Death and Absence

Lately, without warning I find myself breaking into this very sad song….

Este parte, aquele parte – This one leaves, then the next
e todos, todos se vão – and all depart forever
Galiza ficas sem homens – Galicia you’re left without men*
que possam cortar teu pão – who can scythe your wheat

Tens em troca – In exchange, you do get
órfãos e órfãs – orphans
tens campos de solidão – lonely abandoned fields
tens mães que não têm filhos – You have mothers who lose their children
filhos que não têm pai- children who have no fathers

Tens em troca – In exchange, you do get
órfãos e órfãs – orphans
tens campos de solidão – lonely abandoned fields

Viuvas de vivos mortos – Widows of living-dead

Que ninguem consolara – Whom no one can console.

*The North of Portugal, like the tip of Spain above it, are both Galicia/Galiza.

Just found myself singing in the shower, and getting tears in my eyes. And this is odd. Because I’ve not that done that for the 36 years since I left. (Leaving my mom and more importantly my dad, if not with no children reduced by one. Which out of two is noticeable, rather.)

I won’t pretend there were no regrets on leaving but they were tempered by the fact that Portugal already resembled the stupidest time line back then, and I kept going “I can’t believe” on everything from how food is served or available, to how roads are laid out. Also, frankly, my attachment was to grandma and the village, and that is pretty much gone (Except for grandma’s grave. And that’s still important to me.)

I miss dad, I hate that I can’t go to my nephew’s wedding, but as dad put it last time I saw him “that’s a very old pain.”

So why the fresh bout of pain that comes out in song?

Well, leaving Colorado will do it, and I swear if it were not for the altitude, I’d not have. I’d have stayed and fought for it.

Colorado was the homeland of my heart, the place I tacked to for 22 years before we finally moved there, and then we lived there for 30. Our friends are there, the places the kids grew up, the places we’ve loved for thirty years are there.

Sure, it’s occupied by communists, but I deduce from the fact that they won’t let anyone audit the election that it’s just occupied. It hasn’t actually changed that much, even with the invasion.

But for now, for right now, given the effects of the altitude on my body and given how very stupid the establishment is, it’s time to go.

This one is going to hurt like a mother. But I’ve done it before. I can do it again.

However living is dying a little, to those left behind, as they die a little to us. There is a break never to be healed. And mourning to be done.

We now own a house in another state. Then it’s back to Colorado for two to three weeks, to get house up for sale, and then we move for good.

Wish us luck

225 thoughts on “Death and Absence

  1. Buena Suerte! Hals- und Beinbruch! [Because of course it is more thorough in German.]

    I’m starting to look toward the day when I have to run RedQuarters on my own. I don’t know if I will have the resources (financial, physical) to do so. It should be a while in the future. Just thinking about it is a wrench, because of what will lead to that day. But that’s what grown-ups do.

  2. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Having lived in Illinois most of my life, I used to say it’s a great state to live in. Plentiful jobs, green everywhere, two international airports less than an hour away. On a personal level, we love our house (which we built with our own two hands), we love our neighbors, we love our Church family, we love being literally surrounded by forest preserves, yet within 3 miles of all the shops we need. But, the county we live in is now a democratic stronghold that is Chicago lite and we are both releasing and or not prosecuting criminals since the last election. My friend is on the committee that hires new county cops and they are both woefully understaffed and unable to get new recruits. The pension crisis is not an exaggeration. The state constitution MANDATES that the pensions CANNOT be changed without changing the constitution. Pension benefits increase by 3% every year by law, and you can look up on line what people make. My friend now receives $165,000 a year and that will increase every year by 3%. The state is being run into the ground and we are shutting down the two nuke plants because they cannot compete with natural gas electrical generation and the governor has mandated that natural gas must be eliminated by law in 20 years or less. I could go on and on but I’ll stop now. Wait, did I forget to mention our property taxes exceed $9,000 a year on a slightly larger than average house. Suffice to say, we are getting out! A nice lot has been purchased in Tennessee and we are in talks with a builder. Family issues force us to stay for now, but I will be in tears when we sign the papers to give our beloved house away and say good by to everyone we love, but I just can’t do this anymore.

    1. Illinoisian born and raised, Whiteside county up in the Northwestern corner.
      Watched as Chicago politics and hordes of their voters both living and dead took control and turned “downstate” into serfs and cattle to be milked of our labor and taxes.
      Left in ’84 at 33 years of age, off to Alabama to follow my wife to her new job while earning my BS-ISE then taking employment with a small independent government agency.
      Long since retired, now living in an older 3 bedroom brick ranch including a den with fireplace, attached garage, on a half acre lot. Fully paid for with a property tax bill well under $600.00.
      Bonus, Alabama does not tax my government pension or my social security, only my drawdown from my TSP (government 401K equivalent).
      And Tennessee, our good neighbors to the north still do not have a state income tax last I knew.
      And three major cities spread west, middle, and east of the state. Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.
      Friends and family still up in downstate Illinois, but they are all strongly considering picking up their lives and moving somewhere they are no longer under the thumb of the Cook County machine which controls Springfield and most any other town of any size in the state.

      1. “One man, one vote” is probably the most evil thing to come out of the Supreme Court since Plessy v. Ferguson.

        1. The state AGs should have lined up to stick the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Court’s door with Bowie knives.

          State Constitutions having bicameral legislatures predate the adoption of the US Constitution.
          And they did so for exactly the same reason the federal government was established that way.

        2. I don’t disagree that Reynolds v. Sims was a bad decision, but there’s a lot of competition for the dishonor of “most evil.” I’d put Wickard v. Filburn (the food you grown on your own property displaces food that you would have bought that could have come from another state, so it can be regulated as part of “interstate commerce”), South Dakota v. Dole (the federal government can make funding to the states dependent on states passing laws that the federal government is constitutional prohibited from passing), Buck v. Bell (you can be forcibly sterilized if the government rules you defective), and Shelley v. Kraemer (all contracts are ultimately enforceable by government-run courts, so the government can intrude into any contractual relationship) as worse.

          1. Don’t forget Thor Power Tools which grants the government the power to tax business inventory.

            Assets are taxed, debts are tax deductions.
            People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

      2. Difficult times ahead. I am certain you and Dan will accomplish with grace. Empathy for the move dear Host.

        We made the most difficult move of my adult life in leaving Illinois for Tennessee during the height of covid last year. There was no choice and we have missed our friends of 25 years. I could no longer see the end of the tunnel for my family or even all of Illinois. There is no light up there any longer. All we can await is the death rattle.

        Luck with the move and god bless.

    2. Just pray REAL hard and maybe a meteor will turn Chitcago into a smoking crater so we can get our state back.

    3. That figure looks a lot like what a 4 or 5 term senator would retire on. I’m a firm believer that pensions must be earned. And they should never exceed the highest measure of central tendency for wage earners in any particular career field or job. Heck, my military pension, DBA salary, and wife’s income combined are 50K less than your friend makes for his pension. But he may actually have earned it. Depends on how much he invested in that pension program; assuming it’s structured like that.

      1. I dislike pensions in general, the horizon for the promise is just too far away. Someone joining a company at 18 could conceivably be drawing a pension 75 years later. I can’t think of any plan that can survive contact with reality for 75 years, so there really isn’t any way to accurately price that kind of pension today. And when the company inevitably screws up and either over-promises or under-performs, the shortfall is dumped onto taxpayers because it’s not fair to punish workers for being dumb enough to believe a promise that has a multi-decade horizon.

        I’d much rather just have the money given to me in a retirement fund that I control (even better would just give me all the money together and let me figure out how much I need to set aside for retirement) so I can take it from job to job if things don’t work out and I don’t have to worry about the MBAs driving the company into the ground. Or about those MBAs coming up with a reason to fire me right before I’m fully eligible for the pension.

        1. We counted on hubby’s pension being there. He was on the pension committee for that reason. Setup so it couldn’t be raided. Plus the nature of the job.

          Mine? Wasn’t counting on it. Getting it. But not counting on it.

          We also were not counting on SS being available. Or severely discounted. Never expected to be able to live on just SS or even to our standard on SS x 2 + pensions x 1 (come on … mine is big enough that it is “Oh. My pension deposited. Dinner is on me tonight!”) and we are not jet setters. OTOH we started out our higher ed and careers during the inflation in the ’70s and ’80s. We were figuring on inflation.

          If you are wondering what could set off the “dance”. When TPTB try to take 401(k), IRA, and Roths. Even taking/reducing SS will cause an uproar. We paid into that. 7.5% by us, and 7.5% by our employers. That is 15% additional we could have paid into 401(k), or our IRAs. Over combined 70 years, that is a chunk of change. This is just us. Don’t expect to see all of that back. Though my grandparents, dad, and now my mom, were/are paid out way more than they plus their employers contributed. (Dad was on medical SS. Grandparents were on it for 45 and 35 years, respectively … lived to 95. Mom is still collecting at age 87, but receiving dad’s amount, about 3x’s hers).

          1. When SS runs out of treasury bonds in ~10 years there’s going to be a rude awakening. Hopefully we’ll be in a position to pop the myth that people “paid into” Social Security. The reality is that the money you paid went to the checks of retirees at the time, with the idea being that your checks would be covered by future workers. It was a terrible idea implemented by horrible people, which is why it’s needed major overhauls every 20-30 years since it’s inception. We got lucky that the last window for reform happened in the Bush and Obama years, where partisanship was ratcheted up to the point where compromise was impossible.

            As you point out, it robbed you of 15% of your earnings in exchange for a relative pittance. There are plenty of sites that look into how much money people could have put away for retirement if they weren’t “paying into” SS, it’s usually around a couple of million dollars.

            1. It’s the world’s biggest Ponzi scam. It consumes 25% of the federal budget to keep 70 million old folks dependent on the government. Or as I put it, ‘plundering the future to enslave the past’.

              They believed they could make it work by forcing the new fish to ‘invest’ at gunpoint, but they got too greedy and now it’s about to implode.

              Of course, they will blame it on the people trying to warn them what is happening, the ones they won’t listen to.

              1. The trouble with socialism is that not only do you run out of other people’s money, you run out of other people’s kids. Ponzi schemes “work” as long as you can keep getting new victims.

            2. the money you paid went to the checks of retirees at the time

              Yes. That is what we said then. “We are paying your SS.” What we say NOW is “You kids are paying Our SS” (as our son and nieces and nephews, youngest one still needs to get on the ball and get a job to help 🙂 )

              robbed you of 15% of your earnings in exchange for a relative pittance. There are plenty of sites that look into how much money people could have put away for retirement if they weren’t “paying into” SS, it’s usually around a couple of million dollars.

              Based on personal experience, not sure where they are coming up with a couple of million. Then we’ve never individually made enough for an annual tax holiday (the point where the max has been contributed to SS by the employee); or combined for that matter.

              1. From what I remember in junior high, it assumed really good return on investment.

                Like those “how much money do you need to live without working” that assumed the lowest savings would ever go is 5%.

              2. For fifty years I have scrimped and saved to have a nest egg I could retire on. It is not a pittance but still less than a million in liquid assets. If 15% of my earnings had not been stolen for so many years I’d have, conservatively, at least twice what I have now.

                1. Collectively, 70 years of paying ourselves first. Liquid assets, we aren’t hurting. But another 15% to direct as we wished? We’d be a lot better off.

              3. I’m not convinced that “We did this dumb thing for others now you have to do the dumb thing for us” is that strong of an argument. Somebody has to break the cycle of abuse.

                As for the millions of dollars, most of it is the power of compounding. I can’t remember the details, but I think they assume investing the full 15% in market index funds, shifting to bonds as retirement draws near.

                1. I just ran some numbers, basic compound interest, invest at start of each period, uniform invedtment return. Value multiplier after 46 years: At 4% return, 125.9x. At 6%, 225.5x. At 7%, 305.8x. At 8%, 417.4x. At 9%, 573.2x. At 9.5%, 672.9x. At 10%, 790.8x. At 10.5%, 930.2x. At 11.5%, 1290x.

                  Multiply by 30% of your annual earnings near the start of your career. Imagine that money helping industry to grow, driving new tech and better production methods.

                  (All 9th grade math or earlier, BTW.)

                  1. Keep in mind that employers would probably not have been paying that money if not forced to by law (just look at how many folks neglect to do so when they are required by law), that the folks supported by the payments would not have vanished as a cost (of course individuals could do a more effective job, it’s still not a zero cost job) and that investment estimates are more like 3-8%.

                    Now, of course, without Social Security folks would have made *other* different choices, as well….

                    1. Yes. Look how many don’t take advantage of 401(k), IRAs, or Roth’s. How loudly they squall when they have to op out, not op in.

                    2. *Shudder*

                      Yeah, I’m still wondering if school debt “forgiveness” or nationalizing private retirement will be attempted first….

                    3. Nationalizing private retirement. The few lefties I keep in touch with are rumbling about the unfairness of “rich” people stocking up retirement funds and purchasing second homes, etc.

                    4. The lefties I know that do the same type of complaining, some saved, some didn’t. All took destination trips and cruises. ALL bragged about their annual early tax holiday. All made at least 3x our combined income, each; or 5 to 6x combined. Not saying they didn’t deserve the trips, they earned the money. But, all I can say is “Them first”. They are welcome to donate to the USG all they want. Keep the USG sticky paws off the money we’ve saved. We started with NOTHING. Started out in Debt (which we paid off). We didn’t inherit a fortune (some, but not a lot, from his folks). We won’t be inheriting a fortune (some, maybe, but again, not a lot, from mom).

                    5. Don’t forget the power of and. They are going to try both at the same time, because as much as they try to rig the 2022 elections, they are in perpetual fear that those efforts won’t be enough to keep them from losing power.

                    6. Common stocks average 8% to 9%, and if you’re 20 years or more from retirement, common stock broad-based mutual funds make the most sense. Past that point, the greater your reserves, the more you cam keep in stocks.

                      I got in some good funds, now closed to new accounts.

                      Consider also how much better the whole economy would be.

                    7. “Consider also how much better the whole economy would be.”

                      Assuming that the company is being run by market rules rather than government regs and “woke”, yes. ***Looks over at Amex, etc.***

                2. Let’s just say our tax deferred accounts were not parked in savings; not even when interest rates were running over 10%. Each of us contributed well over minimum allowed to get the matching. Most of my 35 year career of 401(k)’s, IRA’s, and Roths … Okay, not quite that long, because none of the 3 have been around that long, or we couldn’t participate. (Way back in the old days when dinosaurs roamed (’80s), if either partner had a pension, an IRA could not be contributed to. That changed to the person whose company had the pension couldn’t contribute. Then it didn’t matter.) … Anyway, 30+ years. Most the money my salaries contributed, we’ve had full control over, because when companies went away, we rolled the 401(k) into an IRA we controlled. We’ve always earned well over the 5% mentioned. Not by doing risky investments either. Neither of us are professionally in the market. Each of our individual combined accounts are less than a million. So, IDK how they are coming up with those numbers. Maybe if the salary was enough that the individual got a tax holiday every year and the 15% was contributed over the entire salaried year. Maybe.

            3. Socialist Security is functionally bankrupt already. It’s been paid out of the general fund since 1968 when LBJ had the entire SS Fund rolled into the budget so he could claim he balanced the budget before leaving office…Since then, the extra funds not needed to pay out retirees and other recipients has steadily decreased until about 10 years ago (I believe) the income from SS tax is less than the outgo and SS has become a liability. Such liabilties are usually handled by cutting benefits to a point where the income benefits the elite again. So even if SS is available 10 years from now, it won’t be worth anything near what you’ve paid in to the government. Look for an increase to age 70 or 72 before receiving ANY benefits as that will be the easiest way to pull the wool over the eyes of the future recipients. It worked for military retirees. Some of us are still getting the “promised” 50% of base pay (which amounts to about 35% of actual pay at retirement) but all now are (I believe) getting either the choice of a 401K account or a much reduced percentage of base pay which probably comes to something like 25% of actual pay at retirement.


                A1: There has never been any change in the way the Social Security program is financed or the way that Social Security payroll taxes are used by the federal government. The Social Security Trust Fund was created in 1939 as part of the Amendments enacted in that year. From its inception, the Trust Fund has always worked the same way. The Social Security Trust Fund has never been “put into the general fund of the government.”

                Most likely this question comes from a confusion between the financing of the Social Security program and the way the Social Security Trust Fund is treated in federal budget accounting. Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the “unified budget.” This means that every function of the federal government is included in a single budget. This is sometimes described by saying that the Social Security Trust Funds are “on-budget.” This budget treatment of the Social Security Trust Fund continued until 1990 when the Trust Funds were again taken “off-budget.” This means only that they are shown as a separate account in the federal budget. But whether the Trust Funds are “on-budget” or “off-budget” is primarily a question of accounting practices–it has no effect on the actual operations of the Trust Fund itself.

                I’m pretty sure most of the folks here can think of a lot of accounting tricks you can pull with multiple budgets, by looking at the tricks they’ve done recently with the funding bills.

              2. Socialist Security is functionally bankrupt already. It’s been paid out of the general fund since 1968 when LBJ had the entire SS Fund rolled into the budget so he could claim he balanced the budget before leaving office…

                Only one of the reasons we didn’t think there would be any SS available. That and the other programs that were clipped on to it that never pay into the system. Then there are those who can opt out on all payments on the premise that they “won’t need the support”, but anyone else can’t opt out.

                an increase to age 70 or 72 before receiving ANY benefits

                Already 68 for me. Hubby’s was 66-ish. But we could take reduced at 62. Also lost the option that I could take spousal benefits off his until I claimed my full benefits at 68. Despite the fact, technically, neither of us could take full benefits at 65, we still are required to pay for medicare at age 65. All this for programs that are suppose to be a “safety net”.

                A safety net that has holes in it the size of Grand Canyon. People depending on living on just SS are some of the future homeless. Unless they are going into retirement with a paid off home and vehicles, better yet dump the vehicles. In some areas even that won’t be a guaranty to ward off the homeless option.

                Hubby’s pension is 1/3 of base, 1/4 of actual. Not military. Not government. But is union.

                Note. Paternal grandmother made it on just SS. She owned her home outright. Did not own a vehicle. OTOH maternal grandparents were essentially bankrupt when they died, just living on SS. Mom can save extra money (over monthly expenses and set aside for property tax and insurance) on her SS + minimal pension + minimal required distribution (she does not pay either Federal or State taxes, so that should tell what “minimal” means). She owns her home and vehicle. SS is about 3/4 of the monthly income. So, it is doable.

              3. Social Security isn’t technically bankrupt, it’s still selling off assets to meet the payments. But it will run out of assets in about a decade, at which point the checks will automatically be cut to match income unless the law is changed, and I don’t see a political consensus on changing the law arising any time soon.

              4. Going by memory from the last time I read a SS statement to me, standard retirement for me (born in 70) is 70, but me benefits go up about 30% if I wait until I’m 74. The asterisk next to the payout amount lead to the bottom of the page, where it stated at current rates they’d have about 50% of the money needed to make that payment. The way inflation is going currently, even if they paid the full amount, it might work out to about what I can carry in groceries for a week.

                1. And I am sure that the sad fact that the majority of covid deaths have been seniors old enough to already be on Social Security is just a tragic coincidence. But hey, one should never let a crisis go to waste don’t you know.

                  1. Yeah there’s a part of me that says Cuomo and his buddies wanted it to ravage the nursing homes as much of that was being paid by medicaid/ block grants and that then was money they didn’t have to spend. Here I can’t tell if they were actually evil or just the massively incompetent that seems to be the sine qua non of SJW type politicians. I think I must embrace the power of AND.

                    1. You should hear mom. “Now that you are on SS and *medicare, watch how ‘wait and see’ becomes the norm, until it is too late to do anything.” Key is to be pushy. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Part of it is the way medicare advantage HMO plans are run. Doctors/Clinics, don’t get paid any extra when you are actually showing up so they put off extra visits, extra treatment. Might be a push by TPTB too. We’ve heard about insurance offering cash cards for people to get their annual standard medical stuff done, after all it has already been paid for!

                      * Not quite. Not for a month and bit. Late October is when I turn 65, so first month eligible is October.

    4. We are now entering the Jimmy Carter Memorial Pension Reform Plan. I’ve been expecting inflation to hit for a long time now (and gladly disappointed for many years), but that’s one way of easing the burdens of cities and states and their profligate pensions ways. Of course it takes nuking the economy to do it, but it gets around all the legalities.

  3. I am an introvert. I need home, my own personal space. It’s what recharges my batteries.
    Every time I have had to move there has been a period, generally two to four weeks, when I have an overwhelming feeling of disconnect. Then my new “home” takes root and that energy begins to flow into my battery again.
    I strongly suspect that in so many ways you and I share a great deal in common.
    And so my dear niece, may I be one of the first to say to you welcome home.

    1. I feel the same way about my space, both where I live and the state in which I live.
      I’m in a place now of bullying and shame, a place that was offered (theoretically) in love.
      I’m leaving, and it’s filled with grief.

      Watching Sarah’s heart break is hard.

      Best of fortune, Sarah.

    2. This reminds me– when I was in the Navy, for the longest time, my windows desktop was my “home” token.

      There were places I stayed– but to be home, I needed a comfy place to sit, and my laptop.

      It wasn’t as good as having a Real Home Base, but it was enough!

  4. Colorado will miss you too. I was only able to see you once in person, but I always had this hope that once the kid grew up and I got a bit of freedom, I’d be able to join the group at Pete’s Diner and such. Plus, I always thought it was cool that a famous sci-fi writer actually lived in Colorado.

    Good fortune on your journey, and may the wind be at your back.

    1. There’s John Stith, but he more or less quit writing quite some time ago. From his blog, it looks like he tried to make the jump to Hollywood and gave up when that didn’t work out.

      Stith also had some goofball ideas on intellectual property and right of resale; he wanted some kind of registration and royalty system where authors would get paid every time a used copy of one of their books changed hands. How that was supposed to work was never explained.

      On the other hand, he wrote books like “Memory Blank” and “Redshift Rendezvous”, which showed he knew how to move money form my wallet to his, anyway. I was a big fan of his in the earl 1990s; enough to buy a stack of author copies and preprints from him directly, to pass out to friends.

      1. Oh yeah, that one. I remember reading the latter book, though it’s not in my current inventory.

        The IP resigtration and royaltiy idea is a “bless his heart” grade one.

  5. Running Thistle Dog Ranch (I needed an SSID and that came out. 🙂 ) is a two-person job for all 13 acres, and the two occasions I’ve been out of the picture for an extended length of time (2.5 months in 2019 from foot surgery, 2.5 months as invalid starting late Feb, with rehabilitation ongoing), $SPOUSE has been able to do the basic stuff, but there’s a lot left over. We’ll stay here until we can’t, with care and luck, I think we have something over 10 years.

    I had a period where I had to move 4 times in 4 years, but since then it’s been considerably longer, 17 years in the last house in California, 18 and counting here. $SPOUSE moved a lot as a kid, and strongly prefers stability. If we can have that here, we’ll stay. We have friends here.

    Despicable Kate Brown (see Mask Mandate V17.0 or something) keeps trying to make eastern Oregon as unpleasant as we Deplorables consider Portlandia, but we’re bound and determined to outlast the [redacted].

    Good luck with the new place and selling the old one.

  6. Good luck with everything. I get it. We left California over 20 years ago but I always thought that I’d end up back there in my much loved San Diego. That is not going to happen. Now, our plans to leave PA have been thwarted by a number of things. However, we are keeping the faith and continuing to work. Moving is wrenching, annoying, and stressful. But it’s also the start of a new adventure. Here’s to the adventure!

    1. I left California in the late 1960s. No matter where my parents took me, California was home, and I planned to go back as soon as I could.

      I made a scouting trip through in the early 1980s, and found that “home” no longer existed. The People’s Democratic Republic didn’t want my cars, my guns, or my politics; the town I was from was now well inside the city limits of a megalopolis, and by my standards, much of the population was mentally ill.

    2. Hubby grew up in San Diego (Lemon Grove specifically). Last time we were back was ’93. Only then because we’d taken our 4 year old to Disney. Added a day to drive to San Diego and back so he could meet his Aunt and cousins or rather they meet him, he doesn’t remember. Met at Sea World … bonus Shamu! Hubby didn’t recognize the changes then. Has no desire to go back.

      I have a lot stronger attachment, deeper roots, in the PNW, Oregon in particular. My sisters, cousins, and I, are 4th generation (6th if one counts the pioneer and the child who came west on the Oregon Trail, in 1864), our children 5th (7th). Maternal line homesteaded Montana in 1850s, sometime. Still have 2nd cousins farming/ranching the original homesteads (plus more surrounding properties). I can’t even think about moving out of the PNW.

      Hubby has talked about moving to get out of Oregon. We’ve visited some of those areas. But while fewer people … no trees. We may not live in the woods, or mountains, but we HAVE trees. We’ve talked about somewhere around Sisters, but that is a bit rich for our finances. Prefer Ponderous and bigger pines over Jack Pine and/or Juniper.

      One way we have an advantage or other liberal locations, we can’t be taxed out of our home, at least for now. I’m sure at some point the Portland area will eventually be convinced on “how unfair” the property tax laws are, and overwhelm the rest of the state’s vote.

      1. Yeah, I grew up in La Jolla, spent my life on the beach. I used to say that I could never live where I wasn’t close to the ocean…well, surprise! We’re right near the river here, so having moving water nearby is a help, but it’s not the ocean. We’ve spent a lot of time in OR. We have a family meet up every year in Sunriver, and hubby and I spend time at a friend’s house on the coast. My MiL and SiL used to live in Portland, but they moved back to CA a few years ago.

          1. I know…and I’m forever grateful that I’m one of them. It was a great place to grow up in the 60s-70s. It really was a village and everybody knew everybody. Plus beaches. 😀

              1. Harry’s Coffee Shop is still there. I’m in a couple of groups of people who grew up there. A lot of them still live there, or in PB or nearby.

                1. Yes, I forgot aboiut Harry’s. PB’s where I live. Not that you’d recognize it either. Downtown and PB have switched places. All the bars and tattoo parlors are in PB now. The only difference is that it’s college kids rather than sailors for patrons.

      2. Funny how it’s always ‘unfair’ some people pay less tax, not that others pay too much.

        I’m all for promoting true fairness — reduce everybody’s taxes to the minimum! 😀
        Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives.
        The stupider they are, the more strongly they believe it.

      3. Still here in San Diego despite everything. After 38 years on one-year leases in the same place in PB, the inertia is too strong. About SD being unrecognizable, before the Dita Beard fiasco and Pete Wilson’s PR response changed the city’s motto, it used to be A City in Motion. Much more fitting. I used to tell people that if you don’t go to some area for 6 months, when you go back, they will have moved everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. I have seen the valleys filled in, quite literally, to build a 104-foot wide mile-long stretch of I-15 that drops (or climbs) about 500 feet. Watching all those dump trucks coming and going was like seeing the Pyramids being built. As for mountains being laid low, I once wrote a high school buddy who had moved away, “You remember that house you used to live in in the avocado grove on the hill? Well the house isn’t there anymore, and the avocado grove isn’t there anymore, and the hill isn’t there anymore.”

        My wife used to say, “Home is where I’m going,” and she did make every place we went home, from Albuquerque to ChinaTown to Solvang. Staying in one place doesn’t help as everything changes around you anyway. That’s what led me to write “A Hearth for Ulysses”.

        1. My ex and i went to Solvang for a vacation. good times, except car died when we got back.

          1. Sigh. My paternal grandparents used to take us on a day trip from where they lived in Camarillo to Solvang. Loved the place, although Gran and Gramps were too chintzy to buy a lunch there. Ages later, I passed through again, and bought an aebelskiver pan, which I never got around to actually unwrapping and using until my daughter found it in the drawer under the oven and asked what it was. (Makes lovely little round pancakes, BTW.) The one thing that I noticed was that Solvang had become very much more scenically and aggressively Danish over the decade or two in between visits. Used to be that only a couple of streets did the Danish ethnic thing – after twenty years, it seemed to have spread to most of the old downtown.

            1. Simple aebleskiver flour: per egg, 1 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp flavoring (almond is traditional, vanilla or lemon work), 1 tsp sugar. If you mix it up hours ahead of time and pop it in the fridge, it rises as well as separating the eggs and beating them does, with much less work. Our family generally does three eggs because we have aebleskiver FIENDS.

          2. Pea Soup Anderson’s! Loved going up to Solvang. We used to go up to Julian for apple picking and hiking. Dudley’s Bakery in Idyllwild was wonderful.

            1. Becky, you meant Santa Ysabel on the way to Julian for Dudley’s Bakery, but Idyllwild in the clouds above Palm Springs is also great fun.

        2. An older friend of mine was from New York City. He talked a lot about going back and seeing the old neighborhood. He finally did it, and came back shell-shocked. It was gone. As in, they’d razed all the buildings, dug up the streets, and laid out a new development on an entirely different grid, different streets with different names. Every direction he approached “home” from, nearby areas were familiar, and he’d get close, and then he’d be somewhere else.

          He was really freaked out over it. I felt bad for him. He never really got over it.

            1. Buildings appear and disappear.

              For some reason TREES are more annoying because that there is/was a majestic old tree there tends to register less consciously.

          1. I was shocked enough when I went back for my college 20 year reunion and discovered that my freshman and senior rooms had been remodeled out of existence. I can’t imagine what going back to Anchorage and discovering my whole subdivision was gone would be like.

          2. I’m not a city person – I have a hard time wrapping my mind around wanting to live there. But New Yorkers seem very rooted in their neighborhoods – it probably is a huge loss to them to have it changed on them.

  7. Moving is always difficult. Harder than packing is leaving all the memories – how do you pack them?
    After my wife died I considered relocating, but the attachment I have to these bricks and mortar is stronger than any call for other horizons. Here I stay, here I remain.
    Good luck on your new home. May it truly grow on you.

  8. Luck! Another Iliinoisan born and bred who fled the Democrat fraud machine for AZ …where, as a bonus, the Covid restrictions were virtually nonexistent and many of these hardy folk even ignored the mask mandate..

  9. Be safe in your travels and take some time for self care. Lock kitties up tight until they adjust to their new home (but you know that)! I pray you all the best. We have done the living in two different states (Idaho and Iowa), it was always disconcerting to transition, but finally I found that I love Iowa and only the memory of what Idaho was. May you grow to love your new home and cherish the memory of your old.

  10. Sarah:

    I know that you’ll have some regrets about leaving Colorado, but wherever it is you’re moving to you will find new things to cherish.

    My wife and I are political and economic refugees from the Soviet Socialist State of Minnesota who fled following my retirement. Our (teeny-tiny) home in the heart of the Hive of Minneapolis was soon to be overrun by the lack of rule-of-law engendered by the collectivist, statist, authoritarian a$$hats who “progressively” destroy our city and state.

    We live now in small-town Wyoming where we fit in much better to the culture and politics. I can talk about hunting and shooting with the neighbors without feeling as though they’re looking at me as a complete alien.

    Best of luck in your new home; may your old house sell quickly and your move go painlessly.

    1. Good for you! We just vacationed in WY last month (well, it was a business trip for the husband, I just went along because WYOMING!) – and when he retires, it is first on our list of places to escape to, from the People’s Republic of Michigan. At this point, I’d be happy in a yurt somewhere in the BigHorns…

  11. I remember as a kid watching “Mork and Mindy” with the Jeep and the winter coats that didn’t have sleeves, hearing about the legendarily and supposedly hard-to-find Coors beer, and being freaked out by the strong “anti-government” (libertarian) streak in the state.

    My own experience of the decline of the state was visiting just after I could legally purchase weed, and there were very friendly mom-and-pop type stores creating an almost spiritual celebration, and then returning just a couple years later and it was all under corporate control and mimicking the soulless aesthetic of an Apple store. This change happened much faster than the difference from the 80s, and it seems like the society from the past is gone now, or at least unable to stand up for itself.

    Hopefully a new Colorado arises soon.

  12. Me, I try to be, shucky darn, I AM extremely grateful for what is. It could be better and, of course, it could be worse, but what is is what I have to deal with and, generally, I quite enjoy it. My life hasn’t gone smoothly, I’m happy to say. Lots of low points but for me those were/are necessary to appreciate and enjoy the high points.

    Thinking back I’ve well over ten moves in my life and I’m pleasantly surprised to realize I’ve lived right here, on top of the world (64° 50′ 21.65″ N, 147° 25′ 24.32″ W), for over 55 years. I’ve said often and said it again oftener ( ̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶f̶a̶r̶t̶s̶ ̶ mature gentlemen do that you know.) that everything past led to now and whenever I’m contemplative, remembering that, I’d delighted with this now and I wouldn’t, if I could, change any past hence losing this now.

    I expect I’ll spend my last days here, but even now, I’m prepared to move, with bolt holes to the south and the west and ever a wee bit farther north, lined out and I expect that now and that there will be fun too!

  13. Andre Norton seemed quite happy in Monterey, TN for her last years. It is close to a good hospital, and only 2 hours from great hospitals, near a University town that is not a liberal shithole, and the weather is great, except 2 hot months in summer and 2 cold months in winter….and they are not that bad. And only 2 hours from LIbertyCon!

  14. Wishing you God’s blessing for the journey and the work, Mrs. Hoyt. I rather suspect you’ll make your own luck, even if you have to plant, water, harvest, mill, and bake it yourself.

  15. All the best to you and yours. We’re thinking about upping stakes, but no not whereto. If and when it happens, it’ll be a wrench, but I’m hoping it will be a running TO and not a running FROM.

  16. I can’t read Portugese, but somehow the song seems sadder in that language. Maybe it’s just the rhythms of the lyrics?

  17. Best wishes for your move! If you get a chance, I’d like to know how the altitude was negatively impacting your health. Mr. BTEG has a whole host of autoimmune issues, and he enjoyed a business trip to Denver because it relieved his arthritis.

    1. Not Sarah, but she’s talked about how her breathing problems and the thinner air no longer play well together. I suspect the Front Range smog doesn’t help if you are out in it. I’m pretty mellow about crud in the air, and the few times I got the pleasure (not) of breathing the brown soup when I was doing research in Denver, it wasn’t fun. (I’d been in Santa Fe, NM, so the elevation was not a problem.)

  18. “Sure, it’s occupied by communists, but I deduce from the fact that they won’t let anyone audit the election that it’s just occupied. It hasn’t actually changed that much, even with the invasion.”

    I’m hoping that the second half of September demonstrates in *very* stark terms that the same also applies to California.

    In other news, comic book writer and artist Todd McFarlane just made a very convincing argument that American comic books might not be dead yet. The first issue of his upcoming new series ‘King Spawn’ has 497,000 pre-orders. It’s funny what happens when an artist and writer has a good rep, engages in lots of hustle, and potential customers know that he’s not going to fill his book up with overly woke crap.

      1. That “only 497K” beat almost every pre-order number for a single issue since the ’90s. American comic book sales have been pretty bad for decades.

        1. yeah i know, but considering any given Spawn comic used to sell a million copies…

          *goes back to work on his comic*

          1. People are noting that King Spawn’s pre-order numbers are what comics like X-Men and Spider-Man used to generate on a regular basis. But that was a long time ago.

            It’s probably also worth noting that another recent first issue of a comic book in the Spawn franchise “only” sold 100K copies. My understanding is that these days, that’s still considered pretty good.

            1. yeah, the ‘slow’ x-books used to sell like 800k copies, and series about to be canceled sold aroudn 50k. these days 50k is average…

              1. Meanwhile, the Japanese – who regularly do sell numbers like that all the time – are getting frustrated enough with their Western translators that one of the biggest publishers – Kadokawa – just announced that they’re basically completely bypassing the Western localizers, and releasing their titles simultaneously in both the US and Japan.

                1. YES!

                  Release the professional otakus!

                  I got hooked on anime in part because of the fan subs– translation requires solid or at least fanboy level understanding of both Japanese and Anglophone culture, and a desire to actually translate it, not “interpret” it into what you think will sell.
                  (Holy cow do a lot of plotholes and “WTF?” moments go away when you get a decent translation, and never underestimate the power of a text footnote explaining, oh, “this monster is a comb used to prepare the dead for burial that turned into a monster because it was used for a century” or maybe a quick explanation of tsukumogami. Which is totally a flavor of monster that makes sense on an emotional level!)

                  1. Animeigo’s liner notes for their releases were one of the most useful things I ever saw an anime licenser do. You had the full context of what the word or phrase meant, and the cultural relevance of it to the Japanese. Unfortunately, Animeigo stopped licensing new anime series quite a while ago.

          2. Half a million pre-orders tells me that the final numbers will be at least within spitting distance of a million.

    1. California’s elections are rigged. If Newsom goes down, it’s because he lost the confidence of the powers that be, not the people. That Gordian knot has to be unraveled before you can place any hopes in elections.

      1. If Newsome loses, there aren’t any notable Democrats running to replace him. There are Democrats, but none that have any pull in the state apparatus. So The Powers That Be have to have *really* given up on Newsome for him to lose.

        However, you’ll notice that I didn’t mention Newsome winning or losing. I mentioned demonstrating that California is occupied. If TPTB is forced to go completely overboard in order to keep Newsome in power – to the point where even the people who refuse to see are forced to say, “Hmm… that’s odd…”, then it’s a partial victory.

          1. I guess I didn’t make my meaning clear enough. What I mean is that there’s currently no one with a Democratic power base in the state running for governor. When Davis was up for recall, the party went ahead and stuck someone on the ticket so that Dems who didn’t like Davis would still have someone to vote for. They haven’t done that this time, though. The highest profile person on the ballot with a Dem affiliation after his name is a YouTube influencer who talks about real estate. In short, if a Democrat wins the nomination, it’ll be someone who every Dem politician in the state is going to hate for jumping ahead of them in line (hmm… that sounds vaguely familiar…). The obvious take-away from that is that the Democrats were (at least when registration closed) assuming that Newsome is going to survive the recall.

            Also, it’s important to note that you can only vote for a replacement for Newsome if you vote Yes on the recall. If you vote to keep Newsome, then you can’t vote for a possible replacement. That’s going to skew the voting if Newsome loses.

            Amusingly, Newsome’s party affiliation won’t be listed. He apparently didn’t think to include it when he sent in the information for the ballot. When I mentioned how that influencer was the highest profile person with the Dem party affiliation on the ballot, I was including Newsome himself. I don’t know how much of a difference that might make, though. While there are voters who might very well not vote to keep Newsome because they don’t see a (D) after his name, I don’t know how many voters that might be.

            Now will the Dems cheat? That’s more or less the assumption. But the more heavily tilted things are toward someone like Elder, the more blatant the Dems need to be about what they’re doing. You might say, “Well, no one can believe that the Dems don’t cheat after the presidential election!” But I work with people exactly like that. The more obvious and the more repeated such cheating becomes, the more likely it is that people who harbor those automatic beliefs in a lack of vote fraud will start to reconsider those beliefs.

            1. My experience has been that the ones who don’t believe the Democrats ever commit election fraud double down on their assertion that such fraud does not exist the more blatant and obvious the fraud is.

          1. Biden’s been in the Senate for decades, and was Obama’s vice president. Harris was AG in the Bay Area, Senator from California, and… uh… knew Willie Brown. Sure, as individuals, they’re idiots. But they have a lot of political connections. The Democrats on the ballot do not.

        1. The Democrats still have a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, they can afford to lose the Governor’s mansion for a year or so, Newsome would be up for reelection in ’22.

          1. If Newsome loses, I think his state-wide political career is done. There are too many other Democrats who want the governor’s mansion, and Newsome will be seen as a loser. More importantly, a recall will almost certainly put the kibosh on any presidential ambitions that Newsome has (and I’m pretty sure that he has some).

          2. If Newsom is voted out and Elder or one of the other Republican’s takes over, I suspect that Democratic Party supermajority will pursue impeachment of the winning Republican almost immediately on taking office.

            1. Maybe, but that would look awfully petty. They could simply ignore him and override any veto. It would accomplish the same goal without the political cost.

              1. They are so arrogant they think their media and tech propaganda arms will prevent any bad optics-they will just get them to ban any speech which points out their perfidy. They are far too power hungry and arrogant, and believe their own concocted narratives, that they simply are mentally incapable of doing anything else. They will react the way they always do when they lose something they think they are entitled to as a matter of right. Look what Democrats did in Congress to Trump after taking the House, and they KNEW they couldn’t win in the Senate.

                1. On the other hand, throwing the state’s first black governor (assuming Elder wins, which seems likely if Newsome is tossed) out of the governor’s mansion would cause some interesting dynamics in the black community.

                  It’s hard to predict what will happen. Yes, the Dems are that arrogant, as you note. But their arrogance can have repercussions that are unforeseen by everyone.

                  1. I am sure the Democrats would simply declare that Elder “isn’t really black” the same way they do all other black conservatives. Of course if they do, Elder is certainly very capable of verbally eviscerating such absurdities.

        2. They already did.
          They already changed the date for their benefit, and have people printing off ballots at home. (“People” and “home” being very relative.)

        3. They’re still calling us all Nazis for wanting to vote a rich white asshole out of office. It’s like most of the parts inside their heads don’t connect to anything and just flop around randomly.

      2. Indeed…California is a lot more conservative than people think, but the people counting the votes in the largest counties make it impossible to win…

        1. Dave in Florida, over at Ace’s blog, thinks that the numbers might just be there to force the big cities to go above and beyond if they want to use fraud to guarantee that Newsome stays in the Governor’s Mansion. Newsome’s getting bad poll numbers even with a lot of Democrats right now.

        2. Yep, and Democrats are aggressively working to take California’s communist government national.

    2. Noisome Newsome is going to be touring the state for the next month on a ‘Just Vote No’ campaign, with special appearances by the FICUS and Commie Harridan. I suppose anything that keeps them busy reduces the damage they can do.

      There are 46 candidates listed to replace Herr Fuhrer Newsome. I’ve never heard of most of ’em. Only 10 Democrat or Green (is there a difference?).

      They’re mailing ballots out again, to everybody, in violation of state law. How much election fraud will they pull, and how much will they get away with?
      Elections are far too important to be left up to a bunch of uncontrolled voters. The Party MUST exercise oversight and management to prevent mere voters from electing the wrong candidates!

      1. I saw something about California would basically email you a ballot so you could use whatever “accessibility” tools you needed and print it out at home before sending it in with your own envelope.

      2. Some Democrats are more like Tulsi Gabbard than Kamala. Or they might be Democrats because the Democrats hold power in the state, and they see the party affiliation purely as a way to make connections. Remember that the Democrats running have not been vetted by the state party apparatus, and might still be ignorant of what the Democratic party has become over the last few decades. The Greens, on the other hand, are almost certainly all watermelons.

        Of course, the fact that a particular Democrat might be more moderate than not is largely immaterial. Both legislative houses hold Democratic super-majorities that tend to be more progressive than Newsome. So if a moderate Democrat did win the election, their actual power would be strongly curtailed unless they agreed to play along with whatever the party leadership wanted.

        For the last couple of months, I’ve been seeing YouTube ads featuring Liawatha, warning me about how the recall is purely due to those extremist Trump Republicans.

  19. Glad you found a new place. I’ve been finding myself waxing nostalgic lately for my old home. I really did like working at the garden center, and doing different things there for every season. There were two breweries I loved going to, the church I went to for as long as I could remember, a couple friends who haven’t fled the state yet. I should have gone to the ren fair, Japanese market, book sales and other fun stuff more while I still could have. But even if I hadn’t left, everything that made it home is gone now. Home doesn’t exist anymore, other than as a flayed pelt worn by communists.

  20. I was born and raised in Anchorage — which is unusual for someone my age, most kids when I was a kid were born somewhere else — but a couple of trips up in the last year to take care of my dad have reinforced that I don’t miss it at all. 🙂

    I have a persistent and growing interest in the history of Anchorage and Alaska generally, but zero desire to go back and live there.

    I still love Seattle and my unassuming little house, and I’ll be pissed if I’m forced to leave by political stupidity or taxes or whatever, but at least I have a bolt hole and a Plan B now.

    Best of luck on the move, Sarah.

    1. As you probably remember the rest of us up here rather like Anchorage. After all, it’s the one and only big city less than 20 minutes away from Alaska. 😉

  21. I was an Air Force brat, so we moved every few years whether we needed to or not. I never stayed in one place long enough for it to feel like it was “home”. We were in Texas when my father retired, so that’s where I settled. My spouse and I spent a decade in New England before we got tired of the snow and the Yankees, so we moved back to Texas in 1995. Since then, we’ve moved twice, but we’re both retired now and plan to keep this house for a while. Fortunately, even though we’re close to Austin, Texas is still a sensible state as far as government policies go.

  22. Why must I leave the home of my heart?
    Why can’t I stay? Why must we part?
    The sun set is passing… why must it be mine?

    To friends in the morning I drink a last toast.
    To friends in the evening, I play a last host.
    The sunset is passing, it almost is time.

    Each memory I carry, a slow trail of days.
    Each thing I bear with me, an echo of ways.
    The sun set is passing. What stands in my way?

    To a new home I wander, reluctant feet slow.
    To a new home I wander, new friends to known.
    The sun set is passing. Still comes the new day.

  23. We moved a lot when I was a kid. It got worse every time. By the time I got to high school, starting out in a new school as a freshman, I was almost completely incapable of making friends anymore. A new set of bullies everywhere you go will do that to a person.

    Almost, but not quite. No bullies here!

    Still in that same town until this very day because I met my one true love as a senior in high school and he is not the relocating type.

    I am so very grateful that I have never had to leave this town and it is a good place to hunker down.

    I feel your pain and pray for a smooth transition to the new place and that it turns out to be the perfect fit for you.

  24. Shame that it had to come to his for all of you… CO sounded like a wonderful place to live before the political situation went to Hell even if health concerns weren’t in the picture for you too. I don’t feel nearly as much attachment to GA so that part’s not an issue with leaving for me but the logistics of it and taking so long to get to this point? That’s much harder to deal with. Here’s hoping the rest of the move goes smoothly. And I need to get on researching landing places again on my end…

  25. I understand the sentiments. I’m expecting to have to evacuate from Maryland in the next few years. The good news is that I know, in general, where I want to move. The bad news will be affording it…and the loss of potential earning power. We’ll see how it plays out.

  26. It’s traditional.

    To you, my sympathies, and hopes for a brighter tomorrow.
    It about tore my heart out to leave the homestead that my family had spent seven generations building up. (I might have gotten a bit misty apologizing to my ancestors at the cemetery. Nobody can give you the silent treatment or cold shoulder quite like the dead.)

    1. The executive branch has had that issue for quite awhile. They were happy to sabotage President Trump’s agenda even while he was nominally their boss.

  27. This is a trick, right? “Luck”? I’ve read what RAH wrote about that. Instead, here’s something I hope you regard as better:

    The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you;

    The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you;

    The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).

    1. I’d not heard that blessing since I was last in a Lutheran church, 52 years ago.

      Even to this unbeliever, it’s soothing to imagine it in the voice of our beloved Pastor Witt.

      I wonder what became of him after he was transferred away??

  28. I get this.

    We moved a lot when I was little. My father said he knew it was time to try and settle when one of us asked him when we were moving again.

    I’ve now been in this town for 23 years, and this house for over a decade. Sadly, this is in Connecticut. Even though I love the physical location, and have friends here, I figure we’ll be looking to head off to someplace like eastern TN in the not too, too distant future. I’d consider Texas (Texan by birth!), but I don’t handle heat at all well.

    One of my work children has started coming over every few weeks and spending the weekend helping us deal with the decades of stuff we’ve accumulated (and moved far too often), which will make living here nicer and moving much easier if/when it comes to that. Workchild told me he was very proud of me for how little stuff I removed from the pitch/donate piles. I guessing that finally having a place to attach to, stuff isn’t as important.

  29. I’m…conflicted.

    I don’t want to move, but I suspect that I will have to soon.

    I just don’t know where. California is becoming unlivable and I’m not liking the options I have.

    1. I left California unwillingly in 1988 looking for a job and ended up in Texas. Everywhere I had previously wanted to move has turned into a clogged septic tank. God knew better than me and put me close to MD Anderson in Houston, the only cancer hospital in the world that could identify my cancer (now a little over 4.2 years ago). And, oh-by-the-way, I was treated by the doctors who created the “cure” (less than 10 years earlier), just before they all retired.

      Yes, and in His infinite wisdom, God even put a painting of the southern end of Humboldt Bay (400 miles north of San Francisco, 400 miles south of Portland, and a scene I saw every day when I was going to College of the Redwoods) in the very office I still visit every six months for my checkups…

      Pray, ask for guidance, and God will send you where He wants you. And it will fit better than a glove.

  30. It’s weird watching Afghanistan implode as rapidly as it is.

    Just reinforces, if you think you need to get out of an area, sooner is better than later. You do not know when things will shift from precarious to on fire. It can happen in the blink an eye.

    1. How long before “the Squad” and the other commie-Democrats demand that the USA pay reparations to the Taliban

      1. What? (outrageous font) They haven’t already demanded reparations to the Taliban already? The slackers. /sarcasm-off JIC

        1. Well, looking at the numbers of Americans who are looking likely to get trapped there, we may well end up sending them quite a lot of “reperations” as it is.

          1. Annnnnd. hubby said my spelling is atrocious. Who knew “reparations” was spelled “blackmail” or “ransom”?

            1. HarrisBiden and the Democrats are not only reproducing the stagflation of the Carter years, they are replicating its Iran hostage crisis as well. Except this time, HarrisBiden are eager to appease in a way that even Carter rejected.

              1. Good/Bad of that. Look what just the Iran Hostage crisis got Carter, with no appeasement? Eight years of Reagan. Won’t get 8 years more of President Trump. But we could get another 4; then 8 of DeSantis, or someone else with the requisite conservative spine. Not wishing the hostage situation on anyone. I’ll be just as happy to have the appearance of it occurring, a close call. But I’m afraid it isn’t working out that way.

                    1. Hopefully they are hostages. The alternative is worse.

                      It’s strange watching the silence descend. Outside of a few small spaces, most people aren’t talking about it. Yet everyone knows about it too, but says nothing.

                      Just waiting for the next domino to fall

              2. Those idiot Democrats and their January 6th tribunal need to visit Afghanistan and see what a REAL insurrection looks like.

                The government is in hiding, the President has fled the country, and heavily armed insurgents have taken over the entire capital city. A mob with machine guns are sitting in the President’s office, negligently pointing them at each other.

                What is the Democrat leadership’s highest priority in the face of their latest self-inflicted disaster? Finger-pointing, ass-covering, buck-passing and futile denial as far as the eye can see. They don’t care what they did, or what the consequences will be, only whether they can evade being held responsible.
                There are no limits to the stupidity of government.

                1. Even worse; there is a sizable part of the HarrisBiden administration and Democrats in Congress who think the Taliban are the good guys.

                  1. Of course, the Taliban was Fighting The US so they were the Good Guys. [Sarcastic Grin]

                    On the other hand, before Bush “kicked them out of power” they were Evil!

                    I remember when Lefties used the “American Taliban” slur against Conservative Christians. 😡

                    1. Michael Moore and Stephen Colbert just compared Trump voters to the Taliban.

                      The worst part? This might not even be the worst take we get this week.

                    2. And that any member of Congress objecting to the election is a suitable target for the US Military,

                    3. Michael Moore and Stephen Colbert just compared Trump voters to the Taliban.

                      Because Nazis were so 20th century…

                      Did I ever give a rat’s ass for the Bad Year Blimp’s opinion on anything? Hmmmm… Nope. Don’t see why anybody would. Never watched more than a few minutes of any of those ‘documentaries’ — which Goebbels would laugh at.
                      Jordan Peterson: “If I told you to cook in the bathroom and shit in the kitchen, that would be a new idea. Doesn’t make it a good one.”

            2. Good point. We’ll probably send the ransom payments, then the reparartions.

              I mean, if we’ll pay the danegeld before the Dane even shows up, what need have they of the Dane?

    2. What’s even weirder has been watching the response from individuals in the administration. Biden and Harris are both *completely* MIA (though Biden’s supposed to make a statement later today). One of the most important events involving the UA in quite some time, and crickets.

      And Press Secretary Psaki is on vacation right now. She was getting some pushback from the press early on from attempts to blame Trump for the withdrawal, so I suspect she’s worried about the willingness of the press to play along with the administration’s line.

      1. Yeah. It’s pretty surreal. Yesterday I was trying to findive reporting on any of it from the news networks, and it was as though nothing was happening at all.

        I think C-Span had some Warren clone talking about children gender whatever. They’re just fiddling while the world burns.

        1. Fox is covering it. Right now they’re showing a U.S. Air Force C-5 taxi down a runway with dozens of people clinging to it and about a hundred more swarming around. Shots of milling crowds and guys with guns running around, shooting occasionally at who-knows-what.

          The one thing that strikes me the most is what idiots they are. None of them show any awareness of which way they’re pointing their AK-47s, RPGs and stolen M-16s. They wave them around, fingers on triggers, paying no attention as they point them randomly at everybody and each other.

          Now the FICUS is bloviating about ‘the evolving situation in Afghanistan’ which is a strange way to characterize the absolute catastrophe he has created. Supposedly, ‘Plans are In Place’ to deal with ‘Any Eventuality, Including…’ blah blah blah blah. I could only stand to listen for a couple of minutes. The dummy will probably go on bleating bullshit for a while longer but I hit the MUTE button. Who wrote all that bullshit? Did they have any more connection to reality than the empty words their mouthpiece is yammering? How does nobody SEE them for the incompetent dipshits they are?
          Most days, I suspect that we could get a better government by picking 535 people at random. On bad days, I’m certain we’d get a better government by picking 535 people at random from lunatic asylums.

          1. He left without taking questions.
            Of course, there was also the kerfuffle involving the obviously staged photo of Biden alone at a huge table, staring at a monitor “talking to,” his advisors:
            The times on the digital clocks were off.
            Two screens were labeled, “CIA,” and “Doha,” and showed recognizable images.
            The screens also showed the microphone was off.
            Otherwise nothing to see here, move along, move along.

            1. He’s a bigger puppet than that drugged out history professor from the Original Trek episode “Patterns of Force”.

              1. I won’t claim to have posted an image from that episode on Twitter or anything, but… 😉

          2. The shame, oh, the shame.

            The least common factor between Saigon and Kabul is one Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., who as a junior senator from Delaware was one of the leading drivers in our abandoning people who trusted us is again, as FICUS, the leading driver in our abandoning people who trusted us.

            1. At least some of the fault rests with the Afghanis themselves. Unlike the ARVN, which resisted the NVA as long as it could even after the US Congress refused to provide the supplies it had promised, the Afghanistan army units appear to have simply let the Taliban buy them out. I suspect that the truth is actually somewhat murkier than that, but we’ll be lucky to find out what that might be – at least for the time being. I’m sure that the official histories are even now being whitewashed to make Biden look as innocent of the disaster as absolutely possible.

              Also, we’re getting along decently well with the Vietnamese government these days. If the Taliban are still in power a few decades from now, I doubt that we’ll have similar relations with them. The Chinese are moving in now in a friendly fashion. But I wonder how long it will be until the Chinese discover that the Taliban are providing refuge to a group of Uighur extremists. That won’t go over very well in Beijing.

              1. Can I wish the Taliban and the communist Chinese much joy of each other? Along with ‘interesting times’?

                1. Indeed. The fly in the ointment there is I don’t want the PLA to get a bunch of combat experience. I want them to stay a bunch of little emperors who cry when Indian troops beat them up.

                  1. The only ‘combat experience’ they’d get against the Taliban is that of fighting a heavily armed rabble. Our military doesn’t fight that way. You’ve seen the videos, haven’t you? Those yahoos don’t know the first thing about handling guns. They were never trained, just handed a gun and shown how to make it shoot. I knew more than those dipshits when I was 10 years old.

                    Within months the jets and helicopters they’ve stolen will break down. Vehicles and tanks will last a few years at most. They don’t know how to maintain them, they can’t get spare parts, and they don’t have the industrial base to support them. The Taliban will not allow the country to develop an industrial economy, either. They want to keep Afghanistan — hell, the whole world — stuck in the 7th century.
                    If you wind up in charge in a crisis, you have to either Do, or Delegate. If you do neither, you are Dithering, which is useless, and leads inevitably to the fourth D, Dying.

                    1. The military equipment will be shipped to Beijing for reverse engineering. that is the quid pro quo for the CCP financing the payoffs to the Afghan army and agreeing to provide economic support (which of course the CCP will use as basis of essentially strip mining Afghanistan for all the rare earths and other key materials there that are needed for modern society).

              2. We left the equipments of a modern army in the hands of a bunch of savages. Just over the hill is a country with strong tribal connections to the savages who possess the bomb. This country had had until yesterday the ability to outgun the tribesmen. Not any more.

                I was opposed to the. Forever war long before it was cool, but to abandon, again, those who helped us in a bungled, hurried, almost psychopathic way. The shame.

                1. Posturing and virtue signaling to each other is everything. Nothing outside their little ‘woke’ bubble exists.

                  Rather like the 18th century French aristocracy…

                2. Additionally, Afghanistan is once again terror camp training and supply central, this time protected by the CCP, and both Iran and CCP can use the Taliban to facilitate WMD attacks on the USA and assert plausible deniability. Iran also almost certainly believes that the USA is incapable or unwilling to aid any allies and will view what happened in Afghanistan as their cue to attempt to wipe Israel off the map.

                  The world has become a lot more dangerous, and simultaneously our economy is heading towards Venezuela territory while those who express disagreement with the Democratic Party line are now officially “enemies of the state”. Of course Afghanistan and the feckless HarrisBiden handling and response may well just be the Heinleinesque “the veterans had enough” moment. That may be the best case scenario at this point.

                  Sigh. Grrrr.

              3. It’s one of those things we’ll never know, I suspect, but the role of religion is something I’d be curious about. The Taliban and the other Afghanis believe that the Koran is literally the word of G-d, and what is in it must be 100% true. The Taliban just take it far more literally – no compromises – than do others. So arguing against that . . . And if G-d is on the winning side, well . . . So if you are an Afghan army soldier, and hear about the Taliban racing toward you and the army of the unbelievers melting away [being recalled home], cutting, running, and praying to $DEITY$ for forgiveness might seem like the safest option.

          3. Ok. I hadn’t seen much from them at the time.

            It’s weird. It seems like everyone knows what’s happening, but no-one is willing to talk about it outside very specific venues. I remember I first heard about the plane crashing into New York on a video game forum. The thread grew to a huge size as everyone talked a boy what they knew, what they thought had happened, what they thought should happen.

            Now, outside of politics Twitter and people I know and trust in person, no-one seems to be saying anything.

            1. I’m kind of numb, can’t find an emotion to express, and also can’t cold bloodedly analyze facts from a sane perspective. OldNFO has a thread today, I’ve skimmed over it, and have nothing to say, because I don’t want to annoy folks more emotionally engaged than I am.

              I would like it on record that the Fed push to recruit for the national guard predated the Afghanistan disaster developing to the current point.

              So I’m basically spinning my wheels until I either come down with sanity (ha!), or things settle enough that I have some way to meaningfully contribute.

              Anyway, for reasons of both terrible life choices, and opposition information campaign, I do not feel anywhere near as free to talk about this stuff that I nine years ago, or twenty. And, despite knowing that I’m engaged enough that I probably won’t successfully ignore it and soldier on, I am trying to do so anyway.

              I do not actually know what is happening, except in broad strokes. I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by some RL organization.

            2. Might be one of those situations where soldiers who are quietly /not/ complaining are a cause for concern.

              I may be projecting too much of my expectations on the ‘data’.

  31. The last house we owned I really thought would be our “forever” house. We lived there 16 years. It was a lovely home in the middle of forty acres of sloping land, surrounded by towering groves of trees – Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Hemlock, Red Alder, and a showpiece Bigleaf Maple around which the driveway circled. A creek ran thru it as well.

    Have rented two places since, this one for fifteen years tho I never wanted to live in the Arizona desert again. But since we are being forced to move, we are headed into flyover country, because it is green and has real seasons, and Washington is no longer an option.

    It is a bit scary how fast things have started moving once we decided on a location. We viewed a new on-line listing on Friday that seemed qutie nice, took a video tour Saturday morning, made an offer Saturday afternoon. A strange way to buy a house you plan to keep for years, but we are not in a position to travel back and forth to look in person. If this one doesn’t pan out, we will keep looking – we have no choice about moving. But I won’t be heart-broken about leaving AZ, as I never expected to be here this long.

    Sarah, I wish you all the best in the move process. May your house sell quickly and profitably!

    1. Just heard from our agent that we were outbid. Back to slogging thru the listings again. *sigh*

  32. Well, luck is wished and blessings prayed. I understand…

    I started moving a lot after grad school for various internships, jobs, etc. I was the black sheep in my family because I didn’t come back to rural SC after college. I went to a conference in Boulder when doing my MS, and wished I could come back there for school, but was resigned to it not happening. But then He opened up a fellowship and acceptance to their PhD program, and I was in Boulder a year and eight months later (1988)! Met my wife there. Spent summers in Dayton at Wright-Pat. I absolutely LOVED CO: no altitude issues, low humidity, mosquitos only rarely, and absolutely gorgeous scenery. Only thing I missed in that regard was fall foliage (the campus had maples etc planted, but the native trees..mostly green and yellow because aspen). I spent more time outdoors. I’m an EE, but I took lots of geology courses, and of course CO is a geologically minded person’s paradise compared to a bunch of Quaternary sediments and Piedmont clay. Thought we would be there forever. But when I got out, the Berlin wall came down, and my specialty was no longer required, since cell phones, wifi, and so forth had not taken off yet. Off we went to other states…but God had a plan. I pined for CO, and so did my wife, but we could not have done the family things we’ve done had we stayed/gone back. The only way I’ve been able to halfway cope with the loss of a place is to do my best to thoroughly enjoy wherever I am. Some places are easier to do that with than others…

    So, yeah, I understand. I say the Benediction along with setnaffa above.

  33. I’m surprised Ian hasn’t beaten me to it yet, but Razorfist already has a rant up about the Afghanistan clusterfuck:

    And speaking of Afghanistan, something strange has been happening on Twitter since at least 2pm or so this afternoon that I suspect is connected.

    I don’t keep a Twitter account, so normally I just check the feed page of whoever I’m interested in and switch over to “Tweets and Replies.” But now every time I go anywhere on Twitter I get pestered to log in and bounced back to the previous page when I don’t. I can’t see anything on Twitter unless I open it in a new tab so that there’s no previous page to bounce me back to. It’s quite annoying and it wasn’t happening last night.

    I have no proof, but I’m guessing this is part of some panicked attempt by the powers-that-be over there to clamp down on negative talk about Biden. Anyone know more?

    1. It would seem that any clickthrough on Twitter now requires a signin, whether to video, photo, or thread. It’s not just Biden-related stuff.

      1. Yeah, that’s what I meant. As far as I can tell it’s EVERYTHING, political or not. I’ve never seen them this determined to push you into having an account and logging in just to read.

          1. Hmm… I guess it could just be that, but the timing makes me think it’s something to do with damage control for Biden that wasn’t thought out or implemented very well.

            Although it seems to be business as usual for those who have accounts as far as I can tell, since the people whose feeds I read haven’t been mentioning anything about Biden stuff being censored. So I guess that’s a point in favor of your hypothesis.

            Of course, there’s always door #3: it’s just a random fuck-up on Twitter’s part. I guess you can’t ever rule that out.

            But regardless of the reason it’s a pain in the ass.

          1. Yeah, I get it, but there are individuals still on Twitter worth paying attention to. Unfortunately.

  34. This image is starting to make the rounds:

    I suspect we’ll be using it a fair bit ourselves in the coming days.

  35. If people don’t mind me crowd-sourcing something:

    Let’s say I wanted to start a blog. Or something equivalent, but definitely a written format that supports long-form content and not video, audio or some short-form only thing like Twitter. What software and/or hosting services should I look at?

    I’m looking for resistance to cancel culture first of all. It needs to be something I can say whatever I want on without having to worry about the PC crowd being able to shut me down. After that, my second concern is the technical quality: stability, ease-of-use, etc.

    Any advice?

    1. I personally use Linode for a webhost, and Namecheap for DNS. So far they work well for me, but I don’t know about their resistance to wokeness and censorship.

      Linode provides a bare linux server for $5/month. Unlike the other hosting provider I used years ago, they don’t stick their fingers in your server to “manage” things – they just manage the hardware the virtual machine sits on and where it runs. You manage the contents and software of the server, and hold the root password. I like that arrangement better, as you can install and configure the web software you want in the way you want.

      Namecheap manages the domain name records. (~$15ish/year – don’t fall for scams claiming you need to pay $100s/yr for a domain name) The domain name registration and records tell the DNS servers what to do when people go looking for I have records pointed at the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses (basically the “internet phone numbers”) of the Linode server. The other things are various email-specific records for the email server running on the Linode instance (email is sort of its own rabbithole. It’s much simpler to set up everything else.)

      On the server, I’ve installed Maria-DB (it’s a MySQL fork that keeps the older MySQL encryption idioms to avoid breaking a lot of software.) The database software (Maria-DB/ MySQL, and other options) is what stores the persistent state of a lot of web software. PhP software such as message-boards, wikis, wordpress, etc all need to connect to a piece of database software to store their state, and will ask you for that info when you’re setting them up.

      I use Apache2 for the HTTP server software – this is what serves static HTML and PHP pages. An alternative I’ve heard a lot is Nginx.

      Last layer of the onion is the blog software: I use my own instance of the wordpress PHP software stored on my server. It’s not on, so can’t nuke it in a snit if they don’t like me. If you really wanted to go old-school like Steven den Beste did, you could just serve html pages – hard to hack or comment-spam those.

      1. Oops – don’t click on that link. (My bad, should have checked that it doesn’t link to some stupid redirect.)

      2. PS: If you have a spare weekend, and don’t mind sacrificing some sanity to the penguin gods, (and want to spend your time that way) it’s not difficult learning how to use a linux server.

        You can pretty much google how to use any of these things.

        Having your own server means you can back up every aspect of it in case there is a problem or attack. You can also run all sorts of things on the site.

      3. >> “So far they work well for me, but I don’t know about their resistance to wokeness and censorship.”

        I didn’t even know you had a blog; your pseudonym doesn’t link to anything. Fixing that might get you a little more traffic.

        >> “If you really wanted to go old-school like Steven den Beste did, you could just serve html pages – hard to hack or comment-spam those.”

        Because I’d be using custom code that the attackers would have no access to? That sounds promising, but my holiday rush will be starting before long and I don’t know how much time it will take to learn how to do all this stuff myself. And recent events are making me feel the need to speak out.

        Thanks for all the info.

Comments are closed.