This is going to be a very religious post, and you’ll have to excuse me. I normally don’t talk about my religion, partly because more and more, like others who belong to mainline churches I feel betrayed and besmirched by what those institutions have become.

Partly because though I am religious, I believe we’re supposed to live in this world in the light of reason and facts. If it were not so, we’d be given other perceptions and other ability.

I don’t mean to imply that only the material matters, obviously, since humans are far more than material. Sometimes it’s almost as if we’re stories being moved around by all too fleshy bodies. But we are fleshy too, we are…. well…. great (or pretty darn good) apes. And it’s important to remember that.

But sometimes, living in the world, you can’t help the feeling something else is going on. Something you can’t quite put a finger on. Oh, perhaps it’s all the deceit of our hindsight, our flawed natures. And perhaps it’s not.

I’m going to start by telling you that when I first heard Obama talk about how we stood “on the precipice” of great achievement I felt that. And it wasn’t good.

You see, a precipice is a great chasm, a bottomless pit. Though the establishment immediately went into overdrive to picture precipice as summit, and I’ve seen other people use it that way since, I believe he meant it exactly as chasm. He meant to take us down a deep hole from which we’d never recover.

Did he mean to say it?

Well…. Let’s be real, shall we? What else would we expect? He was raised in hatred of the US both by his mother and his grandparents. And he wanted to “undo everything Reagan did.” He told us so. No matter how much he dissembled, or what he said to try to woo people (and honestly, he didn’t, really. Our media just lied, lied and lied again, same as they’re doing for their current great hopes.) he hated America. What he wanted to undo was Reagan winning the cold war, which bruised the ego of his family, who had thrown their lot in with the USSR and viewed themselves as superior because of it. Out of that wounded prided, he wanted to revile America and extol and elevate the communist dictatorships of the world. Remember his fan-girling at the Venezuelan dictator? The Reset button with Russia? Or– well, in China he just continued the policies that Clinton started and Bush helped along. (And perhaps it is time to remember that Bush’s own daughter says Bush and Clinton are “like brothers.” The media also doesn’t report much on that.)

I believe when people are possessed of a strong feeling, a strong belief, it comes through. Precipice was the word it came through.

Biden and Harris are just the continuation of that. They want us reviled and dragged in the mire. In Biden’s case, I suspect because “he’s so far gone over” that he can’t stand that everyone else isn’t embroiled in betrayal and filled with rot. He wants to destroy the country, because there is just enough goodness in us to make him feel bad about what he’s become, what he is.

They hate us, they really hate us.

Harris… I confess when Amanda Green read her book and reported on it, just reading the excerpts filled me with a sort of creepy crawly feeling at the back of my spine.

There is in her the same feel there was in Obama. In her, in fact, they have chosen the form of America’s executioner.

And they can’t help in telling us what they intend for us. The Green New Deal, something of no value whatsoever to ecology or the Earth (all the predictions of the global warmists have been as accurate as the predictions of the covidiots. I’m not impressed. Science is predictive, or it’s garbage.) but which they’ve confessed will allow them to bring America “under control.” Specifically, under their control.

And then there’s Trump….

Four years ago, at this time, I was still not sure I could vote for him. Part of it was a great big disinformation campaign which appeared to support him, while writing the most vile things in comments on blogs I frequented. There’s a lot fewer of those, I suspect, because it didn’t work last time. But also possibly because last time he attracted the support of a lot of Bernie bros who just wanted to see the world burn, and who thought that they could get that by endorsing Trump. And who, bizarrely, tried to impersonate conservatives by saying the things the media tells them we believe. I knew a few of those. Most have grown up and become mature human beings who actually see hope now.

I’m not going to tell you Trump is a wonderful human being. Though he seems to be far cleaner than we could expect anyone ever engaged in 20th century business to be.

I heard from very religious (not to say offbeat and cultish) that Trump had been sent from G-d to save us, and I snort-giggled. Partly because, surely G-d could have chosen someone more accomplished?

And then I spent four years watching this man, this flawed, not very suave man, endure things I can’t even imagine. I broke, for the last six years. I broke under far less pressure than he’s taken, and for far smaller stakes.

He was betrayed by our deeply infiltrated governmental apparatus, reviled by all our organs of communication, survived two coup attempts, and over the last year has presided over a nation that the media and the left (but I repeat myself) have driven insane, deliberately and with malice aforethought. They’ve done this for the sake of no greater good than taking control of us, and our wealth, and hiding their own deep evil and shame. He’s survived at least two coup attempts engineered by his own government, and the deployment of Antifa, Obama’s own brown shirts, in an attempt to destroy everything he accomplished.

And yet, he keeps on.

Steve is a friend. He was also, like me, profoundly ambivalent four years ago.

I must apologize to my very religious friends. You were right. I was wrong. Partly because I didn’t realize how far off course we had gotten, how badly wounded the nation I loved was, how penetrated by those who hate her, and who will betray everything in her for the sake of…. I don’t even know? The respect of the left, who command the heights of money and academic/intellectual power? Surely those of them who are not completely stupid can’t help seeing how hollow both of those are.

Anyway, this morning, thinking about what Steve said in that post, I remembered other men who were deeply, deeply flawed but who brought their country through as it should be, and survived as Trump has. Because His hand was on them. (Solomon and David, to be exact.)

They weren’t perfect, but they fought greater evil.

What Trump is fighting is nothing less than a world plan to have us all under the foot of one hegemon: China.

China, with the help and cooperation of disappointed communists and those they corrupted with money (not mutually exclusive, btw. Ego will cause people to do things even money won’t.) has been taking over the world while America slept.

And China is… China. With an added flip of Fascism. Frankly, in China human life has always been cheap, and there’s no such thing as regard for the individual. They took to fascism like ducks to water, and everything Nazi Germany did, they’ve done more of and worse. And are still doing it, while the trained seals in our press, paid by them, applaud in unison.

I don’t know what the never Trumpers expect. Yesterday, on Facebook, I was tagged in the post of an idiot saying Hunter Biden didn’t matter, and repeating a lot of Trump “scandals” which are mostly scandals in the left’s mind.

I don’t know what they expect. I don’t understand how people who can tell the struggle we’re engaged in, can, nonetheless, say they won’t vote for Trump. There is “principled” and there is insanity.

Sure, Trump is flawed. Deeply so. Although to my knowledge he’s never had a woman’s husband killed so he could marry her, which frankly I think people who consider themselves Christian would recognize.

We are fallen beings and live in peculiarly fallen times. I realized sometime ago, that though I believed, I behaved in daily life as if I didn’t. I’ve been trying to change that with mixed success. It is not easy.

People get twisted by the times they live in. Frankly if Trump were a flawless saint, or an inspired prophet, I’d want to know who was playing us.

But he’s not. He’s just right on the main struggle of our times. On the fight between the idea of human liberty, individual freedom, and the regime that butchered Hong Kong, that rapes women, kills people because of their beliefs, and generally despises anyone not of a specific ethnicity.

At the crossroads of humanity, Trump, such as he is, is the champion for the side of the Light. I’ve mentioned before the Author has a sense of humor, right?

It doesn’t mean if he wins, he won’t put a foot wrong. It doesn’t mean I’ll agree with everything he does. It just means he will give us time, a little bit of time, to see things clearly, to survive a little longer, to perhaps get through this.

But the choice is stark, unavoidable and clear. I have no patience whatsoever with anyone who sees it and yet thinks they can’t vote for Trump. Because to them is not worth it to save us from falling down Obama’s bottomless precipice, if we’re not going to be transported immediately to paradise with trumpets and angels.

Perhaps Trump can offer us no more than blood, sweat and tears. But what is the other side even CLAIMING to offer?

If you didn’t follow the link above, read this:

The people who claim to be “saving” “the soul” of America do not believe in the values that made America the beacon of the world. They do not in fact believe America is good. They look around at the horrors of human history, the horrors of the rest of the world, and wish they could make us more like THAT. Because they see themselves as the fat, catered to overlords of that hellish landscape.

We don’t have a functional press, or America would recoil from the corruption, the vile sewer of betrayal, of graft, of grosser indulgences of the left.

We haven’t had a functional education system for a long time, so our young people believe in “democracy.”

And e have an army of fraudsters ready to do what they need to install these corrupt serfs of an enemy power (note they don’t go to the countries they admire. Their goal is to bring us down.) and a bevy of complacent utopians, both right and left, who think they can throw in with the corruption by omission and commission and that their lives will go on, pretty much as it’s been. (Among the many things our schools don’t teach is an understanding of economics. Or for that matter of cause and effect. And they haven’t a long time.) They choose not to vote, to vote third party, or to vote for Biden, even as though this were a game. 2020 and the lunatic lockdowns and casual takings of people’s lives and livelihoods by democrat governors have revealed nothing to them. Some, poor sheep, are disappointed the government hasn’t “done more” to somehow make them perfectly safe.

I don’t want them to find out how wrong they are, or how swiftly they can tumble down that precipice. I don’t want them to, because it would mean the loss of everything I love and unending hell for those I care for and who do not deserve this (and even some who do.)

Against this precipice, with arms outstretched, stands a very unlikely band. Trump, and maybe a half dozen other people. And us. And there isn’t hell of a lot we can do, you and I, which has been eating at me since March, since I realized the left was willing to destroy the country to rule it. Not piecemeal destruction, as they’d been doing, but utter, irrevocable destruction. Just for power.

I can’t convince you the situation is as dire as I say. Nothing can. I can only say if we fail to defeat the left this time, if we fail to defeat the margin of fraud, you’ll find out. But I hope you don’t.

All I can say is all our petty disputes are dwarfed by what these people intend for us. Kind of like the troubles of 2019 are dwarfed by the river of sh*t poured on us in 2020.

And yeah, I wish we had an angel come from heaven to defend us. We don’t. We have, for the love of heaven, Donald Trump. And honestly, I’m starting to believe he is far, far better than we deserve or have the right to hope for.

If of G-d’s kind mercy, we get another 4 years, use them as best you can in fighting at whatever level you can: educating, speaking out, working.

Time is short, and night comes fast.

May G-d have mercy on our souls.

532 thoughts on “Instruments

  1. Another of Biden’s lies: “That doesn’t happen!”

    Lies do not change facts. Time and time and time again we have SEEN it happen. You left-wingers raise the cost of unskilled labor to ‘a living wage’ and people lose their jobs, small businesses go bankrupt, the cost of everything goes up, and your mouthpieces tell us “It didn’t happen!”

    We’ve got eyes, bub. We’ve got memories, no matter how inconvenient that is for you and your cronies.
    It is not within the power of any government to increase the value of unskilled labor, only to raise its cost.

    1. The Enemies of America are working very hard to put our eyes out. The mass censorship and suppression of any views other than their own propaganda is designed to make us blind. If the dark forces prevail in November or later as the counting continue, we have to decide if this is the hill to die on and how to fight the devil’s representatives.

      1. I will put out my own eye and drop it in the well at the foot of the ash tree. Then let them come.

        Fell deeds awake – fire and slaughter.

          1. The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
            Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,
            Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?”

            It’s up to us. Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

          2. To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
            Comes the moment, comes the man.
            I am heartened by your chosen examples. Prior to the past couple of years, I was fearing that the moment would bring an Isaiah or Jeremiah.

    2. Forcing people to tell lies is POWER. If you force them to tell the truth, the truth has some say.

      Sometimes they forget they can’t force everyone.

  2. And yeah, I wish we had an angel come from heaven to defend us. We don’t. We have, for the love of heaven, Donald Trump. And honestly, I’m starting to believe he is far, far better than we deserve or have the right to hope for.

    There are endless lists of Trump’s failings, and ok, granted.

    Ivanka notwithstanding his kids seem to have turned out well.

    In keeping with the analogy I don’t recall David’s kids being of much worth.

    1. Solomon was okay.
      I didn’t buy this as a proof of his worth, but I’ll tell you this: having done it, raising a person of wroth in this environment is DIFFICULT.

      1. Thanks – I too was going to mention Solomon. Writing the book of Ecclesiastes excuses any number of failures as a father. After all, there are limits t what a parent can do for a child (and, it seems, few limits on what a parent can do to a child.)

        1. Solomon is ambivalent. Even in the Middle Ages people who cared about such things couldn’t decide if he was saved or damned. Dante fell on the “saved,” side and put him in the Heaven of the Doctors of the Church.

            1. Off by an order of magnitude, there. The Good Book tels us that Solomom had a *thousand* wives & concubines all told. Which, of course (and don’t think about the ‘courses’) is even worse.

              1. The Semitic languages of that era used “thousand” to mean more than it is worthwhile to count.

                1. I stand, (well, sit at keyboard) corrected. Though ‘seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines’ sounds more specific than ‘many many’. Either way, more than any sane man should face.

                  1. If I remember the number-symbols right, seven meant complete (thus seven days of creation=> completely created), and three meant stable and complete. A thing times itself was emphasis, as was tacking zeroes on the end– like “seventy times seven!”, so a hundred of something to make a total of the number for “not even worth counting” would work in a non-literal manner because Symbols.

          1. On the Eastern side of things, he gets a feast day two Sundays before Christmas. On the Western side, he’s got a feast day on Dec. 24, “All Holy Forefathers of Christ.” The idea is that Jesus saved them all, when He descended into sheol and preached to them, so they have a feast to show them as forerunners. (It is also St. Adam and Eve Day.)

            1. We prefer the term forbearers because the mishearings are hilarious.
              “what? Did he say four bears of God?”

              It’s a shared feast day however, everyone from Adam to his grandparents is included,

        1. Haven’t heard anything bad, and honestly, she is (from what I have seen) still better than any of the OPFOR bunch.

          1. She was publicaly all in on a lot of the feminist claptrap. Admittedly it was usually the less poisonous varieties.

            It is suspected that she is the voice (at least in the family (FWLP doesn’t get off that easy)) behind the times Trump goes anti-2A.

        2. I’d put it more as “child of her age,” in the not-automatically-insulting way.

          She just also has some decency re: family and similar values.

          Again, as far as I can tell through a TV. 😀

          1. Unfortunately “child of their age” is a phrase like “she has a nice personality”, or “the game has pretty graphics”.

            Technically it is a complement. In practice it usually means there isn’t anything else good that can be said.

    2. In contemplation of the culture in which she’s grown I am willing to grant Ivanka turned out pretty well. Better than at least sixty percent of her contemporaries. Better than Hillary’s spawn, certainly.

      Of course, all we see are the public faces and the real proof of how they’ve urned out is their private behaviour.

      1. Of course, all we see are the public faces and the real proof of how they’ve urned out is their private behaviour.

        Correct. There are many ways for families to be horrifically bad without any external indication.

        On the gripping hand bad families in the kind of position that the Trump family is in tend to go bad in ways that are very public.

        A certain connoisseur of the crack pipe comes to mind.

    3. I’m not angel. But there is an unholy berserker I keep caged that nobody wants to really find out just how bad he is.

        1. “Please don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”


          That is a “green” deal we might decide is ok.

        1. Problem with being consumed by the Wrath, aka berserker mode, is you have very little idea of whether you are acting lightside or darkside. Which makes Edward Norton’s quote as Bruce Banner in the Incredible Hulk very apropos. “Maybe I can aim it.”

          1. T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon) wrote a wonderful book titled PALADIN’S GRACE which starts out with the god of an order of Berserker Paladins (whose Wrath the god constrained) dying, and leaving them without the certainty of aim.

            Touching, witty, funny, and featuring a Paladin who knits socks ( surely one of the most sensible secondary skills for a warrior I’ve struck). I recommend it.

            1. That reminds me– one of the things real ranchers (as opposed to cowboys– think like high school kids you hire over the summer) tended to do was knit, for exactly that reason.

              Socks are important.

            2. I read a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses where the princesses did knit socks for the war effort but the soldier explains that they never got as far as him, so — he knits.

        2. Right there’s a reason that almost every time an angel shows up it says something to the effect of “Be not afraid”.

            1. I understand that when appearing in their glory nowadays their first words are, “Chill, dudes.”

              1. Actually, there’s a wonderful example of how that might go in “Wearing the Cape: Repercussions” Chapter 19.

  3. I have a long held interest in the Judges of ancient Israel — probably natural, the S in RES representing Samson — and especially the story of Gideon, in which G-D deliberately elected the greatest available cowards as His agents to ensure His deeds were recognized as miraculous (look it up if you aren’t clear o that — it is a delightful tale.) The clear take away is that even flawed men (and women) can serve a good and noble purpose.

    So I put not my faith in persons, and try to see beyond surface appearance, for it is in their depths that the true nature of people is revealed.

      1. Way back i 1971 Hallmark Hall of Fame broadcast a production of the Paddy Chayefsky-written play, featuring Peter Ustinov in the title role and José Ferrer as the Angel of God, tasked with issuing Gideon’s marching orders. Wikipedia says:

        TV Guide noted that Ustinov played Gideon as “a lumbering Hebrew” in the NBC adaptation.

        while TCM summarises it:

        A seriocomic version of the Old Testament tale of Gideon, the humble Hebrew chosen by the Angel of the Lord to perform one of God’s miracles. The story relates Gideon’s efforts to save his people from idolatry by winning an impossible battle against the Midianites.

        and IMDb advises:

        The Angel of God and an ordinary shepherd named Gideon debate obedience versus disobedience to God.

        It does not appear to be available on Youtube or through Amazon, which is a dirty GD shame!

        1. It is part of the Hallmark Movie Channel’s “Hallmark Hall of Fame” collection, so they are probably patrolling Youtube. YOu might have more success with Daily Motion.

    1. THIS, O RES of the unmentionable honorific. THIS.

      When, Mrs. Hoyt wrote

      I heard from very religious (not to say offbeat and cultish) that Trump had been sent from G-d to save us, and I snort-giggled. Partly because, surely G-d could have chosen someone more accomplished?

      I shook my head, and thought *Kiddo, for someone who writes the name of The Most High without vowels, you should know better.

      The response to that kind of disreputable could-be hero supposedly Chosen of the Lord of Hosts is: “Well, it fits. Let’s see what happens.”

      Two of those the most popular Chosen One stories: Twilight and Harry Potter, feature characters who are enabled and enobled not by any intrinsic worth but by the Chooser. They *became* what was needed and wanted in spite of themselves.

      You could get a lot of storytelling mojo out of writing that reality intentionally. Chosen One stories have a powerful emotional appeal (witness all the awful fan fiction) and are usually appalling in modern entertainment (Live action Mulan, Rey Sue…) I think the writers here could do interesting things if they super-verted the expectations on that one.

      As for the rest of this essay: AMEN.

      *It’s the Clydesdale foal effect. If I’m calculating a right she’s actually a smidge older than me. So take ant Confucian commentary I make with a grain of salt. Obviously Mrs. Hoyt does know better.

        1. Never. I should have written “recent”.

          Although due to certain prejudices, I quite like Bilbo “as is”. I found both Harry and Bella to be interesting but irritating. So they made better exemplars.

          1. How can ‘chosen one’ stories be mentioned without any reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

              1. The ironic thing about Jonah is that he was one of the more successful Old Testament prophets once he actually got around to doing what God wanted. He said, “Repent or God will destroy you!” and the people repented and were spared. Elijah would have been over the moon if he’d had a tenth of that success with Ahab and Jezebel.

          2. And then he starts kvetching to the Almighty: “This is why I didn’t want to do it! I KNEW you were gonna spare them if they repented! Fire! I want fire! And brimstone! I’m gonna sit here outside town and wait for the fireball.” (And sulk).
            I like Jonah.

            1. Funny bit is that Jonah = “dove.” A less dove-like prophet would be hard to find.

              Oh, and don’t forget that the island of Iona is really the island of Jonah, in alternate Latin spelling.

            2. Reading Jonah, I wonder if Jonah would have done exactly the same thing if matters had gone the other way. “This is why I didn’t want to do it! Because I KNEW they wouldn’t listen! I had to traipse halfway across Israel, and the net result was just what it would have been if I’d stayed home and drank a beer!” I kind of got the impression that Jonah wanted to sulk and kvetch, and no matter what, he would have found an excuse to do so.

            3. Reading the history on the Assyrians, they were brutal. I can kind of sympathize with Jonah’s point of view, it’s very human. Fortunately, God isn’t human and is much more forgiving than we are.

      1. Well, the problem with the Chosen One trope is that they tend to omit the Chooser, and merely make the ordinary person special. Some less than apt ones make the author’s hand too visible.

        1. There is always Mr Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces” where he sort of (been since high school since I read any of this apologies if I mangle it) argues that there is this Jungian archetype of the Sacrificial Hero that we are somehow longing for. He includes Jesus as part of the archetypes. I always kind of thought he he had it bass ackwards. We’re built to respond to that particular example and all the other Chosen ones kind of fullfills that need if poorly.

          1. He also tortures myth, legend, and folktales to fit the framework. (Much of his jumping from one place to another to find samples is cherry-picking.)

            1. Yup, I was reading his book, and groaning and fisking it, as a high schooler. A great disappointment. Still, you can see why it caught people’s interest; he writes interesting books.

        2. I still have a fantasy “Chosen one” story in the back of my head where in the end, the “Chosen one” finds out that the Wizard just picked him at random and called him “The Chosen One” because he wanted someone to carry his extra stuff.

          1. Yeah, but barring a crashing anticlimax, the wizard still has to have accidentally chosen someone of significance.

            1. Or, he works so hard to fulfill his imagined destiny that he actually grows into the role.

              Maybe a couple of early ignominious failures cause him to knuckle down?

              “I’m the Chosen One, dammit! I have to do better than THAT!”

    2. I’ve played with the idea of doing a set of sermons on, “Things the Preacher Doesn’t Tell You,” using the Old Testament. (I’m a lay speaker). So far, the only one I’ve actually done was Tamar and Judah. But I tend to think people ought to know those disturbing stories so they aren’t totally surprised if they meet an atheist who knows his Bible.

      1. A friend of mine in college was that atheist. She lived with a bunch of Jesus Freaks (her words, but accurate. They were proggies.). About one month into the term they started running when she showed up because she knew her bible better than they did and could tie them in knots.

      2. There are advantages to having spent the first $MANY years of one’s life listening to it in audiobook form.

        First you hear all the stories that people are embarrassed over. (ProTip: there usually isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. Just incorrect assumptions or lack of historical understanding.)

        Second you hear all the stuff people ignore. So when someone starts mouthing this or that BS (aka 99.9994% of pop-christianity) you remember that this was directly contradicted somewhere.

        1. Heinlein did that in “Stranger In A Strange Land,” when Jubal Harshaw cuts loose on the story of Lot. He believes Lot is scum because he doesn’t protect his virgin daughters, and completely misses the context (as in, guests are sacred and the gang of gangbangers outside Lot’s door wanted to rape his guests)

          The parallel story in Judges of the Levite and his concubine is much more disturbing, though the theme is the same.

    3. And then there’s Barak and Deborah. “Lady, I’m not going if you don’t.” Deborah: I’m in. Grab your spears guys, and take the high ground. [Tactical as well as moral]. Meanwhile, it was Jael with a tent peg who put a dent in Sisera. Talk about unlikely heroes.

    4. Given that there has only ever been one perfect person, flawed men/women is all that God has ever had to work with on this world. That is the great flaw in Leftism: our side has to be _perfect_ or it is cat_poop; their side is forgiven _anything_ because their motives are “pure”.

      Only hits count.

  4. I had my doubts about Mr. T initially because I thought he didn’t really intend to do what he said he would. My wife, on the other hand, said she heard the word “anointed” in her head when Trump came down the escalator. Those from the left who want to lecture us about Christian values have never read the bible. Anointed does not mean saintly, it means God has chosen you to fulfill His purpose.

    1. The same way I’m being pushed to write fiction, now? As if it will make any difference?
      But when you’re pushed, you’ll have to or you break worse than if you do and fail.

      1. Much like me in my attempts at blogging and trying to set up some vlogging (“Goth on Ice” is only supposed to be a feature, not the whole damn thing, but…working on it.) I have no idea what effect I might have–I have no illusions about my individual reach and importance–but, from little stones do great avalanches start. You just need a lot of them.

    2. I admit, at the time, I thought he was saying whatever would get attention and that he’d probably be about the same as Hillary except with different press.

      I am trying to watch myself, as it is, for excusing policies I wouldn’t for a Democrat. I acknowledge that I am readier to assume that what looks on the surface like a good idea is being proposed in bad faith or to assume a given accusation is a lie if I distrust the people it’s coming from. I occasionally try to remind myself that that probably explains some Democrats’ attitudes more than active malice. As for the ones who are actively malicious and/or genuinely convinced Marxism is the Way… I also pray we’ll be spared.

      1. I doubt Joe Biden would be as bad as Hillary Clinton. He’s stupid evil. Hillary is smart, scheming evil. Not smart enough to not eventually be caught, but somehow adroit enough to never have to take the fall herself.

        1. I’ve worked my adult life trying to keep this country safe, and, although I’ve swallowed my pride and voted for many, many imperfect candidates, I would never vote for a treasonous, vile wannabe General Secretary. I know what the word treason means. I’m reminded several times a year both of what it means and of its consequences for both me and the country. May those who have sold our country out on the installment plan for their own greed and lust for power suffer the fate they deserve! I see red both literally and figuratively when I see these people.

        2. Biden is clearly a facade for the epic battle that will ensue among Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, and Nancy Pelosi, once they get him inaugurated and start maneuvering on the 25th amendment and the Edith Wilson scenarios. I wouldn’t want to be between them and the presidential seal. All these fans of House of Cards and Game of Thrones, and nobody else sees this coming?

          1. With two Cersei Lannisters in Pelosi and Harris (Harris even followed Cersei’s “weapon between her legs” method of pursuing power.

        3. Joe isn’t the issue. How long he lasts before we get our very own, “I, Claudius,” levels of intrigue from, “I LIKE being First Lady and I’ll prop him up until 2028 if I have to”,” Jill Biden to, “I didn’t sign up for this to do all the work and not get the perks!” Kamala Harris is the issue.

        4. Biden is the wedge in the door, designed to get the real tools of destruction in-Nancy Pelosi, Kamela Harris, and Jill Biden. Our particular bunch of fates, except twisted and angry and evil, rather than just the uncaring mechanisms of the Universe.

          (Harris is a particularly feminine form of evil, very much the Jezebel who uses her flesh to steal what any of her other skills or talents cannot take. Pelosi has been trying to rise to the Thone for a long time, yet cannot quite make it except on the bodies of others. And, Jill Biden merely sits in a corner, her sewing needles clicking as she organizes the parties to la guillotine.)

          I said this in 2016 to people-“You might not like Trump. Hillary! will be worse.” So far, he’s been doing better than I could have ever hoped for. And, nothing about the Bidenstein’s Monster makes me feel confident that he would even come close to being “not bad,” let alone “good.”

          (Come on-if anything even remotely like Hunter Biden’s scandal happened to a Republican, CNN and MSNBC would be fighting for space in the President’s colon to measure and assess every single bowel movement and gaseous fart. Not the “it’s not a story” from NPR and the absolute ignorance.)

          While this goes against my personal Deism beliefs, I believe that God sometimes gives us a firm slap upside the head to remind us that He can lose His patience with us. Not out of anger, but more out of frustration that we’ve been lead to the proverbial river yet we won’t drink.

          May we learn from this slap, and not have to suffer any more than needed. While I can admire the people that went through hard times and lead us to great things, I wouldn’t want to live there.

          1. I just had a brain spasm – what if the Dims win the White House and the Reps flip the House? That would put Kevin McCarthy* (Who?) third in line for the hot seat.

            *Assuming, of course, that he retains *his* seat

              1. I have a dream. In my dream, I see MaligNancy Pelosi standing on the Capitol steps on November 4 holding a cardboard box of office knickknacks, with a ‘shocked, SHOCKED!’ expression…

                “They can’t DO this to me! They’re only insignificant little voters! How DARE they!”

                1. I think her opponent is also a Democrat due to California’s jungle primary system, and that Democrat is even more radically to the left than Pelosi.

                    1. Steny Hoyer would probably be Speaker but if the Left slides enough of their puppets into seats it could be Maxine Waters or even AOC.

              1. Of course that would be my preferred scenario as well along with retaining the Senate. But it would be interesting to see how long it takes a Republican-majority House to bring impeachment charges against President Harris.

            1. If that happened we would immediately see the Democrat leadership, the NY Times, the Washington Post and a blue-ribbon panel of Constitutional Scholars™ step forward to explain that because the Speaker is not an “officer” of the government he cannot be in the line of succession.

      2. Trump was my fourth choice during primary season (Scott Walker, Herman Cain, then Ted Cruz), but when I listened to Hannity, Trump was a frequent guest to the show. It was clear that he loved America (one wonders if he has a stash of flag scraps, just in case), but I wasn’t sure he’d follow through. OTOH, Scott and Herman both faded, and Ted’s maneuvering had a flavor of GOPe (which he managed to outgrow since then). When Oregon had its primary, the race was settled, but I was happy to support Trump.

        I’ll use an old analogy; Biden strikes me as Charlie McCarthy, though just who the puppet master is will likely be determined in the future. Not sure even Joe knows.

      3. “I am trying to watch myself, as it is, for excusing policies I wouldn’t for a Democrat.”

        Me too. It would be easier if there weren’t so much TDS, so many criticisms for things that are petty, false, or actually reasonable. (“Trump abuses his bodyguards! Makes them go out for McDonald runs!” “Trump insults the Japanese by dumping fish food into the pond!”)

    3. Being “anointed” has a poor history as character reference. David was anointed, that didn’t help Uriah. Saul was anointed, that did squat for Jonathan and David (among others.)

      1. It is like evangelical conservatives that want to go full tilt into “America is God’s Chosen Country”.

        Leaving out for a moment the theological issues with that; look at ancient Israel. It was a rolling disaster wrapped in catastrophe interspersed with brief moments of half-decency. No one in their right mind should want that.

        1. Well…. The higher you shoot for, the farther you have to fall. My hobbit-ish nature agrees you are right, but my early moral education says it’s a worm’s thing to wish for.

      2. Being anointed is not permanent, and does not excuse or exempt you from your sins. If God didn’t make use of us sinners, he’d have nobody to do His work. The Big Guy did try to talk the Israelites out of having kings, but they couldn’t handle the uncertainty that freedom provides.

      3. Jonathan’s fate was the result of Saul’s screw-ups. Saul was anointed, but there was nothing forcing him to do the right thing. And in the end, he feared man more than his master. That’s particularly unfortunate, since at the start, he had the good sense to run away when he was given the kingship.

        If Saul hadn’t turned away from the true ruler of Israel, then Jonathan likely would have succeeded him.

      4. Saul was “anointed,” but by Samuel, not by God. That’s why I always felt bad for him. Yes, Saul screwed up, but he was also bearing a burden he was never meant to bear. If you read the story of how Saul was chosen, especially when you compare it to how David was chosen, it becomes obvious: Samuel was told that the man he should anoint as king would come to him, two men showed up at his door–and Samuel picked the wrong one.

        1. I disagree. Saul had some amazing events immediately after his anointing. He appears to have been a righteous man at the start. I suspect that the politics and pressures of the job got to him, and he started to worry more about his subordinates than he did about the individual that he served. I’ve no reason to think that Samuel didn’t pick the person that The Lord had intended.

          1. It’s not that Saul was a bad man–I think he was a good one who had “the pressures of the job get to him” because it wasn’t the job he was meant for. Consider the story:

            Saul and another man were looking for a lost sheep. Saul wanted to give up and go home, but his companion insisted that they keep trying to find the sheep, and Saul reluctantly agreed to search one more valley. That’s where they arrive at Samuel’s house, and Samuel tells Saul to go home in order to get his sheep and the crown. However, given the emphasis that the Bible has on lost sheep, it seems more likely that the one who was supposed to be king was the one who didn’t want to give up.

            Later, when Samuel was told that the next king would be one of the sons of Jesse, he initially wanted to anoint one of David’s older brothers who looked the part of a king (as I suspected he did with Saul), but looked deeper this time and realized that none of them were right. He asked Jesse if he had any other sons, and that was when David came in, whom I believe had been out looking for a lost sheep…

            1. On a decision this important, I think that The Lord would have stepped in if Samuel had gotten the wrong man.

    4. Agreed. Anointed and Chosen in Biblical terms, nearly always means “you suck, the only question is to what degree.”

      Apparently we amphibious apes have a tendency to assume it’s US doing all the heavy lifting unless the evidence is unequivocally other.

      1. Back when I was in a Torah study group (Shush you) we were told a story about Moses.
        As he approached some local potentate sent his wise men to study him and tell the potentate what he was like.
        The report was that he was a sinner, an adulterer, a murderer, a man filled with vile lusts.
        The ruler was afraid, and received Moses with due caution. But after getting to know him he said he must now punish his phisionomer. Because Moses was none of those things.
        And Moses said “DON’T. He is right. I am all of those things. It is from denying them and turning them into the opposite virtues that I derive all my merit/power/force.”
        I think this is a similar effect.
        (And I never quit the Torah study group, but we moved and I haven’t attended. Maybe after the next move?)

    5. Speaking of Trump coming down the escalator… when I first watched this video, I wondered why, other than sheer, pointless malice, would Youtube mute that?

      Then I followed the link in the description to the Daily Mail site and watched the video there, where it’s not muted, so there’s nothing wrong with the audio. And I found out that it’s almost entirely music with no words over it, so this is almost certainly Youtube’s copyright-infringement algorithm at work, picking up a video that it *thought* was infringing on whatever song that was that Trump played at his candidacy announcement. (I don’t recognize it off-hand, because I hardly heard any classic American rock music growing up in France.) But the fact that I first suspected personal malice on the part of some Google employee goes to show how much distrust their actions have earned them.

    6. And more often than not, you can just about hear the ones chosen thinking “why *me*? what did I do wrong?”.

  5. I didn’t vote for Trump last time and I regret that. This time I am voting for Trump.

    How are all of you spending Election Day?

    1. Probably going over supplies and keeping a wary eye on the news. And praying. Given local traffic problems due to a main bridge being out, and local idiocy over mask mandates, I took advantage of early in-person voting already.

      Outside of that… writing, writing, more writing. As fast as my limping energy will let me. This year is… words fail me.

        1. That is a song to impell ye thru’. May not be the best one by Sabaton, but I feel it fits.

        2. Seems like they kind of span the range of Heavy Metal to maybe Death Metal. Not entirely my cup of tea; but this video does a pretty good job of illustrating one manifestation of PTSD.

          1. It’s a recount of Audie Murphy’s deeds and post-war issues.

            Sabaton is a great Power Metal band and they sing about honor and war.

            1. Are you sure they aren’t a group of history teachers with a rather unique pedagogical technique?

              1. Well, I have started looking into things after listening to their songs, including Murphy, York, The Night Witches, etc… so it has def helped my knowledge of history.

                Plus The Last Stand and Blood of Bannockburn are amazing songs that are very encouraging to me at this time.

    2. I regret it, too. Being in NY, I held my nose and said I was voting to get Libertarians on the debate stage more than Bake the Cake Johnson. And I figured Trunp wasn’t going to govern as a Republican anyway.

      …well. He’s proved me wrong, and frankly I’m starting to think I was high to see much value in the LP to begin with.

      I’m hoping a quiet dinner with my in-laws, and maybe I can arrange the family to spend the night. Seems like there are worse times to be on a sheep farm up in the hills anyway.

      1. I voted for him even though I live in NJ and there was no way he would win here against Zuul. I would have gouged my eyes out before voting for her. This time I’ll crawl through glass if necessary.

        I do remember waking up the next morning and seeing that he had won. I have seldom been so happy. Te Deum laudamus te Dominum confitemur

        Things are looking up, and if they manage to steal it we’ll just have to take it back.

        1. We both voted for Trump thinking it was nothing more than a gesture of defiance. The next morning we woke up to the news that he won. Looked at each other and at the same time…”Oh my God! He won!” I remember a huge feeling of relief because whatever he might or might not do, he wasn’t Hillary and that made it all okay.

          1. I was so uncertain of him at the time that when I looked at the news and learned he won, I was surprised that I was definitely pleased.

            1. Got up at 2 AM PST, um, just because. Turned on TV to check. They were calling the Presidential race. I’ve mentioned before my reaction was “OMG, OMG, OMG!” (dance in place), repeat. I figured him for the sacrifice spoiler candidate. He was suppose to lose to Hillary. What I didn’t realize was how torqued angry he was at the democrats in general; Obama and Clinton’s specifically. TG. Even at that, I didn’t think he could get as much done as he has. I underestimated him big time. Glad I was wrong.

              1. I told my wife then, that Civil War II had been pushed back for a few years. And then I said another prayer.

      2. I voted Libertarian in 2008 so I could say that I voted against both Obama and McCain. In 2016 I held my nose and voted for Trump, in large part because the Libertarian ticket that year wasn’t doing a credible job of even pretending to be libertarian. (And Trumps sins were all peccadilloes compared to McCain’s “Trash the First Amendment because ‘Campaign Finance Reform.'”)

        And there is that noteworthy absence of “I voted for Trump in 2016 and now I regret it!” people. If there were more than a sparse handful, I’d expect the Usual Suspects to be touting them from coast to coast.

        1. Insty linked to some attempt to create a “Suburban Women who regret voting for Trump” surge. Their interview choice was a 61 year old “Cool Aunt.”

          …it’s almost as bad as the gushing news story I saw over Biden’s “nearly a half century” of official attendance to the DNC.

          …because that’s what I want, a guy who has to run from what he’s SAID and has been in politics for half a century.

        2. The Libertarian Party hasn’t run a libertarian presidential candidate since Michael Badnarik in 2004. Not even I could hold my nose strongly enough to vote for Johnson, not that it mattered here in MN. Though I have stated in some circles that “I’m Going to vote for Jo.” As in Jorgenson. Since they hear what they want to hear and think I’m supporting Biden, they leave me alone.

          1. The 2016 Libertarian Party made it clear they considered the First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of Religion “problematic” and something needing restriction.

            Which strongly suggested they were similarly willing to restrain the other items in the Bill of Rights.

              1. The Libertarian Party is for those people who want to play in politics without the risk of actually winning.

            1. I support everybody’s right to practice their religions — right up to the point where you interfere with other people’s right NOT to practice your religion. That is The Line That Must Not Be Crossed.

              No TRUE libertarian could believe otherwise! 😀

        3. I’ve thought of that same comparison, actually. Trump is far from my dream candidate, but I held my nose long enough to vote for McCain over Barry, and Trump in 2020 is no worse.

          In 2016, I was a Never Trump Republican because I believed that Trump was Never a Republican, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a “Libertarian” who believed that the only freedom we were guaranteed was the freedom to smoke pot. I thought about McMullin, but in the end, the race was close enough that I felt I had to choose the candidate who had a chance.

  6. I worried (needlessly as it turned out) that Trump the deal maker would make deals with the swamp creatures – but I voted for him anyway because I knew his opponent was evil.
    He wasn’t the candidate I wanted but it sure looks likes he’s the President we needed -and still need.

    I voted in-person at an early voting site today. The place was pretty busy. Reportedly about 1/3 of Florida’s registered voters have already voted either by mail or early voting. I think we’ll have a record turnout.

    1. Trump would have made deals with the swamp creatures had they been willing to deal in good faith. They weren’t, so he didn’t. That was their failing.

      1. Agreed.

        I was never worried about Trump. There was enough inertia and resistance in Congress to keep him from going off the deep end. Unfortunately, there was enough inertia and resistance in Congress to keep him from doing more of the right things than he’s done this term. And one thing his Presidency has shown to the world is just how deep the rot is in our federal government. Too bad half the country doesn’t have the knowledge to understand that.

        1. Way too many people in the country think either the rot is a good thing (i.e. they don’t see it as rot) or their “solution” is communism.

            1. They’re loyal and patriotic psychotic citizens of the Deep State of America.

              Needed fixin’.

      2. Exactly this. I do think he is sincerely pro life and Ivanka was quoted to be so also. That is crucial for me.

        1. I also think that at heart he is against prohibition and nanny-statism; i.e. he thinks that individuals should be able to decide for themselves what to consume, whether to gamble, etc.

          What I hate about the so-called “pro-choice” crowd is that they are not really “pro-choice”. They are pro-abortion; if they actually believed in individual choice, those screaming “my body, my choice” wouldn’t, while seeking abortion on demand, wouldn’t at the same time be trying to ban people from drinking big gulps, having salt on their fries, etc. (Mike Bloomberg is one of the prominent examples of this). They have no problem telling people what they can do with their bodies for everything except abortion.

          1. He was a real estate developer in NY City, where fighting city hall, landmark commissions, fire code, the dept. of sanitation, and union work rules occupied a majority of his time.

            In a business where time really is money (BGE can assuredly explain cost of capital more clearly than could I) it matters whether a project takes three months or fifteen months to complete. It matters even more whether you can know how long it will take before undertaking it.

            1. Like Jesus said:

              “For which one of you, having a mind to build a tower, does not first sit down and reckon up the charges necessary, and whether he has what he needs to finish it?” (Lk. 14:28)

              1. Anyhoo, Jesus was in the building trades, as were both His Father and his foster father. So obviously he would have some favoritism toward honest contractors.

        2. Pro-life with the fervor of a convert.

          That tends to be the staunchest kind for having seen through the arguments of the other side.

        1. Meanwhile —

          “Conditions of good administration similarly make necessary excepting such positions from the adverse action procedures set forth in chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code. Chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, requires agencies to comply with extensive procedures before taking adverse action against an employee. These requirements can make removing poorly performing employees difficult. Only a quarter of Federal supervisors are confident that they could remove a poor performer. Career employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy‑making, and policy-advocating positions wield significant influence over Government operations and effectiveness. Agencies need the flexibility to expeditiously remove poorly performing employees from these positions without facing extensive delays or litigation.”

  7. Again and again, throughout the history of this country, Providence has provided the right man to preserve the nation, or Do The Right Thing. Often that man was a total sonofabitch. MacArthur was a tool, but his Imperial delusions fitted well into the National kindest of Japan. They could consider him a Shogun, and accept that where some other arrangement would have spawned resistance, wasting their energies and ours, and resulting in a weaker Japan when the World needed a strong one for later.

    ( yes, the Japan that created is flawed. It is LESS flawed than a lot of other possibilities)

    Trump is a moderate sonofabitch. Far less of one than any Democrat with any power on the national scene.

    Four years ago I thought I was being given a choice between a populist mountebank and a criminal scold, and I voted for the mountebank. Trump has proved that I underestimated him again and again. I will vote for him with a light heart. I truly believe he is going to win, and probably win beyond reasonable doubt. I also believe the Fascist Left will throw an epic tantrum about it, and that Trump will respond by giving them an epic beat down.

    Be of good cheer. The Fascist Lefts isn’t acting confident. They are acting desperate, and Inbelive A) they have reason and B) their desperation is not serving them well.

    1. Be of good cheer. I am fairly certain Hillary would never have completed her term of office.

    2. … the Fascist Left will throw an epic tantrum about it, and that Trump will respond by giving them an epic beat down.

      Trump can deliver it without concern; what are they going to do – call him Adolph?

  8. Sixteen years ago in Rathergate, the Press discovered that the People, combined, could call out their lies.

    Four years ago, they discovered the People could bring to light stories they wanted buried deep.

    Now they’re fighting back and are having some success in quashing both the stories and those who would report them. 2021 is shaping up to be another “interesting” year, I fear.

  9. My favorite thing about Trump is that he’s changed the tone of the right from “delaying inevitable defeat” to “we can actually win”. I hope to God that sticks.

    1. In some cases it seems more like, “Fuck ‘em. They’re nasty bastards to me no matter what I do. Might as well kick ‘em in the fork.”

      I’ll take either one, mind…

      1. And that is the main source of his popularity; there are a lot of people who are simply utterly sick of the establishment of both parties, i.e. the “ruling class”, who view themselves as a modern feudal nobility rather than as people who are supposed to serve the citizenry.

        One factor I think is being heavily overlooked in polling, simply because the topic is not mentioned, is fear of inflation. I think a lot of people are aware of how much prices have already risen because of the lockdowns imposed by mostly Democrats and the establishment, and that the lockdowns, combined with massively higher energy costs from the green new deal, the $15 minimum wage (will of course increase as that proves to be “unlivable due to inflation”), will result in AT BEST Jimmy Carter style stagflation. but is far more likely to lead to Venezuela and Weimer Republic mass inflation and dire shortages of everything.

        This is one of those “feel in the gut” things that is simply being overlooked by the political talking heads. It is why Trump’s hammering of Biden on the fracking ban and on the the minimum wage were by far the two most important parts of the debate. I would not be surprised that, again absent fraud by Democrats, that fracking gives Trump several key states including PA.

        1. I just bought a half-dozen 2 x 4 studs for a small project. Looks like they went up 20% from a year ago because of the multitude of thrills 2020 has bestowed upon us. Not going to keep a stash for a while.

          I’m noticing that a lot of spot shortages are easing, but at the cost of impressive price increases. Sigh.

          With the fracking stuff revealed (now censored by Twitter, of course), PA may well go beyond the margin of fraud.

          1. I think big tech will be pulling out all the stops in the next month; they know that if Trump wins and Republicans win both the Senate and take back the House, the anger over their censorship is going to result in a huge blowback because even the establishment Republicans have been punished for wrongthink by the tech feudal lords (they censored Mitch McConnell’s account at one point) and will not undermine the day of reckoning.

            1. Big tech needs to be treated like traitors, old school Roman style. Or at least a couple of orders of magnitude worse than the ATT breakup.

          2. A quart of exterior enamel for painting trim went from $6 to $18. The old can worked fine; the new can took four coats to fully cover the wood.

            1. We wanted to add a carport, but it’s really looking like we should’ve gotten on the ball last year….

  10. I alternate theism and deism (even and odd days, respectively, so deist today) because an interventionist G*d does really bad things to physics(*), but there are things that point the other way.
    I’m starting to settle on mental intervention. That is, a prayer for rain will have no effect, but a prayer for inspiration or strength will. It all gets very complicated depending on how much G*d is influenced by people. I rather like the phrase “coercing the deity” – if enough of us gang up and pray for the same thing, it pays more attention and is more likely to do something. That’s also a somewhat disturbing thought.

    (*) If the sun really stood still in the sky, can you imagine the wind? Although, if you’re somehow neutralizing the angular momentum of an entire planet, encompassing the atmosphere, too, wouldn’t be a big deal (one assumes). But what about the moon if the earth stops turning? Presumably a solar flare at that time would fry earth, the magnetosphere being shutdown, but again, if you can manage to stop the earth, you could either time it well or just deal with the sun, too.

    1. You know it is much easier to orbit a space mirror to provide the necessary illumination than it is to stop the angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system. Wonder what kind of signaling device Joshua used?

      1. I recall, a number of years back, reading one theory suggesting it could have been a supernova. As He is not bound by Time or Space it would have been a simple thing for Him to make a large enough star at just the right distance go *poof* and let it light things up a few thousand light years away.

        Miracles become a great deal easier when you have Time to line up the proper dominos.

    2. If the sun really stood still in the sky, can you imagine the wind?

      Himself does seem to have a habit of doing exactly what He said He would, just not in the way we assume.

      For example, the Parting of the Red Sea. There’s some sort of a theory that something like that has happened, several times. Has to do with wind and some weird tide stuff and such.
      …is “hey, Moses, walk up and do this and that and I’ll put a freaking FLAMING TORNADO behind you and a totally natural process will happen to occur at the right time”?

      1. This.

        I remember seeing ads for some show that was supposed to explain (among other things) how the burning bush could really occur due to natural processes. And the thought occurred to me, “So what? You’re missing the point. The important thing isn’t that the bush appeared to be burning, but wasn’t really. The point is that The Lord spoke to Moses. Everything else was just window dressing.”

        I suppose the earth briefly stopping in its spinning is more amazing than a big city’s walls collapsing when a bunch of people shouted. But does it really matter which is more spectacular?

        1. It’s kind of like that magic trick where the magician made the statue of liberty vanish, and reappear.

          It’s not the methods used, exactly, it’s setting them up so they even appear to happen in direct response to a human action that can’t possibly cause them.

        2. The version I heard for the burning bush was that there are gas vents, and very rare plants that can survive gas burning temps, and some natural processes can set them on fire.

          …the guy on teh TV explaining this then looked at the TV and said “yeah, really doesn’t make it less impressive, does it?”

        3. Given the earthquake history in the region, the city walls falling as the people shouted and blew their ram’s-horn trumpets… no, actually, that’s not even really putting a divine thumb on the scales. that’s more like sighing heavily on the scales.

          1. It isn’t as if He didn’t know about the earthquake risk. And just Whose suggestion was all that tootling and banging?

            OTOH, the citizens of Jericho ought be glad the Israelites didn’t have bagpipes.

          2. Israelites probably set up a harmonic resonance in the bed rock around Jericho which triggered the quake, bringing down the walls. The miracle was WHO told them to do this and knew it would happen?

          3. The real miracle was leaving exactly one section of wall in just the right spot to protect Rahab’s family. I remember seeing a video on Jericho’s excavation, and it was one of those “we’re trying to be neutral, but you people who believe in Biblical historicity are idiots” while at the same time talking about how the wall had collapsed everywhere but one section with houses. :sigh:

            1. I often wondered about that. Everyone mentions the walls coming down, but that’s also where we’re told that Rahab’s house was located… On the other hand, iirc it is explicitly mentioned that the Israelite spies escorted her out when the city was being razed.

          4. I think it’s more impressive that only one section of wall survived, and it was the one protecting Rahab’s family. I remember watching a video on excavating Jericho a few years ago, one of those “we’re trying to be neutral but those who believe in Biblical historicity are idiots” while shoeing a model of how they believed the walls collapsed leaving a single section with housing in it. :sigh:

            Also, if I’m double posting I apologize but it didn’t look like the first one actually posted.

        4. Of course, the biggest miracle there was getting all the Jews to be silent for six days. As told to me by my Jewish friend and captain of the bad boat ride.

        5. Except the latter is clearly a metaphor.
          The scripture clearly tells us that they had used the previous displays as distraction to infiltrate a commando unit.
          The final display was a huge display guaranteed to draw the eye, and loud enough to drown out cries of alarm…
          And the walls came tumbling down.
          (Don’t get me started on Samson destroying an army with the jawbone of an ass.)

      2. There is a great explanation of the ten plagues, arguing that turning the waters of the Nile to blood (red algae bloom) caused the frogs to vacate, which caused lice/flies/gnats to propagate as their natural predator disappears, and so on — up to the deaths of first born from mycotoxins in the grain, which would have been provided to those offspring which primogeniture decreed mist valuable.

        Still a hell of a roll, like throwing ten straight double-sixes defending Indonesia in Risk.

        1. Oh, wow, that makes sense– and that would even work poetically, since the plagues (like his staff eating the staves of the Egyptian priests) was a direct strike at the power of their gods.

    3. Well, I think that the Creator of Reality, as I believe, can suspend the the rules on occasion. He is the who made the rules. The Prime Mover(?).

      1. I wouldn’t say suspend the rules (I believe that an important part of Him is that He follows His own rules) so much as He understands how to manipulate the rules in ways that seem contradictory to us with our limited perception, knowledge, and intellect.

          1. I find myself getting annoyed at two distinct camps here:

            On the one hand we have the “any explanation but a ‘real’ miracle” folks. Because the most ridiculously complicated set of conditions to explain something is better than that it was made clear as a Suspension Of Normal Rules.

            On the other hand we have people assuming (say) an overt miracle that they heard a loud noise behind them (you know; where the construction site that has been running jackhammers all week is) and stopped walking, saving them from getting hit by a bus. Because their….. “god”…. if we can call it that…. has all the sophistication and subtly of a bull and an alligator duking it out in a china shop.

            On the gripping hand both of those kind of meet at the center.

              1. I was unclear: in that example the noise startling the person is subtle, in the 800 trillion small details all coming together and producing an equal number of small results.

                What I’m annoyed by are the people who don’t want that. They want an explicit miracle to have just happened (maybe they need that to feel important?). Their philosophy can be summed up as “I don’t know the complete chain of causality for this event, therefore Miracle!”.

                1. There’s the old joke, a guy stuck on a rooftop with rising floodwaters who prays for God to save him. A guy in a canoe comes along and offers to take him off. They guy refuses, saying God will save him. A guy in a boat comes along. Same thing. Water’s getting higher and wilder and a helicopter comes along. Same thing. Finally, the waters sweep over the rooftop taking the guy with them to drown. As he stands, dripping, before Saint Peter he asks why God didn’t save him. This voice comes from all around. “I sent you a canoe, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

                    1. I’ve seen that for lesser things; people asking for (or demanding) help, but only from people who meet their specific requirements.

                      I always figured if you asked for help you took what you could get, but they’ll do without if they don’t get their answer from someone with the right employer, degree, or certificate.

                    2. Sometimes, there’s a disagreement on if “what you get” is actually help or not.

                      I get a lot of that. About 90% of my house-work is fixing “help” that wasn’t help at all, but people wanted to feel like they’d helped, or act like they had helped.

                      How many of the “solutions” you’ve gotten were “well, clearly, the way to fix the problem is for YOU to do exactly what *I* want you to do at every other point, and that will make everything better”? And then, if you decline to do their answer-to-everything, it means you’re turning down their “help”?

                2. It’s possible there’s simply a misunderstanding of what is meant by miracle– I find a miracle no less amazing if it happened via a Rube Goldberg pile of connections. That might be a family culture thing– one of our traditions includes giving folks gifts in such a way that it’s not obvious, simply because we like them.

                  I can see how somebody who thinks “miracle” and is looking for a giant glowing hand writing on a wall would be annoyed by that, though.

                  1. Probably a definitional issue: if “miracle” doesn’t mean a breaking of the normal rules…. then everything is a miracle in a christian universe.

                    1. If you define “miracle” as an act of God, then yes, everything in the universe and the universe itself is a miracle.

                      Looking at His prophecies, it should probably be something like apparent violation of normal rules.

                  2. Technically speaking, a miracle is a sign or a wonder. Preferably both, but unless you’re actually looking for “totally unsubtle finagling by God for the purpose of legal recognition of a miracle,” they don’t have to be either subtle or unsubtle.

                    And frankly, when you get things like St. Martin de Porres teleporting people and himself, or sudden multiplication of loaves, wine, and mashed potato soup, you get the feeling that things are going by natural law, just going up a notch in the hierarchy of laws being obeyed.

                    And yes, it’s totally not fair that the system is designed to respond gracefully to major changes in local laws, but there you go. Designers always design things in for their own use, and that’s not really cheating if it was always in the natural laws.

                    1. Designers always design things in for their own use, and that’s not really cheating if it was always in the natural laws.

                      *nod* This is a major difficulty.

                3. Worse, is to be saved by what can only be called a miracle (or miracles, if we were really stupid), and have no idea why.
                  Especially if it’s tied to a belief in debts coming due.
                  With interest.

            1. Considering that He made everything, from quantum mechanic stuff to how your ligaments work to how Luna’s gravity interacts with Terra’s and the sun to manage weathre, with a simple imperative word – Himself reaching out and tapping our lives (Reality hitting reality, as it were) and syaing, as it were, “boop” and making minor things, like dew, or blindness, or the Sun and Moon, or death not operate as usual, be explained by a massive confluence of things that don’t technically require His hand … seems a bit stretched in logic to me.


              The Almighty is that. Whether or not He used His own processes, or he said, boop! matters not. It happened, by His Will.

      2. One of my favored “infuriate both sides”* ideas is that a universe run “inside” an omnipotent god is not meaningfully different from a perfect simulation with a perfect programmer/sysadmin.

        It is really easy to change reality at will when you have console commands.

        Also anyone who has been in a sysadmin or programming role intuitively understands why someone might go biblical on a user.

        [*]: or at least the stupider members of each side….

        1. Speaking as a programmer, a ‘perfect programmer or sysadmin” would be a true miracle, proving the existence of God.

        2. Far from infuriated, I am totally stealing that for the next “the world is a simulation” argument. Most of the guys I run into who do that act like they’re vampires when someone mentions Christian flavor theology.

          1. Well I did say “the stupider members”.

            There are a lot of people — especially religious — who flip out at the idea of a simulation, even purely as a thought experiment.

            Then again is there any philosophical concept this isn’t true of?

            1. There are a lot of people — especially religious — who flip out at the idea of a simulation, even purely as a thought experiment.

              Of course they do, because it is explicitly framed in such a way as to rule out God. Which is both irrational– goes beyond what the theory could hold– and childishly obnoxious.

              Kind of like the mote and bailey of “evolution.” When they’re threatened, it’s inherited traits; when they’re not, it’s absolutely random chance. Because their ascientific philosophical assumptions MUST be forced.

              1. Well, the whole thing about Christianity, Judaism, and several other religions is that they are definite about God really doing real things. (Gnostics are all like, “Material reality is the ghetto that needs to be destroyed utterly, and it’s illegal and a disease,” whereas cyclical religions are all like, “Reality is always repeating itself” or “Reality is a dream that only lasts until you awake into the real reality.”)

                The whole point of the “new heavens and new earth” or the Messianic banquet is that you retain all the good stuff about reality, and put it together with the eternal bits.

                And honestly, it’s hard to see how a simulation by a perfect omnipotent God would be distinguishable from reality, because if there’s only one and if it’s made by God, it is real. Anything created by God exists; He is existence as well as being love, truth, etc.

                1. Hmmmmm. A simulation is an imitation of something else. One wonders what it would be simulating.

                  (One also notes with C.S. Lewis that the question becomes “A real what?” Simulations are, after all, really simulations.)

                  1. We already know what the model in the simulation is, the documentation we’ve got tells us, right at the start– we’re made in His image.

                    1. ‘Tis pity, then, none of us knows what His image exactly is.

                      It would behoove many among us to spend time contemplating that image.

                    2. Given His established sense of humor? It’s either going to be a terrible pun, or really complicated and only obvious in retrospect.

        3. There’s maybe a tedious argument that may be able to predict things that a mathematically defined simulation could not handle, that God’s creation could. Possibly of only theoretical interest, hence potentially not meaningful.

          Basically, what information could we potentially discover about physics, and the theory of numerically stable simulations?

          The simulations I’m most familiar would seem to need a single time step updated across the entire domain/system to capture everything that we infer exists in the real world. Obvious explanation is that the Planck second is that time step. Now, this is where my lack of familiarity is clear to everyone: What happens if you cannot calculate the same time steps across the whole of space? It seems like known physics might permit such an occurrence. It seems like there might, in fact, be continuous ‘boundaries’ between regions with different time steps, not discrete boundaries. If this vague impression is so, then a discrete simulation would have approximate, not exact solutions for a continuous phenomena.

          So, I’m wondering if describing such a simulation system might require future developments in the theory of distributed computations/controls.

          If a perfect simulation requires God’s omniscient knowledge of all past and future state spaces, there is no meaningful difference.

          A meaningful difference would seem to require a) a theory of simulation based in limited information, that can capture known measurable physical state spaces b) the limited information is knowable by humans/mortals. Because a simulation that is possible for super human spirits is perhaps not morally different from a simulation that is possible for God.

          My suspicion is that physicists have built a castle on clouds, and subconsciously picking up on the unreality is driving some of them a little nuts.

          1. My suspicion is that physicists have built a castle on clouds, and subconsciously picking up on the unreality is driving some of them a little nuts.

            “Dark Matter”. “Dark Energy”. Nuff said.

            You aren’t wrong in that conclusion. But it isn’t relevant to my point, because my argument doesn’t give a flying Kamala what “known physics” is. Having said that the discrete vs continuous problem is a known hole if current physics; that is part of why everyone looks forward to “Unified Field Theories”.

            But for my argument:

            Posit a Universe A who’s rules do not allow self-simulation (ie: you can’t calculate the rules using the rules). I will counter-posit a Universe B where the rules allow calculating Universe A.

            Now the question: How do you determine if you are in Universe A, or inside of a simulation of Universe A, running in Universe B?

            Variations of this argument are what destroy any attempt to “prove” empiricism wrong, or to “prove” the existence of God (as opposed to The Supreme Sysadmin, or a Sufficiently Advanced Alien), or “prove” a hotline to Absolute Truth (ok, just restating the first one), etc, etc, etc. Eventually you always slam into something Undecidable.

            Or put another way; you never escape Plato’s Cave, you just learn that the question is one that should not be allowed to destroy your life.

          2. A long time ago, when Newton thought he had it all figured out, said that if we just knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, we could predict the future with 100% accuracy.
            Then we realized that even the smallest error in even one of those partices results in huge differences later on.
            Any simulation has to start somewhere, with all its initial conditions.

      3. God made and controls creation to such a degree that we, his children, can make mathematical models that reliably predict how the creation will behave in the future. This in turn should give us great confidence that the Word of God is true and his love for us is certain.
        As a side note, I think the 1619 project was a year off: in 1620 a group of people made a public covenant with God. God keeps his covenants even when we do not and so “you sons of Jacob are not consumed” and “God watches over fools, drunks, and the United States of America.”
        Nonetheless, we should all confess our personal sins and our national sins, and beg the Lord to have mercy on us yet again and heal our land (2nd Chron 7:14). Only He can give us grace, mercy, and justice in perfect measure. He will do exactly that to us: it can be our comfort and hope, or our dread and terror…

        1. Actually, the Mayflower Compact explicitly said that they were going to “covenant and combine ourselves together in a civil body politic”, albeit ” in the presence of God, and one another”. It was humans covenanting with humans. Albeit with God acknowledged as a witness.

            1. Usually they involve _a_ god or gods, but I think you’ll find that the vast majority of Middle Eastern covenants were more about the power of a king over his conquests (if unilateral) or about making a family (if matrimonial or adoptive).

              Sorry to be all picky, but I have Scott Hahn’s academic book on historical Middle Eastern covenants and how they connect to Biblical covenants (obviously the important ones for us, but part of a genre used by God for His Own purposes.)

              Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God’s Promises by Scott W. Hahn is the book I mean. It’s pretty interesting.

              Anyhoo, it’s interesting that we think in terms of contract versus the ancient Middle Eastern “making family”.

              1. True, but this is not a middle eastern covenant that we’re talking about. We’re talking about early 1600s English, probably puritan, Christians. They would be thinking about a permanent relationship with God as part of it. Being witness to it was not a passive role: they were calling upon him to participate, ratify, and uphold the covenant as an active partner. Further, they would view it as being for his glory and binding on their descendants.

    4. Would not have to actually stop the rotation of the earth; just wobble the rotation a little and let the North pole point nearly at the sun for a day, then let it settle back again. Easily enough done with a planet with a molten core.

      G*d doesn’t have to act contrary to physics; he just has to plan far enough ahead to use physics to his purposes.

        1. We keep acting as though we understand things we don’t understand. We have proved we don’t know what 95% of the universe is made of. We know relativity and quantum are both true, yet they can’t be.

          Imagine taking your laptop back to 1950, and show them a touchscreen. Look how far we have come. Compared to God, we did nothing. This Dude “spoke” the universe into existence. Before space/time, was there time? What is time? If God wants to slip in a few minutes, hours, days, eons into the deck, who will dispute with Him? Stick the earth into a fold in space/time, who can oppose? “Your God is too small” is a familiar mistake. The amazing thing is that He cares for us. He cared about my getting wet in the cemetery, He loves us. That is the most amazing miracle, that the God who created the universe loves us, His creation.

          Just think, God has a reactionless drive He can use if needed from the evidence of Joshua.

          1. > We have proved we don’t know what 95% of the universe is made of. We know relativity and quantum are both true, yet they can’t be.

            And even 500 years ago, almost nobody would have cared, and the concept of spending serious money to investigate it would have been considered foolish or insane.

            Long ago, talking about those newfangled “personal computers” a friend commented, “There are two kinds of people. The ones who never wonder what goes on inside the box, and the ones who can’t stand not to know.”

            All of my friends are in that second category.

            1. 500 years ago, if you cared, it would have been beaten out of you for the obvious reason that you were wasting time and effort and so might well kill people by not doing your chores instead.

              Except for a small but non-zero fraction of the population. Which was enough for technological progress to reach the point where more than ninety percent of us were NOT needed on the farm instead of vice versa and it was feasible to not beat it out of us.

    5. Remember God has a wicked sense of humor. If you would like a miracle, just tell God that the thing he wants you to do is impossible because…X, you will find that X is provided in a subtle, yet obvious way. I speak from personal encounters of the weird kind. Even more important than requests, is the listening part of prayer. “You want me to do What?!”

      Regarding small requests to God. A simple personal example.
      When our kids were teenagers, mornings i would walk half a mile to the local cemetery to read the Bible and pray. Finishing praying one day, looked up and realized the clouds had come up, and rain threatened. Added prayer request. “It would be nice if you held off the rain, I forgot to bring an umbrella.” That is when I heard a very clear voice ask me a question. “Are you following me because I held off the rain? What are you going to do when I allow it to rain?” This was not me thinking. This was a clear voice from someone else, who seemed sure He could control wind and waves. Just what that question meant was answered within a month, when my youngest brother was diagnosed with the terminal cancer that killed him within a year. He did hold off the rain, but later the tears of sorrow fell as rain.

      Regarding miracles, and physical actions. The miracles are God’s design, not ours. Yet He seems to listen to our requests. My variation on the saying is this: Be careful what you pray for, your prayers will be answered. When we pray for patience, He likely will give us people to be patient with. God is not a vending machine.

      1. The way I heard prayer explained, it’s supposed to be a matter of trying to form yourself to His will.


        I don’t think there is an easy way to lose a brother.

      2. Sometimes, it isn’t even a formal request he answers. After losing a cat and a dog in a 6 month span, Mom said “No more pets” like always. I idly mused that if we did get another cat, it would need to be female and young, so Dr. Seuss would be more likely to get along with her, it would be nice if this one was willing to cuddle, which the older one and Dr. Seuss wouldn’t, and if it had some white that would be great, because i was tired of tripping over invisible cats in the middle of the night.

        A month later this extremely skinny stray shows up, trying to force her way into everyone’s house, sitting on the lap of anyone who sat outside, and who met Dr. Seuss and didn’t start fighting. Oh, and she was pure white. A few months, and 7 kittens later, we had two new cats, one pure white, and one black and white. Two for the price of one, and while it wasn’t a formal request, they gave and are giving us years of pleasure. But yes, He does have a sense of humour.

  11. I voted for Trump in 2016 on one issue – that Hillary, based on the publicly disclosed contents of her emails, was a national security felon. Having a satellite photo in unclassified emails with the markings stripped from them and not reporting it is a felony regardless of whether she had done the stripping and transferring (a cold place in hell is reserved for her minion who actually did that). I had no expectations of Trump and certainly did not expect that he would govern as a populist / conservative. I find myself in the ‘I’ll crawl over broken glass’ crowd to vote for him this year.

    1. I voted against Hillary because based on conversations with Blanche Dale, wife of the White House Travel Office manager, who worked for me at Andrews; I knew Hillary was 100% guilty of the frame up of Travelgate. The fact that the frame job was completely unnecessary, since Bill Dale could legally be fired at will, and the office privatized without needing any justification, meant that attacks on the Dale family were taken out of pure, evil spite. The stress was so bad that Blanche suffered a stroke from which she never fully recovered.

      1. Yep. Sheer vindictiveness. Mind you, she lost my vote forever when she dissed my mother with her, “baking cookies, ” remark.

        1. /grimace
          If I’m not already on the SS watch list, I’d certainly be there if I said what I really wanted to do to Hillary. (Heaven forbid I do anything WITH her!)

      2. It’s actually worse than that. The whole Travelgate cock-up was because the Clintons lacked the guts and honesty to come out and say, “The staff of the White House Travel Office serves at the pleasure of the President. We want our own people there. Yes, one could say ‘it has become traditional to leave those positions as they were when you arrive’, but the office of the President accumulates ‘traditions’ the way a ship’s hull accumulates barnacles; constantly, and to no good purpose.” The Clintons did something petty and mean, not because they are spiteful (although they are) but because they don’t consider ‘little people’ to be anything but tools, to be discarded ay whim.

        1. I’d not discount sheer nastiness and spite out of the Hildabeast. The tales of abusive behavior to WH staff lead me to suspect it was more than cowardice and lying. IMHO, those are more Bill’s tendencies while Hillary is more 190 proof evil.

          1. Word in Washington DC SF Fandom (Which includes a substantial number of people with Federal Law Enforcement connections) during those years was the the betting line was that if Hillary was ever attacked, her detail was likely to get our of the way, point at her, and shout, “There’s the bitch!”.

        2. Mind you, and cheap tools at that – like the ones in the dollar bin. Question is, would take know real quality if they saw it?

      3. Yeah, all the Clinton administration shenannigans put me off Hillary. And then, in her 2000 race for Senate, I was living in upstate NY. She said that any woman who didn’t vote for her was either stupid or oppressed by her husband. That sealed it for me!

    2. If this is true, I’m even more angry It explains some other things I saw in our supply chain (I spent 44 years at a not to be named major defense contractor) around the same time. I suspected foreign interference in some other acquisitions and informed some contracts in the government but nothing came of it. The Biden’s can rot in the same circle of Hell reserved for the Clintons.

  12. I’m probably the only one who remembers, but four years ago, when most commenters here were saying they were voting not for Trump but against the alternative and doing it reluctantly at that, I piped up and said I was voting FOR him. My reason was primarily judges, and he’s come through beyond my wildest expectations on that.

    However, he’s also shocked me in keeping every promise as best he can against unprecedented resistance, including from his own party. Imagine what he could have accomplished in the two years the GOP held the House without RINO resistance, without treachery in his own administration. I was used to politicians who might keep a single promise once elected. Two made one extraordinary. Trump can cite a list!

    However, back in 2016 all that was unknown, and I really believed the polls and experts who said Trump couldn’t win. This year I’ve been pessimistic again. That’s only lightened a little in the last couple of weeks. I will vote even though here in Colorado it seems an exercise in futility. Am still debating whether to drop off the mail-in ballot of make the effort to vote in person.

    I lived through the Carter years. No one who didn’t can imagine the mood of the ordinary person. I had friends talking about self-sufficiency farming. Reagan reversed this country’s decline and gave us 20 years or so. And I didn’t think we’d see his like again. If Trump wins another four years, I think he’ll end up having done better.

  13. I remember sitting in a training at my new job. During a break there was some discussion on the election and a Major said, “Whichever way you lean, you have to realize this vote is about the Supreme Court seat.” I remember thinking “Damn it, now I have to vote for Trump” because there was no way in HELL I was going to be happy with a Hillary court pick, or Garland. I was convinced Trump ran Republican because he thought it was easier and for the LOLs. He was probably my least favorite candidate. I remember hoping his remarks about McCain being captured meant he was a loser would torpedo him out of the race.

    I have not just been pleasantly surprised, I’ve been FLOORED. Trump has governed more conservatively than I could have hoped, than I think even Cruz would have. He just didn’t give any f***s about anyone, and knew he had to keep his base happy because the media and even his own party would never be happy.

    Then he did the unthinkable and took an easy issue that was a “liberal” issue, and made it his own with prison reform.

    He then did the impossible and moved the needle in the Middle East.

    And so I am shocked to be an enthusiastic Trump supporter. Due to the nature of my job (counselor) I keep a lid on it so it doesn’t interfere with my relationship with clients.

    All that said, even if he loses I’m happy. He changed the game, and he got 3 supreme court judges and a ton of Circuit and Appeals Court judges installed.

    1. If he loses, they’ll invalidate the constitution, pack the supreme court and bring on the terror.
      If he loses it’s the precipice.
      Not saying we give up. Well, I WON’T. But– this country will never be the same.
      And I’m stuck behind enemy lines.

        1. I showed that to some of my students. They were impressed. And the Voice From The Back Row [there’s always one, no matter how I try to work the seating chart!] called, “Great trailer! I want to see the movie!” SIGH.

      1. We’re ALL stuck behind the lines – because it’s a distributed resistance kickoff. The other side has the statehouse some places and not others, but as visualized back when the red-blue argument yielded the purple nation map, we’re pretty much intermixed.

        As as the folks who got sent to the place that used to be Yugoslavia, places with the most intermixed population got the worst s#!t.

        The thing is, all those other places, from way back when the Belgies were under the Kaiser’s jackboot, to all the non-German Europeans under the National Socialist jackboot, to the Philippines under the Japanese jackboot, to the Eastern Europeans under the Soviet jackboot, and even the places we screwed up like letting China fall to Mao or leaving the South Vietnamese to the tender mercies of Uncle Ho’s successors – they all either had the hope that American’s would come, or come back, or at worst allow them to come here.

        But we don’t have anyone to rescue us, and we have no place else to go.

        My contention is that means if it’s on, it’s to the knife to wrap things up here, and then I think it’s the Full Kratman “You thought that before was Imperial America? THIS is Imperial America!”

        And even after we get stupid internally, at least for a little bit, we’ll still have the technological and economic and demographic power to stomp the whole damn world if that’s all we work towards.

        But we don’t want to. That’s not the current us. We can do it, and doing so will change us possibly irreversibly, but it’s not what’s in our nature. We want to be explorers and settlers and inventors and homebodies, and get off my darn lawn you kids! and look I bought a new flying car, and I’m retiring to the lunar colony to take advantage of 1/6 gee.

        So if we go there, we won’t be able to turn and come back – it will be different, and really scary, and delay the important stuff while we run amok.

        I prefer to not. And right now that path looks like DJT – if he’s the DH for the big guy in this time to try and get us past that cliff – well, OK then. Fools and the United States of AMerica, sets not necessarily exclusive.

        1. Good points.

          I have to wryly add my observation that if one already has enough physiological difficulties staying alive under normal stress, “war to the knife” doesn’t seem as frightening as it probably should be.

        1. I fully expect those who are reluctant to completely cave in the face of the SJW mob. They fold every time, and since their majority leader is the one who has already said he will push for it, they won’t buck leadership either.

    2. Scalia’s replacement is one of the reasons why I was willing to hold my nose and vote for Trump. There were other reasons. But that was a big one. Hillary Clinton could not be permitted to pick the next Supreme Court Justice. And I think it’s perhaps telling that one of the things that Trump has done an *amazing* job on (and McConnell has been full-bore on assisting with) is filling up all of the empty judicial seats. The funny thing is that those on the Left who have noticed are complaining about it. But it wasn’t as if these seats couldn’t have been filled before Trump arrived. Obama could have filled them. Dubya could have filled them Even Clinton could have filled some of them (though some of his hypothetical appointees would be on the way out). But none of them did. Trump focused laser-like attention on something that is absolutely critical to our nation.

      And the Dems have no one to blame but themselves for what’s happening (after all, Reid is the one who invoked the “nuclear option”).

      1. Ah yes, their Newspeak version of “court packing” — taking the opportunity to fill vacancies. *eyerolls*

      2. They are also the ones who forced the filibuster being discarded for Supreme Court nominees due to their shameful treatment of Kavanaugh. The reason that Barrett can be pushed through now is that people already saw the malicious “by any means” effort by Democrats to stop Kavanaugh’s appointment and know that all of the objections by Democrats are more of the same. Had the Democrats acted reasonably back then, and not gone scorched earth, the filibuster would still be in place, and eliminating the filibuster so close to an election to get a Supreme Court nominee through would have been untenable and an utter disaster. Instead, the filibuster is already gone and the Democrat’s obstruction is simply seen as “more of the same”.

        1. Yeah. Some ripe observations on that:

          Senator Schumer’s Sour Grapes
          The Washington Post reports that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) forced the Senate into a brief (and rare) closed session in a last ditch effort to convince Republicans not to proceed with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. From the Post:

          “The Republican majority is on the precipice of making a colossal and historic mistake,” Schumer said. “The damage it does to this chamber will be irrevocable.”

          Schumer painted a party of hypocrisy that had no qualms holding up the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016 and yet is rushing through the confirmation of Barrett just over a week before an election in which tens of millions of Americans have already voted.

          To Republicans, Schumer said, “You don’t have the right to argue consistency when you’re doing what you’re doing now.”

          “The majority has trampled over norms, rules, standards, honor, values, any of them that could possibly stand in its monomaniacal pursuit to put someone on the court who will take away the rights of so many Americans,” Schumer said.

          This is all a bit rich coming from Senator Schumer. Let’s consider some history. Prior to his arrival in the Senate, senators were generally reluctant to openly oppose judicial nominees on ideological grounds, but Schumer worked to change that. He enthusiastically supported a blockade of Bush appellate nominees and rejected President Bush’s appeal for a presumptive confirmation schedule.

          Once Republicans retook the Senate, Schumer pushed for the repeated filibusters of President Bush’s nominees and, even after the “Gang of 14” deal, continued in his attempts to use this obstructionist tactic.

          Schumer led an unsuccessful effort to filibuster confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Afterwards, in a 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society, he proclaimed he should have done even more to block Alito’s confirmation, and argued that the Senate should not confirm any additional Bush nominees to the Supreme Court should any more vacancies arise. In his view, senators should seek to prevent judicial confirmations that might tilt the balance of the Court in a way they do not like, including by simply refusing to confirm them – something he would conveniently forget in 2016.

          Senator Schumer did not think both parties should have recourse to the same tools of obstruction, however. When Senate Republicans started filibustering some of President Obama’s appellate nominees he eagerly joined then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to go nuclear, even though Republicans had (at that point) not blocked any more Obama nominees than Democrats had blocked Bush nominees (five each). No matter. The filibuster was gone, and three of Obama’s five blocked nominees were confirmed (all to the D.C. Circuit).

          During the closed session, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) rebuked Schumer for his short memory: “I hope our colleague from New York is happy with what he has built. I hope he is happy with where his ingenuity has gotten the Senate.” There is no question that McConnell upped the ante over the past four years. One might say he hit back twice as hard. Nonetheless, if Schumer is unhappy, he should consider his role in getting the Senate to this point.

          See original for embedded links.

          1. Also worth remembering is that getting rid of the filibuster for judicial nominees was originally McConnell’s idea… but he let himself be talked out of it. And the primary argument against getting rid of the filibuster was that one day the Republicans would find themselves in THE EXACT situation that the Democrats currently find themselves in.

            Schumer can’t say that he didn’t have full warning.

  14. And who, bizarrely, tried to impersonate conservatives by saying the things the media tells them we believe.

    One of my problems with Trump is that’s what he sounded like. Not a Conservative, but someone mouthing what the media says conservatives believe. I really thought he was a leftist, just pretending who would go full leftist as soon as he actually gained office.

    And, I’m not so sure I was wrong. However, well, back in the mid 80’s there was a superhero roll playing game I played, “Champions.” One of the supplements was a collection of characters to use as villians and NPC supers in the game. And one of those was one they called “Dark Angel”, a Romanian spy working as a mole in the US who was so effective at her cover that a different branch of their intelligence agency thought she really was a defector and had her assassinated (so, she was a vengeful ghost basically). I think that’s what happened with the Left and Trump. They went full TDS driving him into the opposite camp.

    1. I’m of the opinion that Trump was, and is, mostly a very pragmatic centrist. However, a true centrist is so far to the right of where the Left is that he’s ultra right to them; and that he’s practically to the right of where the Right themselves currently are.

    2. He did Hillary’s hammering on the Birth Cert, and then after, she gave him her typical support she gives someone who she thinks failed her, then 0bama insulted him at the press dinner while she cackled away about it.
      I do believe he decided then to reverse everything the two did.

      1. Hillary is like the scorpion in the fable. She can’t help but backstab people who benefit her; it’s in her basic nature. The really sad thing is, everyone of them are like someone marrying a know abuser. They never think it will happen to them.

      2. Trump publicly talked about running in 2012, but then stated that he’d decided Romney was a suitable candidate.

        He actually did try and run on the Reform ticket in 2000 (I think), but that didn’t go anywhere. There are conflicting stories about what happened.

        1. He tossed it out from time to time as his ego made him feel certain no matter who was in office, he could do a better job. Turns out so far, for the most part, he’s been right. But he really was not bound and determined until the Press Dinner, and his vengeance drive is what I think made him look at how best to do what he wanted done.

          1. It turns out “doing a better job than whoever’s in office” is not that difficult.

            It mostly involves not taking advice from the people responsible for the status quo (aka, the mess we’re in.)

    3. I don’t think so. I urge you to consider Melania.
      When I married Dan he was a liberal. But when you have certain experiences growing up and talk about them, your spouse will change.
      Yes, it’s entirely possible he was trying to APPEAL to cartoon conservatives because that’s what he thought we were. But I think his beliefs are what he’s been acting on.

      1. > When I married Dan he was a liberal.

        I can’t think of anyone who went from conservative to liberal when they grew up.

        1. I can think of a few who went from conservative to liberal … but not as a consequence of growing up. More a matter of throwing a snit: David Brock, who went from being a character assassin on the Right to one on the Left (where the real money proved to *Media Matters* be), John Kasich, Jeff Flake, Anne Applebaum, David Frum … the Lincoln Projectors.

          In most cases it seems to be sour grapesing, a willingness to be used by Lefties to pay back Righties who didn’t love them.

          1. Maybe in public pronouncements, but Flake and Kasich, for example, were always in any point of specific detail not conservative, which is why they were acceptable to and promoted by the media complex as “reasonable conservatives” nominally on the right but not actually espousing and positions not leftward.

            I am sure they maintain the Right left them, but the truth is they were measurably over that center point onto the leftish side of every issue the whole time, they were just in the closet and denying where they sat on the political spectrum.

            As to cruise boy: He and others of that ilk were the exotic pets that the left power base trotted out to perform their odd rightish tricks on command, then meekly accept yet another defeat at the vote. This is why they reacted so violently starting in the 1990s with Newt Gingrich and then more so with the Tea Party movement – they were really only ever in it for the canapes and free drinks at those Georgetown cocktail parties, and actually winning would upset the canape cart.

      2. Conversation earlier today. I believe he is utterly sincere in having convincing people as one of his major drives, joys, and abilities.

        I think that ‘I have the best words’ is for him an honest summary of the fruit of his efforts to connect to those the Democrats have left behind. I think he takes pride in those efforts.

        I think he is truly offended at how they simply automatically lie about him, claiming that sound word choices mean that he is secretly a racist sexist who will put all the Jews, women and homosexuals into the death camps.

        I may be super gullible, but that felt sincere to me.

        I think there may be Democrats that he would not so strongly oppose; perhaps a Tulsi Gabbard.

        1. I have gay friends who really believe Trump and the Republicans will send them to the camps if they win. They KNOW it. The fact it hasn’t happened yet seems to be only because the Democrats and the other Forces of Good have managed to hold them off.

          These are intelligent people. And they believe this with every fiber of their being. *Sigh.*

          1. I had a colleague come into my office after 2016 election to ask me in all sincerity what I thought was going to happen now because she said she “was truly frightened.” I’m so mean…I just couldn’t help myself…I said “Oh, don’t worry. You’ll find that the camps are really comfortable.” It was soooo worth it. She is actually very intelligent and I think I managed to do a verbal version of slapping a hysterical person. But she still has a very bad case of TDS.

          2. Yep, i know several too, and when asked what anti-LGBTWTFBBQ Trump has ever said, they usually end up quoting Richard Spenser or some other alt-right boogeyman. (i won’t call them far right because they’re not.)

          3. There’s a difference between intelligent and smart. All the IQ points in the world aren’t going to do you any good if you don’t put in the effort to actually think.

          4. Gee, I’m so old I can remember when being campy was a gay thing.

            You can’t be gay without testicles; tell them to grow a pair.

        2. Just remember the Hillary/Democratic Party smear machine smeared Gabbard as being a “Russian asset”, i.e. being an agent of Russia, during the primaries, the same way they have spent four years smearing Trump.

          1. It’s a conditioned reflex to any opponent, or inconvenient evidence. Russian Asset! Russian Disinformation!! Russian Propaganda!!! REEEEEE!!!!

            Never heard of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, have they?

            1. Never heard of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, have they?

              Heck. I’ve gotten to the point where it is “Project much? I know who the Russian assets are. They are screaming it from the rooftops daily (well House Floor anyway), and fancy a (D) after their names. Just saying. YMMV

              1. Remember when Obama outsourced to Russia dealing, meaning not dealing, with Syria’s chemical weapons?

                Biden of course is one the Democrats who blames all the problems in the Middle East on Israel.

          2. I think Sarah intro’d a link on her late-night gig on Insty recently with “They project like IMAX”: If their current sugar daddy is Beijing, then DJT simply MUST be getting help from somewhere, and Xi swore to Hunter that it’s not them pulling his strings when they were having a sauna together, and they know that they are not getting any money through their old KGB funding channels anymore, so it must be Putin playing the other side.

            The thought that he would not take their money or their aid does not occur to them – kinda Dunning-Krueger except self assessment of being a traitor rather than being an idiot.

            1. They’re the Good Guys, so their enemies must be FAR worse than them…

              They got their money from corruption and can’t imagine any other way to get money?

    4. Trump’s talk about how everything he was going to do would be the greatest, and the biggest, and the most incredible, sounded like something you’d expect a lefty to say when they were talking about all of the things they were going to do for you.

      Fortunately, he hasn’t gone that way.

    5. That’s like the “Trump is a Russian asset” whackos.

      It he’s working for the Russians, his cover is so good, would it even matter?

  15. A recent poll shows 56% see themselves as better off than they were 4 years ago. Swing states such as Wisconsin no longer have more than 200% tariffs on their dairy products sold to Canada. Pennsylvania is faced with choosing between a candidate who promises to put 10% of them out of work and leaving them to pray in the dark to the sun and wind gods. The poor no longer have to compete with illegal aliens. 3 Middle Eastern countries have normalized relations with Israel, and Serbia and Kosovo have normalized commercial relations with each other. North Korea hasn’t launched a missile in over a year. Meanwhile we are withdrawing troops from abroad while our influence is growing. China’s hopes rest on November 3 although they may make a desperate move when they see their window of opportunity closing. My 401-K has gained 30% this year. Anti-free-enterprisers are rioting like 1968 turned out so well for them. Mr. T announces he’ll show up at some airport in a few hours, and people jam the streets while Uncle Joe stencils circles on the floor to presage the confinement he intends to impose on the populace once he takes power.

    And yet, I worry. What a tribute to the news and social media that they can make you doubt your lying eyes.

  16. Trump is many things, but three things are key.

    1) He is an unapologetic Patriot, that loves America. He acts on this with passion and reason.

    2) He is a winner, playing to win, fighting to win, striving to win, doing everything to win.

    3) He is a system gamer, finding ways to use the system rules to achieve objectives, not smashing it or cheating.

    The resultant synergy is devastatingly effective in the here and now. The opposition keeps making the mistake of acting as if he was just another swampie. Thus, he is likely to (obscene metaphor deleted) again.

    Ahem. My prior service has permanently ruined my language.

    I hope he sees his successor as a key to continued winning the game for America. He has demonstrated that Victory of the American Way is there for us to seize, if we want it.

    1. No, your prior service means you’ve earned the right to talk to people in the common, down-to-Earth vernacular. Only snowflakes and ivory tower elitists complain about speaking in vulgate. (Until you manage to royally piss them off and then they prove they’re just as able to swear like a sailor as you are, except they have less imagination for it.)

    2. How is your language ruined? Unfortunately I never could serve, but I understand everything you say … O_o

  17. I realized some time ago that though I believed, I behaved in daily life as if I didn’t.

    A struggle I understand, a dichotomy that has kept me from church too many times the past few years.

    And another Jordan Petersonism showing up. What is it with that guy? Two long quotes of his are driving my Monday blog when I get back to blogging.

      1. A common JP statement us people show what they belief by what they do, not what they say.

        If asked if he believes in God his stock answer is he lives like he does.

    1. They believe one word can be used as a noun, a verb and a gerund, sometimes in the same sentence.
      Aimed at Mike. @#$! Word Press.

      1. My husband likes a story he picked up about Francis of Assissi. Some people came to visit him after he had founded the Franciscan Order and found him working in the communal garden. For some reason, the question they asked him was, “If you knew Christ was coming back today, what would you do?” Francis replied, “Continie to work in the garden.”

  18. Partly because, surely G-d could have chosen someone more accomplished?

    Sure, He could have. He could have used someone who was completely inoffensive to conservative sentiments.

    And then conservatives would have puffed themselves up and said “Yes, we through our own efforts have finally won the culture war and are pulling the United States back from the brink of destruction.”

    And not one of them would have glorified God for His mercy on us.

    1. Actually, I don’t think anybody who didn’t offend some of the ‘conservatives’ could have done what has needed to be done. Too many of those same ‘conservatives’ are afraid to say boo to a Leftist goose.

      Beyond anything else the country needed somebody who clearly WASN’T ‘Washington business as usual’. Somebody to put heart into the working stiffs who are now telling the Elite to go piss up a rope.

      1. Remember, Gingrich was derided as a “bomb thrower” back when he was just another House Republican. For that matter, I’m so old I remember when Ronald Reagan was a dangerous radical.

        Too many conservatives take the wrong definition of that term from their dictionaries.

        1. And the midterm elections of 1994 were described as a “temper tantrum” by angry voters.

          1. As were the 2010 midterms. Of course Obama and the Democratic Party media were utterly delusional as they claimed the complete annihilation they suffered in the House and at state level as being an approval of Obama’s policies.

        2. Now they just change the dictionaries.

          “Mr. Orwell to the courtesy phone, Mr. George Orwell…”

      2. Given that simply *fighting back* appears to have been offensive to some of the “conservatives”, I think it’s safe to say that you’re right. I understand the mentality that generates such thinking. But it’s pretty much been null and void since the Democrats borked Justice Bork’s nomination back in the ’80s. And the fact that people at least subconsciously understand that it was a slanderous hit job (even if they won’t consciously admit it) is, I think, proven by the fact that Bork’s ordeal was almost immediately turned into a slang word.

        The Republicans didn’t immediately ramp things up, and the Democrats had numerous opportunities to dial it down. They didn’t. Someone with Trump’s attitude is the inevitable result of that attitude by the Democrats. And they should be grateful that it took this long.

          1. The class of Professional Conservatives, always previously always reinvited to the Sunday Morning shows and all the right cocktail parties in Georgetown to go on and on about silly things like balanced budgets and originalist court rulings, but eternally in the minority so all they could really be expected to accomplish was to fundraise and sell cruises with themselves as guest speakers, were offended when Reagan won the White House with an appeal to populism, then offended again when Newt won the House using an appeal to populism, moved to disdain when the populist Tea Party did not bend over for the Sotoero administrations many offenses like a good eternal minority opposition party should, and finally sent into perpetual pearl clutching couch fainting paroxysms when Trump beat the Dowager Empress using direct appeal to populist vulgarities like plebeian Patriotism and (shudder) putting America’s interests first. After all, as members f the Washington Elite they could not accommodate winning power through appeals to base and simple concepts like America First – what woudl the Europeans think?

            There were certainly exceptions both elected and in the commentariat, and then there were opportunists who didn’t really believe in anything like conservative principles but played their part and said their lines to look like True Conservatives. These would otherwise have been openly on the other side if they could have gained election that way, so being in the eternal minority in Congress just meant the were the ones continually “reaching across the aisle” (looking at your ghost, McCain), but in all respects the elite mostly wanted to Keep Things The Same – they cold keep feeding from the great DC canapé tray.

            I think in the end they decided conservatism was “keep things the same” as to their own personal circumstances, so they oppose any change, even one that actually advances their “principles”, because change is disruptive to them personally.

      3. And clearly, what needs to be done is to undo the Gramscian Long March, the work of decades.Trump has made a good in-road into the judiciary and other areas. Sarah is working on the culture and on education.Let us all pick up an oar and start rowing: It’s a long haul.

  19. Trump wasn’t the one I wanted to win the nomination, but once he did, our only hope was to spin the Wheel of Trump and pray that we got lucky, because Never Hillary. We got _very_ lucky. Depending on just how deep and dragging the swamp has been at his heels, we may have genuinely hit the jackpot.

    Jesus preached to the rabbis, but ultimately he chose fishermen to be his apostles. I’m sure they were honest men, but I doubt they were plaster saints who never cussed. Until the game is over and faith is replaced is replaced by knowledge of whatever Truth may be, the men and women called to be the instruments of the Almighty must be willing to act. We cannot spare this man, he fights.

    For the LDS among the Hoytan, I’m reminded of Joseph Smith’s self-description:

    “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty, who will give me dominion over all and every one of them, when their refuge of lies shall fail, and their hiding place shall be destroyed, while these smooth-polished stones with which I come in contact become marred.”


  20. Going over a precipice is BAD. That is why Blofeld was trying to have his people force Bond to (and over) the precipice during the night ski chase in OHMSS:

    Like Mr. Bond, we do not want to go over that precipice. The Blofelds, i.e. the Democrats/leftists, want us to go over as quickly as possible.

    1. I saw that the response to cancellation letters was something like “Oh, you don’t like democracy?” I don’t want the company to merely go broke. I want it to go broke, die in a fire, and the ground salted. I don’t really care where the CEO is when the fire starts, though I’m sure the FIB could find charges if they actually looked.

  21. My long-term worry is “What comes after Trump, after 2024?” My optimistic side looks at the 2020 GOP convention, with the Old Guard GOPe (Romney, Bush et al) being absent, and the tone being Tea Party-ish with some seasoning & experience.

    1. At the mayoral level, maybe also gubernatorial, Republicans are too friendly with the Chinese.

      If you can’t make sure your next mayor is not opposed enough to China that they won’t roll for the next Covid scam, you need to consider moving.

      Can’t expect good things in 2024 with the presidency, if you aren’t working on your city, county, state executive and legislative, and maybe even federal representatives to go up against China.

      Okay, yeah, PRC. Political, not ethnic. Pray that the current regime will leave without a bunch of disaster induced Chinese deaths, or without us needing to kill them all. Because three gorges going, or the other, would be sad.

      1. We have no idea what’s going to happen to China in the next four years. There’s a sense that the PRC is not as strong as it looks. The question is how long it can continue on as it has. And President Trump’s trade war has definitely made it more difficult for the PRC.

        1. Thing is, that unease has contributed to decades worth of refugees from a very large population.

          An overthrow or collapse of the PRC is going to add in scumbag bureaucrat refugees. Consider that a billion persons worth of cultural differences is not a trivial problem.

          Look at some of the stuff out about the Skanska barge bridge problem in Florida. Say, at cross over queen’s. Consider the hypothetical of a Skanska that has been bought by folks from the PRC. If for reasons of associated business culture, it could not be trusted to fulfill a contract, what recourse would other parties have?

          There are interesting potential issues wrt disparate impact and racism laws.

          One school of thought is that Anti-PRC politics could compromise the operating position of organizations wrt to litigation.

          Another is that one should probably get going in advance of the lawfare.

          1. Bureaucrats in a system like China’s – or our Federal government – tend to go down with the ship. They tend to get complacent about the state of things, and miss the clear warning signs shrieking, “Danger! Danger!”

            There’s also a long-standing assumption in Chinese culture that the government may change, but the bureaucracy is forever. It’s expected that outsiders will invade, replace the government, and then become Chinese over the decades they spend in power because they need the Chinese bureaucracy to actually run the place (according to Kissinger, one of the reasons why the Europeans were such a problem for the Chinese is because for the first time, the Chinese encountered cultures that were willing to go to war to get things from China, but had absolutely NO INTEREST in running the country, and thus couldn’t be corrupted by the bureaucracy; the Europeans would arrive, beat the Chinese in battle, and then NOT try and take the throne). The ministers at the top of the pile may change. But Chinese culture teaches that the third secretary of the department of housing construction is going to survive any regime changes. The bureaucrats are the least likely group to become refugees.

            1. They already have lawfare experts working in the United States, and the families of the wealthy bureaucrats have hidey holes salted away in the US.

              If the Chinese run the communists out of town on a rail, and we don’t, the PRC assets stationed in the US are not just going to decide to go back to China and leave us alone.

              1. Most of the people that you refer to as “wealthy bureaucrats” almost certainly aren’t. They’re more than likely the oligarchs of China’s more important families.

                Or in other words, they’re China’s version of our “elites”. I think we’re currently getting plenty of practice dealing with them by dealing with our own equivalent right now.

          2. All we have to say is “Be refugees if you want. You won’t do it here.”

            The US has spent far too long being the world’s safety valve. Stop allowing other people’s potential revolutionaries to flee here when things get tough in the homeland, and you increase the likelihood that the homeland will cease to be a problem for the US.

            On account of them being too busy with their disaffected populace.

    2. Pence/Crenshaw, Cruz/Noem, Walker/Haley, etc. Mix and match, substitutions welcomed. We’ll be spoiled for choice in ’24 and every single one of them will be able to run on “the policies you love without the tweets you don’t” and still have master showman Trump filling arenas for them.

      The Democrats have given up on arguing the issues, all they have is “Orange Man Bad” which is somewhat less effective when there is no Orange Man. Maybe by 2032 the Democrats will have found someone who can appeal to Americans, but they won’t have a “no new taxes” blunder to run against or the kind of media control to turn a market correction into the worst economy since the Great Depression.

  22. “I feel betrayed … by what those institutions have become.” Most of the media. Most of the academy. Most of the corporate world. Most of supposed church leaders. The FBI. The CIA. The Democrat Party. Frankly, the overwhelming majority of Western institutions.

    There is a fight coming between patriots and those who have betrayed us. Given the scope of betrayal, it will not, it can not, be pretty or pleasant. Gird your loins. And keep praying.

    The best near-term outcome is an overwhelming victory on November 3. But even that only gives us some time to fight the monster – and what a fight it will be.

    If the left manages to pack the Supreme Court, that’s the end of this republic. The constitution will be gone, the revolution complete. Not to say that we don’t fight for a restoration of freedom – but that is an entirely different battle, a new insurrection against an illegitimate regime.

    Trump loves the USA. Read or watch his old old speeches. He is still saying the same things today. We need to be genuinely thankful for 2016 and the last four years. I think God desires our praise and thanks – and is more likely to hear the prayers of thankful people, of people who appreciate what he has already done.

    God have mercy on us and on these United States.

  23. we are…. well…. great (or pretty darn good) apes.

    I am quite willing to acknowledge that, so far as apes are concerned, y’all are the best of a bad lot. It is not your species fault that you are not wallabies, dragons or even bull-headed.

    1. Ah, but there’s only three kinds of people in the world:

      The Irish.

      Those who wish they were Irish.


      The Saxons. *spit*

            1. I consider myself American with Israeli sympathies. If Trump were any better he’d be a Mary Sue.

            2. I have a Punnett square.

              Catholic Irish. Catholic Irish turned Protestant. Protestant Germans turned Catholic. Catholic Germans.
              Scots Irish Protestants.
              Everybody else in the freaking world.

              1. I have at least one set of relatives where a Catholic married a Protestant and both families disowned. Farther back on the other side there’s a Quaker who got thrown out because he took an oath of office to become Sheriff in the area. A Cherokee who married a white man to scram from the area before the Removal. And… well, who knows what was concealed under the name Smith.

                American mutt. *G*

                1. One of my ancestors was the bastard of a Calvinist, and got disowned because he moved to Quebec and became Catholic to marry.

          1. *Snrk* Yep, my ancestry broke that too.

            …Seriously, one pair of my grandparents could not have been considered legally married in their home state of Georgia until the 1960s. At which point their child was, I think, already partway through college.

            (They got married on a Florida AFB at the end of WWII. I suspect the base chaplain was exhibiting a very early version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”)

  24. Bush’s own daughter says Bush and Clinton are ‘like brothers.’

    You mean like Cain and Abel? Like Romulus and Remus? I’ve got two* brothers, one older, one younger, and so far as politics is concerned I am not of the same family as they.

    But if either needed a bone marrow transplant … well, I’m too old, as I understand the rules, but that is the only known impediment.

    *I’ve also got a sister whose politics differ from my own (although of the four of us I think it would be agreed my political philosophy is closest to our parents’) and she, like our brothers, is welcome to any body parts that can be safely transplanted.

  25. C.S. Lewis reminded us that people are eternal–in heaven or in hell. Political parties, nations, even continents are temporary things. What will become of that girl who thinks “gender-fluid” will be the way to live, or that man who scares his children when he gets drunk, or the man who is tying the meaning of his life to a political banner manipulated by cynical frauds?
    I need to keep focussed on the people nearby. That’s not always my default–sometimes I get deep into abstractions.

    I worried about Trump. I’d not heard that he had any deep convictions. But one bio said he generally did very well for the first few years in a new position, until he decided he knew it all.

    On the other hand he made the right enemies.

    If you want to know what’s going on, you don’t listen to the magician’s patter, you watch his hands. I don’t listen to Trump (I didn’t listen to Obama either), but I try to keep track of what he, and others around him, have done. There are some things I object to (he doesn’t take the debt seriously, but then neither does anybody else), but on the whole he’s done well. His opponents have typically done little but lie.

  26. … the trained seals in our press, paid by them, applaud in unison.

    That analogy is offensive as there are things a seal, even a trained one, will not applaud.

  27. But [Trump]’s not. He’s just right on the main struggle of our times.

    We all swim ‘cross the River of Life, pushed by the currents and turned ’bout by the eddies. Keeping our bearings is hard even in placid waters.

    From last weekend’s Wall Street Journal, an excerpt* of an interview

    An Ex-Liberal Reluctantly Supports Trump
    How historian Fred Siegel came to appreciate the president’s defense of ‘bourgeois values’ against the ‘clerisy.’

    Donald Trump can count at least one new supporter in this year’s election. “I had a close friend who’d been a business partner of Trump in the ’90s,” the critic and historian Fred Siegel tells me. “Trump ripped off a quarter of a million dollars from him. He told me this when we were discussing the election” four years ago. “Trump just said, ‘So, take me to court.’ I couldn’t vote for him.” Mr. Siegel couldn’t abide Hillary Clinton either, so he “slept through” the 2016 election. Next month he’ll be wide awake—though not woke—and will vote for Mr. Trump.

    Joe Biden needn’t worry too much, perhaps. Mr. Siegel, 75, has only twice backed a winning presidential candidate since he reached voting age. But while he’s no bellwether, he does make an energetic case for the incumbent.

    Mr. Siegel, a professor emeritus at New York’s Cooper Union and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, says he overcame his distaste for Mr. Trump for three reasons. First, foreign policy: “Crushing ISIS, pulling us out of the Iran nuclear deal, moving our embassy to Jerusalem, and making fools of those people who insist that the Palestinian issue is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Second, by his “ability to withstand a prolonged coup attempt by the Democrats and the media,” which started with the Steele dossier: “If I’m saying what I find impressive about Trump, it’s that he’s survived. He has an extraordinary amount of arrogance, egotism, and self-confidence.”

    Mr. Siegel’s third reason goes to the heart of his own political philosophy. He sees the president as a champion of “bourgeois values,” under threat from the “clerisy,” Mr. Siegel’s word for the dominant elites who “despise” those values. He regards Mr. Biden as a “captive” of this clerisy, and running mate Kamala Harris as the “embodiment of it.”

    “I don’t want to see her as president,” Mr. Siegel says of Sen. Harris. “I don’t want a San Francisco Democrat who’s likely to impose elements of the Green New Deal, which she sponsored but lied about sponsoring on television. If Biden wins, she will be president in short order. I don’t know how long Biden will last.”

    In Mr. Siegel’s view, “hard work, faith, family and autonomy” have enabled America to thrive, and Mr. Trump stands for these values, even if he doesn’t always exemplify them. “The elite is largely detached from the middle class,” Mr. Siegel says. “The two major sources of wealth in the last 20 years have been finance and Silicon Valley. Neither of them has much connection to middle-class America, or Middle America.” Mr. Trump is “in favor of manufacturing jobs, which are often middle-class.” The president also “recognizes the ways in which China is a threat to the survival of middle-class life in America, directly and indirectly.”

    Mr. Siegel takes heart from Mr. Trump’s hostility to political correctness. “Wokeness is a force that undermines the middle class,” he says, “and you couldn’t have had wokeness without an elite contempt for the values of the middle class.” Middle Americans see political correctness “as a threat to the democratic republic they grew up in, where people could speak their mind.” I ask Mr. Siegel to define political correctness: “The inability to speak the truth about the obvious.” …

    *No link because they’ve a paywall. But pick a distinct phrase, searchengine it, and perhaps you’ll turn up the full text.

    1. > If Biden wins, she will be president in short order. I don’t know how long Biden will last.”
      My best guesstimate is two years and one day.
      Gives the Kamaleon a possible 12 years in office.

          1. I didn’t forget. Komodo could theoretically be officially in office for ten years. The Biden regency (?) I suspect would be a toss-up as to who is actually pulling the strings, so I didn’t include it. Indeed, once Special K ascends to the throne, it would be interesting to ascertain who is pulling *her* strings – she certainly didn’t attain the Veep slot on her own merits.

    2. “The two major sources of wealth in the last 20 years have been finance and Silicon Valley.”

      Both are, at best, only second-order sources of productivity. In their place, they can be very useful, but only to help people do the other things that make the wealth.

      1. Far too many economists do not understand the difference between Price, Cost and Value.

        Finance does not create Value, because just shuffling money around does not produce anything. Big Finance merely concentrates money into an irresistible target for corruption and embezzlement. As we have seen.
        If you laid all the economists end to end, they would all point in different directions.

      2. True – but who tends to make the big bucks off a gold rush?

        Whether it is a mother lode or just a pocket, the people selling picks, pans, pants and potato liquor tend to make out.

  28. I realized sometime ago, that though I believed, I behaved in daily life as if I didn’t.

    Interesting line this. I’m almost the exact opposite. Not a believer in the gods I “worship”, but it does fulfill a need. I figure if the gods do exist, they’ll understand.

    1. Why would you assume that (their understanding, that is). I’ve heard of people who say this, but never met one who did.

      Unless it violates the “no religious discourse” rule, I’d appreciate your input.

      1. The gods I worship (if they exist) don’t care what you believe. They care what you do. Live honorably. Be courageous. Show hospitality to others. Be industrious and self-reliant. Never set on your road a step without your weapons of war for uncertain is the knowing of when you will need a spear (the primary weapon back when that was written–say “firearm” today) on the way without.

        1. There’s also that quote, oft misattributed to Marcus Aurelious that applies, I think:

          Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just they will not care how pious you have been but will welcome you for your virtuous deeds. If there are gods and they are unjust, then you will not wish to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but you will have lived a noble life and will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

  29. Thalia is the proper muse to invoke for a novel of the Boog.

    Because Commie Die.

    In the Boogening there were the words, and the words were the best words.

      1. Thank you.

        Doubt I will follow through. No desire to write a boog novel.

        The above comment wasn’t me going doomer either.

        I’ve been wrestling the black dog on this for a couple years, and the only cute idea spawned by even the worst of it was an isekai. I’ve read enough of the near future civil war stories to know what I’ve have to match or exceed, and not anywhere near enough to get inspired enough to try my hand anyway.

        I’m intellectually fairly sure I don’t need to be preparing for the worst.

        Today has been a little difficult. I physically have trouble letting go of stress and excitement. (Or something; my summary skills now are weak.) Enough stuff lined up that doing the usual self care was a challenge. Seems to be working now, but I’m behind schedule a wee bit.

        At least I’m better than this time 2016, probably.

  30. I figure God is like a good pool player who likes a challenge. So He invites us to join Him in an adventure. That is the most amazing of the 600 paradoxes. God needs us, and God does not need us, are both 100% true, at the same time. Predestination and free will, both 100% true.

    God not only plays dice with the universe, He plays with loaded dice. The universe is designed for life, yet 99.99999999999999999999999999999% of the universe is lethal to life. We could well be the only place where matter has become aware of itself, and aware enough of God, to doubt His existence. We keep learning new ways the universe can kill us.

    I love the book of Judges. It is full of flawed people God sends to do impossible things. We are impressed with credentials, God isn’t. When God sent Samuel to anoint the next king, David was not there. His father didn’t include him. David was flawed. He is described as having a heart for God, but was a bad father, a murderer, unfaithful. Yet this is who God chose. Each of us is here for a purpose, but it requires we learn how to hear God. That is particularly hard for men. Just ask their wives how well they listen.

    I see President Trump as a smarter Samson. I just hope he doesn’t have to pull down the temple. We live in dangerous times. When have we not? May 27, 1942, a battle looms at Midway. Two American carriers sail out from Pearl to confront the Japanese. The Yorktown limps in with damage that should take 90 days to repair. Are we better off today? The danger is real, but despair is a sin, (to quote J.P).

    1. “The crews of Hiryu, Soryu, Kaga, and Akagi were unavailable for comment about the American atrocities.”
      – – CNN, if the battle of Midway happened under POTUS DJTrump.

      I remember a Tom Clancy novel (Debt of Honor) where CNN was portrayed as patriotic under a conservative-ish president. How things change.

      1. Midway, hell, they’d blame Pearl Harbor on Trump. They’d blame the Rape Of Nanking and the Nazi invasion of Poland on Trump somehow.

        They’d blame Trump for shit the last President did. Like they’re doing now.

        Hell, they blame all white people for shit that happened before we were BORN!

        1. The rhetoric coming from Democrats and the left is scarily similar to what the Nazi’s were saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s before they took power and were able to act on it. There should be no doubt that they mean what they say and will act on what they say if given the opportunity and the belief they can get away with it.

    2. My resolution of predestination and free will is that God experiences all time at once, so He can know what, to us, is the future, but not violate free will by interacting, despite knowing the consequences.

      1. Exactly. Here’s a simple analogy: suppose we find a time machine, travel ahead a bit to see the finals at Wimbledon We come back, make the appropriate wagers.
        We saw, we know. Did we cause?

        1. Well, we have experimental data that seem to confirm the “observer effect”: having a human observer as the event is happening, as opposed to recording it makes a difference.

          It’s a fair argument for “brain as quantum computer”. YMMV.

  31. I don’t want to suggest that Trump can be reduced to a few things, but a few things do stand out. Trump likes to accomplish big things. He hates to see perpetual Charlie-Foxtrots fueled by incompetence, whether individual or institutional. And he has spent his life dealing with pettiness and private agendas in “public servants”, compounded by both forms of incompetence.

    Those who have read Jane Haddam’s =Act of Darkness= may remember the character of Patchen Rawls, described by a disgusted lobbyist: “She was a single-minded machine for the operation of triumphant narcissism, and that narcissism had a nasty edge of envy to it. Patchen Rawls was one of those people who was happiest not when she won but when she could watch other people losing.” This, IMO, describes far too many of our politicians, and explains why we are forced sometimes to say “but (s)he’s our SOB.” Trump is uniquely accomplished in dealing with such people.

    I hope and expect that Trump will get another four years. My big worry is,”who follows Trump?” Can, and will, Trump strenghthen the Right and cripple the Left for a generation or more? The modern Left is Evil That Does Not Sleep, and if not uprooted and exposed will come back again in a dozen years or so with more force, more cruelty, and more deeply embedded power.

    1. > My big worry is,”who follows Trump?”

      The “Imperial Presidency” types would stroke out if it was Donald Trump, Jr…

      1. He’s probably not of the right temperment. In any case, I hope for a rolling wave of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions. Finding decent juries will be a problem. So will finding decent judges, as the Flynn-Sullivan affair proves.

        We also need the GOP leaders to do their jobs, rooting out the Swamp Donkrats dressed as mouselephants and the Donks in pachyderm hide.

        1. The only way to drain the swamp is to completely eliminate the agencies and departments and start over from scratch, along with elimination of public employee unions and civil service protection.

          1. Indeed. There are a host of alphabet agencies who serve no useful purpose, except to provide luxurious employment to bureaucrats who otherwise would never rise above the lowest levels of middle management in a profit-making enterprise. Dept. of Education, FBI, BATF, and Bureau of Land Managment are all corrupt to a greater or lesser degree (mostly greater). USFS and BuLMgt tend to treat public property as “the King’s forest” – not to mention treating nearly every infraction as a felony. These, and many others, can only be fixed by their elimination.

            1. Weren’t there some plans afoot to disburse the bureaucracies, moving them from Washington to those areas where their interests properly lie? Moving the Dept. of Agriculture to Kansas City, for example. Put the Dept. of Labor in Chicago and Housing & Urban Development in Detroit so they can see what happens when their policies go wrong?

              Given the critical importance of an educated populace to the Labor and Housing departments we should probably put the Dept. of Education between those two — at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

      2. Trumps successor? How about his daughter instead of his son? Former businesswoman, first woman president, first Jewish president. See the Left’s heads explode.

          1. 2023? Oh you crazy optimist! It starts Nov. 4, 2020 (although for some it has already begun.) That’s when the key campaign strategists, the fund-raisers, the financial backers and the potential candidates start arranging themselves and picking up teams. By the 2022 elections the presidential wanna-bes will be supporting, advising, and making appearances for candidates, all for the purpose of lining up chits to be collected in the coming biennium.

            If Trump wins Sen. Warren (Lizzie Warren took an axe, gave the economy forty whacks”) and Kamala Harris and AIC will be elbowing one another aside to become the Face of the Resistance for four years in hope of becoming the Restoring America standard bearer in 2024. There will be a similar scrum on the Right to become the Legacy Bearer and the True Conservative (think “kinder & gentler”).

            If Biden wins the same dynamic occurs on the Right while the Biden Deathwatch starts coming up with dance steps to a bit of classic Americana …

            1. If Harris-and-Biden (cause we all know who’s wearing the pants) win, there will BE no Republicans in four years.

                    1. I haven’t slept in MONTHS. Not really slept.

                      Melatonin (Costco) – works usually.

                      Otherwise. Tylenol PM or other PM OTC works. I’ve resorted to these occasionally. Not enough to stop them from working. I’m suppose to avoid them because of Glaucoma.

                      Yes. I understand.

            2. 2023? Oh you crazy optimist! It starts Nov. 4, 2020 (although for some it has already begun.)

              Well yes. Concede point.

              But one can dream? Right? I mean the actual “I’m running” lineups should start until 2023. Right? One can hope there is two primaries. At least I am.

    2. If Trump is reelected, Pence is a shoe-in for the nomination in 2024. Bush was a shoe-in following Reagan, and there were actual issues with Bush that put his political philosophies at odds with Reagan (“Voodoo economics”). I’ve yet to hear anyone suggest a reason why Pence would *not* be appropriate as a follow-on for Trump, and if he has any issues working with his boss, both men have kept them out of the public eye.

      That latter bit probably says a lot, since Trump has shown little problem in criticizing and rapidly replacing subordinates if he doesn’t feel like they’re working out in their position. Pence is a bit trickier to replace. But Trump didn’t have to put him on the ticket in this election.

      1. I’ve yet to hear anyone suggest a reason why Pence would *not* be appropriate as a follow-on for Trump, and if he has any issues working with his boss, both men have kept them out of the public eye.

        I have, although they’re unworthy ones– he’s Christian, and white, and boring. (Sort of like ACB is Catholic and thus unqualified– they seem to actually follow their philosophy, not their politics.)

          1. ….Banshee, I did NOT need to envision Race Bannon as a Paladin.

            Well, maybe I did, but you’re not improving my San Check any….

            ❤ ❤ ❤

          2. I clearly have not paid enough attention to him so far. Shark-paladin is certainly a gripping description.

            1. Oooh, maybe he’s the American version of Number Ten Hero, Orca!
              (Who is also rated Number 3 of Heroes who look like villains.)

      2. Pence. Pompeo. Haley. Gov. Noem (S. Dakota), Gov. DeSantis. Long shots include Jindal, Cruz, Rubio.

        No Kasich.

  32. Nice article.
    And this is from an atheist and with a rather poor opinion of females: congrats.
    Good work.

  33. We don’t get to choose our champions. Sometimes they choose themselves. Donald John Trump is our Paladin, our champion knight. Don John of America and Christendom (h/t G.K Chesterton “Lepanto).
    George Orwell once wrote “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
    Don John is perhaps such a man, who saw how his country and western civilization was sliding into the abyss and for the sake of his children, grandchildren and all of us, chose to give up his good life to fight for what is right. While he is in the fight, Holger Danske can stay asleep under Kronborg castle, secure in the knowledge that Christendom is being ably defended.

  34. Welcome home, Sarah.

    Download the relevant radio app, and turn it on at 7pm central time. Every evening. You will find comfort and strength.

  35. New item: Sarah, I hear you’re due for some serious weather. Good luck, and keep yourselves and the kitties warm.

      1. In Texas sometimes. I pull out my coat when I hear that it’s about to drop to 60 degrees F. I hear people around the country snicker. I’m from NYC originally so I know some cold. I knew (of) Trump before he was famous. I love me some Giuliani. I think that he would be a serious contender for best mayor of New York. Of course Ed Koch deserves a lot of credit too.

        I think that Trump and Cruz make an awesome team!

      2. American fishermen at a camp in Canada, when told the temperature was going to be 20 degrees in the morning, showed up for breakfast with their parkas on.

          1. I know the Canadians are proud of the Great White North, but not even Saguenay and Winnipeg get down to 20 Kelvin!

  36. Well, Sarah, I am not religious at all, and I generally agree with you. The horrid left represents a precipice, an overhang of a perilous fall. It fills me with actual terror, in fact. I saw the communist supporters rioting when I returned from my second tour in Vietnam, saw their piled propaganda at the University of California, and have listened to the brainwashed products of “higher education” for many decades. I voted for the Libertarian last election, because Clinton flat frightened me and Trump repulsed me. But personality is less of a consideration than proven results. And the results of this presidency are remarkable, considering the shameless opposition.

  37. About Biden’s eternal harping on Trump’s tax returns:

    “The IRS hates me, they’ve been auditing my taxes for four years, and they haven’t found anything. You believe you’d find something they missed?”

    1. Trump has positions in multiple real estate projects and partnerships which tend to entail highly complicated tax returns — exactly the sort of arrangements susceptible to misrepresentation by demagogic opponents. Unlike the Biden Crime Family he hasn’t spent forty-plus years building blinds to launder his income.

      1. In multiple state AND foreign country jurisdictions. It takes an army of specifically trained accountants and lawyers better than anything the IRS has access to keeping them accurate.

        1. “Trump has those resources. I bet he’s got a room full of accountants, and their leader is probably a grizzled old CPA with an eye patch and a raven who sits on his shoulder. The raven also has an eye patch and an accounting degree. This man has wrestled bears, and he’s going to take advantage of every tax break in the US Code for his client, and do so gleefully, knowing that many of those laws were signed by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

          “On the other side, you know damned good and well that the IRS has sent their most fearsome auditor against him. This man sold his soul to the devil, and then fined the devil for failing to list that soul as a depreciable asset. When he shows up to audit your company, he appears a flash of fire and brimstone, as a Finnish death metal band plays his theme song. He is an auditor bereft of mercy, compassion, or pity, and beneath his leathery wings serve a legion of IRS goblins, who will crawl into every nook and cranny of the Trump Corporation’s P&L looking for errors, and if a mouse so much as shits a turd large enough to unbalance that ledger, there will be hell to pay.”

          1. “knowing that many of those laws were signed by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.”

            As I said somewhere else, the thing that really honks off the Swamp is that Trump enforces and obeys the laws exactly as they wrote them assuming their fellow swampies would be in charge.

  38. We didn’t elect a dinner guest. Old saying: “What he does speaks so loudly we can’t hear what he’s saying”. That saying works for both good and ill.

  39. Argh. Just heard a filksong where the guy had a nice beginning about certain things about reality, philosophy, etc. being inevitably lost as they hit human perception and rationality. So I was excited for the summing up.

    It turned out it was the preface to a long song complaining about earthly politics. Blah blah blah, talking points, no examination of facts, while complaining about how rightists were so dumb. It wasn’t even so much the subject, as that it didn’t carry out the metaphor and point out the failings of the writer’s own side… well, and it was 800 verses long, which is a technical fault unless you really have a saga or a book length subject.

    Of course, the cleverness of the song also went away with the faulty transition, as it went from having tricky rhyme schemes to eh, whatever. It makes me sad.

    1. I will say that filkers do have a higher technical standard of music and tech these days, and there are still plenty of good songs. But there’s also a lot of good songs that are five minutes longer than they need to be, because they have to Insert Talking Point Here, instead of grappling directly with the guts of the song.

  40. There was a corona song contest this year at OVFF, and I thought we would at least get some black humor. Nope. TDS and PSAs. It was like watching glorious Soviet health propaganda fest. There was one zombie song and a solar corona song, and that was about it for creativity.

    Argh. Almost heard a little bit of sarcasm sneaking up in some, but noooo ooo.

    What a waste of a rich vein of anger and comedy.

    1. It’s not new. I haven’t been part of filking since about 2005, and the SJWs are why. Note: I was one of the founding members of GaFILK, and my only published work in any field is a song in the “Bastard Grandchildren of Argo” edition of Xenofilkia.

  41. Thanx for the clarity, Sarah.
    For all the talk of Trump being a dictator, he has been the most faithful president with regards to the Constitution, IMHO, to the point of it crippling his ability to push back the left. But he is an effective fighter, and I’d rather not have a strongman instead who would save us from the left but rip up the Constitution in the process.
    I hope that he has enough establishment types on his side that they have the bases covered against the coming mail-in voter fraud. I know they’ve been fighting several of the lib states in court and have wonsome victories, so he may be alright there. The left has Pennsylvania all set for stealing, unless thei rlegislature wakes up and slaps their courts.
    Hopefully Trump will win so overwhelmingly that the left’s shenanigans will only make their loss seem a little less so. I’m encouraged that it seems this year even more people are willing to risk criticism, ostracism, and exposure to the violent Left to show their support than in 2020, and still many are not talking to the pollsters. If/when Trump wins, be prepared for another four years of them declaring him illegitimate, regardless.
    I don’t think this garbage will ever stop until there is a serious prosecution, perhaps all the way to Obama. We shall see.

    1. “For all the talk of Trump being a dictator, he has been the most faithful president with regards to the Constitution, IMHO, to the point of it crippling his ability to push back the left.”

      THIS. For that matter, many of the things he’s done that infuriate the Left, like his repurposing money from DoD to build the wall, are the result of him following the laws the way the swamp wrote and signed them under the comfortable assumption that one of their swampies would be in charge to decide where it would go without the need for a messy and transparent line item.

      1. About the only valid (in the sense that it is not a plagiarism of what the administration is already doing) criticism the Democrats have made is that Trump hasn’t used the Defense Production Act to seize control of private enterprise and use it to produce “vitally needed protection and therapies against the COVID threat.”

        Instead Trump has used the cudgel of the DPA to encourage businesses (e.g., My Pillow) to voluntarily shift production, using their know-how and expertise to reconfigure their plants & equipment to rapidly and efficiently convert their production to needed goods. He’s done essentially the same thing with Big Pharma, loosening regulations and encouraging build-up of the precursor materials required for production and delivery of whatever vaccine is eventually approved.

        Trump has NOT micro-managed private enterprise, he has not imposed political officers government bureaucrats over experienced managers to instruct those managers on the proper methodology for sucking eggs. Instead ha has followed the example of FDR’s ramp-up of private sector production in WWII, directing goals but not presuming to instruct people – whose careers have been devoted to efficient production of goods – in how to do their jobs.

        Of course, by following this reckless and careless course of action Trump has passed over the opportunity to nationalize industry and empower his trusted representatives among government bureaucrats to seize power over the entre US economy, nor enabled their personal enrichment by granting them a knife at America’s jugular.

        Worst. Dictator. Ever.

  42. I gather today has brought out a lot of Trump parades; people were re-tweeting the complaints (dare I say the lamentations) of Biden supporters. For that matter, a contingent of Trump supporters crashed Joe’s “rally,” and honked through his speech. So now, according to Joe, we are “chumps,” so of course. “Trump’s Chumps,” is being taken up as a title of honor.

    Then a (rogue?) Chinese news agency has released a video of Hunter Biden in an extremely compromising position.

    Busy Saturday.

  43. ….and Biden in a podcast interview meant to get people to vote for him said that his campaign has assembled the ‘MOST EXTENSIVE VOTER FRAUD ORGANIZATION in the history of American politics”

    Once again, the masks are off as Biden inadvertently lets slip why he has been calling it a day for campaigning at 9am in the morning and why Harris has been MIA on the campaign trail. They believe they have put the fix in.

    1. He had to deal with NY and NJ zoning and contract law. That should make anyone a black-belt at work-arounds and obfuscation within the law.

    2. I forwarded that to my cranky guy! If he finds anything wrong, I’ll pass it on — and if I have to peel him off the ceiling, I’ll try to pass that on, too.

        1. So far, it’s “looks good, but I’m always cautious about stuff like this coming back to bite us… I’ll look harder when I have some time.”

          Part of the issue is that if you’re willing to cheat and frame people, you *can* get people fired, so identifying the protective value of the previous rules is difficult.

          1. Well, makes a lot of sense. Organizations this scale, no way to predict the unintended consequences.

            I’m pretty sure the covid stuff was one of the motivations for this. Without knowing the true costs of the change, or what is really going on with that bureaucratic policy making, hard to evaluate.

            I hadn’t considered that your husband might be as careful and cautious as you are, on top of probably being fairly busy when it comes to time and energy for studying and forecasting changes to complex systems.

            1. He probably wants to run it past his office, too, there are a LOT of folks who make his corkscrew mind look simple, and they’ve got a LOT more experience.

              Just realized, this change will also make it easier to undo the damage that was previously done by hiring in activists.

              I wonder if it applies to the Forest Service….

              1. Actually… do think about it.

                She’s a nasty piece of work, who wouldn’t mind destroying people personally to remove them.

                Making it so they can be removed WITHOUT destroying their lives? Protective.

              2. It’s definitely confidence.

                Goes into effect day before the ‘changeover’? Either he wants to leave a useful tool in place for his successor, or he expects to win and wants to use it himself. One day is not long enough to actually use this.

                He delayed it because he wanted to minimize the impact on the election, not give the people in question time enough to plan and implement another October surprise.

                But the period for rulemaking processes, etc. is precisely because of procedural pushback on other stuff from the judiciary.

                He cannot possibly be so fond of Biden and Harris to be trying to push this through as part of a Presidential ‘legacy’. He has a list.

                1. Goes into effect day before the ‘changeover’? Either he wants to leave a useful tool in place for his successor, or he expects to win and wants to use it himself. One day is not long enough to actually use this.

                  That part completely guts any claims he’s trying to set up a take-over, too– while being in line with what you’d do if you believe it’s a GOOD thing, or that people will recognize it as a good thing, without being a poison pill.

                2. He cannot possibly be so fond of Biden and Harris to be trying to push this through as part of a Presidential ‘legacy’. He has a list.

                  He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;
                  And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed

  44. Why do the supposedly ‘smart’ people value style over substance. Always its ‘well he’s not the kindest’ or ‘he talks mean’ or he’s so unpolished, he’s coarse’. A weak effort at research would prove Trump actually has a long history of getting things done. The suckers got so taken in with Barry’s style they elected an enemy of the Republic.

    1. You do realize I’m not saying anything about his style, right? It doesn’t bother me.
      And i did my best to try to keep the manchurian (actually Iranian, I think) candidate from the presidency.

    2. Style does have some importance. But “Slick focus-group polished politician” is not the only legitimate style.

      (Back in the day, communists had orders from Moscow to promote ugly abstract art in public spaces in order to weaken the US. This sounds silly, but it wasn’t stupid – certainly not in terms of a “death by a thousand cuts” strategy.)

    3. Since the Industrial Revolution (and in America especially) anyone could make money but only the “right” people could have style!

      Because style is an intangible asset socially determined. It goes right back to Junior High and the Mean Girls or even to kindergarten and the Kootie-infested.

  45. Dis a puzzlement…..or not. Many friends and family, bright and successful who financially thrive with private property rights and the fruits of capitalism, are voting stupid.
    A very successful Marin county psychiatrist, who had a $2.4 million mansion, two new Mercedes each year, plus a boat, an RV and two summer homes is a huge Elizabeth Warren…now Biden…supporter. I gently ask if this person is concerned about the horror of Sanders/Biden socialized medicine ending doctors ability to choose patients and set their own fees.

    “Oh, that’s just pablum for the urban unwashed, they talk Venezuela gangsta, but such nonsense could never happen in America. What are they going to do? Ration enregy? Ration medical care?”

    “Yes, that’s exactly what they want.”.

    “Maybe in some from free medical clinic in Manhattan, but not in my practice.”

    “Really? The Democrats brazenly brag thay would simply suspend all your hospital privileges and prescription privileges unless you comply with their mandates”.

    “That will never happen. They know who I am, who I treat, how important I am to the medical community. I’m untouchable”.

    “Ever read, “Dr. Zhivago” or the “Cancer Ward”?

    “No, why”?

    1. I had essentially this conversation with my sister yesterday. She lives at the acme of wine mom suburbia, has a top job, a husband with an even better job, and both sons at an Ivy so the Audi and Subaru have the crucial sticker in the window identifying her as one of the elect. She has no notion that they actually mean what they say. Damned fool.

  46. I don’t see the religious overtones. I certainly don’t know the Bible so. What i see is far more basic.if Trump wins, you will have four years to stock up, make ready, get ready and work with others to provide and protect. There are going to be a lot of players and you are going to have to depend on your good judgment to determine who is an ally and who is not. If Biden wins, the four years you had to get ready, you now don’t have. Develop lasting friendships and everyday skills. That is all I got.

  47. Someone retweeted a blue check on Twitter “warning,” all Properly Thinking People (can’t say “right-thinking, they might take offense) about the horrible things Trump had done to the Senior Executive Service “while they were sleeping.”
    I replied to her that as a former Federal employee with 32 years in DoD, I was all in favor of it. Anything to get the deadwood out that keeps the rest of us, the ones who actually want to get things done, from doing it.

      1. It was a merger of the Department of War and the Department of the Navy.

        On the other hand, if we exterminate all of the foreign populations on Earth, we might not longer need a Navy, and be able to safely shut it down.

  48. All Trump is doing with the senior executive service is accelerating their entry into the private sector entities they had been “regulating”. None dare call it corruption.

      1. There was a 1000 car Trump parade in NYC today.

        There was a 75k car parade in Miami the other day.

        Politico was complaining earlier about Republicans surging out of the trenches to vote in Florida.

        Biden has retreated to his basement for the rest of the election.

        We are well past the margin of fraud.

        1. I fear that you underestimate their capacity for fraud. I can easily imagine total votes == 120% of all eligible voters in the U.S.

          1. You misunderstand: the Margin of Fraud is not the maximum number of ballots that can be generated. It is the quantity of fraud that can be engaged in without blowing the fuzebox.

            Doesn’t matter if a bunch of donkey shaped starships warp into orbit and bombard the country with boxes of ballots.

              1. Because the fraud system is designed around three assumptions:

                1. A demoralized Conservative base.

                2. That doesn’t fight.

                3. You have huge rolls of Safe Votes.

                Premise 1 is invalid despite the best efforts of the media and blackpills. Even those who have little hope have crossed into rage-voting because they think they are at the end of the tunnel and are doing due diligence before opening the Fourth Box.

                Premise 2…. has anyone looked up who was President for the last few years?

                Premise 3 is being invalidated as the indoctrination cracks. And Trump has been going out of his way to peel off the Democrat plantation classes.

                The reason those premises matter is because you don’t have to invent 3x registered voters when the other side simply doesn’t come out to vote. You don’t have to invent 3x registered voters when you have 95% of the Black vote (insert interest group to taste).

                And if you have a race here or there which does require the occasional 3x…. well, no one will call you on it.

                Until suddenly you need 3x on every race. And everyone is calling you on it.

                Seriously….. I’m just repeating your own words back to you, from a less depressing time. Chase the black dog away with a stick and pull out the blackpill IV: the sun is shining.

              2. I forgot to mention:

                Those safe voting blocks?

                Obama was the worst thing that could have happened to the DNC. Because he didn’t bring any of the gifts of heaven that he promised, and then in 2016 they couldn’t get the turnout. And now Trump is able to make the simple case: “How have the democrats ever helped you?”.

                And there is no answer.

                1. “How have the democrats ever helped you?”

                  By telling them to feel good about themselves, even though they’ve never done anything to justify such a feeling. By setting them up to fail by telling them they can’t succeed by their own efforts, because ‘white supremacists’ and ‘systemic racism’ so their failures are not their fault. Black people who do succeed by their own efforts are ‘race traitors’ or ‘not black’.

              3. If they perpetrated fraud on that scale the word would get out through Social Media – just as it has with Hunter Biden’s laptop contents.

                1. Maybe they don’t need it.
                  Again, I looked at early voting.
                  SHOOT ME NOW.
                  Mind you, I maintain willful propaganda aand misinformation rises to fraud, but hey.

                  1. Top of the hour radio news, yesterday, I think CBS– they said that early voting had heavily favored Democrats, UNTIL in-person early voting had opened up.

                    Then it completely flipped.

                  2. Early voting is trending 2:1 Democrat … but is still expected to be fewer votes than those cast on Election Day, which are expected to run 3:1 Republican. Even if “turnout” is equal (impossible to gauge COVID Effect) that produces a win for the GOP. Given approximately 130 million votes cast in 2016, assuming a 60/40 ratio of Election Day votes over mail-in and extrapolating 140 million votes this year due to higher Fraud turnout, that yields:

                    Mail-In Votes: 56 million
                    Election Day: 84 million

                    Mail-In Votes Trump: 18.65 million
                    Mail-In Votes Biden: 37.35 million
                    Election Day Trump: 63 million
                    Election Day Biden: 21 million

                    Total Trump: 81.65 million
                    Total Biden: 58.35 million

                    Of course it ain’t gonna be that glorious, but it demonstrates the challenge faced by Dems.

                    Factor in that states most likely to commit fraudulent votes are Blue states with heavy mail-in balloting and mail-in ballots have significant (typically >10%). This means that the majority of popular vote gains won’t matter, occurring in states Democrats are already likely to win.

                1. Steve, are you actually trying to talk me out of despondency?
                  Yeah. I guess it’s 2020.
                  My fear is that biggest and most inclusive fraud machine might be nation wide…

                  1. If – if – that is the case we are already screwed so why despair now? Better to get it out in the open, like the corruption of the State Department and CIA. We’re cleaning the Augean Stables here; some stench s to be expected. This mess didn’t accumulate in a single presidency and won’t be cleaned up for several, if any.

                  2. “Heart shall be bolder, harder be purpose,
                    more proud the spirit as our power lessens!
                    Mind shall not falter nor mood waver,
                    though doom shall come and dark conquer.”

                    “The homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son”: J.R.R. Tolkien

                  3. “”But you and all the kind of Christ
                    Are ignorant and brave,
                    And you have wars you hardly win
                    And souls you hardly save.

                    “I tell you naught for your comfort,
                    Yea, naught for your desire,
                    Save that the sky grows darker yet
                    And the sea rises higher.

                    “Night shall be thrice night over you,
                    And heaven an iron cope.
                    Do you have joy without a cause,
                    Yea, faith without a hope?”

                    The Ballad of the White Horse — G.K. Chesterton

  49. What encourages me is so many people are coming out and taking part in public events. A lot of people seem to have decided they aren’t afraid any more.

  50. Great minds flow in similar channels?

    President Trump’s Promise
    When Americans go to the polls November 3, The New York Sun urges a vote to re-elect President Trump and Vice President Pence. We do so in the belief that the principles for which the President, the Vice President, and the Republican Party stand offer far more promising prospects for the kind of economic growth — and full employment — that can best return our politics to a state of amity.

    We have no illusions about how bitter — and personal — things have become. To those who say that Mr. Trump is unfit, we say, compared to whom? Not, in our view, Mr. Biden and his camarilla. In any event, we prefer the advice offered in Cato I, the first of the two letters from the anonymous American revolutionary pamphleteer who enjoins: “Attach yourselves to measures, not to men.”

    By our lights, the ad hominem nature of this — and the last — campaign is laid to the Democrats. Shocking is the word for their refusal to accept Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016 and their efforts to foil his presidency. …


    … Today, our biggest social mediums have discovered the only way they can defend the Democratic nominee is by refusing to circulate stories on corruption in his family.

    This is no sudden attack of probity. The Left has been all too happy to spew the most outlandish libels of the president (including blaming him for the coronavirus crisis). So today the astounding story is not, contra the press, that President Trump is a fascist, a bigot, a crook, and incompetent. It’s that Mr. Trump turned out to have the commitment, and fortitude, to stand up in the face of an unprecedented onslaught.

    Throughout Mr. Trump’s first term, we have heard a lot of loose talk about the President’s alleged lack of integrity. Yet we define integrity in politics as keeping campaign promises. What president in our time has done better on this head than Mr. Trump?


    All this would be enough to make a clear choice in respect of Mr. Trump, but the stakes are higher in this election than others in our lifetime. The Democratic Party is now in thrall to an element far more radical than we have seen before. It is prepared to pack the Supreme Court and the Senate and skirt the Electoral College. And to take to our streets, attacking government and private property, even while the Democratic candidate stood silent.

    President Trump marked the point at Mount Rushmore, where he decried a campaign “to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.” We prefer Mr. Trump’s road to normalcy via capitalism — growth, abundant legal immigration, jobs, prosperity, and, as he put it at Rushmore, a unity that no one expected. That is what we take to be President Trump’s promise.

  51. Miss Sarah,

    My only response is Chesterton’s from the White Horse, “The sky grows darker yet, and the sea rises higher.”

    We were told it would be a bloodbath ere the end, but that all will be made new.

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