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My Confession

I have a confession to make. Maybe in the grand scheme of confessions or public admissions this is not too significant. But for me, wow, the burden I am shedding by admitting this here is just tremendous. Pardon me while I take a deep breath.

My confession is that …gosh, it is tough to say this…I really enjoy Rob Schneider movies.

This is probably (hopefully) not quite as risky as admitting to watching risque movies, but it comes close, because the subjects addressed head-on in Rob Schneider movies are wide open, no-holds-barred. A gaping chasm separates his movies from the standard Hollywood affairs, and admitting to watching them, maybe sometimes on repeat, carries some social stigma.

Rob Schneider movies are not alone in the low brow humor category. They are waaay better quality than Adam Sandler or Chris Kataan movies, and probably an even toss-up with Will Ferrell’s productions.

In the genre of man-child-not-grown-up, Rob Schneider plays the idiot savant better than anyone. Adam Sandler has “goofy” and “well-intentioned-moron” down better than anyone, but we know what is coming every time. Jim Carrey has in fact actually lost his mind to a bad case of TDS and now actually mugs and over-acts in public not on purpose but as his own personal habit. When he was just acting, Jim Carrey was funny; now he is scary. But Jim Carrey is not alone in ruining well-intentioned humor with politics. Will Ferrell also has become infected with the funny-man-not-funny disease by seriously involving himself in politics, for which he is ill-suited, and so now when he appears in public it is difficult to tell if he is serious but kidding, or plain foolish but serious. Ferrell’s pre-politics Talladega Nights was top shelf damned funny, and while I am in the process of opening my life’s weak points to public scrutiny here, I might as well tell the readers that my wife and I took our two small girls to see Talladega Nights when it opened. In a former church turned into a theatre, in Galeton, PA, when our girls were really, really small. Viv and I laughed a lot, and the two tiny infants fell asleep, or so we thought, until many years later.

And now on second thought hindsight, that one movie night may account for how the one kid turned out….I suppose a movie like that could really warp a young mind…guess she wasn’t asleep after all.

So anyhow, if you are looking for lightness-beyond-levity, easy-watching, seriously-not-serious, entertaining-without-pretense, slight raunch with a straight no-PC-here face, then Rob Schneider movies are for you. The high brow of the low brow. Especially Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. And as you can imagine, I am hoping as many people as possible will watch them, so I am not feeling totally alone, like I felt when caught looking at Ladies Home Journal bra ads when I was twelve in the super market magazine aisle. It would be nice to have someone on the couch next to me, enjoying the same movie as me. Instead of hitting me with a shoe and cussing me out about it.

Select scenes from Talladega Nights 1, 2, 3, 4.

Select scenes from Rob Schneider movies 1, 2, 3.

Arsonists burning down America accuse NRA + good gun owners

If you have any interest in what is happening in America, and no I do not mean the latest Hollywood family-rotting junk movie release or the latest sound-alike violent-thug rap song on iTunes, but rather the latest and most serious sociopolitical developments in the greatest and freest nation in the world, then you must watch the brief footage of last week’s Philly shoot-out (posted below).

Nothing captures what is happening in America, and why it is happening, better than the headline-grabbing shoot-out between ultra violent career criminal Maurice Hill and the Philadelphia police.

  • Despite facing scores of Philly police officers armed with AR15s and M4 automatic versions of the AR15 rifle, Hill was neither killed nor did he out-gun the police facing him, though he did lightly wound six officers who were brave enough to boldly charge into the building in which he held a hostage
  • Hill is a many-time convicted illegal drug and gun felon who was legally barred from owning any guns at all, including a sporting rifle like the AR15
  • Hill is a many-time convicted violent felon, whose many violent crimes with firearms landed him in court many times, but not doing any real jail time afterwards. As a result, Hill was a classic catch-and-release career criminal who should be in jail for decades but who is free among good law abiding people to purvey his happy life of crime, all gratis of liberal judges and district attorneys.
  • Hill did not have to commit his latest violent crime, but he was enabled by white liberals who hold that criminals like Hill are “victims” and law-abiding Americans are criminals
  • Hill was cheered on by dozens of local citizens, who also aggressively jeered the police officers there, threw trash on them, and challenged them to physical conflict
  • Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney immediately showed up on the scene and blamed the police, blamed guns, blamed private ownership of guns, blamed the National Rifle Association, blamed the American voters and taxpayers. Kenney did not blame career criminal Maurice Hill for the situation, nor did he blame the culture of violence in which Hill grew up and which is reinforced daily by violent Hollywood movies, violent anti-police rap music, an activist media that blames American freedoms, and white liberals like Mayor Kenney

For decades white liberals like mayor Jim Kenney have performed arson on America, and now they are blaming law-abiding gun owners and the non-gun-owning citizens who support their rights for the resulting conflagration.

For many decades white liberals in politics, in the media, in academia, in public and private schools, in unions, in the destructive anti America groups like the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center, and especially in the corrupting Hollywood media-entertainment octopus complex have done their utmost to set fire to America and burn it to the ground.

White liberals’ singular goal appears to have been to eventually re-make America into some different new utopia polity with an all- powerful government at its center, instead of the sovereign citizen voter whose power has always been diffused across the country, as demonstrated by the genius Electoral College. Having a powerful centralized government and no individual rights will allow liberals to force Americans to live exactly the way liberals think they must live, to make the “correct” choices.

And part of this white liberal arson program is to then blame the victims of their arson. Which means that after destroying America’s cities, ruining the families and communities of American Blacks and turning them into part of the fake liberal grievance factory, creating lawlessness by willfully failing to enforce the law (immigration, gun laws) on the one hand and then breaking the law on the other, white liberals can turn around and demand more “gun control” and demonize innocent Americans who have done nothing wrong.

Disarming law-abiding citizens is the primary goal of white liberals. Liberals have no interest in controlling crime, as proven by their judges’ and DAs’ failure to enforce gun laws on the books across the nation. Rather, they seek to remove the one great barrier to their dreams of unfettered tyranny, an armed citizenry.

White liberals own the Philly shoot-out. Maurice Hill is a direct product of white liberals and the Democrat Party; Maurice Hill is the left’s latest and greatest creation. Because Hill both implements the violent chaos and bodies in the street that the left needs to blame their political enemies, and he embodies the fake grievance victim who is never responsible for his violent actions.

Maurice Hill enables the Democrat Party to blame guns, blame America, blame Americans, and so the Democrat Party will continue to produce as many Maurice Hills as they can. I think there were about 56 Maurice Hills in Chicago last week, and about 34 the week before, despite all of Chicago’s cutting-edge “gun control.”

Like Chicago, Philadelphia now burns, and the Democrat Party cheers.

You want to end violent crime, and help American Blacks? Stop voting for Liberal Democrats, and start voting for officials who promote old-fashioned values like following the law, making good choices, foregoing immediate gratification for eventual big success, self reliance, community, family.

Here is the Democrat Party’s Maurice Hill 1, 2, 3, 4

100 years of Liberalism = mass shootings

Since the 1917 violent triumph of Socialism in Russia, communists have more aggressively spread their efforts world-wide. There is no secret about this. Lots of official information outlets of openly socialist and communist organizations precisely describe their goals and targets, past and present. Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, now Venezuela, all fell victim to socialism.

Where socialists have failed to openly gain control in democracies, like America and Britain, because their intended victims have more say through voting, they have mostly gone vague. Vagueness allows socialists to talk in circles and in generalities, avoiding the unpleasant hard realities their policies will truly mean for hard working Americans and Britons.

In that vein, for decades the Democrat Party purveyed a more palatable-sounding ideology than socialism or communism. They became Liberals. Liberalism, now called “progressivism” and its advocates “progressives,” is still the same old evil socialism; it is just more incremental than the overtly revolutionary form of the 1917 Soviet Union’s tyranny.

And so for one hundred years, liberals in American government have steadily introduced policy after policy, regulation after regulation, textbook after textbook, slowly changing American culture from the inside. For one hundred years liberals have used America’s democratic form of government (technically America is a republic, but loosely speaking we are governed by democratic principles) to achieve non-democratic outcomes. That is, liberals have used America’s freedoms and government to implement anti-freedom and anti-America policies and changes to our national fabric.

In general, American liberals have sought greater government power over the citizenry, a diminishment of individual rights, a lessening of the individual ability to stand up to and prevail against the kind of overwhelming government power America was originally founded to prevent. Their assault on America has at its core a determined corrosion of American identity and norms; that makes it easier to sell their anti-America, anti-freedom laws, regulations, and policies.

So, for example, by inverting the First Amendment, liberals have removed God from the public square. To liberals, any practice of religion in public is officially establishing religion. By gaining control of public schools through teacher’s unions, and then removing God’s values from those schools, liberals removed the ancient barriers and social mores that glued Americans together.

We can go down a list of liberal laws and policies that have been inflicted on America, and we can talk about how liberals have captured institutions like media, entertainment (Hollywood’s violent movies and ultra-violent video games), and academia, but let’s just say that after one hundred years of liberals tearing away at America’s social fabric, they have succeeded in destroying a great deal of what held America together.

Hearing liberals talk about more gun control is like watching people remove the wheels from my car, and then tell me how dangerous it will be to drive it and how I need to just give them the car keys.

I grew up in a rural community that had more guns, and more cows, than people. We all owned guns from an early age, and we suffered no gun crime. No mass shootings, no individual shootings. My 7th grade biology teacher reloaded my 7×57 Mauser rounds for me. In 7th and 8th grades I took my deer rifle on the school bus from home to Park Forest Junior High School in State College. The gun was placed inside my locker, and at the end of the school day, we students who had brought our rifles joined together to go deer hunting at some local farm or forest. Someone’s parent was in charge of picking us up and taking us to the hunt, and someone else’s parent was in charge of picking us up and taking us all back home at dark. It worked just fine.

Fast forward 40 years and America is a different place. School kids are shooting each other, unlike any previous time. The wheels have come off!

What changed is the American culture that supported responsible gun ownership was weakened by liberals, who have sought to eliminate private gun ownership. The founding American culture that created and reinforced values like self-reliance, personal responsibility, deferring immediate pleasure and gratification in lieu of future success, and making good choices was all tossed away in liberal-controlled public schools and colleges.

Instead of good solid time-proven American values, liberals taught bozo ideas like “challenge authority” — meaning disrespect your parents, having babies out of wedlock is fun, killing babies at will is freedom, who needs Home Economics and a hard work ethic when the government will just give you taxpayer-funded welfare money, and so on. So the culture of America changed, and now many of our youngest seem incapable of living up to basic American norms while still being presented with basic American freedoms, like gun ownership.

Liberals created this failed culture in which young Americans shoot each other. Just look at every major American city: They are nearly all run by liberals, home to the latest and best liberal ideas, and yet they suffer the greatest social failure, financial failure, and violence.

Liberalism is not the solution, but the cause of all that ails America today, especially the mass shootings in liberal-controlled schools.

And so liberals now demand gun confiscation, and phony “universal background checks” that are designed to create lists of who has what guns, to make gun confiscation easier.

Liberals created all these problems in the first place, and more liberal policy ideas like “gun control” are simply adding fuel to the fire.

Many years ago I worked with a woman who specialized in creating problems and crises in our office, and once the interpersonal conflicts were going hot, she would then swoop in and aggressively demand to “solve” the very problems she had created. Her proposed solutions always left her with more authority and direct control over everyone around her. This is what the liberals and the Democrat Party are doing with guns. They created all this mass shooting business, and now they want to exploit the violence crisis they created to further their assault on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, who have no connection to crime but who stand between liberals and their dream of absolute tyrannical control over everyone in America, like their socialist brethren everywhere else.

At a certain point normal Americans have to wake up to this obvious situation, and stop voting for liberals and their deceptive ideas. Liberalism is not good for America. Turn it back, restore our founding principles as America’s norms, take back our government and our institutions from destructive liberalism.

Here (below) is retired US Army Col. David Grossman talking about why children are now killing each other. Grossman was the guy who taught American special forces troops how to overcome their natural human inhibitions in order to quickly kill their opponents, and who then witnessed an alarming generational change in how American youth perceived killing. If you care about what causes mass shootings, watch Grossman’s fascinating videos.

 

A fish tale

What I enjoy most about the summer time is spending that time with my family, my wife and kids. Especially outdoors. Hiking, fishing, boating, target shooting, camping, and cutting firewood with the promise of grilled meat and cold beer at the end is all part of the family experience here.

So here is a fish tale, or the tales of two fish, a punny phrase if ever one swam.

First one up is high school and college friend Jeff called out of the blue.

“Come down on Tuesday. Paul will be here with his son. It will be a fun reunion and we will all have our boys together, out on the boat, fishing.”

Jeff was a varsity wrestler from our arch-rival school, one weight class below me. In college we were separated by three weight classes. Now we are both fat and happy dads, coaching our boys through life the best way we know how – in the outdoors.

An invitation to salt water fish hardly ever goes neglected, especially with two other friends from high school and college, and within 24 hours my boy and I had rolled into town, found our hotel, gone to sleep at 4AM, and risen at 7:30AM ready to spend the day in the salt and sunshine with old friends. Paul and his son showed up from across the country, and we piled food, cold drinks, ice, and gear into the boat and headed out. Jeff is an old salt hand, and was a masterful captain. His friend Brian served as first mate and heartily complimented the wolfed-down sandwiches we brought, while Paul threw his overboard, complaining that they were soft. Some things just never change.

“You are a spoiled princess, you know that?” I scolded Paul. “We were up all night making these delicious sandwiches.” He asked for another sandwich; dry this time, he said.

Aside from catching up among the three of us, and introducing our boys to each other, we caught a pile of mackerel, some bluefish, and we lost one or two large cobia. Here is how the mackerel were prepared.

Captain Jeff, a friend since 1979

 

Happy and proud dad, tired and satisfied son

Fileting fresh mackerel

Brining filets and whole fish for smoking

Brined mackerel on smoking rack

Smoked mackerel…for dips, treats, scrambled eggs, yum

Fast forward a week later and the boy and I are fishing in Pine Creek, which is still running high, for two years now. This means that trout are not only holding over in great numbers, but are thriving in a big freestone stream that nonetheless usually hits 80 degrees and gets skinny by July, an environment where trout are normally picked off by eagles, mink, otters and herons this time of year.

I cast the Rebel Crawfish across a familiar riffle and hooked a large fish, which turned out to be a fat 16 inch rainbow trout. On a tiny ultralight spin rod with four pound test, it felt like the proverbial whale. He came to hand after a noble dispute.

“Do you want to keep him,” I asked my boy. “We haven’t kept a trout out of here in I forget how many years.”

“Yes,” he said, firmly and without hesitation.

This is a kid who really enjoys eating fresh fish, so setting aside my usual aversion to killing trout, I slid it into a small pool of cold spring water cascading down the bank, where the fish could breathe and stay fresh, and also remain within eyesight. That heron kept circling, and I wasn’t about to lose my prize to him.

The boy was admiring the beautiful trout, which had the healthy fins and magically vibrant colors of a native fish, or at least a hatchery fish that had spent an unusually long time in wild water. A fierce, or jealous, look came over the boy’s face and he asked which lure it had been caught on. Instead of tying one on to his rod, I just handed him my rod. One trout among the dozens splashing for emerging mayflies was enough for me, enough for the year. Watching my son catch fish is better than me catching them, and so I stood in the cool shallows with the current tugging at my Crocs, and supervised his casting. The late hot sun beat down harsh and merciless.

“Where did you catch him?” came the unexpected question.

Normally I advise where to cast, and since he was about nine, the boy will cast in the opposite direction of where I suggested. Even if it means getting tangled in a tree or snagged on the bottom. He has been improving on his independence for years now, if not improving his fishing skills. This time, however, he was on a mission. He cast a few times to where he was directed, gaining his bearings, and on the third or fourth splash the plug went exactly where it needed to go, over the fast current and just upstream enough to get a drag-free drift with some natural wobble. He immediately connected, and gently fought another perfect 13-inch rainbow into the shallows.

“Do you want to keep this one, too?” I asked.

“Yes. One fish for each of us. Or both for me – One for dinner and one for breakfast tomorrow,” he replied. Without a hint of irony.

Sound logic it was, and so we placed this trout next to its confined but quite alive mate in the little spring pool in a hollow of rock up on the bank.

With a fine trout under his belt, now it was his turn to sit in the cool shallows and watch me, as I went back out to catch a few bass lurking in the deeper current below the ledgerock. A couple came to hand and were released, and a couple got away. The sun then set over the valley, illuminating the Camel’s Hump and Trout Run in a magical Summer glow. The kind of day’s end that is so beautiful and perfect that you are sure you will remember it clearly forever just as it is experienced in that moment. And we probably will remember it clearly, mostly because the next morning he ate that fish down to the bare bones and then went outside to shoot his flintlock with true professional calm, hitting the distant bulls eye over and over and over. He made his dad proud.

A brace of fresh trout

Perfectly pan fried trout with butter and herbs

Someone really likes fresh trout

Independence Day Redux

Tomorrow is America’s July 4th Independence Day, the day Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from the tyrannical Great Britain in 1776.

In modern days we tend to take this holiday, and all it stands for, for granted. We enjoy fireworks displays, we grill out with family and friends, we travel and vacation, communities gather together to celebrate. After dark, red flares are lit around the entire circumference of Chautauqua Lake, which is pretty neat to see. All those disparate communities and property owners unified for that one moment. America’s greatest moment, our crowning achievement – God-given Liberty for all people.

What we do not celebrate or take note of today is what ensued after the Declaration of Independence. The long, bloody, wearying, expensive war with Britain and her mercenaries; the lost communities that were divided along loyalty lines, and which self-destructed in mass hangings and reprisals; the lost fathers and sons killed in combat; the bloody raids from Canada deep into Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, that lasted until after the War of 1812 had concluded.

The American War for Independence was, in fact, a civil war, our first civil war. On one side were advocates for political, social, and commercial stability, harmonious continuity, and loyalty to our British benefactors and feudal overlords. On the other hand were a handful of people who believed in something radical, something new, something previously unseen in human experience: Liberty for all, freedom of choice and of association, government devoted to representing the interests of The People, and not just the monarch or his chosen few.

Winning American freedom was very hard, and it cost a lot of lives lost and money spent. The destruction of towns north and south is still legendary. Boston, New York, and even Philadelphia were severely damaged, and with that went economic damage and deprivation that reached everyone.

Yet it was all of this deprivation and tenacious warfare and willing sacrifice that cemented the American spirit of self reliance, true grit, and patriotism for the most unique, freest, best nation on Earth. And yet, as success bred success and material success bred complacency and satiety, Americans began to lose that original spirit. Our material wealth has spoiled us and put many of us to sleep, to the point where we actually have a major political party advocating for the gifting of “free” healthcare to anyone who illegally walks into our country. And none of the current taxpaying citizens here qualify for that same free healthcare!

I do not think it is alarmist to say that America is now in another civil war. The evidence is all around us. Oh, we are not yet fully lined up and shooting at each other. But we are becoming fully lined up along ideological differences and shouting at each other, which is the exact way traditional battles are and have been fought with spears and swords or muskets and cannons. Both sides line up and size each other up, brandish their weapons, make bold declarations, and then charge.

Despite the many violent ANTIFA skirmishes against freedom and free speech advocates, Americans just have not yet charged at each other. This is because while the many normal Americans went to work, paid their taxes, mowed their lawns, volunteered, took their kids to Little League, another segment of the population was working hard at infiltrating and capturing institutions. Once captured, those institutions (Media, academia, education, unions, charitable foundations, all levels and branches of government, the Boy Scouts etc.) have been bent to the purpose of promoting leftist ideas and policies, to mainstream treasonous anti-America policies.

All of this infiltration and capturing has gone on under the feet of the normal Americans, the citizen taxpayers, who are just now beginning to wake up and realize that while they did their duty, others were doing their utmost to gain full control of our political institutions, in order to force a very non-free form of government upon us. A very non-America form of government.

Enjoy your Independence Day, friends. In between the beers and the hotdogs, you should consider talking with friends and family about current events, about how freedom and government accountability can be restored, how America can be brought back from the precipice on which it presently stands.

And maybe talk about an Independence Day redux, too.

Our family’s best and favorite summer vacation route

When our kids were younger, say from ages seven and up, we would take them on an annual vacation through Upstate New York. The trip was devoted mostly to Revolutionary War history, but also to American frontier history, American Indian history, and natural history. All kinds of historic forts dot  the Mohawk Valley, and in between these places are all kinds of incredible natural history places, like the Herkimer diamond mines in Middleville, Moss Island, and the Canajoharie River carved pool. Lots of places to fish at every stop and everywhere in between.

We always started at Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY, and working east we would end at Fort Ticonderoga on the New York/Vermont border. Since we started this trip the forts have all gotten better and better. Fort Ontario refurbished all of their cannons a few years ago. Fort Stanwix has been majorly upgraded and has regular re-enactments. And Fort Ticonderoga now has the biggest private cannon collection in America, so get your tickets to the night time cannon shoot.

The Mohawk River is now largely a canal, and from Oswego to Moss Island you can watch small pleasure boats that started in Florida being raised from lock to lock as they make their way to Lake Ontario, and then to the Ohio River and back down to New Orleans, where they will circle back through the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. Many of the boat owners will stand on the deck to make sure their boat does not bang into the walls of the locks, and they are happy to tell you all about their trip so far. A few years ago one guy told us how his wife had just left the boat and him, and had rented a car to drive home. By the time he expected to arrive back in Florida in the Fall, her things would be gone from their home and the divorce papers would be waiting for him on the dining room table. He actually seemed pretty cheerful about it and said he was still excited to complete the trip, even by himself. By the time he was done telling us this short story, his boat had gone from one end of the lock to the other and was about to start sailing up river.

Our kids had never heard such a thing in their lives, and it gave us plenty to talk about the rest of the trip.

So here is the Revolutionary War route that our family has taken many times over the years, often summer after summer. As our children gained age, they gained new abilities to comprehend and appreciate what they were seeing. Definitely start at Oswego, and do not miss Fort Stanwix. There are all kinds of places to stay each night as you make your way east. Most of them are inexpensive, and many are historic, the the old hotel in Rome, NY, which is actually pretty nice. We usually spend at least one night camping at the Herkimer KOA in Middleville, NY, where we will spend one day mining Herkimer diamonds and another day exploring Moss Island and the historic General Herkimer homestead, which has real cannons and lots of history.

The Oriskany Battlefield monument is one of those places you can’t believe no one talks about, and when you get there and learn and see what took place, you realize how the entire Revolutionary War’s outcome hinged on this one fierce battle between Mohawk Valley patriots and British Regulars, with Indians on both sides.

Moss Island is incredible; I won’t spill the beans and you have to go see for your self, but you absolutely have to go, wearing hiking boots or good trail sneakers. The little town there has a great ice cream store, and my kids always liked fishing under the bridge as well as at Moss Island.

The Canajoharie River has the carved rock pools you can wade in, which I do not identify on the map because I ran out of label room.

Saratoga Battlefield is where a certain famous and then infamous American general made his name. Fort Ticonderoga is AMAZING, and if you are able to get tickets to the night time cannon shoot from the ramparts, you will not be left unimpressed. Trip home to Central or eastern PA, or NYC/New Jersey, is via the NY Throughway south to any number of state routes and highways, depending on how much time you have. We usually do this trip in seven days, though it can be done in ten or even five. The Remington factory tour tickets should be secured beforehand. It is an incredible tour, or at least it was. I think we took it before OSHA stepped in and limited it. The museum there is excellent in and of itself.

I think most teenage kids will enjoy researching each of these sites ahead of time, and you parents can research where you want to stay each night.

PA Farm Bureau & PA Grange thieving property rights and gun rights

Who would think that two organizations I have always revered would turn out to be the absolute biggest threats to private property rights and our Second Amendment rights?

Sadly, it is true that the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Grange have gone on a crusade against private property rights, hunting, and gun rights that has shocked everyone to the bone, most especially the traditional opponents of these activities like the Humane Society and CeasefirePA, who have now joined with them.

When the PFB and the Grange shack up with the Humane Society, a group dedicated to ending farming and animal husbandry as we know it, and with CeasefirePA, and against the NRA, then you know both organizations have gone off the rails. But the fact is, both PFB and the Grange are in full crusade mode right now, and there is no end in sight.

It all started with their opposition to expanding Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania. Including small game, groundhogs, or big game in Sunday hunting (presently limited to coyotes, foxes, and crows), somehow ignited a firestorm of indignation among the octogenarians running both of these organizations. Canes were rattled, and the political war was on against anyone advocating for more hunting opportunities in Pennsylvania. Every bit of political and legislative capital these two groups can muster has been brought to bear in every avenue of political decision making. The net result is not just that they are on record being against other people hunting on Sunday, but that our existing hunting rights, gun rights, and property rights are now being diminished and in the case of Sunday target shooting, at real risk. Until now, no one outside of the anti-gun CeasefirePA had been opposed to target shooting, especially on private property.

Pennsylvania is one of just THREE states in America that has no big game hunting on Sunday. So it’s not like Pennsylvanians asking for expanded Sunday hunting are on the fringe of some crazy movement. The rest of the country is already doing it.

But PFB and the Grange have acted as if Sunday hunting will end civilization as we know it, and they went to war with a scorched earth approach. Both organizations are now on record trying to eliminate even target shooting on Sunday, even on private land, let alone archery hunting on private land on Sunday. This has been an all-out political assault on private property rights and on our Second Amendment rights. What private property owners do on their own land on any day of the week is of zero consequence to anyone else, but PFB and the Grange have made it their business to control what you do.

Didn’t Pennsylvania pass the right-to-farm laws so that farmers could do what they need to do, seven days a week, without interference? Turns out that the organizations dedicated to farming are not dedicated to the actual farmers and property owners themselves. Not really. Lots of farmers and farmland owners want to hunt and shoot on Sunday.

Take the Grange. Their motto is “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

Their mission is “Pennsylvania State Grange supports the local Granges to help members grow as individuals, unify their communities and create opportunity through legislation and community service.”

And yet the Grange is taking hard political positions exactly opposite of their motto and mission. There is no unity, liberty, or charity in their opposition to private property rights and to the Second Amendment. There is nothing helping members grow as individuals when the Grange stands in our way of hunting with our families and friends, on our own private land, when our complicated schedules allow for us to be together.

Beware these two organizations. They are prime examples of how a few people can hijack an organization and destroy its credibility in one swift and foolish move, and take our most sacred rights down the toilet with them.

Asking PA Fish & Boat to protect our best trout waters

June 17, 2019

Mr. Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
1601 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg, PA 17110

Dear Tim,

This past weekend I listened to a presentation about making Pennsylvania’s best, most productive trout streams “all-tackle,” which includes bait fishing. While the presentation was primarily about the newly acquired stretch of Spruce Creek, a clear timetable was laid out for making all of our best trout waters all-tackle over the coming three years.

Traditionally, or at least for several decades in many cases, these few hundred miles out of 80,000 miles of Pennsylvania waterways, have been restricted to artificial lures and flies. Those limitations were installed to protect trout from being gut-hooked or gullet-hooked by swallowing bait left to sit on the bottom of the waterway. Once a fish is gullet- or gut-hooked, it is guaranteed to die. This is fine for a put-and-take waterway, or for panfish, or for private waters. But for expensive stocked trout paid for by the license-buying fisherman, or even worse, for native reproducing trout, using bait is almost always a death sentence that eliminates the re-use (through catch and release) of that limited and valuable resource.

The main representation of this all-tackle proposal is that using bait in moving waters does not result in nearly as much fish mortality as once believed. Several studies or carefully observed fishing situations over the late 1990s to 2017 were cited as evidence.

Not having had the time to review this evidence, or to compare it to other factors like increasingly improved water quality state-wide, which resulted in better stream conditions and more trout, my concern is this proposal is moving too fast and asking too much. We just do not really know all that is happening in our best streams. The consequences of being wrong about this could easily set Pennsylvania’s best trout waters back, and it would take years to rebuild them to their current productivity. Additionally, we must consider the long road we have walked to educate anglers that trout and other sport fish are worth much more being released alive than they are being hung on a stringer and then stuffed into a freezer for a year. The cultural progress we have all made on this point has strengthened the use of fishing methods that strongly enhance the success of catch-and-release waters. Would allowing bait on all our catch-and-release waterways be taking a step backwards, after slowly, painfully teaching fishermen that a dead trout is much less useful or fun than a trout slipped back into the water alive to be caught again?

I request that PFBC staff conduct and issue their own wide-ranging analysis of catch-and-release bait fishing in moving waters before adopting anything beyond the Spruce Creek all-tackle catch-and-release stretch. If PFBC staff are confident that, under the right conditions, bait fishing will not result in undue or excessive fish mortality and the degradation of our hard-won resource, then that will be enough for me to drop my opposition. So long as the proper monitoring is in place to ensure that the decision is correctable, should new information develop.

Separately, it made me happy to see you appear officially in public in casual clothes, including shorts. The stuffy formality that used to attach to these executive director positions was a barrier to effectively reaching and communicating with the user communities. Easy but professional informality speaks volumes that you are most focused on solving substantive policy issues, good government, and on effectively connecting with the public, not on self-aggrandizement. What a breath of fresh air, it is exactly what Pennsylvania needs, thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Josh First

Four easy things you and I can do to reclaim college education

College education needs to be reclaimed if America is going to succeed in coming generations.

Getting a “college education” these days has zero to do with getting educated, and everything to do with being indoctrinated and shamed, coerced, and guilted into agreeing with extremist teachers just to get a passing grade. Nothing today about college is truly educational. College is 100% radical anti-America indoctrination, even for kids pursuing a technical or scientific degree, because the electives alone are Man-Hating 101, Sexual Confusion 202, Inconsistent & Hypocritical Argumentation 303, and Moral & Intellectual Relativism 404. Four years of this junk and even the brightest kid is gone.

Having put one of my kids through “America’s most liberal college,” and with another one being similarly indoctrinated with huge malfeasance at a second university, sensitivities to the mis-education of American youth are honed razor sharp around here.

If you are one of those easy going liberals who is just fine with your kid being barked at and browbeaten into submission by people you yourself would never hire into your own business, then shame on you for allowing your own child to be ruined. Your kid will not be prepared to think straight after undergoing the kind of nonsense now passing as college education. All your hard-earned money is being poured down a drain. I do not desire any of this for my kids.

College indoctrination is a soup of subjective notions and unprovable ideas that cannot stand the light of day, and it is for this reason that universities have circled their wagons with anti-free speech codes and all kinds of other unconstitutional foolishness meant to insulate the indoctrination from being challenged. And the few challengers are brow beaten and given poor grades.

No diverse or free thinking allowed for you!

So if you are interested in seeing universities once again become centers of learning and ideas, of critical thinking skills and robust debate, then here are some easy things you can do:

a) Do not donate a dime to your alma mater or graduate school. Don’t give them a penny, and if you feel like telling them why, do it, and tell your alumni association, too. Explain that you will not give one red cent toward political indoctrination and the crushing of free thought and individual liberty.

b) Write to your elected state representatives and demand that they eliminate faculty tenure from whatever your state university system is. Tenure is what shields the biggest losers, the most incompetent frauds from being outed as the academic nincompoops they are. Tenure was supposed to protect free thought; now tenure is used to eliminate free thought. Make every college professor at a state university work hard and compete for a five year contract. Make professors actually earn the money they are paid and the class room time they have. That will eliminate about 80% of the ideological foolishness now presented as “education,” and it will incentivize private colleges to follow the same course.

c) File a lawsuit against your kid’s university on behalf of your kid for all of the racial profiling, racial harassment, and racial discrimination now masquerading as being against “white privilege.” That phrase, “white privilege,” is a disgusting racist epithet meant to prepare people of a certain skin color for genocide. No two ways about it. If you said this about anyone else’s skin color, you would be rightly booted from polite company. So take it to the courts and get real justice, because under most state law public institutions and private institutions taking public money cannot engage in this kind of official racial discrimination. Lawsuits at NYU, Oberlin, and Google are paving the way. Join in, you just might win back your kid’s college tuition.

d) Write to your state representatives and demand that no further taxpayer funding be provided to schools where “white privilege” racism and anti-male discrimination is being taught or promoted, or any other fake racial/sexual nonsense is being bandied about as truth.

And again, if you are one of those liberal parents who is just so happy that your kids got degrees in gender studies, critical race theory, underwater basket weaving, and drawing rainbows for fifty thousand bucks a year, then you are dumb, foolish, even stupid, because those kids who did not undergo that trash will be out-thinking and out-competing your dumbed-down kids for the next fifty years. And it is all your fault; you were not just complicit in the ruination of your own children, you caused their failure.

Yeah, way to go Mom and Dad; great job.

Red oak and rain: Taking a strong economy for now while America fights for an even better future

Our present tariff battle with communist China has some personal pain associated with it, but I and everyone in business I deal with say we are ready and willing to put up with it for the long term betterment of America.

“I am just sitting here watching the rain come down,” says ‘D’, a young forester I have worked with for almost twenty years.

A super hard worker, risk taker, and fourth generation forester\logger (he is the first in his family to have a college degree, and in fact he has a Masters in Forestry), ‘D’ has a young family to feed and a great deal of investment in time, equipment, and standing timber that he cannot do anything with, or earn money with, so long as it rains.

With incessant rain like we had throughout 2018 and now well into 2019, most forestry operations stop. Marking timber on steep mountain sides, building roads into timber, cutting, skidding, and hauling timber just is not safe or environmentally possible in rain. Then, as a result, the sawmills slow down. They cannot get the trees they need to make the hardwood lumber products so much of America and the world require for flooring, cabinetry, moulding, doors, tables, furniture, etc.

But the rain is only part of the pressure on the timber industry.

Almost half of Pennsylvania’s hardwood timber economy is comprised of the red oak tree, which grows a beautiful wood used around the world. Until the tariff spat began last year, China was the primary destination for almost all of Pennsylvania’s red oak. China took our exported red oak logs and manufactured all kinds of wood products that they then sold back to American companies. When the tariffs started to bite in 2018, demand for red oak logs began to slow, because Chinese companies could not afford to compete on that new level playing field. Their own tariffs on manufactured American goods had protected them from competition, and so with tariffs on their products, their own manufacturing slowed down, and their decreased need for raw materials followed. A year later, the demand for red oak lumber has nearly died. Spectacular high quality red oak trees, that six months ago were highly sought after in a fiercely competitive free market, are now being turned into railroad ties and pallet wood (some wood workers specialize in making beautiful furniture from homely oak pallets; well, guys, get ready for a whole lot of very nice red oak pallets to become available).

Standing red oak trees have lost over half their value since this time last year, and as a result, roughly a third of Pennsylvania’s powerful hardwood lumber industry is at a stand-still, with landowners, foresters, loggers, and sawmills trying to figure out how to make up that lost productive time, and lost revenue, and to find another tree species to take the place of the red oak.

Back to the rain… the forest products industry can weather this storm, as well as the tariff tiff with China.

“It’s for the best, for a better America, a better economic future for all of us” says Mike, a heavy equipment operator from Renovo, Pennsylvania, to me this morning, as he finally found time to discuss a timber project we have together, and the China tariff effects on it.

Mike, too, is stalled out temporarily by the non-stop rains, and he is also bitten by the temporarily slow red oak market.

“It hurts, but we needed to do these tariffs,” says Mike.

“It’s sacrifice and pain now, so that America will have an even better economy in the future,” says ‘D’.

I feel the same way. Pain and sacrifice, risk taking and hard work, all for a better future for us and our children. We will all be creative and find ways to make a living; after all, overall the economy is very strong.

Carry on, Mister President. We understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. The tariffs hurt, but we support you.  It is about damned time that someone in Washington, DC, gave a crap about our country and we people who labor out of sight in flyover country.

Logger “Pete” takes a breakfast break on his log landing. A tough, super hard working little Irishman from central Pennsylvania, it’s Americans like Pete who keep our economy going from the ground up