Where has our nation gone?
There are reasons why the nation I knew as a young man is almost gone.
Much of this was created by politicians in the city, state and federal governments, who have run our nation into terrible debt. But none of their lives or families are in debt.
Odd isn’t it?
Back in those days, it was odd if you ever heard of a gun being shot and judges who ordered the Ten Commandments to be taken out of sight.
I cannot see what harm the Ten Commandments were causing. They instruct us to live our lives decently.
Now the politicians are trying to change the meaning of marriage and tell us what we can say and do, what to eat and what to drink.
Now, let’s check on the oil companies, who by their greed have created the largest inflation this nation has ever known, causing the prices of everything that is transported to be increased.
When you went to the movies, you came out with a smile on your face or laughter, a song in your heart. The worst language was when Rhett Butler told Scarlett that he didn’t give a damn.
Thank God at least we still admire Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. By the way, that is how we all came to be on this earth.
Virtual charter schools a good option
I have been closely monitoring the statewide debate on funding public schools versus virtual charter schools, and I feel that it is important to share my experiences as both an educator and as a parent of children in this environment.
Virtual charter schools serve a very important purpose for children throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and more than 5,000 in the city of Philadelphia. As an educator, I have seen the great need for these schools among the vulnerable and often disadvantaged student populations that comprise the student body at cyber charter schools.
I serve special-needs students in a virtual environment, and I have witnessed the change we make in the lives of these students. I see children who come into my classroom unable to read, reading words and books for the first time.
I have students who were riding scooters in the hallways of their brick and mortar school as part of their life skills class, who are counting money, working with fractions, and making predictions and inferences, simply because they have a team of professionals dedicated to their academic achievement and their emotional well-being.
As a parent, my children have benefited first-hand from the services provided by excellent, highly qualified, and dedicated educators working at these schools. My daughter needed an academic environment that would engage and encourage her academically while she felt safe in her surroundings.
My son needed the structure and the continuous support and contact of teachers who were committed to his progress and achievement. I am blessed that virtual charter schools were an option for my children.
Most people are not aware of the great things that are going on at our virtual charter schools, and have gross misconceptions about the role of virtual schools, the services that we provide, and the education that we offer. I would be happy to meet or speak with anyone to discuss the great needs that cyber charter schools are filling, as well as the reductions in programs, services and jobs that funding cuts would inevitably cause.
I invite any politician or policymaker to come to observe any of the classes that I teach on a daily basis.
Voters, through their elected officials, have the power to continue to support choice and accountability in education, and I hope that the public will be thinking of the thousands of special education and economically disadvantaged students who attend cyber charter schools during this legislative season and beyond.
Reasonable gun laws are certainly needed
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre reminds me of Marie Antoinette. She didn’t care if people lived, and he doesn’t care if people die.
I don’t know how he can be against reasonable things like reporting lost and stolen guns. Police say about 40 percent of crimes are committed with the latter, along with straw purchases.
It’s a shame that the senators who voted against the background checks couldn’t meet face to face with the Newtown parents group. They had to send their staffs to run interference for them. As for the NRA’s scorecard, the senators should have done the right thing. One senator, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), has already tried to weasel out of her “no” vote.
John P. McGreevy
No burqas in the U.S.
There is something bothering me, so I have to write about it. Women have been coming to our country from countries that have enslaved them, beaten and raped them, and also forced them to wear burqas. Yet they continue to wear burqas in America.
Shed your burqas, show your beautiful faces and legs, be a woman. You can still worship in your religion without burqas. Show the religious fanatics you’re on your own now. I am finally a woman. I am in America, no more burqas.
State should collect delinquent taxes
It is with great interest that I read state Sen. Mike Stack’s letter encouraging Philadelphia officials to implement a tax-collection plan on delinquent taxpayers. I fully concur. However, the state has its own delinquent collections to make.
Last November, I wrote to the state Department of Revenue about a house on my block in Lawndale. The registered “owners” (the deceased parents) have been dead for more than five years. The inheriting children have never filed to transfer the deed of the house, though one daughter lives there. Wonder why? Me too. Maybe it’s because the state doesn’t have an aggressive plan to collect inheritance taxes.
In response to an email inquiry I filed with the Department of Revenue, the customer service representative replied: “If an inheritance tax return was never filed…the state has a silent lien on the property. The tax will be collected at some point, but it is currently just accumulating interest.”
This is an unacceptable tax collection policy. State law mandates that inheritance tax payments are due upon the death of the decedent and become delinquent nine months after the individual’s death. Our state senators and representatives should be prodding the Department of Revenue to maximize collections on this tax as well as all other delinquent taxes owed to the state. Clearly, with respect to tax collection policy, Pennsylvania politicians need to be a little less “silent” in their own house.
Secession can save the country
The goal of those who propose secession is to save the country not to destroy it. Anyone who realizes what happened the last time states tried to secede would not consider secession frivolously. When Ben Franklin was asked what type of government our Founding Fathers had established for our nation, he replied, “A republic if you can keep it.” Two-hundred and some years later, we are losing it, we are proving we couldn’t keep it.
Sadly today, most Americans ignorantly think we are a democracy. We are not; we are supposed to be a constitutional republic. We were not founded as a democracy although we are quickly devolving into one. A good example of a democracy would be five wolves and three sheep deciding what to have for dinner. If the wolves who are the majority decide to have lamb chops for dinner, the sheep would have no say in it. That’s a democracy, a mob rule.
To everybody who is still divided along party lines of Democrat or Republican, please open your eyes and see that America does not have a two-party system when it comes to electing (selecting) a president. The party leaders want you to think you do, but it is a lie. We have a one-party system, and it could be called the Goldman-Sachs Party since Goldman-Sachs was both Obama’s and Romney’s biggest contributor. Please understand that no matter who won the election, Goldman-Sachs got their man in there. Please stop mindlessly quoting the party line and educate yourself. The technique of divide and conquer goes back a long, long time. It is nothing new, and it is what is being used on the American people today.
The only presidential candidate who opposed the banking elite was Ron Paul (End the Fed), and he was effectively shut out by his own party because they were bought and paid for. Don’t believe me? Look it up; the numbers are available and easily found on the Internet. See who got the money from the big banks and how much they got. It is astounding.
Those speaking of secession know that the only way to restore the republic is to do whatever it takes to stop these banksters who own our politicians (at least many of them). They are destroying economies around the world as well as ours. Please realize the Federal Reserve is not federal, and it is not a reserve. If you would look to alternative news sources rather than that owned by the controlled media you would see that.
Our economy here is just as bad as those crashing around the world, the only reason we don’t know it yet is because we — not really we, but those who control our dollar, which is the world’s reserve currency — just print more money.
Secessionists such as those in Texas, which by the way is like the 15th-biggest economy in the world and has a much more stable economy than the U.S. as a whole, are talking survival. They don’t want to go down with a ship that has been commandeered by internationalist pirates and that has a confused crew cheering the enemy. People are beginning to understand, and that’s why all 50 states have petitions for secession, and at least seven have the required signatures to be reviewed. All it means at this point is that some people are becoming aware. This isn’t a move against Democrats or Republicans who are both a part of the problem. International elite interests own both parties.
What’s happening in America is an outcry against the usurpers who have taken America from its prominent position and turned it into a debtor nation, and are attempting to turn the great republic that our Founding Fathers sacrificed their lives, treasure and sacred honor for into a mediocre democracy, just one of many regions in their global world. It’s been going on for a long time, and it is coming to a head now.
Tougher penalties needed for home invasion
I was angered to learn of the home invasion that took place one recent Sunday night less than a mile from my district office located on Ashton Road. A bedridden, 58-year-old Marine veteran was overwhelmed and beaten in his apartment on the 9400 block of Ashton Road by five to six individuals. These individuals held a gun to his head while they ransacked his apartment.
Recently, I stood with state Sen. Mike Stack, District Attorney Seth Williams and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey at a news conference at the Police Administration Building where we proclaimed the need for legislation to deal with these increasingly frequent and dangerous home invasions.
Currently, the Pennsylvania Crimes Code does not specifically address the crime of home invasion. It is time to remedy this oversight and protect our neighbors’ homes and lives from such an egregious crime.
My House Bill 1296 would establish the crime of home invasion as a separate offense. Graded as a felony of the first degree, the offense of home invasion would occur when a perpetrator forcibly enters a dwelling either knowing someone is home, or if they have reason to believe someone is home, with the intent to commit a serious crime inside while either possessing a deadly weapon or actually committing an assault.
The crime of home invasion would be punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years incarceration in a state prison.
If the victim is 62 years or older, the mandatory minimum sentence would increase to 10 years incarceration.
There are a number of reasons this legislation is necessary now.
Several years ago when I was a Philadelphia assistant district attorney in the major crimes unit, home invasions were a new phenomenon. Now, they seem to occur on a regular basis.
The very nature of the crime has a devastating psychological effect on the victims that last long after material items are taken from the home and the physical injuries have healed. A home is an individual’s castle but one should not have to surround it with a moat in order to feel safe.
Currently, police can charge only burglary and associated crimes when a home invasion occurs.
With the passage of my legislation, there would be a specific crime to address this specific act.
It is my sincere hope that this legislation would eventually act as a deterrent to would-be home invaders who would have to think twice about whether it is worth facing a minimum of 10 years incarceration if they invade a home.
I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me in this effort to make Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians safer in their homes
John P. Sabatina Jr.
174th Legislative District