When It All Goes Wrong

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about a project where it all is going wrong.  Look, guys, when you’re brought in to finish a project that has had at least two other teams on it, and which isn’t in any way started, you really shouldn’t be surprised when it is a cluster… bunny.

But my friend was.  Being an hyper-competent and hyper-responsible person, he was blaming himself.  I had to point out that sometimes I think half of the work done in the world is done between incompetence and accidental f*ck up, and we should be grateful when ANYTHING gets done, no matter how picayune.

Part of this is that humans seem to come mostly in two flavors, neither of which is “reasonable.”  You have the ones who blame themselves for everything and the ones who admit responsibility for nothing.  Neither is perfect to work with, as the ones who self-blame heap more and more responsibility onto themselves, and in the end either crack, become unable to focus, or end up carrying the work that other people won’t do, and thereby getting other people used to doing less and less work.

Then there is sheer chance.  It’s not that I decided to take a break from work the last four years, really, it’s that first I was very ill and then I was moving.  I imagine I’ve been no end of fun to work with for this time, as things seem to drop off my head as though it had sieve-like holes.

Yeah, sure, sometimes chance works the other way, and everything aligns perfectly.  Then we call it luck, and it’s much rarer.

One of those instances of luck seems to have been “the miracle at Philladelphia” and we’ve been dealing with chance ever since, and has Murphy been having fun.

All this is relevant, as most people who hang here, if I read them right, are the type to self blame.  So I’m going to say it once and for all “this horrible election season is not your fault.”

Sure there are things you could have/should have/might have done, including (as I remind myself) being a lot ruder to liberals in the eighties, and not letting them control public spaces.  However, remember back down the “shut down” techniques were still very effective, their controlling most of the media, and at least in some fields, it would have ended your ability to support yourself.

But most of what you could’a, should’a, might’a done is marginal and around the edges and probably wouldn’t have changed anything but your personal life.  The leftist dominance we’re fighting started long before we — any of us — were born.  Even in the US it started at least 100 years ago.

Seen another way, it is a new battle in an eternal war, that war for individual will and dignity against the forces of the “lords” (aristos, government, etc) who would make us all widgets and control us, the better to impose their vision (or simply to enjoy power over us.)

Old wars are not won quickly, or really ever truly won.  Yeah, this battle, this year is going very badly, but there are signs of hope.  Keep fighting and we’ll enjoy dominance, for a while.  But never relax, because liberty is antithetical to the social ape, and in the end half the people at least will try to crawl back under the boot of the oppressor.

But you can always fight.  And no one can make you give up.

Don’t give up.

  • Under the clurterf*ck, mostly caused by chance, you know that Through Fire was one of those, with its release delayed twice, and then e-stealth released before being released in paper.  I’m sure this will do wonders for those numbers in computers, in bookstores.
    Remember if you’d pre-ordered before the delays, it won’t be shipped to you and you have to re-buy.  This is the end of the extremely awkward promo.  Buy if you can, and re-order if you pre-ordered early.



93 thoughts on “When It All Goes Wrong

  1. God, give me grace to accept with serenity
    the things that cannot be changed,
    Courage to change the things
    which should be changed,
    and the Wisdom to distinguish
    the one from the other.

    And God, grant me the opportunity to make others suffer as they have inflicted suffering on me, that they might know incentive to shape up and stop screwing things over.

    1. Huh. I always thought that prayer ended with “and the Wisdom to hide the bodies I had to kill because they ticked me off.”

  2. I’m going to say it once and for all ‘this horrible election season is not your fault.’

    Sigh. If only I had perfected my time machine in 2028 I could have used it to travel back in time and expose the Clinton Cattle Futures and Whitewater scams when he was still only a minor backwater politician whom nobody in the MSM had any investment to defend.

    I would also travel to 1998 and prevented Al D’Amato from acting such a putz that Schmuck Chumer could win his senate seat. Dropping a dime on Lizzie Warren’s “Fauxcahontas” fabrication on her application for the post at Harvard Law wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

    I bet if I traveled to Dallas ’63 and yelled a timely “Duck” that this natiion might have been spared the “improvements” inflicted by his idiot kid brother.

    So many corrections, if only I had Time.

    1. “I bet if I traveled to Dallas ’63 and yelled a timely “Duck” that this natiion might have been spared the “improvements” inflicted by his idiot kid brother.”

      That one probably is a no-go. For starters, I’ve read that he was in a back brace at the time and really COULDN’T duck; that’s part of the reason Oswald was successful. For another, he seemed determined to build a political dynasty one way or another, though whether his brother would have been better helped by a living ex-President or a beloved martyr is perhaps a question that can never be answered.

      1. I maintain that, had JFK not been assassinated, his would have been viewed as a mediocre or even failed presidency — especially if he had been elected to a second term. That would have made dynastic succession somewhat difficult than having him as a martyr for Liberalism.

        And yeah, the “DUCK!” was metaphorical — far easier to simply arrange for a security guard or cop to walk into that room at the Texas School Book Depository at a critical instant. Or loose a vicious dog on the Grassy Knoll.

        1. You may be right. Even if you’re wrong, though, JFK surviving likely would have kept LBJ out of the White House – a worthy goal in and of itself.

          1. And a guy hanging around with a gun with ties to the soviet union is less fraught than a presidential assassin that could’ve been assigned by the soviets.

        2. Or just sent a supervisor around to see why Oswald wasn’t working where he was supposed to be.

        3. “I maintain that, had JFK not been assassinated, his would have been viewed as a mediocre or even failed presidency — especially if he had been elected to a second term.”

          After looking at the Clinton legacy, what makes you believe that?

      2. better scenario: throwing a lit firecracker from behind Oswald, as his finger was on the trigger.

  3. But you can always fight. And no one can make you give up.

    This is why Rocky is arguably one of the greatest American movies. Because it recognizes that we are not defeated when we lose, we are only defeated when we stop fighting.

    That is also the significance of the alley fight scene in Captain America: The First Avenger in which the pre-treatment Steve Rogers takes on the jackass from the movie:

    Also reprised in the Civil War film. “I can do this all day.”

    But it is better, by far, to fight in ways that advance your cause, rather than simply scraping your opponents’ knuckles.

    “If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that it will triumph.”
    —T.S. Eliot

  4. Hillary still has the edge. I’d say it’s 70/30 she wins the election.
    She’s a liar, head of the FBI told us so.
    She’s a thief, among other things she and Billy boy took something like $200,000 of stuff that did not belong to them when they left the Whitehouse. They were forced to return the important stuff and cut the government a check for $86,000 to compensate for the rest.
    She’s corrupt, that slush fund foundation of hers raked in millions in exchange for access to her and the occasional special considerations. Pretty obviously bribes in all but name.
    She’s incompetent, whole shopping list of all the State Department actions she managed to screw up.
    She’s a sneak, come on, only reason to go to the trouble of setting up a private server was a blatant attempt to get around FOIA requests, not to mention hiding her stuff from the government she was supposed to be serving.
    She’s vicious and cruel, apparently to all those loyal Secret Service agents who’ve protected her for many years, not above punching out her husband, or destroying the reputations of his many girl friends.
    But her base loves her anyway. She promises them free stuff. She will neuter the Second Amendment to the point where you’ll be lucky if you can keep a muzzle loader, an idea which her liberal buds love.
    She will see that our First Amendment is “interpreted” to the point where we will need preapproval to post to FaceBook. Sure, a bit of hyperbole on my part, but at the very least you can kiss the Citizens United decision bye bye. Left progressives and the SJW crowd will still of course have free rein to speak truth to power.
    She and the DNC will play the woman card shamelessly.
    She has the majority of the media firmly tucked into the pocket of her cheesy pant suit.
    And never forget, Democrats cheat, and they’re proud of it. Voter fraud is a long standing tradition with them.

    And should a miracle occur we have Trump, bless his heart. And I mean that in the most sincere form of traditional Southern commentary.

    It truly does feel like it’s all gone wrong somehow, and those responsible will never own up to it. So yet again we either jump in and attempt to fix it, or sit back and watch it all burn down. And that choice gets harder every day.

    1. Maybe a meteor will hit the debates, and America will be spared from this particular ordeal.

                1. If you are anything like me, you will find all sorts of things, lots of them interesting and sidetracking… just not what you are looking for.

                  1. Oh, already has happened. Needed satellite meter, not where I thought.
                    Needed gas torch to unsolder a waterline, and hey look, I found the meter in the same box as the mapp gas torch!
                    Musta made sense to me at one time, or the cats hid it, or the faeries.

      1. Then they’d just fall back on Bern and Jeb.

        “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

        1. As my one ironclad objective going into this election cycle could be summed up as “No more Bushes, no more Clintons,” I personally would find a Bern vs. Jeb race no substantial improvement.

    2. Point of order. She will try to neuter the 2nd amendment. There are an awful lot of us who will quietly but absolutely refuse to be disarmed. Try to eviscerate the 2nd all she wants, it won’t happen. At the worst she will create the largest nominally-criminal cohort this country has ever seen, which will not end well for her and the leftists.

      1. Further point of order: She might be able to pull the trigger on a civil war, which would almost certainly suck, and could very well be worse than your suggestion.

          1. BTW, “A State of Disobedience” is now and for the forseeable future in the Baen free library. Tom wanted to make it available as widely as possible.

          2. It has been alleged that the P in Thomas P. Kratman is for prescient.

            (By me just now, without any basis for it, I do not recall ever hearing what his middle name is. I’m pretty sure the middle initial is P.)

      2. Keep in mind that the Second Amendment does not grant rights. It describes a natural right that the founders decided that the government they were creating should never be allowed to infringe upon.
        It’s my personal belief that they stuck that awkward militia clause in to show that there was a compelling government interest in the subject in that they could REQUIRE citizens to keep and maintain personal arms at home ready for a potential militia activation.
        What Hillary would do is pack the SCOTUS with liberal judges who would quickly rule that “reasonable restrictions” did not in fact infringe.
        And yep, she and her ilk have no idea what a wasps’ nest they are opening up should she try. But then again, we’ve already had our nosed rubbed in the fact that there is no uniform rule of law in this country. All depends on who you know and who you are.

        1. > REQUIRE


          And some colonial charters did exactly that.

          “On 22 March 1630/1 the General Court established the first military legislation�a simple requirment for universal military service phrased as a requirement for all adult males (except ministers and magistrates) to possess arms”

          Massachusetts, how you have fallen…

      3. In sales terms, firearms are a mature product. Almost everyone who wants one already has at least one, and with lube and care most firearms last pretty much forever. Even banning the sale of all firearms won’t get rid of all the guns already out there, and “Mr. And Mrs. America, turn them in” will result in something between a belly laugh and a full scale civil war.

        1. More than just that, they’re pretty easy to make. Any competent machine shop can turn out perfectly good firearms, and I can guarantee you that if they were “forbidden” you’d find boutique firearms popping up all over. Heck, the US Army created and disseminated a manual on doing just this, TM 31-210, the Improvised Munitions Handbook.

          1. There are half a dozen web public gun-builder web forums, and who knows how many gun and machinist forums with builder subforums.

            Most of the people are Americans, but there are a few from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and France who’ve shown their work.

            Some are just kit builds, some guys are so hardcore they drill and rifle their own barrels.

        2. A couple panics back I recall a somewhat blue state legislature — Connecticut? Oregon? — gave serious consideration to such a (confiscation? inventory?) of privately owned firearms and was basically informed by every sheriff and deputy in the state that if the legislators wanted that done, the legislators best plan to do it them own damned selves.

          1. This. There’s a lot of nullification-by-neglect going on already. If a President Progressive tried to enact national confiscations and bans, we’d see a flat out surge of Irish Democracy and reports of visual impairment by those assigned to assist in the project that made Prohibition enforcement in the Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico look zealous and sincere.

          2. Upstate NY sheriffs aren’t enforcing the “SAFE Act“, which, of course, does nothing to make us safe. Thet also told Albany in a very public that they aren’t. Funny how the MSM never mentions this.

            1. Much of upstate’s been telling Albany (and NYC) to go to heck for decades now.

    3. What worries me is that if Hillary wins, she can’t handle the job. I keep hearing about the serious health issues. Issues that, thanks to that stupid server, everybody but the American public knows about. Do we really want another proxy President. And who will she be proxying for? I don’t want the Iranians, ISIS or Soros running the show.

      1. I have very strong suspicions that she’s had neurological problems of some sort that go back to when she was SecState or earlier. The recurring prismatic lens, the possible seizures, loss of balance on several occasions . . . Not what you want to see in any leader, be they political or corporate or religious.

        1. Geeze, that’s usually the sort of thing the Press is quick to jump on … in a Republican.

          Look at all the Press attention to the question of whether Trump might suffer from dangerous narcissism — as if we haven’t had a president with that problem ere now.

          Just imagine the reaction if Trump flipped one of these at Hillary during the debates!

        2. It would not have occurred to me to suspect Trump of coke use before he had a surrogate deny it. However, his attention problems and other reports cause me to suspect that he has either done himself some permanent damage, or is currently using it.

          But Duke and Mugabe have endorsed him, so President Trump would heal all racial divisions.

          1. Please forgive the term; but to many with a DD-214, #BenghaziLivesMatter

            Trump hasn’t killed Americans nor compromised classified data that gave aid and comfort to our enemies. In that, at least, he’s miles ahead of Bill Clinton’s woman.

            You want a pure candidate? Write in Jesus Christ. He’s the only sinless man who ever lived.

                1. Umm…fact not in evidence. Trump loves Trump–that’s about as much as you can show from the evidence.

                  1. Right you are. “Does not obviously detest America and hold our citizens in contempt” is about as far as we can go in his favour.

                    1. A sad thought: that still puts him ahead of a lot of politicians, on tact at very least.

  5. I’m confident I could step up to the plate and be a nearly perfect Calvin Coolidge-like president. If only I had planned for it and done all the necessary steps to get into position to run! But then if I had plotted for 40 years to reach that goal, it is more than likely I wouldn’t know what I know now that makes me a minarchist.

    The machine is highly developed and its denizens have spent (in some cases) *generations* grooming themselves to rule. No one who has normal interests and goals stands a chance. No one should feel guilty for not stopping it from running off the rails. It’s been building since Woodrow Wilson started the move to subvert the Constitution.

    1. Wilson didn’t start it; he was just the first one to get into a position where he could begin to implement it.

  6. With respect to your friend, Sarah — been there, done that. Walked in eyes wide open. Three possibilities: 1) I might be lucky and smart enough at the right times to actually pull the company’s beans out of the fire – which would be very nice for future employment. 2) Might not ‘succeed’ in the way intended, but still dampen the flames enough to get the end customer a reasonable facsimile of what they need. (Which I did.) Can say goodbye to company with clear conscience and having gained some experience. 3) The horse might learn to sing.

    All you can do is what you can do, and that has to be good enough.

  7. I would say 1964 is when politics became more about personal destruction than positions, and it has only gotten worse since then.
    No sane person would run for President, and our current cycle is merely the crazier than ever. Narcissist or Pathological Liar. Your choice.

    1. Narcissist or Pathological Liar. Your choice.

      Well, we’ve already tried eight years of the combo …

    2. That’s another reason I propose the Presidential Draft Lottery.

      Run the Powerball until a valid Social Security Number comes up, and you’re the President! Then keep on until you’ve filled the VP, Secretary of State, Congress, and the Senate.

      Of course it might not be a very *good* selection… but it would damned sure be a *representative* selection.

      1. I’m in favor of this. Use it for the top bureaucrats as well. As long as the individuals selected have job protection, so they won’t stagger back from DC in four years and discover that they have no employment (unless they regulate their jobs away, in which case . . .)

        1. No job protection, let them know that in 4 years, they will be subject to the same bureaucratic red tape that they themselves created.
          Lottery is a great idea. William F Buckley once mentioned the first 100 names in the phone-book, but 1:Do we still have phone-books? 2:All politicians would change their last name to Aaconski (or something like that).

    3. About that:

      Jefferson on Adams: he’s “. . . a hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force nor firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

      Adams on Jefferson: he’s “. . .a mean spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

      And so went the election of 1800.

  8. The 1787 miracle in Philadelphia in 1787 wasn’t luck, it was Providence. (As George Washington might have said.) You do the best you can, but the outcome isn’t entirely up to you.

  9. “the ones who blame themselves for everything and the ones who admit responsibility for nothing,” Another way to sort the cats is those who think every bad thing is someone’s fault and those who feel that there are outside forces that can’t be controlled.

  10. Take heart. The world is a better and improving place–the USA notwithstanding. World poverty is going away in the worst places, and ISIS is showing everyone how sucky the 7th Century death cult is/was. Reagan was an optimist who had to deal with the New Deal, Great Society Republicans, Nixon, Ford, and their ilk who were as RINO as those running Washington today. Yet his optimism made him a winner and inspired those around him. Sure there will be “bad luck” visited upon us by the those who take the devil’s coin, but our hope is not in Supreme Court jurists. The deep state will reinstitute checks and balances when President Komacho takes the oath of office. So we really don’t have to fear his flavor of Fascism. Grannie Clinton is another matter, but her greed will limit the damage she does. Take heart and write like the wind.

  11. This may be the best election since Regan.
    1) Both major parties are taking massive self inflicted damage to the point that at least one of them may not survive.
    2) It has been deliberately emphasized by the head of the FBI that the rule of law no longer exists. (The rule of law not existing is bad. That it was pointed out by an unexpectedly honorable man is good.)
    3) Whichever nominee is elected there is a good chance that they will be gone in a year either to impeachment or to illness.

    1. I’m counting down the days until I can eat popcorn again. Because I’m going to enjoy a lot of it this fall, watching the DC and coastal elites make fools of themselves in public and confirming what a growing number of people have been suspecting. (Dental saga made short – after I heal from the work next week, I’ll be able to eat crunchy/firm/makes-little-bits food again. Three years of mostly-gooshy-food is less than fun.)

  12. I’ve found a way to sink lower.

    Anyone know where I can find identities of KGB officers under diplomatic cover in New York during 1945-1946?

    1. Easiest might be to start with Alger hiss and work your way outward. The primary complication would seem to be separating out the “Useful Idiot” volunteers from the direct hires.

      1. That would be a way to approach it, if I were not asking for horrible and tasteless reasons.

        Essentially it involves telling the following (as far as I know) lies:
        1. Fred Trump was vulnerable to blackmail because he was a Nazi agent.
        2. There were irregularities in the naturalization of Mrs. Fred Trump making her citizenship fraudulent and invalid.
        3. Fred Trump is not the real father of Donald Trump.
        4. Donald Trump is half Russian, and has very long term ties to Russian clandestine services.
        5. New York City does not count for establishing birthright citizenship.

        1. I’d look for KGB **officer** names (to distinguish them from the suborned “agents” like Hiss) in the Mitrokhin Archive (Google will give lots of hits). But I really think it’s irrelevant: #s 1 & 2 – so what?, #3’s trumped by the legal principle of “if it’s caught in your trap, it’s yours”, #4 is partly ‘so what?’ and then ‘what proof?’ and #5 – Really?

          1. So what is the obvious fun of Trump birtherism. Kinda pointless, and this iteration is in very poor taste.


  13. “I had to point out that sometimes I think half of the work done in the world is done between incompetence and accidental f*ck up, and we should be grateful when ANYTHING gets done, no matter how picayune.”

    When I was working as a software developer at a telecommunications company (where the acronyms of the computer world are all mixed in with the acronyms of the telephone world, yay!) I developed a couple of strong opinions: first, there IS a Supreme Being, because it’s a miracle that ANYTHING works at all; second, that Supreme Being really enjoys seeing engineer-type souls suffer, because those things work only after a large amount of blood, sweat, tears, and the occasional goat sacrifice from engineer-types.

    I have also reflected on Edsger W. Dijkstra’s quote, that computer science is more difficult than anything that will ever be found in pure mathematics.

    On the one hand, I scoff at the idea: clearly Dijkstra never took a class in Algebraic Geometry (“geometry” of objects defined by polynomial equations over some “field”; when we’re feeling nice, that field is the complex numbers, because things get really complicated when we try to do this over the real numbers, or over fractions, or over the field of two numbers {0, 1}, etc) or Multivariate Complex Analysis (that is, calculus using functions of multiple complex-numbered variables).

    On the other hand, he’s right, for two reasons. First, when I can develop a simpler model that helps me understand Algebraic Geometry, there’s *nothing* preventing me from adopting it. Sure, mathematicians around the world can continue to use the old way, but that’s no hindrance to me! In the computer world, however, if I can simplify how IP addresses work, or how a phone call is supposed to be made over a network, or even how to send an email, I’m stuck, because everyone is using the old system. I either have to make my new standard backwards compatible, or start the uphill battle of getting people to use my new standard. (For an example of the latter, consider IPv6, which was created in 1996 because we knew we were going to run out of addresses, to IPv4, which we are *still* using, *even though* we’ve run out of addresses!)

    Second, computer programmers have to implement accounting rules, tax codes, and full-time employment rules, which often have *no* rhyme nor reason to it: the *one* consistent rule seems to be “if it makes things more complicated, there’s going to be a bureaucrat who advocates for it”.

    So Dijkstra is right, but *only* for stupid reasons.

    tl;dr: I second this notion. Any votes on it?

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