Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great People Wanted

Where did the people who once cared disappear to?  When did we as a society lose our interest in making this a great nation?  People once cared about making a difference.

Politicians today are people who are looking for a career.  How many of these politicians are looking to actually care about you during their career?  It starts locally, and unfortunately leads all the way to the White House. 

We as a people need to be more understanding, and have a better more comprehensive understanding of the world that we live in.  People in Northampton County are torn right now over the Gracedale situation.  I am yet to hear numbers presented from both sides of the argument.  When I say that, I mean actual numbers, and not those created for specific agendas.

My favoritism lies solely with the fact of having what we need, for what we can afford.  Many times, people forget about the cost behind the things that they desire.  On every blog that I have seen so far, I have been disheartened to see that very few people actually write about their thoughts or feelings on the matter further than that of a superficial level.  I have seen bashing on certain people and groups, but not any solutions to the problems.  If solutions are provided, they are merely statements without facts to substantiate these claims.  It was my hope that those individuals, who would look to these blogs for a space to express themselves, would indeed actually do just that.

If people do not take the time to do any more than merely read these blogs, then there is absolutely no purpose in these blogs existing.   It is information sharing, but it should not be from just from one person’s point of view.  We as a people, who are deeply committed to accomplishing things so that our children and grandchildren may inherit a life better than ours, will only do so when we decide that is what we actually want to do. 

I only ask that those people who attend this blog start talking more about things that have been presented, or present some of those ideas to me so that I may post them.  After touring many blogs in the Lehigh Valley over the past five days, I became disturbed and have not posted anything.  Nothing of what I have read was anything of substance from those who had authored the statements or opinions. 

Please take the privilege that your parents and grandparents have given you, and author your thoughts on this blog to make a difference in the world that we all share.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wilson Boro Tax Hike

Wilson Boro just announced a plan to raise the real estate tax by a 1/3.  Wilson Boro should be grateful that this tax is not based off how much the bank appraises the house at vs. how much the county does. 

Where did this go wrong?  How does this happen?  Is this because of the sewage money running out this year?  Did they spend it in their general fund and now have no way to offset this?  Why do they not publish their budget online like many local governments do?  It is probably due to the fact that their website has a tremendous amount of misspellings on it. 

Is your local government next?  It is a trickledown effect, is it not?  The federal government goes down, state government follows and now finally our local government.  Where do the cuts get made, and what led to the cuts in the first place?  Fiscal conservation should not be just for a republican to take claim to, but rather a thought that exists on both sides of the aisle.  Democrats create programs that cost more money, but are those programs always needed.

Politicians need to stop being so short sighted and start thinking long term.  Too many times are the people the ones sharing the burden for these mistakes.  Think about this, we send people to office to govern our lives, but those people have the ability to take more money out of our bank account and put it in theirs because they did not know how to spend it.  When you get low in your bank account, you don't have anyone to turn to, but those credit cards.  It's a damn shame.  The flipside is that these politicians can vote on their own raises.  Not to say that all are guilty of doing this in a profitable manner, but look no further than California to see what happened there. 

When does this stop?  How does this stop?  There are no repercussions for these politicians when they decide to make these decisions.  They are in there far too long and the only choice is to vote them out.  Well, most terms are four to six years in most office positions, exception being to the US Representative.  If we the people do not figure this out soon, Wilson Boro will not be an isolated case.  Maybe we as a people need to be more demanding in some areas, and less demanding in other areas.  We can't have everything we want and share no cost in the matter.  If you like the idea of a pool in your community, somebody has to pay for it.  It is no different than the saying that one must live within their means.  Wilson Boro can't compete with the municipalities of Forks, Bethlehem, Palmer and Williams Township.  Utilize the county website to pull the information and compare what those places budget and compare it with that of Wilson Boro.  I can't comprehend the cost of the budget with the other municipalities.  Forks Township publishes theirs online, so everyone can see how large of an area Forks Township is and the budget that they operate off of.  I just don't think 3.8 million dollars is what Wilson Boro needs. 

No business, no growth and no hope in the future for those who live there. You may dream of the Dixie condos, but you better live till 2030 until you can dream of seeing them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bi-County Health Bureau

Alright, I have had enough.  This Bi-County Health Bureau needs to go away.  There is no practical purpose for it to exist anymore.  With all the charting that takes place in the medical field, everything that is being stated as being in favor of the bureau is so off base.  Medical records are all electronic anymore.  The DOH has a process that they utilize at a state level to determine these things.  If an outbreak did occur, the bi-county health bureau will not have any direct involvement.  It is not the same as the Allentown or Bethlehem Health Bureau. 

By the time that a bureau would even be aware of the problem, there would already be a response.  There are so many processes in place that creates such an overlap, that would is being proposed would have no business being funded or advocated for.  With regards to an emergency of sorts that would take place in Northampton County, such as a plane accident, they would not even be there.

If people want to focus on this kind of concept, then they need to focus on the emergency services as a whole.  Since 9/11, there has been funding for them, but not in the ways that you think.  Many of the funding that is available only covers specific training that has no bearing on our geographic location.  New York City has had millions of dollars spent on this training, and they have nothing to show for it.  They still are ill equipped to handle a tragic incident.  It is by no fault on them, but rather the fact that the emergency services have been neglected for far too long. 

People take for granted that their house doesn't catch on fire, or that their loved one doesn't have a heart attack or simply put, that they have an officer that is responding to them for a burglar that is only five minutes away.  Let's use Upper Mt. Bethel or Lower Mt. Bethel for example, they are utilizing the Pennsylvania State Police.  How long does it take for them to respond to these areas in the event of an emergency.  Tom Nervine is right on when he advocates for the betterment of these responses.  We need to focus on what does have an impact on a daily basis, and stop dealing with the what ifs that don't really matter anyway. 

People who advocate for the Bi-County Health Bureau are simply off base.  Take a look into the facts.  It costs money and does nothing to justify it.  I am willing to debate on this matter.  I believe that education will allow for people to be informed on this matter and agree with this at the end of the day.

Hypocrisy and Leverage: What?

When our country was founded, it was founded on the belief that people had representation on the matters that they would become concerned over.  Matters in which they had then entrusted the people they voted into office to handle. 

Does a public opinion poll have the right to dictate policy?  I will preface this writing with the fact that we must trust those who we vote for, only as far as the trust that they have earned allows us to do so.  I am not one for popularity polls because of how distorted a person’s impression becomes.  If I watched Fox News all day, I will have a conservative belief in a poll.  If I watched MSNBC all day, then I would have a more liberal leaning point of view.  People need to understand matters from a neutral and non-agenda related perspective. 
Do politicians have an agenda that benefits them?  I believe they do from the federal level all the way to the local level.  We shall talk about leverage in this section related to both the politician and those who are trying to exploit the politician themselves.  Right now there is a controversial tax package on the floor of the senate, and what makes it so controversial.  Let us leave out the part with the riders and pork spending projects.  That would be too numerous to cover in this blog.  Republicans want taxes to stay the same for all people in American, and not just the poor and middle class people.  Democrats want the rich to be taxed more, so that they can claim an extra forty-two billion dollars to not add to the deficit. 
Watch how leverage works.  Republicans insist that they will not vote for anything less than a total tax package, but will make some concessions in other areas.  Democrats insist that they will not vote for the tax package as it stands now, but will if concessions are made in certain areas.  Here is how this package will get put to the American people from both sides of the aisle.  Democrats get the extension on unemployment and an increase in social security benefit, while the Republicans get the tax package to all Americans as they initially wanted.  Sounds great right. 
What the hell is wrong with us?  Why are we not outraged by this situation?  This is where I will talk about hypocrisy.  All people that are voted into office are there to represent the people.  In this last great stroke of genius by the members of Congress, they utilized all people as the leverage to get what they wanted.  Since when did the people of this great country become leverage?  Politicians shake our hands and kiss our babies only when they run for office.  When do you see them during their term in office?  They can’t be too busy; because they have more vacation in one year than you or I will have in five years.  Why do politicians state that they will be here to defend our liberties in the name of justice, and the pursuit of that unobtainable happiness?  Too many bills, with too many deals, that is where the problem truly exists. 
Did I miss something in history class?  I thought that this great country was founded on the ideals and beliefs of righteousness.  I thought it was a for the people, by the people process in which we held many of the truths to be so self evident.  Apparently we do not see as clearly as we did once before.  We do not appreciate what power we the people have.  How many people have actually read the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence?  I will put them on this blog if people need to read them.  To see the words that were chosen, to feel the passion that was utilized, to be in awe of the greatness that was, how do we get there again. 
We need to start electing people that are truly for us the people.  Only age requirements bar people from ascending to great positions of leadership (exception being the President).  There are no other restrictions barring an individual from aspirations of greatness.  With all this being said, why do we elect career politicians.  Our forefathers did not set this country up in this kind of system.  If they did, why then did George Washington not go past two terms.  Remove FDR from the equation and you have this over the course of all our presidents.  But wait; look at the likes of Strom, Ted and Specter to name a few career politicians.  The positions were never meant to be lifetime jobs, but rather an experience so that the people of this great country could appreciate the process that was, not the one that currently is.  We need to take back our country as our forefathers thought it to be, and it starts with local politics.  You must create a base to operate off of, and then expand upon it.  There is too much corruption in our local politics. 
I will talk about issues in Northampton County, but I want the readers of this blog to understand the impact that they can have as well.  I want you to understand the place that I come from when I write these postings.  My email is posted, so I want you the people to pick the topics that we will have on this blog.  Understand that both sides of the fence will be analyzed so that the reader may make an informed decision. 
Silence Dogood

Monday, December 13, 2010

When did we put Bernie O'Hare on the Ballot?

It is becoming even clearer to me these days that people are more concerned about gossip then reality.  I noticed that people are paying attention to Mr. O'Hare more than anything else on these blogs. 

I will make several statements and then move to my point.  If Mr. O'Hare is a man who has little integrity in your mind because of past transgressions, then what bearing does that have on the situation today.  He no different then you is entitled to an opinion.  It may be distorted in your opinion, but if we do not accept other people and their opinions, then we will be no different then some communist and fascist states.  Again, I will state that even though I disagree with the thoughts that he has, he still does not present in my mind an issue that impacts my life any more than I want it to when I read his blog.

With that being said, we must not let those who infuriate us, ruin the unification process that we need to have.  People are too full of hatred these days to see clearly.  Mr. O'Hare infuriates you because of his opinion.  This goes to my first blog, which stated that too many people take this right for granted.  That is the one to have an opinion.  Mr. O'Hare is not on a ballot, not on a council position, does not hold our lives in his hands, and last but not least, does not force us to go to his website. 

Focus on the issues at hand.  Make the issues about Gracedale and about the Bureau of Health.  Make the issues the ones that truly have an impact on the people, but don't make an issue of ones that are created by hatred.  When hatred prevails, nothing can be accomplished. 

Do not take this as a vote for Mr. O'Hare, but all of you are guilty for continuing to make his status grow.  Put the issues back in the agenda and not the people who support the agenda you fight.

"Keep your mind open and your mouth closed.  This is the path to understanding."  Unknown Author


Silence Dogood

Ron Angle Jr Arrest


I must seriously question intentions and beliefs here.  It is not too often that I would openly defend people that I disagree with, but this case is one of them.  We as a people must concern ourselves with the issues and not with the distorted issues.  I do not have a problem with people posting their personal opinions, but let us keep in mind the point is to come together as one unified front in the pursuit of eliminating corruption in politics.

Whether Ron Angle Jr is guilty in a court of law for the allegations against him, they still have no place in how Ron Angle the County Councilman conducts his politics.  I find it very hard to grasp the concept of him going to Sears in P'burg and scheming against Northampton County residents.  This just seems farfetched.

That brings me to my next point.  We can't accomplish anything from a far right or far left agenda.  We need to be centrists who believe in a common cause.  I do not believe that politician’s families are legitimate places to attack.  I believe that most politicians have enough to be attacked on without involving their family in it.  His son does not create the issues that all of you are passionately concerned with, so why do we attack him for hatred over his father’s tactics. 

If we are going to engage one another, I would hope that we would do so to inform the people on what really matters, and not on whatever easy moment we can distort to your favor.  This will only create a situation of fun and entertainment for a short while, and after it goes away, the problems will still be here.  The same issues that were ignored for fun and humor will be present without any solutions to them.  So in the end, what is actually accomplished by subjecting a politician’s family to this treatment?  In my humble opinion, nothing.

Please don't think that Mr. O'Hare hacked into my computer and wrote this, because that is not the truth.  I say what I believe, and all of you are welcome to do the same.  Even though we might not agree, we still need to communicate with each other. 


Silence Dogood

Government: Does anyone really care?

What would are founding fathers think of this mess that we have created today?  It just didn't start yesterday, but rather has been happening for a long while now.  How did we get here?  The more important question.  How do we get out of here?

Many opinions on what is right and what is wrong; all these present a great boost to the concept of democracy.  It is only when these opinions are silenced that democracy no longer exists.  Even on a small scale level like Northampton County, political agendas are attempting to silence the voice of the people. 

We as the people of this great country can no longer stand by with idle hands and tongues, but rather we must unify our commitment to preserving this country that we love so much.  The Gracedale blog is an example of what can happen when people are unified.  Maybe you don't believe in their specific cause, but you must admit that they did a brilliant job in generating a base and expanding upon it.  They capitalized on a people that is dejected and whom has become disenfranchised with the politics of this area.  My hat is off to those who were able to successfully organize this. 

As for the rest of us, where do we stand.  On what moral ground do we operate from.  Do we who have issues with this political system have any solutions for it?  Ron Angle is believed to be the problem of all problems. I ask you this.  If Ron Angle was not on county council anymore, does this change anything.  In my opinion no, the matters that are at hand today will still be at hand tomorrow.  We must as a people not focus on a person, but rather on a solution.  If voting Ron Angle out of office becomes a solution, then do that, but don't merely object to his ideals because of him.  If he is an enemy of yours, then you must listen to what he has to say so that you learn more about his ways. 

Politics has become not what the people of wanted, but rather what a select few people have decided for us.  Many people in this day have become disconnected with America because they believe that what they feel is too small of a voice to be heard.  On a local level like we have in Northampton County, I believe too, that many people believe that their voice is too small.  My recommendation to you then, is that everyone starts showing up at meetings and becomes more involved.  Share your frustrations, but also share your solutions.  On a local level, the government plays a more crucial role in our day to day lives, but yet we would rather focus on the national politics.  We must divert our attentions from the glits and glamour of the more famous people and focus on what we have here in our immediate backyards. 

You can't request an audience with the President of the United States, the US Senate or the House of Representatives, but you can request an audience with our County Council.  Keep this in mind when you want things to change.  Your voice can be heard on this level, but only if you want it to be.

"Many people in life talk, but very few say anything."  Unknown Author

Respectfully Submitted,

Silence Dogood

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lehigh Valley Ramblings

To All Northampton County Blog Watchers,

I will advise all of you that I have been kicked off the Lehigh Valley Ramblings blog for providing perspective.  Nothing that has been written on this blog is incorrect.  If Bernie would take a look at where I acquired the information on Gracedale, I did so from the county website, so IF I am wrong, then the county is as well.  I figured if anybody would know factual information on a county run home, I would hope it would be our government.

I offered to allow Bernie the opportunity to debate me in an open forum such as our blogs, but he chose to delete my posting so that it did not interfere with his agenda.  It is ashame that a man who states that he is about doing this together, since we are all in this together, would simply take down my post of offering mutual respect for our opinions.  It is ashame that Bernie is not what he says he is.  This is simply why I put this blog together.  I want this to be a place where all people can talk freely about their feelings on matters.  It is ashame that Bernie does not have the same committments.  That is why over a period of time, he will no longer have people other than those that simply abuse him on his website. 

Bernie, the offer still stands though, I have no problem with debating you in either of our blogs on any matter that you or I am passionate about.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hot Topic: Gracedale Nursing Home

I want people to way in on this matter.  This is one of the hottest topics in Northampton County at this time.  I want to see what people think, because I am not sure I know where all the members of County Council stand on this matter.  I am going to provide some information here to get this started.  The following information comes from the county website.  I believe that you will find the "Purpose" section to be confusing and contradictory. 

I will have a follow up post to this later, but wanted to get moving on this conversation since it will be determined in a very short time as to what the county is doing.  Anyone from Gracedale itself is more than encouraged to weigh in on this matter, so that we could have some internal opinions on the matter. 



Gracedale's origins go back to 1873 when the Northampton County Commissioners purchased the 365 acre farm from the Moravians. In 1951 the Moravian Church of America gave permission to use "Gracedale", the English translation "Gnadenthal", the name given to the original farm established in 1745. Originally the Northampton County Home was designed as dormitory facilities, and the "guest" could come and go as they pleased. Medical services and nursing facilities provided were minimal. The operation of Gracedale has changed significantly over the years.

What Is Gracedale

Gracedale is a county-owned and operated nursing home which is part of the Department of Human Services, and is one of the largest facilities in Pennsylvania. The Gracedale facility is licensed to provide long term nursing care to residents appropriate to their individual needs. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurses aides provide services under the direction of in-house physicians. Gracedale is administered by a Pennsylvania licensed nursing home administrator.


The purpose of Gracedale is to provide quality nursing care in public facility. Gracedale is geared to meet the total needs of the adult resident who cannot be maintained in the community, despite appropriate assistance from multiple agencies. Those who lack the necessary resources for private nursing homes are a priority here. Provisions are made for medical, recreational, emotional, and spiritual needs.

This is Your Blog

People need to understand these days that they have a voice, and that they should use it.  With that being said though, people have jobs that their personal opinions may conflict with.  The reason this blog is anonymous is because of the potential for job loss based on personal opinion.  I am proud of my opinions on all matters that I believe in. 

As you see with me, I am anonymous and I will not take down postings that are anonymous and attack me or this blog.  See, this is the great thing about America.  I have a freedom of opening this blog, and I also have the choice not to have censorship be apart of this.  If someone wants to attack this blog or the author of this blog, I am completely fine with it, because you are simply voicing your opinion. 

Engaging one another will be the purpose of this blog.  I want to see people challenge not only the positions of me the author, but also those who take the time to enter their own postings.  It will take those who enter this blog to spread the site around to others so that this blog can be a location of information.  A place where people can come without fear of stating their beliefs that maybe contrary to others and not have to worry about being persecuted for it.  With everything that is going on these days, people need to understand that this country lives through the people and not anybody else. 

People of this great country have lived as simpletons for far too long, and have been pushed too far by the government itself.  We must take this frustration and put it to good use.  I don't want this blog to be a waste of time or of thoughts either.  The cause that we must stand for is that of truth and integrity.  At this time, I don't believe either of this are present on our Northampton County Council.  People may disagree with that, but I am willing to have that debate, even if that means with BO. 

"People will never be defined by the thoughts that consumed their life, but only those thoughts in which they were courageous enough to act upon."  Unknown Author

Friday, December 10, 2010

Politicians We Vote For

Northampton County Council

District 1-City of Bethlehem, Hellertown and Hanover-Ann McHale, Democrat

District 2-Easton, Forks, Glendon, Palmer, Stockertown, Tatamy, West Easton, Wilson and
Williams-Michael Dowd, Republican

Distric 3-Allen, Bath, Bethlehem Township, East Allen, Freemansburg, Lower Nazareth, Lower Saucon, Nazareth, North Catasaqua and Northampton-Lamont McClure, Democrat

District 4-Bangor, Bushkill, Chapman, East Bangor, Lehigh, Lower Mt. Bethel, Moore, Pen Argyl, Plainfield, Portland, Roseto, Upper Mt. Bethel, Upper Nazareth, Walnutport, Washington, Wind Gap- Ron Angle, Republican

At Large Council Members-Margaret Ferraro, John Cuisick, Thomas Dietrich, Bruce Gilbert, Barbara Thierry

State Representatives and Senators

Patrick M Browne, Republican for the 16th Senatorial District

Lisa Boscola, Democrat for the 18th Senatorial District

Rob Wonderling, Republican for the 24th Senatorial District

Jame Rhoades, Republican for the 29th Senatorial District

Karen D Beyer, Republican for the 131st District

Joseph Brennan, Democrat for the 133rd District

Steve Samuelson, Democrat for the 135th District

Robert Freeman, Democrat for the 136th District

Richard Grucela, Democrat for the 137th District

Craig Dally, Republican for the 138th District

Julie Harhart, Republican for the 183rd District

These are the way the current politicians are set up.  These will be updated any time that there is a change.  In some of these cases, that will happen shortly.  The intent of this posting is to get people to understand who is controlling their lives.  If we don't know who is representing us, how can we possibly change the way in which they represent us.

What is Wrong with Politics?

This blog is meant to be a forum for constructive debate.  There will not be an agenda pushed from the host of the blog itself, but rather it will give you information so that you the people may have a forum to debate one another on.  The information here in will be accurate and educational, rather than fabricated and fictional. 

The problem with politics these days are the agenda of the people who are in office.  The blog will talk about many levels of politics from the federal level, state level, county level and local level matters.  We will heavily focus on local level politics or those that involve Northampton County.  Again, we will not push an agenda other than that of informing you the people of what you need to know in order to make a better educated opinion on a matter.  We will post all party responses, whether it be Republican, Democrat, Independent, Tea Party or any other party affiliation. 

This blog will not stop anybody from making comments at anytime regardless of opinion.  You may attack us or other people, but we would ask that you do so in a constructive manner.  Nothing will get accomplished by not listening or not being able to communicate with each other.  If a response has utilized profanity, the post will be edited to remove those profanities, but then placed back on the blog. You the people have the control to say what you want, and how you want it to be said.  You are also responsible for holding this blog to it's word on being focused on the issues rather than an agenda.