Monday, October 09, 2006

Left-Wing Psychosis

We're closing in on Election Day 2006, and the local papers are starting to endorse candidates for office. I would be truly disappointed if anyone ever told me that they voted for a particular candidate based on some newsrag's endorsement. Such individuals are clearly incapable of independent thought. Newspapers are good for keeping us informed of current events. But letting them tell you what to think? You're virtually denying your own humanity.

Our Fair City's left-leaning rag, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, continually demonstrates a descent into madness. If President Bush makes a speech on television, expect the PG to run a slew of articles, columns and editorials denouncing every last syllable. When the nobler half of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senatorial contingent ran a commercial quoting a PG editorial calling him "a champion" on a particular issue, the paper spends a week running a series of op-ed pieces that could be neatly anthologized in a single bound volume entitled Rick Santorum, How Do We Hate Thee? Let Us Exposit The Ways.

Is this truly madness? Psychosis is defined on Wikipedia as "a generic psychiatric term for a mental state in which thought and perception are severely impaired". That pretty much sums up nearly every PG editorial (plus Reg, Dan, Tony etc. columns) that I've read in recent years. For this reason, I have decided to stop calling the PG by the silly name "Moist-Towelette" and adopt a more appropriate designation.

This morning the Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette throws its support behind Democrat Matt Smith, who's running against the youthful Mark Harris in Pennsylvania's 42nd Legislative District. The bulk of the editorial consists of the usual "meet the candidates" blather before getting down to the red meat:

Both candidates are personable, familiar with the issues and well-spoken. The difference is that one of them, Mark Harris, has a very right-wing view of the world that has not been moderated by real-life experience. Cutting taxes and government spending are fine ideas unless taken to harmful extremes -- and the ideologically pure Mr. Harris would be just the one to do that.
A "right-wing view of the world" is not compatible with "real-life experience". This is evidence that the PG braintrust is not only of a different mindset than people like me, but perhaps of a different species. I started out conservative, was willing to "moderate" some of my views for a while, but since marrying and becoming a father and homeowner, I have firmly identified with the right side of politics. Financial and familial responsibilities will do that to you. Maybe Mark Harris needs a bit more life experience before he can establish where he stands on the political spectrum. But I would bet (if I were a betting man) that he ends up right back where he started.

After all, "cutting taxes and government spending are fine ideas", period. There's no "unless" about it -- unless you are a fan of tyranny. Mark Harris is not. (If you are interested, his official site is here, and he sometimes blogs here.)

HILLARY SEZ: Go ahead and vote for some right-wing wacko if you want! Smart people like me who go along with whatever the newspaper says are going to vote for the other guy!

Sure, Hill, whatever you say. (And where have you been all year?)


jipzeecab said...

It appears the psychogazette hasn't had enough real life experience with its unions to find any commonsense yet..

Nicko McDave said...

Funny, isn't it, how the ostensibly pro-union media outlets seem to have the most problems with unions?

Incidentally, Comcast seems to be hanging its head in shame. Your visit (according to Site Meter) is from "Unknown Country".

You haven't skipped to the Keys again, have you?

jipzeecab said...

Comcast is a personal disaster. The technician had both my computers back on line at 12:30 pm. One half hour later they were off again... I spent the rest of yesterday trying to get both working...have been able to get both working independently wirelessly and on ethernet but never both with those options. I finally have the newer one working wirelessly with the other two options unavailable. I may be talking to Verizon about FIOS soon!

jipzeecab said...

I'm showing up on my sitemeter as Mt. Laurel NJ..which I've unsuccessfully been trying to edit out the address so it doesn't inflate my stats. said...


On April 17, 2006, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board decided: "It's time for an unapologetic Preston to go!"

On October 13, 2006, Joe Preston continued to demonstrate a lack of remorse telling the editorial board that he, in fact, will not return the pay raise.

It's this simple: Mr. Preston is one of the lone symbols of this controversy who still believes a nod-nod, wink-wink from the Governor, local political leaders and the media can protect him from any further public ridicule.

In short, Mr. Preston has recently demonstrated unprecedented arrogance suggesting an attitude and confidence that are embarrassing.

Possibly nothing more than just election year theatrics, at one point his Consumer Affairs Committee had the majority of us believing landmark legislation (HB 2880) calling for cable choice and competition was poised to advance to the floor of the House for a vote. Although an apparent majority of the public, education, and government access channels, and pertinent union membership groups testified during statewide public hearings that they approved the proposed legislation, last week Joe Preston pulled the bill from consideration. The proposed streamlined franchising process would better benefit customers by ushering in a myriad of TV choices and lower prices. Since 1995 cable rates have increased more than 86 percent. Since 2001 cable prices have increased four times faster than the rate of the consumer price index.

In the months before Act 201 passed two years ago, utility and power companies donated $4,650 to Preston's reelection campaign. And, after accepting lucrative campaign contributions from the utility and power companies, Joe Preston wrapped a "moral responsibility" cloak around Act 201 (Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act), and rushed from committee legislation that makes it much easier for the seediest financial interest in the country to terminate the gas, electric and water service of poor, low-income customers. That is, his leadership reversed a long-standing state ban on shutting off heat during winter. Note: Throughout the entire process, there was not a single public hearing on the measure.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority board, under Mr. Preston's leadership voted to raise rates this year and next (third and fourth consecutive years). The increase affects around 65,000 city households that get their water from the authority. Another 30,000 households in the city's southern neighborhoods, which are served by Pennsylvania American Water Co., will also see their rates rise, because those rates are pegged to the authority's. The hikes also hit commercial and industrial users, who pay less than households, and health and educational institutions, which pay more. The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, which levies a separate charge based on water usage, increased rates 10 percent effective Jan. 1. Although voters had shot down a referendum to build two new stadiums officials proceeded with the plan anyway and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority paid $550,000 to build sewer lines for the new Steelers stadium and surrounding area on the North Side. In addition, two former Authority employees were paid $210,000 to settle whistle-blower lawsuits. Former executive director John Hanna claimed in his federal lawsuit that he had been fired for testifying before a federal grand jury that was investigating authority operations and for refusing to approve payments for a faulty sewer project at PNC Park. Dr. Michael Stallard's lawsuit claimed he was pressured to approve work that was not completed properly and fired after he protested payments. Finally, the Authority is paying Adam Filippo & Associates $90,750 to learn how customers feel about water and sewer service. At least $500 of that money was spent to treat the authority's business customers to lunch at the Duquesne Club, Downtown, during a February focus-group session. Seventeen people dined at the club.

But, in many of Joe Preston's District 24 neighborhoods the approach of nightfall is still dreaded. Our fear is punctuated by sound of gunfire, screams and wailing.