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PA’s Forester Jim Finley Enters the Forest Cathedral

Penn State forestry professor emeritus, department head, and all-things-forestry guru Jim Finley died yesterday. I was told that he was either felling a large tree on his property, or he was trying to dislodge a large tree that had been felled but was hung up on another tree. Whatever the actual facts are, Jim died from the tree falling on him. It is a reminder that even the best, most experienced forestry professionals are at grave risk.

As trite and awkward as it sounds to write here, the fact is that Jim Finley died doing what he loved in the environment he considered sacred. I am quite sure that had he been asked about whether he would like to die from a tree falling on him, or some more peaceful and less traumatic way, he would have given us the look he is giving below. It is that knowing “Why are you saying that, you know it is wrong” look. In his mid-70s, Jim was nowhere ready to leave us, and we were nowhere ready to let go of him.

His death is a huge loss.

Jim was a remarkable man, who I admired, and who left a way outsized hand print on Pennsylvania conservation and the practice of forestry in eastern America. He was a force to be reckoned with, an institution in his own right, a political-cultural movement, a gentle soul with a will of iron, kind and easy but also passionate and unrelenting.

He did not suffer fools easily, though he accepted honest debate and earnest dissent exactly the way an academic ought to: His eyes took on this hard laser focus, and you could tell he was actively listening and processing, not always ready to give an answer, either. His response might come tomorrow or next year, and if your argument was good, you could tell it had moderated Jim’s perspective.

Jim Finley was an academic, and sometimes prone to the idealism that academics naturally grow into. However, he also had the ability to be hands-on practical, and even more important, he had the ability to support aggressive, hands-on, totally practical forestry practices. You know, the kinds of visual impacts that most urbanites recoil in horror from, and which many land conservation groups really did not want to see, either, no matter how scientifically they were needed or justified. It is an admirable and rare trait to be able to be honest about unpleasant things, and Jim could look at a heavily cut tract with tree tops lying all over the place, and cheerfully explain all of the wonderful things that were now going to follow on the heels of all that disturbance. Because of Jim, conservation easements in Pennsylvania are now a lot more forestry-friendly than they used to be. And a landowner who is able to manage his or her forest as aggressively as they need to under a conservation easement, is a landowner who is much more likely to sign that easement and protect their land in the first place.

Jim invited me to speak to his classes a couple of times, and we worked together when I was at DCNR and the Conservation Fund. I knew him when I was a kid in State College, I knew him as a professional forester and academic at Penn State, and I knew him as a colleague of land conservation legend and Penn State forester Joe Ibberson, whose PSU forestry department endowment Jim presided over at the end of his formal career. It is always a huge loss when someone of Jim’s high caliber leaves us, but it is even more so when he was just starting to become mature, as he would put it in the terms of a tree.

So long, old friend. Happy travels in your peaceful forest cathedral. We who are left behind mourn your untimely departure and we will miss you greatly. You were a hell of a guy, Jim.

Wooden bowls and a vase turned by Jim Finley. Photo kindly provided by forester Dale G.

Charlie Gerow is a good guy

Turns out long time lobbyist and current candidate for Pennsylvania governor Charlie Gerow experienced an odd vehicle accident earlier this year, which has just now come to light in a police report and semi-journalistic analysis by the ardently partisan PennLive.

As reported by the State Police, Charlie was driving home towards the Harrisburg area on the PA Turnpike in the stretch through Chester County, when his car was hit from the side and from behind by a motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist, Logan Abbott, aged 30, who from descriptions sounds like an awesome all-American kind of man, became deceased on the scene after he crashed his borrowed motorcycle, for which he was not licensed, into Gerow’s car at around 9:30 PM. Abbott was thrown from the bike, and then subsequently struck by multiple high-speed vehicles as he was in the Turnpike roadway; he died from one or all of those impacts. I don’t know of any good way to die other than in your sleep, and this death has to be one of the saddest ways to go. I am really sorry for Logan and for Logan’s family. I have kids; as a parent, this is about the worst thing I could hear in my life. Hugs to you from our family, Abbott family.

My friend Dan, a brain surgeon and psychiatrist, calls many young men driving motorcycles “motor donors,” because of their dangerous hot-dogging ways and the resulting high body count statistics. Young men on motorcycles make up a huge proportion of annual highway injuries and deaths. And then donating a lot of young, healthy organs.

From what witnesses saw, Gerow was driving in the right lane at regular highway speed, Abbott was passing Gerow, and then swerved into his car. The rest is sad history. The police report surmises that Abbott was inexperienced at driving the motorcycle and made a fatal error.

Gerow was eventually pulled over by State Police several miles down the road, because the motorcycle was lodged under the front of his car. Witnesses reported seeing the motorcycle stuck in the front of the car and throwing sparks. People are wondering what the hell happened after the impact, and why didn’t Charlie pull over immediately.

Here is my take on what happened:

  • The impact came from behind and from the side of Charlie’s car, where he could not see, or at least he could not see very well. We drivers are always focused in front of us when we are driving, especially so on a turnpike with a 70 MPH speed zone. Charlie did not see and could not see what happened.
  • The motorcycle driver never appeared in Charlie’s view.
  • The motorcycle never appeared in Charlie’s view.
  • The motorcycle was lodged under the hood of the car, and out of Charlie’s vision. It would be difficult to see any time, and especially at night, when you can’t see very far ahead and you are looking as far ahead as you can.
  • Charlie probably thought he had hit some road debris, of which there is a TON on the Turnpike. Back in the early 1980s, I hit a dead deer lying flat in the middle of the PA Turnpike’s right lane, and it became lodged up under the car’s carriage. My Chrysler K Car rode up on top of the deer like a skateboard for a couple hundred feet before it became dislodged and the car regained its straight trajectory. That was a close call. Today there are lots of dead deer and tons of tractor trailer tires all over the Turnpike.
  • When Charlie realized he was carrying the road debris under his car, he probably thought it would eventually break off or break free, so he kept driving.
  • He may have realized it was not going to break free any time soon, and like any sane and experienced driver, Charlie was not going to pull over on the side of the Turnpike. No freaking way! That is the most dangerous area of any highway, and especially the PA Turnpike. If you get a flat tire on the PA Turnpike, you are best served by slowly limping to the next designated pull-off area and changing your flat there. If you pull off on the narrow roadside margin and try to operate there, you stand a good chance of being hit either by accident or ON PURPOSE by passing motorists.
  • For example, back in 2003 I was driving south at night on a regional highway, when three deer suddenly stepped right in front of my truck. Going 60 MPH, there was no time to stop or avoid impact, and in one second all three deer were scattered across the highway and my truck was severely damaged (but not disabled…it was a Toyota Tacoma). The State Police were immediately on the scene, and as we tried to pull the dead and dying deer out of the roadway, so that other motorists did not strike them and have subsequent accidents, I twice had a trooper grab my belt and yank me backwards. Why? Because as the trooper grimly stated to me matter-of-factly, a surprising number of vehicle drivers actually try to hit people who are alongside the side of the road. I could feel the whoosh of air go right past my face both times, and I could see both vehicles swerve back into the middle of their lane after they had each swerved onto the side of the road to try and hit me. The cops took it in stride as part of the daily risks they face.
  • Point being here, Charlie is a smart guy and he knows that the side of the PA Turnpike is the last place you go if you have some road debris stuck up under your car, if you can help it. You wait until you can pull into a well-lit, large, safe place where you aren’t going to be hit or carjacked.
  • Troopers who pulled over Charlie’s car then checked him for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and found none. Charlie was not impaired.
  • In sum, the conditions of this lamentable accident are a dark night on a busy and fast highway, in a place where road debris is common, and there are few places to safely pull over if you do have an accident or get some debris lodged up under your vehicle. The car driver was not responsible for the impact, did not see what happened at the moment of impact, and he did not see what his car was carrying up front subsequent to the impact. The driver was waiting to find the right place to pull off in order to safely inspect his vehicle, when the State Police pulled him over and told him what had happened.

I am sorry for the Abbott family on the loss of Logan. And I hope that Charlie Gerow, who is a good guy, is not artificially targeted here because of his politically incorrect political beliefs, or because of the Abbott family’s understandable grief. Logan made a mistake (his obituary notes that Logan “had just finished 14 days straight of 12-hour shifts and was looking forward to his 14 days off and camping with his family“), probably due to being exhausted from hard work, and Charlie did nothing wrong. It’s just a damned crappy tragedy, and we should not want to see an injustice done to one party because we are feeling aggrieved over the loss of the other.

And for the record, I am not committed to any candidates for governor right now, not even to Charlie. I do think Lou Barletta has already been in politics long enough and that he should be championing someone younger for PA governor, not seeking it himself. I don’t know how Charlie will fare among grassroots conservatives, because though he is a good guy, he is also a political lobbyist long associated with a political establishment many grassroots voters and activists have come to distrust and even revile.

Fake news doesn’t sleep. One of the reasons I wrote this essay is this kind of lie, from a website proclaiming itself, what else crooks and liars. Nowhere did anyone report a motorcyclist lodged in or stuck to Gerow’s car. Yet this 100% lie remains up on the website

Fake news headline…no one says a “motorcyclist was wedged to his car’s grill,” except on a website that deliberately tells lies like this. And the comments on the article show what gullible fools liberals are. No one stopped to question this outlandish claim or ask for facts.

Logan Abbott, great guy who made a small but costly mistake. Be careful on those motorcycles, folks

Charlie Gerow holding court in January 2015 with Governor Tom Corbett and PA movers and shakers. Note photo of JFK.

 

 

 

Gaza or everything you love: Your choice

Gaza. Poor, poor Gaza.

The ultimate self-victim, the impoverished and destroyed Gaza Strip is the compressed store house for every bad, wrong, foolish, selfish, suicidal, stupid, short-sighted, and self-defeating choice any group of humans ever made or could make. Like launching thousands of randomly aimed fatal missiles at their next door neighbor, and then falsely claiming victimhood when the neighbor defends themselves.

Mentioned in the Bible as one of the great Phoenician strongholds (‘Aza), Gaza’s failure today is Biblical in every way. While the place and its present day human population do deserve better everything, and could have it if they but willed it, its human population has also consciously determined that being miserable, phony symbolic martyrs is their highest and best use. Gaza the ever-martyr serves one purpose: To destroy Western Civilization.

What is Western Civilization? Whether we call it Christendom, Europe, America, Australia, or Judeo-Christian values, it is a rare democracy of republican institutions that diffuse political power among its citizens, rewarding free choice with maximum individual liberty and minimal government power. Open societies, whose governments are owned by The People, not by warlords.

Nothing could be more different from Gaza (or Syria, Iraq, and other self-destroyed Middle Eastern nations etc) than Paris, London, St. Petersburg, Venice, Rome, Madrid, or Manhattan. Willful decay, poverty, and constant pointless warfare on the one hand, juxtaposed to great communal celebrations of freedom of thought and conscience, science, and mutual beneficence on the other carved in stone.

Gaza’s role is to worm its way into the mind of Western Civilization and play Iago, always questioning what our eyes and ears plainly see and hear, and placing the blame for their misery not on the merciless ideology of Gaza’s Hamas, or on the infestatious Arab colonialism that carved up the current Middle East, nor on brute Islamic imperialism, but on the world’s beacon of light, Western Civilization. Gaza’s siren song is playing to the shallow desire for many affluent Western people to virtue signal that they are not really as bad as they might be thought. That they are soft hearted for even the worst of murderers.

And so Western “journalists” — come on, they are open propagandists and partisan political activists, not arbiters of accuracy or truth — broadcast totally false images back into Western Civilization that blames us for what we see happening over there.

These false images are crying parents, grieving over the dead propaganda prop children they allowed Hamas to use as magnets hidden among their missile batteries that targeted children in Israel. Or the destroyed building that the Associated Press knowingly shared with Hamas’ most important people, in addition to missile batteries on its roof, raining down on kindergartens in Israel. None of the sadness for Gaza the media portrays back home is true. It is all false.

Truth represents the penultimate achievement in Western Civilization, and every decision we make is ideally for truth, for the common good. Few other civilizations now or in the past sought truth or common good. Most great civilizations sought power and domination, and most still do today. Democracy and freedom are outliers, and truth is anathema to most governments around the world.

So the idea that a tiny nation of seven million Jews is somehow an unjust outpost in an area a thousand times Israel’s size is a preposterous idea. Most Muslim Arab capitols house more Muslim Arabs than there are Jews on the entire planet, so how Israel’s Jews are a threat is another preposterous idea. Only the most simple minded, careless people can identify with Gaza or its self-manufactured unhappiness.

A month ago, when Gaza was bombarding its neighbor with thousands of missiles, a nice man emailed me. He asked what I thought of the situation. Knowing that my views are generally conservative, I believe he thought I was going to bend the knee and worship the false graven images being broadcast back into our homes by the lying media. And gosh, was the international media ever full of that junk! My response was:

*Flatten Gaza

*Defend Western Civilization

*Do not reward or give in to violent crybullies

The war between Gaza and Israel is the war between good and evil, Hitler and the West, all that is good versus all that is wrong and bad in humanity. Western Civilization cannot afford to cry for Gaza, especially because Gaza does not cry for itself. To allow Gaza to shape Western Civilization is for Westerners like the people who read this blog to throw overboard everything that our own civilization represents. I know this following statement is really difficult for a lot of Westerners today, especially the young, but grow a pair of balls and make a stand for what is right and just and good.

Support Israel, oppose Gaza.

Project Veritas vs. Entire Fake News Media

Few fights are more compelling than a lone Irishman facing off against overwhelming odds…and winning, and here we have this scenario playing out before our very eyes as James O’Keefe of Project Veritas keeps slam-dunking on mighty members of the totally fake news mainstream media.

As a New York State Supreme Court justice put it recently, O’Keefe is “a guy armed with a website and a cell phone taking on the New York Times,” and winning.

O’Keefe’s donnybrook started about twelve years ago when like so many other people he began to question the openly pre-digested mainstream “news” being shoveled out the door in an effort to manufacture consent among Americans. Consent to what? Trying to get us to consent to the utter destruction of American civilization, that’s all. The ‘complete transformation’ of America from a free society with free citizens making free choices because they have individual liberty to do so, to a genocidal, racist, totalitarian, anti-democracy, anti-citizen, centrally planned socialist Mother State that will make all of your decisions for you. All of them. And if you don’t like it, you can get checked into a re-education concentration camp to get your thinking “straightened” out. The mother state will crush you.

So O’Keefe began asking small, simple questions of people with great power and wealth, and when he got either no answers or blatant lies in response, he began to dig for the truth. O’Keefe single-handedly reintroduced Americans to investigative journalism, the kind of journalism that the mainstream media had done at one time. Before its members all began marching in lockstep with uniform daily messages and narratives meant not to report the news, but to shape Americans’ perceptions of reality.

Professor-activist Noam Chomsky wrote a book called “The Manufacture of Consent,” where he complained bitterly that the news media of 1970s America was too conservative and too aligned with essential American democratic values. But now that that same corporate media conglomerate Chomsky criticized is championing the anti-freedom message that Chomsky promoted, he is their biggest cheerleader. Turns out that Chomsky really only hates it when people who disagree with his undemocratic political views air their opinions. But when people who share his views get ahold of that same megaphone, he is right there next to them. Turns out Chomsky is all for the manufacturing of consent through the dissemination of false information, so long as he agrees with that false information. He may be a freedom-hating hypocrite whose American free speech rights gave him the ability to destroy the free speech rights of other Americans, but Chomsky did give us a hell of a catchy phrase.

And this is where we stand, each of us American citizens: We have a choice of either slavishly watching plain vanilla network TV fake news shows, or the same radio shows like NPR and BBC, that are run, scripted, and hosted by aggressive political activists trying to hide information from us on the one hand, and put us to sleep with false information on the other hand, or we can open our eyes and take in more. Breathe deep the free air and information…

If you are new to Project Veritas, watch some of these hidden camera videos they have done. The latest is a nuclear bombshell interview with a senior CNN executive, who gleefully admits on camera that CNN engages in “propaganda” (his word!) meant to favor one political party and to hurt the other. If you are truly interested in what is going on with the American fake news media complex, then watch this one video. It shows how a New York Times or a Washington Post will print something so outrageously wrong, and then how the rest of their political allies, like CNN, will pick up the fake story and push it all over the place. It is fake, it is not news. If you consume this junk, you are poisoning your brain.

If I thought of myself as a free thinking person (I do of myself…do you think of yourself as open minded?), I would want to know the truth. The facts. The actual reality. And that is where Project Veritas can lend a hand. No Joy Behar (TV show) or Noam Chomsky (anti-education academia) or Jeff Zucker (CNN) or Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic) here to lie blatantly to your face and then foot-stomping demand that you believe them and turn off your own critical thinking skills. Just pure unadulterated videos of news media people saying what is on their mind.

If you like Project Veritas, if you value their service to freedom and accurate information, send them ten bucks. Your own free speech is worth that, surely. Your future freedom to think for yourself is what is really at stake here, and maybe that is worth a fifteen dollar donation to them?

If you value your freedom of speech and thought, that is. It is not clear if Americans take anything seriously any longer…or if we all just take America for granted, sitting on our couch eating nachos and watching Netflix, while our home is burning down around us.

Carlisle’s “Truth & Reconciliation Commission”

Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is home to the northern-most military attack by Confederacy troops during the first (or second, if you justifiably count the Revolutionary War as the first one) Civil War. It also houses Dickinson College, the Dickinson School of Law, the Army War College, and the Letort spring creek, one of central PA’s better native trout fisheries. But now, Carlisle is even more infamous.

Last month, the Carlisle borough council passed a resolution establishing a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” with the purported purpose of “improving racial justice and racial equity within the scope and jurisdiction of the borough council…including policies, practices and actions that have contributed to racial inequity and systemic racism.”

How refreshing this is. Really, I mean it, I am not being snarky here. This commission is a huge step forward for white liberals/leftists/ Democrat Party members to begin their inward-looking process of accepting the corrosive effects of their own racist white liberal thinking that has so badly damaged every minority in America since 1865.

Because the Democrats never forgave the Republicans for taking away their slaves in 1865, the Democrat Party has ever since losing that Civil War devoted itself for 155 years to regaining power, re-asserting slavery and control every way possible, over as many Americans as possible. They used Jim Crow laws, the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, burnings, the poll tax, and a slew of other patently illegal and undemocratic ploys to keep American blacks from voting. And despite all of these methods being morally wrong and illegal (so is stealing elections), the empirical evidence visible to everyone’s eyes is that the Democrat Party has been wildly successful.

One way we can measure white liberals’ success in achieving their 1865 goal of re-establishing slavery and racial inequity is by the huge number of American cities, municipalities, and boroughs today that are majority minority (mostly black or Latino), bankrupt, violent, high-tax, low-municipal services, financially and socially failed, and which are nonetheless run by white liberals.

My own city of Harrisburg is like this, filled up with poverty-stricken minorities and kept that way decade-by-decade by their white liberal slave owners. Oh sure, the poor minorities are thrown tidbits of welfare and taxpayer support by the white liberals, but they are never allowed to leave. Any black or Latino who dares to speak out against white liberal racism is denounced as…a racist. By white liberals, no less. This same situation is found elsewhere, notably Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Saint Louis, etc.

Another way of measuring the Democrat Party’s inbred lust for absolute power and coercive control over every breathing and dead person is their stolen 2020 election, from which the they have launched an all-out assault on the individual freedoms enshrined in the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence, through a multi-prong effort to white-out Free Speech, Self Defense, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Religion, and a whole host of other absolute rights. It is mind-boggling how in just a few months America’s white liberals have designed a totalitarian federal government that fits every American like a glove. It is almost like they have been thinking about this for a very long time…but hey, when you are looking to expand your pool of slaves from 40 million to 340 million, ya gotta go big, and so that is what the Democrat Party has done. Enslave an entire nation, to big coercive, forceful, unaccountable, unjust, lawless, untouchable federal government.

So this racial justice business in Carlisle offers its white liberal progenitors some real tangible opportunity to come clean, to own up, to ask for forgiveness for the sins of generations of white liberals. For all the pain and suffering they have inflicted upon American blacks, especially, the forced inter-generational dependence on white liberals, and the forced failure, so that dependent minorities never, ever escape their grasp again.

Man, do I really look forward to the Carlisle Truth and Reconciliation Commission getting the ball rolling on this. I know that the Republican Party kind of lost its raison d’etre after they defeated the Democrat Party Confederacy in 1865 and gave American blacks voting rights in 1964, but here is a real opportunity for the Cumberland County GOP to help these poor white liberals come to terms with their own racial inequity and systemic racism built into the Democrat Party. After all, the Democrat Party could not have won any elections, real or stolen, without at least the appearance of Black loyalty at the stuffed voting box.

Let the education, honesty, and reconciliation begin, right at home where it started, with white liberals.

America’s Voice gone but not silenced

Sadly, America’s Anchorman Rush Limbaugh has died.

Anyone who regularly listens to his show is not surprised, as the stand-in radio show hosts have been daily for the past couple of weeks. Their daily presence was an indication that Rush was physically unavailable, due to his increasingly severe cancer. And it was only that kind of bar that would keep Rush from sitting at the EIB Golden Microphone himself. His love for what he did was clear.

Rush’s impact on American culture and world-wide politics was unprecedented. He represented the thinking of at least half of America’s citizens. He raised unique questions about the world’s best political system, America, and he posed piercing analysis of the players in it, including members of both major political parties.

Ironically, Rush was a product of a politically partisan mainstream corporate media that had fully merged with the Hollywood entertainment industry. Had the mainstream media actually produced real “news reporters” that simply reported the facts, instead of mounting nonstop daily attacks on Heartland America and the conservatives who represent it, Rush Limbaugh would not have had an audience. Because there would have been no demand for Rush’s service.

Rush’s greatest service to America has been to point out the obvious lies and partisan hypocrisy in the American media and establishment cultural centers, and to be a powerful force for limited government, individual freedom and liberty.

“Rush’s death is a huge loss. He was the best, period. He had a way of articulating the seriousness of politics in a way that didn’t depress the listener. He was a relief to listen to, and of course understood the real nature of politics and politicians better than anyone,” says Central Pennsylvania political activist Ron Boltz.

Right on, Ron. Perfectly said.

I myself was introduced to Rush Limbaugh in 1991 by my friend Kenny Gould in Potomac Maryland, when I was working at the US EPA. Listening to Rush changed my life for the better, and to be frank, I don’t think any radio hosts come close to his performance. Of all the radio hosts I have heard, I believe that Mark Steyn comes the closest to capturing Rush’s analytical way and also his positive, personal way interacting with radio listeners who called in to the show.

America is a poorer place with Rush Limbaugh removed from our national conversation. His quotes and voice will live on, as will the pro-freedom America-first movement he helped start. We will miss you, Rush. Godspeed to wherever you are headed now.

p.s. Rush’s “bumper music” in his radio show was usually the 1970s fun disco/funk stuff from a time when skin color boundaries were being broken by music and generally people felt good about being together. Here is one song that he especially liked: Every 1’s a winner by Hot Chocolate.

p.p.s. for those people who claim that Rush Limbaugh was “racist” etc, they obviously never listened to his radio show, and therefore had no justification for their ridiculous accusation. Rush was the canary in the coal mine for American conservatives, who are now being silenced for “wrongthink” by Big Tech, Big Media, and the Big Political Establishment Uniparty, all of whom try to badmouth and impugn anyone who disagrees with them.

 

Kansas City Chiefs declared Super Bowl Winner after 4AM Point Recount

The one hundred thousand or so people actually watching the fake Super Bowl LIV (54) last night may have thought that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the game over Kansas City handily after the conclusion of the four-quarter game time, but when they awakened this morning, they learned otherwise.

Kansas City was declared the actual winner of Super Bowl LIV this morning after a reportedly contentious point score recount that began after the game’s closing festivities. Apparently the point score recount ended some time around 4:00 AM EST, and Kansas City was declared the game’s winner. The actual process for engaging in the point recount remains murky, but a couple public statements from people involved in it provide some possible answers.

“Last night, KC’s Patrick Mahomes was set to be the youngest NFL quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl, and many back-room observers felt deeply that he deserved to have this win, even if he did not actually win the game,” said NFL Spokesman Mara Meriba.

“Besides, Tom Brady already had six Super Bowl wins before winning this game, and he really did not need another win. Therefore, a multiple-angle-approach recount of the points gained and likely lost to severely aggressive personal fouls by Kansas City players was implemented,” said Meriba.

“After all the recounting and analysis, it was deeply felt the correct thing was to punish the two best players of the game, Tom Brady and Ron Gronkowski, for their obvious “white” privilege that caused them to unfairly win the artificial points and touchdowns thingy,” Meriba said.

Another person close to the late-night recount, a Carl M. Arks of the NFL’s Oversight and Gulag Committee, said “White supremacy has no place in the NFL, and so despite the initial mistaken result giving the game win to Tampa Bay, our heretofore-unknown committee decided that redistributing the win to Mahomes and Kansas City was the morally superior step to take. Anyone within the NFL who questions this outcome will receive a one-way plane ticket to China,” he said.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was reached at his home for comment early this morning, and when informed of his new win he responded “Say what? But I…we…didn’t…” and then his voice was suddenly replaced with one sounding a lot like Carl M. Arks that said “We are pleased with the outcome of this collective decision making process. Have a nice day.”

And so some time this week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers players will have to meet with the Kansas City Chiefs and turn over their Super Bowl LIV rings and other swag they thought they won fair and square by playing by the established rules set before the game started.

In related news, public polls this morning indicate that this year’s Super Bowl ads were the most confusing ever in the show’s history, the cardboard cutout fake fans in the stands gave 94% of the watching children nightmares, and that the halftime show sent so many mixed messages and symbols that over half of the TV watchers reported having bad headaches immediately after watching it.

PA’s must-do 21st century deer management policy

When Gern texted me on November 12th “planning to plant the entire farm with grass next Fall… 100%  hay… can’t afford to feed wildlife. Going broke trying to make money,” I knew that my best deer management efforts had finally failed over the past 13 years.

Every year I work hard to make sure our deer season is as productive as possible. Because our tenant farmer pays us a per-acre rent every year, which covers the real estate taxes and some building maintenance, and for 13 years he has grown soybeans, corn and hay in various rotations across the many fields we have. Our arrangement has generally worked out well both ways, but that text message ended my  sense of satisfaction.

While I do wear dirty bib overalls when I run the sawmill and also when I try to impress people who don’t know me, Gern is the actual farmer who tills (broad sense), fertilizes, plants, and harvests a very large farm property in Dauphin County, some of which I own and all of which I manage. Our property is one of many that comprise about 30,000 acres of farm land that Gern and his family cultivate in Central Pennsylvania. To say that his family works hard is the understatement of all understatements. Gern embodies AMERICA! in flesh and spirit, and to see him so utterly beaten down by mere deer is heartbreaking.

Over the years I knew that both overabundant deer and bears were taking a significant toll on our grain crops (Gern’s primary source of family income), and so I worked hard to recruit the kinds of good hunters who would help us annually whittle down the herds, so that the pressure was taken off of our crops. About five years ago I proudly photographed one of our late-summer soybean fields, at about four super healthy feet high, indicating a minimal amount of deer damage. When I passed the soybean field pictures around to other farmers and land managers, nothing but high praise returned. And so I patted myself on the back for our successful deer management, and congratulated our guest hunters, who were killing about 25-35 deer a year on our property. Our hunters were filling an impressive 50% to 65% of the roughly 54 DMAP deer management tags we hand out every year, as well as some of their buck tags and WMU 4C tags.

But, change is life’s biggest constant, and while I rested on my hunting laurels, deer hunting changed under my feet. The past few years have seen a lot of change in the hunting world. First and biggest change is that hunters in Pennsylvania and other states are aging out en masse, with fewer replacements following them. This means that a lot less pressure is being brought to bear on the deer herd. Which means a lot more deer are everywhere, which is not difficult to see if you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania in a vehicle. There are literally tons of dead deer along the side of every road and highway, everywhere in Pennsylvania. We should be measuring this at tons-of-deer-per-mile, not just the number of dead deer and damaged vehicles. Frankly this overabundant deer herd situation is out of control not just for the farmers who feed Americans, but for the people who want to safely drive their vehicles to the grocery store. Hunters are sorely needed to get this dangerous situation under control, and yet Pennsylvania’s deer management policies favor overabundant deer herds to keep older hunters less crabby.

So, because I am about to break out the spotlights and AK47 to finally manage our farm deer the way they need to be managed (and yes, PA farmers are allowed to wholesale slaughter deer in the crops) (and yes, I feel the same way about our favorite forested places in the Northern Tier), here below is the kind of deer management/ hunting policy Pennsylvania needs via the PGC, if we are going to get the out-of-control deer herd genie back into its bottle and stop hemorrhaging farmland on the altar of too many deer:

  1. Archery season is too long. At seven weeks long, the current archery season lets a lot of head-hunters stink up the woods, cull the very best trophy bucks, and pressure the deer enough to make them extra skittish and nocturnal before rifle season begins. Even though rifle season is our greatest deer management tool. The same can be said of bear season, which is the week before rifle season. So shorten archery season and lengthen rifle season, or make the opening week of deer season concurrent with bear season, like New York does.
  2. Rifle season must be longer, and why not a longer flintlock season, too? Is there something “extra special” about deer come the middle of January, that they are prematurely off limits to hunting? Most bucks begin to drop their antlers in early February. Have three weeks of rifle season and then five weeks of flintlock season until January 30th, every year. Or consider flintlock hunting year ’round, or a spring doe season in May.
  3. More doe tags are needed. There are too few doe tags to begin with, and most doe tags sell out and are never used. This is especially true in WMUs 5C and 5D, where despite enormous tag allocations, tags quickly become unavailable. That is because individual hunters can presently buy unlimited numbers of doe tags, for some reason having to do with the way deer were managed in the 1980s…c’mon, PGC, limit of two or three doe tags for each hunter in these high-density WMUs, and at least two doe tags in Big Woods WMUs like 2G and 4C.
  4. Despite good advancements in reducing the regulatory burden on deer hunters this past season, there are still too many rules and restrictions. For example, why can’t our muzzleloading guns have two barrels? Pedersoli makes the Kodiak, a fearsome double percussion rifle that would be just the ticket for reducing deer herds in high deer density WMUs where the PGC says they want more deer harvests. But presently it is not legal. Another example is the ridiculous interruptions in small game seasons as they overlap with bear and deer seasons. This bizarre on-again-off-again discontinuity of NOT hunting rabbits while others ARE hunting deer is an unnecessary holdover from the long-gone, rough-n-ready bad old poaching days of Pennsylvania wildlife management. PA is one of the very few states, if the only one at all, with these staggered small game and big game seasons. Bottom line is hunting is supposed to be fun, and burdening hunters with all kinds of minutiae is not only not fun, it is unnecessary. Other states with far more liberal political cultures have far fewer regulations than Pennsylvania, so come on PA, give fun a try.
  5. Artificial deer feeding with corn, alfalfa, oats etc on private land during all deer and bear seasons must end. Not only does this “I’m saving the poor starving deer” nonsense lead to spreading deadly diseases like CWD, it artificially draws deer onto sanctuary properties and away from nearby hunters. Or it is baiting, plain and simple. Feeding causes overabundant deer to avoid being hunted during hunting season, but then quickly spread out on the landscape where they eat everything out of house and home when hunting season ends. This year up north (Lycoming and Clinton counties) is a prime example. We had no acorns to speak of this Fall, and whatever fell was quickly eaten up by early November. As the weeks rolled on through hunting season, the deer began leaving their regular haunts and unnaturally herding up where artificial feed was being doled out. This removed them from being hunted, and creates a wildlife feeding arms race, where those who don’t feed wildlife run the risk of seeing none at all. So either completely outlaw artificial feeding or let everyone do it, including hunters, so they can compete with the non-hunters. And yes, people who buck hunt only, and who do not shoot does, and who put out corn and alfalfa etc. for deer during hunting season, are not really hunters. They are purposefully meddling in the hunts of other people by trying to keep them from shooting “my deer.”
  6. PGC must better communicate to its constituency that too many deer result in unproductive farms that then become housing developments. Because the landowner and farmer must make some money from the land, if farm land can’t grow corn, it will end up growing houses, which no real hunter wants. So real hunters want fewer deer, at numbers the land and farms can sustain.

 

on Qanon

Probably inevitable that Qanon and I would meet. Not in person, generally speaking here. Don’t get excited.

This ‘Qanon’ “thing” is a thing that has taken the patriot/constitutionalist/ conservative movement by storm, and as I am definitely in that movement mix, I would naturally mix it up with Qanon at some point.

A friend who is a forester implored me to look into Qanon last week, and so I did. Foresters tend to be steady hands, droll, unexcitable, not terribly political. But this guy suddenly became political, and as he is a steady hand, I listened to what he had to say:

  • Qanon is a person or small group of people working for US military intelligence
  • Qanon is/are the Good Guys, duking it out behind the scenes with China, Russia, and our own anti-America CIA
  • Qanon wants Patriots to leave the actual fighting for America to them, which is supposedly the military, and to leave our AR15s at home when we take to the streets

This last item is what caught my attention the most. I mean, what kind of pro-America group would encourage America’s last hope, its native patriot militia, to stay at home or at least leave our Second Amendment at home?  Does not sound like a pro-America group to me.

Can you imagine if some Qanon group had encouraged patriots to leave their muskets and long rifles at home in 1775, and to just “peacefully protest” against the tyrannical British? There would be no America, as the ridiculous ‘peaceful protests’ would have been crushed mercilessly, and tyranny firmly entrenched thereafter.

My sense of Qanon is that it naturally attracts hopeful believers, who want to feel like the US military has not been overthrown from within (it has), and that the US military will not sit idly by while the illegal Biden fraud is installed as an actual sitting president (they will), and that everything behind the scenes is just fine n’ dandy (it’s not). It is understandable that good people do not want to go to war within their own country, and that they want the actual paid warriors to do it for us all. It is understandable for normal Americans to believe that not ALL of our institutions have been overthrown, but if all indications are accurate, even the American military is deeply corrupted, and run by people who do not love a constitutional America.

But ask yourself, what kind of an operation tricks its followers into lowering their guard and waiting until it is too late to fight back?

Yes, it is true that the anti-America mainstream media hates Qanon, tries to denigrate anyone associated with Qanon, has no interest in Qanon. But that just tells us that Qanon as a positive rallying point for patriots bothers the Chinese media (America’s mainstream media), for the simple reason that patriots are involved.

I was asked for my opinion, and I think Qanon is probably a Chinese operation to undermine America from within. Because it is so well done, and so complex, this is the only explanation that makes sense from all of the confusion that has come from it. Maybe this view is confusing to people, but that would be well in keeping with the whole Qanon thing.

Who knows? Who cares? Keep your AR15 handy, a well-kitted day pack, your boots and warm clothes. Whatever Qanon says, you know what YOU say, and that is all that matters.

Giving Thanks for Being an American

Thanksgiving Day may have originated three hundred years ago, when the first Pilgrims were starving to death in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and they were saved by local Indians who took pity on them, but it is still our big national holiday for the same sort of reasons today.

Native pumpkin squash, beans, wild turkey, and cranberry jelly that is native to the cranberry bogs of Massachusetts have ever since been the symbolic food at which we rejoice for our great good fortune for living in America, no matter where we live.

America is the freest country with the most opportunity available to the most people in the world. What an incredible place.

The symbolism of our unique national holiday food – turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin squash etc – is similar in meaning to the food of other nationalities and cultures. For example, the matza “bread of affliction” flatbread eaten every Passover by religiously observant Jews is a reminder of their own escape from hard slavery into newfound freedom. Many South American cultures form round breads from maize (corn, which is native to the Americas) and yams that are symbolic of how they eat together in a family circle. The French (and Italian) diet of bread, cheese, and wine may seem hedonistic on its face, but when one considers that even free French (and Italian) peasants had fertile land to farm and live on, their national food and drink make perfect sense. And so on for so many other cultures.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans. Enjoy this day together, unified as one people in union, heading on the same path of freedom together. We might be in tough times together right now, but we should take every opportunity to celebrate our shared identities. During the first (or second) American Civil War, soldiers on both the Union and Confederate lines would gather on Thanksgiving and Christmas nights to serenade each other with religious songs. In World War One, both German soldiers and Allied soldiers would sing Christmas songs back and forth to each other across the waste lands filled with destroyed men and war machines. My God, friends, if they could gather in peace one night a year, then how much more so can we Americans today gather together and wish each other

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, for we each have much to give thanks to God for!