Today marks the 700th consecutive day of posts here at The Portly Politico. That’s 100 weeks of daily posts, which sounds like a prison sentence for a first-time criminal offender. Writing the blog daily has occasionally felt like serving a self-imposed prison sentence, but it’s overwhelmingly been a source of joy. I’ve made a number of great friends, and have accumulated a respectable daily readership, as well as eight faithful subscribers.
According to my WordPress stats, I’ve written 516,512 since 2018. Those haven’t all been consecutive, but looking at just 2019-2020, it’s still a respectable 459,252 words. Granted, there are a lot of TBT posts in there, so that pads the stats a bit, but I imagine I’m still safely in the half-million-word mark.
To observe the occasion and still maintain the spirit of Lazy Sunday, here are the Top Three Posts (based on views) since 2018:
“Tom Steyer’s Belt” – By now it’s predictable, but this single post brought more traffic to my blog than the next seventeen posts combined. At the time of this writing, it’s had 2997 views—2560 more than the second most popular post. Most of that traffic is purely organic, meaning I didn’t encourage people to read it beyond my usual sharing to Facebook and on Telegram. Basically, the post became popular because Tom Steyer blew a ton of cash airing obnoxious television and Internet ads, and mine was one of the few sources to cover his colorful belt.
“Napoleonic Christmas” – This post—with 437 hits—explored an interesting revisionist take on Napoleon from a PragerU video, as well as the idea that not all non-democratic or non-republican forms of government are bad. There were, objectively, monarchies and dictatorships that were better off—materially, spiritually, culturally, etc.—than democratic republics, contemporary and present. That doesn’t mean I endorse those forms of government as somehow preferable to a liberty-loving republic, but I can appreciate the argument that Napoleon was a reform-minded figure, not merely an ingenious brute.
“Milo on Romantic Music” – One of many things I appreciate about Internet provocateur and author Milo Yiannopoulos is that he is exceptionally erudite. He might act frivolous and catty—and I suspect he genuinely is—but he’s also deep and interesting. This post—with 279 views, thanks in large part to Milo sharing it on Telegram—looks at an exchange between Milo and another figure about Romantic music versus Baroque music. Milo clearly prefers Romantic music overall, (while acknowledging Bach’s essential nature), arguing that it’s “the only proper soundtrack to the trad life.” Great point!
Well, that’s it—100 weeks! Thank you again for all of your support. Keep reading, leaving comments, and subscribing.
We’re trucking one with more question-based posts in this third installment of Questions. This trio of posts is kind of fun (well, except the one about people with the goods on the Clintons ending up conveniently dead). I was trying to do these in chronological order based on their posting date on the WordPress site, but apparently the Space Force piece slipped through the cracks.
Here it is—with two other questioning posts—for your enjoyment:
“Why the Hate for Space Force?” (and “TBT: “Why the Hate for Space Force?“) – When President Trump announced the creation of Space Force—an independent branch of the military dedicated to the defense of outer space—I was over the moon (pun intended). It just makes sense—the next strategic frontier will be space. We don’t want the ChiComs pointing death lasers at us from low-earth orbit, right (or, more plausibly, disabling our communications satellites)? So I was surprised to witness the sheer mockery coming from the Left. Never mind their darling, John F. Kennedy, energized the space race in the 1960s.
“Clinton Body Count Rising?” – Everyone knows Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself. That so many people of all political persuasions know Epstein was murdered indicates the incredibly low level of trust in our society today. But it also points to the sinister nature of elites. The Clintons may be yesterday’s news in the Democratic Party, but their tactics have become the norm. Evil is infectious, and slippery.
“Saturn: The Creepiest Planet?” – I’ve written many times before about my love of outer space (see also—the post you’re reading). But I’ve always possessed a strange fondness for Saturn, that most elegant of the gas giants. Jupiter might hold the title for most regal, but Saturn is so stately, like a princess of the night sky. But according to radio signals emitted from the planet, it sounds super creepy—the point of this fun, throwaway post.
That’s it for this week. Keep watching the stars—and watching out for the Clintons. Gulp!
We’re continuing this Sunday with more posts that pose questions. Here’s three more for your inquisitive pleasure:
“TBT: What is Popular Sovereignty?” (Originally posted on the old Blogspot page) – This old post came about as a response to a friend (now a full-blown progressive who won’t talk to me anymore) who preferred technocratic rule to popular rule. It’s a (hopefully) nuanced exploration of the role of the people in government, and when certain roles should be delegated to qualified pros.
“TBT: Third Party Opportunity?” (Originally posted on the old Blogspot page) – Back in 2016, there was a good bit of scuttlebutt about the possibility of a third-party candidate picking up support from moderate Democrats (which even then had largely ceased to exist) and Never Trump Republicans. The Libertarian Party saw a boost in party membership, but I correctly predicted that Gary Johnson, the goofy, pot-addled nominee for the Libertarians, would not win any electoral votes. I don’t discount third parties entirely these days—I think they could be effective at the local level—but the Republican Party seems like the natural vehicle for populist ideas, not some third-party lacking in institutional and organizational structure.
I don’t think the election is over—not by a long shot—as recounts are still be done, and the voter fraud is so blatant, it can’t help but lead to legitimate legal challenges. But even if these mysterious early-morning ballots for Biden are thrown out and President Trump is duly re-elected, the whole debacle suggests that conservatives need to wake up to the folly of depending upon purely electoral solutions to our problems. Winning elections is just one facet of the larger culture wars in which we find ourselves.
To that end, I’m dedicating a few editions of Lazy Sunday to going back through old posts that, in their titles, pose some kind of question. These posts range from the philosophical to the political to the cultural, but also cover some fun stuff (like whether or not Saturn is the creepiest planet). I’ll look at three or four posts every Sunday, which should take several weeks to get through (so we might take a break with some Christmas Lazy Sundays in the middle).
That said, here’s our first round of Questions:
“TBT: Ted Cruz – Conservative Hero, or Traitor to His Party?” (originally at the old TPP Blogspot Page) – Back during the 2016 RNC, Senator Ted Cruz refused to endorse candidate Trump explicitly in his convention speech, which earned him jeers and scorn. At the time, there was still real tension between clear-cut Trumpians (I was moving in that direction, but was a Cruz man myself) and the rank-and-file Republicans, never mind the Never Trumpers. Cruz went on to be one of President Trump’s staunchest supporters and defenders, and even seemed to be a contender for a SCOTUS position. One thing that’s clear, though, is that Democrats will back their candidate to the hilt, even if they don’t like him, but Republicans will scatter at the least whiff of controversy around a candidate. Hopefully Trump has changed that to some extent.
“Fire Furloughed Feds?” – Remember the much-ballyhooed government shutdown in early 2019? Looking back on it, it seems like a big missed opportunity for President Trump to clear the decks and do some swamp draining.
“TBT: Transformers 2: Conservatives in Disguise?” (originally at the old TPP Blogspot Page) – I wrote this post way back in 2009, when I was a very different (and much, much portlier) man. It’s amazing what eleven years of working and living will beat into you. Anyway, the post looks at what I perceived to be some pro-military and pro-limited government messages in the second Transformers film, in which a meddling government bureaucrat retards the fruitful cooperation between American military personality and powerful transforming space robots, which ultimately helps the bad transforming space robots. There’s a similar plot device in Ghostbusters, in which an EPA functionary releases a bunch of contained ghosts into Manhattan because he thinks the Ghosbusters’ containment unit is an environmental hazard. Yeesh!
That’s it for this Sunday. More questions—and, perhaps, answers?—to come.
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:
“Flight 93 Election Follow-Up” (and “TBT: Flight 93 Election Follow-Up” – This piece explored Michael Anton’s follow-up to his historic “The Flight 93 Election” essay. The 2020 election feels like Part II of the 2016 election, with some of the similar themes at play: Trumpist populism against aloof elitism. But Trump no longer feels like the desperation, Hail Mary play—he’s done exceptionally well in his first term, and we can charge the cockpit again with confidence.
Regular readers will know that I love Halloween. Indeed, I use the entire month of October as an excuse to revel in the fun of the season (instead of covering the election, the point of a blog ostensibly dedicated to commenting upon and analyzing politics).
So I thought this Sunday—the Sunday before All Hallows’ Eve—would be the perfect opportunity to look back at some spooky Halloween hijinks:
“Halloween Week!” – This short post was one of my many paeans to Halloween. It details South Carolina’s unfortunately hot and humid Halloweens—quite different from the crisp, autumnal Halloweens popular depictions of the holiday always portray. I’m praying for a chill in the air this year!
“On Ghost Stories” & “TBT: On Ghost Stories” – This post briefly discusses the importance of ghost stories, and why they’re so delightfully fun. Victorians used to read ghost stories around Christmas, so I’m thinking we should just dedicate the last three months of the year to reading them.
“Happy Halloween!” – THE post on Halloween! I showed off some pictures of the pumpkin I carved (the featured image for this post). As soon as I’m done with this post, I’m going to do this year’s carvings, so I’d better wrap it up!
“Monsters” – … right after one more post. This little piece looked at some previews of essays about monsters and the monstrous. I also discuss the possibility of cryptids (like Bigfoot), and why God’s Creation is so limitless and interesting, it’s entirely possible such creatures could exist.
That’s it. Now get your costumes, grab some spooky stories and movies, and get ready for HALLOWEEN!
It was another weekend on the road, which makes 2020 my most traveled year by far—one of the many weird paradoxes of The Age of The Virus.
Lately I’ve enjoyed a couple of weekend trips to the mountains of western North Carolina, and I’ve grown quite fond of them. When I was a child, we would go to my great-grandmother’s house in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, and these trips to North Carolina have reminded me of those childhood visits.
So, seeing as I got back this afternoon from the latest trip, I thought I’d dedicate this Lazy Sunday to the mountains:
“SubscribeStar Saturday: The Mountains” – This post detailed our explorations around Burnsville, North Carolina, during the weekend of my older brother’s fortieth birthday. We tried to visit Mount Mitchell, but the park was closed that Sunday afternoon for some mysterious reason. Otherwise, it was a wonderful trip!
“More Mountain Musings” – This piece expanded further on the Burnsville trip. I also reflect on the spirit of mountain folk, and their ability to subdue the wilds and carve a living from the hollers.
“SubscribeStar Saturday: Bearwallow Mountain” – I wrote this post about a hike up Bearwallow Mountain, outside of Hendersonville, North Carolina. It’s a beautiful hike up the mountain to a pastoral landscape. I uploaded some beautiful photos with this post, which give a good sense of the scenery.
That’s it for now! Time to get ready for another week of work. But my mind is still up on Bearwallow Mountain.
As I noted yesterday and this morning, I am at Universal Studios once again this year. This trip marks my third in 2020, which I find inconceivable. Oddly enough, The Age of The Virus probably made it possible, as Universal eliminated most of their blackout dates for season pass holders.
This trip has been a good one, and because we’ve already been a couple of times this year, there wasn’t the same push to cram everything in during our three-day stay this time. Indeed, the park was so packed today that we left around lunchtime to lounge in the hotel a bit, and we’ll hopefully head back this evening when crowds thin out a bit.
“Universal Studios Trip” (on my SubscribeStar page) – This post was a rundown of my first trip to Universal Studios earlier this year, right before The Virus really struck big in the United States. That seems like an entirely different world. It was very cool in late February for Florida, which really made the trip more enjoyable. Also, we didn’t have to wear masks, which is a luxury today.
“Universal Studios Trip No. 2” (on my SubscribeStar page) – This post detailed the second trip to Universal back in July. That was in the full heat of the Florida summer, and during the apex of the summertime Virus surge. Universal employees were very particular about mask-wearing at the time. They still are, but I’ve noticed they’re way more lax this time (they aren’t shouting at you for having it off when you’re off by yourself just trying to breathe free for a few minutes).
Anyway, that’s all for now. My niece and nephews are starting to run wild in the hotel room, so I’d better get back to uncling before they dump any more snacks on the floor.
As I noted yesterday, I’m still on vacation, so today’s Lazy Sunday will be delayed as well. I will hopefully have it written tonight.
Subscribers, I’ll post the $1 SubscribeStar Saturday post later in the week. Sunday Doodles should get up this evening, as that’s pretty easy to slam out, even when I’m running on fumes.
Yesterday my pedometer app reported I walked just over 20,000 steps. We made a full day of it, as Universal City was open until 9 PM. We didn’t quite make it that long, but we certainly got the most of our season passes.
It’s another long day today, so hopefully I won’t collapse into bed like I did last night and will have something of substance for you.