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Happy New Year, Everyone

Although 99% of my subject matter is usually politics in some form or another, there are times when words should fail and feelings must dominate. Thus it has been these past eight days, consumed with irreplaceable family time, visits with dear friends and distant family, and with no time or stomach for debate or bickering. Charles Dickens challenged his readers to find some time to respect and love one another, to take a break from the mundane and instead exalt the simple pleasures of life. And unless a person is a Scrooge, how can we not happily embrace this time of the year, and but smile at those around us?
Happy New Year, everyone. May your new year be successful, pleasant, and filled with the love and respect of those you care about. Here’s to you…

Sandy Hook Tragedy Has Me on “Hold”

The Sandy Hook tragedy has me on hold right now.

Several friends have asked when I will write a piece about the massacre, and all I can say is that neither I nor the situation are right. Yes, some tasteless people immediately jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon, but what do you expect from Senators Schumer, Feinstein, and Boxer? From Obama? Their agenda is anti-freedom, and they are ready to pounce at any moment, ready to exploit any crisis for political gain.

Guns are dangerous tools, and I can tell you about my own close calls with guns throughout my life, a life of hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. Guns require diligence and caution always, and the second you let down your guard with a gun is the moment your life will change for the worse. But that is not a reason to try and ban them.

A well-written article is coming out soon, just as soon as I can clear the pain and horror from my mind. I am a father of three kids, and that’s all I can think about: Those little kids, and their parents. No policy, no politics can share room in my head and heart with that, yet.

Merry Christmas, friends, Merry Christmas.

News about Islam: It Ain’t Pretty

Western Main Stream Media obsess about presenting Islam “fairly” and in an unbiased way. Nothing of the sort is done, of course, because that would mean reporting the cold, hard, painful, scary facts about Islam. Rather, Islam is whitewashed and mainstreamed every day by Western MSM. Here are two recent non-MSM stories about Islam that shed light on what is at the heart of the culture clash between Islam (jihad) and Western democracy.

Turkey is Islam’s most advanced, civilized nation, supposedly with some veneer of the rule of law. Ha…Ha…Haaaaa. Read on at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163368#.UNMr73dgK8A

And then it turns out that Islam’s holiest Holy Warriors are actually a bunch of dirty, chronically sick, unhygenic drug addicts who rape and sadistically abuse women: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/253747#.UNMuJndgK8A


“Militia” is an oval stained glass window in the Pennsylvania Capitol. Its prominent place is no accident. The militia were formative and fundamental to being American.

Anyone with an interest in the US Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution can look up what ‘militia’ means. All citizens are members of the various militias that have existed since our founding. All militias were mustered with the requirement that each member of the militia provide his own personally owned military grade long arm. The militia provided sufficient shot and powder for the coming engagement.

Whether or not Americans are aware or comfortable with the Constitutional requirements, they exist nonetheless. This is who we are.

Mr Obama, Mrs Feinstein, are you mustering us up?

Supporting Political Courage

Governor Tom Corbett deserves credit for refusing to participate in the ridiculous scheme foisted upon the U.S. Taxpayers known as ObamaCare. Corbett swatted the unfunded mandate ball directly back into the Obama Administration’s court, and Pennsylvania will not develop its own health care exchange.
While the Corbett Administration staff have let me down from the beginning, I give credit where it’s due. Political courage is rare and deserves to be recognized, no matter who has it.

Politicizing A Tragedy

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that people said we aren’t supposed to politically exploit tragedies? Wasn’t Mitt Romney excoriated by his political opponents for asking basic policy questions about the declaration of war and murderous assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya? So why now should these same exact people and politicians be trusted to lead us down the right path on the discussion about what happened at Sandy Hook?

Emotion is the wrong approach to policy solutions. But feelings and emotions have always been at the heart of liberalism, not rational thought or careful reason.

My heart aches for the Sandy Hook victims and their families, and as a parent of small children, I will never forget this event.

Sandy Hook

Today’s massacre of small children in their school at Sandy Hook, Connecticut, is an unimaginable horror. My heart and soul go out to the victims and their families. Gun control creates soft targets, and bad/ insane people pay no attention to legal restraints. Regulating guns more will have zero effect on the safety of places like Sandy Hook. It’s a debate for the period after grieving, and as a parent myself you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll argue for maximum protection. Again, the pain I feel about this event is indescribably bad and deep, and I wish I could console the families.

Republican Reconciliation or Irrelevance?

Reconcile the Republican Party & Republican Voters

By Josh First

December 11, 2012

Things are not all good here in Republican land. Mitt Romney received fewer votes than John McCain received in 2008, even as attack dog Obama also received far fewer votes than his all-positive 2008 campaign. Despite Obama’s catastrophic economy, foreign policy failures (Benghazi), gaffes (“You didn’t build that”), corruption (Solyndra), and bizarre running mate (Biden), Republican enthusiasm for Romney was actually lower than Republican enthusiasm of four years ago. So even with all that was on the line, Republican voters were unwilling to go to the polls.

Recriminations abound about what caused Mitt Romney to lose: Incompetent staffers, inaccurate polling, a prolonged primary, poor ground game by complacent Republicans, uninspiring and flaccid moderate Republican, etc. Rather than re-hashing excuses and assigning blame, here’s one thing we can change for the next big race: Fixing the increasingly broken relationship between many Republican voters and the Republican Party establishment that is becoming an open contest.

The Republican Party ‘establishment’ includes the careerist elected officials, party bureaucrats, pollsters, financers, lobbyists, apparatchiks, consultants, and other functionaries and rock star groupies whose often low-risk, insulated careers and financial interests comprise the don’t-rock-the-boat wing. Registered Republican voters and principle-driven tea party activists, the “grass roots,” are not necessarily included in this group.

Because the Republican Party here is run as an enterprise, this contest has been cast as profit vs. principle. The Tea Party emerged from Central Pennsylvania, as fiscally conservative voters increasingly demanded responsible habits by the Republicans they had volunteered for, contributed to, and voted for, and across Pennsylvania and the nation it’s rapidly becoming a battle between them and the Party establishment, forget the Democrats.

Hitting the nail on the head back in February, Lehigh University professor Frank Davis said “There seems to be a struggle within the Republican Party between the traditional leadership and the conservative grass roots individuals and groups that are probably more mobilized now than they were a few years ago….the Republican Party has used these grass roots individuals to further the party establishment’s interests, and I think these people may want to [now] choose their own representatives, rather than rely on the leadership.”

Running a gazillionaire for president during the worst economy in 70 years, where his wealth contrasted with citizens’ daily reality, made sense early to the Party establishment, which was long ago greasing the skids for Romney staffers into county Party offices well before the primaries ended. Sure, I like Romney, admire his business acumen, donated to his campaign, went door to door for him, blogged for him, and voted for him. But someone more blue collar, more authentic is going to be more believable, more welcomed by Middle America.

Republican grass roots candidates lost several recent US Senate races, which establishment candidates would have had no greater chance of winning, but the establishment demanded they step aside. Here in Pennsylvania, candidates hand-picked by Republican Party leaders were also disastrous failures, from the primary to last month’s general election. These candidates made perfect sense to insiders. But when trotted out into the public venue, voters shot these perfect candidates down in flames. Does either camp have a corner on the market?

The onus for reconciling the two groups is fully on the Republican Party establishment; the “professionals.” Many Republican Party leaders have engaged in high-handed, controlling behavior that has alienated a growing number of registered Republicans, even the most dedicated. Republican voters and volunteers have been treated as wind-up toy soldiers, turned in a direction and told to march. Party intervention in primary races is one of the worst abuses. No matter how much the establishment may want Yes men to support the establishment’s intertwined political and business interests, the cost of alienating the base is too high. If the Party stays out of primaries and gives the people a voice, they’ll be rewarded with more inspired voters, more volunteers on the ground, more elections won.

The professional class of Republicans say they know what they are doing and everyone just needs to move out of their way and let them do their job. Maybe it’s true that the new grass roots activists lack credentials, but the professional class suffers from an inspiration gap, often pushing bland, plain vanilla, pre-fabricated, cookie cutter candidates who are “supposed” to win, but who fail after spectacularly expensive investments. The Republican Party does actually need Republican voters to get their candidates across the goal line, so will the Party leaders listen to the Party voters? For good reason, Democrat analyst Patrick Caddell recently asked “Can the Republican Party Avoid the Fate of the Whigs?”

Let us get an honest answer here: Is there sufficient humility among our Party leaders to learn from these mistakes, to look inside themselves, and take the necessary steps to reconcile?

If Republicans want to win elections, they need to be the Party of Opportunity, allowing the more conservative, independent-minded members to have a shot at full participation. If we are all in this together, then let’s start acting like it. Otherwise, factionalism and political irrelevance are staring us in the face.

Stay in the conversation at www.joshfirst.com and on our political Facebook page

America, You’ve Got a Problem…

How does this happen? Do Americans believe this is funny? Is it funny if a white supremacist says it?