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Climate Change’s Story, as Told by a Rock

The subject of climate change has been a political issue for about ten years. Before that it was called global warming. Before that it was called global cooling. Despite having dramatically different, even diametrically opposed, oppositional names, this subject of earth’s changing climate has been treated the same by political activists for about 30 years. No matter how different, under all rubrics it has been presented as a result of planet-altering human intervention into Planet Earth’s fundamental forces.

In all of the undocumented claims presented about this subject over the past thirty years, especially the fake junk science claims, the ignored elephant in the room has always been the very well and long-documented evidence of great periods of climate change pre-dating the appearance of humans on Planet Earth. In other words, climate change/ global warming/ global cooling did not automatically appear in 1985 because Al Gore wrote a book about humans emitting too much carbon dioxide. Nope. The scientific elephant in the climate change room was standing here all along, because decades of non-politicized scientific inquiry demonstrated how mile-thick ice glaciers covered northern America, Canada, and northern Europe and Asia many times over the past 100,000 years.

Well, here is the short and easy story of actual, real climate change; the long documented climate change that shaped the land you are standing and driving on every day. This big story is told by a simple humble rock. Here is a picture of that rock (below), unearthed the other day. It was unearthed about 600 feet above the Pine Creek stream bed and channel. Until it was unearthed, it was entombed on a hillside way above the existing channel, in mostly clay dirt amid sharp shards of shattered sandstone, all jumbled together like a giant mixer had tossed them around.

Look carefully at this stone.

It is rounded, unlike most of the other rocks around it in the dirt from whence it recently emerged. Someone with a bit of curiosity would ask “Gees, this rock looks totally different from the rocks around it. It is rounded like a typical long water-washed and tumbled river cobble I can find in any stream bed in the world. Now why is this rounded rock sitting hundreds of feet above the Pine Creek river bed? How did it get all the way up here?”

Great question! In most American class rooms, asking this question might get you ejected, or a bad grade from a fake educator who doesn’t want you asking good questions, but instead you are supposed to repeat a mantra of junk science that ignores the actual science represented by this simple little rounded rock.

Pine Creek’s history is retold at Leonard Harrison State Park, in DCNR geology circulars available online, and in many other places and publications. It won’t be reiterated at length here. But we do provide a history lesson in a nutshell.

Essentially it goes like this: Until about 15,000 years ago, Pine Creek flowed northward into the Genesee River watershed. After the last glacial age ended 20,000 years ago, the Laurentide Glacier began to melt, as prior glaciers there before it had melted. As the glacier melted, a pool of water built up against an ice dam, which eventually broke from the weight of the water and the thinning ice. When the ice dam broke, an enormous torrent of water was unleashed southward as a tidal wave. As it raced southward, the tidal wave followed the landscape’s natural contours, including the river bed of north-flowing Pine Creek.

As soon as the tidal wave hit the Pine Creek stream bed, the tidal wave followed that natural channel southward, scooping up hundreds of millions of tons of stream bottom rocks, as well as surrounding ledgerock. We have seen the videos of the Japanese tsunami from several years ago, and this one probably looked similar. Thus, an increasingly muddy tumultuous mess of water, dirt, and rocks flowed southward to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Along the way rocks like our little rounded river cobblestone here were picked up and deposited high up on the river channel’s slopes.

Even though the rock had come from deep down in the river bed, it remained in place on the hillside as the roaring water receded to the stream flow we know and love today. The rock is an artifact of climate change, real honest-to-goodness climate change, devoid of any human causation or intervention.

Our pet Pine Creek stream bed rock now in Lycoming County, PA, probably originating due north in Steuben County, New York, 15,000 years ago, already rounded from thousands of years of tumbling in a stream bed

Ever since that melting glacier released that tidal wave and placed our little rock here on the hillside, Pine Creek has flowed south, into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and not northward into the Genesee River. And as a result of that huge rushing torrent southward, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon was cut and shaped.

Climate change, folks. It can be real. It was real, and still is real and ongoing, even without human involvement. But you probably won’t find the real climate change science taught any more, because it is contrary to a radical political narrative that tells us modern capitalist societies are evil and destructive and must cease and desist, because we are destroying the Earth’s climate.

Which just goes to prove that Marxism really is anti-science, anti-truth, anti-fact, and anti-human. Shame on the Marxism Climate Change fraudsters who represent themselves as guardians of the environment. They are no such thing. They are destroyers of the environment, as every Marxist society’s destroyed environment demonstrates.

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone you saw this, because the “climate change” activists will have me locked up for disseminating actual science!

All this climate change happened before humans were even present on the planet, let alone before we and our cows began farting so much and creating green house gases…

Be careful showing this glacial map to a New Yorker. They believe that New York City pre-dates all human civilizations and was founded by the gods, who would never let a mile of ice stand on top of their sacred ground.

Showing this image in a modern class on “climate change” is like showing a crucifix to a vampire, and you will probably be ejected from the classroom and declared unfit for indoctrination by the fake teacher. Be careful how you use this science.

Oh no, we did it, we showed New York City under ice. NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio will probably ban me from entering NYC henceforth.

 

iHeart Radio’s Gillette Hari Kari Moment

Over the past couple of weeks, iHeart Radio has embarked on its own style of Gillette razors campaign, where a successful brand with a wide following abruptly changes everything it does and thereby deliberately antagonizes and alienates its own customer base.

Recall that last year Gillette had a campaign against straight white men, families, and religion that revealed how clueless liberals are, despite their claims of being “open minded.”

Gillette’s discriminatory ads revealed the stereotypes of regular Americans that liberals live under, and how warped the world of Hollywood, New York City, the entertainment industry, and modern cancel culture are. The ensuing hue and cry by smeared, racially profiled, gender shamed, antagonized, and alienated buyers of Gillette products resulted in Gillette losing gazillions of dollars of business, as former devotees purchased hair gels and razors made by Gillette’s competitors, instead. Whatever Gillette was after, they reaped the exact opposite result, to their own great loss.

Well, if you listen to AM radio talk radio, here in Harrisburg it is WHP580, then you are probably listening to an iHeart Radio station, and now they are following Gillette’s lead full steam ahead.

For decades, talk radio stations have followed a pretty standard and successful format, where the talk show host – Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bob Durgin, Ken Matthews, Buck Sexton et al – speaks, shares his or her views on politics and culture, and then also has some product advertising. Sprinkle in some general news reporting by some media outlet, usually Fox News these days, and you have a 2-4-minute break, at the end of which the talk show host returns and picks up where they left off. This format has worked like a Swiss watch for about thirty years, and suddenly, iHeart Radio has thrown it overboard.

Well, let’s call this like it is: Man overboard!

It is a catastrophic man overboard moment, because iHeart Radio has not only abandoned the working format, they are introducing an enormous amount of content and political commentary totally contrary to the hosts in whose show this new content is appearing. For example, iHeart Radio now plays all kinds of oldies songs shorts from the 1970s-1990s and has bizarre commentary about them, has interviews with Hollywood actors who are well on record as hating the talk show host the audience is presently listening to, encourages listeners to enjoy the benefits of covid19’s impact on nature (fewer humans are alive to ruin the natural world), and a bunch of socialist entertainment industry pap and commentary. Topped off with NBC News literally reading verbatim China’s talking points against this administration and against America.

Literally all of this new content runs contrary to the interests and educated beliefs held by the listening audience. Not to mention it all takes up time that the audience wants to be listening to their talk show host. It literally stretches into five minutes of Hollywood news and entertainment crap. My favorite bizarre moment was this chipper baby-talking radio lady, who could have been a suburban soccer mom anywhere, announcing the tour of “the up and coming rapper named Pitbull!”

Her enthusiasm was so obviously artificial and fake, especially because American soccer moms don’t normally listen to up-and-coming violent rap thugs named Pitbull. All cheery like and all.

Now surely iHeart Radio is run by some pretty smart people. It has to be. It is, after all, a huge business with a lot to gain and a lot to lose. Smart people usually make business choices that reinforce brand loyalty and reward their customers with more of what their customers want. So one cannot help but come to the conclusion here that iHeart Radio is deliberately trying to alienate and push away the very audience that has made them successful, just like Gillette did.

But why would iHeart Radio staff try to alienate their own audience?

Because like the goofball liberals running Gillette’s self-detonating social commentary advertisements, the same mindset at iHeart Radio informs the same type of liberal-in-a-bubble that they can feed us America First idiots anything, even things toxic to us, and we will just eat it up. Because they see us as deplorable morons with no independent thoughts and no ability to think for ourselves. Which is of course not true, because talk radio audiences are the best informed of all media audiences in America. Just ask the New York Times! True fact.

And so we are watching iHeart Radio follow the same path as Gillette and other virtue signalling companies, whose leadership and staff mistakenly thought they could “educate” their customers by belittling them and driving them away. Incidentally, Fox News is also going in this direction. If you listen to Fox News radio briefs these days, you will hear “news” that is 100% overt policy assaults on the Trump administration, with no rebuttal or other viewpoint followup provided. With the two Murdoch boys running it, Fox News is now just part of the larger Democrat Party mainstream media.

If iHeart Radio is going to commit hari kari (Japanese ritual suicide), then maybe One America News should be exploring its options for providing radio listeners with just one small space to be free, to call our own. Free from the monotonous, poisonous uniculture of Hollywood’s vacuous, heavily leftist entertainment industry.

This little space on the radio dial is all we want. But is iHeart Radio listening?

Screenshot of iHeart Radio’s web page…no “Contact Us” or feedback page. No phone number. Just “hand made in New York City”…by liberals who just don’t care

iHeart Radio wants to answer our questions, so long as we are satisfied with inaccurate off-topic stock replies. Note that they only provide a “Yes” button, and no “No” button. Hello? Is anybody listening?

 

Why socialism is now “cool”

Several years ago at a political candidate’s announcement event, an older woman came up to the candidate after his speech while I was standing next to him, and asked him to do something about how liberal colleges have become. I was close enough to both people to see their feelings.

“My grandson became a socialist and has disavowed everything his family has worked hard for since we moved here from Italy three generations ago,” she said, almost crying.

The Republican candidate seemed unmoved. Fighting socialist indoctrination on college campuses is probably not a big potential money maker for most would-be elected officials.

And no question about what she said, American colleges are now Ground Zero for socialist indoctrination and brainwashing. You can take a good kid from a solid loving, working home, with law-abiding working parents, a good work ethic, good grades, and a positive outlook on life, and within two semesters at pretty much any college in America, lose them to chic leftist radicalism. That is, socialism aka Everything that America is Not.

Which begs the question of Why.

My observation is socialism is popular because the younger generations have had to fight for nothing. They are spoiled rotten.

Everything has been given to them. Cars, expensive phones, expensive clothes, trips, freedom to come and go, time off from chores and work, peer-to-peer equal relationships with their parents and grandparents. As a consequence, America’s younger people are the world’s most spoiled little brats in the history of our planet. At their sixteenth birthday they are convinced they already know everything, including how the latest car racing simulator on XBox is actually – I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP – more realistic than actually driving (Yes, I really did hear a 16-year-old say this to his family recently).

As a result of being so spoiled and having no real meaningful adversity in their lives, the younger generations are looking for, searching for, adversity. Even if it means dreaming it up, inventing it out of thin air or out of bits and pieces of reality stitched together with bubblegum and bailing wire. It gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. And when they find it, it gives them a cause. Teenagers are nothing if not moral purists, and when they discover from their fake teachers that all of the money their parents worked hard for is actually stolen from living American Indians and ex-slave Blacks, they have discovered some adversity worth fighting against.

And off on the socialist crusade they go, filled with rage at their parents’ callous disregard for the poor and the suffering, the dispossessed.

The fact that their own grandparents disembarked from a boat into New York Harbor in 1948 with a grand total of a suitcase half-filled with clothes and the name of a nephew to their name doesn’t register. Or if you are from coal country, with your own grandparents telling you stories about how they and their parents worked in and around the coal mines, you are coached by a professor in “sociology” (yes, this is a real college thing, even though it is real nothing) to see your grandparents not as hard workers, but as exploited labor who enriched a bunch of wealthy aristocrats.

The entertainment industry is now the primary source for role models, values, and social cues, and add in some Hollywood movie virtue signalling, and we have now two generations of American kids who are spoiled, nearly worthless, unappreciative, un-grounded, disconnected from reality, and uninterested in anything except behaviors that make them feel good for the moment.

Even though my wife and I come from dramatically different backgrounds, we shared one common experience growing up that forms the foundation for our relationship: We had to work hard from a young age.

My wife made her own nice clothes for school, because neither she nor her parents could afford to buy nice clothes at the stores. And while I grew up splitting firewood daily from the age of nine, I had to work for my dad starting at age 14. Working on construction sites as the boss’s kid, doing all the worst jobs, got me plenty of abuse and socked arms by workers who wanted to put me in my place. I learned then to drink buckets of shit and just do my job, to the satisfaction of the meanest, grumpiest old worker on the crew. So now that I have been paying federal taxes since I was 14, I think I have a work ethic, and my wife does, too.

Like all of our friends our age (fifties), my wife and I actually enjoy working and seeing the fruits of our labors. But like our friends, we are dinosaurs, kind of the last of the dying breed. The last of the Americans. The next couple of generations seem to think that everything is supposed to be handed to them, and it seems they will cheerfully give away their unique American freedoms to a gigantic all-powerful government apparatus if it promises them mediocre “free” income and healthcare.

Not that our own kids aren’t great. They are, and I love them absolutely. Like most parents, we have done our best to raise them right. But I am afraid that college can warp even them, leading them to believe that socialism is the answer for the mean, exploitative parents who made them mow the lawn, take out the trash, and hang up the clean laundry.

 

Turkey season finally arrives

Spring turkey season has finally arrived. No, no, we are not talking about the season of the political turkeys, the various state governors around America who are artificially extending their unconstitutional stay-the-f*ck-at-home “lockdowns” into July without any merit or cause. What we are talking about is spring gobbler season.

No, no, no, not the Cookie Monster-type of gobbler, like California politician Nancy Pelosi eating her wall freezer full of gourmet ice cream while Americans can’t buy flour or toilet paper.

We are talking turkey here, a gobbler being a wild male turkey that gobbles to locate hens he can breed with. He gobbles as he walks through the woods and fields, and hunters call to him with hen calls, to lure him close enough to shoot with a shotgun. In the head. It is a huge challenge with a hunter success rate of about 5%-10%. Not a real high probability of success, but nonetheless by the end of May, when the season ends, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania turkey hunters will be walking disasters. They will have gone out daily at 4AM, hunted until 7:30 or 8:30AM, whereupon they will have gone to work for the day, and done it all again day after day. Until they get a bird or they are haggard skeletons and cannot function any longer.

Spring turkey hunting is demanding and tough to do well, and even the best callers get skunked. It is nonetheless a challenge that so many hunters gleefully embrace, however, because the rewards of simply trying are so high. Nothing else is like it.

One of the challenges facing spring gobbler hunters especially is a fairly new one.

Pennsylvania’s turkey populations are way down from historic highs about 15 years ago. Some biologists attribute this measurable decline to a continuing maturation of Penn’s Woods. That is, the continued growth of Pennsylvania’s mature forests, which provide good food, like abundant acorns, but very poor cover habitat for wild turkeys. Heavily cut forests that result in areas of impenetrable thickets of brambles and small tree saplings provide the kind of safety and nesting cover that wild turkeys require. Unfortunately, most timber logging is done more for the appearance of good looks, like lots of low-value trees left behind, than for valuable timber regeneration or wildlife habitat.

A second factor that has caused turkey numbers to drop is the relatively new presence of the fisher. The fisher is either a huge weasel or a small wolverine, but it is fully representative of the ferocity and toughness of both its cousins. It is a native predator here in Pennsylvania, but it was wiped out by the late 1800s like so many other cool animals that competed with new farmsteads built to feed families. Capture-and-release programs in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in wild fisher populations expanding their territories and populations across the east coast. And if there is one word to describe the fisher, it is voracious. These things eat and eat and eat! They are especially adept at hunting animals in trees, like roosting turkeys.

So over the past ten years or so, turkeys have become less vocal in order to avoid being detected and targeted by predators. For hunters, this means a tougher time locating turkeys and doing the classic back-and-forth call where the gobbler struts in to within range gobbling, strutting, and all fanned out. These days, hunters can easily call, hear nothing, and after ten minutes stand up because they think nothing is moving, only to see a gobbler rocketing its getaway through the woods.

Gobblers and hens alike are coming in silently to hunters’ calls more and more, which requires hunters to just sit patiently and wait, and wait some more. No movement at all. No sounds. Just wait. Patience will kill more turkeys than all the fancy calling can. Make a few clucks, a few purrs, and just sit back and wait.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission staff have studied the stomachs of fishers, and they have reported back finding very little evidence of turkeys in them. Well, why would anyone expect to see evidence of wild turkeys in the stomachs of fishers if there are so few turkeys left? A single fisher can and probably will, given the chance, kill and eat dozens of wild turkeys every year. It would not take many fishers to put a choke hold on wild turkey populations. How many of those successful fishers were studied?

In any event, turkey hunters noticed a dramatic decline in wild turkey numbers beginning precisely with the expansion of the newly released fishers. That is a strong statistical correlation that is simply impossible to discount, regardless of what a handful of fisher stomachs have yielded up.

Finally, pathogens like Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV) and West Nile Virus are known to be affecting turkey and grouse populations in different areas, and Pennsylvania is in a region where both these diseases are represented. LPDV is hammering wild turkey populations in New York State, so it may well be hurting ours, too.

Good luck to all the turkey hunters out there. Hunt safely (with your back up against a tree, a root ball, a big rock), don’t stalk turkey sounds but rather call the turkey to you, and only pull the trigger when your eyes have confirmed absolutely that the shotgun barrel is pointing at a live red, white, or blue turkey head with a beard attached to it. Have fun, and if you are like me most years, and you have near-misses and run-ins with wily tom gobblers, enjoy the time afield for what it is at its simplest – a walk with God, enjoying His incredible beauty at the time of Earth’s re-birth.

Fisher or fisher cat, provided by concealednation.org

Wild male turkey, “gobbler,” photo courtesy of adirondackalmanack.com

 

 

 

Earth Day: Protect What Matters

Today is Earth Day, a day annually marked for environmental protection. Good, we need it. We all need to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat clean food.

All kinds of organizations run advertisements today promoting a clean environment, a protected environment, wildlife habitat conservation, and so on. Most of the ideas we will see promoted today are worthy of attention and worthwhile policy efforts, while some of the more heavily marketed ideas are Marxist anti-capitalism dingbat stuff.

The two biggest challenges we have on Earth Day are overcoming the fake issue of human-caused “climate change,” and protecting the American economy. Achieving both of these goals will actually maximally protect the environment.

“Climate change” on its face is a factual thing, because Planet Earth has had constant climate change since its creation. Glaciers have come and gone on their own, sea levels have risen and fallen on their own, and plants and animals have come and gone as the greater environmental forces around them directly shape their habitat, the salinity of the water they live in, and the air they breathe. All of this dynamism has happened without any human intervention. In fact, most of it has happened without any humans existing at all.

Climate change continues on today just as it always has since the Earth was born, and though human actions might contribute to it in some minuscule way, the fact is that humans have a far greater and more measurable impact on more important environmental issues.

The problem with the current human-caused climate change hoax is that it sucks all of the air out of the room, leaving no oxygen for other real, actual, measurable and documented issues like lost wildlife habitat, farmland loss, water quality, forest fragmentation, and controlling the invasive plants and animals that are literally destroying our native environments and species.

All of the “climate change” policy bandied about is a result of bad modeling using flawed data, junk science, topped off with deliberate fraud and public shaming of heretics. The fake but well-heeled climate change industry is fueled by juicy foundation and government grants, making all kinds of financial incentives for people to continue this fakery. Fake climate change junk science can be a hell of a good business for a few private bank accounts!

Normal people see this obvious policy fraud and end up writing off the entire quest for environmental quality as just a bunch of “environmentalist wackos” trying to destroy Western Civilization. And indeed, a great many of the climate change advocates are in fact America-hating Marxists, whose suspect opinions aren’t worth spit. But it is not fair to roll all environmental quality efforts in with the climate change nonsense. Leftists include the real issues together with fake climate change to give climate change unwarranted credibility, while magical-thinking meatheads on the right also do it to discredit all environmental quality issues.

If there is one thing we have all witnessed over the past month of China Flu coronavirus here in America, it is that in addition to weakening America by sending our technology and jobs there, for decades Americans have exploited Chinese slave labor and the Chinese environment so that we could have more cheap junk available to play with at home. It is an undeniable fact that like the Russians before them, Chinese Marxism has destroyed the Chinese environment, while American capitalism has created the high living conditions here necessary for our citizens to expect environmental protection.

Capitalism protects the environment, while Marxism and communism destroy it through unbridled industrialism to buoy up their ruling elites.

Today, on Earth Day, the best thing we can do is to re-open the American economy and create the kinds of high quality living conditions here that incentivize environmental protection. Protect the world’s environment by repatriating American jobs from their thirty-year hiatus in China. Demonstrate to Americans that we can all enjoy high quality environmental protection without sacrificing our economy on the false altar of human caused climate change..or a Chinese virus whose effects are felt locally but whose costs are being applied equally everywhere across the United States.

Passover & Easter Message to America: You Will Survive

This week and week-end are Passover and Easter.

Passover is not just the story of the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Nor is it about watching Charlton Heston play Moses for the hundredth time, though I will surely do that too, because Heston was religious and embraced that role with a fervor you can feel even now fifty years later.

Passover is really a story of long-term survival. The long, long life against all odds of an ancient people, guided by the simple truths of all humanity through faith in the guiding hand of God.

Easter may be on its surface about resurrection, more or less the same kind of afterlife-in-this life foretold in the same Hebrew Scriptures followed by people beginning Passover momentarily. But it is also about re-birth and hope.

And that is the message of this week for America: Hope and rebirth. We are not dead, not even close, but we will require a re-birth after this covid19 thing passes, like one of the Biblical plagues of ancient Egypt.

Whatever holiday you observe this week, Passover or Easter, take heart from either one, or both. Know that God stands with America, that He created this great nation and that He will not allow us to fail. We just must be true to Him, and to each other.

We will emerge from this virus challenge alive and strong.

Why I write and keep a blog

Most people keep their opinions to themselves, at least initially, and so they might wonder why a person maintains an opinion blog. Many other people simply do not like to write, and so they might wonder why other people do write on purpose. Hopefully both questions can be answered here.

Let’s start with why I write.

Simply, I write because I really like to write. Just like other people really like chocolate, or listening to certain music. It is an urge in me like some people have to play music, paint, sing, perform in plays, or downhill ski. I enjoy writing because it gives me a sense of satisfaction that very few other things provide. Writing comes naturally to me, and although I am a good public speaker and I always welcome opportunities to speak publicly, writing really gives me my best opportunity to be creative.

And that is it in a nutshell; writing is my own best possible act of creativity. Because I suck crap with tools and wood. My mechanical skills are up there with Cro Magnon man inventing the stone wheel, maybe. No one wants to hear my opinions any more, so writing is what I got left.

I was not always a competent writer. Although I did pretty well writing for English teachers in high school, it was a couple writing classes at Penn State that helped me focus on writing as an act of personal self-expression. As opposed to simply reporting facts. One of the courses was business writing and communication, and the other was creative fiction writing. Were any of my kids to take these college courses today, I would accuse them of wasting my hard-earned money on tom-foolery. But for me, some 38 years ago, these two courses brought together an inner passion, a need, and the mechanics of how to meet that need.

Now, when we couple that urge to write with perhaps the most openly opinionated person you have ever met, the blog naturally follows. A blog gives me the ability to explain why and how I think about substantive issues, and also to exercise that creative urge.

You might ask how or why I became so opinionated. And the simple and honest answer is, I have always been a pain in the ass in this department. That is, The Niggling Facts and I Want to Know Why and That is Not Fair Department. Maybe that is three separate departments, but I am putting them all in one. Probably my best personal trait is the one that gets me into the most scrapes, the That is Not Fair department. What most people simply accept as a daily parade of selfish and dishonest acts, I just cannot take. My sense of justice and my severe opposition to all forms of injustice is hard-wired into me. I hate cheating and lying, double standards, and general acts of phoniness. Can’t help it.

It all started because I was that little kid at the super market who said loudly “Mom, that man has three eyes. Why does that man have three eyes, Mom? Hey mister man, why do you have three eyes?”

And in fact, the art of being annoying and articulate just kept on improving from that point over the years. Add some adult experiences and voila!, we have a blog writer.

Most people do not have the luxury of expressing their opinions on everything from toilet paper hoarding to three-eyed politicians and the scum-sucking self-serving sycophants who enable them. I am not sure I have this luxury, either, but I have made sure to be able to afford it. Because if I did not express myself through politics and or public policy, I would have to find some other way to convey opinions that I believe are well reasoned and fair. Having failed to attain elected office, and having self-quarantined myself from taxpayer-funded public agency death-trap jobs that most Americans would kill for, all I have left is either sitting at a bar somewhere, getting drunk, and ranting away about politics to whoever will sit close enough to listen to me, or writing the blog.

I choose the blog.

Missing Vera

The lady had the grace of an angel.

An easy smile, a quick wit and light heart, yet with incisive comments that always supported someone in the room and advanced the discussion, Vera was new to me a couple years ago. And yet here I am writing a brief obituary about her because of her powerful life force.

Many other people were fortunate enough to enjoy her for much longer than I. And now that she is gone, probably from a heart attack at her home, Vera’s life and positive way serve as a reminder to make every moment we have on this earth count, take nothing for granted, and always do our best, with a smile on our face, if possible.

Vera Cornish has been described as an effective life coach, book author, education consultant, and a host of other professional activities that really just scratched the surface of her excellent personality and capabilities.

I met Vera two years ago at a Dauphin County commissioners’ meeting. She walked up to me afterwards and introduced herself, and immediately I felt I was in the presence of an angel. Nice lady. And not light and airy or phony, but very smart and direct.

We have served together on the Detweiler Park Steering Committee since its inception, and every single time she was there she had a calming effect, because she was so centered. Not that anyone is seriously disputatious at the meetings planning a new 411-acre county park, but Vera’s force could be felt there every time.

I did not really know Vera Cornish, not as a friend, not well, and that only by working with her for a year. But whenever she saw me outside of our meetings, she came up to say hello in the nicest way, her eyes sparkling, just 100% positive energy. She was just as positive and peaceful at our park meetings. She was said to be this way in all other public and private encounters.

I wish I had some of Vera’s impressive qualities. Heck, I wish the world were made of Vera Cornishes. Great lady, with attributes the world can use a lot more of. You will be missed, honey.

Purple woad. Or why hunting leases

Leasing land to hunt on is a big thing these days, and there is no sign of the phenomenon decreasing. Most of it is about deer and turkey hunting.

Hunting leases have been popular for a long time in states with little public land, like Texas, but the practice is now spreading to remote areas like suburban farms around Philadelphia and Maryland. So high is the demand for quality hunting land, and for just finding a place to hunt without being bothered, and so limited is the resource becoming, that leasing is a natural step for many landowners who want to get some extra income to pay their rent or fief to the government (property taxes aka build-a-union-teacher’s-public-pension-fund).

Having been approached about leasing land I own and manage, it is something I considered and then rejected. If a landowner at all personally enjoys their own land themselves, enjoys their privacy there, enjoys the health of their land, then leasing is not for you. Bear in mind that leasing also carries some legal liability risk, and so you have to carry sufficient insurance to cover any lawsuits that might begin on your land.

Nonetheless, some private land is being leased, having been posted before that. And the reason that so many land owners are overcoming the same hurdles that I myself went through when considering land leasing, is that in some cases the money is high enough. Enough people want badly enough to have their own place that they can hunt on exclusively, that they are willing to pay real money.

Makes you wonder what kind of population pressures and open land decreases America has seen over the past fifty years to lead to this kind of change in land use. Makes me think of one anecdotal experience.

On the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend of 2007, I drove up to Pine Creek to dig the footers for our barn. All the way up I shared the road, in both directions, with two motorcyclists headed in my same direction. That is it. In addition to my pickup, a grand total of two vehicles out for a Sunday drive in the country were on Route 44 and Rt 414.

Fast forward 13 years and my gosh, Pine Creek Valley has nonstop traffic in both directions at all hours. It does not matter what the time of day or night is, there are vehicles going in both directions. And not just oversize pickup trucks possibly associated with the gas drilling occurring around the area. Little tiny dinky tin can cars are going up and down the valley, too. There are literally people everywhere here now, in what had been the most remote, undeveloped, quietest corner of rural Pennsylvania. Even if you go bear hunting on some sidehill in the middle of nowhere up in Pine Creek Valley, you will encounter another hunting gang or two. Which for bear hunting is actually a good thing, but the point being that there are people everywhere everywhere everywhere in rural Pennsylvania.

OK, here is another brief anecdote. Ladies, skip ahead to the next paragraph. About ten years ago I was fishing on the north end of the Chesapeake Bay. When I was finished for the day, I drove back north toward home. At one point I had an urge to pee, so I began looking for a place I could pull off and pull out, without offending anyone. Yes, I have my modest moments. And you know what? The entire region between The Chesapeake Bay’s northern shores and the Pennsylvania Mason-Dixon Line, is completely developed. Like wall-to-wall one-two-three-acre residential lots on every inch of land surface. At the one place that finally looked like I was finally going to get some relief, I stepped out of the car and was immediately met with a parade of Mini Coopers and Priuses driving by on the gravel road to their wooded home lots. There was literally people everywhere, in every corner, in every place.

So what happened here?

There are more people and there is more land development, both of which leading to less nice land to hunt, fewer big private spaces for people to call their own, and so that which does exist is in much higher demand.

Enter Pennsylvania’s new No Trespassing law. AKA the “purple paint” law.

Why was this new law even needed? Because the disenfranchised, enslaved Scots-Irish refugees who originally settled the Pennsylvania frontier by dint of gumption, bravery, and hard work had a natural opposition to the notions and forms of European aristocracy that had driven them here. Such as large pieces of private land being closed off to hunting and fishing. And so these Scots-Irish settlers developed an Indian-like culture of openly flouting the marked boundaries of private properties. Especially when they hunted.

And this culture of ignoring No Trespassing signs carries forth to this very day.

Except that now it is 2020, not 1820, and there are more damned people on the landscape and a hell of a lot less land for those people to roam about on. Nice large pieces of truly private land are becoming something of a rarity in a lot of places. Heck, even the once-rural Poconos is now just an aluminum siding and brick suburb of Joizy.

So in response to our collision of frontier culture with ever more valuable privacy rights, Pennsylvania now has a new purple paint law. If you see purple paint on a tree, it is the equivalent of a No Trespassing sign. And if you do trespass and you get caught, the penalties are much tougher and more expensive than they were just a few months ago.

And you know what the real irony is of this purple paint stay-the-hell-out boundary thing? It is a lot like the blue woad that the Celtic ancestors of the Scots and Irish used to paint their bodies with  before entering into battle. Except it is now the landowner who has painted himself in war paint.

Isn’t life funny.

Book Review: Neither Wolf nor Dog

Given the recent road blocks by fake Indians (No, not presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, but other white fake Indians inspired by her) in Canada, we have here a timely opportunity to look at a book about American Indians and the Caucasian people who purport to love them.

This is a Book Review of Neither Wolf nor Dog, about 1990s  life on the rez, something I know a fair amount about, having seen it myself.

Kent Nerburn’s Neither Wolf nor Dog was kindly given to me as a gift by someone who knows I have a strong interest in American Indian history and welfare. And so I dutifully plowed through all 343 pages of this 1994 publication (reprinted in 2007 and 2017), a mysterious road trip set in the Dakotas. By the end of this book I felt like I, too, had been on a long, slow, arduous, winding trip. In fact, I felt sick from sitting in the back of the car.

This book does have some artistic merit. For example, the description of the lone Indian’s hands as “axe heads” at the end of his long, slender arms, actually conjures up some interesting images that ring true with some rural lifestyle body types. Here and there some creative writing exemplifies a writer trying to achieve more than racist propaganda.

At first I was intrigued by Nerburn’s first-hand narrative writing method. It sounds real enough, like this book is not fiction. But as he repeatedly decried other writers who falsely ascribe great mystical powers and innate supernatural wisdom to American Indians, Nerburn himself writes a book that is devoted to repeatedly ascribing great mystical powers and innate supernatural wisdom to American Indians. While openly mocking the contemporaneous movie Dances with Wolves for its many alleged trespasses against Indian history and culture, especially with Kevin Costner as the white liberal savior, Nerburn takes 343 pages to solidly present himself as the white liberal savior of the Lakota Sioux and of all other American Indian history, culture, and interests. A kind of keeper of the fire, he thinks. It is open hypocrisy, but for a meritorious  purpose. Because his intentions are good…..

This method did not bother me at first, because I was certain that a writer so clearly violating his own red lines in the sand would surely have enough self awareness to not do it so blatantly himself. But as the pages plodded on and on, and the ‘Wise Sage Old One’, Dan, drones on and on in a preachy and accusatory voice, and with way more words than I have ever heard any Indian speak, I realized Nerburn was as one-dimensional as he appeared to be. Nerburn has just put his very white liberal guy words in the mouth of Dan the Lakota. And no un-truer words were ever spoken.

The writing problems here stem from Nerburn’s commitment to the publicly failed notion of “white guilt” and multiculturalism, that idea that everything Western and European is automatically bad, and that everything else is automatically good and legitimate, even cannibalism and violent criminal behavior.

To wit: ‘ “Forgive me.” The words passed from me like stones – hard, evil little balls of an illness that had stricken my soul, suddenly flung free, releasing me from years of torment. That was why I was here — not to help, but to earn forgiveness, to earn forgiveness for the shame in my blood.

“Forgive me,” I said again, confessing to unknown sins and transgressions , to my desire to leave, to my sense of righteousness and superiority, too my whiteness.’ (Page 135)

Multiculturalism celebrates the differences among Americans, instead of what unites them, while simultaneously trying to eradicate any sense of American-ness  and painting as evil anyone here with “white” skin.

“...the shame in my blood…”? Who else carries a blood-guilt over generations that cannot be eradicated, hmmm? It’s nonsense.

Anyone trying to do something similar in say Poland, Russia, China, Zimbabwe, or Bolivia would be laughed out of polite company by the natives, who are quite proud of their own nations and histories. Only in a society as open and welcoming as America has the enticement to virtue signal at the expense of the nation been pursued and realized by people like Kent Nerburn.

For multiculturalists like Nerburn, history begins in 1509, when Europeans migrated to the New World. Neither Wolf nor Dog has history beginning in about 1889, and before that, it seems, the American West was a pastoral Eden full of peaceable Indians sitting around smoking sacred tobacco, beating drums, and occasionally having deep spiritual chats with bison before killing and eating them.

More nonsense. Indian violence, genocide, migration are ignored.

To multiculturalists, the human migration from Europe is a very bad thing, because it upset the inhabitants who had simply migrated there beforehand. Not to belittle the many crimes and grand thefts committed by the Conquistadores, the Portuguese, the Italians, the Catholic missionaries, or the US government in Washington, DC. But let’s be honest, the American Indians from the farthest reaches of the Arctic Circle to lowest temperatures around Tierra del Fuego did precisely and exactly the same violent things to each other, for far longer than the Europeans did them. And they did it without any remorse.

For example, the Cheyenne (Tsi Tsi Tas) took no adult male prisoners. Wounded enemies were summarily killed by Cheyenne warriors on the battlefield. Other Western tribes were much less merciful, and like almost all of the Eastern tribes, they made a great happy spectacle of slowly and sadistically torturing their captives to death.

The Aztecs and Mayans committed great acts of mass human butchery, to satisfy their gods’ bloodlust. Using captured slaves to build their cities and religious monuments, the great South American Indian cultures all raided, enslaved, massacred, and sacrificed one another for a long time. The Indians of North America also massacred, raided, murdered, and tortured one another for a very long time. That is, after they had all invaded, I mean migrated to the New World from Asia.

But to multiculturalists like Nerburn, none of this matters; because of “white guilt,” time and history artificially and inexplicably begin only when Europeans arrive in the New World. And so Neither Wolf nor Dog deals not in actual history, but in massive quantities of silly feelings over a very short amount of time. Sadness, shame, remorse, anger, and so on, all of it aimed at “white” people. It turns out that “white” people are greatly guilty. All of them, regardless of where or when they were born, lived, or did for a living.

If there is one theme that just repeatedly bangs the reader over the head in this book, it is that “we” “us” and “you” “white” people carry some great burden of sin, a terrible guilt, which can never be cleansed. Even if one is an Irish, Italian or Jewish American who arrived at Ellis Island by steamer in 1898 or 1910, without a buffalo nickel or Indian Head Cent in their pocket; or the descendant of one or all of these ethnicities. Pushing collective guilt of all “white” people is the primary purpose of this book. Even if your “white” skin carries the olive hues of the Mediterranean, or the pasty white of Europe’s lowest and most mistreated ethnic group, the Irish.

So in the name of being against racism, white guilt is a trans-generational racial culpability, not an individual crime committed on the Plains in 1876. It is the flip side of the white supremacist coin, and just as nonsensical.

What is wrong about this book is that it is possible for Americans to strongly support Indian treaty and land claims, and to relate to their bad feelings, without buying into the whole white liberal shame and guilt nonsense.

In real life, an animal that is neither wolf nor dog is a coyote. All of the Plains Indians regarded the coyote as the embodiment of crafty, sneaky dishonesty.

Cheyenne warrior George Bent relates first-hand one of General George Custer’s last personal encounters with Indians before he got his just desserts in a very real and up-close-and-personal encounter in 1876, was when he sought to entrap a number of Cheyenne to use as hostages in his negotiations to push the tribe onto various reservations.

Custer had invited the Cheyennes to meet and talk, supposedly, and as his troopers clumsily sprang their trap, most of the assembled Cheyenne jumped on their horses and fled. A few remained, foolishly trusting Custer to be a man of his word (they were all murdered in cold blood), but one brave rode his horse right up to Custer and waved his quirt in Custer’s face.

“You are nothing but a coyote,” said the young brave to Custer’s face, before galloping off to safety.

And I would say the same thing to Kent Nerburn: You are neither wolf nor dog, Nerburn. You are neither a strong, noble predator, the wolf, nor a useful, loyal friend, the dog. You are a coyote, Nerburn, like Custer and the government in Washington, DC. You have reduced these great Indian warriors to perpetual victim status, pathetically beating their symbolic drums and walking around with their heads down. Just like white liberals did to American Blacks – perpetual slaves, and victims, can’t help themselves, who must always be rescued by white liberals.

Talk about doing a disservice!

So there, I read this book for you. So you don’t have to.