We’re Living In the Stupidest Plot

I don’t want to cast aspersions. After all, this is the only universe I’ve ever lived in. But this is the stupidest plot ever. And it’s becoming absolutely clear.

Look, it’s not that The Author hasn’t used idiot devices before. In fact lots of the major bestsellers do. Take Gavrilo Princip. He only managed to commit his fell deed and plunge Europe into the long war of the 20th century because the archduke’s driver got lost.

That’s not a plausible coincidence, though of course we’re advised that the coincidences can happen if they make things worse. And boy, howdy, did they make things worse.

This one is a plot in the fullest sense of the word.

I mean, the country has been taken over by conspirators who plotted with the aid, material and otherwise of China, to take over and “defeat” the US without physical war, which they’d lose.

And dear Lord, it’s stupid. In fact, it’s mentally deffective.

Though it works quite well from the point of view of narcissists trying to keep themselves safe and living high off the hog, and horse-laughing ‘apres moi le deluge.’

It works very badly for everyone else, though, including the whole human race.

This whole Afghanistan mess reeks of Chinese touches. Such as abandoning trained dogs, and making our troops clean the latrines in the airport. Not to mention turning away American citizens and leaving them stranded on foreign and hostile soil.

Our government is in effect treating us as though we were the defeated, who have to be humiliated and felt to know their humiliation so they don’t rise again.

Zhou Bai-den, vice roi to Winnie the Xi is in fact treating the US as a conquered power, because they believe we are. Having taken the institutions they now believe they own us body and soul. I don’t believe that is true, partly because I don’t believe Himself writes dystopian fiction, partly because I know the people of America have started ignoring orders en masse. Like the orders to re-mask. I believe that’s a leading indicator of our resistance to this entire insanity. (You don’t see that anywhere else. Or not yet.)

Of course Xi either hasn’t been told of that, or doesn’t believe it. And why should he? His contacts are with compliant leftists, and after all, our news makes us all sound like zombie slaves.

But our leftists should be getting the cold grue. If they’re not they’re dumber than even I think they are.

So, where does the stupid plot come in?

Well, see, it’s a Chinese plot. They’re a smart, capable people afflicted throughout history with the most bizarrely stupid forms of government. and they have a long history. History like that is like an iceberg, doing its own thing moved by really deep currents we don’t see.

China planned all this to get access to the rare Earths in Afghanistan. And to make America cower and fear them. The first worked, of course. And honestly — eyes Afghanistan, which is the land in which the evil fairytales and Greek legends still happen every day — those two cultures deserve each other. I want them both to lose, and then maybe te people oppressed by the fricking stupid cultures can finally be free and prosperous.

The second… They don’t realize mostly they’re making us really, really mad. We’re not Chinese. We won’t take our symbolic humiliation as the truth forever. But they don’t get that. They don’t get that this country is stuffed with the rebellious dregs that other places couldn’t hold. Oh, not all. In breeding there’s regression to mean, but I suspect most of us.

The other thing they don’t realize, and what makes THEIR plot particularly stupid is that they think of themselves as the only real people. It’s not even racism, so much as this neolithic tribal thing where “We are human, those over aren’t.”

This means they think of themselves as the hub and spoke of the universe. And they don’t understand that in doing all this shit, they’re going to wreck the American economy, or at least put us through turmoil for a while. And if America isn’t buying, all their rare Earths mastery is useless, because they never bothered having a consumer economy.

In fact, if America falls, China will fall also as will most of the world because we’re the largest consumer. We’re also, technically, the largest inovator. We drive the future. Without us, the future falls.

And that’s the stupid plot. When your bad guy’s entire plot consists of chopping down his own tower.

On the other hand, the Author knows what He’s doing. The plot works and is necessary for those who created it. Xi, because of his prejudices, and because of his despair to stay on top, had to bring us down. He could not allow things to go on. So, for him, this is a necessary plot. He has to do it, though it’s stupid.

And our idiots, including I’d bet you military brass and secret agencies, have been getting paid by China (in fiat currency, which the chinese claim is worth x and everyone believes. Dear LORD.)

And they can’t have that coming out, so they are willing to commit treason to keep themselves safe and prosperous at the expense of their country.

This too is an idiot plot. Because they can’t believe they’ll get away with it. Well, maybe for the rest of Biden’s life, but the others? Yeah, no. Do they think — supposing their plot worked and they destroyed us — they’ll have an honored place in China? If so, we need their craniums scanned for evidence of a BRAIN. I don’t know much Chinese history (Well, there’s o much of it) but I know enough to tell you they should hope the furious Americans get to them FIRST before that “honorable retirement.”

But they feel compelled to do it, and imagine that they’ll always be protected.

In a world of fiat currencies and make-believe knowledge (since the sixties, all humanities learning has been bullshit (except languages. Those are just badly taught, so that you’re better off teaching yourself.) when this crashes, and I estimate less than a year till we do something like a crash with what amount of violence I can’t tell you, but my sense of the future is fire and blood, we’re all going to be adrift. My family can’t be the only one going “how will we survive this?”

The one thing I can tell you is that we will. We’ll figure it out. We have to. Because if the US doesn’t survive humanity is lost. We have to survive and then light that torch of freedom and walk ahead showing them the way.

Of course, all I have is this blunt pencil and a bunch of stories. But I’ll get them to you in any way I can, and maybe that will be enough to live.

Be not afraid. We can figure it out. We’re the odds, who save the flock when things go inky. Or if you prefer: when the going gets weird, the weird go pro.

Start thinking ahead to the measure of the possible. when things are unstable, that’s sometimes days ahead. Lay in what you can. Plan what you can. Acquire all the abilities you can.

And remember you’re Americans. In the world, Americans are weirdors, anyway.

We were made for this sh*t.

Sursum corda. Plan, provision, look out for yours.

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

Government for the people by the people will not perish from this Earth. The plot will get difficult, but it will come about.

And a great denouement waits us.

Go work.

454 thoughts on “We’re Living In the Stupidest Plot

  1. Yeah.

    I do not have much specific words of agreement, but the over gist is more or less what I’ve been feeling.

  2. The FICUS, his state department, the DOD and the establishment news media who is bound to give them all cover have failed so thoroughly, so epically, it’s almost impossible for me to get my head around it.
    My daughter and I both, as military veterans are just sickened and disgusted at the cargo of fail that the senile potted plant in the Oval Office has created.

      1. On the theory that crashing incompetency tips over into malice? Looking at all the damage that this does to international relations … it certainly would be in China’s best interests. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that military commanders, even in the field, went along with this. Abandoning American citizens, and even the working dogs, knowing how Muslims hate dogs…

        1. a) Obama later and Clinton earlier had been working the bureaucracies to cultivate sympathetic or crooked bureaucrats. Look at how effective those efforts were in the FBI. I’m not quite confident that I’ve lost ambitions of ever being employed by the Federal government, so I will not speak a conclusion I reached a few years ago.
          b) Look at the law schools. That letter of January 12th, and how many of those signers are still in place, etc. Add in the other weirdness with judges, and either people with those educational backgrounds are all borderline retarded, or someone has sustained some sort of effort to suborn or manipulate people.
          c) Obama released a bunch of records of Federal employees to Chinese intelligence. And he was in authority over counterintelligence for a number of years.
          d) Some of the details that came out, such as Feinstein’s driver, have been suggestive of Chinese influence via the California faction of Democrats. Pelosi has been in place for thirty years, working towards whatever it is that she pulled this January. It is not impossible that Chinese influence has been carefully used in promotions for as long. Look at Fat Leonard. It was pretty obvious a few years ago, when some of the details were released in public during a prosecution, that there could have been activity prior to the initial meeting.

          Congress can make appointments to the service academies, so congressmen can deliberately nominate people of poor moral character. Then, Congress can push for relaxed standards, and crooked representative can afford to let some of their appointees get weeded out, as long as they can preserve some for foreign intelligence use. The senior officers behind the Fat Leonard matter may have been earlier cohorts of this type, recruited by Chinese intelligence before the publicly revealed portions of the conspiracy.

          So, even before the current matter, it was very likely that a serious purge of the officer corps was necessary. Problem is, even the honest officers and retired officers are deeply invested in the expected functioning of the officer related bureaucracies, and would resist such things as firing all officers nominated by certain congressmen, or everyone promoted under a certain president, etc.

          So now we have Afghanistan, and the depths of problems exposed.

          e) (Good job protecting the value that would be lost in purges, and good job protecting the usual course of career progression, establishment officers. Very good job, I am impressed. *claps* You have truly shown the wisdom of entrenched conventional thinking. (/sarcasm. Okay, yeah, this is at a great distance. I am much too crazy to be trusted with the sorts of things that officers or NCOs can be trusted with. I never had any idea of what the practical answers would be, if there were any. And frankly, in my own personal life, and career, I have exhibited the same sort of character failings in shutting up about deeply broken things, because I don’t want to rock the boat, and am far too afraid of losing my position.

          So, I very definitely live in a glass house, and cannot afford to throw stones.

          I definitely am not going around talking to people in an attempt to fix the compromised-to-the-point-of-self-destruction institutions that I have let my name be associated with. Even if I am regularly thinking about how, despite that I am chasing a dream hugely important to me, I would welcome being fired because of the depths of problems being exposed to me, and that I am expected sit quietly and accept. I thought this activity would be good for my career, but when the public finally sees this stuff, and examines it closely, the harm to my own reputation might be worse than having done nothing. And yet, I am also afraid that quitting, and then going to talk to people, might forever alienate me from something I thought and think I have a vocation for.

          So, from first principles I can deduce good officers, and when I step back and think, I can sympathize. So, I regret if my words were too harsh, by I’ve been burying my anger for a long time about shit smelling that I am contributing to. I’ve finally hit the point of being just about certain that I have almost nothing left to lose.))

          1. I wish you the best as you navigate all of that. One of the reasons I left academia was that I could no longer be a part of something that was not, in fact, educating students. I could not sit in meetings listening to the trash that is woke faculty. I argued with myself for a long time and my primary argument against leaving was that who then would the students have who could point out the flaws and complete lack of logic in the trash they were getting in the classroom? But then I realized that I was destroying myself in that process. I am much better able to communicate my thoughts and arguments via my blog and books. I know that many of my former students read both. These have now become my contributions to the fight. I refuse to destroy myself because a part of me insists that I must. We are not yet at that point of this fight.

            1. Well, I knew from the beginning that there were risks, and things not worth sacrificing on the gamble, so I’ve worked to avoid getting into a ‘sacrificing myself by inches’ situation. I also knew that with some of the risks, and my tendency to hunker down, and push on, I might ruin the effort by getting fixed on a bad plan. So I’ve tried to stay aware of having my options open.

              I’ve had some deeper/wider concern about the vocation stuff, but prayer helps.

              And your example was one of the ones that helped me have confidence in following self-knowledge and conscience.

              I do not know the answers yet. Maybe I do not need to have them revealed to me yet, maybe there will be another test.

              I’ve been saying to myself, if institutions are fundamentally broken, look to personal relationships. If one has a good relationship with one’s supervisor, and one’s supervisor is not asking too much, maybe it is okay. Even if an institution is not worth investing in, one still has relationships outside that institution. There are always ways to invest in personal relationships, and potentially do some good. Furthermore, if one is really flexible, creative, and analytical, there may be ways to do things that bypass some of the problems of a broken institution.

              These things are how I’ve kept any hope at all of salvaging some of the career goals. Okay, everything since highschool has disappointed, so I have practice at some of that, but some of those years were spent very badly where managing hope was concerned. If it explodes, I knew the risks, and I will get something from my effort anyway.

              There’s a lot of people in this sort of bind now, and maybe my speech will help some of the silent.

              1. I’m happy to know I helped.

                I agree with you about remaining/becoming flexible and creative. And, if you are able to bypass some of the problems, perhaps you can help repair the institution.

                1. Yeah, I’m definitely thinking about repairing the institution, because vocation, and because I at least saw some of the problems before they are obvious to everyone, their dog, and their dog’s fleas. It is just that I am not going to promise myself, or others, that I can fix the institutions. Depends on other people, and I’m trying not to rest personal happiness or satisfaction in things that are not under personal control. I think Americans are probably fundamentally sound, so there should be a basis to rebuild, but for some things the least bad answer may be a diminished reputation in the public eye. Also, there may be as many as four or five sets of institutions involved. Some of them are probably irreparable in their current configuration, some could be replaced by similar organizations if need be, and some still have a great deal of good left in them.

              2. I feel that on everything since high school disappointing in some way, though college didn’t really flame out for me until later on, resulting in me not having that degree. Personal relationships if the institutions can’t be relied on is good stuff, too. Shame the sanest people I know who are healthy for me to talk to are all far away from me geographically and I’m not convinced things are going to hold together long enough to get in a better position before it all collapses and I end up buried in more ways than one.

                1. I’m not sure if HerbN is still in the Atlanta area or not. At one point, I had the impression he was.

                  1. He is as far as I know but we’ve both been having serious black dog issues lately so sad to say we’re probably not going to be all that helpful to each other. He’s also a couple of hours away from me, I think, and that would involve traveling through Atlanta itself too for extra fun.

                    1. https://madgeniusclub.com/2021/09/03/stories-that-are-not-mine-to-tell

                      I wrote a little on this above.

                      Larry Gonzales, Deep Survival.

                      Bulwark of compassion.

                      In difficult circumstances, trying to help others can help your own state of mind.

                      Saying ‘no, we are both depressed, we can not help each other’ can itself be the black dog.

                      I can’t measure the results, so I assume that I haven’t helped others, and sometimes that is a lie that I am telling to myself. Again, this is difficult to balance against an understanding that not everything I do is perfect, and automatically helps others.

                      Anyway, I’ve been a bit down this week, panicking, and stuck. I’ve been pretty slow to act on some things.

                    2. I can’t measure the results, so I assume that I haven’t helped others, and sometimes that is a lie that I am telling to myself.

                      You make people smile, and give them brain-games to play, around here at the very least.

                      I know that helps ME. I think that’s important. 😀

                      I try to make sure I don’t mention IRL stuff that is dragging down, because I know that can drag others down– but the smiles and “alright, follow this argument” things have happened at times I needed them.

                    3. Anyway, I was hoping that maybe you and Herb could help each other.

                      I’m kind of bad at sustaining regular human contact, and am not able to reach out to as many people as I would, in the abstract, like to be able to reach out to.

                      I’m at the point where a thirty minute teleconference, once a week, always does my state of mind some good. And it is a business meeting, otherwise I would eventually tell myself that I am ‘too far behind’, and cancel it to ‘get stuff done’, and instead of getting stuff done, spin my wheels because the isolation isn’t doing my mind any favors. That is with sometimes talking to some reasonably right wing, reasonably sane housemates. And, I probably have a fairly strong tolerance for isolation and solitude, I even need a fair amount of the latter.

                      So, my take away is that I need to be a little bit more efficient at working, and also to try to contact some folks. I have some business contacts that maybe I could stay in closer touch with.

                    4. I feel for you on the ATL traffic. It was abysmal, or perhaps Abyssal, back when I was there (early 1990s). “Rush” hour was “Park on I-75 and plan on getting a lot of reading done, or knitting, before you get home.”

                    5. Thinking about cool things to tell some of my business associates* helped me out. Got something done I had been dragging on. And done nicely.

                      *I’ve been very fortunate in some of my business associates, because the over all organization has leadership I think is horrible.

                    6. I’m still not so sure. Last time we were in the same online space it took Fox and her husband doing the heavy lifting to keep me from falling down the spiral myself. I was only able to kind-of chip in now and then due to a few things he mentioned that shook a few things loose in my brain. Maybe I might be better at this at some point but right now it’s all I can do to try stabilizing myself.

                    7. Well, I definitely have some people who aren’t horrible people, but I have a bit of trouble at times holding on to my spoons around them. Bit of a personality clash.

      2. Eh.
        I think most of the actors are too short-sighted to have such intent.

        I’m pretty sure most of the bureaucracy wanted us to stay in Afghanistan , deliberately set things up so they would fail in an epic way if we left, and presented that reality to *iden with a smug smile and “do you want all that blood on your hands?”
        Only to find out that *iden couldn’t possibly care less.

        *iden considers himself a foreign policy savant.
        He’s been wrong every single time about what would be good for the country, but horribly right about what would personally bring him more money and power.
        This is more of the same.
        The Deep State showed itself to be formidable during Trump’s administration. No would be totalitarian likes rival centers of power. And they handed him the knife to geld them with.
        China wouldn’t have even needed to bribe him to do it.

        China expanding into Afghanistan is a natural extension of its belt and road model, and suborning nations by compromising their leaders. There are cultures that won’t work with, and Afghanistan leads the list. It’s a house of cards to begin with. It works so long as China can threaten to crush the lone debtor nation. But if a cascade ever starts, they’re screwed. If they commit themselves to trying to get the Afghans, Pakistanis, and Iranians to behave, everything else slips through their fingers. (Likewise, if they make an attempt on Taiwan that isn’t immediately successful.)

        Oft shah evil with evil mar.
        We’ll have to take a hand, but we might have an easier path than we think

        1. Trumps reasons for exiting Afghanistan were probably tri-fold: Reduction of foreign entanglements, reduction of military spending (including that of American service folk’s lives), and reduction of the power wielded by the military-industrial complex. I recall reading somewhere that Trump agreed with Ike’s evaluation that the M-I cabal needed to be pruned back. But even his best efforts trying to do so is like fighting Kudzu with a pocket knife.

          1. Especially when the top brass was openly and deliberately lying to him/not following the orders, as apparently happened in Syria, because they didn’t WANT him to prune the MI cabal. 😡

        2. I never particularly understood what China actually holds over Third World debtor nations.

          Elbonia: “We’re tired of paying the vig. Nationalize all the things!”
          China: “Don’t do that, or we’ll, uh”
          Elbonia: “Send the mighty Chinese Navy?”
          China: “Uh, uh… Badmouth you to other lenders!”
          Elbonia: “You were the only ones who would lend to us anyway. Pull the other one.”
          China: “We’ll pull all our maintenance personnel and all our stuff will break so you can’t use it!”
          Elbonia: “So, status quo ante, then? Ooh, that would be awful. And your stuff can join all the broken Western stuff they’ve given us for decades. Got anything else?”
          China: “… Shut up!”

      3. I agree. This is what they intended, although I see another hand in the coaching and encouraging to make it happen. It’s someone that old Joe seems to worship the ground he walked on and was his former boss.

        BHO would get real enjoyment out of some of the fruits of this misadventure. Like weakening the US inside and out, causing more chaos in fundamentally changing the country, taking in more Islamic refugees (unvetted), and leaving billions of $ worth of military equipment free for the use by Islamic terrorists. We even know that the top Talban dude in Afghanistan was freed from Gitmo in the exchange for one of BHO’s favorite traitors, Bowe Bergdahl. Nice memories for Joe and Barack.

          1. Since we’re blaming them for the “unintended results”, the answer is “Heck No”. 😈

            1. Exactly, so I’m wondering what these “effects that they don’t intend” are that you have in mind?

              1. The first and biggest unintended effect? More and more people–including a growing chunk of Democrat voters–are not believing their lies any more. Just take a look at how the FICUS’s approval ratings are not only tanking in the “regular” polls, but also ones where, apparently, they (being the domestic enemy) did NOT expect to see such a huge drop. Look at how the MSM has suddenly flipped from something that was close to actual journalism the last few weeks (ie, THEY were upset at the fall of Afghanistan as well and made it known) rapidly back to “actually it was a success, nothing to see here.” And I don’t think people are buying it–they’ve pulled that trick too frequently and too close together in the last few years for it to work on the general populace anymore.

                (Notably: it’s not just conservatives in polling saying they don’t trust the media anymore.)

                1. This administration and it’s supporters care much more about ends justifying means than they do about polls. Do as much damage as you can while you have the ability to do it. If they cared a lot about polls they wouldn’t have Harris as their VP. A third grader could tell the optics would be bad on this, but that didn’t stop them. I really think Obama had Biden’s ear on this one. Joe just loves and admires Barack.

                  Look for more cheating on the next elections. These people are psychos, but probably realize they wouldn’t win fair and square. I think latest polls show a little over half of all voters think the 2020 election was rigged, but they’re still in office because people were afraid to try to do anything about it or just didn’t want to try. Would this Afghanistan fiasco have happened if that election were fair or was strongly and successfully challenged? We need far more than bad polling numbers to save the country as we’ve known it.

                  They will continue to parade crisis after crisis in front of us to keep things moving, and the mockingbird media will continue to spread the propaganda. Remember the “outrage” over Benghazi (2012), the IRS (2013) and all the other manufactured stunts right up to Jan. 6? The killing of Babbit, and jail for patriots who very well may be innocent or entrapped, while TPTB continue on unabated?

                  I believe the situation is more serious than the AVERAGE person thinks, but it’s not unsurmountable.
                  We press on.

                  1. Oh, they definitely don’t care about polls (at least, not a lot) but what I was saying is that what the polls are reflecting, and what the idiot-junta is ignoring, is that a LOT of the average person is really, really pissed off. Not just the usual partisans, but normal-and-possibly-even-votes-Dem joes are getting pissed off.

                    But then, we knew already that these idiots were only listening the shrieking wannabe far-left tyrants in their party. It’s just become very, VERY obvious that they are ignoring reality so far that they can’t even hide it any more, and even their usual lapdogs stumbled and took notice (though they are back to being lapdogs again).

                    And sure, they’re already attempting to distract us from the debacle in Afghanistan…but it’s not working like it has in the past. (Even Benghazi didn’t work the way they intended–too many people were pissed off for the actual reasons, not because of their claims that it was because islamophobia.) And they keep piling these on and thinking everyone is too stupid to notice–and sure, for a number of years people weren’t getting VOCAL about it, but…I’m pretty sure we are now past the “Well, maybe it was a one-off of a few corrupt gov officials” write off for a lot the normies.

      4. I’m leaning more and more to premeditated malice, but on a somewhat different angle. Apparently each base was abandoned in a way that would leave the Afghans without ammo, who then got overrun. Rinse and repeat for the next base.

        They did fight, but your ability to fight is limited with a zweihander impaled in your back.

        1. Yeah, from what I’ve read, the Afghan army was left with no ability to fight. This was done by people who KNEW what would happen when they “decommissioned” essential resources, but they did it anyway.

      5. And just like they didn’t expect the Pinapple Express– or something as basic as “the guys you ordered to sit there crossed the fence and dragged folks back in safe”– the plan didn’t expect opposition.

        They’re getting folks mad, and they’re getting folks *creative*.

  3. The other thing they don’t realize, and what makes THEIR plot particularly stupid is that they think of themselves as the only real people. It’s not even racism, so much as this neolithic tribal thing where “We are human, those over aren’t.”

    Makes me think of a particular Native American tribe whose name for themselves is “the people.” They were (are?) more widely known by a term that means “the enemy.”

    (and could you go back about three posts and fix my mistake, now that you’re sort of caught up?)

    And thanks for the encouragement. I’ve been flagging today due to some stress.

      1. Huh? I must have been obtuse; that’s usually what has happened in such situations:
        August 25, 2021 at 1:05 pm “BUT, accounting for equipment isn’t the President’s job…” under “Refugees”
        shows my email address (most likely because I put it down twice)

        or it does on this computer.

        And if it’s not there, thanks for looking

        1. re: every tribe
          And I went “A-ha!” and kinda thought as much.

          This gives insight into the mess (on any level) that is Afghanistan as currently constituted. Most of the Taliban—according to strategy page.com, who know their stuff—are one ethnic group, Pushtan. Britannica says: There were estimated to be about 11 million Pashtun in Afghanistan and 25 million in Pakistan in the early 21st century. They comprise about 60 tribes of varying size and importance, each of which occupies a particular territory. In Afghanistan, where the Pashtun are the predominant ethnic group, the main tribes—or, more accurately, federations of tribes—are the Durrānī south of Kabul and the Ghilzay east of Kabul.

      2. You might be able to make an exception for the Israelites, at least based on my reading of the Old Testament. Yes, it’s written for one tribe in particular, who claim they are God’s chosen people. And yet, it’s filled with instructions on how to treat “the stranger,” someone outside the tribe, along with the reminder, “You yourselves were strangers in Egypt,” i.e. if you look at it from a different perspective, you guys are the outsiders. It’s clear that, while those outside the Tribe were not the special people, they were still people.

        I’m not saying that the Israelites didn’t look down on those outside their tribe or do pretty nasty things to them, but it seems like they were at least taking the first baby steps towards the idea of universal brotherhood.

        1. Isaiah 29:13, Ezekial 33:31, and Matthew 15:8 make it clear just how busily the rabbis were establishing traditions that let them ignore what the Lord commanded.


          1. ((waggles hand))

            The US tanks could be serviced more or less in the field, while the German ones needed depot level maintenance. Makes a difference in terms of operations.

        2. They were. The entire book of Jonah is dedicated to telling hard-headed Jonah God cares even about the Assyrians.
          OTOH Leviticus specifically says, “Don’t enslave your fellow Israelites. That’s what your neighbors are for.”

      3. In William Tenns “Of Men and Monsters” the protagonist notes that all the various tribes in the walls refer to themselves as Mankind. We’ve been like this for eoms and will be for the foreseeable future…

    1. The one you’re probably thinking of (because it’s actually still around) is the Diné/Navajo pair. But it’s true, most tribes called themselves “people” and everyone else “enemy.”

      1. Which of course kind of belies the quaint notion of a pre-Columbian peaceful paradise living in tune with nature here in the western hemisphere.

      2. Actually most of the foreigners are “the people who talk funny” — not so much “not people.”

        Stranger, now that could mean enemy. Which is why “hostile” and “hospitality” come from the same root.

    2. The Chinese do this as well. We’ve all heard that China is “The Middle Kingdom”. When I was growing up, I thought that this was in a metaphysical sense, and a nickname. But it’s not. The intended meaning is quite literally “the kingdom in the middle of everything”, aka the center of the world. And that’s the name of the country in Chinese.

      I don’t know what percentage of the population still holds to that thinking consciously or unconsciously. But I’m not aware of any other countries that named themselves that.

      Compounding this is that until the Europeans showed up, the Chinese Dynasties didn’t have any neighboring nations that could provide an example of a peaceful (for values, of course) culture. The neighbors all either borrowed Chinese culture, or were trouble-making nomadic barbarians. The closest culture outside those bounds was India. But contact with India was difficult. So China has spent most of its existence isolated from peer non-Chinese cultures. It’s unsurprising that there would be difficulty in seeing other nations as anything even approaching Chinese levels of civilization.

      1. I remember a World Civs class where it was mentioned how furious a Chinese emporer was at receiving a missive from the Japanese Emperor that started “From XXX Emperor of the land where the Sun rises to XXX the Emperor of the land where the Sun sets.” How dare those upstart barbarians pretend they are anything on a par with China!

        1. Worse. The linkage of the rising sun to Japan suggested (to the Chinese, at least) that the Japanese were suggesting that their own empire would rise to greater heights than China.

          It’s also worth noting that Japan is the only other nation in that part of the world that’s had an emperor. All of the others were ruled by kings.

      2. The Chinese sent out a large fleet with ships bigger than anything else on the sea for 100s of years, to go and find out if there were things that China needed outside of China. The Fleet sailed far and wide and found NOTHING that China needed. It sailed back, informed the Emperor what they had done and found. The Emperor then had the Fleet destroyed because there was no reason for it.

        The Chinese make the most racist clan member look like a member of the NAACP. They also have thousands of years of Civilization behind them to show that they are RIGHT. They are the Center, they can be nothing else. It embarrasses them that American (those mongrels) think they are better than the Chinese and have the effrontery to do things the Chinese can’t. That alone would be enough to destroy the Americans.

        To know how bad and sad the Chinese are, they say they beat the Americans in the number of Medals in the Olympics. How? They say that Taiwan’s medals should be counted with theirs, so they beat the Americans.
        Ponder THAT for a while.

        1. The Fleet sailed far and wide and found NOTHING that China needed.


          They weren’t wrong.

          The finest dishware in the world at the time was Chinese porcelain. The finest cloth was Chinese silk. Pretty much any and all useful raw resources could be found within China. The only things from elsewhere that might be of interest were certain spices that were region-specific. But China had plenty of its own spices.

          So China didn’t need anything.

          China wanted some things from outside. But there were overland caravans for that. Buddhism was imported from India that way. And there were trade routes from the Middle East. The Chinese were aware of Europe, and the Roman Empire. But no one from China ever got that far. At least one Chinese official did attempt to reach Rome by traveling overland. But reportedly, just as he had reached the start of what would have been the final leg of his trip in the Middle-East, some locals played a cruel trick on him and told him that he still had a very long ways to go. So he gave up, and returned home. And Europe didn’t really have anything to offer the Chinese at the time that was better than what was available in China. That wouldn’t change until Europe started industrializing.

          The Silk Road trade route meant that China had access to goods from outside (particularly under the Yuan Dynasty, which was the Mongol dynasty, and kept the trade route safe for travel). But goods from outside didn’t serve any other purpose than to be shown off as curios.

          1. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T’ang Exotics by Edward H. Schafer is excellent on the topic.

            China ‘s big problem was that it did not have dangerous rivals as European countries did.

  4. Hunter Thompson for the win! “…when the going gets weird, the weird go pro.”

    We’re Americans. We tell the enemy “frack you.” We fight. We thrive.

    Adapt and overcome. We are the light of the world, each individual one.

    Don’t shirk your duty.

  5. No bleev Chanah Chanah ahh ahhzho. I avoid the CCP preferred Romanization that has infected plagued and parasitized public writing. Though I have no love for Yale in this age, the system Yale developed to let American speakers approximate Mandarin spells Hsi Jin-ping’s Pinocho as Jou Bai-dan. Give in to CCP on nothing! Incidentally, the CCP capital is pronounced Bay jing, not in imitation of oh so sophisticated Frog journalists who lisp the “j” as in “bonjour”. Before soldering, flux ’em.

  6. If this were a novel or movie plot, people would say it’s too ridiculous to be believed.

    Speaking of believing, a serious question for you believing types: do you think God is letting us all be co-writers in this? Cause that might explain how screwed up everything is. Extent of free will debate and all that.

    Big collaborations can tend towards going off the rails.

      1. G-d is the greatest author and RAH was his most honorable prophet.
        But damnitall, did he have to be so correct with all those hints about the “crazy years?”

      2. Speaking as an author who has characters that insist on going different directions than the author intended . . . the Most High has the same challenge, I do believe. “Well, that makes the secondary sub-plot a bit more challenging to wrap up in this volume. Right, let’s see what can be done. No, a volcano there breaks in-Universe rules. Hmmmm.”

          1. I suspect that Himself knows exactly what He is doing. I’ve also noticed that He has excellent operational security. No one down here knows what He is doing until it’s done.

            1. And not even then sometimes although that may be a matter of inability to judge what “done” means.

    1. One of the great paradoxes (I collect them, reality is paradoxic) is: God’s perfect plan requires us imperfect people. So God invites us to join His plan. This explains much.

      1. With the player guide typeset and cast in metal. Unfortunately, it was done in a cold place and the metal was mercury. Oops.

        1. What do you think magic IS?

          Once upon a time, someone gave you willow bark and we said it was magic. Now we give you (synthetic) willow bark and say it is science. The only difference is increased knowledge.

          1. Trying to fall asleep last night, got on to that thought process– shortened/simplified because I’m not writing a bleepin’ post, it’s a comment– the really old magic was mystic social engineering. Who you know, or who you know that knew someone, doing things that would make Someone do a thing. Got smacked down on religious grounds as being impossible, at times, because God had that power, not creation. (Famous bishop’s argument against believing in witchcraft.)

            Then you get into more enlightened times and they started sciencing the magic. Yeah, you were sometimes still calling on powers, but it was more mechanical, and of course if a thing existed and you did the ritual it would get you the power and contract with Evil. (Or let you control angels, or threaten/bribe saints.)

            About that point I fell asleep, but thought the vague continuum might at least be useful to someone trying to figure out how folks would respond to magic, or build a world with Real Magic.

            1. Well, then there’s sorcery, trafficking with spirits, but one hopes that people don’t want to do that.

              1. Would many of these people even recognize something From Below? I doubt it. They scienced all of Us from Underhill out of their lives, out of almost everyone’s lives, so I doubt there is a brain-part that would recognize the Infernal.

                Now as to whether or not Below is manipulating them – I say aye.

                1. Look at a list of Ghost Hunter “this area is haunted” signs.

                  Look at the list of signs of demonic infestation. (haunted by demons)

                  Note that the overlap is nearly 100%.

                  Note that I was if not thirty than nearly so when I found that out– and I’d been a cautious but interested fan of ghost hunters and anti-demonic blessings for most of that time. No mention of it. Ran into that when I was researching exorcisms.

                  I think your instinct is accurate….

                    1. I heard about that one! It came out of the CreepyPasta forums– although it’s pretty dang low key for those guys.

                      Combine it with the Shadowpeople (used in the Odd Thomas books, and he even describes how they’re usually understood before he uses them to crazy creepy good effect.

                    2. The priest — I think retiring? — who used to lead this parish we’re leaving — the horror we stopped attending our parish church for was moved in as pastor — was a bonafide exorcist (and ex-army chaplain. Which I thought was a good idea.) Of course, that might be why he was replaced. And I don’t mean anything sinister. I mean he gave us a sermon …. three years ago about how he was busier than a one-armed paper-hanger and listed all the activities that could lead to possession of a space or a person. He also pointed out we should call him when it was in mere… I don’t know what they call it? The intimidation phase to get you to cow.
                      He then asked for (I almost typed civilian) Lay People to volunteer to be instructed in exorcism so they might have enough hands on deck. He said it truly was like nothing he’d ever seen or could even have imagined.
                      I wanted to go to the initial “informative” meeting because well… I’m a writer. I never considered becoming an exorcist, because it needs a different kind of mind. However Dan nixed the “initial meeting thing” hard. He thought it had the potential to be dangerous, given the type of mind I do have.
                      Right after that we started to say the St. Michael prayer at the end of every mass.
                      I hear the bishop of Chicago is trying to suppress that custom.
                      So, one more unmasking.

                    3. Oppression.

                      Infestation, oppression, possession.

                      ….and yeah, one of the fruits of a lot of good exorcists engaging with the pop culture is that those Exorcists that are around do tend to be busy, and this embarrasses the heck out of a lot of Very Modern Bishops. Green pea soup! ::eyeroll::

                    4. Cupric, I believe, is the one who ordered no prayer to St. Michael.
                      May be cultural (similar to the fights over the Latin Mass) but man does it have me snarling.

                    5. He then asked for (I almost typed civilian) Lay People to volunteer to be instructed in exorcism so they might have enough hands on deck. He said it truly was like nothing he’d ever seen or could even have imagined.

                      Uh, yeah, hard pass.

                      A good friend of mine who was a big gun in the Seattle goth community, for all that he was a fairly devout Presbyterian, liked to wear clerical collar out to the clubs and go by “Monsignor”. About fifteen years ago, he moved down to San Fransisco to study exorcism.

                      He came back a year later after having had a stroke at age 44, and now in his late 50s-early 60s has early-onset dementia.

                      Coincidence? You be the judge.

                    6. 0.0

                      Pretty sure they don’t use that title, and it’s for priests, not laymen… that sounds like a reaaaaaally bad idea to go taunt demons after that, even if laymen doing exorcisms (rather than being helpers) wasn’t already pretty high on my Really Bad Idea scale.

                      Fifteen years ago…that would be when there was a mini-fad for J Random Guy doing full exorcisms.

                      My sympathies.

                    7. Reading the liturgy for exorcism, it cautions that the rite is to be conducted by a priest only. I lay helpers are on board, there seems to be a role for them. The folklore suggests that any “inhabitants” will try to infest the weak link in the exorcism team, if any.

                    8. Trained laypeople can do all the leg-work and go listen to people type stuff instead of eating up the Exorcist’s time for everything where someone has a mental issue or A Bad Feeling at home– it’s also a really good way to get folks who might be vulnerable to stuff they shouldn’t be involved in set up with a safe outlet.

                      If he’s really good, the priest probably also gave folks a list of blessings they could do as a lay person, and teach to others– channel their impulses, too, while deepening their faith.

                      Think of it like a neighborhood watch when you’ve got very limited cops.

                    9. Blessed salt down the heating ducts takes care of the lowest level of “bad feelings and occasional weird stuff.” You can FEEL the weight lift. I call it giving the house a holy enema.
                      BTW having TWO gateway-writers operate in the house at the same time gets it funny. Three, it gets it outright …. um….. first stage after a few years.
                      Fortunately #1 son doesn’t live with us. But this thing is a limnial activity and attracts fages. I think it’s the equivalent of putting up a “good eats” sign.
                      And btw it’s not just us, from bios and talking to other writers (anedacta) I think it’s fairly universal.

                  1. Yes. Some call them “angelic visitors” or “spirit guides” or other things, and the visions I’ve read described match some of the religious warnings I’ve read. As in “ooooh kay, I’m pretty certain that what this person saw and the offer she got is not, NOT something good for her in the long run.” A few of the New Age people do point out that being visited by spirits is a Bad Thing 99.999% of the time, and when in doubt, stop what you are doing and get help. But very few.

    1. Concur, not just Peter himself, but he posted a link to a very foul mouthed rant which looked to me to be the best analysis of the current situation both with Afghanistan and here at home. Fisks the deep state and all the various actors and factions quite nicely.

      1. Much agreed Uncle Lar, much agreed. I’m at point of checking Peter’s blog every day for a lot of good stuff, just like Sarah’s email.

        1. Yep, my three must reads every day are ATH, The Mad Genius Club, and Peter’s Bayou Renaissance Man. After those for inspiration I review national and local news feeds for a full measure of depression.

    2. And the post it referenced was excellent too. That what we see is essentially a 3 way fight between the deep state Executive Propping up the Ficus, The deep state Intelligence community and the Flag level officers in the Military Industrial Complex playing screw your buddy in the hopes of ending up in the favor of their erstwhile Chinese paymasters. Add to that the fact that the Taliban now have the tools to flow into Pakistan (See some of BGE’s comments in the previous post). China might egg the Taliban on into taking Pakistan, however I think they may quickly find their cats paw is turned against them (no offense meant to Felines I for one welcome our feline overlords). It all kind of looks like a Tom Clancy potboiler. I definitely would not pay more than $1.99 on kindle for this mess. Honestly I am deeply unhappy with where the Author seems to be taking this, but being a very minor character I really don’t get much of a say.

  7. “They don’t realize mostly they’re making us really, really mad. We’re not Chinese. We won’t take our symbolic humiliation as the truth forever.”

    Their making some of us angry. Sadly, others seem to be okay with it. I’m still seeing variations of “better than Trump” comments in my feed.

    “the Author knows what He’s doing”

    Aye, He does. I’d point out that when His people refuse to follow, keep turning away, He does punish them. Including allowing their lands to be taken away.

    “Be not afraid. We can figure it out.”

    To paraphrase “Fiddler On the Roof” – Our Forefathers survived as much; we can survive as well.

      1. There also plenty of people who, good themselves, are incapable of believing other people are really evil. Especially the “experts,” who have been put in authority.

      2. I agree. I see more people stopping and looking at news stories with a more jaundiced eye. I encourage that whole-heartedly. Even my running-with-wolves, vegan, peace, love, and flowers MiL is all kinds of skeptical these days.

  8. The hopeful, yet terrifying, possibility is that as screwed up as this all seems, it is the best possible timeline and we have an engineered history… which makes no sense until well after.

    Ponder if the Great Depression hadn’t happened… would TVA have happened? Would all that electrical power be there for isotope separators? (1/7 14+% of ALL USA electrical production! To a *gamble*). Etc. It’s Hell to live through without being able to flip a few pages ahead and see, “Oh, it’s insane, BUT…” or it’s just pure nuttiness. What do ox know?

    1. If the aircraft carriers had been at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941….
      If Hitler hadn’t despised “Jewish physics”….
      If Hitler hadn’t attacked Russia….

      If I hadn’t messed up my plan, would I have been driving on the road I’d never been on before and seen that sign by the side of the road (that kept getting knocked down) that led to my stopping that led to my meeting my wife?

      1. Had Herr Hitler not balked immediately after Dunkirk and pushed to invade England we would not have had the jumping off point for the invasion of Europe. We almost certainly would have won anyway, but quite possibly had to nuke Berlin as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      2. Every time I see that If Hitler hadn’t attacked Russia canard… Russia was months away from attacking Hitler. He caught them by surprise. The thing, the only thing, that enabled Russian success was the Murmansk run. We, the good ‘ol USA, was Russia’s arsenal. And boot supplier. From http://www.usmm.org/ww2.html “Through the Murmansk Run, the United States supplied the Soviet Union with 15,000 aircraft, 7,000 tanks, 350,000 tons of explosives, and 15,000,000 pairs of boots. American boots made a difference on the Eastern Front, especially during the harsh winters.” The basics- 15 million pairs of boots. They couldn’t even produce those.

        In large parts of the Soviet Union, the Nazis were originally seen as liberators. They screwed that up.

          1. Yes, though probably not until 1943, iirc.

            And given that the Germans stopped development of new anti-tank guns following the Battle of France, a Soviet army fully equipped with T-34 tanks would have been a *very* rude shock for them.

            1. Of course, the German military was likewise planning on a war start date of 1943. Hitler just kept pushing his luck; he didn’t expect the British and French to back Poland.

          2. IIRC There’s some debate about Stalin’s plans.

            What’s definite is that Hitler surprised Stalin.

            1. I’ve seen Russian source (translated) that had access to the Russian archives that showed that Stalin intended to attack Hitler and was putting that plan in place. The author concluded that that was one of the reasons the Red Army was so badly positioned since they were preparing for an attack themselves.

              Stalin believed what was best for Stalin. Tyrants are often delusional.

              Only one source, but well argued. I can’t verify his sources.

              1. There’s another theory that the Red Army found itself badly positioned because British intelligence made sure the Abwehr had detailed knowledge of exactly how the Red Army was positioned.

          3. Quite dastardly of them, wot?

            Yes, Stalin was also planning to stab Hitler in the back; Hitler was just a bit quicker off the draw.

            What’s odd was the Reich’s armored and air components had been training in Russia for years, out of site of any Western powers that would have gotten uptight over the Versailles convention, so Stalin should have been thoroughly familiar with the Reich’s military capacity. And since they were allies, Soviet information-gatherers could collect information on the Reich industrial capacity freely.

            Which they probably did… one of the things we found out when the FSB started selling access to old KGB files in exchange for Western currency was that Soviet spies had collected more information than anyone had suspected, much of it which would have been critical to the Soviet… but it was all filed carefully away in wooden filing cabinets, and very little of it had been disseminated to the agencies and bureaus who could have used it. Knowledge was power, and once you shared knowledge you didn’t have that power any more…

            1. Stalin was very pointedly ignoring evidence that Hitler was planning on attacking the USSR. He felt that he *needed* the current set of trade agreements with the Germans to continue for the near future, so he apparently ignored any evidence of what the Germans were planning. If he’d actually paid attention to that evidence, then he would have been forced to raise a diplomatic stink about it with the Germans, and that would have endangered the trade agreements.

              My understanding is that’s a lot of the reason why Stalin assumed he was going to be overthrown when the Germans attacked. The blame rested fully on his shoulders for ignoring the evidence, and he knew that everyone knew it.

        1. There’s no mention of trucks in that list. The lack of trucks is a serious oversight. Yes, we provided tanks. But the T-34 was better than anything the Allies were providing until we started sending M4A2 Shermans. But we sent lots and lots and lots of trucks. We sent so many trucks that the Soviets were able to put more resources into tank production. And most importantly, without all of the trucks that the US sent, the Bagration offensive in the summer of 1944 likely wouldn’t have been swift enough to catch, trap, and destroy the German Army Group Center.

          1. When Zhukov’s army rolled into Berlin, many of them were driving the same Ford trucks the American forces arrived in later. Some of them had come the long way around, from Detroit to Alaska and across Siberia and Russia.

            In his history of WWII Churchill fumed about Liberty ships stuffed with trucks; back in his day, soldiers marched, dammit. Even after he saw the Enigma reports of how gobsmacked the German commanders were at the rate of Allied advance, he refused to acknowlege how much of an asset those trucks and jeeps were.

            We’re Americans. Americans *roll*. And we brought enough trucks for everybody. The other Allied troops were damned glad to have them. And we’ve left our tire tracks on the Moon and Mars, too.

            1. “Even after he saw the Enigma reports of how gobsmacked the German commanders were at the rate of Allied advance, he refused to acknowlege how much of an asset those trucks and jeeps were.”

              See my comment about German logistics, Same sort of thinking. Even with a global empire, British military thinking was more or less that you sailed to a port, captured it, and then supplied from there,

              1. Let’s blame Eisenhower and then we can talk about German logistics on both sides. 0:)

                Fun fact: did you know that Pershing is the anglicized form of Pfersching?

                1. European militaries in general didn’t think about logistics like the Americans did. “Europeans think 200 miles is a long way” is a cliche for a reason.

                  1. When HMS Victorious was working with the US Navy in the Pacific during World War 2, her captain was both amazed and impressed when the US military flew malaria medication all the way out to the Solomon Islands in response to a single sailor being diagnosed with the illness. The ships were basically out in the middle of nowhere supporting the troops on Guadalcanal, and yet the US was willing and able to devote the resources necessary to send medication for a single ill sailor.

                    He also realized that it was a very good idea for more pragmatic reasons, as it helped boost the morale of a group of men who were stuck in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from home.

            2. Churchill had some good ideas. And he also had a lot of really stupid ones. The stupid ones just tend to get swept under the rug these days.

              The funny thing is how many people automatically assume that the Germans were fully mechanized and motorized. That’s not even close to the case. And then the Germans ran into a fully motorized US Army, supplied exclusively by the Red Ball Express trucks running supplies from the English Channel all the way to the front lines, and supported by every other Allied army, which also got the bulk of their trucks from the US, and, well…


              The massive advances of the summer of 1944 on both fronts were due in part because the Allied front lines were able to advance so quickly that the Germans never had a chance to pause and reform their lines. The Western Allies finally stopped when they outran their supplies, and the Soviets stopped when they reached the Vistula (though they did get a bridgehead across; the Germans sent their first King Tiger battalion to remove it, but failed).

            3. I’ve read that one American advantage in WWII was that American troops generally knew how to drive trucks and knew how to fix trucks. Vice the German troops who generally had to wait for a mechanic when their trucks broke down.

              Also, Eisenhower understood the importance of trucks. In particular he understood the importance of having the right trucks and of using them in the right way. He’d written a report on the subject, back in 1919. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/convoy.cfm

        2. If Hitler hadn’t attacked Russia, Germany would still have lost the war. Because of the Royal Navy blockade, Germany required the full output of the Caucasus by late 1942 in order to have enough oil to fuel its military. They absolutely had to have full control of large oil fields that communicated with Germany by land, and there was only one location that fit that description. Romania was not sufficient.

          As it worked out, the Wermacht failed to take and hold the Caucasus in time, and then the lack of fuel did its inexorable work.

      3. Once we got geared up for war production, the end was inevitable. Might have taken longer, but by early 1945 we were building an entire Army, Navy and Air Force worth of guns, tanks, trucks, ships and airplanes EVERY MONTH. We had to cut way back on ammunition production because we were running out of places to store it. We were still shooting leftover ammo from WW2 45 years later.

        1. Reminds me of a thing I read, which said that the US tanks I always assumed were awesome (because they were ours, duh!) were actually inferior to the German ones (and probably also the British ones), as were our tactics, especially in the early going — but for every tank the enemy knocked out, three more arrived to replace it, and the next guys to man those tanks were always better than the last.

          You can win by being more committed, by being smarter, by having better production/supply resources, or by any combo of the three. In WWII, America had at least the former and latter, maybe all three. In most subsequent engagements, we’ve had the latter, but rarely the middle and never the former.

          1. German Tiger tanks could take on 10 times their number of Shermans and win. They couldn’t take on 50:1.

            1. The Tigers usually broke down well before they reached the Sherman’s. This German tank superiority thing drives me nuts. German tanks were terrible. Hitler’s baleful influence here too. The Later German tanks were unreliable, hugely expensive, complex to build, difficult to transport, difficult to repair, and in the case of the heavies painfully slow. The Germans would have been better off producing somewhat up gunned Panzer IV’s and Stugs, which were none of the above.

              Sherman’s were reliable, cheap, easy to build, easy to transport — even across the bloody ocean, which all the world of tanks people forget — easy to repair and fairly fast. Most battles are won by getting into position before the enemy does and outside the boccage, the Sherman’s almost always got there first.

              …. And another thing: the British put a 17 pounder on the Sherman and could take out just about anything in the German arsenal despite absolutely horrible crew conditions, which I didn’t mention under the Germans who were only good compared to the Russian crew conditions and American doctrine was that tanks should be taken out by anti tank guns anyway, and. oh, what’s the use?

              I could go on, but read Zaloga or look at the Chieftain or Military History Visualized on the tubes of you.

              1. It should probably be noted that unreliable tanks weren’t exclusively a German thing. I read once that the French Char-B1 bis, famous for being an extremely heavy tank, was so unreliable that when the French launched their counter-offensives during the Battle of France, one in three tanks failed to make it from the divisional mustering point to the jump-off line for the attacks.

                One-third out of action. Before any fighting had even started.

              2. The later Shermans with the high velocity 76mm were pretty good tank killers, and the Sherman’s automotive components were far superior (in performance, reliability, and maintainability) to any other tank of the time. In Korea, they ended up sending all the Pershings back to the U.S. because their drivetrains were so bad and it turned out the late-model Shermans were capable of taking on T-34s anyway.

                And, of course, the Israelis ended up putting a larger gun on late-model Shermans and using them into the 1980s. They were successful in combat against T-55s during their service life.

            2. And without gasoline/petrol they were immobile. Ultimately logistics finished the Germans on the western front.

          2. The news about German tanks being better is not entirely true.

            For starters, the Sherman was more than a match for the Pzkfw. Mark IV, which made up half of German medium tank production at any given time during the war (except for very early on). The Panther- which made up the other half from 1944 onward – was a superior combatant, though.

            And the Sherman was better than the StuG III, which was basically a tank without a turret, and generally used just like a tank. There were lots of those around.

            Tigers had better armor and a better gun. But they were slow. The King Tiger was even more of both. But there were never all that many Tigers. And both broke down in the field quite a lot.

            But the thing is, all of that was secondary to another issue. There were never all that many tanks. More often than not, a Sherman was going to be used as fire support against enemy infantry. Further, American tanks had another thing going for them that no other country did: American tanks could run significantly further and farther without breaking down.

            Oh, and I’ve seen info suggesting the claim that they were nicknamed “Ronsons”, after a lighter, is nonsense.

            1. “Oh, and I’ve seen info suggesting the claim that they were nicknamed “Ronsons”, after a lighter, is nonsense.”

              That I would like a link to, because I was something of a WWII history scholar at one point, and the Sherman (and American tanks in general) had that reputation based on relatively low armor and gasoline (actually higher octane avgas; most American tank engines were adapted from aircraft because of power to weight ratio) fuel. The diesel driven tanks the Germans and Russians used had less of a problem.

              Read Men Against Tanks by Weeks.

              1. Ronson is very dubious. The soldiers used Zippos. that the Sherman were more likely to burn than any other tank is dubious too and once they put that appliqué armor plate over the ammunition it reduced substantially.

                Too many legends and not enough facts. The Sherman was not a perfect tank by any means but it had a lot of advantages and was probably the best tank of the war in general service, and that includes the T34, which only had numbers and Russian disregard for casualties to recommend it.

                1. The main selling point of the T-34 is *when* it appeared. It appeared early in the war (1941), and completely outclassed everything available at the time. It wasn’t the first almost unkillable tank the Germans had to deal with. But unlike the Matilda, Char- B1, and KV-1, it was very mobile. And it had a gun that was better than any existing tank gun (except for the one on the KV-1) until the Tiger arrived in late 1942 (iirc).

                  1. I think you’re correct. The T34-76, which was the original, had a good gun, good sloped armor, and good suspension. Better than the Panzer III and IV anyway, the Panther not so much — when they managed to get the Panther running, but that’s another story — The T34 turret was essentially unworkable and crew effectiveness very low. The T34-85 had a bigger gun and bigger turret and was marginally easier to fight, Crew comfort and ergonomics, and thus, crew effectiveness were never a Soviet priority.

                    The simple fact is that they produced a lot of them since they didn’t have to produce any trucks since we built those for them. Quantity has a quality all its own. My father fought in Korea where they killed 10-15 NK or PRC for each US. problem was they sent 16-20 NK or PRC. So it was with the Soviets against the Germans.

                    I’d say massed artillery had more to do with the Russians winning than tanks anyway. A good few German officers thought so at the time. There were a fair few German generals who thought tanks a waste against the Russians in defense and that the Germans should concentrate on self propelled artillery, where they could produce 20 odd guns for the price of a Panther and still move it around. Once they’d failed at Kursk it was going to be defensive all the way down. Hitler thought otherwise, he wanted bigger, more armored tanks with bigger guns. The Soviets put together artillery divisions and thought little of bringing 1000 guns onto a target. The Tiger II wasn’t much use without the supporting infantry.

                    1. The Panther first appeared at Kursk, which was in the Summer of 1943. The upgunned and uparmoured Mark IVs had managed to close the gap in the meantime, but that just brought them roughly up to parity with the T-34. The early T-34 turrets were really bad. But later models had more room inside, and a better overall design.

                      The bigger gun on the T-34/85 overloaded the tank somewhat. It still had a decent speed for a medium tank. But it wasn’t as mobile as the original. There were also problems with the gun. The barrel was so long that it could get damaged if the barrel was pointing forward, and the tank angled too sharply toward the ground…

                      They weren’t the best built tanks, either. I’ve heard that the T-34’s transmission tended to turn to glue after six months. But no one expected the tanks to last that long anyway.

              2. Sorry, this is one of my aspergers special subjects so I’ll stop. German tanks were almost entirely run on Maybach gasoline engines. It was the ammunition that burned.

            2. “For starters, the Sherman was more than a match for the Pzkfw. Mark IV, which made up half of German medium tank production at any given time during the war (except for very early on).”

              It would have been a match for the original Mark IV; by the time we actually encountered it, the Mark IV used the same long barrel 75 the Panther did and the Sherman’s short barrel was inferior in both range and hitting power. It’s why the British Firefly variant (long barrel 76mm / 17 pounder) was so prized.

              1. The Mark IVH had less effective armor (in part because it wasn’t sloped) than the Sherman, though, and the 75mm gun in the original Sherman was more than enough to knock holes in the Mark IVH.

                As for the Ronson nickname, sources on this seem to point to “Death Traps” as the earliest known mention of the nickname. And that book is considered a questionable source these days. Further, there are many these days who say that the issues Shermans had with catching fire were actually due to bad placement of the ammo storage. This was fixed in part by a change to a wet stowage system that provided better protection against ammo hits.

                It’s worth noting that Soviet tanker Victor Loza, who drove both the T-34 and the M4-A2 (and yes, I acknowledge that’s a diesel model) viewed the Sherman as safer than the T-34. That’s written in his book, which was published in the USSR.

                1. Also, the Firefly and the 76mm Sherman gun weren’t needed for use against the Mark IVH. They were needed because the Sherman’s original gun struggled with the Panther. The Tiger was present in such small numbers that planners didn’t consider it a concern. It was originally thought that the Panther would appear in similarly small numbers. American planners didn’t realize that the Germans were building as many Panthers as they were Mark IVs.

                  And the original gun was better against infantry.

            3. Actually, the thing that beat the Germans was that old axiom “Professionals study logistics”.

              The General Staff prepared for a war on European distances and times. All their major targets were within a 200 to 500 mile radius. It’s why they didn’t do tank repair; they planned on shipping them back to be repaired at the factory shops. It’s why they didn’t have long-range bombers even on the drawing boards, or longer range fighters. They expected 90 day campaigns during “European Campaign season”, then into winter quarters. No need for an extensive supply tail.

              When they turned East, they ran into someone who could trade space for time…. and they didn’t have the force-to-space ratio to overcome that.

              1. And the funny thing is that if the Germans had just looked at Napoleon’s Russian campaign, then they should have realized what would happen. That’s the *exact* same thing that the Russians did to Napoleon.

            4. > Further, American tanks had another thing going for them that no other country did: American tanks could run significantly further and farther without breaking down.

              …and a supply chain reaching a third of the way around the world kept them armed, fueled, serviced, and repaired while many “superior” German tanks were no longer operational due to lack of fuel, ammo, or spare parts.

            5. Interesting! So they were and also weren’t inferior… Seemingly it’s a judgment that depends mostly on which comparison one favors. And also, the balance may have been more even than I thought.

              1. It depends on context. If you were a Sherman crew caught out in the open when you see previously-camouflaged Tiger emerge from the woods 1000 yards away, your opinion of the Sherman is going to be quite low. If you’re an infantryman who regularly gets support from a platoon of Shermans, but rarely sees any German tanks because they’re broken down or out of fuel, your opinion of the Sherman is going to be quite high.

        2. Production of small arms ammunition largely stopped by 1943. We used WWII .45 ACP and .30-06 well into the Vietnam war.

          That ammo was made by some of the same companies that have failed to be able to supply the American commercial market since September 2001. Not just that, but despite the massive demand for ammunition, we’ve lost at least half of the production capacity we had since 2001. (hard to tell exactly how much, due to mergers, substitution of foreign-made components, etc.)

          “The military is buying all the ammo, we just can’t keep up” has been their excuse for two decades. A suspicious person would wonder if there was some other reason.

          1. which is bs considering that military ammo is mostly made at Lake City by Winchester (Federal lost the contract) and munitions-grade ammunition is largely different companies entirely.

    2. Just remember Bismark’s comment about America.

      I look at Pearl Harbor, the carriers were out to sea. The warning message only arrived after the attack started. Imagine if the Battleships had had 6 hours warning, sailed out to sea, and been attacked without air cover. Like the Prince of Wales, they would have been sent to the bottom of the sea, with all hands lost. The Enterprise would have tried to fight at 6-1 odds, the loss would have been much more difficult to overcome. We were able to salvage most of the ships, the sailors who survived because they were not out to sea were the trained base for the expansion of the navy.

      God does not promise easy. There is a hymn “How Firm a Foundation”: One verse is about going through fire.
      “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie
      My Grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply
      The flame shall not harm thee, I only design
      thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”

      We are going thru the refiners fire.

      1. If the battleships had sortied, they would have had air cover from Oahu. So it might not have been so one-sided of an engagement.

    3. In moments of quiet contemplation, with a cognac or a shot of Irish and a pipe or cigar I’ll often ponder, looking back, what would I change? The answer’s always not a dang thing, it all lead to now,change anything and now’s not. Even now, this now, where I’m sitting, I rather like now.

      Also I think we need the ups, the downs, the doldrums, hurricanes, gentle breezes, the sublime to give us a yardstick to measure and appreciate the good and the great. If all were simply sweetness and light, without the opposites to define and delimit it, it would be a pretty bland world, just so much mush, pablum, breakfast, lunch and dinner, day after day after day…

      1. I dunno, time-warping the USS Nimitz back to December 6 1941 and leaving it in 1941 does spring to mind… 😛

        1. Ugh. That was The Final Countdown‘s biggest screw-up and biggest let down. I was SOOOOOOO itching to see a bunch of Tomcats and Crusaders splash the ever-loving s*** out of the Japanese Strike Force, or at the very least mixing it up with them over Pearl Harbor. They spent the entire frickin movie! setting up for that…. only to go “LOL NOPE!” at literally the last second.

          It’s probably been roundabout fifiteen years since I rented the DVD from Blockbuster and I’m still pissed at that ending!

          1. Yeah, the ending was a YUGE cop-out. I wanted the movie to end with the Nimitz putting into Pearl Harbor on December 8 after sinking the entire Japanese expeditionary fleet, and everybody asking, “NOW what? We’ve changed history in a BIG way, we’ve got ONE unstoppable supercarrier, where do we go from here?”

            How could they support a modern carrier? No chance of resupply for Phoenix, Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles. When they’re used up, they’re gone. No more spare parts for the planes. No source for jet fuel in 1945, even. Will they manage to enrich enough uranium to refuel the reactors in 15 years or so?

            And, I wanted to see one of the characters thinking, “What happens to me? My parents met because Dad was wounded in the attack, and Mom was a nurse. Do I go *poof* if they don’t get together?”

            Which applies to most of the crew. What little random events that brought their grandparents and parents together might get disturbed? What would happen? And SPARE me from what they did in ‘Back To The Future’. Marty could have a family picture with a brother. He could have a family picture with no brother. There is no possible timeline which could produce a picture with HALF a brother. That was just stupid.
            Can not run out of time. Time is infinite.
            You are finite. Zathras is finite. This…is wrong tool.
            No, no, no. Very bad. Never use this.

            1. Jet fuel probably would have been doable, albeit given some time. The Iranian Tomcats are still flying today, so keeping the F-14s might have been doable, as well.

              The missiles can be ignored. When you’ve got Tomcats going up against Zeros, all you need is a cannon. The Zeroes wouldn’t be able to hit the Tomcats at the speed a Tomcat travels at, particularly since the Tomcats can arrange to always fly out of the sun when closing for an attack.

              1. I don’t know about modern fighters, but the flight manual for the C-130 had a whole page of alternative fuels, suggested power settings, and how use of those fuels would affect maintenance, cold starting, and gelling at low temperatures. Diesel fuel, heating oil, and blends of either with gasoline were listed. The manual I looked at was from the early 1970s, so it would have been the old-style fuel control systems. One would expect the modern controls would allow finer control of a wider variety of fuels.

            2. “No source for jet fuel in 1945, even. Will they manage to enrich enough uranium to refuel the reactors in 15 years or so?”

              British Comet jets were flying in 1945. Nautilus launched in 1954. With known working versions of a nuclear reactor to study, that would have happened sooner.

              1. F-14s run best on JP-5, which was not developed until the 1970’s. The specific formulation and additives reduce injector fouling, enhance high-altitude performance (the F-14 can fly higher than 50,000 feet) and prevent static build-up when it’s pumped through fuel pipes and hoses.

                All of our ‘modern’ nuclear reactors are essentially copies of the Nautilus reactor.

                1. On the other hand, if the USS Nimitz shows up in 1941, and the quartermaster says, “We need this for our superplanes to work,” then there would be a *lot* of incentive for some creative chemists to figure out how to duplicate the process.

                  1. And just as with the reactors, having actual samples to analyze, not to mention complete test manuals for determining if you got it right, would speed things up wonderful.

                    1. And that’s assuming there is nobody on the ship who knows how to do it and can teach them

                    2. I’m not sure if that’s an “accurate enough” true statement or not, but I know different JP blends are a big deal. 😀

                      *pokes a bit*

                      Yes, the PH variants are kerosene based; they add in hydrocarbons. Those would likely be listed somewhere on the ship.

            3. I’d argue, though, that the combat aircraft are secondary. Yes, the Tomcats would be amazing against Zeroes. But the ability to put an E-2C Hawkeye up in the air would be incredible.

              Assume Midway. For “reasons”, the three Yorktown-class carriers remain the primary fighting component of the battle. Instead of participating, USS Nimitz (Chester would probably be amused by the name, I would imagine) hangs back a ways and launches a single E2-C Hawkeye…

              Result – the Japanese carriers are located almost instantly. Hornet’s bombers and fighters are directed to the enemy, and don’t get “lost” (freaking Ring…). Enterprise’s planes are also directed, and arrive as one group instead of three separate ones. Fletcher probably has the confidence to go ahead and send all of his fighters and dive bombers instead of holding back half of his bombers (which turned out to be a fatal error for his ship) and nearly all of his fighters (he historically sent just four fighters, and those were the only Wildcats to fight during the attack; fortunately, one of those fighter pilots was Jimmy Thatch…). And further, the E2-C is able to provide good enough information that all three strikes are coordinated to arrive over the Japanese carriers simultaneously.

              And then, if Hiryu still survives the initial wave anyway, the E2-C is able to detect her incoming strikes against Yorktown from long range before they get close to Yorktown.

              And that’s assuming, of course, that the Hawkeye hadn’t already directed USN fighters in picking off Tone’s scout plane before the latter could spot and report the US carriers. So Hiryu might not even have known where to send her strikes.

              1. Would Midway happen at all if the Japanese fleet had been sunk on December 7? Most (all?) of the carriers at Midway were in that fleet.

                1. All of the fleet carriers were part of the Pearl Harbor attack. The next fleet carrier wouldn’t be available until the luckless Taiho was launched.

                  But it’s an example of how the Tomcats might not necessarily be the most valuable planes on the Nimitz in that scenario. Yeah, I’m confident that they’d figure out how to make jet fuel. But the Nimitz could still be a massive game changer even if the Tomcats and Intruders couldn’t fly.


                  Assuming the Empire of Japan didn’t immediately sue for peace –

                  1.) IJN loses all three carrier divisions during the Pearl Harbor raid.
                  2.) USS Nimitz visits Oahu and reveals what happened, along with when the Nimitz is from. Kimmel and Short probably keep their jobs.
                  3.) Nimitz sorties along with the three carriers in the Pacific (Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga) and escorts. Destroys Wake invasion fleet, and then heads to the Philippines. Isn’t accompanied by battleships because speed is of the essence, and the battlewagons are too slow.
                  4.) IJN ships supporting the invasion of the Philippines are wiped out in a series of raids conducted by USN aircraft. The radar systems on the Nimitz – including the E-2s, plus the radars on the Tomcats and Intruders in a pinch – allow the USN to know exactly where the Japanese air and fleet elements in the area are at all times, while the Japanese stumble around in the dark, completely unable to locate the USN carriers and their escorts.
                  5.) Yorktown and Hornet arrive not long afterwards, both having come through the Panama Canal from Norfolk. If the situation in the Philippines is going well, then they’re likely deployed to relieve the pressure on US allies elsewhere in the region
                  6.) The easy strikes are carried out by the Yorktown and Lexington-class carriers due to the munitions issue. Nimitz’s munitions are reserved for the more difficult targets due to the inability to replace them.
                  7.) The only real threat to the group is IJN submarines. Since Nimitz isn’t accompanied by her ASW escorts, she’s forced to rely on destroyers of the era with their older sonar systems, and her own helicopters. This makes it possible (though unlikely) for a Japanese submarine to sneak up on the USN fleet.

            1. Why, when we’ve just seen military obey perfectly unlawful orders to abandon American citizens?

              1. Because we’ve also seen that some of those military members actually did destroy their equipment and arms before leaving the wreckage for the Taliban. Because we’ve seen a Marine Lt Col deliberately terminate his career castigating the President, SecDef and Joint Chiefs over the Afghanistan disaster. Because a certain Bradley Manning blew the whistle on illegal activities of various military branches and operations.

                Just because we’re in military uniform doesn’t mean we’re monolithic Yes-men with rifles. Some of us will choose to do what we believe is the right thing, in spite of orders to the contrary, and with full knowledge of the consequences of our actions.

                1. Heck, the spokes-twit got asked during reporter time about the guys who went over the fence to save a hundred and sixty some civies when they *couldn’t* cover it up.

                  Had to do the “more research” answer.

          2. Well, “Battleship” was better than I expected, despite Hollywood. The USS Missouri with a Japanese at the helm, on a kamikaze run against alien invaders to the tune of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”… that’s straight Elvira stuff.

            Maybe not the most *appropriate* song, but hey, “Thunderstruck” works almost everywhere.

            “Sound of the drums,
            beat of my heart.
            The thunder of guns
            tore me apart.
            You’ve been… thunderstruck!”

      2. Yeah; a dozen plus years ago a co-worker and I would get onto the topic of what ifs, and it wouldn’t be long before one or both of us would be singing “I Thank God for Unanswered Prayer.”

    4. Would all that electrical power be there for isotope separators?

      Don’t forget all the electrical power used for smelting aluminum. Atomic bombs wouldn’t have been much use without B-29s to deliver them.
      My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

      1. A very old article I read about the history of aluminum referred to it as “solidified electricity.”

          1. The very tip of the Washington Monument is aluminum. They did it because it was new and cool and probably very expensive when designed (although less so by 1888 when completed construction halted due to lack of funds from 1854 to 1877).

          2. I heard Napoleon had silver and gold table settings — and aluminum for his really important guests.

  9. To make matters for “interesting” personally, I got a colonoscopy scheduled for Tues the 7th (not sure of the time).

    That means Monday, I’ll be “cleaning out my system” (which is very “interesting”).

    My sister will be driving up Tues to get me there and back (they don’t want me driving or riding in a bus).

    And Saturday, I’m scheduled for a Covin-19 Test. Fun And Game.

    The above may not be much in relations to the Main Plot but it’s putting pressure on me. 😦

      1. I had planned for a two night stay for the ‘scopy. Night One was the metaphorical Roto-rooter, with Night Two to sleep it off. I was told in recovery that driving before 4PM the next day would get me a potential DUII, so I had to add a night. Just in time for the second whacking great snowstorm in a few days. (The first was the day I drove into town in an honest to God blizzard, complete with whiteouts and high winds. Yikes!)

        They were more-or-less OK with me staying at a hotel a quarter mile from the hospital, though they would have much preferred my wife to be there. Couldn’t happen…

        The preop drugs for knee surgery were interesting. About halfway down the hallway to the OR, my memory cut out, as I had been warned. I was rather loopy post-op, though I had to go home due to covidiocy room limitations. The drugs used during the procedure were, er, strong.

      2. Odd, because I’ve never had a memory problem from the colonoscopy sedation; and the place I go shuts down your consciousness completely. Tried paying attention this time and I switched off and on like a light switch. Of course the techs were kind of surprised that I had full balance within 10 minutes and I was standing on one leg putting my pants on. So they didn’t bother with a wheel chair to take me back to the entrance. However, they did have this cute LNA hold my arm on the way out.

    1. They never let you drive. Don’t want you home alone when you get there either. Which means no: taxi, bus, or other paid for service, at least unaccompanied, by a legal adult. All 3 times I’ve had one (due again … dang 5 years goes fast, if this one is like the last one I can go on the 10 year rotation) the person dropping me off had to stay and meet with the staff, sign they were the one who’d be there to listen to the result summary with me, take me home, stay with me for X minimum hours …

      The prep is not fun (worse when your BS tends to plummet). The other part, well they do put you out … “99, …. Oh, done!”

      I hate these. Hugs.

      1. Place I went to last time had a sign that if you were an afternoon case, your ride had to stay for you and could not leave while it went on.

    2. Whomever developed the suprep should be forced to have that once per week for the rest of their life. 😛

      1. My doctor went with the magnesium citrate cleanout. However, because I’d been clearing way too much snow before heading into town (twice–forgot my medication/toiletry bag and had to go back from town to get it), I’d gotten dehydrated, so there wasn’t enough liquid in my system to do a good job at first. Took some work, but I got it to Good Enough before I had to report to the day-surgery unit. Had to go pee several times while I was waiting, complete with trundling the IV stand around. Not the first time I’ve had to do it, but it’s inconvenient.

        No memory issues from the general anesthesia. Saw them start the feed, and the next thing I knew I was waking in recovery. I had some pudding or such for an Advanced Meal Substitute, and went to bed early. Felt human in the morning.

        1. That’s my experience with anasthesia. They start it and suddenly I’m awake in recovery.

          1. I try hard to think of it as a trendy “cleanse”. I’ve failed. At my age, “Come back in five years” is a “Yeah, been nice knowing you.”

          2. A little hazy, though. I remember carefully working out that since I had a curtain on both sides of me instead of cinder block on one I must be in recovery.

            1. Awaking on my back was the tell for me. 🙂

              FWIW, the colonoscopy in 2002 was performed under mild sedation. They even had a monitor so I could see what the docs were seeing. That might have been due to the huge amount of engineers in their patient list.

  10. Off topic, I think…

    As some might know, the moo-mobile of ~23 years is no more. On the Final Trip, a phone mount that had had some elastic or spring fail, was still in use by the addition of a rubber band wrapped several times around the parts that were supposed to clamp the phone in place. As the trip progressed, the band failed. Having been in service (in heat and sun) for some time, much was fused together, so a simple single snap was not catastrophic. But it FELT like a foreshadowing bit in a novel… I began to expect the final failure to have the phone drop out just as the vehicle became undrive-able. This did not QUITE happen. Eventually it seemed all wrappings had snapped, but somehow things held and the phone didn’t fall or fly… though the vehicle did become no longer auto-mobile not long after that.

    There is a new (9 years old, but 14 years newer… and MUCH nicer/fancier) moo-mobile now. Not sure of the phone mount situation (I have something that works, but it falls under “good idea – almost” in this instance), but there’s no rubber bands, fwiw.

    1. This part of the book might suck. But the promise is that the payoff at the denouement will be worth the sucky parts.

  11. Enough food to get through the winter?
    Check mark.
    Enough firewood to get through if electric and/or hearing oil stops?
    Check mark.
    Bolt holes just in case?
    Check mark.

    Parenthetical aside; (While writing this I hear one of the neighbors shooting in his yard [Our yards often measure in tens of acres.], groups of three, sighting in his rifle. Moose season opens today.)

    Alternate communications systems?
    Needs more work.
    Rigs & fuel to get to the coast?
    Check mark.
    Spare clothing and gear stored 3 places, away from the house?
    Check mark.
    Tools, including projectile pushers, cleaned, oiled, organized, maintained?
    Check mark.

    When living through the stupidest plot there’s much beyond your control, but get a tight handle on what you can control.

    Just sayin,.

    1. Projectile Pushers

      🙂 I like. I do. You didn’t mention the specialized perfectly balanced projectiles required stockpile …

      Careful now, they’ll push a law making slings illegal next (walking away whistling innocently …)

      1. Perfectly balanced’s good but, if necessary, make do works pretty well.

        Just for the fish, just for the halibut, I’ve been casting my own projectiles in hand built wooden molds (I was quite surprised 30-40 hot lead castings through same wood mold, minuscule change in dimensions, quite usable.) for pushing with a charcoal, salt peter, etc., mix (Also, just for the fish, trying mixing my own salt peter, etc.), out a smooth barrel. Tossing them 50 yards or less, they end up satisfyingly close to one another.

  12. The abandoned service dogs might be the plot twist that brings it all down. Americans love their pets. The most insane, spittle-flecked lefties I know love their pets. To abandon dogs to starvation and death? Do the Chinese know how much we love our dogs here?

    1. Weirdly, I’ve been seeing both posts about leaving the dogs behind, and other posts complaining that we took dogs (probably not the same dogs) when there were so many people still needing to get out. I’m thinking that we’re split on this issue.

      1. It isn’t like they left people standing on the tarmac. The dogs were left behind on the tarmac even if there was room. There is a difference. The commander who obeyed the order to leave the dogs behind needs to be lined up with BidenHarrisPelosi self congratulatory crowd, … to receive the congratulatory prize they’ve earned. I haven’t read that any were sneaked onboard in defiance of orders (wouldn’t surprise me if some were and it is being kept quiet … but …).

      2. People just need to be told that dogs fly in the cargo section, and not as passengers.

        No reason you can’t fly both out at the same time.

      3. .Insty has a story where the DOD claims to have debunked the story. OTOH, since their credibility is approaching @sqrt(-1), I’d be inclined to look for the officer responsible…

        1. It wasn’t US Military Dogs, it was Contractor Dogs. But that doesn’t really matter. They DID NOT have to leave them. They left 24 hours before the dead line. Planes left that were NOT FULL. No excuse for it.

          The other piece was the State Department trying to stop the people that were getting people out like Glen Beck. OVERT, without REASON, trying to stop people from getting people out. THAT needs to be TALKED about a lot.

          1. Yup. The DoD denial is semantics. The DoD said that no military dogs were left behind. They’ve also argued that claims against them are wrong because there were no dogs left behind in cages at the airport. That’s 100% correct. The DoD took their military dogs. Then they let all of the contractor dogs (which can apparently do pretty much the same work) out of their cages, and left.

          2. I saw an interview with one of those independent contractors trying to get American citizens out of Afghanistan. They had planes IN THE AIR, the U.S. State Department called the destination countries and told them to refuse permission to land. That’s active evil, that is.

              1. Course it is, they need to be able to spend 20+ years berating us about losing a war. They think the inconvenient details about this part will just disappear.

                1. No, it’s more than that. “Just losing” would be evacuating our troops and people from Afghanistan. We’d get enough international mockery just for that. This is something else. If it’s not an active conspiracy, then it’s petty bureaucratic tyranny dialed up to “over nine thousand!”.

                  (meme from a popular anime that I haven’t actually watched)

            1. According to the contractor, they’re not telling anybody where they’re operating out of, or where they’re sending the American citizens they rescue, so the State Department can’t threaten those countries into kicking them out.

              This, for doing the job the U.S. government should have done before pulling out of Afghanistan. It’s like they WANT to hand thousands of hostages over to the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Oh, wait…
              There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

    2. I know how much the Chinese love their dogs… stir-fried with rice and soy sauce. (And a joke about woking the dog is just egregious.)

      They have no clue how much it’s going to piss off every American.

        1. If I understand it right, the Chinese will eat anything animal protein that won’t actively kill them, because historically meat has been rather scarce. Now, without the traditional taboos on certain things, everything is fair game (pun intended.) Not perhaps the most desired meat, but it’s still meat.

            1. I don’t know the details, but in the famous Chinese novel ‘The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, one peasant apparently butchers and cooks his wife in order to prepare a meal for the hero Liu Bei. And Liu Bei is considered the good guy.

              Another of the big four famous Chinese novels, “Water Margin: Tales of the Marshes”, has bandit innkeepers who murder their guests to steal the guests’ valuables, and then use the meat of the murder victims to feed subsequent guests.

              Cannibalism is something that’s been present as a topic in Chinese literature for a very long time.

              1. In Hungry Ghosts, Jasper Becker refers to documents going back centuries that not only refer to cannibalism, but actually promote it. (I read a library copy, so I’d have to get it back to give you a citation).

              2. The soundtrack album (never saw the play) for Sweeney Todd was the first CD I ever walled. Something about S. Sondheim just ain’t right. When he’s good, he’s great. When not, run away. (Friend of $SPOUSE saw Assassins in the infamous San Jose show. Since they were in the front row, they were shocked to see that they were one of the seven couples left in the audience at the end.)

          1. Old story still current among old China hands as they used to call us. An American sees something and wonders how to make a buck off it, a Frenchman sees something and wonders how to make love to it, a Cantonese sees something and tries to figure the best way to cook it.

      1. Saw a show that showed Chinese cook preparing CAT. While in the cage put a noose around the Cats throat on a pole and pulled it tight. Using the pole he pulled the Cat out of the cage and plunged it into a large vat of boiling water and swished it around for a few seconds. He then pulled it out and put it on the table. The Cat’s mouth was still working. All this was done to make it EASY to take the skin and fur off. Just a quick and off it came. He started to gut it. Some time after he started to gut it the Cat died. Cages were staked close to the vat. where the Cats could all see what was happening. The voice over didn’t act like it was strange or bothering at all. Just how you fixed Cat. Easy way to skin a Cat.

        I still don’t think the English voice over was actually watching the video or knew what was going on.
        Never hear of any Animal Groups talking about how the Chinese treat animals do you??? I wonder WHY?

            1. Exactly. My fur bearing 4 legged roommates aren’t happy with me right now … anti flea application day. They like the results, just don’t care for the process. Clipped nails the other day too, still in the dog house for that. Little newest one goes to our veterinarian for the first time tomorrow, she’ll get her dose then (second one, SIL/BIL took care of first dose when the rescued her).

              1. Kat the border collie is recovering from her first exposure to a chewy stick. Non-rawhide, but it had a “decorative” wrap of high-fat skin. Took her 5 minutes to get the skin off, and she ate it. I saw her going after it, and was going to take it away from her. Turned again and it was gone.

                Upset tummy all day Wednesday, and her GI system still isn’t up to snuff, though she got her energy yesterday evening. Oops!

                We’ll try the sticks later. Maybe after she’s 6 months old, or maybe a year. They’re in the freezer now, including the one missing its wrapper. Edible chewsticks specified for puppies aren’t a thing. Should have noted that.

                We seem to be too high and/or cold in winter for fleas to be an issue. With the drought and the smoke from the fires, even mosquitoes were in short supply.

                1. Willamette Valley has been historically HORRIBLE for fleas; worse even than Longview. To the point that elderly pets especially suffer. Or did. I LOVE Revolution. Been using it now for the cats since about 2000, then dogs (although switched to Triflexis for current dog, which added Ticks and Heartworm protection).

                  Haven’t had to spray the yard, or bug bomb the house since started using it; which had to do regularly despite weekly spraying the animals. Bonus, son and I aren’t being bit. This means current treatments is interrupting the flea lifecycle, clean animals brought on property will not pickup fleas, even if not treated. OTOH none few untreated animals will be clean of fleas. Not willing to experiment that the fleas will be eliminated if continue non-treatment. Dawn soap helps to start. Will also do a partial dose. I mean when you have a 1.2 oz kitten that is 8 oz kitten after treatment … fleas are that BAD.

                  If you ever bring your untreated animals west of the Cascades, the above is something to remember.

          1. I recall reading a few months ago about some “festival” over there where they torture dogs to death and then eat them.

            Look, eating dog and cat in a culture, okay I find it repulsive, but sometimes it’s any available protein. (And I would sooner starve to death than eat either my dog or my cat.) No, it’s the TORTURING THEM TO DEATH AND CELEBRATING IT that I take severe issue with that. A culture that does that is NOT a healthy, sane culture.

        1. If the other cats could see him killing and butchering the cat, then it definitely wasn’t Halal or Kosher, assuming cats are in the first place, which I don’t think they are.

  13. I’m hoping that this is going to be like the 1970’s-lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and eventually ending with a number of the idols being tossed down because they neither satisfy nor provide anything other than payment to the priestly castes.

    I wasn’t around for most of the ’70s other than as ova and sperm. But, I can recall so many people saying that America’s best days are behind us and that other countries are going to kick our asses, coming in from the ’70s and during the ’80s.

    …and, they didn’t.

    The EU was supposed to be this economic “soft power” super-state that would be able to out-everything the US. And if it isn’t the Frankenreich in all but name, I’ll be surprised. And, if England leaving could make everyone wonder if it’s going to collapse because the economies of Europe are all facades, there’s a problem.
    Japan was going to beat our asses because of their public/private industry combinations. Their population is falling below replacement rate, because it’s too expensive to have kids where you can make a living and you can’t make a living where it isn’t too expensive to have kids. All that labor that worked their asses off in the 1970s and 1980s is retiring, but there’s no place for the people now to move into and kids can’t see any reason to work their asses off, either.
    China was going to beat our ass because they’ve been investing in all of the “gosh wow” technologies that the US hasn’t been. And, I think when somebody pokes the curtain, they realize that the Wizard has no clothes.
    The Soviet Union was going to beat our ass because they had all of this land and all of this industrial potential and they could provide guns to everyone that wanted to engage in Socialist Liberation and…they couldn’t even feed themselves. Or truly exploit their natural resources. Or make anything more complicated than a simple assault rifle that worked more than half the time. And, most of the performance numbers were people lying from the bottom up, because the Boss wanted to hear nothing but good news.

    But, I agree. This damned timeline and this damned plot could be better. I’m not wanting the…excitement that I can write for my characters, but there’s something just so very wrong going on in the writing room.

    1. The EU is looting its few functional economies to prop up the dysfunctional ones. Not doing anything to FIX them, mind you, just propping them up. Britain got out while they still had an economy to save, although they are infested with enough socialists to make it marginal.
      Governments can only print money; they can’t make it worth anything. They can make it worth nothing.

      1. The EU is going to be run over by the Muslims as they conquer Europe and establish Islamic States. They might not succeed if the French, English, Germans, Swedes, etc. can find their balls. But the Europeans are going to die in great bloody bunches either way it goes. It is ONLY a matter of TIME. The US cannot save them. Nobody but themselves can, if they find the WILL.

          1. On top of that under the covers the various European countries have a feeling of being their own tribe/nation that the US never quite got. Here we were kind of used to a broad mix of folks (though we may not have treated them well) but if you’re not a Frenchman in France you’re a nobody (or worse some darned English pig dog :-). Things could turn very ugly very quickly there’s a lot of that kind of feeling to draw on and if the various Islamic imports keep misbehaving they will find they have issues…

            1. I actually heard a leftist claim because we don’t have a false myth of a common blood origin, you can’t say that someone is not an American.

        1. Weird things are happening in Europe. The press hides a lot of it from Americans, but hints and clues leak through regardless. And the result – in response to Islamic pressure – might very well be something unexpected, and not as dire as you believe.

            1. The Old East is staying very Catholic (or Calvinist, in Hungary), as best I can tell. Austria is getting more devout as well, pilgrimages are increasing. Eastern Germany is seeing a bit of a revival, but the problem there [government problem] is that the current government sees “strongly Christian” as “anti-government” as “neo-Whatever.” Thank you, Mutti Multikulti.

          1. I know that in Ireland there is not a lot of love for the hordes of unvetted immigrants that the Irish government has been admitting, settling, and funding (seemingly in perpetuity). Your average Irish voter is beyond fed up. But you only get the official version of events.

    2. To date- Britain, the USA, Japan, and other British descended navies are the only ones that can do side to side underway replenishment and refueling. It takes a lot to actually run a full Navy well.

      3 submarines fully loaded and the CCP isn’t going to successfully invade Taiwan by sea. I believe that Taiwan can defend itself from an air invasion.

      There isn’t any nation that can launch an actual military invasion of the USA. The problems many nations face is- they rely on us being able to defend them. And that requires more than just an Army and Navy- it requires political will to do so. Biden has demonstrated that currently, we don’t have that.

      1. It’ll make the 2022 elections very interesting, especially if people take my advice and start getting involved in local campaigns now and make sure to hold everybody’s feet to the fire.

      2. Just about anyone in the first island chain has the capability to stomp the PLAN into the seabed. That is before we take into account the sort of personnel problems we can expect the PLAN to have trying to run a modern navy.

        1. That would be where the specification of “military invasion” applies. As politically useful as it may by to classify them the same, the situations are completely different in how they work.

          1. Just remember, the Constitution only specifies “invasion” not the type. Legally, Congress can call up the civilian militia (i.e. you me and every other able bodied, armed, person from 18 to 65 now iirc) to repel or kill ever single one of these illegal aliens.

            1. Actually, the states being invaded could should the federal government fail to act. But first, they have to call it “invasion” in the call, not “illegal immigration”. Ang they have to have the political will to kill everyone crossing the border unlawfully- man, woman, child, and babe in arms.

                    1. Up here on the Pontipee ranch, we ain’t sofisticated. Not since that Froggy ballet guy married Mr Bixby. (BTW I cannot find benet’s text ANYWHERE!)

      3. No one else has needed the capability, though. The US, UK, and Japan, are the only nations that have operated post-Dreadnought navies that were more than glorified coast guard forces or commerce raiders. If you don’t send large task groups to patrol distant regions for lengthy periods of time, you don’t need the ability to do side to side replenishment. You can wait until you’re back in port, instead.

          1. I think it draws from our REAL superpower of being just that dang crazy.

            UNREP, landing on carriers routinely, air to air refueling, “hey teach these kids to fire a gun and make srue they know that they’re to DO stuff if they run out of other orders”…..

        1. And if you ARE operating a single task force patrolling distant regions, and have bunkering capabilities/treaties with other countries, you don’t need to do unreps. There’s a reason China has been pursuing the purchase of port facilities in Pakistan, Djibouti, and other countries.

      4. I suspect more than a few of our “allies” have to change their national britches. You know the ones who haven’t kept their national armed forces to a reasonable level. Plus most of these allies don’t accept citizenry self protection. Oops.

        Our one time wonder team BidenHarrisPelosi team can cut readiness of our armed services, but they can’t cripple the home team. They can try. They won’t succeed.

        1. Ah, you must mean that in the sense of ‘put on their big-boy pants’ rather than ‘change their shorts’. 😛

  14. General recommendations for everyone. Good for the coming collapse, but good in general, too.

    First, garden. Serious gardening, vegetables, not just frou-frou flower beds. Grow more than you think you need (we’ll get to overamounts in a bit). What you garden isn’t so important as that you do, and in copious amounts.

    Second, get home canning equipment and learn to use it. Freezers are nice, till the power goes out. But you can can anywhere you can boil water, by whatever means. Make sure you have the shelf space for your canned goods. Learn how to can whatever produce you’ve overgrown.

    If you live rurally, learn to hunt and do so. Along with hunting, you’ll need to learn how to dress game and to smoke meat. It wouldn’t hurt to learn to bow hunt, either.

    Develop groups of like-minded friends who you can trade and share victuals with.

    That’s it for the moment.

    1. I’d add have/build an ink and paper, non digital, reference library.

      I’ve often contended the Audels Manuals form the twenties contain more than enough information to rebuild an early 20th century civilization from the rubble.

      Dan Bear’s American Boys Handy Book 1st edition 1882, for example, has enough data and detail to get a tenderfoot through the first season or two in the rough while he figures which way is up.

      Speaking of digital storage, I bought a Rakuten Kobonia e-ink ebook reader last January and copied my 600 + ebook library on to it. My thinking was I’d have those books available even if the computer and grid electric fails & I could recharge it with a tiny solar array. Well, I tried a solar charge yesterday, the sun went behind a cloud and (Back flow from the Kobo battery to the solar panel?) and my Kobo bricked, locked up, died, became absolutely non-responsive. I did get it running again, needed a wi-fi connection to do so, but all the data, books, therein were lost.

      Bottom line; I’ll keep playing with digital storage but I put my trust in paper.

    2. Bow hunting allows you to take game without people hearing you. This is a major plus when you have mobs roaming your town looking for food to take or redistribute.

    3. Already planning to order more seed this winter for next year, although undecided about whether to expand my plantings or just use the three beds I have now. I’m thinking I’ll shift my emphasis to more bushy plants, and drop the watermelons and muskmelon that seem to just attract bunnies. I may have to figure out ways to trellis my snow peas and sugar snap peas if I can’t find bush varieties, but that may be possible with scrap wood or even branches (speaking of which, it’s finally getting cooler, so I need to get a new crop of both kinds of peas in, and see if I can get it harvested before real cold weather gets here).

      I was going strong this year right until we started having conventions again, at which everything went to heck. I ended up giving away several bags of beans and zucchini because I didn’t have time to cook or preserve it. And I had a beautiful muskmelon that was not quite ripe when I left — but by the time I got back, the bunnies had gotten it and there was nothing but a shell to throw on the compost pile.

      But gardening has kept me fit, and given me something to do in the long period when we had absolutely no conventions.

      1. Sounds like it’s time to whip up some Rabbit Stew. 😀

        “Rabbits et my vegetables, I et the rabbits. Circle of life.”

          1. We have rabbits. And also deer. I’m fairly sure a squirrel bonked me on the neck with a nut the other day. (I thought at first a bird had messed on me, so I wasn’t terribly unhappy to discover otherwise.) lt is possible that my gardening attempts will all fail until I invest in fencing with small holes, possibly including a ceiling. (Judging from the wailing about squash bugs and vine borers, it is also conceivable that my gardening attempts will fail until I back it up with a fine mesh and handle pollination myself.)

            1. Taters. Ask Andy Weir and Matt Damon. 😉 Seriously, in the desert areas, apparently maize and squash and beans. In more temperate areas, aforesaid taters. Maybe milk goats. I read that one can survive adequately on milk and potatoes. True? I dunno.

                1. in re: Taters. I keep seeing methods of “digging free potato raising”. In containers, IIRC fifteen gallons (57 liters 😉 ) or larger.

      2. We just shut down the greenhouse for the season; haven’t had any hard freezes yet, but already several days just below freezing. We’ve done a couple dehydrator runs and have ripe tomatoes in the fridge and the semi-ripe ones in bowls. $SPOUSE picked the green remainder and they’re in boxes to ripen. Living in Zone 1 makes for a short, interesting growing season.

        FWIW, I buy a couple of tomato seed varieties on line. Tomato Growers Supply (not just tomatoes, too) has the Siletz hybrid, and NE Seeds sells Siberian tomato seeds in bulk. We usually get Roma and summer squash seeds from the Burpee retailers.

        Now I have some projects to get done before it gets too cold to work.

  15. Once upon a time we elected our senior politicians based on our judgement of their competence to lead. Even at the best of times that depended more on perception than reality, who could best represent themselves as the person for the job.
    No more, now it’s all about who can best cheat, steal, and backroom deal themselves into office.
    Yet once elected they somehow believe with no doubts whatsoever that the election results, no matter how slim, no matter how questionable, bestow upon them a mandate of infallibility, of wisdom, of superior intellect. And when they inevitably screw things up beyond salvation it always winds up being someone else’s fault.

    1. “when they inevitably screw things up beyond salvation it always winds up being someone else’s fault.”

      They will point to their predecessor or (if said predecessor is from same political group/view) the opposition. “they wouldn’t let me do what *I* wanted to do.”

      politicians always going to political. Which means never saying “I was wrong”.

    2. Pardon me Lar, but I voted for Mr. Trump because I thought he was competent and was the best person for the job. The fact that he was loud, obnoxious, and irritating wasn’t relevant. His positions, and his actions were what made the difference. I only have two complaints: (1) because much of what he did was via EO and not legislation, it wasn’t durable enough to survive overturning the minute the Dems took office. (2) he vastly underestimated the amount of fraud he was going to face, and overestimated the abilities of his supporters to contest it.

      1. Mike, you are absolutely correct. I failed to mention that I consider Trump the exception that proves the rule. As a hard nosed businessman he brought a bare knuckle attitude that scandalized the effete majority of his detractors. Politicians who come up through the ranks like Obama and Biden are all about appearance and dirty back room dealings. We were better off when we elected former Generals and Governors who at least had some experience in actual problem solving.
        Trump lost in 2020 (officially, though absolutely not in actual point of fact) because 1) some found him unbearably offensive. 2) He had the majority of the media firmly against him, showering him with unfounded accusations while covering up every speck of dirt on the Biden side. 3) An absolutely astounding in our face collection of fraud cheating and sabotage in the voting process itself.
        There is not a day goes by that I do not miss him.
        And my biggest fear is that even if we get him or someone like him back in power it will be too late as those who have seized power continue to destroy every bit of power and credibility our once great nation has left.

        1. Thing is, a) our power and credibility originally came out of the people in the first place b) reputation based on false things is fragile, destructive, and not worth preserving c) so if institutions are truly corrupted loss of reputation is a correct remedy d) we do not know if what institutions are corrupted to which degree e) Americans can rebuild institutions to recover an appropriate amount of the lost value of reputation.

          Bradford Raffensperger is/was a Civil PE, who spoke in public about a technical claim that was within electrical engineering, where it is not clear that he had any training or professional background. When I last checked, he was a PE in good standing in Georgia and in Florida.

          There are some more subtle issues with some of the engineering professional organizations. Forex, recently, a portion of IEEE has been promoting an “I believe in science pledge”.

          As an engineer, how valuable is the reputation of engineering to you? Deep down, wouldn’t you rather that the public were skeptical of engineers than have technical misconduct concealed with ‘we are engineers, you, the laymen, are not competent to observe that the bridge has fallen down’?

          1. Believe me, I parlayed a BS-ISE into a civil service job into a 25 year career with a small independent government agency who’s sole purpose is space exploration. Yeah, that one.
            Time and time and time again I observed sound solid engineering decisions over ruled by political expediency. Never forget that Challenger launched simply because the concern over the optics of yet another launch delay were unacceptable to the powers that be. Extend that directive which cost us a billion dollar vehicle and the lives of the entire crew downward to a host of lesser decisions driven by politics in spite of cautions by solid engineering talent.

  16. For some time I’ve thought Biden would not be ousted because the Chinese would want to protect their investment. Now? They may feel it’s paid off beyond their wildest dreams.

    It may be a stupid plot, but it’s not entirely predictable.

    1. If Biden is “ousted”, it’s only because he goes blatantly camatose before he keels over. I think he’s fading faster than anyone anticipated.

      1. I anticipated faster- as did many others. I’d say there’s a serious split on how fast.

        Methinks the calls to remove him have been muted until they figure out how to rid of Kamala.

        1. A few months ago, someone over at Ace’s blog linked (in the comments) an article that listed the various stages of dementia. Despite how bad Biden’s doing, he’s still only showing signs of mid-stage dementia (though Ace clarified it as “late mid-stage” earlier today). Biden can still get a *lot* worse.

            1. That’s likely true, but his other issues aren’t as obvious. He’s clearly not in the best physical health. But it’s not clear how much of his physical appearance is due to his old age, and how much is due to his mental health.

              1. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect physical well-being as well as mental. Eventually the mental deterioration becomes such that the whole system doesn’t “remember” how to function. What’s left of mental function is down to sheer survival. So, walking becomes a shuffle because the brain can no longer process what it’s seeing on the ground as the person walks. Of course shuffling leads to more tripping, which leads to falls, which leads to ….and down the drain you go.

            2. Yeah as I said the other day the FICUS looks really awful. President is a tough job takes a lot out of 50 and 60 somethings let along a 74 year old in pretty poor condition. That said he looks WAY worse than that battering would account for. There’s a family history of strokes/TIA in my ancestry and he looks like my grandmother or uncles before a BIG stroke. Of course I figured they’d martyr him in the first couple months so Harris would look decent. It also helps when you have a bozo if he gets offed the people think fondly of him (E.G. JFK). If they let him slide further into the vegetable kingdom they get no boost Harris, and heaven knows she needs something, as basically comparing her to a rabid wolverine ends up 30-40 points in favor of the wolverine.

              1. IMO, a rabid wolverine as president might not be such a bad thing right now if said wolverine took our country’s foreign policy firmly in ha… er, paw.

                  1. Nah, he was in the USA when the Constitution was ratified and so a citizen just *undocumented*.

                    Good enough for living Constitution standards.

                1. Using Yale Romanization, not the CCP-sponsored parasitic infectious no-good no-how Romanization, I prefer to identify the Current Occupant (though no one’s home), as Jou Bai-dan. Yale Romanisation has no Q or X, although Syi Jin-ping has that unique Mandarin sound up front, and standalone “r” is a challenge.

          1. Stress will speed up the decline. And some of the drugs that are touted as “slowing the progress” have really nasty side-effects, like violence and rampant paranoia. The stress from that speeds up the decline as well. I would be surprise if Biden makes it to one full year in office.

            1. Joe may well also have had a recreational drug habit at some point.

              Additionally, the power politics and apparent leadership vacuum will spill over into the medical access and treatment authority stuff.

              1. I’m pretty sure, just given his age, that he drank a fair amount of alcohol when he was younger. Not so sure about other intoxicants and stimulants.

  17. Some of you may find comfort in the following (all ESV). For the rest, we’ll be praying for you.

    1 Corinthians 10:17 — “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. wGod is faithful, and xhe will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

    Ephesians 6:10-12 — “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

    John 16:33 — “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  18. Sorry about the typos. Using a new online Bible and forgot to remove all the little reference marks. Hence, “wGod” shouls just be “God” and “xhe” should just be “he”. I’ll be better in the future.

    1. In times like these it’s a comfort to know there have always been times like these and that this, too, shall pass. We’re spoiled for choice, but perhaps this from Ecclesiastes 10

      16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when the princes eat in the morning.

      17 Blessed is the land, whose king is noble, and whose princes eat in due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness.

      18 By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through the weakness of hands, the house shall drop through.

      19 For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may feast: and all things obey money.

      20 Detract not the king, no not in thy thought; and speak not evil of the rich man in thy private chamber: because even the birds of the air will carry thy voice, and he that hath wings will tell what thou hast said.

  19. The most inexplicable part of this whole plot is that there are still so many people who are oblivious to the lies and gaslighting and keep picking the exact wrong people to put in charge every time.

    I remember that old commercial where a group kids are running from a killer. One of them suggests, “Let’s jump in that running car and drive away!”
    “No! Let’s all run and hide in that shed full of knives”. And they do that.
    Even the killer was all disgusted at their stupidity.

    I feel like we are being forced into a shed full of knives by people who are to dumb to know how that will go.

  20. I have to disagree about the amount of intention involved here. I think we give them all, especially China, too much credit. Why look for conspiracy when stupidity and hubris are available and, particularly, why look for conspiracy when psychopathy would explain everything without need of any external factors? I’m a great fan of Occam’s Razor when properly applied and this is one of those times.

    Superficial Charm …. Check
    narcissism. ….. check
    Prone to Boredom ….. check
    Pathological Lying ….. check
    Lack of sincerity ….. check
    lack of Remorse ….. check
    Parasitic Lifestyle … they’re politicians so …. Check
    Promiscuity …. Don’t really want to look but handsy Joe
    Early Behavior Problems. Don’t know
    Lack of Realistic long Term goals …. Check
    Impulsivity ….. check
    Irresponsible behavior as a parent …. Um. Hunter Biden anyone
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. ….. Check

    Some of the other test batteries are even stronger. Manipulation, narcissism, cruelty, exploitative, selfish, lack of sincerity, compulsive, entitlement, mimic sincerity.

    Multiply that across the government, and many of them are worse than Joe, look at Schumer, or Schiff. (Or don’t because … eww.) and you can see that this is all the outcome of a bunch of psychopaths psychopathing. No China needed and no long term plan. They’re all just a bunch of grifters who live for the next con.

    China will do their best to exploit this, certainly, but they didn’t create it, they aren’t that good and they have their own problems, much bigger than ours.

    So, the question would seem to be how did we end up with psychopaths running the government and what do we do about it rather than blaming someone outside.

    Or so it seems to me, but what do I know, I’m just a banker and we’re not known for our intelligence. 😇

    1. Adam Schiff is West Hollywood, and his campaigns may have been funded by China through cut outs.

      1. I’m sure they funded him but were he funded by the Salvation Army he’d still act the way he does. Ditto the senator for Goldman Sachs. This is folly beyond stupidity and no one can have planned it, you need reverse psychopathic genius.

        1. I think that funding psychopaths pushes out a certain amount of relative sanity, so keeping a dozen psychopaths in congress might have lasting, usable, but potentially immeasurable results.

          West Hollywood was/is, apparently, a big gay area. Like San Francisco, maybe. ‘Gay Politics’ activists are definitely not the set of all gays, but an area where those activists are concentrated enough to warp local politics is… potentially interesting. I dunno, but it feels like it is probably relevant to what ever it is that has happened.

          Of course, we definitely know that putting together elaborate overly complex explanations is one of the hazards of the way I work. We also know that I am both stressed and crazy.

          Though, I guess big tech is another California data-set that argues for orchestration, and for at least chumminess with the PRC.

    2. I’m only going to point out that supposition works best without outside influence. I’m not sure if anyone from Below is mucking about with people, since I try not to associate with them, but I would be far from surprised. No matter how much blood is in my alcohol system, there are loads of things that have an Infernal smell to them …

  21. “China planned all this to get access to the rare Earths in Afghanistan. And to make America cower and fear them.”

    I don’t know what to think anymore. Tucker recently dropped an amazing factoid: with all the war materiel that Joe did everything but gift wrap for the Taliban, they now have the third most well-equipped military on the globe.

    Think about that. Bigger than Canada. Bigger than Nork. Bigger than Russia!

    And now Joe wants to pay them extortion besides.

    What if all this was the “on purpose” goal?

        1. China, Russia, and Iran, is more what I’m thinking.

          Terrorists would almost solely be interested in the small arms, and those can be maintained by the Taliban (if they’re so inclined). Further, the terrorists would be even less likely to be any good at maintaining such equipment than the Taliban would be. China and Russia would want US equipment so that they could tear it apart and figure out what they could try to copy. Iran, well… Iran has a lot of different reasons to want our stuff. And none of it is good.

    1. Speaking of underhanded and China…. just heard somewhere that the Guy In Charge of a Lot of Financial Shit (I forget the proper title, but not CEO, maybe CFO) of Blackrock, the outfit that’s been buying up all the housing… is a Chinese national. And my brain immediately leapt to the fact that a lot of real estate craziness has been driven by Chinese trying to get their money out of China.

    2. China planned all this to get access to the rare Earths in Afghanistan.
      Implausible. “Rare earths” is a misnomer (IIRC a mistranslation). Those elements are not particularly “rare” in mining terms. What they are is, very friendly with each other and very hard to separate and purify. So refining the ore into lumps of individual elements takes a lot of work and leaves behind a lot of waste. It’s not a very environmentally friendly process. And environmentalists in America made it so expensive that the Chinese undercut American producers and took over the entire market. We could domestically produce all the “rare earth” elements we need, given political will.

      1. Plus after the last time Chyna tried to play games everyone has a stockpile, uses them more efficiently, and can start up the ready-to-go mines in a matter of months.

        1. My Cantonese great-grand pappy will not twitch in his grave (Evergeen Cemetery, L. A.) when I say, “No bleev Chanah. Chanah ahh ahhzho!”

          1. Had to say that aloud in cartoon Chinese accent to translate, and now I can’t stop laughing. Your Cantonese great-grandpappy was a wise man!:D 😀 😀

      2. Afghanistan has huge deposits of other valuable minerals — estimated raw value between one and three TRILLION dollars.


        “Finally, there is a memorandum of understanding with an Australian mining company looking for gold, which is currently produced at a yearly rate of $500 million worth. After spending a trillion dollars for a 20-year war, I still question: where is our share?”

  22. who have to be humiliated and felt to know their humiliation so they don’t rise again.

    Yeah. Nobody who understands Americans would think that would fly.

    We don’t feel humiliation. We feel fury.

    1. Basically, deep down inside, in our heart of hearts, we are mostly much too secure for that behavior to be natural for us.

      Lot of societies have a certain amount of ‘stay where you are, and eat shit, because the alternative is too scary’.

      And the Chinese, from the webnovels, are deeply and quietly angry because of the shit they are made to eat, and how terrified they are of the higher rank or higher status angry sadists shitting on them. If they haven’t been around someone who was later tortured to death, that stuff is very definitely living memory.

      There’s a reason why some of the ABCs who are into that stuff are pretty often getting sick of some of the endless repetition of certain themes. It is because they grew up in America, and are hence not anywhere near angry enough, or feeling trapped enough, for the experience to feel entirely positive.

      Me, I think in terms of getting fired. I can understand the idea of being tortured to death, nine family extirpation, etc., intellectually, but I just do not believe that my own stubbornness will result in that happening to my family.

      I’ve lived my life trying to not be so beholden to a crazy person that I am obligated to put up with their nonsense. Okay, I am crazy, and this causes me problems, but I am talking about being in the power of others. There’s a certain amount I am willing to put up with when it comes to loved ones that are not malicious. Part of my career issues are risk aversion, and part of that risk aversion is not wanting to chance being under the power of people who may be malicious. I may die anyway, but at least I will not meekly travel with my future murderer to the dump site.

      Now, obviously, this is not all Americans.

      But, the reason we were willing to consider that Chauvin may have erred in Floyd’s death is precisely that, not being used to being murdered by officials, we do not think /anyone/ should be murdered by an official.

      If someone tells me an obvious lie, they are insulting my intelligence, or insulting my ability to go find better people to be involved with. Now, I am not very bright, and crazy enough that I get false positives for ‘this person is obviously lying to me’, but I still get angry. I may not act on that anger, because I don’t know what happened, what to do about it, or even if I am correct to see it as a lie.

      Americans do, and are, getting a bit pissy about some of this stuff.

            1. Gee, my great-grandpappy came from Guangdung became a U.S. citizen. So, my grandpa, and father, born in California were USians, not “ABC’s”, yclept.

          1. And right after I ask about the term, it pops up briefly in a new movie! Talk about timing!

            For the curious, the movie in question is Shang-Chi.

            1. Frankly, IMO ABC should be limited to those Chinese citizens kids born in America, especially those who paid for or had the CCP pay for a stay in a birthing hotel in the U.S. I am not Chinese of any stripe, my Dad was not, nor was my grandfather. It is fair to say we have Chinese in our ancestry, but please, not American-born Chinese. TYVM

              1. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about the politics of the term, and was not considering the preferences that the PRC government may have been trying to push for some time.

              2. THANK YOU.
                Same reason I want to set fire to anyone who calls me Portuguese-American. I’m American-American. Yes, I have Portuguese ancestry and was born and raised there. But I abjured all allegiance. And I meant it.

  23. Yeah, Americans get pissed off and fight back. The other day husband and I were talking and I mentioned that Rick’s line in Casa Blanca kept coming back to me…”Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to invade.”

    Same applies now.

  24. If casting aspersions was like sowing seeds, what kind of crop would you expect?

    If casting aspersions was like casting metal, what would it look like out of the mold?

    If casting aspersions was like fly casting, what kind of fish would you expect to catch?

  25. No, the Israelites were go take their slaves from their neighbors.
    The pastor was trying to use Leviticus 25 and the jubilee as, “See, God always intended wealth redistribution!” He also implied anyone who wasn’t filled with “compassion,” for every incoming illegal was a bigot. Somehow, he forgot to cited the verses which specifically commanded the Israelites to take “bondmen and bond women from the heathen people’s around you.”

      1. Well, the positive part was, “You don’t have to kill all the war prisoners anymore,” and “You really shouldn’t enslave Israelites, their families and kinsman avenger/redeemer are supposed to buy them out if you do, and the Jubilee year should free everybody.”

        So I guess “If you gotta take slaves, take them from some place else” is right up there with Moses instituting divorce because the people had hard hearts.

        1. The Catholic Church more or less said the same thing, and the result was the virtual elimination of slavery (serfdom was not the same thing) in Christian Europe. You could *technically* take a non-Christian as a slave. But Jews were (fortunately) apparently considered off-limits as well. And apparently the lack of a market for Christian slaves in Europe meant that no one bothered to go slave raiding against Africa.

    1. Jubilee was a crock for slaves anyway. Once every 50 years? That’s a lifetime back then. Keep them until they’re old and useless, then free them to starve.

      1. Well, that’s (part of) why there’s also a law allowing slaves to refuse to be freed, if they don’t want to be freed.

        1. For some reason I recall Jacob working seven years for Rachel, got Leah, then worked seven more years for Rachel. Wasn’t it that no one could be voluntarily enslaved beyond seven years?

          1. Jacob’s troubles pre dated the Mosaic Law.
            And Laban conned him. Appropriate considering why he had to visit his uncle Laban in the first place.

            1. And then people wonder why Joseph was such a . . . bratty jerk as a younger man, and then just a jerk once he had enough power and resources? He came by it honestly through his father and maternal grandfather.

      2. Except that iirc, the Jubilee year was independent of how long someone had been a slave. Everyone got released during the Jubilee year, even if they’d only been a slave for a short time.

    2. The jubilee was specific to Israel, where God had given plots of land to families. He didn’t want people to be able to short-sightedly sell off their children’s inheritance permanently, so he made sure that the family land would eventually go back to the family. In countries where the land was not parceled out by divine appointment, God never enforced the jubilee. Note that although the early church was heavily invested in sharing their wealth with those who had less than them, nobody in the New Testament so much as mentions the Year of Jubilee as a concept to be emulated by the Christian church.

        1. The church I attend uses “trespasses”.

          Which reminds me, what theological difference is there between “On the night Jesus was betrayed” (which is how the churches I grew up in began the communion service) and “On the night Jesus gave himself for us” (which is how our current church does it). Obviously both are true. And if the difference came about before the current trend of PCing God, it’s probably fine. But I have seen so many attempts to make God think like a 21st century American, over the words of the people who were actually there, or at least much closer to the event than we are, that I’ve become overly suspicious.

          1. I have to say that the current US RC Lectionary drives me nuts since they don’t get English well never mind Latin or Greek. They re-Latinized some of the Mass, which makes it a more literal translation but it’s still clunky. if they were going to do it they should have at least peeked at the Book of Common Prayer for, whatever their theology, they at least spoke the language — which the US bishops don’t.

            My daughter told me she would have 2 Timothy 4:7 read at my funeral so she could see me come back from the dead when they say I have “competed well”. Nope, not me I’ll have fought a good fight, finished my course, and kept the faith, at least I hope so.

            Number 2 son told me he’s going to have all the Hagen Daz hymns played. I hate them. Especially City of God, which always struck me as It’s all, all about me, me me me me mememe. It’s all, all about me, me me meme me me and that miserable on eagle’s wings, it’s so depressing and all are welcome, clearly I’m not I just come every Sunday and Holy day.

            harumph. It’s been a day.

            1. “Eagles Wings” worked as a choral anthem. As a congregational hymn, Bowdlerized, no. And that’s not just the soprano in me grousing about how low the hymn arrangement starts, either.

              I want all five verses of “Be Thou my Vision” sung, with the proper words. And “Once to Every Man and Nation.” Scripture readings from the King James or Geneva translation. Or I will get up and march out of there, and since I plan on being cremated, won’t THAT be a sight to behold! *evil kitty grin*

              1. I want Faith of our Fathers, there are two musical settings, don’t care which one. I’m with you on Be Thou my Vision though for me it’s about the air. My mother used to sing Lord of All Hopefulness to us when we were young, that and Tricoloured Ribbon, which was odd for a British officer’s daughter but hey. Funny enough, she was descended from the original Fleming’s of Slane who were attainted in 1691 the current crowd being usurpers.

                1. Hmmm. Why were the Founding Fathers in the U.S. so against “ex post facto laws and bills of attainder”?? Ask an attainted Fleming.

        2. It’s complicated. The Lords prayer is in 2 places in the gospels, a longer version at Mathew 6:9-3 and a shorter version in Luke 11:2-4. The Mathew version uses ὀφειλήματα for the first which is translated debt, but can mean euphemistically sin (debt owed to G*d) the second is ὀφειλέτης one who owes a debt or euphemistically sinner (debt owed to G*d). The Luke version uses ἁμαρτίας which is sin plain and simple and Luke then has sins against us. Trespass I think comes from the first version of the Book of Common prayer and is just a period synonym for sin. But the word has shifted meaning since the early 17th century and we think of it more in its meaning about traveling across property. The Latin
          Pater Noster has

          Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:

          so debita looks again like debt. I figure the Author can figure out what we mean with any of the three 🙂

          1. I have an interesting take on the options. Being a Presbyterian married to Catholic, have heard each many times. Have contemplated what they are trying to express.

            What convinced me trespasses is the best expression, was when one of my sons called multiple times late at night from Japan (late night our time). He called because depression had struck, and my voice on the wire for hours may have been the only thing keeping him from suicide.

            I thought how he was trespassing into our lives, intruding with thoughts of suicide. This was not sin or debt. I thought about how we intrude into each other’s lives. Awkwardly failing to do what we might, blindly hurting others. Doing what we think is right, sure we did nothing wrong.

            So I like trespass, even if it isn’t exactly the “right” word. Our problem is that we lack a “true” word, so we think we understand, but fail because language is inadequate. Part of it is a map and territory problem. A greater problem is that we think we are doing someone a favor when we”forgive” them, not realizing we may just want them out of our head.

            1. I like it, too, because it covers the meaning in debt and sin– debt is to be “on” another’s property, to be taking something that is theirs, you have their thing of value. Sin is violating the relationship with Himself– going into places you have no right.

              The violation of that which is right seems to work really well the longer you look at it.

              1. There seems to be a disjunction when it comes to “sins and iniquities”. Is it reduplication, or are iniquities, which I read as “unfairness”, distinct?

                1. A quick look around says the word translated as ‘inequity’ was generally was more like ‘twist’ or ‘bend’– pulled out of the right way. I’d need specific verse to find out, because there are a LOT where “inequity” is translated different in different sources, and I can’t find rhyme or reason; for example, Hebrews 10:17 is “sins and inequities” in KJV, but “sins and evildoing” in the USCCB; they have the psalms saying inequity when other translations say “sinfulness” or even cut the word entirely.

              2. This is stretching my old Latin and Greek but both the Latin (debita/debitorum] and the Greek words (Opheiletes) are in fact about debts. it seems like they’re trying to translate an Aramaic term that defines sin as one who owes some obligation to God. I have no idea where they came up,with trespass. In a Ireland we said debt in the US trespasses.

                  1. Thank you for that.

                    I still miss Holy Ghost. If you’re going to say it in a English you ought to say it in English. My Church of Ireland cousins still do.

                    1. God is fond of asking/reminding me. “You say the words. Do you mean them?”

                      In order to mean them, I would have to understand them. We are dealing with infinite paradoxes. The more you understand a paradox the more mysterious it becomes. The simple one: Jesus is 100% man and 100% God. Quantum mechanics is simpler. So such a simple thing as debt, sin, trespass, each word can illumine an aspect of the divine paradox. The parables do point to the importance of debt, king forgiving the guy who then throws his debtor into prison etc.. There may be more parables on that subject than any other. Jesus keeps forgiving sins before healing for example.

                      How do we forgive the guy who does not think they did anything wrong? They will never even know we need to forgive. How do we forgive the one we don’t know has hurt us? Simple words, very complex aspect of being a disciple. Very important in these days of peril.

                1. BGE you hit the nail on the head. Of course that only covers the Matthew version. The Luke variant is definitely sins (h)amartia. Never did Koine greek though did 3 years of Latin. With modern tools and with translations like the NET that have notes on WHY they translated things they way they did you can match the insight of even some of the most erudite of greek scholars. As an Italian saying goes
                  “Traduttore, traditore” a translator is a traitor.

  26. Buzzing off on a tangent, I don’t recall Heinlein’s Sixth Column depicting any of the American fellow travelers of the Pan-Asian invaders.

    1. He did do one, a guy who comes to the first temple of Mota, gets a bed and gets caught with night vision gear trying to break into the priests’ quarters. Under drugs, he tells them, ” A smart guy can get along anywhere.”
      It’s an important point because one of the two “priests,” has qualms about killing him, but realizes it’s necessary and cuts his throat.

      1. Our government is just full of ‘smart guys’. 😦

        Fortunately, D.C. is well supplied with lamp-posts.

      2. Actually multiple. Not only the first one indicated, but the child who first led them to the supervisor to rent the first temple, and the supervisor himself. Different degrees, different motives. Why the “home temple” instigated the “send the applicant to the mother temple for vetting” those who failed were sent back to original temple to be worked and never “in the know” eventually to be reluctantly allowed to leave. There were multiple categories too. Ranging from those just trying to survive, but not the fortitude until the full secret was reveled, but could be used and trusted to work against, or undermine, the invaders if they had a chance safely for themselves and those who looked to them, to those who went on “personal lists”. The book just didn’t list every incident.

  27. Indeed, indeed on the stupidest plot… I won’t rehash it here but I’ve definitely been feeling irritated and exasperated with the Author and the various obnoxious types of devotees that He has that are so aggravatingly common down here, not to mention how my own life has gone. I know I never had what it takes to be a hero, or even an anti-hero, but playing a part akin to Wile E. Coyote wasn’t what I had in mind, and the platitudes and chastisement directing me to accept it in my meatspace environment really doesn’t help at all. And it must be nice to be in a region contemptuous of diapers, too… I swear, all it takes down here is a banner going “CDC recommends” and the go along to get along switch gets flipped. Probably because “It’s just being respectful to others” or some such. I know my unpleasant side would come out if I asked, so I keep quiet while shopping and it tends to come off as whiny and petulant instead of actually effective. It’s hard to stay hopeful about anything these days no matter how much of this is due to BGE’s Occam’s Razor explanation and how much is due to Xinnie the Pooh’s influence. Factor in how badly underprepared and isolated I am, and… *Sigh* Sad part is these thoughts are from a fading black dog bite.

    1. Protest the face diapers. Tell them, “Masks are a lie!” Because they are.

      The Publick Health Authoriteez have known for 100 years that paper and cloth masks do not reduce the spread of viruses in the general population. There have been multiple studies that all produced the same results, starting with a BIG one right after the 1918 flu epidemic. They are lying to us. Again. Don’t ever let it pass without saying so.
      A well-written Zombie Apocalypse novel is at least as believable as anything we’ve heard out of the ‘Publick Health Authoriteez’ over the last year.

      1. With work, all I’d get is fired. With people, see the part where I come off like a petulant, whiny child in person when it comes to these matters. All I’ll do is turn them off.

        1. Ashen is correct when it comes to many companies; ESPECIALLY healthcare. At least healthcare can keep the masks for folks having contact with patient under the criteria that they want to minimize bacteria transmission.

  28. This show gets worse all the time. Not only has the pandemic storyline been dragged out to the point of absurdity, but the writers decided to promote the comic relief character from the Obama arc to the protagonist. The guy just can’t handle the role and we’re supposed to be sympathetic as he makes the worst possible decisions. It needs to be retooled or cancelled stat.

    1. I’ll vote for a reboot where this is all a bad dream and we wake up and Trump is back in office in February of 2021. I know, the technique is verboten now-a-days, but come on. The Great Author is good enough to pull it off. 😛

      1. November, 2024. The President wakes up in the White House bed, turns to his wife, and says, “I just had the weirdest dream, Melania!”


  29. I hope the leftists encounter the type of grue that eats them in the dark since they seem determined to turn out all the lights.

    That gif is my reaction to current events.

    1. Just got the chance to watch that. thank you. I’ve had a sh-t day and this helped. We got 7 inches of rain three hours — almost 10 total — last night and I had a minor flood in the basement My lefty sister didn’t realize what I was on about when I told her I had saved 90% of the books down there. Actually the loss rate will be about the same as the WuFlu and nothing of real value. It just sucks and the cleanup will be a bear because it got the Sheetrock wet and the shelves were melamine from IKEA. Still, it’s only stuff and I wanted to redo it anyway.

      1. Oh geez, what a pain. Glad the books were (mostly) saved… sheetrock is easier to replace!

        When we lived in Minnesota, we quickly learned why basements have drains… and why all the houses were built up on little mounds above street level. Big-ass rain would dump, streets would suddenly have a foot of water and everything in the basement not up on blocks got wet. Fortunately it always drained away as fast as it came.

        1. Pump got overwhelmed. Only time in 50 years this house has had a drop. It was apocalyptic and I’ve been in India and South China during the monsoon so I know from rain.

          I only lost a few books I think, and I can probably fix some of those I have the tools. The water didn’t seem to come above the bottom of the cases. I’ll know better when I start to move them out to get to the walls and rugs. no carpet TG.

          To put it in perspective, at least 25 people died in NYC/North Jersey during the storm. My basement, feh. It’s only stuff. Thank God for money.

  30. Looks like the Chicoms have been busy: Australia is introducing a social credit system. I’m sure that the anti-authoritarian types on the Left who have been sounding the alarm for the past few years will denounce this creeping tyranny any moment now.

    Any moment now.

    Any. Moment. Now.

    1. What’s bad about this is that I can actually not feel guilty speculating on whether 1.) the troops violated orders doing this, or 2.) TPTB didn’t think to order the troops not to do this, or 3.) TPTB was largely indifferent to this.

    2. *Grins and gives phantom thumbs-up to the guys who did it*

      I’m mostly surprised that they are publicly admitting it this quickly.

      Suggests that the “deal” was in “recognizing” the Taliban as a government … Mexico should be scared.

      1. Given how well that has worked in Afghanistan, competent subordinates would advise Biden not to do so in Mexico.

        I recall that a few years back I speculated that PRC apparent policy on the US-Mexico border made a lot of sense if they planned to deploy a biological weapon from Mexico.

        Ah, to live in a world where it would be reasonable to conclude that policy makers would be saner than that.

          1. From the malicious perspective, any of these Afghan special forces types who survive this are a problem.

            And, despite the deck being stacked so heavily against them, some of them will get out. But they have to travel through Pakistan, etc., to reach relatively safe territory.

            Mexico is relatively close to the US. So, survivors carrying the tale are more likely. Being culpable in causing such a mess would be a more certain death sentence.

            It appears that a lot of serving officers are suicidal morons, and such might try to implement a Biden directive to turn Mexico over to the cartels. Which might result in the second American civil war going hot, and the destruction of the cartels.

            One of the complaints is how few officers have resigned. If there is a widespread belief among officers that they are surrounded by partisan nutcases, they may feel that hiding as a partisan nutcase is a way to covertly salvage lives from this mess. We can’t tell how much of this is hampering the effort to stab in the back our allies and forces in Afghanistan.

            1. One of the complaints is how few officers have resigned.

              I’m still not sure if folks are hurting so bad they’re going nuts, or if that’s just a very effective mind virus.

              Why the aye-chee-double-hocky-sticks would we want decent people to leave the armed forces?
              Who the blazes does such an insane plan favor? “Oh, low is we, there are no decent men left in the Army. Because surely if they were decent they would have resigned, in order to deliberately put us in the situation I am currently woe-ing about.”

              “Gosh, there must be nobody of worth in the military anymore, they didn’t resign– it’s so terrible they stayed in to do things like make sure the resources left for the Taliban didn’t work, if they were REALLY good guys, they would have made a big, public show of resigning.”

              (You may notice I’m a bit tired of that song and dance, after a mere decade or so of it.)

              1. It’s not about resigning. It’s about disobeying the immoral orders that left Americans and our allies to the tender mercies of the Taliban, instead of letting them into the airport and put them on the planes. It’s about refusing to board the planes until the civilians were flown out.

                Now go and apologize to the German soldiers we tried and punished at Nuremburg because they remained in the Wehrmacht “fighting for their country” while following orders that kept immoral leaders in power.

                I’m sure they had friends and family that thought they were decent too.

                We’ve supposedly had the principle for 75 years that “I vas only folloving orders” isn’t an excuse. Principles of convenience aren’t principles.

                1. t’s about disobeying the immoral orders that left Americans and our allies to the tender mercies of the Taliban

                  If that were true, they would’ve been loudly apologizing to the guys who didn’t resign, were saving civilians, and manage to do so with only one group having to be obvious enough to get caught.

                  Which probably wouldn’t have even hit the news, if that reporter hadn’t asked the spokesman about it on live TV; note that several people here were predicting similar things were going on.

                  But hey, those soldiers’ chosen course of action saved innocent lives, and proved wrong the “there are no good military members left, anyone decent would have resigned by now” folks.

    3. There’s a story about a British Colonel in Afghanistan back in the 1920’s who was told by the political officer that he’d have to return the rifles he’d just taken, at the cost of several casualties, back to the Pathan tribes. Those rifles would then be used to snipe at his men all the way back to the Khyber. The Colonel obeyed the order but had the armourer bend the barrels, ever so slightly, in a vise. They would, randomly but eventually, blow the shooter’s hand off, or blind him, or whatever. As my grandfather, who served there, used to say “things are hard on the frontier.”

  31. Things that make me go hmmmm.

    Why aren’t we seeing footage of tearful reunited families at the airport?

    No photo ops of this sort of thing at all. You’d think with as many Americans as have been rescued we’d have tictok, instagram and Facebook drama galore for the administration to bask in.

    Crickets though.


    1. Such photo ops would give aid and comfort to Deplorable Americans, who the Biden regime sees as the enemy. As I wrote in a comment to another post, the Biden regime and the Deep State wanted to hand a victory to their Taliban friends and allies (because the Left is surprisingly simpatico with Islam) and a humiliating defeat to their cold civil war enemy of Deplorable America. The Biden regime’s stupidity was in badly miscalculating just how much of the fiasco would splash on them, instead.

    2. I’d wonder if the people being rescued have been asked to keep things very low key 1) so as to protect the rescuers and 2) themselves from the Bad Guys who are now in the CONUS and elsewhere. As well as what Deep Lurker suggests.

  32. RAH was wrong. Instead of The Crazy Years, we’re getting The Stupid Years. 😛

    Last night somebody quoted a poll, claiming the FICUS’s approval rating was 43%. I don’t see how that’s possible at this point. After all that’s happened, Harris-und-Biden’s approval ratings should be somewhere in NEGATIVE NUMBERS. The poll is another lie, right?

    If 43% of the American people really are that stupid, we’re in some deep shit here.

    Like the Kalifornia poll that puts Herr Fuhrer Newsome’s approval at 50% with the recall completely up in the air. How? Can none of them SEE what a hellhole they’re making of the richest state in America?
    Does the Left drive those idiots barking mad, or were they drawn to the Left because they were already batshit crazy?

    1. For those looking from the castle window, it’s hard to see the slums, while writing a check for more of the Newsom. The power and money live in Capitol City, the rest struggle on in the rest of Panem. They’ve ruined the state I’m from. This state is on the slippery slope.

    2. Akshully, Oklahoma is the richest state. 1) Relatively low rate of Pro-Obama fraud, like Utah. 2) Utah has Mitt Romney.

      (Yeah, I’m skeptical about how well we can rank states by wealth under the current circumstances. I really have no idea.)

      1. Oklahoma might be #1 per-capita, didn’t check, but Kalifornia has got a FAR bigger economy. Even after what the Democrats have done to it. It’s like the 5th or 6th biggest economy in the WORLD.

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