This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

According to ALEC: There Is No Climate Change, Environmental Danger or Animal Cruelty on Factory Farms, and Even If There Is You Don't Need to Know About It

 From Bill Murray in the classic film “Groundhog Day”: “It’s the same old schtick every year...They pull the little rat out, they talk to him, the rat talks back, then they tell us what’s gonna happen.”

"The "corporate bill mill" that is the fossil-fuel-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is alarmingly busy: It's pushing bills mandating the “balanced” teaching of climate science - the hilariously named ”Environmental Literacy Improvement Act“ - in public schools in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona in addition to the 11 states it's already invaded. Most egregiously, it's also pushing so-called Ag-Gag bills, or the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, making it an "act of terrorism" for anyone to point out the animal and environmental horrors of factory farms, in New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska, having already introduced them in 10 states. They've passed in three; consumer and animal-welfare advocates successfully fought them in the other seven. With Groundhog Day this weekend, a suggestion to view ALEC and its corporate sponsors as a microcosm of our political system."
Check our Facebook for Scamp's travels. Follow his scampish adventures and keep up to date with the happenings at

Schwarzenegger Calls to 'Sex' Up Environmentalism

 "There is a new way, a more sexy, a more hip way. Instead of using doom and gloom and telling people what they can't do, we should make them part of our movement and tell them what they can do," Schwarzenegger said. "We need to send a message that we can live the same life, just with cleaner technology," he added."
"But why would they want to live the same life if other alternatives are offered? The US car-oriented infrastructure and culture did not arise from some kind of democratic clamor for cars. People had to be forced into cars through social and physical engineering methods that quite deliberately eliminated the alternatives. People today only own cars at all because the far more convenient method of getting around (via seamless public transportation service - both intra and intercity) was deliberately dismantled, then vast areas were built so as to defy any other way of getting around except with a car and enormous wastes of time.

Stand at a bus stop at a typical thoroughfare and count the time for 50 people in the cars (say, 40 cars) to go by. It will probably be a minute or less. Now imagine a bus or streetcar replacing those 50 cars. That would mean one coming to your stop every minute, on every major street, and those 50 people would get where they are going as fast and conveniently and at a tiny fraction of the cost and pollution emitted. Such a scaled-up system would be so cheap per - it could be fare-less - just paid with general tax revenue. Would people still choose a car over the bus for any but recreational use or to transport the occasional bulky or heavy object? Most would not bother with the expense of owning a car at all. A rental or car-share service would do fine for handful of times per year they use one."

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724-238-6626 bar in Stahlstown

Twenty-five years ago Virginia Robertson and Diane Martz met while working in Washington, D.C. For 15 of those years, they talked about one day opening a wine bar together.

At 5 p.m. Friday night, those years of dreaming and preparing will become a reality when they officially open the doors of The Main Street Wine Bar in Stahlstown to the public.

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making way for a Latrobe community college campus

A contractor plans to begin demolishing a cluster of commercial and residential buildings in downtown Latrobe on Monday to clear the site for construction of a Westmoreland County Community College campus, anticipated to open in fall 2014.

A.W. McNabb, owner of A.W. McNabb LLC of Burgettstown, said he plans to bring an excavator into the city to raze the nine buildings that WCCC purchased for the site of its Laurel Education campus. McNabb said his company, which was awarded a $93,580 contract for the project, will pull down the buildings rather than use a crane with a wrecking ball to raze them.

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excellent article for those who seek a senior leadership position in any organization

Whether you’re a recent college graduate, a middle-manager or an aspiring executive, the odds are not in your favor to be a successful senior-level executive. Why is that? The reality is that the jump between middle-management and senior-level leadership requires an uncommon skill set not possessed by most. The good news is that after you’ve identified the obstacles you’re facing you’ll be in a better position to overcome them.

Here are ten reasons why you may not have what it takes to elevate from middle-management to your dream senior-level position:
You’re not interacting like a leader. How often do you leave your office and interact with those around you? I’m not talking about your teammates or people who report directly do you. I’m talking about the people who you have nothing to gain from. Malcolm Forbes has a great quote: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him”. Senior-level leaders are elevated by their peers (and their peer’s peers) – without their respect, you won’t go far.

Jen Tong at Allegory Gallery

We at Allegory Gallery are pleased to present the work of Brooklyn-based artist, Jen Tong.  On Friday, February 1st, we will be debuting her latest show, "Creatures of Ghost Island".  This group of ten fantastical original works of art will be up for the month of February.  The reception is from 5PM to 8PM.  Stop by and see the show!  CLICK HERE to find out more about Jen's process and see a sneak peek of the show.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


FEBRUARY 1 & 2 at 7:30 PM

FEBRUARY 3 at 2:30 PM

134 min  -  Comedy - Rated R

A look at the lives of Pete and Debbie a few years after the events of Knocked Up.

Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow



Here's a shout out to Beaufort Services!

One of the old furnaces in our office stopped working.  A hard to find part was needed, they found it in Monroeville, went an got it and fixed our furnace so we won't be cold tomorrow.  YEAH..Well done!!!   Thank you, Beaufort!

missing snowmobiler found alive

Pennsylvania State Police and emergency crews have found a snowmobiler alive, three days after he left to ride alone in the Laurel Mountains in Somerset County.

Troopers from the Somerset barracks say 50-year-old Bruce Maust was found near Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

restrictive covenants...always read them before you buy real estate

An online advertisement described the 10-acre, four-bedroom Mount Abu mansion in Ligonier Township as the ideal weekend getaway.
A group of seven neighbors on Wicklow Lane thinks otherwise.
They have filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent John and Paragi Stewart from renting out their home to vacationers.
Attorney Jim Fox, representing the neighbors, wants a county judge to step in and enforce a restrictive-use covenant, signed by the Stewarts in 2009 when they purchased their home, that bars its use for rental purposes.

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on the 2nd amendment

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defence, which is paramount to all positive forms of government; and which, against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success, than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power became usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions or districts, of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defence. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, cloathed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo. The smaller the extent of territory, the more difficult will it be for the people to form a regular or systematic plan of opposition; and the more easy will it be to defeat their early efforts. Intelligence can be more speedily obtained of their preparations and movements; and the military force in the possession of the usurpers, can be more rapidly directed against the part where the opposition has begun. In this situation, there must be a peculiar coincidence of circumstances to ensure success to the popular resistance.

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Noah is the son of a high school friend of my cousin.

My son Noah is 12 years old. On February 8 he will be 13. A teenager at last. This past weekend he posted on his Instagram account that he was planning to commit suicide on his birthday. He also posted images of his arm where he has been cutting himself for the past two months.

Noah has been dealing with bullying for the past year. He has been feeling alone and left out, ostracized from old friends and a misfit among new kids. Things begin to get better, and then another setback. He was once the life of the party among his friends; big man on campus at his first elementary school. Now his self esteem has disappeared.

Noah has been in therapy. I have been doing my very best. But he is in pain. I can't do this alone.

Noah is getting treatment in a hospital now. But it is still not enough. He needs people to rally. Which is why I've created this page, Letters for Noah. I thought of it last night in the ER when I couldn't sleep. Noah needs to know that He Matters and that It Does Get Better. So many people have been asking me how they can help. Well, this is how:

Today I opened a P.O. Box. I am asking you and your kids to send Noah letters with a message of hope, telliing him not to give up. Help him see that He Matters and that It Does Get Better. Please send your letters to:

P.O. Box 444
Simpsonville, Maryland 21150

***I would like to get as many letters as possible to him by his 13th birthday on 2.8.2013.***

Please feel free to share this.

Thank you all so much for your love and support.


a note from Carolyn about National Wear Red Day

February 1, 2013, is the tenth annual 2013 National Wear Red Day®, when heart disease awareness is brought to the fore by any person wearing red.
And I’m doing something I rarely do—I’m “lifting” today’s two-part post directly from the National Wear Red Day® web site —because I cannot improve on what they have done. Please visit their site for in depth information on heart disease in women.

clean and renewable

Like lots of folks I keep my eyes open for news of developments using hydrogen as an energy source.  The article posted below caught my eye and I thought, well, folks who are looking for "clean and renewable' will be happy. Then it occurred to me that, no, they won't.

The phrase, "silicon is abundant on our planet", says it all. silicon is a natural resource that has to be mined.  Modern popular culture is against mining.  It hurts the planet. People might breathe fumes and dust. Corporations will make money. A section of earth will be disturbed, cut, and stay that way for as long as the mine is productive.  What about the people and farms next to the mine?

I can't think of any "clean and renewable" energy that when looked at realistically would be acceptable in today's popular culture.  Just take the blinders off and see what it takes to make a battery or an Ipad or a flat screen tv.  Just take the blinders off and think about wind turbines and the disturbance to wildlife and people who live nearby.  Trucks and all sorts of activity disturb the countryside. The earth is dug and concrete replaces valuable habitat and then the turbines kill birds who reside or pass thru the area.

I just think our popular culture is disconnected from reality, disconnected from ecology, disconnected from the natural food chain, disconnected from what it takes to live the lifestyle they take for granted.

I would be extremely happy if we had vast forests of lightly disturbed natural habitat.  Imagine the ability of those trees to clean the air and produce oxygen from carbon monoxide. Imagine the variety of wildlife.  We couldn't have that in our modern culture because people who are disconnected from how things work have chosen to live in lawns and concrete, void of trees and natural vegetation which would include critters and vermin and bugs.  Terrified of bugs and real life, modern culture wants an antiseptic environment and thus has no lovely green space at home in which to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature.  So being human, and craving these things, has to go out into the forests and hike and play.  Thus, we carve out pathways and parking lots and pretend that we are preserving nature.

If we allowed nature to thrive in the city, suburbs and small towns in which we live by having wooded lots or meadows and only placing and retaining lawns and concrete where it is actually being used for some purpose, then we would enjoy nature right in our own home turf.  We would enjoy the green smell of fresh air every day. We would have our own carbon monoxide scrubbing facility right at home.

I just think things are all screwed up.  People spend so much effort in the drudgery of lawn maintenance - cutting, fertilizing, killing bugs and weeds - to create a place where they can see threats and be sure their little spot on the earth is secure from other people and secure from real life. Why not just keep a perimeter around the house cut low and then enjoy your very own park with pathways and trees and wildflower and butterflies and birds and life? I do suggest having a neutered cat as a non-chemical vermin controller. The rest of nature, if left alone, will pretty much take care of eating each other. Bugs, spiders, birds and other critters eat each other and when an area gets back into non-chemically challenged balance, things sort themselves out.

I know I'm rambling but this is one very easy fix to what seems to concern so many.  Just reduce the size of your lawn and plant trees.  Remove unnecessary concrete and paving. Use gravel when possible for driveways and parking areas. Consider stepping stones or mulch for walkways. Stop using chemicals outside.  Take a year or two and let nature do its thing and you'll be surprised that you can tolerate some weeds and most weeds are really quite pretty.

Think about what you enjoy when you hike or sit in a state park and then realize that even on a small plot of land you can create the very same kind of space.

silicon nanoparticles...produce hydrogen

Silicon nanoparticles could be used to produce hydrogen almost instantly, as they react with water, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) in New York. The reaction does not require any heat, light or electricity and the hydrogen generated could be used to power small fuel cells. The technology could come in handy as a "just add water" approach to produce hydrogen on demand, says the team. In essence, the technique recovers some of the energy that goes into refining the silicon and producing the nanoparticles in the first place.

Splitting water to produce hydrogen is a clean and renewable way to produce energy, and traditional techniques to split water include electrolysis, thermolysis and photocatalysis. Water can also react with bulk silicon to produce hydrogen, but this route has been little studied because it is slow. In theory, silicon can release two moles of hydrogen gas per mole of silicon (or 14% of its own mass in hydrogen). Silicon is also abundant on our planet, has a high energy density and does not release any carbon dioxide when it reacts with water.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


update on missing snowmobiler ...thanks to enord for staying on top fo the story

State police helicopters have been searching for Maust since Sunday. Emergency crews were focusing on the Seven Springs area on Tuesday, but heavy fog made the search efforts more difficult. Police said they will continue a grid search of the area until they are positive he is not there.

Maust's brother told 6 News that he went out by himself and he's an experienced snowmobiler who is familiar with the trails. However, Timothy Maust said his brother suffers from Pick's Disease, which can cause dementia, and he may have become disoriented.

Activists oppose shale drilling in Pittsburgh region

"Maggie Henry won't feed her livestock soybeans because she is worried that the beans have been genetically modified. Instead, the organic farmer from South Beaver, Lawrence County, grows her own wheat and other grains to feed her pigs, chickens, cows and other livestock. But that isn't Mrs. Henry's chief concern these days. Just 4,100 feet from Mrs. Henry's green pastures lies a gas well operated by Shell Appalachia. And Mrs. Henry isn't the only local resident concerned about the well, where a group of about two dozen activists staged a protest Sunday afternoon.

With shirts that read "Protect Farms for our Future," four of the protesters latched themselves to a 7-foot by 12-foot papier-mache pig, meant to represent the "piggish gas industry," Mrs. Henry said, as well as the livestock at her farm. One of those protesters, Lisa Desantis, 47, of New Castle, said she feared that Lawrence County would soon become "a wasteland." "I'm concerned about our water supply," she said. "As our lakes and rivers run dry, this industry takes millions of gallons of water per day." Another protester who strapped himself to the pig, Nick Lubecki, 29, of Pittsburgh recently started a farm and is concerned about the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania. "It's extremely disturbing as a young farmer to have to worry about the safety of the water supply in a chaotically changing climate while these out-of-state drillers have the red carpet rolled out for them," he said. "In a few years, the drillers will be gone when this boom turns to bust like these things always do. I don't want to be stuck with their mess to clean up.""


Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, killing billions of animals each year, a study suggests.
The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.
Writing in Nature Communications, the scientists said stray and feral cats were the worst offenders.

I'd like to see a comparison of how much wildlife are killed by humans using chemicals and destroying habitat for no good reason. Add to that all the domestic kills and next someone will want to ban humanity.  For criminy sake. Give up.


US healthcare condemns our parents to lingering deaths and us to financial ruin

David Goldhill's book about how American medicine failed his father exposes a crisis of flawed priorities and out-of-control costs

"We have made insurance the fundamental mechanism and metaphor of the system – but we are insuring not against risk, which is the premise of insurance, but against inevitability, which is that we will all need to use our insurance. That means this is a pyramid scheme heading toward certain bankruptcy. We have put decision-making into the hands of surrogates: insurance company's, bureaucrats, and politicians. They negotiate for us, and make the most basic consumer choices – with no accountability to our interests or to the market. The idea of what is healthcare, or what is health-giving, and what is covered under that notion, expands at an astounding pace. Hence, the shibboleth and moral imperative that everyone has a right to healthcare simply makes no sense anymore.

In one way, Goldhill is saying that the Republicans are more right than the Democrats (he dismantles Medicare in a few pages). But he is saying this not as a function of partisanship but of language, for here is his straightforward explanation of how the system, divorced from the market, has run amok. On the other hand, he would not want to give the system back to the Republicans because their own language is, like that of the Democrats, "incoherent"."

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the beauty of our Constitutions- both state and federal level

We had a wonderful little exchange in the comment section about the state constitution.

I posted:

Right to Bear Arms
Section 21.The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

In reply, Legandear posted:

Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As Trustees of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

That section is under the heading of Natural Resources and the Public Estate.

Neither is more or less important than the other. Note that we do not have a similar constitutional protection for natural resources in the federal constitution but it is interesting that it was important to the authors of the constitution in Pennsylvania.

I have to thank L for posting this. You made me think. While I support the ability of private landowners to develop and use their natural resources, I am conflicted on the use of state owned land on a variety of levels, but mainly because I do think we need places in which flora and fauna can abide in peace.

I'd be interested in comments concerning how the gun debate is really the same debate as the debate over using state owned land for mining, etc.

It is really different in other ways because the gun debate is about private property and that is not the same as considering the exploitation of state owned land. One could argue that the whole anti-fracking movement is about controlling private resources and that's not constitutional in my view.

What do you think?

Good morning, Ligonier!

Monday, January 28, 2013

snowmobiler missing

12:46 p.m. EST, January 28, 2013

"Firefighters from multiple departments are searching for a missing snowmobiler in Jennerstown Borough.

State police said 50-year-old Bruce Maust left his residence Sunday on a red/black Polaris snowmobile. He was last seen wearing a red/black jacket, black helmet and red/black boots. Police said he has a medical condition and may be in the Laurel Mountain area.",0,3367625.story

UPDATE: Just got an update that the snowmobiler on Laurel Mountain is still missing and the State Police have called in a search and rescue team from Westmoreland County to search through the night.

snowblower for sale

For Sale By Campbell House B&B
Craftsman (All metal) Snow Blower.
Gas with electric start
22" blade.
Good Working Order

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We have a constitution at the state level, too.

Right to Bear Arms
Section 21.

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

The world-changing sensor we saw at CES

Sunday, January 27, 2013

an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Lord Nicholas Stern: 'I got it wrong on climate change – it's far, far worse'

"There will be water and food fights everywhere," Kim said as he pledged to make tackling climate change a priority of his five-year term.

"World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said action was needed to create a carbon market, eliminate fossil-fuel subsidies and "green" the world's 100 megacities, which are responsible for 60 to 70% of global emissions. He added that the 2012 droughts in the US, which pushed up the price of wheat and maize, had led to the world's poor eating less. For the first time, the bank president said, extreme weather had been attributed to man-made climate change. "People are starting to connect the dots. If they start to forget, I am there to remind them.

"We have to find climate-friendly ways of encouraging economic growth. The good news is we think they exist". Kim said there would be no solution to climate change without private sector involvement and urged companies to seize the opportunity to make profits: "There is a lot of money to be made in building the technologies and bending the arc of climate change.""

International Holocaust Memorial Day

In February 1940, little Robbi Weill was sent on the Kindertransport to Holland. While in transit, the 11-year-old developed diphtheria and, like many boys when not feeling well, yearned for his mother.

So Robbi put pen to paper.

But the boy spoke not of his illness, instead putting on a brave face to wish his Mama a happy birthday.

"Dear Mutti,” he wrote, “On your birthday I wish you everything good and that in the future you won't need to worry so much… All of us are hoping that I will be 'negative' by your birthday. That would definitely be the best birthday present for you."

That letter is just one of several written by Robbi and his sister Marianne, which are currently on display at Yad Vashem’s “Gathering the Fragments” exhibit in honor of International Holocaust Memorial Day.

Here's the snow Ginko...he's not fat, just using his winter coat to stay warm. He loves the snow.

Murray Bookchin - The Forms of Freedom P.4 (French subtitles)

here's a fun read...testimony of Phil Ochs in the trial of the Chicago Seven [Eight]

MR. KUNSTLER: Did Jerry Rubin speak?
THE WITNESS: Yes, Jerry Rubin was reading a prepared speech for the pig---the opening sentence was something like, "I, Pigasus, hereby announce my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States." He was interrupted in his talk by the police who arrested us.
MR. KUNSTLER: What was the pig doing during this announcement?
MR. FORAN: Objection.
MR. KUNSTLER: Do you remember what you were charged with?
THE WITNESS: I believe the original charge mentioned was something about an old Chicago law about bringing livestock into the city, or disturbing the peace, or disorderly conduct, and when it came time for the trial, I believe the charge was disorderly conduct.
MR. KUNSTLER: Were you informed by an officer that the pig had squealed on you?
MR.  FORAN: Objection.  I ask it be stricken.
THE COURT: I sustain the objection.  When an objection is made do not answer until the Court has ruled. . .

I wish the Anonymous folks were as artful in their rebellion.  They sound more like the Unibomber to me, but he was a math whiz not an artist so I guess that's understandable.

rules and regulations who needs them


I love the old songs that celebrate freedom.  How did so many forget individuality when they grew up?  Progressives and Conservatives are just control freaks.  We need to find a new way to break through this concrete prison of regulations and laws that are beyond the ability of any of us to comprehend let alone follow.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

the moon is so lovely tonight

Ginko and I took a snow walk by moonlight.

smokers who supported Obamacare, might have regrets.

From an economist's perspective, there would be less reason to grouse about unhealthy behaviors by smokers, obese people, motorcycle riders who eschew helmets and other health sinners if they agreed to pay the financial price for their choices.

That's the rationale for a provision in the Affordable Care Act - "Obamacare" to its detractors - that starting next year allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

The new law doesn't allow insurers to charge more for people who are overweight, however.


It is our hope that this warhead need never be detonated.

However, in order for there to be a peaceful resolution to this crisis, certain things need to happen. There must be reform of outdated and poorly-envisioned legislation, written to be so broadly applied as to make a felony crime out of violation of terms of service, creating in effect vast swathes of crimes, and allowing for selective punishment. There must be reform of mandatory minimum sentencing. There must be a return to proportionality of punishment with respect to actual harm caused, and consideration of motive and mens rea. The inalienable right to a presumption of innocence and the recourse to trial and possibility of exoneration must be returned to its sacred status, and not gambled away by pre-trial bargaining in the face of overwhelming sentences, unaffordable justice and disfavourable odds. Laws must be upheld unselectively, and not used as a weapon of government to make examples of those it deems threatening to its power.

knapsack books

Jewels posed a question on her blog, Oven Lovin'. Jewels wants to know what you would grab if your house was burning.  Visit her blog and post your answer there.

Her question prompted another in my mind that's what I want to ask you here. If you have to leave your house with only a few possessions, would you take any books and if so, which ones?  I ask this because for years I have had a small pile of small books I could grab easily if needed.  These are books I have read and would enjoy reading over and over or they are books I have started but need more time to finish and understand.  I call them knapsack books because they have to be light enough to carry and important enough to want to take them with me, wherever, to the woods, a shelter...who knows.

This small stack of books, all but two paperback, has evolved over the years just a bit but not much. Here they are in no particular order:

  • The Rosary, The Crown of Mary by a Dominican Father [found in my father's family trunk and probably the property of my grandfather]
  • The Web of Life by John H. Storer 
  • The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Soho
  • Lost Horizon by James Hilton
  • The Philosophy of Spinoza by Joseph Ratner
  • Religio Medici & Other Writings by Sir Thomas Browne
  • The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas Treatise on Law
  • The Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  • The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott
  • The Essential Kabbalah by Daniel C. Matt
Seems like a lot of books but I can grab that stack in one hand. ;)

If you had to make a knapsack stack of books, what would you include?

Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill & Rick Rowley's New Film Exposes Hidden Truth...

right versus privilege

government by regulators

truth matters

Andrew Campanella on National School Choice Week 2013

How to Build the Perfect Container Garden featuring Tropicanna cana

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Friday, January 25, 2013

unanimously agreed that President Obama violated the Constitution

A federal appeals court panel unanimously agreed that President Obama violated the Constitution last year by appointing three members to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was not technically in recess, circumventing Senate Republicans who had held up his picks for months.

If the D.C. circuit court’s ruling stands, it would invalidate all the decisions made by the NLRB since the appointees joined the board. 

Read more at: 

Judiciary Committee holds hearing on prison closings

Judiciary Committee holds hearing on prison closings

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Tuesday, January 22, to receive testimony on the planned closing of the State Correctional Institution at Cresson and the State Correctional Institution at Greensburg. Testifiers at the hearing included Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, municipal officials from Cresson Township, Cresson borough and Hempfield Township and union representatives. These closures are expected to have a direct impact locally as some of the inmates are expected to be transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Pine Grove in Indiana County.

Audio and video from the hearing are available at:

Mountain Palace - Green Beans!

The Mountain Palace special this weekend is pork with green beans and rice for $8.95. This popular special offers the taste and nutrition of green beans with their known cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. Chef Lacy's preparation of green beans has been proven to convert non-green bean eating individuals into devoted fans. Come to Mountain Palace this weekend to enjoy the green bean special or any of our other authentic northern Chinese foods. Mountain Palace offers vegetarian and gluten free options and can accommodate food allergies as all dishes are individually prepared. Friday 6 to 10, Saturday 12 to 10 and Sunday 12 to 6. Eleven miles north of Ligonier left off of Route 711 onto Creek Road directly across from Mirror Lake.  724 717-8614 

doublestandard for fighting terrorists

Why is it ok for the French to launch airstrikes in Mali but wrong for Israel to strike at hamas terrorists in their own backyard who were firing missiles into Israel? Once again we see a double standard applied to the Jewish state. The French are extreme hypocrites as is the rest of the world. Had the Israelis fought hamas until hamas was wiped out, the world would be screaming “genocide” and “war crimes”. But Israel merely launched tit for tat air strikes against hamas rocket launchers and even this limited measure was castigated.

water fluoridation

With a few twists of his wrist, Charles Gallo of Ligonier Township says, he can protect himself from a harmful substance in his drinking water.

He recently attached a reverse-osmosis purification device to his kitchen tap to rid his water of fluoride.

He and about 1,500 Ligonier Valley customers of the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County soon will get fluoridated water through a 14-mile pipeline from the Johnstown Municipal Authority.

The Westmoreland authority doesn't add fluoride to its water but the Johnstown authority does.

Customers in Ligonier Borough, Laughlintown, Laurel Mountain and parts of Ligonier Township will receive the Johnstown water after line testing is completed, probably this month, said John Ashton, assistant manager of the Westmoreland authority.

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LVSD seeks public input as required by the state

Neva Gindlesperger, a New Florence parent, business owner and community leader, hopes that her neighbors will help to fashion the future of Ligonier Valley School District.

Gindlesperger sits on the district comprehensive planning committee, along with 23 other parents, merchants, staff and board members and taxpayers from district communities.

The group has been working since last year on a plan to outline the route to student success over the next six years.

On Feb. 5, four public input meetings will be held in Bolivar, New Florence, Ligonier and Cook Township.

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The Catz Pajamaz

A local family recently opened a new, high-end consignment shop in Donegal Township.

Husband and wife Gary and Joy Monticue of Stahlstown, along with Joy’s daughter, Julie Dolton of Ligonier, on Dec. 1 opened The Catz Pajamaz Consignment Shoppe located at 3782 state Route 31 in the Donegal Village Shoppes.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

good to do list

I think the only thing I'd change is EAT CHOCOLATE!

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and violence in schools

Check out this web site.  Thanks to Butch for the share.

Most of the stories on this site describe events that occurred after the year 2000.  The increase in online news material and the efficiency of search engines has greatly increased the ability to track stories.  Even these 4,800+ documented stories only represent the tip of an iceberg since most stories do not make it into the media. There are 115 cases of bizarre behavior, 66 school shootings/incidents, 68 road rage tragedies, 19 air rage incidents, 101 arson cases, 70 postpartum depression cases, over 1,000 murders (homicides) or murder attempts, over 300 murder-suicides (30% committed by women) and other acts of violence including workplace violence on this site.  There are also over 100 Journal Articles and FDA reports listed in the Index.  They are at the top of the Index immediately below the 66 school shootings/incidents and the 29 "won" criminal cases.

Have Valentines Day with the Ligonier Tavern

Join us for a Romantic Valentines Day Dinner!

Tender Hand Cut Filet
with a rich chocolate port wine sauce grill to perfection

Hand Cut Caramelized Rib eye
a hand cut rib eye steak, caramelized and grilled, 
served with our creamy horseradish sauce.

Hand Cut Scottish Grilled  Salmon
with creamy apple beurre blanc sauce

and ............for Dessert
Creme Au Glaze with Fresh Berries and Mint Decadent house made Chocolate Mousse

Other Sons and Daughters: A True Account of Civilian Convoy Drivers in Iraq

Kenneth Clark‘s recently released book details his experiences, based on stories from a log of more than 522 missions, during the 32 months he served as a convoy driver between 2005 and 2009.
Clark of Ligonier will be signing copies of his book, “Other Sons and Daughters: A True Account of Civilian Convoy Drivers in Iraq,” 1 - 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 - 4 p.m. Sunday at Second Chapter Books.

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Ligonier Ice Fest time!

When Ernie DiMartino was a teenager, he was refused membership in the school art club because the teacher thought he didn‘t have enough talent to be an artist. Now the Jeannette man makes his living as an award-winning ice sculptor, carving blocks of ice into everything from swans and eagles to 36-foot ice slides and horses pulling carriages.

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Rachel's Weekly Special

Rachel's Ligonier Floral
Petite Tulip Bundles- Just $6.50
Share a little spring!
Open Monday- Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4

a good reason for Ligonier communities to have an EPM emergency plan in place

Defying a resolution issued by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that condemned Pyongyang for test-firing a missile in December and tightened existing sanctions on the regime, North Korea's National Defence Commission said the new nuclear test would be part of its action against the "sworn enemy of the Korean people".

You never know when a madman with nuclear capability will get lucky.  If we get hit with an EPM, the response will have to be at a local level.  Just saying....we'll be on our own, totally.

thinking back to "sweet sixteen"

Here's Carolyn at 16.  What a great picture! I love that young ladies of 16 represent to well the fashion of that very important year. I wonder if young ladies today still think of it as being "sweet sixteen"?

Here's the only shot I could find quickly of me at 16.  I'd say it's another example of the fashion of that year - all around the room, eh? This was the party after my sister's wedding. Barb - If you are reading this, go get Pat.  He'll enjoy the pic of the Livingston brothers.  ;)

This is Molly, the creator of Buddha Doodles.

She has such a positive energy.  I have a couple of phobias - structural integrity and height - gotta shift!

What do you think about LVSD replacing board members without input from the public?

In other news, officials accepted the resignation of Director Lynn Parker. Ligonier Township resident Kimberly Dickert-Wallace was appointed to fill the vacancy.

Many residents at the meeting voiced opposition to the seemingly closed-door appointment.

“In many open districts, school directors advertise the vacancy and ask for letters of interest,” Kelly said. “In many open districts, the person who receives the next-highest number of votes in the last election is appointed.”

Director Jack McDowell said Dickert-Wallace is extremely qualified.

“She is very active in the schools, she was a substitute teacher, she‘s young and has kids in the district. I think she‘s everything we want in a school board member,” McDowell said.

Oldham said Dickert-Wallace expressed interest in the vacancy after Parker‘s absence at the last several board meetings.

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DNA data storage

Forget hard disks or DVDs. If you want to store vast amounts of information look instead to DNA, the molecule of which genes are made. Scientists in the UK have stored about a megabyte's worth of text, images and speech into a speck of DNA and then retrieved that data back almost faultlessly. They say that a larger-scale version of the technology could provide an extremely dense and long-lived form of digital storage that is particularly well suited to data archiving.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


(Jan 25-27)
157 min - Rated PG-13 (Drama | Musical | Romance) 
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the    
ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for 
factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. 
The fateful decision changes their lives forever.

$6 (13 and over) - $5 (Sr. Cit. & Students 12 & under) 

MOVIE HOTLINE: 724-238-6514 X 4

for the Volvo lovers...

Late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, my wife Jill and I were driving through Vienna, Virginia, toward Tysons Corner when we found ourselves in front of, and then beside, and then right behind an old gray Volvo wagon. The car caught our eyes, and quickly we realized why, for it wasn’t just another car on the road but a car we’d once owned—from 1987, to be precise, when we bought it new, until December 2011. That’s not a misprint: The car was ours for more than 24 years.

Does anyone know...

why there are two hour school delays on days with no snow?  Hubby and I were trying to find a reason and can't come up with anything.

We remember snow days from ye olden times, but no two hour delays because it was cold.

a must watch video

this little dragonfly says it's time to fly away.....into the Whistlewind

Kinda sad and kinda happy because every end is a new beginning.  Marianne has announced the closure of Whistlewind on North Fairfield which will take place at the end of February.  With that in mind, Marianne says...


Starting tomorrow everything and she means EVERYTHING in the shop is 70% off.

70% off everything

So, whistle on over to Whistlewind on North Fairfield and find that extra little something you cannot live without and help our little dragonfly friend fly.  ;)

women in combat

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has decided to allow women to serve in combat roles, a watershed policy shift that follows years of calls for a fully inclusive military.

 Groundhog Brew now available

Good news! Ligonier Distributing now has Straub's limited edition "Groundhog Brew" available, just in time for the annual Ligonier Ice Fest this weekend. This is a delicious German-style Altbier, brewed to help you celebrate, you know, GROUNDHOG DAY!

Who *does* the PA Dept of Environmental Protection protect, anyway?

For more than four years, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has had the ability to test for 45 contaminants in its water-sample analysis. But according to DEP data, the computer code that determines what substances will be tested has not been used in at least two years. It’s been shelved in favor of two codes that test for fewer than half the number of (toxic) substances.[...] “This is almost unbelievable,” Rep. Jesse White said. “The DEP developed a suite code to fully analyze for impacts of Marcellus shale, and not only did they never use it, they never even told anyone it existed. This is a slap in the face to Pennsylvanians and a clear sign that the Corbett administration simply cannot be trusted to have an honest conversation about this critical issue. If this isn’t willfully obstructing the truth from the people of Pennsylvania, I don’t know what is.” White also has written and plans to introduce House Bill 268, which would require the DEP to report full and complete results of any tests conducted for residents, including raw data and documentation. The bill also would require that this information be made available at no cost to landowners by written request within five business days.

White isn’t the only elected official who has voiced concern regarding the DEP’s water-testing practices. Newly sworn-in Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has made clear his plans to conduct an audit of the state DEP to ensure the agency has the resources to protect the state’s water supplies from pollution from drilling activity. DePasquale worked for the DEP under former Gov. Ed Rendell."

Rachel's Weekly Special

Rachel's Ligonier Floral
Petite Tulip Bundles- Just $6.50
Share a little spring!
Open Monday- Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4

The right of adoptees to obtain their original birth certificate is an emotional issue. Three posts explore these complex family issues---only in part---and inform Pennsylvanians about current proposed adoption legislation.
A child adopted in the state of Pennsylvania receives an altered (or amended) birth certificate to make it appear as though the adoptive parents actually gave birth to the adoptee. There is no indication on the amended birth certificate that an adoption even occurred.
The original, factual birth certificate is sealed away.
This original birth certificate is not legally recognized. Thus, Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees (age 18+) are not allowed to access it.
Prior to 1984 things were different. Adult adoptees born in Pennsylvania were able to access their original birth certificates just as all non-adopted adults who were born in Pennsylvania.
In 1984 this equality under law changed upon the enactment of the Adoption Act 195, which took away the right for adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates.
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre County, 171st Legislative District) and 22 co-sponsors introduced a new bill restoring Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees the right to access their OBC:
HB 162, an unrestricted access bill, was introduced in the PA House of Representatives on January 16, 2013. The bill would allow Pennsylvania-born adopted adults to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. HB 162 has been assigned to the Committee on Children and Youth.
Pa. House Representative Reese is a co-sponsor of this proposed legislation.
Sign to Support Adoptee Rights to Their Original Birth Certificates