28FEB2021 – Reading the Tea Leaves

I just finished listening to President Trump’s speech at CPAC.  It was a good enough speech but I’m dissatisfied.  I guess I understand what he’s hoping to do.  He’s trying to adapt the Republican Party to achieve the things he wants to accomplish.  And he did single out the anti-Trump members of Congress that voted against him in the impeachment farce.  I see him preparing to endorse primary challengers to these rats.  That’s fine.  I get that.  But I was looking for more.  I wanted to hear about action that could be taken before the 2022 elections.  That’s two years away.  That’s a lifetime of suffering away.  That’s too long to hang on hoping for election results.

I was talking to some friends today.  And I asked a few of them about how they think things are going to shake out.  Some said they hoped for the mid-terms to take back the Congress.  Some felt as I do that election fraud probably meant we weren’t going to be winning anymore elections.  I asked them what they planned to do to about living in the slave states we are currently trapped in.  Some want to move to free states like Florida and Texas.  Then I asked them what would they do if the federal government started to squeeze the free states with gun grabs and hate speech law suits.  They didn’t know.  And finally, I asked them if any of them thought that any of the free states would make a stand and push back against the feds, maybe even secede.  Some said no, some said maybe.

It all sounds a little discouraging.  But I’m actually encouraged.  Think about how people would have responded to these questions even four years ago.  The insane things that have happened in the last few years have been impossible to pass off as normal.  The COVID lockdown, the BLM/Antifa rioting and its acceptance by Democrats at the Federal, state and local levels.  The anti-white hatred being fostered by Fortune 500 corporations and the Silicon Valley companies practicing censorship of individuals and even the President of the United States.  Woke cancel culture and the suspension of freedom of speech.  And to top it all off, we got a close up look at massive electoral fraud spanning multiple states.

Millions of people are waking from a sleepwalking existence that ignored the reality all around us.  Now we can see what’s see going on.  The only real unknown is what will we do about it.  As you can see from the answers I got to my questions there is no consensus or even conviction as to what should be done.  But I see value in asking people what they think at the moment.  I’ll include a little poll to see what the readers here think.  I’ll follow up afterwards with my comments on the results.


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01MAR2021 – Quote of the Day

WILLIAM ROPER: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

SIR THOMAS MORE: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

ROPER: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

Robert Bolt (in his play “A Man for All Seasons”)

A Man for All Seasons (1966) – A Movie Review

This movie is the adaption of Robert Bolt’s play of the same name.  It is the story of Sir Thomas More.  He was a politician and a scholar who lived during the reign of King Henry the Eighth of England.  But most of all he was a principled and deeply religious man.  Being a personal friend of the King, he rose to the rank of Lord Chancellor but when Henry desired to divorce Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn it put him on a collision course with the Pope.  And when Henry declared himself the Head of the Christian church in England, Thomas More had to resign from his office.  But the powerful and unscrupulous Thomas Cromwell, Henry’s chief minister, conspires to use More’s piety as a means of destroying him and ultimately have him executed.

And that is the plot of the movie.  Thomas More uses his considerable intelligence to walk the tight rope between maintaining his loyalty to the King and honoring his religious convictions.  But slowly and inexorably Cromwell cuts through that rope.

The movie is excellent.  The dialog is wonderful and intelligent.  The cast is great.  Cameos by Orson Welles as Cardinal Wolsey and Robert Shaw as Henry the Eighth are memorable but the main actors are Paul Scofield as Thomas More, Wendy Hiller as his wife Alice, Susannah York as his daughter Margaret and Leo McKern as the villainous Thomas Cromwell.  And there are other strong performances.  John Hurt plays the traitorous Richard Rich and Nigel Davenport is the colorful Duke of Norfolk.

The movie won the academy awards among others for Best Movie, Best Director and Best Actor for Paul Scofield.  And I think it deserved all of that.  I will caution the reader that I do enjoy theater and this is undoubtedly a play adapted for cinema.  It’s all about the dialog and the relationships of the principal character to the others.  And it is a tour de force for Scofield.  If you dislike plays this may not be for you.  But for me this is great storytelling.  The humanity and the intelligence of Thomas More are on full display.  I literally can’t say enough good things about this movie.

Highly recommended.

Hummingbirds Using 600mm Lens – Final Comments

My first photos of hummingbirds were shot with a Sony A7S camera using my Minolta 200mm f4 Macro lens adapted with the Sony LAEA3 adapter.  Now, the Minolta doesn’t have an internal focusing motor so on the LAEA3 it’s a manual focus lens.  That’s a pretty terrible combination for shooting tiny nervous birds that move like lightning.  But by focusing on the spot I wanted the bird to be in I could make sure that the shot would be close to in focus.  Then I’d set the shutter to multiple exposures and hold the trigger down for a few seconds.  It wasn’t a great method but it could work.

The next set up I used was the Sony 90mm f2.8 macro lens on the Sony A7 III.  The autofocus was pretty good and the 24 megapixels of the A7 III allowed for cropping to a close up.  But the short focal length meant that I had to get quite close to the bird to get the shot and unfortunately the birds could hear the shutter click and this caused them to start away so I could only get one shot at a time which was not very satisfactory.    Also, the close-up distance meant the in-focus zone was very narrow.

So, when I bought my Sony FE 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 G OSS lens I decided to give it a try on hummingbirds.  But unfortunately, it was late in the season and the hummingbirds had stopped coming to the feeders.  But one day I saw one flitting near a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).  So, I set up a tripod the next morning with the lens and my camera about ten feet from the bush.  I set the exposure speed to one thousandth of a second and the ISO on auto which in the good light present translated to a sensitivity between ISO 100 to ISO 300.

The results were very satisfactory.  The narrower aperture and the greater distance provided a wider focus zone.  And the greater distance also prevented the shutter from startling the birds.  Unfortunately, the bird left after a very short time and never reappeared that season.  I expect extremely good results this season.  I especially want to run the camera at higher exposure speeds and see what kind of results I can get when the wings will be frozen at 1/3000th of a second.  That will raise the ISO to at least 800 but that should still be within the range of excellent sensitivity.

So, I think I’ve found my new hummingbird set up.  Now I just have to work on my technique and I expect very good things this year.

27FEB2021 – And the Truth Shall Set You Free

Anyone older than thirty has probably seen the classic Peanuts cartoon of Charlie Brown and Lucy enacting the football fake.  Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold the football for him to kick but when he is running full throttle and just winding up his leg to kick, she pulls it away and he lands on his back in confusion, pain and despair.  And the most horrible part is that this is the hundredth time that Charlie Brown has fallen for Lucy’s assurance that this time it will be different.  Schulz must have modeled this plot on Republican politicians and their voters.  The stupid party, and stupid refers to the voters not the grifters they vote for, have been falling for the football fake for about sixty years.

But hallelujah, for some of us at least, the game is over.  I don’t want to hear about the Supreme Court, balancing the budget or making the world safe for democracy.  All I want is revenge.  The only thing that will get me to the ballot box is voting out any Republican weasel that has stabbed us in the back.  I’d vote for an avowed cannibal if it meant I could banish Mitt Romney to the company of Salt Lake City Californians.  Hell, I’d vote for Caligula if I could see Liz Cheney deprived of a paycheck and forced to get a job as a DMV clerk.

Let’s face it, we live under a Uni-Party.  Giving it two names allows the actors to stage the little puppet show theater spectacle that they put on for our benefit.  Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy strut around waving their hands and then breathlessly report back to us on their efforts.  They admonish us to send more money and vote harder so that they can take back the Senate and the House in 2022 and finally make the world safe for mom, apple pie and the good old traditional Republican sodomites instead of these new-fangled, communist transgendered kind.  Once you’ve seen behind the curtain the only objective is figuring out how to expose the puppet’s strings so that the rest of the audience can share in the joke.

Here’s an example.  Liz Cheney is a neocon.  She hates Donald Trump because he knocked out Jeb Bush and prevented her from getting some cushy job in the Bush III administration’s intelligence apparatus back in 2017.  So instead, she’s dependent on the voters of Wyoming whom she despises to get her re-elected every two years.  Kevin McCarthy knows this but he gave her cover after she voted against President Trump in the Impeachment Show.  She should have been pulled out of her leadership spot.  Who knows, maybe letting her take a kick in the pants might even have allowed her to apologize to the voters back home, gotten re-elected and rethought her place in the world.  But McCarthy’s loyalty is to the system and Liz Cheney has connections to the system that are just as strong as his, maybe stronger, so he caved.

Now my loyalties are to normal people trying to make a living and raise their kids.  They are being assaulted on every side by every elitist run institution and by their camp followers in the managerial and bureaucratic establishments.  A Republican politician’s only motivation should be doing every single thing in his power to break the stranglehold these institutions have over his constituents’ lives.  If it’s not then he is just part of the problem.  And because he is flying under a false flag, he should be treated as all traitors are, with swift justice.  It’s the only way to discourage traitors.

So, there you have it.  We’re in no position to dream about the promised land where everything is run by our side and progressives are cast into the outer darkness and have to live on Styrofoam packing peanuts and wall paper glue.  Progressives run everything and our party is made up of finks and crooks.  But at least some of us know it.

And because we know what’s what, we can at least stop making our enemies our “leaders.”  We can at least withhold consent from those who hate us.  And maybe just maybe we’ll find some men who actually will help us.  Looking at the history of these things, it’ll probably be a Caesar.  He’ll want a lot.  But at this point I don’t think it could be any worse than what we have now.  I’m willing to roll the dice.

So, let’s say this is an optimist’s take.  At least now I won’t be kicking at any imaginary footballs.

How to Understand How the Democrats Work

For a lot of normal people in this country it’s hard to imagine how someone as loathsome and pathetic as Joe Biden could be allowed to reach the office of President of the United States.  After all, Joe was always just a small timer and no one ever mistook him for a genius.  So how did he get where he is today?

I guess the best way to explain it simply is that Joe Biden has always stayed bought.  Joe has paid his dues all along the path he has trod and everyone always knew that Joe would play his part and always, always stay bought.  Here was a guy that wanted his payoff and I’m sure that he always played ball with the power brokers and never did more than get his fair share.  He was smart enough to let someone else be his bagman and he made sure he scratched all the right backs.

So, when it was finally time for Barack Obama to pay back his godfather in the hierarchy, he was willing to give Slow Joe the boost he needed to enter the big leagues.  Now Joe could skim off the millions and even the billions if he sent his idiot son Hunter to China and Ukraine and wherever the next payday might be.

So now that Dementia Joe is heading for his last roundup with the Big Corn Pop in the Sky he can act as the segue for the next generation of Democrat grifters to enter the Big Leagues too.  That means Kamala and AOC and whatever other misfits are being groomed to move up a rung on the criminal conveyor belt that is our government.

And maybe you think I’m exaggerating.  How could such things exist?  Surely there are honest politicians.  Well, sure there are.  But they are held at arm’s length and mostly just ignored.  The crooks are in charge and they don’t care what you think.  The days of the FBI investigating corruption in the Congress are long gone.  It’s just part of the game.

Of course, I was able to see the local version of this when I was living in Massachusetts.  It was an open secret that for decades that the President of the Massachusetts Senate, Billy Bulger was the brother of the notorious mobster and murderer James “Whitey” Bulger.  Whitey had an accomplice in the person of an FBI field agent who allowed Whitey to use his immunity as a federal stool pigeon to get away with actual murder.  And of course, everyone knew that Billy’s brother was a killer and this actually enhanced his ability to get away with any kind of graft and corruption that he could think up.  Eventually the whole FBI scam blew up and Whitey had to flee into hiding for decades.  But Billie was able to retire from the Senate to an opulent job as the President of the University of Massachusetts.  Now that he’s fully retired, he’s been forced to fall back on his $200,000 a year Massachusetts state pension to avoid the poor house.  But luckily the next generation of Bulgers are hard at work.  One of them is actually working with Hunter Biden on the next generation of Democrat Party grifting.

Not every Democrat has a murderer for a brother.  But they all have friends and family that allow other politicians to have someone to pay off with a no-show job or a judgeship or a lucrative state franchise or you name it.  When contracts get awarded by state and local governments you can bet any amount of money there’s some kind of kick back going on there too.

So that’s how it is.  The Democrats line their pockets as part of their standard operating procedures.  But they make sure that everyone is part of the system and everyone is part of the coverup.  That’s why they aren’t afraid to perpetrate even an obvious election fraud.  Everyone involved in the election in Democrat districts is part of the scam and has a lot to lose if they played it straight.  So, they don’t play it straight.

It’s important that people don’t mistake our problem with Joe Biden as just one dirty politician.  It’s a corrupt system and as it stands there’s no way to reform it from the outside.  At this point the only way to avoid it is to walk away.  Find a state where they aren’t in control and hope the leaders there are smart and strong enough to protect you from the rot.