The Worst of 2019

On Sunday I looked at “2019’s Top Five Posts.”  I’ve enjoyed some solid traffic for 2019, especially here in the last quarter (December has been unusually good to me—must be all the Christmas spirit).  Thanks to you, dear readers, for making 2019 a great year.

As I was looking through the most trafficked posts of 2019, I found at least a couple of dozen posts with only a single view.  In the spirit of giving these pieces a hand-up (and not a handout), I thought I’d feature the worst pieces of 2019.

Note that “worst” here does not imply low-quality (although that may very well apply—you be the judge).  I don’t like the idea of affixing value in terms of raw numbers, but these are blog posts, not people, so I’m taking a dispassionately quantitative approach to defining “worst.”

This list is long—a bit discouragingly so—but with slightly over 365 posts, there are bound to be some duds, traffic-wise.  Also, some of these were posts written in 2018, but there’s no way to parse that conveniently in WordPress, so some of these pieces were once successful, but have now faded into obscurity or irrelevance.

So let’s show these loners some love and get them the clicks they (probably) deserve (in no particular order):

  1. Deluge” – All about my old apartment flooding!
  2. Surf’s Up” – About a review Steve Sailer wrote; it’s worth reading!
  3. SubscribeStar Saturday: End-of-Decade Reflections; Age and Class” – I just wrote this piece a few days ago!  Subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more to read it yourself!
  4. #MAGAWeek2018 – Limited Government” – Yep, looks like Americans’ passion for limited government is on the rocks.  Yikes!
  5. TBT: American Values, American Nationalism” – One of the most popular posts on the old TPP Blogger page, now fallen into obscurity.
  6. North Korea Reflections” – We still haven’t had L’il Kimmy to America, but I’m convinced it would blow his mind profoundly.
  7. Soccer Sucks” – Self-explanatory.
  8. SubscribeStar Saturday: Kabuki Theatre” – About impeachment. Don’t be afraid of the paywall.  Subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more to read it yourself!
  9. A Discourse on Disclaimers” – I get tired of qualifying myself all the time.  I vowed to stop, but I can’t!
  10. Memorial Day 2019” – Show some respect for our veterans and read this post!
  11. Breaking: Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires” – Momentous news that set the Brett Kavanaugh hearings into motion.  Makes you wonder if Ruth Bader Ginsburg is still alive.
  12. TBT: Music is for Everyone” – Remember when Trump walked out at the RNC in 2016 to “We are the Champions”?  It was amazing.
  13. Democrats Favor Socialism” – This used to be a novel insight, now it’s an acknowledged fact.
  14. TBT: There is No General Will” – This post remains one of my least popular, both on this site and the old Blogger one.  I guess no one cares about Rousseau.
  15. Pizza Paving Potholes” – A great piece about Domino’s Pizza’s pothole-paving program.  Very cool.
  16. Hump Day Hodgepodge: Testing Reflections” – Some reflections on standardized testing.  No wonder nobody read it.
  17. Reality Breeds Conservatism” – If you live in the real world and not a fantasy realm of Leftist abstractions, you’ll be conservative!
  18. Slammed Holy Saturday: Captain Marvel” – Brie Larson gives privileged bitties a bad name.
  19. TBT: Back to School with Richard Weaver” – I reread the introduction to Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences about once a year, usually right before school starts back.
  20. Vindication – Ben Shapiro Agrees with TPP” – I had a hot take about something; Ben Shapiro then had the same hot take.  I can only assume he was reading the blog.
  21. Rationing and Abundance” – Save your money and cultivate abundance!
  22. Gig Day II” – More reflections from the Pee Dee’s favorite singing pianist.
  23. Hard Rock Reviews on Orion’s Cold Fire” – An aggregate of reviews, mostly about Dokken.
  24. SubscribeStar Saturday: Controlling Spending” – Like liberty and limited government, Americans (sadly) don’t seem to care much about controlling spending.
  25. Judge Troll” – A Republican judge loses reelection, so he enacts the policies of catch-and-release Democrats and puts a bunch of hoodlums back on the street.  Reckless, but hilarious.
  26. An Open Letter to Papa John’s Pizza” – Stop persecuting people for saying a magic word in an innocent context.

Well, that’s it!  You can help these little posts grow up to be big and successful.  Or you can callously neglect them, allowing them to persist in their current state of irrelevance.  If there’s one thing blogging has taught me, words mean nothing if nobody reads them—so get to reading!

Happy New Year!



One Year in the Books: Looking Back

Thanks for a great 2019, dear readers.  If you’d like to support the blog, please subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  Or just leave a comment and share my posts with your friends and families.  Thank you!

Today’s post marks the 365th day of consecutive posts.  On December 31, 2018, I wrote “2018’s Top Ten Posts” to look back at the year (I downsized a bit this year, only looking at “2019’s Top Five Posts“).

At the time, I was enjoying—as I am presently—the glory of Christmas Break.  The blog had largely been dormant following a blitz of posting during the Summer of 2018, with only occasional posts here and there, such as transcriptions of my various “Historical Moments” mini-talks.  Over the Christmas season, I was trying to get back into writing.  I wasn’t in the custom of churning out 600+ words on a daily basis, so it took a bit more effort to sit down and write a post.

I never intended to keep a 365-day streak going.  At first, I didn’t even realize WordPress tracked such activity.  But I noticed (probably with this moderately popular post) that I had a three-day “steak,” as WordPress calls it.

So I decided to try to write something everyday for the month of January 2019.  January tends to be a slow month in the school year, with everyone groggily easing back into intellectual activity during the grayest month of the year.  I also find the cold intellectually stimulating—the bracing bite of mid-winter always seems to get the creative juices flowing.

Read More »

Lazy Sunday XLII: 2019’s Top Five Posts

2019 is winding down, and with this being the last Sunday of the year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to look back at the most popular posts of 2019.

These posts aren’t necessarily the best posts—although that’s an entirely subjective measure—just the ones that received the most hits.

When looking through the most popular posts, there were a few surprises.  One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that posts I pour my heart and soul into may walk away with five views (and, oftentimes, only one!).  Then other posts that I dash off in a hurry to make my self-imposed daily goal take off like Rossini rockets, garnering dozens of hits.

Some of that is timing and promotion.  I find that the posts I have ready to launch at 6:30 AM do better on average.  But some generous linkbacks from really created some surprises here at the end of the year, surpassing even the exposure I received from Milo Yiannopoulos.  Writing posts about hot, current news items, the dropping links about said items in the comment sections of prominent news sites, also helps drive traffic, but I often lack the time required to do such “planting” (and it is a practice that can come across as spammy if not done with finesse).

Some posts take on a life of their own; I see consistent daily traffic from one of the posts on this list, “Tom Steyer’s Belt.”  Apparently, a bunch of people are as mystified as I am with Steyer’s goofy, virtue-signalling belt.

Well, it’s certainly been an adventure.  And while it may be premature—there are still two days left in the year!—here are the Top Five Posts of 2019:

Read More »

SubscribeStar Saturday: End-of-Decade Reflections; Age and Class

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Today’s post is a bit of a counterpoint to yesterday’s Trumpian triumphalism—not a repudiation of my own points, but a mild qualifier.  Yesterday’s post discussed the hard numbers behind the Trump economy, and the enormous gains in the S&P 500.

I argued that, unlike the “sugar high” years of the Obama Fed—when stock prices soared, but wages remained low and unemployment high—the growth we’re currently enjoying more accurately reflects the reality on the ground.  Americans are benefiting in their 401(k)s and their IRAs, to be sure, but they’re also enjoying higher wages, and more of us are working than at any point in our history since 1969.

All of that is true, and good.  But as I wrote yesterday’s post, I couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that something is still off.  There remains a real disconnect between the prosperity we see both in reality and on paper, and the sense that there is a lack of prosperity.

Since popular politics is a matter of emotions and feeling far more than it is about reasoned discourse, addressing that enduring sense of economic disparity and privation is critical.  My foolish but troubled generation, which came of age and fought for jobs during the Great Recession, perceives that gap profoundly—with potentially major consequences for the future of the United States and the West.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

God Bless Us, Every One: The Gift of the Trump Economy

Christmas Week is always full of blessings.  Thanks to the good folks at pro-MAGA news aggregator Whatfinger News (and a helpful tip from photog of Orion’s Cold Fire on how to submit links to them), The Portly Politico has seen its best week in terms of traffic all year.  Two pieces, “Napoleonic Christmas” and “Christmas and its Symbols” made the main page, leading both to surpass my previous top post for the year, “Milo on Romantic Music.”  Apparently, people still get riled up about Napoleon.

It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to overeat lots of delicious, rich foods.  If you’ve never heard of the Appalachian delicacy “chocolate butter,” do yourself a favor and look it up.  Yes, it’s even better than the name suggests.

Of course, all of that good cheer requires a solid financial foundation.  And in his three years in office, President Trump has shattered records for unemployment, wage increases, and economic growth.  Economics isn’t everything, but the Trump economy is something for which we should give thanks.

Read More »

TBT: Reblog: Who doesn’t like Christmas? — Esther’s Petition

It’s been a wonderful Christmas season (especially after getting through the stress of staging a fun-filled school Christmas concert).  The day after Christmas—Boxing Day in Canada—is always a joyous day, as we head out to hit the after-Christmas sales and enjoy a little downtime (for those folks that have to work today, my thoughts are with you; if you’re in a certain kind of office job, though, it’s one of those gloriously still days, with nary a phone call for the duration of a shift).

Last Christmas, my real-life blogger friend Bette Cox re-posted one of her own poignant pieces, “Who doesn’t like Christmas?”  I’m one of those fortunate souls for whom Christmas doesn’t carry too heavily the memory of lost loved ones (other than my two wonderful paternal grandparents).  One of my great trepidations in life is that this season of mostly unmitigated Christmas cheer will not endure forever.

But the hands of time tick on—all the more reason to honor our ancestors in our Christmas observances.  As such, I thought it would be apropos to revisit Bette’s post—a reblog of a reblog.

Merry Christmas, and please spare a thought and some prayers for those struggling with loss this Christmas season.


A poignant piece from Esther’s Petition, an excellent blog about faith.  It’s been a tough Christmas season for some friends of mine, with death and heartbreak hovering around and darkening the usual brightness of this season.  Ms. Cox writes beautifully—wrenchingly—about how the holidays can be difficult, and how we should strive to be understanding of that difficulty.  –TPP

This is a re-post from November 2010… still appropriate for many people, I think. That rhetorical question from a movie blurb has played over and over in the last week – Christmas movies have arrived on cable TV. But it’s not rhetorical for me. The answer is, “Me.” Christmas used to be a happy time […]

via Who doesn’t like Christmas? — Esther’s Petition

Christmas and its Symbols

It’s Christmas!  Imagine “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” played on an uptempo French horn and a crackling fire.  That’s how I imagine Christmas morning—like a 1970s Christmas variety show.

In all seriousness, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.  Christ is born!  It’s a day for celebrating His Birth with family and friends.  Just like the Wise Men of yore, we exchange presents to celebrate (and to stimulate the economy).

Read More »

Christmas Eve

It’s hard to believe it, but Christmas is nearly here!  As a child, the anticipation seemed too much to bear, and the calendar from Halloween to Christmas seemed to stretch into endless, soggy days.

Christmas Eve is always the most magical, mystical part of Christmas time.  Popular depictions of Jesus’ Birth take place, presumably, on Christmas Eve—the angels bursting into the black, silent night above Bethlehem.  The whole event is supernatural—the Virgin Birth, the Star guiding the way to the manger, the angels appearing to the shepherds and singing.  Tradition has it that even the animals in the manger talked at the moment of Christ’s birth (at exactly midnight, of course).  If the rocks can cry out, singing praises to Him, why not some donkeys?

Read More »

Napoleonic Christmas

It’s Christmas Week!  And what a glorious week it is.  It’s been raining persistently in South Carolina since Sunday morning, but I’m enjoying the coziness of the hygge—warm coffee and lazy reading.

PragerU had a little video up this morning from historian Andrew Roberts about Napoleon.  It’s an interesting take on the not-so-short French emperor—an apologia, really (for those that prefer reading—as I often do—to watching videos, here is a PDF transcript).

Roberts argues that Napoleon was not the necessary precursor to Hitler, et. al.; rather, Napoloen was “sui generis“—a man unto himself.  While I believe the ideas of the French Revolution did unleash the totalitarian forces of Hitlerism, Stalinism, Maoism, and all the rest—a murderous, bloody Pandora’s Box—I’ve never considered Napoleon among their ranks.

Read More »