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So, so many fake Japanese swords

A quick ebay search for “gendaito” results in dozens of purported Japanese katanas for sale.

Hand-made “art sword” gendaitos were very few in number to begin with, maybe a few thousand by 1944, and after 1945, when Japanese swords of all qualities were being melted down, there were a lot fewer left.

When I began collecting antique Japanese swords in 1993, it was a pretty structured environment with plenty of Vet bring-backs available through newspaper ads and at gun shows. But most of those swords were basic Showa shin-Shinto machine made swords of solid stock. Created en masse for Japanese NCOs, they were the great bulk of “samurai” type swords captured and brought back to England and America after WWII. Though justifiably iconic in their own right, as they are beautiful weapons by design, none of them were art swords. None were made by hand in 1562 by a famous swordsmith.

Enter China. And with her came all kinds of fakery of every kind of antique collectible you could ever want. Guns, swords, knives, bayonets, not to mention shoes, purses, clothes etc. The first faked Japanese swords from China were easy to spot. Some were laughably crude, some were pretty good but either missing or overplaying critical aspects of real antique Japanese swords. Either way, only the most gullible or inexperienced buyers took them.

Today, however, you can find practically mint condition gendaito or older swords, with a nice new reddish rust on the tang, selling for half or a third of what such swords used to bring. Lots of them. Most of these fake blades are in authentic WWII military fittings, giving them a false air of authenticity.

The reason for the price drop is that so many fake Japanese swords have been brought to market that the natural demand and market absorption is oversaturated. Thus, supply exceeds demand, and price drops accordingly. Greedy dealers looking to enrich themselves at the expense of  would-be collectors have driven this dynamic.

Oh, there is a demand out there for real Japanese swords. People from all walks of life recognize how perfect these edged weapons are, and how refined and representative they are of the warrior ethos. Japanese swords are iconic, and therefore inspiring. They bring a lot of happiness to their owners, if only to serve as reminders of the old ways, like when men were men.

But sword dealers have now definitely overplayed their hand. The evidence of this fakery is overwhelming.

There is not only no possible way that one dealer can have so many authentic Japanese swords for sale at any one time, and there are dozens of dealers each stocked to the gills with fake swords being represented as authentic antiques, there is no possible way that this many authentic antique Japanese swords were ever available at one time in any one market, except maybe on the entire island of Japan in 1944.

After 1944 and Japan’s fall, swords were outlawed by the Allies, and they were destroyed by the thousands. Just like fabulous rifles in Germany and Austria were destroyed by the Allies. Though highly lamentable, it was all done to protect our troops. Very few Japanese swords or German rifles made it out alive, so to speak.

If I were to describe the ways these fake swords leap off the virtual pages of ebay and other sellers and scream “I am a fake,” I’d write a book. However, I’m just disgusted by it all, and writing a book is not in my future. However, here are some things to look out for: 1) tangs that have reddish rust. A true old worn rust is tough to fake. 2) file marks on tangs running the wrong way. 3) Tang inscriptions that are either perfect or that are cut over the defined edges. 4) Blades that are perfect, or that have a perfect yakiba or perfect hamon. This is the biggest red flag of all. Most Vet bring-backs were abused by the soldiers themselves, through horseplay. The swords were then used by kids in the 1950s for horseplay and cutting experiments. These swords were not then that valuable or collectible, so they were rarely protected from use or abuse. They were simply the artifacts and relics of brutal, cruel, sad warfare that their captors wished to forget. So to see so many shiny, smooth, perfect blades represented as antiques is a huge red flag. Very very few actual antique Japanese swords made it to 2017 unscathed, either through actual battle use or more likely, through abuse in American backyards at the hands of playful boys or demonstrative uncles in the 1950s-1970s. To see such incredibly distinct hamons on so many “antique” Japanese swords is a huge red flag. A real antique blade will naturally lose its luster over time, and the hardened cutting edge will follow that process, to the point where it becomes faint and barely distinct. Most blades will show clear splotches, discoloration, some rust, from having sat in a basement or living room for 70 years.

Guys, it’s tough to say this, but a lot of you are buying fake Japanese swords that are in reality made recently in China for the American collector market. It’s cliche, but caveat emptor. Ask yourself and your seller some really basic questions. The most important question to a seller being: How on earth do you keep finding these very rare swords, in such high quantities, in such incredibly good condition, to sell at such low prices?

You know the answer, or at least you should know it. The sad answer is the sad fact that it appears about 90% to 95% of the purported antique Japanese swords being sold today are fakes, most likely of recent Chinese origin (Pakistanis are getting better at making old looking edged weapons, too).

Do your research. Think hard about how each sword now for sale made its way to market. You’ll come to the natural and healthy conclusion. And you’ll run away, and save your money for real antiques.

Historic Harrisburg Association Home Tour another success

Though we have to date declined to allow hundreds of strangers to walk through our home amidst the cold weather and holiday cheer, there are one to two dozen other Harrisburg homeowners braver, more open, more comfortable than we who do so, and they are the ones who make the annual Historic Harrisburg Association home tour so much fun.
While seeing people’s fascinating, often perfect, intriguing and tantalizing homes is in itself fun, we also get to see old friends both on the tour and in their homes. It really is a lot of fun.
But let’s face it, though mostly beautiful Harrisburg City is broke, with a completely dysfunctional school district, and has high taxes.
These unfortunate factors artificially suppress home values. This can lead to parts of town where old homes sit vacant until they fall down.
I have lost track of how many times we have heard “If your house was where I lived, it would be worth millions!”
It is true that we have a high standard of living here, with access to fabulous homes at reasonable prices. Investing less up front in the acquisition of the old home provides an opportunity to make improvements that otherwise, in other places, might prove unobtainable or too expensive.
One home we visited was at 2333 North Front Street, the latest residence of Kristine and Alex Hartzler.
Alex and I knew each other at Penn State lo these many eons ago, and we have stayed in touch through the decades, which I find rewarding.
Alex is a guy who was destined to be a friendly but exasperated, overworked, underpaid attorney and lobbyist like so many others, but who in a fit of desperation signed on as legal counsel to a tech start up, which did well, which made Alex financially independent.
Alex now runs WCI Partners, which invests in Harrisburg City real estate.
Yes, that is correct, they invest in Harrisburg real estate.
Maybe it is voodoo economics, but they make it work.
Do you know how to create a five million dollar building in Harrisburg? Build a ten million dollar building in Harrisburg, and overnight it will be worth five million dollars.
Such is the economics of this city.
And yet, Alex and his partners remain undaunted, persevere on, carefully charting new neighborhoods out of old, using historic facades and structures wherever possible, and breathing new life into moribund and frankly decrepit parts of town that are otherwise only useful for briefly accessing hookers and heroin.
Alex and Kristine’s latest home at 2333 North Second Street is fantastic. It is a 6,000 square foot stone home that no one knew was there because of one of those infamously hideous 1960s “improvement” additions that so many beautiful stone homes suffer from all over the area.
Somewhere in the midst of the dopey free love ’60s someone got the bright idea to ruin this beautiful home with a cheesy coverup job. Until the Hartzlers removed it, no one knew the house was even there.
Honestly, I went to the home just to ask Alex what the heck “fenestration” means, a word he used in the written description of the home in the HHA tour brochure.

Must be a twelve dollar word for doorway.

After buying and renovating and living in and then passing on to the next happy owners five other Harrisburg homes, I think Alex is entitled to use fancy words that no one else knows.

Thank you to all the home owners who invited the paying public into their homes.

Here are our gracious hosts Alex and Kristine Hartzler, with long time friend Laura Campagne and the incredible Princess of Patience, Vivian.

My Morning Drive with NPR

Early yesterday morning’s two-hour drive involved a sparse radio channel selection in rural Pennsylvania.

Northern Schuylkill County is, after all, The Skook, and thus devoid of radio signals or much else emanating from the early Twentieth Century.

In a world of handheld oblivion, to some, including me, this insularity is a charming reminder of the rural good life. Rural people are largely content, and contentment is its own form of riches.

However, this long drive through raped coal fields also necessitated taking what I could get on the radio to help keep me awake, and that fell to the many taxpayer funded National Public Radio “public” radio signals along the way. Not even country stations had staying power beyond thirty seconds before fuzzing out and melding with some other vague music sound.

Having once been a fan of NPR, and still occasionally listening to NPR out of morbid fascination, I decided to open my heart and give another open-minded listen to what has become a notorious gateway for All-Things-Leftist propaganda.

“What the hell, it’s a long drive, might as well listen to these guys. They are the only stations coming through strong, anyhow,” I mused, while sipping the other second coffee.

Coffee quickly became passé, as I choked halfway through a sip and then involuntarily devolved into increasingly animated banter with the various NPR personnel as they were successively trotted out with the morning’s news items.

Within seconds, a skyrocketing heart rate, eyes bulging, and spittle flying meant caffeine was no longer needed to get me awake and keep me alert. I was there.

Was this some sort of Skook Zone reaction to news I couldn’t accept because of partisanship or unwillingness to consider inconvenient facts?

Categorical denial right here, no, it was not.

My sudden screaming match with the radio was a result of profound disgust and a sense of grating unfairness. A feeling of being violated by snobby DC Swamp dwellers who have no sense of propriety for factual accuracy or for the proper use of public tax dollars coerced from American citizens, and then turned against them.

To wit, Exhibit A, NPR news anchorman interviewing former US State Department career official and Washington, DC, insider Nick Burns about the situation with North Korea: Burns accuses Trump administration of “hollowing out” the US State Department, the US EPA, and the US Department of Interior, in an effort to undermine these agencies and their effectiveness. The notion being that failing, bloated federal agencies filled with unaccountable bureaucrats are what the American taxpayer really needs most.

The focus of Burns’ complaint was on the US State Department and how “enough” career foreign service personnel are not being hired to “adequately” represent the United States abroad. No alternative perspective was presented, no alternative view was sought. It was simply a careerist DC bureaucrat complaining to a sympathetic NPR employee about how the new administration was altering decades of government mismanagement. One long anti-Trump bitch session.

Exhibit B followed on the heels of Exhibit A. NPR reports that the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leadership role is being contested by a holdover from the past administration, a woman who was appointed to lead the CFPB by the former administration in its last days. This woman has filed a lawsuit (already appealed because she lost the first round) challenging the new administration’s right and ability to appoint someone else as the head of the US agency.

Nowhere in this “report” is it mentioned that this is at best a symbolic contest, or at worst a leftist shopping around for a leftist federal judge who will throw the rule of law out the window in the search for political dominance. Thereby granting said former federal employee the right to unilaterally override the President of the United States on selecting senior federal employees.

Nowhere is it mentioned that the new administration has full authority to hire, fire, and appoint senior staff to executive branch agencies, and that decisions made by past administrations are null and void.

Nowhere is the rule of law mentioned.

Nowhere is this growing activist federal judge phenomenon mentioned.
Instead, it is reported as apparent support for an Obama-era employee and Obama-era policy (“under assault” by the Trump administration) with no alternative view offered, and no factual view presented, such as such a lawsuit would be baseless.

This report is a live, on-air anti-Trump bitch session.

Exhibit C followed on the heels of Exhibit B. This involved an NPR anchorman interviewing an NPR “foreign correspondent” about the current tensions with North Korea. NPR’s anchorman categorically states that President Trump uses “bellicose language” that antagonizes NK’s homicidal dictator into being even more homicidal.

The “foreign correspondent” replies that President Trump uses “antagonistic” words because anything else would require America to “make concessions” to NK on its threats to use nuclear weapons against America.

Nowhere in this anti-Trump bitch session is it asked how America is supposed to concede to North Korea in a way that preserves American security.

Are we supposed to allow NK to bomb us just a little bit?

Maybe only California and Hawaii, but nowhere else?

What parts of American security are less valuable than other parts, and which ones should we concede to North Korea?

Nowhere is it mentioned that “bellicose language” is often used by national leaders everywhere when warning off other nations that have threatened them with annihilation.

I mean, isn’t it the responsible thing for a president to do? Or is he supposed to play nice, like Neville Chamberlain did with Adolf Hitler, hastening Hitler’s rise to power and enabling his genocidal wipe-out of Europe?

The on-air discussion between the two NPR employees comes across as sympathetic to North Korea and hostile to President Trump.

Exhibit D followed on the heels of Exhibit C, and involved another discussion between NPR staff about Project Veritas.

Project Veritas is James O’Keefe’s response to a corrupt media-political industrial complex protected by organizations like NPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc.

Project Veritas conducts inside sting stories where media personnel and politicians, including NPR staff, openly and often gleefully disclose on hidden camera that they are hypocrites, liars, politically partisan, and that they happily use their supposedly neutral and professional reporting roles to advance a partisan and extreme political agenda.

When they become public, these private disclosures are bombshells, because the lid comes off the corrupt media-political industrial complex, allowing the Great Unwashed to peer in and see what a corrupt cesspool is being funded with their tax dollars.

Establishment media like NPR don’t like Project Veritas, because it has taken over the role of investigative reporting that places like NPR, the Washington Post, and the New York Times used to do and which they still claim to do, but do not do.

In this discussion between NPR personnel, project Veritas is simply alleged to have edited its videos in “misleading ways,” without describing how they are misleading, and thus is just a bad outfit unworthy of consideration.

Over the years I have watched many of these Project Veritas tapes, and they don’t seem misleading to me. People like NPR’s former CEO are caught on hidden video saying things that fly in the face of their public claims about being balanced, fair, accurate, neutral, professional.

Part of this NPR on-air discussion about Project Veritas is really a defense of the crossover of overtly partisan and political agenda-driven editorial roles into news reporting at organizations like The Washington Post.

Not that this is surprising, given that NPR openly crossed that professional line decades ago, now openly serving as a communications arm for one political party and Leftist ideology.
Noah Rothman at Commentary Magazine is interviewed about this, and he provides another fascinating view into the Washington DC Swamp.

Rothman is represented as a political conservative, and therefore as an outsider source lending credence to the NPR allegation that the fruit of Project Veritas has been poisoned, because… it is just so mean. And edited.

But instead of lending credibility, Rothman comes across as a bitter clinger to the Never-Trump mantra, a guy who cannot let go of his DC Swamp allegiances in the Age of Trump & The American People.

If anything, Rothman reaffirms what many people like me already believe, which is that Washington, DC, is full of self-important nitwits who have self-selected a small circle of similarly minded people from both major political parties to reinforce an artificial and meaningless debate between Leftists and Moderates while they mutually feast upon the carcass of the American People.

That artificial debate is really about how fast or slow to grow the American juggernaut government, and how quickly or slowly it should erode, grab, undermine and other remove liberties, rights, and Dollars from the forgotten American taxpayer.

This whole narrow circle of likeminded Republicans and Democrats is euphemistically known as the DC Swamp, which candidate Trump pledged to drain, and which President Trump is mostly draining. Rothman is one of these Swamp people and he shares much in common with the interviewers at NPR, much more than he shares with the average American.

Listening to these people bitch and moan about how unfair it is to see their swamp drained is annoying. That they argue for the failed status quo is annoying. That they never mention the interests of the American People is startling, and indicates just how insular and out of touch they really are.

After all, American government runs by the consent of The People, not unelected bureaucrats and self-adulating pseudo intellectuals who sit around DC cocktail parties and politely, mildly debate the speed of our nation’s ruination.

During my morning drive through The Skook, NPR comes across as a farce. It is clearly not a news organization. From what I could tell, NPR is just one long anti-Trump bitch session.

CLICK! goes the OFF button, and I drink the remainder of my coffee, lost in my own thoughts of how far America has fallen and how lucky people are to live in such rural places where the simple things are still the best things in life.

Being Human: What is Your Rite of Passage

A rite of passage is quintessentially human. It goes back to our very beginnings as a species.
Achieving some important goal that separates children from adults, dependents from the self-reliant is a critical step in being a whole, healthy human.
Few opportunities exist in today’s material West. Playing video games in a virtual reality is the opposite of achievement, the opposite of reality. Compare the virtual lifestyle to the refugee survivors in Iraq and Syria. The adults there who managed to get their families to safety. They are real people, survivors. They are due respect.
This coming Monday is the Pennsylvania deer season opener. For rifle hunters.
About 700,000 hunters will go afield here on Monday.
For the youngsters among them, killing a deer is an important rite of passage. Hunting skills are as old as our species, and to many these skills are sacred.
Just because Giant has cheap meat doesn’t mean humans should trade away the most important skill set we can have.
Never know when you’ll need it again.
What’s your family’s rite of passage?

Thor & Moore: Media-Entertainment Complex On Defense

What does the new Hollywood “Thor: Ragnarok” movie have to do with the NFL and Judge Roy Moore’s US Senate campaign?

A lot.

Besides both being part of the Media-Academia-Entertainment Industry complex, both Hollywood movies and the NFL have been on the decline. A freefall might better capture these downward slopes.

Hollywood managed to combine insipid and pedantic movies appealing to very few people for a long time, and watched its profits end by simple market forces of supply and demand.

But Hollywood also has a preponderance of sanctimonious fools, professional actors and producers living life so far removed from the great deplorable unwashed that they openly mock the very people who spend their money on Hollywood products, and then wonder why their “art” goes unappreciated. And unprofitable.

Ditto for the NFL, where guys who get paid millions of dollars for simply running up and down a field decided they knew better than their fans what their fans wanted. And so they, too, became sanctimonious fools, hectoring people in the bleachers about phony political issues. Only to wonder why the stands are now so empty.

Enter politics! Whoda thunkit, but yes, politics is now heavily laced throughout everything in America, whether you want it, or not.

The same newspaper that endorsed a far-left candidate in Alabama for the US Senate three weeks ago suddenly publishes fake sex accusations against that candidate’s opponent. The accusations are so wild and out of character that voters would just have to believe them. I mean, that bad, that crazy, they gotta be true, right?

And that is how the Washington Post tries to shoehorn in a blue candidate into a red state. Just make stuff up. Like they did with our current president, when they couldn’t defeat him with facts, too. Lots of fake news. Fake news defines the Washington Post, and for good reason.

The Washington Post is simply one communication arm of one political party. It is not a news organization in the sense that it reports actual, factual news. Rather, the Washington Post creates news, suppresses news, edits news, and interprets news to support a political narrative conducive to its political favorites winning and its political opponents losing.

So it should come as no surprise that this same newspaper is trying to discredit destroy Judge Roy Moore, the conservative candidate in Alabama who sure looks like he is going to win that US Senate race. A charismatic, principled guy like Judge Roy Moore in the US Senate is a huge threat to the two-party career political hack dominance of the DC swamp, of which the Washington Post is the written record of record.

And in the same Washington Post this week there are scads of sugary sweet write-ups and promotional “reviews” of the new “Thor: Ragnarok” movie.

This is a movie carefully designed to have enough violence, unvarnished manliness, and traditional iconic weapons that red-blooded Americans just might be enticed back into an evening with Hollywood, even if just for a couple hours. In a way this movie is a last gasp from an industry that is fast taking on water and looking like it is about to go under from the one-two punch of having bad products and bad people.

The Media-Academia-Entertainment Industry complex that has for so long softly, gently held America by its throat is now struggling to maintain its grip. America has slowly awakened, sat up, and recognized what has been done to her while she slept. NFL players slapping Americans across the face, Hollywood actors spitting in America’s face, newspapers and media personalities laughing in America’s face…at some point America was going to wake up from it all.

If “Thor: Ragnarok” is as much of a financial disaster as it deserves to be, and if Judge Roy Moore wins his special election the way he deserves to, the evil Media-Academia-Entertainment Industry empire will have taken two hard blows. Not fatal, but enough to stagger an opponent backwards.

So this weekend I WILL be mailing a donation to Judge Roy Moore’s campaign, and I will NOT be watching the silly Thor movie.

Take that, swamp critters.

 

Scotland’s Knoydart, you gotta just go see it

After another visit to the spectacular Knoydart Peninsula in northwest Scotland, I feel compelled to write about it.

Normally it is uncomfortable to broadcast publicly where I have been, but this community is worthy of praise.

If you like to hike, walk, hang out, or just relax in a quiet atmosphere far, far away from civilization, but with the things you have come to depend on or enjoy in day to day life, a few days in Inverie is right for you.

The fishing is mostly limited to five miles of the Inverie River, for Atlantic salmon and sea run trout. This is pay-to -play, not the kind of fishing we do in America.

Also, the hunting is totally different than what we do in America, or in Canada. You must be guided by a “stalker” (no, not the guy who just got out of jail for stalking his ex) and ghillie. You must take the shot they tell you to take, at the red deer they tell you to shoot, even if it is not a trophy (and it is unlikely to be a trophy). You will get charged a lot of money just to go out, hit or miss, although hitting costs even more money. Then, if you like the head or cape of the animal you shot, you must pay for those separately, as well as for the meat. This style of hunting works for Europeans, and it is not my thing. It is unlikely to appeal to the vast number of American hunters.

That said, I was very impressed by the fieldcraft and general fitness of Knoydart’s stalker Jim Brown and his ghillie, Louis. Their knowledge of biology, ecology, forestry, and soil science speaks volumes about what it takes to be a hunting guide in Scotland. In contrast, here in America just about anyone can call himself a hunting guide, with the exception of a few key states like Maine, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

Thanks for the great memories, men.

 

Sweet Fall is in the Air

Fall may be my favorite time of year, for umpteen reasons, only a few of which come to mind at any given moment. Until I walk outside and then recall another dozen reasons.

Clean air, freshly scented with a hearty, earthy smell fills the streets and woods alike.

Sunlight strong enough to throw objects into clear relief, but not strong enough to make you uncomfortably hot.

Cool nights, asking in the back of your head “Did you split and stack enough firewood for the long cold winter that is coming?”

Leaves turning from verdant to golden and scarlet.

Apples ripen, begging to be eaten, baked, distilled. Hard cider is popular everywhere around here, and applejack is even more popular.

Wild game begins to prick up its ears, sensing the change to leaner times is on that new wind, bringing with it hungry predators.

As a predator, my own senses begin to naturally sharpen. Tree stands are checked, shooting lanes trimmed. Hunts are planned with friends near and far.

Successful or not in taking something home, a hunt is time afield, with nature. Cannot beat that.

Enjoy Fall, friends, as it is also a metaphor for change, the end of growing things, harvesting of crops, aging, and sometimes the death that naturally follows the aging process. It is a pleasing reminder that our time here on Earth is simply fleeting.

Fall is a reminder to make every moment count, and make every moment positive to make it count the best and the most.

 

Liberals are filled up with hate, over nothing

Several years ago we caught two local guys stealing oak firewood, tree tops set aside along a field edge for cutting and splitting. By us, the owners.

Despite posted signs, the two men helped themselves, relying in their own minds on an old, long-gone approval they had enjoyed years and years prior, and which I had already revoked and conditioned on prior approval in the future.

These are not run-of-the-mill guys. Both are highly educated, tall, big, strong, married guys with plenty of confidence and income.

One, S, is a successful attorney, who risked his law license over some “free” firewood.

The other guy, J, is a historian, a curatorial professional with a government job, which is also at risk for committing theft. He’s no dummy.

When confronted, the lawyer left six voice mails on my phone, asking forgiveness. Months later, we encountered one another at a land protection dedication ceremony, and he came right up to me and said “We need to talk.” His remorse was evident, and I declined to talk further about it, because my prior experiences with him had demonstrated that his remorse and appreciation has previously been short-lived. And sure enough, his wife then acted unpleasantly, as if I had done something wrong when I next encountered her. As if!

Here’s the rub and the point of this: Both men (and their wives) are politically liberal. When I say liberal, they are as liberal as I am conservative-libertarian. They are both gun owners who denigrate the NRA, which is freeloading, in my opinion, but I have never brought it up with them. On almost all other issues they are very liberal.

We three are polar opposites, politically, which never bothered me and which I had always taken in stride. We rarely discussed politics in social contexts, preferring to talk about hunting, fishing, the kids, etc.

The difference is that I do not judge people based on their politics, and whether or not we disagree, or agree. These differences are as natural and naturally variable as enjoying chocolate versus vanilla ice cream, family backgrounds, etc. Rather, I mostly enjoy people in all their diversity.

Well, back to the firewood.

Much of the resolution to the firewood theft was conducted through emails.

The emails that I subsequently received from J were unbelievably vituperative, aggressive, accusatory. No remorse for his bad behavior, none, and filled with hate and criticism for me. He called me a “bad person,” though I have no criminal history or record, having NEVER been arrested or charged with a crime.

J was simply angry at me and caustically critical because of my political views. He labeled me a bad person because of my views, not my actions. He did not object to the (gentle) way we had resolved the firewood debacle.

Even S eventually fell back onto this same approach, bad-mouthing me to anyone who would listen to him, even people he saw in downtown Harrisburg on the street. Perhaps S feared being outed, and went on the offense in an effort to “inoculate” himself.

Many of these people he talked with naturally reported back to me on what they were hearing from S, wanting to know what could lead to such a raw outcome between us. I never told anyone the full story, because I did not want to impugn either of the men, though they had both earned it. Especially in the aftermath of the original theft. From what people have told me, S’s criticism of me is primarily rooted in his visceral distaste for my political views.

The difference between our behaviors in this case are a microcosm of the larger divide between liberals and everyone else in America, and this double standard is not working. It is not good.

Through constant bombardment in public schools, colleges, the media, and the entertainment industry Liberals have been taught and conditioned to utterly hate and despise conservatives, Republicans, religious Christians, and now even “white” people.

To Liberals, the moderate Republican Koch brothers are evil, cruel, mean, despised, demonized, even when they donate hundreds of millions of dollars, but equal billionaire capitalists Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are lauded no matter what they do.

ANTIFA and BLM’s violent war on free speech and the First Amendment rights of political opponents is an epic example of the natural results of modern Liberalism. They actually go so far as to say that their suppression of other’s rights is “resistance” and “self defense.” That is pure crap.

This unhealthy dynamic and double standard has reached the point where merely disagreeing with a liberal on policy issues results in someone being branded racist, homophobic, mean, sexist etc etc etc. This is utter crap, of course.

Used to be that Liberals were open-minded, considerate, reflective, etc. Those qualities are now long gone, and they have been replaced by naked contempt and hate for people who disagree with them and their policy goals.

Ironically, the more rational and articulate the disagreement, the worse the liberal’s hatred. Wanting my son’s Boy Scouts troop to be free of anything sexual, because it creeps me out that some adults want to sexualize little kids, has liberals branding me and others nationwide as “haters” because we want the BSA institution to remain above politicization.

This Liberal hatred is a form of intense bigotry, and it has deeply divided Americans, corroding our national soul to the point where everyone is feeling raw and angry. It has caused liberals to go on murderous rampages with guns, shooting people with whom they have a political disagreement.

For a long time conservatives thought they were merely under disagreement with liberals, whereas Liberals were at war. Now we see it; we are at war.

And now we have arrived at the latest results of that war, 59 dead and about 600 people wounded in Los Vegas.

Liberals need to ask themselves if this is really, truly what they want. If it isn’t, then the time for soul-searching and making amends has arrived.

Liberals who disagree with this politically correct war on America and Americans, your voice is needed.

I am crying over spilt milk

Whether FakeBook causes, accelerates, or encourages the split-up of long standing friendships and friendly acquaintance-type relationships is a subject of endless discussion.

People who for many years, even decades, shared affection for and cheerful enjoyment of one another’s company and personality are now not talking, communicating, or sharing. Instead, one party has abruptly broken off entirely, leaving the other party bemused, hurt, and or frustrated. The drama can be plain silly, because we are talking about adults here who post histrionic things like “If you voted for ________, then just un-friend me, now, please, I beg of you.”

Or it can be more subtle, with people hitting the “ignore” button on a relationship, pretty much tossing the friendship away without the pain of actually breaking off.

This one-sided dynamic plays out most visibly on FakeBook because “likes,” comments, and the number of “friends” are actual numeric measures of a relationship’s quality. And when you start seeing a numeric down-trend in one area, you often see the actual end coming quicker and quicker.

And what is the primary cause of these fractured friendships?

Why political differences, naturally.

Do you recall the poll done about eight or ten months ago (Pew, Gallup? I don’t recall which firm did it, but it was a real polling firm and the results are believable), which showed 39% of self-identified liberals can and will live with a conservative, versus nearly double that for conservatives willing to live with liberals?

That poll showed what many of us have observed personally for some time, and increasingly over the past year: Political correctness has destroyed liberals’ ability to live up to the qualities they claim ownership of, like being tolerant, open-minded, and accepting of differences.

PC has become so intense that now simply belonging to the wrong political party, driving the wrong vehicle, or EVEN HAVING THE WRONG SKIN COLOR is grounds for heaps of burning hatred and criticism. Nothing about this behavior is open-minded. It is not tolerant. And watching people walk around with a burden of hate for all kinds of classes of people makes them look and feel a lot like the other side, the KKK or neo-Nazi side, who are ALSO intolerant and violently hateful.

While the few decades-long friends I and others I know have lost through FakeBook were not violent people, their visceral hatred still burned bright.

Where someone’s burning hate becomes physical violence is a subject for philosophy books, because gut instinct tells you that one naturally follows the other. Seemingly uncharacteristic behavior for the loving and gentle relationship we had enjoyed lo these many years, even decades, suddenly there was the hatred, the intolerance, the violent words, and then the break.

Not one conservative I know of has broken off with the liberals in their lives (because they are liberals), via FakeBook or any other way, but the number of liberals who have broken off with people who are not liberals is legion and legendary.

These liberals’ behavior is the very definition of intolerance.

Do you ever wonder why there is no ‘world peace’?

I do wonder now, and I always have wondered since I was a kid, when the Vietnam War was going strong.

Well, part of the answer to why there is no world peace is that those people who most assiduously claim ownership of being peaceful are those who in personal practice are the least peaceful.

During the Vietnam War, being pro-peace meant being against American war-making in Asia; but those same anti-war people were not against Asians making war against other Asians, or against America. So they were not really, truly pro peace. They were simply anti-America, despite living in and enjoying America.

One test of being peaceful is your ability and willingness to accept differences between one’s self and other people without getting angry, hateful, judgmental, accusatory, or violent. When that inability to accept others turns to intolerance, why then…there is an absence of peace. And you are not a peaceful person. And it is self-evident to those around you.

And no, demanding that people adopt your way of thinking is not being tolerant. Humans have been doing things a few certain ways for thousands of years, and if you want to deviate from that, then asking for tolerance is fair. Demanding acceptance, acquiescence etc at the cost of breaking off (a form of coercion and violence) is unreasonable.

I am crying over all this spilt milk, because to not cry is to lie to myself, and to make pretend that certain unhealthy dynamics are not happening.

I am sad at the lost friendships, whether mine or those of friends of mine, for sure. I am also sad about an America that has everything, certainly more than any other country, and yet is being torn apart by violence and hate in the name of “peace” and “tolerance.”

The relationships between fellow Americans are being torn apart, over what?

This is spilt milk, and I prefer to cry over this now and have a positive, healing, peaceful conversation with someone about this, rather than later cry over something else being spilt as a result of no attempts at healing having been made and the logical outcome of hate and intolerance come to fruition.

Historic American Art vs. NAZI ISIS People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Important archaeological digs providing useful history, bulldozed by ISIS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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