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Google, Facebook, COSTCO – each trying to suppress your free speech

If you think that social media sources like Google and Facebook treat everyone equally, you are wrong.

If you think that COSTCO treats everyone equally, you are wrong.

All three have been documented in recent days to be in an aggressive war against your free speech opportunities, and against your ability to access information that the owners (of Google, Facebook, and COSTCO) do not like.

The owners of all three institutions are liberals.

Liberalism went from a demand for fairness to an overarching totalitarianism in a few short decades.  While many people say now and said back then that the socialist and communist roots of liberalism indicated that liberals were never interested in fairness, being open-minded, or tolerant, I grew up surrounded by liberals, and it was not until the last decade that I witnessed what looked to me like a transformation.  They went from representing opposing views to crushing opposing views, terminating dissent, as soon as they had the opportunity.

For example, the gentle “peace”-loving pacifists <ahem> were on the war path at Chautauqua Institution, a place long known for providing a platform for different ideas and views.  Suddenly authors like Andrew Bostom were shut out of week-long discussions where Islamic terrorists had the stage, as though they could not possibly be balanced by another opposing view.  And it then dawned on me and many others that liberalism is just one more tyrannical, evil, cruel, divisive, phony movement designed to create winners and losers by any artificial means necessary.

Like all totalitarian movements, liberalism must be opposed in the name of freedom.  Let people make up their own minds.

If you want to see how liberals have been shutting down your free speech opportunities this past week, visit these links:

http://youngcons.com/21147/

http://www.dineshdsouza.com/news/wnd-costco-removing-dsouzas-america-shelves/

And simply use BING to search for examples of how Facebook has artificially shut down and hindered conservative Facebook pages, including our own Josh First for PA Senate.

UPDATE: How could we forget to mention that Google removed the Gates of Vienna blog without any notice to the owners, thereby violating the very terms of service that Google themselves had required. The Gates of Vienna blog is a well-known source for history and updates from around the world. But the Left, ah, the Left, they cannot tolerate dissent. So, Google, run by liberals, tried to destroy the blog. But it survived. Use BING to look up the story.

The word “tactical” – overused, kind of

By Josh First

Have you seen the word “tactical” used lately?

The word appears everywhere, and is growing in prominence across the retail world.

Although “tactical” is a word that denotes, or really connotes military tactics, and was once reserved to the sole use of the United States Military combat units or the dangerously armed forces they faced, this word now imputes some special meaning, martial ability, and toughness to anything that wears it on the label.

There are tactical knives, vests, rifles, pistols, and the many accoutrements that go with these items.  There seem to be tactical diapers, tactical coffee mugs, and tactical pens.  OK, there are to my knowledge no tactical diapers or coffee mugs, but it is true that someone will or already is onto these items.  Actually, there are tactical pens meant for self defense, but whether or not they have actual value for military tactics is a questionable claim.

For another true example of the oddly named, there are tactical shirts.  No lie, there are “tactical shirts” dedicated to more easily accessing one’s concealed pistol.

Is it really so difficult to just wear a regular old LL Bean button down short sleeve Pima cotton Oxford?  Is a shirt with confusing numbers of magnum zipper pulls in sensitive places really, truly a better shirt than the LL Bean?  Does it really make you a tougher guy or gal?  Do our combat forces wear these shirts? No?

As if it isn’t odd enough to call a shirt or a vest “tactical,” we now have tactical airguns, I kid you not.  The Crosman TR77 looks like a Star Trek photon shooter that makes bad guys vaporize painlessly, but it is claimed by its maker to have some sort of tactical application.

As if!

Air guns pack all the wallop of a good slap to the head, albeit with more concentrated force.  Certainly some shoot pellets that can penetrate your flesh, and perhaps even your temple.  But if I were a law enforcement officer engaged in a really deadly standoff with a violent, dangerous bad guy, a freakin airgun is the last thing I’d want in my hands.  My tactic in that situation would be to run away, fast.

So obviously the word “tactical” is being, ummm, stretched in meaning a bit these days.

But for whatever reason, this word increasingly resonates with the American public, and it may be a result of the hyper-militarization of our local police forces.  Plenty has been written in recent months about how the legendary bumbling Officer Barney Fife became the sinister looking, crewcut-and-armor-wearing badass kicking down grandma’s door in East Succotash, America. SWAT teams in East Succotash, America, are not necessary, and it is a serious issue, because Americans have a natural aversion to government force applied to them.

No doubt about it, America’s local police are in an arms race with…hmmmm… either themselves, far-off international military forces, or possibly, probably, you.

That’s right, there is plenty of evidence indicating that the massive investment in military grade hardware and hard attitude at the local police level is translating into a natural citizen reaction, apparently in preparation for inevitable urban combat with the very people once sworn to protect us.  And so we have an increasing “if-they-have-it, we-need-it, too,” civilian reach for all things tactical.  Tactical now seems to mean “I am ready for combat,” an American attitude that is both refreshing and alarming.

Alarming indeed.  Why are we afraid of our own local police forces?  When did that happen? And, come to think of it, why did the local Harrisburg cop try to stare me down last year, on my own street, when I cheerfully said hello to him while walking on our sidewalk with my small son in hand?  Was he employing some anti-citizen ‘tactic’?  Sure felt that way to me, the law-abiding taxpayer underwriting that guy’s paycheck and tough guy attitude.

However, instead of meeting fire with fire, and buying a black bulletproof vest with webbing and the ubiquitous variation of a skull-and-crossbones trademark label, I think I will for now reach for my ‘tactical pen’ and write about my uncomfortable encounter, thereby defeating that officer’s ungainly attempt to bring implied force into what should have been a friendly exchange between equals.

America, the only country with real citizen independence from government

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Long live Kurdistan!

The Kurds are an old ethnic and linguistic group in the Middle East, and they are the largest ethnic group in the region to not have had a homeland in the modern era.

The Kurdish homeland was broken up in the 1920s by the winners of World War I, and the various pieces were rudely tossed into the aggregated melting pots that became Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel.

But as Iraq and Syria have disintegrated, the Kurds there have naturally coalesced into their historic homeland, bolstering their communities.  And they are motivated, powerful warriors, whose culture is highly secularized and pro-West.

The result is that Kurdistan exists in all but name, and this week the Kurds took formal control of Mosul, a huge and symbolic city formerly in Iraq.  Congratulations, Kurds!

What is so intriguing is the Kurds have received zero support from the political Left, who are in love with the murderous culture of hate and evil developed by the so-called “Palestinians,” an ad-hoc ethnically and linguistically diverse group of people mostly emanating from the regional Bedouin.

More or less the Arabs in and around Israel have been turned into international heroes for murdering children and opposing the only indigenous ethnic group there – the Jews.  Never was there a “Palestine,” never was there a “Palestinian people,” and the egregious lying necessary to invent this anti-Israel movement prompted Newt Gingrich to call these Arabs “the invented people” in 2012.

In fact, the so-called “Palestinians” are the best representatives of Islamic imperialism and Arab colonialism, two forces on a collision course with America.

So once again, the Left (the American Friends Service Committee being the worst; how is it that the Quakers of all religious groups became so radicalized that they promote murder and mayhem?) is supporting the bad guys, the violent evil people, the inhuman butchers, and again doing nothing to support the good guys, the Kurds, or the Tibetans for that matter.  When Kurdistan is finally recognized as the free, stand-alone nation it is, it will be a big step forward for the good guys.

Long Live Kurdistan.

My antidote to the heat

Several years ago my family bought me a Hamilton Beach smoothie maker (model 56222) for Father’s Day, and it long past earned its price. It has a pour spout which makes smoothies a lot cleaner to make, pour, and drink.

Fruit smoothies are a summertime daily staple of our family, and they can be made lots of different ways, with all kinds of natural ingredients (fresh and frozen blueberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, etc), for far less money than you might pay at a Rita’s or other ice cream venue.

Here is my antidote to the heat:

1) One 20-ounce can of Dole pineapple slices in heavy syrup or in natural pineapple juice.

2) One cup of Cabot Greek-style lowfat yogurt, vanilla bean flavor.

3) A quarter cup of water

4) 2-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar (more or less to taste)

5) lots of ice cubes or crushed ice

…….Pour the pineapple into the blender, juice and all.  Spoon in the yogurt.  Pour in the sugar, to taste.  Pour the water over the sugar to help it dissolve.  Fill the blender to the top with ice cubes or crushed ice, and put the top on.  Pulse or use the smoothie function for 30-60 seconds.

The sliced pineapple blends better than the crushed pineapple, oddly, at least in our machine.

Plenty of times we skip the yogurt and just use water and a splash of lemon juice, along with frozen berries.  Other times an old, mushy banana with pineapple, or some coconut milk with pineapple, and suddenly you are into daquiri land… Depends on what you are in the mood for.  They are all refreshing.  The world is your smoothie!

And not to take away anything from Rita’s: When our clan is in the mood for a cold, icy snack, places like Rita’s have far more flavors than we can come up with at home.

Weakness in the West has consequences

Adolf Hitler rose to power in a sea of pacifism and “peace-ism,” that euphoric act of sacrifice that kills all the innocent people and empowers the evil ones.

Hitler knew the West was weak, and therefore ripe for consumption.  Pacifism empowered Hitler.  Weakness invited his genocidal attacks.

In beating Nazi Germany and then confronting their sister, the Soviet Union, at huge costs, the West found again its spirit of liberty and survival instincts.  During that time the West experienced incredible material success and unimaginable increases in the quality of life.

But you know how over time material success breeds creature comforts and disinclinations to do anything that might upset the comfortable lifestyle emanating from material success.  So pacifism and peace-ism have risen again, among European countries and many Americans, even as war is carried to our doorsteps.

Andrew Tahmooressi is a Marine Corps sargeant who took a wrong turn in the wild, unmarked American desert with his legal guns, and has been imprisoned by Mexico for months ever since. America has done zero to get him back, but the Obama administration has done everything possible to open the border to terrorists, children, criminals, and assorted other illegal burdens on two legs.

In Israel, three teenaged boys were abducted three weeks ago by Muslim supremacists, and then found today, dead, killed soon after they were taken.  Half a dozen Israeli military and police officers have lost their jobs over the boys’ deaths, which were avoidable: One boy called the police and said they were being kidnapped.  The policewoman called it a prank and did not act on it.  Her Israeli military counterparts have been primed by overwhelming political correctness to look for Jewish kids with spray paint cans as their primary target, not murderous Arab terrorists, and they, too, ignored the phone call.

Europe is filled with Islamic institutions where hatred is preached and acted out every day, non-Muslims are gunned down in the streets, and the perpetrators and proponents are called “victims.”

The list goes on and on.  The West is awash in enemies and insecurity, anarchy, but nothing is done.

Weakness breeds contempt and increased attempts to dethrone the boss.  It is happening across Western Civilization: Our collective and individual weakness is being exploited by people who would take over our countries and change them into something else, something unrecognizable, something where liberty is unknown.

Will you choose to be weak?  Or will you take action to preserve American liberties?

PA AG Kane: The Breck Girl

Pennsylvania’s attorney general is Kathleen Kane.

Pennsylvania citizens deserve much better than Kane.  We deserve more than what she brings to her public job.

Kane acts like the silky models who showed off their long hair with pirouettes and head tosses for Breck Shampoo.  One is reminded of the song “I’m Too Sexy.”

Based on her carefully groomed public appearances that coincide with an honest-to-goodness inability to grasp or articulate the issues of her office and the public, she is henceforth dubbed “The Breck Girl.”

Kane’s flippant, vacuous approach to serious public policy and legal issues, emphasized by a physical appearance crutch, complete with slow-motion hair tosses and giraffe-like Cheshire Cat radioactive radiant grins, have earned her this nickname.

Breck Girl, you are not up to the job.  You are incompetent.  If Pennsylvania had a recall provision in our constitution, you’d be recalled by now.

Hopefully, you will be impeached soon.  If Pennsylvania must have a Democrat as AG, I personally know several men and women attorneys in that party who would qualify much better than you, Breck Girl.

Ken Matthews, local reporter extraordinaire

WHP580 AM radio has long been a source of news for those hungry for accurate reporting outside of the establishment media liberal agenda.

Bob Durgin was the lovable, garrulous, crotchety, cowboy hat wearing local man-on-the-street news guy from 3:00 to 6:00 daily, and his news items shaped a good deal of local, regional, and state politics.  Because Durgin worked in the state capital region, he was listened to by a population of political activists.  So when the PA state legislature midnight pay raise happened, Durgin was on the soap box, giving vent to his frustration.  He inspired an entire movement and generation of political activists; existing activists like Gene Stilp, Russ Diamond, and Eric Epstein were bolstered by having weekly access to his show as guests, and often sitting in for Durgin when he went on vacation.

After Durgin retired, Ken Matthews was hired by RJ Harris to run the 3-6 slot.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if Ken was going to make it during his first couple of months at the microphone.  His listeners missed Durgin’s style, and they missed Durgin’s local content.  It is a tough place to be, following three hours of Rush Limbaugh, and the natural inclination is to talk about national and international issues.  After all, these big issues best reflect the great principles and ideas that guide government, both good and bad.

So Ken’s callers were hostile towards him.  They didn’t like his style, his voice, or his views.  It was a rough transition, and it came through the radio like a sharp thumb in the eye.

But to Ken’s credit, he dove into the Central PA culture and took a crash course in our ways and our people.  There is a reason that this region is the most politically and culturally conservative area in America.  Our people here will always fight the good fight, and they want to be knowledgeable about politics.

Ken Matthews has now mastered the audience’s interests and passions, and he has really hit his stride.  Last week Ken reported on the frivolous but dangerous lawsuit against Perry County Sheriff Nace, by liberal county auditors seeking concealed carry permit holders’ information. Did the Patriot News report on it up front? No.  But, surprisingly, that liberal activist newspaper had an incredible interview with citizen activist Jim Lucas, after the fact.  So Ken is having an impact.

Ken’s reporting awakened a sleeping giant in otherwise pastoral, tranquil Perry County.  Ken is a hero.

Perry County’s tranquility is often seen as being simple and backwards by outsiders.  As a guy who grew up in very rural farm country, I can tell you that the outward tranquility masks a soul of steel and resolute commitment to American liberties.  City slickers do not understand that.  Here comes the political surprise, folks!  The hornet’s nest was knocked down with a broom handle, kicked, and then a swarm of angry hornets poured forth.  The implications for the 2016 state senate race in the 15th PA senate district are huge.  Perry County voters are now riled up.

Thank you to Ken Matthews, a friend of our Second Amendment rights, and a fantastic local reporter.  We are pleased to have you wearing Bob Durgin’s big cowboy boots.

AG Kane exonerates Corbett with backhanded, ironic report

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane “exonerated” Governor Tom Corbett with the most back-handed investigative report seen in a long time.

While acknowledging that Corbett, previously as AG himself, investigating Jerry Sandusky, did not politicize the Sandusky investigation, Kane still called Corbett’s choices in that investigation “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.”

Without question Penn Staters like me, who have followed the Sandusky debacle from beginning to end, we tend to feel like Penn State’s reputation never was considered by anyone involved.  Well, it was the paramount consideration by former PSU president Graham Spanier, at a time when the school’s reputation should not have mattered at all, and the kid victims’s interests should have been advanced immediately and at any cost.

So, too little, too late for Penn State by everyone, including a majority of the PSU trustees, Louis Freeh, and state officials everywhere.  If Corbett was guilty of failing to jump to Penn State’s defense, he was in damned good company.  Pissed at Corbett? OK, then be pissed at many of the sitting trustees.

But what irks me is to see the most politicized AG in Pennsylvania’s history use the words “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.”

Kane’s behavior in the AG office has been both of those words and much much more.

My favorite misdeed is how she refused to pursue the unethical PA Liquor Control Board members, whose financial misdeeds have been widely reported.

What has not been reported is how her family, Kane Trucking, holds PLCB contracts worth millions of dollars.  Kane’s failure to apply the law here could be due to a large financial incentive for her to not rock the PLCB gravy boat.  Is anyone investigating THAT?

No.  In fact, the establishment media has circled the wagons around Kane, with not one word yet mentioned in print about this ethical lapse of hers.  In fact, a fawning, fluffy, cheerful, supportive interview with Kane was posted by the Patriot News two weeks ago, and worse yet, by reporter Charles Thompson, a writer I have long considered one of the last real investigative reporters in Harrisburg.  Thompson made no mention of any of Kane’s lapses, or of her pending impeachment, in that unpaid advertising piece run by the Patriot News.  She was even photographed laughing away, her head held high, her artificially white teeth flashing for the camera.

While people are still asking if Kane’s report on Corbett’s role as AG has any salience for the governor’s race, what informed citizens want to know, is: Why does it appear that Kathleen Kane is protecting Kane Trucking’s PLCB contracts?  Now that is a real public policy question worth asking.

Politics…? Nah, let’s talk gardening

Everyone needs a light moment, a break from the heavy stuff of politics.  Me, too.

So let’s talk about gardening, something I really enjoy in the spring and summer.

First, the basil and peppers planted back in early May have not yet sprouted.  I “cheated,” and bought started peppers last night, after procrastinating for weeks, in the hope the seeds would erupt into a profusion of colored peppers, like last year.

Second, the garden is exploding with volunteer tomato plants, from seeds scattered by the kitchen compost we throw into the garden all Fall and Winter.  Maybe forget about the basil and peppers, and just focus on what is working now.  Everyone ready for me dropping off extra tomatoes on your porch?

Third, the heavy-gauge tomato cones really do work, but I am sticking with the re-bar and string construction Patricia encouraged me to try back in April.  The cones exist within the string…

Fourth, as rodents decrease in number, so the targeted garden plants grow.  Never saw chipmunks eat zucchini and cucumber plants before, but they were eating every little shoot and leaf.  Until….

Fifth, the electric fence kind of works.  Once the squirrels learned how to jump up onto the heavy gauge wire and perch there, they only risked me catching them, and a lot of rodent damage was done to the garden, until…..

Gardening can be a metaphor for so many things: Our daily job and work, a career, a relationship, a political effort or campaign…life…yeah, I will bet that Siddhartha was a gardener.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the first day of Summer and the Summer Solstice tomorrow!