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PA 11th Congressional District race: Joe Peters or Andrew Lewis

Pennsylvania’s 11th congressional district stretches from well southeast of the southcentral PA capital city of Harrisburg to the farthest reaches of northeastern PA, near the New York border. It is one of those crazily gerrymandered districts created to protect a certain congressman, a certain party. You have to try really hard to create a political district this convoluted, and it is as twisted as the power-hungry thinking that went into it.

I know, because according to the PA Supreme Court, I was the primary victim of the gerrymandering that created the 2012 Pennsylvania state political district map, released at the same time as the congressional map.

Apparently my then-candidacy (as an independent-minded conservative) for the 15th state senate district was a threat to the political establishment (self-serving careerists surrounded by a constellation of special interest groups feasting upon the taxpayer host body), and so they placed my Harrisburg home in a tiny political pocket. Our home was barely in one congressional district that is mostly based in Adams County to the south (Gettysburg). It was just one small part of Dauphin County mixed in with much larger portions of other counties, and we were also suddenly a couple blocks away from the 15th state senate district.

The gerrymandering was announced just as our 2012 campaign got under way.

The PA state Supreme Court threw out the state district map, calling the area around our home “an iron cross…” designed to exclude someone from participating in the political process. But the court kept the congressional map, which is being challenged now.

So that is where we got these crazy district lines, and it is how we now have a four-way contest to replace outgoing Congressman Lou Barletta.

Candidates who have officially announced are Joe Peters, Andrew Lewis, Steve Bloom, and Dan Meuser. Their home bases stretch from the farthest reaches of southcentral to far northeastern PA.

I know all of these guys, and I would like to share some thoughts with you about their candidacy.

Let’s start with Joe Peters.

Joe has the most impressive resume of any of the candidates here. He has been a successful professional crimefighter, and a wonderful political outsider. Joe is the stuff of legend, a tough cop surrounded by bad guys, but always doing the right thing.

Peters is the Serpico of political candidates.

A former cop and prosecutor who put away really bad men in jail, Joe took real risks, and earned real enemies. He has been tested many times over many decades, and has proven uncorruptible.

So naturally, Joe has earned the enmity and fear of politically powerful shadows now supporting the other candidate from his region, Dan Meuser.

We would be lucky to have Joe Peters in Congress, though I fear he lacks the funds to get his message and impressive personality out to the voters. When he ran for PA Attorney General a few years ago, I gladly, even eagerly voted for him. Really impressive guy. Total underdog.

Then we have Andrew Lewis.

After more or less forcing me out of the last primary race for the 15th state senate district (2016), by undercutting my base of support in Perry County, Andrew nonetheless earned my endorsement in his subsequent man-to-man primary run against John DiSanto, our current state senator, who thankfully went on to defeat incumbent Rob Teplitz (a Marxist who was outstanding at constituent services).

What I liked about Andrew then is probably his biggest weakness now, and that is his youth.

Andrew must be the most energetic candidate to ever run for any office. He is physically tough, tall, good looking, earnest, religious, conservative, and a combat veteran of the US Army operations in Iraq. And boy is he positive. This kid has the best demeanor and personality you are likely to meet in your lifetime. He is from a rural farming background, salt of the earth family, smart as hell, and highly educated. He has an impressive resume by any standard, and especially for someone so young.

People asked me in 2016 why I endorsed the guy who stole my dream of serving in the state senate. My answer was that Andrew was a really impressive young man, the kind of person America needs in politics and in leadership roles. I stand by that now, and if for some reason you can’t vote for Joe Peters, Andrew Lewis is your  man. You cannot go wrong voting for Andrew, who has probably the best geographic reach (political base, or likely voters) of all the candidates.

Then we have Steve Bloom, a sitting state representative from Cumberland County.

There is nothing negative anyone anywhere can say about Steve Bloom. And there is a long, long list of very positive things about him.

And that is the problem here.

Steve, why are you in this congressional race?  You are needed in the PA State House of Representatives, where you already serve with great distinction! You are WAY too good to lose from the state house.

Steve has worked hard and smart in the state house. He has amazingly, surprisingly worked his way up into junior leadership. He is on the cusp of breaking into actual leadership, which is amazing because he is a straight-talking, no BS conservative. Steve is not a weasel, he is a force for good…in the PA State House. The fact that he is moving up is cause for celebration.

Steve is very conservative, religious, and as pure as the driven snow. Steve is exactly what we need in politics, and in fact he already IS in politics. Now that he is in the state house, it would be nice to keep him there. If you vote for Steve Bloom in the upcoming primary, no one can fault you. But the fear is that Steve’s southcentral PA base is too small for him to leverage into winning this congressional seat, and that voting for him will divide up the vote, resulting in the worst possible outcome in this race…

Dan Meuser.

If you have something positive to say about Dan Meuser, would you please contact me directly?

Honestly, if you have something truthfully good to say about him, I will publish it here, unfiltered. No lie.

Dan is from the same northeastern coal country that Joe Peters is from, and he has played the strangest role in politics for a long time.

Dan has the distinction of having blown the hugest wad of cash on a losing primary race of anyone in living history. About ten years ago he ran against Chris Hackett, a religious hillbilly who no one had ever heard of.

And Dan lost.

He didn’t just lose, he lost spectacularly, hugely, phenomenally. Dan spent literally millions of dollars on a primary race, and lost to a guy who spent, what, a hundred thousand dollars? Maybe a bit more?

What Dan lacked in charisma and character, he made up for with money. He just kept tossing that cash around, trying to buy votes that never materialized. When the dust settled, in a two-person primary race, mind you, Hackett had crushed him with his folksy man-on-the-street candidacy. The empty suits lost to the citizen revolt that became known within a year as the Tea Party.

Dan Meuser eventually served in the Tom Corbett administration as Secretary of Revenue, the Mister Moneybags of PA government.

The Corbett administration was the worst run administration in modern Pennsylvania history.

A tone deaf governor with zero loyalty for those who put him there, and a taste for private flash, Corbett was surrounded by an army of self-directed, self-interested political hacks embodying the very worst of political patronage. God it was a freaking disaster, and it brings me no happiness to write it here.

I worked hard to get Corbett elected, very hard, and I served on the transition team, only to sit back and watch in slack-jawed amazement as the entire enterprise slo-mo crashed and burned after it was in place. Like a bad dream.

How many people went into the governor’s office, pleading for Corbett to take control and right the ship of state…it was like a nightmare, where your hand is on the wheel, and you keep turning it, but your car heads over the cliff.

Anyhow, if you are like me and four years ago you said “thankfully that pain is behind us” about the departing Corbett Administration, well, Dan Meuser is here to revisit that pain upon us, once again, but this time as a congressman.

As Secretary of Revenue in the Corbett administration, Meuser oversaw, masterminded, and approved the largest state government sexual harassment settlement in Pennsylvania history. And it may be the largest state government sexual harassment settlement in the country’s history.

And this is the GOOD stuff about Dan. Believe me, there is plenty more bad stuff. Like, recall the politically powerful shadows pulling his puppet strings mentioned above. He is the stultified establishment candidate. Good grief, aren’t we so beyond that now? Most Republican voters now know how failed that is, a party inward looking, without direction, barely distinguishable from the Democrats.

Dan Meuser is the last person Pennsylvanians need in office. He is representative of everything bad about politics. You cannot vote for him. You just cannot. That is a terrible choice. My gosh, you have three other good candidates to vote for here, and if you really want one of the good guys to win, you will vote for Joe Peters or Andrew Lewis.

Voting for Dan Meuser is voting for an empty suit with no principles, with a history of proven failure on one of the seminal issues of our time, sexual harassment.

Voting for Steve Bloom is effectively dividing up the good-guy vote and pretty much ensuring that Dan Meuser wins. We need Steve to stay in the PA House of Reps. Stay there, Steve, stay! Not voting for Steve Bloom is actually helping Steve stay right where we need him.

Voting for Joe Peters or Andrew Lewis is what you want if you want an outstanding congressman. You cannot go wrong with either one.

 

 

What Would MLK Say?

Today is a national holiday honoring and remembering a great American leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like great leaders across human history, King captured a moment in time, crystalized it, and put a flame in it that later generations of people can touch and be inspired.

Below is the famous I Have a Dream speech that King gave in Washington, DC, probably the last great speech given in that swampy town.

However, before we get teary-eyed and inspired by Dr. King’s honest speech and honest goals, let’s ask a simple question.

Today, the word “racism” and “racist” have become immediate responses for just about anyone who disagrees with liberal ideas. Any ideas, not just the subject of skin color.

This includes debates about the role and place of Islam in a democracy and republic. Islam is not a race, it is a bunch of ideas. Race has nothing to do with it, unless you are looking at the skin color caste system in most Muslim countries, or how Arab slavers started the African slave trade and continue it to this very day. Those things aside, race is not a component of Islam.

And yet proponents of American security, freedom, and Judeo-Christian culture are called racists if they do not accede to demands for unlimited Muslim immigration with zero acculturation and assimilation.

Accusing people of being racist even now takes off from completely unrelated subjects, as in “You said you follow the Bible, and it is not pro-gay. That is almost like racism. In fact, it is just like racism. It is like being racist. You are a racist.”

Don’t laugh, I have seen it happen in person and in writing.

So that “racism” becomes the standard synonym or fill-in for any kind of discrimination or bigotry or even self-selective behavior based on thousands of years of human history, at best. At worst, it becomes an empty accusation that as soon as it is uttered is seen for what it is, fake.

And let’s not even delve into the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, or even the Congressional Black Caucus, where members accuse someone of “racism” if they merely sneeze, and where brutally racist statements are made nearly daily. The NAACP has become one of the most racist organizations in America, and it is enabled by the outrageously bigoted Southern Poverty Law Center. Which is funded and run by white liberals. Ditto for BLM.

When one of these groups says “You are a racist until we say you are not,” it is meaningless, because they have misused, abused, and failed on this claim for decades. By making it partisan, where racists in one party are excused because they are from “the correct” political party, and members of the other political party are always shamed and accused and never excused, these self-appointed arbiters of right and wrong are exposed as hypocrites. Their credibility plummets as a result.

If you are having trouble following this, try this: What results from the misuse of accusations of racism is a watering down of the word and idea.

If racism becomes subjective, and not quantifiable, then those wrongly accused of being racist will burn out and lose their yearning for fairness. After all, they themselves are being treated unfairly, accused unfairly.

Hijacking the word can only boomerang back. People stop listening. Oh, they care, but they no longer ascribe credibility to the NAACP, BLM, SPLC, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the other fakers who have long overreached and overplayed that hand.

Yes, it is true that there are many things worse than racism, but if we are going to value a racism-free America (a good thing), then we must reserve that word and its connotations for when it really applies. We must not misappropriate it, nor may we engage in racist behavior and then accuse the subjects of our abuse themselves of being “racist.” Especially when there are simply legitimate disagreements on policy and law.

“Racist!” cannot be a crutch. That will only undermine everything MLK fought for, and what he got the vast number of Americans to buy into: The idea that we are all meant to be free, we are all meant to be equal, we all deserve to have equal opportunity and no artificial barriers between us and our dreams and goals. An America devoid of discrimination is an America full of its greatest promise.

So what would MLK say about today’s misuse and watering down of the white-hot word that used to galvanize tens of millions of Americans to do the right thing?

What would MLK say about how the Left has turned nearly American institution into a force of discrimination and persecution against those with whom the Left merely disagrees, politically?

What would MLK say about the fake accusations of ‘racism’ to cover up the internecine mass murders among young black men occurring daily in nearly every single American city… That is done to obscure and excuse the utter and complete failure of nearly all of America’s black leadership, so that fifty-four years later, the American black community is in some ways in much worse condition than when Dr. King had his dream?

FBI and DOJ Used as Political Weapons, Now What

Recently released emails and texts between FBI agents and Department of Justice officials in the immediately past administration demonstrate that both institutions were completely politicized. Using their official crime-fighting jobs for gaining political power and blocking the will of the American People is the most corrupt thing possible.

A political party wrote fake accusations against a competing US presidential candidate, and those accusations were then used to acquire a search warrant to spy on his political campaign and on the people in it by the sitting administration, which supported the other US presidential candidate.

So we have a presidential administration using official American employees to pursue that administration’s political goals. That’s awful, and illegal.

But it gets worse.

Then the fake accusations and the fake search warrant were used to justify a special investigation into the new president. Making it worse, the special investigator hired dozens of lawyers who were openly partisan and officially associated with the opposing political party. Meaning they are not objective and operating at arm’s length, pursuing justice. They are already political activists.

Making it worse-worse, the FBI agents and DOJ staff in charge of ensuring American law is not broken reveal themselves to be using their professional jobs for purely political purposes here, previously and DURING THE INVESTIGATION ITSELF. They are openly partisan and basing their official actions on their personal values and political loyalties. That’s awful, and illegal, and criminal.

But it gets worse.

Then the special investigator began investigating everyone associated with the president, as well as the president, for everything they had ever done in their lives, going back decades. None of this investigating has anything to do with the original search warrant. This is called a ‘fishing expedition’, and it violates the most basic premise of American justice and law. This is awful, and illegal.

But it gets worse.

Then the special investigator began to entrap the subjects of his investigations, not on the original grounds of the investigation, but on the subjective and vague accusation that the people were trying to hinder his investigation. Not that they had actually committed crimes, but that they were trying to block or obstruct the investigation into whether or not they had actually committed the crimes on which the search warrant was originally issued.

This is called a ‘process crime’.

It is usually a flimsy charge, easily disputed, and is usually associated with getting criminals to more easily own up to their actual crimes for which they were originally targeted.

But in this investigation, it is the ONLY purported “crime” with which anyone is being investigated or charged. So it’s not that anyone being investigated here actually broke a law, but they are being charged with trying to avoid being charged with no proof that they actually did anything they would be charged with in the first place.

This is awful and a violation of everything that America stands for. Not to mention our Constitution.

So we have a political witch hunt, based on paid political activity by the opposing political party, illegally enabled by a sitting president and his staff, illegally implemented by the supposedly professional, non-political bureaucrats who work for the American people to ensure that American law is followed and that real criminals go to jail.

And it turns out the biggest criminals involved are the previous administration, the special investigator, and the FBI agents and DOJ staff who made this whole investigation happen in the first place.

The 1972 Watergate scandal is used as the basis for judging all political scandals, because it was considered so outlandish and unacceptable that it brought down the sitting president, Richard Nixon.

Well, by Watergate standards, this “Russia collusion” investigation by Mueller into Trump is the biggest political scandal ever in American history. It is so big, and so terrible that it has no parallel. It is so evil, and so illegal, that it is impossible to describe as anything other than earth-shaking. The number of FBI agents, DOJ staff, and special investigators (especially Robert Mueller, who knew all along that his investigation was founded on and actually run by corrupt FBI agents) who should be under indictment right now numbers in the dozens.

When the foundation of American justice, the FBI and the DOJ, are so deeply corrupted and used as political weapons to protect political power by one political party, then we have a serious crisis. An enormous crisis.

Were there to be any legal decisions or criminal charges to emanate from this corrupt investigation, our entire rule of law will be called into question. It would mean that whoever controls the official institutions of American crime control and justice will control the entire legal process, and they can do what third-world dictatorships do: Simply accuse their political opponents of vague crimes, charge them, process them through phony kangaroo courts, and lock them up or execute them.

With so many federal judges already amassing political power unto themselves, with the American media protecting them and the previous administration, America is much closer to a serious political crisis than people understand. How this Mueller investigation plays out is anyone’s guess, but we have one political party absolutely going for broke to protect their political power by bringing down a properly elected president they oppose.

And on the other hand, we have a supposedly opposing political party that, with a few exceptions, is mostly silent about the attempted coup d’etat now under way.

Let us ask this question: What if the current president decided to do what was being done to him? Let’s say the current president decides to use the FBI and DOJ to criminalize and prosecute his political enemies. People who have done nothing more than oppose him politically are suddenly either criminal suspects or are actually charged with crimes.

You OK with that?

The Curious Case of “Dr.” Bandy X. Lee

If there is one place in our lives where integrity matters most, it is with healthcare and the medical professionals and caregivers who provide it. Our personal health is everything to us. Without good health, we decline and become disabled, or die.

Healthcare professionals who monkey around with your health are at best incompetent. Like basing their opinions on hearsay. Those who play with people’s health for personal reasons, like philosophical views held by either the caregiver or the patient, are evil. They either cannot or will not rise above their own limited personal views, and instead use whatever authority they possess to inflict damage on someone they disagree with.

Such is the case of “Doctor” Bandy X. Lee, a purported professor at Yale University.

A review of her credentials reveals just how low medical standards have become, because the subjects she studies and supposedly specializes in are the most abstract, subjective things. She does not actually treat anyone for an infection, or for an injury. Instead, Lee specializes in creating new categories of fake injuries resulting from an otherwise healthy society.

By their nature her subjects of study defy critical thinking, and instead rely upon political positions, or at best philosophical views. Such as “violence prevention.”

Maybe it is no surprise that Lee defines violence and violent behavior in a way that indemnifies truly violent dictators like North Korea’s dictator Kim Kong Dong, or whatever his name is, and which ascribes negative values to people engaging in self-defense. Especially with firearms. Especially in America.

Or, people like President Trump, whose mere discussion of defending America is characterized by Lee as “violence” and “violent behavior.”

Parasite Lee is in an American policy world infested with hordes of anti-America academics, trained to couch every area of study and specialization in a way that undermines American security, culture and law, and which elevates our avowed enemies. Their political enemies are always Republicans, conservatives, and now “white males.”

Ms. Lee recently injected herself into the international spotlight by pronouncing Donald Trump mentally unfit to serve as president. Like, he’s crazy.

But wait, there’s more!

Lee also declared that the fate of the world hangs on Trump’s forcible removal from office, and that he represents a dire threat to humanity. Yes, she asserts, Trump is going to get all humanity blown up in a nuclear war, because he likes war, he likes weapons, and he acts tough. Yes, she says, it will be Trump’s fault when the world is blown up. Nope, not North Korea’s fault, or China’s fault, but the guy trying to defend America from North Korea. Yup, huge crisis if trump stays in office, she says.

Lee is not completely alone. She shares this distinctive role with a whole mess o’ other so-called mental health professionals, who, like Lee, are also complete frauds. These are all political activists masquerading as medical professionals, who inject their political views into what is supposed to be sacred medical work. They are doctors like Doctor Jekyll was a doctor, like Auschwitz death camp Doctor Mengele was a doctor. That is, fake, fake, fake doctors.

The biggest problem here is that none of these people, including Lee, have actually examined Trump in person. They make wild, subjective suppositions about him, ascribe wild, subjective motives to his decisions, and apply their own subjective personal views and values, as if THEY are what is normal behavior. But none of them have actually talked to the guy, which is what their professional standards require.

Lee and her cohort of political activists are not actual medical professionals. That is measured by their substitution of personal views for professional standards, a clear violation of everything being a doctor is about. She and her fellow psychiatric screwballs have violated medical standards, state, and federal law by passing medical judgment on a purported patient without actually examining them.

Aside from obvious frauds, these people are a bunch of wimps, too. They are not fighters, defenders of the nation, or even healthcare providers or caregivers. They will quickly lock up as “crazy” anyone who disagrees with their leftist political views. By the way, this is what dictatorships everywhere do. They characterize their political opponents as “unsteady,” a “threat” to people around them, and then forcibly lock them up and at best keep them heavily sedated. One has to wonder who Lee has done this to already…let us guess, are there patriotic Americans among her victims?

I would not want Lee or any of her fellow medical frauds in my life, or in your life, in any way. These people are liabilities to America and to their local communities. Their “standards” are so screwy, so low, that they are hurting the people around them, not helping them. Maybe that is their purpose.

The use of one’s medical training to be a partisan political whore, or a traitor, is grounds for losing one’s professional credentials, and that is what must occur next: Strip Lee and her fellow medically trained prostitutes of their medical licenses. These aren’t serious medical professionals, and the medical field will not miss them.

The case of Bandy X. Lee’s medical malpractice is a also view into the world of leftwing political activism. Literally everything there is politicized; there are no boundaries that cannot be crossed to achieve political domination, including the illegal mis-use of one’s medical credentials. The ends always justify the means to liberals. It’s always some world-ending crisis that justifies destroying their political opponents.

Which reminds us of the newly renamed global warming, no, wait, climate change, no, wait, now it is “climate crisis”: A bunch of so-called professors use tenure to promote bizarre and indefensible claims totally contrary to actual science, but it is such a “crisis” that everything must stop, change, and turn hard left, or else…the world ends.

One takeaway message from all this is that our colleges have become cesspools of anti-American activism, but paid for by hard working Americans. Yale University now produces the stupidest, least trained people, most incapable of critical thinking. Ivy League? Oh pshaw! It’s the Political Correctness League, where being close-minded is the standard. And the Americans who believe the ideas and assertions emanating from places like Yale and Lee…I mean, we are constantly told by the media that Trump’s supporters are a bunch of idiots, but look at the low standards liberals have. They will believe anything!

There is a crisis, all right, a crisis in credibility. The more outlandish the claims, the bigger the credibility crisis.

The bigger takeaway message here is that America is under assault from within, by people who use their professional roles to damage and undermine America’s security and the health of her citizens. Whatever the better alternative to America is, is never stated by these people. Their message is simply that America as it is, is bad, and it must radically change.  Perhaps they think communist China is better?

Maybe Ms. Lee needs to go there, to China, and promote her ideology. Surely she will be warmly welcomed.

Perhaps they were the ones who sent her to America in the first place.

UPDATE: January 12, 2018, it turns out “Doctor” Bandy X. Lee has no medical license. She held a medical license in California, which lapsed in 2013. She holds no medical license in Connecticut, where she now resides and “practices” medicine. Performing the duties of a medical doctor without a license is a criminal act. In the past few days Lee was reprimanded by the American Psychiatric Association, because she issued a medical opinion about a person without having examined that person, and made it public without that person’s consent.  As we suspected, Bandy X. Lee is not really a doctor, she is a highly trained political activist with the trappings of a doctor. Zero credibility, Bandy X. Lee, zero credibility.

 

 

The Importance of Wilderness

Wilderness rarely makes it into the news.

It usually gets mentioned when a US president designates a new wilderness area, or adds existing federal land to an existing wilderness area. The acreage involved in those events is so large, usually so vast, that it must be newsworthy. It just has to be news. It is impossible to ignore it.

This makes the “very good” news.

Another way to get wilderness into the news is to raise the subject of natural resource management in a remote area that is not declared or designated wilderness, but which has a wild and untouched character. These reports are usually cast as a loss of innocence, a loss of wildness, a loss of something special.

This makes the “very bad” news.

Wilderness as a news topic usually involves one extreme or the other: Very good, or very bad.

The truth is that wilderness, those huge untouched areas with nothing but healthy flowing watersheds, breathing forests, and nearly unlimited wildlife habitat, are of mere flesh and blood. Wilderness gets such short shrift and limited coverage in the news media, because so few people know what it is. It is mythologized for better and worse. That it is nearly 100% public land can complicate things, politically, but the fact is, you will not find wilderness in any other state of being in a developed nation.

Most Americans do not have any real exposure to actual wilderness. Their hands-on exposure to it is either zero or merely driving through or around some wilderness area or region (like northern Maine), and admiring it from a car or picnic area. Few immerse themselves in it.

For me and for many people like me, wilderness is like oxygen. We just have to have it. We must have it coursing through our bodies, supporting our feet as we stand or hike or explore. There is nothing mystical about this experience. No transformative or spiritual worshipfulness. No beams of sunlight directed downward by heavenly forces. It is a purely physical connection that in the context of modern sedentary lifestyles becomes such a stark contrast and unusual experience.

Oh sure, we see the hand of God in Nature. Goes without saying. How can you not see Him there? The genius of life on Planet Earth is beyond magical, beyond scientific.

That I get an endorphine rush from every moment I am out in wilderness is an indication of my own “nature deficit disorder,” a topic worthy of a full discussion some other time and something most assuredly suffered by the vast number of Americans.

Why people do drugs of any sort is beyond me, because I can get a safe and natural high from watching a tree sway in a breeze, or a snowy hilltop dressed in silent snow, or a tiny junco flitting among the snowy branches of a small spruce tree. So much of what we call wilderness is really just the same things going on in your own back yard, except that actual wilderness has much less of some of that animal activity, and a lot more silence and serenity. In designated or de facto wilderness, we do see the more rare and cool “charismatic” animals, like moose, panthers, fishers, bobcats, marten.

As an experience, for wilderness lovers like me, wilderness excursion or immersion is just like eating, or breathing. Its quiet is a quantifiable value, like a gallon of gasoline has a price we pay to keep our vehicles going. People like me simply gotta have that wilderness experience to keep running. In modern American terms, it is like having a really big house. We feel like we belong and must be there, comfy and snug.

One of the challenges with wilderness designation is that most of it happens out West, where there are already hundreds of millions of acres of nationally-managed public lands. Already out there are big wilderness areas that a person could spend an entire summer exploring just one location.

Back East we have hardly anything resembling wilderness, and what we have is easily degraded. It is here in the East that the energy and money must be focused on setting aside wilderness while we still have some few opportunities remaining. Opportunities being those industrial lands no longer useful for commercial forestry or mining.

It is a lot more politically palatable to work on wilderness protections here, in the East, where the majority of the American population is concentrated. Many more people are excited about it here, and far fewer people feel like their livelihoods will be negatively impacted by public land and wilderness. Because we have so little of it.

Wilderness is important because it is in wilderness that our species evolved and lived happily for 99% of our time on Planet Earth.

Wilderness is our natural state of being, where we humans are most at home, most honestly, naturally ourselves. In modern times, it is where we are least distracted by “narischkeit,” meaningless chatter and buzz. In wilderness we can be honest, true, most mentally healthy, if only for a day or two.

This past Fall I killed the biggest bear I have ever seen in the woods, in a designated Adirondack wilderness area where I was on a solo hunt. It weighed close to 600 pounds, and its hide squared over six feet. Its hide is literally over twice the size of the 260-pound bear’s hide I sleep under in the winter. A true monster. The king of the mountain.

Know what’s neat about this hunting experience? This bear had probably never seen a human before, and he stalked and tried to eat me three times. The third and last time he tried was when I lost patience amidst growing fear that I was going to be eaten alive, and I shot him at thirty yards in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Just skinning him took almost two days, because his enormous carcass rolled under a log on a steep hillside.

It was predator versus predator, animal eating (or wearing) animal, the most basic natural law on Planet Earth.

Though I admit feeling remorse for having ended his kingly reign. I had been after a big buck, and only took my foe when he had willingly forfeited his nine lives over the course of two days with me on the mountain.

I have never felt so alive.

Wilderness, it’s in us. It is important to us, to be us.

To be human.

2017 Year in Review

Looking back on 2017, it is tempting to list all of great accomplishments, and the few failures, of the new administration in DC.

One could spend a week discussing them all, but for the sake of time, here is one person’s opinion about what we have gained, and what we have yet to gain, from the new administration.

Gains

Where haven’t the citizens of America gained under the policies of the new administration?

From tax reform to ending executive policies designed to bully American citizens through the illegal use of government coercion, President Trump is daily deleting prior executive orders, and often substituting his own pro-freedom policies in their stead.

One gain has been the reining in of the US EPA, a place at which I used to work as a policy and legislative staffer, and which has long had an unprofessional staff culture of political activism substituting for careful reasoned decisions, shaped by law, in the interest of the American People. Fundamental transformation of USEPA was long overdue. The same can be said for NOAA, a huge source for fake climate change junk science, which is now getting a new chief who actually is a meteorologist and who does actually know a thing or two or three about Earth’s climate. How refreshing.

Another gain has been the moving of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. No, this decision is not about Israel, it is about Western Civilization, of which tiny outpost Israel is the canary in the coal mine.  Trump made this decision in the face of United Nations opposition, the same corrupt UN that is run by the biggest tyrannies in the world. He made this decision in the face of violence and threats of violence pouring forth from literally every single Muslim nation. The embassy move draws a stark contrast between a Christendom determined to survive, and everyone else. Sorry, the Jews are just the foil here, not the cause celebre.

Failures

If there is one friction point of real consequence in Washington, DC, it is that surface where the federal judiciary meets the executive branch.

Populated with political radicals, the federal judiciary has rogue judges who routinely use their positions to legislate from the bench, not adjudicate within the constitutional confines of their actual duties. They try to implement specific policies, instead of determining whether or not the question before them is simply constitutional, or not. They continually usurp powers from the executive branch, to the point where these judges have set themselves up as the actual bureaucrats running America.

Got a grievance? Bring it before the right federal judge, and you could get a very detailed, specific holding directing the executive branch of government to implement a certain policy in a certain way under a certain time frame.

The first problem here is that the judiciary rarely has actual jurisdiction in these subjects, because they are wholly functions of the executive branch. Immigration is one such area. Immigration and borders are clearly left to the executive branch to run. And yet America has federal judges who routinely issue holdings they believe will block the implementation of the executive branch’s functions. And these same federal judges will do the same things repeatedly, defiantly, even after the US Supreme Court has struck down their previous decision. These rogue judges are using their official positions to advance social justice causes.

A similar policy subject is gun regulation.

Despite the US Supreme Court’s Heller decision and others like it, lower courts routinely issue holdings on gun regulation that are in direct, clear conflict with US Supreme Court decisions.

A third policy subject is transgenders in the military. Recently a federal judge held that the US military must accept transgenders, ignoring the clear separation of constitutional powers between the executive branch and the judiciary. The executive branch has sole discretion over who it allows into the warfighting military, and civilian courts have zero jurisdiction. For a federal judge to insert himself into military matters is a clear violation of the US Constitution.

The second problem with this is, this is not the way the court system works.

Lower courts are always bound by the holdings of higher courts and by the duties and roles clearly spelled out in the US Constitution. Judges who disregard the higher courts and the Constitution, and instead issue their own politically motivated holdings, are destroying the rule of law in America. They are far overstepping their boundaries, and trying to make law and policy instead of deciding law or remanding a decision back to the political process. In essence setting themselves up as dictators who make all legislative, policy, and legal decisions.

If these rogue judges are successful, America’s court system will become meaningless. It will be a random assortment of competing political decisions governing hundreds of millions of citizens, made by a small handful of unelected people in black robes. These are decisions that are supposed to be hashed out through the political process by elected officials, accountable to the American People through elections and votes.

So, the failure here for the Trump Administration has been an unwillingness to simply disregard these rogue judges, and then move ahead with the administration’s immigration policy, foreign policy, and military decisions. Moreover, Trump’s administration should be openly calling for the impeachment and removal of these rogue judges. Official abuse of power is the most serious threat to American representative government, it must be confronted head-on, and that is not happening. Why is a mystery, because if there is one hallmark of this presidency, it is this president’s willingness to and enjoyment of directly communicating with the American People in the clearest terms.

Conclusion

The rogue judges issue highlights a scary fact that most establishment Republicans are loathe to address, and that is how liberals will do absolutely anything to impose their will on the American People.

The liberal lust for power and control, as marketed through “social justice” causes, means that their ends always justify their methods. It means that all officials with liberal opinions have to do is claim a higher moral ground, higher than existing law, and implement their views through their official role, no matter if it clearly contradicts established law, procedure, and policy.

This of course is not how any democracy or republic works. It is politically unsustainable (it is patently illegal), but it is evidence that liberals will burn down America in order to wrest control of it from the American People, or to prevent their political opponents from running it as the result of elections that liberals are unhappy with. It is also evidence that establishment Republicans have zero fight in them, because they do not believe in anything more than making more money than a person has use for.

If there is a need for a new political group in America, it is one that is focused on documenting official abuses by federal judges, and then working to hold them accountable. Impeachment and removal from the bench is what is needed.

So, in conclusion, 2017 was a very good year, an exciting year, and we can hope for more of the same in 2018.