A Huffington Post headline reads “Congress Inaction Prompts Obama to Act Alone.”
American civics class 101 teaches citizens that the executive branch cannot act alone, not really. If Congress is inactive, the president can only enforce laws that are on the books. He cannot create new laws. That would be dictatorial.
Ah-hah. There’s the point. Obama fans LOVE his dictatorship. Unashamedly.
Just remind us of that love when we have a new president from the other party, surrounded by angry citizens demanding retroactive corrections to the Obama years. You’ll learn to love it then, friends.
What began as a happy trip to the wood shed for a load of seasoned oak in the Fall is now a crabby trudge through deep snow and ice, a drudgery opposite the cheerfulness felt with the first flames to beat back Winter’s early chill.
Spring warmth cannot come too soon. Naturally, it will arrive, melt the Arctic snow cap occupying my lawn, and probably result in some Biblical flood carrying my home down river to the Chesapeake Bay.
Speaking of floods, and flood insurance, I am hopeful that the insane congresswoman Maxcine Waters will have her bizarre legislation permanently overturned, so that people can either afford to own their homes (something she is not familiar with or supportive of) or the Federal government will buy out the landowners so the societal costs and benefits are not concentrated on just the private property owners. Government cannot change the social contract in one week. Well, under liberals it can, of course. Let’s rephrase that: Government should not restructure the social contract in such a short time that private property owners see their investments destroyed overnight. That would be good government, something unknown to Maxcine Waters and her fellow liberals.
Two weeks ago the Virginia state House passed a Sunday hunting bill out of a committee that had bottled up similar bills for decades before. It was a surprising statement that it actually got through committee. Then it passed the full state House, which surprised even its most ardent sponsors.
Well, today the Virginia state Senate passed the companion bill. It allows hunting on private land on Sunday, a private property rights win if there ever was one. If you pay property taxes, say on a remote mountainside property, and you are deprived of 14.2% of your full use of that property for some vague reason, you might get frustrated. It is your property. You can shoot 1,000 bullets at a target on Sunday, but you cannot shoot just one at a squirrel. Laws like this are by their definition arbitrary, the bane of democracy.
Virginia’s governor says he will sign the bill into law.
Welcome to the modern era, Virginia! We are envious of you.
Kudos to Kathy Davis of PA-based Hunters United for Sunday Hunting (www.huntsunday.org), who has devoted the past two years of her life to this issue, and who helped a great deal with getting the Virginia law passed and the lawsuit filed there. The lawsuit compelled the state legislature to act, before a judge ruled against the state and the entire state was opened up. While I would like to see public land open for Sunday hunting, I am satisfied with private land as a start to implementing it state-wide. This really is an issue of the most basic American rights.
Thank you to Professor Anat Beck and her very interesting students, for hosting me today. I know it is not easy to hear ideas you do not agree with, and you all did a marvelous job of listening and asking questions, and seeing photos of hunting and trapping. It was an honor to be with you. Just remember: Your entrepreneurialism cannot succeed with more onerous government regulations and requirements, like ObamaCare. When there are more takers than makers, the system collapses. Capitalism has generated more liberty, freedom, and opportunity than any other approach.
Last year I spoke to Dr. Andrea Lieber’s class, also at Dickinson, and we had an excellent dialogue on “climate change.” What surprised me was how little the students knew about the politicization of “climate change” “science.” It is to Dr. Lieber’s credit that someone like me was invited to address her students.
Dickinson has a fascinating, really neat environment and hands-on sustainability program, replete with a new green house/ lab. I hope I am invited back again, because, I like it a lot. The students are inspiring.
Former Harrisburg mayor Linda Thompson had issues, no question about it, and she’d probably be the first to admit it.
But at least she got the snowy streets plowed.
This is something the new “brilliant” administration is not doing. They’re a failure on this basic count.
I guess that if your election competition is artificially removed, so that “winning” is practically guaranteed, you might think that it’s easy, this governing stuff.
If our streets are not going to be plowed, then what is the role of government?
UPDATE: Fifteen minutes after this post went up, a snow plow cleared a lane here in Uptown Harrisburg. First time all winter. I cannot claim responsibility, but I will admit to being surprised. I had been under the impression that the city’s snow plows had all been sold off to pay for Andy Giorgione’s incinerator debt.
Like you and most everyone I know around Pennsylvania, I feel done with the snow. Yes, did I say “let it snow” a bunch yesterday? Well, that was then and this is now. Now, we are expecting another eight to twelve inches of snow in the next day. On top of the six to eight inches of hardened crust, ice, and snow already on the ground, another foot is going to keep spring from arriving for a long time.
This much snow puts a stranglehold on our business operations. Shuts down machinery. Trucks cannot pick up, guys cannot cut, or even drive their trucks, let alone get their machines moving.
What really is telling about this cold is that at home, we have burned a solid three-plus cords of seasoned oak firewood. We may be closing in on four burned to date. We have enough to take us into the end of the longest cold winter, but that just means more work felling, cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking. You know the old saw — “Firewood warms ya twice.” You work hard making it, and then it warms you as a fire. Indeed.
Hold on there, fellow Pennsylvanians. Spring must be just around the corner. Just a few weeks from now, the air should be in the mid-forties, smelling slightly earthy and damp, and a robin here and there will join the cardinal in the back yard. Then you know relief is upon us. Hold on. You are in good company.
Snow is magic, pretty, enchanting, a pain to drive in, a pain to shovel, and a huge boon to hunters.
Snow helps hunters (animals and humans alike) see prey better, because it creates stark contrasts. When a prey animal is moving, a hunter can much more quickly spot it. Tracks reveal where animals have been, and where they might be again.
Today was the last day to harvest a bobcat, and while I did not try to bag one real hard, I still feel a little disappointed. Our traps went out after the bobcat trapping season, and I did not get up to our northcentral PA honeyhole spot, so I can’t say I tried hard. But still, if you read enough hunting reports, you know that all it takes is that “one amazing moment” when the cat silently appears after you’ve been calling. I had hoped for that moment.
Kind of like that other hopey-changey stuff, my own hope was misplaced.
But I did take a lot of pretty photos with snowy backdrops. The white barn, dune-like ripples in the snow across a big field, dead foxtail grass waving in the deep snow…kind of like grass waving in the dunes at the sea shore. An old loop of barbed wire sticking up through the snow, with rabbit tracks hopping by on the right. Ice sheets across the stream, or nearly across, with deer tracks testing it up til its edge, and then backing away to find another route.
As I was snuck inside a field corner woods, blowing on the dying rabbit call, a giant snowy owl erupted from the other side of the hedgerow 150 yards away. One swoop over me, and it lit out for Canada. Not even camo fools those eyes. The last snowy owl I saw was 36 years ago, while I was out hunting alone in Centre County, walking along a field edge. Raucous crows alerted me to something special about to happen, and then it appeared, a majestic white owl, soaring ahead of the cawing mass. That owl just kept on going, leaving me mesmerized.
A black weasel came darting to the call inside a small wash, while I was perched on a stump and log way above. My mind first identified it as a black squirrel, then as a mink, and then as the weasel it was, as I watched it crouched under a fallen log, watching me with glittery eyes. I have a weasel mounted with the wood duck I shot with John Plowman nearly 20 years ago, out on the Susquehanna. The weasel is from Centre County, and is brown with a black-tipped tail. This is the first all-black weasel I have seen, although I have seen both an all-black fisher (in the ADKs in November) and a mink this year. Kind of like a three-of-a kind poker hand; the fourth must be a seal…
Nature is so simply magical. How people do drugs, I do not understand. The sun on the snow today was enough of a “drug” for me to last all day and night and into tomorrow. And so yet another hunt passed, without a kill, and yet, so fulfilling, nonetheless.
If you hunt deer in a shotgun-only zone like southeast Pennsylvania, Long Island, or New Jersey, you know the common futility of shooting rifled slugs (Foster slugs) out of your smoothbore barrel. Within 50 yards, odds are you’ll connect, but beyond the likelihood of bagging the deer drops like a stone. Foster slugs are effective in close, but never real accurate. (My friend, attorney, and hunting partner George A. would like me to remind readers that he has shot many deer with his Remington 870 rifled barrel, and he can attest to its great accuracy with sabots)
After flinging about a lot of wasted lead slugs last month, most of which were within 60 or 70 yards at deer standing broadside, my frustration reached epic levels. Instead of leaving my otherwise trusty Remington 870 wrapped around a tree in the woods like some tennis pros beat up on their racquets, I decided to join the growing crowd of shotgun hunters and buy a rifled barrel.
Rifled barrels are known for dramatically improving shotgun accuracy, and effectiveness. Even a barrel that is nearly snap-on/ snap-off, like the Remington 870, is reported by many hunters to shoot remarkably accurately out to 100 yards.
So, scoring a brand new 12-gauge Remington rifled barrel (open sights, not the cantilevered scope ramp) for $170 was exciting, but was only step one in improving my score. Next I had to determine which sabots (pronounced say-bo-z) would emit from that new barrel.
After extensive research (which now means reading both drivel and gold on the Internet blogs, forums, product web pages, etc.), I selected the reloading components at www.slugsrus.com. These are the folks who invented, patented, and until recently marketed the Lightfield slug, as well as the Hastings slugs of yore. Their proprietary wad and lead mushroom head slug (“hammerhead”) result in astonishing accuracy with 490-grain lead slugs. Not just claims of accuracy, but demonstrated accuracy in all kinds of circumstances.
That kind of freight, moving at 1600 feet per second, is a whopper, the Hammer of Thor, a ton of bricks, a falling grand piano, and every other appellation you care to assign. It is a stopper of enormous magnitude. Forget lil’ old deer; grizzly bears and other large dangerous game will have a tough time resisting the urge to lay down and go into the long sleep once they meet this slug.
So I spoke with Pam at www.slugsrus.com, at length, and ended up purchasing sufficient components to reload 40 shells at home. Reloading is a lot, lot, lot cheaper than buying pre-made shells off the shelf. If you are like me, and you want to see for yourself that the new rifled barrel is indeed capable of incredible accuracy, then a good half or more of those handloaded slugs are going to go down range off the cabin porch.
If you are a shotgun shooter by necessity or choice, and you resent paying ludicrous prices for shotgun slugs, I strongly recommend that you contact www.slugsrus.com and see if they can help you both improve your gun’s effectiveness, and save you a lot of money.
If you have not yet gone to the new Great American Outdoor Show, today’s the day.
Even if you’re not a hunter, there’s still much to see and do. The Farm Show complex is enormous and every hall is packed. RVs, campers, boats, fishing everything, mapping, GPS technology, clothing. Etc.
One thing I noticed last week was a booth full of furs also selling turtle shells. Whether or not these shells are from wild native turtles, illegal, or from some farmed non-native species, it disturbed me to see them. Turtles take a good ten years to reach maturity, when they can begin breeding. Their nests are subject to raids by raccoons, skunks, snakes, possums, and bears. ATVs and dirt bikes often are ridden over the soft soils turtles choose to lay their eggs. Collectors grab them for illegal sales, dads take them home for their kids to see, etc.
You get the picture. Turtles don’t have it easy.
If there’s one thing missing from the GAOS, it’s an emphasis on land, water, and wildlife conservation. Plenty of emphasis on the taking part, not much on the conserving part. Maybe that’ll change at next year’s show.