Sunday, June 15, 2008

The LuLac Edition #498. June 15th, 2008



A poster in one of our previous editions wanted to know my take on the Catholic School teachers recent troubles with the Diocese. Having been a product of Catholic schools right through my entire education career, I have thought about this issue. I had been educated by nuns exclusively until the seventh grade when a lay teacher was hired at our school. To be honest it was a tough transition because it was something new for all of us. But after a bumpy first half, we began to learn what we were supposed to but with a perspective of someone less cloistered. In high school, my lay teachers taught me Biology, English and the humanities. My first exposure to an honest to God right winger was at St. John’s High when I had classes with a gentlemen who constantly urged us to join a group called the YAF, Young Americans for Freedom. Something like that made you come face to face with your own mind and beliefs. My regard for lay teachers, what they do, how they educate is unparalleled. So with this back drop, here’s what I think.
The recent efforts by State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski to pass House Bill 2626 gives you an insight into how this guy governs. Someone had to do something to counteract the actions of the Diocese and do so legally. The Diocese, like Pashinski and many others have said, have to make the decision whether they want to be in the education business. In a way, the Diocese has used to its advantage all of the pro business, union busting activities that have come down the pike in the last twenty five years. Give them credit, they used the tools America has given them. In a way, their motto is “We do it…because we can” following the lead of Oil Companies and Airlines. What they have done to the lay teachers and the schools is unfair but not illegal. They know the loopholes and use them well. Ask Mike Mills. But finally, someone has stood up to this way of doing business and handling workers. It may not bring us back to the days of Samuel Gompers, but thank goodness at least it’s a start. The PR people can tell you all about their committees until they are blue in the face but this is not only union busting, it’s inhumane. You’d expect that from big business but not the Church. Oh wait, I forgot, sometimes the Church is big business. But maybe the church, and all business and government should follow Ghandi’s definitions of the 7 deadly sins and how we as a people can avoid them, maybe the world would be kinder. They are
1. Wealth without work.
2. Pleasure without conscience.
3. Science without humanity.
4. Knowledge without character.
5. Politics without principle.
6. Commerce without morality.
7. Worship without sacrifice.


The reassessment notices for Luzerne County are currently being mailed and most people are unhappy with the increase in the value of their properties. We have not yet received our notice but expect have an increase like everyone else. I have never been a tax crazy, I believe that you pay taxes to get services. You pay taxes to get yourself help when you need it. You pay taxes to help those less fortunate than yourself. Government should be in the business of protecting the common good. So whatever the rate is, we’ll pay it knowing that at some level that money will be used to make the Luzerne County a better place. That said, there should be no special breaks for people who are connected, no whining from those who built McMansions to impress the neighbors, and by all means no tax breaks or loans for private businesses (some that have failed two or three times already) that use government money to get a leg up on their competitors who are using their own capital. Also, criminals charged with murder should not use tax payer money to hire out of town experts who are paid to get them off after their kill in our town, prime example, Henry Stubbs. Use the money for what it’s intended, don’t play Santa to your buddies and make it fair for everyone. Do it that way and you won’t hear a complaint from me on reassessment.


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