Virginity Checks!

I just read something that has me shaking my head.  Rather than try to explain let me direct you to read this-

A senior Egyptian general admits that “virginity checks” were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.

The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.

At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or “virginity tests.”

But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.

“The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” the general said. “These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and drugs.

The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn’t later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).

Exactly what kind of proof is this?  And if the virginity checks were real, what about the electric shocks?  What was that checking?




People Viewed Tepco’s Live Fukushima Camera!

Didn’t I warn you folks against downloading the live images?  It wasn’t because I was trying to trick you! I thought it was such a good idea to see the live feed that I downloaded the image myself and coincidentally I  also came down with a nasty virus that has pretty much disabled my computer.  Please note, just because something is coincidental doesn’t mean it it causal!  That is fancy talk for I have no idea how I stumbled onto a virus…I’m not blaming anyone!  All I know is I have to pray that the Antivirus Gods can fix my baby- or I have to buy a new baby!  But back to the Tepco images- I haven’t heard back from any of the folks that saw my post, who I hope  noticed my warning- that doesn’t mean that they were safe and that the Tepco site is safe.  It just  isn’t likely that Tepco  is the cause of my computer infection, but I felt I had to do my duty to let people know I had developed a problem and I was concerned.

But I see that more than a few of you ( despite my advice)  went to check out the streaming video.   I haven’t heard anything back from those folks confirming or denying that they picked up a virus.  So maybe it’s safe?!  But then again, maybe they got knocked offline too and they’ll get back to me later!

I have no clue and I’m not going back there till I get my system checked out.  But if someone else goes and they can make it back here, please let us know what happened to you okay?

Now I have to figure out how I’m going to know whether or not I can trust the people who say they went and came back?  Computer trickery stinks!



I’m borrowing another system!  That is how I’m able to type this! 🙂



Limerick’s Unplanned Scram!

This is from the Limerick Patch-

A representative for Exelon Nuclear today said there were “no updates” on the situation at the company’s Limerick Generating Station, where one of two nuclear reactors at the facility, Unit 2, unexpectedly shut down early Sunday morning after what the company called “scheduled testing and maintenance on an electrical system in the non-nuclear side of the plant.”

Personnel at the plant were “still working the plan to return the unit to service,” said April Schilpp, senior manager of communications with Exelon Nuclear.

Neil Sheehan, a spokesperson for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), provided additional details on the shutdown, or “unplanned scram,” as it’s known in nuclear energy parlance.

“There was leakage taking place at the time involving the main turbine control valve. Plant power was reduced to allow repair work on the valve. Following maintenance work on that valve, an isolate valve was opened,” Sheehan said in an email.

“For reasons Exelon will need to determine, pressure in the plant’s Electro-Hydraulic Control system (which regulates turbine speed) dropped, causing the Reactor Protection System (a computerized system that protects the reactor) to initiate an automatic shutdown of the reactor,” Sheehan said.

A single vapor plume rose from the plant’s westernmost cooling tower this morning, as opposed to the twin plumes that typically signify the operation of both generating units.

The plant received high marks from the NRC for its 2010 safety record and is thus subject to “baseline” inspections from the agency.

Sheehan said the average number of “unplanned scrams” per 7,000 hours of operation (about 9 1/2 months) is one of the measures by which the NRC tracks plant performance. If a plant has more than three “unplanned scrams” in that period, it receives additional NRC oversight


Some More Sneaky Charter School Business…Right?

HARRISBURG (March 29) – In an effort to continue providing additional educational opportunities for families while maintaining a level of necessary accountability, Senators Andy Dinniman and Jeffrey Piccola recently introduced legislation to overhaul Pennsylvania’s current laws governing charter and cyber charter schools.

Senator Anthony Williams, President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Senator Mike Folmer, Senator Richard Alloway, Senator Ted Erickson, Majority Appropriations Chair Jake Corman, Senator Don White, Senator Bob Robbins, Senator John Eichelberger, Senator Mike Stack, Senator Mike Waugh, Senator Stewart Greenleaf, and Senator John Rafferty all joined as co-sponsors to the bill.

Senate Bill 904 would incorporate a number of long-overdue reforms to facilitate the creation and continued operation of Pennsylvania’s charter and cyber charter schools yet also provide proper accountability measures, according to Dinniman and Piccola.

“The ultimate objective of this bill is to help school choice reach its full potential here in Pennsylvania,” Dinniman, minority chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said. “It is always my goal to create school policy that combines education excellence and taxpayer accountability, and Senate Bill 904 does just that.”

“Our bipartisan legislation is the working product of two public hearings before the Senate Education Committee and several years of collaborative efforts between lawmakers and various groups, and I’m pleased to see that this issue also has the support of Governor Corbett. No doubt, it strikes the ideal balance: expanding opportunities for parents and their children but also putting more checks in place to ensure that our charter schools properly serve Pennsylvania students for years to come,” said Piccola, majority chairman of the committee.

The legislation would create a statewide commission, independent from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to be charged with oversight of charter and cyber charter school functions, such as the ability to serve as a depository of best practices. The commission would also serve as an independent authorizer of charter schools. Additionally, an advisory committee would be created to review and make recommendations to the Legislature regarding the thorny issues involving the funding of charters.

Senate Bill 904 would also allow institutions of higher education to approve the creation of a charter school, and an intermediate unit or local board of school directors would be allowed to create or convert an existing public school into a charter school. Moreover, the bill would modify the application and appeals procedures for the state’s charter schools by streamlining administrative processes by which these schools are formed, evaluated, and renewed.

Under this comprehensive legislation, greater checks and balances would be established on the Commonwealth’s charter schools. Some of these provisions include mandating additional oversight and accountability on administrators and board members by requiring employees to adhere to the state’s Ethics Act and establishing clear prohibitions against any conflicts of interest.

Members in the House of Representatives have unveiled similar legislation sponsored by Representatives Thomas Killion, Tony Payton Jr., and Jim Marshall.

The Senate Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on Senate Bill 904 on April 13.

For more information contact Senator Dinniman’s District Office at (610) 692-2112, or e-mail acirucci@pasenate.com.



In A Democracy Things Should be Forthcoming and Direct!

I read that statement somewhere….I think it was something a school board member said when he was chastising the Superintendent for doing things behind the board’s back.  But then let’s be fair…the Superintendent in this case was talking with some of the following people-

Jefferey Piccola

Andrew Dinniman

John Rafferty

Thomas Quigley

And on a local level:

Mr. Huss

Mr. Wausnock

Mr. Sparagano


Check out some of those names, and then ask yourself if Lindley was behaving in a Democratic fashion by acting in secret?   And if you decide he was acting in secret and he was behaving in a way that was unworthy of a responsible leader then  don’t you have to agree that all those other folks were too?





Pottstown A Poster Child For Charter Schools in PA?

First I want you to read this article in the local Mercury-


Now I want you to read what I wrote about Reed Lindley in the past.  I said it seems to me that he’s a bureaucrat that wants to do a good job in this District because he seems to believe that he can do more in a small district than an administrator in a bigger school district.  I don’t think he’s doing anything he’s doing to hurt Pottstown and I’m pretty sure he wants to improve the quality of education for students in Pottstown.

Once again I want to stress that the conversations about fixing funding for schools like Pottstown started way back in 2009.  We can’t blame Corbett for this, because Rendell was involved in it as well.  We can’t blame Gureghian because as I said, a local legislator suggested that it would be easier for a charter school to avoid having to deal with state mandates.  The charter school idea is not new to PA and it isn’t new to Pottstown.  The only thing that is new is that we have a person who already is running a charter school in a PA district who had the audacity to say publicly that he’d like to come into Pottstown and take over all the schools. 

Despite what you might take away from Evan’s article in the Mercury, it would be quite a jump to imagine that anyone wants to turn Pottstown into a Poster child for Charter Schools in PA.  Yes so far, there hasn’t been a situation in which an entire district was turned over to a charter….however, we have seen other institutions that were publicly run move into private ownership and there have been some apparent cost savings.  Whether these savings stand up over time is another story entirely, but when no one can say what future costs might be if we turn over a public institution- then we have been known to choose immediate cost savings over long term expenses. 

Personally I think it’s a stupid idea to sell organizations that have prevously been public institutions , but then a lot of my ideas probably lean more towards socialism than capitalism.   I sort of think that some organizations are better handled by caring, committed local boards than folks that want to sell something for whatever the market will bear- but it isn’t up to me!  And it isn’t up to Reed Lindley and it isn’t up to Thomas Hylton, and it isn’t up to Piccola, or Quigley, or Rendell, or Corbett.  Ultimately the decision to change how Pottstown educates it’s children is up to local voters!

 I don’t think folks realize they need to worry about what is going on with Pottstown schools!  Some problems are just overwhelming!   It isn’t as if you can choose a school leader and then things are all going to be fine.  The leaders don’t even know how to handle the problems.  But it’s not like it’s their fault, there are no easy solutions!  As a matter of fact, right now I don’t think we know all the questions we have to ask in order to arrive at helpful solutions.  That is the mess we’ve got when it comes to education.

My advice is that we all begin to think about this.  We need to ask what our options are.  Really, we need to go back to school to learn how  to handle schools in the 21st century!

What do you think?




Welcome to the cycle!


Limerick Shut Down

Excelon,  the parent company of PECO, says one of its two reactors at the Limerick nuclear power plant has shutdown.

According to the power company, the number two reactor automatically shutdown after an electrical problem in one of the turbines that generates power.

In a news release, the company says there is no risk to the public and no one at the plant was injured by the shutdown.

It says operators are investigating the cause of the shutdown and working to restore the reactor to service.

Exelon says the other reactor at the plant about 21 miles north of Philadelphia continues to operate at full power.