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.
If there is or ever was a “war on women” in America, it was lead and perpetrated by Hillary Clinton and her many supporters, men and women alike, and the media sources who went along with her.
When the most powerful man in the world, Bill Clinton, sexually assaulted, blackmailed for sex, sexually harassed, and coerced dozens of women from Arkansas to the White House and back again for sex, who defended him?
When there were a dozen easy opportunities to make an example of sexist, cruel, abusive behavior, who stood in the way?
And Hillary Clinton did not just block justice. She also impugned the reputations of her husband’s many victims. She attacked them, disparaged them, damaged their reputations, made them out to be the aggressors, the ‘sluts’, etc. Not once did Hillary Clinton defend these poor female victims from her predatory husband. Not once did she stand up for these women’s rights. Not once did she stand up against the evil patriarchy perpetrated by her husband.
These innocent, vulnerable women had the entire Clinton Administration and their media supporters slander them, undermine them, shortchange them, mis-report their facts, under-report their facts, and plain make sup stories about them.
Hillary Clinton sacrificed many innocent women in her own quest for power and money. Hey, a few eggs have to be broken in order for Hillary Clinton to make (not earn) $2,777 per minute, you know? That is her cost of doing business.
Apparently the self-designated women’s rights organizations that would be so quick to jump on a sexist man could not bring themselves to criticize either of the Clintons. So these feminist groups, too, were aiders and abbettors of the Clinton War on Women. All for convenient, cheap political gain, as measured by the absence of political loss. So much for standing on principle!
So whenever you hear about some “war on women,” you know exactly where it started: Hillary Clinton, her sexist, sexually harassing husband, and her allies. The hypocrites.
With all these “wars” going on, you know, against poverty, drugs, Liberalism’s war on individual rights and liberty, Hillary Clinton’s war on women, it is hard to find room for one more.
But yes, there is another war going on, and it is purposefully un-reported by the mainstream media, for evident political reasons.
That war is the war on Christianity, in America, Europe, and across the Middle East.
Despite being the bedrock of American values and institutions, American Christianity in all its variations somehow turned into a target, somewhere in the 1960s. Those versions of Christianity offered as an acceptable alternative were far-left politicized versions with no basis in Christian texts, with Jim Wallis a good example. The modern day Quakers are another good example, as they are as America-hating, pro-tyranny, pro-totalitarian as any far-Leftist could ever hope for. These became the “good Christians.”
It is practically illegal to be a professing, witnessing, practicing Christian today in America. If you stand up for your religious rights, as guaranteed by the US Constitution, you are immediately labeled as a racist, a bigot, a mean person, a threat to others, and so on. You might even get sued for refusing to violate your own rights.
A wedding cake, wedding photography is somehow more important than religious beliefs.
Somehow, being opposed to the PUBLIC SUBSIDY of private birth control became another reason to hate Christians. Do you recall Sandra Fluke, the young lady who demanded that the public taxpayer pay for her to avoid pregnancy? Why Sandra Fluke just could not engage in abstinence, engage in behavior that would not lead to pregnancy, or pay for her own birth control were all public policy questions to which lots of Christians had the common-sense answers.
But because they are Christians, their common-sense views were somehow unacceptable, an establishment of religion…yeah, right. Christians founded America and wrote the laws that protect minorities. It is the Biblically-inspired US Constitution that was designed to protect minorities. The worst faults of America’s Christians pale, pale, pale in comparison to the depredation, cruelties, mass murder and sadism practiced by “liberated” minds in Fascist and Communist countries, which is to say, most of the world.
Across the Middle East Christian refugees are increasingly fleeing their ancient homelands in the face of Islamic supremacism. To its credit, the mainstream media is slowly reporting an increasing number of insane incidents of “convert-or-die” experiences these believers face at the hands of their Muslim abusers. There are many more Christian refugees from Muslim lands than there were “Palestinian” refugees seventy years ago, but who do you hear about day-in, day-out?
In Europe, Christianity is all but dead, having been relegated to the shadows of cultural and political life, its own leaders having embraced their own demise as the ultimate symbol of self-sacrifice. Britain is home to Anglican leaders who openly endorse the use of Muslim Sharia Law in lieu of British law in some areas. That is, the supplanting of British law by Sharia law. Bizarrely, when Christians object to the removal of Christian-based law, in favor of Islamic law, they are accused of being bigots. Said another way, British Christians are being forced by their own leaders to accept the imposition of another religion, or face accusations of sticking up for their religion…
This is the “logic” of the Left, and it is utterly illogical. At best it is morally relative, if not morally bankrupt. For to give up equal protection under the law in favor of Sharia-approved brutal family honor killings of young women, even little girls, by fathers and family members, is to turn Western Civilization upside down.
This is why American Christians must rediscover their roots, rediscover their original texts, rediscover their traditional prayers, and simple values, and re-assert themselves politically. America is depending on Christians.
Western civilization was primarily built by Christians, and if they abandon it, the whole enterprise will come crumbling down.
Onward, Christian soldier.
Obama has gone rogue.
He is on a lawless tear across American borders, shipping in, trucking in, and flying in people from other nations who have not gone through the most rudimentary health or criminal background checks. This is a painfully obvious effort to change America demographically, and politically, without the acquiescence of the American citizenry.
While truckloads of people from other countries are brought in daily under federal guard without any scrutiny whatsoever, actual tax-paying American citizens are subject to NSA spying and IRS legal harassment, and a Department of Homeland Security that has become America’s standing domestic army ready to pounce on anything minor.
Posse Comitatus prohibits the use of military forces on domestic soil, for an obvious reason. But never mind all that – if you have a Land Rover that might or might not comply with US EPA smog regulations, truckloads of armed DHS agents will descend upon your home to quarantine that vehicle. Look it up. It just happened. Great use of taxpayer money!
Is this the role of government? Not before now, it wasn’t, and it probably should not be the role ever again. America will end this little Soviet Union experiment one way or another. It will be remembered as Obama’s War Against America. The “re-making of America” he bragged about has been a catastrophe, a loss of personal liberty on a titanic scale.
Incidentally, who was not surprised that Obama took the side of Hamas, and demanded an immediate, unilateral ceasefire by Israel? Only Hamas would benefit from that, as it would leave Israel with no security and Hamas with the ability to bomb and murder Jews as much as they want.
And just the other day, Obama actually claimed that Muslims built America.
I know Obama is like the messiah to a lot of people, but aren’t you beginning to wonder who and what he really is? The guy loves Islam so much, and hates Christianity and Judaism so much, that he is engaged in a war against America, and apparently also Israel. He gives crazy Islamic countries and actors like Iran and Hamas free passes over and over. He says crazy things for finger-in-the-eye propaganda purposes.
Forget what Obama says, watch his actions. At some point Americans will wake up and see this fraudster for who he is: A power hungry tyrant at war with America. At war with you, and your family.