Acting through the Federal Communications Commission, the Obama administration has issued a proposed rule that will dramatically change the Internet and everyone’s experience on it.
Seeking absolute control of the one information source not controlled by the Left, Obama’s FCC now seeks to tax internet use and establish 322 pages of rules and regulations.
The Federal Elections Commission is also pursuing regulation of political speech on the Internet, like this blog. Can you imagine? It is totalitarian behavior.
If there is one defining characteristic of the Internet now, it’s that it is a free place, a frontier, a free market, open to as many people as could possibly participate. Surely the utopians among us will be dissatisfied but it’s an incredible feature of modern life.
The Internet needs no regulations. No one will benefit from these regulations, except the Left, because the Net has allowed millions of political activists to circumvent the establishment media, which is 100% in the pocket of and an arm of one liberal political party.
By regulating the Internet, the FCC will determine what is political speech, and whether or not that violates some rule.
Can you imagine putting government bureaucrats in charge of your free speech rights?
No, neither can I, but it’s the Left’s dream to control all communications so their message of forced peace and equality at any cost will find fewer opponents.
We have a state senator here in central PA who campaigned with his name below the Obama name on yard signs. It will be very interesting to hear what this senator has to say about this, because as a member of the Left he stands to benefit from it, but as a representative of the people, he must advocate for their interests, especially their Constitutional rights.
In 2009, like many other citizens shocked at the sudden, dramatic changes and corruption re-shaping America, I greatly increased my political activity.
Part of a grass-roots wave of citizen activists that year, I ran in a four-way US Congressional primary. It’s a long story, and in short I ended up liking one of my opponents so much I hoped he would win. Along the way, several people closely affiliated with the Republican Party tried to dissuade me from running, assuring me that a certain sitting state senator would beat the incumbent Democrat, congressman Tim Holden.
Our campaign still netted about 25% of the vote in a four-way race, which is solid performance, especially considering that one of the candidates had run before, one was a sitting state senator, one was a well-known political activist, and we had gotten a late start and spent little money.
In the general election, Holden crushed the Republican state senator who won that primary race by 400 votes.
Fast forward to January 2012, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejects a new, heavily gerrymandered Republican redistricting plan. At the heart of the court’s decision was the “egregious” and grossly unnatural shape of the 15th state senate district, where I happened to then reside, and still do now, too.
The PA Supreme Court called the new district “the iron cross,” and indeed it looked like a cross shape and was iron clad against upstart citizens asserting themselves in political races reserved for establishment members only.
(My current congressional district is the same, with only about ten blocks of Harrisburg City included in what is otherwise a large, rural district reaching the Maryland state line. Guess who lives in that ten-block area. Yes. Me. )
Given my previous public interest in running for the 15th senate seat, it was obvious that excluding our family’s home from that district was purposeful: It was an attempt by political bosses to artificially silence and thwart an otherwise good candidate who does not see his job as serving political bosses.
The court’s ruling allowed a handful of us to wage a tremendous grass roots 11th hour campaign for that senate seat, getting our start two days into the three-week ballot petition process.
Although we did not win, we did give the political bosses a hell of a challenge by winning a huge number of votes with only pennies spent.
A year later, York businessman Scott Wagner beat those same political bosses for his state senate seat, in a historic write-in campaign against a million dollars of party money. The race, and its remarkable result, drew national attention. Clearly the voters responded to Wagner’s grass roots campaign in the face of a party juggernaut.
This evening I spent some time speaking with an NRA staffer. We met at the Great American Outdoor Show, which is the former Eastern Outdoors Show and now NRA-run at the PA Farm Show complex, and he gave me an opportunity to vent a bit and explain my frustration with the NRA.
To wit: An increasing number of grass roots activists now perceive the NRA as merely an arm of the Republican Party establishment political bosses. The same bosses who oppose conservative/ independent candidates like me and Wagner.
See, back in 2012, I was the only NRA member in that three-way primary race (to be fair, one candidate had been an NRA member for several months, which could never, ever be construed as a political move, even though he was the candidate selected by the same political bosses who created a safe district for him to run in), but the NRA refused to get involved.
If there was any endorsement that was deserved in that race, it would have been the NRA endorsing their one and only member, and a decades-long member at that – Me. (Firearm Owners Against Crime did endorse the one pro-Second Amendment candidate, thank you very much, Kim Stolfer)
And then tonight it dawned on me on the way home from the Farm Show complex…two basic but defining experiences separate grass roots activists and candidates from the party establishment: Risk taking and making sacrifices.
By definition, grass roots candidates take many risks and make many sacrifices, both of which are seen as signs of weakness by the establishment.
Self-starters motivated by principle and passion for good government, the grass roots candidates and activists have to reach into their own pockets to get any traction, and they often risk their jobs and businesses in challenging the establishment power structure. To get invitations to events, they have to reach out and ask, knock on doors, make phone calls. They have to cobble together campaigns made of volunteers and pennies, and they usually are grossly under-funded now matter how successful they are.
On the other hand, party establishment candidates have the ready-made party machine in their sails from the get-go. Money, experienced volunteers, paid staffers, refined walking lists, the establishment can muster a tremendous force in a relatively short time. Establishment candidates also enjoy artificial party endorsements (formal or informal) that give them access to huge pots of party campaign funds or a leg-up in other ways.
Establishment groups like NRA view grass roots candidates the same way as the party establishment views them- trouble makers.
In short, few if any establishment candidates put in their own money to drive their campaigns, take risks, or make sacrifices in their pursuit of elected office. Everything is done for them by other people.
So long as party establishment staff and officials and groups like NRA maintain this artificial lifestyle and view, this alternate reality, this disconnect between the grass roots voters and the party that needs their votes will continue and deepen.
So long as the voters see grass roots activists and candidates struggling against an unfair arrangement that is created solely for the preservation of political power and profit, they will continue to migrate away from the party and support people they can relate to the most.
An elder in my family once told me that taking risks and making sacrifices build character and lead to success, and although a 26-year career full of both risks and sacrifices has often left me wondering at the truth of that claim, I increasingly see it bearing out in electoral politics.
The voters are not dumb; they can see the pure American earnestness in their fellow citizen fighting City Hall. They respect risk-taking and sacrifices made in the pursuit of saving America. That is a strong character which no establishment candidate can or ever will have.
Those political parties and groups that ignore that strong American character do so at their own risk, because they will lose the supporters they need to be successful.
Nearly every time some more interesting subject begs to be written about, say, Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program, Mr Obama inserts himself and requires an essay.
So last week, Obama had two known African murderers at his national prayer breakfast, but because they are Muslim leaders they are exonerated.
Then Obama gave a speech equating Christianity and people of all faiths today with the sadistic cruelties of ISIS, the muslim terror group of Syria and Iraq. Plenty of moral equivalence, no leadership. No criticism of Islam is allowed by Obama.
Then it turned out that the Obama administration is doing everything possible to appease Iran and enable it to manufacture its own nuclear bomb. Secret meetings with Iranian leaders, including some who are known to rape, torture, and then murder female political prisoners.
Then it turned out the Obama administration is spending American taxpayer money to fund V15, an electioneering effort to get Israel’s Netanyahu voted out of power.
Netanyahu is one of the few leaders strong enough to stand up to Obama’s appeasement policies, because he knows that Iran is not just a threat to America, it is a threat to Israel.
Now, for many years people claimed that Obama was and is a Christian. Why is that important? Because we don’t like being lied to, and we deserve to know who our leaders are. And it was important that Obama at least appear to be a Christian, to get the votes necessary to become president.
Six years later, we see a man determined to criticize Christianity, criticize Western Civilization, block all fair criticism of Islam, install the Muslim Brotherhood in powerful positions throughout American government, dramatically weaken Israel, dramatically weaken America, and facilitate Iran getting nuclear bombs which without question will be used against America and Israel.
And people wondered why so many not only didn’t trust Obama in 2008, but utterly hate him today…My God, our government has been taken over by a determined destroyer.
For the past ten years, we have enrolled 350 acres in Centre County with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s public access program.
We pay the taxes on the land, the PGC patrols the land, and the public hunts and traps on the land. From personal items left lying on the ground, like underpants and beer cans, it is clear that some members of the public are using it in more creative recreational ways.
Cleaning up these things is part of the burden we bear to provide the public with nice places to hunt and…”picnic.”
Because our land is surrounded by State Game Lands, it made sense to open it to the public. We were approached to lease it as a private hunting club, and we have resisted that for all these years. We recently sold 100 acres to PGC, and we wanted it to be a seamless experience for the public, used to walking in on a gated road and immediately hunting.
Overall our experience has been positive. Yes, we get frustrated by people leaving trash behind, when they could easily put it in the vehicle they brought it in with. But we take great satisfaction knowing that the majority of visitors are exhilarated to be there, and they use the land respectfully.
Our family is proud to help other Pennsylvanians have a beautiful place to hunt and trap, so that these ancient skills can be passed on to younger generations. We are proud and pleased to partner with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Over and over people say Islam is peaceful.
And then we watch Islam’s most faithful and exacting adherents burn a man to death. It is the most vile, most horrible thing my eyes have seen.
To me, this is official, religiously-based sadism. All you have to do is read the perpetrators’ analytical thought that went into this, and then you realize that while “only” 25% of Muslims around the world believe this is 100% Islam, that’s a good 400 MILLION jihadi fanatics.
Many of whom happily live right here in America, as we saw with the Boston Bombers and the 9/11 attacks.
Watch this horrific video and ask yourself if you can continue to defend Islam, and ask yourself why this kind of cruelty repeatedly happens across so many Moslem countries if it’s only “a few” people who support it.
If Muslims actually opposed this behavior, there would be world-wide massive street demonstrations by Muslims demanding a reformation of Islam and the Koran. Instead, we hear and see nothing except a few fake apologists saying this isn’t really Islam, and then they attack anyone who disagrees with them.
I am a dinosaur.
In so many ways, my beliefs, ideals, values, education, outlook, hobbies, lifestyle, and behavior seem as outdated and as uncommon as the dinosaurs that died out long ago.
Put another way, I am one of the Last of the Mohicans, certainly not THE last, but one of a dwindling group that sees the world differently than the corrosive pop culture fed daily to Americans by Hollywood.
And I am proud to be this way, to be a patriot, to exalt individual citizen rights and liberties above government intervention, to take risks and make sacrifices in a free market capitalist society that rewards hard work and penalizes laziness. American Sniper, Act of Valor, and Lone Survivor are the only movies that moved me in many years because I believe in military heroes, although the Lord of the Rings productions are highly entertaining.
Meanwhile, pop culture would have every American equally unhappy, equally deprived of their rights and liberties, equally planted on a couch eating junk food and watching mindless TV shows that are at war with the underpinnings of Western Civilization.
(A short, hard-hitting article about Hollywood’s destructiveness by one of its most famous writers is here.)
And I am also an old-fashioned “Hook-and-Bullet” conservationist, a hunter, life-long gun owner and fisherman, an NRA member and even more so, a FOAC member who means it when I say “You can have my guns when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.”
But did I mention that conservation is a huge part of my identity? You know, farmland preservation, wildlife habitat protection, forest land acquisition for public ownership, and wilderness areas where I can hunt, fish, camp, and hike without seeing or hearing another human being for as long as I am out there.
And why is it so hard for so many traditionalists to see that traditional American values are directly tied to, and derive from, rural landscapes? And that our remaining rural landscapes are precious fragments of the great American frontier, on which our national identity and Constitution were forged?
So why wouldn’t a conservative want to conserve those rural landscapes that gave birth to his identity and values, that enshrine Constitutional rights and self-reliance?
For some strange reason, an increasing number of gun owners are not hunters, and do not really show that they care about wildlife populations or wildlife habitat, or about land and water conservation. When I attend meetings at different sportsmen’s clubs, like Duncannon Sportsmen, and I hear the Conservationist’s Pledge, my heart wells up and I nearly get as teary-eyed as when I hear the national anthem, or the Pledge of Allegiance. It doesn’t help that most of us in the room are sporting lots of white in our beards and on our heads. The next generation seems to have taken a lot for granted, because all of the battles we fought decades ago bore such abundant fruit.
All this makes me a dinosaur, and although I recognize it, I am not happy about it. I feel like I am watching the greatest nation on Planet Earth disintegrate under my feet, and it scares me, makes me sad, and makes me want to do what I can to try to prevent it from happening.
I do not want traditional American values to go extinct, like the dinosaurs, because although those values may not be in vogue right now, America was founded on them and the nation cannot successfully continue on without them.
A pet is an animal that lives in a house.
Pets that are allowed to run freely out the front or back door, to cavort, chase, defecate, and frolic off its owner’s property and in Nature’s wide open beauty, are by definition feral.
Once out of the house or off the leash, these feral animals become capable of great destruction and usually accountable to no one. They also can easily be eaten by other feral animals and by coyotes, foxes, owls, and hawks. Or hit by a car.
Cats and dogs can get into traps set for fox, raccoon, coyote, and other furbearers.
Some of these traps merely restrain the animal by the foot. They do not break bones or cut skin. But other traps, like Conibears, will crush whatever sets them off, including a cat’s body or a dog’s face. If this possibility bothers a pet owner, then think of your animal’s safety, and do not let it run on someone else’s property; keep the pet under control at all times.
Audubon International estimates that feral cats alone wreak terrible destruction upon native songbirds, already under pressure from excessive populations of raccoons, skunks, and possums, killing hundreds of millions of colorful little birds annually.
Feral dogs bite people, chase wildlife, and poop on others’ property.
In most states, a dog seen chasing wildlife is subject to immediate termination. In fact I lost my favorite pet, a large malamute, after he broke out of his one-acre pen and a local farmer witnessed him gleefully chasing deer. Months later the farmer deposited the dog’s collar and name tag in the back of our pickup truck, told my dad where the carcass was buried on the edge of his field, and walked away. I was already heartbroken, but what could we say? Our dog had broken the law.
No responsible adult allows a pet to become feral. When it happens, it means the owner no longer really cares about the animal.
If you are a pet owner, please show that you care by keeping the pet safe inside your home. Everyone will thank you for it, especially your precious animal friend.
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.
The Communist Party.
The Democrat Party.
The Republican Party.
What is the difference between these three and many other active political parties?
Their party agenda is what defines them.
Their cause, their unifying principles, their policies and political platforms, these are the things that separate political parties from one another.
All political parties have their own structure, their functionaries, their own bureaucracies, lawyers, and bosses. All have become self-interested organisms, influenced by a constellation of special interest groups. At a certain point, the party exists simply for its own benefit.
But what happens when these parties begin to bleed into one another, when they begin to blend across their boundaries and blur their boundaries? When they lose their distinctive appeal?
When political parties lose their way, do they lose their reason for being?
Although my own Republican Party has pledged overall to serve the taxpayers, plenty of fellow Republicans hold personal and official positions contrary to the interests of taxpayers, voters, and citizens. Their positions are subtle, often only visible in the important background decisions they make.
Many times in recent history, the Republican Party has been used as a weapon to silence voices of political activists who sought to return the brand to its more basic principles and its more elementary purpose, which would naturally be defined as the cause of liberty.
It is my own hope and the hope of many other dedicated citizens that the Republican Party, also known as the establishment, will stay out of any upcoming elections around Central Pennsylvania.
It is one thing for a candidate to ask, say, State Rep. Ron Marsico for his individual support, or to ask individual party committee members for their support. It is entirely another thing for the Dauphin County Republican Committee to endorse a candidate so that the Pennsylvania Republican Party can spend money to challenge a Republican candidate’s nomination ballots, because he (or she) is too independent-minded. Or too “conservative.” Or not enough in the pocket of some party boss.
My experience tells me that this controlling, anti-freedom behavior has happened so often that many political activists are inclined to become political Independents, which means that the Republican base, the most passionate Republican voters, become driven away from the party and become less interested in its success. We saw this with the past election, where former governor Tom Corbett had little street game. The people with the most passion were not going to do door-to-door for Corbett.
Even more worrisome is if the one-time Republican becomes an Independent candidate, or mounts a write-in campaign. Sure, these efforts may hurt the Republican Party’s nominee, but if the party didn’t want that independent-minded candidate in the first place, what right does anyone have to expect him to stay loyal to them?
Put another way, if some political boss doesn’t want a certain candidate to get elected, then what expectation does that political boss have of earning the support of the candidate he opposed?
Put another way, if you don’t want John to get elected, then why would John want you or your ally to get elected?
Do the Democrats have this problem? Sure. But that political party has become overrun with foreign policy extremism and anti-capitalism. Wealth redistribution is completely contrary to American founding principles, but it is nevertheless now a core of the Democrat Party.
That is sad, because at one time, the Democrats just wanted more opportunity for everyone. Now they want to take from one person and give to another person, which is theft.
But I am not a Democrat, so this is not my political problem.
My problem is with so-called Republicans who actually share a lot in common with liberal Democrats, but who stay in the Republican Party.
There are different ways a Republican can share values with a liberal. For example, a Republican staffer who believes in the supremacy of bureaucracy….despite bureaucracy being the enemy of freedom and individual liberty. Working from within the party, these functionaries stamp their own flavor on policy and principle alike, often softening edges and blurring lines, giving the voters fewer choices, more government intervention, and ultimately less liberty.
The same could be said for certain “Republican” lobbyists, whose connections to money, political funding, cause them to promote bad policies such as Common Core, which strikes deep at the heart of liberty. They would rather ally with liberals than support a conservative Republican candidate. People like this have great influence in the Republican Party. They influence its agenda, and the kind of decisions the apparatus supports.
If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing. I myself will stand for liberty, freedom, and opportunity for everyone. If that puts me and others like me at odds with some political party, then that says everything a voter needs to know about that party: It does not have your interests at heart.
I am a Republican because I hold old-fashioned, traditional American values, the kind of values that created America and kept her great for so long. I will vote for and support only those candidates who hold similar values. Regardless of what a party spokeswoman may say, a Republican Party that has no conservativism in it isn’t really a Republican Party any longer, is it?
Last week, under pressure to perform at an adult, professional level, the senior staff at the NCAA folded right before appearing in court.
The discovery phase of a lawsuit brought against the NCAA for its disproportionate over-correction of Penn State University was about to begin, and with a handful of damning NCAA emails already in hand, the meaty part of discovery would have exposed the heavy handed NCAA overlords for what they are: Incompetent, vacuous bullies.
The fictional Louis Freeh “report” aka Hit Piece and Flaming Bomb Meant to Humble Penn State has gradually yielded to the collective bits of disbelief and basic deductive logic surrounding the Joe Paterno Assassination aka The Oxbow Incident.
Knowing now what we already knew two years ago, the NCAA storm trooper and tactical nuke assault on one of the very few pristine colleges in the nation has blown up in the NCAA’s own face.
Yes, we got our 409 wins back, but we deserve so much more.
And to have undergone so much knee-jerk reaction injustice…..Penn State deserves compensation, to be made whole, to get back what we lost, if it’s remotely possible.
I want blood.
I want guts.
I want a shred of public justice for Joe Paterno and Penn State, and for the student athletes immorally saddled with faux guilt from the sick, distant actions of a man they’d never met, let alone heard of (Jerry Sandusky).
To begin with, the Joe Paterno statue immediately goes back to its original prominent place on campus.
Then, every member of the PSU board involved in the debacle issues a personal, hand written apology. And then each resigns. I’ve got a few names to go with that demand.
Then each NCAA staff member associated with the debacle issues a hand written apology, and then resigns.
That’s what real leaders do when they fail badly.
And for those folks who really want to demonstrate their earnest attitude, I’ve got some old Japanese swords you can fall on. I’m tempted to serve as your second….to ensure a clean ending, of course.
A clean ending to a tragedy, a failure to protect little boys, a failure to act like grown men and women and apply justice carefully, a failure to protect the grown boys on the team and the many professional educators and students unfairly tarnished by the NCAA’s hasty, shoot-first-ask-questions-never attitude.
And then there’s the scholarships, the bowl money PSU lost. The opportunities unfairly crushed. How do we get all that back?
And Mr Louis Freeh, you may be ex-FBI, but I’m ex-Penn State Nittany Lion. Don’t meet me in a dark alley.