Down the Road That I Must Travel

Sorry for the protracted silence. The carpet was worse than we expected, so we engaged in a quixotic adventure to rip all or it out and zinzer.

Now on the way back to Colorado, to get that house ready for sale in two weeks (or less if we can,) while leaving people installing flooring under local friends’ supervision.

I’m so tired I could fall on my face, but not so tired that I missed the fall of Afghanistan, a needless non-forced error. We could have left without leaving hostages, and without burning our own flags, to avoid them falling into enemy hands. The last days of deranged regimes tell you what their real priorities are: ours are burning American flags, giving weapons to terrorists and leaving our hostages in enemy hands. Duly noted. Remember that when time comes to deal with the Junta.

Something changed with that fall, something material. I don’t know what. But the mood in the country is different. It’s not quite 9/11 level, but there is a sense of vital outrage. I think people who’ve never paid attention are now awake and watching.

May G-d have mercy on our souls. And may we get to sell the old house, and complete this move in safety. Yes, it’s selfish. I’m a selfish being.

There is a sense of a grinder heading towards us, perhaps one that will mill very finely indeed.

Once again, make safe what can be made safe. Get you and yours to a safe place.

This is your warning: Sauve qui peut.

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

More on the flip side.

611 thoughts on “Down the Road That I Must Travel

  1. It’s not that the Kabul government collapsed–everybody knew that was going to happen. It’s that the withdrawal didn’t even take into account getting the US civilians out, or the embassies of NATO allies, and all the signals from the White House are that they don’t much care whether they DO get out. (Not to mention the potential for a modern Anabasis shaping up here, with a large contingent of light infantry who may end up taking a “walk in the hills”.)

    Those civilians who are stuck are not, for the most part, Deplorables. They are the Good People–Foreign Service professionals, employees of NGO’s, diplomats from the sorts of places that the jet set likes to vacation. And the White House is acting like they’re perfectly willing to leave them all to the tender mercies of the Taliban.

    I’m guessing that there is some reassessment happening right now, for a lot of people who’ve never stopped to think about their politics.

        1. Xenophon wasn’t the Greek leader when the Anabasis started. You never know who might step out of the background and take charge. Hopefully it won’t be required. But if it does, I suspect north might be a safer route than south.

            1. IIRC, it was also after the original leadership had been slaughtered in a false peace conference.

              1. The Greek interpretation of that was that slaughtering the leadership was betrayal mixed with impiety, because the safety of the leadership had been guaranteed by various oaths to various gods. So the gods suddenly were on the Greek mercenaries’ side.

                That said, it was a pretty difficult trip, all the same.

      1. Apache pilot at Kabul International Airport:

        “It’s 106 miles to Peshawar, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s daylight, and we’re wearing NVGs.”


        “Hit it.”

        1. Apparently some of the “gifts” left behind for the Taliban by HarrisBiden were Blackhawk helicopters. HarrisBiden incompetence and fecklessness has now given the Taliban some air power.

          1. It’s a shame the abandoned gear wasn’t equipped with an assortment of parting gifts.

    1. Well the MPIC (Meat Puppet In Chief) is just following in Daddy Obama’s footsteps in leaving our people trapped on a roof while storm water rise. It’s a tradition.

      In case anybody has any doubts, that’s sarcasm.

      1. In a way, I think you’re absolutely correct. It’s just the normal absent-minded callous lack of regard for anything outside of the Beltway. But if reports are correct, there are an awful lot of insider-adjacent people who are likely to get burned soon. The reaction to that, and the reaction to the reaction, is going to be the cause of further events that were not part of the plan.

          1. Yeah, but that was a small handful of people. And there’s a lot of suspicion that he was involved in something that was (approved but) shady, and that the government didn’t want people looking at too closely. Right now we’re looking at thousands of people who are more or less just paper-pushers, and neighbors with the residents of Foggy Bottom.

            Office drones start to get agitated if they come to the conclusion that their bosses view them as expendable.

          2. What junior said. These things do happen from time to time. But this one is different–Afghanistan is one of the big playgrounds for foreign aid graft, plus “outdoor relief for the upper class”. The cacophony you hear is thousands of iron rice bowls being overturned simultaneously.

      2. It’s just habit. This is how Senator Biden ‘managed’ the evacuation of Saigon in 1975.

          1. Biden blocked economic and military support for South Vietnam, and evacuation of refugees, contributing greatly to the epic Saigon pooch-screw.

            And the now-FICUS is shooting for a two-fer with the Kabul goat-fuck.

            All it needs now is for the Taliban to shoot down a couple of aircraft. That would make the America-haters on the Left downright giddy.

            What is the number-one priority in Washington today? Finger-pointing, ass-covering and buck-passing. Anything to evade responsibility for what they have done.

      3. After mulling over the report that the Taliban “captured” not just a biometric database of Afghans that worked for the U.S., but the devices used to create the data in the database, I have to give less weight to the idea that this debacle was an accident.

    2. Yes. All of the major networks have people trapped there. There were even reports of a CNN reporter being murdered yesterday, but that may or may not have been correct. At this point it’s impossible to know.

        1. A Modest Proposal: exchange bureaucrats and wokeists for the afghan girls about to be enslaved.

          We can start with the CNN reporter who said the Taliban chanting “Death to America” were strangely friendly and peaceful.

          1. It ain’t on their face until they are actually embarrassed.

            And some of the media are STILL covering for them.

            1. Lots of CYA going on. Brass saying it’s not their fault, as they’ve been warning Biden for months. Biden, of course, trying to blame Trump. I think this may hasten Biden’s disappearance from office, but that leaves us still groping for sanity. I could find people from my own neighborhood that could turn this country around if we could get the current fools in office.

              1. Plausible observation:

                1. disagree with both of these people. Neither understands how chain of command works, clearly.

                  1. Assuming the top claim is true, Afghan papers are going off of conspiracy theory– actual conspiracy theory, not “dismiss it” conspiracy theory– logic, because that’s normal in that culture.

                    That said– never mind chain of command, they don’t understand how intel works. Sure, it’s more than any one human being could ever read.
                    That’s true of any organization of somewhat decent size. Simple example: companies when they reach the size where they need to have a dedicated accountant. (All that information is processed BEFORE it gets to the accountant.) Then when they need two…. you get the idea.

                    “Intel” is all those sorts of reports as well as the fancy stuff people think of when they are imagining intel. (Well, if they’re not envisioning like a single spy who writes everything up and hands it to a general. Anybody who’s looked at the gov’t hiring chart is aware “data analyst” is a lot more common than “agent.”)

                    It is surface-plausible because you could probably find at least one report that sort of suggests pretty much anything if you look hard enough, and the guys who were screaming to PAY ATTENTION are more likely to leak it. (Example, post 9/11 releases of reports that predicted various details…which doesn’t note how many found no evidence of the same.)

                    The problem, obliviously, is that the “leaks” (frequently they were publicly available totally legally) that are paid attention to are chosen by the story someone is telling, not in a random sampling.

                    1. See also: “Mythical Man-Month”, by Brooks. Us Information processors have known for a while that adding people reaches a point where straightening out communication eats up 100% of the increased workforce.

                    2. Which is why it’s usually broken down into smaller chunks.

                      Which, on the upside, means that it’s really hard to do conspiracies in a properly broken down by job system.

                      On the downside, it means that there are a lot more points of failure.

                    3. Yep, which means that all those chunks have to be coordinated,, too. Scalability is the issue.

                    4. >> “Scalability is the issue.”

                      Perhaps the notion of “Too big to fail” should be replaced with the notion of “Too big to succeed.”

                    5. Ross Perot claimed he could teach an elephant (GM) to tapdance. Elephants really aren’t built for that, and the teaching is hard on the landscape. 😎

                  2. First one is salty that Biden is being blamed everywhere. It is actually fair to say that he should not bear the blame due to mental incompetence, but then he should not have been in a position of authority, and blaming him is a short hand for those who wanted him in power, like Pelosi. Sure, Team Xenocide can point to twenty years of failed policy, leading up to seven months that are “Biden’s fault”, but Presidents are responsible for detecting and correcting this level of dysfunction.

                    Second one is taking a subset of intel behavior, leaking stuff to the press, and extrapolating from that to suppose that all intel behavior is crooked.

                    Intel behavior can be hard on sanity, and the deceptive subset of intel behavior can correlate with a lack of ethics, but intel problems are not impossible to solve in ethical ways. Figuring out what people are up to is hard. Our stuff in many cases can be easily secured by simply /not/ outright saying certain specific things. And the analysis to figure out the opposition, or to at least make a bunch of wild guesses, is very compatible with honesty.

                    Bureaucrats and minions, military, intel, foreign service, congress or whatever, who do play the manipulation game of leaking to press, may be more likely to be unethical.

                    In terms of manipulative games with predictive track record, I think the mainstream press is more heavily dominated by con men than intel analysis.

      1. I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but I’ve never forgiven CNN for actively trying to get my family killed in 2001. They published the names of the two subs firing on Afghanistan on October 7th, one Brit, one American. My husband was on that boat, and given that for all we knew there were more sleeper cells and/or lone wolves in the US just hoping to find juicy targets… It wouldn’t have been hard to track down families of crew, or for that matter just target things like the local schools with primarily students from base housing. Even now school security is laughable, back then it was non-existent. There was a reason CNN was referred to as Sadam’s Intelligence Agency.

        1. Indeed. And back when all this s*t started – we all knew how easy it would have been to track down where families of active service personnel lived, and where their kids went to school.

          1. In Groton, CT (no real secret, I’ve mentioned SE CT before, and there’s only one subase in the area) there were four schools which had mostly navy kids. And all of them were insanely soft targets. Not to mention all of housing, none of which is on base.

            My mother thinks I’m overreacting to CNN, but then she also thought I was overreacting when I told them that I would soon be out of a job when ZeroCare passed. Funny enough, a few short years later, I was out of a job. So I never felt any real remorse for having to have my elderly parents help support my family since they voted for and supported all the policies which destroyed my job, my career field, and the economy in general.

    3. The withdrawal shut down the major reinforced airbase before closing the embassy.

      I mean, moving everyone out through Bagram before turning it over the Afghans clearly wasn’t even considered.

      So now, like a lot of us, I’m seeing at 54 what I saw at 9 with helicopters taking people off the roof of an embassy and foreigners we promised to protect falling to their deaths from American aircraft they hoped to escape on.

      I just wish I had faith it will mean anything in the long run.

      1. So now, like a lot of us, I’m seeing at 54 what I saw at 9 with helicopters taking people off the roof of an embassy and foreigners we promised to protect falling to their deaths from American aircraft they hoped to escape on.

        And caused by the same people.

        Important note.

    4. As for who those civilians are, if you’re right and they’re the people who spit on me and mine as a matter of course, then let them deal with the people they preferred to us.

      I’ll lose sleep over the troops there to protect them that are abandoned, but not the “Good People”.

      1. Same here – I watched the fall of Saigon, at twenty – and now am seeing the same damn thing again, only with even more crushing ineptitude from our top military brass. My daughter, also a military veteran, has many friends who did tours in Afghanistan, or who are still serving, and they are practically incandescent with anger and heartbreak over how badly this was managed. Apparently Sec Def “Affirmative Action” Austin and General “Vanilli” Milley were much more concerned with rooting out all those Deplorables in the military services, and hunting for the Great White Supremacy Whale.
        Austin himself may be taking the sorry laurels from Robert MacNamera of being the Sec Def most despised by the active military. Not kidding – I was active duty several years after MacNamera was gone, and many of the other older NCOS could hardly say his name without spitting in contempt.
        The crews running airlift out of Kabul are doing heroic work – but at a cost. Daughter is tracking some of the social media activity by some of those crew members. The most awful thing she saw posted was that before landing at Doha, they were instructed to approach over the ocean, and lower the landing gear … so that the bodies could fall out of the wheel wells and landing gear.

        1. If Austin does surpass MacNamera I’ll be impressed. Both my father and grandfather were ready to strangle MN, but it took him YEARS to piss off that many people and many, many stupid moves from Vietnam to the F-111.

          Looks like Austin will do it for Veterans’ Day.

          1. When Trump was managing this, things were ordered. That’s because the Taliban knew he would blow them to Hell. Biden is so weak, e have no credibility.

            Forget a Palestinian Israeli peace deal now.

            1. Who cares about a Pali peace deal? Their major backers other than Iran have gone “screw these morons”

          2. And now the USG has told the remaining Americans that they’re on their own getting to the airport, with Taliban roadblocks all over the place…,.Unconfirmed report that CNN reporter is dead…

              1. Was it the one who suddenly was in a burka, and saying, “They’re chanting Death to America, but they seem friendly”?

                1. No. There’s an image floating around of a male, and a caption stating that he’s a CNN reporter who was killed by the Taliban. But there are people saying that it’s a fake, and the man in the picture isn’t a reporter.

                    1. I was snarking, mentally:
                      “So, he’s one of the guys who’d be a reporter if he was bombed while shooting at Israeli school busses or something, but since he got killed by a bad guy he’s not a reporter.”

        2. I saw a short clip on tw***er I think, of a body caught by I presume a wheel well door, literally flopping around in the air stream. Both disturbing and somber.

          1. Yeah. Saw that. Saw some one else had uploaded a Periscope selfie clip of some guys who’d managed to get in the gear when the plane was on its takeoff roll.

            I’m really hoping the fell off before it left the runway, but kind of really don’t want to know.

          1. >> “Imo the generals should all be fired for this”

            Mark Steyn’s on the warpath right now, but the part that made me physically wince was him quoting one of his readers in his latest article:

            “Do you think there’s any chance of getting Taliban commanders to teach at West Point? It might be a nice change of pace for cadets to learn from someone who actually won a war.”

            I have nothing to add except “Ouch.” For anyone interested, the full article is here:

            1. We keep channeling Weber: “You can’t fight us! We’re the Solarian League!”
              Of course it’s pretty clear the Sollies are a mirror he’s holding up to the readers in hope they’ll recognize the source.

              1. I was noting yesterday that the advantage of the High Ridge government was that at least everyone knew Michael Janvier was in charge.

              2. Back during the Obama Admin I asked him how it felt to watch the People’s Republic being born before his eyes. He wasn’t amused with me.

    5. When some people have their continued employment reassessed, that will show actually learning something.

    6. Where would that modern-day Anabasis GO?

      When I look at the map and plot a ground escape from Kabul, nothing seems promising. The northern ‘Stans at least aren’t actively hostile, but it’s 400km to the border through enemy territory (tho I gather the nominal president fled to Tajikistan). Pakistan and Islamabad would be easier but how is Pakistan not likely to be out of the frying pan and into the fire?

      Even so, the well-armed convoy north is probably a lot less risky than waiting for a seat on an outgoing plane.

      1. Pakistan isn’t a great option but is unlikely to hit them. At most, they might creatively fail to intervene against bandits.

      2. I only see two options. Realistically, the objective would be to attain an airstrip capable of supporting C-17 and C-130 aircraft, and which can be secured against outside interference. One option would be to move en masse back to Bagram, re-establish an airhead there with air-mobile infantry plus CAS and interdiction missions.

        The other option sounds awful, but may be the least-worst choice. The Khyber Pass. Assuming an arrangement can be made with the Pakis.

    7. That and the bizarre reticence to address it at all. Literal days before a press conference, and then the president vanished back on vacation?

      1. Well, when your puppet isn’t self-actuating, you can’t have him out there answering questions with comments about Corn Pop. That would give away the whole game.

  2. I’m glad too, sorry about the flooring. Done enough disaster rebuild (not that much, but enough) to know about floor fun.

  3. I figured it was move stuff keeping you from blogging. Good luck from me and the kitties (the seal point just left my lap not too long ago so extra kitty well-wishes from him) as always! On carpet, definitely not looking forward to dealing with that in the current house from all the feline damage… Thar’s probably going to kill my repair budget, assuming everything doesn’t collapse first one way or another. And if it does collapse, well… Considering my situation there’s no use going any further except to say it won’t be good. Hope all goes well for you and yours regardless.

    1. I think as part of our house cleaning/decluttering/dehoarding/repairs, one of the first things I’m doing is getting rid of the carpet. It was cheap, it’s over a decade old, and has way too many run-ins with cats, rabbits, children, spilled food, illegal aliens (rats and mice), etc., etc. I know the floor underneath (at least downstairs) is solid if not pretty, so cheap area rugs would be a vast improvement and easier to clean.

      May your floors and rugs be easier, may the CO house get itself ready for you, and may the rest of the move generate no more interesting tales.

      1. I’ve had up to six animals in here at one time, whether five cats and a dog or six cats (currently at four cats, including my ever-popular seal point floof) so odds are I’m going to have to replace the carpets with wood of some kind or else suffer a major loss. Agreed on things continuing to go smoothly for our hostess, too, (I’m a fair bit southeast of CO myself).

        1. I recommend vinyl plank flooring: the mid-range stuff is affordable, is indistinguishable visually from some very nice woods (depending on what you get), and is both waterproof and virtually indestructible…unlike wood. “hardwood floors” has a nice panache to it, but wood floors are just as fussy in their own way as carpet can be (if somewhat more sanitary).

          I’m doing vinyl plank through my whole house, when I get to that point. I was a skeptic about it (because vinyl sounds like “Ugh, linoleum!” and linoleum is horrible stuff) until I actually got a good look and feel of the stuff.

          Mind you, make sure it’s the actual PLANK stuff, and not that horrific peel-n-stick stuff, which is as bad/worse than linoleum. 😀

          1. Thanks, I’ll look into it. Also, you said you live in the Space Coast area of Florida, right? I’d like to learn more about the area if you don’t mind talking it over with me. 🙂

              1. That has its appeal too, especially since Wyoming and the Dakotas seem to be about the only places not getting Californicated and New Yorkified but I’m not sure i’d be able to handle the weather and I don’t need that much isolation as the current crap is showing me.

                1. Yeah. The crappy, crappy climate is one reason* Wyoming’s population remains barely more than 600k, lol. I’m not a fan of 9 month winters myself, but…especially right now, I’m fairly glad I live in the middle of freaking nowhere…

                  But even we have our little blue enclaves. Laramie–where the university is–in particular, though Jackson’s Hole (where all the rich folk, including a number of Hollywood celebs live) is a close second. I kept my head down and my mouth mostly shut when I was finishing up school in Laramie, because I was a conservative.

                  *The other reason, probably, is that I-80, the major interstate that crosses Wyoming, goes through the *ugly* part of Wyoming 😀

                  1. The other reason, probably, is that I-80, the major interstate that crosses Wyoming, goes through the *ugly* part of Wyoming

                    Boy, no joke. I drove from Denver to SLC once on the way back home to Seattle, and 50-mile vistas of empty arid flat scrubby rangeland got old real quick.

                    1. Heh. And the secret is–you don’t have to drive very far either north or south to hit some very beautiful country. 😀

                      But yes, there’s a reason I only work in Rawlins, I don’t live in Rawlins. The hour commute sucks, but I get to live in a beautiful mountain river valley.

                  2. I could use something a lot cooler than Southern heat and humidity but that is a little much, yeah. 🙂 Also one of many reasons Alaska isn’t on the list though there is something appealing about it. And I heard about Laramie and Jackson Hole, too. Every state has to have their crappy spots, huh? It just sucks when they get big enough to screw with everyone else.

                  3. I swear, every time I see “Jackson’s Hole” all I can think is “Send Miles Vorkosigan”

                    1. That…would be GLORIOUS.

                      Although the Wyoming version is stunningly beautiful. just, you know, infested with rich people who made it impossible for the rest of us to live there or spend more than a day or two there at a time, heh.

                      (Although credit where it’s due: Harrison Ford, at least, donates his time and ability as a helicopter pilot to do search and rescue in the mountains there. Well, he did. He may be too old to fly these days.)

                    2. Wyoming version is stunningly beautiful. just, you know, infested with rich people who made it impossible for the rest of us to live there or spend more than a day or two there at a time

                      Definitely. Business owners, their staff, at best, commute daily over the Wilson-Moose Pass, which isn’t for the faint of heart commuting into the valley during the summer (twisty with multiple back to back hair pin turns, narrow, steep – 10% grades, and impressive drop offs over the guardrails (where they exist) which are inches from the roadside white line), let alone in the winter (when it is open). There isn’t a whole lot of housing options on the southern river valley route out. Not sure what is available out the NE route (north route is Roosevelt Parkway and Yellowstone, no options there).

                      Jackson (town of), in Jackson Hole, is business and hotels, extremely limited housing.

                2. I’m in Small-Town mid-Florida – about an hour north west of Orlando(thank G–.. Except for the occasional high water it’s a pretty nice place – for now anyway. Vacant land if you want to build or just buy somebody else’s place. I’m currently restoring a “craftsman-built” house circa ’25-34. Most fun job so far was ripping out the kitchen tile floor that someone laid down over particle-board and no vapor barrier. Whole floor was being held together by the tile mortar…

            1. OH THE HORROR. I need brain-bleach from the vision THAT just engendered!

              Also, that is totally something my grandmother would have done, had it been an option. I count myself lucky that all I had to do was tear out the hideous teal shag and (in one bedroom, for some inexplicable reason) the equally-horrifying rose-colored shag.

              I still haven’t tackled the icky wall colors, but painting is easy. The dreadful texturing job in the big bedroom (which also lacks a closet, thanks to yet another of grandma’s inexplicable remodeling decisions) is another matter. I may have to tear all the sheetrock down and start over, ’cause that might be easier than trying to sand down the globs and chunks.

              1. When we first moved to Ireland in ’76, the house that had been rented for us came with carpet in virtually every room. Most of it was tile patterned. But the real problem was the color schemes. When you got to the top of the stairs, you were looking at an olive tile pattern wall-to-wall in the hallway, not too bad. To your far left was my sister’s room with a turquoise (different) tile, and ahead of you (a tiny bedroom) and to the right (a bathroom) was a gloriously virulent hot pink and orange swirl shag. Just to add insult to visual injury, the fixtures in that bathroom were a lovely olive green which went perfectly with the stuff in the hall. The olive carpet continued down the hallway, and into the master bedroom and bath. The master bath, with the olive pattern, had white fixtures.

                When my grandmother visited us a year later, she nearly had a heart attack the first time she climbed the stairs. We’d learned to tune it out, but it was indeed horrific on first viewing.

              2. Nah, it’s drywall mud. Thankfully no popcorn ceiling, but the globby is just as bad up there. Only option, really, is to either sand it down, or just tear it all down and redo. Sanding would be cheaper…but a helluva lot more labor intensive. :/

                1. I was going to suggest misting it down and then taking a scraper to it (that works really well to remove popcorn texture, and it all but eliminates the airborne dust) but … it doesn’t work well at all if the texture has been painted over…

          2. “indistinguishable visually from some very nice woods”

            That is my problem. “If it looks like wood, it needs to be Real Wood” … quote from hubby. Holdover from being in the timber industry.

            Don’t disagree. But real wood doesn’t hold up under pets. We won’t ever not have pets. I sooooo want to get rid of carpets throughout the house. Throw rugs that can more easily be replace. I’ll keep the wood stairs, but everything else must go and be the same. Wishful thinking …

            1. Wood floors don’t hold up well to long term washing/scrubbing, either. Or leaks. I can even put this stuff in the bathroom and kitchen!!!

              Hopefully your DH will eventually realize the benefits of ‘looks like but isn’t as fussy as’ ;D

              1. Hopefully your DH will eventually realize the benefits of ‘looks like but isn’t as fussy as’ ;D

                Working on him 🙂

                Have two areas that will require new floors. Not going back to carpet. Upstairs, isolated, probably will be first. Not until the pool table is out (“sold”, not paid for, won’t be until buyer puts in the His-Shed-Game-Room … someone hubby knows … about time to hint, again). The other is the living room. The chimney is pulling away from the house, lining is bad, we are done using the wood stove (can’t get wood inexpensively anymore … free …), I want it gone. Probably will extend the laminate composite Tile we did in the Kitchen/Dining Room there and down the hall; not fancy, neutral and holding up. Won’t touch the bedrooms.

                If we were moving, wouldn’t touch it. Would offer a (carpet) dollar amount to redo floors. Buyers would want to do more, but that is on them. Heck, I’d like to do more. Isn’t happening.

          3. Consider wood-grain tile. Ceramic tile, glazed with a wood grain pattern and shaped like boards. I’ve already remodeled a bathroom, and in the process of redoing a laundry room with wood-grain tile.

            1. I’ll look into that, too, though it looks like the vinyl would work better and be cheaper for how much space I need to cover.

            2. My parents have that in the living room of their house. It’s lovely stuff–but. It’s still tile, so a.) cold (and in this part of the world, that means BLOODY cold in the long winter), and b.) breakable. Also more expensive that the vinyl plank. All I need to install the planks is a straight edge and a knife (well, and someone who cuts in straight lines better than I do). With tile I need hardibacker board, tile cement, tile cutter (which yes, I can borrow from the parents, but even so), grout, and grout sealer. (Prior to learning just how nice the plank can be, I was planning to do tile, because I have lots of experience in laying it.)

              1. I recommend wood-look tile. The modern stuff is very good. We’ve dropped things on it without breakage.

                I recommend against vinyl plank. We bought a house with vinyl plank, which does have a lifespan. A 15 year warranty, for example, means it may last 15 years. Sunlight accelerates the process. Your house will probably outlast the floors.

                I once visited a friend’s house, which had been built with manufactured floors. It had a strong smell, which gave me a headache. I have no idea if it was the vinyl flooring, or something else used to build the house.

                I love cork floors. It’s a very old fashioned floor, but very comfortable underfoot. When we were visiting flooring stores, I noticed the manufactured products were right in front. Products like hardwood & cork were not as prominently displayed.

                The best decision we made in selling the last house was to replace the carpet with hardwood. It was much less expensive than repainting the kitchen cabinets white. (We got a quote for that, but decided not to spend that much money. It did help to let buyers know how much it would cost.)

                You can ask your broker to do “virtual staging” of a room, which can be put into the online listing. It is trememdously effective, and cost-effective too.
                So many people look at listings online. We showed the existing kitchen (no white cabinets), and the same photo, with white cabinets and granite countertops added (marked as virtual.) It was a great way to get past the buyers’ “no imagination” problem.

                1. The new vinyl floors don’t smell. At all. Look, I’m a wood person, but I have trouble telling these aren’t wood.
                  And I LOVE cork, but not with cats.

          4. What’s the traction like? As entertaining as it might be to watch a pup skid around a corner, I really don’t feel like having another one need ACL surgery.

  4. Changed mood from some. Not from others, though. Two of my co-workers were chatting this morning, and one of them reported the horrifying news that a school that reopened last week has fifteen students infected with SARS-2.

    Oh. No.

    We shall see.

    When Republicans screw up, my co-workers will sometimes mention it and be willing to discuss it. When Democrats screw up, crickets. I don’t know how widespread this attitude is, or what it will take to dislodge it. And that troubles me quite a lot.

    1. Looks to be very widespread.

      My company has not even mentioned it, even though we could easily have people unaccounted for out there. Only thing they’re talking about is daily covid totals.

      1. My company is only talking about COVID and some racism thing at the Smithsonian it is sponsoring.

        I wish we’d talk about inflation and such given we’re, you know, bankers.

        1. The worse Afghanistan gets, the more the CCP Virus hysteria will be whipped up and the more denunciations of Republicans as being racist domestic terrorists for disagreeing with the Democrats’ efforts to install themselves as America’s CCP together with CCP style commufascism.

          1. Considering where I work just sent around an email stating “we’re in a BAD COVID zone, so everyone has to wear a mask at all times and we’ve been watching you and have seen the non-compliance going on so that’s going to stop right now and we mean it!”

            I’ve already chatted with my team lead about going back on full WFH (we’d been going in once-a-week because of a new guy, and he’s going to WFH on my day in the barrel) so it sounds like I’ll be able to dodge that one.

            But it does feel like the WuFlu panic is going to get ramped up again to try to distract people from people clinging to the outside of C-5s during takeoff and falling and helicopters picking up people from the embassy (but it’s not from the ROOF! So that makes it DIFFERENT than Saigon!)

            1. I don’t see how that’s going ever to work. I’ve seen those videos making the rounds. Even though I click away now, I’m not ever going to forget that.

              And unless they hunt down and incinerate every member of 4chan in the next few weeks, every third meme on the Internet is going to have bits of them in it.

              I managed to avoid some of the mind-mines of the old Internet, but I never did not know they were there, or what they were.

            1. Who cares?

              Honestly, if they actually go full banana republic, nobody needs to even pretend to have Anglosphere obligations to them.

            2. Heh. The PM of Malaysia, and entire cabinet, resigned yesterday. But he’s going to stay on as “caretaker” because having elections during COVID is just “irresponsible”.

              We should ALL take note.

              1. Catching Goldman Sachs in the act and making it stick is not conducive to remaining in office. Goldman actually had to pay back some of their Ill gotten gains. The horror. Of course, he has to go. Next thing they’ll want to put bankers in jail, and that simply cannot be allowed.

          1. She is the former president of the International Union of Socialist Youth , so she is an outright commie. Absolutely no-one should be surprised that she is pretty much a dictator. What is appalling is that people in New Zealand seem to be accepting of it.

    2. I’m seeing a lot of reliably prog lefties posting things like “I was a big Biden supporter in the election but this is just too big a f**kup to ignore”. So maybe it is getting through the jamming, and who knows, maybe it’ll last longer than the next Look A Squirrel distraction.

  5. Good luck with the carpet.

    My youngest brother described it as a feeling of the first domino falling. It’s not good, and probably bad for everyone, but it is only the start.

    Currently reports are we have anywhere between 5,000 to 40,000 Americans trapped in Afghanistan, and no way to get them out, beyond “trust in the goodness of the Talibans’ hearts.”

    Just saw that China is telling Taiwan that they can depend on the US as much as the Afghani’s could.

    Curiously, I’m running into some rumors that the big reason the Afghanistan army defected is the Taliban was being backed by all of their regional neighbors, including China. And with the US washing out hands of them, the options were fight the whole world, or be bought off by the Taliban. Don’t know how completely true or causitive they are, but they are there, none the less.

    Also hearing that the Army is letting troops be honorably discharged if they do not want to take the vaccine. That is very curious, because it ends up incentivising people to leave it, even if they are fine with the vaccine itself.

    Another big worry I’ve heard is that the generals need an easy victory of some sort after this. The simplest fit would be to go full GWOT on US dissedents. That scares me, because they’ve been using the rhetoric. Doubly so because their clowns thing killing us would be funny.

    Final thread, this does seem to have kicked off the replacement war in the White House. I’m seeing reports that the VP’s staff is in open conflict with the POTUS’s staff, and there isn’t all of the 25th. The funny thing is, they might not be able to do it, because then she couldn’t be the tie breaker in the Senate, which would mean they would have to find a 51 votes for their VP replacement.

    This is going to be psycho.

    1. Just saw that China is telling Taiwan that they can depend on the US as much as the Afghani’s could.

      Are they wrong?

      I know the CCP lies, but even a liar is right by accident every now and then.

      1. Even if the US sat out an invasion of Taiwan, I’m skeptical that Beijing could pull it off right now. After several years, perhaps. But not right now.

        1. With the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC? Are you kidding? It may be their best chance; they’ll loose this sock puppet in 2024 but gain a major island—and this incumbent probably can’t steal enough votes to keep his position. (I said probably ’cause, dang it, The Evil Space Princess sure called it right last time.)

          On the other hand, we come to Clausewitz’s causes of war, one of which being “do both sides agree how likely a war is?” If both sides agree on the likelihood, then there might not be a war. If they think there ain’t no way, but the current occupant can’t lose his pride again, well even N. Chamberlain wouldn’t let Hitler keep Poland.

          1. Did you pay attention to my comment? It opened with, “Even if the US sat out an invasion of Taiwan…”

            Taiwan is a tough nut to crack even without US Carrier Battle Groups breathing down the necks of the Chinese invasion fleet. And the Chinese army is an unblooded military that would be trying to pull off one of the most difficult operations possible – an opposed naval invasion against a heavily fortified enemy.

            In other news, I read earlier today that three USN boomers have just been sent to the Pacific. I don’t know whether that has anything to do with current events, but the timing leads to speculation.

            1. Haven’t some of our ballistic missile subs been refitted to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles?

              1. `All of this assumes that HarrisBiden would actually give orders to provide any support to Taiwan. They won’t. And do be surprised if the CCP cooks up a “distraction” for Japan (likely via the Norks) as part of their campaign to take Taiwan. It also would not surprise me if Putin and Xi make a deal to both go after Japan (they each assert claims to areas that Japan currently controls) and divide it up the same way Hitler and Stalin did on Poland.
                They view as all of these countries relying on American military support and protection and now believe, with good reason, that such support no longer exists.

                1. I was thinking more in terms of Tomahawks over Afghanistan. If they get too much criticism, they may feel the need to Do Something.

                2. I don’t think the Russians can do much to the Japanese right now. Their fleet and their military is an utter and complete joke, and that’s when we’re talking about troops that aren’t halfway around the world from the capitol (which would be the case with any units operating out of Vladivostok). Meanwhile, Japan has some of the most advanced weapons systems and vehicles in the world.

                  Again, naval invasions are *HARD*. Video games portray them as easy affairs because the US Navy made them look easy (and still does, actually), and popular perception now views them that way. They aren’t. The Soviets tried one with an overwhelming number of veteran troops against a very weak Japanese garrison right at the end of the World War 2, and nearly lost. All that would happen if China and Russia decided to antagonize Japan right now is that Article 9 would be jettisoned.

                  1. USN:
                    We do naval invasions for FUN.

                    ….we do, actually; there’s several different yearly events that are honestly a blast for the Navy and Marines, and it’s cool to watch stuff like the RoKer guys realizing that it can be fun, too. Also important, but FUN.

              2. I believe some of the attack boats also. The problem is that it reduces torpedo space.

            2. Good points. I don’t know if the Taiwanese could repel an invasion, but they won’t be intimidated into giving up without a fight.

        2. What about the idiot who supposedly revealed that we have 30,000 troops in Taiwan? Do we? I don’t know if it’s even true. I don’t know how you’d hide 30,000 Americans from China right next door.

          However, per video that came out of Chad’s ongoing civil war a few years back, we have about 3000 troops there that no one seems to know about.

          1. Chad’s a wide-open wilderness, though. Plenty of places to hide troops. And 3,000 might just be military advisors. It’s much more difficult to hide troops on Taiwan.

      2. That should have been obvious to Taiwan for a decade or more, and public opinion has been adjusting accordingly…There is no way the US could defend Taiwan with its present force capabilities…

        1. From what I’ve heard, Taiwan has good relations with Japan (& other Asian nations) and those Asian nations believe that they have a common foe in China.

          They may not be powerful enough to invade/conquer China, but may be strong enough to defeat China’s Navy.

          As for China’s nukes, Japan may have all the knowledge it needs to quickly build nukes of its own.

            1. I personally suspect the Japanese do not have nus, and could prove it to an inspector. “What’s in this closet?”
              “No Bombs, just fissionable material in bomb cases! No detonator triggers!”
              “So what’s in this closet?”
              “No Bombs! Just detonator triggers without fissionable material!”

              1. Japan’s problem would likely be the delivery system. Japan’s military is very heavily defensive-oriented. They’ve got ships that are essentially the same size as USN cruisers, but that have almost entirely defensive systems, and lack the big batteries of anti-ship missiles that the USN cruisers have.

            2. I say “may” because I don’t have sources inside Japan’s government or Japan’s military. 😉

            3. Yes, blow up the dam.

              It can be a rerun of the old dam busters movie that Lucas plagiarized.

              1. Then borrow heavily from it for the next Star Wars movie? (“I’d say about 20 guns, some on the surface, the rest on the towers.”)

                1. They stole that from dam busters too.

                  Lucas did visual effects, storytelling, almost pure plagiarizing..

                    1. I remember watching a video with clips from “The Hidden Fortress,” “The Dam Busters,” and a few from Lucas’ own “THX 1138” intermixed with their “Star Wars” equivalents. “Star Wars” really does feel like a synthesis*.

                  1. Yeah, saw you write that after I posted mine. Sometimes I miss things right in front of me. *sigh* *facepalm*

            1. I can thresh, cook, and eat rice with chopsticks. And I can harvest it the same way native Americans did with a canoe.

              I just haven’t had a whole lot of luck getting it to grow here in southern New Hampshire, yet.

      3. Are they wrong? Yes. We were in Afghanistan for twenty years, which is a long damn time. Time for an entire generation of folks to grow up not under the Taliban, or the Soviet Union. To see what stability could look like. Time for them to grow their own internal governance if they wanted it.

        Taiwan is different. For one, we would be coming to their defense, not invading and imposing (our) order. For another, they are not a tribal culture; they do have a sense of a national identity.

        1. There’s the critical keywords: IF they’d wanted it. A generation has grown up not under Sharia’s thumb, and now knows the difference, but that’s not enough; witness Iran, which went from thoroughly modern to stubbornly medieval almost overnight, and three generations later has not returned to the modern world (well, except for chasing nukes, but that’s really just trying to force their neighbors to follow their lead).

          Kratman et al. have pointed out that the Taliban swept across the country in no time flat not because of their military prowess, but because local elders put a finger to the wind, saw which way it was blowing, then went to check whether they had enough burqas for their wives and daughters.

          1. I’ve heard elsewhere that the gov’t may have cut deals with the Taliban because they expected the Taliban to be backed by China, Pakistan, and Russia, after the US washed their hands of them.

            If that is the case, then many of them may have figured their options were to join or die. It’s one thing to fight against your local barbarians. It’s another to fight a proxy war against a major power with no-one on your side.

            I do not know if this really is the case, but I also cannot discount it out of hand, either.

            1. From what I’ve heard, the Taliban is already actively allied with China.

              Pakistan can be counted on to back anyone who gives the West a bloody nose. (Which is why I think an Anabasis to Islamabad would be “Oh look, someone sent us free hostages!”)

              I have not heard a peep about Russia other than speculation that they’re on China’s side in this, but that may just be “Let’s you and him fight, so you don’t have time to invade us.”

              1. Russia did their time in Afghanistan, Putin’s more than happy to sit this one out and come in afterwards and pick over what’s left.

                  1. Also, the Taliban would likely provide support for the terrorists in Chechnya. I suspect Putin really prefers that no one win in Afghanistan.

            2. because they expected the Taliban to be backed by China, Pakistan, and Russia

              Does anybody who’s looked around there and thought for a bit not think that is highly probable?

              1. About the only shade of a silver lining I can see here is that China now has Afghanistan.

                …If it were the Chinese Army under Mao, the Afghanis might have a lot to worry about. The army of the Little Emperors?

                Maybe they can both lose.

                1. The Chinese won’t invade Afghanistan, they’ll just use bribery. Money and guns. Norinco always open for business!

                    1. Heh. I suspect the moral here is “modern nation-building just doesn’t work in certain places, no matter if you be the US, Russia, or China…”

                      May China learn it the hard way.

                2. Maybe not even under Mao.

                  China has historically had huge problems supporting armies beyond its borders. Short distances work okay. But anything further than that, and they start to run into big problems real quick, and the military expeditions turn into bloodbaths. Modern logistical techniques might make up for that. But it’s unknown at this time how well the PLA has been able to adopt those.

          2. >> “There’s the critical keywords: IF they’d wanted it. A generation has grown up not under Sharia’s thumb, and now knows the difference, but that’s not enough”

            If our people had been teaching those kids actual, practical western values instead of SJW nonsense that no sane person accepts other than at gunpoint, we might have planted some good seeds there. What a stupid waste of an opportunity…

    2. Another big worry I’ve heard is that the generals need an easy victory of some sort after this. The simplest fit would be to go full GWOT on US dissedents

      I have no doubt they want to do it and plan to do it, but if they think it will be easy.

      Well, the jury is out on that. I’ll admit I’m more likely to agree than I was even 3 months ago, much less 18, but still. I wouldn’t want to bet on it the way the Junta in Argentina bet Thatcher would be like a Labour PM.

    3. If I were the Taiwanese government, I’d be talking to Pakistan and North Korea and Israel and India saying “surely, there is a price at which you can sell us some nuclear weapons”

      1. I doubt they need anything but the fissile material and not even that.

        I assume every technologically advanced nation of a given size: Germany, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea come to mind, has everything just as a “kit”. Their military has a plan to put on the head of state’s desk to have nukes up and ready in 24 hours.

        If you have a nuclear industry you have nukes, just some assembly required.

        1. Agreed, Japan has some very good physicists, and regular nukes (not hydrogen bombs) are relatively simple.

          1. Japan had at least two different atomic bomb projects going in WWII, including an Oak Ridge-sized isotope separation plant in Korea that the Soviets uprooted and took home as booty. MacArthur’s people had remarkably little curiosity, and Groves wasn’t interested either, but from the bits and pieces that have surfaced over the years, they were probably ahead of the Soviets in 1945.

        1. I wonder how many people who weren’t aligned with China last Friday will be this Friday.

          I seem to remember a quote about a strong horse and a weak horse.

          1. Do not know. The problem China has is they act liken the cartoon villians from Captain Planet, and their neighbors know it, know that they’re next, and know that China will simply cleanse them once it’s done with them.

            It’s a pattern.

            And their allies are only of convenience.

            Gonna be ugly

        2. Ehh. Pakistan’s government is aligned with China, not least because they can’t get over it when it comes to India, and that broke them away from us. But like Afghanistan (and India, which had a couple of interstate shooting incidents recently), Pakistan is not as united a country as people may believe,

          In fact, there was a terrorist attack against Chinese interests in Balochistan just the past couple weeks. One in Mali, too. The PRC is not making itself loved among the peoples of the areas they are trying to colonize, no matter how much their governments are sucking up.

          1. Sorry, I was saying that Taiwan’s best bet is an alliance with India and Japan.

            I’d left Pakistan out because I figured they were already frenemy aligned with China. Wasn’t intending to imply I was expecting them to do otherwise.

            I’m really hoping India is able to step up and lead. Japan has some issues with its history, and is aging badly. India, at least is a former British colony, with at least some of the old ideas of Common Law informing it.

            1. No, I agree that would be Taiwan’s best bet. India… India has a lot of internal issues and divisions and I don’t think they’re going to step up (or be able to) until they get rid of Modi. They’ve got a lot of people mired in the past, and not enough looking to what China wants to do to them (keep them constrained and unable to act as an effective counterweight.)

              China is much more internally secure and united than India, and I think that will become an issue.

              1. OTOH, when China attempted to co-opt land along their common border, Indian troops reportedly sent them home with a bloody nose. India may be a disorganized mess, but it’s a ferocious disorganized mess.

              2. That is on a time limit, though. Enough is going on in the PRC that we may be in Mandate of Heaven territory in the not too distant future.

                1. China Observer has had all sorts of disaster porn footage from China. Half the lowlands under water and no end in sight, and certainly no help from above (quite the reverse).

                2. Just a quick reminder that the loss of the mandate is always noted *after* the next dynasty takes power, when the new dynasty’s historians are explaining why the previous dynasty collapsed. The mandate never gets mentioned while the uprisings are in progress.

                  Doesn’t mean that Beijing might not be on shaky ground at the moment. But I’m of the opinion that people are putting a little too much stock in the idea of the mandate, and the overthrow of a dynasty.

              3. I’m not sure I agree, we have no idea how united China is, nor do they. China is a dictatorship, India a democracy.. Dictatorships have proved to be rather brittle throughout history. Should push come to shove, India could probably absorb a setback, China not so much.

                Remember what happened when China had a little skirmish with a quite ordinary Indian regiment earlier this year. If they couldn’t handle them, how will they fare fighting against the Gurkhas in the mountains?

                1. Yeah, I saw video from one such skirmish. The Chinese troops were just comically bad. Looked like a schoolyard rout. (Literally. Ran away in terror.)

                  It has occurred to me that there may be an inverse relationship between mass precision drill-team performance and actual battlefield competence. I received this wisdom whilst watching vid of a massive Chinese military parade.

                2. Chinese nationalists (most of whom are probably Han), are CHINESE nationalists. Indian nationalists are RELIGIOUS nationalists. The fault lines along ethnicity/caste/religion in India are deeper than those in China.

                  There was a skirmish between two Indian states recently which left seven people dead. I can’t see Chinese provinces fighting amongst each other like that without the central government coming down on people HARD.

                  I really really want India to be a functioning, Western-ish democracy. I don’t think they’re there yet, and some of the cultural issues and historical concerns may interact in a bad way to keep them from achieving it.

            2. I suspect that Taiwan already has a sub rosa alliance with Japan. At the very least, it would be wildly bad for Japanese interests for Taiwan to fall, and Taiwan knows it and China knows it.

              1. Hopefully.

                Honestly, if Chins does make a play for Taiwan, it’s going to be bad for everyone, China included. TSMC is very key to the world economy, and it would take almost nothing to wipe out years worth of semi-conductor fabrication and development.

      2. Taiwan doesn’t need nukes as long as they have the range to get missiles on target at 3G.

        It isn’t like the Chynese concrete is any good…..

    4. Oh, a short, victorious war? Husband just winced.
      For the discharges, that’s an easy and convenient way to eliminate anyone who can’t stomach what’s going on while identifying potential “troublemakers,” at the same time.

    5. Harryvoyager said:
      The funny thing is, they might not be able to do it, because then she couldn’t be the tie breaker in the Senate, which would mean they would have to find a 51 votes for their VP replacement.

      They have to get the FICUS out of the Oval Office first. Given “Dr.” Jill’s intent to play the power behind the throne the only way he leaves is in a pine box, or via clause 4 of the 25th amendment. The latter requires the VP and 50%+ of the dept heads to send a message to the Congress stating he is incapacitated. The “President” has the ability to say “No I’m fine”. At which point it takes a 2/3 majority of both houses to evict him. So the VP thing is the least of the difficulties of using the 25th amendment. With the House only lightly in the democrat court and Senate basically split I can’t see the congress tossing the FICUS unless he is literally drooling, shriekingand experiencing seizures. Even then the republicans might leave him in place for amusement value.

      1. That’s a valid point. I’d forgotten about needing 2/3 to overrule the POTUS saying, “But I’m fine, guys!”

        That said, it does look like the socials have stopped running interference for Biden, and may be prepping for a transition of power anyways. Did you see the photo op the White House put out over the weekend? His team has absolutely abandoned him.

        Going to be nuts.

        1. If Commie-la could get enough support, the Dems would happily override the Constitution’s actual legal language, possibly by just writing themselves an executive order.

          But so far, it doesn’t look like she has much support from anyone.

          1. Yeah the VP presumptive is thoroughly hated in the democrat world. Pretty much the only Democrat that liked her was Willie Brown, and he probably only for short periods. I wonder how much part Dr. Jill played in the VP selection for the Kumquat in Chief. Basically they chose a VP that NO One on either side would want to replace FICUS lest he be quickly swept out of the way.

        2. Going to be nuts? I think we’ve been there since about late 2019. It’s just going to be MORE nuts and more dangerously so I fear…

          1. I keep wondering when the waves of hysteria will end. I’m slightly pleased by the fact Fred passed through with relatively little, “We’re all gonna DIE!” Even our news media couldn’t make it more than a rainmaker.
            OTOH, they’re finally noticing the water levels in Lake Meade, probably because much more shrinkage and there goes a big fraction of the region’s electricity. That, of,course, is due to “climate change,” not to any questionable decisions of the last few decades.

            1. Not only that, the lower it gets, the less energy they can get out of the remaining water. Reducing head pressure on a hydroelectric plant is not a good thing.

    6. > Just saw that China is telling Taiwan that they can depend on the US as much as the Afghani’s could.

      There was once a Southeast Asian counterpart to NATO, called SEATO. Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan (?!), Bangladesh (?!!), the Philippines, Thailand, Britain, and the USA. It ran from 1954 to 1977, when “it was disbanded for lack of interest” according to the Wikipedia entry. Australia, France, Britain, and the USA had some island territories they administered. I have no idea why Pakistan and Bangladesh were involved.

      What was interesting was the nations that *weren’t* in SEATO: Taiwan, Indonesia, and South Korea. I would have expected Taiwan to be a founding member. Historically, military aid alliances have been a poor bet for national defense, but in Taiwan’s case, even uncertain allies are better than none.

      1. IIRC, South Vietnam was a member, as well.

        Notice that India isn’t in the list of countries. India spent much of the mid to late Twentieth Century being a bit too friendly with the Soviets. I suspect that has a lot to do with why Pakistan was in the organization. Bangladesh is anyone’s guess, since iirc the Bangladeshis hate the Pakistanis, and at the time were sort of friendly with India (i.e. Pakistan’s rival). Then again, I seem to recall that democracy was working for Bangladesh at the time (I’m not sure whether that’s still the case), so the country might have felt that an alliance of (at least nominally) democratic nations was a good thing.

      2. Taiwan has always been in a tricky spot. I suspect they were not included in the original set because it was felt that would have antagonized China.

        As I recall, the US courted Pakistan heavily early on, and India ended up siding with the Soviets to counter the US support of Pakistan. That’s the reason much older Indian equipment is Russian.

        After the cold war ended, the US didn’t really need Pakistan that much, so the various things they did ended up pushing the US away.

    7. Well, unless they drop a couple of rounds of HE grenades on my house in the middle of the night, I’m taking an honor guard with me. On the other hand, they may just drop a couple of HE on the house, and then an incendiary. Destroy all evidence and they can make up any story they want.

    8. The only reason that Biden is still the figurehead is exactly the 50 vote problem.

  6. Leaving Afghanistan? Overdue. Leaving behind weapons and civilians to be victims/hostages? Avoidable. The fact that they couldn’t manage this? Infuriating.

    1. Agree. It infuriated me that Trump was thwarted in removing troops, staff, and others, from Afghanistan. Trump would have insured it was done correctly. He knew we needed to be out.

      One silver lining that might come out of this is what President Trump got between with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the others. They know what a danger Iraq, Iran, and now Afghanistan, are to Israel and them. I think they are too smart for the attitude that puts them square on the “Eat us last”. Guess we’ll see.

      I watched the fall of Saigon from the sitting room of my dorm as an 18 year old college freshman. With all the little police actions around the world where we shouldn’t have been, expected with shift of attitude eventually would leave and the attitude would be from the other side “we pushed out the US”, nope, didn’t care enough to stay. But this bad? No.

      1. Remember, the military brass out and out disobeyed orders in order to this instead of an orderly withdrawal under Trump.

        1. Indeed – this is why I want to see Milley and his subordinates – who should have been seeing to all of this stuff – humiliated. Scorned. Have rotten produce thrown at them. In public. My daughter and I are incandescent with fury – imagine how angry that the kin and survivors of those who have died in Afghanistan must feel.

                  1. True, but that requires thinking that I’m really not up to right now. 🙂

                    I should stop procrastinating and work on the late paper for my grad course. I got the one due Sunday in only a few hours late (didn’t even start on it till after it was due, and hadn’t read any of the text, recommended readings), uploaded what I considered to be a piece of cr*p, and got 100%. Not sure whether I have insanely high standards, or everyone else’s are too low. Not complaining (in this case) though.

          1. >> “imagine how angry that the kin and survivors of those who have died in Afghanistan must feel.”

            Oh, they’re not happy. I came across this recently and I suspect a large percentage of the U.S. population is having similar thoughts right now:

              1. There are only 75,000 lamp-posts in Washington, and you can only hang so many from each one.

                1. well, we’ll branch out. Let’s hang them from overpasses.
                  We must make their memory and the memory of their passing SHUDDER worthy, so this is never done again.

                  1. The Romans crucified along the Via Appia 3000 rebellious slaves in a single day. Surely with modern industry and a little creativity we can exceed that by at least two orders of magnitude.

                2. We’ll have to work in shifts, 12 on, 12 off.
                  It’s a sacrifice, but I’m there.

                  1. some won’t be hung from lampposts, we need to put their heads on pikes outside the capitol in order to remind people.

                    1. naah, on the nice round access road, by the sides of the steps they like making speeches on.

                    2. Symmetry and beauty all at once. I’m with you.
                      Maybe Pennsylvania Avenue could be used for overflow.

        2. Not sure I follow – if Biden as CinC gave the orders, how are they being disobedient?

          1. Because when Trump was CiC they lied to him about troop numbers and slow walked withdrawals.

            The wanted it to happen under Biden.

              1. Presumably the withdrawal, so Biden would get the “credit.” And more importantly, so Trump wouldn’t.

                1. Well, now the FICUS is getting ‘credit’ for both.

                  May the ‘credit’ for the Kabul Goat-Fuck spread far and wide amongst the deserving…

                2. Unless the generals dirty tricked Biden too. Malicious compliance. He went through with taking their wars away after they went through all that trouble getting rid of Trump. Cutting down on the wars cuts down on the board seats and the large payoffs from defense contractors.

                  It strikes me funny that American Generals all have so many medals since they aren’t very good at winning wars. Then, I found out that the DC crowd spends all their time giving each other Distinguished Service Medals. Each service has a full set of medals that they give each other. What distinguished service an army general does for (e.g.,) the navy is beyond me, They look just like Admiral General Aladeen.

                3. I don’t think it was so that Biden could get credit for the withdrawal. The disobedience was because they saw Trump as an idiot, and thought they knew better than he did about what the safety and security of the US required. And since they *knew* that the war in Afghanistan was necessary, they did everything that they could to screw over Trump’s efforts to prep the country for a withdrawal. I suspect part of the reason for the current debacle is because the military refused to put together plans for an orderly withdrawal when Trump ordered them to do so (while simultaneously giving excuses about why the plans were taking so long to produce).

                  1. “You make plans for GD Z-pocs, for crying out loud. You cannot expect me to believe that there is not a plan sitting around somewhere that you can’t dust off and have on my desk by noon tomorrow.

                    If there isn’t, I expect you to have your letter of resignation on my desk at that time instead.”


          2. News came out that during the Trump administration that the Generals had slowed down the withdrawal that Trump was ordering.

            There was other hearsay that the Generals were deeply institutionally invested in the occupation.

            With the Dems against Trump, and the GOPe counting down until January of 2021, the generals had backers and enablers.

            After the soft coup, the balances of power and of influence were very different. Not clear if they didn’t dare resist, were Obama cronies, or if cutting corners and playing games caught up with them.

            1. You and I are thinking exactly the same way here. I suppose I should be concerned about that but I’m not.

  7. Glad to hear that you’re getting somewhere that you feel better.

    God knows that I don’t know what that looks like, or will look like, any time soon. Oh, I have a few idle dreams and fantasies, but I don’t see them happening any time soon or any path from there to here.

  8. The mood from all my friends from the days in the canoe club is best described as despondent betrayal. Those I have talked to speak of the absolute rage at the utter lack of honor displayed by the Flag/General Officers and the civilian leadership. I never set a foot in country, but did multiple deployments to support GWOT, and watching how we cut and ran in disgrace for the second time in my lifetime is a bitter pill to swallow. If any of our military or government leadership contained an iota of honor, they would be resigning in disgrace and begging for the forgiveness from the American public for the abject failure.

    May our hostess’ work on her Colorado abode proceed smoothly and the sale of said domicile exceed your wildest dreams.

    1. Reports are that the British ambassador is still in-country working to get his people out. The American ambassador… is not.

      This is in contrast with our ambassador during the Fall of Saigon who repeatedly ignored orders to leave during the evacuation because he knew that choppers would keep coming to haul people away so long as he was still at the embassy.

      Also, Instapundit had a blurb up that both the Dutch and Swedes evacuated their embassy staffs over the weekend, and the first their local employees knew about it was when they showed up to work the next morning.

      1. This is in contrast with our ambassador during the Fall of Saigon who repeatedly ignored orders to leave during the evacuation because he knew that choppers would keep coming to haul people away so long as he was still at the embassy.

        I did not know that. Thanks for telling me.

        While it is more proof that this is worse than Saigon was, it is good to know at least one senior official there had some sense of honor and duty.

        1. On the other hand, the fact that the US got caught flat-footed during the Fall of Saigon was largely his fault. He appears to have had blinders on regarding the likelihood of the fall of South Vietnam, and didn’t take steps to prepare for it.

          In any case, the documentary Last Days in Saigon is about that period, and is very much worth watching. It talks about (among other things) the ambassador’s actions during the last days of the Republic of Vietnam.

    2. Our rage – that of my daughter and myself – is practically incandescent. We’re working it out by renovating the den – fresh paint, redoing the bookshelves, a new floor and covering the ceiling with beadboard. And the Daughter Unit is pressure-washing our driveway, and our next-door neighbors with her newest power tool toy – the pressure washer.

      1. Point blank, pressure washers can make a hole comparable to a shotgun. Just sayin’….

          1. Unfortunate for her, but about what I’d expect. I don’t use a pressure washer to wash stuff. I use the pressure washer to blast the living shit out of difficult material like dirt that’s set up hard as concrete (useful for digging up buried fencing or stuck fence posts), or to flush the accumulated mud and crawdads out of the irrigation pipe, or to strip paint (wear protective gear if you do that). And mine is a little bitty one that cost all of 35 bucks.

            1. The patient was with the local public works department. I can’t remember whether it was actually a power washer, or just a very high-powered hose. Either way, the water tore her insides up well past current surgical ability to fix.

      2. i hope you mean the neigbors’ driveway, not the neighbors themselves. 😛

        Unless they’re malignant Leftroids. In that case, power wash away.

        1. No, it’s the next-door neighbors’ driveway. The next-door neighbor is an irreproachably upright lady of certain years, who has lived in this neighborhood for at least three decades. Retired civil servant, upright member of the local AME church – we have seen her three grandsons grow to manhood, and settled in various careers. Miss Irene’s son in law/nephew groomed our front yard with his professional-grade equipment, so this was what we wanted to do in trade. It’s what neighbors do, out here in Deplorable land.

  9. I think a large part of the problem with America’s foreign policy is that we have tried to walk a middle ground. This leads, inevitably, to what Mr. Miyagi once so eloquently described as “Squish, just like grape.” Instead of Big Brother to the World, Maybe, Sortof, we need to pick an actual side. We need to become isolationist and pull our troops back to guard our own boarders rigorously and with great prejudice and put us and ours as the number one priority, or we need to enforce the Pax Americana.

    I’m not saying we need to be out trying to make the world over into our own image, that can’t work any better than waffling around trying to ‘convince’ terrorists not to attack us with how nice we are to them. No, we either need to tell the world, to hell with you, I’m taking my ball and I’m going home, and you can’t use my x-box or my bike anymore, either. Or we need to be out there with our big military/economic stick, whacking folks until they realize we’re not going to put up with that sort of crap any more. You wanna crap all over your people, whatever, we can’t stop you. You wanna crap all over your neighbors? That’s a big Nope. Now go to your room and stay there until we say you can come out again. *whack* Your brother just got sent to his room. Knock that off or you’ll get the same, and we’re not going to let you come down for supper, either.

    We can’t play the waffly brother anymore. That’s only going to get us the worst of all worlds. We either need to be the weird guy at the end of the street who doesn’t like visitors, who starts throwing rocks if you get too close to the fence, and won’t interfere with bullying or fights as long as they take place outside the fence, or we need to be the disciplinarian dad who doesn’t hesitate to grab the belt when other people’s kids start acting up, or when other people’s dads need to be taken down a peg because they’re starting crap with the widow next door.

    We need to stop caring what the world thinks of us. The part that is theoretically on the same side as we are seems to think of the US as an enormous piggy bank, just there to provide funds for whenever they’re running a little low. The rest already consider us the Great Satan, the neighborhood bully, or the spoiled little rich kid to be knocked over and robbed at least once a week. Being nice and giving them more money isn’t going to change any of that.

    And this is why no one sane would put me in charge of a HOA board, let alone the government of a large country. If my regime ever comes to power rubbernecking will be a capital offense and all my domestic troops will drive tow trucks. It won’t be pretty.

    1. Well, I suspect we really need to understand that no foreign policy can last more than eight years, and can often last less than two.

      Basically deal with want we can now, and leave before the next administration takes over and heads an entirely different direction.

      We do not have permanent allies.

      1. And there is the root of the problem. We =cannot= have a consistent foreign policy, and the world at large does not function in tidy 2-and-4-and-8 year units of diplomacy.

        Methinks the only fix for this would be a constitutional amendment establishing permanent policy, and then what happens when the world outside changes in some way that amendment did not foresee??

        1. ILOH just posted this to FB while he’s still on there:

          TL;DR: We didn’t spend 20 years in Afghanistan, we spent one year 20 times. Short-term plans and changes of direction so this year’s commander and/or politician could get credit overrode long-term strategic planning executed consistently for the multiple years it would have taken to succeed. Iraq was the same.

          1. That makes sense. I mean, I see the same flaw in a non-military gov institution. There’s this stupid thing called “Authorized Officer’s discretion” which basically translates to: the field manager of any given field office can pretty much do things any way they like. So there is ZERO consistency in how, for example, a realty right-of-way, or an Application for Permit to Drill (APD) is processed between neighboring field offices, let alone a state, let alone THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. So I suppose I shouldn’t be too shocked that the same nonsense happens in the military.

            That red tape we all hate–including those of us who are, in theory, behind the red tape–would be reduced by a huge amount if someone just went “let’s do away with Authorized Officer discretion crap for and have one set of consistent rules for how we handle ” with an option to revisit as technology and so on change.

            But I suppose that would be far too logical.

        2. >> “And there is the root of the problem. We =cannot= have a consistent foreign policy, and the world at large does not function in tidy 2-and-4-and-8 year units of diplomacy.”

          Which is why going isolationist – or being the weird guy who doesn’t like visitors, as BlondEngineer puts it – is probably our best bet. I wouldn’t mind a foreign policy that boiled down to three rules:

          1) We’ll trade with you if you’re reasonable

          2) You can immigrate only if you adopt our ways

          3) Don’t make us come over there

          1. “I wouldn’t mind a foreign policy that boiled down to three rules:

            1) We’ll trade with you if you’re reasonable

            2) You can immigrate only if you adopt our ways

            3) Don’t make us come over there”

            Which is what the Founders seem to have envisioned, given the restrictions they put on the military, BTW, a key reason for adopting the “purple” ideal at the Pentagon seems to have been to get around the “two year rule” on the Army budget.

          2. To have #1, we have to be doing #3 all the time.

            Because we’re the only guys who think that “reasonable” means “no piracy. Really. We mean it.” and will smack folks about it.

              1. Won’t get an argument on that from me, just want to point out that every time we slack up on the water side of stuff, things go pear shaped fast.
                Because most of the world is perfectly happy to have their chosen pirates raiding, they just don’t want to be raided.

                1. Well, there is a “free market” solution to that. Congress could go back to issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal making anyone who attacks US shipping “fair game.”

                  That’s mostly snark. Mostly.

                  1. On a more serious note– part of why having the US as world traffic cops WORKS is because we don’t just protect our own guys.

                    We protect all the “easy mark” guys, which lowers costs across the board and raises the risk associated with robbery, which makes things safer for our guys AND means that a lot of resources aren’t wasted in looting.

                    It’s a variation of how protecting property rights is THE best way to improve the general quality of life– because people can not have to worry so much about “who is going to see something nice I made and take it,” so they can put more work into actually doing, well, work.

                    1. And a huge part of the reason we’re seeing an upsurge in both piracy and merchant ships arming themselves is that whether through
                      — official policy as defined in ROE,
                      — indirectly by attritting the size of the fleet until there aren’t enough light assets, or
                      — simply a leadership that has adopted the “it’s only property they got insurance” attitude seen in Left cities across the country,

                      We are no longer pursuing that role.

                    2. The upsurge started with “organic” movements like the totally-not-Russian-military guys who showed up tweeting in the Ukraine, but earlier.

                      China has been notable for the “We’re totally not doing it and we’ll bust your nose if you notice” stuff.

                      It was going on in single-digit post-2000, though those considerations likely do not help.

                      I’d look at the virtue-signaling enviro-terror morons going after the Japanese whaler ships for links.

            1. I’m okay with that. We just need to be quick and brutal in punishing offenders and then getting out. No more of this nation-building crap.

                  1. Nietzche was all about this “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back” and “Who would fight monsters must take care that he doesn’t become a monster.” What he misses is what happens when you don’t take a good, hard look at that abyss, when you don’t fight the monsters. Things build up so that when you finally do break monstrous the result is so very much worse.

                    1. Given how thoroughly one of his other famous quotes misrepresents what he said I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was aware of the abyss problem, and was simply giving a warning with the meaning of “you have to do this, but be careful”.

              1. I’m not OK with dealing with the infestations caused by being lazy and insisting it’s not our problem. That’s where our problems the last umpty-squat times came from. Most likely, our next infestation is going to be from Mexico.

                1. >> “I’m not OK with dealing with the infestations caused by being lazy and insisting it’s not our problem.”

                  I’m not sure we’re in disagreement here. If someone sponsors or commits piracy, banditry, etc. then that’s exactly the sort of thing I want our military to destroy them for. But if they’re not doing such things, how are we lazy for not attacking them?

                  What do you mean by “infestation,” and what foreign policy are you proposing?

                  1. *points at your own list*

                    Smacking bandits doesn’t fit in with that list, unless “don’t make us come over there” is roughly identical to what we are currently doing, possibly with additional land-based efforts.

                    If you want the military to destroy pirates and/or bandits, then there is no disagreement.

                    1. >> “unless “don’t make us come over there” is roughly identical to what we are currently doing”

                      Ah, I see.

                      No, it’s not identical. The problem isn’t with us overthrowing governments that do such things. The problem is with us sticking around because we think it’s our job to fix the rest of the world. The nation-building. The puppet governments. The taxpayer-funded rebuilding. The winning hearts and minds. It all seems to poison us more than it helps anyone else.

                      I’m saying our policy should be to go in, annihilate the offenders, warn the survivors not to try that crap again and then just LEAVE. As long as they’re not messing with the rest of the world their internal problems are not the U.S. taxpayer’s business.

                    2. Q. Why doesn’t Israel just go in and kill everyone in Gaza who looks at them funny?
                      A. Their Left won’t let them.

                      Same here. The minute we blow up a country to get at the bad guys, our left starts screeching about collateral damage and the Pottery Barn Rule and how we’re violating human rights, and therefore the only solution is to salve their wounds and improve the civilian condition by guaranteeing them all the civil and human rights Americans have, because otherwise it would be colonialist or racist or orientalist or something. (In 2001-03, this played right into the neocon delusion that people around the world really did want American-style freedoms. They were wrong, but now we know for sure.)

                      I thought, as many did, that we should have gone to Baghdad in 1991, but the left and the press (birm) were already banging on about how unfair and “disproportionate” the Highway of Death was, and anything after that would have been characterized as mean white people beating up on poor defenseless brown people.

                    3. Ie. “If you want to be barbarians, fine, do your thing. But stay the hell in Barbaria!”

  10. I suspected it was the move, but wondered if you were painting your face blue and sharpening things.

  11. There is nothing selfish about continuing to live your life, even while the world is on fire!

    1. If you don’t continue to live your life, there’ll be no one to put out the fire when it comes your way, nor to rebuild afterward.

  12. I started to write something about this last night. I got down two sentences and couldn’t go on. Been distraught all weekend/week.

    There’s a mountain in Afghanistan.
    Made of Arms and legs and eyes.
    It’s nestled in the valley-
    the one of shattered lives.

    1. You too, eh? Austin and Milley built their careers out of tin coffins with the bodies of our soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors in them.
      I hope they enjoy their retirement, and the sinecure on the board of some big defense contractor or as a network expert commentator.

    2. When you’re wounded on Afghanistan’s Plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains…

  13. I see a lot of quiet rage. Maybe it’s the way I limited the number of friends online, but most are pissed. Even ones who are normally pretty neutral are going, “oh, my God” and putting up calls for prayer. Maybe God will come through, we’ll see. Me? I’m just waiting things out, keeping my head down, and working my two jobs.

  14. The problem with this shambolic retreat is that it makes the US look weak, and that perception is dangerous…”If a nation is perceived as weak, it is weak…” General Onoda-Kakka in Man in the High Castle, rightly concerned that the Nazis will nuke Japan off the planet…

      1. Perception not matching reality is the problem.

        If you’re perceived as weak, people attack you. If you’re not weak or even just not as weak as they think.

        Well, “Home by Christmas” has the ring it does because of that thinking.

    1. Yeah. I have a bad feeling about the 20th anniversary of 9/11. If ever an idiot rolled out the red carpet and put up a giant glowing “KICK ME” sign on us, it’s the FICUS.

                  1. Ah, yes. Had not seen, but pretty much what I predict If This Goes On. Communism fails of its own weight. Islam has to be fought off with generations of blood.

                    Islam grows when it feels strong, and shrinks when it feels weak. If we’d not toppled the Shah, it may have shrunk away entirely. Someone expert on the topic once pointed out that if we really want to put it down for good, glass Mecca — proving that Allah cannot protect even his most holy place.

                    1. Except that Islam doesn’t really shrink. It fragments. If neighbors are quick enough, they can rescue those newer fragments along the edges and revert them back from Islam. This is what happened in places such as Spain and south-eastern Europe. But the older areas have never been turned back. Can anyone in this day and age seriously conceive of Istanbul reverting back to Christianity? Another nation (hypothetically, a revitalized Greece) would need to seize it and hold it for centuries, fighting off suicide bombers and other nuisance attacks all the while. And even though the Reconquista finished centuries ago, bin Ladin *still* saw it as one of the many casus belli for his war against the West.

                      Or, alternately, murder nearly every last male in the country (above the height of a cart axle, is how I once heard it stated), and “marry” all of the women off to the victors. That’s more or less one of the points of the Simmons story that our hostess mentioned, I think. But if the West did that, it would cease – in many respects – to be the West. We aren’t the Israelites, on a mission from God to conquer (and exterminate while doing so) the Canaanites. And it would be very difficult for many of us to slip into the mode of ruthless thinking required for that.

                      I suppose forcible conversions might not be quite so bad. But it’s still a level of ruthlessness that the West in general isn’t ready to approach. We’re only okay with doing that to Nazis, after all.

                    2. Um… part of the Islamic prophecies say that if Mecca gets destroyed, the invisible imams come back, and pretty soon the armies of Allah show up, and so on. So there’s a fair number of Islamists who feel that they should nuke Mecca themselves, so as to bring on the end of the world faster.

                    3. Islamists who feel that they should nuke Mecca themselves, so as to bring on the end of the world faster.

                      Well, as plans go, it’s more, um… spectacular?… than the usual Evangelical plans to immanetize the eschaton by moving all the world’s Jews back to Israel…

                    4. “Usual”? Seriously? I haven’t heard that outside of Left propaganda in decades.

                    5. Agree.

                      I was into End Times stuff and never heard about “Moving All Jews To Israel So Christ Can Return”.

                      Now, I have read about the idea that the renewed Nation of Israel means that the End Times are closer.

                    6. Yep, the “bloom of the fig tree”.

                      OTOH, I HAVE heard the idea that giving up and letting things go to Hell will “encourage” the Second Coming by guilting Christ with the suffering of believers since the early 90s out of some AL Gov Guy Hunt supporters…..8-(

                    7. The normal one these days is to help with breeding programs to get a spotless red calf suitable for the offering at the temple.

                    8. Re: Islamists who want to destroy Mecca — Generally we’re talking Shi’ites (the whole invisible imam theory is a clue here) who hate Saudi Arabia and the Sunni. So yeah, Iran and some other folks.

                      But ISIS was a Sunni group that also wanted to trigger the end of the world and Armageddon. And apparently they had no trouble threatening Mecca, IIRC, because they didn’t like Saudi Arabia.

                      It’s also possible that somebody could and would steal the Black Stone, because that’s happened before in Islamic history, until the people who stole it got bored and brought it back (in very small pieces, with a lot of the rock missing). Mecca without the Black Stone is not particularly important.

                    9. I haven’t heard that outside of Left propaganda in decades.

                      I will freely admit that my information might be decades out of date.

      1. Yeah, and let’s import a bunch of random unvetted Afghans just in time to make it happen!

        1. Read the fine print: ‘Do not bend or sharpen’

          It’s a replica, probably made out of rolled mild steel which is not remotely suitable for making a sword blade.

          1. It only has to hold an edge long enough to do the job.

            For that matter, even a “dull” sword is a formidable weapon.

            1. Yep.

              Baseballbat with a butter-knife edge is painful.

              I’ve got a scar from a normal butterknife. (Do not try to catch knives that you dropped, even if it’s just a butter knife.)

  15. I read yesterday that we’re not giving priority to American citizens getting out of Afghanistan, Afghans with visas are equal opportunity flyers.

      1. Oh yeah. And that they’ll sort out WHO these refugees are, you know, later down the line. When they get around to it. Because of COURSE no terrorists would slip in via THAT route, right?

        As I said above, I’ve got a really bad feeling about 9/11 this year.

        1. My bad feeling goes “This year was deliberate. In hindsight, 9/11 week 2012 was that fucker Obama deliberately counting coup against Americans.” Trying to turn the emotions off results in noticing that doing 2012 on purpose would require more competence than is really in evidence.

          But, I’m also looking at this:

          GAO ‘hack’ passing personal details of federal employees to the Chinese is a bit more interesting in hindsight.

          Leaking that terrorism database almost had to have been a priority for the Gu jar.

            1. Hence the scare quotes.

              I wasn’t sure of the spelling of the word I used first, and today is apparently not much of a day for caring much about good writing.

        2. Not to mention the optics of Afghanistan descending back into Taliban hell just in time for the 20th anniversary. And that’s if there isn’t some hostage crisis/massacre before then.

          1. I suspect we’ll get any hostages back. The Taliban will want their accounts unfrozen, after all.

            But after that, all bets are off.

          2. And there of course there is CNN who don’t really seemed bothered by the Taliban chanting “Death to America”

        3. If it’s to the tune of “those evil Rethuglicans won’t give us a terror attack, we’ll get the Snackbar guys to do it and blame them anyways”?

          I’m humming along.

      2. Citizens get to use a 0bamacare quality online only webpage linked via a tweet to get their names on the list to get assistance to exfiltrate.
        because of course everyone stuck in the place will have internet access.

    1. Now the denizens of Foggy Bottom aren’t even taking care of their own. I mean Hilary’s Charlie Foxtrot with Libya was bad, but this is 2-4 orders of magnitude worse. And the SecDef and Joint Cheif of staff seem to be doing a Nero impression. To say this is bad is a massive understatement as our opponents are going to see this as a chance to go to town…

  16. I’m convinced the elites KNOW something HUGE is about to go down since they are behaving with a degree of apathy and carelessness that is unprecedented. Any guesses? Aliens, viral mutation, asteroid, mass deaths from vaccinations, total economic collapse, or invasion?

    1. I had that discussion earlier.

      It’s like this story from 2019 about Chinese businessmen in late October starting to routinely screw over foreign partners. When asked why for $1 they were throwing away $100 tomorrow they answered “there is no tomorrow”. As COVID hit I wondered if that was COVID, but the timelines we had then didn’t match. Now they do.

      I’m starting to wonder if the past 18 months is another version of that. Like the drug companies tossing any future goodwill to push the vaccines.

        1. Starts to explain the unending feeling of foreboding for the last number of months. Tried to explain to a coworker how bad this was and how bad it is gonna get. They are very left of center and do not understand.
          So happy you are getting the move done. I suspect just in time.

          1. I’ve had an odd feeling since February of last year. One of my best friends got married, and moved away. Good for him, though he was – as noted – now further away. My other best friend died unexpectedly about a week later.

            And then two weeks subsequent, everything got shut down.

            I’ve been waiting for something undefinable and bad ever since. And I’m pretty sure that if my guesses are right (which, admittedly, they rarely are), then we haven’t seen whatever it is yet. Maybe it was just a weird coincidence in timing, with all three events happening like that, and the resulting uneasiness affecting my thinking. But I can’t shake the suspicion that it wasn’t.

          2. And the worst part? We are only seven months into this lunatic’s term of office. It feels like a thousand years already. If it’s this bad now, where are we gonna be at the end of the first year? The third?

    2. Elite nihilism can be a self fulfilling prophecy. To some extent.

      If they are an echo chamber that hasn’t really won, they may find that implementation of their nightmare is quite temporary.

  17. I don’t know, but a couple of days ago husband said (a bit bitterly), “Well, I hope Biden enjoys his vacation,” and I got a stab of dread. I’m a lousy prophet, but I have a really bad feeling about this.

    1. You want him on the job?

      But nothing has shaken my impression that we may be seeing the End Times begin. Which will, to be sure, change which duties are due from us not fundamentally but by situation.

      “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.”

      1. One thing the Christ said about the End Times comes to mind.

        IE “If that time is not cut short, no man would survive”. (Or words very similar.) 😦

        1. Mentioned this today to my son. Also interesting that scripture says this end will be like in the days of Noah, with people going about their lives and taking no note of certain situations. End coming like a thief in the night, but not letting it go to total destruction, shows God’s knowledge of exactly where and when things are heading. He wants everyone to wake up!

  18. I think I’d best summarize my emotional position as distraught.

    Part of me is raving that decent people would have resigned rather than take Biden’s orders in Afghanistan. It is wrong for me to conclude that everyone in federal service willfully closed their eyes to the truth of the Democratic fraud, and deserves the consequence of supporting these narcissists raging against everyone who works for them. The senior Democrats have no loyalty downward. Furthermore, every federal bureaucrat who is ‘apolitical’ enough to take orders from a Republican is someone that these Democrats view as a toy to be destroyed.

    Obama has always been a race war lunatic, and a wannabe revolutionary: He is angry at Americans, as a narcissist, because Americans have not been wind up toys in his ‘game’, and for that he will destroy them. But the federal bureaucrats are also a disappointment, and some of these other ‘accidents’ are clearly directed at causing harm to groups that he knows only as abstractions.

    Failing to realize how deranged these people are is actually quite reasonable. This is a quite astounding level of crazy, hard to even sustain, and I would not have understood that it was possible without crossover’s explanation of how exactly narcissists are disturbed.

    That, the people who cooperated with us, and some personal matters, cause me to understand that people are being hurt by this that did nothing to deserve it.

    I’m unhappy about them being hurt.

    But, I also have a bit of drive towards enough distance from crazy for my own peace of mind and ability to function. So, not happy on my own behalf, and thinking that being in this difficult situation is a result of being weak when it comes to making extreme decisions to protect my own welfare. My decisions might be defensible. The thought that I have erred might be in error.

    1. I’m so far gone down the rage rabbit hole – not that I ever credited anything positive about Obama and his ilk – that I’m thinking that he held a little holiday in heart every time a serviceman or servicewoman was killed on his watch, especially if they were white, or white-adjacent. The Stuttering Cluster F*ck of a Miserable Failure, as they used to call him on Ace of Spades, likely felt a sense of smug satisfaction, whenever one of them was a casualty. He and his BAP of a spouse only valued the military as background for a photo op, for a golfing outing, or for providing transportation on AF-1.

    2. I hate to say it, but when I started hearing the reports on Afghanistan I wasn’t even surprised. Because that’s what narcissists do. “Oh, the people I’m trying to control aren’t listening to me – how can I hurt them some more?”

      And we Deplorables have been making it very clear, with our battles against the masking and CRT, that we are not only Not Listening, we have Had Enough.

      Obviously, we haven’t been slapped down hard enough yet.

      And what hurts those of us who believe in the Constitution and the dream of America, who would sacrifice our lives to defend them both, than to see everything we sacrificed for thrown away like yesterday’s garbage? To know that women and children who were trying to make lives where they would not have to be afraid, will now face terror, slaughter, rapine, and worse?

      …I;m going to have to apply music for emotional self-preservation, I am so very angry.

      1. I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid or not, but….

        There was a memorial hike for, among others, the guys that Obama got killed when he wanted to brag about how ‘he got’ Osama.

        Just a few days ago, has been a Thing around the Pentagon for a few months at the very least.

        …I wonder if that “helped” them choose the timing.

        1. Right now there is /no/ way that we can tell if we are being paranoid or not. Barring obviously false models like “this is the doing of a psycho princess I saw in an anime”.

            1. Maybe toward the the end of the series, as she sets herself up for her own downfall. On the other hand, the psycho anime princess has to survive to the end of the series. So there are limits on just how over the top her insanity can get.

            1. Our strongest cases for being able to discard any scenarios are that these geniuses are not that competent. Issue, when the scenario is one of clever destructiveness, clever destructiveness is one of their few actual proven areas of competence. Okay, much too insane to pull it off consistency, but they’ve put all their character points into evil.

      2. If that’s their logic, then they screwed up epically, because all they’re going to do is infuriate us.

        1. All Cluster B type personality disorders result in an inability to realize when the victim is going to snap.

          1. They can’t tell the difference between the quiet of a rabbit watching a fox — and the quiet of a tiger watching a goat.

          2. Or predict when the victim has quietly resolved to do whatever it takes to escape, at any and all costs.

            As Americans we have a mission. This is a sacred mission. I have a feeling it will be carried out to the end.

            These psychos have been doubling down as they fundamentally misread the American reactions.

            Most Americans felt secure enough to concede and to wait, because they lacked the experience with the severely mentally ill that helps one understand how much it sucks to be under the thumb of someone so ill, or to notice when the signs of ‘this person is much too crazy to have custody of others’ are subtle.

    3. I’m feeling more dead inside than angry at this point. Dead inside and rather hopeless.

      1. My feeling isn’t hopeful, and it is not hopeless.

        I’ve had states of mind before that have been so screwed up that I did not see any way out, personally. Maybe this time my brain is broken for ever, etc.

        My thinking now shows some signs of this. Experience is telling me that I need to pay some attention towards self care, work on what I can, and let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.

        The guess, informed by experience, is that I will eventually fix things again, and matters will start to seem correct or productive again.

        1. This seems wise. Do what you can, take control of those things you can actually control (which is largely yourself, heh), and just…be ready. I’m angry, and like you I’m neither hopeful nor hopeless. I am trying hard to trust that Himself at least has things in hand, even if it doesn’t look like that to us here on the ground.

          1. Hang on.
            I’ve been there, and wash in and out of “there” routinely.
            I’m gritting my teeth to keep from sobbing because I empathize.
            Hang on.

            1. Very rough draft of Oni the Lonely finished. Beating down the rage to put together the notes of what goes in the next book. Because I have a feeling a lot of people are going to need escapism for the next calamity to come down on us like a hammer.

              One step at a time.

                1. Yes! I’m with Foxfier.
                  And let us know asap when it’s available for sale. I got to spend some cash on that.

                2. Thanks!

                  Current plan: Wait 2 more weeks before looking at the rough so I can hopefully come at it with a clearer head, in the meantime put together as much pre-writing stuff for books 2 and 3 as possible. I want to make this good.

                  …And I kind of want to show off the bits on rockshelters as liminal places, I got the neatest book on how people in Europe used them that way from about 500 to about 1500 AD – figure I can stretch that a little for someone in the Appalachians with interesting ties….

                  1. *goes to look up if that means the same thing back east as it did in the high desert*

                    I had never thought about it that way, but it makes perfect sense to ME. I know that rock-shelters back home have stuff that’s in the “literally when mammoths roamed the earth” category.

              1. Well done!
                I have a video on boots to refine, and another video to create in first draft. Today. Today. today.
                One step at a time. One right action at a time.

      2. Not quite at the dead inside part yet but getting closer and I’m there with you on the hopeless part (and this damn house arrest isn’t helping either). Had one pretty good meltdown already, too, for extra fun. Here’s hoping that we get through this somehow…

          1. That’s one way to look at it but here’s another area where I’m far from someone like our hostess or ILOH and tend to be lacking in spite under most circumstances, so…

              1. Not saying I can’t work some up now and then but it always flares up at the times where it’s causes things to go from bad to worse rather than being something I can use to drag myself forward. I hate being so weak…

            1. It’s not spite, it’s doing the right thing.

              It IS the right thing, you SHOULD do it, even though it sucks– and the folks who don’t want you to live, are doing a bad thing. Don’t help them do the bad thing.

              (Works for me, anyways.)

    4. I can guarantee that down in the ranks of the civilian worker bees there are people hanging on and doing what they can to keep things gong because they’re trying to support the troops, not the leadership.
      Been there, done that.

      1. Ditto.

        Then, and now, I get angry about how the folks actually doing an important job get shat on, because it’s safe to do so.

        And when they go away, people wonder why things collapse.

  19. My wife and I work in retail jobs – not vital food-and-medicine retail, but “reward yourself” retail – in the Bay Area. It’s like a huge number of people disappeared over the weekend. In my wife’s work, there were a slew of canceled appointments, in mine, it wasn’t even people cutting back on tips, they simply stopped purchasing.

        1. I’m hearing Blackrock is paying premium prices on all homes.
          Sorry to hear the carpet in your new home wasn’t magic.

    1. Now that you mention it… I live on one of the busiest highways in the state. (Back way to Yellowstone.) And traffic is way below normal for a weekday. Could be the fires and smoke, could be… lot of instinctive hunker down and stay home.

      1. Completely OT: we just shifted to a fall weather pattern.

        In mid-August.

        OTOH, the fires can use a week of cool and rain. Wonder if it’ll snow in the high country.

        1. shifted to a fall weather pattern.

          We’ve cooled off here too. From 90 – 100+, down to low 70’s to low 80’s. The west needs an early fall and early snow. Hoping Wyoming and Montana weather is covering Canada too. Their western BC/AL are as bad as US western states. Worse their beetle kill is epic, especially in Jasper. Banff has a fire burning.

          1. Montana no longer has Stupid at the helm, so hopefully judicious logging will again become a Thing.

            Good thing most of my veggies are already done for the year or ready to be left in the ground til needed. Not gonna get a melon/winter squash crop, tho, unless we have a long slow fall. Tomatoes are just really starting (holy shit are they starting) but will be okay til it freezes. A couple days of rain in midsummer isn’t unusual, but a whole week of it is… fall. OTOH we were desperately dry, so complaints will be softly voiced.

            But this is where I gripe that the potatoes descended from random storeboughts have produced one hell of a lot better than did the purpose-bought seed potatoes, WTF. As in like 10x to 100x more volume of usable potato. (Not exaggerating. First hill I dug up from the actual for-really seed potatoes had half a dozen marble-sized potatoes, and one the size of my thumb. Second was worse. I had bigger potatoes started in the growies that were forgotten til July in a bucket.) Fortunately about half the hills are my old reliable lineage.

          2. In Wyoming here, and judging by the bugs that are coming into the house this early…I do suspect an early and bitter winter. Which my allergies will love, but not so much the depression, lol.

            We’ve also been having bizarre weather: last week it was 37 in the morning, and near 90 by that afternoon. That big a temp swing is…not terribly usual where I am. It seems to be bouncing between ‘weirdly chilly this early’ and ‘hotter than usual this late in the year’…

            Either way, it started smelling like fall in July, so…

            1. “Whiff of fall in the air”

              What I’m getting here. Plus it is cooling off at night, no matter how hot it gets during the day. That doesn’t happen here in the summer. I *gasp* closed up the house, and shutdown most the fans, last night! We haven’t had fall rains, yet. Not unusual. Our Septembers can be dry.

    2. From Iowa, we had the Iowa State Fair this weekend (and until the coming one).

      It was busy, even on Monday; lots of military members, and *lots* of folks making a point of being nice to them.

      Even saw a WWII veteran at the state Pork association vendor. LOTS of folks with Vietnam vet hats. LOTS of polite but pissed off “No, you move” type shirts.

      Maybe one in 100 folks wearing masks.

    3. That’s odd…

      I haven’t noticed anything out of the unusual here in LA County. But then again, I don’t get out that much as it is. But I was at my Friendly Local Game Store just yesterday after work, and the crowd seemed to be about normal.

      Mind you, that’s significantly less than it was two years ago, since the gaming area isn’t packed with players. That’s due to the havoc caused by the shutdown, and the need to rebuild the player base. But the number of customers browsing was normal, and I even had a chat with someone that I hadn’t seen in a long while.

      1. Busy weekends, busy weekdays the last few weeks. Mostly back to school shopping… but yup, an awful lot of people buying water bottles lately. Of course, if anything should happen, the base will get very busy, so probably a lot of families are trying to stock up and get stuff done before then.

  20. Epoch Times is claiming outright civil war between what passes in the CCP for “moderates,” and Xi’s faction.

    1. Xi has been going hard after a number of very successful Chinese companies, some of whom had just had IPOs on foreign stock exchanges (a source of foreign currency). A common thread that seems to unify these companies is that they’re all involved in ways that kids spend their time. That might not be the company’s primary business. But it is an important element of their business. The thinking is that Xi is looking for more ways to influence the thinking of young children.

      On top of that, the fact that these are all successful businesses means that there are now a lot of angry members of the CCP who had “investments” in those companies.

      1. He’s not going after the firms run by the PLA nor is he going after state enterprises. China’s economy is very rickety. Their bank’s are mostly insolvent and the debt load is epic, particularly on the companies run by the PLA and other state enterprises. This debt cannot be paid since the companies they’ve lent to aren’t making any money. Bring in the floods along with poor harvests all over and things get interesting really fast. As bad as we have it here, we’re no way as bad as they are.

        In one way, this is another playing out of an old rhythm in Chinese history. The coasts become too rich and powerful so the Interior, where the soldiers come from, steals it all and the bureaucrats clamp it down.

        In any case, Xi is not acting like someone in uncontested control, quite the opposite in fact. And weird things are happening in China. Don’t be surprised to wake up to a massive banking/liquidity crisis in China. Things are really bad.

        Noli timere.

        1. Which would mean that going after the companies with the foreign exchange IPOs is *really* stupid. I’m not saying that what you predict won’t happen. But China needs that foreign currency to prop up the RMB. And penalizing Chinese companies right after they get foreign investors to dump money into them is a good way to make foreigners reticent about investing more money into China.

          1. Kung Fu Panda doesn’t really care as long as his supporters eat. You’re entirely right about their dependence on foreign currency, but as I said, weird things are going on there. Things are really bad and, well, never let a crisis go to waste.

    2. News today that Beijing is slamming the doors shut on passports for foreign travel, including for students trying to study abroad.

      Possibly as a result, there are currently long lines of students at the airport in Shanghai, waiting to fly out of the country, despite the fact that ticket prices have shot up. I suspect that they’re trying to get out while they still can.


  21. Praying for my country. Praying for my fellow countrymen – and my fellow countrywomen in particular – trapped behind enemy lines. Praying for my son – hasn’t gone active force yet, thank goodness. Praying for Dan, Sarah, and the Hoyt boys.

    Keeping a close eye on Milley and Mayorkas. Those are the two that are in positions where they could stage an insurrection – one that leaves the White House and the Capitol Building as smoking abattoirs, covered with the bodies of the useless puppets. If they start ramping the propaganda up to eleven, it will be the time.

    Note that I am an optimist. I didn’t have the collapse pegged until at least tomorrow, more likely the weekend.

    Be safe, all.

    1. Milley stage an insurrection? I think not, he seems to be a simpering mama’s boy (no offense to those that love their mothers) who’s so much part of the machine that rebelling isn’t in him. The general/flag rank positions were winnowed during 8 years of Obumbles to make sure the upper ranks were all yes man/women and saluted the SJW position NOT the constitution. As far as I can tell most of the upper ranks have no gumption/fire in their souls even those that have some of that fire (e.g. Mattis) seem to have been co-opted by the modern world. Any insurrection will have to come from below flag rank (and likely well below) as officer selection really seems to have selected out anyone with a spine or fire in their belly.

      1. The problem, my perceptive friend, is that their options are fast narrowing. As little as a year ago, creatures like Milley could expect the possibility of being forced to resign – with their pension intact, and a cushy job waiting for them at CNN – and always the chance of being brought back in an even higher position in four years time.

        When the choices are between taking complete control, and a long stint in Leavenworth (or worse), their calculus changes drastically.

        1. Long Stint in Leavenworth? How so? At worst the Kunquat in Chief will hand them a Good Conduct discharge. More likely he adds some minor thing to their fruit salad and they retire in their own time with full benefits. Yeah they may not get the nice Plum job at LockMartTheon, but I’m certain they’ll get a 6 figure book advance and a ghostwiter to “help”. Nice work if you can get it.

          1. Depends on how crazy some crazy people are.

            I’m troubled by some relatively simple RL business, not sure what happens. Little bit ‘headache, brain no worky’. So, I have nothing new to add.

            Other day, I did have thoughts along the lines of “Starship Troopers was not an instruction manual”, and “You don’t like Starship Troopers, this is how you get Starship Troopers”. Leaving thousands of people to die is a bad idea, because not all of them will die. The ones who do not die, and the relatives of the ones that die, will be a bit unhappy.

            1. Shades of ‘The Survivors’ by Tom Godwin.

              The Gern Empire dumped thousands of humans on a hell-planet to die. Unfortunately for the Gerns, only 99% of them died. Did not end well for the Gerns.

              1. Yup Lots of Sci-Fi comes to mind. Starship Troopers, Caliphate, A desert Called Peace, The Last Centurion. Starship Troopers is the GOOD alternative… This utter incompetence has destabilized (not that things were stable) the world. What happens next is anybodys guess but I can’t see any of it being particularly pleasant.

          2. They are pushing the pendulum, Tregonsee – and they are beginning to realize that the swing back will likely see the installation of President Buckman. No pats on the head from THAT Administration.

            (If you are not familiar, read Tom Kratman’s Caliphate. Don’t try telling me “impossible,” either.)

            1. The SJW’s have so tarred every Republican president with “Worse Than Hitler” while in office that they really don’t understand what an actual Demagogue/Dictator would look like. They think they’d be limited by rule of law like all the Republicans in my lifetime have been. They think they’d be collegial or even deferential like the RINOs in the Senate. With no historical (or very limited and distorted) knowledge they can’t conceive of what would happen if you disobeyed when someone like Buckman (or say Joseph Stalin, or Vlad the Impaler ) was in charge. Should something like that come to pass it will be VERY, VERY ugly, and like the French Revolution folks would be settling feuds all over the place by handing folks in. Lets not take that timeline…

              1. I mean, look how badly they freaked over how “mean” Trump was, and frankly, even the pithiest of his “mean tweets” didn’t, so far as I can tell, rise to the level of “truly nasty” just “ouch, that hit awful close to home, and he wasn’t even being vulgar” (See also: their massive freakout over the leaked tapes of him being actually-vulgar about women who chase rich men. Yes, and…? It’s untrue, how, exactly…?)

                (Although his recent comment of “Now I know why Joe thinks Hunter is the smartest guy he’s ever met!” in relation to the Kabul goat-f**k was a beautiful burn.)

  22. I sure can understand that feeling of “am I selfish to want…” We just got through three conventions on the road in three weeks, and while not as successful as we’d been hoping, they were reasonably so. And then I wonder whether I’m selfish to hope that the balloon goes up when we’re at home, not on the road and among strangers who have no reason to care about us or give us a helping hand. Or if I’m selfish to be upset that the promoter of our two best moneymakers has sold them to a new company that tends toward overpriced booths and guest lists bloated with expensive celebrities who suction up all the money in the vendor hall, when we’re witnessing this catastrophe in Afghanistan.

    Just because our hopes and pains are small compared to someone else’s, it doesn’t make them unreal or it wrong for us to care about them.

    1. No, it doesn’t. And none of us know what tiny event – what small, helpful word or act – may echo down the years.

  23. So I’m hearing that 70% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan. Man, that’s a real comedown from the guy who won the election with more votes than any other candidate in the history of the country, eh?

        1. Well, they’re still pretending Herr Fuhrer Newsome has 46% approval, three weeks before the recall. Can’t find any overall ratings for the FICUS and Vice-FICUS since the Kabul Goat-Fuck blew up in their faces.

          Everybody knew this would happen, they’ve been saying it for months, and they still went and did it. Why? What agenda is being advanced by showing off such malicious incompetence?

            1. They were able to blame Nixon and Ford. This time, it’s all on the Democrats. They’ve got a ‘mandate’, remember?

              1. They’re blaming Trump, since he initially negotiated a withdrawal. The administration then proceeded to violate pretty much every other element of the withdrawal that Trump had laid out. But Trump negotiated a withdrawal, so it’s his fault!

                1. Exactly; Nevermind that the agreement by Trump had various terms that provided for our troops staying if certain conditions were not met, one of them being the Taliban doing exactly what it just did over the last couple of months: I note that Trump had also reached deals with regards to troops in Iraq and Syria, yet we still have some boots on the ground. I also can’t imagine Trump giving up the airport BEFORE getting our people and equipment out, the way HarrisBiden did.

          1. I actually believe the 70-30 number. There are A LOT of useful idiots, especially along the coasts in the deep blue enclaves. University bureaucracy and government apparatchiks alone probably gives you double digit percentages.

            1. It’s the same basic idea behind Romney’s 46% comment. There’s a certain percentage of voters who will believe the news media explainers about Biden’s behavior after he strips his clothes off on live TV, runs around naked for thirty seconds, and then stands still while drooling.

            2. I agree. They are the ones that swallow the CNN line no matter what. Unfortunately, I’m related to a bunch. There is no discussing anything with them. They will back the Democrat as they are marched to the gulags.

            3. Right, 20-30% is the typically accepted number of hardcore team sports-style partisans who back their side no matter how stupid they get so I don’t find those numbers too unbelievable. Accounting for statistical chicanery and considering how many things are turning out to be false these days, though, the number being closer to 15-20% wouldn’t surprise me either. Regardless, it’s not a good look for them. Whether this has lasting consequences for them I’m much less certain about.

  24. I suspect that Taiwan is next on the Allies who are horribly betrayed list.

    If THAT happens then the supply chain disruptions of the last months will seem like “the golden times of yore” in a very short time.

    It wasn’t just the Afghans who were betrayed by this but every single other ally who was there helping. There are more than just Americans left in the lurch no other western country was informed either.

    The backlash will be intense.

    I’m glad you are safe, Sarah! Prayers up for you and yours.

    1. Speaking of supply chains… Afghanistan has mineral wealth, specifically those rare earth elements needed for this Green Decay Deal thing. And that’s what China is interested in.

      “China potentially getting control of untapped deposits of lithium and rare earths in Afghanistan would prove a major advantage for Beijing in its evolving competition with the US and Europe for resources. In 2019, the US imported 80 per cent of its rare earth minerals from China, while the EU states got 98 per cent of these materials from China.”

        1. Ian I don’t know. Even the Soviets didn’t have the sheer nastiness to just wipe out the various Afghani tribes (for there doesn’t seem to be an Afghan nation) which is about the only way to come out of the Graveyard of Empires in one piece). China just might be willing to do that (C.F. Uighyrs) and they have plenty of excess “nice” Han boys that would happily take Afghan brides and turn Afghanistan into part of the Middle Kingdom. Not sure if India or Pakistan would tolerate it.

          1. The problem is that the families of those excess Han boys don’t see them that way

            China has gone genocidal in the past. One of the late dynasties (the last one, iirc) got sufficiently concerned about the threat posed by a particular Mongol leader that it waged a long campaign to completely wipe out his tribe, down to the last man, woman, and child. It could try to do that again. The question is whether the current crop of soldiers will fight well enough to do so.

            1. I’d forgotten that lovely feature of the Soviets. The only solution (and mind you I’m not backing this) is one the Romans or Mongols ( or Egyptians in Moses day) might have chosen. Genocide ALL the males above a certain age (9, 5?, 3?). Replace them with your people. Soviets couldn’t do it, they didn’t have enough people, WWII and all of Stalins various games (and later screw ups) still haunted them and their demographics in the 80’s. China’s got the people and genocide seems to not bother them. However, definitely LOTS of nearby neighbors would be worried, and China’s Military seems not to understand logistics. And of course as soon as they see it coming the various islamic tribal people head for the hills where they’ve been for the last 20 years. Yeah not going to work out well.

                1. Yeah leaving Afghani women behind when you’ve killed their sons and husbands, not a good idea. Mr. Kipling had things to say about them and your best choice when they approached, and about females in general and how dangerous they can be. Perhaps best to just let it rot. I do not think the Chinese have the wisdom for that. Hubris seems to be their signature move.

              1. All males over the height of a cart axle. And maybe them, too.

                My suggestion back when the Twin Towers were hit was to completely take over the Afghani school system and raise up a generation on American education in an attempt to overwrite their local culture. Ironically, getting a new generation up with that would have taken about the same amount of time that we spent in Afghanistan. And also note that our education system wasn’t quite as screwed up twenty years ago as it is now.

                  1. The bar of comparison for better-than-Afghanistan is pretty low, though, and the stuff they’d be countering is nasty enough to shock the shiny off of most of the idiot sorts.

                    Why, yes, that IS damning with faint praise.

                  2. THIS, Schools were screwed up back well into the ’70s. Teachers coming out of college in the ’60s started to make a mess of things and linke dung beetles started the ball of crap just rolling down the hill gathering speed and additional crap until we got where we are now.

                    We kind of did what Junior suggested with Japan and Germany after WWII. That took the better part of 50 years and the pressure of a giant enemy (USSR) breathing down their necks the whole time. And even there its not clear to me If we got what we wanted though admittedly we haven’t gone to physical war with either (though the 80’s were essentially a trade war with Japan to a strong degree). Both the Japanese and the Germans have some major oddities/damage that I can not decide if our changes caused OR if its just exposing their existing cultural tendencies. 20 years of random direction basically just left things in Status quo in Afghanistan.

  25. We are going to watch over 100,000 Afghan people be butchered by the Taliban over the next few months.

    I suggest the next nickname for the current President be Genocide Joe, the REAL Hitler that Trump never was. Perhaps I’m being too hard on Biden though. It’s becoming more and more evident that he’s not much more than a mindless, programmable, sock puppet that his controllers have to keep locked up between appearances. Those are the people who are the real criminals in the government.

    And you’re right, America was the single stabilizing force in Afghanistan that all of the nations with common interests there relied on. America betrayed all of them as well as the Afghans.

    1. His programming is pretty glitchy. But then I suppose that’s the best we could expect from a left-wing sock.

      I’ve come to believe that if we’d glassed over Kabul in 2001, we’d have been responsible for far fewer dead Afghanis than we will be now. Of course if we’d just marched through to Baghdad back in 1990 odds are good we’d still have those two skyscrapers in New York too, and saved who knows how many lives, ours *and* theirs.

    2. Too hard in the sense that it’s blaming him for crimes he isn’t mentally aware enough to commit. He’s been a scumbag long before he lost his mind so contempt for him is warranted.

    3. Leaving people to be butchered by barbarians is perfectly in character for Biden – he did his level best to undermine every possible attempt to get as many Vietnamese out as he could, then he shut down any form of aid to the refugees, forcing Gerald Ford to go through Christian charities to get the job done.

    4. The thing about Joe, though, is that even if he WEREN’T in the throes of dementia…he likely would have done the exact same thing. Because it is the kind of thing he has been doing for his ENTIRE CAREER in politics. When even *Obama* says that “there’s nothing Biden can’t f**k up”, you know you’ve got an incompetent on your hands. I know it seems kinder to say “well, he’s not all there, he’s just a puppet” but that only really means that he’s not necessarily doing this on purpose, whereas four years ago he *would* have been doing it on purpose. :/

      Harris is what he was: incompetent, dumber than a bag of hair, and knowingly malicious.

        1. And this view was just confirmed with what he apparently said back in 1975 as Saigon fell: “I’m getting sick an tired of hearing about morality, our moral obligation…the U.S. has no obligation to evacuate 1—or 100,001—South Vietnamese.” —Sen. Joe Biden, 1975

          Same morally deficient b*stard he’s always been.

  26. Just this: The Leftist Socialist Communists running our present government have no idea at all how to govern a country and protect it’s citizens (I’m talking about America!) (And George Bush, you completely over reacted to 9/11 tragedy!) They have used their brain damaged ideological, stupid political greed, and now opened “our” doors to terrorism, again. (Obama, you idiot..Bergdahl for terrorists turned Taliban Leaders?) Hasn’t anyone with a functioning brain learned that you CANNOT “create” democracy in a country with a 1000 year history of Islam? PLEASE! *huge eyeroll How stupid can some people be……….100% stupid!!!!

    1. And George Bush, you completely over reacted to 9/11 tragedy!

      No, massive under-reaction. Possibly the only reaction he could have pulled, but not an over-reaction.

      If he’d reacted with less restraint, there would be significantly less risk of terror right now.

      1. Yup. If Dubya’s response had been to turn various parts of Afghanistan radioactive, the world would have understood. There would have been hand-wringing. But the vast majority of people around the world would likely have said, “Afghanistan got what was coming to it. They shouldn’t have been so stupid.”

        And when Dubya turned to Iraq and announced that Saddam Hussein had seventy-two hours to leave the country, Hussein would have immediately started making travel arrangements.

      2. The ‘Patriot Act’ was a massive over-reaction. So was the TSA. DHS conglomerated a bunch of little corrupt bureaucracies into one huge corrupt bureaucracy. We’re SOOOO much better off now, aren’t we? 😦

          1. The federalization of airport security into the TSA was not Bush’s idea; he wanted to leave it as the private system it was. The Disloyal Opposition, as was thoroughly documented at the time, started chanting “to professionalize you MUST Federalize” and demanded an SEIU covered agency as a bribe not to obstruct the response. And that was a turning point for those of us who suspected that there was no fighting effectively abroad without fighting and winning against the Fifth Column at home.

        1. Some aspects were poorly done, some are abused, a crap-ton is flat out lied about*, and some were so long over-due that it’s not even funny.

          I really don’t feel like going back over it again, since I seem to remember fact checking it half to death before and I really don’t have the spoons to do it again, just so I can do it in six month’s time.

          If you think people who are actually doing their jobs being able to talk to each other is bad, fine, whatever.

          * think like the places that claim they are following HIPPA for every stupid thing they want to do, even when the stupid thing they want actually violates HIPPA.

        2. The Patriot Act was an over-reaction by Congress.

          Yes George W could have vetoed it so he’s partly to blame for it but let’s put the Major Blame onto Congress.

          1. Again, he could not without losing the ability to fight back. Again, thoroughly verified.

  27. Contempt and more is warranted. Biden has been a stupid evil ego f**k forever. He was insurance against assassination for Obama- bin Laden said Biden was too stupid to lead. Now massive fraud has Biden as President. He’s still too stupid to lead and he’s nastier than ever from dementia. Afghan FUBAR just shows the real Joe. God help us.
    But good luck with the carpet and move. My rant is not as important.

  28. Carry a laser down the road that I must travel
    Carry a laser through the darkness of the night…

      1. If I recall correctly, it was YOU who first put that in my head. And ever since then I can’t hear the song without hearing the wrong lyrics.

        So, thanks for that. 🙄

        1. i will admit, i searched for ‘carry a laser’ to find our post, before replying, to see if it has been already done. i keep trying to persuade my sometime bandmate to do an entire cover of it and cut a music video using footage from Fallout 3 4 and 76…

            1. and at the very end, the Lone Wanderer waves Dogmeat over and walks into the sunset 😛

              1. You could go with Sole Survivor, too. (4 being my favorite version of Dogmeat–not to mention, not having to have a mod to prevent him getting killed constantly :p )

                  1. Yes. Even, what, six years after release Fallout 4 is still a very beautiful game 🙂

                    (Currently enjoying it now–heavily modded, it is true–as I attempt YET AGAIN to get through the main quest before becoming completely distracted by settlement building.)

                    1. Oh yes. My laptop is fairly new, and does beautifully. When computer components are affordable again and/or I save up enough to just buy a new one, the desktop will be rebuilt/bought with a ton of memory as well 😀 I’ve noticed a couple of instances of lag…though that might be because all my games live on an external hard drive.

                      And yes, most of my mods are settlement related. Though as I was telling a friend last night, if you pick only 2 mods to have for settlements, the one that makes any object into a static decor object and the one that lets you place stuff anywhere are vital.

                    2. I’ve avoided the ones that remove settlement object limits entirely. Some increase is okay, but some of those…yeah, no I don’t need my computer to catch on fire, thanks 😀

        1. Nobody in their right mind would ever give me power because, well, I fully grok the line from the movie “The Fall of the Roman Empire”. On being offered to be made Caesar, Livius, the protagonist says “You would find me unsuitable because my first official act would be to have you all crucified.”

          That I have no power prevents me from letting my demons out to play.

          1. They’re talking about an artificial sun. A temporary one, about a thousand meters up. Used judiciously, such suns can resolve all manner of diplomatic issues.

            1. I wish I could upload a picture here. There’s a meme I’ve seen with a B29, presumably Enola Gay, with the caption “I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day.” I couldn’t find it so I made one, but it only exists right now on my hard drive.

              1. My imagination just wrote a short film, with soundtrack. Thank you very much! 🙂

            2. Vaarsuvius’s Law: As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of resolving approaches zero. 😉

  29. Things must be serious because social media platforms are finally allowing criticism of a Democrat.

    1. Heh. That, and I’m hoping the Zuckerbot was burned but good when THE TALIBAN of all people made snarky remarks about him (well, all Big Tech) claiming to be all for freedom of speech, but censoring things all over the place…

      Dude. When some of the worst tyrants on the planet are telling you that you’re a crappy little dictator…

      1. It won’t change a thing, especially with Twitter, where Jack Dorsey clearly believes the Taliban and other Jihadists are the good guys. Twitter already announced they will allow the Taliban, an enemy that has actually engaged in war against the USA, to continue to use Twitter “as long as their tweets are not ‘too violent””. This from the same outfit that bans non-leftists for “violent speech” for citing government crime statistics.

        Simply put, Jack Dorsey and the folks who run Twitter are traitors who hate the USA and are actively working to “fundamentally transform it” into the new Mao’s China./Stalin’s Soviet Union.

        1. Dorsey is more likely a really, really useful idiot. Anyone blind enough to write a long piece about the spiritual benefits he received by going to Myanmar and attending a meditation retreat (while the junta was expelling the Rohinga) is blinder than Helen Keller.

          1. Disagree. He actively promotes op-eds that call for single party CCP style rule in the USA while enforcing ever more censorship of speech which goes against the Democratic Party line.


            Twitter is now going full Stasi in creating an “army” of snitches to report “misinformation””, i.e. whatever speech that does not toe the party line. It has various categories to select from, all of which are designed to spur enforcement of the Democratic Party line. He is very intentionally and deliberately using Twitter’s monopoly power for the purpose of achieving that single party CCP style state that he so openly desires.

        2. At what point does this rise to the Constitutional level of “Adhering to their [The United States’] enemies, giving them aid and comfort”? Asking for a friend.

          1. If I was the judge, or on the jury? Damn straight. There’s a difference between free speech debating the pros and cons of supporting a foreign government or NGO; and outright ignoring the plethora of dangers of a sworn enemy that also has one or two good points. The Taliban are a group of Islamic fundamentalist tribes that hate our guts and our entire traditional American society. Which is why they supported terrorist training camps. The only reason why they stopped, sort of, was because we made it too expensive in lives and property damage when we first went into Afghanistan. What’s changed in Afghanistan? The Taliban now own most of the country, have all the up to date gear we left there, and they still are a group of Islamic fundamentalist tribes that hate our guts and our entire traditional American society. Begging them for anything is a sign of weakness. Biden retreated from them, and he’s begging them on international TV. For the Taliban, it doesn’t get any better than that. That is clearly providing aid and comfort to our enemies and fits the bill of treason perfectly. In a just world, President Biden would be executed by a firing squad.

  30. Sarah, I’m glad you’re being ‘selfish’. Take the best care and run like the wind to your new fortress. The old will sell. Hugely. Believe it.
    I’ll reread old posts and sci fi books till you can get your pen and paper back out.
    Don’t worry about the time.
    This is bigger than we think.

  31. And on the subject of “deplorables are literally Hitler” is the news that the Army is recruiting for the new ShutzStaffel.
    Search; US Army National Guard Internment / Resettlement Specialist.
    In the fine print the recruitment page says that the people interned and / or resettled may include American Citizens.

    1. And that should be a surprise to anyone why? They have been quite adamant about what their ideology is, and we all know the logical implications of that ideology.

    2. Yeah, that is interesting, and the national guard definitely appears to be recruiting. Before the Afghanistan thing.

      Issue is, Antifa and BLM are heavily American citizens, and various officials have conspired to assist them, so detaining Americans might possibly be legitimately understood as something that is necessary.

      Problem is, impossible to trust the federal government.

      1. Yeah. It really is. I checked the job listing, because it sounded awfully fishy. It’s very straightforward, no mention of “resettling American citizens” anywhere.

        1. The listings that should scare everyone for military postings are the “diversity officer” posting; pretty much an advertisement for Soviet style political officers.

          1. Well, we can fantasize about what Admiral Vorkosigan did to the political officer… 😀

  32. The Taliban’s statement on the rights of women had a very express qualifier: “within the limits of Islam”. Of course, this means the Taliban’s medieval version of Jihadist Islam with its draconianly strict Sharia law:. Anyone who thinks the Taliban will not going back to doing what they were doing before 9/11, but on a larger scale, have not been paying attention.

    John Hindraker of Powerline has this take:

  33. This all HAS to be real. You just can’t make this shit up.

    If John Ringo, Tom Kratman or Larry Corriea had written this exact sequence of events in a book, they would have been attacked for making up an offensive caricature of Eeevul Left-Wing Idiots. Hell, if they had written up the last 8 months exactly as it happened they’d have been denounced as Literally Hitler. Those Good And Caring Social Justice Activists would never do such stupid and horrible things!
    There is nothing so simple that the government can’t fuck it up.

    1. As the old quip goes, fiction is harder than reality because fiction has to be believable.

    2. Unless my memory is fuzzy I remember ILOH himself saying that if he or someone else wrote 2020 as a book it’d be panned for being too outlandish. He hasn’t made any similar comments about the past eight months but I’m sure the sentiment is there. Honestly I’d be fine not living through a world adjacent to whatever gave Mr. Ringo The Last Centurion but that’s not how it worked out, huh?

        1. The only good thing about it is “This America will not fall!” was part of the book. I really hope he got that part right most of all.

        2. A few months ago he tweeted something like “This is NOT my fault!” or similar. 😀

  34. oh and folks? get your Rumi spices while they still have it. if you cook with cumin, their stuff is amazing…

  35. > Down the Road that I Must Travel

    And nobody will call the tune?

    “Kyrie Eleison / down the road that I must travel
    Kyrie Eleison / through the darkness of the night
    Kyrie Eleison / where I’m going, will you follow?
    Kyrie Eleison / on a highway in the night.”

      1. May I?
        Write me “All I want for Christmas is dead tyrants” (This got me banned from FB for seven days, btw.)
        “They did it to the Ceauseskus
        So might they to ours
        The commies need to die….” Etc.

Comments are closed.