It’s Always Darkest


It’s always darkest before dawn.  This is not actually true, but it is, metaphorically.

I’m rushed, and have a million things to do today. This is a very scattered post, just a bunch of things running through my uncaffeinated mind.

I leave it as an exercise for the audience to make lists of the reasons not to despair.

I’ll leave you with one: the same people who prattle endlessly about how the demographics are going their way don’t act as if they are.  Also, in that respect, the demographics have been going their way my entire life, according to them and yet, they never get there.

This is probably because people aren’t widgets, which they’re incapable of understanding.

So, protecting and encouraging vote fraud and quite literally dismantling the constitutional republic (Well, what do you think the popular vote compact does?) not the act of people who are confident things are going their way.

There are other examples, but– look at them.  Like Greta Thunberg traveling in a “carbon free” manner, which required the flying of crews back and forth, thereby undoing her savings ten times over, their vaunted “the future belongs to us” is sounding increasingly tinnier and desperate, a potemkin ideology in an avalanche.

Of course, the question is: what comes after?  And that, that is for us to fight for.  The future is unwritten. It’s in our hands.

It’s always darkest before dawn, and you can choose to close the blinds, hide under the bed and keep it dark.  Or not.

I have no idea what lies ahead this year.  Normally — because my subconscious is massively smarter than I — I can tell what is likely, what is most probable.  Now my crystal ball is occluded, my vision dark.  I don’t know.  We might come through this okay.  Or we might not.

And if we don’t, it might be brief or a descent into madness.  And as for what happens to the rest of the world…  I don’t know.

I recently wrote a short story centered on the battle of Cannae which some mark as the turning of the Roman Republic towards empire.  There are reasons to doubt this, honestly. It was in the process before that.

But here’s the thing, on that day, in that one battle, Rome lost an estimated forty thousand people.

But they didn’t surrender. They lowered (and raised) the age of enlistment, they made logical changes, they stopped being naive about the Carthaginians.

Carthage is a memory, mostly remembered as having been destroyed and salted.  Rome… it’s arguable that Rome never fell, or at least that’s the feeling anyone who visits one of her former provinces gets.

Reverses, defeats, can all be temporary.

It all depends on your determination and your willingness to learn.

They say it’s always darker before dawn.

Light a million lamps and hold a flamethrower in reserve.

This is not even the beginning of the end. I’m not sure it’s the end of the beginning.

Never give up, never surrender.

Be not afraid.

183 thoughts on “It’s Always Darkest

    1. My observations have been that it is usually colder shortly after dawn.

      Admittedly, I do my utmost to be abed before dawn and remain there until well after …

      1. Sounds like Al Sleet, the Hippy-Dippy Weatherman, with all the hippy-dippy weather, man.

        “Forecast for tonight: dark. Followed by widely scattered light…”

        1. “We have some severe thunderstorms moving into the area, but oh, on the radar we see a squadron of Russian ICBM’s coming in from the north…”

          1. I’m not sure whether to be more impressed by the radar engineers or in whoever managed to get funding for that capability in a weather radar.

  1. I leave it as an exercise for the audience to make lists of the reasons not to despair.

    For one thing, it doesn’t do any good. Life is not like pounding your head against a wall, it is a wall pounding against your head. It won’t stop, it won’t get better, so you build up your endurance and tolerance of pain.

    Your only real choice is to stand by your beliefs and accept the accompanying abuse or abandon them and be abused all the same.

    Besides, despair never ticked a notification box.

  2. There are other examples, but– look at them.


    There are f. i. v. e. lights.


      A (very recent and relevant) case in point:

      President Trump:

      …The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people in the Ukraine she was dealing with were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.

      President Zelenskyy:

      I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the Parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look ino the situation, specifically the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

      President Trump:

      Well, she’s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict…

      (Italics added, and my transcription from the released photo-PDF original)

      Didn’t somebody once say, “Sometimes context is everything”..? Kinda makes that whole Schiff-show on Friday worse than beside the point, at least to me… .

      1. “Didn’t somebody once say, “Sometimes context is everything”..? Kinda makes that whole Schiff-show on Friday worse than beside the point, at least to me… .”

        Yes. Schiffty-Shitty show is more than worse than beside the point. It is treason, with Potty-Pololsi’s go ahead.

        1. Schiff’s show is not about impeaching Trump, it is about battle-space preparation for the 2020 campaign. Wednesday was DNC Convention Day 1, Theme: Trump’s foreign policy is erratic. Friday was Day 2, Theme: Trump is MEAN to women. Also to career civil servants (subtext: Democrat union members).

          Context is everything.

          1. Speaking of context:

            Pompeo Breaks With Years of Error On Israel Settlements
            Today will long be remembered as a turning point in Middle East history. Secretary of State Pompeo’s statement that Israeli settlements are not illegal per se is the most significant shift in America’s Middle East policy in the past generation.


            Mr. Pompeo’s statement is first and foremost an extraordinary gesture of support for Israel and the rights of the Jewish people on the part of President Trump and his administration. But from an American perspective, it also represents a key advance in Mr. Trump’s realist foreign policy.

            Since taking office, Mr. Trump has worked consistently to align U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond to the world as it is, rather than to the world as “experts” imagine it to be. In the Middle East, this realignment of U.S. policy has provided the nations of the region — including Israel and the Palestinians — with the first chance of reaching genuine peace they have ever had.

            [Emphasis Boldly Added]

            1. I posted that change on Facebook today, and tagged my one remaining liberal friend to explain how this change was both wrong and impeachable. He’s posted several times since – and hasn’t figured a response yet. I guess he’s waiting for the DNC talking points to be formulated and distributed.

              I think the professionals in the state department still have their panties in a wad over our embassy being moved to Jerusalem.

          2. Yes, this; and perhaps even a bit more of the same.

            So much of what we can see here is inconsistent with building a credible case for a Senate removal, and consistent with making this whole drama into what I’ve recently taken to calling Adam Schiff’s Impeachment Theater of the Air — a nicely packaged, selectively spotlighted, media-shill-friendly first cousin of the shadowy Steele Dossier itself — offered in hopes that we will Pay No Attention To Those Nasty Republicans Who Keep On Spoiling the Soup With Their Realism.

            Now imagine the Senate putting this shoe on the other foot. (“We voted for a bill of impeachment, you have to have a trial.” “OK.”)

            (And any similarity above, to Jerry Pournelle’s TSA = “security theater” or to Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater of the Air, is very much not coincidental…)

          3. I suspect President Trump is going to hit the Democrats on the campaign trail like Ender Wiggin clobbered every opposing team he ever came up against.

  3. It’s always darkest before dawn.

    Remember: We frickin’ own the night!

    So don your night vision goggles, hitch up your loin clouts, and warm those chain mail brassieres: we’re fighting for liberty, defeat means a fate worse than death.

    Only the dead have seen an end to war, so let us rain peace down upon our foes.

    1. “I have been one acquainted with the night./ I have walked out in rain, and back in rain./ I have outwalked the farthest city light…” Robert Browning, “Acquainted with the Night.” (One of my favorite poems.)

      1. I shall have to go read it! Despite a poetry class or so in High School I am woefully ignorant of matters poetical. I know a fair amount of Kipling, some Service, some Vachel Lindsey, and a couple of Frost.

        I DO have an older, non-pc-emasculated copy of the Oxford Book of English Verse.

    2. > We frickin’ own the night!

      That’s one of the actually-useful functions of most modern smartphones that most people seem to be unaware of. The CCD of the camera isn’t quite “Starlight scope” level of night vision, but it’s way better than nothing, and some brands work in high infrared as well.

      Plus, vampires, unseelie, and other pests may be able to trick you into not seeing them, but just hold your phone up in camera mode and they’ll show right up! (some of those really bizarre security cam videos on YouTube? Yeah.) For some reason they don’t decloak lizard people, but I’m sure the next generation of phones will be able to handle that.

      Bonus: for checking out things-the-go-bump-in-the-night, cheap steel jacketed Russian or Eastern European hardball is the proper ammunition to carry. Most of it is copper plated so it looks normal to American consumers; use a magnet to make sure it’s steel. Lots of things laugh at ordinary bullets, but iron at 1150 feet per second really harshes their mellow.

      1. For some reason they don’t decloak lizard people,
        Ka nama kaa lajerama” is your friend.

      2. I vaguely remember hearing about our troops in Afghanistan being forced to stop using some of their night vision gear because the jihadis could detect it using features on the latest smart phones.

        1. Some “night vision” is high infrared, and uses what are basically infrared flashlights or spotlights for illumination. With the rid CCD it’s just like daylight.

          The guys in the field want flip-down “Captain Scarlet” visors with low-light and IR HUDs. Which has been off-the-shelf commercial technology for a long time, but it’s not a high priority at the Pentagon, which prefers to spend billions on defective ships and useless aircraft.

    3. It’s always darkest at midnight, on a cloudy night with a new moon. Of course you need a power outage….

  4. I’ll leave you with one: the same people who prattle endlessly about how the demographics are going their way don’t act as if they are.

    A big part of that “demographics” is that left-wing stuff is more popular with young people than with older and the “theory” is that as the older folk die off the ideas that the younger people are so enamored with will fill the space.

    The problem with that “theory” is that younger people are less likely to have the experience to see beyond the pretty rhetoric about “fairness” and “equality” and all that to the ugly realities behind it. And, of course their “education” doesn’t help because the edutainment industry is a totally owned propaganda machine of the Left. There are, of course, some exceptions and maybe they’re rising as the Left continues to overplay its hand.

    Still that “young people’s support” is ephemeral. People grow. They get experience in the world. And the mask (maskirovka?) of peace, love, and prosperity can’t help but slip. Oh, some will cling to it because they see it as tied to their own self interest. Some will cynically continue to present it for their own selfish ends. And some will be just too stupid (willfully or otherwise) to see past the badly slipped mask. But a lot of people will see the lies for what they are, the horrors that lie behind the mask, and turn away and never look back.

    1. People grow. They get experience in the world.

      It has long seemed to me that a fundamental flaw in Socialist thought is their tendency to ignore economic and social dynamism. They talk of the “Poor” as if nobody ever leaves that category and, as you note, of “The Young” as iif they never wise up. They view economies as fixed pies and are incapable of understanding, much less promoting, economic growth.

      Admittedly, their policies have a tendency to fix their categories into place permanently, as many African-Americans have learned. But that only lasts so long and you cannot fool many of the people all of the time. We’re seeing evidence with the “Walk-Away” movement and the growing Hispanic support for Trump’s policies that the Dem propaganda is losing effectiveness. Cannot happen too soon.

      1. > They talk of the “Poor” as if nobody ever leaves that category

        There are charities, political platforms, and entire bureaucracies that deal with “the poor.” If “the poor” were to shrink in numbers, they’d lose their phoney-baloney jobs.

        “There’s a lot of money to be made in poverty!”

        It’s like the Drug Enforcement Administration. Each employee has a personal, financial interest in maintaining “the war on drugs.”

        Frankly, I’ve begun to suspect much of the law enforcement/criminal justice system is operating in a similar fashion…

        1. I’ll give the cops this much; I think that the cop-on-the-street sees the wreckage that drug use leaves behind, and that motivates them, at least in part.

          I favor legalizing just about everything, because it’s clear from the history of the War on Drugs that we aren’t actually accomplishing anything, BUT…

          I don’t believe for an instant that legalization will ‘solve’ the drug problem. I just don’t see the WOD solving it either, so it’s time to try something else.

          1. Legalizing drugs will have a similar effect on society as legal tobacco and legal alcohol use. Government “control” over the legal drug trade should consist of proper labeling practice (it is what it says it is, and only what it says it is), and quality control certification (X amount + or – whatever of active ingredient.) People will continue to abuse them, OD on them, get killed because of them, and drive or kill others while under the influence, just like they do with alcohol today. And some will combine with alcohol and other drugs to do themselves in much faster.

            The current punishments for drug dealing should only be used against those who violate the labeling and QC aspects, and the only punishments against users should be for the DUI and harm caused to others by use. And those punishments should be draconian in severity.

          2. I favor legalization because I want to make evolution a working proposition again.

            Of course, to do that, you would have to make it legal to refuse medical care, welfare, housing, and employment, and make armed self-defense universally legal and encouraged, for maximum rate gene pool chlorination.

            1. (clears throat)

              Marijuana use could double stroke risk in young adults, study suggests
              Young people who use cannabis frequently are more than twice as likely to have a stroke as non-users, according to a new study presented at American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019, which concluded Monday.

              A second new study found that those diagnosed with cannabis use disorder were found more likely to be hospitalized for arrhythmia (heart rhythm disturbances).

              In the first study, more than 43,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 24 were analyzed by researchers at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Around 14 percent of the pool reported having used cannabis in the past 30 days, according to the study, published in the AHA journal Stroke.

              Those who used cannabis at least 10 days out of the month, but did not use tobacco, were nearly two and a half times more likely to have a stroke than non-users. Those who smoked cigarettes or e-cigarettes in addition to cannabis were three times more likely to have a stroke than non-users. …

          3. Yeah-but. Just locally, at the nearby air base, the entire 314 Security Police Squadron was shut down when it came out that they were openly dealing drugs. A few miles away, in Lonoke County, most of the Sheriff’s Department was convicted of methamphetamine production and distribution.

            That’s entire organizations, not just one or two rogue cops.

            You get a certain mentality, the reaction isn’t “that’s terrible!”, it’s “where’s my cut?”

            1. I don’t know those two specific incidents, but it’s a known tactic to take over the group that is supposed to stop whatever activity you are doing.

              Tactically, it makes sense, at least if flatly removing the entire thing isn’t an option. Identify the threat, neutralize it.

              Kind of like how the guy who does the accounting is MUCH more likely to embezzle than the folks who know he’s checking them.

              1. And I just realized… it makes even more sense.

                Either it works, and your drug network gets a great distribution group, or it fails…and destroys the group you’re trying to take over.


        2. Yup. The official definition of “poverty” is the least wealthy 20%. Meaning that if I live on a cul-de-sac with four other families, and they all live in 6,000 square foot homes with a Ferarri in the driveway, while I live in a 2,000 square foot home with a Ford in the drive…I’m poor.

          Which is nonsense. I have a house! I have a car! I am NOT poor, merely less wealthy than my neighbors.

          “Poverty” needs to be redefined in fixed terms.

          Remember, Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy ALWAYS dominates.

            1. How often has THAT happened?

              Oh, it is surprisingly common in History. Newly deciphered hieroglyphs in recently discovered pyramids express concern over the obesity epidemic among their Jewish slaves, suspecting them of greedily seizing more than their fair allotment of grain from the storage vaults.

              Records discovered in Medieval Spanish abbeys reveal that the Jews were much fatter than native Spanish peasants, rousing suspicions of witchcraft and sharp dealing.

              Kremlin records dating back to the Tsars feature complaints about the Jews being so fat they could barely waddle, depriving Cossacks much needed practice cutting down fleeing enemy soldiers.

            2. That’s because the cheap food is all fattening!

              As if for food, as for poison, the dosage is what makes the problem.

            3. Misread as “how does that happen,” and triggered a serous thought, so answering that instead of what you actually said.

              It happens by redefining “fat” to include either 95% or 98.5% of all those who could possibly be obsese into the “fat” category, via abuse of a screening mechanism.

              It’s like if you used gov’t healthcare to force everyone to do a pregnancy diabetes screening, and then classified all those who failed as diabetic.

              The “glucose tolerance test” (screening test) identifies everybody who might, possibly, have gestational diabetes. 90% (depends on standards) of those who fail the initial are then cleared on the three hour.

              That’s what a screenign test is FOR.

              This kinda junk with identifying everyone who could even vaguely possibly be over optimal weight as being fat?
              This is why when they actually check health outcomes, “over weight” is the healthiest weight– while “optimal weight” and “obese” are tied.
              Severely obese and under-weight are also roughly tied for health outcomes.

              1. it doesn’t help that the ‘obese’ requirements are so ridiculous that Arnold Schwarzenegger, when he was Mr, Universe, fit the category of obese….

          1. You might be poor if you can’t afford to eat at least two fully nutritious meals a day and as much clean water as you can drink.
            You might be poor if you can’t afford to have a shelter against the elements (dry, roof over your head, temperature between 50 and 90 degrees.)
            You might be poor if you can’t afford to be fully clothed, even if it’s ripped and torn polyester plaid.
            You might be poor if you don’t have protection from violence against you by animals (multi-legged (includes arthropods and governments), 4-legged, or 2-legged.)
            Everything else is a want, and how well those are satisfied after your needs is up to you.

            1. I had a hard-core argument with some other Catholic folks about this– it makes my heart sick.

              They really couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to “help” the poor, when they are only “poor” if you are looking at it with envy– feed the hungry, cloth the naked, house the homeless, sure.

              Destroy somebody because the numbers of dollars he gets is too big, to give to people who are comfortable? WHY?

              1. I think I must have missed that portion of the Bible which asserts it is okay to force people to be “charitable.”

                1. It seems to boil down to a lack of understanding of the difference between “this is what you should do” (with a focus on inner motivations) and “this is what law should require” (with a focus on external signs)

                  To be fair, that is historically an issue that even HImself had to deal with, extensively.

      2. had a car full of millenials the otehr day taking them to a nice restaurant for dinner and the one in the front passenger side was absolutely convinced that it was impossible for someone to start at the bottom and work their way up anymore….

        1. See if you can introduce them to Adam Shepherd’s “Scratch Beginnings”, The author sought to refute the idea that most are fixed in poverty (“Five and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich”) by starting in a new town with 50 USD and seeing where he ended up in a year….in his case with an apartment, a car, and a bank accountin four figures.

    2. Part of the problem is our push for people to get out and vote; when the fact of the matter is most people don’t have the foggiest idea about who or what they’re voting for. Take me and my kids. I try to evaluate people to vote for based on what they support (by actions, not just mouth movements) that are beneficial to the people of this country in the long term. That’s what I told my kids was the ideal method for voting. Then in the next breath, I told them that I understood that they didn’t always have the time to think deeply about these things, and that they should at least vote for the person who supported their immediate needs and wants.

      Bad Michael! Bad, Bad, Bad, BAD! This is exactly what leads to the buy now and let someone else pay later mentality we see in at least half of Washington, and most states, today. It fuels the politicians to concentrate on the next election rather than long term goals and consequences. Yeah, I know. In the military they encourage leaders to at least pick a direction and go; rather than dithering around, overthinking something and showing a lack of decisiveness. (One of the reasons why officers ought to have the traditional liberal education, where they’d know how to actually think, know why they were doing/supporting something, and know enough to at least make an educated guess as to what the right direction to go is.)

      1. To paraphrase Heinlein, there may not be anyone or anything you want to vote for, there will always be someone or something you will want to vote against.

        1. …which makes things simple for me.

          I vote against the Democratic Party, whose platform as enumerated on their web site involves subversion of the Constititon of the United States and unlawfully depriving me of my civil rights.

          I vote against the Greens, which are just the crazykakes branch of the Democrats. (well, the Dems are working hard at beating them on that…)

          I tend to vote against the incumbents, unless they’ve done a notably good job, on the principle that they’ve had their turn at the trough and it’s time for them to move on.

          This generally leaves a small pool of Republicans, Libertarians, and independents. Anyone who has spoken or acted in favor of gun control, immigration, diversity, or increased taxes gets the boot.

          Generally, this leaves the majority of the ballot empty, so I use the above system to find the least-bad options. Local election regulations require that all boxes be ticked; incomplete ballots are not allowed.

          Voting “for the issues, not the candidate” is silly. They lie like rugs, and the offices they run for seldom have any authority over those issues anyway.

  5. Amen Sister Sarah!

    Oh by the way, Happy Birthday Young Lady!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      1. Compared to me, for a starter. Yesterday, exiting church, I noted to Beloved Spouse that the descriptor “young” covered a much greater block than when we were first wed. Used to be when I said “young” it covered all people shy of puberty, now it can even include grandparents.

      2. Old people. You know. *Old people.* I hope to become one someday. Rocking chair, library fullabooks, neatish kitchen, able to complain about “kids these days” and reminisce with friends about how things never was but shoulda been.

        …No, I’m not old people, I just look that way. Camoflage. Easier to hide the mischief and suchlike with actual grey hairs. “Why no, officer, this old truck won’t crack fifty, let alone a hundred and ten!”

        “Seriously folks, I have no idea where all that whip cream came from. Honest.”

        “Did all the microphones fail at the local teacher’s union meeting? My word, who could have done such a thing! And then they played the pledge of allegiance, followed by the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights all the way through? I would have though that would come later in the program. Must have been a technical malfunction!”

        “The screen at *Incumbant’s poltical function just started playing a montage of his previous campaign promises interspersed with the news of what he actually did? Goodness! Those technical malfunctions keep coming, huh?”

        Well. Maybe it helps to be Southern when you get old. You can get away with oh, heavens, many such things with a smile and a “bless your heart!” I highly recommend it.

        Not that I’m any kind of old, mind you. Nor are you. Just in case you forgot for a minute.

        We won’t speak of anniversaries of birth, though. That’d be telling. *grin*

        1. So … took notes, handed off to the mayhem maker, he who is not allowed to give boy scouts ideas by telling stories from, you know, back when … do you want credit? Otherwise “not me” and “IDK” have taken up residence here.

        2. Oh, hell, I’ve been into early-onset geezerhood for, what, twenty years now? Maybe more.

          I realized I had it while working in a Mall. There were all these nubile little airheads rippling past, and my thought was “ *sigh*, yeah, but they’d want to TALK afterwards. And they have nothing to say.”

          1. Not a fan of candles myself. Or numbers on cakes. Even roman numerals (which require bigger cakes, but still. Numbers). Much prefer just seeing old friends and family one more time of the year. Don’t get to do that enough.

        1. Shoot, I’ve got you beat by almost two years. Age and guile versus youth and enthusiasm? It takes time to develop guile!

        1. Orvan,
          “Though I’ve no idea how to make carp go prompt critical.”
          Show them an old Obama speech or a new AOC one. Even a Carp with its tiny brains will be critical of it very promptly.
          Alternately just use a huge shaped charge to compress the carp to black hole levels…

          1. I recall the 2008 campaign (I still had TV signal back then) and one night I gave in and tried (note: tried) to watch an Obama speech. It was infuriating. Sure, he spoke well and promised all sort of wonderful things… and never said HOW any of it would actually get done or even happen. I switched off in disgust, and had the impression that FAR too many people were (and are) utter and compete suckers ready ‘marks’ for the next grifter to come along. I suppose nowadays they’re believing some Schiffty character. it would fail to surprise. Damnit.

            1. Yes Obama was relatively good at reading off a teleprompter. and he was a fairly smooth liar (not that he didn’t have tells). Would have made an OK Confidence man (basically that was what he was). Not sure what AOC’s skill is.

              As for Critical Mass the shape (i.e. density) does matter a whole lot. Looks like the classic comparison is for a “Bare Sphere” (not bear sphere lets not get ursines in this mess) like here
              Given Carp are not strong neutron emitters even basic criticality will be hard to achieve let alone prompt criticality :-).

        2. First we must determine the Critical Mass of a carp, or the mass of a critical carp, or criticize a massive carp, or something along those lines…

  6. It seems to me that Rome is still alive and well, in the form of a church. It has an absolute monarch resident in The City, it has a senate whose members must all have official posts in The City, it has administrative units called dioceses, it maintains the architectural concept of a basilica, it supports patron-client relationships such as godparenthood. And its power is not trivial; the Pope is one of the few heads of state whose status and prestige can compete with those of the American president.

    1. I remember making a very similar argument in a panel discussion “Two Millennia of Roman Rule” at Chicon 2000 — that while Karol Wojtyla would have a bone to pick with me if I were to say he became Caesar when he became Pope John Paul II, much of late-Imperial Roman governance transferred directly into the structure of the Catholic Church.

      1. It makes it an interesting question what sort of “church” organization Sarah’s future people who look back to the United States in their faith might come up with. Could a religion or quasi-religion have a constitution in place of a creed? Separation of powers? Federal organization? Are there, perhaps, Protestant churches or Jewish religious bodies that have some of these?

      2. Since Gregory I and several other popes had to take over Roman city admin at various times when the Byzantine Empire was not doing its job, and since a fair amount of bureaucrats migrated over their paychecks, this could be argued. But there was usually deliberate separation between roles.

        But the Empire tried putting bishops and priests on the payroll like pagan priests and pontiffs, and that did not work.well either.

      3. That would tend to explain the endemic corruption and widespread degenerative practices of the Church.

        1. Honestly, I would tend to peg those as “human organization left to do its thing for multiple millenia without much in the way of outside accountability”

            1. Humans. It had to be humans.
              Humans can be wonderful.
              Also, infuriating.
              And just plain… screwy.

              And, yes, (I know how it sounds…) some of my best friends are human.

  7. My fear is a mIxture of full-bore leftists and “establishment ” types will decide, “reluctantly”, that “the good of the nation,” demands the removal of the President by any means necessary . Ides of March, anyone?

    1. They’ve already decided that. What we’re seeing right now is their attempts to convince a good-sized chunk of the rest of the population of that belief.

      If the power-grab is too naked, there will be a backlash. But they appear to be hoping that appearing to follow the gorms will allow them to at least give pause to those who would otherwise resist.

    2. They keep forgetting that Trump is an alley-fighter. If there is a President in our post Civil War history likely to pull a gun and shoot an assassin, it would be Trump.

        1. *blink*

          Given the absolute lack of such rumors that I’ve heard from those who would be in a place to get some of those rumors– I would find it very, very likely the rumors are true.

          He did a good job of making sure the folks risking their lives to keep him alive wanted him alive.

      1. I’m actually surprised that we haven’t heard of any attempts by a random unhinged individual to kill Trump (a la John Hinkley). I’m sure some individuals have thought about it. And the Secret Service has probably nabbed a few who posted their plans on Facebook. But I’m surprised that no one has managed to take a shot at him yet.

        1. Perhaps, the thought of President Pence has deterred the “nut-cases”. 😈

        2. Frankly, I’m shocked that there hasn’t been a serious attempt. Although the Secret Service is pretty good…and Trump’s schedule makes him a difficult target. Still, were I in his shoes I would be both armed and armored.

          1. The Secrets are pretty good, yes. But *expletive* Trump would be either an easy protectee… or the hardest. Because with his personality, he’d be just as like to draw and *fire back* as they would, rather than submit to being protected!

            1. He also doesn’t completely trust the Secret Service (with reason) so he uses his own security in addition.

            2. Yes, there have been a couple of very strange incidents in motorcades caught on video but (un)surprisingly not mentioned by the MSM. Not sure if the WH fence crashers count; never saw conclusions.

              I gather the presidential detail is now a strongly desired task, unlike for numbers 44 and 42.

              1. Gee, “funny” (That’s ‘funny’ as in “Gee, that’s funny..” rather than ‘funny: haha’) what parenthetical letter followed those… kind of like members of one party treat their security folk as people, and other treat them as menials. Not even servants in general, but menial.

          2. From ‘My Fellow Americans’, James Garner as ex-president Douglas:

            “How many times has somebody tried to assassinate an ex-president?”

            [a bunch of mumbling that adds up to “Never”]

            Douglas: “I think that’s sad. You get out of office and nobody even cares enough about you to kill you.”

          1. Back when Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild and threatened by labor activists and communists (BIRM) he is reported to have carried.

            A brief DDG search [“what kind of gun did ronald reagan carry”] to determine the type of gun he carried produced this assortment of headlines:

            Former Reagan Aide Says He Saw a Gun in the President’s …
            Jun 16, 2015Ronald Reagan’s longtime executive assistant and right-hand man, Jim Kuhn, says he remembers once seeing a handgun in the President’s briefcase.

            Brad Meltzer claims Ronald Reagan carried a handgun in The …
            Jun 14, 2015 Ronald Reagan carried a gun with him at all times and stashed it in his briefcase whilst he was away on official business.

            Biographer Confirms That Reagan Carried A Concealed Handgun …
            Jun 15, 2015 One of President Ronald Reagan’s leading biographers says that Reagan carried a concealed handgun for about 14 years following his attempted assassination at the hands of John Hinckley Jr., confirming a recent claim made by author Brad Meltzer.

            Presidents Who Carried Guns & Last President to Carry a Gun …
            Nov 15, 2016 Ronald Reagan was known to love guns as well as people. He was the last President to carry a gun in office. Reagan carried a .38 revolver in his briefcase “just in case.”

            Ronald Reagan ‘Carried His Own Gun’ While President
            Jun 15, 2015 While doing research for his newest book, The President’s Shadow, Brad Meltzer learned Ronald Reagan carried a gun with him while president.

            Ronald Reagan on Gun Control
            Reagan confided to one agent that on his first presidential trip to the Soviet Union in May 1988, he had carried a gun in his briefcase. Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by Ron Kessler, p. 87-88 , Jun 29, 2009

  8. Despair? Let the Left despair!

    Think about it. The Left has made it crystal-clear that they mean to drag Trump out of office in shackles and stuff him into a prison. Probably the rest of us, too. They have hoisted the black flag of No Quarter.

    BUT WE KNOW THIS NOW! There’s no hiding the stakes…and thus, maximum motivation to fight.

    Now, let’s consider the tactical situation. The Left engaged four years ago in a large-scale effort to use both U.S. Government and foreign intelligence capabilities to put the Trump campaign under surveillance. Probably the Cruz campaign, too. All HIGHLY illegal.

    When this didn’t work, the Left rolled it over into a Seditious Conspiracy to interfere as much as possible with the operation of the Federal Government. False accusations, obstructionist tactics, the works.

    I think that shortly (my bet is January or February), the counteroffensive gets launched. As I mentioned, Trump now understands that his life is on the line. So there will be no holding back.

    Yes, the Left will throw tantrums. Engage in political violence. That didn’t work so well for them in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it will work much worse now.

    So stop giving counsel to your fears. Hunting Season is about to open. 🙂

    1. Mark December 11th on your calendars; Christmas is coming early this year!

      Ever since the testicular transplant Lindsey’s been hunting boar with a spear.

      Lindsey Graham sets date for FISA abuse hearing with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz
      Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is set to testify about his investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses next month.

      After what appeared to be multiple delays, the announcement of the Dec. 11 hearing is a clear sign the report on FBI intelligence-gathering activities related to the 2016 presidential election is slated to be released to the public in the coming weeks.

      “I appreciate all the hard work by Mr. Horowitz and his team regarding the Carter Page FISA warrant application and the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said on Monday.

      “Mr. Horowitz will be appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 11, where he will deliver a detailed report of what he found regarding his investigation, along with recommendations as to how to make our judicial and investigative systems better,” the South Carolina Republican said. “I look forward to hearing from him. He is a good man that has served our nation well.”

      A representative for Horowitz said the inspector general has received Graham’s letter but had no further comment. …

    2. I think he’s known his life was on the line a long time back (2015, when he announced?). There were/are a lot of moving parts to be in place to be able to strike back effectively

    3. Exactly. let’s not waste time worrying about what they are going to do to us, but rather make them worry about what we could do to them.

  9. When the cardiologists recommends a low-carb diet, the AHA is losing on the ground, in the hospitals, as is the government-recommended grain-heavy diet.

    When the EU has pissed off the dutch farmers sufficient that they swarm the streets with tractors and ram open the doors of a parliament, and the “might and solidarity” tune has changed to “how can we desperately delay Brexit now?”, and the news blackout cannot stop the yellow-vest protests in France, they’re losing on the ground.

    When Trump is in office, not Hillary? They’re losing. When the traditional midterm “give congress to the opposite party from the president” swing only manages the house, and not even that well?

    With every judge appointed to the courts, with every reg struck down by “two out for one in”, they’re losing.

    Which isn’t surprising. People who are marinated in “speaking truth to power” and viewing themselves as the valiant, victorious rebellion… are not people who are good at holding</I or using power. And the wizened old crones and thoroughly corrupt bastards who move them about are so scared of competent competition that can take them out, that they neuter anything useful, and search for only one figurehead after another, leading to a power vacuum…

    This election cycle, sad and annoying as it is, proves full well there’s nothing left after the power-hungry would-be-dictators in their seventies and eighties. They don’t have a back bench or a fall-back plan. And they’re losing their grip on the sans culottes, and the tumbril is creaking ’round to their door…

    1. “the power-hungry would-be-dictators in their seventies and eighties.”

      Brings up an image or an ah ha moment … “They” never left the ’60s behind … May they head to the big fire below screaming “But it was OUR turn!!!!”


      Sarah … Happy Birthday …

      1. Well, that’s only natural, since reporting those reasons would raise the possibility that the Narrative Reality is an illusion.

    2. You know, it’s a shame that the people who say “OK boomer” don’t want to get rid of the real old fart mafia in politics represented by Clinton, Biden, Sanders, and their ilk. Or their politics that relies on the huge hierarachical organizations of the fifties as its basic model for how everything works, in flat contradiction to the economic trends of the Internet era. Instead they seem eager to perpetuate the very era they claim to despise.

    3. > pissed off the dutch farmers sufficient that they swarm the streets with tractors

      Not just the Dutch; they’re having tractor convoys in Germany now, too.

      The Dutch called out the freakin’ Army to block roads to keep one of the convoys from getting to the city. Then became laughingstocks worldwide, as the tractors simply turned off the roads, through some fields, and went around the roadblocks.

      Apparently the Army unit was all urbanites, and had no idea that tractors are off-road vehicles…

      1. Then became laughingstocks worldwide, as the tractors simply turned off the roads, through some fields, and went around the roadblocks.

        Apparently the Army unit was all urbanites, and had no idea that tractors are off-road vehicles…

        THANK YOU for relaying that. That was the biggest laugh I’ve had in some time.

        1. Recall the Russian revolution of 1917… I think it was the second one.. where the bridges were guarded. In Moscow. In quite cold weather. With sufficient cold, anyone can walk on water…

            1. Err 2000 years ago that is. Although 200 years ago it was cold enough to drag cannons across the Hudson River. Now the damn thing barely gets a skim of ice o it.

  10. To be tendering congratulatory expressions over the Sun’s having completed yet one more circumnavigation of you.

  11. *sigh*
    Hong Kong is practically under siege, the ordinary folk in Iran seem to be openly rebelling against the mullahcracy, the ordinary French citizens are going all sullen and rebellious, and Sweden is suffering from essentially gang warfare between Muslim gangs … and our own news media seems to be obsessed with impeaching Trump for … something.
    These are not just the crazy years, they are the ‘running around with scissors hair-on-fire batsh*t insane years.’

    1. My prayers go to the ones caught in those places and circumstances. Us too, for we’ve our own somewhat different troubles. And their paradise, their stability will not be our own, save they become our own of their own accord. They aren’t like us. Nonetheless I wish them well and pray for them.

      Life for the sanity challenged- and true, cold sanity is a thing few of us can hold for very long- will be harsh. I mean the ones very far gone down that twisted path. Water is wet. Fire will burn. A man is a male, a woman female, and rare is the poor soul caught betwixt. Debts must be paid. He who toils well and hard succeeds, and what he makes, he owns. To be free is to own responsibility.

      What can’t go on… won’t.

      The terrible cruelties of the Gods of the Copybook Headings will not be visited only on the guilty. Life isn’t fair.

      What matters is how me meet it, every day, and at our end. The dignity, honesty, and kindness with which we meet our days is noticed by others. We are not alone. The challenge of today will pass. The duty to meet our days well, won’t.

  12. “the same people who prattle endlessly about how the demographics are going their way don’t act as if they are”
    Possibly because they notice that the only folks in the US breeding at above-replacement levels are devout Catholics, devout Evangelicals, and Mormons.

  13. But here’s the thing, on that day, in that one battle, Rome lost an estimated forty thousand people.

    But they didn’t surrender. They lowered (and raised) the age of enlistment, they made logical changes, they stopped being naive about the Carthaginians.

    (IIRC–it’s been a long time) Fletcher Pratt in “The Battles that Made History” used Pyrrus’ campaigns against the Romans as one of the history changing battles. It was here, Pratt said, that the Romans learned how to handle genius generals on the other side. They tightened their belts, raised another army, and threw it at him again. And they kept repeating until even the greatest geniuses (which neither Pyrrus nor Hannibal were–really good, but not the greatest) will have an off day if they don’t just succumb to exhaustion and lack of logistics (which the Romans of that period excelled at).

  14. Hmmmmmmm …

    Woman who threw drink at Gaetz gets jail time
    Rep. Matt Gaetz celebrated the news on Monday that the woman who threw a sports drink at him had been sentenced to 15 days in prison for the attack.

    “Physical assault has no place in our political discourse,” Gaetz said. “I am grateful that law enforcement and our judicial system recognized this principle today.”

    During a campaign event in June, Amanda Kondrat’yev threw a red drink at the congressman from the Florida panhandle. She was there along with other protesters who shouted at him and held signs telling him to “wipe the blood off his hands” and shamed him for his “A+” rating from the NRA.

    “Constituents deserve to be safe at events hosted by our congressional office. My staff deserves to be safe,” Gaetz said in a victim impact statement submitted in court. “Their families and mine shouldn’t have to worry that while federal officials are doing their jobs, we are at risk of assault.”

    Kondrat’yev, a 35-year-old wife and mother of two, briefly ran against Gaetz as a Democratic challenger in the 2016 election, according to the Pensacola Journal. She faced up to a year in prison as a result of her conviction. [Emphasis Added]

    The federal judge who heard the case said that a lack of prison time and the attack was “limited in duration” led him to the 15 days sentence decision.

    “I remain committed to maintaining a safe environment for my constituents at future events,” Gaetz said.

    1. Realistically, you can shoot dead anyone who hurls a liquid substance at you. Seriously, there have been far too many acid attacks to just shrug your shoulders and ignore them. Should have put Kondrat’yev in for the maximum sentence of 1 year, not 15 days, which was a mere slap on the hands.

  15. Thinking of it, there’s some similarity between that and the Allies in World War 2. Hitler expected Great Britain to call off the war after France fell. The USSR essentially lost its entire army in manpower during that first year. Japan’s strategy in the Pacific was based on the idea that the US wouldn’t be able to commit to a long war particularly after the losses at Pearl Harbor.

    Yeah, about that…

    1. And let’s not leave out the whole Liberty Ship thing: “Hey, we can build these things faster than you can sink them…”

  16. They’re also infected with the false idea that Ideals matter more than Culture, a faulty assumption that stems from that damned 19th Century Pseudoscience known as Marxism.
    Yet, despite decades of unlimited power and millions of deaths, the Soviets never turned Russians into New Soviet Men, nor did the Chicoms change the Chinese.
    Romantics will wax eloquent about the Power of the Idea, but it really is mostly nonsense.

  17. They tell me its always darkest right before it goes completely pitch black. ~:D Or right before you cross the event horizon.

    Happy birthday Sarah. Your present is I found the Fleet of Worlds for you.

    The Fleet is fleeing the galaxy at 4 million miles an hour. They’re saying the black hole at the center of the Milky Way is to blame, but we know its the Outsiders.

  18. On a sad note, it looks like Chic-Fil-A is going to capitulate to the Woke SJW mob.
    The management will soon be wondering why their sales are cratering, and will likely go even more obnoxiously woke.
    Rinse, repeat, go out of business.

    1. *waggles hand*

      someone here mentioned that the reports were oddly lacking in details and, when I looked, were oddly uniform– and now CFA is saying no, their actions have nothing to do with that.

      Their actual press release, which triggered the Reuter’s report, could be boiled down to “we’re going to try to focus on local charities* and specifically fixate on three issues.”

      Which the Reuter’s report took as them abandoning LGBTQWTF issues (which they WERE NEVER FREAKING ON, they just didn’t ban folks who had badthink).

      The Christian Post (I think that name is right?) contacted them about the “dropping groups who oppose LGBTQ ‘rights’, and CFA is going “Wait, what? We didn’t say anything about banning Christians.”

      *I use this theory for *my* giving, ever since the lady who was untitled head of the local red cross ordered me, under pain of her wrath, to NEVER donate to any red cross that was more than local or that I hadn’t checked out, first. The national and international red cross really, really pissed her off, for cause.

      1. The reporting looks credible — sourced to Bisnow

        “a multi-platform digital media company that produces news and live events. Founded in 2005, Bisnow Media is owned by private equity firm Wicks Group and has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. with 75 full-time employees.”

        rather than Reuters. The report relies too heavily on anonymous sources

        “But after years of ‘taking it on the chin,’ as a Chick-fil-A executive told Bisnow, the latest round of headlines was impossible to ignore. This time, it was impeding the company’s growth.”

        to be readily evaluated, but only time will clarify that.

        “Chick-fil-A has been working on the new charitable structure since summer 2018, according to sources familiar with the process, and finally approved it in a board vote last week. But it will still take time for the plan to take effect.

        The Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $115K to the Salvation Army and $1.65M to the FCA in 2018, according to a tax form filed Friday with the IRS. A company spokesperson said the donations were the last of multiyear commitments to the two groups.

        The company still maintains the donations were made for reasons completely unrelated to the organizations’ stance on LGBT issues. The FCA donation goes toward summer youth camps at the Atlanta HBCUs Morehouse College and Spelman College, according to the tax filing. The Salvation Army donation goes toward the organization’s Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas gifts to children in need.

        The LGBT community took issue with the organizations in the past due to the FCA’s employment purity statement, which speaks out against sex outside marriage and “homosexual acts.” The Salvation Army has been accused of LGBT discrimination in the past. The organization has repeatedly denied those accusations, most recently on Monday afternoon after Chick-fil-A’s announcement.

        If growth were the sole concern the company would start being open on Sunday, so it is likely there is more here than is being reported.

        It is worth noting that Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulo is NOT part of the Cathy Family but has worked for the chain since 1977, starting when 17 as an hourly employee for a Chick-fil-A store.

        While the chain may think this is merely a way of avoiding contrversy distracting from charitable efforts it is certain it will be taken by many as proof CFA can be pushed around by the type of petite tyranny in which the Left revels. They should remember: Once you start paying the Danegeld …

        1. Scandal is a serious possibility, yes. Even if they were freaking shocked to ‘find out’ that their motivation had to do with activists they probably don’t think about at all, LOOKING like it could be is a big vulnerability.

          …of course, their enemies are also very good at gossip.

          1. Are you not amused?

            … the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
            And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire …

            GLAAD Commends Chick-fil-A for Dropping Donations to Christian Groups But Demands Franchise Change ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Brand
            On Monday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation commended Chick-fil-A for its decision to halt donations to several Christian charities but demanded the fast-food chain do more to change its “anti-LGBTQ” brand.

            GLAAD said it “greet[s] today’s announcement with cautious optimism” but warned that the Georgia-based company still has work to do to fix its tarnished image with the LGBTQ community.

            “In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents,” GLAAD director of campaigns Drew Anderson said in a statement to CNN. …

            1. That obvious burger is part of why I am not inclined to think “didn’t renew muliti-year contract to donate to charity X” means “zomga is now totally alpahbet compliant!”

  19. A reason for hope:
    I went to the dog park today because I have become restless and needed to get out of my little box. We ended up in Sunset Park and I couldn’t find a park. One of the workers who had darker skin than I do was kind enough to tell me where it was. I noticed that we could talk together without the subject of skin coming up… Hope..

    When I found the dog park, all different kinds of terriers and poodles greeted my little Chihuahua mix. I had dogs on my lap and dogs under my feet. Not a single one bit me or my dog. Plus the owners were friendly and talked to each other and me like we knew each other for years. Hope

    At the end one of the owners mentioned that she was upset about the Dem’s antics. The lot of us agreed and no one became angry. Hope.

    It was a good day. Granted I mostly talked to the seniors. Still everyone I talked to was kind. I think that is how we will survive… through kindness.

      1. She didn’t want it. The spare (and cheap) keyboard doesn’t have glowing letters.

        Also, she doesn’t see any reaction to the screen when she is messing with the unplugged keyboard, so she shoved it off the table and went for the one I was using.

        15 months old, ladies and gentlemen. They learn fast.

        1. True facts.

          I gota gaming keyboard for the kid computer– it’s still less interesting to the tinies than what Mommy is typing on.

          1. We got the kiddlywink a little toy laptop that was made in China (I’ve mentioned it before, it finally ran out of whatever it was running on, after she threw up on it once while sick and we dismantled it to clean it… and discovered the battery hollow wasn’t actually connected to anything.) and while it entertains her, she thinks the computers are more interesting.

            …Especially the back, where all the nifty cables are. I’ve blocked those areas off.

    1. I am confident that any babe of yours would post comments seven times more insightful than 90% of Progressive arguments.

      1. She’s been a cheeky thing today. I got super happy because she was giving her little baby kissies on the cheek (versus her usual ‘headbutt of love’ where she gently donks her forehead against yours), then after a few kisses on my cheek, I feel a very wet tongue.

        Yelp, turn to look and she has a mischievous look on her face, blepping at me.

        1. We’d a cat when Daughtorial Unit was young who would express affection in that same way, and Beloved Spouse and I sometimes replicate the gesture in tribute to him.

          He also appointed himself Daughtorial Unit’s guardian (when not outdoors defending house against depredations of squirrel-kind) and would accompany her toddling to ensure she had proper bracing. He even slept in crib with her, always carefully at opposite end.

          1. I miss my cat, the one that Rhys got for me (and he’s allergic to cat dander); she used to sleep with Vincent and tolerated being grabbed by the tail, only by him, pulled into his arms and carried around like a beloved teddy bear. Never scratched or bit him, just looked resigned. She loved him. She was eaten by dogs when the floodwaters of 2009 went down. ;_;

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