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Amidst Obama’s Scorched Earth Exit, Trump Dept. of Interior Pick a Huge Bright Spot

As one might expect of a spoiled, petulant, over-indulged man-child, Barack Hussein Obama is not following traditional presidential transitions.

Instead of spending his time talking about the greatness of America, its promise, its successes, its opportunity, and peacefully transferring power to his successor, Obama has gone on a wild spree of destruction and mayhem across America and in the international community.  Aided and abetted by the mainstream media, which share his anti-Western Civilization agenda, Obama has not been held accountable.

“Monkey-wrenching” might be the right term for this bizarre display of poor-loser behavior.

Dozens of useless but expensive new regulations with no basis in reason or science are being rammed through the executive branch. Same for executive orders. Nearly a thousand violent federal prisoners are being released, having obtained clemency from Obama; these scary men will surely bring unlimited suffering and horrors to American citizens over the next couple years. Like the Guantanamo Bay jihadists released by Obama for the AWOL traitor Bo Bergdahl.

Internationally, Obama has abandoned Ukraine to Russia, Iraq to Iran, Syria to Russia and ISIS, and Israel to its insane neighbors plus all of the anti-Jewish bigots around the world. Failing to veto a bizarre attack on the Jewish state at the useless United Nations last week, the Obama administration left the tiny island of democracy to its own devices while empowering the most radical, evil, violent anti-Western foes attacking Israel today, and America tomorrow.

This destructive scorched earth retreat from a failed eight years is the best that Obama can do. It just highlights his hatred for Western Civilization, Christianity, Jews, hard working normal American tax-paying citizens, goodness.

But you know what? Donald Trump is giving us hope every day for all of the great and positive things his administration will begin doing in three weeks.

My favorite two choices by the incoming Trump Administration are the selection of outsiders at EPA and the Department of Interior.

At EPA, Scott Pruitt is the right guy to take the fight over fake “climate change” directly to the religious fanatics promoting it.

I know EPA well.

It is where I started my career after graduate school at Vanderbilt University, and where I spent exactly seven years vainly trying to figure out liberalism and bureaucratic obstructionism. Oh I did some amazing jobs at EPA, and I had a big impact. But I grew tired of the liberal culture there among the staff. I grew tired of policy battles initiated by unaccountable bureaucrats at war with capitalism (yes, this is a straight up true fact from my own amazing experiences at EPA).

For me, changing EPA’s name to Department of Environmental Health would signal the correct staff culture change and professional alignment. “EPA” connotes a certain outsider status and identity, which suits radicals and gives cover to bomb-throwers in the taxpayer-funded ranks.

At Interior, Congressman Ryan Zinke is a perfect fit, and actually pretty inspiring from what I have read about him.

Zinke is a former Navy SEAL. Need anyone say more….a selfless, patriotic hero, basically. Thumbs up.

But Zinke is also a conservative conservationist, a rarity in my experience.

He’s a hunter. Thumbs up.

Way too many Republicans and conservatives actually oppose environmental protection and wildlife conservation, because in a certain simplistic view, these things get in the way of unbridled, maximal development. And if a bunch of Marxist econuts say one thing, then the truth must automatically be the exact opposite (not…why do conservatives always allow the Left to define the green battlefield?).

It is embarrassing, no, make that humiliating, to hear some Republicans slavering over the opportunity to liquidate public lands. This is proof that the Left does not have a total lock on policy insanity.

America’s public lands are a beautiful treasure, a dowry, a gold mine of recreational opportunity and personal exploration, a huge temple in which to worship God from desolate mountain tops to silent, tranquil remote valleys. I am blessed to have been able to really explore many, many national and state parks and forests from Maine to California over my 52 years, and God willing, I have plans for a lot more exploration of new places across America the Beautiful.

Camping, hiking, fishing, trapping, hunting in far-flung wilderness places are all favorite activities for me and for tens of millions of other Americans.

Being from Montana, Zinke innately understands the personal connection  healthy-minded Americans have to their scenic public lands.

Yes, it is true that public lands are a big government footprint in some places. But they are also one of the very few things that government seems to be able to do pretty well. Though I would suggest eliminating the Bureau of Land Management, as its original charter has long since expired and its staff culture sucks. And I would also look into creative ways to resolve some of the longstanding conflicts over natural resource management and extractive activities on public lands. And multiple use policies require some fine tuning. Like allowing hunting and trapping in the remote areas of most national parks.

I speak from experience here, too, having directly worked with the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and staff from other federal resource agencies.

Not all of these challenges, or problems (yes, they are problems when they threaten to destroy entire pristine watersheds) require an either-or decision or black-and-white policy view. A lot of nuance can be brought to bear. Zinke seems like the guy to do that, which is incredibly refreshing.

See? The clean fresh breeze is blowing out the stench already. Despite the evil darkness of the Obama years, the penetrating shining light of the incoming leaders lightens and cheers my heart, gives me hope from the change.

Zinke and Pruitt cannot be confirmed soon enough.

Let’s make America great again.

Exercise the power of the People to impeach and remove bad judges

Both the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution make plain that American and Pennsylvania state governments derive their power from the People.

But my, oh my, have we not seen a tremendous erosion of privacy and basic individual rights and liberties over the years as government power to regulate and surveil expands. Much of this starts with local law enforcement.

Over and over again we read with amazement how some official government regulatory or law enforcement arm commits another over-reach deep into some poor citizen’s life. And then with even greater amazement we read how some judge, especially federal judges, uphold what would appear on its face to violate the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.  Here are some headlines:

“Ohio Court upholds police forced entry into private home over failure to signal at traffic light…”

“New Jersey Federal Court Upholds The FTC’s Authority To Regulate Data Security”

 

“Judge Upholds Police ‘Code of Silence’ Ruling…U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve decided Thursday decided not to toss out part of a jury’s decision that found Chicago police operated under a “code of silence,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Last month, a jury found the police department obstructed the investigation into the beating death of bartender Karolina Obrycka at the hands of off-duty police officer Anthony Abbate in 2007.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve decided Thursday decided not to toss out part of a jury’s decision that found Chicago police operated under a “code of silence,” according to the Chicago Tribune.”

“Police can forcibly take DNA samples during arrests, judge rules”

 

“Federal Judge Upholds Warrantless Hidden Surveillance Cameras On Private Property”

 

“Court upholds dismissal of ticket quota lawsuit”

 

“Utah Cops Arrest Teen for Recording, Judge then Orders Teen to Admit Guilt before Trial”

 

“Law-Breaking Judges Took Cases That Could Make Them Even Richer

Federal judges aren’t supposed to hear cases in which they have a financial stake. Dozens do it anyway.”

And the granddaddy of them all, a truly unbelievable case in which a federal judge recently decided the police can simply take over your home and eat your food without any reason whatsoever:

“The Nevada case of Mitchell v. City of Henderson still slogs through the Nevada Federal District Court. This case has one unusual feature. It accuses police in two cities of quartering themselves in two private houses without the consent of their owners. This would breach the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which deals with quartering of soldiers. The defendant city officials say police officers are not soldiers. But the Mitchells actually have a thirty-two-year-old precedent on their side. That case says one need not be an active-duty U.S. armed service member to be a “soldier” under the Constitution………………….the police in Henderson wanted to “stake out” the Mitchells’ neighbor. They forced the Mitchells (and Anthony Mitchell’s parents) out of their homes, moved in for the time of their stakeout, and helped themselves to whatever was in their refrigerators and pantries. They even arrested Anthony and Michael for obstructing the police. Those charges could not possibly stick, so the city dropped them. But the Mitchells are still suing, on every ground they could possibly cite.
The Third Amendment portion of the Mitchell complaint has been dismissed as of February 2015. The judge held that police officers are not soldiers for the purposes of the Third Amendment; he also expressed doubt that occupying the property for less than 24 hours would constitute ‘quartering’, although he did not specifically rule on that aspect.”

And so on.  You can do your own Internet search on this subject and read the stories behind these headlines and many more.  The purpose here is to call attention to the problem of judges who clearly allow unconstitutional government behavior to proceed.

And what is to be done with US Supreme Court justices who lie under oath in their nomination and confirmation hearings, in order to be confirmed, and then begin ruling exactly the opposite of what they testified to in the US Senate?

In all these instances, the People – us, the voters, taxpayers, and citizens of America – should take the necessary steps to legally remove these failed public servants from their benches.  These are no longer judges in the essential sense of the term, and they certainly no longer look out for the basic rights and liberties of the People. 

So they must be impeached or recalled.

Despite digital technology advances, actual humans are necessary

Digital technology is amazing, no doubt about it.

Yes, it enables all kinds of speed in research and communications.

But the internet has also inspired a “digital wall” response to basic inquiries that used to be handled by people answering phones.  You cannot just pick up a phone and ask someone a question, any longer.  Instead, you must navigate a maze of circular questions and answers and phone tree options, long before you get to hit the star key or number one and talk to a person.

eBay is the prime example of the digital wall.  You cannot get real customer service at eBay.  eBay’s digital artificial intelligence is supposed to satisfactorily respond to all customer issues, but it doesn’t.  It is a failure.

One online commenter says “It is easier to talk with the Pope than to actually speak with a person at eBay,” a sad but true fact that I myself have learned the hard way.

Here in Pennsylvania, the Tom Ridge Revolution for responsive government is looong over.

Remember how back in the 1990s, Governor Tom Ridge opened up Pennsylvania state government with a crowbar and a box of dynamite, and got the scurrying inhabitants of the many faceless concrete government buildings in downtown Harrisburg to actually view taxpayers as “customers”?

Maybe you don’t recall that time, but it was refreshing.  Suddenly, state workers at most agencies were required to actually answer the calls of the taxpayers they serve, and to act professionally, and to help resolve problems.

PennDOT was at that time a notoriously labyrinthine experience, kind of like the Vatican, one might guess, in that if a taxpayer was fortunate enough to find an IN door, they might spend a day shambling down shuttered halls with closed doors with jargon printed on them, searching yet more for the answer to their government-inspired problem.

The workers there at that time could not have cared less for serving the public, and no one took any initiative to make them serve the public, until the Ridge Administration arrived.

Then, PennDOT was required to post phone numbers, email addresses, have customer service representatives on call, so that no citizen had to waste their time trying to make sense of the bureaucratic maze while to trying to meet some official mandate.

After all, if the government is going to require something, then the government absolutely must provide the means to achieve that.

Well, now PennDOT is back to its bad old ways.  The foolish young punks running the disastrous Corbett Administration into the ground at Mach 4 wouldn’t know a damned thing about customer service or taxpayers, for that matter.  PennDOT has been allowed to crawl back under a heavy cloak of secrecy and impenetrable darkness.  Go ahead, call PennDOT.  Try to reach a human being through their main portal:

“Call 1-800-932-4600 (from within PA) or 717-412-5300 (from out of state). You can also send an email through our Driver and Vehicle Services Customer Call Center, or write to the following address:

Riverfront Office Center (Driver and Vehicle Services)
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2516
1-800-932-4600

Oh, you will hear a human voice,  which right off the bat asks you that if you want to continue in English, “Press One.”  Imagine my surprise when I just held the line, did not press one, and was shuttled off into yet another maze of foreign languages, as if just wanting to encounter my own government in our native language was something we should have to ask for.

Anyhow, the phone options in English are another maze of options and circular loops.  One answer gives the locations of  service centers, but saves providing you with the hours for each one until the very end, as if you might actually recall which service center was “one,” “two,” or “three.”

This is the very essence of Bad Government.

Government absolutely must be responsive, open, transparent, or it is illegitimate.  If it cannot serve its citizens and taxpayers, then government has failed.  Once government has failed, it cannot hold citizens to a higher standard.

Governor-elect Tom Wolf faces a Republican legislature, which is not likely to go along with his tax-and-spend approach to government.

Well, here is an opportunity that is guaranteed to make Wolf a hero among all citizens: Force government to open up again; get our taxpayer-funded bureaucrats to be responsive, or get out.  No more digital walls for the people who pay the bills.

And maybe Wolf can talk to the owners of eBay, and persuade them to provide real customer service, too.

Ukraine: Obama batting zero, his cheering section still loud

Math was not always my strongest interest (although I did self-learn calculus in graduate school), so disregard the headline here. Obama’s foreign policy is such a catastrophic failure that he is way in the negatives; he is not at zero.  Being at Zero would actually be a success.

Here is a partial list of countries and peoples seeking freedom from tyranny who have had the rug of American promises pulled out from underneath them by Obama:

Poland (defensive missiles).

Georgia (South Ossetia, invaded by Russia).

Israel.

Iranian citizens.

Syrian citizens.

And now it’s Ukraine that has learned the hard lesson of Obama’s recklessness. Whatever promises were made to get Ukraine’s nuclear weapons, like protecting Ukraine from Russian imperialism, have been openly tossed out the window by an Obama administration bent on destroying America from within.  Wrecking America’s international standing is one way to destroy America at home.

Allowing aggressive imperial powers like Russia, China, and Iran to  willfully expand their spheres of influence and domination lets Obama off the “aggressor” hook.  He can claim he’s no “warmonger.”  But his inaction and failure to live up to his own red lines and promises of American protection have created a vacuum into which the aggressors, the real warmongers, have stepped.

Growing up in a pacifist household, I used to ask the hard questions that no one could answer, like Why should someone not actively oppose an Adolph Hitler and a Nazi Germany?  Answers were hard to come by, because there are no substantive answers to these questions.

Pacifism is evil because it legitimizes evil.  Pacifism equates doing nothing with active aggression, imperialism, domination, subjugation, tyranny and all the barbaric cruelty that goes along with them.  By failing to act, by failing to confront evil in a meaningful way, pacifists lend credibility to the aggressors.  If Russian imperialism in the form of subjugating Ukraine is not confronted and thwarted, then it must not be so bad. Such is the message from Obama and other pacifists, intended or unintended.

This unwillingness to act creates a vacuum, and this vacuum is seen correctly as  weakness.  It invites even more aggression.  History is replete with examples, so an Obama would have to willfully ignore the obvious historical truth in order to do what he is doing (and not doing) now.

I know Obama has his cheering section.  That is the greatest sadness of all, because those same people claim to be ethical, humane, loving.  So strong is the messianic love for this charlatan among his believers, that they will forgive and forget his greatest deceptions, his greatest failures, the trail of destruction and misery in his wake.  Other people, other families, then pay with their lives, at best to be the subjects of pity by groups like OxFam and Rotary, intent on picking up the few broken pieces later on.

For shame.

Toyota: What the Hell Happened?

What the hell happened to Toyota?

Toyota was once the world’s flagship car and truck producer. Since my wife and I married over 20 years ago, except for one Subaru Forester, new Toyotas have been the only vehicles we have purchased. Overall we have been very happy with those purchases. Until now, when we joined a growing list of unhappy Toyota buyers.

A couple of years ago, Toyota experienced odd problems with cars taking off on their own, crashing, and killing the occupants. Some of those occupants can be heard crying, screaming, yelling to Toyota and 911 dispatchers as they unsuccessfully struggle to control their vehicle. Toyota sales plummeted. Significant inward analysis followed.

Enter the Toyota Tacoma, Toyota’s premier pickup truck. Tacomas have developed a loyal following, and an aftermarket add-on industry (bed extenders, cow pushers, roof racks, etc.) second to none. I myself owned a 2002 Tacoma for over eleven years and it performed flawlessly. It reinforced my brand loyalty.

But now, if you go on tacomaworld.com and other similar websites, you’ll see a growing chorus of buyer dissatisfaction. Tacomas apparently have been rushed to market without the kind of research and development necessary to work out the bugs. I myself can tell you my own very recent experience with the new Tacoma.

It has been a deeply disappointing experience. The brand new Tacoma I purchased is flawed, and despite four visits to Faulkner Toyota (the first within days of driving it off the lot) to have it fixed, the problem persists. The truck is not merchantable. It should not be in the channels of trade, and yet here I am, another unhappy Toyota Tacoma owner.

Attempts to get customer satisfaction have resulted in arguments, outright lies by Toyota dealer employees, vague promises to fix the truck over the next month. A month? It has already spent nearly as much time at the dealership as it has spent in my own possession, and another month is said to be needed to possibly resolve to the problem. May I say that I paid cash for the truck, and I perhaps unreasonably expect a brand new vehicle to perform flawlessly.

So here we go, watching Toyota self-destruct its last remaining stalwart vehicle. Very sad. Very sad, indeed. What happened at Toyota? No one seems to know.

For me, the Nissan Frontier is looking like my likely next pickup truck. On Consumer Reports it ranks much higher than the Tacoma with owner satisfaction. To Toyota, my lemon purchase is but one small statistic. To me, this experience is practically a change in lifestyle.