The American Way?

Rep. Steve Scalise, third in the chain of command in the House of Representatives, two House staffers and two Capitol Police officers were wounded Wednesday morning, apparently by a guy from Illinois who didn’t like Republicans. The operative phrase is “didn’t like,” because police killed the shooter.

It’s OK to not like Republicans – or Democrats – but when we claim this isn’t the way we do things in this country, shooting people we don’t like, or people ostensibly on their side, should top the list. Unfortunately, it does not.Read more

Father seeks family haven

Millions of our fellow residents are driven bare handed by the ravages of war.Let’s call him Jimmy. He is 31, more or less, from the town in which his father and mother were born. As a youngster, he knew nearly everyone within a mile or so of his home, and several who lived farther away. He rode his bicycle around the town, the way some kids where I live ride their bikes around Gettysburg.

“Sometimes we stacked concrete blocks in an alley, to hold up the end of a two-by-ten board,” he said. “Then we raced our bikes to see who could jump the longest.”
“I usually won,” the now father of four boasts.Read more

Judge’s decision could have broad consequences for public Right to Know

Author's pen seeks to expose government secrecyA Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, judge may soon have a say in whether citizens have a right to know what decisions are made when their elected officials gather to make them. Currently, some gatherings of elected officials are claiming to be protected from the state’s Right to Know Law. A decision either way could affect other agencies, from school boards to economic development corporations.

Last July, a Bloomsburg-based author asked the PA State Association of Township Supervisors for information about its lobbying efforts as the legislature formulated a law to, purportedly, regulate the controversial Marcellus Shale industry. Read more

Giving thanks, and thinking ahead

Each year about this time, I take a few minutes to remind myself of the sorts of things for which I’m thankful. On the simple end are toys such as DVDs and telephones we carry in our pockets that can, if their owners wish, play movies or simply, in the case of my grandkids, affirmRead more

Some encouragement required

I’m watching an old black and white movie on television, “Cow Country,” made in 1953. It’s about times economic change in the 19th Century West, and cattlemen having a rough time adjusting. Their situation was like oil companies of the 21st Century saying wind and solar will not work – because it’s easier and moreRead more

New word needed to remind that Government is Us

One of the things that has bothered me during the past few election cycles is the way the challenging party always promises to take the country back – back from the precipice of dictatorship, collapsed economy, and moral decay. And through it all, a certain group of industrialists loudly proclaim the need to protect TaxpayersRead more

PA Voter ID could fire up the Dems

During my tenure on the planet, I have witnessed numerous outcries directed toward those who would have a national identification card. Such an affront was OK for the less civilized and freedom-loving of fellow nations, but we would not be subjected to such insult. Opponents of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law say about 10 percent ofRead more

Behind Door 1, Voter Fraud; behind Door 2, Global Warming

I suppose there is room for some question about whether global warming is even partially manmade. After all, scientists say, the entire globe once was a spinning molten mass. Then, most of the northern hemisphere was blanketed in miles-deep ice. Next it became warm enough to reliably grow crops while encouraging some of its humanRead more

Nero plays while …

In the past couple weeks, the evening news has been occupied with obesity, Distracted Walking, and appropriate attire for women playing Olympic beach volleyball. NBC anchor Brian Williams had the first two items. For more than a week, aided by a steady parade of guest experts, he told us of the consequences of being obese.Read more

Pennsylvania’s parallel governments: a journey to The Outer Limits

For decades, science fiction has been telling of parallel universes. I was introduced to the idea in my youth by “The Twilight Zone,” a weekly television show that ran 1959 – 1964 and featured people in strange situations – often in places they thought they recognized, but were not where they thought they were –Read more

Pa. lawmakers find billions for Marcellus Shale Welfare Fund

It’s looking as though Pennsylvania lawmakers may repeat last year’s performance and get the 2013 budget approved in time for them to go home for the July 4 holiday. The hot dog industry is depending on them. To get it done, House and Senate Republicans (Democrats – at least those who would object – haveRead more

Some Marcellus-related companies may be boosting profits by importing illegal workers

A newspaper story Thursday reported a federal indictment against a Texas-based company accused of bringing illegal workers to Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale fracking fields. Coincidentally, workers in West Virginia are staffing road-side positions, protesting the practice of some Marcellus-related companies bringing out-of-state workers to take jobs for which local workers are available. “We have a lotRead more

While we continue to subsidize fossil fuels, at least one American industrial giant invests in green technology in, of all places …

Masdar, a city in the middle of a desert with zero carbon emissions
While some of our politicians and fossil fuel barons try, with varying success, to convince us we’re not digging up enough coal, oil or natural gas, the folks who we are told are selling us our oil are busy building a city that doesn’t need it.

For the first time in more than a half-century, the U.S. exports more fuel than it imports. We still are the world’s largest importer of crude oil, but a huge portion of the imported crude becomes exported product, including fuels.Read more

Sometimes it takes us all

Wind power, a Pennsylvania state politician recently said, is accomplishing one thing: spending taxpayer money. But there is growing evidence it is doing other, more positive things, such as creating jobs and supplying the electrical grid – with considerably less risk than the Keystone State’s other burgeoning energy source. Continue reading …Read more

Late may not be better than never

Last month, the EPA announced new regulations that will require natural gas drillers to capture the methane they ordinarily allow to escape before they cap their well. The new rules take effect in 2015. Last week, the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, announced proposed regulations that would require drillers to tell usRead more

Replacing humans with machines not necessarily a cost savings

The Messeder Space Pod (for want, at present, of a better name) finally is ready to go. My co-pilot in life and other travels went visiting her sister a couple months ago, and came home in love with an r-Pod, a small (18-foot) camper trailer not much bigger than the original space capsule that carriedRead more

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