Sunday Open Thread – EXONERATION!

Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians by the FBI was also an indictment on this entire fabricated collusion issue as well as a complete exoneration of President Trump and his administration. That certainly had to be an embarrassing announcement by a once venerated institution, which came on the same day it was revealed that the FBI had completely dropped the ball in the Florida school shooting. Maybe it is time to question the integrity of the “rank and file” of the FBI who the complicit agenda media has held up to such a high standard. It’s a little more than ironic that the progressive media is more than willing to question the integrity of policeman as they patrol inner city neighborhoods, but somehow the men and women of the FBI are beyond reproach? I don’t think so, and that kind of logic just exposes an agenda driven narrative. Of course that’s the only narrative the Democrats have anymore.

So what does the progressive media and the Democrats do now that their year long talking points have imploded? Why they double down on it, like Rep Jerry Nadler did yesterday:

“My reaction to the news is this is absolute proof of what we knew all along and what the president has denied, namely that we were attacked. This is a very serious attack against the United States by a hostile foreign power, an attack against our election process, our entire governing process. We know that the attack is continuing. And that our intelligence agencies tell us that it’s going to certainly continue through the next election. And the president and the Republicans in the House for that matter refuse, refuse to do anything about protecting us from an attack. Imagine if FDR had denied that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and didn’t react. That’s the equivalent.”

So 13 Russians creating fake Facebook accounts and trying to sow discord in our society is tantamount to Pearl Harbor? Is that where they are going with this? And isn’t this exactly what all progressive groups do daily? Try and sow national discord? Yes, it is, or do some people actually think that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are unifying groups. The entire Russia collusion narrative was a fabricated issue designed to cover the tracks of the unethical, and illegal activities of the Hillary Clinton campaign, which was also aided and abetted by the Obama DOJ and FBI. We also know now that the Christopher Steele did leak information to the media, who were more than willing to run with the story, and whose stories were used for corroboration of the dossier with the FISA courts, so the question now is, who in the media knew what, and when did they know it?

The next few years are going to be really interesting to see how the Democrats recover from trying to undermine our election process. Do they follow the lead of one of their more sane colleagues Joe Manchin? Or do they continue to pander to the far left extremists and follow the lead of Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Adam Schiff? I think we all know the answer to that.

On another note, has everyone been watching the Waco series? Very well done. The acting is superb and the storyline, if accurate, is disturbing. I understand the alleged crimes of polygamy, age of consent, and illegal weapons but did that really require the use of force by the ATF? David Koresh could have easily been apprehended on the many occasions that he went into town, or was on his morning jog, but the Clinton Admin. DOJ, led by Janet Reno thought otherwise and the result was horrific. Waco is a reminder of just how authoritarian leftists are, and why the second amendment is more important today than ever before. When any government tries to tell you that you don’t need guns – you definitely need guns.

Advertisements

Crime Network, Inc.

We are currently witnessing the largest attempted cover up of the most egregious political malfeasance our country has ever experienced, and the media is complicit. What is being revealed is a crime network led by the Clinton’s and aided and abetted by the Obama administration, Deep State bureaucrats, and the numerous media members who willingly promote the Democrat talking points in exchange for an invite to the hippest DC soiree, and if it weren’t for the election of Donald Trump, we would not be hearing of any of this. We would not know that James Comey and the FBI lied to the FISA courts three times to secure a warrant to spy on an American citizen. We would not know that Hillary Clinton used a private server to conduct her StateSec business and in the process compromised national security. We would not know that the exoneration of Hillary Clinton pertaining to that server, began even before the investigation. We would not know that the DNC rigged the primary to ensure a Hillary Clinton candidacy in the first place, and we would not know that the DNC destroyed servers and cell phones to keep them away from the eyes of law enforcement. And these are just the crimes we have become familiar with – what is it that we still don’t know?

Did Russia manipulate the Obama’s and the Clinton’s to acquire uranium? Was that the “flexibility” Obama promised Medvedved? How extensive and evasive were Lois Lerner’s actions at the IRS? How political were the actions of the ATF with the Fast & Furious debacle that resulted in the death of border guard Brian Terry? Why was Ghaddaffi deposed, and what was Sidney Blumenthal doing in Libya?

And you know what? They all had convinced themselves that Hillary was going to win and all of this would have been swept under the rug. Well a funny thing happened on the way to the White House.

The NFL

Just my thoughts on the NFL:

I heard a report the other day that 10 years ago (I think) could be 5, but not too long ago, 75% of males 25+ said that they followed the NFL closely. Now, only 51% say the same. That’s a huge drop off, and I count myself in that group. Here are three reasons why my interest has dropped:

– The players have become activists and celebrities – these gentleman who play professional sports are gifted with physical talents few of us possess, and it is fun watching them perform at high levels but that is where it needs to end. If you want to protest and/or bling up and hang with celebrities, then do it on your own time. Don’t protest or wear your bling on the field. You’re not rock stars or high paid celebrities, you’re athletes and the field is your stage. Act like it and respect it.

– Too many flags – let the guys play. If the refs wanted to, they could call something on every play. There is always going to be contact violations if you apply a strict interpretation of the rules, so they need to find a better balance. I think that a flag should be thrown only if the violation was blatant and/or egregious, or directly impacted the result of the play. These calls for holding that are on the other side of the field and not even close to the action are ridiculous.

– THE DESIRE TO WIN – sadly I think that because of the money, many players no longer have their heart in the game. When you’re playing on a 4-11 team and still getting in your Ferrari and driving home to your estate at the end of the day, why push it? Why kill yourself when you don’t have to? Few players anymore in my opinion have that true competitive desire to just win. And this is where college ball is different. I am a BIG FAN of college sports because of the desire to win.

Re: this year’s Super Bowl, while I am not a big fan you have to admire Tom Brady. 40 years old and still picking apart defenses. He is the best QB to ever play the game and I say that as a 49er fan and former Joe Montana groupie. My hope is that Nick Foles and the Eagles will pull off the upset and prevent us all from having to watch another Bill Belichick press conference. Eagles 31 Patriots 27.

 

Thinking About Art

So, I’m still writing the novel. Just past 57,000 words, now. I figure I’ve got about 20-25,000 left to go. Very importantly, I figured out how it ends. Meaning, I knew in general how it ended all along, but now I know how to get there. I’ve re-read what I’ve written from time to time…make a few changes here and there, but the main thing is the story is compelling. At least, to me it is. I do hope other people like it. To me, it’s a real page-turner…and I already know what’s on the next page, being the author of it, and all. There will be a lot to do in the re-write after the first draft is done…increasing the descriptions, diving a bit more deeply into character development, making the overall Narrative flow better. I’m having a lot of fun writing it. Though it will take longer than I first thought – originally hoped to have it out in May, but now that will slip by several months. Partly because I got dragooned into working on another project which will absorb some writing time over the next month or so.

The other day the news did what Chesterton pointed out is the primary purpose of the news: telling people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive that Lord Jones is dead. In this case, Lord Jones was Ursula Le Guin. I had never heard of her until I found out she was dead. In case your ignorance matches mine regarding this lady, she was a famed sci-fi/fantasy author…writing lots of books and winning all manner of awards. Someone quoted a passage from one of her books and said this was the most beautiful opening paragraph he had ever read:

Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of the ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss. The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish hangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moon-driven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.

If you like that, then I’m afraid my novel is going to be a terrible disappointment to you. It is just a bunch of words strung together, in my view. I initially thought the guy who posted that on Twitter was joking – and maybe he was (it is hard to tell), but the comments from people about it indicates that some people actually think this is meaningful stuff. Deep. Thoughtful.

Its about a freaking jellyfish drifting with the tide! Its drivel!

It got me thinking about the whole concept of creative arts – and thinking that it is in a very bad way. Ms. Le Guin wrote that on purpose and people read it and gave it awards. I am flabbergasted. I’d be embarrassed if I wrote anything like that. I’m hoping that she wrote it as a joke – that the rest of her writing was better and that she merely put that out once securely rich and famous as part of an “I wonder if they’ll really just buy anything I write?” experiment.

Then I read a bit from Andrew Klavan about how he was viewing the upcoming Oscar awards:

The Oscars as a glamorous, televised, fun event are a relic of the days when film was the central American art form, the way America told stories to itself. When an art form is at its peak — which usually comes pretty early in its life cycle — the greatest works and the most popular works are usually one and the same. The movies, for instance, peaked around 1939 when the nominees included Gone With The Wind, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, and The Wizard of Oz. All are still rightly considered classics and all were in the top ten at the box office.

I’ll have to agree with that. My Mrs gently chides me for my preference for old movies, but I really find most modern movies unwatchable. There have been a few recent offerings I liked. In sci-fi, for instance, I liked Interstellar. It got panned, but I thought it the most interesting sci-fi movie since, say, Planet of the Apes in 1968. But, mostly I just keep watching old movies. They are just better, in my view. For instance, for most of my life I had ignored Citizen Kane: mostly because I figure a movie that praised couldn’t be as good as people were saying. Then I watched it all the way through. And then watched it again. It is the best movie ever made in my view. I’ve watched Lord only knows how many movies, but I’ve never seen anything as interesting as that – something so crisply done, such great dialogue, such phenomenal acting and cinematography. Klaven has hit upon something – the movies are worn out. So is fiction writing. So, too, is writing in general (Matt and I were most pleased with those who opined Worst was well-written; we really appreciated that…but, I can’t argue against the people saying it…most books written these days are simply badly written…I mean, just terrible, and they are written by people who supposedly went to school and learned how to write. I just started writing in 2003 and slowly got better at it).

It occurred to me that part of the reason I’m writing my novel is the same reason that C S Lewis wrote the Narnia series: he took one look at what people were reading, was appalled and set about trying to write something worth reading. So am I. I don’t know if anyone will read it; I hope they do. But my purpose is clear: to write a story which will be interesting and fun to read.

And I think that is where the modern arts have gone wrong: they aren’t trying for interesting and fun. They are trying for something else…a message, or a moral, or simply to be as weird as they can, because that is where the awards and book contracts are. I’m writing a fairy tale – and that means I’ve taken some average folks and put them in strange, dangerous situations where they can only rely on their courage and each other to triumph over evil. You know – it is a story which you can imagine yourself landing in, and then imagine how you might react. There is no sex in my book; though there is love. There is violence, but not gross violence. No one is depressed. They are, at turns, afraid and unsure…but they aren’t wallowing in self-pity and trying to get to some cosmic truth because they have it hard. Having it hard is just part of life, and you take it with as much grit and good humor as you can.

We need to recapture the sense of wonder and hope which art is supposed to provide us. We’ve had quite enough of weirdos and psychopaths. Maybe my book flops. Doesn’t matter. I’m writing it because it is fun to write…and I’m going to keep on writing it. I just hope that other people will join in – we’ve learned that our experts in most areas are rather dumb. The experts in the arts are no less so. If you’ve got a song in your heart, a story in your mind, a painting that is waiting to be done…do it. After all, the really great art wells up from the people…and perhaps it is time for we, the people, to take back the arts, too.

The Secret Society

The progressive media is in hyper drive lately and doing their level best to paint the Trump administration and the GOP as a DANGER to our democracy by even questioning the integrity of the vaunted FBI. In fact former RNC chair and faux conservative Michael Steele was celebrated by the progressive media when he chimed in and said that Trump would “rue the day” he questioned the FBI. Faux conservatives and progressive pundits alike are mocking the Trump administration and dialing up the hysteria of the dangers to our republic, our standing in the world, the possibilities of war, and so and so on ……… WHY you ask? Because the noose is tightening on them and their empty cries of wolf are unsubstantiated and starting to go unnoticed, and that is what has them terrified.

But let’s just review a brief summary of the FBI’s “integrity” over the last year so we can all get a sense of who actually does pose a danger to our republic. First of all, AG Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton in June in Phoenix while his wife Hillary was under investigation. When asked why he was in Phoenix in June, Clinton replied that he was golfing. NO ONE GOLFS IN PHOENIX IN JUNE. The average temp is 110 degrees. Shortly after that meeting, the narrative of the investigation was changed from “investigation” to a “matter”. Secondly, despite the litany of obvious crimes related to the private unsecured server Hillary chose to use for her StateSec position, FBI director James Comey exonerated Hillary clearing her path to run against Trump. That exoneration followed the interviews of Hillary, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills by FBI agent Peter Strzok, who has been exposed as a philanderer and purely partisan hack with a healthy disdain for Trump, and of whom changed the accusations leveled against Hillary from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”. Additionally, Mr. Strzok and a handful of other FBI agents of “integrity” used a paid for and purely manufactured oppo research document, compiled by Russians, to secure FISA warrants to spy on private American citizens in the hopes of destroying a POTUS candidate, and/or to use as a basis to impeach should POTUS candidate win the election – “an insurance policy” if you will. Now this is just a brief and woefully incomplete summary of the issue which goes much deeper, but just a surface review of the FBI’s actions in this matter should alarm everyone. The fact is – the Obama’s and the Clinton’s weaponized the IRS, the EPA, the DOJ, the FBI, and every other agency they could to destroy their political opponents and retain power for generations. And that my friends is the real SECRET SOCIETY, and now the media has the unsavory work of trying to cover all this up ….. hence the hysteria.

For the record:

Government Shut Down Open Thread

The government shut down has the liberal media apoplectic, which is fun to watch. I think they are afraid that no one will notice. Honestly this is the most over hyped, non event ever. It amounts to some “non essential” personel getting some paid time off and a few of the sparsely visited parks, especially this time of year closing. I think we will all survive. But what it also exposes is the tyranny of the minority and the Democrats insistence to essentially rewrite federal immigration laws now, considering that they had 9 years to address this issue while they controlled government, but decided to play politics with the lives of immigrants rather than resolve the issue. Never forget, DACA is a crisis that is wholly manufactured by the Democrat party, and an issue the Republicans have the opportunity to resolve now and take off the table permanently. Here’s an interesting and new perspective on the issue.

Democrats are getting pretty excited about their prospects in this Fall’s mid terms, but they may be wise to dial down that excitement particularly considering their woeful optimism in 2016, and the fact that their fund raising efforts are falling well short of their counter parts.

Missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s illegal, off site server; missing emails from Lois Lerner’s server; and now missing text’s from Obama’s FBI department. But this isn’t news, NOPE, it’s just a another day in the corrupt deep state Democrat regime. The Media will do their best to lay down cover for this story, and instead deflect people’s attention over seas where VP Mike Pence is being ……….. PARTISAN for mentioning the truth that Democrats prefer illegal immigrant funding over military funding.

The collusion narrative is starting to fade from the media …… it will die a quiet death as the media gloms on to the more sensationalized narrative of dementia. I love the smell of progressive desperation in the morning.

New England and Tom Brady are headed back to the Super Bowl. Love him or hate him, Brady is probably the best quarterback who has ever played the game. And I say that as a huge 49er and Joe Montana fan.

Thinking About Those Who Give All

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t think that Trump’s comments to the widow – if they were accurately reported – were offensive. I can just imagine my father saying pretty much the same thing had I died during my Navy service. I’ve read some comments from some veterans claiming to be offended and I’m not going to call them wrong for viewing it that way, but for me and the veterans I know, it was just a thing to be said. When we signed up, we all knew it was possible. To be sure, we all thought, if it came to combat, “it’ll be you and you and you, but not me”, but we also knew that the reality could be very different.

And it all got me thinking that we’re taking the whole thing of death a bit the wrong way. We all, as Shakespeare said, owe God a death. We hope to have our line of credit extended indefinitely (as Manchester in his autobiography about his war experiences put it), but death does come for us all in the by and by. And I think that, these days, we get entirely too maudlin about death.

I’m not thinking we should get all Spartan about it – “come home with your shield, or on it”; was what Spartan mothers would say to their sons going off to war – but, perhaps, a bit more Roman?

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods.”

Or another view, similar, which I’ve quoted here years before:

Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

That was Rupert Brooke, written as he went off to World War One. He got his death, and while very sorrowful for his many friends, it was still a glorious thing and he a man worthy of honor and remembrance. And I think that a lot of our people who seem ill at ease around death are those “sick hearts that honour could not move”. People who shrink from any real sacrifice – whether it is the sacrifice of merely having children and being decent parents; the sacrifice of keeping at a dreary job because one has responsibilities…or the sacrifice of one’s life in a cause.

I am getting old, now; not quite old, yet – but getting there. There is more time behind me than in front. I have done many things to be ashamed of, but there are a few things I’ve done which please me. I’ve kept my promise in some things, that is – and one of them was to be a Sailor in the United States Navy. Had I died as a young man in the Navy, I’d likely be nearly forgotten by now. Decades would have passed; my parents are now dead. My brothers and sisters would, at times, be reminded they once had a brother who is no longer there…but I wouldn’t be much more than a fleeting memory; a life cut short on this Earth. But, for all that, we are all doomed to be forgotten on this Earth. Whether one believes in the religious or the purely materialistic view of the world, eventually everything we do here becomes less than a memory here. We who have religion believe there is something much greater beyond this world, but even we believe that this world is doomed. You can take one of two courses of action in light of this: to either greedily grab on to every bit of life you can, or to merely try to do the right thing by others, even if it means you die and they go on. To those who greedily grab on to life, the fact that a life is cut short is the worst crime. To those who take the other view, it is the life that is poorly lived, long or short, which is the worst crime.

It is terribly sad for us – especially as we grow older – to see a young person die. Even for those of us with religious belief, there seems to be something very wrong in a young person, so full of promise, to be taken away from us. But there is something else to ponder about those who die young:

Right you guessed the rising morrow
And scorned to tread the mire you must:
Dust’s your wages, son of sorrow,
But men may come to worse than dust.

Souls undone, undoing others,-
Long time since the tale began.
You would not live to wrong your brothers:
Oh lad, you died as fits a man.

Now to your grave shall friend and stranger
With ruth and some with envy come:
Undishonoured, clear of danger,
Clean of guilt, pass hence and home.

Turn safe to rest, no dreams, no waking;
And here, man, here’s the wreath I’ve made:
‘Tis not a gift that’s worth the taking,
But wear it and it will not fade.

That is from A Shropeshire Lad – which is not exactly what I’m looking for, but it does address the issue of whether death is the worst thing which can happen. A man (or, these days, a woman) who goes to war is doing an act of sublime self-sacrifice. This is especially true in our modern age where we do not conscript people into war (and God grant we never do, again). That young man or woman who dons our nation’s uniform may have all sorts of bad in him or her. But by putting their lives on the line, they are balancing that bad – and if they do end up giving their life for their country, then they have carried out the greatest love of all, that a person should give his or her life for their friends. C. S. Lewis pointed out that had he, in his World War One service, shot a German in the same instant the German shot him, they’d both probably have wound up in heaven and had a good laugh about it. At such a moment, a person’s selfish desires are at their lowest ebb and their willingness to sacrifice to save others at the highest pitch. And as we must all die, why is this the worst way to die?

I would, of course, that all the young people today could live to a hundred and during their long lives have nothing but the blessings of peace, love and prosperity. But we all know that won’t happen. Even in the best of our lives, there is pain. And, at the end of it, death. We should avoid war because it is wrong to kill. But some times it becomes necessary to kill in order to defend what we hold most dear. And if we have to kill, it is certain that some of ours will be killed. To feel sorrow at their deaths is natural and beautiful – but to take their death and keep it separate from their courage is wrong. They, I think, would not want to be merely remembered as those who died, but as those who did something very special.