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We aren’t all “in this together,” but most of us are

As the “United Nations” and its ally Barack Hussein Obama demand that a sovereign nation immediately cease defending its citizens from incessant rocket attacks, Westerners can and should wake up.

Do not think that America will not be held to the same bizarre standard.  Beware of what is behind that.

As illegal invaders are now bussed into the American interior and given free taxpayer-funded benefits, be aware that future attempts to remove these squatters from our soil can and probably will be met with the accusation of committing a “crime against humanity.”

The UN will probably make that accusation official.

Already, Americans who want our borders to be maintained in an orderly way are being falsely accused of racism, as if the trucking in of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens – in violation of American law – is an act of caring and love to the people who actually built and run America.

Across the Middle East, Christians are being hounded out of their ancestral areas.  Bethlehem, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey….you name it, these areas that once held large populations of Christians are seeing a growing refugee problem as these believers are chased, beaten, burned, tortured, and robbed to the point where they have no choice but to flee or perish.

Very little press is reporting on this crime.

Recently, the Jews were similarly driven out of the Muslim countries, and even once-Jewish places like Hebron and Tzfat, to the point where by 1958 a million refugees had mostly arrived in Israel, their homes, farms and businesses stolen and (still) occupied by Islamic supremacists.  Populations that had lived peacefully for a thousand years before Islam was even created were suddenly attacked.  That canary in the coal mine is being attacked again, now, from Gaza, and the world has turned against the canary.

If American and European Christians do not recognize what is in store for them both at home in America and Europe, and abroad, then they will eventually suffer the same fate as their Middle Eastern brethren.

Gotta make a stand against evil, folks.

Remembering neat people, Part 1

A lot of neat, interesting people have died in the past year or two, or ten, if I think about it, but time flies faster than we can catch it or even snatch special moments from it. People I either knew or admired from afar who changed me in some way.

There are two men who influenced me in small but substantial ways who I have been thinking about in recent days. One of them died exactly ten years ago, and the other died just last year. Funny how I keep thinking about them.

It is time to honor them as best I can, in words.

First one was Charlie Haffner, a grizzled mountain man from central Tennessee. Charlie and I first crossed paths in 1989, when I joined the Owl Hollow Shooting Club about 45 minutes south of Nashville, where I was a graduate student at the time.

Charlie owned that shooting club.

Back before GPS, internet, or cell phones, the world was a different place than today. Dinosaurs were probably wandering around among us then, mmm hmmmmm. Heck, maybe I am a dinosaur. Anyhow, in order to find my way to the Owl Hollow club, first and foremost I had to get the club’s phone number, which I obtained from a fly fishing shop on West End Avenue. Then I had to call Charlie for directions, using a l-a-n-d l-i-n-e, and actually speaking to a person at the other end. You’d think it was Morse Code by today’s standards.

After getting Charlie on the phone, and assiduously writing down his directions from our phone conversation, I had to use the best map I could get and then drive way out in the Tennessee countryside on gravel and dirt roads. Trusting my directional instincts, which are good, and trusting the maps, which were pretty bad, and using Charlie’s directions, which were exactingly precise, I made my way through an alien landscape of small tobacco farms and Confederate flags waving from flagpoles. Yes, southcentral Tennessee back then, and maybe even today, was still living in 1865. Not an American flag to be seen out there by itself. If one appeared, it was either directly above, or, more commonly, directly below the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag shared equal or nearly equal footing with the American flag throughout that region.

Needless to say, when I had finally arrived at the big, quiet, lonesome gun range in the middle of the Tennessee back country, the fact that I played the banjo and was as redneck as redneck gets back home didn’t mean a thing right then. Buddy, I was feelin’…. Yankee, like…well, like black people once probably felt entering into a room full of Caucasians. I felt all alone out there and downright uncomfortable. And to boot, I was looking for a mountain man with a deeeeep Southern drawl, so it was bound to get better. Right?

Sure enough, I saw Charlie’s historic square-cut log cabin up the hill, and I walked up to it. Problem was, it had a door on every outside wall, so that when I knocked on one, and heard voices inside, and then heard “Over here!” coming from outside, I’d walk around to the next door, which was closed, and I would knock again, and go through the process again, and again. Yes, I knocked on three or four of those mystery doors before Charlie Haffner finally stepped out of yet one more doorway, into the sunshine, and greeted me in the most friendly and welcoming manner.

Bib overalls were meant to be worn by men like Charlie, and Charlie was meant to wear bib overalls, and I think that’s all he had on. His long, white Father Time beard flowed down and across his chest, and his long, flowing white hair was thick and distinguished like a Southern gentleman’s hair would have to be. And sure as shootin’, a flintlock pistol was tucked into the top of those bib overalls. I am not normally a shy person, and I normally enjoy trying to get the first words in on any conversation, with some humor if I can think of it fast enough. But the truth is, I was dumbfounded and just stood there in awe of the sight before me.

Being a Damned Yankee, I half expected to be shot dead on sight. But what followed is a legendary story re-told many times in my own family, as Charlie (and his kindly wife, who also had a twinkle in her eye) welcomed me into his home in the most gracious, witty, and insightful way possible.

Over the following two years, I shot as much as a full-time graduate student could shoot out there at Owl Hollow Gun Club, which is to say not as much as I wanted and probably more than I should have. Although my first interest in guns as a kid had been black powder muzzleloaders, and I had received a percussion cap .45 caliber Philadelphia derringer as a gift when I was ten, I had not really spent much time around flintlocks. Charlie rekindled that flame in me there, and it has burned ever since, as it has for tens of thousands of other people who were similarly shaped by Charlie’s re-introduction of flintlock shooting matches back in the early 1970s, there at Owl Hollow Gun Club.

Charlie died ten years ago, on July 10th, I think, and I have thought about him often ever since: His incredible warmth and humor, his amazing insights for a mountain man with little evident exposure to the outside world (now don’t go getting prejudiced about mountain folk; he and many others are plenty worldly, even if they don’t APPEAR to be so), his tolerance of differences and willingness to break with orthodoxy to make someone feel most welcome. Hollywood has done a bad number on the Southern Man image, and maybe some of that negative stereotype is deserved, but Charlie Haffner was a true Southern gentleman in every way, and I was proud to know him, to be shaped by him.

The other man who has been on my mind is Russell Means, a Pine Ridge Sioux, award-winning actor, and Indian rights activist who caught my attention in the early 1970s, and most especially as a spokesman for tribal members holed up out there after shooting it out with FBI gunslingers.

American Indians always have a respected place in the heart of true Americans, and anyone who grew up playing cowboys and Indians knows that sometimes there were bad cowboys who got their due from some righteous red men. Among little kids fifty years ago, the Indians were always tough, and sometimes they were tougher and better than the white guys. From my generation, a lot of guys carry around a little bit of wahoo Indian inside our hearts; we’d still like to think we are part Indian; it would make us better, more real Americans…

Russell Means was a good looking man, very manly and tough, and he was outspoken about the unfair depredations his people had experienced. While Means was called a radical forty years ago, I think any proud Irishman or Scottish Highlander could easily relate to his complaints, if they or their descendants stop to think about how Britain had (and still does) dispossessed and displaced them.

Russell Means played a key role in an important movie, The Last of the Mohicans. His stoic, rugged demeanor wasn’t faked, and he was so authentic in appearance and action that he easily lent palpable credibility to that artistic portrayal of 1750s frontier America by simply showing up and being there on the set. Means could have easily been the guy on the original buffalo nickel; that is how authentic he was.

Russell Means was representative of an older, better way of life that is disappearing on the Indian reservations, if that makes any sense to those who think of the Indian lifestyle that passed away as involving horses and headdresses. He was truly one of the last of the Mohicans, for all the native tribes. Although I never met you, I still miss you, and your voice, Mr. Means.

[Written 7/23/14]

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.

What Would Nixon Do, or Do Americans really want to recover from this?

Obama’s “re-set” with Russia empowered Putin to become Stalin II. Russia is expanding un-checked in all directions as it re-creates the totalitarian Soviet Union, sacrificing airliners full of civilians along the way, with impunity.

Obama’s apology tour in the Middle East empowered Muslim imperialists to go to war against everyone, including the very European nations that have increasingly hosted them.

The Middle East is breaking apart everywhere and along every ideological fault line possible.  The West’s sole outpost there, Israel, is surrounded by enemies, desperately conducting a non-war of non-defense, under circumstances where the World War II Allies carpet bombed and incinerated hundreds of thousands of their enemies in a single day, in battles fought day after day.

At home, Obama illegally trucks in hundreds of thousands of sick, diseased, poor illegal aliens to help bolster his political party, in economically depressed areas already loaded with broken communities.

If Richard Nixon resigned because of a failed nonviolent office break-in to get psychological files on an American traitor, then what should Obama do?

What will the Republican Party do to protect America from its enemies, foreign and domestic?

Is anyone paying attention?  Do more than a handful of Americans really give a damn what happens to America and its representative government of checks and balances?

Do Americans want to recover to the great nation we were before, or are they satisfied to watch Western Civilization crumble around them, come what may?

Out of all proportion

If there is one core element to the “new thinking” taking America down, it is victimology.

You know, the idea that everyone is a victim, and some people are special victims and some are especially victimized.

For someone to be a victim, there must be a perpetrator, and political correctness has created all sorts of creative solutions to real and perceived wounds which perpetrators can, or must!, endlessly do to atone.  America has been afflicted with this, to the absurd point where illegal aliens crossing our borders in search of better work are “victims” and deserve our taxpayer money and the right to vote themselves a lot more of it.

It is a fair idea that people should be treated fairly.  No arguing with that.  But what happens when whatever apology, compensation, or other action worth remedying the problem has been completed, and the victim identity remains?  This phenomenon is nowhere more clearly evident than in the Middle East, or technically the Near East, where “Palestinian” Arabs have wallowed in artificial and purposefully perpetuated victim status for five decades.

Even their refugee status is inherited, contrary to every other refugee situation around the world.  The UN helps maintain this arrangement.

Although there were nearly twice as many refugee Jews ejected from Arab and Muslim nations at the same time, no one talks about them.  Islamic imperialism and Arab colonialism are responsible for one of the largest and longest-standing occupations ever on planet Earth, where the farms, homes, and businesses that once belonged to Jews are now the property of supposedly well-intentioned Muslim Arabs.  Billions of dollars worth of property and banks were stolen overnight, from one group of people and given to another group that had no claim on it other than they held the knife and gun, and the victim did not.

If someone were looking for victims to feel bad for, the Jews have had that victim experience in spades, not to mention the Armenians (Christians who suffered a none-too-gentle genocide and land-theft at the hands of the Muslim Turks from 1910-1915), Kurds, Tibetans, and, well, never mind that the iconic and fiercely warlike Oglala Sioux ejected the Mandan, Cheyenne, and Pawnee from millions of acres of their historic Happy Hunting Grounds and militarily occupied them for hundreds of years…after all, the American Indians who massacred, tortured, and occupied one another are considered to have engaged in acceptable behavior.  Anyhow, I digress…..

The Jews now find themselves fighting for their lives with their backs to the wall, yet once again against Islamic supremacists, Islamic imperialists, and Arab colonists; and those same Jews are now presented with yet another double-standard: Proportionality.

This is the idea that, if someone hits you in the face with the intention of killing you, but fails to do so that first time and is winding up to hit you again and harder this next time, why, you are only supposed to hit them back once and only just as hard as you were first hit.  You are not allowed to land a knockout punch, despite having survived an attempted knockout punch.

The EU demands that endless Arab rockets from Gaza onto indigenous Jews, living an unbroken 3,000-year presence in their homeland, be met with…thousands of random rockets from Israel?  My God no! Unacceptable!

Obviously, the idea of proportionality is alien to every people that has fought a war, especially a defensive war.  War is fought to be won, and dumbing-down and reducing the effectiveness of your response is a foolish and possibly suicidal thing to do.

But Europe and America cater first and foremost to artificial victims, and no matter what, those victims are due every gift, every extra opportunity, every kind gesture in the face of bloody hands, truckloads of taxpayer money despite tremendous waste by the recipients, and so on and so forth.  Although this behavior seems suicidal, suicide seems to be the new definition of democracy, in the interest of appeasing the ‘victims’ among us, out of all proportion to whatever happened in the first place.

But to give the supposed victims their due, proportionality must be maintained, and in the Middle East today, Western civilization is expected to fight Islamic aggression, theft, murder, and occupation with both hands tied behind its back.  It is apparently the new thing to do.

For the tech geeks among you

Some of my hunting buddies had a discussion by email about flashlights and batteries.  I am a headlamp kind of guy, ever since my eyes started aging a year or two ago, because flashlights require one of my hands while the other tries to do the work of two hands…and I am lucky if I can get both of my hands to synchronize as it is.

Anyhow, if you are into high-tech, intense, high-output flashlights and batteries, read on:

MOSH:

As per irv suggested, AA batteries are better than AAA…. also there are batteries called 14500, physically the same size, but double the Voltage. AA 1.5, 14500 3.4v

DONT PUT A 14500 IN AN AA ONLY FLASHLIGHT, IT WILL BREAK

 …If getting a new flashlight…look for one that can use a 14500 for full brightness 200+lumens,  or a AA for half the power.

 14500 batteries are not readily available in stores.

*****

Irv:
Hi George, the maratac is a good quality light. I believe its sold by countycomm, which had a good reputation last i heard.

They specifically state NOT to use high power 10440 batteries which i agree with since electronics that use AAA batteries are usually delicate and sensitive to over-current.
I would not hesitate to rely on that light with AAA Lithium batteries. You will probably lose it before it dies on you.
*******
Irv:
Here’s a short write up you guys may want to read:
STAY AWAY FROM AAA batteries unless you have no choice.  AA batteries have 2-3 times the capacity of AAA batteries.
I use flashlights daily, and everyone knows i highly recommend headlamps. Petzl and Princeton tec are great companies but they don’t make a headlamp that is also a handheld flashlight. So far only 2 companies do. Zebra light and Armytec.
Now it all depends on what battery you want to use.
After much time and research I strongly recommend STAYING AWAY from using AAA batteries if your life depends on it.
and i HIGHLY recommend size AA batteries at the least, and even better lithium  CR123 batteries (but they can be expensive and the cheaper ones can have flaws. more on that later…)
Basically Lithium batteries are best. And Rechargeable “14500″ (a rechargeable AA battery on steroids) and even stronger “18650″ (rechargeable CR123 battery on steroids)   …are GREAT.
I have been constantly disappointed at the quality and reliability of other companies, and of AAA batteries. Especially in cold weather where plastics get brittle and crack, and batteries freeze up even while being used and seem warm.
After our little trip going down the other side of the mountain i bet everyone realized how important it was to have a flashlight when it gets dark, and even more important to have both hands free.
Mosh loves the flashlights he gets from ebay and i have tried them but if my life depended on them, Hell NO.
Get a good headlamp, and get a good flashlight. and get the best batteries you can afford for when it counts.
Sanyo Eneloop, most Lithium Batteries, and 14500 and 18650 rechargeables have been reliable to me.
I found some interesting gear on sale from a company called ArmyTec, from Canada.
They have good promotions going right now and theyre selling out fast…
i also recommend Fenix flashlights, and Foursevens lights.
Don’t be confused by LED bulbs, the latest bulb technology readily available is XML, and the major differences are tint: soft white, or cool white. each has its place, and that would be a write up all in itself. next time.
Take care,
Irv
**********

George wrote:

I like this one as an edc flashlight despite being aaa.  Falia makes us all look like couch potatoes.   She does great reviews.

Harrisburg politics as usual from someone we should not expect it from

“Politics as usual.”

That is a statement, a curse, a wry observation, an accusation, a vexation to the free citizen, and most surely, it is a threat to good government.

Wherever there is “politics as usual,” we find double standards, empty promises, hypocrisy, a lack of forethought, an absence of careful or diligent thought, and an act of putting political gain ahead of citizen gain. And please don’t kid yourself that only “their” political party does it.  Both main political parties engage in politics as usual, and even some of the fringe political parties are awash in it, because for their single issue cause to succeed they must overlook tons of contrary evidence to keep selling their purist issue.

This past week saw a classic example of politics as usual, and it disappointed me, because the person who engaged in it ought to know better.  I certainly believe that he is better than that, and that he has a capacity to act bigger than his silly politicized statement.

What happened was that Governor Tom Corbett line-item-vetoed some “legislative” funding (that is taxpayer dollars used by the legislature for their office coffee, cars, walking-around-money, and parking on Capitol Hill), and state senator Rob Teplitz claimed that it would damage Harrisburg’s recovery plan.

Nothing could be farther from the truth, because that money vetoed out of the budget belongs to taxpayers and has zero to do with Harrisburg’s recovery.  Only an overly creative imagination can find some vague link between the loss of cheap cash for legislators and the loss of economic advance for Harrisburg City.

Making it worse is that Senator Teplitz voted against the state budget to begin with.  If he votes against something, how can he then claim that someone else shouldn’t vote against it, too?

The simple reason that Teplitz said this is for cheap political gain, a lame attempt to damage Corbett among voters in Harrisburg City. This qualifies as politics as usual, and it is destructive of the political process because it cheapens the political process.  It dumbs it down.  Instead of talking about Big Important Issues, we end up talking about nonsense that has nothing to do with anything material or substantial, and voters walk away from it.

When voters walk away from the political process, America is damaged.  Maximum voter participation is needed for the nation to function properly.

Teplitz should know better than to do this.  He is a bright guy, and I think he is a good guy.  Although principled, he is overwhelmingly partisan, and that is why this kind of silly waste of time came naturally to him.  Like all other partisans, Democrat and Republican, Teplitz only really cares about the party enterprise.  He forgets about the citizens, their Constitutional rights, their personal money they remove from their pockets and place in the state coffers.

It is no secret I hope to be the Republican nominee in 2016 for the 15th PA senate district.  If he runs for re-election then, Teplitz will be my opponent.  I have no problem publicly singing his praises where he has earned them, and I can attest to several good things he has done for me and other people in the district.  If Teplitz has had one strength so far, that I have seen, one truly laudable characteristic, it has been his willingness to wade into bad government, force a meeting or two, confront recalcitrant bureaucrats, and represent well a constituent’s interests. That is a real skill, and we should all recognize it.

That is why Teplitz disappoints so badly with his spurious attack on Corbett.  I just know he can be bigger and better than this politics as usual.

 

Oh, those funerals…

If you live long enough, you get to go to increasing numbers of funerals.

Friends, colleagues, family, acquaintances, leaders you admire, they all begin to fall as time marches on.  Because each of us is already “born terminal,” dying is a natural part of living.

Of course, it is not necessarily the dying part that is upsetting at a funeral.  Unless the particular ending is unexpected, violent, or tragic, what gets me is the sudden absence of the qualities that particular person brought into the world around them.  The absence of their warm personality, their humor, their bravery, their way of thinking or looking at and solving problems, friendliness, and so on.  Whatever vacuum suddenly appears in the wake of a deceased person is the foil to the wonderful qualities the person had developed over a lifetime.

Recently I participated in several funerals, all for older people whose families loved them very much.  At the last one, hardly anyone cried during the eulogies or the burial, not because the person was so horrible, but because they had lived such an utterly full and meaningful life.  She had squeezed every available drop of opportunity, family, love, and community from her time on Earth.  No one felt sad, because she had lived so well and had made so many people feel so good about themselves, and instead, there was much laughter and chuckling.

At each funeral I find myself somewhere in the back, musing, contemplating, listening, and reflecting.  There is not one deceased person I know, or knew, whose abilities, talents, personality traits, character, and strengths I did not wish were my own, in some way.

I am a pretty hard-charging person.  Trying new, entrepreneurial business models, speaking out about my own ideas and beliefs, challenging political orthodoxies I believe are destructive of American liberty and individual freedom, not to mention the outdoor adventures I do each year that put some wear and tear on my increasingly stiff frame and joints…all of this makes me the person I am, now.

Hopefully, with the increasing number of funerals under my belt and the personal qualities I see getting buried each time, I will be a better and improved person as I try to take on some aspect of the person we lost.  Bear with me…

Are Turtles Crossing the Road Really a Threat?

Why drivers seem to target slow-moving, non-threatening little turtles is beyond understanding.

Don’t we all have a soft spot in our hearts for innocent, vulnerable, gentle creatures that do us no harm?

The same goes for snakes, which eat the rodent mice, rats, and chipmunks that do so much damage to our homes, crops, gardens, and vehicles.

Every spring and summer, turtles cross roads as they leave water bodies like rivers, ponds, lakes, and marshes, and seek out soft soil where they can lay their eggs, so that the next generation of their kind can continue their unimposing life cycle.  Yet every year, roadways are littered with dead and wounded turtles, many dying slowly in the baking hot sun.

Their crime is nothing more than appearing in front of humans behind the wheel of a machine.  Are so many of us really so homicidal or sadistic that we go out of our way to hurt, injure, and kill a little helpless animal?

The unfortunate, sad answer is Yes, a lot of drivers go out of their way to hit turtles with their cars.  You can simply look at where the turtles lie, crushed or wounded on the side of the road, where the car driver had to actually veer off the roadway to hit the helpless little thing.  What is really sad is that turtles take at least ten years to breed, so killing one or two (or stealing one or two) in a given area can doom or kill off the entire population there.

If you have compassion for turtles, you can watch these instructive videos below, where curious turtle-liking guys put a rubber turtle alongside some roads near their homes and generated some unhappy results, and where drivers get out to try and help injured turtles.

Bottom line is Yep, drivers went out of their way to run over the little rubber turtle.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Video 4:

 

 

How the Left did once and would again gain control of a nation

Plenty of conservatives have a bit o’ swagger, because they have the guns and the liberals do not.

True enough.

In a fight for America, our side has the civilian firepower, no question.

But what if the liberals gained enough control of enough of the military and local police to gain control of enough American territory that they could do as they needed with their enemies (to borrow a word from Barack Hussein Obama)?

Don’t they have that kind of infrastructure, already, if we imagine what a civil war in America looked like once, and could look like again; how certain regions and states would be drawn up?

And it’s not like conservatives have a standing army.  We are individuals, living in homes, separated from a concentration of power.  Few of us belong to militias, much less shooting clubs or hunting clubs.

As individuals, we are sitting ducks.  It is easy for even a weak government to take, capture, and whisk away individuals, to control individuals, to disappear individuals.  Only together, acting as groups, can conservatives and patriots represent any formidable force to be reckoned with.

If you want to see how a country can be lost, because good men, good people, good individuals, have a sense of honor and duty to their nation that is stronger than their will to survive with a new identity, an identity detached from the nation they once knew, then watch this movie, below.  The last 15 minutes spell out the kind of official coercive force that Liberals have always used and still covet today, because they are so “right.”

This movie below is a true story about how the Soviet Russians murdered the cream of Polish society, leaving the Polish people rudderless, leaderless, and easier to rule with a Liberal iron fist.  The Soviets were the liberals of their day; you know, doing great things for everyone: Free cars, free houses, free food, free healthcare.  They had it all!  Soviet Russia was a real paradise…<sarcasm>…  You know, the kind of “paradise” that Obama is building here in America, with the help of his coercive IRS and various federal agencies.

Watch “Katyn.”

UPDATE: No doubt that some readers will outright dismiss these concerns.  If you want to see a real-life, current example of how each patriot or conservative activist could be ‘taken out of circulation” by a lawless government using federal, state, and local law enforcement people, read this article about how in the middle of the day a military helicopter, a dozen cars, and swarms of SWAT officers descended on a school soccer field in a town of 850 people in rural Illinois. Their goal: One house, three miles away.  Overkill, anyone?