Hello, Fellow Mushrooms!

Like the secondary hero of a popular fantasy novel of recent decades, I have a slight flaw in my character. (This of course depends on your interpretation of slight and flaw.)

It’s not the only one, but it is marked, persistent and it annoys me when I can’t satisfy it. It’s stronger even than chocolate-seeking-behaviors.

I like to know the truth.

What a time for me to live in.

I can generally find the truth in small day to day things, or at least I have a very strong sense for when I’m not being told that truth. And btw, nothing will get me to cut ties faster with a person, institution or service than knowing they’re p*ssing down my back and telling me it’s raining.

Small white lies, I’ll tolerate, till they….. accumulate, because I’ve come to the sad conclusion a lot of these are told because the person is embarrassed/has a bad memory/etc. Unless they roll into a massive bolus.

But still, I try to know the truth. And partly, I like to know the truth about the world we live in, including what is going on with my fellow humans. Partly, to be honest, so I can be prepared or at least not worsen problems.

The problem is that the Mass-industrial-information-and-entertainment complex has never been about truth. EVER. They were about propping up a mass narrative, and my entire life it has been a narrative about the perfections of communism or socialism, or other leftist bullshit. Everything they reported or didn’t report was decided by “does it help the cause.” And the reporting was slanted to fit the narrative. Of course, by the seventies the narrative was “what every educated person knows.” So, it was bullshit, but bullshit fit into a theory that they told everyone was the truth. So a lot of the people adding bullshit might not have realized what they were doing.

The problem with lies is that they fall apart if poked too had or overextended. No, not actually joking. When we’re building worlds or writing novels, there’s a good bit of fandancing over the parts we don’t want you to see. And that’s btw, in a medium where you willingly colaborate with us to believe the lie It’s much, much harder when you don’t. But even in the best fantasy series, you start seeing cracks around book 15, if not before. Because lies when overextended become obvious.

The current lie the left has been running is now showing signs of both: Overextension and excessive accretion, and it’s breaking apart everywhere. And worse, because it took them generations to build it, the people inside it don’t realize it’s a lie or that others can see it’s a lie. So they don’t understand people’s reactions at all.

Worse, because the seed of the lie was started by an outright psychopath who thought other people were widgets, it means that the system regards people as widgets who are interchangeable with similar widgets. They’re not prepared for individual response to fast-changing situations. which is what we’re having, thanks to tech.

So they’re flopping and floundering and spinning tales fast, tales that seem to make them infalible, perfect and in control.

I confess I was mildly dismayed I just got a missing from one of you about how “China now owns the whole world and has, because it bought our politicians” Doom, gloom, the end is coming soon.

Mind you, the end is coming soon, because the system is splintering. But the system is the system of lefty lies and delusion. It won’t hold.

And China is now and has always been a master at this kind of lie, and projecting this kind of lie on the outside. ALL totalitarian regimes are. But in China it’s cultural. They have issues telling reality from appearance to an extent and they PRIZE appearance over reality. Which combined with communism means that the party itself, and its heads in particular, know NOTHING of what’s going on in their own country, let alone the rest of the world.

Increasingly, I think our idiots are the same, too. They prefer the narrative to the truth, and keep telling themselves bigger and bigger lies.

STOP BELIEVING THEM. Yes, it all sounds coherent, etc. Take it from someonw who routinely has to interrogate reality to not go severely depressive: if it’s coherent, it’s not the truth. Real life is messy and fractured.

Now, back to reality, okay: the problem right now is that you can only find the truth by trusting your lying eyes and the limits of your connections. You really cannot trust anything that comes out of the MSM which for five years has been making up sh*t wholesale. The only thing you can trust from them is ‘admissions against interest’ and even those “trust but verify.”

For instance, as of right now, our job market makes no sense whatsoever. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.

And the left says it’s because “people are quitting for better jobs”. And the right says that people are now on the dole and don’t want jobs.

AND NONE OF THAT MAKES SENSE. Because the jobs opening up aren’t amazeballs, by and large. In fact, friends with tech degrees are having some trouble getting jobs, as opposed to in the early Trump years when people were finally finding jobs in specialties they’d tried to get into for years. And what dole? Precisely? Sure, there were some payments early in the covidiocy, but right now most people are back to flying solo.

And yet, most restaurants and stores are screaming for help and offering the world.

Well, part of it is the masks. I bet any chain that dropped the idiotic “our associates must mask” woud find itself swamped with employees. For a lot of people the asthma and other issues associated with constant (and useless and idiotic) mask wearing just aren’t worth it. I know enough people in that position to think this is a major factor. Heck, if I had to get a job right now that would be a major factor in my decision.

Note, I never see this reported. I bet it accounts for a lot of things, though, including why enrollment is down in in person classes, etc.

You don’t see it reported because, for whatever reason (I could hazard guesses, and they have nothing to do with their being masterminds. The primary being that they want to find a way to “dismount” from the Covid lie, but can’t figure out how) the establishment and the propagandists are wedded to masks. So are all corporations, air travel, etc. And then they can’t figure out why people are not flocking to them, either to work or consume.

But there’s more than masks at work. I confess I’ve only met a few people doing this, but my acquaintance is no longer LARGELY in that range.

There are many people suddenly working from home. Not just tech workers, but anyone whose job is done at a computer. Some (rolls eyes) mag at the beginning of all this estimated the number at 2% of the economy. I’d like some of what they’re smoking, because it’s potent stuff. I’d estimate it at about 20% and might be higher, judging by the dislocations it’s causing downstream.

Look, guys, we were looking for a place to live not in trendy TX or fashionable FL. Partly because we left it too late, and plain couldn’t afford it. Partly because when states explode that fast things happen and …. well, I saw it in Colorado, okay? Also the left in those states goes bonkers. It’s not a coincidence I’ve been reading about hospitals and schools going crazy in both states. (Even if successfully combated.)

So we were looking in states of no significance, and often in cities of less than 10k people….

And they were SWAMPED. Houses that had been up for YEARS and which had major issues were being snapped up by out of towners set on telecommuting.

I mean, I do understand the run on real estate in TX, FL, and to an extent in CO (beautiful area, and people can always roam around in nature. Unfortunately that was never my thing) and such. They can have all the perks of the Eastern cities, but more …. freedom, either political or of the region.

BUT middle of nowhere, in a depressed area where there haven’t been new jobs in forever? We eventually had to offer 10k more to get a house that needed help (It will get it, over time.) And prices were going up every week.

Now, because of the bias of normalcy — i.e. people don’t notice things have changed. Like that they are working from home and no longer need to live in x place — this is just the vanguard of those realizing “I could live cheaper elsewhere.” The vanguard. That’s way MORE than 2%. It’s probably more than 20%.

Thing is, you know, people moving cheaper, whether to a suburb or another town and state, can probably live on one salary. And most women’s unemployment is in service: retail, restaurants, etc.

Oh, yeah, and most school systems are requiring masks, and frankly my kids wouldn’t have been sent to school if they needed that. So, mom can stay home and educate the tykes, or supervise their education. (This is not sexist. It’s usually the woman who wants to/is willing/can afford to stay home. NOT ALWAYS though, and I know some families where the husband has quit to stay home with the kids.)

This is corroborated by a few squeals (not being widely reported) of school systems that lost massive amounts of their pupils. One of them 30%.

This is not something the left wants you to know, because the trends are not …. favorable to their narrative. They’ve been pushing for years to have humans seen PRIMARILY as economic units and producers. Hence, everyone MUST have a job. And those who look after kids must be paid.

So you don’t hear much about it. And neither do they. So they have no clue how things are working and why the numbers look so weird. (The next step is to fudge all numbers even more, because the left also thinks perception is reality. If they lie hard enough the truth will go away.)

The truth is that there are new ways of living in America being forged. We’re going more dispersed (My guess is the games being played with the cities are going to bite the left in the ass, too, as all that lovely real estate will become worthless sooner than later.) We’re going more family/friends/our group oriented. The relentless push to get women in the work force is reversing, as women say “bugger that for a game of soldiers.” The relentless push to have strangers raise your kids is reversing too.

But there are other things. There is a …. certain easing of consumerism. Look, I’m not actually joking. Part of it is that everyone is on the move, so we’re dumping the not-needed. Part of it is that the population is smaller in the younger brackets. People over 40 mostly already have all the needed, and are willing to let the not needed go. More dispersed populations are less susceptible to “fashion trends” and home workers care less about new clothing and accoutrements. In the same way, cars are being driven less (someone interpreted this as Americans traveling less. Naw. Judging by crowded during the weekday gas stations and stores on the highway, Americans are driving more long distance. BUT they’re not commuting every day.)

Overall what this means is that once the big moves are done (we do need things for new place, for instance, and yeah, it’s impossible to find a lot of those not made in China. Little stupid stuff, like organizers for cupboards) China gets LESS from us, because American life is turning more to “I don’t need that much.” (Some idiot attributed it to Marie Kondo, which was a joke three years ago. It’s not that. It’s the flexibility, and yeah, adapting to living with less.)

Their strikes against us, like spiking the oil prices are effective, mind, but not as effective as they SHOULD be. I shudder to think of current oil prices if everyone were still commuting.

It’s going to get bad, mind, but not nearly as bad as they think it will. Not for us.

For them? Reality will keep evading their script. More so as time goes. Which means they’ll declare everything is working perectly at the top of their lungs over and over.

And the depressives on the right will colaborate with them. Given the set of idiots the left has, this falls under attributing magical powers to the enemy.

In the end, and probably not very far off (I’d be shocked if they’re not already hurting) it’s going to bite China too. In their drive for “world domination” they forgot they need consumers. They didn’t grow ANY internal consumers. They rely on America to buy a never end of stuff. America is turning away from the never-end of crap. To an extent that was a product of mass: Mass communication (“The must have toy!”), mass crowding “I can’t wear outdated clothes to the office”) and well, mass (Younger people need more stuff.)

For now all that is receding. (Though I expect we’ll see the births rebound real soon, and not just because child deductions no longer require even SSN#. Which tells you a lot. I mean real births, with real people. Because people working from home, well…. The marriages that doesn’t break become stronger. And if you’re raising your kids, you’re not charging yourself for one more.)

And China will get bit by “Why aren’t Americans buying stuff.”

In fact they are already being bit, hence the militaristic threats and flailing about. All much scarier if their science weren’t mostly risible, and their military might composed of “little Emperors” who cry for mommy during skirmishes with India.

Couldn’t happen to better a’holes. And China is a’hole. Maybe the Chinese people can know freedom this century. Would be novel. And good.

As for us? America will be all right. Yes, they’ve captured our structures. But the good news is that our structures are now so thoroughly borked they have to get fixed or replaced. Not long now. Till then there will be insults and horrors, like the retreat from Afghanistan.

But what can’t go on, won’t go on.

And at the basic fundamental level America is changing from being the country the progressives and their narrative could control: only mass industrialization and mass communication allow the totalitarian regimes to at least pretend control enough for mass atrocities.

We’re no longer that country. And we’re not that country more and more every day.

We’re taking our ball and going home. And we’re not the ones hurt by that.

Take a deep breath. And don’t believe anything you read in the “Mass” communication. (Much less hear. And these days I’d be leary of “see”.)

Don’t buy the enemy propaganda.

Yes, they’re keep us in the dark and feeding us sh*t. But you’re not really a mushroom. You have eyes and the ability to think.

Just like there self-obviously are not “covid dead” piled on every street corner, it’s obvious that socialism isn’t winning much of anything. And their attempts to throw more money at it, only make the whole thing crazier.

Be not afraid. Don’t believe the enemy is magic. They gaslight themselves more than they gaslight us.

It’s going to get bad. Very bad. But not as bad as their propaganda would make you feel.

Be not afraid. You’re not defeated till you decide you are.

Fight in any way you can where you are right now.

In the end we win they lose. Because reality will not be denied, no matter how pretty the lies.

Go work

232 thoughts on “Hello, Fellow Mushrooms!

  1. have a slight flaw in my character.

    Off Topic, but I wish that author had written more about that character.

    I’ve heard about the problems he had with his publisher and in a sense I don’t blame him for not writing more.

    Oh, is he still alive?

    1. Sadly he is not still alive (died in 2019, I wish he’d gone indie…) and there were two sequels to that book that I have been able to discover though I have not been able yet, to get my physical hands on them.

      1. The three books he did publish are available in a single e-version (or were available).

        And yes, I saw that he had died.

      1. Barry Hughart
        The Chronicles Of Master Li And Number Ten Ox (all of the Books Published in e-format).

        Master Li is the one with a “slight flaw in his character”. Number Ten Ox is the narrator and assistant of Master Li.

        The story is set in a “China That Never Was”.

        Good stories.

        1. >> “The Chronicles Of Master Li And Number Ten Ox”

          “Number Ten Ox?” Has Orvan and his relatives been running around having adventures?

    1. Funny how the “F* Trump” has become “ReSPeCt the PResIDeNt!1!!”

      Someone else commented elsewhere that part of the reason the lefties REALLY HATE the “Lets go Brandon” is it’s outright mocking them and they can not STAND to be mocked.

      1. Yup – the devil, that proud spirit, cannot endure mockery…
        And a good point about people of a certain age, basically having all they ever want or need in the way of materiel things. I have my house, fully furnished, with all the knick-knacks and cooking things I need … there’s no need to go out and buy any more, and even if I did, I’d go for used. My daughter, who is looking eventually to set up her own household, is having a ball checking out local thrift stores, especially for vintage American-made items.
        China is going to hit the wall with exporting to the US very soon now, especially with the jam-ups at west coast ports.

          1. I *want* to get a new hairbrush, we left the old one at a hotel we stayed at several months back…
            Problem is, while I could get the exact same one, it’s somewhere around $40(!!!) on Amazon!
            So, I’ve been using one we got as a “goodie bag” brush from somewhere that I shan’t discuss here…

      2. So they start screaming, “It’s code! It’s disrespectful! White supremacy!”
        Do they realize more and more people are going to decide that if they’re going to be called a white supremacist no matter what they do, they’ll just start saying, “Whatever,” and moving on?

        1. Indeed. The left relies so much on playing on the sympathies and moralities of everyone else for unearned reward, that when the everyone else finally realizes that the left has been doing it in bad faith for decades the left is going to find themselves without much power at all.

      3. It’s just like “Question Authority” instantly changed into “How Dare You!” as soon as they became TPTB. They also get enraged that the Right has embraced Alinsky. Snerk.

        On mileage, we’re driving less than when we first moved here. We used to do the Costco trip (200+ miles round trip) as often as every 6 weeks, but now it’s every 6 *months*. A lot of that was due to Costco focusing on fancier items than we want. The restaurant supply covers a lot of what we used to get from them, along with one of the discount supermarkets. We drive the 80 mile round trip to Flyover Falls once a week, unless there’s a project or an appointment trip that can’t be combined with ordinary shopping.

        We have a fair number of computers in the house, but the newest was bought in 2015 (low end laptop, with a flaky WiFi radio, so it’s semi-retired), with the rest of 2012-14 vintage. New items are bought for utility, and usually are way behind the state of the art. Almost all of our software is open-source/free to ordinary mortals.

          1. I can also have a game machine for $SPOUSE that she a) doesn’t want to use on the ‘net, and b) refuses to use if there’s a password for her account. Win-win.

      1. A Taffy three thing that my daughter and I love is the escort carrier crewman that said “ We are drawing them into 40 mm range!” Tha fight shown is something we need now!

        1. If you haven’t already done so you need to watch Drachinifel’s video on that battle, ‘The Battle of Samar – Odds? What are those?’

    2. Now that I’ve read the whole essay and not just the first paragraph, that’s a very powerful and perspective essay. I’ve read a few of his articles before and while I’ve largely agreed I’ve also felt like he didn’t quite “get” Americans. This one is spot on, though.

      However, the commenter who noted that the Japanese got really fanatical and suicidal before the end is correct, so if the metaphor is accurate we’re going to see some very dangerous flailing from the Ruling/Email/Woke Class.

        1. I’m one of the email class, I guess. But there was a harbinger this week: after treating the agonies of the Injections as a sort of fraternity-hazing bonding ritual, one art director called in sick “because I got the booster and I feel like fukkin death.” Sympathetic emojis and remarks… then day 2; then day 3: finally he dragged himself back to his laptop on day 4. (This is with all of us working remotely, folks: you KNOW he was in agony.)

          So this week, another AD was calling the zoom meeting and saying he was feeling terrible; GI upset.

          Then it happened, for the first time: someone asked, hesitantly, “Was it the shot….?” and he said, “No, but I’m scheduled for Saturday, and I’m Not looking forward to it.” Then the others chimed in with some talk of how they’d suffered after Their boosters.

          This is the first time I’ve heard these lefties dare to connect their precious injections to the utter misery they feel after the toxin hits their system. A blade of grass is coming up through the concrete, folks….

          It also helps shift the Zeitgeist that the Fifth Circuit, God bless them, Blasted the OSHA’s gross violation of the Constitutional rights of all Americans. For the Bubble Boys and Girls, that may have been their first clew that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

          God will see us through if we turn to Him. He is the One who has all power: the great Lion who will roar at our enemies. Keep praying, friends. If you haven’t been doing that, give it a go. A friend told me many years ago, “Every morning, ask God to reveal himself to you. Then go about your day.” “How long will That take?” I wailed. “How the fu** should I know??” she laughed.

          It worked. God bless, all.

      1. Yes, indeed – I read it through all the way, and agree – the lefty wokerati are going to get absolutely more doctrinaire, fanatical and vicious, when it becomes clear that the rest of us are resisting effectively.

        1. Hitler in the Bunker.

          Yes, he was a mass murderer, but personally he was also running on spree killer psychology. Couldn’t cope with the dream being derailed, and shot himself. Slow motion collapse, so he had a lot of people sharing the emotional experience with him, and the most loyal tried to pull it off.

          1. Nah, I would bet HEIL HitLeR was a coward to boot. Read up on the Ratline, Project Paperclip, or the evidence of him living out his life in Arghentinah! Oh yes, so many blond haired, blue eyed people’s now come from South America. Ever see the movie “The Boys from Brazil?” Amazes me how so many WTA players have German names and look Arian but represent S. American countries. Ever notice that?

            1. a) My statement was unclear. I was talking about the idiot fanatics who kept on trying to bring him victory after he had clearly lost. Not the soldiers being appropriately stubborn, the folks who still actually believed his lies and delusions to an extent. Forex, the HJ and DMB kids rounded up after the war.
              b) Germanies were crap during the mid 19th century. A lot of Germans ended up in Texas. Some of them moved to the location when it was Mexico. Other Spanish speaking nations were hardly an impossible destination.
              c) The evidence you cite for your argument does not inspire so much confidence that I would be inclined to bend to a demand that I agree.
              d) Spree killers aren’t doing that as an act of bravery. Their suicides are largely cowardice, and disordered thinking. They are very unhappy, very angry people, who used the fantasy of planning their murders to sustain their will to live, and aren’t ready when that fantasy comes crashing down.

              1. They ran to Argentina and Brazil because there were already large German communities there for them to blend in to.

                In the late 1800s, Argentina and Brazil were a major destination for European emigration. The specific mix of countries differed, but large numbers of Italians, British, and yes, Germans, went to both countries. Both were considered kind of a bonanza new frontier on par with the US, and actually had higher per capita GDP than the US at times, until the Depression hit and caudillismo came back (or whatever you call in in Portuguese).

                  1. Immigration fell off in the first year of the American Civil War, but then it picked up again. The North’s population actually grew, and that was during the German immigration wave. (Not so many as the Irish, though.)

                1. I did a trilogy about the German families who migrated to Texas. They came in two waves – the first wave sponsored by a consortium of noblemen who took up an entrepreneur grant in the 1840s and wanted to make a profit AND do a good deed by encouraging farmers and small craftsmen and their families to seek a better living. The second wave was more political, following on the failure of the 1848 Revolution.
                  Kendal and Gillespie counties, in the Texas Hill country were almost exclusively German-speaking until after WWI.

            2. There are states in this country that not only have Hispanic quotas but disallow the use of light-haired Hispanics in them.

              Indeed, many Hispanic actors change their names because otherwise they get rejected for non-Hispanic roles because they would not look right, and Hispanic ones because they do not look right.

      2. I think two points you could add to the essay. One is the school boards / local schools issue, and how righteously offended the left has been that parents dare to question what the Educated might teach their kids.

        The second is — in the ‘Email class’ there has been a growing separation between IT worker and management classes. IE, those who do the work and those who manage. I suppose he could be referencing those whose entire working life is answering emails . . but the IT underlayer support is predicated on seeing things clearly & solving problems, and i guarantee if your network tech disappeared for a week a lot of things would fall over.

        1. ” i guarantee if your network tech disappeared for a week a lot of things would fall over.”

          Which is why the cloud is being pushed. That way, a much smaller group of techs can keep the infrastructure going. This also extends to roles like DBA; “autonomous databases” don’t need them, because a menu option can be given. What they won’t admit is that the tech isn’t really there yet, and that someone occasionally needs to look at the database and carry out procedures to monitor and alter it.

  2. Yep. We’re part of that changing how we live crowd. Not only moving to the ever-popular Texas, but both working remotely. I know some changes are going to be a shock to some of my family and good friends when they do fully come about, and/or when full information comes out.

    We are and will continue to fight. And I am continuing to write against the dark.

  3. I’ve written here before about how weak China actually is and so won’t do that again. I’d only add that they are down to two choices, one is to let foreigners dictate to them by letting interest rates and exchange rates float or two, capital controls and further financial repression. Xi will not tolerate being dictated to. Capital controls kill the export goose and financial repression the domestic goose. There are no other choices, even war would be a means to distract the people from the repression.

    Sadly, letting interest rates and exchanges rates float would, in the long run, fix the problem but they won’t do it because it’s good for the people but not for themselves.

    Note also that they are in a mirror position to Greece and Portugal under the Euro, but it’s a circle so the effects are the same

    1. The Chinese public will *never* let foreigners openly dictate to them short of at gunpoint. That’s the aftermath of the so-called Century of Humiliation, in which the Qing Dynasty went from “respected around the world” to “paper tiger” virtually overnight as a result of the First Opium War, and subsequently suffered decades of embarrassment at the hands of foreign countries engaging in gunboat diplomacy. It largely died down by WWI, though the extra-territorial foreign concessions remained at the time, but didn’t end fully until after the Japanese defeat in WW2.

      That was less than eighty years ago, and the Chinese are very sensitive about it.

      1. Im sure they would prefer not to be dictated to but the state had collapsed so they were going to be dictated to by somebody, Were the state to collapse they’d be dictated to again. I would prefer people here not to be masked and for the return of the rule of law but I can’t always get what I want.

        That said, I’m not talking about abstractions like China, Im talking about my estimate of Xi Jing Ping and others in the CCP. I find you get a much more accurate prediction of actions by thinking in terms of what is in the interest of the people making the decision, including their ego, but also by their rivals.

        In our situation here, we have to remember that there is no left, rather there’s a bunch of superannuated politicians, a bunch of radical professors, some students, some stupid bougy people, and some perverts.

        I’m also reminded of a story I heard years ago about a feared Mafia hitman. It came down to that he, by himself, wasn’t all that tough. What made him dangerous was that he could get other people to hold his victims. Once he lost that ability, he was dead.

        1. The Chinese state at the time – the Qing Dynasty – had *not* collapsed. In fact, on at least one occasion the western powers helped put down a revolt that threatened it. What happened is that it was exposed as weak and ineffectual in comparison with the Western powers, and various actions taken by the Western nations (some related to the opium trade) made it much more difficult to dig the Qing out of the hole that they found themselves in. The Dynasty remained in power until around the turn of the century, when it was replaced by the early republic.

          1. It had collapsed, It was unable to enforce its will outside a very small area. It was in much the same position as the emperors in India and Japan, they existed, there was some formal deference paid, but they were unable to do what governments do. Opium was one thing, the Tai Ping rebellion something much larger. Much like the late western Roman Empire there was nothing left but a shell. Yes, The Japanese emperor came back to power, for a generation then back to reigning not ruling.

            I don’t disagree that the Chinese have a “thing” about this. Chinese intellectuals see China as the center of the universe and that is all through the culture so any time they are not the most powerful nation is a problem for them. My point was that what they prefer and what they have to do are not the same.

            In any case, China, like The Left, or Russia are abstractions. The issue is not what China would prefer, it’s what Xi would prefer and how his rivals might respond to it. Don’t be surprised to see Xi writing in Vermillion and reintroducing eunuchs, and don’t be surprised to see him dragged down by his rivals. The CCP’s strength, and their ultimate weakness, is the concentration of power. It makes them brittle.

            Over the last decades they have made a series of decisions and are now facing the consequences of those decisions. They have very few options and, because of concentration of power, very little room to maneuver. Xi cannot stumble or he will die. Funny enough, Marx is a good source to understand it as China now has a bourgeoisie who don’t want to give up what they have and an underclass with very little — add the army and you have the three main factions. Couple that with the dictator’s and the socialist’s (redundant I know) information problem — they do not know what’s actually happening — a massive debt load following decades of financial repression, famine, flood, and disease, and a demographic crash and you have a problem from hell.

            We’re Xi not a murderous dictator, I’d feel sorry for him.

            1. Deng Xiaoping made a number of reforms to disperse power (within the CCP) and prevent a dictator like Mao from taking over again. Xi’s spent his time in office scrapping those reforms, so he can become a second Mao. To anyone who remembers what Mao was like that’s a sure sign of trouble coming for China.

              1. Yeah. Deng appears to have been a reasonably smart guy who liked his country and wanted to improve the citizen’s lot (which was horrible under Mao). He saw all the crap that Mao did, and decided to make it difficult for any later CCP leader to do the same. So he got the economy moving and improved living standards, and he changed the CCP rules to block any more “strong guy dominates the country until he dies” stuff.

                Xi’s rolled back most of the latter. I’ve no idea what he plans to do with the former. But it’s highly unlikely he wants to go back to Mao’s economy, and the famines under Mao.

                1. Although Xi has erased about $1 trillion in his crackdown on the most successful businesses and entrepreneurs. This was done to remove a potential counterweight to Xi declaring himself ruler for life next year, when his term ends under Deng’s old system. This shows Xi will happily hurt the prosperity of the people in order to grab lifelong power, the new Mao. And the China debt bomb ticks. Of course our government debt and future obligations tick as loud.

                  1. I’m not saying that he won’t hurt the prosperity of the country. The question is the degree to which he will hurt it. Mao was sending large shipments of food to foreign countries during the height of the famine. The question is whether Xi thinks that he could get away with something like that.

                2. Xi spent years hiding out in caves to avoid the Red Guards, so he is going to be ruthless with the fanatics, but he also rightly hates and distrusts the Globalists and their plans to turn China into a western consumerist clone…He also sees that China, with topsoil worn out by 6 millennia of farming, faces an eventual food crisis…Hence the expansion into Africa…

            2. I don’t know about eunuchs, but the fulsome article praising Xi that just came from Xinhua looks very much like something written for an Emperor in all but name.

  4. Spouse commented we’ll also see places where multiple moms homeschooling in their neighborhood join up and create a…school.

    1. Look for some states to respond by passing laws orderi g that if more than five kids are gathered together to learn, the person teaching them must join the union, pay for visits from a state accreditor, etc…

      1. Then look for a lawsuit because obviously no one has more than 4 children … because they will not carve out an exception for 5+ siblings. Or treat them like a daycare and require that provider to child ratio. Never mind that they don’t do that for standard public or private schools.

          1. “He has a valid point. We’ve moved past “bake the cake, bigot” to “we’re going to withhold federal funds from you unless you play by all of our rules, bigot.””

        1. Some states have mandated that for people to give home hospice care to THEIR OWN RELATIVES that they need to join a union, obey union rules, be subjected to the state bureaucracy, etc.

      2. And look for the families to start doing what Catholics in Poland did for teaching catechism to kids: change houses and times every week. Kids arrived and left at different times so no-one saw groups of children all going to the same place. Keep it mixed up for any and all prying eyes.

        1. Online schooling can mitigate quite a bit of that. It’s the logical option. Test out whenever you like, hire tutors on a subscription basis, etc. Should such come to pass, it will be on parents and students themselves, primarily, to succeed. Which will cause no end of outrage once it gets out.

          Because it *will* get out. The better students will stand out. By a lot.

      3. I suspect there will be a bit of Irish Democracy; the “school” will report 4 children, taught by Mrs Jones, and another “school” taught by Mrs Smith, and so on. The fact that 8 or more children happen to be in the same space will be neglected. (The possibility that it’s Mrs Smith-Jones will be entirely irrelevant to the entire discussion… 🙂 )

        See how well the mask mandates are being followed in places with blue dictators governors/mayors, etc.

          1. Once you get that far it is only a couple very small steps before Karens start getting quiet, mostly non-damaging, yet unmistakable warnings to mind their own business.

            1. mostly non-damaging

              That’s something noteworthy about tiny towns. Anonymous Karens get outed pretty quickly, and retaliation is a known threat. “I won’t complain to TPTB about an illegal trash burn (unless it directly threatens us), because $MISCREANT would be willing to burn us out.” AFAIK, I didn’t know of anything happening (on a large scale) when I was on the rural FD, but local disputes have involved flying lead.

              OTOH, small scale arson was a problem when a sketchy official was forced out and his friends retaliated. On the gripping hand, they got what they asked for–Chinese curse, part 3.

        1. They did think of that– the “fix” is monitoring the home schools.

          They tried to get that in for California, because “monitoring” would’ve caught the abuse that wasn’t noticed with the teenager physically going to college several times a week.

          1. The horrors! Somebody actually going to school!

            I hope it was for something worthwhile, and not underwater basket weaving grievance studies.

            I suspect there would be a certain amount of cat and mouse games with respect to “illegal” homeschools.

            1. They were busy trying to kill the kids, RCPete. The subject he was at the college for didn’t really come up, just the idea that “homeschoolers” (they weren’t) were able to do this because of lack of government supervision (which was actually there).

              Minor versions happen every time abusers pull the kid out of school because someone noticed, and they’re caught by the Truancy office, but that case was exceptionally obvious in the attempt to shift responsibility off onto a completely unrelated population.

              1. Oh! I missed who was doing the abuse. (With the school systems in the Cali and Oregon, it could be a tossup as to the school or the parents…)

                I have a vague recollection of a couple of women who were raising/abusing several kids, and if memory serves, ended up in a murder/suicide with a van going into the ocean.

                1. That would be the lesbians that were big on the protest circuits, adopted *only* “diverse” children, were repeatedly turned in for starving the kids and yes, most likely murdered the entire van full when they couldn’t escape anymore.

                  Got swept under the rug for the big news when it came out that several times, the reports of abuse were dismissed because they were a homosexual couple.

                  I vaguely remember hearing that some of the “adoptions” were of the borderline baby farming sort– where abuse is discovered that just HAPPENS to put desirable children available for placement– but I’m not sure if that was rumor, theory or fact.

                  The California case that somehow resulted in calls for tighter Homeschool laws in California– in spite of at least one of the kids having a college class– was this one:
                  Probably more accurate to say “one of the cases,” like I said, it’s standard for them to report kids were homeschooled if the parents pulled them out and fled.

                2. I vaguely remember the case where the two women, children, van, murder suicide accident over the Oregon cliff into the Pacific. They squashed the details very quickly because I don’t remember it being outlined as murder suicide or that they were fleeing child abuse charges. Instead remember it as a tragic accident of two families traveling hwy 101 going off the cliff into the Pacific.

    2. Microschools.

      There are also some veeeery interesting hybrids, where the kids homeschool a few days a week, and go to a single location (with uniforms and all) a few days a week for courses like orchestra, advanced sciences, some arts, advanced computers, and the like. It could be taking the best of the home school world (self paced, chances to learn new fields) with the best of private school (group classes, lab time with a very good teacher, hanging out with peers).

      1. courses like orchestra, advanced sciences, some arts, advanced computers, and the like.

        We’ve had a home school option like this for decades. Not sure which school district has oversight right now. It was Bethel in early 2000’s. Extended to classes like Chemistry and Physics, as well as the Arts, and PE.

    3. Homeschooling groups are a great way to go…I’ve taught a little for one, and the kids seemed extremely happy and engaged…

  5. Another interesting sign is Biden pulling the, “oil prices are rising because….American oil and gas producers are (selfishly) raising prices,” schtick. I’m waiting for him to start railing against, “hoarders,” and, “speculators.”
    And in other news, I gather MSNBC got themselves tossed out of the Rittenhouse courtroom because they were trying to identify jurors.

    1. A state government “study” in California already found the same regarding California’s gas pump prices. I can’t remember whether Newsome or Brown was governor at the time.

    2. I have noticed they’ve been denying that they are considering price controls. Though. i think when they start talking about how they don’t have the legal authority to do that, that we’ll know they’re serious about it.

      1. The already have taken the authority to unilaterally alter contracts after signing with covidiocy. When they tell Exxon or Boeing or Walmart that since even one government dollar enters their door, even if it’s a SNAP/EBT card they have to sell for what the government says. Basically medicare/caid on national scale.

            1. Biden Regime, and flunkies thereof: I have altered the deal. Pray that I don’t alter it further.

              At the gallows: Biden Regime Flunkie is dancing the Hemp Fandango. “You voided the deal. This is limiting what you can do further.”

            2. Hadn’t heard that one. I knew they were requiring it in order to sign new contracts, which was why all of the gov’t contractors had pulled their dates forward.

              Surprised they even felt they needed to add. It to existing ones. Though, gaining the ability to Vader up the deal probably appeals to them.

              1. That is my understanding. It’s why folks with existing contracts are affected. If it was just new contracts you wouldn’t be able to require it in two months.

  6. Sarah,

    On costs you appear to have discounted the effects of inflation, which is far worse than anyone is admitting yet. Supply and demand applies to currency as well.

    1. I’m not. That’s why I said things will be rough. But inflation also mitigates against us spending much on “crap” which again kills China FIRST.
      Yeah, things will get rough. Prep now if you can. BUT I also agree with BGE that deflation is coming. Partly inflation is high now because we’re sniffing the wind and prepping as hard as we can. And the oil prices. But neither will go on without an effect, the effect being “drive/heat less” and “buy less” and that hurts the other side FIRST.

  7. Media gaslighting was driving me nuts, even though I’m really good at reading between the lines. So I quit following any news outside of my immediate area and things that will long-term affect my local area.

    I like eating out at good, sit-down restaurants; less so at fast food places. The ones I really like? Waitstaff make *bank,* most of the time. The ones where they don’t are usually family places where you’ve got one massive, extended family running the place and holding most of the positions (and often speak no, or minimal, English, outside of the waitstaff). Locally, a lot of the fast food places are changing the hours around to when teenagers aren’t in school, because that’s who are actually stepping up to take the jobs (you know, the ones those jobs were designed for). Some of the lower-range places have either reduced hours or gone out of business.

    But yeah, I’d noted that a lot of the people deliberately leaving the work force have been women, usually married, often mothers. Usually, our jobs are…not what pays the bills, they pay for the luxuries, which a lot of people are realizing they can do without, and don’t miss much. Like…oh, I don’t know…buying the latest toy from China (which isn’t there because the ships aren’t being unloaded and the goods sent on via trucks that CA won’t allow on the roads), or eating out because they were too tired to grocery shop or cook (assuming they knew how…and people are learning), or buying new clothes because they can’t be seen in the office in the same dress/clothes all the time (not going to the office anymore, and they’re finding old favorites in their closets)…

    I will admit that I will miss sending the kids off to school, if things keep getting worse. Their private school tuition is reasonable, but not if inflation keeps doing what it’s doing…and not if their school decides to blow a massive, financial wad on putting in a new football program when they can’t afford it.

    1. I’m thinking that a lot of the health care workers in Oregon who are affected by the not-Vax mandate are frequently youngish mothers. The decision to quit until somebody with two brain cells to rub together gets in control makes a lot of sense in that light.

    2. I think that’s part of what is going on–I travel a lot, and I’m noticing more young men (who look a bit awkward, like they don’t know the business) than young women as waitstaff. That’s a sharp reversal from the way things used to be.

      There’s more to it than just moms staying home, though. In the places I drive in Texas, I know lots of the local places where (illegal immigrant) day-laborers gather in the morning waiting for contractors to come by looking for the day’s crew. Over the last two years, I have not noticed any change in the numbers outside the local carniceria or Home Depot. During the Obama years, I could track the ebb and flow of immigration policy by the size of the gathering outside of the big-box home improvement stores. This year, with apparently the largest influx of immigrants ever, no change. And the kitchen workers in the restaurants aren’t as heavily spanish-speaking as they were pre-COVID, either (in Texas!).

      If we’ve had 1.5M illegal immigrants come across the border this year, where are they and why are restaurants still looking for kitchen help? It’s not because of unemployment payments. Pre-COVID, lots of illegals were collecting unemployment or welfare and STILL doing day labor or dishwashing.

      1. It sounds like a lot of the illegals have been moved to other red states, courtesy some of the “helpful” NGOs and federal projects.

          1. You have also had a significant change in the population entering. At the early stages under his royal highness Obama I you still had a lot of single, adult males. That is 1. The population that current immigration policy was set up for, and 2. almost entirely economic and itinerent. Now it is significantly more made up of “family units” which get subsidies from the guv and are more the idea of either (in real ones) improving kids lot, or (in fake ones) using the kid to get into the US to go to a predetermined place, meet up with someone they know and get jobs there. It’s bob coming to Milwaulke to work on Jeff’s masonry crew rather than jumping job to job.

        1. There are still a lot in Texas, though. The first reports that border hoppers with SARS-2 were being allowed to wander freely came from Texas.

  8. I think….they’ve got a confusion, that the story IS the truth.

    So they can’t go edit it.

    Which would be bad, but not THAT bad, if they could say “I’m not sure” and have those maybies stick.

    I very much dislike getting half-truths or flat out falsehoods. I get annoyed when that happens on purpose, or with deliberate neglect.

    We live in a time when you can do decent research so easily that a technician stay-at-home house wife can do a better job between diapers than rich professionals could in the 60s, and PEOPLE DON’T FREAKING BOTHER!

    Then they get upset if you naysay them– even if you only naysaid on accident, not KNOWING that they’d put forward a claim they couldn’t back up. (I have noticed that folks who CAN back it up, don’t get as angry. Guess it’s that pound the facts, pound the law, pound the table* thing that lawyers are supposed to be taught?)

    *no, I didn’t have that at hand, it was just the best link for the saying that I could find quickly.

    1. Then there’s my borderline-socialist BIL, who told my sister (in my hearing) after she’d lost a political argument with a 12 year old: “Forget the facts! Stick to the talking points!”

  9. This is why I, and if I dare say “we”, contributed to your fund.

    These messages are worth the money there (and more, a lot more).

  10. This is why I, and if I dare say “we”, contributed to your fund.

    These messages are worth the money there (and more, a lot more).

  11. When you have governments that think the underlings are mushrooms, they will also feel they have no obligation to justify any means used to achieve their ends. Maybe some fertilizer BS, but they don’t really care if you don’t like their methods.
    It could really be entertaining to see where this Joe/Commiela split takes them. All the speculation about recent reviewing of rules for placing or replacing a VP in the Dem conga line for a musical chairs administration. I hope they eat each other in the process

    1. Story on Twitter that the college Democrats are starting to eat their own….seems they’ve been going through the membership’s social media and getting triggered by their comrades’ early teenaged posts.

      1. Which will only continue. The ultimate end, I’ve said before, of identity politics is the politics of individual liberty. Each man his own category, and no more or less than any other under the eyes of the law.

        I’ll admit that latter is going to be quite a lot bigger pill to swallow for them. And wildly unlikely given we don’t have that *now.*

        But as things stand now, as the left flails wildly in panic and the normies awaken to the nightmare that lefties have created, and the cronies and craven establishment goons are unmasked, we are coming in to the best position I’ve seen in my life to make solid progress.

        Constitutional carry is sweeping the nation. Regular people are becoming involved in politics- VA, NJ. There is yet hope. Now’s not the time to get all wobbly.

  12. If it weren’t for the likelihood of going back into the office at least a couple days a week next year, I’d be working on talking the wife into selling our current house and moving north. Back of the napkin math with a dash of Zillow shows we could get out of our current house, and pick up a somewhat smaller place sitting on 10 acres about 2-3hrs north of us.

    Further, this posting has me planning to do a budget breakdown and see if we could manage on one job (mine.) While we don’t have kids, if nothing else it’d be a way to build up money in the bank. Instead of her not working, her paychecks go into the bank every week.

    1. We did that when we started planning our exit from PA. We banked my paycheck and lived off of his for a little over a year. Gave us a great immediate nest egg.

      1. We did that from the start of our careers and marriage. Then we knew our jobs had an annual lack of work for at least the first 10 years. Worked out to be more like 35 years, but who knew.

        Where we fell down is, eventually after my career change, we started living on the more “reliable” and substantially (to us) higher net salary and banking his net salary. Then my company was bought out, and the buying company quickly went into bankruptcy … oops. Then his company transferred him and moving wasn’t a desirable option, so now two households, double oops. Did get expenses down where we were okay as long as unemployment was coming in. When that was gone it was about a $750/month drain on savings. Did get a new job (way less salary) but the damage to savings *hurt*. Yet we were lucky. Didn’t have to touch 401(k), IRA, or Roths. Didn’t touch the home equity loan outstanding balance. Heck we even didn’t have to touch the Schwab taxed Savings. Just the bank savings where extra money went to build up to an amount to transfer to the Schwab Savings account. Never fully recovered that account balance. This was partly because of timing. Wasn’t long later everything except the 401(k), IRA, and Roth, savings were drained … I think I have mentioned before we got the kid through college without loans …

        Now retired, what we did, is paying off. Hubby retired at 60. I retired 4 years later at 59. We both have pensions … well okay mine comes out to “Hun, my pension deposited, my turn to pay for dinner!”; $121.53/month 🙂 The only change we might have made is be aware what pulling non-required funds from our taxable accounts (IRA’s) does to our retired year taxes, how that affected our ability to get medical insurance for reasonable costs. On the open or even Obama exchanges, it was impossible for us. As it was we had hubbies retiree medical insurance through the union (1/3 open exchange cost) until I qualified for medicare and supplements.

  13. China isn’t going to go broke on us not buying the latest and greatest when what we have is still working. Because we don’t replace what is working. That is what we’ve done over the last 70 and 65 years. Can claim that long because neither of our parents were in favor with replacing something that worked for something new and shiny. Rather “if you really want that … You pay for it.” Never wanted something That bad. Growing up didn’t change that. Now are we above getting what we want, after all the research, when we need to replace something, or need something we know will be used regularly? No. Will we pass it up because it is only available from China? No. But we aren’t replacing cell phones just because the next version is out. Current cell phones are 5 years old, except hubby’s, he cracked the screen on his so it got replaced a year ago, a this-meets-my-needs, easily < 25% of the fancy new must have.

    I've wanted a MS Surface laptop almost since they've come out. I finally got one. It replaced the laptop and the Samsung tablet I had that both were failing last year. Paid, on sale, for the Surface, less than on sale costs for a run of the mill laptop and Samsung replacement combined costs. Anymore don't need a lot of fancy software, a lot of that has free options (I know, I'm bad).

    In other words, we haven't changed. But a lot of people have. That hurts China and TPTB more.

  14. Sarah this came at a very timely moment.
    My 2004 Civic started smoking in all the wrong places and I’m in the car repair shop waiting for a ride home.
    God makes a way when there is no way. I have almost no credit nor cash, I do have the sister and BiL backing me up.
    It feels like utter wretched shit having to rely on the help of others for basic shit.
    But I’m a freeborn American and even though it feels like I’m chest deep in the middle of the river and if I move I go down, this is all for a reason.
    This post really lifted my spirits.

    1. You got this, Kathy. One foot in front of the other. I think of it like in the Amber series when Corwin has to walk the Pattern and there comes a point when he feels like he’s not moving. The effort needed to push his foot forward is overwhelming, but he keeps pushing his foot regardless of what it feels like. Finally, he breaks through and finishes the Pattern walk. We’re at that extremely difficult point right now but we’ve got to keep pushing.

    2. Sorry to hear about the car troubles, been arguing with that myself lately. Fortunately I’ve had the plastic to cover it, but that’s sooo dangerous to rely on. In spite of eating rice and peas this month, I don’t think I’ll be able to pay it off.

      So trust me, you have my sympathy.

    3. You are a freeborn American, an individual. But this is a community, and Americans are good at helping community members. Let us know how bad the car fix is for you. I’m concerned and others I’m sure. I love my Honda, I hope you’d is in bounce back.

      1. That is the downside to an electronic community such as ours. If Kathy was local, I’d have offered her the use of my car while I rode my motorcycle until she could get her car going.

        1. But as Sarah just proved, there’s an upside: there’s a lot more people who might be able to help you financially. You don’t think you can pay off your car repair bill? Why don’t you tell us how much it is and put up a donation account? You won’t make nearly as much as Sarah did, but this sounds like a case where even a few hundred extra could go a long way.

          Kathy could do the same if she’s in real need. I can afford to chip in a few bucks for each of you.

          1. My money problems can be broken down simply. Single person with too much house. The first part is proving challenging to fix well, but if things do go especially poorly the second half is quickly fixable. I’d just prefer not to live in the equivalent of the apocryphal Enchanted Forest.

            1. That’s why we really need to get the house sold, and I’m starting to get very worried. I mean the other house is a money pit of 5k a month, counting electrical, etc.

  15. Sarah this came at a very timely moment.
    My 2004 Civic started smoking in all the wrong places and I’m in the car repair shop waiting for a ride home.
    God makes a way when there is no way. I have almost no credit nor cash, I do have the sister and BiL backing me up.
    It feels like utter wretched shit having to rely on the help of others for basic shit.
    But I’m a freeborn American and even though it feels like I’m chest deep in the middle of the river and if I move I go down, this is all for a reason.
    This post really lifted my spirits.

  16. First, thanks for the reality check, it’s so easy to get lost in your fears when everything’s crazy the way these years have been.

    The masks may not be all of it, but they are a major component in people not taking the jobs going begging. Physical discomfort, health risks – and even worse for social creatures like humans, blocked facial expressions. Customer service is hard enough without people constantly getting angry at you because they feel threatened (because they can’t read your face) and you feeling threatened right back. Roommate quit such a job because of that.

    …And because Roommate was supposed to be part-time and only available certain hours, and management kept ordering Roommate to come in at any hour of day or night, AND would not give Roommate earned time off. Finally Roommate said, “either you straighten out my schedule, or I quit.” They didn’t.

    Roommate quit. Apparently all of management was completely surprised… while fellow cashiers were, “Yeah, saw that coming.”

    1. Our son is exhausted because he’s a shift lead and the same sort of thing happens to him. I think he’s starting to consider starting his own business but says he can still learn more at his current job.

        1. Our son is Swing Shift Supervisor for his crew. They are suppose to be working Four 10’s M-Th. That lasted exactly 3 weeks in Feb 2021. They have worked FIVE 10’s M-Fr, and a lot of Saturday’s which instead of 4 PM to 2:30 AM, are typically 2 PM – 8 or 10 PM. He typically pushes close to 60 hours a week. Next week they are working Three 12’s M – Wed, with a 4 day weekend. He’ll get a solid 38 or 40 hours + any PTO he has to burn to keep from losing any hours there.

            1. Companies have gotten used to getting by on less by dropping more on remaining employees. See all the self checkouts, the soda fountains, the order kiosks, and the “not” mandatory ot. Add in contracting out solely so you can “reduce risk” because you can then blame subcontractor and you get closer and closer to a cyberpunk dystopia

                1. SOP at local Fred Meyers (Krogers). Sometimes they are running 12 self checkouts. Somewhat helped now because there are cameras over the scanners. What that means is after scanning 4 or more items and selecting “not bagging” (I am but going back into the basket), the system doesn’t stop and require the checker to verify. Ditto on timing that the system thinks should be occurring and isn’t. Doesn’t happen often but I have seen it happen.

                  Costco has at least 3 checkers and one supervisor per the 12 self checkout stands. Interesting enough local Albertsons/Safeway had self checkouts, but they pulled them. I know the local Safeway at Tetons however had one checker overseeing 12 self checkout stands, or rather I didn’t see anyone else.

                  I like self checkout because it means I’m packing groceries the way I want them packed, which isn’t what the regular checkers will do. Of coarse there is also the local Winco where you bag your own whether you self check or not. Then it is “what is moving the fastest”. We are getting a new (moved?) Winco over by Costco and Petsmart. Which means less shopping at Fred Meyers. Already make a circuit of Costco, Petsmart, Freds, Mini Petmart (if needed). Easy to make that Costco, Petsmart, Winco, Freds (if needed), Mini Petmart (if needed).

                  1. They reorganized the self-checkouts at one of the Walmarts we go to, so they can be run by one person– what impressed me was how 90% of the people were overwhelmingly nice about it. I mean, Iowa, sure– but even for here they were nice.

                    Good thing, because half the time that’s the only checkouts around.

                    Before they reorganized it? That poor gal…and it was almost always a tiny gal… was sprinting up and down these rows trying to clear the flashing lights that she couldn’t SEE half the time unless someone was able to flag her down.

                    1. I’ve never seen it where only the self checkout is open. Suppose it could happen.

                      I have a joke when using the reusable bags I do … okay they are the vinyl covered light cardboard boxes. “She likes to sell these, but sure hates to have me use them!” Not as bad now. If I put them on one at a time system recognizes them properly. But if I mess up, setup multiple, then it whines.

          1. Sounds familiar with the way things are in my job. We haven’t had that kind of mandatory overtime since spring but we’re in voluntary now, during our slowest part of the year. It’s exhausting and if it hits again with our stricter attendance policy next year I expect we’re going to see a lot more people either wash out or find a reason to get intermittent FMLA.

        2. I do, too. He just broke up with his girl and moved into his first real solo apartment. He has to take care of his dog, he likes to game and he has a warped sense of humor.

  17. I suspect cities are going to empty sooner rather than later. Everyone remembers the riots and the MSM desig mating them as “peaceful”

    And I also suspect people are starting to relearn how to make a good bit of stuff that they would have otherwise bought. If you’re spending less time commuting for your day job, and you have access to all the knowledge in the world, figuring out how to do simple things like make your own shelves, or get a herb garden growing, means you don’t have to rely on stuff you don’t fully trust any more or go places that you don’t want to be anymore.

    1. >> “I suspect cities are going to empty sooner rather than later. Everyone remembers the riots and the MSM desig mating them as “peaceful””

      “desig MATING?” That sounds like a carp-worthy pun about arranged marriages.

        1. >> “designating”

          Yeah, it was obvious what he meant, but that was one of those typos that’s just too good to pass up. I mean, the “mating” part was even separated out and everything, like it was ASKING to be joked about.

          I’m not the man to resist such temptation. 😉

  18. “someone interpreted this as Americans traveling less. Naw. Judging by crowded during the weekday gas stations and stores on the highway, Americans are driving more long distance. ”

    Driving in Orlando many days a week, I’ll strongly second that more people are driving, and it’s not just for work, since the jams go for four or five hour stretches, twice a day.

    1. Domestic ground travel as a substitute for international trips seems to very much be a thing since crazy government overreaction started last week.

      1. Just go to a national park … Attendance numbers have been going up in the years before the CCPFlu, but 2020 and 2021 have been OMG numbers; and we go during the “off” seasons. Not only cars, and the suspect parking lots packed, but trailhead parking packed. Guaranteed to see people on the trail frequently, not just occasionally, not just on the popular trails.

        FWIW. The “Time Entry” process is a PIA. Didn’t see where it solved a thing, at least in Rocky NP. We were there late September to early October. Originally planned 5 nights in Estes Park, cut out two nights early because of the crowds. Did score (barely) one timed entry (otherwise played by the rules and went super early and didn’t exit, or went in late). Spent the rest of the time winging our trip (Little Big Horn, Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone, and finally Tetons). Might have disappointed a few (okay a lot of them) fellow travelers. Pull over and start taking pictures. People would stop to ask “Where? What animal?”, the speed away when the answer was “The elusive fall colors!” 🙂 (Okay, late Sept, Early Oct, not so elusive … but …)

        1. No waits at Bryce Canyon this summer (and well worth the trip- that part of Utah is amazing), or at Saguaro, Painted Desert or White Sands. Of course, it was over 100 at the latter three 🙄.
          Arches, for some reason, had a five-hour wait to get in. We were canyoned out by then and didn’t bother.

          1. We go to the Utah parks in the winter. Last trip 2015.

            Wouldn’t surprise me to see Arches, with one road that dead ends, to go the route Zion has. Park and shuttle, unless have a camping reservation. I’ve seen the posts from this summer regarding having to wait to get in. Arches also doesn’t have the problem of Animal Jams that other parks do.

            The parks that have gone to a Timed Entry system have done so because of limited roads and parking options. Some, Yosemite, or parts of some, both Glacier (Hwy to the Sun) and Rocky (Bear Lake Corridor), have shuttle options but do not disallow vehicles. Yosemite Valley best bet is to park, then either bike or use the Shuttle. Problem with Shuttle is no pets (Service Dogs allowed, but did get asked legal questions every shuttle we took Apr 2018). There are a lot of “Drive Through” occurring in these parks, come in one entrance, go out another, which makes shuttle required more tricky. Latter is what we did in Glacier in 2019. Our destination was Banff, Canada via Glacier Hwy to the Sun.

            Even the Timed Entry wasn’t 100%. Rocky and Glacier both have specific hours that applies. Go in before with out one, and no problem, just can’t go back in until after the Time Entry period. For Rocky that was 9 AM- 3 PM for the main road, and 5 AM – 6 PM for the Bear Lake Road (and rest of the park). That Time Entry gave you full access to the area allowed for the entire day, both entering and exiting. Or once we got our car tag for Bear Lake Road between 5 – 7 AM, we were free to exit and reenter the Bear Lake Road and the park all day. Reality check? Parking at Bear Lake was a roll of the dice after 7 AM. It was already half full by 6 AM (it is a good 45 minute drive from where access gate was). Time Entry permit did not guaranty parking.

            Not our first rodeo dealing with national parks. Fall trip 2020 was the First time we’ve ever gotten, Yellowstone NP campground reservations. Our system was to make sure we were in line early. Always got a spot with 40+ setup for as many days as we wanted. Then we’d move to another section of the park and associated campground. Not recommended but doable. That option ended by 2015 or so. Other than two vacations (one each) to Disneyland and Disney World, our vacations were either National Parks, Backpacking our own backyard (Cascades), BSA camps (including week long backpacks). We’ve observed difference observed in traffic both on the roads and trails over the last 43 years, and especially what occurred in 2020 and 2021, during the same period of the year (mid-August through September).

  19. I got (re)hired for gap work at the photography studio that I started working at 16 years ago. And it’s telecommuting, which means I’ve worked more in the past two months than I have for the previous eight years for them—because the commute was 40 miles, no kidding, and that’s too much. But now I can sit at home and log in to a computer 40 miles away for all the specialty programs—or even just work direct from mine when it’s just the data entry end. Oh, and the salary is nice.

    The other part that’s interesting is that the client list for this studio has exploded in the last year—one of the common national chains really dropped the ball, apparently. The tech has evolved to the point where a former limit on the number of schools they could handle (due to how much the studio could physically print and deliver) is gone, because the photo management system links to a print shop on the other side of the country and they take care of it. So instead of being a maximum of 10-15 schools, it’s closing in on triple digits. And many of those schools have “virtual academy” or “charter” in their names.

    1. Oh my goodness, the national chains didn’t drop the ball, they soaked it in oil, lit it on fire, and then put it into a freaking fast ball machine aimed for the furthest reaching trajectory!

      <= was looking around for options to get REAL pictures done, since some relatives were very sad. Ahahahahahhah NO.

      1. Well, I wasn’t there, but the phrase my boss used when he called to see if I’d be willing to do some work was “[chain company name] is the best advertisement we’ve ever had.”

  20. As to China, first China has always been family- and extended family-centric. America, is very individual-centric. (Yes, generalizations.) Mao and those following him have destroyed almost all families in China with the one-child policy and rapid industrialization, forcing young people to move away from home and live like cattle. The latter tends to be a side-effect of early stage industrialization, but we’ll see. Americans have always been good at forming communities of strangers. Note the difference in 50’s and 60’s sitcoms (Donna Reed Show, Dick van Dyke, Father Knows Best, et al, and 90’s and beyond TV shows (Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld). The new sitcoms and even the new hour-long series tend to be about adults (usually young) forming their own family of semi-strangers. Chinese scholar influencing their policy rightly claims America is at war with itself, but doesn’t note that China is also at war with itself. I’m betting on Americans being better at regrouping than Chinese.

    1. America has, to some extent, always been at war with itself. We’re a nation that, in spite of some opinions, has never had stability has ALWAYS had to deal with folk from a variety of places. Even the places where they look down on people who haven’t been there for generations have, niggling in the back of their minds, the fact that if someone wanted to call them on it their family had only been there for a limited number of generations as well. Family history in China was DEEP and they destroyed that. It’s not an easy blow to survive. Where as for us it’s “The uppity yahoos are at it again. *sigh* Shot gun time yet?”

      1. We also have that whole our-nation-is-a-creed thing, so there’s better standing for making new family-groups, especially those who have the Christian idea that it’s acceptable to oppose your family if you’re following the truth.

        Loss of family wounds us, because we’re human– but we have a build-a-new-family system that doesn’t take generations.

        1. Yes, but the wicked denizens of the bureaucracy are apostates to our notional creed. Yet we still all pledge to protect and defend the Constitution, not America. And I’m sure they hate that, or would if they took it seriously like us yahoos do.

          1. Oh? And the wicked denizens of any other group are not?

            Or are we going to do that silly violation of the creed where by being in the bureaucracy– and oh, what a lovely, squishy term that is! to be even slighlty accurate to the damage done, we must declare most of the media to be a party! — we can thereby declare that someone is wicked and an apostate?

            Probably a side effect of my “college” having been Navy Enlisted, but I know a heck of a lot more true believers in the Constitution who work in government, trying to support and defend the constitution, than I do in any non-farmer group.

            1. Foxfier, I highly doubt we’re in disagreement here. Protecting and defending the Constitution is the right cause. Those who advocate not doing so make themselves apostates to the Constitution. My identification of those apostates as “wicked denizens of the bureaucracy” (note wicked was meant to be a qualifier not a description of all such denizens) may have been an imperfect phrase.

              1. :Wry: I’m pretty grumpy this morning.

                Discovered that the melt-downs in Insty’s open thread last night about Youngkin being a “cuck” are because some people are too stupid to figure out this lady from the Heritage Foundation isn’t “a dude with his pronouns in his bio.”

                Not sure if stupidity or malice, honestly, hard to tell with some of the news-bearers (now with black pill!) elaborating that said “pronouns in bio” James was “the race hustler from Heritage.”
                (That’s actually how I FOUND the above article– there was the usual lack of details and I as tired last night, not wanting to dig through the screeching to find out what was being claimed.)

                I’d figured it was something stupid and overblown, most likely a complaint that he wasn’t going to do exactly what the Left does, but on the screamer’s targets, but that was a golden example of the tendency I’ve been seeing to declare ANYBODY in a position to actually do things to be Automatically Evil.

                    1. There are a whole hell of a lot of commenters (on many forums /cough/) who insist on total purity and are all too willing to declare that one deviation is enough for a politician to be Cast Out™ and they will stay home instead of ever voting for them again (no matter how evil the Democrat opponent might be). I’m not convinced those are all agents provocateur sowing discord and FUD and blackpills; I’m pretty sure there are a large number of True Believers who really think that and of course are willing to tell everyone at maximum volume.

                    2. Or a hint of lack of purity.

                      ….seriously, a guy named Kay James (working in politics, in Virginia, especially) would have very good reason to “list pronouns,” same way that I have a polite way to correct folks who think I’m male.
                      Kind of like the computer lady who had to indicate she has no connection to the Terminator franchise when she tweeted about AI… while named Sarah Connor.

                  1. On considering– probably is paid trolls, because I got a lot of variations on the theme, placed in places where it would do that get-picked-up-by-folks-who-USUALLY check thing, but far enough out of the current cycle that a quick search wouldn’t disprove it.

                    They’re getting smarter, curse it.

      2. It is “interesting times” for both China and the U.S. Unfortunately. I hope China, well, Xi, does not find war a tempting distraction for the people from the problems created.

  21. I’ve come to despise the “news” media-most of them are barely more than tabloid reporters writ large, with a willigness to tell “news stories” that not even the The Sun would run. And, when you have less integrity than the newspaper that created the Page Three Stunna…you have a problem.

    I’ve come to despise most of the TV streaming services. I’m being forced to watch ST:D and it’s something that I’m noticing that they’re giving black characters-and black female characters-personalities and characteristics that would get any other ethnicity slapped so hard their grandparents would spontaneously abort.

    I’m despising most “AAA” game makers-who churn out even more bland grey wallpaper paste first-person shooters and “open world” games that are just a mechanism to sell micro-transactions and build gambling mechanisms into the games themselves.

    I’m despising comic book creators. When you turn Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy into cheaply reskin token characters…when you can tell who the main character is because she’s the most bitchy lesbian female in the room with a side-shave…when it’s all about the misery and the deconstruction…that’s horrible.

    Don’t ask me about tabletop RPGs. Or miniature gaming. Or most movies. Or most books. I think I’d violate WordPress TOS if I let myself speak freely.

    My only hope is that we’ve hit a point so low…it’s all uphill from here.

    1. Ugh, I feel you on all of that. Enjoying Japanese gaming has helped keep me entertained, though there’s still plenty of game industry stupidity there and woke localizations to deal with. Apparently some of the home companies in Japan are out of patience for said localizations now, though. I just hope things hold long enough for me to finish up the big series I’m into at the moment. After I get settled elsewhere, of course.

      1. If I had any ability to start a company and made it clear to the staff that “if you start to insert social justice messaging into the manga we’re translating…does anyone remember the hammer scene from ‘Casino’? You get to pick to leave this office and fired, or you can get the hammer. You can’t have both”-I would buy the most painful-looking hammer I could find.

  22. I wonder if, after the end of WWII we should have dissolved every corporate entity that played footsie with the Nazis and auctioned off their assets to pay reparations to everyone they’d sent to the camps, and if we had done that corporations today would be far less eager to leap into bed with every politician with a totalitarian streak?

    I wonder if that’s what we will need to do after this is all said and done, too?

    1. Wouldn’t help. Remember, according to the propaganda, *we* are the fascists and Nazis. Those who the corporations are aligning with are idealists who are as pure as the driven snow.

      1. Well, but it’s also those corporations who are writing that propaganda. They know what they’re doing. They’re doing it because it has big upsides if they win, and zero consequences of they lose.

        An overwhelming State may crush them in a power struggle, but that can happen regardless of whether they’re in bed with it or not. And if the state does become totalitarian and lose, the worst that might happen is a few of the top execs may go to prison or get hung. But the company will continue. And, if they can pull it off, they could become a state sponsored monopoly.

        If you look at BMW, Volkswagen, Daimlar Bentz, Porche, they all benefited greatly from their time with the Nazis. Yes, I believe some CEO’s got executed over it, but Volkswagon would not have even existed without the Nazi theft of IP from disfavoured groups. If you gave their boards a view of their future, there’s nothing that would make them go “better not do that.” At most they’ll look for how to do that, without getting their own necks stretched, but that’s about it.

        I think there needs to be some sort of corporate level consequence for this for companies to be less interested in making it a thing.

    2. The result of that would be everyone being fully aware that losing is not an option. Defeat means destruction.

      That is really not a good thing to ‘teach’ ones enemies.

  23. In related news, Insty reveals we may not see Sarah today. 😎

    “SARAH HOYT’S SHOCKED FACE IS IN A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA: Emails Show Researchers Who Alleged Trump Links To Russian Alfa Bank Were Anti-Trump.”

  24. FWIW, another reason to stock up:very long Twitter thread by someone who claimed to have family ties to the meat processing industry. He claims there’s a shortage of USDA inspectors already, which will be made much worse when the 25-35% who refuse to be vaccinated and can’t get exemptions are fired. Similar percentage of workers likely to be let go. Spouse, who did work briefly in the industry, says poultry growers schedule birds on a rigid schedule – if the plant slows down, the birds outgrow the equipment and end up wasted. So there’s the chance of serious poultry and meat shortages coming to a winter near you…if this is true and not someone being doomy.

    1. “if this is true and not someone being doomy.”

      Is it consistent with other workforce populations being hit as we speak? Well….

      “Ignore the propaganda. Focus on what you can see.” Commander Sinclair’s father.

    2. IDK. Local butcher shop has “Help Wanted. Please.” signs posted. They are not accepting wild game for processing. They are limited in product, including no bacon (let alone pepper bacon which was my target today), or pepper jerky, or hot pepperoni sticks. Be interesting to see what happens next month when our pig goes to slaughter next month. IDK how many he raised this year, at least one, of which we are getting half. Last few years this has been running 85 to 110#s, wrapped.

  25. You fellow mushroom now– I have been amazed at the turn-around in Leftie perception on the Kyle R. trial. Even less protestors (using bullhorns to sound louder) than usual. Some of the you-tubers i watch are building physical communities around them. They are also sounding the alarm about the propaganda (SEL and CRT) that is being shoved down children’s throats. I think that the parents eyes have been opened at the garbage being taught their children. It is the ground wave the Left didn’t see coming. Heck even the Left doesn’t want that garbage taught to their children.

    1. I’ll take it as evidence that there is life in the old Republic yet. The common man as represented by the jury saw the evidence and believed it, while the kakistocracy as represented by the prosecution and alphabet media got caught promoting fables. More of this! More!

  26. Yes indeed, Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty by the jury on all counts, despite the heinous prosecutorial misconduct and media frenzy against him.

    Plan your day accordingly, as pantifa and #BLM creatures have been seen calling down fire and brimstone on the very steps of the courthouse.

    I have a BIG bowl of popcorn here all ready to go. >:D

    1. I’m waiting for the “White tears” comments regarding Rittenhouse’s response to the announcement.

      “I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list…”

      1. They said that about the tears while he testified. Now they are complaining that he smiled while leaving.

        And remember — no tears and no smiles is toxic masculinity.

  27. Re: Employment. You’re right: It makes no sense at all. Almost every business here has a Help Wanted sign. $17/hour for McDonalds – and I’m in South Dakota, now.

    Re: Telecommuting. I’ve been promised this my whole life. It has finally happened. My office computer is a six hour drive away. I RDP into it. I’m not sure I if I still have a cubicle. There is certainly no point in it, but hardly anyone is in the office, so they probably haven’t bothered to disassemble mine. This at a company with more employees in Eastern Europe than in America – we’ve always had virtual meetings. For more “traditional” workers, the shock of freedom must be greater.

    Re: Stuff. We bought an up/down duplex and moved into the bottom while we get the top remodeled (kitchen plan activates Monday, yay! Four month wait on – USA made – cabinets, boo!). We plan on short-term renting the bottom, once we’re out of it. That means we kept enough stuff from our previous large house to furnish two small ones. About 2/3s of our stuff is in boxes in the garage. By and large, I don’t miss any of it.

    On the other hand, I did buy a new computer. I overdid it a bit: I bought one of the gaming computers outlawed in Colorado. Yes, spite was a motive, but my previous computer is ten years old so I wanted something that would still be “good” in ten years, which means top-of-the-line, now. It’s super-fast – I don’t think I’ve gotten the CPU over 2% – and the monitor is astounding.

  28. A bit late with the comments (end of day brain melt was insane yesterday and not much better at this late hour) but good and timely post here. It can be easy to get worn out by the endless stream of fertilizer and the bits of stupidity out there even if you do know about things like “Let’s go, Brandon” (and I’m finally seeing masks drop off significantly around here and hearing kids mock the idea of them while out and about, about time). And requirements of those blasted things to work is indeed exhausting and I can’t blame anyone for looking for different options if that’s what’s out there. My employer thankfully allows face shields so I’ve been getting by with one there but still, I’m ready for this particular fetish to fade away.

    Also, smart idea looking where nobody really was when it came to the place you found. Seems like settling in there might be tricky, but ultimately rewarding. And honestly I’ve been feeling a bit burned out on consumerism for a while myself, hence the culling I’m working on. I mean, if I win the lottery and retire tomorrow I doubt I’ll beat all the games I’ve bought on places like Steam! And thanks for providing a community good for those of us who need to learn those kind of reality checks to do so… I definitely understand the need to know the truth, too, even if I’m really bad at sniffing it out it more often than I’d like to admit.

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