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.

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.

Filling in the Gaps

The network tv season has just about reached its conclusion.  Summer re-run season is upon us and in a meaningful way it no longer matters at all.  I am effectively down to one show (“The Middle”) that I truthfully consider entertaining.  It’s been about two years since “The Big Bang Theory” was funny.  “Last Man Standing” which used to add a tiny amount of right wing commentary in with the family sit-com formula had a comatose season that telegraphed the news that this season would be its last.  “Kevin Can Wait” is a pale shadow of how funny “King of Queens” sometimes was and nothing else on the tube even mildly interests me.  So, I’ve finally had to face it.  There is no reason to watch network television anymore.  Cable is slightly more promising.  There are a few series that I hear are entertaining.  I’ve been watching earlier seasons of Silicon Valley and it is funny but hardly worth paying for HBO.  I can probably stream whatever I want on Amazon or Netflix or Hulu or blah, blah, blah.  So, I can probably also join the ranks of those who have cut the cable and use the internet as their data and entertainment umbilicus.  But for me that’s weird.

The baby boomers were raised by the boob tube.  It seemed like it was always on.  It was the background music to our lives.  ABC, NBC and CBS were our babysitters, our teachers, our neighbors and in a strange way our friends.  We sort of depended on them to tell us what cars were cool, what other kids were wearing and what music we should listen to.  Now I guess that has been replaced by the ubiquitous cell phone link to you-tube and facebook and whatever is trending on Twitter.  Well, I don’t do cell phone, but I guess the internet on my laptop is the equivalent.  So now I amuse myself with that.  But it’s not the same.  Sure, I’ve replaced the network news with a handful of blogs and news aggregators.  And I search for reviews of movies and cable shows and books on the right-wing blogs and for the most part I can find what I want but something is missing.

In the 1990s I went to work and could talk to coworkers and find out about shows like Seinfeld and Home Improvement and it felt like we all shared a similar perspective on the humor or the take on current events.  The writers of the shows reflected the common culture and the sensibilities of the country at large.  That’s completely gone.  We are fractured and alienated from each other to such an extent that it almost isn’t meaningful to talk about one country as existing anymore.  I guess we are at least two peoples.  And unfortunately, the group I’m in doesn’t have a media.  We have the rudiments of one.  But it’s much harder to make it work effectively and it doesn’t feel as seamless and comforting as the old one was.

So, this post is just me thinking out loud and reflecting on where we are.  I can remember one day during the Iraq War driving home from work and listening to NPR on the car radio.  The slanted and dishonest reporting was so unbearable that I vowed never to listen to another show of any kind on Public Radio or television.  And just saying it felt good.  But it was the beginning of a long process to identify alternate sources and structures to patronize and support.  I buy my fiction from sources that do not force a leftist narrative on their authors.  I never click on a news article from the NY Times or the Washington Post or Politico or any of the other leftist mouthpieces.  I never watch a Colbert or a Jon Stewart routine.  I don’t go to or rent a movie with a leftist slant or agenda.  I support politicians who vote for the things I want.  I sent a substantial check to Donald Trump during his campaign.  I only support charities and organizations that reflect my values.  I fill in the gaps around the places where the cancer had to be excised.

And I write this blog.  I give my opinions and I spread the word on any people or sites that I think are right wing and useful.  And I try to entertain and give encouragement.

So where are we?  At the beginning.  Is it good enough? No, but it’s a beginning.

Trump vs The F.B.I.

Scene 1 (White House, Oval Office)

President Trump (PT) – Look Jeff, I’m glad that Comey is finally out of there but you’ve got to clean out that nest of bozos over there right away.  I’ve got to have the FBI doing some real work.  Between the narcotraficantes and the street gangs Americans are losing faith in the government.

Jeff Sessions (JS) – Mr. President, we’re firing and reorganizing as quickly as we can but there are just so many Obama plants in the FBI that it’s like trying to swat a cloud of mosquitoes.  You’re still gonna get bit.

PT – That bad?  How many useful agents are there?

JS – I’d say about 40%.  And there’s just no easy way to segregate the good from the bad effectively enough to control the problems.  When we restrict the classified clearance of the known bad actors they jump on someone else’s computer and steal info off the database when they get a chance.  And how can you stop that?  It’s hard to tell one guy in a cheap suit and a bad haircut from another.

PT – Never disparage a guy in a cheap suit and a bad haircut.  He could be the next Commander in Chief.

JS – No offense intended sir.

PT – And none perceived.

JS – Exactly.

PT – Well, Jeff, something’s gotta give.  I’ll discuss this with my highest counsel and get back to you.

JS – Ivanka?

PT – No, Schmoopy.

Scene 2 (White House, West Wing)

PT – Hello Schmoopy.

Melania Trump (MT) – Hello Schmoopy.  Why do you have on the sad face?

PT – Because the FBI is full of bozos.

MT – Schmoopy, what is the bozos?

PT – A bozo is a clown.

MT – But the bozos should make you smile and laugh.  Do they wear the funny face and the big shoes?

PT – No they wear the cheap suit and the bad haircut.

MT – Well that is the problem.  I never laugh at the cheap suit and the bad haircut.  It is not funny but very sad.  Why do you not make them wear the bozo suit?

PT – Because no one would put up with that.  He’d quit first.

MT – Would that be so bad.

PT – No Schmoopy.  That would be kinda good.  Thanks.

MT – That reminds me, I’ve got to bring in the tailor and the barber for you.  We must look our best Schmoopy.

 

Scene 3 (FBI Headquarters – Jeff Sessions addressing the Executive Leadership of the FBI divisions)

JS – President Trump has formulated a strategy to streamline and optimize the reorganization of the Bureau.  Effective immediately the organization will be divided into two groupings.  The new division will start out essentially empty.  It will contain a new director whom I will select and an administrative staff. This division will be augmented by any of the existing personnel of the Bureau who can be reliably vetted as effective agents.  This new division will be designated the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Agent Smith (AG) – Mr. Sessions, won’t the other division still be called the FBI.

JS – Yes, it will in fact be called the FBI.  This older grouping will start out with all the personnel of the current Bureau.  It will be up to the rank and file to facilitate their transfer to the new organization.  They can do this by telling us where the “bodies are buried.”

AG – Why exactly would we want to leave our present positions?  We have a pretty good organization and we like the way things are done now.

JS – Well, there are some changes coming down the pike.  For one we’re changing the dress code.  Here is a visual on the standard attire that will be expected starting Monday.  Of course, some variation will be accommodated for gender and ethnic considerations but essentially this is your new look.

AG – Sir, that’s a photo of Bozo the Clown.

JS – Yes, the beloved Icon of the 1960s and ‘70s.  You all will don the face paint, big red squeaky nose, orange hair tufts, size twenty shoes and colorful puffy jumpsuit of Bozo.  This will incentivize you to consider helping us clean out the rat’s nest of Obama bitter clingers and fifth columnists.  Also, it will allow us to easily monitor your proximity around sensitive information and systems.  Standard operating procedure will be to check for clowns before leaving your work station unattended even for a second.  And on your official government identification badge will be emblazoned your new department name FBI – Feckless Bozos of Imbecility.

AG – You paint a vivid picture Mr. Sessions.

JS – We want to make this decision as clear as we possibly can.  You will stay in your present structure under the new arrangement.  You will be assigned duties that include Saturday Morning Children’s Television and outreach to pediatric hospital wards.  Classes in juggling and seltzer squirting marksmanship will be mandatory.  This will go on until either:

  • You show us you can work for the country instead of against it.
  • We find out you were involved in the leaks.
  • You resign.

AG – Go to hell Sessions.

JS – Ah, ah ah!  That’s a Bozo no-no!

What Does the Comey Firing Mean?

If you look at the various news aggregation sites, you’ll find any number of articles that explain how Trump’s firing of Comey will either:

  1. Cause the end of democracy in America, or
  2. Trigger Trump’s impeachment and guillotining

So, where does this leave us normal people? Well, as I usually exclaim in my magisterial fashion, “Damned if I know.”  Does Comey and Obama’s people have some kind of deep game that they are trying to play that will hobble or destroy Trump and his administration?  Maybe?  Is Trump counterattacking with the full force of the executive branch’s formidable resources?  Could be?  Or is this just Trump clearing the decks to get his own guys in there to move on to new business?  Sure, why not?

For even a staunch supporter of the “Troller-in-Chief”, such as myself, it sometimes seems like this administration punishes its supporters as much as its enemies. Honestly, on a daily basis I reach the giddy heights of schadenfreude with the release of the latest Hillary rant, followed by a plunge into the stygian depths of terror when a sophomoric presidential tweet erupts onto the media scene.  It’s exhausting.

But I’m in this thing for the long haul and Trump’s is the star that I’ve hitched my wagon to. I’m gonna give him as much slack as I have and let him get it done.  Firing Comey seems like exactly the opposite play from a JEB! or Romney move.  This tells me it’s probably smart (or at least brave).  Some people are saying that Trump’s motive is to get a team into the FBI to start pursuing Hillary and/or the leakers from Obama’s people.  These sound like high risk moves.  And that makes me think high risk/high reward.  It’s entirely possible we have someone with guts in the White House.  Good.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days. Right now Schumer is calling for a special prosecutor.  Blumenthal is accusing the administration of treason.  I’m guessing if the democrats weren’t all atheists there would be charges of heresy.  What would be indicative of Trump effectiveness would be if the administration can start getting ahead of the democrats in the news cycle and produce indictments of someone on the other side.  I’d love to see some democrat operative testifying under immunity and naming names.  Can you just imagine the howls of pain if some of the actual villains were unmasked and the sausage making that went on in the White House last year came to light?  Who knows?  Maybe even Saint Barack might appear with his halo slipping down a little if enough prosecutorial pressure was applied to the right Obama flunky.  Admittedly that’s just my dream version of how the post-Obama landscape could play out.  More likely it would just tend to silence the press if they thought that pursuing the leaks would go away if they gave Trump some good press.  So let’s see who’s winning and who’s losing.  We should know soon.

Bathtub Nitroglycerine and Perpetual Motion Machines

Families are a great invention.  They allow us to remember stuff from long ago and be young again.  Case in point, I have a descendant who is in middle school.  He is forever describing to me machines he has invented that turn kinetic energy and wind and sunlight into potential energy stored in batteries and flywheels and allowing him to perpetually power the imaginary kingdom he rules with an iron hand.  On a fairly frequent interval I remind him of the three laws of thermodynamics and the scourge of entropy.  He laughs it off as fake news.  Apparently, his generation has formulated the fourth law, magic.

All of these flights of fancy reminded me of my own early technological history.  As a youngster, I had a fascination with chemistry.  I quickly graduated from the hobbyist set up with a few bottles of sodium bisulfate, test tubes and an alcohol lamp to a professional ground glass distillation set up, temperature controlled electric heating, reagent bottles full of mineral acids and even some formidable organic solvents.  I searched in arcane book stores for the organic chemistry recipes and set-ups that allowed for practical synthesis of various compounds that in my young mind were interesting.  At one point, I obtained an old organic chemistry text that was part of a medical school curriculum from the 1920s.  It included a number of compounds that interested me including nitroglycerine and trinitrotoluene.  I went as far as obtaining all the reagents, equipment and vessels I would need to perform the reaction.  On the day I had set for producing the first batch I was walking down to the supermarket to buy the fifty pounds of ice I needed to cool the reaction when it occurred to me that this might just possibly be a “bad idea.”  You see I remembered that nitroglycerine was a material that wasn’t just dangerous during production but remained sensitive to heat and vibration at all times.  Not owning a reinforced concrete bunker, I realized that after I manufactured the “soup” I had no place to keep it.  Well, no place that would survive a detonation.  Now you might think that this kind of rational evaluation would have steered me clear of all pyrotechnic and explosive materials.  You would be wrong.  The extent of my caution was to shift over to something less unstable but equally exothermic.  I started working with thermite.  In these post 9-11 days I imagine my experiments would probably fall under the heading of possible terror activity.  Back then they were the stuff of Fourth of July celebratory hijinks.  But even these relatively tame and successful forays into amateur pyrotechnics now give me pause.  Just precisely how stupid is a teenage boy when it comes to unsafe activities.  The answer comes back loud and clear.  Infinitely stupid.  I can remember what back then seemed to me to be failsafe precautions.  In hindsight what I see was ignorance and just plain dumb luck.  And that really frightens me.

Needless to say, these memories inform my present situation.  It occurs to me that the adults around when I was hatching my munitions program thought that my forays into chemistry were altogether benign and to be encouraged.  Hmmm.  Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  Not just the Shadow.  Any man who was ever a fourteen year-old boy knows too.

I intend to monitor my young Archimedes’ progress with an eye for safety.  I have gotten him some books on electricity and machines that stress safety and standard components.  I know he has an interest in robotics.  And I know he enjoys BattleBots so I will keep an eye out for any indication that his creations will include cutting surfaces or kinetic devices such as circular saw blades or pneumatic hammers.  If my cautionary tale rings any bells in your own case, remember, the apple does not fall far from the tree.