The Politics of Animal Cruelty

  by Walter Brasch   Pennsylvanians can still butcher, braise, and broil their pet cats and dogs because a murky mixture of politics has left a critical bill on the table in the state senate. Residents may also continue to use cats, dogs, and other animals as targets for what some erroneously call “sporting events.” Although there are no documented cases of cats and dogs being thrown into the air at these shoots, there is a long history in Pennsylvania of pigeon shoots. Pennsylvania is the only state where such shoots occur legally. The remaining shoots are in the southeastern part of the state, in Berks and Bucks counties near Philadelphia. However, this past week, an undercover investigator for SHARK, … Continue reading

Arsenic-Laced Coffee Good for You

  by Walter Brasch   You’re sitting in your favorite restaurant one balmy September morning. Your waitress brings a pot of coffee and a standard 5-ounce cup. “Would you like cream and sugar with it?” she asks. You drink your coffee black. And hot. You decline her offer. “Would you like arsenic with it?” she asks. Arsenic? You’re baffled. And more than a little suspicious. “It enhances the flavor,” says your waitress. “I really don’t think I want arsenic,” you say, now wondering why she’s so cheerful. “It really does enhance the flavor—and there’s absolutely no harm in it,” she says. “But it’s arsenic!” you reply. “That’s rat poison. It can kill you.” “Only in large doses,” she says. “I’ll … Continue reading

No Safe Haven for Obstructionists

  by Walter Brasch   Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader, is not a happy man. He didn’t like it when Barack Obama was elected president. Just about the first thing McConnell said was that his main responsibility was to make sure Mr. Obama was a one-term president. That vow drove McConnell’s and the Tea Party’s politics. They didn’t worry about the nation or the people. They worried about how to make Barack Obama a one-term president. They failed. But, in the past six years, McConnell managed to block almost all constructive legislation in the Senate.  And it’s not even a fair fight. McConnell manipulated and wheeled and dealed so that the majority no longer can do anything. … Continue reading

A Quacked-Up Strategy to Stop Terrorism

  by Walter Brasch   Just about everyone has an opinion of what President Obama should do about the ISIS threat in Iraq. Many of the suggestions have come from the architects of America’s latest invasion of Iraq who claimed the nine year war that led to more than 25,000 deaths and 110,000 injuries among American and coalition troops would last not more than six months. Whatever the President does or doesn’t do, a rabid minority will attack him and stuff their suggestions with the vileness of hate and politics. Most suggestions are based on ignorance and are easily dismissed. But, there is one possible suggestion that may have merit. On Sean Hannity’s Fox TV show, Phil Robertson, the Duck … Continue reading

Labor Day Assignment: Educating the Uninformed

    by Walter Brasch   It’s Labor Day weekend, the schools have been in session about a week, and the disgruntled voices of a minority drone on. Their screeching refrain, often in letters to the editor and talk show call-ins, is familiar: –Teachers only work half a year. –Teachers are overpaid. –Local school districts and their taxpayers shouldn’t have to hold the burden of teacher salaries. Often, those who complain the most are those who were average or below-average students who blame teachers, not themselves, for their mediocrity. Although most claim to be strong free-market capitalists, they believe teachers should not have much higher wages and benefits than they do, a philosophy bordering on socialism. Let’s look at each … Continue reading

Railroad ‘Bomb Trains’: Speeding to Disaster

  by Walter Brasch   It’s 3 p.m., and you’re cruising down a rural road, doing about 50. A quarter mile away is a sign, with flashing yellow lights, alerting you to slow down to 15. It’s a school zone. But, you don’t see any children. Besides, you’re going to be late to your racquetball match. So, you just slide on past. You’re an independent long-haul trucker. You get paid by the number of miles you drive. If you work just a couple of hours longer every day than the limits set by the federal government—and if you can drive 75 or 80 instead of 65, you can earn more income. You have your uppers and energy drinks, so you … Continue reading

House Committee: No Benghazi Scandal

  by Walter Brasch   The House Select Committee on Intelligence, following almost a two-year intense investigation, unanimously determined there is no basis for what has become known as the Benghazi Scandal. The Committee consists of 12 Republicans and 9 Democrats. The pretend-scandal began Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists raided the U.S. consulate, and killed the ambassador and three others. Although there was confusion, and the Obama administration didn’t have all the facts when it began to inform the American people about the events and the causes, there was no evidence of anything even remotely linked to a scandal. However, as expected, the blathering mouths of the Extreme Right Wing media pundits and politicians, and those who blindly parrot their … Continue reading

Packing Heat in the Brothers’ ’Hood

  by Walter Brasch   A group of white gun-rights advocates plan to sling rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic assault weapons onto their bodies, and walk through a Black neighborhood in Houston. What could possibly go wrong with that?! The march through Houston’s Fifth Ward is planned for August 16 to educate Texans about their rights to openly carry firearms. To deflect criticism that the march is racially-insensitive, the testosterone-enhanced group, apparently with straight faces to hide its freeze-dried minds, says all it wants is for racial equality. It says because the state charges $250 for a gun permit, it unfairly discriminates against Blacks who have twice the poverty rate as Whites, and that’s why the Whites are going to march … Continue reading