Thursday, May 29, 2008

Raymond J. Learsy: Oil -- Congress Finally Takes Charge Yet

This administration has wasted near eight years without giving the nation a coherent energy policy, a policy urgently needed that would:- Dramatically reduce the consumption of fossil fuels- Bring down the price of crude oil arresting the massive transfer of wealth to oil companies and oil producers.

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End of Another Year on the Local High School Scene

With last week's PIAA Track and Field Championships and the local schools bowing out of District IV postseason baseball and softball. it is time for the readers to reflect on their favorite sports moment of the year. The moment could range from the hiring or firing of a coach, a team that came out of nowhere, or game with a dramatic ending. Here are two of my favorites to start:

1.) Shamokin Boys Bastketball winning the Schuylkill League title coming from behind in their final year in the league. Also losing the District IV semifinal with a half-court buzzer-beater.

2.) The recruitment of Terrelle Pryor of the Jeannette Jayhawk's and his decision to leave PA. We haven't seen recruiting in PA like this since Ron Powlus nearly 15 years ago.

Anything that happened in PA High School Sports is fair game.

Menachem Rosensaft: Using the Holocaust to Smear Obama

In their attempt to score a few political points, John McCain's supporters at the Republican National Committee and at Fox News have diminished the experience of those who suffered and died at Buchenwald, and disrespected the service of the heroic American troops who liberated them.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gas Prices

On my way home, I stopped at the pump. The price was $3.79 a gallon. Most of the gas on my way home averaged about $3.96. Why do I still feel lousy?

Stand Up 2 Cancer

By: Rachel Sklar

Big morning TV event, as you know from yesterday's newsblast: Three anchors, three networks, one trio of fierce competitors moving semi-awkwardly around the city together — all in the name of standing up to cancer. Or should I say they'll "Stand Up 2 Cancer" — the name of the ambitious campaign launched by the three networks as one to raise money to fund research to fight the disease, leading up to an hour fundraiser on September 5th, 2008, to be broadcast simultaneously on all three networks.

It's going to be a big event, as signaled by its debut ad featuring all manner of stars literally standing up to cancer — Susan Sarandon and Tobey Maguire and Morgan Freeman and Sidney Poitier and of course Lance Armstrong as Eddie Vedder's "Rise" plays in the background — and donations can be as low as a dollar, to buy a star to honor a loved one with cancer. That translates into a lot of money, considering how prevalent the disease is worldwide. Each of the anchors sitting there had watched a close family member fight the disease: Couric, who lost her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer; Brian Williams, who lost his sister, Mary Jane Esser, to breast cancer, and Charlie Gibson, whose said on the show that he'd lost both his parents to the disease and whose wife, Arlene, had had breast cancer. I can't imagine that viewers could have watched that segment without thinking of loved ones lost to the disease (I know I didn't).

In the meantime, though, for media watchers it was hard not to notice that this big occasion occasioned another event: the return of Katie Couric to "Today," almost two years to the day after she departed her longtime morning-show home for the, er, challenges of helming the "CBS Evening News." Watch it below:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anthracite Heritage Parade Video from Shamokin

Thanks to the News-Item for sharing.

Dante Zappala: Our Sacrifice

My brother was cut down in the military in Iraq. For what?

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Monday, May 26, 2008

This Memorial Day

Please remember the families of Sgt. Matthew Sandri and Captain Robert Scheetz this Memorial Day.

Anthracite Heritage Parade

Grand Marshall, Noreen Clark from WNEP 16

Morning Mayor Tom Kutza of the WISL fame

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tornoe's Toons: McCain supports the troops in his own way

John McCain claims he stands for and the supports the troops, but when it comes to putting his money where his mouth his, he's a no show.Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a new G.I. Bill that they will increase and expand the educational benefits for soldiers who served in Iraq.

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“Sheer force of personality” thank you Mr. Bush

My extra virgin olive oil [the Purity Ball of viscous fluids] is getting really pissed for having kept its chastity while "crude" oil is doing this:Oil prices found support Friday in Asia in worries that supply can't keep up with growing global demand, after tumbling around $4 overnight from a record above $135 a barrel.

NOTE: Click on the "simpler time" link toward the end of the article....good reading.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jonathan Powers: A Soldier's Questions for General Petraeus

Today, confirmation hearings will be held to name General David Petraeus the head of U.S. Central Command (CentCom) in the Middle East and Central Asia. General Petraeus is currently the U.S. Commander in Iraq and the architect of the strategy which dramatically increased the number of U.S. troops in Iraq -- commonly known as "the surge."

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jon Lester and Ted Kennedy

A lot has happened in the last two days on the cancer front. The Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester pitching a no-hitter two years removed from a cancer diagnosis and Senator Edward Kennedy being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Although the two cancers and the one I experienced are very different, all three of us have and will experience the same things.

Unlike television, there isn't any beating around the bush. When they know or feel confident, the doctor comes out and simply say, "You have cancer." Depending on the person, you can go from why me to how are we going to beat this thing.

Receiving anykind of treatment can be a lonely thing with or without a support system. Early in my treatment in the dead of winter, I would look out my window IV in my chest and wonder if I will be around next year? Will I be the same? I'm sure that moment will come, it does for all of us.

For Jon Lester like Lance Armstrong made it back to the top of his professional sport and you could only cheer for both. Not many people will ever know if Kennedy had his "why me" moment and quickly move on. At age 76, the odds are against him. Keep in mind survival statistics only tell what happened in a certain defined past. They cannot predict the individual or future.

I hope people could refrain from the "Kennedy Curse" syndrome. Ted is 76. He has been able to lead his extended family for 40 years. If Kennedy makes it back to the Senate Floor for one more vote or one more debate he will have Jon Lester or Lance Armstrong moment. There wiil be no assasin's bullet, plane crash, or skiing accident. Kennedy has a chance to embrace all the compassion people have to offer. It is almost a gift.

Senator Kennedy has fought many battles and championed many causes. Godspeed in your greatest role yet to come, cancer survivor.

NOTE: A friend passed away recently, three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. He was buried in full Red Sox memorabilia. A week after his funeral, a cancer survivor pitches a no-hitter. I'm a avid Phillies fan, but don't bet against the Red Sox.

Tri-Valley picks new grid coach in Mike Kogut

It doesn’t get much better than playing under head football coaches like Joe “Jazz” Diminick at Mount Carmel and Danny Hale at Bloomsburg University.Mike Kogut had the rare opportunity to follow that legendary tutelage during his playing days.Monday night he was given the opportunity.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ted Kennedy Has Brain Tumor

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma, they said.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Colon Cancer vs. Breast Cancer

There are times when colon cancer patients and advocates get a little down due to the lack of coverage compared to breast cancer. We in the colon cancer community know were about 20 years behind the efforts of the breast cancer community. Sometimes that causes hurt, jealousy and pain.

I will blog about my own advocacy efforts on colon cancer in PA this weekend. Here is poem written by Helen from Forest Hills, NY.

Pink Ribbon People

No pretty pink ribbons no pink candies
Only a bag of poison tied around your waist
Pretty Pink people please share your toys were in the playground too
we won’t make a mess
just because were blue doesn’t mean we have to be sad and alone
were sorry you lost your boobs but remember everyone of you has a behind

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Olbermann Has Style!!!!

In a strange twist of fate, the Bush Presidency has me on the brink of giving up my golf game. I am still a member of my local course. Doing some odd jobs for spare change to feed the oil industry, I am left with very little spare time.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Livestrong Day May 13th

PHOTO by Matt Freed courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tomorrow is Livestrong Day sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Click on either link to find out if there is an event near you. The main goal of the foundation to make cancer a national priority.

Tomorrow, I will be in Harrisburg at the Capitol. There is a hearing on SB146(Colon Cancer Screening.)

SB 146 by Senator Tomlinson. Amends the Insurance Company Law, mandating health insurance coverage for colorectal cancer screening. Senate Banking & Insurance Committee.

Hearing set for 10:00 a.m., Room 8E-A East Wing.

Dr. Sam Monismith and Dr. Ron Myers will testify.

On January 31st, 2007 the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released their report. Meanwhile, the PA Healthcare Cost Containment Council released their findings to counter the above report in January 2008.

On May 13th, keep a person or family fighting cancer in your thoughts and prayers. To John and his family, I offer my condolences and prayers.

Read the story of John Challis (pictured above) about courage from Western Pennsylvania.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Condi Rice And Bush Do The Katrina Thing In Myanmar

Didn't anyone else think it was kind of weird when, earlier this week, the Bush administration sent out First Lady Laura Bush to chastise the Myanmar regime for its failures to respond adequately to last week's killer typhoon? It's not as though Laura has either a background in foreign relations or a reputation for presenting the image of toughness

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Carney is backing Clinton

US Congressman Chris Carney had decided to back Hillary Clinton in his status as superdelegate. The Daily-Item has the story. The 10th voted 70 to 30% in favor of Clinton.

Republican Family Values
Who knows if this story has legs or not. Check out Congressman Vito Fossella's (R-NY) woes.
Jobs coming to 10th?
With four different prison complexes in the 10th Congressional District, the 2008 Defense Authorization Act made it a little hard for the federal government to procure goods from Federal Prison Industries. Read the whole story in the Federal Times.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Santorum bristles over Bush administration

Last month, the AP reported on new government guidelines advising against the use of terms like “jihadists,” “mujahedeen” and “Islamo-fascism” because “such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility.” But former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is having none of it.

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Can't this man just go away?

Team USA to Play at Billtown!

The US Olympic Softball team will be in Williamsport to play at a sold out Bowman Field tonight at 7 pm. The women will take on a regional all-star team. I don't know who will be on the mound, but I expect Jennie Finch and Monica Abbot to share duties.

The game is sold out.

A few of the umpires for tonights game are from my local chapter. These men are very deserving their selection and have helped me numerous ways as I strive to become a better umpire. Good job, Strika!!!!!

Casinos, bars might escape smoking ban in PA

Casinos, private clubs and smaller bars and taverns appear to be winning their fights for exceptions from a bill to ban smoking from most indoor facilities in Pennsylvania. Sources close to talks said all three groups might escape the statewide ban.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Legislators delay action again on smoking ban

Members of a House-Senate conference committee tasked with hashing out a final compromise on a statewide indoor smoking ban gave themselves another extension today.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

GI Bill Sparks Senate War Between McCain and Webb

From Annapolis to Vietnam and back to the Pentagon, John McCain and Jim Webb trod the same paths before coming to the Senate. Iraq divides them today, but there’s also the new kinship of being anxious fathers watching their sons come and go with Marine units in the war.

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Lenny Dykstra Sued by Publishing Partner

In January, the former New York Met teamed up with a Manhattan publisher, Doubledown Media, to start a custom magazine of financial advice for professional athletes, The Players Club. Now Dykstra and Doubledown are in a legal battle over control of the second, yet-to-be-published issue,

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Roger Hickey: The McCain Health Plan: Millions Lose Coverage

Yesterday Arizona Sen. John McCain delivered what his handlers were hyping as a major address on health care. McCain's plan is a dangerous fraud. Think about important screenings (mammagrams) that were fought for and won.

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Remembering "Elli" Kuhns

Elli pictured off to the right at a rally for Chris Carney in 2006 that featured Max Cleland

This week, former Northumberland County Commissioner Eleanor Kuhns was laid to rest after suffering a stroke returning from a rally for Hillary Clinton. Although, I never had a conversation with Mrs. Kuhns, I have nothing but admiration for her career in public service.

"Elli" stood up bravely to the Northumberland County political machine in the face of criticism. She was the first to accuse the county government of using cash infusions for hiding budget deficits. When the storm (tax increase) finally hit, Elli was the one person left standing.

Senior Judge Barry Feudale talk about her courage in his eulogy to Elli.

God Bless!!!!

Mission Accomplished going on 5 years

And Bob says,

Five years later:
American soldiers killed in action since Mission Accomplished: 3,924
Women killed in action since Mission Accomplished: 102
Total American military casualties: 29,829