13FEB2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Conrad Black’s The Democrats’ French Dilemma

Conrad Black is a good friend of President Trump.  And he is a very upbeat prognosticator of of our troubled times. But this little historical expedition to the French Revolution and de Gaulle’s 1968 power play are amusing and give an interesting comparison to the madness of the lunatic fringe of the Democrat party.  Of course that fringe now encompasses the whole party so it’s an unusual situation.  Fun to read.

The Democrats’ French Dilemma

25JAN2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Desperate Embrace at Europe’s Core by Angelo Codevilla

This was a development I hadn’t heard about.  The leaders of France and Germany have agreed to join their foreign policies completely including France’s veto on the UN Security Council.  In other words France and Germany will confer with each other and agree on a response whenever a third nation is in communication with either of the two.  Considering that the present leaders of both France and Germany are both despised by their citizens I can only imagine this will enrage their voters even more.  The line between the people and the elite is becoming a glowing flashpoint.

Desperate Embrace At Europe’s Core

22JAN2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation – Christopher Roach

When American Greatness starts quoting the Z-Man by name the apocalypse can’t be far behind.  The Z-Man has often made the point that the Progressives of today are the direct descendants of the “vinegar drinking scolds of New England hell bent on making sure nobody is enjoying life at all.  Christopher Roach quotes a chunk of his Puritan origin argument and then amplifies his own opinion about how this will prevent a peaceful separation of the United States into separate Left and Right populations.

The Left Won’t Allow a Peaceful Separation

It’s getting harder and harder to believe that some of the predictions of the Dissident Right are not correct.  The normies are waking up.  The Overton Window is way over to the right.

Julie Kelly Has an opinion on Where the New Attorney General Will Move to Clean Up the DOJ

Let’s face it, inaction by the Trump Administration to clean up the nightmare in the Justice Department (Mueller, Rosenstein, FISA Courts and the whole FBI in general) has been a discouraging debacle.  But Julie Kelly lays out why she thinks that will now turn around with installation of William Barr as the AG.  Read it and see what you think.  It sounds good but two years of this nonsense has worn down my optimism.

Walls Are Closing in on the FBI—and Its Media Accomplices

16JAN2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – The Celebrated Fake Frog That Is Taking Down the Deep State – By Karin McQuillan

The subject of this post may seem slight in the scheme of things but in my opinion it gets to the heart of how a Conservative Supreme Court can reverse some of the worst of the damage done by unconstitutional judicial overreach.

The Celebrated Fake Frog That Is Taking Down the Deep State

Karin McQuillan describes how in 1984 the Supreme Court decided that the experts in the federal government could decide on regulations that not even the courts could challenge.  This was called the “Chevron deference.”  This has allowed EPA scientists to dictate all manner of restrictions on private citizens and businesses for completely fraudulent reasons.  Fake frogs and mythical mice have been used to punish land owners and restrict them from using their own land to satisfy the spite of misguided naturalists.  Now the new Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have joined with Justice Thomas to take the lead to reverse the use of the Chevron deference and free the American people from their bureaucratic tyrants.  It’s only a first step but it sets a precedent that can have bigger consequences.  Progress.

13JAN2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Dump The National Emergencies Act by Julie Kelly

The title of the post is deceptive.  Kelly is making the case that using the National Emergencies Act when there is an emergency is already a routine situation that and if it isn’t going to be used when an actual emergency exists then they might as well eliminate it altogether.

Dump The National Emergencies Act

The worry many on the Right have is that it will be used by Democrats when they have the Presidency again for everything from Global Warming to Snowflake Bullying.  To my mind that is hardly a reason to disarm ourselves against the one truly existential threat to America in our time.  Grow up Republicans, you can’t win without fighting.

08JAN2018 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Julie Kelly – Carlson’s Invisible Hand Riles Conservative Critics

It seems everyone on our side of the fence was impressed with Tucker Carlson’s video monologue on what’s gone wrong in America.  But in Julie Kelly’s post she finds the reaction of NeverTrump folks like David French and Ben Shapiro to be decidedly negative.

Carlson’s Invisible Political Hand Riles Conservative Critics

Well, I’m not surprised.  Tucker must be doing something really right to have the friends he does and the enemies also.  Let’s hope he can help President Trump get his message out and start reversing some of the damage that Carlson has highlighted.

02JAN2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Nationalism is America’s Comeback Kid by Ken Masugi

Ken Masugi has a post on resurgent nationalism and uses as a proof that even “reliable liberal E.J. Dionne, … makes apologies on behalf of nationalism.” in an article that Masugi quotes.
Well at least we don’t have to click on Dionne’s post.  This tells you that the 2020 Dem candidates will be touting themselves as populists.  Hah!

Nationalism Is America’s Comeback Kid

31DEC2018 – Best of 2018 List

Here’s my retrospective on 2018, completely subjective of course and whenever I can’t make up my mind or I don’t want to leave something out I’ll cheat and provide more than one choice.  And that’s one of the wonderful things about being the boss, you get to break the rules and do what you want.

 

Best Quotes of the Day

Some are political, some philosophical and some just human nature.  The order is just chronological of their appearance on the site.

 

“In the many forms of government which have sprung up there has always been an acknowledgement of justice and proportionate equality, although mankind fail in attaining them, as indeed I have already explained. Democracy, for example, arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.”

Aristotle

 

“No state will be well administered unless the middle class holds sway.”

Aristotle

 

“When there aren’t any smart decisions, I suppose you just have to pick the stupid decision you like best.”

Orson Scott Card

 

“No one likes the fellow who is all rogue, but we’ll forgive him almost anything if there is warmth of human sympathy underneath his rogueries. The immortal types of comedy are just such men.”

W. C. Fields

 

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

H.L. Mencken

 

Carpe diem!  Seize the day!  Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.

Horace

 

“And this is the simple truth – that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.”

Soren Kierkegaard

 

If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.

Camille Paglia

 

Best Books Reviewed

Fiction

I’ll have to go with the Galaxy’s Edge series:

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/01/18/legionnaire-galaxys-edge-volume-1-by-jason-anspach-nick-cole-a-science-fiction-book-review/

Over the course of 2018 I read and reviewed all eight of the volumes in the main series (first volume linked above) and they only got better as the series went along.  It was good old mil-sci-fi space opera.  I assume I won’t live long enough to see the end of the series but so far that isn’t a problem.  I look forward to the next installment soon and am in no way tired of this particular universe.  Kudos to Anspach and Cole.  Long may they stoke their dumpster fire at the Edge of the Galaxy!

 Fiction Runners Up:

“The Hidden Truth” by Hans G. Schantz

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/10/30/the-brave-and-the-bold-book-3-of-the-hidden-truth-by-hans-g-schantz-a-science-fiction-book-review/

Schantz has also upped his game as his series progresses and the “The Brave and the Bold,” the third volume, is the best so far.  Kudos to him.

 

“Southern Dust” by Caspar Vega

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/08/25/southern-dust-by-caspar-vega-a-science-fiction-and-fantasy-book-review/

Vega is an acquired taste for me and as I’ve written about him, “It’s for those who like gritty crime dramas with a staccato, post-modern, minimalist writing style.”  Even though my tastes are a little more conventional I appreciate that there is an audience for the more unusual so I look around for interesting stuff.  As I’ve said before, your call.

 

Non-Fiction

The two books listed below provide two different takes on the way to interpret the results of ancient DNA analysis.

“The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution” by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending

“Who We Are and How We Got Here; Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Past” by David Reich

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/05/24/the-10000-year-explosion-a-book-review/

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/06/18/who-we-are-and-how-we-got-here-ancient-dna-and-the-new-science-of-the-past-by-david-reich-a-book-review/

 

David Reich being an academic embedded in the politically correct culture of the university system treads ever so gently around the edges of how the science of human genetic history should be interpreted.  Cochran and Harpending are much more direct and sometimes possibly presumptuous in the conclusions they draw from the evidence.  Both books together tell a fascinating story of how much we now know about the complex and diverse origins of the various human populations.

 

Best Movie

Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Incredibles 2

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/07/08/the-incredibles-2-a-science-fiction-fantasy-movie-review/

This is a kids’ movie but it far exceeds any of the other “superhero” movies for just plain entertainment value.  I won’t say it was as original as the first installment but it mostly kept to the spirit of the original and provided a fun vehicle for parents (or grandparents) to enjoy a movie with their kids.

 

Older Movies

True Grit

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2016/12/07/true-grit-the-duke-the-dude-and-the-dutiful-daughter-part-i/

 

This is a twofer.  For younger folks I’ll only recommend the new version by the Coen Brothers.  For people who grew up on the John Wayne movies of old I recommend they view both movies back to back in chronological order.  They each have facets to its advantage.  Each differs slightly from the source material.  But each is a fine movie.  And I’ll also recommend the novel that is the source for the movies.  It also has facets that aren’t available in either movie.

 

Music

Country Music

Album of the Year

Colter Wall by Colter Wall

Song of the Year

Pan Bowl by Sturgill Simpson

My music choices are very idiosyncratic so I won’t try to justify them.  To paraphrase a recent annoying politician, they just reflect who I am  Pan Bowl is an older song from Simpson’s 2014 album.

 

TV

The only truly notable television I watched in 2018 was the State of the Union address by the president.  Everything else was at best just okay.

 

On – Line Articles

 

Here are the articles that I thought were informative on our political situation.  There were many others that were intersting but these seem to encapsulate the developments in the political thinking this year.  Basically it’s the red-pilling of the normies.

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/03/23/american-greatness-pick-of-the-day-total-political-war-by-matthew-j-peterson/

 

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/04/15/a-different-kind-of-red-shift/

 

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/05/29/john-derbyshire-post-electoral-gold-for-the-stupid-party-the-anti-anti-white-vote/

 

http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/10/25/our-revolutions-logic-angelo-codevilla-an-on-line-article-review/

 

Humor

Trump vs

These are of course the most subjective things to judge.  I just kind of liked these a lot.  I admit they are absurd but such is life.

Trump vs the Hell Storm (Part 1)

Trump vs the Hell Storm (Part 2)

Search hell Trump vs the Hell Storm (Part 3)

 

Photos

Here are my favorite photos of the year.

Landscape

 

 

Nature

American Museum of Natural History, New York City, Sony NEX 5N, Sony 24mm F\1.8 APSC lens
macrophotography with Sony A7 III, Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens and extension tubes, long horned beetle
Monotropa uniflora, Indian pipe, ghost plant, corpse plant, Sony A7 III with Minolta 200mm f\4 Macro lens
Sony A7 III with the Sigma MC-11 Adapter and the Sigma 180mm f\2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS for Canon