↓ Archives ↓

Fragile cry-bullies

While visiting friends the other day, one of their 20-something-year-old kids gave me and the other adults an earful on the Kavanaugh hearings.

“I am insulted that you will not believe a woman who claims she was drugged and raped by Kavanaugh,” she said.

Her mother said “Well, now wait, I do not recall hearing anything about drugs and rape.”

And I said “Ford has zero credibility, and in fact she has done more damage to women’s rights with her obviously false and politically motivated accusation than all the supposedly sexist anti-female men out there could ever do. Ford has set back real future women victims, who will now be greeted with skepticism as a result of all this crying wolf business with Kavanaugh.”

To which the kind-of-young person responded “Well, I, I, I, I don’t like this conversation,” and upstairs she went.

Backtrack a few weeks and I was listening to NPR on one of my regular road trips. On this particular NPR propaganda show, the subject being interviewed was a professor at NYU. He is writing a book about how emotionally and intellectually “fragile” the younger generation has become. How they are unable to confront dissent and disagreement with logic and reason, and how if they cannot bully an opponent into submission, and if they cannot cry an opponent into submission, then they give up and go off and suck their thumb.

This is a bit of a shortened summation, but what I write here is pretty close to what the professor said.

And he said it as a proud and politically active liberal. He is not criticizing young crybully leftists because he disagrees with them. Rather, he is afraid that they cannot persuade people in arguments, and that if they cannot shame or force people to agree with them, then they have nothing left and they then cede the field to the opponent.

My own recent experience with my dear friends’ kid reinforced the professor’s observations.

And even more to the point, when a young crybully takes a willful and wild leap from two 17-year-olds fooling around in high school or college to one being drugged and raped (no one has said that about Kavanaugh), and how dare anyone question it, then much more is at stake than the ability to argue reasonably.

What is at stake is the ability to be truthful, to be honest, and to concede when one’s own ideas are proven wrong.

What is driving a great deal of the current Democrat warmongering against poor Mister Kavanaugh is that the Democrats cannot persuade people with ideas. So they must destroy people, instead.

This ain’t the democratic way, folks.

College professors teaching kids to be crybullies who shame and punch their way into winning arguments is not going to succeed.

Tractor Supply Co. as model of “How Not to do Customer Relations”

All it takes is that little symbol of fouled customer relations to sour someone on a place, and <poof> the customer is gone.

Tractor Supply did that with style.

When I bought the steel pipe shackle months ago, I had a suspicion it was the wrong size. But being at the Tractor Supply Store here in Harrisburg, I purchased it along with the multitude of other stuff.

When it turned out to be the wrong size, I returned with receipt in hand, and brother, did I get a lesson in bad customer service.

The Tractor Supply store manager was rude, aggressive, angry. The cashier lady was lost in space, clueless, dreamy, unhelpful.

They would only issue an $8.00 refund if I gave them my credit card, my name, my address, etc. In other words, they wanted my data. No cash refund, and the receipt was no good without a credit card.

Did you know that Tractor Supply is not a Better Business Bureau member?

How many big retailers are not BBB accredited? Very very few. It is hard to take a retailer seriously unless they are BBB accredited, because it means that the retailer holds themselves to a standard of accountability that customers across America have come to expect.

Well, that is not Tractor Supply’s standard. My BBB complaint was processed and overtures to Tractor Supply by BBB went unheeded, with no response. No satisfaction.

So I called Tractor Supply’s main number in Tennessee, their “Customer Solutions Center,” 877-718-6750.

What a joke that is.¬† No one to speak with on any line or option, no customer service. Every option ends at “please visit our website,” or “please contact your credit card provider.” Tractor Supply provides zero opportunities to speak to any human being, much less a customer service representative.

Tractor Supply lost me as a customer. If they cannot belong to the BBB and guarantee their customers that they can expect professional and honest service, then they do not deserve my money.

If you go to Tractor Supply’s website, you will be treated to a long list of high values and ethics stuff they say they live by. Don’t believe it. It is there for show, as they showed me.

Are conservative voters really gullible naifs?

Yesterday I had the wonderful experience of spending most of my day with central Pennsylvanians in a remote corner of our rural region. These are salt-of-the-earth people. Hard working, religious, family-oriented, earnest. The best. My kind of people. We were conducting business together, and of course we naturally discussed current events and related subjects.

One of the things emerging from my day with these genuine people weighed on my mind as I drove home in the rain.

“Are religious conservatives really clueless and naive about politics?,” I wondered.

These are decent people, good people, and the idea that someone would seek to destroy the character of someone they simply disagree with is totally foreign to them. They seem so completely unable to grasp just how evil and conniving their political opponents are.

Once someone says something negative about someone else in their world, why then, they think there might be a smidgeon of truth. It is enough to impeach the person’s credibility. Because of a naive belief that someone would only make such an accusation if it were possibly true.

In politics this naivete results in just enough votes lost or time delayed to get the Left a win.

It is this naivete among America’s best people that Leftists play upon and exploit.

As with last year’s impossible US senate defeat of Judge Roy Moore in conservative Alabama, by a far-left Democrat, today we face a typical fake leftist attack on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the US supreme court.

Despite being a good man with an old-time (and odd) interest in younger women (not illegally-aged girls), Moore was defeated in a swarm of obviously false accusations designed to destroy his character. Just enough doubt about him as a good person was cast upon him that he lost just enough votes among good people to lose the race in a state he should have won overwhelmingly.

Despite sharing Moore’s values and policy views, a narrow majority of religious, conservative Alabamians were fooled into voting for the communist Democrat who will do everything possible to undermine those same voters and their values.

Today we have an obviously lying lady who has the most bizarre, dis-believable, 11th hour claim against Judge Kavanaugh. This discredited professor lady is already every kind of long-time kook-Left activist possible. She has a long public history of outlandish claims and bizarre behavior. Her students write that she is psychologically unbalanced, and “scary.”

Zero evidence backs up her accusation, which flies in the face of every other piece of evidence and testimony about Kavanaugh.

If at all remotely true, her accusation against Kavanaugh would be decades old, having nothing to do with his judicial views. But we know she is lying, and that her last-minute accusation is false, and that it is simply designed to derail the confirmation of a judge the Left disagrees with. This lady is simply the sacrificial goat used to achieve that goal.

Her attack on Kavanaugh is just one more attempted character assassination on someone the Left does not like because of his Constitutional views.

And all these false attacks are enabled by good Americans who think “Well, no one would really deliberately lie like this. No one would really be that indecent, that corrupt. There might be some shred of truth to it…” and so good people like Moore and Kavanaugh get damaged, and the Left advances its anti-democratic agenda to control government the voters would not ever cede to it.

Folks, if you are a religious person, a kind person, a good person, a decent, law-abiding, honest and fair-minded person, then that is great. You are my kind of person. You are all-American, and I hope you never change your values. But do not make the mistake of assuming that everyone else is like you. Do not make the mistake of listening to the lies of Big Media. The media is not news, or truth; it is the propaganda arm of one political party, and not the political party you would usually vote for.

Don’t be naive. Don’t be gullible. Don’t let yourself be manipulated by your political enemies so that your vote or your voice are wasted. Stay strong, be skeptical, and stay focused on what you know is good for your community and your country.

Thank you to wildlife’s friends, my friends

When I started writing for Eric Epstein’s Rock the Capitol about eight years ago, one of the first stories I related to readers was an experience two of my children and I had with two pitbulls let off their leashes.

The readership statistics on this one essay were off the charts. Very high volume, and lots of comments. When I asked why, Eric and his website manager, whose name I now forget, told me that news items and stories involving animals claim the biggest share of attention on the Internet.

Fascinating, right?

And we all kind of see this fact in the strange way people routinely show concern for an injured goat in the news by donating a million dollars so the goat can get its broken hoof fixed, and then a truly sad situation involving some news story about a poor unfortunate child whose abusive parents tormented her for years raises just five bucks to get her into a better home.

It is true that people care about animals, and that is a good thing. But this care seems to extend mostly, really overwhelmingly, to domesticated animals; animals that depend upon humans for care and shelter. A natural and healthy empathy is aroused when some unfortunate critter is seen hemmed in by wire or caging, unable to provide for itself and yet not being provided for by the humans around it.

The type of animals people have the least identity with is wildlife. Most Americans, being urban or suburban, simply mythologize wildlife.

From this more urban view, all bears are universally perceived as aggressively dangerous (they are not, though grizzlies are definitely more aggressive than black bears). Deer run out in front of our cars, eat our crops, spread ticks with Lyme Disease, and nibble our yard shrubs, dammit. Squirrels are nasty tree rats with fuzzy tails chewing on our yard furniture, eating the produce of our gardens and fruit trees, and diving our trash bins. And skunks, possums and raccoons are a bunch of rabies-ridden trashcan raiders. And so on.

Wildlife by and large is not greatly appreciated by the general public, unless it is a close-up photo of some baby raccoon or fox kit. And no, I am not talking about wildlife photographers or the insane Humane Society as representative of the general public. These two categories of people are far distant outliers of one sort or another, and no generality can be drawn from their presence among or about wildlife.

So thank God there are sportsmen out there; that is, hunters and trappers. These are the Americans who really do truly care for and about wildlife, and they prove it every damned day with their financial donations and back-breaking work on wildlife habitat projects.

There is no better advocacy group or aggregation of active people who love wild animals and the wild places they need to thrive than hunters and trappers. Time has proven this fact, though the foolish flatlander will claim, with a mouthful of gross stockyard beef in her mouth, that hunting and trapping are “cruel.”

Most of our public lands were first acquired by and for hunting and trapping, at the urging of hunters and trappers. They knew in the 1890s and 1920s that human encroachment into formerly wild areas was leaving no room for the most interesting animals on earth. Many of these animals are more interesting than most of the humans we will encounter in any given day, week, month, or lifetime.

This weekend I really enjoyed my time among a special group of people, the state-wide leadership of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists (PFSC), what until yesterday was known as the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs (PFSC). Most Americans no longer know that the word “sport” is about hunting, fishing, and trapping, nor do they know what a ‘sporting club’ is about. The lexicon has changed as the daily experience has changed. Meat is no longer acquired from a wild animal who knew it was hunted, but rather from a miserable creature tormented from its earliest days until its last moment alive and turned into a convenient styrofoam package.

The PFSC folks are the people who work every day for the benefit of wildlife, for wildlife habitat, for the defense and promotion of our state parks, state forests, and state game lands. These people do it humbly, quietly, generously, and usually all they get in return is some self-satisfaction from sitting back after a grouse hunt and, despite an empty game bag, intently watching a mysterious red Fall sunset streaked with white wispy trailing clouds sinking down behind shadowy trees shedding their colorful leaves. A deeply comforting stillness overtakes these people at these moments, alone or with companions, and when they go home that night, they know their decades of work fundraising for the latest land acquisition by the Wildlands Conservancy has paid off. It might be a relatively small nook in a big world, but it is a special nook nonetheless, where wildlife — wild animals unknown and unloved by most people — can call home until the next glacier comes through and re-orders the earth’s surface, as has already happened many times in the past.

Here is to you, a heartfelt thank you, my friends, my companions, my betters and my teachers among the outdoorsman fellowship. Thank you for your time and gift to me and to everyone and every living thing around me, whether they know or know not what you do for us.

Senator Bob Casey: As useless as tits on a boar hog

US senator Bob Casey is nothing like his dad, Casey Senior, but he rides his father’s well-earned reputation and milks it for all he can get from it.

Senior Casey was a man of principle. A Blue Dog Democrat who was union because he was from hard working coal country, and who also recognized the corrosive effect abortion on demand had on the small, close-knit communities that make up northeastern Pennsylvania.

When he ran for governor, Casey Senior spoke with authority and sincerity. He persuaded Pennsylvanians of all walks of life to vote for him. For good reason. He was an impressive leader.

Contrast him to his son, Casey Junior.

Has Bob Casey, Jr., presently a US senator, done a single good thing or actually accomplished anything while occupying public office his entire career?

The long and short answer is No, this Casey has done absolutely ZERO his whole career. He has achieved absolutely nothing.

And the thing is, his whole career has been spent in elected jobs. Sucking at the taxpayer tit. He has gotten those elected jobs because of his father’s reputation. Casey Junior has no real reputation, except that he is here, or there, occupying space in some political job or another.

Whenever there is a government job, there has been Casey Junior.

Casey has not earned a single day in elected office. He has not achieved anything, he has nothing to show for his time in office. Only his family name has gotten him where he is.

Bob Casey, Jr. is as useless as tits on a boar hog. It is time to vote Casey out of office this November.

I would vote for just about anyone to replace Bob Casey and move him into the private sector, where he can finally learn what it takes to earn a living by one’s wits and hard work. And no, Bob, putting on a suit and tying your shoes does not qualify as hard work, or any work.

Bob Casey has gotten away with political murder for only one reason, and that is family connections, the Casey family dynasty. And in case you think I am being partisan and tough on Casey because he is a Democrat, look at www.jakethesnake.us, the website I maintain to call attention to the Republican version of Bob Casey, Jr., Jake Corman. Corman is another utterly useless, spoiled beneficiary of nepotism. He just happens to be a Republican. I would gladly welcome a change in that state senate seat, as well.

If Casey were of the other political party, I would probably be even tougher on him. I am a bi-partisan opponent of any and all nepotism and political dynasties in America.

Lou Barletta is Casey’s opponent for this one US senate seat. Barletta is a good guy, even if his teeth are so artificially white they blind everyone in the audience. For years, he has been his own person in office and in the private sector, independent minded, self-made, a risk-taker, and that is what I look for: Someone who is very much their own person.

Barletta is the complete opposite of Bob Casey, Jr. It is time for a change in that senate seat, and a change in the Casey family’s dreams of do-nothing political dynasty at the expense of Pennsylvania taxpayers.

Vote for Barletta. Vote for America. Vote for something. Voting for Bob Casey, Jr., is voting for nothing and doing even less.

Remembering 9/11

It is tough to square up the religiously-inspired terror attack on America 17 years ago with our national policies since then.

America went through a ridiculous bout of Political Correctness, instead of rational, logical approaches to minimize the risk of something similar to 9/11 happening again. The PC policies placed American at even greater risk. Our porous borders are a symbol that we are still asleep.

Today, political commentator Jamie Glazov was tossed from Twitter, on 9/11, for posting simple ideas about how to protect America.

FakeBook deleted people’s accounts for simply mentioning 9/11.

PC is alive and well and it will only invite more terror attacks like 9/11 on America if we do not adopt a survival attitude.

God bless America and the brave Americans who put up such a fierce fight on Flight 93, and who showed us all how to deal with this scourge.

John Arway gone away, but not forgotten

Beyond nailing down and putting the finishing touches on some epic large land conservation transactions, my summer and Fall of 2003 were spent politicking and angling for the executive director position at the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. After ten years, the last ED had recently left as most EDs leave these posts – everyone involved all too happy to not see one another again.

The door was wide open for a fresh newcomer, someone not from within the agency, for the first time in as long as anyone could recall. I knew I had a shot, and so did my supporters. I was excited.

As I met with elected officials and conservation leaders, presenting my own “impressive” credentials and qualifications for the job, and trying to amass my support from people who mattered, a single name kept coming up: John Arway.

Who was this faceless John Arway guy, who so many of the active conservationists mentioned? I had never seen him at a meeting, or at a land dedication ceremony, nor had we testified at the same legislative hearing. But many in-the-know conservationists knew him, or of him, and they were quietly supporting him for the ED job, increasingly so as we got closer to the interview process in December.

Many other ED candidates were emerging, some really impressive, and some less so. My own self-promotion continued up to the beginning of deer season, and then I sat back for the following couple of weeks to see how it would all play out.

I was granted an interview with the PFBC board of commissioners, and in fact I ended up being the very last one interviewed out of six candidates. But as soon as the interview process began the back channel scuttlebutt was that the real contest was already well under way, the board split evenly between wanting Arway, or the agency’s long-time legal counsel, Dennis Guise, as the alternative.

Raging through and beneath the calm surface of the rote, officially procedural, professional interview process, the two main candidates fought each other tooth and nail, each calling up bigger, better, more powerful allies. In the end, it was not a question of qualifications, but of ….well, one of those simple things guys fall back on when measuring up an opponent. “Size.”

So to say. Because both guys were equally competent, just  each differently endowed with important skills the agency needed. It was an impossible choice between the two of them.

This battle royale ended the day before I was interviewed, with the board hopelessly deadlocked between the policy weenie Arway, and lawyer Guise. With the two accomplished men set aside, the board was now looking for a “dark horse” candidate without war baggage, who could salvage the situation and bring peace and unity unto the bruised agency’s divided ranks and leadership factions.

In the end, Doug Austen, PhD, was selected over me to run the agency. The chairman and several of my advocates on the board took me aside and explained that Doug had beaten me by 3/100’s of a point, and that the ED decision had come down to that: How many points did the next best candidate have. It was a very close decision, as close as any decision could ever be.

Austen went on to run PFBC for about four years, and as he has a PhD in fisheries biology, he eventually begged off for less political drama and more biology and went on to his next neat job with the US Fish & Widlife Service. Today Doug happily runs the American Fisheries Society, I happily run my own small conservation-driven small business, and boy, did John Arway end up running PFBC.

When Austen left PFBC, Arway was better positioned to take the helm, and immediately take it by storm did he ever. From deep within the agency’s rubber-meets-the-road programs, Arway brought to light and into implementation long simmering policy addressing natural gas fracking, combined sewage overflows from too much rain overrunning sewage plants, trout stocking, non-native invasive plants and fish, the sustainable economics of fishing, and many many more big and important policy questions that had sat dormant for way too long.

Arway’s personal style is easy, smiling, genuine, with a natural affability that helps him slide the medicine in. The medicine being those long-put-off policies that no one had the balls to deal with, and which John knew to be too important to ignore any longer.

Fact is, the Pennsylvania legislature is full of career politicians who refuse to make difficult decisions, for fear of upsetting the voters and possibly losing their artificially cushy jobs. And so Arway made those tough and necessary decisions for them.

The legislature did not like that.

True to form, the careerist politicians wanted to both hinder Arway and second-guess him, without ever providing alternative decisions that would save or protect our state’s incredible natural resources. At the end of all this bad government on full display to we taxpayers who underwrite it, Arway was ironically held up by the dithering careerist politicians as an example of a careerist bureaucrat long past his own use-by date. And so the legislature began to ever increasingly squeeze PFBC, financially, politically.

John Arway fought as only the honestly passionate can fight, with everything he had, without regard for his own personal longevity. Like Neo, the hero in The Matrix movie, John magically dodged every bullet fired at him, every knife stabbed at his back, and every rug pulled out from under his feet. And through it all he maintained that affable personality and firm determination to “do the right thing.”

If you didn’t know John Arway before he became PFBC ED, you knew soon after that he was one of the last of the conservation warriors cut from an old die that has long corroded and may now be broken and long lost. It is tough to imagine that any Pennsylvania resource agency will find and also choose again a tough leader and fearless resource advocate like Arway.

John recently retired from PFBC. Though he had every right to do so, he did not whine, he did not take shots at his enemies or opponents, he did not complain. Rather, ever the real pro, he listed the many natural resource conservation achievements he wished he had time to win and which he hopes the next generation will pick up and carry over the goal line.

The board was loathe to let him go. His many, many supporters are sad to see him step down. If you like to fish or drink clean water, you are sad to see John go. Both Austen and I talk about what might have happened had Arway simply been selected as ED back in 2003 and gotten his conservation agenda under way earlier. I do not always agree with John Arway on policy, but I will always agree that John Arway should be in the policy driver’s seat.

We will miss you, John. Thank you for your service and for being the champion for the voiceless fish and the splashing mountain streams whose language we hear but do not understand.

 

Who has the national Democrat Party NOT declared war on?

Is there any thing or anyone in America whom the national Democrat Party has not declared war on?

Nationally (not to be construed with what always happens at the local or state level, which is often less radical), the Democrat Party has gone after the First Amendment free speech rights of everyone who does not agree with their politically correct radical base voters.

The Democrat Party has gone after the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while opposing prosecutions of actual criminals who illegally use guns.

The Democrat Party has aggressively championed the elimination of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights of the US president and everyone around him, which means they will try to strip you, too, of your presumption of innocence and due process rights if you, too, oppose them politically.

The Democrat Party openly sides with people illegally invading America, who break our long established laws on their way over our borders, and who then commit outrageous¬† crimes against and impose tremendous costs on our citizen taxpayers, all the while demanding taxpayer-funded (your money, my money) welfare, universal education and health care. The Democrat Party calls these criminals “victims,” and has abandoned the citizen, the taxpayer, the people who pay for America to run and work every day.

The Democrat Party has declared war on the rule of law by creating “sanctuary cities” that are so obviously contrary to our laws for such obviously necessary reasons. But the Democrat Party wants a huge wave of illegal aliens as new voters to put the Democrat Party into permanent political power. The Democrat Party is even now extending voting rights to illegal aliens, even though they are obviously not entitled to vote for dog catcher or anyone else running for office.

Naturally in all of this Democrat Party warmongering, police officers everywhere are targeted for demonization and vilification at the very least, and usually police officers are targets of violence and deadly ambush justified by totally fake complaints of widespread racist police brutality. Failed NFL Democrat icon activist Colin Kaepernick and his endorser Nike Shoes have done more to damage the standing and safety of police officers and the rule of law they safeguard than any other individual or company. Think long and hard about how this junk impacts your own personal safety before voting for a Democrat in a national election.

If you are enjoying the shared prosperity of a powerfully productive economy, record low unemployment (especially among Blacks), and an American president pushing back against the unfair trade war waged against America over the past fifty years, then do not count on the Democrat Party to join you. I cannot tell you how many Democrats I know personally, beyond those prominent elected Democrat officials saying things in public, who are wringing their hands over how good the economy is, how well it is doing, how much more money American taxpayers are putting in their pockets. When I point out that the economy is doing GREAT!, they respond that either it is not nearly as good as I think, or that it will come to end any minute now, or that it is the result of the previous administration’s policies. The Democrat Party would rather see the American economy destroyed and poor-mouthed into failure than to give credit to the current president.

The Democrat Party is literally making war against the American economy.

The Democrat Party is openly, brazenly, laying siege to America, coming at us from dozens of directions, trying to destroy and tear our nation down from the top and at the foundation.

The last time the Democrat Party did this, they controlled the South and started “the war between the states” in 1861.

These many disgraceful actions make the Democrat Party a seditious criminal enterprise that is illegally and openly at war with the American people, your laws, and our form of government.

Is it time to outlaw the outlaw Democrat Party?

 

A culture of protest, a culture of animosity

If you desire to see the raw underbelly of an overly tolerant democracy, then watch or listen to today’s US Senate hearings on Judge Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is a smart, friendly, humble, kind of nerdy, bookish federal judge who had the audacity to be nominated to the US Supreme Court.

Why audacity? Because he is not super liberal. Because he does not walk in lock-step with the media arm of the Democrat Party. Because he has a judicial philosophy that is directly connected to how America was founded. He does not run around making legal judgments that are contrary to the US Constitution.

All this makes him audacious in the eyes of people who would use the US Supreme Court to achieve de facto legislative results they cannot get in the US Congress. Kavanaugh is audacious in some people’s eyes because he dares to fill a vacant seat on the Court, and play a constructive role in administering US law and jurisprudence.

To me, it looks like the most boring job in the world. Though at one time, in the heat of my youth, I aspired to be a constitutional scholar and actually studied a lot of constitutional law at Penn State and in graduate school (Vanderbilt) in preparation for it. My uncle has argued twice in front of the US Supreme Court, and on his second trip I was honored to help draft an Amicus brief and sit in the audience while the justices grilled both sides.

But now, look at how even Kavanaugh, The Most Boring Man In The World, is attacked and dragged through the mud by opponents of a lawful society. A shameless howling mob greeted him and the entire world today in one of the world’s most hallowed democratic chambers, the US Senate. To watch and listen to Kavanaugh’s opponents today in The People’s chamber, you would not know that we live in the most civilized nation.

From the 1960s to present, a culture of protest has developed to the point where the ends justify the means. That is, if someone opposes a political issue or a political person, they can go batshit crazy in front of everyone and put on the most foolish antics, with the craziest accusations, and the most violent and destructive behavior, because they are simply protesting.

And because they are protesting, they must be correct, is how they think. And if people oppose them, or have a majority in a legislative chamber or on a court, then every possible brick must be thrown in order to stop them…is how they think.

Where protest has its healthy roots in the First Amendment’s guarantee of peaceable assembly and petitioning the government, today’s protests are anything but constitutional. They are violent and hate filled, lawless and vile, cruel and destructive of people and property.

A very real culture of animosity has resulted out of the 1960s, and it is a bad thing, a toxic thing, corrosive and uncivilized. Its practitioners do not wish to live and let live; they desire control above all, and the use of angry mobs and threats to intimidate their opponents into acquiescence.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Hungary fell the same way. Slowly but surely the Communists there used a combination of violent mobs and corrupted police and courts to eliminate their political opponents. The Hungarian Communists used democratic processes and institutions to achieve non-democratic, tyrannical ends. Hungary went from one of Europe’s great nations to completely oppressed under the Communist boot. Only through uprising and great sacrifice were the Hungarian people freed once again, long after many horrible repressive crimes had been committed.

That same thing is now happening today with the national Democrat Party, whose hatred for the common person, the working person, the taxpayer and citizen, America’s “normal” and boring people, like Judge Kavanaugh, is so overwhelming that it can no longer be controlled.

If you love America, if you enjoy your simple pleasures and the basic freedoms we have here, then tell your US senators you support Kavanaugh, and do not vote for Democrats. The national Democrats do not have your interests at heart. Democrats care much more for illegal aliens (purported “victims”) who murder and rape our children than they care for you or me, taxpaying citizens who have worked hard to build this nation.

A good, decent man, a Justice Kavanaugh will restore some semblance of lawful and constitutional behavior to America, and the howling mob opposes that. Don’t let them win. They are not “protestors,” they are angry, lawless destroyers who pretend they are under the protection of the First Amendment.

How to render bear fat into usable grease

We take a break today from our more usual political commentary and slide easily over into rural culture. Specifically, how to render your luscious bear fat into a usable grease.

Why, you ask?

Because at one time, bear grease was considered a very close substitute for whale oil, which was such a cool product that literally every kind of food, medicine, and flame was made from it. As whales are rightly protected, and bears are bursting at the seams everywhere across America, making a bit o’ bear grease is a neat way to reach back in time.

Many people will use their bear grease for baking, and I have heard and read it is delicious for that purpose, provided it is rendered down carefully. My purpose was and is much more utilitarian: bear grease is going to be a new leather preservative and a lubricant for the patched round balls in my flintlock rifle. I am going to experiment with this unique grease as it was primarily used until the 1880s, when bears were in short supply from unsustainable market hunting, and more modern substitutes, mostly synthetic oils but also including whale oil, were more widely available.

Here are some photos of the simple process I did, using about five pounds of fresh and then immediately frozen fat from a young male bear.

The fat started out as mostly well trimmed, with only slight slices of meat on it. I left those on to see how those slices and the grease would turn out, and if the meat would impart a smell\flavor\aroma to the grease. What I have read is that any meat left on the fat will leave a meaty aroma and flavor to the grease after rendering. Based on the sniffing results of my snoot’s sharp capabilities, I think that is true. That is, meat left on the bear fat will definitely infuse a meaty smell into the grease.

If you intend to cook with the bear grease, then whether or not the meat is absolutely all removed is a question of what you intend to cook in the grease. If it is vegetables and other meats you will be frying in it, then my opinion is the aroma of the bear meat is pleasing and it will not ruin your cooking. If, however, you wish to bake pastries, pie crusts, and breads with your bear grease, then all of the meat ought to be removed. That means every scrap, shaving, and hint of meat should be sliced off the fat.

The fat should be clean, free of debris, leaves, twigs, pine needles, etc. Wash it well. You do not need to dry the fat when you go to render it, as a little water will only help you. It will not be a problem. Cut it with a knife into small chunks. The smaller the better. Some people process their bear fat in a meat grinder, breaking it down into a gooey mess that has no bonds linking the globules. Which makes the fat break down much faster. I think if I had ground up the bear fat, then it would have rendered out in the boiling water in a couple hours.

At first I steamed/ boiled the fat chunks in a second metal bowl immersed in a boiling cauldron over a propane burner. My goal was to be gentle, go slow, and not burn or even cook the fat. For cooks, burned or fried bear fat will definitely impart a certain taste or flavor to the grease. Depending upon your cooking goals, that “cooked” flavor might not be a bad thing. It is a savory smell, and will not go well with pies or sweet pastries.

After six hours on the water, the bear fat had barely begun to melt. So I turned up the heat. The higher the heat under the water, the faster the fat melted. But it was still taking way, way too long. So with about a third of the fat rendered, it was removed from the water and put directly on the lowest flame possible. A little water was added to keep the fat from immediately scalding. Some people put in a lot of water and render the fat on top of it, skimming it off. I did not try that, and it may work better than what I did. It would also be messier.

Direct flame under the pot definitely caused the fat to begin to cook down much faster, and it also began to fry a bit as time went on. The chunks and bits of bear fat began to turn a golden brown. For those interested in rural cuisine, these are called chittlins, much like various types of fried animal fats from Down South. And not just hog skins. Be a bit more creative in your imagining.

Think Larks’ tongues, Wrens’ livers, Chaffinch brains, Jaguars’ earlobes, Wolf nipple chips, Dromedary pretzels, Tuscany fried bats, Otters’ noses, Ocelot spleens, and a host of other fancy Roman cuisine listed in The Life of Brian.

Comparatively speaking, bear chittlins are right up there in that “unusual and fancy” category.

For me, the goal was to maximize the amount of bear grease rendered from the fat, and to minimize the cooking smell or odor imparted to it from the rendering process. This meant reaching a balancing or tipping point where the fat chunks were clearly cooking down substantially, but not completely. Because at completely rendered, the fat is really hot and it is cooking itself. As I wanted to avoid the grease having any kind of food smell, this meant I prematurely ended the whole process, before all the fat was completely cooked down, or even close, to avoid scorching the fat and making the grease smelly.

As you can see from the photo, about 36 ounces of bear grease was obtained from the several pounds of bear fat. Not a bad conversion ratio.

The first photo below shows double boiling; you can see some of the grease appearing. The second photo shows the grease after six hours. Clearly not much progress, even with higher heat. The last photo is after the pot was put directly on a very low flame, with a small amount of water added. Even after this care, the pot had some fat cooked (not burned) onto the bottom. This did give a faint food smell to it. The last photo shows the grease in a refrigerated wide mouth glass pickle jar. It is easy to access in the big jar.