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A culture of protest, a culture of animosity

If you desire to see the raw underbelly of an overly tolerant democracy, then watch or listen to today’s US Senate hearings on Judge Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is a smart, friendly, humble, kind of nerdy, bookish federal judge who had the audacity to be nominated to the US Supreme Court.

Why audacity? Because he is not super liberal. Because he does not walk in lock-step with the media arm of the Democrat Party. Because he has a judicial philosophy that is directly connected to how America was founded. He does not run around making legal judgments that are contrary to the US Constitution.

All this makes him audacious in the eyes of people who would use the US Supreme Court to achieve de facto legislative results they cannot get in the US Congress. Kavanaugh is audacious in some people’s eyes because he dares to fill a vacant seat on the Court, and play a constructive role in administering US law and jurisprudence.

To me, it looks like the most boring job in the world. Though at one time, in the heat of my youth, I aspired to be a constitutional scholar and actually studied a lot of constitutional law at Penn State and in graduate school (Vanderbilt) in preparation for it. My uncle has argued twice in front of the US Supreme Court, and on his second trip I was honored to help draft an Amicus brief and sit in the audience while the justices grilled both sides.

But now, look at how even Kavanaugh, The Most Boring Man In The World, is attacked and dragged through the mud by opponents of a lawful society. A shameless howling mob greeted him and the entire world today in one of the world’s most hallowed democratic chambers, the US Senate. To watch and listen to Kavanaugh’s opponents today in The People’s chamber, you would not know that we live in the most civilized nation.

From the 1960s to present, a culture of protest has developed to the point where the ends justify the means. That is, if someone opposes a political issue or a political person, they can go batshit crazy in front of everyone and put on the most foolish antics, with the craziest accusations, and the most violent and destructive behavior, because they are simply protesting.

And because they are protesting, they must be correct, is how they think. And if people oppose them, or have a majority in a legislative chamber or on a court, then every possible brick must be thrown in order to stop them…is how they think.

Where protest has its healthy roots in the First Amendment’s guarantee of peaceable assembly and petitioning the government, today’s protests are anything but constitutional. They are violent and hate filled, lawless and vile, cruel and destructive of people and property.

A very real culture of animosity has resulted out of the 1960s, and it is a bad thing, a toxic thing, corrosive and uncivilized. Its practitioners do not wish to live and let live; they desire control above all, and the use of angry mobs and threats to intimidate their opponents into acquiescence.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Hungary fell the same way. Slowly but surely the Communists there used a combination of violent mobs and corrupted police and courts to eliminate their political opponents. The Hungarian Communists used democratic processes and institutions to achieve non-democratic, tyrannical ends. Hungary went from one of Europe’s great nations to completely oppressed under the Communist boot. Only through uprising and great sacrifice were the Hungarian people freed once again, long after many horrible repressive crimes had been committed.

That same thing is now happening today with the national Democrat Party, whose hatred for the common person, the working person, the taxpayer and citizen, America’s “normal” and boring people, like Judge Kavanaugh, is so overwhelming that it can no longer be controlled.

If you love America, if you enjoy your simple pleasures and the basic freedoms we have here, then tell your US senators you support Kavanaugh, and do not vote for Democrats. The national Democrats do not have your interests at heart. Democrats care much more for illegal aliens (purported “victims”) who murder and rape our children than they care for you or me, taxpaying citizens who have worked hard to build this nation.

A good, decent man, a Justice Kavanaugh will restore some semblance of lawful and constitutional behavior to America, and the howling mob opposes that. Don’t let them win. They are not “protestors,” they are angry, lawless destroyers who pretend they are under the protection of the First Amendment.

Today’s slavery

Yes, today’s slavery is the long-going slavery of Africa, where after a thousand years of continuous slaving, both Africans and Arabs still enslave weaker Africans and sell them or use them as slaves. The contraband diamond pits of west Africa are where many African slaves are sent nowadays, even as small children. Worked unceasingly with little food or shelter, people don’t last long in these roles.

This is occasionally reported in the press, mostly in the English media, which has a commendably long history of abolitionist fervor.

Yes, it is also the “white” slavery of Asia, Europe, and America, where every-day people down on their luck disappear from streets, bars, and hotels. Some are already prostitutes, largely separated from their families and friends, and thus already vulnerable to going missing. They are already easy pickings for disappearing and sale abroad. Plenty of white girls from stable middle-income homes are included; “runaways” who are never found.

Many are sold to Asian, Arab, and European oligarchs, who use these slaves for personal pleasure until they are done with their “fun,” and then they discard them like a broken toy. The discard is usually some sadistic and gruesome ending.

Plenty of Chinese and Latin American people are being shipped over into America as slaves, too, as are Russians and Ukrainians. They have specific destinations, usually factories, where they are promised eventual release for working long days. If you think they are eventually released, don’t kid yourself. Once a human being is enslaved, that’s it. Pretty much only escaping is the happy answer to the question of what next.

A very tiny amount of this is reported in any media, and why this is so, remains a mystery. After all, slavery is slavery is slavery. It is all bad. The Chinese human trafficking does seem to get more media attention, probably because Chinese are considered to be a “minority” in America, and therefore some sort of at-risk population. And we know how the US media like a good victim, real or imagined. It is difficult to understand how an Asian slave is more of a victim than a Caucasian slave from the corn fields of Iowa, but this is how multiculturalism warps people’s views. And no one has a more warped view than a person holding a degree in journalism.

And then there is the new slavery, and it is the worst of all because it is done under the guise of “kindness” or “fairness,” and it has the force of government coercion behind it.

We are talking here about big government socialism making a full-out assault on Western democracies, and an assault on the idea of the free individual, under the guise of fairness and equality, everyone being treated the same.

Of course, the fairness and equality of socialism and Marxism are forced on people, by a big government apparatus. You do not have a choice in the matter. And it is always sold as being done with the best of intentions, even when it turns into a disaster, as have all socialist and Marxist governments.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

The stronger the government, the weaker the citizen.

Although by modern standards and definitions, citizens are supposed to control their governments, western civilization is now succumbing to a Marxist march that was begun a hundred years ago. But it really picked up steam in the 1970s, when colleges began stacking their decks with avowed Marxists who then indoctrinated the young people coming to them for education. Year after year, young people have gone to college to get an education, and instead have emerged with a seething hatred for everything blocking the Marxist takeover of America: Armed citizens, conservatives, Republicans, businesses, the Constitution.

What is now under way is the aggressive attempt to enslave Americans to a form of government completely alien to how America was founded. A tremendous clash is shaping up, not between Democrats and Republicans, but between about 25% of the population that loves freedom and individual liberty on the one side, and about 20% of the population that believes in forcing Marxism on everyone through big government programs and restrictions on the other hand.

The Democrat Party is, as it always was, the party of slavery. It is the Democrat Party that is the official voice and political force for Marxism through big government, and therefore it is the force of slavery in our day.

Sadly, the Republican Party is not the abolitionist party it was in the 1850s and 1950s. No, today the Republican Party has been largely co-opted by Marxism-lite, with most elected Republicans around America being “moderates” who neither stand up for the citizenry nor for America. These are big government Republicans who have made a business of government, turning government operations into a get-rich scheme. They simply delay the day that Marxist slavery arrives, they do not actively, aggressively oppose it. They are too busy trying to get rich off the citizenry.

And if we kind of follow this line of thinking to its logical conclusion, as the politics are likely to play out, then that makes Justice Neil Gorsuch about the most endangered human being on the planet. And that is because he alone is the deciding vote, for now, blocking the anti-Constitution Marxists on the US Supreme Court from implementing their judicial coup d’etat over America’s citizenry (their stated goal of overriding the Second Amendment and forcefully disarming Americans, through, what else, massive, invasive, personal government coercion, exactly what the Second Amendment was designed to prevent).

Frankly speaking, and yes, it saddens me to observe this, with all of the Democrat street violence aimed at conservatives over the past two years, and with all of Obama’s illegal government spying against his political opponents and attempts to frame them and put them in jail, and with this latest DC march to disarm innocent civilians who have done nothing but live by their Constitution, and with all of the media now siding with the big government Marxist slavers, it is surprising that America has not experienced a wave of political assassinations.

I hope and pray that Justice Gorsuch has adequate security.

Bullies with Salami Slicers

Matyas Rakosi was “Stalin’s man in Hungary” in the 1930s-1950s.

Although his Hungarian Communist Party and its allied Socialists earned positions in only about 20% of the Hungarian government in the 1930s through election results, despite making their case to the Hungarian people in election after election, the Communists slowly bullied their way into controlling more positions of societal control, like the Hungarian police and the courts.

And yes, they literally bullied their way into these powerful positions by publicly whining, and complaining, and feigning hurt when rejected, with real displays of petulance and foot-stomping, and crying how unfair it was that they could not fully participate in public life, even though their views were repudiated over and over at the ballot box.

They falsely appealed to good people’s sense of fairness, and lied about their true intentions. Slowly they gained traction.

Technically their police and judicial roles were just twenty percent of the government functions, but in reality, they were critical choke and control points, where legal matters met criminal punishment matters, and where people’s careers and lives could summarily end.

Mind you, the people in these police and judicial roles were Communists and Socialists. Thus, due process, human rights, fairness, facts, the rule of law, etc. did not matter to them. What did matter to them was control, absolute iron-fisted control of everything, and especially of the government, but also the things that make a government run well, like citizens’ free speech rights, the right to peaceably assemble, etc.

From those police and judicial roles, the Hungarian Communists and Socialists picked off their political opponents, one by one. By creating fake accusations based on mere hearsay and insinuations, they frog-marched innocent people into court rooms where honest and fair justice was the very last thing anyone could expect to encounter.

[we are seeing the same process play out in Washington, DC, where the security apparatus has been captured, politicized, and used to destroy political opposition]

In those courts, where the falsely accused defendants were frequently unable to defend themselves, and where clearly manufactured “evidence” was presented against them, the Communist judges handed down arbitrary and cruel sentences. Usually it was death by strangulation, but sometimes by firing squad. One way or another, people who had been Hungarian nationalists, patriots, leaders, good men and women all, were criminally ensnared by their political opponents.

One by one by one, political opponents of the Communists were literally eliminated, and the remaining fence-sitters were bullied into silence and acquiescence.

Person by person, office by office, Hungary’s Communists gained control of new parts of Hungary’s government, and one by one they bent those new offices into reaching their goal of complete political and social domination.

Eventually, Hungary went from one of Europe’s oldest, greatest, most creative, most successful nations, to one of darkness, where freedom and liberty were unimaginable. And where the cruelest physical tortures and public humiliations were not only imaginable, they were happening nearly daily across the nation.

What better way to bully a populace than to make public examples of people?

[here in central Pennsylvania we had one notable attempt at public shaming and modern public execution some years ago when the thugs at PennFuture tried to get a local meteorologist fired from his TV weather news job because he refused to publicly bow before their claim of man-made global warming…same old same old!]

From Soviet Russia, uber tyrant Josef Stalin smiled, as his minions in Hungary slowly dismantled a free nation and put it under the control of Soviet Communism. Stalin’s chief architect and implementer of Communism in Hungary was Matyas Rakosi.

Rakosi joked about slowly but surely eliminating his political opponents by “slicing them like salami,” one at a time, until the entire group opposing him was gone.

Exactly this is now happening in America. Right now. Under our feet and in front of our noses.

We don’t call it Communism here, but the Political Correctness now slowly taking over our nation is just as cruel, fascist, and intolerant as any Communist regime in Europe ever was. PC’s minions here in America are just as devoted to getting full control of everything as their European counterparts were just two generations ago.

It is worse in Europe now, where fascism is roaring back to life, reincarnated as PC. Two days ago a British court held a man guilty (of something vague and subjective) and DESTINED FOR JAIL for the awful crime of teaching his cute little dog to do the Hitler salute on YouTube. No lie. Meanwhile, England is disintegrating under the weight of petty crime, which cannot be punished, because the perpetrators are overwhelmingly “protected populations.”

America’s best institutions have been completely captured by PC: The media, the educational system from top to bottom, government, the military, communal institutions, even places like Chautauqua Institution. All turned into weapons, implementing PC and control, and the elimination of political opposition.

Nearly all of these places have routine public humiliations, shaming, and summary “executions” of political misfits. Chautauqua Institution fired one of its best vice presidents because she was too supportive of Israel’s right to exist. Universities routinely fire professors who exhibit any free thought beyond the arbitrary bounds set by PC.

This weekend we will see another Communist public bullying event in Washington, DC.

It is a fake march about nothing, though on the outside this march is against private gun ownership and the NRA. The march is not about the actual facts, actions, processes and programs (like “PROMISE”) that resulted in Nikolas Cruz shooting his fellow Parkland students.

Rather, the march is aimed at falsely accusing and publicly shaming America’s legal gun owners and their chosen private organization, the NRA, of having been complicit in Cruz’s massacre.

When in fact, it is the gun control groups and their political enablers who are the most responsible for that massacre.

We are seeing Rakosi’s old “salami tactics” right here in front of us, playing out again. Trial-by-media, false accusations, public shaming, bullied citizens slowly giving up more and more of their control of their government to tyrants, who really just “mean well.”

We have one political party aggressively acting as the official vehicle for PC, and the other political party pretending to put up a fight, while focused on its pensions, power, secret pay-offs, and crony capitalism.

The question is, will we be complacent and compliant, like the Hungarians, and watch our freedoms be slowly pried away from us by career politicians and unaccountable bureaucrats, under false pretenses?

Or will we fight back?

One way you can fight back is to not stand on the sideline while the salami slices are being made. When you see your neighbor, friend, colleague or fellow activist get picked up and picked off and spirited away for the kangaroo court event, you can and should intervene.

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.

 

Second Letter to Candidate Josh Feldman

Dear Josh,

Congratulations, you did maintain your position on the ballot after our challenge. But you have traded away your credibility and integrity in the process.

I read the courtroom transcript of your March 17, 2017 testimony, and on page five you stated under oath that you consciously falsely signed two affidavits. Even though you have only been an active attorney for a grand total of 78 days, surely you know that affidavits are the bedrock of our legal system. A falsified affidavit undermines everything our legal system stands on and stands for. The person who falsifies an affidavit is obviously unqualified to fill a judicial role. You are unqualified, Josh. Your own court testimony impeached your own credibility.

Additionally, you have run for this magisterial seat on the representation of being “the only attorney” among the candidates. But you only became an active licensed attorney on March 2, 2017, the day before you filed your first set of ballot petitions. On page three of your court testimony, you admit that you do not actually practice law and have no court room experience, having become “inactive” just one month after bar admission and having been “retired” from 2010 until this March 2nd.

Your attorney information page on the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court says “I do not maintain professional liability insurance because I do not have private clients and have no possible exposure to possible malpractice actions.”

So your biggest selling point is actually flim-flam, a faint technicality. What is the point of electing an attorney who has no experience actually being an attorney, and who right out of the gate violates the most important election laws to try to get ahead?

Josh, how on earth could your lawyer have allowed you to take the stand in your own defense at the ballot petition hearing?  Do you not realize the self-damning testimony you gave in court?

Perhaps no one should be surprised, as your incompetent goofball lawyer Adam Klein now has yet one more loss to his credit.  You have learned an expensive but important lesson: Just because a lawyer is smug and arrogant does not mean he is seriously up to the task of effectively representing you.

Josh, I pledged $250 toward the outcome not as some sort of silly bet or wager, but as a principled statement about my belief in personal accountability.  My philosophy of government requires me to do this: I had put my name out there as a plaintiff in a formal complaint about your ballot petitions, and you stayed on the ballot. In that process we learned that you have poor character, your word means nothing, and you have greatly over-represented your qualifications.

So, Josh, you do get the enclosed $250 check, but you will get no apology from me, because when you took the stand in court you admitted to filing false affidavits on your ballot petitions. You impeached your own credibility.  If you cannot be trusted to file basic honest paperwork, then what do the voters expect of you if you become a magistrate and sit in judgment of us?  Your petitions were flawed, Josh, and remain so, even though they technically contained enough signatures to keep you cross-filed and on the ballot.

This whole experience is sad to me. You have hurt yourself through your own over-reach, and then you were further injured by poor legal counsel. I like the fact that you are a fellow small business owner, and I wish that you had earnestly run for office on that good qualification alone. People could respect you for that.

Sincerely,

Josh

Josh First

Harrisburg City, PA

May 12, 2017

Marsico, Rozman and Morris for Dauphin County Judge

If you consider experience and qualifications alone when selecting a county judge, then there are only three logical people to get your vote on May 16th, 2017:

Ed Marsico

Michael Rozman

Royce Morris

Ed Marsico has been Dauphin County’s district attorney for a long time, so long that I have lost count of the years. During his time as the chief law enforcement official for Dauphin County, Ed has always struck a balance of fairness and restraint, when lesser people would have given in to anger over some of the heinous crimes committed in the Harrisburg area. That always struck me as the sign of a well developed personality, because man, I did not feel that way about some of the scumbag criminals he prosecuted. I wanted a public stoning. Ed pursued justice. Without any stain on his long career as a visible and scrutinized public servant, Ed Marsico is the most qualified candidate for county judge in this race and one of the most qualified we have ever had. He has earned your vote. (Ed has done a great job as DA, and I and many others would have liked to have had him run for Pennsylvania Attorney General, but Ed is devoted to Dauphin County).

Michael Rozman has served as deputy district attorney under Marsico for a long time. Often laboring away out of the limelight, Rozman has racked up some of the greatest experience any lawyer can have. Rozman’s mastery of forensics, crime scene investigations, police interviews and interrogations, and knowing how to distinguish a bad boy from a true bad guy puts him head and shoulders above any of the other candidates, except for his boss, Ed Marsico. Again, if experience and outstanding qualification matters to you, if you want justice and not politics in the court room, and if you want to be judged by someone who has had decades of experience dealing with courts, criminal matters, justice, and police work, then Michael Rozman has earned your vote.

Royce Morris is also exceptionally qualified to be judge, and he is the Yin to the Yang of Marsico and Rozman. Morris has been one of Central Pennsylvania’s leading criminal defense lawyers for a long, long time. His view of criminal law is seasoned with the understanding of the behavior and reasons why certain bad things happen and how people either purposefully or mistakenly end up in the criminal justice system. Royce has received accolades from judges, jurors, prosecutors, defendants and police officers for the careful way he has handled some of the region’s toughest defense cases. Again, if experience is what you care about, and you want to be judged by someone who is not a party hack or a devotee of political climbing, then Royce Morris earns your vote.

It is true that there are other candidates for the three vacant seats on the Dauphin County court. But none of those candidates has anywhere near the hard-bitten experience dealing with tough crimes and careful analysis like Marsico, Rozman, and Morris have had.

The quality difference between the top three candidates and the others is measured in light years, which is to say an enormous gap, not even close.

Yes, it is true that a Republican political endorsement was made for this seat, which benefited one of the other candidates, and while I am no fan of political endorsements in general, if there is one place where a political endorsement does not belong, where it actually indicates weakness and not strength, it is during the selection of a judge. Politics has no business entering the court room or the judge selection process, and only you, the informed voter can stop it.

About eight years ago now-Judge Andrew Dowling was not endorsed by the Dauphin GOP, and he was told not to run, and yet he went on to win his seat on the court, overcoming what is obviously a very shallow and judicially meaningless political process. A better process would be to rank judicial candidates by a letter system, or by gradations of qualification (e.g. Highly Qualified, Qualified, Not Qualified). That election, when Dowling overcame the political hackery, was a refreshing reminder of the wisdom and power of the citizen voter.

Three years ago outstanding judicial candidate Bill Tully was passed over by the Dauphin GOP, and another, very young and less qualified candidate was endorsed. He was closer to the political establishment. The voters rejected that set-up, too, and sent Tully to be the next Dauphin County judge. That election, when Tully overcame the political hackery, was a refreshing reminder of the wisdom and power of the citizen voter.

Readers may ask why I write these essays about candidates and politics, and I will tell you it is simply because I have always had a passion for good government and fairness. Believe me, I make no friends writing these things, I receive no money and actually have lost business because of my opinions. And I have garnered some enemies along the way, too. But if Americans are not brave enough to stand up for what they deserve, then they get really bad government filled with political hacks who care nothing for the welfare of their fellow citizens. Maybe I am brave, maybe I am foolish, but I stand up nonetheless, and I tell it like I see it, and I tell it from the perspective of the person in the street.

Vote for Marsico, Rozman, and Morris, and you will get judges we can be proud of. That is my opinion.

Ooh-ooh, that smell

Dedicated readers of this site might wonder why we are not commenting about the lameness of a political party that filibusters everything in the US Senate, used “the nuclear option” themselves to advance the most radical and extreme federal judges and political appointees from 2010 to 2015, but which now is screaming bloody murder that the other political party followed their lead, did exactly what they did with the Senate rules, and allowed a simple majority vote to confirm the next US Supreme Court justice (Gorsuch) yesterday.

Why would a normal, healthy person spend time on that issue? It is obviously quite insane. One political party is dominated by people with an agenda that does not fit in with America’s political model. Would you normal people please stop supporting the Democrat Party, until its leadership is replaced with normal, mainstream Americans?

Instead, this essay here takes a line from a Lynyrd Skynyrd song about drug abuse, “Oooh-ooh that smell.”

This is about a daily personal health issue that seems to be unknown and unaddressed, despite having a real effect on Americans across the country. If you care about your health, read on.

We Americans are so addicted to cheap Chinese junk (tools, food, clothing, furniture, shoes, tires) that we shop ever more in big box stores filled to the brim with that cheap Chinese junk.  Or buy from Amazon, which imports from China by the shipful.

And when you enter the doorway of these big box stores, you are confronted with an odd, sickly sweet smell associated with the vast majority of Chinese manufacturing: Formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is used to pickle human remains for wakes and open casket funerals. It is used to stash scientific specimens in glass containers, so they will not rot, so they can be viewed and studied.

Formaldehyde is dangerous, toxic, and both acutely and chronically dangerous. And yet Americans work around hugely elevated amounts of formaldehyde in these ubiquitous big box stores, and Americans shop daily in these same places, all blissfully unaware that they are inhaling a significant amount of nasty chemical.

The formaldehyde you smell in the store is off-gassing from the consumer items sitting in cardboard boxes on the store shelves. This chemical permeates everything made in China, and there is so much of it that for years it keeps leaking out of the plastics, fabrics, and woods sent here, which we then put in our homes and garages as furniture and tools.

You are worried about ambient cigarette smoke? Cut us a break! Exposure to air-borne formaldehyde in these amounts is far worse for the human body, far riskier than the occasional cigarette, as is standing on a street corner in down town Manhattan, waiting for a street light to change, for that matter, because of all the ozone, particulates, and sulfur/ carbon dioxide/monoxide smog.

But nothing is being done about ambient formaldehyde risk, because it is associated with too much money and economic activity. And it is invisible, except to the nose.

There are no sexy prohibitionist crusades about ambient formaldehyde like there is with tobacco use (an upcoming subject here).  And yet take a good whiff the next time you go to a big box store. That weird sickly sweet smell is formaldehyde. Your lungs are getting a free embalming when you enter.

Note: If we bought American products, made in USA facilities where formaldehyde is not allowed to be used, then we would not be exposed to it when we went shopping. But we are like drug addicts, addicted to cheap Chinese junk, to our own detriment.

Coach Joe Paterno Vindicated

While there is a lot to learn from the Penn State – Jerry Sandusky debacle, such as adults should do common sense things, and adults should not rush to judgment, etc., there is one thing that has emerged from the recent trials involving former PSU president Graham Spanier and former assistant football coach Mike McQueary (who just hours ago won yet more millions of dollars from Penn State): Coach Joe Paterno was totally innocent.

Recall that legendary head football coach Joe Paterno was wrongly blamed for the actions and then results of past assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s mass child molesting ways. The whole thing was correctly a shock, but everyone who was around Sandusky was blamed. Hell, I think the board of trustees even tried to blame a janitor, no lie. The infamous Louis Freeh report was issued, one of the great works of bad fiction, and Joe Paterno was summarily fired.

The man had devoted himself to Penn State, to the improvement of college sports, to the improvement of college athaletics, to the novel idea that a gifted college athlete could also receive a quality education and go on to have a meaningful and successful career after college football, including (gasp) those athletes who did not make it into the NFL.

This is novel, because 99.8% of college football teams are like puppy mills, where young men are used up in a short term quest for wonderful ratings and glamour. It’s a pile of crap and it is wrong. Only Coach Joe Paterno and a couple others (Coach Lou from Notre Dame, of course) stood against that sick tide.

And that is why Coach Joe Paterno was pilloried in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.

Not because Paterno had done anything wrong, by act or by omission, but because he stood so far above everyone else around him. As college sports standards sank lower and lower, Joe stood for old fashioned values like hard work, earning your way, mentorship, patriotism, community, and all the other quaint values and ideas that are passe when so much money and fame are to be made.

So Paterno was fired early into the Sandusky scandal, by a spineless PSU board of trustees scared of its own shadow and lacking in the bravery and honesty that had marked Joe’s entire life, when he answered his front door on a weekend morning.

The results of this week’s trials are a kind of trial of Joe Paterno in absentia. Had Spanier been found guilty of certain charges, then one might have been able to ascribe the same guilt to Joe. And had PSU prevailed against Coach McQueary, and not lost for the umpteenth time, each time costing PSU millions of dollars, then one might have been able to say that PSU was right in firing Joe because he had failed to act when learning that Sandusky was a monster.

But none of that happened. Yes, this week Spanier was found guilty of the misdemeanor of child endangerment. Given that everyone on Planet Earth now knows the facts surrounding this, this makes sense.

What does not make sense is how Paterno’s great name has not been cleared.

Fact: Paterno called Spanier on a Sunday morning, having heard from McQueary the night before that Sandusky was seen raping a little boy in the football locker room.

Fact: Spanier then went on to hush it all up because of his fear of bad press. Fact: Spanier is a slime; hell, we could tell that just by his appearance and demeanor. But it is now official.

And it is also official that McQueary was a good guy and did what he was supposed to do.

What has not yet been made official is that Coach Joe Paterno remains one of the best human beings to have ever played a role in American sports, and he was wrongly accused, wrongly persecuted, wrongly terminated, and wrongly maligned even after his death.

This week’s court results vindicate Coach Joe Paterno’s good name and reputation.

Now put his damned statue back up and name Old Main after him.

Tyranny by Ten

This Tuesday, two and a half days ago, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals created a new law about guns and gun ownership in America out of thin air and completely contradicting recent US Supreme Court decisions the lower courts are bound to follow

If you want to see why citizens’ faith in the judiciary branch has declined, this bizarre decision is the best latest example.

It is gross over-reach far exceeding the court’s authority, and nullifying all of the judicial precedent litigated and decided before by the highest court.

Recall that judges cannot make up law.

They are fully bound by precedent.

They cannot make up policies.

They cannot come to a conclusion that is outside the subject of what has been litigated in front of them.

They cannot second-guess Congress.

They cannot ask what personal motives were behind a president’s executive order.

It does not matter what a judge personally thinks. None of this is supposed to enter into a judge’s ruling. When it does, the ruling is meaningless garbage.

Judges can only interpret the laws that are passed by Congress and signed by the President, or the state equivalent. That is it. That is their sole scope and ability.

At their most precise and honest moment, judges simply determine if a law is Constitutional, or not, or if it needs to go back to the state or federal legislative branch for re-work.

Brazen activism like this week’s decision serves only to undermine the judiciary, not strengthen it, because people will either utterly ignore these wayward judges, or they will seek to have them removed from their office, for good cause. Or both.

I myself do not feel bound by this illegal decision, and I will not comply with it no matter who says I must. These ten judges-gone-wild do not outweigh the collective decisions of the populace. If this court wants my guns, the authors of this decision can come to my home and try to take them away.

Come and (try to) take them!

In this particular instance of judicial malfeasance, ten of the court’s fourteen judges decided on their own that a new legal test was needed, a test that had never been used before by Congress, by the framers, the Constitution, or prior courts.

These ten judges decided to call it the “weapons of war” test, and they simply state that the Second Amendment never intended for American citizens to possess “weapons of war,” which according to these judges include the basic AR-15 rifles that are commonly used to hunt coyotes every week across the nation. Never mind that this new test would have eliminated from their personal possession the very military grade guns the American Patriots used to defeat the British.

But obviously logic is not of concern to these judges. The language of the majority decision and supporting decision is florid, full of political and emotional hyperbole, uses sophomoric logic and impolitic language (“the American people deserve a break”), and is simply disconnected from Constitutional text or legal precedent.

It is the equivalent of my kids saying “So, there!” in an argument.

But wait, there’s more!

Beyond being merely political, the majority bizarrely state that the decision is consistent with the US Supreme Court’s Heller decision, when it is in fact completely contradictory. Talk about shades of Orwell’s “1884,” where up is down, black is white, etc.

This is not a legal decision, it is a political decision.  It is a bold, defiant “I dare ya!” act by ten radical politicians wearing sombre black robes. And it is not just about guns. This decision is about rogue, out-of-control judges destroying the fabric of our Republic, which was not designed to turn over all issues to the judiciary, as if they make our every decision for us. This court throws the whole delicate machine of democracy out of kilter.

These judges are anti-democracy, plain and simple. They want a certain policy outcome, and because they cannot get it legitimately, legally, through the established legislative process, they simply want to wave a magic wand and make it so.

As much as this illegal decision shocks me, I do have to thank these judges, because they have outed themselves. By engaging in such egregious over-reach, illegally reaching deep into the realms of policy and law, they have willingly exposed themselves as frauds deserving of the most serious correction our system of government allows for – removal from the bench.

Now it is up to those American citizens who want to ‘drain the swamp’ and reclaim American government so that it serves We The People, to remove these anti-democracy activists from their sacred judicial roles. We can push to have them impeached or removed administratively.

Either way will do. Tyranny by ten cannot stand. We the People demand our rights.

 

Risk & Sacrifice separate grass roots activists from insulated party professionals

In 2009, like many other citizens shocked at the sudden, dramatic changes and corruption re-shaping America, I greatly increased my political activity.

Part of a grass-roots wave of citizen activists that year, I ran in a four-way US Congressional primary.  It’s a long story, and in short I ended up liking one of my opponents so much I hoped he would win.  Along the way, several people closely affiliated with the Republican Party tried to dissuade me from running, assuring me that a certain sitting state senator would beat the incumbent Democrat, congressman Tim Holden.

Our campaign still netted about 25% of the vote in a four-way race, which is solid performance, especially considering that one of the candidates had run before, one was a sitting state senator, one was a well-known political activist, and we had gotten a late start and spent little money.

In the general election, Holden crushed the Republican state senator who won that primary race by 400 votes.

Fast forward to January 2012, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejects a new, heavily gerrymandered Republican redistricting plan.  At the heart of the court’s decision was the “egregious” and grossly unnatural shape of the 15th state senate district, where I happened to then reside, and still do now, too.

The PA Supreme Court called the new district “the iron cross,” and indeed it looked like a cross shape and was iron clad against upstart citizens asserting themselves in political races reserved for establishment members only.

(My current congressional district is the same, with only about ten blocks of Harrisburg City included in what is otherwise a large, rural district reaching the Maryland state line. Guess who lives in that ten-block area. Yes. Me. )

Given my previous public interest in running for the 15th senate seat, it was obvious that excluding our family’s home from that district was purposeful: It was an attempt by political bosses to artificially silence and thwart an otherwise good candidate who does not see his job as serving political bosses.

The court’s ruling allowed a handful of us to wage a tremendous grass roots 11th hour campaign for that senate seat, getting our start two days into the three-week ballot petition process.

Although we did not win, we did give the political bosses a hell of a challenge by winning a huge number of votes with only pennies spent.

A year later, York businessman Scott Wagner beat those same political bosses for his state senate seat, in a historic write-in campaign against a million dollars of party money. The race, and its remarkable result, drew national attention.  Clearly the voters responded to Wagner’s grass roots campaign in the face of a party juggernaut.

This evening I spent some time speaking with an NRA staffer.  We met at the Great American Outdoor Show, which is the former Eastern Outdoors Show and now NRA-run at the PA Farm Show complex, and he gave me an opportunity to vent a bit and explain my frustration with the NRA.

To wit: An increasing number of grass roots activists now perceive the NRA as merely an arm of the Republican Party establishment political bosses.  The same bosses who oppose conservative/ independent candidates like me and Wagner.

See, back in 2012, I was the only NRA member in that three-way primary race (to be fair, one candidate had been an NRA member for several months, which could never, ever be construed as a political move, even though he was the candidate selected by the same political bosses who created a safe district for him to run in), but the NRA refused to get involved.

If there was any endorsement that was deserved in that race, it would have been the NRA endorsing their one and only member, and a decades-long member at that – Me. (Firearm Owners Against Crime did endorse the one pro-Second Amendment candidate, thank you very much, Kim Stolfer)

And then tonight it dawned on me on the way home from the Farm Show complex…two basic but defining experiences separate grass roots activists and candidates from the party establishment: Risk taking and making sacrifices.

By definition, grass roots candidates take many risks and make many sacrifices, both of which are seen as signs of weakness by the establishment.

Self-starters motivated by principle and passion for good government, the grass roots candidates and activists have to reach into their own pockets to get any traction, and they often risk their jobs and businesses in challenging the establishment power structure.  To get invitations to events, they have to reach out and ask, knock on doors, make phone calls.  They have to cobble together campaigns made of volunteers and pennies, and they usually are grossly under-funded now matter how successful they are.

On the other hand, party establishment candidates have the ready-made party machine in their sails from the get-go.  Money, experienced volunteers, paid staffers, refined walking lists, the establishment can muster a tremendous force in a relatively short time.  Establishment candidates also enjoy artificial party endorsements (formal or informal) that give them access to huge pots of party campaign funds or a leg-up in other ways.

Establishment groups like NRA view grass roots candidates the same way as the party establishment views them- trouble makers.

In short, few if any establishment candidates put in their own money to drive their campaigns, take risks, or make sacrifices in their pursuit of elected office. Everything is done for them by other people.

So long as party establishment staff and officials and groups like NRA maintain this artificial lifestyle and view, this alternate reality, this disconnect between the grass roots voters and the party that needs their votes will continue and deepen.

So long as the voters see grass roots activists and candidates struggling against an unfair arrangement that is created solely for the preservation of political power and profit, they will continue to migrate away from the party and support people they can relate to the most.

An elder in my family once told me that taking risks and making sacrifices build character and lead to success, and although a 26-year career full of both risks and sacrifices has often left me wondering at the truth of that claim, I increasingly see it bearing out in electoral politics.

The voters are not dumb; they can see the pure American earnestness in their fellow citizen fighting City Hall.  They respect risk-taking and sacrifices made in the pursuit of saving America.  That is a strong character which no establishment candidate can or ever will have.

Those political parties and groups that ignore that strong American character do so at their own risk, because they will lose the supporters they need to be successful.