↓ Archives ↓

Posts Tagged → harrisburg

Judge Barb Pianka: Savior of my Universe

If all politics are local, then there is nothing more important to the voters than the person dispensing the most justice in their neighborhood and immediate community.

Here in Pennsylvania, and in most of the country, district magistrates handle dog law violations, jay-walking, etc. The “little stuff” that can either clog up a justice system, or in the alternative, be ignored, thereby clogging up society with evil malcontents wreaking havoc on peaceable citizens.

Here in Uptown Harrisburg, we have an oasis. In our cozy oasis there is a historic neighborhood with beautiful stone homes, some big, some small, Italian Lake Park, wide streets, lots of mature trees, and friendly people who work for a living. Back yard gardens, manicured flower beds, big trees. It really is a small universe, in which so many of us toil for the benefit of the larger community. After all, it is this kind of neighborhood that is home to real, live, breathing taxpayers. In a school district like Harrisburg City, run by the state, home values are typically depressed as people with money flee so their taxes are not stolen and misused. So Uptown is rare, and worth shielding and protecting.

But what happens if we see a district magistrate elected who believes up is down? Who believes in politicizing basic judicial decisions? Who believes in using the seat as a bully pulpit for bigger issues. It has happened before, and when it happens, equal justice suffers. Then, those who can afford to flee, flee.

And this is why Judge Barbara Pianka is so important to Uptown Harrisburg, and why she must be re-elected. Presently she is in a primary race against two or three other candidates.

Barb Pianka is a level-headed, steady, non-political professional, and a known commodity here in Uptown. Barb has taken a firm hand with the appropriate people when it is called for, and she has relented and been lenient when she sees an opportunity for the perpetrator’s personal growth.

Dispensing justice the right way, as Barb does, keeps our community safe, and Uptown specifically.  Barb has done a great job, she has never been accused of malfeasance, and she should win her primary election race.

Citizens here cannot afford a change, and we cannot afford the two alternatives seeking to unseat Pianka. Let’s be honest about these two young men: One of them is a total newcomer to Harrisburg, which makes him seem like a political opportunist in this race. Where has he been the past ten years? He has no ties or roots here, and he has no measurable commitment to our community.

The second candidate is someone who runs a dog care business in Midtown. While I admire almost anyone who runs a business, this young man has had very little professional experience, and he appears to me to embrace radical politics. The last thing we need or deserve here is radical politics, where the dispensation of justice is racialized, warped, and filtered through a world view where everyone “black” is a victim, and everyone “white” is an oppressor.

Barb Pianka is a steady hand at the bench. Let’s re-elect her this Spring and protect our little universe here in Uptown Harrisburg.

 

End of Summer, Beginning of Cool Fall Begs Question: How Do People Live in Hot Climates Year-Round?

Temperate environments offer everyone something: Hot, cold, cool, warm, damp, dry, etc., at any given time of the year. It is true that at some points on the calendar, the heat or cold there may be intense. But those moments are but a temporary blip. A week or two this way or that way. Better weather always awaits, not too far around the corner. In temperate climates, Spring and Fall are typically the most enjoyable times of the year to be outside, with moderate temperatures lulling us to sleep under blankets at night, and refreshing us with gentle warmth during the day.

The margins around Summer and Winter always promise something better, and are full of natural hope. When Winter ends, the world here begins to grow. Life! Anew!

When someone cheerfully says “Yes, we are moving to Florida,” I wonder what the hell they are thinking. Not even the Seminole Indians truly appreciated or enjoyed the brutal heat and humidity there. Until they were driven into the Everglades at first, and then off the land entirely by Europeans, the Seminoles daily used the coastal waters to cool off during the Summer heat.  Natural air conditioning worked for a semi-nomadic, highly mobile society like theirs. Today? Good God y’all, the place is a sweat factory from May through October, and only livable during the winter months. It is 100% artificial living.

Yes, I understand, many Americans are now so delicately sensitive to cold that they must be surrounded by expensive artificial air conditioning nine months of the year in order to remove themselves from three months of cold up north.

What is lost there is a natural, innate resilience our forefathers enjoyed. An ability to put up with brief extremes and discomforts. One must naturally wonder what sort of character traits are bred into or out of a people so devoid of natural discomforts that they shoehorn themselves into an unnatural environment.

That said, I am right now listening to a political rally going on at the otherwise sedate and beautifully historic Dixon University Center two blocks away from here.  Tired old saws through a bullhorn like “What do we want? Justice. Now” are disturbing Harrisburg’s one remaining nice neighborhood. Delicate little snowflake people there are demanding some special treatment or other which they have neither earned nor deserve.  Apparently the artificial environment created for them by taxpayers and hard working Americans is insufficiently comfortable, and they want MORE, NOW! [, Mom]

Please go to Florida, fake protest people. We deal in real here. It’s a temperate zone, dontcha know?

And boy, does Hurricane Matthew now entering south Florida add a whole new meaning to “hot area.”

Power can corrupt, but some people worship power before they ever get it

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” goes one famous observation.

Here in Pennsylvania we’ve had one long going example of power-mad officials using their office to attack symbols of their political opponents, and we’ve had one recent example of a nudnik mayor whose goal in life was to finally acquire power, and who then flubbed it publicly.

Long-term: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane dropped a bomb of false accusations and police with guns on Brian Bolus, his wife, his little boy. Bolus had the temerity to be cited by then governor Tom Corbett as a classic example of bootstrap capitalism, an all American kid who did well.

Corbett- Republican, Kane, Democrat. So Kane uses the power of her office to attack Corbett by proxy.

Years later, the AG has nothing, zero, to prosecute Bolus. Brian’s personal effects and titles to his paid-for home and vehicles are not in his possession, and the home video surveillance footage of the day the Gestapo visited his house is somehow missing.

Now why would criminal investigators “lose” the security video footage of their violent, over-the-top raid on a peaceful family? Could it be damning? Ummmm, you know it.

The Bolus attack is an obvious abuse of power by an AG drunk on influence and deep corruption, as if hiring her own sister into a sensitive public service job wasn’t bad enough.

Another reason for Kane to begone. And give back the Bolus family their personal things before ya hit the road, lady.

Short-term: Harrisburg cops terrorize, bully, threaten, harass, intimidate and falsely accused a 75-year-old Marine named Robert Ford on Memorial Day.

Ford’s crime? Wearing his fifty-year-old US Government issue Marine Corps uniform in public, where he had earlier performed Taps at a Memorial Day event. In other words, no crime.

Public outrage against the two Harrisburg keystone kops has grown ever since, with the story hitting media and blogs coast to coast. Officers Moody and O’Connor will not apologize for their unprofessional behavior, but making things worse…neither will Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

Papenfuse has excused the police officers and said they did nothing wrong.

This, from a man who hung around and lauded former anti-police terrorists. This from a man purveying his Yale undergrad degree as proof of his superiority. Apparently Yale doesn’t teach Morality 101, or Papenfuse was just so smart, too smart to take such a course.

So here we have an inexperienced used bookstore owner who used to accuse the police of being criminals, now wallowing in his newfound power, high on power, unable to break out of its grip and just do the right thing.

Yep, power corrupts. Let’s hope our citizenry corrects it.

Eric Papenfuse, you owe Robert Ford an apology

The following story is found at http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/06/harrisburg_artsfest_veteran_st.html#incart_m-rpt-2.

The other day, a Harrisburg Police officer aggressively harassed an old Marine dressed in his uniform, accusing him of stolen valor.  That is where people wear military uniforms and medals they are not entitled to wear.  They do it to make themselves appear better, cooler, tougher.  Turns out, the old Marine, Robert Ford, was in fact honorably discharged from the US Marines a long time ago, and the uniform he proudly wore was given to him by the US Government.  He had just finished performing “Taps” at a Memorial Day ceremony and decided to walk over to ArtsFest along Front Street and the Susquehanna River.

American citizens cannot be expected to put up with this kind of over-reach and abuse of power.  It is official malfeasance, which is actionable. Harrisburg City has real crime problems.  This is Bad Government, Exhibit A. My God, what is happening here?

Questions about this videotaped and photographed event abound:

a) Will Detective (!) John O’Connor offer an apology to Ford?

b) Will Detective (!) O’Connor be demoted or terminated for his wildly unprofessional, threatening, bullying behavior of a free citizen?

c) Will Mayor Papenfuse have anything to say? Will he do anything?

d) Will Harrisburg police Captain Deric Moody also apologize, or be demoted? Moody’s behavior is almost worse than O’Connor’s, because he compounded the initial antagonistic behavior and then tried to cover it up.

Folks, Harrisburg is in trouble, deep trouble, and unless elected officials are quick to get these kinds of situations under control, a festering culture develops.  Recently I discovered that yet another city agency is once again making bad decisions in a vacuum.

Mayor Papenfuse, an apology from your police officers is Job #1.  Other elected officials should chime in, too.

 

Please brake for turtles

Beginning around the I-81 overpass over Front Street in Harrisburg, and ending about half a mile south, turtles are now trying to reach loamy dirt to lay their eggs.

Oddly, sadly, many dead and dying turtles litter the roadside, hit by cars, either by accident or on purpose.

It’s difficult to plumb the depths of someone’s thinking when they deliberately drive off the roadway and onto the roadside, to crush a tiny helpless little animal like this.

Please brake for turtles. They can’t, won’t, and haven’t done anything to us humans. They deserve to live, too.

Why I am Suing Mayor Papenfuse

The following op-ed was published at www.pennlive.com, which is the new digital version of the former Patriot News newspaper. What I submitted  was edited a bit by the staff there, and they mis-spelled attorney Josh Prince’s name, among other mistakes or omissions. If you are interested in seeing the difference of thinking between liberals and conservatives, you are encouraged to read the comments section following the letter.  The conservatives keep on repeating the same basic, accurate facts, the same simple logic, and the liberals keep talking about their feelings, going off-topic, mocking and commenting on physical appearance.  This is one of those moments where taxpayers can get a glimpse of the failure of America’s educational system, where critical thinking has been thrown overboard in favor of teaching students to be politically correct on issues, like government overreach on gun ownership.

http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2015/04/heres_why_im_suing_to_stop_pap.html#incart_2box_opinion

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.

Great American Outdoor Show is in Harrisburg, and it is Fantastic

The Great American Outdoor Show, which used to be called the Eastern Outdoor Show until the former promoter turned anti-gun and tried to block vendors from showcasing their modern sporting rifles, is on and happening in Harrisburg through Sunday.

I have been volunteering a bit for the PA Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, not nearly as much as I have in the past, but still contributing and selling raffle tickets to friendly people who visit the booth.

Last year the Federation raffled off a Bushmaster AR-15, and this year we are just doing cash.  Right now the pot is a few thousand dollars, and by the time the raffle is drawn it’ll be much more.  Some of the proceeds go to support the Federation, so it’s a good cause.

I stopped in to visit the Unified Sportsmen booth the other day, but the person I sought was not there and the volunteers were just leaving, but I am looking forward to hearing their perspective on sportsmen’s issues.

The River’s Edge canoe and kayak sales by Neill and Evelyn Andritz  sold me on a Hobie kayak.  But let me tell you, these kayaks today are not your Nanuk of the North kayaks of old.  My friends, these things might as well be on the space shuttle for when our guys find water on Mars, because they are nothing like the sloppy, floppy, tipsy, floating death traps we used to squeeze ourselves into.  Today’s Hobie kayak is a blended hybrid, using the best qualities of canoes, surf boards, and kayaks to bring small-craft fishing into the 22nd century.  The Mirage Pro Angler 14 and the Mirage Outback were the two I had to choose between in the end, but being a “Big Guy” means that the 600-pound capacity of the Mirage Pro Angler is a must-have.

And beyond the fat-guy-and-all-his-gear capacity, the technical bells and whistles are amazing.  Stand-up stabilizing bars, leg-driven flipper drives that look and power like an orca tail, bait coolers, adjustable seats that would be at home in a Maserati, sleek rudder controls you can use with your elbow, hand, or foot, storage lockers running the full length for stashing kit so big you can harpoon the shark of your dreams, rod holders everywhere, holes for masts, and so on.

And all this above is about just one vendor with two small self-powered boats I liked in the Farm Show complex that is loaded to the gills with gear, knives, guns, outfitters from around the world, specialty clothing and footwear, trophy services, archery gear so sophisticated I feel like I am Stone Age when I handle it, RVs, ATVs, camping gear, bug-out survival gear, and so on and on for much more.

The Great American Outdoor Show is worth visiting if for no other reason than to say you went and witnessed one of the wonders of the world.  It is the biggest show of its kind in the world, and even if our new governor, Tom Wolf, isn’t interested in attending (incredibly that is true), you definitely should.

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.

Bad guys are on the run around Harrisburg

Toldja so.

Last year, several critical essays I wrote about PA AG Kathleen Kane were widely published, long before other people felt safe enough, I guess, to jump on the band wagon.

Kane’s incompetence and corrupt behavior were evident within a few months of her arrival in the PA Attorney General seat.  She only got worse and worse, and was on a downhill slide to the point where she has now been indicted by a grand jury.  Imagine that.

I feel vindicated.  Sadly.

Harrisburg’s top cop may go to jail, or be fined, disbarred, and barred from holding public office.  It says a lot about politics, that her Breck Girl smile and slow-motion hair tosses were enough for  her to get elected.

For the record, I believe that if Pennsylvania absolutely must have a Democrat AG, then Katie McGinty would be the right person.  McGinty is every bit as liberal and political as Kane, but Katie is also way too smart to let it show or implement it so egregiously.  So, we’d end up with a partisan professional and not the corrupt political hack we have now.  That’d be an improvement.

An even better improvement would be Ed Marsico as AG.  Ed Marsico is the stellar DA for Dauphin County, and he is so a-political that the Republican establishment has passed him over in the past.  Can you imagine, an AG who simply does the job of prosecuting bad guys?  How refreshing that would be.

On to Harrisburg City, my home town and my family’s home since at least 1745.  It’s a place I care about a lot.  We moved here from Washington, DC, to enjoy the high quality of life, easy commute, and low cost of living.  I love living in Harrisburg.

Yes, the city has problems.  OK, that is true and I think people are genuinely working to solve them, even as many of the same people have worked to exacerbate them because they stood to make money from them (think: Public Parking).  But that is another story.

Here’s a story that is just now unfolding: Harrisburg has decided to hold on to its illegal anti-gun laws.  Harrisburg City remains happily and blatantly in violation of two state laws barring any PA municipality from passing gun laws.  The city has been served notice that they may get sued over this, a costly loss because the city will have to pay money damages and legal fees to the winner.

And of course, the gun laws they have do zero to punish criminals or limit crime.  They are designed to punish law-abiding citizens and turn them into criminals, because the zealot prohibitionist crusaders pushing these laws are against guns per se.

Late last Friday night a deranged man attempted to forcefully enter my home through the front door.  He was banging away at it, working over the handle hard, and shouting at us.

My wife and kids cowered on the kitchen floor, with Viv talking with a surly 911 dispatcher (who actually yelled at me over the phone); our guests were in the basement.

I stood with a pistol pointed at the door, waiting for the guy to come barging through.  Every warning I shouted to him through the door elicited a curse-filled response and harder efforts to get through.

Even I was scared.  Someone trying that hard to break into your home is going to do damage once he gets inside.

Ten minutes later the Harrisburg police arrived and caught him, two doors up the street.  They were professional and friendly to us taxpayers, and they used force to capture the crazy man because he was violent.  I watched him fight with them and try to kick their police dog, Bo.  He had some white powder drugs on him and acted like he was insane.  Case in point here: Drugs are bad, m’kay?

Without my gun, immediately accessible, our family was a sitting duck for this guy.

We were lucky that he did not come through a ground floor window.  Sure, I would have shot and killed him had he entered our home, but who needs that?  And what about the other citizens who are neither armed nor prepared or able to defend themselves effectively against intruders?

Let’s ask the obvious question: What about “when seconds count the police are only minutes away” do you not understand, Mayor Eric Papenfuse?

Why are your illegal, ineffective gun laws more important than the safety of my family?

What makes people on the Left so cocksure about their illegal behavior? It must have something to do with the tradition of Leftist protests always being “right,” a mentality that undergirds everything they do.

We will see you in court, Mayor Papenfuse, because you may not inflict your illegal laws on the safety of my body.