Not Cease from Exploration...a blog by Steve Albert

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chickenhawk Cruz

There were three votes against John Kerry's confirmation for Secretary of State; one of them was Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Note the following:

  1. Ted Cruz has never served in the military.  He was not drafted.  He did not volunteer.  
  2. John Kerry, while attending Yale University, volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy.  He then requested service in Vietnam. 
  3. For his service, John Kerry was awarded 3 Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star.
Contrary to the shameful "swiftboating"accusations made against him, John Kerry's service was not only honorable, but he is a genuine war hero.  You can read an ACCURATE account of John Kerry's war service HERE (courtesy of Snopes.com).

Why did Ted Cruz vote against John Kerry's nomination?  Because, in part, he said that Kerry was not an ardent fan of the U.S. military.  Citation HERE.  Yes, the man who has never served is criticizing the war hero for not supporting the military.

If Ted Cruz is such a fan of the military, why didn't he volunteer to serve?

If John Kerry is such a foe of the military, why did he volunteer for service?  Why was he awarded three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star?

The answer is actually far more simple than it is complex:  Ted Cruz is the typical Chickenhawk.



Monday, January 28, 2013

10 Reasons Why I Have No Interest In Ever Running for Public Office in Scranton

Liz Randol's candidacy for Mayor of Scranton has already reminded me of why I have no interest in running for office.  Here's my list, in no particular order...
  1. Anonymous Dirt-bags.  In Scranton all manner of anonymous morons will assassinate your character, your significant other's character and blame you for anything and everything, no matter how little sense the charges make.  Just ask Chris Doherty:  among other things, he was accused of causing a suicide, the death of children in a fire, of stealing public money and countless other ridiculous charges that have proven to be not just wrong, but ridiculously wrong.  To the best of my knowledge, the man hasn't gotten so much as a parking ticket over the years.  Whether Chris Doherty was an effective Mayor is very much open to debate, but how he was treated by a bunch of Internet weasels isn't.
  2. Pay-Cut.  Despite what most Scranton residents think, you actually can make more money working in the private sector than you can in the public sector.  As for me, I have no desire to take the pay cut.  Now would I ever work in the public sector?  Maybe, but that would be to specifically trade compensation for something else of value, such as security, a pension or work experience.
  3. Daughters.  I have three daughters.  See point #1.  I have no desire to have them dragged into the gutter by a bunch of anonymous Internet weasels who shame the First Amendment at every opportunity.
  4. Religion.  I was raised Roman Catholic, but I don't consider myself to be a member of the Church any more.  That's a pretty big strike in these here parts.  Heresy anyone?  Even worse?  I don't especially care what religion other people are...or...bite my tongue...if others have no religious beliefs at all.  Hell, the vast majority of the Atheists I've met over the years are far more moral than some of the religious I've known.
  5. Privacy.  As in I am fond of my own.  More like fond of selective disclosure...here...under my own terms.  Having my life open to such scrutiny just isn't something I desire.
  6. Honesty.  I have something of a fondness for it.  I claim no higher moral standard than anyone else, but I also don't claim to be able to keep my mouth shut all the time either.  That's no good in the political arena.
  7. Partisan.  I'm not a political partisan, and as a result I find many Democrats to be as equally slimy as many Republicans.  I'd neither want nor ever get a political party endorsement, and sadly that actually matters in NEPA.
  8. Unions.  While I am a registered Democrat, I will not suck up to labor unions and their leaders.  Mind you I don't really care of a bunch of people want to join a union...just don't demand that I do so, as I can speak for my own performance, thank you very much.  In many instances, labor unions seem to be create as many problems as they solve.  This would make me none-too-popular in the closed reality ecosystem that is Scranton.
  9. Media.  While I respect the role that the media plays in our society, I don't think that they should be beyond criticism.  In Scranton, there really isn't an effective alternative to the Scranton Times, which means that they are basically above scrutiny in their dealings.  While their endorsement doesn't mean much in terms of election success or failure, they can do a decent job of bolstering the incompetent or roasting the incompetent...their (obvious) choice.  Yet another playing field that is far from level in Scranton and yet another reason why seeking public office is a losing proposition.
  10. Money. As a general rule, I don't like to contribute to political campaigns, so raising money for my own would be somewhat problematic.  The only exception I have ever made is when someone I know is running for office, which I view as more "helping a friend" than "supporting a candidate".
Who knows?  Maybe when I am older, retired and wiser I'll change my mind.  By then Scranton will be long bankrupt and probably purchased via a lease-back by the Chinese.
(Bonus points to anyone who can translate)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Welcome (to the Jungle) Liz

Dr. Elizabeth Randol has announced today that she is running for Mayor of Scranton.  You can read all about it HERE.

This raises a few questions for the voters of Scranton:
Is Scranton ready for a woman to be Mayor?
Scranton has a long history misogyny in political and social circles.

Is Scranton ready for someone who is not a devoted Roman Catholic to be Mayor?
Many Scrantonians have never even met a Protestant...let alone...

Is Scranton ready for someone who does not have a politically connected last name ("Janet COYNE Evans" anyone?) to be Mayor?
What the heck kind of name is "Randol" anyway?  It doesn't sound Irish, Italian or Polish.  Maybe it's Lebanese.

Is Scranton ready for someone who was not born and raised in the city to be Mayor?
Never discount the number of city residents who consider Wilkes-Barre to be "far away".  Cleveland, Ohio?  That might as well be Neptune your average over age 60 city resident.

Is Scranton ready for someone with advanced college degrees to be Mayor?
Many old-school city residents don't trust intellectuals...you know, those folks who insist on pronouncing the "t" in the city's name.


To be fair, I have a few questions for Dr Randol as well:
Are you ready to be mocked for your work experience?
Remember, in Scranton the good jobs are considered to be at "Da Depo" and the Post Office.

Are you ready to be called a "baby-killer"?
In Scranton your stand on abortion means more to some than your stand on property tax reassessment.

Are you ready for insane, inaccurate and mostly insulting rumors to be spread about you and your family from various dirty corners of the Internet?
Chris Doherty...like his governance or hate it...was subject to all manner vicious and cowardly rumors.  Be ready for them, because they already have started.  You should probably buy the URL "RandolDeceit", if you already haven't done so.

Are you ready to defend (your lack of) religious beliefs?
This will be an issue.  Remember, the Church holds a lot of informal authority in Scranton...about as much, I suspect, as the LDS leaders do in Salt Lake City.  This might as well be a Theocracy. 

Does Halupki give you indigestion?
If it does then hope for a win in the primary and no opponent in the general, otherwise you're in for trouble once "Pitnik" season rolls around this summer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The REAL Coal Cracker Mentality (Bob Mellow style)

From the Facebooks, and the group "Remain Peckville's Community Park" (link to the group HERE):

As many of you know, Monday evening (January 21) is the Blakely Borough Council Meeting at the borough building at 1439 Main St., Peckville. It is at 6 PM. I will be there and ask to speak. Any support would be appreciated, however, I do not want this to relegate to a shouting match or confrontation. Quite honestly, I do not have high expectations, but right is on our side. If anyone else cares to speak, I ask that everyone be respectful of others. Our society has become too confrontational and letigious, this is a chance to show people change does not have to come about by legal wrangling or mob rule. Hope to see you there and show our elected officials people in this town still do care.

One of the responses infuriated me:
Hey.....Bob Mellow.....brought in billions of dollars to THIS area.....Billions......and now we hang him....it's a shame.....all the political clout we had.....gone......and for what......for what.....no wonder we're noted as coal cracker mentality......self righteous ignorance.....

My response:
Coal cracker mentality? Know what's the REAL coal cracker mentality? It's paying undue deference to someone in power in the blind hope that they will somehow throw a crumb your way. That's what keeps this area down folks. Bob Mellow used this position PRIMARILY...FIRST AND FOREMOST...for HIS OWN benefit. Bringing money to the area???? That was his JOB!!!! Besides, the money he brought to our areas was OUR MONEY to being with! Name the park after someone who gave their life fighting for our country...someone who acted SELFLESSLY, not someone who acted SELFISHLY.

Yes, one of the very real problems this area faces is this notion that corruption and graft should be tolerated as long as someone downstream benefits.  It's looking the other way in the hope that someone will do you a favor.  It's the "sucking up to the master so that they won't beat me" mentality at work.  The problem?  That kind of mentality breeds a culture of corruption, one where graft is the norm.

In government I think you get what you tolerate.  NEPA tolerated greed and graft...and surprise...we got in in spades.

Name the park after someone deserving.

Oh, and while I'm at it (and again), Lackawanna College should remain the "Mellow Theater" after someone who actually donated their own money to the college, not a greedy, corrupt politician.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From an Introvert's Perspective: WebMD's Health News, Divorced Men

You can read the actual article HERE.

By way of preface, my employer provides WedMD health updates (and an actual WebMD account) to employees.  Most of the time it provides some pretty useful information.  In fact, even this time it provides some useful information, but after reading this particular piece over lunch I just had to provide some commentary.

Also, I'm going to go into quasi-uncharted territory here, by way of even talking about divorce.  As a general rule this isn't something I, as a divorced parent, necessarily like or want to talk about, but I'm going to move just a tad bit out of my own comfort zone for this particular exercise.  Besides, the primary focus here isn't my thoughts about divorce, but rather this particular set of advice from the lens of a divorced man who is also a strong introvert.

Onward.

The points I'm listing below correspond to those in the WebMD article.

Point 1 - "Dating Too Soon"
This is one where I am somewhat conflicted.  Yes, I see the underlying wisdom, but think about it for a moment:  so what is a divorced man supposed to do?  I guess the advice here is to be in a series of "non-committed" relationships.  Maybe this means "sleep around" or something...I really don't know.  Again, I get it, and I've read all about how "vulnerable" someone can be when they are on the "rebound", but for some of us introverts, having multiple casual relationships just isn't all that easy or desirable.  I personally don't have that many different levels of relationships...if I like you I want to get to know you well; if I don't like you well then we will not be spending any time together.  It's this notion of "casual relationships" that I have the biggest problem processing through my introverted lens.

So yes, by all means be guarded, but simply waiting two years before even considering a more serious relationship sounds, well, silly to me.  How about this instead:  if it feels rushed, it is.  If it feels right, then take it slow and try to remember all the reasons why you got divorced in the first place (a.k.a. going from one mistake to another is simply pretty damn stupid).

Point 2 - Isolating Yourself
I agree wholeheartedly with the point being made, that is up until the following comment...

"Buser's advice: Connect with other guys. Call up old friends, join a softball team, a club, or a professional association."

Drinking oneself into a bitter stupor is bad.  I get it.  However, thinking that I am all of a sudden going to become "Mr Social" and start joining all these group activities isn't all that realistic for someone who actually doesn't like social activities all that much. I've heard this advice before (from my own Therapist), and it almost always comes from extroverts who think nothing of "joining".  That's never worked for me.  Throwing me into social situations makes me more stressed, not less.  I need alternatives that make me comfortable, not force me to pretend to be something I am not.  Those commercials for "the stir" at Match.com clearly aren't made with introverts in mind.

Side note:  how about "Christian Mingle.com", where they find you "God's match"?  Call me crazy but I'm thinking that an all-powerful Creator of the Universe probably doesn't need you to pay money to a for-profit company in order to find "His match".  And so I digress...

Point 3 - Introducing Your New Partner to Your Kids Too Soon
I get this one, and by and large it makes sense.  It's also, however, personality neutral.  People in relationships that involve kids should always keep the interests of the kids in the forefront.

Point 4 -Giving In To Hostility
I agree 1000%.  My home county requires that divorcing parents attend a class run by a Therapist, the intent of which is to provide them with tips on how to best navigate the process and the resulting feelings in ways that are not harmful.  I found it (the class) to be extremely helpful when I attended.  Well worth my time, and the Therapist made some of the same points noted in the WebMD article.  Even if your ex-spouse is not cooperative, learning how to respond without hostility pays real dividends.

Point 5 - Backing Off From Parenting
Done right, I am convinced that divorce can help make you a better parent.  I know this sounds almost pathetic, but I think it is especially true for introverts.  Why?  Well it gives us an opportunity to introspectively think about what kind of parent we actually want to be when faced with the changes that divorce force upon us.   It is a kind of second chance at parenting, and generally speaking it's foolish to not take advantage of the second chances that life give us.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My (personal) battles with eating

Tale of the Tape
175 = my weight at age 18

262 = my weight at its highest as an adult (2002-ish)

203 = my weight at its lowest as an adult (Oct/Nov 2010)

50+ = pounds lost during my biggest weight drop (2004)

6 feet 3.5 inches = my height

Disconnected
As a child and a teenager, I had one...and probably only one...very special talent:  I could eat anything and never gain a pound. For real.  Honest.  I would eat, and eat, and eat, and for the life of me I was always as skinny as a rail.

(Jr Prom, 1981; I am on the left.  I looked like a q-tip.)

(My college ID, 1982.)


I actually had "six-pack" abs.  I don't know the medical reasons behind this, other than maybe that I had the metabolism of an elephant shrew.  Now this might sound like a good thing, but in reality it wasn't.  In fact, it was horribly, horribly bad.  Why?  Simply because it set me up for life as an adult whereby I never really learned to eat properly.  Intellectually I can understand the connection between eating right and feeling well, but two decades of unbridled consumption coupled with zero consequences put me in a place where eating and health were disconnected.  By the year 2000 I could easily put away several (regular) soft drinks per day, plus eating tons of sweets, red meat and virtually no plant matter to speak of.  It's a wonder I didn't come down with scurvy.

2003 - The Walls Come Tumbling Down
In 2003 I had something of a wake-up call:  my blood pressure was rising, I had back problems, I suffered from irritable bowel syndrome as well as GERD.  I was also facing a few other issues, both personally and professionally, that drove me towards eating as a way of coping.  I don't consider myself to be an "emotional eater", but there is something of a connection between how I feel and how I eat.  More on that later.

(Around 1998 & 250 pounds.)

At the suggestion of my doctor, I agreed to work with a dietitian to learn how to eat right and lose some weight.  I was skeptical, but agreed.  

2004 - Losing Weight, Round 1 of Many
In my first round of weight loss I was remarkably successful.  I ended up dropping around 50 pounds.  I did it the right way...at least in theory...by eating less, eating better, and exercising. 

(2005 & almost 50 pounds lighter.)

What was behind the scenes?  Well at the time, so much of my life was out of control that I found that controlling what I ate was one of the few things that I could control.  That sounds almost circular, but it does have the benefit of being true.  When you are truly out of control in most things, you look for things you can control.  By the way, yes I did pick up some good health habits...

...I stopped drinking drinks with calories
...I exercised regularly
...I ate far more fruits and vegetables
...I counted my calories and maintained an average intake of 1700/day
...I started a daily regiment of taking a dietary fiber supplement

...but in reality I wasn't really dealing with my weight, I was using my weight as a substitute in place of dealing with the other stresses in my life.  Yes, I felt physically better and I felt somewhat emotionally better, but there really still wasn't much of a connection between eating & health.  It was all more of just a game.  "Screw you life...throw whatever you want at me...at least I CAN control what I put into my body!".  Add to this the very real notion that I hate losing at anything and never want to disappoint people (especially those in authority, such as my doctor and the dietitian) and you had a real weight loss that really wasn't sustainable.

2006 - Off the Wagon
I remember precisely when I "fell off the wagon" eating wise.  We were on vacation at the beach, it was the evening, I was all alone and miserable.  I went to a restaurant on a pier and had a hamburger, fries, a diet coke and this massive chocolate cake monstrosity.  And I didn't count the calories.  There it went:  18 months or so of weight loss began to slowly evaporate.

(Around 2007 & heavy again.)

Yes, many of the good habits stuck (to this very day), but I was doing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.

2010 - Everything Old is New
This whole "weight gain and then weight loss" yo-yo scenario would repeat itself again from about 2009 through 2010, except with something of a twist:  extreme personal and professional stress pushed me nearly to a breaking point. From this I learned the following about myself...
  • Normal Stress - I eat without thinking about it
  • Heightened Stress - I tend to try to gain a sense of "control" via eating "right"
  • Extreme Stress - I stop eating, food loses its taste.
Yes, towards the end of 2010 much my world was collapsing around me...professionally I felt threatened, unsure, and full of survivor's guilt at remaining when some of my peers lost their jobs...personally I had to face and deal with extremely stressful issues (of the sorts that professionals tell us are among the most stressful that adults have to deal with).  It got to the point where, in late October, I would have to force myself to eat:  I remember buying (whole) chocolate milk just to get the calories in me.  Food lost all of its taste.

(Late 2010:  Gaunt and sad.)

When I look back at the things I wrote in NCFE during this period, I can still feel the underlying pain.  All of the supposed good habits I learned about eating were now put into a bizarre hyper-drive and I was spiraling out of control.  An example was my insistence on undertaking very vigorous workouts in the gym...to the point of passing out afterwards...despite not eating.

2011 & 2012
Slowly but surely, as both my professional and personal lives settled down, my taste for food came back.  This probably started to happen in mid-to-late December, 2010.  Over the ensuing two years I know I've gained too much weight back.  However I am purposefully working towards a better relationship between myself and food, one where I "eat to live" as opposed to "live to eat".  I've also come to a personal understanding of the emotional connection that food has in my life...

...I eat poorly and as a result I feel bad about myself
...which makes me eat poorly until I get really heavy
...then in an effort to re-gain control I embark of a fit of weight loss.

[Repeat...Repeat...Repeat] 

It's a cycle in my life that I have to work on breaking, and I most likely will have to continue to work on breaking it for a very long time to come...maybe the rest of my life.  This includes learning to strike a conscious balance between my physical health and my emotional health.  

I know I need to eat better in order to feel better.

I know I will sometimes eat poorly, but I can't allow a momentary lapse to become an excuse for despair.

I know that taking care of myself physically goes hand-in-hand with taking care of myself emotionally.

You can encapsulate some of this by way of the simple understanding that for me, over-eating isn't a physical disorder in as much as it is a mental disorder.

This story doesn't really have an ending, happy or otherwise, which is okay.  Scratch that...it does have an ending...when I have an ending...but hopefully that is a long, long time into the future.  Between now and then I'm going to do my level best at living a better life, with food having an appropriate place in all of it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Despicable and Disgusting

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
The President's daughters receive armed protection, like the family members of every President, because they are potential targets for terrorists, lunatics and other assorted weirdos   Period.  There is no more story here.  There is no "class warfare" here.  There is no "elitism" here.

With the above noted, the National Rifle Association stoops to what is, quite possibly, the lowest of the low: dragging the President's children into a political fight.

Politico:  NRA Ad Targets Obama Children

Probably the best response to this whole shameful mess came from a Republican Joe Scarborough, who had this to say:

Morning Joe:  NRA is its own worst enemy

The NRA's advertisement is political pornography.  These are shameful, low human beings.  This ranks right up there with the disgusting stories spread about the daughters of President George W. Bush.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Labor Union to Police Chief: Don't Actually Fight Crime

This is an incredibly stupid decision.

Labor Board:  Scranton Police Chief can't actually fight crime

This almost reads like a segment from the Daily Show.

Want to know why some folks have such low opinions of labor unions?  Read the above.

Please, someone try and defend this decision.  Fighting crime shouldn't be held hostage by some nuance in a collective bargaining agreement.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Introversion in the workplace: a few observations

Forget what they teach you during that MBTI results review session:  for the most part it's basically not okay to be a strong introvert in the workplace.  At least for many occupations.  As someone who has always been a strong introvert and who has spent a quarter century working in the for-profit private sector, a few things are clear to me:

  • Malady - Introversion is still viewed as a kind of malady that needs to be "overcome".  How many times have heard "Oh, Bob is really shy, but he'll loosen up once he gets to know people here"...or something like that?  It's as if our friend "Bob" has a cold that will soon run its course.  Maybe, just maybe, Bob is not overly comfortable interacting with the group.  Let's not even get into confusing being "shy" with actual introversion.
  • Extroverts - Extroverts get to appear to be in control simply by virtue of their talky natures. Forget what the statistics say, as 50 people shouting will always sound louder than 50 people speaking softly.
  • Actors Studio - It's my concerted opinion (based on my own experiences & observations) that successful introverts in the workplace by and large almost always have to learn to "act" extroverted.  I do it all the time.  In fact I think I've got it down to a science...so much so that I can actually "fool" people into believing that I am this flaming extrovert.  Never mind that I turn into a lump of anti-social jello at the end of the day.
  • Extroverts make for bad workplace actors - Extroverts by and large have a difficult time "acting" introverted for an extended period of time, which is a good thing, as there is virtually no pressure for them to do so anyway.
  • Group support - I was talking to a fellow introvert at work the other day about this very topic when this funny thought occurred to me:  we introverts should get together more often to talk about strategies in the workplace...which sounded like a good idea at first...until I realized that I really don't like group interactions all that much (even with other introverts) anyway.  Yes, if you get a bunch of extroverts together and you get a party; get a bunch of introverts together and you get a bunch of people that don't want to get together.
Is it an extroverted world?  Not really, but it is easy to see why some think so.  American culture puts the action hero on a pedestal and mocks the bookish nerd.  Never mind that it was probably a "bookish nerd" that wrote the action hero's story in the first place.  As for me, well I'll gladly "play" the action hero if, at the end of the day, I can crawl back into my own skin for some decompression.
 

Ducks and pigs and chickens call

"Ducks and pigs and chickens call, animal carpet wall to wall"
                                                                  - Crosby, Stills & Nash, Marrakesh Express


Yesterday was spent at the final day of the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, a place where you truly learn the meaning of the word "smell".  Pictures speak louder than words.

The Alpacas  were friendly.

There are few animals more graceful than a horse.

I had no idea so many people in Pennsylvania raised goats.

Ram.

Chickens...many, many, chickens.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Road Apples, #133

Cold...as in "I have a".  Now I was also sick after getting a flu shot in early October.  My doctor tells me that the flu shot had nothing to do with my getting sick, and I believe him, but it was a pain the butt never the less.  Getting yet another cold/flu thing compounds the wretchedness.  In fairness just about everyone at work is sick, so it's not as if I am alone.

And so this WAS Christmas...For the record I had a wonderful holiday, and I do hope that all who are reading this did as well.  For me, it meant spending an all too brief amount of time with all three Albert girls together.  My cat enjoyed the time with them as well.


Christmas was followed by a few days off (well I confess to working most of the 28th), and then heading up to Rickett's Glen State Park for about two and a half days of cabin time with the wonderful extended family of Ms Rivers.  There was hiking, eating and reading.  A good mental re-set  if you will.  Part of the event was the annual "Grotto Party" on Sunday for Ms Rivers, who just happens to have a birthday on New Year's Day.  Being from the Scranton area, I find Grotto's pizza to be basically acceptable, but that's not the point.  The actual New Year's Eve celebrations were mostly held around a campfire...in the cold...telling stories of bold children from years past.


A splendid time was had by all.  The only down-side?  



Climbing down the mountain in the snow (which actually wasn't all that bad, especially given my new mountain goat Rogue SUV).

Postings...I have had a bad habit of writing and then not posting.  I have several "ready to post" pieces sitting in a folder on my net-book desktop and two+ drafts sitting waiting for me to either hit the publish button or delete them.  The whole process is kind of interesting in a way:  sometimes I just get this thought that I just have to get out, and it just flows.  I may do a half dozen edit runs (and I still find typos later...) but by and large I get the idea, I write it from my head to my fingers to the screen, I edit and it gets posted.  Other times I have this idea, but I really struggle to get the words out.  Even when I'm done I just look it over and decide to let it just lay there, completed but never seen.  Rarely do I start a post and work on it in separate pieces.

Our Children...The older I get, the more I become convinced that my generation has done more harm to our children than any past by way of simple desire to make them "happy".  We have given them so much, yet we in all the having they are even less "happy" than generations past.  Why?  I suspect that it's in part because we so readily trade short term want for long term need.  For example, we set them up as teenagers with all manner of technology and convenience that they become accustomed to, yet when they are first out on their own, they struggle to maintain the lifestyle we have given them in younger years.  For the record, I am as guilty as the next.

Books...I promised myself that I would be reading one business book a month in 2013.  This is in addition to all the other work-related and pleasure reading that I do all the time.  So far I am in good shape, being mostly done reading Daniel Pink's Drive.  Next up is Goleman's Emotional Intelligence (for the record, I snagged the Get Abstract on E.I. already).  If you need to do a lot of business reading then you really should check out Get Abstract...think of it as being Cliff Notes for adults.

Weather...The good folks over at WNEP tell us that it's going to get up into the 50's over the next week or so.  Yup, global warming is just a "theory". Thanks Rush.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Corbett's cynical political ploy

Pennsylvania's governor is hoping to improve his image via a lawsuit targeting the NCAA over it's post-Sandusky Penn State sanctions.  Citation HERE.

This is, in my humble opinion, nothing more than a thinly disguised political ploy.  Let me tell you why.

Timing
The sanctions were imposed months ago.  At the time they were announced, Gov. Corbett, who sits on the Penn State Board, was basically silent.  If these sanctions are, as he states, an over-reach of NCAA power now, why weren't they then?  Heck, even giving him the benefit of the doubt, why didn't the Governor at least question them back when they were imposed?

Standing
It's not much of a secret that Gov. Corbett has among the lowest ratings of any sitting Pennsylvania governor during the modern age.  Citation HERE.  The guy is, to put it bluntly, desperate.  As quoted in the Standard Speaker article, 

"Only about a sixth of voters (17 percent) think Corbett did a good or excellent job handling the Sandusky sex abuse case at Penn State University with almost two-thirds (66 percent) saying he did a fair or poor job."

Yes, a whopping 17% give Gov. Corbett "good or excellent" marks.  That is, quite frankly, pitiful.  This action screams of an appeal to hard-core Penn State fans for some popularity mojo.  It won't work.  Why?

Actions
Despite his new found love for Penn State, Gov. Corbett has amassed, during his short tenure, a long history on animosity towards education in general, higher education specifically, and Penn State especially.  As referenced in a bumper sticker, the Governor's education motto could very well be "Every child left behind" (Citation HERE).  If actions speak louder than words, then we don't need a lawsuit to see just how Tom Corbett feels about education.

Missing the Point
Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out something that a friend on Facebook, Sabrina McLaughlin, simply and eloquently posted yesterday:

"I'm not a parent myself, but I think we should all try to have the hearts and minds of mothers and fathers when it comes to children. And I'm sick of being in a place where so many people seem to feel that NCAA sanctions are more significant than enabling the rape of children."

Well I am a parent, and I can't help but be disgusted by the priorities of the previous Penn State administration...where the reputation of a coach and a football program was more important than the well being and safety of children...and Tom Corbett.  This isn't about the NCAA.  It's about the enabling of child rape.  If anything, my only concession in this mess is that the whole of the NCAA fine should be staying in Pennsylvania to fund programs to fight child abuse.  That's it.

As I often do in posts like this, I'm going to end this tirade by mentioning that I write this as a graduate of Penn State (class of 1986) and a Life Member of the Penn State Alumni Association.