The Slow-Learning Retired Admiral with a Ph.D.

by Walter Brasch Joe Sestak, a liberal Democrat with a commitment to social and economic justice, is a slow learner. It’s isn’t because he’s dumb—he graduated second in his class of 900 midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, one of the most rigorous colleges in the country; a decade later, he earned a Ph.D. in political economics from Harvard. It isn’t because he doesn’t have reasoning ability—as a Naval captain, he was director of defense on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton; as a rear admiral, he commanded a carrier battle group; as vice-admiral, he was the deputy chief of naval operations, with a specialty in warfare strategy. No, Joe Sestak certainly isn’t a slow learner when it … Continue reading

Disenfranchising Large Segments of Americans

  by Walter Brasch   Several hundred thousand American citizens won’t be voting in presidential primary elections—and it’s not their fault. In Pennsylvania, for example, a registered voter who needed an absentee ballot had to submit the request at least one full week before the election, and then return the ballot no less than four days before the election. But, what if circumstances changed? What if that person became injured or had to leave the state after April 19, but before the election, Tuesday? If it was April 20, you could not receive an absentee ballot. You could still vote in person, but if you couldn’t get to the polls, you would be disenfranchised. There’s nothing you could do. In … Continue reading

Sick of Presidential Politicians Grubbing for Votes

  by Walter Brasch   Like millions of Americans in the middle of February I have the flu. Unlike millions of Americans I have a deadline. Forced to stay at home, sucking Vitamin C drops, I have read newspapers, listened to radio, and watched television as a source of diversion. Dominating the media is the campaign for the presidency. In Iowa, all of the candidates went to fairs, restaurants, and anywhere there was any sign of carbon-based organic life to grab votes. Because hogs and corn stalks haven’t yet been granted the right to vote, the candidates resorted to talking with humans, and making sure that everyone got more useless swag than the presenters at the TV awards shows. The … Continue reading

The Fracking Crisis: A Manufacturer’s Perspective

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is by Mark Lichty, a business owner and film producer.] I am asking business owners and executives  in Pennsylvania to join me in petitioning Gov. Wolf to put a moratorium on fracking. Until I became involved with the film, Groundswell Rising, I had no issue with fracking.  Ads told me it was safe.  The hypnotizing blue flame and minimal emissions,  convinced me to accept the platitudes of the industry.  Only when I began the research did I understand that there were dire environmental and health consequences. The Pennsylvania  Supreme Court came to the same conclusion when  the chief justice  stated, “Fracking is detrimental to the health and the environment.” The Secretary of Health in New York … Continue reading

Three Commandments for Every State Capitol

    by Walter Brasch   The Oklahoma Supreme Court this past week ordered the legislature and the executive branch to remove a six-foot tall Ten Commandments granite monument from the front of the state house. The monument was placed there in January and is a direct violation of the First Amendment. The response by dozens of legislators, most of whom may be illiterate about the Constitution, was to call for the impeachment of the justices. The state’s attorney general who, presumably, took Constitutional Law in college, said he would appeal the decision. He, and many legislators, are also thinking of repealing the part of the state constitution that prohibits the use of public funds for religious purposes. The only … Continue reading

A Journey to Mississippi

In the summer of 1994 when I was 15 years old my father and I went down to Mississippi to visit my uncle and his daughter; a cousin of mine I had only seen in photos. I was excited and at the same time scared out of my mind to go to Mississippi. I was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. My father’s side of the family is from a small southern town in Alabama called Marion. I went to several family reunions in Alabama and had a great time. The people were nice and acted as if they knew me my whole life. Mississippi however, was a whole other animal in my mind. I had heard the story of … Continue reading

Whoopin’ and a-Hollerin’ for the Plantation Life

  by Walter Brasch   Judge A. Joseph Antanavage, with shotgun in hand, stood before a modified Confederate battle flag, and looked as if he had planned to defend whatever it is that the Confederate flag stands for. But, this wasn’t in the South. This was at a pigeon shoot near Hamburg, Pa. Pennsylvania is not only where the only legal organized pigeon shoots still exist, but where it’s not unusual to see shooters waving the Confederate flag or wearing clothing that features the flag. Pennsylvania is the Keystone state, the state where the Declaration of Independence was written, and the Articles of Confederation approved. It is where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, 1863, four months … Continue reading

Losing the White Democratic in the Deep South

    Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her Senate seat to Republican Bill Cassidy in a runoff election in Louisiana. As of 2015 there will be no white Democratic elected officials in the Deep South at the federal or state level. I lived and worked in Alabama for six years of my life. I’ve also traveled several times to Georgia and Mississippi. Honestly, I love the Deep South. The people are some of the most welcoming, thoughtful people in the world. I interned for the Alabama Democratic Party. I traveled across the state and met some of the most dedicated Democrats, both black and white. In 2008 Barack Obama became this country’s first black President. In my last two years in … Continue reading