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Carpe diem

Carpe diem means “seize the day,” and while it may have been an especially well worn adage given from fathers to sons standing over large firewood piles that were not going to stack themselves, it became much more widely appreciated and used as a result of one of those now all too rare things – a meaningful Hollywood movie. Yeah, we have to go back to 1989.

In The Dead Poets Society, now deceased and yet still amazing actor Robin Williams plays the sort of inspirational high school teacher we all wish we had (and I did have several like Williams’ movie character, notably Master Spencer Gates, wrestling coach Master Tim Loose, wrestling coach Master Jay Farrow, and Teacher Agnes Hay). While reading and teaching both good and bad poetry with his adolescent students, with humor and also sincerity, Williams’ character leads them into deeper reflection about their growing self-awareness, hopes, dreams, etc. His teaching all culminates in one line, one forever-lesson that must never be let go of for fear of forgetting to stay focused on the best of life: Carpe diem.

In the movie, carpe diem becomes the watch word, the reminder, the quick phrase meant to sum up all the teaching and to remind young people not to live up to the old adage that ‘youth is wasted on the young’. To always do better, to strive for even better than that, and that by seizing the day and making the most of it, a person realizes her or his fullest potential in a life that is under the best of circumstances so very fleeting, and often is truly fleeting.

At his 102nd birthday, my grandfather Morris lamented “I don’t know where my life went!” Despite his long years, dying just two weeks shy of his 103rd birthday, his life had flown by on wings. And he was a guy who had truly lived every day to its fullest, by nearly every measure.

I mention Morris to give the reader some perspective on the true meaning of carpe diem…when you are blowing out the 102 cramped candles on your birthday cake, and you reflect on your long life, and you openly feel like it has flown by you, you had damned well better have made the most of it, in every way, or you have committed both a tragedy and a crime by wasting your God-given opportunities and potential.

This all came to me in recent weeks because of the “permanent retirement” of several people with whom I was close, one way or another. Their sudden and unexpected deaths stuck a sharp stick in my ribs, reminding me of carpe diem.

One of my friends is, or was, US Army Col. John “Jack” Francis Keith, who dropped dead in his foyer three weeks ago after walking the dog, at the tender age of 77. Jack was one of the most amazing and humble men I have known, not necessarily because of his fascinating career, but because of his “way.”

We met when Jack was hired to start up the brand new Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, and he then came to me for help finding an office in which to set up shop. Naturally, I found him office space one floor below me at 105 North Front Street in Harrisburg, one of Dick Etzweiler’s amazing historic buildings. We immediately bonded and worked together on a variety of projects, as well as hunting together, socializing together, him always gently mentoring me (the poor sonofabitch was a hell of a kindly optimist).

In 2001, Jack got me to acquire my first custom longbow at the Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous. It was crafted by bowmaking legend Mike Fedora, the “modern grandfather of traditional bowmaking,” if any of that makes sense, and as it remains an extension of my very soul, I still hunt with it. While he was mostly silent about his Vietnam combat tour, Jack once briefly told me how he had earned a Silver Star for combat valor, among other medals: Their forward position being overrun, like the movie “We Were Soldiers,” the U.S. Army soldiers had backed themselves into a defensive circle around and amongst a copse of trees. Jack distinctly remembers pulling the cord that detonated a dozen mortars or small cannons leveled waist-high around their hastily thrown up perimeter in the dark, and then in the morning finding Vietnamese soldiers both on the ground and literally nailed up to the trees by the long steel flechettes (long nails or spikes made into arrows) blasted shotgun-like from the mortars. He described the various rifles brought into action by the Viet Cong also being pinned across the soldiers’ chests by the same swarm of steel mini-arrows, the carrier and gun frozen in mid-stride.

Like I said, Jack was a hell of a guy. I could go on and on about what he did, the outdoor adventures we had, and how his friendship improved my life. I know that other people also feel the same way about their friendship with Jack.

And other beloved people have also died, one as recently as in the past 24 hours. Joanna was not just a loving mother, daughter, and sister, in terms of career she had “made it to the big time.” Serving as a general counsel attorney at the US EPA, where I started my career oh so long ago, Joanna started feeling not so good just weeks ago. Now she is gone, in her mid sixties, and the people who loved her and who drew strength and deep pleasure from her company, including her own aged parents, are bereft.

If I could ask Joanna one thing, one reflection on the high value of our lives before she floated away, it would be “Should I carpe diem?

I know what she and Jack would say in response: Do not take any day for granted, make the very most of every day and minute that you are given, gather ye rosebuds while ye may; you never know when it will end.

And so, as these positive, constructive, giving people leave us, as is the end for each and every one of us here, I keep thinking carpe diem. And you should too, I believe. Whatever your dream is, whatever your good and positive passion is or could be, perhaps subdued because of financial fears or some other challenge, carpe diem. Make it happen, make life happen to its fullest, before it is too late.

The kind of Vietnam-era US Army flechettes that shaped a young Jack Keith’s life as he moved forward

A full bag in 2004 (where oh where did that time go?). Me on the left, Jack Keith on the right, and Tim Schaeffer in the middle. If anyone could write a book on carpe diem, it is Tim, who got his PhD and JD simultaneously and now runs the PA Fish & Boat Commission

My wife says that Jack Keith was the most handsome man she ever met. Right on.

Jack in later years with wife Dottie

A remarkably young looking Robin Williams, back when he looked old and serious to my 20-something eyes. He is saying Carpe Diem like he means it.

WH press event like watching violent forced false confession

Watching today’s White House press briefing was like watching a bunch of drug cartel thugs standing around torturing a helpless victim, demanding that he both confess, and when he confesses, or worse, says the truth, then accusing him of lying and beating the hell out of him some more. Nothing the victim says can stop the torture, not even a false confession.

Trump told the truth, and it was as if he had said nothing. His press secretary told the truth, and it was as if she had remained silent.

Today, the mainstream media showed themselves yet again to be nothing more than a pack of partisan hyenas, a bunch of political thugs, whose role is to beat on the president nonstop, no matter what he says, no matter what he does.

Even if he says what they say they want him to say, they act as if they can’t hear him, and beat on him some more.

There are scenes in the movie “Traffic” and “Enemy at the Gates” where people are tortured or where they describe the torture they underwent, where no matter what they said, they were tortured even more. And those scenes apply here in describing the role of the American mainstream media’s interactions with President Donald Trump. The so-called “press” staff are sadistic liars.

President Donald Trump has been the most anti-racism, pro-Jewish, pro-Black, pro-Latino president in American history, except maybe for President Abraham Lincoln. The voters know this, which is why Trump’s support among Blacks, Jews, and Latinos is at record highs for a Republican. But the mainstream media want to pretend that this is not so, because they don’t want corrupt Joe Biden to lose, and they want to try to persuade people that it is not so, so they keep on repeatedly accusing Trump of something he never did, never said, while demanding that he say something that he has already said multiple times.

Trump has never praised white supremacists. Trump swiftly and categorically denounced white supremacists and white supremacy back in 2017. But the media pretend he didn’t. Almost like asking someone “Do you still beat your wife, or have you stopped?” There is no answer to that question that is not self-incriminating, and so you obviously respond “I don’t beat my wife and have never beaten my wife,” to which the antagonist repeats the same question over and over.

This is the pathetic state of the “news media” today.

If the mainstream media like CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, etc were at all curious about why so many Americans despise them and do not trust them, they could simply watch their own disgusting performance this morning at the White House. They were disruptive, rude, antagonistic, dismissive, and openly partisan political activists. They were not and are not news reporters. These same so-called reporters have never asked any Democrat candidate for anything, not even dog catcher, any hard questions at all, let alone sustained an attack like this one, for almost five years.

Donald Trump is probably going to win next month’s election, and in some measurable part his win will be due to good Americans watching today’s White House press briefing and being disgusted with the petulant employees of these horrible television media outlets behaving so poorly, so unprofessionally, so openly politically partisan, so aggressively and personally against America’s president.

Everyone values the truth and honesty. Americans love a plain-spoken, honest president like Donald Trump (go ahead and please spell out down below exactly where he lied…list actual lies, not where he talks smack). So when the media pervert the truth and are dishonest, it pisses off normal people, and instead of voting for a candidate, they vote against the sadistic torturers.

You fake media people have earned our disgust.

“Journalist” Chris Wallace Proves Media are Partisan Activists

If you watched last night’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former US senator and Vice President Joe Biden, you got to see exactly why such a huge swath of America believes the media is just a bunch of partisan political activists.

So-called “moderator” Chris Wallace interrupted President Trump so many times I lost count, attacked Trump, questioned Trump, and then also demanded that Trump stop questioning Biden. It was like Wallace was trying to damage Trump and save Biden. He never once interrupted Biden or challenged Biden, like on his family’s well documented official corruption.

First of all, a debate moderator does not interrupt a guest. That is Rule #1. Wallace broke this rule a whole lot of times.

Second of all, a debate moderator does not pick sides. That is Rule #2. Wallace broke this rule a whole lot of times.

Wallace broke both rules last night, repeatedly, openly, and literally everything he said sounded like one of the Democrat Party’s issues or campaign attacks on Trump. Conversely, Wallace treated Biden like a chum, openly laughing with him at Trump, and ganging up on Trump with Biden. At one point it was like watching lions versus hyenas, where a lone male lion is surrounded by a pack of yelling, barking, yipping, screeching hyenas and he has to spin this way and that to defend himself.

Kind of symbolic, like what is happening to America right now, America being the lion.

Yes, Wallace works for Fox News. But Fox News is under new ownership, which are the two very liberal and partisan Democrat Murdoch brothers. The two Murdoch brothers have done all they can to turn Fox News into just one more politically partisan liberal activism center, like almost every other media outlet. And Wallace was there last night to demonstrate how far the organization has drifted.

Liberals complained about Fox News for a long time, because it was the ONLY news outlet that did not march in lockstep with the rest of the liberal media. Well, now they get to see that liberals have taken over yet one more organization from inside, and they have turned it into yet one more liberal mouthpiece and source of political activism.

Fox News is officially Fake News. Chris Wallace is not a “journalist,” he is an activist. We all got to see that last night. Liberals may cheer this, but then they have to admit that Wallace was not a balanced moderator; he favored one debater, and showed it. Liberals cannot blame anyone else for their own loss of credibility.

And so it gave Trump’s supporters great pleasure to watch America’s president whip two debaters simultaneously. Although the truth is, Biden was barely even there last night. He seemed fragile and hollow. Which is why Wallace needed to support him from the beginning. Just like the rest of the media has done.

Last night Chris Wallace proved once and for all that the establishment media is partisan political activism favoring one political party, and this year, one political candidate. The Biden campaign is now officially run by the American media.

 

Is Lowell Graybill purposefully destroying PFSC?

The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists (formerly Clubs) is a group with which I have had a relationship since 1998. It is a group, for which it stands, to which I have great allegiance. It represents a great deal of what I believe in, and care about. And its members are by and large salt-of-the-earth best people you will ever meet.

For many years I eschewed involvement in PFSC’s politics. It seemed like a lot of ego and petty personality stuff drove most of it. Very few policy issues were that hard fought amongst the membership.

But in the past four years, the group has really fallen on hard times, financially and politically. Time was, most PA elected officials didn’t say or do anything about outdoor sports (hunting, fishing, trapping) without consulting PFSC for guidance. Those days are long gone, with most elected officials today saying “P…F…See…whattt?”

They really have no idea who or what PFSC is, what it stands for, what it used to achieve. And yes, PFSC used to achieve a lot. As a 501(c)(4), PFSC was able to hit hard politically. People who comfortably held their elected seats could lose them almost overnight, having said or done something that egregiously damaged Pennsylvania’s hunting or fishing, or its natural resources and wildlife habitat. Those days are long gone. PFSC still claims to represent sportsmen and sportswomen, but its stature as that representative is sorely depreciated.

Fast forward to today, and this spring PFSC held an election that can only be described as North Korean. It was a complete sham in every way. Today the Pennsylvania Outdoor News carried an opinion piece I wrote about that sham s/election.

Instead of getting new people running the organization, which had been run by the same people over and over and over for years upon years, PFSC held a star chamber “nominating committee” that gave 30 voters total the choice of one person to vote for. No real choice was offered, and no real votes were had. It was all inside game stuff, rigged and pre-wired.

Out of this sham s/election process a guy named Lowell Graybill once again became PFSC president. This is a role that Graybill has held at least once before, having held the immediate past treasurer position. As PFSC treasurer, Graybill was all but president of PFSC, often acting as president for the doddering guy who held it officially. Just two years ago, Graybill teamed up with the RK Mellon Foundation to run a kind of explode-your-organization-from-inside process.

Officially this was called a steering committee, but to many people involved it looked like the RKMF-funded consultant was trying to steer PFSC right over a cliff, or into a brick wall. The steering committee’s purpose was clearly destructive, and Graybill did all he could to strip PFSC of its 501(c)(4) status, to remove the Second Amendment from PFSC’s mission statement, and to have the organization adopt one radical environmentalist policy position after another. Any and all of these would have deeply offended self-respecting sportsmen, and further driven PFSC from the mainstream to the political fringe.

All of this was stopped because enough of us fended off one attack or another in 2018 and 2019. But now that Graybill is PFSC president again, we can expect it all to start again. And it is doubtful there are strong enough people on the board or especially the executive board to stop him.

During all the many years that Lowell Graybill has served on PFSC’s executive board in one capacity or another, at least twice as president, the organization has gone from about 1,500 clubs to about 150 clubs today. It is a precipitous drop that has resulted in the PFSC having little clout on Capitol Hill and little recognition among sportsmen.

The latest PFSC “election” won once again by Graybill was a demonstration of extreme strong-arm win-lose politics, whose machinations are beginning to become public discussion among discouraged sportsmen. If PFSC’s internal politics do not change after the PA Outdoor News expose, then the organization will continue to lose support and members, until it becomes what it almost is already, a shell organization funded by wealthy individuals and foundations whose actual objectives are out of synch with 95% of sportsmen.

The wise way to handle the different PFSC factions was to give a representative/ person with a different voice a seat on the executive committee. But the new executive director Harold Daub, and Lowell Graybill, are playing power politics. It is all or nothing, win or lose, and win at all cost. The cost of this win-lose (as opposed to win-win) approach is what we see today: Hurt, frustrated, upset people, who played by the rules, donated their time and money for the cause, who were dedicated and built up expertise and gravitas, who were then excluded from the process, cast aside, because someone just had to have all the marbles, couldn’t share the marbles. Lowell Graybill’s approach makes for unsteady, unhealthy organizations.

No one presently involved with PFSC’s board has had a longer association or held more positions than Lowell Graybill. Statistically speaking, Graybill’s correlation with PFSC’s demise is very strong. When we add up all of the evidence surrounding Lowell Graybill’s long association with PFSC, we have to ask: Is he purposefully destroying PFSC?

And why not ask this? The Left specializes in taking over organizations from the inside, or destroying them and then reconstituting them as centers of Leftist activism.

PFSC has suffered from bad leadership for a long time. But now we ask, has it been purposefully bad?

American Liberals: From Thoughtful Intellectuals to Parrot Puppets

Recent conversations with a number of liberals have me writing this essay. Because “shocking” is the only word capturing the breadth and depth of loss liberals have plunged since my youth.

In my youth, which is like a thousand years ago, liberals were the free thinkers, the unconventional open -minded intellectuals. Their willingness to think outside of the box on some issues helped America improve in a variety of ways on some key public policy areas.

For example, liberals led the way on environmental quality, understanding mental health and disability, and understanding and tolerating homosexuals. These subjects may have been taken to crazy lengths since their inception (e.g. demanding that everyone not just tolerate homosexuals and treat them with dignity, but be forced to accept homosexual behavior in place of religious belief or personal discomfort; or to force environmental quality to literally the trillionth part to the point where America has no economy).

Liberals were thoughtful intellectuals on a bunch of public policy issues, and they helped America become a more tolerant, comfortable place to live as a result.

What has happened since then, let’s say then being 1976, liberalism’s high water mark, is an increasingly faster rush to the bottom of intellectual rigor, honesty, consistency, and meaningfulness. Today’s liberals are by and large politically correct to the point where they adhere to the latest and strangest notion, no matter how out of bounds, dishonest, double standard-ed, inconsistent, or how high the price they and America must pay. The list of their self-destructive PC issues is a thousand miles long, but let’s just say that supporting BlacKKK Lives Matter violent cultural destruction, using official government offices to promote and implement unofficial policies that voters have not approved, etc.

Today, liberals are parrot puppets. Many are like the walking dead zombies in horror movies. They simply parrot platitudes and certifiably false claims they are fed by the politically partisan mainstream media, turning them into puppets.

A long time dear friend living in the heart of New York City made it clear to me the other day that she hates President Trump so much that she will endure having her businesses looted and destroyed, her neighborhood gutted, her livelihood set back twenty years. Donald Trump never did anything to her. He has done none of the things she says that she hates about him. She actually supports some of his domestic policies. When I pointed out that her visceral hatred for him is the result of her constantly imbibing mainstream media fake news that is designed to fill its readers and watchers with hate, and that she might consider reading or watching some different information sources, she responded that she only watches and reads those outlets “that are in line with my values.”

In other words, my dear liberal friend will only encounter information outlets that reinforce what she already thinks. So her mind is a closed loop. She is now a parrot puppet. And she is not alone.

The exact same formula is at work on a host of other liberals I encountered and spoke with over the past week.  Information outlets that do not directly and strongly reinforce what they already believe, or what they want to believe, are forbidden. Because their minds are so tightly closed, they cannot think of anything but hate and disrespect for people who disagree with them.

Talking with liberals is like watching crack addicts shoot up, snort, and smoke a toxic drug all at once. They start out knowing it is bad for them, but they willfully engage in self-destructive behavior because their high is so good. The high being that false sense of floating enlightenment and perfection of being totally correct about all things, always. And this hard drug analogy would seem to explain why liberals are now going so far as to embrace self-destructive policies that are so clearly going to damage their own personal lives, and their children. Like accepting the false outrage of BLM and begging forgiveness for crimes committed by different people hundreds of years ago.

If I were confronted by a BLM loon and told to get on my knees, I would turn the table and demand the same of him, maybe even have him get on all fours and give me twenty five push-ups, because his cannibal ancestors enslaved and ate a bunch of white AND black people just a couple hundred years ago. Oh, the racism! Oh the injustice! Oh the horror! The shame that BLM jerk should feel for his cannibal, slave-owning ancestors should just crush him flat, and shut him up. It really is his fault. All of it. Including the indigestion that followed his ancestors’ unholy meals.

I digress.

It is sad to see so many people with native critical thinking capability toss it overboard. America is losing some of our best and brightest to liberal political correctness. An entire generation or two of Americans cannot think their way out of a wet paper bag because of PC and being parrot puppets.

In case you have any inkling of open mindedness left, you are encouraged to take a walk on the wild side, to cross the DMZ, to go to no-man’s land, to put your very life in jeopardy and read through some of the articles posted at www.thegatewaypundit.com, or www.breitbart.com. Just try it. It might be like trying mint chip ice cream for the first time, when all your life you thought you just always wanted plain vanilla. Maybe you will discover something new and rewarding.

Maybe you will become an intellectual once again.

The boys of summer

In 1984, which was the best decade since 1884, Don Henley wrote a fabulous song called “The Boys of Summer.” The song is about teenage and early twenties summertime love, amidst the sunny outdoor environment in which so many American teens ONCE spent their summers, either as lifeguards, or as laborers, learning how to work. Socializing after working hours, the kids would sit around beach campfires showing off their deep tans, their touseled hair, their fit bodies, talking, sharing, competing, loving, opening up, becoming friends.

The song is about how the end of summer is coming, and how it arrives, and the singer just wants the girl to know that he loved her then and will love her again, even after the boys of summer have gone home, back to school.

So evocative is the music and the lyrics of this song, you can play it and immediately bring a room full of fifty-somethings to a standstill, as each person stops mid-sentence, mid-thought, mid-action, and immediately drifts back to fond summertime memories from their youth. There they will sit, as if frozen, deep in the best of memories, until the song ends.  Doubt me? Here – listen to this song, and then report back on how the song affected you.

And so it is with me now, as I watch the boys of summer in the mountains, the fields, the back yards. No, these are not human boys. These are bird boys, specifically the male neo-tropical migrants who flew here, to central and northcentral Pennsylvania, from Venezuela, Costa Rica, southern Mexico and Guatemala, southern Florida, and other tropical places.

These migratory tropical birds have been migrating northward since the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. And they probably migrated during the prior ice ages, too, only retreating from the repeated massive ice fields over 100,000 years, and then, as now, following the glacial retreat northward.

Some birds go as far as the Arctic Circle, nesting on cliffs and on tundra, where they compete, entice, mate, lay eggs, and hatch chicks before heading far back south to raise their young chicks into mature members of their own species. While most of this migratory behavior has to do with finding food and comfortable environmental conditions, it is nonetheless a magical time. When you see it, you can feel God’s presence with your eyeballs.

What my own boys of summer song is about, in my head, is how I already miss the springtime displays put on by the male members of these migratory songbirds. They are so impossibly vibrantly colorful, they look like little jewels in flight. Bright reds, yellows, blues, purples, greens, they are most incredible variety of natural creation. Who could create such a beautiful and tiny creature? And why, if not for our own viewing pleasure?

Almost every spring time Saturday will find me sitting on the front porch, bird book and binoculars in hand, a Thermos of coffee to my right, watching the incredible display that happens in swoops, rushes, ground-level and tree-top height courtship displays, and brief landings. One particular morning this spring I was sitting at a second floor window and saw a scarlet tanager, an indigo bunting, and a variety of yellow-to-golden birdies (warblers as well as multiple male goldfinches in one small space) all in the same immediate area. It was a huge visual delight. Magic, really.

And so as summer settled in, these colorful animals retreated to their own hidden responsibilities of feeding the chicks they had hatched, teaching them to fly and to eat, and then perhaps having another clutch or two. Depending upon how many of the first clutch were eaten by bluejays and crows.

I miss the spring time display of these songbirds, mostly the more-colorful males. A scarlet tanager or Baltimore oriole in a tree top is reminder of how beautiful the world really is, even though bad people in our cities have managed to make it as ugly as sin.

I miss my boys of summer.

Oriole by thebernebirdnerd

scarlet tanager

yellow warbler, wikipedia

goldfinch by Sarah Lynn

indigo bunting, wikimedia commons

Climate Change’s Story, as Told by a Rock

The subject of climate change has been a political issue for about ten years. Before that it was called global warming. Before that it was called global cooling. Despite having dramatically different, even diametrically opposed, oppositional names, this subject of earth’s changing climate has been treated the same by political activists for about 30 years. No matter how different, under all rubrics it has been presented as a result of planet-altering human intervention into Planet Earth’s fundamental forces.

In all of the undocumented claims presented about this subject over the past thirty years, especially the fake junk science claims, the ignored elephant in the room has always been the very well and long-documented evidence of great periods of climate change pre-dating the appearance of humans on Planet Earth. In other words, climate change/ global warming/ global cooling did not automatically appear in 1985 because Al Gore wrote a book about humans emitting too much carbon dioxide. Nope. The scientific elephant in the climate change room was standing here all along, because decades of non-politicized scientific inquiry demonstrated how mile-thick ice glaciers covered northern America, Canada, and northern Europe and Asia many times over the past 100,000 years.

That is, a natural ongoing cycle of climate change, real dramatic alterations to the face of the planet, even without one human being present to contribute one breath of carbon dioxide to it.

Well, here is the short and easy story of actual, real climate change; the long documented climate change that shaped the land you are standing and driving on every day. This big story is told by a simple humble rock. Here is a picture of that rock (below), unearthed the other day. It was unearthed about 600 feet above the Pine Creek stream bed and channel. Until it was unearthed, it was entombed on a hillside way above the existing channel, in mostly clay dirt amid sharp shards of shattered sandstone, all jumbled together like a giant mixer had tossed them around.

Look carefully at this stone.

It is rounded, unlike most of the other rocks around it in the dirt from whence it recently emerged. Someone with a bit of curiosity would ask “Gees, this rock looks totally different from the rocks around it. It is rounded like a typical long water-washed and tumbled river cobble I can find in any stream bed in the world. Now why is this rounded rock sitting hundreds of feet above the Pine Creek river bed? How did it get all the way up here?”

Great question! In most American class rooms, asking this question might get you ejected, or a bad grade from a fake educator who doesn’t want you asking good questions, but instead you are supposed to repeat a mantra of junk science that ignores the actual science represented by this simple little rounded rock.

Pine Creek’s history is retold at Leonard Harrison State Park, in DCNR geology circulars available online, and in many other places and publications. It won’t be reiterated at length here. But we do provide a history lesson in a nutshell.

Essentially it goes like this: Until about 15,000 years ago, Pine Creek flowed northward into the Genesee River watershed. After the last glacial age ended 20,000 years ago, the Laurentide Glacier began to melt, as prior glaciers there before it had melted. As the glacier melted, a pool of water built up against an ice dam, which eventually broke from the weight of the water and the thinning ice. When the ice dam broke, an enormous torrent of water was unleashed southward as a tidal wave. As it raced southward, the tidal wave followed the landscape’s natural contours, including the river bed of north-flowing Pine Creek.

As soon as the tidal wave hit the Pine Creek stream bed, the tidal wave followed that natural channel southward, scooping up hundreds of millions of tons of stream bottom rocks, as well as surrounding ledgerock. We have seen the videos of the Japanese tsunami from several years ago, and this one probably looked similar. Thus, an increasingly muddy tumultuous mess of water, dirt, and rocks flowed southward to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Along the way rocks like our little rounded river cobblestone here were picked up and deposited high up on the river channel’s slopes.

Even though the rock had come from deep down in the river bed, it remained in place on the hillside as the roaring water receded to the stream flow we know and love today. The rock is an artifact of climate change, real honest-to-goodness climate change, devoid of any human causation or intervention.

Our pet Pine Creek stream bed rock now in Lycoming County, PA, probably originating due north in Steuben County, New York, 15,000 years ago, already rounded from thousands of years of tumbling in a stream bed

Ever since that melting glacier released that tidal wave and placed our little rock here on the hillside, Pine Creek has flowed south, into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and not northward into the Genesee River. And as a result of that huge rushing torrent southward, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon was cut and shaped.

Climate change, folks. It is as natural as the Sun rising and setting on the Earth’s horizon. It can be real. It was real, and still is real and ongoing, even without human involvement. But you probably won’t find the real climate change science taught any more, because it is contrary to a radical political narrative that tells us modern capitalist societies are evil and destructive and must cease and desist, because we alone are destroying the Earth’s climate.

Which just goes to prove that Marxism really is anti-science, anti-truth, anti-fact, and anti-human. Shame on the Marxism Climate Change fraudsters who represent themselves as guardians of the environment. They are no such thing. They are destroyers of the environment, as every Marxist society’s destroyed environment demonstrates.

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone you saw this, because the “climate change” activists will have me locked up for disseminating actual science!

All this climate change happened before humans were even present on the planet, let alone before we and our cows began farting so much and creating green house gases…

Be careful showing this glacial map to a New Yorker. They believe that New York City pre-dates all human civilizations and was founded by the gods, who would never let a mile of ice stand on top of their sacred ground.

Showing this image in a modern class on “climate change” is like showing a crucifix to a vampire, and you will probably be ejected from the classroom and declared unfit for indoctrination by the fake teacher. Be careful how you use this science.

Oh no, we did it, we showed New York City under ice. NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio will probably ban me from entering NYC henceforth.

 

iHeart Radio’s Gillette Hari Kari Moment

Over the past couple of weeks, iHeart Radio has embarked on its own style of Gillette razors campaign, where a successful brand with a wide following abruptly changes everything it does and thereby deliberately antagonizes and alienates its own customer base.

Recall that last year Gillette had a campaign against straight white men, families, and religion that revealed how clueless liberals are, despite their claims of being “open minded.”

Gillette’s discriminatory ads revealed the stereotypes of regular Americans that liberals live under, and how warped the world of Hollywood, New York City, the entertainment industry, and modern cancel culture are. The ensuing hue and cry by smeared, racially profiled, gender shamed, antagonized, and alienated buyers of Gillette products resulted in Gillette losing gazillions of dollars of business, as former devotees purchased hair gels and razors made by Gillette’s competitors, instead. Whatever Gillette was after, they reaped the exact opposite result, to their own great loss.

Well, if you listen to AM radio talk radio, here in Harrisburg it is WHP580, then you are probably listening to an iHeart Radio station, and now they are following Gillette’s lead full steam ahead.

For decades, talk radio stations have followed a pretty standard and successful format, where the talk show host – Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bob Durgin, Ken Matthews, Buck Sexton et al – speaks, shares his or her views on politics and culture, and then also has some product advertising. Sprinkle in some general news reporting by some media outlet, usually Fox News these days, and you have a 2-4-minute break, at the end of which the talk show host returns and picks up where they left off. This format has worked like a Swiss watch for about thirty years, and suddenly, iHeart Radio has thrown it overboard.

Well, let’s call this like it is: Man overboard!

It is a catastrophic man overboard moment, because iHeart Radio has not only abandoned the working format, they are introducing an enormous amount of content and political commentary totally contrary to the hosts in whose show this new content is appearing. For example, iHeart Radio now plays all kinds of oldies songs shorts from the 1970s-1990s and has bizarre commentary about them, has interviews with Hollywood actors who are well on record as hating the talk show host the audience is presently listening to, encourages listeners to enjoy the benefits of covid19’s impact on nature (fewer humans are alive to ruin the natural world), and a bunch of socialist entertainment industry pap and commentary. Topped off with NBC News literally reading verbatim China’s talking points against this administration and against America.

Literally all of this new content runs contrary to the interests and educated beliefs held by the listening audience. Not to mention it all takes up time that the audience wants to be listening to their talk show host. It literally stretches into five minutes of Hollywood news and entertainment crap. My favorite bizarre moment was this chipper baby-talking radio lady, who could have been a suburban soccer mom anywhere, announcing the tour of “the up and coming rapper named Pitbull!”

Her enthusiasm was so obviously artificial and fake, especially because American soccer moms don’t normally listen to up-and-coming violent rap thugs named Pitbull. All cheery like and all.

Now surely iHeart Radio is run by some pretty smart people. It has to be. It is, after all, a huge business with a lot to gain and a lot to lose. Smart people usually make business choices that reinforce brand loyalty and reward their customers with more of what their customers want. So one cannot help but come to the conclusion here that iHeart Radio is deliberately trying to alienate and push away the very audience that has made them successful, just like Gillette did.

But why would iHeart Radio staff try to alienate their own audience?

Because like the goofball liberals running Gillette’s self-detonating social commentary advertisements, the same mindset at iHeart Radio informs the same type of liberal-in-a-bubble that they can feed us America First idiots anything, even things toxic to us, and we will just eat it up. Because they see us as deplorable morons with no independent thoughts and no ability to think for ourselves. Which is of course not true, because talk radio audiences are the best informed of all media audiences in America. Just ask the New York Times! True fact.

And so we are watching iHeart Radio follow the same path as Gillette and other virtue signalling companies, whose leadership and staff mistakenly thought they could “educate” their customers by belittling them and driving them away. Incidentally, Fox News is also going in this direction. If you listen to Fox News radio briefs these days, you will hear “news” that is 100% overt policy assaults on the Trump administration, with no rebuttal or other viewpoint followup provided. With the two Murdoch boys running it, Fox News is now just part of the larger Democrat Party mainstream media.

If iHeart Radio is going to commit hari kari (Japanese ritual suicide), then maybe One America News should be exploring its options for providing radio listeners with just one small space to be free, to call our own. Free from the monotonous, poisonous uniculture of Hollywood’s vacuous, heavily leftist entertainment industry.

This little space on the radio dial is all we want. But is iHeart Radio listening?

Screenshot of iHeart Radio’s web page…no “Contact Us” or feedback page. No phone number. Just “hand made in New York City”…by liberals who just don’t care

iHeart Radio wants to answer our questions, so long as we are satisfied with inaccurate off-topic stock replies. Note that they only provide a “Yes” button, and no “No” button. Hello? Is anybody listening?

 

Why socialism is now “cool”

Several years ago at a political candidate’s announcement event, an older woman came up to the candidate after his speech while I was standing next to him, and asked him to do something about how liberal colleges have become. I was close enough to both people to see their feelings.

“My grandson became a socialist and has disavowed everything his family has worked hard for since we moved here from Italy three generations ago,” she said, almost crying.

The Republican candidate seemed unmoved. Fighting socialist indoctrination on college campuses is probably not a big potential money maker for most would-be elected officials.

And no question about what she said, American colleges are now Ground Zero for socialist indoctrination and brainwashing. You can take a good kid from a solid loving, working home, with law-abiding working parents, a good work ethic, good grades, and a positive outlook on life, and within two semesters at pretty much any college in America, lose them to chic leftist radicalism. That is, socialism aka Everything that America is Not.

Which begs the question of Why.

My observation is socialism is popular because the younger generations have had to fight for nothing. They are spoiled rotten.

Everything has been given to them. Cars, expensive phones, expensive clothes, trips, freedom to come and go, time off from chores and work, peer-to-peer equal relationships with their parents and grandparents. As a consequence, America’s younger people are the world’s most spoiled little brats in the history of our planet. At their sixteenth birthday they are convinced they already know everything, including how the latest car racing simulator on XBox is actually – I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP – more realistic than actually driving (Yes, I really did hear a 16-year-old say this to his family recently).

As a result of being so spoiled and having no real meaningful adversity in their lives, the younger generations are looking for, searching for, adversity. Even if it means dreaming it up, inventing it out of thin air or out of bits and pieces of reality stitched together with bubblegum and bailing wire. It gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. And when they find it, it gives them a cause. Teenagers are nothing if not moral purists, and when they discover from their fake teachers that all of the money their parents worked hard for is actually stolen from living American Indians and ex-slave Blacks, they have discovered some adversity worth fighting against.

And off on the socialist crusade they go, filled with rage at their parents’ callous disregard for the poor and the suffering, the dispossessed.

The fact that their own grandparents disembarked from a boat into New York Harbor in 1948 with a grand total of a suitcase half-filled with clothes and the name of a nephew to their name doesn’t register. Or if you are from coal country, with your own grandparents telling you stories about how they and their parents worked in and around the coal mines, you are coached by a professor in “sociology” (yes, this is a real college thing, even though it is real nothing) to see your grandparents not as hard workers, but as exploited labor who enriched a bunch of wealthy aristocrats.

The entertainment industry is now the primary source for role models, values, and social cues, and add in some Hollywood movie virtue signalling, and we have now two generations of American kids who are spoiled, nearly worthless, unappreciative, un-grounded, disconnected from reality, and uninterested in anything except behaviors that make them feel good for the moment.

Even though my wife and I come from dramatically different backgrounds, we shared one common experience growing up that forms the foundation for our relationship: We had to work hard from a young age.

My wife made her own nice clothes for school, because neither she nor her parents could afford to buy nice clothes at the stores. And while I grew up splitting firewood daily from the age of nine, I had to work for my dad starting at age 14. Working on construction sites as the boss’s kid, doing all the worst jobs, got me plenty of abuse and socked arms by workers who wanted to put me in my place. I learned then to drink buckets of shit and just do my job, to the satisfaction of the meanest, grumpiest old worker on the crew. So now that I have been paying federal taxes since I was 14, I think I have a work ethic, and my wife does, too.

Like all of our friends our age (fifties), my wife and I actually enjoy working and seeing the fruits of our labors. But like our friends, we are dinosaurs, kind of the last of the dying breed. The last of the Americans. The next couple of generations seem to think that everything is supposed to be handed to them, and it seems they will cheerfully give away their unique American freedoms to a gigantic all-powerful government apparatus if it promises them mediocre “free” income and healthcare.

Not that our own kids aren’t great. They are, and I love them absolutely. Like most parents, we have done our best to raise them right. But I am afraid that college can warp even them, leading them to believe that socialism is the answer for the mean, exploitative parents who made them mow the lawn, take out the trash, and hang up the clean laundry.

 

Turkey season finally arrives

Spring turkey season has finally arrived. No, no, we are not talking about the season of the political turkeys, the various state governors around America who are artificially extending their unconstitutional stay-the-f*ck-at-home “lockdowns” into July without any merit or cause. What we are talking about is spring gobbler season.

No, no, no, not the Cookie Monster-type of gobbler, like California politician Nancy Pelosi eating her wall freezer full of gourmet ice cream while Americans can’t buy flour or toilet paper.

We are talking turkey here, a gobbler being a wild male turkey that gobbles to locate hens he can breed with. He gobbles as he walks through the woods and fields, and hunters call to him with hen calls, to lure him close enough to shoot with a shotgun. In the head. It is a huge challenge with a hunter success rate of about 5%-10%. Not a real high probability of success, but nonetheless by the end of May, when the season ends, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania turkey hunters will be walking disasters. They will have gone out daily at 4AM, hunted until 7:30 or 8:30AM, whereupon they will have gone to work for the day, and done it all again day after day. Until they get a bird or they are haggard skeletons and cannot function any longer.

Spring turkey hunting is demanding and tough to do well, and even the best callers get skunked. It is nonetheless a challenge that so many hunters gleefully embrace, however, because the rewards of simply trying are so high. Nothing else is like it.

One of the challenges facing spring gobbler hunters especially is a fairly new one.

Pennsylvania’s turkey populations are way down from historic highs about 15 years ago. Some biologists attribute this measurable decline to a continuing maturation of Penn’s Woods. That is, the continued growth of Pennsylvania’s mature forests, which provide good food, like abundant acorns, but very poor cover habitat for wild turkeys. Heavily cut forests that result in areas of impenetrable thickets of brambles and small tree saplings provide the kind of safety and nesting cover that wild turkeys require. Unfortunately, most timber logging is done more for the appearance of good looks, like lots of low-value trees left behind, than for valuable timber regeneration or wildlife habitat.

A second factor that has caused turkey numbers to drop is the relatively new presence of the fisher. The fisher is either a huge weasel or a small wolverine, but it is fully representative of the ferocity and toughness of both its cousins. It is a native predator here in Pennsylvania, but it was wiped out by the late 1800s like so many other cool animals that competed with new farmsteads built to feed families. Capture-and-release programs in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in wild fisher populations expanding their territories and populations across the east coast. And if there is one word to describe the fisher, it is voracious. These things eat and eat and eat! They are especially adept at hunting animals in trees, like roosting turkeys.

So over the past ten years or so, turkeys have become less vocal in order to avoid being detected and targeted by predators. For hunters, this means a tougher time locating turkeys and doing the classic back-and-forth call where the gobbler struts in to within range gobbling, strutting, and all fanned out. These days, hunters can easily call, hear nothing, and after ten minutes stand up because they think nothing is moving, only to see a gobbler rocketing its getaway through the woods.

Gobblers and hens alike are coming in silently to hunters’ calls more and more, which requires hunters to just sit patiently and wait, and wait some more. No movement at all. No sounds. Just wait. Patience will kill more turkeys than all the fancy calling can. Make a few clucks, a few purrs, and just sit back and wait.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission staff have studied the stomachs of fishers, and they have reported back finding very little evidence of turkeys in them. Well, why would anyone expect to see evidence of wild turkeys in the stomachs of fishers if there are so few turkeys left? A single fisher can and probably will, given the chance, kill and eat dozens of wild turkeys every year. It would not take many fishers to put a choke hold on wild turkey populations. How many of those successful fishers were studied?

In any event, turkey hunters noticed a dramatic decline in wild turkey numbers beginning precisely with the expansion of the newly released fishers. That is a strong statistical correlation that is simply impossible to discount, regardless of what a handful of fisher stomachs have yielded up.

Finally, pathogens like Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV) and West Nile Virus are known to be affecting turkey and grouse populations in different areas, and Pennsylvania is in a region where both these diseases are represented. LPDV is hammering wild turkey populations in New York State, so it may well be hurting ours, too.

Good luck to all the turkey hunters out there. Hunt safely (with your back up against a tree, a root ball, a big rock), don’t stalk turkey sounds but rather call the turkey to you, and only pull the trigger when your eyes have confirmed absolutely that the shotgun barrel is pointing at a live red, white, or blue turkey head with a beard attached to it. Have fun, and if you are like me most years, and you have near-misses and run-ins with wily tom gobblers, enjoy the time afield for what it is at its simplest – a walk with God, enjoying His incredible beauty at the time of Earth’s re-birth.

Fisher or fisher cat, provided by concealednation.org

Wild male turkey, “gobbler,” photo courtesy of adirondackalmanack.com