KENTUCKY STINK: I am not trying to be dismissive of peoples' gripes, but, sheesh, if the biggest thing I had to worry about in my life was droppings from Amish horses in the road, I'd be a happy guy. Doesn't a good rain just wash the waste away? I guess that sort of thing just doesn't get me all worked up. Maybe I am weird. I mean, that said, it would be a nice gesture for the Amish to somehow tackle this issue since it does bother their English neighbors. But, still, in the whole scheme of things, this just seems like a minor issue and to clog the courts with it? What a waste of taxpayer dollars, in my opinion. Click here to read more.
PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH CHRISTMAS: Read this delightful interview with 93-year-old food historian Don Yoder about Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas food traditions. Interestingly, he picks up on one of the things I have noticed over the years: Christmas is a very muted celebration among the Amish. They observe the occasion but often very tepidly. I think a lot of the observances among the Amish are more pop culture participation than anything else, most would leave the day largely unmarked. Obviously the Amish are deeply devout so this lack of observance is seen more as a sign of respect than anything else, like they don't want to turn Christ's birthday into the carnival of commercialism that has occurred in society at large, although even the Amish are losing this battle.
GOING TO THE DOGS: An Amish man in Colorado has withdrawn his application to begin a dog breeding kennel in his settlement. The tide of public opinion was just too high against him and, ultimately, it wasn't worth it. I think you'll see more and more Amish voluntarily leaving the breeding business as the price of public opinion begins to become too high for them. Click here to read more.