TBT: Populists and Elites

One of the blessings of the Trump administration was that Trump reminded us how fun regular people are.  Sure, I love the symphony and all that stuff, but a representative government should be basically populist—it should care about the people it governs, and look out for their interests.  Leaders should reflect the people, not set themselves against the people.  At most, our officials should strive to set examples for how a good life can be lived.

The thrust of this piece—written one year ago today—is that elitism is shockingly ignorant:  it presumes that anything that does not interest the elitist is somehow barbaric and simplistic.  That our own elites embrace the vulgar and raise up vice as a virtue suggests their elitism is supremely misguided—or lacking entirely.

Few remember now Michael Bloomberg’s disastrous run for the Democratic primary last year—it was so long ago!—but it was the political embodiment of clueless elitism against Trumpian populism.  Bloomberg had the resources and the softly center-Left stance to buy himself into the White House, or at least the Democratic nomination, but he bungled it so badly, even his supporters were in awe of his ineptitude.

Well, now we have a senile, fraudulent feebster leading a puppet regime, so it seems gross incompetence is no longer a barrier to entry to the highest office in the land.  Perhaps a healthy dose of elitism is needed after all.

Regardless, here is 18 February 2021’s “Populists and Elites“:

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Fleeing to (and Preserving) Freedom

Monday’s edition of Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day on Ballotpedia listed the sixteen States that lost population in 2020.  That’s significant as it will likely affect the apportionment of congressional districts in a number of States, depending on how rapidly other States’ populations grew relative to these States’ shrinkage.

Seven of the States were in New England of the Mid-Atlantic:  Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  The other nine were California, Michigan, Ohio, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

While I certainly don’t like seeing Southern States in that list (I’ll consider West Virginia “honorarily Southern”), their inclusion makes sense.  Mississippi is a great State, as I imagine West Virginia is, too, but they’re not exactly hotbeds of opportunity.  Similarly, Louisiana is so corrupt, it’s little wonder that it’s shedding inhabitants.

The rest of these States make perfect sense:  New England and the Mid-Atlantic are hotbeds of failed progressive policies and social justice insanity.  Reading photog’s posts at Orion’s Cold Fire gives a good sense for the besieged nature of conservatives in his State, Massachusetts.  I once spoke with a pharmacist who relocated his family from either Connecticut or Vermont—I can’t quite remember now—who said he had to move South because he was run out of his job for not supporting abortion.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Spirit of 1776

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Disclaimer:  I do not endorse violence as a means to achieving political ends in normal circumstances.  That said, I reject the claim that “violence never solves anything.”  The vast annals of human history suggest the opposite is largely the case—violence has been the resort—sometimes final, sometimes not—to resolve any number of problems.  Our entire political system rests on the implicit use of violent force towards upholding the common good—and protecting those unable to protect themselves.  Jesus Christ died—quite violently!—for our sins, offering us ultimate salvation forever.

Further, our entire nation is founded on a last-resort to violence to secure American liberty:  the American Revolution.  Brave men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to secure liberty and to defend their rights.  Over 4000 did make the ultimate sacrifice—and many, many more since then—to win and secure our freedom.  Sometimes some turbulence is necessary—as the Left has told us all of last year as BLM destroyed cities—to secure liberty.

That’s an uncomfortable concept—I don’t necessarily like it, and I am sad to see it has come to that—but it’s the foundation of our Republic.  I sincerely pray for reconciliation and healing, as did John Dickinson prior to the American Revolution, but I am not optimistic given Democratic control of the organs of power.  The storming of the Capitol will be used as a pretext—it already is—to oppress and imprison conservatives.  At such a point, the remaining options begin to vanish.

I am not calling for or advocating violence in any form—but I’m afraid it’s coming nevertheless.  Please pray with me for reconciliation—true reconciliation, not the dictator’s peace of bending the knee to Leftist insanity—and prepare for troubled times ahead.

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TBT: Dawn of a Decade

It’s the first Thursday of 2021, so here we are with the first TBT of the year!  Fittingly, I’m looking back to the first post of 2020, “Dawn of Decade.”  As I noted at the time, the decade really began on 1 January 2021, so I suppose this throwback post works even better now.

In looking back at this post, it’s sobering to consider how much difference a year can make.  At the end of this post, I wrote, “Predictions being what they are—extremely unreliable—I’ll make a bold one:  2020 is going to be a great year.”

Yikes!  Talk about missing the mark big time.  Of course, on 1 January 2020, everything was going pretty well, at least for yours portly.  Sure, Trump was facing a sham impeachment, but the economy was swingin’.  I’d just come off my best year financially in terms of musical proceeds—enough to pay cash for my plucky 2017 Nissan Versa Note (a fitting model for a music teacher), and was booking some gigs at fun new venues.

Then, of course, The Virus changed everything, possibly forever.  Despite that, I still had a great year—reconnecting with friends and family; traveling far more extensively than normal; and diving more into my love of music.  It was just a very different year than I anticipated.

At the end of least year’s post, I included a word total for the year 2019 (which now WordPress tells me is slightly higher than I reported originally:  232,348 words total for 2019), so I’ll do the same for 2020.  In 2020, I wrote 253,377 words.  Assuming a page of double-text, size-12, Times New Roman font typing is roughly 300 words per page, that comes out to a whopping 844.59 pages of writing.

Granted, some of that is from TBT posts like this one, but the takeaway for me is that it’s time to compile some essays into ebooks.  Cha-ching!

With that, here is 1 January 2020’s “Dawn of a Decade“:

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The Worst of 2020

In the spirit of last year’s “The Worst of 2019,” I’m dedicating today’s post to looking back at the posts with the least views in 2020 (and maybe you could do me a solid and turn off your ad-blocker while reading through these neglected posts).

However, there’s a bit of a wrinkle—in 2019, I just featured posts that had only one view.  The problem:  I didn’t have any posts with a single view this year!  That’s a good problem to have, but it presents a bit of a conundrum.

I do, however, have a TON of posts with four views, which is my new minimum threshold.  So, for your enjoyment, here are the worst posts (in terms of pageviews) for 2020 (as of 23 December 2020):

1.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Independence Day 2020” – Apparently, patriotism is on the ropes.  Or maybe people just don’t want to pay a dollar to read quality content.

2.) “Lazy Sunday III: Historical Moments” – This one is one of the early Lazy Sundays, so I’m not surprised it’s not fallen from the heights of glory.  Or maybe people hate history.

3.) “Lazy Sunday LXVIII: Phone it in Fridays, Part II” – Talk about the ultimate in lazy in-phoning—a Lazy Sunday dedicated to various Phone it in Fridays, and this one is a lame sequel at that!

4.) “TBT: Election Day 2018” – Not any people in 2020 were interested in reading about an election from 2018.

5.) “TBT: Remembering 1519” – The Aztecs were horrible, so much so that no one cares to think about it too much.

6.) “TBT: High-Tech Agrarianism” – This essay was legitimately good, which is why I did a TBT to it within the same calendar year.  Apparently, readers disagreed.

7.) “Catching Up” – It’s little wonder this post did poorly:  it’s basically me making excuses for why I wasn’t writing something good that day.

8.) “A Very Dokken Christmas, Part II: Tooth and Nail” – This post goes back to December 2018, so it makes sense it’s fallen down the memory hole in 2020.  Still, it’s a good album!

9.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Festival Circuit: Ridge Spring Harvest Festival and Clinton Scots & Brats” – Again, the cheapskates are missing out on some quality content here.  Who doesn’t want to read about western South Carolina harvest festivals?

10.) “Lazy Sunday XCVI: Questions, Part V” – Another lazy premise:  the fifth part in a tired series of Lazy Sundays looking at posts that ask question in their titles.

11.) “Memorable Monday IV: Happy Labor Day [2020]!” – It seems this Labor Day wasn’t all that memorable after all.

12.) “Halloween Week!” – Considering I wrote this post in 2019, I’m only mildly disappointed that it didn’t do better in 2020, but Halloween deserves the best!

13.) “SubscribeStar Saturday Delayed: Family Birthday” – Another post giving a lame excuse for why I wouldn’t be posting that day’s SubscribeStar Saturday on time.

14.) “Americans Oppose Illegal Immigration” – I guess not as much as I thought—that, or the observation is so obvious, no one needed to read the post.

15.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: 9-11” – May we never forget.  And yet, for readers of this blog, it seems we have (that was actually the thesis of the post!).

16.) “America’s Roman Roots” – Perhaps the parallels between the United States and Rome are too unsettling to contemplate.

17.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: River and Stone” – A post about Roger Stones’s pardon—and floating down the Saluda River in a tube.

18.) “Breaking: Biden Picks Harris as Running Mate” – The beginning of Kamala’s thousand-year reign.

19.) “TBT: Lazy Sunday XXIV: Education” – Looking back at posts about education on a Thursday afternoon is not going to fill the seats.

20.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Returning to School in The Age of The Virus” – My reflections on going back to school after a summer of fun.

21.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Reflections on Distance Learning: First Month Review” – My reflections on teaching online during the Quarantine Spring.

22.) “Saturday Reading: Communist Infiltration is Real” – An older post, one that was a shocking revelation at the time I wrote it, but now is just an assumed fact.

23.) “Lazy Sunday LV: Animals” – I like animals.  My readers, it seems, do not.

24.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Social Peace Requires Social Capital” – This might be a 2019 post (I’m too lazy to check again—I have to write a lot of these little summaries), but it’s a really good essay.  Please read it.

25.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Distance Learning Reflections, Week One Review” – These posts about distance learning didn’t really catch on, did they?

26.) “TBT: Nehemiah and National Renewal” – A throwback to a really excellent post—one of the more popular ones on the site.

27.) “The Joy of Hymnals” – One of my favorite posts, which I believe I wrote in 2019, or earlier this year.  It deserves to be read!

28.) “Lazy Sunday XXXI: Trump, Part II” – Some posts about GEOTUS.

29.) “TBT: Transformers 2: Conservatives in Disguise?” – A throwback to a very old post I wrote in 2009.

30.) “Another Monday Morning Appeal” – A sales pitch.  It didn’t work.

31.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films” – I love the old horror movies of Hammer Films.  You’d like them, too, if you read this post!

32.) “Reblog: Quintus Curtius, ‘On Living Near the Ocean’” – This essay from Quintus Curtius was really good.  I think my commentary on his essay is solid, too.

33.) “Portly Movie Review: Teacher (2019)” – One of my earliest movie reviews.  I dropped the “Portly” from the title of future film reviews, but it has a nice ring to it.

34.) “TBT: Conservatives and Country Music” – Another throwback from the old 2009 site.

35.) “TBT: End the Income Tax” – From my keyboard to God’s web browser.

36.) “Happy Labor Day 2019!” – Labor Day is not a good day for pageviews.

37.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Coronavirus Prepping” – Most of this advice could be adapted for The Boogaloo.

38.) “Lazy Sunday LI: Just for Fun” – Sounds fun to me.

39.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Liberty and Safety” – Why do we trade liberty for the illusion of safety?

40.) “Lazy Sunday XXII: Reading” – I love to read.  Read my thoughts about reading.

41.) “Lazy Sunday XX: The Laziest Sunday” – I thought reaching twenty Lazy Sundays was a big deal.

42.) “Teachers Quitting in Record Numbers – Reflections on Education” – Teachers are quitting in record numbers, and no one seems to care.

43.) “Deluge” – My old apartment flooded.  Thank goodness I don’t live there anymore!

44.) “North Korea Reflections” – It looks like Kim Jong Un never made it over here for a visit, but notice how no one talks about North Korea these days?  Thank you, Trump!

45.) “TBT: Rustics Have Opinions, Too” – Yet another post from the old Blogspot page.

46.) “#MAGAWeek2019: Alexander Hamilton” – Perhaps Hamilton fever has broken.

47.) “The Impermanence of Knowledge and Culture: The Great Library and Notre Dame” – Just like the Great Library and Notre Dame, this post is a prime example of impermanence.

48.) “First They Came for Crowder” – Now everyone is getting cancelled, and Crowder seems annoying and compromised.

49.) “The Left’s Cluelessness on Gun Control” – Again, another post with a premise so obvious, no one needed to read it.

50.) “Deportemal” – Still a good prescription for America.

51.) “The State of the Right, Part II: Dissident Right and Civic Nationalists” – Another one y’all need to read!

52.) “TBT: Family Matters” – A throwback from the Blogspot site during its revival in 2016.  One of my best essays.

53.) “Bland and Gay” – Remember Pete Buttigieg?  Neither do I.

54.) “They Live Analysis and Review” – You really should see They Live.  John Carpenter is a legend!

55.) “Lazy Sunday XLI: Food” – C’mon, people.  Who doesn’t want to read about food?

Shew!  That took a long time to compile that list.  Make my effort worth it and give these forgotten posts some love.

Bologna

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Lazy Sunday XCIII: 2020’s Top Five Posts

It’s the last Sunday of 2020, so in keeping with last year’s tradition, today’s Lazy Sunday is dedicated to reviewing the Top Five posts (in terms of views) for 2020.

The posts below are not the top five in terms of views all-time.  Instead, I’m featuring the top five published in 2020.  Indeed, there were several posts from 2019 that blew these out of the water (all view totals are at the time of writing, 22 December 2020):  “Tom Steyer’s Belt” (2864 views), “Napoleonic Christmas” (295 views), “Christmas and its Symbols” (212 views), and others.

So, again, these are the Top Five Posts of 2020, published in 2020.  All numbers are as of 22 December 2020, so there could be some shifts:

1.) “The Cultural Consequences of the American Civil War” (254 views) – This post was adapted from a lengthy comment I made on a post at Nebraska Energy Observer, “What Do You Think?” by Audre Myers.  The comment sparked some good feedback, so I made it into a post.  Rachel Fulton Brown shared the post on her Telegram chat and her personal Facebook page, which really boosted the numbers.  The post discusses the oft-forgotten cultural and spiritual consequences of the Confederate loss to Yankee materialist imperialism.  I’m no closeted Neo-Confederate, but I tried to offer up a nuanced take on the downside to Union victory, and what was lost when the South fell.

2.) “Thalassocracy” (201 views) – This post really surprised me with its success.  I wrote it mostly as an after-thought—the situation with many posts when I’m churning out daily material—but the topic interested me.  Based on the limited search term information WordPress gives me, it turns out that many people were searching the unusual term for the same reason I was:  the video game Stellaris.  In searching for the meaning of “thalassocracy,” I stumbled upon a lengthy essay on the fragility of thalassocracies—nations and empires that build their fortunes on naval prowess, rather than substantial ground forces.  It’s an interesting (and long) essay, but hopefully my humble post sums it up well enough.

3.) “You Can’t Cuck the Tuck III: Liberty in The Age of The Virus” (87 views) – As you can see from the numbers, the posts begin dropping off a bit in views from here on out, though I consider anything over fifty views pretty solid for this humble blog.  This piece explored the destruction of liberties in The Age of The Virus, something that I find has occurred with shocking ease, and which continues to ever more ludicrous extremes.

4.) “Big Deal” (78 views) – This post was about Joe Rogan’s move to Spotify, and his own implicit sell-out to social justice cuckery.  I can’t account for its mild popularity, other than it was a timely post that touched on a widespread sentiment on the Right.

5.) “The God Pill, Part II” (76 views) – This piece reviewed former pick-up artist Roosh V’s dramatic conversion to Orthodox Christianity (covered in “The God Pill“; read the whole series here), and his decision to unpublish his bestseller, Game.  That decision has really cost him financially—he recently took a gig doing construction work in Alabama for a few weeks, and is apparently back living with his parents in Maryland—but it was the right move spiritually.  Many thought Roosh was converting as a way to reinvent himself to make an extra buck, but he really seems to be putting his faith first.  Kudos to him.

That’s it!  It’s hard to believe another year is in the books.  Thanks to everyone for reading, and for your ongoing support.  It can be difficult to maintain the pace of posting at times, but your feedback and comments really keep me going.

God Bless—and Happy New Year!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: End-of-Year Reflections 2020

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It’s hard to believe that another year is in the books—and what a wild year it was.  In keeping with last year’s “End-of-Decade Reflections” (subscriber link), I decided to reflect again on the swiftly expiring year.

Indeed, technically 2020 is the last year of the long Teens decade, with 2021 marking the beginning of the 2020s, just as 2001, not the year 2000, is the first year of our current century and millennium.  But no one thinks about it that way, so I did end-of-decade reflections last year.  My post this year will take a more humble scope and just focus on the year 2020 itself, not the ten preceding it.

Besides, 2020 has contained a decade’s worth of events inside its twelve months, as every Internet wag and memester has already noted.  There’s enough to consider in this year to fill up a SubscribeStar Saturday post:  distance learning, Universal Studio trips, teaching music, the challenges to indie musicians, running for Town Council, etc.  The world—already a rapidly changing place—has changed substantially in just a few short months.

What to make of those changes is the real challenge going forward.  What happens next?

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Mainstreaming of Secession

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The American experiment in self-government is at perhaps its lowest ebb since the 1850s, a decade whose division and partisan rancor rival our own.  That decade’s statesmen’s failures to address sectional tensions—and, ultimately, to reconcile two fundamentally incompatible views of the world—resulted in the secession of eleven States that no longer believed the national government was acting in accordance with the Constitution.

It brings me no joy to make such a grim assessment, nor to contemplate what comes next as a result, but it is a necessary task.  My sincerest wish is that our great Union remain intact, and that we see some restoration of constitutionalism.  An increase in States’ rights and federalism—greater sovereignty at the State level and less power at the federal level—would go a very long way in resolving at least some of our national issues.

Unfortunately, I and others are increasingly drawing the conclusion that such a restoration is, at best, extremely unlikely and, at worst, impossible in an age of totalizing progressivism.  When even Rush Limbaugh is musing about secession (H/T to photog at Orion’s Cold Fire) and a George Mason law professor is writing seriously on the subject, we can no longer laugh off the notion.  Secession may be the future.

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Where the Right Goes From Here

Lest I be cast as a “doomer”—one who has given up on President Trump’s noble attempt to win the re-election that is rightfully is—it seems likely that our ruling elites will assure Biden wins the presidency.  I still believe that Trump is the rightful victor; that the election was stolen from him; and that the evidence of widespread voter fraud is compelling enough to throw, at the very least, the election to the House of Representatives.

Remember, we live in a world that still argues that John F. Kennedy’s campaign did not manipulate vote totals in Cook County, Illinois to flip the State away from Nixon in 1960, thereby assuring Kennedy’s victory.  What we saw in 2020 was the Cook County strategy writ large.  We should fight that manipulation to ensure the integrity of future elections, but I fear the damage is done.

Again, I hold out hope that Trump will be vindicated and that justice will be served.  Nevertheless, as conservatives, we should adopt the distinctly conservative course of preparing for what comes next.  Even if our dream scenario comes to fruition, it only buys conservatives time.  Either way, we’ve got to consider seriously where we’re going, and our place in a society that increasingly rejects us and our interests.

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