↓ Archives ↓

Posts Tagged → federal

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.

 

Ryan’s NobamaCare Plan

RINO Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House, is unveiling a complicated “reform” of ObamaCare as I write these words.

To say his plan is complicated is a gross understatement. The fact that it requires so many charts and graphs tells us everything we need to know: No.

The main problem with Ryan’s NobamaCare plan is that it becomes part and parcel of an already clunky and complicated federal tax code.

We don’t need no more stinkin’ federal tax code stuff, unless it is a total overhaul. Like elimination and replacement.

Ryan’s plan just makes it all worse, both the health care part and the federal tax part.

Only elimination will suffice.

One of the issues with political careerists like Ryan is that they are unwilling to think or act outside the box. They accept certain premises handed down by previous elected officials, instead of questioning why and how they did what they did.

I mean, look at federal and state pension problems alone. What on earth motivated previous elected officials to create these monstrosities? It sure wasn’t a careful and judicious use of limited taxpayer funds! Why, you could be led to believe that those former politicians had used taxpayer money to create largess and thus buy votes, so they could stay in office….

Career politicians like Ryan are terrified of making a mistake, because they are terrified of losing their cozy job and benefits. He refuses to make a principled stand when it can count. So he\they stick to what is politically safe, ie palatable to the special interests that control him\them and then those interests that control the opposition party.

The concerns of us citizens factor in way last, if at all in their calculations.

So, ObamaCare must go, as it is the Unaffordable Care Act, and no, you could not keep your health plan, and no, you could not keep your doctor. It was a disaster. You cannot fix a disaster. You get rid of a disaster.

And while we are at it, can we get rid of RINO Ryan, too? America needs a principles-focused person, man or woman, in that congressional seat. Ryan ain’t gettin it done. In fact, as we see this morning, Ryan is making it a lot worse than it already is.

If I couldn’t keep my doctor, then why do I have to keep Ryan?

Say bye to both problems.

Is it time for civil disobedience and ignoring kook judicial holdings?

Civil disobedience, non-resistance obstructionism, and peaceful protests against clearly unfair laws and violent government agents is time-honored in America.

Civil disobedience works because it appeals to the higher mind, it appeals to the best, highest conscience in Western Civilization.  You have to have an open mind to have civil disobedience work on your political views so that you vote for change from the status quo.

It won’t work in a Muslim country, where civil disobedience will just get you locked up and tortured, or summarily killed.

It did work for Ghandi in India because the 1940s British empire valued democracy and voting rights, and the public cry at home over images of British soldiers shooting peaceful protestors in Delhi’s public streets threatened to up-end political control at home.

Americans have successfully employed civil disobedience since the 1920s: Segregation laws, no voting rights for women, a lack of equal rights or opportunity across so many sectors of society… the causes were real and political changes were needed for America to live up to its promise.

And ain’t America an amazing place that it is designed to change and heal old wounds, to become a better place?

Because the original use of civil disobedience was so righteous, because so many of the laws being protested in the 1920s through the 1960s were so outrageously unjust, the behavior eventually took on a connotation of being above the law and always justified.  In fact, over time even violence became justified in the name of Marxist versions of “justice,” and pro-violence slogans like “No Justice, No Peace” evolved.

Today, violent, fake civil disobedience has been employed by the “Occupy Wall Street” thugs, and by the violent criminals in Ferguson, Missouri.  These events always start off as a routine, rote, formula civil disobedience act, and then they quickly devolve into destruction, arson, violence, beatings, attacks on bystanders….all in the name of some Marxist version of “justice.”

Inevitably, politically allied elected officials have begun to implement their jobs in a similar fashion.  No matter what the law says, they ignore it, and make a big public deal about subverting the law.  As if they are justified.  They actually take pride in failing to implement the law as they are supposed to.

Examples of elected officials ignoring and subverting the law are a county clerk of courts issuing same-sex marriage licenses, despite Pennsylvania law saying it is illegal.  Or Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane refusing to defend state laws, because she personally disagrees with them.  Or California banning state judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts.  Or the Obama administration willfully failing to implement immigration law.  Or Harrisburg City mayor Eric Papenfuse refusing to rescind city ordinances that are plainly illegal under state preemption law, because Papenfuse holds certain personal views about guns.

This lawlessness by the very people entrusted with safeguarding and implementing the law is dangerous.  These wayward officials stand on quicksand, because the basis of our republican form of democracy is the rule of law – equal application of the law, irrespective of what one personally believes.

If government officials begin ignoring laws they disagree with, and implementing law that was not voted into being by the consent of the voters, then the rule of law is over, it has ended.  The glue that holds America together is corroded, and the whole edifice can come down.

But let’s ask why only one side of the political debate does this.  We know they get away with this because the mainstream media protects them, but the MSM veil has been pierced by the Internet, so the flow of information is no longer completely bottled up by fellow travelers.

Put another way, why don’t other people, say people like American traditionalists, “conservatives,” engage in the same behavior?

Here is an example of what could be done: Last week a federal judge ruled that Arizona must issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.  Never mind that these people are in America ILLEGALLY, the claims they make for their applications could be and often are fraudulent, and the cost of these services is unfairly covered by taxpayers.

Why don’t the good officials of Arizona simply ignore that judge’s insane ruling?  That judge has no ability to actually make Arizona issue drivers licenses, and if I worked in Arizona government, or if I still worked in federal government and had something to do with allowing illegal immigrants in, I would simply ignore that judge’s crazy ruling, or the illegal commands of the occupant of the White House.

There, folks, how do you like the taste of that medicine now?

Think of the many kook, nakedly political judicial decisions that are handed down, contrary to law and policy.  Why reward these dictatorial jurists by following their dictates? Why not simply ignore them?  God knows, they are earning it.

Civil disobedience and official lawlessness is a game that everyone can play, and at some point the people who have been acting like adults will recognize they only stand to lose by following the rule of law while their opponents exploit their fidelity, and only by fighting fire with fire will they make it clear that everyone must follow and implement the law, no matter what their personal views are, or everyone loses.

Or, people can do it the old fashioned way, and work to get the law changed one vote at a time.

Fifty years of designated wilderness

Two weeks ago marked the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act.

It applies to federal designation of remote areas, not to states. States can create their own wild areas, and some do. States closest to human populations and land development seem to also be most assertive about setting aside large areas for people and animals to enjoy.

I enjoy wilderness a lot. Hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, and exploring are all activities I do in designated wilderness.

Every year I hunt Upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains, in a large designated wilderness area. Pitching a tent miles in from the trail head, the only person I see is a hunting partner. Serenity like that is tough to find unless you already live in northern Vermont, Maine, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming or Alaska. It’s a valuable thing, that tranquility.

This summer my young son sat in my lap late at night, watching shooting stars against an already unbelievably starry sky. Loons cried out all around us. A gentle breeze rustled the leaves on the birch trees above us and caused the lake to lap against our rocky shore.

Only by driving a long way north, and then canoeing on a designated wilderness lake, and camping on a designated wilderness island in that lake, were we able to find such peace and quiet. No one else was anywhere around us. We were totally alone, with our camp fires, firewood chores, fishing rods, and deep sleeps in the cold tent.

These are memories likely to make my son smile even as he ages and grapples with responsibilities and challenges of adulthood. We couldn’t do it without wilderness.

Wilderness is a touchstone for a frontier nation like America. Wilderness equals freedom of movement, freedom of action. The same sort of freedoms that instigated insurrection against the British monarchy. American frontiersmen became accustomed to individual liberty unlike anything seen in Western Civilization. They enshrined those liberties in our Constitution.

Sure, there are some frustrations associated with managing wilderness.

Out West, wilderness designation has become a politicized fight over access to valuable minerals under the ground. Access usually involves roads, and roads are the antithesis of a wild experience.

Given the large amount of publicly owned land in the West, I cannot help but wonder if there isn’t some bartering that could go on to resolve these fights. Take multiple use public land and designate it as wilderness, so other areas can responsibly yield their valuable minerals. Plenty of present day public land was once heavily logged, farmed, ranched, and mined, but those scars are long gone.

You can hike all day in a Gold Mine Creek basin and find one tiny miner’s shack from 1902. All other signs have washed away, been covered up by new layers of soil, etc. So there is precedent for taking once-used land and letting it heal to the point where we visitors would swear it is pristine.

Out East, where we have large hardwood forests, occasionally, huge valuable timber falls over in wilderness areas, and the financially hard-pressed locals could surely use the income from retrieving, milling, and selling lumber from those trees. But wilderness rules usually require such behemoths to stay where they lay, symbols of an old forest rarely seen anywhere today. They can be seen as profligate waste, I understand that. I also understand that some now-rare salamanders might only make their homes under these rotting giant logs, and nowhere else.

Seeing the yellow-on-black body of the salamander makes me think of the starry night sky filled with shooting stars. A rare thing of beauty in a world full of bustle, noise, voices, and concrete. For me, I’ll take the salamander.

BLM giving open land a black eye

The Bureau of Land Management was established as a temporary holding entity, dealing more with water management than common natural resources and the plants and animals living on the land under its care.

Now, BLM has become the poster child of Big Government Gone Wild, using armed force and the threat of lethal force, let alone more prosaic forms of terrifying government coercion, to achieve dubious policy goals.  Many of these policy goals grate on the public, who perceive them as being at best ancillary to BLM’s mission, if not at odds with the multiple-use land management models the agency is supposed to implement.

Citizens, who own their American government, chafe at official signs that say “No Trespassing – BLM Property,” as though the very taxpayers underwriting BLM are alien invaders upon that government-managed ground.

Job #1 would be to actually communicate with the citizenry about the agency’s policy goals, the underpinnings and purpose of its policies, the reasons for protecting some landscapes from vehicles.  Certainly, BLM can achieve better ways to manage environmentally sensitive land, and perhaps asking the citizenry for ideas would take the agency into new, good places.  Many users of federally-managed lands are actually savvy about Leave No Trace, and most others at least care, even if they do not yet know how to minimally impact an area.

BLM’s heavy hand in the supposed name of environmental quality is giving all open land a black eye.  As a result of BLM’s foolish behavior, all kinds of questions are being asked about public land, not just about how it is managed, but why it even exists.  Perhaps it is a good discussion to have, and I certainly stand on the side of having those public spaces, but so far the BLM is just pouring gasoline on the fire, which threatens to overtake all public lands.

Part of any discussion should include What Next about BLM.  The agency has clearly outlived its established purpose.  My instinctive thinking is to divide up its lands among the agencies best suited to manage each piece – National Park Service for this heavily used area, National Forest for this timbered area, and so on.  And no, conveying some of these lands to states is not a bad thing, so long as the deeds carry perpetual stipulations that the lands cannot be sold to private owners or converted to some other use.  Mining, timbering, preservation of historic artifacts, water management, passive and active recreation, scenic beauty, ecological purposes…states can do many of these as well as a federal agency, and all without having snipers in fatigues pointing guns at citizens.

If nothing else, getting rid of BLM to get rid of its ridiculous snipers and armed thug culture is a worthy step.  Not only is that insane behavior unworthy of a representative government, it is unrelated to the purpose of protecting open land in the first place.

What should happen in Arizona

The federal government is over-reacting, as usual, tossing cows off of long-time federal grazing land in Arizona, as it is now magically no good for grazing.

Apparently desert tortoises never got along with huge buffalo, which look and weigh a lot like cattle…but wait…the tortoises did get along with the buffalo.  So it is tough to see what the US government needs to do this for.

It is certainly another Obama attack on self-reliant rural Americans.

It is certainly another opportunity for hopped-up federal agents to play cowboy with American citizens in their gunsights.  They set up “First Amendment Zones” that are ridiculous to see, and they are arresting people trying to document how many valuable cattle (beef is at an all-time high now) the government stormtroopers are taking away.

It is a bad situation, like Ruby Ridge and Waco were unnecessarily bad situations.

You know what should happen? A posse of militia should go out there and throw the federal agents off the land.  Have an armed stand-off.  Show this heavy-handed government that we, the people, are not going to take it any more.

This sounds radical to you?  Well, then, the Boston Tea Party, Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill were “radical,” too.

C’este la revolution. C’este America.

Senate ceding its role to president: Chaos

The US Senate has recently changed rules that have helped maintain America’s checks-and-balances system of government for over 150 years.

In the interest of bolstering the executive branch’s incredible reaches for off-limits power, the senate has ceded its role as being a legislative check.  The senate is now an adjunct of the executive branch.

Recent senate rules change allowed radical, far out of the mainstream federal judges to be confirmed.  They in turn go on to help the executive branch implement its unconstitutional actions.

Assuming we get through this crisis without a civil war, what happens if a new president is elected from the other party, and he or she wants to correct the damage done to America, liberty, and democracy over the past five years? When that president employs the same exact methods, will the current party cede the field, acknowledge that politics is a two-way street, and relinquish their rights?

No, they won’t.  They will fight like hell, use their media allies to bolster them in the public eye, and accuse the new party in power of all kinds of contraventions.  Hypocrisy? Yes.  It is the norm in politics, apparently.

If amnesty is granted to 8-10 million illegal immigrants, and they become voters, then the two-party system is over.  America will become artificially dominated by a single party bent on controlling the citizenry through gun confiscation, NSA spying, and more onerous socialism designed to end our capitalistic system.

I, for one, will go down fighting, if necessary.  I hope you, too, will join your liberty-loving fellow citizens and either prevent the country from descending into chaos through successful political work, or prepare to meet that chaos in an organized way.

The end of 215 years of American tradition

Early in America’s youth, a rule in the US Senate was established that recognized minority rights.

By setting a higher threshold for confirming federal judges, US senators had a chance to seriously consider judicial candidates, who serve for life and can only be impeached for serious crimes.

Today, the US Senate majority changed that 215-year-old rule, no longer allowing filibusters for extreme candidates. Now, judges will be voted for confirmation by a simple majority.

When the other party had control of the senate, and the present majority engaged in filibusters, it was business as usual. Now, the majority wants absolute control. No forced debate.

Now what happens when this majority is in the minority? Will they whine, moan, and cry about not having the filibuster at hand to stop or slow down judicial nominees they strongly oppose? Probably. And the sense of irony will be ignored.

Their friends in the mainstream press will take their side, and it’s up to us citizen journalists to get the word out about how serious this is.

A political tradition lasting 215 years must have been worthy. Now we see a huge power grab by one party. What will you do about it?

Reflection on national versus local elections

My career started in Washington, DC, and included seven years there of national and international work. After returning home to Pennsylvania, my focus turned to the region and state.
Now, my focus increasingly stays on local elections. It’s where we get officials who support concealed carry, or not, and who have the most impact on individual citizens.
Career is a funny concept. For me, it has been about enjoying satisfaction where I find it.