Category: Year in review



As 2015 winds down we find ourselves looking forward to 2016. So much has happened this past year but here at ATCMC there have been huge changes as well. First and foremost we relocated our offices back to our hometown. It was a much needed change and we also streamlined our staff to improve efficiency. Many creative changes were made and we no longer go through a 3rd party for approval of a post. Now we can just sit down and let it fly, so to speak.

So today, as I sat at my computer deciding on a post, I poured a glass of Boones Farm wine, and put Mot the Hoople on the 8-Track player. I figured that I could tackle so many subjects because it has been such an eventful year. I just decided to keep it simple. I wanted to end the year quietly and calmly. I saw no reason for a flourish. We here at ATCMC have been pretty preoccupied with court dates and other things that the creative juices have remained untapped.

 

govwolf2

Governor Tom Wolf

There is still no budget in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but never fear, our state lawmakers got their raises and welfare remains just as strong as ever. Those pesky things like Education, Social Security and other silly things will just have to wait for the petulance to end. I mean how important are those last 2 I mentioned? Geeze, if our State Lawmakers can’t get paid and get their cost of living raises, how could we ever expect them to function for those who elected them?

 

heidnik001

Condemned killer Gary Heidnik

There is still a moratorium on executions in the Commonwealth as well. I agree. It is better to spend the money to house them and maintain the special living conditions then to carry out the sentence. Now, before I go any further I will once again state my position on the Death Penalty. I believe that if you are going to carry it on the books then you should use it. However, the last execution in the Commonwealth was in 1999 when Gary Heidnik was execute by lethal injection.

 

My feeling is that it is ridiculous to ceremoniously sentence someone to death with no intention of carrying out the sentence. Not to mention, there is an increased cost in housing a death row inmate. Let’s just concede the fact that Pennsylvania will never perform another execution and just remove the law from the books, change the sentencing guidelines and save the taxpayers of Pennsylvania a little money. I know, it does sound crazy.

 

We could continue, but I figured I’d stay close to home. I mean, where would I start? Benghazi is still in the forefront, the federal government is trying to disarm it’s citizens while supplying weaponry to less-than-friendlies. We can’t take care of our own homeless, including our veterans, but we will open our borders to anyone and everyone. I mean, how does it make sense to fine your citizens for not having healthcare but the program itself has driven up costs to the point that companies have had to lay off to meet the requirements?

 

I pray each night before I lay my head down on my Star Wars sheets that 2016 will be better than 2015. I know for us here at ATCMC we are delving into new areas with Fatt Katt Video Production as well as continuing to write posts here. We made some really good changes this year with staffing so we are looking forward to some great things. As always we thank all of our readers and promise a little more production in 2016.

 

We also pray for our troops still fighting overseas and hope at some point we stop playing the world’s police and take care of our own backyard first. I know my opinions are unpopular with some but those of you who really know me know I am apolitical with no real views on much. I just like to speak, sometimes with no filter. If I have offended anyone I’m sorry. Sorry you don’t have thicker skin. Sorry, I have also vowed this year to be a little kinder.

 

No matter how things shake out for the rest of the year, it is almost over. 2016 is a chance for some of us to hit the reset button and get a fresh start. I look forward to the new friendships I have made over the past year, the old friends I have reconnected with and, if I can steal a line from a 90’s song, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades…” From all of us here at ATCMC, have a great New Year, stay safe and let’s end the hate. Some people thrive on making others miserable. Geeze, and they call me crazy.

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2012 is just about here. As 2011 fades into the sunset we remember some of the more memorable events of the past year. Some were shocking, some were discouraging and some I just have no words for at all. Be that as it may, this is my rundown of some of the more memorable events of the past year.

Penn State and Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky

Joe Paterno

This was a story involving the sexual abuse of about 8 kids that not only involved Sandusky but ended up costing several key figures at Penn State their jobs. One of the most prominent was head football coach Joe Paterno. Many felt that Paterno didn’t do enough once he was made aware of the alleged sexual abuse involving Sandusky. After the scandal broke more and more young adults came forward claiming to have been sexually abused by Sandusky. Since the beginning of this entire debacle many students have been transferring from Penn State to complete their degree elsewhere because they no longer want to have any ties to PSU.

Gary Shultz

Mike McQueary

Also shit-canned and now facing charges along with Sandusky are Gary Shultz and then coaching assistant Mike McQueary. McQueary, as you may recall, allegedly saw Sandusky assaulting a juvenile in the shower and according to him said that he made sure the event was ended before leaving. Yeah right. Did you remove that child from the situation? No. You left him there and didn’t really do much to report it. You saw that child and the fear in his eyes and you chose to protect your job. Just as Joe Paterno chose to protect the football program, your actions harmed more children. You deserve to rot in hell like every other goddamn child molester. I hope it’s hot enough for you there.

South Fulton Tennessee Pay for Spray

Gene Cranick

Vicky Bell

After as much media attention as the South Fulton Tennessee fire department received last year after letting Gene Cranick’s house burn to the ground when he forgot to pay a $75 fire protection fee, they went ahead and did it again this year. The difference this time was the fact that Vicky Bell refused to pay it, she didn’t forget. The Mayor, David Crocker defends the 20-year-old policy by stating that if they allowed people to pay after the fact, there would be no incentive to pay the fee at all. Okay, I understand your thinking, but this isn’t garbage service we are talking about here, this is public safety. I fail to see how charging residents who live outside of South Fulton makes you right. The Mayor said that it is hard to answer all the calls and maintain the upkeep on equipment and staffing without the fee. Really? There are departments that have been doing it for years and years. Most feel it is like being extorted by your fire department. My suggestion is simple. If it is so hard to respond to those pesky calls for help, give up the area and let another department handle the area, one that isn’t hung up on money, one that is hung up on saving lives and property.

"The Don" David Crocker

The International Association of Fire Fighters thinks that the practice is reckless. They feel that a fire fighter shouldn’t have to check a list before they respond to a call to see if the home owner has paid the fee or not. It just astounds me that no one has stepped in and made South Fulton change their policy. It further astounds me that there have been no law suits. When Vicky Bell’s home burnt to the ground, the fire department stood idly by and watched as she and her boyfriend kept going back in to salvage as much as they could. Mayor Dave Crocker said that even in an instance where the home owner hasn’t paid the fee, they will do what they need to do to protect or save a life. Sounds like it. Why don’t you and the rest of your gun-toting, red neck fire fighters, (and I use that term fire fighters loosely), stick to rolling tourists or beating up old ladies for their pension checks. Leave the fire fighting to those who actually care about fighting fires.

Kate Gosselin

Kate "The Coopin Blogger" Gosselin

I had done a pretty good job staying away from this poor excuse for a human being this year but I have to admit, when her show got cancelled I actually smiled a little. We watched her abuse her eight kid gravy train for years so she could get her personal enhancement surgeries. Even though she swore she was still doing the show to make money to care for her kids. Right and chickens have pyorrhea. We all know that she loved the fame and attention but as the show drew to a close those around her the most, including assistants and those who actually took care of her kids, were getting sick of her. She abused everyone around her. It was an inevitable conclusion to the woman who made Marge Schott look like Julie Andrews.

As a footnote to all of this, it was reported a few months ago that she had a new job; as a coupon blogger. I have no idea what the eff that is but it sounds like it was the laziest job she could get. Why didn’t she return to being a nurse, you know a job that actually meant something. Oh, that’s right she would have to go through life anonymous if she did that. Is it really that hard to take care of your kids? I don’t know what a coupon blogger is and frankly don’t want to. I mean who would actually take her advice, if that is what she does. In my opinion she got too greedy and ended up where she deserved. Hopefully her ex-hubby is around to take care of the kids and give them what they need while she is coupon blogging.

Suspensions, Fines and All-Around Poor Sports

Ndumkong Suh

This year in sports has seen some of the worst sportsmanship ever from those so-called professionals. First and foremost on the list is Ndumkong Suh of the Detroit Lions. He was the first recipient of the ATCMC Sports Disgrace of the Year award given for the first time this year. He was tossed from the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers and was subsequently suspended for 2 games and fined following that for stomping an offensive lineman from the Packers. [See Video] He tried to give some unbelievable half-assed story for what he did but it still doesn’t wash. [See Video] After being in the league for a mere 18 months he has racked up 9 personal fouls. Detroit better get him under control soon before he really hurts someone with his poor attitude.

Kyle Busch

Kurt and Kyle Busch from NASCAR are the next two on my list of sports miscreants. Both have received big sanctions from the NASCAR governing body for their on and off track behavior. Kyle Busch was suspended during the fall race in Texas for an on-track dust-up with Ron Hornady. Both drivers were racing in the truck event Friday night when they touched and both drivers went in to the retaining wall sustaining what looked like minor damage. Kyle Busch though was apparently angered by Hornaday’s decision to move up the track to pass a slower truck causing Honaday and Busch to touch. Busch’s reaction was to slam Hornaday’s truck causing both drivers to slam the wall totaling both trucks and taking them out for the rest of the race. [See Video] Busch was registered for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races there the following two days but was suspended for his actions. He was also fined and docked championship points. His primary sponsor M&M/Mars also pulled out for the remaining two races of the 2011 season.

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch was fired from Penske Racing following an expletive laced interview with ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch after the elder Busch Brother sustained transmission problems in the season finale at Miami/Homestead. [See Video] He even went as far as to call Dr. Punch a mother blankedy blanker. His crew chief Steve Addington jumped ship the following Monday and Busch was fired later in the week. Busch claims that the split was unanimous and that he was not fired. He said he felt it was time they parted ways. Well yeah, he’s done all the more damage he can there. Anyone with half a brain knows he was shit-canned and rightfully so. I wonder if he kisses his mother with that potty mouth of his. It is a shame that these idols that kids look up to and admire don’t meet the minimum standards of good sportsmanship and fair play.

The Castle Doctrine and The Death Penalty

Governor Tom Corbet

New Governor Tom Corbet re-worked the Castle Doctrine this past year and it has already affected two pending cases since that time. For those of you who don’t know what this doctrine is about, I’ll give you the very abridged version. Basically what it means is if someone is trying to break in and threaten your home, you have the right to use lethal force. It was changed to include living space as an attached deck or porch. A man in Somerset County was in jail awaiting trial for shooting his wife’s lover when the man came to his house threatening him. He was carrying a weapon and the husband shot him with a bow and arrow killing him. The husband said it was in self-defense and under the Castle Doctrine he did nothing wrong so no charges were filed by the DA. Another case comes from New Castle in Lawrence County where a would-be burglar was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day by the owner of a home he was attempting to unlawfully enter. No charges were filed in that case either. The Castle Doctrine is a step in the right direction to allowing us to protect our homes and family.

There is also a bipartisan task force being formed by the State Senate to look over the Death Penalty. In 2007 a panel from the American Bar Association said that Pennsylvania’s death penalty is flawed with insufficient safeguards to protect the innocent and avoid racial or economic bias. The last person executed in Pennsylvania was in 1998. That was the infamous mass murderer Gary Heidnik from Philadelphia. In fact in the last 50 years there have only been 3 people put to death. Governor Corbet has signed upwards of 9 ceremonial death warrants since taking office in January. I am not opposed to the death penalty but I also believe if we are not going to use it then we need to get rid of it. What purpose is served by spending the extra money for a death penalty trial as opposed to a 1st degree murder trial then not execute someone. It is nothing more that a waste of money. Can the death penalty if you are not going to use it. It harms the families of the victims as well. They are forced to live with the notion that the life of the killer was more valuable and meaningful than the life of the victim.

Craig Morgan, Jeff Gordon and Bret Kiesel

Craig and Karen Morgan

Kiesel before and after

I did a small entry earlier in the year on how some celebrities do small things to help a larger group and I found that to them, all they had to do was something so simple that many didn’t notice it at all. Craig Morgan and his wife started Billy’s Place. It is a home for kids displaced from their homes in Dickson County Tennessee to go to when they need shelter. When he worked as a deputy sheriff he saw many kids having to sleep on cots or couches at children’s services until a foster home could be found. He decided if he was ever in the position to do something for them he would. Now that he is a successful country music singer he and his wife Karen have given back. He also holds charity rides every year to continue raising money for the project.

Jeff Gordon teamed with AARP for the 2011 racing season to raise money for a program to assist older Americans. It was called the Drive to End Hunger. Gordon said that he was shocked when he learned that there are a lot of elder people in our country that, through no fault of their own, just don’t have enough to eat. By driving his car every week he helped raise thousands of dollars for this program.

Bret “The Diesel” Kiesel was able to raise over $30,000 this past year by shaving off his famous beard. Kiesel is involved in many charitable organizations and is never afraid to help out in some way. The fundraiser was attended by hundreds including some of his past and present team mates.

Strikes and Ballroom Dancing

The past year has seen a lot from the Pittsburgh Steelers. After suffering a loss in Super Bowl 42 to the Green Bay Packers, the Black and Gold along with every other team in the NFL had a shortened pre-season due to the players strike. Once everything was all worked out the training camps were cut short but the only game that was lost was the Hall of Fame Game in Canton Ohio. Now the Steelers are waiting for the end of week 17 and the outcome of several games to find out whom and when they will play. If they beat Cleveland on New Years day and the Ravens lose to Cincinnati then the Steelers have a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bengals also need to win on Sunday to be in the playoffs at all. If the Steelers and Ravens both win, the Ravens will win the AFC North with home field advantage. In that case the Steelers would either play the Broncos or the Raiders the following Sunday. Either way the Black and Gold are in the playoffs and hopefully the road to win their 7th Super Bowl.

Hines and Troy cuttin' a rug

Steelers Troy Polamalu, Bret Kiesel and Hines Ward took part in a Head and Shoulders commercial in the off-season. [See Video] Troy is already the well-known spokesman for the shampoo but during the shooting for the commercial Hines Ward took some time out to show both Troy and Bret some steps. The whole thing was caught on a flip cam blew up you tube. [See Video]. It was nice to see the lighter side of these guys and the fact that they have a sense of humor too. If you remember, in Troy’s first Head and Shoulders commercial he introduced us to Polamalacules, the things that make Head and Shoulders work so well.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehn, Adieu

As 2011 closes hopefully we can look back and remember the good things from this year. Let’s go in to 2012 with a positive outlook for all things to improve. We all need to remember that the future is ours and we can make it anything we want. I almost forgot one of the Biggest stories of the year and that is combat operations are over in Iraq and almost all of the soldiers have returned home to their loved ones. The staff at ATCMC wishes all of you a safe, happy and prosperous 2011. God Bless.

It's on the way


"Mmmm, chocolate cake!"

Has it been a year already? Hard to believe this all began on a whim. My uncle Duff had actually been writing a blog for several years and my mom and her sisters started writing one as well. I always commented on their pages and my uncle and I would have some good debates back and forth. After one particularly intense exchange my uncle suggested I pen my own blog. I thought about it and decided against it because I didn’t think I had the time.

Then one day I was at work reading the intranet and there was an article about mandatory life sentences handed out to juveniles. As I look back, it was rough and heavy-handed. There were a lot of facts and quotes but it flowed like a constipated truck driver. Not to mention it lacked my flair and sarcasm.  Then I took on the blossoming of new  casinos across the country prompting some states to scramble for new ways to increase the State’s revenue.

As the year wore on I began to get my flow and I picked up speed. Football season started and Pittsburgh’s James Harrison became the poster child for fines and penalties for rough hitting. By the middle of October I seemed to hit my stride. I found something that was easy to write about and to allow my sarcasm to run rampant. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has opened the floodgates for every blogger. He is as much fun to rail on as is Sarah Palin, Kate Gosselin and Casey Anthony. Between these four mental midgets, they have provided probably a third of the entries I have posted here. “Thanks guys! Keep up the good work!”

When Richard Poplawski went on trial I wrote several entries on his story and followed it from beginning to end. The trial for the first member of  the Greensburg 6 was followed as well. Sports though has been the major subject. From the Little League World Series to Demolition Derbies,  I like writing about sports and those heroes that make them tick. Family and friends have been subjects here as well as stupidity. I abhor stupidity probably more than anything else in the world. People make mistakes every day, I myself included. Stupidity is something else. I think we all know what I mean. We have all seen it.

I have also learned that it is better to forgo posting an entry then to post crap. One of my favorite entries was about the famous people from Western Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania as well. I did a lot of research but also found that most of my readers knew I was in search of a topic so I wrote that. I liked it but they were right. Anyhow, as I finish this blog so I can go eat some cake and drink some Thunderbird, I thought I would leave you with some actual facts and figures. In the past year I have written 101 entries counting today’s. There have been 20 different categories and 44 posted comments. There have been 9,885 visits since our inception. Our busiest day was July 12th when there were 140 visits. This was the day of one of my posts on Casey Anthony. So to break it down a little further it looks like I averaged 823.75 visits a month and 27.5 visits a day. While that is not the case, because some days I don’t see double-digit visits and some of the posts are spam so they are deleted.

What started out as basically an answer to a challenge, has become so much more. I have heard from people who read my blog at work and they say they look for my entries when something happens that they are interested in. Some of the things that go on are serious but you need to try infuse some humor whenever possible. I thank all of you for our first year and look forward to serving you for many more.

Peace!


It has been an eventful year and that’s just since I began this blog in August.  I tried to think of some of the more interesting stories and even blogs I wrote.  Some things I didn’t cover but I still want to mention them now.  I hope you enjoy my year in review.

Steven Slater

Steven Slater; Before his meltdown

On August 9th, 2010, Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater had a melt down on a flight from Pittsburgh International to JFK in New York.  According to reports, Slater had a run-in with a passenger and Slater demanded an apology, which of course he didn’t get.  After touch down, Slater grabbed the PA system and unleashed a string of expletives that would have embarrassed any sailor.  He grabbed two beers, deployed the emergency chute then took off to his apartment in Queens where he was subsequently arrested.  After all was said and done he reached an agreement with Jet Blue in which he agreed to pay them $10,000 to avoid jail time.  He also was required to pay for his counseling.

He became a cult hero for the working class and I’m still trying to figure it out as I was then.  This guy is a douche bag and could have seriously injured someone when he deployed the emergency chute.  As I said when I blogged this story in August, this guy is not a hero.  All of us have had jobs where we wanted to lay in to someone but you don’t because whether it’s McDonald’s or UPMC, you are expected to be a professional.  The sympathy for Steven Slater is a lot of what’s wrong with this country.  Some people feel that he spoke for a lot of frustrated blue-collar workers.  Hold on a minute, I needed to blow my nose with my sympathy for Steven Slater.  He is a menace to society.  He should have gone to jail.  All this has done is show that if you have the money you can get away with anything.

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw, Former Steeler QB

On opening day of the NFL, Terry Bradshaw took a few minutes to blast Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger for his recent accusations and behavior as of late.  See related video.  He was none too pleased with Ben’s attitude and his invincible mind-set.  Ben was lucky nothing came of his little run-in with the 5-0 in Georgia when he was accused of raping a college girl.  Bradshaw was one of the best QB’s in the 70’s and had he not blown out his rotator cuff in the early 80’s he might have won another Super Bowl or two.  He also managed to do all of this without any legal entanglements.  I got a comment from a loyal reader who said that Bradshaw never made waves with those that “Buttered his bread.”

With the regular season just about over Roethlisberger seems to be behaving himself.  Hopefully it continues and he can lead the Steelers to another super bowl.  I must admit however, it’s been nice to see Big Ben getting his ass tagged once in a while.  He has certainly been on the turf a good bit this year and he missed the first four games from his suspension.  His team mates feel that the league is protecting other quarter backs but not Roethlisberger and I must agree.  If you are going to protect one, you must protect them all.  Big Ben has had a lot to learn this year but there is still another off-season so we will see how much he has learned.

Porn Presentation at Local High School

Students at Norwin Senior High School were supposed to be  watching a presentation on blood donation and community service by the Central Blood Bank in Pittsburgh.  Instead they were subjected to several homosexual pornographic images. Eeww.  It was investigated by the North Huntingdon Twp police department and the County Detectives.  Somehow after all was said and done the District Attorney John Peck didn’t feel that charges needed to be filed.  I am just as confused now as I was then.  How could you not file charges?  He was suspended by Central Blood Bank for violating their policies.  He exposes juveniles to pornography and there are no charges?

Local attorney, Peter (the Hammer) Payne, sorry I couldn’t resist, is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the students and parents of those involved in the incident.  The COO of Central Blood Bank didn’t have much to say.  I mean he didn’t even say, “Oops.”  The Blood Bank is being very tight-lipped over the incident even still.  First, l it was reprehensible that it occurred at all, but the fact that the only thing those students took away from the presentation was that it was gay pornography is even more abhorrent.  Let’s take care of our kids and fix the problems.  Maybe Westmoreland County DA Peck needs reminded that his job is about protecting people as well as handling high-profile cases.

Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin Shows her "Mother of The Year" guidebook

Kate Gosselin, our favorite to knock Donna Reed out of the top spot of “Greatest Mother Of All Time,” spent some time under the microscope this past year.  It all began earlier in the year during one episode of her show, you know, the one where she mistreats her kids for an hour.  Anyhow, they were on one of their TLC funded vacations which involved them going out on a fishing boat.  Ten minutes into the trip all of the kids became seasick.  Vomit rained from the heavens and there wasn’t a clean spot on any of the kids’ clothing because Kate didn’t pack a change of clothes for them.  I’m sure it was the damn production assistants’ fault.  Anyhow, the captain asked her is she wanted to turn around and head back.  Kate’s reply was, “No.”  I mean, why wouldn’t it be?  If you actually do what’s best for your kids then you don’t have a show and can’t get boob jobs and face lifts and all that crap.  You know, the stuff she does for the kids.

Then in October, two of her kids, Colin and Alexis were suspended from their Lancaster Elementary School for Hitting and Bullying another child.  No, Really?  I wonder where they learned that.  I’m sure it couldn’t be from their Barbra Billingsly-esq, Saint of a mother.  They never saw her bully anyone, not even her ex-husband Jon Gosselin.  He has actually been pleading with her to stop taping the show and focus on the kids.  Some say it’s jealousy because he is no longer on the show.  Others say it’s because he is truly worried about the kids.  There are several web pages are out there and the comments posted about Kate are not flattering.  Of the hundreds of comments I read, at least 85% of them think Kate sucks as a mother and should focus on her kids, not the show.  Well if you blithering idiots stop watching the show, they won’t have one…Duh!

Tennessee Fire Department let’s house burn to ground

South Fulton FD watches house burn 9-29-2010

On September 29, 2010 Gene Cranick watched his house burn to the ground.  Not because of lack of water or the fire having too big a head start but because the South Fulton Tennessee Fire Department refused to respond.  See related video The problem is that Cranick’s house lies outside the South Fulton city limits.  Okay, I know it’s still hard to see the problem.  Well, South Fulton has a $75  fire protection fee for those who don’t live in the city.  Gene Cranick didn’t pay it.  “I just plain forgot,” he said in an interview later.  The fire department responded and did protect the neighbor’s house, he did pay, but watched Cranick’s burn to the ground killing his two dogs in the process.  City and Fire officials defend their action.  Cranick pleaded with dispatchers that he would pay whatever it took for the Fire Department to respond but they refused.

I thought it was inexcusable then and I think it is now.  Since when is a fire department in business to make money?  There are many problems a volunteer fire or ambulance department faces.  One of the biggest is membership.  Sometimes they don’t have enough people to respond to calls.  Another big problem is money.  Paid departments, like South Fulton, have money in a budget for them, volunteers don’t.  If South Fulton is hurting for money, host a bingo or spaghetti dinner, don’t force people to pay or you won’t respond.  It amounts to a mafia protection racket.  Mismanagement is another problem.  Fire departments spend money on toys for their chief officers like personal vehicles and other things, then beg their fire protection district for monetary donations every year.  They also might refuse to assist another department because of personality conflicts in the past.  You know, the whole, “You broke my GI Joe and I’m still pissed.”   However, all of these volunteer departments still respond whether you paid or not.  South Fulton needs to stop being a mafioso organization and do what they are there for.  Protection of life and property.

Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church

Mental whack Job Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka Kansas.  They have been protesting the military funerals throughout the country.  They feel that the US Military promotes homosexuality.  Really?  Hmm.  They carry signs that read “God loves dead soldiers” and “God hates fags” and so on and so forth.  They have cases in front of the Supreme Court now regarding the constitutionality of their activities.  Several families feel that the asshole protesters are taking away their right to grieve privately and they are removing the sanctity of a funeral.  I have to agree.  Phelps interprets the first amendment to suit his needs.  I think it is disgusting.

While these guys are protesting soldiers who have paid the ultimate price, they are forgetting the fact that they are creating a huge problem.  Eventually somewhere someone is going to try to use force to remove these morons.  I’m not promoting violence but I could see it happening.  People are already at the very edge of their sanity when a loved one is killed.  Now add in the fact that there are douche bags protesting their loved ones funeral and it is a recipe for disaster

The Embattled Black and Gold and the Laundry List of Disparity

Steelers Players Fined Excessively

Since opening day of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been penalized more yards and fined more money than the rest of the teams combined in the AFC North Division.  I have blogged more about this than most other subjects.  If it were just myself and other fans complaining I could see my way clear to ease up.  When commentators are also pointing out huge glaring missed calls that would help the Steelers I know I’m not wrong.  James Harrison has been the poster boy for unreasonable calls and fines levied against one man.  Harrison has been fined upwards of $175,000 this year so far and the season isn’t done yet.  If he breathes on an opposing QB, receiver or running back he gets hammered with a huge fine.  The league says it’s because he is a repeat offender.  Oh my ass.  Of course he is a repeat offender when he is the only one getting fined regularly.

Roger Goodell has had a field day with James Harrison.  When he was fined for an “illegal” hit on Muhammad Massaquoi the still picture from the hit suddenly became available for sale on NFL.com for upwards of $249.99.    Mr. Goodell doesn’t have a problem with a hit like that as long as he can make money off of it.  I also wonder how much he is making in kick-backs and stipends from all of the fines he is laying down this year.  It has become ridiculous with what has happened to the game.  Goodell has taken a game that was great and good hard hitting to worse than flag football.  As I have stated earlier the new name should be the NFFL for the  National Flag Football League.

Bloodied Ben Roethlisberger

Heath Miller pre-decapitation

As long as I am going off about the disparity in the NFL this year I would be remiss if I didn’t follow-up on the broken nose given to Roethlisberger by Haloti Ngata and the near-decapitation of Heath Miller by Jameel McClain, when they played the Baltimore Ravens 2 weeks ago.    There were no flags thrown on either play and even the commentators were dumbfounded as to why not.  While the devastating plays were not flagged, the NFL did see fit to fine both Ngata and McClain much to the surprise of the Steeler Nation.  Jameel McClain was fine $40,000 for the hit to Heath Miller and Haloti Ngata was fined $15,000 for breaking Roethlisberger’s nose.   If Roger Goodell wants to keep his job, he needs to spread it around a little.  Just because Harrison is an intense player, Goodell wants to quell the intensity all Pittsburgh players have and make it a mamby pamby league.

Ward and Harrison named to the 50 Dirtiest Players List.

James Harrison #31 on the list

Hines Ward #28 on the list

When the list came out a few weeks ago and Hines Ward and James Harrison were on the list I thought it was hilarious.  Because they play with an unbridled intensity not seen in many players outside of Pittsburgh, they are dubbed “dirty”.  When Ward broke the jaw of Bengals line backer Keith Rivers in 2008 he was dubbed the dirtiest player in 2008.  I guess because he is a receiver he is not allowed to hit people.  He was blocking on a run and Rivers got in the way.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  Ward laid such a block on Rivers he nearly soiled himself.

Harrison is just plain devastating.  My complaint is when he hits an opposing QB after the play he gets fined and flagged.  Roethlisberger has been getting dumped all season and there have been no flags.  The NFL has had excuse after excuse but it still doesn’t wash.  Roethlisberger might have made an ass out of himself in the off-season but he has proven he is one tough SOB when it comes to getting hit repeatedly in the backfield.  James Farrior has lamented several times this year that the league has been protecting every QB but Roethlisberger.  He might have a point.  With the Steelers confirmed for the post-season it will be interesting to see how the league treats them with penalty calling, fines and the abuse of Roethlisberger.

Extracurricular Activities During Games

Jets asst coach Sal Alosi and the infamous trip

Tyler Brayton practices his elbow during a recent practice

In the past few weeks there have been some fines levied for illegal hits made during a game.  The problem was neither person was in the game when they made the hits and one of them was a coach.  The most publicized one was Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi when he made knee to knee contact with Nolan Carrol of the Dolphins.  It all exploded to an even bigger debacle when it was discovered that Alosi ordered the other coaches and players on the side line to form a wall allowing him to do what he did.  He has been suspended indefinitely and was $25,000 for the move.  Head coach Rex Ryan and others are keeping mum about the rest of the details surrounding the incident.

Tyler Brayton of the Carolina Panthers was on the side line during a punt but walked up to the white line of the field and elbowed a “gunner” in the head during the play.  He was only fined $15,000, that’s less than Sal Alosi and Brayton wasn’t suspended either.  I read on one site that the NFL sends mixed messages with everything they do.  Roethlisberger is suspended for 4 games because of  alleged “Inappropriate Conduct”, but Brett Favre can send pictures of his junk to a female team employee and nothing happens.  Both of the incidents involving Alosi and Brayton are poor sportsmanship and just plain shitty and should be handled equally.  Both  should have been fined equally and both suspended.  Of course the NFL is about disparity.  I have been blogging about that all season.  Hopefully Goodell gets off his dumb ass and does something about it.

Pardon Me Please Mr. Rendell

Pa Governor Ed Rendell giving yet another pointless speech

In his final days in office Former Pennsylvania Governor Fast Eddie Rendell is in the news again.  No, not for giving himself and other Harrisburg lawmakers another huge raise while the rank and file State workers go without. It was for granting a record number of pardons to over 1,000 of’ Pennsylvania’s convicted felons.  The actual number is 1,059. Former Governor Milton Shapp was the only one to come close with 475.  A spokesman from Rendell’s office said there were twice as many requests this year then years past.  Uh huh, pull my left leg and it plays Jingle Bells.  How many are for his buddies in Philadelphia.  This old cronie shit has gotten old.  Rendell has been a questionable Governor since his re-election.  He was backed by the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officer Association during his last election as well as AFSME and other service unions in the state and he boned every one of them last summer to get his budget passed.

While state workers were scrambling last year to make sure they had enough money set aside to cover the payless pay days, Rendell added $300 to his daily food budget.  Lawmakers gave themselves another huge raise and the stipends they got paid stayed the same while rank and file workers were told they might need to give things up in order to pass the budget.  Of course it is always the ones with nothing or very little that get asked to give things up.  Not the ones who have lots and keep getting more.  I keep hoping Governor Elect Tom Corbet is not more of the same thing but only time will tell.  I hate to say it couldn’t be any worse but we all know it could be.  I guess the biggest upside is Rendell is gone. He was a millionaire before he became Governor and I’m sure he certainly won’t have to struggle now that he is done.

Sarah Palin versus Kate Gosselin

Palin's reaction to Kate's camping meltdown

I know I already did a piece on Kate Gosselin but  I felt I needed to revisit the Palin-Gosselin camping trip.  I must admit that even though I spent a good bit of this year railing the Palin’s, after watching the episode of her show where she took the Gosselins camping, I have new respect for her.  Palin and her family went out of their way to make the Gosselins feel welcome and to help them out and Kate brought her best C U Next Tuesday attitude and whined and bawled the entire 2 hours they were out at the camp site.  The Gosselin kids embraced the experience and dove in with both feet to soak in the experience.  Probably because they knew there aren’t many opportunities for them to have this kind of fun so they enjoyed the entire time they had there.

Kate whimpered and whined that she was cold and it was raining and she was hungry.  Once again all her gripes were about her and had nothing to do with her kids.  I think the bottom line was that she was miserable because it wasn’t her show and the main focus of attention wasn’t on her so she had to do something to get the attention on her.  After 2 hours she decided they were leaving after wondering out loud why people would, “Intentionally live like they are homeless.”  As usual, Kate missed the point and Sarah Palin showed why she is so popular, and not always in a negative way, like Kate Gosselin is.

In closing I would just like to say that it has been a really interesting year and it’s not even over yet.  If there is anything that needs covered before the end of the year you can be sure I’ll have it here.  If not I’ll make sure I entertain you all next year.  Until then, enjoy a Christmas display that can be seen from the Space Station and can land planes.  See Video

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