The Paths Ahead – It Could Be Worse


I’m continuing the four paths leading forward from where we are now.

Four is a gross oversimplification, of course, as there are probably hundreds, and each of these will partake a bit of the others.

And because the usual suspects will think I am sketching my idea of Utopia, let me point out my idea of Utopia is Pie in the Sky where Marxism is defeated without blood and the future gives freedom to every weirdo (I are one) and oddling without fear. And where the boundaries of humanity’s hope are enhanced by technology.

HOWEVER if we’re going to boog, this is the best case scenario. And frankly it’s as much “pie in the sky” as the previous one because the possibilities of it going very, very ugly are much higher.  Once you toss the dice of civil war, it could be worse. And probably will be.  (BTW all of these are scenarios in which the US survives as a nation, though perhaps in the last two only in name. The ones in which we break apart and become neighboring hostile nations are all worse. For us, and for the world.)

So, here we go.  2020, later referred to as “the year we saw clearly.”

As the lockdown extended into July in some places, and the other places were far from normal, as the obviousness mounted of shortages, and that those who had presumed to tell us what to do were not only wrong but criminally so, unrest started to happen.

The fourth of July was bad across the country, as the nation woke to what had happened in Sacramento, and there was a brief attempt to demonize “militias” which had worked so well under Clinton.  But while horrified by the events shown on TV, America as a whole had listened to the media for the last time. So the attempt had the opposite effect.  One on one, neighborhood by neighborhood, neighbors started talking, organizing. At least in the functional parts of the country, this resembled more a mutual aid society.  “Oh, your computer needs a part my dead computer might have.” and “I see little Timmy has outgrown his shoes. Well, since they still won’t let thrift stores happen and clothing stores are having supply issues, let me see if I have a pair Billy wore only for a month before his growth spurt.”

The internet is up, and the part of America that does things and learns things (the majority of it given a chance) is hitting you tube for gardening videos, shoe repair videos, canning and food preserving suggestions, and generally busy as a bee.

In the functioning part of America — everywhere but some cities, really — things are tight and bad, but not horrible.  The other parts of America receive aid from the federal government in the form of supply trucks.  Cereal and rice normally sent to the rest of the world, are distributed to American citizens.  Special diet? Well, no room, really.

Some people still doing very well even in urban enclaves. And some have formed their own mutual aid societies.  Some not so well.

As cold hits and  the personnel to man power plants isn’t always available — the authorities are still being paranoid about colds and there are union rules — even those who are self-sufficient pass some very cold nights.  Media’s dramatization of homeless freezing in the streets is shrugged off by a population that is scrambling for the next meal (having money doesn’t mean there’s food you can afford.) Strangely a lot of the homeless clean up. More than freeze or starve? Who knows. It’s not like the media covers those.  There are also some brutal crimes, some food riots, neighborhoods perceived as “rich” under siege by those who wish to redistribute.  No one knows how many. The media makes it sound like “they’re coming for you next, and you must elect socialists to save you.”  The socialist rethoric is now strident.  You’re fairly sure 2020 has lasted a lifetime. Your doctor is still only sporadically in, as your local government takes sudden panics over “infection.” And you know damn well that grandma wouldn’t have died of her cancer if she’d had some chemo. She was only in her early seventies, too, and you were counting on her for babysitting.

When the famine hit in the rest of the world, including parts of Europe, most people didn’t even notice.  They noticed the push at the border. They noticed politicians talking about the brotherhood of man and how we should open our borders and ship all our food abroad.  In a leaner — literally — and more food-anxious population this goes over like a lead balloon.

Which is probably why all hell breaks loose when the election results come in and the international socialists won.

Isn’t it weird it should start in Boston, so long a bastion of that exact ideology.  Maybe there are places that are fated.

No one really knows what happened. Yes, there are people who save to take their kids to see the monument and the liberty bell that was broken out of bounds to ring that day.  But no one really knows the rights of it. Was it really a riot over representation and vote dilution? Or was it over food? Or was it, as the media tried to say for a while, “white supremacist” guerillas?  There are learned people writing learned books about it.  It’s fascinating to the part of the population fascinated by that. Not very large, since few have the leisure, time and excess wealth to devote to such things.

This time, though, it wasn’t like Sacramento.  It was more like the powder keg we’d long been tapping dancing on went up, all of a sudden, without warning.

They don’t recommend you teach your kids about the winter of 20-21 until they’re mature enough. They leave it to you to decide what mature enough is, but for most people it’s just before franchise. Which is now 21 in most states and restricted in the way each state decided.

The left as it was before the boog — and it is a mark we are still Americans that that fossilized joke made it into teaching materials — would say the franchise was racist, sexist….  Whatever.  In most states both men and women can vote, and all colors.  Note “in most states.”  The franchise is universal, but you have to qualify, but the qualifications vary by state.  Because those decisions went back to the states. Because the insanity of treating the entire country as NYC taught people that it’s better to be local. Really local. That’s the other thing: you want to run in a state, you’d best have been born there.  And for voting…. well, we think the minimum qualifying residence is 5 years. Those jokers in Ohio were always lax. Also they wanted to attract population, despite their winters.

Most states agree that you’re an adult after you served in the army or have been married for 3 years with at least one child.  SSM?  Well, some states allow it. Cut your cloth to fit your pattern. You might have to immigrate to another state. Yes, it’s a pain now a days. But that’s the result of sending power back to the states and disempowering the out of touch feds.

Whether the fiddly bits of the person you marry are unlike yours or not, devolving to local rule means Mrs. Grundy has a say.  The Karens didn’t go away. But instead of policing you for compliance with mask policy or compliance with the latest SJW command, after the boog the Karens want you to know you should be married, faithful and living a life just like everyone else.

We never go social credit or intrusion by the state. But we find out the tyranny of our neighbors is just as strong.

Oh, the boog was brief but horrible.  Between it and increasing economic disorganization, we lost more people and wealth than we could afford.  The US is a young country. Neighborhoods are full of children. Most of the children are either homeschooled, or schooled in neighborhood-arranged schools so the parents can go to work.  Admission to college (rare) or trade school is by merit exam. No one collects data on the race of the applicants. They seem representative of the area it’s drawn from.

But college or trade school come after the army.  Mandatory for men. Voluntary for women.  Strangely no one complains women aren’t given combat posts, by and large (there are exceptions.  The beast is always hungry), probably because serving in the army has a real chance of dying.  People joke about it, nervously, as “have two and one for the war.”  Most people have more, simply because they remember the twenties and how the elderly with no support network …  well, most of them didn’t starve. But it wasn’t pretty.

People from the late 1900s would say we’ve become a militaristic society. It’s true to a point.  There are very few men who didn’t serve, and a bit of the mannerisms and attitudes translate to civilian life.

But you see, it wasn’t a choice.  We caught that nuke right after the boog, because no one was paying attention to what was going on abroad, as our media tried to shape, instead, what they wanted to happen in the US.  And then there was that EMP attack. Not as much damage as there might have been, but let’s say the winter of 21-22 also shouldn’t be talked about to young children.  So our young men go to war. Because the world is a mess. And we don’t want the — real, this time, not orchestrated — border-rush of — real, this time, not orchestrated — refugees and starving families of 22.  No one should ever have to shoot desperate people. But the US was too close to the edge, itself.  And the rest of the world…. well, if the Europeans wouldn’t involve us in their to-the-death knife fights, it would be nice. But you know that’s not how it works.  And we do need to protect trade, such as it is. And even with news being all weird and non-centralized, what happened in Frankfurt should never happen again anywhere.  We’re not the world’s police, but cannibalism, really? in the twenty first century?

China went very quiet after the nuclear exchange, but we still patrol the seas. Japan is rebuilding and has A birthrate. As we said rebuilding. Russia is a permanent threat, as they’ve been most of their history, and airplanes and guided missiles allow them to threaten the world, not just their neighbors.

Anyway, your kids will come back from service, and tell you they can’t tell you everything but you catch a look sometimes, a shadow in their eyes.

And if you lose a child…. you might never know how or where.

Those who remember civil liberties don’t like this and talk of the real danger of military dictatorship.  If we elect the wrong man — or woman — and particularly if a bio agent really hits us and it’s worse than the panic of 2020.  This is why the obsession with devolving power to the smallest unit. And giving states more say than the Feds. But people who lived through the boog as adults remember how fast things can change, and get nervous.

How free are people?  Well….  Most of the country they’re okay, at least in terms of the government.  There are pockets where we hear of odd things. But it’s so difficult to get unbiased news. (Shame what happened to those TV stations, but we sort of understand. People blamed them for the madness and destruction of 2020. They weren’t wrong.) You hear it from your neighbor who has an internet gaming friend on the other coast, and who heard it from a cousin’s friend.  It’s possible none of that is true.

Still, we know from our own neighborhoods that we’re not free-free.  You might be free in law, but Karen would like you to know they saw you smiling at the guy from the garage at the fourth of July barbecue. And don’t tell her he’s your cousin. She’d have heard.  And your kids will be laughed at in the neighborhood school, and damn it, you’d better behave. Because, well, at some point you might need the neighbors’ help.

There are no internal passports.  But few people travel. “Foreigners” has come to mean “people from another state.”  Part of it honestly was the loss of airline fleets during the whole mess. And we never really had the money to recoup.  Sure, you can travel by car. But those stories you hear, from over in the next state make you a little hesitant.  Those who do are considered wild and crazy.  And wild and crazy isn’t good.  They might tolerate you if they know you really well, in your local area. BUT, well…. traveling might not be too bright. Every place has bad elements, and if you run afoul of those, well…

The “new normal” is probably hardest of all on people who stick out. No, not skin color (though of course in some areas that makes you stick out, but if they know you, you’re fine. OTOH be pale in a predominantly dark neighborhood, and just arrived and you’ll at least be shunned till they get to know you.  Though probably not a lot worse than any stranger is shunned. And the reverse is true, also, color wise, of course.) and sexual orientation — well, we hear stories of some parts of the US, but we don’t know if they’re true — but just strangeness.  Are you one of those people who reads weird stuff? Or likes to wear clothes not befitting your age? Or just styles her hair weird? Do you let your garden get full of weeds because you were busy building a dragon sculpture? Well…. You won’t get attacked. Not most places. BUT let’s say if something happens the neighborhood will assume you did it. And if we get in straits again…. well.  So outwardly we’re a very conformist society. Probably not as bad as Japan pre 2020.  PROBABLY. Well, not most places.

Oh, the economy?  It’s doing fine. Rebuilding. See, you don’t need to live where you work, if you have a job that’s not serving the locals.  Most of those are intensely local, and most kids are trained for trades.  But if your trade is computer-based or can be done remotely, you can work anywhere, and often do.

The internet is up, and some people call it “relief valve for eccentrics.” (Or Odds as odd people call it.)  The most common reason to move across states and endure the time of suspicion and disenfranchisement is this guy/gal you met online.

World trade is a more difficult matter. And produce and such tend to be more regional, as does manufacturing of essential stuff like medicine, or clothing.  Our diet is more seasonal and not as varied, but we’ve learned. Almost everyone has stores “in case.”

The big cities recovered too. Some people will always want to live where the excitement is.  Honestly, if you’re an odd, it’s the best place to be, and lots of artists flock there, which creates its own gravity and people are less likely to ask you why those two young ladies stayed at your place last night.  Less likely but not unlikely, mind you.  Cities have neighborhoods. Neighborhoods have their own Karens.  Everyone hates the Karen, but no one does much about it.

To someone from the 20th century, our cities would look cleaner and safer (most places. If you don’t stick out.)  Homeless?  Well, you might see some vagrants, but the drug trade hasn’t really recovered (pot, sure, some places, but honestly vegetables pay off better and there’s only so much land and time to tend crops. No one much cares if you have a few plants in your garden, as long as the neighbors aren’t allergic, and you’re not visibly stone in public. Like being drunk in public, Karen will enforce her displeasure on those.) And most people in genuine need get looked after by charitable organizations. A lot of them are those who were late middle age and managed to live through the boog. (A minority.)

Your doctor, by the way, might live across the country. But the local nurse will take your vitals and confer with him or her over the net.  Most people are okay with their care. Most care is pays-in-cash. Charitable organizations help with the rest. In a few states the state will help if no one else will.  People are starting to live really long again, so we must be doing something right. Some states allow for more experimental drugs than others. There are complaints both ways.

All in all?  Well….  Libertarians complain. Marxists…. Not many of those around, or at least not vocal. For one, we’re seeing how his “planned economies” are playing out in most of the world.

Land of the Free?  Well, sure. I mean, as compared to what? It’s not like we’re locking you in for months and preventing from working at your trade. That idiocy told its own tale.  Your rights are respected in most states (the ones that don’t, well, the feds take years and years to decide to intervene, so some people pack up and leave.  It’s not as common as you’d think). Unless they’re violated by your neighbors, but you take it up with them.

We lost untold people and wealth in the boog. Our world is smaller, more restricted, both in self-expression and in expectations. It would seem miserable to people from the 20th century. But we’re doing all right. We’re rebuilding. And tech allows us to be a little richer, and have a source of escape.

Of course there ain’t much for space exploration, though there are rumors the army is doing stuff up there, at least to prevent us from being suckerpunched.  But we’re not sure, because, well, news is local and sometimes it’s just rumors. And military secrets are kept, which is justifiable in a nation at war on many fronts.

Sure, we don’t like it, but then again no one asked us.  (And honestly, most of us died in 20-21 — SAH)

But you know what? People aren’t hungry. And most people have all the freedom they need in their day to day life.  People who’ve been in the army or the few that have traveled abroad, will tell you it could be worse. A lot worse.

(And probably will be – SAH)

427 thoughts on “The Paths Ahead – It Could Be Worse

  1. But for the most part, people look forward to the future, not back towards the past. And if their gaze is wary, suspicious, they are still looking to the future. Without the blinders.

    1. Yet I was assured by someone on FB the other day that we don’t need to worry about the food supply right now.

      1. Kind of. Sort of?
        They’re not French and rioting can get you shot.
        My guess would be there’s already distress.
        Oh, yeah, I didn’t put in my post. “Africa wins again.”
        Most of you know.

      2. Well, back I the 60’s Heinlein’s throwaway line in Stranger In A Strange Land about South Africa persecuting its white minority again was satire. Now, not so much.

        1. That was a near certainty. The Left studiously ignored it because it didn’t fit Teh Narrative, just as they ignored that as bad as ‘race relations’ were under Apartheid, there were always Black Africans trying to get INTO South Africa.

          1. The relations between TRIBES has always been worse than between the White Tribe and Blacks.

          2. Yes. The S.A.s like the USAs should have picked their own damnable cotton.

            Let ’em in with a real shot at the brass ring or lock ’em out. The “Oh goody, a bunch of people born with a branded with a color-coded saddle” plan deserves to end in blood and fire.

          3. Many years ago, I heard a story about how 9some) North Koreans were doing what they could to sneak into China – and were told to look for building with a cross atop them and seek help at those places. When a church in China beats staying “home”…

        1. One of my “Laugh Out Loud” moments in Harry Turtledoves “Alien Lizards Interrupt WW2” series was when the Alien Fleetlord says (basically) “Oh that ginger is a problem? I’ll issue an order forbidding it’s use.”.

          And readers of that series know how well that order worked. 😆

            1. I don’t think he was shown as being addicted (although his top agent got addicted).

              His only shown “taste” of ginger was when the Lizards’ Australian colony got hit by a “ginger armed missile” that triggered the “mating season” of the Lizards.

              Don’t remember him deliberately using ginger after that event.

              1. ISTR him struggling with a jones for ginger in several scenes afterward. But as I said, it’s been years since I read it, so my memory could be confusing Lizard characters.

                I’d love to read it, but right now I’m just trying to make time for a re-read of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. I checked them out right before the library closed For The Duration, and they’re still sitting, waiting.

            1. Also called the “Worldwar” series.

              Here’s the first one.

          1. Because I’m a bad person the LOL line I remember the most is when one of the Lizard troops was complaining about how cold Russia was, in August.

            1. My cousin’s kid came to visit California in July and he was bundled up in layers and trying to get Mom to crank the heat on. Tropical folks are tropical!

              1. The guy from India talking about how cold it was in Connecticut in October and not even getting lows below freezing.

                Then we had two weeks with subzero or single digit lows and highs in the teens. He was talking about how it had warmed up when the highs were lower than the lows had been in October.

          2. No, he wasn’t uncontrollably addicted to it; the Dragon is correct in his recollection.

            Now, I’ve never cared particularly for Turtledove; his love affair with Socialism comes across much too strongly in his writing (except for, “The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump,” which IMHO is his finest work). But in that series, he did write a fine example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Ginger was a problem for the Lizards, true – but one of its effects was to force them into massive breeding frenzies. Thus ensuring even more Lizards for humanity to deal with.

            1. That effect wasn’t discovered until the colonization fleet got here, though. Up to then it was just an emotionally addictive drug.
              Greek boat captain, looking at the mushroom cloud over Rome: “Well, there goes the Pope. I’m no Catholic, but that’s a hell of a thing to do to him.”

            2. I liked the Spell Dump best as well. But I’ve tried to get several friends to read it, and they all bailed without finishing it. They were all Christians though, and I suspect they were profoundly uncomfortable with parts of the backstory.

              1. Hm, I’ve read it several times– it’s not bad, got enough good stuff to finish it each time I’ve tried, but the only impression that stuck was that it was pretty meh. Not exactly boring, but…almost padded? Like when they take a ten minute skit that was decently funny and turn it into a movie.

                1. It’s been a long time since I read it but my memory of it was “the story only existed for the jokes”.

                  IE He didn’t “care” if the story plot “made sense or worked” because he wrote to the story for the “jokes”.

                  1. The most blatant flaw is that the main character, who overtly believes that God and all the angels were created and are sustained by human belief, claims to be a practicing Jew.

                    1. Nah. Just depends on the Jewish chap in question and which unusual side road his branch of Judism took. There’s lots of weird corners of belief out there.

                      I’d read Household God’s and Guns off the South. They were good enough to finish but not enough to make me look for more. Great idea guy, so-so at the spell-weaving of the storyteller.

        2. I was more wondering if the shooter politely asks you to stand still so he can shoot you, apologizing for the need to do so, and if he does if they are polite and line up.

        3. The shooter a) killed a (female) Mountie and b) did not survive to be taken into custody. Funny how that works.
          But also, the report I read said he appeared to have part of a Mountie’s uniform and had altered his car to looked like a police vehicle. Very strange all around.
          I can say from personal experience that customs agents won’t even tolerate comments about guns when you enter the eastern part of the country.

          1. A lot of the spree shooters are basically suicidal, and will kill themselves the moment their fantasy gets derailed by reality.

            And police uniforms/appearance has often been a tool for murder. The Valentine’s massacre, IIRC, used two shooters dressed as cops, and two shooters dressed as civilians. The ‘cops’ pretended to be conducted an arrest, and held the victims using their sidearms. Then the ‘civilians’ shot them with long arms, I think Thompsons. Then the ‘cops’ escorted the ‘civilians’ out, guns under coats, pretending they were arresting the perps.

            It’s why automated cars, telemetry, and especially police overrides are so dangerous. Too much ease for picking the time and location of murdering one’s target. Even if the techniques are not widely distributed yet.

              1. It is very common for people to be interested in the police. But men who are interested in the police, can’t get a job with them, _and_ are up to no good, often create a fake uniform and cop car, and try to pull over women. Sometimes just for rape, but often for serial killing. That’s why women driving alone in the middle of nowhere are not supposed to pull over, unless they do it at a gas station or store.I

                This guy probably got caught by the female Mountie, and did not take it well.

                1. This fits in with my observation that a large minority of Rent-a-Cops are complete pricks. And I say that as somebody who was one for a few miserable years. The best Rent-a-Cops are almost always moonlighting real Cops, in my experience.

                  My first conscious contact with Rent-a-Cops was at my first job, at a comic book store in Cleveland. The agency in question was The Downtown Detective Agency, universally known as The Clowntown Defective Agency, even by the few decent members of its force.

                  Then there was the Campus Police prick at Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus, who used to turn the power off in the undergraduate computer room with no warning…until the night he pulled that stunt on a Professor who was working on a paper. I’m told the resulting arse-chewing was EPIC.

          2. I can say from personal experience that customs agents won’t even tolerate comments about guns when you enter the eastern part of the country.

            Border Agents, whether going North, or Coming South, are not particularly tolerant about anything. Not even when you agree with them. “Yes” and “No”, are the correct answers unless they require more.

            B: “Do you have any guns?”
            Us: “No”
            B: “Do you own any guns?”
            Us: “Yes”
            B: “Where are they?”
            Us: “At home. Hidden. In the safe.”
            B: “Why?”
            Us: “Because it isn’t legal to take guns in to Canada?” (Being sarcastic isn’t appreciated either … but got away with it.)

            FWIW it isn’t legal to take Bear Spray across the border either (either way). We were more likely to have that because we were coming from a location where there were bears, & going to where there are bears. We didn’t because so far we’ve never carried bear spray, or purchased any to carry.

            Note. Neither are the luggage people when you hand off your suitcases for scanning. The answer to “Is there anything toxic in your suitcase?” is NOT “Well I did just spend 14 days at National Jamboree and nothing has been washed yet …” although the suitcases weren’t opened …

            1. And you better be SURE that you haven’t left a hollow point round in your truck or camper. They fine ONE you are in TROUBLE. They will NOT be forgiving.

              1. That would NOT be a problem. We’re pretty careful with our clean out. Trailer is stored next to the house. Too easy to break into. That type of item is NOT left, ever, in the trailer.

                Knock on wood. We’ve never been searched. Closest we’ve come was trip back south in ’12. Then I think the US Border Agents were a bit twitchy. Small crossing right at the top of a Pass. There was a line of vehicles when we pulled up. ALL 8 of them got pulled over for further processing and searching. Us, with a pickup & trailer, all they had us do was open the canopy, she thought we’d said the dog was “back there”. Well we had, just we meant the back seat, well on floor behind driver’s seat. She popped up for her “due”. Pickup bed was empty except for the small generator. Also had me open the trailer. She walked in, but didn’t open anything. Trailer is 25′ with a slide out. Not many places to hide anything.

                Hardest part of that crossing was we had to ask for some of the other 8 vehicles to be moved. No way could we swing out of the crossing kiosk because of how they were parked. 42′, even when it bends, kind of, at 18′, doesn’t have a very good turn swing radius.

            2. “Guns” is such an awkward, imprecise term. I am not sure what they mean by the question of whether I own any. Now, if they were to ask whether I own a pistol, rifle or shotgun … I am certain they do not want an old soldier dropping trou for a recitation of, “This is my rifle, this is my gun …”

            3. Tell me about it. Family visited Niagara Falls last year (or year before? the last few months have all kinda blended together) and we crossed over into Canada. Canadian Border Patrol guy who questioned us a) had zero sense of humor and b) seemed like he really wanted to “get it on,” so to speak. He asked Dad if we were transporting more than $5k (or whatever the max legal amount is) in cash over the border. Dad laughed and said “I wish!” BB @$$hole made a move like he was gonna haul Dad through the driver’s window and stomp his head flat, but caught himself at the last second.

              Funny enough the American BP guy on the way back was super friendly even before we identified ourselves as Americans.

              1. My experience with the US and Canadian border patrol types at Niagara Falls has been that they tend to be abrupt at best. My experience with the folks at Piegan/Carway (where US-89 crosses the border and becomes Alberta 2) were quite pleasant and laid back, on the US side waving me through even though some paperwork for my rental car was missing. The airport folks were somewhere in between those two extremes.

                1. I ‘ve nearly always gone to Canada by boat. Customs have been pleasant both ways. Not as keen on making the visit since I heard that both sides can now snatch your phone and keep it if they feel like it.

                  And if course, Canada has always been keen on snatching and confiscating books when the blood takes them.

                  1. I’ve had a vehicle searched – because I’d spent a few hours in Winnipeg (picking someone up – it was cheaper to drive him back to NoDak and get on a train than to travel through Canada…) and had bought *NOTHING* (not even motorfuel). The next exit? I’d bought a bunch of stuff, mentioned the total sum, and they didn’t even care to look at the list I’d made.

        4. We already have restrictive gun laws that failed to stop this shooting. Afterwards, we’re likely to get even more restrictive laws and even more shootings.

        5. Oh, hell.

          I thought it was about that poor soldier at the memorial from several years ago, and was wondering exactly how bad my memory was that I’d screwed it up that much. (Ottawa, there.)

          1. The mass shooter dude at the Canadian college, years back, was the guy who was half Arab, half Canadian, and all jihadi Muslim, but was referred to in the news by his Quebecois name. He’s the guy who ordered all the men to leave and then killed all the women.

      1. Legal weed, my friend, legal weed.

        There’s apparently a consistent pathological mental pattern involved in a lot of the mass shootings.

        Folks with problems who smoke weed often make their problems worse.

        Unlike like last time when I talked about Canada on this, it has now been long enough that someone cooking along in that direction prior to legalization might’ve a) gotten into weed when they wouldn’t have otherwise b) had significant adverse effect from the weed.

        Unless the shooter was a kid. Kids are sometimes never stable in the first place, rather than becoming unstable over time.

        Should that be the case, it would be interesting to learn how an unstable kid had access to guns in Canada without involvement in criminal activity. It is not like the Canadian government is too decent to try to set up someone that way.

        1. The photo of the alleged shooter was a white guy, provably in his late 30s with a slightly manic smile.

        2. Guy was 51. And last I saw it was 16 18 dead.
          Yes on the uniform and the vehicle – trying to look like a cop.

          1. Okay. If that old, probably not weed.

            Paddock was plausibly anti-anxiety meds.

            Prescription medication and ‘has been slowly destabilizing for years’ both sound like much stronger possibilities than weed. Unless there is a history of psychiatric disorders. Some of those are very often comorbid with substance abuse.

            1. I had a great-uncle in Georgia who got pulled over by a fake cop. He was able to tell what happened before he died in the hospital.

              We put cops in uniforms and give them marked cars for a reason. And one of those reasons is so we can identify them when it becomes necessary. A blue flasher and a spotlight are probably $34 on eBay.

              1. Oregon it is legal to not pull over immediately. You can wait to pull over where there are others present. It is recommended if you do so, that you call 911, and tell them you are being pulled over, but you don’t feel safe doing so, and will comply when you find a safe place.

                The law explicitly says to “pull over when safe”. Most people translate safe as ability to get out of traffic. But safe can also be translated as having witnesses and location with lots of light.

                This came up when there was a spat of unmarked illegal vehicles pulling people over. Haven’t heard the advice on local media in a long time.

                Last time we got pulled over we had to find a place along Hwy 126 with room to get 42′ (Truck towing trailer) + the police vehicle off the highway, where it was safe. It took a few miles … When we finally found a place, we not only had registration, insurance, & driver’s license (well hubby’s) ready, but first words after “Hello Officer” were, “Was there enough room for you to get safely off the highway?” Got a warning. Of coarse the other words were “We’re going to have to frame the ticket. No one will believe we got one going UP the hill.”

                1. According to a friend of mine who’s a Sherrif’s Deputy Ohio prohibits LE in unmarked cars from pulling someone over. Makes it somewhat harder on the wannabe with a mag mounted light bar.

        3. The Canadians like to blame their own shootings on illegally obtained guns from America.

          They tend to overlook that Canada was once a sizeable gun producer itself; three of mine came from there.

      2. Did the shooting take place in a ‘gun free zone’?
        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

      1. And, according to a friend there, riots over whatever came to hand. Her ‘favorite’ was when they protested the quality of education by burning down the schools.

        1. If they were as bad as some of ours, burning them down just might have improved the quality of education.

          1. I’ve long been fond of Heinlein’s standard (with one small refinement):

            A school is “a log with a teacher on one end and a student on the other.”

            The refinement I would add is that the long should be positioned on a cliff’s edge with the teacher’s side over the abyss.

            1. That would require a competent student who can judge the teacher’s quality.

              Sowell observed that he could tell whether the students he would get in a class were competent by how they evaluated the teacher who taught the prerequisite. Horrible ratings meant prepared students.

            2. That’s stolen from President Garfield: “The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.”

              Hopkins was President of Williams College* for 36 years in the mid 1800s, and back in the ’80s the campus beer bar was called “The Log”, and had a mural of Col. Ephraim Williams in football gear tackling Lord Jeffrey Amherst.

              *(my alma mater, back when it was still worth something)

    1. I’m sure some dunderhead will skim this blog post and leap to the conclusion that Sarah *wants* things to turn out like this, and become very outraged.

        1. By comparison, Mr. Sullivan, by comparison. Read Life at the Bottom, by Mr. Dalrymple or Never Fall Down and ask yourself which world you’d rather live in.

          And pace Mrs. Hoyt, I’ve been stoned for being a freak. But if I had to given to comfortable Odd-hood, so that the majority of my neighbors and fellow-citizens had an SJW Gestapo-free world to raise their families, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

          And any Odd who doesn’t share that sentiment cannot be trusted with freedom anyway.

          1. Oy. That’s how I know I definitely wasn’t fully caffeinated: I’m a copy editor by trade (among several other hats) and I didn’t notice a single typo during my first read-through.

              1. Inner editor is always hard to suppress. But must be in order to get any work done. Then inner editor gets all sulky when the first pass comes along… *sigh*

                Personifying personality drives is messy stuff.

          2. >> “The typo pickers are the only ones getting on my nerves.”

            Well, if Greebo won’t do his job… 😛

            More seriously, I’ve pointed out typos when they severely changed the meaning of what I thought you meant to say. Should I stop that?

            1. I am at the point where I notice typos only when it is pretty obvious that Sarah probably didn’t mean to say that – but the post is even better leaving it there.

      1. As we all know, fascists are well-known for leaving people alone. /sarc

        1. They lie about what they want to do and why they want to do it, so they assume everyone else does.

          One of the saddest things with “educated” leftists is their inability to imagine people who see the world differently than they do. They think the typical Muslim sees the way the typical western leftist does, for f**** sake.

          1. They have tiny minds. It’s one of their major motivations; they know at some level that they are useless drones, and they hate the world for that reason.

          2. From preschool to postdoc, where would they be exposed to anyone who saw the world differently?

  2. Karen is a fairly broad term that I first encountered in countless Reddit stories on YouTube.
    A classic Karen is early to late middle age, usually has pageboy blond hair, was once a cheerleader mean girl but has not aged well though she desperately tries to project a youthful image, always feels she is better than everyone else and demands service from those beneath her. A thoroughly entitled, opinionated, and obnoxious creature.
    Personally I think the only thing that saves such types from severe harm or death is that in our current society most people tend to be unfailingly polite and more than willing to bend over backwards to reward the squeaky wheel.
    Once the balloon goes up and it does become a struggle for your own survival and that of your friends and family I predict that the supply of Karens will suddenly become very thin on the ground.
    In a real and sustained crisis most will no longer have the patience to tolerate the chronic whiners, complainers, and leeches demanding that you serve them, share whatever it is that you have and they want, or take critical issue with some action of yours that is truly none of their damn business.
    I’m thinking they will either dealt with summarily or invited to join you in a short walk in the woods where you return alone.
    Solzhenitsyn was right.

    1. At the very least, the name of “Karen” will vanish from the “Names for Your Baby” books, and those adult females who have that name will say their name is “Kay”, or “Kathy” or something not so unpopular,

      1. Already happening. Karen was a rather popular girls name some decades back. I’ve seen quite a few Kay, Katy, and going by the middle name in dealing with the public.

    2. I’m kind of in agreement: I think people are getting fed up enough to the point where they’re making Little Lists (like Ko-Ko from The Mikado), and the Karens are going on those lists, they’re going on those lists, and when the Boog starts, they’ll none of them be missed, they’ll none. Of. Them. Be. Missed.

      1. One thing being under house arrest allows is sharpening things: hatchets, chisels, plane blades, knives, lists.

        1. Dry Fire practice is the firearm equivalent of sharpening.

          (Presumes your particular firearm is designed for it. Some are not.)

          1. They make special “cartridges” with a spring behind the chunk of metal imitating a primer for those firearms. Expensive, but reusable forever.

          2. Dry firing has a tendency to smooth out actions, not sharpen them, but I, ahem, take your point.

      2. I always think more of the Out Of Towners when I hear of a ‘list’.
        The original, with Lemmon.

    3. I haven’t seen too many Karens; maybe a few when I was in retail, though I suppose the typical Karen is unlikely to pick on a 6’2” male with white in his beard. I will say that I get routinely WONDERFUL service by being an anti-Karen. Ask to speak to the Manager to compliment them on their staff, and you get REMEMBERED!

      1. Indeed… I’m another weirdo who does just that. In one case was gratified to see that the extra-fine employee shortly got a promotion.

    4. One of the tellers at my local bank engaged in a display of Karenism today, calling Americans who want an end to the lockdowns “insane” when talking with one of the other bank customers.

      1. When I started to tell the ladies at the mail drop about Whitless, the first reaction from one was “well, we have to stay safe.” I didn’t want to tackle that directly, so I started on some of her Tyrannicalness’s more outrageous outrages.

        The bit where it’s OK to use a rowboat in a lake, but a $1000 fine if you have the nerve to put an engine on the boat was the kicker. (That and the gardening ban; people are getting nervous about food and are either planting or planning gardens. We have a few weeks to get ready–Zone 1, sigh.)

      2. And if things destabilize in more ways (services..) I can see a few “Monsters of Maple Street” events happening – even with the cause of instability known.

    5. We’ve had such a Karen in our life for a while. Her MO was a) make friends with new people to town. b) do small favors. c) expect huuuuuuge favors in return. That was ordinary sleazy behavior, but what brought out the Karen was (among other incidents) where she saw that somebody a mile or so away from her installed a mobile home without the skirting. She called $SPOUSE and demanded that we(!) complain to the county about the not-a-code-violation because reasons. Naturally, she was upset when told that if she had a problem with it, she could call the county. (I suspect she was already on The List.)

      I can’t remember the last straw (too many to reflect upon), but when we talked to our minister about Karen, he told us that 1) we were probably the 8th party to complain about her and 2) people in town were shocked that we didn’t part ways sooner. OTOH, $SPOUSE is fairly patient; she puts up with me. 🙂

      We actually heard from her a few weeks ago. Looks like the meds must be working…

    6. I agree.

      Karens tend to work by abusing borrowed authority, too– as they say in the Navy, “you will refer to me by my husband’s rank.”

      That use to be balanced by the way that having a wife that would do that made you lose authority….which is why the stories of “I am the manager. And I say you are to never enter this facility again.” type Karen stories are so popular.

      1. I actually remember an anti-Karen/Mrs. Colonel story … told to me in my first enlistment. She was the wife of a colonel … who actually supported/ornamented all the communities that her husband afflicted. She volunteered everywhere – at the post office, helping to pitch packages in the holiday season. She coached the base HS football team. Came to the broadcast det and managed a camera for the evening news broadcast. (This I can believe, because the broadcast det in my first assignment did recruit volunteers for this) She was there for every hard, dirty job going. The story that I heard from the older NCOS that I heard it from – was that her hubby was a waste of flesh and commission – they should have given it to her. She was the only reason that he got anywhere at all.

        1. Shame about her taste in men, but good on her!

          I can think of two anti-Karens– one of whom functioned as an anti karen bomb, even– but they had better taste in men.

          I would honestly feel sorry for Karens, except for one thing– I notice they never act when they can be opposed, to their knowledge. I’ve managed to surprise a couple because of that, and I’ve seen some be surprised, but they don’t do it because they believe it is RIGHT. They do it because they CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. That’s cowardly. That they don’t give a crud about who they hurt along the way just makes it worse.

      2. Ugh. When we first moved here for the sake of attempting to connect with social groups I would go to the organized kids’ get togethers and BBQs put together by the local Defence Community orgs, and would spend a lot of my time sitting on a bench overhearing the stereotypical Military Wife sorts rag on other wives that weren’t present there. I hadn’t heard them talk much about their husbands’ ranks; they’d rag on the not-present wife’s husband’s rank, and put down the wife as if she were appropriating the rank. Listening to them though, I realized these were the wives of the subordinates.

        I wondered how many workplaces they subtly poisoned that way.

    7. You’d be right there; though there will always be the sorts that will take advantage of situations to get in little scraps of power for themselves, influence, some kind of ‘extra’, that will soothe their egos and entitlement. The Karens of today are the way they are because modern culture allows them to be thus as you’ve noted (squeaky wheels); smarter Karens are poisonous, and hide their stings in other cultures, more akin to the really awful manipulative narcissists (which, really, Karens are.)

      Karens – male and female – adapt, and by all that’s holy an effeminate Karen male is really toxic in any group. I suspect that in time a short walk in the woods will be the more common result for a while.

    8. Yes. But the social rules enforcers (mostly, but not all) women won’t go away. You’re right that the Karen meme is too particular for this story, but it captures the feel Mrs. Hoyt is going for. If you wanna violate those rules: screw your neighbors wife. His kid. Their goat. All those watching eyes are death on wheels.

      But his wife is really a lonely widow, and you’d probably propose to her. Probably. Or his daughter is a precocious 16, not 6… And ditto. And that Nanny goa— Oh, never mind. The busibodies are so out of line.

      And if you’re just an oddball on wheels, you can get the same treatment. I expect it feels like being suffocated.

  3. Once you toss the dye of civil war

    What color? 😀
    Although it probably winds up mixed with a lot of red.

    as the nation woke to what had happened in Sacrament

    Methinks you need to buy a vowel there, like an ‘o’.
    Or you could call it Sacra-de-mento.
    “They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys, and they made a very satisfying THUMP when they hit the floor!”

      1. Still drinking Death Wish coffee, or has the supply chain let you down?
        One mug of that stuff ought to be more than enough given your natural tendencies.

      2. Clearly you aren’t making your coffee properly. I recommend submarine coffee: Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 or 6 hours before drinking.

        1. Congrats. Just thinking about that turned me into a Devon Rex (cat with curly fur) with heart palpitations. Ye gads!

              1. Ahhhh, one of these days I am going to find a Turkish coffee set in the thrift store.

        2. Could have used some this morning. Needed to get up way too early for the weekly shopping trip. I surprised the ladies at the mail drop with news of Governor Whitless’s arbitrary and insane lockdown orders. They haven’t been very politically minded, but in this era, politics is interested in you. (As they are learning.)

          Note to self; the peanut bars melt. Leave them out of the lunch-alternative packing list.

        3. Unfortunately, they banned 100 Watt bulbs, so you can’t properly check it’s readiness.

          1. Back Before CCPVirus, I recall that the administration negated the incandescent bulb ban. Not sure it will take outside of specialty applications, but it was a good thing to do.

            I use such bulbs for a couple of warming applications; they’re also very popular in pumphouses in winter. (I use propane because reasons.)

            1. Rather fruitless, though. The plants for both bulbs and fixtures had been long shut down by then.

              One of the many house renovations that I crossed off of my list a couple of years ago was redoing every fixture to take 100 Watt bulbs. Anyone want seven fixtures and five of my six cases of bulbs? I must retain one case – the two fixtures I got around to were the light bars in the bathrooms; six hundred watts of radiant heat is plenty in those small spaces during our mild winters.

              I will still be replacing a couple of fixtures that aren’t playing nice with 100 Watt equivalent LEDs. Summer is coming once again.

          2. We can buy them here now, though not all stores carry incandescents.

            Too many expensive CFLs died smoky death, too many expensive LEDs tried their best to imitate them. Perhaps we just had ridiculously bad luck, but going back to incandescents saved us a bunch of money and we don’t worry about the house catching fire any more.

            1. CFLs hate a lot of conditions, especially vibration, noisy electric supplies, and they’re not very fond of cold temperatures. The early “60W equivalent” LED bulbs from Home Depot crapped out within a couple of years, but the others are doing fine, especially the ones we got from Costco.

              My desk lamp is a plastic-vented “bulb” from Cree. It’s been doing yeoman’s service for a few years now. The CFL and earlier heat-sink LED bulbs were too heavy for the fixture.

              I got a few packs of 75W bulbs for the shop warming box (when the shop stays at 38F in the winter until I start a fire, it’s nice to have glue and varnish actually able to flow). The Phillips halogen bulbs were my preferred choice before I got the 75W bulbs.

    1. I read saw it a decided that the dye of the Civil War was a blood red that fades to brown.

  4. “It could be worse” — So cheery a thought to begin the week!

    My Slavic DNA shares your theme, with the additional proviso, “And it probably will be.”.

    1. No Slavic DNA here but my response to “Smile Things Could Be Worse” is “I Smiled And Things Got Worse”. 😆

      1. *snort* I used that gag in one of my frontier novels – some wagon train pioneers working their way up a rocky mountain river, with great difficulty, and one of them (an Irishman) tells that as a joke, “Paddy, says the landlord, cheer up, things could be worse – so I did, indeed – and sure enough, they got worse!”

        1. Guy that I worked with the oncet would have loved that. “They take suggestions? Excellent! If I can suggest *this* person for ill fortune today and *that* one for tomorrow, I’ll have no end of work!”

          To be fair, mechanic work was slow at the time. But dude was an odd one, no doubt.

    2. “They said, ‘Smile! Things could be worse!’ So I smiled, and sure enough they got worse.”

  5. If you want a glimpse into a Karen-moderated future look at Nextdoor. Similar geographically-centered social media would be a major route of conformity expectation setting and correcting.

    1. I’m on Nexztdoor. It’s proving a fruitful source of Karen lists since it shows your neighborhood even if not your address.

      1. As with much of social media, it is best used like the undersea taps SEAL teams used to emplace into soviet comm cables – i.e. receive only.

        1. Not sure where I saw it, but got the best reason to avoid social media in general and Twitter in particular.


          Stephen King: No, the Coronavirus isn’t the Stand virus. It’s not that fatal, and if you take precautions, ypu’ll be OK.

          Random Loser: WTF? Did you even read the book?

    2. Here’s some hope for our hostess. The local stazi radio show did an about face today. Before it was “we can’t go out until a vaccine has been made.” Today he was condemning people who said so, and as long we are careful businesses should open up, and gaslighting that he ever said such things. “I was this way from the start!” Liar!

      1. Credibility is a funny thing, isn’t it?

        Had he said, “We’ve been doing our best to keep up with the latest news on this, ad they seem to have concluded it is now safe — so long as people are extremely careful, observe social distance, and thoroughly wash your hands — for businesses to start opening up again. Isn’t that great news, folks?” he’d have managed to make the same reverse turn and enhanced his credibility.

        Instead he opted to demonstrate that he’s a two-faced scoundrel willing to spew whatever platitudes the party commands.

    3. I signed up for Nextdoor specifically to research Karens, and was fairly grateful to learn that, aside from statewide announcements front Cuomo and a bare handful of “for sale” postings stretched over months, no one seems to use it at all.

      Then, Herkimer County was remarkably late to organize on the internet at all…

  6. “what had happened in Sacramento”


    *grumps about how the whole state blames her hometown when it’s the people THEY sent there that do the damage*

    1. It’s like the rest of us picking on NYC when it is the elites and the idiots in Albany who really deserve the credit. The normal, working people I’ve met from NYC were decent sorts, other than being a little big-city provincial in some ways.

        1. So, they should be hung only with low quality rope?

          I mean, I’m not using any of my quality hemp on them, not the stuff worn nice and soft. Maybe some of that nylon I use for classes and just practicing while watching TV, but still…I mean, it was like $20 for 100 feet.

          1. In one Poul Anderson story, one of his characters was quoted as saying (roughly) “Hang Them, Ropes Are Reusable. Bullets aren’t.”. 😈

                1. I’m a sadist about such matters. Execution is too good for them. I would prefer to see them thrown out of office and thereafter ignored. They would HATE that. And it could go on, and on, and on….

                  1. No. If they are narcissists (and most are) they need to be treated as rabid dogs and for the same reasons.

                  2. Throw them out of office and apply Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to them.
                    If female, shave their heads, copying the treatment National Socialist collaborators received in France after WWII. (Tar and feathers is so 19th century…)

          2. Nah, use the “tow rope” sold at auto parts and hardware stores. Cheap stout rope with hooks conveniently attached to the ends. You don’t even have to tie a knot to use one.

      1. NY’ers are the most provincial people you will ever meet. It surprised me when I first had it brought to my attention. A friend of mine married a girl from Kansas. She told us that he was the first NY’er she had ever actually gotten to know despite her living in NY for years. They worked for Grumman. My wife, who wasn’t yet, pointed out that all the rest of us had known one another since kindergarten, more or less. We’ve moved away now and as our parents go the old neighborhood ties go too, but it is a real thing.

        1. On the East Coast a trip of 60 miles is a once a year thing for something VERY specific, you HAVE to have a REASON to travel that far.
          I can put 60 miles shopping after work in San Antonino.

          1. Back in the 90s I met a guy who had come west to meet his online sweetheart, a friend of my girlfriend in Tacoma. He was 40 years old and that was literally the first time he had ever left the Bronx.

            Literally. He’d never even been to Manhattan.

        2. My husband is from NYC. I am from suburban Atlanta. When we c were c engaged, his cousin asked me if we had running water and indoor toilets.

          This was in 1992.

          1. In 2001, I was living in Montgomery AL. My wife is from Brooklyn, and is Jewish. She was actually warned that the Klan would be waiting for her at the airport.

          2. When I went to college in Massachusetts in the ’80s, I had people ask if we lived in igloos in Alaska. Some twit from Long Island asked a classmate from Portland, Oregon if they had troubles with Indians out there.

            If only there were an emoji for that Jordan Peterson “so what you’re saying is” disbelief face…

            1. There were Indians living in Inwood Hill Park in ‘Manhattan in the caves as they always had into the 1930s.

            2. Older son had an interview at NYU medschool, and having realized they thought all Coloradans walked around dressed like cowboys, lived in ranches and rode horses to school, he immediately put on the role.
              It lasted the whole day after the interview. His speech became suffused with weird expressions like “Well, shoe mah horse with butter.”
              It’s probably better for his moral fiber that he didn’t go there.

              1. I remember being asked by some upstaters, was I in a gang, had I ever been mugged, what was it like to live in an apartment? I answered no, no, and don’t know because we lived in a house, with a yard and a garden, and a dog. Now, they weren’t very big, even the dog, but it was a house.

                Europeans were always asking me about the crime thing but the only time I’ve been actively afraid in a city was when three “youths” accosted me in Paris.

                That said, I remember a small town friend of mine listening as we talked about all the crazies in NYC. She said, “we have crazies too but we’re alone with them.” We were all quiet for a while.

              2. It is family lore that my father, attending summer camp in upstate NY (this would have been in the early 1930’s) found it far easier to play to their stereotypes about West Virginians than to correct their misapprehensions. One gains little in this life from persuading most people their understandings are missed — which is why people who positively ENJOY such discovery are to be treasured.

                I have long remembered an appearance on the Carson Show by Tony Randall in which Carson dropped a fact hitherto unknown to Randall — and Tony’s performance of delight at this new knowledge was utterly charming. He was like Daffy Duck discovering hidden treasure.

                It may even have been genuine.

          3. * Look of Grave Concern *

            “We don’t need to catch running water. We pipe it in, all civilized. Do you need to go catch it as it runs from you?”

      1. A business suited fellow, tie askew and looking frazzled, appeared through the blowing smoke and stomped through debris up to a cluster of troops in full battle-rattle looking up at a very tall crane parked on the capital lawn.
        “Give me those damn binoculars. Is that the Governor up there?”
        “Yes sir – he’s alive – they put him in some sort of harness.”
        “Dammit get him down!”
        “We’re working on it, sir. They slagged the crane drive with something like homemade thermite, the crane hydraulics are full of some sort of epoxy, and the rest of it is pretty much melted too. SacFD doesn’t have anything tall enough to reach, and the crane itself is coated in grease so we can’t climb it. We’re getting another 350 ft crane to lift a basket up there, but the roadblocks they left are taking time to clear so it can get through.”
        “At least his hair still looks good.”
        “What? Who said that?”

        1. “ homemade thermite..”

          As if homemade thermite is at all difficult. No, haven’t done it, but ox figured how to get the needed items without triggering any alarums DECADES ago.

      2. Fortunately, it’s only Sacramento. California is enough of a parasite that if it implodes its neighbors are better off. And there are much better regions to grow our fruits and nuts in.


  7. A little optimism for our hostess:

    California authorities tried to stop skateboarders by dumping literally tons of sand into at least two area skateparks in an effort to enforce so-called “social distancing.” However, the effort was for naught, it seems.

    Young residents in California responded to the government’s extreme social distancing enforcement action by grabbing a few shovels, buckets, and booms and turning at least one sand-filled skatepark into a park for both skating and dirt biking.

    Three points. First, it was in California. If it can happen there it will happen everywhere. Two, it was young people who had been indoctrinated by California public schools. Guess it didn’t take. Third, not only did they restore usage of the park, but too the government’s dirt and improved on the park by adding another usage. That is very American, the “not only can you not stop me from doing X, but I’ll use your efforts to be able to do X and Y.”

    There is hope.

      1. Wow. All those people grabbing buckets and shovels and cleaning up. Not because anybody in charge told them to, but because they saw a problem and decided it was time to fix it).

        (Here at home, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon cleaning the house. Ended up overheating the motor on the vacuum cleaner because I didn’t notice the dirt cup had filled up and then some, so I had to stop and completely clean the whole machine. Then moved to cleaning the bathroom, got some decent headway on the tub before I had to stop because the fumes were getting to me, even with the exhaust fan going full-tilt. Taking a break from that, but I’m planning on some more abstract cleanup this evening, particularly getting the checkbook caught up and a bunch of paperwork sorted. Maybe even a book review or two written up so the books can go back to the library when it reopens. At least now my nose is clearing up after it clogged from all the dust i was stirring up)

        1. OK, be very careful with household cleaners – many years ago my younger brother over-enthusiastically mixed cleaners and (we figured later) re-invented one of the basic war gasses from WWI while cleaning the tub.

          1. When Eldest Brother was getting married, Mom mixed bleach and ammonia. Not a good combination, though it cleaned really well. I think ventilation and open windows were in effect.

            1. How did she survive? It releases Chlorine. it does produce hydrochloric acid. But can produce Hydrazine which is very hazardous. It is a rocket fuel.

              1. I can’t recall the details; it was over 50 years ago, but most likely windows were wide open (it was October or so). I’d have to guess it was really small quantities, and that the bleach might have come from an old bottle, so less chlorine in the mix.

          2. Don’t worry, I wasn’t mixing cleaners (somewhere in my files I have a sketch of a story in which the protagonist is kidnapped and engineers her escape by convincing her captors to let her do the cooking and cleaning around their hideout — and pours a little bleach in the bottoms of their chamber pots). I was just using a lot of Lysol disinfectant spray, because the soap scum had gotten really thick.

            1. Thought I was going to kill myself when I used methylene chloride to remove paint on a plywood wall in a 1950s tract house. Mercifully I got a window open before I fainted in the room. IIRC, the stuff metabolizes as carbon monoxide.

          3. THIS.

            Pretty much everybody knows about ammonia and bleach, but baking soda can function as both an acid and a base (can’t remember the word for it) so it’s REALLY exciting to mix with other stuff.

            1. Is there a comprehensive “Ways to Kill Yourself with Household Chemicals for Dummies” out there? The more you people talk about this stuff the more I feel the need to brush up and make sure I haven’t missed anything.

              1. As far as I know, “Don’t mix anything with stuff that has chlorine” is is 90% of it, and “remember that you’re using this to dissolve stuff, you are made of stuff, too” is the rest.

    1. I was seriouly informed today that if I wanted elastic to make a mask, if I slit open a bungee cord I would find plenty of quarter-inch elastic. Adapt, improvise and overcome at the Dollar Tree.

      1. Somebody told me about that while we were waiting to get into Jo-Ann. The other trick is to get wide (waistband or similar) elastic and slice strips off. We went with ties; I used the first one today, and it worked OK. (Warm, though. Not sure what I’ll use in summer if this is still going on–for real.)

        1. Try to get twill tape or not – satin ribbon (grosgrain) . If you can afford it; the shop wanted 1.25 a yard for twill tape. I bought some there likely looking ribbon stuff for 50 cents a yard.

          1. After a disasterous attempt with 1/4″ wide tie (from a 1″ piece), my wife started at 2″ and ended with 1/2″ wide ties. Works fine.

            Jo-Ann is now kind of a pain to get to; only open in the afternoons, and I’ve been doing the rest of the shopping in the morning.

          2. My daughter found thin paracord at the Dollar Tree – cut off a 20-inch length, burn the ends to keep from fraying, thread through the sides of the mast, and knot the ends. Works out better than elastic, and it’s easier on the ears.

    2. Thank God for those kids. Freedom isn’t dead as long as people like that exist.

      I was terrified yesterday seeing the doxxing and the uniformity of hatred directed against the lockdown protestors. I was searching in vain for anyone who reacted to these events like human beings, much less Americans. Calling for their arrest and death? No sympathy, no understanding, just bloodthirsty mania and hatred. If those were our only countrymen, our future would be to bleed out in some godforsaken battlefield . But if there are more like these kids who haven’t had their spirits crushed, then there is hope.

      1. I often ponder whether all the repetitive massive widespread vitriol is an attempt to politically cleanse social media, so the echo chamber is blissfully free of any thought other than the approved.

        One-sided politically motivated suppression of speech by banning and the “fact-checking” of thoughts on the culpability of the Wuhan virus lab being assigned to an employee of the Wuhan virus lab do not dissuade these ponderings.

      2. I wonder how many of the hate posters are real people vs bots. Rush Limbaugh had that done against him, and the results were *interesting*–thousands of bots, maybe a dozen people,

      3. Facebook has openly stated that it is working with state governments to remove pages that organize protests against government restrictions; i.e. they are now acting as a state actor in restricting people’s speech and therefore actively violating the civil rights and constitutional rights of people in a way that is criminally and civilly actionable. Additionally, the people at Facebook and government officials involved are committing criminal and civil conspiracy to deprive people of their civil and constitutional rights.
        Federal DOJ and prosecutors need to take immediate action against these tyrants.

        1. I believe deprivation of rights under color of law, and conspiracy to do so, are federal capital crimes.

            1. As I understand it, and I’m NOT a lawyer, the death penalty comes into potential play if anybody loses their life as a result of the deprivation of rights.

      4. I know that all of a sudden, about yesterday my feed EXPLODED with mostly the same, lame, anti-not-sheltering-in-place memes.
        Rather nasty, threatening ones, at that.

        1. I’m not saying it’s bots.

          But it’s bots. (or a swarm attack, but most likely bots.)

            1. Actually, I would think that argues FOR the sources being above-room-temperature products of our marvelous government educational institutions…

              Bots would have to be generated by somebody competent enough to at least make the programs work.
              Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

              1. Nah, keyword response would fit these better.

                Which, while it would be similar to someone who doesn’t believe a thing just reacting, doesn’t quite change the different “feel” of those who don’t seem to read your response and push a canned response from those who don’t really read your response and throw something they think will hurt that requires context clues.

                1. In the early 1990s I realized a good portion of what I was reading couldn’t pass the Turing test. And that was long before txtspk and goodfeelz spelin.

                2. My feed also exploded, two days ago, with outright (and stupid) insults and the incoherent ramblings of the left. Incapable of taking in new information and generally wandering around in circles.
                  Then I found out Patrick Nielsen Hayden had pointed them at me by saying I was a virus denier (I have never denied there is a virus) borderline fashi (because you know, fascists are for minimum government and not taking people’s rights like the right to make a living) and (though this was bizarre and I had to struggle to figure out what he was talking about) that books were not essential.
                  You see, PNH, sooper genius, applying his powerful intellect to why someone would not want the entire country to be locked in, food not produced, essentials not made, and really would be opposed to seeing friends and relations in financial straits she could not mitigate, was that I wanted the economy open so my books would sell. Apparently having missed the point books are selling QUITE briskly on Amazon through all this. (Rolls eyes.)
                  Look, I understand why you’d think these people are robots, but robots would be brighter. They’re just toddlers screaming and painting the walls with the poo of their unfounded — and lunatic — assumptions. They could be replaced to advantage by a very small script.

                    1. Last I heard, he was responsible (if that word is really appropriate) for the Tor science fiction Wokespeak Grey Goo imprint.

                      I suppose he might be freaking out over the fact that dead-tree books are hard to sell at the closed bookstores, and that there’s no lamentation and weeping over such here or at MGC.

          1. It’s not bots. It’s doubleplusgood duckspeakers propagating the produce of the meme factories (The Other 99%, Occupy Democrats, etc. etc. et ad nauseam cetera), because repeating the packaged opinions of others is so much easier than coming to your own opinion on things the hard way, by thinking.

            I haven’t decided if the meme factories actually coordinate or are jointly owned (perhaps by someone whose name rhymes with Borge Noros), but as others have noted here, you don’t need a conspiracy if you have a consensus.

    3. Had a good long laugh at that one. They tried to stop skateboarders from doing their thing? You know, the ones that drop off of buildings (based on the height of the halfpipe) and do dangerous stunts *for fun* with… sand?

      Also. Skateboarders. Are you sure you know who y’all are talking about? They aren’t the best at… following rules, y’know. Best way to make a fool of yourself and *prove* to everybody how powerless you are is give an order you *know* won’t be obeyed.

  8. “Which is probably why all hell breaks loose when the election results come in and the international socialists won.”

    If the election goes that way, yes, the rest of this is pretty likely to happen. But that’s a big if. 2016 nearly went against us, but Trump is a much stronger candidate in 2020, being a successful incumbent, and Biden is a weaker candidate than Hillary was. (The man’s going senile, for heaven’s sake!)

    What I expect to happen is: GOP governors drop the lockdowns in the next few weeks as Wuhan virus cases taper off everywhere but NYC. Dem governors leave their lockdowns in place all the way into June. This difference has no effect on infection rates, but places without lockdowns have a short recession and recover by fall, while places with lockdowns are devastated. Since the results will manifestly track the partisan affiliation of the officials in charge, several Dem governors are unseated in the elections, the House returns to GOP control, and Trump gets a second term.

    That is, I consider “Pie in the Sky” more likely than this, and something close to it the most likely result.

    1. NY is beginning mass serology testing. They’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to keep the place locked down for a disease with a IFR potentially lower than seasonal influenza.

      Another factor is money. May 2020 Oil futures are at$0.31 per barrel. 31 cents. Per barrel, There’s no more storage and it might have gone negative before I hit submit. That’s bad for Texas and North Dakota but absolutely catastrophic for NYC and Chicago since that’s where the trading houses are. Rich people are losing money now and theres crazy talk about municipal workers and media people losing jobs. It’s fine for the dirt people in fly over country but this is starting to get real.

      Stock prices in oil companies as it happens haven’t really moved much at all. it’s an odd world, commodities

      My only worry is how many governors seem to be in a bunker. They’ve proved to be totally inadequate to their responsibilities. they might have to be dug out.

      1. Overtaken by events. It’s -$35 now. minus thirty five. It’s a technical future thing and it’ll probably be back to $20 tomorrow but someone,probably someone big, got wiped out. our previous Goldman Governor’s firm went belly up on a bad commodity bet using his customer’s money. used to be you went to jail for that, now…nah. Rules for me and rules for thee. That’s why they’re so desperate. A fair few of them face prison should they lose control of the narrative.

        I doubt anyone here cares about the ins and outs of the financial markets, but this is genuinely spectacular and one of the reasons I think it’ll be made to stop.

        1. Oh, wow.

          You say financial stresses.

          My mind is going a) automated trading, and quality of programming as engineering discipline b) Design of the trading systems as electrical engineering.

          It’s probably my gross ignorance talking, but to me that sounds like either a defect in the rules negotiated for the trading systems, or in the implementation of the rules in the trading system, or in the trading software used by customers with the trading system. IE, a defect exposed by unusual circumstances, ‘maybe there are more defects’ rather than ‘look how unusual the circumstances are’.

          1. it’s not a program trading thing or algorithm gone wild, it’s a technical thing with the futures markets and really only hurts the NY and Chicago commodity houses. It trades on the NY Merch. The future contract rolls over every month. Oil for May delivery expired today. Usually no problem and the future equals the spot and most traders roll into the next contract. Today. Nope. no one wanted the future and the traders were stuck with having to take physical delivery of a lot of,oil. No one wants the oil since there’s no place to put it. And no one is using it. If you have an empty swimming pool, there might be a trader looking to rent it from you for a while.

            You get this from time to time in markets when impossible things happen. My only reason for bringing it here is that this affects rich, influential people. This is not a Texas/North Dakota thing either, it’s a NY/Chicago thing. Chunky Schumer is probably hearing it from his patrons about not letting Trump top up the national reserve.

            it’s easy for the politicians to ignore you and me, it’s much harder for them to ignore the people who paid good money to put Them in these seats. Money talks and BS walks. it has ever been thus.

            It does rather make the peak oil alarmists more ridiculous.

            I don’t have any of it, so I think it’s hilarious.

            1. My impression is that the oil markets have seized up because of (1) significantly reduced shipping/exports, (2) significantly reduced transportation loads around the world, and (3) price war btw Russia & OPEC. Any idea how a resurgence of domestic manufacturing would impact our current over supply? Granted, that would be at least 5yrs out, but I’m just not sure how much our oil exports are tied to a lack of domestic manufacturing base.

              1. Everything you say is correct but oil is fungible so, from that point of view, whether we export it or use it here isn’t really relevant to price. it is very relevant strategically.

                Oddly, or at least you might find it so, a great deal of US power viz a viz China comes from the fact that all the raw materials are priced in dollars. China can’t dump,all those bonds they hold because they need the reserves to buy raw materials they don’t have. China is very resource poor. Essentially, the US dollar is China’s currency. The renminbi is really just domestic scri

                A former governor of Texas told the Europeans when Nixon broke the gold standard, “it’s our currency but your problem.”

                Sorry, I do this stuff for a living, not oil per se but the markets, and it’s been a very, very strange day and I tend to go on and on.

                1. No apology needed, it is fascinating. Perhaps Our Hostess could ask you for a guest post on it.

                  1. Seconded. As you loiter here you will notice two salient character traits of the habitues:

                    A: We are all knowledge/information junkies and are eager for (not intimidated by) informative remarks.

                    B: We all know how to skim posted comments and do not presume others here are not so talented. We do not view rambling on a bit as an insufferable intrusion on our pwecious time.

                    C: We are, many of us, bad typists.

                    1. It’s so embarrassing. I type better on a keyboard, this is a tablet and my fingers are too fat.

                    2. alleged toucgh screens.

                      Is that some weird and brilliant merger of ‘touch’ and ‘tough’, or a representative example of fat-hoofing, or just a typo?

                    3. And we all periodically, make fun of other’s typos. Including (Particularly) mine.
                      Also after three computer failures last month, I’m stuck on the travel laptop and the n key sticks. DO NOT MAKE FUN OF THE EXTRA ns. I’m not amused by that one.

                    4. My laptop seems to have the same dammed “n” problem in the opposite direction: my sticky “n” declines to type when depressed, resulting in my havig to reread every dam thig I write ad isert the omitted “n”s.

                      Irksome no end. Add to that the keyboard letters which have worn blank and the runny vowels (causing the keyboard to double and triple voweels iin woords when it isn’t omittting lettrs etirly) ad it is a wonder I invest so much effort for such feeble jests.

                    1. Oh, speaking of: did you get the guest post I offered a while back? It’s fine if you don’t want to use it, but I’d like to know it at least got there.

                    2. I can resend mine, but maybe I should wait ’til the current doom-and-gloom atmosphere has dissipated a bit. Somehow, offering a “light entertainment” reading list feels a bit wrong when everyone’s in the middle of discussing increasingly-apocalyptic near-future scenarios.

              2. I read a couple of weeks ago that there was a serious mismatch between gasoline usage (minimal) and diesel usage (closer to normal). As a result, there’s a lot of gasoline looking for places to put it while the refineries have to get diesel out.

                Hmm, could this mean a short-lived resurgence of gasoline-powered farm equipment? I’d want to doubt it, but I do recall reading about propane-powered tractors when propane was dirt-cheap (late 40s or early 50s, I think).

                  1. Ethanol is a farm subsidy thing, and for all practical purposes, the program is untouchable.

                    1. It’s rather more complex than that article would suggest.

                      It was a farm subsidy – lobbied by ADM – *long* before the EPA got involved. The DOE jumped in by promoting “gasohol”, supposedly to help reduce dependence on foreign oil, but which mainly provided windfall profits for auto repair shops nationwide. Much later the EPA started demanding “oxygenates”, theoretically to reduce emissions of 1960s-era cars, which were thin on the ground already at the time, and ethanol was one of the approved oxygenates. Others, like ethyl and methyl tertiary butyl ethers, are now frowned upon by various anvironmental-safety groups.

                      If the EPA lets refiners stop adding alcohol, the alcohol will still be produced under subsidy, and it has to go *somewhere*. I guess they could just burn it off; it’s “carbon neutral” de jure.

                    2. It’s rather more complex than that article would suggest.

                      I’d have to borrow the site shocked face to react to that statement. Does the aardvark have the signout list this week?

                    3. It’s right off the green door. The aardvark knows never to let it get too far. (Or too near, which is to say, in range of Fluffy’s fire breath.)

                    4. Ah, Fluffy! It’s nice seeing a friendly name mentioned on the site, even if he’s been banned from BBQ duty until either ColoFreedom happens or Roast (Long) Pork goes on the dragon-menu. (Well, both might occur near the same time.)

                    5. The sea serpent in the minion pool just got sick of the ashes. The aardvark is working out a pool where Fluffy can bathe after.

                      (The flamingos — you know, the ones that used to be plastic but always come to life here — also do not approve of the ashes in their pool.)

                  2. Fuel ethanol production is down due to lack of demand (see: gasoline) and that has a curious effect: CO2 shortage. The CO2 byproduct of the fermentation is (has been?) the primary/preferred/easiest source of CO2.

                1. Our family farm had two propane-powered Allis-Chalmers D17 tractors. Propane burns CLEAN. Those tractors just ran forever, no fouling, no buildup, minimal maintenance.

            2. I remember when Warren Buffet (IIRC) forced some hot-shot idiots to take delivery of wheat. It was interesting to watch from a long way away. And have vague memories of when the Hunt brothers decided to corner the silver market and take delivery. They miscalculated badly, and ended up tanking the relative price of silver for a while.

              1. The Hunts were the first that came to my mind. I was too young, but my father thoroughly enjoyed it. There a an old saying on the street about short sellers, “he who sells what isn’t hisn, must buy it back or go to prison.” No more prison, alas, but losing everything does tend to concentrate the mind.

                The thing about the markets is that impossible things happen all the time. Fiction ain’t got anything on us.

      1. Well, yes. But I think that by the time the election rolls around, public disgust with the Dems’ insisting on pointless lockdowns will be strong enough that only flat out making up the vote tallies and ignoring the actual ballots would save the typical marginal Democrat in office. And the Dems haven’t corrupted the polls enough to manage that.

          1. They need to corrupt the red and purple states to massive fraud their way to national victory. The State of Marijuana is a lost cause to the side of liberty, but that corruption stops at state borders.

            Pray for a Trumpslide, pray for American Exceptionalism, pray for God to continue to watch out for fools, drunks, and the USA.


            1. You don’t corrupt the entire country. You corrupt just enough “battleground states” to give yourself the necessary fifty percent plus one votes. Then the press talks about your wonderful victory, and how it means that you have a mandate, just as it did for Clinton and Obama.

              1. I wonder if Trump has privately set up a voting integrity organization under the radar, that will collect fraud evidence in the election to allow him to throw out the results of some states?

            2. Managed Arizona in 2018 for it. And you’ve got an actual threat in the braindead ones husband against mcsally based on 18 campaign.

      2. Got that. Tends to be part of the cloud of ideas when you say “Democrat” you get:

        Abuse of power
        Riots described as protests
        Other assorted lawbreaking and outright lawlessness.

    2. I HOPE Biden is a weaker candidate than Her Shrillness. He’s a senile old fool; she was (and is) actively repulsive.

      My personal guess is still that the Democrats will attempt massive, systemic, vote fraud…and get caught, because they really aren’t anywhere near as smart as they think they are.

      Then Trump will take that and ram it up their collective backside.

      1. Except their candidate isn’t really Biden; it is whoever the VP is who everyone on the Democratic Party side now is going to replace him shortly after inauguration day if he wins. They will do what they are doing in Nevada and try to get friendly judges to rewrite election rules in key states so they can steal enough votes to win the electoral college and the key House and Senate races, so that they can get complete control of Congress and the Presidency. They will then pack the Supreme Court with leftists and then start imposing their Marxist agenda. It will be ugly, especially as the Democrats get more and more draconian in their responses to those who are not on board with the Great Cultural Revolutionary Leap Forward

  9. It would be nice to discount this but China is far weaker, and therefore dangerous, than most give it credit for. They were so close, so very close. The temptation to fish in troubled waters, particularly as the pressure starts to build in other fronts, must be enormous.

    Democratic politicians retire, or die in their beds. Totalitarian politicians, not so much. Emperor Xi must be wondering what he has to do to maintain the Mandate of Heaven.

    1. China’s not ready to go head to head with the US yet. Maybe another decade or two, and the PLAN could have forced the US to choose between ignoring China’s antics, or making a major force committment. But they don’t have enough strength yet.

      Half the countries in the region can count on the US to back them up if China grabs a square inch of the border. The other half would either get support if China made a serious grab, or are already friendly with China, and thus not a good target for military adventures.

      1. Xi has real problems. A short victorious war against ….. Taiwan? With the US aircraft carriers laid up from Covid. Dictators ride the tiger every day and China is facing massive economic disruption and famine. Theyre just past max strength and it gets worse for them demographically fairly quickly starting a couple of years ago. they’ve managed to blow up a lot of their advantages and it’s difficult for corrupt politicians and corporate whores to cover for them going forward. So, If not now, when?

        I’m not sure they could take Taiwan, but what would the US do? Would we get into a shooting war with China?

        This is not a forecast but it is plausible and we should never lose sight that a dictator’s thinking is rational or he’s dead. it’s just that we see rational behavior as what’s good for most people and they see rational behavior as what’s good for them. What’s good for XI, and more importantly, what’s good for Xi’s rivals.

        1. I think that if Xi was to do that this year, especially with Trump in power before the election? It would take blatant ballot fraud to get Biden elected. And, if that happened, that would be the firing pin for a major boogaloo.

          If Xi was able to wait long enough to see Biden get elected and Trump was a lame duck, especially if China was able to make their invasion out as “humanitarian relief” and played that up on the major news networks? Do you think Biden wouldn’t come out and say that this is China being a good neighbor in bad times?

          But, we don’t have a good idea of the internal dynamics of the CCP senior leadership right now. Between Hong Kong, Wuhan Flu, and a dozen other issues, Xi might look at a “short, victorious war” as a good way to look tough and capable to both people abroad and at home. And, the sooner he looks capable, the better.

          1. I think China has real problems and they have tended to believe that what they see in the media and on Twitter is real. They have no clear idea what the situation is in their own country, they can’t have a great deal of insight here. Their getting it wrong can’t be ignored.

            Their weakness is the danger, both foreign and domestic. Not that I have any pity to spare for them, but they were so close. it must be galling. If we can hold together for a little while they’ll be set back a fair bit.

            I’m not a big Trump guy, though I talk just like him and I have been warming to him, but I can’t help but think of Bismarck’s quip that God looks out for children, drunks, and the United States of America’s. Can you imagine ….

            1. I think it’s because they keep talking to The Usual Suspects (i.e. our Deep State people), that tend to sound like and talk like them. Most of them don’t understand the peasants (and, yes, even our Usual Suspects-if you gave them enough drinks, would call them peasants), and don’t want to.

            2. I am an agnostic, but when Scalia died I prayed earnestly for exactly that (that He look out for the USA). We got Gorsuch, Make of that what you will.

            3. The problem is that OUR establishment are known cheaters and frauds who clearly hate their own country. Why should Six-pack Wei prefer the foreign liars over his own? Imagine being in 1979 Yerevan and knowing that the Voice of America was a fraud that randomly sucked up to the Politburo.

          2. They might find a “short, victorious war” harder to achieve than anticipated — in which case the mantle of Heaven becomes much, much harder to cling.

            I would not be surprised to see some of China’s long-standing opponents decide “better to stop them in Taiwan than here” and send some support that direction. At the very least I would expect a several year embargo on trade with China (something already brewing).

            1. China would not count on Japan not becoming involved these days, so in addition to hitting the US bases in westpac the PLA would go after the Japanese military. South Korea would likely get threatened with letting loose the Norks if they assisted the US but I’m fairly sure they’d give Beijing the finger. The new strings Beijing installed to the PI would be pulled to keep them “neutral” and I bet that would work as far as it goes, but I would bet Vietnam would offer the US use of bases and ports just because they so deeply enjoy pissing off the Chinese so darned much.

              It would be no fun at all in Taiwan given the numbers of missiles that range on the island from the mainland, and certainly the PLA commandos would already be in place when the balloon went up and run loose, but I’m thinking in the end the PLAN invasion ships would not be able to make it across the straits.

            2. I think we’re going to see not so much an embargo as…the manufacturing is leaving. Vietnam and Singapore are seeing orders increasing, there’s signs of more smuggling of relabeled Chinese products, and if Trump is smart he’s going to try and make it easier to manufacture in the US. It’s not going to be obvious, but China is going to get it in the shorts soon.

              1. I still think that we need to treat China as a plague spreader. Full quarantine for ANYONE coming out of there. Not just WInnie the Flu, they are where the yearly flues come from as well.

                  1. If you can trust the reports coming out of China, which we can’t. The Party can’t afford any more embarrassments and another, equal-or-worse wave of the flu is going to definitely mess with Xi’s Mandate.

                    That Hong Kong might be pacified is a good thing to him…but, the economy and everything else is going to cause all sorts of issues.

                    North Korea having a leadership issue right now, especially if Human Rancid Lard #2 is possibly going to be facing a final Judgement, isn’t going to make China happy. Especially if the South is smart and they are willing to offer enough of the DPRK leadership a buyout option to turn the country over to them and accept a quiet exile somewhere. Having a proper, capitalist nation-even with the reconstruction efforts to rebuild the North-is something that would be bad for the PRC to have on it’s border. They learned the lessons of Russia-having an honest democratic capitalistic society in line-of-sight of the peasants would be a bad thing.

                    1. For the PRC, having North Korea has been like that irritating neighbor that keeps the annoying neighbor from buying the property and making them look bad.

                    2. :Especially if the South is smart and they are willing to offer enough of the DPRK leadership a buyout option to turn the country over to them and accept a quiet exile somewhere.

                      I saw reports over the weekend that two Nork defectors had been elected to the South Korean legislature, so there’s that. I had previously seen reports that South Korea, having observed the cost of German reunification, was not eager to undertake the rehabilitation of their poor relations in the North; perhaps the obvious benefits of large-scale public works projects in such a rebuilding as you suggest will be attractive to the South in the current circumstances. It seems likely they can train North Koreans to stand by the side of a road holding a SLOW – CONSTRUCTION sign.

                    3. And a major infrastructure rebuilding will create economic opportunities because there is so much of it. A lot of it would be “tote and carry,” but you could include after-hours classes to bring their skills up to something useful.

                      Throw in efforts to modernize the agricultural system of the North and maybe offering land grands to South Koreans willing to immigrate and establish themselves as well, to bring assets in.

                      The big questions are-
                      1) What will China do if this happens, especially since having a prosperous, democratic state on their borders would be a very bad thing for the Mandate Of Heaven in the Middle Kingdom.
                      2)There’s some suggestions at the South Korea government is looking at closer relations with China over the United States.

        2. I saw a forecast the other day that China’s economy is expected to report contraction for the first time in a long, long march. They might be able to blame one quarter of contraction on the pandemic, a second quarter (which seems highly likely) is probably a real problem.

          I doubt they can cook the books enough to prevent it. One reason for that doubt is their apparent failure to buy up all the oil futures currently being dumped. It isn’t as if they’d have problems storing it – if they can build a hospital overnight they can surely dig, lie and cover over a big pit for oil storage.

          1. Difficult. But this is the country that can disappear entire townships, tracks every person to the utmost degree they can manage through the highest technology they can afford, and has a long, long history of lying to their own people because they write the only official history (all others to be burned out, living mind or dead tree book). They will, at the very least, try.

            To imagine it, perhaps think of America where Rush Limbaugh never got on the radio, and the internet never really took off. The state *owns* the entireity of the broadcast. The news is what they decree. And the disloyal are… shown the errors of their ways. Along with their families. And close friends. And folks who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time…

            1. If anybody didn’t hear, China’s got tens of thousands of those mandator cell phones that were not renewed.

              Makes my gut drop just thinking about it.

              1. Tens of thousands is within range of their claims. It’s the ones reporting millions that are truly worrisome.

                1. *Looks at number again*

                  I need to stop posting when I’m half asleep.

                  The intel info is twenty two million.

                  Not thousand.

                  1. If Cyber Command was actually a thing, they could ping every phone in China and tell how many are active now vs. last time they did it. Extra points for getting tower or GPS locations.

          2. No one knows what China’s economy is doing, certainly they don’t. Their banks are broken, the infrastructure tends to fall down, the fraud is astronomical, and the famine is probably very real

            1. The Soviets had no clue about their own economy. That’s the main reason the USSR came apart.

              18 years later, the Chinese have vastly better technology to track what is going on directly, without relying entirely on reports from middlemen. But it is in the nature of bureaucracies that the data will only be interpreted in ways that favor the ideas of the rulers.

              *We*, the USA, have no freakin’ idea what’s really going on within our own borders. China can’t even guess.

              1. Our strength is that we really don’t need to know, they do need to Know and they dont

                1. That is the beauty of a free market – and the closer we get to that the better, and the further from it the worse.
                  And thus do control freaks and other wannabe Rulers always make thing worse.

              2. Back in the late 1980’s, when I was still studying Russian at the University of Illinois, Alexander Zinoviev (exiled author of The Yawning Heights and other satirical novels) gave a presentation as part of the Russian and East European Center’s guest speaker program. He talked about how all the USSR’s critical statistics were systematically fabricated, and therefore useless. At the time most of us were appalled in principle, but didn’t really grasp the significance of that fact.

        3. I don’t think the PLAN has the logistical capability to support an invasion. Yes, they could smother the island in missiles and air attacks. But as the US Navy and Marines learned the hard way in World War 2, just because you smother a location in firepower doesn’t mean that you killed all – or even most – of the guys hiding there.

          There’s also the point to note that landings require a lot of work and training. The PRC military probably has plans on file for invading The Republic of China (after all, the US has plans for invading Canada “just in case”). But if they’d done any of the training necessary to prep for that sort of thing, then our government would be very much aware of it.

          1. Would we get into a shooting war with China?

            I suspect we’d use missiles and save the China for the soiree after accepting their surrender.

            1. My implication is that the Taiwan invasion fleet would start going “glub”. Wasn’t us, says the USN. Who knew the ROC Navy had so many submarines kept in covert bases? Hmmm…

              1. As ESR suggested in s work of short fiction, it would take but a one underwater nuke to ..unfloat (iron/steel sinks in gas)… a carrier group under the waves.

                1. “Or the Taiwanese have read Eric S Raymond’s “Sucker Punch” from “Riding the Red Horse” anthology and deployed nuclear mines on the seabed in the Taiwan Straits.”

          2. And can mount nuclear warheads. One reason I don’t take China’s islands as seriously as some.

  10. Well, since they still won’t let thrift stores [open] and clothing stores are having supply issues …

    I’m facing a bit of a learning curve with the treadle sewing machine I bought in earlyish March, so my sister has started checking online for one of those new-fangled electric machines … there must be something in the water, as nearly every place she’s looked the moderately priced models are out of stock.

    1. I bought the Girl one from Amazon. Early on she was freaking out and wishing she could sew masks, but lacked a machine. Bought her one and she still makes and sends them out as requested. Perhaps not the most needed item, but having something useful to do has helped her get through.

      She’s also got other projects she’s working on now that she has it.

      1. Sewing is a “Maker” thing with solid representation at the maker fairs around here, plus the cosplay folks mostly sew their own costumes.

        Also a valid hands on skill, like woodworking.

        Plus guess where a lot of machines are made – long supply chain with weird impacts of container shipping and road transport.

        Not surprised sewing machines are low in stock.

      1. Sorry, just got this off Craig’s List ($100, Ft Collins, CO) and am too enamored to think about giving it up. Original cabinet, tons of accessories (I have no idea what most of them are!), this is a White VS IIa/IIb, circa 1892. I have to learn about nifty things like vibrating shuttles and bullet-shaped bobbins, but an EMP won’t bother me.

          1. I think there’s one in one of my storage units. I believe it belonged to my wife’s grandmother. If you want I’ll see if I can find it. I for sure don’t any need for it.

            1. No clue how to get it here, because I have no idea where you live, but if you have a singer treadle, definitely let me know. Probably cheaper than having mom’s shipped here, and that doesn’t count CONVINCING her to ship it.

        1. They’re good quality. I’ve an 1891. The old pedal type’s weakness is the belt. Goes out pretty regularly. Also needs adjustment from time to time. If you’ve got all the parts, it’s not hard. Even an old bachelor can do it. *grin*

        2. I have a White-Rotary that got left in the garage with the rest of my brother’s stuff. All lubed up but I have no idea what to do with it.

      1. I am reliably informed by several sewers (most emphatically by $SPOUSE) that the current batch of Singers is crud, and you’d have to go back to some time in the 1960s to get a solid Singer.

        They took over Elna, and the sewing machine repair guy said to stay away from the new machines at any cost.

        Sorry. Low cost doesn’t always mean inexpensive.

  11. what happened in Frankfurt should never happen again anywhere.

    In fairness, that was the only source of free-range, no-GMO, organically-raised meat.

    1. I was reading a story where someone was vending “organic snow!”

      Yeah, either that’s from Pluto (not this case) or it’s heavy duty contaminated.

  12. I’ll just say that I think there’s an intermediate between Pie and Could Be Worse. One that goes boogaloo but not so far as to invite that nuke or that EMP. And the results are more wild west than dystopia. And the cities still sit and fester and demand we all hearken to them.

    1. I’m thinking localized spot-boogs, heavily suppressed in media, though Dona Sara’s point about speed of spread when the ladderfuel is so dry is well taken.

      1. But they will be invited by the Democrats feckless appeasement if not outright sympathy and support for regimes like the Mullahs of Iran and the Chicoms.

        1. Nor I to read them. The things my mind summons up when I’m not actively looking for a bright side are… not good right now.

  13. “Don’t take the law into your own hands,” they say. But others (still “they”, but still…) say, “Where else does the law belong but in the hands of the people?” And they (whoever) are probably right. Still, vigilantism is rule of the strong over the weak. And a lot of people get their hands on weapons and practice in their use, even if it’s just hunting wild tin cans. And the threat matrix gets more complicated.

    1. I think the Karen’s are not a new issue. Think of Mrs. Kravitz on Bewitched or the traditional Mrs. Grundy. Small town USA before the mid 60’s was always somewhat like that because everyone was in everyone else’s business. Even City neighborhoods had some of that until we started making the cities so immensely dense and impersonal. That part of things is just dialing the clock back to a previous time.

      1. This is reportedly one of the frustrations with really-big-city police work – the “nobody saw nothin'” effect, because the cops go away and any thugs will be out on bail and back in your face no later than next week.

        Mrs. Grundy does see everything, but there’s no way she’ll tell the cops.

        Note this also one of the reasons organized crime found such happy hunting grounds in NYC and other overlarge cities – the mobs “community policing” efforts used made locals who would actually stick around and make sure friendly residents got the protection they paid for, if only to discourage competitive protection operations.

        1. “Mrs. Grundy does see everything, but there’s no way she’ll tell the cops.”

          Except that now Mrs Grundy doesn’t have to put her name on a police report; anonymous tip lines for the win.

          1. “Officer, there’s a dead bank robber in the middle of the street… no, I don’t know who shot him, just come get him. He’s blocking traffic.”

            1. Email != phone call. And I’m frankly pleasantly surprised that they didn’t just declare them law-enforcement records that don’t fall under the sunshine law.

          2. Depends on where you are: New York (can’t recall if it’s just the city or the whole state) recently passed a law requiring prosecutors to release complainant and witness identities to defense council, with failure to do so resulting in all charges against the accused being dropped.

            1. That was a state-wide act of idiocy. Gov. Cuomo and the Assembly are attempting to rein it in but with the current Charlie Foxtrot in that state it is likely nothing has been achieved (it isn’t as if the Criminal Defense Lobby is agreeable to revisions.)

              Part of their problem is that the law did not provide a) funding for the additional DA staff necessary for compliance with the defense bar requests demands and b) it fails to allow adequate time for police and prosecutors to develop their cases before charging the accused, causing many “prosecutions” to be dropped.

              Oops. Along with the de-prisoning already underway before the COVID-19 excuse for letting folk out of jail the streets of New York City are returning to their 1970’s Charles Bronson splendor.

            2. Well, that’ll certainly cut down the court’s case load.

              Also it’ll lead to a surge in violent crime, and articles from Fox Butterfield’s heirs: “Crime Rises Despite Falling Prison Population”.

  14. Regardless of what happens, we need to start practising socialist distancing: All Marxists must remain at least two nations apart from us at all times.

  15. I’ve always thought that if the USA experienced an event of such a scale, we’d break up as a nation. (Not something I’m rooting for, just to make that one clear.) Too much geographical distance, with too few people who have seen just how bad it gets in some places. WHich in turn makes me wonder…do I try to become the local despot, knowing that I’m more willing to trust myself to not be a complete and utter tyrannical jack booted thug…or do I keep my head down and make sure my family stays fed by prostituting myself out as a gun and thinker for hire?

    1. Well John, people have been predicting the break-up of the US for as long as we have existed.

      Note, one of the concerns influenced the creation of our Constitution was the concern that the US would break up into several smaller nations. 😉

      1. I think this is another thing forever descending on the US but landing in Europe – I’d be less surprised by a broken up Spain or even France than such happening here.

        1. It could be that I’ve had some koolaid on this. My wife likes to point out that people have pulled together even in New York (of all places!) for things like the hurricanes a few years back. Perhaps it’s my fundamental distrust in people being able to act in an intellectual and coordinated fashion.

          And…let’s be fair, it isn’t as if I’m not somewhat in a cognitive dissonance when something happens in a few large cities, and things don’t fall apart. I guess Katrina was an intellectually formative event for me in my expectations.

          All of that said…I don’t see the USA having the same reaction to a second Great Depression the way we did the first time. I’m human, maybe I’m wrong, and I certainly hope so. But, I have yet to be convinced that it wouldn’t lead to a break up.

          1. people have pulled together even in New York (of all places!) for things like the hurricanes …

            Your wife is right … but.

            I cannot recall (although we never had Twitter during a disaster) ever seeing so many i this nation so willing to say, “Let the gates of Hell open so long as they open for Republicans* my political enemies.” Sure, Trump’s election has ripped off many a mask, but that so many monsters seem to be glorying in their exposure is disheartening.

            I witnessed the anti-government riots of the Sixties and the domestic terrorism of the Seventies (pretty much all Left-wing it was) and don’t recall people showing their asses this readily. When the people of Jonestown drank the Kool-Aid there were no people going public expressing the thought the world was well rid of a bunch of religious fanatics. When Katrina hit there were no conservatives shrugging it off as the wages for New Orleans’ sins. After 9/11 the few cries of those such as Fatty Moore asking, “Why attack New York, they all voted for Gore?” were widely denounced Left and Right.

            As I said, maybe it is just an artifact of socialist media but it requires conscious effort to not respond in kind to their expressed hatred.

            *e.g. the Miami Herald reporter who I shan’t bother publicizing.

    2. Kurt Schlichter has some good novels on this premise (People’s Republic starts it off.) However, if you dislike a protagonist who will shoot first, and ask questions maybe, if ever, (KS uses some of this as a running bit in the books) then give it a hard pass.

      Me, I like the books. Any series where it makes sense to drop the [redacted world famous] bridge can’t be all bad.

  16. I think it’s the warlord option that frightens me the most. And then, what happens to those who can fight, who think, and plan? Do we say “Hey, I’d do what I could to preserve what can be preserved, and I know I won’t be a completely jack booted thug drunk with tyrannical power!” or do we keep our heads down and keep plowing the fields to keep the family fed? And for how long do we keep our heads down?

    I’ve been in places where things are horrible. That are the aftermath of their own boog’s. I don’t want that here. Hell, it’s part of why I have done things I have done. But how long? How long do we hold off, out of fear of what things could turn out to be? I don’t know, and I don’t know whether to push / support those who would be the better warlords, or keep my head down and survive.

    1. There are d*mned good reasons for following the example of Cincinnatus. A good man has lines in his head, ones he knows he will not cross.

      The bad place no such limits. I leave to the reader’s observation just who is who these days. Most especially with respect to governmental office.

  17. There’s a lot of Karen stories on various reddits. If they’re a fair sample, Karen tends to practice what she preaches against, and doubles down if she thinks she’s in a dominant position.

    Karen might get burned by counter-surveillance a lot more often than she expects, as how-to is disseminated.


  18. This week’s Des Moines shopping update:
    Some actual gaps in the normal stocking, where they re-arranged stuff so it doesn’t look so empty; stuff like only having three varieties of Great Value diced tomatoes. Possibly from folks stocking up, hard to tell.

    Alcohol section is completely reorganized on the not-chilled side, vodka is much bigger, imports like my Canadian blended whiskey is a little empty, LOTS of stuff I’ve never seen before in the line of pre-mixed martinis by the can and such. (The few times I’ve looked at the beer side it’s too chaotic to see patterns.)

    The prepacked lunch meat area is still looking like they’re selling a LOT of the relatively nice stuff. Lots of restocking while the store was going, and they were rather busy for a week day morning, if you don’t count the guys doing official restocking.

    Lots of stuff that would usually be sold at the deli was sliced, packed, and put in the chillers near the relatively healthy options for lunch-sized bottles, and I think they’re making extra french bread for slicing and positioning it so people realize it exists.

    Frozen veggie stuff looks good except for the cheaters like the pre-chopped seasoning mix. (Costs a bit more than buying onion, celery, peppers, etc on their own– but you don’t have to buy it the day you’re cooking, and half of it doesnt go bad waiting for you to get around to cooking!)

    Massive new one-mug microwave treat section in baking. (They’re basically cupcakes you make in the microwave, one or two cupcakes at a time, if you haven’t seen them.)

    Awful lot of Easters candy still there, even chocolate.

    Vitamin racks are restocked. Didn’t check disinfectants. Cleaning section is about half recovered, TP is there but low.

    A lot of people wearing masks– including a guy who had a red kerchief on with his old, blue carhart jacket, and grinned when he saw me go straight for the whiskey I wanted like I knew what I was doing– and the biggest pattern I could see was “I have a mask on, so I can actually walk less than 15 feet from you without having to make eyecontact” and one hysterical bully of a ninny high school or college age sister who was obviously “helping” her pregnant sister do the shopping, mostly by being obnoxious to the sister’s little girl, who was about a half hour late for her nap. The mother-sister looked mortified, and as a kicker the obnoxious kid-sister was wearing a dust mask. Me, without mask, kept a good ten feet back and smiled a lot– next time I saw them, the little girl was in the cart and kid sister was carrying stuff. 😀

    1. Corporate made us Sam’s Club workers wear masks. Boo. They were giving out the surgical mask-style disposables.

      I made myself a mask out of a baby bib, some ponytail holders, and wire. This allowed me to have a big obnoxious dinosaur scene, and terrycloth.

      1. Today my Walmart was all masked, lots of color, and no two alike. And enough folks wearing to feel naked without. I’d made a thing from a disposable scrub cloth and two rubber bands, and it works well enough.

        Shelves looked generally no worse than “weekend of the big game” other than some oddities like mostly-absent tomato sauce. (A bit more absent since I discovered half a case of Contadina hiding at the back, and I buy it in that quantity regardless.)

        1. Meatloaf, spaghetti, home-made pizza, soup mixes . . . DadRed observed the same lack of canned tomato stuff down here as well.

      2. That would explain why the big refugee grandma-lady was looking so pissed off.

        Whoever made the policy is probably lucky they’re not near Des Moines. She’d probably consider that Misbehaving, and she’s a little scary.

    2. In Klamath Falls, maybe two thirds of the shoppers were wearing masks. For the first time, I saw more than one person sporting an N95 mask, and designer colors for surgical masks. (Neon green is jarring…) Still, the dominant mask type is a home made cloth mask. (I have a handful of N95 masks in an open package. Didn’t think it was appropriate to donate potentially dusty masks, but didn’t want to give the Karens room to bleat. Surgical masks worked well enough and didn’t raise any eyebrows.) Cloth masks range from elegant to “was that a repurposed diaper?” and a couple of artfully placed scarfs.

      Canned soups are a bit thin on the shelves, though there’s a better supply of Progresso soups (alas, almost all the available flavors feature wheat ingredients, though there were a few I could use) than in previous weeks.

      Kroger yogurts are slightly understocked, but the local Fred Meyer is making up with regional and state brands. Other dairy looks good.

      I looked for pinto beans at the restaurant supply. No luck; I found the last 50# bag of black beans and rice was back in stock, so the mission got a supply. Smart Foodservice found another supplier for beans, but I’m somewhat skeptical of a sack labeled simply “Beans”. They had a few mystery bags. Not many institutional/restaurant customers there, but a fair number of people stocking up. Saw a guy and his daughter checking out the stock, clearly the first time they’d been there.

      Fresh produce doing well, though we’re avoiding U-pick mushrooms for the duration. The prepacked ones look pretty good now.

      General note: still not too many shoppers at the grocery stores Monday mornings. Some restocking going on at the time, but most everything had been done already. No crowds at the gas station.

      1. No crowds at the gas station.

        Oregon. So, of coarse not. After all they expect us to suddenly learn how to pump our own gas. Obviously that is why demand is down. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 (Do I have to add the /sarcasm tag?) Gee. Do you think the decrease in gas prices have anything to do with drop in gas prices recently? No? Neither do I.

        Told kid when he went to fill up to use last month’s $.30/gal discount. Hubs has been getting cash only gas at a small town station on the way to golf that is running $.35/gal less than FM. My vehicle still has over 1/2 tank. I haven’t gotten gas for 2 months.

        1. It depends on the vehicle for us. 40 miles to town where we fill at the Fred Meyer station. We have a local station, but in general, I don’t use it for gas. A round trip with the Honda pickup is about a quarter tank, so I’ll fill every other. Subie 1 (’12 Forester) does better, so 2-3 trips. Subie 2 (’16 Forester, and my cross-Cascades trip vehicle) goes 3-4 trips. Nobody in K-Falls (that we know of) runs cheaper than the FM station.

          I buy Home Depot (and $SPOUSE gets Jo-Ann) gift cards for the 2-4X fuel points.

          Oh yeah, an additional point for the sitrep: the rancher who lives across the highway kept a freezer full of beef and pork on his porch. Somebody knew or guess that, and wiped out his stock. (Came back a couple weeks later to steal his liquid fuel, but the dogs were active and they got chased off without their fuel cans and siphon rig.) Looks like I’ll tweak the pumphouse design (don’t need insulation, so no 2 x 6 studs) and do a sturdier garden shed. Sigh. It used to be “Nobody steals shovels, since shovels mean work.” Not true now that there’s handy pawnshops and Craigslist…

          We hadn’t had much burglary and theft since one bad actor tried to outdrive the LEOs on a twisty road. Saved everybody a trial, too.

        2. I haven’t gotten gas for 2 months.

          Lucky you. Age, insulin resistance and a fiber-rich diet have resulted in my getting gas daily. That is probably why so many of my attempted jokes stink.

  19. Georgia and Tennessee. Coming out. Huzzah!

    LA County serology testing infections 28 to 55 times diagnosed. Same as Stanford test. As usual, they talk about herd immunity and not about the need for herd immunity.

    NY and NJ show no signs of coming,out even though we’re probably the safest place in the US now. if anyone has herd immunity, we do.

    1. $SPOUSE mentioned that the president of the only hospital in the county is asking for the ban on elective procedures to be reverses so they don’t have to go bankrupt. 33 cases in the county, of which 5(!) were ever hospitalized. Still, the hospital is empty, waiting for the surge that Kate is *sure* is going to come. Any day now, I’m sure. Going by demographics and the business of the cardio practices, there’s a hell of a lot of operations that should be performed

      1. I have gathered from a variety of sources that many people are apparently unaware of what constitutes “elective” surgery, imagining it is stuff like botox injections, butt & boob implants, and the like. People waiting on hip replacements, knee replacements, cataract surgery, hernia repairs and other procedures beg to differ.

        1. It sounds like our neighbor needs a heart diagnostic that used to be available at the hospital. Not sure when he’ll get it, or if the doc is going to punt.

          The last “gotta do” procedure I had was an appendectomy in 1976. Thanks to elective procedures, I can hear, see (between retina, cataract and cornea, it’d be a mess) and keep what teeth I still have.

  20. There are…worse endings than this. It wouldn’t be where I’d want to live, not at all-especially since Karen/Mrs. Grundy now has Twitter-but it’s not as bad as it could be.

  21. Headline seen in my newsfeed today: “Conservative family activist behind ‘grassroots’ anti-quarantine Facebook events”.

  22. My cold blooded estimate of the world dead if the”civil” war is only us, is 2 billion. The food stops. No food, you die. China can’t feed itself.

    If there are nuke exchanges, and EMP, the death toll starts to get up to 5-6 billion. We get to S. M. Stirling “novels of the change” territory. So yours is a Very Optimistic path.

    Since I first heard Wuhan 19 was infectious without symptoms, I figured this was an iceberg with most disease hidden. I had been calculating at 20 times more cases, so the latest anti-body tests don’t surprise me. This means that the death rate is flu rate.

    The question: What did China know? What did the deep state know? How deep is the conspiracy? The civil war has started. The question is how far does it go? Is FISA being used to track any contacts of Americans with China in November, December, January? Or does the deep state still have control? As the Chinese curse says, “may you live in interesting times”.

    Taiwan. The idea of invasion must tempt panda #11. “We will liberate this province”, to save the mantle of heaven. Try to invade over 100 miles of sea, against opposition, it is not easy. China is a land dragon. Taiwan still holds Quemoy, that blocks the harbor closest to Taiwan. Even if you get several divisions ashore, supply will be hard. Taiwan is very mountainous. This is not an easy target. I am sure their army has planned for this since 1950. They know all the possible landing locations, will know for hours of an invasion fleet. Large slow transports make easy targets. Even if we have no carriers in the area, submarines can make transit very dangerous. Taiwan is not defenseless.

    1. I’d be surprised if China could take Taiwan if the landings are opposed. Doesn’t mean they won’t give it a go though. The thing about the short victorious war is it wasn’t either.

      1. Too many technical hurdles. Beijing can be reckless. But I don’t think that this is something they’d be reckless about. Beijing has been careful with its PLAN plan (if you’ll pardon the pun…). Beijing appears to know that a lot of work, training, and practice is involved in making naval ops (including invasions) as effortless as the US Navy makes them appear to be. As I mentioned above, there’s a lot of moving parts that go into making an invasion a success. If China had been practicing them, we’d know.

        That’s not to say that the Chinese aren’t hoping to practice them in the future. I saw in the news last week that one of their new amphibious assault ships caught fire while in dock. The fact that they have amphibious assault ships speaks volumes. But at this time they don’t have the necessary training. And I expect they know that.

        If they want short and victorious, they’ll likely pick someone who isn’t across the ocean. Revenge against Vietnam strikes me as something that they might consider possible.

        1. For fast and glorious victory, definitely Indochina somewhere.
          Racism won’t see them hitting India or the ‘stans for war brides to placate a restless population of young makes with no hope if a future.

          That is, if they don’t decide that the best way to control that population, is to quickly kill off a whole lot of them.
          If that’s the case, India and Formosa have to be considered the most likely targets.

          What little I know of Chinese culture and history, inclines me to believe the latter is more likely.

          1. “Racism won’t see them hitting India or the ‘stans for war brides to placate a restless population of young makes with no hope if a future.”
            Well that and the Himalayas make logistics a wee bit of an issue. Ask any vet of the CBI.

        2. Can the CCP be sure the Taiwanese have NO nuclear capability? They can be sure the Taiwanese have the technical capacity. Taiwan may also have not only artillery zeroed in on the Straits but potentially cruise missiles as well. Even if we’ve not openly transferred any I wouldn’t bet the Mantle of Heaven that the Israelis haven’t.

          1. “Taiwan may also have not only artillery zeroed in on the Straits but potentially cruise missiles as well.”

            Or the Taiwanese have read Eric S Raymond’s “Sucker Punch” from “Riding the Red Horse” anthology and deployed nuclear mines on the seabed in the Taiwan Straits.

      2. OT, I seem to have spammed one of your comments by accident. Or I should say it froze, and then popped up with “comment marked as Spam.” I went to the spam folder and it wasn’t there.

    2. > heard Wuhan 19 was infectious without symptoms,

      I suspect that’s true of all of the “flu” viruses, but the media never tried to use it as a terror measure before.

      And as far as the relapse thing… that’s not exactly unusual either.

    3. My actual nightmare, mitigated only by Speaker’s assurance this is NOT engineered to that degree or at all is a two-stroke virus like what I used in Darkship Revenge.
      The first one is a mild, almost harmless cold, highly infective. Everyone catches it.
      The second one activates viral residues left behind and kills you.
      WHY do something that complicated? Well, you could TREAT your people for the first so no fragments remain. But not the enemy.
      I’m 99% sure that’s not what we’re facing, but….

        1. Speaker is “Speaker To Lab Animals”, a Bar-Fly (member of Baen’s Bar) who is an actual scientist (forget his specialty).

          1. Tedd Roberts is a pen name/fan name.

            He has published non-fiction under his legal name at Baen, IIRC.

            He’s done research with the NIH, effects on nervous systems of cannaboids. Not impressed with the ‘street pot is a panacea’ types. IIRC, actually got me to moderate on some point wrt legalization.

            Had the winning ‘hypothetical design’ for the bioweapon in Kratman’s Caliphate, and IIRC was the key inspirational scientist on Ringo’s graveyard sky zombies.

          2. He was, btw, the person who told me such two-stroke viruses (which I used in Darkship Revenge) could be made by a reasonably talented graduate student, in your average high school lab.

        2. Robert Hampson, internationally famous bio researcher, and a personal friend.
          Speaker comes from his once online nom de plume. “Speaker to lab animals.”

    4. Well, China CAN feed itself… if it doesn’t mind totally returning to the economy of the rice-paddy peasant.

  23. “The [scenarios] in which we break apart and become neighboring hostile nations…”

    Check out the “People’s Republic” series of novels by Kurt Schlichter.

  24. “… what happened in Frankfurt should never happen again anywhere. We’re not the world’s police, but cannibalism, really? in the twenty first century?”

    Dear people of 2020 A.D.,

    Just a reminder. Entrusting your safety to those who claim to be experts and ceding leadership to those who talk a good game does not always yield good results.


    The Donner Party.

  25. I think Sean Hannity is insipid, but in this case, his “Let your heart not be troubled” is spot on.

    All that community networking/self-suffeciency you posited out in July, is already happening. I got hit up for old computer parts just yesterday.
    I haven’t seen communities pulling together like this since I was a kid.

    People are preparing.
    Victory gardens are going in left and right.
    Canning supplies are being politely accumulated.
    Fabric stores are selling bolts.
    People are taking this opportunity to learn skills.

    It’s being openly noted that many politicians and bureaucrats are power mad fools, and that the media is flagrantly lying, without fear of ostracism.

    We don’t need some heroic figure to save us.
    We’ve got this.
    And anyone who wants to get in our way can go hang.

    In the end, we win. They lose. Never doubt it, sister.

      1. Working in the garden can be a valuable means of abating stress and frustration during this time of house arrest.

        It can even be a fun activity for the whole family.

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