24JAN2020 – Quote of the Day

On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility. We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests tend to suffocate it. This is the real crisis.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Here is an Example of Confusion About What Conservatism Is

In his essay titled, “Can Conservatism Be Conserved?” Spencer Klavan questions whether a new “conservative coalition” made up of actual conservatives together with various non-conservatives who have been alienated or even attacked by the “Woke” progressives can form a coherent movement.  But then he concedes that most of these “new conservatives” would reject the title.  Klavan explains,

“An inescapably important reason for this is that many members of the new conservative coalition (especially those who don’t identify as conservative) reject the label because they hold views, and practice ways of life, which the historic conservatism of only a generation ago deemed deeply distasteful, even unconscionable.  Weinstein and Boghossian are atheists. Murray, Doyle, and Straka are openly gay. White is transgendered, and Birchill and Bindel are lifelong feminists.”

Apparently, the only thing all these people have in common is they don’t want to be de-platformed by the “Woke” hall monitors.  Maybe that means they believe in free speech.  But maybe they only want it if it suits their speech.  After all, feminists and the various alphabet people seem plenty willing to call anything they don’t like hate speech and get these people de-platformed or worse.

At its core I think this outreach to non-conservatives is just the latest example of liberals trying to act as gatekeepers and redefine conservatism into something acceptable to their friends on the Left.  It’s kind of like the ecumenism that was supposed to let people of different faiths coexist but ends up by turning Christian Churches into cultural centers devoid of any connection at all to Christ because it might be offensive to the non-Christians.

In my opinion it is a mirage to think that embracing these various leftists as some kind of a partnership will do any good at all.  On the contrary, all it will involve is attempts to disavow any actual conservatives who won’t paper over their rejection of the various dysfunctional and dangerous lifestyles or worldviews that these so-called conservative allies espouse.  A similar thing was done to the paleocons by the neocons a few decades ago.  That was how we ended up in the mess we are in now.  Trump was able to, single-handedly, drag those deplorables back into the fold.  The last thing we want to do is give “new conservatives” another bite at the apple.

So, in answer to the title of Mr. Klavan’s article, yes conservatism can be conserved but not by accepting non-conservative ideas and the people who live by them.  Let the progressives, the liberals, the moral relativists, the feminists and the alphabet people battle with their even crazier “woke” brethren (or whatever gender bent category they prefer) on their own.  We have nothing in common with them and nothing to gain by engaging with them.  I would much prefer to engage with the fringe groups to the right of us and see if we can find some common ground with them.  Their ideas are more extreme than ours but they at least do not reject the values that we embrace.  In many cases I think they have let pessimism radicalize their thinking and pushed them to conclude that only radical solutions to our problems exist.  I think the last few years have shown that progress can be made if the right people get involved.  If actual conservatives have a part in running the country better outcomes are possible.

Zac Brown Band – A Country Music Review – Part 1

The Zac Brown Band has been putting out country albums since 2005 but the two albums that caught my attention are “The Foundation” (2008) and “You Get What You Give” (2010).  These two albums have some of Zac’s best songs.  Many of them are ones you’ll enjoy listening to over and over.  Here are some of my favorites:

Foundation

Chicken Fried

Highway 20 Ride

Toes

You Get What You Give

Colder Weather

Knee Deep

I Play the Road

 

 

Zac fills his albums with songs that are original and meaningful.  He has a sound that combines elements of country, bluegrass and Southern Rock.  On a few songs on these albums he’ll mix in some reggae stuff which isn’t my favorite thing but usually it’s okay.  He writes most of the songs and fills them with great instrumental work and heartfelt lyrics.  And he even has a few comical songs which I like.  Of course, nobody will like all the songs and I’m sure there are some folks who won’t like his stuff but I’ll risk a statement that most country music fans will like quite a lot of these two albums.

Zac has a bunch of other albums but in my opinion, these are his best two efforts so far.  In another review I’ll pick out the rest of his work to highlight the best of these other albums.

23JAN2020 – Quote of the Day

I had grown up among engineers, and I could remember the engineers of the twenties very well indeed: their open, shining intellects, their free and gentle humor, their agility and breadth of thought, the ease with which they shifted from one engineering field to another, and, for that matter, from technology to social concerns and art. Then, too, they personified good manners and delicacy of taste; well-bred speech that flowed evenly and was free of uncultured words; one of them might play a musical instrument, another dabble in painting; and their faces always bore a spiritual imprint.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

22JAN2020- OCF Update

So I haven’t bothered to read any detailed reports of the Senate Trial.  But the headlines are amusing and encouraging.  Apparently Mitch McConnell has kept his nerve and stonewalled the Dems on all their requests to extend the trial and showboat for the media.  Good for you, turtle man.  Let him keep that up for another day or two and we can move on to something really important, namely the sign stealing scandal in Major League Baseball.  Perhaps Nancy Pelosi can inject herself into that crisis.  If I remember my history Nancy was involved in that earlier baseball scandal involving the 1919 Chicago Black Sox when she seduced Shoeless Joe Jackson by showing him a not so shapely ankle in exchange for his cooperation in throwing the World Series.  During testimony Shoeless Joe lamented, “That old bag’s ankle was definitely not worth the lifetime baseball ban.”  Or so I’ve heard.

The other political story of interest is Bernie Sanders holding his ground against a full court press by the press.  They have accused him of everything including being “like Donald Trump,” which is as close as they can come to issuing a fatwa against him.  But one story I glanced at claimed that a new nationwide poll has Bernie  leading Creepy Uncle Joe for the first time.  If Bernie gets the nomination I think it would be the first time in history that a U. S. Presidential election featured only men born in New York City.  A definite sign of the apocalypse.  A lot of people are saying Bernie is a bigger threat than any of the other Dem candidates.  Maybe that’s true.  He definitely promises a lot of stuff and he does claim he’s for the people.  Well, either way I don’t think any of these doofuses will give the President much trouble.

Work is a bear right now but I’ll try to squeeze in a post whenever humanly possible.  I’ve got some more country music reviews and of course Star Trek must go on.  I’ll add some more stuff to reclaiming the family and of course The He-Man Woman Haters’ Club but those posts shouldn’t be rushed.  They need time and loving care.

Stay tuned.

 

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 16 – The Galileo Seven

The Enterprise is on a mission to deliver medical supplies to a planet that is being ravaged by a plague.  But on route they find a quasar-like object and since these are a high priority of the Enterprise, they send out a shuttle craft (the Galileo Seven of the title) with a crew that includes Spock, McCoy and Scott.  But as soon as the shuttle craft nears the object, the radiation from the quasar drives the shuttle craft off target and damages its communication and navigation controls.

Meanwhile back on the Enterprise Kirk is aware that the shuttle craft has gone missing and that locating and rescuing the crew will be extremely difficult.  On top of this they have on board, Commissioner Farris, whose mission it is to ensure that the Enterprise delivers the medical supplies on time and he has put Kirk on notice that one minute past the scheduled time Farris will assume command of the Enterprise and force it to leave the shuttle crew to perish.

Meanwhile the shuttle craft has crash landed on a planet that is inhabited by twelve-foot tall cave men who hurl equally gigantic spears with deadly force.  Within minutes of landing one of the red shirts is speared.  Spock shows no sorrow for this death and gains the animosity of most of the crew.  When a second crewman is killed by the cave men because of Spock’s ineffective leadership there is almost open revolt and Spock is almost shocked by how poorly his logical approach has fared.

And on the Enterprise the crew has been carrying out a systematic but hopeless search for the shuttle craft on the planet.  Commissioner Farris spends all of his face time badgering Kirk and performing a countdown to their departure time.  He truly is an annoying jerk.  Finally, time runs out and Kirk begins leaving the solar system at slowest speed.

After discovering that their fuel is depleted, they have Scotty repower the shuttle with the phasers they’ve been using to fight off the cave men.  They determine that the power will allow them to reach orbit.  But when the cave men start to attack the ship, they sacrifice some of the power for a high-powered lift off and now barely have enough power to reach orbit.  Based on schedule they know that the Enterprise has already left orbit but Spock decides to forfeit their ability to stay in orbit for a chance to attract the Enterprise’s attention with a rapid burn off of their fuel, basically a flare.  And of course, it works and at the very last minute as the shuttle craft is burning up in re-entry, the shuttle crew is rescued by the transporter.

The episode is centered on the shortcomings of a leader who does not have empathy in his psyche.  Spock is unable to inspire confidence in his crew and his lack of understanding of how the illogical cave men will react results in the death of one of his men.  But finally, when fiery death was staring him in the face he resorted to a desperate intuitive plan and succeeded.  All of this was slightly interesting.  But at the end of the episode when Spock and McCoy are on the bridge with Kirk and he refuses to admit that he acted illogically they accuse him of being stubborn and he agrees.  Then they all start laughing as if this was something hilarious.  This looked incredibly phony.

Alright, so what do I do with this episode?  This is one of those psychological episodes so I should probably go easy on the set up.  But the planetary scenery and the cave men and their artifacts look as incredibly hokey as anything seen on Star Trek.  Then there is the annoying Commissioner counting down the minutes and Kirk snapping back at him in frustration.  But the crew growling at Spock and his incompetent leadership are kind of amusing.  Let’s say a score of 6.  As for Shatner, his only chance for bad acting is the fake laughing at the end of the episode.  But that’s hardly a stellar performance for him.  I’ll say 6 // 4.