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A few local signs that the economy is smokin’ hot

Me: “Hi. I would like to have Cleon make me log arch, one that I can hook to my ATV, that is stronger than the Chinese junk being sold everywhere, and that is less expensive than the crazy-priced LogRite arches.”

Lynette: “Josh, what is your time frame?”

Me: “Well, I can use it in a week, but two or three weeks is no problem.”

Lynette: “Here’s the thing about timing. Back in June, we were about to lay off one of the welders, but we put out bids on ten jobs, any one or two of which would have carried us through the year. And between last week and this Monday we heard back that we won every single one of them. So we will not only be retaining that junior welder, but we are now looking for about five more to help us meet our commitments. We might not be able to get to your log arch for a while, but one of the men will call you back later today.”

And then one of the men did call me back, with terms and a price that more or less said “If we are going to make this for you, then you are going to pay big for taking us away from our real work.”

Another sign that our local and regional economy is smokin’ hot: The log trucks, the pallet trucks, the lumber trucks on the roads EVERYWHERE and at all times of day.

Never before have I seen so much activity in just one business sector, as I am seeing now in the timber industry, except maybe in 2008 when the Marcellus Shale boom was indeed booming across Pennsylvania.

Log trucks are especially visible. How can you miss a log truck? It dwarfs every other vehicle around it, and looks incredibly incongruous. Log trucks have these huge wide open bays or bunks to hold the logs, and a boom arm with a claw for lifting up 6,000 to 10,000-pound logs. A log truck has about 5,000 board feet or more of medium to high grade logs of all types on it, heading from someone’s private forest to someone else’s mill. From there the logs will be carefully analyzed for grade, and either sold-on or sawn up on site. Hardwood lumber is used in flooring, cabinetry, and furniture, all of which when active indicate a strong consumer and home building economy. Even tulip poplar, once sold for pennies per board foot, is now used for couch frames and cabinetry frames.

At every timber job there are expensive machines at work, with drivers who earn enough money to support a family. And the loggers, guys born with a chainsaw in one hand and a rifle in the other, they cut down a dangerous tree every ten minutes, then lop it and move on to the next before choking up the logs and skidding them to a landing.

Then there is the landowner, who gets good money for something they did absolutely nothing to create.

The sawmills, whether small Amish mills or huge international mills selling hundreds of thousands of board feet per week, are beehives of activity. Every person working there is earning money, and spending money, and contributing toward the larger economic activity around them.

Say nothing of the new homes and kitchen cabinets being built, or of the beautiful hardwood flooring and furniture being made for those new homes. All from someone’s private forest.

The point is, these are just two small examples of how the economy is exploding, and how after many years of stagnation we finally get to do more than scratch out a living, but actually do well and pay for our kids’ questionable college “education,” buy new cars, take nice vacations, and set something aside for our later years, when we are no longer able to work so hard.

It really is a new day in America, and boy does it feel good. One gets the impression that this good feeling is widespread across America, with the sad exception of places in North Carolina and Florida, recently hit hard by hurricanes, and our hearts go out to the victims there. The one thing they can rest assured about is that the materials needed to rebuild their lives are on their way as I write these words, and they are America-made, and America-grown.

Should I riot? Burn my neighborhood?

The other day a cop stepped out in front of my vehicle and motioned me to pull over.

“Explosives checkpoint,” he said, leaning into the truck cab and looking around.

“Got a driver’s license?” he asked.

Policemen stood all around, serious faces, thumbs hooked into gear belts, a dog, a strange looking machine pointed at the truck.

“Sure,” I said, digging through my Benjamin Franklin replica wallet for the ID. “Anything to help you guys.”

And I meant it, even while I did not like being pulled over for nothing. It feels like a police state.  And we hunt. The truck is full of high powered rifle rounds, shotgun shells, tools, knives. What happens if the police find these things? They’re not explosives, but in the context of their search, they might be alarming.

And consider that the bumper has NRA stickers, Don’t Tread on Me, etc. My politics might be provocative.  Who knows where that can lead.

A couple minutes later, a different officer walked over to the cab, handed me my license, and said thanks. He apologized for the inconvenience. We made chit chat about our kids, the high cost of college, and other stuff.

We parted ways on friendly terms.

Was I profiled?

Was it my pickup truck? My conservative stickers? My tough guy appearance?

Do they think I’m a “domestic terrorist”?

Should I get mad about this? Riot? Burn down my neighborhood?

I went and ate lunch. And forgot about this uncomfortable moment until now. Nope, I never took it personally

We aren’t all “in this together,” but most of us are

As the “United Nations” and its ally Barack Hussein Obama demand that a sovereign nation immediately cease defending its citizens from incessant rocket attacks, Westerners can and should wake up.

Do not think that America will not be held to the same bizarre standard.  Beware of what is behind that.

As illegal invaders are now bussed into the American interior and given free taxpayer-funded benefits, be aware that future attempts to remove these squatters from our soil can and probably will be met with the accusation of committing a “crime against humanity.”

The UN will probably make that accusation official.

Already, Americans who want our borders to be maintained in an orderly way are being falsely accused of racism, as if the trucking in of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens – in violation of American law – is an act of caring and love to the people who actually built and run America.

Across the Middle East, Christians are being hounded out of their ancestral areas.  Bethlehem, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey….you name it, these areas that once held large populations of Christians are seeing a growing refugee problem as these believers are chased, beaten, burned, tortured, and robbed to the point where they have no choice but to flee or perish.

Very little press is reporting on this crime.

Recently, the Jews were similarly driven out of the Muslim countries, and even once-Jewish places like Hebron and Tzfat, to the point where by 1958 a million refugees had mostly arrived in Israel, their homes, farms and businesses stolen and (still) occupied by Islamic supremacists.  Populations that had lived peacefully for a thousand years before Islam was even created were suddenly attacked.  That canary in the coal mine is being attacked again, now, from Gaza, and the world has turned against the canary.

If American and European Christians do not recognize what is in store for them both at home in America and Europe, and abroad, then they will eventually suffer the same fate as their Middle Eastern brethren.

Gotta make a stand against evil, folks.

What Would Nixon Do, or Do Americans really want to recover from this?

Obama’s “re-set” with Russia empowered Putin to become Stalin II. Russia is expanding un-checked in all directions as it re-creates the totalitarian Soviet Union, sacrificing airliners full of civilians along the way, with impunity.

Obama’s apology tour in the Middle East empowered Muslim imperialists to go to war against everyone, including the very European nations that have increasingly hosted them.

The Middle East is breaking apart everywhere and along every ideological fault line possible.  The West’s sole outpost there, Israel, is surrounded by enemies, desperately conducting a non-war of non-defense, under circumstances where the World War II Allies carpet bombed and incinerated hundreds of thousands of their enemies in a single day, in battles fought day after day.

At home, Obama illegally trucks in hundreds of thousands of sick, diseased, poor illegal aliens to help bolster his political party, in economically depressed areas already loaded with broken communities.

If Richard Nixon resigned because of a failed nonviolent office break-in to get psychological files on an American traitor, then what should Obama do?

What will the Republican Party do to protect America from its enemies, foreign and domestic?

Is anyone paying attention?  Do more than a handful of Americans really give a damn what happens to America and its representative government of checks and balances?

Do Americans want to recover to the great nation we were before, or are they satisfied to watch Western Civilization crumble around them, come what may?

Are Turtles Crossing the Road Really a Threat?

Why drivers seem to target slow-moving, non-threatening little turtles is beyond understanding.

Don’t we all have a soft spot in our hearts for innocent, vulnerable, gentle creatures that do us no harm?

The same goes for snakes, which eat the rodent mice, rats, and chipmunks that do so much damage to our homes, crops, gardens, and vehicles.

Every spring and summer, turtles cross roads as they leave water bodies like rivers, ponds, lakes, and marshes, and seek out soft soil where they can lay their eggs, so that the next generation of their kind can continue their unimposing life cycle.  Yet every year, roadways are littered with dead and wounded turtles, many dying slowly in the baking hot sun.

Their crime is nothing more than appearing in front of humans behind the wheel of a machine.  Are so many of us really so homicidal or sadistic that we go out of our way to hurt, injure, and kill a little helpless animal?

The unfortunate, sad answer is Yes, a lot of drivers go out of their way to hit turtles with their cars.  You can simply look at where the turtles lie, crushed or wounded on the side of the road, where the car driver had to actually veer off the roadway to hit the helpless little thing.  What is really sad is that turtles take at least ten years to breed, so killing one or two (or stealing one or two) in a given area can doom or kill off the entire population there.

If you have compassion for turtles, you can watch these instructive videos below, where curious turtle-liking guys put a rubber turtle alongside some roads near their homes and generated some unhappy results, and where drivers get out to try and help injured turtles.

Bottom line is Yep, drivers went out of their way to run over the little rubber turtle.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Video 4: