↓ Archives ↓

Why this election is important

This election is a public referendum on the way America is run.

Right now we have the US Attorney General personally intervening in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton. Loretta Lynch is personally using her official position in the Obama Administration to block criminal accountability for an American citizen.

Is this the Rule of Law? Is America now being run like a Third World country?

President Richard Nixon went down in flames for crimes much less significant than what Hillary Clinton appears to have committed. Why is Hillary Clinton not being held to the same standard as Nixon?

Both Obama and Clinton use the levers of administrative power to pursue policies they cannot obtain through Congress, per the US Constitution. A weak Republican establishment is more worried about its own political career, and will not confront these unconstitutional abuses of power.

A compliant press that shares the agenda of Obama and Clinton shields both of them from scrutiny and honest news reporting, and viciously attacks people who do try to raise legitimate concerns. The mainstream press is now an attack dog for one political party. Most “news” professionals no longer even pretend to be objective.

Sure, there are two flawed presidential candidates. But one of them has serious criminal issues, while the other just bugs people with his big mouth. The flaws are not comparable or equal. Voters who easily disregard Hillary’s criminality maintain a mindset they will never tolerate with other Americans. They simply want a certain set of policy outcomes enshrined in Federal law or executive actions, regardless of the cost.

This is why this election is so important.

Do Americans want to be run by a strong president, who simply does whatever he or she wants to do, and Congress is more of an advisory body? That is how Rome was run by the Caesars, and the political swings were so wild whenever an administration changed that bodies littered the streets each time. Is this where you want America to go?

Do you really believe that 50% of the American electorate will stand back and let their country fall apart and the rule of law suspended? Civil wars have been fought over less.

Trump is not an ideal candidate, but he is not a criminal, and nowhere near as flawed or as dangerous as Hillary Clinton. Voting for Clinton rewards her criminality. Voting for Trump is voting for a stable America where the rule of law remains. You cannot go wrong with that.

Voting for Hillary?

Voters who select Hillary Clinton now forever disqualify themselves from criticizing any future candidate. There has never been nor is there likely again to be a candidate as unqualified and as corrupt as Clinton.

Knowingly choosing Clinton means a voter forfeits their ability to credibly attack future candidates. If Clinton is worth your vote, then anyone is worth voting for, because a candidate cannot be worse than Hillary Clinton.

Sure, you could disagree on policy with a future candidate, but you could not fairly accuse that person of being flawed. If Hillary isn’t too flawed for you now, then no one can ever be flawed again.

Hold Hillary to the same standard you have for other candidates, or forget being taken seriously.

Hypocrosy corrodes credibility. Don’t be a hypocrite. Vote for Trump and hope he’s happy to leave after one term.

Wikileaks says “next week Hillary gets arrested”

Despite a wall designed by the mainstream media to blackout and blockade the actual news surrounding Hillary Clinton, and talk up obviously contrived, fake issues about Trump, Wikileaks is beginning to leak past, under, around, and through all of the underhanded attempts to elect an unqualified crook by keeping the American electorate ignorant of Hillary’s many serious crimes.

Go to Wikileaks and see the emails yourself.

These emails are damning.

Hillary Clinton is a walking criminal enterprise like nothing the world has seen before. Influence peddling, theft of private charitable donations to the sham Clinton Foundation, misuse of public funds, misuse of public information (people right now are going to jail for far less important offenses), and even worse.

Wikileaks says that next week’s email dump will result in Hillary Clinton’s arrest.

Property Taxes: Vote them OUT

A version of this opinion-editorial was submitted to the Patriot News editorial editor, John Micek. He usually prints my opinion pieces, but it also takes a lot of hemming and hawing. UPDATE: The Patriot News did run this op-ed on 11/2/16. Thank you, John Micek.

Property Taxes Must End

In graduate school, our economics professors gave us hypothetical tax and income scenarios to solve. Our homework was to critique various tax and revenue structures, and find the optimum public fund distributions, based on subjective values. These learning exercises were designed to give us the ability to present decision makers with a range of policy options best suited to a particular culture or economic perspective. A lot of my peers there were international students headed home to basically run their countries.

My take on property tax is that it spreads the burden around to those least likely to directly benefit from it, those least likely to see an indirect benefit from it, and those least likely to afford it. It penalizes working people the most. Politically it is treated like an off-the-books cash cow, pushing an increasingly unmanageable burden on our most vulnerable citizens. School property taxes are the worst and most unfair form of tax possible. A thousand years ago in Europe they were considered fair, because the taxing authorities no longer had to search and pillage individual farms while looking for “extra” grain and meat hidden among the farmer’s possessions. Land taxes were then tied to the particular land’s productive capabilities. Thin soils on rocky terrain in cold climates with short growing seasons were “penny lands,” because they annually produced only pennies worth of food and fiber beyond basic subsistence levels. “Ouncelands” farms on rich soils in warmer climates produced enough “extra” food to be annually valued in ounces of silver. And so on.

Today even this basic leveling philosophy is long gone from our property tax arrangements, as is the agricultural world that started property taxes altogether. Now it’s a free for all, with school property taxes disconnected from serving students, and directed to gold plating the various administrative and pension arrangements concocted by politically powerful unions, or building unneeded, expensive monuments to the failed educational profession in the form of elementary and high school “campuses” on productive farmland. Thus, the poorest cities with the lowest real estate values have the highest school taxes. This is bad policy, bad government, bad taxation, and it must end. We citizens deserve much better from our government.

Here in Pennsylvania’s 15th senate district, one candidate (the incumbent) has voted several times against repealing, changing, eliminating, or even reforming school property taxes. Then again, he has received tens of thousands of dollars from government school unions.

The other candidate has pledged to support Act 76, the property tax elimination bill that would keep Grandma from getting ejected from her home of fifty years because she can’t pay $23.76 in back taxes to a school district that only knows how to spend, spend, spend, and to which she has not sent a kid since 1963.

If you live here in the 15th senate district, next week you should vote for the candidate who says he supports Act 76. That person is John DiSanto.

Josh First is a businessman living in Harrisburg City.

Does “dialogue” work?

The words “bipartisanship” and “dialogue” are emphasized as being part and parcel of America’s success, political, financial, cultural.

But have you had, or tried to have, a political dialogue recently? If yes, was it successful?

I have been struck between the eyes by what seems odd, to me, about the dialogues and conversations I have had recently, in person and online.

Americans saying they intend to vote for Hillary Clinton are completely unmoved by her crimes, her private actions, her bullying of her husband’s many rape and sexual harassment victims. There really is nothing Hillary Clinton can do that her supporters won’t overlook.

And there really is nothing that her opponent, Donald Trump, can do that is acceptable to them.

I find this odd, strange, illogical, because objectively weighing out one candidate versus the other leads to a pretty obvious conclusion: Both candidates are flawed, but one is desperately flawed, far more flawed than the other.  Why a middle-income, law-abiding American will vote for someone so deeply flawed and unqualified is mysterious to me.

It appears that reason, logic, facts, quantifiable substance are all utterly of no consequence to about fifty percent of the voters.

They are utterly unmoved by the Wikileaks revelations, that one particular political party has a core culture of stealing votes, rigging elections, engaging in the worst sort of voter fraud that undermines the entire premise of representative government. Wikileaks has revealed a group of people in love with power and control, at any cost to the nation, to innocent people, to anyone in their way.

“I hope Hillary did kill Vince Foster. That is totally badass” writes a top, paid, political party functionary whose name is frequently in the news.

This person was revealing this sentiment in a private email that was not supposed to end up in the public view, but public it now is, and so is that person’s mindset. This mindset is quite literally insane, and yet none of Hillary’s supporters seem phased at all by it. It is all OK, apparently, among Hillary’s supporters.

And so on, in like mind, in like words, among the people closest to Hillary Clinton’s lust for power.

The list of crimes against Donald Trump and his supporters grows longer every day, as more and more Wikileaks evidence is revealed.

George Soros and his favored political party paid people to go to Trump rallies and wreak violence, to punch and hurt innocent people, to cause destruction, to stir things up, so that their allies in the establishment press could then accuse the Trump supporters of the misdeeds.

And yet none of this bothers any of the people I have dialogued with in recent weeks and days. They simply do not care, and they are simply going to vote for Hillary Clinton, period, because.

America is premised on dialogue, on reason, on voters making educated decisions that are in the best interest of the polity, which we all share. When so many voters are presented with damning evidence that their candidate is pure evil, and fatally flawed, and they still support that person, then they have abandoned the very foundation of what makes America work.

And this is what is most problematic about Hillary Clinton’s support: It means that end of democracy, the end of our Republic, because Clinton is ready to employ the same illegal, unconstitutional actions that Obama has gotten away with. And once she is president and acting that way, America is headed for a constitutional crisis. Her actions as candidate say everything about her as president.

Every human civilization comes to an end at some point. America is not too big to fail. It is only as strong as the voters who run it. If America presently has fifty percent of its voters lusting after domination over their fellow citizens, and well-reasoned dialogue with them is unpersuasive, then our nation is headed for serious problems.

I hope America dodges this bullet, and gets back on track.

p.s. someone accused me of being a Republican, and therefore naturally supporting Donald Trump. First, Trump is no Republican. Second, I cannot stand the commie Republican Party and I am only a registered Republican because I live in a state with closed primaries and I must hang my hat somewhere; I would be most satisfied as a registered Independent. Third, Trump is running against a political establishment controlled by BOTH political parties. He is an outsider who has no allegiance to any party, but only to the American People, which I and many others find refreshing, even if he is a blathering big mouth. Dialogue provides the means by which we come to well-reasoned conclusions. But not one Hillary Clinton supporter I have met seems interested in a dialogue. Rather, they seem to have utopian dreams of control, domination, and “correct” behavior we all must follow once they are in power. No thanks.

Do you really want this double standard?

Why Are Double Standards Bad?

A double standard is where a stringent expectation is applied to one person, and a different, much looser expectation is held for someone else.

The problem with double standards is they are hypocritical.

Where there is hypocrisy, especially in what is supposed to be representative government, there are frustrated, even angry people on the other side. All of the social contracts that underpin representative government break down in a double standard environment.

In this presidential race there are all kinds of double standards at play.

Exactly 6,378.7 women have now suddenly come forward to accuse Donald Trump of unwanted sexual advances and “groping.”

Where all these aggrieved women were over the past thirty years remains a huge mystery. Suddenly, weeks before the election, they all emerge from the shadows. They cite facts that are physically impossible, socially improbable.

That many of them are known political activists is not surprising.

The mainstream media, which is now openly an arm of just one political party, and which has abandoned actual news reporting, has granted these women instantaneous credibility and constant access to cameras and sympathetic talking heads.

On the other hand, Bill Clinton is a known rapist and sexual harasser, and his wife, Hillary Clinton, has been his enabler over decades. Hillary has made it her mission to destroy the lives and reputations of each of the many accusers who have dared reveal their painful experiences with Bill.

Working carefully with Hillary has been the mainstream press, which is in news blackout mode now. The very real female victims of Hillary and Bill Clinton are actually ignored.

And the WikiLeaks data dump? Emails demonstrating just how incredibly corrupt, criminal, and evil Hillary is…these are not news to the CBS-NBC-ABC-NPR-NYT-WAPO-PBS political activists posing as fair minded arbiters of fact and accuracy. America’s news organizations are literally ignoring actual facts, hugely important facts, that undermine the political candidate they have chosen.

And they are trumpeting obviously false accusations made against Trump. It is an obvious diversion from the WikiLeaks data dump so damaging to Clinton.

What is happening is an avalanche loss of credibility, even as the mainstream media attempts to define only itself as bona fide news organizations, and to exclude citizen reporters and others who actually report news. The citizen reporters’ fault is they are reporting actual facts that the politicized media refuse to acknowledge, because those facts undermine the mainstream media’s political agenda.

How are citizens supposed to make sense of this double standard? Aside from using a double standard to advance an agenda by duping the citizenry, the beneficiaries of double standards signal a more important truth: They do not stand by the Rule of Law.

The Rule of Law is a core principle, probably THE core principle, of representative government.

The Rule of Law means that big or small, rich or poor, every citizen is treated equally under the law. No one is too big, or too important, to go to jail.

Well, that is until Hillary Clinton walked free, away from a criminal enterprise shades of which are sending others to jail right now.

And so Hillary is showing that she wants to lead America, and she will use every trick to be able to do that, and once she is in power, she will suspend the Rule of Law any way she can, to advance her political agenda.

Dear liberal friends, are you really willing and able to sacrifice America for the temporary advancement of your political agenda? Do you not realize this is a precursor for tyranny and totalitarianism? Do you not look at recent European history and see parallels with where we are today? What if you were the ones facing the lying media? Would you be OK with where things are now in this race? After all, only the fake mainstream media are breathing life into Hillary’s campaign. If conservatives controlled the media, you would be enraged. Please tell me you are not this shallow.

I do not understand how my liberal friends so gleefully embrace Hillary Clinton. I am not gleefully embracing Trump. Rather, I am simply recognizing that he is the far lesser evil of the two of them. Hell, he is not evil, he is a buffoon. He does not share my own agenda, other than maintaining the Rule of Law.

Hillary means the end of the rule of law, and the beginning of life by a double standard. There is no democracy or republic or representative government anywhere that can survive that.

 

 

 

Judging this race “Chemotherapy for the GOP”

If being pompously festooned with plastic credentials from an unaccountable ivory tower for decades is not enough, decrepit political writer George Will has thrown another rotten tomato at candidate Donald Trump.

After repeatedly insulting Trump, Will calls this race “chemotherapy for the GOP.”

Indeed, toxicity abounds in this race, and it is true that America is given two poor choices for president: One an evil and corrupt disgrace, the other a hip-shooting buffoon who does not appear to have had many serious moments for contemplation in his life. Both of these candidates are flawed, without doubt. I will take the lesser of the two flaws and hope he is satisfied with one term as president.

The other flaw, Hillary Clinton, ends the American Republic as we were founded in 1787.

George Will and his weak-kneed fellow travelers, scurrying about wondering if their cozy ship is sinking, have poured gasoline on the toxic chemicals running through this political race.

By not holding Hillary Clinton to the same standard as they hold Donald Trump, George Will et al fall happily into an old Leftist Saul Alinsky trap.

Alinsky, another f*in’ commie you-know-what, was a true source of toxicity, and a master at using Americans’ best traits against them. One of his tricky traps is demanding that conservatives\patriots\ noble-minded Americans hold themselves to their own rules, while constantly applying zero rules to the Left, from which Hillary Clinton has slithered.

It is always a no-win situation for the traditionalists\GOP\Americans.

Will is demanding that Trump be not only better than Hillary, but far, far better.

The problem with that is it is an impossibility. And it is a juvenile expectation. And not only that, Trump cannot sink nearly as low as Hillary on her best day.

Yet here is Will, with the rotten tomatoes for Trump. He actually spends an entire calumny column devoted to Trump only, without extolling Hillary’s decades of sheer evil and 100% lies.

Trump is “anti-woman”? Compared to rape-enabler, sexual harassment victim-blamer Hillary?

They are not even close! Hillary is by far worse for women than Trump, who sounds like an 18-year-old in the high school football locker room. She is a shameless, ruthless political whore who has sold America’s national security for thirty pieces of silver, and she would sell her grandma, too, if she were still alive. We are all less safe today as a result of her role in the Obama administration.

Imagine how wrecked America will be with her as president.

Indeed, chemotherapy is coursing through America’s veins right now. I grant George Will that one accuracy. But he is creating it. With RINOs like George Will, it appears Hillary could win and the treatment will then kill the patient. The patient being We The People, of whom at least half are supporting Trump.

Congratulations, George Will et al. Way to go. Your fake, frilly judgment makes you feel superior to your fellow citizens, and you are supporting the far inferior candidate, an avowed enemy of The People. You have made that clear.

 

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.”

Are Alien Invasives Driving You Nuts, Too?

“Alien invasives” is an ecological term or phrase for plants and animals that have parasitically invaded a favorable host environment, where they are unchecked by natural predators or forces. Examples exist in the Florida Everglades, where monitor lizards and giant pythons are rapidly becoming the dominant predators, in the Great Lakes, where round gobies and Asian carp are displacing walleyes, bass, salmon, and trout, and along the East Coast, where Asian mosquitoes are now fully entrenched.

It is this last species that really aggravates me, although the 15-20 million invasive non-native tax money-hungry and public services-gobbling humans presently here also bother me, too.

Asian mosquitoes come in several Latin names, which I won’t bother Dear Reader with here, but suffice it to say that they are the Samurai warrior in the world of mosquitoes. Where our native brown mosquitoes are relatively slow, lumbering, hovering, whining, nocturnal wall-hugging louts, the Asian mosquitoes are surreptitious, incredibly fast and dextrous, ankle-biting, and active 24/7, even in bright sunlight. If you swat at one, it won’t fly away and hide, it will Judo-fast avoid your hand, and immediately counter-attack.

One Asian mosquito is called the “tiger mosquito” because it has long camouflaging stripes which render it nearly invisible to the human eye, even up close. Almost like a shape-shifter, the tiger mosquito dodges your swat, and deftly, fearlessly moves in for the kill.

Asian mosquitoes have taken up residence in our back yard over the past five years. Each year they get worse, more dense, more aggressive, far beyond pesky. They have rendered our entire property nearly unusable during the months best suited to being outside. Gardening is now a run through a mine field, a gantlet that must be mastered quickly with a return to home base before too many painful bites are felt.

One fine Saturday in early August, in a shady spot in our back yard, reclining on a comfy chaise-lounge chair next to my wife and daughter, I soon discovered a black cloud horde of Asian mosquitoes around me. Welts were rising all over every area of exposed skin. I went and got the fly swatter and a can of bug spray, and returned to my reclining position, but with the swatter ready for action. After twenty minutes of battle and little reading, I had covered every part of my body with so much toxic bug dope that it began to make me feel ill. And yet the mosquitoes still found places they could land for the brief one or two seconds they require to extract my blood.

Unable to withstand the assault any more, I went inside and sat at the big picture window, watching my wife and child swat at the insects, the humans determined to enjoy the outdoors and the insects determined to suck blood.

Although my political nature dominates my writing, I really intend no metaphor here. This is really just waving the flag, an SOS, a warning, that America has become a breeding ground for alien invasives that are ruining our outdoor lifestyle. Now that the Ebola and Zika viruses have arrived with Obama’s foreign minions, more and more Americans are becoming aware of the costs of these invasive insects. It is not just about a little discomfort anymore, like with our friendly old native mosquito, but rather any time outdoors could cost you your health, even your life.

And what is the cost of lost happiness over twelve weekends, for tens of millions of people?

Garden as metaphor #8

As usual, I planted a garden this Spring.

Chicken wire and wire cloth mesh walls 24 inches high are surrounded by a solar-powered electric fence that hurts.

I am not fancy, so it is the usual basics- cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, an assortment of herbs. Keeping it simple is usually a recipe for solid output. Again, it is usually nothing that will feed the family for the year, but enough to keep us eating variations of ratatouille for the summer. It is healthy and tasty.

However, this summer was tough.

A dry, record-heat summer resulted in a lot of poorly developed desirable plants. But the weeds flourished. Having weeded the garden in late July, we went away for ten days, and returned to a jungle inside the fence. But the good plants did not have enough water.

The potatoes were dying, if you can believe that. Usually they are the last to go.

The basil had hardly budged. Most of the tomato plants looked sickly. Even the zucchini, which started strong, dried up and died a hideous public death. Somehow ISIS infiltrated the garden of Eden.

As a metaphor, this garden demonstrates the need for constant vigilance. If you leave it to itself, the good plants quickly get crowded out by the professional space-hogs, the weeds. And you can successfully remove a crop of weeds, and then a week later turn around and see a whole new crop blasting to the surface.

Similarly, a Republic like America cannot be left to itself. Its citizens – you, me, US – must stay on top of our government at all times. Or else the professional politicians, the career politicians, will get wedged in their spots and turn the purpose of government from serving We the People, to them, the weeds.