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Welcoming Mr. Scott Frederick, WCO

I would like to extend a hearty welcome to Dauphin County’s new Wildlife Conservation Officer, Mr. Scott Frederick.  He is a recent graduate of the PA Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation and he will be dedicated to conserving wildlife in Dauphin County.  He joins Mike Doherty, Terry, Derek, and other hard-working conservation officers, and their deputies, in the pursuit of promoting sound wildlife management, fair wildlife laws, and recruiting new hunters and trappers.

Scott, you will find us and our friends to be law-abiding, good citizens, who share your passion for healthy wildlife and wildlife habitat.  We will be there to help you whenever we can, and we look forward to working with you.  Welcome to Dauphin County!

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.

Two private property rights bills before PA legislature

Pennsylvania private property rights are under the gun right now.

HB1565 would provide a small fix to a patently unconstitutional regulation issued by PA DEP four years ago. That regulation takes 150 feet of buffer land from property owners adjoining Exceptional Value and High Quality streams.  Pretty much nothing can be done inside that buffer.  No compensation is paid, no tax write-offs are allowed, no charitable contributions are allowed or facilitated under this horrendous rule.

Smart Growth tools have long called for rewarding land owners who give up usage of private land for environmental purposes. Increased building density on the non-buffer land is a big reward and an incentive for landowners to contribute protected land to the greater good.

But the current regulation is not focused on working with landowners. Rather, it treats landowners like a piggy bank, which can be robbed whenever needed.

Protecting the environment is easy to do. Old fashioned top-down, command and control, big government, one size fits all regulations like the 150-foot buffer rule don’t protect the environment any better than carefully tailored rules. It’s not like this is a choice between environmental protection or none at all.

So encourage your state senator to vote for HB1565.

The other issue is SB76, which will provide relief to property owners who are being taxed out of their homes by teachers unions. Government school taxes account for about 80% of the annual property taxes paid, so dealing with government pensions and government unions bargaining positions should help alleviate the pressure on home owners and farmers.

Encourage your state representative to support SB76, which will lower private property taxes and reshape the way taxes are allocated.

Private property is supposed to be sacrosanct. I’d suggest anyone supporting the 150-foot buffer rule simply give up their front lawn to the neighborhood as a public play area. Put your money where your mouth is, or quit demanding that other people’s money get spent in ways you think are superior than the owner would spend it.

When the government just takes your land

About four years ago, Pennsylvania state government created a new regulation setting aside 150-foot buffers on waterways classified as High Quality and Exceptional Value.

This means that 150 feet from the edge of the waterway up into the private property, it’s designated as off-limits to most types of disturbances.

The purpose was to protect these waterways from the effects of development.

The end result is an obviously uncompensated taking of private property by the government. When the government takes a tape measure and marks off your own private land and says you can’t do anything with this huge area, or a road is going through, you’re simply taken advantage of. You’re robbed. It’s Un-American.  It’s unconstitutional.

Pennsylvania is a great state. I love living here. It’s saddening to see such top-down, command and control, clunky, one-size-fits-all regulations in this day and age. We can do so much better than this approach.

To start, create incentives for landowners to go along. Give tax credits and write-offs for land taken by government.

Do we all want clean air, soil, and water? Sure. Breathing, eating, and drinking clean air, food, and water are necessary to surviving. But that’s not the question.

The question is HOW we pursue those goals.

Requiring American citizens to simply give up their investments, with no compensation, creates losers in a system that was originally designed to make everyone a winner.

Instead of pitting government against the citizens, we need policies and laws that help and serve citizens, that are fair to citizens. That is by definition good government.

This current 150-foot buffer regulation is by definition bad government.

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.