TBT: The Worst of 2019

Well, 2020 is, after today, in the books, and we can breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Of course, all the problems of 31 December 2020 will still be there tomorrow when we wake up to 1 January 2021, but there is some optimism that an arbitrary flip of the calendar based on the Earth’s rotation around the Sun will set us up for a better calendar year.  With Biden the Usurper assuming the throne in twenty-one days, I don’t share in that optimism, but I’m looking forward to a music- and art-filled 2021 nonetheless.

At the end of 2019, I painstakingly went through the stats to find all the posts I’d written with just one view in 2019—the ultimate reminder to be humble, and to not expect huge pageviews right away.  I imagine that some of these were read in e-mails sent to followers, so I don’t get pageview counts for those, but that means the number of eyeballs reading these posts was depressingly low.

Of course, it being a Thursday, I pretty much have to give myself the easy way out and feature a TBT, so why not look back at the failures of a prior year?  And, in the spirit of yuletide wealth redistribution, maybe we can show these posts some holiday love.

Here is 31 December 2019’s “The Worst of 2019“:

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Lazy Sunday LXXXV: Elections

The fun of Halloween has passed.  Now it’s on to the election, which is just two days away.  The joyful gatherings of Halloween weekend might be the last bit of fun and togetherness for some time, depending on how things shake out this Tuesday.

I am praying fervently for a Trump victory, and for Republicans to maintain their control of the Senate and to retake the House.  Such an outcome would mark a major repudiation of the Democrats’ radicalism.  More importantly, it could save the Republic—or, at the very least, forestall its demise for another few years.

For this Lazy Sunday, then, I decided to look back at posts about elections from years past:

That’s it for this Sunday.  Please, please go out and vote for Trump on Tuesday, especially if you’re in any of the swing States.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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TBT: Election Results 2019

We’re in the midst of primary season—the most wonderful time of the year, until you realize that one of these jokers could become president—so I thought I’d look back to the results from the 2019 elections.  That’s an off-year election, but there are some important lessons from then.

The post below, “Election Results 2019,” largely focused on the Lamar Town Council elections.  My strategy was to vote for the two challengers, because the town government really dropped the ball on doing routine DHEC water tests (although our mayor—bless her heart—has been trying to resolve the issue).  I also intuited that one of the challengers would likely be a Republican/conservative, for reasons too politically incorrect to write here.

The big takeaway from the 2019 election is that if you let Democrats gain a monopoly on power, they will abuse it immediately.  That’s been the story of Virginia, a once-deep-red State that has gone quite blue, due to the preponderance of progressive population poured into Northern Virginia.

The legislature wasted little time in promising to ban and confiscate guns en masse.  That act of totalitarian pique may very well turn the State red in November, as the Trumpian masses have been jolted from their slumber.

We shall see.  But the moral is clear:  don’t give progressives power.  And we have to assume that every Democrat is a progressive.  A conservative Democrat is a unicorn in 2020.  This message is for those squishy suburban moms and “decorum” obsessed NeverTrumpers who think they’ll enjoy political moderation under a Democratic regime.

Don’t make the same mistake twice.  Vote Republican/Trumpian/populist/nationalist/conservative/immigration patriotic this November.  Your country is counting on you!

Yesterday Lamar, South Carolina held elections for Town Council.  Since our local paper doesn’t seem to be putting the results online, I thought I would post them here.

I drove by Town Hall last night to check the results, but they were still working on finalizing the results when I drove by, and I lacked the will to drag myself out of the house again.  But I swung by this morning and photographed the official receipt from the machine, as well as the handwritten results (akin to a student council election), which were posted to the front door:

My strategy of voting for the challengers in a “Jacksonian spirit of rotation in office” failed, as the two incumbents sailed to reelection.  As such, Town Council is unchanged.

Nationally, Republicans dominated races in Mississippi and Kentucky, except for the Kentucky governor’s race, which the Democrats won in a squeaker.  They won in part due to the incumbent governor’s unpopularity, but also because of the Libertarian spoiler, who siphoned enough votes away from the Republican to cost conservatives the election by about 5000 votes.  Thanks a lot, Libertarians—you cost conservatism a gubernatorial election (which the Dems will hold up as proof that Trump is losing support) for… what?  Getting John Hick’s name in the papers?  We’re at war with progressives, and all you care about is smoking weed naked.

Unfortunately, Virginia has fallen completely to the Democrats.  That’s not too surprising, given the swamp creatures in northern Virginia, but it’s sad to see the ancient bastion of Southern liberty fall to big government apparatchiks.

That’s it for today—a quick public service post.  Hopefully the good folks of Lamar can get the results without having to drive downtown now.

TBT: Best SOTU Ever

Trump delivered an amazing State of the Union address Tuesday night—the best I have ever heard in my own lifetime, as well as the most entertaining.  That incredible, lively address—a celebration of America and her greatness—was followed Wednesday by Trump’s acquittal in the Senate on both of the flagrant, fallacious impeachment charges.  President Trump and the American people are riding high.

Before Tuesday night’s address, I thought the 2019 SOTU was the “Best SOTU Ever.”  Now it’s fallen to a respectable second place slot—perfect for this week’s TBT feature:

I was wrong, as were most conservative (and some progressive) commentators:  President Trump was right to hold out for a real State of the Union Address, rather than reviving the Jeffersonian tradition of the written address.

The president’s State of the Union speech was a tour de force:  he spoke eloquently of America’s role in advancing civil and human rights; the sanctity of human life, born and unborn; the economic development of the United States in the last two years; and the crisis at the border.

It was an address that was optimistic and accurate.  Unlike most SOTU addresses, which tend to be tedious attempts to inflate small bits of good news beyond all reasonable proportions, Trump’s 2019 address described, in detail, just how great America is, and how far we’ve come in two short years.

It’s little wonder Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wanted to cancel the speech:  how do Democrats respond to that?  The first part of the speech was full of positive economic news, news that can’t be ignored or denied.  The president detailed explosive wage and job growth, including the lowest unemployment rates for black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans in history.

Beyond the economic good news—and the vow that the United States will never be a socialist country—it was a fun speech (well, it was a bit long, and dragged a smidge, but not much).  Even Democrats started getting up and dancing around at one point!  Congress sang “Happy Birthday” to a Holocaust survivor.  President Trump cut some jokes, and was clearly having a blast.  As any performer knows, if you’re having fun on stage, the people in the audience will have fun, too.

If you missed the speech, go to YouTube, shut the office door, and fire that baby up while you file TPS reports.  You won’t regret it.

TBT: Tom Steyer’s Belt

Like many bloggers, I wrote a “2019’s Top Five Posts” feature to acknowledge the most-trafficked posts of the year.  One of the surprise sleeper hits was this post, “Tom Steyer’s Belt.”

I wrote this piece on September 30, 2019, largely as a cheeky throwaway.  It didn’t seem to get much traffic initially, but that’s true of many of my posts.

Then, probably in late November, but certainly by December, I noticed something:  it was getting a handful of clicks everyday.  It was just a few at first—maybe four or five, sometimes less—but then the views grew.

Now I’m getting dozens of views everyday from this post alone—usually more than fifty!  As the Democratic primaries approach and challengers drop out, Tom Steyer and his stupid belt continue to hang in there, running ads all over the place.

Perhaps not surprisingly, other people want to know the meaning behind the belt.  According to my WordPress analytics—limited as they are—a few of the clicks to my piece come from the search terms “why does Tom Steyer wear that stupid belt” and “Tom Steyer’s stupid belt.”  Less judgmental permutations also bring up my site.

The belt has, apparently, captured the nation’s imagination (and, presumably, Steyer’s waist):  it has its own Facebook page, where “The Belt” posts hilarious comments.

Well, at least some good will come from Steyer’s campaign—a good laugh at a clueless Leftie’s expense.

Here’s 2019’s “Tom Steyer’s Belt“—now the most popular post on The Portly Politico:

When I was in college, I formed this ridiculous pseudo-band with a suitemate of mine (who has, apparently, now gone down some dark roads) called Blasphemy’s Belt, which my bio on another band’s website refers to as an “electro-pop humor duo.”  I can’t remember how we came up with the name—our music wasn’t particularly or purposefully blasphemous (or good), and while we wore belts, they weren’t outrageous (just to keep our pants up)—but it was apparently catchy enough that people picked up on it.

The Belt never performed live, other than for an annoyed roommate, and a highly grating pop-up concert (at least, that’s what hipsters would call it nowadays) on our floor’s study room, but we generated enough buzz to get people to vote for us in a “Best of Columbia” survey in The Free Times.  We didn’t win anything, but it was an object lesson in how enough hype can make people believe you have substance when you really don’t.

That’s my self-indulgent way to introduce some literal navel-gazing—at Democratic hopeful and wealthy scold Tom Steyer‘s virtue-signallingsanctimonious belt.

Tom Steyer is a former hedge fund manager and current environmentalist nutcase who, along with half of the population of the United States, is running for the Democratic presidential primary in 2020.  Unlike Blasphemy’s Belt, nobody knows who he is; I don’t even think he qualified for the debates. Unfortunately, he’s trying to rectify that by running incessant ads on Hulu.

I’ve seen enough attack ads from Democrats to tune them out—they’re just a more overt form of the dishonesty progressives usually engage in—but Steyer’s ad brings bile to my throat.  It’s not because of his ludicrous claims (that President Trump is a “fraud and a failure”), idiotic as they are.

It’s because of his stupid belt.

Tom Steyer has no chance in the Democratic primary because a.) he’s unknown; b.) he’s an old white guy and c.) he’s not the old white guy who was President Obama’s VP.  As such, he no name recognition or intersectionality points.  He’s not even a pretend Indian like Elizabeth Warren.  He wears a blue button-up shirt with rolled-up sleeves and jeans in his commercials—the default uniform of politicians trying to appeal to the working man—and is utterly forgettable.

Except for that belt!

Here is the one picture I could find of it online, and it’s just a picture of someone’s television showing the ad (care of a Kenyan newspaper):

Steyer Belt.jpg

Here is an excerpt from the article (again, it’s from a Kenyan newspaper, so the written English is prone to syntactical errors):

The Presidential hopeful revealed while responding to a curious netizen who inquired the significance of the belt since he had worn it in one of his campaign videos.

Steyer noted that he bought the belt during his visit to Kenya.

“Thanks for noticing my favorite belt! I bought it on a trip to Kenya from female artisans,” he tweeted.

Additionally, he affirmed that the belt is a reminder that the world benefits when women are educated, as the belt was made by female artisans.

“I wear it as a reminder not to be so formal, and also as a symbol that the world is a better place when we educate women and girls,” he mentioned.

This kind of pandering makes my skin crawl.  Look, I have nothing against unusual belts.  But you look at a guy like Tom Steyer wearing this ridiculous belt in a campaign ad for president, and you know he’s trying to virtue-signal.  He said as much in the excerpt above—“I like the belt, but I also want to show how progressive I am by buying colorful belts from African women.”

His very sartorial choice is a political statement.  If you’re a punk rocker, yeah, you’re showing your disdain for order with your outrageous duds.  But you’re not likely to run for President of the United States (that would be too normie and conformist—being a part of the system, rather than trying to tear it all down).

Also, how much education does it take for a Kenyan woman to make a weird belt?  She probably learned how to do it from her mother, not from a progressive public school (there, she’d just learn to resent her skillfulness making belts as a form of patriarchal, white oppression—then no belts would get made at all).

Mostly, though, Steyer’s belt highlights his own clueless elitism.  Nobody cares about your belt you picked up at some street bazaar on a luxury safari in Kenya.

Clothes say a great deal about a man (or woman).  I feel better about myself when I’m dressed well (and it’s not 8000 degrees and 400% humidity outside).  I, too, have an unusual little ornament that I sometimes wear, that often draws attention—but it’s way more endearing than some empty gesture of my multicultural bona fides.

Years ago, I had a student who was obsessed with South Korean culture and music.  She especially loved a K-pop group called Exo—basically a Korean boy band.  Before a big concert, she asked if I’d wear an Exo tie if she bought me one; naturally, I said yes.

A couple of weeks later she came to be with a little felt bag.  She explained that Exo did not have ties, but they did have tie clips.  I pulled from the bag a little piece of silver-colored metal, with a button-sized picture of Korean teen heartthrobs.

I wear it frequently, as it’s functional (it holds my ties in place) and a conversation starter.  It’s always fun to tell, as I lead with, “Oh, it’s a Korean boy band” so I get weird stares, then I tell the story above, which is an endearing example of a close and respectful student-teacher relationship.

I’m not saying I’m immune from self-righteous outbursts, but I don’t politicize a sweet, unique gift from a student (it also doesn’t look like I’m wearing the clothing of another culture in order to make myself appear more diverse and progressive).  If I wore that tie clip in a political ad (a distinct possibility), no one would be able to tell that there are ten Korean boys on it (at least, I hope not!).  Tom Steyer knows people will see his colorful, clearly-exotic belt, and he’s banking on progressive voters saying, “Wow, this old white Wall Street hedge fund manager is really down with the struggle.”

Perhaps, like the great David Carradine, Steyer’s ham-fisted belt will be his undoing.  Then again, he was never really done up in the first place.

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!

—TPP

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 WhatFinger.com 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:

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Election Day 2019

It’s Election Day 2019!  I’m sure there are all sorts of interesting elections happening all over the country, but for me, the big election is right in my backyard, in little Lamar, South Carolina (which just got a website!).

Lamar is holding elections for two at-large Town Council seats.  There are two incumbents and two challengers, and the election is non-partisan (for what it’s worth, I cast my two votes for the challengers, in the Jacksonian spirit of rotation in office).

I like to vote early (though not often—that’s a federal crime, and since I’m not a Democrat or an illegal alien, I’d get in trouble for doing so), because I never know if I’ll be home by the time polls close.  Polling in South Carolina always runs from 7 AM to 7 PM, which is a pretty substantial window.  So, I was there right at 7 AM, and was the fifth person from my precinct to cast a ballot.

What was really surprising were the new voting machines, about which I have mixed feelings.

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