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Santa Fe School Shooting: Liberal Democrats Sacrifice More Kids on Altar of Gun Control

Another school shooting today, in Santa Fe, Texas.

Yes, a good guy with a gun stopped the shooter, and he could have been stopped sooner.

But stopping that shooter (and the next one) would require taking the kinds of concrete, proactive steps necessary to actually protect the students from harm. It is as easy as having police stationed in the school, or armed guards (including armed volunteers), or arming the staff and teachers who want to be armed.

And these options are all too pragmatic, too simple, too real for liberal Democrats, who reject them all. They would rather use this latest blood in the streets to promote their nation-wide civilian disarmament schemes, because what they really want is political domination over every American citizen.

In fact, sacrificing a few school students on the false altar of gun control is one of those unfortunate but necessary “breaking a few eggs to make an omelette” things that liberal Democrats desire, to achieve their political goal.

The more blood, the more emotion, the more fear, the more crisis, the more they can take advantage of people’s emotions and ram through laws that will do nothing to solve the problem, but which will advance liberal Democrat goals of civilian disarmament.

When the ten-year Clinton gun ban sunsetted in 2004, liberal Democrats admitted openly that it had done nothing to lower crime. But they wanted it reinstituted, nonetheless. The high cost of disarming law-abiding Americans won’t do anything to make schools safer, either.  So why demand this?

Liberal Democrats want absolute control over you and me, folks, and that is all. They do not want solutions. An armed citizenry is the ultimate block against the Democrat Party’s goal of full control of America; this is the “problem” they are really trying to solve.

If you doubt this, look at this phony, illegal “Russia collusion” thing: It is just “resistance” against the Trump administration by any means necessary – legal, illegal, unethical, immoral. Liberal Democrats reject results of elections they lose. They reject laws they don’t like or don’t write. They enable an unsustainable illegal immigration invasion and illegal sanctuary cities to recruit illegal aliens who they want to convert into loyal voters and artificial political dominion. They use the democratic process to achieve non-democratic results.

After the Parkland shooting, liberal Democrats had meetings, marches, protests. Lots of demands. Lots of brutal demonization of the NRA, of law-abiding gun owners, of gun manufacturers, even of the US Constitution.  In all of that activity, they would not address how their liberal Obama-era PROMISE program had caught and released the violent criminal Nikolas Cruz half a dozen times, so that he could finally follow through on his public promises to commit mass murder in his own school.

I am sorry for the parents of the children hurt and killed in Santa Fe, Texas. I am sorry for their parents, and for their teachers and school administrators, and friends. I feel very badly for them, and if they are angry about this, they need only direct their focus on the liberal Democrats and their henchmen (teachers unions) who have blocked all natural, logical, and effective means to preventing these shootings from happening.

Liberal Democrats love political power and gun control more than they love school students. Remember that the next time you vote.

Vote for the Boy Scouts tomorrow

While the Boy Scouts are not actually running for office in tomorrow’s primary election, the principles of that venerable American institution are certainly being voted on.

Voted on in the sense that there are candidates who are go-along get-along types, for whom holding elected office is a career, a business opportunity, an ego boost (let’s call all these types “swamp dwellers”).

And then there are candidates for whom holding elected office is a sacred duty of service to one’s fellow citizens. These candidates stand on the bedrock principles that founded America and which make it great. These principles are bound up in the fabric of our institutions, like the Boy Scouts, which taught those values and ideas (self-reliance, accountability, community).

Last week about eight people on the national board of the Boy Scouts of America voted once again to give in to extremist demands aimed at gutting everything the Boy Scouts stand for.

This time this small handful of people voted to change the name of the Boy Scouts to just “Scouts,” paving the way for an undefined, politically correct, genderless soup standing for vague good feelings. Maybe. At the cost of boyhood.

As one might expect, those Americans with the greatest connection to the Boy Scouts as founded have now begun to officially withdraw from the “new” organization. The Mormons were right up front in their abandonment of the sinking ship. Good for them. My own son just found out about it last night. After seven happy years in the Boy Scouts, he said “I do not want to do this, I do not want to participate in this. This is not what I signed up for.”

How incredibly painful.

The gutting of the Boy Scouts is symbolic of the leftist ailment we are experiencing across America and the liberal civil war being forced upon all normal and good Americans.

Those representatives who are supposed to be on the front line, defending us from constant assaults, are actually AWOL or worse, whether they are elected in politics or sitting on non-profit boards.

Across America we see people get elected to office, and they have no intention of doing anything except holding that office. Or worse, using it for self-enrichment or cultural destruction. What is happening on the Boy Scouts board is exactly what is happening across America.

Tomorrow I will be working a voting poll, helping two candidates I like, for the simple reason I believe they are tough enough to stop our bleeding, stop our cultural deflation, good enough to use public office for public benefit. They are Paul Mango and Andrew Lewis.

Locally, here is who I will be or would be voting for:

Paul Mango for governor. Paul is a good guy, a US Army veteran, rated more conservative than his two opponents. Laura Ellsworth is rated as “Liberal,” and moderate state senator Scott Wagner has become the very swamp creature he said he was against.

Peg Luksik for Lieutenant Governor.

Andrew Lewis for state house. Andrew is a fine young man, a US Army veteran, with strong character. His opponent, liberal Adam Klein, is the very essence of the political establishment swamp destroying Pennsylvanians’ hopes, dreams, and rightful expectations.

Either George Halcovage or Scott Uehlinger for Congress, over Dan Meuser. Dan has so many issues, some of which have been listed on this blog, his candidacy is an example of why diligent citizen action is required to hold on to our government. Meuser is DC swamp through and through.

Both Lou Barletta and Jim Christiana are rated as “somewhat conservative,” and neither one impresses very much through some particular distinction. On the one hand, Barletta has earned a good name for himself on illegal immigration (i.e. protecting US taxpayers’ and citizens’ rights), while Christiana is a young go-getter. Either one will be superior to political careerist disaster Bob Casey.

Tomorrow, while I am voting for and supporting particular candidates as a volunteer poll watcher, I am inwardly doing it for the old Boy Scouts and everything they stood for.

I want my America back. I want the old-fashioned values  on which America was founded. I want the Boy Scouts back. Voting for these people above helps us move Pennsylvania and America in that positive direction.

 

Boy Scouts, Supreme Court, Mueller Witch Hunt: One Common Thread

In 1973, amidst an earth-shaking cultural civil war, a divided US Supreme Court legislated a patchwork interpretation of the US Constitution to create a heretofore unmentioned “right” to abortion-on-demand.

Irrespective of whether you agree with abortion on demand as a reasonable or moral policy, or you do not, there are three key facts from this incident that are important today.

First, it marked one of the major milestones in an increasingly legislative judiciary, taking for itself the creative duties Constitutionally assigned to the US Congress (House and Senate).

As constituted, the judiciary is simply supposed to render more or less Yes and No holdings on US laws, deciding whether or not they are Constitutional. Those that are not are supposed to be remanded back to lower courts or sent back to the legislature altogether. Our courts are not constituted to come up with their own ideas and substitute them for the ideas brought before them in lawsuits.

Laws and the ideas in them are supposed to begin and end in the Congress.

Second, in its decision, the Court did mental backflips and logical contortions to arrive at its holding, because nowhere in the Constitution or any of the Founding debate documents is or was abortion mentioned; nor was the legal process or thinking that the Court used to reach its conclusion.

Again, as a policy, one can agree or disagree with abortion on demand, but to reach into a top hat and pull out a new and arguably foreign concept, as the Court did, and declare it protected by the Constitution is really legal chicanery. It is not how American government is supposed to work.

Which leads to the third outcome: out of all this brazen behavior in Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court established a political and cultural precedent for illegal legislating and political meddling from the bench.

This behavior evolved the court system into a de facto government unto itself; all three functions – judicial, legislative and executive – housed in just one branch of government.

Housed with just a five-person majority on the Court.

This last result is the most dangerous to democracy, because it tested the American people’s credulity and patience. The outstanding hallmarks of American government are the separation of powers, the rule of law, and the idea that government legitimacy flows from The People, not from the government’s coercive power. To grant just five people absolute power over an entire nation is to throw America out the window.

Like their European Marxist counterparts, modern American liberals (progressives, Communists, ANTIFA, Socialists, Democrats, whatever) focus their efforts on acquiring power, on controlling decision making, on getting government-endorsed results, at whatever cost, in whatever way possible.

So, judicial over-reach is now a major liberal approach to implementing political change, and changing cultural norms for political decision making.

Thus, Roe v. Wade was not as much about abortion as it was about five unelected, unaccountable people wearing black robes making all policy and legislative decisions about all issues for three hundred and fifty million other Americans.

This behavior is as un-American as anything could be. It strikes a subtle but fatal dagger blow to the American heart, demanding fealty to the rule of law while suspending the rule of law. It really is a coup d’etat.

Several years ago the US Supreme Court did the same thing again with gay marriage as it had done with Roe v. Wade. Instead of begging off of that political issue, because marriage has always been a subject of local and state purview, the US Supreme Court took decision making away from the American People. It created a right that no one had ever heard of before, that flew in the face of thousands of years of human behavior, that should have bubbled up from the local level and worked its way through the legislative process to gain traction among a majority of the American People to give it legitimacy, a real organic cultural belief with roots.

But the Court circumvented all that messy representative democracy stuff, and just implemented the policy and cultural goal they wanted.

(And if you care at all what my opinion is about gay marriage, I don’t give a damn. Marry the adult you want to marry. Go ahead, live your life. Gather together a community or quorum or church or whatever imprimatur you think you need and get married under those auspices. But it is a mistake to demand that three hundred and fifty million other people accept your ideas at the price of their liberty).

So now America is undergoing the Mueller “investigation” of supposed Russian tampering and collusion with Donald Trump so he could win the presidency. After two years of looking, not one shred of evidence has been found, and there is tons of evidence of lots of illegal actions by the prior administration.

Nonetheless a highly coercive and obviously political witch hunt has emerged, with arch criminal Robert Mueller leading the charge.

Why is Mueller a criminal? Because he knows his cause is unjust and dangerous to democracy. He knows there is no evidence for the fake cause of his work. He knows that the FISA warrant upon which his work is based was obtained under very fake pretenses (the fake Clinton-created political “dossier” on Trump). He knows that everyone he has charged is totally innocent or innocent of anything having to do with Russian “collusion.”

Mueller withholds from Congressional oversight the investigation-enabling letter written to him by Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which began this witch hunt.

If Mueller believed in the integrity of his work and his mission, he would happily, willingly share the enabling letter with the American People. Transparency, right?

Mueller’s witch hunt is so utterly brazen because it demands the American People abandon their commitment to the rule of law, and instead swear allegiance to raw political audacity and the aggressive exercise of power.

Mueller’s attack on our democracy is criminal because it is the creation of coercive political power by sheer willpower and desire to rule, without a shred of legitimacy behind it. Robert Mueller is everything that America is not.

So therefore, Robert Mueller is a criminal, and he knows it. Mueller and his allies hope that the American People’s loyalty to even a flawed democratic process overrides their disgust at the blatant misuse of the process and their trust. It is a big gamble.

Last week the Boy Scouts of America formally changed their name to the “Scouts,” formally adding girls to the mix.

Just eight or so people on the BSA board of directors voted for this change. Demand for this change did not come up from the ground, from the grass roots, from the thousands of local Boy Scout troops and the associated moms and dads across America.

Rather, this huge cultural change was forced down upon everyone else by a very small handful of politically and culturally radical people.

They know they cannot persuade the Boy Scouts members to agree with this change, so like the other changes made on abortion, same sex marriage, and political election results, the decision is made “from above” and forced down on everyone else. It is just another coup d’etat foisted upon America by liberals.

While we would normally think of the Boy Scouts and abortion and gay marriage and election results being totally different subjects and areas, they do share one commonality.

Binding them all together is the Democrat Party’s war on democracy, its lust for power, its lust for political control and domination over all others, its wish for the destruction of all established norms and expectations so that their version of cultural change will be implemented. By brute force, if necessary.

(For those who care to know, I used to be a Democrat. Today I am a reluctant member of the Republican Party, and, like George Washington before me, I disdain all political parties as an occasional, temporary necessity.)

And from all this, liberals hope to “fundamentally change America” into a Socialist paradise like Cuba or Venezuela, or even like the failed and dead Soviet Union they revered.

Why? Because liberals do not believe in The People. They believe in power and control, period, and that is the common thread connecting all of these disparate issues and topics they are involved in. It is just now that these decisions and changes are so starkly contrasted with how America was founded.

I, for one, do not accept any of this behavior, nor the coup d’etats being attempted against our government and our culture.

People we miss, a lot: Paul Lyskava, Tom Hardisky

As I get older, more and more people I know are either widowed or divorced, develop cancer and succeed or fail at beating it back, or drop dead while gardening, walking, biking, or hiking.

It seems to me that there is little correlation between body type or apparent fitness and these unexpected deaths.

And worse, there seems to be little correlation between how good these people are in life, and how premature their death is.

“Only the good die young,” is the famous quip made more famous by Billy Joel.

There is some truth to this quip, as much as I dislike it. It does make me wonder aloud about God’s plan, because there are a lot of really bad people who seem to thrive, while perfectly good people leave us way too soon, leaving behind grieving loved ones and friends alike.

Here are two fantastic people who left us way too soon. One of whom I knew well, and one of whom I did not know well. I miss them both very much.

The first one up is Paul Lyskava, former government affairs director for the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association.

Paul was probably the best person I ever worked with in the Pennsylvania capitol. He was the most level-headed, ethical, hard working, honest, good natured person there. Paul and I met in 1998, and maintained a friendship until he died eleven months ago, from a brain tumor. The painful truth is that I lost track of Paul in his last year, because he kind of fell off my radar screen and I was not assertive enough to follow up with him and ask what was up.

The truth that I eventually learned late was that he was dying. Not one to complain, Paul passed quietly.

I miss the hell out of Paul. I miss Paul a lot. I could cry all over again thinking about him being gone from us. His obituary hangs on the frig at our hunting cabin. The picture in it is of him with his young son. I look at it every time I go to the frig, and I almost always say “Oh, Paul, we miss you so so much. Why are you gone?”

The other great person who has left us is Tom Hardisky, who surprisingly died from a heart attack while gardening last Saturday. Tom and I met only a couple of times, and spoke on the phone and by email a few times.

Tom was the PA Game Commission’s furbearer biologist, which in Pennsylvania is a big job. We have more licensed trappers here than all of the states around us combined.

Tom was the kind of public servant who is a genuine servant. He lived what he did, and was an avid outdoorsman like those he served.

Desperate to get an official answer from him about some furs I was bringing in from Canada’s Northwest Territories at the Arctic Circle, I called Tom on a Sunday afternoon, at home. These are great furs coming in, running a gantlet of super and unnecessarily complicated Canadian paperwork and bureaucratic process.

“Sorry, Josh, please pardon the noise. I am making dinner for the family and some guests.”

And sure enough that friendly official answer he gave was accompanied by a cacophony of clanging pots and pans, frying food sounds, and banging dinner plates.

That is the kind of guy Tom was: Totally devoted to his constituents, even on Sunday, even while he is working in the kitchen for his family. And friendly. He loved this stuff and the people involved in it.

And now he, too, is gone, sadly.

Hello, God, can you help me figure this out?

Krazee K

There once was neighbor named Kathy,

Whose life was so desperately unhappy,

She said with a  yawn,

As she pounced on her lawn,

Volunteering is for those who are crappy…

******************

Folks, volunteering is service to our fellow humans.

Volunteering is the price we pay for being alive.

Volunteering  is a cornerstone of American life. Soup kitchens, homeless and battered women’s shelters, halfway houses, non-profit groups, and public health clinics are all places in need of functioning adults to make them run well.

Bethesda Mission is always advertising for volunteers. They make a huge impact on Harrisburg.

A couple hours a day or a week of your time at one of these places can greatly improve someone else’s life. If you have a specific skill, say as a carpenter, or better, a nurse, then you are doubly needed in these places. And if you are retired, and also physically functional, but you are not only not volunteering, but instead obsessively devoting yourself to every twig and leaf on your lawn, and invading your neighbors’ lives and properties, then you have bad values, you are missing the purpose of being alive, and you are leading a selfish, shallow life. Because hyper lawn care is meaningless, perhaps even a waste of time, and taking it to the extreme where it creates conflict with neighbors is nuts, frankly. It is a luxury that brings little value to the world, but much conflict.

And for the record, yes, I volunteer, a lot, serving on a bunch of non-profit boards, local, regional and state-wide, and I help maintain some elderly people’s properties when I can.  My volunteer work gives me a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. If you do not volunteer, try it. You will like it. Especially if you are retired.

Democrat Party goes after escaped ‘slave’ Kanye West

Just like the slave-owning Democrat Party of old, the modern-day white liberal slavers have sent out a search-and-destroy party after black singer Kanye West, who has escaped from the Democrat ‘plantation’.

Last week, Kanye West voiced support for ideas and people outside clearly defined politically correct boundaries established by the white liberals running the Democrat Party.

These political boundaries are the equivalent of a fifty-foot-high brick wall with razor wire at the top and shoot-to-kill snipers posted all around to prevent escapees from getting over it or too far past it. You are told that everyone on the outside of the plantation is evil and bad and will hurt you, and that you must never step outside.

Neither whites nor blacks, and especially blacks, are permitted to step outside that wall, because their role, your role, according to white liberals, is to stay inside the wall and work on the plantation. You must work, and work, and work, and vote Democrat, and vote Democrat, and vote Democrat, and though you may never see improvement in your condition for all of your work and votes, you must still stay on that plantation and work and vote for the white liberals and their Uncle Toms.

Stepping off the plantation is a big no-no, because the Democrat Party cannot survive without all its ‘slaves’.

But what if some of the ‘slaves’ begin to discover that what they have been told about life off the plantation is a big lie? What happens when the ‘slaves’ discover that the big lie white liberals have told them actually keeps them in bondage to a political party that, in fact, never, ever delivers on its promises?

And then what happens when the ‘slaves’ discover that not only have the promises not been delivered, but that their own conditions have severely degraded ever since they entered the plantation?

This is precisely what is happening now.  The smell of freedom is in the air.

Black celebrities Chris Rock and Kanye West, and down-home mamas “Diamond and Silk,” and others, are beginning to openly voice their skepticism for all of the empty promises and bad results made by the Democrat Party. They are beginning to point out to others that while being virtual slaves to the Democrat Party over the past fifty years, conditions in almost all Black communities have severely declined.

Everything that white liberals are against —  God, God in school, religion in school, capitalism, traditional families, self-defense, self-improvement, equal opportunity and equal reward opportunity, accountability — are in fact damaging the black community far worse than what life was like off the Democrat plantation back fifty years.

You know, when American blacks were poor but worked for themselves, and worked hard for their families, and their kids wore white shirts, dark pants, skirts, and clean shoes. Because they had actual pride in themselves. You know, the many black inventors, and lawyers, and doctors who advanced America significantly. When they were off that Democrat plantation.

Not to say it was all rosy then, it was not. There was racism and discrimination, but not a whole lot more than what many waves of European immigrants had faced when arriving in America. The challenges for most blacks then were real, but not insurmountable. In fact, much was succcessfully advanced from people off the plantation – Martin Luther King, Jr, even Malcolm X.

If there is one thing white liberals cannot stand, it is being challenged. They melt down, get angry, gett violent. And if there is one thing that Kanye West and Chris Rock and others are doing, it is openly questioning and even challenging white liberals. White liberals are being challenged by the underling ‘slaves’ they require in order to retain political power.

So Kanye West must be destroyed by white liberals before his message of freedom and opportunity gets out to too many black people, and too many begin to climb the wall and get off the Democrat plantation. And so the white liberal Democrat Party of Hollywood is doing just that: They are chasing down and not trying to capture Kanye, the modern-day run-away slave. They are trying to destroy him, to kill his personhood. They are doing everything they can to destroy Kanye’s career, his message, his personal life, his relationship with his fans, his public standing.

But you know what, Democrat Party? Black people are not stupid, though you white liberals may treat them as if they are. Black people are actually very smart, and they are beginning to realize that they have been tricked by you, and that they have been used by you, and that they have actually been hurt by being such devoted zombies to your one political party. And that message is getting out to more and more American blacks.

That big politically correct wall that white liberals built around the American black world is beginning to get holes in it. Sunlight is streaming through those chinks, and the people in the plantation can see that sunlight, and they can smell the freedom that awaits them on the other side. They know that there are good people waiting to welcome them on the other side, and that it is a new world there. And though that outside world might seem a little scary, perhaps, what have they got to lose? After all, life on the Democrat plantation is as bad as it can get…incredible poverty, incredible violence and murder rates, teen pregnancy, suicide rates, lack of education. By every single measure, life for blacks on the white liberal Democrat plantation is a complete disaster.

My only advice to black people is this: Make no overall commitments to ANY political party. There is no single political party in America or anywhere else that can represent all of your interests. Register to vote as political independents, as non-affiliated voters, where you can (in states that have open primaries).

Question everyone who makes you promises or who dangles a couple skinny carrots in front of your nose and says “here, follow these carrots onto this plantation, you will be happy here, we will take care of you here.” Those skinny carrots start to get old, and people start to fight over the scraps.

And be aware that your old enemy, the white liberal, will accuse everyone who is helping you of actually being a racist, including Kanye West, Chris Rock, Diamond and Silk, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and many, many others who have escaped their plantation.  White liberals and their Uncle Toms  will do everything to coerce and shame and frighten you into staying on their plantation. And when you actually make a run for it and try to get beyond their wall, the white liberals will try to gun you down.

And so my other advice to American blacks, my fellow citizens and brothers and sisters in freedom, is RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! CLIMB THE WALL AND RUN!

We on the other side are waiting for you with open arms.

Feral Hoggs Running Wild

If I had another son, he would not be like David Hogg, and I hope my actual son is never like Hogg, either.

Because he is an actor, i.e. a self-absorbed vacuous fool used to making pretend, David Hogg is the currently anointed spokesman for America’s gun prohibitionist movement, which had a fake march last Saturday in DC.

Hogg is foul mouthed, disrespectful, rude, petulant, arrogant, dismissive, and ignorant of the basic facts. And he is just a kid, all of seventeen years old! What a fantastic start to life this kid is on….

Even worse, he appears to be a big time liar.

Hogg cannot make up his mind about where he was during Nikolas Cruz’s massacre at Parkland High School. In different videotaped interviews, he has given several very different accounts of where he was that moment and that day: At home, in the school, and somewhere in between, and maybe even really far away.

His location is important, because it either adds to or detracts from his credibility as a purported first-hand witness. He certainly represents himself as a first-hand witness to the massacre. As a first-hand witness, Hogg could (and does) claim an extra helping of emotion-laden judgmentalism, something adults regularly excuse in children like Hogg, under certain extenuating circumstances. Watching your classmates get gunned down because of Obama policies like PROMISE would count as one of those extenuating circumstances.

But it is not at all evident that Hogg was indeed anywhere close to his school that moment or even that day.

Credibility shot, Hogg has yet wallowed in the liberal media’s fawning attention, avoiding any hard questions and instead accusing adults who simply disagree with his childish views of having “blood on their hands” and of making him feel threatened.

Hogg has not criticized the chickensh!t deputies who stood outside the school while the shooting continued, nor has he criticized the incompetent sheriff, the Keystone Kops FBI agents who dropped the ball, nor the PROMISE program that served up an armed Cruz on a silver platter.

Hogg’s piggish behavior proves why going to bed on time and not getting dessert until you have eaten all of your dinner is an important rule for all children. Otherwise, we get spoiled, rotten kids, like Hogg. Yuck.

And not to miss an opportunity to use childrens’ corpses  as political props and living children as emotional human shields, the adult-run gun prohibitionist movement and their Hollywood and media allies hyped up a march in DC that in the end was about 200,000 people. No small feat, and certainly a respectable number of people at any protest. But not representative of anything more than the usual political radicals, avowed Communists, and partisan Democrats, all of whom show up to any rally at the drop of a hat.

Instead of being the kids’ march for school safety, it was dominated by adults who just hate guns, so there, and want to take them all away from the law-abiding among us. Their plan for disarming the criminals has yet to be announced.

About 20% of the participants were kids, not anywhere close to the 50% or 90% it was planned to be.

In the end, the march was a bunch of feral hogs, running wild, led by the loudest, smelliest of them all, David Hogg. Not my boy, not my kid.

Last Dance at Julia’s Auction

James D. Julia was in full-throated auctioneer mode when I hung up the phone earlier today, his voice rising high above all the other competing voices.

With a standing-room-only crowd at Julia’s Auction in Fairfield, Maine, the background noise was overwhelming, even on the phone. Today being Julia’s last-ever auction, the place is packed to the gills with people who just want to experience it and be able to say “I was there.”

“Please yell at me, like you are mad at me, OK?,” instructed Debbie, the Julia’s Auction employee assigned to handle my phone-in bid. She could hardly hear herself, much less her client on the other end of the line. I, too, could only hear a roar, a cacophony of voices, with the auctioneer’s voice occasionally rising above it.

I have been to Julia’s several times, and it has never been anything like this chaos.

Yes, it is a long drive from central Pennsylvania, but if you are into the stuff I am into, then the drive is worth it. If for no other reason than to inspect in person the various antiques (my wife calls it all ‘rusty junk’) of interest.

Julia’s firearms catalogues are phenomenal, presently approached in quality and accuracy only by Amoskeag Auctions, but there is no substitute for being there and seeing the items in person.

Please understand that Julia’s catalogues are more than just sales listings. They are historic repositories of hard-won information, useful to researchers of all sorts, as well as helping set some parameters on overall market prices.

Julia’s catalogue photographs set the industry standard. Nor have I ever seen an example where Julia’s mislead or provided an inaccurate description of some item. No doubt it has happened, but compared to the other auction houses, Julia’s descriptions are perfection. Gospel, really.

The Lancaster double rifle I was interested in came up quickly, and before I could indicate a number, it was already at double what I was prepared to bid. On quick second thought, I was ready to bid higher, but by then the auction price was already beyond double my highest bid, which was still forming in my mouth.

“Do you want to bid?,” asked Debbie.

“Nope. I’m out, it is already way beyond my highest” said I.

“But it was nice just to be able to bid one last time at Julia’s, a place I have come to love and fear,” I said.

Debbie laughed at my joke, and then after a few brief pleasantries she said goodbye, moving on to help the next phone bidder in what will probably go down in the history books as the most expensive, frenetic, chaotic firearms auction ever.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Julia’s has been purchased by Morphy Auctions here in central Pennsylvania.

I say unfortunately, because no one likes to see a good thing change, and Julia’s is not only a good thing, it has been the best thing in antique firearms auctions, bar none. So now that it is becoming part of Morphy Auctions, it is disappearing.

I say fortunately, because the merger will bring all the highest-end antique firearms to Morphy, which is much, much closer to my home. No more long, long drives to south-central Maine. But this may be too close.

And that is why I say unfortunately, because now that all these guns will be on display so close to my home, like less than an hour away, I will end up acting like a kid in a candy shop: Out. Of. Control.

Oh, my suffering wife. Yet more rusty junk, honey!

Which brings me to a much more poignant point: Don’t assume things will always be so, because in truth things are always changing. When you see something good, and it looks right, and it is going to bring you pleasure, or happiness, or a good investment, then strike while that iron is hot.

Just five months ago, Julia’s previous firearms auction had barely anyone in attendance. Hardly any bidding occurred on most of the firearms there. Maybe one or two bids per item, except for the especially rare or collectible, with most going for just one low bid, filed by absentee bidders. No one knew then that Julia’s was going to be merged with Morphy, and so no one showed much interest.

Had people known then what they know today…that October 2017 auction would have been a mad house, like today is, and the assemblage of fine, one-of-a-kind firearms would have been much more competitive.

For those of us who did participate, we reaped the benefits of low competition.

Goodbye, Julia’s! You will be missed. We welcome to central Pennsylvania the many outstanding firearms experts who have made Maine their home in the past decades. They will be happy here, surrounded by lots of natural beauty and an all-American culture that does not punish or stigmatize gun ownership.

My only hope is that Morphy carries on the same high quality catalogues that Julia’s produced, in style, substance, photography, and descriptive accuracy. That is one thing the industry cannot afford to lose.

Here comes the Hokey Hookie Parade

If you were impressed by the Sore Losers Against Democracy march in early 2017, where hypocritical whiners convened in DC to complain about a defect in one man they had gleefully celebrated in the multiples when another man was in the Oval Office, then you are in for a big treat this March 24th.

Following Nikolas Cruz’s illegal and totally avoidable murderous rampage in Parkland, Florida, the same hypocritical whiners are gathering once again in DC.

This one is the Hokey Hookie Parade.

And though this includes a bunch of school kids forced from school by activist teachers, the parade is very much the same old gun prohibitionist groups we have all come to know in various guises over the years. The same T-shirts, signs, posters, and demands as the past. Americans rejected them before, so maybe a new tack will help, these activists think.

The fake moral outrage is building. It’s getting bigger and bigger. The mainstream media are hyping it.

Instead of asking how Cruz’s dozens of failed encounters with local, state and federal law enforcement resulted in his massacre of his classmates, and instead of asking how the Obama-era PROMISE program deliberately shielded violent kids like Cruz (and Cruz specifically) from being held accountable and thus actually permitted him to get the gun and combine it with his publicly advertised lunatic fantasies, and instead of asking why gun control groups create the conditions for and then welcome these massacres so they get the blood in the streets that fuel their emotional appeals for more government control over free citizens, the whiners are blaming law-abiding gun owners, a civil rights organization (the NRA), and even inanimate objects (guns).

The NRA did not pull the trigger, Cruz did. The NRA did not create the “Gun Free Zone” filled with violent criminal students, the gun prohibitionists and Obama’s PROMISE program did. The gun did not kill those kids, Nikolas Cruz did.

And how does limiting law-abiding gun owners do anything against crime?

Law-abiding gun owners use guns every day to defend themselves and others from violent criminals. And yes, they even use AR15s.

Armed law enforcement officers actually stood outside the school, with their firearms drawn, listening to Cruz murder his classmates. They failed to intervene, and they could have easily killed or wounded Cruz and stopped his massacre. They had no idea what he was armed with, and in any event that is irrelevant: As Cruz walked through the Gun Free Zone with impunity, any armed person who showed up could have easily stood behind a wall or door and waited for Cruz to walk by, and then shot him. Or they could walk up behind him and shoot him.

These are all dramatic failures. Adult failures, government failures, bureaucrat failures. None of these have an atom in common with regular every-day gun owners across America or their chosen organization, the NRA.

I once worked with a deeply unhappy lady who would invent office conflicts and problems out of thin air, so she could then heroically swoop in and impose dramatic and totally fake solutions. No problems existed but what she had created, or simply alleged. No solutions were needed. But she was not after solutions, she was after control. And half the time she got it, through administrative acts or by sheer bullying. She apparently needed this process to satisfy a hurtful, dark craving in her soul, and only late in her career, long after she had committed tremendous damage to many people and the institution itself, did a brave boss eventually step in and end her tyranny.

Such a situation exists here and now with America’s gun prohibitionists.

They created the conditions for Parkland to occur, and they have hijacked this emotionally loaded and most avoidable massacre to suit their purpose of imposing an unpopular and unneeded solution.

Like the alcohol prohibitionists and racial segregationists before them, gun prohibitionists are control-freak fanatics who believe they are on a mission from God. Nothing they do is ever wrong, and every fakery they commit is acceptable, in their minds. The end-goal justifies every method, right or wrong, moral or immoral.

The gun prohibitionists bully and bluff their way into imposing a solution that has zero connection with the actual crime itself, or with the cause of the crime.

Hopefully regular Americans wake up and confront them, stop them, hold the failed bureaucrats accountable in Parkland and Broward County, and end the PROMISE program.

Stealing freedom from everyday Americans is not an answer, it is just one more big problem, leading to yet more problems.

One of the future problems is going to be a lot of young children scarred by the hype and fake moral outrage surrounding the Parkland events. God knows where that then goes. One answer is to send a bill to CeaseFirePA and its affiliates for all of the emotional counseling needed after their fake drama plays out with all these impressionable young kids.

These kids should be in school  on March 24th, not being used as cultural revolution cannon fodder by prohibitionist zealots.

Twenty-five years of sitting by the warm fire

Our family burns a lot of firewood every cold season. Usually beginning in late October and going through February, sometimes into March, we burn split oak 24 hours a day.

Nothing heats up a room better and takes the chill out of the air than a fire in a modern wood or coal stove, and nothing provides a better centralized gathering place for people to read, doze, study, or talk than a fire place or stove. It is a real comfort, and if we think about it, humans sitting by a comforting fire goes back what, 100,000 years? Or six thousand? Either way, a long time.

We are back at it once again today, tending a fire, having now endured Winter’s recent biting return without a fire the past week or so.  Something about this late season chill just works its way into the bones. Maybe we kind of let down our guard, anticipating Spring, eager to shed the heavy coats and boots, and enjoy the warm air and freedom to lounge outside once again. Whatever  the reason, the harsh cold issues a strong call for the fire today, and so we lit one. We will run it constantly until we are fully out of Winter’s grip, and enjoying the comfort of the warm sunlight.

There is another sort of fire, however, and this one will never die out.

It is the fire of human passion, and love, and friendship.

It is that kind of fire which two people share after twenty five years of happy marriage together.

Sure, there are some tough times along that twenty-five years, some hard words, some bruised feelings in that period. Birthing and then raising three kids in that time means some disagreement and frustration are inevitable. But these things are part and parcel of living a committed life. And in a way, resolving the disputes makes the fire hotter, Polonius’ hoops of steel stronger. There is no walking out or walking away, quitting when the going gets tough. There is only commitment, fire. Ebbing, flowing, sometimes blazing hot, sometimes a bed of coals, but always a lit fire.

As a much missed now-deceased life advisor used to say to me, two married people are like two knives, constantly rubbing against one another, sharpening one another’s blade. The knives are working tools, cutting through life, getting work done, and by working together side by side, they also continually sharpen each other’s blades, their cutting edges, the working parts. Once in a while they nick one another. That is just the nature of the tool, the nature of married life. The little nick goes with the territory of work.

It is a good analogy, good enough for me. Because when I look back on twenty-five years of good marriage, as marked today, I feel like we are both still sharp, the Princess of Patience still looks sharp, and our cutting edges are holding up strong.

Said  the other way, I have been sitting by a particular fire now for twenty-five years. Once in a while, while tending it, it has singed me, or given me a minor blister, reminding me of its inherent powerful force. Given that I am klutzy, it is logical that I earned those little burns.

But usually this fire is my friend, my best friend, in fact. I am looking forward to another twenty-five years of her warmth and comfort.