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Posts Tagged → law

Invasive plants, your new job

Invasive plants like Tree of Heaven (ailanthus, a tree with orange seed pods that just seem to pop up around your property), Asian bittersweet (little vines that quickly become Tarzan-big vines), mile-a-minute, Japanese honeysuckle, Russian olive, barberry, multiflora rose, parasitic ornamental grape vines, and so on, are all becoming a huge problem in our forests.

Each of these plants displaces and suppresses native, helpful plants.

Out west, there are entire regions where it is actually illegal to have invasive weeds on your property.  If the county conservation staff find those weeds on your land, you can be fined a lot of money.  Why would property rights-driven Westerners embrace a law like that?  Wouldn’t they pooh-pooh plants?

Because invasive weeds carry a substantial financial cost, people who make their living off the land have a healthy abhorrence of these bad plants.  They are so quick to take over the landscape, and provide few to no benefits to people or animals.

Pennsylvania’s native forests are an important source of wildlife habitat, clean air, clean water, scenic beauty, recreation, and income.  Yet, our forests are becoming increasingly overrun by non-native invasive plants and trees.  Ailanthus is especially egregious.  It got its start and continues to spread from public roadsides, where PennDot and the PA Turnpike Commission have failed to control it.  The impact of ailanthus on our forests is becoming a real cost consideration.

It is time to have a public policy and a public agency work more seriously on the challenge posed by invasive weeds.

The war on Christianity, at home and abroad

With all these “wars” going on, you know, against poverty, drugs, Liberalism’s war on individual rights and liberty, Hillary Clinton’s war on women, it is hard to find room for one more.

But yes, there is another war going on, and it is purposefully un-reported by the mainstream media, for evident political reasons.

That war is the war on Christianity, in America, Europe, and across the Middle East.

Despite being the bedrock of American values and institutions, American Christianity in all its variations somehow turned into a target, somewhere in the 1960s.  Those versions of Christianity offered as an acceptable alternative were far-left politicized versions with no basis in Christian texts, with Jim Wallis a good example.  The modern day Quakers are another good example, as they are as America-hating, pro-tyranny, pro-totalitarian as any far-Leftist could ever hope for.  These became the “good Christians.”

It is practically illegal to be a professing, witnessing, practicing Christian today in America.  If you stand up for your religious rights, as guaranteed by the US Constitution, you are immediately labeled as a racist, a bigot, a mean person, a threat to others, and so on.  You might even get sued for refusing to violate your own rights.

A wedding cake, wedding photography is somehow more important than religious beliefs.

Somehow, being opposed to the PUBLIC SUBSIDY of private birth control became another reason to hate Christians.  Do you recall Sandra Fluke, the young lady who demanded that the public taxpayer pay for her to avoid pregnancy?  Why Sandra Fluke just could not engage in abstinence, engage in behavior that would not lead to pregnancy, or pay for her own birth control were all public policy questions to which lots of Christians had the common-sense answers.

But because they are Christians, their common-sense views were somehow unacceptable, an establishment of religion…yeah, right.  Christians founded America and wrote the laws that protect minorities.  It is the Biblically-inspired US Constitution that was designed to protect minorities.  The worst faults of America’s Christians pale, pale, pale in comparison to the depredation, cruelties, mass murder and sadism practiced by “liberated” minds in Fascist and Communist countries, which is to say, most of the world.

Across the Middle East Christian refugees are increasingly fleeing their ancient homelands in the face of Islamic supremacism.  To its credit, the mainstream media is slowly reporting an increasing number of insane incidents of “convert-or-die” experiences these believers face at the hands of their Muslim abusers.  There are many more Christian refugees from Muslim lands than there were “Palestinian” refugees seventy years ago, but who do you hear about day-in, day-out?

In Europe, Christianity is all but dead, having been relegated to the shadows of cultural and political life, its own leaders having embraced their own demise as the ultimate symbol of self-sacrifice.  Britain is home to Anglican leaders who openly endorse the use of Muslim Sharia Law in lieu of British law in some areas.  That is, the supplanting of British law by Sharia law.  Bizarrely, when Christians object to the removal of Christian-based law, in favor of Islamic law, they are accused of being bigots.  Said another way, British Christians are being forced by their own leaders to accept the imposition of another religion, or face accusations of sticking up for their religion…

This is the “logic” of the Left, and it is utterly illogical.  At best it is morally relative, if not morally bankrupt.  For to give up equal protection under the law in favor of Sharia-approved brutal family honor killings of young women, even little girls, by fathers and family members, is to turn Western Civilization upside down.

This is why American Christians must rediscover their roots, rediscover their original texts, rediscover their traditional prayers, and simple values, and re-assert themselves politically.  America is depending on Christians.

Western civilization was primarily built by Christians, and if they abandon it, the whole enterprise will come crumbling down.

Onward, Christian soldier.

 

US Supreme Court tells us what we already know, and ignores the obvious

If the rule of law requires both mutual consent and contention between America’s three branches of government, our modern inclination to simply look to an authority to tell us what to do, what we may do, is a sign that Americans have grown tired of the hard work of running a republic.

The US Supreme Court has little authority but what moral authority it can muster through reasoning based on our Constitution. Yet increasingly, the court is used as a policy center to impose laws that otherwise failed in Congress.

This week the court held – gasp – that prayer is allowed in government meetings. Never mind that America’s founding fathers prayed together before working on governance. Never mind that for at least 200 years, Congress convened in prayer before convening in policy. In chambers. Never mind that our federal and most state founding documents recognize God, not government, as the source of human rights. In other words, Americans have been invoking and praying to God as part of official duties since our founding. There’s nothing new here. There’s nothing to question.

If it was done then, then yes, it can (and should) be done now.

Today’s general legal wranglings involve questions that ought not even be asked. But because there’s a group of people at war with America’s culture, institutions, and Constitution, these questions get asked as if they’re serious, legitimate, worthy. They’re none of those. But they serve the Left’s purpose of advancing an anti American agenda.

The Court also declined to hear a contested New Jersey law prohibiting the carrying (“bearing”) of handguns in public without proof of necessity. The Second Amendment means what it says, the court has held twice that it means an individual right, and since our founding Americans have, like prayer in government, been carrying guns in public.

There’s nothing new here except the liberals in NJ, whose war against America goes unchecked.

Here’s the thing: Laws are only as good as the potential to force their adherence by threats of force, incarceration, fines etc. It’s one of the great ironies of the pacifist Left that they enjoy, nay, require, the full coercive force of government to achieve their policy goals.

But citizens can disobey. And citizens can challenge authority. Will the Left feel bad for jailed gun-bearing conservatives, or government leaders invoking God before sitting down to business, as the Left felt bad for civil rights protestors once  jailed by anti- black police and politicians?

Don’t count on it. Logic, consistency are not hallmarks of the Left. But we can overcome, nonetheless.

Today’s Public Service Announcement: Headlights

Pennsylvania law and common sense require headlights to be ON when the car’s windshield wipers are working.  This is not so the driver of the car in question can see better, but rather so other drivers can see the car more easily.  Seeing the car more easily means safer driving conditions, fewer accidents.

While we are on the subject of highway safety, another reminder is in order: Left lanes are for passing, not cruising.

Pennsylvania law (gees, what’s with all these laws?!  Other states have the same law, too) requires motorists to get out of the Left Lane (AKA Passing Lane) as soon as possible, as soon as they have passed the vehicle(s) in the right lane.  Few acts create road rage faster than a driver determined to camp out in the Passing Lane, thereby keeping faster traffic bottled up behind them.  Drivers do not play the role of traffic cop; it is not the role of drivers to slow down other drivers they think are driving too fast.  That just leads to conflict.

Beating that dead horse? You bet

Religious freedom is specifically protected in the US Constitution’s First Amendment. It is one of the hallmarks of American liberty, one of our claims to fame.

Enter liberalism AKA fascism.

If you are Brendan Eich, founder of Mozilla, and you believe in the Bible and you vote that way, and you donate money to causes and candidates who represent that view, why…you are FIRED. Yes, fired for your religious and political views.

If you are Elaine Huguenin of Elaine Photography in Albuquerque, New Mexico, you are now in violation of a state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual behavior. So Elaine was sued because she didn’t want to photograph a gay wedding. Our super lame US Supreme Court refused to stand up for Elaine’s rights.

Wedding cakes for same-sex couples have also become cause celebre.

So apparently it is now against the law to believe in the Bible, to follow the Bible, and to follow your religious conscience.  It appears that it is now illegal to be against gay behavior.  And it appears that you can be fired for being insufficiently supportive of gay behavior.  Is it against the law to be against gay behavior?

My question is, Can a gay baker be compelled to make a birthday cake for an anti-gay activist? Like, say, anti-gay Westboro Baptist members?

Like so much of this issue, the whole thing stinks to high heaven of double standards. Tolerance for one should be tolerance for all. First Amendment rights are clearly under attack by the very fascists who proclaim themselves to be the most tolerant and open minded of all.

American rights are being lost, and I will keep beating on this dead horse, until it gets up and starts running like it used to.  Giddy up!

Is it time to recall PA AG Kane?

In 2012, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane campaigned on being fresh, new, unconnected to party politics.  She challenged the ultimate Republican insider, and crushed him by a good 15%.  Kane became Pennsylvania’s first Democrat AG only because so many Republican voters defected from the GOP and voted for Kane.

Within six months into her four-year tenure, signs were evident that she was not this politically dispassionate, politically disconnected professional and fair-minded arbiter she represented herself to be.

Rather, it became clear that she was politically correct (dogmatically liberal) and willing to use the AG office to score partisan political points, going so far as to choose not to enforce or defend state laws with which she personally disagrees.  That right there is pretty much the end of democratic government, when elected officials stop enforcing laws they personally disagree with.  Democracy only works if everyone agrees that whatever the law is, it is, and it is the law of the land until it is changed.

Kane’s icing on the cake was to cold-stop an investigation of four Democrat elected officials in the Philadelphia area.  Kane does not deny that the four had been caught on tape or video taking bribes. One of the officials can be heard saying “Well, happy birthday to [me]!” as he pockets a wad of illegal cash.

In what stinks of political favoritism, Kane simply made up a lame excuse and stopped the ongoing investigation of obvious official corruption.

When Kane was called out about it by the Philadelphia Inquirer, a newspaper unused to criticizing Democrats, she showed up to a meeting with the paper’s board with her libel lawyer in tow.  A subsequent show of legal force and more open threats of a lawsuit against her critics, by Kane, has only made things worse for her.  But she is not backing down.  Mind you, the Inquirer merely reported the facts; the paper did not ascribe motive or allege that Kane herself was part of the cash scandal.  So it is hard to see what kind of libel suit this elected official thought she was going to actually win.  Intimidation was her first and last approach, however, which tells you all you need to know about her very low quality as an elected official.

Additionally, Philadelphia City DA Seth Williams, a Democrat, has criticized Kane for ending the investigation.  Seth and I were close friends while students at Penn State, and yes, he is an active Democrat, and he is also a straight shooter.

Now, Kane says she supports another newspaper’s open records effort to get the documents about the terminated investigation.  Well, actually, after opposing it, Kane only now supports releasing “certain” documents; you know, the documents that support her position.  The investigation’s documents that will cast her political activism in a bad light, well, they should remain sealed, she says.

Governor Tom Corbett may well be a one-term governor, which presently it appears is his sad destiny, if the polling data is even close to accurate.  Well, folks, let’s make this Kathleen Kane a half-term AG.  She is incompetent, she is politicizing Pennsylvania’s established laws, and she is using blunt force legal intimidation to blunt honest criticism of her official job performance.  Let’s start a recall of AG Kane, and get someone in that office who is a plain vanilla enforcer of The Law, as that role is supposed to be.

In an ideal world, party affiliation should not matter in the AG office.  I myself am partial to the potential AG candidacy of Ed Marsico, Dauphin County’s present District Attorney.  Marsico is an honest guy, a hard working guy, and has shown few partisan inclinations in his day to day work of making Dauphin County a safe place to live and work.  Marsico would be a big enough improvement over Kane to warrant a recall effort against her.  Surely there are other professional-grade DAs out there, too, who also would qualify to fill out the remainder Kane’s term.

Let’s get that recall effort started and Pennsylvania’s law enforcement back on track.

UPDATE: How on earth could I forget? Kane is having some difficulty investigating the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, where cash gifts and other toxic ethics violations have occurred recently.  Now….why would Kane have such a tough time bringing to bear her full weight on such obviously corrupt violations of Pennsylvania laws?  Why, it would not perhaps happen to be the presence of KANE TRUCKING contracts with the PLCB, right?  The KANE TRUCKING contracts with the PLCB are worth millions of dollars to Kathleen Kane, personally.  Got it.  Fox guarding the henhouse here.  Good old fashioned corruption, at least on the face of it.  Time to end this sick experiment, and send Mrs. Moneybags Kane home.

 

Huffington Post: No democracy for you!

A Huffington Post headline reads “Congress Inaction Prompts Obama to Act Alone.”

American civics class 101 teaches citizens that the executive branch cannot act alone, not really. If Congress is inactive, the president can only enforce laws that are on the books. He cannot create new laws. That would be dictatorial.

Ah-hah. There’s the point. Obama fans LOVE his dictatorship. Unashamedly.

Just remind us of that love when we have a new president from the other party, surrounded by angry citizens demanding retroactive corrections to the Obama years. You’ll learn to love it then, friends.

It’s official: Sunday hunting in VA

Two weeks ago the Virginia state House passed a Sunday hunting bill out of a committee that had bottled up similar bills for decades before. It was a surprising statement that it actually got through committee.  Then it passed the full state House, which surprised even its most ardent sponsors.

Well, today the Virginia state Senate passed the companion bill.  It allows hunting on private land on Sunday, a private property rights win if there ever was one. If you pay property taxes, say on a remote mountainside property, and you are deprived of 14.2% of your full use of that property for some vague reason, you might get frustrated.  It is your property.  You can shoot 1,000 bullets at a target on Sunday, but you cannot shoot just one at a squirrel.  Laws like this are by their definition arbitrary, the bane of democracy.

Virginia’s governor says he will sign the bill into law.

Welcome to the modern era, Virginia! We are envious of you.

Kudos to Kathy Davis of PA-based Hunters United for Sunday Hunting (www.huntsunday.org), who has devoted the past two years of her life to this issue, and who helped a great deal with getting the Virginia law passed and the lawsuit filed there.  The lawsuit compelled the state legislature to act, before a judge ruled against the state and the entire state was opened up.  While I would like to see public land open for Sunday hunting, I am satisfied with private land as a start to implementing it state-wide.  This really is an issue of the most basic American rights.

ObamaCare…are unilateral changes to law legal?

Congress makes laws, the executive branch executes and implements them.

So how is it that Obama makes unilateral changes to his health care law? Isn’t congress needed to amend the law?

One of Obama’s chief flaws is his tendency to rule as a dictator. He shakes hands with and bows deeply to dictators. His willful disregard for American law is dictatorial.

When do congressional leaders corral this wayward president? Will he be impeached?

Your dog sniffed my crotch

It was bound to happen. Two lovely days on a wilderness trail with my young son ended as we rounded the trailhead and aimed for our truck 100 yards ahead.

Two recently arrived hikers were actively calling for a dog, and they asked us if we had seen it.

“No,” I said, and I quickly added that I’d appreciate the dog being leashed when it finally arrived.

As usual, the dog’s owner went into a description of his dog’s fine qualities, its gentle disposition, etc. and then out of nowhere, she appeared. And she made a beeline for me, barking aggressively right up to my knees.

Having been attacked by dogs, my reaction was not “Oh, your dog is so cuddly poofy sweetums wonderful.” Rather, I prepared to give the vicious beast a face full of heavy hiking boot. Thankfully, the owner intervened, but in a minute, the dog was off and running around, again. My small and vulnerable son was not yet into the truck, because I was still trying to get the keys out of the extra large pack.

And it all followed an online debate pitting clueless dog owners against dog lovers who prefer not to have their crotches sniffed by unleashed dogs on wilderness trails, far from help.

No surprise that I described my concerns to the owner, a nice young guy named Garrett, and followed it up with an email to the district ranger, asking that the state either require dogs to be leashed in that region, or banned altogether.

Folks, your dog may walk on water. He may fetch your slippers, keep you warm, and make you feel loved. That’s great. But he doesn’t have the right to run up to me and smell my crotch, any more than someone could do that to you. It’s so undignified, threatening, and uncomfortable. What’s truly sad is that it’s not the dog at fault, but its owner, who has put it in a no-win situation. A leash is just a few bucks, and can turn a potentially disastrous day into a happy day for everyone.