About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, August 21, 2017

DaVinci To Pitch $130MM Aquarium to Public

DaVinci Science Center is taking its case to the public. The Allentown-based science museum will pitch its plans for a proposed $130 million aquarium, to be located in Easton, at four town halls over the next two weeks. These forums, all of them located in Northampton County, have been designed so that the public can learn more about the project, and offer feedback.

The town halls are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, August 23, 7 pm, at Northeast Middle School in Bethlehem;
Thursday, August 24, 7 pm, at George Wolf Elementary School in Bath;
Tuesday, August 29, 7 pm, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bangor; and
Thursday, August 31, 7 pm, at Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton.

Three of the locations for this $130 million project are schools where a large number of students are eligible for free or reduced lunches (Paxinosa - 72%, Northeast Middle School - 72.5%, and George Wolf Elementary - 23%). George Wolf Elementary is located in Bath, which claims it is so broke it is unable to afford a police department. In Bangor, 15.7% of the population is below the poverty level.

According to Da Vinci Executive Director Lin Erickson, its proposed Science City will bring education, tourism and economic development to Northampton County.

Easton Has Committed $30 million 

It has chosen the Easton Days Inn, located near the junction of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers. That will be demolished and replaced with a 170,000 sq ft facility that includes a science center, a 500,000 gallon aquarium with large view panes, an Aquarium Restaurant and event center with seating for 500, an immersion theater, a creativity studio or "Fab lab," classrooms and offices.

One drawback of this site is its limited parking. Another, as Erickson herself noted, is that it is located in the flood plain. From time to time, it is itself an aquarium.

Its accessibility to Routes 22 and 78, as well as its proximity to New Jersey, are positive factor. But the biggest would have to be funding was also a major factor. "Mayor Panto stepped up with a commitment unlike any of the other cities," acknowledged Erickson.

Easton has agreed to contribute up to $30 million of the projected $130 million cost. Its population as of 2016 is 26,978, so that comes out to $1,112 per Easton resident. Nearly a third of its population is below the poverty level. Only half of its homes are owner-occupied. But  the City has an A-plus credit rating.

Previously, Mayor Sal Panto had hoped to enhance tourism with a national high school hall of fame. But that idea went nowhere.

Northampton County has committed $50,000

What about Northampton County?

Northampton County has contributed $50,000 in hotel taxes to help fund a $1.2 million feasibility study.

In February, Northampton County Council said No to a request for an additional $50,000. "When Jeffrey Parks came here, and wanted money for [Artsquest], he had all this stuff done already," noted Ken Kraft, who represents the Bethlehem district on Council. "I think it's really premature to throw money at a pipe dream. ... You keep coming back to the trough and I say No." Council President John Cusick shared Ken Kraft's concerns. "The taxpayers need to hold onto their wallets," he warned.

By June, Erickson reported that two-thirds of the $1.2 million funding needed for a feasibility study had been committed.

At the same time, DaVinci representatives have been quietly meeting individually with Council members.

They now want $5 million in hotel taxes.

DaVinci Hires Architect Despite Lack of Feasibility Study

Though no feasibility study has been done, DaVinci has also selected an architect  - San Francisco's EHDD. In a letter to Council members, she declines to name this firm. And then she names EHDD in a glossy brochure.

She fails to explain how an architect can be hired before it is known whether the project is even feasible.

Based on a comparison with the Chattanooga Aquarium, Erickson has previously projected that Easton's Da Vinci Center will draw 600,000 visitors annually. It will create $45 million in economic development, provide jobs for 200 people and generate $7 million in local tax revenue.

Chattanooga (528,000) is much larger than Easton (27,000), but Erickson noted that the population within a 50-mile radius of the Lehigh Valley is 7.1 million, seven times that of a 50-mile radius around the Tennessee site.

In its 20-year history, the Chattanooga Aquarium has attracted 18 million visitors, and hotel taxes in that area have increased 500%.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

Romney: Authoritarian Donald Trump Needs to Apologize

From Mitt Romney's Facebook page: I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president's Charlottesville statements. Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.

The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president's words. Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces--made up and sustained by men and women of all races--could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?

In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?

The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis--who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat--and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.

This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country.

How Do You Feel About Confederate Statues?

I deleted a number of comments in yesterday's post about Authoritarian Donald Trump's attempt to create a false equivalency between KKK and neo-Nazis on the one hand, and liberal counter protesters on the other. Most of them were arguments about whether we really need to tear Confederate statues. Some people feel they have historical significance. Others may have ancestors who fought for the south in the Civil War. They complain that it's unfair to judge these men by today's standards, and ask where it ends. Should we tear down the Washington monument because he owned slaves? Should we destroy statues in honor of Ulysses S Grant, who once stopped a train to eject every Jew who was on board?

Here's how I feel. I think these are primarily local, not national, decisions. People who live in New Orleans or Charlottesville understand their communities better than I and are entitled to deference. Also, it matters when a Confederate memorial was built. The sculptures in New Orleans and Charlottesville existed long before the Civil Rights movement, while the monuments in Baltimore were built right after WWII, during a time of racial unrest.  

I'd prefer to see statues to Christopher Columbus destroyed. He was a monster who practiced genocide and was so brutal to native Americans that Spanish locked him in chains.

I'd prefer to see Allentown, which is named after a Tory who would have hung George Washington if he could, renamed.

But these are primarily local decisions. I don't consider Allentown residents to be secret British spies, and understand that most Italians honor Christopher Columbus because they share a common heritage.

Brown Has Some Good Financial News for NorCo and Gracedale

John Brown
Although he usually passes when given the opportunity to speak, Northampton County Executive John Brown gave a brief report to Council at their August 17 meeting. He had good news and even better news.

First, he advised Council that the annual payment the County must set aside for worker's compensation claims has been decreased sharply, from $9 million to just $6 million. This means an additional $3 million will go into the general fund next year.

Second, he predicted that Gracedale should finish this year in the black, making it the second year in a row that the county's nursing home has actually made money. He cautioned that nothing is certain at this point and added that the money earned this year should be a little less than last year, when the facility closed the books with about $800,000.

In addition to Brown's good news, Gracedale Administrator Raymond Soto reported that Gracedale's Medicare rating is now two stars, thanks to an increase to two stars in its rating for "quality measures," which is resident care. This rating means the nursing home is "below average" as opposed to "much below average."

Raymond Soto, Premier's Administrator at Gracedale, had predicted to Council last month that the overall rating would stay at one star until next year.

This quality measures rating has increased as administrators have begun phasing in a new protocol that reduces the use of psychotropic drugs, which are often criticized as chemical restraints.

Dean Browning
In other business, Council welcomed former Lehigh County Commissioner Dean Browning, who told them a story about Juan Francisco López-Sánchez. He had been deported from the United States five times, but kept returning. He had seven felony convictions. He had just been released from prison in San Francisco, which refused to honor a request (called a detainer) by federal authorities to continue holding him.

After his release, Sánchez fired a stolen gun three times in the vicinity of Pier 14, a popular tourist destination. One of these bullets hit Kate Steinlein the back, puncturing her aorta. She died two hours later.

Kate's Law is a bill that increase the penalties for illegal aliens who commit crimes in this country after having been deported.

This bill has passed in the House with bipartisan support. Locally, both Congressman Charlie Dent and Matt Cartwright supported this measure.

Another bill, the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act," has also passed the House with the support of both local Congressmen. This measure takes aim at what are known as sanctuary cities. First, it requires an annual list of all jurisdictions that refuse to assist federal authorities with the removal of undocumented immigrants who commit crimes. Second, it removes any legal liability imposed on local jails that honor federal detainers. Third, it provides a private right of action against municipalities that refuse to follow federal immigration law.

Both of these bills are now in the Senate. Browning asked Council to adopt a resolution affirming support for these measures.

Hayden Phillips has agreed to sponsor this resolution.

Browning is still in Easton, by the way. Formerly an intellectual, he joined the tea party and has regressed. He now can only turn right and is stuck in the Easton Circle. Hopefully, Hayden Phillips will pull him out of there before he turns into a Democrat.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

USA Today: Feds Have 87% Conviction Rate in Local Political Corruption Cases

USA Today has a fascinating story on the federal investigation of political corruption. Though the story's focus is a federal investigation of political corruption in Tallahassee, it makes several observations that are directly relevant to the Fed Ed prosecution.

First, despite claims that the FBI's main focus is elsewhere, "Public corruption is the FBI’s chief criminal investigative priority and is something it does very well."

Second, when it comes to public corruption, its conviction rate is 87%.
"From 1996 to 2015, U.S. Attorney offices charged 5,411 local officials with public corruption crimes, earning 4,699 convictions, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The investigation in Tallahassee is one of roughly 5,000 the FBI launched from roughly 2012 to 2016 concerning allegations of public corruption, election crimes or government fraud."
Third, "Local governments are more vulnerable to corruption ... because there are fewer eyes watching. Payments typically don’t need to go through the same approval process required at the state and federal level."

Fourth, local pols are cheap dates. "Bribes can take the form of 'street currency' — dinners and sports tickets. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, prosecutors said all it took for Mayor Ed Pawlowski to dole out a city contract was a steak dinner, campaign contributions and tickets to a Philadelphia Eagles playoff game."

NorCo Sheriffs Have A Rich History


In Pennsylvania, where elected sheriffs are the rule, the guy who wins the election is usually one of the biggest tavern owners. Northampton County is one of the very few counties in which the Sheriff is appointed. Having seen them both, my view is that appointed Sheriffs tend to be far more professional, if only because the courts are given a voice in the selection process.But I'd prefer to see the appointments run for a staggered term of five or ten years to minimize the politics.

Northampton County has quite an interesting history when it comes to the Sheriff's office. As I've told you before, Deputy Sheriff Nathan Ogden was the first American law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty, back in 1771.

Sheriff Dave Dalrymple has managed to put together a complete list of the 71 individuals who have been Northampton County Sheriff since 1752.

Marmaduke McMichael was a Lieutenant during the War of 1812. We even have a Samuel Adams. But instead of brewing beer, he made steel and then became a gentleman farmer.

Trump and Charlottesville: Reaction of Local Exec Candidates

How do our County Executive candidates, in both Lehigh and Northampton County, feel about Donald Trump's assertion that there are "very fine people, on both sides," in connection with the tragedy in Charlottesville. I have responses from three of the four candidates:

Phillips Armstrong, Lehigh County Exec Candidate: "I condemn the violence and racism that was on display in Charlottesville this past weekend, and I say unequivocally that Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan are always in the wrong. I don't believe it takes more than a minute to see that. I believe it is time to move beyond the divisions and supremacist groups in this country and to move forward as one team - Americans."

Brad Osborne, Lehigh County Exec Candidate: ""President Trump's condemnation of white supremacy and racial bigotry made this past weekend is the correct moral response to the events that took place in Charlottesville. There is no room to equivocate from this condemnation.

I also believe that the diversity of Lehigh County residents is one of our greatest strengths, and I look forward to working with leaders of all races and backgrounds as county executive."

Lamont McClure, NorCo Exec candidate: "The Nazis and White Nationalists are solely responsible for the violence in Charlottesville. Any other point of view, is an attempt to normalize the odious, outdated, discredited and repugnant beliefs they spew. If I'm elected County Executive, our people can be confident that all people, no matter their sex, religion, race, ethnicity or national origin, will be treated by their county government with the dignity and respect that they are due by virtue of their Humanity."

John Brown, NorCo Exec candidate: No response.

Fire Marshal Doubts Arson in Warehouse Blaze

Bethlehem Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal Craig Baer has issued a statement downplaying the possibility of arson in the August 10 blaze at a Bethlehem warehouse being built at 3419 Commerce Center Boulevard. The property is owned by Majestic Realty, and is located next to a Walmart distribution center. No one was injured.

Baer has determined that the fire originated while the final roof surface was being installed. This involves the use of a highly flammable adhesive. "The vapors from this adhesive were likely ignited by one of multiple ignition sources on the roof," said Baer. "There is no evidence available at this time to indicate that this fire was intentionally set."

Baer cautions that his investigation is active and ongoing, and that a final fire cause is still pending. Any person who feels they may have valid information regarding this fire can contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 610-865-7143.

Bethlehem Response To Charlottesville? Holding Hands, Prayer


Over the weekend, as the 34th Musikfest came to an end, Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio had just one word to describe it - "Great!" Over the 10-day festival, over 1.2 million people visited the Christmas City. Only 36 people were arrested, mostly for public drunkenness. But 309 miles away in Charlottesville, Va., a  "Unite the Right"  rally ended in tragedy. Three people are dead. Dozens more are injured. A President first said "both sides" are to blame, then blamed white supremacists and the KKK, and finally returned to saying that "both sides" are responsible.

How did Bethlehem respond?

By holding hands. By praying.

That's what happened Tuesday afternoon at a 5 pm rally called by civil rights champion Esther Lee, who is also President of Bethlehem's NAACP. Nearly 60 people attended. They included clergymen, Bethlehem City officials and the Sierra Club's Don Miles.

"We here in Bethlehem condemn acts of hatred and are deeply saddened by the loss of life," said Mayor Bob Donchez. "We need to show those who divide us that we will not be divided. ... Tonight we are one with Charlottesville and its citizens."

Police Chief Mark DiLuzio stated we have devolved into a nation of "name callers." He said his father is probably "rolling over in his grave at the sight of American citizens giving a Nazi salute."n His father a WWII vet,is one of the 43,000 allied soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach because he did not want Nazism to come to the United States. "Well, Dad, it isn't coming here," asserted Chief DiLuzio. He said people throughout the nation are rising up to say, "We will not stand for or agree with your hatred and prejudice."

Speaking for the Sierra Club, Don Miles read a statement stating that the white supremacists are not patriots, but "vile and unacceptable racists preaching hatred and division that stands in opposition to the values of equality and justice." He added that "those who spew white supremacy feel empowered now when they see allies in the corridors of power."

Rev. Anthony Pompa, Dean and Rector of Cathedral Church of the Nativity,  said that, in the end, "it's all about love. If it's not about love, it's not about God."

Cordelia Miller, Bethlehem NAACP Vice President, said her family came to this country in the bottom of slave ships,"chained together like animals. Someone wants to tell me to go back to the good old days. What good old days?" Holding the American flag in her hand, she said, "This flags stands for something, or it should."

Esther Lee noted that Trump is the people's representative, and was puzzled that he did not immediately condemn the racism."I am very concerned about what he has not said," she observed.

Text of Mayor Donchez' remarks:

Our nation has had a long and difficult history dealing with white supremacy, racism, bigotry, and intolerance. Our founding fathers declared “that all men are created equal,” and it took much conflict and bloodshed over almost 250 years to live up to that. And yet, have we? Once again, we are gathered together to condemn the shocking violence in Charlottesville and the vile ideology behind it.

This kind of thinking and behavior have no place in America or anywhere in the world. We in Bethlehem condemn acts of hatred, and are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries suffered in Charlottesville. We stand with Mayor Signer and everyone in his city with hope and prayers for a return to a more peaceful time. We also stand together here in Bethlehem, supporting all our brothers and sisters in this show of unity and strength as a community.

We need to show those who would divide us that we will not be divided, we will stand here together as a sign of unity not division. The hatred that comes with racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and intolerance, will not be condoned or supported here in Bethlehem or anywhere else for that matter. We are one. Our anger and abhorrence against those who would hate us, must be converted to something more positive – to hope, to faith and to love. To quote Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Tonight, we show solidarity, not only for Charlottesville victims, but also for Bethlehem and for the Lehigh Valley. Tonight, we are one with Charlottesville and its citizens. Tonight, we need to lock arms across the many lines and boundaries of difference and commit ourselves to unity. Tonight, we must be tolerant of all that makes up our city, our region and our country – Black and White, Latino and Asian, rural and urban, poor and rich, gay and straight, male, female and transgender. Tonight, across the entire spectrum of all that is America we need to achieve social and economic justice and equality for all.

The politics of division and hate must end and they must end now.

To quote John F. Kennedy, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis, maintain their, neutrality.” This is indeed, a time of great moral crisis, and we can no longer say, it doesn’t affect me - because it does. Thank you.

Portions of Esther Lee's remarks:

I was appalled as the President of these United States Donald Trump had great difficulty in condemning the acts of the KKK and white supremacists. I watched as he skirted the issue.

It is so hard to believe that the  President of these United States had to be shamed into delivering his condemnation ... .

***

We know that hate is alive in this area as there are signs daily in individuals who enjoy sharing their racist views by carrying the Confederate flag or wearing the sign of hate.".

(Blogger's Note: This story was delayed a day so it could appear in The Bethlehem Press first.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Judge Sanchez Schedules Fed Ed's Trial For January

United States District Judge Juan R. Sánchez has granted a government motion for a January 16 trial in the federal political corruption prosecution of Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski. The trial will take place in Allentown.

In a scheduling order on Monday, Judge Sánchez ordered the government to provide all discovery to which Fed Ed and his fellow Defendants are entitled, on or before September 15. Pretrial motions are due on or before November 9, and if a hearing is needed, that will occur on November 28. The judge has also scheduled a final pretrial conference on January 4. That is typically when plea agreements are reached.

In his final paragraph, Judge Sánchez warns, "No requests for a continuance shall be granted."

Trump: "Very Fine People, on Both Sides"



These storm troopers arrived in the dead of night, carrying torches. The next day it was weapons and armor. But this was not Hitler's SS. These were American citizens, saluting each other with "Heil Trump!" and decrying Jews. "They were very fine people, on both sides," said Authoritarian Donald Trump.

"These people want violence,and the right is just meeting market demand," said a white supremacist at the end of this clip.

Why Bethlehem's Proposed LERTA is a Bad Idea

You can read why in today's Bethlehem Press.

Bethlehem Police Chief on Charlottesville




Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio said his father, a WWII vet, would be rolling over in his grave at the sight of American citizens,in Charlottesville, giving each other the Nazi salute. He made these remarks at a rally yesterday at Payrow Plaza, attended by nearly 60 people. My full story will appear in The Bethlehem Press today.

Bethlehem Police Chief Has One Word for Musifest - Great!

Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio told Bethlehem City Council last night that if he had to sum up Musikfest with just one word, that word would be "Great!"

Of the 1.2 million who attended this year's Musikfest, Bethlehem police made just 36 arrests. This is well below the 49 arrest average over the past 13 years. It amounts to 0.0036% per 1 million people.

Of those arrested, only 12 were Bethlehem residents.

The biggest crime, as you may have guessed, was public drunkenness. Thirteen people had a bit too much to drink. But there were only two underage drinkers.

Chief DiLuzio noted that his officer provide a visible uniformed police presence throughout Musikfest. They are on foot,on bikes and on horseback.In fact, the mounted troop has become one of the festival's biggest attractions. He also thanked the departments of other communities, who provide K-9 and other kinds of assistance.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trump Tweets Train Running Into CNN Reporter


Just three days after Heather Heyer was run down and killed by a neo Nazi, Authoritarian Donald Trump tweeted an image of a "Trump train" running down a CNN reporter. For those of you who wonder why I think he's bad for this country this is why. This totally insensitive gesture demonstrates scary views about the rights to a free press and gives yet another wink-and-nod to the KKK and other white supremacist hate groups.  

Fed Ed's Graffiti Artist

I debated whether to write anything at all about Allentown Fed Ed's newest cheerleader, especially since he appears to be an attention-seeker. But I decided to fill you in. His name is John-Luke Laube. After some of his more recent publicity stunts, he might want to change that to John-Luke Labotomy. He's the fellow who was charged recently with disorderly conduct and malicious mischief after deciding to paint mostly pro Fed Ed messages on the windows of several businesses. These include The Morning Call, PPL Center, Miller Symphony Hall, Billy's Diner and Starbucks. His crime, if you can call it a crime, was caught on video by Naomi Winch.

Most of us first became aware of John-Luke Labotomy late last week, when he popped up on Facebook to proclaim that "Ed Pawlowski is Innocent." He promised to prove it, too, on Friday night at 7 pm. But that never happened.

His argument essentially is that because "Allentown is on the rise," it necessarily follows that Fed Ed is innocent. This, of course, is an illogical argument. But it's a favorite among Mayors. Criticism of Mayor Sal Panto's use of false names to praise himself on social media has been equated with criticism of Easton. In Nazareth, where a Mayor was skimming from the poker machines, the wagons circled and the Mayor suddenly became Mr. Nazareth.

Though the argument was bad, I was impressed by John-Luke Labotomy's Clickable Click website. It definitely is eye-catching, and he is succinct while sounding sincere. But I was troubled by some things. He lists locations in Paris, New York and Kentucky. He lists a Paris address that is actually a four-story apartment building. He actually just registered his webpage from his home in Emmaus in June of this year. So his claim of multiple locations is a bit far-fetched.

He may have traveled in his young life, but actually lives with his parents in Emmaus.

The next thing that bothers me about John-Luke Labotomy is his LinkedIn profile claim that he's a product of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In truth, he has no degree. He claims to have a "certification" for entrepreneurship, but all that's involved there is a four-week course lasting one or two hours per week. His real education appears to be a stint at Lehigh County Community College. He also claims to be certified as a "Platinum Multimedia Artist" by Lehigh Career Technical Institute, but I was unable to find anything like that on their website.

John-Luke has denied that he is working for Fed Ed in any way, either personally or through his various names. Fed Ed has been even more clear. "Mr. Laube is in no way shape or form employed by me or my campaign," says a Mayor indicted for, among other things, lying to the FBI.

Their claim is flatly contradicted by Yoseph Basrawi, who at one time worked with John-Luke.

Basrawi claims that last week, he ran into John-Luke at the Starbucks in Allentown. John Luke claimed he is working on Fed Ed's campaign, and even demonstrated that he has administration privileges on Fed Ed's Facebook page.

Yesterday, I repeatedly asked John-Luke to explain this relationship, telling him I had information there was one. He declined. John-Luke has played fast and loose with the truth about nearly everything. Fed Ed is himself accused of making false statements to the FBI. So there is little doubt in my mind that John-Luke is working Fed Ed's campaign, either as a volunteer or for money.

What John-Luke is doing is marketing himself and trying to appear attractive to local businesses.

I suspect he picked a lousy way to achieve that goal.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ron Angle's Cows -1, Suki - 0

This dog can jump out of a Ranger, and fortunately,
can jump back in. 
From time to time, my grandson and his mother go away for a weekend at the beach or for some basketball camp. When that happens, I usually watch their dog Suki. She's what is called a Jack-a-Poo, half Jack Russell Terrier and half Toy Poodle. As someone once explained to me, they are the Captain Danger of Designer Dogs. Sweet, but highly energetic and mischievous. Last night, she finally met her match - a herd of angry cows.

Ron Angle invited me to his farm for a delicious Sunday night dinner of prime rib, baked potatoes and sweet corn. When I told him I was dog sitting, he told me to bring her, too. So that is how Suki paid her first visit ever to a farm.

Dat's mother treats Suki as though she is a foo foo dog. She ties bows in her fur and dresses her in sweaters. But she is all dog. She likes being with me, not just because I spoil her and feed her the same crap I eat, but because I take her on lots of walks and, in wooded areas, will let her chase rabbits, squirrels and groundhogs.

Suki thought she could chase these calves. 
Dat's mother always instructs me not to let her off the leash, especially after an incident with a skunk a few years ago. I always promise. I always break my promise.

A night on the farm was a real treat for her. She was in hunting mode the entire time, chasing down cats, squirrels and rabbits. But the real excitement started when Ron went to water his cows. Suki wanted to come, and jumped into the Ranger with us.

Ron's herd includes four calves. As we got closer to them, Suki got excited and jumped out to chase the calves.

Big mistake.

The cows decided to chase her, but they weren't playing. They are a lot faster than they look. And they were pissed. Suki was pretty much fenced in, so she was running the way Dat used to run when he played football - for her life. She was faster than them, and has so many juke moves she could return kicks for the Eagles. But the cows were faster than Ron's Ranger, which was bogged down by the mud. When she'd get close, they'd tear after her. Eventually, Suki spotted a gap between the cows and the Ranger and jumped. She missed the first time because I dropped her, and the cows continued to give chase. Ron was able to pull her when she tried a second time. Angry cows bounced against the Ranger as they continued to look for her. They actually were smelling the ground for signs of her for some time after we had already left.

Suki will start driving Ranger next time. 
After witnessing this, I think it's safe to say that a herd of cows can handle a coyote.

After this close call, Ron's Ranger passed by a creek. Suki jumped right in.

She needed to cool off.

Eventually, she was full of mud, the bow in her fur was gone and she chased all of Ron's cats into a barn. Then she went after a rabbit.

She was having a blast.

She usually likes women better than men, but after Ron scooped her up, she periodically would walk up and start licking him. Well, he is the Northampton County Bulldog.

As the evening ended, Suki did not want to get in my car. But she fell asleep the moment she got in

Oh, and she had prime rib.

Daily Stormer Loves Trump's Charlottesville Remarks

Donald Trump summed up the weekend violence in Charlottesville by saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country.” Many of his critics pounced on his failure to condemn specifically the white supremacists as a wink and a nod to some of his most strident supporters. I was prepared to discount that, but as reported in The Washington Post, the white supremacists loved his tepid condemnation.

“No condemnation at all,” the Daily Stormer wrote. “When asked to condemn, [Trump] just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

Just as he coyly refused to condemn David Duke on the campaign trail, he now refuses to condemn the white supremacist movement. He leaves it to others to explain.

No explanation necessary.