"What's black and white and read all over?"

Monday, September 04, 2006
Posted 10:36 PM by

Labor pains

Is this our future once again when baby boomers break the stock market of our war-mortgaged country and cause a deep recession, if not the first depression of the new century?It's 10:30 p.m. and I've been up since 4 a.m. because I had to work today - marking the third major holiday of the summer I've done my job instead of being able to sleep late.

So, forgive me if I cut this one short tonight and simply ask you to re-read the Labor Day rant I wrote three years ago for my now-defunct "Pave the grass" column.

Nothing much has changed since then, unless you count baby boomers getting ready to crash the stock market - and my 401(k) - by yanking their money out in preparation for their retirements.

There are a few things on the Web worth reading, though, in today's holiday-abbreviated newspapers.

The Scranton Times-Tribune did a nice profile piece on blogger Chris Lilik, of the Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania.

I was especially tickled to read a quote in it from liberal activist Eric Epstein, who said, "The problem for Democrats is they have no Chris counterpart."

As a less-than-loyal liberal Democrat, I think the party needs to reexamine its policies, platform and priorities if it hopes to capture the minds of today's youth.

Menwhile, Chris and I have e-mailed occasionally and have found common ground on both last year's legislative pay raise and slots gambling in Pennsylvania.

Unlike party true believers, we both think ethics should transcend politics.

In fact, if you want a glimpse of Pennsylvania's future you need only look at today's Atlantic City Press, which featured a lovely article detailing that city's past 20 years of political corruption.

The Press also wrote an interesting piece about a group already planning the recall of Mayor Bob Levy after less than a year in office.

Of course, reform movements in New Jersey politics seem to die quickly, which is probably why municipal judge J.R. Powell is able to serve that function in 11 different towns and collect nearly $187,000 a year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 52-year-old magistrate's paychecks, which total $186,404, qualify him for an estimated $74,000 yearly pension from the state when he turns 60.

As Mel Brooks might say, it's good to be the judge.

While reforming public employee pensions is being considered, more New Jersey residents are actually clamoring for changing the way the state funds schools.

I say good luck with that. Pennsylvania tried it this year and wound up hiking taxes on renters and legitimizing slot machine gambling just to give the average homeowner a $200 break. This after most districts raised their property taxes by more than that on July 1.

Finally, I'll leave you on a good note.

The Allentown Morning Call's Road Warrior column today dispels the myth that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission uses EZPass and toll card entrance and exit cards to determine if a motorist was speeding and should get a ticket.

There's no provision in Pennsylvania law allowing the Turnpike Commission, the state police or anyone else to enforce speed restrictions in this manner, Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo told the newspaper.

"All we do is operate a toll road," DeFebo said.

And judging from my post yesterday, "Pa. polls selling us out," they don't do a very job at that.

Happy motoring.


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