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Tidal wave vs. The People

When I was a kid at the New Jersey shore, I remember how some of us young boys would bob in the beach zone where the sandy bottom dropped off and the waves hit the hardest. If Jersey waves can hit hard…though they did to us kids.

We would square our shoulders and lean into the hardest waves, barely touching bottom, trying our best to withstand them.

It was a physical test and a test of willpower, kind of a test of our budding manhood. Man vs. Nature. Primal combat.

It was summer vacation, what can I say. We were kids and let our imaginations run. By today’s video games standard, it was quite wholesome and innocent.

Today I feel like we are all right back there facing down waves.

This time the waves are assaults on our society, civilization, by a media-political complex bent on crushing everything in its way. Especially the traditional people who represent or hold onto the old ways that built America and which are the foundation of Western Civilization.

A recent example of this was when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1994.

Clinton had a whole host of women accusers surrounding him. Accusations of rape, sexual assault, harassment, etc. And despite that, plus his shady business dealings, the media-political complex circled the wagons around Clinton and did everything possible to get him elected president.

In the course of that process, the media-political complex allowed Clinton to dodge, avoid, and lie about his actions, and get elected as a result. They attacked his accusers and protected him, because they shared his political views.

Another example of this was when Barack Hussein Obama was elected president in 2008. Obama had a whole host of questions surrounding him, including his shady business dealings and his overblown, shallow professional qualifications. As well as his citizenship qualification, which was raised first by his primary opponent Hillary Clinton, and recently resurrected by Obama’s own Kenyan brother, who last year was sending out a photo of Barack’s original Kenyan birth certificate.

In the course of that election process, the media-political complex allowed Obama to dodge, avoid, and lie about his actions, and to get elected as a result. The media-political complex circled the wagons around Obama and did everything possible to get him elected president, because he represented their values, their desire to “transform America.”

Today we are seeing this same old process unfold yet again, in the case of the US Senate election in Alabama.

There, a conservative anti-establishment candidate, judge Roy Moore, is facing an obviously contrived and coordinated attack by the media-political complex bent on crushing him and overturning the will of the people, the voters of Alabama.

That media-political complex is made up of BOTH political parties, as well as political and social elites.

Doubting that assertion? Consider that US Senate leader Mitch McConnell prefers a liberal Democrat over the independent minded Moore in that seat. McConnell can easily work with liberal senators. He knows how to horse trade with them. How to give in, roll over. He knows Moore will not roll over, and is not interested in the careerist perks McConnell can offer.

It may not be politically correct to be this honest, but the truth is, I do not believe the accusations against Moore. They are just way too conveniently timed, and are obviously led by GOP squishes like McConnell.

Where were these accusers decades ago? Suddenly now they’re available?!

And where was this same media scrutiny when rapist Bill Clinton was running amok and poised to become president? Where is that scrutiny now? Well, Bill Clinton is a hero to liberals. So he got the pass.

Where is the same media scrutiny for US senator Al Franken, whose damning photo shows him illegally groping a sleeping woman (who also accuses him of attacking her elsewhere)?

Where is the same media scrutiny for the dozens of Hollywood elite also accused of pedophilia, sexual assault, rape, and harassment?

Nearly crickets out there, folks, except in the unbelievable cases where the media-political complex is trying to protect Franken.

But Hell’s bells, you get an independent-minded guy like Moore, and the whole world is descending on him and demanding him to bow out of the race, with no proof other than these obviously well-timed political accusations.

So it is the Roy Moores of the world now, squaring their shoulders, standing in the surf where their feet barely touch the sandy bottom, and facing down the big tidal wave of contrived fake news designed to wipe them out of the only political process anywhere on Planet Earth designed to capture the will of The People.

Moore may not be a young kid, but it is the innocence of America that is at stake here.

Win, Moore, win.

Win for The People.



Thor & Moore: Media-Entertainment Complex On Defense

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

A lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take that, swamp critters.


The Wonder of Elvis

Elvis Presley was a wonder in so many ways.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was relatable, because he was real.

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

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

Elvis’ impact on the development of music was unequaled.

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

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

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

We need and miss you, Elvis.

Current American Parallels with the Fall of Ancient Rome

In the recent past I have been in touch with some old high school friends.

We were quite close way back then. All remain good people, and we have maintained irregular but meaningful contact for the past 35 years. So any communication between us now is like picking right up where we last left off way back then.

“When are you and your militia friends going to storm DC?” semi-teasingly asks one, a professional resident of Washington, DC.

Immediately I’m thinking “Trump winning pretty much was the storming of DC, in a way.”

But I don’t say it, as the cascade of shallow whining about the election results sure to follow has become regular and boorish among Trump detractors.

“Josh, I was no Hill-Dog lover [Hillary Clinton], and I liked Kasich [presidential candidate], but do you really like Trump?” asks another, this one a successful self-made businessman, his face unhappily wrinkling over Trump Anything.

Given the constant opposition to the Trump presidency from both establishment parties (Republicans and Democrats, or the ‘UniParty’ as some call both parties together), as well as from taxpayer-funded entitlement recipients, some small and many big business folk alike, and especially the media-academia Big Government complex, now seems a good time to remind everyone who has something to lose of the history that brought America up here and could drag us back down.

First, like America, ancient superpower Rome was also “too big to fail,” both in the minds of Romans and their many enemies. They had too much money, too much military power, and the Roman people were living too fantastically a high standard of life to envision it actually dissolving.

In that way, America is no different than Rome, or any other major civilization that has come and gone before us: We perceive we are too wealthy and powerful to fall, and our personal lives are so fantastically comfortable and convenient that we cannot imagine all of it coming undone. It’s just too good. How could it possibly go away?

But fail and fall, Rome did. First sacked in 410 CE by its own mercenaries, and then for good in 454 CE by its mercenaries allied with their ethnic tribes. Inside jobs, both.

Second, like Rome, America is an island anomaly in a sea of big, all-powerful governments, dictatorships, really, domineering little citizens. While by today’s standards ancient Rome may not have been a free society, by the measure of its time it provided a lot of liberty and opportunity to individual citizens, much more than anywhere else.

Rome also had a semblance of the rule of law. Most nation-states back then were simply feudal aggregations of people with swords at the top and field-cropping, over-taxed serfs at the bottom. No rule of law.

Today, Planet Earth still has mostly tyrants and dictators, with a cruel grip on their respective  populace. So, like America now, Rome then had some extra work to do to hold itself together. Government power had to be diffused among senators, army officers, and business people. Standards and expectations were higher among a wider group of people. Government power, societal stability, quality of life did not depend upon the one monarch alone.

Predicting the end of America is almost as silly as predicting “climate change” -caused sea levels catastrophically rising, and super-powerful storms catastrophically leveling human civilization.

Though there is evidence of climate and weather affects on past human civilizations, it is a historical fact that human civilizations come and go of their own accord, usually due to simple power lust and ego. Sometimes environmental destruction rendered the land unfit for habitation. So on that alone we know that some day America will change. And it will not be a change good for the majority of its citizens.

America is nowhere near where Rome was when it fell, in terms of military preparedness. But in other ways we are past where Rome was, in terms of our unsustainable debt, ironically held by some of our worst enemies. The Chinese have become a kind of mercenary banker force, also supplying us with the electronics we use to run our daily lives as well as much of our military. That they are spying on us through their electronics is already proven.

Plenty of people inside and out would like to run America themselves, without the annoying, dirty citizenry in the way.

And yet so many Americans continue to party on, oblivious, as if we are invincible, invulnerable.

Go ahead and tease me, friends. Your ribbing is funny. But you should also be reflecting on the implications of ANTIFA, BLM, OWS etc mobs-cum-militia already rampaging across American streets, including DC and the US Capitol. Those stormings are already under way, under cover of national media and academia. They are real, and neither I nor any militia I know of have anything to do with them.

Go ahead and casually write off people like me, ‘kooks’ who love America in a simple way, a traditional way. We love all Americans, in all their ingenuity and passion for liberty and opportunity, and we have therefore come to despise the power-grab being waged against the citizenry by Big Government latté sippers. In both parties.

Go ahead and smugly dismiss us, mock us, cheerily toast our foolishness.

Just remember in the back of your mind, it is you we are trying to save. God knows, you can’t get it done.

Our public lands are not for sale

Apparently many Republicans are just downright jealous of all the craziness on the left, with all that destruction and removal of historic public monuments and the resulting revision of history to fit politically correct narratives.

So now we get a bunch of Republicans who actively pursue their own form of crazy, just bound and determined to undermine whatever electoral and public trust gains they have made in the past few years. Among a surprisingly wide circle of GOPers and conservatives, the selling off of public lands is a surprisingly popular policy goal.

Nothing hidden about this goal, the proponents of selling off public lands are quite open about their intentions. Apparently they want the public to watch them crash and burn, because the public is going to do that to them, electorally speaking.

Because the public overwhelmingly identifies with and passionately loves our public lands.

Maybe I am some sort of leftist kook, at least according to these proponents of public land sales, because I also sure do enjoy public parks, and public forests, and public recreation areas, public wilderness areas, and public hunting areas, and public monuments. Yes the government runs these places, and while I am not a big fan of government, public land management is one of the very few things that government tends to do pretty well..so..what can I tell you, this is a not-so-secret Communist plot: As an NRA life member, trapper, and lifelong hunter, I am proud to be part of this plot to “steal” Americans’ property rights, which is one of the ways that public land is described by advocates of bargain basement sales of public property.


Advocates of public land sales actually equate the existence of public lands with the diminution of private property rights.

Never mind that nearly all (my highly experienced guess is about 99.5%) public land has been purchased at fair market value from willing, even eager sellers, who love their land so much that they want to see it remain as wild, open, untamed places for wildlife and the wild people who pursue wildlife, and not turned into ubiquitous, dime-a-dozen cookie cutter asphalt and concrete jungles.

Never mind that in many remote areas, public land is an economic engine that keeps running, and running, and running without much expense.

Isn’t it ironic that the people who want to sell off public lands also want to stop and prevent people from selling their private land to wildlife and parks agencies? They bizarrely claim that public land’s mere existence is a de facto refutation of private property rights!

Oh c’mon! These armchair conservatives are the ones monkeying around with private property rights, when they try to stop sales of private land to public agencies.

They are “armchair conservatives” because these are people who do very little outside an air conditioned office. Maybe they ski at a ski slope with artificial snow as their outdoor lifestyle. But they do not hunt, trap, camp, canoe, fish, hike or do anything else indicating that red American blood flows in their veins. Nope, these are strictly dollars and cents on paper people, no real life experience. They’d sell you their grandma for ten bucks, too. No heart, no soul, just money money MONEY.

And that is how they see public lands: Easy money, easy development.

There is a useful story about money, I think it was about a mere thirty pieces of silver being accepted for giving up one’s soul. Something like that, with the point being that money and self enrichment isn’t our primary purpose in life, and that the people who singularly pursue these two goals are often soulless enemies of all that is good and wholesome.

Several weeks ago the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a local park could not be taken from the taxpayers and sold to a developer to build homes on. You’d think this is a plainly obvious forehead-slapping fact, but it demonstrates that the effort to liquidate public lands is not just a Western phenomenon, but an East Coast idiot parade, too.

Fortunately, the new US Department of Interior secretary does not believe in selling off public lands, unlike the other candidate who was on her way to being nominated before this issue tripped her up with the Trump Administration. The new Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is a retired Navy SEAL, hunter, and Western outdoorsman. He knows personally how important public land is to the identity of Americans everywhere.

Let’s hope Zinke can help his fellow Republicans wake the hell up on this issue, that our public lands are not for sale, before these fools get a good dose of electoral comeuppance from the American people who are barbequeing, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and star gazing on public lands from sea to shining sea right now.

My impression of Paul Mango, candidate for PA Guv

Three weeks ago I spent half an hour on the phone with Paul Mango, newly declared candidate for Pennsylvania governor.

We talked about his candidacy, his background, political issues, economics, hopes and challenges, etc. We then followed up with several back and forth emails, each one of his expressing specific appreciation and thanks for how the exchange had benefited him in a certain way. He is a new candidate, new to politics (other than as a very generous donor to Republican candidates), and he is digesting a lot of new information and ideas, new ways of thinking.

Last week I met Mango at his formal campaign announcement at the Twin Ponds sports and fitness center in Camp Hill\Mechanicsburg.

Twin Ponds previously served as the region’s HQ for primary and general election candidate Donald Trump, who won Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes by a margin probably accounted for just by the simple dedication of Central PA’s “normal Americans” in both political parties. The big facility is run by a pretty, petite firebrand of a woman, Mrs. Patton aka General Patton.

Here are my impressions of Mango (and yes, I know, he’s just getting started):

He is impressive in several key ways: His family background and values, his education and military service, and his high level professional work experience.

Paul Mango is a very smart, confident, and empathetic man, who comes across as a reserved, reflective, nice person, and a responsive, good listener.  He is positive and genuine.

I questioned him in person about how he will compete against candidate Scott Wagner, who has spent years battling in the trenches with a lot of conservative voters and activists, against entrenched establishment political hacks in politics for personal financial gain, and who has thereby built up credibility with many politically active citizens who value bravery and honesty.

When I pointed out that Wagner has also alienated a lot of people (including many of his former supporters) in that process (because Wagner seems selfish, arrogant, and unappreciative), Mango responded that he will not say anything negative because he has never seen valuable leadership succeed except through “inspiring people.”

That is a very high bar to set for one’s self, much less one’s political competitors, but it is worthy because it says Mango has integrity. The Wagner campaign has already criticized Mango for supporting Cruz first, and then Trump later, though I got the impression that is what Scott Wagner did, too, like a lot of us did in last year’s Republican primary. Here we go, the mud is already flying!

Well, to start, if Mango is going to inspire voters, then he needs to increase his positive speaking energy, his intensity, his passion. The other night he came across as a little nervous, and definitely way too deliberative, almost plodding, at his formal announcement. His prepared speech was long and the delivery was very, very slow.

Recall that Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg is so hard hitting because it was not long and plodding, but brief and hard hitting.

Despite serving in the 82nd Airborne and actually being a warrior, Mango’s even-keeled demeanor does not seem warrior-like, while his main competitor, Wagner, did not do military service and yet is a proven culture and fiscal political warrior.

Though he wore jeans, work boots, and an Oxford shirt, Mango is the very definition and personification of “corporate,” which will probably look or smell like moderate RINO to the trench warfare grass roots conservatives. Time will tell if that first impression is accurate.

His approach to fixing government is his approach to fixing businesses, about which it is best to just quote my activist friend Ron:

The problem with these guys [corporate/business/ Chamber of Commerce GOP candidates who compare running government to running business] is they all have plans to fix government by running it like a business. This is not a unique viewpoint and it has never worked. This is politics, not business. Took me a while to accept that.  He can have the greatest plan ever but it won’t matter because politicians don’t care [about people, policy, economy etc.].  They care about themselves and getting re-elected.”

It is a fact that careerist politicians in BOTH PARTIES do not act like corporate employees, because there is almost no accountability in politics. The old quip about the only accountability in politics resulting from being “found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy” probably doesn’t even apply today.

Like him or not, candidate Scott Wagner goes right to the key policy battles: Corrupt blood-sucking unions, ridiculous regulations that violate our federal and state constitutions, wasted and stolen taxpayer money.

That is where the rubber meets the road in the culture war for America’s soul and the war for a middle-income economy.

This is the battle front between America as it was founded and as we knew it, and America as a bastion of totalitarian socialism and politically correct thought police, envisioned by the Left.

Candidate Mango will probably arrive here at the same battle front, eventually, because the leftists’ violent street battles across America tell us that nice words alone don’t work, and Trump’s improbable win says it all (JEB! was also the quintessential corporate nice guy, and GOP voters utterly rejected him).

Mango’s steady personality seems to avoid conflict, which though commendable and reassuring in so many other settings, can send the message to some voters that he may be like a zillion other mainstream RINOs who are unwilling to dive into the bar room brawl that needs to happen for America to be set right. These careerist RINOs don’t want to get their hands dirty waging political war, which tells voters that they really just don’t care very much about political or cultural outcomes.

Mango is smart enough to see these facts and voter trends. Whether he arrives at that messy policy battle front sooner or later is the question. If he finds a way to comfortably voice his quiet intensity, his passion, his compassion for working Pennsylvanians, then he will overcome the potential impression that he is another empty GOP suit (I was told that PA GOP kingmaker Bob Asher has NOT supported Mango, which appeals to the conservative, independent-minded base).

I like the guy and I am looking forward to seeing him develop over the next six months, because, again, he is new to politics and just getting started.

Western Civilization’s Superiority in One Image

The greater the variation in thinking, sound, taste, etc., the greater the range.

The greater the range of anything, the more refined it can become, and the more representative it is of sophistication.

The more refined something is, the more sophisticated it is, the better, more valuable it becomes to people, and when we are talking wild food and wildlife nutrition, the better it is for animals, too.

If there is one symbol of Western Civilization’s superiority above all other civilizations, it is the violin.

From a tiny violin a masterful player can emit the greatest range of sounds, which themselves can evoke a wide range of feelings and accompanying thoughts.

Stringed instruments are hard to make, hard to play well, and just as hard to keep tuned.

Stringed instruments require thoughtful, gentle and technically capable humans to create, play, and maintain them. A human culture capable of imagining, creating, playing, and maintaining a stringed instrument like the violin is at the height of human material, technical, and philosophical capabilities.

Not to disparage the cello, which in the hands of a master player can really surprise us, and not to question the viola…OK, what the heck is the viola, anyhow?

Yes, the piano is a stringed instrument. It is just a harp laid flat over a sound board, the harp strings struck by gentle little felt hammers of varying softness. No wonder the piano can be so emotionally evocative.

The violin is the most difficult to make and play of all stringed instruments. Not just because it is relatively small, but because it is both delicate and very strong. To make a good violin, that will be both a real performer and stand up to the hard use that wrings from it the wide ranging sounds that raise our hearts or cause us to cry, there must be a perfect alignment of the best natural and human-made materials with the best human capabilities.

This is art, the humanization of science. It is the highest form of human capability, and that perfected blend of form and function flows in all directions to encompass cars, firearms, clothing, music, buildings, food, etc.

That flow is what we call culture, and at the heart of my culture, my civilization, lies the violin.

Those fellow humans who join my country and my civilization are expected to join it, support it, appreciate it, advance it, not just benefit from it and give nothing back. Or worse, they cannot try to damage it, or change it. We call that treason, or war.

After all, this is my country. No one has a right to simply move wherever they want on Planet Earth, and demand that the natives there move over, make way, throw overboard their beliefs, their values, discard their noisy violins, so to speak.

Can an American Christian move to any Muslim country and build a church? No?

Can a Christian of any sort openly practice, safely, in any Muslim country? No!

Can a Jew even enter Saudi Arabia? Not without special permission from the Saudi government.

Western civilization’s simplest, sweetest violins are officially silenced across much of the planet. The violin is not their culture, that we accept.

But why must we accept that belief here, in our culture, their rejection of the violin?

American culture has always been successful and superior to all others because it made room for everyone to be themselves, and yet also be a loyal and patriotic American.

That understanding has ended among a great many Americans, old and new. Today, an American cannot be an openly practicing Christian without being ridiculed or accused of violating someone’s comforts, much less their rights. That someone might not even be an American citizen, entitled to do much if anything, by law.

When a different, outside civilization can imagine, create, play, and maintain a top quality violin on its own, then I can make space for it here in my civilization. Until then, I value my little world with its many violins above all others. I do this, proudly, defiantly.


Some reflections on yesterday’s Election Day results

Yesterday was Primary Election Day here in Pennsylvania, and I was up to my eyeballs in electioneering/ volunteering.

Setting aside politics yesterday after lunch time, I helped bury in the ground a beautiful and perfect 21-year-old young lady who was killed the day after graduating from the University of Miami. Her name is Elizabeth Goldenberg, and she was from nearby Hummelstown, practically a suburb of Harrisburg these days. As her sobbing parents and siblings stood by, a large and far-flung community gathered around to give support, caring, and sympathy.

Young Elizabeth was killed in a boating accident while touring the Everglades with her family. She went from award-winning sky-is-the-limit talent to snuffed out like a light switch had been pushed. She was a hugely positive force surrounded by affectionate people who basked in her glow.

In moments like this I question my faith, I question God, because I can think of plenty of bad people who deserve to die, and yet this perfect young person is prematurely cut down. It is the essence of makes no sense and unfair.

It is hard to shake that feeling, and so that is also my thinking about the politics results: a lot of it makes no sense and is patently unfair.

While it is true that all my candidates but one prevailed yesterday, three issues nag at my mind:

  1. Republican Establishment is still inflicting self-damage by protecting poor candidates who are weak go-along get-along types, while stopping strong candidates from getting ahead. We saw that with the county judicial endorsement. The Dauphin GOP continues to artificially undermine the strongest Republicans and thereby alienate conservative grass roots voters, which the party needs. Unfair and self-defeating.
  2. I feel bad for Josh Feldman, candidate for the Uptown Harrisburg magistrate position, held by Barb Pianka. Feldman is a recent transplant to this area, with no roots, and had done no work related to the job, and yet he threw himself into the fray at the urging of other people. You might say he was used to try and settle a political score. If you read this blog, then you know I played a role in that race. It still brings me no pleasure to have played that role, and now more than ever I feel bad for Mr. Feldman. Hopefully he is able to get over the hard work and big expenditures he invested and get back to his pet service business in one piece. Whoever encouraged you to run was not your friend, Josh. Unfair to the unsuspecting.
  3. All the mainstream media’s anti-Trump fake news and fake leaks and fake analysis and fake issues and fake chaos are aimed at one thing: Obfuscation and diversion, hindering President Trump from digging into the morass and removing the cancer. For fifty years the anti-America left (which is in many ways lead by the mainstream media) has quietly infiltrated and taken over a great deal of American government. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, those bureaucrats were all poised to get it over the goal line, a line of no return, and fully take control of America. If Trump is able to “drain the swamp,” then all of that effort will have been for naught. Impeachment? After 100 days in office? For what? How? After Hillary Clinton’s lying and cheating and sale of emails with secret classified information, and sale of key uranium stockpiles to the Russian government, no one is more due for a trial and jail than she. The US media has become a partisan machine disconnected from real journalism, and so they treat Trump and his supporters unfairly.

While shoveling dirt on sweet Elizabeth’s coffin yesterday, miserable at the unfairness of her death, I was also struck by how meaningless so much of our material life is, how much we Americans take for granted, how relatively easy our lives are, compared to how most other humans live, and how we so easily fill up our lives with stupid, shallow things.

What is most important are relationships: Relationships between old friends, family members who respect one another, business colleagues, neighbors, and so on. Appreciate what we have. Hold our loved ones tight. In the end, it’s all ya got.


Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land

For a long time, former NRA president Charlton Heston was still my president.

During the Clinton presidency for sure, and even plenty of times in the George W. Bush presidency, I felt like the person in the White House did not understand or represent my views.  So, frequently I would say “Charlton Heston is still my president.”

Even though he was no longer NRA president, he still best captured my views on being an American.

Charlton Heston may have been president of the NRA, a big deal, but even more important, he played the role of Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments.

Heston played that part with intense passion, because as a man of faith, it meant a lot to him. He believed in the words he said as an actor, because the words he said on screen had the power to suggest in millions of homes across America.

His suggestion was  that America follow the Bible.

Why not? America is based on the Bible.

Heston ends his role on the east side of the Red Sea, proclaiming liberty throughout the land.

Here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell sits, with the Biblical words “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land,” taken from the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The Passover story tells the details of that experience, an inspiring lesson that has come to symbolize freedom for oppressed people all over the world.

Tonight is the beginning of Passover, and this coming weekend is Easter. Together the two holidays capture the Judeo-Christian foundation of America. One is a more physical release from bondage, while the other is more of a spiritual release, a resurrection of the indomitable human spirit.

You need both to be totally free, to totally know liberty. And to be an American you absolutely must know liberty, and reject big government, nanny state policies, and government overreach.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

The bigger the individual liberty, the happier the American, the more spirited he is.

So this special week in particular, let each of us proclaim liberty throughout the land of America, my fellow citizens.

Rejoice in our religious liberties, our political liberties, our free speech liberties, our freedoms, and cherish them, cherish them all.

Remain dedicated to liberty, for it is always unpopular with the many people who would enslave us all, and we do not have to look far at all to find those people, as power corrupts.


Ooh-ooh, that smell

Dedicated readers of this site might wonder why we are not commenting about the lameness of a political party that filibusters everything in the US Senate, used “the nuclear option” themselves to advance the most radical and extreme federal judges and political appointees from 2010 to 2015, but which now is screaming bloody murder that the other political party followed their lead, did exactly what they did with the Senate rules, and allowed a simple majority vote to confirm the next US Supreme Court justice (Gorsuch) yesterday.

Why would a normal, healthy person spend time on that issue? It is obviously quite insane. One political party is dominated by people with an agenda that does not fit in with America’s political model. Would you normal people please stop supporting the Democrat Party, until its leadership is replaced with normal, mainstream Americans?

Instead, this essay here takes a line from a Lynyrd Skynyrd song about drug abuse, “Oooh-ooh that smell.”

This is about a daily personal health issue that seems to be unknown and unaddressed, despite having a real effect on Americans across the country. If you care about your health, read on.

We Americans are so addicted to cheap Chinese junk (tools, food, clothing, furniture, shoes, tires) that we shop ever more in big box stores filled to the brim with that cheap Chinese junk.  Or buy from Amazon, which imports from China by the shipful.

And when you enter the doorway of these big box stores, you are confronted with an odd, sickly sweet smell associated with the vast majority of Chinese manufacturing: Formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is used to pickle human remains for wakes and open casket funerals. It is used to stash scientific specimens in glass containers, so they will not rot, so they can be viewed and studied.

Formaldehyde is dangerous, toxic, and both acutely and chronically dangerous. And yet Americans work around hugely elevated amounts of formaldehyde in these ubiquitous big box stores, and Americans shop daily in these same places, all blissfully unaware that they are inhaling a significant amount of nasty chemical.

The formaldehyde you smell in the store is off-gassing from the consumer items sitting in cardboard boxes on the store shelves. This chemical permeates everything made in China, and there is so much of it that for years it keeps leaking out of the plastics, fabrics, and woods sent here, which we then put in our homes and garages as furniture and tools.

You are worried about ambient cigarette smoke? Cut us a break! Exposure to air-borne formaldehyde in these amounts is far worse for the human body, far riskier than the occasional cigarette, as is standing on a street corner in down town Manhattan, waiting for a street light to change, for that matter, because of all the ozone, particulates, and sulfur/ carbon dioxide/monoxide smog.

But nothing is being done about ambient formaldehyde risk, because it is associated with too much money and economic activity. And it is invisible, except to the nose.

There are no sexy prohibitionist crusades about ambient formaldehyde like there is with tobacco use (an upcoming subject here).  And yet take a good whiff the next time you go to a big box store. That weird sickly sweet smell is formaldehyde. Your lungs are getting a free embalming when you enter.

Note: If we bought American products, made in USA facilities where formaldehyde is not allowed to be used, then we would not be exposed to it when we went shopping. But we are like drug addicts, addicted to cheap Chinese junk, to our own detriment.