Those dimes add up. Regular readers know that I’m a major advocate of sensible financial planning and reducing unnecessary spending (at one point, I would have been an “extreme budgeter,” but now some hedonic adaptation has kicked in and I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor a bit more). I also promote hustling—working hard and spinning different side gigs—to generate extra income.
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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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.
I know, I know—everyone wants to read and talk about the storming of our metaphorical Bastille. I’m going to cover that in-depth in this weekend’s SubscribeStar Saturday post, not because I know it is the event of the decade—and will therefore crassly milk it for subscribers—but because my own observations are so tantalizingly spicy, I have to hide them behind a paywall. Believe it or not, $1 is apparently a major hurdle.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a bit local draconianism that I will hopefully soon be able to address head-on: my small town of Lamar has adopted a mask ordinance. Given our current Town Council, I’m surprised it took this long.
The ordinance, dated 14 December 2020 and effective 4 January 2021—but only received in water bills on 7 January 2021—is entitled “REQUIRING INDIVIDUALS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL AND FOODSERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS, AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO.” It features a number of “WHEREAS” justifications, mostly the “recommendations of public health experts.” It then lists the “Use of Face Coverings” in Section 1, detailing that face coverings must be worn indoors at stores and restaurants, etc., with plenty of opportunities to not wear a mask listed in Section 2, “Exemptions”—religious reasons, dental cleanings, etc.
The penalties for infractions—detailed in Sections 3 and 4—are $25 for individuals and $100 for businesses that fail to require employees to wear masks. Section 3 seems laughably unenforceable in a town that has maybe three police officers—and just a recipe for another unpleasant interaction between otherwise law-abiding citizens and police. Section 4 is particularly onerous, though, as it forces private companies to force their employees to wear masks, or face daily $100 fines.
Granted, most business establishments have already bent the knee and have bought into the mask hysteria. In my mind, though, that makes the mask mandate even more unnecessary: if Dollar General is making me wear a mask to buy a $1.26 loaf of bread-based loaf product anyway, why does the Town Council need to ladle an extra dollop of self-righteous scolding?
Last Friday as I pulled up to work, I do what I do every day: pick up my gaiter mask from the emergency brake and put it over my head. As I did so, I experienced every ounce of everyday oppression that modern man endures.
Wearing a mask is, indeed, a small thing to ask, but it’s become the proverbial straw—and my face the camel’s back.
So I decided, then and there, to make an extremely small stand for my own independence. In some limited scenarios, I am going to stop wearing my mask publicly.
Readers know that I’ve been using SubscribeStar to host subscription-based content—like SubscribeStar Saturdays for $1 a month subscribers, and Five Dollar Fridays and Sunday Doodles for $5 a month subs—for over a year now. It’s a fairly rudimentary blogging platform, without some of the robustness and customization options of WordPress, but unlike WordPress, it’s leadership is not inherently left-leaning.
In other words, there’s very little chance SubscribeStar is going to shut down a “star“—their term for their content providers—over groundless accusations. That’s one big reason I signed up for their service: I had confidence that they wouldn’t shutter my blog posts simply for thinking critically and questioning the prevailing orthodoxy.
I now receive ad revenue here at The Portly Politico, so if you’re using an ad blocker, please consider disabling it on this site. Of course, you can always subscribe to my SubscribeStar Page, which is the best and easiest way to support the site and get access to exclusive weekly content. Thanks again for your support! —TPP
As I’ve long suspected, The Virus is not nearly as lethal as the doomsayers predicted and insisted. It turns out that only 6% of reported COVID-related deaths were purely related to The Virus; the other 94% of victims had other underlying medical issues.
Let me be clear: I do think The Virus is real and is potentially life-threatening, especially for the elderly and the chronically ill. Indeed, the CDC findings indicate that is, indeed, the case. Even when not life-threatening, it’s surely unpleasant—just like a particularly bad case of the flu is unpleasant.
But just as we’ve done in the past with bad flu seasons, we should begin returning to some degree of normality. Indeed, Sweden’s approach to The Virus has been practical and effective: protect the elderly and other vulnerable populations while encouraging as much normality as possible for the rest of society. Let younger people work, play, and mingle, and develop that coveted herd immunity.
Lazy Sunday is rolling on with some more “Forgotten Posts” (check out Volume I and Volume II). Again, the criteria for selection is pretty loose—I scroll through my archives and find posts I don’t link to very often, or which I’ve largely forgotten that I wrote. Even that’s not a hard-and-fast rule.
This week’s selections come from June 2019. The summer is always a slow month for new; ergo, it’s a slow month for blogging. But with a self-imposed daily post requirement, I’ve gotta come up with something. Here’s a taste of those somethings:
- “The Price of Freedom: A Good Attorney” – This post explores the concept “that the process is the punishment.” For conservatives, that usually means blowing tons of cash on attorney’s fees to prove one’s innocence in a justice system that increasingly assumes guilt, tainted as it is by social justice bromides. Lawfare is, more and more, how the Left imposes its agenda on an unwilling population, so it’s good to see the Right fighting back. Owen Benjamin’s recent victory against Patreon is one excellent example. But freedom isn’t free; it bills at about $200 an hour.
- “FreeSpeech.TV Lineup Announced” – Gavin McInnes’s excellent video subscription service is now called Censored.TV, because another company apparently had the trademark or copyright or some such to “FreeSpeech.TV.” The new name is really even better, as many of its contributors—Laura Loomer, Soph, Milo, and Gavin himself—have been banned from YouTube and other platforms (Loomer continues to struggle with Big Tech censorship, even as she’s the front-runner in her Florida congressional race!). It’s definitely worth $10 a month to subscribe (my younger brother and I split the $100 annual subscription).
- “SubscribeStar Saturday: Christians Protect Other Faiths” – While we’re talking about subscriptions, why not subscribe to my SubscribeStar Page, hmm? I’m no Gavin McGinnes, but you get exclusive content every Saturday (and Sunday, if you’re shelling out $5 a month). If you’re subbed for $1 a month or more, you can read “Christians Protect Other Faiths“—one of the earliest subscriber-only posts. In this post, I was addressing the big split in conservatism in 2019 between the David French-style neocons of National Review and the Sohrab Ahmari traditionalists at First Things, specifically Ahmari’s powerful critique of noodle-wristed neoliberalism/neoconnery, “Against David French-ism.” I also looked at a now thirty-three-year old piece by a Jewish rabbi arguing that American Jews were wrong to denigrate American Christians, as the latter were the protectors, not the enemy, of the former. Upon rereading my scribblings, I think it’s definitely worth a buck to read!
There’s another Lazy Sunday in the books. Speaking of books, I’ll be cracking them pretty hard this week, as school resumes this Thursday. It’s going to be an interesting year. Wish me luck.
In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday!
Other Lazy Sunday Installments:
- Lazy Sunday – APR Pieces
- Lazy Sunday II – Lincoln Posts
- Lazy Sunday III – Historical Moments
- Lazy Sunday IV – Christianity
- Lazy Sunday V – Progressivism, Part I
- Lazy Sunday VI – Progressivism, Part II
- Lazy Sunday VII – Deep State
- Lazy Sunday VIII – Conservatism
- Lazy Sunday IX – Economics, Part I
- Lazy Sunday X – Economics, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XI – Walls
- Lazy Sunday XII – Space
- Lazy Sunday XIII – Immigration
- Lazy Sunday XIV – Gay Stuff
- Lazy Sunday XV – Work
- Lazy Sunday XVI – #MAGAWeek2018
- Lazy Sunday XVII – #MAGAWeek2019
- Lazy Sunday XVIII – SubscribeStar Posts
- Lazy Sunday XIX – Music
- Lazy Sunday XX – The Laziest Sunday
- Lazy Sunday XXI – Travel
- Lazy Sunday XXII – Reading
- Lazy Sunday XXIII – Richard Weaver
- Lazy Sunday XXIV – Education
- Lazy Sunday XXV – Techno-Weirdos
- Lazy Sunday XXVI – Small Town Living
- Lazy Sunday XXVII – Bric-a-Brac
- Lazy Sunday XXVIII – World History
- Lazy Sunday XXIX – The New Criterion
- Lazy Sunday XXX – Trump, Part I
- Lazy Sunday XXXI – Trump, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XXXII – Festivals
- Lazy Sunday XXXIII – Virtue Signalling
- Lazy Sunday XXXIV – The Desperate Search for Meaning Series
- Lazy Sunday XXXV – Corporate Grind
- Lazy Sunday XXXVI – Best of the Reblogs, Part I
- Lazy Sunday XXXVII – Best of the Reblogs, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XXXVIII – Best of the Reblogs, Part III
- Lazy Sunday XXXIX – A Very Dokken Christmas Series
- Lazy Sunday XL – Christmas Carols
- Lazy Sunday XLI – Food
- Lazy Sunday XLII – 2019’s Top Five Posts
- Lazy Sunday XLIII – Music, Part II: More Music
- Lazy Sunday XLIV – SubscribeStar Saturday Posts, Part II: The Search for More Money
- Lazy Sunday XLV – Techno-Weirdos II
- Lazy Sunday XLVI – Man Time
- Lazy Sunday XLVII – Winning
- Lazy Sunday XLVIII – Culture
- Lazy Sunday XLIX – Family
- Lazy Sunday L – The Best of Lazy Sunday
- Lazy Sunday LI – Just for Fun
- Lazy Sunday LII – Democratic Candidates, Part I
- Lazy Sunday LIII – Democratic Candidates, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LIV – Coronavirus
- Lazy Sunday LV – Animals
- Lazy Sunday LVI – Movies
- Lazy Sunday LVII – Christianity, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LVIII – Spring Break Short Story Recommendations Recap
- Lazy Sunday LIX – The God Pill Series
- Lazy Sunday LX – Music, Part II: Gigging
- Lazy Sunday LXI – The Tuck
- Lazy Sunday LXII – The South
- Lazy Sunday LXIII – Holidays
- Lazy Sunday LXIV – Grab Bag
- Lazy Sunday LXV – Rioting
- Lazy Sunday LXVI – Video Games
- Lazy Sunday LXVII – Phone it in Fridays, Part I
- Lazy Sunday LXVIII – Phone it in Fridays, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LXIX – Phone it in Fridays, Part III
- Lazy Sunday LXX – Phone it in Friday, Part IV
- Lazy Sunday LXXI – Road Trips
- Lazy Sunday LXXII – Forgotten Posts, Volume I
- Lazy Sunday LXXIII – Forgotten Posts, Volume II
It’s a bit late to commemorate Independence Day (and I did it already on Saturday), but it’s #MAGAWeek2020 (read installments here, here, and here), and it seemed fitting to dedicate this edition of TBT to America’s Birthday.
I’m reblogging a reblog of a reblog from the old site. Last year’s post was “TBT^2,” or “TBT Squared.” Well, to be mathematically consistent, I had to square that square, which I think makes it “TBT^4,” or “TBT to the power of four.” I sure hope I’m right. Regardless, next year will be “TBT^16,” and so on.
I like the layer of commentary, like my piddling blog posts are Talmudic commentaries on other rabbinical commentaries (or, since I’m Christian, Biblical commentaries on other Biblical commentaries of the Bible). It’s interesting seeing how what’s changed over the years in this throwback posts.
For example, last Independence Day I had my first SubscribeStar subscriber. That was fun! I was also in New Jersey—one of the nicer trips I’ve taken. This year, it was a Southern Fourth, with lots of barbecue and hash.
On a more somber note, America has seen better days—but also far worse. I have to remind myself of that latter point, as it’s easy to get black-pilled and give into despair. It’s a commentary on the softness of my own life that today’s ructions—piddling when compared to conflicts of the past—seem insurmountable.
But even if America is on the rocks in some areas, God is still in control. We’re still the greatest country in the world, despite what the BLM and AntiFa ingrates think. To be quite frank, if they hate America so much, they’re welcome to move.
With that, here are past Independence Day posts:
It’s Independence Day in the United States! God Bless America!
I hope everyone has been enjoying #MAGAWeek2019. Remember, you can read those full entries only on SubscribeStar with a $1/mo. or higher subscription. Your subscription also includes exclusive access to new content every Saturday, as well as other goodies from time to time.
I’m happy to announce, too, that I have my first subscriber. You, too, can support my work for just $1 a month (or more). That’s the price of a large pizza if you paid for it over the course of an entire year—you can’t beat that!
In case you’ve missed them, so far #MAGAWeek2019 has commemorated our second President, John Adams; our first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton; and our national cuisine, fast food. You can also check out all of #MAGAWeek2018’s entries.
This Fourth of July I’m in New Jersey, and spent a great day yesterday at Coney Island in New York City. Despite not liking rollercoasters, I rode the historic The Cyclone, which was first constructed in 1927. I also visited the New York Aquarium, and tried a cheese dog at the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand, the one that will host America’s favorite hot dog-eating contest today. It was all quite touristy, but very fun.
To commemorate the Fourth of July, I’m reheating last year’s TBT feature, itself a reblogging of a classic Fourth of July post from 2016.
Enjoy your independence, and God Bless America!
Two years ago, I dedicated my Fourth of July post to analyzing Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. In the spirit of MAGA Week 2018—and to preserve the TPP TBT tradition—I’m re-posting that classic post today.
A major theme of the blog posts from that summer was the idea of America as a nation, an idea I still find endlessly compelling. The election of President Trump in November 2016 has reinvigorated public debates about the nature of American nationalism, as well as revived, at least partially, a spirit of unabashed patriotism.
As a child, I took it for granted that America was a special place. When I learned American history as a child, I learned the heroic tales of our Founders. While revisionist historians certainly have been correct in pointing out the faults of some of these men, I believe it is entirely appropriate to teach children—who are incapable of understanding such nuance—a positive, patriotic view of American history. We shouldn’t lie to them, but there’s nothing wrong with educating them that, despite its flaws, America is pretty great.
“Happy Birthday, America!” (2016)
Today the United States of America celebrates 240 years of liberty. 240 years ago, Americans boldly banded together to create the greatest nation ever brought forth on this earth.
They did so at the height of their mother country’s dominance. Great Britain emerged from the French and Indian War in 1763 as the preeminent global power. Americans had fought in the war, which was international in scope but fought primarily in British North America. After Britain’s stunning, come-from-behind victory, Americans never felt prouder to be English.
Thirteen short years later, Americans made the unprecedented move to declare their independence. Then, only twenty years after the Treaty of Paris of 1763 that ended the French and Indian War, another Treaty of Paris (1783) officially ended the American Revolution, extending formal diplomatic recognition to the young United States. The rapidity of this world-historic shift reflects the deep respect for liberty and the rule of law that beat in the breasts of Americans throughout the original thirteen colonies.
America is founded on ideas, spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and given institutional form and legal protection by the Constitution. Values–not specific ethnicity–would come to form a new, distinctly American nationalism, one that has created enduring freedom.
“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.“Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.“We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
“But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth. “