Clean Your Room

This is not a literal injunction, though — looks around her zoo of a house — by all means, clean your house/room if you need to. For us, I’m packing stuff I won’t use for a while, until we settle, so we can move it to storage and finish flooring this house, and getting it ready to go up.

But one thing that 2020 and 2020 Won have done for me is make my principles and my options clear as crystal. And I think it is important to do that. You need to be very clear on what matters to you, what’s important, and where your time and effort should be, or how can you decide where you’ll go?

How can you “tell the truth” if you’re not sure what YOUR truth is. And I don’t mean “your truth” in the airy fairy way the left does “the important thing is to believe in something” type bullshit. I mean it in the sense of “if you don’t know what’s important to you, you might spend your entire life chasing something that is not what you want.”

To give an example, when we were very young, we befriended another couple, partly because they were also Odds, he worked with Dan and we were all going through infertility issues. (Their daughter is about our older son’s age. I don’t know if they ever had another. We lost contact slowly after we moved across the country.)

I’m not going to say anything bad about that couple; on the contrary. The gentleman helped us sell our first house, while we were across the country and our real estate agent threw a hissy fit and quit. And honestly, all he took in payment was the workbench I’d been forced to abandon in the garage.

The couple were kind, generous people. They were trying to help, and honestly if we’d followed their plan we’d probably be wealthy now.

They were part of an investors’ group, and they bought and sold properties. This was the early days of flipping. Because I do a lot of stuff in remodeling and enjoy it, they thought this would be a great way to make money. It would have been (they’re not the last to suggest it to us. When we sold the house in Manitou, our handyman at the time tried to convince us to go into a house-flipping partnership. Our design, his handymanning and some of mine.)

But we attended a few of the meetings, and something became very clear. The first is that using other people’s money and going into a mountain of debt, however temporarily, was a hell of a fit for two people with massive security issues. I probably would have learned to overcome that, though frankly I haven’t yet. But heck, I overcame it in writing, where there was no security. Because writing is what I wanted to do.

The second and more important is that it would eat my life and all our time together would have to be devoted to properties: acquisition, identification, fixing, selling.

…. My problem is that I wanted to write, unproductive as it is. And I wanted to take nice walks with my husband. And I wanted to go to museums, and day-dream about history.

Which you might interpret as wanting to be lazy, but what I did first and last, to even get published, was a mountain of work, it was just different work, and work I wanted to do.

Also my mind at the time — weirdly in the last thirty years I’ve acquired this — didn’t “bend” the way necessary to identify properties that would sell well with a bit of spit and polish, or be able to zero in on what would make a great profit. Judging by the hash we made buying our first house (where the rejected one would have doubled in the six years we owned it) I’m going to guess we’d have learned the other way and hit our heads against the wall a lot.

Which is what we did in our chosen careers. But they were things we wanted to do, or at least didn’t hate with a blazing purple passion.

Ultimately that was my problem. Having listened to courses on how to do the flipping thing, attended a workshop, and talked to people we’d need to go into partnership with at least to begin with, our problem was that other than the initial couple, we didn’t like anyone involved in the endeavor. We didn’t dislike them, as such, we just didn’t like interacting with them, since every conversation was about making money, maximizing profits, etc.

I am not an idiot. I like money, because it can be converted into so many things I like. And I think the lack of money is the root of all evil or at least a great deal of it. But–

But it dismayed me to find I was more dad’s daughter than mom’s and couldn’t be “hard headed and practical” about this. It was a good way to make money. We could learn to do it. I could (and eventually did) train my mind to think that way.

But I couldn’t imagine doing it for ten years much less the rest of my life. And after ten years what else could I do? And I could see us getting into arguments and having problems because of the stress of debt and pressure to get things sold.

So I talked to Dan, and though both our “um…. no” feelings were very, very vague, we just couldn’t see continuing down that road. It would require us to be people we weren’t and do things we at best had absolutely no interest in.

So– we turned down making a great deal of money, because it just wasn’t us.

We’d have ended up in “This is not my beautiful house/this is not my beautiful car” territory.

Years and years later, when the kids were little, and in a more clear choice, Dan was working for a company where he was away from home 5 days a week.

We thought we could take this, because honestly as a computer person he worked such long hours before we only did things on the weekend.

And then our life was upended in ways we didn’t foresee: like sure, he was home two days, but mostly he slept for one. And our evening phone calls because spotty, because how do you convey all the little things that happened in a day? And our younger son started failing first grade (of all things) and crying all the time, because he was always daddy’s boy (because he’s more like me, which makes perfect sense.) And on Sunday it would all be oriented to helping him pack for the week ahead.

So– We were both feeling discontented — but it was such GOOD money — and then we went to the company party. Where we found that most of the employees had multiple divorces, and those that didn’t were frankly heading that way.

On the way home we talked about it, and it turned out despite the money both of us were profoundly unhappy. He was missing his time with the boys and the cats; I wasn’t sleeping…. pretty much at all. Everything was wrong. So we formulated an exit plan.

At this point I guess we’re sounding like “we just don’t care about money.” Actually we do. We’ve sacrificed and saved and done what we could to have savings and prospects, but there are things more important, and in both cases it was family, even if we didn’t have kids yet on the first one.

I mean, I’d love the money, I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice time with my husband who is also my best friend for the money.

In life, I think, we get more or less what we want in the long run. I can’t think of anything more improbable than my making a living as a novelist, when I came to this country with no contacts in the field and hampered by ESL. But one way or another and mostly sideways and backwards, I worked my way to it.

What these last two years have done is try the …. limits of what I want — no, need — in my room. What is important. What makes sense.

I’ve described the experience to a friend as being scoured with a jet of sand, which strips away all the paint and leaves only the essential structure.

Actually the process started somewhere around 2015 when I came to the end of “what will you do to continue being traditionally published? What will you put up with? What parts of you will you give up permanently?” Or earlier, in 2012 when I felt forced to come out of the political closet, even though politics was never something I WANTED to do or be involved in.

But there are things more important than “want.” There are cores of ourselves and our character that we can’t give up, no matter how much we try. (For that matter I never really “Wanted” to write, much less do the business stuff necessary to remain published. But– Well, whenever I tried to give up writing, it would mean becoming someone else, and while that might be possible I wasn’t ready to chop off pieces of me.)

I hadn’t thought through any of that, so this process has been painful as heck. It’s the “Is this important? I’m not sure.”

We’re going down into evil times. I feel it will be short, but I also feel it will be exceptionally evil.

Yesterday on the blog we had two people throw out nonsense about “this isn’t worth/it will never work.”

Perhaps I do them a disservice in thinking they’re paid disinformation agents, but after the last year surely all of us realize disinformation is the strong point of this country’s enemies.

Though one of them made a semi-cogent point — semi-cogent because I don’t feel he/she has thought through all the implications of the point — that if called upon to make a sacrifice that involved destroying his family, he’d refuse the sacrifice, even if the right thing to do, so that his family might live.

It’s semi-cogent, because those of us who have kids — or close younger kin — know that impulse. “I’d sacrifice my life ten times over, only leave my kids alone.”

But what you have to ask is, by refusing to do the right thing, will it be worse for your family in the long run? Will you be helping create a world that will destroy your kids and grandkids?

I can’t make that determination for you. It’s yours to make, because you know your kids, you know your priorities, and you know your point of unendurable “I WILL NOT.”

For the record, as a writer, I’ve been aware (all of us are) of the …. shem in the character’s head. There are words and principles in a character’s head that you can’t break without breaking the character. The writer is aware of this, and the reader usually senses it. (Giving examples would make this 10k words long.)

Real people aren’t that different. There are things that if you had to do would break you. And they’re different for each of us. For me, as I found in 12, it turned out mouthing Marxist platitudes and historical inaccuracies was selling my soul away in pieces. I could do it, but I’d be someone different at the end. Not someone nice.

And you have to be aware of where you are, what you are, what you’ll do.

It’s important because as we head down into exceptionally evil times, you’re sometimes going to have to make a decision in a split second. You have to know what is essential to your “room” and what isn’t. What you can sacrifice, and what will break you.

I can’t tell you what that is.

I have long ago though arrived at the certainty that I can’t give up on the Constitutional Republic. Even if it is occupied, abased and destroyed at this point.

It’s a hell of a time to find I’m my dad’s daughter. I held it against him for decades that he refused to abandon Portugal and therefore made me grow up in exceptionally messy times which were at times dangerous. Turns out I know exactly how he felt, even if my particular devotion, the “homeland” in my heart that I cannot betray is not Portugal. Well, I can’t fault him for that. I too will not give up the land that’s part of me in some inexplicable way. Because that would break my shem, and after it I’d just be an empty clay vessel, incapable of self-animation.

And since I think it’s the best thing for my descendants, well…. If I go down I go down. If I take them with me, I take them with me, but I will do what I can to secure the blessings of liberty for me and my descendants be they of the body or the heart. That choice has long ago been made, and it’s already cost me more than I care to detail in a blog post open to the world. I will personally gum my way through the boot stomping on the human face, if they have kicked all my teeth out. Maybe I’ll only soften the leather for the next person, but even that is worth it.

I have three times in my life been in a position where the wrong move could kill me. (Well, probably more than that, but those are the ones in mind right now.) Twice I froze and that was absolutely the right move, bizarrely. And once I charged, and that too was the right move. Did I do them by accident? I don’t know. But I know I’d run through scenarios for these things in my head several times, and I knew what led to survival. I also knew what I could do and remain me.

In the days we’re going to this is important. I know people who would be destroyed if they had to kill someone, so that alternative is unthinkable, even if the other alternative is death. (And there are many ways of being destroyed. I have a friend who is terrified of enjoying it too much.)

I could never, even to survive, do what Ukranian peasants did, and trade away your kids as meat, or eat the neighbors’ kids. Oh, I could, but what would emerge on the other side wouldn’t be me, or anyone I wanted to be. Ever. The best alternative would be “going insane.” Heck, I’m not sure I could eat a pet, unless I KNEW I only needed another day and that would earn me real survival. To die in a day knowing the last thing I did was to betray the trust of a creature who had reason to expect good from me would not be worth it.

Humans “though shalt not go past this point” aren’t rational. And they are, in a way, inflexible.

I couldn’t live with myself if I voted to convict someone I wasn’t sure deserved it, for instance, even if the alternative meant death for me and my families. I couldn’t look in the mirror ever again.

Your points might be different.

Clean your room. Make the decision now. Run through scenarios in your head. Oh, I grant you when the real thing comes, your reactions will shock you. They always do. People who think they’re cowards become heroes, and tough men and women tuck tail and run.

But it will help, it will set parameters for you. And you should at least be able to establish “this far and no further.”

In the time we’re going to and going to have to go through, decisions will be too fast, and often there will be no good choice. Probably more often than not.

Decide now, ahead of time, the rough parameters of that which you can even conceive of doing.

Then prepare to make the most of it, whatever it is.

And while you’re at it, figure out your ideal life, the things you’ve been doing that you don’t want to do, and which no longer apply, and the things you’d like to do, that maybe you can after the mess.

Most of us will come through this, I think. We’ll come through scarred, and leaner in more ways than one. But life on the other end will have changed. A lot of it will have to be rebuilt. Make now the decision of how you want that life to be: just in case you get the chance.

In the meantime, plan, prepare, be honest with yourself.

And keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark: in reality and metaphorically.

268 thoughts on “Clean Your Room

  1. This spring has not been all that good for my mind to clear up. Not that I’m all that good to begin with, but egad it’s been worse than the usual. cumulative stressors I guess.
    Just trying to plan out a simple shed has been a hard , oh look at this over, hey, I really need to go find , and let me try to get, well maybe if I . . . .
    RLF!

    1. When I did my garden shed last year, I sort of cheated. I’d done a pumphouse three years previously, and used that design as a starting point. Same footprint, simpler footings (nowhere near the weight on the floor), but it was enough to beat the inertia of starting from a blank sheet. The end results look completely different, but there is a family resemblance, and I was able to learn from the MK I errors.

      1. I am thinking I will just level the planned spot and go with a 12 x 15 foot and a pile of the bad lumber from the Garage lean-to and house roofing and some small scraps are in the way and yesterday I started cutting those into small short firewood lengths. I was going to do more tonight but again Squirrel hit hard and heavy and even trying to type this has taken nearly a half hour. I think an early night, hopefully decent sleep and some kitchen work tomorrow (rain is forecast so no yard work is likely) and try again to get on a track, any track.

          1. After a prolonged ‘tween-songs ramble, Steve Goodman noted that he was “drowning in the stream of consciousness”. “City of New Orleans”. Best damned train song I’ve ever heard. (With Jethro Burns on mandolin and Steve on guitar, it was the best radio concert I heard.)

  2. Someone I read in a book about who survives and why referred to it as making index cards. “If X happens, I will do Y/not do Z.” And that you do it in advance, like you train in weapons in advance, so that when the crunch hits and there’s no time to think, you stand a chance of “following the plan”.

    And yes, I fully agree that survival means more than just being physically alive. Maybe that’s not rational, but humans are not rational.

    And in the end, if we’re not human, just breathing isn’t worth it.

    1. errrr….

      Though having a set of Action Plans is a Good Idea… even if they are Inaction Plans (“Whatever I do, it will NOT be *this*.”)

      1. Action plans have not been helpful to me. I seem to get too many surprises. So I agree with the non-action plans… Plus being human is not always an endorsement.

        1. I started re-reading F. M. Busby’s “Rissa Kerguelen,” series and this bit of dialog seems appropriate:
          “She shuddered. ” They are not human, are they?”
          “Of course they are.” His tone was cheerful. “Wherever did you get the idea that “human,” is a synonym for “good”?””

          1. F. M. Busby’s “Rissa Kerguelen”? LONG time since I’ve read that, but I recollect it fondly.
            ~

            1. Me too. In fact I reread it recently. It’s a little slow in spots, but I do like the basic story. And triumphing over the evil social welfare bureaucraci is fun.

    2. Running scenarios is…. alien…. to me. Quite strange as I also have the Odd trait of running through conversations and situations. But those are closer to fantasy than reality.

      Also a latent Nothing Ever Happens, preparing for the future is Simply Not Done.

      1. I have some personal history that may be of interest then.

        For many years, I was much too ill to have much mental overhead to spare, and circumstances additional meant that I was mostly acting according to the plans of others.

        So, I started getting healthier, had never learned much in the way of planning skills, and started to notice that this was a problem.

        Additionally, I had played strategy games, but not very well, and could tell from other people that they were doing stuff that I didn’t, that sounded much too difficult to be enjoyable.

        Anyway, I eventually realized that strategy was a combination of two habitual skills. One is analysis, which I have strengths with, and have maybe internalized acceptably. The second was planning. Which I didn’t do, but I could have some of the strategic strength by applying analysis to a knowledge of previous sequences of events.

        My suggestion for you:

        I know who you are apprenticed under. When you and he agree that you will write a module, and you start thinking about the structure, etc., that is planning. You will have some skills with planning there, it is just that it is a bit of work to extend that level of skill elsewhere.

        Scenarios are basically like test cases. You want your tests to expose problems with the code design or implementation.

        The issue is that programming is significantly more constrained than reality is, and it takes a lot of work to make analytical skills useful for planning based in reality. And the people who raised you left you some holes in your analytical framework.

        Note, I did not start out with a foundation for analysis that is anywhere near as what I have now. And what I have now has a great many gaps, some of which I’m even aware of and working to close. Foxfier, TXred, and some others I’m pretty sure are better than me at the planning/scenario end of things.

        1. Note, I did not start out with a foundation for analysis that is anywhere near as what I have now. And what I have now has a great many gaps, some of which I’m even aware of and working to close. Foxfier, TXred, and some others I’m pretty sure are better than me at the planning/scenario end of things.

          I have a large natural advantage.

          I come from a long line of great worriers.

          1. In a slightly less silly phrasing, today I accidentally prevented us losing several weeks worth of food….because I was being a fussbucket and noticed that the freezer didn’t “feel right” when I grabbed some cheese.

            Short version, the surge protector had gotten turned off, somehow. No more than two days ago, I know the lights were on the little freezer then. But if I’d just shrugged at “hm…this just doesn’t FEEL RIGHT,” when all I had was a slightly flexier than usual frozen pizza, and funny looking frost, I wouldn’t have been lookign for what was wrong.

            Kicker: what I was looking for was something holding the freezer open, based off of there being some spikey looking frost. 😀

        2. Part of it is just getting into a position where there is room to maneuver. No maneuver…. nothing a plan can do in the first place.

          It is happening. Slowly.

          1. I can tell that you are working on stuff, I just figured that sharing might help you out at some point in the future.

            I wanted to encourage you to think it is something that you can do.

            I basically started from the shortest possible term, and started growing from that point. Made some progress by starting with baby steps.

            1. I have found framing issues in terms of consequence ( could it be fatal or harmful) probability (how likely is it) and immanence ( how soon will it happen / how rapidly do we need to respond) helps in evaluating scenarios…

    3. This is exactly how learning to fly a plane works, and they’ve been increasing emphasis on what’s termed “scenario-based training” over the past 15 years or so.

      You need to think through everything that could go wrong, in pretty excruciating detail, especially as some things that go wrong look very much like other things that go wrong, and acting as if a thing going wrong is the first when it is the second will cause you to die.

      And sometimes the correct answer is “First, wind your watch” (yes, old answer, but you get the idea – sometimes you need to stop and think).

      But by thinking through “If this, then what?” in advance for a whole pile of things-that-can-go-wrong, thinking about systems and systems of systems, taking the time to figure out what’s connected to what, and figuring out what to do well beforehand means you are not sitting there at umpty-thousand feet in the dark with flames reflecting in the side window going “Hm, I wonder what I should do now?”

      there’s no illustrated systems manual for life, but using scenarios thinking stuff through

      1. oops:

        There’s no illustrated systems manual for life, but by using scenarios and thinking stuff through, you get a possibly critical advantage when things go sideways.

    4. If you think about what you will do ahead of time, you’re much, much less likely to be vulnerable to manipulation by someone who set up the situation to get you where THEY want you.

      1. And if you are aware of the possibilities of something disasterous happening, you’re halfway there to gaming out a sensible reaction.
        For example … when I’m in a grocery store, or some other retail venue, I am already scoping out the back exit, and working out how far I am from it, and they way that I might need to go if something happened at the main entrance which made a speedy exit from the premises desirable.

        1. Bad situation that could’ve been so much worse:

          This is what saved the baristas in the Parkland cop massacre.

          The violent career criminal that Huckabee released went in where he knew several cops regularly sat down to have coffee and hash out plans/rumors before their shifts, and slaughtered them. Basically right outside McChord’s back gate. (actually just past the airstrip, but you get the idea)

          The owner of the place is/was a vet of the sort that’s enough of a paranoid nut that he required all his coffee girls do “what to do in case of robbery” type drills, so when the murderous dog-f-er walked in the front door and pulled a gun, the coffee girls dropped and headed for the back area, which had a phone, cement brick walls, and metal doors.

          The chain tried to force the owner to remove the tiny, tasteful memorial that they have inside the shop. So it became Blue Steele coffee shop, instead. There’s a big, awesome memorial out front, at least last time Elf was doing reserve-duty there. Coffee’s OK seattle style, not burnt tasting, and the coffee girls I talked to…gah, years later, were all very good about talking about the attack.

          1. > Parkland

            Orlando?

            That’s impressive employee retention, either day. Around here servers seldom make it more than a few months, and “managers” don’t seem to last a whole lot longer.

      1. Biological or general use of human?

        Because, by long standing logical tradition:
        But whoever is anywhere born a man, that is, a rational, mortal animal, no matter what unusual appearance he presents in color, movement, sound, nor how peculiar he is in some power, part, or quality of his nature, no Christian can doubt that he springs from that one protoplast. We can distinguish the common human nature from that which is peculiar, and therefore wonderful.
        https://tofspot.blogspot.com/2017/11/medieval-sf.html

        1. Interesting Link. 😀

          As for weefreeirish’s comment, some believe that the “Fae Folk” were Angels who when Satan rebelled against G*d didn’t support G*d or Satan. 😉

            1. Kipling (using the Old Thing called Puck as his spokesman) suggested that some of the “Fay Folks” were former gods who survived their loss of worshipers.

              Of course, while many of the “Fay Folks” weren’t as powerful as gods, the High Fay Folks were (according to the stories) were as powerful as gods.

                1. I think it’s especially true of the Irish ones.

                  The Irish Monks didn’t see them as true gods but being Irish loved good stories so recorded the stories of them but didn’t refer to them as “gods”. 😉

              1. Following the logic of that argument the minor Fay would be the gods of streams, trees, breezes and localities, such as mountains.
                ~

                1. Yep.

                  It should be noted that “household gods” were believed to have existed.

                  They could have become “household fay” like brownies.

                2. I know that’s the popular theory, but I don’t know if it’s more Victorian “it it with a hammer until the facts fit my theory” nonsense.

                3. It’s difficult for many modern people to understand how limited a god could be in paganism.

            2. Aliens rescued them when humans started expanding. Put them down on their own planetary refuge somewhere. We will encounter them again. Or they will encounter us. They don’t seem so interested in planetary exploration, though.

              Aliens have a whole system for creating game preserves and zoos, you understand. They don’t seed or plant life, they just separate the seedlings.

              Maybe that’s their mission from the Great Author.

                1. Yes, please. And I need to sit down and write mythic folk and aliens do Bow Street Runners in Space things. Eventually.

              1. Poul Anderson had a short story where aliens secretly controlled Earth and they discovered a new-to-them alien on Earth.

                It turns out that his people are native to Earth but were a species completely “adapted” to the night (they were the only surviving species of this type of Earth creature).

                Vulnerable to iron and with mental powers but were still losing the “evolutionary game” to humans.

                They were Elves and using bronze weapons managed to rescue their fellow elf while “dealing with” the evil aliens.

                They stole a space ship of the evil aliens in order to find a new home for them.

                Oh, there was a “We’ll Be Back Element” in the ending with a note of “humans nearly wiped us out but we’ll rescue humans from the evil aliens”. 😀

                1. >> “What? No. No weirdness here.”

                  [Glances around.]

                  {Notes a wisecracking wallaby, a cat who teaches history, a Japanese fox spirit with a penchant for sharing internet memes and an ox with a disturbingly thorough knowledge of poisons and explosives.]

                  Yeah, pretty standard stuff I suppose.

                  1. Notes a wisecracking wallaby …

                    I beg your pardon. While I was once (perhaps) wise, I think it generally recognized that I am now merely cracked.
                    ~

          1. So he’s State Farm? As long as he doesn’t try to put me ON a State Farm, we are good.

  3. Yeah.

    Thinking about it, all y’all at MGC and ATH may have helped me to see and understand what my own stuff is.

    Man does not live by bread alone.

    Lots of very different ways to be wired.

    I’ve been pretty seriously irate over this thing with the U MInn IRB authorizing ‘research’, by way of submitting known bad patches, because they said that it wasn’t research under their jurisdiction.

    Had me rethinking certain choices again. But, since I walked into those choices with eyes open, and regularly rethink them and come to the same conclusion, I’m going to continue working towards the current plan.

    Also heartily concur on Ken’s loser talk.

    1. FWIW, for those not aware, U-Minn was banned from contributing patches to the Linux kernel because they were deliberately flawed as part of a “research project” to see what happens when known-bad patches are offered. The people in charge of the LInux kernel Were Not Amused (haven’t heard Linus Torvald’s take on it, assuming the internet doesn’t melt down at his fury), and after the same people got caught sending nonsense “patches” (that didn’t do anything, as far as known), Univ of Minnesota got banned.

      The link that Anonymous Conserviative posted about the kerfuffle was informative. (Particularly the comments and the original emails). Rather oriental names on the research paper, so my guess about A) who sponsored the (highly unethical) research and B) the eventual use thereof seems to likely. A) An entity with ‘P’, ‘R’, and ‘C’ in its initials, and B) what do you think?

      The beta version of Slackware 15 that I’m using is seeing a lot of kernel changes. (4 updates in a week. For reference, my production* machine has a kernel almost 6 weeks old, and its predecessor dates to October.

      (*) Running off the released version, and the machine I use for daily life. The other is bleeding edge because some software I need to use depends on the latest and greatest revisions, and that’s the logical way to get it.

      1. Couple other possibilities.

        I do not know whether the author and the faculty sponsor are raised in the PRC. Not a place that encourages people to know when things are wrong, and to refuse to do things that are wrong. This could simply be proportion of foreign raised faculty and grad students, and failure to enforce conformity with the non-academic norms of American culture, finally biting us in the ass. (The born Americans in academia are hardly covering themselves in glory for sticking to ethics no matter what the cost is, either.) I note that the student that apparently spurred the last straw interaction strikes me as probably Indian. India does not have the same issues as the PRC, but I could see how a bad coincidence of blind spots could occur.

        Other possibility, PRC regimes internal state of … determination could correspond to being in bust out mode wrt MOSS assets in the US. Which means that using a few willing to cooperate, they could burn down the residual reputations of universities with a few incidents. I don’t think MOSS actually understands mainstream American culture well enough to do this on purpose.

        Some of the US congress sponsored research in engineering is of possibly questionable theoretical grounds. (A month back I came across a request for research that I thought was cool enough to try to see if people here are willing and able to pursue; I think it might be possibly to show that one of the initial assumptions should not be considered sound. Then I got distracted, and didn’t follow up by contacting the people in question.) And some of what congress is funding elsewhere is dubiously ethical. I hear PRC funding is all over academia, but I could believe a US source funded that research.

    2. That’s why I run OpenBSD as well as Linux. Most of the newer stuff runs in VMs.

  4. One thing is to make sure to always have the Constitution on hand, because whether here or elsewhere, it is going to be needed as the basis of “what comes after” society; although I might add a short idiot-proofing at the end of the Second Amendment that states “this right to bear arms and individual right and exists and cannot be taken away regardless of whether an individual participates in the militia.

    If they are going to destroy the USA, then we need to make the USA wherever we are.

    1. Only if they care.

      There’s a Bolo story…hm, maybe the Ringo/Evans one, The Road to Damascus?…where the colony world wrote their keep-and-bear-arms amendment ending with “Yes, it’s an individual right. No infringement. We Really, Really Mean It.” or similar – and the usurpers infringed anyway under penumbras and taxes and implied “positive” rights.

      The entire Constitution is only as good as the worst judge.

      1. Once again: No matter what’s written down, the only rights you EVER have are the ones you will kill for, as often as necessary. Otherwise, someone who is willing to kill you to take them WILL.

    2. And give the whole thing teeth, so it can’t be conveniently ignored until miscreants can get a court to agree with them.

      Also, dump the 17th.

      1. And change the 14th to ‘born in the U.S.A. AND at least one of the child’s biological parents is a United States citizen and accepts full responsibility for the child’.

        1. Naturalized citizens should be added as well, with years needed to eligible for naturalization set forth as well (i.e. min 5 years of legal entry and residence)

          1. Naturalized citizen == citizen.

            Lost something during editing; that should read ‘…is a United States citizen at the time the child is born and accepts…’

            Not ‘green card’, not visa, not resident alien, CITIZEN.

            There should also be a provision stating that no political office is prohibited to naturalized citizens. Since a native citizen must be 35 years old to be President, anybody can be President 35 years after being naturalized AND giving up any other national citizenship. Even Ahnold!

            1. No, that gives too much power to those doing the naturalizing.

              Keep naturalized citizen to a group that is relatively low power– make the bastards have to WORK to get a foreign candidate.

              1. They can already be Congresscritters, and are. Is President really that much more?

                1. Yes, because while it’s supposed to be limited, it’s still slightly more powerful.

                  If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t cheat so obviously for it.

                  1. I think that’s more because President is The Big Prize, the highly visible sign that they Won It All. The same reason both Clintons wanted it. Well, Queen Hillary wanted the graft, too.

                  1. Back during the Great Birther Hoorah, I found newspaper microfiche (in some online bulk archive) of the birth announcement, this being back when there was a births column in every local newspaper. Since it would be pretty well impossible to track down and replace hundreds of copies of microfiche archived back in the 1960s/70s by possessive librarians each with their own arcane indexing systems, let alone go back in time to plant the story, I took this as adequate proof (despite the obviously diddled scan of the birth certificate… seriously, people, set compression to zero and merge your layers) that Obama was in fact whelped in Hawaii.

                    Which still didn’t make him an American. He may have been born one, but he’d repudiated that allegiance.

                    1. The Democrats won’t admit that The Great Birther Hooraw was started by Queen Hillary. They blame it on (who else) Trump.

                1. I had and sometimes still do have nightmares over what damage BHO could have done had he been competent rather than just a well spoken empty suit.
                  Still, eight years of slowly poisoning both our court system and assorted government agencies has had some very lasting effects which the Biden/Harris administration is now reaping the benefits from.

            1. No questions there. Both were:

              1. Born in the U.S.A.
              2. One parent a U.S. citizen at time of birth
              3. Took full responsibility for them

              U.S. Citizens!

        2. One would think “and subject to its jurisdiction” would mean that residency would be required, as well as acknowledgement of jurisdiction, but apparently not.

            1. Nor of an occupying force.

              “Subject to its jurisdiction” would also seem to mean they did not anticipate granting citizenship to Amerindian tribes-people.
              ~

      2. We could actually go a long way toward stopping abuse of the 14th with a court ruling: by being in the U.S. illegally, they have declared themselves to be NOT subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. law, therefore the 14th does not apply to them. No more ‘instant citizens’ just from dropping a brat on our side of the border.

        1. More charitably:
          Saving someone’s life doesn’t make them a citizen.

          There is no connection between an act of mercy– medical care to a woman in need– and her offspring being citizens.

          It’s…actually pretty insulting to slave descendants.

          1. Sorry, on this Friday, March 419, 2020 I’m not feeling very charitable. 😦

            Just heard Tucker Carlson say he believes it’s still possible to tell the truth on TV. I think he’s being WAY too optimistic.

            1. *hugs*

              I know the feeling.

              Basically, trying to say the same thing, in a way that won’t piss folks off without good reason.

                1. Oh, there’s ALWAYS good reasons to piss folks off!

                  Doesn’t make it a good reason, as in, effective– I can explain stuff all day, and if I don’t use words they can a and will hear, it’s wasting both of our time at best.

            2. I keep hoping the Woke moral police will start to lose ground and it keeps not happening. Instead it feels like people are more and more afraid of offending. I blame the media. Because it’s them who do the reporting which gives the Woke moral police their power.

              1. Keep strong– it’s not everywhere, and folks are HURTING.

                Hurting folks do stupid stuff.

                Look, I am depressed as heck– because all the family I want to visit is in Washington, Oregon and California. With Oregon being the primary. Including a funeral.

                Yeah, mass stupid angry hurt here.

                But unless forced by local stuff, most places aren’t choosing this. And the NICER folks are, the more likely they are to do it while thinking it’s stupid.

                1. Here in IL once you get even a short distance out of the city mask usage drops.

                  Also an interesting if ambiguous development: masks are on clearance at Walmart. Gets the noggin’ joggin’.

  5. I’m so glad you chose writing instead of flipping houses. You’re happier and your readers are happier too.

    Running scenarios in my head is on an endless loop right now. Times are not stable. Best be ready.

  6. My room’s reasonably clean though it did take around eight decades to get it that way.
    Having said that I seldom throw anything, physical or metaphysical, out, it’s all off in a pile just in case I need to reuse it or make it into something else I need.

    For example, I just got my morning coffee, brewed on my home made coffee maker (Got tired of buying replacement Mr. Coffees or other brands every other year.) the base of which is a rusty 10 inch circular saw blade.

    Of course many of the rock solid beliefs from my youth have been eroded a bit by the sands of time but, using Sarah’s metaphor; “…scoured with a jet of sand… leaves only the essential structure.”, -though I file/pile away the chips that broke off, might need them again someday.

    Yep, the room’s pretty clean, lucky I’ve a big yard.

  7. and going into a mountain of debt, however temporarily, was a hell of a fit for two people with massive security issues

    Ah! Now I have a word for it.

  8. Knowing the value of money, and not caring about money are two separate things.
    Money is nice to have.
    But there are better things.

    I have enough arguments with my wife about remodeling our own home. Having to prioritize aesthetics and quick turnover means I’d lose almost every single one!

    1. My husband and I were fine on the stuff we got done before moving in, but now there’s some stuff I’m having arguments with myself about.

  9. How can you “tell the truth” if you’re not sure what YOUR truth is. And I don’t mean “your truth” in the airy fairy way the left does “the important thing is to believe in something” type bullshit. I mean it in the sense of “if you don’t know what’s important to you, you might spend your entire life chasing something that is not what you want.”

    See also, “know yourself,” “find yourself,” and “to thine own self be true.”

    Sure, people use them all to justify stupid stuff. And? That is different than anything else important….how?

    Nobody tries to justify massive life changes “because it’s Tuesday.” (They may try to act like they’re justifying it that way, but it requires asserting/justifying that everything is meaningless, which is a bigger hurdle. 😀 )

    1. Nobody tries to justify massive life changes “because it’s Tuesday”?

      Um…
      Wellllllllll…

      Oh, wait, it was a Monday. Nevermind!

  10. One Navy admiral alleged that the best thing one could do, immediately upon rising, was make one’s own bed, right now, not later. The sense of accomplishment, and one thing done today already is supposed to set the stage for the day.

    1. One should immediately make the bed, so the dogs don’t track dirt between your sheets.

      Not creating more annoyance and work for yourself is the only reward. Nobody likes to end the day realizing you’ve got to change your linen if you want good sleep.

      1. Of course the cat may veto the making of the bed right away by appropriating it for nap space 🙂

        1. When we had two small dogs (Italian Greyhounds), they’d lay claim to the bed upon us rising. It took asking them to either a) help or b) be made *into* the bed to get them to clear out. [VBEG]

            1. IGs were used as living hot water bottles back in the day, but one insisted on having his head out, while the other didn’t care, so long as there was a human (or a half-dozen other IGs*) to cuddle with.

              (*) My aunt and uncle raised and showed them. One of the more interesting things to see was a group of IGs heading for a dog bed and sleeping jammed together. Apparently the ones at the bottom of the literal dogpile didn’t mind, so long as it was only a couple dogs thick.

              It’s been a long time, but they still have a piece of my heart. See you in heaven, guys.

    2. I personally feel that admiral is full of it. Starting your day doing one thing, that you are going to undo later, and makes no functional difference, and if like me, you aren’t going to spend much if any time in the bedroom, doesn’t make any aesthetic difference either, is just stupid. Do I make my bed in the morning. Yes. I start my day doing something for my wife, that she appreciates, and makes no difference to me, just because I love her. Which also works.

      1. I was trying to hold my tongue before this, but:

        Of course that’s what an Admiral suggests. It is make-work that is mostly of use if people are going into your bedroom at random, it’s something that you’ve got to sacrifice function to make look good, and it’s still probably the least harmful thing he did in a given day if he’s the kind of Admiral going around TALKING about it.

        (I’m a sailor. This IS being polite about admirals.)

        …this is why by bunk in the Navy had a (100% inside of regulations) bright pink stretchy blanket that I could roll out of, then tuck back in, and it looked NICE but was still good for sleeping.

        My current bed has similar blankets, with one of those Korean mink ones for winter when bedwarmer may not go to bed before I do. 😀 It takes like two seconds to pull the blankets and sheets up and tuck under the blankets, and you can do your side even if the other person is still fast asleep.

        1. That’s why we have a (non feather) eiderdown in a sack. That and because taking the sack out and washing is easier than washing the whole thing when idiot Havey fails to clean his butt ….. again.

      2. I’ve seen the speech. And critical detail that is easily missed: said admiral was giving this speech at a college graduation. Considering the audience, that’s an excellent way to present the concept of instilling order and discipline in a manner they can understand.

          1. Pfft… I’ll bet good money that the first thing that the Admiral actually does in the morning is go pee.

      3. I agree the admiral is wrong – first thing I do upon rising is get dressed. That way I can sit on the bed to do socks without having to make the bed a second time.

        It also means I am prepared to run out the door (climb out a window) if it turns out the house is afire.

        Plus, let’s be honest: nobody wants to walk in on me making the bed and be confronted by wallaby butt.
        ~

          1. Yes, but balance means, when I bend over to tuck in my blankies, if I don’t hold the tail up I face-plant on the bunk.
            ~

    3. I feel like being dismissive of this kind of advice misses the point, which is that there is a psychological benefit to making a division between “I am sleeping and can go back to sleep because my bed is still amenable to coziness and still looks like someone is using it” and “I have made a decision that the use of the bed is over for the day, and this is my commitment to not returning to bed/relaxation/etc until I’m done.”

      We like closure, and we use symbols and framing to control our behalf. Making a statement to yourself about being done with sleeping is not a stupid use of time if the symbol works for you. (And symbols often work better if the society around you holds them in common, and this one is a common one, regardless of the number of people who shrug it off.)

      So I’m with your admiral. And I feel better on the days I make my bed. It’s a lot like saying prayers. It’s not about whether it’s efficient or makes sense. If it gets me in the right frame of mind, it’s not a waste.

      1. I think it’s less missing the point, and being familiar with folks who don’t recognize it’s supposed to be a brain-hack, not a superstition.

        I can’t remember anybody here poo-pooing Herb’s “get dressed for work, walk to place I usually got coffee, buy coffee, walk home, reverse when the work day is done” thing, because it recognized and respected that it was symbolic, a trick to your brain, a means of forming artificial limits… and it doesn’t work for everyone. I suspect it only really works for people who grew up with the idea of A Properly Made Bed being important, if that– same way that I don’t feel right if I don’t get dressed in the morning, work or no, sick or no. If I’m sick enough to not get dressed, I am REALLY badly off. So the “work from home” hack of making sure to get dressed each day is of no use to me, same way that “dress professionally” wouldn’t work.

        It has to have spots for the hooks to connect to for the symbols to work.

        1. If I dress early in the morning, I am more likely to get stuff done i.e. writing etc. If I stay in pjs it’s a signal to my brain that I am resting today. 😉

        2. I think it’s less missing the point, and being familiar with folks who don’t recognize it’s supposed to be a brain-hack, not a superstition.

          I’ve seen the flip side / result of someone seeing only that.

          Take someone with an inability to understand symbolism, plus no one around who can give a coherent defense of the idea. Result; everything like that gets shuffled into “stupid nonsense” or “when did *this* crap come down from on high?”. And once it gets started eventually all of human endeavor gets shunted into those.

          Turns out that if you work hard at it you can achieve an empty life. Unfortunately you have achieved an empty life.

          1. I’ve run into that stupidity, too– problem being, it’s a step beyond the “superstition” point.

            The admiral is step 2, and “screw this, it’s not rational” is step 3. Exactly because it forgets that it is not mechanical, it is a symbol, and symbols take interaction to work at all.

            If you remember that the map is not the place– and that an electrical map is unlikely to help you get to the grocery store– you don’t get to the point where you are honestly testing a guide, and find it so wanting it is not worth the time it takes to read.

            1. But see; “no one around who can give a coherent defense”.

              Humans can go to some crazy places when there is no one around to say “wait, what?”.

      2. The reason I learned I have to dress as if I were going to a business office (though a very relaxed one these days) to know “I’m now at work.”
        BUT my DIL taught me something important: When very depressed, do something that won’t be erased that evening.

          1. You are fighting – and channeling the ‘fight’ somewhere useful, or at least (mostly?) harmless.

            After all, if ye went an’ took o’er the world, what’d ye do wi’ the silly thing? ♉

      3. Totally forgot to say, not sure if I thought it before or after first reply–

        I think Sarah’s advice about “clean your room” is a much better example of the “do something you can see” advice– it’s not as immediate, but EVERYONE has a sense of “I live here, wear and tear happens, fix that.”

        Fight entropy, basically. But in a way that hits where you can see it, while working or recovering from work.

        Even cooking food doesn’t work, because you EAT that right after it’s done– but if you take a messy room, and make it clean, unless you have several kids it will STAy that way for at least a few hours.

        1. Ummm. A messy room/area is frequently messy, in my case, partly because there’s a bunch of stuff in it that either I haven’t figured out what to do with it, or it’s going to take a while to sort out, or both. If I want an encouraging increase in visual neatness over a substantial surface area that will last several hours without requiring enough time and thought to count as A Project… heh. We’re probably back to untousling the bed.

          1. Very true.

            *looks across toddler scattered room*

            Oh lord love a duck, true.

            BUT it’s a hell of a lot more like to have an effect, to tidy your desk, than to “make your bed.”

      4. It’s a thing advocated by organizational experts, too. Not just as the break between being up and not being up, but because it’s simpler and easier than, say, organizing your desk or closet. It’s a quick visual “everything is nice and clean and organized” psychological assist.

        Admiral McRaven was head of SOCOM. He knows how adrenaline junkies think. And that them coming back to an island of calm is the best thing for them.

    4. immediately upon rising, was make one’s own bed, right now, not later.

      Doesn’t that make it a better breeding ground for dust mites or something because the bedding doesn’t have time to dry out and cool off from having a warm, slightly moist human in it?

      (Yes, even if you wore nightclothes and didn’t sweat.)

  11. Sure, you could have joined that investment group even though you weren’t comfortable with its strategies …

    … but “a man’s got to know his limitations.”
    ~

  12. “Clean your room”? Why, that sounds like something the Red Skull might say! Next you’ll be telling us to pet cats, or something equally nefarious!

    1. Oooh. Just wait until she tells us to make friends with people who want the best for you.

    2. Pet a cat when you come upon it.
      And treat yourself as someone you love for whose welfare you’re responsible.
      Which I’ve been failing at in signal ways.

      1. Ah, but compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today. Today, you have the opportunity to be better at that than yesterday!

      2. “treat yourself as someone you love for whose welfare you’re responsible. ”
        – always been one of my big struggles!

      3. Good thing to remember. We tend to be so hard on ourselves; so much harder than we are on people we love.

        Of course like all advice, I suppose the people that are already full of self regard will use it as an excuse to amp it up to 11.

      4. ” A high ideal judges you harshly. So then you have to rearrange your reward philosophy, and instead of punishing yourself as a consequence of perceived distance, you reward yourself for incremental movement forward.”

        -Hail Lobster!

        1. 1. That’s advice given for any kind of goal achievement, from losing weight to running a marathon. Celebrate the milestones, not how far you have to go. This is often a problem for people who are not necessarily doing a defined or written plan, or those who get paralyzed and overwhelmed thinking about the fifty steps to get to the end, and can only concentrate and keep track of two or three at a time. Celebrate those, until you have a string of small victories to look back on and give you hope. Sometimes you need those micro victories before you can even start step one toward your goal.

          2. Changing the perspective completely around, this is exactly the issue with, say, race relations and discussion thereon today. Rage against not attaining some hypothetical ideal of equal outcomes, rather than celebrating how far we’ve come, and what is possible.

      5. Failing to take care of myself almost always coincides to the deeper bouts of depression. Not caring about anything is a bad sign.

  13. “…while you’re at it, figure out your ideal life, the things you’ve been doing that you don’t want to do, and which no longer apply, and the things you’d like to do, that maybe you can after the mess.”

    Already working on that – have been for a while. Which is why we’re in Tiny Town, Texas with friends who live close enough to help when needed, and far enough away we’re not breathing each other’s air. And the cars are paid off, and the pantry is full. And I weightlift three times a week, in order to become strong enough to be able to do the things that the person I want to be will do. (Already, I’m off the cane! Except on cobblestones. Let us not discuss the horrors of “antique” districts, and why flat asphalt is a wonderful modern marvel.)

    1. Progress is A Good Thing!

      Yes, I no longer have the Mark of Cane, especially the 4-footed monster I used when I gave up the walker. OTOH, the hickory one is a passible weapon when I can’t legally carry.

      I am supposed to keep the knee brace on until the 12th, but have given myself permission to sleep without it. Got up to pee at 0-Dark-30, put it on, did my business and took it off when I got back to bed. And actually fell asleep!. Waiting until 3 AM to decide to give up on falling asleep gets old. My body is happy with 6 hours of sleep, but really dislikes having only 4.5 or 5, or less.

      I’ve been doing knee exercises each day; have some strength (not going to try to gauge just yet), and official PT starts on the 6th. Rough guess is I’ll still have range-of-motion limits–there were indications that the tendon repair came at the expense of tendon length, and getting the quadriceps muscles to cooperate is a challenge. Downloaded guides say no quad stretches until 12 weeks post-op. I’ll wait.

    1. The law that wanker whines about is ‘immunizing’ gun stores and manufacturers from the equivalent of somebody suing the Ford dealer because their brother-in-law was killed by a drunk driver.

      A completely sensible law, in other words.

      The rest of the article is a bunch of vague maunderings aimed at generating an unthinking emotional response in those already indoctrinated with anti-gun dogmas. I have an emotional response, too — go find that wanker and vomit on his imported shoes.

      There are 600 million guns (absolute minimum) in the U.S. today. We’re on track to add another 60 million guns this year. Fewer than 0.02% of those guns will EVER be used to commit a crime of any kind, and fewer than 0.0003% in the ‘mass shootings’ which ALWAYS take place in the ‘gun-free zones’ Leftroids have established as ‘safe spaces’.

      Wanna know where is a REAL ‘safe space’?

      A gun show.

      Every year there are hundreds of gun shows, where thousands of us crazed gun nuts get together to admire, buy and trade millions of guns and billions of rounds of ammunition. There has never been a shooting incident at a gun show. Not. One.

      I know that, because if there were one, the left-wing media would be screaming about it in orgiastic triumph for the next 50 years. Hasn’t happened.
      ———————————
      The Democrats have moved so far left they fell off the edge of the universe. Their ‘feelings’ originate in some alternate dimension completely disconnected from reality.

      1. Wanna know where is a REAL ‘safe space’?

        Or at a bank vault manufacturers’ convention.

        Do companies that make Panic Rooms hold trade shows? That might be a fun place to set a story, although I am not sure what genre it ought be.

        Off Topic: Beloved Spouse & I went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription refill when I noticed an increasingly common sign proclaiming Space Available, prompting me to speculate it would be a nice name for a shop, although I couldn’t decide quite what kind. Spouse suggested a cabinet/closet organizer company. I allowed as how that probably was a better concept than mine, if only because manufacture and installation of Pocket Dimensions was a step short of pragmatic.

        Of course, if everybody had a TARDIS nobody would clean their room, would they?
        ~

    2. Are you trying to make my eyes roll so hard I can’t find them again?

      “Add to that a couple of Supreme Court decisions that enshrine gun ownership alongside freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as constitutionally hallowed rights”

  14. If I think too much of scenarios, I go crazy. I have boundaries. I won’t eat human flesh. I won’t betray those who are dependent on me. I don’t make promises that I don’t intend to keep. I don’t believe everything I hear. I read.

    When I am in a dangerous situation, I find that my body contains the knowledge to save me. I don’t think in those situations– I react. I’m still alive.

  15. National Review actually had something worthwhile in it:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-let-teenagers-knife-fight-caucus/

    Democratic Party believes that police officers should stand by and watch people use knives to attack and murder other people and that knife fights between black teens are “normal behavior” that should not be interfered with.

    Of course, a truly racist cop would have let the fight continue with the hope that the two black teenagers would have seriously hurt or killed each other.

  16. I like money, because it can be converted into so many things I like.

    Money is nice, but as an tool rather than as an end in itself. The amount of money you have is an odd thing. There is Too Little, Just Enough, there is Comfortable, which meets your reasonable needs and allows you to put some away for rainy days and retirement, there is Go To Hell Money, which allows you to make life decisions based oo what you want to do, not what you have to do. There’s Plenty of Money, which allows indulgences like going out a lot, cruises, that sort of thing. There is also that level above Plenty, i which you’ve enough money to worry about people targeting you for your money, and whether the money will spoil your kids – either by not learning the value of a dollar eared or by encouraging bad habits that lead to early death. Then there’s Amazing Money, the level at which you can hire people to address your money problems and you can live off of the interest your interest earns.

    It is important to keep in mind that money doesn’t so much solve problems as change the types of problems confronting you. This can be a blessing and a curse.
    ~

      1. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can provide security, and that’s a rather important component of happiness. Especially for those of us who lacked it (security) growing up.

      1. You must be new here. We share videos and pictures here all the time and we only gripe about it when the embedding DOESN’T work.

        In other words, you’re good. 🙂

  17. Bodycams from the ATF getting arrested and tazed incident!

    1. “A community member called 911 unclear if an ATF agent was truly law enforcement.”

      XD

  18. Montana’s room just got a wee bit cleaner — Governor “Deck him again, Greg!” Gianforte just signed the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary bill.

    Relevant text of the bill:

    Section 3. Definitions.

    (1) “Federal ban” means a federal law, executive order, rule, regulation that is enacted, adopted, or becomes effective on or after January 1, 2021, or a new and more restrictive interpretation of a law that existed on January 1, 2021, that infringes upon, calls in question, or prohibits, restricts, or requires individual licensure for or registration of the purchase, ownership, possession, transfer, or use of any firearm, any magazine or other ammunition feeding device, or other firearm accessory.

    (2) “Firearm” means any self-loading rifle, pistol, revolver, or shotgun or any manually loaded rifle, pistol, revolver, or shotgun.

    Section 4. Prohibition of enforcement.

    (1) A peace officer, state employee, or employee of a political subdivision is prohibited from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of, or otherwise cooperating in the enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition and is also prohibited from participating in any federal enforcement action implementing a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition.

    (2) An employee of the state or a political subdivision may not expend public funds or allocate public resources for the enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition.

    http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=258&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20211

    Passed 66-33 and 30-20, I expect along party lines. (Wonder how many of those Dems would lose their seats under a strict accounting of votes… now that we’ve got documentation of cheating a couple elections back, by the usual suspects.)

    Note the language of Section 4.2…. “ANY”. Not just “any permitted under Federal law.”

    My governor can beat up your journalist. 😀

  19. I had a couple thoughts: One, remember the lady who came from a place where some people really needed to know this once who said “your real friends will let you hide in the attic”? OK for evil times you need to look in your soul and decide if you have the courage to hide friends in the attic. Don’t post it just think it because that is going to inform what steps you will take going forward. But here comes the subquestion; should you decide to have an attic of refuge, I salute you but be advised that some folks that you think might be refugees will be there to destroy the attic. Plan accordingly. As to, what is truly valuable in your personal life? The Evil Space Princess is right when she said personal autonomy. She didn’t say that? She meant to say that. 🙂

  20. Or earlier, in 2012 when I felt forced to come out of the political closet, even though politics was never something I WANTED to do or be involved in.

    Excuuuuuse me! What sane person wants to “do or be involved in” politics? That’s one major reason to hate Progressivism, because it leaves NO portion of life free og politics.

    Sure, it makes many opinions easier:

    Was that a good movie?
    I don’t know, what are the filmmakers’ politics?

    Wasn’t that a nice restaurant?
    I don’t know, what are the chef’s politics?

    How’s the book?
    I don’t know, what are the author’s politics?
    ~

    1. Should I pay my workers well?
      I don’t know, what are their politics??

      Should we pay politicians?
      I don’t know, what are their politics??

      Cheaper, too!

        1. Should we tax and terrorize the proles?
          I don’t know, what are– OMG, they’ve got flaming pitchforks!!

  21. The depression and anxiety have been bad lately. Most days I feel like I’m barely treading water. But I want to get to the point where I can follow the advice of this post and I hope that counts for something.

    1. The wider situation is going to be giving us all sorts of weird signals whose proper interpretation is unclear.

      As an individual, treading water in this is a victory.

      I was treading water, getting behind, for a while. Upped my magnesium to account for greater losses from stress. Have made some progress knocking out things, so I can concentrate on other things.

      Though, I need to get back to sleep, not to lose another day of possible work.

          1. LOL 😆

            Somewhat seriously, I have wondered how the Original Comic would be rated by Today’s Standards.

            Oh, I’ve seen (years ago) THAT MOVIE and have no desire to see it again.

            1. Oh, I’ve seen (years ago) THAT MOVIE and have no desire to see it again.

              I recall that I saw it in theatre and would probably be willing to sit through it again … if it were free … and I badly needed a nap. Unless there was one of Buster Crabbe’s serials opposite.
              ~

      1. Speaking of guest posts — something I saw in an anime inspired me to write something like the mini-romance posts you’ve put up recently, thinking to offer it to you as a guest post. It started out really dark, but I could see a good ending.

        I have succeeded in all respects save one. It’s almost finished, and weighs in at 14,000 words. Your mini-romances have been more in the 3,000 word range? I…just…can’t…tell the story I want to tell in fewer words. Bummer.

        On the other hand, if you’d be up for a 14,000 word guest post, I would be happy to let you have it. 😛

          1. I might give it a shot, but I have zero visibility and no book cover. This is the first story I’ve written that’s not tied so tightly to something else that it can only be Fan Fiction.

            1. It might, mind you – I said *might*, be the screwball “it’ll never happen” thing that GETS you the visibility. This Reality thingie is mighty weird.

            2. I can tell you someplace where you can get some good free advertising for your story just because you post here.

          2. OK, I took your advice. I’m not an artist, so I just went with a stock cover pattern. It’s called ‘Moira And The Two Nathans’. Here’s the blurb:

            Immuration. She’d known the definition. Now she knew the meaning, in all its drawn-out horror. She didn’t know how long she’d been immured, only that she was nearing her end. Then, like a miracle, there was someone to free her, but — who was he? Where did he come from? Why did he know her name?

            1. Let us know when it is available and the author name that you’re using. 😉

    1. I have a copy of ‘Barbarella’ on Laser Disk. The old giant 12″ kind.

      It’s so bad it’s good. The fact that Jane Fonda is probably mortally embarrassed about it is a nice bonus.

      I’ve also got ‘Flesh Gordon’.
      ———————————
      “You can’t imagine what it was like. All alone when the Sex-Ray hit!”

      1. My friends in college dragged me to the X-rated version of “Flesh Gordon.” I spent a lit of time staring at the theater floor.
        And mortifying them. ” Gee,that space ship looks just like a giant sausage.” ” Shut up!”

        1. My copy of ‘Flesh Gordon’ is only R-rated.
          ———————————
          “A monster’s work is never done.”

            1. Explains my level of satisfaction with my own volume and quality. 😛

    2. New version?
      The original Jane Fonda movie is the only JF film I have knowingly watched. So I’ve seen a lot of her.
      And she never wore that many clothes….

      1. IIRC, Jane Fonda earned her Oscar for Klute, which was a pretty good suspense thriller.

        Spoiler alert: sadly, the stalker doesn’t kill her in the end.
        ~

  22. I just saw a segment on that ‘Paris Climate Accord Forum’ they had over Zoom.
    Notable gaffes:

    1. The French didn’t show up at all
    2. The Italian representative took a loooong break
    3. Biden the FICUS wore a mask TO TALK TO PEOPLE OVER A COMPUTER LINK
    4. FICUS was the ONLY one without a National Flag in the picture
    5. Putin was center screen, 9X the size of all the other windows, with the biggest flags

    1. 3. Biden the FICUS wore a mask TO TALK TO PEOPLE OVER A COMPUTER LINK

      It cannot be worry about his vaccine being ineffective.

      He was obviously concerned about a computer virus.
      ~

      1. I’ve noticed that for many people wearing a mask in inappropriate places has become a signal of tribal affiliation.

    2. FICUS having a mask on makes it easier for his handlers to overdub his audio. Can you imagine how difficult it would be for them to match lip-flap in real time?

  23. “The second and more important is that it would eat my life and all our time together would have to be devoted to properties: acquisition, identification, fixing, selling.

    …. My problem is that I wanted to write, unproductive as it is. And I wanted to take nice walks with my husband. And I wanted to go to museums, and day-dream about history.

    Which you might interpret as wanting to be lazy, but what I did first and last, to even get published, was a mountain of work, it was just different work, and work I wanted to do.”

    Anyone who interprets not wanting to identify, acquire, fix, and/or sell properties as “lazy” instead of ‘not a masochist’ doesn’t deserve a hiding spot in your attic.

    1. I think I’m lazy when I shut down from stress and panic.

      I /normally/ suspect I ought to be judged as lazy, on the basis of what I manage to get done.

      I don’t feel entitled to a hiding spot in anyone’s attic, but as a contrarian jerk who should be in bed, I want to speak in defense of screwed up standards of self-assessment.

      I also don’t want to flip houses. My life choices are still bad enough that I could perhaps be condemned as a masochist.

      There are lots of things like flipping houses that are only for certain personality types. In terms of what gets you excited, keeps you going, etc.

      Ain’t healthy to invest emotionally in ideas of status that only really work for a single personality type.

    2. Anyone who interprets not wanting to identify, acquire, fix, and/or sell properties as ‘lazy’ instead of ‘not a masochist’ …

      As a number of people in certain Blue states have discovered, real estate markets are subject to sudden and disastrous downturns due to factors beyond any house flipper’s control.

      Dan learning to count cards and visiting Vegas is probably a better plan – I understand casinos have pretty good free buffets.
      ~

  24. I 100% understand your positions on flipping houses or getting out of situations that aren’t good for your family despite sacrifices required.

    At one point we discussed getting property fixing it to rent … dodged that bullet. We were transferred from Longview to Eugene, mid ’80s during housing crash (at least in PNW). We couldn’t give away the house, let alone sell it. So, since we could jiggle finances we could rent in Eugene, and rent out the house in Longview. Might have gone better if we’d gone the professional management from the start, but we didn’t. Lesson learned. We were lucky. But we learned that “this was not our path”. It was brought up a couple of times in the years following after we’d gotten the house up north sold, and bought our current home. No. Hell No. Flipping houses would be a close second.

    I also know the agony of having a spouse working away from home, when neither of you had planned this route. We didn’t have a choice on whether he’d go when he was transferred. We talked about him quitting, note I was out-of-unemployment-not-working. We discussed moving (I wouldn’t have worked again, ever). We ran worst case scenario, which was 3 years. In 3 years he could retire with full pension. We discarded both quitting and moving. He’d get up at 3:30 AM Monday, having packed the night before, and get to work by 6:30 AM. Leave work at 6 PM Friday, and get home around 10 PM. For 17 months, minus vacation weeks. The nights he was gone? I slept like, well, I didn’t sleep. We kept in contact nightly. He went over homework and scout stuff with our son, nightly. We survived. He wasn’t the only one in this position in his company, there were 6 others doing the same thing; 5 lived in the same little RV parks … thank goodness for our little RV trailer we had at that time. Think about it an area where living in an 27′ RV trailer is preferable to any rental found (not that there was a lot to find). Note, he put 48k miles on the Elantra we got for him to drive the commute in. Gas savings alone paid for the car.

    Money? I’m surprised how well we’ve done. We can’t cry poverty. Don’t know that we are rich. We did it not by prioritizing money over our family. We did it by paying for our retirement first, we didn’t count on SS or pensions (neither of which we thought would still be available, they fooled us 🙂 ), our son’s post HS education, second. Then living to one income for the rest of it … in fact that is what got us in trouble when I was off the extended period. True fact. Live to the smaller income. If it disappears, no foul. But when the larger income disappears, um, oops. We’d been going along good for a decade, had opened up purse strings … I mean still saving one income, right? What a difference a few years makes! We cut expenses down to the one income, almost. Most of unemployment was saved. But then we had to cover two households, unemployment ran out. We were lucky than most. We had savings that didn’t require us touching the savings that triggered penalties, but by the time everything was sorted out, that was drained, and never recovered. Note, least people think we’ve done this each with our individual incomes > $100k … we didn’t. Our average combined household gross income is < $70k (over last 42 years) with no inheritance; we started out together in debt.

    As far as sacrifices? I know we should move out of Willamette Valley, or even Oregon. I won't. I might trade it for the stars, but there isn't another state I'd move to. With one offspring. We go where he goes (if he goes … that is questionable). I can't give up my principles. We won't. I know my husband won't either. OTOH we don't have any jobs to try to keep (benefits of having hit retirement). I might keep my thoughts to myself, but that hasn't changed, ever, in almost 65 years. Hubby won't. Neither does our son. Comes to it, I will hide my liberal sister and family in the metaphorical attic (we really do not have one), or even neighbor. If I can I won't let someone be sacrificed. I don't know what that would look like. I don't have that kind of imagination. OTOH I'm not going somewhere (downtown) to look for trouble either.

  25. Thanks Sarah for taking another look at my comments.

    I know it’s not going to be a popular or even acceptable position for many to take. One thing that got missed, because y’all don’t know me, and I didn’t make it clear, my intent with the sort of things I mentioned is to buy time and space to fight back in some other way. I’m sure there were partisans in other conflicts that appeared compromised (and were to some degree, they are humans) but did what they could in other areas. Just so I’m clear, I do NOT intend to give up, or go without a fight. I would prefer to pick that fight on my own. I recognize that the universe may not oblige me.

    I acknowledge the comments about compromise, knuckling under, and giving in, That is what got us to the current state. I watched it happen with gun rights issues my whole adult life. The question always is, as you point out in this post, where do you draw the line? When do you start shooting the bastards? Almost no one has gotten to that point yet, at least on the right. The guy who shot up the cops in Dallas certainly did, as did the guy who shot up the Congressional softball game. Maybe Timothy McVeigh? So far though, none of those acts made any real difference.

    I’m sure that truly knowing where you are with “thus far, and not one inch farther” is empowering, but I’m also cynical enough, having seen the frog slowly heat over the last 40 years, to think that for most people the line they think they have and the line that really exists may not overlap at all.

    Sorry for the wall o text, I did use para breaks, and it didn’t look so long in the comment edit box, full width, as it did in the nested skinny thread.

    (not an enemy agent- really)
    (not my usual sig)

  26. Compromise is supposed to mean both sides give up something. Leftroid ‘compromise’ means we give up less than they want, and they try for the rest tomorrow.

    1. “Compromise is supposed to mean both sides give up something. Leftroid ‘compromise’ means we give up less than they want, and they try for the rest tomorrow.”

      Nope, that’s obstruction to them. “Compromise” to them is that they get everything they want and that we clap loudly for Stalin until they tell us to stop.

      1. For them compromise is the lamb agreeing that the wolves get to vote on what’s for dinner – and the lions do not.
        ~

  27. To the title, but not the body, spent the night just starting to tidy up things here and there (it barely shows, but there IS progress). And did some auto maintenance – some things I want done *NOW* as I have no idea if things will allow me to do them later this year. Yes, I am perhaps presuming that motor-fuel will be available. There are other things that need tending to, as the seasons move along, which include options for non-automotive (local) transport. One thing at a time. Or rather, many things, with their slices of time when it makes sense.

    1. It is widely acknowledged among Huns that much of our modern culture is performative, not just the Covid-response but the Transportation Security Theatre and more. The question occurs: how much more, how much more? How much more of a lie do we live?
      ~

      1. I do not live a lie. I may be forced to live surrounded by lies, but I do not partake of them. I tell the truth whenever I can. Not that it seems to make much impact.

    2. The lockdown would have worked if only we had properly sterilized the surface with nuclear fire.

    3. Ox, I’m starting to think you take the ‘teleporter pads’ more personally than the mask mandates.

      1. No, I just noticed them being gone recently. And that was done just after the store had the floor waxed after all the Winter crud tracked on it. Thus the waxing doesn’t look as good as it ought and the absent stickers still… stick out. Makes it kinda hard to miss.

        1. The directional arrows in aisles disappeared months ago.

          It wasn’t very notable because hardly anyone paid attention to them anyway.
          ~

  28. Do it.
    I relocated from Bethany OR to Casper WY this month. The change has been uniformly wonderful. Literally every person I have dealt with has been uniformly friendly, courteous and helpful. Even the FREAKING lady at the DMV had a couple of suggestions that saved me a couple of hours of time that I would have wasted there.
    Casper is big enough to have all of the needed facilities, all the big box stores, Amazon delivery, etc, etc. I am currently in an apartment for 6 months while I look around for a more permanent abode – but a top end location is only $1,000. a month (plus $40. for the stupid cat). (https://www.preserveatgreenwaypark.com/),
    The total population is low enough that the ambient craziness should stay far enough back for some time.

    1. Nice. At $1040*, that is more than our house payment. Granted I don’t have the gym, pool, or common room, away from the house. But sacrifices, don’t you know … 😉

      * For us it’d be $1160, because 3 cats … dog would be free as she is a service animal.

  29. One more “cleaning your room” thing that should be done before things get tight: go through your stockpile — food and medicines especially, but also other things that degrade over time — and identify items that are expired, items that look iffy, etc to dispose of outright or use up ASAP. It’s much easier to toss that questionable can in the back of the cabinet now, while things are still plentiful, than when times are desperate and it’s go hungry now or use tomorrow’s food and go hungry then.

    1. This. Once or twice a year I go through the “not tea or coffee” contents of the indoor pantry and riff. It started because six years back, Mom and Dad Red were out of the country so I waded in . . . and found things from when we lived in Nebraska. That was the late 1970s. Among other not-so-fresh items, leaking cans, and so on.

    2. but also other things that degrade over time …

      I find the main thing “that degrades over time” in my house is me.
      ~

  30. Painfully apropos post, connecting to events in real time and following on “Live Not By Lies – A Manual for Christian Dissidents” by Rod Dreher.

    BTW, banned on Twitter. Inordinately proud of myself – just had to tell somebody that would understand.

    1. They’re banning Dreher?

      That’s…. wow.

      Not that I’m saying he’s bad, just he’s so…centrist. Just not anti-theist. Which is probably the “problem.”

      1. I suspect it is Leo M. Walker what were banned expelled from the Twitterverse, declared Twitter non grata, told to shaddupa your face.

        Whether congratulations are in order would depend on the basis of the excommunication, of course.
        ~

  31. It was me, not Dreher (so far as I know). Well “I” think it is a worthy ban, but then I would. Here it is, you decide: EXCLUSIVE – Former Pfizer VP: ‘Your government is lying to you in a way that could lead to your death.’ | News | LifeSite https://t.co/QDRn2UWoBe

    1. The government is lying to us in a lot of ways that can lead to death.

      Which is why I follow “Masks are a lie!” with “They’ve been telling different lies every month for a year. Why do you still believe them?”

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