Thursday, December 08, 2005

Still At Large, article from Russ Diamond

See the comments for an article from Russ that has a fun twist to the state pay raise that has been revoked.

Meet the activist and author at a county-wide Christmas Party, event at 7 pm on WED. Dec. 21 at John Harvard's Brew House in Monroeville. Be there if you can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Still At Large
Russ Diamond, PACleanSweep Chair

Late on a summer night, a band of marauders assaulted the oldest member of our community. They'd been harassing the victim virtually unnoticed for years, but this time they got caught by outraged passersby.

The band was led by a handful of leaders, cheered on by over half the group. While some members averted their eyes or looked on in silent dismay, none took any steps to halt the attack.

This gang had a previous run-in with the law, but received a shocking "not guilty" verdict just weeks earlier. It was rumored the judges had been bought off and their verdict may have emboldened the marauders.

At the crime scene, the citizens protested loudly. When the gang's leaders finally looked up from their battered victim, daylight had arrived and nearly the entire populace had gathered to confront them.

The citizens took stock of what they saw. It just wouldn't do to allow this gang to get away with it again. When the judges came to the scene, they too were pushed into the center of the crowd. The people demanded an end to rampant lawlessness.

The leaders mostly refused to talk, but were astonishingly arrogant when they did. Their supporters tried to rationalize the attack. Some members later expressed remorse, but too much time had passed and the citizens doubted their sincerity.

The people tightened their circle around the attackers. One of the judges was summarily disposed of. The leaders of the gang finally capitulated. It started with one, but from there they fell like dominoes.

They apologized profusely. They claimed their attack was merely a mistake of poor judgment. They even tried to feign concern for their victim, the PA Constitution. They believed all would be forgiven if they only repealed the pay raise.

Pennsylvanians now must serve as a jury for this gang. The trial will run until at least May - and quite possibly November 2006 - but they're still at large in Harrisburg. Should we allow this bunch to continue governing at all?

They've repealed the pay raise, but they've done nothing to bring the process closer to constitutionality. They could strike again tomorrow. They're now looking at issues which have far greater implications than any mere pay raise. Do we really trust them?

We must also consider their accomplices. Members of the judiciary have taken action to undo the repeal. The Governor needs to come clean about his role. Those who choose party over Pennsylvania in the coming months and those who refuse to vote at all will be aiding and abetting the incumbents. Those who fund incumbents are their enablers.

Ultimately, we the people are to blame. The Constitution is ours to enforce, not theirs. We failed to pay attention while this group was congealing as a unit. We either avoided the polls in droves or had blind faith in the endorsements of political cronies. Some of us have become addicted to taxpayer dollars and cringe in fear of losing an inside connection to our "fix."

Change is not always comfortable - in fact, it can be downright uncomfortable at times. But bold change is exactly what's needed in Pennsylvania to fix our broken government and the broken electoral system keeping it in place. Positive change should not be feared, but warmly welcomed.

We, the jury of citizens, need to return a stern verdict on May 16, 2006 and follow through with equal exuberance on November 7, 2006. Free, fair and vibrant elections are what first made America - and Pennsylvania - great. Our decisions next year will determine if our Commonwealth can become great once again or continue to suffer at the hands of an arrogant ruling class.
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