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Cruz Quixote

Ted Cruz was my candidate until he was clear he’d rather be used by the GOPe to block Trump than stand on his principles, do or die.

Now with another Super Tuesday primary election behind us and boosting Trump, with zero chance of a Cruz win, Ted Cruz has decided to go on a Quixotic anti Trump jihad.

Cruz has made damaging Trump his top principle. Not defeating Hillary. Not promoting an overhaul of the GOP. Nope. Hurting Trump is now Cruz’s raison d’etre.

Pathetic. And unpatriotic.

At this point, a real American would step aside and cheer on the front runner. A real American would consider the national interest before his own.

Not Cruz. Being an obstructionist is now his highest and best use. This is sad to me, as I had thought he was bigger than this juvenile behavior.

It’s so bad that some Pennsylvania Cruz -aligned delegates are talking openly of going to the Republican convention just to work against Trump.

Donald Trump still does not represent my values very well, nor do I trust him to be the warrior in office he is now.  But Trump is a damn sight better than Benghazi Billary, and he’s now our standard barer, for better or worse.

Time to let go of personal ambitions in the greater interest of America. Or maybe move to Canada and just get out of our way.

Our Future Belongs to the Young

After spending years running for office and fighting many political battles on behalf of the common citizen, I was excited to run for State Senate in 2015-2016. It was supposed to be “our time.”

Enter Andrew Lewis, a young guy newly back in the area after a ten year period of service in the US Army.

Some already know the story: In late November hunting season I fell, injured my left knee, and headed in to surgery.

Competing against wealthy land developer John DiSanto was going to be a battle royale I nonetheless felt confident of winning. But with Andrew undermining our campaign base in rural, wonderful Perry County, and with him making up for a lack of money with an abundance of energy and hard work in the door to door arena, it made sense to cut my losses and see if Andrew could get my own agenda done.

After all, I did not relish the prospect of a 33/33/33 result decided by a couple hundred votes in the end.  Our family time and money was worth more at home than on that uncertain kind of a campaign trail.

Andrew had already adopted a great deal of our campaign platform, and when he agreed to term limits and not taking unconstitutional perquisites, I endorsed him.

Here we are, a day out from Election Day.

I am asking you to vote for Andrew Lewis in the Pennsylvania State Senate 15th District race.

Andrew Lewis is a young conservative who represents the future of American leadership.

John DiSanto is a fine man I’ve enjoyed getting to know on the campaign trail, but he has two liabilities: First, his business by its nature has left a trail of unhappy people. That’s not a great selling point in an election where the same people’s votes are needed.

Second, John’s toughness may be an asset in the land development field, but it’s not a great skill set in politics. John’s performance during and after debates demonstrates he is uncomfortable being challenged. If he easily gets testy among a friendly Republican forum, how’s he going to come off in a death match with sitting senator Rob Teplitz?

The 15th senate district should be in traditional American hands, and Andrew has the charm, background, and articulate policy interest necessary to demonstrate to citizens of all political leanings that he has their interests at heart first and foremost.

Please vote for Andrew Lewis on Tuesday.

Farewell Senate Campaign Page, Hello ol’ Blog!

With the Pennsylvania Primary election just eleven days away, the time has arrived to go back to the blog and leave the campaign policies and pledges to candidates Andrew Lewis and John DiSanto.

The last blog post was in June 2015. How surprising it was back then to see the amount of traffic the blog received, and from all corners of the world. Most of our readers were from Harrisburg and Washington, DC, two government hot spots and centers for policy development. Wonks galore in those two locations. But then there were the places like Washington STATE, Louisiana, Upstate New York, and California, where many fewer dedicated policy weenies reside. Even recently a bearded Democrat said he missed this blog, “Even though I don’t agree with you a lot of the time, you are a good writer and you have interesting subjects.”

So we begin again. However, with the election just days away, you can expect some politicking to occur here. Welcome back, dear reader.

Hunting licenses, 1976 and 2015

Since my first hunting license adorned my back way back in 1976-1977, a lot has changed in the Pennsylvania landscape.

For example, wild game then so abundant that you could go out and shoot a couple for dinner is now practically extirpated.

Why pheasants and quail disappeared from Pennsylvania is a big debate with no clear answers. Loss of farmland to sprawl, low density development is one. Changes in farming practices is another; fallow fields had the best habitat. A plethora of winged and four legged predators cannot be discounted. Successfully rebounding populations of raptors like hawks and owls for sure ate a lot of plump pheasants. But why a sudden and dramatic crash?

Conservation successes since 1976 are plentiful and say a lot about wildlife biology. Wild turkey populations, fishers, bobcats and other animals once thought completely gone are now firmly in our lives, whether we see them, or not.

An interesting dynamic is playing out at our hunting camp. This year we have a virtual carpet of oak and hickory seedlings unlike anything we saw over the past 15 years we’ve owned it. Why?

Conventional wisdom is the deer population is low, and it’s true that it’s lower than it has been in 15 years. That is, deer are known eaters of acorns and tree seedlings. Fewer deer means more of both.

However, another factor seems to be playing out with these newly abundant tree seedlings. Where we once had an incredible overload of tree rats, aka squirrels, the new fishers have eaten them all. Like all of them. Not one tree rat remains in our carefully cultivated forest of white oaks. We see fisher tracks. We neither see nor hear squirrels.

As squirrels are known eaters of acorns and hickories, it stands to reason that their absence means more acorns and hickories hatching into baby trees.

Add a long icy winter that appears to have crushed our local wild turkey populations, also known for eating nuts, and the right conditions emerge to help a forest rebound and grow some new stock, a huge challenge we aggressively tackle every year.

So, my son getting his first hunting license yesterday is now entering a landscape that in some ways is just as dynamic as the one I began hunting so long ago.  What a difference these landscapes were and are, and who would’ve guessed the fishers would be responsible for oak and hickory forests regenerating?

A lot has changed in our wildlife landscapes, and yet not much has changed in my lifetime. Different animals, same kind of population changes, variations, pressures. One thing I keep reminding myself: It’s all natural, these changes. And while some are painful to see, like the loss of pheasants, other opportunities open up. Never would I have imagined in 1976, nor would any PA Game Commission staff, that in 2015 my son would get a bobcat tag and a fisher tag with his license.

Totally different opportunity than chasing pheasants in corn fields, but still good.

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.

Are PA’s vaunted wild turkeys in trouble?

Pennsylvania lead the way reestablishing wild turkey populations back in the 1960s and 1970s.
Well do I recall the grainy film footage of catch-and-release population building during my Hunter Education course in 1974. By 1976 wild turkeys were being successfully hunted in my neck of central Pennsylvania. Twins Jim and Joe Harpster brought to school the impressive long beards and spurs they called in, inspiring me to take a fall hen with my 20-gauge shotgun.
Fast forward a few decades, and a bunch of us up north are now wondering if this past harsh winter decimated the flocks that were brimming with birds just six months ago. After all, I and quite a few other friends in north central PA have hardly heard much less seen turkeys the past two weeks.
And we have all seen plenty of predators, like coyotes and bobcats.
One person told me yesterday there’s talk among the PGC biologists that the regional turkey population may have been knocked back ten years.
Wouldn’t that be a shame?

Exercise the power of the People to impeach and remove bad judges

Both the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution make plain that American and Pennsylvania state governments derive their power from the People.

But my, oh my, have we not seen a tremendous erosion of privacy and basic individual rights and liberties over the years as government power to regulate and surveil expands. Much of this starts with local law enforcement.

Over and over again we read with amazement how some official government regulatory or law enforcement arm commits another over-reach deep into some poor citizen’s life. And then with even greater amazement we read how some judge, especially federal judges, uphold what would appear on its face to violate the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.  Here are some headlines:

“Ohio Court upholds police forced entry into private home over failure to signal at traffic light…”

“New Jersey Federal Court Upholds The FTC’s Authority To Regulate Data Security”

 

“Judge Upholds Police ‘Code of Silence’ Ruling…U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve decided Thursday decided not to toss out part of a jury’s decision that found Chicago police operated under a “code of silence,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Last month, a jury found the police department obstructed the investigation into the beating death of bartender Karolina Obrycka at the hands of off-duty police officer Anthony Abbate in 2007.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve decided Thursday decided not to toss out part of a jury’s decision that found Chicago police operated under a “code of silence,” according to the Chicago Tribune.”

“Police can forcibly take DNA samples during arrests, judge rules”

 

“Federal Judge Upholds Warrantless Hidden Surveillance Cameras On Private Property”

 

“Court upholds dismissal of ticket quota lawsuit”

 

“Utah Cops Arrest Teen for Recording, Judge then Orders Teen to Admit Guilt before Trial”

 

“Law-Breaking Judges Took Cases That Could Make Them Even Richer

Federal judges aren’t supposed to hear cases in which they have a financial stake. Dozens do it anyway.”

And the granddaddy of them all, a truly unbelievable case in which a federal judge recently decided the police can simply take over your home and eat your food without any reason whatsoever:

“The Nevada case of Mitchell v. City of Henderson still slogs through the Nevada Federal District Court. This case has one unusual feature. It accuses police in two cities of quartering themselves in two private houses without the consent of their owners. This would breach the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which deals with quartering of soldiers. The defendant city officials say police officers are not soldiers. But the Mitchells actually have a thirty-two-year-old precedent on their side. That case says one need not be an active-duty U.S. armed service member to be a “soldier” under the Constitution………………….the police in Henderson wanted to “stake out” the Mitchells’ neighbor. They forced the Mitchells (and Anthony Mitchell’s parents) out of their homes, moved in for the time of their stakeout, and helped themselves to whatever was in their refrigerators and pantries. They even arrested Anthony and Michael for obstructing the police. Those charges could not possibly stick, so the city dropped them. But the Mitchells are still suing, on every ground they could possibly cite.
The Third Amendment portion of the Mitchell complaint has been dismissed as of February 2015. The judge held that police officers are not soldiers for the purposes of the Third Amendment; he also expressed doubt that occupying the property for less than 24 hours would constitute ‘quartering’, although he did not specifically rule on that aspect.”

And so on.  You can do your own Internet search on this subject and read the stories behind these headlines and many more.  The purpose here is to call attention to the problem of judges who clearly allow unconstitutional government behavior to proceed.

And what is to be done with US Supreme Court justices who lie under oath in their nomination and confirmation hearings, in order to be confirmed, and then begin ruling exactly the opposite of what they testified to in the US Senate?

In all these instances, the People – us, the voters, taxpayers, and citizens of America – should take the necessary steps to legally remove these failed public servants from their benches.  These are no longer judges in the essential sense of the term, and they certainly no longer look out for the basic rights and liberties of the People. 

So they must be impeached or recalled.

PA Leadership Conference gets better and better every year

Thanks to the hard work of Lowman Henry, Dan Mosel and others, the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference was a resounding success.

Scott Davis did the straw poll (I have not been emailed the results; I voted for Cruz and Ben Carson), and despite running around on a million errands, he managed to keep a chipper air.

Chris Liliks was center stage Mister Organization, and USMC Col. Frank Ryan gave the most convincing Pledge of Allegiance ever.  Frank and I were opponents in the 2009-2010 four-way congressional race for the then-Tim Holden seat, now gerrymandered into something unrecognizable.  Frank is a great guy and it brought me a lot of pleasure to see him again and shake his hand.

Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste had endless patience discussing with me the dynamics and aggravations of the establishment versus the grass roots, and although he was dead wrong on every single thing, he still kindly sat with me and provided great company (as well as thereby serving as the genesis of some great political rumors…).

Business guru Fred Anton provided opening remarks that impressed everyone at our table, as he succinctly hit on every hot political and economic issue in a Spartan speech that artfully blended politics and economy without sounding so dullingly or partisanly political.  Vote for PA Supreme Court candidates who are going to fill out their full ten-year terms, Fred told us.  That’s not bad advice. But remember that the legislature is considering raising the mandatory retirement age for judges, so candidates who might only serve for two years now could get on the court and then serve seven years, which is plenty long enough.

Rick Santorum gave a heartfelt, moving, extemporaneous speech about Iran that brought inspired tears to the eyes of many audience members. It was a stellar performance that reminded everyone in the packed ballroom why Santorum is still in the political leadership mix – he operates from the heart and from principle, not from from some shallow, meaningless political calculation.  Iran’s danger to Western civilization was the topic of Santorum’s speech, where he pointed out that both Republicans and Democrats are failing to lead on this critical security issue.  He also hit the Republican Party hard for not incorporating working people into their mantra of money and prosperity, suggesting that if the R’s miss this much more, then maybe it is time for everyone to become Independent or some other third party.  Ouch! And he is 100% right, as can be seen from the machinations in the PA 15th Senate District, where yet another super-rich businessman with the articulate capabilities of a junk yard dog is the “chosen one.”  If you ask me, and who am I to criticize (;-D), this looks like another one-dimensional effort to lose the seat to the Dems once again.

Senator Pat Toomey gave one of his trademark understated policy speeches where you’re half-way into it and falling asleep before you realize “Oh My God this is serious stuff.” Although I do not agree with Toomey that the senate Democrats should have been allowed to exploit all of the procedural niceties they did not allow the Republicans for five years.  Recall that as US Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid conducted “the nuclear option” and dismantled 150 years of Senate procedural rules designed to let the minority have some say and have some votes.  Recall that for five years there were something like a total of 16 actual votes on the Senate floor, a historic embarrassment and indication that American democracy was held hostage by the Senate Democrats.  Despite suffering under Reid’s mismanagement, Toomey believes in being “nice” now with his Republican majority, somehow proving that the Republicans are nicer than the mean ol’ Democrats.  I think he is mistaken.  But I am not a US Senator, so I have little to say about it but what I write here.  Let us not take away here from Senator Toomey his outstanding and laser-like focus on Iran’s nuclear threat to America.

Everything went as smoothly as possible, with the only unusual thing the large walk-out by a significant portion of the audience when Grover Norquist took the stage.  A couple things struck me about Mister Jihadi Norquist.  One, he is remarkably small in stature and frame, almost child-size with a squeaky high voice, like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. This may explain his need for a larger-than-life personality and desire to dominate everyone.  The second unusual thing I noticed was how Norquist required all kinds of security guys, and a big limo, and superstar treatment, in contrast to Santorum, Toomey, and other well-known speakers who just walked right in to the Radisson with a “Hey How are Ya?” attitude and hallos and handshakes and other casual chit-chat on their way to the podium.

It seems that Mister Muslim Brotherhood Secret Operative Blow Up America From The Inside Grover Norquist requires lots of marching band accompaniment to look and feel good. I was happy when I looked around and saw the steady stream of audience members heading for the doors with me, while my colleague remained behind at our front-and-center table “so I can say I got to hear Grover lie in person to a whole room of people.”  In other words, it does not appear that Mister Ollie Snackbar Nukem Norquist enjoys much political cover any longer.  He was asked to suspend himself from the NRA board of directors four days ago, an indication that his weaseling ways and sneaky days are numbered.

So that is my brief round-up and I could write so much more, but why should I? Really, you should come to next year’s PLC and see how grand it is for yourself.

 

 

Un-Citizen Kane. Time to go

Nothing is tougher to accept than a corrupt public official, and the higher the office the harder it is to accept. So it is with Kathleen Kane, PA’s Attorney General.

Now the Philly Inquirer has published a significant investigative report on AG Kathleen Kane and her constant intercessions on behalf of known, convicted, and or suspected crooks from the moment she took office.

The first one the public learned about was Kane’s shielding of ultra corrupt politicians from the Philadelphia area. Philly DA Seth Williams took issue with Kane’s dropping of cases against the bad guys, and he battled her for control of the cases. Williams resurrected the charges and successfully implemented his n her job: People paid big fines, went to jail etc.

Now it turns out that Kane has been using her position to drop or stop investigations right and left across the Pennsylvania landscape. Again, these cases were against wealthy, politically connected people. Her staff at the AG’s office strongly disagreed with her. Some left their careers there because of Kane’s ….questionable….decisions.

Last week Kane lost a case at the PA Supreme Court, which allowed a special prosecutor to continue investigating Kane for her obviously corrupt and illegal behavior on OTHER issues.

In the totality, Kane is surrounded by her own bad judgment, bad decisions, illegal decisions, stupid decisions, corruption, really, over which she will now be charged, in addition to lots of petty politics like hiring her own sister into the AG’s office.

It is time for this catastrophe of a human being to do us taxpayers a favor, and resign. Save her and us from even more shame and pain and public expenditure to follow through on the obvious need for justice. Kane is corrupt. Please leave public life, Un-Citizen Kane.

Gov. Wolf must pull Marcus Brown nomination

Governor Tom Wolf nominated Marcus Brown to be Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner.

Brown is a deeply, amazingly flawed candidate whose poor record literally involved recent malicious vandalism and theft. That is, the most basic, lowest form of law breaking. It’s behavior far beneath the dignity of any professional, and even farther, unimaginable, really, for someone representing the pinnacle of law enforcement. Brown is under investigation and will probably be charged soon with the crime. It’s an awkward scenario.

Brown’s many other flaws are notorious and even kind of crazy, like shutting down an entire highway and having Maryland state police go car-to-car with their guns drawn. That’s insane. It’s patently unconstitutional behavior and obviously tyrannical.

Brown is a man who has gotten away with all kinds infractions and law-breaking his entire career. He’s got a huge sense of entitlement. He is not cut out to be any sort of law enforcement officer, need we say the head of the PA State Police.

I know what it’s like to be a nominee running into an opposing state senator. I’ve been there and it can be an unfair fight, especially when the senator will tell no one what his objection is. Nevertheless, that same state senator is now joined by many others in formal opposition to Brown’s nomination, for good reasons that are a matter of the public record, not some personal vendetta.

Wolf doesn’t need this headache. There are going to be worthy disputes and tests with the legislature aplenty in the next four years. Wolf should choose his fights carefully, and in my experienced opinion, this is a bad one for him to stand on. He’s not going to win. And he’s promoting someone, Marcus Brown, who is unworthy of any support at all, much less a taxpayer-funded job, based on his historic and recent law breaking.