Happy Fourth

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Having been told that I’m not allowed (umph) to go tuckpoint walls today — something about my being exhausted, HE says — I’m writing a short story that will be up mid afternoon (my afternoon) here. I was going to call it The Flight To Sea York, but it wants to be called The Bombs Bursting In Air. After which I shall watch the holy musical and the flawed but inspiring The Patriot.
So, this is just to tell you to check back later.
Until then, go and enjoy yourselves with your families and remember that America is not land nor people: America is an idea of government by the people for the people. It is an idea of equality under the law. It is an idea that the individual has certain inherent rights that nothing and no one has the ability/power to remove.
You can destroy lands. You can send a people into exile. Ideas are harder to kill. And America will live on as long as it lives in our hearts.
And as always, thank you for letting me join you, revolutionaries and madmen that you are, all of you sons and daughters of liberty.

177 responses to “Happy Fourth

  1. A comment. (That is what the instruction asks, is it not: “Leave a comment”?

    • Never have I seen such an obvious and blatant beg for a carp. It’s the Fourth of July you silly goose, time for BBQ pork, or beef if you’re a Texican, not fish.
      Personally I have a seven pound pork butt in a Polynesian marinade that should be ready in a couple more hours. With some augmented baked beans and grilled sweet corn, my idea of the perfect way to honor the USAian spirit.

      • He’s not a GOOSE. He’s a wallaby. (sigh.)

        • The Other Sean

          Have you seen video of a croc playing with a wallaby?

          • Only a stupid wallaby, goes about unarmed. This wallaby has thorns.

          • a) did you notice that the croc is missing his bottom right canine? By the plaque buildup on his other teeth, he really should brush more often, and seeing a dentist might be indicated.

            b) RES is not female, note the kid flying up onto the bank, when the croc flips a hindquarter off.

            • How odd — that vimeo link was not in the original email of the comment received by me nor visible in the comment as posted. I shall have to review my script blockers.

              Whatever that kid in the video might have been, clearly the kid was not me, and no conclusions about any of my parts should be derived from that video.

              • Ayup – script for the vimeo video was blocked. Much thanks for aid in removing a blind spot.

      • We had a neighborhood breakfast potluck right after we put the flags up this AM (and before the skeeters could get moving.) Got almost 2″ of rain last night within half an hour, so there’s going to be fireworks all over the place tonight.

        Sarah, I see your story and I’ll raise you one of my own (or part of one) in a few hours.

        • Do you want to put it up here? I’m game.

          • Ah, no, thank you. I appreciate the invitation. I’ll just put a link in comments, because I have to include a bit of explanation for people who have not read “A Father’s War.”

            • Or I can put a link at the bottom of my story, when it’s up. 😉

              • RealityObserver

                Yay! I promised myself I’d start slogging through the Hugo packet tomorrow. I’ll save these for snacks…

                • You’ll need them, I’ve been slogging through the Hugo packet myself, and while there are some good stories in there, it is a slog. What I can say about the puppies nominations is that some are good reading; some however are every bit as mind-numbing as the SJW nominated works.

        • I also have a story for the holiday: Rockin’ the USA, which won an Honorable Mention at the Liberty Island Independence Day Blockbuster Contest. It belongs to the same continuity as the other three stories I have up there, “Lunar Christmas,” “The Day the War Struck Home,” and “The Angry Astronaut Affair.”

          I would’ve posted sooner, but I spent all day in the dealers’ room at InConJunction, trying to make money. It looks very likely that we’ll be going to a big anime convention in Chicago for 4th of July weekend next year, because InConJunction’s attendance is way down this year and the sales just aren’t happening. I think we’ll end up in the black, but not by much, and two years ago when we went to the anime con, we were in the black on Friday evening.

          • Leigh, If you don’t have an author’s page, you can’t be followed for updates. That goes for the rest of you, you know who you are.

            • Mobe, you might want to phrase that more carefully, explicitly employing a web specific meaning for “follow.”

              I mean, for a small fee I could arrange to have an agent locate Leigh and follow her around, asking “what’s happening?” every five minutes, but I doubt that would provide useful information.

              Potentially amusing information, but likely not useful.

              • The stalker implications did occur to me, but I thought I’d leave it to you to go there.

                • Moi???? I did not (nor would not) go there.

                  I merely saw an opportunity to acquire a small agency fee for recommending somebody who might go there for you. With this nation heading quickly enough toward Greece’s economic status, I should not ignore an opportunity to make a few $$$ for providing a potential service.

  2. America is an idea of government by the people for the people. It is an idea of equality under the law. It is an idea that the individual has certain inherent rights that nothing and no one has the ability/power to remove.

    Quibble: one important idea is that sovereignty resides with The People, not The State, and is loaned by The People to The State as their agent. And when The State forgets this idea it is the prerogative of the People to rescind their authorization of agency when The State forgets its duty to its principal.

    • Amazing how that’s become such a radical idea.
      “Sovereign citizen! Run away, run away!”

    • FlyingMike

      Yep, Inalienable: No one, including the people themselves, can irrevocably sell, give away, or assign these rights. They are ultimately recallable if misused, abused, or even if slightly annoyed – they can never be permanently yielded to the state, no matter how shiny the bauble received in trade.

      Well, thats what the words mean, but nowadays what actual words mean is not as important as teh feelz – but excuse me, I have forgotten that it’s the Most High And Holy Day for Usaians, so I should concentrate on the unprecendented soild and strong foundation, not the rickety lash up most recently erected on the highest floor.

  3. c4c

  4. Just this once would you please listen to HIM. He really is a very wise man after all. He picked you didn’t he?

  5. Happy Fourth y’all!

  6. Power Line reminds us of these words from President Reagan’s favorite president:

    About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

    Emphasis added.

    RTWT: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/speech-on-the-occasion-of-the-one-hundred-and-fiftieth-anniversary-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

    Read it aloud to the family.

    • FlyingMike

      And use that reading to check off your “talk to your family on the holiday about Obamacare” requirement.

    • Unless I missed it, Coolidge is not known as one of the great orators of presidential pantheon, but could you find in the current crop of candidates anyone capable of writing or delivering this linked speech? Or for that matter a general audience of citizens literate enough to comprehend it ?

  7. Happy Forth of July!

  8. “I shall watch the holy musical . . .”

    I was talking to my sister about the people at this blog, how we start as SF&F fans, but you also see regular quotes from Gilbert & Sullivan, or 1776. – my sister immediately sang out, “For God’s sake, John, sit down!” (to which I sang the countersign, “Someone better open up a window!”). We, too, will be watching today (or tomorrow, when we celebrate my dad’s birthday, if he wants to watch, too). (I also mentioned Monty Python quotes, but that’s kind of a given for SF&F fans.)

    I don’t post so often here these days, but I still read. It helps keep me sane. Thank you – gracious hostess and Huns all.

  9. Have a great Independence Day, Y’all!

  10. One of the problems that the Declaration of Independence had with King George was:
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    I shall post that without further comment.

    • snelson134

      Ah, yes, another dishonest open borders type.

      We have none of the conditions that made unlimited immigration possible:

      We do not have an open frontier, with natural resources and arable land to accommodate an expanding population
      We do not have an economy built on labor intensive agrarian or manufacturing…. where someone from the lower half of the bell curve could earn a living.
      We do have a warm-body democracy, where everyone with a heartbeat gets to vote themselves benefits from the public treasury without contributing to it… the Founders would be uniformly appalled.
      We do have a welfare state ripe for fraud.

      When you support making ALL of those things true again, we can talk allowing further immigration.

      • I saw this earlier today at the Washington Free Beacon — The SSA loses money chasing down Social Security over-payments, spending nearly $2 for every $1 recovered. See below (emphasis added):

        SSA Can’t Collect Overpayments Without Wasting Money
        Agency spent over $213.6 million more than it collected

        The Social Security Administration (SSA) spends more money than it collects when trying to recover payments to individuals who received benefits for which they were not eligible.

        According to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the SSA issued $128.3 million in “low-dollar” overpayments between 2008 and 2013, and then spent $323 million to collect them. The agency ultimately recovered only $109.4 million.

        “This resulted in SSA spending over $213.6 million more than it collected,” the OIG said, in an audit released Wednesday.

        The OIG defines an overpayment as “benefit payments greater than the amount to which individuals are entitled.”

        [SNIP]

        It cost the SSA an average $164.11 to collect each RSI overpayment, $268.32 for each disability insurance overpayment, and $56.63 for each SSI overpayment in 2013, according to the agency’s Cost Analysis System (CAS).

        However, the OIG found errors within the accounting system. The CAS was not able to take into account SSI overpayments that took more than one step to recover. Some overpayments can take as many as five actions by the agency in order to get the money back, costing $283.15 for a single overpayment.

        “Therefore, it is not possible to determine how much the average cost to collect an SSI overpayment in CAS is understated when multiple actions are required to collect an SSI overpayment,” the OIG said.

        [SNIP]

        The audit suggested the SSA could potentially have saved up to $3.2 billion if it was able to divert the millions it spent collecting low-dollar overpayments elsewhere, the OIG said.

        The agency uses full medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) to determine if beneficiaries are in fact still disabled and eligible to receive benefits. By putting the $323 million into processing additional CDRs, the SSA could have reduced its backlog of 1.3 million beneficiaries awaiting reviews in 2013. Each review has a return on investment of $10 for the agency.

        “However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 capped the amount of additional new budget authority SSA could use for CDRs and SSI redeterminations for FYs 2012 through 2021,” the OIG said. “Therefore, SSA had limited authority to use these resources for other workloads.”

        [END ARTICLE]

        The WFB reported last year (appropriately, on April 01) that the SSA was wasting over $6 million annually on unused office space.
        freebeacon[DOT]com/issues/ssa-wasting-millions-in-vacant-office-space/

        • ““Therefore, it is not possible to determine how much the average cost to collect an SSI overpayment in CAS is understated when multiple actions are required to collect an SSI overpayment,” the OIG said.”

          No doubt it would be racist to expect their affirmative action staff to do addition.

    • Jeff Gauch

      Because there’s no difference between migration in the 18th century and what is possible today.

      • Space. We must go to space.

        • Jeff Gauch

          I agree, but getting into space is HARD. We might be at the trireme level of technology.

          • Jerry Boyd

            Trireme > Kon Tiki. Problem = ?

          • It’s only hard because of this stinking gravity well we live at the bottom of. That first step is indeed a stone beyatch. But we can today visualize a surface to LEO tether, beanstalk if you will, and are rapidly approaching the materials science necessary to build one. Once in low earth orbit the rest of the solar system is easy, at least in a relative sense.
            And that’s with today’s technology. Give us a breakthrough like the anti gravity brooms I keep kidding Sarah about and that same solar system suddenly becomes our back yard.

            • Jerry Boyd

              Have you seen the trick where you put a current in a superconducting loop and levitate out at one of the magnetic poles?

            • Jeff Gauch

              To be stable, your beanstalk has to reach past geosynchronous orbit (the center of mass has to be in that orbit). Once you posit a suitable technological advance, such as anti-gravity or a material capable of building a 25 kilomile tether, lots of things become easy. Though there are still the issues of long-term civil and social engineering in space that we really haven’t even begun to discuss.

              • If I remember my G. Harry Stine correctly, we should be able to easily manufacture material of adequate tensile strength once we get out of this gravity well and into an environment where the material for those bootstraps can be properly mixed.

                • I believe they have decided that graphene is strong enough to build the tether. They just need to come up with a manufacturing method to produce the requisite quantities.

                  That satisfies the engineering part, but what about the safety part? How do you protect it from terrorists?

                  • Quit trying to appease them, and kill them in job lots?

                    • Put up signs warning that they are leaving the terrorist preserve/wildlife sanctuary, and entering a no-limits, no-season zone, and provide ammo to qualified volunteers who want to assist with security?*

                      * This is a thought experiment. I’m not suggesting trolling for terrorists in real life. Totally not. And FWIW, I’ve got some beach-front property in the Oklahoma Panhandle available for resort development . . .

                    • I’m not sure. The article didn’t give any useful numbers, since I don’t have a basis to compare the “100 times” to (as in, “how fast do current methods produce it?”). However, my feeling is that we need to ramp it up another 100 times, at least. Such a project would require many millions, if not billions, of miles of ribbons of the stuff to be produced, while they are currently working with samples measured in square inches.

                      Also, and I REALLY hate to sound like a naysayer, but the problem of Coriolis force has never been adequately addressed in anything I have read on the subject. How much mass can be raised, and how quickly, before the force required to accelerate the elevator car in its increasing orbit will cause an unacceptable lateral displacement? I’ve never even seen that question mentioned, let alone answered.

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      It’s a large system, bound to have all sorts of problems that haven’t been thought of. The end product would be worth the effort, but getting there will take bunches of sweat, money and time. That’s one reason I’d like to see more work done on what I mentioned elsewhere, the superconducting hoop around the capsule to levitate it at one of the magnetic poles. Recent lab reports seem to indicate that progress on high temp superconductors is finally close.

            • We need to get the President to issue an Executive Order suspending the law of gravity. Where’s his pen?

          • Getting into space is easy. Getting back down safely is the hard part.

            • Easy, but expensive.

              • It’s only expensive because we insist on bespoke travel. Give up the pointless efforts of bringing them back alive and we could construct a catapult to ship them into space for pennies a pound.

                I’ve got a little list of those we could start with.

            • Jeff Gauch

              E=mgh. Getting INTO space requires quite a lot of energy. Getting into space with enough stuff to do anything useful and get back down again requires logarithmically more energy. Getting lots of energy into close quarters is rather difficult. Getting energy OUT of close quarters in a controlled manner is even harder and very unforgiving, as the SpaceX team has recently learned.

              • FlyingMike

                Well, the f9 failure could be something as simple as a helium pressurization valve for the second stage o2 tank that stuck open. The high-frustration news driblets coming out of the internal investigation indicate it’s likely not something that simple, but the problem is likely only rocket science, not particle physics.

                Yes, space is hard, but look at the Atlas launch record – once it’s working it generally keeps working, unless you change something to screw up the design, build, or operations (or apparently are Russian).

              • Getting some people into space, even without stuff, would be immeasurably useful. I suggest we start with RES’s list.

            • “Just get us on the ground.”
              “That part’ll happen, pretty definitely.”

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Well, the going up is dangerous. The coming down is dangerous. And the middle part can be pretty dangerous too.

          • FlyingMike

            The thing is, instead of building cargo-cult Apollo-redux capsules and really big white-with-black-squares rockets, we could actually build a space ship. It would likely have a fission NERVA drive for now until one of the cool electric or plasma rocket systems (or even cooler inertialess drive stuff) pans out, but it could go on round trips between Earth and Phobos, or even Ceres, and gain actual deep space operations experience with something other than capsules with afterthought hab modules. Shake it down on five or ten trips to Lunar orbit, then go exploring – and only plan on throwing away the fuel and any landers used up.

            But no, congress thinks successful space program = Apollo, so we are stuck with all the baggage that entails.

            Frankly I think Musk at SpaceX has to have something like this in mind – he cannot rationally be thinking of colonizing Mars by making colonists sit 6-per in what amounts to the inside of an SUV for 7 months at a time. He’s got to have a Mayflower concept buried in the advanced projects group somewhere.

            But yeah, having someplace else to live is going to become really really important.

            • Jeff Gauch

              All that is great for once you get into space, but the capsule on the big white rocket still looks like the most efficient way to get up there for the foreseeable future.

              • FlyingMike

                Right – it’s a taxi, not a space program.

                • FlyingMike

                  And that implies multiple taxi companies like SpaceX and Sierra Nevada (And Soyuz) going up multiple times per year, not the one launch every two or three years of the Senate Launch System with Apollo-ey Orion!

        • Does anyone else remember when all the leftists were utterly against immigration because it encouraged third-world reproduction? Asimov raved on it at least every third F&SF column.

  11. Got to watch 1776.

    • FlyingMike

      The BluRay special edition which a comment here recently pointed me towards arrived earlier this week. It’s on the list for this afternoon.

  12. We read the Declaration on the way to the Parade (my hometown DOES Parades). The Declaration got mixed reviews, ranging from ‘I hear Momma’s voice so all is well’ to ‘I don’t get it’ to ‘I think I got most of it’. Then we yelled ‘Happy Independence Day’ at everyone and ended up with enough candy for a month long sugar high, ten popsicles, and five of six kids on a sugar high. Baby got a little flag to wave–I think we only brought a dozen or so home (if you include all the mini-flags, suddenly Sarah’s idea of Usaians all having a piece of flag seems rather, well, they must have an awful lot of spare pieces) so Baby was happy.
    (And for an only in the West, one of the Democratic party men was wearing an NRA ball cap to go with his Constitution t-shirt.)
    Hamburgers and cherry pie are planned for supper. We may or may not go to Fireworks this evening: that depends on five sugared up kids.
    So, Happy Independence Day to all of you!

    • I’ve GOT fireworks and ammunition, God BLESS Texas!

      • Whereas we have a volunteer firefighter and a burn ban that includes fireworks. Since we wish our neighbors to abide by the ban (and it would be quite embarrassing to get a ticket from the fire chief) and not start a wildfire, we will also abide.

        • We (well, actually went to a neighbors place, who has been having 4th of July celebrations there for longer than I’ve been alive) on the other hand, watered things down thoroughly, had the hoses on standby, and went ahead with the fireworks. Last night… seems strange, but he always has his celebration on the 3rd, so people can go to the various town ones on the fourth.

          I’m actually not sure whether we have a burn ban in effect here or not, I know most of the Washington counties do, because they spam the local radio stations with them, but Idaho tends to assume you not only have some common sense, but are capable of using it.

          • We’re much dryer down here than you guys are up there. I don’t think anyone actually advertises the ban unless it has to go in early, and where we are outside of town in what is quaintly called the ‘urban wildland interface’ (best I can figure it’s the deer’s urban and the human’s wildland), our fire danger is pretty dang high, and everyone is moderately twitchy still from the fire (66 houses but no lives) a couple years ago, started by a dragging chain from a truck-trailer connection.

            Did you get to the Elk River show? When we were up there, we found Elk River more fun than Moscow or Pullman. (We ended up skipping the fireworks this year, being tired and having too many cranky children.)

            • I didn’t, there was rumors Elk River was going to cancel for fire danger, but it was just rumors, they went ahead on it. Really it seems like practically everybody who goes to one goes to Elk River. (I never even realized Moscow had one, although it is obvious that a city that size would).
              I went to a private celebration on the 3rd (about 80 people), got home after eleven and to bed at midnight, got up at 2 AM by the next night I would have fit in well with your kids (tired and cranky) so I went to bed. And of course listened to the booms from the fireworks in Deary until I fell asleep. By the sounds of it, they had a fairly significant display (or at least a significant aural) there this year.

  13. “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
    Let us honor Dr. Franklin on this day.

  14. Woke up this fine Patriotic morning in Texas, surrounded by patriotic BBQ, dawgs and burgers… and Deborah is craving for a New York kosher deli pastrami sandwich. I may have to denounce her.

  15. Captain Comic

    I’m at WesterCon in San Diego.

    I’m wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a manatee on it.

    I have badge ribbons that say “Strawman Larry: That Guy’s A Jerk” and “ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE PUPPIES BAY…”

    After lunch I intend to attend a panel titled “Hugo Awards and Nominating Slates”

    Am I Jeffersonian or just a troublemaker?

    • Yes.
      We wore those ribbons with pride at Liberty con.

      • Yep, Cedar handed me mine at you guys’ reception if I recall correctly.

      • I didn’t get any ribbons this year! Too busy, I guess. Wee Dave got a few, as I recall…

      • Damn. Missed the opportunity to get one this time. Ah, well. *chuckle*

        We weren’t allowed to talk politics at the con anyway. Stupid rules. Buuuuuut… Mad cackling during “Social Justice and the Undead” didn’t count as “talking” though. *grin*

      • sabrinachase

        Whence originated these ribbons? I am thinking I should do something similar. for promotion!

        • A fan sent them. Yeah I’ve considered them too.

        • Captain Comic

          It was actually the Mistress of Mayhem who came up with the puppies quote I used.

          In the comments, people were saying it needed to be on t-shirts or buttons or bumper stickers.

          Those seemed a bit pricey to me if I were going to spread them to any great extent.

          Then there came the magic words “badge ribbons”.

          Searched around, and found Ribbons Galore and for three bills I got a thousand of the puppies and half that of the Larry.

          If (uh, probably when) Kate does Sad Puppies IV: The Barking Home, I’m thinking about “WRONG FAN HAVING WRONG FUN” and “Don’t Be A CHORF”

          The panel was grin inspiring. If I’d had a glass of scotch with me, I coulda made a wicked drinking game around every time I muttered “That is also not true.”

          They still believe SP is a group, rather than a single person each year getting a few ideas together and putting them on the web and saying “Read, then Vote”.

          And it’s because the want nominations for (for best results, drop your voice an octave and speak from the diaphragm) “Real Science Fiction With Manly Men Doing Manly Things!”

          At least they dropped the no women and POC canards.

          Oh, and VOX DAYYYYYYY!!!!!!

          Although they did occasionally stumble onto the truth.

          They spent a lot of time on Mr. Ward’s position on the ballot. They were honest enough to point out that “You have to No Award all the Puppy categories!” is, in fact, slate voting.

          Oh, and if Kate hears about this, they said she should just put forth ten or fifteen items in each category, since that’s just a best of list and not a slate, ’cause the True Fans Who Love The Hugos don’t do slates and never have.

          And by the way, there was a posting for a POC/FOC totally not racist or exclusionary dinner.

          • And I’m very grateful for the ribbons, if I didn’t say that.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            It’s not segregation when it’s a “safe space”.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            I fear there will be a Hugo panel at the con I’m going to this August and I’m debating whether or not to set my credibility on fire by offering to speak in defence of the Sad Puppies.

          • I actually did run into one of those (A Librarian) at the dead dog at LibertyCon. I shot down more canards than the opening of duck season, but politely. She couldn’t stick to her guns, not having any.

        • You totally should show up at Worldcon with them. Well actually I’m just trying to convince you to show up at Worldcon. 🙂

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            I knew someone who’s sig quote was: “There has never been a riot at a science-fiction convention.” I wonder how much longer that will be true?

            • snelson134

              That would be about the time they try and use one of those silly harassment policies to kick non SJWs out.

              • Chanting “Hell No — We Won’t Go” does not constitute a riot. Nor does chanting “Ho Ho Hugos Go, All The Puppies Gonna Win!”

            • There won’t be any rioting — Puppies advocates don’t riot (standing our ground is not rioting, nor is our sense of self tied into this) and what the Anti-Puppies crowd will do is a tantrum, not a riot.

    • Sounds as if you’re trying to be obnoxious and disliked.

      Wat to go.

      • Captain Comic

        “Obnoxious”?

        No.

        I’ll own up to “provocative”, but speaking as an ex-sailor, if I was going for “obnoxious”, you’d know the difference.

        One wonders if you consider Gerrold’s “Congratulations, you f***ed up the Hugos.” to be obnoxious…

        • If you consider “democratized” to mean “f***ed up” then Gerrold is right, although I hardly think you merit all the credit. Certainly Gerrold, the Nielsen-Haydens, Irene Gallo and their abettors did far more to f*** up the Hugos than did you?

          And they didn’t even bring in a treasure trove of associate members.

        • I wish I hadn’t searched that. I got a whole bunch of crybabies lying in unison. Didn’t find Gerrold’s.

  16. Required reading for the day:

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

    We hold these truths to be self-evident…

  17. I shall also watch the holy musical and enjoy Cagney showing off his prowess as a hoofer, then I shall watch 1776 and then, fireworks

  18. Randy Wilde

    TRIGGER WARNING: includes Pursuit of Happiness.

  19. If you want to put lots of stuff into space cheap, then Project Orion is the way to go.

  20. *waves* Hullo, Huns and Hoydens! Not much in me at the moment, but I couldn’t not stop in on our high holy day and give you my best wishes. Been stiff-arming a pack of black dogs for months now; I’ve missed you all terribly. Things are looking up, but no telling how soon I’ll be back to pillaging, burning, and pontificating with the rest of you. You veteran Huns know the routine at this point, neh? :-/ Anyway, a joyous Independence Day to you all. May your hearts be lifted, may your kith and kin be near, and may your animals be tasty. I leave you with this thought from Moe Lane:

    A reminder to our enemies: you are not the first to conclude that my country is weak, and not worth worrying about. I tell you of this because there’s a weird thing about our enemies; most of them – particularly the ones that wrote us off – are, well, dead now and can’t tell anybody anything. Contemplate that for a while.

    As Our Beloved Hostess says: in the end we win, they lose. Keep the hope fires burning, friends, we’ll see our way clear yet. Up the Republic! Until then, I pledge you
    my Life, my Fortune, and my Sacred Honor.
    The Oyster

    • They tend to forget that there is one and only one (so far) country to chose to rain nuclear fire down on their enemies. Of course we did it in order to save upwards of two million lives on both sides of the conflict, but we did it none the less.
      I do see that statistic changing somewhere in the next two to five years with a nuclear strike highly likely either on Tel Aviv or one of our Atlantic ports. On that day we shall see whether this is still the country that those of us here know and love. My fear is that if it happens soon der Leader will find some weasel worded excuse not to retaliate. Might just interfere with his plan to take his rightful place in charge of the UN some day.

      • If He attempts that I am afraid the tree of Liberty will get a little more watering. The folks on the right are getting pissed off, make that the center who only appear right to the idiots running the Demonics these days. If the Repugnants ran anyone semi reasonable we wouldn’t be in this fix

      • Yeah, it’s from Vox, but it’s a little too well-written and analyzed for my comfort: http://www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8845913/russia-war

        • Oh, come on. One way or another we’re going to be hip deep in the cacki by the end of summer.

          • Let’s see: exit polls suggest that the Greeks are voting NOOO!!!! in the referendum, the Russians are putting serious military bases in eastern Ukraine, it’s over 90 degrees F in Seattle, and the Houston Astros are not in last place. Yup, time to start looking for the Four Horsemen.

            • Grexit is a process, not a one-time event. Care to bet on which countries will be nest to leave the Euro, then the EU?

              Care to bet if Greece will pick up Putin’s offer of hefty payment up front for a gas pipeline through their country instead… and then block any sanctions against Russia when Putin makes his next move after that?

              • I’d wager Ireland next out of the Euro, not certain about dumping the EU – Ireland or GB.

                Oh, I’m certain Greece would be delighted for Russian help (shared Orthodoxy among other things) and play exactly as the Tsar requests. Which gives Putin more leverage against Bulgaria and Romania, as well as grounds to lock his claims to the Crimea. *SIGH* It’s 1890 all over again.

              • snelson134

                Can they block NATO action in the eventy of an attack on Poland or the Baltics?

                • NATO, not an actual attack, but all the runups and preliminaries? absolutely!

                  As well, EU economic sanctions have to be unanimous… and Greece has just learned that is, indeed, actually possible to look the “inevitability of history” in the eye, flip them two fingers (for americans, substitute middle finger), and walk away.

              • Portugal Italy Ireland Spain

              • While my opinion of the EU couldn’t get any lower, without a backhoe, and I think the Euro is one of the stupidest of countless stupid ideas that they have come up with; I find Greece’s decision childish. And if it didn’t potentially affect my income so, I would find it at least mildly humorous.
                Let’s see, you won’t pay our debts, and pay our citizens to be unproductive? Fine, we’ll take our marbles and go home.
                My whole question is, why the heck is the rest of the EU complaining? If I was in charge of it, I would have booted Greece out instead of bailing them out, last time. It’s like a deadbeat, mid-twenties, kid threatening to move out, because his parents won’t pick up his overdue bar tab. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

            • It’s sunny and 90, with no rain longer than five minutes for the last several weeks.

              On the upside, the drivers still are terrible, so there’s that.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Secretary-General Obama?

        *shudders*

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Look on the bright side, Secretary-General Obama might convince the world that they don’t need/want the UN. [Evil Grin]