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CPAC banning reporter Laura Loomer proves frailty of “conservative inc.”

This past week, just days ago, intrepid and fearless reporter Laura Loomer was blocked from entering the CPAC convention, having already been there for days and having already spent her money on lodging etc. As she handed the security guys her credentials, they took them away from her and prevented her from entering the convention.

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference has been the gathering place for Republicans and conservatives for many years now. It’s a place to air out new policy ideas, air out old grievances, air out old stinky candidates or debut new ones, network, share on-the-ground war stories, and get new ideas for how to advance America-first policies and laws, including how to get conservatives elected.

But like so many other public events, of any sort, people try to make money from CPAC. Especially its administrators. When money and ego become central to the event’s raison d’etre, away go the core principles that once caused people to convene in the first place. Now CPAC has gone full commercial and totally corporate, with all the usual and customary strings attached to corporate sponsorships. Like don’t rock the boat. Suddenly raw and honest debate becomes “uncivilized,” and the “Professional Republicans” move in to correct and santize everything.

God forbid someone says something offensive! The well groomed, serious faced, and utterly hollow “Professional Republican” robots will move in to take you away.

And Laura Loomer did in fact say something offensive. Really really bad. Her big offense was to repeatedly or doggedly ask CNN political activist Oliver Darcy why he uses his celebrity status to drum conservatives out of digital websites and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, Venmo, Patreon and so on.

Darcy is a guy who publicly crows every time a conservative is kicked off of some platform and loses their free speech rights, for the huge violation of disagreeing with the radical leftists who own or manage those public platforms. It’s not that the conservatives are doing anything wrong per se, it’s that disagreeing with the liberal book burners and anti free speech control freaks who run Fakebook, Twitter etc is itself a huge violation.

And so Loomer did what real reporters do, or used to do, she found a more-important-than-thou untouchable person (Darcy) and asked pointed questions about their (his) at-best questionable behavior. Darcy then complained to CPAC management and voila, Loomer is scrubbed from his glowing presence. Because being a happy shiny establishment media darling at CPAC is more important than what CPAC supposedly stands for.

See, the bigger question is why Oliver Darcy is even at CPAC, and then why would he expect to be protected from inquisitive reporters there, doing the job that mainstream media activists long since stopped doing. Darcy is opposed to everyone and everything represented at CPAC. He’s not there because he shares the values or principles of the attendees; rather, he’s there to be a mole, to undermine CPAC from the inside.

In any event, as CPAC has become yet another corporate bandwagon, run by “Professional Republicans” who represent “Republican, Inc.” (or “Conservative, Inc.”), the bastardized evil hybrid of political action for individual liberty and limited government with making money. Loads of money. That is what CPAC is now, and Laura Loomer threatened to undermine the shiny happy people appearance that professional GOP functionaries and their financiers value most above all.

Strike another GOPe blow against grass roots citizen activists and reporters, struggling against a big money uniparty made of both Republican and Democrat establishments.

And yet, Laura Loomer emerges as another citizen hero, a sort of Joan of Arc, a Rosa Parks who questions why not just she but all American citizens who rudely (sarcasm here) ask simple questions about the nature of our government and our rights must sit at the back of the bus, or as Oliver Darcy and CNN would have it, get kicked off the bus altogether.

You go, girl! Go get ‘em, Laura.

PA Office of Open Records – the battle for control

Erik Arneson is never going to win awards for public relations savvy, but he does deserve to hold on to the job of director of the Office of Open Records he was appointed to by outgoing governor Tom Corbett back in December, 2014.

Incoming governor Tom Wolf immediately “fired” Arneson and sought to put someone else in his role.

Arneson and the PA senate Republicans sued Wolf, claiming that the job holds a six-year term and that’s it.  It is not a political appointment to serve at the whim of whichever governor is in office at the time.  To do so would place the office squarely in the middle of politics it is supposed to be above.

Showing up to his January lawsuit press event in a Green Bay Packers-marked ski cap and satin jacket, Arneson alienated every Steelers and Eagles fan around, not to mention us PSU Nittany Lions fanatics.  Plus, he did not look real professional, either, dressed up like he was going to a November football game, and not into a high stakes legal battle.

Maybe his rumpled look and out-of-synch team clothing choice represent a kind of idiot-savant mentality, which I would find refreshing.  You know, a guy who is so focused on doing his job so utterly professionally that he walks around with his zipper open, his hair touseled, his head involved in important things, not mundanities.

More likely is that Arneson has spent so long in the ultra-insulated world of the professional party functionary system (Republicans and Democrats alike have this alternate dimension), that he is unaware that his appearance in public matters to the public.   He may not even care.  Accountability in that party functionary world is non-existent, and professionalism is not always what taxpayers would or should expect from the people they pay.

But the fact is that Arneson was duly appointed to a six-year term, which itself strongly indicates an independent position above the whims of politics, such as incoming new governors wishing to make government in their image.

Nearly all of Pennsylvania’s commissions and boards involve six or even eight year terms; some are four years, but they tend to be the ones where the governor alone makes the selection.  At least that is my sense of things, having been involved in the selection process for the PA Game Commission and the PA Fish & Boat Commission.  Both of those commissions had eight-year terms until last year, when they were changed to six years, which is still sufficient time for a board member to ride out political changes that might corrupt their otherwise professional and detached judgment.

For those people complaining about Arneson’s politically partisan credentials, ahem, we did not hear your voice when the first occupant of the office was selected, Terri Mutchler.

Terri Mutchler is a very nice person whom I knew a bit when we were students at Penn State, way back in the 1980s.  She was professional and diligent, way back then, and again during her tenure as the first director of the Office of Open Records.  And in that new role she feuded just enough with then-Governor Rendell to lend credibility to her claim of being above partisanship.

But recently Mutchler has come forward and admitted that she was a tool, literally, for partisan politics in past jobs, even in one of her most sensitive jobs as a senior reporter and news editor.  [those of us already long ago jaded by the mainstream media are unsurprised by her admission; we just wish current political activists posing as news reporters at NBC CBS ABC NPR NYT etc. would be as honest]

In other words, Mutchler was a nakedly partisan Democrat, perhaps like Arneson would be a partisan Republican.

But if you don’t like Arneson for this reason now, where were you for the same reason back then, when Mutchler was appointed?  Critics of Arneson cannot have it both ways – happy to have Mutchler’s partisan role back then, but opposed to Arneson’s presumed partisan role now.  That is inconsistent, and therefore undeserving of respect.

Inconsistency is the hobgoblin of good government,and if there are two words that define what Americans expect from their government, it is good government: Professional, a-political, non-partisan.

So, Arneson must stay on, despite his frumpy appearance, his poor taste in football teams, his deafness to Lion Country’s football preferences, and despite the nakedly partisan calls for him to step aside for a Wolf Administration selection.

But I will say this: His beard, that damned scraggly beard, it looks incredibly unprofessional and unkempt; if he keeps that for one more day, then he does deserve to be fired immediately.  And tie your shoes, Erik, dammit.

Good or bad, the cops have our backs

A society without a professional police force lacks the rule of law. No rule of law? No civilization.

Are there bad cops, violent cops, corrupt cops, abusive cops, escalating cops? Of course. I’ve seen it. Central Pennsylvania Attorney Devon Jacob has seen it, and he’s a former police officer who prosecutes police brutality. Even he says the bad cops are a minuscule fraction of the overall number.

Overall and overwhelmingly, the police across the nation are the best of the citizenry. They sacrifice their safety to bring a certainty to yours. Without police like American police, there’s no America. Not as we’ve come to know it.

That’s what gets me about the anti-police attitude so common now. What, you want anarchy?

Despite the fake and misplaced rage about criminals dying at the hands of the police they attacked, there is truth to the observation that police forces are too militarized. And too many police officers are quick to escalate situations to satiate an ego in need of control. These aren’t secrets and these are issues the left and the right agree on. It’s going to get resolved professionally through the political process.

The blips on the radar screen that get our attention most are momentary deviations from the standard behavior of nearly all police officers. The extremely high standard of care that the police in every community bring to all of us is second to none.

So, how any American identifies the police as the bad guys is beyond me. It’s a sign of deep cultural decay and failure. It’s time that stopped.

The personal cost of political correctness

Political correctness is a political and social orthodoxy whose adherents behave like caricatures of religious zombies.

Having captured government schools, academia, and the mainstream media, PC constantly reinforces a seamless far-Left brainwashing from most Americans’ earliest memories through their college education and into adulthood.  Constantly told that they are correct on the laundry list of PC issues, questioning, even contemplating an alternative, is impossible.

Rigid, inflexible, out of the mainstream, followers of political correctness can inflict tremendous damage not just through failed laws and policies, like ObamaCare, the “War on Coal,” and “global warming,” but also through an inability to communicate with people who don’t share the same beliefs.

Unable or unwilling to share ideas, to have what philosopher Martin Buber called the I-Thou cross pollination and consideration of ideas, PC people have become both political Brown Shirts and personal martyrs.

Because the PC cause is so just, in its totality, no deviation is acceptable. Because no deviation is acceptable, no friendliness with other humans who are deviating from PC is acceptable. This has deeply personal consequences for old friends and families alike. PC is like old religion: Step out of line, burn at the stake.  End of friendship, painfully strained relationships, hard feelings, rejection, loss of meaning and special value. Not good.

But because PC followers are “tolerant,” ha-ha, their intolerance is justified.

So many of my friends and acquaintances have experienced corrosive and destructive PC both in their professional and personal lives that I cannot keep count. But if I can’t keep count, I can keep a general running tab. The body count is getting higher, the PC Brown Shirts commit cruelty after cruelty, and then they turn around and claim martyrdom when they are challenged or when they hurt someone.

While it is tempting to brush aside this PC excess, it has a cost that demands a response. Commitment to the PC cause must meet limits. Or else, political and familial divides will appear increasingly like those seen leading up to the Civil War.

Please be friendly, be understanding, listen, and reflect when talking, writing, or debating. The lack of reflection and contemplation among PC believers is a challenge we all must be up to helping with, and each small firm kindness extended to a PC believer may contribute to their eventual awakening.

Our nation cannot afford PC, and we must be patient in turning it back.

Of Damsels in Distress & Lawyers, Part II

Following up on yesterday’s flamethrowing broadside…This morning Sherry and I visited with her legal counsel, “Attorney B.”

Let’s just say that communication is important if you want people to know what you are thinking and doing. Sherry had been communicating, but had Attorney B?

Attorney B admitted that (it turned out) his files were incomplete, that there was no record of Sherry having paid her bills (she had), her contact information was inexplicably incorrect, all of his letters and document copies to her were going to the defendant (!) and not to her…man, it read like a Murphy’s Law of what can go wrong will go wrong with your case.

But, Attorney B apologized earnestly, kept his head on straight, didn’t get defensive, got his file straightened out, and is now moving forward. He called me (and Sherry) not long ago to apologize again and commit to making sure the case is properly handled going forward. Good guy. He impressed me, because so many professionals, including and maybe even especially attorneys, cannot accept or admit their own mistakes.

Attorney B, if someone asked me what you are like, I’d say you are a true professional. Mistakes happen, even bad ones. The question comes down to how they are rectified. It’s kind of scary for all of us to have reached this particular point in this particular case, but you got Sherry redirected in the right direction. You ate your humble crow pie like a man. Frankly, you’re an inspiration to me, a guy who has to eat humble crow pie more than your average dude because of my own gregarious and informal personality.

The nice ending to this is that Sherry goes home after a long week of working hard, snuggles up with her man and a glass of wine, and can rest easier, knowing that her advocates are going to bat for her and making headway. Three cheers to good people all around.

Now for my own glass of wine….