As it might have been obvious, yesterday, I had some trouble getting myself organized enough to write. I have a novel and a novella grossly overdue (technically two novels) and I finally can see the end of Through Fire (you really are going to have your minds blown. Mine is still in shards. I figured out I was tyring to impose the wrong end on this and the real end is… well! ) As for the novella, I know how every line goes. It’s just…
I made the mistake of reading the news yesterday. There was this link from insty. And then I got the article from L. Neil Smith who is usually more upbeat than I am… This one wasn’t it. His thoughts echoed some of my back of the brain ferment, some of which I don’t even want to put here because it – still – sounds crazy. At the same time, I got an email from Commentary liking to this article.
Where to begin?
Normally I am relentlessly positive, to the point of quarreling with another member of the evil league of evil about the best days for the US being ahead of us.
Mind you, most of the reason I’m relentlessly positive is that by nature I’m extremely depressive, and nothing can be served by my becoming so depressed I can’t work. The second part of this is that I’ve found that the worst doesn’t normally happen. To expect the worst to happen in catastrophic situations is just as unreasonable as to expect the best to happen. Neither are realistic outcomes.
For instance, even if we seem to be heading towards a cooling period (we’ve had maybe three hot days so far this year) I don’t expect us to revert to the age of cavemen and hunt mammoths. It’s a very inconvenient mode of the human brain that we tend to think in stories. So when we talk about a crash people expect the middle ages. In fact, that is in the article at PJM.
The middle ages are grossly unlikely. Grossly, bizarrely unlikely. Technology doesn’t go backwards when the economy and society collapse. It just becomes… dingy.
My experience in Portugal through the hard times is that electricity became… unreliable. Food on shelves became iffy (so you stockpiled when you could) and there were a hundred others daily inconveniences. I understand if it had advanced all the way to a communist state it would have got even worse, but never, mind you, like the middle ages. Here’s the thing, even in the soviet union, life was dingy, dangerous and icky, but it was still life in an industrial state.
So some of these fears make me want to laugh. I wish all of them did.
I’ve been, in recent days, understanding the wisdom of Robert A. Heinlein who, during World War II refused to read the news daily. The news make me – to put things bluntly – want to slit my throat to stop the pain.
It is an extended version of the rage-filled days after 9-11-12 where I couldn’t believe any administration of ours had left our people to die in foreign lands, nor that NO ONE was going to denounce it.
We’ve traveled a long road since then, and even then these last few weeks have left me stupefied.
I cannot believe what we’re doing in foreign policy, essentially abdicating the burden of the Pax Americana. I can’t believe what we’re doing in the States themselves. If you haven’t heard, our “growth” has been revised to minus 1.7 for the first quarter. Yes, you read that correctly, the growth is almost two negative points, and this is with pulling every dodge in the book to avoid telling the truth. And our imperial ruler is trying to outlaw coal, which means those of us in the snow states are supposed to freeze in the dark. The story my indie sales tell makes me wonder what traditional publishing is doing. I mean, at Dave’s release, how many of you told me you didn’t have the money to buy? And I know how money is here too.
And there’s the fact that a talk with a neighbor confirmed my guess that the entire neighborhood hit the wall at the same time. We are preparing to move and to put this place up for sale, and given my preference for urban neighborhoods, and our willingness to take on another financial burden till this sells (we can’t sell the house with the cats in this, so we’ll have to rent) I suddenly wonder what I really SHOULD be doing. Will the city be safer when the SHTF? Will the country? Any part of the country we could get to? It is an American belief the middle of nowhere is safe, but in other collapses in modern days, it hasn’t been.
There’s also the fact that a trip to Portugal WILL have to be fitted into the summer, somehow, because mom isn’t telling me what’s wrong, but is so insistent on my visiting I know something is. And that for whatever reason, when I travel, all h*ll breaks lose.
So – what does all this add to ? The websites are abuzz again, with the old question “dunce or traitor?” I fail to see why it’s one or the other. I very much think it’s both. It’s traitor because he was raised to be a traitor. I don’t know how to link L. Neil Smith’s article, so I’ll just say that he pointed out that someone who was raised as a communist, is in fact a communist. Why would he be anything else? It would require a Road of Damascus experience, and I don’t remember his telling us of one. And trust me, he would have.
So, there’s the traitor part. But in it there’s the dunce part too.
Look, I’m not going to consider whether or not communists can be very smart. Maybe they can. I’ve never met any, though.
Oh, raw IQ, sure. But people don’t move and choose through raw IQ. My brother is brilliant. He’s also a deeply conventional man. This mean his thoughts move only in the “approved thoughts for brilliant people” mode of the last century – that is, leftist. We have a childhood friend who is an European communist leader (I suppose not openly, but who knows?) Is he stupid? Not raw IQ. But communism requires him to believe certain things. Such as “the right people” will naturally seize power after a collapse.
That’s what we’re dealing with here. Given Obama’s performance off script, I don’t think his dunceness is that smart. Look, as with his being a red diaper baby, it doesn’t even take much guessing. The evidence is RIGHT before our eyes. If he were smart, it would have been shouted from the rooftops. IQ? Grades? Achievement of some sort?
Come on, the biggest thing they have to tout is the fact that he was editor of the Harvard Law review, even if he published nothing. That means IQ, grades and achievement are all of a nullity or very close. Which – yes, I’m going to be crude here – in an age of political correctness when Harvard would want to give him a “win” (i.e. good grades/honors) just because of his color and his exotic religious background, means he must be something special in the way of dumb.
That is important, to an extent, because it means to the extent he’s in control, we’ll get dunce-moves.
But he’s not fully in control. From the disabled credit card checks, to the carefully scripted campaign that he clearly had bugger all to do with, it’s been clear all along someone else is driving this train. And that person might or might not be a dunce, but they are, definitely a true believer.
The problem posed by “dunce or traitor” is that the answer is both. He is a traitor, but to the extent that it’s not working, it’s because he’s also a dunce. And whether he’s a dunce in IQ or an ideology-impaired-dunce the result is the same.
For instance, have you guys figured out yet that OWS’s was supposed to be an attempt at a “proletarian revolution”? No? If you look at it, it becomes clear. Raised on stories of proletarian revolution, they thought if they squeezed us just enough, and then provided a spark – OWS screaming about the 1% — the country would spontaneously rise up in a communist revolution.
This was obvious to me, because I KNOW communist myth.
Then there was gun control, which has failed, even despite Fast and Furious. And Fast and Furious is something that only crazy, delusional and dumb people would dream up.
But there are things he can still do – crash the economy (the continuous money printing can’t go on) disarm (while China arms) and effectively switch sides in the war on terror.
These might be enough. I can see a very difficult winter ahead. I am still/again afraid that we’ll lose at least a city, and possibly more to enemy action. And I’m very afraid both my sons will end up in uniform and possibly dying to pay for this massive mistake.
So… It’s time to assume crash position.
This is somewhat difficult because nobody knows what form the crash will take. Again, I am stuck not knowing whether to move to an urban center or the country. There are precedents that say either or both are dangerous… or safe.
Some things we do know – when we cross our new distributed media with the crash, some things become clear:
– Cultivate multiple, distributed sources of income. Things will change very fast. Even in a collapse you need to eat. Grandma lived through a time when money wasn’t worth anything. There’s still trade. Commerce will find a way. Just keep working.
– Arrange for unreliable power/net. Spare batteries for your laptop might seem like a ridiculous precaution against collapse, but in the end if you make a living from intellectual work, you need your laptop to work. Get three. Get four. Keep them charged.
– Arrange for some food set aside, and food for your pets too. We call our supply shelf “food for Armageddon” but if the issues in Portugal hold true here, it’s more “food for delays”. The same with medicine. If there’s something you can’t do without, lay it by.
– I wouldn’t live in a major East Coast city just now, but other than that, I really don’t know where best to survive what’s coming.
– I reiterate: we’re not going back to the middle ages, or even the fifties. Yes, practical ability in something like computer/car repair might come in handy, but it’s unlikely to be the be all/save all.
– I guarantee as rough as it will get here, it will be worse everywhere else. Americans are often not aware of the extent to which the world depends on America. And that worries me, because I remember the seventies. It’s going to get very, very rough.
– We’re still Americans. Look, he can hurt us, but he can’t make us be anything else. Americans are, if nothing else, unpredictable. Communists, whether dreamers or practical plotters, rely on one thing: reliability. In fact they expect people to be far more reliable than they’ve ever been. I don’t think they get that. Not in America.
So, is it time to put your head between your knees and kiss your *ss goodbye? Oh, heck no. It’s time to plan. It’s time to make connections. You can’t be both urban and rural, but you can have somewhere to run to, when things get ugly. It’s time to think, plan and prepare.
But as much as this situation scares me, and as much as I pray for my friends in large coastal cities, it’s not time to give up.
We’re Americans. We don’t give up. And believe it or not, if some of the primary source stuff I’ve read on WWII is true, Obama is in fact true to his idol, FDR. And we pulled out from that one.
Sometimes, as with addicts, you need to hit bottom before you start the climb again.
And I need to stop reading daily news, and leave them, maybe, for Fridays, just before the weekly two fingers of Devil’s Cut.
Because I am an American and I’m not going to fold. I have books to write, and other stuff to take care of.
I don’t really care what our government is doing or whether it has utterly betrayed the constitution. This country was never a country of government or politicians, but a country of citizens. This citizen is going to stay on the post, and make sure our flag is still there.
You do likewise.
The future is never guaranteed, and sometimes it’s downright scary. But our ancestors survived, and we can too. This is no time to get wobbly. Keep calm and work rationally to overcome this late-hit of the Soviet machine.
I trust and pray that the last best hope of mankind is not going to die more futilely than any seventies writer could have imagined.
Not on my watch.
I suspect it’s too late to avoid a crash, but not to late to make sure it’s temporary and not as deep as it could be.
Now put your shoulder to the load and lift!