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Best time of the year

November through January is the best time of the year.

“It’s Christmas in November, December AND January,” say my fellow outdoorsmen.

From small game in late October  to archery for deer, to the current bear season and then rifle season for deer next week, and then trapping season, it’s nonstop action.

With the nonstop political drama and annoying ankle biting behavior of certain partisans representing themselves as news reporters, we can all use a break. I have been enjoying a break. Friends and family hanging out together, eating together, hunting together, and then hanging out again in comfy relaxation, it’s really an unusually best time of the year.

Under no other circumstances can or will so many people take off from work, drive long distances, and see old friends, as we do now. Maybe a big high school reunion will draw in a lot of disparate people from far and wide. But we do this hunting bit every year.

Santa brought us snow early. The better to hunt and track in. The better to hover around a warm fire from. Thank you, Jolly old Chris Cringle!

Everyone enjoy your winter!

 

Why California burns

Year after year, Americans are treated to images from California of flaming cars and zillion-dollar homes either burning down to the ground or sliding down canyon walls like toboggans on ski slopes.

No, these images are not from Hollywood movie sets designed to create fake images. These are the real thing, a hell on earth environment does in fact happen as badly on the ground each time we see it from afar.

Why these fires happen is right now subject to some debate, which does not make sense, because their explanation is very easy to understand.

No, President Trump did not cause these fires because his administration’s budget cut the fat off of some bloated California line item cost passed on to Americans everywhere. What a silly thing to say; it is just more “Trump did it!” goofball politics stuff.

No, “climate change” did not somehow cause these fires or the damage resulting from them. That would be impossible. Again, this is just silly politics stuff.

And no, sorry President Trump, these fires are not necessarily happening because California is mismanaging the forests there. That accusation would be correct for a lot of other Western areas, like Colorado, but I am sure that it does not apply to Malibu, California.

It is a fact that much of California’s landscape is a fire-based ecosystem, where wildfires are a constant, expected, and necessary part of the area’s natural cycles. Not only do the plants and trees there burn easily, some of them actually require fire in order for their seeds to germinate. For example, both redwoods and sequoias, two hugely famous trees that grow along California’s coast, have pine cones that will not open unless they are subject to fire. Without fire, these two tree species will not naturally regenerate. They evolved in a fire-based ecosystem.

Humans have built widely in this natural wildfire zone, by choice and with a lot of fore-warning about what they can expect while living there. So it is a mystery why the humans there then run about wringing their hands and trying to blame politicians whenever there is a wildfire that burns down their poorly placed buildings. Serious wildfire is one of the few things they can actually expect to experience at least once a year, every year.

Additionally, the soils along the California coast are the absolute worst types of soil for building on. These are crumbly, loose soils that move around easily, often following gravity downward and carrying whatever humans have built on them along for the ride.

Think about it this way: New York City is famously built on bedrock, a great feature for standing still on a solid base when humans have invested billions of dollars on skyscraper buildings above. Coastal California soils are the exact opposite of New York City’s bed rock.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “[these] soils are on side slopes of hills and mountains. These soils formed in residuum and colluvium derived from inter-bedded shale and sandstone. Slopes are 4 to 75 percent.”

What this sciency lingo means is that these soils are loose and easily eroded. Moreover, fire temporarily reduces plants holding the soil together, and then water carries the especially but temporarily loose soil to the ocean. This is natural, it is how this area was created. Building on it is foolish.

A dear friend of mine owns a wonderful vacant lot in the heart of Malibu. Her large tract overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by very expensive futuristic homes. Despite this lot’s beauty, she hasn’t built on it yet, because it has been washed away several times and burned at least once. One night we were looking for her corner survey stakes, and we found them down the street. About two feet of soil had washed away in that rain storm; it was mass wasting, really. A home there would have gone along down the street.

Which begs the question: Why would people build homes in a wildfire-dependent ecosystem and on soils that are as slippery as wet soap and as solid as sand?

Well, there is another question, too, which is why are all those expensive homes built on the San Andreas fault? But we can’t answer that until The Big One rocks California to the bone (and we get to see if Californians have an ounce of self-reliance left).

More important, something is going on with the people who live in California. This ‘something‘ is not good, because they are living in a self-imposed fantasy land that does not want them to live there; it is trying to burn them out and flush their buildings into the Pacific Ocean. The people there know what to expect, and yet they do the wrong thing anyhow, over and over.

Watching them now trying to blame President Trump for their own poor judgment would be funny, except the political consequences are serious.

California: Beautiful place, fascinating geology and ecology.

Californians: Bad character, poor judgment, American taxpayer welfare queens.

UPDATE: A friend commented and pointed out that New Orleans is built below sea level next to the seashore, and that Miami is built on a sand bar in the direct path of most hurricanes, and that Phoenix, Arizona, is built in an arid desert with no water anywhere around. These are all similar examples of humans tempting fate and defying Mother Nature. Good luck with that. And yes, I do feel badly for the people who have been directly affected by the most recent fire around Malibu, Paradise, and other California locations. How could I not feel bad for them? It is a sad situation. But the message of this post is that humans cannot successfully defy Mother Nature. It just never ends well for either party, but unlike the humans, Mother Nature can almost always fix herself. Humans need better development planning.

Trump’s first Attorney General

Former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions left his job yesterday, and now America is finally about to have an actual Attorney General.

Yes, for two years former US Senator Jeff Sessions had occupied the office at the DOJ that has the plaque on the door that says “US ATTORNEY GENERAL.”

But Sessions did not really, truly act like an AG.

Sure, he distinguished himself by enforcing a lot of actual existing immigration law, something that Democrats now call “racist” because anything that prevents them from getting political power through unlimited illegal immigration is automatically “racist” (and as a result, that politicized crutch word has sadly come to mean almost nothing).

But overall, Sessions was MIA from the most contentious and serious issue facing America from Washington, DC, and that is the prior administration’s corrupt and evil use of official government positions and resources to try to eliminate their political opponents.

Upon confirmation to AG, Sessions had immediately recused himself from anything to do with the Mueller witch hunt, and had therefore gone AWOL on the most important ancillary work: Stopping the silent coup d’etat directed against the new administration from holdovers from the prior administration.

History books are full of colorful descriptions of the first FBI chief, J. Edgar Hoover, notorious for using the FBI’s incredible investigative and legal power for sometimes political and even personal reasons. Those history books use Hoover as the symbol of how NOT to run government. And yet, the past administration mis-used the FBI and the DOJ (and the IRS, and EPA and and and…) for political vendettas to try to cement power for just one political party in a way that would have impressed Hoover for its audacity and bald-faced partisanship.

Stzrok, Ohr, Rosenstein, McCabe and Comey are just a few of the names that have been publicly associated with the corruption of sacred law enforcement duties at FBI and DOJ. Surely there are many more names that will emerge now that Sessions is gone.

For example, deputy AG Rosenstein has steadfastly blocked a sitting president’s executive order to release the unredacted (blocked out) documents surrounding the fake “investigations” into political opponents. Anyone anywhere who refuses to do what their boss tells them to do is usually fired on the spot, but Rosenstein has been basking in the aura of a politicized department. Had Sessions done his job, the documents would have been made public long ago, and the American public would have been educated about just how corrupt the past administration was and has remained through its political hold-overs still sitting in government positions. This is all about to change, and the implications are enormous.

Now, the day after one of the most contentious and arguably important elections in American history, members of one political party are demanding yet more marches and violent civil warfare in public streets, because Sessions is now gone.

“Everything is a five alarm fire with these people. Trump hires Sessions to AG…take to the streets! Emergency! Trump fires Sessions…take to the streets! Emergency!,” writes one online commenter.

“These people are acting like we haven’t been putting up with this hoax [Mueller] ‘investigation’ for over two years…so according to Leftists, unless you roll out the red carpet for a rabidly over-zealous [and partisan] prosecutor to indefinitely skulk around D.C. trying to dig up ANY dirt on the President or someone willing to flip on the President in order to complete the Leftist coup…they should take to the streets and riot,” writes Doug S. in an online comment.

This call to take-to-the-streets-again comes from officials from the previous administration as well as currently elected officials aligned with the past administration. This looks like a last-ditch effort to block and cover up the incredible crimes committed by the past administration. If you believe in justice, then you don’t try to block justice. And if this week’s historically weak election of opposition to the sitting president means anything, it shows that the American people are on to the Mueller charade and its illegal role as political cover for ongoing corruption.

Matthew Whitaker, the new acting AG, reportedly shares none of Sessions’ qualms about acting as AG and doing the work that an AG is required to do.

And so, with our first AG in the new administration, America is about to see the rotten underbelly of the most corrupt and evil past administration in our nation’s great history, led by Barack Hussein Obama.

Election Blue Wave? More like a blur wave

Despite an embarrassingly partisan media’s best effort to concoct a “Blue Wave” Democrat Party – sweep of the US Election that thankfully, blessedly ended last night, what  really resulted is a ‘blur wave’.

A wave for sure, as there was a lot of change, but a blur, because a lot of seats in both parties flipped. This change is a blur, neither blue nor red.

True, the Dems take the US House, but not by a whole lot and only by winning a handful of congressional seats, each by the narrowest of margins, like a 1% difference. That is a split and very narrowly divided electorate.

And the Rs gained big in the US Senate, now holding a huge lead there, where they will continue to hold public hearings and confirm administration nominees with alacrity and uninterrupted.

Historically, mid-term elections result in a shellacking for the incumbent president’s party. That did not happen yesterday, not by a long shot. A very divided electorate likes President Donald Trump, a lot, and also allowed long-time incumbent politicians in both parties to both stay in hostile territory and get bumped off in friendly territory.

It is truly a mixed message.

No distinct color won. A blur wave resulted. Kind of how America was designed to operate.

Scoring cheap political points actually costs more than you and I can afford

Trying to score cheap political points seems attractive, because it looks cheap and low-cost. A lot of it has been going on lately, but it actually has a huge cost. It has a huge cost to everyone else as collateral damage victims, and in a just world it should have a boomerang cost on its progenitors.

Scoring cheap political points usually means ascribing blame or responsibility for something the object or person in actuality bears no responsibility for. In other words, it is cheap because it is wrong and unfair.

Over the past two years, attempt after attempt has been made by the mainstream media, and its one political party ally, to ascribe and pin onto Donald Trump responsibility for everything from bad breath to Muslim terrorism to dog bites to you-name-it, they have alleged it.

Most recently, cheap political points were attempted on Judge Kavanaugh, who was at first accused at the 11th hour of his nomination of having momentarily rough-housed as a teenager, 35 years ago, with a female classmate (Blasey Ford). From that one foggy accusation, foggy because Blasey Ford could not recall the date, the day, the time, or the place, and the people she called as witnesses all strongly disagreed with her, came a cascade of increasingly outlandish accusations. Suddenly on TV and news outlets everywhere, Kavanaugh was claimed by various activists and “news” personalities to have been a rapist, a serial rapist, and finally guilty of perjury.

None of this made any sense when squared up with the actual personal history of Judge Kavanaugh. No evidence was ever presented for any of it; it was all just hype and hysteria. It was just a cheap attempt to create a black cloud over Kavanaugh, over Donald Trump, because he nominated Kavanaugh, and over the GOP, because they controlled his future as a nominee. Now he is Justice Kavanaugh on the US Supreme Court, because none of the outlandish cheap political points added up to anything, and the American People didn’t buy the hype.

In that process, the Democrat Party leadership was almost universally revealed to be shameless whores, partisans willing to say and do anything to try to move the public opinion needle more into their favor. Even if it involved destroying the public’s faith in the carefully constructed political system that defines our unique nation.

Then there was the fake “attempted bombing” of a dozen leading Democrats and their financial supporters. Fake because none of the “bombs” were actually functional bombs. None exploded, and as far as we can tell from the information released, none of them could explode. The “bombs” were so outlandishly fake, and the whole effort was so outlandishly amateurish, and the facts were not in, and yet the Democrat Party again began trying to immediately blame Donald Trump, with some people actually saying that Trump ordered the bombs to be sent. Meanwhile, many Americans actually began blaming the Democrat Party for once again ham-handedly trying to gin up false sympathy for their increasingly tarnished brand, to move the public opinion needle in their favor.

And now there is something truly horrendous, a massacre yesterday, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of eleven elderly synagogue members simply praying to God and harming no one. A deranged lunatic anti-Trump Democrat walked in, screamed “All Jews must die,” and began shooting people.

Within hours, some leftwing Jewish organizations and individuals went into overdrive, using the innocent victims to try to score cheap political points against Donald Trump, the GOP, law-abiding American gun owners, Christians, and just about everyone else they disagree with on some political point or another. Some actually accused Trump of having created an atmosphere and environment conducive and even productive for this sort of attack, which is beyond over-reach. It is simply the same old hysteria we saw with the Kavanaugh smear and the fake bombs, except now resting on the backs of murdered Jewish people.

Out of this latest attempt at cheap political points, the most egregious example is the public statement from the very, very mis-named “Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition.”

There is zero about this group that is a coalition, as coalitions are generally made up of various different parts of groups or philosophies. The PJC represents the farthest left view and political aspirations that can be found in the American Jewish community. More than anything, this is a group of hardcore Bolsheviks; liberal Jews at war with free speech, democracy, capitalism, the US Constitution, lawful private gun ownership. Pretty much everything good that America is or has been, the PJC denigrates.

So, as one might expect, the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition statement on the Pittsburgh massacre tries to score cheap political points on gun owners and border security advocates, especially, and yet is so shrill and inflammatory that it crosses over into recklessness, because it is sure to paint all Jews with the same insane brush. Thereby inviting more pushback against all Jews.

Naturally, normal Americans are both horrified at the massacre and bristling with indignation that they had anything to do with it. By using the typical crybully tactic and attacking normal Americans and ascribing blame for the massacre to them and their favored politician, Donald Trump, groups like the PJC are alienating the very people they need to persuade. But, like the Democrat Party leaders, the PJC is willing to burn down their own broader community’s credibility in the pursuit of cheap political points.

Election Day, November 6th, cannot come soon enough. If God is just, it will be a day of reckoning and justice for the kooks that are intent on burning down America because they don’t control it.

It is time for normal Americans, the so-called swing voters, the Independents (and how I wish I could register as an Independent), to take note of who is really pushing America to the brink. To take note of who is really up-ending our otherwise calm and happy nation. To pay back in like political currency those who have refused to accept the legitimate results of November 2016, and who have sought to destroy America because they cannot control her.

I rarely advocate for voting straight party ticket, and I rarely do it myself. But this year, a big Republican win over the insane voices and destructive forces from the Democrat Left is necessary to demonstrate that there is a God, and that there is retribution for having used and abused the American People so badly.

Vote straight Republican, even if you never do it again in your life. Now is the time, this is the year.

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

Sen. Bob Casey’s record vs. his YouTube ads

If you are a registered Pennsylvania voter getting on to YouTube, you will probably be presented with several advertisements for and about US senator Bob Casey, Jr., who is running for re-re-re-re-election.

In these ads everyday people are happily, even cheerfully talking to the camera about how bi-partisan Bob Casey is. How helpful he is. He sits down with them and smiles into the camera, and says “We can work together!”

Contrast this sunny image with Casey’s do-nothing, radical left-wing record. Do-nothing in the sense that Harrisburg City officials cannot get Casey to even write a letter of support for basic project funding. Go ahead and call one of his offices yourself; see if you get a human being on the phone. Typically no one answers the phone, and no one answers your letters. This is a man who has completely checked out and simply occupies a space.

Radical in the sense that Casey has sided with the crazed, violent, obstructionist mob in Congress and in the streets of America over and over and over, publicly vowing to oppose every single Trump nominee, every single Republican – passed law.

This is not bipartisan behavior. It is the opposite of positive can-do attitude for American citizens. This is Casey being as starkly partisan and as difficult as he possibly can be.

And most important, what this means is that he is not representing the interests of the citizens he was elected to serve. Rather, Casey is just another Nancy Pelosi radical, serving some weird anti-America agenda that leaves behind every loyal, taxpaying citizen in favor of some law-breaking, border-jumping, illegal foreigner. All for his party’s quest for absolute power through registering illegal aliens as new voters.

Vote Casey out.

Send him a message that we want to be represented in Washington, DC. If he wants to represent the illegal aliens of other nations, then he can go move there, to those countries, and help them right there, where they live. Those of us who keep writing his paychecks are tired of Casey’s lies.

The Democrat Party left me, I did not leave the Democrat Party

Following the ancient dictum of “If you are conservative when you are young, you have no heart, and if you are liberal when you are old, you have no brain,” I was once a registered Democrat.

Long ago, in my early twenties.

True, I was from central Pennsylvania, where the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans (and everyone else) were barely noticeable. The Democrats were the union guys who worked in the coal mines, and a lot of farmers who depended on government crop insurance programs; the Republicans were the mine owners and managers, the small business owners.

But everyone drove the same pickup trucks with an American flag and an NRA sticker. Everyone was full-throated do-or-die patriotic over America. No question. Everyone owned guns. It was the odd home out there that did not have any guns, and in fact, I cannot think of any homes where I grew up that did not have at least a handful of firearms. At least one was a .410 shotgun kept by the back door for starlings, groundhogs, and crows in the garden. Guns were as practical as any other tool in the home.

So in 1988, I was the Al Gore for President campaign’s central Pennsylvania coordinator. Way way back in 1988, you know, before the last Ice Age, Al Gore was an NRA-endorsed, pro-life conservative. His party affiliation was almost irrelevant. He was my kind of guy. And he cared about the environment, in which I like to hunt and fish.

And then the creeping, seeping radical anti-America 1960s politics caught up with even the rural areas, including Tennessee, which then-Senator Al Gore, Jr., lost, after running for president as a kook-Left Democrat. Gore even lost his senate seat.

That is because by the early 1990s, most of America’s rural Democrats started becoming former Democrats, and abandoning the political party that had so suddenly abandoned them.

Fast forward to today, and the Democrat Party is not your grandfather’s Democrat Party. Gone is the patriotism, the pride in America. Hell, even the loyalty to America is gone.

Instead, the Democrat Party has now become a witch’s brew of treason, sedition, anarchy, political violence, lawless political opportunism, and blame-America-for-everything Marxism.

That political party now stands for illegal alien invaders over American citizen taxpayers; for illegal alien invaders over secure borders and secure families inside the borders; for sanctuary cities over the rule of law; for bureaucracy over freedom; for vague feelings of supposedly aggrieved groups over the Constitution’s guarantee of individual rights and liberties for everyone. And so on. There is very little to nothing that the Democrat Party stands for today that is good for America. Pretty much everything the party stands for today is anti-America.

I am pro-America. It is the best nation on the face of the planet, bar none. It has created the greatest amount of opportunity for the greatest variety and number of people of any nation in history. If this is not good enough for you, then America is probably not the right place for you. On the other hand, America is more than good enough for me; I worship America. I am staying here, and I will defend her.

I did not leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me. Hell, the Democrat Party abandoned America, completely.

 

 

George Scott: Fake Candidate for Congress

George Scott is a candidate for the local US Congressional seat presently held by Scott Perry, covering a large swath of Central Pennsylvania.

Both Scott Perry and George Scott are military veterans, and both were senior military officers.

And that is where their shared anything diverges.

After watching George Scott gleefully burn a .22-caliber small game rifle in a small bonfire (see screen shot below, and another screen shot at the end showing that George Scott removed his own self-damning video, because he doesn’t want hunters to know he is hostile toward them), which he incorrectly calls a “weapon of war,” I could only conclude that this man is unfit for service in any capacity, and it is a good thing he is no longer wearing the uniform of our nation’s military. What a shameful embarrassment.

George Scott advocates for a mandatory registry of every single gun in America, from the dinky .22 caliber rifle he burned to your average sporting shotgun and deer rifle. This means he wants to put government bureaucrats in charge of our Constitutional rights. When people say they want “common sense gun control,” like George Scott says, what they really mean is they are against private gun ownership altogether. His policy positions demonstrate that he is hostile toward gun ownership, even for hunting.

George Scott also wants to outlaw basic semi-automatic rifles that are the firearm of choice for coyote hunters across America, and which share a basic appearance, but not a mechanical ability, with fully automatic rifles used by the military.

When a military officer equates a basic hunting gun with a “weapon of war,” then you know this is a guy who either doesn’t know anything at all about guns, especially the guns he supposedly oversaw in the armed services, or he is simply hostile to the idea of private firearms ownership….Contrary to American history to date, to what the Second Amendment plainly says, and to what the US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled it means.

When a military officer takes an oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution, which George Scott did, and then he turns around, runs for elected office, and takes an official campaign position directly against that same Constitution, then the guy cannot be taken seriously. He is either clueless and unworthy of being in Congress, or he is a bald-faced liar, or a power freak and closet tyrant.

US military officers are supposed to trust and defend the American People, not use coercive government force to disarm them and then make them dependent upon government for their rights. That is no longer America, it is a dictatorship. Like many people, I remain leery of military men who do not think citizens should own guns. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao come to mind, as does Venezuela’s current socialist strongman, Maduro.

Whatever issues you may have with Scott Perry, and I think both liberals and conservatives are grumpy with him, one thing I like about Scott Perry is that he is the complete opposite of George Scott. In the sense that he is a stable and normal person, who says what he means and means what he says.

On the other hand, based on his own actions and public statements, George Scott demonstrates that he is unfit to serve. He is a fake candidate and cannot be taken seriously.

 

A few local signs that the economy is smokin’ hot

Me: “Hi. I would like to have Cleon make me log arch, one that I can hook to my ATV, that is stronger than the Chinese junk being sold everywhere, and that is less expensive than the crazy-priced LogRite arches.”

Lynette: “Josh, what is your time frame?”

Me: “Well, I can use it in a week, but two or three weeks is no problem.”

Lynette: “Here’s the thing about timing. Back in June, we were about to lay off one of the welders, but we put out bids on ten jobs, any one or two of which would have carried us through the year. And between last week and this Monday we heard back that we won every single one of them. So we will not only be retaining that junior welder, but we are now looking for about five more to help us meet our commitments. We might not be able to get to your log arch for a while, but one of the men will call you back later today.”

And then one of the men did call me back, with terms and a price that more or less said “If we are going to make this for you, then you are going to pay big for taking us away from our real work.”

Another sign that our local and regional economy is smokin’ hot: The log trucks, the pallet trucks, the lumber trucks on the roads EVERYWHERE and at all times of day.

Never before have I seen so much activity in just one business sector, as I am seeing now in the timber industry, except maybe in 2008 when the Marcellus Shale boom was indeed booming across Pennsylvania.

Log trucks are especially visible. How can you miss a log truck? It dwarfs every other vehicle around it, and looks incredibly incongruous. Log trucks have these huge wide open bays or bunks to hold the logs, and a boom arm with a claw for lifting up 6,000 to 10,000-pound logs. A log truck has about 5,000 board feet or more of medium to high grade logs of all types on it, heading from someone’s private forest to someone else’s mill. From there the logs will be carefully analyzed for grade, and either sold-on or sawn up on site. Hardwood lumber is used in flooring, cabinetry, and furniture, all of which when active indicate a strong consumer and home building economy. Even tulip poplar, once sold for pennies per board foot, is now used for couch frames and cabinetry frames.

At every timber job there are expensive machines at work, with drivers who earn enough money to support a family. And the loggers, guys born with a chainsaw in one hand and a rifle in the other, they cut down a dangerous tree every ten minutes, then lop it and move on to the next before choking up the logs and skidding them to a landing.

Then there is the landowner, who gets good money for something they did absolutely nothing to create.

The sawmills, whether small Amish mills or huge international mills selling hundreds of thousands of board feet per week, are beehives of activity. Every person working there is earning money, and spending money, and contributing toward the larger economic activity around them.

Say nothing of the new homes and kitchen cabinets being built, or of the beautiful hardwood flooring and furniture being made for those new homes. All from someone’s private forest.

The point is, these are just two small examples of how the economy is exploding, and how after many years of stagnation we finally get to do more than scratch out a living, but actually do well and pay for our kids’ questionable college “education,” buy new cars, take nice vacations, and set something aside for our later years, when we are no longer able to work so hard.

It really is a new day in America, and boy does it feel good. One gets the impression that this good feeling is widespread across America, with the sad exception of places in North Carolina and Florida, recently hit hard by hurricanes, and our hearts go out to the victims there. The one thing they can rest assured about is that the materials needed to rebuild their lives are on their way as I write these words, and they are America-made, and America-grown.