Constitutionally Right

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

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pennsylvania's Saudi Arabia - Philly Burbs

I had the good fortune of being able to speak with 16 state and federal candidates for office during the last set of elections as a community member of the Bucks County Courier Times’ Editorial Board. It was great to see so many so well informed on the important issues. It was almost like everyone was void of politics as the actual issues were being openly discussed. Then, of course, Election Day comes and goes, the winners get saddled with politics and, as usual, nothing meaningful ever gets done.
Energy was a popular topic especially with the state candidates. The natural gas reserves 5,000 feet below parts of the state (and then another massive reserve under that) are commonly referred to as “The Saudi Arabia of Pennsylvania”. Governor Corbett and Lt. Governor Cawley spoke at length with us about the reserves under the layers of Marcellus Shale.
I’m a big skeptic of any politician and am particularly mindful of those on my side (because I hold them to a much higher standard), but I found the two gentlemen authentic and genuine even though their hair was perfect and didn’t move at all no matter what. That’s a definite red flag, but they were good.
My personal concerns are both environmental and revenue-related. Real Conservatives, like myself and Politically Correct’s other contributor, are few and far between in politics, but our defining sentiment is in “conservation” which has the environment as a primary tenant. We’re true stewards of the land void of knee-jerk response through the distorted prism of politics.
Modern fracking, or the techniques used to drill through the shale to retrieve the gas reserves can be performed safely, securely and environmentally responsibly. The Governor’s plan ensures that wells are safe distances from water systems with state-of-the-art management and very strictly enforced guidelines.
Revenue issues are also critical and must be viewed through the clear prism of economics. My Economics degree doesn’t hurt, but simple honesty is even better. Some wish to impose hefty state taxes along with the usual local impact fees while others prefer more focus on the local impact fees. Additional taxes (above what are already levied) will only discourage investment here. Being more inviting will end up creating more opportunities for employment in Pennsylvania resulting in more people paying more in taxes.
The shortsightedness of some is stunning to the extreme. It’s like the typical boxing trainer who’d rather throw a good kid to the wolves for maybe $50 rather than properly develop him for the higher payday a little longer down the road. Plus, the impact fees paid to counties will be used by those actually impacted. These fees are estimated to generate $120 to $200 million per year for infrastructure, emergency management, health, utility and environmental protection use.
The bottom line is that we use a lot of energy which is not only not a bad thing, but is also not changing . We might as well get as much energy as we can at home where its harvest can be properly monitored without the potential for environmental disasters of transporting it from the other side of the world.
The career opportunities, demand for skills, positive impact on our academic institutions and influx of investment are exciting with little or no down side. This new frontier has generated over 72,000 new hires in Pennsylvania since 2007 and profoundly boosted local economies with positive ripple effects that go far.
I appreciate the cynics to Marcellus Shale, but I do strongly agree with the Governor’s plan which can be found at http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/marcellus_shale_proposal/20490 . I sense that the Governor’s interest in energy focuses more on our future than on the instant gratification of short-term politics, but it’s never a bad idea to keep your eyes open due to the extreme importance and to ensure that sensible plans stay that way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Time to Get Angry - Philly Burbs

I think that the most important thing that one can do when angry is to demonstrate anger. Far too many of us keep that suppressed which may lead to many a health issue.
Listening to the news is enough to make one apathetic to the state of affairs out there, but I did hear a poll result today stating that a very high number of us are very angry. Then when I get angry there’s always some highly educated person making me feel uncivilized for expressing myself. It’s my opinion that it’s I who’s better adjusted strictly based on my periodic emotional meltdowns even if I don’t have an Ivy League degree.
But what’s really going on out there? I was perfectly fine before getting involved in politics. I think, though, that I wouldn’t have gotten involved if all was well - there’d be no reason to (although I do sometimes regret knowing what’s going on).
I’ve been angry for about 10 years now indicating that I’m way ahead of my time since many are just discovering their anger. And I’ve discovered that this anger is in direct proportion to the amount of governance in our lives. More governance equates to less freedom and since our nation is founded on a highly evolved anti-authority complex I do believe that many of us are downright un-American (not to mention pathetic).
The problem likely has something to do with the massive number of large groups that have figured out how to bilk taxpayers for their own selfish purposes. Incomprehensible amounts of dollars funnel through government fingers in a most inefficient way wreaking havoc at every step. Enough of this over time has led to true financial meltdowns that’ll continue and intensify until good leadership ensues and I’m a firm believer that nothing will change until enough of us get angry - that will be the tipping point in reversing course in the correct direction.
A most obnoxious example is that of a local school district one town over. My alma mater of Neshaminy (Google it if you need some comic relief although actually quite horrifyingly sad) is enduring day 5 of their teachers’ strike today. They’re the 7th highest paid teachers in the state of Pennsylvania out of over 500 school districts and put out very mediocre performance. There was a 51 day strike during my senior year 30 years ago so one might say that not much has changed in that time (other than increasingly poorer performance as unions gained more power and parents less).
Needless to say, I’m so angry right now that I think I shouldn’t be near people while in this condition. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s reason to be insane so I’m certain that sanity is not the correct strategy to navigate through this.
I won’t bore you with more details. If you don’t get it then I can only conclude that you’re a moron, but this is the scene that’s going on everywhere at varying degrees of intensity. Horrible mismanagement, bad governance and an abandonment of integrity rule the day. Many blame capitalism, but the “Economy Gone Wild” is a direct result of government interference without letting the natural ebb-and-flow of free market enterprise to work its magic. I could go into more detail, but if you don’t get it you probably won’t and are likely a complete idiot.
For example, my 17 year old orthopaedic device business fell into an abyss of despair and failure 3 years ago. After trying everything humanly possible to get back on track I found that the only path back to greatness was finding new and better ways to serve others with greater efficiency and aplomb. Not quite there yet, but I think I’m close with great new opportunities for others and this, my 20th year, should be the year back.
Imagine if these fanatical union thug boorish below average Neshaminy teachers (who I would permanently fire yesterday) used service to others as their guide. Maybe even trade their “Do It To the Children” mantra for “Do It For the Children”. A person can dream can’t they? Maybe I just expect too much, should give it up, stop writing these columns, just worry about my own family and call it a day.
I think that’s the plan so maybe I won’t give in. I may really need to embrace my bad attitude or it might get worse.
The most important thing we can all do right now is to watch Peter Finch in “Network” being mad as hell and wishing to not take it anymore and follow his example. We need to select elected officials who are angry. This is no time for level-headedness and calm. Our system of government ensures that we’re perfectly represented so being apathetic will create apathetic leadership that’s guided by the special interests that outnumber us. We have to outnumber them, take it back and not let go with a pit-bull death grip.
Until then best wishes and to many of you - go **** yourself. I honestly think that’s perfectly rational.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And Now It Begins - Bucks County Courier Times January 6, 2012

My first thought upon hearing of the end of the Iraq War was “and now the violence will really begin”. Hopefully I’m wrong, but this whole thing will be a future case study in the damage caused by politics. Maybe repeating history over and over is just human nature.
It doesn’t help much that we have a Republican Candidate for President in Congressman Paul running around saying that it’s all our fault. The simplified facts are that terrorism relentlessly festers under tyranny and dictatorship and tends to diminish where people are free. Why a washed up Marine like me has to repeat this time and time again while our esteemed leaders who voted for the Iraq War criticize it and our personnel gives me an occasional very unsettling meltdown.
The rational human mind is incapable of understanding war. It makes no sense at all and is very bad on every level in every circumstance. Sometimes, though, it’s the only way to achieve the peace that most prefer so inaction is often worse. You might find it odd that there’s more peace sign stickers on cars on military bases than on Prius’s in New Hope, but I don’t find it odd at all. Men and women of action, character and courage understand peace better than anyone and it’s not just a bumper sticker to them. They live it and we owe them our thanks.
The current state of affairs began on 9/11 (although really going on for 30 years). The nation instantly came together big-time and then was rapidly torn apart starting about 2 or 3 weeks later by the politicians who played to our rational inability to comprehend. A war that took 10 years to “conclude” would have been over much quicker with better results if we left military leaders alone to do what they do best. But, as is usually the case, we can’t help ourselves in our relentless pursuit of Monday-morning-quaterbacking.
In spite of this we have the finest men and women of all time in uniform today. They bravely rose when called and introduced the natural human condition of freedom to the oppressed as the single most effective long-term strategy against the terrorism that’s engulfing the entire world. It’s now up to the Iraqi’s to continue down this path of freedom and it’s going to be anything but easy. The alternative was unacceptable and the difficult decisions made 10 years ago.
Now it’s up to us to honor today’s military personnel with everything we have and to make sure that we don’t fall into the political traps that we constantly allow. We can only support our men and women in uniform if we also support their mission. One is not possible without the other and they’ve earned their place in history as one hell of a Great Generation even if we’ve let them down on occasion.