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PA Supreme Court Magically Turns Itself into Legislature

In an anticipated 4-3 partisan decision today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court majority rejected the original and heavily gerrymandered map submitted by the PA Senate Republicans, as well as three heavily gerrymandered maps subsequently submitted in the past week by the PA House Democrats, PA Senate Democrats, and even PA Governor Tom Wolf.

Instead of declaring none of the legislative district maps to be constitutional, because theoretically none of them have met the constitutional tests for compactness and adhering to existing political boundaries, and instead of declaring the governor’s map completely unwelcome because it is not his role to draw voting district maps, the PA Supreme Court has actually drawn its own redistricting map.

No court anywhere has the constitutionally derived role of drawing voting district maps, and no court anywhere can justify doing so. According to the US Constitution, drawing voting district maps is specifically a state legislature role.

I will say that the latest map, drawn by the PA Supreme Court majority, looks better in some ways than the other four maps recently submitted for review. This map is certainly tighter and breaks fewer county lines than the others. In that sense, it is a more reasonable map.

But that is not the question.

The first question is, should Pennsylvania just get on with voting, as we are now running out of time for the primaries, and just use the established map, deficient though it may be?

The second question is, should the US Supreme Court allow the PA Supreme Court to, in effect, turn itself into a legislature, by performing a key function that is specifically relegated only to the state legislature by the US Constitution?

Hopefully, the US Supreme Court will deny the lower court’s power grab, and direct Pennsylvania to go on with the previous voting district map, flawed though it was, the greater interest being in letting voters have a say at all, as opposed to political elites pulling strings to keep themselves in power.

As imperfect as the legislative process is, and as distasteful as the gerrymandering process is, it is what it is, meaning that this is what we’ve got. No court can magically turn itself into another branch of government. So let’s go with the existing map we had six weeks ago, and get on with elections.

 

Heartbreak: Florida school is a “gun free zone”

My heart is broken about the school shooting in Florida.

As my heart goes in one direction, my mind goes in another. Here we go again, another shocking crime, another result of liberalism’s assault on American culture, a result of another stupid liberal policy rooted in feelings and not in careful adult-level planning.

Despite having been reported to police and FBI agents for months, this angry young man directed his violent thoughts against fellow students in Florida, using a gun to vent his feelings.

The school he targeted is yet another “gun free zone,” where not even the teachers are armed, but the bad guy is.  Criminals break the law by definition, and criminals taking advantage of “gun free zones” know they have a free hand to do what they want.

Political correctness teaches that guns are “bad,” and that feelings should dominate everything, even trumping fact and logic. Here we have another classic example of how liberalism is just plain evil and bad for America.

Liberals, this shooting is on your heads, the blood is on your hands, because liberal activist groups and teachers unions keep blocking good policies that will prevent these kinds of events from happening.

If you want to avoid this kind of school violence in the future, allow law enforcement agencies to do what they need to do with violent youths (liberal policies treat law enforcement as the bad guy and shield bad kids from being held accountable), so they can head off these problems at the pass. And let teachers and other professionals carry firearms in their places of work, so would-be bad guys know up front that there is a strong disincentive to attempt violence at schools, where they will be met head-on with fatal violence.

Anything else is a continuation of the same old failed liberal policies.

Then again, liberals have known how bad their policies are for a long time. Perhaps these children are being sacrificed in order to advance the tired old liberal gun control agenda?

 

Attack of the pussy weasels

Well, the Pennsylvania Grand Ol’ Party has done it again.

The PA GOP pussy weasels really knocked it outta the park this time, with their latest politicized voting map. As usual, this map protects PA GOP favorite candidates, spineless jellyfish all, and removes or undermines candidates threatening those favorites.

Gerrymandering seems to be the PA GOP’s best skill, their highest and best use, because Lord knows these guys can’t fight. They cannot take liberals head-on, nor can they allow conservatives to have a shot at talking to the voters. God forbid, the empty suit establishment hacks might lose!

And this is why the PA GOP is made of pussy weasels. They are pussies, wimps of the worst sort, not fighters or brawlers, and they are weasels, sneaky, devious, conniving little men. Pathetic excuses for men. Few of these guys have it in them to be men, to act like men.

Pussy weasels. Cheaters.

Though the GOP is supposed to be the “hawks,” with these kinds of weazly weaklings running things, it is no wonder America is in so much trouble.

For those who don’t know, gerrymandering is setting up voting districts to favor a particular political party for candidate. It is how you protect your hold on political power without having to actually compete for it, or allow your opponents (within and without the party) to challenge you in a meaningful way.

Granted, the Democrats will do the same thing, given the same opportunity. But what is especially frustrating about the PA GOP is how aggressively and openly they target independent-minded conservatives for elimination from consideration.

Look at this redistricting map. This is the voting district map the Pennsylvania legislature (Republican dominated) sent to the governor last Friday, as a result of the last one being thrown out by the PA Supreme Court.

 By the US Constitution, all US voting maps are supposed to be compact. That means counties are supposed to be held together as much as possible, communities are held together, and regional cultures are supposed to be held together. Political districts are supposed to be as compact as possible, not spread all over the landscape.

Here we can see several political districts that are obviously all over the landscape. Zig-zagging their way from the Poconos to Central PA. Or gutting certain counties. Or  targeting specific candidates in ongoing political races right now.

Note the three red circles.

See what is in them, the little municipalities? These are cut-outs, not where counties have been gutted, but where specific candidates live and have been targeted for removal from current ongoing races. Not a whole lot of them on this map, and believe me, these three are significant.

These three red circles are classic targeting by the PA GOP establishment of conservatives who the pussy weasels believe are a threat to their spineless, principle-free, money-oriented, power-based political club.

The red circle on the upper right is where candidate Joe Peters lives. Peters is an awesome candidate for the US Congress, and he was going to cost GOP establishment hack Dan Meuser the race, because Meuser lives just over the line from where Peters lives. Peters was going to pull votes from the same community, the same region, the same culture, which would make it oh, so hard for Little Danny Meuser to just win the danged seat.

Well, the new map has Meuser in, and Peters out.

And two other active candidates for the same seat are now also out in this map, Steve Bloom in Cumberland County and Andrew Shektor in Columbia County.

Race for US Congress now looking much better for Meuser, and he didn’t even have to go make a speech or go to a debate!

Now let’s go to the middle red circle. Guess who lives there? Another candidate in the same congressional race Meuser is in!

His name is Andrew Lewis, another awesome candidate for the same congressional seat as Meuser and Peters. Lewis is popular in this vote-heavy Dauphin County, and also in the adjoining ultra-conservative Perry County, which is now suddenly and totally out of the newly redrawn district.

This is where gutting the county also comes into play. As one might expect of the county seat of political power in Pennsylvania, Dauphin County holds a lot of political activists, including yours truly. By halving Dauphin County, the county becomes much less of a political base for the enterprising would-be candidate, as primary voters everywhere vote first and foremost for candidates from their same county.

So the PA GOP pussy weasels killed two birds with one stone here. They took away Lewis’s voter base, and also undermined the potential future opportunities of anyone else from Dauphin County.

So Meuser gets to stay in the redrawn district, his one toughest opponent (Peters) has now been completely removed, two others were removed, and the other tough opponent (Lewis) completely undermined. Odds are looking good!

Pretty nice work for a pussy weasel, right?

See, a real man would be embarrassed to have other people do all of this for him, to pretty much guarantee him a seat in Congress. A real man would want to get out and compete, be challenged, and stand up for his beliefs. Like a man.

But not here. Here we have pussy weasels, like Meuser.

And that last red circle, up on the left. See that? Guess why that remote little outpost of super rural Pennsylvania is mysteriously cut out from the enormous political district surrounding it?

If you guessed that it is because a political activist lives there, you would be CORRECT.

We are talking about an area there in northwest Lycoming County that has more bears than people, and yet, the PA GOP pussy weasels can’t stand the thought that the guy up there might actually run for office, and have a chance to spread his charismatic message of conservativism. Why then, the pussy weasels would not know what to do. Their power might be threatened!

God forbid.

One hopes that Governor Wolf, no big winner himself, refuses to sign this monstrosity, and that it then goes to the PA Supreme Court.

We deserve a government Of the People, By the People, and For the People.

Not a government of, by, and for pussy weasels.

What is behind a “journalism” degree, anyhow?

In our Information Age, a great deal of life is shaped by outlets dealing in information.

The best of this information is called news, and is supposed to be accurate information about what is new. What is new can be of most use. In military terms, the newest information is called intelligence, because the information it carries allows one to make the most intelligent decisions.

The guardians of news and the supposed arbiters of its accuracy and value are called journalists. This is because their writings are a sort of journal, a documentary of history, the history of a civilization, whether it is on clay tablets, papyrus, sheepskins, calf skins, or in 1s and 0s in the ether.

That these guardians today have abandoned their namesake is obvious. Their writings are no documentary any longer.

Accuracy, usefulness, meaning are now all discarded in the pursuit of shaping a narrative, delivering a political agenda by shaping what readers of news think, based on what they are told. And blocking or suppressing information that disrupts their agenda.

People complain about Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News. They forget that none of these people or outlets would be needed, if the journalists would just do their job and deliver accurate information.

These renegade news sources are greatly outnumbered by the establishment media, which gets new recruits from college every year. Young people steeped in “journalism” for four years, purposefully devoid of the skill or even interest in rooting out news when they exit.

Which makes one wonder, What does it take to get a journalism degree in college? What is it really made of?

After all, actual journalism just involves having a phone and a pen, and asking questions, to get at the truth. Would actual training in journalism be a single course? Maybe several courses, at the longest, so at the most a single semester, right?

How is it, then, that people are spending four whole years of their lives to get a degree in “journalism”? What is it they are truly learning during that entire time? How much time does it really take to teach someone how to use a phone and pen, to ask questions, to write it down, and report the news?

The truth is, college students of ‘journalism’ are being indoctrinated for four years, and journalism, the sacred role of writing the journal of civilization, enshrined in our First Amendment to the US Constitution, has been bastardized and hijacked by people bent on control at any cost.

God be with us.

 

Pentagon Papers II receive a cold reception

What is the modern equivalent of the Pentagon Papers is receiving an unusually cold reception from the establishment media, from people who have not even seen or read it yet, and yet who already have talking points and criticisms of it, without actually knowing what is in it.

Back in the early 1970s, what became known as the Pentagon Papers were leaked from secret government files to the Washington Post, a news-paper that used to operate in Washington DC.

Those Pentagon Papers helped build a public case against the politicization of official government duties, and they formed the basis for investigatory reporting by something called news reporters, an extinct animal that has not been seen since.

When the Pentagon Papers reporting was done, a sitting president was impeached and forced from office, because the public was disgusted by his obvious mis-use of public power.

Fast forward to February 1, 2018, and we have a similar situation unfolding in Washington, DC. Reams of text messages, emails, and document analysis have recently uncovered a clear conspiracy among FBI agents and DOJ officials to unfairly exonerate Hillary Clinton of obvious crimes, and to unfairly target for illegal spying and criminal prosecution a presidential candidate and then president-elect, Donald Trump.

None of this behavior by the FBI and DOJ staffs is legal. None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable. It is the very essence of corruption and misuse of government power.

The Mueller “investigation” is exposed as an open-ended political witch hunt and fishing expedition based on a fake “dossier” bought by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, illegally used to obtain a search warrant used to illegally spy on a political campaign and then the president-elect, all for political purposes.

Despite knowing this first-hand himself, Mueller continues with the only thing he has, fake “process crimes,” like alleged obstruction of justice. Evidence is clear that FBI agent Peter Strzok (and many others) used his official position for partisan political purposes, and Mueller removed him from his witch hunt because of it. But Mueller himself does not have the integrity to call off the entire farce, most of which is based on Agent Strzok’s previous activity.

Now there is a concise memo about this illegal government activity, by an obscure Congressman Nunes from California. This memo lists the data sources and how they were analyzed to uncover this criminal conspiracy, and it is being provided to the sitting president. This is standard protocol. This is how representative government works.

Instead of retrospection and respect for the rule of law, however, the opposition party and their communication arm AKA the media are in full out assault against the memo and its author.

Instead of taking the memo and reading it, sharing it with the American public, and shedding light on government abuse so the American people can make informed political choices and hold political officials accountable, the media are doing the opposite. They are doing everything they can to protect the prior administration, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the current opposition party, despite knowing full well what illegal things they did. They take attacks by members of that opposition party and report them verbatim as fact. They ignore or denigrate the information in the memo.

Which makes one wonder about the whole Pentagon Papers thingy way back when.

Was that really news reporting in the public interest, or was it the first successful take-down of a sitting president by a partisan media?

After all, President John F. Kennedy had plenty of naughty, unethical, immoral and illegal behavior going on in his administration (as did his successor, LBJ), and yet the media treated Americans to nothing but close-ups of fake smiles by JFK’s long suffering wife and of his fakey white smile.

For the enterprising media watchdog, the JFK administration had lots to chew on, if the desire was but there. Obviously it was not. Lying, cheating JFK was promoted as a hero, and his misdeeds were swept under the rug for decades.

“Camelot” the charade was called. Oh golly, the shivers!

The press’s treatment of the Kennedy Administration became a model for how the media would subsequently treat the administrations of JFK’s political party: The president is always brilliant, kind, heroic. Never mind that he is selling our uranium stocks to our biggest enemy, and lots of private money is changing in public hands. On the other hand, the Republican presidents are always portrayed as evil, stupid, a foolish dullard, a tool of outside interests.

Looking back, it is now evident the Pentagon Papers served as the press’s first big political hit, a model which the media have tried to employ about every four years ever since. They never fail to have an “October surprise” for Republican candidates, and hardly vet or investigate Democrat candidates at all, always protecting them from public scrutiny.

A new movie about the Pentagon Papers is out starring serial sexual harassment enabler Meryl Streep and my once-favorite actor, Tom Hanks. This movie glorifies news reporting as a sacred duty and core function of a free republic, which it is. But it also puts the partisan news reporters of the Pentagon Papers on an unassailable pedestal. Judging by today’s openly politicized, partisan media, no such credibility or accolades are currently warranted, and now we realize they probably were not warranted back in the 1970s, either.

The subjects of this new movie, former Washington Post employees Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, remain openly and unrepentant political partisans to this day, their purportedly fair-minded views relied upon as though handed down by Moses on Mount Sinai by a fawning younger generation of partisan media communicators.

And this is how the entertainment-media industrial complex creates fake news, fake heroes, fake election results, and protects a government rotting from within, starting with the very people sworn to uphold the law.

Release the Nunes memo, Mister President, and let the accountability begin. This, not the hoarding of power, is the role of government.

Our Wildlife Management Comments Submitted to the PA Game Commission

Dear PGC Commissioners,

In so many ways the Game Commission is on an exciting path, really moving forward on policy, staff culture, and scientific wildlife management. It is an exciting time to be a hunter and trapper in the great state of Pennsylvania, thanks to you. Hunting and trapping are supposed to be fun, and the PGC should be able to maximize opportunities without sacrificing the natural resource base. If anything, the agency has been perhaps too conservative, too cautious.  In that vein, here are some small suggestions for improving hunting and trapping in Pennsylvania:

a) Make all small game seasons concurrent, start them in late September or early October and run them unbroken until mid February. The current on-again-off-again schedule is silly, an artifact from many decades ago. Our current small game hunting schedule leaves kids and oldsters alike out in the cold with nothing to hunt if they can’t get to deer camp, or if they do kill a deer and want to keep on hunting. Hunters deserve maximum opportunities that do not degrade or put wildlife populations at risk, and adding a few extra days won’t hurt anything, but they will help hunters tremendously. Put another way, the risk of changing this is very low to non–existent, and the benefits are huge. Well, what is the risk, really?

b) Allow the use of snares in rural WMUs and/or on private lands. Cable restraints are an important trapping tool under any circumstances, and especially so as we experience ever-increasing freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw winters, with rain no less. These weird winter conditions render traditional footholds nearly useless both early and late in the season. Cable restraints can function better than footholds under those conditions, but they just are not sufficient for the big coyotes we are encountering. Getting coyotes into cable restraints is tough enough, and holding them there is even tougher. Chew-throughs of our cables are common, where a snare would positively catch the coyote and hold it, bringing it to hand and into the bag. In rural areas (or on private land) there is a far lower expectation or risk of a pet or feral dog or cat being caught. We are ceding too much to the anti-trappers by prohibiting snares where they can do the best good. A pet is an animal that lives in a home. Eliminating a very useful tool because of some vague or low-probability worry is not good policy. We can do better, and snares are much better than cable restraints in general, and particularly in the northern Big Woods areas. Also, CR certification can only be done right in person, through hands-on training. This online certification is going to lead to problems, especially where CRs are used like snares.

c) Allow the use of body-grip (Conibear) traps outside water courses, specifically on running-pole sets for fishers, bobcats, and raccoons. Like the snare situation above, our trapping regulations are unrealistic, they are too conservative, penalizing law-abiding trappers because of vague fears that under reasonable circumstances will not happen. Securing body-grip traps up off the ground is well out of the reach of dogs and domestic cats. Separately, if a pet owner lets their animal out the door to run free, where it can trespass, be hit by a car, be eaten by a coyote or fox or hawk, or get hurt in a fight with another animal, then they do not truly care about it and it is not a real “pet.” Pennsylvania trappers do not deserve to be hurt because of others’ irresponsible behavior. Elsewhere in America, the use of bodygrips on running pole sets is very effective and humane. We can stick with the #160 size as the maximum.

d) Extend the fisher trapping season and areas. Trappers in Berks and Lebanon Counties have told me of catching fishers in their sets, and we are seeing them in Dauphin County. There is no good reason why we cannot extend where and when we trap these abundant predators. Incidentally, they eat bobcats and turkeys, and it would be silly to expect fishers to simply harmoniously co-exist with other animals. They are a voracious predator and they will have a disproportionate impact on predator and prey populations alike if allowed to expand unchecked. Fishers are cool animals and I am all for having them in our ecosystems. What is lacking now are the mountain lions and wolves that in the distant past would have eaten them, and kept them in balance with other wildlife. We humans now fulfill the role of lions and wolves. Let us at ’em.

e) Make sure bobcat populations can sustain these long trapping and hunting seasons. We are seeing a lot less bobcat sign and fewer bobcats on our trail cameras. This was the first year we did not get a bobcat through either trapping or calling in 2G and 4C, and while this may be just our observation, we are concerned. If bobcat harvests must be reduced, then we prefer that it come out of their hunting season. There is a ton of hunting opportunities in Pennsylvania, and not a lot of great trapping opportunities. Heck, muskrats are practically extinct, coyotes have eaten most of the red fox in the southcentral, and possums are clogging nearly every trap. Let us keep our bobcat trapping intact.

f) Reinstate concurrent buck and doe deer hunting. We are seeing a high number of deer nearly every place we hunt (WMUs 2G, 4C, 3A, 5C, 5D). Deer populations are definitely lower than in 2001, and deer are harder to hunt now than then, but the quality is unbelievable, and the herd can sustain both doe and buck hunting. Pennsylvania is now a real trophy destination, so keep up the scientific management, which would include allowing hunting on Christmas Day.

g) Expand the bear season by one day in WMUs 2G and 4C, or rearrange the season entirely. There are an awful lot of bears everywhere, especially in 2G and 4C. On the Friday before bear season starts, we see loads of bears having tea and crumpets in the back yard. They are watching football and hanging out leisurely in reclining chairs. Come Opening Day through Wednesday, we might see the hind end of a bear or two, or we might occasionally harvest a bear, if we work hard enough. By deer season opening day the following week, the bears are back to having tea and crumpets in the back yard, hardly disturbed by all our hunting efforts. Another way to address this is to make bear and deer seasons concurrent, at least for one week, and perhaps start that concurrent season the week of Thanksgiving.

h) Do more to end wildlife feeding. We continue to see mangy bears, and deer baiting under the guise of “helping” wildlife through artificial feeding. It’s not good for the animals, and can actually be bad. People also feed wildlife to entice game animals away from (other) hunters. This is a cultural practice that PGC needs to do more to end, through education and enforcing the bear feeding regulation.

Thank you for considering our comments. We do love the PGC and admire your field staff, especially.

Josh and Isaac First (father and son)

Harrisburg, PA

Government OF the People, FOR the People

Are you confused, like me, that America has a political party wholly dedicated to importing and caring for illegal trespassers here in America, going so far as to shove aside our actual citizens?

America’s representative government is supposed to be OF the People, BY the People, FOR the People. The People being those citizens, taxpayers, and voters who were either born here or who moved here legally. The people America is made for, built by.

What kind of unsustainable, giant free lunch smorgasbord mentality does it take to demand that those who have labored to create and maintain this nation must also then absorb and care for millions of illegal trespassers, invaders, really, who demand much but give little? And then allow them to vote themselves more of our Social Security and tax money?

While looking through my history books I am unable to find anything like this in the annals of the world. It is kind of surprising, because written history is full of amazing events, almost unbelievable.

One somewhat possible comparison is the later Roman Empire, where certain regional ethnic tribes were absorbed specifically to function as mercenary warriors on behalf of Rome. That tribe sacked Rome twice, the first time seeking back pay, the second time for good, thereby ending the empire proper, and leaving distant Constantinople as the de facto seat.

Another possible example are the Hittites, who moved into Egypt, also possibly as a mercenary army, and also eventually usurping the Pharoah’s throne.

I think most Americans agree that we do not want our nation or civilization to end at all, much less in our lifetime by illegal invaders, no matter what purportedly good reasons they are here for.

So what on earth is happening that one American political party is so utterly dedicated to changing America through this unbridled invasion, riven with ethnic and cultural differences?

Why is this happening? What does this political party have in mind for America after these new people get voting rights?

Have they considered at all the sustainability aspect? Or does that not matter, and power must be pursued at any cost?

One thing is for sure, the same backwards unsustainable thinking that liberals accuse conservatives of when it comes to natural resource management surely applies here.

There is only so much a culture or tax coffer can sustain before it breaks.

We are reminded of 1960s protest music…

“And when you ask em ‘How much should we give’, they only answer more, more more” — Credence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son.

Or we are reminded of more poignant war music “Glory, glory Halleluya, his truth goes marching on…” as row after row of glinting bayonets in formation moved to nearby battlefields, to maintain the Union.

Why I am a Political Activist

Over the years I have been asked why I am so involved in politics, particularly as an unpaid activist representing my own sense of justice and fairness (as opposed to them being determined or set by corporate or union interests).

More recently, like yesterday, the opening salvo of a campaign to find and elect a primary candidate against incumbent state senator Jake Corman has prompted some citizens to ask me why. And not always so nicely.

That’s OK, because it is rewarding to see any American give a damn about politics, even if their favored elected official is a self-serving creep like Corman.

Folks, it is real simple. I am an activist so that you can enjoy your liberty and freedom, because that is what I believe in. No one pays me to do this. Rather, I take money out of my pockets and spend it so you can make a more educated decision, even if you don’t think you want that information. And believe me, after decades of the Corman clan hoodwinking the good people of central Pennsylvania, a lot of work is needed.

While I am not a member of the Armed Services, I am a member of the American citizenry, where individual political activism is part and parcel of our cultural fabric.

For me, political activism is a love of liberty, inspired by the freedom and promise of America. I feel inspired when I think of these things, and I am willing to fight for them, for you. Even if you don’t agree with my specific views.

Think about it: Most of the people on this planet live under tyranny, with no freedom, no choice, no opportunity, no liberty to express themselves or seek redress for bad political choices. China alone has over a billion serfs. Russia has several hundred million disenfranchised citizens, who are daily watching what vestiges of democracy they had cobbled together crumble.

What we have in America is rare, but here in America we also have so much material wealth and tranquility that our success is now putting people to sleep. People take everything we have for granted, forgetting the incredible amount of work and sacrifice it took to build this nation up to where it is.

We cannot take America for granted. America is not on autopilot, though to a lot of people it sure looks that way. Too much is at stake to have this attitude.

The hard fact is, you simply cannot outsource or delegate your role as a free citizen. No one else cares as much about your freedom and liberty as you care, and no one else will advocate for you as much as you yourself can, or will.

Another way of saying it is that democracy is where you get the form of government you deserve or have earned.

If you the citizen do not stay involved in civics, politics, and voting, then we will all lose what we have. Corporate interests, union interests, corrupt political interests, control freaks will all happily take over running the country for you, dividing it up amongst themselves, and increasingly edge you out of the picture while using you for your tax money.

Examples include Obama’s trillion-dollar Porkulus bill that enriched his allied interest groups; or Solyndra, the fake solar energy company to which Obama gave nearly $500 million of taxpayer money, your money. And then there is the Clinton Foundation, whose principals used government access and influence to generate kickbacks construed as charitable donations. In the Bush II administration, US VP Cheney helped steer a $400 million no–bid contract to his former employer Halliburton to help clean up Iraq.

As an ongoing enterprise, America takes constant vigilance by its beneficiaries – you, the citizen.

In 1787, at the end of the First Constitutional Convention held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin stepped out from behind the closed doors into the throng of citizens waiting outside.

There, on the same cobblestone streets so many of us are familiar with today, a Mrs. Powel asked him “Doctor Franklin, what was decided, shall we have a monarchy, or a republic?”

To which our good doctor Benjamin Franklin quickly responded “A republic, if you can keep it.”

And that is why I am an activist, because it takes constant citizen activism to keep our republic. It is what our great nation is built on.

Won’t you take my hand, or lend a hand, and help out?

 

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.

You understand, this is nothing to brag about. This settlement was probably unnecessary and in any event, it was a colossal waste of limited taxpayer money. At a time of tight budgets, this is no way to spend The People’s money. At a time of flush budgets, it is going to be the butt of late night comedy jokes, because it is bad policy but at least humorously so.

And speaking of The People’s money, do you know another fantastically bad public policy idea Meuser implemented from his perch in state government? He put the squeeze on Pennsylvania businesses, like the Mob would do to extract cash from innocent people.

We PA business owners, great and small, all received these ridiculous notices from Meuser’s Dept. of Revenue saying “Prove to us that you don’t owe this tax money below, and while you are mulling that over, pay this bill for what we think, but cannot prove, that you owe to state government.”

Meuser’s assault on PA businesses for fast cash to prop up bloated state government spending was so shocking that whatever bit of good will the Corbett Administration had left, was squeezed out of his remaining voting base. Nearly 100% of these phony tax bills ended up resulting in zero owed, but it was the kind of expensive and anxiety-inducing government red tape we expect from liberals. Not from business people. With people like Meuser in senior positions pulling these kinds of cheap stunts, it was  ever harder to see Corbett as a pro-business Republican.

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 every 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?