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Pastors vs. same-sex marriage, the Bergdahl-Taliban trade, taxes in Pittsburgh and more ...

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The Bergdahl brouhaha

The local Two Political Junkies blog offers this take on the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prisoner trade under the headline, “Tracking teh Crazy”: “From infowars … ‘Libertarian pundit and and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano has called for the impeachment of the president over the Taliban prisoner release, stating that he has aided the release of the worst terrorists in the world.’

“Never mind that, according to this interview at Foxnews, John Berger, former adviser to President George W. Bush (who, let’s remember, used signing statements to get away with an actual impeachable offense — torture), says:

“ ‘I’m not saying this is clearly an easy choice, but frankly I think a Republican, a president of either party, Republican or Democratic, confronted with this opportunity to get back Sgt. Bergdahl, who is apparently in failing health, would have taken this opportunity to do this. I think we would have made the same decision in the Bush administration.’ ”

Don’t do it, Pittsburgh

The Allegheny Institute: “Say it isn’t so. The city says it will be $7 million short of the revenue needed for next year’s budget and is being advised by the Act 47 team to look at a tax hike, specifically a property tax boost. This is the same Act 47 team that last year told the city and the governor it was time to end their oversight. Too bad the same players are back after blowing that call and recommending more foolishness. …

“[Among other things], the city should be looking aggressively at outsourcing more of its work and downsizing its costs. The mayor should adopt the advice we gave last December. Institute an absolute hiring freeze in which no one gets hired without the express written consent of the Mayor.

“Tax hike? Nonsense. In a nearly $500 million budget, there have to be plenty of places to cut spending by $7 million without doing harm to service delivery.”

Spying then, spying now

James Surowiecki in The New Yorker writes about the economic espionage charges brought in Pittsburgh against members of the Chinese military. Attorney General Eric Holder, he notes, said stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies enabled China to “illegally sabotage” foreign competitors and propel its own companies to “success in the international marketplace.”

Mr. Surowiecki comments: “The United States should know. That’s pretty much how we got our start as a manufacturing power, too.

“ ‘The United States emerged as the world’s industrial leader by illicitly appropriating mechanical and scientific innovations from Europe,’ the historian Doron Ben-Atar observes in his book ‘Trade Secrets.’ Throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries, American industrial spies roamed the British Isles, seeking not just new machines but skilled workers who could run and maintain those machines.

“One of these artisans was Samuel Slater, often called ‘the father of the American industrial revolution.’ He emigrated here in 1789, posing as a farmhand and bringing with him an intimate knowledge of the Arkwright spinning frames that had transformed textile production in England, and he set up the first water-powered textile mill in the U.S.”

One judge’s arrogance

Sam Rohrer president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, in a news release last week bemoaning the decision of Judge John Jones to allow same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision not to appeal the ruling:

“Let’s be clear, this ruling was made by one man . . . unelected and unaccountable. Politically appointed, never facing the voters and never answering to the press, many people in this position, when unrestrained by moral truth, perceive themselves to be above the law. Indeed, their arrogance makes them appear as if they think they are God.

“Judge Jones’ arrogant statement with which he concluded his opinion that laws such as the PA DOMA law should be ‘discarded into the ash heap of history’ because ‘we are better people than these laws represent’ affirms the conclusion that his ruling was born of aggressive ideological elitism, not of law. …

“Rather than defending moral truth and God’s institution of marriage and family, this judge disparaged the very concept of family and defamed every person who believes in traditional marriage by saying that we are an inferior people.”

Compiled by Greg Victor(gvictor@post-gazette.com)


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