07JUN2018 – OCF Update

The summer is now an actual thing and get-togethers and parties are happening.   But things will continue unabated here on OCF, the pulse of the spite filled, unforgiving, vindictive vengeful right.  I’m starting to read David Reich’s book “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.”  It goes over a lot of the same ground as Gregory Cochran’s book “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution,” but from a very apologetic, politically correct, “diversity is our strength” point of view.  But from of the small parts I’ve read it’s still very interesting to see the pushback he experienced.  Should be instructive.  I’ve got the last Majipoor book to read and the next Galaxy’s edge installment and some other sf and I’ve got some photo projects lined up.  But the elephant in the room should be the DOJ IG’s report coming out this week.  I’m hoping that will trigger a lot of stuff.  Maybe even the end of the Mueller investigation or at least a counter-attack to take him out.  So good stuff coming up.

On a more local note I’ve been intrigued by the general dearth of comments.  Now this is my first blog so maybe it’s how it works but I’m curious, so I have a survey poll on it.  I’ll leave it on the next few posts and I look forward to the info I get.

26MAY2018 – OCF Update

The thirty degree mornings have relented.  There is a break in the seemingly endless succession of torrential rain and wind storms.  I have a non-work day where I can cut the grass and put the yard in post-winter order.So today may be a bit slow.  What’s on tap and coming up soon:

  1. Photos from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  2. Photo essay on the Sigma 150-600 Sports lens on the A7 III.
  3. Book Review on Robert Silverberg’s “Valentine Pontifex.”
  4. Book Review on “Kill Team (Galaxy’s Edge Book 3).”
  5. Book Review on “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.”
  6. Review of the Vanguard Alta GH-300T Grip Head for heavy lens shooting.
  7. Review of Deadpool 2.
  8. Review of Capture One 11 Photo Editing Software.
  9. President Trump’s summary firing of the intelligence agency conspirators.  Wait I’m not supposed to write that.  Let’s call that Trump Humor.

And some of these may not be in this order.  I am human after all and sometimes the mood strikes me to switch stuff up.  So stay tuned.

06MAY2018 – OCF Update

This week I’ll finish up reading Larry Correia’s “Monster Hunter Seige” and post a review.  The hard cover version came out back in July but I buy the paperback for convenience and that version just got issued.  The site has been a little slow because I’m putting together a sort of “best of” post on my southwest landscape trip for a link that Captain Capitalism is providing me and it’s a time-consuming endeavor.  It’s like eleven hundred files and I’m still learning how to use Capture One.  So bear with me.  That post should be pretty interesting for the photo enthusiasts.  As I mentioned earlier I’ll get those rental lenses on Friday the 11th and that will spawn some interesting posts on the viability of using Sigma lenses with Canon mount on the Sony A7 cameras.  That may be interesting to Canon shooters with Sigma glass who have been interested in switching to Sony and anyone who is still constrained by Sony’s telephoto and macro lens choices.

The other thing I am interested in writing about is the direction of right wing movement.  I am trying to formulate my own particular spin on what makes sense going forward.  There is a lot of confusion and undirected anger that doesn’t seem to be producing much in the way of results.  And there seems to be a certain amount of opportunism and charlatanism that makes it difficult to know what is solid and worthwhile.  Sometimes it seems that several people have each latched onto a different piece of the puzzle needed to reform the current situation but like the blind men and the elephant they only “see” a small part of the reality and are missing the big picture.  And because of that, they diagnose that small part of the problem and their solution doesn’t address the broader situation.  And some of the “wise men” are too extreme.  They would throw out the baby with the bath water.  The more I think about solutions for the social disintegration the more I think that restoring the common-sense institutions we used to have is the solution.  Stopping unlimited immigration is neither impossible nor radical.  Restoring respect for the traditions and institutions of our forefathers is important and relatively straight forward.  And replacing social justice and reverse discrimination with actual justice is so rational that it shouldn’t even require explanation.  I think some of the emphasis on race reality is a response to the absurdity that occurs when racial and sexual protectionism and intersectionality tactics are used to attack the American white middle and working classes.  If you eliminate these irritants then the rules of American society should be competent to allow different types of people to function relatively harmoniously.  Anyway, that is what I’m starting to think.  I’m definitely interested in other opinions.  And I read around to hear what other people are coming up with.  For instance I’m going to read Gregory Cochran’s “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution” and David Reich’s “Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past” to see if there’s anything in biology that rules out my optimism for a functional multi-ethnic America.

And finally, I’d love to get more feedback from the readers.  Even if it’s negative.  It’s useful to know what you like and what you don’t.  Or even to just say hi.  It’s definitely appreciated and part of why I made this site.  I am interested in hearing other points of view.  And if you find something interesting on-line pass along the link.

Help Me Out Here

Over the course of the last year, the whole Mueller thing has been such a mystery to me that I confess (much to my shame as a pundit) that I have no clue how this whole thing ends.  I would appreciate anyone’s honest opinion on this crucial topic.  Pick as many as seem appropriate and if I’ve left out your favorite feel free to write it in.  The voice of the people is the voice of God.  Have your say.

 

Trump vs the Diamond and Silk Embargo

Dramatis Personae:  President Trump – (PT); Jeff Sessions (JS); Mark Zuckerberg (MZ); Larry Page – (LP); Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway – (LDH);  Rochelle “Silk” Richardson – (RSR);

 

Scene 1 – White House West Wing, Monday 8 am.  Inside the Oval Office President Trump is at his desk and his receptionist is speaking over the intercom

PT – What is it Patty, you know I don’t like to be disturbed while reading Orion’s Cold Fire at breakfast.  I find his blend of good natured Trump ribbing and incisive political analysis is just the thing to start my day off great.

(voice over intercom) – I’m sorry Mr. President but I’ve got Diamond and Silk on the line and they’re very upset.

PT – Put them through Patty, I’ll set this straight right now.

LDH – Are you there President Donald Trump?

PT – I am Diamond.

RSR – Hello President Donald Trump.

PT – Hello Silk.  It is so good to hear from both of you.

LDH – Well we wish it was a happier occasion Mr. President but we are calling to ask for your help.

PT – What has gotten you two upset?

RSR – Mr. President, it’s that Facebook nerd, that Zuckerberg.  He’s rippin us off.

LDH – Yeah, he shut down our site.  And that other weasel Larry Page from Google shut down our YouTubes on “The Viewers View.”  We are losing substantial coin.

PT – Diamond and Silk, this is an outrage.  Why would they do this?

RSR – They said that we are “Unsafe to Community” and that the shutdown is irrevocable.

LDH – Mr. President we know they are doing this to get at you.  Please help us.

PT – Diamond and Silk, do not worry.  This outrage will not stand.

RSR – Thank you Mr. President, you truly are the greatest President.

PT – Yes, Silk I truly am.  Now, I’ll be in touch with news very soon.  And don’t worry.  The full power of the United States government and all its employees will be working on nothing else but this problem until it is solved.

LDH & RSR – Thanks you President Trump. (hang up).

PT – (President Trump hits a button on his phone and starts to talk) – Sessions get up here right now.  And don’t give me any of that crap about cleaning out the FBI.  A snail would cover more ground than you have.

 

Scene 2 – Later that same day.  White House audio-visual studio.  President Trump is standing in front of two teleconferencing screens with images of Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page visible.  Jeff Sessions standing to the side.

PT – Zuckerberg, Page, I want to know why you two idiots are harassing those two women.  Surely you internet geniuses have better things to do than persecute a couple of African American sisters from North Carolina.

MZ – Donald, the suspension is irrevocable.  An algorithm made the decision and as you know computers are never wrong. (disappears from the screen)

LP – Donald, the kind of hate speech that they employ is too hurtful to ever appear on YouTube.  We cannot be swayed.  Have a googley good day. (also breaks the connection).

PT – (mumbling under his breath) Donald, huh.

JS – How would you like to proceed Mr. President.

PT – Get the warrants and set up the live stream for 8pm tonight.

 

Scene 3 – 8pm that night.  White House audio-visual studio.  President Trump is sitting behind a desk.  Television equipment is set up.

PT – Hello everyone on the World Wide Web I interrupt your porn viewing for a very important message.  Earlier this evening agents of the Justice Department, the honest ones that is, under a court order shut down Facebook, Twitter and Google.  An investigation concluded that they were in violation of anti-discrimination against women and African Americans.  Of course, they were also discriminating against millions of straight white men too but, of course, that’s legal.

After signing off on a consent decree these companies will be re-opened.  And to make sure things don’t get off on the wrong foot I’ve had the Justice Department make some changes to their Boards of Directors. I’ve reduced their other members and added Diamond, Silk and James Damore to each of the boards.  We anticipate no more problems going forward.  Okay, that’s all.  You can go back to your porn you losers.

 

Scenes from a Holy Saturday Dinner

My extended family has recently taken to getting together on both Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend.  So last night I was over a sibling’s house for round one.  Amazing food and drink was everywhere and everyone was talkative.  Winter was evaporating and spring was in everyone’s blood.  What a perfect time to talk politics.

We’re more than a year into the Trumpian Era and clear progress into a new world is evident all around.  At the gathering yesterday of family and some friends a different perspective on what can be said and what was common knowledge was apparent.  Those who had formerly been frightened or confused had gotten used to the new normal.  Deference to the neo-con and NeverTrump “orthodoxy” had melted away.  Contempt for the politically correct was loudly declared and anger at the left was sulfurous.  Many were obviously overjoyed at the ability of Trump to confound his enemies and were openly scornful of the dangers of the Stormy Daniels scandal to damage the President’s agenda or presidency.

One amusing incident was a conversation in which a visiting son of the Cloud People tried to explain why White Privilege was a legitimate concept.  The blowback was heated and quite entertaining.  My own statement was that if someone asks me to check my white privilege my response is “Thanks, I just checked it before and it’s doing splendidly.  How’s yours?”  Discussions abounded on the best way for the Attorney General to arrest the Mayor of Oakland and whether treason was the correct crime to assign to a state official interfering with the duties of a federal immigration enforcement officer.

I was especially gratified that the usual suspects entirely abandoned the attempt to provide the “Narrative.”  We seem to have completely shrugged off the Bush/Obama era of right-wing paralysis.  We can say what we want and we don’t have to care who hears it or what they think about it.

Probably a good part of the change is actually internal to me.  I’ve finally figured out which arguments and which pundits are a waste of time.  I don’t even waste time talking or even thinking about them.  I just deprive them of oxygen and spend my time on what I want to talk about and what I want to happen.  Once in a while we’ll make fun of the neo-cons or the Bushes or Romney.  But that’s strictly for laughs.  We are a very irreverent group.

And I would say the most important change of all is we laughed a lot.  We were happy to be living in a place where there are jobs for our grown kids and even more hope for the future.  And we especially hoped to roll back some of the progressive assaults in the near future.  We talked about the Supreme Court and the Draining of the Swamp.  And we laughed at our insane ridiculous President who beds porn stars one week and tweaks the noses of psychopathic dictators the next.  It’s as if the “Most Interesting Man in the World” were suddenly living in the White House.  And the insanity that circles around him like the rings that surround Saturn are part of the gaudy, nonsensical adventure.  And the roller coaster gee force is no longer frightening, just fun.

23MAR2018 – OCF Update

Well, I’m back in the saddle at work again and catching up here on the site.  I’m halfway through Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle (hat tip to Tom) and should have the review soon.  And based on the story so far, I think I’ll read the other two books at some point.  I have some movie and tv reviews coming up very soon.  I’ve got over a thousand photos from the Southwest to edit and rate so I should have a few photo posts coming up soon.  The political situation is like some kind of crazy kaleidoscopic nightmare.  It sounds like Ray Bradbury’s formula for his stories, “The trip—exactly one-half exhilaration, exactly one-half terror.”  And now we know just how many women are willing to admit to having sex with Donald Trump.  I guess he was right about them letting him grab them.  But they do seem to have been paid for the experience.  Trump truly believes in capitalism.  Well at least he wasn’t attacking them like Slick Willie.  Either way things seem to be going well.  The Republicans are afraid of losing the House, blah, blah, blah.  Well they are pretty lame so anything is possible.  But they really should embrace populism and try to show some backbone.  It is the smart move.  I still have to read some of the political columns I missed but whether there is something important to share remains to be seen.  From my point of view Trump needs to clean the stables and drain the swamp.  Then he can move onto policy.  And he needs to punish the sanctuary cities and send the illegals home.  And finally, Justice Kennedy, go away, now!

Website Slowdown 1-13-2018 – 1-18-2018

The next six days are going to be very busy for me personally.  As a superhero with a secret identity I am sometimes called on to save the world or put together engineering reports (kinda the same thing).  Because of this you will (and probably already have) noticed a slowdown in my output here on OCF.  Never fear.  It’s very rare.  Usually I’m able to slough off the boring minutiae of every day life to pontificate and bloviate to my heart’s content here in the real world.  Persevere and I’ll try to link to good external content to tide you over until I can concentrate the full weight of my philosophical gravitas on the urgent priorities of the day.  Thank you for your patience.

Antepenultimate Christmas Day 2017

The day before the day before Christmas this year is turning out to be climatically challenging but not without its charms.  To start off there is an ongoing freezing rain falling.  What this means is that a deadly coating of ice is accumulating on the roads and driveways of New England generating the dreaded “black ice” that all Yankees fear and also use as an excuse for “working from home.”  Luckily, I have the day off.  As a matter of fact, I’m into the second day of a vacation that lasts until January Second.  So, even though I will have to address the ice problem sooner than I’d like, my current outlook and world view is serene.  The waves of laziness and the glow of indolence are soothing my soul and generating a “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” vibe that surprises even me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, “Men” is a poetical rendering for “Men of Good Will” which excludes democrats, deviants and malefactors in general.  But it still encompasses a great many people that annoy me most of the time.  So today is the beginning of that great period of the year when I have almost no homicidal rage and I truly feel that most people aren’t irredeemably evil.  Falalalala … lalalala.

And going along with this general benevolence I feel I must mingle, commune and otherwise hob-nob with my fellow wizards here at OCF.  I feel that anyone who can read my rambling nonsense and still come back for more is in some way a kindred spirit and must be encouraged to return and possibly shout back across the ether.  So, here’s a loud and heartfelt Merry Christmas to all of the folks out there and a Happy New Year too.  Feel free to leave a return greeting in the comments.

All indications are for a better year ahead and better days to come.  Even the imbeciles in Congress were able to get out of their own way and pass a reasonably helpful tax bill.  Anyway, I should have time over the course of this week (between family get togethers and other festivities) to publish at least a few posts.  With all the events and activity going on in Washington it should be easy for me to gin up some outrage and elevate my blood pressure sufficiently to produce something apoplectic and apocalyptic enough to match my usual output.  I’ve been perplexed with how the Mueller investigation is interacting with the Trump Administration.  I can’t figure if the President is naïve or cornered or biding his time.  But without a doubt 2018 will be another year of high political drama.  And #metoo will continue to provide incredible comedy value for your money.  So, stay tuned but don’t forget to leave time for pumpkin pie, roast beast and hanging out with family.  Ho, Ho, Ho.