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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, folks*

In case you are one of the three people who regularly read this web site, then you have noticed that a good long while has passed since anything overtly political was posted. There is a good reason for this, and it is because weeks ago we entered the really best, nicest time of the year.

We are in Christmastime, the weeks preceding and the weeks following Christmas, a time of peace and reflection, neighborliness, good cheer and charity.

Yes, there have been a lot of politics worth writing about, but you know what? I just did not feel like writing about frustrating, conflict-filled current events. More than anything I am enjoying basking in the glow of what should be, what must be, a time of togetherness and common good purpose.

If you are a religious Christian, then you may object to all this namby pamby touchy-feely do-gooder happy time stuff. You know what I am talking about, the kind of Miracle on 34th Street feeling.

I am sorry if you feel this way, but I have yet to encounter any religion or religious sensibility that evokes the kind of generous togetherness that that particular product of Hollywood disseminated, or that the basic Christmastime in America has uniquely produced.

And so yes, I am a cheerful proponent of the old fashioned commercialized Christmas, because I am a proponent of simple happiness and brotherhood, old fashioned American identity.

Merry Christmas, friends, and may 2019 be a year of happy prosperity for you and all those whom you love. See you then, in 2019!

UPDATE: Bob Durgin died today, at noon, on Christmas Eve. Durgin was the very long time growly voiced challenger to all things Politically Correct and Big Government at WHP580 radio station here in Harrisburg. Bob was perpetually frustrated and then verbally evocative by examples of how bad government touched people’s lives in the Central Pennsylvania region. He was the last of a line of gruff and rough and tough-talking radio talk show hosts who really said what he meant and he said it in a way that left no doubt in the listener’s mind. Bob frequently invited government officials on his show to speak about their actions, and he spared no one from a serious grilling. He was often the next-day public response to the local establishment media “newspaper” Patriot News propaganda and leftwing political activism masquerading as news or real information. I was a guest on Bob’s show a number of times, for different reasons. The one time I recall best was when he got on me about being an “environmentalist,” to which I responded that I am a hunter, conservationist, and a life member of the NRA. He was openly puzzled by this, and you could feel the wheels turning in his head as he was trying to find the right words live on the air to either hit me over the head or hug me. I jumped in and said something like “Bob, I am like Teddy Roosevelt, a hunter conservationist,” which provided immediate relief and approval and the ability to keep the interview moving along without a hitch. Good gosh will I miss Bob Durgin. Rest in peace, cowboy.

Whatever your religious belief, our nation now basks in goodness

Christmas is America’s national holiday, and while there are many Christians reminding fellow citizens that there is a more spiritual and faith based core to the holiday, it is, in fact, a glorious time of year no matter what your religious beliefs may be.

Seven days ago, Hanuka began on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, as usual. Just after Hanuka ends this year, tomorrow night, Christmas will then begin on the 25th day of the Gregorian month of December, as usual.

The two holidays are naturally linked, as early Christians both tied their new religion to the parent faith with a holiday (“Holy Day”) on nearly identical dates, and then separated from it from Hanuka with a new holiday, “Christ’s Mass,” which has been turned into a conjunction, Christmas.

Much has been said about the Judeo-Christian roots of America, and our Christmas holiday is just one more example of that shared religious basis of our nation’s founding. It is a testament to the tolerant and open sensibility at the root of American identity, to shared values among many different people.

You don’t have to be Jewish to like Jewish-style rye bread, and you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy Christmas. Every American should enjoy Christmas, and wish one another a Merry Christmas. There is no declaration of faith in that, but rather it is a declaration of love for all things good and for a shared, common identity in a truly good nation.

Probably the only really good nation on the planet: We have the rule of law, more opportunity than anywhere else, the highest standard of living, etc. Christmas crowns that all at the end of the year, and it reminds us that the sum total of our year is simply good.

In that spirit of goodness, I wish all my fellow Americans and our many guests here Happy Hanuka, and Merry Christmas!

Hunting season preparations – Xmas in July

Though hunting seasons may be many months away, the truth is that hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania hunters are quietly sorting out their plans far ahead of time.  Doe tags, DMAP tags, licenses and berths in a Quebec hunting camp for black bear and caribou, a camping permit for an ADK wilderness…it is all lining up now across the state.

Summertime preparations for Fall and wintertime hunting activities are a sign that yet another round of sustainable, renewable economic development is upon us here.  After all, hunting is a $2.8 billion industry (or business sector, or economic sector) in Pennsylvania.  Hunters are a renewable, and sustainable source of income and economic activity, so long as they have places to hunt.

Longingly fondling old, trusted firearms and bows, sighting them in on the sitting room wall or at the range, hunters can already smell that clean air, feel that cool breeze upon the cheek, and hear dead leaves rustle under foot, if they but close their eyes and imagine it.

It is Christmas in July now, as hunters across the Commonwealth gear up, trim up, and make sure everything is in order for that best time of the year: Hunting season.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

However it evolved into a fake insult, saying Merry Christmas is still the nicest thing one American can say to another.

Christmas is our national holiday. Religious Christians fret over its secularization, and certainly the commercilization and materialism surrounding Christmas stand in contrast to its roots.

But thanks in great part to 19th century British writer Charles Dickens, Christmas is, for all people, a time of cheer, good will towards one another, an abandonment of grudges, an embracing of love as the preferred force in human relations.

So, secularized as this all may be at this point, the message and culture now surrounding Christmas is good stuff.

So, whether you are Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, or pagan, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. You’re an American, you’ve earned it.

Happy New Year, Everyone

Although 99% of my subject matter is usually politics in some form or another, there are times when words should fail and feelings must dominate. Thus it has been these past eight days, consumed with irreplaceable family time, visits with dear friends and distant family, and with no time or stomach for debate or bickering. Charles Dickens challenged his readers to find some time to respect and love one another, to take a break from the mundane and instead exalt the simple pleasures of life. And unless a person is a Scrooge, how can we not happily embrace this time of the year, and but smile at those around us?
Happy New Year, everyone. May your new year be successful, pleasant, and filled with the love and respect of those you care about. Here’s to you…

Sandy Hook Tragedy Has Me on “Hold”

The Sandy Hook tragedy has me on hold right now.

Several friends have asked when I will write a piece about the massacre, and all I can say is that neither I nor the situation are right. Yes, some tasteless people immediately jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon, but what do you expect from Senators Schumer, Feinstein, and Boxer? From Obama? Their agenda is anti-freedom, and they are ready to pounce at any moment, ready to exploit any crisis for political gain.

Guns are dangerous tools, and I can tell you about my own close calls with guns throughout my life, a life of hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. Guns require diligence and caution always, and the second you let down your guard with a gun is the moment your life will change for the worse. But that is not a reason to try and ban them.

A well-written article is coming out soon, just as soon as I can clear the pain and horror from my mind. I am a father of three kids, and that’s all I can think about: Those little kids, and their parents. No policy, no politics can share room in my head and heart with that, yet.

Merry Christmas, friends, Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to one and all

Somehow

Somehow, wishing Merry Christmas to your fellow American has turned into a big time no-no. Out of fear of “offending” someone, I suppose.

Since when was a human culture based on not possibly offending someone, even unintentionally? The French culture is based on insulting and offending everyone. Like Africans, the Germans pass right by offending and go right for invading and killing.
The British snub everyone in every way, the most popular being the genteel way, of course. Etc.

Americans are so programmed to not offend the many cultures, ethnicities, and religions that make up our nation that now there’s a taboo against wishing someone Merry Christmas. What if they don’t observe or do Christmas?, goes the thinking.

Well, folks, Christmas is our national holiday. And it has become so commercialized and popularized that you don’t have to worry about someone wishing you a Merry Christmas and then in a fit of joy forcing you to eat something you detest, like pickled fish (Norway), blood pudding (Britain), etc. or that the well-wisher’s intent is to either convert you to a different religion (Mormonism) or to belittle your own beliefs.

Since when did wishing cheer and good will among men and women add up to an insult?

I’ll tell you where. In the minds and practices of America’s cultural police, who also promote atheism as America’s official religion, that’s where.

It’s not coming from a healthy place, this new taboo against wishing someone Merry Christmas. And therefore, it is with great relish that I wish all of you dear readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!