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Judge, Jury, and Executioner…Judge, Congress, and President

Federal Judge Watson from Haw’aii has demonstrated a passion for power far beyond his designated duties, but similar to the recent approach of the Venezuelan court.

How?

First he ignored US law and the US Constitution, and ruled against an executive order over which he had zero jurisdiction.

Then he actually stipulated details in his holding, as if he had written a law passed by Congress and signed by the president.

Then, after the US Supreme Court overturned his holding, he immediately accepted a new, repeat appeal of the same executive order that the US Supreme Court had just upheld, and then overturned the holding of the US Supreme Court, actually once again throwing in new requirements as if he had just written a law.

Judge Watson is behaving exactly the opposite of how a federal judge is supposed to behave, and he is also directly challenging the authority of the the entire US government, and most worrying, the US Supreme Court, to whom you would think he had some shred of loyalty.

Judge Watson wants to be judge, jury and executioner. Or in these exact conditions, he wants to be judiciary, congress, and president. And he is acting just as he wants to be, despite our nation’s law and Constitution clearly prohibiting his actions.

Judge Watson wants to rule by fiat, by declaration.

Judge Watson wants to be a law unto himself, unaccountable even to his fellow judiciary.

Judge Watson is a rogue political actor, abusing the legal process clearly defined by our laws and Constitution, for the narrow purpose of advancing his political agenda.

Making Watson’s actions worse is the cheering section he has among millions of Americans, who care only for process when it suits their goals and caring for it not at all when it gets in the way of their goals.

This cheering section also cares not for abiding by laws they disagree with, and they will therefore use any source of power or authority they can find to contradict the laws that have passed through the procedure by which we all agree to live.

So they cheer on Judge Watson the anarchist judge.

That this is the most elementary anarchy and not just corrosive but destructive of America’s foundations seems not to deter the cheering section. It is the end of the rule of law.

“Win at any cost and in any way” is their motto.

How anyone can live harmoniously with this shattered approach to governance is anyone’s guess. This is exactly how the American Civil War began in 1860, and it may well lead to another civil war in 2017.

Making this situation worse is a president and a congress who believe in not only playing by the rules, but excusing every rule infraction of their opponents, with the silly notion that somehow their opponents (the cheering section for anarchist Judge Watson) will eventually come around and accept the fact that they lost an election and are not, therefore, able to consolidate power and control through yet more abuse of the system as they had planned.

Our current president could take a lesson from prior presidents, who, having had quite enough of over-reaching judges, simply encouraged those judges to go ahead and enforce their unconstitutional holdings in the face of a lawful president doing what he was elected to do, enabled by law and Constitution.

Lacking the means of enforcement, those overreaching judges were forced to simply watch events pass them by, having undermined their own authority by their own hand.

Our current Congress could take a lesson from past congresses, stop being such limp di#ks, and act out their Constitutional authority, such as impeaching and removing from the judicial bench those rogue judges who threaten to tear down the very society they are sworn to uphold and protect. Like anarchist Judge Watson.

Friends, none of us has an idea of how this is going to work out.

About a third of the nation is in open, violent rebellion in the streets, and in the few halls of power they still control, against established laws and against the Constitution.

About a third of the country is itching for a fight to get the first third back in line, because we cannot afford the high cost of these illegal antics.

And another third of the country is drinking beer, eating hamburgers, going to summertime baseball games, and wondering aloud when the other citizens are going to get this all worked out.

America is equally divided into thirds, perhaps in the potential roles as judges, juries, and executioners, or as judges, elected representatives, and chief executives.

We are very close to working this all out peacefully, if we all agree to just stay within those established roles, because then we will have restored the balance of power among the three co-equal branches of government that has always defined American government.

Now everyone line up into three lines, pick one line, and stay there. Then vote, and stick with the result like adults.

 

Every action leads to opposite reaction

As anti-freedom gun-grabbers continue on in their march for government supremacy over the citizenry, they seem surprised when that same citizenry reacts.

Take Barack Hussein Obama, for example. Like Rapist-In-Chief Bill Clinton before him, Obama’s anti gun crusading has driven millions of Americans to either buy guns for the first time, or to buy even more guns and ammunition than they had before.

As the federal government and its Big Government allies in the mainstream media, academia, and activist groups amplify their assaults on citizen liberties, the citizens begin to coalesce into like-minded groups. In the beginning of America these were known as militia. Today they are simply loosely knit groups of advocates for the First Amendment, Second Amendment, and Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution. They are reacting to the illegal and unconstitutional pressures being brought to bear on them collectively and individually, pressures under the color of “law.”

Today I watched as Shira Goodman and a bearded man with her walked around the crowd in the Pennsylvania State Capitol rotunda, where the annual Second Amendment rally was held. Shira and I have debated on live TV before. She represents CeaseFirePA, an anti-freedom and Big Government group. I imagine she was counting the number of people at the rally. It is true that the number of people at any given rally are an indication of the political strength they represent.

The place was packed. From top to bottom, side to side, you could barely move. Between 1,000 and 2,000 people today. Contrast that with the 25 people who showed up for CeaseFirePA’s rally two weeks ago.

Shira looked sallow and grim faced. The bearded man with her looked frightened, and he tightly clutched some case he was carrying.

We rally participants were fired up, and when one of the speakers (Rep. Daryl Metcalf, I think) pointed out that today we had shown up unarmed, and rue the day when we do show up armed, we loudly roared our support.

The political Left has been on an anti-America warpath for so long that it appears they do not realize how far they are pushing so many citizens. For decades normal Americans have conceded little and big victories to the Left, often with a sense of resignation that “things are changing.”

What is different about the gun issue, now, and different about now versus twenty years ago, is that an entire two generations of Americans have watched the Big Government Left practically swamp the average citizen.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. The less our liberties and freedoms, the fewer our rights.

In a nation like America, based on laws and citizenship, the Left’s policy wins are increasingly perpendicular to the trajectory of America the nation and most of its citizens.

That is “the silent majority.”

Yes, it is true that millions of invaders have been ushered in by treasonous Federal servants, in an effort to tilt the vote balance forever in the favor of one Santa Claus after another, dispensing free things paid for by hard working taxpayers.

But the real result is a deep and building undercurrent of resentment. Call it the “Tea Party,” conservative movement, whatever, it is a groundswell of formerly free citizens fearful of losing the America they love and worked hard to create.

Statists like Shira Goodman and her friends at CeaseFirePA are so completely devoted to Big Government that they cannot comprehend a citizen rebellion. Like a horse, their blinders are so big that they cannot see what is happening around them. Sure, Marxists like Mark Potok at the Southern Poverty Law Center, another anti-freedom, anti-Christian outpost, are constantly cited by their Left friends in the Washington Post and other mainstream media outlets. But that cat is out of the bag, and putting it back in is not going to happen without a hell of a fight and lots of scratches.

One wishes that all these crusading pushers would leave the citizens alone, so that we can go back to our lives, liberty, and pursuit of our happiness. But it ain’t gonna happen. These guys will just keep on pushing until the citizens have nowhere to turn.

And then look out.

Israel’s Independence Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, So Where are We Today?

Israel Independence Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day are here.

Obviously these two milestones are related in the sense that out of the ashes of the European genocide against Europe’s Jewish minority (not to be confused with the similar and nearly simultaneous Muslim Arab ethnic cleansing of the Jewish minority once living in the Middle East, now presently applied to Christians there) arose the modern state of Israel on the soil of the ancient state of Israel.

Here in America most Jewish communities spend a full 24-hour period on Holocaust Remembrance Day reading the names of Nazi victims. By reading their names, they are in some small but meaningful way not forgotten. And by remembering them as people, larger society is supposed to remember what happened so that people, and government, do the necessary things so genocide does not happen again.

This is all sound logic to me, although it is questionable whether it works, or not.

Why am I sounding a bit skeptical here? Because the evidence isn’t supportive that this approach works, in the sense that it does not inspire humans around the globe to treat one another better, much less treat Jews any better. The evidence in front of us demonstrates that Holocaust Remembrance Day, with all its universalist activities, primarily appeals to Jews, their friends, and liberal-minded news reporters. Meanwhile, plenty of genocide is going on ever since, namely in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kurdistan, and now once again in the Middle East, where Muslim Arabs are sadistically rampaging among the religious and ethnic minorities among them.

And Israel has been under sustained and increasing attempted genocide from the day it was founded in 1948. Every libel, slander, lie and contrivance has been drummed up to delegitimize Israel and to justify the ceaseless murders of unarmed Jews within and outside Israel. Boycotts, divestment from Israeli companies, and sanctions against Israeli academic institutions and the government of Israel are proof that Israel, and Jews, receive an incredibly harsh and unjustified treatment from a world that really ought to know better.

Making things even worse, and totally odd to me and to most people I know, is the overwhelmingly liberal mindset American Jews maintain. Their liberal political views, on a policy-by-policy basis, are completely contrary to the Torah (the Bible) to which their ancestors swore loyalty and which created Western Civilization.

Abortion-on-demand and as a form of birth control, faith in big government, rejection of religion’s role in good government, gun control, you name it, every single one of the politically correct issues that liberal Jews believe in are at odds with their own founding document, the Bible.

One would logically conclude that a group of people who had recently undergone such incredibly painful and devastating attacks, round-ups, shot on sight, murder in the street, painful medical experiments, gassing, bodies burnt to hide the atrocity, and so on, you would think that the survivors and heirs would adopt a more self-preserving view. That is the conclusion that their friends have arrived at and said is needed many times, and asked why Jews don’t, for many years.

You know, why do most Jews vote for people and policies that are against their own interests? Like for Obama, or against gun rights?

That American Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of intense gun regulation is without question. Public surveys show it. Even more to the point are the lists of leaders on gun regulation; nearly all of them are Jews – Past and present US Senators Feinstein, Schumer, Metzenbaum, Lautenberg, Boxer – joined by an endless list of Jewish members of Congress, and not to mention the actual leaders of gun regulation, Josh Sugarmann, Shira Goodman, to name but a few, and not to mention the Jewish donors to anti-gun rights groups, like Bloomberg and Hechinger, to name but a few.

More locally, two years ago I sat in on a meeting between my then-newly elected state senator Democrat Rob Teplitz and a group of citizens gathered at a local Harrisburg synagogue. As the morning Boy Scout function there was the drawing attraction, and not everyone there was Jewish, there was one group of men who had just completed their prayers and who had then gathered to join in the following meeting with Senator Teplitz. Either the first or second question of the event came from a man in that group, who asked Senator Teplitz when he was going to become an ardent and active advocate for serious gun regulation. Heads nodded in agreement around the table, and Teplitz responded that he would be neither “too pro gun nor too anti gun.”

Further confusing many Americans is how vociferously anti-Israel so many American Jews have become. Whether by strongly supporting an obviously anti-Israel Obama or by actively participating in anti-Israel actions and activities, lots of American Jews clearly are at war with the one nation designed to protect them should the very things they are remembering now begin to happen once again.

Why would a tiny group of people, who have experienced such awful tragedies and injustices over and over again, seek to both disarm themselves and their fellow citizens in favor of big government, which has never anywhere been a friend to Jews or liberty, and also disarm and undermine the one country capable of protecting Jews should the you-know-what hit the fan?

Folks, I know you are moved by recalling victims and inured to maintaining victimhood. It is practically the Jewish identity to the point where “Holocaust worship” has been decried by the more religiously observant Jews; you know, the Bible believers.

If you really want to remember the European Holocaust and say “Never Again!” in a way that means something, then be able to defend yourself. Get a 12-gauge pump shotgun, learn to use it with buckshot and store it safely, and support a strong Israel capable of easily defending itself against all attackers. That’s it.

Otherwise, you just make people ask “Do Jews today really remember what happened, and do they really understand how important Israel is to them?”

In other words, people just must ask “are Jews really so smart?”

Harrisburg City makes legal mistake after legal mistake

I am a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Harrisburg City, over his unwillingness to comply with longstanding state law and remove anti-gun ordinances from the city laws.

Papenfuse is a 1960s-1970s-style liberal, for whom ignoring the law, subverting the law, abandoning the law, undermining the law all represent some vague “Yeah, man!” hippie stand against laws he personally believes are wrong.

The problem with this approach is that once elected to office, a mayor cannot pick and choose which laws to follow or ignore.  The rule of law requires that all laws be upheld equally, or changed through the political process.

Being an elected leader means that you accept the legal and law-making process.  But then again, Papenfuse is an adoring fan of Obama, who also believes that he is a Government of One, able to do whatever he wants, rule by fiat, contrary to democratic norms.

Under Papenfuse’s hippie-fist-in-the-air don’t-have-a-care approach, Harrisburg City is making huge legal mistakes right and left in this lawsuit.

Two days ago, our attorney, Josh Prince, scored a default judgment against the city for $21,000 plus additional costs.  The city lawyers failed to file the correct paper work, failed to correctly fill out the paper work they did file, and missed key deadlines, and so the city failed on many counts to respond in court to legal documents presented to them.

While Papenfuse struts and preens to prove some undemocratic point, the city taxpayers are on the hook for ever increasing amounts of legal fees and judgments.  Eric fails, and the taxpayers here pay for his arrogant attitude.

If this is not failed government, then nothing is.

Obama formally seeks to control the Internet, alter the biggest Free Speech forum on the planet

Acting through the Federal Communications Commission, the Obama administration has issued a proposed rule that will dramatically change the Internet and everyone’s experience on it.

Seeking absolute control of the one information source not controlled by the Left, Obama’s FCC now seeks to tax internet use and establish 322 pages of rules and regulations.

The Federal Elections Commission is also pursuing regulation of political speech on the Internet, like this blog.  Can you imagine? It is totalitarian behavior.

If there is one defining characteristic of the Internet now, it’s that it is a free place, a frontier, a free market, open to as many people as could possibly participate. Surely the utopians among us will be dissatisfied but it’s an incredible feature of modern life.

The Internet needs no regulations. No one will benefit from these regulations, except the Left, because the Net has allowed millions of political activists to circumvent the establishment media, which is 100% in the pocket of and an arm of one liberal political party.

By regulating the Internet, the FCC will determine what is political speech, and whether or not that violates some rule.

Can you imagine putting government bureaucrats in charge of your free speech rights?

No, neither can I, but it’s the Left’s dream to control all communications so their message of forced peace and equality at any cost will find fewer opponents.

We have a state senator here in central PA who campaigned with his name below the Obama name on yard signs. It will be very interesting to hear what this senator has to say about this, because as a member of the Left he stands to benefit from it, but as a representative of the people, he must advocate for their interests, especially their Constitutional rights.

 

Obama: We are all ISIS, so give Iran the bomb

Nearly every time some more interesting subject begs to be written about, say, Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program, Mr Obama inserts himself and requires an essay.

So last week, Obama had two known African murderers at his national prayer breakfast, but because they are Muslim leaders they are exonerated.

Then Obama gave a speech equating Christianity and people of all faiths today with the sadistic cruelties of ISIS, the muslim terror group of Syria and Iraq. Plenty of moral equivalence, no leadership. No criticism of Islam is allowed by Obama.

Then it turned out that the Obama administration is doing everything possible to appease Iran and enable it to manufacture its own nuclear bomb. Secret meetings with Iranian leaders, including some who are known to rape, torture, and then murder female political prisoners.

Then it turned out the Obama administration is spending American taxpayer money to fund V15, an electioneering effort to get Israel’s Netanyahu voted out of power.

Netanyahu is one of the few leaders strong enough to stand up to Obama’s appeasement policies, because he knows that Iran is not just a threat to America, it is a threat to Israel.

Now, for many years people claimed that Obama was and is a Christian. Why is that important? Because we don’t like being lied to, and we deserve to know who our leaders are. And it was important that Obama at least appear to be a Christian, to get the votes necessary to become president.

Six years later, we see a man determined to criticize Christianity, criticize Western Civilization, block all fair criticism of Islam, install the Muslim Brotherhood in powerful positions throughout American government, dramatically weaken Israel, dramatically weaken America, and facilitate Iran getting nuclear bombs which without question will be used against America and Israel.

And people wondered why so many not only didn’t trust Obama in 2008, but utterly hate him today…My God, our government has been taken over by a determined destroyer.

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.

Tests of America’s endurance; we shall overcome

Barack Hussein Obama declared a law singlehandedly last night.

Not that it’s legal or constitutional for any president to impose so much change on American citizens by himself.

American checks and balances of power between the three branches of government require debate and approvals across the board to achieve law or the effects of law.

But we have just witnessed our first rogue, imperial president, whose disgust with everything about America means he has no time or respect for its laws, history, and Constitution.

Obama’s unilateral “amnesty” for millions of illegal aliens is a test of our nation’s endurance, just as we have experienced in the past. Say, the Civil War…….

We have overcome all of those tests and we shall overcome this test, too.

America’s dalliance with this false messiah Obama has resulted in an unprecedented assault on individual rights. Using the IRS and other federal agencies to aggressively “investigate” opponents of the Obama Administration has opened the flood gates among the citizens. Sure, a bunch of innocent citizens will go to jail to satisfy this one man’s hunger for power, but the citizenry increasingly takes notice.

Yes, Obama is making an effort to take over the internet, and thereby suppress citizen dissent in that space. He may very well try another unilateral “executive action” that assumes the bureaucracy will go along with him.

“Tyrants beware!” was a common motto among our founding citizenry. That tyrant, King George, also was arrogant and also believed that the iron fist of armed government coercion would put down the rebellion.

This tyrant, Obama, is well down that old path. What disturbs me is that so many Americans would rather see our democracy fail, or be sorely tested, than to be honest about Obama’s failure. What does that say about our neighbors and friends, upon whom we rely for so much and yet who would see the nation descend into chaos and rebellion.

Answers are tough to come by on this stuff. The questions alone are terrifying.

Jon Gruber, AG Kane, Obama…we never thought they could actually get worse

Jon Gruber is the fast talking salesman of ObamaCare.

He made millions of dollars from state and federal government payments (that is taxpayer money) to travel America, selling a government-only healthcare system.  Gruber’s credibility has suffered mightily as video after video has surfaced of him mocking American voters and taxpayers as “too stupid” to understand how tricky the Obama administration is being while selling ObamaCare.

Obama disavowed ever meeting Gruber, or knowing anything about him, despite videos of Obama mentioning Gruber by name as a source of ideas for ObamaCare.  Are any of us surprised at yet more conniving lies from Obama?

Obama intended for ObamaCare to be government-run.  He never intended for you to actually “keep your doctor,” or “keep your healthcare plan,” as he originally promised, or lied for political gain.

Obama has zero credibility, for yet one more reason.

Here in Pennsylvania, Attorney General Kathleen Kane now has hired an attorney to defend her from charges of having purposefully leaked politically sensitive details from a secret grand jury investigation.

This isn’t the first time Kane has had to hire an attorney to represent her.  And she has even hired an attorney to represent her threat to sue the Philadelphia Inquirer for having the guts to report the factual truth about her behavior in the AG’s office.

Kathleen Kane is a catastrophe.  She uses the AG’s office for purely political purposes.  And for her own personal purposes: Refusing to indict or even really investigate PLCB officials who clearly broke the law served her family’s interest in not upsetting the PLCB, with which Kane Trucking has huge warehousing and logistics contracts.  Clearly a conflict-of-interest problem there, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the liberal, partisan Patriot News to write about it.

Just when we thought these folks had been served notice by the taxpayers and voters that their shenanigans aren’t wanted, Obama and Kane just keep on getting defiantly worse and worse.

Who would’ve thought that was possible?

America, you get what you pay for.  If you pay zero to get zero, you end up with zero, you end up with catastrophically bad government officials.

Despite digital technology advances, actual humans are necessary

Digital technology is amazing, no doubt about it.

Yes, it enables all kinds of speed in research and communications.

But the internet has also inspired a “digital wall” response to basic inquiries that used to be handled by people answering phones.  You cannot just pick up a phone and ask someone a question, any longer.  Instead, you must navigate a maze of circular questions and answers and phone tree options, long before you get to hit the star key or number one and talk to a person.

eBay is the prime example of the digital wall.  You cannot get real customer service at eBay.  eBay’s digital artificial intelligence is supposed to satisfactorily respond to all customer issues, but it doesn’t.  It is a failure.

One online commenter says “It is easier to talk with the Pope than to actually speak with a person at eBay,” a sad but true fact that I myself have learned the hard way.

Here in Pennsylvania, the Tom Ridge Revolution for responsive government is looong over.

Remember how back in the 1990s, Governor Tom Ridge opened up Pennsylvania state government with a crowbar and a box of dynamite, and got the scurrying inhabitants of the many faceless concrete government buildings in downtown Harrisburg to actually view taxpayers as “customers”?

Maybe you don’t recall that time, but it was refreshing.  Suddenly, state workers at most agencies were required to actually answer the calls of the taxpayers they serve, and to act professionally, and to help resolve problems.

PennDOT was at that time a notoriously labyrinthine experience, kind of like the Vatican, one might guess, in that if a taxpayer was fortunate enough to find an IN door, they might spend a day shambling down shuttered halls with closed doors with jargon printed on them, searching yet more for the answer to their government-inspired problem.

The workers there at that time could not have cared less for serving the public, and no one took any initiative to make them serve the public, until the Ridge Administration arrived.

Then, PennDOT was required to post phone numbers, email addresses, have customer service representatives on call, so that no citizen had to waste their time trying to make sense of the bureaucratic maze while to trying to meet some official mandate.

After all, if the government is going to require something, then the government absolutely must provide the means to achieve that.

Well, now PennDOT is back to its bad old ways.  The foolish young punks running the disastrous Corbett Administration into the ground at Mach 4 wouldn’t know a damned thing about customer service or taxpayers, for that matter.  PennDOT has been allowed to crawl back under a heavy cloak of secrecy and impenetrable darkness.  Go ahead, call PennDOT.  Try to reach a human being through their main portal:

“Call 1-800-932-4600 (from within PA) or 717-412-5300 (from out of state). You can also send an email through our Driver and Vehicle Services Customer Call Center, or write to the following address:

Riverfront Office Center (Driver and Vehicle Services)
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2516
1-800-932-4600

Oh, you will hear a human voice,  which right off the bat asks you that if you want to continue in English, “Press One.”  Imagine my surprise when I just held the line, did not press one, and was shuttled off into yet another maze of foreign languages, as if just wanting to encounter my own government in our native language was something we should have to ask for.

Anyhow, the phone options in English are another maze of options and circular loops.  One answer gives the locations of  service centers, but saves providing you with the hours for each one until the very end, as if you might actually recall which service center was “one,” “two,” or “three.”

This is the very essence of Bad Government.

Government absolutely must be responsive, open, transparent, or it is illegitimate.  If it cannot serve its citizens and taxpayers, then government has failed.  Once government has failed, it cannot hold citizens to a higher standard.

Governor-elect Tom Wolf faces a Republican legislature, which is not likely to go along with his tax-and-spend approach to government.

Well, here is an opportunity that is guaranteed to make Wolf a hero among all citizens: Force government to open up again; get our taxpayer-funded bureaucrats to be responsive, or get out.  No more digital walls for the people who pay the bills.

And maybe Wolf can talk to the owners of eBay, and persuade them to provide real customer service, too.