If Trump avoids disaster and the media continues to hyperventilate then we’re likely to see a Trumpian victory in the 2018 elections. With more legislative allies Trump can stem immigration and promote his populist nationalist agenda. Tax cuts and deregulation will continue to stimulate the economy while his anti-corruption, drain the swamp measures should expose and humiliate the establishment elites. Once people see positive change the movement will accelerate and the media’s narrative will collapse. We get a safer, saner, and more prosperous civil society that lifts everyone up to a higher level.
Godspeed President Trump.
However if Trump fails we’re looking at an Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris presidency with a slew of ascendant Democrats. Demographics, fraud, and the media will cement permanent single party Democrat reign as they’ve already done in California… with similar results. Social programs will expand and the economy will stagnate. We’ll move further Left towards a de facto Socialist state with confiscatory taxation and open corruption. Minority identity groups will gain power and demand wealth redistribution and reparations taken from the shrinking number of taxpaying, business-owning, middle- and upper-class Americans.
There will be incrementally more hate speech and gun control legislation, ratcheting up until we have domestic political prisoners held indefinitely without charge. Gun possession will become a terrorist act. Immigrants will be encouraged to join our military and law enforcement so enforcers will be detached from the communities they control. And of course our media and academics will double down with “reeducation” and propaganda.
Under mono party rule the Democrats will manipulate estate taxes to capture the bulk of the dying boomers’ trillions leaving their children without inheritance. Society will further stratify with the economic devastation of workers, taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and small business-owners (downsizing, automation, outsourcing, H1B1 hires, immigration…). Monopolistic multinational corporate elites will rule.
Look at other socialist multicultural societies for instruction: Venezuela at worst, Brazil at best.
Disenfranchised Americans, the majority of whites and asians, will be resentful but where will they turn? Why would they continue to support the milquetoast and ineffectual Republican party of Jeb Bush and Mitch McConnell? Indeed why would they continue to believe in democracy when the rising tide of color becomes an overwhelming voting block working against their interests? It’s much more likely the gloves will come off ~ starting with protests against immigration, taxation, and Federal overreach that escalate into violent conflict and outright revolution. And the nascent Alt-Right movement – currently consisting of 20-year olds – will be that much older and ready to step in with ready answers and leadership.
Imagine weighing dystopian Leftist dysfunction versus the AltRight vision of space travel, environmentalism, and rule of law? If you’re just squeaking by in the grey urban multicultural stew why wouldn’t the purity and wholesomeness of the AltRight’s honest labor and tradition be appealing?
If you were a Hillary voter then perhaps you believe that our borderless multicultural society will heal itself as we come together and prosper as we battle climate change and prejudice while defeating ISIS. Thoughtful people know that’s utter bullshit.
Bottom line is that if Trump fails, things will get much uglier.
Simple end-of-the-roll shots with the Leica 35/2 Summicron ASPH, I love the feeling you get from this Leica lens.
@fanniehannie ~ best Instagram handle yet
A few Falls ago I had sold all of my photography gear and bought a Nikon F100 film camera and 50/1.8 lens, along with a couple bricks of Kodak Portra 400 35mm color negative and two Konica-Minolta Dual-Scan IV 35mm scanners*. I shot the forty rolls of film throughout the Fall and made some of my favorite photos with no complaints… eventually an obligation forced me to buy a stupid digital camera and then I got back into 4x5. But it was a refreshing period.
* These are my favorite 35mm scanners because they capture a wide dynamic range but impart a grittiness to the files that I never achieved with similar Nikon Coolscans. However they are cheaply built and often fail so whenever I would find a cheap (but working) one on eBay ($150 is a good price) I’d snatch it up. But I’ve grown to hate film scanners, I’d like to toss my Epson V700 in the trash, I wouldn’t bother with an Imacon, Creo, or Aztec even if they were free. I greatly prefer my 35mm lab to simply scan frames on their Noritsu and accept whatever funky jpg results… to Hell with it! If I want perfection I’ll use my digital camera.
If you do contract the 8x10 film disease and are curious about the absolute highest end of film and scanning capabilities do a search for Massimo Vitali and CastorScan. Lenny Eiger also used to do nice scanning but I see his website is offline so IDK his status? Personally I found that carefully done Epson scans were sufficient for moderate reproduction and never wanted to invest more. My take on scanning is that most people are too timid with adjustments and don’t understand that we need white and black points with the curve in-between being the artistic interpretation. Some prior darkroom experience helps one appreciate the power of digital imaging….
As I’ve stated elsewhere, I no longer print unless it’s for sale. A quality high-resolution monitor is the ultimate photographic viewing platform. And I rather look at a modern website with large jpgs than a book. I think students should print and I admit to being lazy and cheap, but I rather be making new pictures as I get older, let the kids waste their time.
(This is a bit of a ramble but it should inform you of my thinking….)
Whatever the reason for our existence my feeble human mind can not grasp it…. Rather I think it’s healthier to remain grounded in daily life and avoid these unanswerable, unprovable questions. To me spirituality consists of wonder and amazement at the complexity of our world but there it stops… with admiration but nothing more to worship or pray to. I’ll acknowledge that there must be some intelligence behind this creation, that for our world to come together with such magnificence is not likely by chance… but how can I explain the who and why? Why invent a creation myth or blindly accept someone else’s stories?
Yet this Sunday morning I found myself sitting in church watching our daughter be confirmed as a Universal Methodist, nodding along to the rituals. For our 14-year old religion can give her some connection to tradition and community while filling a gap she might otherwise occupy with some Crystal Wicka bullshit. Later, if she wants to rebel she can reject the church with minor consequences. Rules and boundaries gives kids something concrete to fight against and their small victories – stealing a beer or passing a joint – are preferable to wholesale revolutions. Let Christianity be her punching bag if she decides to lash out. And if she continues to be a Methodist there is hardly a downside, unless it’s pointless Missionary work or making excessive contributions.
More opiates to the masses…. Christianity is a net positive to the world and an important (if impotent) counter to the Islamic death cult. Deus vult!
HOWEVER ~ to most Americans ~ College has assumed the role of the Church. Look at the obvious parallels where families tithe tuition and professors act as the priestly class. Dogmas are preached: political correctness, class struggle, intersectionality, and systemic racism… climate change, egalitarianism, and diversity are sacred. Deviation is grounds for excommunication and loss of tenure. Marx is scripture. And priests and professors alike enjoy sexual liberties with their younger, weaker disciples.
To be a student requires faith: that a liberal arts degree is worth a lifetime of student debt. The proceeds of which are used to build magnificent cathedrals (aka Student Life Centers) and hire ever more mandarins (administrators now outnumber teachers).
This is folly. We should allow challenge testing for professional certifications independent of colleges and universities. Allowing students to learn on their own and then prove their abilities and qualifications via straight forward tests will undercut and diminish our corrupt higher education system. People need to realize the obvious ~ that they can study independently using books, videos, and the internet for a minimal cost ~ making college irrelevant.
The protest will be, “What about the social benefits of college?” Indeed… why not, instead of college, have every American contribute a couple of years to America itself? Mix kids of all backgrounds and geographies together for a period of shared national service. Rebuild infrastructure, defend the border, staff the bureaucracies. Let this shared experience assimilate and mellow our differences while turning children into young adult citizens who will be far more mature, pragmatic, and self-reliant than today’s sheltered brats. Complete your service, show your good character by getting a job and paying taxes ~ upon which you get voting rights. A higher quality electorate – people with a stake in the system – will elect higher quality politicians and build a better society….
I don’t want selfish layabouts cancelling out working people’s votes. The lazy mob will only vote themselves benefits stolen from others. No. Charity should be a considered choice, not an obligation.
My ideal is a meritocratic American republic. But how to move the Overton Window far enough that this gets argued before the inevitable conflagration between conflicting self-interests? I fear we’re doomed to a cycle of diminished expectations and a growing authoritarian state… where “playing the game” is more valuable than creation and integrity.
This is where art comes in… a contrarian individual: a citizen artist, can create pieces in short order that call attention to and rapidly shift opinion. Music. movies, literature can spur a revolution (as they did in the 1960s). People can rally behind imagery and ideas that are not easily expressed in words. Showing us truth to power can be more effective ~ and quicker ~ than all the failed social engineering programs. Cultivating authentic voices who break with the prevailing cultural marxist and politically correct authorities can be the mainline to changing our culture.
I’m no fan of the Zionists at Breitbart but its founder Andrew had this wisdom, “Politics is downstream from culture.” Amen, we can’t expect innovation from our spineless politicians.
Embrace the punk Do-It-Yourself aesthetic. Break with the institutions and shout down the conformists. Ridiculing and humiliating the next cuck who virtue signals is 100x better than breaking their nose.
Larissa came up to Rochester from NYC, it’s the third time we’ve shot and it’s always casual and fun with more conversation than work. I attempted some drone footage and we went out both days and made simple, clean shots that I haven’t begun to edit. It always feels unfinished with her which I think is a good thing.
Larissa is a working commercial model but she likes shooting with artists, I recommend you pay her all your money lol. See larissasimpson.com
After selling and swapping all of my exotic handguns I’m now using a trio of Glock 19 Gen 4 pistols. I shoot them fairly well, they’re inexpensive and reliable, parts and accessories are interchangeable, and at any given moment I’m going to have at least one readily available.
The pistol at the top of the photo is set up for competition with an Apex trigger and KKM barrel. The other two are stock with night sights and flashlights. Nothing fancy.
I also have a modified Beretta 1301 shotgun and custom built AR-15 rifle set up for 3Gun matches. My break-open 34” Browning BT-99 for trap shooting. And a new .22lr Ruger 10/22 takedown in a Magpul Backpacker Stock. For airguns I have a FAS 604 10m target pistol, Weihrauch HW30s and Walther LGV rifles, all .177 and tuned for lower power and accuracy.
No point in prepping without ammo ~ I keep 10,000 rounds of ammo in a secured fireproof room along with spare parts and accessories. I’ve taught myself to strip my guns down to individual parts and I’ll modify them to fit and operate better than new. For practice I’ll shoot 2-4 times per week and compete at local matches (Also I belong to two gun clubs and have an indoor and outdoor air gun range at home). I’m hardly an expert at any of this but I’m capable and competitive.
All of this involvement is a result of exploring gun culture during the Obama administration, not long after the Newtown shooting. I began to photograph shooting activities and in the process became educated… and here we are. Obviously I am pro-gun rights and have befriended many of the people I’ve met from the shooting sports, law enforcement, and military.
Admittedly there is a spiritual/mystical aspect to shooting as there is a danger. A casual mistake can be fatal and this, plus the noise, smell, and recoil heighten your senses and concentration. Most people, once they allow themselves to get over their anti-gun programming, find shooting exciting, even exhilarating. I don’t see many grimaces on the range.
Lately I’ve grown cynical and doubt our legislation will change as both the liberals and gun-rights lobbies are making gobs of money maintaining the status quo. When there is a shooting tragedy and whining to “do something” on gun control the donations to both pro- and anti-gun organizations skyrocket…. Which incentivizes both sides to keep arguing in perpetuity. (I’m in the fuck you contingent: I want no regulation, armed teachers, and a pro-shooting cultural shift.)
I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to learn to defend themselves or prepare for emergencies? Yet millions of people ignore reality and our culture mocks “preppers”. But self-defense is a natural human right ~ We all should be entitled to speak freely and defend ourselves.
Modernity required ~ and will continue to require ~ guns… which made it possible for people to overthrow the feudal system and begin the renaissance and enlightenment. For every life lost by a gun, I believe many more are saved (various studies will contradict this but widespread anecdotal evidence is that most defensive gun uses go unreported). Widespread private ownership of (and competence with) weapons provides us a guarantee of liberty and free expression… every artist, parent, and patriot should own several. Guns are great equalizers…. If you feel oppressed, stop whining and learn how to shoot. You’ll soon become empowered.