I’ll Be Away Most of the Day

So this is partly an excuse to do an open floor.

BUT as it happens, I also have links to share today.

First, I’m part of this giveaway.


(Yeah I know. They went and mentioned the movie, but anyway….)

I might have some images to share with you later, too.
Oh, and my editor says you need to order through a comic store…. but that you can ask for a particular cover.

OTOH someone in the comments had a link to buy the signed editions, I think? If someone did, please post again, and if I find an area with internet during the day I’ll add it.

Anyway, it’s late, and I’m going to bed, since we’re getting out early tomorrow.

142 thoughts on “I’ll Be Away Most of the Day

        1. Apparently, Sarah said something about “we should shoot medical bureaucrats”. 😡

            1. I’m still in favor of guillotines. The French never got any complaints. 😛

                1. I dropped into my local pawn shop (on day two or three of the regional quasi-comic gasoline shortage) and noticed that they had ammo in two or three (or more) calibers. I wasn’t looking ammo; I was looking a cheap printer but struck out. More useful to you, Brownells and Palmetto State Armory have ammo so other places probably do too.

                2. There is a strong argumet for hanging …

                  BURGOYNE: Have you any idea of the average marksmanship of the army of His Majesty King George the Third? If we make you up a firing party, what will happen? Half of them will miss you: the rest will make a mess of the business and leave you to the provo-marshal’s pistol. Whereas we can hang you in a perfectly workmanlike and agreeable way. (Kindly) Let me persuade you to be hanged, Mr. Anderson?

                  George Bernard Shaw, The Devil’s Disciple

          1. This the same Facebook that allows Hamas to openly call for murder of Jews?

              1. Only in the sense of consistency between their professed and actual rules. Deduce the actual from actions.

          2. Usually, I am fairly nice. Nukes, axes, bullets, even nooses are fast. But for some Special Troublemakers.. maybe, just maybe, an acid bath is called for. Fuming nitric is nicely visual….

            1. I’m a kind sort, usually. There exist a few unoccupied islands way out in the deep blue. Let ’em try their ideas out there. Green Nude Heel and all. An archipelago of little blue islands, untouched by man before they get dumped- err.. dropped off. No cell phones, no corrupting man made trash. Socialist paradise, eh?

              Betcha it turns into a shining example of peace and thriving plenty. Check back on em in, say, a quarter century or so. And mine the approaches. Don’t want anyone interrupting their experiment in finally making Communism work, now do we?

          3. “Would it make Faceborg feel better if they wuz pushed out of windows?”

          4. I agree. Any excuse for target shooting is a good one in my book. And if you can kill two birds with one stone, that’s Win-Win!

            1. Right? I mean, I’m sorry, but RRRRRRR Bureaucrats.
              And no, I shouldn’t have typed it because I KNEW what would happen.
              But I was tired and governor was down.

                1. I suspect defenestration is needlessly traumatic for the poor dears and recommend attaching a stout elastic band about their ankles before tossing.

                  Do NOT attach the other end of the elastic as it risks damaging vital components of something, I’m sure.

  1. Apparently, for ignorant people displaying outright racism to entertainers… You go to San Francisco.

    This doesn’t surprise me, because all the racists I’ve met mostly were white libs living in liberal college towns, but… Apparently the black castmembers of San Francisco’s Dickens Fairare tired of explaining that there were no black slaves in 1830’s London, England, and of being called slaves. Because that was after emancipation in the UK and its territories.

    But what really torqued off the cast was that the management released a big liberal statement about how they wuvved BLM, but refused to do anything about helping the cast itself. Because virtue signaling is not about doing stuff.

    This being San Francisco, of course things have escalated to a demand to appoint new management, and half the cast threatening to walk out. And there is a certain amount of ridiculous lefty conditions, and so on. But the basic situation is that libs in power do nothing useful to create conditions of basic decency for employees.

    The other takeaway is that “most of the cast is comprised of volunteers.” Exsqueeze me? This is a for-profit event, and most of the people who work there ARE NOT PAID!? That is freaking ridiculous. My understanding is that if you work at a renfaire as cast, you get paid, or you get some of your pay in tips/busking, but you get paid. How can you have most of your cast unpaid? How is that even legal?

    It is just amazing how much scummier that leftist cities are.

    1. Oh. This “unpaid volunteer” thing is actually a pretty common scam in the renfair world. But they don’t tell people who come to these things that the entertainers are “volunteers” paid only by busking, as opposed to earning tips.for extras. Well, that explains a lot….

      But they should let people know, because they would bring money to pay buskers if they knew nobody was getting paid. Most people only bring money for buying stuff in shops, buying food, and getting in the door in the first place.

      1. We helped found a ren fair that went on (may still be going on) for over 30 years, but it was the local SCA group teaming up with the Lions’ Club to fundraise for the Lions. We provided “color,” in return for use of facilities for our feast, publicity and the chance to recruit. (And yes, we charged for the feast, but that was to pay for the food; basically we ran it as a local event that just happened to have several thousand members of the public wandering through).
        I know they now have some professional buskers, but don’t know how it works for them. And it’s still a charitable fundraiser. (It also was the main reason the shire grew into a largish barony, so we did get benefits).

      2. The Rat Chucker at the Las Cruces ren fair had a little sign– and good patter– that mentioned he wasn’t paid to be here, he was basically a vendor selling entertainment, please pay him. (And then launched dumdum lollies for the kids. It worked. :D)

      3. Some Renfairs do pay buskers minimum wage, or half wage, or in coupons for tickets or hot dogs.

        I think around here they do pay them minimum wage, according to what I saw on the Ohio Ren Festival comment pages, because Ohio’s labor laws get mighty salty about professional entertainers on private property not getting paid as well as getting tips. Same thing at the amusement parks, although they can’t accept tips there. Which goes along with what I heard from friends who worked there. (And that’s why it never even entered my head that things are different in other states.)

    2. Oh, I can assure you I never got paid at Faire, and if you cast and not ‘entertainment’ you weren’t allowed to accept tips either. The trick is to register as a 501(c)3 “educational” organization and then it’s just fine. Add to that that I was part of the Royal Court and that cost me way more money and time than I really had to spare at that point in my life. FOlks occasionally ask when I am coming back, my answer is the same day they start allowing cast to drink before closing gate!

    3. I was in LA and went to the LA Ren Fair, many years ago. I was there for training and none of my SCA stuff and went as a Mundane. I talked to a few of the Buskers. One said that THEY PAID the Ren FAIR some ridicules amount, like $400 a day to Play there, also they made enough that it was profitable to do so. That the made Great Tips. I watched and there were many $1s and $5 sometimes more going into the hat or basket. One asked me to put some bill she gave me into her basket after she started and every so often. That a lot of people had NO IDEA that they should or even could tip that way. By having me do it, it was a TEACHING moment for the Mundanes watching. I was happy to help, her singing was wonderful

        1. When my veteran’s group does a food drive we always salt the bucket and we figured out a few years ago that you should salt the bucket with $20s, not $1s. We tripled our take.

    4. My understanding – at least a while back – is that unpaid volunteer actors are common in certain venues. The problem is that when you start paying the actors, the actors in question must be part of the Guild. You avoid that problem by having volunteers who work for free. If no one gets paid, then the Guild’s involvement isn’t required.

      1. Ah. Well, I don’t think the acting/entertainment unions have nearly as much power under Ohio law. Theaters, yes. Fairs, not so much. I don’t know what the situation is at Ohio amusement parks with shows, but I highly doubt there’s anything union about it. (Lighting guys, maybe.)

  2. The image, though I know it’s a different character, reminds me of Esmerelda from the Captain Harlock anime.

  3. And I did an oopsie; I hit the share on F icon, but I don’t have book of Faces—so I’m suppose to have 2 entries, not three (one for signing up and one for sharing the URL.)

  4. You know, I think I find the ones where her collar is fully zipped up more alluring than the ones where its open. Not sure why.

    Speculating, it may be because, while you known it’s there, you also know it’s not just available to anyone who wants it. The exclusively makes it more desirable.

    1. I find that for me it depends on the design of the garment and how it looks when unzipped. Some look sloppy that way, but if they can manage not to, then i like the open look as well as the fully closed.

  5. My eyes have been malfunctioning (damn migraines!), so I may have read that as “buy it a cosmic store”, and now I want to do that.

    1. My eyes have been acting up too – except I’m seeing double at moderate distances, such as watching TV or driving. I seem okay at reading range, however, so that’s what counts.

      Take my advice and DO NOT buy anything at a cosmic store – they’re usually trying to move factory seconds or, even worse, refurbished cosmos with incomplete debugging. Do not trust them when they claim those are features; once you get it home and out of the box it will infect everything you own.

      And for godsake, if you <I<must buy a cosmos be sure it isn’t warped.

  6. Heh. It just occurred to me how amusing it will be when Cosplayers start doing Barbarella cosplay, especially the ones who would be horrified to read this blog.

    1. Hot girls in red latex catsuits? I’ll refrain from clueing them in and just enjoy.

    1. Paywall.

      I hates it, I does, when folks post a link without ANY mention of what it is, why it might be interesting, or how it relates to the discussion. Especially links to Farcebook and Twatter which I NEVER click. Or, as in this case, links to articles behind a hard paywall. I am NOT going to sign up for a ‘free trial’ just to read an article I know nothing about.
      He’s a lumberjack, and he’s OK.

      1. Depaywallification:

        More than 120 retired US generals and admirals have published an open letter suggesting that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected as President and questioning his fitness for office.

        The letter, signed by 124 retired members of the armed forces calling themselves ‘Flag Officers 4 America’, said that America is “in deep peril,” having “taken a hard-Left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government”.

        The letter from US retired military leaders said: “Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’ our Constitutional Republic is lost,” and claimed that the FBI and Supreme Court “ignored” irregularities in 2020.

        The group also questioned the “physical and mental condition of the Commander in Chief” and claimed that questions had been raised about who is really in charge.

        It also touched on the southern border situation, the Iran nuclear deal, freedom of speech and China.
        Major General Joe Arbuckle
        Major General Joe Arbuckle organised the letter Credit: US ARMY PHOTO BY MR. SCOTT DAVIS

        It comes just days after soldiers in France sparked fury by publishing their own open letter accusing president Emmanuel Macron of “surrendering” to Islamist extremists, a move likely to have boosted the far-Right.

        The US signatories, most of whom have been retired for more than two decades, said that soldiers today are being used “as political pawns, with thousands of troops deployed around the US Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat.”

        One of the contributors, retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc, is running for a Senate seat in New Hampshire next year.

        “We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776,” the letter says.

        “The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.”

        The statement has been widely condemned, with one Navy officer telling Politico it was “disturbing and reckless.”

        Retired General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and NSA said the letter, written by some people he knew, made him feel sad and that he wished it was fake.

        Jim Golby, a senior fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at The University of Texas said: “I’ve seen a lot of these letters, but this one really is something.
        Placeholder image for youtube video: CLJLx1o_f08

        “The tone is shocking,” he told Politico.

        “Especially because it targets the entire Democratic party, implies the election was illegitimate and contains a number of verifiable lies.”

        “Rest assured, there is an unsigned list of thousands of former senior officers who remain committed (for life) to the Constitution (against all enemies, foreign and domestic),” said Tony Thomas, a former commander of the United States Special Operations Command.

        Jim Golby, a military relations expert, said the letter is a “shameful effort to use their rank and the military’s reputation for such a gross and blatant partisan attack”.

        But the decision to publish the letter was defended by one of the key organisers – retired Army Major General Joe Arbuckle, a Vietnam veteran who left the military in 2000.

        “Retired generals and admirals normally do not engage in political actions, but the situation facing our nation today is dire and we must speak out in order to be faithful to our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he told Politico.

        “We are facing threats greater than at any other time since our country was founded.

        “Aside from China, many of these threats flow directly from policy positions and actions of our own government. To remain silent would be a dereliction of duty.”

        1. I note that many of the officers criticizing this letter spent four years being very political in their attacks on Trump.

          1. And it would never occur to these “sad,” critics that maybe these officials believe THEY are the ones defending the Constitution.
            And would they mind defining those, “verifiable,” lies?

        2. I think the officers made a mistake in addressing specific political controversies instead of concentrating on Biden’s general unfitness and breaches of constitutional principles. It makes it too easy for the left to say “look at how those awful generals are politicizing the military!” (Yes, I know, but remember most people don’t know what happened under Obama [spit].)

          1. No. Even businesses are requiring people to say the election is legitimate. Time to shout the truth. Tell the truth and shame the devil.
            They’re going to get hammered anyway. Best tell the whole truth

            1. Quite aside from the Evil Left, I think a lot of people are desperate to believe the election wasn’t thrown by fraud. “That can’t happen here, it just CAN’T!!

              Meanwhile, literal Banana Republics are laughing at us…
              If everybody is thinking the same thing, most of them are not thinking.

            2. The 2020 presidential election was legitimate – for certain values of legitimate.

              It was as legitimate, for example, as JFK’s 1960 election, or Rutherford B. Hayes’ 1876 “victory” over Samuel Tilden, or eve John Quincy Adams’ 1824 defeat of Andrew Jackson.

      2. I didn’t encounter a paywall myself. O_O

        Hint: If in the future you do encounter such annoyances, perhaps you could check out “archive dot is” for some amusement.

        1. My experience is that a lot of “no adblockers” and paywalls don’t really know how to deal with Brave, and will let you through.

    2. http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/oh._dear.

      This has several links, I read the NY Post one.

      Basically, some retired flag officer squishes have publicly made some statements about the appearance of fraud, the appearance that Biden is senile, and the appearance that Biden is cozying up too much to the Iranians and Chinese.

      1. I’m surprised the media aren’t howling “Smedley Butler!” yet… their lackeys aren’t keeping up.

        1. Given I had to look him up, I’m not sure any of their audience would know who he was either.

          And finding out about the time the Army rode down protestors based on direction from the Attorney General, and in contradiction to orders from the President, might raise more consternation about what an administration is capable of, than a set of talking head retirees…

  7. When I watch some movies and shows, I’m able to mentally separate the characters from the people performing them. It helps that I don’t follow any actor on social media and have little to no interest in their opinions.

    Now, to re-watch that piano scene.

    Then some Mera scenes in Aquaman.

    And some Selene scenes in Underworld (which people only watch because it is such a brilliant movie of course)

  8. Whenever a web site demands that I sign up for a ‘free trial’ it always makes me think of ‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka. Not only No, but Hell No!

    1. Given how they write Terms of Service, you do get the feeling that some people read Kafka and take him as a model, not a horrible warning. Sort of like certain activists and Orwell.

        1. I read it in German class. It made sense to read then, in the context of “German literature and society.”

          1. It’s been awhile, but I think I got caught in a type of “world literature” where it showed up. If there had been any German background… before reading… still hate it.

  9. Speaking of execution methods ( guillotine etc) I have always favored the method espoused by our good friend, Hanover Fist.
    “Hangin’s too good for him! Burnin’s too good for him! He should be torn into teeny pieces, AND BURIED ALIVE!!!”

      1. Well, first you have to kill him to fid out if he’s any good at necromancy.

      2. From what I’ve read 😀 necromancers have a hard time living in this world due to being considered “evil”… I’d think if there were any about after the purges, they would be shy about mentioning the subject.

        1. Well, one type of necromancers kill people (not concerned if the people are willing) to gain magic power (and doing so go insane), so that type are Evil. Fortunately, they are very rare and it’s obvious that one is on the loose.

          Another type can “raise the dead” but the dead are mindless zombies that they control. They might not start out evil but why would anybody want mindless zombies even if they control the zombies. To make matters worse sometimes the necromancer loses control of the zombies and the zombies mindlessly attack people.

          A third type raises ghosts who may be able to answer questions. Those necromancers can be either good or evil but there’s the danger of raising a ghost who turns on the necromancer.

          To raise a person fully from the dead (ie able to take up a normal life) is beyond the power of any human magic-user.

          1. why would anybody want mindless zombies even if they control the zombies. To make matters worse sometimes the necromancer loses control of the zombies and the zombies mindlessly attack people.

            So you’ve seen the Democrat “Get Out The Vote” efforts.

          2. Another type can “raise the dead” but the dead are mindless zombies that they control. They might not start out evil but why would anybody want mindless zombies even if they control the zombies. To make matters worse sometimes the necromancer loses control of the zombies and the zombies mindlessly attack people.

            NecroNancy Pelosi, mindless zombie controlled by a necromancer. But that’s Old Ones magic, indelibly tainted with evil.

  10. And for today’s “Holy Shit” moment.

    I’ve been following this series for a while, and got around to watching his capstone today:

    The thing that tripped my “uh oh” alarm was the note that the Chinese Communist Party has lasted just about as long as the Soviets did, combined with the various problems they’ve got makes me realise, we may be right on the cusp of China’s explosive decompression.

    Thing is, the Soviets disassembled because they had a True Believer trying to make socialism work. I don’t think Xi is a True Believer in anything but the continuation of his own power, so thinking this may be more *bang* than fizzle.

    This is going to be such fun, in that entirely not fun sort of way…

    1. a) being evil and holding power is the True Communism
      b) USSR died because Reagan killed it
      c) The failure mode isn’t a strict number of years/generations
      d) The PRC regime is definitely in trouble

      1. Point taken on A), I’d argue he was still a believer in the sales pitch, but any system rooted in deception will always have two faces. The slight of hand in “from each according to their ability to each according to their needs” is extremely two-faced.

        B) You are correct. I should not forget that Reagan standing up to them broke them in the end.

        C&D) I’m actually wondering is there is such a finite limit on these things. A large part of why China is in trouble seems to be because of their iron clad unwillingness to change policy on anything.

        I’ve read that complex societies fail when the cost of adding new systems to handle problems becomes so expensive that it can’t adapt anymore. It seems to me that Communist societies have built in inflexiblity. Is the state is omnipotent, then it couldn’t have made mistakes. They end up locked into a dead end path until the whole system tears itself apart. That makes me wonder if three generations, or so, really is the limit of these sun-king cultures?

        I’m also wondering if that’s really the secret genius of the Federalist system? By breaking society into sub parts, with simple interfaces, we can allow entire major structures to collapse entirely, with out them bringing down the rest of society?

        1. First, no matter what we do, the theory we are working with is a reduced order model that can fit in a human head.

          There’s a case that the human mind can not handle a theory complex enough to model a human mind with perfect fidelity.

          We can only usefully model aggregate human behavior when individuals make a bunch of similar decisions. Happily, or not, this is very often true.

          We build theory based on past behavior, and this theory does not hold when the ‘system behavior’ changes.

          I think that collapse of communist regimes can be understood as something I came up with about the late bronze age collapse.

          It is very common magical thinking to suppose that strong leaders are stronger than they are, and wise men wiser than they are. A common cultural belief in the power of a king means that magical thinking reinforces the King’s rule. So it is a temptation to try to force people to believe a king has magical power. But if the king is compelling the appearance of belief, then there can be inner resistance, or people ready to abandon belief easily if the king suffers a great defeat. I think this sort of shift in magical thinking could be why those kings all of a sudden lost economic influence in the late Bronze Age.

          But there is more than one mode of explaining the collapse of the communists.

          The information science explanation is that the communists forced lies, and produced an extreme amount of false information. The truth was, they actually made things worse, so they were constantly lying about improving things in order to hold on to power. Eventually the lies took their toll, and the house of cards collapsed.

          My pet theory is that forcing people to lie about their feelings conceals information, even from themselves. And people can tell when they are being jerked around, and hate it. The communists understood the state of magical thinking in a population enough to seize power. But they are suppressing information about changes deep inside people. Enough desperately unhappy people, eventually someone figures out a behavior change, it propagates, and system behavior changes.

          A related idea is that the inner party is wantonly abusing the beliefs of the general population, and this eventually shifts the culture. It disenchants people in the ideas being blatantly abused to manipulate them.

          Related to your proposal, there is no way to truly manage so many people from the center so totally. No way for the information to move. So, it sells people the illusion that it is doing so, and is too scary to resist. This robs initiative, and people are only very slowly willing to appear to do anything on their own. Eventually normal entropy shifts the system to a state that it is too fragile to absorb the motion of, and it breaks.

          Subsidiarity is part of the US system, but another part of it was consent of the governed. If you impose few demands on people, they will be happy enough to make the bad ideas and wishful thinking of the central government work out as well as can be expected. Trust and willing cooperation were hugely important. (and the stupid fellows threw them away!)

          The hydraulic empires could be very stable. The factors that made that true are mostly not true of any modern state. Communist attempts to totally reshape the culture and make history year zero start with them makes this more, not less, of a problem. They /can’t/ be clever enough to fully understand everything that could occur from cultural changes, and culture is a thing whose changes are not under the full control of political powers. If you keep constantly changing, to have your magical thinking cake and eat it also, you probably eventually hit upon a profoundly unstable magical thinking state space.

          PRC is fragile, we can’t know how fragile, and the mechanism could be something never before seen, that we can only label and create theory for in hindsight.

          Anyway, reiterating: Reagan had intelligence from inside the Warsaw pact, and knew how fragile the USSR was. SDI was done knowing that the Soviets would be unable to keep up, and would break themselves trying. (The fall of the PRC could happen on its own, or it could be pushed. We know Biden is a patsy, we know /his/ regime is fragile, and we know the PRC fears us pushing. I say that Americans will push, sooner or later.) And communism (as opposed to socialism) was designed by evil men to help them inflict sadistic cruelty on even their own highest ranking subordinates. Jinping Xi is the same type of felon by inclination that Zedong Mao, VI Lenin and Joe Stalin were.

          1. I have a pet theory about the Bronze Age collapse, formulated in response to the archeological observation that in several major cities the palaces and mansions were burnt, but the rest of the city and surrounding area were undisturbed.

            The Sea Peoples were Deplorable.

          2. The USSR was brittle and Reagan knew it. It LOOKED like he whacked it a good one with a big sledge, but it might have just been a tiny tap in the right place at the right time. Now, with China? I suspect it is well known (or at least should) that it is very brittle… but they are doing what that can to cover every American hammer with layers and layers of wool… but eventually, some random woodpecker will come along and…

        2. China *has* changed some of it’s policies. Deng’s time as leader appears (at least to me) to have been one long look at overcoming some of the problems imposed by Mao having been in office for decades (late 40s to early 70s). Deng’s reforms that everyone is familiar with are the ones that opened the market up somewhat. But he also pushed through changes that were meant to avoid the “geriatric, slightly senile, old man ruler” problem. The idea behind both was a desire to help the PRC prosper in the long run.

          Xi has been rolling back both sets of reforms.

          The PRC’s real problem, though, is probably corruption and arrogant bureaucrats.

          On an unrelated note, it just occurred to me that China has a very traditional method it could reimplement for dealing with the current gender imbalance. After all, eunuchs were a traditional part of Chinese government until Dr. Sun Yat-sen got rid of the Qing Dynasty.

            1. Maybe, maybe not.

              Killing a bunch of members of the younger generation is a very dangerous move when you’ve got guaranteed government benefits for the elderly, and an already undersized younger generation.

                1. Way back when it first started becoming obvious that it was hitting the elderly and ailing hardest, I said that I’d find it completely unsurprising if the WuFlu was intended to kill off those the CCP viewed as “useless eaters” without the obvious apparatus of state-sponsored mass murder. In a world where satellites can photograph from orbit, just keeping it inside one’s own country and doing it only to one’s own citizens subjects no longer means a free pass. Hence the need to make it look like a natural outbreak, or at worst an accidental release, not a deliberate act.

                  1. It was designed to kill the aging and diabetic populations of the USA and Western Europe.

          1. “….the “geriatric, slightly senile, old man ruler” problem.”
            So China exported that to us?

      2. This is the part that is hardest to accept in the alt hist Apollo-never-ended “For All Mankind” show (spoilers below) – In that the Soviets have all the economic capability they need to sustain a significant moon base into the 1980s, even with RR elected 4 years sooner in 1976 and reelected in 1980, with no indications of any stress or shortages or indeed issues at all – they even get their Buran shuttle into lunar orbit (forget it, Jake – it’s Hollywood) for the big confrontation in the season 2 climax (featuring 1911s being flailed around inside the US supershuttle cockpit – at least they’re not Berettas).

        In our timeline the USSR could hardly keep MIR going, and the main thing that Reagan used to sink their economy in the end was pushing US research on strategic missile defense – the Soviets could not believe we had not made a major technical breakthrough. Dealing with Poland, while also countering what that technical breakthrough had to be, while also building stacks of titanium-hulled nuclear attack subs to counter US CVNs, ended up pushing their economy over the edge.

        I’d at least have liked to have seen a throwaway line or three on maybe some troubles in Poland, but nope, nada, things are going great under Comrade Chairman Yuri Andropov!

        1. Beretta didn’t get the contract to become the new US military handgun until 1986, after some truly epic dirty politics in the procurement system. Even then, it took years for them to replace the 1911 in most areas… and the Marines *still* use the 1911 in some of their ‘special ops’ units. Yes, still in .45 ACP.

          Also note that the US had done testing of sidearm operations in vacuum by the 1960s, using the 1911. They already knew about the proper lubricants to avoid vacuum welding, etc. Revolvers were still used by some military police, and would have fewer problems than an autoloader mechanically, but the side flash at the cylinder gap is more powerful than most people think, and something you’d want to avoid since it could damage a spacesuit.

        2. Obviously, the Soviet espionage efforts were quite a bit more successful in the show’s backstory, and the Soviets were able to steal the plans for the American shuttle.


          The show also should have mentioned the fact that the USSR was a net importer of grain, buying large quantities of it from other countries in the world (particularly the US, except when Carter embargoed them after the invasion of Afghanistan).

          1. They were so successful that instead of Buran using the Energia LOX/H2 core with four Zenit LOX/RP1 strap-on boosters they copied the idiotic Thiokol SRBs including the o-ring fault, just so the lovelorn NASA exec could slip them the warning to fix it.

            Forget it, Jake. It’s Hollywood.

  11. As a clarification–comic store also means digital ones. At least Comixology, for certain–I just checked, and the first 2 issues are available for pre-order. You don’t get to pick the cover–but my past experience with digital issues usually has them including ALL the covers at the end of an issue. 🙂

    1. Yeah, with Whitmer’s announcement, you’d be forgiven for thinking that something’s up. I don’t think we’ll see similar announcements for other parts of the country in the coming weeks, but…

  12. Apparently a “Google Security error” is is triggering when you try to go to Blogspot sites in Chrome or Chrome based browsers…

    Unknown if real or censorship…

    1. With Google it should be presumed censorship unless and until proven otherwise.

      1. I recall a New Yorker puzzled at amny in WI when shopping. “You’re in *Wisconsin*. You have all these great cheeses! WHY are people bothering with Kraft?!”

  13. T (or is it?): Went out for supper this last evening and it was glorius. No mask signs on the restaurant door. Nobody wearing a mask. Things looking so very… 2019.

    1. My cousin was in town yesterday. Took her out for lunch. Restaurant was EMPTY at 3:30 PM, a few people eating at the outdoor tables. Most people in the attached store were wearing masks, and all of the restaurant staff. I took my Medieval Plague Mask along, just in case. We didn’t get Karened for not wearing masks, so that’s something.

      1. We watched the Grand Ole Opry last night. Full attendence at the auditorium, and the camera shots of the audience showed no masked people. OTOH, the Opry backup band members (excluding the backup singers) were masked up.

        I just checked the Oregon news, and apparently Despicable Kate Brown is (grudgingly) going to go with the CDC guidelines and permit vaccinated people to go unmasked.

        Todays word from Urban Dictionary:

        >One who identifies as having been vaccinated, without actually being vaccinated.

        >Vaccination is a spectrum, and you are a BIGGOT if you don’t accept me as a Transvaxxite!

        Gee, suppose that could be useful? 🙂

  14. Well, BUGGER! I tried to wipe out ALL my browser settings to see if that cured the half-line horror (oddly, it ONLY shows up on my main machine, only my prefered browser..*ggrrrrrrr*) and… it utterly failed to halp. WTH?? At least I didn’t truly blow the settings, but only renamed a directory… with no gain, why waste effort re-tweaking? Just put it all back. WPDE!

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