29SEP2020 – OCF Update

Well, where are we?

Tonight, is the first Presidential Debate.  The level of insanity that will be on display should be breathtaking.  I remember Biden in his debates against Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan.  He never lets truth or even common-sense stand in the way of saying something Biden.  His creepiness should be on full display.  But the big mystery is whether he is coherent or not.  Apparently, there are some drugs that can be used to lift a dementia patient up out of the fog.  If Joe seems sharp, not intelligent but sharp, then we’ll have to assume they’ve got him doped up.  Either that or he dogged it during the whole earlier part of his campaign.  Either way watching the debate should be interesting.

A month or so before Election Day and indications are that voter fraud through mail in ballots is going to be a wholesale business.  It’s going to be interesting to see if the adjudication of this election ends at the Supreme Court or goes way beyond that.  From the things I’m hearing this may turn into a freak show where voting levels go to unheard of levels and the whole process goes off the rails.  That sounds like something that could cause a very serious reaction from both sides.  The Left is already occupying the street in many blue locales.  If unrest occurs in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin then armed conflict cannot be ruled out.

Florida has ended the COVID precautions and raised the all clear signal for its citizens.  This should be an interesting moment.  If two or three weeks down the road the daily death rate remains the same it will be an indicator that the other rational areas can do the same.  And it’s none too soon as far as I’m concerned.  The holidays are coming soon and I’d like to think this lockdown will end before Christmas.  New England will be the last to relent but at least if there are some early examples it will build impatience among the sane to pressure the authorities to wake up and smell the coffee.

I keep threatening to do some of my photo retrospectives but the day job has been keeping me busy.  But in about a week, things will definitely improve and I’ll keep some of my promises.  Insects are the first subject.  But hopefully I’ll have a foliage group and some other things too.  And I haven’t forgotten my promise to do a report on what I learned about photographing hummingbirds.

I still have another Olivier Shakespeare play (Othello) to review and I will continue on through the Star Trek series no matter how painful it becomes.  The powers that be are threatening to inflict ShatnerKhan III on an unsuspecting world.  I have been trying to figure out a way to live blog or make a podcast out of it.  Because of this I have purchased multiple copies of the Shatner mask that the Michael Myers character wore during the Halloween movies to allow for anonymity during the video.  This is an indication that ShatnerKhan has now descended into the madness that we knew it eventually would.  But since the food is well worth it, we expect to continue the series well into double figures.

And as promised I’m recruiting some other writers for the site.  And I like the change.  Not only because it takes some of the pressure off me to write but also because other voices make the site more interesting and generally better.  And I’m still looking for more writers.  If you or someone you know has some content to share leave a comment here or send an e-mail to orionscoldfire “at” charter.net and let me know.  And don’t restrict yourself to politics.  Anything interesting will be considered.

Have You Seen Tucker’s Interview With the Chinese Virologist?

I just saw this today.  This woman, Dr. Li-Meng Yan, says she is a virologist and that she has proof that the Wuhan virus is not a naturally occurring virus but a man-made construct.  She further claims that the scientific community knows this but is complicit because of their sympathies with and ties to China.  And finally she claims that the virus was intentionally released.  It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere or not.

 

 

Guest Contributor – Charlemagne Really – Addressing the Current Situation

With the plethora of recent, pressing subjects to write about, it’s difficult to choose just one. How does one sum up the current heated political landscape in a simple letter. How does one convey compassion and concern with the Corona, COVID-19, Wuhan or whatever it’s called outbreak and its lingering consequences?

I do not know exactly, being the mere mortal that I am. However, as Admiral David Farragut famously cried out “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”.

Let’s start with the political landscape. Some have said this season’s election cycle is the most divisive ever. I am not sure about that claim as I haven’t been around forever. What I do know, is that politics by its own nature is divisive. It’s supposed to be. So, politics it’s not necessarily bad as some have insinuated.

Americans are witnessing a planned well financed all-out attack on its core values, principles and imperfect history upon which it stands. One of which is, “one Nation under God”. This very phrase being omitted from the oration of the Pledge of Allegiance, not once but twice, in error (sure) at the recent Democrat Convention. Perhaps it was an honest omission but I seriously doubt it. More likely, it’s an insight into their vision of the United States. A vision devoid of God and replaced with the tyranny of the state. So perhaps the new pledge will be One Nation under US (the state, their state). A frightening prospect at best.

Speaking of the DNC and Democrats….

The violence in the mostly Democrat controlled cities, large and small, continues under the guise of Social Justice protests. Nothing about the violence and rioters is about justice. Mind you, I am not talking about the protest and protesters. As long as the protests remain peaceful and are conducted in daylight, they remain legitimate. However once darkness falls it’s been painfully obvious that the peaceful protests turn into violent riots. One doesn’t participate in a peaceful protest armed to the teeth with bats, bricks, hammers, crowbars, face shields and professional grade gas masks. No, this equipment is for one reason and one reason only. To engage in violence and riot. It’s not about social justice, nor anyone who has been a victim of injustice. The weapon wielding rioters are using the excuse of social justice for BLM as an excuse to burn down, loot and plunder. And the BLM organization is more than happy to have these ill-informed and ill-intentioned rioters unleash anarchy on the streets of America.

As with most people, Black lives matter to me. I too have Black friends and co-workers. However, it is necessary to point out that the BLM organization doesn’t represent most Black lives. How do I know. Go to their web site and read. Research their founders, their history and their current ideology. Look at Chicago and the number of Black lives lost due to the murderous gangs. All one gets from the BLM organization is complete silence. They don’t care about Chicago, Portland and most recently Kenosha. They simply don’t give a hoot about any community suffering under gangs in Black neighborhoods. It doesn’t fit their agenda. Those thousands of Black lives do not matter to them. So, what does matter to them?

For one thing, it’s power. More specifically it’s political power. They are using the social justice mantra as a cover to cause division, incite violence and perpetrate a coordinated assault on America, its institutions and its people (you and me).

They masquerade as a benevolent and worthy cause while they continue to implement the downfall of this country.

I will continue to care and support my Black friends, co-workers and fellow citizens. However, I will not offer the same for an Organization which is Marxist (Socialist/Communist) and anti-freedom at its very dark sinister core.

I pray that the violence will end. And end just as quickly as it began. I pray for and will support real social justice. I pray people will see through the charade of the Organization that supposedly champions social justice. I pray for all Americans, no matter what their skin color, to live peacefully while they pursue their dreams and live their lives.

So, let us be adults and act as adults. Caring, kind, compassionate, ready to defend one another from the evils that sometimes ensnare us.

A man far better and immeasurably superior to me, said “Blessed are the peace makers for they will be called the children of God”.

What will you do?

12SEP2020 – Looking Around and Looking Ahead

Now that Ringling Brothers’ Barnum and Bailey Circus has been forced out of business by PETA, President Trump truly is the Greatest Show on Earth.  There always seems to be another spectacle starting up as the previous act finishes.  From what I understand he has five foreign policy victories to celebrate this week.  Israel is being recognized by:

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Bahrain
  • and Kosovo

Saudi Arabia is now allowing Israeli flights to go through their airspace.  And just to keep things interesting the President brokered a deal between Serbia and Kosovo.  Already two separate nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize for the President have been sponsored by individuals who preface their remarks by declaring that they dislike President Trump but admit that he has already done more for world peace than Obama ever did either before or after his empty win of the Peace Prize was awarded to him.  Joe Biden claims that President Trump is achieving these victories by accident!

The President is crisscrossing the country to attend campaign rallies that draw huge enthusiastic crowds and of course, he is tweeting away on all the most important and even some quite trivial events.  He really does have an energy level that is hard to imagine for a man his age.

Meanwhile even Biden’s strongest advocates admit they haven’t yet figured out how they will make their candidate attractive enough to convince millennials to vote for him.  Well, they did get him out of the basement and all the way to Pennsylvania last week.

As I said it’s an amazing show.  And it should keep even jaded political junkies such as me completely engaged right up to Election Day.  Of course, there are plenty of other side shows to keep us watching.  They’re not as amusing.  The spectacle of unending rioting in Portland is not a pleasant sight but it is important.  A poll of Oregonians shows that 66% disapprove of the riots and 60% think the Mayor of Portland is doing a poor job of ending the protests.  Now if a state as blue as Oregon is unhappy with their unending riots just think what purple states like Colorado and Nevada must be thinking of their “protests.”

The ongoing COVID lockdown in the Northeast remains a good story to remind the country of what shutting down a large portion of your small business community does to economic health.  New York has lost tens of thousands of jobs and when combined with the disruptions caused by the rioting is hardly recognizable as the dynamic business and cultural center it once was.

And the remote teaching model being used in the schools in the Northeast has been a nightmare for working mothers.  Many of them are attempting to re-enter the office environment after six months but have to work around a schedule where their children are home at least three days a week.  Employers say they will accommodate these changes but problems have cropped up on all sides.

Then we have the looming specter of voter fraud through the use of mail in ballots.  The Democrats hope to drag the voting process out for weeks and possibly months.  And they have been talking up the idea that President Trump will be ejected from the White House by troops.  Oh, those Democrats love their drama.

Meanwhile Bill Barr teases us with announcements of rioters and agitators being arrested.  Sure, he arrests some of the worst actors but nothing is done to prosecute Antifa and BLM as organized crime groups using the RICO laws.  And we’re not hearing much about the Durham investigation anymore.  I guess now that his end of summer deadline is blown, we can’t expect anything to come of the effort.  I was glad to see that the feds went after that rat that murdered the Patriot Prayer guy in Portland a week ago.  But I guess it has to be something as egregious as murder on camera to get much of anything from our Justice Department.

Well, that’s a snapshot of the world around us.  It’s a madhouse in every way imaginable but we keep advancing down the road one step at a time.  My advice is don’t be surprised at anything that happens but take every news report with a big grain of salt.  As the President is fond of saying a lot of what you hear is fake news.  And regardless of the outcome in November remember that it’s up to each of us to decide how we will live our lives and who we will spend it with.  There are millions of good people out there and we can achieve an enormous amount if we don’t get discouraged and if we think clearly about what we want to accomplish.  I have spoken with many people out there and we’re learning that we aren’t alone and we aren’t at the mercy of the Woke Left.  It’s a pleasure writing this for anyone who is looking for a bit of news and a positive thought from someone on our side of the fence.  Have a good day.

A Reminder of the Magnificence of Normal Family Life

Here in the Orwellian gulag that is Woke New England even family gatherings are a fatal thought-crime punishable by whatever means is imagined most effective at discouraging the proles from following so sinful an example.  And mothers of young children are the easiest to frighten into following whatever bizarre and depressing rules are forced upon them.

And so, throughout this sad exercise in government overreach my grandchildren have for the most part been held away from me and Camera Girl by their parents mostly out of fear for our health.  And no grandfather is foolish enough to argue with his daughter when she is concerned about the health of her children.  All you can say is, “Do what you think is best for the kids.”

But yesterday was a great day, a turning of the tide.  My daughter and my son-in-law brought over our grandsons for a barbecue and games in the yard.  No masks, no distancing, no nothing.  Camera Girl outdid herself with wonderful food that we enjoyed on the porch with badminton and other outdoor pursuits.  The four boys immediately reverted to true form and scuffled and bickered about every interaction.  It was glorious.  Even the weather was cooperative.  It was overcast and the temperature hovered around 75 degrees which meant no swimming pool but just the perfect temperature for me to participate in sporting activity without breaking a sweat.  And that allowed me to spend the maximum time with the kids instead of the adults.  Perfect.

I got to talk with my oldest grandson about his sophomore high school curriculum and offer help with chemistry and math if he needed it.  I talked to his brother about his eighth-grade classes and his sports interests.   And with the two younger guys I just talked dinosaurs and toys.  Apparently, T. rex still reigns supreme with the four-year-old although opened up an alternative category for herbivores and awarded it to Diplodocus.

I also got to talk to my daughter and son-in-law about how they were keeping these housebound boys busy this summer and was impressed by their ingenuity and energy.  I will confess I wouldn’t have had the stamina.  And it did my heart good to see Camera Girl laughing and playing with her younger grandsons and indulging all of their food requests up to and including various ice cream products that are forbidden to me!  I could tell that she was reveling in this socializing just as much as I was.

When they finally went home after a full day of fun, we cleaned up the wreckage of the gathering and traded favorite moments and observations on how much the boys had grown.  And it was then that I realized what an empty world this crazy quarantine has created.  What they say about not knowing what you have until it’s gone was made blindingly clear yesterday.

So, forgive this long rambling preamble into my domestic situation.  The point of this essay is acknowledging the real damage that isolating family members does and a philosophical question on quality of life.  If you are a grandparent being shut out of your grandchildren’s lives is a depressing and painful thing.  If children’s educations are interrupted that is a dangerous loss to our whole society.

Formerly we always placed the welfare of children before everything else.  If you are a grandparent how much of your grandchildren’s lives are you willing to waste to slightly increase your own odds of living?  Now admittedly I’m not the highest risk of dying from COVID-19.  I’m at the beginning of the age demographic affected but my health is reasonably robust.  So maybe this thing isn’t real enough to me make me afraid.  On the other hand, someone in our family died of the virus and another person needed hospital care and cutting-edge medicine to survive it.  So maybe I am aware of the stakes.

From my point of view, I would say the children ought to be allowed to go to school.  If there are teachers who are at risk, they should be retired, at least temporarily, at attractive financial terms and let the kids get on with their lives.  The people at greatest risk from all this are the elderly and the chronically ill who live in homes with school age children.  Let the doctors figure out the best way to protect these people and let everyone else get back to normal life.

Saving the sick and elderly is a laudable humanitarian goal.  But what can you say about a society that sacrifices the precious youth of a generation to marginally advantage the life span of the very old?  Do we duck and cover every year during flu season?  After all, the same elderly population is the one that accounts for 90% of the tens of thousands of flu deaths that occur every year in the United States alone.  Are we denying that people, especially the very frail and sick will die eventually?  Have we lost all sense of proportion?  And does that mean grandmothers and great grandmothers have forfeited permanently the right to hug and kiss their grandchildren and great grandchildren?  That’s pretty sad.  I guess I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I vote to end this madness and if I keel over tomorrow from COVID-19 or any other virus that the Chinese dig out of a cave I’ll go happy knowing I got to share a meal with my family and play a game of ball with my grandsons.

A Little Thought Experiment

Sweden did not institute social distancing, masks or lockdowns.

And if you look at the daily death curve they are now effectively done with the COVID epidemic.

Locale population Deaths/ million
New Jersey 8,882,190 1798
New York 19,453,561 1691
Massachusetts 6,949,503 1275
Sweden 10,343,403 571
USA 331,814,684 515
Florida 21,477,737 415
Texas 28,995,881 328

With respect to deaths as a proportion of population it’s slightly higher than the current figure for the United States 571 deaths per million of population as opposed to 515 deaths per million.  But their curve is already flat whereas ours is being dragged out by the shutdowns.  And compared to the states that shut down like New York and New Jersey it’s only a third of their rates.

To be fair. the Swedes are probably healthier than Americans on average and have cities that aren’t as crowded as New York so if we had followed their approach we would have ended up slightly higher on the death index but we also would have avoided the madness and depression associated with the shutdowns.

Something to ponder.

Politico Thinks the Rebounding Economy Will Be a Disaster for Biden

When I see an article from Politico I usually avoid it like the plague.  But when the title is “The General Election Scenario That Democrats are Dreading”  How can I resist?  It seems that the rebound of the economy will come along just in time to make the November election a bad time to be Joe Biden.

The upshot is that a V-shaped recovery will relieve the anxiety people have suffered under the COVID-19 crisis at exactly the right time to convince Americans that President Trump knows how to handle the economy best.

“On Election Day, we Democrats need voters to ask themselves, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ Republicans need voters to ask themselves, ‘Are you better off than you were four months ago?’”

And knowing how humble the President is I hope he remembers to remind Americans that he was the one pushing to re-open the economy while the Democrats wanted it to remain shutdown for up to a year.

The Merry-Go-Round Spins On

One thing that eventually gets drummed into you by sad experience is that there’s no such thing as happily ever after.  And that’s because no matter how well things are going, whenever chance conspires against us there are those who will capitalize on the opportunity and confuse the weak minded and tempt the weak willed to drag the country through more hell.  And the only things that will get you through the crisis are steady nerves, dogged determination and enough brains to think your way out of the trap.

I would characterize our present situation as exactly that.  The election and the COVID-19 epidemic are a perfect storm that will require remarkable skills to navigate successfully.  Add to this the investigations into Flynn and the other Russia-gate abuses and you have a high stakes pressure cooker, the outcome of which, absolutely no one can predict.  Look at all the possible consequences of these actions.  With respect to the investigations under Barr the outcomes range from zero to infinity.  At the zero end Durham decides that although laws were broken, the actions were in good faith and the only corrective actions should be stepped up internal oversight of sensitive operations.  At infinity we have prison terms for everyone from Lisa Page to Barack Obama.  That’s quite a range of outcomes.  Then look at the election.  So many lives have been disrupted by this emergency that trying to compensate everyone for the harm done by the shutdown is well-nigh impossible.  But the President has to make a good faith effort to do just that.  He must convince these people that his administration is the best hope for restoring the devastated middle class and that the Democrats will use this catastrophe to establish the welfare state they’ve always wanted.  And I think he will do just that and get re-elected handily.

But here is the point of this whole post.  Even if President Trump is able to achieve all the objectives on his plate.  If he gains the confidence of the voting public and gains re-election, if he restores the economy to growth and saves the small businessmen, if Barr uncovers the smoking gun and sends the Coup to prison for a couple of decades, if the Republicans capture the House, hold the Senate and add one more solid conservative vote to the Supreme Court, if the Justice Department sues the Tech Giants into restoring free speech to the Right, if all these things happen we are still exactly one disaster away from losing everything to the Left.

What we have to remember is that we’re always fighting a defensive war.  The Left has already won all the battles in the culture and we’re just curled up in a defensive crouch waiting for the next blow to fall.  The only way we will ever change the balance of power is to go on the offense and attack something of theirs.  What it will require is coordination between the Federal and State governments to pick a target and inflict a defeat on the Left that will be so unpleasant that it will elicit an overreaction that will provide the opportunity for a reinforcing defeat.  Now what this target will be is open for debate.  My thought is it should be in a deep red state that has a blue city located in it.  It could be a sanctuary city and the target could be illegal alien employment by big businesses.  A partnership between ICE and the state government could arrange for a mass arrest of illegal aliens at a large company and the Federal government could use the evidence to punish the corporation so ruthlessly that the rest of the companies panic and get their houses in order.  Once the jobs disappear the Federal government steps in and comes up with some moderate and humane way to get the illegals to go home to their lands.

Once the operation against illegal aliens in the workplace begins all the Blue States will erupt into rage and all kinds of protests will occur.  If some jurisdiction in one of the Blue States overreacts and gives the Federal government an excuse to punish them that will be the second defeat that I see as reinforcing the Left’s despair.

But it doesn’t have to be immigration.  Suppose Texas legislates against gay marriage and the Supreme Court upholds it.  Think of the insanity that would break out.  All the Blue States would then vote to unrecognize the normal marriages of citizens in Texas.  They would break off all economic trade with Texas and do any number of other stupid things for which they would suffer.  And once the Supreme Court fails to find a constitutional right for gay marriage then almost immediately about twenty states will make laws against it too.  And that would be wonderful.  We would have a de facto division of the United States into two zones.  We could call them the Normal States and Queer States.  And that would be just the start.  Abortion laws, obscenity laws, sodomy laws and other social issues would be fodder for further differences between the two camps.  And the beauty of it is no one in the Blue States is being forced to do anything they don’t want to.  The upshot should be to make the Blue States bluer and the Red States redder.  Now that’s diversity even I can stand behind.

18MAY2020 – OCF Update

Good morning folks.  As we rapidly approach summer I have had the chance to confirm certain things I believed.  The shutdown was a terrible idea foisted upon us by incompetents.  The at-risk population was the elderly and especially the chronically ill.  We have crippled our economy and possibly permanently decimated the small businesses of our independent middle class with nothing to show for it.  Very soon the Democrats will attempt to blame President Trump for doing the things they were shouting for him to do and not doing the things they forbade him to do.  So be it.  It’s his task to expose them as the liars they are.  It’s ours to support him.

One thing this whole sad spectacle has exposed is that there are way too many overweight and out of shape Americans.  Part of that is the result of an elderly baby boomer bulge in the population and the higher life expectancy today.  But our sedentary life style is extremely unhealthy.  And even a chronically lazy man such as myself will now endeavor to mend my ways.  At this point dying of the corona virus would be just too much insult to injury.

So now the part of the COVID-19 story that will interest me will be how President Trump revitalizes the areas of the country that might vote for him.  Of course he’ll want all areas to rebound but the Northeast is going out of its way to cripple its own economy by stretching out the lockdown.  He should preferentially help areas where his voters live.  And the rust belt states that got him elected should get special attention.  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.  Add in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and maybe New Mexico and you’ve covered the areas where the President wants to add to supporters.

The Northeast has no electoral votes for him.  They should have the same opportunities to recover as the rest of the country but the President should direct those voters to the governors who shut their businesses down and continue to block efforts to restore life to their economies.  If they expect to escape the consequences of terrible judgement they might want to rethink their allegiance to the Left.

Surprisingly, the DOJ investigations seem to be active.  Maybe I was wrong about Barr.  Time will tell.  As far as Biden’s campaign, I think the Left can’t decide if it’s time to pull the plug by supporting Tara Reade’s story.  They are holding onto it as an insurance policy to switch candidates at the last minute.  We’ll know the moment has arrived when the networks and the newspapers suddenly discover her story’s credibility.

Looks like we’ll have a busy time ahead.  As always feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments sections.  Hard as it is to believe, there may be opinions other than my own that could be heard.