There is a Tide in the Affairs….

When I was fourteen, my parents took me on the first vacation I remember having, and dad and I went rock climbing.

Okay, it wasn’t that formal. It is that since I was six or so, our way of enjoying the beach was to walk by the ocean, and that kind of morphed into climbing cliffs because the sea shore in the North of Portugal is very rocky. (Mom liked just sitting with her friends and talking or knitting (on a beach!) but I’ve never done well at sitting still. Even with a book, I preferred to sit somewhere away from people to read.)

The vacation was in the Southern most tip of Portugal, but it was still rocky, and we would get caught up in “I want to go THERE because it’s difficult” moments.

In a way it was just a morph of our walks in the woods around the village, trying to see things few people saw and/or do difficult things/push ourselves a little further. Only the walks by the sea had fewer tadpoles and dragonflies. More baby sharks and crabs, though.

Anyway, because these expeditions were improvised and often not exactly well thought out, we once found ourselves atop a cliff, as the tide came in horribly fast, and … Well. I can’t swim. So we were stuck until the water went out again. And we just talked for however many hours.

It wasn’t my favorite thing, but on the other hand, I got to hear a lot of stories of his childhood that he’d never told me before (like playing wild west in the woods outside the village) and ask a lot of questions that didn’t normally come up.

I’m not sure why this came to mind today, when I thought about what to write, so I’m trying to make sense of it.

Look, that enforced immobility — there were maybe six feet by four feet up there — is completely against my character. I like to be moving. And it got a bit cold as the sun set. And yeah, we had no cell phones, so mom was getting frantic.

But worrying about all that didn’t do us a whit of good while stuck up there. So we just tried to figure out how to while away the time not unpleasantly and not hurt ourselves trying to get back when the water was too deep for me, and also too deep to see the rocks under it.

And for a while there, on top of that cliff, we wondered if the water would ever go down, if there was any point to waiting anymore. Maybe we’d dreamed of our path here? — Yes, the ocean can be very disorienting.

In the end the water went down enough we made it to the shore never going higher than our knees, and we were only minutes late for dinner, which was good as we’d missed lunch.

I think in a way that’s where we are as a nation.

We didn’t see the tide coming in. That it’s a tide of madness doesn’t make it easier. Well, I saw it coming in, which is why all of 2020 I didn’t sleep much.

But it is not a lasting tide. This is more of what we called a maré viva when I was little. It’s hard to describe this effect, but it’s comparable to a mini-tsunami because there is an Earthquake somewhere hidden.

When I was little and playing on the beach we had to be aware of these, because in like three/four minutes, the entire beach would be full water, which would then drain just as rapidly.

As a kid, you just ran to high ground, while the women and men picked up the stuff off the floor of the little rental huts and held it aloft to keep it dry. I just did a cursory look to find out what it actually is, but the search was swamped by “Viva Mare” restaurants, etc. In fact, all I caught were some weird hints that this might be due to under-water geography along the coast, which also makes the North of Portugal — now — a surfing Mecca.

It is kind of like that. A false tide, caused out of order by … well, some very corrupt people, who’ve had the run of things for far too long and can’t afford to be exposed or deposed.

I guess those are tides too. We’ve seen them elsewhere, like the fall of monarchy in France, or the truly bizarre spasms of various other societies as the industrial revolution up-ended everything.

But they aren’t…. permanent. They come in, they swamp everything, and they recede

The more so here, as I don’t’ think any of them realizes capturing America doesn’t serve their needs. Without America, the totalitarians starve. And capturing us means making us like them, which I don’t think they realize except for the things they WANT.

But we thought, or at least we hoped we had longer. Another ten years or so. And we certainly didn’t expect it to be quite this insane. I mean, destroying the country’s economy in an attempt to subjugate us to their crazy international agenda? Do they understand consequences, forget “unintended” ones?

We’re stuck here and for right now there’s no much we can do.

…. but we can talk, and we can prepare. And yes, some of the preparation must be mental and emotional. Some, more material things.

Use this time to think of things you might want/need that might not be available with ease. Sure, okay, yes, cleaners. But also perhaps computer parts or — Think about it. Make an outlandish list. Then reduce it to what you can actually afford right now.

And keep calm.

Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

Once the tide of madness breaks against the shores of reality — and it’s already starting to — it will recede very quickly, and there will be much work to do.

Get ready for the work. And take a deep breath.

Waiting is hard, but sometimes you have to.

The tide of madness will go down. Perhaps not as fast as we’d like it to, but it will. And then the shore will be easily attainable. Meanwhile, don’t beat your mind against what can’t be. Keep calm. Be not afraid.

In the end, we win, they lose.

397 thoughts on “There is a Tide in the Affairs….

  1. Absolutely loved the way you brought everything together in this! Also like the hopeful outlook.

  2. After the debacle at the White House with the Prime Minister of Japan (where no one met him at the door except for a guard), I wonder if Japan is going to decide it’s time to take the Philippines. The Russians are getting ready to invade the Ukraine and Taiwan is going to be invaded by China. Weakness invites attack.

    The American people are not projecting weakness towards our new communist government. We acted like gracious and caring citizens towards the unknown threat of the Wuhan virus, but that’s over now. We’re not going to get fooled again and we’re not going to let them subjugate us. Well, maybe some areas, but not the country as a whole.

    1. I can’t see modern Japan going in to take anyone.

      I am still upset to hear that a rather reliable ally (in the predictable sense, not the does everything we want sense) has been abused.

      1. Japan has gone to a lot of trouble to prove that they are good guys now, and frankly they don’t have the population to invade anyone. They are leading the anti-China coalition along with South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and it is China that keeps making noises about taking over the Philippines.

      2. I’m not sure it makes anything better, but I suspect that Biden’s absence was not planned. Harris did not seem well-prepared in the videos I saw.

          1. I’m pretty sure once we have an American in the White House again their response to the “Yeah, sorry about that” phone call will be along the lines of “don’t mention it.”

        1. I haven’t seen a lot of her, but she never seems well prepared. And that grating laugh…

          1. The Chaos Demon or whatever it is in her has difficulty understanding human events, so its always a little on the back foot. It doesn’t mind because everything has still turned out anyway.

                  1. I was thinking more along the lines of what happened to Mina Harker when van Helsing tried to sign the cross on her with a Host, only more so.

            1. So many Wicked Witches, so few directions…

              And what is that mayor of Chicago? I thought everybody was joking about the Lizard People.

              Maybe we’re in THEY LIVE and the hypnosis transmitters are running down?

                1. OMG Does she ever look like that!
                  (I know, it’s not polite to laugh at a person’s looks. There, but for the love of God, go I.)

                  1. Second City Cop refers to her as “Groot”. I haven’t seen the movie (maintaining a no-theater streak since the early aughts), but the promotional material does show an uncanny resemblance.

                    FWIW, there are now rumors (rather, reports as cited in Insty) that she will resign because she got cheating on her “wife”. Never mind that she turned a horrible situation in Chicago into something H. P. Lovecraft might shudder at, but one hopes that the next Lizard Person mayor of Da City will be somewhat less bad.

                    Damn, I kind of miss Richard J. Daley. As noted some weeks (months?) ago, in his era, the graft wasn’t allowed to get in the way of getting things done, even if it cost 3X what it should.

                    1. Daley understood the principle of “Honest Graft” – of getting what you pay for even if you pay above market price.

                      His successors remind me of a club I visited in New Orleans, many years ago. Not satisfied with the 2-Drink Minimum they watered the drinks and substituted bar scotch for a call-brand. It leaves a terrible taste in the mouth to know you’ve been over-charged and under-served; one or the other would be tolerable, but both?


                    1. She’s a Slitheen? Though that means the real Lori Lightfoot got skinned and disposed of some time in the past…

            2. Then there’s Gretchen Whitmer, who triggers the “She’s an evil witch, drop a house on her!” part of my brain.

              1. Nurse Ratched, for me. And I haven’t even seen Cuckoo’s Nest. (The novel was enough, thankyouverymuch.)

              2. And the governor of New Mexico just settled a sexual harassment suit. Something about dumping water on her aide and then grabbing him…well…let’s just say, “the privates,” and leave it at that.

          2. It is a trait of a number of smart people, especially those who were never truly challenged in school, to think they can show up and glide through situations. Bill Clinton displayed that, as did (according to a JFK biographer) our 35th president. I fact, it may be the defining element of his presidency when, after getting his clock cleaned in debate with Nikita Khrushchev (who was trained in dialectic) realized that recovery required confronting the Soviets … and JFK chose Viet Nam as the place to do that.

            Truly smart people recognize a flaw in their “game” and work to fix that weakness, but merely glib and lazy people laugh it off and blame their opponents – even when they had none.

          3. Not to be crude but there seems to be only one thing our present VP is suited for/skilled at and that would not be appropriate.

          1. !!! SHAME on you! The women is VICE-PRESIDENT of the United States! Vice presidents do NOT use knee pads.

            They use under-secretaries of Defense.

      3. Par for the course with Democrats, especially the Obama/Harris/Biden ilk. They all think that the wrong side won the Cold War and that our allies shouldn’t be; rather we should be cavorting with the Iran’s and Venezuela’s of the world. And if you think what HarrisBiden have done with Japan is bad, that is barely a blip compared to what they are going to do to Israel.

        1. Hmm or Great Britain. I know there is allegedly a pandemic under way, but SOMEONE should have gone to Prince Phillips funeral and traditionally that job falls to the VP, although in something of this level the President might have gone in previous times. Of course to get the FICUS to London you’d have to get him up (and down) the stairs to Air Force one which has been presenting issues of late.

      4. So am I, offended, on behalf of Japan. This was a cruddy and unprofessional thing to do – no one of status and authority to greet him at the door? Really. Careless or deliberate? Guess the jury is still out on this. Your bets, ladies, gentlemen, and beings of indeterminate status? Deliberate or careless?

        1. And for Japan.

          They’re civilized, they won’t demand it.

          But…they are civilized. The recognize it. Basic human dignity would at least have, like, my relative from the pentagon– who would have been over the moon!– standing there to do really bad polite-in-Japanese at them.

          Dear God, I wouldn’t do that to J Random Cousin!

        2. Projection. Remember how the Usual Suspects hyperventilated about how crude, rude, ignorant, and insulting Trump was when he emptied the box of fish food into the Japanese koi pond? (“Pay no attention to the Japanese Prime Minister who had just done the same thing.”)

        3. If it was intentional, it was a world- and policy-altering insult. It was a message to China written in blinking neon lights that they should move into Taiwan with all possible speed and, heck, we’re not really going to do more than send strongly-worded letters if they have a go at Japan.

          Such things are normally preceded by a supporting framework of smaller slights and indications, to make sure that the bureaucracy understand their new instructions, so I am skeptical that it was deliberate. For whatever reason, they’re still signalling that Biden is “strong on China”.

          I think it is much more likely that Biden had an…episode…right before the event. Maybe even as he was standing at the door waiting for it to open. Something that was going to take time to recover from. They threw Harris into the breach ASAP, but it took time for her to arrive.

          1. They need to up their game on covering for the house plant. I wonder if they have body doubles?

        4. Careless. People here have commented before that this White House is giving off all the vibes of a place where nobody is in charge. And the press is dead silent about it.

      5. Harry Truman used to meet every incoming Chief of State at the airport. Sometimes standing on the runway in driving rain. After a while, not even the media or Mrs. Truman bothered to go with him, so it was just him and some security people.

        Biden not only failed to meet them at the White House, they’re probably lucky Kamala didn’t tell them to check in to the Motel 6 and wait until they’re called.

      6. Insulting reliable allies seems to be the modus operandi of the cotemporary Democrat Party. Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia — they can scarcely restrain themselves from hitting those nation’s leaders with banana cream pies.

        At least the Japanese probably do not realize how crass was Biden’s reference to Masters’ champion Hideki Matsuyama as “a Japanese boy coming over here, and guess what? He won the Masters. He won the Masters.”

    2. Maybe the FICUS was supposed to be there, but just forgot? Or got lost on the way?

    3. Obama abused some of our allies too. This is more of the same Obama attitudes we witnessed a few years ago. It looks bad on Biden’s staff. And us, of course.

      1. I see it as an unforced error. (I don’t really know much about baseball, but I think that’s it) When you have an old enfeebled man and think he can act as president, things happen. And when the VP is as silly as a 13 year old girl, or boy, things happen. Too bad they hadn’t planned this better. Met at the door by a no one, not even a top level aide, that was surely a dumb stunt, probably caused by panic because of the fake president and the silly VP who didn’t know how to plan.

            1. Except that they did manage to have nobody at the White House door to let Biden and Mrs. Biden in. On inauguration/burglarization day. Biden’s staff/handlers are indeed stupid enough not to have anybody in charge of protocol, or anybody awake enough to just open the door.

                1. Exactly my response! We’ve seen a gross lack of recognition by Democrats for protocol’s importance ever since the Clinton Administration.

          1. Why not both? I mean, I’m sure Biden carries on Obama’s tradition of insulting our country’s allies and sucking up to country’s enemies. But this? This just makes his administration look incompetent, and Harris doesn’t want to look incompetent. (Biden doesn’t really have a choice about it, but Harris does.) Failing to have anyone meet him is just idiocy. If it had been a deliberate insult, they would have had the prime minister met at the door by a low-level flunky.

            1. If it had been a deliberate insult, they would have had the prime minister met at the door by a low-level flunky.

              Or told to enter by a side door. I think Obama pulled that one on Netanyahu.

        1. Unforced error is correct usage. It is the difference between making a bad throw home because the runner is really hustling and having mental vapor lock and just dropping the ball or lobbing a toss to the infield because the outfielder forgot there was only one out.

        2. Rockport Conservative I must disagree and stand up for 12 and 13 year old chidren. My elder daughter teaches 8th grade and they are primarily 12 to 13 years old. They have far more maturity and intellectual integrity than the current resident of the Naval Observatory could hope to muster…

      2. Not surprising that the same Obama “diplomacy” is at work, since it’s Obama who’s really running things in “Biden’s” White House. Although I strongly suspect that Chairman Xi and George $oro$ are tugging on strings, too.

        1. I initially assumed that Obama is running things. But I read that article about how nobody’s in charge, and it kind of made sense. Number 1: Obama is butt lazy. Number 2: power comes from being able to give other people things (power, position, etc). He has some of that, but it’s not all totally direct. So there is almost certainly a vacuum where some of the direction and organization should be. Somebody who steps up to try to get things organized is going to be opposed by somebody else who wants to do it himself. Somebody mentioned Susan Rice as a power, though I have a hard time seeing her as a leader type. She’s more of a minion. So maybe Obama is exerting himself through her?

          Anyway. Lines of command are very blurry and the real structure doesn’t match the theoretical structure. So I’m guessing that a fair number of balls get dropped.

          1. 0bama wasn’t running things from 2009 – 2017, but there was a plausible figurehead. Now, the FICUS is a doddering, mumbling empty suit. Nobody is in charge, and Everybody is in charge. They’re collectivists, remember?

            It’s not so much an administration, as a crab bucket.
            That is OUR house. They’re just the help.

  3. After the debacle at the White House with the Prime Minister of Japan (where no one met him at the door except for a guard), I wonder if Japan is going to decide it’s time to take the Philippines. The Russians are getting ready to invade the Ukraine and Taiwan is going to be invaded by China. Weakness invites attack.

    The American people are not projecting weakness towards our new communist government. We acted like gracious and caring citizens towards the unknown threat of the Wuhan virus, but that’s over now. We’re not going to get fooled again and we’re not going to let them subjugate us. Well, maybe some areas, but not the country as a whole.

  4. Once the tide of madness breaks against the shores of reality — and it’s already starting to — it will recede very quickly, and there will be much work to do.

    One of my metrics for “normal girly stuff” is the WHO-AM morning show lady, who is very sweet, and not stupid, but up to recently was doing “I think masks are The Right Thing,” and has eased into SAYing “look, I want people to feel alright around me, that’s why I wear it.”

    She still says that there’s no cost to masks, but she is open about how she doesn’t like them, doesn’t want them, and does them only because she believes Other People want it.

    While I disagree with her math, it is a legitimate argument.

    1. Re her assertion that there’s no cost – first, as linked by Sarah on Insty:

      Second, I note the vast and accelerating environmental impact of all those “disposable” masks being discarded everywhere around the world now washing up on beaches all over the place – notably reported in India and Hong Kong, so the usual suspects of all eth crap dumped into eth oceans are participating as usual. If plastic straws are a problem, masks are a catastrophe.

            1. I mean it in the sense of Inspector Renault in Casablanca:

              “I am shocked — shocked! — to find that gambling is going on in Rick’s cafe!”

              “Your winnings, Inspector.”

              “Put it in the car.”

      1. Oh, she’s horribly wrong.


        She gives me an eye into the normal-adjacent-to-normal folks; my normal folks are (duh) geek and/or weird adjacent.

        1. Yep, understood: You gotta read Pravda to know what the Politburo wants the news to be.

      2. They’re all over the place, here, even though Governor Diaperface let his mask EO expire 04/01. And almost everyone is masked; walking down the sidewalk, in their car, riding a motorcycle, mowing the lawn.

        “The stupid, it buurrnnss…”

  5. Sarah, I’m afraid that what is coming is a storm surge, not the tide. Much will be damaged, some of it beyond repair. It will recede but it will leave the societal version of the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina. And I’m sad because, unlike a hurricane, what we are going to see is so unnecessary.

      1. Dikes wouldn’t have helped Doggerland, except over the short term; and the effort spent would have been better put to use in moving to higher ground.

        1. Now, now, don’t be doggin’ on my silly metaphor; I’m tryin’ to set up the leftards to get washed out to sea!!

    1. I look at it less as being on high ground with tide coming in but rather being on a ship on the ocean that is taking on water. If you can keep up with the upcoming water with the bilge pumps and fix the cause of the incoming water, the ship can make it safely to port. If you can’t, at some point the ship goes down the bottom, and there is no Coast Guard or rescue ship coming to help the USS United States.

      Yes I am more pessimistic about current events. I was also warning early and often about what was coming (and was considered overly pessimistic back then) and that it was going to happen far sooner than people expected.

    2. My concern was that it was the sudden recession of water that precedes a tsunami, but (nearly) eighty million Trump voters have convinced me otherwise. There is substance in this nation, even if it is briefly keeping its head down.

  6. …. but we can talk

    And point at, and laugh, and mock the idiots out in the water where the beach was who are frantically sledgehammering rebar down into the sand in order to hold that freak tidal surge in place.

  7. We spent time in Nova Scotia a few years ago, tracking graves (spouse’s great-great-etc. founded the Baptist church there after making himself unwelcome in Rhode Island. Yes, Rhode Island. Yes, he was a rabid temperance preacher).
    However, we also visited the Bay of Fundy and watched the tide roll in and out. And noted the places with signs saying, “Don’t cross this footbridge when the tide’s coming in, or you’ll have to wait 6-8 hours to get off again.” We took those warnings seriously.

    1. Oh, gosh, just remembered where I first ran into this–

      Scooby Doo.

      There was an episode where they were stuck at… I think a lighthouse… and the guy explained it was “Mean high tide,” and Shaggy commented it was very, very mean to trap them. 😀

      1. Hmmmm … I cannot recall where first I learned of such, but the most vivid literary memory of it is in Susan Cooper’s “The Dark Is Rising” series — Greenwitch,I believe. A cave low on the cliff, accessible ONLY during certain low tides occurring only a few times a year.

        1. I think the cave was in Over Sea, Under Stone. Greenwitch had cliff diving, instead.

          Must admit that, as important as those two may be to the overarching story of the five books, that I always thought of them as the weakest two.

          1. Thanks for the correctio, you’re quite right – I ought have done the due diligence search on it. While I agree they probably are the weakest pair in the cycle, that still leaves them mighty good.

            1. Thoroughly concurred.

              It’s a favorite series that I’ve had the joy of coming back to multiple times growing up and then as an adult (and my toddler, the Oddik, gives me new excuses to do so again as we read to him!). Whether I like The Dark is Rising or The Grey King most depends on the day one asks, though.

  8. Here in Philly, which is liberal ideology conformist central, I’m seeing an change in the ratio of unmasked to masked outdoors. The unmasked numbers are growing. I’m talking and writing. And I’m not wearing a mask.

    Like Foxfier mentioned, I’ve heard the “I’m only doing this to make others comfortable.” On the one hand, I get it. On the other, if more people like that would *quit* wearing a mask, the supposedly uncomfortable ones would have to realize they are in the minority. I think that more people than we realize wear masks because they believe that’s what others want them to do.

    1. I think that more people than we realize wear masks because they believe that’s what others want them to do.

      And this hits a LOT harder than it should, because we’re all starved for human contact. We all desperately want people to be happy to be around us, so they won’t leave us alone.

        1. Pretty much.

          I mean, I’ve got a thick “people pleasing” defense, but I still see it’s strong— and I hate to see folks using such a good desire for evil.

          1. I mean, I’ve got a thick “people pleasing” defense, but I still see it’s strong— and I hate to see folks using such a good desire for evil.

            Parse error?

            Pretty much.

            Actually I was reeeeing at the humans needing human contact part. Hence the obligatory part.

            1. ???
              There is nothing wrong about wanting to make people happy.
              Even if I don’t…WORK right for it.

              And it does hurt that we need people.
              *pause, smile, quote mother*
              People who only need people to show that they don’t need people.

              1. There is nothing wrong about wanting to make people happy.
                Even if I don’t…WORK right for it.

                The parse error was me unable to figure out what the quoted sentence was saying.

                1. Ironic, that.

                  Then, what I was saying is that I don’t have so strong of a call, but I can see the good of the desire.

              2. And it does hurt that we need people.

                For me it hurts more as envy. I grew up with an ideology you might best call Militant Lonerism.

                1. The words for what I’d call what was inflicted on you are not fit for human company.

                  You were WRONGED. I can’t fix it, but I can recognize it.

              3. Nothing wrong about wanting to make people happy? I cannot agree. If people are made happy by my right actions, that is a byproduct, not a goal.

                Of course, being as I am, my preference is to make people leave me be.

      1. … we’re all starved for human contact. We all desperately want people to be happy to be around us

        Whattya mean “we,” kitsune?

        If I didn’t want people to leave me alone I wouldn’t inflict such painful jokes on them.

          1. Well, they certainly keep out a lot of the riff-raff. Folks with higher pain thresholds aren’t generally prone to Karen at me, nor engage in other irksome behaviour.

            It’s interesting how many are warded off merely by the vocabulary.

    2. I gotta be honest… being around faceless people makes me a hell of a lot more uncomfortable than being around sick people.

      1. Doesn’t bother me any; I’m largely unable to make sense of expressions anyway.

        Without being able to see their lips I can’t make out anything they’re saying, but most people just babble gibberish anyway, so it’s only a minor inconvenience.

      2. Especially seeing children in masks. It makes my skin crawl and brings every dystopia I’ve ever watched or read to mind.

      3. You have hit squarely on my anxiety button with this statement. The personal mask doesn’t bother me (too much) but seeing others masked triggers every fight or flight response within me. You have voiced my feeling with the “faceless” comment. I hadn’t thought in those terms, but yes, that is it exactly!

    3. And/or they want to be considerate and “protect” people. Like the woman I know who has been vaccinated (to be fair, I don’t know if it’s been long enough for it to officially take effect) but is still wearing her mask to protect people who haven’t been vaccinated yet. Like me. *Sigh.* And yes, she knows what I think about it all.

  9. More signs…I’m seeing more and more people with naked faces in stores. The big corporate ones have moved to citing the CDC as the reason they still require masks, and I suspect it’s more driven by fear of class-action suits than conviction.

    1. This is what I’m seeing. The big food stores and member clubs have signs out front that a mask is required and they chase you down the aisle if you don’t have one. That’s why I have 1984 written on both sides of my mask. If I have to wear it I want to say something on the muzzle. Smaller stores and restaurants leave it up to you.

      1. At the grocery store last week, the cashier was incredibly fearful, but I don’t think you could convince her of that. First she told me I couldn’t put my bags on the belt, then she told me to put my mask over my nose (I never do on purpose), then she wouldn’t let me back to bag my stuff for a while (chain across the checkout aisle). Then she told me I had to go all the way to the end to bag. By the time we left I was seething. Told husband she hit all my buttons at once. He says, Yeah, sad to see someone that fearful. He’s right.

        But, that didn’t mean I felt sorry for her. Based on her attitude, she was reveling in that fear. It gave her control over us lowly customers.

        I wish we had options in grocery shopping, but between PA, NJ, and DE, we don’t.

        1. Contrast with Granny at the local store– this lady cannot be less than 75.

          A very lively, happy 75, but I’ll eat my hat if she’s younger than that.

          But half the time she has her mask down for Very Justifiable Reasons, and “forgets” to put it up for folks who don’t have a mask.

          What, are the germs going to go through the quarter inch of plexiglass?

          Nine times out of the the manager is like six feet away, watching– but if the customer doesn’t object, she gets her way.

          (Sadly, Karen the Awesome found a better paid job. Was previously a waitress, was the BEST checkout lady ever, just a big fluffy ball of sweetness, I can totally see her finding something better paid than grocery check out, bet she RAKED in the tips as a waitress before kung flu.)

        2. I’ve started using the self checkout so I don’t have to deal with the cashiers. Unless a cashier is standing at the end of his lane and says “Ready to check out?” I’m not dealing with him.

      2. Funny – local farm store has a sign that says they might be able to do business with ye unless ye wear the diaper – No problems so far! Same with Fred’s, Depot, Lowe’s, local lumberyard….

        1. Around here, it depends on the store. I am mostly avoiding the ones that harass me about it.

          Unfortunately, my wife is a rules follower who actually believes the propaganda (corrupted information stream), so shopping with her is not what I would call pleasant these days

      3. In my corner of the Ozarks, the big box stores all have the “Mask required” or “Mask strongly recommended” signs up, but with perhaps one or two exceptions (Menard’s, Petco) they aren’t enforced. My local Wally Worlds are running at about 50% of the customers masked, and nobody’s said a word to me for not wearing one.

      4. I live in the Florida Free State. Except for a few commie-governed enclaves,(Pinellas and Hillsborough county I’m looking at you) we mostly don’t believe in stupidity masquerading SW(IDT?) as science.

  10. How can you say the tide of madness will end? It has already gone beyond all rational limits, and it’s still rising. The few trying to hold it back are vastly outnumbered by the thundering herd pushing it up.

    Around here, masks are almost 100% and if you don’t wear one, everybody backs away from you in terror. I find it more disgusting than amusing.
    When someone does a foolish thing, you should say it is a foolish thing. They may still continue to do it, but at least the truth is where it needs to be.

    1. Madness, by definition, is not constrained by rational limits. We’re nowhere close to the worst kind of social madness we’ve seen in history. Hopefully that’s because our society isn’t as susceptible to that level of mass madness.

    2. There are two reasons to say it will end.

      One, the current dynamics are clearly driven by people taking advantages of the overall population not expecting anyone to go that far. Okay, this confounded by my theories of unforeseeability, and potential complexity beyond human understanding. But we can expect the ‘system dynamics’ of a society to change if this ‘loading’ is permanent.

      Two, mental illness has to be by definition culturally specific. If a behavior is ‘permanent’, it is part of a culture. If it is part of the culture, it is no longer madness in the context of that culture.

      Number two is ninety percent not relevant here.

      What will happen is that people will realize things, even not admitting anything to themselves, and not daring to associate themselves with any public symbol of the opposition. That will change their behavior in some way, and the current house of cards will fall apart.

      Note, this is not a situation where we can model society mathematically, and understand that an ‘optimal’ outcome is ensured. I am very much not promising with this a good outcome.

      The thing is, even the leftists think that the situation is crazy, and scary. Now, the things that they are pointing at are different, but the key thing is that even they are part of the general consensus that is viewing things with concern.

      Now, our flavor of conservative saw things going wrong very far in advance, so we are used to thinking that things are wrong, and we are used to not having widespread support in that belief.

      The Americans who do not sense that something is wrong at some level are very few; they may all be children, some of the severely mentally ill, and the extremely isolated. And if a majority of Americans were aligned with the enemy, were going to bend outcomes in that direction, then the cheating would not have almost failed to deliver the government to the Chinese.

      1. > The Americans who do not sense that something is wrong at some level are very few;

        They were told the source of their discomfort was Donald Trump. Now it’s “white supremacists.” But they’re directed to their targets by the “social media” so many of them are addicted to. Like with most addictions, it has rotted their brains.

        What were those horrible books credited to William Shatner? “Tek, the first cybernetic drug.” Got’cher tek right here, in little plastic tablets people clutch obsessively.

        1. I read the first Tek book out of curiosity. At which point, my curiosity was PERMANENTLY satisfied.

          Best I could tell, ‘Tek’ was some sort of computer program for the brain which could only be run once, and then you had to buy a new copy. Must have been owned by Sony.
          Leo Bloom: “Well, if we assume you’re a dishonest person—“
          Max Bialystock: “Assume, assume!”

      2. One additional reason – Chuck Lorre’s vanity cards at the end of his shows. We had stopped hitting pause to read them many years ago, but having caught a few recently that seemed different we paused to read and fid he’s sounding like a man awakening after a months-long bender.

        No, he still is not sane, but he’s no longer a raving lunatic. That suggests that intelligent discussion of issues may again become possible.

  11. I had a rough night– kept waking up to the machine and cramps. But when I got off the machine this morning, I feel asleep again. Sometimes I get my most important info in second sleep dreams. This morning I was told clearly that “I’m not taking care of myself.” Yes, it was a late-hubby dream. I think I’m sensing a change in the tide. Maybe it is just a personal change. It also means I need to practice patience.

    1. I have very active and clear dreams, but only a few that have given me a shockingly important message about my future. They warned me of a family situation that I would have to face long term. Do your best and take care of yourself. Can’t do much more.

        1. Interesting. I’ve only had one precog dream that I verified by writing it down before the event. Still don’t know for sure if it was precog, or my brain subconsciously put together everything I knew about those people and the location and manufactured a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since it was a good event, that wasn’t a problem.

          What is a problem is the waking fear, the undercurrent of apprehension that something bad is coming; you don’t know for sure what, or when, or the form it’s going to take, or the hideous choice-less choices you may be faced with.

          All too often we make the bad guys henchmen in our stories single-dimensional, faceless targets; only developing the main antagonist. But how many of the evil regime’s enforcers are just ordinary pukes with families and serving Mr. Big because he pays well and tells them they’re the ones protecting society?

          “I’m sorry Herr Kofacs, but the government says you’re spouting sedition and we have to take you in. Hopefully they’ll find it’s all a misunderstanding and you’ll be back for this Saturday’s card game.”

          “What happened to Kofacs?”
          “Shhhh. The black suits came and took him from the jail.”

  12. Oh boy, I saw the tide coming in for years. It was most always a problem when I tried to explain what I was seeing to someone. Like I was the insane one. Nothing to see here. Move along. No life preserver required. You’re just hallucinating.

    This polluted tide will recede someday. Then maybe, when we don’t expect it, there will be a big cleansing tide, like a tsunami. We need to be ready for that one also.

    1. The “you’re crazy?” ALL THE TIME.
      I used to scream at people “World population is already falling” And they thought I was nuts. Now a lot of professional demographers agree with me. People on the street just look confused.

      1. A problem there is that it’s hard to form an accurate picture based only on personal evidence. My personal evidence suggests not enough babies, but maybe that’s just a quirk if who I know. Having faithful numbers and reasonable estimates would be really nice.

        I counted siblings, cousins, college and highschool classmates that I know current family status. Conclusion was I could have as many kids as possible and still not replace the numbers of adults in my circle. That was depressing….

            1. Yes, though it requires recognizing that using truth to harm truth is wrong.

              Part of why I love riddles is that they are the play-slap-fight of lies– they use true statements to fiddle with folks. Makes teh fight FUN.

        1. No. It’s like that everywhere. my first alarm was when they said in Portugal the average was 3 children per women. And by my generation already, TWO CHILDREN were rare. Most people were only children. They couldn’t AFFORD more.

          1. I did mean possible. If someone ever tries to guilt me about too many kids, they are in for a surprise. Looks like new generation is 50% of their parents generation by my extended families’ family sizes. Either two kids or zero kids is the norm. And that is not going to replace the adults, let alone grow.

            Side note, I really wish the people promoting vaccines for wu flu would WAIT to vaccinate anyone under 35. That way if something goes screwy, at least the future generation and the ability to produce that generation will remain intact. That women currently pregnant are voluntarily vaccinating is mind boggling.

            1. Side note, I really wish the people promoting vaccines for wu flu would WAIT to vaccinate anyone under 35. That way if something goes screwy, at least the future generation and the ability to produce that generation will remain intact.

              Assuming benevolent motives are we?

              1. Hmmm. A bit. It’s a simpler explanation for all the low level persons enthused about it.

          2. Yup when I was a kid being an only was weird. There was ONE other only in my grammar school grade (and her parents changed that much to her chagrin in 6th grade). My daughters knew LOTS of onlys anything beyond 3 was very rare except in very blue collar families or occasional 4s in families wealthy enough that Mom did not work. When I was a kid I knew several 4s some 5’s and even a couple of 8-9 child families. China’s coercive 1 child policy has definitely affected their view of children. India seems to be having similar in the more urban areas. Only place that seems to still have large growth rates seems to be Africa (especially sub Sahara) and as our Hostess has pointed out their numbers are highly suspect. Interestingly here in the states the only groups that seem to be growing are the religiously conservative, Evangelicals, devout Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox Jews etc. As they also seem to be eschewing the public schools or counteracting them in their home there is an interesting potential demographic here. But this is a strategy of generations, there may not be time.

              1. It’s almost as if cultures are resistant to change, altering slowly and only under great pressure. But that’s crazy talk!

        2. Conclusion was I could have as many kids as possible and still not replace the numbers of adults in my circle. That was depressing….

          From the very little I know of extended family, I’d have to go full Amish to approach replacement levels (including the people who were born, but died without kids for one reason or an other).

          Friend circle is the same.

          1. I broke a couple of relatives by doing the “from great-grandparents” level breakdown.

            Our kids just barely make it replacement.

            When I then offer to go to great grandparents– it would take more, one grandparent had 13 live to adulthood– they tend to go pale and basically run away, because they already saw what the “six kids” and “eight kids” thing resulted in, on the modern level. And they realize that ONE family with 13 won’t fix it.

            1. I am…… glad? ….the word does not feel correct here at all…. to have “not having kids” as my Petersonian “Hell to run away from”.

                1. “glad”, in that the idea is one of such horror that I am immune to any propaganda (Watermelons, MRAs, MTGOWs, etc) who’s arguments finally cash out as “and then we don’t have kids”, no matter how plausible they may sound. As well as similar effects in other domains.

              1. To head off future hell–
                even if you don’t have kids, you can be the dad kids need.

                If biology does not give what which is needed, you can fix places that have gaps.

                Look, the movie UP! is basically a beg for daddies– the kung fu school the Princess was in had most of its teachers from being the dad they didn’t have.

                Be the gold that mends the breaks the world.

                1. My frustrated maternal energy is directed to my niece and nephews. The world and the future need to better for them.

              2. I think the word you want in lieu of “glad” is “content” or possibly “relieved.”

            2. I can tell you that between societal damage and personal family damage, some of us are just too broken to raise healthy children. I mean, I could keep some physically alive, but everything my family took out of me already means I’d do a horrible, horrible job as far as the responsible emotional side of parenting.

              All I can do is write books for those who can raise sane little humans.

              1. While I think you are wrong–assuming a proper match, the POINT of a mate is that they cover what you can’t– the thing is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO. It doesn’t matter what I think, or if I am right. Not alone. For it to matter in the faintest, you MUST, if you ever do, find your match to start that job. And if you don’t– THAT IS OK. Then the issue is filling your needs.
                Seriously, I don’t like kids. I like some people who are kids, but in general, I don’t like kids. But I have six, and that is not a PROBLEM. I like them for reasons that have nothing to do with “kid.”

                Family stuff is strange.

                Look, my granny was broken. She still made six kids who were no more broken than as best we can tell normal people—because her match was broken in a way that let them fix the damage from the other. Granpa was an Odd, to an extreme level.

                They had issues, but the issues of their kids were more biological than raising.

                And your writing?
                Embers got me through several very tough moves. Our Empress would’ve been dealing with a much crankier mommy with out that story. Your writing gave me the … the emotional wiggle room to do what I needed to, as an adult.

                So even if you never find a match worthy of you, you HAVE helped. Massively. You gave me the bonus on my sanity roll that got us the first house we bought— which made it so we had the money to move out of the Seattle blob, from an area that would’ve hurt the kids otherwise.

                that “all you can do” HAS helped at least a half dozen kids, which is more than many parents can claim.

                1. Seriously, I don’t like kids.


                  My mother has said the same thing. Something about growing up around a bunch of horrible ones.

                  But… she realized that she could raise her kids to be the kind of people she liked being around. Mostly by not treating us in the way she hated to be treated by her mother. Mom’s philosophy was that raising children is something akin to teaching a newly-crashed space alien how to be human.

                  We got a taste of what it was like to be raised by someone who thought children aren’t worth explaining things to when Dad got remarried after my parents’ divorce.

                  … I was very happy the year I turned 18 and could stay home in the summer.

                  1. I like kids okay, but I like the adults they grow into more. In fact, I’m pretty awful at teaching littles, though I’m sure the stuff I teach them that is way over their heads sinks in eventually

                    1. I like infants. They’re a lot like cats. After that, I catch them again when they start having rational discussions at 12 or 13.
                      My own kids? different. I liked them all the way through. I might have made them very weird, though.

                    2. I like my kids. Except when my middle one deliberately makes annoying repetitive noises first thing in the morning. (Also the one that puts an annoying whine in her voice. It’s getting better under being informed of how awful it sounds.)

              2. Crossover?
                Truly, no. It’s a spiral upward. None of us is ever going to be perfect. That doesn’t exist. You just do your best, and then they do their best, and then….

                1. While I can’t claim any special insight– she’s been wronged more than most.

                  But if she finds the other half, I think she’d be a great mom.

                  Big thing is that humans have babies easily enough, on average– she doesn’t have to be.

                  A lot of good has been done for us by folks whose other half was not of this world.

                    1. To wit, Dan and I joke that we are lucky the children didn’t come for six years, despite our trying. Because you know…. we weren’t RIGHT.
                      We refer to the first seven years of our marriage as “gluing each other back together.”
                      We were talking today about how if we’d married anyone else we wouldn’t be who we are, and probably not half as functional.

                    2. Dan’s background isn’t THAT different from crossovers, btw. Not going into details, but sometimes, even now, he looks at something that happened when he was a kid and goes “oh.” Because even when we got married, he didn’t see it. He thought HE was a wrongun.

                1. Fish is about my speed. Maybe a cat again, once I’m no longer responsible for my mother’s dog. Man I wish anyone else in the family had been willing to take him.

                  One of the most personally frustrating aspects of the paranoid lockdown is animal shelters being unwilling to take animals.

                    1. Rescue dog, supposedly Louisiana Catahoula but I can’t swear to that. About 12. We recently had a second round of vet dental done on his teeth, because in all the chaos of the past few years he didn’t get those seen to nearly enough. Think that’s under control now.

                      I have, by necessity, mostly gotten him to walk on a leash now. At least, it’s a walk when he’s worn out a little. Mostly it’s like on-land waterskiing, and not fun at all.

                      You’d have to warn them he’s on about 4 meds, twice daily – most of them for allergies, he’s got grass pollen allergy so bad it’s not funny, and the idiot will try to eat the grass any time his stomach feels upset. More importantly, he’s got fear-biter tendencies and is definitely NOT safe with other animals, or kids. Or most people. I think he was taken away from his litter too soon, he’s utterly clueless that “Ow!” means “stop that, it hurts”. Unfortunately he’s the right height to sling all 68 pounds of his weight behind his skull into my bad knees when he feels so inclined. And does so when being friendly, like being rubbed down with a towel after we’ve been out in the rain. He does love the towel.

                    2. Is much appreciated. 🙂

                      Ah. Also have to add the warning he’s brindle, so has been mistaken for a pit bull. Vet assures us he’s definitely not that, but – it’s a factor.

                    3. I have fans that work in several rescues and many of these will take “I think this is” dogs and cats. (Like “I think it’s a cornish rex mix” will get a cat in with the rescue.) And/or they might have access to no-kill-shelters that will take him. In CO they’re still taking animals, and also scheduling visits, for ex, so other states might be able to help. (We wanted to go visit Havey-cats look-alike in no kill shelter in Denver, but decided not to, since we’re not adopting him no matter what. Mostly because he’s too fuzzy and I am low-level allergic.)

                    4. *Hugs* Cat allergies suck.

                      He might be a good dog for someone else, but honestly, the two of us only tolerate each other. And he wants physical contact to a degree I find physically painful, and that’s when he’s NOT pulling the head-slam-to-knee.

                      On top of that the house had to be sold, and I and Sib had limited options for renting anywhere that would take a dog, and… we just can’t stop him from rushing the apartment door. Meaning someone has to be here at all times to leash him, or it’s not safe. You can probably imagine how that deep-sixes job hunting….

              3. All I can do is write books for those who can raise sane little humans.

                That’s not a small thing.

                1. That said, emotional exhaustion is certainly not a good place to make life changing decisions from. ^_^

                  Heck, I only had to take care of sick cats, it’s been four years since the last one died, and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to get another one.

              4. It takes quite a bit to break a normal child. A broken family, in a broken society, with broken values? Yeah, when it adds up it can break a normal kid. Those kids who aren’t normal get broken faster.

              5. On top of what others have said, there has always been room for that Odd Uncle / Aunt who never had kids.

                “It takes all sorts” is a trite cliche. But it got that way the same way most cliches did; but earning its position through truth.

                1. It takes all sorts

                  I must confess I’ve never liked Allsorts. I like licorice but some of their mixture just do not work for me.

                  While on the topic: does anybody know what has happened with Kentucky Mints? I had a hankering for a taste of them and they seem to be unavailable.

                  1. >> “I must confess I’ve never liked Allsorts. I like licorice but some of their mixture just do not work for me.”

                    Funny you should mention it, because there’s actually a “Wiley Wallaby” brand of licorice.

            3. I can’t quite parse that. 6 and 8 was too many with low infant mortality? Or too low because we don’t have enough?

              1. The ancestors we were looking at with the “huge families” (fairly normal for the time) had kids who had so few kids that replacement didn’t happen when you remember that the kids’ spouses had to replace themselves too.

                And we had several ancestors above them who had only one kid.

                Basically, they’d been snookered into the “look, two people here, twelve here! Huge population growth!” trick, where you just kind of ignore that their spouses aren’t growth.

                1. When see 12 kid families in history that grow up, marry, and don’t replace, I attributed it to the now grown children wanting more mom and dad time as they grew up and having fewer kids to do better by their own. Maybe that’s incorrect.

                  1. Looking at my relatives? A lot didn’t bother to parent the few kids they did have… and they didn’t even give them siblings to get the “feel” of family.

                    Complicating factors like doing the “right” thing and both parents working, so that the kids had massive resources…but only got Quality Time, not Quantity Time, and they were the soul focus when they were getting that Quality Time. Lots of stress.

                    1. OK. I haven’t tried to dig into it. It shows up in Cheaper by the Dozen (book not movie). “All of us occasionally wondered what it would be like to be an only child” and only one had 5 children when grown.

                    2. Meh. My best friend had 12 brothers and sisters. All of them wondered, sure, but it wasn’t about ‘more time with mom and dad’. For my friend it was “I’d like one piece of clothing that hasn’t been through five sisters.”
                      I don’t think any of them has more than five kids. Heck, I THINK the maximum is four. But it’s the same pressures as on the rest of society, not longing for more time with mom and dad.
                      Heck, I wondered what it would be like to have ten siblings, as I was a profoundly solitary child.

                    3. Those being more that kids are a net monetary cost rather than helping earn income plus propaganda about increasing world population. I assume?

                    4. Yep. Particularly among the educated the “you’re increasing the world population and we’re all going to die” depresses child bearing.
                      And the poor can’t afford the kids, or the bizarre amount of supervision that you HAVE to give them so they’re not taken away.

                  2. OK. I haven’t tried to dig into it. It shows up in Cheaper by the Dozen (book not movie). “All of us occasionally wondered what it would be like to be an only child” and only one had 5 children when grown.

                    Like any of the other options there are pros and cons. Will depend more on the particular family culture.

                    Though I’d guess (and it is only a guess) that only child families have less…. how do I want to put it? “psychological margin” seems close enough.

                    Now when you get into onlys-of-onlys is where the sheaf of possibilities probably tilts sour.

          2. Most of the couples we know have no children. One couple had an accident. The outlier had two, more from “whatever” than any specific plan.

            1. My dad was one of nine living. Out of those, he’s the only one that had more than two kids (and not all of his siblings married/had kids.) So I’m one of five. And there’s a nice even fifteen grandkids. So nine, to five, to three. On our side, which is the only one that went that nuts with kids. I don’t think there’s fifteen of my kids’ generation inclusive with all my cousins on that side. (Not entirely sure; that side of the family lived across the country and I only have vague impressions of cousins.)

              1. Dad was one of four. Mom was one of five (six but one died in infancy.)
                Mom and a sister had two kids. One of her brothers had two and the other PROBABLY four (two different women and weird circumstances. This was my very sweet but not mentally competent oldest uncle.)
                One of her sisters had one.
                Because one of my uncles was spectacular at destroying his own kids, and the other wasn’t too shabby though inadvertent, there were five grandkids that count. One had one kid, the others have two apiece.
                No great grands so far.
                On dad’s side, two of the boys had one official kid (one of them had three on the side.) Dad had two and his sister had FOUR. Weirdly or maybe not, one of aunt’s daughters — the one raised with us — had ONE kid, everyone else had…. minimum 4. So my aunt (who died at 60) is way ahead on the grandkid competition, but only three great grands so far (two from the one was raised with us.) My brother and I have no grandkids. We lost touch with the branch in Brazil. My uncle Seraphim’s official son had one daughter, no children (she tried.) I don’t think the others have any children.
                Now, our family was never THAT fertile, but still…..

                1. Only a few of my nieces and nephews are old enough for kids, and that’s young twenties. Some of them are in stable relationships, but most of them are working on schooling still. On my husband’s side, though, one of his nieces has three in the same range as my three, because he was a late child. Great uncle in his 30s. (Of course, the language we teach the kids isn’t so precise. He’s “Uncle Rob” and our kids are “cousins” because “first cousin once removed” is a mouthful.)

                  1. our kids are “cousins” because “first cousin once removed” is a mouthful

                    Son technically has 12 cousins, 7 from my 2 sisters, and 5 from dad’s 3 siblings. Reality he has 17 cousins if you add the 5 “first cousins once removed” because they are his age, or younger than his cousins on his dad’s side, by 3 to 8 years. Three of my uncles are younger, or the same age, as hubby’s siblings. Two of my Aunt’s-in-law, are younger than hubby. It makes sense, as stated by one of my “new nieces” at our wedding “Your grandparents”, 3 surviving at that time, “are the same age as grandma and grandpa!” A little older, but not a lot. To a 5 year old? Close enough. Her mother was only 6 years younger than my parents (not sure about her dad, he left a couple of years later, I think he was older than SIL, but don’t know).

                    So, yes, cousin instead of “cousin once removed”. Aunt, or Uncle, instead of adding “Great” too. Heck I grew up with a “Big Uncle” and “Uncle” (same name), where “Big” didn’t apply to size (he was 5′, maybe), but meant “Great Uncle”.

      2. Memetic networks.

        “Population … falling?” *confused look*

        “Yes. Look at your smartphone. I just blipped it (sent a “New Web” reference to the other person’s smartphone via a brief Bluetooth connection).”

        “Oh … okay, I see my butler (trusted electronic slave/virtual servant/software assistant) likes it (approves of the background information package compiled and imported at 5G speeds from high-reputation, uncontroversial information brokers by a custom reputation network that moderates information flow for specific individuals who belong to a cooperative buying group with a particular ideological bent). “Yeah, wow! Boy, that animation kinda nails it, huh?” (Popular animation from a low-cost, high-quality provider with access to vast render farms in the cloud at reasonable cost as defined by current common market for custom animations of that type and class illustrates visually and powerfully the predicted fall of populations across Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Italy, France, Canada, etc., etc.)

        “Doesn’t it, though?”

        “Well, okay, I guess. I never thought of that!”

        “Yeah, bye now!”


        Total elapsed time of momentary social encounter and subsequent engrossment in animation/video at a party, business function, or street corner is perhaps four minutes, and the reference is easily shared from the second smartphone as well with friends and co-workers who likely already subscribe to custom reputation networks with access one way or the other to the same or at least very similar background information packages on looming population collapses across the planet. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a sophisticated but easy-to-digest interactive animation/video produced by an ad hoc team of psychological experts and experienced visual artists is worth a … thousand pictures? A particularly good interactive animation can go viral within mere minutes or even seconds after release, earning its scattered global production team a beefy return for a few hours or days of intensely focused work and whatever it cost to render the photorealistic special effects. 🙂

        *steps back into time machine and waves airily but meaningfully at the no-touch control mechanism controlled by a primitive but effective A.I. with context awareness, resulting in a sparkling halo that sweeps away the Time Machine to meet again with the Eloi … whoops, accidentally veered into the wrong story arc* ^_^

    2. I too, am not insane. I am cursed just like Cassandra without her powers, just open eyes.

      My aunt tuned me into reading history, questioning authority and dogma back in the ’80s. One of the books she encouraged me to read was “A Pillar of Iron” by Taylor Caldwell, which made comparison between the Roman and the US empires.

      I became fully red-pilled in the ’90s because I wasn’t hypnotized by the mass media due to several years of working shift-work. So the library instead of the glass teat, the alternative media instead of the mainstream, and discussions in the middle of third shift with fellow questioning individuals. Also changed careers which had me meeting Mark Cuban, who advised me that “People buy the sizzle, not the steak.” (Which is how he gained his fortune, I had a ring side seat.)

      Throughout the decades, some family and co-workers thought I was a “””Conspiracy Theorist””” but I wasn’t like the con-artists on Art Bell, just was following the money and power trails long before the autistic crew on 4chan and the Q-anon LARPing.

      I’ve met some real interesting folks including one of the top forensic accountants in the US. He scared the poop out of me by validating some of my observations and suspicions. (About 50 trillion USD has been drained from the US over the last 70 years. Is there gold in Fort Knox? Talked about Gain-of-function ten years before the Wu-Flu…)

      A Russian Jew gently warned me to stay out of certain peoples business and to play dumb in certain circles. “These people in charge of the world now are the same type of people that were in charge in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s. Everyone is disposable when they flex their power.”

      1. > is there gold in Fort Knox?

        *Some*, but Treasury has always managed to block an audit. Fort Knox theoretically holds about half the bullion held by the Fed. The rest is scattered across the various mints; citizens can tour the Denver and Philadelphia mints, but I don’t know if the bullion is part of the tour. They probably wouldn’t let anyone close enough to examine it anyway.

        Do the repositories actually hold the 147 million troy ounces Treasury claims? You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to have serious doubts about that. “If you like your gold, you can keep your gold…”

        1. The other side of that — we hold resources and treasures of some other countries, but nobody really seems to be willing to reveal what resources and treasures we’re banking. It usually only comes up when we give it back to a depositor. And yup, if we’ve got those goodies, they are in Fort Knox.

        2. Might make an amusing variation of the Goldfinger movie. They go through their plot, get into Fort Knox and… no gold. Cue hissy fit from Goldfinger.

      2. Ever notice that every time somebody starts to audit the DoD, something world-changing happens?

  13. Just don’t get caught in the undertow when that tide goes back out. And watch out for riptides at the pinch points.

  14. We have no heart for the fishing – we have no hand for the oar –
    All that our fathers taught us of old pleases us no more.
    All that our own hearts bid us believe we doubt where we do not deny –
    There is nor proof in the bread we eat nor rest in the toil we ply.

    Look you, our foreshore stretches far through sea-gate, dyke and groin –
    Made land all, that our fathers made, where the flats and the fairway join.
    They forced the sea a sea-league back. They died, and their work stood fast.
    We were born to peace in the lee of the dykes, but the time of our peace is past.

    Far off, the full tide clambers and slips, mouthing and resting all,
    Nipping the flanks of the water-gates, baying along the wall;
    Turning the shingle, returning the shingle, changing the set of the sand…
    We are too far from the beach, men say, to know how the outwarks stand.

    So we come down, uneasy, to look; uneasily pacing the beach.
    These are the dykes our fathers made: we have never known a breach.
    Time and again has the gale blown by and we were not afraid;
    Now we come only to look at the dykes – at the dykes our fathers made.

    O’er the marsh where the homesteads cower apart the harried sunlight flies,
    Shifts and considers, wanes and recovers, scatters and sickness and dies –
    An evil ember bedded in ash – a spark blown west by wind …
    We are surrendered to night and the sea – the gale and the tide behind!

    At the bridge of the lower saltings the cattle gather and blare,
    Roused by the feet of running men, dazed by the lantern-glare.
    Unbar and let them away for their lives – the levels drown as they stand,
    Where the flood-wash forces the sluices aback and the ditches deliver inland.

    Ninefold deep to the top of the dykes the galloping breakers stride,
    And their overcarried spray is a sea – a sea of the landward side.
    Coming, like stallions they paw with their hooves, going they snatch with their teeth,
    Till the bents and the furze and the sand are dragged out, and the old-time hurdles are beneath.

    Bid men gather fuel for fire, the tar, the oil and tow –
    Flame we shall need, not smoke, in the dark if the riddled sea-banks go.
    Bid the ringers watch in the tower (who know how the dawn shall prove?)
    Each with his rope between his feet and the trembling bells above.

    Now we can only wait till the day, wait and apportion our shame.
    These are the dykes our fathers left, but we would not look to the same.
    Time and again were we warned of the dykes, time and again we delayed.
    Now, it may fall, we have slain our sons, as our fathers we have betrayed.

    . . . . . . . . . . .

    Walking along the wreck of the dykes, watching the works of the sea!
    These were the dykes our fathers made to our great profit and ease.
    But the peace is gone and the profit is gone, with the old sure days withdrawn …
    That our own houses show as strange when we come back in the dawn

    Rudyard Kipling, The Dykes

    My last deep attempt at a creative writing project has been at least slightly derailed by current events.

    After the 2018 election, I had a deep need for answers about what to do with societal chaos and profoundly compromised institutions.

    So, I started in on a fanfic project combining elements of several seriously screwed up versions of the Japanese government, picking Japan in 2024 because of safe emotional distance.

    The concept was probably ambitious beyond my current ability, and I have no clue how to plot. At one point, I was picking poems and songs to inspire emotions for specific characters. I may actually follow through on that method of plotting at some point.

    Anyway, The Dykes was for a young police professional in the middle of trying to deal with one of the many horrible messes.

    Also, we don’t yet know the full scope of the damage, but that does not mean that there must be potential for more that will materialize.

    Sometimes you have to watch and wait.

    Sometimes you have to kick the tires, light the fires, and first one in the air is lead.

    Difficult situations breed imperfect solutions, and sometimes you have to tolerate enduring the best of a bad answer.

    Anyway, I’m weepy, and have probably hit my productive limit for here today. It is absolutely not as bad as the worst of what we might fear.

  15. If you are having affairs Tide is highly recommended, although Gain and All are almost as good at hiding the traces.

    HOWEVER, if you really want an effective way of eliminating those tell-tale stains, have you tried Amway?

  16. We’re still virtually 100% slave muzzles everywhere, and I got a hard “recoil in horror” yesterday. So hard it made me smile and shake my head.

    1. *sympathy* My folks are over Spokane side, mom has a literal printout of “had pneumonia, no mask” and still gets folks being dumb.

      Dad has a a plague doctor mask. 😀

    2. There comes a point at which mere stupidity is no longer an adequate explanation.

      1. Stupidity is always an adequate explanation. There comes a time when it is not an adequate excuse.

    3. I wore the shield to my orthopedic appointment Wednesday, and was told that Medical Masks Must Be Worn. Which I happened to have in my satchel. They also said Noses Must Be Covered, but a) my hearing is absolutely awful, and b) I prefer to be able to breathe while wearing a mask, and extra CO2 doesn’t work.

      Turns out my jaw is build wrong to use the low-mounted shield, but the forehead one works.

      (Now set at 90 degrees, when my knee allows it, with driving about 4 weeks out. Sooner for on-premise use and really short runs. (The transfer station is a half mile away or closer…)

    4. My standard reply these days regarding the “where is your mask” is, “I don’t do stupid.” Doesn’t happen very often down here in Florida.
      Most people down here are pretty much of the wear-a-mask-if-you-want-but don’t-bother-me-attitude.

    1. While I think that Roberts is wrong, his argument is not evil.

      He basically says “you weren’t hurt, you can’t be hurt, and the rule is no longer in place.”

      Which is not evil.

      Given that the main use of the supreme court lately is “establish stuff,” he’s very wrong, but still not evil.

      And depending on what he thinks the USSC should be, it’s a good point to make at a time that it costs nothing.

      1. The students were stopped by campus police. Means they were denied opportunity for free speech. Now if I’m denied opportunity to perform an action that I have planned into my schedule, that’s a waste of those hours. Time is money, time is life. Therefore lost time IS harm. Roberts is wrong. Don’t have to give the students free tuition, but I’d have offered them the opportunity to whack the campus keystone cops, or better yet, the school administrators responsible, on the buttocks with a cane a few times.

        1. In a sane situation that wrong was recognized by changing the policy, and if they did it again it would be time for smitage.

          We’re waaaaaaay far from sane.

  17. Sounds like what you are describing is a type of wave caused by constructive interference of two or more regular sized waves. For a number of reasons the frequency of waves on an incoming ride can vary quite a bit. Sometime these cycles reinforce each other to create an unusually large wave.

    I suppose the recent surge of Leftist madness could be seen as convergence of two more cycles of regular mundane Leftist madness.

    1. This reminded me of an old SF story I read long ago and still love. “The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck” by Hilbert Schenck.

      1. That’s a name I haven’t seen in a long time. I think the only Schenck book I ever came across was “Steam Bird”.

  18. Sarah (may I call you Sarah?) you think in terms of tides and when I was much younger, I thought in terms of a pendulum. I sort of pictured the US government as swinging from one side of the scale to the other, sometimes a bit further (someone pushed,) sometimes less (more pushing,) and most often staying close to the center and not swinging very far.

    Now? Now I think the metaphor still works, but I’m now picturing one of those pendulums that’s nearly the size of a large house, made of granite and concrete, and the left is pushing as hard as they can thinking they’re going to be able to hold it in place when they get it where they want. When, instead, at some point they’re going to slip, or enough people will wake up and start pushing against them.

    Those at the furthest to the left, the ones up against the pendulum will be the first to fall (any bets on AOC staying in office after ’22? I’d put money on the Dem Machine figuring out how to beat her in the primaries,) some will see the fall coming and be smart enough, or enough of a chameleon to figure out how to get out of the way and either retire as a “respected statesman,” or mouth the right platitudes to stay in office (Pelosi comes to mind here.)

    The only question about how things will look when the pendulum starts to swing is, how red will the streets get. I’m inclined to say, if the ’22 elections seem to be fair and not the travesty of ’20, and the far-left gets cut down, with the House going to nearly 50-50 or the Reps having a majority, and the Senate either going Rep or staying 50-50, things will be relatively peaceful (at least from the conservative side.)
    If people think the election was another shit-show? If it looks / is / even sorta-kinda seems like it was a steal? The war pipes will start wailing, and all those caches of ammo people have been building up will quickly stop being caches at somewhere in the realm of 1200fps…

    1. It’s not a pendulum. I’ve already said that’s not right.
      And this is a false tide. An anomalous wave.
      I don’t actually think in terms of tides.
      As for calling me Sarah, I don’t know you’re senior enough here for that.

      1. Is funny — somehow, “can I call you (first name)” is more intimate than just SAYING chunk-of-name, and I know we’ve hit folks who used “say last name as a derogatory thingie” before.

        Being military, pretty sure I called you Hoyt as a quasi-initimate at some point, but still didn’t tick the Manners thingie.

        I think I called you either ATH or your full screen name for a while…..

          1. *mostly tone deaf gal grins* The scary thing is, I can’t hear that stuff… unless I do, and then it’s usually when folks are invested in me NOT hearing it, and throw a fit.

          2. I kind of like the title of “Our esteemed hostess”. It implies an honored female leader of a group to which we belong. It also implies that she has the authority and power to eject us for rude, boorish behavior, and the rest of the group will close ranks in support of her.

          3. …that and I usually encounter it with people who are pretending to be some sort of friend, and usually turn out to not be so.

        1. >> “Is funny — somehow, “can I call you (first name)” is more intimate than just SAYING chunk-of-name, and I know we’ve hit folks who used “say last name as a derogatory thingie” before.”

          I remember calling her Sarah pretty much from the beginning – it never occurred to me that it might be offensive – and she never seemed to have a problem with it. Granted, she did respond to one of my earliest comments by calling me a “bad man” and throwing a carp at me, but I’m pretty sure that was just a reaction to the joke I was making.

            1. She must have taken a liking to me fast, then, ’cause I had hardly posted anything at that point. 😛

              1. Which is remarkably resourceful of him given that wallabies are herbivores. Mysterious is the Way of the Wallaby…

          1. But by thinking it’s a ratcheting system, the implication is that it doesn’t every have to go back to a previous state. That they will be able to keep ratcheting it in their chosen direction, perhaps occasionally giving up a few clicks here-and-there, only to move it a multitude elsewhere.

            A tide, or a seiche wave, or even a tsunami eventually return to the “steady state.”

            Hmm. So perhaps, after all, your ratcheting system is a better metaphor. Why? Because if you tighten a ratchet strap too far in one direction, the only way to release it can cause the end to come whipping back on you. Or is that maybe even to tortuous a metaphor?

            1. Since I sense some military in your background–think more “monkey muscle.”

              You can force it to go where you want… until it breaks, and then you got nothing.

              1. Actually no military in my background (family, that’s a different story.) I had to look up what I think you were referring to, a “calf tear / torn calf muscle” and yeah, that works as a metaphor.

                1. Well, you talk it very well; much Heinlein?

                  To “monkey muscle” something is where you …. over simplifying it…. over tighten the thing, and thus destroy the good of what you were doing.

                  It works for a while, but when you have to change, it’s gone.

                  If it doesn’t just snap off under your hand when you’er tightening.

                  1. Heinlein some, Ringo lots, Correia lots, Drake lots, bits and bobs of Tom Clancy (some of the Jack Ryan, but not all,) Weber lots.

                    Gotcha on the meaning, trying to find it out was more references to calf muscle tears and such.

                    1. Seems you might want to read some Tom Kratman. If you’ve read Ringo’s Posleen books, try Yellow Eyes. Or just jump into the Carrera Series, staring with A Desert Called Peace.

                    2. Yep, the entire Posleen series (or at least, I think the whole thing,) including Yellow Eyes.

                      I’m fairly sure I’ve got at least a couple of Kratmans’ books, the name sounds familiar.

                  2. I think the first time I heard something concrete about this was back in junior high, when I was ticking a summer option class designed around taking apart a computer (an Apple IIe, which was about a decade obsolete at the time, but in sufficient quantity that there were plenty to work with.) The instructor noted, after she’d shown us how to discharge a CRT, that when she taught this class to prisoners, she had to be very explicit that they shouldn’t tighten the screws down to their ultimate point, because that ruins the screws (and makes it hard on subsequent students.) Something something about adult males and tightening… 😀

                    At any rate, it was the first time the idea had been introduced to me that over-tightening is as bad as tightening too much, whether it’s screws or lugnuts on tires.

                    1. My first recollection of over-tightening was with bolts. I had just replaced a toilet fill valve assembly and was tightening down the tank mounting bolts one … last … turn …

            2. Yes, but the ratchet has been broken. It won’t go to the same state it was, no.
              However to continue ratcheting they needed full control of the media, etc.
              Look, you’re thinking like the left.
              There is no such thing as a “balance state” for humans. It’s never going to happen. Humanity changes. That’s the rule.

              1. There may not be a balance state, but there is its opposite.

                They can only keep all the electrons in the outer orbitals for so long. Eventually they will drop back down and release their energy.

                  1. It applies in the same way as a Strangely Large Tide does: a complex system pushed into an excessively high energy state that can’t last.

              2. Perhaps, then, we can agree that any metaphor anyone comes up with will be, at best, tortuous?

                I can absolutely agree with your last statement, if humanity didn’t change, we’d either still be cowering in the dark of the night, waiting for the predator to sweep in and make off with its’ victim of choice. And, I’d think we can also agree, that the left is fervently TRYING to “freeze” humanity once they force everyone into their (the lefts’) “ideal” organization?

                Never realizing that they’re trying to mold water (maybe a non-Newtonian fluid?) with their hands, and that even when enclosed in a container, water ALWAYS wins out in the end…

                1. I disagree. I think we can use model and theory to do a soft proof that certain phenomena are at least to some degree unknowable.

                  We can do this using language developed for situations where we can theoretically prove models that are sometimes useful for simple things like engineering.

              3. Theory and design are fundamental aspects of human behavior. We make tools, and we have ideas about how ‘things’ ‘work’.

                All the large political organizations we form have a ‘theory of operation’.

                Sometimes they try to design the organization to fit theories of operation, and sometimes the theory of operation is formed afterward, trying to understand the behavior. One person may do something purely by habit, but when more people are involved there are instructions or negotiated consensus, and this is partly in the language of the theory of operation.

                The basic and fundamental driving factor is that these theories are reduced order models, and that people are more than intelligent to see the behavior, and game it for their own individual or small collective purposes.

                The full ‘state space’ for a human mind is probably beyond any theory that can fit within a human mind. The state space of a human society is number of minds times the state space of a mind, and is likewise beyond human knowable theory.

                The human knowable theories we have that have some validity either a) look at a reduced subset of human minds or b) have a group of people operating on similar theories and assumptions.

                So if we select the historical data, it can look like a theory holds everywhere. There are events that look like a result of theory being stressed past catastrophic failure to me.

                Anyway, theories of operation are more stable when they are not being used maliciously. When they are, all of the people being hurt have incentive to look for interesting ways to change their own behavior. This is basically a fuzzing attack, and can suddenly result in changes in group behavior. Since many people seek out power for reasons not benevolent to others, the observed behavior simplifies down to change is always occurring. (But not necessarily in a given direction! Average motion is statistical, and we do not even know that the distributions are the same.)

                Additionally, communication is lossy, and humans are always reinventing things.

                One of the current issues is that we take our humanly knowable theories of human society seriously. Our would be tyrants have built a cage, and it is a strong cage if we accept the assumptions of the theory that they have established.

                But flexibly thinking about theory in an attempt to reduce human behavior to first principles shows us that the cage is weak. We need not despair because of investing faith in their theories.

      2. > As for calling me Sarah, I don’t know you’re senior enough here for that.

        My apologies.

  19. Regarding the totalitarians taking the US: I’ve tried explaining to AntiFa-leaning kiddies in my car that Communism means they don’t get an iPhone, they get “People’s phone number 3” because number 2 is for capitalists and number 1 is for inner party members…. and they don’t get it.

    1. Hand ’em a flip phone and tell ’em that’s a “People’s Phone” and what it can do is all they get… then they might get it.

      1. I’m very sure it would be a smartphone, and it would record all your conversations, monitor where you go, and monitor your social media usage, reporting you if you use social media too much- or too little.

  20. I’m lookin’ at those thoroughly eroded rocks sticking out of the ocean, and thinkin’…. at one time Portugal must have been a lot bigger!!

    1. I don’t know so much as it’s Nightwish as the singing of Dan Vasc. The man’s an incredible vocalist, and the emotion really comes through.

    2. My first exposure to both Nightwish and Within Temptation was the old Truestyle Tournament videos for Devil May Cry 3. The background music of the game was often replaced with something else for the sake of variety and Nightwish was a popular choice for a while.

      Apologies for the 480 resolution on this one, but these were made many years ago and people weren’t generally recording in HD back then:

  21. Question that has been bouncing around in my head for a few months (started during the stea-[CRASHING SOUNDS] I MEAN THE VERY HONEST ELECTION WITH NOTHING SUSPICIOUS), but haven’t known how to ask it without giving unintended offense to the very people who could answer (notably: SAH, Foxfier, Kathy, etc).

    As I understand it, beyond the particular magic a culture might place around them, the mechanical function of an Oath is to precommit to a certain course(s) of action, either as a constant or on certain triggers. The entire point being to head off the fact that many things are very difficult to do in the moment unless you have pre-forced yourself to do it under pain of some major cost if you don’t fulfill the oath.

    So how can someone accept, nay, *work towards* a major public office, and then claim that performing the very duties they swore to perform are too scary? This is what got me thinking about the issue; with all the judges ignoring their duties in the election, with the not very subtle implication that their families had been threatened. Ok. The entire reason you took that oath was to make this easy, and hopefully even reduce such threats because everyone knows you are oath-bound.

    We will ignore for the moment that many simply didn’t *want* to see a problem. And that no one in politics gives a crap about this stuff.

    Where it gets into the unintended offense is that this logic also applies to non-public-office oath-takers…. citizenship and military oaths still have that “government gets uppity and you kill them” clause after all.

    The obvious first mitigating factor would be that execution doesn’t require doing it stupidly. Part and parcel of why every civilization ever has a bunch of myths that boils down to DON’T MAKE STUPID OATHS. Of course this can only stretch things so far.

    Another mitigating possibility is a 47 Ronin scenario. But like non-stupid execution it can only stretch so far.

    The one thing that cannot be a legitimate answer is that it is ok to not follow so long as enough pressure is brought to bear. Aside from the perverse incentive it creates, it transforms oaths into the very thing they exist to fix.

    Unfortunately this logic leads to a conclusion that pretty much every US oath-taker alive today who is awake is either secretly planning their attack (doubtful), or has broken their oath.

    Obviously this is not a desirable conclusion.

    1. The issue with an Oath is that they are not computer programs.

      You have to figure out what you have promised, and what the triggers are, and the PRUDENT method to respond to those.

      It’s not 1-0-1-1.

      It is prudential judgement. If you haven’t looked into theology on this– it’s very scary. You can come out 180 off of someone else’s judgement.

      You have people, let’s assume they’re in good faith, and they come up with ideas 180 off from each other for the best way to reach a goal.

      And they can all, to use Catholic Theology phrasing, be licit conclusions; because they do not contradict explicit moral statements.

      This is BEFORE the “people are idiots” issue.

      1. Perhaps to add on to Foxfiers’ comment, aside from multiple people coming up with multiple ways to do something and all of them thinking it’s both correct and valid within the framework of the oath, there’s very little penalty to NOT following the Civilian Oath of Office.

        According to one thing I found, the penalty for violating the oath? An undefined fine and up to 1 year and 1 day in prison. And that’s ONLY if the Feds are aware of the situation AND choose to prosecute. I leave it to the reader to find out how many people have been charged with violating the oath of office only, not in addition to any other crimes (like treason, espionage, etc. And yes, because I’m lazy right now and don’t feel like googling.)

        1. Some of us believe int he oath and we’re doing what we can to restore the republic. But what you have and what you bring to it is not always the stuff of the fourth box. And making sure we end up with a constitutional republic is where I can work. And I do. Might lose, but I can.

          1. Agreed.

            The fourth box, once opened, will not allow a return to even the current state. Before opening it, one must be as close to absolutely certain that it’s the RIGHT thing to do, to uphold your oath.

            And, perhaps, that’s another large difference between the left and right.
            (Metaphor incoming!)
            The left opens the fourth box at a very low voltage. They feel the tingle of the 9 volt battery on their tongue and start breaking things, swinging about a hammer smashing structures.
            The right largely has not yet found the point at which they’ll open the box. Their finger is in the light socket and they’re still reaching to try to flip the switch to cut the voltage. The problem being, the left is turning up the amperage trying to force the light to come on.

            1. Opening the fourth box is never RIGHT.

              It’s just that sometimes the consequences of not opening it are even worse.
              Always, always have a Plan O — for Oh Shit!

                    1. They may be stupid, but not all of them are, but pretty much all of them at this point are malicious. The maliciousness should not be dismissed or disregarded because of the stupidity.

                  1. persecution of minorities or people who are deemed other in the future

                    In the future? How about right now?

                    Don’t you just LOVE the utter absence of self-awareness?

                1. There was a very good reason that Captain Parker ordered his men to “stand your ground, don’t fire unless fired upon”. We can all still hope that there really is a special Providence for us.

                  (Of course, truth be told, that whole affair was an absolute sh!t show from start to finish. Nobody meant to start a war right there. Parker actually ordered his men to disperse in response to Pitcairn’s demand, but by then it was too late.)

              1. So I’m going to Godwins’ Law this.

                Would you say it would be the right thing to do, if confirmed reports started coming out that the Harris-Biden administration was loading people who expressed “badthink” into boxcars taking them to “internment camps” out in the boonies?

                Perhaps confirmed reports of PD or National Guard being ordered to fire on (actual, not the “mostly peaceful”) protestors?

                (If I’ve crossed a line, I apologize.)
                Now, does any of this mean I’m ready to unlock the fourth box? No. I’m still at the stage of hoping there’s a chance to avoid a fourth box solution. And I agree with you whole-heartedly that the consequences of opening that box will be very, very bad. Arguably, the country is still dealing with fallout from the Civil War and that was 180+ years ago (granted, some of the on-going fallout is because of pot-stirring by lefties)

                1. “I for one welcome our new Progressive overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted internet personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground caves.”

                  … is what I would say in an unsecured, unencrypted, probably monitored blog.

                  1. …while helping arrange a convenient back exit for their internment camps, that so courteously remove our people from harm’s way and put them where they can be rescued without having to scour the countryside looking for them first.

                  2. >> ““I for one welcome our new Progressive overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted internet personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground caves.””

                    [raises eyebrow]


              1. A bit of wisdom I recall from the old story Killdozer: “It ain’t the voltage that kills you, it’s the amperage.”
                It’s why a taser hits with something like 10000volts, the amperage is barely a tick. Switch the two and you’ll have a crispy criminal instead of a “oh god that hurts whyd you do that to me?”

                1. It’s wrong. It’s both. Power is voltage times amps. A high voltage with low amps is a drip of water from a skyscraper; a low voltage with high amps is the mighty Mississippi going over a cascade of half an inch. You’d be in more danger from a moderate river going over a ten-foot fall.

                  1. Numbers pulled out of my lower outgoing orifice at the time of writing, and may have only a passing resemblance to reality!

                  2. Maybe open circuit, but that drops to a few hundred when there’s a criminal across the terminals. Impedance ranges from about 10K to 50K unless something is really weird. Like the one that didn’t drink any water for two days before sitting in Old Sparky and took more than an hour to execute.

          2. Oddly enough, the homily I heard today (online Mass; we’re still in California “sign up ahead of time and do the whole song & dance in the lobby” thing, and I can’t imagine dealing with three squirmy kids through that) was based on the miracle at Fatima, and the comment the priest made on the subject was that one can see a miracle and still not be a witness to it. Of the thousands to see the events of October 17, 1913, many went home and went about their lives as though nothing odd had happened, even if they admitted the sequence of events in print.

            One can say an oath and not mean it. One can mean an oath without saying it. The deal is to live your life as to what you believe, instead of what you say you believe.

            (The homily also included a reference to your Google searches/views saying more about you than your words. For a writer, that’s probably a scary thought. 🙂 )

      2. It’s even more complicated than that. Many oaths, especially modern oaths, are in multiple parts. For example, as an attorney I’m subject to an Oath in each jurisdiction in which I’m barred. In each of these jurisdictions, in addition to the general requirement that I advocate for my client within the bounds set by the Rules of Professional Conduct, the oath requires me to:

        1) uphold and obey the laws of the jurisdiction; and
        2) not rebel, engage in insurrection, or conspire to rebel against the government of that jurisdiction.

        I doubt attorney oaths are unusual in this regard.

        There is tension between these two mandates. This tension means that acting as proposed too precipitously — for example, before it has been wholly and uncontrovertibly been shown to be an unlawful government — would be oathbreaking as much as not acting in the event that the government is unlawful.

        As a government attorney, it gets more complicated, natch. Most Attorneys General Offices also also require an oath of their hired attorneys (whether designated as assistant, deputy, or what have you) to uphold and obey the laws of the jurisdiction, but also to defend the duly enacted laws of that jurisdiction. This can be problematic when, for example, a Legislature decides to do something blatantly unconstitutional.

        My point is that the tension between different portions of oaths that point different ways can rationally lead people to wait and observe — or try less drastic actions to try to mitigate the issue — as an attempt to be faithful to their oaths.

        1. Interesting. 24 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers. Technically, they were breaking their oaths under conditions 1 and 2 that you have above. I can imagine that they were very conflicted when it came to making that decision.

          1. I’m not sure if eighteenth-century lawyer oaths included the “no insurrection” part. I’ve never researched it, and in at least one jurisdiction I’m in which I’m barred the generally accepted explanation was that it had been put in place following the Civil War. Conflicting and wild theories regarding the motivation for doing so abound.

            That said, I think you’re right that they would have been technically breaking condition 1 of their oaths as attorneys. I’ll note that more than half of the Declaration is taken up with making the legal case for independence, creating an argument (for the lawyers) that what they were resisting was, in many ways, the violation of the law by the crown.

    2. For what it’s worth– Ian, you’re basically family.
      You won’t “unintentionally offend” me.
      I’ll get freaking pissed about something you say– but I believe, at the heart, that you WANT to elephant child this our. Run and see.

      Sometimes you dodge, and frequently you annoy me. Well, I’m human, and fussy; I get annoyed easy. So what? I’ll yell at you, and if I think you’re being an ass, I’ll say so.

      But I’m hard to offend, it takes a set of keys that aren’t often handed out.

      1. [has weird thoughts about whether for the sake of courtesy, one should announce that a post is intentionally offensive, or just gracefully accept the head-smacking to follow]

        1. *Klingon style failing* Be offensive, or be yourself!

          If opening up with ‘ you targ loving kahfir sniffer’ is not obvious enough, ignore them!

            1. Or perhaps minotaurs are the result of specially programmed alien nanotechnology in an attempt to produce human-bovine super soldiers. By day, Orvan appears to be an ordinary, bull-headed human being. But on the nights of a full moon, or during periods of extreme stress, he becomes the Awesome Auroch, the Mighty Minotaur, Orvan Taurus!

        1. [Thinks back to a couple of rows I’ve had with Foxfier]

          [Is uncertain whether I should be less worried or more.] 😛

      2. You won’t “unintentionally offend” me.

        Potentially telling multiple people they are oathbreakers to their face is not a small problem. And it is a rather large grenade to throw when that isn’t even the intention.

        I similarly mumble-mumble over certain Protestant vs Catholic differences, because waltzing in to a blog owned by a catholic, where probably a quarter of the commentariat are catholics, and telling them they don’t even count as christians is a similar level of “are you *trying* to get people to justifiably lynch you?”.

        1. You’re more likely to make a Catholic laugh with that one– heard it before, it’s still gobsmackingly ignorant. 😀

          1. Yeah. And some of us were trained by Jesuits, which means we have deep levels of snark on the subject that should perhaps be left unplumbed. (Jesuits are the scholar priests, and they have the type of philosophy classes that are anti-fluff. I really wish I’d known how close I was to a minor, because I would have made it happen.)

    3. Interesting points.

      Oaths (as you say, pre-commitments) work in two directions:

      — *I* commit internally to do/not do whatever, no matter what
      (which may or may not involve loyalties)

      — *You* can count on me to do/not do whatever, no matter what
      (that is, to inform the recipient how much loyal support he has)

      1. I’m borrowing “pre-commitment” from yudowskian-rationalist circles. It describes the mechanical aspect of what oaths are supposed to accomplish, but also a lot of other things.

        Defense of property / animal territory (at this scale they are the same thing) rely on it: the owner has precommited to defend that territory far beyond what a naive-rational assessment would say was appropriate. But everyone else knows that, so the territory doesn’t get invaded in the first place, and the fight never has to happen.

        (pssst; this is also why the Communists are full of it when they claim that property is a fiction)

    4. It may have heretofore escaped your notice, but people are inconsistent.

      Many take oaths without realizing to what they’ve sworn, and ours is (sadly) a culture which has devalued honor, thus taking oaths likely.

      ’tweren’t always thus, of course, and because ours is a non-homogenous culture there are still significant portions who hold their honor dearly. It is easier to do that in a niche (such as the enlisted Armed Forces) which reinforces and holds such integrity in high regard. Other niches figger such integrity is for suckers.

      Ethan Edwards: “Figure a man’s only good for one oath at a time; I took mine to the Confederate States of America.”

      1. People’s inconsistency wasn’t the question. An inconsistent oathbreaker is still an oathbreaker, just for petty reasons.

        People take marriage vows all the time while not caring about following them. Doesn’t make marriage invalid.

        1. People take marriage vows all the time while not caring about following them. Doesn’t make marriage invalid.

          Actually, that is one of the things that can invalidate a marriage

          1. Ok, rephrase / expansion of what I meant: People treating marriage vows as a triviality does not make marriage a triviality. It would remain Serious Business if everyone treated it as no big deal.

    5. Let’s get pragmatic. Oaths are not absolutes when attempting to openly upholding them make things much worse in the short and the long term. We don’t currently live in a political reality that currently values laws, contracts, oaths or truth. The powerless can’t enforce compliance on those that wield the power.

      Rationally and spiritually it does little good tilting against windmills at this time nor go kamikaze against the corrupt establishment. Too many people are still enthralled. The shit isn’t deep enough for most normies to smell it.

      Many oath-takers are not scared of dying, they just don’t want to die in vain or make the situation worse.

      1. Yeah, that is one of the things that has stopped me.

        We don’t have any doubts that I’m crazy, right?

        Suppose I spend my life acting on “I’ve got to do something. This is something.” Well, it would be two flavors of propaganda for the opposition. For the right audience, “look at this crazy guy, and what results from not bending to the ‘middle’ (left), you don’t want to be crazy, do you?” For left, independent, moderates, etc., “look at those crazy, violent right wingers”.

        So, the logic leads to a waiting game, and analysis for propaganda value.

        And most people are ESR grade encyclopediac syntheists, and hence cannot put together all the subtle and obvious ways that the ideas are broken. So the naked will to power and hypocrisy gets hard to see, especially when one is thinking while very stressed.

    6. Thing is, the magic in a culture is part of the individual manifestation.

      One of the relevant flavors is the question of whether Truth exists, whether it is important to say only things you believe to be true. Ceterus paribus, you go from a cultural context where Truth exists, and is important, to one where it is not, and the truth of statements about potential future actions becomes less important.

      The post modern philosophy nurtures subcultures that do not care about Truth, but we still have subcultures that believe that Truth is a thing.

      This basically means that which context one tries to adhere to is a personal choice, or a statement of personal faith.

      This is before the questions of honor and face are considered.

      Honor is likewise something I can choose to adhere to, and in a culture that will not hold me to account for violations of an external honor code, I am only bound by the standard I enforce internally.

      Face is a more complicated question. In American culture, intelligence is sometimes part of face, and the desire to chase that face is exploited to extort lip service to theory that one does not understand as true. Here, I have obviously tried to throw away the intelligence mask of face. However, even here I have not been able to fully sever that desire for an illusion. I still have gotten angry in these circles some of the times I have been called stupid. Face is related to the attachments I have not yet completely destroyed, that may lead me to wrong doing, and to personal pride. It is a little bit complex; example, saying only true things can be a form a pride, and can manifiest as harmful pride.

      I absolutely see starving to death, because of not working with people, because I told them to fuck off, because they were not willing to work with me on acceptable terms when it came down to it, as a /victory/ condition for me.

      The problem is, I have let myself become attracted by some of the victory conditions that do not directly lead to my death, and may have led myself into error by acting on some of that attraction.

      Beyond that, there is a fundamental uncertainty; no matter how much I psychologically prepare, how much I cultivate what the Hagakure calls crazy-to-die, empirically I can not know I will pay the price of my life until after I do. So any statement I make that touches on spending my own life depends on my own ability to eradicate weaknesses of personal character. You can not know the value of the coin of my words without seeing the worth I back them with.

      I personally dislike trying to use the worth of my words to persuade without the value of them standing on my own, so I try to to use them in ways that depend on knowing my inner reality.

      So, I have made oaths. I have even shared that I have made oaths in specifics.

      A basic question of whether they have any value rest in having followed ambition to a course of action that I am holding my tongue in service of. A stupid ambition, partly because of other failings in life, tied to a hope that may well not be realizable. It may well be a fundamental mistake to rest /any/ of what I value in myself so much in what is in the hands of other people. I’m still trying to only really care about the parts that are only my own effort.

      Anyway, one of the standards I measure myself by judges harshly the act of not telling all y’all here off more strongly and consistently when you all are saying wrong things. Considers that act, of holding my own tongue for the sake of my own peace of mind and ability to function, a compromise. That may not be a righteous compromise, even if I have an extra burden to overcome in terms of a poorly controlled temper.

      Definitely, in some circumstances, I need to abandon the promises of wordly works, and spend my life for the important things.

      This is a harder decision to commit to when one has family obligations, and when one isn’t suicidal depressed. I’m single, but living a healthy mental life as a Christian cannot rest in depression. (As a result, I’ve been a little worried since leaving the very depressed period of my life.)

      Anyway, right now, the deeper questions about the serious oaths are things where it tactically and strategically unwise to share information about what details motivate a change in behavior, and what way that behavioral changes might be implemented in.

      a) I have nothing here to brag about. b) The value of a given oath made by another is information you do not have all of c) Some of these effers have definitely broken oaths, but there are others where you do not have all of the information. Because you do not know their inner calculus about conflicting obligations. d) In an ideal world, no responsibilities would conflict. But, even just in engineering, there are trade offs between fully modeling the phenomena, doing all of the experiments, and with providing a solution in a reasonable period of finite time. e) Foxfier may be being a little bit more charitable where the conflicting responsibilities and the inner calculus are concerned,

          1. I thought “Bourne Free” was the latest movie in that anti-America spy thriller franchise?

            1. Drives my sister nuts. She despises pet hair … All 4 of our animals, once they decide company isn’t going away anytime soon, head for her like she is covered in cat nip. Well the cats do anyway. The dog does because the cats are; as in “hey me too!” It isn’t like she’s getting away from pet hair even if the animals stay hidden while stranger-danger is present, because even heavy vacuuming of floors, carpets, furniture, at least the furniture lives up to the label. The rest doesn’t stay fur free very long either.

        1. The new header is great :). So many of the most common themes from this blog. Cats. Spaceships. And I love “Born free” of course. It’s also blue and blue is my favorite color.

        2. What – the marmalade cat welcoming its ride back to its home planet?

          You’re the only one who can see that. Sorry.

        3. I pointed it out to my husband while my marmalade cat was on my desk. Of course, he’s always on my desk, so this is no new thing.

            1. Some things, if people need explanation, just slap ’em upside the head with a cold mackerel.

    7. The implication of taking an oath of office means that if you can not adhere to it, then you must resign the office.

      That’s one of the major reasons why I submitted my retirement paperwork when I was assigned to Andrews AFB during the Clinton Administration. I had my face rubbed in the Clinton’s unlawful activities, and the “shrug and ‘That’s Washington D.C.'” mentality.

      You see, Trump was wrong about one thing. Washington isn’t a swamp, it’s a cesspool.

  22. This offers an interesting insight:

    Victimization vs. honor in Atlanta: Culture clash in voter-law furor
    By Eli Steele
    One of the questions facing Americans these days is whether we live in a culture of honor or a culture of victimization. Though these two cultures share the same land and history, they could not differ more vastly in how one lives life.

    To live in the culture of honor, the emphasis is always on self-mastery: Make something of yourself. This culture believes the more the individual develops oneself, the stronger of an asset the individual is to society. It is often these men and women who lead productive lives, contribute wisely and even make history.

    On the other hand, to live within the culture of victimization, the individual lives in a world largely defined by horrific deeds that took place in the past. This form of existence derives its power not from individual agency but by invoking the specter of past horrors. Within this culture, the emphasis is often placed on loyalty to the group over the individual.

    When I arrived in Atlanta in the middle of the ongoing voter-bill controversy, I felt a strong connection to the culture of honor that built and shaped this city. As I drove on the tree-lined freeways and streets, I saw endless tributes to civil-rights leaders, including Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr. Seventy years ago in segregated Atlanta, these honors would have been unimaginable.


    In other words, the folks who lived within the culture of honor would have to pay for the follies of those who live within the culture of victimization, as well as those who fear the power of these people. It speaks volumes to where we are as a country.

    Eli Steele is a documentary filmmaker and writer. His latest film is “What Killed Michael Brown?”

    1. Interesting essay, thanks. A paper by Campbell and Manning, summarized by Jonathan Haidt, helps explain some of the dynamics now manifesting themselves in our society. In brief: prior to the 18th and 19th century, most Western societies were cultures of HONOR, in which people were expected to avenge insults on their own–and would lose social respect and position should they fail to do so. The West then transitioned to cultures of DIGNITY, in which “people are assumed to have dignity and don’t need to earn it. They foreswear violence, turn to courts or administrative bodies to respond to major transitions, and for minor transgressions they either ignore them or attempt to resolve them by social means. There’s no more dueling.” The spirit of this type of culture could be summarized by the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

      Campbell and Manning assert that this culture of dignity is now giving way to a new culture of VICTIMHOOD in which people are encouraged to respond to even the slightest unintentional offense, as in an Honor culture. But the difference, Haidt is this:

      “But they must not obtain redress on their own; they must appeal for help to powerful others or administrative bodies, to whom they must make the case that they have been victimized.” Campbell and Manning distinguish the three culture types as follows:

      “Public complaints that advertise or even exaggerate one’s own victimization and need for sympathy would be anathema to a person of Honor – tantamount to showing that one had no honor at all. Members of a Dignity culture, on the other hand, would see no shame in appealing to third parties, but they would not approve of such appeals for minor and merely verbal offenses. Instead they would likely counsel either confronting the offender directly to discuss the issue, or better yet, ignoring the remarks altogether.”

      1. So many people either can’t distinguish or *don’t care* which of these culture models is more likely to create the conditions for good. Sigh.

  23. This seems sure to earn Steve Hilton another Media Matters Gold Medal for excellence in conspiracy theories as he rips the masks off of Dr. Tony “You Don’t Need No Civil Liberties” Fauci:

    Entire segment about 6’20”

    1. BTW – that reporter cited from the podcast interview, claiming Fauci is suppressing reporting on this, is not some “Up Conspiracy Creek Without A Paddle” crank; Josh Rogin has a regular weekly column at the mainstreamiest of mainstream media papers, the Washington Democracy Dies In Darkness. Not that the Bezos Post is going to print this reporting! That is for others to do:

      ‘Godfather of Gain-of-Function’: WaPo Reporter Lays Out Fauci’s Role in Wuhan Lab
      0 – Scientists fear criticizing “gain-of-function” research or saying COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab because it would risk their careers and government funding, according to Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin.

      0 – “People don’t want to think about the fact that our hero of the pandemic Dr. [Anthony] Fauci might also have been connected to this research which might also have been connected to the outbreak” of COVID-19, Rogin said.

      0 – U.S. dependence on China’s supply chain has allowed China to threaten retaliation if the U.S. is critical of China’s role in COVID-19’s outbreak, Rogin writes in his book.

      0 – The simplest explanation for the pandemic’s origin is a leak from a Wuhan lab, according to Rogin.

      1. BTW – for those wondering “Who is this Josh Rogin guy and could his employers really be suppressing reporting this explosive:

        About Josh Rogin
        Josh Rogin is a columnist for the Global Opinions section of the Washington Post and a political analyst with CNN. Previously, he has covered foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View, Newsweek, the Daily Beast, Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper. He was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the 2011 recipient of the Interaction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. Rogin holds a BA in international affairs from George Washington University and studied at Sophia University in Tokyo. He lives in Washington, DC.

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