The King And The Land

Back when I wrote Witchfinder, some people got all upset that “A libertarian could write a book where the rightful sovereign has a link to the land.”

In other words, Wednesday in fantasy upset some people.

But in fact, there is absolutely no contradiction.

Look, the idea of a sovereign who is linked to the land, who listens to the cries of the common people, and wishes to avenge the ravages perpetrated on the land itself goes so deep into humanity’s subconscious, that we might be mostly made of it.

It underlies a lot of our legends and stories and arguably (don’t hit me. This doesn’t mean it’s not true) our religions.

It probably has origins very early in the human or proto-human band, which was really barely extended family and where the ravages of leadership that didn’t give a hang about anyone else were obvious, while good leadership was equally obvious.

I grew up enthralled by Robin Hood, where the (bad) governor took money from poor people to give to the rich (or government officials) and Robin Hood gave it back. And they waited for Good King Richard to come back and set it all straight.

Of course, reality is not the same as fantasy. Once kingdoms got large, with the unification of vast portions of Europe under one king, wise rule went down proportionately, and well, things went to h*ll in a kingly basket. Heck, I think Portugal is too large for a single king, let alone the rest of European powers. And in America, it’s insanity. The level of power and control the Federales are trying to exert is already insane. They have the illusion they can have it, because of technology, but it keeps going sour on them and they’re going a bit insane, particularly as we turn away from mass-industry and mass communication.

Which brings us to: the king and the land are one.

And the sovereign of the United States, the true king for whose return we wait, is We The People.

When people run around with their heads on fire, afraid of “populist” movements, what they actually fear are the pseudo-populist movements: the French revolution, FDR’s idiocy, the communist revolutions, the nazis. None of those were actually populist. They were the wet dreams of intellectuals, who broke things to a point where common people went feral because they were terrified. But that wasn’t the movement. But no common person ever dreamed up that type of thing completely divorced from reality. (Tell me what common person tries to make weeks, months, or HOURS metric. For that you need to be “educated” beyond reality.)

In America, We The People are the king, and we’re kept from our throne by massive fraud and arrant deception.

Fortunately America has a tendency to defy the odds. They think they can keep us out forever. I think they’re dreaming.

The king is coming home. And the land awaits him. The usurpers won’t like us when we’re angry.

261 thoughts on “The King And The Land

  1. When you watch the movie “Excalibur ” it touches on it, the king and land are one, when there is a blight on one, there is a blight on the other, and when Sur Percival healed King Author, he healed the land.

      1. Garibaldi: “CenTOOri.”
        Londo: “CenTARRRRRi!”
        Garibaldi: ” ToMAYto.”
        Londo: “TomAHHHto!”
        Both singing : “Let’s call the whole thing off.”

        Best blooper -ever-!

    1. That’s one of my favorite movies. Boorman conveys the majesty and weirdness of the Medieval Romance perfectly. Plus he manages to tell the highlights of the Arthurian legend in just under two and a half hours.

        1. That too!

          Not to mention Nigel Terry playing Arthur as an adolescent, a grown man and an old man and being completely believable as each one.

          1. That’s when the movie lost me, actually. No emotional connection at all. He wants to have sex with Igraine and then that’s all he does?

              1. Sticking around an insulted Cornishwoman probably did not strike him as a good idea.

                Romans had a very odd relationship with British or Romano-British women, probably because they had some features of Roman matrons and some very different ones. And of course, stories about Romano-British told by medieval people are bound to be weirder than live toad fritters.

          1. And Nicol Williamson as a great Merlin. We also see a young Liam Neeson (as Gawain, and Patrick Steward as Leondegrance. Great cast.

    2. Which is a mystical approach.

      In fantasy, we can get more nuts-and-bolts. That offers some — interesting possibilities.

  2. And do not ever think that the actions of one individual do not or can not matter.
    Find a point of inflection, where a small push can have a large effect.
    This might be the right words said at the right time, to people who can spread that word, or it may be a shoe in the gears at the right time.
    Look for those people who direct, support, and benefit from the destruction of our civilization.
    These are not conspirators, rather they are people who share a consensus that the world would be a better place if they were completely in charge, and we no longer existed to be a problem for their brave new world.
    They are mistaken in the idea that their fantasy world can be accomplished, and in the idea that Americans will submit to tyranny.
    Kipple a bit, remember the Pict Song, and find a way to resist.
    John in Indy

  3. Beautifully put.
    And I agree, one person shopping with lipstick on and wearing a smile lights a fire you might not be able to see.
    Get to where you can make a difference in your own life. Be loved, be strong, walk in your story.

    Be strong and of good courage, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

    And we’re Americans, so FAFO, buddy.

    1. Ignoring/defying the mask mandate with a smile…that’s the hard part. (Well, that and the fact that lipstick and the beard don’t play well together.) The whole situation makes me angry, and it all stresses me out—both the stupid rules and the moral imperative of breaking them. And always being the only one doing it. Channeling stress into anger is the only way I know of to keep up the fight. It’s not healthy…but we don’t live in healthy times.

    2. Went to dinner with the wife tonight.
      Wore my bright red Keep American Great hat.
      As we were exiting the restaurant, I held the door for a guy and his date.
      She complimented me on my hat.
      We’re winning, ever so slowly, but it is progress.

  4. Could you imagine the response if every time a city goes up in flame and riot, the President gets a boil, the Governor gets a carbuncle, and the mayor burns?

    1. LOL That would be epic… Well, we can pray and hope for it… Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has apparently decided to move to Florida–and she’s bought herself an extravagant mansion. This is appalling on multiple levels. We need to write laws at every state and local level that prevent politicians like her from moving where we are to enjoy the fruits of their spoils without feeling the flames from the fires that they’ve set.

      1. Hmmm, any chance some enterprising folks could…encourage a bunch of gators to move into that mansion’s no-doubt impeccably landscaped grounds? 😛

        Even better, how about some of the feral African Rock Pythons that are taking over the Everglades? African Rock Pythons are very aggressive snakes.

            1. OK, but who stuck the knife IN the gator? Gotta be a story there.

              “Damn gator made off with my knife!”

        1. Cape Buffalo. This calls for Cape Buffalo.

          Ox NOT fsck w/ Cape Buffalo.

          Ox might be crazy. Or slow. Or crazy slow.
          That *still* NOT mean ox DAMNED FOOL!

      2. And recall that Florida does not have a State income tax.
        But we do have spiders.
        John in Indy

        1. Was helping my friend’s family move into officer’s quarters near Melbourne and spotted a shiny black spider with this cool-looking hourglass. A minute later and I’d done a spider dance and turned her into black widow pate.

      3. SanFranNan is very old and I will not begrudge her a few days in the sun before she passes on and has to stand before her Maker and account for all the incredible evil she has committed in her reign of legalized grift and abuse.
        We can believe but never know what comes after, but if there is a just and absolute Power there at the end that evil witch will most certainly burn for all of eternity.
        Judgemental, me? Well of course, This Is The Internet!

        1. I wouldn’t begrudge Pelosi her time in the sun. Lemme go get the tent pegs and rawhide

  5. I agree the king is We.

    However today We’re rotting in D.C. jails, We’re subject to 6 a.m. FBI raids and handcuffs, they fly over us while We have our travel restricted, when they pass by We are expected to grab our forelocks.

    I hope We reclaim our throne soon before they soil it to the point We must cleanse it with fire before We sit thereon.

    1. My only objection to cleansing fire is that far too often it’s the innocents who get singed first.
      But needs must, and at some point the accumulated filth must be gotten rid of or it shall choke us all.

  6. ‘The king is coming home. And the land awaits him. The usurpers won’t like us when we’re angry.“

    Suddenly the image of Odysseus at the suitors’ party comes to mind… with soundtrack by Johnnny Cash, “When the Man Comes Around.”

    Words to smile by.

    1. Hmm. I prefer the scene in Kingsmen where Galahad becomes king of the hill when an entire church full of people goes on a murderous rampage under the influence of Valentine’s SIM card.

  7. I must say your decision to GTFO of Colorado is looking a lot better today:

    In other news the German Euthenasia Association has a press release saying they won’t kill you unless you’ve had the mad science Covid shot.

    I have a theory that all this bullshit is finally pissing off the Normies. Goats like myself have been pissed off since the 1990s, but the sheep are finally starting to look up.

      1. Right? I’ll tell you though, one of the major reason I write is to get these things on paper so I can get them out of my brain. There’s only so much room in there, and it’s gotten cluttered over the years.

        Doing things like writing the story dropping fifty thousand Machine Empire battle constructs on North Korea in a full-dress Starship Troopers orbital attack, that’s pretty fun. The Eldest’s Guard regiment lined up for inspection in the People’s Square in Pyongyang and then took selfies of each other on the steps of the big government buildings. That’s fun.

        More fun than wondering what the Wokies are going to do next. I may be kinda crazy, but not crazy enough to predict those freaks.

        I mean, the court aquits a guy who was obviously, amazingly not guilty of what they charged him with, and some Wokie drives his SUV into a Christmas parade in reprisal? You can’t make that sh1t up.


      The German Euthenasia Association thing is down at the bottom. Imagine the frigging mental contortions required to post that press release. “Papieren, bitte” at the Doctor Death office. FFS.

      Personally I like the Mask Compliance guy about the best. There’s something so amazingly -wrong- with a uniformed “Mask Compliance Officer” at a Canadian hockey game. Take a look at the fat guy walking past Mr/Ms/whatever Compliance Weenie in the second picture, he is not amused.

      1. I’ve started to type a response to that about 10 times now, but there are no words. But when we have no words and it’s impossible to remain silent…

    2. There’s a few questions I wanted Ted Cruz to ask while he had Garland on the hot seat:

      “Just how many of these ‘threats against teachers and school boards’ have there been?”

      “Oh, you don’t have that information. All right, can you give a few examples?”

      “Can you give *ONE* example?”

      “That’s what I thought.”

      1. I’d sooner see Cruz saying something like “Come and try that shit in MY state, see what happens to you!”

        I get the feeling we’re going to be seeing stuff like that.

      2. At this point, they’re trying to define “threats against school boards” as “you said something AGAINST US? Where’s the FBI / SWAT / PD / Brownshirts?!?”
        They think they’re peoples’ betters, now they’ve got an FBI that will back up that feeling. How long until one of these raids (and you know more are coming) goes wrong and there’s dead kids?

        1. Bar the doors so they can’t easily break in. I prefer the 30 to 60 seconds to go from sound sleep to armed and ready to shoot at the invaders. Keep in mind that in a no knock raid, until they serve the warrant, it is legal to kill every damn cop coming into your home. Merely shouting they are police is not legal identification.

          1. I’ve gone well past code on all my home renovations, doors and windows are 175MPH+ rated. There have been instances of people hitting these windows with a hammer until the cops show up. (No one said all criminals are bright)

            I’ve got the time to wake up, open the safe, and have everything ready for the party!

      1. Heavy? Jayne only worked for himself. He didn’t even bother anyone unless they were between him and something he wanted. Granted, what he wanted might have been utterly trivial, and he preferred violence to negotiation as far as getting it, but I’d rate him more as “chaotic neutral.”

          1. In my humble opinion there was never anything uncertain about Jaynes morals.
            So pardon me but I’ll be in my bunk.

        1. Jayne was *definitely* a Heavy; Bruiser might be what you’re thinking of? Those are usually primarily outside guided, but Heavy just means they HAVE the thug-power without definition by role.

            1. Or maybe he never ran into man who could outsmart BULLET!

              (Yes, I finally completed my XCOM2 campaign earlier this week. Didn’t bring The Heavy along on the final mission, but he wreaked havoc on some earlier missions.)

      2. Is the link supposed to be a music video using footage from “The Untamed”?

        The music video doesn’t really fit with the “Let’s be bad guys!” theme, though Wei Wuxian certainly takes that attitude and runs with it at various times in the actual series.

    3. I HATED that scene. I was channel-surfing and stopped to check it out. The stereotypical treatment of the churchgoers and especially Galahad’s spiteful rant at them really turned me off.
      To me, the way to do that scene would have been to show a church full of friendly, welcoming people, going through announcements and talking about charity, and then showing them go berserk. Make Galahad be horrified at what he had to do, ambivalent, and also show why Valentine needed to be stopped.
      Meant for Mike, drat WP.

      1. So I’ll be honest, I enjoyed the movie when it came out. The whole church scene was rather, over-the-top on a first viewing.
        Start watching the movie (and the 2nd one) through a political filter?
        If the movies were any hard-over to the left, they’d warp space time from the speed achieved in doing donuts in the parking lot…
        There’s “cartoon villains” and then there’s “CARTOONISH villains” and both of those went for the latter with gusto. At a certain point, your villain is going to turn people off, despite them being the villain and expected to be “the bad guy.”

        1. Which is amusing as – iirc (I haven’t seen any of them) – the progs got upset with the first movie because President Obama died in it.

          1. Doesn’t surprise me. Yet if the Pres in the movie looked like any Republican Pres from the last 40 years, they’d have cheered the scene…

  8. Back when I wrote Witchfinder, some people got all upset that “A libertarian could write a book where the rightful sovereign has a link to the land.”

    <GASP!> A fiction writer, writing FICTION! Who would’a thunk it? 😀

    1. There is a quote I’ve seen (but darned if I can find) that goes “There is a word for someone who mistakes the views of the author for the views of their characters. That word is idiot”. I’ve heard Twain, Heinlein, Pournelle, and Niven mentioned as sources but never an actual attribution to any of them. Still it does seem to apply ;-).

      1. S. M. Stirling attributed it to Larry Niven but he could have been mistaken.

      2. That’s why I stop people who say, “Shakespeare said…” Shakespeare never said anything (except maybe his will). His characters said it, and they did it in service of the plot frequently contradicting each other, but always eloquently. 🙂

        1. Not entirely true. We do have some poetry that he wrote. But people don’t generally use his sonnets to push a point.

        2. Eloquently and in iambic pentameter to boot. Although sometimes his characters are absolute idiots. To this day I despise Romeo and Juliet for the nonsenical resolution (even if teenagers in love do behave so sometimes …).

          1. IIRC Shakespeare Labeled Romeo & Juliet a Tragedy. And Chris Nuttall has said that he considers the Friar who married them to be a Villain.

            1. Fair enough the Friar should have known better as should Juliet’s Nurse/Maid. Calling it a tragedy is a stretch. A tragedy traditionally has some tragic flaw in one or more of the major characters. That Romeo and Juliet are horn dog teenagers with severe hormone issues isn’t tragedy it’s just the nature of teenagers 🙂 .

                1. Tragic and a tragedy that two young lovers died for no good reason, and I think you identified the cause. a greek Tragedy in the high form likely not. Still pretty good, the Bard on an off day beats 99.5% of the craptastic SJW/tranzi obsessed “modern” fiction writers.

          2. Thank you! Romeo and Juliet were a couple of irresponsible spoiled brats! Of course, they sort of had an excuse, being about, what, 14 and 15? Their families didn’t have any excuse.

  9. But in fact, there is absolutely no contradiction.

    I have noted in the past that there is no inherent connection between the form government takes and how libertarian it is. There might well be a correlation, but not a necessary connection.

    A hereditary monarch of limited powers, chiefly or entirely those limited to national defense and, say, the establishment of courts to provide an impartial forum for dispute resolution, could be very much a libertarian minarchist society. A democracy with no limits on what rules/restrictions 50% plus 1 voter can do can (and probably will) be quite tyrannical. It’s the power and intrusiveness of whatever body has license to use force to impose its will that determines how much or how little it is “libertarian”, not the form it takes.

    1. A wise man once said: “if somebody’s going to have absolute control over me, I’d at least want to know who he is and for him to be an hour’s drive away.”

      A Sword of Damacles is an excellent component of any monarchy.

      1. AHHH like the blessing for the Tsar in “Fiddler on the Roof” as part of the byplay of “Tradition”
        Mendel: Is there a proper blessing for the Tsar?
        Rabbi : A blessing for the tsar? Of course. May God bless and keep the Tsar… far away from us!

    2. Some people seemingly were baffled when the Libertarian Futurist Society gave its Hall of Fame Award to The Lord of the Rings. I saw comments asking how libertarians could be in favor of a novel whose happy ending involved a king attaining his long lost throne. Somehow a novel about a Ring of Power that was a danger not only to the world over which it granted power, but to the wearer who became addicted to and corrupted by power, didn’t strike the writers as having any relevance to libertarian concerns. Nor did the happy minimal government of the Shire and its socialist takeover by Saruman’s thugs . . .

    3. This, exactly. In fact, it’s becoming evident that 50%+1 is typically more tyrannical than is the average feudal monarchy, where there’s a two-way and circular chain of responsibility.

      1. There’s a line in Niven & Pournelle’s novel “The Mote in God’s Eye”, near the end, where the “wise old man” character (sorry–again, it’s been an awfully long time and I remember none of the names) who observed that a monarch/emperor, no matter how powerful, could only do so much with power wielded personally. It’s when the power can be delegated were you really have to worry. It’s the “tyrant a thousand miles away enabling</I. the "thousand tyrants one mile away." (That latter description is not from tMiGE, but from the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot", just to be clear.)

        1. When power can be delegated…. eg. the regulatory state (regulations are laws that did an end run around Congress).

          Someone did Economics Math and figured out that absent all regulatory drag, the current average annual income in the U.S. would be around $320,000. NOT a typo.

          1. Not to worry. The Fed keeps creating trillions out of thin air and far too soon we shall get there.

      2. Rationally speaking, the 50%-plus-one totalitarianism is very easily gamed– by killing as many of those opposed to you as possible.

        Not…really something one wants to encourage, y’know?

                1. Cross-border raids are a long honored tradition.

                  Fashion is probably not *quite* as awesome as stealing cows, but it’s defensible….

                2. And ye trust what the humans put there? Clare has it’s own lovely people. Those of Us from there are the people who go bump in the night and you find the hens shredded in their own intestines.

      3. That was evident to Thucydides 2400 years ago. Which is why we have a constitutional republic of mixed type, because the tyrannical possibility of a pure democracy was evident to the Founders as well.

        1. Precisely. The founders were *not* admirers of democracy. The current tyranny of the so-called “majority” is created by fraud, disenfranchisement, and most especially, unelected bureaucracy.

          A knotty problem, to be sure. The longer this goes on, the more likely a Gordian Knot solution becomes likely. That could well be messier than all of us would like. Personally, I prefer a more aggressive pruning operation that shows immediate benefits, to start. Much as Trump’s election showed a “magic wand” to reinvigorate the economy, slashing budgets and mass firings could work well.

          A simple example: Department of State. Fire everybody. Everybody from cooks to chiefs. The whole lot of them. No warning, just pack your chit and go. And, this is key, replace immediately the most of them (not all). Draw from known experts that (1) know the country and (b) put their home country FIRST. Day One operations: figure out what the situation on the ground is. Following that, build from the ground up. Things are bound to be FUBAR at first. Leadership gains coherence as folks on the ground report in. State has been rotten for longer than I’ve been alive. The good that comes from gutting it and rebuilding outweighs the evil of letting it live.

          State has been inimical to the home country for a long, long time. I believe the IRS *might* be salvageable. I don’t know that the FBI, as it stands, is. Close it down and replace with something else, perhaps. As discredited in the eyes of the people that it is today, there isn’t enough trust left to leave it standing.

          Problems: This will create chaos that certain parties *will* take advantage of, if they can. Foreign and domestic, I mean. Things, people will slip through the cracks. I expect we now know most of the quislings within our ranks.

          But the good that will come of such house cleaning is unmistakable.

          1. CIA and FBI also need the same kind of cleaning.
            Military was only half infiltrated when I retired back in ’99. (1999 that is.) From what I’ve seen of the current leadership, they probably ought to throw out 100% of the commission officer corps, and all the E-8s and E-9s.

            1. Maybe there are few mustangs we can keep- but the most of them have proven where there loyalties lay. But yeah, E-8s and E-9s, many if not most of the officers, the fecking Pentagon…

              Question being, who bells the cat? We need someone with titanium balls, a clear head, and an exhaustive knowledge of the military. Someone mean enough, stubborn enough, and audacious enough to do it. Does anyone in the leadership qualify, at this point? Serious question, because I don’t know that there is.

              Standards haven’t just slipped, they are in free fall in some places from what I’ve heard and seen. Okay, a lot of places. The chain of command is being used as a flail to beat subordinates into submission. A lot of experienced soldiers are taking what out they can get rather than stay in.

              The next serious conflict we get into, a lot of men and women are going to die that by all rights shouldn’t. Simply because they’ve not been trained properly, aren’t led properly, and don’t have the right equipment. Because they don’t (with good and sufficient reason) trust their fellow soldiers and the chain of command. And that sickens me.

              What we’ve got is not sustainable. But I believe it *is* fixable. If we’re willing to p*ss off a great lot of people (and we SHOULD BE), it’ll go faster. The military in, what, the 70s I seem to recall, got through its drug problem post Vietnam. We can kick the woke out, and get back to killing stuff and breaking things. Is it going to suck? Of course it is. Just as soon as We The People get off our collective arse and stick someone in the spot as our representative that will do the job- and yank him right back out if he doesn’t. For now, laying the groundwork and preparing is the job, I think.

              1. The least damaging quick solution would be completely gutting all the not-your-specific-job related requirements. (And if you can’t get promoted without it, it’s a requirement.)

                A lot of the rot got rolling with requiring Warfare Designations but also requiring that they be done on the member’s time.

                This is back when it was standard for an 8 man shop to have two people in it; it’s gotten worse, at least in the technical fields where I still have people.

                That means you are actively selecting for the people who will not do their work in favor of getting their pin finished, either by taking time out of other department’s schedule or by gaming the system, in either legal or illegal manners. (They definitely weren’t learning the stuff they were supposed to, when the entire point of the pin is to show you can at least not totally screw up most of the jobs on the ship, but I understand some of the more social skilled set up exchanges that boiled down to mini-classes.)
                Don’t get me started on the dick-measuring contests in the boards, especially when you got the folks where an electron microscope would be needed.

                It was not uncommon for there to be roughly one in eight people who are completely incapable of doing their assigned job, requiring others to pick up the slack– which got REALLY nasty when you had two people trained and able to do the work, and one was sent to mess-cranking.

                As I believe I’ve mentioned before, our shop was supposed to be one of three calibration shops on the ship. Instead, it was the only shop, and we got none of the manning that was supposed to come from either engineering or deck.

                All of which had to go through our captains.

                Post 9/11, as well, so we SHOULD have been flush with people.

                1. “The least damaging quick solution would be completely gutting all the not-your-specific-job related requirements. (And if you can’t get promoted without it, it’s a requirement.)”

                  This in large letters.

              2. James Kitfields “Prodigal Soldiers” touches on the level of thought and will it took to reform DoD and the services from 1975-1990

          2. NO. Fire everybody at the IRS, and SHUT IT DOWN. Abolish federal income tax, and amend the Constitution to prevent it from ever being dragged back out of the grave. Prevent the federal government from applying coercion to states using money extorted from their own citizens.
            Negotiating with an enemy that can’t be trusted is Just Plain Stupid.

            1. Well, I never intended to keep the income tax. The IRS? Consider for a moment. We need taxes to fund things like a military, roads, a few state parks, stuff like that. Why not tax political campaigns the way we do income? And folks like ABCNNBC and the rest of the democrat media complex get taxed for their political campaigning.

              It would need a lot less funding once we gut things down to a manageable level. No more BATFE, no more Dept of Education, slimmed down State Dept, DoE making nuclear plants and getting that pipeline done, fibbis and CIA restructured (read- funding cut, leadership out, rebuilt from the ground up and rebranded), stupid foreign aid stuff cut, exporting NG to countries Putin is trying to control, fixing the military material boondoggles, snipping the golden parachutes from Congress and the bureaucrats, maybe tying Congressional pay to the budget (so they get MUCH less when they play with deficit spending), deregulating (and thus needing less bureaucrats, infrastructure to support said bureaucrats, and paperwork created by said bureaucrats), national security infrastructure clarified and straightened out, Pentagon gutted to a shadow of its former self, and maybe a few other things.

              Economy will improve as useless regulations are no more. Fair Tax or some sort of sales tax instituted to balance things out, further spurring growth. Commerce will improve once de facto rebellion is quelled (i.e. those willfully against the common good are ousted for failing to protect and defend the citizenry)- no more sanctuary cities, no more tolerance for illegals, rioting punished with jail time. And while we’re at it, prosecutors that fail to prosecute will automatically lose their jobs, prison reform will increase public safety, thus also increasing economic stability and growth. Imagine what Chicago, Southern California, and New York could be without Democrat policies.

              Of course will all of these little things boosting the economy we won’t need the IRS so much, indeed. But, people being people, it is likely that none of this will happen even though I told Santa I’ve been a Very Good Boy this year.

          3. > Draw from known experts that (1) know the country and (b) put their home country

            Normally, “expert” means “has proper credentials” or “with experience.”

            The credentialing system is geshtupfed.

            The ones with “experience” are the ones we need to get rid of.

            I’d settle for selecting enough people to fill the positions at random, passing over anyone with prior government service or a college degree in anything remotely related to the job at hand.

            No, they wouldn’t be the “best” people. But they’d damned sure not be the worst, and better than the ones we’d be getting rid of.

            1. Heck, I’d take thirty year olds that had vacationed in country once over what we have now. I’ve not the words (well, not any polite ones) for my contempt for the Department of State.

              The only reason I don’t say “kill it with fire!” is that we need to have *some* presence in other countries. If the military weren’t so boned right now, I’d say draw from prior service personnel and stick quality NCOs in the slot. But we need those, badly, in service now.

          4. “The longer this goes on, the more likely a Gordian Knot solution becomes likely. That could well be messier than all of us would like.”

            When you already have a Gordian knot, there’s only one solution. Let’s use your example of firing the State Department. I’ll be generous and say you’ve achieved “no warning”; we’ll show why you never will as part of the example. I’ll even give you the same Congressional makeup President Trump had on Jan 20, 2016, majorities in the House and Senate.

            F-Day, U-Hour: “You’re fired!” goes out over the PA system.
            F-Day, U-Hour+2: Hawaiian Judge issues nationwide injunction saying “Ain’t happening”. If they go a little higher, it will be the DC Circuit. Reason: these firings violate various contracts, “consent decrees”, and outright laws such as Civil Service. Welcome to your Constitutional Crisis. How do you deal with it? Send in the FBI (ROFLMAO)? The Secret Service? The military? Bottom line, the people who most need firing will simply refuse to leave, and all the “Good Guys” throughout the enforcement arms will be able to point to the injunction and say that your orders aren’t confirmed as legal.

            F-Day, U-Hour + 4: All the media arms, backed up by various members of the House, Senate, etc. start screeching about how your “authoritarian actions” are harming the United States abroad, are unconstitutional, illegal, etc. and all the “brave whistleblowers” who are exposing the horrible abuses and remaining at their posts to help the country survive. After all, just look who the “replacements” are!!!!

            “replace immediately the most of them (not all). Draw from known experts that (1) know the country and (b) put their home country FIRST. ”

            See, the people you are proposing all have to go through background checks in order to lawfully handle the various classified documents; that’s actually in various laws. Who does those? The FBI, in the case of State. And those background checks take TIME, and involve various state and local law enforcement agencies. Sure, you can grant waivers, but what do you do when various people refuse to share intel citing “security”? It’s an arguable point. And those checks must be marked done eventually.

            Do you really think that all the juicy details, real and imagined, of their personal lives won’t leak out over the six months or so? Especially when the various governments reveal that their “anti-corruption investigations” have just now uncovered violations involving your experts who “know the country”, presumably from prior service or business dealings there. That will be aided and abetted by various Embassy personnel. Do you really think there would be “no warning”?

            There were multiple instances, especially on the Left Coast, where every nominee for various positions in EPA, DOE, and Interior withdrew their nomination because of threats to them and their family members both personally and professionally.

            I’ll leave what kind of nominees Democrats and “reach across the aisle” Republicans (Cheney, Kinziger, Romney, Murkowski, etc.) would actually confirm as an exercise for the reader; one of the reasons Sessions hung on so long is that Vichy Mitchy and Snake In The Grassley simply said they wouldn’t confirm replacements if Trump fired him, leaving various bureaucrats in charge who would be worse.

            Again, the Gordian knot is the reality. Ignore it at your peril.

            1. You know, while the “just chop through it” version is quite popular, there is another version of the story that reflects much better on Alexander.

              He studied the knot, and found the lynch-pin in it, and then did the work of unraveling.

              1. ARRGH!! That was the Last Straw. The pins that keep the wheels from falling off are ‘linchpins’. Lynching is optional (but probably a good idea for most of the State Department).

                And now I see that ‘lynchpin’ is listed as an alternate spelling. No! That’s heresy! 😀

                Some things NEED to have the wheels fall off.

  10. “In other words, Wednesday in fantasy upset some people.”

    Been seeing a lot of this in recent years. Some folks cannot comprehend that fictional people in imaginary times and places might have different values than Current Month and melt down hilariously.

    1. Which is why writers have to consider target audiences. I was, a couple of years back, reading a blog where readers were complaining about a historical romance where the heroine, who had consented to marry, had plenty of grievances, but her chief one was that he expected to sleep with her.

      They all agreed that in that era, she would have known her duty — especially because he needed an heir. Also, her other complaints were more plausible to the era and would have served just as well as plot devices.

      1. What puts me off is when I sense preaching about how the Real World(tm) does work or should work. When it’s preaching I agree with, I may just feel that I ought to be bothered by it, and when it’s preaching I disagree with, it actively rubs me the wrong way. But nasty values I wouldn’t let into my home can be passed off, in-story, as wicked cool as long as they are presented as exotic customs of exotic places that stay in those exotic places. Bonus points if magic or impossible technology is invoked to support & justify the exotic customs.

        1. Yeah, the preaching at stuff outside does get annoying.

          That doesn’t mean no “morals” to a story– but the way to get folks to accept a moral is to show them it works, which means you have to build your world AND play fair.

          You have to sell the character to me, sell the situation, and then SHOW me that it goes this way, and I WANT it to.

          If any of those steps has an author anvil or even just the strings showing, then it’s just an author cheat, and if you use it to PREACH at me, I’m going to be annoyed. No, your ability to control the book does NOT reflect the real world!

  11. I’ve decided that my political position is Subsidiarity. That’s a doctrine that the people closest to the issue are the best-suited to deal with it—or, in political terms, you deal with problems at the lowest level that you can.

    Pity there isn’t any group out there that seems to think that way, including the Catholic-started American Solidarity Party.

    1. New party: Get Off My Lawn Party of Canada. It has two policy planks: A) What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours. B) Mind your own freakin’ business, Karen.

      Philosophically it’s not perfect, but it is an improvement on Wokeism. It’ll do for now.

      1. Stay Off My Lawn, of the US (virginia branch). First, mind your own business, I’ll mind mine. Second, stop taking so much of my money, subsidiary to that stop *wasting* it on stupid crap. Third, NO. On everything. We don’t need it. We can’t afford it. When committees and departments come begging for more money, Not Just No, but HELL NO. Principle the Fourth, Eff Around And Find Out. This may be considered a consequence of violating any of the previous three principles.

      1. Minarchism sounds better than subsidiarity, so score one for our hostess. Feedback is life. Kick a rock, and it doesn’t care ’cause it’s dead. Put a drop of acid in one side of an amoeba’s petri dish, and the amoeba moves away, not because it has a brain, but because it’s alive.

  12. “And the sovereign of the United States, the true king for whose return we wait, is We The People.”

    So we really are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Barry just didn’t know what he meant when he said it. (Typical Barry.)

      1. If you could guarantee that the monarch would always be wise and responsible, considering the good of the people instead of his own and that of his cronies, a monarchy would not be a bad form of government. The stinger is that you can’t get such a guarantee. The next best thing is government by the will of the people. And if the will of the people goes bad, well, even God has no choice but to clear the slate and start over. He’s done it before, and warned he will do it again.
        Sometimes a chastisement…a severe and painful one…that falls short of a wipeout is sufficient, There are those who consider the Late Unpleasantness to be just that. There are also those who think that if hard times are a-coming for us all, they are neither undeserved nor premature. All we can do is prepare.

        1. A monarchy (“one ruler”) is a perfectly reasonable method of organizing a system of government. Clear chain of command and all that sort of thing. The issue of course is limiting what government can do. If it can’t do a lot, the one in authority doesn’t need a lot of advisors to advise him what to do. If all the monarch does is decide what flavor of ice cream to have, let him/her/it/they do so. It’s when we defer all authority for everything to government that we run into issues.

  13. When I read Travis Corcoran’s Aristillus novels, it struck me that Mike Martin clearly plays the role of the true king of his anarchist community in the second volume.

  14. > And the sovereign of the United States, the true king for whose return we wait, is We The People.

    “Nac Mac Feegle! The Wee Free Men!
    Nae King! Nae Quin! Nae Laird! Nae master! We willna be fooled again!”

    They fooled us once, but… they’re not fooling us now, and we won’t be fooled again.

    “I’ll tip my hat to the new Constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again, no, no.”

  15. Hey! I like the idea of metric time. One cannot do much about the day, so make that 10/10 instead of 12/12. Put 100 minutes in one hour. Put 100 seconds in a minute. Adjust the definition of “second” to make it work.

    If you don’t like the idea of politicians messing with time, make Daylight Saving Time stop, please!

    1. If Thomas Jefferson had listened to me when I proposed the duodecimal number system instead of decimating the clock and calendar as the Frenchies tried, we wouldn’t have this problem. 20 hours in a day, but 20 is evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12. It’s too late now, we’d have to redo all the calculators, or maybe we could make it an option like the Dvorak keyboard layout. Sigh. Nobody listens to time travelers.

      1. As a real time programmer who deals with nano seconds and seconds since the epoch and things like that on a daily basis I just threw up a little in my mouth after reading this.. Well actually I’m in the the bathroom, hugging the toilet, and clutching my guts at the insane amount of massive programming rework such a proposal would cause world wide. This is how the world ends.. Someone doesn’t like the way the numbers are arranged on a clock, and mandates they should change. Consequently, civilization ends immediately afterwards. Lets call it like it is.. Build clocks back better.. Or something..

        1. “Riddle me this Batman, what day was George Washington born?”
          “Gregorian or Julian?”
          They thought they dodged a bullet with Y2K, but Y2K was still a leap year. Wait til they get to 2100. Insert evil laugh here.

          1. Wait til they get to 2100. Insert evil laugh here.

            Don’t remember the extra steps when last two digits divisible by 4, because it has been a longtime. But leap year 2100 is covered, or should be.

            Will go with the evil laugh however, because there will still be programs and systems in production that are not using a 4 digit year or date format, still.

              1. No leap 2100. Leap 2000.

                More than that. 1900 isn’t a leap year either. I think it is last two digits divide by 4 without reminder, but if 00, whole year has to be divisible by 4 without remainder.

                1. Every 4th year except the century, but every 4th century.

                  Of course, that will gradually change as days get longer due to lunar tidal drag.

                2. “These extra days occur in each year which is an integer multiple of 4 (except for years evenly divisible by 100, but not by 400)” — Wikipedia

                  So leap years in 1904, 1996, 2000, and 2400, but not 1900 or 2100.

                  1. I knew I should have just gone and looked it up …

                    Last time I used the formula in code, there was no Wikipedia … Nor reliable date functions …

          2. If the code that “patched” for Y2K is still running on something, the 2050 problem will be next (after the 2036/7 rollover issue, yes…). Many of the patches simply replaced the 99-00 check with a 49-50 check… so… have fun.

            1. Yes.

              Should we buy popcorn futures? 🙂 After all the last Y2K was a panic *about nothing* so the 2036/2037 rollover will be too? Won’t it? 🙂 Only … where are all those retired COBOL, etc., programmers, they pulled in for big bucks in late ’90s? Huh? I expect to still be around then, I’ll be in my early 80s, only out of programming by 20+ years. There won’t be enough big bucks to pull me back in. Given family history, I stand a good chance of being around for the 2050 panic too.

          3. When I was in College over 40 years ago, one of the programming assignments (some kind of scheduling app) required getting the leap days right. Anyone coder over 35 will remember the Y2K panic. I would guess most of the code out there already handles 2100 correctly.

        2. Mike, I used to ask interviewees what the numbers 32,768 and 86,400 meant to them. I facepalmed when the F-22’s electronic navigation system crashed on the way from Hawaii to Japan. Isn’t there anybody who knows what they’re doing anymore? Don’t get me started on the Datamation satire about turning semiconductors into trinaryconductors with trytes instead of bytes, etc.

          1. Programmers who have only been taught high-level languages with concentration on libraries, classes, or frameworks, who have never been taught binary, hex, or (Baud forbid!) octal, who have never had to consider memory or storage limits.

            There are lots of them out there. I’ve met some of them in meatspace.

            1. Once upon a time, on IRC (DATED REFERENCE ALERT!!!) I encountered a fellow who simply could *NOT* believe that I could “simply allocate another Meg” when I related that I had spent all afternoon fighting like mad, pulling every (very dirty) trick in the book to get ONE byte free to use for a mod. Embedded system. Forth. 8-bit. hc11. “That’s all there is, there AIN’T no more!” By utter luck, the return stack was (still) oversized and I could get away with shrinking it, just a bit. And that was AFTER all the ‘dirty tricks’!

              1. I remember what a pain a memory leak was. Vaguely. From back in the days before garage collection.

                1. Yeah, I should definitely manage my garage collection 😉 Typos are so much fun. 😉 I could telll you tales of M$ Access, but I’ll spare the details.

                  1. It was interesting. It did have the advantage that connecting to other DBs was much easier than connecting internally. There were times when I wrote an Access database that consisted of one table from one Oracle database, and another from another, so I could write the query to compare.

                  1. Yes it does. Lord help the developer who doesn’t recognize the symptoms and how to fix it when it does.

              2. I never had to go quite that deep, but I did discover that Windows 3.11 had a minimum free memory limit to allow it to start, and I had to restructure the config.sys and autoexec.bat files on the computer I was using to load more into high memory to free up the base memory enough to load Windows when I worked at the aluminum foundry.

              3. I had a TI SR-52 calculator with a fixed small program memory and variable-length instructions. I ran out of room but was able to figure out how to jump to the middle of an instruction to squeeze a few more bytes of code out of that space.

              4. I had one system where we used both a RAMDisk and Virtual Memory for different parts of our expensive 12 meg computer. I know, it makes no sense. Don’t ask.

            2. Programmers who have only been taught high-level languages with concentration on libraries, classes, or frameworks, who have never been taught binary, hex, or (Baud forbid!) octal, who have never had to consider memory or storage limits.

              As someone who did learn all that stuff but works in high-level languages and never* has to worry about it, I say huzzah!

              *(well, hardly ever)

            3. OK, two stories:

              I was given an almost completely undocumented assembly listing for a 68HC11 chip that had ONE BYTE left in the program ROM. It was the controller for a sonar-like transmitter that generated a sequence of four frequencies selected from a table of constants, repeated 8 times. The resulting sound served as the unlock code for underwater devices, each of which had to have a unique code. They needed more codes, but there was no space left to expand the constant table.

              My task was to port that program to a PIC18. They had made an adapter board that plugged into the 68HC11 socket, with a PIC18 and a few other components on it. The hardware was done, now they ‘just’ needed the program ported, with some improvements.

              I wasted a couple of days trying to make sense of that 68HC11 assembly code while roundly cursing the programmer, his teachers, and most of his immediate family. Then I set out to write a new program from scratch. There was a keypad, a 2-line LCD display, a few other inputs, and the sound output. Took a while, but I got the job done, and documented everything to a fare-thee-well. I turned the C source and header files over to the supervisor. He reviewed them, and told me that for the first time EVER he didn’t have any questions about the code.

              Another job, another micro — this time a TI MSP430 with 32 KB program ROM. I started by going over the architecture and machine instructions. The MSP430 has some constants that can be incorporated into the instruction word so that no data word is needed to perform most operations with 0, 1, 2 or 4. There are other optimizations. I examined assembly code generated by the compiler, and found ways to save a few words here, a few more there.

              I got the code working, and made it fit in about 28 KB. Then they brought in a Computer Science Graduate.

              My code wasn’t Standard. It wasn’t Object Oriented. It didn’t conform to the Proper Style. “Thou Shalt Not Use do{} Loops! Ever!” I even had a few functions written in Assembly! Blasphemy! He set about Cleaning Up The Code. In a month, he’d bloated it up to over 30 KB without adding ANY functionality.

              “Stop! You’re going to run out of space!”

              “Get a bigger chip.”

              “TI doesn’t MAKE a bigger chip in the same footprint!”

              “Redesign the board.”

              Making the program fit in the available hardware was an utterly foreign concept. I got laid off about that time, so I don’t know how it all turned out.
              Forget roses, a turd by any other name still stinks.

      2. In Pogo (yes, I’m old enough to remember) one of the characters–I think the Agnew look-alike–proposed a simplification of the day to 4 hours. Then the work day would change from 8 to 2 hours–a great boon, right?

      3. But the only reason why you went back to advise him to use duodecimal was because he hadn’t chosen to use it. If he had chosen to use it, then you never would have gone back in time, which means that he wouldn’t have chosen to use it because no one would have advised him to do so.

        Thus, for all you know, you succeeded in convincing him, but your still in your original timeline when he didn’t choose to use it because no one went back in time to convince him to use it.

        1. I am that old. But I never program with punch cards or tape. Teletype, one class, but didn’t get into programming fully until even those were history …

  16. There is some question as to whether the specific legend of the Fischer King and some of the Mabinogion stories of the wounded king and the ailing land go back to the Plagues of Justinian and the global weather “splat”* that happened at about the same time.

    *Totally the proper technical term for the effects of a volcano somewhere in the tropics that belched a lot of gunk into the atmosphere and caused solar dimming and cold weather for almost a decade.

    1. For the record, cold weather is LETHAL to humans. We do fine with warmth. I don’t know why the greenies want cold, but the obvious thought is they’re not human.

      1. I’d rather endure 40° F than 40° C myself. Especially if I’m trying to sleep.
        Forget roses, a turd by any other name still stinks.

      2. They can’t be true lizard beings, then. Gotta be some other species. Lizards get torpid when they get cold. They merely hide out (turn hermit) when it gets too hot.

        1. Well, doesn’t the name Democrat outright mean that they are cadavers animated by fires within?

          Editor: After much investigation, Bob discovered otherwise. But was he persuaded?

          1. Given the average of the (D) leadership, or I should say admitted age, well . . . I can see why Bob might not be entirely persuaded.

      3. It’s not humans that cold is lethal to… it’s what humans EAT that cold is lethal to. You lose first the crops, then the food animals…

        1. No, we’re just usually pretty good at having heat sources and walls to keep cold out.

          Which works great… if the power stays on, fuel keeps coming, and it’s not unseasonably cold.

      4. Warm, even hot is EASY to deal with. Either find shade, minimize activity, occasional dowsing of water, shed clothes, or a little bit of each.

        Cold? Here I sit in a house (that to save on heating) that’s probably around 62-63F with a sweatshirt and t-shirt on and I’m still chilly. And it’s only going to get colder. There’s a limit to how much you can bundle up…

        1. When I was living and working in Not-As-Flat-As-It-Seems state, I had the thermostat at 60 in winter, because my one bedroom apartment had electric heat (baseboard) and cost $150/month and more to heat if I kept it at 70 when I was there. I felt warmer when I was out in -10F weather snowshoeing!

        2. You probably wouldn’t pay the 62F much mind if you were acclimated. I’ve seen people in shorts and t-shirts in that kind of weather. Of course, they were from much colder places, which is why the temperature didn’t bother them.

          But it can become a serious problem if it gets a lot colder.

          1. I can work up a sweat easily enough, working in 60F weather.

            Sitting quietly at the keyboard or reading, it’s freakin’ cold.

            1. We chopped our heating bill in half by using “oil heaters” (they plug in but look like radiators) instead of the base-board, and it kept the room warmer. (only had it in the one room…yeah, Seattle Blob)

              and didn’t make my uncles break into “gonna burn down the house” hives.

      5. Well, in fairness, a few decades back they did want warmth, and were warning us against cold. I suspect the change is because images of New York City partially submerged get more attention. Coastlines are all over the place, and in lots of different latitudes. Warnings of a new ice age probably don’t get people quite so worried if they don’t live in Canada or Scandinavia.

      6. I recall Grandma saying the opposite: “I can always add a layer, but there’s only so much I can take off!”

        But, yeah, in my case, you can say, “Well, not exactly human…” I know.

      7. I generally prefer cold weather to hot weather, as I can always put more clothes on. Now that I live in the deep South, though, I will say that I can easily stay indoors in the AC when it’s that nasty, and I don’t have to drive in the snow and ice, and that makes me very happy indeed.

  17. I’ve been pondering issues of abuse and the similarities between abusers and the political left One common characteristic of abusers, whether male, female, violent, passive (yes,there is such a thing), domestic, or political is that they can NEVER EVER admit they were wrong. DARVO is their meat, drink and the air they breathe. They will invent the most bizarre, twisted, absurd, inconsistent and incoherent fantasies that can be imagined to try put to themselves in the right. Mere authors of fiction, especially if they are trying to present truth through art, can’t compare.

    And this is where abusers have an apparent advantage over the meek. They can, will, and do exploit any tendency of those who are aware of their human failings to try to cow them into submission. If they cannot do this, they will bluster, threaten, and punish. We are none of us, perfect. If we are honest with ourselves we will see faults and mistakes. Happy are we if we can acknowledge and fix them. If we admit that even our enemies get it right sometimes, we will see more. Abusers, never. And that is where they have a real disadvantage.

    1. Everybody has to be right once in a while. Nobody is ever perfect, not even perfectly full of shit.

      1. When Sib or I, or the other young ones, got too full of ourselves, my grandmother used to say, “There was only one perfect person, and you know what happened to Him!”

  18. In re: the Normies getting angry, we had an example this week.

    The retired cardinal of LA, Mahony, stuck his nose into the USCCB vote on a Eucharistic teaching document this week, by getting himself interviewed by some Vatican media group. After long being part of the problem with cruddy music, ugly churches, trying to get Mother Angelica and EWTN canceled, and protection of sex offenders (priests and otherwise) in his archdiocese, he took it upon himself to proclaim that even if non-Mass-attending US Catholics had been surveyed as not widely understanding Holy Communion, that the US bishops shouldn’t put out a teaching document about it. And especially not if they told people not to receive the Eucharist if they were currently in a state of mortal sin, for whatever reason. (Including politicians who support abortion openly and enthusiastically, but there are other sticking points too.)

    Well, apparently Mahony thought that this interview and scolding would make the voting members of the US bishops tremble in their boots and refuse to support the document.

    Instead, it annoyed them, and the bishops voted 225-8 for the document. (And I bet I know which 8 bishops didn’t vote for it, and they are definitely the bottom 8 of all US bishops and archbishops.)

    To be fair, Mahony probably doesn’t think of himself as being nearly as unpopular/hated/resented as the much more evil and destructive senior clerics, such as the de-bishoped and defrocked McCarrick. But the Big Bads are mostly dead or hiding, whereas Mahony is a Medium Bad who just put himself center stage.

    1. Also, of course, it’s Very Bad Form to openly disrespect and attempt to counter the deeds of the successor to your seat, the current Archbishop Gomez of LA, who is also the current head of the USCCB and the main sponsor of the Eucharistic document.

      Yep, Mahony is just a gentle, charismatic, winning personality. He thinks.

      1. Anyhow, they’ve never had a 225-8 vote before. Usually things are unanimous, more or less, on uncontroversial items, or there’s a lot of vote counting on stuff where opinions differ.

        The other thing is that the document isn’t even officially out yet. It was just a vote on “should we draft a document about this,” albeit they’ve already got a name for it. (And possibly some rough drafts are unofficially circulating, because apparently this is what normally happens.)

      2. Nuns dancing on the altar with fire, it’s up there with the pope putting pagan idols on the altar in Saint Peter’s. It’s no accident that everything they do is ugly.

        Looking back at Mahoney’s career is very illuminating. he’s a bad priest.

        That’s the worst thing about being an RC, we’re stuck with the bishops.

        Happy Thanksgiving to all. Despite the noise, we have so much to be thankful for.

  19. It underlies a lot of our legends and stories and arguably (don’t hit me. This doesn’t mean it’s not true) our religions.

    You know, I think this is reflective of one of the most OBNOXIOUS “intellectual” traits that has become generalized.

    The idea that if multiple sources say something that’s kind of the same, it’s all made up and can be dismissed out of hand, they’re all equally wrong.

    That’s nonsense. The rational response to multiple sources saying similar things is to figure that there is SOME kind of foundation to it, and if one MUST comment on it one should do so only after trying to figure out what it is!

    #rant #grumble

  20. It probably has origins very early in the human or proto-human band, which was really barely extended family and where the ravages of leadership that didn’t give a hang about anyone else were obvious, while good leadership was equally obvious.

    Quite possible.

    On a philosophy/why it’s got legs level– long term, sin doesn’t work. It rots stuff.
    Doing The Right Thing is hard, and it’s expensive, usually up-front, but long term it pays off.

    The habits of a Good King won’t be obvious right off the bat, but the way you play is the way you live– a king that tends to moral behavior in his personal life is likely to make choices that have long-term good results, while a selfish king is likely to do stuff like order all boys under 2 killed because of a threat of a possible revolt. Then that worker gap hits in a decade and change…..
    (apparently, that blankety-blank died of rather nasty untreated STD side effects, from the reported symptoms; was mentioned in a Jimmy Akin Mysterious World podcast.)

    1. A moral ruler is also more likely to pick moral aides and assistants, and seeing these people conduct themselves in a moral fashion is more likely to encourage the population to act in a moral fashion. An immoral ruler is more likely to pick the immoral to assist him. And when the subjects see their rulers acting in an immoral fashion, they’ll likely adopt similar attitudes.

      1. The company you keep matters.

        Which is why a form of government is not simply an item of capital equipment that can be installed in any arbitrary population to form a country.

        Law and government are a result of human behavior. They are not infinitely mutable, nor do they inevitably conform to decreed theory. Examples that are set matter.

  21. A good ruler at the very least requires knowledge, wisdom, and control of the territory he or she rules. Someone can become intimately familiar with everything within a half day’s walking distance of their abode; call that roughly 10 miles in any direction, 25 to 30 if you’re a marine or soldier. You can project force at twice that range in a single day; but you’re stuck away from your base. That distance increases with improvements of transportation, but familiarity and knowledge decrease geometrically as the distance increases.

    1. I had always wondered why so many fairy tales (especially Grimms’) had princes who didn’t recognize visitors from other realms, by name or family much less by sight. Then I got a look at a map of the Rhine. There are hundreds of them, only a few miles apart.–belgium-germany-travel-ideas.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

      This one has better graphics and a scale.

      BTW, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

      1. Many a fairy tale has a poor son leaving the village and coming back years later as a prince, and nobody recognizes him.

        I take this to mean that back when people owned exactly one change of clothes, those clothes became the perceptual gestalt/shortcut for that person more than their face did.

        1. Many is putting it a bit high, though it certainly happens. I think it’s more the way it’s years later and he’s dressed up all royal so they are intent on not insulting him.

  22. Hrm. A Martian ‘Sol’ (DAY – it’s what it’ll end up being called by the locals when there are more than a few) is such that a 20 hour ‘Sol’ would be just under 74 minutes. As in about 1.2 seconds under. Will there be a 20-hour Martian clocks? Almost certainly not. The ‘Sol’ (DAY!) is “close enough” and, if anything, I could see Earth-Standard matched *digital* clocks with a “normal” 24 hour day.. and maybe have ’25’ be a weird almost half-hour of ‘extra’ time. (Like at least one civilization made that extra days not of the first 360 into a ‘these don’t count’ sort of holiday. Or course, this would also then be The Curse of Night Shift, Martianly speaking.

    1. “Outside” on Mars requires life support just to get there. People will spend their time inside unless they have good reason to go out. At which point, why should they care whether it’s light or dark out there?

      Heck, I already feel that way about Earth. If it’s dark, I turn on the lights. “Natural daylight” is seldom a necessity. My sleep schedule has only limited relation to where the sun is.

  23. Good post, both for something that does trip me in writing (fantasy stories with monarchies, including some functional ones, while being more of a minarchist personally), and the state of things in the country. Things do get a bit worrisome sometimes still, especially when I see things like employers plowing ahead on Covidiocy despite the court case and nagging worries about Big Tech, but it does look like more people than not are seeing what the tyrants are up to and aren’t happy about it. Here’s hoping for our own Return of the King soon!

    1. A major narrative advantage to monarchies is that it condenses “the government” into a character, with associated ease of dealing with it.

      Same way TV cop shows will have exactly one investigation guy, one drug guy, one tech guy, the entire freaking country only uses ONE guy for post-death examinations unless you need someone for Ducky to talk to stuff about….

      1. Sort of like how Bernard Cornwall cut out at least four or five layers of command structure between Richard Sharpe and the Duke of Wellington in his novels. There’s some massive handwavium there, but he makes it work, and only a military-history purist will do more than shrug and roll with it.

      2. I will note an exception in the TV series Castle, which had two very different people examining the dead bodies. And not as a team.

        1. I get irrationally gleeful when a TV show DOES have someone go “I have to go ask someone about that” and one of the other regulars goes “what? I thought you knew computers” and gets a response to the effect that even someone who can rebuild a 1950s classic mustang from the wheels up isn’t going to be able to do that with a tractor, an SUV and a modern smart car, even if it is frequently used to get a walk-on love interest.

  24. One of the conflicts in the WiP is between the Great Northern Emperor and the protagonist. Both are young (late teens when the story begins), both are sure of themselves, both know what is best for their people [and of course “best” differs in scale to put it mildly], both have ambitions, and they cannot stand each other. But they also work well together as lord and vassal, and can trust each other. Eventually, something’s going to break, but until then it’s a fascinating [hard for the author to write well] study in personality and government.

    1. Now I wonder if Handwavium is fissile or has other… ‘interesting’.. properties. And the possible effects should anyone ever manage to produce a working Handwavium bomb.

      1. The timelines where that was figured out at Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, or LAwrence Livermore, and additionally were deployed when the Cold War went hot, wound up a bit like Rifts or Gamma Terra, except without the restraint, careful attention to physical plausibility, and subdued realism. For some reason, when they develop the handwavium physics package at other locations or institutions, it does not wind up that way. Or if they do not deploy them.

        The timeline where they developed it with different designs and theory at four institutions that we never created, and did surface testing at thirteen separate sites widely distributed across the US is especially interesting.

          1. We aren’t. That stuff propagates in the other direction. None of the events were in timelines such that handwavium fission or fusion after effects would have reached us.

            Our issue is simply that Keep Austin Weird was a very very bad idea.

            Damage would have been localized, except for SJ Games, UT, David Burge, etc.

            I’ve just finished running the numbers, and have calculated the date on which the Austinians decide that the world is strange enough, thank you, and things settle down. Have yet to calculate the date by which things will have settled down.

            1. There is a “Keep Austin Weird” and a “Keep Portland Weird” but as far as I know, no “Keep Madison weird.” With State St., there is simply no NEED for such.

              1. With the boardings-up and invocations of Saint Floyd, State Street looks weirder now, but most of the time — at least in daylight — it wasn’t too strange; just kind of college-towny. Halloween’s another matter — I stay far away from that.

    1. The break-off points for functioning seem to be strong leadership, self-selected populations, and no families.

      That is, it works when it REALLY IS a leveled up family. (And, just like real families, it can still go non-functional.)

      Add in actual family formation, which includes romance and involuntary new members who can’t contribute for years? You got Issues.

      1. Often if not always caused by the Strong Leader declaring that the New Dispensation™ allows him (and maybe his lieutenants) to sleep with other mens’ wives.

    2. It didn’t even work with the early Church, “when they held all things in common.” A few years later, Paul was running fundraisers for, ” the saints which are in Jerusalem.”

Comments are closed.