Let the Joyous News Be Spread, The Imbecile Paris Accord is Dead

 

If the deranged Never-Trumpers still deny that Trump has done what none of his competitors would have, then I abandon any hope for their redemption.  Against the virtual firestorm of threats and innuendo from presidents, ministers, prime ministers, dictators, senators, congress critters, popes, pundits, millionaires, billionaires, actors, pop stars, the press and other assorted castrati, Donald Trump did the right thing and freed us from another Barack Obama executive order.  Bravo.  He’s the best president ever.  And I even mean over Reagan.  Now, I’m not claiming that Trump is more conservative or a better man.  Far from it.  But he is the perfect weapon for our time.  He is a vindictive bastard and that’s exactly what we need.  We have lost so much ground that if we don’t gain some ground right now we’ll end up backing right off the cliff.  I supported him generously in the last election but my return on investment is incalculable.  He has delivered over and over again.  And I expect that he will continue to do just that.

I will now prove I’m not a deranged Trumpophile.  Donald Trump is a very strange man.  He is a spoiled rich kid who grew up to be a self-indulgent megalomaniacal philistine.  He’s a serial philanderer who dumps wives like some men trade in cars.  He’s got a comb-over that frightens small children and probably dogs.  He claims to value money as a veritable end unto itself.  And he treats people like garbage.

But through some amazing circumstance he is a bona fide genuine American.  And he picked our side.  So, the same people who hate me, hate him too.  And that makes him my ally.  Trump understands power and he knows how manipulators play the game.  And when they attack him it triggers his super power.  So now he is using that power for good instead of evil.  To troll and torture these losers.  And he provides incredible entertainment value and the prospect of even more winning.

Of course, I should say a few words about the Paris Accord.  This is one of the worst parts of the Obama legacy.  His intention was to bake it so deeply into the economy that energy would become the means of permanently breaking the American people.  Once again, we’d be serfs for the lords of the manor with no hope of living like free men.  We’d be Europeans.  And so, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and all our prospective betters have been pushing Trump with every lever they could think of.  And of course, a Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Marco Rubio (and I fear even Ted Cruz) would find some reason why it wasn’t “prudent” right at the moment to get out of the accord.  And over time the president and the congress would each use the other to pass the buck as to why they never escaped this permanent tax on almost every facet of our lives.  And we would be the worse for it.

So, here’s to Donald Trump, that no good deplorable troll who saved all our butts.  I believe he is a case of divine intervention.  God works in mysterious ways and far be it from me to second guess the divine will.

Plug for An Article on the Z-Blog – On Atheism

The Z-Man has a very interesting article on faith, skepticism and atheism.

On Atheism

That he is a skeptic but sees the hollowness of the militant atheists is I think quite perceptive.   His final statement,  “I do know I’d never want to live in a world ruled by atheists“  resonates for me.  I imagine that almost all reflective religious people wrestle with questions about how to reconcile an omnipotent, benevolent God with the world such as it is.  But the world view of people who feel their highest calling is to mock Christians speaks of individuals nursing an enormous inferiority complex whose egos need to be constantly revalidated.

Trump vs Photog – Part 2 – OCF Goes to Washington

Trump vs Photog

Scene 1 (White House – Oval Office)

President Trump (PT) – Bannon, Bannon, where the hell are you Steve?

Steve Bannon (SB) – For pity’s sake Mr. President, I was in the bathroom.

PT – What’s the problem Steve?  Plumbing going bad?  You should be careful about that.  It could be contagious.  Don’t need that around here.

SB – No Mr. President, everything is fine.  How can I help you?

PT – That loser from the internet that was making fun of me with the schmoopy stuff.

SB – Oh, ahhhh, Photog from Orion’s Cold Fire?

PT – Yeah, that’s the loser.  Boy that’s a dumb name.  Anyway, I want him back here today.  I want to know what the internet weirdos think about me.

SB – Well sir, he is a private citizen, and you did tell him to get lost last time.

PT – Blah, blah.  He wants a story for his stupid blog.  Just send a Humvee to his house and tell him to get his butt downs here pronto.

SB – Yes Mr. President.  Can we at least send him first class?

PT – Hell no.  Put him in a fighter jet and get him here within the hour.  They have two seats right?

SB – I guess they do.  I’ll get right on it.

Scene 2 (White House West Wing, two hours later)

PT – Well Photog, what took you so long?

Photog (PH) – Good to see you too Mr. President!

PT – Yeah, yeah, I love you too.  Look I need information.  Around here everyone is either scared of me or hates my guts.  I need to know what the regular people are saying.

PH – Well the regular people think you’re the greatest troll who ever lived.  We get the biggest kick out of all the stuff you say to the press, NATO and Schumer and we loved what you did to Comey.

PT – Well what about the fact that we haven’t repealed Obamacare or built the wall or cut taxes.

PH – Well they are getting annoyed about the wall but we figured the Obamacare thing and the tax cuts would be stalled because of the losers in the House and Senate.

PT – Well the wall thing is turning out to be a bigger problem than I thought.  The Congress is full of spineless jellyfish.  But I’m glad to hear they aren’t blaming me yet for the other two things.

PH – Mr. President, jellyfish are invertebrates.  By definition they have no spine.

PT – Oh for pity’s sake.  Isn’t there anyway for you to avoid being thrown out of here?

PH – Sorry, sorry.  Anyway, if you want my advice, the thing for you to do is think of executive actions that help regular people and hurt the leftists.  Go after the sanctuary cities, Antifa and states giving benefits to illegal aliens.

PT – We are already doing that stuff but the courts have been interfering.

PH – Then bring it to the Supreme Court.

PT – That’s a tricky thing.  Kennedy is unreliable.  He may vote with the other side.  I have info that he will retire this summer so I’m holding off.

PH – Well don’t wait too long.  Americans want results.  Fire all those traitors in the FBI and NSA who keep leaking to the press.  Oh, and bail on the Paris Accord.  Climate Change is one of the biggest pain points you can hit your enemies with.  Cancelling those things takes money out of their pockets and puts it back in ours.

PT – Well I said I’d make a decision this week.

PH – Do yourself a favor make the right one.

PT – Maybe you’re right.

PH – I’m always right.  Never left.

PT – Alright, that’s enough.  Get the hell out and take Acela back home.  Riding on that piece of crap will teach you some humility.  And if you see that loser Biden there tell him I found his peep hole in the bathroom and had it spackled over, the perv.

A Panegyric to Donald Trump

As we wend our way along to the first half-year mark of the Trump administration I feel I must pay tribute to the man.  Over the course of these last few months I have come to know and admire our president for his ability to trigger rage and panic in his opponents.  He has shown the American people that the democrats and the main stream media are in bed together and as dishonest as can be.  His talent for applying intellectual jiu-jitsu to these weasels has been fascinating as well as hilarious.  In the days ahead I think I’ll assemble a greatest hits or top ten list of my favorite Trump Trolls.  Surely near the top of the list (at least up till now) has got to be him firing Comey while he was off-site at a meeting and letting Comey first hear about it on TV.  That was truly classic. Of course, the famous fake news interview is right up there too.  But regardless of whether any particular day includes a top ten item, Trump shows all of us how to negotiate with the leftists.  With a club.  As an example, last week I was on the morning coffee walk with the guys at work and we were discussing the Trump Road Show in the Old World and someone brought up the NATO speech and one of the guys had watched it and he said his favorite part was when Trump said, “I haven’t even mentioned your new headquarters building or how expensive it was.  But I will say it’s extremely nice!”  It sounded like a Chairman of the Board telling the executive committee of a company that he’d noticed them wasting company money.  And we all were nodding our heads in agreement with his comment.  And then I just said what everyone was thinking.  “He’s the best president ever.”  And he is.  Because he’s not a politician, he’s a businessman.  And he’s telling the Congress and the FBI and the NSA and even NATO that they work for us and it’s our money they’re wasting.  And he’s calling the media liars and calling Chuck Schumer a cry-baby and he’s telling the Saudis that Islam has a problem and he’s talking straight to the Israelis and the Palestinians and he even talked to the commie pope.  I’ll bet he told him to mind his own business.

So, this update is just to confirm that not only am I not tired of winning but I think it’s getting close to the point where we need to start talking about putting Donald on Mt. Rushmore.  If he can get the idiots in Congress to give us the tax cut and figure out how to make Obamacare less terminal we should get him his own weekly TV show.  It can replace the silly press conferences that the media losers rig against him every week.  It could be divided between a ten-minute update by Trump on the latest efforts to fix the government and a half hour variety show featuring bathing beauties and country music acts.  Maybe Melania can host some non-feminists discussing family issues that are interesting to women.  I see it as a sort of Hee-Haw State of the Union.  Who knows?  Maybe he can find some comedians to do some non-Trump based parodies.  God knows there’s enough unused material out there on Hillary, Bill and Carlos Danger.

OCF Classic Movie Reviews – Capra Corn – The Films of Frank Capra – Part 1 – It Happened One Night

Anyone who has watched TV around Christmas has probably seen a Frank Capra movie because every year they play “It’s a Wonderful Life” non-stop for a week straight.  And that’s a really good Capra film.  But Capra made a bunch of good films in his day and some of them are among my favorites.  And my all-time favorite is “It Happened One Night.”  Filmed in 1934, it stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in a screwball comedy that wants us to believe that an heiress on the run from her father would meet up accidentally on a bus with a reporter who needs her runaway story to salvage his newspaper career.  Their trek from Florida to New York begins with each despising the other and ends up, of course, with them falling in love.  But of course, the course of true love is never smooth and never was that truer than with this goofy tale.  The key to the success of this movie, for me, is the chemistry between Gable and Colbert.  He is the seemingly self-confident man of the world.  He knows it all and claims to be able to write a book about every skill from how to correctly dunk a doughnut, to how to thumb a ride on the highway.  She starts out as the arrogant little rich girl.  Pretending to need no one’s help and always in charge.  Once they broker a deal to travel together to their mutual interests, they proceed to heckle each other and bicker until they pretty convincingly fall in love.  My wife and I have always thought of this as a pretty much perfect date movie.  It has a little something for both sexes.  Gable gets to strut and brag in his king of the jungle act and Colbert is the sarcastic little woman.  In one of my favorite scenes Gable is demonstrating his various “foolproof” methods of thumbing a ride.  After a string of failures, he dejectedly admits maybe he shouldn’t write that book after all.  Colbert says she’ll get a ride and won’t even have to use her thumb at all.  Of course, she walks over to the rod, lifts her skirt above her knee and the first passing car slams on the brakes and the emergency brake too.  An amused Colbert says to the glum Gable that she had just answered an age-old riddle.  He asks what and she replies “that the limb is mightier than the thumb.”  And he viciously replies “well why didn’t you just take off all your clothes and you could have gotten a hundred rides?” to which she serenely replies “when we need a hundred rides I will.”

As I mentioned earlier, the couple don’t smoothly move from reluctant partners to sweethearts without obstacles and by the last reel misunderstanding and anger almost conspire to destroy this match made on a Greyhound Bus.  But of course, happily ever after is bound to be in a Capra film so the fear of tragedy is never serious.

The movie is full of little details of life in depression era America and the vignettes with the denizens of the bus and other locales add charm to the story.  Capra filled his depression era movies with scenes of the common people displaying compassion and camaraderie in the face of adversity.  The scene where the bus riders amuse themselves with a relatively untalented singing performance is amusing and appealing if a little contrived.

If you’ve never seen the movie, I unreservedly recommend it.  If you don’t like it then I recommend you do not read any more of my reviews.  Our points of view on film would be just too far out of synch to allow any value to you.  And may God have mercy on your poor shriveled soul.

Plug for Roger Kimball’s article “The Delusional Press for Power of the Anti-Trump Crowd.”

Just a quick recommendation and a link on an article on the website American Greatness. Roger Kimball wrote a piece called “The Delusional Press for Power of the Anti-Trump Crowd.”  I think it’s pretty great.  I’ll start out by saying that I laughed when I saw the picture at the top of the story was the peasants with pitchforks scene from the original Frankenstein movie.  That was priceless.  He analyzes what the media is doing and why.  I won’t paraphrase or belabor it.  I’ll just highly recommend it.

Ray Bradbury – An American Original – Part 1 – Dandelion Wine

 

When I was a kid back in the third quarter of the twentieth century I came upon science fiction in the children’s section of the Brooklyn Public Library.  And so I read Heinlein’s and Asimov’s juvenile sf stories.  As I got a little older I was able to borrow from the adult collection and soon discovered all the golden age authors and some of the newer, edgier writers.  But at a certain point I discovered Ray Bradbury.  I remember he had two collections called R is for Rocket, S is for Space.  But when I read them I found out he wasn’t writing space opera.  In fact, some of his stories didn’t seem to be science fiction at all.  At the time, I didn’t know what fantasy was.  They just seemed to be strange stories.  Later on, I found some of his stories showing up on “The Twilight Zone” TV series and this helped me categorize them as something weird and fun.  But whatever I called him Bradbury was different from the other writers I knew.  Each of his stories had to be evaluated on the merits.  Some of his stories lacked fantasy plot elements and at the time these stories seemed lacking in interest.  Others were almost horror stories and these kept my attention best.  Even his most externally identifiable science fiction stories, “The Martian Chronicles,” didn’t feel like other science fiction stories.  Even if there were ray guns and aliens and space ships it didn’t seem as if these were the point of the story.  They were more like parables or morality tales.  And to a kid this was perplexing.  But I always considered Bradbury as something worth reading.  He was high value.

Fast forward twenty years.  It was the late nineteen eighties.  I was in an old used bookstore in Boston during my lunch hour from a design engineering job I had.  I hadn’t read any science fiction in a while.  I was browsing through a pile of books that had been displayed earlier in the year as summer reading.  There was a used hard cover book with a mylar library-type jacket cover on and a cover painting of a little blond haired boy virtually covering the pavement with his chalk drawings of lines and shapes.  The book was called “Dandelion Wine” and the author was Ray Bradbury.  It was a novel length book and it surprised me because I didn’t remember Bradbury writing many novels.  At the time “Fahrenheit 451” was the only one I could think of.

On a lark, I bought it.  I put it on my bookshelf and figured I’d get to it when the project I was on slowed down.  Well I forgot all about that book and before that project slowed down I had changed jobs and was too busy for reading.  It was about nine months later in July, when I picked it up again.  I was going on vacation with my wife and kids to Old Orchard Beach, Maine for a week.  It’s a very working class old beach resort where middle class people go to sit by the ocean and let their kids dig sand castles and swim.  And later on, you can go down to the pier and buy bad pizza and ice cream for your kids and let them get fake tattoos or go down to the amusement park and watch them be centrifuged in the dozen or so kinetic devices that are used to extract dollars from parents and regurgitated food from kids’ stomachs.  The several years I brought my young family there are among the happiest memories I have.

Anyway, when the family settled in the beach house at night and the kids settled down to reading or watching the TV I picked up Dandelion Wine.  And I was surprised to find I had already read it.  But wait, not really, I’d read parts of it.  What Bradbury had done was patch together a number of his older stories along with transition scenes that tied them together, and make a narrative about a summer for a boy and his family and neighbors in Green Town, USA circa 1928.  What it really was, was an ode to the boyhood Ray Bradbury had lived and imagined in Waukegan, Illinois.  He used the memories of his childhood home and passed them through the story writing algorithm in his head and invented a world that struck me as remarkable.  Here were the mundane short stories that as a kid didn’t click with me because there were no monsters or space ships.  Now they were knitted together to talk about what was magical about being a twelve-year-old boy in a small mid-western town in the early twentieth century with three months of summer vacation ahead of you.  They are stories about family and friends and growing up and living and getting old and even dying.  And they are mostly about being a kid.

Since that summer I’ve re-read that book a dozen times in whole or part.  I mostly read it when I have some vacation time in summer.  This year I’ll be sixty.  When I read that book I’m not even sixteen, I’m twelve.  It’s remarkable.  I didn’t grow up in a small town.  I grew up on the relatively mean streets of Brooklyn, NY.  And I was born forty years after him.  But I can understand what he’s saying and feeling in his alter ego character.  He’s captured the essence of boyhood in its quintessential form, summer freedom.  And the setting is a simpler time and place.  It’s idyllic.  Not realistic but almost archetypal.

I imagine there are many for whom this type of story has no appeal.  It’s not high adventure or technical fun.  But if any of this strikes a chord try the book out.

We Interrupt This Crisis to Go On With Our Actual Lives

Boy I’m glad I don’t have to watch or read the MSM.  I get a small dose reading my right wing news sources.  They can’t help but report on the big story, i.e., the MSM’s steadily increasing meltdown.  I guess I could consider it entertainment if it weren’t so repetitive.  I mean, how many times can talking heads speculate on how soon Trump will be impeached?

Sure, I know.  No one benefits more than me from mocking the 24/7 outrage machine.  The Trump one act plays are a staple of my blog here and provide me with many chuckles.  But even I know when it’s too much of a good thing.  So I’ll be pacing myself on this day to day drum beating.  And of course if they hand me any comedy gold on a platter, well, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

But my intent is to mix up the output between book and movie reviews, photography articles and general interest posts.  And that’s all for the good.  Part of the strategy of the left is to keep up a steady barrage of bad news to destroy morale.  If you can break away from that monotonous shrieking and enjoy something normal and even wholesome from time to time it recharges the batteries and defeats their intent.

However, what I define as general interest can be considered odd.  But that’s just how it goes.  And, of course, general interest includes anything that impacts the culture war.  So I won’t always be ignoring the left wing nitwits.  I just may be looking away from the front page when selecting a topic of interest.  And now that actual warm weather is occurring over most of the country (but not you Colorado, you’ve been bad) things like baseball and barbecues could even enter into my musings.  For the first time in quite a while the Yankees are looking like a healthy and even exciting team.  For someone who has to deal with Red Sox fans on a more or less daily basis, that can be a very gratifying situation.  I’ve always thought that the Donald had a lot in common with George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the Yankees.  Both were bigger than life showmen who demanded success from those around them.  Steinbrenner was hysterically parodied by Larry David on the Seinfeld television comedy and I sort of take that as my example on how to handle the Trump character in my comic portrayals.

I’ve been gratified of late to see a few commenters on the blog and I definitely encourage anyone who has an opinion to express it (within the bounds of politeness of course).  I’m also looking to add some guest posters soon.  I have another photographer who has already said he’d provide some landscape stuff and I have a young reviewer that I’ll use to provide a fresh perspective on some of the young adult books that are out there.

So things are looking up here at OCF and let’s hope that the next time the MSM is talking about the Donald it’s to announce that they’re throwing in the towel (yeah right!).

The Father of History / The Father of Lies / Summer Reading Fun!

My Professor of Ionic Greek was a very funny guy.  He said that the charm of reading Herodotus is that his prose reminds you of your Great Aunt telling family history.  The whole story is one big run-on sentence meandering back and forth and including everything from news of the great war to gossip about somebody’s wife cheating with the milkman.  And sometimes it’s difficult to tell which part she feels is more important.

In the same way, Herodotus starts off the history of the Persian War by claiming its origin was the kidnapping of Helen by the Trojans!  From there we get a family history of the first Asian ruler to conquer the Greeks living in Asia Minor.  Apparently, the origin of this dynasty involves a King allowing his wife to be seen naked by a commoner.  This triggers his wife’s anger so severely that she conspires with the commoner to kill her husband and usurp the throne.  All of these stories are given with either a tongue in cheek or a storyteller’s desire to be complete.

But in between all this chatter you get some stories that are told nowhere else and that record the (mostly) accurate exploits of the ancient world’s greatest generation.  You’ll hear about Marathon and Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea.  You’ll meet Leonidas and the Spartans, Themistocles and the Athenians and Xerxes and the Persians.  And mixed in with that you’ll hear unlikely stories of the origins of historical nations based on the amorous adventures of Heracles and other demigods.  And you’ll feel that you’re in the midst of a tumultuous time full of heroes and villains.  And you’ll discover the ancient dichotomy of the East vs. the West.  It’s freedom versus slavery.  It’s nation versus empire.  It’s intelligence versus brute force.

There are places where the story bogs down.  You see Herodotus was a world traveler and he relates all the tales he was told in his various travels.  During his time in Egypt he collected much material on the rulers and doings in Egypt.  Sometimes it gets to be a little much.  But mixed in with this minutia will be stories that sound like they came out of the Tales of the Arabian Nights.

In terms of historical accuracy Herodotus was far inferior to his successor at Athens, Thucydides.  His history chronicles the aftermath of the Persian War.  This was a sort of Cold War between Athens and Sparta that eventually went hot.  Thucydides provides precise details of the military and political actions and forgoes all mythical and religious causes.  But the content is basically the story of Athens committing suicide.  I much prefer reading the story of its finest hour.

Every summer I read from two greek classics.  I read the Odyssey and I browse Herodotus.  Those two books give me hope that the legacy of the West isn’t a myth.  Odysseus tells me that the value of the brave man and the faithful wife can overcome the chaos and nihilism of the world.  And Herodotus tells me that freedom reappears in this world from time to time and that it is the most valuable substance in the universe.

In future installments, I’ll select some of the stories that I think make the case that the gossip Herodotus is still relevant and interesting 2,400 years later.

OCF Classic Movie Reviews: The Caine Mutiny

As our first official classic movie review, I’ve picked a beaut.  “The Caine Mutiny” is a World War Two movie made nine years after the war had ended.  It is an adaption of Herman Wouk’s novel and stage play.  This movie has a cast that included star, Humphrey Bogart, veteran actors like Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray and Jose Ferrer along with character actors like Lee Marvin and Claude Akins.  It follows the crew of the USS Caine, a minesweeper under the command of a very difficult captain, Philip Francis Queeg played by Bogart.  A series of incidents convinces the officers that Queeg is a dangerously paranoid lunatic.  It all comes to a head during a typhoon when the officers relieve Queeg of command.  This sets up the finale of the movie, a court martial of the officers who mutinied against their captain.  Jose Ferrer portrays the defense counsel and his part is a tour de force.  He dominates the end of the movie and resolves the conflicting faults of the main characters by identifying “the true author of the Caine Mutiny” and placing blame where it was deserved.  All of the veteran actors perform admirably with Fred MacMurray being especially notable for his character portrayal against type.  There is one weak aspect to the movie.  One of the primary strands of the plot is the story of young Ensign Willis Seward “Willie” Keith played by neophyte actor Robert Francis.  A love story between Keith and his girl at home, May Wynn, is woven into the plot.  In my opinion it is a weak element and a distraction.  Some of the stronger elements involve humor stemming from the crew’s experience of Queeg’s erratic behavior.  But for all of his extreme behavior, Bogart comes off as a strangely sympathetic character and the lack of a truly heroic character seems fitting and realistic.  I think Wouk was capturing the actual experience of war.  The fear and uncertainty that even the sane individuals felt humanizes the behavior of someone like Queeg.  I think it will strike a chord for many people who have had to work together under crisis conditions.

Who will like this movie?  I guess folks who like court room dramas are likely candidates.  Even though it’s a WW II movie and mostly takes place on a war ship it’s not really a war movie.  But it is about navy men and it does reflect the time when it took place.  One interesting historical detail is the social reality of the place of black sailors in the US Navy of the time.  The mess-boys are the cooks and all of them are young black men.  They have an important plot element and I’m sure if Alec Baldwin and Dave Letterman ever review this movie on TCM they’ll denounce the rabid racism of the United States and the military then, now and forever.  Luckily for all of you I just think it’s an interesting footnote on a different time.

In conclusion, to quote from Captain Queeg, the Caine Mutiny can be counted among “the greatest, I kid you not.”