Growing up with pacifist parents and a Quaker education led me to believe the American military was a source of bad things. (somehow the Russians and Chinese never got labeled that way, and the totalitarian Cuban regime deserved all our support)
In my late teens, early twenties I got to see what a load of nonsense that is. Truly treasonous stuff, this let’s-all-hate-the-military phony superiority thing. Easy to say when you’re living that comfy American lifestyle and no one is kicking in your door to force a new language on your family.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the brave veterans of all military service branches, who from near and far give us our daily freedoms, our incredible quality of life, our endless opportunity in the land of the free.
Amazingly, Obama has managed to hand off a great number of America’s most important relationships to Russia and China.
By engaging Iran in meaningless negotiation, and easing sanctions with nothing in return, Obama has managed to alienate Saudi Arabia and Egypt, isolate Israel, and drive everyone towards China and Russia as the new sources (!!) of stability and strength.
Growing up Quaker did nothing for my ability to see reality. The Quaker discomfort with conflict is legendary (with the exception of making genocidal war against Israel), and that pacifism informs the foolishness now passing as “peace” in Obama’s relationship with evil Iran.
The longer Obama is in power, the less stable the world becomes, the stronger evil nations like Iran and evil groups like the Muslim Brotherhood become. And Obama’s supporters wonder why people like me question if Obama really is a Christian and really is pro America. You can’t do what Obama is doing and make those claims. America is becoming more vulnerable every day under Obama.
So a quiet little Friday morning in sleepy Central Pennsylvania erupts as parent Josh Barry attempts to defend his opposition to being called a “Neo Nazi” in public by a teacher. Said teacher objected to Barry’s inquiries after Barry’s little girl came home with all kinds of left wing propaganda masquerading as education.
Now “teacher” Cydnee Cohen has turned loose the teacher’s union thugs to smear Barry more and make him into the perpetrator and not the victim.
If there is one more example of why teacher’s unions must be illegal, this is it.
Well, ya win some and ya lose some, right?
My hope is that Harrisburg mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse will deliver on his promises, although the gun control stuff is a waste of time. I am no fan of Harrisburg losing its assets and still not being out of debt. My opinion is that Harrisburg’s investors made a bad investment, they were sold a bill of goods by the bondsmen, and the accountability for rectifying that goes back to the guys who issued the bad bonds. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for the municipal debt debacle. This race was marked by the impact of tons of cash, artificial legal shenanigans, and the purposeful delay of justice so that the one candidate standing in Eric’s way could not get his footing, until just weeks before Election Day.
That’s not good for democracy.
In Susquehanna Township, one again hopes that outcomes will not be as bad as they appear to be. Voters who vote against their interests intrigue me. The township school district appears headed toward even worse infighting and more losses of good staff. Property values correlate with public schools, so….. Good luck!
And finally, congratulations to judge-elect Bill Tully, a highly qualified, hard working, earnest man who will be an outstanding judge for all citizens of Dauphin County.
Vic Stabile won his seat on the PA Superior Court, congratulations!
And I am so pleased that the election season is now behind us, so I can get out and do some more hunting and fishing.
Dauphin County, PA, Election Round-Up: All Politics are Indeed Local, So Vote & Protect Your Property Values
By Josh First
November 4, 2013
Voters tend to get most excited about, and participate most in “big” presidential elections, but three local political races are about to be decided in two days, and each one has a direct impact on home values in Dauphin County, on your taxes, your kids, on businesses and your friends’ and families’ jobs. Here they are.
Despite performing zero reporting about the incredible primary race this spring for judge, and very little reporting about the general race between Bill Tully and Anne Cornick, Harrisburg’s local part-time newspaper The Patriot News suddenly had the evident deep wisdom and cultivated knowledge to make an “informed” endorsement Sunday. No, their endorsement would never, ever, ever be political ((cough, cough)). While they are both lawyers, Tully is Cornick’s professionally experienced senior by about two decades, has an impressive resume several pages longer than hers, and he is eminently more qualified to be the next judge. Most political races have a Yin and a Yang, a black hat and a white hat, a positive and a negative, a qualified candidate and a foil highlighting the superior candidate’s abilities, and we’ve got that here. Vote for high quality over politics, for quality over the foil, please; vote for Bill Tully.
Susquehanna School Board
How often do we hear of school board races actually meaning more than, at most, how much our property taxes will be rising? Well, this school board race in Susquehanna Township actually means a lot, not only to residents of Susquehanna Township, but to every citizen living around it. Much more than school taxes rides on the outcome of this election. As goes one domino, so goes another next to it. Lower Paxton Township, this is about you, too.
Susquehanna Township was, at one time, the successful Yin to Harrisburg’s painfully struggling Yang of a school district. It was a study of contrasting similarities, shared goals, and an example of multiracial harmony. Not necessarily any longer. The quality of the Susquehanna School District hangs by a thread. It is riven by all kinds of cross-cutting forces, not the least example of which includes last week’s announcement of the resignation of administrator Shawn Sharkey (can a more appropriately named ‘villain’ be conjured in fiction?), reportedly for sleeping with an under-age student. Resignations of high quality administrators and staff, and fierce interoffice politics, have been raging throughout the district for several years. Leadership is needed in this vacuum.
Making it all worse, racialism and apparent racism are at the core of a dangerous and divisive move to segregate the school district. Demands of a group of school board candidates led by Jesse Rawls would divvy up the district’s teaching and professional positions by the representation of citizens’ skin color, not the content of their character or their credentials. Nothing to do with quality, education, or training: Jobs assigned strictly by shades of pink and brown. Sound fair and reliable to you? Making matters worse, Rawls has been alleged to have unrepentantly called one of his opponents a kike, as in the equivalent of The N Word for Jews.
Oh, the sad irony of the magnificent 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, being invoked to establish just another regime of racial control. Are good citizens really going to vote for that?
Property values and much more depend greatly on the quality of the school district. If voters want some order brought to the chaos in the Susquehanna School District, then vote for Bob Marcus and Bruce Warshawsky, whose sole focus is on academic excellence. Imagine that: The simple, basic pursuit of school/ teacher/ student excellence as central to educating the kids of Susquehanna Township School District.
Mayor of Harrisburg
Voters hate making a decision between one mediocre candidate and another. That is probably what Harrisburg citizens face on Tuesday, with the stellar Independent candidate Nevin Mindlin artificially run out of the race and removed from the ballot. Once again, The Patriot News made an odd, nakedly political endorsement in this election that bore no resemblance to the facts surrounding the candidate they endorsed, those same facts reported in their own newsprint.
Candidate Dan Miller is a Certified Public Accountant who has served as Harrisburg’s Controller. He has extensive local government experience, as well as business experience. He also has a persnickety personality and does not always listen well, as my Mom used to say. Collaboratively, and not combatively, is how Harrisburg’s next mayor must run things. Can Miller do that? One hopes.
Candidate Eric Papenfuse has very little government experience, and his business experience is running an alternative book store serving organic, free range, expensive teas. As a former candidate myself, I appreciated that his bookstore became a center of official political debates run by Harrisburg Hope, a political group we then learned was designed to support Papenfuse’s candidacy. But he’s still not real qualified to be mayor.
More to the point, two key things really speak to Papenfuse’s likely leadership direction, the first being his 2009 invitation and hosting of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, an extremist now posing as an educational “expert,” at his bookstore. Papenfuse has given varying reasons why he served Ayers’ purposes, including recently telling me on a call-in radio program that Ayers is deserving of “free speech.” Well, lots of evil people also deserve free speech, but what kind of person would actually facilitate giving them a platform? Answer: The same kind of person who is also associated with Occupy Wall Street, Eric Papenfuse.
The second indication is a letter to the editor Papenfuse wrote (Patriot News, January 30, 2010) about his bizarre vision for public education, specifically citing Harrisburg University and Harrisburg SciTech. Advocating for teaching Harrisburg’s disadvantaged inner city students to be “radical thinkers,” instead of “workers,” Papenfuse wants inner city students to be schooled in anger, poetry, street theater, and activism. Forget getting an accounting degree, a chemistry degree, an IT degree, or eventually a law degree. Forget being a constructive, positive contributor to society who can earn a living and support a family. No, according to Papenfuse, Harrisburg’s kids must be cannon fodder in his, and Ayers’ social unrest movement, perpetually living on government handouts, perpetually at war with their fellow Americans. This is an obvious recipe for disaster for Harrisburg’s students and their families. Let’s ask the voters of our great city: Do you want your kids to be Eric Papenfuse’s political cannon fodder? Or do you want them to get ahead in life?
If Miller is a snip-snap, too-smart-for-you accountant, perhaps too assured of his own correct thinking, Papenfuse is on the cusp of introducing radical, ultra-divisive politics to Harrisburg the likes of which we have never before seen. Dan Miller has my vote, not because I am enamored of him, not because I think he is the best thing since sliced bread, not because I think he is the best candidate hands-down. But he is a damned sight better, and better qualified, than Eric Papenfuse. I hope you will vote for Dan Miller for those simple reasons alone.
Stay in the conversation at www.joshfirst.com and on our Facebook page.
Mayoral candidate Eric Papenfuse is loading tons of utter nonsense into mailboxes across Harrisburg. His literature says that candidate Dan Miller is a Republican, which he is not. Miller remains a Democrat who won the Republican nomination. Papenfuse’s mailers are full of heavy handed negativity. Wasn’t Eric Papenfuse the Golden Child? The brainy product of Yale University, unwilling to stoop low to conquer?
Well, that’s just it.
A Yale education is probably a liability these days, as that and many other Ivy League schools teach politically correct talking points, and leave out the actual ideas debate for ‘stupid’ people who just do not know better.
Eric Papenfuse, you sold yourself as being above it all, but in fact you are deep down in the gutter. I just knew you would be.
You did, after all, invite domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to your bookstore. That always said it all for me.
The NIPCC issued a report demonstrating that most earth scientists and meteorologists do not concur with the hypothesis of human-caused climate change or global warming: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/16/PLS-HOLD-FOR-TUESDAY-9-17-AFTER-11AM-ET-Climate-Study-Evidence-Leans-Against-Human-Caused-Global-Warming. In their report, the NIPCC point out that much of the climate change science is not rigorously or even scientifically evaluated. It’s more politics and money than actual real science.
A study shows that earth science and meteorological professionals are overwhelmingly skeptical of the big claim: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/
And this is my own beef: Why do all humans have to accept this new religion on faith? Why are we called names if we demand rigorous science? That does it for me. Once someone can’t make a strong argument, they’ve lost.
Somehow Republican leaders managed to lose on every count in their checks-and-balances disagreement with the 0bama administration. It’s an incredible display of weakness and failure of leadership. Checks and balances is the way of American government. If you abandon that, then the government fails. Today, America is saddled with more bureaucracy, more big government, more invasive government than in our history. It’s a huge failure.
It’s incredible to me. Obviously the Republican Party must be re-built from the ground up. If we do not have leaders who can stand up for basic government functions like required annual budgets and stopping disastrous, unpopular programs like 0bamaCare, then what’s the party’s purpose? As a rubber stamp for the Marxists?
Yes, the mainstream (Democrat) media went to war with phony polls and nakedly partisan “reporters” against the Republican Party. But if all we do is fear criticism, then are we leading? No.
Yesterday, one-time Independent candidate for Harrisburg City mayor, Nevin Mindlin, endorsed one-time Democratic candidate Dan Miller.
Miller is now running as the Republican-endorsed candidate, because he collected over 300 Republican signatures for that position on the ballot. Just in case.
Miller is a strong threat to the Papenfuse campaign that was literally measuring the draperies and assigning executive positions a day after winning the four-way Democratic primary, assuming they had de facto won the general election.
This race is a rare toss-up. What role the elected mayor has vis-a-vis the state-appointed Harrisburg Receiver (Gen. Lynch) is unclear, but at least it is a bully pulpit. The mayor can call for criminal investigations into the Harrisburg Debt Debacle, or he can not do so. Dan is likely to call for investigations, Papenfuse is disinclined.
With just weeks to go until Election Day, it is hard to know how this will end. One thing for sure I do know, and that is how politics makes for strange bedfellows….
“Infrequently” best describes how often an editorial by the local newspaper, The Patriot News, would appeal to me on logic, principle, or understanding of the facts. However, independent candidate Nevin Mindlin’s political assassination by both Democrats and Republicans is so notoriously egregious that the Patriot News stated the case pretty well, so here it is:
Commonwealth Court sides with mystery challengers to Mindlin’s candidacy: Editorial
Patriot-News Editorial Board By Patriot-News Editorial Board
on October 07, 2013 at 10:59 AM, updated October 07, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Nevin Mindlin, the one-time independent candidate for Harrisburg mayor, is a candidate no more. He has been knocked off the November ballot by court rulings based on the mindlessly literal application of a nonsensical state law. With little time for an appeal to the state Supreme Court, he has decided against waging a write-in campaign.
Nevin Mindlin went to Commonwealth Court in September, seeking to get back on November’s mayoral ballot. Friday, the court turned him down.
Though Mindlin was an independent candidate, not affiliated with any party or organization, state law requires him to name a committee that would replace him should he leave the race. That requirement makes sense for a political party, but it makes no sense for an independent candidate. By definition, an independent candidate is independent of organizational structures that would be entitled to claim an independent’s slot on the ballot.
Knowing all that, Mindlin did not name that committee. The Dauphin County elections office accepted his petition, without any warning that his petition had any fatal defect.
None of that mattered to the lower court that knocked him off the ballot earlier this summer. And it didn’t matter to Commonwealth Court, which last Friday upheld the dubious ruling.
Commonwealth Court used a legal technicality to dodge the heart of Mindlin’s case. He said that the state law in question violates a right enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — freedom of association. In this case, the law forces Mindlin to associate with a “committee” empowered to choose some undetermined future candidate who could replace him, when the whole point of his candidacy is that he is independent of backroom-type arrangements like that.
Mindlin’s case is an example of the sleazy, insider political game-playing that fuels public disillusionment with elected officials and government.
The court’s hostility to Mindlin’s arguments also contradicts a well-established principle set by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in election cases. Courts in the commonwealth, when applying the election code, are supposed to construe the requirements liberally, “so as not to deprive an individual of his right to run for office, or voters of their right to elect a candidate of their choice.”
Again, the Commonwealth Court used a technicality to completely ignore those claims under the state Constitution.
Mindlin’s campaign is the latest casualty of ballot bounty hunters, ordinary citizens who mysteriously come forward, armed with expensive lawyers, to press a legal challenge to a candidate’s filing papers.
Hired guns parse signatures for the slimmest possible rationale to disqualify them: using a first initial instead of full name, women whose maiden name and married name are different, imperfect handwriting, stray marks in the signature block.
Even if the candidate survives the challenge, (as third-party Allegheny County council candidate Jim Barr did earlier this summer), he or she has to expend precious time and money fighting in court.
These often-shadowy court challenges to candidates’ paperwork have a corrosive effect on public confidence in the integrity of the election system.
In a comment on PennLive, one reader said Mindlin “must have stepped on the wrong toes.” Another announced, “I won’t be voting for anybody; the best candidate just got bounced.”
Many have wondered who paid the legal bills for challenging Mindlin. But without any public disclosure requirements, the mystery money can remain secret.
All in all, Mindlin’s case is an example of the sleazy, insider political game-playing that fuels public disillusionment with elected officials and government.
Pennsylvania’s legislature could rewrite election law to strike the nonsensical provision that kept Mindlin off the ballot. The legislature could require those filing challenges against candidates to identify how they are paying for all that expensive legal work. The Legislature could lower the unreasonably high barriers now imposed on third parties seeking to get on the state’s ballot.
But as with so many dysfunctional aspects of Pennsylvania’s laws affecting politicians, those who get to make the rules are content with the status quo. After all, they got there by playing by the rules as they are – why would legislators want to change them?
From their selfish perspective, it makes political sense. But from the perspective of the citizen whom elected officials are supposed to serve, allowing ballot bounty hunters so much room to squelch candidates is nonsense.