Where Do We Go from Here? – Part 1

In an earlier post, I defined my position in the spectrum of the political right by saying that I recognized the uselessness of the establishment republicans but was not ready to accept the balkanization of the United States as predicted by the Alt-Right. That’s how I defined it but I didn’t specify what I believed was the actual trajectory America would trace in the near future.  And I didn’t specify it for a very good reason.  I have no idea what will befall us.  By which I mean that unlike some others I think we have several possible paths and I can’t decide if any are close to certainty.  In fact, I can’t even say which I think the likeliest.

Up until Donald Trump’s unexpected end-run around both the GOP Establishment (GOPE) and Hillary Clinton, I was pretty sure that America as a free republic was over and we were headed for the kind of corporatist socialism that Europe has descended into. I anticipated the stripping of first and second amendment rights and the continuing importation of a new third world population to strip the sovereignty from the legitimate citizens of the United States.  Let’s call this the default option for our future.  That’s the trajectory that President Trump is trying to deflect us from.  In my gloomier moments I believe we will continue on this course.

Another possibility is what I call the Hays Code version or “Happily Ever After.” That’s where we come to our senses and start reversing all the damage done since the 1960s.  This requires a Supreme Court to strike down large swaths of the affirmative action legislation of the sixties and seventies (and beyond), and a Congress to reverse the unsustainable immigration policies of the 1960s and an agenda that returns to policies that encourage strong families, safe communities and prosperity.  This is the fondest hope of my sunniest moments.

And then there are the other less peaceful scenarios.

A mild version would be an insurgency in one or more states during a Democratic presidency. Something that is too large to be handled by the FBI or ATF.  Say a revolt based on gun rights being violated by the Supreme Court or Presidential executive order.  Once the events escalated past civilians shooting federal agents and they shooting back it would be very hard to put the pieces back together again.  In a particularly right-wing state like Texas I would guess there would be little popularity with state officials for rounding up their citizens for resisting unconstitutional actions by the feds.  Resistance by the state governments could lead to a breakdown in federal credibility.  And that could lead to a re-examination of how out of whack the government is becoming.  That might cause a change for the better and possibly constructive changes in the way our country works.  Or it could break the whole thing apart.

The Alt-Right vision is of some kind of ethno-nationalist revolt with an insurgency that leads to a division of the country into separate states. This is a possibility but honestly, the outcomes are completely unpredictable.  So many factors, including unfriendly foreign states, rogue military actions with weaponry varying from small arms to nukes, disruption of food and fuel supplies leading to everything from starvation to bloody insurrection and worse.  Can you imagine a Yugoslavia style civil war with multiple sides?  I’m just not smart enough to imagine a scenario in this that I look forward to.

There’s the possibility of a military coup by the right, or the left. The latter never seemed an option before but after Obama has peppered the ranks with leftists it’s a possibility, if a slight one.  The former case is completely possible.  A right wing coup might unilaterally impose secession of all but the Northeast and West Coast.  If this coup managed to monopolize the nuclear armament it would de-facto create a reality that couldn’t be easily resisted.

Here’s a weird one. California has been talking about secession.  But what if the “sanctuary state” in California is interpreted as a rebellion against the Federal government and Congress and the President declare California in rebellion and strips it of voting rights and installs a military governor to restore order.  Can you imagine a Federal program to repatriate all of California’s illegal aliens?  That is almost science fiction.  But how different is it from the Japanese internment camps?

And the possibilities become weirder from there.

Suffice it to say that I am much more comfortable with a more normal path forward. But I fully realize that we must push back against the leftists.  They are confident that no one will push back the clock to undo whatever they have captured today.  This must be changed.  First up is a new Supreme Court to reverse the worst aspects of the new society.  If Kennedy does not find for the cake baker in the gay wedding case then we have to wait until he leaves or one of the older democrats is forced to vacate by reason of health problems.  Or maybe we get enough congressional seats to vote in a larger Supreme Court.  But without a doubt we have to push things back in every way we can.

One thing that has become completely clear is that leftists can’t be negotiated with. They must be defeated at the ballot box and in every other venue.  They won’t be satisfied until they have removed everything in life that is wholesome and good.  They say they don’t believe in evil.  But everything they are fighting for is evil.  That seems clear.  We can’t wait for them to come to their senses.  We must push for the change that is needed to preserve the good that once existed in this country.  And there’s no time to waste.  In late installments I’ll try to figure out how we can avoid everything but the “Happily Ever After” scenario.  Wish me luck!

 

Arizona Strip/Southern Utah Thanksgiving Photography

Hello Readers. This will be the first installment in a series about the American Southwest. I have lived in Las Vegas the last four years and it is an ideal location to reach many sites within a days drive.  I spent Thanksgiving this year driving and hiking Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. The majority of the time was spent between highway 89 and highway 89a along House Rock Valley Road in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. I have outlined my route in red in the below graphic.

 

You could spend a week here or use it as a base to visit Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon. I have been a few times already but I am already planning my next trip back. I mostly use the M43 format with a Panasonic GF3 and and Olympus EM1 Mark 1. This was a recent change from the Sony A6000 (still use this for night photography, none worth sharing from this trip). But I will also my phone, an in expensive Motorola,  on occasion. I keep a 14mm pancake on the GF3 and a 70-300 with a 1.4 teleconverter on the EM1.

 

This is House Rock Valley road. It runs about 30 miles north-south. You can see the washboards in the photo. It is generally passable in a sedan but i would recommend good tires. I helped a person out from the WirePass trailhead who had gotten two flats and was limping out on a spare and slow leak. From this road, you can view California Condors soaring above and roosting on the cliffs.

 

My plan for this trip was to explore Coyote Buttes South, Toroweap, Buckskin Gulch, attempt some astrophotography and some Condor photographs. I entered House Rock Valley Road from the south. There is a condor viewing area a few miles up the road (they release them on the cliffs making it a reliable spot for viewing). What I found was even with my cropped sensor and a 1.4tc on a 300mm lens that I still could have used about 3 times as much reach. In future trips I plan to find a different location. Either the rim of the grand canyon or Navajo Bridge nearby on the Colorado River.

I had acquired a permit for Coyotes Buttes South and took some advice I had found online to drive up Cottonwood Cove and then leave by way of Pawhole (there are areas of deep sand that are easier to be going downhill for on Pawhole). I plan on returning to this area to explore White Pockets, another popular area I have yet to visit.  This area is much less popular than the Coyote Buttes north but still very impressive.

I camped off of 5 Mile Mountain road as the Stateline campground was full. What I found later in the trip was that this was a very popular weekend to be in the area. The next morning I had a long day of driving ahead of me. I had to stop at the Escalante Visitor Center in Kanab to pick up my permit for hiking Bucksin Gulch and then I was on my way to Toroweap. I timed the visit with the Coyote Buttes north lottery. I enter the online lottery each month but competing with over 300 people each day has not led to any success. This day however they set an in person record with 319 people. I however had luck on my side and won a spot for Sunday.

The drive to Toroweap, an overlook on the northwest side of the Grand Canyon involves 60 miles of dirt/gravel roads. The first five miles pass through a reservation and then you reach the Grand Canyon Monument boundary. There are about ten campsites at the overlook and the scenery along the way makes it well worth it. I chose campsite 5 and found about four others were taken that day. This area of the canyon is narrower than the more popular rims. I could have chosen a better time to view with the late day shadows but that just gives me a reason to make a return trip. I attempted some photos of the Andromeda galaxy and Orion that night but will share more details of my astrophotography setup when I hopefully have some better success.

View from Campsite 5 at Toroweap

I initially planned to spend the remainder of the weekend hiking in Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the country. There are a few backpacking trips found in the area. You can connect up with Pariah canyon for a multiday trip. I planned to wander around for a couple days and take some interesting pictures. Once I won the Coyotes Buttes north permit I changed my plans and only visited for a short time with plans to come back (this is an easier permit to get). On the drive back from Toroweap I detoured to the North rim of the Grand Canyon. I have been here previously and enjoy the drive. I recommend this rim to the South because it is at higher elevation and less crowded. I didnt actually go to the rim as I wanted to avoid the crowds but couldn’t pass up the drive because it would be closing for the winter seasons in a few days. People were collecting their Christmas trees from the forest and the montane meadows were empty.

I drove back to House Rock Valley Road and hiked from WirePass to Bucksin Gulch. It is conveniently the same trailhead as Coyote Buttes north that I would hike the next day.

I started my hike in Coyote Buttes North at first light. It was an overcast morning. I had previously won a permit here a couple summers ago and was looking forward to exploring more of the area as the first time I took a direct route to see the main attraction, the Wave. I wandered around more to the East. I generally take most of my photos on the hike in as I find it easier to then hike out faster but with the overcast skies I ended up taking the same photos twice because conditions improved by late morning. I recommend spending the day here and seeing as many sites as time allows. The majority of people just see the Wave and what is on the route to it but there are detailed resources online that show other sites and even the best times to visit for the best light.

 

I look forward to future posts and discussions and would be happy to give any recommendations if people are planning trips out here.

 

 

An Interesting Read from the Dark Enlightenment

I seem to find some pretty strange but interesting stuff.

https://theanti-puritan.blogspot.com/2017/12/dont-hang-on-my-every-word.html

This is on a website called The Anti-Puritan who is I think an Anarcho-Capitalist.  He has some relation to the Dark Enlightenment, possibly that just means they think Enlightenment Civilization is a dead end.  Anyway, it was interesting and I thought I’d provide a link and I’d love to get some feedback from any readers interested in discussing the gist of what he is saying, regardless of whether it’s supposed to be serious or just an observation of how our world is devolving into meaningless existence.

I think it’s interesting that even folks who don’t seem to have any religious beliefs come back to religion because human beings need to believe in something absolute.  If it’s not God, then they make a god called communism or science or social justice.  I think there’s something true in that.  If you’re interested in talking about it go ahead.  If the comments get long we can always take it to a forum topic.

Vox Day’s SJWs Always Double Down – A Book Review

If you’ve never heard of Vox Day then most probably you haven’t been following science fiction and fantasy over the last few years.  This is probably highlighted from the caption at the top of the cover of this book that quotes the Wall Street Journal as saying about Vox that he is, “The Most Despised Man in Science Fiction.”  And on one side of a partisan divide that is completely true.  But on the other side of that line he is a folk hero or maybe folk-devil.

For those who do not know him suffice it to say that he has been very active in the various campaigns by the alt-right (or some subset of it) against the forces of the SJW converged establishment.  He has been active in the campaigns against SJWs in Gamer-Gate, Puppy-Gate, Trump’s Election and lately in his launching of Alt-Hero to counter the SJW convergence of comic books.  He’s also an editor of his publishing company Castalia House.

In addition to his science fiction and fantasy books Vox has written several books on the culture wars.  To my mind the two most interesting are his “SJWs Always …..” books.  Let me clarify.  His first of these was the ground-breaking “SJWs Always Lie.”  Now he has added “SJWs Always Double Down.”  These titles are drawn from Vox’s “Three Laws of SJWs”

  1. SJWs Always Lie
  2. SJWs Always Double Down
  3. SJWs Always Project

The laws succinctly describe the behaviors to expect from SJWs.  The books are manuals on how SJWs behave and how you should and shouldn’t react to them.  I called the first one ground breaking and that’s no exaggeration.  They reveal the direction and progression of SJW encroachment and attack on normal people and normal institutions.  It was lavishly filled with examples that Vox drew from his own experiences and from things ripped from the headlines.  It was grim but valuable information.

With the publication of the second book, “SJWs Always Double Down,” Vox continues the lessons.  Once again, he illustrates his points with anecdotes from his experience and the real world.  And he brings us up to date on the latest events in the Gamer-Gate, Puppy Gate, Milo’s tour, the Trump Election saga and now the comic book wars.

For some one who has been involved in some of these events (albeit much more peripherally and much less actively than someone like Vox) I find his insights and background information pretty interesting stuff.  But just as with the first book, the more important aspect of the book is as a practical handbook of what to expect from SJW encroachment on every aspect of modern life.  Raising awareness of these problems and giving you practical advice and examples of successful tactics is literally priceless.

There may be some parts of this book that you won’t be interested in.  For instance, if you do not intend to debate SJWs you may be completely uninterested in the Aristotelian categories of rhetoric and their application in debate.  But if you are interested in keeping your job then the information on SJW tactics in the work place will be very interesting.

Full disclosure, Vox is on the far right in his politics and beliefs.  His beliefs may be completely incompatible with your own.  If that means you cannot read his book then that’s that.  But honestly, just because I’m much more of a moderate than Vox Day, I still recognize the validity of the observations he makes about SJWs and many other aspects of today’s various cultural crises.  His early recognition of Donald Trump’s viability as a candidate and his amazing abilities as a practical politician indicate that Vox is astute.  I believe you ignore his information to your own detriment.

And dammit some of his jokes are comedy gold.  Anyone who can see his insertion(!) of “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” into the Hugo Awards as a nomination for Best Short Story and not laugh out loud has a heart of stone.

I say that Vox’s SJW books are a national treasure for all on the right.  Highly, highly recommended.

My New Post Over at American Greatness – Maybe Jeff Sessions Has Already Wrapped My Christmas Present

I love those people over at American Greatness.  They really know how to make my day.  Here’s the link to the new article.  I can’t imagine Trump will let something like this slip between his fingers.  Should be good.

Maybe Jeff Sessions Has Already Wrapped My Christmas Present

 

 

TheZMan Has a Post Up That’s Frighteningly Interesting

A war in Korea that doesn’t involve the US and China as enemies?  That’s frought with so many possible disasters I can’t even count them.  And how about Russia?  Even with the best of intentions I shudder to think of how many ways it could play out wrong for us.  The strategic, tactical and historical minds boggle.  Apparently the apocalypse just keeps getting closer.

The Road To War?

December Third 2017 Site Update

Well, the year is almost done.  It’s been a busy but good year.  Starting to get the hang of this routine.  Mixing work and blogging is always a challenge but I’m liking it.  We’ve started to get some feedback from the readers (which is always appreciated and encouraged).  I’ve decided to stop attaching the survey to each post.  We got 47 responses and they are literally across the whole gamut of ideologies (well no actual Cthulhu Worshippers self-identifying).  Here is the break down:

Conservative 17
Moderate 4
Liberal 2
Alt-Right 3
Civic Nationalist 0
Traditionalist 3
Progressive 0
Alt-Lite 1
Alt-West 2
Dissident Right 2
Libertarian 5
Reactionary 0
Neo-Reactionary 0
Nationalist 2
Human Biodiversity Adherent 0
Dark Enlightenment Adherent 1
Ayn Randian 1
Ron Paul Follower 2
Bernie Bro 2
Total 47

 

Plenty of conservatives and other right leaners but also plenty of libertarians and even a few lefties to provide atmosphere.  Looks about right.

My first article submission to “American Greatness was accepted and published last week and I am told was viewed positively so I’ve been told I can submit some more which I will do very soon.  I like that publication.  They have a good mix of writers but I think I can provide a unique point of view they’re missing, a sort of combination of Ambrose Woolfinger and Harold Bissonette with just a dash of Ralph Kramdan and George Jettson thrown in for flavoring.  So that’s coming up.

Also upcoming is a series of photo articles on some of the amazing landscape vistas in the southwestern US.  I have an associate that I think I have convinced to put together a little travelogue of his recent trip to some of these incredible locales.  That I’m looking forward to.

I’m currently reading Vox Day’s SJWs Always Double Down.  I’ll share my thoughts on this timely sequel to his earlier SJW survival manual.

And I’m working on a number of other reviews and projects so stay tuned.

Greg Bear’s Hardfought – A Science Fiction Book Review

Hat tip to Tom (one of our most active site denizens) for recommending this story.  I knew of Greg Bear but when he was most popular my reading habit was curtailed due to SYFMS (struggling young family man syndrome).  After reading Hardfought I’m looking forward to reading some more of Mr. Bear’s stuff.

Hardfought has a pretty complex structure and several important plot elements are intentionally obscured.  This makes the beginning of the story confusing.  But hang in there.  It builds to a good effect.  Because of the structure of the story I can’t go into much detail of the plot without spoiling it.  Suffice it to say that this is a very interesting take on human-alien war.  I liked the way Bear uses the details of stellar evolution (lack of heavier elements in first generation star populations) to define the contrast between the human and alien characteristics.  The human characters appear strange to the reader.  Their environment and social structures are very unusual and so it takes a little bit of plot revelation to start to put their behaviors into context.  The alien protagonist’s behavior and motivation are intentionally inhuman but his interactions with his own species and with humans highlights several traits that make him useful to the resolution of the story.

The story is a meditation on the consequences of total war or war to extermination.  I think it is asking whether survival at any cost actually is surviving.  If what is left of you at the end is unrecognizable did you actually survive?  And I don’t think Bear is answering the question.  He is just illustrating the end of the trajectory.  It is obvious to the reader what has been lost but everyone gets to decide if the price is too high.

A very interesting read.  I’ll have to look through Bear’s other stuff and see what else I should try.  Thanks again Tom.