Change Change Change

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So, who had “Atlantis rises” on their 2020 bingo card?

No, no. Sit. Don’t go scouring news sites. That I know of, it hasn’t happened yet. But would anyone really be surprised?  How many of us have gotten used to shaking our heads and going “D*mn it, 2020.”

I mean there have been other years that had certain trends before 2016 was a stone cold killer, probably due to the fact that a lot of celebrities hit their terminus at around the same time. (Even the ones of different ages might have done the same drugs. Who knows?)

But 2020?  We just don’t know what to expect next, and certain government agencies proclaiming things like machines originating in other worlds isn’t helping.

However, the truth is that most of us — if we’re honest — saw a lot of 2020 coming.  Some of it was like a nightmare — I’ve been having a lot of what I call filthy nightmares (the kind you wake up from asking yourself what possessed you, perhaps literally — where you see the disaster coming, but you can do nothing to stop it.

I mean, we knew this would be an election year, so we knew things were going to go completely pants-on-head insane.

But I doubt many of us saw “entire country put under arrest for months over a virus that ultimately is perhaps as bad as a bad flu.”

The problem is this: We should have seen it coming.

Why should we have seen it coming?

Well, decades of apocalyptic fiction centering around viruses. General lack of science knowledge or understanding. A fetish of safety.

All of them coordinated with the press’s need to destroy the country’s economy in order to win an election for their leftist (and Chinese) masters, to create the perfect storm.  The fact that they are convincing people to wear what they’re told, eat what they’re told, and only interact in approved ways is just a bonus (for the left.)

In retrospect, we should have seen it coming, but of course we didn’t because it seemed completely incredible. Last year, you couldn’t have sold a story with this plot. Even the craziest of small presses (and I’ve worked for some of those, off and on) would laugh in your face at such a ridiculous idea.

And yet here we are. And hindsight is 2020, which is why it sucks.

However, we’re not leftists.  Leftists suffer from a curious tunnel vision which means they believe whatever they intend to result from something is what will result. Nothing more, nothing less.

We’re not like that.  And even though we know looking forward is difficult, there are things we can predict now that we’re here:

Publishing, education, entertainment in general is in trouble.

They were in trouble for decades, to be honest.  But this entire insanity has dealt them a much more severe blow than they would otherwise have suffered.  I expect those industries to hemorrhage jobs, not over the next decade, but over the next year or two.

As for the news…  Well, I’ve been waiting for people to stop believing them for twenty years now.  And to some extent it seems to have happened.  Otherwise 2016 would not have turned out the way it did.

But have they turned away enough?  Well, obviously not, since people think that 10% of Americans have died of Winnie the Flu.

So–

So, I think — believe — this is because people had learned not to pay any attention to the news when it came to politics, or international politics, or any of that. They had learned that the news lied in the service of the left.  They simply hadn’t processed that they would lie about something as seemingly non-political as a disease.

They’ve been used for years to, to some extent, believe warnings about the weather, or about flu epidemics in their area.  So it was easy to believe in this too.

I think — expect — what happens, as the massive hoax (not the virus but its lethality and the need for drastic measures are definitely hoaxes) is exposed — and it will be, though I expect not fast — the MSM will lose the last shred of its respectability. Whether that’s before or after most of the stations collapse, I won’t venture to guess.

And yeah, most of us know now that a lot of people are simply not going back to offices after this, not even if their job remains more or less intact.  One thing this has put paid to is the age old belief that people work better all together and in a regimented environment.

Now, I don’t expect everyone will want to work from home.  I know people who are gregarious and prefer offices. And people who have kids and no privacy.

However, I expect that the “default expectation” will flip from “everyone drives to work” to “people work at home, unless…”

The thing that’s bothering me though, is this:

I can see all these changes coming.  Most of them, however, amount to things dying.  And even if they were leftist dominated, all of them dying at the same time is a heck of a change.

All of them dying before “what comes next” is fully ready.

What comes next, when movies die?  What comes next, when colleges die?

My guess is things step in and step up and fast.  Because there are embryonic things underway for everything that will collapse in the next couple of years.

And after all, we’re American. The future comes from America for a reason.

BUT that is what REALLY worries me.  What’s at the back — I’m sure — of those filthy nightmares:

Are we still Americans? Will we be allowed to be?

The one thing that changed fundamentally in 2020 is our assumption that if you start a business, pour your heart and soul into it, damage your health to work enough to keep it alive, you will — most of the time, and barring freakish occurrences — be allowed to reap any benefits from it.  Whether those benefits are making a modicum of money or becoming filthy rich, you have some control over the business.

But in 2020 our government, for no good reason, forced most small businesses in America out of business, and destroyed what, in some cases, took lifetimes to build.

Can we trust they won’t do it again?

How?

As the elections approach, I urge you to consider that.  Because without confidence in private property and the freedom to pursue happiness?  The destruction will be permanent and nothing will emerge to replace what collapses.  We might as well be North Korea, where the whims of the leader make you or break you.

Think about it.  Then vote accordingly.

A republic. If you CAN keep it.

747 thoughts on “Change Change Change

  1. > A republic. If you CAN keep it.

    Without honest elections, we’re just a bigger banana republic.

    Photo ID, assigned polling places, and paper ballots counted by hand in plain sight at the polls, with National Guardsmen keeping their own separate totals to compare to those sent to the electors.

    Make election fraud a Federal crime, rate it as a felony, and split enforcement across multiple agencies to minimize partisanship. Put some teeth in the sentencing.

    Anything else, and you’re just going through the motions.

    1. The shock in 2016 tells me we’ve been going through the motions for most of my adult life, but the touch was light enough to make sure the rubes didn’t notice.

      Then that light touch wasn’t quite enough.

      They won’t make that mistake again. They didn’t in 2018.

  2. The international Communist/Anarchist Left does not intend to allow the vicissitudes of voting to determine the outcome in 2020. There will be corruption and vote fraud on a scale never seen before in the USA.

    1. One should add “civil unrest” and “terrorism” to that. I fully expect to see rioting and other violence targeted at polling stations on election day, in a blatant attempt to suppress the pro-Trump vote. What do you think all the Democrat claims about *their* votes being suppressed are aimed at? And if they win . . . well, remember the first thing Eric Holder did upon assuming office as Obama’s first attorney general was to dismiss a federal voter suppression case brought against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia, who were caught on film harassing and chasing white people from Philly polling places? Or look at how the Democrats are simply dismissing felony charges against the Vanilla ISIS and Khmer Noir crowd in the rioting and arson going on right now?

      1. The problem there is that the civil unrest and terrorism are concentrated in regions where the votes would be heavily Democrat anyway. With the warning, there can be countermeasures.

      2. I saw earlier this week that J. Christian Adams, who became known for resigning from the Civil Rights Division of the Holder Justice Department in protest over this and other failures to defend Civil Rights, has been appointed by Trump to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. His ought be an interesting voice in the commission’s dealings, especially given his history with voting rights..

    2. Oh,I don’t know 2018 was pretty bad.
      BUT the British beat the margin of fraud with a loud “We told you once, you sons of bitches.”
      We should do likewise.

      1. The UK people lied to the pollsters so the left couldn’t estimate the margin of fraud. They were still trying to maintain some sort of appearances so there was only so much cheating that could be done. My fear is that the left in the US doesn’t believe it has to maintain the appearance and will simply pile on the filth and dare us to remove them. No one wins a civil war.

        1. Keep in mind with all the cheating in 2018 — and it was epic — they still couldn’t create a “blue wave.”
          As pissed off as the ‘average person’ is, I don’t think they CAN fraud enough.
          Yes, that means they will shoot.

          1. And if the shoot, they will lose. They don’t have any background in shooting, firearms, or actual firefight tactics. What little they do know is wrong. And they are badly outnumbered, and have just spent the last several decades dissing the military and law enforcement.

            They start shooting, they are screwed.

            Sadly, this does not mean that we aren’t, too.

            1. They’ve already started shooting. Think of Steve Scalise, et al. Think of five Dallas cops. Look at what they’ve been doing in the cities for three months. No one is shooting back, EVEN THE POLICE.

              If anyone does shoot back, they will make headlines around the country as racist white supremacist haters who need to be crushed for the good of America.

              1. Sure. They are shooting. KIND OF.
                BUT there is a low level violence going on and has been for a while.
                I don’t think that’s what CS is talking about. It’s certainly NOT what I’m talking about.

              2. There was that incident in Austin. The media tried to claim the shooter was a poor innocent “peaceful protestor” who was gunned down by an awful gun nut… except the recordings I heard clearly have five rifle-type shots followed by three pistol shots.

                The “peaceful protestor” had a rifle, so I suspect he FAFO’d.

                1. There was a little kid who was shot in North Carolina. His neighbor walked up and shot the 5 year old in front of his sisters and a neighbor. His name was Cannon Hinnant. Cannon was white and his murderer is black. This was reported at the Federalist

                  Yes I know that this isn’t war. But it is an atrocity. A little kid in his front yard was murdered..

  3. Oh, I intend to. I got out of California barely in time to avoid having my work taken away by AB5; now the Democrats want to make it nationwide.

      1. Well, of course they hate entrepreneurs. The vast majority of them lack the gumption to get promoted to assistant manager at a McDonalds, much less start something of their own. And, what’s worse, they freaking know it. They are no-account people, and deeply resent it.

        1. They loath private enterprise and private property (except their own of course) but are willing to allow large megabusinesses to exist as long as they serve the will of the state. They are willing to use the Mussolini fascist economic model to achieve the goals of global communism. The only disagreement among the left is the pace of converting from the Mussolini model to full-fledged Maoist/Stalinist communism. Another difference is that this brand of global totalitarian socialism is identity group based. Thus, the term Communazi as being perfectly appropriate to describe them, especially so given their visceral hatred of Jews. They are mad scientist blending of Mao, Stalin Hitler and Mussolini.

          1. ALL of it could have been solved by not allying with Soviet Russia. no, it wasn’t needed. Yes, we should have destroyed them.
            ALL of totalitarianism should ave been (rightly) pointed out as evil and destroyed.

            1. I do wonder how much better things might be in Asia today if we hadn’t allowed the Soviets to join the war against Japan.

              1. Not a great deal, I’m afraid. Mao was the only ‘warlord’ with the ability to focus his people enough to not have petty infighting ruin his strategy. And Mao was the main driver of the rest of the rot.

                1. The Kims in Korea were a direct result of the Soviet intervention. And while there likely still would have been fighting in Vietnam, it might have acquired an entirely different flavor if the USSR hadn’t sent armies ever so briefly into Asia.

              2. It wasn’t so much “allow” as “We’re on our way to pick out our share of the spoils, you really don’t want to start fighting over this, do you?”

                The Japanese had more than just atomic bombs to worry about. Japan and Russia had already slugged it out less than forty years before; there was bad blood still festering between them. They had reports from former Japanese territories now under control of the Americans and British; we were far preferable to Russians.

            2. If we had, the horrors of Eastern Europe under the Soviet jackboot would never have occurred. There are generations living there that are *still* sore about that.

          2. What is NOT pointed out in any history classes is the fact that FDR AND Churchill both professed admiration for Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Party when they took power in Italy in the early 1920’s. Also, the Fascists were initially accepted as members of the Socialist movement until they turned on the Stalinists in the 1930’s in Spain.

            1. I am a primary source fanatic but of no era is reading the primary source more important than the 1930s. Let nothing tainted by hindsight get in!

      2. If there was a way to extract bribescampaign contributions from entrepreneurs as easily as they can from unions and big business, they’d be okay with them.

    1. Good old AB5.

      Ironically, I’m part of the group that a casual observer would assume is affected by AB5. Specifically, I’m a contract worker who works on-site 40 hours a week. It’s a no-brainer, right?

      You would, of course, be wrong.

  4. Incidentally, you will find some remarkable parallels in E.E. Smith’s First Lensman. Its climax has both the problem of having an honest election when the Boskonians are interfering with the vote counting, and the problem of enforcing the law when one entire party is in the pockets of pirates and drug smugglers. As Tolkien put it, not allegory (or prophecy), but it sure seems to have applicability.

    1. Went out last night. Wore a mask into the place, removed it upon reaching the table. It was the sort of place where people are in booths so they can fill most of the booths and pay lip service to “social distancing,” and they did. And good for them.

      1. Locally some with booths are adding high clear dividers (one place didn’t have too, their booths are high by default) over top of booth seat backs. Then gee our lovely PTB Highness Brown decreed no more than 100 in a building at a time, including all staff …

      2. I was in town for both medical and shopping reasons. Per the Oregon Health “Authority”, screening is no longer required, so at the clinic complex, nobody was guarding the door. Saw at least two people in the lobby not wearing a mask.

        Fred Meyer (Kroger) no longer has anybody doing Telephone Cart Sanitization, and a smallish percentage of the customers were skipping masks. Another store (name redacted to protect the guilty) had maybe 30% of the customers in a few busy sections not wearing masks. Saw more beard snoods, and I was in good company with nostrils exposed.

        Not every big store skipped the entry screener; one independent grocery store, and another one still had an employee doing the job.

        When I can, I eat lunch in town; only one of our regular places is set up for such; one diner has the insane rule that customers cannot touch the entry door handles. When they drop that (if they do so before the place goes under), I’ll go in, otherwise, forget it.

        I’m getting the impression more and more that people (at least over here in Flyover Counties) are trying to ignore Salem’s edicts as much as possible. Irish Democracy in action.

        1. Good old Appalachia, ever the last daughter called to the table, has just started seeing “masks required” signs this week. The city council is not amused. The rural farmers, once they stopped laughing (and I am not as yet convinced they truly *have* stopped) pointed out the local N95 shortage, and asked how they were going to address the lack in public buildings where it was absolutely, positively, no ifs-ands-or-buts required?

          I have seen a few nice ones, though. The lady in the plague doctor mask was a nice touch, I think. And the big flat cone with the veil had the whole social distancing thing going without effort. Couldn’t make it through the single door, though, had to use the double. The scuba dude turned out to be the sitting judge, I later found out. The one fellow that saran wrapped his head except for his nose hairs was just being cheeky, though. Not to mention the Halloween store that sold out after a special weekend opening in about six hours.

          One store in particular has had to add a few stipulations to its State Mandated You-Wear-Mask-Or-Else! sign. Notably,

          “Masks must be worn inside this shop. Keep each other safe, wear a mask!”

          to

          “Masks must be worn on your FACE and no other part of the body!”

          to

          “Masks must not have holes in them big enough to fit a cigar, cigarette, pipe, or hookah!”

          to

          “Masks must be adequately secured so they don’t ‘fall off’ as soon as you enter the store!”

          to

          “Customers are not allowed to “secure” employees masks that “Look in danger of slipping!’ ”

          I haven’t been back that way in a few days, so it may be fun to see what new directives they added to it.

          On the flip side, the shop down the road has taken a rather different tack.

          “No masks to be worn inside. We are a gun shop. You wear a mask, we may shoot you!”

          *chuckle*

          We may be forever behind the times, but dang if it ain’t an interesting place to live.

          1. Not seeing that sense of humor around here, at least not yet. One that I wasn’t thrilled with; “If you cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, call xxx-yyyy and we’ll give you curbside service”. The first example was a freaking paint store. Not sure what the second was, though I recall it might possibly have had a good reason (pharmacy perhaps).

            I have to go west of the Cascades next week, and I’ve heard of some places that freak out over exposed nostrils.(That was Eugene, closer to Karen-Central than Medford.) I bought a 10 pack of the face shields, and AFAIK, they are default OK by order of Despicable Kate Brown.

            $SPOUSE has opted to stay at home and take care of the dogs*. She was in town 10 days ago, her first since the outside mandatory mask orders, and it was sort of like Rip Van Winkle. “That person has their nose/mouth/face exposed!” “Yes, people are getting sick of the orders.”

            (*) One needs a minimum of one person sitting with her at meal times. Not sure how much longer she’ll be with us. Not in pain that we know, but increasingly unsteady. Sigh.

            1. Several weeks ago I was eating at a Subway while my car was being worked on. They had a sign up saying I had to wear a mask while eating there. Fortunately they didn’t actually bother me about it, so I didn’t pester them with the obvious question. I was pleased that they weren’t actually silly enough to make an issue of it.

              A couple of weeks ago I came back and they wouldn’t even let me come in and make a to-go order without wearing one.

              1. Beyond the shifting official rules, there’s a lot of craziness with restaurants. One regional diner chain has an open dining room and takeout, while the one in Medford is delivery only. Not even take out. These are franchises, and each county frequently has different rules, either by state order or because the Public Health (spit) people have reasons.

                I’ve seen minor variations in tiny chains. One store, no refills, another you get a fresh cup.

                Condiment bars still closed, as are salad bars. Both Asian/Chinese buffets are closed for the duration; one I expect has gone broke. The large Chinese place we like still has a closed dining room. I *think* it’s because of rules on the lounge; I suspect it made enough profit to carry the overhead for the dining room. But, with decreased capacity (“What is the minimum capacity you need to survive? OK, 40% of that is the limit.” /sarc, but not by much), the lounge is closed. Small kitchen staff and one or two people to do the takeout. That’s a lot of people out of work, for what was the busiest Chinese place restaurant, period, in town.

                1. My, admittedly scanty, understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its associated fallout is that if a person asks for accommodation on the grounds that they have any sort of disability, not only do they not have to provide documentation, nobody is allowed to ask what the problem is. I HAVE heard that this does not apply to employment, but my strong impression has been that it very much does to ‘public accommodation’ (restaurants, bars, shops).

                  So, two questions:

                  1) Am I completely behind the times and now documentation is required?

                  And

                  2) If the answer to 1 is “no” at what point do we all start carrying a copy of the ADA around, and telling people “I have a disability that precludes wearing a mask, and asking me why or demanding documentation is a violation of federal law.”?

                  Oh, and I suppose…3) What do you suppose the tinpot swine would do if EVERYBODY did that?

                  1. No. Most stores just DON’T LET YOU IN. They’re terrified of being shut down and tell you that if you have say — in my case — asthma “just stay home.” So, you know, house arrest for having a health condition THAT’S NOT COMMUNICABLE.

                  2. BTW I don’t even HAVE asthma unless there’s some precipitating incident, like a REALLY CLOSE BY fire, or I’m forced to wear a mask. I mean, sure. I have it. But I use my inhaler once every few months, NORMALLY.

                  3. My, admittedly scanty, understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its associated fallout is that if a person asks for accommodation on the grounds that they have any sort of disability, not only do they not have to provide documentation, nobody is allowed to ask what the problem is. I HAVE heard that this does not apply to employment, but my strong impression has been that it very much does to ‘public accommodation’ (restaurants, bars, shops).


                    My ADA knowledge is based on the Service Animal aspect, specifically Service Dog. NOT a Lawyer. I have & use a SD.

                    Both are true. Public accommodation for SA means the gatekeeper (employee of establishment) may ask two questions, if it is Not Obvious: 1) Is that a SA? (Usually SD, but mini-horses allowed to be a SA.) and if yes. 2) What task does does the SA perform? Note, #2 does NOT require a medical diagnosis. Now in theory, since I mark my SD (not required) both as a SD and her task “medical Alert”, plus her behavior (obedience trained & ignoring gatekeeper) getting asked either question is questionably illegal as it is obvious she is a SD. OTOH having a marked SD isn’t guarantor it is a SD, and a good clue, besides dog’s behavior is the handler’s reaction to the two legal questions. Fake handlers tend to get upset about being asked.

                    Employment. Work related one must ask for accommodation to take a SA to work. Reasons for refusal can not be because someone is afraid of the SA (usually dog breed) or is allergic. Food prep jobs are universally a “no”. Education in general, recommend it get written into IEP (whatever the acronym is) to prevent constant problems regardless of level handler is at (K – PHD).

                    Housing (not mentioned but …) comes under HUD, not ADA.

                    Oh. Judges in courts have their own controls. Legal? (see the not a lawyer disclaimer).

                    Bottom line. It isn’t the animal’s right when denied. It is the handler’s right to not be denied medical equipment.

                    So, two questions:

                    1) Am I completely behind the times and now documentation is required?

                    No for general public access. Work, Education, Housing -> Yes.

                    2) If the answer to 1 is “no” at what point do we all start carrying a copy of the ADA around, and telling people “I have a disability that precludes wearing a mask, and asking me why or demanding documentation is a violation of federal law.”?

                    SA handler’s often do. I have a card for people to read. Haven’t had to pull it out.

                    Oh, and I suppose…3) What do you suppose the tinpot swine would do if EVERYBODY did that?

                    Ever seen an out of control SD where animals are not allowed? That is what happens if EVERYBODY did that. Personally, not a SD police/Karen.

                    Note, for the record, establishments can request out of control animals, even proven SD/SH be removed from the establishment. Handler has to be allowed to complete shopping after removing animal. But it must be an owner/employee or other representative of the establishment. True handlers are appalled when their SA has a bad day.

                    Regarding offering alternatives to going inside. That could be considered discrimination. Treating handicapped/medically compromised differently than everyone else. OTOH, locally OSHA terrifies merchants more … it’s just the lawsuits in Oregon, at least, has OSHA cowed as far as the ADA & SA goes (to the point that Oregon SA in training, handlers have same rights as having a fully trained SA. Not true in all states.)

                    The closed FB SD sites have been, um, entertaining on the issue of masks.

                    1. The general reaction to ADA claims appears to be “when you have a court order we’ll let you in.”

                    2. The general reaction to ADA claims appears to be “when you have a court order we’ll let you in.”


                      Seeing Eye Dogs have been around for a long, long, time. It has taken lawsuit after lawsuit to get SA to where it is today. Not just the law, but establishments following the law. Sped up because of the addition of Hearing, Medical Alert, PSTD (not ESA), & general non-seeing eye mobility, Dogs, and now Mini-Horses, over the last 10 years or so. Not surprised that merchants are pushing back with the masks in general. Good Lord you should see the, um, discussions (yes, lets call them that) in SA groups on mask, no mask, debates. Essentially what is being posted here is the debate there. From both sides. Although there it isn’t asthma or other limited breathing, but in general PSTD issues are cited. Can’t wear a mask or a face shield without triggering panic attacks. The people who’d you think would be the most sympathetic can be the worst gatekeepers. Granted some of the worst gatekeepers wear masks when out & and about because of immune compromised issues. Even some of those will admit their masks protect them, not anyone else.

                      Trust me. I’ve read all sides of the issue. Here it is a tiny bit of the discussion, and nothing new.

                      Personally? Not a Karen. I am no more the mask police than I am a SA police, spotting fake service animals (pets marked as service animals), so that owners can take their animals anywhere they want. Why? It is like taking a toddler everywhere (better behaved, granted, we’d wish toddlers would be as well behaved as SA are expected to be 24/7 100% of the time), only unlike a toddler, you don’t get to put your SA in the shopping basket. No one is going up to your toddler to squeeze their cheeks (pet) or deliberately distract or trigger them (they do this with SA all the time).

            2. How do you think I feel? I live in Eugene … Not only do the Karen’s get yelly (a work okay) about no mask, lord help you if you wear a flag mask. Or I presume “Trump 2020”, “KAG 2020”, or equivalent. I wear a flag one. No one has accosted me yet. I’ll just take it off & ask sweetly “Better”, “No?”, put it back on, wave & walk away. OTOH I can get just as good a reaction wearing an mask with Benny Beaver on it. Not only that, but masks make me sneeze, which gets, at minimum, dirty looks. So many ways to offend I tell you …

              What’s the quote? “I aim to misbehave …”

      3. I refuse to wear a mask to go into any eatery, and will loudly tell the doorkeepers that I will not patronize their establishment until they remove that riduculous rule. I also will not patronize any store that makes you wear a mask to shop there. The masks DO NOT do any good. wearing anything less than a FITTED N95 mask without a valve is like using a chain link fence as mosquito netting. The WuFlu virus is not as bad as our betters in the government are telling us it is.

    2. Yeah, but that’s party of the icky white cismale “SF canon” and modern hyper-woke readers can’t be bothered to spend time with something that doesn’t even know they exist.

      1. Yes, but I think there are a different sort of readers here who might feel otherwise.

        1. Didn’t you hear during Sad Puppies? We’re just a bunch of invading barbarians with no appreciation of SF’s glorious heritage. /sarc

          Oddly enough, the same people who said that then are now the ones saying SF’s heritage is bad and should be forgotten . . .

          1. I have to say, for once I liked George R.R. Martin’s approach to the erasers of history. It was glorious to have him just talk about Lovecraft and Campbell, like a normal person, and pretty amusing to have it done in a pre-recorded way.

            Of course, we could have used his full-throated support back in Sad Puppies, or for a lot of other causes. And then he wouldn’t have had to face the Twitter mob over his own cancellation now.

            But better late than never, and better in 2020 than a lot of times.

              1. Maybe he and J.K. Rowling had a Billionaire Writers’ Club meeting. They both deserve what they’re getting in term of past behavior, they both are doing current good behavior against stupid mob stuff, and they both seem to have grasped the principle that their actual paying fans don’t care.

                I hope they keep it up, because it needs to be done by more visible people who are hard targets.

          1. LOL.

            True, but you still have a great rack.

            What happened to people were supposed to be able to identify as they wished instead of having it assigned by leftards.

            In fairness to the person who said it, I got her point.

            1. Wait, does that mean Sarah gets to claim the trans multiplier twice? I’m so confused…

            1. Oh, hell. Turns out — funny story bro — I can claim black (Bantu, specifically) based on 23 and me.
              Which is actually fairly ridiculous. I’m normal Mediterranean skin tone, not even dark.
              When I was young and spent the summer at the beach I turned the color of dark buttered toast.
              Son OTOH — that Sephardic ancestry — pings Arab or Jewish depending on hair and beard style and is a frequent flyer of getting groped at airports. (I’ve promised him a t-shirt that says “I was felt up from Frankfurt to Madrid.”)
              BUT like me he’s a white male.
              Probably also Mormon….

              1. >> “BUT like me he’s a white male. Probably also Mormon….”

                But does he have a great rack?

              2. There’s one mid-West airport I, person experiencing extreme pallor, have never escaped from without getting the full- grope-age. Every. Single. Time. And of course, if there’s anything off with your I. D. paperwork you can expect an experience you normally demand a wedding ring for.

                I think there’s something we exude that triggers the TSA wankers.

          1. The gist was because I have done exploring and experimenting and neither deny it or reject it I’m somehow not cis-het.

            I got her point, but I had two counters:

            1. I do not identify otherwise despite any fun I used to (or might in the future have had).

            2. In common parlance no one is going to give a damn.

          2. And speaking of Schrodinger’s status, why are cat noises coming from a were-fox? [raised eyebrow]

            1. Hey, sometimes the cat software overpowers the dog hardware in audible matters, too.

              ********

              More seriously, because IRL we do the “Whiskey Tango?” meow that cats used, but typing “Brrrawoo?” doesn’t quite catch it.

                  1. Oddly enough, his current ConCostume is military-ish Santa.

                    With a Russian accent.

                    Which he came up with before he saw the trailers for this, and we still haven’t seen the movie:

                    His inspiration is that the good Bishop was noted for rump-kicking in a seriously tough region.

    3. Right the Cosmocrats (lightly disguised Machine Democrats ). Unfortunately we have no Lensman (myself excluded, but to quote Sherman, ‘If Nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve”) to run Like Rod “The Rock” Kinnison, and no galactic patrol to watch the polls. Even if we had the Galactic Patrol they’d have to watch the counting not the voting. I suspect Doc Smith was familiar with early 20th century NYC/Chicago with their big Bosses. November 4th looks to be a Mike Charlie Foxtrot of epic proportions No matter who wins or even if we’re still counting. Watch the East Coast swing states (FL, PA, a few others). If those select Trump early the Cosmocrats have failed to throw enough fraud into the mix. If those are still going at midnight its going to be a squeaker and I fear very close results end up cosmocrat by the next day as boxes of mail in ballots are suddenly found.

      1. I believe that’s backward. The Cosmocrats were the party of the Galactic Patrol. The Boskonian party was Labor.

        1. You may be right , It’s a couple years since I last read first Lensman where this happens. A good reason to go back and re read it 🙂

            1. I like Galactic Patrol and Gray Lensman a bit better but “A chacun son gout” a good space opera is always nice.

  5. I see this as a soft revolution. They actions the states and cities have taken are just short of provoking an armed response from the population. They are pushing, experimenting with what they can do before people go hunting politicians and their thugs.So far very few have violently reacted to wearing a mask, curfews, shortages, or not going to work. If they keep pushing they may find the tip point.

    1. And one party’s candidate is a stuffed shirt while an utterly unscrupulous Senator actually runs things. Where are the Arisians when you need them?

      1. Which is ironic because Smith created a number of strong female characters, both as heroines and villains.

      2. Technically speaking, we haven’t had the third world war yet, so open intervention by Arisia in support of the fledgling Galactic Patrol hasn’t happened yet. One thing Smith did not get into was just how the government was constructed. One assumes that it was a republican form, and that the majority of representatives were comprised of retired Lensmen. But the Executive was outlandishly strong compared to the current U.S. government; raising questions of fascism and totalitarianism on the side of the “good guys”.

        1. And don’t forget that the Gray Lensmen were effectively “Free Men” aka Furhers.

            1. I do English and Computer (several dialects). No other human languages. I have no German. Sorry about that you linguist you.

        2. In “The Vortex Masters,” he implies there’s a lot of local autonomy and people pretty much get the government they ask for. One of the places Neal Cloud and his mostly female crew go is a planet run by machine politicians and the response to, “Can’t the Patrol do something?” is “No, the locals have control of local governments, they have to do it themselves.”
          There’s also a conversation, I think it’s in “Gray Lensman,” where Port Admiral Haynes tells Kinnison Civilization is so big and has such a huge economy that the taxes on the Galactic level are almost microscopic, and they still have almost more money than they can use. (Kim helps take care of that ).

          1. Although there was another scene in Gray Lensman where Kinnison presides over a murder trial after being asked to step in by the locals.

            Finally, IIRC, the original brief for the Patrol and maybe the Lensmen was to serve as “interplanetary lawmen” meaning they didn’t chase down criminals unless they had fled to another planet, or came from another planet with an extraplanetary product, such as thionite.

            1. Yes, but he WAS “asked”, since Gray Lensmen were considered to be pretty much unbiased as well as incorruptible, so even though tensions were high, people would accept his verdict.

              The fact that he used his new abilities to give a show that shook up everyone was unexpected by everyone.

        3. I think that to some degree in the timeline the U.S. came through WWIII with less damage than the CCCP and its buddies (due to the heroic efforts of Missile defense men CF Triplanetary. Yes I know its written later and to some degree a retrofit, but its still canon).
          So the NA government is mostly US like although seems to have picked up the rest of the Americas at a minimum, and does seem to have a more powerful Executive branch from what can be seen. Lensman on the other hand are few and far between, The tradition of Gray Lensman is not there yet. Heck we still have First Lensman Samms in the picture. I think none are in politics yet at that point, they’re mostly in military/police services (The infant Patrol). Unfortunately the Historian of the period (Dr. Smith) was less interested in those features in his volumes of history. I suspect he was trying to make sure they sold :-).

          1. There were a few who were already in politics before they became chosen as lensmen, and that was mostly interplanetary politics, where the Triplanetary Service had already gotten a foothold. Kinnison was really the first on who got into politics after getting his lens.

        1. At this point I think both sides are just waiting to see who wins and thus who has to shoot first.

          I do not believe we will have a peaceful transfer of power if Trump wins and if Harris wins we’ll have Beirut style civil war by May.

            1. Getting their storm troopers to actually try to go all Brown Shirt on us. Antifa doesn’t like going out in the cold.

              1. Ooh, how I’d love to the Antifidiots get the firehose treatment in subzero* weather!

                * F, not mere C. But if can you pull it off in K or R… well, now!

                  1. I’ve met -40 C/F. A two week stretch of that for a low, and not above 0 F for the highs. The psychological factor of the temperature creaping *just* above 0 F was almost “Summer’s here!” Alright, Spring…

                1. What about over 100 F? in TX , AZ or NV? I wouldn’t mind seeing a few drop from heatstroke. I had that once and it ain’t fun.

                1. Was thinking Germany, not Italy. Wasn’t the SA the Brownshirts? Not the ones who became the SS, but the ones who got purged once they were no longer useful.

                  1. True, but I was referring to the fact that our homegrown antifascists are wearing black already.

                  2. The SA were the brown shirts and Nazi party HQ was called the brown house. The SA bought a bunch of surplus German army tropical gear cheap that wouldn’t be used because Germany had lost all its colonies.

                    The fascists in Italy did wear black. Blue was the color of the Spanish Falange. Interestingly enough the blue was the same shade of blue as the TSA airport stormtroopers wear while they strip search young children and nuns while letting at least 95% of contraband through.

                    1. What our democrat friends haven’t realized is that the German Antifa hated the Social Democrats a lot more than they did anyone else. yes they had first fights with the Nazis but that was street fighting The political fight was against the SDP. Had antifa won, a lot of the SA would have thrived under the Stalinists, it was a small move for them, their “moderate” lefty friends not so much

            2. Right, if the Feces have not hit the whirling blades by the time the Electoral college assembles I’d be deeply surprised (presuming Trump has the votes) if it goes other than in large Blue cities. The only other potential issue is The House counting of the ballots. If the Democrats continue to hold their majority (likely) AND decide to in some way block the process, I think we’ve had Fort Sumter and the Boogaloo is on. One nasty possibility is indecisive electoral vote. The only way this could happen is unfaithful electors (lots) or a state that totally misses the elector panel date. If that happens it gets thrown to the house but by State and needs a majority of states so all bets are off. VP is chosen by the Senate (just looked that up) by straight majority of voting senators. What happens if those tie I have no idea. I think the election being thrown to the House is highly unlikely, if there’s massive fraud it goes to the dems and the republicans will sit on their thumbs as usual.
              If the Dems screw up the fraud the odds that it comes to the house to decide are somewhere between slim and none, although given 2020 I wouldn’t bet on it as this year ALL the fricking swans are black. If DJT is inaugurated and there’s crap still going on on Jan 21 I suspect we’d see the use of posse commititatus and martial law, because Trump can’t run again and there’s 4 years for other stuff to affect chances of some other demoncrat winning in 2024.

              1. VP is chosen by the Senate (just looked that up) by straight majority of voting senators


                You mean we could get Biden, with Pence or even Trump as VP? THAT could be entertaining.

                1. It’s worse than that I think. I do not believe the House is in anyway constrained in choices. Someone could introduce (gulp) H.R. Clinton. But to calm things a little .y memory is that although the Demoncrats hold the majority in seats it is NOT clear they would win. Each state gets 1 vote chosen by their delegation.. So California gets the same representation as Wyoming or the Dakotas. You have to amass a majority of state votes (26 currently) to win. DC gets no vote (as I don’t think they tweaked that when they gave dc electoral votes). And yes Biden with Pence is a theoretical possibility. Of course so is being dealt a Royal Straight flush in draw poker, just not bloody likely.

                  1. The House is constrained. Their choice in voting is any one of the top 3 voted on by the electors. I’ve made this point in many places. The Dems need to ensure that there is at least one faithless elector just in case Biden drops dead between when the electoral votes are cast and when the votes are counted. If there aren’t any on either side- a dead body isn’t eligible for POTUS- so the election goes to the house. Without another choice, Trump is reelected by default.

                    Ignoring the Constitution completely would be, well, disastrous.

                    If states fail to certify their EVs and send them to Congress- the votes still get counted- and if no one gets a majority- election goes to the House.

                    Currently- 26 state delegations Republican majority, 23 Democrat, one even split.

                    1. Ignoring the Constitution completely would be, well, disastrous.
                      ignoring the COTUS is the dem party line these days. In such a situation, I’d be shocked if they did follow the COTUS.

                    2. Thanks for digging in further. So definitely faithless electors are bad news as two or three collaborating could easily push a candidate to be the third highest vote getter. So constrained but not reallythat constrained. Possible with some clever cheating (Bribe/convince a bunch of Biden electors to go rogue).

                      My concern was not on certification of EV but on actually creating the slate by the states. My worry is that they’d drag their feet past the deadline intentionally to nullify votes for someone they didn’t like. But that only helps one side or the other IFF their Houses are one way (say democrat) and the vote is the other (Trump). I think that’s a small number of states.

                      Biden dying is another nightmare scenario. He seems physically healthy, he’s just got the intellectual capacity of a turnip (and that’s kind of throwing shade on turnips).

                      With 26 predominantly republican delegations unless we have some turncoats (or DJT bites the dust before the count, heaven forbid) I think you get Trump. So the Dems can’t use that ploy. Its got to be mass fraud in the ballots in swing states or nothing. Of course they might even win it fairly (snort), but I think we’re back in Royal Straight Flush territory.

                      Would the Democrats just ignore the constitution on this front? Probably not, but they might use something like this to further taint a second term (Think RutherFraud Hayes)
                      if they mess up and don’t have enough fraud.

                    3. The New York Post apparently had a session with the President and he’s telling them he thinks he can put New York in play. I’ll believe it when it happens, but de Blasio and Cuomo have certainly made generous in-kind contributions to Trump’s effort.

              2. May was a Biden win being used to let their Brown Shirts take care of the Trump supporters.

                That will require the EC and then the gun laws. I doubt 2A types will fire the first shots unless AF is kept wrap up and they try to do it with police after the court fights…assuming they can find police to do it. Police aren’t doing it now in NY and CT where there is well known disobedience of existing laws.

                No, they will try to use AF to disarm us and that will require spring for the Moldilocks types to get out and “punch Nazis”.

                And they will think they can half assed punch people out of guns. If it wasn’t going to be so bloody it would be funny.

                1. Harris is on record as recently as June as stating that she will go after those who supported Trump if elected. She said that once Trump is gone “look out if you supported him and endorsed his actions, because we are coming for you next. You will feel the vengeance of a nation. No stone will be left unturned as we seek you out”

                  She has a proven track record of taking this kind of vindictive action as prosecutor in San Francisco and as California AG (look at how she want after opponents of Planned Parenthood).

                  She is a power hungry aspiring dictator who believes that there would be no limit on her power as President and that such power should be used to persecute political opponents.

                  1. Let me just get out ahead of things here and note that Joe Biden Did Not Kill Himself.

                    1. If you’re going to spell it that way, don’t you mean he’ll blunder in front of a buss?

                      I love typos. they offer so much opportunity for me to get in trouble. 😛

                  2. First, Joe Biden did not select Kamala Harris, the DNC did, the same DNC that called in Gretchen Whitmer for a late interview. They are looking for a successor to Biden who nows how to put the boots to their enemies.

                    And we know who their enemies are, don’t we?

              3. The House doesn’t count the votes. The votes are counted in front of a joint session of Congress. If there are objections to a state’s vote they have to be presented in writing and signed by someone from both the House and the Senate, then both houses split to debate and vote on the objection. If both houses don’t agree by majority vote with the objection the vote counts.

                1. Thanks for further clarification. So Holding the Senate is critical. If the senate goes over they can use this to toss some States votes (e.g. Florida) due to irregularities and unless there’s super majorities specified for the separate votes the votes are gone.
                  Although then I presume we’re back to a vote for a president in the house by state and right now that favors Trump (barely). As I said earlier they might do this just to try to make a second term tainted, but it still doesn’t get them what they want. And if they try to manipulate things with faithless electors I think we see the left and the loony left fighting it out in the democrat party to get their favorite in. Man I hope I’m just spit balling this because if any of this crap happens 2021 makes 2020 look like a cakewalk. Under normal circumstances I might think the Democrats might not pull this stuff, but they’re giving the republicans a run for the title of “The Stupid Party” and may have gone totally irrational.

                  Pardon me while I go to a fetal position and suck my tentacle…

                  1. The way the Senate map looks if the Democrats win control there they won’t need shenanigans in Congress to win the White House.

                2. Due to the great number of elderly representatives and senators, public health necessitates a count NOT done in full joint session but rather a modification respectful of the importance of social distancing and maximum number of persons allowed in the venue.

                  I am sure Nancy Botoxi has committees headed by such wise and providential solons as Nadler & Schiff working on ways to meet their duties consistent with the emanations of the penumbras of the Constitution.

                  The living one, not that one written a couple hundred years ago that nobody today understands.

            3. They have to build the “proper climate” if Harris wins (Biden is the dummy, Harris is the ventriloquist), so probably by May.

              Add another “outbreak” of COVID and offer to extend state unemployment benefits to keep people at home, confused, frustrated, and worried about everything.

              I suspect that it’ll be an odd replay of the Civil War, but Urban/”close suburbs” vs. Suburbs proper/Rural. I think the Suburb/Rural will win.

              And, God help any external power that tries to “help” their fellows in arms (i.e. the E!Democrats), because the winner of this civil war will have none.

  6. Think about this. When Prohibition went into effect, did it actually stop the consumption of alcoholic beverages? No, it just caused massive civil disobedience, until the whole thing was scrapped. It’s the same thing with various states’ mandatory gun “buy-back” programs–the gun owners snort and ignore them and they either get rescinded or forgotten about.

    I saw recently that something like 800 bars and restaurants in Texas were reopening in defiance to state orders (threatening their liquor licenses). And I think state job licensing requirements are going to be summarily ignored in ever-increasing numbers, too.

    Don’t let the media convince you that we’re no longer Americans. Antiauthoritarianism is in our blood.

      1. Typical communists…behave or we let the criminals have you.

        TGA makes clear the criminals were viewed better by the state and allowed to run the Gulags in many ways. I figured the Dems have similar plans.

        1. When the police are no longer a going concern, nigh all crimes will carry the death penalty. Ask a serious minded young mother (or heck, a moderately mature one) what she would do to protect her children. Ask any serious minded young man what he’d do to protect his family.

          Ask an old man, if you dare. Getting old ain’t for sissies.

          I much prefer law and order. It’s predictable. Safe. Good for economic stability. Folks forget what the penalty for horse theivery was, not so many decades back. And why.

          Thos who refuse to learn the lessons of history may come upon them all at once, and too late.

          Such things are good for no one but the crows and the jackals. Best we apply ourselves to equality under the law once again. There is much to be said for such things.

          1. As Glenn Reynolds repeatedly says (most recently in USA Today: The police do not exist for protection of the public, they are there for protection of the criminal.”

            Try complaining a lynch mob didn’t read your Miranda rights. Try finding a jury to convict anyone accused of participating in a vigilante action.

            1. That’s why they hang out where the police WILL protect them, and scream for the cops whenever even mildly scared.

              Meanwhile, in Chicago, looters attacked the Ronald McDonald House with families sleeping inside.

          2. Freaking *weird* dream, last night– we had home invaders in the walk-in basement (that we don’t have) and ended up having a heart-to-heart with the little sociopaths that STARTED with my chasing the ring-leader out of the house, insulting his intelligence, and ended when I was bullying the “I’m just here for the ride” girl into giving me her name while I explained that the laws protect them, but if I’d slaughtered the whole pack in the house the cops would be basically going “well, yeah, not much to be done for that, home invasion robbery with a whole mob? You’re lucky nobody was hurt before you killed them.”

          3. Hmm, loss of mobility – check, loss of ability to work – check.
            The more extreme Governors lockdown orders are equivalent to horse theft on a massive scale!

        1. Anyplace actually rural and the three S’s apply.

          And lots of folks own backhoes, so there’s less manual labor involved.

      2. I guess there aren’t any nearby nursing home residents she can murder.

        Every time I shake my head in disbelief at how rotten the Left is, they ratchet things up another notch.

          1. The 1980 Mariel Bay boatlifts, in which Castro emptied out the Cuban prisons and shipped more than 120,000 criminals to Miami.

            Where ‘compassionate’ Leftoids took them in and ‘settled’ them in ‘ethnic’ neighborhoods despite strenuous protests from the Cuban refugees already living there. THEY knew what they were getting, but the Leftoids wouldn’t listen.

            The results were about what you’d expect from turning thousands of violent criminals loose.

          2. Might not be quite so horrible right now.

            I took a look at DKB’s web site, and as of Aug 6th, Lake county came off the “watch list”, where the restrictions get crappier. To get on it: “sporadic case rates of 50 or more per 100,000 people, and more than five sporadic cases, in the last two weeks”. (Sporadic == can’t contact trace) With Lake county’s population of 5000 people, looks like 3 cases would set the trigger.

            There are around 9 counties on the list; not familiar with the locations of all, but Portlandia and counties on the I-84 corridor seem to be hit. As a further kick, cases are considered active for a longish time; as best as I can recall, it’s 60 days after confirmed or presumptive. Klamath county dropped their active case report in protest over that change. (That redefinition seems to be buried in a memory hole, too. Cute.)

            The state mask goons are with OHA (health authority) and OR-OSHA. They were getting pretty obnoxious in Klamath county (just west of Lake) as the mask restrictions were going in place. OTOH, I haven’t heard of them venturing in our area, where it’s one store for the $TINY_TOWN and a bunch of pissed-off residents. I think they might be aware of the 3S rule….

            OTOH, TPTB have been blabbering about releasing the felons most everywhere because reasons. I doubt the planners think that 3S would come into play, but they should.

            1. We drove from Lane County to *Baker via Hines & John Day, Saturday. No problems. Lunch in Redmond (at cousin’s food truck). Stopped where we needed to (I’d forgotten how curvy that road is), no problems. No problems in Baker County or Baker proper either. Had to pump my own gas though (WTH? Yes. Spoiled, okay!) Came back I-84. Umatilla County, one I-84 hot spot, is Locked Down. Take out only. Hotels are open because where else are the highway construction crews going to stay (major construction I-84 east bound lanes through the canyon).

              Aunt & Uncle’s 65th Anniversary (officially Nov 2020, cousin thought it might be a bit cold to hold it on the day, outside …)

    1. What good is a liquor license if you’re not allowed to sell anything?

      Rent, utilities, insurance, and other expenses still have to be paid every month. Whatever inventory belongs to them is just frozen capital. They’re going to go bankrupt just so some Communists in Austin want to virtue-signal.

      Not all that long ago, Texans would have reached for their ropes and rode into Austin to explain their displeasure up close and personal.

  7. I vaguely recall some discussion article where the authors discussed someone on the news talking about Syria (this was back when Hillary was trying to get us into a war with Russia). One of the authors wrote something like: “Well, now that they’re talking about it, we have to ask ourselves if Syria is even real. Does it exist? How can we know? They’re talking about it, so we know they’re lying, but how deep does lie go? Have YOU ever been to Syria?”

    I laughed. They were loons in every other capacity, but I remember thinking “THAT is the proper degree of skepticism to our plague of liars.” and also “civilization can’t work that way!”

    People have this stubborn tendency to believe that when someone else is making noises at you, they’re trying to communicate something about their thoughts or the world, not just push your mental buttons for predatory ancillary purposes. How does some nightmare world work where no one is actually talking to you, they’re just trying to manipulate you the way you would push buttons on an inanimate object?

    People also have, which given recent advances in lying is no longer a safe assumption, the tendency to believe that a video appearing on the screen actually depicts something happening in the world and that they can trust their eyes!

    1. “How does some nightmare world work where no one is actually talking to you, they’re just trying to manipulate you the way you would push buttons on an inanimate object?”

      *Waves* It’s called living with a sociopath and/or narcissist, and it really screws you up. I grant that even if I’d been born into a normal family I’d be Odd, but as it is my trust in other human beings around me is… very low. Because it is living a nightmare, nobody else you try to ask for help believes it’s happening, and unless you’re very, very lucky, you never get to wake up.

      Which is why 2020 makes me volcanically furious if I think about it too much. I was almost out of it. And then the whole world turns into what I was getting out of. Freaking not fair…..

      1. “Because it is living a nightmare, nobody else you try to ask for help believes it’s happening, and unless you’re very, very lucky, you never get to wake up.”

        It’s also why so many of those cases, the victim ends up killing the abuser. And we are going to see some of that happening in the next few months.

        1. What gets me is, people I have told the situation to will say, “Well, it’s your own fault! Why didn’t you do something sooner?”

          me: *Looks at everyone around wearing masks, and feeling free to castigate anyone who breaks ranks. Because Authority Said So.* “Gee, I wonder….”

          1. Heh. No one who hasn’t tangled with a narc gets how manipulative they are. Half the time they are the ones being co-opted into the role of low level shame enforcers of the narc’s will.

            1. Yep. Is what I’d get. From everyone. “Well, of course you have to help her! Of course you have to spend all your time! Of course she’s entitled to every penny you make!” Augh, people.

                1. “You don’t know what she sacrificed for you!”

                  Actually, I do know – the money mostly got spent on her, including mine….

                  And all of this from people who of course had a vested interest in making sure someone else handled her. Ugh, people.

        1. I have a Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia I read for fun, if that tells you anything.

          Although really, I got it because I had this interesting idea….

          It was a near-run thing about whether I’d get out alive, for a while there. Over half a year of less than five hours sleep a night plus constant caregiving plus heart condition… it was close who’d give out first.

          She’s in care now, and I’ve been cleaning up the mess – literal, legal, and figurative. Aaaaargh this year.

          1. You might want to check out literature from AA and Al-Anon. They do a lot of commentary on the damage people connected to alcoholics take and ways to deal with it. And drunks can be very manipulative. Also bullying, entitled, self-pitying….sorry. I have a little personal experience on that front. Nothing like what you’ve endured.

            1. I started there back when I was a teenager trying to figure out what was wrong in the family. ATM I’m just trying to physically take care of myself until we get some last legal hurdles done.

              One of the things that really gets me is everyone local I asked for help in the past 6 years decided it was less less trouble for them to blackmail me instead. “You can’t just leave. Why, that would be abandoning her!”

              Legal note: In Florida abandonment – as in, just leaving a situation you can no longer tolerate – comes under elder abuse and is a felony. As I was reminded. Several times. By people who listened to me ask for help, and shrugged, “not their problem, we have our own families to look after,” etc.

              I got lucky, you might say – last year she assaulted me, and the cops had to get involved. Then it was legal to put her into care.

    2. > How does some nightmare world work where no one is actually talking to you, they’re just trying to manipulate you the way you would push buttons on an inanimate object?
      —-
      If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok, or you regularly watch or read “the news”, you already know…

  8. It’s the potential for large-scale vote fraud that bothers me. My hope is that the current MSM meme that Trump is taking over the postal service will drive more Ds to voting in person (I’m assuming Rs will do that anyway unless under extraordinary circumstances), and thus strongly mitigate the fraud potential. My other hope is that there are growing numbers of people who won’t necessarily vote FOR Trump, but will rationalize their vote as a vote AGAINST Biden (even if they mark the box for Trump). Either way, hubby and I are aiming to be out of Philly and out of PA by September/October. The goal is a state that isn’t as crazy. Not sure where that’s going to be yet, but I will make sure it happens before the election.

    I don’t want to go all Unabomber-cabin-in-the-woods, but that’s not completely off the table…

    1. Please move to NH to help displace those Massachusetts Liberals who keep coming here to escape MA, and then complaining about NH not having enough services to wipe their bottoms for them..

              1. Not unless it changes COMPLETELY politically over the next five years. And even then I doubt it.
                We considered San Diego 20 years ago for a GOOD job, and nixed it on “Sarah HATES Earthquakes.”

                1. So New England/Alaska is right out. Truthfully the only even vaguely rational part of New England remaining is New Hampshire (and MAYBE back woods parts of the rest, Rhode Island has little if any of that as Providence dominates). And as noted by Mr. Houst MassHoles and college students at UNH have been screwing that up for the last 20 years.
                  Sounds like Texas is best. How do you feel about Hurricanes (coast) and Tornadoes (inland). I’m not sure Ohio is a win SADS wise vs most of the north east. Same kind of thoughts in my family about 5-10 years out but my daughters are likely to stay in this vicinity so going far away is a loser as we get older and decrepit 20 years down the line.

                  1. I love Connecticut. Not even a joke. I love the landscape, the house style, even by and large the people. Except the politics.
                    In a different time, where New England wasn’t colonized by Marxists, Dan and I would probably have moved to the land of his ancestors and raised the boys there. Alas….

                    1. New England houses. Yeah, I’ve worked on a few and wondered, wistfully, what it’d be like to live like that. Can’t stand the politics either, but there are some New England gun nuts that are quite solidly anti-communist (and thereby anti-lefty). Just drowned out by the drone of the metro areas.

                      Appalachia has some nice places lower to sea level. Some are close to decent sized cities, as you’ve mentioned is a must. Cost of living is a big reason why I stay here, too. Just stay out of the state capitals. Yeesh. I need a minder when I work out that way. Too keep my mouth shut.

                    2. At this point I’m not even sure we can do big cities. I like them, but I think they’re going down for the long count after this bs.
                      Maybe within a day drive of the sea. We can go out on random days and walk.

                    3. I fled Taxachusetts fifteen years ago, for central Florida, Polk County, between Orlando and Tampa. Lower taxes, boomstick friendly. Up to the northeast of me, Lake County is nice and hilly. Lot’s of trails to walk, and easy to get to the bigger cities. Every time I go back to Mass, it looks smaller and dirtier. But I do agree the old colonial style houses are great, just spendy to heat.

                    4. Dear hostess I grew up in Connecticut near the Long Island sound beaches (Hammonasset State Park to be precise). It is beautiful and up country towards Lime Rock is quiet rolling hills. And I think the highest point in the state is under 3000′ :-). However, it went from mildly insane to bat feces insane in the 1990’s. It has both a very high income tax AND an insane sales tax (Not CA levels but bad). As you noted its gone deeper blue mostly I think from a flow into the section near NYC from the city. so NOT a win. It’s a shame, but it makes Massachusetts look sane. Some of my relatives still live there and curse the governor and the State house/senate constantly.

                    1. Nobody gets that this is a FREE PREVIEW of socialized medicine. Empty the hospitals for a flood of coronavirus cases they never got, but YOU can wait months for a simple joint repair, or biopsy, or sudden mystery pains. When it finally gets bad enough that they’ll let you in it’s “Oops, if you’d gotten this seen to right away it would have been treatable, but after four months of neglecting it you’re probably going to die.”

                      Then you’ll be counted as a death caused by COVID19, and the hospital will get paid extra.

                    2. Sister in law was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

                      Thank God, she’s paranoid as heck, and has been trying to get an appointment for an odd self-exam lump for months– which still puts her about six months to a year ahead of the usual “routine scan found a fuzzy spot” discovery.

                      But @#$@#@#@.

                    3. That’s just because you’re a selfish [expletive] with NO REGARD for the financial burden you would impose upon your neighbors and fellow citizens. People like you ought be taken out and … oh, wait a minnit: people like you ought have your organs repurposed for citizens who more devoutly regard their community responsibilities.

                      BTW, I expect you saw this, which should help you appreciate the rigorous scientific principles underlying your government’s decision processes:

                      Insane Model Means Colorado’s COVID-19 Policies Are Essentially Based On Tarot Cards
                      Colorado’s COVID-19 modelers seem to be locked-in to an extreme model that, if applied to the entire country, would mean more than 4 million deaths

                    4. No. I didn’t know. I doubt most Coloradans know.
                      But hey, fashPolis has made it impossible to petition to recall him during the “emergency.”
                      I think Polis wants to see Denver from above…. briefly.
                      OTOH my friend Charlie said he’s dumb as rocks. So that could be it.

            1. How much lower is low? humid or dry? trouble is when you go lower, anywhere from the mid-plains east is a summer sauna. Drier along the west bank of the Missouri River and on down toward north Texas. Eastern WA and OR are sunny and dry, and would be reasonable and not too elevated (plenty of sub-2000′), if the states weren’t run by loons. — I’m at 3200′ here in southeastern Montana’s little banana belt.

              Spent a great deal of time trawling USGS maps, back in my find-a-location days… BTW if you want to totally avoid earthquakes big enough to notice, North Dakota is the place to be. 😀

            2. Normally I’d recommend my neck of the woods because it’s where the Ents and the Entwined finally made peace. But we’ll be fighting a rearguard action here, so …

                  1. OK very nice. Now to get that thought out of my head :-). I’d throw carp but it is so clever I really can’t justify it…

          1. 200-300 feet above sea level?
            Why shucks, you have beach front property if all them there global warmists are right!

              1. Having sold the Summer House of my childhood, I have zero interest in ever living close to water again. No bad experiences there, but if you live near any sizable body of water, sooner or later conditions will conspire to allow it to come for a visit.

                1. here it is coming to visit and it started coming while a bit stiff.
                  One house up M35 from here is now a boat house in need of a door. The bay is about 6 inches above the floor. The little house is far enough back the ice didn’t reach it this winter, so no nature made door, but the neighboring properties all are working on breastworks to hold off the ice, and particularly bad summer storms.
                  Some years back (5 years ago) they were still harping on how the water levels were going to remain so low they were considering adding to people’s acreage. All the fault of AGW, of course. When I moved up in 2016 it was still being hammered on but they were admitting the levels were higher than the past several years, but it was “temporary, you’ll see”. Our riverside location even cut into the flood wall for some silly reason (it was as much to prevent spills into the river as it was to keep the river out) and the next winter the river came into the nearby buildings for a visit. It has dome so twice this past year, and they finally put a temporary block in the opening to keep the now always high water of the river and bay out. iirc the water levels are over a foot higher than previous norms. Up river, they keep water low by opening the dam gates, but the Green Bay is also that much higher.

        1. Skiing. Snowshowing, Sledding & tobogganing. Ice Skating. Hockey. Snow Mobiling. Building snow forts and snowmen (or armies of snowmen!) I’d mention ice fishing, but that might be going too far.

              1. I don’t know. His enticement left me cold…. (I did mention I’m the anti-ringo, right? If I’m cold my brain stops. Other than that we’re fairly similar, actually.)

                1. I think you should move to northern Alabama. Taxes aren’t too high, culture is Midwestern/Southern, there’s a space base with rocket tests in Birmingham, and you can mess with the EWTN crowd and go to Maronite Catholic churches and eat Lebanese food. Heck, you can pick up a Lebanese Catholic daughter-in-law, like most of the Catholic residents of Alabama.

                  The northern Alabama part is about resisting direct hits from hurricanes, while still being within driving distance of the ocean and the mountains.

                  1. Bama is a nice place. I don’t get to drive through there near as much as I’d like. I just have to avoid the late fall and early spring. Something about Northern Alabama causes my allergies to try and kill me.

                    This is another reason why LibertyCon, much as I want to go back, is difficult. I live in the South, but something about that area…

                    1. My old boss claimed there’s a semi-permanent inversion over the Tennesee Valley that traps pollen. That is a drawback.

                    2. Years ago, some friends tried to talk me and my (then) wife into pulling up stakes and moving to Alabama. We considered it, but the county they wanted to move to was a dry county, which was a major negative. I was a bit of a booze hound at the time. I had no idea that the US even HAD dry counties anymore.

                  2. Huntsville is the home of the Marshall Space Flight Center. It’s a very nice town, big enough to have a lot of amenities and small enough to be navigable. Worked there 1994-2010 at Redsrone Arsenal.

                    Birmingham is nowhere I’d want to live. The various bedroom communities maybe but Huntsville is a much better choice. They have an annual SF convention, too (Con*Stellation).

                    1. Sorry, you’re right; it’s Huntsville. I’m crazy today. (And it’s not like I don’t have contact with an international computer network for information….)

                    2. Just so he doesn’t get ahold of a used spacesuit, refurbish it and take up wandering around the countryside with the radio operational.

                      You might also want to keep a close eye on whether he’s suddenly using a lot of soap and saving the wrappers.

                    3. Worked with some folks back in the ’90s in Huntsville. Excellent BBQ quite good Indian and TexMex. Housing was dirt cheap compared to MA/NH. Only issue is tornadoes. One time I arrived shortly one time after a one had gone through Madison. There is a Plumbing Fixtures company there (American Standard?) and there were toilets both incomplete and fired scattered everywhere…

          1. I don’t fish for ice. I just put a tray of water in the freezer for a few hours.

          2. Trudging through mud most of the spring :-). Snow blowing or getting your driveway plowed at $100 a pop. Driving in smow (or watching others do it). Although we have NOTHING on Colorado for any of that, they get real snow, not our piddly 40″ -60″ a winter.

    2. Still on my first cup of coffee, but how does the D’s voting in person reduce vote fraud? Even if their ballots were altered in the mail, they would be altered to D. Unless you expect D’s to vote not D?

      1. Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say. Although, the more I think about it, the more I think that may be the road to more fraud if they did something stupid like give away the mail-in ballot and end up voting twice or something like that. They are going to try to game this thing as hard as possible.

        1. My hope, and I don’t think it’s a vain one, is that Trump already has much of the evidence needed to expose the Democrat Fraud Machine, from back in 2016. He didn’t need to fight that fight to win in 2016, and establishing that he could run an administration and get some stuff done was more important. Now that he has killed the ‘Trump doesn’t know how things work; he won’t be able to change anything.’ narrative, he can go after the Fascist Left with a chainsaw.

            1. They set up ‘motor voter’ AND gave drivers licenses to illegal aliens, and nobody figured out what they were after?

              1. Early this year (or possibly late last year) California had to redo all of its “Real ID” licenses issued at up to that point in time over similar problems.

                1. Oregon too. You can’t fly commercially domestically unless you do, unless you have a passport. Ironically I got my prior driver’s license during the small window when the federal requirements were in full force. Which means I have everything I need. So does my mom. It was grandmother’s potential inability to get the *documents needed that would have been a problem. OTOH we, extended family, considered that a feature, not a problem, until they changed the rules, dang it.

                  We haven’t bothered. We don’t take airplane flights. We have the border passport card. Only good for ground travel for Canada or Mexico. Valid ID. Cruise’s in Caribbean (I think). When it needs to be renewed probably will get both options. There is something about having a hidden border card in case of stolen lost/misplaced regular passport, should it be needed (paranoid much? Yes.)

                  * Birth certificates & certified wedding certificate (VS the pretty one signed, witnessed, & kept). It is the one sent to the county for filing. In our case counties. Where we took it out, and where we were actually married. Needed the one where originally taken out. By the time it was a requirement grandparents were at their 70th wedding anniversary.

                  1. I should do the Real ID next time… probably. Meant to do it last time, but I thought I had everything assembled, realized my passport was expired, and gave up for the moment due to time constraints.

                    1. It is difficult to fly with a truck & trailer.

                      Heck flying with backpacking equipment is a PIA, doable, but a PIA.

                    2. A tip from motorcycle touring: you can ship “stuff” ahead to your destination. And back again before leaving. Hard luggage from the thrift store is better than cardboard boxes.

                    3. It’s an American thing. Americans *drive*. And we’ve left our used cars on the Moon, one is on its way back from near the asteroid belt, and our proxies are putting tire tracks all over Mars.

                    4. Sure, but my family used to fly way more. Now part of this is our age. We’re older, don’t have toddlers. But part of it is we get in the car and go see the landscape on the way. And talk.
                      BUT everyone seems to be doing it more, and I don’t know why.

                    5. Who would fly if they didn’t have to? At least if they didn’t have a concierge service greasing their way into first class?

                    6. Oh, for long trips I used to kind of like it. Time to chill and read or sleep or whatnot, whereas in the car I often feel like I ought to be doing something. But I’m travel-sized and wasn’t flying with small children.

              2. Have personally witnessed at CA DMV… obvious illegals (no English, no documentation) being given drivers licenses and being registered to vote. (I have enough Spanish to grok what they were talking about.) Me, obvious Anglo, instead got “Papers please!”

                1. The Fascist Left believes that Hispanic Illegal Immigrants will necessarily vote Democrat. And they may be right….but they only have their Narrative to tell them so. And they are loudly FOR any number of things Hispanics won’t like.

            2. You did see the news article about how they’d seized 20,000 fake drivers licenses in Chicago in the past week? And they estimated there were 1 to 2 million more already at large? Drivers licenses being the primary means of identification for voting. That many fraudulent votes would throw any election.

              1. By the way, those license are coming from China. And we all know who China hates (DJT), and who the creepy sleepy kid who has been cuddling up to them for decades.

              2. With drugs, they figure that about 100 times what they catch manages to get through– enforcement is basically raising the smuggler’s production costs, and letting us know what to look for. (It’s usually pretty quiet, but if there’s some defining feature to look out for on the IDs, it’ll filter down to local departments and bars fairly quickly– bars either directly, or when the sting operations start including those errors in their test-cases.)

                1. Ah, for the good old days, when a fake drivers license was only used for underage drinking…

            3. When I got my Arkansas driver’s license in 1972, the ID requirements were the same as REAL ID is today. But the TSA won’t grandfather that, so to hell with them. I have no intention of ever taking a commercial flight again. A nasty bit is that if there are any Federal offices in a building, the whole building is subject to REAL ID screening even if you aren’t going anywhere near their offices. I can’t rule out that someday I might need a medical specialist or other service that I can’t get to without jumping through the REAL ID hoop, but I’m going to be… hostile… if/when that day comes.

                1. Sigh. I understand. And I’m lucky to be in a position where I can tell the petty babus to osculate my posterior.

          1. Yes, dump motor-voter, and make ID a must for voting. And, I do hope you’re right about Trump having the evidence on the fraud. This election is going to be a doozy no matter what. I plan on hunkering down and staying off social media for at least a couple weeks afterwards. I think it’s going to be seriously ugly.

            1. I’ve been using social media to see what memetic virus is currently spreading through my contact circles. It’s so bizarre to see 3 to 6 people unknown to each other post the same meme.

              But it’s not for actual socializing. I’d post, but since we live in a communism-lite dominated social media landscape I’ve refrained. At this point I don’t want to jeopardize income by voicing unapproved thoughts. And personal stuff gets shared in person.

              I blow off steam by adding to my list of non-scatalogical and non-blasphemous insults about Marx. Grifter, hypocritical, adulterous, bombastic, egotistical, lazy, etc. Things I could say in front of children. It’s helpful when swearing isn’t.

              1. Ah hell no.
                They’re coming for us where we live, physical, mental, social.
                We need to fight them on every front or we’ll lose. Sorry ladies.
                If you still have some sanity, my hate is off to you. I’ve been running with a flamethrower in each hand since Obama won and they uncloaked as socialists.
                The only thing that will stop me is death, and frankly, I wouldn’t place bets on that.

                1. Unfortunately, I also have need to protect new job in fragile (HA! There’s an F word for it, anyway) economy, so I have to save the fight for less public forums at the moment, or at least somewhat anonymized ones. And isn’t it a sign of everything wrong with the world and cancel culture right now that that really does have to be a consideration, at least until I get kids launched.

                  1. May I suggest the Socratic Method? It’s not hard to get Leftists to expose how illogical they are just by asking simple questions, and nobody can get mad at you for trying to understand someone’s position.

                    1. Sure they can, and the lefties already use the Socrates-being-an-ass method, where the questions are asked to set up equivocation rather than to expose thoughts.

                    2. Oh yes they can get angry.

                      What’s more, they can lie. They can refuse to admit they are engaged in doublethink. I once “debated” someone who maintained it was not an injustice for me to not receive the legal perks of marriage, but it was for him — he had no reason, he just never put both ideas in the same comment.

                  2. We got the “If you are on [anti]social media, don’t friend students, parents of students, former students who have relatives who attend/work here . . . ” I give thanks yet again that I have a very good reason not to have social media accounts (aside from the one that has 0 connection to Day Job et al.)

                2. Well, it’d make a pleasant change from the dead people who start voting Democrat.

                3. Well…. I’m trying for chubbiness and cheerfulness this fall for a little passenger. Even if I have to ignore a bit of reality and bite my tongue. In person, I have a hard time shutting up about political issues because I just find them interesting. Lol. My husband periodically reminds me that I’m trying not to be stressed out when I get on a roll. And I’m looking for things I can do that don’t jeopardize income. Friendships though? I expect many to be written off, and I accept that. I’m going to let the other person end it as they bring up issues and take issue with my answer. I’ll stand my ground, and I won’t play by their language rules (Protesters? Heck no! Arsonists! Agitators! Communist Instigators!) That’s where I’m at. Hopefully I can make some new friends along the way. 🙂

                  1. Assuming I have understood correctly, congratulations on your little passenger!

                    I’m going to have to put in to vote absentee because, well, there is a strong possibility of scheduling conflicts with an urgent need to disembark.

                    1. Yep. Thank you!

                      Unfortunately I don’t get a choice about voting in person. All I can do is drop the ballot on election day instead of mailing it.

                    2. Which I greatly appreciate. 🙂

                      (He says hi, or so I choose to interpret the latest light percussion.)

                  2. Here’s to a happy and healthy little passenger! And, I’m doing the same thing on social media. I’m not posting, but I’m responding and not backing down and not playing with my language (except to keep my tone reasoned and calm). And, yeah, I let them do the unfriending as well. But, I’ve noticed that most won’t do it…they don’t have the guts. All those declarations about “well, if you think Trump/issue/flounce-of-the-day is good/bad/evil/fantastic, just unfriend me now!” That’s a chickenshit way to do things and I’m going to let them be the chickenshit.

                    1. I have responded to several of those with something like:
                      “No. If you want to purge your bubble, you’re responsible for it. I will not help you isolate yourself. When you make public declarations, I’ll respond to them the same way I always have– with facts, more information, or agreement as I see needed. If I think of something neat, I’ll share it. But if you want to do an intellectual removal, you’re going to have to do it yourself.”

                      So far, the only ones who’ve done it are the folks who only liked me because they use to be able to bully me by acting like they knew what they were talking about. Once it shifted to where I could actually look things up, I wasn’t any fun any more.

            2. From Newt Gingrich’s podcast (this one is a must-listen):

              “What happens to the integrity of our elections if we move to a mail-in ballot system? Why haven’t states consistently purged their registered voter roles? Newt discusses these issues and more about potential voter fraud in the 2020 election with his guest, Hans von Spakovsky from The Heritage Foundation.”

              [audio src="https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/chtbl.com/track/5899E/traffic.megaphone.fm/HSW4933855128.mp3" /]

    3. Democrats will vote by mail and in person “just in case” and the “count all the votes” mantra will ensure double votes are counted.

    4. Heh. I figured the minute Trump suddenly said “OH! Vote-by-mail- is a GREAT idea!!” it was done on purpose and to cause the Dems to freak out about it, and thus push them off the “WE MUST VOTE BY MAIL” hill.

      Worked like a charm, at least so far…

      1. The reverse psychology ploy seems to work well on the left. Just tell them Trump is all in favor of something and they about face so fast they give themselves whiplash. It’s fun to watch.

        1. If this was a long term nitwit like, say, Barbara Streisand, I might give it credence. Jamie Lee Curtis? seriously? Doesn’t know what a toe-truck looks like and does?

          1. I’d be more inclined to suspect sarcasm.

            But, a toe-truck? What you call instead of an ambulance for foot injuries? 😀

  9. The Midwest, outside large cities, seems pretty sane. Down side, there are a lot of, “But…that would mean they lied to us! They (the evening news) would never LIE to us!” types. But there are a fair number of stubborn sorts, too.

    1. Unfortunately, in many of those places it is the hard blue major metro area(s) tail that wags the state’s dog.

  10. “And hindsight is 2020, which is why it sucks.”
    That deserves a wider audience.
    My husband is convinced there’s something else in the pipeline for Sept or Oct, meant, of course, to harm the Bad Orange Man and his voters. I’m in the, “Even if there is, it may not work out as planned,” school. We shall see.

    1. For the last decade or so the Democrats have always whipped a “mass shooting” out of their hat when needed. Averaging once every three months, until COVID and unleashing BLM and Antifa on the country.

      I figure they’ll tell BLM and Antifa to let it all hang out, and they’ll start gunning people down in mass lots, and run on “law and order” despite wanting to shut down the police, ICE, etc. Hey, it worked for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party…

    2. Well, there’s the “siege of the White House” for fifty days set for some time in September. Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street or something.

  11. “General lack of science knowledge or understanding.”

    Having spent the last couple of weeks looking at what our scientists have been putting out, it’s looking like our scientists don’t have an understanding of the scientific method either. Or else they decided to chuck integrity in the waste bin for some immediate cash and possible notoriety.

    1. Publication count and grant money trump the scientific method and integrity.

      Falsified papers are so common now, “scientific research” is little better than network news nowadays; “interesting, but nothing to depend on without independent verification.”

        1. That was the true disaster of the Manhattan project; though a series of incredible strokes of luck, Groves and his teams scattered across the country stayed on schedule and pulled rabbits out of their hats when needed. Which led to Feynman getting called to DC after the war, and offered management of a project to make tanks burn dirt. The generals reasons that if science could make incredibly expensive radioactives explodes, they ought to be able to make dirt at least smolder, and they could vastly simplify the logistics chains be issuing shovels for refueling tanks, trucks, etc.

          Feynman realized the vast gap of ignorance and declined…

          Have I ever mentioned how ridiculously *unlikely* the Second World War was? You’re not just talking dozens of “oh, come now!” events, but *hundreds* of them, almost all favoring the Allies. If you’ve ever been involved in even a small construction, software, or engineering project, the runaway success of the Manhattan Engineer District is even harder to accept. And that was just *one* thing, and, really, only of secondary importance since Japan was toast either way.

          1. Odd. The more I learn the more I put all those *unlikely* events to actually being pro-Axis.

            Take Barbarossa, for example. Paulus wargamed it out and predicted pretty much to the day the three weeks in logistical haul they had to take. Yet, despite never having really had enough tanks, enough trucks, enough road, or usable rail, Germany fought for four years in the East. They even made further advances.

            Given the logistical challenges, poor choices, and lack of coordinated strategy that the war lasted as long as it did required lots of Axis lucky breaks.

            1. There were others. I’ve got a book on the Battle of France. And in pretty much EVERY decision point that the French reached in which they could have caused a more positive outcome in the lead-up to the War, they made the wrong choice.

              EVERY SINGLE TIME!

              It was pretty depressing.

              1. Yep…had they not delayed their flank attacks while Rommel and Gudarian were running well ahead of the infantry they had a shot at the encirclement of the panzers.

              2. Shirer’s “The Collapse of the Third Republic” isn’t as widely known as his other books. It covers the French Third Republic from its founding to Vichy.

                Yeah, pretty much the wrong choice every time. It actually hurt to read that book, like watching some cheesy horror movie with every hackneyed old trope, doubled, and redoubled, except people died, they lost the war and became a vassal state, and then things got really ugly…

              3. Their Communists were screwing up by the numbers – presumably because the Russians were telling them to. They were also weird about WWI. They somehow managed to be both traumatized and overconfident.

                1. The French Communists and the Soviets apparently had a falling out over the Molotov-Ribbontrop Pact.

                  In this particular instance, nationalism and dislike of the neighbors apparently trumped ideology.

              4. That was the doing of the French Commies. Remember that Germany and Russia were allies. The French Commies could not do enough to help Germany.

            2. On the other hand the Battle Off Samar had the lucky breaks swing the Allied Way.

              It took over half the battle before the Japanese gunners realized they were shooting at escort carriers instead of fleet carriers and the switched from AP rounds to HE and finally sunk Gambier Bay. And the AP rounds would pass clean through the destroyers and destroyer escorts and either detonate when they were clear of the American ships or not even detonate at all. The Battle Off Samar has to be the most lopsided victory for an underdog in naval history.

              1. And also the result of one of the most horrible screw-ups in naval history.

                IIRC, there’s only been one other instance in which an aircraft carrier got caught flat-footed in gun range by warships. And that was the HMS Glorious, which blundered into the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

                1. If you compared the actions of Halsey and Kurita; Kurita did far more for the American cause than Halsey. Yamato spending all that time running from American torpedoes certainly helped Taffy 3. Not to mention his orders calling off his destroyer squadrons to save their fuel.

                  1. I read a write-up of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot yesterday. One of the things I noticed was that Spruance was in the *exact* same situation that Halsey later found himself in. A fleet of Japanese carriers had been detected while Spruance was guarding a landing zone.

                    Ironically, both Spruance and Halsey got the response wrong. Spruance thought it was a decoy to pull his ships away from the defenceless transports. So he refused to allow himself to be lured away. It was actually a Japanese strike group attempting to force a decisive battle, and sink his carriers.

                    Halsey thought he was dealing with an active carrier group, and chased after it. In reality, it was bait to lure his ships out of position so that the transports would be vulnerable.

                    Having said that, Spruance’s error in judgement was merely a lost opportunity, while Halsey’s was more serious. The senior leadership agreed – including Adms. Nimitz and King – and brushed off cries for Spruance’s resignation.

          2. You’re not just talking dozens of “oh, come now!” events, but *hundreds* of them, almost all favoring the Allies.

            You mean the guys not trying to wipe His Chosen People off the face of the earth?

            1. Well, many of the Chosen People were busy setting up to uncork the light of ten thousand suns on a different enemy…

            2. Taking the long view of history, has trying to wipe out His Chosen People ever worked out for anyone?

              1. It’s certainly an easy “these are the Bad Guys” marker for any student of history. Then I look at modern American politics, consider which party tends to support Israel and which one tends to support Israel’s enemies, and it’s pretty easy to decide which one I want to support.

                1. Especially when “support” could be more accurately phrased “don’t bring down the roof because the most-Jewish-but-not-even-majority-Jewish country HITS BACK.”

                  1. Hell, the ‘Arab Nations’ made the mistake of thinking a new nation made up in substantial part by people who were tough enough to survive the death camps would be a pushover. Then they made sure that every generation of Israelis since was been under threat.

              2. I’m reminded of one of the dust-ups between Israel and Egypt, where one commentator mentioned Egypt had an overwhelming adventage in men and equipment, plus Soviet “advisors” to help. The other commentator replied that “dig in and wait for winter” hadn’t worked in any of their previous conflicts…

          3. Ahem. I can’t make tanks burn dirt. I can make tanks burn manure. Unfortunately, the energy density of manure is magnitudes less than the energy density of an equal volume or weight of diesel fuel. On the other hand, we could make such tanks for export to our enemies. That way we’d have immense amusement value out of the nightly news reporting U.S. forces blew the shit out of attacking forces.

    2. All the problems we are seeing with the current science are old hat. There have always been orthodoxies that stood against real progress. There have always been crackpot fads. Right now it LOOKS worse, because the Fascist Left, which has been running things for some time, is freaking out and getting obvious.

        1. Government money + scientific research = problems. Perhaps not all at once, but as bureaucrats, and the demands for “progress” creep in, the scientific method and the need to prove the null hypothesis get kicked out.

          1. That’s going to be an important theme in a story I’m writing:

            “Come on, you know what will happen, They’ll spend billions of dollars establishing a huge government agency, and stuff it full of bureaucrats and political flunkies. They’ll set up committees to make all the decisions about scientific and technical matters they can’t begin to understand, while ignoring the actual scientists and engineers. They’ll tell experienced professionals far smarter than themselves how to do jobs they’re not equipped to comprehend, in excruciating micromanaged detail. They’ll refuse to listen to every warning about risks they are not competent to assess. They’ll insist on ‘progress milestones’ in time for arbitrary deadlines like elections and budget reviews, to advance their petty careers. And, every time they fail to cause a catastrophe it will just convince them to pay no attention to those timid intellectuals and take even more stupid chances until they do cause a catastrophe, which they will blame on the scientists and engineers. That’s how you wind up with Space Shuttles and nuclear power stations blowing up.”

            “So, no, we are not going to ‘partner’ with the government. We will not allow politics and blind greed to take the place of facts, logic and reason.”

            1. Meanwhile, in the realm of my nonhumans…

              ===
              The office door creaked open, and his bodyguard stepped in; halted to stare at the mass of old law books littering the desk. “What are you doing?”

              “Getting rid of bad laws. Since I’m High Prince, I can do that.” Rikon scratched a line across yet another page of rustic parchment. “Wearing fuligin. Who cares? And carrying a lance, like that’s ever been enforced. Or could be, except by someone else carrying a lance.”

              “I see your point.” Rizen invited himself into the chair opposite and opened the nearest codex. “Marriage by proxy prohibited. I think that one can stay. Wasn’t there some backwoods lord who sent a rebe to stand proxy at his wedding?”

              “Dunno.” Rikon squinted at the next page, frowned. “I can’t even read this. So it’s bad law by definition.” Another slashing pen stroke, and it was done. Will of the High Prince, that’s all it took. That, and endless hours peering at aged print in antique dialects. “Most of this is crap left over from the Commonwealth.”

              “Bad law by definition,” said Rizen, and Rikon laughed.
              ===

              [A ‘rebe’ is something like a sheep.]

                  1. Con suite chat at a con I attended many years ago. One person smugly stating “If laws were actually written by lawyers, there wouldn’t be any question as to what they mean.”

                    I just rolled my eyes. Like contracts, written by lawyers, are never challenged as to their meaning.

                    In my main SF future timeline one of the “constitutional protections” of the Terran Confederation is a provision that it must be reasonably possible for people to know what the law requires of them and, so there is a provision that the requirements and restrictions placed upon individuals by the law must be described in standard written English sufficiently clear that a typical high school graduate can understand them and the sum total of that clear English description of the law’s requirements must not exceed 100,000 words.

                1. Are you nuts? Thanks to forty-plus years of the Federal Department of Education the “average man on the street” cannot read the joke in a Bazooka Joe* gum wrapper. like as not.

                  *Do Bazooka Joe wrappers still have those feeble jokes or am I showing my age? Do they even still sell Bazooka Joe bubble gum?

      1. They like the title “scientist”, but almost all of them are academics, and their closest approach to research is putting their names on papers written by their students.

    3. Based on the number of irreproducible studies that have been found in recent years, I’d say that a LOT of scientists don’t understand the scientific method.

      Then there’s my friend who was working on some double-blind study for a drug, and found one of the lab assistants helpfully labeling the blood samples with the patients’ names, so they would be easier to identify.

  12. They simply hadn’t processed that they would lie about something as seemingly non-political as a disease.
    “The left lies, always.” – a then somewhat leftoid many years back (Lee Stranahan, I think)
    and for them EVERYTHING is political

  13. I think the Republic as we know it is lost. Many places have only been paying lipservice to the idea of individual rights for many decades. The specific rights involved vary from place to place, but it seems nearly everywhere has given up the idea of limited government and letting people make decisions for themselves.

    As for the institutions that fall, I think movie going could fall to the streaming services. The financial model currently used will probably need to be modified. And education could easily switch to an all online model. Restaurants and physical book stores are likely screwed.

    1. actually drive ins are roaring back to life, but this gut punch will probably kill HOLLYWOOD itself.
      Oh, btw, I keep waiting for “eat in your car” restaurants to ALSO roar back.

        1. The chili dogs are OK. The local franchises all went to “pink slime” burger meat a few years ago; it smells and tastes like beef, but you can suck it through the spaces between your teeth without needing to chew it. The texture is too nasty to be edible short of actual starvation.

          Everything fried is in the “no trans fats” healthweenie oil, which tastes like licking aluminum, but almost everyone uses that stuff now.

          1. Lucky me isn’t affected by the healthweenie oil
            Their burgers have been on a downslope for some time, that they’ve gone mushy slime doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
            WP did not let me know this comment existed . . . WPDE

          1. sounds like you had a good one.
            I preferred the ones in Louisiana to the ones in Texas. La had Peanut butter flavor malts. The burgers got less tasty a few years before I moved up here, so I stuck with the chicken. Haven’t had any since 2016.

          2. Soy sensitivities?
            I’m allergic — very specifically — to soy milk. Not soy in general, JUST soy milk. It causes exorcist vomit episodes.
            The kids have the same, while having NO reaction to other emetics.
            Which answered my MIL’s confused question “Why do you have powdered soy milk in the medicine cabinet.”
            Me “Well, one week Robert got into harmful chem– Oh, oh. To make the kids vomit.”
            She gave me the weirdest look…..

      1. Drive-ins will only work where you’ve got space, though. In high density areas, they’re not really an option.

        Disney’s using Mulan as its test case for new releases via streaming rental. It’s a bit pricey, imo. But the cost makes sense if you figure that more than one person will be watching it, and compare that with theater costs.

        1. Not really. Most theaters have large parking lots. Set up the screen at one end of the parking lot, and damn near instant drive in.

          1. A lot of theaters in high density areas are in malls. Or they use parking structures. Or they are in areas with easily accessible and low-cost (or even free; the City of Burbank in SoCal doesn’t charge for public parking, and even lets people park in police station lots after hours) public parking. Drive-ins aren’t an option in those situations.

          2. A friend has been doing that for his neighborhood kids since spring. He thumbtacks a sheet to the back wall of his house, sets out chairs and benches, and has has some kind of projector that hooks to his laptop. The kids watch the movie and eat popcorn and snickerdoodles, and the various parents socialize.

            1. One local Chinese/Polynesian Restaurant (Kowloon on RT 1) that has an immense parking lot is essentially doing that. Small fee per car for the movie. Car hops will bring you food from a limited menu (including the Dreaded Pu Pu Platter) Drinks for anybody BUT the driver (I think they tag you). I think with a half dozen movies they’ve made up for march-april. Of course this will only last until late september when the temp turns downward fast.

          3. We discussed doing a drive-in in our parking lot; showing films that were shot here at Old Tucson. The project kinda fell by the wayside. Also film licensing is a pain in the butt.

            1. you’re dealing many of the same parent companies and lawyer firms that handle Music,
              As Rick Beato has shown, some of these knobs will claim copyright on a 9 second clip in obvious fair use (and he doesn’t claim fair use so his vids are mostly demonetized and ad money goes to the “artist” anyhow) so anything that would make sense to promote some older works and bring in additional revenue is verboten. No, it makes no sense, but when do these idjits ever make sense?
              On the music side again, one other YouTuber recently proved no one has a clue when his own song, done by him, on his channel, was pulled as a copyright violation by the knobs at YT. Then they argued with him on it.

              1. The entertainment industry has been slow to adapt to a lot of changes over the years. There’s a good book on the early history of the home video revolution (REWIND, if I have that right) that tells of them fighting the videotape tooth and claw. And when they finally accepted that the VCR was saving their bacon, they wanted to impose a lease arrangement for new releases to the Video Rental stores. Among other things their lawyers had to sit them down and explain in words of few syllables the principal of First Sale: i.e. once you sell something you no longer have any control over it. Basically; there is no way to legally prevent the sale of used books (or in this case videotapes).

                There’s a big legal fight coming (it may be started, for all I know) over who actually has the right to control copies of content paid for and downloaded.

            2. There are free movies out there, and out-of-copyright ones you can use. And some hilarious shorts you can use for intermission, like the documentaries on archive.org about “why you shouldn’t wash your clothes in gasoline” and “how to dial a rotary phone.”

              Drive-in viewers are typically about the experience; they don’t demand the latest releases in Sensurround. As long as they know what they’re getting, I doubt they’d complain.

        2. If everybody on Disney Plus had family, it might be reasonable. As it is, they gave out memberships free with Verizon, and they know a lot of those folks are single.

          Besides, it feels expensive. Only people who are single and rich would be dumb enough to drop thirty bucks on a movie they can’t even own digitally. And everybody knows Mulan is going to suck, and they can watch better Chinese fantasy movies on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime as part of their existing package.

          The whole thing is just shatteringly dumb.

          1. The Verizon deal is the only reason my family has Disney Plus. Now, granted I have six siblings and between the lot of us we share Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and Disney Plus.

            1. AT&T has a deal where you can get one premium online service with the mobile service. I didn’t care for any of the video options. Ended up going with Pandora premium for streaming music.

          2. I got a free week (or two) of Disney + on the cable and looked over the listings. Didn’t see anything I was remotely interested in watching.

            Why is Disney making Avatar-ized versions of all its animated movies? Can’t they think of ANYTHING new? Have they all crawled up their own assholes?

            1. It lets them hook into the gals who were into princesses when they were little, but don’t have the confidence to do it as 20-somethings.

              It lets them hand directors “major pictures” to screw up, instead of going after the kids’ stuff. I would guess that things like when I went “Oh, hey, Finding Dorry, that sounds interesting– oh. They decided to make a point of putting in a lesbian couple. Pass, not that interesting.” being repeated a few times made the bean counters realize that yes, people WILL actually not buy things, but the Woke types will keep pushing.
              Since the Woke also tend to be snobs that hate kid stuff, the choice between “movie version of Mulan” and “unknown value Disney cartoon” is a no-brainer.

              1. I have to wonder if there’s some thought of extending the copyright of the animateds they are remaking. Disney has been fighting bitterly to hold onto legal control of its earlier stuff, and has managed to get the periods extended a couple of times, but they have to know it can’t go on forever.

              2. Seen Finding Dory twice, and missed that both times. (Didn’t pay for either one, except insofar as it was included in the price of the airline ticket, but not much I can do about that. Other time was watching at a friend’s house.) I do, OTOH, find that Disney has done enough to turn me off that I don’t plan on giving them a dime of my money henceforth. Good Disney movies I want to show my kids, such as The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh from 1977, I plan to buy used. There are LOADS of Disney movies on VHS in every thrift store in America, and it won’t be too long before DVDs start showing up there in numbers as well. Certainly by the time my oldest is old enough to appreciate the movie (he loves being read the books, but as he’s only two years old it’s a little early for him to understand them, and I certainly don’t want him watching TV yet), I’ll have a way of buying it legitimately that won’t put a time in Disney’s coffers. I’ve already picked up lots of other Disney properties at yard sales, so it’s only a matter of time before I get my hands on Winnie the Pooh as well.

                1. A *dime* in their coffers, not a *time*. Sigh, saw that one RIGHT as I was clicking the Post button.

                2. I probably wouldn’t have noticed, given the blobby nature of the human characters, but the activists sorts were very loud and clear that 1) it was on purpose, 2) it was deliberately targeting kids for propaganda reasons.

                  Thus the choice of target.

                  Thus the response.

              1. Which kinda makes you wonder where they think the originals they’re aping came from. Do they think Mulan and The Lion King grew on a tree somewhere?

            2. There are worthwhile things to watch on Disney+. Most of them are old, but some of the new short subjects are great, and I don’t know how many of them were included in DVDs (Or Blu-rays). Check out PRESTO and FOR THE BIRDS.

              Also, the theaters in my area are mediocre at best, so there are a lot of films I might watch once (from curiosity) but now don’t have to buy. CAPTAIN MARVEL springs to mind.

              It’s a real pity they didn’t do the original form of the Thanos War, as created by Starlin. I supposed working in the whole backstory of the (male, Kree) Captain Marvel, and the ‘nega bands’ would have taken too long. And, really, much of the Captain’s original run of comic wasn’t as good as the schlock they came up with. But the Thanos War was superb.

              1. Tons of great stuff from the old Disney– the best part is, when someone declares Donald not wearing pants or the police dog having an Irish accent to be “problematic,” the response is to slap a note on the page that says something like “THIS HAS NOT BEEN EDITED FROM THE STATE IT WAS; HISTORICAL NORMS HAVE CHANGED, WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK.”

                Reminds me, I need to try to find the Breir Rabbit stuff. Probably not there, but we got it through the phone, too, and my kids have now seen almost as much classic Goofy shorts as I have.

            1. I’ve only come across a few that do it. Some places can’t for worker safety B.S., others it is the franchisee not doing it, and others the workers just don’t wanna.

    2. The Republic has often been more of an ideal than a reality. The hysterias and snipe hunts Come and go. The Fascist Left’s horror stories are simplistic, and frequently draw the absolutely wrong conclusions, but they aren’t all made up (sadly).

      I am worried, too, though. If there’s a backlash from this idiocy, I have gay friends and trans family members who are in the line of fire.

      *sigh*

      1. At this point, I’m mentally listing and prioritizing the Odds among my friend who are foolish enough to think the arrow of history is real to save.

        To be honest, I’ll probably put more into preserving me and mine than the Republic. Most Americans clearly want to be children both those who vote and those who don’t bother. I’ve said before I no longer believe it when Rush talks about “the natural yearning of the human spirit to be free.” Freedom is a blimp in the long line of history and we appear to be living in the reversion to the historical norm. Fine, those who miss their serfdom can have it. I’ll gather mine and work to make us the lords or the manor or at least the craftsmen and yeomenry.

        1. Ana Navarro tweeted a picture of herself and her poodle smiling because she looks forward to “Uncle Joe,” and “Auntie Kamala ” watching over her at night.

          Blech.

          1. Yes, but guys,STOP CONFUSING IDIOTIC CELEBRITIES with “the American people.”
            Those celebrities usually come from bizarrely abusive backgrounds and are more ignorant than common plaster is.

          2. My High School debate teacher has been posting “Yea! Kamala!” stuff on Facebook all day long.

            1. I am sure it is a great comfort to you, learning that veracity nor factual accuracy was not important to your old debate coach. If only you had known, eh?

  14. Colleges dying isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For instance, that would cut down on the number of leftist indoctrination centers like Howard University, and socialist training degrees such as political science and economics (Kamala Harris’s double major btw.) The elite will still send their progeny to exclusive or Ivy League schools to get to know the other elite.

    I strongly suspect that the week to a month following November 3, 2020 is going to be one of the most violent, destructive, and deadly periods in this country since the Civil War. And it doesn’t matter which way the election goes.

    Trump wins reelection, your Antifa + BLM + Squad Followers + the rest of the Progressive Socialist Democrats of Portlandia persuasion are going to go on a berserk rampage that will make the current riots look like Kindergarten practice.

    Biden wins the election, as soon as he implements executive orders on firearms, the majority of firearm owners will revolt to depose him. They will not, and can not, afford to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the Constitutionality of those orders. And that’s not even taking into account crushing taxation, ruinous spending (yeah, I know, spending is already ruinous, but we’re talking 1930’s German-style inflation on top of it), and the anarchy of totally open borders with a deluge of tens of millions flooding into the U.S.

      1. You mean Kamala Harris was actually TAUGHT everything she doesn’t know about economics?

        1. Would you be amazed by how many Progressive-Socialists in government had those majors? Our favorite “Ocasio-Cortez attended Boston University where she double-majored in political science and economics, graduating cum laude in 2011.”

          The disgusting thing is that AOC was a conservative capitalist early on. I suspect she converted to the socialist line for purely selfish political reasons – it brings her more personal power and wealth.

          1. It’s the power hungry major. Oxford has the PPE Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. if you look at the biography of the average UK Politician, both parties, shows PPE. Boris did Classics and it shows. Since he actually still has a personality.

            1. Maybe the men and women who take up monastic orders, but they have a Vocation first, and the communal lifestyle is just part of that, not the goal. And it’s voluntary.

              1. While monastics (Christian and otherwise) are communal in their living and thus resemble socialists, I do not think they qualify because they agree being part of the community is a choice. They share among themselves, but do not demand the rest of us do so with them.

                  1. The communal life isn’t the goal. It’s partly practicality, and partly a good way to repent for your sins. (Because loving your idiot neighbor is hard when you see him all the time.)

                    The important part of monasticism is to be hermits training in holiness all together, so that you don’t go crazy when the demons attack you.

                    1. so that you don’t go crazy when the demons attack you.

                      Sounds attractive, until one finds out you’re not going out and hunting down actual demons. So maybe poor marketing at work. 😀

                1. There is a long history of successful Communal communities in the United States. The vast majority of them were some schismatic flavor of Christian, comparatively voluntary, and believed hard work was Godly.

                  Of course a large number also failed to one degree or another. Many could not sustain enough voluntary belief in the subsequent generations. And all but a very few had the larger American society to fall back on.

                  (The sole exception I can think of, for even a little time, is Young’s Mormon colony in the far west, but I’m not read up on every example, and there could be others.)

                  1. The Amana Colonies managed to stay communal for over 80 years. Ironically, they went to private property in 1932.

                  2. I know of one that succeeded for as long as its original members were alive, but got very few new recruits, so by the time the original members were dying of old age the community disbanded. You could call that a failure in the long run, but it does illustrate that voluntary communal living (NOT communism à la Marx, which is a different beast altogether) can work as long as everyone involved believes in it and the group is small. It’s the attempts to ignore those two vital points (voluntary and small) and spread it by force to larger groups, the way Marx suggested, that fail every single time.

      2. The one that’s going to take a big shift is it is clear they are using COVID to eliminate cash transactions.

        I suspect they’ll go after private scripts. Script is perfectly legal and a favorite of some leftists…in Syracuse NY they have script denominated in hours (very Marxists, but quickly 1 hour at the doctor cost more than 1 hour of manual labor in hours).

        Which means the underground barter economy, which always exists as informal arrangements not worth monetizing, will take off again.

        1. Even as late as the 70s, folks used to barter for my father’s legal services, particularly bankruptcies and divorces (he was a country lawyer and this was Appalachia). I joke that we were on the junk car and country ham standard. We moved to ‘the city’ in late ’79 or we’d have probably been on it for 20 more years.

          1. I’m waiting for an online barter system to appear. I’m visualizing something like eBay, except with its own currency, used by members to trade goods and services. Prices would float to their natural proportions via supply and demand.

            It could be internally self-consistent, with no connection to the outside world, like money in an MMPORG game.

              1. You know Sarah, most people use a bed for that not the floor (unless you have a bearskin rug or something).

                1. Most, but not all …

                  I got rug burns on my elbows
                  she’s got ’em on her knees
                  yeah, I’m goin’ steady with Iron Ore Betty
                  and she’s going steady with me.

            1. I think it’s been tried a couple of times. I remember a promotional video a few years back that made a big deal about how you’d perform a service for someone and you’d get credit with the website that you could use to get someone else to do a service for you, so the community could build an entire economy without money.

              I think a pulled a muscle laughing.

          2. Yes, Jane, but it’s harder to do for BOOKS. And I really am fairly useless. I can make stuffed animals (honestly, as soon as the sewing room is set up because I need a weekend thing) but mostly I tell stories.

            1. I about died holding laughter in with your P&P “What If He Picked Me.” (I was trying not to wake anybody else up) I really hope you keep writing because I don’t need more stuffed animals, but stories are a bottomless hole and I’m a happy repeat customer. If you get time to write all the stories, I hope you have a few comedies bouncing around. 🙂

                  1. What the heck word press? I was sure I went through the amazon link at the top of the page and linked the book. Grrr. I really don’t know how that video is there. Oops.

                    1. Now it’s showing an Amazon book preview, as it should when you paste an Amazon link on its own line. (Tip: if you don’t want WordPress to convert your Amazon or Youtube link into an embedded thingy, then put the link in as part of a paragraph of text. WP converts links that are all alone on their own lines, but won’t convert a link in the middle of a paragraph.)

                      Demo of the fact that links in the middle of a paragraph won’t be converted to embedded video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19duYMdiXi0 is a Youtube video from a Japanese channel (with English subtitles) about the process by which steel balls are manufactured in ball bearings. Not relevant to the current thread, but a really cool video that I happened to have watched recently. If I had put that link all on its own in a line with no other text, WordPress would have made it into an embedded video. But because it’s in the middle of a paragraph with other text before and after it, WordPress leaves the link alone and doesn’t touch it, so as to not mess up the rest of the paragraph.

                      For as much as we rag on WordPress (often deservedly), they do do some things right.

    1. I don’t think there will be that much violence after the election. When Trump wins (Biden and Kamala are the clearest “take a knee” ticket in quite a while) the Democrat muscle will be upset, but they lack the ability to project power – see how successful they’ve been even with the inner suburbs – and they’ve already rioted and looted most places they can get to.

  15. IF enough of them realize the Dems are serious and not just pandering to their base.

  16. We’re already starting to see what will happen to entertainment. Every little media empire producing its own ‘exclusive content’ which you can only see by subscribing to their ‘premium service’. Disney, Comcast, Sony, and the rest will have everything locked behind one of a hundred paywalls, and if you want to see the ONE GOOD SHOW on Disney, you have to pay for all their crap too.
    ———————————
    “They took everything and left us nothing but crap, and now THEY’RE TAKING THE CRAP!!”

    1. Fortunately, I can choose to not watch anything. Instead, I’ll pop over to Kindle Unlimited and pick up a nice page turner like Deep Pink or Witch Finder instead.

        1. My problem is that I start thinking Amish romances, and inevitably I start to worry about Mennonite theology.

          There seem to be a lot of American denominations where there is some kind of tacit agreement among participants to ignore the logical implications of their theology and doctrine. They just lean really hard on the practical lifestyle directives and praxis, and nothing else really matters. And they often seem to go directly against their stated theologies in certain ways, but oh well.

          I mean, it’s not my problem. Clearly these groups have reached stability in their own ways. But it would seem a lot more sensible to change the theology, if you were already dissidents back hundreds of years ago, and if you already have tons of offshoot groups. But usually the theology keeps changing in ways that all keep being different from how people live….

          Americans are kinda weird. We just do stuff because.

          (Searches for on topic-ness) Oh, yeah, like liberals say they are totally okay with people not getting married, but then they make sure all their kids get married and don’t divorce. Their political theology is also different from their practice.

          1. I’m not sure how much knowledge some of these authors have. The relative ease for someone to “join the church” runs against what I know of the communities.

            To be honest, they seem to a large degree to function as a way to have a mostly romanticized 19th century sweet romance with a modern female lead.

            They aren’t bad, just not exactly the height of research (at least not the one I’m reading).

            1. My sister-in-law is a Filipina. I have no idea what her religious leanings are, but wherever they move, she winds up hanging out with the local Amish. Who seem to be *everywhere*, just nobody notices. They don’t all wear black and use horse-drawn transportation.

              Anyway, I was on the east coast visiting them once, and she was setting the table for one of her 12-course Philippine extravaganzas. Whatever it was, it would have been good; my brother and I pretty much like the same things. The phone ranf, she talked briefly, and then she wass taking food off the table and stove, putting it in boxes, and my brother got out his car keys. Dinner would be delayed.

              Half an hour later they come back with a different set of boxes. The Philippine dinner is on someone else’s table, and we were now eating Amish cuisine. Which I had never known was a thing. “Trading dinner” was a thing in their household. I never found out whether it was an Amish custom, a Filipino custom, or SIL’s idea. Amish cooking wasn’t bad, but I’d had my mouth ready for lumpia and chicken adobo…

    2. Cable TV has been doing exclusive shows for decades. It’s just more of the same.

      When my parents got cable in the mid ’70s it played movies nonstop. Then they started putting in talk shows, “news” shows, and then commercials, which very nearly made my Dad stroke out. He was paying through the nose for NO COMMERCIALS, and now, there they were again… and then he had to pay the monthly fee *and* “pay per view” for some things…

      1. Commercials despite me paying is why Hulu is going away at the end of the current month. A 2.5:1 ratio of content to commercials on a paid service is unacceptable.

        1. Most people don’t *notice* commercials. They either zone out through them, or they start pressing the channel button on the remote, if they’re not hitting it every few minutes anyway. I’ve seen people “watch” three or four programs at a time, clicking from one to the other. They didn’t expect anything to make sense, as long as snoggery or explosions were happening.

          One of them, we’d been invited over for dinner. Afterward in the living room, the volume on the TV was turned up (I don’t think it was ever turned off) and the channel-hopping began. After half an hour or so Mrs. TRX and I quietly left and drove back home. An hour or so later we got an aggrieved phone call… apparently it took them that long to notice we were no longer there. (yes, this is exactly what happened, no stretching the facts to make net.points)

          Dinner and a movie instead of conversation would have been fine, but a few words here and there while channel surfing left us very bored.

            1. Definitely! Ads are ear pollution. Some are so aggravating I can’t stand ’em even with the sound off.

              I’ve encountered some folks like those, TRX. The idiot box has to be on ALL THE DAMN TIME. They’re not watching it, but mention turning it off and they act like Rain Man.

              I turn the box on when I’m watching it. I turn it off when I’m not watching. I don’t need or want a constant stream of inane babble when I’m doing other things, and definitely not four minutes of intensely annoying ads six times every hour.

              1. What irritates me the most is how the networks absolutely insist on injecting incredibly obnoxious commercials right the fuck into the shows themselves. They’ve already steadily increased the time spent per hour on commercials as opposed to entertainment, which means that older shows like The Waltons or The Andy Griffith Show are perforce silently chopped to make room for the bloated crap they call commercial breaks. They’ve forced their shitty little logos into the shows 24/7 so that they’re always, always there, although sometimes if you’re lucky, they’ll allow the demonic things to fade momentarily into transparencies. But that’s still not enough. No! Now the actual show itself has to be ruined by huge splash commercials for other shows or commercial products and services.

                I have absolutely no qualms these days about gleefully making use of well-known freelance sources for commercial-free rips of shows, usually older productions from back in the day. Screw those greedy doofuses at the networks.

              2. I confess sometimes backing up and watching ads, carefully, observing what buttons they are trying to punch and how they are attempting to manipulate the public. For some reason Beloved Spouse seems to find this annoying …

                1. 😉

                  Depends on the commercial venue … what show. I don’t watch the Super Bowl. I watch the Super Bowl Commercials … although last couple of years they’ve been meh, *lame, whatever … Now you don’t have to watch the Super Bowl to get the commercials. Just wait until they can be linked to on internet, and search for them.

                  * No giggles. No awwwwww cute. No Wow. Not memorable. Just meh. Not that I ever know/pay attention to the product being promoted (except Budweiser Clydesdale). One I remember: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upZ6EbaHigE “Alex you’d better be drinking your water!” (sure I know it is for Strobs, now, I just watched it).

            2. Commercials – Ugh. On the other tentacle, the Daughter Unit and I have been doing streaming video for more than six or seven years now. We got a Roku box and cut the cable, and went to watching stuff on Britbox, Hulu, Netflix, etc – and did not miss commercial interruptions AT ALL. Now and again, we had reason to go down to Brownsville on a client’s dime, and stay overnight in a hotel, which had cable … and we just could not stand the commercial interruptions every ten minutes. It just threw us out of whatever story was happening, and it was … awful.
              Back in the day when I was doing the TV scheduling for an AFRTS outlet – doing up the logs for the military TV, it was quite obvious to me then that the creep of commercials to actual program was getting wider and wider. Some of the very old hour-long programs needed no more than two or three minutes of spots scheduled to have them run on the hour. The more current programs needed at least ten minutes … and there were some half-hour long programs that needed ten minutes of spots to fill to the half-hour. (It’s probably more like fifteen minutes to the hour now. That’s basically a third to a quarter of the program being taken up with commercials. No wonder people go channel-surfing… or quit cable/broadcast at all.

          1. Shortly after I got a Tivo, nearly a decade ago, commercials started to actively piss me off. Which is why I never got Hulu in the first place.

            Oddly enough, I can scan right past online ads.

            1. That’s what the DVR is for. Can’t scan past them on free Peacock on Xfinity/Comcast. But everything else gets DVR’d. Then watched.

              1. the folks had Dish with dvr and I noted that, ff on ads . . . hey what was that? back up . . . and Dish replaced the ad you were interested in with one of their own.

    3. a la carte isn’t necessary a bad thing. I can choose to subscribe to Disney and not Hallmarck, because of the content I want to see. Whereas with cable, if I wanted channel X I had to get the package that included 53 other channels that not only will I never watch, they’re not interesting to anyone in the entire house.

    4. That rapidly turns into a “the only way to win is not to play” kind of game.

      I barely do and suspect if I wasn’t married to C I wouldn’t even do anything except Amazon Prime.

      At that, I have Prime Video as a byproduct of having Prime for shipping. If they took video and made it a separate service I would not be buying.

      Same for Mobi and Curiosity Stream, which are byproducts of having Scribd. I did pay for Curiosity Stream prior, but watched everything I wanted and they aren’t adding content fast enough. If I had to pay, the drop to $4/month might have saved them.

      But I doubt I’ll ever pay for Disney, CBS All Access, or the new NBC/Universal.

      Best chance cable or YouTube TV had was the XFL until the ‘rona killed it.

      1. Disney is 100% wall to wall progressive socialist drivel. If it ain’t woke, it don’t get spoke.

          1. The Mandalorian is one Disney management faction’s attempt to smuggle Marvel people and some of the Lucas loyalists in under KK’s nose to try and plug some of the holes that she’s busy drilling in the hull while setting the rigging on fire, all the while shouting “Après moi, le déluge!”

    5. What’s already happened to entertainment, I should say…

      I just wasted an hour watching a truly dreadful movie called ‘Harpoon’ in which three people wind up stranded on a boat with engine failure. I hit fast-forward through parts of it. Should have used it more. A NURSE didn’t know that drinking whiskey when you’re dying of thirst is a bad idea?

      In the end, they all die, and after what you’ve found out about them you don’t care. They are the most twisted and unsympathetic blighters I’ve seen in a long time, and they’re the ONLY characters in the movie.

      Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it 97% and called it a comedy? Audiences gave it 62%. I’d give it about 5%, and a Brain Bleach chaser.

      1. Chill out and channel your inner Cassandra Peterson while watching. “What Would Elvira Say?”

        1. Yes, but looking at the current timeline, he won’t finish the epic trilogy after the 22 case files before I die.

          And the six year gap affected me. Last three books I took the day off work to read them as soon as I got them at BN.

          This one showed up at midnight on Kindle and I took two weeks to read it.

          And given the end of Peace Talks we really are just getting one really long Dresden novel.

          That said, I enjoyed it more that most of the post Changes books.

    1. The horror!
      well, to be honest, though not a fan, I do wonder about all the hate on them, but this is funny
      In other news Floor Jansen has a date for her last solo show. being split into two shows (to accommodate smaller allowed crowd size)

      1. That woman has the voice of a Valkyrie goddess 😀 (I recently came to really, REALLY appreciate her as the lead singer of Nightwish). She’s amazing.

        1. Yeah. I can see why Tuomas says that she really made the music gel. Even before the songs got re-worked for her voice . . . wow.

          *kitty grin* Tuomas Dragon is now in my classroom. *giggle giggle*

          1. it helps that when she jumped in and could do Poppy sounding for the Annette songs and knock out the near Opera style of Tarja. The reworks for Floor just made great tunes even better. This latest album is a great measure of Floor, and Kai being fully integrated in and Tuomas figuring how to challenge them. I think in Endless Forms, he was still sorting out how to fully use Floor’s instrument, and the drumming was written with Jukka in mind as playing, but he decided to bow out before recording.

            1. Yeah. I was inclined to dislike Jukka’s replacement initially (even though he is, I gather, Jukka’s teacher?) but listening to the latest album I definitely agree–Endless Forms was written for Jukka, not this guy. He’s MUCH tighter on the new album. And I’m glad Jukka is still part of the band, albeit on the business side.

              I do wonder if Kai is going to eventually fully take over for Marco. Looking at the band’s ages, he’s the oldest by a number of years–wonder if he’s thinking about retirement, heh. (Though he’s also involved in at least two or three other bands to boot, lol.)

              I never could like Tarja. I liked a handful of songs during her time (Nemo in particular), but overall I found her too over-the-top operatic for my tastes, and it grated. Annette I liked well enough on Imaginareum (I still haven’t listened to Dark Passion Play, though having listened to Floor do Poet and the Pendulum, I’m not sure Annette could have done it justice.) I felt bad for the way a lot of fans treated her, but I also think she wasn’t the right voice for the band. Floor, though…wow. As you said, she can do it all (AND she can growl, to boot!). I saw the recording of the Ghost Love Score performance in Mexico City when Floor was either still subbing for Annette or had only *just* joined mid-tour and…well, while it’s not the mind-blowing one they gave at Wacken in 2013, it says a LOT that the entire audience was chanting HER name at the end of it. Tarja *might* be the better technical singer (by a hair, maybe), but Floor has a depth of emotion I don’t think Tarja ever had to go with the range. It’s really only been since she joined that I really became a Nightwish fan (though the first full album I bought was Imaginareum, which I liked just because it wasn’t Tarja doing too much vibrato, heh).

              1. I think now, Troy is the oldest in the band, He’s a year or two older than Marko (wanders off, yep almost 2 yrs, born 1964, Marko and I are 1966).
                Kai joked recently he has been trying to up his showiness to close match Jukka, and he is getting there, but he did once almost hit Floor with a drumstick, so even more practice is needed.
                I knew of NW way way back, but then it wasn’t my thing, and saw Annette had taken over and was “still pretty cool, but not my thing” but stumbled across Floor doing the Waken show (gotta be up there for best live band appearance with Queen’s at Live Aid) and something clicked.
                Since then I have found new appreciation for the old stuff with both Tarja and Annette, not to mention veering off into other stuff associated with NW and Floor, like Epica (listening to old After Forever with Mark Jansen is a lot like Epica but with Floor singing instead of Simone) Ayreon, Auri, Marko’s solo stuff . . .

                1. Ack, my bad, I was getting names mixed up. Kai’s the new(ish) drummer. I was thinking of Troy, who had more vocals on this album. Hadn’t realized it was him, heh. And yeah, if he’s older than Marco, nvm on retirement!

                  1. Marko was very low singing on back ups this album, and this is the first one Troy has his singing front and center, with Harvest. Harvest is a Nightwish slanted Auri tune with Floor instead of Tuomas’ wife Johanna.

                    On a side note, NW announced “Crewish – Unemployed Blacksmiths”
                    A cd with covers of NW songs interpreted by the roadies and techs who are not working because of all the cancellations. Nuclear Blast and NW are forgoing any song writing or studio payment and all profits go to the techs for it.

                    1. That’s really classy of them to do that–I’ll have to keep an eye out for the album!

                      They’ve gotten onto my list of “Bands I’d really, really like to see live” although I gather they don’t often come to the U.S.? If they do, I admit I hope the crowds aren’t like the ones you see in Europe or South America, because me + giant crowds do not go together well…

                      I saw Kamelot (with Battle Beast and Delain) a couple of years ago and that was just about perfect: a mid-sized theater venue, with a fairly full crowd but a very polite one that gave everyone plenty of personal space 😀

              2. Oh, Floor Jansen has every bit as much operatic range as Tarja – she might actually have *greater* vocal range than Tarja, for that matter – but what Floor doesn’t have is Tarja’s histrionics and ego. As much as I liked Nightwish with her as the vocalist (“Ever Dream” is probably my favorite Nightwish song), Tarja always struck me as an incurable sufferer of LSD, that is, “Lead Singer’s Disease.” Tarja always had to be the center of attention, and she thought everything revolved around her.

                Floor Jansen strikes me as much more harmonious both in verse and in her interactions with the group, and Nightwish is much the better for it. Her having the looks of Xena the Warrior Princess and the stage presence of a Valkyrie is a happy bonus.

                That stage show they did with Floor at Wacken in 2013 . . . wow. That version of “Ever Dream,” live . . . wow, again.

                1. some of that is Floor’s family (Irene comes across much the same way, and her parents seem to be that tree), and she started as a backing singer and taking lead more by default than ambition.

                2. Yeah, it was Wacken 2013 that finally 100% turned me into a Nightwish fan. I’d started looking for reaction videos to Jinjer’s “Pisces” (because it’s ALWAYS funny!), and decided to check out one of the reactions to Ghost Love Score. And I realized–after losing a whole weekend to watching Nightwish concert vids, especially from Wacken–that they really are a band that is absolutely incredible live. I normally don’t care much for live albums and so on–but they are a BIG exception! (And I’m now appreciating the studio albums a lot more too. I’ve really enjoyed the reaction videos where the reactor talks about the musical structure–and skill–going on as a whole. Although the jaw-drops when Floor really lets loose are also a lot of fun.)

                  And I don’t mind admitting I have a big girl-crush on Floor. Her stage presence is incredible, and it’s clear she is having SO MUCH FUN.

        2. I am glad she is doing these solo shows and eagerly await the recording of one or both and the behind the scenes stuff that is supposed to happen (I gladly donated to help make it happen). It was great how she showed up for the Beste Zangers show and just dropped the national jaw of the Netherlands. It being the Henk episode first off helped.
          Show up, dressed to say “Yes, I’m the Metal Chick!” and knock out Vilja Lied in German

          It does make folks take notice.
          the season became “What’s Floor gonna do this week?” and it was a very impressive lot last season, too.

          1. Heh. I’ve heard she was all but unknown in her home country until she got onto this show (post joining Nightwish, of course), and then they too fell in love with her. I’ve only seen the Phantom duet she did with Henk Poort, and I *swear* you can see the moment he falls in love, so to speak.

            1. He sorta knew her via reputation as he googled her beforehand. Tim also knew her from doing festivals back in her After Forever and Revamp days but he was gobsmacked.
              She even did a sorta country tune with this:

              and made metalheads like it and cry.
              Ruben like C&W and has a bit in his songs, so Floor and Irene translated this to English and she goes a bit Reba on it.
              Poor Ruben was a soggy mess this whole show. Henk did Your Man wearing a cowboy hat and playing his guitar. The Phantom Goes Country!

              1. That “Vilja” take is beautiful. I wish they’d backed off the backing sound a tad, but holy crud. I love that song anyway, so I’m glad more people heard it.

                1. She made that man cry!

                  That’s interesting. You can see she’s got a good flexible voice with lots of range, but the sheer operatic power is maybe lacking a tad. (Which is no insult. You can have a damn good career, like Cecilia Bartoli, without quite being able to fill a concert hall with voice alone and stay healthy, and of course opera is competitive. Lots of opera singers, only one Nightwish.) She managed to make a fairly full operatic sound come across with a microphone, her control was excellent, and she had no problem with turning the volume up and down as needed. (Most singers have too much propensity for loud or soft, and the transitions staying smooth when you’re alone can be difficult.)

                  But the really interesting thing is that she has that singing charisma. She was being polite with it, but she was wielding it. And that’s why Henk found himself crying. He probably had seen others with better technique or more open emotion, but Floor reached in there and put the song across, nice and gently. I expect that it was an even better performance in the room than onscreen. (Or with better speakers than my computer’s.)

                  And man, that one blonde chick hated her. Despiiiised her. Covered it up quickly, to her credit.

                  1. both blondes fell for Floor fast. Samantha (the older one) was always pointing at her arms when Floor sings as she gets goose bumps within seconds. Here’s Floor doing her version of Samantha’s Dutch Folk hit, Mama:

                    this is the official version, no CC and it’s in Dutch. Floor sang in German, Dutch (though dutch she rarely sings in anything other than English), Spanish (the guy with the gaping huge grin between the other two ladies is half Dominican), she and Irene translated Ruben’s song to English (the real young guy), covered Shallow twice, once for the young blonde, once in a duet with Tim), made Tim “I don’t cry so I named my Album ‘Lions Don’t Cry'” Akkerman cry (“Dammit Floor! You ruined my album name!”) covering his song about his brother (Tim writes in English) Did a killer Phantom Of The Opera with Henk (The Original Dutch Phantom and supposedly ALW’s favorite one), and the young blond Emma made Floor cry with a cover of Floor’s song Strong, about Floor’s mom fighting rheumatism.

                  2. I dunno–I think she’s holding the power back, because if you watch her in some of the live Nightwish concert vids…this is a woman who loses NOTHING of her control or quality in an open air concert with 82,000 people in the audience.

                2. transferred over from the Spotify/iTunes releases, they have the audio take from her mike and the band without the others coming through. The mixing is a bit different, (in Phantom Henk doesn’t come through her mike like the video from the show and it takes a bit away) so here it is for you to try:

                  still heavy with the band

      2. (Also…I don’t hate Nickelback. I even own a few of their songs that I quite enjoy. Brilliant they are not, and they aren’t even on the same planet as musicians like Floor, but they have their place.)

  17. The Fascist Left LOVES to write elaborate scripts of how things will go, and somehow they don’t. So, after the memory has faded somewhat, the Left comes along and corrects history. Then they proceed on the belief that their correction actually happened.

    And get blindsided by reality. Again.

    BTW; this poll that asserts that large numbers of Americans believe 10% of the population has died of the Kung Flu…why do we believe it? Given the Fascist Left drivel the Polls have been pushing for the last several years, why would we consider them more factual than, say, the editorial page of the New York Times? Or, for that matter, the old surrealist SMOKEY STOVER comic strip?

    (Notary Sojak!)

    1. BTW; this poll that asserts that large numbers of Americans believe 10% of the population has died of the Kung Flu…why do we believe it?

      Thanks, I forgot to do my usual “who the hell is answering polls?” question.

      1. In defense of the thin blue line, DA Round-Heels may technically qualify given she was chief law enforcement officer for the Glorious No Haircut For You Bear Flag Peoples Republic, but she was never a cop.

        1. She was never a cop but he copped a plea … search on “peter schweizer kamala harris” …

          Just saying.

  18. I expect those industries to hemorrhage jobs, not over the next decade, but over the next year or two.

    That’s already happening. Warner took a beating this week so deep they even bothered to take out editors at DC comics. After that Wonder Woman 1984 alternate cover they deserve it. Most of the major internet “news” companies are on lifesupport, if that.

    What comes next, when movies die?

    YouTube, although it’s slitting its own throat because it wants to be cable. So BitChute and other small content creator video. The video equivalent of indie books.

    Look at what Paramount had to do about Star Trek fan films. A small part of that is trademark issues which have defend or lose natures. However, a big part is Axanar especially, but also Star Trek Continues and Star Trek New Voyages provide what the fan base wants. While the production values can’t touch official Star Trek in other ways they were superior. They were Star Trek in ways Discovery, Picard, and even the Kelvin timeline movies are not. They are better written. While the acting was never going to be top tier Hollywood it wasn’t horrid. Star Trek veterans were happy to make appearances, which is also prohibited in the new fan film guidelines.

    Are we still Americans? Will we be allowed to be?

    Not without taking up arms. Looters are being set free by DAs. The movement that dominanates the Democrats, BLM, yesterday held a protest claiming looting during riots is not theft, but reparations. Biden et al will dodge any questions on it, which means they see that as a tool to keep the peasants in check. Having seen the power of kulakization, it will take blood for them to understand the cost.

      1. And politics…the need to toe the official narrative has lead to a lot of the issues. Not just them removing political creators, but in other areas towing the official line and shutting down fandom channels.

        Kickstarter is in the process of doing the same.

      2. YouTube had vision…but it was a kind of clairvoyant hindsight. I’ve talked to enough people that worked for YouTube at Google and they want to be…

        A TV network.

        I kid you not. A TV network. They want to be ABC, CBS, NBC specifically. They want to be on the Internet a model of TV programming that was barely viable by the ’80s and only survives right now through a combination of inertia and low (relatively speaking) entry costs for most productions.

        YouTube had several programs that they could have easily put ads on…but instead put them behind the YouTube Red paywall to even get, which meant people went out on the high seas for them.

        And, they are becoming a part of the Official Narrative. We’re having people trying to turn Uzaki-chan into a frumpy, fat, unhappy Karen, because any woman that is interested in men is like that. The artist that turned in the Patrick Nagel “homage” cover for Wonder Woman 84 would be lucky if her cover went back to her soaked in red ink. Anybody that complains…gets attacked viciously. In a very female style of innuendo and whisper campaigns and “oh, I wouldn’t say anything” kind of things.

        Patreon is trying to “deal with child pornography” by banning anime-style art, which tends to make even “adult” characters look young. They’re also going after a number of the fetish artists-one I know has moved to OnlyFans and another is heading to SubscribeStar. And, from what I’ve heard, Patreon is still burning money, mostly because they’re hiring so many “content editors” rather than people to make their platform better and superior. And, since it’s in SF, they’re all Social Justice Zealots. Patreon should be printing money at this point-God knows that even in these tight times I probably have more memberships than I should. Why? Because it puts everything in one convenient place with one convenient bill. If you ask people why they start doing cable bundles and such-this is why. It’s one less spoon to dedicate to doing things.

        (I don’t want to go to OnlyFans. The one time I was there, I got so many findom spams and my credit card had to be manually authorized every time when they asked for the monthly money.)

        It’s time to go over, around, and through-in grand American tradition. Get your VPN fired up, download Bit Torrent, and sail the high seas.

        If the big creators don’t want to respect us, why in the hell should we respect them?

    1. K, I had to go look….

      This one?

      Which is a colab with Rooster Teeth– aren’t they the guys who fired the voice actor guy for “sexual harassment” where the substantiated claims were mean girl complaints?

      1. I look at this cover, and go:
        “So the artists think that black women are basically Italian, but fat and wearing torn jeans, and even then their hair has to be screwed up to be neat?”

        1. I look at that cover and think, “So the artist thinks a woman with zero muscle tone will make a good superhero.”

          Wonder Woman has always attracted the weird in terms of creative team, starting with her creator who was A) Male B) Polyamorous C) arguably into the bondage fetish D) Nutty as a squirrel’s hope chest E) All of the above and twice of Thursday.

          1. I looked at the cover and thought “…The fuck?

            Then I decided to just shake my head and move on.

              1. I replied to that yesterday. What the hell is up with your email services?

                Anyway, I’ll just cut-&-paste my answer:

                “Hadn’t thought about the title, but since this was inspired by the weekly “Book Promo” threads I figure “Let’s Play Promo” works well enough. You can use whatever you like if you think of something more fitting.

                As for the pen name, “DGM” is fine. I’m not a writer and I’m not trying to build an audience.

                One thought, though; since I left the Greebo references in you might want to mention that this was written back when he was still around when you post it. I could see some people getting confused or upset otherwise.”

                1. Although now that I think of it, maybe the problem is with Yahoo (what I use). It wouldn’t be the first time someone didn’t get an email from me, although it’s never been as bad as it has with you and this damned guest post.

          2. > zero muscle tone

            Why no? “Superhero” is magic, so even a quadraplegic could be a superhero via the power of flbrgxzorb! (except above certain concentrations of ragweed pollen)

              1. That Wonder Woman has a somehow chubby pre teen vibe to me. Are they really leaning toward that or are they trying to do something else? It is SERIOUSLY creepy and makes me wonder about the artists preferences…

                  1. Yeah, and Apple introduced the original Mac.

                    GROAN. I have to actually SAY ‘George Orwell’, don’t I?

                  2. Well, the Fascist Left wanted a failure of a Vice-President and a female VP candidate with political baggage out the wazoo to get elected.

                    Shows how they never change.

      2. good grief, my friends were producing better material in junior high and they didn’t have to completely change the character either.

        1. Worse, they could have stuck with the basic Wonder Woman design– or flip over to the full on “everyone is a wonder woman” cosplay style, that would work as well.

        1. I had no idea who he was (now have a very faint idea of what he did!) but you’re right, it does. Or maybe a copy of a copy of a copy of his style, with rejecting the face style that makes the examples in an image search work.

          1. I’m a big Patrick Nagel fan, so I know the style. And, this artist didn’t do their research and due diligence. A LOT of people on YouTube and Twitter are roasting it.

        2. It is supposed to be a Nagel homage, yes, but it shows they never looked at his women.

          Gail Gidot would be a good physical model (although Nagel was mostly very pale women), but with a short 80s hair cut. Also, with Nagel the bracelets, and the costume in general, would be more angular.

          A genuine attempt at a Nagel WW would have been great in a lot of ways. That’s the sad part.

            1. The first one is more Gadot while the second is more Carter, but both are striking and beautiful and vastly better than the official crap.

              But both are not about the New Hotness Media Guiding Principle: “Subverting Expectations” – they have to undermine media consumer’s expectations of being entertained and getting value and seeing beauty to be in alignment with their peers.

              If you think about this it makes a lot of choices make sense. Lady Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Birds of Prey, and other crash-and-burn movie offerings of late come immediately to mind, as do many, many comics and tradpub books.

              As one Hollywood guy (like below) said recently, this is not about twist endings or avoiding being predictable – it is about completely violating the audience’s expectations in every way. “You want a movie about the heroic Luke Skywalker? I will show you one where he’s a cowardly shmuck and fool. Ha! Fooled you into paying me to do that to you! I’m doing Han Solo next! That’s Entertainment!!!”

              The book publishers and obviously comics houses are toeing the same line. Only Marvel has escaped it to date, but word on eth next round of Marvel stuff is not promising.

              And they wonder why people stopped paying for this to be done to them.

              Good vid interview where I gained most of these insights into teh current Hollywood side of this at:

              1. “Fooled you into paying me to do that to you! I’m doing Han Solo next! ”

                Which is why I watch so few movies, have quit buying non reprint comics, and but mostly indies books.

                Fool me once kind of thing.

            1. I just saw that ATT conducted what the commentator termed a “Red Wedding” of sorts at DC – major layoffs and reorganizations, with a clean sweep with a new broom tone, with that cover as exhibit 1.

              1. A lot of the people that I listen to that know the industry suggests that WB/AT&T are going to just retain control of the IP and license it to other publisher, rather than do production in-house.

                1. There hasn’t been much real money in comics in a while, I gather. It’s all in the IP, licensing for movies, TV, toys and crap. The comics are simply a way of keeping rights and developing new properties.

                  But I suspect out-sourcing the production poses risks they’ve not thought through … ever since the “Marvel Revolution” they’ve had trouble coordinating all of the interlocking stories and out-sourcing production makes that more difficult.

                  Then there’s the fact that many of the industry’s best writers (Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, to name a couple) hate superhero comics and keep trying to deconstruct the genre.

                    1. wellll… the sales really tanked when the new new crop of artists and writers came in in the late 90s.

                      At this point, a really good selling comic is literally selling what stuff that was about to get cancelled sold in the mid 90s

                      and people wonder why i’m thinking about making my own….

                    2. oh, yeah. 70k sales for a book in the 70s would get you cancelled. now, with that? You’d be a shinning star.
                      Hell, when I came in early 2k, 10k sales got you cancelled.
                      Now…. 3k sales are enough to keep going.
                      WITNESS the power of rolling left.

                    3. and they keep insisting people don’t read… and yet, look at the sales of ‘media tie-in’ books. Its almost like they buy those because they feel like they are taking less of a chance on them sucking….

                  1. Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, IMHO, are great writers as long as you don’t throw them out of their comfort zones. Moore is more the spiritual/”hidden history” sort of guy, Morrison(1) is the “weird stories that make sense” sort of guy, but you have to let them write to their strengths. Trying to do otherwise is just going to drive you insane as an editor.

                    I think also the generation of writers, the one that I am a part of, started to enter the studios when we had hit Peak Batman. When we had hit the point where all of the low hanging fruit stories had been taken, probably written better in the past, and very few of the people had the skills to get the middle- or high-hanging fruit series. (Warren Ellis, for example, probably was the man that turned Iron Man from B-grade Marvel hero to A-grade with Extremis. Anybody else would have probably really screwed up the story.) This might also explain the whole “reboot everything!” thing that DC and Marvel kept doing, because the people they had doing the writing couldn’t even write the low-hanging fruit. Or they tried to create new characters that had no appeal, because they were less characters and more author filibuster. (See Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, The Wasp…)

                    There were a lot of factors in what screwed up the comic book industry. But, there is one big factor that matched up with most of the book industry-the publishers forgot who they were writing for. They weren’t writing for the customers, who pay their bills. They were writing for the critics, they were writing for the trades, they were writing for the award committees, they were writing for the octopus that lives in their head. The customers? They were clearly basement-dwelling man-baby, incel Trump voters-why should they ever have to pay attention to them?

                    Because they pay your bills, perhaps?

                    (1-Morrison also wrote the Flex Mentallo, in which he reconstructs the comic book genre and Final Crisis, that for all of it’s sins made Darksied terrifying again in a “cosmic abomination” sort of way.)

                    1. And, I didn’t close my HTML. Damn. 😦

                      I’ve seen the look on some of the faces of the latest run of Marvel and DC writers when they do interviews about their books. They have that look…it’s the sort of look you see on missionaries. Or preachers at the pulpit. They know the truth, and they want to share the good word with everyone.

                      Or Inquisitors in the full “why are you making me hit you?” form.

                    2. These people view us, the geeks, as savages. And they’re trying to make us, metaphorically (and sometimes literally) wear pants.
                      As a geek girl who was geek in a time and place where being a geek or worse a geek girl was to be a pariah, I won’t wear their pants, even if they make me.
                      THESE ARE MY MIDDLE FINGERS.

                    3. So, I’ll need to invest in more Utilikilts in my new size(down to a 42 waist, yay!). I remember being a part of the geek culture when geeks were feral and not re-imagined by New York and Hollywood as a hipster with even worse hair and fashion sense. Back when guys would sneak out to the old quarries and blow up home-made explosives because they could. Or figure out how to hack things that shouldn’t be hacked. Asked questions that most people wouldn’t ask. Because they wanted to know, more than anything else.

                      Yea, quite a few of them were jerks and if there was a way to get them some therapy without damaging their inherent need to figure things out, I’d chip in for a few.

                      But, I remember when you stood up for your fellow geeks-no matter how weird-because they were all you got. I was even willing to defend furry fandom up to a certain point.

                      (The fuzzy end point was Further Confusion 2010 and the final delimitation point was FC 2015 and a scary conversation I had with a friend about someone deep in the community.)

                      I have THREE middle fingers. One has bells on it. Only one guess of which one and which hole I’m going to use it on.

                    4. One important factor: the Direct Sales market, with retailers having to estimate* sales three months in advance of books hitting the stands, removed reader enthusiasm from the equation. This meant the critics, the trades, and the ability to plaster “Award Winning!” over the Diamond Catalog preview was more important than readers’ actual enjoyment of comics.

                      Of course, since may comics store customers had standing orders for certain books to be pulled their preferences in story-telling often had little effect on their purchases. This might also account for certain destructive trends in the industry, as readers buyers might list, in addition to their regular titles, “anything with Punisher/Wolverine/Deadpool on the cover.”

                      *by estimate I mean commit to purchasing a number of copies of a title, with unsold books returnable ONLY in special circumstances, such as failure to ship on time: I don’t believe even a fill-in issue written/drawn by some hack in place of a fan-favorite like Stalin, Steranko or the like could be returned. Reader dissatisfaction affected retailers, not publishers.

                    5. I’ve heard bits of this, and I know about the three month purchase cycle for comics. One thing that I’ve also know about is that Marvel has required buyers to get certain special perks-additional numbers of variant #1 covers for popular books, posters, additional items, etc, etc, etc-that you buy a number of other things. Like Squirrel Girl, or Ms Marvel, or a number of other “DIVERSITY!” titles.

                      Then, Marvel cites the direct sale numbers as reasons why they continue the lines, especially since they can show the “unbiased” store numbers on third-party web-sites as proof.

                      Even back in the Stalin/Steranko days, comic buyers did influence purchasing because if they didn’t buy comics or ask for the store to order them, they didn’t get bought. And, there wasn’t a monopoly distribution system.

                      I think that the ability to return comics to the distributor has become vital, especially these days. Diamond and whatever system DC is trying to set up to deploy comics needs that feedback loop installed. Marvel and DC can’t flood the zone with comics that buyers won’t buy, because the stores have to buy them to get the comics that are on the pull lists.

                      It’s also why Kickstarter/IndieGoGo has become vital-you have to sell a good comic there, and a lot of the comics that have been selling have been “classic” comics in style and art.

          1. I can only dream of a Frank Frazetta-drawn Wonder Woman. Or even an Al Capp. Draw her a la Eisner, Caniff or Alex Raymond.

            Why’d they have to turn to a bad R. Crumb imitator?

            1. Because that is the Current Hot, SJZ-Approved Art Trend that is designed to mimic/mirror the CalArts/Steven Universe style. And since it’s an Officially Approved Style, you have to Obey The Style Form In All Ways!

              Take a look at the recent Uzaki-Chan Wants To Hang Out controversy about how she’s “over-sexualized” and “mildly pedophilia bait” (she’s 20, btw) on Twitter and Tumblr. And, of course, the “realistic redesigns” have her massively frumpy, overweight to obese, and/or stuff her in a baggy sweater or hoodie. Or all three at once. And, people are screaming “what the f(YAY!)k is wrong with you?!?” to these artists and they’re all sitting there with the happy little Karen smile of being able to tell people “you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, since I’m am an artist and you are not.”

              (Said “artist” doesn’t have any clue on how color theory works. Or they look at you with blank eyes when you point out public source anatomy information and how they mess it up. Or how many of them seem to make a fetish out of “cute” self-harm, extreme yaoi/yuri shipping, deliberately ugly and “gender fluid” gender swaps, etc, etc, etc…)

              It’s sad, a lot of the time.

              1. Take a look at the recent Uzaki-Chan Wants To Hang Out controversy about how she’s “over-sexualized” and “mildly pedophilia bait” (she’s 20, btw) on Twitter and Tumblr.

                Wait, wait, some idiots are deliberately throwing themselves into the rather unbelievable role of “Gosh, she’s short, so she must be a child, nevermind that she should be wearing a back-brace”?

                *facepalm*

                1. Yep, this is Twitter and Tumblr. Logic and reason and CHECKING THE SOURCE MATERIAL doesn’t matter-she looks like a kid (because anime), and she is attractive and happy.

                  1. Good grief.

                    They’ve been pushing 15-year-olds-having-sex stuff since…what, the 70s, in school, I’ve only heard of the Vagina Monologs being questioned for the underage lesbian rape in one case and it’s basically mandatory for some idiot teacher to require a “teen girl loses her virginity before she can drive and this is Empowering” book, with bonus points if it’s with a guy who is dead by the end of the book.
                    And NOW it’s “oh she is short we can’t imagine she’d have s*x!”

                    Give me a break!

                    1. Ah…now you are close to understanding.

                      It’s not a sexuality that they can control, and it is a sexuality that’s not of a “smashing hetronormative narratives” type. Which they believe is the only kind that is valid. Older woman having sex of dubious consent with an underage girl (i.e. it’s non-consensual at any rate due to laws, but there’s a difference between legal and moral)? Wonderful and should happen more often!

                      Conventionally attractive girl that is happy, enthusiastic, likes boys, and boys like here? A terrible, horrible example of the patriarchy in action and it needs to be stopped!!!

                      The wokescolds need to make their deviations normal, or else everybody else has been right about the choices they’ve made and they’re wrong And Wrong is something that a wokescold can never be.

                    2. And, because of the idiot pissheads, Japan is going to start seriously enforcing their copyright laws again. So, all of those nice torrent sites you could…find out-of-print anime, yea, that’s it…are going to go down because nobody wants to be hit by a $15,000 fine per individual offense.

                    3. I don’t want to defend the stupid, but Japan *MIGHT* be hurting, economically, too.

                      I know they were showing some stuff about the college kids who live in internet cafes being homeless because of COVID-19 steps.

                    4. Japan has been hurting economically for a while, they’ve just been better at massaging the numbers with some tricky things. Throw in a culture that you could be bleeding to death and they wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone…

            2. A Milt Caniff Wonder Woman would have been just so freaking awesome, that it would take a whole new dimension to explore the awesomeness of it all!

      3. Yep…and kinda, they’re involved in that but not the primary employer.

        It’s also an artist self-insert.

        I started collecting Wonder Woman when I was watching Linda Carter play her on TV. I’m one of the people who actually defend the New 52 Reboot of her origins, but I’m less than happy about this one.

        1. Even when I was a kid and watched a couple of those on first run, and any time I saw her afterward, Linda Carter creeped me out. I have no idea why. She might be quite a nice lady, but for some reason she trips every “pod person” alert I have, even before I actually had a formal concept of such a thing.

          1. Her husband’s a real sleaze and she’s involved in all the woke causes, so yeah. Pod person.

            I really didn’t watch WW much when I was young but I’m pretty sure when I did it wasn’t the pod person part of her I was paying attention to. Even so, Erin Gray was more my speed.

          2. Lynda Carter does this thing where she moves slightly slower than a normal person.

            I think she was deliberately trying to come across as a Greek goddess — you know, serene, cow-eyed (in the complimentary sense), full of order and measure. But it might just be that she’s like that in real life. Some people do that slow moving thing.

            I’ve never met her in real life, but she seems to have good instincts in real life even if she professes all the bad stuff. In a fit of Looky Louism, I looked through the photos of the Metropolitan Museum’s “camp” fundraising ball last year. Pretty much every outfit should have been illegal in some fashion police world, and all the guests were so proud of themselves.

            But Lynda Carter wore a gorgeous outfit, and looked like she was disgusted and was going to head out early. (There were a couple others, like poor Princess Beatrice, who looked like she’d been tricked into going and was now wondering if somebody had slipped her acid.)

      4. Ace did a post on this yesterday, in the same piece that talked about the WB and DC layoffs. Someone there noted that it looked like an attempt to do a “real woman” by an artist who’s so intent on not attracting “male gaze” with the image that they were oblivious to the rather inportant detail that women who are heavier in real life tend to focus more of the heavy in their chest.

        1. *waggles hand* That actually does a pretty good job of showing a woman who is actually fat, rather than scale-fat, and wouldn’t have a very large chest normally, wearing a tube-top. Oh, and probably in her 30s or so, too.

          I’d say actually “overweight” and a good candidate for something like an elliptical for stress management, honestly. But I’m digressing.

          Part of the problem is that “fat” gets applied to tapemeasure stats instead of describing … you know, actually FAT, or “a fashion set by making an unusual bodytype look great looks bad on them.”
          *glares at hip-hugger pants that make most body-types have muffin tops until they’re at dangerously low fat levels*

          Tube tops are really not flattering, being able to make them look good is the point of the style. MOST women can’t.

          1. > MOST women can’t

            I long since realized that what some women see in the mirror, and what other people see, have no connection in any known reality. “Gee, this looks great on someone with a totally different body type, therefore it will make me look great too!” Though as I’ve noticed before, that might not even be relevant as long as the clothing is sufficiently expensive, exclusive, or worn by certain celebrities. “Git’cher Spring Maid burlap sacks for only $899.95! Matching recycled car tire sandals half off at $399.99!”

            > dangerously low fat levels

            The “liposuction and dehydration” look seems to be making a comeback in cheesecake pictures. I generally prefer “slim” over “padded”, but “anatomical model” doesn’t even register on my attractiveness scale.

            1. Hey, my mom was married in a Gunny Sack!

              (…it’s a brand name. She uses that line to horrify people. Perfectly nice dress, just not High Fashion even in the early 80s-late 70s.)

              ***********

              Hey, taste is taste– I just wish a few more guys would figure out that their preference isn’t a rule of nature and stop acting like jealous mean girls. 😀

              1. There was a classic I love Lucy when they went to Paris and ended up in dresses made of gunny sacks only to see the French Designers come out with dresses made of gunny sacks.

                1. Relatively speaking, yes. Whiteish linen-looking cloth, tiny paisley pattern print in rich, darker colors, quarter to half-inch lace frills at most of the joints between the two, relatively high-waist but not up on the ribs a-line design, loose sleeves with cuffs.

                  Looking at it with adult design eyes, really is a brilliant design; the hem can land anywhere between the ankle and knee without looking bad, and most arm lengths would just change how loose the sleeves are. My aunt must’ve been involved in picking it. (Mom does not do fashion, but if her mom had been involved, it would’ve been… impractical. My aunt is better at finding solutions that actually work with my mom. Even when that involved sewing color-codes into the tags of mom’s college clothes so said aunt wouldn’t be embarrassed by what mom wore….)

      5. If that’s supposed to be a Patrick Nagel homage, I can’t believe the “artist” ever look at an original Nagel.

    2. I have relatives who worked on Star Trek Continues and I am told they were on very good terms with the Trek department at CBS (at that time the rights holders, pre-Shari Redstone’s Viacom remerger).

      The Axanar folks, on the other hand, were very emphatically not, and their shenanigans poisoned the well for all the rest. Otherwise, we’d have had a bunch more eps of Continues.

      And Continues continued to get better as they went along, with the last set of episodes being certainly up to 1960s TV standards.

      1. I knew issues about financial irregularrities at Axanar were a big part of it. I have no doubt the Continues gang was on good relations at the licensing level.

        That said, I think Axanar issues gave some people who didn’t like it that fan Trek was putting materials that dis follow the subvert everything trend that appealed to the fans more than the official materials.

        1. Yep – the Axanar dude’s, well, let’s say questionable choices gave the Paramount corporate opponents of any and all fan-produced Trek content all the ammo they needed to impose their new restrictions.

          Everyone else was staying well clear of the line that he went dancing right past.

  19. So, I think — believe — this is because people had learned not to pay any attention to the news when it came to politics, or international politics, or any of that. They had learned that the news lied in the service of the left. They simply hadn’t processed that they would lie about something as seemingly non-political as a disease.

    Simply an application of Gell-Mann Amnesia. It seems to be something that takes a while for a lot of people to get past, before they really grok that the media isn’t just unreliable (as in a complete farce) on things they know well, but is risible in general.

  20. My youngest daughter has been going to a state university for several years. NOT the one in her state, but going on line. They advertise their online program pretty strongly, claiming same instructors, same texts, same syllabi, etc. She is scheduled to graduate in December, and is carrying a 4.2 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale (extra credit is a wonderful thing). During her pre-graduation advisor session, turns out she has the highest GPA in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Oh cool. I’ll be the valedictorian, unless I blow it or somebody manages to beat me out this term!” Crickets. Bad enough that she apparently will be the first non-traditional student to finish at the top, being 39 years old, married with 5 kids and 1 step, but the first on-line student. On-line is SO much cheaper than going to campus, that the administration is scared spitless she will prove the online program really is equivalent, and kill on campus. Her major instructors, to their credit are cheering her on. One wants to take her senior capstone paper, apply to get some grant money, and co-author a full blown peer reviewed published paper.

    1. Wow! That’s fantastic. Congrats to her, her family for backing her, and her major prof for cheering her on so well.

      1. Much as I love bragging on my daughter, the real point is that the school administration is absolutely FREAKED by having some who has never been within 500 miles of the campus be their best student. They are not going to be able to deal when the kids that have been going to HS online decide “Why should I pay so much more to live on campus?” Other than the parties. which will not be a big oint with Mom and Dad.

        1. I’m sure booking a room every weekend and partying in the nearest city would be cheaper than room and board at a university.

        2. There’s a startup basically buying out hotels in Waikiki and somewhere resorty in the US south and selling housing and meal plans so college students can be somewhere nice while they study online.

      1. Sociology. She got involved with Holocaust Studies in synagogue, saw how difficult it sometimes was even for second and third generation survivors to reintegrate into society. Then she realized how many “Holocausts” are still going on and decided this needed addressing on a global scale.

        1. Oh. Dear. At least she has an idea of what she proposes to do with it, which is more than can be said for the majority of Precious Snowflakes in college these days.

          I suppose Sociology could be a genuine scholarly field (I don’t think it can quite be a Science, but I’m a Crank), it just so often ain’t. I wish her every good fortune, especially seeing as how so many of those ‘Holocausts’ are the work of people the Fascist Left likes and protects.

          1. It isn’t so much what she wants to do with the degree, as it is the credential she needs to have to be able to do what she wants. Of course, she has this tendency (I wonder where she got it?) to push snowflakes buttons. Synagogue social action committee meeting, snowflakes going on and on about the need to take real action. She asks “Can I get a show of hands of those who have taken any action, phone or letter to Congresscritter, anything, about the Uighurs? Her hand and mine conspicuously the only ones raised. “I thought not. You say ‘never again’ , but you mean never where it disturbs my nice upper/middle class life” She stood up, jerked her head toward the door – “Come on, Dad, just a bunch of feel gooders”. And out we went.

  21. Well, decades of apocalyptic fiction centering around viruses. General lack of science knowledge or understanding. A fetish of safety.

    It hitting the Boomer-blob who are already holding on to “we are the Youth of the Nation/counter culture/ FUTURE!” by their nails, as they spend decade three or so of being in power….

    ’69, when they were kids? No problem!

  22. However, I expect that the “default expectation” will flip from “everyone drives to work” to “people work at home, unless…”

    It’s not on that level at my husband’s office, but most of their desk guys are in support of physical services and will sometimes be called on to actually help– and they still have gone to “oh, there is any reason at all, including a doctor’s appointment being a slightly shorter drive or you over-did yard work yesterday? Sure, work from home, when will you be coming back in?”

  23. That “a lot of Americans think 10% of Americans have died of COVID” I’m going to take with a big grain of salt, because unless I know the EXACT WORDING in how the question was asked, I’m not sure that it means anything, as with the vast majority of polls/statistics.

  24. Just got an official notice: ALL voters are getting ballots in the mail, by decree of Gov. Nuisance.

    It also states that polls will be open, but reduced numbers and ‘may not be at the usual locations’ and there could be long lines.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass. I will FIND the poll, and vote, as a protest against the Fascist Left.

    1. I’m going to take that as a sign that he thought that California might have been in play.

      1. I think he’s embarrassed at some of the flipped-back districts reducing the D seat count in the House. Can’t have that.

  25. “But have they turned away enough? Well, obviously not, since people think that 10% of Americans have died of Winnie the Flu.”

    To my dismay, there is a substantial and growing number of people who believe Covid-19 to be a government sponsored hoax. You can’t talk to them any more than you can talk to the SJWs. They’re just as wrong and just as dangerous as the SJWs.

    On a brighter note, the majority of people we speak to, ~100/wk or thereabout, believe very little of what is in the media regarding the Kung Flu or any other subject. People are tuning them out and taking the sensible precautions you expect of grown men and women.

    1. Meh. I’m almost there, Phantom. The plague that only kills the west where the left gambols? I wonder why people would think that.
      Oh, and from which homeless are immune….

      1. They might simply be that stupid.

        Considering all the hiring of university and public school graduates for government positions, we were probably about due for this level of screw up.

      2. Alex Berenson had an interesting point where he pointed out that the hysteria, not the disease, is in fact a media construct and that the great pity is that the initial outbreak happened in the media’s front yard. If it had started in fly over country, they’d not have noticed.

        I also think that had Cuomo and Murphy not failed so massively and had the corruption in the NY public hospital system not been so blatant, this would never have blown up as it did.

        so yeah, a conspiracy of fools. I didn’t believe them before and now I wouldn’t believe any of them, media, university, health officials, the whole damned lot. If we ever have a real crisis, we’re doomed because they’ve forfeited all credibility. I

      3. Then I read SF and NYC have been putting the homeless up in upscale hotels to “save,” them. Arrrrgh.

        1. A fair few of those upscale hotels had been welfare hotels back in the 70’s.

          What’s best is that DiBlasio is punishing the rich and these rich deserve it. they put him there, he’s their guy. It was property developers looking to develop city lands at bargain prices, especially the central park stables, billions that was, who put him there and now they have the homeless living on their doorsteps. I really don’t care about any of them at this point. They had nostalgia de la boue and now they’re finding out what low-life means. I could have told them, I lived there through the 70’s and 80’s but some people need to get it good and hard.

          DiBlasio grew up in Boston, destroying NYC must be heaven to him. Just another Democrat run sh-thole.

      4. it ain’t the disease that’s the hoax, but the responses. I don’t even think is actual conspiracy, but more of like minds taking advantage of a situation. Stupid And Evil is still detrimental to us all, after all.

      5. If I hadn’t seen a bad case I’d certainly be wondering. Not spread by #BLM or Antifa but running rampant in Sturgis at the bike show? Yeah.

        But I did see a bad case (HCQ for the win, my friends) so my wondering eye turns from the obviously real disease to the insane response from the government/media complex. In Canada we have literally seen them be on EVERY side of this issue, from “its just the flu” to “masks mandatory” to “it doesn’t matter we’re all gonna dieeeeeee!!!11!” And they’ve done their flip-flopping right out here where everybody can see them. There’s no doubt that this week’s story is the same as last weeks: it’s a -story-. It’s bullshit that somebody made up to keep the masses quiet.

        The one guy who has been reasonably consistent and somewhat serious in all this is Trump. Canada is run by idiots, but at least the guy with his finger on the Big Red Button has something of a clue.

        For all you Lefties and #NeverTrumpers out there, I want you to imagine President Joe Biden gaffing and hair-sniffing his way through the last 8 months. Just look at Trudeau, then make him 80 years old and demented. That’s Joe Biden.

        1. The one thing that would make any of this make sense would be if the governments knew this was a bioengineered bug but didn’t want to “increase panic,” by admitting it. Then add in a lot of power-hungry politicians and shake well.

    2. The problem is that, to a large extent, COVID-19 IS a government sponsored hoax. It isn’t 100% of the government(s), and the ones pushing nonsense aren’t all on the same page, but there IS a general Narrative that is substantially bushwa.

      Which doesn’t mean, sadly, that there isn’t a real virus that poses a real threat to some.

  26. Awww, I had Judgment Day on my bingo card of “what fresh new Hell we were going to get” for August.

    Right now, I’m going to do what I can to prepare for the idiots in charge. Finally club the last snakes to get Solist At Large published (registering my web site today, getting everything set up to file my copyright, KDP setup, flipping a coin between a $3.99 or $4.99 price point, etc, etc, etc…). Pretty much laugh uproariously that the E!Democrats chose the worst possible candidate for VP. Clean out my bills and pay for everything I can. Planning on my trip to Half Price Books so I have lower overhead (hopefully by cleaning out enough of my unit to get a smaller unit.

    I’m paying attention to the news, but I’m not letting it drive me insane.

    I think we’ve been overdue for bad times for a long time. The election has a feel of the 1860 election, with the same players but different geographical distribution. I only hope that any “insurrection” will be brief and dealt with completely and painfully.

    1. I swear, at that point you drive to your boss’s house and lick them, their spouse, and their kids.

      Well, spit on him and lick everyone else.

    2. I have friends whose offices are being this nonsensical.
      This is humiliation theater.People used to wonder why the Germans put up with Hitler. I wonder how many people realize we’re being softened for worse.
      And since we spring from the same genetic stock, yes, the peril is obvious to me. But I think the peril is coming for everyone.

      1. “This is humiliation theater. People used to wonder why the Germans put up with Hitler. ”

        This. Yes. This is totalitarianism, the Easy Mode. The first boundary transgressions – though actually those were back in March, “two weeks to flatten the curve” my… foot. This is way past that.

        People who cross your boundaries don’t stop until you make them stop.

        The longer the mask foolishness goes on, the more depressingly sure I am that will require bloodshed.

        1. What I don’t get is where the ____ these “doctor’s groups” are coming from, demanding cloth mask orders.

          There’s no evidence for it. The downsides are obvious. The one person I actually know who caught it, probably got it BECAUSE of the #$#@ masking order (touching mask to put on face).

          But now there’s some hysterical professional ninnies demanding it in Iowa.

          Where the evidence shows it is not doing what they say. Washington has had masks the whole time– their ramp up was steeper, their deaths per day is higher, their lowest point was higher…. basically, our curve IS what masks are supposed to do, flattening the curve.

          1. just saw one study that showed, shocker, sterile N95 non vented was best, sterile surgical style next best, sanitized cloth near bottom, and fleece actually detrimental (causing spread by making water droplets smaller and easier to spread, and also enhancing an uninfected wearer’s chance of contracting). The reason N95 was best was it was the highest they tested. N99 is best, but again only in a certain situation and not as mandated. In most places (here wearing N95 is verboten in the offices, and most non-dusty situations FFS) the rules are the opposite of what is workable.

            1. Fitted vs unfitted surgical is a big difference, too– the generic, blue “surgical style” folded paper is roughly the same as multi-layer cloth, basically a spit guard.

              1. The boss-lady who used to have her office upstairs of me has a son who is an EMT. Spit Guard is just what they call their masks
                I note the provided masks here at work are now supposedly sterile (“surgical Style” non-tested N95 specs), but it’s a box of 50 with two packs in it. Sterile doesn’t last long once opened.

                1. And “sterile” and “near your mouth” don’t really belong together at all.

                  The sterile thing matters for when someone is cutting skin, or to a lesser extent dropping stuff in your eyes. Otherwise your mouth at baseline is less sterile than pretty much anything in your environment.

                  1. yeah, but as a protective measure (for the wearer), in order to work, it does need to be, and then it will help only for that short time (1 hour max and I don’t think that is for close contact with infected for that whole period either) or until you remove it, whichever comes first.

                    1. For basic protection “clean” works. You just don’t want a lot of stuff already on there that will grow in the humid warm environment of your breath, which is why all reusable masks should be washed early and often, and disposables disposed of and not reused.

                      My opthalmologist has been taped into her N95, with a surgical mask tied over the top of that, all day every day that she sees patients since March, as have been lots of healthcare folks. I very much worry about the long term health effects on all these health care professionals being taped into their masks all day every day for months, with no end in sight.

          2. They have Authority, they think they can rule with it. Power to make people grovel is, unfortunately, addictive – and you know what C.S. Lewis said about people who want power “for our own good”.

            1. Pet peeve there, he wasn’t saying what folks keep using that quote for– it was about treating crime like a disease, pointing out that even in well-meaning hands it meant punishing people for not agreeing as if it were a crime. He then went on to explain that it would NOT be in well meaning hands.

              The general push of sacrificing justice because it was not nice enough is relevant….

      2. Yes. Next thing they will demand is that everyone do jumping jacks and touch their toes (that means you 6079 Smith WI).

      3. “Darn my camera is broken – I’ll have to just join on audio. Oh, hey, I can share a picture of my company badge photo – here you go, that’s me.”

    3. [blink]

      What.

      Okay, someone tell the Babylon Bee they can just pack it in and go home. Real news has become its own parody.

    4. The CO of my shipyard has been on a mask kick for a couple of months now. We’ve had maybe a dozen confirmed cases since this started (I think that’s because it already went through the yard before anyone knew about it) including a cluster that has prompted her to go from “Please wear the face napkin, guys” to setting up a snitch hotline and promising discipline (because nothing says leadership like threats). And today Captain Karen sends out an email with guidance on personal fans, because they may spread the Wu Flu. I damn near blew an aneurysm, which prompted one of my minions to say “This is why I don’t envy Jeff, he has to read through all that crap to figure out what to pass down to us.”

  27. The Democrats great accomplishment for 2020, and I do believe by design (they are wargaming succession after all) was to make sure at least half the country disbelieves the results, no matter who wins.

    That will cost us in blood. The only question is how many zeros on the number.

    Given that Harris is the perfect candidate for them…she is the best representative of such bloody mindedness to run.

    1. Given what the leaders on each side are saying, I’m having a hard time seeing an election that is accepted by the losing side. I also worry about the consequences of that.

      1. Yes, but I blame the Dems for

        1. They have, to some degree, contested every presidential election they lost from 2000 on.

        2. Inserted the question about Trump respecting the results while not asking Hillary the same. She lost and she didn’t.

        3. Four years of “Russia elected Trump”.

        4. Insisting on mail in vote despite regular stories about very irregular ballot mailings.

        Trump may say stupid shit, but it is not in his interest to undermine confidence in elections. It has clearly been their belief it is in their interest since Bush v. Gore.

        1. Well, to be honest, I tend to think that one party is pushing a useful narrative, and the other party has some suspicious facts.. Why does mail in voting favor one party over the other? Nothing is as convincing to me as that it is a bit easier to commit vote fraud with a mail-in system and that one party is more systematic about that.

          But an uncle is still convinced that Bush stole the election in 2000. And that Trump will steal it this time. I don’t talk to him much because no matter what I say, it will not alter the things he believes (that just aren’t so). So each side has those that already strongly believe fraud is real and unfavorable to their side. And in this case, validity of the belief is not as important as that the belief is there and being fanned. And the only way out I see is for SCRUPULOUSLY HONEST elections. Which I don’t think we’ll see.

          1. None other than the Democratic Party’s own touted “gold standard” of election fairness arbiters, Jimmy Carter, is on record as calling mail in voting the most manipulable and unsafe method to ensure fair elections. Democrats of course will completely memory hole this as long as they are the ones benefiting from fraud by mail.

    2. Yes. We will have to pay the butcher’s bill.
      Pray very constantly we’re left with a constitutional republic. Or at least those who survive are.
      And may G-d have mercy on our souls.

      1. I keep telling all my praying friends… Pray. When all else fails, I pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done”
        Because if faith about the prayer matters, if nothing else I believe He’ll hear that one. When there’s more boldness, then I pray for a boring rest of the year. When I’m angry, I ask that all the lying will be made plain for all to see and that we’ll put righteous men and women in office. (To just do the job we elect them to do, you know?)

        1. Amen.

          I do a lot of “Please, God, if I’m wrong– help me find out, and fix it; if I’m not, help me find the right thing to say or do to get people to understand.”

              1. There’s a fair number of psalms asking that G-d would execute vengeance, accompanied by the idea that it is His to execute, not mine. It is quite a human desire, and the way I read the apocalyptic literature, it’s purpose is to assure us that justice is coming even if it’s not here yet. But the New Testament has several passages about how, for our own souls sake, we ought to be willing to forgive and temper justice with mercy.

                Yes. I’m trying to be good!

                1. There’s a name for these psalms. They’re called imprecatory psalms
                  Psalms 69 and 109 are the most prominent but its scattered through at least a dozen others (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprecatory_Psalms). As for New testament in the early chapters of revelation the resurrected Lord really lights into some of the churches,
                  and in Galatians 5:11-12 (NET translation)

                  Now, brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.12 I wish those agitators would go so far as to castrate themselves

                  Those agitators really ticked Paul off and its been recorded as part of scripture for ~2000 years, man I’d hate to be them 🙂 that’s darned embarrassing.

  28. As for the news… Well, I’ve been waiting for people to stop believing them for twenty years now.

    Sadly, we seem to be seeing the Truth of the dictum, “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” We know the MSM is not believable, but we do not know who else is. Most of us are sufficiently critical to acknowledge that the flaws of the MSM are also present in the alternatives — PJ Media, Breitbart, and others, especially Left-wing sites. Thus we are sailing on a clouded sea with no North Star in view.

    At least we are aware that the Babylon Bee attempts to write satire … although these days satire merely seems the Deeper Truth.

    Such division over the facts of Reality bode trouble, always, and even more so when there are those intent on imposing their facts by force majeure. From Byron York’s Daily Memo:

    Byron York’s Daily Memo: Ominous Rumblings from the Resistance Fever Swamps
    OMINOUS RUMBLINGS FROM THE RESISTANCE FEVER SWAMPS. Remember last week’s newsletter about the Transition Integrity Project? It’s the group of anti-Trump former government officials, political operatives, and journalists who held a war games exercise to look at various scenarios for the 2020 election.

    Most news reports focused on the group’s assertion that President Trump would not leave office if he lost the vote, although in fact both of the group’s scenarios in which Joe Biden won ended with the defeated Trump leaving the White House and Biden taking office on inauguration day, January 20, 2021.

    What most news reports did not tell you was that there was one scenario in which there was a clear victor and the loser refused to accept the results of the election. That was when Trump, as in 2016, lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. In that scenario — an indisputable Trump victory by the process set out in the Constitution — Democrats and Biden refused to accept the result. They made wild demands in exchange for conceding, like statehood for Washington DC and Puerto Rico, and breaking up California to add new Democratic senators. A standoff ensued. In the end, according to the Transition Integrity Project scenario, inauguration day arrived with the situation “unresolved.” The group’s report said: “It was unclear what the military would do in this situation.” Remember — this was a scenario in which President Trump clearly won re-election and Democrats refused to accept the results.

    That was wild enough. Now, two retired Army officers writing in a respectable publication are actually, seriously, talking about tanks in the streets of Washington.

    The publication is DefenseOne, a part of the Government Executive group. The two former officers, John Nagl and Paul Yingling, write an open letter to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley, beseeching him to use military force — they specifically mention the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division — to remove President Trump from office on January 20, 2021.

    The two say that Trump “faces near certain electoral defeat” and after losing would face “not merely political ignominy, but also criminal charges.” Therefore, he would not leave the White House. The article is filled with Resistance talking points about Deutsche Bank and Trump’s Turnberry Resort in Scotland, and undermining the Postal Service, and the like. The authors also charge that Trump is “building a private army answerable only to him.” That is apparently a reference to the president’s decision to send Department of Homeland Security officers to Portland to protect the federal courthouse from rioters.

    From that, the two retired officers — one of them, Yingling, was a deputy of Gen. H.R. McMaster in the first Gulf War — concoct a scenario in which Milley must order troops into the streets on inauguration day. “The clock will strike 12:01 PM, January 20, 2021, and Donald Trump will be sitting in the Oval Office,” they write. “The street protests will inevitably swell outside the White House, and the ranks of Trump’s private army will grow inside its grounds. The Speaker of the House will declare the Trump presidency at an end, and direct the Secret Service and Federal Marshals to remove Trump from the premises. These agents will realize that they are outmanned and outgunned by Trump’s private army, and the moment of decision will arrive. At this moment of constitutional crisis, only two options remain. Under the first, U.S. military forces escort the former president from the White House grounds. Trump’s little green men, so intimidating to lightly armed federal law enforcement agents, step aside and fade away, realizing they would not constitute a good morning’s work for a brigade of the 82nd Airborne. Under the second, the U.S. military remains inert while the Constitution dies. The succession of government is determined by extralegal violence between Trump’s private army and street protesters; Black Lives Matter Plaza becomes Tahrir Square.”

    Whew. This is, quite simply, fantastical, overheated, crazy stuff. And yet Nagl and Yingling are not alone. A few days ago, in an appearance on Bill Maher’s “Real Time,” Lawrence Wilkerson — a retired Army officer and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell — also discussed scenes from the apocalypse on inauguration day. According to an account in The Wrap, “Wilkerson [said] he wonders what will happen ‘if Trump calls his base to the streets with their guns,’ who he said ‘owns something like 60 to 70 percent of the 300-400 million guns in America.’ ‘If they answer that call and come to the streets with guns, then we probably are going to have a need for the military. And then all bets are off as to how much blood might flow.'”

    What to say? It’s only August. There is time for much more frenzied speculation — in mainstream publications, not voices on the fringe — before the nation votes. Be ready for it.

      1. Obama purged an awful lot of officers. The ones that remain are the kind that could thrive under Obama. Also, mean old trumpy wumpy took their little warsy away. Poor little boys have no toys to play with. You can count on Harris to give them a war foreign or domestic.

    1. Went to poking around– they’re both former Lt. Colonels from the Army.

      I sure as hell wouldn’t take a 30 year service Navy Commander that seriously, nor a 28 year one.

      …I am a bit curious, apparently Yingling did a WaPo article in ’10 when he retired to teach high school social studies, but the thing is he said he was a Colonel. This write up has his rank as the other I found. Which does explain why Wiki was so careful to not have his rank listed at all….
      https://www.army.mil/article/47175/breaking_ranks_dissent_and_the_military_professional

    2. It’s projection as usual, where the anti-Trumpers are trying to justify their own attempt at a coup after a Trump election win.

    3. The question of Trump losing and refusing to leave the White House is total BS. The family will be out as soon as he knows that he has lost. He will be there for the swearing in. He will then be GONE, quickly.

      The question is when Trump wins in the EC and by the Constitution and the Dems throw their temper tantrum and get the LEFTIST in the Pentagon to go along with them and the Send the 82ed in, WHAT will the Marines DO??? Better yet what will the NCOs and other ranks DO? Follow their Oaths or follow their Woke Officers??? As I understand it Trump does have Marine Guards, there are Marines units a lot closer than the 82ed are.

      If the Democrats and Pentagon are planning on USING the 82ed they would have to move them a lot closer to DC and would have to come up with an excuse to move them. That would inform Trump what they are planning. I do believe that the Marine Officers have not made Woke or replaced with Woke like the Army has.

      The real problem for the Democrats and the Woke Pentagon is what they have just done could and would be seen for what it would be a COUP. If they don’t win, the could very well be toast. Trump would have every Right and Obligation to charge them with TREASON.

      1. Worth noting is this comment “about that open letter to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: It’s not up to him to decide whether to use military force in the event a former president won’t relinquish the Oval Office. It would be up to the new president.”

        Further:

        First, even if this were the military’s role, it would not be Milley’s. Under the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff serves as the principal military adviser to the president. He (or perhaps, someday, she) has no power to command, or issue orders, to any members of the armed forces. That is the duty solely of the chiefs of staff of the military services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and their combatant commanders. In other words, Nagl and Yingling sent their letter to the wrong address.

        Funny (peculiar, not haha), you would think Lt. Colonels (and WaPo fact checkers) would have known that.

        This is likely the only time, ever, I put up a lik here to an item in Slate!
        https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/trump-military-civil-military-coup.html

        OTOH, should Trump follow the precedent of John Adams and depart the Capital without attending his successor’s swearing in we can be confident the Dems and the MSM (But I Repeat Myself) will be all ablaze over the man’s churlishness, his utter lack of class.

  29. “But in 2020 our government, for no good reason, forced most small businesses in America out of business, and destroyed what, in some cases, took lifetimes to build.”

    And in many cases, stood by and did nothing when those businesses who had managed to survive to that point wre destroyed by the protestersrioters.

    And on an unrelated note: I’m apologize that Ilhan Omar will once again be representing the majoruty of those who bother to vote in the 5th District in Minnesota.

    1. Damn, I was really hoping her blatant and open corruption might have at least lost her her primary…oh, who am I kidding. Those people will continue to vote for insanity. (Same as the loons who got AOC to win her primary. Seriously, wtf people)