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There is just one Election Day

Election Day is when democracies around the world elect their leaders.

Each free or supposedly free nation has its own Election Day, devoted to collecting and counting the people’s votes for various candidates at all levels of government. It is obviously a special day, even a sacred day, as it gives the power of running government to The People, a rare and unusual way for government to be run, if human history is our guide.

Tyranny and despotism are the usual means of governance. So electing our own leaders and representatives is a really big deal. It is a statement of freedom.

Election Day is just one day, and it is so important that people take off from work in order to be able to vote. Unless you file an absentee ballot, if you miss voting on Election Day, then you don’t get to vote at all.

But Election Day is now under attack, because like almost everything else in America these days, the rules of this ‘game’ also have to be changed in the middle of the game in order for just one American political party to have a shot at winning something legitimately. And so now an entire American political party apparatus is devoted to making Election Day into Election Week, or Election Month, or even Election Forever Until We Win this damned Election.

Aside from the obvious phoniness of changing rules in the middle of a game, the problem with turning Election Day into a drawn out process is that the longer an election is drawn out, the more opportunity for fraudulent behavior and fake voting there is.

And again, there is just one American political party that has really gotten the fraudulent voting process down pat over the decades. Like with the new “ballot harvesting” laws in several states, why people can go out for days after the election and literally create truck loads of new votes, and voila!, their candidate miraculously wins…days after Election Day. This recently happened a bunch in California, where people kept running out to “find more ballots” until they had finally defeated various incumbent Republican officials in districts that almost always or always voted Republican. Never were enough “new ballots” found that actually favored the Republican candidates.

Funny how that works, how this rule change favors just one political party…every…single…time.

Here in Pennsylvania the state Supreme Court ruled last Friday that voting can be extended beyond Election Day, even though no court anywhere has the jurisdiction or the government role to determine Election Day. Only the state legislature and the governor have the job of setting Election Day. Here, the PA Supreme Court is engaging in just one more act of political activism in a long line of activist behavior devoid of actual jurisprudence.

Making things worse, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, has incorrectly stated that people who vote by absentee ballot are actually voting by mail, which they are not. There is a world of difference between filing a single marked absentee ballot long before Election Day, and being able to file a flurry of multiple fake votes by mail even after Election Day, and thereby literally stuffing the ballot box to steal the election.

You would almost think that the Democrat Party majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and that Democrat Party member PA AG Josh Shapiro were deliberately supporting a corrupt election process that always seems to favor the Democrat Party….

Obviously Election Day must be protected, and you must help stop every attempt to corrupt the election process by extending ‘voting’ beyond Election Day.

There is only one Election Day. Vote once on Election Day, or don’t vote at all, and make sure everyone else plays by this same rule. It is just that simple and just that fair.

President Trump Earns the Nobel Peace Prize

Right now I am watching the peace agreement signing event between Israel, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, put together by President Donald Trump.

This is a majorly historic moment on Planet Earth. Because for seventy years at least, the simple ability to sit down and talk things out eluded the Muslim Arab population, regardless of country, regardless of age, regardless of religious observance, regardless of educational level or political office. The simple fact is that Muslim Arab culture simply had no room for free Jews. No room in their hearts, no room in their ears, no room in their heads.

Even in Egypt, which signed an agreement with Israel during the President Carter administration, the notion that peace had been achieved was never taken seriously. Egypt was worn down from repeatedly losing huge military campaigns to tiny Israel, and America offered enough financial incentive for Egypt to move into a different approach to existence. It wasn’t love for Egyptians or Israelis that led Sadat to sign the treaty with Israel. It was his yearning for political stability.

After seventy years of one-sided conflict  brought on Israel by the Muslim Arab inability to think broadly or modernly, only President Donald Trump was able to step outside the standard lines that had been drawn up among the combatants. Just as only President Trump has been able to step outside the artificial lines drawn up by Washington DC elites, to finally and uniquely advance the material interests of all Americans.

So if President Barack Hussein Obama was entitled to get the Nobel Peace Prize for merely getting elected, and for having achieved nothing that promoted peace, then how much more does today’s true peace agreement entitle President Trump to also receive the Nobel Peace Prize!

And while we are on the subject, how could Israel’s prime minister Bibi Netanyahu also not deserve the same award?

Signing ceremony broadcast live just moments ago, posted as a screen shot from my computer, complete with a dummy “Press ESC to exit” for those Jews who love a seditious political party more than they love peace

2020’s Jacobins vs. 9/11

Today is 9/11, the 19th anniversary of a devastating Islamic terrorism attack against America via jet airliners crashing into major targets. Over 3,000 Americans were murdered on September 11, 2001, almost all of them incinerated as the different planes were deliberately crashed and burned in an effort to damage America’s economy and create widespread fear.

The 9/11 attack was a huge blow to America. Not just our economy was hurt, and not just our national pride, but also our culture and self-identity. A great deal of uncertainty resulted, too. A lot of questions were asked about America’s place in the world, our role in world politics, and how we should interract with other nations. Questions are good, and to me and many others, those questions were clearly answered: America is the world’s sole superpower, we stand for all that is good and just, and we want to keep it this way.

You would think that nineteen years later virtually all Americans would be strongly unified behind a strong pro-America identity and protective policy array meant to shield us from another similar attack or series of attacks. Strong pro-America policies make sense when we all can see just how vulnerable our open society is to all kinds of attacks and exploitations, especially from within.

But two potentially fatal misconceptions have accelerated since 9/11. First, what appears to be a majority of Americans still incorrectly believe that America is too big, too rich, too successful to fail. They believe that no matter how devastating or sustained an attack is, America can withstand it.

Second, far too many Americans believe that sedition and treason against America are legitimate forms of communication and “protest.” Even though sedition and treason are the gravest crimes punishable by immediate execution.

Both of these misconceptions have led a surprisingly high number of Americans to passively stand back and allow American universities and other institutions to lead the way in overt efforts to overturn America’s form of government and economy. Even violently. To the point where the modern day equivalent of 1790s Jacobins are running the streets across major cities. Some critics have compared the wild, angry, violent people burning down our cities to the NAZI Brown Shirts, the NSDAP (Nazi socialists) street militia who helped Adolf Hitler gain control of Germany in the 1930s.

But there is a better argument to be made comparing today’s Democrat Militia “mostly peaceful” arsonists and looters to the Jacobins of 1790s France. The Jacobins started out as a freedom movement resulting from the 1789 French Revolution against the monarchy. However, in just a year or two, the Jacobins coupled their promises of perfect freedom, liberty, and equality for all to the extremely violent Reign of Terror. The Reign of Terror was the mass jailing and summary execution of anyone deemed a possible threat to Robespierre and his power-hungry angels.

Every day for almost two solid years, Robespierre would read a list of names in the French congress, and hundreds of innocent people would be dragged off to the guillotine. Their cases had already been determined by a small committee that heard no witnesses, considered no evidence, gave no due process. Someone simply had to be named and that was it – off with his or her head. It was ‘freedom-through-death’.

The thing about the Jacobins that separates them from the Nazi Brown Shirts is that the Jacobins had such beautiful intentions. Really, quite perfect and well-meaning. Right? After all, what is so wrong with absolute anarchic freedom for everyone?  They were going to achieve justice for all when the very last ‘bad guy’ had his head chopped off.

It brings to mind a classic 1960s quote, often attributed to Eric Hoffer: “Both the left and the right want you to obey, but the left wants you to love them.” Because the Left has such beautiful intentions, anything they do is excused, no matter how violent or wrong. It is simply that beautiful intention that exonerates the Left’s great evil and cruelty. Their ends justify their means.

Today, on the anniversary of 9/11, America is facing its own Jacobins. In the name of justice for some criminals, they demand that America be utterly destroyed from the ground up, and re-created into some sort of Reign of Terror utopia, where some new Robespierre types will sit above us and declare us to live or to die.

If you care about America and your own happiness, your bank account, your safe streets, you are encouraged to remember 9/11 and stand up for America, its constitution, its traditions and laws, all of which are under attack.

Vote for Donald Trump, and not for the Jacobins.

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic is a child rapist, allegedly

Anonymous sources emphatically allege that Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic magazine, is a pedophile child rapist and even possibly serial killer (to allegedly cover up his alleged crimes against children).

At this time we cannot disclose the anonymous sources behind these allegations, and we understand that this is merely an allegation, though we had to kind of connect the dots to figure it all out. But given the highly charged nature of such an allegation, and the fact that Jeffrey Goldberg is a person of public interest, we thought it more in the public interest to simply lay it all out here, let the public know that Jeffrey Goldberg may very well be a child rapist; possibly; we don’t know for sure; we are not saying that he is. We are publishing this possible allegation here, rather than investigate these anonymous sources’ allegations first, and then publish them only after confirming a) there are actual anonymous sources, and b) the allegations have some substance to them.

If something more is discovered about Jeffrey Goldberg’s hidden past, rest assured that the information will be relayed to the public here. But only if it confirms these anonymous allegations.

Hope you like the taste of your own bogus snake oil medicine, Jeffrey, you f’ing shanda. GTFO of America.

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine may, or may not, be a pedophile and child rapist. Anonymous sources allege that he is.

In Pittsburgh, PA, Biden Threatens America with More Violence

Thank God I am no longer a member of the Democrat Party. What a shameful cess pit that organization has become. Presidential candidate Joe Biden is Exhibit A.

If Joe Biden’s loooong silence about months of Democrat looting, murder, arson, violence, and heavily armed anarchic vigilante chaos across America’s Democrat-run cities was unbelievable, his direct threat of further violence against America while speaking in Pittsburgh this week reaches a new low in the history of American politics. Not only because Biden is making such a threat, blackmail, really, but because it is his supporters who are doing all the violence.

But that is the point: Biden cannot threaten America with more violence (if he loses), unless he controls the people who would commit the violence (he does). Biden actually threatened to unleash more violence against America if he is not elected this November.

Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, was even more explicitly encouraging this street violence while on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: “They’re not going to stop. This is a movement. I’m telling you they’re not going to stop, and everyone beware because they are not going to stop. They’re not going to stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not going to stop after Election Day, and everyone should take note of that on both levels that they’re not going to let up, and they should not, and we should not.”

Kamala Harris also supported a fund to bail out “on the ground” violent rioters arrested by the police, so they can immediately rotate out of jail and go right back out onto the streets to continue their destructive mayhem.

If today you want to revisit what it was like to be a black in the pre-civil rights segregationist South, because you want to see what real racism was like, and also because you want to test whether Biden is right or wrong about who is committing violence, then put on a Trump Make America Great Again hat, put an American flag over your shoulder, and try to take a stroll through a Democrat-run city downtown.

You won’t make it far down Main Street before you are accosted, assaulted, and maybe even murdered, like unarmed Aaron Danielson was in Portland, Oregon, the other night.  Aaron’s big crime was being a Christian supporter of President Donald Trump in a Democrat-run city. That is how brazen the Democrat Party street militia members have become; their own leaders urge them on, and there is no legal accountability.

Which raises a question of Where The Hell is the U.S. Department of Justice? Why isn’t failed mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, in handcuffs and under indictment for conspiring to eliminate the civil liberties and rights of the American citizens living there, like Aaron Danielson?

The lack of push-back by the DOJ against the violent Democrat Militia and their leaders like Mayor Ted Wheeler has resulted in them becoming even more violent. To the point where this week in Pittsburgh Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden actually threatened America with more violence, if Americans don’t elect him.

As quoted in an Epoch Times article, International Union of Police Associations’ (IUPA) President Sam A. Cabral said during an endorsement of President Donald Trump: “During all of this upheaval and destruction, there has been silence from the Democrats. None have stepped forward to condemn the anarchy, riotous behavior, and arson. Joe Biden has even referred to the police as ‘the enemy’.”

Cabral added: “[Biden’s fake] condemnation [of Democrat violence] was not made due to a moral imperative or a vision of a better America, but rather because [recent] polling indicated it was a concern of the American voter.  If anyone needs a poll to tell them that rioting, looting, arson, property destruction, and murder are wrong, then they are morally bankrupt and not fit to be the president of the local fraternal organization, let alone the leader of this great nation.”

I hope Democrats reading this will join me in voting for Donald Trump and against the 47-year professional corrupt politician Joe Biden. Yes, Biden has dementia, and at 77 years old, he is too old for president, but his use of violence and his threat of more violence AGAINST Americans simply disqualifies him straight off.

This is actually Joe Biden’s “speech” in Pittsburgh, PA: A handful of pro-Democrat reporters and no audience. He took no questions after.

Democrat Party violence and Armed Citizen response = Save the NRA

Democrat Party militia have been engaged in violent destruction, looting, and personal assaults across America for months now. In Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, and now Kenosha, as well as others.

Every one of these places is run by the Democrat Party, and in every one of these places the political leaders have stopped their own police forces from doing what police have always been hired to do: Bring general law and order to the public square. Liberals have unleashed their BLM, ANTIFA, and “peaceful protest” militias to bring chaos and disorder to public life, with the hope of scaring the public into giving them political power that they cannot otherwise persuade voters to convey to them at the ballot box.

I have never been a partisan person, never. I used to be a Democrat, a long time ago, until the Democrat Party abandoned almost everything I believed in, like a free America.

All my adult life I have voted for candidates and worked on political campaigns that seemed to me to offer the best choice for the citizenry. This includes Independents, Republicans, and Democrats. Living in Harrisburg, long ago abandoned by the GOP, I am often given a choice between batshit crazy leftist Democrats and normal, taxpaying, working Democrats who are liberal but also reasonable. Guess whose political campaigns I volunteer for? If you guessed the normal people who I merely disagree with on many policy issues, but who I do not feel physically threatened by, then you would be correct. Because the chickenshit GOP has abandoned Harrisburg, there are no GOP campaigns to volunteer for.

But this is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where things may be violent in certain neighborhoods, but overall we presently enjoy some general tranquility. In most other Democrat-run locales, the citizenry has been abandoned by the political leaders and their police; left to fend for themselves. Left to defend themselves with whatever weapons they can get.

But Kenosha and Portland could easily come to Harrisburg, because mayor Eric Papenfuse and governor Tom Wolf already sent the public message that they support violence when they marched in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA militias earlier this year.

And so what happens in the burning streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a symbol of things about to come to your neighborhood. And so when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse lawfully defends himself in those burning Kenosha streets against violent, murderous assault by a convicted violent pedophile, a convicted felon not-to-have-firearms who is pointing a handgun in his face, and another guy beating on him with a deadly weapon, is a symbol of what you and I may well end up doing. If we care to save our own lives.

And so we ask, why is the New York State Attorney General, a partisan Democrat, using her public office to attempt to destroy the National Rifle Association, on the most obvious of political and ideological grounds?

Is she attacking the NRA because she wants to bring harmony to the world? Or is she trying to undermine the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens, while simultaneously not enforcing the law against criminal use of firearms?

If you believe the NY AG is using her lawsuit against the NRA to hurt law-abiding citizens, and to leave them at the mercy of the exact kind of murderous Democrat Party militia guys who just attacked innocent Kyle Rittenhouse, then you would be correct. And this is why protecting the NRA is so important.

Without the NRA’s constant defense of our Second Amendment rights, we would have no self-defense rights at all, and we will then all be subject to the murderous attacks of liberal street militias, who are protected by their political leaders. The same Democrat leaders who will use the law to attack anyone who stands up to their liberal street militias.

The takeaway is this: Vote to support the NRA, because your very life depends upon it.

Kenosha, Wisconsin, car dealership attacked by Democrat Militia, despite the pro-BLM sign

Kenosha, Wisconsin, streets on fire with Democrat Militia. Is this really how you want America to be?

Quiet hero Jim Broussard moves on to next stage of being

Jim Broussard was one of those old school quiet, soft-spoken Southern gentlemen who could easily get by at a liberal cocktail party just because he was the nicest, most affable guy on Planet Earth. Unless you pressed him hard on politics, he would smile easily, laugh easily, tell some easy jokes, and make some subtly incisive social or political comments, and ask a lot of questions. But inside he was more than just quick political wit and analyst. He was probably my favorite guy in Harrisburg politics, and for a very long time he “sat in” for Dr. Krug at Charlie Gerow’s monthly public policy meetings downtown. Two weeks ago Jim left human life as we know it on Planet Earth, and if there is an afterlife, I am confident Jim is enjoying the best it has to offer. The man lived life to its fullest, left a huge footprint, without crossing any double yellow lines or cursing.

Jim and I first crossed paths at Charlie Gerow’s office, probably around 2009. He impressed me, which is difficult to do (observers of Josh know this, for better and for worse). He immediately asked me out for coffee, and ever after for a buck he would give the best political advice available around here. He sent the best Christmas holiday cards, because he used collectible stamps from decades past, and every card included genuine well wishes about things specific to the recipient’s life. Jim Broussard was a big positive force on Planet Earth, and I will miss him very much.

Below is the email his wife sent out, which includes his obituary, and then some photos I took of Jim over the years while holding forth at Gerow’s place:

“Dear friends,
We wanted to tell you how much Jim appreciated your messages of concern during his illness. They brightened his days up to the very end.
Thank you,
–Margaret and family
James H. Broussard, professor of history at Lebanon Valley College, died peacefully at home from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, on August 10, 2020.  He was born in Houston on May 6, 1941, to Charles Hugh and Ethel Rollins Broussard.  In 1959, he graduated from Bellaire High School, where he participated in R.O.T.C., debate, and student government.  He majored in history at Harvard College, receiving an A.B. degree in 1963.  While there, he was a member of R.O.T.C., the debate team, and the Young Republicans.  He attended graduate school in history at Duke University and received his doctoral degree in 1968.

From 1968 to 1970, Dr. Broussard performed his active-duty military service in the Army Adjutant General’s Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, reaching the rank of captain.  Subsequently, he served as a reserve officer in the Office of the Chief of Military History.  He taught American history at Clarkson College of Technology, Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State), served as the historian of the Indiana state legislature, and returned to teaching at Ball State University and the University of Delaware.  In 1983, he was appointed chairman of the history and political science department at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA.  His publications include The Southern Federalists, 1800-1816, and Ronald Reagan, Champion of Conservatism, as well as scholarly articles and book reviews.

In the late 1970’s, Dr. Broussard began working to start an historical society focused on the early national period of American history, which he thought a neglected field.  He founded the Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), which is now a thriving and respected part of the historical profession.  In recent years, he came to view political history also as a neglected field, and at the time of his death was engaged in establishing the Center for Political History, based at Lebanon Valley College.

In 1989, Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey proposed a tax plan which required a constitutional amendment permitting different categories of people to be taxed at different rates.  Dr. Broussard believed this would not only raise taxes but would do it in an unfair manner.  He formed the group Citizens Against Higher Taxes (CAHT) and campaigned against the amendment across Pennsylvania.  It was defeated by a margin of three to one, the biggest defeat of an amendment in the history of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Broussard listening to immediate past PA Governor Tom Corbett explain why he lost the 2014 election

Dr. Broussard was a member of the Lebanon Country Club, the Steitz Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and numerous historical societies.  He is survived by his wife, Margaret; their son, David Broussard, and David’s wife, Sophie, and their children Elsa Rose and Samuel, of Atlanta; his brother, Thomas R. Broussard, of New York City; his sister, Nancy Leonard, of Kentucky; his sister, Dorothy Bell, of New Mexico; one niece and three nephews.  Arrangements for services will be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Center for Political History at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA.”

Jim sitting next to PA House Speaker Mike Turzai, with his hands clasped. Political whiz Charlie Gerow has his back to the camera on the right.

Trump Great American Outdoors Act hits Conservation Home Run

Conservation is where I have spent my entire career, and it is where my heart resides day in and day out. So it is with great happiness that I see President Trump sign into law the Great American Outdoor Act, which will do the nuts and bolts environmental protection America needs, without the regulation that America does not need.

The fact that so many political appointees within the Trump Administration were cheerleaders for the GAOA says a lot about the political tenor there. So many people accuse the Trump Administration of being some kind of radical “right wing” blah blah, and the fact is that the entire administration is loaded with middle-of-the-road professionals, who hold a mix of political, philosophical, and ideological views. In past Republican administrations, there were plenty of appointees who would have blocked GAOA, or held it up. GAOA is a signature achievement for President Donald Trump, and it is a huge win for Americans.

GAOA fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the first time in a zillion years. It provides adequate funding for federal and state parks infrastructure updates, operations, and maintenance costs. These are the costs that are always deferred in every administration. It is a subject I wrote my master’s thesis on at Vanderbilt University, and it is a subject that has never gone away, until now: Federal recreational infrastructure has been woefully underfunded for decades. Many state parks across America are in even worse shape than that National Parks.

For example, in 2016 my teenage daughter and I hiked half of the Northville Placid Trail, which runs through the Adirondacks. At the end of our ninth day, as we waited out a looming thunderstorm in a rustic but comfortable lean-to deep inside designated wilderness, on a hike in which we had encountered only a few other people, my daughter sat looking at her dead iPhone. Like Gollum looking at The One Ring, only my daughter looked more disgusted and glum than happily mesmerized.

“I have to get out of here. I want to talk to my friends. I want to know what is happening in the world. We need to go,” she said, and picked up her backpack, jumped down onto the grass, then shouldered her backpack.

Oh, I tried to persuade her to spend the night and stay out of that coming downpour. But she would have nothing of it, and she set off by her own teenage self, going somewhere, maybe anywhere, and I was standing there watching her pick her way into the forest.

Hours later we emerged at Moose River Plains, what maps describe as a rustic New York State recreational area tucked away deep in the Adirondack wilderness. What we found was a boarded up main building, boarded up out buildings, no gate, and no official staff. Instead, a bunch of locals who regularly camp there had taken over the official duties of park rangers. Even the land line phone system was not working. It was a very kind local who drove us, each drenched to the bone and with sodden packs, to the closest village, where we could contact our driver and get back to our own vehicle parked at a Baptist church in Northville, so my daughter could get home and talk with a zillion friends simultaneously.

Turned out that Moose River Plains was victim to a New York State budget that prioritized funding illegal aliens, but not state parks.

The Moose River Plains experience was worse than our visit the year before to Saratoga National Battlefield, by far. But seeing Saratoga National Battlefield, where the brave fight for American freedom and independence was won, in such terrible disrepair and threadbare means, was frankly shocking. One expects the National Park Service to do so much better. And when we spoke with a park ranger there, she was clearly hurt, personally, as she explained the money constraints that park faced. NPS just could not get the job done.

All of this is to say that finally, money floweth in the right direction. The need out there for public infrastructure is almost beyond compute. It is about time that America invested in our national parks and forests, state parks and forests, local and county parks, and the myriad other adjunct little recreational areas, like Moose River Plains, so that Americans might enjoy our public outdoors.

And about that public outdoors thing: Public land is a public good. Public land is one of the very few things that government does pretty well. And even when government land managers fail, the outcome is almost always simple neglect; the land always remains, the wildlife habitat remains. Which means the opportunity for recreation, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping etc remains. It is not a real material loss when land managers screw up or there isn’t enough money to operate the park entrance gate house; just missed opportunities, and putting a frowny face on a public symbol.

Congratulations to President Trump for pushing hard for GAOA, for hiring the right kind of land management staff and public lands leaders, and for caring about our public lands at all levels – local, state, and federal. Trump understands Americans, and he knows how much we care about our public lands, our state parks. And he knows how important it is to constantly invest in those places, so that they don’t fall into disreputable disrepair, like Moose River Plains had fallen.

One of the parts of GAOA that is so very appealing to me is the public land acquisition funding. As development never sleeps, what were nice public spots to hunt or hike in suddenly find themselves cut off or surrounded or overrun by development. It is nice that states and local governments will finally be able to buy that ‘Mabel’s Farm’ the community always wanted, and could not afford.

There is going to be a lot of Mabel’s Farms bought with GAOA money in the next few years, a lot of Nature conserved, and a lot of communities and hunting places protected, as a result. Thank you, President Trump, conservationists everywhere appreciate your leadership on this important policy area.

With special people at Yosemite. Can we imagine America without Yosemite? It takes money to protect these special places.

My daughter at the unhappy lean-to. But still, it was a functional, dry lean-to next to clean water in the middle of ADKs wilderness

Our friends Mark and Amanda at Leonard Harrison State Park, overlooking the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

My daughter at Cedar Lakes, a special moment that spurred her on to teach wilderness backpacking to kids. Now she can’t wait to reach the area of no cell reception

Response to PA Gov. Tom Ridge on Conservatives & the Environment

On April 22nd this year, Earth Day, The Atlantic published an opinion piece by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, about conservatives and the environment (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/environment-gop-out-touch/610333/). The Atlantic solicited responses to Ridge’s essay, and so I submitted one to them, but received back no indication they would publish it. They did not publish it, because liberals like those at The Atlantic accept and publish only liberals, and reject conservatives.  So here it is, my response to Governor Ridge’s essay about conservatives and the environment.

I felt compelled to respond to Governor Ridge’s essay, in part because I worked in his administration, and in part because I have met few Republicans who can articulate a truly conservative view of environmental policy, which Governor Ridge failed to do. I was also afraid of being seen as attacking someone I hold in high esteem, and I need to say that while I may disagree with Governor Ridge’s essay and some of his recent public stances, like supporting PA governor Tom Wolf’s covid19 lockdown, I remain impressed by Governor Ridge’s high character. I am proud to have served in his distinctively excellent administration.

Governor Ridge’s  essay slightly opens a doorway that I am both pleased and also reluctant to push all the way open. But it needs to be opened, all the way, because for far too long establishment Republicans have claimed to be conservatives, while acting like liberals.

Governor Ridge writes his essay “as a conservative,” and despite boldly leading by example in placing highly competent gays, women, and minorities in senior government positions literally decades ago, long before most Democrats followed suit, Governor Ridge was, in fact, a true conservative. His achievements in conservative policy are legion, including Pennsylvania becoming a shall-issue concealed firearm carry state and his administration’s brownfield land recycling program.

Nonetheless, the emphasis today is on he “was.”

Governor Ridge was a conservative, and by today’s standard, he is not. This is not because Governor Ridge has changed, but because what now defines a conservative has changed so dramatically since the time he was governor. The same holds true for liberals, by the way, in their own way (we see the Democrat Party now a totally, openly, violent, racist, anti-America Marxist organization).

And like so many, if not all other political elites, especially Republicans, and most especially establishment Republicans from the hide-bound, bunker-mentality Pennsylvania GOP, Governor Ridge has not changed with the times. Governor Ridge was a conservative, and today he often speaks like a liberal, and sides with liberals on policy disputes. He is not alone in this, but each Republican who does so still causes pain to us conservatives in the political trenches. It is frustrating as hell to experience a former Republican appointee or elected official try to speak with authority as some sort of representative of conservativism, when in fact, they are simply liberals. Or RINOs for short (Republican In Name Only – not conservative).

Probably the biggest indication that Governor Ridge is out of synch with today’s conservatives is how he encourages us to adopt a laundry list of liberal environmental policies in his The Atlantic essay. This means that his solution for conservatives to succeed is for us to adopt liberalism. Even though most of the “environmental” groups are simply employment offices for Democrat Party operatives pushing Marxist, partisan policies. Very few environmental groups today are even seeking solutions, because they are busy dreaming up new problems.

Most of the policies pushed by environmental groups today are by definition Big Coercive Government, Small Defenseless Citizen, anti-Constitution, disregard for private property rights, mountains out of mole hills, and so on. These groups are not about the environment, they simply use the subject of the environment as another avenue to push Marxism and the Big Government necessary to force it down our throats. Governor Ridge should know this, of all people.

What Governor Ridge failed to address is: How can we conservatives embrace the very same failed and inferior liberal policies that drove us to becoming conservatives in the first place? If we adopt liberalism, then we are abandoning conservativism, and failing as conservatives.

Every single environmental policy recommendation that Governor Ridge lists in his essay directly contradicts core conservative principles, like small government, less intrusive government, less spendy government, less activist government, less regulatory government, accountable government and accountable taxpayer-funded government employees. Literally every single policy he lists requires the government to intervene in a big, coercive way, often over trifling differences or demonstrably false premises.

Governor Ridge’s environmental ideas are not conservativism; they are quintessential big government liberalism.

Perhaps the centerpiece of his essay is that conservatives must concede at least a bit on “climate change.” Yet, for conservatives, this particular issue, more than any other, highlights the distinction between us and liberals. For conservatives to agree with the Marxist, disproven, and notoriously phony climate change religion would be to abandon basic, solid, conservative principles altogether….like Capitalism 101, solid math and science, and transparency. Again, we are unpersuaded the climate warming-cooling-change-whatever issue even exists, let alone that a government solution consistent with America’s Constitution could be found.

Governor Ridge writes “The Republican Party has largely abandoned environmental issues.” To which I and a host of other conservatives would respond, No, but many Republicans have abandoned the citizen voters and the forgotten taxpayers of America. Many careerist Republicans have embraced popular culture and its feel-good-now bubblegum policies. For Republicans to respect openly partisan “environmental” groups and embrace liberal nonsense like so-called ‘climate change’ and similar policies would only be one more betrayal in a long line of policy and political betrayals committed by the Republican establishment. Conservatives have perfectly sound environmental policies based on perfectly sound, all-American principles. If you but ask us, we will explain them. We conservatives didn’t abandon environmental issues, nor did we leave the Republican Party. The Republican establishment abandoned us.

Josh First is president of Appalachian Land & Conservation Services, LLC. He has worked at the US EPA in Washington, DC, The Conservation Fund, the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, and was Director of Environmental Education and Information at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources in the Governor Tom Ridge administration.

PFSC op-ed in PA Outdoor News

This was printed in last week’s Pennsylvania Outdoor News:

“In a world filled with fake news, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists hit the ball out of the park. PFSC announced the results of an “election” of new officers, but calling PFSC’s phony scam an election puts the anti-democracy Chinese, North Koreans, Cubans, and Venezuelans to shame. PFSC held a sham election that would be the envy of any of the countries listed above, plain and simple. It was an event designed to give the appearance of legitimacy to the most un-American, anti-democratic voting process I have ever witnessed. Throughout my career as a professional and as a board volunteer with many non-profit organizations, I have seen plenty of jockeying and vying for control of boards of directors, but I have never seen anything as shameful as what happened at PFSC.

First, the “election” was held on the first weekend of the covid19 lockdown, and people who wanted to participate could not, out of fear for their own health or for the health of their families. This automatically excluded many people from otherwise participating, but the organizers went ahead anyhow, showing no commitment to the opening the process to the members.

Second, the selection of candidates to vote for was run by a nominating committee that met in secret, whose members were not known, whose decisions had no minutes or transparency. It was run like the Adam Schiff impeachment hearings. The nominating committee arbitrarily picked some people to be voted on, and excluded other interested candidates, giving no choice in the matter. That is not an election, it is a selection.

Third, a grand total of 26 votes were cast for each position. For an organization that brags about representing 70,000 Pennsylvania sportsmen, this is a farce. No clubs voted, no individual members voted. Only a tiny handful of pre-selected people could even vote, and out of them only 26 voted. This is not representative democracy, this is a sham. Twenty-six total votes! For seventy thousand members! A sham!

Fourth, two of the people elected, Lowell Graybill (was president, then was treasurer, is now president again) and Chuck Lombaerde (was vice president, is now treasurer, had held other roles), have already served as officers for many years. During their tenure as PFSC executives, PFSC has gone from 1,500 clubs to 150 clubs today. Graybill and Lombaerde have been right there PFSC’s whole sad way down. Why would anyone reward them and knowingly vote for two people already strongly associated with the organization’s failure?

In January 2019, both Graybill and Lombaerde voted to remove the Second Amendment from PFSC’s mission statement. They failed because I raised hell, but what kind of proud sportsman would ever vote for someone like that to serve in a leadership role? Like hasn’t anyone noticed that the Second Amendment is under attack? Additionally, for years Graybill has pushed the PFSC board to support radical leftist environmental policies, like banning all gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed. Graybill’s views are contrary to those held by mainstream sportsmen.

The three new people serving as officers seem nice enough, but two have been associated with PFSC for maybe a year, and they were recruited by the PFSC executive director, Harold Daub. When an organization’s executive director packs his board of directors with chums and buddies, it is called feathering his nest. It leads to major organizational breakdowns because of a failure to provide proper board oversight and accountability. So even the new officers are contaminated, right off the bat.

A great deal of this scam election was organized by Brian Hill, the environmental officer at the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Brian Hill is a long time partisan Democrat Party activist, and his latest effort is focused on turning PFSC into a leftwing environmentalist  group. They want the camo without the guns. In 2018, the RK Mellon Foundation, via Brian Hill, paid a consultant who worked with Graybill to try to gut PFSC and turn it into something else unrecognizable to sportsmen. Some of us successfully fought that effort, and I was subsequently told that Hill was warning PFSC members not to support me in any way, or RK Mellon Foundation would not provide any more funding. With “friends” like Brian Hill, does PFSC need enemies? Like it did before, RK Mellon Foundation’s future “support” for PFSC will come with long, destructive strings.

As we have recently seen, leftists are taking over institutions across America – media, academia, the Boy Scouts, NASCAR, etc. Now they can add one more to their list, PFSC. If the new officers had integrity, they would resign and demand a fair and honest election be held, giving all PFSC members and clubs a vote, and all candidates for all board positions given equal opportunity.

For 22 years I have volunteered with PFSC, served on its board, manned the booth at the Outdoor Show, mowed the HQ lawn, given speeches, attended meetings on behalf of the group, etc. As far as I am concerned PFSC has little meaning any more, and this shameful last “election” was just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, as it sinks.

–Josh First, Harrisburg, PA

PFSC Life Member, NRA Life Member, PA Trappers Life Member, FOAC Life Member”