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Movie Review: 2000 Mules

When people say to my face that there is no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from The People (not President Trump), I ask them what evidence have they looked at, because there is nothing but a humungous stinking pile of evidence of the election theft. You would have to literally ignore it purposefully to say the evidence doesn’t exist.

And you already know what these naysaying people say: Snide things, arrogant mocking things, stupid things. As if mere denial is equivalent with actual research or fact.

The truth is these people I talk with don’t care about stolen elections or proof of them, because they actually want the election to be stolen. And they probably want every other election to be stolen, too, because they simply want to win. What was that leftist chant… “by any means necessary”? So we are facing people, fellow Americans, who want full and absolute political power and official government coercive force, by any means necessary. No matter how destructive this is, no matter how illegal, or how dangerous. Because they simply want to coerce everyone else into doing what they tell them to do.

It is probably impossible to dialogue with evil people who want absolute control over other humans, and who will steal elections in order to illegally amass political power to gain that absolute control.

But for anyone and everyone else who is curious or inquisitive about things in general, and about the 2020 election in particular, or who wonders why tens of millions of fellow Americans believe the 2020 election was stolen in front of their faces, a recent movie called 2000 Mules shows how just one part of the 2020 election steal was done.

I bought two of the 2000 Mules DVDs, so that I could have actual copies of the movie when the book burners eventually purge it from the internet. And I watched the movie twice, because it is that compelling. Probably because I could not really believe what I had learned and seen the first time I saw it, I had to watch it again.

There are some things the movie could do better. I would have liked to have seen clips of Democrat Party politicians complaining about voter fraud, to reinforce that this is a subject the Left has long complained about. Even if they pretend it is a totally new subject, now that they have actually stolen a presidential election and thus sparked complaints of a stolen election.

And I would have liked to have heard more about how election fraud has been done historically, and from more than just Hans Von Spakovsky. Even if he is knowledgeable, Hans appeals to mostly one side of the political spectrum. Another voice or two from academia or think tank land would have added a bit more persuasion that election fraud is really a problem.

But overall 2000 Mules is a powerful and really intriguing movie for anyone who cares about One Voter = One Vote. You should see this movie, if you have not already done so.

Couple more thoughts on the November 2020 Democrat Insurrection Against America: First, if you want proof of the theft, just look at how the thieves are acting afterwards. They are on a lawless nationwide political manhunt for as many of their innocent political opponents as they can scoop up into the criminal justice system, to punish any way they can, using ruthless and limitless official power. The Biden Administration and the Democrat -run legislature are exercising lawless, totalitarian methods of consolidating political power to ensure they never lose an election again, to prevent anyone else from ever winning elections against them  again. Or ever opposing the Democrat Party again. Nothing in the ham-handed way the Democrats are acting says that they are afraid of being held accountable for their lawlessness.

I suppose when you can control the outcome of elections, like the Democrats now do through bogus voting machines and illegal ballot harvesting, accountability with the voters is something you never worry about. Ruthlessness and intimidation are the only tools you need. As we can plainly see.

Second thing (thanks to nameless Internet commenter):

Biden margin of victory vs known incidents of voter fraud in the 5 questionable swing state accused of election fraud as discovered by audits and post election canvasing:
Arizona – 11 Electoral Votes
Discovered illegal votes: 245,722
Biden Margin of victory: –10,457
Georgia – 16 Electoral Votes
Discovered illegal votes: 601,130
Biden Margin of victory: –11,779
Michigan – 16 Electoral Votes
Discovered illegal votes: 446,803
Biden Margin of victory: –154,818
Nevada – 6 Electoral Votes
Discovered illegal votes: 220,008
Biden Margin of victory: –33,596
Pennsylvania – 20 Electoral Votes
Discovered illegal votes: 992,567
Biden Margin of victory: –81,660
Wisconsin – 10 Electoral Votes
Possible illegal votes: 553,872
Biden Margin of victory: –20,682
2020 STOLEN ELECTION RESULTS:
Biden – 306
Trump – 232
2020 ACTUAL ELECTION RESULTS:
Trump – 311
Biden – 227

In conclusion, watch 2000 Mules, and if you have any further questions about it, its director Dinesh D’Souza has spent many hours clearly explaining its technical aspects and easily rebutting the most moronic efforts to “debunk” it (like the cell phone geo-tracking used in 2000 Mules isn’t accurate, except that it is accurate enough for law enforcement every day). Dinesh can be heard on Rumble.

 

Some conservatives are sounding cruel about Ukraine

Yes, we know that Ukraine has been a money laundering pedophile child pornography child prostitution child slave trade playground for American elites and especially for children of the Democrat Party. Ukraine is also the locale of Burisma, the corrupt natural gas company that just happened to hire crack-addict Hunter Biden for a million dollars a year to do what, no one knows. Even Hunter Biden has admitted in an interview he was hired only because of his dad, then-VP of the USA.

And Ukraine is also the locale of the federal prosecutor fired by the Ukrainian government for investigating Burisma and Hunter Biden, because Joe Biden bragged about threatening to withhold a billion dollars in American aid to Ukraine if the prosecutor wasn’t fired. This is Corruption 101, and we all see it.

Yes, there are a surprisingly large number of Americans whose allegiance to the corrupt and immoral Democrat Party is so certain (why why why?) that they will overlook all of this disgusting, horrible sickness and they will try to explain it away with nonsensical blather. And it is this nonsensical blather that really gets the goat of a lot of conservatives, and makes our side say some dumb things.

Like lots of conservatives are openly cheering on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, because dictator Vladimir Putin is corralling and exposing the Democrat Party illegalities and corruption there. They say that because Russia is exposing the deep state’s dirty little hidey hole, everything that Russia is doing there is just fine. Tear it all down, they say.

Say what?

Conservatives used to pride themselves on being humane, conscientious, pro-life. And yet here a fair number of American conservatives are cheering on the utter flattening of Ukrainian society, made of innocent people who have no skin in the corruption game, no dog in the corruption fight. They simply own simple little homes and apartments where they eked out a small, simple life, until Russia invaded and violently destroyed everything these people owned.

It is possible to oddly respect cruel dictator Vladimir Putin for his love of his country, and for his rough handed defense of Christianity and traditional human values, without simultaneously cheering on his latest war crimes against humanity.

What Putin’s Russia is doing to Ukraine is barbaric and cruel, it is wrong, it is wantonly destructive, and everything bad that can happen in return to Russia is something that Russia has earned ten-fold. Watching the videos of Ukrainian peasants, the simplest and humblest of people, crying over their dead children, their crumbled homes, their crushed cars, their villages reduced to rubble, we realize that these innocent people are caught in the crossfire between a corrupt Ukrainian government and a brutal, inhuman Russian government.

It is possible to relish the blown cover the Democrat Party is running from in Ukraine, while also cheering on the heroic defense of homeland by the Ukrainian people. They are fighting the good fight against a ruthless invading army. Cheering on the Ukrainian fighters doesn’t mean you have to love Ukraine’s president Zelensky, although he too has risen to the moment and is providing quality leadership the likes of which eastern Europe has not seen in a very long time. Even though he is also a mini dictator.

Like we all know now, eastern Europe is a giant knot, a huge mess of intertwined allegiances and back and forth brutalities going back five hundred years, at least. It is a difficult place to make sense of at any time, and especially now. We Americans both like to root for the underdog and for the good guy, and in this fight both sides, Russian and Ukrainian, have both good guys and bad guys, especially at the upper echelons.

But if there is one thing a real American disagrees with, it is watching innocent people get crushed by an evil ruthless dictator. C’mon, people, don’t let anyone think we conservatives are cruel, that we have no heart, and that we are okay with the working people of Ukraine being abused and destroyed in the process of a Russian dictator outing bad Democrat Party members from America while he tries to add more land to his empire.

We patriots can simultaneously cheer on the brave Ukrainian people defending their homes, and not cheer on their corrupt leaders; and we can appreciate the public service Russia is inadvertently doing by exposing American political corruption in Ukraine without actually cheering on the Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

This ain’t difficult for conservatives. Don’t put us in the same category as convoluted Democrats trying in vain to explain away their party’s dramatic descent into Hell.

 

Trump’s America-First Economy Throws Beautiful Curveball to Wall Street

Trade wars were supposed to be a thing of the past, as America had settled into a long, slow decline and eventual death at the hands of our erstwhile trading “partners,” who had been sucking at the USA teat for fifty years. America underwrote the settlement of World War II for Europe and Japan, and suffered as a result. But we thought we were too big to fail, and so we persisted.

And for those of more modern thoughts and memories, recall that for eight years Obama had placed both of his hands on the foreign side of the trade scale in an attempt to accelerate this decline. That eight year stagnant situation, combined with explosive growth in government power and conversely diminished citizen power, while shipping our factories abroad with new rust belt towns popping up all over America was the “new normal.”

And why not end America’s supremacy like this? Under both major political parties America’s trade imbalances were so egregiously bad, so bad for American citizens, for so long, because everyone else was gaining. Officially buoyed up by post-WWII economic theory and political economy theory that placed great value on some vague, never-defined world-wide “stability,” all underwritten by Americans. In funding that stability through sacrifice of our national interest, the theory went, the world was a safer, better place. America was sharing its wealth, buying peace, by keeping everyone else busy making money. Well, let’s be honest here: America’s workers were shifting their wealth to China, and Mexico, and India, and Europe, and Canada, while Wall Street made money no matter what. Wall Street hedge funds betting on and therefore for the failure of American businesses, against American interests, for the misspending of our tax dollars, are the classic example of this bizarre arrangement.

And around this asymmetrical arrangement developed asymmetrical ways of analyzing, tracking, predicting, and valuing economic activity. Like the DOW and other Wall Street measures of economic health. They have been tracking signs of a stable American decline, a drip drip drip bloodletting, not true growth, but rather how much tax money can be wrung or coerced from The People and conveyed to big businesses, not measuring actual value created from investment in our people and their jobs, but rather value on paper or digital.

And then along comes President Trump and his America-first economy, which at its core is the valuation and promotion of you, me and every other American citizen.

By demanding that America simply have equal trade with everyone else, and that it cease bleeding for the world’s benefit, and that we get as much coming in as we have going out or some approximation of that natural policy, President Trump has up-ended 75 years of screwy policy and screwy measures of success. It is that simple, and yet it is such a beautiful curve ball thrown to Wall Street.

Just look at how the tariffs on China have rattled Wall Street’s skewed measures of success, and stability. By America suddenly succeeding in the simplest way, and you and I having more opportunity, more money, Wall Street actually says our economy is down. Well, no, Wall Street, we the people are doing better, even if you are not. And isn’t it interesting that Wall Street was doing fantastic when Americans were degraded and doing poorly…

There’s an old saying that you’ll never beat the Irish, and in turn, you know you can’t beat Yankee ingenuity or will power, either. Americans will never be defeated, unless we decide to defeat ourselves. We came close, oh yes, we almost committed national suicide. But President Trump has shown us a better way, a way of national life.

It is a new day in America, and new beginning, Wall Street be damned.

Did America have a Stzroke?

With his brazenly arrogant personality and his private corruption, FBI agent Peter Stzrok has now made a name for himself in so many ways.

Unbeknownst to the American people, Stzrok started out making a power-abusing political insider name for himself at least in 2015 by disabling a serious criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton. He then went on to try to frame candidate Trump and his political allies, and bury evidence of incredibly illegal activity by staff and leaders at the FBI and DOJ.

Stzrok’s damning emails, text messages and memos leave no question that the man is a corrupt partisan political warrior, using his awesome official law enforcement position to advance a partisan political cause that is contrary to how the American people voted in 2016.

Everything Stzrok has done has been illegal and totally un-American, from the fake search warrants to the wiretaps and domestic spying, to the use of federal law enforcement powers to re-write interview notes that bear no resemblance to what really took place, to colluding with Fusion GPS and the Perkins, Coie law firm, and the Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

This past week Stzrok testified before Congress and provided a view into how distant the Washington, DC insiders have become from the American people. Stzrok’s arrogant, contemptuous, smug lying and dismissive attitude struck everyone as the essence of what has gone wrong in Washington, DC.

Stzrok’s damning testimony increasingly revealed how out of touch he and his FBI and DOJ colleagues are, how insulated and unaccountable to the rule of law they are, and how corrupt the past administration was.

So we must ask, Did America just have a Stzroke?

Is America now paralyzed or disabled by this one criminal FBI agent?

We ask, because everything that American has ever stood for is hanging in mid-air. The rule of law is hanging suspended. If Stzrok gets away with his criminality, then what?

Elected Democrats were actually applauding Stzrok’s testimony real-time, because they are so deeply opposed to those holding the elected majority that they will side with anyone who has done anything, like Stzrok, so long as their own party’s narrow political interests are advanced or protected.

To those who recall their seventh grade civics classes, this is not how America works. The good of the nation always comes first, before political party or person.

It is now unclear if America is still a nation of laws, or if official lawlessness and political willpower are the new standard for running government.

Stzrok is not acting alone. He has many known criminal compatriots in the FBI and DOJ; despite his and their known crimes, he and they still work there; and no legal accountability has been brought to bear on any of them, many of whom actually brazenly continue to act in political ways in what are supposed to be purely professional jobs.

It is as if there are two sets of rules, two legal standards in America now: A lenient standard for one political party allied with the mainstream media, and then another impossible standard for the other party and its political allies. Stzrok is clearly being protected from being held accountable, as was Clinton, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and many others in the past administration.

On the other hand, American military personnel are serving jail time right now for having done a smidgeon of what Stzrok et al did. Trump and everyone around him are being falsely investigated for fake reasons.

So what happens now?

Does Stzrok get the last word in, and thereby pound a stake into America’s heart?

When I left the US EPA in DC in 1998, several of my colleagues asked me in disbelief “Josh, are you really willing to give up all this power you have as a federal bureaucrat?”

Folks, public service has never been about amassing personal power. It is supposed to be service to our fellow citizens, who pay all those federal paychecks. Personal politics and private values have no place in those federal jobs (or any other government job, be it township, county, or state level), where decision making must be about the good of the nation.

Unfortunately, like the FBI, the EPA also developed an insular and unaccountable staff culture, where personal politics override science and everything else. I hated it, and I could not in good conscience be a part of that corruption. So I removed myself from it.

I hope America has not just had a Stzroke, and that we are not paralyzed. If the rule of law has been suspended, and there is no accountability, and political willpower to amass political i.e. coercive power overrides everything, then our nation is over. The great experiment has ended, and now it is merely a political slugfest that inevitably becomes an armed slugfest that will eventually determine who ends up holding power.

 

Tidal wave vs. The People

When I was a kid at the New Jersey shore, I remember how some of us young boys would bob in the beach zone where the sandy bottom dropped off and the waves hit the hardest. If Jersey waves can hit hard…though they did to us kids.

We would square our shoulders and lean into the hardest waves, barely touching bottom, trying our best to withstand them.

It was a physical test and a test of willpower, kind of a test of our budding manhood. Man vs. Nature. Primal combat.

It was summer vacation, what can I say. We were kids and let our imaginations run. By today’s video games standard, it was quite wholesome and innocent.

Today I feel like we are all right back there facing down waves.

This time the waves are assaults on our society, civilization, by a media-political complex bent on crushing everything in its way. Especially the traditional people who represent or hold onto the old ways that built America and which are the foundation of Western Civilization.

A recent example of this was when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1994.

Clinton had a whole host of women accusers surrounding him. Accusations of rape, sexual assault, harassment, etc. And despite that, plus his shady business dealings, the media-political complex circled the wagons around Clinton and did everything possible to get him elected president.

In the course of that process, the media-political complex allowed Clinton to dodge, avoid, and lie about his actions, and get elected as a result. They attacked his accusers and protected him, because they shared his political views.

Another example of this was when Barack Hussein Obama was elected president in 2008. Obama had a whole host of questions surrounding him, including his shady business dealings and his overblown, shallow professional qualifications. As well as his citizenship qualification, which was raised first by his primary opponent Hillary Clinton, and recently resurrected by Obama’s own Kenyan brother, who last year was sending out a photo of Barack’s original Kenyan birth certificate.

In the course of that election process, the media-political complex allowed Obama to dodge, avoid, and lie about his actions, and to get elected as a result. The media-political complex circled the wagons around Obama and did everything possible to get him elected president, because he represented their values, their desire to “transform America.”

Today we are seeing this same old process unfold yet again, in the case of the US Senate election in Alabama.

There, a conservative anti-establishment candidate, judge Roy Moore, is facing an obviously contrived and coordinated attack by the media-political complex bent on crushing him and overturning the will of the people, the voters of Alabama.

That media-political complex is made up of BOTH political parties, as well as political and social elites.

Doubting that assertion? Consider that US Senate leader Mitch McConnell prefers a liberal Democrat over the independent minded Moore in that seat. McConnell can easily work with liberal senators. He knows how to horse trade with them. How to give in, roll over. He knows Moore will not roll over, and is not interested in the careerist perks McConnell can offer.

It may not be politically correct to be this honest, but the truth is, I do not believe the accusations against Moore. They are just way too conveniently timed, and are obviously led by GOP squishes like McConnell.

Where were these accusers decades ago? Suddenly now they’re available?!

And where was this same media scrutiny when rapist Bill Clinton was running amok and poised to become president? Where is that scrutiny now? Well, Bill Clinton is a hero to liberals. So he got the pass.

Where is the same media scrutiny for US senator Al Franken, whose damning photo shows him illegally groping a sleeping woman (who also accuses him of attacking her elsewhere)?

Where is the same media scrutiny for the dozens of Hollywood elite also accused of pedophilia, sexual assault, rape, and harassment?

Nearly crickets out there, folks, except in the unbelievable cases where the media-political complex is trying to protect Franken.

But Hell’s bells, you get an independent-minded guy like Moore, and the whole world is descending on him and demanding him to bow out of the race, with no proof other than these obviously well-timed political accusations.

So it is the Roy Moores of the world now, squaring their shoulders, standing in the surf where their feet barely touch the sandy bottom, and facing down the big tidal wave of contrived fake news designed to wipe them out of the only political process anywhere on Planet Earth designed to capture the will of The People.

Moore may not be a young kid, but it is the innocence of America that is at stake here.

Win, Moore, win.

Win for The People.

 

 

A man who loves his nation

How refreshing to witness a leader who loves his country speak passionately about protecting his people.

Netanyahu was speaking for Israel, and also for America, which is leaderless.

One just hopes that enough elected officials can get up enough steam to stop America’s current administration from facilitating Iran getting the nuclear bomb.

Otherwise, the next 9-11 attack won’t be about planes into buildings; it’ll be about entire American cities being vaporized.

Obama admin flees from Paris free speech rally

Neither Obama nor VP Biden, nor Sec. of State Kerry, nor any other high ranking US figure attended the free speech and anti-terrorism rally in Paris.  Over forty heads of state participated.

Why would the Obama administration make no attempt to have high level representation at a historic rally for free speech and against terrorism with America’s oldest ally?

Simply put, for six years Obama has punished America’s allies, he has rewarded our enemies, he does not believe in free speech at home or abroad and instead has done all he can to undermine it (IRS and NSA scandals), and finally, he will not lend his hand to anything that might appear like criticism of Islam.

Obama is not ham-handed or tone deaf about this, as his friends in the US media have complained.  Rather, he is utterly opposed to the very things that the people marched for in Paris.

No matter what Obama says, his actions always speak louder, and his actions on the subjects of protecting free speech and stopping terrorism say loud and clear that he is not on the side of America or its allies.  Obama identifies with Muslims to such an extent that he cannot bring himself to admit that it is Muslims who are committing atrocity after atrocity.  He keeps denying that they are Muslims at all, which is just silly, and if he really were forward-thinking, he would join Egyptian president Al-Sisi, who recently called for Islam to undergo a dramatically needed reformation.

Under Obama, the NSA spied on Americans exercising their basic rights to free speech, and the IRS was weaponized to suppress and even criminalize political free speech with which Obama disagrees.  Of course, free speech is a threat to his agenda, so the Obama FEC is now trying to control political speech on the internet, too.

And no matter what someone does in the name of Islam, Obama will permit no official criticism of Islam, a logic he abandons when he blames legally owned guns for criminal behavior (what if the staff at Charlie Hebdo or the police protecting them had had guns to defend themselves? The whole attack could easily have been over in seconds).  The civilized world says “Je suis Charlie,” and Obama says “Je suis Muslim.”

How the heck did Obama ever get elected to be anything more than dog catcher in the first place?  His values are diametrically opposed to those of all but a very small fringe percentage of the American people.  For those who disagree with this statement, just open your eyes and look at the sad facts.  Obama should never have been president of the United States.  He cannot even pretend to represent our nation any longer, and he is a disgrace.  He should resign, or be impeached.

People ask me why

For some people, politics and political activism are their bread and butter.  Politics pays their bills.  With the right clients, they can make millions of dollars out of politics as a business model.

For me, politics is about personal liberty, freedom, opportunity and many other inspiring principles behind the founding of America.  It is also about the little freedoms we have that emanate from the bigger ideas:  The freedom to drive or walk somewhere without having to prove that you belong there, the freedom to choose where to live, the ability to select from a wide assembly of fresh food, to name a few popular ones.

Call it an innate sense of justice and right and wrong, which family and friends have said I’ve had since I was a little kid, or call it a lack of patience, an inability to watch, participate in, listen to, or tolerate BS/fluff/empty slogans/lies/self-interest, whatever it is that motivates me, I am passionate about good government.

Good government has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager, when I first got involved in political campaigns.  Back then, I was horrified at the way abortion-on-demand was changing our culture, I was against gun control, and nuclear missiles scared me.  Later on, watching police beat non-violent pro-democracy marchers in South Africa motivated me to put my voice behind change there (note that now the monumentally corrupt and un-just African National Congress government there is hardly better than the overtly racist apartheid government it replaced).  Age, paying taxes, and work experience have a way of shaping political views for normal people, and I was no exception.

So here I am, living a life that has meaning for me, trying to shape Pennsylvania and American politics in ways I believe are healthy, necessary, and just.  The citizens and taxpayers who are supposed to be served well by their government (of the people, by the people, for the people) are not being well served today.  This is why I am involved in politics.  That is why I will not go away, at least not until things are fixed to my satisfaction.

Big win for Perry County, and all Pennsylvanians

Attorney Joshua Prince represented Sheriff Carl Nace extremely well, and this afternoon he achieved a dismissal of the frivolous lawsuit brought by the Perry County auditors.

Recall that their suit sought personal information of concealed carry permit holders in Perry County, contrary to two different state laws.

Judge Zanic called the lawsuit “a fishing expedition.”

Here is the URL to Prince’s statement: http://blog.princelaw.com/2014/09/08/perry-county-auditors-complaint-dismissed/

Let’s look forward to the rally for Sheriff Nace, who stood strong for the people’s liberty. And let’s look forward to making the auditors pay for the unnecessary financial costs they foisted upon the Perry County taxpayers.

Remembering neat people, Part 1

A lot of neat, interesting people have died in the past year or two, or ten, if I think about it, but time flies faster than we can catch it or even snatch special moments from it. People I either knew or admired from afar who changed me in some way.

There are two men who influenced me in small but substantial ways who I have been thinking about in recent days. One of them died exactly ten years ago, and the other died just last year. Funny how I keep thinking about them.

It is time to honor them as best I can, in words.

First one was Charlie Haffner, a grizzled mountain man from central Tennessee. Charlie and I first crossed paths in 1989, when I joined the Owl Hollow Shooting Club about 45 minutes south of Nashville, where I was a graduate student at the time.

Charlie owned that shooting club.

Back before GPS, internet, or cell phones, the world was a different place than today. Dinosaurs were probably wandering around among us then, mmm hmmmmm. Heck, maybe I am a dinosaur. Anyhow, in order to find my way to the Owl Hollow club, first and foremost I had to get the club’s phone number, which I obtained from a fly fishing shop on West End Avenue. Then I had to call Charlie for directions, using a l-a-n-d l-i-n-e, and actually speaking to a person at the other end. You’d think it was Morse Code by today’s standards.

After getting Charlie on the phone, and assiduously writing down his directions from our phone conversation, I had to use the best map I could get and then drive way out in the Tennessee countryside on gravel and dirt roads. Trusting my directional instincts, which are good, and trusting the maps, which were pretty bad, and using Charlie’s directions, which were exactingly precise, I made my way through an alien landscape of small tobacco farms and Confederate flags waving from flagpoles. Yes, southcentral Tennessee back then, and maybe even today, was still living in 1865. Not an American flag to be seen out there by itself. If one appeared, it was either directly above, or, more commonly, directly below the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag shared equal or nearly equal footing with the American flag throughout that region.

Needless to say, when I had finally arrived at the big, quiet, lonesome gun range in the middle of the Tennessee back country, the fact that I played the banjo and was as redneck as redneck gets back home didn’t mean a thing right then. Buddy, I was feelin’…. Yankee, like…well, like black people once probably felt entering into a room full of Caucasians. I felt all alone out there and downright uncomfortable. And to boot, I was looking for a mountain man with a deeeeep Southern drawl, so it was bound to get better. Right?

Sure enough, I saw Charlie’s historic square-cut log cabin up the hill, and I walked up to it. Problem was, it had a door on every outside wall, so that when I knocked on one, and heard voices inside, and then heard “Over here!” coming from outside, I’d walk around to the next door, which was closed, and I would knock again, and go through the process again, and again. Yes, I knocked on three or four of those mystery doors before Charlie Haffner finally stepped out of yet one more doorway, into the sunshine, and greeted me in the most friendly and welcoming manner.

Bib overalls were meant to be worn by men like Charlie, and Charlie was meant to wear bib overalls, and I think that’s all he had on. His long, white Father Time beard flowed down and across his chest, and his long, flowing white hair was thick and distinguished like a Southern gentleman’s hair would have to be. And sure as shootin’, a flintlock pistol was tucked into the top of those bib overalls. I am not normally a shy person, and I normally enjoy trying to get the first words in on any conversation, with some humor if I can think of it fast enough. But the truth is, I was dumbfounded and just stood there in awe of the sight before me.

Being a Damned Yankee, I half expected to be shot dead on sight. But what followed is a legendary story re-told many times in my own family, as Charlie (and his kindly wife, who also had a twinkle in her eye) welcomed me into his home in the most gracious, witty, and insightful way possible.

Over the following two years, I shot as much as a full-time graduate student could shoot out there at Owl Hollow Gun Club, which is to say not as much as I wanted and probably more than I should have. Although my first interest in guns as a kid had been black powder muzzleloaders, and I had received a percussion cap .45 caliber Philadelphia derringer as a gift when I was ten, I had not really spent much time around flintlocks. Charlie rekindled that flame in me there, and it has burned ever since, as it has for tens of thousands of other people who were similarly shaped by Charlie’s re-introduction of flintlock shooting matches back in the early 1970s, there at Owl Hollow Gun Club.

Charlie died ten years ago, on July 10th, I think, and I have thought about him often ever since: His incredible warmth and humor, his amazing insights for a mountain man with little evident exposure to the outside world (now don’t go getting prejudiced about mountain folk; he and many others are plenty worldly, even if they don’t APPEAR to be so), his tolerance of differences and willingness to break with orthodoxy to make someone feel most welcome. Hollywood has done a bad number on the Southern Man image, and maybe some of that negative stereotype is deserved, but Charlie Haffner was a true Southern gentleman in every way, and I was proud to know him, to be shaped by him.

The other man who has been on my mind is Russell Means, a Pine Ridge Sioux, award-winning actor, and Indian rights activist who caught my attention in the early 1970s, and most especially as a spokesman for tribal members holed up out there after shooting it out with FBI gunslingers.

American Indians always have a respected place in the heart of true Americans, and anyone who grew up playing cowboys and Indians knows that sometimes there were bad cowboys who got their due from some righteous red men. Among little kids fifty years ago, the Indians were always tough, and sometimes they were tougher and better than the white guys. From my generation, a lot of guys carry around a little bit of wahoo Indian inside our hearts; we’d still like to think we are part Indian; it would make us better, more real Americans…

Russell Means was a good looking man, very manly and tough, and he was outspoken about the unfair depredations his people had experienced. While Means was called a radical forty years ago, I think any proud Irishman or Scottish Highlander could easily relate to his complaints, if they or their descendants stop to think about how Britain had (and still does) dispossessed and displaced them.

Russell Means played a key role in an important movie, The Last of the Mohicans. His stoic, rugged demeanor wasn’t faked, and he was so authentic in appearance and action that he easily lent palpable credibility to that artistic portrayal of 1750s frontier America by simply showing up and being there on the set. Means could have easily been the guy on the original buffalo nickel; that is how authentic he was.

Russell Means was representative of an older, better way of life that is disappearing on the Indian reservations, if that makes any sense to those who think of the Indian lifestyle that passed away as involving horses and headdresses. He was truly one of the last of the Mohicans, for all the native tribes. Although I never met you, I still miss you, and your voice, Mr. Means.

[Written 7/23/14]