Monday, December 11, 2017

We're Sorry We Have To Make This Announcement

Do you know how many years ago it was?
Do you? Really?

OK, so here's a special message to Iggles fans:
When oh when will you learn that Philly is a Hard Luck Town? When?
This is Rocky's city.
It's the city where the Phillies totally blew (in my lifetime) at least two "sure shots" to be world champs.
It's the town where the Sixers said "we owe you one" and that was decades ago and we're still waiting.
Plus, it's been 42 years since those Flyers won the Stanley Cup.
And yes, I do remember the last time the Iggles won it all. It was 57 l-o-n-g years ago!
So . . . just calm down, everybody. 
It may still work out. 
But get your priorities in order.
And don't break out the streamers and the confetti just yet. NOTHING comes easy -- nothing! -- in Hard Luck City, USA!

Wake Up, Take A Good Look At Yourself, Man!

'There Must Be Consequences' For This!

New Jersey State Senator Diane Allen’s legislation prohibiting investments by State pension funds in businesses that have shirked their responsibility to clean up Superfund sites in New Jersey has been approved by the Senate State Government Committee.

View of the Passaic River from the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site in Newark, NJ. (Flickr)
“A business that has profited from polluting New Jersey’s environment and refuses its Superfund cleanup responsibilities shouldn’t be rewarded with the investment of State pension funds,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “There must be consequences to hold these bad corporate actors accountable.”

A profitable Argentinian state-owned oil company, YPF S.A., has attempted to discharge Superfund cleanup obligations for the Diamond Alkali Superfund site and parts of the Passaic River through the federal bankruptcy proceedings of a subsidiary.

“A profitable foreign business is attempting to shift a billion dollar expense to our taxpayers,” said Allen. “That’s just wrong.”

The cleanup of the Superfund site and the remediation of contaminated sediments in the lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River are expected to cost $1.38 billion.

Allen’s legislation, S-3487, would prohibit the investment of New Jersey public employee retirement funds in any company, country, or country’s instrumentality that avoids its Superfund obligations to the State.

“New Jersey can’t control what federal bankruptcy courts will allow, but we can control who benefits from nearly $80 billion of State pension fund investments,” Allen added. “If other states and investment funds follow our lead, those with Superfund obligations may find the cost of cleanups to be less than the potential loss of investment. That would be good for taxpayers.”

Wow! They're Winning NATIONAL Recognition!

A group of people posing for the camera

Description generated with very high confidence
Robin Park (Cello), Anthony Zhu (Viola), Grace Wei (Violin), Isabella Egawa, (PYO and All-National Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster), Jason Shu (Cello)

On November 28, 2017 six talented young musicians from the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra performed in the 2017 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Ensembles held at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort. The students displayed their talent and performed Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide”, Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasie Overture”, and the world premiere of Daniel Dimarino’s “Temptations.”

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s students who participated come from several Philadelphia suburbs and from New Jersey. They are:

  • Isabella Egawa – Violin, PYO Concertmaster and All-National Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Bala Cynwyd, PA, 17
  • Robin Park - Cello, Princeton, NJ, 16
  • Anthony Zhu - Viola, Wynnewod, PA, 17
  • Grace Wei - Violin, Bala Cynwyd, PA, 16
  • Jason Shu - Cello, Blue Bell, PA, 17
  • Michael Lazzaro, Oboe, Millstone, NJ, 17 (who participated in the NafME Honors Band)

Maestro Louis Scaglione, the President and Music Director of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), is
extremely proud of this talented group of young musicians. He said, “We are always honored when our students are selected to be a part the very prestigious NAfMe. It is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. The experiences they have, an extension of their dedication to PYO, become lifelong memories and career-building opportunities. I’m sure our students enjoyed performing and playing at Disney World!”

About National Association for Music Education (NAfME):
The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. Learn more at

About the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra:
Now in its 78th year of training tomorrow’s leaders, the renowned Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs, providing talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training. Students go on to excel in many diverse fields, and it is with pride that Philadelphia Youth Orchestra notes that many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are alumni. For more information, please visit

The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 120 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 14-21. 
Young musicians 12-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. 
Philadelphia Young Musicians Orchestra (PYMO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students with their first introduction to large orchestral playing featuring students age 10-17 years old. 
Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute Dean of Faculty and Students, Paul Bryan, is an all brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. 
PRYSM(Philadelphia Region Youth String Music) and PRYSM Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of PRYSM is Gloria DePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of PRYSM Young Artists is Andrea Weber. 
Tune Up Philly (TUP) is PYO’s engagement program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum.

Yes, It's Time For Us To Resume The Quest!

Our long journey to the stars—and the Moon 

Forty-five years ago today, NASA’s final Apollo mission landed on the surface of the Moon. No human has walked there since.

This afternoon, President Donald J. Trump told the country that it’s time to refocus our vision for American space exploration.

In signing Space Policy Directive 1 today—the first recommendation of the recently reconvened National Space Council—the President will shift NASA’s resources and attention toward the Moon and Mars. Given its relative closeness, the Moon in particular offers humans the best hope for long-term exploration and utilization.

President Ronald Reagan once eloquently captured the sweep of mankind as “his long climb from the swamp to the stars.” With President Trump’s order today, America commits itself once again to writing the next chapter of that story.

‘The sacred birthright of equality’ 
President Trump listened closely as Reuben Anderson, Mississippi's first African-American Supreme Court justice, led a small tour group through the newly opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday.

"The [civil rights] movement was very uncomfortable," Museum Director Pamela Junior says, adding that guests should feel some of that discomfort to better understand what victims went through.

“The Civil Rights Museum records the oppression, cruelty and injustice inflicted on the African-American community,” President Trump said, as well as “the fight to end slavery, to break down Jim Crow, to end segregation, to gain the right to vote, and to achieve the sacred birthright of equality here.”

“Their memories are carved in stone as American heroes.”

A look inside the White House at Christmas

The First Family has opened the White House to thousands of guests this holiday season for open houses and Christmas receptions. But to bring the experience of Christmas at the White House to many more, we’ll be sharing “360 Photos” this month that allow you to take a look around without having to book a ticket to Washington.

Our first 360 Photo offers a glimpse at the East Colonnade. Follow the White House on Facebook to see the full set as they are released.


First Lady Melania Trump visits with children for Christmas at Children’s National Hospital  | December 7, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)


Today, President Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. This afternoon, the President will participate in a presentation of the Friends of Zion award with Faith Leaders.

Later, the President will participate in a swearing-in ceremony for Jamie McCourt as the U.S. Ambassador to France and the U.S. Ambassador to Monaco.

Vice President Pence will participate in the swearing-in ceremony for Peter Hoekstra as the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands and Duke Buchan as the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra.


Tomorrow, the President will sign the National Defense Authorization Act.

Isn't It Time To Recognize THEM?

New Jersey State Senator Diane Allen’s (R- Burlington) legislation dedicating a week in May to honor women who have served in the United States Armed Forces has been approved by the Senate Military and Veteran Affairs Committee.
Sen. Diane Allen’s legislation dedicating a week to honor women who have served in the Armed Forces has been approved by the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee. (U.S. Navy)
“From the Revolutionary War through today’s War on Terror, women have played a critical role in defending America’s freedom,” said Senator Allen. “’Week of the Military Woman’ aims to pay homage to all women who have heroically served our country in both war and peace.”

According to a 2016 Military OneSource Demographics Report, there are currently 204,628 women in the military, representing nearly 16% of the U.S. Department of Defense Active Duty force. Sen. Allen’s resolution, SJR-83, dedicates the second week in May to honor these brave women.

Allen has supported the armed forces and its members, both active and retired, throughout her legislative career. Recently, she was awarded the New Jersey Civilian Meritorious Service Award by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for her dedication to helping New Jersey military bases and active duty military members and veterans.

“Although roles are constantly changing for military women, their contributions and approaches enrich our country’s defenses,” added Senator Allen. “I urge Governor Christie to swiftly dedicate the second week of May as the Week of the Military Woman."

'Every Law Enforcement Asset' On The Job!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued the following statement regarding the explosion this morning beneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City:

"Every law enforcement asset in New Jersey is coordinating with our federal and New York partners regarding this incident. I have been fully briefed by my Homeland Security Advisor and have ordered additional security at our mass transit hubs. We will keep the public informed as the situation warrants. I urge all New Jerseyans to be alert and that if they see something unusual, to report it to law enforcement immediately."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

SRO? Here's What It Really Means, OK?

Some from the liberal media have been trying to say that President Trump did not attract a full house to his rally last night in Pensacola, FL.
And some dubious photos have been drifting around on social media claiming to prove Trump was wrong when he said the place was full and scores of others were still waiting outside.
But here's a 360 degree video from reporter Peter Doocy that shows the arena was indeed full.
Yeah, the President is still an SRO draw and if you watched the rally last night (as we did) you know that his supporters are as passionate as vocal and as plentiful as ever.

Are These The 15 Most Annoying EVER?

We've been asking people: What are the most annoying Christmas songs of all time? Here's what they told us:
Grandmom Got Run Over By A Reindeer
Feliz Navidad
I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time
Baby It's Cold Outside
Dominick The [Italian} Christmas Donkey
Santa Baby
Last Christmas
The Christmas Shoes
Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Deck The Halls
Barbra Streisand's version of Jingle Bells
The Chipmunk Christmas Song
All I Want For Christmas Is You

Now, go ahead -- make your own list.

Interesting, Though . . . Don't You Think?

What Does THIS Have To Do With Christmas?

“My Favorite Things.” I'm sure you've heard it on the radio a million times by now.
I don’t know who first decided that this Rodgers and Hammerstein ditty from the saccharine “Sound of Music” might be a Christmas song but whoever it was has now inflicted raindrops on roses and cream-colored ponies on us for the rest of our lives.
As much as I try I cannot discern the connection between wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings and Christmas.
In fact, this song is dumb and tiresome any time of the year.
And, while I'll truly love the song "What A Wonderful World" (particularly the Louis Armstrong version) I've lately heard it played as a "Christmas" song as well. It's not, and it shouldn't be.

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