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“Ridgie” no more

In 1998 I joined the Governor Tom Ridge administration in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, fresh off of a solid seven years of DC Swamp. Coming from the Washington, DC, federal bureaucracy, I was considered a professional insider and policy whiz. My own view was that I was a refugee from the anti-citizen, anti-taxpayer, anti-America administrative state that was so crazily overboard that I could no longer work inside of it. My job in the Ridge Administration was as Director of Education & Information on the executive staff at the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR).

The state civil service bureaucrats in Harrisburg had a name for people like me. We were called “Ridgies,” because we were so dedicated to the unique Tom Ridge way of doing things. And what was that unique way of doing things? What was it about being dedicated to Governor Ridge that earned us this almost mocking sobriquet?

In a word, Ridge was honest. He brought a refreshing honesty and down-home common sense to running government that had not been seen in decades. So different and refreshing was this bright light being shone on The People’s business, that it left those of us who were implementing it with almost Moses-like beams of light emanating from our faces. You could say we were bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited to do our work. We humored the staid bureaucrats, but we meant it and we persevered.

I was proud to be a Ridgie, because Tom Ridge represented almost everything that was good and necessary in government doing the taxpayer’s work.

Fast forward 25 years and holy moley, what has happened…. Governor Tom Ridge has endorsed senile, corrupt, pedophile, racist failed liberal career politician Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Trump being the Tom Ridge of today, Biden being everything that everyone hates about corrupt career politicians.

All that Ridge’s bizarre endorsement did for me was make me realize that unlike when he was governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge now values the permanent and unaccountable administrative state over the interests of the citizenry. When Ridge was governor, he confronted Pennsylvania’s hide-bound bureaucracies and forced them to serve The People, the forgotten taxpayers who underwrite all of government. Now, Ridge is on the side of that administrative state, a complete 180 degree flip from where he was.

What can account for this change of philosophy? Probably that Ridge Global, Ridge’s lobbying and consulting firm, is so closely tied to that same big government administrative state. He certainly is not advocating for good policy, because President Trump is implementing everything that Ridge used to say that he believed in, and here Ridge is opposing it.

I feel badly that such a good man as Ridge has been flipped by filthy lucre. It is painful to see someone whose good citizen name inspired us, his staff, to be proud “Ridgies,” to now renounce and stand against all he once stood for. The person in whom I put my trust to implement citizenry-saving policies is now an open and proud tool for anti-America forces and activists.

In turn, I must now say that I am no longer a “Ridgie.”

Unlike Governor Tom Ridge, I remain on the side of The People. I am still, however, a Trumpie, loud and proud.

USA! USA! USA!

TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP!

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.

on Mayor Steve Reed

Steve Reed was the long-time Democrat mayor of Harrisburg City, and he died last week. I knew Mayor Reed and I feel compelled to say some things about him.

My uber-Republican grandparents Ed and Jane introduced me to Steve back in the early 1990s, when he was first running for mayor of Harrisburg. When I queried how such ardent partisans as they could support a Democrat, the response they gave was a life-changing truism that is worth everyone remembering:

“Support the best candidate who will do the best for The People, regardless of political party.”

And besides, the Republican Party had long since abandoned Harrisburg City, as the GOPe has chicken-out abandoned all other urban areas across America. So there was no real Republican to challenge Reed.

The truth is that Steve Reed really did have the best interest of The People, the citizens of Harrisburg City, at heart. Like a lot of gay men his age, he felt that his opportunity for personal companionship was self-limited, and so he had nothing else to live for than his citizens, the people he viewed as being under his care. And he did dutifully care for all of us to his best ability.

When a bad vehicle accident would occur in the city in the very dead of night, or a homicide, Steve would show up in coat and tie, maybe fuzzy slippers on his feet, to find out exactly what happened so that he could try to fix the cause. Or at least communicate to the city’s citizens what had happened, so that there was the least mystery possible. He was always on the job. The guy cared about his job in a way that hardly anyone ever cares about public service jobs any more. Reed was truly a public servant in every good sense of the phrase.

Long ago I joked with Mayor Reed that when he died, I was going to embalm his body, dress him up in one of his dowdy suits, put a cigarette in his hand, and prop him up in the window in his old office, so that the citizens below could look up and see Steve, The Mayor, still on the job, still doing his best for us, and that knowing all was well, they would all be consoled of all concerns and go on with their lives, happier and more confident. A perpetually stable Harrisburg.

He always smiled at that joke.

His attempt to build the nation’s premier cowboy / Western museum was a great idea, like his successful idea to build an incredible civil war museum. But that Wild West Museum did not happen only because it lost momentum, despite having a veritable mountain of wonderful bona fide Western frontier artifacts to show. When the museum lost momentum, questions began to arise about how all those wonderful artifacts had been obtained with scarce public funds, and where were they kept, etc. And once those questions were asked, it was the beginning of the end of Steve’s reign. Such was the public’s trust in Mayor Reed that he could really do no wrong, and when he demonstrated that even great people have weaknesses, the public mostly abandoned him.

The last I saw Steve was at a home in Uptown Harrisburg, down the street from where we live. It was a gathering of a political who-is-who in the area that I rudely barged into uninvited, and the hostess, Peggy, cheerfully greeted me with hugs and a hot drink nonetheless. The three of us, Peggy, myself, and Mayor Reed, were all back in a corner chatting while eating fresh fruit. Steve looked happy, and Peggy was her usual 100 MPH self. Until Steve asked me “Josh, you don’t support Trump, right?”

“Of course I do, mayor, I absolutely do support President Trump. He is doing a great job for America, and I think you of all people should appreciate how hard that is to do,” I responded.

Peggy exploded, poor thing. She was standing elbow to elbow with me, and her unhappy response was broadcast in bits and pieces across the side of my sweater and cheek. She was nearly foaming at the mouth with anger, indignation, her eyes were crossed, and a garble of unintelligible words poured forth from her mouth that I did not have to actually understand in their particular to understand in their overall gist.

Peggy disliked (still does) President Trump, and was ummm…frustrated that I would support him.

“Ignore him, Peggy,” said Mayor Reed. “He is just saying that to get a rise out of you.”

Mayor Reed looked at me, smiled, popped a grape in his mouth and walked off into the bigger party. He was politic to the end.

In our hunting camp there hangs a large moose head above the living room. It is named “Stephen” after Mayor Steve Reed, because it was purchased from the eventual auction of the Harrisburg Wild West Museum contents. When I picked up the enormous wooden crate with the moose head inside, I couldn’t wait, and I opened it up right away in the bed of the pick up truck. Inside was all the original documentation going back to the original purchase of the moose by Steve Reed, years before. He had acquired it from an old frontier saloon in southwest Minnesota, and apparently many cowboys had hung their hats on it over the decades. It was a real, bona fide emblem of the wild west; at least as the Western frontier was known in Minnesota.

Steve the Moose now looms over all our comings and goings at camp, provoking small children to squeal with delight and with fright, and grown men to pose all manly-like. No question the moose head is a symbol of the Big Woods and all that is wild in America, a proper companion to other real cabin furnishings like beaver pelts and traps. But to me, Steve the Moose symbolizes Steve Reed the mayor, the all-knowing bull moose, watching over his sanctuary, his people, his charges.

It is comforting to me.

Bye, Steve, you are gone but not forgotten. Here, let me dust off your ears for you. And have a light.

Mayor Steve Reed looks at one of the Remington bronzes he purchased for his Wild West Museum. The bronze was among the gazillion other real wild west artifacts sold at auction. Denver Post photo credit

Ammin Perry cartoon symbolizing about $7 million city dollars up in smoke, and Mayor Reed did like to smoke

Steve Reed the moose still oversees all

Great American Outdoor Show Day Six – Fired Up Trump Supporters

Having worked as a volunteer at two different booths and at a separate nearby event at the Great American Outdoor Show here in Harrisburg this week, there is one big takeaway: Attendees are overwhelmingly passionate about President Donald Trump and seeing him be re-elected.

At first the constant parade of Trump 2020 hats going past my eyes did not hit home. Ya know, it’s the biggest outdoor show and gathering in the world, and outdoors folk are naturally conservative, so why not expect to see them…is what I unconsciously thought.

And then as the first day ticked through the first hours, my mind began to start its own “clicker” count of Trump and Trump-Pence hats going by. And mind you, this particular booth is in the Fishing Hall, and a lot of GAOS visitors are there for the hunting guides, the demonstrations, and the opportunity to handle and try out lots and lots of firearms. So this spot I was in is hardly representative of the overall visitor population.

And the mental “clicks” immediately surpassed my ability to keep counting. Somewhere around 150 my mind said that it had had enough of trying to keep track of Trump hats while also greeting visitors and engaging with them on issues of wildlife policy and politics and raffle tickets for guns. So if I saw 150 Trump hats on heads in about 30 minutes, and the rest of the day was just as filled with them, then about 2,600 went by in the day in that particular location.

Another stint at another GAOS booth on another day reinforced the same observation, except I have to admit up front that it was the Trump Campaign booth I was volunteering in. And of course the visitors here naturally self-selected for visits, and about fifty percent had Trump hats. Even those visitors to the Trump Campaign booth who did not have Trump hats were just as FIRED UP as the hat wearers, however.

The Trump Campaign booth was a non-stop feeding frenzy of activity. If you sat down to take a breather, you had to get right back up again to help someone fill out a form. And at any given time there were half a dozen of us working that booth. We were constantly busy.

I know, I know, the GAOS naturally attracts exactly the kind of people who are going to support president Trump anyhow – outdoorsmen, gun owners, pickup truck drivers, etc. But, having attended and volunteered at this show in both of its forms for many years (I started the 2012 vendor boycott that ended the prior Reed Expositions representation of the show, and which eventually resulted in the NRA taking over) I have never before seen anywhere near this level of politicized, politically aware, FIRED UP attendees.

In fact, in years past, it was rare if you got into any kind of political discussion with attendees beyond wildlife policies. Even Second Amendment rights were largely passe to the vast majority of past attendees, who seemed to just want to look at new RVs, camping gear, duck calls, and hunting rifles without being hassled about politics. Politics was off everyone’s radar in the past.

So if this politicized crowd with its nonstop stream of Trump hats is any indication, Trump’s voter base is both larger than in 2016, and a lot more passionate and politically involved. In fact, all of the people I registered to vote or spoke with felt personally invested in the outcome of this November’s election.

And personally dedicated to Donald J. Trump’s re-election.

This bodes very well for President Trump’s re-election prospects.

So God bless flyover country and the NRA.

Re: Disaster Named Harrisburg, Kudos to Judge John McNally

Dauphin County Judge John McNally made me feel so proud the other day, because he held the City of Harrisburg liable for all the major bullhooey it has poured onto mere citizen Mike Brenner. Brenner has literally been fighting City Hall because City Hall brought the fight to him.

Brenner made the mistake of leasing his property to the Harrisburg City Public Works Department, where men and machines are stored. After the city stopped paying rent to him for the use of his property, but nonetheless occupied the premises and allowed it to fall into disrepair like the rest of Harrisburg has, Brenner went to court.

Who wouldn’t go to court in these circumstances? The law is the law is the law, and no one is supposed to be above the law. The law is supposed to apply to everyone equally, and especially to government agencies and entities.

Well…the temerity of this citizen! Who is he to expect just compensation from the City of Harrisburg?! Who is he to expect the city to live up to its legal obligations?

So instead of being a standup guy and paying Brenner what he has been long owed, Mayor Eric Papenfuse decided that the city would not only renege on its signed lease with Brenner, but then commence eminent domain proceedings against him to take the property by force.

So here we have a county judge who recognizes corruption and evil when we and he sees it, as personified by the sweaty faced lump of Jello that is Eric Papenfuse, and he issues a decision that the city must actually live up to its lease terms and pay Brenner what the city owes him. Never mind that what the city is doing, what Eric Papenfuse is doing, is downright evil and the very definition of abuse of official power.

Does anyone wonder why Harrisburg has fallen to pieces over the past four decades, with most taxpayers fleeing to better locales? All my life I have either visited my family here, or lived here, and it just keeps getting worse and worse.

Thanks only to Judge John McNally, Harrisburg City’s mayor is getting the comeuppance he has long been due to receive. Now let’s see the citizens of Harrisburg wake the hell up and begin voting for better human beings to make our city’s official decisions for us. We cannot afford losers like Papenfuse to continue to bankrupt Pennsylvania’s capital city with petty coercion and minor league control games.

p.s. When first elected as mayor, Papenfuse swore that people would go to jail for the fraudulent incinerator debacle that bankrupted the city. Several years later he has swept it all under the rug. Eric, you are an incompetent, lying sack of sh*t, and you cannot go back to running your used bookstore soon enough. Then let the federal charges begin to rain down on his sweaty, greasy head.

p.p.s. I am a plaintiff in an ongoing lawsuit against my beloved city over its patently illegal anti-gun ordinances it passed several years ago. Papenfuse has also engaged in a lot of virtue signalling with that unnecessary lawsuit, while costing us taxpayers yet more money. The guy is a disaster.

Malcolm X warned us all about Harrisburg School District’s spectacular failure

Harrisburg School District is such a phenomenal, record-setting disaster that I will not repeat here even the barest and yet really most unbelievable facts involved with America’s worst school district. If you do not believe me that our local school district is really so bad, such a catastrophic failure, then go ahead and do an Internet search yourself. Type in “Harrisburg school district,” and you will find plenty of mind-bending substance about it, even in the teacher-union-friendly mainstream media, like the local Patriot News/pennlive.com.

Even Mayor Eric Papenfuse is joined by the very partisan, very liberal Pennsylvania Auditor General in targeting the city school district and its partisan teacher unions. For the uninitiated, across America teacher’s unions are the political henchmen of one political party, and they have destroyed countless public school systems in the pursuit of converting their dominance in the class room into a political power dominance. Using little black kids as sacrifices on the altar of political power, white liberal-dominated teachers unions have spread more destruction to American black families than any other single political entity or force. So when political partisans like Mayor Papenfuse and AG DePasquale, and their partisan media chums, go after one of their own, then you know it is really, really bad. And thus, by any measure, the Harrisburg School District is in really, really bad shape.

The problem is not just that the failed Harrisburg School District is “bad,” it is all of the avoidable collateral damage that surrounds it that makes it such an evil experience. Yes, as the school district has failed ever more spectacularly over the years, the taxes have similarly gone up and up while the few redoubts of sane living within the city proper have real estate values that correspondingly fall with those rising taxes. That then leads to white flight to safer, less taxing suburbs with successful public schools. Yes, there is open corruption. Yes, there is open, unmitigated professional incompetence. Yes, there is open self-serving political football by city council members, the teacher unions, and the city administration. Yes, there is open fraud and waste and abuse by everyone involved, from the janitors to the highest school officials.

But more than anything, this monumental failure of what should be the simplest public education is a symbol of one of America’s biggest failures: The domination of American black voters by white liberals.

No greater threat to Black success exists than the American white liberal. No greater racist against American blacks exists than the swarm of white liberals thrumming hive-like around every single black community, feasting parasitically off the automatic voting that American Blacks reflexively do for the one single political party of the white liberal.

Harrisburg school district is a symbol of what ails American blacks, because Harrisburg is like nearly every other major American city school district across our great nation: Black, broke, and Democrat.

That last factor, the Democrat part, is what has destroyed everything positive that emancipated slaves once brought to American industry, culture, and science. It is as if American blacks could not get enough abuse from their former Southern Democrat slave owners and Klansmen, and decided to throw in with their intellectual successors, the white liberals of the 1960s.

White liberals and their Uncle Tom capos have been selling poisonous snake oil to American blacks for well nigh 60 years now, and despite that long trail of failure, abject poverty, cultural deprivation, high crime, and misplaced anger, all nicely summed up right here in Harrisburg’s school district, American blacks continue to vote for the very people and the same failed ideas and philosophies that have led them to this incredibly bad place.

Malcolm X said it 55 years ago: American blacks who reflexively vote for the Democrat Party and for white liberals “are the biggest chumps in America.”

Malcolm X was no Republican, no political partisan. He fiercely wanted success and every sort of freedom for his fellow ex-slaves. What he warned them against was being used and dominated by the parasitic white liberal that right now infests the heart of every single failed black community across America. He wanted blacks to stop giving away their votes to people who promised them the rainbow and who yet delivered them ever increasing poverty and failure.

The first step to fixing the Harrisburg School District disaster is for Harrisburg’s black community to cease giving away their votes to the same people and philosophies that created this disaster in the first place. Clean house politically, look around for new ideas, and new voices to implement those new ideas. It will take time to fix, we know that, because sixty years of unwarranted loyalty to white liberals has sown a lot of poisonous seeds. To my fellow Harrisburg citizens, let me ask you this: What have you got to lose by trying something different? You have already lost just about everything  by voting for one political party and one failed philosophy. Give another party and philosophy a try.

Do it for yourself, do it for Malcolm X.

Malcolm X would have predicted the failure of Harrisburg School District, as he called American blacks who reflexively vote for white liberals and Democrats “the biggest chumps” and “traitors to your race.” White liberals own the Harrisburg school district debacle, and Malcom would have told us to expect that.

 

 

 

PolyClinic Psychiatric Hospital has the Craziest Signs

“We have been down here in the bowels of the PolyClinic Hospital for over thirty years, and yet we still regularly meet people who have worked upstairs in the same building for years who exclaim ‘I had no idea you were here in our building’,” said Joe Marinak, the Select Hearing Center‘s senior audiologist, now adjusting the ear buds in my head.

Having grown up shooting guns and working around chainsaws and farm machinery at a time before hearing protection became standard issue, my hearing now seemed just a little challenged. So it was time to get it checked again. So I used the closest hearing-checking facility possible, and sauntered over to the hulking concrete building, thinking “how hard could it be to locate…it’s an audiology center in a medical building…right?”

I was lucky to find Joe at all.

The welcome sign and the directory sign that greet visitors to that building are a freak show of bad planning and haphazard carelessness. The signs are almost crazy, kind of like most of the facility, which is, in fact, almost entirely devoted to psychiatric care (that is crazy people in non-PC talk land, which is where you are right now…non-PC talk land, not crazy people).

Here are some photos of some of the signs I encountered at PolyClinic on my journey to the “Select Hearing Center.”

While you are looking at the Memorial Building column, make sure to watch out for Landis Building locations. And how about the Mature Adult Services…is there a place for Immature Adult Services? After all, are not adults by definition mature, as age goes?

 

There is the at-first-glance-normal, quintessential “welcome” sign that is first presented to visitors when they enter the building foyer. The problem with this sign seems to be that there are actually two old buildings (Landis and Memorial) adjoined in the middle, where the common entrance remains, and at one time in the distant past people working and visiting there recognized that each building was separate and served distinctly different purposes. Now, however, each building has evolved and kind of morphed into one big indistinct building, and as such “it” has a bunch of service destinations listed: Lobotomies, second floor, electroshock third floor, padded cells in the basement, and so on (OK, I am joking here; this is just more non-PC, but it is, after all, still a crazy person place). The challenge to the people mis-managing this basic welcome sign developed whenever the services provided began to outnumber the lines on the sign. And so this sign has a greater number of destinations for both buildings than the sign has lines to accommodate. So the various destinations are just kind of listed ad hoc, no particular arrangement. Not even alphabetical. Maybe the people in charge of the signs are conducting experiments on the visitors? Or on the inmates? Or maybe they are laughing at us all, standing there dumbfounded, trying to make any sense out of any of this written communication.

Which way did he go, Mac? If you want Quality, you go one way, and if you want Safety, you go the exact opposite direction. This is called being Vertically Non-Integrated, or Linearly Mis-Aligned. Otherwise known as extremely confusing and unintelligible.

My favorite bizarro sign is the marketing one labeled “Our Pathway Journey.” It purports to represent the clear path upward and onward that the facility is taking toward improvement, better patient care, higher professional standards, and so on. Logically, such a sign, designed as this one is, would indicate that the path toward “quality” is the opposite of that toward “well-being,” despite the natural desire to think that walking the same single path with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute will eventually arrive at all of these desirable destinations together. These are mutually exclusive directions, and to achieve one, you must trade off some other goal. You cannot walk the same pathway and arrive at all your destinations.

Check it out. The “Our Pathway” sign has arrows literally pointing in all directions, like a medley, like a random scattershot, like a crazy person would do if you asked them for directions. Arrows pointing in mutually exclusive, opposing directions actually tell us that this facility is helter skelter, and not organized. But if you are a crazy person, it probably makes perfect sense. Maybe a crazy person designed this sign for the UPMC Pinnacle Penn State Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute.

Talk about taking that fork in the road!

And nowhere in the building will you encounter a sign that says “You are now on the first floor of the Landis Building.” There is no “You are Here” map, anywhere.

No signs except the barely visible “Vending Area” sign on the very right hand edge of the photo. There were zero vending machines anywhere near this location.

More endless halls with no signs telling you where you were headed, or where you had come from

While on my long, zig-zagging path throughout the building to the audiology department, which I eventually determined is way way below grade, not on the ground floor as one sign stated, I had noticed that most of the long, windowless, door-less, maze-like bunker-like hallways had no signs at all. And when there were signs, they were either for non-existent vending machines or they pointed to a destination straight ahead, when in fact the correct but unmarked way was down the elevator.

The basement is strangely called the “Ground Floor.”

My other favorite sign is the one showing the eventual exact location of the audiology department, where I was headed. As you can see, though you have arrived there, the sign says that you can reach the department by going either left or right. Having wandered aimlessly about there in that basement for a long time, I can report back that this sign is not accurate. You have to go left, like the smaller sign below says.

Since when is the basement designated as the Ground Floor? You enter the building(s) on the ground floor, and work your way to the elevators, which take you down into the basement. The buttons on the elevators are marked B, for Basement.

It is natural to read this large sign overhead when you exit the elevator in the basement. It shows that the Select Hearing Center is both left and right, which I can tell you, is not true. The little eeny weeny sign on the wall beyond tells the truth: Go left, old man.

Let me tell you, if you were not crazy before you entered PolyClinic Psychiatric Hospital, you certainly have a much higher chance of being dazed and confused, if not downright nuts, once you have spent any time in there. Maybe this crazy sign arrangement is meant to keep the inmates from escaping? On my way back out I off-handedly commented about this weird experience to a middle-aged bespectacled worker bee-type lady just then exiting the staff lunch room, which is just above the foyer, invested in the heavy brickwork like a defensive fixture in a medieval castle.

She looked at me briefly, lucidly apprised my appearance, and then without a word in response she smartly walked down the hall to the “other” building on the other side of the foyer at a quick clip, looking down at her smart phone. Maybe she didn’t hear me? I could kind of tell her where the audiology department was, down in the basement, next to the morgue (no lie), if she were interested.

I have never felt so good to leave a building before. It was almost like escaping, and once outside I surreptitiously looked about before entering my vehicle. Had I been seen leaving?

As the old adage goes, truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make these signs up, even if you tried. Ah what the hell, it’s the crazy person building. Who cares.

About that New Zealand mosque massacre…

Once again, liberal ideas have resulted in terrible results, and yet, the people who promote those ideas blame everyone else for their failures. Now it is a mass shooting in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The massacre did not happen in a vacuum.

New Zealand has the same kind of stupid, ineffective “gun control” that anti-firearm activists have demanded for everyone everywhere: No handguns, mass registration with the goal of eventual mass confiscation for a gun-free society (except for the police and security services controlled by the liberals). Had the members of that mosque had access to handguns, like our concealed carry laws permit here in America, then they could have defended themselves against the lone attacker. But nope, anti-gun activists require these bodies and blood in the street in order to make the emotional case for yet more anti-freedom, anti-safety gun elimination.

Sorry, mosque members. I am sorry that you were martyred by the same leftists who have brought so much destruction to everyone else across the planet.

And then, so many questions come to mind, like:

Did that mosque serve as a launching point for public or private anti-Christian, anti-Jew hatred and bigotry, as so many other mosques do around the world?

Did that mosque have members who were actively engaged in denigrating and materially undermining Christianity and Western countries from within, as so many mosques do? Did they take advantage of New Zealand’s freedom and democracy to achieve non-democratic results?

Was that mosque a security risk for New Zealand? Does it harbor violent terrorists or proponents of Islamic terrorism?

Was the mosque officially silent about the non-stop bloodbath perpetrated by Islamic jihadists against innocent people around the world, notably Christians living peacefully in Paris and London and Antwerp?

Was the mosque officially silent about the obvious danger that Islamic jihad represents to the entire world?

Did that mosque serve as a center for spreading Islamic terrorism, as so many other mosques do around the world?

These questions and many similar ones must be asked, because if any of them are affirmative, then the massacre could be construed or even understood as an act of self-defense by the perpetrator, acting on behalf of his vulnerable countrymen who are paralyzed by leftist political correctness and an inactive government run by people willing to sacrifice the entire nation on the altar of “understanding” a fascist, totalitarian ideology that is mutually exclusive with the openness and tolerance New Zealand and every other Western nation stands for.

Here in America, Muslima Terrorista Suprema Linda Sarsour used the massacre to publicly explain exactly what is at the heart of this civilizational conflict. She explicitly blamed “white Christians” as the source of all evil on Earth and of being the biggest threat to all civilizations. In other words, when some mosque somewhere gets a taste of its own medicine, suddenly jihad against Christians and whites is openly justified. As if jihad against Christians and Christianity has not been ongoing for 1,300 years! No wonder Westerners are phobic of Islam; they are afraid for very good reasons.

Here in Harrisburg, the local JCC issued a Marxist screed about the shooting, decrying, among other ridiculous things, “Islamophobia” and “bigotry” (no, not the explicit anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu bigotry of the Koran). One wonders if the regular, normal, hard working members of the many various JCCs and Jewish Federations around America will ever tire of underwriting the Marxist march of their institutional professionals, who seem to specialize in delivering sappy Yiddish entertainment to elderly  people and Marxist-everything-else for everyone else. In the past it was Margie Adelmann, now it is Jen Ross, the “professional Jews” who represent the very worst of secularism and controlling, destructive leftism. Neither of them was or is responsive to JCC members who want them to stop politicizing everything in the name of Marxism and political correctness.

They, too, are on a jihad, parallel with Linda Sarsour, the rest of us be damned.

Harrisburg City: One Political Party’s Complete Catastrophe

Harrisburg City is a complete catastrophe.

By any measure, my beloved city and the home of my father’s family in an unbroken chain since 1745, is now a non-functional wreck. A shambles. A disaster.

Our combined city millage rate is an incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal record of 71 Mills! See the official Dauphin County millage rates below. Harrisburg City is at the bottom.

Those readers who do not understand what millage is, it is the local tax rate for public services like fire, water, police, sewers, and sometimes schools. Most Pennsylvania communities have a millage rate of about 6-10, total.

Millage rates are supposed to reflect the quality of public services that taxpayers receive. After all, we are paying these incredibly high tax rates for a reason.

But here in Harrisburg, we taxpayers have no such illusions or expectation of receiving much of anything in return for our hard-earned money. Most of our city taxes are squandered by unaccountable bureaucrats and politicized mayors who come and go, come and go, spending all the way. Our city council is completely non-functional, filled with bitter personality disputes and zero achievements for the actual people underwriting the bills.

And then there is the Harrisburg School District, a study in unabated and completely open incompetence and corruption. Our city school district has been run by the state, only to be set aside and allowed to fester and rot, for the whole public to see. And still nothing is done to fix it. The school children here, mostly black kids, suffer the worst, because for all their time spent inside four classroom walls, they actually get very little education.

And now the latest example of just how badly Harrisburg is run is revealed in a lawsuit by Michael Brenner, owner of the building where the Harrisburg City Public Works Department is housed. Brenner has leased the building to the city for many years, and he is owed $717,000.00 by the city in back rent, unpaid taxes, and damage to the building that the city cannot or will not fix.

For those readers who do not understand what a city Public Works Department is or does, it is the one place where taxpayers expect to see something happen, because it is all about the roads, streets, sidewalks, potholes, etc. No matter where you go in America, the city’s Public Works Department is the place where the can-do guys work, the guys who know how to fix things, weld things, bend metal, pour concrete, and operate machinery to get snow plowed and fallen trees out of the roads.

Except here in Harrisburg, it seems our city Public Works employees don’t do much of that kind of work on their own building. And it turns out the city won’t pay the owner the rent the city agreed to pay.

Folks, this is a failed government. This is a failed city. When the government cannot or will not pay its most basic bills, or properly run its most basic departments and school functions, then we have a failed government. Plain and simple.

And like almost every other American city with high taxes, poor services, failed schools, and bad government, Harrisburg shares the distinction of being overwhelmingly Democrat, black, and poor. And yet… black people run very few of the city’s functions! Those jobs are reserved for the oh-so-sophisticated White Liberals, who lord it over their Democrat plantation serfs like they are running one of their old Democrat plantations back in the 1850s Deep South.

This abject failure is the price of having just one political party in power, endlessly and forever. That one political party is the Democrat Party.

At some point, city residents will begin to ask the simple question: “What have I got to lose by voting for a different political party that has different ideas of how to run things?”

To my black city neighbors, all I can say is that the solution to this bad situation is fully in your hands. You are the majority of the voters here. If you want things to change for the better, and we know you do, then you can start voting differently. Vote for candidates who represent different values and behaviors than the same-old White Liberals who have led you down this proverbial garden path for how many decades….

Dauphin County 2018 Millage July