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Yay, it’s county fair season

No matter where you live, it is county fair season.

County fairs everywhere are celebrations of community, family, simple pleasures, and simple, easy fun. That fun usually includes eating really naughty, high-fat, high-carb, high sugar food you would never, ever eat any other time of the year, like funnel cakes.

Yum!

If you get the powdered sugar on your funnel cake, don’t take it on a ride until you’ve eaten it, or you will have a white powder imprint of the funnel cake on your face or shirt. Guarantee it. The small-town carnival machines populating county fairs everywhere specialize in jerky motions to entertain the riders, and those jerky motions always catch people unaware, shoving their food right back into their face or chest.

The fresh smell of farm animals there for show mingles with the smells of the fried food, and it is an acquired taste of a smell, I must say.

Last night I was at the Perry County Fair, which I have gone to for years, out near Newport.

Volunteering at the Duncannon Sportsmen booth is a lot of fun, because I get to interact with the happy public, as they good-naturedly try their hands at small games of chance for a non-profit, educational purpose (the club). Such as, when a little kid lines up the little plastic crossbow loaded with the plastic dart, getting them to shoot it at one of the club members’ hat, instead of the deer target that will win them a soft (“plush”) toy. Laughs all around, as the club members good-naturedly take the abuse. The kid gets the toy anyhow.

One thing we are missing is a dunking pool. I’ll work on that for next year, because there are several guys I just really want to see get wet, in public. And no doubt, we could raise a lot of money with a dunking pool. The Duncannon Sportsmen money goes right back into Perry County, like local 4-H, Boy Scouts troops, volunteer fire and ambulance crews, etc. As my folks would say, the money is just making the rounds, going from one hand to another to another and eventually it finds its way right back to where it started. That right there is the essence of community, ‘all in this together’.

And that is probably my biggest enjoyment of local county fairs, including the Gratz Fair in northern Dauphin County, where I live: The sense of community, the ties that bind us all together. In a time of really fractious political rancor, pushed by the establishment media more than anyone (I mean gosh, have you noticed how all the mainstream media outlets have the same exact message, which is 97% hyperventilating and aggressively negative about President Trump, all the time?), isn’t it nice to get a breath of fresh air and hang out with your fellow citizens in an environment of fun and relaxation, away from all that noise?

County fairs are like a big family picnic, where long-lost cousins show up once a year. Friendly people you wouldn’t otherwise see or interact with, but now you do, and you enjoy it, because people are neat. And at county fairs, everyone just wants to have a fun time.

I like that.

 

Historic American Art vs. NAZI ISIS People

In the 1930s, the German NAZI party identified “degenerate” art that was supposedly representative of “degenerate” culture, officially unfit for Germans.

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, pottery, books, poetry, you name it, if it had any artistic value, the NAZIs scrutinized it carefully. And if that art did not match the NAZI’s new standards, then it was forbiddden, burned, destroyed, or looted and hidden away, to be ransomed and sold off to future buyers outside of the ‘culturally supreme’ Deutchland.

Entire museum collections and privately owned collections throughout NAZI-occupied Europe were looted, damaged, and or destroyed, because the art did not comport with the new standard these Ultra Germans had created. Priceless artifacts were lost forever, at best melted down for their precious metal value.

If you want to see the long-term impacts of this intolerant approach to art, use www.duckduckgo.com to search the phrase “nazi looted art,” and marvel at the sad results. Real Western culture took a huge hit from the neanderthal NAZIs, and the ill effects are still felt today.

Fast forward six decades to ISIS, the puritanical Muslim movement that uses extreme violence and sadistic cruelty to achieve political domination. A lot like the NAZIs, come to think of it.

ISIS has a thing against most art and even historic artifacts, if they do not fit neatly into the Sharia law that ISIS followers believe in.

Ancient Buddhist cliff carvings, imposing and inspiring…detonated into rubble, by ISIS.

Ancient Assyrian cities, buildings, from the beginning of recorded human history….bulldozed and detonated into shards of broken rock, by ISIS.

Important archaeological digs providing useful history, bulldozed by ISIS.

Entire churches looted of anything of immediate value, then burned down, by ISIS.

Entire museum collections either destroyed, or looted and re-sold on the international black market, by ISIS.

Fast forward just a few years to ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, etc., and now we have priceless American artifacts that belong to the public being outright destroyed by mobs from these groups.

Irreplaceable and beautiful bronze statues of long-dead generals and soldiers are being removed and destroyed either by street thugs enabled by big city mayors, or by the big city mayors themselves.

This is a war on history and art no different than the NAZIs or ISIS.

At the very best, this is simply the mistake of applying new understandings to old history.

Oh sure, the neanderthals claim that these statues are memorials to bad ideas, and sad times, and to some extent there may be some vague shred of truth in that. But to keep these cultural artifacts, these works of high art, is no endorsement of what they may have once captured long, long ago.

Rather, these statues are mute testimonials to our nation’s history, its struggles, and its triumphs. The fact that the Confederacy did not win, due to the intervention and huge sacrifice by hundreds of thousands of Caucasian men from the north, is the real story of these old monuments.

Today we have one American political party that is increasingly at open war with every basic value and idea that undergirds America, as it was founded. These public square symbols are caught up in that party’s war.

That political party has more and more officials doing cheap political stunts, like seizing old bronze statues in the public square, and declaring them “Cherem” (unfit, like ISIS does to the churches it burns), and culturally unfit, like the NAZIs did.

Frankly, there is zero difference between these mayors, and Virginia governor Terry McCauliffe, and the other totalitarian movements that preceded them, like the NAZIs, ISIS, and the Soviets (who tore down beautiful old Russian statues and replaced them with boring, utilitarian statues of Lenin and Stalin meant to project an intimidating political message).

Whether these mayors and governors act unilaterally and use publicly owned machines to take them down, or if they allow their allied street thugs from ANTIFA and BLM to tear them down, while the city police are ordered to make no arrests, it makes no difference.

In the end, these mayors and their violent street soldiers are no different than the worst people in history. But if they win, you can bet they will erect statues of themselves, glorifying their total transformation of America to…God knows what.

Now they are talking about destroying the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. No lie.

I say we make a stand like a stone wall to protect this historic American art, and stop this insanity, stop this assault on America, by these modern day NAZIs and ISIS thugs.

Brown Shirts on the march…Who will meet them face to face?

Across America, especially at tech giants like Google and Facebook, and at university campuses, the brown shirts are on the march.

The original Brown Shirts were the early street thugs used by the Nazis to take control of German society in the 1920s and 1930s, from the streets to the families who walked on the streets, all the way to the top of the government.

Once in power, the Nazis imposed draconian speech and behavior codes, cowing the citizenry into obeying even the most horrendous, cruel laws that followed. Do we need to delve any deeper into the history of Nazism, and their mirror image, the Stalinists of Russia, to understand what is actually happening here in the Land of the Free?

Well, yes, you might take the time to read up on that history, because it is repeating itself here in America, with these “speech codes” at Google, Facebook, and college campuses.

These speech codes are often nebulous, hard to define, and aimed at eliminating the mere questioning of an extreme political and cultural perspective. Speech codes are purely political in purpose.

Both Facebook and Google have been in the news recently for summarily firing employees who even dare to question the politically correct beliefs at each company, who merely question the brown shirts values and behavior.

Another example is Ms. Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State. Because she politely declined to make a custom floral arrangement for a same-sex marriage. She did this because of her religious faith. Agree or disagree with her, this is her right, but the ACLU and the State of Washington are using lawfare to drive this nice grandma into poverty. These two lawsuits against her, both commercial and personal lawsuits, one private the other “official,” are designed to crush this woman’s right to free speech and religious faith.

You would think Grandma Stutzman is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, but to the brown shirts at the ACLU and those running Washington State’s government, they don’t care. What they care about is driving Grandma into submission, and gaining control of America through intimidation and threats of lawsuits that can bankrupt people for living a Christian life.

And you say there oughtta be a law! Well right there is a good example of where America needs a law, to stop these kinds of punitive, fake lawsuits.

Maybe the best example of the worst speech code is the assertion of “white privilege,” the single most racist statement you will encounter in a full year of your life. This ugly example of racism sums up all of the other, gentler version of speech control, and you can go find videos of people physically assaulting “white” people because of the color of their skin, because that skin color is inherently evil, and bad, and…racist.

Yes, the irony of beating people with the wrong skin color is lost on the people who are doing it, those being the racist members of racist groups like “Black Lives Matter.”

Even if you are not physically beaten, if you do not obey the speech code, then you are shamed, bullied, fired, expelled, and personally destroyed. Or at least people will try.

Recall that about six years ago here in Harrisburg, a non-profit “environmental” organization called PennFuture tried to get a local meteorologist fired from his news station, because he had the audacity to disagree with PennFuture’s assertion about climate change (well, back then it was “global warming”).

This is thuggery, pure and simple.

And just like the Brown Shirts did on Kristallnacht, American brown shirts go on violent, destructive rampages from Missouri to New York to Berkeley, California. This is also thuggery.

On the flip side, try to imagine a large group of conservative Americans similarly forming up to express their political views through the use of street violence, and public shaming, and firing, lawsuits, and personal destruction. This group would be roughly the size of the existing organized speech code groups like BLM and its friends, about 30,000-50,000 active activists.

This conservative group would be highly coordinated, highly organized, with well-implemented transportation anywhere in the country, ready to go where needed pretty quickly.  Just like the BLM, Code Pink, Occupy and other paid activists groups.

Just think about that, and ask yourself how such a group would be portrayed in the media. It wouldn’t be positive, that’s for sure!

And yet we do in fact have a highly organized, increasingly armed, well funded leftist militia engaged in controlling speech and behavior across America, working hand-in-hand with the media. Right now they are pretty much unimpeded.

The Brown Shirts are truly on the march, right here, right now.

Question is, what are we going to do about it?

Who is going to go meet them face to face, nose to nose, to defend our Constitutional republic?

UPDATE August 11, 2017: Last night, while reading a positive Washington Post article about violent anarchists, it occurred to me that something is in the air here. If a little-known blogger in Central PA is writing about it, and then the Washington Post is promoting it, then this is a timely subject. The Washington Post article was full of beautifully staged photos of the black-clothed anarchists, obviously trying to make them more personable, more understandable. In this article, everyone on the streets who is not an anarchist is repeatedly described as “right wing,” though none of the leftists, liberals, etc are ever described as left wing, though the Washington Post needs no analysis to uncover its hard-left bias and purpose. Legba Carrefour is photographed with a wooden baseball bat over his shoulder, posing like a badass tough guy. Whether he is or is not (I say he is not) a true tough guy, or if he only pretends to be a tough guy when he is surrounded by hundreds of rampaging violent packs of fellow fools, it is not important. What is important is that America has a growing problem with violent Brown Shirts clad in black, and their enablers all the way up to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Barack Obama, all of whom say nothing negative about these violent thugs, but actually seem to encourage them. Meanwhile, on the other side, we have RINO Republicans everywhere at every level engaged in influence peddling, using government to enrich themselves, and essentially blocking patriots from safeguarding America.¬† Something has to give way.

UPDATE August 13th: If the awful violence in Virginia is any indication, the crazy, violent left has managed to provoke the right wing crazies, who for decades have been an embarrassing and irrelevant speck of dust on our national political stage. They are the other side of the Black Lives Matter coin- racist, ignorant, and spoiling for a fight. Until now, no one bothered with them, because they were meaningless. Intriguingly, Virginia governor Terry McCauliffe refuses to rebuke or condemn BLM or any of the other violent leftists who attacked police, peaceful protestors, and white bystanders long before the biggest violence broke out. McCauliffe is only condemning the two dozen Nazi flag waving idiots and the murderous guy who drove his car into the communist flag waving idiots who attacked his car. To Governor McCauliffe, violence is only bad when it’s not his people doing it. It’s just fine when his people do it. ¬†President Trump correctly identifies all racism and all bigotry and all violence as unacceptable. And so we see what force is behind most of the political violence in America now: radical anarchists and their sore loser Democrat enablers. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are just as responsible for this violence as the goons in the street, because they could easily call for it to end. Although now I’m starting to wonder if they could reel it back in, even if they wanted to. They’ve set a forest fire decades in the making. Can anyone put it out….?

UPDATE August 15, 2017: As the actual facts begin to trickle out, mostly in the form of video of the march and the violence, and review of official Charlottesville city documents, one thing is clear: The mayor created the conditions for the violence to happen. The mayor knew exactly what he was doing when he arranged to have the previously permitted kook right march moved from Emancipation Park (formerly Robert E. Lee Park) to an open area, so that the kook left would surround the marchers on all sides. Also, the city police were instructed to contain the kook right marchers and only allow them to exit by walking through the violent throng of Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA thugs surrounding them. This meant that no matter what, physical contact between the two sides was guaranteed. On top of this, the city police were instructed to not make arrests. So the net result is a city administration that coordinates with street thugs and its own police force to bring terrible violence upon peaceful protestors. The neo-NAZI marchers may be morons, but they have a right to march peacefully, which they were doing until they were attacked by the moron leftists. The mayor is an accessory to the murder of the woman, and the US Justice Department should bring charges against the mayor for his direct role in guaranteeing violence and the suppression of the permitted marchers’ civil rights.

And even more to the point, the mainstream media has continued to act as a partisan political arm of one political party. I saw a screen shot of CNN actually writing “Trump defends racist marchers,” which is a complete and total lie. At a certain point these attacks on Trump are an attack on the political process, because these are undocumented political contributions to a political party. The Federal Elections Commission needs to start documenting these political contributions by political organizations formerly known as “media” and “the press.”

And even more to the point, where on earth are Obama, Clinton, and Sanders? Why are they not denouncing the leftist violence? Do they really want street battles reminiscent of Weimar Germany, when the kook left Communists and the kook right NAZIs battled each other across the country? Do we really want that kind of political instability? Dear liberal friends: You really do not want this kind of instability.

It’s berry season!

For about 150,000 years we humans have been hunter-gatherers, living a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle that follows the migrating animals and the growth of plants our bodies can eat.

Edible plants were a huge component of hunter-gatherer food, easily dried and carried, many of them lasting well into October and November after plants have gone dormant in most places. Unlike meat, dried edible plants do not easily rot, or attract nibbling animals.

Among edible plants, fruits and wild berries reign supreme.

That is because fruits and berries contain an unusual mix of carbohydrates, sugars, minerals, and vitamins, all of which are necessary for survival. Especially vitamin C, a crucial ingredient in a healthy human body (think scurvy).

The fact that wild berries taste especially sweet and supplement other foods with extra flavor is a big draw.

Sweet-tasting foods rarely occur in Nature.

Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, wineberries, and many others grow abundantly here in Pennsylvania and across the Eastern US.

Plains Indians like the Lakota, Pawnee, and Comanche made a mix of red meat and berries called pemmican. Ripe berries were turned into a big mush and then worked into meat strips. Usually the mixture was dried on wooden racks in the open air and sunlight, and the dried slabs and sticks were then put under the horse saddle to be worked and broken down into what we would call jerky today.

“Jerky” gets its name from the gentle jerking motion of the horse saddle, as horses step forward. The motion slowly breaks down the meat fibers, making them easily chewed and digested.

So here we are, a bunch of sedentary Americans, mostly eating out of cans and bagged frozen foods.

One antidote to this somewhat unhealthy arrangement is to go outside and do stuff.

Hike, walk, sit and read or sit and chat with someone face to face, fish, canoe, grill out, etc., so many easy outdoor activities.

A really easy outdoor activity is berry picking. Sure there are some thorns, but so what. The benefits are fresh, delicious, healthy berries that are not sprayed with chemicals, or bagged in plastic bags, or frozen. The whole family can do it. Go find a field edge, and bring some hard containers, and start picking.

Humans have been berry picking in that Summertime window of opportunity for a really long time. So long that it can be measured in ice ages come and gone, ice sheets advancing and retreating. That is a lot of years.

If we have been doing that activity for that long, you know it is good and natural. That the whole family can do it, and then make pies together afterwards, makes it all the better.

Just watch out for poison ivy!