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“Fall Guy” movie review

I did it, I went and saw a movie at a theater. Notify the media.

Partly out of a commitment to celebrate Mother’s Day in whatever way the Princess of Patience-Mother wanted on her special day, and yes, she wanted to see a movie, and in particular this one. And partly out of an almost morbid fascination with the ever more gruesome demise of Hollywood, its actors, its writers, its physical space (I know it well and have hiked from poopy-needly-trashy West Hollywood up to and through Runyon Canyon and back, many times), its culture, its leaders, etc. In general, Hollywood and its dreck movies, people, and physical space is something I avoid on principle.

But what the heck, for ten bucks I could go see the freak show, and also make my Princess of Patience aka Mother happy.

However, I was pleasantly surprised on this now rare trip to Regal Theaters in Harrisburg. Not only were the theaters clean, the employees friendly and easy, and the fellow movie guests well behaved, the movie itself was actually worth seeing.

Fall Guy” is one of the rare funny, wholesome, entertaining movies to come out of un-natural disaster Hollywood in a long time. If you want to simply be entertained by a movie, without being hectored, lectured, propagandized, indoctrinated, lied to, talked down to, then Fall Guy is for you.

If my rusty memory serves me now, making entertaining movies was really at the core of Hollywood’s business model. Once upon a time. Like fifty years ago or more. With Hollywood both captured/ owned by China now, and also going broke because its actors, writers, et al are at war with America, it was reassuring to see some evidence of sanity there. Someone made this movie to actually appeal to Americans, and make some money along the way.

Fall Guy is done tongue in cheek, deliberately mocking Hollywood and movies in every way, and in one especially (Spoiler Alert) pleasing way: The movie’s two villains are truly villainous, bad, evil people: The silver tongued movie producer, and the secretly dull witted, incompetent high paid big name actor. Ah ha, we knew it already after listening to Robert DeNiro incoherently blab away about politicians and political and cultural issues he doesn’t understand last week, despite the now annual Oscars debacle. But it is nice to see that some people in Hollywood are willing to admit to their sins, in the form of a movie, if not in person.

Fall Guy is about a stunt man who loves a woman on set. He screws up, they get separated, and they end up back together on another movie set. The movie plot deliberately zigs and zags between serving up touchy feely girl feeling scenes that left my head uncontrollably lolling about like my spine had been snatched away from my neck, and death defying action and fight scenes, outstanding stunt scenes, and physical comedy that had me sitting erect in my seat, alert and happy enough to forget all about the sappy girl stuff that had been putting a wooden stake through my heart just moments before.

It is two hours long, which worked fine for me. An evening out should be worth it.

When we left the theater with the other couple also watching Fall Guy, it was well after midnight. The entire Regal Cinemas Theater building was shut down, the lights were out, no other movies were playing, no staff were visible or heard, and we were completely alone. We had the entire place to ourselves. For a moment I had this instinctive impulse to run amok in there, in personally gratifying ways that are not destructive. But alas, I am almost a responsible old guy, and was reminded of this by Mother, bless her matronly always responsible way, who gently led me by the elbow out the front door and into the dark and rainy night on my sudden discontent.

My heart sank when I heard the theater door lock shut behind me. No more fun for you here, the klatch locking sound said. I don’t recall having experienced that feeling at a movie theater in many years.

Congratulations, Hollywood and Fall Guy makers.

“Higher Education” is dead

What was over-generously called “higher education” since the 1950s, when a college degree became the American standard and cultural norm for most coastal kids and the middle-America elites, has died. Also known as “the academy” and “academia” and the “ivory tower,” colleges and universities across America have just collectively rolled over, died, and begun to stink badly like the unburied rotting corpses they are.

How did this entire nation-wide network of institutions suddenly give up the ghost? Because of a known but unanswered, unaddressed, uncured cancerous rot inside of it that began in the 1920s, and hit its zenith in the past few weeks. The cancerous rot metastesized, spread throughout the body of each college and university, and finally killed the host. We who are reading this essay now have with our own eyes just witnessed the mass die-off of the species once known as higher education. We have seen it happen on the news, in first-hand documentary reports by participants and observers alike, on social media, and in the first-hand experiences college kids have relayed back to their friends and families.

What happened?

To start with, “higher education” became neither higher, nor education. Instead of having quantifiably elite thinkers spending time carefully training students measurable skills, especially critical thinking skills designed to have well-trained students capable of unemotionally resolving complex problems, colleges long ago began indoctrinating students with toxic cultural slogans and bullsh*t political narratives.

Such indoctrination strips away the thin veneer of Western Civilization, and appeals to the most base animal instincts all humans have, and which Westerners have long since buried deep and far away from our daily lives. This indoctrination taps into the most raw feelings of hate, anger, and a sadistic desire for personal retribution that people can have. We saw the full results of this indoctrination in the Nazi gas chambers and concentration camps, the Socialist Soviet gulags, the killing fields of Cambodian communist Pol Pot. Nazis and Communists alike enjoyed the help of children denouncing their own parents, because the toxic indoctrination was so deep.

This indoctrination in America began in the 1920s with the penetration of Marxists and communists into education at all levels, as they appealed to normal people’s acceptance of strange versions of “fairness” and “compassion.” And after that, the cancer simply metastesized and spread. Sure, we had some heroes like Senator Joseph McCarthy who tried to warn Americans about what was happening. But McCarthy and other patriots like him who tried to diagnose and treat the cancer were shouted down and shamed by the mass media and entertainment industries, which before the academy had already been penetrated and quietly occupied by Marxists and Communists. Who spread the indoctrination in their own way.

So over the past few months and weeks, Americans have watched the result of all the indoctrination in every single academic field, to the point where even math is said to be “racist.” The premier, most elite, “best” examples of so-called higher education literally emerged in the past weeks from decades of politicized hiring and indoctrination as living examples of Lord of the Flies. Amid hysterical shreiks of young women and mooing noises of young men, civilization is tossed overboard while students, faculty, and administrators alike contort into a frenzied violent orgy of racist hate and anti-American slogans.

These schools are not institutions of higher thinking, high principles, or anything else rooted in Western Civilization. They are now hives of terrorist training. And the shreiks and moos of bratty, spoiled children.

Best representative examples include former Harvard president, Claudine Gay, engaging in pathetic moral relativism in Congress, only to then get outed as a serial plagiarist and lose her president job, but then keep her $900,000 a year job “teaching” utter garbage and subjective nonsense at Harvard. To save her feelings, if not her students. Everything that happened around and after the Claudine Gay Incident revealed Harvard to be the exact opposite of an elite institution. Claudine Gay’s humiliation was months ago, before the nationwide college campus hatefest and orgy of violence began.

Another example is the nationwide college campus hatefest and orgy of violence we all get to see every day now. It’s not just that a few radicalized young people are doing this destructive assault on our civilization. It is that large portions of the students are enabled by their faculty and administrators alike to act like savage wild beasts. That is, those adults (the college professors and administrators) who are supposedly the best embodiment of elite education and higher values are themselves actual Nazis and communist Stalinists, all rolled into one angry, bizarre, gobbledigook speaking and acting person.

(To say nothing of the daily neo-Nazi Islamofascist violence visited upon major capitol cities worldwide. Especially on bridges and major city streets, and often filled with the same students, faculty, and administrators that are seen and felt on campus.)

Instead of using their leadership roles to diffuse the illegal and policy-breaking violence and racism, the college professors and administrators enable and promote it, usually joining the overgrown children themselves. And often repeating or teaching the overgrown children the indoctrination’s disinformation, lies, and fake political narratives at the core of the “protest” activities. And so, we see a total vertical breakdown of almost all “higher education” institutions, from the highest overpaid and underworked administrator to the untenured part time adjunct faculty to the first year middle income spoiled brat: Everyone involved in college today is a useless windbag with no discernable skills or value to larger society, but full of disinformation coming out of their ears.

But boy, do those “higher education” institutions sure charge a lot of money! What a scam!

Now that the mask is off, and we Americans see what a load of horse crap a college “education” is, here is what we can learn and apply:

  1. Parents: Don’t send your children or your hard-earned money to college, unless your child has a high aptitude for math, science, or technology, and will only study those subjects.
  2. Parents: Don’t expect your college graduate children to be able to do much for themselves or for society or for you, but to actually be a liability.
  3. Parents: Explore trade school for your kid. And if your kid does not have an aptitude for math, science, or technology, then teach them yourself how to work hard, save money, forego immediate gratification, and to plan ahead. Help them find a job where they can be themselves and succeed.
  4. College-age kids: Question authority and motive, especially of your teachers and their administrators, and always respect and appreciate your parents. And whatever you do, don’t go to college, because your brain will end up as dead and useless as those “higher education” institutions have become, and you will end up as a dumb loser with high debt for something that did not benefit you. Yes, you might feel that being throw-away cannon fodder for the anti-America movement is exciting, but this is only a flash of a moment. After this is over, your reputation will be in tatters and your future will be a big question mark. Your future will be as dead as the college that made it.

 

 

 

The “getting old sucks” saga continues

Yesterday, while trying to support local businesses that employee people, I tried out some bricks and mortar stores for size. Looking for a shower brush or large loofa, in several stores I was directed by the nice employees to the shelves containing the toilet bowl brushes. Not one to be easily deterred, I moved on to a store promisingly named “Bath and Body.”

In this store many women happily paused or even languished among pyramids of pretty soap bars, assortments of scented candles in all shapes and sizes, containers of liquid bath soaps and gels, including one in the shape of an elephant. Which I will admit caught my fancy. After I had bulldozed through to the back, without stopping to smell the roses, so to say, I asked a very nice lady employee wearing an apron where I could find such uncommon items as back scratchers, shower brushes, loofas and so on.

Quite seriously, she instructed me to go next door to Marshall’s, and she practically gave me the precise coordinates for what she promised would be the shelves containing exactly what I sought. I thanked her profusely and scurried next door, and followed her step-by-step directions to the correct shelf.

Being presented with the Pet Care products, which in the lady’s defense do contain an assortment of unique brushes and special pet tooth heavy tartar toothpastes for especially bad dog breath, I had to ask myself if, in my dotage, I now really do present a feral image. Or did that nice lady just have a wicked sense of humor. One thing for sure, getting old sucks.

Where men in their late fifties are now supposed to shop for personal care products: Marshall’s pet grooming and care section

DUNE 2 review

Dune captured my young imagination like no other book- not Tolkien’s trilogy, not Starship Troopers, and like Tolkien’s books and Starship Troopers, Dune shaped just about every subsequent sci-fi book, movie, comic book that followed.

Several attempts have been made to capture Dune’s magic in movie form. Prior to the latest two movies, the best known and best produced was the 1984 version with all-star cast Kyle MacLachlan, Sean Young, Sting, Jose Ferrer, Brad Dourif, Richard Jordan, Patrick Stewart, Jurgen Prochnow, Kenneth McMillan, Sian Phillips, Freddie Jones, Linda Hunt, Jack Nance, and other stellar actors. Look up any of these names and you find a talented lifetime actor with lots of real acting gigs to their credit. And as expected, the 1984 Dune movie was very well acted, much better than the latest versions.

Where the 1984 movie was deficient were some of the special effects, and yet some of its special effects were so good that they are repeated in the latest two Dune movies. Fact is, special effects have really improved since 1984, and of course this is where the 2021+2024 Dune movies shine.

If the 1984 Dune movie struggled to get everything just right and onto the screen in a logical flow, which sometimes left it congested, Dune 2 simply ignores certain critical story elements and throws scenes up on the wall, take them or leave them. There is a lot of character and story development in 1984 Dune that is absent in Dune 2.

One scene I was hoping to see is where Fayd Rautha is confronted by the last three Atreides warriors in his gladiator ring, and one of them is not drugged. That fighter just about kills Fayd in the knife fight. In the book that scene takes time to play out, and one gets the impression that Fayd is too used to mock-fighting drugged opponents who cannot possibly bring their full skills or physical power to bear against him. In Dune 2, Fayd just rolls right over his opponents 1-2-3, and there, it’s done. No suspense, no close calls, no embedded darts being painfully but artfully used as improvised armor against Fayd’s quick blade.

The Mentats are pretty much nowhere to be found in Dune 2, which is odd. Dune makes it clear up front that computers and artificial intelligence were banned from human possession, because the computers tried to kill off all the humans and take over their planets. Which gave rise to the Mentats, human computers whose loyalty is first and foremost to fellow humans. Dune 1984 does an outstanding job showing the central role of the Mentats, whereas Dune 2 has none.

One of the biggest deficiencies in Dune 2 is the final battle between Paul and the Fremen, and the Emperor’s forces. Little of the battlefield set-up is explained in Dune 2, and the action just kind of rolls along. The sand worms show up, but not grandly. Maybe the director expects the audience has prior knowledge of the storyline? Plus there are way too many lasers used in Dune 2, because as we do already know, if a laser hits a personal shield, an atomic explosion happens at both ends, killing both parties. Thus, knives and swords were much more handy. I guess lasers look too cool on the big screen to pass up, even if they are not in keeping with the book.

Or Dune 2 could have incorporated the original “weirding” voice module, the Atreides’ secret weapon that is both super high tech and weirdly organic. Dune 1984 did a great job showing how the weirding module greatly enhanced the Fremen fighting ability, thereby enabling them to take on the fully armed Harkonnens. None of this is in Dune 2, strangely.

The 1984 movie ending is far, far superior to the ending of Dune 2: Paul’s raw power is displayed in his fight with Fayd Rautha, whereas in Dune 2 a lot of stuff just doesn’t make sense. Like how does Fayd stab Paul so many times, and why doesn’t the scene follow the book, which is so good, and why doesn’t Paul cut loose after killing Fayd, crushing him and the stone floor with just his voice, thereby demonstrating his overwhelming physical/mystical messianic power…instead of just kind of standing there looking over his defeated enemies….? Curious minds want to know.

Nothing in Dune 2 shows Paul’s slow discovery and then development of his messianic powers, despite that being the entire purpose of the Dune story. Nine hundred generations of careful breeding and genetic modification were supposed to result in the messiah, who could bend space and time on his own, and in Dune and the 1984 Dune, those responsible for creating Paul are amazed that he actually happened. I am amazed that Dune 2 shows its audience almost none of this important part of the overall story. Paul’s emergence and ascent as the universe’s messianic all-powerful super-being leader is the entire point of Dune. How did it evade the producers of Dune 2?

Dune 2 should have just taken the 1984 film and used every scene, every prop, every script and line, and simply updated the actors and the special effects. Oh well. Opportunity missed.

Well, I paid fourteen bucks to go see a Hollywood movie. First one of 2024 and probably going to be the only Hollywood movie I see this year. Regal Cinemas now has assigned seats, which in theory is a nice thing, and which in the theater itself bore no resemblance to the seating map offered on the computer screen when buying my ticket. I did get to sit up front and enjoy the effect of a full size movie screen, which is a lot of fun. It is a shame the movie was not what I expected, or what it could have been, or should have been.

Nice consolation is that I can watch my 1984 Dune DVD at home, as well as watch the excellent cut scenes on YouTube. Hate to say it, Dune 1984 is in many ways much better than today’s Dune 2, but Dune 2 is worth seeing, if you have any affinity for the Dune story. It’s all fun.

Fayd Rautha (Sting) having fun biting Paul (Kyle MacLachlan) in the 1984 Dune last knife fight

Easter & Passover = Time for American Renewal

America as a representative, constitutional republic run by The People is being purposefully killed by the Biden Administration. In case the horrible inflation and scary economy and ATF cold blooded murder-execution of Bryan Malinowski in his bedroom did not grab your attention recently, maybe today’s headlines will: Joe Biden declared today to be a “transgender day of visibility,” despite today actually being Easter.

A more grotesque and purposefully evil statement could not be imagined, but then again, what evil haven’t we seen with Joe Biden. Sorry to the transgender people out there, but today is a major Christian holiday, and to flaunt hypersexual nonsense at the expense of America’s founding belief system is a major slap in the face of all Americans.

If Biden’s bizarre effort to outright ignore Easter and flaunt hyper sexuality seems to you like a big political risk for very little political gain, you are correct. What you are forgetting is that Joe Biden stole the 2020 election and has not felt accountable to voters ever since. This first-ever bizarre day of trans whatever nonsense is what politicians do when they believe they are not going to experience electoral pushback. And if you steal elections, you don’t feel accountable, and you just do whatever crazy crap you want to do. Like tyrants everywhere else.

America is in huge trouble. Enormous trouble. Who the hell ever saw a president so deeply committed to destroying the foundations of America, as well as its national defense, the rights of its citizens, its economy, etc? Joe Biden is not some aberration, he is being inflicted on America in order to destroy us as a people and as a nation. Joe Biden’s constant assault on America is not sustainable, and you should not think that America is too big to fail. You are watching America be failed on purpose right in front of  your face.

Easter is based on Passover, which is right around the corner. Easter is more theological and Passover is more about national identity, and I think this year, these two holidays can, and must, together, mark an American spiritual, cultural, and political renewal that is borne out at the ballot box this November. Christians can pray that a free constitutional America rises again, and Jews can pray that a lawlessly brutal and sadistic federal government is defeated by The People, so that The People can go free and live their American lives as was envisioned from the beginning in 1776.

Hopefully enough Christians and Jews recognize that Easter and Passover of 2024 are uniquely placed to prompt them, you, us, to have a spiritual and national renewal, and that such a renewal allows us to throw off Joe Biden’s slave chains, so that we Americans can be a free people once more. This renewal must be implemented at the ballot box this November. The rejection of Joe Biden’s bizarre un-American/ anti-American values must be so overwhelming that there is no hope of his election cheating again this November.

Don’t trust anyone under thirty

A few weeks before I was born, a leftist activist in Berkeley, California, said “Don’t trust anyone over thirty” in a newspaper interview, and a star was born.

What young Jack Weinberg was saying in that late 1964 interview was that a generation gap had developed between America’s youth and our elders at the time. In 1964, the young people were using language and ideas that their elders could not understand, and did not approve of when they did understand them. Weinberg’s point then was that people over thirty years old could not be trusted, because they could not understand or relate to the young people and held onto old fashioned ideas. There was a sense among young people that they were leading a movement for positive change that would make America even better.

While those young people were wrong about an awful lot, like most everything they promoted, they were right about the Vietnam War. And it was the daily images from that bloody, sad war that energized Jack Weinberg and his fellow activists most, and enabled them to implement a whole bunch of real crap that has still damaged America to this very moment.

Fast forward a couple decades, when I was in graduate school down south back in the late 1980s, and my former hippie dad sent me a funny post card with a cartoon of an aging hippie saying the “Don’t trust anyone over thirty” line, which was crossed out. And then there were subsequent lines, each one crossed out: “Don’t trust anyone over forty, Don’t trust anyone over fifty.” The implication being that the once-young hippies had grown up and themselves become the conservative elders they once rejected, and if Jack Weinberg’s truism was going to still hold true for them all those decades later, it was going to have to keep up with the march of time, age, grey hair, and robust bank accounts and retirement plans. My dad was poking fun at himself, and admitting that he had become that which he once rejected.

And what eventually happened to Jack Weinberg, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and the other 1960s radical leftist Jews and their Christian colleagues? They eventually almost all grew up, bought nice clothes, got married, bought a home, got jobs selling stocks, in law, and accounting. All their silly radical generation gap nonsense was discarded. Many of them found God, and became the hard working middle income earners their parents had aspired to be.

Now let’s fast forward another couple decades and I am talking to a class of college students in central Pennsylvania. Invited by professor Andrea, I mostly answer questions about my perspective on “climate change”, environmental protection, the role and purpose of government, marriage, gardening, owning guns, and work life. Afterwards, Andrea confided to me that her own students accuse her of being a conservative because she is married to a man, with whom she has two kids, a home, a car, a dog, and a mortgage.

Josh, never in a million years did I think that by being a traditional liberal would I be accused of being a right wing reactionary,” she told me, with her eyes bugging out in surprise.

And this is why we can no longer trust anyone under thirty years of age. These young, untested, pampered, entitled, spoiled goofs clogging up our colleges and street protests and Tik Tok video feeds are not only politically radicalized, they are incapable of growing out of it. These are not the happy hippies of the 1960s, rather, these are monsters.

Their overweening parents have protected them from reality all their lives, allowed them to become culturally indoctrinated in government schools resulting in no actual skills like knowledge of math and science, but great skills in yelling at people they don’t know while crying about boo-boo words. Unlike yesteryear’s working class hippies they want to emulate, today’s kids don’t know anything and cannot do anything, so much so that they are at risk of never growing up and never being able to grow up.

This is where today’s young people diverge from the Jack Weinbergs, Abbie Hoffmans, and Jerry Rubins of the 1960s and 1970s. Young people in the 1960s still had an American work ethic and knew basic right from wrong. They thirsted for knowledge and trusted science. Today’s kids mostly have zero work ethic, know zero actual facts, have no useable skills, can’t tell a man from a woman, and have no moral compass. And they are not interested in anything that gets in the way of their five dollar latte.

Today’s young people have become not an agent for change, but for destruction. We can’t understand them because they don’t understand themselves and probably can’t ever. Today’s young people are a dire threat to themselves and to the rest of us who rely on the rule of law and the application of modern science in our daily lives. Their nonsensical ideas about hiring scientists and engineers based on skin color and allegiance to Marxist principles instead of merit and skill is why Boeing planes are suddenly disintegrating and nearly hitting each other in the air, and why schools everywhere at all levels have openly given up on teaching math and science in lieu of teaching racism against white people, enforcing silly pronouns rules, and subjectively respecting “feelings” above all or “I will throw a crying tantrum while simultaneously beating the snot out of the offender.”

Today’s under-thirty man-child crowd is soon going to be at the controls of America, and it won’t be a sustainable situation. We don’t trust these people for good reason, and unlike the young people of the 1960s who eventually grew up and contributed to America, there is nothing funny or cute about this situation.

Today’s young people aspire to be permanent wards of the state, while their elders work to support them, and also bow and scrape and constantly apologize for whatever imaginary hurt the woman-child has just experienced.

America is in a world of trouble.

America’s young have this fantasy that they can simply force everyone to adopt whatever crazy ideas they have, no matter how destructive

“Mom, peanut butter smoothie NOW!”

Biden DOJ is suing Texas and others because Biden DOJ does not want federal immigration law enforced. Think about this crazy treason

I am not making this stuff up, just using their own images and their own words (arch demon Adolf Hitler on left)

 

 

 

Two great shows coming up soon!

Two great shows are coming up soon. If you live in central Pennsylvania, then fortunate you. If you live farther out or even far away, even out of state, both are worth traveling to, even from far, far away.

The first show starts this Friday, the 18th Century Artisan’s Faire, now (as of last year) held in Carlisle, PA, at the Carlisle Expo Center at 100 K Street. It used to be called the Lewisburg Show, because for decades it was held in Lewisburg, PA, along Route 15. The Carlisle Expo Center is SO MUCH BETTER than the prior hotel venue. I went to this show last year and could have easily spent both days there. Better lay-out, better room, more room, higher ceilings and far better lighting.

If you are afflicted with history-itis, with a passion for hand-made tools and utensils of all sorts, including eating utensils like forks and knives and plates, with blacksmithing and historic reenacting, with hand-carved curly maple furniture and gunstocks, leatherworking, with anything black powder or flintlock or percussion, with 17th and 18th century clothing, then this show is for you. I have been attending for I don’t know how many years, a long time, and every time I go it’s worth it. The nationwide talent that is assembled at this show is amazing to experience.

The second show starts this Saturday, the Great American Outdoor Show. It is held for the whole week in Harrisburg at the Farm Show Complex on Cameron Street. This is the “new” show built on the ashes of the old one, which I helped end by starting a boycott.

The prior show was run by a British promoter, and they had no feel for America, Americans, guns, gun rights etc. In the immediate political backwash of another Democrat-run mass school shooting, that British promoter tried to prohibit exhibitors from having AR-15 platform rifles. That set off a slight negative reaction among the paid participants, advertisers, and attendees that culminated in the boycott, which ended the show that year. And it ended that tone deaf promoter’s role in the show ever-after.

In the press interviews I did about shutting down that show, my favorite quote was “The British did not understand Americans in 1776, and they still don’t understand us in 2012.”

To which I think we can easily now add the entire Democrat Party, because it is openly and officially the political party of big government, of citizen disarmament and gun confiscation, of digital currency and your money control, of high taxes, of speech control, of thought control, of censorship, of car control, of health care control, of Covid lockdowns and private citizen movement control, but not USA border control.

Nope, under the Democrat Party the American border is wide freakin’ open to tens of millions of anyone and everyone from around the world.

So, go to these two shows. Both are very family friendly, regardless of what your family members each like. You will be really happy you did go. Enjoy America and freedom while you still can.

On Friday and Saturday you can rub elbows with gunpowder horn makers, flint knappers, flintlock and percussion rifle makers, black powder bag makers, historic dress and bonnet makers, tri-corner hat makers, and blacksmiths.

On Sunday you can go to the Farm Show Complex and see the whole world of tactical socks and vests, endless semiauto blast-em rifles as well as very cool historic lever action rifles and Wild West revolvers, bushcraft duck calls, high fence deer hunting legends and other TV created one-dimensional personalities, useful ATVs, fabulous boats, and cool end-of-the-world survival RVs, high tech synthetic and high tech  wool outdoor boots and clothing, hunting guides from all around the world, and all kinds of fishing stuff. The Great American Outdoor Show really is an amazing experience. I highly recommend it.

I myself will be both a visitor and a volunteer at the GAOS. After many years of volunteering at the show and its predecessor, I took 2021-2023 off. This year I will be volunteering one or two days with the Pennsylvania Trappers Association, a wonderful conservation group of which I am a Life Member. Come on by the PTA booth and chat with us!

Gunmaker extraordinaire Mitch Yates

Leatherman’s new proprietor with his wares, which many black powder hunters use nationwide

Hoffman Forge. Jymm Hoffman made the outstanding modern steel anvil that we use in our own forge

I am a proud volunteer with the Pennsylvania Trappers Association at the GAOS.

Some wonderful people gone

Jokes abound about aging, and quite a few are about those friends and family members who do not age with us, but who leave us all as we continue our own trajectory. Well, I am now definitely in the “aging” category and I am increasingly surrounded by people I enjoy and love who suddenly depart from this life. Recently two people here in Pennsylvania have left us all, and moved on to the spirit world, who I would like to mention. And it’s no joke, this dying thing. No matter what age a person is when they depart this life for the next, there is nothing funny about it.

Except maybe the last day on earth of European-Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, whose wild and often debauched Marxist Bohemian lifestyle made for intriguing movies and books. While some or maybe even a lot of the facts of Frida’s life may be funny depending upon the person considering them, her actual physical departure from this planet really is funny. I think.

After Frida died relatively young from cancer, or whatever it is that eventually afflicts the heavily debauched, her friends had her corpse dressed beautifully in her most customary colorful and flamboyant way, and prepared themselves all for a formal cremation send-off party in whatever crematory was present in Mexico City at the time. Her friends gathered in the crematory room while Frida’s corpse was ceremoniously loaded into the burn chamber, and as the roaring natural gas flames came to life, they all raised their glasses and toasted Frida.

And then the room erupted in gasps, cries, and people running for the exits, because suddenly Frida’s corpse stiffly bent at the waist, sat up, and made a wicked grin as her abundant hair caught on fire and created a demonic flaming halo around her yet untouched face. She wasn’t actually gone!

Yes, this was all her body’s muscular reaction to the sudden burst of 2,000-degree heat enveloping it, but apparently if you knew Frida, you kind of didn’t expect her to just die, you know, lie still and never move again. And indeed, she had lived up to all the hype about her, even while lying quite dead in the cremation chamber. I think this true story is funny, even though I did not know Frida and was not present at her cremation.

What is not funny and yet is not unexpected is the recent departure of Jim Brett, of Lenhartsville, PA, which for our geographically challenged readers is just north of I-78 and just south of Blue Mountain in Berks County, PA. Still confused where Lenhartsville, PA, is? OK, yes, it is the equivalent of East Succotash, PA, Nowheresville, PA, etc., and it is just about next to Hawk Mountain, the internationally famous sanctuary devoted to conserving birds of prey, especially on their annual migration south. There, solved this location question for you.

Hawk Mountain started as a simple land purchase to keep the shotgunners from standing on Blue Mountain’s highest Tuscarora sandstone boulder ridgetop and mindlessly swatting down out of the sky nearly every raptor that flew by on its way to South America. And in short order, more land purchases were added to what is now called the Kittatinny Ridge migration corridor. Hawk Mountain eventually became an educational organization and a destination for birders.

In the 1930s, birds of prey (hawks, owls, eagles, kites, vultures) were considered pestilential nuisances to farmers’ chickens and the rabbits and pheasants hunters enjoyed pursuing. In time, around the 1930s, raptors gradually became understood by some Americans as an important part of a healthy and properly functioning ecosystem, just as balanced populations of wolves, bears, mountain lions, bobcats and fishers have been subsequently understood today.

Hawk Mountain is now the world’s oldest continuously functioning conservation organization, but from 1934 to 1966 it was kind of a hidden gem, a hole in the wall of Blue Mountain that only certain initiates knew about or appreciated. It became much better known and more widely appreciated and much visited after Jim Brett became its second “curator,” as the chief executive position there is uniquely called.

As its leader, Jim Brett elevated Hawk Mountain to international status, built lots of buildings, hired lots of staff, attracted a lot of visitors, raised a lot of money, and he became a leading voice in bird conservation around our little blue and green planet.

On the outside, Jim Brett was a colorful Irishman, full of naughty jokes and a singular ability to imbibe liberally (often of his own make) and then hold forth to a captivated audience about biological and ecological science. But because Jim’s mother was Jewish, he had a separate interest in Israel, which, because it sits on a physical crossroads, is a lot like Blue Mountain. Israel is a birding Mecca.

A “sh*t ton” as Jim would say of raptors, storks, and other incredible and rare bird populations migrate through Israel, and Jim made their conservation from one end of their migration to the other one of his life’s missions. His Jewish half worked well with the Israelis, and his Irish half worked very well with the surrounding populations. One of his crowning achievements was working with Yossi Leshem to resolve bird strikes on Israeli fighter jets.

By finding ways to greatly reduce large rare birds being suddenly introduced to fighter jets at 1,000 mph, Yossi Leshem & Co. were able to save the lives of said rare birds, said giant titanium war eagles, and unsaid but implied young fighter pilots. It really was one of the great wild birds-living-with-modern-humans conservation success stories.

I met Jim Brett in 1998, when I had started working at PA DCNR in Harrisburg (having fled the corrupt and destructive US EPA in Washington DC). He was giving a presentation at an environmental and conservation education conference in Harrisburg, PA, and as the DCNR director of said polysyllabic educational field, it was my duty to both speak and to listen. Jim was standing up on the stage showing ancient stone tool artifacts and explaining the nexus between primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyles and the conservation or decimation of wildlife. I was hooked immediately.

Jim and I maintained a close personal and professional relationship until Fall, 2009, when I ran in a congressional primary (I was prompted to run by the devoutly corrupt and evil Manchurian Candidate Barack Hussein Obama, then president for nine months). My expressing my long quietly held political views educated not just Jim, but a sh*t ton of my “friends” and fellow conservationists alike about my true self. Gasp. Turned out that Jim did not know how conservative I was, and I did not know how liberal Jim was, and despite my desire to remain close, Jim had a hard time with it.

After 2009, our relationship involved less and less personal time, and fewer phone calls. I still have a generous gift that Jim gave me, which I occasionally take out and look at, admire, and then put it back in its safe place.

Jim and I stayed in touch through mutual friends for many years, including those who went on his African safaris he led. I can still recall Jim describing the funeral rite for a young son of a Maasai tribal leader, which he witnessed some time in the 1980s, I think: The boy’s body was ritually washed and then slathered in lamb fat, then put in the chieftain’s hut. The entire village was then evacuated and moved to an entirely new location, where a new settlement would be constructed. After the hyenas had entered the old village and consumed the boy’s body, the entire place was torched and left to become natural ecosystem thereafter.

Jim’s bright blue eyes flashed as he told this story, as indeed one would expect from someone so in tune with the endless hidden vibrations of our magical natural world. Though I know his spirit is now soaring with the majestic raptors, I doubt Jim’s liver will ever go the way of the hyena, Frida, or any mortal flesh for that matter. His official obituaries are here and here.

A second loss is someone I knew less closely, but with whom I shared a great deal in common and with whom I filled my buck tag this season: Phil Benner of Liberty, PA.

Until he unexpectedly died of Covid several days ago, the incredibly physically fit Phil Benner was a devoted father, a devoted husband, a devoted brother, a devoted uncle, a devoted son. He was a hard working small business owner, a risk-taking entrepreneur, and a pastor who saw God and felt Him deeply in the natural world around him, including the leaves rustling in the winter tree branches, and the quiet tinklebell sound of a small mountain stream’s clear waters falling over boulders. He appreciated everything and took nothing for granted.

Not only will I miss Phil Benner, the world will miss Phil Benner, because the world needs a billion more gentle, charitable, loving, devoted, kind, tolerant, peaceful Phil Benners. His loss is huge.

Phil Benner showing his son Nate how to remove a buck’s head with a large and sharp hunting knife

Phil Benner and his son Nate with a large bodied six point buck taken in Pine Creek Valley in late November, 2023

 

 

 

 

What would MLK say today?

Today is Martin Luther King Day. It’s one of just three days in America named for a person, and MLK earned that recognition. The guy was a force of nature and achieved a lot of healing and correction of injustice that America needed in order to live up to its full promise.

But it is a curious thing, now. What would MLK say today about race relations, voting rights for blacks, and the advancement of racial equality, the things he risked and sacrificed so much to achieve?

Obviously so many things have improved since MLK’s most active times, the early 1960s. Voting rights for blacks and other minorities are no longer a question, in terms of accessing polling areas and casting a vote in person. And racial equality is beyond a success, with blacks and most other minorities receiving enormous advantages in job hiring and college enrollment. In business, all minorities are doing fantastic, with the sky being the limit to what someone can achieve, if they but want it.

These are all wins for minority rights in America, and we can rest assured MLK would be proud of these achievements. There are blacks and other minorities well represented in every business sector, every level of government, etc. America has Thomas Sowell, Winsome Sears, Larry Elder, Carol Swain, and so many other roundly recognized leaders and thinkers.

And yet, even in our day of triumph, there is an evil attempt to not only pretend these achievements have not happened, but that 1960s-style and levels of racism and discrimination are still rampant and hurting minorities. Moreover, the proponents of this nonsense are promoting the message that all “white” people are bad, and racist, and inherently inferior, and worthy of experiencing severe depredations…for their skin color.

In other words, we need to be racist in order to correct racism. What would MLK say about this garbage, that flies in the face of his “content of character” test for achieving equality?

What would MLK say about the DIE business? You know, the so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion crap that is even more racist than the KKK was in 1960.

What would MLK say about NAACP President Derrick Johnson dismissing justified and well-earned criticism of brazen academic plagiarist Claudine Gay as “political theatrics advancing a White supremacist agenda“…?

And what would MLK say about black DAs Alvin Bragg, Kim Gardner, Fani Willis, and Letitia James falsely prosecuting “white” people as well as President Trump on absolute trash accusations that do not meet any real legal test? I mean, if you are a law-abiding “white” person anywhere near these four lawless DAs, you are going to flee. Run for your life. Because these people are not interested in standing up for the law, but rather illegally using it as a political and social weapon.

I think MLK would say “Whoa now, people. Do not do a disservice to what we stood for. We have come so very far, let’s not go overboard and become that which we opposed, and thereby destroy everything that has been achieved.”

And he would be right.

The man knew no hate for anyone. A real Christian

Hunter Biden is the Ouday Hussein of America?

Remember Uday Hussein?

He was the elder son of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Uday was known for driving around Baghdad with his bodyguards and grabbing pretty women, and young girls, off the street. Married, single, underage, pre-pubescent, it did not matter. He and his bodyguards would then take these kidnapped females back to one of his palaces or luxury hideaway homes, and rape them. Sometimes violently, sometimes fatally, but always brutal rape of an unwilling victim. And if they were released back onto the street alive, they were hurt, bruised, bloodied, humiliated, violated, emotionally scarred.

Islamic law sees no difference between a raped woman and a woman who has committed adultery, and no difference between a married woman committing adultery and an unmarried woman having consensual relations with a man. So no matter what, all of these kidnapped and raped Iraqi women were considered unclean and even worthy of death at the hands of their husbands or fathers.

However, to the credit of some of the husbands and fathers of Uday Hussein’s victims, quite a few men did protest against Uday’s evil behavior. And quite a few of them were then fed feet-first into plastic chipping machines, which have six inch steel spikes that tear recycled plastic and human bodies into shreds. Reportedly, the men fed into Uday’s plastic chippers lived for about thirty seconds, as their legs and hips provided more resistance to the spinning steel spikes than plastic would. And so Uday Hussein got two rounds of sadistic pleasure out of some victims, both the female he raped and then the horrific torture-murder their father or husband.

No one is alleging that Hunter Biden has fed anyone into wood chippers or plastic chippers. Nor has anyone yet alleged that Hunter Biden kidnapped females in any country. However, Hunter Biden has been photographed, usually by his own hand, lying naked in bed with clearly underage female children who are also disrobed. These are child prostitutes, available to people like Hunter Biden and Jeffrey Epstein’s friends and clients, and yet illegal in America and loathed by all normal, healthy people. Not only because child prostitutes are too young to make a life-altering decision like this, but because every single one of them has been sex trafficked and kidnapped and raped.

When Hunter Biden has sex with a child prostitute, he is engaging in sadistic child rape. That is a fact. It doesn’t matter how much money Hunter Biden pays the child’s pimp, or how much money he gives to the child when the ordeal is ended. Rape is rape, sadism is sadism, child exploitation is child exploitation, child rape is child rape.

But what Hunter Biden and Uday Hussein share in common is an absolute immunity to being held accountable for their outrageous, illegal, immoral actions. Both of them enjoy(ed) the protection of a dictator father who protected his son with secret police (the FBI and DOJ in the USA), so that each wayward son could continue victimizing innocent people to his heart’s content. And this is also a fact, that Hunter Biden is a known child sexual predator and yet he stays overnight at the White House, receives the protection of armed USA officials as well as the protection of America’s establishment media and elected Democrat Party officials everywhere.

And it is true that many of Hunter Biden’s opponents are being violently arrested by federal police, and locked up on spurious federal charges. This is a form of kidnapping, and official terrorism.

So, it is a fair question to ask: Is Hunter Biden the Uday Hussein of America?

He is a sexual predator, like Uday.

He is protected by his father’s secret police, like Uday.

He is protected and not held accountable by the legal establishment or the media establishment, just like Uday.

I doubt plastic chippers are in the immediate future for Hunter Biden’s opponents (freedom loving Americans who want the American rule of law applied to everyone equally), but for sure the FBI Gestapo agents are working hard to inflict pain on those who even just call out Hunter’s psycho behavior. And the DOJ is protecting him, and will not arrest him for Contempt of Congress, like the DOJ arrested Steve Bannon, Peter Navarro, and other political opponents.

So, like Uday Hussein before him, spoiled brat crack smoking lawless sex predator thug Hunter Biden is now a symbol of a failed state, a dictatorship, where just being The Boss’s son is all you need to do whatever you want to almost anyone you want. And again, to all the Democrats cheering this on, remember that the American People historically have rejected this kind of corruption and favoritism. Just like the Iraqi people did.

To borrow a phrase from Iraq, to Mister Hunter Biden, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.

The Uday Hussein of America. Hunter Biden taking a nude selfie. I will not show the photo of him in bed with the naked child, but you can easily find it if you look online

The Hunter Biden of Iraq, Uday Hussein on the left, with his father, notorious dictator Saddam Hussein, and his younger brother Qusay on the right.