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.

13MAY2020 – OCF Update

Looking around it looks like we’ll be hearing about the same issues for the foreseeable future:

  • The Blue and Red States will be touting their opposing strategies for weathering the COVID-19 epidemic. Currently the Blue States have selected as their strategy of inflating the death toll to include anyone who dies in their states.  Along with this they are dragging their feet on re-opening their businesses.  The Red States are moving ahead with normalizing life in their states.  Interestingly they are not seeing large numbers of deaths like we see in New York and New Jersey.  And even with the death toll inflation in the Blue States it appears they haven’t been able to hide the fact that the epidemic is receding.  I’ll predict that in a couple of more weeks even the blue States will be anxious to declare victory and start opening up their businesses and try to salvage their economies.
  • The Flynn prosecution will spawn a controversy with the Right touting the DOJ investigation into the illegal basis of the Russia-gate prosecutions and the Left condemning Barr and Durham as partisan hacks motivated by allegiance to the Trump administration. With Durham releasing information about the scope of the conspiracy this may quickly turn into the most interesting story of the summer and fall.  If the DOJ decides not to prosecute the conspirators but instead expose and embarrass them through publication of their dishonest actions it could have the effect of vindicating President Trump and vilifying Obama and his whole administration.  And that would be very bad for a Biden candidacy.
  • The Trump and Biden campaigns will spar ceaselessly over any and all issues. What you will hear endlessly is that Joe Biden is ahead by some number of points, between 5% and 10%.  It’ll never be explained how someone as universally disdained by even the Democrat voters as Biden could manage to remain perpetually popular and ahead but that is their story and they’ll be sticking to it.
  • Currently the Tara Reade story will be a lightning rod allowing the Republicans to brand anyone who condemned Justice Kavanaugh on the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford but disbelieves Reade about Biden as hypocrites. If Reade begins to gain traction with women voters, I think we’ll finally see the Democrat party either convince Biden to step aside or begin the process of selecting an alternate candidate.  And that will be a difficult process.  Bernie Sanders will be bypassed again and that is bound to alienate his many staunch supporters.  If Bernie is left waiting at the altar again the Bernie Bros will stay home in droves, or even worse, a bunch of them will vote for Trump.
  • Nancy Pelosi has assembled a three trillion-dollar bill that would allow the bankrupt Blue States to stick the federal government with the cost of the public sector union pension funds. The Senate Leader Mitchell McConnell isn’t interested in funding this.  But President Trump may be interested in additional relief for small businesses that have been crushed by the long shutdown.  He may try to broker a deal between the House and Senate.  I know that the President also favors some kind of public works projects.  This will be a large story in the fall.
  • The China story will be a continuing saga for the Trump re-election campaign. The President has indicated that he holds China responsible for the outbreak and the subsequent damage to the American economy.  It remains to be seen if this translates into a specific policy or policies.  You could imagine some kind of incentive for American companies that relocate industrial capacity from China to the United States.

As you can see these are interesting times but currently all of these issues will be moving forward in fits and starts.  Right now, none of them has a blockbuster event occurring so there will be a lot of opinion stories producing a lot of smoke and heat but little light.  I’ll try to restrain myself from piping in on every little ripple in the pond.  What I’m hoping to see is something from Durham.  As I’ve said, I don’t think we’ll get anything too spectacular.  But I would like to see something before summer.  Failing that I’d like to see the President formulate an economic rescue plan for small businesses that is more comprehensive and fairer than the halfway measures we’ve seen so far.

So, there’s my update.  Stay tuned for whatever is breaking next.

10MAY2020 – OCF Update – Happy Mother’s Day

Greetings everybody out there.  Hope all the moms out are somewhat enjoying Mother’s Day.  Although the whole cowering-in-place has rendered Camera Girl’s Mother’s Day sort of an academic exercise.  None of her kids can come to see her.  In recognition of this injustice I have spent the weekend as her company.  Unfortunately I’m a poor stand in for her children.  But I did what I could.  She is a Scrabble fanatic so I volunteered to play several games of this bizarre pastime.  It confirmed my belief that she has somewhat unorthodox ideas about what constitutes as legitimate English word.  She used “droid” without any embarrassment.  In addition we watched some movies together.  Interestingly we watched the movies I wanted to see but I attribute that to coincidence.  But I have been incredibly attentive.  I have been talking about all kinds of stuff and asking her all kinds of questions and talking about all the good things we can do together alone.  I’ll have to say, in my opinion, her enthusiasm was somewhat lacking.  Several times she seemed to wander away in the middle of one of these displays of attentiveness.  Apparently laundry and floor sweeping are time critical in her mind.  I’ve always thought men are much more sociable creatures.  Not to mention our pleasant and even-tempered personalities.  Well what can you do?

So anyway, I’ve been unavailable for output on OCF this weekend but that interregnum is now over.  I’ve got a post cued up for tonight on the Flynn fiasco.  I think that should be a major point of discussion for folks on our side of the aisle.  The fact that the information has been transmitted to the public is in itself encouraging.  More to follow.

We had a little more snow here yesterday but it wasn’t much to talk about.  But it really makes you wonder how much later into the year it would have to snow before we could question the reality of global warming.  Would a foot of snow at the Fourth of July qualify?  I’ll have to ask one of my Green friends (if I had any).

So enjoy the holiday to the extent that circumstances will allow but I’m back on the job and content will follow.

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

21APR2020 – OCF Update – The Joy of Blogging

Keeping a website stocked with content is work.  Finding and posting a quote and a photo each day takes time and effort.  Researching and writing political posts takes time and thought.  Watching and reviewing movies and tv shows and listening to and reviewing music and reading and reviewing books takes even more time.  Keeping up with the software versions of the website plug-ins and other features is annoying and confusing.  Doing all these things while also working full time in a highly demanding profession in a very exacting company is extremely difficult.  But I consider running this website one of the more enjoyable aspects of my life.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I consider it important to socialize with like minded people.  And just as important as it is to talk about politics, I find discussing recreational and cultural topics just as important.  It’s like the feeling you get from going down to the local tavern and shooting the breeze with friends from town.  You can compare notes on what’s going on in the neighborhood and talk a little sports or discuss the local school issues or the state elections.  There will be differences of opinion but being likeminded people in similar circumstances with a similar history and world view you mostly have similar opinions.  And that’s a comfortable situation.

But nowadays people are always on the move.  We move because we lose a job and need to find a new one.  Or we move so our kids can go to a better school.  Or we move because our town has grown too crowded or because the crime rate has gotten too high.  So, we lose that circle of friends we used to enjoy so much.

Another thing that happens is your kids grow up and once they do, you lose track of the other parents whose kids used to hang around with your kids.  We all go our separate ways and before you know it, you’re pretty isolated from everyone but a small circle of family and a few very good friends.

So, you start to spend time on-line.  You get involved in websites that cater to your interests and hobbies.  And that was something that I did.  I frequented sites that had to do with my various hobbies.  Photography was one of them.  Field biology was another.  And fantasy and science fiction were a third.  And it was fun talking to people with similar interests and sharing information and experiences.  I met a number of interesting people.  But I also found out that politics was a stumbling block in all these areas.  What was true in each of these creative areas was that there existed an orthodoxy that underlaid all the other levels of thought that each of the sites was involved with.  And that orthodoxy was a progressive point of view on politics, social issues and even science.  It was anti-American (especially on sites that had a heavy European presence), anti-religious, anti-traditionalist, pro-homosexual, stridently feminist, globalist, against gun rights, anti-free speech and it rabidly believed in global warming.  I can remember on one particular photography website being banned for saying that Hillary Clinton was a criminal that deserved to be thrown in prison for life.  This was during a thread where the same sentiment had been expressed about George W Bush.  The second statement didn’t even warrant a comment from the moderator or a warning of any kind.  It was after this kind of unequal enforcement of the rules of internet etiquette that I figured out that all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.  And I figured out that if I wanted to enjoy discussing political and social subjects in a more or less free environment, I would have to own the space myself.

So that’s why this site is worth the time and expense of hosting it myself.  No one can tell me that I can’t say that Hillary Clinton is a criminal.  No one can tell me that I can’t say that global warming is a scam.  And no one can tell me that I can’t say that gun ownership is what makes this the freest country on Earth.  By the same token if someone wants to disagree and say that global warming is a very serious problem, I don’t have problem with that.  Let him state his case.  If he can prove it to me, then I’ll admit it.  If he can’t convince me then we’ll agree to disagree.

If someone believes that affirmative action is fair, let him state his case.  I’ll disagree to the last but I’m not in the brainwashing business.  If he can have the discussion without foaming at the mouth and calling me names then have at it.  I’m not afraid of people giving their opinions.  As long as they don’t go off the deep end and start ranting and raving.  This site has a definite right-wing slant.  I state that right up front.  But if someone wants to talk about photography or old movies or old books I don’t particularly care if you’re a communist as long as you can behave like a grown up and contribute to the discussion.  I’ve been in discussions about religion between atheists and priests.  And they were able to keep it polite and even friendly.  They each knew the other wasn’t going to budge but they enjoyed the chance to tell their side and have their say.  And it made for an interesting discussion.

So, this is my way of saying thanks to the regulars and to the new readers and to encourage you all to read and comment and have your say.  Give and take is fine and is the reason for the whole thing anyway.

Okay that’s enough.

12APR2020 – OCF Update – Happy Easter

Good Morning to everyone out there.  It’s a bright sunny day and the wind has died down, although not completely so some of my focus stack pictures I took today of some flowers are probably a mess.  There was frost on the flowers this morning which is to be expected in this weird little stretch of the world I live in.

Camera Girl and I are going to have a video family gathering later and that should somewhat assuage the isolation and she’s making a few treats to make up for the ham or lamb or turkey that could have been.

I hope all of you will have a good day and enjoy whatever company, real or virtual you may have.  And for the Christians have a very Happy Easter.

28MAR2020 – OCF Update

This is the beginning of Week 3 of the COVID-19 lock-down here in lovely but chilly New England and the cabin fever hasn’t really set in yet.  But I must say the news has been a little monotonous.  Even Italy hasn’t reached their peak mortality yet and we’re still climbing so we’ll be here for at least a few more weeks.

The only political news is that Creepy Uncle Joe is not just creepy he’s a sex criminal.  One of his Senate staff workers accused him of an actual sexual assault on the streets of Washington D.C. back when he was just a lowly Senator.  Immediately calls to draft Andrew Cuomo as the Democratic Presidential Candidate began circulating.  It’s just amazing how terrible the Democrat bench truly is.

I must apologize for the low output on political posts.  I’ve tried to compensate by posting more reviews and photo stuff.  Just to let you know why this is, I’ve always felt that banging away at the same old thing when there’s nothing new to say is boring.  I assume it’s just as boring for the reader as it is for the writer.  So that’s why I haven’t been producing much of that stuff.  Chances are this is a very temporary lull caused by the lock-down.  We all know that regardless of whether the Democrats nominate Biden or an even worse candidate (as hard as that is to imagine) this election season will be the loudest, nastiest street brawl imaginable so I don’t see the need to pound away at the same old stuff when nothing is currently happening.

What I will do is look for interesting stuff in the news and life and post it along with my own cultural notes.  So hang in there.  Something horrible is bound to happen in Washington and we’ll have plenty of chances to be outraged sometime soon.

Also I want to start getting some feedback from the readers on the various types of posts I do.  After all Vox Populi, Vox Dei.  I want to see what is most interesting to the readers and give them more of that.

22MAR2020 – OCF Update – Locked Down in New England and Annoyingly Upbeat

Don’t ask me why but for reasons unknown I am disgustingly cheerful today.  It can’t be the temperature because it was 20F this morning and that’s not spring in my book.  Maybe it’s the sunshine and the increased daylight hours.  But whatever the cause I haven’t got any angst to distribute this morning.  What’s a prophet of doom to do?  So, I’ll use my COVID-19 lockdown leisure time today to walk the prison yard, shank a few of my enemies with a shiv, or shiv them with a shank and start a new tunnel to freedom.

I was looking around at a number of science sites talking about quinine derivatives that might be a component of an effective COVID-19 treatment and a couple of interesting things emerged.

  • The first is that there is some pretty good evidence that chloroquine and azithromycin is effective in preventing COVID-19 infected people from developing life threatening pneumonia.
  • The second is that many people in the pharmaceutical industry hate Trump so much that they are angry that he may get credit for pushing a successful treatment forward in a timely manner.

I work with a lot of technical types and they are mostly anti-Trump.  There will be a fair amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth if the President gets credit for shortening the pandemic to something manageable.  These people really are almost gleeful in the face of a looming depression.  That’s how much they despise the President and, by extension, how much they despise us.

Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m optimistic and cheerful today.  I think the therapy being mentioned is going to be effective at lowering the death rate to a very minimal level and allow the rest of us to get back to work.  Boy, that would piss off a lot of people I know.  Good.

This week I expect some more movie reviews and possibly music reviews.  I also feel it is time for a political satire.  What exactly it will entail is hard to say sonce there are so many targets to choose from.  I think I’m overdue to put together a description of the current state of Sony mirrorless photography and identify the much smaller number of holes in the system that exist currently.  And going along with my recent defense of Western Civilization, I think I’ll have a post giving my take on outreach to the various groups that are assumed to be wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democrat party.  I mean, some of those people, women especially, probably haven’t heard a conservative argument about anything in their whole lives.  We may be able to do some recruiting.

And on the photo side I’m going to do a few more focus stacks.  I was at a standstill this week because suddenly my computer thought my camera was a storage device and not a camera and so I couldn’t use the software that allows remote control.  I found that the only thing that fixed the problem was reloading the drivers for the USB devices.  Of course, it is a little chilly for outdoor focus stack work but I am a martyr for my art.

Finally, a suggestion came up during the preliminary planning for ShatnerKhan II.  It was hinted that maybe the program could include non-Shatner-related themes.  It seemed like heresy to me but I said I would consider it.  I throw it out to the readership if this is anathema or is it the natural evolution.  I think the only way to even consider this is if deep theoretical research is done in advance to justify the validity of non-Shatner content.  I foresee the need for enormous quantities of deli meats and potato salad to even begin this kind of philosophical discussion.  What do you think?

So good morning my fellow prisoners of the COVID-19 gulag.  We have nothing to lose but our chains so have a fun day.

12MAR2020 – OCF Update

As COVID-19 slowly annoys us all to death, I’m sitting here at the Compound telecommuting and contemplating the state of this goofy world we inhabit.

I’m in a little bit of a lull right now.  I need to do some planning for the weeks ahead.  But I’m somewhat distracted by panic around me.  I just find it uninspiring to write about people hoarding toilet paper.

The photo side of things needs some work but the outside world is extremely blah at the moment.  I’ll have some spring stuff soon but nothing has interested me yet. I’ll probably try a focus stack outside on a new sprouting hyacinth that I noticed breaking out of the dirt today.

And I’m always looking to expand the scope of the site so if anyone out there is looking to share a post on something of general (or even specialized) interest write me at orionscoldfire(at)charter.net and we can discuss it.

I should have a chance this weekend to break out of my malaise.  So hang in there, I’ll come around soon.

 

27FEB2020 – OCF Update

As has been the case lately that stupid day job has been interfering with the important things in my life.  Well, what can you do?  They pay me a princely salary and I don’t really get much done.  It’s hard to walk away.  But I will persevere and keep the content coming as best I can.

I’ve got some Shakespeare movies that I’ll review.  I’m still about 70 pages from the end of “The Age of Entitlement.”  As I’ve said, it’s painful to read but it’s an amazing story of how we got where we are in a step by step narrative.

I think the Monday morning (or Sunday night to be completely technical) post won’t be on the 2020 race or big things in the news.  I think I want to talk about practical things we can do day to day to improve our lives while living under the thumb of Big Brother (who by the way, doesn’t really love us).

And finally, I’ve got to figure out some way to get more comments from the folks out there.  Especially when we get lots of new viewers.  It’s way too quiet. Maybe some sort of contest.  So if any of you folks know of effective way to increase comments, I’m definitely interested in ideas.