Immigration is All About Immersion



Immigration is all about Immersion


Ever since our nation’s founding people from all walks of life and every nation, tribe and culture have flocked to our shores. Many have been rejected or outright denied it for a variety of reasons. Others have fought hard to obtain it. Those who have made the often perilous journey and persevered while searching for the ever elusive prize – Citizenship in the United States of America have proudly proclaimed, “I’m an American Citizen”.


Many who read this will not understand the sacrifice someone makes when they take the plunge, leaving family, friends and all that is familiar to them to face the unknown. Whether it’s by air, by land or by sea leaving it all for what seems impossible is almost too hard to imagine.


All too often our perspective toward immigration and immigrants is skewed by politicians and the media and the elephant in the room is often ignored. One need only to look back at history to see that since our beginning our nation has been and is imperfect because we are a flawed people. In our quest for land and expansion we have taken simply because it was there.


As we began to develop our unique style of living we took advantage of age old techniques to enhance farming, technology and industry we used indentured servants and outright slavery for profit and survival. Our society has exploited the poor, disadvantaged, women and people of differing ethnic backgrounds while denying them the right of citizenship, yet we overcame those barriers to become the greatest self-governing experiment in human history.


So why does anyone want to come here? Is it the climate; the atmosphere or simply the fact that in a world where dictatorial leadership prevents freedom of expression, this is a place where freedom rings? For some it is a necessity, others it is an opportunity that allows them to become part of something much bigger than themselves. In America you can be anything you choose. When you work hard and follow the rules (law) a poor farm worker can become a small business owner, a corporate CEO or elected to the Congress of the United States. The sky really is the limit when you believe and place your trust in God.


There is a Confucius saying, “A journey begins with the first step”. When an immigrant takes that first step in faith, confident that given a chance they will be accepted and succeed, they truly feel that with God all things are possible.


Coming to America can be a frightening experience. One clings to native customs and traditions and family becomes the only thing one can hang on to. However it doesn’t have to take long before one becomes immersed into a normal lifestyle of America, while holding on to and passing a rich heritage to children and once someone becomes a US Citizen they are no longer an immigrant, nor are they a hyphenated-American. The greatest responsibility one takes on as a US Citizen is to pledge allegiance to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, both foreign and domestic, so help us God. – I am the Real Truckmaster!


Promises Kept



Promises Kept


Build the Wall – Drain the Swamp – Make America Great Again


During the 2016 campaign season Donald Trump made a number of promises if elected. He would build the wall, drain the swamp and make America great again were among his most repeated and remembered ones. We are now 2 ½ years into the Presidency of Donald J. Trump and what we’ve seen is an active and earnest resistance toward all things Trump by the Democratic Party, Main Stream Media and for the most part by members of Congress.


Build the Wall

Build the wall has been met with fierce resistance from the Democratic members of Congress, calling it a waste of money to build “Trump’s Wall”. In what has become a series of assaults by waves of migrants on the border President Trump called it a crisis that needs the immediate attention of Congress to close obvious loopholes and prevent future waves of illegals from overwhelming the Department of Border Patrol agents.


Rather than getting to work fixing immigration laws Democrats in Congress have gone so far as to calling the crisis on the US – Mexico border as something Trump manufactured. Some members have called for the abolition of the wall, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the criminalization of Border Patrol for enforcing US Immigration Laws, while calling for the humane treatment of detainees, which result in family separations as well as exposing cells of human trafficking and smuggling of drugs and other narcotics without doing anything in their legislative powers to correct it.


Drain the Swamp

Drain the Swamp has brought cries from Congressional lawmakers have transferred themselves into the category of lawbreakers, clearly into the swamp. They have ignored the will of the voters who placed them into office instead choosing to champion the rights of illegal immigrants when the Constitution clearly establishes rights for US citizens, non-citizens have none.


In cities across America from Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and many more mayors, county commissioners, and state governors have declared themselves as sanctuaries where illegals are protected and well fed through taxpayer funded programs previously aimed at caring for citizens. Law Enforcement is prohibited from asking their legal status or cooperating with federal ICE agents, resulting in serial killers being released to kill again on the streets. Some city administrations have declared that the President of the United States is not welcome.


The chaotic rise and the condoning of street gangs and domestic terrorists such as MS13 and Antifa have given them free reign to harass or intimidate and conduct acts of violence against law abiding citizens with impunity while attempting to restrict the gun rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.


Several colleges and universities have made it politically incorrect to use words like “Illegal” “Alien” “America” “American” “Man” or “Woman” as they are deemed offensive. Likewise the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and even the Flag of the United States have been banned as being offensive in American schools.


Professional athletes and sports teams, who by their name or title as representing the nation on the playing field openly mock, insult and disrespect the President, the Flag and the Nation calling it freedom of speech, I call it offensive!


The Swamp of political correctness and breeds hatred and anger that left unchecked become cancerous to our nation’s continued existence.


Make America Great Again

Make America Great Again is such a simple phrase that every single US citizen should relish and cherish it as a demonstration of national pride. Instead it has been attacked from the left as symbolic of racial dominance by those who seek to divide the people of the United States by ethnic and racial categories.


We have long endured the “hyphenated American” as a way of life throughout the United States.


Regardless of whether someone is born here, migrated here legally and worked to become a naturalized citizen, there is NO HYPHEN in AMERICAN. We are American’s first, with distinct heritages, tribal ancestry with many customs and traditions being carried down through our children and grandchildren. It’s important for them not to forget where our families have come from and to be proud of who we are today. The days of race baiting must end in America. There are two important rights guaranteed under the Constitution, the freedom of speech and the right to remain silent I encourage you to choose wisely. – I am the Real Truckmaster!


The Albatross




The Albatross

A weight around his neck


Robert Swan Mueller III – The Mueller Report


In May 2017 Robert S. Mueller III was selected Special Counsel by Rod Rosenstein, Assistant Attorney General, to investigate Russian Collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election. Many people do not know even now after the investigation was completed, the report published and released to the public in redacted form that President Trump has been in fact vindicated of any collusion between Russian agents and his Campaign/Transition team.


Why was Robert Mueller selected for this high profile position? Was it because of his impeccable character and his reputation as a no nonsense ramrod straight litigator who saw the Constitution as something to be protected and defended since his days as a Marine Lieutenant engaged in combat during the Vietnam War? Or was it his legendary reputation as a litigator? Maybe it was because he was all about the business of the law and never accepting anything less than top notch work from his subordinates?


It is a given that his incredible reputation carried much weight among the members of Congress who wholeheartedly accepted and approved of his appointment so that their number one goal would be achieved to bring about the downfall of newly elected President Donald J. Trump who was sworn in on January 20, 2017.


What stands out to me is the contrast in the lives of these two men of similar age and privileged backgrounds. One navigated in the world of real estate and business to becoming a billionaire playboy before becoming the 45th President of the United States, while the other chose military service followed by public service in the Department of Justice becoming the 37th Director of the FBI and the longest serving director (12 years) since J. Edgar Hoover.


When Mueller was tapped to the Special Counsel position his mandate was clear to investigate collusion between Russian state actors/agents and members of the Trump campaign. That’s a far cry from investigating Russian Collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election. What very well should have happened was the EACH presidential candidate should have had themselves, their campaign staff and records looked at to determine was there any contact with Russian agents.


This would have focused on each candidate rather than just Donald Trump’s campaign. It may have led to the discovery of improprieties from a number of sources and angles. However that never happened.


This brings up a number of questions about the office of this Special Counsel. Who assembled the team? Robert Mueller or someone else and what were the criteria for team members? Were they non-partisan or did they have ties to a political party or any conflicts of interest with any candidate or staff member?


How were the teams set up, investigators and FBI agents? Who hired them? Who controlled/monitored their work? Who decided when to fire or release them? How secure was the information gathered? More importantly what was the flashpoint or document that started this entire fiasco? Did it have any type of oversight?


I ask these questions after viewing and reading about the latest Congressional Committee Hearing where Robert Mueller although pre-scheduled to answer specific questions about the report bearing his name, appeared absolutely clueless about the material in the report. This is uncharacteristic given Mueller’s reputation for dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s.


I suspect, as others have, that Mueller was in the driver’s seat of a bus with his name plastered all over it while others conducted the witch hunt under guise of investigating. This would mislead the public and the Congress in believing the Robert Mueller was actively engaged as the Special Counsel and apparently that was not true. I don’t believe this was done out of spite by Mueller. I believe he was set up as a giant Trojan horse where the public and President Trump would focus on while all the time someone else controlled what the Special Counsel’s office did. I also believe that the indictments obtained on former members of the Trump Campaign were political entrapment in an attempt to get the President.


What should and must happen is that Robert Mueller publicly releases his statement on the role he played as Special Counsel and if that means a public apology, so be it. I think that is what a man of his character and integrity would do because it’s the right thing to do. After all Robert Mueller is an officer and a gentleman and forever will always be a Marine. – I am the Real Truckmaster!


I include these links so that you might see something the media will never show.


Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain

president trump briefing



Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain



The news cycle is spinning in giant circles because during the North Carolina rally President Donald Trump took God’s name in vain, not once but twice. So is that reason to stop supporting Trump? Is God going to strike him down with lightning? That depends.


We are told in Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”


No other words need be added to what God has already declared and cursing is a sin, right? It is not my place or yours to worry about what God will or will not do about sin. Jesus took care of sin on the cross at Calvary some 2,000 years ago when he died, took the keys to hell and death, rose again on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven.


What we need to know and understand is that God Loves Us individually and unconditionally EVEN WHEN we sin. God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. That is why he gave his only begotten son Jesus to die for our sin.


So tell me you without sin, which is the greater sin? Cursing, murder, adultery, covetousness, lying, stealing, gossiping, cheating, slander, or hating yourself the way God created you? How are we to judge? Do we sit on the judgement seat? Are we God? No we are not. However we are told to weigh everything against the Word of God, whether it is true or false.


We are told that when we sin we are to confess our sin to Almighty God asking for forgiveness with a grateful heart and he is just to forgive us of our sin. We are to turn away from it and sin no more (don’t do it again). Maybe, just maybe that applies to President Trump as well, right?


Many of us have children and grandchildren. We have “in-laws” and in many cases we have become outlaws in the eyes of God. When we or anyone in our family sins does that make them any less a part of the family, except by choice? When they use words we don’t approve of do we immediately kick them out on the street and say go ahead and take care of yourself because I don’t like the way you talked or the words you used? Of course not! That would be like throwing out the baby with the bath water because the water’s dirty.


Many have expressed their displeasure, others have written to President Trump asking him to make better word choices and maybe he will. No matter what happens it is up to Almighty God whether to use fire and brimstone or a measure of grace. Let’s face it we are all fallen sinful man. The wages of Sin is death, according to scripture. Death is what we deserve. Yet God often chooses a measure of His Grace which is sufficient for anything that life throws our way.


I am reminded that God uses people to do his will. All he requires is availability and obedience, nothing more and nothing less. God has a plan and purpose for everyone, even for Donald J. Trump with all of his faults. God even has a plan for you? – I am the Real Truckmaster!


So Blind They Will Not See



So Blind They Will Not See



“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not” – Jeremiah 5:21 (KJV)


While watching the John Wayne western classic “Rooster Cogburn” (1975) on television recently one line caught my attention. Shortly after the movie began Eula Goodnight (Katharine Hepburn) said to Marshal Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne), “Marshal Cogburn we are here together and we’re obligated to be on good terms with each other”.


I began thinking about something our pastor said during his Sunday teaching, “There are none so blind as those who will not see” (John Heywood – 1546). He was referring both to Jeremiah 5:21 and what John Heywood said. So I decided to Google it.


There are none so blind as those who will not see:

According to the ‘Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings’ this proverb has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21 (‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’). In 1738 it was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation’ and is first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’. The full saying is: ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’.


This saying true in religion, politics and life in general as there are some things that are right before our eyes. It’s like we are wearing spiritual blinders or have scales over our eyes. We used to have a saying for things we didn’t quite understand “were clear as mud”, if that helps.


Our political climate in 2019 has been hammered at us for the past 50+ years with Roe vs Wade; Political Correctness; Removing God from family life, schools and from government.


We are told that male and female are not the only genders (you can choose your gender). Parents are told they cannot even change a baby’s diaper without the baby’s permission and stop identifying them as boys or girls and children should make their own decisions about their sexuality. Perverted adult behavior is to be tolerated as normal when it is clearly not.


We are lead to believe that murdering children through abortion is somehow a woman’s choice about her own body and aborting a child AFTER birth is accepted? It’s OK to take vital organs and body parts from an aborted child and sell them for medical research instead of using medical research to maintain and prolong the life of the child. If that doesn’t make you angry there is a good chance that you are wearing those spiritual blinders.


The ridiculousness doesn’t stop there either. There are people who use their own racism to declare that others are racist. They use the term as a catch all for those who don’t agree with their warped point of view. To them everything and everyone is race bait material. What is normal has been determined abnormal. Abnormal behavior is considered normal? Patriotism is somehow racist behavior, while Communism and Socialism are what a small group of people are striving to have accepted as normal.


Colleges are declaring the words “Americans” and “America” prohibited on campus, why because they offend or exclude some individuals. It is seen as offensive to raise the American Flag or stand during the National Anthem, in fact don’t play the anthem at all and keep the flag off campus too.


What about immigration? Is it not the sovereign right of a nation to define and protect its national borders? Are nations now forbidden to prevent entry of anyone for any reason? Why then lock your doors? Must a homeowner stand idly by without protecting his family or property while a prowler ransacks the house and do nothing?


Can a business be forced to serve those who seek to destroy that business? Should a bank simply give money to anyone who demands it, whether or not they have an account or a sufficient balance? If you are OK with what is happening in America today there is something drastically wrong with your thinking.


On the political scale are you fine with a politician who promises to do you harm to appease others and it is alright for you to work hard so that others who choose not to work can profit from your hard work? The bible says that a man who doesn’t work shouldn’t eat. Man was created to work the land.


There is one who is fighting for America, under a mandate from God to stop evil from progressing under the guise of political correctness. His example is one of love for God, his family and for his Country. He stands firm against what others declare is normal, to insure that God is brought back into homes, schools and government. There is a meme or photo circulating on Facebook with President Donald J. Trump saying “They’re after you. I’m just in the way.”


Let me remind you of what the bible says in Exodus 20:2-17 (Ten Commandments):

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Those commandments are the foundation of the Constitution of the United States and embodied in the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1 – 10):


Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment 2 – The Right to Bear Arms

A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.


Amendment 3 – The Housing of Soldiers

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Amendment 4 – Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.


Amendment 5 – Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.


Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


Amendment 7 – Rights in Civil Cases

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.


Amendment 8 – Excessive Bail, Fines, and Punishments Forbidden

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Amendment 9 – Other Rights Kept by the People

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Amendment 10 – Undelegated Powers Kept by the States and the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


I find it is no coincidence that we have 10 Commandments from God and the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution as guiding principles for our conduct and that of our government having lasted for 243 years. Many people are confused as to whether our nation is a Democracy or a Republic and it is neither. The United States of America is a Constitutional-Republic. Based on biblical principles and guided by the Constitution as the Rule of Law.


A Constitutional-Republic:

A constitutional republic is a form of government in which a representative is elected by the people to govern over them, according to the rules established in the law of the land. An example of a constitutional republic is the United States’ form of government. U.S. citizens elect a President, and other representatives, who then govern them as the Constitution directs them to. To explore this concept, consider the following constitutional republic definition.


Every American citizen must arm themselves with knowledge of the heritage of the United States. How was it formed and why? What were the obstacles faced by these early Americans? How did they persevere and overcome those obstacles?


There was a time when this was taught beginning in elementary school by teachers without any ulterior motives or political spinning. By the time a child entered high school there were classes that encouraged critical thinking and debating skills were honed to a fine point. When a student graduated high school they were armed with the tools to successfully meet the challenges of the day and in the world they could become major players and decision makers. Colleges were finishing schools where doctors and lawyers received detailed schooling on medicine or the rule of law. Trade schools were where technical skills were taught, learned and developed. Everything else was learned by on-the-job training and through military service.


Much of that is lost today as the protestors of yesteryear (1960s-70s) have become college and university deans and tenured professors. Everything has become political and brainwashing has become almost undetectable and considered the norm.


One is considered a free thinker when they accept everything at face value and simply go with the flow. Never questioning or challenging what they hear or read. Their personal opinions are shaped by main stream and social media to the point that political correctness rules!


The Commandments of God are the standard for life and they never change. Regardless of whether you choose to obey them or choose disobedience to them – the choice is yours. Obedience without compromise is what God requires from each of us.


I refer back to what Eula Goodnight (Katharine Hepburn) said to Marshal Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne), “Marshal Cogburn we are here together and we’re obligated to be on good terms with each other”.


We are all created equal in the sight of our Creator God. We come into the world and depart the world with nothing. All the knowledge, power and “toys” we accumulate in this life are here today and will be gone tomorrow. There are no U-Haul’s in the great beyond or what is called the afterlife. As light casts no shadow, there will be only light or darkness for eternity. What you do with your life that God has given you will determine how you spend your eternity – With God or Without God? In darkness there is no light! God is the light! – I am the Real Truckmaster!


Who is Your Harbormaster?



Who is Your Harbormaster?


What is this fascination with making women equal to men, races being equal or everyone is equal to everyone else depending upon what you “feel like” today? It’s silly for anyone to think that everyone is the same and it doesn’t matter whether you were born male or female. Others may try to make you think that there are over 50 sexual genders, not true. The same is true when someone tells you that finances is racially dependent. In order to be rich one must have been born into money; worked hard to earn their money or steal it from someone else. That’s why the bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people tend to do anything in order to get that almighty $$.


A simple rule of thumb that you can take to the bank (or grave) is that we are all born with nothing and will die with nothing. There are no U-Hauls in the great beyond.


The truth of the matter is that each of us is unique a work of art by our creator. There is nobody else “exactly like you”, not even an identical twin. God thought so much of you that he only created you as his one of a kind you. It is up to us what we become. It’s not environmental or dependent upon anyone else. We go through life seeing things that need to be “fixed” and we have a tendency to say, “Somebody out to do something” and it’s true. We are somebody and we ought to do something, within our scope of ability and experience we can affect a change or just let somebody else do it. We were each given a brain to use, but it’s up to us whether we do something with it or not. Don’t let someone else tell you how or what to think. Don’t let them dictate your core values. Life is full of opportunities, doors to or barriers to keep us from somewhere. It is up to us to strive to be the best we can, do what we can to make this world a better place. It is when good people do nothing that bad people win. Don’t be fooled because in the end God is still in control and good always triumphs over evil, always!


This is a short article but keep in mind that even the captain of a huge vessel or ship must yield to the harbormaster before pulling into port! Who is your harbormaster? – I am the Real Truckmaster!




Muslimism vs Christianity in America



Muslimism vs Christianity in America


I originally wrote about this on 6-16-11 and now it is time to take a look at the reality of Muslimism vs Christianity in America and in American politics as much has changed. We now have Muslims (Islamic Extremists) elected into the House of Representatives.


I am no expert on the subject matter but I have written about major differences in the conquest of mankind by Muslims vs Christians. What we westerners think we know is the goal of Muslims (Islam) is world domination (conversion by force if necessary).


Christians choose relationship with God voluntarily.


Is there was a way to converge the two religions into one? Is that really possible with two diabolically opposed ideas? According to Samy Tanagho, an Egyptian Christian with a unique ministry to Muslims called Glad News for Muslims @  it is possible.


As Samy explained, Muslim’s love and fear God, they just don’t know God. Samy helps enable Muslims to know God and begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.


Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some to be…teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”


As a believer we must pray and ask God to use us for His glory. God’s plan is for everyone to be with Him in Heaven.


There are fundamental differences between Muslimism (Islam) and Christianity which we in the west do not truly understand. One basic difference is the use of lies versus the truth.


Muslimism (Islamic Extremism) is racist at its very core. You don’t believe me? According to the Koran extremists are taught and believe that Islam is the only true religion descending from Abraham through the prophet Mohammad and everyone must convert to Islam or die. That is true racism.  Extremists believe that lying is alright when it is done to infidels (non-Muslims).


During the 2018 mid-term elections voters elected a proclaimed Muslim woman (Ilhan Omar) from Minnesota into the House of Representatives. One need only to see and hear her speak to fully begin to understand what is happening within Congress as a result. She joined in on the assault on President Trump and has gone further by her assault on the United States (citizens and military personnel) and her praises for the enemies of America while claiming to love the country and be more patriotic than natural born American citizens.


As a child Omar’s refugee family fled Somalia and she later became a naturalized citizen. Her biography says she learned politics from her Somalian grandfather which had to include Islamic religious teachings.


Representative Ilhan Omar has joined forces with other newly elected representatives and together are a force (team) to be reckoned with, as the congressional old guard is finding out first hand. There will come a time where Democratic Party leadership will be directly challenged in the House. Omar ran on the Democratic Party ticket as a means of getting elected, but once she changes the party into an openly Islamic or Muslim Party think of the ripples that will run across this nation as many fear to confront Muslimism (Islam) head on. – I am the Real Truckmaster!