October 28, 2009

Phillies Strong-arm Game One from Yanks

The Phillies dominated game one against the Yankees on the strength of 2 Chase Utley home runs and a brilliant pitching performance by Cliff Lee. Lee went the distance, shutting down the vaunted Yankee lineup. Lee also pitched in a couple key defensive plays, one a matter-of-fact pop out which showed exactly how relaxed the defending champs are.

No signs of rust from the Phillies; no sign of being intimidated by the city that never stops talking.

It wasn't a surprise to Phillies Nation, but perhaps Yankees fans - not to mention much of the baseball world and Vegas odds-makers - now realize this isn't the series they thought it was.

October 27, 2009

Abington School Board Debate - at what price?

Here's video from the Abington School Board debate. It's a not-so-funny look into the focus of the candidates who are responsible for the education of our kids and at what costs.

The incumbent Democrats, Ray McGarry, Jeff Bates, and Barry Stupine don't know off the top of their heads what they pay the Abington School District's Superintendent, they estimate it at $240k plus benefits.

But the challengers, Joe Denelsbeck specifically, are fully informed.

video courtesy of Tom Kirk and AlexC

October 24, 2009

October 22, 2009

Abington School Board, the Debate

I would have posted this last night, but the Phillies were a much-needed distraction. More voters and less political operatives, from both sides, might have made this event worthwhile, but again the Phillies were a distraction.

Barry Stupine wore a Phillies uniform and while we disagree on a few major issues, even I wasn't offended by what some may have thought was distasteful dress for someone in such a position, on such a stage.

Joe Dennelsbeck was obviously the focus of the debate. Not just by his incumbent opposition, but seemingly according to plan on his part. After all, one must find a way to stir things up and rattle your opponent, if you are the underdog.

Jeff Bates unfortunately took the bait and appeared less than calm, cool, or collected. His opening statement got cut short by the clock and he was noticeably shocked, spending much of the evening complaining about the rules of the debate, or the lack of enforcement thereof. It really didn't matter what else he said last night, the constant whining was an unprofessional distraction and quite frankly, surprising. Bates' reaction made Denneslbeck's "rule violations" look effective, even if it was over the top.

But it just wasn't during the debate that Bates seemed agitated. After the audience was long gone, Jeff approached me to let me know he saw the camera I was holding - like it was some kind of secret he discovered. He failed of course to realize the Abington News and Views television camera nearby which recorded much of the proceedings. Clearly, this campaign is getting to Mr. Bates.

Steve Kalinoski, for the most part, let the others squabble while trying to stay above it all. He praised the district for a few of the programs they currently run, but also pointed out his desire to see Abington do more in addressing students with special needs. But after mentioning he never wrote letters to the editor about the school board, comments which were the focus of attacks from all three incumbent members, Ray McGarry was sure to remind Kalinoski that his name was indeed on one. Typically, the lawyer pounced on the opportunity. Dennelsbeck and Kalinoski submitted a joint article in the Times Chronicle/Glenside News earlier in the campaign.

Given the flack I have leveled toward Ray McGarry over the last couple years, at least he was approachable when the debate was finished. I met his lovely wife and we had a good discussion about a few issues on my mind. One I will cover in my next post.

Adam Share is the newcomer to the township, and to the Abington political scene. He represented himself much like Kalinoski did, seeming uninterested in entering the heated debate between the others. But Share also didn't seem to have a firm grip on what the issues are in Abington; simply riding the 'we are great' train.

Brad Werden was unable to attend for personal reasons.

The incumbents want us all to feel everything is fine and dandy in the Abington School District. They have received awards from organizations they feel are official experts on school competency, they are cutting taxes this year, and they care about making sure the students are firmly aware global warming is an issue of significance.

The challengers think the school's administration is leading the agenda while the current school board follows; they say it should be the other way around. While they agree there has been tax cuts this year, they point out it came on the heels of increases totaling 38% over the last 8 years. Sadly, they also buy into the global warming hoax.

Not one of the participants knew the value of the services Dr. Amy Sichel, Abington's Superintendent, provided. When asked by an audience member what Sichel made when you combine salary, bonus, and benefits, and what the annual costs to the district will be after she retires, no one had an answer. McGarry could only estimate the salary at $240,000 plus.

While I don't think anyone would expect the challengers to know the number off the top of their head, the gentlemen who hold the office currently better know - they sign the budget every year.

It kinda proves what Dennelsbeck and Kalinoski were trying hard to point out - the current Abington School Board is not leading; they are being led.

Speaking of leaders...according to the clock in the right column of this blog, it has been 588 days and counting since the President of the United States paid his $21,000 overdue bill to the Abington Township Police Department for security provided during his two campaign stops to our town last year. A bill that McGarry, Bates and Stupine assured us would be paid.

October 20, 2009

Bloom - Yet Another Obama Radical

Obama's "Manufacturing Czar" has gotten a lot of play today for the clip below. While the first 30 seconds don't ring alarm bells, the final 30 better.

"the free market [system] is nonsense...

(followed by)

...we kind of agree with Moa, that politcal power comes largely from the barrel of a gun."

Mr. President, did another one of your senior advisers just hint that there may be physical violence directed at political opponents who support the free market system that you aim to destroy? If not, why would he say this?

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was referring to the way he sees business today is like staring down that gun barrel. But that's one hell of a way to see the greatest economic system in the world. And why would you quote Moa, the murderer, when making your point unless you see the world the same way.

Truth is, we have more evidence of yet another radical, with Moa-ist sympathies, in the Obama administration.

But don't take my word for it. There are 4 parts to this video. Enter "Obama's Czar Ron Bloom Agrees With Mao - address at Investor Conf part3" on YouTube yourself. Watch them all.

Hint - The more you watch, the worse it gets.

October 17, 2009

Protesting for Cardinal Dougherty

Page13news (class of '86) was there.

Cardinal Dougherty alumni, current students, and faculty all gathered at the school's front gates to, for the most part, rally to save the school from its announced closing by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

I've posted my opinion on the matter before, but still felt obligated to attend and support those who want to keep Dougherty open.

I saw several old friends and classmates as well as my former history teacher, Jack Fitzsimmons. Joe Conklin of WIP radio, former Vet Stadium Judge and current Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, and State Rep. Brendan Boyle were all there to support saving CD from the chopping block.

Event organizer Steve Schmidt kept the crowd energized during the rain drops that fell during the first half of the rally. Then at noon, Mother Nature (or more likely the school's namesake, Dennis Cardinal Dougherty) parted the clouds as the sun peaked through and warmed the hearts of the crowd.

A similar rally, this time with both Dougherty and Northeast Catholic supporters in attendance, is scheduled for Monday at the Archdiocesan offices at 17th and the Parkway.

Unfortunatly for those of us who gathered on North Second Street today, this little guy probably won't be a graduate of CD.

Protesting Against Hostile Government Takeover in Abington

Page13news was there too.

I've written here before about the hostile government takeover of a commercial property in Abington to, in part, honor the campaign promise of Abington Democrat Commissioner Lori Schreiber who is running for re-election. It was Schreiber who promised four years ago to do something about the vacant property at 1180 Easton Road in the Roslyn section of Abington.

About 40 protesters, led by libertarian and former Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate, Ken Krawchuk, gathered at the property subject to the hostile takeover. Then, one by one, the group walked in the rain to each of the homes of Abington Commissioners, both republican and democratic, who supported the move.

From the sidewalk they loudly proclaimed their objections to the politicians and let passers-by know why they were gathering. Some of the conflicts got testy as protesters and two Schreiber supporters argued as they marched. No violence, just heated honest disagreement.

Schreiber's November opponent, Lou Guerra, was not in attendance.

Page13news will have further information about the status of the current court fight between the owners of the property and the Abington township when they happen.

So Dear Alma Mater...

...your sons and daughters hail, We Hail Cardinal Dougherty High.

The 'protest' being held today on the grounds of my old school is, for some, one last-ditch effort to "Save CD" from its ultimate demise and closure.

But not for this alum. I will attend today's rain-soaked event (scheduled for 11am) to commiserate with fellow graduates of the old school on North Second Street in the Olney section of Philadelphia. However, unlike the event's organizers, I will be there not to protest so much, but rather to celebrate the 54 year history of our school.

I understand the betrayal felt by some; I understand they feel they've been lied to. I know how heart-wrenching it feels to have such an important part of your life ripped from you.

Simply stated though, I am not bitter about the closing. I understand that some things in life simply cannot last forever. Cardinal Dougherty (and Northeast Catholic) will be closing its doors at the conclusion of this year's school year. It's a sad commentary of the state of the Catholic church in the City of Brotherly Love and the abandonment of a parochial education by the City's residents.

But the truth is, even the Roman Coliseum was abandoned at one point and had its doors closed forever. Dougherty and North will unfortunately follow the same fate.

Life will still go on.

October 8, 2009

Sign of Declining Times

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Cardinal Dougherty and North Catholic High Schools, once iconic symbols of the strength the Catholic Church had in Philadelphia, will be closing after the conclusion of this year's academic calendar.

Early in it's 54 year history, Cardinal Dougherty was the largest Catholic high school in the world, with an enrollment estimated near 6,000. North Catholic boasts one of the largest alumni of male graduates, numbering over 40,000.

This Dougherty alum is saddened by today's announcement, but I can't say I'm surprised.

The further society abandons religion, stops educating children about God, and leaves Parochial education for cheaper alternatives, the further it expedites its own demise.

October 2, 2009

Candlelight Conflict Over Obamacare

A few weeks ago, the Philadelphia chapter of MoveOn.org held a candlelight vigil in the Keswick Village section of Abington to show support for Obama's health care plan. Van loads of MoveOn.org members were brought in for the event. I guess they couldn't find enough support in Abington without them.

Some of us found out about the event a few hours before and decided to have a little gathering of our own.

This video footage, courtesy of Abington News and Views, is a great example of just how brain-washed MoveOn.org's members are on the issue. While fingers were bitten off in similar events elsewhere in the country, this event was somewhat civil; that is unless you were the leader of the event. She seemed a little testy - must be a Philly thing.

Ask yourself which side appears to be full of facts and who exactly is getting "bad information".

No arguing allowed, as you can see. Dissent or discussion just isn't good for anyone's health these days.