Can We Move the Needle?

So, the mid-terms are over.  Pelosi or some other moonbat will be obstructing the House and raving on the front page of the Times and Post for the next two years.  Soon the Democrat candidates for the 2020 race will begin foaming at the mouth.  Nothing legislative will happen for the next two years, except approval of presidential appointments in the Senate and the budget farce to produce continuing resolutions from both bodies of the Congress.  President Trump has his work cut out and will have to use all his wits and resources to clean up the Justice Department and remove as many illegal aliens from the country as he can.

What should we be doing?  It seems to me we need to make some progress on our own.  There’s all kinds of talk about building our own platforms and I agree with that idea.  But it seems there’s more talk than building going on.  Well, in the spirit of being part of the solution I’ve been putting my money where my mouth is.  I’ve been investing in advertising on various conservative sites.  I’ve used both an advertising company and also contacted directly with a couple of sites that place the ads directly.  And I will say that although the company that can put your ads on big sites like Drudge gets lots of traffic the direct advertising gets plenty of traffic too and is a good value on a per click basis.  I plan to continue investing in advertising and also attempt to broaden my content by partnering with other writers who have similar points of view to my own.  As an experiment I requested some content from one of our viewers last week and thought the results were excellent.  I think providing a broader range of content, including non-political subjects is a necessity if I intend to grow the site.  I also intend to start running contests to encourage more comments and participation.  As an example I am accumulating all these paperback books from the sf&f reviews I’ve been doing.  I could bundle some of these and make them a prize for some contest.  And similarly, for a photographic contest I can make some camera equipment a prize.

Basically I’d like to expand the site to build up a community of people mostly on the right who enjoy the experience of communing with like-minded individuals on subjects that they enjoy.  Not to be grandiose, but it can be a social media locale on a much smaller scale than a Facebook but with a lot more satisfaction in the interactions.  And I don’t minimize the probability that I’ll run into the usual problems with trolls and cyber-attacks that go along with anything on our side of the political divide.  But I think it’s important to actually make the effort to get going on it.  Talk is cheap.  Organizing is a lot of talk but it’s also time and money and I’m encouraged already that with a little bit of both I’m already seeing some results.

Thanksgiving.  Short work week and then the Thursday and Friday family gatherings.  I expect posts may be a little sparse those two days.  But most folks will be equally busy with their own doings.  As a consolation I’m off most of next week and will use up all of that turkey and pumpkin pie typing away feverishly at OCF content.

Here’s to hoping 2019 will be the year when the right starts doing its own thing and stops waiting for the government to do it for us.  Here’s hoping that the New Year will start to look like a new world.  But it will only happen if we ourselves individually make it happen in large and small ways.

Stay tuned.

How Many Possible Paths-Forward Are There?

Science fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp has been quoted as having said “It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.”  He was right.  Seeing into the future is a fool’s errand.  But it is also what we have to do every day of our lives.  And the farther into the future you can see the more successful you will be.

Here at Orion’s Cold Fire, prognostication is a scientific endeavor utilizing all the latest technology and the most powerful data crunching systems to make our forecasts the envy of Nostradamus.  Sure.

We live on the knife’s edge.  Everything we’ve seen in the last few years shows us that the fate of the United States and indeed the world is balanced on a teetering point and the smallest breath of wind has the capacity to save us, at least temporarily, or tumble us into the abyss.  Sucks to be us.

Lately I have been trying to figure out what are the most likely directions the future may take.  Let me number them here.

  • The clearest and in fact, the most likely future is the complete victory of progressivism. Under this scenario, political control of the Unites States and also the rest of Western civilization shifts irreversibly to the Left.  All the tenets of progressivism, feminism, LGBTQ orthodoxy, anti-white quota legislation and socialist economics prevail.  Free speech, gun rights and freedom of religion are abolished.  An all-powerful, all pervasive state control settles over the lives of the citizenry.  Basically slavery.  I think this has a very good likelihood of occurring.  And the method will be a gradual tightening of all the policies that will lead to this endpoint.  It won’t be necessary to legislate any of these things abruptly.  Gradual is better.  How’s that for grim?
  • Another possibility I can think of is a branch off of the first scenario. The progressives win a big election.  They start initiating their agenda and someone does something.  Let’s call it a revolt.  Some kind of resistance that incorporates individuals taking action that becomes a rallying point for local or state government action.  This grows into a larger movement and this requires a response by the Federal government.  To make this a distinct case from scenario 1, we have to assume that it isn’t suppressed and leads to a split in the country.  At least two distinct geographic entities would occupy what is now the United States.  For this scenario let us pick the case that a successful path forward is arranged and both (or more) daughter states move forward along independent paths with more or less cooperation between them.
  • The third possibility and the least likely scenario is that the progressives lose. Somehow President Trump successfully manages to turn the American project back into the direction of freedom and sanity and reasonable men follow him in reversing the outrages of the last half century and putting us back on the path of freedom and healthy social relations.  This is my idea of the happy ending.
  • The fourth scenario is a full-scale civil war of the type seen in Yugoslavia. If this occurs, I assume the likeliest outcome is a divided country with an eventual armistice and population shifts to allow people to choose between two very polarized and hostile camps.  This would be an extreme version of Option 2.
  • In option 5 our enemies around the world see our weakness and division and nuke us into oblivion. This is also a slightly less likely scenario but far from improbable.

I’m sure there are several other cases that I’ve neglected.  If you have your own idea for a different version feel free to leave it in the attached poll or comments.

 

How Does Trump Navigate the Justice Department Mess – An Uninformed Opinion

I’ll start out by saying straight out I’m simply stating my opinion based on what the situation seems to be to me.  I have no inside info and I’m not sure anyone outside the White House knows all the facts on the ground.  That being said here goes.

First assumption I make is that Robert Mueller means to persecute President Trump’s associates until he can produce enough circumstantial evidence to indict the President.  My second assumption is that he already has a bunch of things that he can unleash at any time.  My third assumption is that firing Rosenstein and Mueller after the new House is convened would be worse than doing it now.

Based on these assumptions, which are completely my own calculations of where things stand, I think President Trump will fire Robert Mueller in the next couple of days.  He’ll probably fire Rosenstein too.  But that is even less certain than the rest of this hypothesizing.

The fallout from such a course of action is much more certain.  The New York Times, Washington Post and the rest of the rags and CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC will explode with leaked stories accusing President Trump and all his associates inside and outside of the administration with every atrocity since the Sack of Rome.  Following this the Democratic House will begin investigations and shortly after that start the Impeachment Circus.  Will they impeach him?  Sure.  The only question in my mind is whether any of the idiot Republicans in the Senate decide to turn on the President.  Luckily, I think the great majority of them are smarter than that.  So, we probably lose a whole year going through this charade.

But by my reckoning that is actually the best way to handle this whole thing.  Delaying any of these steps only makes it worse.  Hopefully President Trump has gone through this too and recognizes the folly of letting this get drawn out.  The sooner he begins this Kabuki Theater act, the more space he puts between this farce and the 2020 election.  Waiting will sink his last two years and invites Mueller to tear even more people apart.  And he might as well pardon all the folks Mueller has indicted and prosecuted.  And as soon as he fires Mueller he should set up Rudy Giuliani to prosecute all the Dems and Deep Staters who have been running this treasonous witch hunt for the last three years.  And that should include Obama and his evil cronies and the Clintons.

So that’s my outsider, not clued in, totally uninformed opinion.   Fire these sons of bitches and let the chips fly where they will.  The American state is divided into two approximately equal groups.  One half likes you and won’t care at all about the crap that will fly in all directions.  The other half already hates you and it won’t make them hate you any more than they do.  So, go for it!  It will be an enormous shot in the arm for the dirt people and it will drive the moonbats right through escape velocity and headed for interstellar space.  Just my two cents.

2018 Mid-Term Election Night Live Blogging Open Post

I’ll be updating the election results throughout the night.

 

I’ll start off the action by posting my predictions.  Anybody who wants can out theirs in the comments.

Senate R54 / D46

House Republicans with a majority of 2 seats.

What’s your guess?

7 am update:

The ever hedging Nate Silver has increased the Dems odds:

SILVER: 88% DEMS TAKE HOUSE…  20% SENATE…

But still says anything can happen.  Now there’s confidence in your numbers.

Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends.”  Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Well here we go again.  I’ve been doing the Election Night Vigil religiously every two years since 2000.  And only the 2006 and 2008 were so painful that I wish I had skipped them.  But I have a good feeling about tonight.  Have a great day.

 

1pm Update

It’s still a long time until results come in so I have some fun links to while a way the time

6 pm Update

Well I voted the straight Republican slate!  But this is New England so not a single one of my picks will be elected.  But I’m home and I have all the resources of the internet and the MSM at my disposal, meaning there’s nothing to say yet.  Stay tuned.

 

7pm Update

Drudge Headline

EXIT POLLS SHOW DEM WAVE BUILDING  –  FEW SENATE RACES CLOSE

But ……Robby Mook, the former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 presidential bid, cautioned ahead of Tuesday’s midterms to treat exit polls “like online dating profiles.”
“Things may not be as they appear. And they may break your heart,” Mook wrote on Twitter.
First Election Board of the night

U.S. SENATE Democrats 25*  Republicans  42
U.S. HOUSE  Democrats  2(-1)  Republicans  6(+1)
GOVERNORS  Democrats 7  Republicans 7
8 pm Update
Drudge

HOUSE  D85 / R 93

FLORIDA GOV
GILLUM 49.6% DESANTIS 49.2%

9pm Update

Looks like we have our first Senate pick-up for the GOP

Indiana  D – Donnelly 42.0   R – Braun 53.9 Brenton 4.1   (50%)  GOP Pickup

 

10:20 pm Update

Looks like we picked up North Dakota and held Texas (Cruz) in a close one in the Senate.  The Dems have 11 pick-ups in the House.  They need 10 more but the Networks (NBC and Fox) have called it for the Dems already.  I’ll hang in there to see how this goes.

 

07NOV2018 7am Final Update

 

Well, the Dems took the House but by just a little more than the minimum necessary.  Disappointing but not earth shattering.  We picked up our 3 seats in the Senate.  The world goes on.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  It was a fun evening even if there were no meltdowns.

photog

A Terrible Confession

I’ve been setting up things so I can watch the Mid-Terms Tuesday night.  I’ll post updates on the blog and I’ll be following all the news outlets, both written and video feeds.  I’ve told the folks at work that I’ll probably be coming in late and certain to be catatonic at best.  I’ve gone on record as saying that the Republicans will gain 3-5 seats in the Senate and hold the House by one or two seats.  Now, truth be told, I am in no way certain about the Republicans holding the House.  And having to stay up until 4 am to see California put the Democrats over the top would be a bitter pill to swallow and something I would rather avoid.  But I feel I must watch this election.  I think there is a reasonable chance I’ll be able to watch a repeat of the 2016 Progressive Pundit Meltdown (PPM).  Watching the PPM was one of the most intoxicating visual spectacles of my life.  And I say this even though I’ve watched the live feeds from the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, both Gulf Wars and several previous Democratic election routs.  The 2016 PPM was exquisite.  Seeing the talking heads at ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, Huffington Post and the Young Turks slowly come to grips with the loss of Hillary Clinton was endlessly entertaining.  And sure, the aftermath of the loss also sparked a whole wave of videos featuring progressive celebrities, minor celebrities and nobodies howling at the moon in full-throated despair.  And those were absolutely hilarious.  But it was watching in real time as the Clinton Win-o-meter slowly descended from eighty five percent down to zero and seeing that descent mirrored in the voices and facial expressions of these “objective journalists” that was so addictive.  I want another hit.

I know I shouldn’t chance it.  I should feign stoic indifference and say that the details of the election cycles are a matter of complete indifference to me and instead point to the arc of history working inexorably to fulfill the destiny of the great revolution (all hail the shining dawn of something or other).  But it’s too tempting.  I’m a PPM junkie and I want my fix.  And risking a viewing of a republican wipe-out is equivalent to a junkie risking his life on bad smack.  I’m hooked.

So that’s my terrible secret.  I’m going in with only a 50/50 prospect of seeing the evil glory of Chris Cuomo looking like an extremely stupid coyote falling off a cliff.  Of hearing Rachel Maddow sputter out her bitter disappointment at America not being “with her.”  Of seeing and hearing the carnie barkers on the Young Turks lash out at anyone and everyone to vent their mindless rage.  It’s not smart or safe.  But schadenfreude is just too damn seductive.

So, if you’re looking for a guaranteed win on Tuesday and don’t want to risk a terrible letdown then you’re best off giving the whole thing a pass.  Watch some fun stuff and avoid the news until Wednesday morning and pretend indifference if the Dems manage to take the House.  I’ll totally understand.  But if you’re a risk taker who wants a chance to do the end-zone dance with fellow travelers while the studios are still awash in the salty goodness of progressive tears then stay up for the 2018 PPM death-watch with me on Tuesday night.  Who knows maybe some of those blue haired millennials who were on suicide watch in 2016 could make a come back this week and give me something really fun to watch over the Christmas holiday again this year.  Good times.

What Can We Learn from the Death of Gab?

Vox and the Z-Man have posts up on the shutting down of Gab.

http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=15418

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/10/they-cant-say-i-didnt-warn-them_28.html

There are a few ways of talking about this.  First off, we can discuss what is lost by a Gab shutdown.  Personally, I’ve never really completely understood Twitter or Gab.  It just seemed like everyone linking to everyone else but not actually reading the content.  What the actual value of that is escapes me.  I tried reading my linked content many times and found it a muddled mess.  Maybe that’s what happens when a million people are mixed in a blender together.  But I will confess I probably just didn’t know what I was doing.  So, all in all from a personal point of view it won’t actually affect me.  Now, maybe it has actually been useful for other folks for communication and publicity.  If anyone has found it valuable, say so in the comments.  But from my point of view it wasn’t very useful.

The next way we can look at it is what can we learn from how it was shut down.  Andrew Torba was vehement that he wanted freedom of speech to be the defining characteristic of Gab.  That sounds like a laudable ideal.  In practice, however, the content became pretty foul.  There were some pretty crazy people on the site.  Now, it’s unclear how much was just trolling by those looking to destroy Gab and which was legitimate nutbaggery.  But regardless, the result was unpleasant and chaotic.  Not being a Twitter user maybe I’m just unaware that this is par for the course in a social media arena.  If that is so then it sort of reinforces my impression that Twitter and all these social media environments are toxic places that are mostly about battling your enemies for sport.  I run a very different type of website.  It’s a microscopic place compared to Gab (never mind Twitter).  But we have to deal with the same questions of how to regulate the written interactions between real people.  I have the advantage that I can monitor the discussions on my own.  The scope is possible in a small venue.  For a place like Twitter or Gab it becomes expensive and difficult to maintain a consistent policy because of the need for multiple individuals with their individual points of view.  With respect to freedom of speech on my site, I tell people they can speak their minds but keep it reasonable.  Obviously, that isn’t a highly precise statement.  What I’m trying to say is stay within legal and cultural norms.  Different people have different perspectives on those and the only standard that I have to decide on what conforms and what doesn’t is my own judgement.  But that isn’t too different from any other venue where people interact and debate.  I’m guessing that a truly free speech site will always be a sort of giant demolition derby.  If your site is perceived as being on the right-wing it is clear that you will be punished whenever the opportunity presents itself so allowing the crazier individuals to let it all hang out will eventually lead to the situation that occurred at Gab.  So, the lesson to learn is a fully free speech site is not going to happen in the present environment.

And finally, we can look at what should be changed to avoid this waste of resources.  The first thing that comes to mind is an analysis could be done to find out exactly what are the useful functions that a Twitter, Facebook or YouTube serves and how, if at all, they could be replicated in a competing right-wing entity.  I am hardly qualified to do such an analysis but I’ll at least attempt to discuss some of the more obvious answers.  The two most important functions these sites accomplish is communication and commerce.  The sites allow people to find their audience.  To the extent that they are right-wing sites I guess that will help pre-select for the audience intended.  The second function is allowing content creators to monetize their product.  This will be tied into advertising revenue.  From what I’ve heard advertising revenues, even on established giants like YouTube and Instagram, are shrinking drastically.  What I think this all means is that a viable right-wing social media site will be a site where content providers will pay a fee to obtain visibility and the site will provide amenities like video storage space, band-width and some amount of moderation of the trolls.  Eventually, popular content producers will be able to sell advertising on their videos and other content products.  To me this seem to be the future of right-wing social media.  And it seems like a reasonable model.  Eventually the site will develop other ways to monetize its value.  Subscriptions like Netflix and Amazon eventually will be the end state.

So that’s my take on what can be learned from the Gab debacle.  Experience is the cruelest teacher but the most effective.

Codevilla’s “Our Revolution’s Logic” Resonates on the Right, but is He Right?

Codevilla’s lengthy article outlining the path forward he sees for the American republic is ricocheting around the right-wing blogosphere pretty heavily.  And that makes sense.  Here is a civic nationalist of unimpeachable credentials sadly confirming what the Dissident Right has been saying for several years.  Codevilla’s thesis is that we’ve gone over the cliff and there’s no going back to a united America.

Without a doubt, the naïve belief that a third of the population can publicly foment the disenfranchisement of 60% of the population without damaging the unity and even the existence of the nation has been exploded.  But does that mean that a coalition of people (of whatever ethnicity) who would prefer to live in a country corresponding to the pre-1965 way of life can’t be cobbled together?  Of that, I’m not convinced.  The Left has appealed to all the various grievances of women, minorities and sexual deviants against the traditional society as a way to build a coalition.  But what would happen if you take away the advantage for that coalition?  What if protected status was removed from these categories so that there was no longer any advantage to uniting under the banner of victimhood?  Suddenly moslems, feminists and trans-women don’t seem to have that much in common.  Just looking at the various minority groups, it doesn’t appear that East and South Asians have very much in common with Hispanics who don’t really get along very well with black folk.  Suddenly it makes a lot more sense for all of us to play by the rules that actually protect each group from the law of the jungle.  The real losers in this type of situation would be the really weird characters in the LGBTQ camp.  It’s pretty certain that there are much worse societies to be noticeably strange than in pre-1965 America.  Just ask the queer folk in Iran (if you could find any alive that is).  And considering the recent statistics on female college degrees and employment advancement I think women are the least entitled to demand special privileges.

I think what made the social and political situation in the last couple of decades seem like a lost cause to the Right was the fact that the only Republican leaders that we had on the scene weren’t really on our side.  Even in the short time that Donald Trump has been on the scene and even hog-tied as he has been by the machinations of the Deep State it’s obvious that our ideas are not unacceptable to the American electorate.  Imagine if a relatively united Republican establishment started to actually espouse the welfare of its constituency on a consistent basis.  I think we could easily sway many of the groups that currently vote in lock step with the Democrats.  What is needed is an assertive stance in demanding the end of unconstitutional practices that disadvantage and disrespect the majority of American citizens in the name of grievances that have no basis in reality.  The American legal system provides more than sufficient protection for all law-abiding individuals and the American business climate when nurtured by a responsible government provides opportunities to thrive for anyone who wants to work.

Anyway, that’s my take on the situation.  That’s why I haven’t despaired yet for the ability of America to revive.  I’m not saying any of this will happen.  I’m speculating that it could be done.  I also freely admit that it’s a long shot.  But if recent history has shown us anything it’s that long shots do actually happen.

I’m interested in your opinions.  Do you agree with Codevilla that all that’s left is dividing up the country or that there’s still a path forward for a United States.  Feel free to leave your comments below.

22OCT2018 – Mid-Terms Update

The Dems have written off taking over the Senate.  So they’ve thrown all their money and all their gas-lighting to retaking the House.  But even there, things are not going as planned.  Instead of the towering Blue Wave they are down to the ebb and flow of the tide coming in and out and the Republicans look just as likely as not to hold the House this time.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/10/22/five_reasons_republicans_can_hold_the_house.html

And of course, if the American people spare the House Republicans once again there’s no guarantee that these Republican Rats will honor this trust and get the president’s agenda moving in the House.  They are a feckless bunch and only marginally better than the Dems.  But somehow I think that with Ryan gone the House will somewhat make up for their past sins by getting the Wall on the agenda.  I know it seems crazy to believe they’ll come through but somehow I think they realize it’s the only thing that can save their precious jobs in the long run.  I’m already looking forward to the event.  I’ll have a post up to allow the comments to run as a discussion area.