Goodbye to My Former Congress Critter

I never really completely liked Curt Weldon (which is probably true of any politician), when I lived in PA’s 7th congressional District, but I’m not really happy to see him replaced by an asshole like Joe Sestak. Gil Spencer has an editorial in the Delaware County Times that I think is worth a read if you follow Southeastern Pennsylvania politics:

When Weldon said during the campaign that he entered Congress poor 20 years ago and would leave congress poor, he wasn’t kidding. Exaggerating maybe, but only slightly. Compared to his peers, Weldon is poor. And not only poor, but under federal investigation for public corruption because he is suspected of helping friends and family make money off his political position.

The last spotting of Weldon I heard about was around Christmas time. He was at the Granite Run Mall, in jeans and a ball cap, pushing a stroller with one of his grandkids in it. His lawyer, Bill Canfield, says he’ll probably go back to teaching. No doubt he is hoping it will not be at some federal prison camp.
What’s true is that compared to many of his peers, Weldon is a piker when it comes to turning his office into a moneymaking machine.

Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha ranks 335th among his fellow congressmen for personal net worth, but he’s helped his brother, Kit, and others make tens of millions. William Jefferson (D-La.) is said to be worth between $842,000 and $1.7 million depending, I guess, on whether all his appliances have been searched.

I don’t have a soft spot for corrupt politicians, and if Weldon is really guilty of what he’s been accused of, then I’m glad to have him out, but I’m not happy to have him replaced by Sestak, who I think will be a disaster for Delaware County. Weldon’s seat was targeted by the Democrats at the national level, and Weldon had a tough time keeping up with Sestak’s money machine. It was a bloodbath for Republicans in the Philadelphia suburbs. The surprising thing in all this is that the man no one expected to keep his seat, Jim Gerlach, managed to eek out a victory over Lois Murphy. The defeat of my Congress Critter, Mike Fitzpatrick, by Pat Murphy, hadn’t garnered as much media attention since Fitzpatrick had only served a single term in Congress, and was an easy target.

At some point the Republicans are going to have to deal with a basic fact if they want these seats back in 2008; that George W. Bush’s version of conservatism is wildly unpopular in the traditionally heavily Republican Philadelphia suburbs. Under Bush’s reign, the suburbs are becoming more blue, and to reverse that trend, the Republicans will need a candidate who can appeal to the middle. Philadelphia Republicans are economic conservatives, and while they might go for some of the milder social conservatism of the party, Bush’s record of freewheeling spending, combined with embracing some of the more radical social conservative elements of the party have alienated him from voters in this area. The culture of corruption the Republicans fostered in Congress didn’t help either, but that can probably be said of voters anywhere.

Reading Experiences Sharp Drop in Violent Crime

I came across this article in The Reading Eagle today:

Following a record number of murders in 2005, Reading ended 2006 with the fewest slayings in a decade.

Eight murders were known to have occurred in the city last year, the fewest since 1995, when there also were eight.

In 2005, a record 24 murders were committed in Reading.

Overall in Berks County, 2006 had 12 murders, including the eight city slayings. Three of those slain outside the city were victims of murder-suicides.

This of course, begs the question to the politicians in Philadelphia, how Reading, which is subject to the same gun laws that they claim are woefully inadequate to stop the rising tide of violence in Philadelphia, has managed such a sharp drop in murders and other crimes? Maybe it’s time Mayor Street calls up Mayor McMahon for some advise on how to deal with crime, rather than begging the politicians in Harrisburg for assault weapons bans and other such nonsense that won’t actually fix the problem.

Israel Planning Attack on Iran?

From around the blogosphere, we’re hearing reports again that Israel plans to strike Iran first with nuclear weapons. I have my doubts that Israel would do this, and I suspect this was leaked as a way to bolster the diplomatic effort underway to get Iran to give up it’s nuclear program. If you view it along side plans to move a second carrier battle group into the Persian Gulf, I think that’s the most likely scenario. Diplomacy without a real threat of military force is just a bunch of talk, and without it, the Iranians have no reason to concede anything to us.

But there are numerous tactical problems involved with an attack by Israel on Iran. Israel lacks the in-flight refueling capability to project power that far away from the Levant, and no Arab country would allow Israel basing rights to use for the attack. So I would be very surprised if these leaked plans are for real.

Virginia and Pennsylvania Establish Reciprocity

This is good news for both PA LTC and VA CHL holders. Reciprocity with Virginia has been a long time coming. I’ve heard various reasons on why it hasn’t happened sooner, from our lack of training requirement, to Pennsylvania having no easy method for license verification. I’m glad to see if finally happening though.

More PA Preemption Issues

From Gun Law News, we hear that the NRA warns us that the York, PA City Council is considering banning concealed carry on municipal property (sorry about the registration requirement, but here’s the gist):

“It’s important to pass this ordinance,” said Police Chief Don Klug. “First of all, there’s the issue of the safety of citizens using local facilities. And there’s the issue of the safety of city employees, who are sometimes not confronted by people who are not pleased with certain situations. There can be confrontations. It seems clear that the city facilities are not a place for firearms. They’re excluded from schools, and the park system is a natural extension of that. I encourage you to pass the resolution.”

Hey, Chief Klug, if you can give me any evidence that a PA LTC holders has ever been involved in the type of incident you mention, I’ll shut the hell up, but I suspect that you don’t have any. I think it’s likely that you just don’t like the idea of anyone having guns but you and your fellow police officers. I expect nonsense like this to come out of Philadelphia, but I thought officials in York were smarter than that. Apparently not. But before you get too excited about this pet project you have going here, might I point you to the PA Consolidate Statutes § 6120 (a):

General rule.–No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

So go ahead and pass your little ordnance, and if I ever have an occasion to visit municipal property in York, I’ll gladly ignore it, since the ordinance is void according to the law.

Get Me Some Freon!

Today was a fantastic day here in Pennsylvania. It hit 72F, and it’s January. I drove up to Lehigh County and spent several hours at the PGC range shooting the AR-15 and the PSL. I wasn’t shooting particularly great, but it was great to be outside in January in short sleeves sunning it up at the range. If this is what global warming is like, get me some freon!

That Uneasy Feeling

I had to pick up a friend at the airport tonight. The flight was late, so I went up to where the secure area empties out into the rest of the airport. There were the usual TSA critters hanging about. I always get a little uneasy walking about armed in close proximity to borders that if I were step over, would instantly make me a criminal. Does anyone else who carries get that uneasy feeling sometimes that the only thing separating you from getting a close up view of the tile floor is a thin layer of cotton? It’s not illegal to carry outside the sterile area in an airport in Pennsylvania with the proper licenses, but I’m not sure that matters a whole lot to the Philadelphia Police.

Random Conversations With an Exotic Dancer

I noticed a few blogs out there do random conversations. Every once in a while I’ll make it a feature here too. One of my friends from college ended up marrying an exotic dancer, so today’s random conversation will be with Christina the Exotic Dancer:

Christina: i have a moral dilema
Christina: whether or not to narc
Christina: although i pretty much already did so
Sebastian: narc on who for what?
Christina: well, this week i tried out a new club
Christina: and i REALLY like it and am making the best money i’ve made here so far
Christina: the manager is really nice and went out of his way to be helpful my first day
Christina: he also mentioned that he was trying to clean the place up a bit and he suspected there were there were girls there recruiting other girls to escort and if i was asked to do anything to feel free to let him know
Christina: it turns out it’s not any of the girls, but one of the bouncers, who tried to recruit me the second day
Christina: i have no problem with prostitution, which i think should be legal, and even with prostitutes recruiting clients for incall
Christina: but when customers are being taken out of the club while dancers are just signed out on a “break” that takes money away from the club, and therefore from me and other girls who don’t do that
Christina: and since i want to stay at this club i decided to narc
Christina: which my husband thinks is a bad idea because he thinks the bouncer/pimp will find out and bust a cap in my ass
Sebastian: He might
Christina: probably that is most sensible, but my moral conscience gets in the way (as does my irritation with people messing with my money)
Sebastian: Just remember, if you’re being shot at to run.
Sebastian: It’s harder to hit a moving target
Christina: thanks, i’ll keep that helpful tip in mind