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Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 05:06 AM PDT

I Will Never Forget

by Tony Barr PA09

The news this past week has been filled with stories regarding the horrific events of 9-11-2001.  Each story is punctuated with the line “Never Forget.”

I will never forget the atrocities committed on 9/11/2001, and I will never forget the true heroism displayed by the American people--men and women, gay and straight, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, atheist, and Jew--on that awful day.  

I will also never forget the cowardice/incompetence/venal politicizing of President George W. Bush and VP Dick Cheney.  

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Whew, what a weekend!  Friday night, after an extensive interview with the Altoona Mirror's editorial board and an equally extensive interview with the Blairsville Dispatch for a pre-election feature,  I found out about Shuster's latest attempt to smear me.  He is telling people that I want to give millionaire's solar panels for their homes.  HaHaHa!  Like they taught me at Camp Wellstone, "First they ignore you, then they lie about you, then you win."

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The following remarks were presented at a press conference at the Tony Barr for Congress headquarters in Duncansville, PA on Friday, Aug. 28 leading off the celebration of Labor Day weekend. TB

I want to thank Harry Zeznanski for his kind words; I want to thank the members of the Machinists Local 2348 and the members of PA SEIU for their support here today. I’m honored to have the support of working men and women across our district. These are the people who build things and provide services; these are the people that we should celebrating this weekend.

It is Labor Day Weekend and like many Americans, I’ve been guilty in the past of forgetting what this weekend is all about. To some, it’s another excuse for a sale at the mall or another reason to cook outdoors. For others, a signal that summer is over and that it’s time to get the kids ready for school.  We had it good for many years in this country, and it is easy to forget when things are good. Labor Day was created back in 1892  by the Central Labor Union to "create a day off for the working citizens" to celebrate "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organization."

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I gave the following remarks as an opening statement at a town hall meeting tonight in Chambersburg, Franklin County, PA.  After these remarks were given, audience members asked many questions. Unfortunately, we don't have any video of my responses.  Sorry, I wasn't thinking.  TB

HI! It's great to see everyone here tonight. I'm so glad you folks were able to make it.

We've got big problems in this country. I don't have to tell you folks that. Gas Prices, Jobs, Health Insurance, Global Climate Change, National Debt, and the War in Iraq are just a short list. I know these are the issues on your mind because you've told me so. I've spent the summer driving around this district, walking door to door, talking and listening to you the voters. The question is: what can we do? Well,before I tell you what I think we should be doing, I want to tell you who I am. I want to do this because who I am directly affects how I am going to go about the job. The how, of course, affects the what.

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Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 11:29 AM PDT

PA-09 Let's Build Something

by Tony Barr PA09

My Dad, an extremely wise man, who went from being a ditch digger out of high school to becoming a successful small businessman, has a favorite phrase, "Do Something!" Throughout my life, from the football fields and wrestling mats of my youth to the classrooms and stumps of the present, I have heard the exhortation, "Do Something!" I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Everyday, while talking to people, either at their doors or at a local fair, I hear the same story. People are worried, frustrated, and angry about gas prices, the economy, the Iraq War, and health insurance. Gas, food, and health-care costs are going through the roof, people (rightly) are cutting back, people are losing homes due to foreclosure, job layoffs are just beginning to be announced, and winter is just over the horizon...Congress, meanwhile, does nothing.

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I gave the following remarks this evening at a candlelight vigil for hospital workers who are negotiating a new contract.  They are in serious jeopardy of losing their defined-benefit pension.  I was invited to attend by organizers from SEIU.  I thank the organizers for the invitation, and I thank the hospital workers for their warm reception.  It was an honor to speak at their vigil.  They are fighting the right fight for important benefits.  I wish them the best of luck. Keep the faith.

Yes, I had a candlelight vigil sandwich on door-knocking bread for dinner tonight.  The Good Book advises that a person does not live on bread alone.   Similarly,  a campaign is not run on door knocking alone.  If anybody is so inclined, donations to the campaign would be greatly appreciated.  http://www.actblue.com/... Thank you all so much.  For my remarks, please read below the fold.

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A couple of weeks ago, I happened to hear a news report of some area principals walking to Washington DC to call attention to their SOLUTION to our present energy crisis. Though it was only a short blurb on the TV, it hit me like a shot. These guys were hitting the nail square on the head, and I wanted in. Emails were sent, phone calls were made, and last night after working a full day, I joined the Principals for Change (PFC, http://www.principalsforchange.org/ ) for the last 6 miles of the first leg of their trip to DC. To find out who these guys are, what their goals are, what this means, and how to help, please join me below the fold.

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Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:02 AM PDT

PA09 Superman Does Yoga

by Tony Barr PA09

This is going to be as pretty as a middle aged guy in spandex...

I've had a long history with Superman.  Years ago when somebody would express serious confidence in my ability to do an impossible job, I'd say, "...Well, I don't have an S on my chest, yet..." Lately, I like to joke about my twice-daily change ritual(I'm a bicycle commuter http://www.dailykos.com/... as the "Superman" routine.  Just this past week, a student asked me, "Mr. Barr what superhero would you be?"  I tried to think of somebody obscure, but all I could think about was Superman.  So the other morning, my back stiff from too much driving, stress, lack of sleep, and myriad other issues, I knew it was time to do some Yoga.  As I was doing my routine, I looked down...I had my Superman pajamas(my wife gave them to me for Christmas) on.  I laughed. Does the Man of Steel ever have to work the kinks out?  What this has to do with anything, I will explain below the fold.

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Today was National Bike to Work Day.  I rode as I do 3 to 4 times per week.  In light of the recent admissions by our Fearless Leader on how he has stopped playing golf, it was the least I could do.  There are many reasons why I ride: money saved from gas, health benefits, time saved (I get a 1 hour ride, but it only costs my family ½ hour), mental health benefits (My ride makes me easier to get along with).  All of these are good reasons to ride, but that is not what got me on my bike today.  At 7:30 am, it was raining hard in Bedford, PA, but my thoughts were not on the cold, or the wet, or the wind.  Rather, they were on our fine men and women lugging 100+ lb packs in 100 degree heat fighting this Godforsaken War for Oil.  

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Sun May 04, 2008 at 07:07 AM PDT

PA09 Fixing the Pain

by Tony Barr PA09

On Friday while I was eating my lunch, I was explaining to my lunchmates why the "free market" is not adequately addressing our current energy crisis in this country.  "...Eventually, the free market will kick in, but in the meantime, people are going to feel a lot of pain..." As soon as those words tumbled out of my mouth, I thought back to something my chiropractor said to me about a year and a half ago, "Tony it appears that you have a really high threshold of pain, and I'm not so sure that is a good thing." The people of my district, like so many rural people, like Americans in general have a high tolerance for pain.  Though there is something to be said for rugged individualism, at some point, enough is enough, we must get some relief.

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Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 02:21 AM PDT

PA-09 Barr Beats Shuster!

by Tony Barr PA09

Ok, It doesn't really count for anything, but in Tuesday's primaries, Tony Barr got more votes in the Democratic primary than Bill Shuster got in the Republican primary.  I know that it doesn't stand up to statistical scrutiny, but I think it does show what is possible here in Central PA.  There is hope that we can rid ourselves of yet another George W. Bush rubberstamp.  Our press release is below the fold.

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My oldest son will start kindergarten at our local public school this coming fall.  Like any other parent, I worry about the quality of education that my sons will receive and what things they will be exposed to in the community.  As a teacher, I am relieved to hear that changes have been made to reduce class size in the kindergarten, but I also know that my sons’ education is not the sole responsibility of their teachers or their school.  My wife and I have a responsibility also.  We will make sure that our boys are well rested and fed before school, that their homework is done, and we will back the teachers should behavioral problems come up.

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