Robbins lead a protest against the corrupt dealings between the Leighton Administration and its tow truck contractor Leo Glodzik.

The event was touted as a "benefit to help those who lost their cars or were otherwise price gouged by LAG Towing. Robbins pledged to match a $5,000 gift to those who got towed with a $5,000 gift to flood victims.

Notable attendees were Robbins, Jasikoff, Summers, and Cope, as well as Luzerne County Council candidate Tim Mullen, the city's former tow truck operator, Bob Kaluboski, and 2011 Republican Primary mayoral candidates Frank Sorick and Karen Ceppa. Many other anti-Leighton protestors attended and added up to about 25 in all. Ron Paul supporters staged a complementary Ron Paul sign wave and some protested Wilkes-Barre corruption.

Traffic was a little thin, and the city hall building was closed on the weekend, but the press showed up, and Betsy Summers made sure the few cars that did pass by heard her loudspeaker into which she chanted "Investigate Glodzik-gate!" Robbins brought police tape and others wrote messages poster-boards that they commenced to wave at the passing vehicles. All in all, it was a brisk sunshiny day of righteous protest.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Talk Radio Drinks Rick Perry Koolaid

Somehow, "conservative" talk radio is falling unanimously behind Rick Perry in the Republican presidential primary. It's like a pod of whales all following each other to become beached on the perilous shore. And so with them, swims all their listeners to the craggy cove of Governor Good Hair.

Rash Limbaugh was dubbed an honorary Texan by Rick Perry in 2009, so that deal is sealed. He also says that Ron Paul is a "kook"--the same slander used by Bill Kristol.

Laura Ingram is gushing over what a pious Christian she believes Rick Perry to be. She remarked that he is "ticking off all the right people", as if all Perry's opponents are Obamaphiles, which is false.

Even Michael Savage, who we would expect to know better, is now glowing about how handsome Rick Perry looks to him; and how he's physically superior to Ron Paul (this is seriously what he said). Savage has also begun to falsely claim, just as Rush has, that Ron Paul can't win despite the fact that Paul scores way better with moderates and independents than Savage's man-crush Rick Perry.

Mark Levin and Sean Hannity will no doubt try to outdo these three in Perry worship.

But considering all the problems* with Rick Perry, wouldn't we expect at least one major talkshow host endorse somebody else? Perhaps Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, or Romney? Why are these people mindlessly falling into the Rick Perry Groove?

It almost seems like a conspiracy. Talk Radio has been stoking the anti-Obama fires in people's souls for nearly three years. This is why listeners often say that "anybody would be better than Obama." With the flame a-broiling, Talk Radio then, surreptitiously, slips in the name of Rick Perry as an alternative.

It's like the listeners have been conditioned to have an appetitive urge for the removal of Obama. It is a childish, ridiculous view that only conservative talk radio could have fostered. Indeed, Obama is a Machiavellian monster who leans left in his corporatist policies and acts like an effeminate despot, but by centering all the discussion on the basic thesis that "Obama and the Democrats are the cause of all our problems", Talk Radio has conditioned its listeners to accept Obama's exact policies as long as they have a Republican stamp on them. It is a moronic tribalism that only Michael Savage seems to break with, but even he has the hots for Governor Good hair; and brings his listeners to the same craggy shore as does his fellow gabbers.

Talk Radio and its dependents may well accept the phony right-wing populist Perry just as the Left accepted the phony left-wing populist Obama in 2008. By saying Ron Paul doesn't have a chance, Talk Radio inflicts a self-fulfilling prophecy by getting their listeners to write him off.

We had held out hope the Savage would endorse Paul, but he has cast himself as one of the pack.
____________________________
*Some of Rick Perry's Problems include:
1. He called for the TARP bank bailouts.
2. The fact that the Texas state government grew at a faster rate than the US government during his tenure.
3. Lack of action on illegal immigration. He also signed the Texas version of the DREAM Act which allows in-state tuition for children of illegals.
4. The selling of toll roads to foreigners.
5. Holding a pre-election prayer event, likely for political gain.
6. Benefiting from an insiders club of billionaires while repaying them with sweet deals and government contracts.
7. Assuming the role of "parent" by forcing little 12 year-old girls to take Gardasil shots despite the fact that most of them would have never gotten the virus that causes HPV, especially if they and their fiances were to wait until marriage. Not only this, but Perry did it via an executive order and thus severely violated his own state constitution.
8. Perry acted like the opt-out clause of the mandate was easy, but if Perry really wanted to "give" people a choice, then there should have been an opt-in as Santorum said. Nevertheless, opting out was much more difficult than Perry made it seem in the debate.
9. Lying to Michele Bachmann about how much Merck, the maker of Gardasil, benefited him.
10. Endorsing moderate Rudy Giuliani in 2008.
11. Scoffing at the idea of endorsing constitutionalist Ron Paul in 2008.
12. Provoking Debra Medina to run against him in the Republican Primary of 2010.
13. Exclaiming the wonders of Hillarycare in the 1990s well after having switched to the Republican Party.
For more see http://www.facebook.com/groups/conservativesagainstrickperry/

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crazy Cestwood Superintendent Refuses to Cancel School

Crestwood High School Superintendent Dave McLaughlin-Smith decided not to cancel classes Friday despite massive flooding in the Wyoming Valley. Crestwood was the only school in Luzerne County that did not close.

One may argue that Mountain Top, where Crestwood is located, was not in any danger of significant flooding and therefore should have had school. However, this is a small-minded view for a number of reasons.

First, evacuees from the floodplain below were reportedly having difficulty finding places to stay. The Crestwood gymnasium may have been better used as a refuge for them rather than for school activities.

Secondly, many residents of Mtn Top undoubtedly had family members living near the river in areas such as Wilkes-Barre and Forty Fort who needed help coping with things. If at least the high school kids were allowed to stay home, things would have been easier.

Third, many Crestwood employees actually live in the floodplain or in school districts that were closed due to imperiled roads. Placing these people in danger is not in the interest of safety or education.

Finally, What possibly could have been more important on the school schedule Friday than the need for an evacuee center, for time to take care of loved ones, and relief from having to travel perilous roadways? Although, school is important, it's not like the children aren't there 179 other days out of the year. This has led me to conclude that the superintendent has an irrational fixation with not canceling school and is crazy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dombroski: "The Dikes Aren't High Enough"

The Susquehanna River is expected to crest at 41 feet, the exact height of the dike as it stretches along Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Forty Fort, and Wyoming. Any increase in dike levels would mean flooding for the region. One man, Thomas Dombroski, has been saying for a while that the dikes are not high enough, and that they would need to be 56 feet in order to withstand another Agnes-type of rainfall.

Hurricane Agnes was the cause of the Flood of 72, perhaps the greatest disaster to ever hit a part of Pennsylvania. At the time, the Susquehanna River crested at 41 feet, so the Army Corps of Engineers said that a height of 41 feet was sufficient to stop another Agnes. But according to Dombroski, the reason they refused to go above 41 feet was that it would cost them more money and that another Agnes was deemed to be unlikely.

Dombroski, head of the Wyoming Valley Flood Protection Committee, had several of his properties damaged in the 1972 flood and still owns several properties along the river. By using physics calculations, which were independently seconded by a Wilkes University professor, Dombroski found that the dikes would have to be 56 feet high to withstand another Agnes. The reason is that although the river crested at 41 feet, when it did so, much water had already spilled out from the river bed to the flood plain. Dombroski measured the area of the flood plain and took samples of the height of floodwater in various locations. He then used physics calculations to flop the floodwater back onto the river bed and concluded that it would have reached a height of 56 feet there. The reason he was able to do this was that he assumed steady state conditions for the river because the river was flowing at the same speed upstream in Tunkhannock as it was downriver in Nanticoke. Therefore, any water that spilled past the banks would have stayed atop the river and added to its height had it not spilled over the dikes.

Lord willing, the river's height will not clear 41 feet. And if it comes close, Wyoming Valley residents may have Dombroski in part to thank for no flooding, because he did a lot of work in the 80's via the Flood Protection Committee to get the dikes raised to 41 feet. This entailed convincing local leaders to agree to work toward acquiring some federal and state funds to build a new dike that would be than the 36 feet it had previously stood at. The scare of 1996 prompted Bill Clinton to guarantee that the project to raise the dikes to 41 feet would finally begin.

When asked his opinion on the 41 feet, Dombroski reflects "we took what we could get". Hopefully what they got will be enough.
_________________________________________
SOURCE: "Pennsylvania Issue: Are the Dikes High Enough" King's College, PA. May 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Obama Consulted Newt Gingrich on Education

According to a White House visitor's list, Newton Gingrich visited POTUS (Barack Obama) for a private meeting in the Oval Office on May 5, 2009 at 12:30pm. Gingrich is publicly known as a champion of charter schools and vouchers.

Free-market writer Sheldon Richman has pointed out the problems with charter schools, namely, that they will be controlled by an anti-charter school establishment. Richman sees such schools as ultimately being more of an exercise in futility than anything else.

Click pic to see Newton's name.

In the Republican Primary debate this past Thursday night, Newt attempted to play the role of "the bigger man" by criticizing the questioners for trying to pit the candidates against each other, stating that all of them would be better than Obama. But Gingrich seems to be quite an establishment figure; and, after writing a forward to one of Al Gore's books Gingrich did a "Climate Change" commercial with Nancy Pelosi. Gingrich may not be as anti-Democrat as one might think. Regardless, it is doubtful that POTUSbama would have invited constitutionalist Ron Paul to a private meeting on education.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Letter to NuPo: On the Anniversary of 9/11

This letter is from Elizabeth Potter of Unity Productions Foundation.
In memory of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I would like to offer you and your readers of Nothington Post a message of peace in a short video and a pledge of tolerance.
http://myfellowamerican.us
If you are able to post or tweet about the video and the pledge, please let me know. I am here if you have any questions.

Thank you so much,

Elizabeth Potter
Unity Productions Foundation
myfellowamerican.us
facebook.com/MyFellowAmericanProject
@usmuslimstories
To send your own letter to the Nothington Post, email nupoblog@yahoo.com

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Libertarians Nominate Mike Lacey

The NEPA Libertarian Party has nominated Mike Lacey, leader of the NEPA Tea Party, to fill a ballot spot vacated by Betsy Summers who has opted to run for Wilkes-Barre Mayor instead. Lacey will join Tim Mullen, another Libertarian candidate for Luzerne County Council. (Press Release Below.)

Wilkes-Barre-- Late Wednesday the Libertarian Party submitted election paperwork naming Mike Lacey as the Party’s replacement for Betsy Summers as one of its candidates for Luzerne County Council. Lacey, a local businessman Republican and co-founder of the NEPA Tea Party, is throwing his hat into the ring as a Libertarian in an unprecedented move according to Lou Jasikoff, Chair for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. The opening came about as Ms. Summers recently qualified to run for both Luzerne County Council and Mayor of Wilkes-Barre. Ms. Summers is running to become the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre which left an opening on the Libertarian ticket for Luzerne County Council.

“Having served on the 2001 home rule study commission, and currently serving on the transition sub-committee for ethics, I looked for a replacement candidate that I could trust to serve the citizens of Luzerne County as I would. Mike Lacey is exactly the kind of individual needed to help make the new Home Rule Charter work. I am secure in the knowledge he will be a watchdog for the community and am honored to have such a principled individual as my replacement. Mike Lacey has my full endorsement,” said Betsy Summers.

“This race is not about party, it is a race about principle. I intend to be a true voice for the people, not the establishment. The time has come for all of us to put party politics aside and do what is best for our communities and country. I want to thank the Libertarian Party for this opportunity to help bring an end to the “good old boy” network that has become so pervasive in our local political system. It is imperative that we stop the corruption, nepotism and cronyism,” added Lacey.

Jasikoff added, “Libertarians have been running as Republicans and Democrats throughout the country for years. This might be the first time in history that a Republican is running as a Libertarian and times are truly changing. I am reminded of a Mark Twain quote, “In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.”

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Conservative Case Against "The Conservative Case Against Ron Paul"

Here are the problems with the tired, old and nonsensical article being propagated by a phony conservative newsletter called Cowboy or Conservative Byte.

1) Ron Paul is a libertarian, not a conservative. The writer thinks the two are mutually exclusive. I beg to differ. Ron Paul is a conservative libertarian because he voted for the defense of marriage act and wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. He also errs on preventing people from entering the country illegally. These are things many libertarians disagree with. Within Libertarianism, there are people who are socially conservative like Ron Paul and Tom Woods, and there are those who are more socially liberal, who say, for instance, that abortion is alright.

Moreover, the term conservative is subjective. For example, the writer probably believes drug prohibition and small government are both conservative. Yet, at a certain level they mutually exclusive since government must grow to enforce prohibition. The wiggle room within conservatism means that some prioritize drug prohibition while others will prioritize small prudent, constitutional government. Oddly enough, Republicans of the 19th century did not concern themselves much with drug prohibition, so according to writer they might be called "liberals".

Suffice it to say that unless the writer has a copyright of the word conservatism, then his commentary is fundamentally meaningless. Those who put the least amount of effort into reading something are probably the most likely to be influenced by use of labels such as "libertarian" or "conservative" without actually considering the issues and values in depth. Hence, this labeling critique is placed at the beginning to try to make the simple-minded reader believe that Ron Paul is not in the conservative camp, thus attempting to make the rest of the critiques more biting.

2) ? [Will address this later]

3) Ron Paul encourages "truther" conspiracy nuts. Ron Paul openly states on page 120 of his book End the Fed that he does not believe 9/11 was an inside job, and in so doing he has actually drawn ire from many truthers. It is a logical fallacy to say that because he does not try harder to discourage truthers, he therefore encourages them somehow. Attack dogs like Hawkins who write haphazard smear jobs fail to realize that Dr Paul got into politics long before 9/11, primarily because of his belief in Austrian Economics, desire to legalize owning gold, and desire to advance liberty. Yet connivers like Hawkins want to cast him as a truther fad.

4) Ron Paul's [alleged] racial views Ron Paul denies having anything to do with the racist article Hawkins cites. This is believable since many Ron Paul Newsletters--being of a deregulated, grassroots sprouting--were published without his knowledge. Ron Paul has never been known to say anything racist, so the racist "quotes" would seem totally out of character. Regardless, the evidence would fail in a court of law, especially since the writer of the "interview" has never attested to its veracity. Moreover, Ron Paul has condemned the comments and whoever it was that tried to say he said them.

5) A lot of Ron Paul's supporters are incredibly irritating. This is subjective nonsense.

6) Ron Paul is an isolationist As Sheldon Richman has pointed out, Ron Paul supports free trade and is anything but an "isolationist." Ron Paul opposes neo-con government intervention abroad and in so doing, he embodies the conservative virtue of prudence and restraint. The writer wants you to think that being "conservative" means wanting to bomb people who haven't attacked you at all and supporting lingering occupation in their homelands--as was the case in Iraq and as is the case in Libya. Ron Paul actually did vote to go into Afghanistan to eradicate the perpetrators of 9/11 in retaliation; so even if Paul is not hawkish enough for Hawkins's taste, he cannot be accused of pacifism.

7) Ron Paul wants to immediately cut and run in Iraq. The writer says Al-Qaeda would have taken over if the US had left Iraq. I doubt this was even true back in 2007 when it was written. Moreover, the writer worries that civil war and "genocide" will ensue following troop withdrawal--forget the fact that 100,000 Iraqi civilians were murdered by US bombs in the Iraq War. Apparently the writer had no problem with that genocide. Ron Paul did not vote for the Iraq War--so shouldn't our genocide-averse writer give him credit for that? Hence the sophist nature of Hawkins's post. Moreover, the overthrow of Saddam ultimately would be to blame for whatever power vacuum may result in lieu of US occupation, and it seems Hawkins is exaggerating the danger Iraqis might face in lieu of US occupation and is taking for granted the idea that we ought to be their military defense.

8) In the single most repulsive moment of the entire Presidential race so far, Ron Paul excused Al-Qaeda's attack on America with this comment about 9/11. "They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years." This was not an "excuse" to anyone who scored above nil on the SAT reading comprehension test; rather, it was the reason given by the CIA itself, whose intel revealed that terrorists were primarily mad about the US bombing their lands and its agents' efforts to manipulate their politics. There's even video of Osama on youtube in which he complains of US predator drone strikes killing mohammedan civilians. That terrorists "hate us for our freedoms" was concerted propaganda on the part of the Bush administration; (Osama was a porn addict, and enjoyed that freedom). Moreover, most would-be terrorists probably could care less about our freedoms, just as most of we Americans could probably care less about people living far away. Regardless, if Ron Paul really meant to "excuse" 9/11, then he wouldn't have voted to go after the terrorists and kill them in Afghanistan.


9) Ron Paul is the single, least electable major candidate running for the presidency in either party
Hawkins says Ron Paul's Libertarianism is too out of the mainstream, but he neglects to mention that many conservatives, moderates, and Democrats support Ron Paul. In fact, many Democrats have changed their way of thinking to become more fiscally conservative and more open to other conservative ideas in general because of their respect for Ron Paul.

Paul offers troop withdrawals, which most Americans favor and which no other candidate offers. He wants to audit our monetary overlords at the Fed, which is something the average person hit by inflation wants. Although Ron Paul may be libertarian in his ideals and may not share everyone's ideal political philosophy, many non-libertarians have found enough about him to like in him and respect him for being a stand-alone statesman who always keeps his promises. They like that is not a sophist politician like Mitt Romney or Obama who tries to promote himself at the expense of the nation.

Others simply want someone who is anti-Washington and anti-establishment who won't fit into the Bush, Obama, Clinton mold. So although not everyone shares Ron Paul's ideals, they like his policies.

Finally, to say that because third party candidates do poorly that it somehow confers unelectability upon Paul is meaningless because Ron Paul is running as a Republican...

The sad part about "The Conservative Case Against Ron Paul" is that on the surface it is effective propaganda which will deceive many and turn others away from Ron Paul, especially those who have been conditioned by years of Sean Hannity, FOX News and other phony conservative outlets to have an unnatural, unwarranted aversion to him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Obama Loves Private Jet Owners

Many falsely claim that Obama is jealous of private jet owners because of some of his recent rhetoric. But the policies he enforces couldn't be more antithetical to this view.

Consider this: If one us regular people wants to board an airplane, we will likely have to choose between being groped or seen naked by a TSA minion. Yet, if a billionaire wants to board a private jet, he need not worry about any such molestation.

The reason the TSA gives for groping everyone, including children, is that in the past there have been a few sparse incidents--likely all of them in the middle east--in which children were used as suicide bombers. In somewhat of a non sequitur fashion, the TSA extrapolates from this that all American children need to be groped or looked at naked.

But, the underwear bomber reportedly came from a wealthy family. Indeed, many people from upscale families have been recruited as terrorists. Even people who fly private jets might be terrorists. So according to the TSA's logic, shouldn't people who board private jets be groped too--to make sure that one of them isn't a terrorist set to hijack the jet and fly it into the white house?

We are not advocating more groping--be it of private jet passengers or anyone else. We merely mean to point out that Obama's actual policies, those overseen by his DHS appointee Janet Napolitano, undermine his very rhetoric. Obama loves private jet owners so much that he trusts them to fly ungroped.

In the words of Jesse Ventura: political rhetoric today is like pro wrestling; it's show biz.

MMXI

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fred Pierantoni: a High-Ranking Freemason


This is a pic was taken from a past issue of the "Irem News".

According to Pierantoni's website, he is a member of St John's Lodge 233. The issue from which we got the pic has expired and thus been pulled down from the Irem Temple Website. However, the homepage still depicts that:


The Irem Temple Club is a branch of Freemasonry known as the "Shriners". Although this may be seen by most as a harmless civic organization, we believe it champions among its ranks the politically-connected, especially given our previous story that Lou Barletta was posing for a photo in front of the Irem Temple Mosque building in Wilkes-Barre. We must concede, however, that Pierantoni doesn't appear to have benefited vote-wise at the poll where the Masonic Living residents vote in Dallas, PA.

Pierantoni apparently belongs to the Holy Mother of Sorrows parish, and is thus a Catholic. But it is well known that Catholics have long been discouraged, and in times past outright forbidden*, from joining freemasonic lodges. Interestingly, there is a long history of enmity between Catholics and freemasons because the latter believed the former to be superstitious and the former believed the latter to be evil perpetrators of modernism and non-Catholic beliefs; the Knights of Columbus was sponsored as a Catholic alternative.

However, this enmity had vanished by the mid 20th century, and some even believe John XXIII, the pope who called Vatican II, was a freemason; others allege that Cardinal Bugnini, the primary architect of the Novus Ordo Mass, was a freemason. No longer would we expect a Freemason to try to blow up the Our Lady of Guadaloupe shrine. The Knights of Columbus would probably even take in someone who was a freemason in order to maintain their dwindling numbers. Today, the Catholic Church probably would shy away from banning freemasonic membership.

We still believe, however, that being a freemason, especially a high-ranking one, is not a very Catholic thing to do.
______________________________
Actually, the ban on Catholics joining Freemasonic lodges is still in effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_ban_of_Freemasonry

Here's an explanation of why Shriners like Pierantoni where the fez hat, as told by a staunchly anti-freemasonic Catholic.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rick Perry a Moneychanger and Hypocrite?

There's a good post at the Ob Lure blog concerning Rick Perry's prayer event. http://obscurelure.blogspot.com/2011/07/rick-perry-moneychanger-and-hypocrite.html

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can Lisa Cope Cope?

Underdog Lisa Cope has too much to lose in Wilkes-Barre City Mayoral contest.
According to the Citizens' Voice, the reason Lisa Cope hasn't been more vocal in her criticism of Mayor Leighton is that her husband is a city employee--a police officer. According to her, he was given the message that if his wife were to damage Leighton's reputation too much, it could mean bad things for his job. Lisa Cope openly admits that
"I don't feel I can come out and say 100 percent what's on my mind at any given time...Call it screening what I say for the sake of my husband."
What's more, Cope herself has applied to be a W-B police officer.

It's bad enough that Republicans are outnumbered 4 to 1 in the city, but now there is the disadvantage of Cope limiting herself to a kind of graduated mummery. But if she really cared about the city, wouldn't she be willing to put her husband's job and her career aspirations at risk in order to expose the wrongdoings of the Leightonian Regime?

Leighton deserves a harum-scarum opponent who will speak out freely against corruption in spite of intimidation, like the prophets of ancient Israel did or the bards of ancient Celtic yore. Unless Cope begins to do this, Leighton will carry the election with many votes to spare. Even if a good outspoken Republican candidate has no chance of winning in the Democrat stronghold of Wilkes-Barre, she would at least loosen Leighton's grip on W-B this election cycle so that perhaps in another 4 years he will either be voted out in the primary or in general election.* Lisa Cope doesn't appear to be this candidate.

Word around the campfire is that there is a third party candidate on the way who, unlike Cope, has nothing to lose and everything to gain from speaking out against Leighton. Keep posted.

UPDATE 8-4
According to a recent Citizens' Voice article:
While Cope has said before she's worried about speaking out because her husband is a city police officer, she's since backed off that stance. Her husband's union protection and a discussion with an attorney eased her mind, she said.
The third party candidate we alluded to earlier is Betsy Summers. By criticizing Cope for not speaking out more, it seems Summers has pushed Lisa Cope into being more vocal--at least we hope.
_________________________
*We have a feeling that Leighton's career will end in typical NEPA fashion--with investigations and, possibly, imprisonment. This may happen within four years.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Opinion: Wilkes-Barre City Officials Want Glodzik's Records to be Kept Secret

Tow truck owner Leo Glodzik's contract is selectively enforced by Wilkes-Barre City officials so that his towing records can stay hidden from the public.

According to the Citizens' Voice, Glodzik's receipts, which his contract mandates must be kept in an "accurate and running log" with the police* are not being kept. Glodzik says he only needs to keep them if he's asked to, and apparently he hasn't been--but this is not what the contract says. The logs are necessary to enforce the part of the contract which states that Glodzik's fees must be "reasonable and according to the standards of the industry generally." Without the logs, there can be no assurance that Glodzik's fees are reasonable, and if there is no such assurance, the contract is not being followed. I imagine the city would have power to demand Glodzik's records from the police chief, but they cannot do this if there are no records being kept in the first place. Why is only the chief allowed to demand Glodzik's records? And who wrote this language into the contract? Was it Bill Vinsko--Glodzik's Facebook friend and former lawyer?

City officials have dodged Citizens' Voice reporters' questions, and thus seem happy that only the police have the power to demand from Glodzik his records. Therefore, they enforce only the part of the contract that absolves them from having to apprehend Glodzik's records directly from him for public review, yet these same officials seem totally fine with the fact that the part of the contract mandating the log and its necessary clause of ensuring fair prices is not being kept by the police chief. It is clear that the ultimate goal of the city officials, including Leighton and McLauglin, is to protect Glodzik from any scrutiny over his business practices.

Finally, the fact that Glodzik isn't keeping records with police is a sufficient condition for the termination of his city contract. However, the contract only states that failure to follow it means that city officials "could" terminate but not that they must do so. Therefore, Glodzik can violate the contract all he wants, and city officials have no obligation to terminate it. This sort of non-binding contract seems suspicious. Therefore, the people who wrote the contract ought to be investigated.

The Wilkes-Barre City attorney is Timothy Henry and the assistant attorney is William E. Vinsko, Jr. Vinsko is friends with Glodzik on Facebook and incorporated some businesses for him. Bill Vinsko is also friends on Facebook with Wilkes-Barre police chief Gerald (Jerry) Dessoye. Vinsko is also friends with Drew McLaughlin who is on record as stating that the logs the contract mandates are unnecessary because Dessoye can track city-directed tows through internal police department records. But McLaughlin's premise is false. The contract says that logs are necessary so that they can be apprehended from the police chief by people such as the Mayor or reporters or concerned citizens. If McLaughlin really believes that we're just supposed to take his buddy Dessoye's word for it that Glodzik is charging industry standard, then he is either naive or knowlingly misrepresenting the city contract.

Click above photo for larger view
_______________________________
The contract requires that L.A.G. shall provide the police chief on the 10th of each month:
1. An accurate and running log of all vehicles currently in storage
2. The tows made by the Contractor by the Contractor under this contract for the preceding month
3. A copy of all inventories held
In legalese, "shall" is synonymous with "must"; therefore, the records must be received.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Facts in Glodzik / Robbins Dispute

This is a listing of the facts in the dispute between Mark Robbins and tow truck businessman Leo Glodzik III. Robbins has accused Glodzik of charging exorbitantly high fees which violate Glodzik's contract with the City that mandates reasonable fees in accordance with industry standards.

Facts not in Dispute:
Glodzik charged Robbins a total of $200 for a tow.

Facts in Dispute.
Robbins quotes the contract between Glodzik and the city as stating "Contractor is permitted to charge its own fees... provided so long as the same are reasonable and according to the standards of the industry generally." Glodzik told the Times Leader that the charge of $175 for a base rate on a "rollback tow" is a "standard industry charge". (He did not mention what the remaining $25 of the $200 total was for.) More importantly, Glodzik made a rollback tow sound like some sort of special, expensive tow.

However, former city tow truck contractor Bob Kadluboski, owner of City Wide Towing, has implied that he charged $75 for such a tow when he held the city contract. We found a rate quote of $83 for a rollback tow from Ace Towing in North Carolina. It would be strange if the price in NC -$83 was over double what Glodzik charges -$175- in the Wyoming Valley. If these numbers are correct, then there is suspicion enough to warrant an investigation into Glodzik's records to make sure he is charging industry standard.

Problematic Enforcement
Robbins believes there is much more going on than predatory pricing and that the Wilkes-Barre police chief may be up to no good. This is significant because in the contract the police chief, Dessoye, has the power to demand an inspection of Glodzik's receipts*. If Dessoye and Glodzik are in cahoots, then nothing can be done about the alleged predatory pricing.

More Facts not in Dispute
Robbins passed a professionally administered and legally valid polygraph test, and his answers were deemed truthful by the tester. Here they are:
A) When you called Wilkes-Barre 911 on June 1st, did you report Leo Glodzik's threatening behavior?

Answer "Yes" RESULT: NO DECEPTION INDICATED (2.4%)

B) On June 1, did a Wilkes-Barre police officer say to you "l don't give a fuck about your car”? (The cop leaning on the car in the police cruiser picture said this to me... classy, huh?)

Answer "Yes" RESULT: NO DECEPTION INDICATED (0.6%)

C) On June 1st, when Wilkes-Barre police arrived on the scene after you called them, did officers speak to Leo Glodzik first before speaking with you? (3 separate instances... Leo Glodzik gets "extra special attention" from police... even in the face of a 911 call made against him.)

Answer "Yes" RESULT: NO DECEPTION INDICATED (0.1%)

D) On June 1, did Leo Glodzik suggest that you lie to AAA by telling them your car had overheated? (Part of his "fraud proposition"...see Section IV)

Answer "Yes" RESULT: NO DECEPTION INDICATED (0.1%)
Robbins' account seems to indicate that there may be some sort of connection between the police in general and Glodzik.

It seems fishy that only the police chief can demand to see Glodzik's receipts and that other city workers seem totally uninterested in them, with city official Drew McLaughlin telling a Citizen's Voice reporter that records are not necessary.

City attorney Bill Vinsko probably had some sort of say over the contract with Glodzik. Indeed, as of writing this article, Glodzik is friends on Facebook with Bill Vinsko who, according to the Citizen's Voice, "incorporated several businesses for Glodzik." Vinsko is friends with Leighton on Facebook, and Leighton has served as Glodzik's real estate broker.

It seems there is a deep rabbit hole involving Glodzik and property acquisitions. According to the Times Leader, County Commissioner Steve Urban has accused Leighton and his city workers of selling a property to Glodzik for $7,500 without advertising it and after paying $10,000 total for it.

A big deal has been made over the fact that Glodzik has donated $10,500 to Leighton’s campaigns since 2005; but he has been the city’s contracted tower for six years. Glodzik gave $2,500 to Leighton's state senate run, but it is important to note that Falzone's towing also gave this amount, as did Bill Sordoni of Sordoni construction, Albert Boscov, and the McCarthys of McCarthy Tire, so Glodzik's donation amounts are relatively normal among that crowd of businessmen.

Nevertheless, there are far too many coincidences and ties to quell legitimate suspicion. Robbins has made some stunning claims involving everything from possible FBI corruption to possible kickback schemes involving the towed vehicles, all of which are all viewable on his website.

Update 8-1
We neglected to mention that Glodzik pays Wilkes-Barre City $50,000 per year to maintain his city contract. City administrator Marie McCormick took offense at Robbins' criticism of this $50k payment as being a "kickback". But as Bob Kadluboski correctly replied: the fee is actually a tax on the people who have their cars towed, especially if Glodzik is able to get away with charging upwards of $200 per tow. Kadluboski went on to note that these sorts of payoffs, however contractual they may be, were outlawed in New York because of the perverse incentive they promote. Bidding on the contract should have been on the towing rates and not on a payment to the city government. But, understandably, the city wanted the money, and getting in such a round about way shifts discontentment that would otherwise be directed toward them toward Glodzik.
__________________________________
*Section 18 (f) of the city contract with L.A.G. says ”the Contractor shall provide to the chief of police an accurate and running log of all vehicles currently in storage; the tows made by the Contractor under this contract for the preceding month; and a copy of all inventories held. If requested, the Chief of Police is entitled to information pertaining to the amount of money collected under this or pursuant to this contract… and other information that the Administration or the Chief of Police find relevant to maintaining the integrity of the city.

More Info
"City tower’s conduct blasted" http://www.timesleader.com/news/City_tower_rsquo_s_conduct_blasted_07-13-2011.html

"Critical remarks target Wilkes-Barre's towing operator" http://citizensvoice.com/news/critical-remarks-target-wilkes-barre-s-towing-operator-1.1174547

"W-B tower denies driver’s claims" http://www.timesleader.com/news/W-B_tower_denies_driver_rsquo_s_claims_07-13-2011.html

"Wilkes-Barre Towing Contract Not Enforced" http://citizensvoice.com/news/wilkes-barre-towing-contract-not-enforced-1.1174046#axzz1SR2JE8ky

Mark Robbins' Website Detailing the alleged "Cars for Cash Scheme" http://gratefulhands.net/cars_for_cash_kickback_scam

"Judge re-opens Old River Road Bakery lawsuit" http://citizensvoice.com/news/judge-reopens-old-river-road-bakery-lawsuit-1.1136485#axzz1SR2JE8ky

"W-B’s sale of house criticized" http://www.timesleader.com/news/W-B_rsquo_s_sale_of_house_criticized_06-29-2011.html

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wilkes-Barre City Government's Tow Truck Monopolist Chastised


Times Leader: Watch as Mark Robbins and Bob Kadluboski make accusations against the Leighton administration of the City of Wilkes-Barre. Council members and administration become upset and Marie McCormick, city administrator, is offended by the claims Robbins made against the administration. Robbins and Kadluboski are upset over what they call a "kickback scam" in regards to the new city tower. This council meeting was a joint session and was held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12. The next meeting is not until September.
See Times Leader article: http://www.timesleader.com/news/City_tower_rsquo_s_conduct_blasted_07-13-2011.html

Robbins and Kadluboski accused LAG Towing and its owner Leo Glodzik of price gouging. It is important to note that the monopoly LAG holds over Wilkes-Barre City is an artificial one that is supported by a contract with the city government. $75 is said to be a fair rate for towing. But because LAG charges upwards of $200 per tow and $50 per each day a car is left in the lot, it seems the cars have been piling up there. Robbins has photographed 78 vehicles in the LAG lot, and suspects the reason there are so many is that people cannot afford to pay off LAG, which is why Robbins accuses the owner Glodzik of "profiting off the backs of the poorest, most vulnerable and most defenseless citizens", ie, those least able to pay the exorbitant fees. What we would be most interested in is receipts for towing charges on any of Glodzik's/Leighton's/etc friends or family members.

Anyway, the last bit mentioned by Kadluboski about Leighton receiving $10,000 in campaign contributions from LAG owner Glodzik is most interesting. That seemed to rile up council member Kane. More to come.


Assistant city attorney Bill Vinsko (wearing suit and tie) looks up as Bob Kadlabouski chides Wilkes-Barre City council for not heeding his warnings about the contract between Leo Glodzik and the city. At the end of the video, open-records officer Jim Ryan (1st from right) becomes anxious for Kadluboski's time to expire and keeps glancing at the clock, finally nudging councilwoman Kathy Kane, who thereupon declared that Kadluboski's 5 minutes was up.

Update 7-15 Here's a link to Robbins' website: http://gratefulhands.net/cars_for_cash_kickback_scam