The LuLac Edition #1220, June 27th, 2010
The recent firing of Deputy Pronthonotary Bob Sypniewski points to the insanity that is the Luzerne County Courthouse. If you ever want to escape from the real world, drop in to the building on River Street. In the real world of employment, people are usually given warnings regarding an infraction or a violation of company policy. First there are verbal, then a few written and then termination. Unless the action by the fired employee is so egregious those are the usual steps….in the real world. But the Courthouse is not the real world as we have become painfully aware. Sypniewski was told to take a week’s vacation. He thought everything was fine and was shocked at his termination. Your boss tells you to take a few days off and then you get fired? Sounds like the boss had an agenda already in place. Sounds like the boss didn’t have the courage to face the employee. Sounds like the reforming, crusading boss lost her nerve. I do not know why Sypniewski was fired because it is a personnel issue. But the arbitrary nature of it harkens us back to a pattern of behavior that the Prothonotary exhibited in years past. Those actions brought us Jill Moran. I met Mr. Sypniewski a few times, the most recent in April when he was getting a coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts. He was wildly enthusiastic about his boss and his job. He was proud to be on the reform side of things. Just having had a baby, he told me that he was proud that her future wouldn’t include questionable policies and decisions of local government. Again, I have no details as to why this happened. Except that it was very sudden. It’s ironic that the newcomer got the boot very quickly while some holdovers are still hanging on. I’ve always felt that Medico Olenginski had the best interests of the people at heart. But the fact that she or any other row officer can dispatch someone without warning (and if there were prior warnings on this I don't know) is not the way private business does things. Actions like this lead me to the conclusion that home rule and a unified policy for personnel can’t come fast enough.
If you are still unemployed, (and by the grace of God I am not) thanks to the GOP Senators, you’re screwed. These great Americans refused to grant extensions for benefits for the unemployed as well as getting rid of the Cobra stimulus subsidy for health care. The Senators are all of a sudden worried about the burgeoning deficit. They can spend 30 billion on bombs but not money for the unemployed to keep food on the table and pay the rent. What a bunch of heartless phonies. These are the same guys that ran up the deficit sending thousands of young men and women into Iraq for assassination by road side bombs. These are the same guys who gave tax breaks to the rich that drove up the deficit. These are the same guys that enriched multi national companies like Haliburton with our tax dollars. I’m all for saving money but I find it interesting that the GOP wants to save tax money on the backs of the very least among us. There is an urban legend out there that people are enjoying unemployment. The right is saying that the laid off workers are calling it “funemployment”. I never, ever met one person like that in the time I was laid off from BCNEPA. The GOP has done its best to demonize the policies of the Democrats. I’m tired of being civil to these bastards. It is time for people adversely effected by these self righteous Republican scum bags to fight back. All of my life I’ve given votes to members of both parties. I think I’ve mentioned here that I have voted for more Republicans than I have Democrats statewide and even voted for a few Republicans for President. NO MORE!! If the Democrats ran a chimp for Statewide office against a Republican, Zippy would get my vote. I’d really like to vote for Tom Corbett for Governor. But I can’t. Because moderate guys like him and Charlie Christ of Florida have to kiss the butts of the GOP naysayers. Next time you hear of a friend having to pay $500 month for a Cobra plan (and that’s an individual) or going without health care, or next time you hear of someone having no money at all and losing whatever income they had, thank the National GOP. They’re worried about the deficit. They’re worried about our future. Sorry, they are wrong. I don’t want to sound like my buddy Bible Buck from Jenkins Township, but "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:31-46. The party of the Christian Family Values my ass!!! Maybe the national GOP Chairman Michael Steele should put that on the side of his private jet next time he visits a strip club.
Here’s what he said,
“Because of the longevity of the recession, these are people -- and they are not minorities, and they’re not defective, and they’re not all the things you like to insinuate that these programs are about. These are average, good American people. Most of them have been veterans who served, responsible, have worked all their lives, but they’re not full of money. They live pay check to pay check and they always will because they are in the lower margins of our society.”
Whether we want to admit it or not, minorities and people who have had lesser abilities have been ignored by the Republican party. If not for the courageous actions of moderate Republicans and Liberal Democrats, minorities would still be using separate restrooms in this country. The word “defective” was unfortunate but not far off the mark. Social programs are put in place for people who need help. Take it from me, once you lose your mobility, you do become defective. You’re broken but not a lost cause. Kanjorski is talking about those average Americans who have done the right thing. They’ve never gotten into trouble, always paid their taxes, volunteered to make their community better and kept their neighborhoods clean. They aren’t the druggies coming in from Philadelphia and shacking up with a woman so they could use her Section 8 Housing as a drug base. They aren’t the people renting a place and then skipping town in the middle of the night. These are the forgotten Americans. The Americans that are losing their extended unemployment benefits because through no fault of their own they can’t find work. These are the Americans losing their health care because it costs too much. These are the people that are living on the edge. Invest a little something for a rainy day? These Americans live an economic storm every single day. Kanjorski might have been a tad clumsy in his wording but his heart and actions are in the right place. Kanjorski, by using the word minority pointed out that we are slipping behind for all of our people. The people in the middle. Imagine if you were a minority and had a chance at the economic brass ring and that’s pulled back. Imagine if you worked hard all your life and now can’t even pay the light bill on time. Imagine being told by a Tea Party crowd that “my taxes are being wasted on you. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This is America”. This is not the America those people Kanjorski talks about invested in through sacrifice and hard work. This is an America of “I got mine”, “you don’t have yours? Screw you”. Instead of jumping on the words “defective”, maybe the GOP so worried about saving money should look in the mirror and realize they are attacking friends, neighbors and most crass of all, voters”. But the GOP nationally as we know it today will surely see the reflection of a penurious Mr. Potter or Scrooge instead of the compassionate person they frequently emulate, Lincoln.