Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Archive: March, 2013

POSTED: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 10:58 AM

Question: When is rape not considered rape?

Answer: When you live in Pennsylvania.

I always believed – naively as it turns out – that I knew the various manners in which rape could occur. Specifically, I thought that when something was forced inside a woman’s vagina against her will and without her proactive consent that it was rape – regardless whether it was a penis, a finger, or an object. That seems pretty standard and uncontroversial and correct, right?

POSTED: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 1:15 PM
Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON, File / Staff Photographer)

"I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me." – former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Through a spokesperson, District Attorney Seth Williams has denied viewing any lewd photos that were posted by others on his personal Twitter account feed. This comes after a Daily News investigative piece found that photos of “busty, scantily clad women” were potentially viewable by Williams and his 573 followers. Without specifically saying that Williams has broken any laws or policies, the reporters mention the D.A. office’s social media policy, which advises employees not to engage in online activity that could reflect poorly on the office’s reputation. The Daily News went to the extent of actually capturing the images as proof that the nude and semi-nude photos were in plain sight.

Can I have that job? I’ll do it free.

Yeah. Laugh all you like. But let me explain why I’d like to perform that task.

POSTED: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:01 PM
Westover Baptist Church protest. (Bradley C. Bower/AP)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is in the news for threatening to sue the Chambersburg Area School District for denying a request to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club. In a letter addressed to the school board, the ACLU said, “Discrimination and harassment can have a devastating impact on gay youth,” later adding, “A disproportionate amount of physical violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of all ages is perpetrated by teenagers.”

All very true.

That’s why it’s particularly shocking and disturbing to learn that the same group that is proudly fighting nationwide to protect the LGBT community has enabled arguably the most vile and disgusting anti-gay group in America to continue to be able to picket military funerals with offensive signs condemning homosexuality. Yes, believe it or not, the ACLU has legally represented the free speech rights of Rev. Fred Phelps and his fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church – an organization that enlists some of the young teenagers that the ACLU doesn’t want to harass LGBT youth – to carry around signs that, among others things, say “God hates fags.”

POSTED: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 12:47 PM
Gov. Corbett and his wife.

No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney.
Alfred Emanuel Smith, 4-term Governor of New York

The baloney served to you this week came in the form of a complaint filed this week by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to the State Ethics Commission – all based upon a fishing expedition launched by Philadelphia Daily News reporter Will Bunch.

Bunch’s report, based upon properly filed state disclosure reports by Tom Corbett, found that the governor and his wife received $11,343 in gifts during 2010-2011. That’s right -- $11,343 in gifts. We will get back to that number shortly.

POSTED: Friday, March 1, 2013, 3:08 PM

Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt posted on his personal Facebook page today that partisan candidate nominating petitions were circulated Thursday evening at a Philadelphia government-sponsored event at the Bright Hope Baptist Church.

“Maybe it's good no voters showed up at the Mayor's 'non-partisan' working group public meeting last night - where partisan candidate petitions were circulated. Sign-in sheet to the left; candidate petitions to the right,” said Schmidt in a 10:38 a.m. post to a friends’ list of 1,712 people.

In an emailed response to me regarding the event, Schmidt said, “Party affiliation isn't the point. Although I will say that all the petitions were from the same party. Just like all the members of the Mayor's 'working group' are from the same party.”

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John Featherman is a contributor at and writes about politics and consumer-related issues. Reach John at

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