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Coloring in between the NRA lines

Last year the NRA experienced staff and leadership upheaval at its national office in Virginia. Internecine palace intrigue and open warfare cleared out some good patriots and some dedicated, accomplished professionals from NRA staff and leadership roles. Lots of hard feelings permeated the entire organization. Most of it appeared like a petty high school dispute, and asking people who are much more in-the-know about why things worked out the way they did only elicited vehement responses. I was angrily scolded for even asking.

We are not supposed to question why or what!

And that kind of emotion-heavy, non-intellectual response was enough for me to conclude that whatever had happened was a bunch of BS, shallow, power-tussle stuff. The kind of behavior that professional adults should be above, especially with so much on the line for everyone else who loves freedom and liberty.

This is not the first time the NRA has undergone civil war, nor have most other non-profit organizations avoided internal bloodshed for that matter. A supposedly lily-white non-profit I worked for many years ago saw incredible professional bloodshed as a power struggle unfolded. Lots of innocent people there had their careers demolished or severely sidetracked, as they became collateral damage. But the NRA has much more on the line, and we cannot afford these kinds of unforced errors. Power should always be shared, not hoarded; long-long-long time staff should maybe think about passing the torch to younger people; and disputes should be held behind closed doors. We gun owners have enough enemies in the media and the entire Democrat Party to take up all of our time; we don’t need, nor can we afford this kind of infighting.

What exactly happened at NRA HQ will probably never become public information, but the bottom line is that EVP Wayne LaPierre was outed for spending $30,000 of NRA member money a year on expensive suits, NRA president Ollie North tried to play hardball about it and then literally gave up and walked off the field when things didn’t immediately go his way. Collateral damage extended to Chris Cox, the effective longtime NRA/ILA director, who was publicly forced to resign. Over a meaningless text message into which only the most paranoid person could read evil intent. Was like watching Caligula or Herod off their own children to retain complete power.

My impression (impression, not direct knowledge) is that LaPierre brooks absolutely no questioning of his absolute authority and dominance of the organization. And that he will utterly crush anyone who dares to challenge him, even in private, even on small matters. I leave it to you to determine if this is a healthy management style. Or not.

At least that is the way that LaPierre’s illuminating lawsuit against North, Cox, and some others reads. Like a political manifesto, not a legal document. And don’t misunderstand me, I do appreciate Wayne’s long service to the Constitution and the American people.

Out of all this shake-up we (I am a proud NRA Life Member and always will be) got another NRA/ILA executive director. With Chris Cox gone and now operating his own lobbying outfit in DC, the hunt was on for a new face of NRA’s political activism. Out of all of the atomic energy emitted from the great shakeup, nothing really changed. We, the NRA, could have gotten a whole host of people in that position – women, Asians, Blacks, Jews, American Indians, because there are a large number of articulate, intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced, good looking, charismatic pro-Second Amendment activists from each of those groups who could have easily moved into the NRA/ILA position and immediately started moving the ball down the field.

No, I am not into “diversity.” I am into maximizing effectiveness and expanding the NRA’s appeal.

Having some different public faces at NRA would not hurt our beloved organization, and in fact those kinds of small changes would help it a great deal. Think of how a non-Caucasian face might help sell the Second Amendment to non-Caucasian people (and yes, I know this may be a surprise to some, but there are actually a lot of non-Caucasian people legally living in America). It’s a thought, maybe a radical one, but I am sticking to it. Out of love for the Second Amendment, and the NRA; and for America.

Instead of getting someone totally new and different in the NRA/ILA position, we got yet another cookie cutter Caucasian guy, Jason Ouimet. He looks like Chris Cox’s twin, and like Cox, Jason also seems like a very nice man. He is articulate, knowledgeable, and he is not shy (“step on the throat of your opponent”). These are admirable traits. But Ouimet is just another Caucasian guy out of a bazillion Caucasian guys walking the halls of Congress, wearing charcoal suits, and appearing in gunfomercials. NRA needs a little change in this area. We do, we really do.

This time, while we may have missed an opportunity to hire someone different than the usual at the NRA/ILA, and therefore to better promote and market our beloved NRA, I suggest that in the future we, the NRA, consider adding one or two of the following individuals to the NRA public face and payroll. Let’s start grooming them for it now, so their move into that very public role is seamless.

Candidate Number One: Colion Noir (born Collins Idehen, Jr.). Colion is an attorney, he is knowledgeable about all kinds of guns, he is charismatic, funny, chatty, personable, physically fit, articulate, a very good shot, relatable, and unafraid of debate. He is experienced in TV and press. And Colion is cool, like most black people are cool. Cool black people inspire 93.7% of America’s Caucasian and Asian and Hispanic youth to want to be just as cool, just as hip, so there is something to it. Try some of it, you might like it, stiff Caucasian people.

Candidate Number Two: Col. Allen West. Allen is a well-known political quantity , with a long history of bucking the political and US Army establishment for all the right red-blooded patriotic reasons. Allen West has served with distinction in Congress and the US Army, and he has been a tireless and outspoken fighter for civil rights and good governance. He is articulate, charming, plain spoken, experienced, conservative, independent-minded, a strong leader, and a very good speaker. He would be a perfect NRA/ILA executive director.

And that is what I have to say about that.

One call I won’t take

Phony, fraudulent telemarketer calls are super annoying, and like you, I am fed up with them.

Another phony call just arrived, called “Call of the Wild,” a new movie loosely based on a Jack London book by the same name.

Jack London’s stories of tenuous life in the Yukon and Alaskan interiors are the stuff of pre-internet American boyhood. Just like coonskin Davey Crockett hats were all the rage among American boys in the 1950s and 1960s after Fess Parker starred in the same-named TV show, so too did London inspire many young men to get their forestry degree, build a canoe, cut down their grandmother’s favorite apple tree with a hatchet, or move to Alaska. His stories of nail-biting survival and creeping or sudden death in the boreal forests and frigid back country rang true, and a number of movies have been made about them. Some better than others, but all of them pretty good just because the story line is great.

London’s story about a young man caught at sundown in the winter time Alaskan bush, unprepared for the minus-forty-degree night, who gets down to his last match and finally succeeds at lighting a life-saving fire, only to have the snow from the branches above fall and smother the fire, is classic.

This latest iteration involves an unrealistic CGI human-like dog that giddy un-wilderness urbanites will fawn over. It also includes Harrison Ford, a man blessed with poor acting skills who nonetheless has landed a huge list of Hollywood roles and who made a huge pile of money. Play acting and playing dress-up; not exactly brain surgeon level or even bank teller level stuff.

And to be fair, Ford’s best movie roles are those that fit his kind of simple, bland, taciturn persona, like the Jack Ryan character, or Indiana Jones, or the emotion-less Blade Runner cyborg cop. Or those roles that are actually enhanced by his lack of acting skills, like Star Wars‘ Han Solo. Whenever Harrison Ford is tasked with actually acting, his lack of nuance or depth shines through bright and shiny. One suspects that this Call of the Wild will be one such role and performance. Or maybe not, because the 2020 movie poster for it shows Ford looking all serious and taciturn.

Now, because I am a wilderness hunter, fisherman, and trapper, any new movie like Call of the Wild immediately gets my attention. Bad acting or no, evil corrupt anti-America Hollywood or no, CGI human dogs or no, it is a movie I would naturally be inclined to go see. It is about nature and outdoor adventure, my favorite things. However, Harrison Ford finally performed honestly the other day and thereby blew up any chance of me seeing his film, and probably many other people feel the same way.

Last week, Ford appeared on not-funny Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show, and blasted Preident Trump, calling him “a son-of-a-bitch.”

Out of nowhere, and for no particular reason. Other than pandering to Hollywood.

What a shame, because at one time Ford was a spokesman for Conservation International, a worthy environment protection organization. His other opinions about so-called climate change and carbon reduction are the usual Hollywood hypocritical hilarity, because Ford is also the guy who flies his own plane on a 400-mile round trip to get a single hamburger to satisfy his craving for fast food. Talk about a carbon footprint, and yet his lecturing never ends.

Now, everyone is entitled to their opinions, and like Ford, I am entitled to mine, too. And my opinion is that I will not support with movie ticket purchases those celebrity Hollywood actors who insult me, my values, my lifestyle, or the people I vote for. So I will not be answering Harrison Ford’s Call of the Wild. Though I might play it on one of the many black market bootleg websites, just so I can take from Ford a tiny bit of what Ford took away from me: A good feeling.

Below is just one video of Harrison Ford actually whining about his wild success, as if it ruined him as some sort of serious artiste. Oh please. Ford is just another out of touch, spoiled rotten Hollywood jerk. Where is comedian Ricky Gervais when we need him most? Every Hollywood actor like Harrison Ford should have to spend a week with Gervais following him or her everywhere they go, commenting on their vapid lives and stupid statements.

on Mayor Steve Reed

Steve Reed was the long-time Democrat mayor of Harrisburg City, and he died last week. I knew Mayor Reed and I feel compelled to say some things about him.

My uber-Republican grandparents Ed and Jane introduced me to Steve back in the early 1990s, when he was first running for mayor of Harrisburg. When I queried how such ardent partisans as they could support a Democrat, the response they gave was a life-changing truism that is worth everyone remembering:

“Support the best candidate who will do the best for The People, regardless of political party.”

And besides, the Republican Party had long since abandoned Harrisburg City, as the GOPe has chicken-out abandoned all other urban areas across America. So there was no real Republican to challenge Reed.

The truth is that Steve Reed really did have the best interest of The People, the citizens of Harrisburg City, at heart. Like a lot of gay men his age, he felt that his opportunity for personal companionship was self-limited, and so he had nothing else to live for than his citizens, the people he viewed as being under his care. And he did dutifully care for all of us to his best ability.

When a bad vehicle accident would occur in the city in the very dead of night, or a homicide, Steve would show up in coat and tie, maybe fuzzy slippers on his feet, to find out exactly what happened so that he could try to fix the cause. Or at least communicate to the city’s citizens what had happened, so that there was the least mystery possible. He was always on the job. The guy cared about his job in a way that hardly anyone ever cares about public service jobs any more. Reed was truly a public servant in every good sense of the phrase.

Long ago I joked with Mayor Reed that when he died, I was going to embalm his body, dress him up in one of his dowdy suits, put a cigarette in his hand, and prop him up in the window in his old office, so that the citizens below could look up and see Steve, The Mayor, still on the job, still doing his best for us, and that knowing all was well, they would all be consoled of all concerns and go on with their lives, happier and more confident. A perpetually stable Harrisburg.

He always smiled at that joke.

His attempt to build the nation’s premier cowboy / Western museum was a great idea, like his successful idea to build an incredible civil war museum. But that Wild West Museum did not happen only because it lost momentum, despite having a veritable mountain of wonderful bona fide Western frontier artifacts to show. When the museum lost momentum, questions began to arise about how all those wonderful artifacts had been obtained with scarce public funds, and where were they kept, etc. And once those questions were asked, it was the beginning of the end of Steve’s reign. Such was the public’s trust in Mayor Reed that he could really do no wrong, and when he demonstrated that even great people have weaknesses, the public mostly abandoned him.

The last I saw Steve was at a home in Uptown Harrisburg, down the street from where we live. It was a gathering of a political who-is-who in the area that I rudely barged into uninvited, and the hostess, Peggy, cheerfully greeted me with hugs and a hot drink nonetheless. The three of us, Peggy, myself, and Mayor Reed, were all back in a corner chatting while eating fresh fruit. Steve looked happy, and Peggy was her usual 100 MPH self. Until Steve asked me “Josh, you don’t support Trump, right?”

“Of course I do, mayor, I absolutely do support President Trump. He is doing a great job for America, and I think you of all people should appreciate how hard that is to do,” I responded.

Peggy exploded, poor thing. She was standing elbow to elbow with me, and her unhappy response was broadcast in bits and pieces across the side of my sweater and cheek. She was nearly foaming at the mouth with anger, indignation, her eyes were crossed, and a garble of unintelligible words poured forth from her mouth that I did not have to actually understand in their particular to understand in their overall gist.

Peggy disliked (still does) President Trump, and was ummm…frustrated that I would support him.

“Ignore him, Peggy,” said Mayor Reed. “He is just saying that to get a rise out of you.”

Mayor Reed looked at me, smiled, popped a grape in his mouth and walked off into the bigger party. He was politic to the end.

In our hunting camp there hangs a large moose head above the living room. It is named “Stephen” after Mayor Steve Reed, because it was purchased from the eventual auction of the Harrisburg Wild West Museum contents. When I picked up the enormous wooden crate with the moose head inside, I couldn’t wait, and I opened it up right away in the bed of the pick up truck. Inside was all the original documentation going back to the original purchase of the moose by Steve Reed, years before. He had acquired it from an old frontier saloon in southwest Minnesota, and apparently many cowboys had hung their hats on it over the decades. It was a real, bona fide emblem of the wild west; at least as the Western frontier was known in Minnesota.

Steve the Moose now looms over all our comings and goings at camp, provoking small children to squeal with delight and with fright, and grown men to pose all manly-like. No question the moose head is a symbol of the Big Woods and all that is wild in America, a proper companion to other real cabin furnishings like beaver pelts and traps. But to me, Steve the Moose symbolizes Steve Reed the mayor, the all-knowing bull moose, watching over his sanctuary, his people, his charges.

It is comforting to me.

Bye, Steve, you are gone but not forgotten. Here, let me dust off your ears for you. And have a light.

Mayor Steve Reed looks at one of the Remington bronzes he purchased for his Wild West Museum. The bronze was among the gazillion other real wild west artifacts sold at auction. Denver Post photo credit

Ammin Perry cartoon symbolizing about $7 million city dollars up in smoke, and Mayor Reed did like to smoke

Steve Reed the moose still oversees all

Great American Outdoor Show Day Six – Fired Up Trump Supporters

Having worked as a volunteer at two different booths and at a separate nearby event at the Great American Outdoor Show here in Harrisburg this week, there is one big takeaway: Attendees are overwhelmingly passionate about President Donald Trump and seeing him be re-elected.

At first the constant parade of Trump 2020 hats going past my eyes did not hit home. Ya know, it’s the biggest outdoor show and gathering in the world, and outdoors folk are naturally conservative, so why not expect to see them…is what I unconsciously thought.

And then as the first day ticked through the first hours, my mind began to start its own “clicker” count of Trump and Trump-Pence hats going by. And mind you, this particular booth is in the Fishing Hall, and a lot of GAOS visitors are there for the hunting guides, the demonstrations, and the opportunity to handle and try out lots and lots of firearms. So this spot I was in is hardly representative of the overall visitor population.

And the mental “clicks” immediately surpassed my ability to keep counting. Somewhere around 150 my mind said that it had had enough of trying to keep track of Trump hats while also greeting visitors and engaging with them on issues of wildlife policy and politics and raffle tickets for guns. So if I saw 150 Trump hats on heads in about 30 minutes, and the rest of the day was just as filled with them, then about 2,600 went by in the day in that particular location.

Another stint at another GAOS booth on another day reinforced the same observation, except I have to admit up front that it was the Trump Campaign booth I was volunteering in. And of course the visitors here naturally self-selected for visits, and about fifty percent had Trump hats. Even those visitors to the Trump Campaign booth who did not have Trump hats were just as FIRED UP as the hat wearers, however.

The Trump Campaign booth was a non-stop feeding frenzy of activity. If you sat down to take a breather, you had to get right back up again to help someone fill out a form. And at any given time there were half a dozen of us working that booth. We were constantly busy.

I know, I know, the GAOS naturally attracts exactly the kind of people who are going to support president Trump anyhow – outdoorsmen, gun owners, pickup truck drivers, etc. But, having attended and volunteered at this show in both of its forms for many years (I started the 2012 vendor boycott that ended the prior Reed Expositions representation of the show, and which eventually resulted in the NRA taking over) I have never before seen anywhere near this level of politicized, politically aware, FIRED UP attendees.

In fact, in years past, it was rare if you got into any kind of political discussion with attendees beyond wildlife policies. Even Second Amendment rights were largely passe to the vast majority of past attendees, who seemed to just want to look at new RVs, camping gear, duck calls, and hunting rifles without being hassled about politics. Politics was off everyone’s radar in the past.

So if this politicized crowd with its nonstop stream of Trump hats is any indication, Trump’s voter base is both larger than in 2016, and a lot more passionate and politically involved. In fact, all of the people I registered to vote or spoke with felt personally invested in the outcome of this November’s election.

And personally dedicated to Donald J. Trump’s re-election.

This bodes very well for President Trump’s re-election prospects.

So God bless flyover country and the NRA.

Rush Limbaugh

The other day I was driving up I-95 though New Jersey, destination Manhattan, listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. The usual analysis of recent events – Nanshee Peloshee’s failed political attack on the American president, the Democrat Party’s disarray of socialist presidential candidates, each trying harder than the other to give away more American taxpayer money to buy votes than the other, the SuperBowl result.

And Rush’s voice was gravelly, something new. Over the past year he has been complaining about having a cold, or a hairball, or whatever stuck in his throat. And over the past year he has taken off more time than usual. Usually that kind of time away indicates a change, usually due to burnout. But Rush would return to the golden EIB microphone and pick right up where he left off, with great energy and clarity. So no, his absences were not attributable to doing the same damned job over three decades.

And then, nearly at the end of the three-hour show, matter-of-factly Rush simply stated that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, which later on was disclosed to be stage four, which is highly advanced.

Now if there is one symbol of this iconic man’s persona, it is his cigar. Limbaugh enjoys a cigar, and has posed with cigars on the covers of magazines. Promoting, much less admitting to using tobacco these days is the ultimate rebellion, the strongest anti-political correctness statement one can make. Let’s just say, waving a lit cigar about in one’s hand these days gets a lot more attention and dis-approbation than a hairy man putting on scanty lady’s clothes and accoutrements and wobbling up and down a public street in high heels.

Limbaugh has used his cigars as the ultimate rejection of PC nanny state over-reach, to the point where he occasionally almost sounded flippant about the potential health risks.

And while tobacco can and should be enjoyed occasionally – a pipe with a bowlful of cherry Cavendish, a cigarillo, a Dutch Masters or Swisher Sweets mini-cigar, its constant use is anything but innocent. Because the constant use of tobacco products really does damage the human body. Nothing new here to science or human knowledge.

So while Limbaugh may have shared one thing in common with president Bill Clinton, the non-inhalation of lit smoking products, the fact is that cigars put off a huge amount of smoke that, unless one is outside or in a highly ventilated indoor space, is going to certainly invade one’s lungs. Apparently Rush’s lungs were invaded by copious amounts of heavy cigar smoke, despite his not inhaling.

Last night at the State of the Union speech by President Donald J. Trump, Rush Limbaugh received the Medal of Freedom from the hands of First Lady Melania Trump. Rush was obviously surprised that it occurred there and then, and his humility and emotion shone through like a giant airport beacon.

People who hold leftist views may disagree with or even hate Rush Limbaugh. But the level and pitch of their opposition to him is an equal representation of his effectiveness over the years. The first time I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio was in my friend Kenny Gould’s car in Rockville, Maryland, in the spring of 1991.

“You gotta hear this guy, Josh. You gotta hear what he says. He’s amazing. He is so right. You should hear what he says about Bill Clinton; no one else in the media is saying it.”

And so Kenny turned on the AM radio to the Rush Limbaugh program, and I dutifully listened to what at first sounded like a chatterbox man talking and talking about political and cultural issues.

At the time I had started my first fully professional full time job as a policy staffer at the US EPA in Washington, DC. I disagreed with some of what Rush said that day, but I never forgot him. And years later, when I had discarded my anti-taxpayer job at the EPA like a piece of dog crap stuck to my shoe, because of my own observations and experiences, I had begun to understand just what this big voice on the radio was talking about.

And so tens of millions of other Americans have been educated and trained to think critically and analytically by Rush Limbaugh since that time, and as a result, he has had a tremendously out-size good effect on America.

First Lady Melania Trump placing the Presidential Medal of Freedom around Rush Limbaugh’s neck

More humility than some people might expect caused Rush to compose himself

Good luck to you, Mister Limbaugh. May you have a complete and easy recovery from your cancer. Please don’t be one of those guys puffing away through clouds of cigar smoke with the oxygen line stuck in your nostrils. That just will not do as a lasting image to your greatness. (…and to those who would never listen to Rush’s radio show, how can you say you disagree with him if you do not listen to what he says?…and to those who have openly rejoiced at Limbaugh’s health, you are exactly why he has needed a radio show in the first place, and why America listens to him)

Hunting season withdrawal, carpe diem reminder

Despite hunting a lot this past season, I am going through serious withdrawal symptoms. And mind you, hunting for small game is not done yet, and neither is trapping. And snow geese are in. So field opportunities do remain.

But with the bobcat and fisher trapping seasons now over, the justification for really heading deep into the silent woods has ended. Besides, a fisher just took up residence about 100 yards from the cabin. Only a few weeks after the season ended. It’s a “ha ha” finger in the eye reminder that some things are just not meant to be.

To be honest, I did not trap much this year, due to time limitations that kept me trapping right around where I have been working. And also to the fact that my outdoor work activities scared away the animals that will normally come in to explore the scents we use around our traps. And the freeze-thaw-rain-freeze-thaw-rain cycle of the past couple of years happened yet again during December, our best trapping time. Using footholds in those conditions is tough, because they can move around as the earth thaws during the day and re-freezes at night. When an animal steps on a trap that has moved in its bed, the trap moves under its paw, and then the animal digs up the trap. And If I put out winter-resistant cable restraints in that kind of weather, I can expect a very muddy animal waiting for me. And I am not in the business of shampooing coyotes and foxes. Too much time. So trapping season has pretty much passed me by, though I will try for a specific coyote, and maybe a few more possums in cage traps, just to save some springtime whippoorwill nests from being raided.

A few more squirrel hunts, a rabbit hunt or two with a 1920 Parker Brothers 20 gauge side-by-side, and some predator hunts will be had. Good times for sure, usually with good friends, but the few days of climbing high and sneaking through the quiet snowy mountains are gone. They ended almost before they began.

Hunting season is an annual reminder to grab all of life and squeeze and cajole every bit of living and enjoyment from it that we can, because before we know it, it all ends almost before it began.

At my grandfather’s 100th birthday (he lived almost exactly three more years after), he blew out the candles on his cake and sat back.

“I don’t know where my life went,” he said, staring into his chocolate cake. And he was a guy who had really lived.

Ukraine is a Democrat Party crime scene

So what we have learned from the fake impeachment process is that it’s just a lot of effort and mess to distract  from the gigantic Democrat Party crime scene in Ukraine. The due process-less, hidden, crime-less impeachment of the president is just an attempted coverup of Democrat Party crimes and corruption.

Ukraine, the entire nation, is a Democrat Party crime scene because the Obama Administration was riddled with people like Joe Biden and John Kerry who used their official government positions to get their kids incredible jobs in Ukraine. And when we say ‘incredible jobs’, we mean $100,000 a month to serve on an oil and gas company (Burisma is just one exploited by the Obama Administration bigwigs) board, despite knowing nothing about oil and gas. Like, trading your name and high taxpayer-funded position of responsibility to force a weak country to give you things you would not otherwise deserve or be able to get.

In case you might have missed this, Joe Biden actually went on TV and bragged about forcing Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating corruption. Like JOE BIDEN corruption. Like Hunter Biden corruption.

So when Donald Trump got elected, the Democrat Party folks knew a new sheriff was in town, someone who would not tolerate the corruption that had taken over BOTH parties, but really exemplified by the Democrat Party takeover of Ukraine. This is the reason so many high level Obama officials went to the mat and risked everything to try to take down the new president, and it is why the Democrat Party – controlled US House impeached the president. Anything to slow him down and divert his attention from solving the corruption crimes committed by high level Democrats.

Ukraine is a Democrat Party crime scene and the Democrat Party is doing everything possible to mess with the criminal evidence, badger the investigators, and fire the new sheriff who has been bringing stability to America and who will bring Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and many others to justice.

Wildlife criminal or wildlife savior?

Unsurprisingly, British customs police noticed Jeffrey Lendrum’s strange looking gut the other day after he disembarked from an international flight. Upon further inspection, the naturally slender Lendrum was caught with a bunch of rare falcon eggs nested against his warm midriff in a fluffy swaddling. The eggs were kept warm and alive by Lendrum’s body heat and the lumpy material, like a mother bird would do while sitting on her nest.

Lendrum is no stranger to doing this, it turns out. For at least three decades, the guy has made some kind of living smuggling rare birds and, unbelievably, their fragile eggs, out of remote countries and from the really super remote, roadless places deep inside them. He has sold the wildlife and eggs to collectors and falconers around the world, but principally in the Muslim Arab countries, where (to their credit) falconry and horsemanship are both highly valued manly skills.

In a way Lendrum is a cross between Indiana Jones, the Pink Panther diamond thief, and James Bond 007, at one time rappelling from a hovering helicopter to steal rare eggs from a raptor’s nest high in a tree in the rain forest. As a result, he has had all kinds of legal run-ins and wild law enforcement encounters throughout his career and literally all around the world.

Brazil has demanded that Britain extradite Lendrum to answer for his latest alleged crime. In a typical British understatement, Lendrum’s lawyer has responded that Brazil’s notorious prisons are in fact violent drug gang headquarters, that the nation has no real rule of law, and that Lendrum’s life would be measured in the half-second were he to be returned there.

And oh, the irony of a nation that cannot stop people from daily executing each other in the streets, that is bargain selling its own rare natural resources and wild areas at break-neck speed to every international nuclear and hydroelectric dam concession, that cannot conserve a chicken let alone a falcon, now demanding some sort of home-grown justice for a white guy who actually values some birds that now live in a place that next year will be a coffee plantation with no bird habitat left.

I am a wilderness hunter and trapper, and I hate wildlife crime. But Lendrum is probably helping ensure the survival of some of these rare bird species who, otherwise left to their own devices in these shithole countries, will be eaten by naked savages for dinner.

Texas has become the home to a dozen rare and otherwise wild species from India and Africa that have been market hunted (not recreationally hunted) into extinction in their native habitat. This is not just because the Texas climate is suitable to these animals, but because hunters pay a boatload of money to hunt these naturally reproducing animals in Texas. A market incentive has kept these endangered species alive and well, if not in the actual ecosystem from whence they evolved.

I am unconvinced that Lendrum is a wildlife criminal. Like the role of zoos has changed from wild animal freak show full of gawkers to sole breeding repository of rare and endangered animals who could never survive in their own home countries, Lendrum is in actuality seeding dying species’ DNA around the planet in the expectation that placing high commercial value on it will lead to people paying to conserve it.

That is, by placing a value on the birds that is much higher than a dinner take-out by a jungle dwelling Indian, Lendum is creating a market-based incentive to keep these species alive and breeding.

Jeffrey Lendrum, wildlife conservationist.

Jeffrey Lendrum, mother hen

Put Joe Biden on trial in the senate

Yes, we know, the Republican Party has little fight in it, and that is the reason why the ridiculous kangaroo show trial in the senate has been allowed to go on for more than the first five minutes. I mean, compare the hidden way the Democrat Party handled the due process-less “impeachment” in the US House to the hands-off way the GOPe handles the Senate side.

The entire impeachment hoax has been nothing but a non-stop anti -Trump political activity that began before Trump was even sworn in.

So now that we have listened to months of lies about Trump, it is time to set the record straight. Oh, I know, the GOPe doesn’t have the stomach for drawing this out, for letting this go on and on. They just want it to end and go away.

Except, it won’t go away.  The Democrat Party Press will never allow this to go away. They will have panels discussing it every day until Election Day, and never in Trump’s favor. Every Democrat Party anchor – George Stephenapolous, Chuck Todd, Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, Rachel Maddow, you name it – will be talking about it until Election Day, and never in Trump’s favor.

So, let’s get the cause of this up on the stand, under oath. Get corrupt Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the cocaine addict dishonorably discharged from the US military, up on the stand, under oath, to explain what the hell they were doing in Ukraine that lead to this whole cover-up and fake impeachment effort to stop the criminal investigations into the Bidens in the first place.

If Joe Biden is put on the witness stand under oath, then the American people will finally get to find out, one way or another, what exactly happened in the Obama administration that channeled so many inexperienced young Democrats from high level families into high paying jobs in Ukraine.

So, irony of ironies, if there is one possible silver lining and hidden purpose to the whole fake impeachment, it is the possibility to get the criminals who started this whole thing under oath on the witness stand. Answer some questions.

Of course it would require not only the Senate republicans to want to actually do something, but then the US Dept. of Justice would have to, too. And as we have seen, the US DOJ is just as corrupt now as it was four years ago, when a previous administration ran it. Sorry to say, because AG Barr does give some great talking head. He sounds freakin awesome, but he then allows corrupt and partisan holdovers in the DOJ to have their way politically, with no consequences. Which means Barr is not in this fight, either.

The sad thing is, with a few notable exceptions, the Republicans just do not have any fighting spirit in them. None. And they are facing a very determined enemy, who will say and do anything, no matter how untruthful, how damaging to America, to achieve their goals and to protect their criminal history.

It may be that in the end there is no political solution to this mess, and that instead of the politicians, the American people are going to have to sort it out themselves.

My comments to the PA Game Commission

The Pennsylvania Game Commission board of commissioners will be meeting this weekend, to set next season’s dates and bag limits. Like many other people, I submitted comments by email last week. From past experiences with this, I know that the commissioners read comments and requests from the public. Some of my comments, and those of my son, have received direct feedback from various members of the board.

A key to getting the commissioners to read and truly consider your comments is to submit them with plenty of time for the recipients to read them. If you submit comments a day or two before the meeting, it’s a very low likelihood of anyone having time to read them. Also, try to keep comments short, to the point, and sweet. Comments with prolonged bitching, whining, and playing biologist when you have no training or education or even a novice’s interest in wildlife biology, are all ways to ensure that your audience at best glances at your comments.

“Dear Commissioners,
Hunting should be fun, and therefore our small game seasons should run unbroken from their Fall opening to their February close. Whatever long gone reason for the on again-off again pattern of small game seasons, Pennsylvania must create opportunities for everyone. No biological reason exists for hiccup-style seasons. Few if any other states have this odd pattern. Let’s just let our hunters have fun and hunt.

In that vein, please consider allowing bodygrip traps on running pole sets in our most rural WMUs. The idea that a loose domestic dog is going to get caught in a trap in the middle of a state forest wilderness is preposterous. Same is true on private land. Same goes for allowing snares. We need all the tools we can get to manage coyotes. With now three years of crazy freeze-thaw-rain winter weather cycles, it’s impossible to rely on footholds. Cable restraints should be allowed throughout the whole season, and snares should be allowed on private land and or on public land in the Big Woods WMUs.

Finally, please put one of our Sundays on the day after the Saturday bear rifle opener, and another Sunday on the day after the Saturday deer rifle opener. This will create the most energy and excitement for our hunters. Even better, make bear and deer rifle concurrent!

Thank you for considering my thoughts,

–Josh”