Why the U.S. Security Establishment Can’t Stand Trump by Steve Cortes

Real Clear Politics has an excellent article that lays out how and why the Security Agencies have attempted to prevent President Trump from wresting control of the United States from their control.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/01/25/why_the_us_security_establishment_cant_stand_trump.html

He lays out the steps methodically and clearly.  Reading just how treasonous these swamp dwellers are I fervently hope that President Trump succeeds in sends all of the ringleaders to prison for several decades.  They truly are despicable.

25JAN2020 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Espresso Populism by Niccolo Soldo

Soldo has a second installment on Italy’s revolt against globalism.  https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/24/espresso-populism/  In the article he states that tomorrow, 26JAN2020 the reliably left wing Italian province of Emilia-Romagna is voting and currently the polls are deadlocked with a good chance that the right wing populist Lega party led by Matteo Salvini will win.  Soldo compares that to the Republicans capturing the California legislature, governorship, and both their senators and house representatives all at once.  Since that is a known impossibility I hope Soldo has higher hopes for the Italian election in question.

But tomorrow is not a long time to wait so if you’re interested in this story as the next domino after Trump and Boris Johnson, then stay tuned and test his theory tomorrow.

Here is an Example of Confusion About What Conservatism Is

In his essay titled, “Can Conservatism Be Conserved?” Spencer Klavan questions whether a new “conservative coalition” made up of actual conservatives together with various non-conservatives who have been alienated or even attacked by the “Woke” progressives can form a coherent movement.  But then he concedes that most of these “new conservatives” would reject the title.  Klavan explains,

“An inescapably important reason for this is that many members of the new conservative coalition (especially those who don’t identify as conservative) reject the label because they hold views, and practice ways of life, which the historic conservatism of only a generation ago deemed deeply distasteful, even unconscionable.  Weinstein and Boghossian are atheists. Murray, Doyle, and Straka are openly gay. White is transgendered, and Birchill and Bindel are lifelong feminists.”

Apparently, the only thing all these people have in common is they don’t want to be de-platformed by the “Woke” hall monitors.  Maybe that means they believe in free speech.  But maybe they only want it if it suits their speech.  After all, feminists and the various alphabet people seem plenty willing to call anything they don’t like hate speech and get these people de-platformed or worse.

At its core I think this outreach to non-conservatives is just the latest example of liberals trying to act as gatekeepers and redefine conservatism into something acceptable to their friends on the Left.  It’s kind of like the ecumenism that was supposed to let people of different faiths coexist but ends up by turning Christian Churches into cultural centers devoid of any connection at all to Christ because it might be offensive to the non-Christians.

In my opinion it is a mirage to think that embracing these various leftists as some kind of a partnership will do any good at all.  On the contrary, all it will involve is attempts to disavow any actual conservatives who won’t paper over their rejection of the various dysfunctional and dangerous lifestyles or worldviews that these so-called conservative allies espouse.  A similar thing was done to the paleocons by the neocons a few decades ago.  That was how we ended up in the mess we are in now.  Trump was able to, single-handedly, drag those deplorables back into the fold.  The last thing we want to do is give “new conservatives” another bite at the apple.

So, in answer to the title of Mr. Klavan’s article, yes conservatism can be conserved but not by accepting non-conservative ideas and the people who live by them.  Let the progressives, the liberals, the moral relativists, the feminists and the alphabet people battle with their even crazier “woke” brethren (or whatever gender bent category they prefer) on their own.  We have nothing in common with them and nothing to gain by engaging with them.  I would much prefer to engage with the fringe groups to the right of us and see if we can find some common ground with them.  Their ideas are more extreme than ours but they at least do not reject the values that we embrace.  In many cases I think they have let pessimism radicalize their thinking and pushed them to conclude that only radical solutions to our problems exist.  I think the last few years have shown that progress can be made if the right people get involved.  If actual conservatives have a part in running the country better outcomes are possible.

Zac Brown Band – A Country Music Review – Part 1

The Zac Brown Band has been putting out country albums since 2005 but the two albums that caught my attention are “The Foundation” (2008) and “You Get What You Give” (2010).  These two albums have some of Zac’s best songs.  Many of them are ones you’ll enjoy listening to over and over.  Here are some of my favorites:

Foundation

Chicken Fried

Highway 20 Ride

Toes

You Get What You Give

Colder Weather

Knee Deep

I Play the Road

 

 

Zac fills his albums with songs that are original and meaningful.  He has a sound that combines elements of country, bluegrass and Southern Rock.  On a few songs on these albums he’ll mix in some reggae stuff which isn’t my favorite thing but usually it’s okay.  He writes most of the songs and fills them with great instrumental work and heartfelt lyrics.  And he even has a few comical songs which I like.  Of course, nobody will like all the songs and I’m sure there are some folks who won’t like his stuff but I’ll risk a statement that most country music fans will like quite a lot of these two albums.

Zac has a bunch of other albums but in my opinion, these are his best two efforts so far.  In another review I’ll pick out the rest of his work to highlight the best of these other albums.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 16 – The Galileo Seven

The Enterprise is on a mission to deliver medical supplies to a planet that is being ravaged by a plague.  But on route they find a quasar-like object and since these are a high priority of the Enterprise, they send out a shuttle craft (the Galileo Seven of the title) with a crew that includes Spock, McCoy and Scott.  But as soon as the shuttle craft nears the object, the radiation from the quasar drives the shuttle craft off target and damages its communication and navigation controls.

Meanwhile back on the Enterprise Kirk is aware that the shuttle craft has gone missing and that locating and rescuing the crew will be extremely difficult.  On top of this they have on board, Commissioner Farris, whose mission it is to ensure that the Enterprise delivers the medical supplies on time and he has put Kirk on notice that one minute past the scheduled time Farris will assume command of the Enterprise and force it to leave the shuttle crew to perish.

Meanwhile the shuttle craft has crash landed on a planet that is inhabited by twelve-foot tall cave men who hurl equally gigantic spears with deadly force.  Within minutes of landing one of the red shirts is speared.  Spock shows no sorrow for this death and gains the animosity of most of the crew.  When a second crewman is killed by the cave men because of Spock’s ineffective leadership there is almost open revolt and Spock is almost shocked by how poorly his logical approach has fared.

And on the Enterprise the crew has been carrying out a systematic but hopeless search for the shuttle craft on the planet.  Commissioner Farris spends all of his face time badgering Kirk and performing a countdown to their departure time.  He truly is an annoying jerk.  Finally, time runs out and Kirk begins leaving the solar system at slowest speed.

After discovering that their fuel is depleted, they have Scotty repower the shuttle with the phasers they’ve been using to fight off the cave men.  They determine that the power will allow them to reach orbit.  But when the cave men start to attack the ship, they sacrifice some of the power for a high-powered lift off and now barely have enough power to reach orbit.  Based on schedule they know that the Enterprise has already left orbit but Spock decides to forfeit their ability to stay in orbit for a chance to attract the Enterprise’s attention with a rapid burn off of their fuel, basically a flare.  And of course, it works and at the very last minute as the shuttle craft is burning up in re-entry, the shuttle crew is rescued by the transporter.

The episode is centered on the shortcomings of a leader who does not have empathy in his psyche.  Spock is unable to inspire confidence in his crew and his lack of understanding of how the illogical cave men will react results in the death of one of his men.  But finally, when fiery death was staring him in the face he resorted to a desperate intuitive plan and succeeded.  All of this was slightly interesting.  But at the end of the episode when Spock and McCoy are on the bridge with Kirk and he refuses to admit that he acted illogically they accuse him of being stubborn and he agrees.  Then they all start laughing as if this was something hilarious.  This looked incredibly phony.

Alright, so what do I do with this episode?  This is one of those psychological episodes so I should probably go easy on the set up.  But the planetary scenery and the cave men and their artifacts look as incredibly hokey as anything seen on Star Trek.  Then there is the annoying Commissioner counting down the minutes and Kirk snapping back at him in frustration.  But the crew growling at Spock and his incompetent leadership are kind of amusing.  Let’s say a score of 6.  As for Shatner, his only chance for bad acting is the fake laughing at the end of the episode.  But that’s hardly a stellar performance for him.  I’ll say 6 // 4.

Roger Scruton – RIP – A Conservative Giant

Scruton had the honesty and common sense to jump off the radical bandwagon in the 1960s after seeing the Parisian students pretend to be proletariat warriors.  And he paid the price.  He was shunned by the academy.

I like this next quote.

The real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things that they love, and want to preserve them from abuse and decay,” Scruton wrote in 2015. “They are attached to their family, their friends, their religion, and their immediate environment.

https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/18/dearest-roger-rest-in-peace/

The above article contains this quote which also seems full of common sense and honest feeling.

My final episode to recall was at and after Roger’s well-attended and insightful lecture at the Legatum Institute in London, in May 2018, discussing “The Character of Loyalty.”

He reminded us that loyalty is a fundamental virtue on which we all depend for survival because it ties families, communities, and nations together. In defining loyalty, Roger distinguished between personal loyalty, which is a vow, such as a marriage vow or family ties and national loyalty, which is a contractual commitment. The motivation for loyalty may be practical where the commitment is rational and deliberate or sentimental where the commitment may remain despite a cost or disadvantage.

“Above all,” he concluded, “loyalty is a commitment to one’s duty which may include family, friendship, career, religion or country.” These were the things that mattered most to him: first principles.

RIP

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 15 – Shore Leave

Shore Leave is sort of a fantasy episode wrapped in a sci-fi costume.  It was written by Theodore Sturgeon who was a very good, very unconventional science fiction author of the time.  But from my point of view this story is just an excuse to allow the cast to run around and emote.  Accordingly, it will have a lower episode score but a higher Shatner mockery score.

The Enterprise is exploring a new planet that needs cataloging.  The crew including Captain Kirk are extremely weary from recent emergencies that they have encountered during their extended mission.  Kirk is considering using this seemingly idyllic planet as a location for shore leave for the crew.  During the exploration the landing party encounters some inexplicably strange things.  McCoy meets the White Rabbit and Alice from Wonderland.  When Captain Kirk beams down with his new yeoman, a fetching young woman named Tonia Barrows who is a worthy successor to Yeoman Janice Rand, they also begin to run into impossible things.  Yeoman Barrows is manhandled by a swashbuckling man who resembles her idea of the womanizer Don Juan.  Kirk meets his nemesis from Starfleet Academy, an upperclassman named Finnegan, who back then, tormented him with practical jokes.  Sulu finds a pistol that he has always wanted to try and meets a samurai who chases him with a sword.  Other landing party members are chased by a tiger and strafed by a WW II fighter plane.  And finally, after Yeoman Barrows puts on a medieval princess’s ball gown Doctor McCoy is run through with the lance of a knight on a black charger.

Mr. Spock beams down to inform the landing party that a mysterious force is draining the Enterprise of energy.  He surmises that the strange encounters are some kind of manufactured creations meant to give life to the thoughts that the various crewmen are thinking at the time.  Finally, Kirk chases down Finnegan and they have an epic fist fight after which Spock notes that Kirk very much enjoyed giving Finnegan the comeuppance he earned long ago.  Spock theorizes that the phenomena are meant to be amusements for the participants.  But Kirk reminds him that McCoy is dead.

At this point a man in a long funny robe shows up and tells them he is the caretaker of this world and that his people use it as an amusement park on which to relax.  When Kirk complains that McCoy is dead, of course, McCoy walks back into the scene accompanied by two chorus girls wearing some feathers here and there and each holding onto one of his arms.  Yeoman Barrows who has shown some proprietary interest in McCoy demands an explanation for the girls and McCoy confirms that he happened to be thinking of a cabaret and the dancers just showed up.  The caretaker confirms that no permanent damage will happen on this pleasure world and offers to Kirk the opportunity for his crew to take a greatly needed shore leave and he agrees.

I am of two minds about the intrinsic merits of this episode.  It is somewhat amusing in a broad and casual way.  But I think it goes overboard.  The plot is clearly absurd.  And it’s a departure from the story arc of the series.  The thin plot is fleshed out with the landing party running back and forth reacting to all the strange people and things they encounter.  I’d give it a score of 6 for the episode rank.

But for Shatner mockery it gets points for the fist fight with Finnegan.  Shatner gives of his best.  He rolls around in the dirt and flips and tumbles all over the place.  He even manages to rip away half of his shirt.  And while he doesn’t give us any of his most spastic facial expressions, he does give us a fair number of overwrought expressions and exclamations.  Let’s give it a 7 on the Shatner scale.

So, there we are,  6 // 7.  That’s makes it a fairly balance experience for the Star Trek connoisseur.

Tobey Keith – A Country Music Review

Since nothing new has caught my attention in Country lately I’ve decided to do retrospectives on some of my favorite artists.  I’ll start with Tobey Keith.  I consider Tobey one of the most successful Country Music singers.  He has quite a number of songs that are truly excellent.  These are songs that you can play over any number of times without wearing them out.  And Keith has a variety of song types.  He has serious patriotic ones, comic ones and ones that sing about the vicissitudes of modern life.  He has a strong pleasant voice and he uses both country and western melodies with occasional rock and other music types.

Another aspect of Tobey Keith is his unashamed patriotism and his well-known support for the military.  Keith performed in Iraq during the war and embraced charities that helped the wounded soldiers and penned the song American Soldier as a tribute to the fighting men.

So, Tobey writes his own songs, has produced twenty-five albums, won numerous awards and is worth over five hundred million dollars.  Not bad for a country boy from Oklahoma.  But all that is beside the point.  He has a boatload of good country music and if you go through his greatest hits, you’re bound to find several that you’ll enjoy.  Well, at least, I think you will.

Here are a number of songs that I especially enjoy in the categories I’ve grouped them in.

Americana

Courtesy of The Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)

Made in America

American Soldier

Beer for My Horses

Should’ve Been A Cowboy

 

Modern Life

How Do You Like Me Now?

Whiskey Girl

Get Drunk and Be Somebody

Clancy’s Tavern

Stays in Mexico

 

Comic

Big Blue Note

As Good as I Once Was

Red Solo Cup

Get Out of My Car

13JAN2020 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Gelato Populism

Niccolo Soldo’s article “Gelato Populism:
The Rise of Matteo Salvini” gives a good overview of Italian politics and the rise of the nationalist movement in Italy.

https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/12/gelato-populism-the-rise-of-matteo-salvini/