It’s 2020 and we’re all cracking.

And no, by that I don’t mean that we’re cracking like crazy on our writing. Most of us are having trouble writing.  A lot of us are having trouble reading. Though I’ve finally got out of the Pride and Prejudice fanfic jag.

I’ve seen people suddenly lose it and start crying over dirty dishes. Or the fact we ran out of peanut butter.

Okay, that was me. Yesterday. But I’ve been watching signs of just that much fragility in everyone I know.

Part of it is the lockdown.  Man — and verily, woman — is a social animal. Not only is it not good for Man — do I need to say “and woman again?” — to be alone, it’s not good for us, when going out to be confronted with “truncated” human faces.

It is instinctive in humans to see human faces in everything. Don’t believe me? Look at a random pattern long enough, and you’ll find faces.  Truncated human faces, the mouth gone, are deeply unsettling to the back of our brain.  It is wrong, mutilated.

Suicides are through the roof. Mental health issues abound.  The young are suffering particularly badly, because on top of all they believe they’re going to die.  (The rest of us are already dead from the ice age, acid rain, fossil fuel depletion, alar, global warming, ozone depletion… I’m sure I’m forgetting some things.  After so much death, one becomes resilient.  Those of us forty and over won’t die. Even if they kill us.)

But the other part of it is that in a contentious political year there’s nowhere to escape.

Remember when you used to have friends that believed exactly the opposite of what you did, and you both knew it, but you were still friends?  You couldn’t talk politics, but you could talk knitting, embroidery, kids, gardening, furniture refinishing, science fiction?  You could sit down and have a cup of coffee with someone whose political views you considered despicable and not mention politics? Not even once?

But that was before the invasion of those for whom everything is political.  Oh, cancel culture already existed. Before social media, I was terrified of saying the wrong word and revealing my real thoughts, and getting blacklisted by publishing houses.

But there were spaces you could draw a breath. Places where you didn’t have to talk and/or think about politics.

And yeah, books and movies were always political.  And since they were mostly controlled by the left, it meant I had to elide portions of them.  But I could tell myself “yeah, sure, the good guy will be a lefty environmentalist and the good guy will be a factory owner, but aside from that, the story holds and is good.”

Of course, that was when comedians also could make jokes without being cancelled and called insensitive.  And when comedians made jokes, rather than just saying “People to the right of Lenin are so dumb!” and expect laughter.

Is this the fault of the left only?

I should be graceful and say that’s not true, but yeah, it is.  The left has confused political beliefs with virtue, and political forecasting with revelation.  And they’re convinced they can create paradise on Earth if they just stamp out the last unbeliever.

This always ends the same way. And it’s not pretty.

It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Particularly since they hold not just American but most of the world’s institutions in their hands.

I do believe it gets better. I have to. Or it would be better to end it now.  But at any rate I know the trend of technology is making it hard for them to hold their monopoly at communication (and yes, Facebook and Twitter are setting themselves up for a world of trouble.  Only not yet.)

And we’re all cracking.

But there are some compensations.  For one, the masks are off. Really, really off.  And that’s a good thing.  (I do wonder if their obsession with making us mask is because they feel exposed? If it’s a subconscious desire to hide again.)

You can’t lance the boil if you don’t know it’s there.  You can’t get rid of the termites if you don’t hear them chew.  And you can’t rebuild society if there is an army of people secretly digging under your support pillars.

Now it’s not secret.

I mourn the innocent days when I had friends who didn’t need to agree with me on politics. But in this day and age, I’ve started wondering if they ever really were friends, or if they would have hated me, anyway, had they guessed my politics.

Maybe it’s better that way.  Sometimes things need to get worse before they get better.

And sometimes, flowers and new life grow in the cracks.

Build under, build over, build around.

We’re the ones who build!  Get to it.


375 thoughts on “Cracks

  1. and yes, Facebook and Twitter are setting themselves up for a world of trouble.

    Twitter blocked L Lin Wood’s account yesterday for glorifying violence. Reinstated it within a couple of hours citing “whoopsie.”

    I might need more popcorn. It’s legit nice to be watching someone they seem to view as dangerous (and probably should), and have that person be uninterested in mincing words.

    In the meantime, it’s enough to get me to shake the dust off my Parler login

    1. I’ve been banned from the twits for a 9 year old tweet.
      someone musta found a better algorithm for the hashtag #shootlooters and dug up an old one about London of all places. I refused to delete it, not that I had noticed exactly when they did it … took me weeks to notice.

      1. I have no problem with shooting looters. Of course all the blog sites that support criminal behavior are going to have a problem with that.

        I really want to pick up a copy of, “In Defense of Looting” if only to write counters that destroy every statement she makes in it. My only problem is I suspect that’s one of the books I’d wall, stomp on, flush down the toilet, run through the wood chipper, and then burn, multiple times, before I got to the end of it.

        Trouble is, Vicky Osterweil really is a criminal in real life. She wants $16.99 merely for a Kindle copy. I’ll have to see if I can borrow a copy from the town Library if they’re unfortunate enough to have one.

        1. I’m tempted to, next riot in Atlanta, to obtain every copy in BN for the low, low price of picking them up.

          How can Vicky object. I’m just taking them from a store, not a home invasion.

        2. Trouble is, Vicky Osterweil really is a criminal in real life. She wants $16.99 merely for a Kindle copy.

          As difficult as it is to be fair to Ms. Osterweil, she’s probably traditionally published, so that particular crime against humanity is likely being perpetrated by one of the big five.

          1. It’s based on only a couple of indicators — Osterweil’s denunciation of America’s “cisheteropatriarchal” origins quoted in the review in The Atlantic (that bastion of alt-right craziness as always), and the author photo provided by a brief search — but I’d lay an Andy Jackson that “Vicky” is a “Michael” of the latest faddish sort of eunuch, and not what us Normies would call “female”.

            His (yes, his) references to “queering” things (as an unqualified positive about looting), and the onanistic tone of “Riots are violent, extreme, and femme as fuck,” are the obscene babblings of a madman who hasn’t had his pills, rather than a rational examination of a topic, even based on false premises.

            1. I notice that NPR has endeavored to kick sand over the interview:

              Money quote:
              [NPR public editor, Kelly McBride] adds, “In this case a book author with a radical point of view far to the left was allowed to spread false information. Casual observers might conclude that NPR is more interested in fact-checking conservative viewpoints than liberal viewpoints. Or possibly, that bias on the part of NPR staff interferes with their judgment when spotting suspect information.”

              When did you first begin to suspect Osterweil was radical?

          1. “Loot This Book” would be a better title.

            Mind you, I do not AGREE with the sentiment, but if you’re gonna say $X is a Net Good, then go Full $X with the text.

          2. You know, that’s not really a bad idea. Walk into a store, gather up all the copies, put them in a box, run the box out the back entrance and put in your car.

            It’s okay. The author gave me permission.

        3. I’ve a slight problem with shooting looters: what size cannon should they be shot from? Use a sabot or encase the feet in a bucket? If they are fired into the ocean are environmental impact statements required?

      1. Now the Leftoids are trying to lump Kyle Rittenhouse in with the instigators that travel around the country to lead riots in cities thousands of miles apart because he ‘was from out of town’.

        1. Yeah, they tried that very early on– it vanished from my facebook pages when I pointed out that the only two we have home towns for (the noncompliant sex offender doesn’t, obviously) drove further than he did.

    2. I’d get a Parler account, except that people who don’t have an account can’t see your posts.

      Where’s the fun in that?

      1. Try Gab. It’s hated by the left and by the GOPe. What’s not to like? (Also, media has been lying through its teeth about it. I don’t post, but lurk, and find it well worth my time.)

    3. They only removed the suspension after she threatened to sue not only Twitter but Jack Dorsey personally and given that she is one of the top defamation lawyers in the country, Twitter backed down right away. It hasn’t stopped them from banning others who express even a minimum of support for the right of self-defense against the Democratic Party paramilitary.

        1. I don’t believe so, unless there are two defamation lawyers of the same name. L. Lincoln Woods would appear to be a man.

  2. knuckle head here is working from home (paranoid over wuflu, though knows masks are stupid, wife was MRI tech)
    all he harps on is Trump! took away his beloved tax write-off when they came up with the cuts. That it was added as a sop to get some Dems to “sign on” and justify letting it out to the floor and pass, they reduced a deduction and now he can’t donate all his furniture to Goodwill and redecorate with new stuff. This is proof Hillary would have been the better choice! Why ANYONE is better than Trump!
    That Hillary, Bernie, et al want to remove all his write-offs, and take over his 401k, and raise his taxes will not compute. That his finances are doing far better than under 0bama and could have dreamed of doing under the Shrill One, is not important. Marine Intelligence. Mighta been a Sargent, but I guess the Russian language lessons cooked any common sense out. That or as a sufferer of high anxiety, the time on subs broke him.

    1. They will never forgive Trump for raising taxes on the rich. All my wine mom neighbors complain endlessly about this because they don’t seem to notice that they’re the rich not some mythical group of people out there, somewhere.

      Every once in a while the wife points this out to them. I’m forbidden to mention it because I tend to be much blunter than she and she wants to maintain what contacts we can especially given our being locked up.

      1. ah, but he didn’t raise them, he removed certain deductions. The left loves to harp on the evils of “loopholes” and “subsidies”, until someone actually does something about them. Then it is a personal attack.

        1. Yes, doubly delicious. I say that as someone whose taxes went up substantially since I live in NJ and work in NYC so I pay NY and NYC income tax and NJ property tax.

          The outrage. You’re supposed to tax those mythical “rich.” Our taxes go toward paying for the schools. Think of the children. Seeing the masks fall has been wonderful. The wife is having more trouble with it since she didn’t spend her life swimming with the psychopaths on Wall Street and still had illusions about her fellows.

          I’m in talks with my accountant to see if I have to pay NY taxes since I‘ve been working from home since March. Not that NJ tax is anything to celebrate, but it’s lower than NY. I suspect it’ll go to court before we’re done and I suspect I’ll be made to pay because that’s still my “duty station.” Since the judges are paid, and their pensions, out of the tax revenue we’ll be made to pay. Still, a fair amount of NYC taxes are paid by people who live elsewhere. If the work at home thing becomes a long term thing the effect will be Interesting.

          1. I would guess it will be determined by whether or not your company H.Q. is in NY or not, even if your duty station was NYC.
            If they are elsewhere, they need to change station for you.
            My work’s corporate HQ was Pa. but now it is Cork Ireland. Former President of my division went all in on avoidance by “Working From Home” and living in Melbourne, FL. She wrote off travel and office space etc, and she didn’t pay State income taxes.
            one of the few smart things she did.

          2. If you’re not setting foot inside their state, I’d like to see them try to send their revenue agents across state lines.

              1. New York State did that to me. Emptied my checking account almost to the penny. I got the money back, but it took two months and I’m pretty sure the shock when I logged in to pay my bills and discovered it took a couple years off my life.

                  1. The worst part is that the check my bank sent them had a slightly different name, so they didn’t apply it to my account. They still cashed it, and once I faxed in my DD-214 they zeroed out my debt, but I had to call them back and read the info from the cleared check before they would give me my money back.

          3. I can speak to this, some.
            The Mythical are NOT rich.
            Not monetarily, anyway.
            Rich in story, perhaps.
            Rich history, almost certainly.
            Rich in Problems beyond the dreams of… and how!

            1. Now, now, now — there is some diversity in your ranks, after all. Fluffy is rich in BBQ ability, but there are other dragons rich in gold.

                1. Fluffy makes accurate but irrelevant comments from time to time. He does not live in this place with all its storage space for nothing.

          4. Murphy claims his budget has a”surplus” of $2 billion while it proposes borrowing $4 billion, due to yet another example of the NJ leftist activists masquerading as Supreme Court justices completely ignoring the plain text of the state constitution and allowing borrowing without voter approval, and for current expenses no less, which is also expressly prohibited. Of course this is the same NJ Supreme Court that in its school funding mandates declared that the number 4 is between 5 and 18.

            The reason for the “surplus” is of course to create a slush fund that he can use through his continued exercise of dictatorial power (he won’t even tell the senior leadership of his own party what evidence and models he is using in issuing his various decrees). It appears that Murphy intends to keep the state of NJ in a state of perpetual emergency, as do most of the Democratic Party politicians. Given that Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mao and Stalin are their role models, this should surprise no one.

            1. Gasoline taxes are going up another 22.5% making roughly 250% since the fat man gave in to the dems. I remember at the time hearing some jackass on the TV remark that NJ had been “privileged” to have lower gasoline taxes. If he had been in my presence I would have kicked him where his b@lls should be.

              1. Do not know how NJ gas taxes compare to Oregon. However, traditionally Yellowstone & the outside area towns fuel/gal costs are at minimum $1 higher than home (Eugene). This month? Within pennies!!!

                Another point. Despite the border closures. No bus tour activities. Most the internal Lodges are closed. Yellowstone July attendance was 2% higher for July 2020 over July 2019. They (concessionaires & ranger staff) hadn’t had the August numbers peculate down to those who interact with the public. Of coarse September numbers are still coming in. I can believe September numbers are going to be higher. Campgrounds were 100% full. Not full for which portions are open (as campgrounds start cutting back open sections as they start get ready to close), but fully open full. Granted that was because they only opened the reservation available campgrounds, and didn’t open 5 of the 8 or so first-come campgrounds until Aug 25th. As of September even the first-come campgrounds were full. Don’t know about Tetons, we didn’t stick around long enough to ask (Smoke).

            2. [Governor Murphy] won’t even tell the senior leadership of his own party what evidence and models he is using in issuing his various decrees

              I bet he isn’t pleased at the possibility of a COVID vaccine at the end of October. No doubt he will stall recognition of it as “safe” for as long as possible, which means you will be living under Murphy’s Law for a while yet.

              1. A vaccine is a win for him too. It’ll be an excuse for “your papers!” to show you’re immunized, checkpoints to catch the ones who aren’t, denunciations or forced inoculations, the whole NKVD schtick.

                And then once everyone is shot up with whatever zombie juice they’ve decided is mandatory, there’ll be the witch hunt for the odd ones that it doesn’t work on, or turned them into carriers, or whatever… no vaccine is 100% effective, so they’ll use that as a further club.

                The beatings aren’t going to stop.

                1. They’ve also made it clear the plan is to use fetal stem cell lines to grow the vaccine– which means that that we will not be allowed to walk away from Omelas.

                  1. I am not having any experimental vaccine produced by these crazy people.
                    For one, I think for real they will put sterilizing loads on them. It’s not hard. not that this matters to me, but I wouldn’t put it past them to have some auto-euthanazia thing too. For another because the disease is trivial.
                    I WILL NOT BEND THE KNEE.

                    1. Yep. No vaccine for me. Expose me to the virus and lock me in a budget motel with 14 days supply of Pop Tarts and Pizza. Come back in two weeks and let me out or collect the body.

    2. > cooked any common sense out

      I used to think that. Now I wonder if some people’s brains run… compartmentalized. The ones that rabidly hold to incompatible beliefs, who can’t see the logical inconsistencies in things they think.

      A friend’s roommate was an engineer at a major aircraft company, with an important position on a military aircraft contract. He got off into “alternative medicine” and bought into some “cupping”, and then some scheme where you could run “tuned” magnets over the body to “pull the diseases out.” Smart guy, engineer, postgraduate degrees, sucker.

      He took some courses in the magnet thing, then quit his job to become a “healer.” Dropped completely out of sight after that.

      I asked what a “tuned” magnet was, but all i got was buzzword gobbledeygook.

      1. Ah, well, I can say that genius runs hand and hand with insanity. Smartest guy I’ve known is also the craziest. So very sad when those bright minds go dim with the insanity.

        1. “Prove it. Show me. Now do it again.”
          Those phrases go a long way when it comes to either verifying or debunking alternative medicine and pseudo-science.

            1. Aw Gee Professor. Don’t get mad! Tell you what. We’ll come by to see you demonstrate it once you get it working properly.

              1. The nutter I knew was sorta the opposite . . . create odd things then not fully explain how the magics worked but gladly demonstrate them. He had LEDs on his spokes with a battery pack on the rack, wires run to the dropouts and from the hub to the LEDs, and even fixing a flat on the front wheel, I still cannot tell how he got the power from the pack to the wheels as it was without contacts.and had some tape involved.
                lots of tape
                This was 1986 or so. I think it was embedded magnetic rings, but I really couldn’t tell.
                But when he got “off his meds” he became a 6’3″ Rasputin looking ragemeister you could not reason with at all. Boss would ban him from the shop, and after a few weeks, month or so, he’d disappear. a few months later a cleaned up version would ride up, open the shop door, and ask politely if he was allowed in. You got about 6 months of him being a strange but cool guy again.

                1. A friend of mine was like that. It was some kind of metabolic thing that manifested as what’s now called “bipolar disorder.” They prescribed lithium for it, which worked fine, but they didn’t do maintenance dosing then. He couldn’t tell when he started getting strange, and by the time other people started pointing it out to him, he was usually combative and either in denial or determined to power through without the meds.

                  He eventually wound up arrested for disorderly conduct, then Epsteined. They ran him past a shrink who said he was a suicide risk, so they put him in solitary with his belt and shoelaces, which they said he somehow used to hang himself from the light fixture. And I have this nice bridge for sale…

                  1. Nephew especially, but also sis, and a few cousins are bipolar. Nephew has pulled some stupid stuff while off meds.
                    I suspect there are a few in the family who are undiagnosed as well, and function a bit like Jonathon Winters.

                    1. One of the indicators for Diabetes II is crankiness (Hey! If you had to run to a pissoir ever forty minutes you’d get cranky, too!) It is a bit humbling to realize that, for all our pride we are but transport units for bacterial colonies.

        1. Hence the famous Lovecraft quote about the inability to correlate the contents of our minds.

          And it may be part of why extremely high intelligence is in its own way as much a disability as low intelligence. The ultra-intelligent person makes connection between things that the average mind never relates, and thus is constantly creating disruption and thus being unwelcome.

          1. “…makes connection between things that the average mind never relates, and thus is constantly creating disruption and thus being unwelcome.”

            Crap. Story of my life.

            1. “How did you put those pieces together?”

              Well, if you look at this, and that bit from China, and remember that this was going on at the time-

              “Stop! Never mind! Forget that I asked.”

          2. Especially because the human mind will start pulling the trick of making connections where there aren’t any if you look too long and hard into anything. It feels like that’s a part of how otherwise reasonable people end up believing the strangest things.

      2. Cupping and moxa is dumb, but it does actually improve circulation in some areas. Sort of like pinching your cheeks does. The swimmers on the US Olympics team did it on their muscles for the Brazil Olympics (and it looked dumb).

      3. I had to look up cupping because I thought that meant bloodletting. I think I’ve read it used that way in historical novels.

        1. Bloodletting can certainly help diseases. TB for instance — because it reduces the blood volume and the strain on the heart, and then as the blood recovers it does so in the liquidy parts first, so it’s less viscous, and hence less strain for the heart.

          There’s a disease with excess iron that can be treated only by bloodletting to this day. (I have heard a claim that it helps against bubonic plague, just to enliven matters.)

          1. A different friend had that. He had some other condition which meant they didn’t want the blood for donation, so they discarded it. He told them he wanted to take it home, then. Apparently the phlebotomist got weirded out when he told her he wanted to make blood sausage with it.

            Nowadays when DIY breast-milk ice cream is a real thing, it probably wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

    3. Focusing on the little stuff keeps him from having to focus on big stuff. It’s a defense mechanism.

  3. Funny thing, I was on the phone with the Bunnie Daughter yesterday and the subject came up. In the conversation regarding the unfolding stupidity, I told her 55% of communication is facial expression. (I looked it up) My position is that the masks are signalling to people in the commons that everyone is an enemy. How else can you determine friend from foe? In the days before Internet when you met someone your subconscious sentinels did the IFF for you. I’m sure that is a creational bit of programming when the tribe -all thirty of them were your only allies in a war of all against all.
    Now we can’t determine from eyes alone if the person you accidentally bumped into at the store is smiling when they say ‘Ok’ or have a bare-toothed growl and are restraining themselves from launching over the basket to rip out your pancreas. The Left loves this. Pitting everyone against each other is Marxism 101.
    When I am out and am wearing The Mask, which I do more as a courtesy to the fearful than because the county has their mandate thing going, I try to be extra nice and “smile with my eyes” as much as possible. Not that I have fears for my pancreas mind you. It’s just so many poor souls who actually watch television have been completely lied to and are convinced.

    1. I have a mildly hard time with facial recognition under normal circumstances. With the mask, it’s medium horrible. I’ve been trying to find the funny, upbeat checker at Fred Meyer, and the last two attempts, I got someone who resembles her, but isn’t exactly friendly. (Wrong voice, so I assume it’s not Mask Derangement Syndrome.)

      Side note from shopping yesterday. Because of OR-gov Kate Brown’s D(espicable) orders, businesses are requiring people to mask up to enter the store. Not so many gatekeepers as before, so that’s loosening up, but the other bit is while people may *enter* the store masked, it doesn’t mean the mask stays on. I saw a non-trivial number of people doing such at the two grocery stores I went to. The small club store where compliance is high caters to a considerably older demographic than most. I do my best to stay masked up there; I really don’t like frightening 80 year old ladies. Beyond that, the Irish Democracy is taking flower.

      1. For those of us hard of hearing, masking destroys any chance of us employing lip reading to pick up the conversation properly. Biggest reason why I don’t ever find going to bars to be an acceptable social outlet is because it’s impossible for me to differentiate between all the conversations. COVID masking makes normal communication almost impossible unless I can get the speaker to speak a bit slowly and properly enunciate all of their words. Unfortunately, most people are lazy, sloppy speakers.

        1. I’ve got some luck with a smile and “I’m sorry, I can’t hear a blessed thing.”

          9 times out of ten, the other person smiles, makes eye contact, and goes “Dang masks make it so hard!” or variations of that.

          1. I’ve had some trouble with the muffled voice – and some who even sans mask mumble, so combine them and get a Uselessness.

            Now, a few times I’ve heard something over a PA and responded, to the bewilderment of those around me. “How did you get ANYTHING out of that?!” “I used to listen to shortwave.” (Yes, in Summer, too yet.)

        2. Trying to hide facial expressions is one reason why you see some poker players wearing sunglasses and trying to hide their faces inside hoodies while playing live.

    2. > 55% of communication is facial expression

      Apparently I never learned the code. The disconnect between ‘the words what are coming out of their mouths’ and their expressions can be profound, and when they mumble at me, my response to their heartbroken story of a death in the family is likely to be “down the hall and to the right,” my best guess at the meaning of the mumbles and face-twiches.

      Alien Encounter Syndrome is an ongoing thing with me.

    3. My position is that the masks are signalling to people in the commons that everyone is an enemy.

      I’ve had a similar thought, that between the masks and the “social distancing,” we’re being taught to see others not as people but as infection vectors. Everyone outside of your immediate circle is a threat. It’s not a good way to live.

    4. My position is that the masks are signalling to people in the commons that everyone is an enemy. How else can you determine friend from foe?

      That would explain why a high (and rising) number of folks are triggering my “DANGER, DANGER, DO NOT ENGAGE” response, and I have trouble seeing a pattern. Mostly those in masks, yes, but a lot of the folks in masks have the same kind of “they’re in trouble, be nice to them” vibe going, and most of the maskles and some of the masked are just… normal.

      If their brain is saying “there are enemies everywhere” then they’d be closer to violence– fight or flight.

        1. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if the “do not make eye contact” thing was because I felt guilty or something– which was when I noticed I didn’t do it with ALL the folks wearing masks.

          I fear you are correct.

          They may not even realize it– if you feel like everyone should be feeling like this, and can’t see why they’re not, this would feel like “finally! They are waking up!”

    5. Aside…

      I’ve done some costume stuff (face fully hidden) and that SERIOUSLY WEIRDS OUT some people. My late Aunt did some work as a clown (kids parties, etc.) and had the same experience. My suspicion is that those people are UTTERLY dependent upon ‘reading’ faces and not taking into account other signal(s). I can only wonder if these people are what pathological liars consider “easy marks.”

  4. So your first few paragraphs pretty much solidified what’s been going on with me and the wife. We’ve both been “snippy” and getting aggravated / annoyed / upset over stuff that we normally would just say “OK, lets do it that way”

    Instead, we’ve had near-fights over stupid sh*t…

    I think in my case, it’s partly that I’ve been WFH since March, then a busted wrist in June kept me house-bound just as I was starting to get out consistently for bike rides (and seeing PEOPLE! on those rides, often mask-less.) She was WFH in March, then laid-off for a few months, but now while being back to work, they have to wear masks when they leave their desks, so she gets the “truncated human faces” problem (They were ignoring the rule because there were only 5-10 people in a big office at any time, until someone snitched.)

    I think counselors / psychologists are going to do a boom business next year when this stuff starts cooling down…

    1. Yeah, my wife and I have been on each other’s nerves as well. Part of it is she’s in pain from twisting her knee a couple weeks back (finally agreed to let me take her in to see the orthopedist today) and partly from the masking requirements at stores/work.

        1. Yeah, I’m not surprised.
          A couple we know, he’s working, she’s not (and quit her job as a school bus driver,) he’s making her bonkers because if he has to go somewhere and they require a mask, he ain’t going. So they aren’t exactly leaving the house much…

          1. If I’m not allowed to use a shield, I don’t go.
            We actually NORMALLY live in each other’s pockets. But my PTSD is through the roof, and since I’m trying to keep expressions of it down not to disturb the people I live with, it’s somehow worse. (EVERY portion of my body is covered in eczema right now. I MIGHT have to go on pred. This wouldn’t be GOOD right now.)

        2. I think perhaps that the only reason we haven’t is that my husband has an anxiety disorder, and I’m so used to working around that that it doesn’t really register as much different. (WFH means he’s actually been able to get off most of the meds—that’s how stressful an office environment is for him.)

    2. Except the counselors and psychologists coming out of psyc school these days are also near crazy and pushing race and gender diaspora at everyone too, so I don’t think it’s going to help much :/

  5. I’m a grouch. I ran flat out of patience with the Radical Left sometime halfway through the Carter administration. My tolerance for the rest of the Democrat side of the aisle lasted a bit longer. Say into the second Reagan term.

    I’m watching them publicly declaring that they want to destroy the lives of the people in this Nation most likely to be Armed and Truculent, and I have to wonder who slipped to locoweed into their Bosco. One kid who was sympathetic enough to have been helping rioters who were tear gassed gets rushed and takes down four. What the f@#$& do these morons think is gonna happen when they run into an organized group of adults who have had Enough Of This Sh*t?

    And I observe that there is nothing wrong with the typical Lefty Democrat mayor that deep fat frying wouldn’t solve.

    I solve the mask problem by trying to have a cheerful word for the people I cross paths with. Once tone may not be as quick as full face scan, but it gets smiles, and makes ME feel better.

    1. Way, way back when, in a Border Books (A new thing!) the cashier asked me something, I replied and she said “Okay Eeyore, that’ll be $X.xx”
      at a whopping 54 now, I can’t say I’ve gotten any less grouchy
      possibly a bit more
      just a bit
      like Jupiter is a bit bigger than Earth

      1. I have been told that those wearing Eeyore costumes *hate* it as they become depressed. I suspect that this really indicates that they fail to try comprehend the character. Eeyore is *world weary*, ‘cursed’ with being Truly Observant, but NOT actually depressed.

        1. Disney’s Eeyore IS depressed. Disney took Pooh and sucked all the subtle out. Which is why, when I have occasion to gift a newborn I give them (and the parents) the classic Milne book with the Sheppard illustrations.

          I especially like the picture in ‘Rabbit’s Busy Day’ that comes with the scene where Owl is wondering whether he should push Rabbit off the tree (Rabbit is being unusually annoying) … it took me years to realize that the picture has Owl thoughtfully flexing a talon.

      2. I miss Borders from back in the day, when they actually listened to employees opinions of what would sell. I believe that policy is why I discovered that YOU’RE STEPPING ON MY CLOAK AND DAGGER had been reprinted. I don’t think it’s an accident that shortly after they abandoned that policy they started sliding down the tubes.

        1. That and they decided to hook onto Amazon for an online presence, abandoning their own site that had allowed you to order something and have it sent to the store.

          1. Trust me, that was only the least of what was going on behind the scenes. The short version is that the new CEOs (who switched out rapidly as Borders neared the end) had no experience with books and were trying to treat a bookstore like a grocery store.

            1. They stacked wrong move upon wrong move. That was when the revolving door of help also started going warp speed. the NOLA store had a few managers who likely rode it to the ground, the Burleson, TX store wasn’t there long and I did go up into Ft Worth a good bit, but from about that point, just before I moved to Texas, the rest of the workers were shuffling in and out so fast, another customer was your best bet for help finding something or getting a clear answer. Especially at the NOLA store, it was a big one, two stories.
              A buddy joked they were using the Warehouse Records and Tapes model of management then. They lasted longer at it than he expected, but not by much.

            2. But, forgetting my point, the Amazon move forced a lot of the customers to get an Amazon account, then got them used to using Amazon . . . and then they went back to their own site, that was worse than the first solo site, made ordering a book online more of a hassle . . . but hey, I can get this same book over on Amazon for a bit less and even after shipping it is cheaper, and I get it sooner, too? Or use a dimwitted site, or a part time employee with no knowledge because the book geeks left.
              Or music. at first they were the place to find new stuff. or local stuff. Then that Warehouse method, they limited what was local . . . in New Orleans? You can fill a shop with just NOLA music let alone Louisiana and the section got smaller and smaller. The Magazine section was about the same size as the cd section when they shut down.

            3. ALL of them do that. because all of them are “business” majors.
              Hence, books stay on shelves a shorter and shorter time, as if they spoiled or something.
              Paperbricks aren’t being killed by ebooks.
              They’re committing suicide.

              1. There are times I suspect the only reason an MBA is not considered the most useless* degree is that there are $WHATEVER Studies degrees.

                * That might be too kind. It is often COUNTER-useful. See above.

                1. I actually have an MBA; it’s useful only for exposing the mindset of managers who swallowed the kool-aid.

  6. “…it’s not good for us, when going out to be confronted with “truncated” human faces.”

    Some people dream of appearing naked in front of everyone. For me, my recurring nightmare ever since grade school was not being able to see people’s faces. I would dream I was walking down the hall, talking to people, but all I could ever see is from their chests down to their toes. It was maddeningly annoying.

    1. I used to have those “naked in public” anxiety dreams.

      The weird thing was that in-dream (I realized upon waking) NOBODY ELSE CARED, even if they saw me.

      But what ended that? Once upon a time a very good looking gal asked me if I was interested in playing ‘model’ for some artists. Nude model. Cameras VERBOTEN. Well, I accepted. Leaving details out, the event took place and the ‘nightmares’ STOPPED. I think I might have had one dream of that sort since, and it took over a decade for the ‘immunity’ to fade even that much.

      1. My recurring nightmares were about driving, and … yeah, you know, I don’t think I’ve had one since I actually started doing it in real life. (Granted, that was 22 instead of 16, but over a decade regardless…)

        1. I used to have dreams in which I was trying (and failing, needless to say) to drive from the back seat.

          I never DID figure out what that was about.

          The dreams that annoy me most are the ones where I’m trying to read something. For whatever reason my dreaming mind cannot form words. So I’m trying to decipher gibberish.


          1. I have heard from multiple sources that the left temporal lobe shuts down during sleep, making it impossible to process letters and words in a dream.

            Sometimes I read while tired, and the story suddenly turns absolutely bizarre and outlandish — and then I discover that my eyes have been closed for several minutes at least. I wasn’t reading at all.

            1. I have definitely had both things I was reading and things I was writing stop making sense as I was falling asleep — I think I got all of the incoherent dream fragments back out of late-night lab reports in college — but I’m also pretty sure I’ve actually read things that belonged in the dreams.

              On the other hand, there was a Thwarting Dream where I had a book I really wanted to read and the dream was about not being able to find anywhere to settle down with it.

              1. I remember hearing that in a Batman: The Animated Series episode. And I found it really disturbing, to the point that I actually was able to have and remember a dream where I read a book, and took great care to make sure that I was actually reading letters that made sense. (So there.) And I felt much better afterwards.

                (I almost never remember my dreams, and I’m never able to direct them. So you can see how much this bothered me.)

                OTOH, I also remembered a dream where I was able to carry out a conversation in Latin. Probably because my brain had to put in so much effort that it wasn’t going to let me forget.

                Other than a few nightmares, I really don’t usually remember dreams. I assume I have them, but I’m pretty far asleep.

                1. Isn’t there some thing about supposedly not being able to dream in color, too? I suspect it’s like that. Somehow.

                2. >> “I remember hearing that in a Batman: The Animated Series episode.”

                  That scene was the first thing I thought of, too. Although the episode apparently got the sides of the brain reversed:

                3. Suburban: I’d been studying Latin while I had pre-eclampsia. (Look, I was bored.)
                  So after I gave birth and had a hellish uterine infection, they put me on on-demand morphine.
                  When doctor came to visit, I started telling her something I thought was really urgent. After a while, she looked at me and said “I think we’re reducing your morphine.”
                  Which is when I realized I had told her a Tom and Jerry cartoon (that I MUST have seen at 10 or so) in Latin.
                  Dan holds that as one of the funniest moments of our marriage. 😀

                4. Brains are plastic, though– the general rule could be correct, but you’re one of the “wrong side of the brain got part of that stuff for Reasons” folks.

      2. You know the “actor’s nightmare” dreams, where you’re on stage and you know nothing of the script? Four years of improv switched that right around. Now if I get those dreams, the feeling is one of annoyance for the rest of the cast not doing adequate practice and expecting me to salvage the situation.

  7. Many are finding they did not have a friendship but an armistice. It never helped Facebook misused friends when the word never was appropriate. Most are barely acquaintances.
    Well the hostilities are no longer suspended.

    1. English has a word for almost anything; it will lift it from other languages if needed. Which is why it’s particularly interesting that it has “friend”, “acquaintance”, and not much else to describe the range from “someone I recognize but don’t know their name” to “help you move a body.”

      1. Which is an issue for anyone who isn’t quite sure about this whole “friend” thing and how it is supposed to work.

        Confusion in language inevitably pushes towards confusion in thought.

        1. The only place outside the Boy Scouts that I still hear buddy is in statements like “yo, buddy, WTF?”

      2. Yeah, my husband gets a lot of “like a brother” from his (incredibly small) circle, but… like, you’d think that’d have single-worded at some point in there.

          1. Nice. I’m going to start using that. First person I try it on is going to be my wife, who I bet will get the meaning without needing it explained. (She routinely uses “kempt” in sentences, for example).

          2. Poul Anderson was fond of that word. It was never entirely clear in context, so I looked it up in one of the dictionaries at school. It wasn’t in there. It’s a rare-enough word that years will go by between encounters. And I read a *lot*.

            [honestly, almost none of the other words I Iooked up in those dictionaries were in there either. Just common words you’d expect any schoolkid to already know, which seemed to defeat the whole purpose of the ‘dictionary’ idea to me…]

            1. Tell me about it! After the fifth or sixth time the kids couldn’t find a word in the “school dictionary” I said screw it and dug out the old American Heritage college dictionary that I didn’t want them to tear.

              It doesn’t have “Kith” in it, but it does have “kith and kin,” meaning “friends and neighbors,” from “old English, kyth.”

              1. it does have ‘kith and kin,’ meaning ‘friends and neighbors,’ from ‘old English, kyth.’

                Contrary to popular belief, “Kithing Kin” does not refer to “relatives you like.”

              1. A lot of those “student dictionaries” have fewer words than the yellow hardback picture dictionary I was reading on the john when I was four. You might as well jump straight to the college dictionary.

                1. There are few joys comparable to finding an unabridged dictionary on sale, and few things so valuable to the educating of young minds. Looking words up online is all right, but browsing a good unabridged or two is a treasure.

                  While I am saddened at the passing of any book store, amongst the vultury pickings should be one or more unabridged dictionaries.

                  1. Back when $100 was a week’s pay, I spent that on an “unabridged” American Heritage dictionary. It was at least six inches thick. Came with a wooden stand, too.

                    The handful of times I tried looking up a word in it, the word wasn’t there. Apparently they had bulked it out with the entire vocabularies for Old English and Old French, bits of Greek and Latin, and fairly complete lists of medical, chemical, and zoological words not normally considered to be “English.”

                    After realizing it was useless, I found a sucker who wanted it, and gave it away.

              2. To be blunt, that hardly requires a large vocabulary, any more than reading more books in a year than the average American reads in a decade is much of a strain.

        1. There’s a wide range of behavior suited to a brother, looking at the range of what decent folks I know will do– about as wide as “friend,” honestly.

          I’d guess there’s not a lot more words because human interaction, obligations, trust is so wide even on objective relationships.

          I’ve seen “good buddy” used for both “would help me move bodies” and “we hang out and it’s enjoyable” type relationships, by different people.

          Heck, there’s “I know a guy” that seem to be on “brothers” level.

          1. That people use other words and phrases shows common English has a need for more specific words, but the lack of consistency means the words aren’t useful other than locally. So if I want to describe a particular relationship here, I have to either use awkward phrases or just “friend”, which is so nonspecific as to be misleading most of the time.

            My wife uses “friend” to refer anyone whose name she knows…

            1. You know, there is such a thing as phrases and context. You don’t need a separate word for everything.

              And frankly, sometimes it is good to be vague. Think of all the people who demand to be called someone’s “best friend” when they aren’t anything like it. Not defining the exact degree of intimacy allows for more ebb and flow of friendship, and fewer hurt feelings.

            2. Being somewhat reclusive, curmudgeonly, and a stickler for accurate linguistic usage, I have simplified the problem greatly through the simple expedient of having no friends.

  8. Man — and verily, woman — is a social animal. Not only is it not good for Man — do I need to say “and woman again?” — to be alone, it’s not good for us, when going out to be confronted with “truncated” human faces.

    More evidence that I’m actually a Martian or something. I’m *not* a social animal. I’ve been working from home since before this covidiocy launched, and it’s been *wonderful* being able to get away from other people and having the time and space to think. (Nothing against other people, but I’ve got a social-interaction-limit. They need to people somewhere else.) One of my many managers called me the other day, asking if I was holding up psychologically from the strain of not constantly interacting with others. I’ve been fine. So much so that I’m going for other jobs that don’t require a commute or in-person presence after the conclusion of this project. At home I have an *office* with a *DOOR*: Luxury unknown to man since Bell Labs folded. It’s glorious.

    So, not a misanthrope, but not at all desirous of the immediate presence of others.

    1. > (Nothing against other people, but I’ve got a social-interaction-limit. They need to people somewhere else.)

      Yea, verily!

      Think of it as “highly efficient use of people-time.” While they need hours of social interaction, the likes of us can do with minutes or even seconds…

    2. The worst part of the COVID rules is not the removal of social interactions.

      It is that it has removed all the social interactions I enjoyed and left everyone that irritates me from levels to annoyed to “this is why I don’t regularly carry”.

      It is the worst hell for an introvert – remove the few interactions that feed the monkey needs without pain and keep all the ones that explain why hell is other people.

      1. I actually get along *better* now that I carry all the time. “Angry man with a gun” alarms people for some reason, so I try to be sociable. Being me, this is pretty much limited to “hello”, “thank you”, and “have a nice day”, but it’s apparently unusual enough that clerks will wave or say hello when they see me enter their store, as opposed to the usual sullen staring into the distance. Which, having watched how people in general treat them, I fully understand. I’m amazed there aren’t “fed-up gas station clerk brains jerk customer with axe handle” stories in the paper…

        1. I don’t get the sullen stare much. Maybe it’s because I live in fairly Red territory. But I also try HARD to be the anti-Karen. I’ve done retail, and sympathize deeply with anyone who is having a hard time. I don’t know how many times I’ve told some poor clerk fighting with a register (Point Of Sale System is abbreviated POS for a reason), “Take three deep breaths. There’s no hurry. I hate those things, too.”

          It seems to help.

          I also make it a point to tell managers when their staff has been helpful. It gets you remembered in good ways.

      2. The worst part of the CCP Virus rules are that they are arbitrary and capricious and have been imposed by decree, thereby setting a precedent for rule by decree simply by declaring an “emergency”,

        1. We’re going to have to fix that. Either with the courts, a federal law (the federal government guarantees each state a republican form of government), or by decorating lampposts.

            1. We don’t have to leave them up there that long. Wait for the twitching to stop, snap a few photos, back up the pickup, cut them down, then pressure wash the street. Bam, you’re ready for the next decoration.

      3. The Crow Flu regulations has removed most of the interactions that made me enjoy being around people.

        It doesn’t help that the extroverted sociopaths want everyone to be them, so they’re making things so that you have to be like them. I will probably be completely unable to use the online dating tools because I am all the wrong sorts of quirky. And, FB is starting to make those “I’m about the screw things up” noises that will kill the platform.

        When I lose FB, I will probably lose most of my social contacts, because…

        Because the octopus in my brain will insist very loudly that nobody outside of a very small circle of people actually care about me. Or care enough without me bugging the hell out of them for any attention-God knows they can’t think about me once in a while…

        (Seriously. At the start of this mess, people were missing “personal contact”. I pulled every name that I had an address for, wrote them a letter, sent them a self addressed stamped envelope to reply with, and waited. I sent letters to about twenty people. Everybody said they got them.

        (Only got one reply. I sent a letter back, they didn’t reply.)

        I’ve got some angry character notes in here, somewhere.

        1. I have tried a few times to take up the art of letter writing but found no takes.

          (Name Minus the n)@(name) if you’d like to exchange addresses for me to take one and you to take another stab.

            1. That is one idea that has floated since 2018, although in person meets to exchange key books or code books first on that.

              However, I have Been interested is reviving plain old handwritten letter for years.

        2. And, FB is starting to make those “I’m about the screw things up” noises that will kill the platform.

          “Hey, we’re putting in a new format! It shows more content and is easier to read!”
          *page flashes over*
          *the four posts you could previously see are now most of one post, surrounded by WIDE areas of empty space*
          *manually switch it back to the old format*
          “What did you not like about the new format?”
          *me, looking at the options for feedback* “Where’s the ‘stop pissing on me and saying it’s rain’ button?”

    3. My anthropology, psychology, and sociology reads all seem to support Sarah’s statement that our species is a social animal. Thing is, our level of required socialization spans a huge range. Some people on one end of the spectrum don’t feel comfortable unless they are surrounded by a crowd and in physical contact with several at the same time. Others can do fine with total isolation over long periods with only rarely looking in the window to know there’s some other humans in the area, and they’re all set for another couple years of isolation.

      I’d be the most popular guy in the state if I knew the best time to give someone a needed hug, and when to keep my distance.

      1. RATIONALLY I don’t need people. I do best in my hole, doing whatever.
        BUT here’s the funny thing: stay away from people — bliss — too long, and it makes it harder to go out. And after about two weeks, I start getting depressed and… weird.
        So, I realized I NEED interaction. I just don’t know it.
        And the level of interaction I need is minimal, btw. Ordering from a waitress. Eating with husband in crowded place, not really paying attention to other people, and I’m okay for a week.
        BUT that much I need.

        1. Not an option for you– state and masks– but I’ve noticed the grocery store that doesn’t require masks for folks shopping suddenly has a LOT of new check-out ladies, all in about their 20s and the kind of cheery I-need-people-ALL-THE-TIME bubbly goodness that are usually your waitress, if you’re lucky.

          I even had a normal, human, adult conversation with one last time I went shopping! Ended up breaking down in tears that evening because I hadn’t realized how very long it had been since I had a normal, human, “gosh I don’t recognize you let me take the offhanded comment about not being able to hear and spin it into a 10 minute cheery chatter with intelligent questions” thing. But it was wonderful.

          Those ladies are probably doing more for mental health than any TV heads.

          1. Good! I try to be cheerful and encourage conversation, but the perky bubbly people are naturally better at it.

            Today I sang the Alphabet Song with a three year old, helped to load mattresses and TVs, and did a lot of stocking and cleaning.

        2. I…don’t do well in social situations at all. Crippling social anxiety combined with an inability to get social cues. And, of course, those two things feed into each other in a feedback loop. (When you’re talking to me and I don’t respond, I’m not snubbing you. I really have absolutely no idea what to say. You can wait all day and my brain will still be going “Wut R Werds?”–unless you get me on a subject I’m passionate about then the problem is getting me to SHUT UP!)

          As much as I enjoy LibertyCon, the one con I go to, it is extremely stressful for me and I spend a lot of time just decompressing in my room.

          However, I do need at least some human contact. One of the reasons I go to LibertyCon is that it’s about the only opportunity I have to meat and interact with a number of my friends in real space. Mostly, I get my human contact in very carefully controlled circumstances, where I know how to react, things like my ice skating lessons (previously styled as my “Ice Follies” but now being rebranded as “Goth on Ice” in blog posts on my experiences)/ The rink got shut down early during this Winnie the Flu stuff and only recently opened back up. And it made it abundently clear just how much I needed that particular outlet, the relief from just that bit.

          Even that’s reduced. One of the things I had been doing is as a volunteer helping teach the younger kids. However, lately there haven’t been enough kids out there during those classes to justify my assistance.

          And so I’m living life at a pretty much constant moderate stress level and that’s…wearing.

          1. I used to be a lot like that when I was younger. Social outcast, ignorantly inappropriate (me, not you) and in general a LOOSER.* Our mothers arranged my marriage to my wife of 31 years now. -That’s a long and curious story in itself but I digress. My word of advice is, if you are like me you will come to the age of total dontgiveafuckedness which I must admit has made social interaction far easier. I find it much easier to be nice now that I simply don’t care what another person thinks. Age also instructs one, if paying attention, to the common agony we all share wearing this meat suit. I see the grey-haired checker at the grocery rocking back and forth on aching feet, and I can totally relate to that. What we have alike is far more than what we have that is different. Of course the Orcs of Marx would have none of that.

              1. It did not come to me. I chased it for at least two decades until I caught it and made it mine. No longer can others use my need for their approval to wound me. I don’t need their approval any more.

        3. I have noticed 1) a completely instinctive drive to make eye contact with ALL the people and 2) a completely deliberate choice to compliment any damn thing I can (hair, nails, clothes, anything but the stupid mask), and between them the two behaviors seem to be feeding the monkey okay.

          1. My four-year-old daughter collects names. Like, she’ll compliment masks a lot too, but she’ll go with me to the store on a busy day and ask EVERYBODY SHE CAN what their names are, say it, and then tell them that it’s a pretty name.

            While this technically doesn’t involve *me* interacting with anyone, I find the whole exercise does me a lot of good. >.> I doubt an adult could get away with it, though, for some reason.

            1. Almost any adult behaving that way would be “read” as “not bright” or even “brain-damaged” and be avoided lest it be contagious.

        4. This is me. I didn’t leave the house much for a year after I got back from Afghanistan and it did not go well. When this first started and the bars were shut down they were talking about shutting down the yard entirely and it scared me. I realized how far I had drifted off the beam when my local bar gave me a beer in my old spot while I waited for my to-go order, then brought my order out with silverware.

            1. Neither does mine until that damn monkey figured out how to get into the amygdala and I have to stop and think about why my desire to murder people is WAY above baseline.

              One of the nice things about my 2.5 mile walking commute is that it gives me time to ponder. Back in February I was wondering why I was so anxious. I knew the data on Wu Flu and that it wasn’t as bad as they were making it out to be, especially to me. Then I realized that I was surrounded by scared people, and history tells us that there is nothing more dangerous than a large number of scared people.

    4. At home I have an *office* with a *DOOR*

      At $WE_BUILD_SCALES for a while I wound up in an interior room, meant to be shared by at least 4, but was alone for a while:

      “Don’t you wish you had a window?”
      “Window? I have REAL WALLS and a *DOOR*!”

      1. 32 years withnrhenDepartment of the Army and I never had a door. Bullpens and cubicle farms all the way. It was a plus when I didn’t have a cubicle mate.

        1. It did NOT last. Alas.

          It was amusing when the two-cube sized offices (real walls, doors) had to be divided again after a merger/buyout. Somehow the budget for useless construction was always there, but there was never anything for actual knowledge/skill improvement. The obviously predictable did of course happen.

    5. My anxiety has left me unable to sleep. I hate masks, I hate being surrounded by people wearing masks, and I hate that our political leadership is enjoying tormenting us with all these rules.

      1. Seconded. Drinking much more. And then there’s also the gnawing terror of NWO, cashless society, etc…


  9. Me, I want to eliminate the tax exempt foundations. Those are the means by which “They” keep us at our sweatshop workbenches. The haves with foundations pay themselves handsomely, or have terrific administrative perks, and the rest of us, all of us, pay for it. Meanwhile they tell us regularly how evil capitalism is, and how wonderful socialism is, while plotting the exclusion of any form of tax on their apparatchik life styles. There are literally trillions in $ in tax revenues being hidden in the foundations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hard core A-Cap, but as long as taxes are a fact of life, let’s level the playing field. The Rockefeller Foundation, Clintons (clearly a scam of the first water), Annenberg, and on and on. Isn’t if funny how most of the foundations are left leaning… hmmm.

    1. Or enforce the law. A charitable trust or foundation is supposed to spend at least 20% of its holdings per year, and NOT on salaries for family members or the like. Ford, Annenberg, et al do nothing close to that. So they need to be penalized like smaller foundations are. Or dissolved.

      1. They employ the friends and relations of those who make and enforce the law. Rules for thee and not for me.

    2. See, I’d go the other way. Make all corporations tax-exempt and then tax the individual when they get paid. Individuals would also owe tax on any benefits the company provides.

      That would get rid of the entire corporate tax code, free up a bunch of lawyers and accountants, and strip the IRS of the power to play games with which corporations are tax-exempt.

        1. I don’t think that many. There would be increased receipts due to taxing dividends as regular income as well as the taxes on perks. Plus there’s the increased economic activity due to the basic cost of doing business going down.

          1. you apparently seriously underestimate how much money corporations pay as taxes.We’d just go back to the 80s era of everyone ‘important’ at a business driving corporate owned cars to and from work… of everyone getting lots of non-taxable benefits from work so they they don’t pay income tax on it… etc

            1. If anything I overestimated it. I thought it was around $800 billion, it’s actually less than $300 billion.

      1. That would catch the “it’s not a person, it’s a corporation” dodge so beloved of entertainment folks– but who does the valuation on the benefits?

        1. I would base it on what the company pays for the benefit divided by the number of people who receive the benefit. So if a company spends $100,000 a year on a car service for 100 executives, each executive is taxed for $1,000.

          1. nope, they’d be spending $100k/yr on maintaining the corporate owned cars that the executives are using…

            1. Divided by the number of executives using them and assigned to those executives for tax purposes.

              1. nope, they belong to the corporation. they’re only being used for corporate purposes. They aren’t private vehicles at all….

                1. They’re owned by the company for the benefit of the executives so they count as taxable income for the executives.

                  1. One effect is that Property, Plant & Equipment of the corporation is depreciated according to the corporation’s best analysis of use and (or) consistent with industry practices rather than government rules.

                    Of course, this would limit government ability to stimulate corporate “investment” by allowing accelerated depreciation, expanded right of immediate expensing, and other schemes.

                    I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether this be feature or bug.

                    1. One of the main drives behind this idea is to get the government out of the business of stimulating or nudging the economy.

                    2. Right – we do that and how are the politicians going to nick the rubes for donations — enact policies that are generally and widely beneficial? As if they knew how (or cared to) do that!

  10. Okay, that was me. Yesterday. But I’ve been watching signs of just that much fragility in everyone I know.

    Some of us have been returning to thought patterns they hadn’t visited in years:

    Part of it is the lockdown. Man — and verily, woman — is a social animal. Not only is it not good for Man — do I need to say “and woman again?” — to be alone, it’s not good for us, when going out to be confronted with “truncated” human faces.

    No, humans needing socialization is a myth. Wanting to be around people is wrong.

  11. (I do wonder if their obsession with making us mask is because they feel exposed? If it’s a subconscious desire to hide again.)

    In his infinite wisdom Governor Pritzker is now requiring the use of masks at drive up windows.

          1. It’s a real pain too. This year I was going to be taking up swimming, as it’s one of the few forms of exercise I actually enjoy and can do until I’ve exhausted everything, when the covid hit and everything went into lockdowns.

            Now they’ve got some pools open again, but everything is supposed to be masks an social distancing, and while you are allowed to go maskless while actually swimming, I don’t see any way to keep from getting a mask soaked, and the things make me overheat pretty much instantly, so I never even got started.

            I just hope the mask mandates get done finally. At this point I’ve pretty much closed the door on the rest of the world.

      1. I got a Medieval Plague Doctor mask from Amazon. (I linked from Sarah’s page, so she got a few cents, too)

        If I have to participate in Political Plague Theater, I will do so in the most outrageous manner possible.

  12. > For one, the masks are off. Really, really off.

    And ‘The Internet Is Forever.” By their words we know them, and they can’t pretend they didn’t say them. [use page capture and save to your local storage; Google Is Not Your Friend)

    House Joint Resolution 77 authorized “George Bush’s Illegal War in Iraq.” It was passed unanimously by the Senate. As many of the senators came up for re-election, they barefacedly lied during their campaigns and claimed they’d voted against it.

    Anyone who’d missed the original “unanimous” story would had no way to know any different. But now, a few clicks will tell us who voted for what… if anyone bothers to look.

    1. It’s long amused/puzzled me that politicians etc. STILL have this notion they can say one thing one place and time and say another, opposite, thing another place and time and NOT get called on it. The *telegraph* put an end to that, or should have.

      1. You misremembered/ they’re lying/ it’s a misunderstanding papered it over for a long time.

        Now that you can show them, on video, saying what they claim they never said?

        Much, much harder.

    2. Erm, no. The “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002” was H.J.Res.114, and it passed the house on a roll call vote on Oct 10 2002 with 296 Yeas, 133 Nays, and 3 not voting. It passed the Senate the next day 77 Yeas to 23 Nays, and was signed into law on Oct 16th 2002.

      1. No, the Iraq war of 1991, where we kicked ass and went home. Not the Iraq war of 2001, where people who enlisted on 9/12 are getting ready to retire now…

        1. Ah – the war against Iraq but only in Kuwait where we chose to stop because whatever, Norman, vs. the war in Iraq where we road-marched right through the “third largest army in the world” all the way to Baghdad, and then should have propped up up a handy Sunni General and gone right home to throw a parade.

          Nation-building is for suckers. Also, imagine the aughts with no Cindy Sheehan/Code Pink protests.

          H.J.Res.77 – Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution — 102nd Congress (1991-1992) – not unanimous in the House, 1/12/1991 250 Yeas 183 Nays for passage, but in the Senate that same day it went through by unanimous consent (i.e. no roll call vote, so no recorded vote to point at) – cite:

  13. Okay, that was me. Yesterday. But I’ve been watching signs of just that much fragility in everyone I know.

    Dear Husband at one point asked if I was *sure* that I wasn’t pregnant.

    Yeah, MUCH stress.

    1. Quite literally true. There are some interesting brain studies of cluster B personality disorders and their reactions when they get to inflict pain/control on other people. They get dopamine hits, all over the place. Like a shot of cocaine. Brrr.

      1. Had not heard that. Thank-you. That explains the compulsive liars who lie when they don’t need to just to get you to not call them on it.

  14. Ugh. I have plenty of stress this year without the lockdown craziness, but not being able to go to the library unless I wear a mask AND schedule an appointment in advance is a major, major problem for me. I used to go at least once or twice a week for an hour or more – do research, poke odd sites on the internet, just get away from the house and others sharing the same living space.

    (Others including a canine. I am not a dog person. Really not.)

    Now I can’t. I can, just barely, tolerate a mask in Office Depot long enough to get needed docs printed if I send them there in advance and only have to wait a few minutes. (Legal stuff gah.) I can’t do that for the library.

    And Roommate will not find other people to socialize with.

    Twitch. Twitch.

  15. I’ve finally got out of the Pride and Prejudice fanfic jag.

    having no experience in either, I still wonder if a “Pride and Prejudice fanfic jag” is better or worse (or equivalent to…) than an “ether jag.” I am **NOT** asking the comparison experiment(s) be run.

  16. Part of it is cultural.

    Americans do not have the same deeply ingrained assumptions about communication that the Japanese do.

    There are people going ‘the Japanese are fine, why are you Americans fussing?’ Well, first, compare the Japanese suicide rate with the American murder rate. Possibly the Japanese are not fine, but masking does not noticeably make things much worse?

    Anyway, the core assumption underlying the communication practices of American culture is cultural diversity. If a population has a single culture, it can leave agreements and decisions unspoken. People can just agree what constitutes a marriage, and what property and wealth rearrangements happen with a marriage. If you mix people from ten cultures into a population, persons do not know what their neighbors are, and what customs bind the the neighbors. So everything has to be negotiated, explicitly communicated, and probably recorded.

    Peace is very unstable with a mix of cultures. You can possibly rely on the most broadly common threat signals, the ‘monkey dance’, but you cannot trust the presence or absence of anything subtle. To maintain peace in such an environment, one has to rely on extreme simple and uncomplicated signals of ‘I am not a threat’. American culture is loud and focused on honesty precisely because of seeking ‘peace’ amidst cultural diversity.

    The masking takes away one of the means by which “I do not currently plan to kill you” is effectively communicated.

    The suicides are a problem. It is also a problem that some of our other communication channels are compromised. PC censorship has shut things down be coercing people to shut up. Grievance studies and CRT shut down reception of “I currently have no plans to kill you.”

    So, yeah, the situation is not sanity making. But good luck finding a psychologist who can help, instead of hurting. And a lot of the clergymen also have a wrong theoretical foundation.

  17. I’d been blaming the fragility and crying over everything on the recent (last month), unexpected (car wreck at 43) death of a very close friend… but, come to think, I haven’t been able to read fiction of any length since lockdowns began, and have been vacillating between unreasonable rage and unreasonable sadness the whole length.

    (The crying at literally everything and some surprisingly inopportune moments–let’s *start* at the date night we managed to swing last week and move progressively more awkward from there–is new, however. -_-)

    It is realllllly awkward not to be able to escape. I’m thinking of celebrating my half-birthday on election years going forward, because a couple of days after the election just reallllly isn’t seeming like I’m going to feel like partying. -_-

    I’m kind of put in mind of a bad dream I woke up from a few days ago. I’d returned a book to the high school library. I’d stuck around for the football game. And as the fireworks went up after, the clouds behind… shifted, in the Bad Way.

    Dream-self is apparently better at running than me because the next several minutes of dreamtime was racing down the gymnasium stairs to the fallout shelter area instead of, say, getting trampled (kind of thrillingly athletic, at that, jumping at the bottom and spinning around the posts, it was *fun*). But then I’m at the bottom before much of anyone else, pulling out chairs from where they’re stacked (apparently the underground shelter doubled as the cafetorium), and setting them out for the folk who come after.

    And one of them goes, “Do you guys want to talk about what the f*** just happened? Or just… like… normal sh**?”

    “Normal sh**,” the rest of us say.

    …and you really don’t expect your world-ending nightmares will stick due to pleasant conversation with teenagers about birthday parties and classes and pointedly ignoring what we were all doing here. And stick *as pleasant*.

    I don’t know why, but I can’t really shake it.

    1. because that’s what we’re going through. I think even the TV-scared, 90% of people know it’s bullshit. Bullshit intended to destroy us, our lives, our dreams, our pursuit of happiness. AND NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT.

      1. Yeah. Just heard that apparently McCrystal is going to be working for the DNC using some sort of DARPA developed AI to “counter Trump’s misinformation”.

        On the one hand, every government agency is basically a giant Dilbert office with fewer ways to get fired and sovereign immunity, so I know the AI won’t be as effective at manipulating people to their ends as they think it will be. On the otherhand, I do recall the state McCrystal and our great terror fighters ma aged to leave Iraq and Afghanistan in before he got fired. I believe the term used by Michael Yon was “human hunting lodge”?

        So why I don’t think they have a hope in tulips of succeeding, I’m less sanguine about the results they may well achieve.

  18. All I know is I need a mosh pit soon. I need beat badly, but that part of life is long over so a mosh pit has been the outlet. Now it’s gone too.

    1. I almost hesitate to suggest this, because I know nothing about the scene you’re in – to say nothing of your personal mores, ethics and limits – but… would self-flagellation help?

      This doesn’t require an answer if that’s too personal a question.

      1. Um… That seems close to mixing fetish with religion, which seems… Unwise. (I am not a spiritual director or priest, please consult a pastor with the care of souls.)

        That said, pilgrimages are fun and freestyle. Pick out a shrine, hike or bike, pick your own speed, get some prayer time out in nature, scream at the world if you want, etc.

    2. It’s only five days until Labor Day. Go to Wal-Mart, wait by the doors at the opening scrum, and you’ll get all the mosh pit you need.

  19. Sturgis rally basically debunked the COVID epidemic level of contagiousness and lethality. Half a million bikers in each others pockets for a week, only a little over 100 cases of covid.

      1. A European blogger once complained that Americans were stupid because they don’t automatically believe their government,

        The way I look at it, COVID is an example of *too many* Americans believing their government…

        1. Point to remember. It’s not a crime for the American government to lie to the people. It is a crime for people to lie to the government. Therefore there is zero incentive for members of the government to ever tell the truth to the American public. And if there is any benefit to their lying, then they are guaranteed to do so.

          I’d say that European blogger was even more stupid than he or she was accusing Americans of being.

          1. One of the best things about being an American is not having to give a flying &^%& what a European thinks. They’re our protectorates, not the other way around. They have to care about our opinion, we can ignore or mock them.

      2. if there are history books this will be one for them along with the south sea bubble, tulip mania, and. Barry Soetero.

  20. Oh, I’m not commenting much here because I’m getting close to completely cracking up (or is it cracking down?). 😦

  21. I had a major emotional crash just under a year ago (late September, iirc). So I was pretty much in a “nearly nowhere to go but up” position when news about the Wuhan virus started to filter out. While things aren’t nearly as good as they could be right now (one of my two best friends moved away shortly before the shut down orders were issued, and the other unexpectedly died one week later), I’m definitely feeling the isolation, I’m probably in better shape than I was eleven months ago.

    1. Huh. Never knew that wallabies were related to Abominable Snow Monsters. Everyone knows bumbles bounce!

  22. Went to the post office yesterday, about half the folks there wearing masks. Voluntary, I’m fine with that. Went to my Wells Fargo Bank branch. Only customer there at that time. Finished my business, waiting for a paper slip, masked Karen comes up behind my masked teller, asks me if I have a mask. Said yes. She said I need to put it on. Told her no, as soon as Dolores hands me my slip of paper I’m gone. Karen’s not satisfied tells me she’ll give me a mask. As of now I’m exploring other banking options. ‘nother, local banking firm, recommends, not demands, recommends, masking. Suspect I’ll end up moving my accounts there.

    Yep, cracks. I wouldn’t have been nearly so incensed if Karen had said something when I enter the bank like; “Excuses me sir, I notice you are not masked, we are rather fearful and would be ever so much more comfortable if you would please don one.” I probably would have, though ungraciously, put my mask on. However the silly twit waiting till I finished my business to demand my masking! Yep, we’re all cracked.

      1. Bank of America’s practices were so scummy that the Navy terminated their contract for travel cards.

        Do you have any idea how incredibly abusive you have to be to get the Navy to care about what you do to a sailor’s travel card!?!?

        1. Yeah, I knew Circuit City was toast when their service was so bad for the appliances in base housing at Maxwell / Gunter in Montgomery the Air Force dropped the contract and wouldn’t allow them to bid on the replacement.

    1. They let you into a bank? We have been on drive-thru since the beginning. Luckily I know someone with a car, because not having a bank ATM card does not work well, and nobody is allowed to walk through drive-thru.

  23. This whole lockdown/mask thing is an exercise in weaponized induction of sociopathty.

    Break all normal interactions, and replace them with isolation and unreal video images. Allow highly dysfunctional public interactions in reality, and suppress any normal/normalizing ones.

    Masks as both dehumanizing “facelessness” and as muzzles. Also muffled communication.

    Obey arbitrary orders, and ever shifting “reasons”. Arbitrary punishments that often come ” out of the blue”.

    Anything “fun” or “depressurizing” gets screwed up or banned.

    And if that “intentional” bit in paragraph one seems crazy, why are our cities burning?

    1. Why are our cities burning? Because there’s a species of Marxist out there that believes the untermenchen will rally to their saviors if they just see that the revolution has begun.

      1. PRECISELY THIS. Just like they tried to start the revolution with Lord Help us Occupy Wall Street.
        In their heads it goes something like this:
        No one is happy with capitalism.
        People want to rebel, but lack the courage.
        If we start it, the people TM will take over and do it for us.
        Head>desk. Repeat.

          1. Jeff…… this is me. Part of the reason I spent the afternoon doing art was to try to banish thoughts of EXACTLY what I could do with war ax.
            Unfortunately, the writing encourages it…..

            1. My coping mechanism has been to allow my imagination to run through the scenarios. I’m a bit worried because the walls around the sandbox are getting a bit…thin.

                1. Dear Lord. I’m writing a regency in the evenings. No, seriously.
                  Also gay porn with mafia characters (it will probably never see the light of day) which is…. okay, my friends dared me. But still.

                  1. So far it’s accreted that Atlantis still exists as a nation (think DC’s Amazon kingdom type of thing) and the hero of story is sharing bodyspace with an ancient somewhere-around-Hittite-area sorcerer spirit who is VERY cranky… oh, not about being bound to a ring as a spirit. But at the fact some Tibetan temple guys centuries back decided this power was “too much for mortals to wield” and locking said ring away from potential wielders.

                    Spirit: “Excuse me, I am a king of godly descent, your rules for <Mere Mortals are denied.” (Beat.) “Besides, all the superheroes you have running around these days? And you think I’m the problem?”

                    1. I’m working on a superhero story in which superpowers are spread by disease.

                      I got the idea long before the epidemic.

                    2. That history of Mesopotamia thing on The Great Courses, with the chick who was the bassist for the Bangles right before they were the Bangles. (Because if you have a chance to choose between pickaxes and Middle Eastern dust, and fame and fortune, obviously archaeology is the better choice.)

                      Audible has the audiobook version of the course, if you do Audible, or if your library carries that. The video version is better, if you can get that through your library. But it’s not terribly focused, because the course covers several thousand years of history and cultures.

                  1. Well, I’ve pretty much been out of superhero stuff since the 90s. (You killed off Hannibal King, Marvel, you get no mercy from me.)

                    But I think it’ll actually be the moderately rare subgenre of superhero Urban Fantasy, so maybe I’m not completely around the bend. 😉

        1. It’s Lenin’s stupid “revolutionary vanguard to lead the proletariat” yadda yadda all over. Except they don’t realize that 1) this isn’t Russia, 2) there is no industrial proletariat any more, and 3) the people they think will flock to them? Aren’t who they think.

  24. The political Left has to make everything about politics. Everything has to be ever ascending levels of purity spirals with demonstrations of loyalty to the cause, the Bonfire of the Vanities writ large.

    There is no place to escape, nowhere you can go that isn’t a political act to them. Nowhere that you can’t not always show that you have the right political opinion.

    Because, for them, “politics” has replaced “religion” and they have to make sure that nobody sins. So, you have to always be in the church, and the church is everywhere. You have to sing from the same hymn book, doesn’t matter that it changed from yesterday to today. The Gospel will flip daily, and be very careful not to run as quickly as possible with your fellow parishioners…because the only possible penance for your sins in the Church of the Left is to destroy others or be destroyed yourself.

  25. Be of good cheer! Remember to count the blessings that you have. 100 years ago almost no one had electricity in their house. Light was from oil lamps just like the Egyptians used, or gas jets. 125 years ago everyone went to the bathroom in a shack in the back yard, or in a bucket that was dumped there later. If you were 41 and your heart began to give out, well, it was nice knowing ya. If you are in a rut, grab the damn handlebar and jerk. Hard. Do something different. paint a chair. weld up a bbq grill and pound on that metal with your sledgehammer. Hard! Get out and fly a kite!

    Here’s a little joke to perk things up:
    The farmer’s wife pushed through the screen door and called out to her husband: “Festuuuus, Festus! What you gonna chop us up fer supper? A chinkin or a rebbet!” ( That’s’ ‘Rabbit’ to you city folkers,)
    Her husband turned to her from the cebbege patch, (Figger that one out yerself) and hollered;” I’ll ketch me a chinkin, I expect.”
    “Oh? Why for is that? I had a hankerin’ fer Hoss n’ Feathers tonight!”
    “Now Darla, Why you ask such a silly question? You know how much I hate splittin’ hares!”

  26. Oh and I almost forgot to ask: Who was Melba? And what makes her toast so darned special?

          1. She was about 40 when she recorded gramophone records, but she seems to have been canny about picking songs that were more in recording range and less distorted. She demonstrates a lot of the charm of 19th century bel canto, but with a kind of restraint. But of course, it doesn’t convey her as a young, charming singer playing an entire role, because apparently she had tons of charisma.

            1. The “electrical” recordings were done with a recording microphone instead of a gramophone horn recorder, so you get a better idea of Melba’s voice even though she was in her 60’s.

  27. “Build under, build over, build around.”

    The need for some human interaction, without the compelled obeisance to political idols is what led me to ATH. I appreciate you all. And you are truly building. Intentionally or not, you are building something absolutely essential for a free people – civil discussion. It need not be said (but I’ll say it anyway), civil discussion is desperately lacking in the western world today, especially schools, universities, and the media.

    In case it’s helpful to someone else, I’ll mention that sustained physical exertion helps keep me from cracking. When I’m getting there, if I can drag myself out and do some gardening or cut wood or move rocks for a couple of hours, it does wonders. Never been one who has any patience at all for “exercise” – both boring as hell and a waste of time and energy. But productive physical labor is good for my soul.

    One last thought, in response to “I do believe it gets better. I have to. Or it would be better to end it now.” It does indeed get better, though only a believer can say that in truth and with confidence.

  28. The last six months have been the longest decade of my life. And that includes my time with a major disaster. And yet, I wonder what this is doing to young children? I can’t look a pictures of nieces and nephews in masks. It’s not cute. It’s like looking at children during the Blitz.

      1. When I get a chance and it’s in kids’ favor, I quote the policy, so that parents know that young kids can take their masks off. I can’t help people who make their kids wear the masks. Sigh.

        1. Or you get a Governor who wants to try on the jackboots and say that everyone 5 and over has to wear a mask, indoors, and outdoors where social distancing is not possible. And the stupid people that offer masks to one’s children who happen to be under 5 which one must politely (rather than vehemently) refuse because we need the medical care. Gah. So far nobody says anything at stores. If they do, we’re walking out. It’s not cute.

            1. No, but Colorado isn’t the only state which has a stupid governor. If I were, I probably would have showed up at Pete’s when you invited people to.

          1. NY has everyone over age 2. -_- On the bright side, Middle of Nowhere, Upstate means no enforcement by anyone other than those worried about their business licenses, so it’s only While In a Store Proper, and then as briefly/rarely as possible.

            Hopefully a wake up call to saner states to trim the heck out of state licenses, though. If those exist -_-

            1. Same in CO.
              My unmasked neighbors my equally unmasked self meets on walks have this last week become ridiculously small-town friendly. “Isn’t this a glorious day? Isn’t it great to be out in it?” “Our dog likes you. Do you have puppies?” Etc, etc.

    1. The last six months? You must be mistaken; the shutdowns were only supposed to be “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Surely our governmental leaders would never do anything so crazy as lock down the country fr six months after having assured us two weeks is all that is necessary?

      1. Shhhh….did you see the Emperor? He was walking in the parade buck naked! I think those tailors scammed him! But to say so will mean gulag for me!

        1. Not quite buck naked. I thought the discreet codpiece did a good job of concealing his lack of testicles.

    2. My youngest niece is under a year old. She was born just before the lockdown started. She started exhibiting shyness around anyone not her immediate family far sooner than her sister, and it lasted a lot longer. We strongly suspect it’s because her mom couldn’t take her everywhere (anywhere – everything was closed) like her sister. Now all the masks aren’t helping, they don’t look like people to her, because no face.

      1. Likely. But it’s also likely that she’s just shy. I was super-shy as a kid, and even now, I am just presenting a sort of outgoing persona, and it’s hard for me to meet people’s eyes.

        Yeah, that didn’t work out as cheerful as it sounded in my head! But yeah, lots of kids are shy of strangers, long before all this mask junk. If anything, some kids seem to feel the mask is a sort of license to goof.

        1. LOL.
          I often fool people into thinking I’m a raging extrovert.
          It’s a persona. I love theater and did a lot of it in the past. So in public I play Sarah-the-writer. Which is more effective than hiding under the table….

          1. I can be “on” for things like doing a panel at a con, the combination of the more structured setting and usually a topic I’m interested in (see “when I get passionate about a subject”) let’s me present as someone…other. That I had early training in getting up in front of a crowd and talking about some particular subject helps.

            However, it burns up “spoons” at a prodigious rate and doesn’t really apply outside that specific type of setting.

  29. I just get so tired of holding on with my fingernails. And my various left-wing relatives are still speaking to me but obnoxiously self righteous.

    In my darker moments, I wish the left would get it over with and just start shooting us. Live free or die and they clearly aren’t willing to let us be free.

  30. Pursuant to recent discussion regarding AG Barr’s statements while in Kenosha:

    Meet the Travel Act
    By Andrew C. McCarthy
    Joining President Trump in Kenosha yesterday was Attorney General Barr, who did not mince words about mounting an aggressive federal response to the violence roiling the country. The AG asserted that “radicals” are crossing state lines and “carrying out, planning a coordinated attack on law enforcement, on public property, and on private property. And that can’t be tolerated.”

    It is thus worth making a few observations about the Travel Act.

    The Travel Act is codified as a crime in the anti-racketeering chapter of the federal criminal code, specifically, in Section 1952. It has been a staple of organized crime cases since the 1980s. As a prosecutor, I charged it more times than I could hope to remember.

    In essence, the Travel Act makes it a crime to travel across state lines, or otherwise to use facilities in interstate commerce (e.g., the U.S. mail and electronic communications devices), to commit acts of violence, or otherwise to promote “unlawful activity” (which Section 1952 broadly defines — a definition that explicitly includes arson and extortion). There is a broad range of penalties. If the offense involves carrying out violent activity, there is a potential 20-year prison sentence; if death results, a defendant can be sentenced to “any term of years or for life.”

    The Travel Act is very attractive to federal prosecutors for three reasons. …

    … with domestic terrorism, it is much easier to establish jurisdiction and collect evidence. Therefore, the thing to focus on is the many criminal laws we have on the books that enable the government — and the Justice Department, in particular — to investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism.

    The Travel Act is among the most significant of these laws. If I’m hearing AG Barr right, it’s about to get a workout — and that’s excellent news.

    1. BTW – Do any here doubt that a Biden/Harris Attorney General would drop any Travel Act pursuit of the rioters … much less investigation into sources of their funding?

      As if another reason is needed to vote Trump/Pence this year.

    2. a definition that explicitly includes arson and extortion

      That may be useful, especially since it includes electronic communication.

  31. With profound apologies to Sir Pterry:

    Nae Dem! Nae Prog! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna’ be fooled again!

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