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How can we Americans not give thanks every day?

America is such a wealthy, successful nation that it’s impossibly bad manners that our people do not give Thanks every single day.

We have much to say Thank You for, and little to complain about.

Yes, sometimes political results don’t match our expectations or desires. Ok, America provides a solution to that: Get out and organize!

But don’t sit around harping, complaining, kvetching, because it all looks like whining.

And there’s nothing attractive about someone whining while surrounded by tremendous opportunity.

America, there’s no other place anywhere close to it. Love Her, protect Her, and thank God you and I live here.

Happy Thanksgiving Day, fellow Americans.

Gun control? We need liberal control!

The vast amount of carnage in the recent news has been carried out by liberals.

This week’s Devin Kelley was an evangelist of atheism, an angry liberal with a history of violence against people who disagreed with him. His dishonorable discharge from the US Air Force automatically DQ’d him from owning any firearms, not to mention his long list of violent infractions that led to his discharge. Somehow the Air Force botched the transmission of that lengthy record when they jettisoned him from the service, and he was able to illegally acquire firearms.

It’s still illegal to murder people, of course, which did not stop him from breaking that and many other laws.

Last week we had another product of liberalism, the Uzbek jihadi Saipov, who remains happily proud of his running down a bunch of innocent bike riders and children with his rented Home Depot truck. The most un-assimilated Saipov got into the US on a liberal visa scheme called the “Diversity Visa Lottery.”

America does not need more of this kind of false diversity, where people who actually hate America are cultivated and recruited to come and live here, without any demonstration that they want to actually live like Americans.

But we know liberals: “Diversity” at any cost, even the cost of run-over children at school.

The truth is this liberal version of diversity is about artificially inflating the voter rolls of ONE POLITICAL PARTY. It is why liberals want amnesty for illegal aliens, too.

Before Saipov we had hardcore leftist Steve Paddock shooting up the country music concert in Los Vegas, targeting his natural enemies: Heartland Americans who vote the ‘wrong’ way.

Paddock was photographed wearing the embarrassingly stupid “pussy” hat at anti-Trump rallies, and he was surrounded by ANTIFA loons.

Before that we had far-left union goon James Hodgkinson shooting up a softball game attended by Republican congressmen in the Washington, DC area.

Setting aside the jihadist Saipov, who was actually recruited to America by liberals, because liberals define cultural diversity to include people who violently hate America, all these other mass murderers are liberals.

Each of them had his own personal reason for attacking normal Americans, but the driving force behind their mass murdering is an angry, defiant liberalism being taught at universities and repeated through the mainstream media.

These mass murders are a form of liberal “resistance” that renounces America as it was founded, and which justifies hate and violence against people who hold ‘incorrect’ political views.

So long as angry, violent liberalism is allowed to be conveyed through universities and the media, these attacks will continue.

America does not need more gun control. There was not a single new law that would have prevented any of these mass murders.

What America does need is liberal control.

This could begin with liberals reflecting on their own hatred, the anger they cultivate against people who merely disagree with them on political issues, and controlling it, instead of justifying it.

Liberal groups like CeaseFirePA, which promote totalitarian big brother government control of us citizens, and which blame the victims of liberal shootings. Note they never hold account the white liberals who oversee mass murder and mass destruction in mostly black inner city communities. Thousands of young black men annually kill one another with handguns in liberal-run cities, but it is not an issue to groups like CeaseFirePA.

Truth is, they need that carnage to continue to blame their political opponents and to call for more gun control.

Liberal control could also include normal Americans taking back their universities from the leftwing loons who preach and justify violence against their political opponents (recall University of Missouri professor Melissa Click?). A good place to start is the termination of tenure, which artificially shields these violent liberal crazies from being held accountable.

Liberal control, it’s what is next up on the American agenda.

Old relationships die on new battlefield

If I have had one conversation about old friendships suffering from our prolonged political war, I have had a hundred.

Most people do not have comfort zones big enough to encompass people they politically disagree with, but those who do experience the deaths of those relationships, nonetheless.

Despite their big-hearted best efforts at disagreeing without being disagreeable, and making room for all opinions, it is mostly people on the right who watch their circle of family and friends getting smaller and smaller. The people whom they love or respect cannot return the favor when political disagreements stand between them. Even though each side holds views that the other strenuously objects to.

Fall-out from family holidays, a wedding invitation not extended to an old friend, and so on.

Once again, conservatives believed they were merely under disagreement, a fact of life that happens all the time, when in fact liberals were at war with them, family and friendship be damned. It seems that to liberals, relationships are a natural sacrifice in their “progress” forward and leftward.

Historians have written a lot about the long-term effects of old wars, like the American Civil War, or World War I. Hundreds of thousands of young men dead, maybe a million or more badly disfigured, missing limbs, half of a face, a hand. Not to mention the psychological trauma. Impacts on business and industry, farming, families, grieving parents and children forever unable to form strong emotional bonds as a result.

One can only wonder what will happen in the coming years when this quiet non-shooting civil war we are in here in America is over, and people are trying to move forward with their lives. What will be the effects, the results.

No amount of late night talk show humor will paper over the pain, and even some of those late night comedians are now saying “the fun times may be over.”

My take is this: If you take your political views so seriously that you cannot abide the company or fellowship of others who see things differently than you, then you are missing the key to being a peaceful person.

Gentle acceptance is the way to go. Something about tolerance, I think.

Toxic Hollywoodinity

Isn’t this Harvey Weinstein scandal interesting?

Turns out that just about everyone working in Hollywood knew he was a scoundrel, at the least, if not the mass rapist he is alleged to be.

Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, and many other celebrity actors knew full well that Harvey was preying on women, and not only did they do nothing about it, they actually went out of their way to stop the reports from coming out.

Back in the early 2000s, the New York Times top staff actually participated in deep sixing the story, instead of reporting it like a responsible news organization would. Because Harvey was their bud. He was a huge political fundraiser and donor to their liberal causes. Therefore, they had to protect him, and let him continue ruining people’s lives.

Reminds us of Hillary Clinton being in charge of the “bimbo eruptions” to protect her sexual harasser\ rapist husband, Bill. All those poor women beaten up and raped by Bill Clinton, sexually harassed, and then accused of being the cause of their victimhood.

When the Harvey story was blown, the same people who had their photos taken with Harvey for the past forty years suddenly became Harvey’s victims. They became his victims by claiming they, too, had suffered at his hand, after victimizing his real victims by aggressively suppressing their reports.

You can’t make this stuff up. It is pure evil.

If you were looking for the definition of hypocrites and liars, these people (Meryl Streep!) would be the picture in the dictionary.

These same sanctimonious, judgmental, self righteous blowhards (Matt Damon!) are actually leading double lives. They pretend all day long in their real job of acting, then they pretend to be good people, and it turns out they are all really bad people.

This is toxic to America.

Is there no end to Hollywood’s toxicity?

Riffing on the fake notion of toxic masculinity, a new term has been coined to capture Hollywood’s evil reality: Toxic Hollywoodinity.

Everything Hollywood is toxic, that is clear.

Vegas

Los Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock may have converted to islam, and then conducted his mass murder as a political statement.

He may have already been a kook, without having converted to islam, and been just as determined to make some sort of bizarre crazy man statement.

Either way, one thing is certain, he is (was) one of an increasing number of angry Americans ready to step over societal boundaries to make a point.

We have seen increased violence from liberals, posing as “anti hate” street police who beat the hell out of anyone they disagree with. Kind of like the Sharia morality police across the Muslim world. These street thugs (“activists” to CNN and NPR) have the media and academia on their side, mainstreaming them, making them look more respectable, more justified.

Liberals have even gone so far to say that knowingly importing violent jihadist “refugees” brings a certain amount of expected violence, that is somehow statistically acceptable.

While the racist right may not be anywhere near the kind of bogey man the establishment media makes them to be, there is no question that they, too, are now increasing in number and in intensity.

After eight years of Obama’s divisive identity politics, America is polarized, and people with personalities already prone to extremes are picking their side and lining up.

Hate to say it, but after 18 months of liberal street violence, a murderous attack on Republican lawmakers, several Muslim attacks (night club, campus, community center, etc.), and now this guy, it appears that America is heading into uncharted territory.

Yes, the control freaks will use this as an excuse for gun control demands. Forget it. No gun control can or ever will prevent criminals from committing violence, just as some hypothetical limit on liberalism would not induce liberals to be less maniacal and violent. No, 350,000,000 people will not give up their gun rights, or their free speech rights, so some control freak politicians can feel good about themselves.

Fact is, crazy and angry people are going to act on their craziness and their anger, and in a free society like America, this is a sad fact. In this heated climate, where we are treated to daily demands that president Trump be murdered by Obama loyalists, this stuff is going to happen more.

My heart breaks for the innocent people gunned down and injured by this madman.

My heart breaks for America, an oasis of peace and prosperity increasingly challenged by a group of power-hungry politicians and their violent street thugs. With the help of the mainstream media, they have normalized violence here.

The Wonder of Elvis

Elvis Presley was a wonder in so many ways.

Youthful cutting-edge song writer and musician, he combined mountain folk music with country, blues, and gospel, with substantive themes and meaningful words, creating his own powerful sound with bi-racial bands that captivated people around the world. Come to think of it, in some ways like Ray Charles, a similar creative genius who also went on to make his own unique blues and jazz sound (also drawing upon sacred music) during the same time.

Both men created, captured, and represented certain turning points in American culture in their music.

But Elvis was more than a musician of meaningful songs. He also wrote, directed, and starred in dozens of movies, for which he wrote or performed some or all of the sound tracks. Like his music, Elvis movies are about simple life themes, like love, relationships, community, commitment, family, patriotism, public service, and God. Gosh his movies are corny, with clunky acting, but they carry important and positive messages Americans could sure use a dose of today.

In the 1950s, when Elvis was debuting, American women were married to the scarred men who had returned from the battlefields or the military training grounds of World War II. A lot of these men were tough, hardened either from the Great Depression or from their military experiences, or both. Romantic thoughts or gestures, tender touches, gentle words with their women were pretty scarce then.

Along came Elvis, singing to these women about loving and relationships they could only dream of, representing a model man they could only hope for. In his way, Elvis taught men of his generation how to respect and treat women right, mostly by singing about the kinds of feelings women had and how men could aspire to satisfy them.

Women screamed and swooned, and men wanted to be his friend.

Meanwhile, other entertainers were singing about banging in the back of a car, and most popular music hasn’t moved too far forward since. OK, it is true that later on Elvis developed that hip thrust, but he let it stand on its own without any words to back it up.

He was a good soldier, literally, volunteering for the US Army at a time when most of the people being drafted to serve in combat were less privileged young men without access to lawyers or school deferments. His military service was mostly symbolic, but inspiring. Asked by a reporter in 1971 what he thought about the anti-war protestors, he responded that he was just an entertainer and would rather keep his opinions to himself.

In private Elvis was no Lothario. Reportedly chaste and deeply religious, his child was born exactly nine months to the day after his marriage to Priscilla. No fooling around or cutting corners.

After developing his own sequined and bejeweled stage look, Elvis wore a freakin cape, and yet still commanded the adoration or respect of everyone around him, be it president of the United States or hard bitten businessmen. He was authentic, real. A humble, simple country boy. With a big shiny gold belt under his coat!

He was relatable, because he was real.

“Before Elvis there was nothing,” said John Lennon of the Beatles.

“When I heard Heartbreak Hotel, I was transported,” said crusty Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, no pushover or soppy romantic.

Elvis’ impact on the development of music was unequaled.

Embodying so many unique, separate, divergent, and ultimately convergent strands of American identity, Elvis was a wonder no matter how you analyze him. He represented the best of America, the best of its values.

Elvis is still be the King of Rock and Roll, four decades after prematurely reaching the Promised Land. His generous spirit lives on, albeit appreciated by fewer and fewer. No one since has attained his heights or impact on popular culture.

America could use a pop culture figure like Elvis today. Someone to bridge the gaps between us, to help inspire and unify us, to sing to us about our best qualities, about love and gentleness.

We need and miss you, Elvis.

NFL – “No F@#*n Loss”

As part of the entertainment industry’s decades-old war on American culture, ESPN and now the NFL have joined the politically correct pile-on.

Hollywood has led the way, surely, with its movies’ power of suggestion.

That Hollywood increasingly excretes unvarnished political activism in the guise of children’s movies as well as rated R adult movies is a thing of pride to that city; no one there even denies it. Hollywood is really just a communication propaganda arm of one political party.

But you cannot discount the increasing effects of ESPN reporters who now openly write that President Trump and his supporters are “white supremacists,” among many other examples of overt daily political activism by ESPN staff.

When I write “effects,” I mean the boomerang effect, which is where the intended results of one’s actions negatively rebound and injure the person who started it. These are ironic consequences, the best, most well-earned.

Perhaps the pinnacle of this boomeranging political activism is the anti-America statements by NFL players. Taking a knee and not standing during the national anthem wasn’t enough. Now some NFL players are making political videos that are shown at the game opening, or at half-time.

Well, removing the ESPN application from my iPhone was easy. There, ESPN, I am done with you. You are out of my life. See ya!

Over the past few years, ignoring the latest crop of poorly acted, poorly scripted, CGI-heavy Hollywood movies was a little more difficult, because Saturday night out at the movies with ice cream afterwards is a regular family thing. Even a lame movie would nonetheless entertain us and provide food for discussion later on. Like, was the movie’s symbolism consistent with its message? Did the message flow, or did acting anomalies and hiccups sidetrack the message? Was the message worthy, or was it muddled, or even negative?

These kinds of conversations with our kids were always stimulating, because as parents we enjoy watching our children grow. Nonetheless, unless a movie is exceptional in every way, we now decline to spend our money on a product from Hollywood, because that city is constantly at war with our values.

Now we have the National Football League, the NFL, getting all poseur-like. The NFL, too, is starting to see a substantial decline in business income. Why?

Illiterate men of the NFL, who have earned tens of millions of dollars in a few brief years’ time simply for running up and down a field, are out complaining about their station in life. You cannot make this stuff up. We indeed have phenomenally successful young men from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose wealth is largely accumulated from admirers of a different skin color, now claiming discrimination. And therefore, they take a knee during the American anthem.

In short, they tell their audiences and fans to go to Hell.

I don’t deny these guys have a right to stage their silly protests. But I have no duty to watch them, or to listen to their nonsense. And I have the right to stop watching their football games altogether, which is what I have now done.

This past January I called the NFL headquarters in Manhattan. Sharing my opinion of the league’s unwillingness to bring the football games back to being just about the games was the goal of the call. But, try as I might, finding a live human being was impossible. The phone menu just kept rotating through, taking me back to the beginning each time.

So I just started punching random numbers in to the phone.

Next thing I know, I was into the voice mail of a young NFL staffer, whose name I do not recall. But you know I took that opportunity to leave a detailed message on his voice mail.

My message to him was simple: Since I was eleven years old, I have looked forward to new NFL seasons. I always enjoyed watching NFL games.  But that enjoyment has diminished lately because of all the fake moaning, fake victimhood, fake whining by these anti-America grandstanders on the football teams. And so I kindly asked the league to give players a simple choice: Dear employees, play, or leave, but no more political crap on someone else’s dime.

Unsurprisingly, I did not get a call back from anyone at the NFL. The organization seems to take people like me for granted. At their own peril.

Well, I did not watch one single NFL game last year, and I will not watch one single NFL game this year, either. And I will keep spending my time on other activities until the NFL gets its players to commit to just playing the game, and to stop insulting good people who have not had a racist thought in their lives. Or perhaps the time I free up that I used to spend watching NFL games on TV will become better spent, irrespective of the political landscape.

Yes, I know, it is common now for people to assert that disagreeing with them on policy issues automatically means you or I are “racist.” The contrary facts do not matter to them. As a result, nothing has done more damage to the battle to end discrimination and racism than this constant crying wolf by crybullies and rich crybabies.  I am a very good person, I am not a racist, and I am tired of being told I am a bad person because I do not share some silly ideology.

Guys, just play ball. OK?

I have now arrived at a place where the NFL has taken on a new meaning: No F@&#’n Loss to me. I don’t miss it.

 

Yay, it’s county fair season

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

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

Yum!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like that.

 

It’s berry season!

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

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

Among edible plants, fruits and wild berries reign supreme.

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

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

Sweet-tasting foods rarely occur in Nature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just watch out for poison ivy!

 

 

It will not hurt to drive slower, but it will definitely help

Are so many of us harried, in a hurry, a bit frayed around the nerves and feeling out of time?

Yes. This frenzied lifestyle is common.  It is a sign and way of our time now, where life does not stand still for a second. Smart phones, GPS, email, texting, everything is happening real-time, right now, and we MUST respond and act. We are scheduled by the minute.

Adrenaline junkies like it, and everyone else stays laser focused to the exclusion of much else, goal oriented all the way.

This modern anxious existence is a form on tunnel vision, and it can be witnessed anywhere there is a red traffic light, a stop sign, a pedestrian cross walk, a parking lot, heck even a school pick up zone.

These locations are choke points, places where cars and people tend to gather, and where prevailing traffic must slow down. But a lot of drivers do not slow down in these areas, either because they have tunnel vision or because they are desensitized to congestion. Like everything else, they just plow through it.

Daggone, drivers are in a HURRY to get to that next stop sign, or the next red light. If they would pay attention to the vehicles around them, they’d see that blasting from one light to the next does not advance their cause, but it does eat up their gas and increase the risk of hitting someone.

Parking lots are the biggest buggaboo I see and experience, where drivers just go way too fast. Parking lots are relatively small areas and there is little room for error there. If a driver speeds, driving fast in a parking lot during business hours, there is a real possibility of a pedestrian or two walking through to their car but meeting up with the speedster, instead.

Let us ask some simple questions: Why are we hurrying in these small, tight, confined spaces? What actual time saved are we hoping to bank, a second, two seconds?

What is that miniscule amount of time worth against the life or health of another person, who may be walking nearby? What is our time savings worth when we hurt someone, and then suffer the consequences along with them?

It won’t hurt to slow down. It might even help, because accepting the terrible fate of losing a few seconds of time can become a form of Zen relaxation.

Try it, you will like it.