There MIGHT Be A Real Post Today

But I’m still wading through finishing Darkship Revenge (now with more Fuse!)  And I have “fiction brain.”

Also, we’re snow bound — we got about 20 inches and it’s still falling off and on — which means I’m restless and weird(er than usual.)

Which means…

You guys know I do art, right?  Only all my art materials are packed.  Which means when I need to clear my head, I end up going hunting for public domain images and playing with them to create something different.

Mostly it’s a matter of touch ups, composition and filters (sometimes two or three.)  It’s something that I can assemble late at night, then let run through filters while writing during day.  Or more often while waiting for a repairman, or talking on the phone to someone.

However, some of them are cute (I steal shapes from everything, including elements of buildings.) So… In case I don’t get around to making another post, here they are with commentary.

theuniversethrough a porthole1I want to call this one something like “netting the stars.”

I andtimeitselfunwindAnd Time, Itself, Unwind — and no, I don’t know what it means.  It just sort of assembled itself.

hewasanuppittylizardHe Was An Uppity Lizard!

landingondesertplanet1Landing On A Desert Planet

oldefriendsfinalfinalOld Friends

aloneinthedarkmod

Alone, In The Dark — I don’t like this one.  It’s a little scary.

IIdidn'tevenknowyoukneweachotherI Didn’t Even Know You Knew Each Other.

This is my favorite, partly because it has a sense of Clifford Simak novels to me — cat and bot at the end of the universe, in the ruins of mankind’s works.  Of course I also have a feeling, mostly from the cat’s expression, that they’re being unfaithful to humans.  Or they feel that way.

174 responses to “There MIGHT Be A Real Post Today

  1. And Time, Itself, Unwind — and no, I don’t know what it means. It just sort of assembled itself.

    Ooooooooooo! Space squid!

    • Between the picture and the song “Mary Ellen Carter,” I got hit by a story fragment this evening and had to write it down. No idea what will go around it, but I suspect my subconscious knows.

  2. Alone, In The Dark — I don’t like this one. It’s a little scary.

    Don’t blink! Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t Blink. Good luck.

  3. *** A possible snippet from the Montel Howard Presidency, with more than a couple ideas shamelessly stolen from, er, inspired by the good folks here ***


    “Ladies and Gentleman, the President of the United States of America.”

    “Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at sea… tomorrow I will submit a budget to Congress. You might have heard some things about it. Some might be right, some might be wrong, but one thing is sure: It will not be liked. I fully expect it to be called ‘Dead On Arrival’ as every even partly reasonable budget has been for many a year now. If passed as-is, it would hurt. The longer things are delayed, the greater the pain will be, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. It isn’t – yet – even balanced, merely aiming in that direction by spending less this year than last. Real cuts. Not the horsecrap about a slowed increase, called cuts by liars addicted to wasting your money. And it IS yours, John Q., not theirs. Remember that. You have to – they never do.”

    “But if it’s Dead On Arrival, why bother? I bother in order to show one way to do it. It can be done other ways. However, I will veto any budget that spends more than last years and I will veto any budget that spends even the same as last year’s. I will also veto any and all temporary stopgap spending bills. Do it once, do it right. PERIOD. What about a shutdown? So what? Non-essential government employees stop working. And doesn’t that bring up a very interesting question: If they are non-essential, why do we even have them? Well, if CONGRESS wants to shut things down, I can’t stop them. I’ve said what it will take to get me to sign a budget. I stand by that. To avoid a shutdown, make a budget. Isn’t that simple? Do the job, things keep running. Fail, and well, you have a mess, dear Congress. And it will be yours.”

    “Yes, Congress can override my veto on a budget. I fully expect to be overridden on this, but that will come with a price: Until I get a genuine budget reduction – not useless crappola promises of future reductions, since those never happen. They’re Lucy-ball. I’m not playing. – Until I get a genuine spending reduction budget to sign, I will veto ALL bills coming way. Yes, even the good and wonderful ones I fully support. So there’s the choice, Congress, start fixing the budget, or get used to having to override my veto every damn time you want to get anything done – for at least a year, and if the next budget is just more of the same old overspending, well, Congress will have earned another year of vetoes.”

    “Good night.”

    • Anonymous Coward

      Where can I get a ‘Howard for President’ bumper sticker ?
      Of course, if Kratman ever produces Pat Buckman campaign stuff, I’m jumping on that bandwagon.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IMO Kratman won’t be producing Pat Buckman campaign material.

        He’s made it clear that he would have fought somebody like Buckman.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I believe I got permission from Tom to do ‘Friends of Pat Buckman for President’ some years back, but I’m certain it did not include merchandising or anything of the sort.

        I do not have the proven ability at organization or money handling to take on such a project.

        We’ve missed several filing deadlines for 2016, and we have not yet created a Super PAC. John Gilmore beat us in Iowa.

        -Friends of Pat Buckman for President, 2016

        I don’t think Kratman would mind if you had ‘Friends of Pat Buckman for President, 2016’ or ‘Friends of Pat Buckman for President, 2020’ added to MCB or MHI custom etching from that rifle place Larry endorses. At least, I wouldn’t object.

        I’ve thought about getting more into a Pat Buckman campaign, but right now my heart is on black Tod Kruez t-shirts in the ‘metal’ style.

  4. I didn’t know you were a visual artist! And all this time I thought you were JUST a talented writer. 😉

    Here’s an artist’s site I think you’ll like – he advocates art as a life-affirming process, and rejects the SJW’s nihilism and ideological fixations:

    https://remodernreview.wordpress.com/

  5. Christopher M. Chupik

    If this isn’t a real post, is this a real comment? Am I really Christopher M. Chupik?

  6. I just had a question for you. I personally consider a Trump presidency a risky unknown. You consider it certain disaster. Regardless of this difference, what do you say to the idea that the Republican party made Trump by failing to act as a real opposition party, by completely neglecting to represent the interests of the people who elected them?

    • Pish-tosh. It didn’t completely neglect the interests of the people who elected them.

      It hardly neglected the interests of the Republican Establishment a tall. As for “the people who elected them,” — what percent of the party do you think those are? Even if the T.E.A. Party represents 30% (a very generous estimate) of the Republican voters, that leaves 70% voting for other reasons, some coinciding, some antithetical. That’s the thing about political parties: they represent an amalgam of interests and sometimes it is difficult for members to distinguish the tail from the dog.

      • What the Republican party did is to neglect the desires of a fairly large part of their membership, under the assumption that they were a captive group of voters with no where else to go. While that may have been true before the TEA party movement arose, many of the people in that captive group have now become more organized and in many cases have taken over the local Republican party at the precinct and county level. They are now demanding that their desires be at least considered rather than ignored except for lip-service at voting time. The upper party hierarchy, rather than accepting this, is doing its best to purge “their” party of these upstarts. Even if your estimate of them being less than 30% is true, that’s still a portion of the membership that should be unignorable under any reasonable management. Really, it seems clear that the Republican hierarchy would rather lose elections than allow these “unwashed” a seat at the table.

        • My comment was not an endorsement of the GOP’s management, merely acknowledgement of the realities. The GOP establishment has as much of a vested interest (greater, actually) in the party as the pushy interlopers who don’t seem concerned about those whose party they’re usurping.

          The T.E.A. Party activists do indeed have an alternative to being Republican: they can wander the Wilderness building their own party. Sure, both the Republicans and T.E.A. Partiers would loss in that scenario, lose for a very long time. But if I were an establishment Republican (I am not) I don’t think I would have very much enthusiasm for “my” party winning elections by abandoning those qualities to which I have been committed for decades.

          What profitith a party to win an election if it loses it its soul?

          For that matter, if the T.E.A. Partiers cannot convince the party establishment that they have earned, that they deserve a place at the table, they probably don’t. I think they do, but they have to respect the interests of those whose party they’ve invaded.

          • But if I were an establishment Republican (I am not) I don’t think I would have very much enthusiasm for “my” party winning elections by abandoning those qualities to which I have been committed for decades.

            What profitith a party to win an election if it loses it its soul?

            Given the difference between what the GOP Establishment does and what they campaign on every two years to get my votes, hours, and dollars, I concluded the party has no soul and that is part of (most of, all of) the problem.

            The party exists to win power for its own sake and has no sense of what to do with said power except win more. That inevitably leads to the power being used to line one’s own pockets. While to some degree that’s politics I’d point out the Dems seem to have objectives and achieve them with regularity. The GOP has none despite what it claims every two years.

            If you don’t have a target you’ll miss it every time.

            • Bjorn Hasseler

              Sarah has pointed out that radicals gained the upper hand via a long march through the institutions. Tactically, the Tea Party has the wrong approach. instead of “he’s a RINO because of the amnesty vote or this issue or that issue,” do the long march back and work with him on those issues where you agree against the radicals. I get the impression from your posts that you’d just as soon stand RINOs against the wall. And it’s not just you; major Tea Party / Libertarian / libertarian folks say this often enough that the establishment Republicans (wow, would I like to see McConnell gone) *know* that’s what you think. Work with them. Don’t confuse that with being their buddies. But work with them and get 50% of what you want. And push for 10% more a little later, and so on. Yeah, you might stall out at half of what you want. Which is better than the 0% we currently have. And we *know* it’ll work because that’s exactly how ground’s been taken from us.

              • I figure if Reagan could work with those [Cottonelle Wipes] I can. This Republic wasn’t dismatled in a day and there is still considerable sound structure even if the dry rot has gotten into the wainscoting and some of the joists.

                I can even forgive McConnell much, remembering when he was all that stood between the nation and “Campaign Finance Reform” that would have gutted the First Amendment. Having observed Republican Senate Majority Leaders turn from “Staunch Conservative” to “RINO Squish” pretty consistently over the last thirty-five years (Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Bill Frist, Mitch McConnell – have I missed any?) I begin to suspect that the problem is the office, not the man.

                • Well, your problem here is that your concept of “staunch conservative” is at odds with observable reality.

                  • Or perhaps it is that I have a memory that extends beyond last week. Virtually nobody thought of Dole, Lott, Frist or McConnell as RINOs before ascending to the leadership. Dole ran to the Right of George H. W. B Bush in 1988, for example (admittedly, there was considerable room on Bush’s right, even though he ran as Reagan’s heir.)

                    • Hmmm. Your memory may extend back that far, but it’s accuracy is definitely in question.

                    • Not as I can recall … 😉

                      Do you have any evidence supporting the idea that any of those were widely deemed squishy before ascent to the leadership, or is this just a RES said/drloss said dispute?

                    • To quote a grating American, “I don’t feel no ways tired.”

                      And frankly, “what difference, at this point in time, what difference does it make?”

                    • Y’know, I could have put up that Youtube link for that quote …

                    • Oh, it’s clearly a difference of opinion between us, and as such not worth pursuing any further.

                    • Virtually nobody thought of Dole, Lott, Frist or McConnell as RINOs before ascending to the leadership.

                      First, I don’t use the term RINO except to argue that conservatives and other small government types are arguably the RINOs for the very reason you defined the current crony oriented Dem-lite attitude as being the soul of the party.

                      Taking what is commonly meant by it, however, the latter three earned that change in attitude, especially Lott and Frist.

                      Dole fought against a Demcrat President and got part of a loaf. He was part of the last Congressional leadership of the GOP to do so along with Gingrich.

                      Lott surrendered on committees because “it was a 50/50 Congress” and helped shepherd through NCLB. The former despite having the tie breaking vote in Cheney and the later as the first example of what unified GOP government was going to bring us.

                      Frist oversaw Medicare Part D and record (for the time) spending and debt. He also played a prominent role in kill SS reform before it even got started in 2005. Had SS (and Medicare) reform after getting everyone re-elected in 2004 been what Medicare Part D bought even I might be convinced it was a good deal. However, just like Reagan’s tax increases for spending cuts Frist paid up front and got nothing. Unlike Reagan he actively fought to get nothing.

                      Contrast what they did with the first complete Republican government in over 70 years with the Democrats in 2009-2010. That’s what I mean when I say the GOP wants to win elections just to do so while the Dems actually have goals.

                      McConnell just surrenders. His first action was leader was overturning the Dem’s use of the nuclear option on judicial nominations. At least Lott could argue in his 50/50 split in committees and staff that he hadn’t seen how the Dems would stab him in the back. Instead he insured that a Dem minority with a GOP president will be able to stop judicial nominees (and given them reason to think they can do it on the SCUS without repercussions) while anyone with a lick of sense knows once the Dems are a majority they’ll kill the filibuster and probably expand where they kill it.

                      Even the most cynical view of “political parties exist to win elections and exercise power for the benefit of the winners” can’t explain McConnell’s recent choices. He might as well have nominated Henry Reid to be majority leader given his performance in 2014.

                    • A BIG part of why the Dem Congress of 2009-2010 was so effective is that they (uhmmmm … what is polite way to say this?) broke the rules. They engaged in parliamentarily invalid actions (stripping the text out of a House-passed bill and slapping the Obamacare verbiage in order to pass it through reconciliation, avoiding filibuster certainly seems a violation of the spirit, if not the letter) and used power ruthlessly.

                      The GOP exists to limit government abuse of power, not to abuse it in the opposite direction. Had they done as the Dems did it seems probable the MSM would not have blown such a smokescreen about the process as when Pelosi & Reid did it.

                      That said, I think the GOP should have finished the Dems’ elimination of the filibuster rather than leave it for Chick Schumer to do when he climbs to the top of the greasy pole. At least that way they’d possibly have gotten something out of it.

                      All said and done, however, I think the problem is, at root, as Milton Friedman defined it: it isn’t so much a matter of getting the right people elected as it is an issue of making sure the wrong people will find it in their interest to do the right things. It seems unreasonable to demand our politicians defend the Republic when the People don’t.

                    • Tl:DR translation: In the words of Yossarian, if everybody thinks like that I’d be a damned fool to think any differently.

                    • A BIG part of why the Dem Congress of 2009-2010 was so effective is that they (uhmmmm … what is polite way to say this?) broke the rules.

                      Granted but the GOP came pretty damn close to breaking the rules with Medicare Part D, specifically the record House vote. It is a case of their actions speaking. They were willing to go to the wall to expand government but not to risk a harsh world to contract it a year latter when Bush (to his credit) tried to start SS reform.

                      That said, I think the GOP should have finished the Dems’ elimination of the filibuster rather than leave it for Chick Schumer to do when he climbs to the top of the greasy pole. At least that way they’d possibly have gotten something out of it.

                      This. This is very similar to my constant harping on the ImEx Bank. In money terms it’s nothing but it is very symbolic. We hear all the time about confidence building measures in the Middle East Peace Process.

                      Making the Dems eat their own dogfood on the filibuster or letting ImEx Bank expire would be confidence building measures for someone like me. It’s not much but it would be something to help me believe the GOP doesn’t take people like me for granted (see my point about conclusions based on the Lott/Frist era below).

                      Oh, and on the topic of persuasion I wrote polite letters on that aspect of killing ImEx to both Senators and my Congressman as well as around local circles.

                      it isn’t so much a matter of getting the right people elected as it is an issue of making sure the wrong people will find it in their interest to do the right things. It seems unreasonable to demand our politicians defend the Republic when the People don’t.

                      This goes to my complaint that anything except voting $REPUBLICAN or $DEMOCRAT is shot down. If an Article V convention, primaries (I’ve been told pretty much you can never primary a sitting GOP member or $DEMOCRAT although I’ll admit in your comment about Eric Cantor you seem not to be of that thinking.), forming a third party by various means (including my replicate the GOP’s birth out of the Whigs) what mechanism do we have to make sure the wrong people find it in their interest to do the right thing. If all we can do is vote and hope…well, hope is not a plan. We have to find a way to provide consequences to doing the wrong thing or rewards for doing the right one.

                    • Used to this specific clip was available on Youtube, but that seems to have gone. As said in The Right Stuff: “You’ve got it all wrong, the issue here ain’t pussy. The issue here is monkey.”

                      The issue in America is not our politics, the issue here is our culture. See Andrew Klavan, Bill Whittle, numerous other PJ Media commentators for exploration on this theme.

                      Two freaking thirds of the Democrats think our system is “rigged” against the Little Guy. At least a quarter of the GOP think the same. HALF the GD voters in the Iowa Democrat Caucuses voted in support of the man who promises they can haz free college, and at least half the ones voting against him likely agree but don’t think Der Bern can deliver on that.

                      Only six states don’t have official numbers rackets lotteries: Alaska (where residents get checks from government sale of resources), Hawaii, Nevada (probably because it would compete with the casinos), Utah, Alabama, and Mississippi (gee – what is it about those three?) Well over half the nation thinks “the science is settled” constitutes a valid argument. Our schools are producing morons who are functionally illiterate, innumerate and absolutely convinced they are wise.

                      Folks, if you don’t like the fish you’re pulling from your stream the solution is not restocking the stream, it is changing the water. The answer to our nation’s problems is not political. It is writers like Sarah, Celiah Hayes, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Correia. and many others who can revive our polity’s gumption and aspirations for a future.

                    • Mississippi is probably also it would compete with the casinos despite what its two companions might imply. Lots of casinos on the Gulf Coast and along the Mississippi River in Mississippi.

                    • Yeah, and now that you mention it I recall there are a lot of gambling ships tied up on the Gulf.

                      Thing is, I don’t disapprove of gambling, within limits — it is a fine American tradition; help you cultivate horse sense, and a cool head and a keen eye.

                      But it does seem to encourage bad political management, as explained by City Journal‘s Nicole Gelinas:
                      Why bankruptcy is Atlantic City’s best hope
                      [SNIP]
                      The resort town can’t pay its bills in part because even though it lost a third of its population over the past five decades, it never cut spending accordingly.

                      And it didn’t do the hard work of building a real city around its own natural, built-in environmental advantages, where people might want to live and work — say, because of its beautiful waterfront.

                      Instead, the state encouraged the city to bet big on casinos, sucking outsiders’ money in rather than creating a real tax base. That was a sucker’s bet, though: A third of the city’s casinos have closed, and tax revenues have plummeted.

                      RTWT

                      Easy money is as corrosive of civic morals as it is of personal morality, possibly more so because when it is a collective decision it is easy to shirl responsibility.

                      We can make a very similar argument about public employee pay & benefits — for too long this nation’s people have robbed Peter to pay Paul, which has left Paul feeling entitled and Peter awfully darned resentful. It is a toxic mix, but the politicians are not the ones culpable, merely the ones responsible.

                • I begin to suspect that the problem is the office, not the man.

                  I think it is unfair to lump the first two in with the latter three.

                  Baker got us genuine tax reform and Dole got the Gingrich revolution through the Senate. They did it against a Democrat House and President respectively.

                  Lott and Frist couldn’t do that much when they were part of a group that held all the elective branches.

                  McConnell gave back power the Dems had seized from the GOP (judicial filibusters) and hasn’t even been able to not vote to restore corporate welfare or follow through on a geuine confrontation over executive amnest even though the promise on the latter was how he became majority leader.

                  That said he is undoubtedly paying for the failures of Lott and Frist as much as for his own. Had Lott, Frist, and Bush governed on even 1/10th of what the GOP said they could do if they only had it all I suspect I (and many others) would cut the current leadership more slack. The problem he faces (and Ryan as well) is that having accepted the “we can’t overcome the Democrats if they control ‘X'” for 20 years and then worked our butts off to finally get the GOP everything a lot of GOP voters believe they got zilch in return except for more debt, more spending, and new government agencies and entitlements. That makes it a lot harder to accept “we can’t do anything because the Dems have X” instead of concluding “the GOP never intended to cut the size or scope of government.” McConnell, Boehner, and Ryan are having the pay the bill on that one.

                • richardmcenroe

                  Cotton Wipe Tip O’Neill played Reagan, laughed about it, and shifted the demographics of this nation Demward to a degree not seen dsince LBJ’s Great Society.

                • I trust we can all agree that if the GOP establishment had the grip on the system that some think it does we wouldn’t be finding JEB! amongst the two percenters last night.

                  It is very difficult to look at a cumulative 89% result for Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Carson and Paul as the triumph of the RINOs.

                  For that matter, those results and the Triumph of Der Bern last night sorta put the lie to the idea that the big money determines the elections.

                  • I don’t remember arguing big money wins elections.

                    I’ve argued winning elections with either major party means only a scalar change in the vector the country is on. The direction, over the cliff of socialism into some form of tyranny when we run out of OPM, continues.

                    I argue that based on what I’ve seen over the past 30+ years. For a while it seemed a GOP Congress plus a Democrat president could change the course but when Gingrich was forced out that revolution ended and certainly since 2014 we have a counter example.

                    The only combo we have not tried in my lifetime is GOP Senate with Democrat President and House. Perhaps that could change the vector’s direction.

                    Of the “outsiders” I doubt any but Cruz would even try to change the direction. I am pretty sure his own party, which couldn’t oppose Obama (or $RACIST) would have no trouble undercutting him. Given that is who I will vote for in the primaries that’s not a good sign.

                    • I was “replying” to Bernie Sander’s “victory” speech last night, which I had the misfortune of hearing.

                      As I think about what happened tonight, I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment, and by the way, to the media establishment. And that is, given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics. What the American people have said — and by the way, I hear this not just from progressive, I hear from conservatives, I hear it from moderates — and that is we can no longer continue to have a corrupt campaign finance system. I am the former chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, and in that capacity, not only have I worked hard of trying to protect the interest of our veterans … I’ve had the privilege of men and women … and what they were protecting is an American democracy of one person, one vote. not billionaires buying elections. I am overwhelmed and I am moved by the fact that millions of people throughout this country have helped volunteer in our campaign …

                      We do not represent the interests of the billionaire class, Wall Street, corporate America. We do not want their money … We are the only candidate on the Democratic side without a Super PAC. And the reason that we have done so well here in Iowa, the reason I believe we’re going to do so well in New Hampshire and the other states that follow, the reason is the American people are saying “no” to a rigged economy. They no longer want to see an economy in which the average American works longer hours for low wages while almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.

                      Emphasis added. You can listen to the whole thing but I recommend against it:


                      It is unnecessary to take everything personally.

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      Or we could try an actual Republican Senate. In some ways, it’s a split Senate unless one party has 60 Senators.

          • For that matter, if the T.E.A. Partiers cannot convince the party establishment that they have earned, that they deserve a place at the table, they probably don’t. I think they do, but they have to respect the interests of those whose party they’ve invaded.

            You mean the party that since Reagan has claimed to believe in what the TEA partiers do?

            That’s the crux of the problem. If we invaded the party (and given the number of hours working for the party I have under my belt that predate the TEA Party I’d debate that) we did so because that GOP establishment has, since at least Reagan, claimed to want the same thing we do.

            Now they act scandalized when we show up in costume to their white tie event when there invites have read costume year in and year out for 30+ years.

            • Herb – you’re ranting again.

              • Which does not make him wrong, of course…

                • No, it makes him unpersuasive. I leave it as a rhetorical exercise as to which is most unproductive.

                  • Sorry, but from what I can see you’re the one who’s being unpersuasive here.

                    • Really? How has Herb persuaded you today?

                      What, other than gripe less and advocate more effectively, do you think I am attempting to persuade anybody to do? Are you convinced that complaining about being ignored by the party leadership will bend that leadership more in your desired direction, or have you considered trying to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent?

                    • How has Herb persuaded you today?

                      Probably not but then again who have your persuaded?

                      If anything you persuade me more and more to not both with politics as working for change, as in calling people on the phone, knocking on doors, driving peole to polls, working polls, is a thankless job that gets me condemned for not doing enough.

                      You persuade me that every hour spent on a phone bank isn’t an investment in change but an example of the sunk cost fallacy. The GOP voters don’t want what they claim to want and never intend to want it. They just want to bitch when it doesn’t happen and blame us who have been out here doing the work.

                      So, I guess you are more persuasive than me but perhaps not towards your goal.

                    • You really are working hard at not understanding what’s being said, aren’t you? What you’re attempting to do is to persuade others to agree with your disparaging description of those trying to wrest control of the Republican Party from the current party hierarchy. As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s not about bending the leadership in a particular direction. It’s about replacing the leadership entirely. And that’s gradually happening, behind the scenes, at the lowest levels.

                    • What you’re attempting to do is to persuade others to agree with your disparaging description of those trying to wrest control of the Republican Party from the current party hierarchy.

                      No, what I am trying to do is make folks see that this is not the place for wresting control of the Republican Party from the current party hierarchy. That hierachy isn’t here, and the folks who are here aren’t that hierarchy. The complaints I’ve seen are akin to complaining to the Devil that G-d hasn’t answered your prayers — even if he heeds he hasn’t the power to affect the target of your complaints/prayers … and it is likely you won’t like how he is able to respond.

              • Again? Did I stop?

          • As HerbN has said, the TEA party activists who are now demanding to be heard within the Republican Party are not outsiders; they are just demanding that the party actually act on the principles it has claimed to espouse for decades. And the party establishment will never be convinced that they deserve a place at the table–to that establishment, they are usurpers whose desire is to overturn the table. Far from “invading” the Republican Party, they are in fact the soul of the party, which the establishment has treated as ignorable for too long.

            • Far from “invading” the Republican Party, they are in fact the soul of the party, which the establishment has treated as ignorable for too long.

              Assertion based on facts not in evidence. The party is what it is; if the “activists” cannot do as Reagan did and force themselves a seat at the table, then they are prima facie NOT the “soul of the party.”

              If you are convinced the party has lied to you for decades there is only one sensible option: do a better job of advocating conservative principles as effective electoral messaging. Whining about being ignored and placated just ensures you will be ignored and placated.

              I hear a lot of conservative complaining, but I don’t hear much conservative advocacy.

              • Then you’re not listening. Or at least, not listening at the right places. And the people you’re claiming are “whining” are trying to get the party to actually act on the planks they routinely put in the party platform, just to be ignored. Sorry, but your characterization of the situation is pretty skewed.

                • Again, assertions based on facts not in evidence.

                  If the activists mattered to the party the party would cater to those activists. If the party does not cater to those activists, they don’t matter to the party. Complaining isn’t constructive – making effective arguments for your desired course is.

                  • And again, you’re missing the point. The activists aren’t expecting to be catered to, or even to be listened to, anymore. The activists are intent on replacing the party hierarchy.

                    • Not in here, they aren’t. Maybe in Eric Cantor’s (former) district, in which case they’ve actually done something.

                      In this venue all I see are complainants complaining to the choir.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Let’s be careful here. Don’t want Sarah’s writing to be interrupted by a “blue on blue” fight. [Polite Smile]

                    • and with the snow I’m out of carp…

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      With that much snow, you can make ICE BALLS to throw! 😈 😈 😈 😈

                    • Don’t fret – I have such an abundant stockpile I will self-carp.

                    • Frozen carp should hurt more, like really hard packed snowballs.

                    • Let’s be careful here. Don’t want Sarah’s writing to be interrupted by a “blue on blue” fight. [Polite Smile]

                      THIS

                    • So you somehow think this is a hangout for the Republican Party hierarchy? Really now, what are you trying to say? Because you’re not making any sense.

                    • No, Dr, I am saying this venue is not an effective place to persuade the Republican Party hierarchy to change. They don’t hang out here.

                      No arguments made here will have any effect on the part hierarchy, therefore complaints about the hierarchy in here are lacking in purpose other than venting steam ineffectively.

                      My “defense” of the hierarchy has not been in endorsement of them, but rather an attempt to convince folks to direct efforts more effectively, which requires first understanding their perspective (which is not to say concurring in it) so that arguments can be made more compelling.

                    • Have you ever wondered if complaining to the choir is a way of avoiding venting over this when meeting at Panera for the county meeting, dealing with yet another “when will the GOP follow through” when trying to convince yet another voter on the phone to come out for the lesser evil in an off year election, or a dozen other situations where biting your tongue and trying to persuade are important?

                      You argue against justing throwing in the towel here, against people who despite their complaining aren’t? How often do you do it in October with people wondering why bother to vote GOP when it doesn’t make a difference? Are you ready to be defending defending a GOP Senator and Congressman this coming October after the (inserted the word perceived here if you want) surrender on executive amnesty immediately after the vote you talked them into making in 2014?

                      There are people who expect me to do that last given the Isakson campaigned called me to volunteer this fall last July despite the fact I didn’t even live in Georgia in 2010 when he was elected. Yet, I have to listen to how I’m not working just complaining.

                      You know, I’m about as ready to give up on politics completely as I am SJW and unlike the latter I don’t actually run anything politically.

                    • Have you ever wondered if complaining to the choir is a way of avoiding venting over this when meeting at Panera for the county meeting

                      No, you’ve never given that impression, just as I don’t believe I’ve noticed anybody here volunteering to be your therapist.

                      If you are interested in sharpening your arguments to that county meeting there are some fairly clever people here who might be able to help strop them.

                      If you are merely striving to avoid taking a straight razor to some well-deserving throats I will endeavor to ignore your complaints as mere blowing off steam.

                    • Then it’s unclear to me why you brought this up in the first place. You started this discussion, after all. At any rate, I’m concluding my part in it, at least.

                    • Wasn’t me — the goddess Eris, in the persona of Zaklog the Great, tossed that golden apple into the room. Look back up thread to 11:00 am.

                      I merely tried to throw myself upon it before it could explode.

                      Too late, alas.

                    • But had you not done so I suspect his comment wouldn’t have occasioned much response at all. After all, no one else replied to him, but only to you.

                    • A) Nope, not the only one. Trace the lines of descent into Mordor more carefully.

                      B) As you pass through this vale of tears you will likely find that what you suspect and what actually is often differ in significant aspects. I could as easily claim that had not you and Herb responded to my response my brave effort would have not been “in vain for nothing,” to quote Lina Lamont.

                      C) Rather than dispute my response, others could have echoed, amplified or even warped my point about the Republican Party serving the interests of its establishment (shocking as that concept might be.)

                      D) Ball’s in your court — either you let it drop or you forfeit right to attack me for prolonging this discussion.

                      This completes today’s lesson in how internet arguments operate.

                    • Wasn’t me — the goddess Eris, in the persona of Zaklog the Great, tossed that golden apple into the room.

                      Hmmm, I do have a golden apple here with “To him who loves liberty the most” inscribed on it.

              • I do love the argument:

                1. Say you can’t go third party because that’s doomed.
                2. You can try for an Article V convention because the libtards will steal it.
                3. You can’t support the outsider de jure because that’ll elect $DEMOCRAT.

                Yet when you point out you’ve been doing the alternative, working to reform the GOP and barring that electing Republicans, the response is, “Whining about being ignored and placated just ensures you will be ignored and placated.”

                You wonder why I rant. Because all I hear are:

                1. Execuses about how the party has to win elections.
                2. Blame for both costing the party elections.
                3. Blame for not changing the party.

                And you wonder why people like me wind up working for the party for decades only to say “f**k off” and decide if we’re going to have Dem or Dem-lite to take the full Dem.

                Of course, then we’re bad for doing that.

                Personal life aside I’m sick of being one of the whipping boys for why conservativism isn’t moving forward. At least I’m out here doing the work instead of whining and yet somehow it’s all the fault of people like me.

                • 3. You can’t support the outsider de jure because that’ll elect $DEMOCRAT.

                  Has anybody in here said you shouldn’t support Ted Cruz?

                  The reason why you get told — in here — that you’re whining and ranting is because nobody in here has any power to affect the changes you claim to desire. Continually complaining to people with no ability to change things is pretty much the definition of crying in your beer.

              • Oh, and on “convinced the party has lied” how am I supposed to fight something like this:

                http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/369652/senate-stake-two-ex-gop-senators-endorse-democrats-john-fund

                Yet, I did…two former GOP Senators showed up to endorse the Democrat before we even had the GOP primary in 2014. Not after we got a horrible candidate. Not after the GOP nominated David Duke. No, before we even had a primary.

                I went out, worked for my candidate in the primaries then when he lost worked for the GOP in the general.

                Yet I’m the problem because I haven’t been persuaive enough. Yet I’m the problem because I don’t support the party enough. Yet I’m the problem when I get sick of these games and decide to quit playing. The problem is not Senators like Lugar (who refused to endorse his opponent when he lost his primary) and Warner. People like me are the problem.

                You talk about being unpersuasive while condemning those who work because they aren’t as skillful as those who lie and backstab. Do you think you persuade anyone anything but that the GOP values lying and backstabbing over everything else.

          • Invaded? Why do you consider lifelong Republicans trying to get their party back on the track to be invaders? A faction, certainly, and threatening to overthrow the comfortable leadership, and insert fiscal responsibility back into the platform. But where do you think they are invading _from_?

            • Sigh.

              I was channeling, not endorsing, the view of the faction which imagines they own the GOP. It is based on a system I’ve heard of, called “Empathizing” which supposedly makes it easier to bridge political gaps.


              [Insert Galaxy Quest Youtube video with deleted scenes of Alexxander Dane empathizing with Grignak]
              Apparently I need to better dedicate myself to my art.

      • Even if the T.E.A. Party represents 30% (a very generous estimate) of the Republican voters, that leaves 70% voting for other reasons, some coinciding, some antithetical.

        As long as I’ve been politically active the GOP campaigned on smaller government. When they had control of all three elective Federal branches they not only didn’t shrink government they actively expanded it . Even if we discount the military and intelligence sides as byproducts of 9/11 there is no explanation of NCLB (prior to 9/11), Sarbox, or Medicare Part D except as betraying their multi-decade basic campaign platform.

        Given that all that pre-dates the existence of the TEA Party I’d argue a lot of that 70% was also invested in the idea of a smaller Federal government and were betrayed by the GOP repeated for at least 16 years.

        The fact is you cannot campaign on something and fail to deliver when you finally get all the levers and not expect repercusions.

      • It was enough for Congressional work.

    • I say that’s how the press represented the republican party. HOW would you know if they were fighting?

      • That’s how the press represented them? All the press I see is about how the GOP is the party of ‘no’ and the party that will do anything to oppose Obama as racist.

        They way I know they have turned their back on a large number of voters who supported them is a litany I’ve given a dozen times here at least but starts “Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, then record spending and debt” and ends with “surrendered on executive amnesty after the Senate majority won in 2014 was sworn in.”

      • Oh, how would I know they were fighting:

        They called Obama’s bluff on shutting down Homeland Security in February 2015 after winning in 2014 despite the government shutdown in October 2013 which was supposed to doom them in 2014.

        There are probably others but given how the preemptively surrender on a regular basis (as in, they publicly state they’ll do whatever it takes not to shut down the government) the opportunities are wasted before they can even be identified.

      • What did conservatives get out of this latest big omnibus budget?

        • Well, it’s more consider how they’d have got out of it. And I’m not saying they’re smart. They believe a closing of government will tell against them, for instance. They’re dumb, and of course they believe the press, BUT I expect (and I’ve seen it laid out) they chose the least of two evils.

          • Well, it’s more consider how they’d have got out of it.

            Three ways:

            1. They could have not added expansion of H-2B visas when Obama didn’t demand that and Trump was already out there making waves. Like Medicare Part D it was an unforced error.

            2. They could have not joined Democrats to restore the ImEx Bank which also had not become a thing Obama would shutdown the government over. Given them Dems wanted it they could have traded to converting PP funds to block grants (the later itself a compromise but one they could have made).

            3. They could learn from the 2014 election after the 2013 shutdown that the press might be full of it and that 2015 was the perfect time to have as fight as it was a year out from the election and, again, it would have helped divert Trump.

            Even if you reject #3 as the press would have killed them how can you say #1 and #2 were a bridge too far?

            • This seems the sort of analysis likely to please you as well as demonstrating the problem atop the party has existed for (at least) six decades:

              Despite Its Best Efforts, the GOP Was the Biggest Winner in Iowa Last Night
              By Jeremy Carl — February 2, 2016

              Despite its best attempts to fail, the biggest winner of the Iowa Caucus last night was the GOP itself, which generated an unprecedented level of energy and engagement among voters in a critical swing state. That energy was generated thanks to a group of leading candidates who actually appealed to the GOP’s grassroots voter base. Turnout was more than 186,000, more than 50 percent higher than any Iowa GOP Caucus in history, and 46 percent of those were first time caucus attendees. And this turnout boom can’t be all chalked up the “Trump Effect”. Even if every Trump voter had stayed home, turnout for the remaining candidates would have still been more than 15 percent higher than it had been at any previous caucus. That’s remarkable.

              And the night’s biggest loser wasn’t Donald Trump (though he indeed lost big), but the GOP establishment, what William F. Buckley once referred to in the initial mission statement of National Review as the “Well-fed right whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.” They suffered a loss so ignominious and dramatic that one needs to step back a bit to reflect on its comprehensiveness. The campaign began with seventeen GOP candidates, of whom eleven had longtime pre-Tea Party era experience in elected office, including several senators and the former Governors of Texas, New York, and Florida. Between pre-caucus drop-outs and election night performances, those eleven candidates took just nine percent of the vote combined. Nine percent. The other ninety-one percent of the vote went to candidates who had neither not held federal or statewide office before 2010 or whom had never held office at all.

              In the face of repudiation this total, a sane party establishment would re-evaluate everything that it had been doing over the past decade: its policies, its strategies and its rhetoric. Sadly, the GOP establishment shows no signs of creeping sanity, so expect more quotes from lobbyists and failed presidential candidates taking shots at Ted Cruz, or any other candidate who attempts to wean the GOP from its addiction to amnesty, the lobbying gravy train, the donor class, insulting its voters, and losing presidential elections. Plus, as a bonus, we can look forward the typical bout of “concern trolling” from our friends in the left-wing media, who will lament how awful it would be for the GOP’s electoral prospects if the party actually nominated a conservative for President. To which I can only respond: “Br’er Fox, please don’t throw the GOP in that briar patch!”

              Emphasis added. It is entirely possible you might wish to read the whole thing.

              • Further in that vein:

                Ted Cruz’s Smashing Victory in Iowa
                By Andrew C. McCarthy — February 2, 2016
                [SNIP]
                The most significant aspect of this is that Ted is a conservative running as a conservative – not in the modern mold of a Republican who thinks he can make big government work more efficiently, but in the Reaganite mold that sees government as the problem. This is tougher terrain than it was in the 1980s because the country is not as solidly center-right as it was then. But principles are not trend lines. If they fall out of fashion, it is not because they’ve been discredited; it is because leaders stop advocating them – because they’ve been seduced by Washington and have lost interest in stripping Washington down to size.

                For too long, the Republican approach to elections has been to shift the party to where its leaders believe segments of the public are – reminiscent of the Democrats’ identity politics. We’re told conservatism cannot work, that our principles must bend to accommodate new thinking … even if much of that thinking, however well-intentioned, is premised on false narratives and hopelessly flawed central-planning schemes.

                The dismal result and the public outrage over it was patent last night.

                RTWT

          • I keep on hearing how politics is about compromise and if you want to get anything done, you have to be willing to compromise. Unless I completely misunderstand the word, “compromise” means both sides get something they want. What did the Republicans get? Anything? Since they’ve had a majority in both houses of Congress, have they even forced Obama to veto a bill that most Americans would support?

            What has the national-level party done that should get conservatives to say, Hey, those are my guys !!!?

            • … have they even forced Obama to veto a bill that most Americans would support?

              What – like repeal of Obamacare?

              Yes. What was the point – building a record to defeat Obama’s reelection? (Okay, forcing Dems to vote to uphold that veto, but that doesn’t seem likely to flip many voters not already leaning R.)

              You are aware that Reid’s Dems filibustered d-near everything the GOP attempted to pass through the Senate?

              • You are aware that Reid’s Dems filibustered d-near everything the GOP attempted to pass through the Senate?

                I am. The Dems gave him precident on how to fix that. I wish he’d used it. That would have been a step on the “making the wrong people do the right thing” and forcing it on an Obamacare repeal vote would have been the perfect vehicle. Or doing the reconciliation trick on Obamacare a year ago or any other time. In fact, I’d have pushed for a vote of order than any bill passed via reconilation de facto is under it for a uniform, clean repeal.

                Or they could have used it on DHS funding last February.

                It seems like his plan for the Senate is the same as Romney’s was to defeat Obama: say nothing contriversial and let events take the opposition down.

            • They just did. Sent an Obamacare bill to him and he vetoed it.

              • Yep…now get an override vote so each and everyone one is on record, possibly with ad worth comments.

                • As you wish.

                  House fails to override Obama’s veto of healthcare law repeal
                  [SNIP]
                  The 241-186 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority required to block the veto and marked an end to a nearly six-year quest by the GOP to repeal the law during Obama’s time in office.
                  [SNIP]
                  “Here we go again, and again and again,” said House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. “How fitting it is we are here on Groundhog Day.”

                  Democrats chastised the GOP for trying to repeal the law without a putting a replacement proposal on the floor for a vote.

                  Republican leaders said they are working on such a proposal but there would be no use voting on it this year, when Obama is president.

    • Observing the stream of posts above I am moved to comment, as Momma’s Momma used to pronounce when conversations got a bit dicey:

      My, what interesting weather we are having.

      • On another site I read daily, they start talking about grits and how to prepare them. Also, what to put on them to make them tastier. A friend used to talk about meteor showers.

        • Grits? Butter, salt and pepper with fried eggs on the side. Baked with garlic and cheese are good as well. In parts of the south shrimp that has been sauteed with garlic is served on top — the grits used kind of like polenta.

          Meteor showers? One of prettiest drives I ever did (not in the mountains) was home from Fayetteville, NC on a night when the sky was clear enough to observe the Perseids.

          Yeah, either of those will do very well. Thank you.

          • Grits? Butter, salt and pepper [Emphasis mine]

            Aha! Someone else who uses pepper. It’s not “just” me, despite $HOUSEMATE’s claims. Fwiw, I put some pepper on corn-on-the-cob, too.

            • Same. It may be an Odd thing, or a Southern thing, who cares. It is a tasty thing, says I!

              • The Other Sean

                I get strange looks/comments from some in Cincinnati when I sprinkle pepper on potatoes of various sorts: french fries, home fries, mashed potatoes, etc.

            • I have heard of sprinkling buttered corn-on-the-cob with a mixture of ground chili peppers and lime zest. Haven’t tried it yet.

        • cheese or butter on your grits?

          • Am I eating the grits as part of breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper?

            Daddy used to serve them with crunched up bacon on top…

            • breakfast. hubby sometimes eats them with clams and bacon salt.

              • When eating grits for breakfast I am a bit of a purist, since I can no longer digest meat the bacon option is out, so I stick with butter, salt and pepper.

        • I am firmly opposed to meteor showers. Meteors are delicate and subject to harm. They should be carefully bathed, with unscented soap in warm water, then patted dry.

          There are few things worse than a chafed meteor.

          • Did anyone else hear RES’s comment in a Mary Poppins sort of voice?

            • The Other Sean

              Not initially – I was “hearing” the voice of a middle-aged American society matron of the Victorian era. But now that you mention it, I can’t help but “hear” it in a Mary Poppins voice.

              • as long as you don’t hear *all* of RES’s comments in that voice. it would be… odd.

                • The Other Sean

                  Not unless they’re written such that they sound like they came from the mouth of disapproving lady of centuries past.

      • I have an aunt who would suggest a return to the gold standard but around here that would probably cause more trouble than it would avert.

  7. Catticus Finch

    I really like the one tentatively titled “netting the stars” – it’s beautifully surreal and I would totally buy it as a poster. And “He Was an Uppity Lizard” is adorable in a twisted sort of way.

  8. Two random thoughts: The picture with the “jellyfish” makes me think somewhat of the children’s book that’s been percolating in my head, called something to the effect of “The Jellyfish Homesteads of Venus”, where there are farms that float in the air with “tentacles” hanging from the bottom to extract minerals from the atmosphere.

    The scary picture makes me think of the statue in the “Magician’s Nephew”, that comes alive when a certain bell is rung; the woman then becomes the White Witch in the other books.

  9. Are all artists as multi-talented as you are Sarah? And when do you sleep? I see posts here and on Instapundit that make me think you may not be what you seem to be on this planet (joke). Would love to be able to buy one of those pictures if for sale.

    • I’ll be putting the pictures on Zazzle or something where you can order prints. I’m thinking of having the first one printed on canvas and enter some art shows.
      I’m mother of boys. I learned not to sleep.

      • She also gets twitchy when the house (or Con venue) gets really, really quiet. As in somthing-interesting-is-about-to-BOOM! quiet.

        No, my parents never asked Sib and I to make more noise when we were playing in the basement. Pinkie swear.

      • I think we should use the first one as the basis for the pattern of the ceiling of the lair’s observatory.

  10. Go Panthers!!

  11. They were all good. I preferred the picture and name of the last.

  12. Given that a picture is worth (conservatively) a thousand words, that’s 7,000 plus words in that posting. That’s a real posting! Almost a novelette!

  13. Alone in the Dark — that’s a petrified Wraith queen, no wonder she’s scary!