The other day a cop stepped out in front of my vehicle and motioned me to pull over.
“Explosives checkpoint,” he said, leaning into the truck cab and looking around.
“Got a driver’s license?” he asked.
Policemen stood all around, serious faces, thumbs hooked into gear belts, a dog, a strange looking machine pointed at the truck.
“Sure,” I said, digging through my Benjamin Franklin replica wallet for the ID. “Anything to help you guys.”
And I meant it, even while I did not like being pulled over for nothing. It feels like a police state. And we hunt. The truck is full of high powered rifle rounds, shotgun shells, tools, knives. What happens if the police find these things? They’re not explosives, but in the context of their search, they might be alarming.
And consider that the bumper has NRA stickers, Don’t Tread on Me, etc. My politics might be provocative. Who knows where that can lead.
A couple minutes later, a different officer walked over to the cab, handed me my license, and said thanks. He apologized for the inconvenience. We made chit chat about our kids, the high cost of college, and other stuff.
We parted ways on friendly terms.
Was I profiled?
Was it my pickup truck? My conservative stickers? My tough guy appearance?
Do they think I’m a “domestic terrorist”?
Should I get mad about this? Riot? Burn down my neighborhood?
I went and ate lunch. And forgot about this uncomfortable moment until now. Nope, I never took it personally
Muslim terrorists beheading people with kitchen knives don’t survive in a vacuum. They don’t spontaneously appear from thin air.
They come from Muslim communities, Middle Eastern and Western. They have tremendous support across great swathes of a 1.2 billion person population. They are, in fact, executing and implementing Islam exactly as the Koran demands.
That’s why there is no Muslim peace movement. It’s why there is no Muslim demonstration for Israel, Christians, or Yazidis. There are no Muslim-on-Muslim rumbles over jihad.
Instead, there are quiet supporters, indifferent bystanders, and active participants.
Reporter James Foley traveled to Syria to talk about the civilians there. Their challenges. Their aspirations. He was inclined to report on the daily atrocities by Assad’s forces and he was inclined to overlook the revolutionaries’ own barbarity.
Nonetheless, Foley was representative of Western civilization, so the Islamic activists took him prisoner, beat him, mistreated him, and finally cut off his head on video.
I watched his video. Foley was brave, even as his murderer lifted his chin and began sawing away with a knife. He tried to yell as the knife sliced deeply through his neck, it seems as a last act of defiance, because he still did not struggle. The video ends with James’ bloody head placed on his back besides his cuffed hands.
If you’re not phobic about this behavior, then there’s something wrong with you. Being phobic about Islam is a natural reaction among those who love life, justice, fairness, kindness, gentleness, mercy, and brotherhood.
Being called an “Islamophobe” is no bad thing. It means you’re a sane person of good values. You stand for goodness above evil. Any normal American would be an Islamophobe; there’s zero in common between Islam and America. Nothing. Zilch.
I am an “Islamophobe,” like James Foley, God rest him, a brave American.
About four years ago, Pennsylvania state government created a new regulation setting aside 150-foot buffers on waterways classified as High Quality and Exceptional Value.
This means that 150 feet from the edge of the waterway up into the private property, it’s designated as off-limits to most types of disturbances.
The purpose was to protect these waterways from the effects of development.
The end result is an obviously uncompensated taking of private property by the government. When the government takes a tape measure and marks off your own private land and says you can’t do anything with this huge area, or a road is going through, you’re simply taken advantage of. You’re robbed. It’s Un-American. It’s unconstitutional.
Pennsylvania is a great state. I love living here. It’s saddening to see such top-down, command and control, clunky, one-size-fits-all regulations in this day and age. We can do so much better than this approach.
To start, create incentives for landowners to go along. Give tax credits and write-offs for land taken by government.
Do we all want clean air, soil, and water? Sure. Breathing, eating, and drinking clean air, food, and water are necessary to surviving. But that’s not the question.
The question is HOW we pursue those goals.
Requiring American citizens to simply give up their investments, with no compensation, creates losers in a system that was originally designed to make everyone a winner.
Instead of pitting government against the citizens, we need policies and laws that help and serve citizens, that are fair to citizens. That is by definition good government.
This current 150-foot buffer regulation is by definition bad government.
It is a fact that forest owners and land managers are increasingly engaged in a gunfight of sorts with noxious invasive weeds. Ailanthus, mile-a-minute, multiflora rose, barberry, Japanese honeysuckle, Russian olive, Asian bittersweet, Angelica, and new non-native invasives are in many ways taking over and altering Pennsylvania’s native forest.
If you think this sounds like a bunch of environmental hooey, then stop using paper goods right now. No more toilet paper for you!
Paper is a product of pulp trees like black birch and red maple. Once upon a time, these two aforementioned tree species were the scourge of well managed forests. With little seed to feed wildlife, and little valuable wood to make furniture or flooring, these trees displaced the oaks, hickories, hard maples, poplars and cherries landowners have historically relied on to pay for their land and which consumers have relied upon for everything wooden they take for granted.
Now, the formerly “junk” trees we waged war against seem positively benign when compared to the newcomers. Foreign invasive weeds and trees not only bring nothing of nutritional value, nor anything of economic value, they rapidly displace those native trees we rely upon to feed deer, turkeys, bears, and on which America depends for furniture.
Herbicides like Glyphosate 41 have worked for me for many years. But I am now finding myself running around playing catch up with these pesty plants in too many places, more than anyone can keep up with. Like many others in my role, I feel like I am losing the battle. When I see yet another thicket of ailanthus and mile-a-minute, I feel like the guy who showed up at the gunfight with a knife – outgunned, helpless.
It is time to trot out the goats.
Goats eat pretty much everything, including the invasive plants we abhor, with relish. Goats are not cheap initially, but a $100 goat can earn its keep in displaced herbicide expenses in about three or four days.
Goats take more time to maintain than a spray pack and wand. At night they must be penned up, or they will be eaten by a bear or coyotes. They must be tethered in one place and then moved every few hours, or they can quickly damage the native trees and shrubs we want.
The big benefit of goats is that they can be eaten at the end of the project.
I will report back to you on the success of the goats at the gunfight.
If you get gasoline in New Jersey, you can’t speed up the process and put the gas in your car at your own speed.
By statute, only station employees can dispense gas.
Its called “Full Service.”
In ages bygone, that meant full service, as in oil check, tire pressure check, window wash. You’d tip the guy fifty cents. It meant something.
Try asking for those services today. You’ll get a laugh from the young Sudanese guy working the pumps. He moves at his own pace. Fast but not quick.
And so here you are, a hostage in your car, ready to pay, ready to leave, but by law stuck waiting on the guy at the service end of the spectrum.
It’s just a bit assymetrical. It’s not what you’re paying for. It’s not what you need, or want, or used to get.
But, by God, it’s what the government is giving you, and you’ll take it. Or else. Check out the reports of irate drivers serving their own cars gas. They actually get arrested. Big crime!
New Jersey is one of the most liberal states in America. Expect more models of the Garden State’s “full service” to creep into your life in nearly every aspect of your life.
This is freedom, redefined.
Dear fellow Americans, we got it good here. Summer time is for gardens, BBQ with friends, travel with the family, loafing by the pool, fishing, and so on.
Summertime in America is truly a serene time. We are blessed in this.
Don’t take it for granted.
The hoops and links and tethers that kept the world’s nations mostly stable over the past sixty years are broken. Entire arrangements of human life across enormous landscapes are changing. Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, all are in significant play. Iraq and Syria both have lost control of their borders.
Think this doesn’t effect you or your life? You’re wrong. Energy, trade, security, violent jihad, and more are all in flux, and changes are rippling across the globe.
America is a strong nation. Be prepared to be challenged, because it’s going to take all we have to succeed.
On that happy note, enjoy the hot dogs and cold beer!
Genocide in the Middle East is pretty much an ongoing thing, for hundreds of years, if not the past thousand years.
Recently there were a lot of loud marches in America and Europe, most of which involved violence and destruction. The protestors were against the right of self defense of one of the the Middle East’s oldest and smallest minorities, the Jews.
Where these protestors are today as Christians and Yazidis are ethnically cleansed by the hundreds of thousands in northern Iraq, by Muslim attackers, is a big question that must be answered truthfully by people of conscience.
Little kids, children of a few years of age clutching their one little baby doll, are being decapitated by Muslim men in the name of religion. Their fathers were lined up and executed over the past three days, their mothers raped and then executed in mass firing squad action. This is happening right now in northern Iraq, and there has been zero international outrage or action about it.
God knows, the Quakers and their paramilitary wing, the American Friends Service Committee, are such pure seekers of truth and peace, you would expect them to fly over there right now and throw their bodies in front of the Muslim bullets to save the Christians and Yazidis. Or at least to save their children. Or at least stage a protest in downtown Manhattan, or hold some peace vigil on a street corner in some town somewhere. But you would be wrong if you expected these people to actually do something beyond blasting America and Israel for imaginary crimes.
You see, genocide supposedly can only be committed by Christians and Jews, at least according to the UN and its leftist backers. Actual, real, measurable, documentable, visual, filmed, photographed, visceral genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by Muslims against Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Jews, Zoroastrians, and anyone else in the path of the “religion of peace,” well…..that’s…just…silence…….. There is no justice or even speaking up by the fake, self-anointed proponents of justice and peace.
Here is a question that a lot of people would like to see answered: When will there be a Muslim peace movement? You know, an actual group of Muslims who stand up and say “Not in our name!”
Don’t hold your breath waiting. The American and European Leftists are busy teaching Muslims how to focus their hate onto legitimate targets, as defined by the Left. It only involves a small amount of genocide, and the victims really, really deserve it.
It is all very Stalinesque, as we might expect.
Invasive plants like Tree of Heaven (ailanthus, a tree with orange seed pods that just seem to pop up around your property), Asian bittersweet (little vines that quickly become Tarzan-big vines), mile-a-minute, Japanese honeysuckle, Russian olive, barberry, multiflora rose, parasitic ornamental grape vines, and so on, are all becoming a huge problem in our forests.
Each of these plants displaces and suppresses native, helpful plants.
Out west, there are entire regions where it is actually illegal to have invasive weeds on your property. If the county conservation staff find those weeds on your land, you can be fined a lot of money. Why would property rights-driven Westerners embrace a law like that? Wouldn’t they pooh-pooh plants?
Because invasive weeds carry a substantial financial cost, people who make their living off the land have a healthy abhorrence of these bad plants. They are so quick to take over the landscape, and provide few to no benefits to people or animals.
Pennsylvania’s native forests are an important source of wildlife habitat, clean air, clean water, scenic beauty, recreation, and income. Yet, our forests are becoming increasingly overrun by non-native invasive plants and trees. Ailanthus is especially egregious. It got its start and continues to spread from public roadsides, where PennDot and the PA Turnpike Commission have failed to control it. The impact of ailanthus on our forests is becoming a real cost consideration.
It is time to have a public policy and a public agency work more seriously on the challenge posed by invasive weeds.
When Leftists debate, they often assert that the only reason someone has a certain perspective is because they watch Fox News.
Never mind that for every one Fox News there are twenty-five liberal news manufacturing sources, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and so on. Never mind that these legacy media are overwhelmingly dominant in creating, filtering, shaping, politicizing, and serving information to people. Never mind that these legacy media are each and every one an arm of one political party.
For liberals, simply invoking “Fox News” seems sufficient, to them, to refute whatever facts or arguments they object to.
Probably like a lot of other people, I do not watch TV. It isn’t that I don’t want to. Rather, I simply do not have the time. Rarely do I watch some PBS special, like Downton Abbey. I don’t think our family’s cable plan, as minimal as it is, even includes Fox News. So, no, I do not get my news from Fox News.
When I assert that Obama is a liar, it is because the man is a liar, as evidenced by the lies he says over and over. You don’t need a TV news channel to tell you that Obama’s false promise that Americans could keep their doctors and their health plans, if they wanted to, was a bold-faced lie to curry support for what he knew was, would be, and still is a hugely unpopular law – ObamaCare.
Other Obama lies about illegal immigration/ invasion, his administration’s illegal domestic wiretapping of citizens and journalists, his illegal use of the IRS to intimidate, blunt, silence, and even jail political opponents are all as plain as day.
What is frustrating is that Obama’s supporters are so doctrinaire, so blindly committed, so partisan, that they cannot or will not think for themselves. This willful ignorance is a first in American history. It exceeds mere partisanship. It is scary because it cannot be reasoned with. It is like a fire, burning everything in its way. And that I saw on TV, on “Wild Kingdom,” when I was a kid, and I knew even then it was dangerous.