“But he himself went up alone into the secret room under the summit of the Tower; and many who looked up thither at that time saw a pale light that gleamed and flickered from the narrow windows for a while, and then flashed and went out. And when Denethor descended again he went to Faramir and sat beside him without speaking, but the face of the Lord was grey, more deathlike than his son’s.”

(J.R.R. Tolkien,” The Lord of the Rings)


Everybody reading (and writing) this post is a news junkie.  So, thinking about political matters is part of our nature.  But constantly reading the news and opinion pieces all day long is bad for you.  It creates a lot of stress.  It can depress you.  And over the long haul those kinds of things can kill people.

But there’s another thing it does to you which also causes enormous damage.

It distracts you.

When you follow these stories and agonize over the drip, drip, drip of the unfolding drama on line or in the media you lose track of the important things you should be thinking about and doing.  You are distracted.

Now I am the poster child for this behavior.  During the post-9-11 period I obsessed over every detail of the war news.  I think I spent the whole Bush presidency looking at the casualty data coming out of Iraq.  And, sure, that was a vitally important aspect of the news but it blinded me to what I should have been thinking about.  I should have been questioning the underlying reasons why George Bush wasn’t obsessed with eliminating those injuries and deaths.  I was missing the bigger picture.

And more importantly, it distracted me from paying attention to my own private matters.  Financial considerations, professional responsibilities, even family concerns took a back seat to what was going on half a world away because I became obsessed with the details of a drama that I had no control over and which was played out on a medium that had become omnipresent.

As a reality check, I admit I am still obsessed with the details of the culture war that has engulfed our world.  In fact it’s at the center of one of my primary activities, this blog.  But like a recovering addict I’ve developed a program for modifying my behavior and rebalancing my life away from the source of the compulsion.

The first rule is to monitor your time and limit the amount of time you spend reading the news and opinion journals.  That’s key.  Figure out how much time you need to accomplish all the other things in your life that need doing and then allocate something less than the remainder of the day to your obsession.

The second rule is to develop a clear understanding about how things work in the real world.  That way you can clearly distinguish in your mind the things you have control over and things that you do not.  If you can convince yourself that you are already doing everything possible to mitigate the problems you worry about, it may relieve you of some of your anxiety.

As an example, if you’ve decided that electoral fraud has already made election of a Republican president or a Republican senate impossible then it’s no longer sensible to spend endless hours worrying which Republican candidate will be nominated.  This might allow you to concentrate your efforts on finding a Red State to move to and deciding which candidate in that state you want to see as governor.

And the third rule is ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

Fretting over the antics of the clowns in Washington steals from you time and happiness.  There’s always plenty of time when you can obsess about the horror we see every day in the news.  Pediatric transgender medical malpractice, deep state trespasses against the constitutional rights of Americans, green energy frauds, state-sponsored anti-white violence; you name it.  There are enough outrages in the news every day to rob you of joy for the whole twenty-four hours.  But don’t let it.

Compartmentalize the time you waste on line fussing and fretting.  Force yourself to walk away and do something fun or useful or both.  And by doing this you will imperceptibly make the world and your world that much better.  Because while you’re sitting there fretting, you’re not making things better you’re just making yourself worse.  And you’re making the little bubble that is your world worse.

So, after you read this break away and rejoin the real world and go outside and breath some fresh air and tackle some real-world problem and check it off your list.  Denethor, drop the palantir and pick up a sword.

The Metaverse?  Really?

I read today that Meta (Facebook) is tanking on Wall Street because the Metaverse (Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a virtual reality existence for his customers on the internet) is meaningless nonsense that nobody would waste his time on.  So untold billions of dollars of corporate value has evaporated as supposedly one of the most valuable corporations in the world had thousands of highly paid computer scientists playing around with Oculus 3D headsets and video games.

I don’t know about anyone else but I have to wonder whether these geniuses maybe aren’t really all that bright.  I’ve always suspected that the federal government has used its seemingly inexhaustible supply of fake money to make Amazon, Google and Facebook horribly rich monopolies in exchange for the data that they mine from us.  Amazon was allowed to drive their brick-and-mortar competition out of business and Google strangled newspapers, television and every other advertising outlet.  And Facebook was allowed to get a piece of that action, as was, to a much smaller extent, Twitter.  But I think in the back of his mind Zuckerberg has always thought that eventually the jig would be up.  Google takes care of all the ads.  What is Facebook for?

So, he tried to answer that question by imagining a new world that was so flashy and fun that everyone would be glad to waste all their time just being CGI versions of themselves and flying around.  The only thing is it turns out it’s really just boring and ridiculous.  Who wants to sit around all day with a 3D headset on doing basically nothing?

Maybe the good news about all this is people are starting to wake up to the limits of living on-line.  What is accomplished by staring through a headset for hours at a time.  Is anything being produced?  Is anyone benefited?

It’s probably time for on-line companies to concentrate on a subscription model for services that people actually want.  Amazon at least sells stuff and ships it to you very quickly.  What does Facebook do besides spy on you?  Really, not very much.  At least when they weren’t suspending and banning conservatives, they had some rationale for saying they were a social networking medium.  Now they’re some kind of nanny state surveillance bureau to stop normal people from communicating with each other.

So, I’m interested to see what Elon Musk starts doing with his new domain after tomorrow.  Right now, Twitter is even more pathetic than Facebook.  But at least it knows it.  It doesn’t make enough ad money to show a profit and mostly it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone actually there watching.  Although it’s hard to tell because anyone I’d be interested in is shadow-banned by definition.

I’m hoping Musk starts out by unbanning everyone and eliminating the algorithmic bias against normal people.  Just starting with that might cause some interesting things to happen.  It might not make any people on our side suddenly stars but it might turn off the spotlight that currently shines on the Left.  I’d enjoy that.

But long term we might find out whether someone smart could make money running a town square for real and without a big government subsidy to pay the bills.  Somehow, I’m still hopeful that the idea of on-line communities can have some value.  Maybe all that’s needed is an honest broker allowing likeminded folks to form communities that can benefit each other.    Or maybe that’s a mirage and only government money keeps these things like YouTube afloat.  But it’s time to find out.

One thing I know for sure is that the Metaverse as Mark Zuckerberg imagines it, as some kind of free floating Holo-deck on the cheap isn’t an actual thing that millions of people will pay to inhabit.  And the idea that people will pay money to purchase virtual land in this absurd dreamscape is beyond ludicrous.  To me this exposes the juvenile sensibilities of the people running these companies.  The industry is deeply in need of adult supervision.  Maybe Musk will show himself to be in that category.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

I’ve been writing this blog for almost five years.  And now that I’m providing enough content to warrant people keeping up with it it’s begun expanding its following, which is of course very gratifying to me.  And I am especially grateful to those of you who have passed along the site address or the link to a particular post.  I think this is the real “organic” growth mechanism as opposed to a Google or even a DuckDuckGo search link.  The opinion of the target audience is the only meaningful measure of the success of a journal.

But I must take the time to ask you all for a favor.  I am not looking for money or more clicks from you.  I’m not even looking for compliments, although praise is a wonderful narcotic that I crave as much as the next man.  What I’m looking for is feedback of some sort.  And it doesn’t even have to be agreement, in fact, disagreement combined with your opinion on the subject at hand would be splendid.  And I’m certainly not looking for histrionics and mock squabbling.  The last thing I think we need is more Jerry Springer theatrics.  And I’m not looking for people to make declarations that they consider dangerous for them to make.  I am quite aware that government and corporate busybodies are everywhere attempting to imitate the KGB on a Keystone Cops basis.  What I’m looking for is a real dialog with the audience.

As much as I like hearing my own voice and as much as I enjoy the scintillating brilliance of my every captured thought, I still believe that there are other people out there in the universe who have something that they can add to all this marvellousness.  I hold to the idea that there is intelligent life in the universe besides me.  And my goal is to discover it and make contact with it and learn something from it and even enjoy the camaraderie of shared humanity.  I feel like that character from the Pink Floyd song saying, “Hello, hello, hello is there anybody out there?”  But I know there are many somebodies out there.  I’ve met some of them.  And they are fantastic people.  But what would be more fantastic would be to reach a critical mass where the conversations become self-sustaining and I become almost an insignificant part of the dialog.

Think of all the brilliant and thoughtful and experienced people that are out there.  And they’re being thrown off social media by the hundreds of thousands and they’re rooting around on the internet looking for a community.  Some have probably found some good ones.  I’ve done it myself.  But many of these places are extremely odd.  Maybe it’s the times we live in.  Maybe it’s some artifact of the monetizing system but there is just too much anger and confusion.  Even the ones that seem to have a lot of good information on what is going on are strange and sort of depressing.  I’m looking to build some kind of community that at least can function in a way that allows information and some kind of dialog to go on.

I think that with the stalinesque woke purges going on almost everywhere in our society; in social media, in corporations, in government, in schools, in churches, even in the military; it’s necessary to have a place where we can go and be able to say what we want to without having someone tell us that we’re not allowed to.  That’s actually the origin of this site.  I got tired of being censored on photography web sites when I disagreed with the ridiculous leftist slant to everything on those sites.

Now, I’m sure there will be plenty of readers who will find that their views fall so far to the Left and the Right of where I am that this site will be uninteresting to them.  The woke will think I’m just a hateful racist.  In fact, I’ve been told that repeatedly.  And there are people way out on the edges of the dissident right who will find my beliefs hopelessly naïve and useless to their taste.  And that is reasonable.  I have no desire to straddle hopeless opposites.  It can’t be done.  But I know that there is an enormous swath of people that exist in the spectrum of conservative thought that would benefit from a chance to talk to people like themselves without being lectured to and hectored and treated like bad children or criminals.

So, if you have anything at all to say.  Say it!  I don’t need your name or even your actual e-mail address.  Put down whatever you like.  But pitch into the conversation with me.  It’ll help me.  It will help other people who are shy.  And who knows, you might really enjoy talking to other intelligent and like-minded people.  So come out, come out, wherever you are.

And if you like what you read here, tell a friend or two or three who are like you and might enjoy it too.

Being Right on the Net

Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, PayPal, Apple, Microsoft, Kickstarter, etc., etc., etc.  The internet giants will be doing everything in their power to shut down the opposition to Dementia Joe.  They will de-platform, ban and demonetize everyone on the right they can think of.

Will this work?  No, not really.  What it will do is change the basis of how things will work going forward.  Conservatives won’t be able to free ride on the social network platforms and monetize their popularity through Google’s monolithic stranglehold on the flow of information and internet advertising.  The Right will be forced to set themselves up as Mom-and-Pop shops doing their advertising in places like Parler and Gab.  Well, so what?  That’s probably a good idea.  Being under the thumb of the Tech Giants means having to pass their ever more biased speech codes until you’d end up either sounding exactly like the Left or completely silent.

The harder challenge will be the banks and credit companies.  PayPal and some of the other e-commerce payment processors have also been cancelling out the accounts of people whose politics they don’t approve of.  The last I heard there are some alternate processors who will serve instead.  There are probably problems associated with the alternatives but right now those are the breaks.  It can be expected that the Left will continue to put pressure on these alternate providers to close ranks to try to starve out the Right.  And for that reason, in the future it should be a priority of any organized front on the Right to build up financial platforms of our own to protect us from the Left’s blockade actions.

Up until now I haven’t monetized my site at all.  I really want to find out if I have anything worth selling.  But I have noticed a few folks making the first moves to putting in paywalls around some content and accepting a few reasonable ads on their sites.  I like what the ZMan is doing.  He gives a plug for businesses that are owned by conservatives.  That makes a lot of sense.  We’re going to have to have a lot more of exactly that.

And I’ve been threatening to finish a book I’ve been working on for months.  Well, the excitement of the last couple of months has set me back at least that long but one day I’ll be peddling my opus magnum and I’ll have to decide whether I will use Amazon exclusively or try some other venue.  Maybe I’ll even have a store of my own.  We’ll see.

But the thing about all this is that it would go a lot faster and easier if we had a billionaire who had the wherewithal to set something up that catered to us.  A combination Facebook, YouTube, PayPal and Kickstarter just for the Right.  No more deplatforming, no more banning no more doxxing.  Basically, a place of our own.  And meanwhile the billionaire would make money hand over fist doing it.  Think of the merchandising and other opportunities available from having almost a monopoly over about 150 million Americans.  Now that really is worth the trouble of setting up.

If you’re reading this Mr. President think about it.  Building that would feel like a revolution all by itself.

Here’s some links for web hosting for conservatives and social media for us.

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.