↓ Archives ↓

Category → Fruit of Contemplation

Rendering bear grease, Round II

Last year was a first try at something that has beckoned for a long time, and that was making bear grease out of bear fat. If you search here in the blog you will see the kind of double boiler approach that effort started with, and you will see that it took too long, though it did provide a good product.

Why would someone want to make bear grease from rendered bear fat? Fair question.

To begin with, in the natural world, fat is a major and valuable commodity. It is important to survival and is hard to come by; under normal natural conditions, it is a sign of high health. Only in modern, materially successful, over-consumptive Western countries has high human fat become a liability, a health problem. Just a couple hundred years ago, heck even a hundred years ago, most Americans could not eat enough to make up for the energy they spent during their daily lives. Today we Americans are overfed and sedentary, eating ourselves into early health problems. We do not move enough. So we look at fat and think fat is “bad.”

But bear fat is especially good. Because they hibernate from late November through March, bears usually pack on a tremendous amount of fat starting in July and August. The fat reserves they build up will feed their sleeping bodies over the long cold winter in a specialized and not totally understood way. Bear fat is very different from any other kind of fat you will ever see, and some people have said it most closely resembles whale blubber. While whales do not hibernate, they are warm-blooded mammals that occupy freezing cold oceans and dive to unbelievable depths for food. Such a hostile surrounding requires a wall of natural fat that both protects and feeds the whale’s body. So bear fat is supposedly a lot like whale fat, which means it is unique and performs unique tasks that most other animals do not require.

[Sidebar here: Think about the Canada Toad, which survives in frozen tundra by having its body freeze solid over the winter, while a special hormone keeps its blood thinned, liquid, unfrozen, and moving slowly throughout its body to keep its organs alive. Some of these adaptive traits are things we humans can benefit from for medical purposes, if we but care about the animals’ habitats so that they are around when we get around to wanting to study them]

Think about Inuit and Inupiak (“Eskimos”) in the Arctic Circle and North Pole region. Even today, many of them will sit down and eat raw seal and whale blubber as a snack, usually warm right off the carcass. Clearly this is not a bad thing, as these impressive and hardy humans have thrived on this natural food for at least 15,000 years in the most brutal conditions. So again, bear fat is closely related to these other sources of needed fat and thus it is a good fat. If you were to consume mostly bear fat in your daily diet, your body would probably function a lot better. I am willing to bet that bear fat is far easier for human stomachs to break down and for human bodies to metabolize than dairy butter, deadly chemical margarines, and beef and pork tallow.

So why would I make bear grease from bear fat? Because I want to, that’s why. I am drawn to natural living and natural things, and getting back to basics is what a healthy life is all about. While I myself will not eat bear fat or grease (or whale or seal blubber for that matter), there are many people who I care about who can and will eat it. Plus there are other uses for it, which I have experimented with and found it to be amazing. Those uses are as a leather preservative, and bear grease is AMAZING at this, far better than anything you can buy. And then there is the lubricating function on a patched round ball rammed down the barrel of one of our flintlock rifles. So far I have seen bear grease provide a longer lasting, better lubricating film on the metal than any other bullet lube I have used. And I use all the best commercially available bullet and patch lubes on the market. Finally, I have begun experimenting with bear grease as a rust preventative on steel, like shop tools and machine parts. I am in the middle stage of this experiment, so right now I have nothing to report back with. But if it is anything like the patch lube effect on our rifle barrels, it will be excellent.

And again, yes, if you want to bake pastries with bear grease, you can. People say it is absolutely delicious and the best of all oils for that use. Some of the recipients of the bear grease I have created will probably do that. If I hear from them, I will report back here.

So this time around, I used an antique cauldron. A big one, on a tripod, over a propane burner. The fat came from a 611-pound male black bear killed by Travis Dietrich here in Dauphin County, on ground I manage. Travis was able to get about 40 pounds of bear fat into a cooler, and it has sat in a freezer or outside in the frozen cold, since Travis dropped it off at my home a month ago. The cauldron could have held a lot more bear fat, probably a few hundred pounds of it, but we puny humans could only remove and store that one big hunk this time, and so that is what we had to work with. Last year I had about five pounds to work with, from a young, tender bear killed by Kenny Youtz, actually very close to where this year’s bear was taken.

Maybe the next time a bear is killed, we will just move the cauldron and burner to the bear and start tossing the fat right into the pot. That way we can get all of it used, at its freshest, and waste nothing.

Learning from last year’s experiment, the double boiler method was just too damned long. So this time four gallons of well water were poured into the cauldron and heated to a boil, and then chunks of trimmed and cleaned bear fat were tossed in. Remember last year: Include zero meat, and I mean none, not even a tiny sliver, if you want a smell-free grease to result. Even the tiniest pieces of meat impart a pleasant but very meaty aroma to your leather preservative.

Fat chunk sizes ranged from fist to finger, and one of the lessons learned in this trial is that size matters. Actually, smaller is better when it comes to rendering bear fat. Most of the people who do this regularly use a meat grinder to get the bear fat broken down into strands that really truly cook down, quickly, and give up as much of the fat content as can be had.

And let us take note: Bear fat itself is kind of…a meaty consistency. It is not like any fat you have handled before, unless you work on a Japanese or Russian whaling ship, or you are a whale or sea mammal biologist (studying cetaceans). So cutting up the fat with a knife takes time. Use a clean cutting board and be prepared to resharpen your knife along the way.

What was learned this time is that the initial boiling water does buffer the process. It starts gently melting the bear fat and creating a pool of rendered liquid that will itself become the direct rendering agent for the bulk of the fat chunks after the water has steamed off in a great billowing mass. And when the water has boiled off, which you can tell because the steam is reduced and is becoming replaced with light smoke, turn down the heat, or the grease will quickly scald and burn, and then you have just about ruined it. The pool of grease that has been rendered so far will then get to work on rendering the rest of the fat remaining in the pot. It is like deep frying fat chunks.

The resulting chittlins (or cracklings as some people call them) are supposed to be really tasty, and I saved mine for friends to eat and for my own trap bait. Yes, some people will eat trap bait. Or, some people will use gourmet cuisine as trap bait. Strange world we live in. Take your pick.

This has been a lengthy post and I am about out of time and words. Here were my takeaways this time:

  1. Render your bear fat as fast as you can. The longer it sits, the more you will get some faint rancidity on the surface that must be trimmed off.
  2. Cut your bear fat chunks as small as possible, using a meat grinder if possible.
  3. Do not over heat or overcook the bear fat. This year it was on the slightly over-cooked side, because I was operating in the dark and did not notice just how deeply brown the chittliins had become. A slight brown shows they are cooked. A deep brown shows they have been completely deep fried and the oil has become super heated. The oil/ grease will then become brown from the high heat. We are aiming for a creamy white grease that solidifies easily when refrigerated or frozen.
  4. You can strain your bear grease through a cloth or coffee filter, but I did not. As I am not eating it, I just left the cauldron outside overnight in the 25-degree cold, which caused the grease to congeal. In the early morning I scooped up the best fat first, which is easily identifiable as the hard white tallow. Below the surface was the slightly brownish grease with a slightly grainy texture, and then below that were the fine particles that were not scooped out with the strainer. I took everything, each with its own use and purpose. The bottom of the barrel, so to speak, was taken for my friends’ dogs, which will probably enjoy the tasty treat and get a super glossy coat of hair. The creamy white, hard tallow is best for leather preservative. The brownish, unfiltered grease will harden up and is best for greasing ball patches and preserving steel surfaces.

Pictures and captions below should help, and I do hope this helps. Last year’s bear grease post was right up there in the top two or three on all the search engines, so people are really reading up on this neat process.

NOTE: WordPress has recently been “improved,” and it is now much less user-friendly, very hard to use. Especially with posting photos. When I went to the WordPress online forum today, a lot of other users are complaining. I have already spent a lot of time on this essay and lost half of what I put in. The new editor is terrible, and simply deletes a great deal of text. I apologize for the poor photo formatting, but I am not yet used to whatever “improvements” were made to the software. Believe me, I am trying to edit these, but the straight forward commands that WordPress had before are now gone. Like so many things digital today, “improvements” are made that eliminate the simplicity and ease of use of prior generations. Maybe this is a job guarantee for coders. Please bear with our technical difficulties…

These bags of bear grease are not all of the final result, but account for about 90%. About two quarts were bottled for friends and are set aside outside of this photo.
The water is boiling off in a billowing cloud of steam. The white fat chunks are visible

 

The bear fat chunks are now really starting to cook down in the rendered oil. They are being deep fried. I should have stopped it at this point, but instead allowed the process to go on another 25 minutes.
In the dark of night, using only an overhead porch light, the chittlins looked fully cooked at this color. Fact is, they had indeed become fully cooked, but the grease around them was overcooked.
Literally the bottom of the barrel. Not a whole lot of grease was rendered from that forty pounds of fat. The different layers and different qualities of resulting grease can be seen, with that creamy white, pure, hard grease at the very top, and the brownest bottom material held the fines and smallest chittlin bits. Had I cared to strain all of the grease through a cloth, I am sure it would have been cleaner and whiter as a result. But for my needs, this was good enough.

Chittlins. I saved these as trap bait and for friends who like wild game cuisine. The newspaper underneath is the Patriot News, and this is the highest and best use for that partisan propaganda Fake News publication.

Great American Outdoor Show is here!

The Great American Outdoor Show is here all this week, and you owe it to yourself to see it.

Unlike “gun shows” and related flea markets full of rusty junk and Mabel’s old kitchen odds n’ ends, the Great American Outdoor Show is 100% pure beef sprawling across acres and acres of Pennsylvania Farm Show Building. It is a completely unadulterated gear-queer’s heaven-on-earth, with everything from classy side-by-side British shotguns to endless arrays and permutations of tactical gear and “Black Rifle” accoutrements.

Trop Gun Shop usually has some sort of modern “urban assault vehicle” parked there; several years ago it was a 1960s VW van re-designed to look like a Bat Mobile replete with a mini-Vulcan automatic belt-fed rotary cannon on top. Super cool stuff.

Just about every major gun manufacturer is here, except for Kimber, I think, which is sad, because Kimber makes top quality handguns and hunting rifles. The public would benefit from being able to fondle, errr, become acquainted with their fine creations. For example, a friend of mine took a 140-inch whitetail buck this past winter in the Adirondacks wilderness, miles from any roads. His rifle was….a Kimber Adirondack in .308, with which he gets quarter-inch groups at 100 yards. Now that is an accurate gun.

And so with all these gun manufacturers on location, you can pick up and handle just about any handgun made in America today, as well as the Italian revolvers used by Cowboy Action Shooting folks. Concealed carry is a big deal these days, and every serious concealed carry handgun is available to test out. Except the Kimbers.

There are custom knives, mass-produced knives, a Persian guy selling low-cost Damascus blades made in Pakistan and China with God-knows-what-metals in them, duck boats, bass boats, ultra-deluxe fishing kayaks by Hobie, the Portable Winch, animal calls of every sort, specialty ammunition, a gazillion hunting and fishing outfitters from around the world, and everything else you could possibly imagine or want.

Well, JRJ Knives is not there this year, as he has missed the past two years. John has more demand than he can keep up with, and I guess he don’t need no stinkin’ show. But his presence is always enjoyed, and I miss seeing him here.

My appearance at the GAOS is always closely tied to the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen & Conservationists, at whose booth I am an annual volunteer, holding down the fort with the likes of Grouchy Dennis, Happy Phil, Over-Mother Melody and many others who volunteer their time to help PFSC help sportsmen. And there is no other organization in Pennsylvania that helps sportsmen like the PFSC. In fact, right now the NRA does not have a representative working in Pennsylvania, and it is the PFSC lobbyist who is carrying the NRA’s load these days in the legislature.

Of course there is FOAC, and they do amazing work, but when it comes to conservation, science-based wildlife management, AND firearms rights, PFSC is it.

And so for me the GAOS is all about the PFSC, and serving the sportsmen.

The show goes on through Saturday, and you should see it to believe it. It is truly incredible.

 

Speaking of cold weather, here is a wood stove review

Eleven years ago we purchased a new wood burning insert for the big fireplace in the living room. It replaced a small wood burning stove with a blower I had temporarily put there to finally project some real heat into the big space around it. Here is the review of the replacement wood burning insert.

This is an old stone house with beautiful fireplaces upstairs and down, begging to be put to use. Because the 16-inch-thick stone walls have zero insulation, wintertime becomes a simple question of how much energy can you dump into the first floor. The more you dump in, the only marginally more comfortable a person feels. The attic is fully insulated, and there are 1960s storm windows, but these are only part of the efficiency challenge. Basically the place is a big sieve, leaking energy out of every seam, nook, crevice, and old window, so it’s a battle we just won’t win. But with certain types of energy, like wood and coal, we can really keep shoveling it in and enjoy the relatively cheap rewards of abundant heat in one location.

Think of it as a family campfire in the living room.

As I grew up in a rough-sided home that heated only with wood (and where I would see my own breath vapor on winter mornings in my bedroom, because it was the farthest from a heat source), and I grew up splitting tons of wood all summer and fall as one of my chores, running a wood burning stove today is first nature to me. And I like it. Pictures over the years of the entire family snuggled together, asleep on top of and under wild game skins, in front of the fire, makes a dad’s heart grow fond for those early years, before the kids grew up and had their hands out all the time.

Somewhere in the 1970s a gas-burning log insert had been put in this living room fireplace, and we removed it in 2007. It was gaudy, silly looking, and highly vented, which meant it was a show horse and not a work horse. Its heat all went right up the chimney! Ambience? Barely. Heat? Zero.

Though I had my eye set on a QuadraFire 5100 insert, I was sweet talked out of that choice by a stove salesman in Mechanicsburg. He had worked with and for my dad for many years, many years ago, and because of that long relationship I figured he would not lead me astray. Well, that transaction ended up another lesson in “assume nothing,” because the Pacific Energy Summit insert we bought from him just absolutely sucks crap all damned day long. It is nearly trash, and at $5,000 installed, you don’t want or expect trash. It is nowhere near the performance of the QuadraFire, hell it is probably not even the performance of an open campfire.

The primary deficiency with the Pacific Energy Summit is it has a single rudimentary air intake, up front and center. Theoretically this location draws in fresh air across the fire and out the back as the gases are vented around the baffle and up the chimney, theoretically resulting in an even burn that consumes all the wood and produces a lot of heat.

Well, the Summit is a lesson in failed theory, because this one single source of air results in an oxygen-starved fire where 3/4 to 2/3 of the fire box is a mass of half-live half-dead coals and baked wood mixed with heavy ash, and the actual fire and source of heat is just up front by the door. It produces very little heat for all the massive amount of wood that is put in it. And do we ever shovel in the wood here, because the Summit just chews through it. Apparently the baffle is poorly designed, too, because you’d think the steel jacket surrounding the fire box would get hot, but it doesn’t. Most of whatever heat is produced just goes up the chimney, which is a waste of energy.

Our hunting cabin has a small QuadraFire wood stove, and it requires very little wood to turn the house into a hot sauna, even in the dead of  frigid winter. Like our wood stove at the cabin, the QuadraFire 5100 insert I was talked out of also has four points of air entry into the fire box. Air entering from all these angles, front and back, results in an even burn that pulls maximum heat from the wood consumed in the fire box, and it also allows for a fine tuning of each fire. The ash from the QuadraFire is very light, very thin, which means all of the wood is being burned up and converted into fire.

Conversely, the wood ash from the Summit is heavy, meaning a lot of biotic material remains in it, which means it has not completely burned. It is no surprise, because the insert’s design is so bad. Had I not been sold a bill of goods by the Pacific Energy salesman, and had my natural skepticism that guides me so well in all other matters overcome my sense of loyalty to an old acquaintance, I would have purchased the QuadraFire 5100 and I would have been a much happier person for it.

A once-young logger I have worked with for the past twenty years has a QuadraFire 5100 insert at his cabin, and he really likes it. He told me it is “one of my few possessions that actually works correctly and which I would not sell, ever.”

On the other hand, I am about to give away this junky Pacific Energy Summit insert, which has eaten up so much of my hard-won firewood over the years. I would never buy another one.

Lame morning wood in the Pacific Energy Summit. A big bank of hot and cold coals raked forward to the front, the single source of air. This is its usual incomplete burn.

Pacific Energy Summit after a full burn and coals raked forward. An efficient wood stove will burn wood down into ash quickly. The Summit is so grossly inefficient that wood turns to a thick bed of coals that smothers the one single air intake and produces very little heat.

A poker end buried in a heap of coals. Even with the air flue all the way open, the Summit still doesn’t burn efficiently. It wastes firewood.

Even weather.com promotes fake news, fake science

The other day President Trump mocked the anti-science “climate change” political activism crowd when he tweeted about the need for some “global warming” to offset the record low temperatures descending upon  America. He was joking, and mocking, but everything he does creates an opening for enemies of America to attack him.

So cue up the faux indignation and mocking responses in return.

Fake science and lame-ass blatant political activism miraging as news reporting came from everywhere: Business insider, Newsweek, The Independent (UK), CNN, New York Times, Yahoo, Vanity Fair, and many other political activism outlets that pose as news outlets, including, amazingly, weather.com.

Weather.com, you ask?

And the answer is sadly, Yes, even weather.com, which you would think is just about the weather. Turns out that even weather.com is fully in the tank for anti-scientific climate change political activism. The one article weather.com staff wrote actually seriously evaluated just what more “climate change” would mean for America and the planet, and how terrible it is that President Trump wants this.

Either leftist activists have no sense of humor, or they are such crazed activists that no matter what someone says, it must always be turned into a political debate and crisis and a nuclear bomb aimed at whomever it is they disagree with at that moment. I vote for leftists being crazed, because nothing else explains their behavior. And so, weather.com published a very serious-sounding article about Trump’s tweet worthy of something from that source of awesome satire, The Onion. The article actually purports to be about how Trump is both a bad person for wanting more global warming, and how global warming is nothing to laugh at.

So weather.com wants it both ways: Trump is bad, and stupid, and by the way, just in case he wasn’t serious, he shouldn’t joke, either.

Every other mainstream fake news outlet followed suit with variations on this same theme, Trump bad and stupid, and global warming must not be mocked.

What surprised me was just how politicized weather.com is (and Business Insider, for that matter, being that it is aimed at business people). So I submitted a comment on the weather.com feedback page:

Your ridiculous article about President Trump calling for “global warming” was 100% political attack on the president and zero percent science. The president was obviously, plainly joking about having “more global warming” and your decision to treat his joke as something serious worthy of real analysis is either stupid or political activism by your website. I am guessing your article is political activism, because it criticizes the president as if his joke was meant to be serious. I object to weather.com politicizing the weather. I also object to weather.com relying on the opinion of politicized climate activists posing as academics, and then failing to obtain a balanced or opposing view from actual scientists who dispute human-caused climate. You are promoting a religious view, not a scientific view. At the very least human caused “climate change” is a nascent scientific subject to review and debate. Presenting it as settled is a subjective choice weather.com makes and thus, your credibility is damaged. Please leave politics out of your weather reporting. It certainly alienates me from wanting to use your web page or service.

And then I went further into weather.com and discovered entire sections of the website devoted to climate change fraud, and slickly packaged.

Why is it fraud? Because their assertion of human-caused climate change rests almost entirely on the provably false notion that “all scientists agree” that climate science is “settled.”

A) There is no such thing as climate science, and what science there is about climate change is all over the place. Real science is hardly ever “settled,” and it becomes settled then only after a long, robust and transparent debate. This kind of debate has not happened with climate change, because a great deal of it being politicized (“everyone says this is settled, so shut up”).

B) Scientists who have studied weather, climate, forestry, ecology, meteorology etc have come down all over the place. There is no universal agreement among scientists. Asserting there is universal agreement is like politics or religion. Leap of faith, or leap of belief in political outcomes.

So, add weather.com to the long list of political actors masquerading as scientists and humble service providers.

Duly noted!

Politics over weather science:

Holocaust Remembrance Day. What do people remember, and why do they remember it?

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and for the vast majority of Americans citizens, this day is vaguely associated with liberating WWII death camps in Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. That is about it.

Maybe you watched Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan, or the 2008 movie Defiance, about the Belsky brothers, rural redneck Jews who knew how to use guns and live off the land, and who fought back effectively against their homicidal German neighbors. These movies and others keep alive a spirit of awareness that something went really wrong in WWII, but let’s face it, that distant past becomes murkier with every passing year.

In a bunch of American government schools, today is used to teach specifically about the costs of intolerance, broadly speaking, because history lessons are best applied to circumstances in a person’s own life, not to some ghost of the now-distant past. So one view of the history of racial relations in America features prominently; any positive aspects are discarded in the interest of heightening awareness by honing victims’ vulnerabilities. Agendas aside, teaching tolerance of others is generally a good thing. Some teachers probably draw upon more recent examples of genocide like Rwanda, or recently resurrected examples like Turkey’s attempt to ethnically cleanse the Armenian People from Earth.

Still, there is no question about it, Hitler’s Third Reich took an innate German genius for mechanical and physical science to a whole new level and then bent it for evil. A grotesque mis-use of God-given talent followed, devoting entire nationwide train systems and military assets to try to exterminate Europe’s Jews, and any Gypsies, Christians, and gays caught up in the dragnet, while Germany simultaneously and justifiably burned for its sins. And then the Russians walked in….but that is another story of revenge for another time.

Using the otherwise brilliant German creation of Zyklon B gas (which in 1947 spawned a family of super dangerous, super effective organophosphate insecticides used to keep American fruits and vegetables looking shiny and fine for market) to choke to death herds of naked humans in concrete death chambers is really the biggest take-away image of the Holocaust. This cruelty and savagery remains unimaginable, and those dedicated to remembering it the most are Jews from Europe, because they suffered the worst.

So why today do so many (mostly secular) American Jews practically worship the Holocaust, revel in the victimhood, and then simultaneously support political movements and policies that mirror all of the totalitarian behaviors that led up to the Holocaust?

A large majority of today’s American Jews are utterly devoted to the same kind of destructive, intolerant, vitriolic, hate-filled politics that resulted in the creation of Nazi Germany, the demonization of Jews there, and their final destruction. And of course, one of the key policies that enabled the Nazis to take power was their nation-wide civilian disarmament, the removal of all guns, even sporting arms, from private ownership. This is something that would be a dream come true to a majority of today’s American Jews, who also happen to be registered Democrats, which is today’s leading source of intolerance, dehumanizing demonization of political opponents, hate, violence, and political instability in America. The Democrat Party and many of its young Jews are also leading forces against Israel, the one place Jews could go, if they were under mass threat once again.

So one has to wonder: What do people today really, truly remember about the Holocaust? And did they really, truly learn any lessons from it?

The choices you face:

Gillette’s toxic femininity falls flat

If you have missed the latest in big virtue signalling and social justice nonsense, go find the Gillette razors “Be the best a man can be” advertisement.

[And here is a measured analysis of it by Matt Christensen]

This ad is directly insulting to men and basic masculinity. It tries to re-define basic masculinity into a weenie, a wuss, a pansy, a wimp, a limpwristed femi-man who doesn’t look at anyone unless spoken to and who doesn’t speak his mind without raising his hand first and asking permission.

The ad is full of straw man depictions of stupid boorish behavior that any normal person would roll their eyes at, hardly representative of actual men, but it is also really super full of and targeted at behavior that is perfectly normal and healthy. Like two little boys wrestling on the grass at an outdoor BBQ. Yes, even little kids wrestling is considered bad by the wusses at Gillette. Even Gillette is now part of the war on boys and boyhood.

I wrestled, from seventh grade into college. Wrestling is a great sport, because it gives a wholesome outlet to naturally masculine urges to fight, make war, and to win contests through strength. These are traits that humans acquired over 70,000 years of evolution. Anyone who thinks that these urges are dead everywhere except in bad old America is willfully blind to the terrifyingly brutal wars being fought all around the world. In case the people at Gillette haven’t noticed, America is actually a very safe and civilized place, but the onslaught of violent rapists from across our porous border is changing that.

Little kittens play-wrestle, too, as do puppies. Are these natural and long-learned behaviors among cute little animals going to be targeted next for eradication? Teaching the recent descendants of fearsome wolves to makey-nicey amongst themselves may well be on Gillette’s to-do list, but it will probably be as unsuccessful as their attempt to dumb-down we humans.

What is really at work here is toxic femininity, the sexist, destructive and unnatural political force unleashed by a small group of male-hating women and their weakling, feminized male enablers (who would not survive in a hunter-gatherer society for one minute, an indication of how innately unnatural they are). These people are trying to bully the rest of us — we successfully masculine males and our enabling blatantly heterosexual female mates — into adopting their pathetic approach to dying out quickly on Planet Earth.

Toxic femininity is yet another politically correct assault on the basic pillars of human civilization, just one among the many we have witnessed in recent years. But don’t worry, friends, this silliness is falling flat on its face as we speak. But even if it were ultimately successful, the true knuckledraggers down the road would eventually come knocking, kill everyone in their way because by then everyone would be weak and pathetic, take whatever they want, and burn the rest on the way back home. Toxic femininity would be the very first victim, as it is inherently vulnerable, indefensible and undefended. So even if it wins here in Western society, it will ultimately fail.

P.S. Gillette and Proctor and Gamble are now added to the ever increasing list of companies I will not buy from, like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Nike, and Levi’s. All these companies have made the carefully considered decision to attack me, demean me, mis-characterize me, and take policy positions contrary to those I hold. They are driving me away as a customer by their own choice. So I am exercising my right to choose what to buy, and I am choosing not to spend my money on their products. We shall see who wins that contest in the end.

 

Fake News John Micek leaves fake news “Patriot News” to create more Fake News

He is no “journalist.” Media fraud John Micek leaves political cover of old Patriot News, becomes publicly visible political propagandist

Patriot News devotes 45% of its editorial page to a Vogue-worthy celebrity photo of anti-American US Rep. Nancy Pelosi. And the media wonders why regular Americans have lost faith in the legacy media

Ever since fake news purveyor John Micek arrived at the Patriot News (now pennlive.com) about eight years ago (he had some role there before taking on the editorial page), the paper went from liberal-lean to all-out 24/7 partisan propaganda. The opinion page that Micek ran became a seething cauldron of popular notions of political correctness. Micek’s opinion page became an Exhibit A of how the establishment legacy media maintains a constant saturating Blitzkrieg barrage of intellectual garbage on trusting, good-natured Americans, long used to sitting down to read “the paper” after a day’s work.

Micek made national news several years ago by peremptorily banning all anti-gay-marriage opinions from being published on the Patriot News opinion page. When Micek appeared on national television shows where he was simply questioned about his censorious practices and intellectual dishonesty, he became a deer in the headlights. He literally could not find the words to articulate a why to his censorship. Not in a professional way. The guy was exposed as a puppet master, not a man of letters, as would be expected of a “highly educated, highly experienced media expert.” Media experts like Micek have been trained as Fascist mini Stalins, not as thinkers.

My own exposure to Micek was what free-thinkers have come to expect from official media censors across the nation in recent years. I have submitted pro-Constitution opinion pieces to the Patriot News, where Micek would eventually get around to accepting them. Weeks after the issue had left the headlines. But Micek wouldn’t just delay them, he would edit out the strongest parts of my op-eds, then post the essays digitally for about 15 minutes, and then pull them off of the pennlive.com editorial page. So he could truthfully say that he had technically published the letters, but unless a reader went searching for them using the search function on the website, they would not be visible as one scrolled down through past posts. It was a sleight-of-hand trick.

So let’s be honest about Micek: He is completely dishonest. As an editor, anyhow. Not that an honest, objective reader would be surprised at this. After all, Micek has done his misdeeds up front and in public view, where he has long misrepresented himself as a “journalist,” and therefore as a fair-minded arbiter of fact and truth, when he is so obviously the opposite.

Now John Micek has left pennlive.com to join another up-front fake news start-up. There, he will be able to more freely purvey his anti-America PC garbage and nonsense; his censorious ways will become de facto “the norm” for official media discussions. Micek is doing this to even further control the political and social narrative, to limit and shape the information and language available to curious people, and thereby, he hopes, to artificially control and shape the way Americans think about public policy issues.

John Micek embodies pretty much everything honest, patriotic Americans despise about liberals. He is a weak-kneed manipulative weasel with a feminized pseudo-intellectual affectation who hates America as it was founded, but who nonetheless enjoys and relies upon the Constitutional rights he is trying to destroy for everyone else.

If bowties were at all “in” today, Micek would festoon his entire body in them. Mister Peabody Knowitall Do-Good has now gone on to do more bad things, more often, more publicly. This move is about the most honest thing he has ever done in his career, as the cat is finally out of the bag and he is openly admitting he has been a fake news propagandist the entire time.

Congratulations, John.

Science Denier Chuck Todd Declares NBC a Heretic-Free-Zone

In the 1600s, the Catholic Church was on a roll with great momentum. The church’s Great Inquisition was well under way, as a money making venture and as a barbaric instrument of terror, coercing both potentially wayward believers and outright non-believers back into a dark corner, out of fear of physical torture, financial ruin, or burning alive at the stake. Due process and the rule of law were not yet concepts the church embraced outside of a small group of inner circle elitists.

This is the world that early scientists like Galileo and Copernicus stepped into, and where they met with the buzz saw of censorship. This is an old and well-known story from the church’s dark days, and it will not be repeated in detail here. It is mentioned, however, for the benefit of its irony: Today, openly partisan political propagandists like Chuck Todd of NBC “news” have set themselves up as the new church censors, deciding what is truth and what may not be said, for fear of upsetting a political arrangement of things he favors.

Chuck Todd has declared that no heretics will be permitted in his presence. His true goal is to shame and coerce non-believers into submission, out of fear of retribution and ruin.

Like the 1600s church censor before him, Giancito Stefani, the “Master of the Sacred Palace,” Chuck Todd has now declared that no person will be allowed on his NBC television show who defies or questions politically correct dogma, that being human-caused “climate change.”

Not even real scientists who have actually studied climate change are welcome! Really!

Chuck Todd and his coercive brethren today are like the 1630 church fathers; they have the same anti-science goal of control and censorship. In 1630, the church fathers were quite certain that scientists Galileo and Copernicus were way off base, that their ideas were heretical, and that those ideas must be declared haram, off-limits, unwelcome, wrong, banned, and unacceptable. Galileo was to be stopped at any cost. His ideas were dangerous.

To a certain political arrangement of things the church favored.

Similarly, Chuck Todd asserts that climate science is and has been settled, and that is that, he says. It shall not be questioned, he says. Not on his TV show, and, he hopes, not on anyone else’s TV show, either.

Chuck Todd name-calls people who disagree with the idea or claims of human-caused climate change “climate deniers.” This is a fancy name for ‘heretic’. The irony is that Chuck Todd and his co-believers are science deniers, because they deny the scientific refutations of human-caused climate change, and because there is absolutely no science behind the climate change belief Chuck Todd espouses; he and they will permit no actual science to contradict what is essentially a faith belief he and they have.

As if real science is ever settled. The whole point of real science is that it is an ongoing open, transparent enterprise of search and study, curiosity and analysis. Subjects that were once said to be dreamy fairy tales and heresy are today concrete fact.

The problem with human-caused climate science is that it is not transparent, it has been completely politicized, and it is almost 100% built on flawed computer modeling, which is something I know a lot about.

Much of the raw data fed into the computer models has been faked, and the models themselves contain a lot of sloppy methodology (e.g. certain variables are artificially heavily weighted while other variables’ importance are diminished, without any proof of why or how the decision was made).

The East Anglia University scandal is just one example of the complete corruption surrounding climate science.

Recently, Aaron Doering (see his official mugshot below), a purported “climate change expert” professor at the University of Minnesota, was charged with felonious beating the hell out of his girlfriend. Why did this saintly professor strangle his girlfriend? Why, only because she dared to challenge his views. And that right there is the summation of science-denying climate change advocates: Stand them up to scrutiny, and they will lay you down with coercion and violence, because they cannot stand to be challenged or questioned. Bullies, all of them, Doering, Chuck Todd et al.

An example of how established science changes is how the initial dominance of Einstein’s relativity physics resulted in a rejection of later quantum physics. Because for years the two were considered mutually exclusive, and scientists favored Einstein’s physics, which were already well established (the giant mushroom cloud thingy is pretty persuasive Einstein knew what he was talking about). But as quantum physics began to find its way forward with huge particle accelerators that defied what we thought we knew about atomics, Einstein’s relativity physics had to give way. It isn’t that one or the other is proven right or wrong; it is that both appear to be correct and we do not yet know enough about how that can be true, when both are operating on mutually exclusive rules.

So here is Chuck Todd, not a scientist, picking sides in an ongoing scientific debate without any scientific training himself, and without having held a scientific debate to educate his viewers, and using his position to squash dissent and ideas he does not like. This is because he is most loyal to the politics of human-caused climate change. No surprise there, but hey, let’s just say what needs to be said.

A tattered old bumper sticker my friend John Johnson has on his pickup truck says “Liberal ideas: So good they have to be required.”

The flip side of John’s bumper sticker is that totalitarians like Chuck Todd and Aaron Doering are so insecure about the truth of their views that they must censor all contrary arguments. Like almost all others in his establishment media, Chuck Todd bans his critics because he cannot withstand basic scrutiny.

But if the church is any indication, there is hope for Chuck Todd. Fast forward from the bad old days, and the church became an irreplaceable cornerstone of Western Civilization; without its Biblical values, there would be no universal truths or individual rights that make America so great today. The church just had to look inward and answer some basic questions about freedom, liberty, individual conscience, and then everything else fell into place.

And as unjustifiably confident as Chuck Todd is in public, he must have a spark of curiosity buried somewhere in his conscience. A normal person would.

Historic Harrisburg Home Tour another great success

Thank you to Historic Harrisburg.

Their annual home tour was once again a lot of fun. We get to walk around in the winter time’s crisp air, with a lot of interesting and friendly people. All of us care about our community, which is important. The homes are always interesting, and many are spectacular. The hosts are always gracious, sometimes with the aid of a glass of wine, or sometimes a bottle or two.

One thing that bears repeating from past posts about these tours is kudos to Alex Hartzler, who has invested in Harrisburg’s re-development for umpteen years. His effort has been as an investor expecting a return, yes, but let’s face it, his WCI Partners faces an uphill task. There is a lot of risk, and the possibility of very little ROI, if any. And yet they go house by house, block by obliterated, abandoned block, and breathe life into Pennsylvania’s capital city.

Another fact worth repeating from previous blog posts here is the important role of gay people, mostly gay men, in gentrification and the slow reclamation of abandoned neighborhoods everywhere, not the least of which are here in Harrisburg.

You have issues with gay people? OK, you are entitled to those feelings, as sexuality really is a private matter. And if your views are Biblical, as are mine, then again, you and I are entitled to our Biblical views on human activity. That said, in my practical observation gay men are an incredible force for economic development and neighborhood renewal, which are good things in my experience and in my view. And they make fantastic, fabulous neighbors. They tend to be neat, kind, friendly, law abiding, all of which are desirable qualities in a neighbor.

In fact, let’s face it, I am downright envious of gay men: They get to spend all their money and time on themselves.

And in that spending process they are helping rebuild Harrisburg into a prosperous and safe community. So I say Thank you, neighbors; I really do not care about your private lifestyle, and I really do appreciate your investment in my neighborhood and community. Everyone have a wonderful holiday season and a successful 2019.

Here are some photos from our tour.

A reclaimed row home in Mid-Town. 100 years ago, these homes were built of strong and attractive materials, with neat designs. These attributes are being re-discovered and appreciated by many Americans seeking close and walking communities.

My “Princess of Patience” in the Levine home in Uptown. What a woman. Until I returned from the mountains, she had been a hunting widow for many weeks.

This is why I will never have my home on the Historic Harrisburg tour: I would have to meticulously clean my lawn. Thank you to Ray Davis for making his home open.

The Ups and Downs of Pennsylvania’s Status as Trophy Hunting Destination

When I was a kid deer hunting, you would find a comfy seat somewhere under a hemlock or on a stump, and wait for the deer to storm by. The deer would eventually pass by in herds like caribou on the tundra, so many that you often lost count. Almost all were does, which were mostly off limits to hunting back then, and what you were looking for were any signs of antlers. Any flash of white on top of the deer’s head meant it was a buck, and therefore legal for harvest.

No matter how puny, how scrawny, how insignificant the antlers were, “getting your buck” was the goal, and several generations of Pennsylvanians were raised hunting in this low quality atmosphere. Herds of deer far beyond the carrying capacity of the landscape were the norm, as were pathetic excuses for a trophy, usually spike bucks or Y four-pointers, at best.

Fast forward forty years and Pennsylvania is now a true trophy hunting destination. It is unbelievable, really, the incredible successes in wildlife management our state has had. And every one of these achievements has come from outstanding planning by state wildlife biologists over decades.

For example, every year for the past fifteen years we have had bear harvests ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 animals, mostly taken within a three or four-day season. Some of our bears, a fairly high proportion, are gigantic, weighing from 500 to 800 pounds. These are eastern black bears the size of western grizzly bears; but they taste a lot better and they lack the aggressive personality of grizzlies.

Other examples of our wildlife management success are the trapping opportunities for otter, fisher, and bobcat, all of which were exotic, unimaginable, almost alien creatures when I was a kid. Someone you knew had seen one at some point in the woods, but they did not show up in traps, or dead on the roadside. Now? These three charismatic, very cool predators are either common or becoming common across Pennsylvania. There are enough of them to begin to alter prey populations, and forest growth, which means there are surpluses for sportsmen to pursue.

And our wild elk! Other states like Kentucky may have newer, much larger herds of wild elk than Pennsylvania, but they do not have the large human population or oversized road system we have here. Kentucky and the other states that have recently added wild elk can sustain larger herds. Nonetheless, Pennsylvania sees about 100 elk harvested annually, many of which are gigantic trophies on par with the best of western herds.

Finally, the biggest wildlife management success is our deer population. And it is our most controversial.

I have had a good deer season this year. Really, an outstanding deer season, in every way. Quality, quantity, time afield, hunting companionship, family time, scenic and remote places…what a fantastic few weeks it has been. How fortunate am I to have had this time, and it is only possible because Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists have done such an outstanding job of managing our deer populations (Quality Deer Management Association recognized the PGC this year  with an award for its incredible deer management).

Here is an example of the controversy surrounding deer hunting here. After sending a photo of one of the deer I took, using a beautiful 1935 German double-barreled rifle made at the peak of German sporting arms engineering, my older friend Jack wrote back to me “If you are not careful, you will clear your mountain of all game.”

In past years Jack has hunted with me at our place and would testify to the high quality deer we have cultivated there. Nonetheless he is anxious about harvesting “too many” deer.

And right there in his statement is the rub, the issue, the friction in our wildlife management here, overshadowing all other successes. Older generations tend to see does as sacred cows, off limits to harvest, whereas the younger generations tend to view deer management through the lens of biology, mathematics, and both habitat and social carrying capacity.

Never mind the other species listed above, just the high quality deer hunting alone makes Pennsylvania a true trophy hunting destination. People are now harvesting gigantic bucks unimaginable fifteen years ago, and that are big enough to hold their own against the long-time trophy deer hunting states like Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio. Pennsylvania’s deer management is working incredibly well, giving hunters a quality-over-quantity choice that works for today’s hunters and that rankles older generations used to “more is better.”

Deer hunting has gotten so good that, despite much stronger anti poaching laws, people are still going nuts trying to illegally hog up trophy bucks, afraid that if they do not get it, someone else will. Not too many years ago a fine young game warden was gunned down by a night poacher who was determined not to go back to jail (he did). Last week two 57-year-old men were caught shooting at deer from ATVs, and their reaction was to badly beat the deputy game warden and take his gun. They, too, are now in jail.

Older Pennsylvanians seem slow to catch on to our new status as a trophy destination. They act as if does must still be protected (they need not), and as if there are only a couple trophy bucks that must be poached before “someone else steals my buck.” In his recent book To Conserve and Protect: Memories of a Wildlife Conservation Officer, retired game warden Steve Hower recounts some of his experiences dealing with this backwards mindset.

Past PGC executive director Vern Ross used to say at every opportunity he had “Now, today, is the golden age of hunting in Pennsylvania!” Vern was correct then, and even more so now, as hunting opportunities are even better than when he was at PGC.

At some point the vast majority of our hunters will recognize and appreciate what an incredible thing we have now, right now, and instead of complaining about it, they will enjoy it and do what they can too support the PGC.

Some photos below from our bear and deer seasons; the buck photos are from the five minutes I was there on the second night of rifle season at Blue Mountain Deer Processing in Enola, PA. Just look at those incredible heads and huge steer-like bodies! Wow. Unthinkable not too long ago.

“Think those are big? You should have seen the huge ones that poured in here yesterday, on Opening Day,” said Dean Deimler, owner of Blue Mountain Deer Processing.

I have heard of several 160-inch and bigger racks being taken in the mountains, where too many people say “there ain’t no deer.” Like a lot of people, I would rather have a shot at a lifetime trophy buck of 160 inches than see a zillion scrawny spikes and forkhorns.

The young man is my son, who climbed high and steep right along with the adults, handling his firearms expertly and safely, himself taking three deer in two states this season and hunting bear as an adult for the first time. And that is the other ‘trophy’ from deer hunting…watching that next generation grow into an activity as old and as natural as our species.