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We people need to just do what we need to do to move forward

America’s economy is now in artificial tatters, an unnecessary result of very poor public policies in reaction to the Wuhan coronavirus.

Politicians are not going to be able to solve this ridiculous virus panic. In fact, politicians are mostly making it much worse than it really is, and probably they are doing that on purpose. A lust for power, a desire to hurt a political opponent at any cost, even at the cost of hurting and inflicting huge personal losses on the citizens, seem to be the main reasons why governors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, and elsewhere have thrown down the gauntlet and are acting like dictators.

The “orders” these governors and local governments have issued are laughably confused, full of inexplicable contradictions and clear violations of Americans’ most basic rights and freedoms. Kentucky’s governor warns churchgoers that he ordered the Kentucky State Police to take down license plates of cars parked in church parking lots on Easter Sunday and other days, so that they can be ticketed later. Michigan’s governor says power boats are not allowed, but sail boats and canoes are OK, but Michiganders may not visit their hunting cabins. In Valley County, Montana, the county health department [I originally and incorrectly wrote that it was Missoula, Montana, the ultra liberal city council there shaping the rest of the surrounding county] issued an order that coronavirus-free people wear pink arm bands in public. Another county in another state went so far as to issue an order that anyone with coronoavirus could be, and probably would be, picked up by the police and involuntarily committed to a special quarantine location. Here in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf vetoed a bill passed by both the PA House and Senate that brought clarity and structure to his own bizarre order. Wolf now demands that everyone in public wear a mask and that people not wearing masks must not be served in the stores they are in. Local PA townships are not permitted to approve land subdivisions, even though the townships can and do meet by teleconference that pose no health risk to anyone. Home construction is stopped cold, not because Wolf has demonstrated that there is an identifiable risk of spreading a contagious disease from building homes, but simply because he says so.

These orders have nothing to do with actually serving the people of America. They are not actually helping people. The risks of the Kung Flu are obviously much higher in congested places like New York City than in flyover country. These orders are self-serving the politicians with more power and discretion over our personal lives than the political process would ever give them.

And this list of crazy, insane, tyrannical orders over the past few weeks goes on and on. Every one of these orders violates the most essential, core aspects of being an American. Again, with no measurable public benefit and yet at enormous cost to our individual finances.

One good thing that has emerged from the Chinese coronavirus panic is that we all get to see in broad daylight that there are many power-hungry Americans amongst us, who will use whatever power they have to get more power, and to crush dissent, strip us of our liberties, and use overwhelming coercive government force to throw us in jail for made-up violations. We used to laugh that such people could ever exist in our political system! Well, here they are, front and center, and they are no laughing matter!

If ever there was a need for an America with our Bill of Rights protecting individual due process rights and freedoms, this past month has demonstrated it.

So if the politicians are hell bent on screwing up our lives, and destroying America’s economy, then the only people who can fix this is us. You and me. The citizens and local officials who live here, pay taxes here, work here in America. We have to clean this mess up.

It is time for We, The People to put our foot down and show the politicians that despite their crazy power grabs and ridiculous demands upon us, we are going to do what is best for us. We can wear masks and stand apart in public, no problem. We would choose to do that anyhow. But we will open up our businesses again, we will go for walks again, we will drive on the roads for pleasure again, we will approve land subdivisions again, and you can call it civil disobedience, but we will live free again. There is no way any governor is going to enforce their nutty and unconstitutional order by rounding up everyone and putting them in jail.

And if any governor tries to do that, then there is the old tried-and-true torches, pitch forks, and a bucket of hot tar at the governor’s residence to get things straightened out again in a hurry. We are Americans, after all, not sheep.

 

Rural & Urban People Experience the Virus Differently

Rural and urban people are experiencing the covid19 CCP virus differently. And this means they each experience the various governors’ approaches to it differently, too. Chinese Flu policies impact rural and urban people differently.

In rural America, like Clinton County and Lycoming County here in Pennsylvania, life is still pretty much going on, not quite like normal, but fairly close to normal. The perceived risk from Wuhan covid19 Flu is low. This is because the rural peoples’ observations are not squaring up with what they are being told from their state capital. Rural people are not seeing up close and personal the disruptive chaos and death that is so pervasive in places like New York City and Philadelphia. So their behavior is different.

For weeks the Lowes in Mill Hall, PA, has been standing-room-only parking on the weekends, as local people shop for gardening supplies. Likewise the other nearby big box stores and small hardware stores are also full of people attending to their needs. Life is going on, albeit with some face masks and people clearly trying to steer clear of one another in shopping aisles. The Wegmans in Williamsport, PA, was full of shoppers the last time I was there, and the shelves were mostly well stocked. Notes about limits per customer are placed in all the usual places – TP, canned tuna, milk, bread. Ladies at the checkout are quite tough and firm about shoppers abiding by these limits, and everyone seems to be getting along just fine.

Elsewhere in rural PA are drive-in church services, food takeout, maybe some bonfires with chairs set apart, but still lots of chairs, nonetheless.

Actual Risk vs. Perceived Risk vs. Government Policy

At the heart of this lifestyle difference between rural and urban people is the difference they have over perceived risk, actual risk, and what the government policy says.

When rural people look around and see none of the catastrophic chaos engulfing New York City, they begin to ask simple and necessary questions about the actual risk of the China Flu to them. The actual risk, not the suggested hype or irrational fear stay-the-f#k-at-home perceived risk that is being breathlessly communicated by the cable outlets every minute. Without bodies stacked high, without lots of people becoming obviously sick from the CCP Chinese Flu, and with local health providers like hospitals and clinics operating as normal, rural people begin to question the value and necessity of the government policy that tells them their Constitutional rights must be suspended.

They then begin to question the value and purpose of their own government.

When we hear about the over-reach in places like Kentucky and Michigan, whose governors are literally demanding that people cower in their homes or else face huge overwhelming coercive force and jail time, it is natural for Americans to ask not just what is the value of these policies, but why can’t we have real policies that are tailored to the realities that each community faces. The potential risks of Wuhan Flu are just not the same everywhere.

Rural areas have more room and space between people, fewer people, less congestion, and a lot lot lot less exposure AND a lot less actual risk. Government policies need to reflect these realities. Blanket one-size-does-not-fit-all policies serve no real health purpose. Instead, no matter how well intentioned the governor may be, these blanket policies that are the same in Philadelphia as they are in Lock Haven, PA, make everyone equally miserable, damage all businesses equally, regardless of the health outcomes.

At the end of the day, government action must both balance risks with costs and benefits, while also safeguarding the citizenry’s sacred Constitutional rights. To date, very few states have done this. Instead, almost every state has treated low-risk rural areas the same as high-risk congested urban areas, and hit them all with the same heavy hammer. This makes the whole covid19 reaction thing seem awfully fishy.

Lotta covid19 pain? Better be lotta gain

For all the pain we are all experiencing from the Chinese covid19 flu “lockdowns,” shutdowns, economic activity coming to a screeching halt, businesses laying off people, orders drying up etc., there had damned well better be a lot of gain when all is said and done.

Meaning, all our sacrifice and loss and crushed civil rights should damned well have happened for a good reason. A lot of people should have lived who were going to die or get very sick. etc.

When the most mild mannered attorney friend texts me out of the blue yesterday “Are you worried about our civil rights?” I knew that the felt pain was cutting deep.

Our text conversation last night was brief, but it covered all the territory a person might expect, given its premise. My friend reports that many of his other friends are starting to get pretty fussy about this government-imposed suspension of civil liberties. He wrote “It is one thing to cooperate and volunteer to move less in public, but to be told we must stay in our homes…?”

This guy who wrote these texts to to me is a solid religious person, a respected family man, a well regarded attorney, pretty staid and non-excitable, perhaps even at times a boring personality (hope he is not reading this). It would take a lot to get him to write something like this civil rights text. And yet by now it is doubtful we can find any American who has not also felt a lot of pain from this covid19 China Flu business, so his texts to me are probably indicative of a lot of other Americans’ restlessness. A chafing at the bit. A natural inborn resistance to being told what to do, as opposed to being asked to volunteer as free people.

Really at the center of all this lockdown/shutdown/ Big Coercive Government vs Smaller and Smaller Citizen are two factors: 1) The philosophy of governance held by the various mayors, governors, and federal disease experts, and 2) a sense of duty to nation and to one another held by Americans.

A natural tension always exists in our republic, between effective government decision making on the one hand, and citizens’ rights on the other hand. Our founding documents (Constitution, Bill of Rights) are all about this tension, and how to strike a balance between the trade-offs of having an effective government and also having a free citizenry. No doubt that Communist China has a really effective government, but on the other hand its citizens have zero freedom. Americans want maximum freedom, so we naturally reject the kind of government it takes to be really effective.

However, many if not almost all of the Washington, DC, careerists are inured to the notion of a strong federal government. An overpoweringly strong and coercive government, need be. And why would they not have this mindset? It makes them maximally relevant and powerful. So enter Washington bureaucrats Fauci and Birx, and their approach to the Wuhan China covid19 flu has been to at first pooh pooh it, and then when it becomes a big issue, to take the opposite tack – everyone lock yourself in your home and do not come out until we experts tell you to.

Back in January and February, Fauci was quoted many times pooh poohing and disavowing the China covid19 flu. Can’t happen, won’t happen, not a big deal. Oops, now it is happening – everyone run and hide, to hell with the economy.

Add to this message coming out of Washington bureaucrats the naturally authoritarian nature of many elected officials around America, and we get some pretty authoritarian abuses of power. In Malibu California the other day, a guy simply paddle boarding out in the surf was actually cut off by two police boats and then arrested for not self-social-distancing. While he was literally all alone out on the water, near no one, hurting no one, putting at risk no one. And of course the ACLU is nowhere to be found for him, because the ACLU is not about civil rights, it is about destroying America.

Here in Pennsylvania, our governor, the mild mannered and generally friendly Tom Wolf, has issued a pretty wild declaration, a dictatorial ultimatum, that has suspended our civil rights and shut down most businesses and the families who depend on them. While many of us have a strong sense of duty to our fellow humans, and we are happy to make personal sacrifices in order to protect our neighbors and our communities, at a certain point we begin to chafe under the dictatorial approach to applying law.

A lot of pain is being felt across America, and certainly here in Pennsylvania. Many of the businesses I regularly interact with are in increasingly bad shape. Much of this has to do with their diminished cash flow and uncertain banking situation. So if the banks are eventually made whole, then the rest of these businesses will be made whole, and the whole economy will come roaring back to where it was or stronger. In the mean time we all have families to feed and bills to pay, and the pain of Wolf’s lockdown is becoming intense.

Is this pain worth it, is it justified, people are asking.

Everyone I know has a real commitment to doing the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. They do not need to be told what to do, just asked. But now the pressure and resentment to being told what to do, at great personal cost, without a lot of evident gain, is beginning to build up. This would naturally be expected. The sacrifices we are all making seem to be much greater than would normally, reasonably be expected. We cannot really see the fruits of our sacrifices.

Americans die every day from all sorts of maladies and accidents. A regular flu season sees about 32,000 Americans die nationally, from just the regular old flu. We take that number of deaths as a matter of fact, a cost of being alive. And yet we are not seeing that same result from this covid19 coronavirus thing. Not even close. In fact, so far, just the opposite.

If it turns out that Wuhan China covid19 Chinese Flu actually results in very few deaths, and yet the entire nation’s economy was thrown out the window for little or no gain in health, then there is going to be hell to pay.

Why having your own philosophy of government is American

It is American nature for each individual citizen to have a philosophy of government. That is, to have a firm idea of how you want and expect all levels of government to relate to you, to serve you, to represent you, and to respect you.

Maybe there are too many syllables in this, so let’s just say that every American citizen should have a belief in how they want to relate to their own government, at every level – local, state, and federal.

From America’s founding until right now, our entire nation is still predicated upon the expectation of direct citizen involvement in every aspect of what makes America work: Voting in every election, staying updated and informed on the political and cultural issues of the day, participating in jury selection when called upon, serving on school boards, local zoning and planning boards, etc.

America is a citizen-run nation. That is how we were founded. Consent of the governed. Right now, a surfeit of material success has put many Americans almost to sleep. They are too busy taking care of their own individual desires to look up and participate in the larger happenings around them. They are almost believing that American government is on autopilot, and that their participation is unnecessary. Once American citizens stop participating in how government is run, then automatically people will step in who use government for their own benefit. Self-enrichment, long undeserved careers paid for by the taxpayers, funneling limited taxpayer money to interest groups who then work hard to get career politicians re-elected, selling American interests and secrets to foreign governments, these are just a few examples of the problem.

No longer are career politicians “public servants.” Now career politicians are self-servants who use government to enrich themselves and their friends and family. Examples include politicians from both political parties at all levels. Joe Biden (D) and Richard Burr (R) are just two easy low-hanging examples. Biden used his public vice president office to get undeserved contract work for his sons in Ukraine. Burr used his position as US senator to sell his stocks before they lost value, an act on private information about potential stock losses, which is insider trading.

Across government entrenched bureaucrats make decisions every day that determine or influence the paths of our life. Somehow these “public servants” have also aggregated huge power, with little to no accountability. Many of these bureaucrats quite clearly demonstrate their own philosophy of government. They believe in the overwhelming coercive force of government intruding directly into individual lives. They believe in the diminution of the Bill of Rights that protects our individual freedoms, rights, and liberties. They believe in death-by-a-thousand-cuts regulations that render a great deal of American life almost meaningless and almost illegal. They believe in all kinds of specific policies that are totally at odds with the rights, freedoms, and liberties that Americans have always enjoyed, and which are spelled out in our founding documents.

The “Waters of the United States” regulation emitted by US EPA in the last administration is a classic example. People’s private property rights were trampled beneath the coercive weight of government control, with very small benefits.

While the establishments of both political parties, nationally, are not terribly far apart on some key aspects of governance, it is fair to say that the Democrats believe in crushingly big government and unlimited coercive force to achieve their policy goals, while Republicans believe in free markets and free choice.

Party responses to the Wuhan Chinese Flu (coronavirus, covid19) are instructive. The Democrats have tried to use the virus to achieve policy goals they could not otherwise gain through the political process or from the voters. Things like enormous amounts of regulation on individuals and business sectors, and enormous amounts of taxpayer cash paid to their private sector supporters. This Democrat attempt at extortion of sick Americans held up passage of a covid19 relief package last week, which hurt people. Democrats are using the Wuhan Chinese Flu crisis to gain political power and control over Americans, and to artificially damage the American economy and President Trump. Democrats will destroy America to try to wrest control of it. Sick Americans who die from this are simply collateral damage to them.

So, if you have not yet developed your own philosophy of government, now is a very good time to do it. Events happening right around you demand that you participate in some way.

Determine your philosophy of government based on your own principles and values.

Do you believe in the pre-eminence of the free citizen, and the innate smallness of government, as defined by the Bill of Rights? Or do you believe in a Marxism-inspired vision of forced wealth redistribution, open borders, endless streams of illegal aliens into America, and endless amounts of taxpayer money given freely to these aliens, even while it is tightly withheld from the very American citizens who paid it in the first place?

My own philosophy of government is based on America’s founding documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights) and their promise of free and equal opportunity for all citizens. This means I work for a government that is a big safety net, with arms and legs sticking out of it, and not the over-reaching nanny state that micromanages and dictates every breath we take.

Flumageddon shines spotlight on failed US bureaucracy

The Wuhan Flu aka coronavirus has resulted in a Flumageddon hysteria that has damaged America’s economy and forced millions of students to stay at home, supposedly “study online,” and pester their working parents.

Flumageddon has shut down public meetings, schools, and work environments coast to coast. Almost everything that Americans take for granted has been stopped cold by it. Entire cities on both coasts are entering constitutionally questionable lockdown status, where the citizenry may have to “shelter in place” just like the ancient Hebrews did in Egypt, as God’s death plague worked its way through the first born of humans and animals alike.

Why are we here? What on earth happened to bring the freest, most technologically advanced nation to this point?

Was America really, truly unprepared for this moment?

Two things happened that got us here.

First, China has been doing everything it can, in literally every way possible, to undermine, hamper, damage, and take over America. China is a socialist tyranny, and so they have been able to direct hundreds of millions of Chinese to sit at keyboards all day every day with the goal of filing fake Trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in DC, and to hack into credit card companies, and to hack into everyday websites, and to post antagonistic messages on websites, and to play around with ordering and then canceling American products and services, and so on. Not to mention the 500,000 Chinese fake “researchers” posted at American research institutions. They are spies, really, stealing our knowledge out from under us in the phony name of open-ness and tolerance and diversity and other meaningless nonsense.

The tentacles of China are long and many, its parasitic sapping of America’s strength a long-held accepted fact.

And nothing allowed China to wreak its havoc on Americans more than people in BOTH Democrat and Republican parties allowing it to do so openly and in plain view. Because a handful of ultra wealthy wanted to be even more ultra wealthy. And they share a bit of that wealth by giving it to re-election campaign funds of careerist politicians, who hold on to power and do China’s bidding in American policy and law. Thus were American jobs and factories outsourced to China, and basically everything good America has or had was literally handed to China. All for thirty pieces of silver, on top of the thirty pieces of silver that had already been handed out a million times before to just a handful of highly placed recipients. Traitors to America, really.

So China’s Wuhan Flu is a direct product of the artificial and unhealthy economic relationship between our two nations, maintained by a billion people in China and just a few thousand people in America. Wuhan Flu spread through the world, and into America, because of an unnaturally open one-way relationship, and a criminally porous American border.

Second, Flumageddon happened because American bureaucrats are an incompetent and lazy bunch, artificially protected by artificially way-way-way over-generous personnel rules.

Career bureaucrats at Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health and the Federal Drug Administration have been unprepared for this moment for decades, despite plenty of warning shots from SARS and Swine Flu before. Instead of developing flu testing kits and extensive steps for combating Wuhan Flu, career bureaucrats at CDC, NIH, FDA and a host of satellite agencies and state offices, all took long lunches on the forgotten taxpayer’s dime. They posed and preened and presented themselves as dispassionate arbiters of public health interests. And in fact, when the moment of truth arrives, we see that they are simply lazy and incompetent. In China, which so many of our federal bureaucrats love because of its ruthless efficiency and all-powerful government, they would all have been shot in the back of the head by now for their failure.

Instead, we are treated to a host of foolish talking heads from CDC and NIH who are, in fact, partisan political activists using their public positions to advance a political campaign to discredit the one person who has absolutely no blame for Flumageddon: President Donald Trump, who, unlike 95% of Congress and 100% of the federal bureaucracy, has NOT been in government his entire career.

Flumageddon is not even Obama’s fault, though he did experience at least one, arguably two, fatal flu public health events, and, therefore, Obama could have directed CDC and NIH and FDA to begin making testing kits and vaccines. In anticipation of future outbreaks. Nope, the fault really lies with our open borders mentality, which carries nation-ending risks, and with our lazy, incompetent, over-protected, entitled, unaccountable bureaucrats, who then cement the open borders risks into stone.

In order to pound down Americans even more, and make us more pliable, more amenable to their supposed solutions. Which are always more and bigger and more powerful government intervention into our lives.

Interesting how this works. The symmetry was so clean and easy. Until Trump came along and challenged it. Cue the hysteria…

 

So, so many fake Japanese swords

A quick ebay search for “gendaito” results in dozens of purported Japanese katanas for sale.

Hand-made “art sword” gendaitos were very few in number to begin with, maybe a few thousand by 1944, and after 1945, when Japanese swords of all qualities were being melted down, there were a lot fewer left.

When I began collecting antique Japanese swords in 1993, it was a pretty structured environment with plenty of Vet bring-backs available through newspaper ads and at gun shows. But most of those swords were basic Showa shin-Shinto machine made swords of solid stock. Created en masse for Japanese NCOs, they were the great bulk of “samurai” type swords captured and brought back to England and America after WWII. Though justifiably iconic in their own right, as they are beautiful weapons by design, none of them were art swords. None were made by hand in 1562 by a famous swordsmith.

Enter China. And with her came all kinds of fakery of every kind of antique collectible you could ever want. Guns, swords, knives, bayonets, not to mention shoes, purses, clothes etc. The first faked Japanese swords from China were easy to spot. Some were laughably crude, some were pretty good but either missing or overplaying critical aspects of real antique Japanese swords. Either way, only the most gullible or inexperienced buyers took them.

Today, however, you can find practically mint condition gendaito or older swords, with a nice new reddish rust on the tang, selling for half or a third of what such swords used to bring. Lots of them. Most of these fake blades are in authentic WWII military fittings, giving them a false air of authenticity.

The reason for the price drop is that so many fake Japanese swords have been brought to market that the natural demand and market absorption is oversaturated. Thus, supply exceeds demand, and price drops accordingly. Greedy dealers looking to enrich themselves at the expense of  would-be collectors have driven this dynamic.

Oh, there is a demand out there for real Japanese swords. People from all walks of life recognize how perfect these edged weapons are, and how refined and representative they are of the warrior ethos. Japanese swords are iconic, and therefore inspiring. They bring a lot of happiness to their owners, if only to serve as reminders of the old ways, like when men were men.

But sword dealers have now definitely overplayed their hand. The evidence of this fakery is overwhelming.

There is not only no possible way that one dealer can have so many authentic Japanese swords for sale at any one time, and there are dozens of dealers each stocked to the gills with fake swords being represented as authentic antiques, there is no possible way that this many authentic antique Japanese swords were ever available at one time in any one market, except maybe on the entire island of Japan in 1944.

After 1944 and Japan’s fall, swords were outlawed by the Allies, and they were destroyed by the thousands. Just like fabulous rifles in Germany and Austria were destroyed by the Allies. Though highly lamentable, it was all done to protect our troops. Very few Japanese swords or German rifles made it out alive, so to speak.

If I were to describe the ways these fake swords leap off the virtual pages of ebay and other sellers and scream “I am a fake,” I’d write a book. However, I’m just disgusted by it all, and writing a book is not in my future. However, here are some things to look out for: 1) tangs that have reddish rust. A true old worn rust is tough to fake. 2) file marks on tangs running the wrong way. 3) Tang inscriptions that are either perfect or that are cut over the defined edges. 4) Blades that are perfect, or that have a perfect yakiba or perfect hamon. This is the biggest red flag of all. Most Vet bring-backs were abused by the soldiers themselves, through horseplay. The swords were then used by kids in the 1950s for horseplay and cutting experiments. These swords were not then that valuable or collectible, so they were rarely protected from use or abuse. They were simply the artifacts and relics of brutal, cruel, sad warfare that their captors wished to forget. So to see so many shiny, smooth, perfect blades represented as antiques is a huge red flag. Very very few actual antique Japanese swords made it to 2017 unscathed, either through actual battle use or more likely, through abuse in American backyards at the hands of playful boys or demonstrative uncles in the 1950s-1970s. To see such incredibly distinct hamons on so many “antique” Japanese swords is a huge red flag. A real antique blade will naturally lose its luster over time, and the hardened cutting edge will follow that process, to the point where it becomes faint and barely distinct. Most blades will show clear splotches, discoloration, some rust, from having sat in a basement or living room for 70 years.

Guys, it’s tough to say this, but a lot of you are buying fake Japanese swords that are in reality made recently in China for the American collector market. It’s cliche, but caveat emptor. Ask yourself and your seller some really basic questions. The most important question to a seller being: How on earth do you keep finding these very rare swords, in such high quantities, in such incredibly good condition, to sell at such low prices?

You know the answer, or at least you should know it. The sad answer is the sad fact that it appears about 90% to 95% of the purported antique Japanese swords being sold today are fakes, most likely of recent Chinese origin (Pakistanis are getting better at making old looking edged weapons, too).

Do your research. Think hard about how each sword now for sale made its way to market. You’ll come to the natural and healthy conclusion. And you’ll run away, and save your money for real antiques.

Current American Parallels with the Fall of Ancient Rome

In the recent past I have been in touch with some old high school friends.

We were quite close way back then. All remain good people, and we have maintained irregular but meaningful contact for the past 35 years. So any communication between us now is like picking right up where we last left off way back then.

“When are you and your militia friends going to storm DC?” semi-teasingly asks one, a professional resident of Washington, DC.

Immediately I’m thinking “Trump winning pretty much was the storming of DC, in a way.”

But I don’t say it, as the cascade of shallow whining about the election results sure to follow has become regular and boorish among Trump detractors.

“Josh, I was no Hill-Dog lover [Hillary Clinton], and I liked Kasich [presidential candidate], but do you really like Trump?” asks another, this one a successful self-made businessman, his face unhappily wrinkling over Trump Anything.

Given the constant opposition to the Trump presidency from both establishment parties (Republicans and Democrats, or the ‘UniParty’ as some call both parties together), as well as from taxpayer-funded entitlement recipients, some small and many big business folk alike, and especially the media-academia Big Government complex, now seems a good time to remind everyone who has something to lose of the history that brought America up here and could drag us back down.

First, like America, ancient superpower Rome was also “too big to fail,” both in the minds of Romans and their many enemies. They had too much money, too much military power, and the Roman people were living too fantastically a high standard of life to envision it actually dissolving.

In that way, America is no different than Rome, or any other major civilization that has come and gone before us: We perceive we are too wealthy and powerful to fall, and our personal lives are so fantastically comfortable and convenient that we cannot imagine all of it coming undone. It’s just too good. How could it possibly go away?

But fail and fall, Rome did. First sacked in 410 CE by its own mercenaries, and then for good in 454 CE by its mercenaries allied with their ethnic tribes. Inside jobs, both.

Second, like Rome, America is an island anomaly in a sea of big, all-powerful governments, dictatorships, really, domineering little citizens. While by today’s standards ancient Rome may not have been a free society, by the measure of its time it provided a lot of liberty and opportunity to individual citizens, much more than anywhere else.

Rome also had a semblance of the rule of law. Most nation-states back then were simply feudal aggregations of people with swords at the top and field-cropping, over-taxed serfs at the bottom. No rule of law.

Today, Planet Earth still has mostly tyrants and dictators, with a cruel grip on their respective  populace. So, like America now, Rome then had some extra work to do to hold itself together. Government power had to be diffused among senators, army officers, and business people. Standards and expectations were higher among a wider group of people. Government power, societal stability, quality of life did not depend upon the one monarch alone.

Predicting the end of America is almost as silly as predicting “climate change” -caused sea levels catastrophically rising, and super-powerful storms catastrophically leveling human civilization.

Though there is evidence of climate and weather affects on past human civilizations, it is a historical fact that human civilizations come and go of their own accord, usually due to simple power lust and ego. Sometimes environmental destruction rendered the land unfit for habitation. So on that alone we know that some day America will change. And it will not be a change good for the majority of its citizens.

America is nowhere near where Rome was when it fell, in terms of military preparedness. But in other ways we are past where Rome was, in terms of our unsustainable debt, ironically held by some of our worst enemies. The Chinese have become a kind of mercenary banker force, also supplying us with the electronics we use to run our daily lives as well as much of our military. That they are spying on us through their electronics is already proven.

Plenty of people inside and out would like to run America themselves, without the annoying, dirty citizenry in the way.

And yet so many Americans continue to party on, oblivious, as if we are invincible, invulnerable.

Go ahead and tease me, friends. Your ribbing is funny. But you should also be reflecting on the implications of ANTIFA, BLM, OWS etc mobs-cum-militia already rampaging across American streets, including DC and the US Capitol. Those stormings are already under way, under cover of national media and academia. They are real, and neither I nor any militia I know of have anything to do with them.

Go ahead and casually write off people like me, ‘kooks’ who love America in a simple way, a traditional way. We love all Americans, in all their ingenuity and passion for liberty and opportunity, and we have therefore come to despise the power-grab being waged against the citizenry by Big Government latté sippers. In both parties.

Go ahead and smugly dismiss us, mock us, cheerily toast our foolishness.

Just remember in the back of your mind, it is you we are trying to save. God knows, you can’t get it done.

Interesting times…ancient Chinese curse

An ancient Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times,” meaning that turbulence should mar your life.

Well, turbulence has arrived: Tom Ridge is now joining anti gun activist Mike Bloomberg in a new effort to destroy the Second Amendment. At a time when murders are at record lows, due in great part to greatly liberalized concealed carry opportunities across America, it’s impossible to justify Bloomberg’s obsessive focus on stopping that increased self defense. Ridge has been a political hero of mine, and he was an excellent governor.  How sad.

Another oddity is the unlikely presence of a primary competitor to present governor Tom Corbett. Political activist Bob Guzzardi will remain on the ballot, despite PA GOP efforts to remove him. I’ve never met Guzzardi, but I do believe in competition and political choices for voters. Guzzardi represents those values. Corbett has nothing to fear, and he should use the challenge to strengthen his responses to the ridiculous attacks by Democrat candidates for governor, specifically the bizarre claim that budgets have been cut for schools.