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Harrisburg’s Mayoral Race: Not Even One Lesser of Many Evils

Here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, we are cursed with the single-party dominance that is the bane of nearly every other American city.

The lack of political competition means that voters and citizens are offered few choices, and a very narrow band of philosophical differences to choose from.

Like most other American cities, Harrisburg is dysfunctional, broke, mostly black, and run by the Democrat Party. American blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats and the corrupt special interest groups that hover about them, like the teacher’s unions.

Until American blacks start asking themselves why they keep voting for the failure and poverty that the Democrat Party has afflicted them with since the days of Southern slavery and Jim Crow, these cities will remain in their broken status.

Even state capital cities like Harrisburg. Our city’s school district is the worst in Pennsylvania, because it is dominated by the teacher’s unions. With bad schools, would-be taxpayers flee to school districts where they get something positive for their property taxes. And where their kids are more likely to get a decent education.

And to be fair, while you are more likely see better financial success in a conservative-run city, the fact is that cities dominated by a single party of any sort become playgrounds for careerists and corruption.

So here we are, with Eric Papenfuse as our current mayor.

Eric’s big claim to fame is that he graduated from Yale University. Seriously, I am not joking. Eric uses that assertion as if it is the beginning and dramatic ending of any policy discussion. It is as if he is stating “I am simply smarter than you, because I went to Yale, so discussion is over.”

Yale is like all the other Ivy league schools: Utterly worthless. Yale’s Politically Correct indoctrination has dumbed down students, not made them smarter. The liberal Borg mentality brooks no questioning, no competition.

As a human, if you do not question, then you do not develop critical thinking skills. Simply being “right” on a long list of leftist talking points does not make a person smart. It makes them intellectually inferior, even disabled. I believe this is why so many liberals get crazy mad when they are debated – they simply lack the ability to logically, calmly debate.

I will always give credit where it is due, however, and even sweaty faced Papenfuse has some achievements under his belt.

By withholding expenditures, the city now has some money. And some departments are actually functioning for the first time in a long time, like trash pickup and public street sewers.

Eric’s main political ally, Alex Hartzler, has felt comfortable enough to continue to make risky, low-yield redevelopment investments in bombed out ghettos. This generates new home sales and a new tax base, a sense of security and community. The private market can work, if allowed to work.

Laugh at these small accomplishments if you will, Harrisburg was on a trajectory to become another Detroit.

And to be fair, being the Harrisburg mayor is probably an unwinnable job, regardless of party or of personal charisma. It just may be one of those roles that in the current environment cannot be done well by anyone. The constraints are tight, the flexibility is low, and the wildcard variables are numerous.

A fractious and unimpressive city council does not help, either.

So it makes sense to make no predictions or endorsements in this race.

Even with six or seven mayoral candidates to choose from, it doesn’t appear that we even have a lesser-of-two-evils to choose from. They are all disasters.

Papenfuse has his hands full with city council member Gloria Martin, who may win simply because of  identity politics. If she wins, we may go forward, we may go backwards.

It is doubtful anyone could tell the difference.

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May 11, 2017 UPDATE: Jennie Jenkins has been recommended as a strong mayoral candidate by someone whom I and many other Harrisburg City voters look to for guidance and leadership.


May 14th UPDATE:  I learned Jennie Jenkins is a former city police officer. Great! Who was apparently fired or dismissed or who voluntarily left the police force because she was accused of stealing $350 from a police benevolent association fund. She’s suing various city leaders over this and says all charges were dropped. Patriot News reporters say almost all the charges were dropped, except one light misdemeanor that included no admission of guilt, repayment of whatever sum got misplaced, and ARD. Like I said above, the list of mayoral candidates is not super strong.


May 14th UPDATE: Mayoral candidate Anthony Harrell describes himself as a patriotic Iraq war veteran (thank you for your service, Anthony) who supports Second Amendment rights. His writeup in the recent print version of the Patriot News is the first I’ve heard of him. Definitely the kind of candidate Harrisburg needs. But no one knows he’s a candidate, except him.


May 14th UPDATE: After previously waging jihad against and attempting a political suicide attack on the Harrisburg Civil War Museum that caused city residents to shake our heads in mystified disbelief, Eric Papenfuse now says the place he wanted to bomb into rubble is actually “a valuable city resource.”  Uhhhhh, OK. Like we all know, the list of Harrisburg mayoral candidates is pretty weak. This is the best we’ve got….

 

 

Did PA Senator Scott Wagner go too far?

Naturally people in all political parties are asking if Pennsylvania state senator Scott Wagner went “too far” when he grabbed cameras from a trespassing stalker who illegally followed him into a posted private building for a private non-political event.

Clearly the American Bridges stalker was literally over the line.

If you have to break a bunch of laws to try and prove that some elected official is a bad guy, then you have defeated your own purpose.

Again, the videographer stalker lied to get himself inside a private event on private property. The event was not political. The participants there did not give their permission to be photographed or recorded by the stalker.

Inside, the stalker hoped to get video of state senator Scott Wagner saying something that could be used against him at some future point.

Once again we see someone on the Left ignoring laws that are in their way, in the pursuit of achieving some goal against a political opponent. Basically, the same thing going on at Berkeley and many other places where close-minded fascists do all they can to shut down speakers who they disagree with. While claiming some sort of righteous mantle.

On the one hand, it is refreshing to see an elected official actually DO something, like actually take action on anything other than getting in line for another free meal at some political event.

After asking the guy to stop, to no effect, Wagner strode over and took away the illegal cameras. He had that right. By law.

And by nature, someone trying to bully you deserves a bit of a smack back.

So on that score, Wagner did well.

And he did not whine, or give fake smiles. He acted like a man. Like I said, in that way this is refreshing.

On the other hand, Wagner clearly lost his cool and was a little uncoordinated in his efforts. He was visibly upset and acting on his emotions.

As my friend Pastor John said, Wagner could have exhibited a little more poise. And both the politico and the athlete in me agrees: Never let them see you sweat, or lose your cool, and don’t get physical unless you are going to be smooth.

And for the record, there are things about Scott Wagner that I like, mostly his policies. And there are things, or to be more exact, moments, that have left me upset with the man. Having spent two days outside working polls to get him elected, I earned the right to criticize Scott Wagner. And I have some unhappy things to say about his behavior with me.

But that’s not the subject here. What is the subject is why the Left keeps ignoring laws they don’t like, that get in their way. Their behavior is anarchic, inconsistent with the rule of law. Why they expect to do these things without pushback and resistance is not understandable.

On that score, Wagner’s actions were a good “shot heard round the world” type moment.

The rest of us could emulate it. Smooooothly.

 

Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land

For a long time, former NRA president Charlton Heston was still my president.

During the Clinton presidency for sure, and even plenty of times in the George W. Bush presidency, I felt like the person in the White House did not understand or represent my views.  So, frequently I would say “Charlton Heston is still my president.”

Even though he was no longer NRA president, he still best captured my views on being an American.

Charlton Heston may have been president of the NRA, a big deal, but even more important, he played the role of Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments.

Heston played that part with intense passion, because as a man of faith, it meant a lot to him. He believed in the words he said as an actor, because the words he said on screen had the power to suggest in millions of homes across America.

His suggestion was  that America follow the Bible.

Why not? America is based on the Bible.

Heston ends his role on the east side of the Red Sea, proclaiming liberty throughout the land.

Here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell sits, with the Biblical words “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land,” taken from the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The Passover story tells the details of that experience, an inspiring lesson that has come to symbolize freedom for oppressed people all over the world.

Tonight is the beginning of Passover, and this coming weekend is Easter. Together the two holidays capture the Judeo-Christian foundation of America. One is a more physical release from bondage, while the other is more of a spiritual release, a resurrection of the indomitable human spirit.

You need both to be totally free, to totally know liberty. And to be an American you absolutely must know liberty, and reject big government, nanny state policies, and government overreach.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

The bigger the individual liberty, the happier the American, the more spirited he is.

So this special week in particular, let each of us proclaim liberty throughout the land of America, my fellow citizens.

Rejoice in our religious liberties, our political liberties, our free speech liberties, our freedoms, and cherish them, cherish them all.

Remain dedicated to liberty, for it is always unpopular with the many people who would enslave us all, and we do not have to look far at all to find those people, as power corrupts.

 

Perception

My perception of many people around me is changing, and I don’t like it.

Many people are partisan enough to do everything they can to downplay the scandal unfolding around Susan Rice and her former boss, Obama.

When someone’s partisan commitment is greater than their commitment to the health of our republic, then the ties that bound no longer exist. We are on totally different sides of a line.

Note that Nixon was forced to resign by a bipartisan effort to bring credibility back to the presidency. We wouldn’t see that today.

Man, that scares me. It means Americans no longer share the values and identity that were the glue that made us one nation. One people.

It’s hard to take seriously a lawyer friend who can find no fault with Susan Rice or Obama, and who can find nothing right with Trump. If an officer of the court can’t be trusted to be objective, then the whole premise of America falls.

“The Civil War is Here”

Occasionally someone else’s writing is posted here. This below is outstanding analysis plus brave words. If you love America as it was founded- constitutional, focused on individual liberty and freedom, freedom from government, freedom of religion, etc, then this essay from the Freedom Center is for you. And if you are curious about an alternative perspective than what the Hollywood – Media Industrial Complex serve up every day, this is for you, too.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/266197/civil-war-here-daniel-greenfield

THE CIVIL WAR IS HERE
The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule.

March 27, 2017

By Daniel Greenfield

A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.

It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.

It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.

It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become “patriotic”.

There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.

After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.

This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.

Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.

That’s why compromise has become impossible.

Our system of government was designed to allow different groups to negotiate their differences. But those differences were supposed to be based around finding shared interests. The most profound of these shared interests was that of a common country based around certain civilizational values. The left has replaced these Founding ideas with radically different notions and principles. It has rejected the primary importance of the country. As a result it shares little in the way of interests or values.

Instead it has retreated to cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda.

But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.

In the hidden transition, its authority figures had hijacked the law and every political office they held to pursue their ideological agenda. The left had used its vast cultural power to manufacture a consensus that was slowly transitioning the country from American values to its values and agendas. The right had proven largely impotent in the face of a program which corrupted and subverted from within.

The left was enormously successful in this regard. It was so successful that it lost all sense of proportion and decided to be open about its views and to launch a political power struggle after losing an election.

The Democrats were no longer being slowly injected with leftist ideology. Instead the left openly took over and demanded allegiance to open borders, identity politics and environmental fanaticism. The exodus of voters wiped out the Democrats across much of what the left deemed flyover country.

The left responded to democratic defeats by retreating deeper into undemocratic institutions, whether it was the bureaucracy or the corporate media, while doubling down on its political radicalism. It is now openly defying the outcome of a national election using a coalition of bureaucrats, corporations, unelected officials, celebrities and reporters that are based out of its cultural and political enclaves.

It has responded to a lost election by constructing sanctuary cities and states thereby turning a cultural and ideological secession into a legal secession. But while secessionists want to be left alone authoritarians want everyone to follow their laws. The left is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates with severe punishments for those who disobey.

The left describes its actions as principled. But more accurately they are ideological. Officials at various levels of government have rejected the authority of the President of the United States, of Congress and of the Constitution because those are at odds with their radical ideology. Judges have cloaked this rejection in law. Mayors and governors are not even pretending that their actions are lawful.

The choices of this civil war are painfully clear.

We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.

But we cannot have both.

Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.

That is what we have now.

The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.

The question is what comes next.

The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.

The left doesn’t believe in secession. It’s an authoritarian political movement that has lost democratic authority. There is now a political power struggle underway between the democratically elected officials and the undemocratic machinery of government aided by a handful of judges and local elected officials.

What this really means is that there are two competing governments; the legal government and a treasonous anti-government of the left. If this political conflict progresses, agencies and individuals at every level of government will be asked to demonstrate their allegiance to these two competing governments. And that can swiftly and explosively transform into an actual civil war.

There is no sign that the left understands or is troubled by the implications of the conflict it has initiated. And there are few signs that Democrats properly understand the dangerous road that the radical left is drawing them toward. The left assumes that the winners of a democratic election will back down rather than stand on their authority. It is unprepared for the possibility that democracy won’t die in darkness.

Civil wars end when one side is forced to accept the authority of the other. The left expects everyone to accept its ideological authority. Conservatives expect the left to accept Constitutional authority. The conflict is still political and cultural. It’s being fought in the media and within the government. But if neither side backs down, then it will go beyond words as both sides give contradictory orders.

The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws and its elections. Now their treason is coming to a head. They are engaged in a struggle for power against the government. That’s not protest. It’s not activism. The old treason of the sixties has come of age. A civil war has begun.

This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
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Dangerous RINOs Ahead

Around the world, both the leading and moderately successful democracies  are unsustainably absorbing huge numbers of illegal immigrants who both refuse to integrate and probably could not integrate, even if they wanted.

In most places they show no signs of integrating, and are instead associated with lawlessness and chaos.

Europe, Israel, and America are where this is happening.

The faux “victim” status of the invaders has given them access to publicly funded health and education benefits, against the will of the people paying for them.

This invasion-in-fact puts increasing economic and social pressure on existing populations, the people who built their societies from the ground up. You know, the “natives.”

These European natives live in the very places against which the invaders are entitled to “resist occupation.” Why and how it is “occupation” when Europeans and Americans move to other countries, but it is a morally required population shift when everyone moves to Europe and America, is one of those mysteries that can probably only be explained by being steeped in the ‘deep thinking’ of Marxism.

This presently unarmed invasion is made possible by ruling elites who either benefit financially from the cheap labor influx, or who personally enjoy signalling their great virtues and thus willfully ignore the huge problems descending upon the natives.

While you would think leaders from opposite sides of the aisle would collide on this civilization-ending invasion, the truth is that huge collaboration between left and right party establishments is what has enabled this in the first place. Most of the left and the right are run by ruling class elites.

Among the world’s ruling class elite, the RINO is the most dangerous animal. This is because the RINO says it is a watch dog, when in fact it is a guide dog for the invaders while the American family lies asleep inside the cozy home.

Living in its own cushy, posh, comfy little corner, insulated from the reality around it, the careerist RINO just has to successfully pretend to be a watch dog and occasionally bark like a watch dog. That keeps most of the rabble away. Never mind that the rabble are the citizens the RINO is supposed to be watching.

Aside from a small group of conservatives in Congress and in state houses, the GOPe is not protecting America. The GOPe is not standing guard. Sure some of the GOPe members make a few noises about standing up for the citizens they represent, but just like with the GOPe recent unwillingness to eliminate ObamaCare, these RINOs cannot bring themselves to make a principled stand when the time has arrived. It might upset someone and threaten their cozy elected job.

Around here in central Pennsylvania, career congressman Charlie Dent is probably the greatest example of the most worthless of RINOs in Congress, and state senator Jake Corman is the best example in the PA legislature.  Won’t a couple patriots please challenge Dent and Corman in their upcoming primaries?

It is time to make these RINOs an endangered species. Otherwise, America will become an endangered specie itself.

Weekend with the PA sportsmen

Though being involved with the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs since about 2000, maybe 1999, I have never spent an entire weekend at one of the group’s annual conventions.

Founded in the 1920s, PFSC is one of America’s oldest conservation groups. Back in 1954, the group started what is now the Great American Outdoor Show, now run by NRA.

PFSC has been at the forefront of every major environmental issue (sometimes with the greens, sometimes not), conservation initiative, and gun rights fight since the 1920s. It is a group worth giving to in any way you can, and it seems to attract the most selfless, generous, interesting people.

This past weekend was my first full PFSC convention, and I enjoyed it a lot. It was eye-opening and heart warming. My new role as Perry County Delegate gave me a whole new view.

Here are some observations:

First, the group is politically, ethnically, genderly, and religiously diverse. Not just a bunch of “white guys with guns,” the group is administratively and professionally run mostly by three kind, patient, and bossy women, with an impressive second vice president on her way up to being president in the new few years. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Atheists, Deists, and probably a couple Druids. Republicans, Independents, Democrats, liberals, moderates, conservatives, and knuckle-draggers. Financially successful business people, blue collar workers with dirt under their nails, retired state, federal, and private industry workers. It is a rich and neat mix of very different people from across Pennsylvania, who share a few passions: Wildlife conservation, habitat conservation, passing on the outdoor heritage (hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing etc), and Second Amendment rights. But ageism reigns supreme, with not many young people showing up.

Second, the group is overwhelmingly in the “Oldster” category, with a few truly young people. There’s a lot of white hair and white beards. I am 52 and I am considered one of the “young guys.” But there are some active 20- and 30-somethings. Why lots of younger people are absent is probably attributable to these reasons: a) Like many other Americans, young sportsmen take a lot for granted, b) Like many other Americans, young sportsmen are happy to let someone else carry their weight, c) Americans are scattered all over the place with family and work obligations, and people raising young families are programmed from Friday at 4:00 until Sunday at 9:00 every weekend.

Something needs to change here, though, and young people must get involved with PFSC. There are a lot of forces out there quietly working against the interests of sportsmen, and if the guard is weakened or dropped, then the negative changes will happen fast and furious. Think your shooting range is grandfathered in, and protected from all of the new housing that suddenly surrounded it? Guess what, someone could challenge your range’s status in court for the 29th time, and finally get a lousy judge who decides to be the creator of law, not the arbiter. Only PFSC stands ready.

Third, these are the most generous, community-spirited people you will ever meet. They are devoted and happily spend their own money to protect what they love. Unlike the popular but nevertheless wrong method of demanding that everyone bend to some individual’s wishes, the sportsmen just keep giving and giving, and hoping that eventually everyone else will realize the trails, pretty birds, farms, and public lands they take for granted did not just happen because. Rather, sportsmen were there at the beginning, working hard to protect these resources for decades. Simply because they are visionary, passionate, dedicated and hard working.

Would you please lend a hand?

Buy a three-dollar raffle ticket?

Come out and work a Youth Field Day?

Join a club and pay a little money to keep the ranges looking spotless?

Join the PFSC as an individual, or simply donate five or ten bucks, to help pay for the FULL TIME lobbyist on Capitol Hill?

You don’t like lobbyists, you say. OK, who then is going to head off bad legislation aimed at destroying your Second Amendment rights, stealing your public lands, fouling the public waters, or allowing wildlife to only become roadkill?

Only the PFSC protects the interests of all Pennsylvania sportsmen. They have been doing it since the 1920s, and they are doing it today.

Join this small but spirited and accomplished crowd, be the best you can be, or just send them five bucks and help a worthy cause. It is your own cause, after all. http://www.pfsc.org/

Comey must go

The FBI is supposed to be above politics.

Steadfastly professional, uncorrupted, uncorruptable, the FBI is supposed to be the impartial, non-partisan steady hand on our nation’s law enforcement.

So when FBI director James Comey blatantly stuck it to Republicans last Fall, then stuck it to Democrats days before the election, in an apparent effort to curry favor with an incoming Republican administration, and then stuck it to Congress and President Trump days ago with blatantly false testimony and open contempt for a directive to cooperate with other law enforcement personnel, it wasn’t a sign that the guy is an equal opportunity jerk.

The guy is just an unprofessional jerk.

Comey is enjoying playing politics, in the center of politics, for his own ego trip and personal sense of power, and that simply is not acceptable. The costs this imposes on our fragile nation are too high.

The guy is openly wallowing in a personal power trip. His arrogance is on full display, right down to his smug face while giving patently false testimony before Congress.  That is, denying there was an investigation of Trump, or a recent corruption of the government’s investigative powers, when there are now handfuls of evidence that Trump and other private Americans with no foreign security value were wiretapped and surveilled by the Obama administration. And they then leaked that information out to the press, an avowed opponent of Trump.

Even Washington Post partisan activist Bob Woodward now concedes that Obama administration officials may end up going to jail over this.

Fire Comey. He is simply a public servant like any other public servant, with a bigger burden to prove his restraint and professionalism than anyone else. He is not up to that task. We The People deserve better and it is time for him to go.

President Trump, please do America a favor and let Mr. Comey go join the private sector.

 

 

Letter to Candidate Josh Feldman

Dear Josh Feldman,

It brought me no pleasure of any sort when I became the plaintiff in a court challenge against your Republican ballot petitions for the local Magistrate job here in Uptown Harrisburg several days ago.

The magistrate seat is currently held by Judge Barb Pianka, and she is seeking re-election. You are a declared candidate seeking to unseat Pianka, as you have a right to do as an American citizen. In fact, as an aside, I am glad you are running, in the sense that I think more people ought to run for all elected offices. Additionally, I am totally opposed to the current ballot petition process, because it artificially and unfairly favors incumbents and establishment political parties and their political machines, which works against individual citizens and against the collective interest of We The People, the citizenry.

America needs fewer career politicians, fewer elected officials who are simply owned by special interests who use government for their own personal/ private enrichment, and we need more solid citizens who view elected office as a temporary public service to their fellow citizens, not as a taxpayer-funded career.

So, in that broad, philosophical sense, I support your run for office.

And, I must accept and work with the specific ballot petition process as it is now, not as I wish it were (not).

Josh, you are challenging a judge whom I and many others in this area hold in good regard. Judge Pianka has not only done a good job, she has also not done the bad things that normally earn a sitting official a strong challenge. For example, no one has accused Judge Pianka of taking bribes, falling asleep in the court room, abusing people in her court room, malpractice, erratic behavior, or other typically disqualifying actions. Had she done any of that, you would probably have my emphatic support, or at least my tacit support, depending on other candidates in the race.

Uptown Harrisburg is an oasis, and Midtown Harrisburg is becoming an oasis through continued investment and re-development. By oasis I mean these places are locations with bona fide residential taxpayers, businesses, relatively low crime, and a good quality of life, as opposed to a greater proportion of the city proper. Judge Barb Pianka is to a fair degree responsible for this status, because of her measured judicial approach in this district. So losing Judge Pianka could lead to a loss of stability and quality of life in these areas. Too many of us have homes and investments here to justify risking a change with a new, unproven magistrate.

Thus, I support Judge Pianka and will continue to support her until she develops a fatal flaw or faces a superior candidate. Neither of those conditions are in play now.

I am a Republican plaintiff complaining about your Republican (cross-filed) ballot petitions because as I have come to understand, those petitions are deeply flawed. I signed as a plaintiff with that understanding. If, in the course of the unfolding legal proceeding, your petitions are determined to be not faulty and are acceptable, then I will do the two following things: First, I will issue you a public apology. Though I am acting as plaintiff in good faith, I believe in taking responsibility for my mistakes. Second, I will contribute $250.00 toward your legal fees incurred while defending your petitions.

After all of this is settled one way or another, Josh, I hope that you will become more active in the city’s political and cultural landscape. Hopefully this first foray of yours is not your last. State representative Patty Kim has become far too comfortable, too partisan, too passive, and remains unproductive; we would all do well to see a change in that seat. Or perhaps city council would be a place to try out your political interests.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and good luck in all things but your pursuit of unseating Judge Pianka.

 

Josh First

Citizen

 

New York Times Invents Time Machine

The New York Times was once the flagship news source in the whole world. It was the standard by which all other news sources and newspapers were judged.

What happens when a trusted news source becomes an active partisan in politics is inevitable: The credibility banked over decades is spent in a fury of attacks, which then blow away like dust after the contest is ended.

Partisans of all sorts inevitably find themselves clawing for survival, as it is the nature of choosing artificial sides in a world of holism. Sliding over the cliff, partisans act like a drowning victim on the way down. They’ll do anything to keep from going under, no matter how futile or self-defeating. It’s like using the wood from your home’s walls to run the fireplace.

So back in January of this year, the NYT ran headlines about how Trump was wiretapped. Why not? The NYT was one of the partisan proponents alleging an official investigation into Trump, and wiretaps are part of those kinds of investigations. The NYT was doing its best to damage Trump’s credibility, his standing, his ability to act as president. The NYT was trying to delegitimize Trump, and reporting that he had been wiretapped had all the trappings of a bad guy being surveilled by official law enforcement good guys.

Fast forward a couple months, and now “wiretap” has a whole new meaning: Today it means that the Obama administration illegally wiretapped and conducted illegal domestic spying against political candidate Trump. We now know there was no investigation of Trump, ever. But we also know there was eavesdropping aka wiretapping of Trump. The leaked transcripts of his calls prove it.

In this context, “wiretap” sounds awful, even damning when an Obama ally like the NYT reports it, and if you are in the business of bashing Trump and protecting Obama, which the NYT is, then you certainly don’t want to support evidence of the greatest political scandal since Watergate.

So the clever NYT invented a time machine. They went back in time to their January 2017 headlines that screamed “WIRETAP” and digitally altered them, on their website. No kidding. I do not lie. Check it out.

They “fixed” the NYT headlines, which might have a double meaning that applies here quite well. The NYT “fixed” its own headlines from months ago, so that going forward it would appear that the NYT had never said that Trump was wiretapped by Obama. Because now that sounds like an admission that Obama was conducting his illegal domestic spying on a US citizen and politician. The NYT retroactively changed its own history to support the narrative it currently promotes.

Being partisan, and not a news organization, the NYT will do whatever it can to support its allies (Obama) and damage its enemies (Trump, America, traditional values, Christianity, etc.), so the record has been forged to preserve a current version of events that are most favorable to Obama.

Now the forged January 2017 NYT headlines say that Trump’s name came up in “data intercepts” conducted by the NSA while spying on Russian officials stationed here in America.

Data intercepts. Doesn’t that sound a lot more acceptable, more palatable? A lot less invasive? A lot more normal than the actual spying via wiretaps we witnessed going on against Trump by the US government under Obama’s stewardship?

Like a drowning man, the NYT is going down the tubes. Its credibility is shot, gone, spent wildly like a drunken sailor during the recent political contest which saw Trump elected over the NYT’s favored Clinton. Trying to alter what it wrote months ago is simply fakery, forgery, really, and the NYT has been caught red-handed doing what it would never allow anyone else to do: Go back in time and re-invent reality to fit today’s immediate purposes.

If this isn’t fake news and alternative facts, then what is? But this is surely news.