Voter apathy and laziness at its finest. Recent election in Wilkes-Barre brought 25% of registered voters out.

    This past Tuesday was election day in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Offices up for election were Mayor,  District Attorney,  School Board,  Controller and City Council.  I realize that off year elections have low turnouts but 25% is ridiculous. Approximately 42,000 people live in Wilkes-Barre. Our Mayoral election had about 5,000 votes. For Mayor there were 5,000 votes.  That is sad in a city that has been rocked by corruption over and over again.
 
          City Council had a change of 3 members, including the first Republican in over 30 years. He is a amazingly smart man,  who has fantastic ideas and genuinely cares about our city. We also elected a woman in her early to mid 20s and she is fantastic. She was born and raised here.  Went to college here and is beginning her political career here.  We are lucky to have both of them.

           District Attorney was between our incumbent and a defense attorney.  Our incumbent does not prosecute cases.  Their opinion is that they are there to run the office, determine who tries which case.  We have a glut of unsolved murders,  as well as a charge against a man running for magistrate who is accused of forging signatures on the petition. We had gas gate,  which was 67,000 gallons of gas that went missing and no one was prosecuted. As well as another corruption case with the city contracted towing company.  The incumbent spent $130,000 as opposed to $45,000 for the challenger.  Was it the money or the laziness of voters?

             Controller was between a newer face in local politics and a face that runs year after year.  The newcomer won.  It is believed he will do a good job. Our city needs it.  We are broke,  crime ridden and littered with corruption.  Of the registered voters,  Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1. Republicans have a difficult time running here.

       The School Board race had 4 incumbents who were on both the Republican and Democrat ticket.  3 of those 4 voted to merge our schools. The city is outraged by this,  yet they got reelected.  There was a write in campaign that started 5 weeks before the election and was run solely on Facebook. There was an 11th hour wrote in campaign started. They received about 4% of the vote.  Very good here.  56% of Democrats voted straight Dem and 40% of Republicans voted straight Republican.  Despite the clamor for change. People went the lazy way and voted straight instead of seeing who the candidates were.

        Mayor was interesting. The Democrat candidate was a former Chief of Police, current City Council member and part of the administration’s that helped create the city’s issues.  He filed campaign contribution paperwork with several large errors,  was in trouble for not putting the proper labels on signage and publicly supported one of the judges convicted in the Kids for Cash scandal. The Republican candidate had a taxis sue,  which he was making payments on and never missed a payment.  He also was said to not have leadership experience. Apparently the Mayoral cannot attract more then 5,000 votes.

          It is very disappointing to listen to people talk,  write the paper or Facebook walls about how the city needs a change. Yet when their opportunity to change it arrives,  then cannot leave their house for the 15 minutes it takes to vote. This people do not suffer from apathy,  they are lazy. They cannot make a change because they truly don’t want to or care to.  I do not think that we can change these folks.  We are doomed to the same old same old because of these people. We can only make a difference if we get 50% of the registered voters out to vote.  Will never happen.  The valley with a heart will soon need a transplant.

       

Mississippi’s slippery anti-abortion slope.

                 On March 14,  2009, 31 weeks into her pregnancy, Nina Buckhalter gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. She named her Hayley Jade. 2 months later, a Grand Jury in Lamar County, Mississippi indicted Buckhalter for manslaughter. The D.A. argued that tge methamphetamine in Buckhalter’s system caused Hayley Jade’s death. The State Supreme Court heard arguements on April 2 and is expected to rule soon on whether the prosecution can move forward.

If prosecutors prevail in this case, the state sets a dangerous precedent. That unintentional pregnancy loss can be treated as a form of homocide. Mississippi’s manslaughter laws were not set up to apply to stillbirths or miscarriages. Four times between 1998-2002, Mississippi lawmakers rejected proposals that would set specific penalties for damaging a fetus by using illegal drugs.

Mississippi’s prosecutors claim that 2 other state laws allow them to charge Buckhalter. One defines manslaughter as the killing of a human being, by the act, procurement or culpable negligence of another. The other states that an unborn child at every stage of gestation, from conception to live birth is included in the state’s definition of human beings. Obviously the second reasob violates Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court decision that is U.S. Constitional law. In the U.S. Federal Law is the law of the land, therefore it supersedes state laws.

The cause of any stillbirth or miscarriage is difficult to determine. Many experts believe there is no conclusive evidence that exposure to drugs in utero can cause a miscarriage or stillbirth. But this opens the door to charge women for drinking herbal tea, eating unpasteurized cheese and lunch meats, all of which Doctors recomend against. If a women had a miscarriage after drinking herbal tea, could she be charged with manslaughter?

Critics are also saying that Buckhalter is collateral damage in Mississippi’s abortion wars. In 2011 there was a State Ballot Initiative to grant full rights to fertilized eggs, which would make all abortions illegal all of the time. The measure failed, but Pro-Life supporters vow to try again in 2015 and lawmakers are attempting to close the State’s last abortion clinic. The unintended cause of this case could be more women seeking abortions, for fear of being prosecuted.

Republicans believe they can force religious beliefs on the American public. If the Constitution diesnt say what they want, it can be avoided by nullification, which is CONSTITUTIONALY ILLEGAL. Democrars work within the confines if the Constitution, as does President Obama, who many Republicans refer to as a dictator. Simply put, the Supreme Court said abortion was legal until the viability of the fetus, which us about 23-25 weeks. It is FEDERAL LAW, which I cannot say enough, supersedes state laws. We are not a loose coalition of countries, we are the United States if America.

That being said I think anyone the does drugs, drinks or smokes cigarettes while pregnant are selfish and irresponsible. Charging them for manslaughter when it cannot be conclusively proven is an abuse if the law. Try charging them with negligence and move on from there. I am not an expert, but on this my opinion of drug use certainly effects my opinions. But that being said, can you charge a wonen for not breast feeding, that is supposed to be the healthiest way to feed a child. There are studies that suggest that not breast feeding causes health problems later in life. So are you going to charge a woman for using formula. It is a slippery slope.