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Hello! I’m Steven and I’m an Angry American!

“Hello! I’m Steven and I’m an Angry American!”

Okay so that wasn’t exactly the introduction we exchanged but that was definitely his underlying message. Actually, if I remember correctly, as I approached his tattered sidewalk booth in front of the Post Office in Paso Robles, he said, “You ready to impeach Obama? You tired of his $#!+ too??” Shocked at his bold and early use of profanity, I extended my hand and said, “I’m not sure how mad I am. What’s your name?” He said his name was Steven and started telling me about Lyndon LaRouche and how he was a Presidential Candidate eight times. (“Eight?” I thought. I was under the impression only Ross Perot ran that many times!)

He went on about how President Obama has his finger on the trigger of a Thermonuclear War and .. wait .. WHAT?? Thermonuclear war?? What’s that? (www.dictionary.com’s definition: ther•mo•nu•cle•ar of, pertaining to, or involving a thermonuclear reaction: thermonuclear power. But I’m still unclear as to how that’s different from a regular nuclear war?) I asked why we were on the verge of war. He cited a US warship now parked off the coast of Spain and that the US was actually in cahoots with Libya, Egypt, the instability in Syria and the Ukraine. “Oh like the Jihads going on in Iraq and Afganistan? I just finished reading Lone Survivor,” I commented. “Haven’t read it.” He quipped. “All those Jihadists do is take boys with no future and feed them full of their Islamic bull $#!+, drug them up and send them off to be suicide bombers. They’re nothing more than political pawns.” He went on to mention that the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks were funded by Saudi Arabia and that Presidents Bush and Obama were covering up for them but omitting 28 pages from the Accounts of 9/11. Wow .. Sorry Steven, you officially lost me there.

I decided to take control of the conversation and asked him if they identified with Republicans or Democrats, to which he replied gleefully, “Neither! We’re Hamiltonians! You know, Alexander Hamilton wrote the Constitution?” Yes, Steven, I’m familiar with Alexander Hamilton and I’m not an idiot. So I asked about his impeachment proceedings. He said he’s got 10 Democrats and Republicans onboard to push through Impeachment proceedings. I asked him, on what grounds will they be proceeding? He referred me to some propaganda that was stacked neatly on his table.

I’ll take this quote directly from his LaRouchePAC.com hand out: Obama’s “serial violations of the Constitution” make it “the duty of the House of Representatives to impeach Obama,” Catron wrote. He cited Roman Emperor Tiberius’s dismissal of the “self-seeking and moral cowardice that had allowed Rome’s once-powerful Senate to be emasculate: ‘Those men are fit to be slaves.’ If our elected representatives in Congress don’t do something about Obama, they will be regarded by prosperity with equal scorn,” Catron argues.

He told me about how corrupt Congress is and that the biggest problem with America is that we need to return to a National Bank and re-instate the Glass- Steagall Act – then handed me another piece of propaganda entitled, “GET RID OF WALL STREET AND PREVENT THERMONUCLEAR EXTINCTION.” Wait .. WHAT?? How does Wall Street have anything to do with Thermonuclear War?? I’m so confused!! My silence must have invited more commentary. “Glass-Steagall was repealed by the Clinton Administration in 1999 during the Lewinski scandal. You do realize that Al Gore and the Republicans planted Lewinski as in intern in the Oval Office so that there was a distraction while Glass-Steagall was being repealed. Americans wouldn’t have stood for this legislation to be repealed if they knew what was going on. The politicians had to divert attention, Monica Lewinski was the answer.” I stifled laughter. Really Steven??

So I re-directed again. “Steven, how did you get here?” “Oh I’m from San Francisco,” he says. “No, I mean how did you get here doing this?” “I ran into a booth!” his bright blue eyes sparkling. “Do you have a Political Science degree?” I asked. “Nope! I didn’t go to college. That’s where they beat you into submission, suck out all the common sense and inject you with communist or socialist agendas.” I countered with a bit of wit and sarcasm, “Like Agenda 21?” He looked puzzled for the first time. I was amused. He redirected, “I can tell you didn’t go to college. You’re smarter than that.” I’d be insulted if the first statement were untrue. I am, in fact, insulted by the second statement. Not finishing college is the greatest and probably only regret in my life.

He started his speech about wanting money. I listened, then walked back to my car to find the only bill in my wallet, a five spot. I was totally willing to give that up for the 20-or-so minutes of entertainment and enlightenment. I looked back at what enticed me to Steven the Angry American in the first place. His early 1990’s white VW sedan was covered in photographs vilifying President Obama with a Hitler style mustache penned in place. Another photo of JFK with a missile posed in the background. I wretched a little again at the sight of graffiti on the President’s photo. Inside his car, I noticed some collared shirts hanging from the handle in the back window, a pillow and some boxes stacked up. Was he sleeping in his car? How did you get here, Steven?? Are you like those boys with no futures that the Jihadists fill with their bull $#!+ and send off to do their political dirty work?

I left my thoughts with my car and crossed the street to see a crowd of about four amassed around my new friend. He says to one lady in particular, “Are you ready to impeach $#!+head? That’s our name for him. We refuse to call him President.” I was officially offended. No matter if I agree with his politics or not, I’m an American first and that’s MY President you’re referring to! It’s Mr. President or President Obama. I don’t care how angry you are. This nation’s respect and moral standards are diminishing because of classless individuals like you, Steven. Unfortunately, after this statement, Steven lost me for good.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this whole experience. I guess it has captivated me for a few reasons: 1. I don’t get to meet extremists often. 2. He was a smart, good looking, young man who, in my mind, did have a future. 3. Is this how the Jews viewed Jesus and his followers?

To my friends and social media followers, I make no secret of my political standings. Most of my viewpoints and political opinions are derived from experiences and observations as a child and young adult, trying to preserve my family ranch for future generations. I don’t know the answers but I’m pretty sure they don’t lie with Lyndon LaRouche, Steven the Angry American and the Hamiltonian Party.

All I can do is remain educated and aware and pass along my experiences to others, like you, who might want to read what I write. If I’ve learned anything, it is to not be afraid of what you don’t know. I learned more from Steven in 20 minutes on a random Thursday than I could have dreamed. I had no idea what I was getting into, and I really didn’t have to share much about myself in the process – just let him do the talking. I encourage you to talk to people who you wouldn’t normally engage in conversation. You just may learn about Thermonuclear War, what Monica Lewinski was really doing in the Oval Office and just how worthless your college degree is. I’m a better person for meeting Steven the Angry American.

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I know you. I’ve known you since you were a sweet baby. Tonight, my family gathered over your flesh. You see.. much about my family actually revolves around you.

Beautiful bone-in ribeye with outstanding marbling

Beautiful bone-in ribeye with outstanding marbling

In the fall, we wait with great anticipation for your birth. We feed you through the winter and take care of you if you fall ill. We make sure your mama takes care of you as she should and if she doesn’t, we take you in – into our homes. We will wake at any hour of the night to check the fire and make sure you’re warm, not hungry and comfortable. If you need, we’ll give you a bottle, but what we really want is for you to be safe and happy with your mama. We feed your mama and her sisters – they should all be healthy, happy and ready for more babies before spring! In spring time, it is my dad’s and my brother’s hands that prepare you for the rest of your life. It is my hands that give you the immunizations that protect you from terrible disease which very well could cost you your life. It is my sister and her husband’s hands which make you safe to prepare you for the things you need to move forward in life. It is my mother’s and my brothers’ hands who feed you, every day. And the longer it doesn’t rain, the longer we feed you and the shorter we can watch over you. Early in the summer, our family will together make the decision to renew our ranch’s cycle. We will keep some new mamas, we will send some of you on to realize your full purpose on this earth.
Are we a factory? I guess if you think of a factory as a machine that puts out a product for consumption, then maybe we are a factory. I wholeheartedly believe that we are a family who uses the resources that generations past have entrusted to us. A family who choses a life and lifestyle that contributes to the food system and the greater good of America and American Agriculture.
I fully realize just how fortunate I am to look at the BBQ with a glass of Paso Robles wine in hand, standing next to my dad and know exactly where that bone in rib eye came from. And I know how far you went in your 24 months and know where the grain came from that you were finished on and know exactly who harvested you. And most importantly the ethical and moral manner you were harvested in. I know and understand the packing house where you hung for 21+ days and I know the road you came back to the ranch. Same road you lived on your whole life. Same road that my great great grandfather decided to call home in 1874 and the very same road all us O’Donovans and Ryans have called home. We prepared you for our nourishment over a fire born of wood that was harvested from the same ranch, overlooking the same road. My sister and her husband came from 300 yards away and my brother and his wife and my niece came from 8 miles away, back through the town that has been here since 1886, that we all attended school in.
I could sit on this porch and talk to my family forever. I will never forget these moments.

I could sit on this porch and talk to my family forever. I will never forget these moments.

You see .. Part of your purpose was to keep us together. Part of your purpose is to be the tie that binds. As some of us sit on the brink of change, and others settle into the change that has always come, and the rest of us comfortably honor the existence that has perpetuated on this ranch now for 140 years, we honor you. We pray over you. We thank you for your sacrifice. You allowed me to spend an hour with my dad in front of that fire having a conversation that I will never forget. You allowed me to spend two hours around a dinner table that has absorbed countless words and will continue to harbor an empty seat for anyone who wants to come and talk, or come and listen.

You, my friend, have sacrificed more than I can thank you for. Just as God sacrificed His Son. You are an honorable being and tonight, I honor you. Death with purpose gives meaning to life. Tonight and every hour of my life, I honor you.
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Recognizing Sacrifice

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