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“Climate Change” Takes a Stake Through its Heart

Once again, recently unearthed emails from publicly funded climate researchers in Britain provide bomb-grade damage to the claims of global climate change.

Not only do these newly revealed, previously secret emails show collusion among researchers to overcome problems with their data, suppression of evidence that defies their claims, and their private doubts about global climate change, they also explicitly show what critics have claimed for years: The BBC news service has secretly colluded with the researchers to exclude their critics from getting air time, to match BBC reports with unfounded, essentially political claims by the researchers, and to cast aspersions on their critics.

In other words, the BBC is a willing tool to deceive the taxpayers who underwrite the BBC.

This is exactly the situation that America has with National Public Radio, a news service captured by  politically partisan activists.

Like BBC, NPR also advocates for unfounded claims of global climate change, like today’s (6:30 PM on 11/29/11)  interview with the US envoy to the United Nations climate change group, which ignored the recent bombshell reports (see below) and instead gave an unchallenged platform for a global climate change evangelist.

And what bothers me is that there are genuine, real, measurable environmental problems that need attention and funding, but which are undermined by the false issue of the sky-is-falling crisis of global climate change.



…and more at


Bear season, it’s all about the views

Bear season in Northcentral Pennsylvania came and went this year.

Although no one in our cabin killed a bear, or saw a bear, we all hiked in beautiful country and admired nature’s miracles.

Time alone is rare. Time alone to contemplate God’s creation, the wife, the kids, work…well, it’s hard to make.

In remote areas, sitting on a steep mountainside, no one else within a half mile at least, admiring the views, I was able to center myself.

One of my guests is a Wall Street guy, taking a turn in his career. He said his first time hunting was really about the scenic views. He has traveled the world, but said he never felt so alone, or so at peace as this week. He called it a success.

Bear season, it’s all about the views.

Santorum Opportunism Pisses Off Penn Staters

I like him, but last week, presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared to be riding the Penn State scandal as a wave to carry along his campaign. Penn State should not play in a bowl game, Santorum said, regardless of the football team’s final standings.

As I write this, Penn State has just defeated Ohio State and looks to be headed to a well-deserved bowl game.

Why would Santorum have anything to say about the scandal beyond some well-placed and justified reflections on the university’s failed leadership? Why would anyone seek to punish the players, whose hard work deserves to be rewarded?

Well, over the years Rick has made a name for himself as a voice for morality and clarity in a world full of moral relativism, and I often support him. Even when I occasionally disagree with a particular position he may take, I appreciate and support his outspoken advocacy for morally clear decision making in government.

Rick certainly has a lot of friends in Pennsylvania, and he can normally count me among them.

However, I share the reaction among many Penn Staters who are pissed off at Rick over his recent criticism. It appears to be nothing more than political opportunism by a candidate seeking to get his name into the headlines. By criticizing the Penn State football team, Santorum appears to many to be trying to take advantage of a difficult situation to make himself look good, or to attract attention to himself.

He would not be the first political candidate to do that, but for someone who has been rightly recognized for having clear thinking, this looks like aberrant and mean-spirited thinking.

In 2000 and 2006 I was a volunteer on both of Santorum’s re-election campaigns, and if he were doing better in the polls, I might volunteer for his presidential campaign now. But what I am looking for right now is a statement from Rick that he mis-spoke, and that he does not want to punish a group of people who had nothing to do with the scandal, or further damage Penn State.

Penn State is already going through a lot of difficulties, and it will continue to do so for years to come, not to mention the kids who were (allegedly) subjected to Sandusky’s abuse. Santorum’s criticism does nothing to remedy the situation; it only throws fuel on the fire, punishes more innocent people, and further damages Penn State’s standing.

Come clean, Rick, admit that you made a mistake. If you do that, I think you’ll prove to people that you are indeed a good guy, and not the opportunistic headline grabber that you recently appeared to be.

The Bluefish, Ocean Challenge

The ubiquitous east coast bluefish is a monster, a predator, a giant piranha. Growing to twenty pounds and foraging in huge packs, bluefish with friendly-fire bite marks are often caught by saltwater fishermen.

Bait fish are so terrorized by bluefish that they will throw themselves up on a beach to escape them.

Bluefish are tough, and aggressive. They bite lures and bait readily, usually bringing a smile at the tug and then a grimace to the face of the fisherman. Pulling a hook on a bluefish that you intend to release unharmed is a bit of a delicate maneuver, because bluefish will just as readily bite off your nearest finger as they will stare at you with their devilish yellow eyes.

While they do put up a fun fight, bluefish are notoriously fishy tasting and difficult to make into a meal that will satisfy most fish eaters.

Having eaten bluefish since I was a kid, I have seen them baked, fried, broiled, and pickled in a variety of recipes that have to one degree or another addressed that fishy taste.

Last week I returned home from a successful fishing outing with about fifty pounds of bluefish filets (and 30 pounds of whiter meat from another more desirable game fish).

Having so much material to work with, I was able to experiment widely.

Some of the bluefish filets were baked, some broiled, some were smoked.

For baking, any way with any ingredients, I learned that bathing the filet in lemon juice for at least 45 minutes before baking got rid of 95% of the fishy smell and taste. A good cup of lemon juice poured over a filet, which is then laid face down in the juice to marinate. Some Rosemary and salt, and then after 45 minutes or longer, it’s ready to bake with butter or sauce. The lemon juice can be used with it.

Speaking of sauce, I made a sauce of spicy brown mustard and worcestshire sauce mixed together. About two ounces of each. Then pour it over the filet and broil at 500 for fifteen minutes or until it’s turning dark brown.

It was delicious.

For smoking, I found that again, brining with not just salt and sugar, as usual for fish, but also with lemon juice added, for at least 24 hours, got rid of 95% of the fishy taste.

Probably the best post-brining addition was adding lots of Old Bay over the more or less pickled fish; it also added a lot of flavor.

I’ve done a bunch of batches of smoked bluefish and I think I’ve finally discovered how to get the best tasting result, consistently. Never before did I have so much meat to experiment with and I can’t imagine too many other people willing to spend the amount of time trying to overcome the bluefish challenge.

By the way, I did remove the brown meat from the lateral line in one batch, and it made a small but noticeable improvement.

So there you have it, new recipes and processing procedures for bluefish from Central Pennsylvania. Probably the last time that bluefish were eaten so heartily along the banks of the Susquehanna River would have been three hundred years ago, when up-river striped bass migrations would have brought the Susquehannocks and other local Indian tribes into direct contact with saltwater fish and trade for smoked fish from the northern Chesapeake Bay. I am pleased to continue in that tradition.

Chelsea Clinton: One of the 1%, Happily

Chelsea Clinton is daughter of impeached president Bill Clinton and his wife, current US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Chelsea has grown up exceptionally wealthy and connected to people in positions of power. She has never had a “job,” certainly not a professional job, not a career where she developed as a person, but she just got hired by NBC News.

Chelsea Clinton is going to be a top-level reporter and commentator for an international news program.

Chelsea is accomplishing something that 99.99% of college graduates her age can only dream of. Except that those people know that in order to land a job like that, they have to gradually prove themselves from job to job over time, over decades.

Chelsea is very much a member of “The 1%” as the Occupy ________ folks call hard working, successful Americans.

You can’t help but wonder how her achievement looks and is perceived by the people with whom she shares so many political views. She has it made. She has Easy Street. Her dad made a phone call and got her the job of a lifetime, and she didn’t have to work for it at all.

But you just know that once Chelsea is in there, reporting just the facts, of course, that she will stand as one with the Occupy _________ people. And they will give her a pass, because she is the right political party…so much for any principles in any of this situation, right?

And it is just one more example of how the politically correct in America choose to say one thing, but do another.


Our American Veterans: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Dear American Veterans of our Armed Services,

Thank you for your service to our great nation, and for your daily sacrifices to provide all citizens with the day to day comfort and security that we take for granted.

We value everything you do for us, and on this Veterans Day, we take special note of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Joe Paterno gets fired, the end of innocence

When Paterno got fired from Penn State, it marked the true end of the innocence that defined much of Happy Valley’s day-to-day existence.

For Paterno to have to leave at the end of the season was a big blow to the whole university-football-alumni-money system.

For Paterno to be summarily fired, by phone and before the end of the season, indicates the depth of the failure and the cost of the coverup now dawning on Penn State’s board of directors.

Such a thing was unimaginable a week ago.

To make such a move is to sacrifice much short-term stability, long-standing tradition, and external confidence in PSU. But the trade-off is that eventually that outside confidence will return, because the board acted decisively and painfully.

Spanier’s firing is a whole other matter.

Spanier was not a fixture of PSU like Paterno had been, and he was not co-identified with the university. Paterno was Penn State, while Spanier was simply working at Penn State. Sure, Spanier was there a long time and he liked to present himself as being as much a fixture as Paterno, but he wasn’t one.

Firing a university president is a sad but important fact of academic life. While it is usually painful, most college presidents (and I have met or worked with at least a dozen in my career) are just as human as you and I, except that they all have gigantic egos for reasons that no one else outside of academia can understand. These folks are no more deserving of adulation than anyone else, and actually probably get fired a lot less than they deserve or  experience. My city’s garbage men perform a more necessary and appreciated service than any college president, so Spanier gets zero sad faces from me on account of his termination.

But Penn State, my shining city on the hill, that is still getting sad faces. And we still do not yet know what happened to get us all to this point. The Sandusky scandal probably goes deep.

Here is an indication of just how broad the scandal is:  A small independent news source in Israel actually wrote a report titled “Football Related Scandal Traumatizes the United States,” http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/149584#.Tr1TyPL4J6Q.

A quick search of other international news outlets indicates that PSU has a far bigger reputation than I would have ever guessed.  And I’m one to think that the world revolves around Penn State and State College.

Resolution had better be done correctly, or we will end up looking even worse.

Joe Paterno steps down…end of an era

Joe Paterno has just announced that he will step down from his head coach position at the end of this football season.

The Jerry Sandusky scandal has ended Joe’s career on a negative, when it should have ended on a positive. People argue that Joe could not have ended it on a positive no matter what, because he had groomed no successor, seemed unwilling to face his age, and has been disengaged from the actual sideline coaching.

I will miss Joe, for all of the obvious reasons: His leadership, his values, his dedication. I am pained that a bunch of little boys had to be raped by his subordinate in order to bring this change.

It’s not the way that anyone saw anything related to PSU turning out.

Herman Cain Now Being Hunted by a Wolf Pack

Herman Cain’s sole mistake is that he is born black and has the nerve to break from the ranks of 95% of the rest of the black community, which is mired in failed welfare state thinking.

White liberals think that they more or less own the black community, an occasionally potent political force, and are now unleashing a wolf pack to bring down Cain. White liberals cannot afford to leave a successful challenger to their vision of the black community as anything other than dependent.

Let’s look at the wolf pack.

Analyzing each “accuser,” as they are called in the mainstream media, we get an easy check-off for each one. Two are partisan, employed by the Obama administration or connected to his administration in some substantially political way. Knock them off the list of credible challengers. Making it worse, they want to remain anonymous but get their hits in on Cain nonetheless. That’s cheap and meaningless.

Another one, the Bialek lady, has had such a long history of run-ins that one of her former bosses said that he would be surprised if her description of events with Cain was not completely reversed, with her as the attacker. Watching her deliver a dolled-up, grinning, scripted delivery while reading from a piece of paper, with partisan activist lawyer Gloria Allred guiding her, you know she is a fake, too. Given her financial issues and laundry list of run-ins, and her getting her fifteen minutes of fame on the TV shows, well, she smells bad, Allred smells bad, her claim smells bad. Knock this one off the list for lack of credibility, too.

Then there’s another “accuser,” whose sole complaint is that Cain asked her to arrange dinner with a woman who asked him a public question at a speaking event. Dragging several other uninvited people into the dinner, they were all left with the tab for their dinners and Cain’s expensive wine. It’s funny, and I like his style.

It is possible for a married man to be attracted to a woman, want to be around her for conversation, mental stimulation, and companionship, and yet have no actual intentions for physical contact. It’s an old-fashioned thing, and Cain is certainly old-fashioned. But it is not a crime.

Well, let me say, it should not be a crime. But I worked in Washington, DC, for the first seven years of my career, and I saw this stuff happen frequently in that insane atmosphere there. All a woman had to say was that a certain man made her feel “uncomfortable,” and badda bing, he was marked.

A guy did not have to say anything or even do anything to the “accuser.” His mere presence in her orbit could and evidently still is sufficient grounds for being “accused.” His career could be sidelined, or worse.

His sole offense might simply be that he is tall, or rugged, or have a loud laugh, and be gregarious. Or he could have ignored her advances.

Sexist against men, right?

Well, it’s not sexist to the mainstream media, which is on a hunt for Cain’s head on a pole. Cain terrifies these folks, and they will do anything that they can to bring him down.  And we haven’t yet addressed the racist aspect of these attacks on Cain’s character.

I am doing my part to keep him moving forward, and I’ll be donating $25 to Cain’s campaign this afternoon. I hope that you will join me.


Earthquake in State College, Now Here Comes the Tsunami

Earthquake in State College, Now Here Comes the Tsunami
© By Josh First
November 6, 2011

Late this past week an earthquake was felt in State College, and the resulting cascade of day-by-day events signal that a tsunami is following close behind. If you think that an earthquake is bad, wait until the tsunami hits. It’s much worse than the earthquake.

First the earthquake: Jerry Sandusky was a household name in the State College I grew up in, the 1970s through the 1980s, when I graduated from Penn State. Heir apparent to coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky was a household name, a golden name. As the high-performing caretaker of Penn State’s famous “Linebacker U” identity, Sandusky epitomized the toughness, braininess, and determination of one of college football’s all-time greatest programs, the Penn State Nittany Lions.

That golden program’s glow illuminated all that sat in its shadow, and Happy Valley has radiated quiet quality and confident happiness for decades. Sandusky was at the center of an empire built on trust, integrity, and clean living, qualities of which we stodgy, old-fashioned old Penn Staters are tremendously proud. It’s all at risk, now.

Now, according to charges brought against him, Sandusky appears to be heading toward the lowest reputation a man can have, a pedophile. Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty, but the crimes appear to be so numerous, so egregious, that if even just one is eventually proven, it alone would be too much to bear. The whole debacle threatens to drag down Penn State with it.

For the first time in Penn State’s storied football program, and by extension the university’s own administrative reputation, an event so dramatic has occurred that it potentially strikes at the core of the universal happiness. After the earthquake, a stain is seen slowly spreading on the kingdom that Joe built. Guilt by association with the charges against Sandusky is not far behind.

And here’s that tsunami, bearing down on all of Penn State: According to additional charges announced a day later against PSU heavies Tim Curley (Athletic Director) and Gary Schultz (Vice President for Finance and the campus police), a house of cards artificially held Sandusky in place, professionally and socially. Despite rumors and actual eyewitness reports of Sandusky’s crimes being conveyed to Curley and Schultz, neither of them relayed the accusations to the police. Under their protective gaze, Sandusky continued to use his Second Mile charity for at-risk children to put yet more children at risk.

Schultz’s attorney claims that his client is under no obligation to report child abuse allegedly committed by a former employee. Yeah sure, that’ll fly, when Sandusky was allowed to use the same university facilities where some of the alleged assaults occurred because of his former Golden Boy status and tight small town, big program, charitable relationships with Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. It doesn’t matter whether the cops, district attorney, or a jury of their peers eventually agree with that line of thinking.

What matters most is public perception, and the general perception is that these two senior PSU executives demonstrated fatally poor judgment. That public perception is going to quickly become public pressure, and the two men will go into retirement some time in the coming weeks. We know it’s coming.

Adding insult to injury is PSU president Graham Spanier’s lame defense of Curley and Schultz. In what has to be the most public display of Good Old Boy Circle The Wagons defense we’ve seen since the tobacco company executives took their congressional oaths years ago, Spanier actually testified to the good judgment of both men and promised they would be exonerated.

Popularly known as ‘doubling down’, Spanier’s bigger bet on the two men is going to be a loser. Mr. Spanier, you can’t really be president of one of America’s premier academic institutions and defend the indefensible. Spanier is demonstrating the clueless arrogance that goes with all big fishes living in small ponds, and he, too, is about to feel the wrath of public pressure. If Spanier lasts another month as Penn State’s president, it’ll be a miracle.

And if you love Penn State as I do, which is fanatically, then the final outcome of this sordid affair is likely to be bittersweet.

With the Athletic Director spot about to be empty any day now, and with the President spot likely to be empty any week now, our aged hero, head coach Joe Paterno, will find himself all alone at the top of a heap over which he has little control. Change will be in the air in State College in the coming weeks, and it is unlikely that Paterno will survive it. Curley and Spanier both tried to bump Paterno out years ago, and both lost. They are soon to be gone, and new people with no history or loyalty to Joe will fill their seats. The new folks will make it a fast and final decision. Penn State will have a new coach within a year of now.

Like Penn State, the institution known as Coach Joe Paterno has my love, appreciation, admiration, and respect, for all of the obvious and same reasons he inspires that devotion among millions of others. I grew up with his wholesome kids and played in his all-American home, watched him recruit new players and listened to him lecture the young men on the straight-and-narrow Penn State way. He is a moral giant in a field crawling with opportunism and outright cheating. His example and principles are needed now more than ever. But if there is one more indication that Coach Paterno has lost the ability to hold on, it’s that he didn’t blow the whistle on Sandusky with more force.

Right now, Penn State is reeling from the earthquake. But no one can withstand a tsunami. What will be left at University Park after the coming tidal wave passes through will be interesting. Hopefully, what is left will be a return to the simple, humble, noble traditions that made us Nittany Lions great to begin with.

© Josh First, licensed to Rock The Capital, www.rockthecapital.com