Well, folks – I just read the “Amish taxis” stories and my eyes are heavy and my heart is sad.Do they just reprint the exact same story once or twice a year?When in doubt – run an Amish taxi story.Oh my.Who cares?I’m so depressed I will have to keep this very short today – I need to buy aspirin and a good paper to ease my troubled head and heart.
Today there is just a quick update on three items.Artie See continues to add Grayisms to www.grayisms.blogspot.com.Please send him your contributions.There must be hundreds out there by now. I really think this could become historic.Hey Artie, in today’s Intell article, “Slots plan unravels,” they quote Mayor Gray saying, “It seemed like a bad bet from the beginning…”That man cracks me up.Is that worthy of being listed as an official “Grayism?”
DAN’S THE MAN
“Justice” moves slowly in Lancaster.Dan Messimer, the “cable guy” is still waiting for his court date in his appeal of the deviant trespassing conviction on former Mayor Smithgall’s property.I’ll have an update on Dan shortly.
LET ME IN!
Several days ago I took you to the State Attorney General’s “Media Room” on his website which is here.As I told you, I requested “media access.”In fact, I had to second request my request for media access.This is the reply I received:
“Thank you for your interest in the Attorney General's Media Room.
The Media Room is currently under construction, but will be available shortly. You will receive a user name, password and instructions when the system is operational.
Hmmm.Do you think they’re messing with me?Do you think some reporters have access?What could be in there?I will keep digging until I find the truth.Please, oh please, let me in!
PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW – HOPEFULLY THE HORROR OF THE AMISH TAXIS STORIES WILL HAVE SUBSIDED!
COWARDICE & ART
INDEPENDENT POLLING INSTITUTE
I failed to provide a link with yesterday’s article regarding the Quinnipiac University Poll showing Rendell with a 48 to 36 percent lead over Swann.The link is here.I spoke to Jane, the Institute’s secretary, by phone this morning.She said they are an “independent polling institute” and are not paid by any parties for the polls they conduct.She said the polls are conducted by a part-time staff of interviewers which includes both students and non-students.She said the average phone time for a poll is about five minutes.
As you can see, the University conducts polls in Pennsylvania frequently.The poll immediately prior to this one was conducted on February 13, 2006 and the preview states, “Voters Lean to Pro-Choice Side of Abortion Debate.”If you click into that poll you will find the following:
~ 17 percent who say abortion should be legal in all cases;
~ 36 percent who say abortion should be legal in most cases;
~ 25 percent who say abortion should be illegal in most cases;
~ 16 percent who say abortion should be illegal in all cases.
A PREGNANT SILENCE
Which leads me to Jeff Hawkes horribly headlined column in yesterday’s Intell, “After abortion, a pregnant silence is broken.”The only comment posted under the column (click here) is, “This article is confusing me.”It confuses me as well.What is his point?Is he discussing the environment or abortion?The speaker apparently went in two diverse directions and Hawkes does the exact same thing.And Hawkes never expresses an opinion and he takes the coward’s way out in his last sentence - “But Steingraber is right to seek common ground and to make clear the connection between environmental protection and protection of the unborn.”
One key quote from the speaker, Sandra Steingraber, in his column is this:“’Interestingly enough,’ Steingraber said, ‘one by one members of my immediate family came to me and told me stories about their own abortions.It turns out that almost every woman in my family has had an abortion, some without the protection of Roe v. Wade, such as my own adoptive mother, who didn’t know she could get pregnant.’”
I don’t believe she is unique.In fact, I think a majority of women in their thirties and older would say the same – maybe not about their own families - but certainly about themselves and their friends.And that’s why these women will never allow abortion to become illegal.And it’s why Swann and other pro-life candidates can not and will not win.
WHO’S A COWARD NOW?
Yesterday, I provided a link to www.uncleansweep.com.Hawkes writes about it in his column today, “New Web site fails to tarnish Diamond’s shine” (click here).He tells us that the Harrisburg Patriot-News discovered the owner of the site is a Bob Nye of Elizabethtown.Hawkes gets on his high horse today and ends with, “As for Nye, he’s free to smear the guy [Russ Diamond from www.pacleansweep.com]. But until his name goes on his Web site, he’s a coward.”Put a lid on it, Hawkes.You’re a coward.Nye is listed as the owner now.Agreed, two days ago the registrant of the site was shown as “Domains by Proxy” which is used to hide a website owners’ identities (click here).But today, if you put his site in a “Whois” lookup, Bob Nye’s name does come up.It should be a “fun” site to watch and I hope to have a phone interview with him at a later date.Maybe the two sweep sites will get into a war of words!One can only hope.
PAY YOUR BILLS
Very quickly, please check the dead-on Talkback below yesterday’s New Era story, “Dream of arts mecca shattering” (click here).Why is this news, let alone front page news? Apparently, someone at the paper just wanted an excuse to run the photograph of the tower of red glass.This guy sounds like a con-artist not an artist. I love this quote, “Blythe insisted that if he is forced to leave, ‘everybody loses’ and nobody gets paid.”He hasn’t paid anyone to date.Is that a joke?Pay your bills, pal.Nobody feels sorry for you.Go blow your horn and glass someplace else.
PLEASE CHECK BACK THIS WEEKEND. I’LL TAKE A LOOK AT THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S INVESTIGATION INTO COUNTYCORONER GARY KIRCHNER AND THE INTELL AND MUCH MORE!
MADONNA’S SWANN SONG
Where's Swann? Where's your beak?
TAKE ANOTHER POLL
Six days ago the New Era ran the story “Swann catches Rendell.” The article said, “The race is now a statistical dead-heat, according to Franklin & MarshallCollege’s latest Keystone Poll, released this morning. 'Either candidate can win this election,' said poll director G. Terry Madonna.”
“HARRISBURG – Democratic Gov. Rendell holds a double-digit lead over former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann, his only Republican challenger, according to an independent poll released yesterday.…”QuinnipiacUniversity’s new poll showed Rendell leading Swann 48 percent to 36 percent.The polling was conducted between Feb. 8 and Monday, during a stretch in which Swann was often in the news.”
That is from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer story, “Rendell leads over former Steeler.”
So, who is right and who is wrong?My guess is the F&M poll is “wrong.” The link to their poll is here.And I have to disagree with Madonna’s statement that either candidate can win.Technically, of course, that is true.But in this race there simply is no question who will win the election.Ed Rendell is going to win.Would you care to place a bet, Mr. Madonna?What happened with your poll, Mr. Madonna?
A front page headline also in today’s Inquirer is, “Swann sat out on most election days.”The article begins, “When Lynn Swann votes for himself in the May Republican primary, it will be a rare springtime trip to the polls.Despite once saying that the right to vote should never be taken for granted, Swann missed 20 of the state’s 36 elections in the last 18 years – including 13 of his party’s primaries, records show.”
JOHNNY BE GOOD
Speaking of swans, doesn’t Ron Harper of www.5thestate.com look good in the picture above?(The Photoshop credit goes to Buck Jackson of Talkback).The Talkbackers are having a field day with U.S. Olympic skater Johnny Weir.It’s in good fun, people.Relax.My son saw him being interviewed and I can’t print his comments.He also saw him skate and said it was “awesome.”
There may be a hint to Weir’s personality in yesterday’s New Era article, “’Go Johnny Go!’” (click here).His mother is quoted as follows, “’The pizza is great here,’ she said.‘And I had some homemade pasta that just rocked my world.’”Hmmm.Well, her son is rocking the world in a number of ways.The men’s figure-skating final starts today at and you can get results at a number of places, one is here – www.philly.com/sports. Go Johnny Go!
I’m out of time – but it was only a matter of time until someone started www.uncleansweep.com. What a hoot!I’ll take a look at that tomorrow and much, much more.
~ Davido Should Not Be On Death-Row ~
APRIL 11 EXECUTION
WILL NOT HAPPEN
“None,” was Attorney Merrill Spahn’s response to my question by phone this morning as to the odds of Tedor Davido being executed on April 11, 2006.“He has a multitude of appeals,” he said.Spahn said the only way he could theoretically be executed on April 11 is if Davido were to forgo all possible appeals and he said he found that “very unlikely.”
Deputy Public Defender Spahn and Assistant Public Defender James Gratton were Davido’s attorneys in his murder trial in 2001.They no longer represent him.Spahn said his defense is now most likely being handled by the Capital Unit of Federal Appeals based in Philadelphia.
There are many, many serious problems with this being a death penalty case.
To begin with, I am going to take you to two recent, “similar” incidents in which the men involved were not even charged with attempted homicide. And, they were very “lucky” that their victims survived.
One was only two weeks ago. On February 1, 2006 the Intell had this story, “Man accused of 2nd attack on ex-girlfriend.” (Click here.)Akeem Washington, for the second time in less than a month, seriously assaulted his ex-girlfriend and this time was trying to kill her.The article says, “Police say Washington sliced Perez's throat with a knife, leaving a 3-inch cut.”
Was Washington charged with attempted homicide?No. He was charged with, “aggravated assault, burglary, simple assault, terroristic threats, tampering with or fabricating evidence and intimidation of a victim.”
If this woman had died he would have been charged with murder.Would he get the death penalty?
The second story is here – “Woman critically hurt in beating” from the New Era on September 5, 2005.The article is in archives but the opening sentence is still there for you to read, “A 36-year-old Green Street man viciously beat his girlfriend with a small baseball bat early today and then threw the woman onto the street, rendering her unconscious, city police said.”The article goes on to say she was in critical condition at LancasterGeneralHospital.
Steven Morgan, the perpetrator, did this in front of witnesses.The article says, “Several witnesses saw Morgan chase the woman down the 500 block of Green Street at about today, Bernot [Police Officer Phil Bernot] said.When Morgan caught up with the woman, he struck her about four or five times on the head with a 16-inch wooden mini-bat, police said.As the woman lay on her back, Morgan grabbed her by the front of her shirt and slammed her back and head down onto the street, the officer was told.”
Was Morgan charged with attempted homicide?No.According to the article, he was charged with, “aggravated assault (domestic violence) and resisting arrest.”
If this woman had died he would have been charged with murder.Would he get the death penalty?
Today’s Intell article on Davido, “Lancaster city man is slated for execution,” (click here) says he “repeatedly refused to cooperate with his attorneys, Assistant Public Defender James Gratton and Deputy Defender Merrill Spahn.Against their advice, Davido took the stand in his own defense.”
That doesn’t mean he should get the death penalty.
There is another very disturbing side to this story as relayed in the same article.It says, “First Assistant District Attorney Heidi Eakin told jurors Davido had been arrested three years before Taylor’s murder for an unrelated violent crime.In 1997, Davido was arrested for attempted murder, kidnapping, rape and weapons violations, Eakin said.He served 2 years in an Ohio prison on a reduced charge of assault and was paroled in 2000.”
There is something terribly wrong in that information.If Eakin told his jurors he was arrested for attempted murder, kidnapping, rape and weapons violations then why did he only serve 2 years?Were the jurors made aware of the final court sentence and what crimes he was actually convicted of? Or were they only told what he was initially “arrested for”?He only served two years.This was highly incendiary and untruthful information that was provided to the jury.
The death penalty in this case was arbitrary and groundless, based on erroneous information from the District Attorney’s Office.This man should not be facing execution.Yes, his crime was horrific.Unfortunately, there are a lot of horrific crimes.The two mentioned above in this article were horrific and yet neither of those men were even charged with attempted homicide.Davido’s case is not a death penalty case.He should not be on death-row.
I will follow-up with the appeals unit mentioned in Philadelphia and I will have more on this story at a later date.