Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The al-Qaida of Academia - Bucks County Courier Times April 1, 2008

I was fascinated that the president of the Pennsylvania teachers' union submitted a Guest Opinion in our very own Bucks County Courier Times. He must be concerned that we're starting to get it. I wonder if he regrets using the Pennsbury School District as a test-model for throwing tantrums over contributing to health care costs.
Mr. James Testerman says he's proud of the work they do for the children and communities he serves. I guess that includes holding children hostage by throwing them out of school to blackmail taxpayers. Once the strike was over, war was literally declared on us. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, but I'm OK with war. Sometimes it's necessary to stand up to bullies. That's what good people do.
Mr. Testerman brags about being our little league coaches, Sunday school teachers, choir directors, Scout leaders, Lions and Rotary members and other volunteers. How heartwarming. I think I need a tissue.
The overly fabulous Mr. Testerman complains to us little taxpayers that it's low state funding and not high teacher pay that's driving local taxes. He accidentally left out the benefits we pay for that many of us can't afford for ourselves. There's more than enough money to do whatever we wish, but the overwhelming inefficiency and underperformance, as perpetuated by his organization is, well, overwhelming. 80% of our property taxes goes to salary and benefits in case anyone didn't know. So much for pencils.
I learned a lot about the teachers' union from our strike 2 years ago and it's an underlying force that adds a remarkably unwholesome element to our educational system. This intoxicating power has gotten completely out of hand and there must be no mercy shown to union bosses trying to undermine everything that's decent. Maybe I'm too idealistic, but I strongly believe that the largest and most powerful special interest group is us. We just need to start acting like it.

Can We Talk - Phila. Daily News March 22, 2008

Some of our first modern gun-control laws were designed, specifically, to prevent newly freed slaves from owning firearms. Being one who believes that those who rely on government are not free it's no surprise that Philly Democrats are perpetuating the same sort of environment that they did 140 years ago. And to think that places like New Jersey are apologizing for slavery when they still embrace it with the same vim and vigor as days past.
If one truly wishes to address the crime that's riddled places like Philadelphia look no further than the decades of abuse by the labor organizations who make widespread use of intimidation to drive out the competition. This, consequentially, drives out opportunies. The most productive way to address crime in Philly is to open the floodgates of opportunity that have been locked shut. The blood of many of those murdered every year in this city and others is on the hands of corrupt "leaders" and has nothing to do with guns.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Judaism About Peace, Justice and Kindness - Bucks County Courier Times February 18, 2008

There's been a lot of very interesting discussion about Israel lately (with much more sure to come). Jews have lived in the area for 3700 years and were the majority of the population since the 1800's.
Contrary to popular thought in certain circles Israel has as much a right to exist in the Middle East as any other Arab nation. Israel occupies only 1/6 of 1% of the region, but even that's too much for some. But why do Jews continue to be among the most persecuted and oppressed people in the history of the world?
Before the Holocaust Jews were an important foundation to the culture, science and commerce of Germany. Hitler rose to prominence during a very difficult economic time by promising that government will solve everyone's problems. This gave rise to the purely socialist doctrine of the Nazi Party. Then, as the inherent flaws of socialism began to appear it was the prosperity of the Jews that was blamed for Hitler's failures.
The state of Israel was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust. A tiny sliver of arid desert was turned into an oasis. The driving force of this transformation was freedom. Jews used their resources for economic development while surrounding Arabs continued to use theirs for hatred and terrorism.
Many of the nations that surround Israel are ruled by dictators who would much rather have their 100 palaces than a nation of thriving citizens. The number one fear of these tyrants is free people who think for themselves. Having a nation that demonstrates the results of freedom is intolerable. They also don't like that Arabs living in Israel enjoy more rights than Arabs living in other Arab nations.
As history continues to repeat itself the failures of oppression are blamed on free nations. Dictators use religious fanatics to fight the freedom that threatens their selfish opulence. Terrorists are the useful idiots in the quest for another 100 palaces at the expense of their own people. And Jews continue to be blamed for defending themselves and desiring to be left alone.\
The cornerstones of Judaism are peace, justice and kindness. Many of our prayers speak of nothing but these pursuits. With an increasingly global world we now share Israel's struggle to preserve all that we value. The same enemy that attacks Israel (because their successes expose the failures of oppression) now has us in their sights and for the same reasons. The only way to defeat this intolerant enemy is with the natural human condition of freedom.
The pen is mightier than the sword and education is infinitely more productive, with more positive results, than fighting. But our greatest challenge is often ourselves. Sometimes it's our desire to find the good in everyone and our avoidance of uncomfortable realities that make us the easy scapegoat. Someone somewhere, not too long ago, summed it up best with "Never Again". Not a bad idea, though, to keep both your pen and sword very sharp just in case.

Be Stoic, Teachers - Phila. Inquirer February 11, 2008

It's very unfortunate that the teachers' union in Pennsylvania is still allowing to throw kids out of school to extort money from honest taxpayers. Teachers are already very well paid and have benefits and health-care packages that are better than many of the parents of the kids they're hurting.
I experienced a 50 day+ strike as a senior at Neshaminy and recently had the "pleasure" as a parent in Pennsbury. Teachers are supposed to be stoic role models for children and professionals in the community. Throwing a tantrum over a small co-pay or unaffordable raises diminishes both.
Many things have to change in Harrisburg. Pennsylvanians need health care, property tax and education reform, but in the meantime we're all in this together.