Holy crap

Even for Pennsylvania, this is outrageous:

LET ME TELL YOU about a bill that’s been flying through Harrisburg with so little public input, it seems meant to screw us.

House Bill 2224 would allow political leaders to get rid of certain types of public parks any time they felt it was for the best – and “best” could mean whatever they wanted it to mean.

So they could sell off a park if, say, their borough needed cash to pay for a new firehouse. Or if a favorite developer needed a lucrative site to build townhouses. Or if they thought a strip mall would make better use of the land than a baseball diamond would.

And no matter how we yelled or threatened to vote these people out of office if they took our parks, HB 2224 would let them do it anyway. Because the bill takes away the court oversight that currently protects these parks from political whim.

I wish I were making this up. But I’m not. And I wish there were more time to halt HB 2224 so the public could debate its merits and drawbacks. But there isn’t.

To contact your senator about HB 2224, go to philaparks.org and click on “Take Action Now!” (on the right). The links will help you find and contact your senator.

Not good

For the crime of being hungry and out of work, cops in Madrid fire on protestors:

Raw footage shows chaos inside a busy Madrid subway station after riot police opened fire on protesters.  This is not going to end well once these images are disseminated in Spain. More than 50% of the population under 25 is unemployed.  Think about that.  There are approximately 2 million young people without jobs, many with a penchant for anarchy, and now they have a chip on their shoulder in the form of riot police shootings and vicious beatdowns of comrades in joblessness.


This is just plain crazy:

A Massachusetts man is seeking visitation rights to the child he fathered after raping a 14-year-old girl, setting the stage for a legal battle in the Bay State.

The teen mother was raped by the 20-year-old family friend three years ago and says she still suffers from severe anxiety and depression. She says she is terrified at the prospect of having any dealings with her tormentor, reports MyFoxBoston.com.

The victim and her family are fighting back, saying the toddler’s biological father is only showing interest in the family now that the child support bill is coming due FoxNews.com is not identifying any of the subjects to protect the rape victim’s identity.

“She got raped at 14. She decided to keep her baby. And now she has to hand her baby over for a visit with her rapist?” the victim’s mother told the station.

The man, who the victim knew from church and who was the boyfriend of her friend’s older sister, pleaded guilty to statutory rape in Norfolk Superior Court last year. Prosecutor sought a 3-to-5-year sentence, but the judge in the case gave the man 16 years’ probation with the condition he acknowledges that he is the father of the baby and submits to family court orders, reports MyFoxBoston.com.

The family has hired attorney Wendy Murphy, who believes the problem stems from the sentence imposed in the criminal case, reports MyFoxBoston.com. She said making the man submit to a family court order opened the door to the visitation request.

PA voter ID modification

Sounds like the Republicans are worried that the judge is about to issue an injunction prohibiting the use of the new voter ID law for the presidential election, and are trying to avoid that:

In a last-minute effort to protect the restrictive voter ID law now under review by a trial judge, Pennsylvania officials announced Tuesday they would relax requirements for obtaining a photo ID.

While the law had initially required two documents with proof of residency to obtain a state-issued voting-only ID, individuals will now only need to provide their name, date of birth, social security number and address.

Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele said she believed the change would meet the standard set by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which sent the case back to the trial judge last week due to concern that the state’s implementation of the law could lead to widespread voter suppression.

In its opinion, the Pennsylvania high court said the state was not living up to its promise to ensure access to voter ID, and rejected the court’s “mere predictive judgment” that the law would not lead to disfranchisement:

In this regard, the court is to consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards. If they do not, or if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election, that court is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction.

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