Sailing Past the Script

*I’ve been painting myself to death, mostly because I can’t be having with not having a place to eat. It’s not amusing, in the sense that it ate up all my day till now, but on the good side the dining room only needs a final coat. Which might wait till tomorrow, since I’ve found doing painting with bad light is not a good idea.

There might be another death march with paint involved this week, as we’ll probably have the kitchen re-floored next weekend, so it would be a good idea to paint before, nicht wahr? (Mostly because it’s like a dark, dark olive, in a kitchen that has only one small window.)

Remaining today is recovering my office chair because after a certain girl cat’s attempts to bathe it in eau de chat, I simply don’t trust it, and writing from my bed is getting old. Other things need done, but they will take like an hour or two out of my days and not impinge on my writing. Among other things, I’m sacrilegiously painting furniture white (one of them real wood. BUT NOT I hasten to add the delicate real 18th century china cabinet. I wouldn’t do that.) I’m also building what my son insists on calling a coffee station, but I call a shrine to coffee, to free some counter space by housing my coffee maker and toaster and also display my extraordinary collection of mugs acquired by various means. That is on the back burner till the other two pieces (being painted) free space in the shed. Again, those are a matter of “do something, then wait till it dries” which allows me to write.- SAH*

Anyway, I was thinking while painting of the whole matter of scripts in people’s heads. Specifically in the heads of who report the news.

Heinlein once said that any event he was present at and then read about in the news the report bore no resemblance to what happened. I must say I have the same experience, from events involving shooting and explosions, to stupid little reports over a school project. And I know that several of my friends in other parts of the world have experienced similar distortions.

What all the reports do have, though, is fitting into a “narrative.” Or perhaps a pre-written script in the reporter’s head.

Someone called this not a conspiracy but a prospiracy. People collaborate in obfuscating the truth, because they have been pre-programmed to believe/see a certain way.

Those of us cursed with a tendency to see, even when we don’t wish to, are forever wondering “But didn’t they see?” — however the answer is apparently not. Or at least anyone who has interviewed witnesses to an event says it’s perfectly possible for people not to see what’s before their eyes.

One of my first experiences with this was the broken down circus that came to the village one summer. You guys have to understand the village was small — and poor — so I have no idea how we rated a circus. But it was not a first rate circus. In fact, I doubt it was a second or third rate circus. They had no animals, for instance, other than two rather unremarkable horses, and a moth-eaten monkey. I want to say there were also people in lion costumes, but I think my mind is adding that afterwards.

I was about three. We went tot he circus, partly under the principle of “let’s take the kid out for a treat.” (At this time in my life, watching the farmer’s oxen walk in a circle to draw water for the crops from his well was a treat. Myself and the village boys would gather and sit on the wall and watch with fascination. Yeah, life was that boring.)

Anyway, amid the circus performers was a magician. I actually have no idea how good he was. I have a vague memory of doves pulled from a top hat.

The only other trick I remember…. well. You see, I was a three year old. And when we first sat down — really early, but it was okay, because we had peanuts — I was watching the performers set up for the show. There was a lot of clutter in the middle of the ring, that they were disposing of. One of the things was this ODD little table, with a thin support, and a little metal top. And I was a kid and curious. So I kept my eye on that table, to see how it would be used.

And then when the magician’s assistant lay down on it, and was wheeled around, the whole crowd cheered, and I thought that was weird.

Afterwards, my family was talking about how the magician’s assistant had floated in air, and I kept telling them no, she lay down on the little table. They refused to believe me. They really really couldn’t.

To this day I think it was because they hadn’t noticed the table. And the whole show and display…. well, it had led them to see a woman floating in air. But that’s not what I’d seen.

I suspect the majority of the reporters talking about the insurrection of January 6th are like that. Sure, they might have noticed that none of the “rioters” or whatever actually caused any damage. And they probably can sniff the problems with Ashli Babbit’s death, and for that matter what’s coming out about Roseanne Boyland makes one’s blood boil. They have to know. But they can’t know, because that would break the script in their heads. And they can’t break the script, because it’s become confused with who they are. Just like the adults in that circus could not believe that the kid could have seen something they hadn’t noticed, because that would make them stupid. And the reporters are so invested in the whole arrow of history thing and “being on the side of good” that they can’t admit they’re aiding and abetting a coup d’etat that has killed unarmed citizens who were merely protesting what they viewed as a crooked election.

In fact, most of us who were paying attention know the election was crooked (not the first one. Probably not the 10th one) and realize that unarmed people walking between ropes into the capitol were not in fact an insurrection against “our democracy” (Which at any rate is not what we have.)

Most of them probably realize the same at the very back of their minds. But that just means they must yell louder how dangerous the “insurrectionists” are.

This all amounts to lies and more lies piled on yet more lies. Till the stink of the whole midden of them reaches the heavens and knocks on the doors of the angels screaming for vengeance.

The good side, the thing to take courage from, is that we know that they are lies. And that more people every day are seeing these are arrant lies.

Will it be in enough time to free the prisoners from what amounts to an American Gulag? I don’t know. I do know they will be vindicated by history. And though that’s cold comfort, I also know they’re people like us, who view dying for freedom as a not bad way to go. We all must go once. And at the same time my heart bleeds for them, I realize they are doing what they must do as sons and daughters of liberty.

And liberty will win. Or at least free men will. But liberty — or truth, or anything worth having — is never free. And in the end there’s only a coin men pay with. It’s the only thing of true worth we have to give.

The script in their heads will not be broken. Or if it is, it wont’ be to the last possible moment.

And meanwhile Lady Liberty is on her back, floating on seeming air. Till the support breaks and she wakes, holding aloft a lamp.

What the lamp reveals will shock a lot of people out of the script. Those it doesn’t might be unredeemable. Not because they’re bad in themselves, but because they can’t free themselves from the lie.

Meanwhile? Prepare. Both physically and mentally. Both with material goods and with skills.

We are about to land in terra incognita. This is exactly like the seventies, except it isn’t. There’s never been this kind of crazy recession with a labor shortage, to my knowledge. That there is a labor shortage despite wide open borders is another level of insanity. And that the same old discredited magicians are up front, promising to pull yet more doves from trillions of dollars we don’t have adds up to insanity. The same old solution to a problem no one understands or is even willing to mention will do nothing, except push us further into terra incognita.

Between changing techonologies, distributed information and a crazy world situation, where a lot of things are coming to a head at once — and worsened by the covidiocy — I can’t tell you how bad it will get, for how long, or what the safe areas (both physical or of work) will be.

What I can tell you is this: It’s going to be unexpected. It’s going to be scary. It has the potentials to kill billions of people worldwide and completely change the lives of those who remain.

How bad it gets, and what the change is is to an extent in our hands. We have to work as hard we can to minimize damage not of our making. And to make sure what comes after is worthy of us, worthy of the land of the free.

Go forth and do what you can. Because we are on unpredictable ground, led by clowns running a script in their heads that has no connection to reality.

Only you can save the world. Or at least your little piece of it.

Go and do so.

159 thoughts on “Sailing Past the Script

  1. It can start to feel like *you’re* the crazy one simply for insisting people follow the law.

    Fred Meyer refuses to honor my mask PTSD, despite being shown clearly that it violates the governor’s illegal diktat AND federal law. Their response: “But… but…. we don’t wanna! There’s a mandate!”

    It’s hard not to feel an oversized sense of urgency to get to Free America (out of WA), find an income source, place to live, all normal things in regular times. Now? It feels like I’m in the woods headed for the Fort barely ahead of the fire.

    This post nailed it again. Thanks. It really helps.

  2. All you can do is be who you are, say what needs to be said, and stand up for what is right. We don’t control outcomes. I highly recommend the chapter in War and Remembrance on the battle of Midway. You may never know the difference you make.

    The nagging doubt you plant in the mind of one in the crowd may eventually sprout like a seed.
    Some may remember how I said in early October that I expected to be forcibly retired by now because of covidiocy. Yet here I am, still working, while one deadline after another is moved. My speaking up within my company made no difference to the outcome that is far beyond my or their control, but maybe it made a difference to someone on the other side who was happy to get the vaccine but is uncomfortable with the mandate.

    1. Our son works for a company that stays a sliver on the legal side for governmental requirements. Masks? Not a problem. The job they should be wearing masks, pandemic or not. The stab? Not so much. All healthy people or they aren’t working there (physically demanding) regardless of age, and they skew to younger. So, held off on the “under the radar” on stab/testing mandate; posted it, but nothing toward enforcing. Now with the mandate struck down, at least HRH Czar Brown hasn’t issued that mandate, they are skating.

      Now has son been looking? In light of the openings, hire bonuses, higher pay? Yes. Has he found anything that he is willing to trade Up for? No. For a lot of reasons. A Big One is Mandate requirements. Another is Locations.

      On FOX news, one of the “jobs going begging” reasons discussed was the “highest instances of retirement of people 55+ in the last two years”, not counting those exiting Law Enforcement.

      Also saw a photo of a cat with a large tub of popcorn: “Me. On job vacancies. After 40 years of: work force purging, reorganizing, right sizing, downsizing, shipping jobs overseas, H1 visa hiring, …”

      1. Kind of like the statement on democracy: They made it known what they wanted, and they’re getting it good and hard. It almost makes me want to look up and see what Agilent (what they called our company after HP no longer wanted non-computer stuff) is trying to do. Almost.

        Attitudes towards TPTB tonight:
        “My give-a-damn’s busted” J. D. Messina
        “Here’s a quarter. Call someone who cares.” T. Tritt

      2. Yeah, working for the guvmint meant I didn’t have to worry about the H1 visa hiring thing. Qualcomm’s local, and if you’re not from India, you’re not getting hired, in fact you’ve already trained your replacement, been laid off, and bribed to keep your d*** mouth shut about it.

      3. “highest instances of retirement of people 55+ in the last two years”

        I’m 56, and just got a large (but not >inflation) raise and a much bigger end-of-year bonus than usual. I think it’s because Very Large Household Name Co. doesn’t want me walking out the door and is willing to cough up the bucks to do it.

        1. Son’s company hasn’t ponied up additional hourly pay. They are working insane hours, which helps with take home paycheck. But they are also offering bonuses for no unexcused absences, which includes Friday and Saturday work, which are (technically) days off. Four – 10’s lasted 3 weeks last February, after the company tried 3rd shift/graveyard for two weeks, also 4-10s (not enough people). Actual work week has been 5 – 10’s, with another 8 hours on Saturday (about 60% of the time). Right now they are alternating day and swing shifts on Saturday. We’ll see if that lasts. Be interesting to see what the schedule is for Christmas week. Thanksgiving they worked 3 – 13 hour shifts M – W, with swing getting off before midnight Wednesday. Company has two problems, building supplies, and people. Son’s crew is half staffed. Which, when pointed out to the PTB, crashed and burned, the decision for both shifts on Saturday, but only half crew of each shift … At least as a shift supervisor he is still hourly. Next step is salary, exempt; they are getting killed on their per hourly wage with all the required OT. They’ve asked him to apply upward. We suggested he ask for Salary Not Exempt (Salary + OT over 40 hours). So far he has declined to take that upward step.

        2. this past year, Large Multinational, for the first time since I’ve suffered under either version (had a merger… actually please buy us but call it a merger and you can move HQ from WI to Cork Ireland and far lower taxes… but almost all the management of my division stayed the same) they had our COLA raises ready for the first paycheck of the year. Normally they finally get around it by April, and give you a little lump of back-pay, once they get around to figuring the actual version (and usually lower than actual inflation). 2.something% like the previous several years, because of course inflation was going to stay the same , right? NO reason to wait like every other year just because Lying Slow Joe was taking office later in the month.
          They been having trouble keeping people anyhow, because this location sucks to work at, and it seems no one in management know how the job should be done. They’ve made two new production lines to increase production, and one has not been able to meet the former standard output, and the other is still sitting unused (except for the portion I dismantled and am using on one of my machines)

        3. I’m well past normal retirement age, but still need something to do, plus get finances in order after wife’s passing. Writing’s too solitary to go into until the covidiocy is done and I can start interacting with people IRL. Get my annual review next week but don’t expect more than 3%. That’s fine with me because I make a lot of money. When someone gets insistent about poaching me, I tell them how much I make and that I get 35 paid days off a year. That sends them packing. Company resolved (for now) mandate craziness by handing out religious exemptions to anyone who asked. Sense prevailed and they realized losing even 4% of their workforce when they have over a thousand active requisitions out made no sense at all. Currently my company is paying a $5K bonus for just referring somebody with my credentials.

          I lived through late 70’s and early 80’s inflation, but we were paycheck to paycheck then with no investments. I expect most large companies to react more slowly to inflation this time along the lines of the 90’s tech boom. That was just our sector, but it took a while for companies to catch on that engineers who worked aerospace had the skills Qualcomm, Nokia, Google, etc. desperately needed, and that those were their competitors rather than Lockheed, Northrup, Raytheon, etc.

          Inflation may well be different this time since there’s cryptocurrency. The Fed may print money, but Bitcoin at least is designed to be on something like the gold standard in that there is a finite number of bitcoins that can ever be created, so it should, theoretically, be inflation-proof.

          How long are Heinlein’s Crazy Years supposed to last?

          1. I lived through late 70’s and early 80’s inflation, but we were paycheck to paycheck then with no investments

            Us Too. We started our post college working careers, spring ’79. In debt (we joke that we had to borrow money to go to work). Jobs that took 10 years before we wouldn’t see annual winter furloughs. Was way worse than that, thanks to the stupid owl, St Helen, and other (more minor) setbacks. But we made it through. Despite the inflation, etc.

  3. “If we’re sailing past the script, then the writer is a clueless fool that just keeps throwing things in because they’ve lost the plot.”

    I read this, and I could almost hear one of my characters uttering this line.

    Think about that for a moment. All of these people and institutions that have won and won big over the last two to three years. They all have this jaw-on-the-floor thing of “what do we do next?” and they don’t seem to have a clue at all. There’s this feeling of what happens when someone who is crazy, genuinely screwed up in the head does something and for just one time, succeeds. And, tries to build on this once-in-a-million success and there’s nothing there. The foot slips past the top step and there’s nothing but air.

    I’m trying to not have all of these falling bodies land on me…I’ve got enough problems as-is.

      1. I have to pay enough attention to-
        *Not be hit by the bodies.
        *Pull the remains aside when there isn’t an immediate falling corpse to take their wallets and anything I can pawn.

        1. Make sure they’re not only mostly dead. With all dead, though, the only thing you can do is go through their clothes and look for loose change.

  4. Many years ago, I read one of Doris Lessing’s earlier novels—I no longer remember which one it was, but it was before she took to including fantastic material. At least part of it focused on characters who were members of the Communist Party in post-World War II Britain. She showed them hearing about the revelations of Stalin’s crimes, and not wanting to believe them. But they would hear that someone who had been a friend and comrade for years and years had broken with the Party, and they wouldn’t ask why, because they knew why. And they wouldn’t want to do that themselves, because breaking with the Party meant giving up all their friends, and all their hopes, and everything that had given meaning to their lives; they would look at the moral horror that had overtaken their friends as if it were a fatal disease that they themselves might contract, and that they dreaded. But they would break off any contact with their former friends, because that would be saying that someone who wasn’t a Communist (any more) might not be a monster, and that would be the first step in catching that fatal illness of doubt. The whole thing was really heartbreaking to read, in a strange way, since these people were desperately clinging to monstrosity.

    1. Replace “party” with “Church” and you have some of the mentality there. They had spent so much time and labor and effort and sweat and blood…and they have to look at what the end result was. That the thing they have believed was a monster. And, they had to choose to continue to believe…or leave the monster and all the friends that they have built their lives around the beast.

      It’s scary to leave…because where you’re going could be worse and the unknown is always terrifying.

    2. There’s something that’s been nibbling away at the back of my mind. That existential terror of leaving the group. Of being no longer part of that something greater, adrift, and alone. Bear with me for a bit.

      From birth, through toddlerhood, schooling, adolescence, perhaps higher education, a child has very likely been a part of something. A social grouping, a clique, a circle of friends. Something like that. They exit schooling, perhaps post college, and find work.

      If they’re of a leftist bent, there’s a ready-made cozy little group for them already. It’s on social media, national media, it was in the schools, and all over Hollyweird. They’ve always been a part of that group. It has its dangers, true, but it does have many benefits as well.

      Social kudos are easier to get when you know the cant. You all know the words. The divisive diversity derangement. The alphabet soup exclusive inclusivity of the day. The some animals are more equal equity. You use the terms, you follow the crowd. That gets you likes. That gets you attention. That can even get you jobs. Or a date.

      Put it all together, that’s a life. You’re part of that life, it’s quite literally so much a part of you, you can’t even pick out all the parts of your identity it touches. I mean what really makes you, “you.” It’s what you put in your body- is it soy? Is it vegan? Is it non-?GMO? It’s how you entertain yourself- what movie are you watching this weekend? It’s what gets you fired up- look at what those evul deniers are up to this time! It’s all your fiends, your coworkers, your family, and your prospective dating partners. After all, you wouldn’t be associating yourself with any of those people now would you?

      Now say one day you notice something. Someone who doesn’t quite fit in. Maybe it’s a small thing, maybe they don’t cheer quite as loudly when your side wins. Maybe they don’t laugh when everyone else does at whatever stupid thing the other side said this time. Maybe they don’t participate quite as enthusiastically when you do things together.

      Then you get to watch them be called out. Shamed. Maybe even driven out, with their tail between their legs. No longer part of the group. No longer to be tolerated. Exiled. Like Miss Hoyt’s observation of the little table, they’ve seen something they can’t un-see. And other people noticed.

      Do you want to be that person? The next one to be called out, driven out, and alone?

      For such a person, an average person and not a celebrity or someone with their own following, that could be the first time in their lives that they were ever truly on their own.

      For all their lives up to this point, they were part of the ‘Us’ in ‘Us and Them.’ Like you said, all their hopes, all the things that gave meaning to their lives, possibly even their jobs, family, and all their friends- gone. That’s a huge step for someone who has never taken a step out on their own. I have tremendous respect for those who do take that step, especially as normal, everyday people with literally everything to lose.

      To any such person that finds there way to this little corner of the internet, you don’t have to be alone. Most of us here grew up without that support system. Odds, geeks, and outcasts, many of us. We have firm belief in individual freedom. There’s a lot of general agreement on some fundamental things, and disagreement on others.

      What I think we’d all agree on here is that you’ve got to find answers for yourself. Find the primary sources, look for actual evidence. Read the Constitution, read the letters of the Founding Fathers. Look for actual evidence when the news cycle is screaming about the latest freak out- viz the Rittenhouse trial for most recent example. If your instincts are yelling at you that something is not right, find out for yourself if at all possible. Don’t trust me just because I tell you so.

      Times are going to get tougher before they improve, though, most likely. Prepare. Get some long storage food for just in case. Pay attention to your surroundings and avoid crowds. Have backup plans for yourself and your loved ones in case of emergency. Learn new skills, and practice them. And be not afraid.

      1. In “The Gulag Archipelago” Solzhenitsyn tells a story about a fellow inmate. In a public lecture someone had made a salutary invocation of Stalin’s name, and everyone rose in a standing ovation. After it had gone on for 30 minutes, he finally stopped and sat down, quickly followed by everyone else. After his eventual arrest, his interrogator quietly confided, “Never be the first to stop applauding.”

        1. I remember that story. Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago is one I read later in life, and I think am the better for it. I wouldn’t have gotten quite as much out of it as a teenager. Or in my twenties.

          He also tells the story of how he helped his captors, the two military men that were sent to deliver him to prison. At that point, he had no idea of being very much different than they were. Doing a job, following orders, not standing out and generally expecting to get along okay. Cooperating.

          The American experiment with socialism is quite different from the Soviet one. But it’s going in the same direction, and for the same reasons. Fee America and America in democrat occupied areas are very different. What goes in one cannot stand in the other. When our children and our children’s children (hypothetical progeny, in some of our cases) look back on today, what will they see in their history books? And what will we tell them about today, we that yet live?

          1. change last four words to “that yet we live”. Surviving the enslavement of your posterity is a shameful thing!

            1. Going to slightly disagree with that one, sir. If you are still alive and have taught your children well, have resisted and fought and not yet been killed, remain a thorn in the side of an oppressive regime and a symbol of what you’re fighting for, then I see no shame in that life. Death ends all possibilities for the individual in this life. While we yet live, there is much we can do. The only shame is in cowardice, acquiescence to the chains, and being complicit in evil.

      2. Whole heartedly agree with your assessment Dan. Has to be very difficult. One thing you end with is to check sources and ask questions Theodore Sturgeon wrote a short story; “Slow Sculpture” In it the protagonist goes on at length about asking the “next question” and then the next and the next. Curiosity, coupled with legitimate inquiry into how things ACTUALLY work.

        Our host speaks about reality a great deal. Even this post is built not on viewpoint but on real reality and the coming to grips with IT and the consequences. I cannot divine precisely the shape of the future. None of us can see it clearly, but the ghost images that are peeking through are terrifying, I feel frustrated and continually ponder what moves to make. My gut is saying do X and my fore brain is saying, cant get that bad. Then I remember HUMANS.

      3. I suspect that’s what behind most of this insanity – the desire to NOT be tossed out of the group.
        In other times in America, that wasn’t necessarily much of a thing. You associated with those in your immediate community, unless their BEHAVIOR transgressed certain community norms (and, generally limited to that which posed a threat to others – violent drunkeness, public fights, poor treatment of women, that sort of thing.
        Today, a person may be tossed out of a group for simply stating a fact. Or having the ‘wrong’ political opinion or not just belonging to a congregation, but actually following its principles.
        A lot of this is having extended the reach of meddling women – those women who not only want to live by certain rules, but want everyone ELSE forced to do so as well – beyond her immediate neighborhood. Today’s scold has a far greater audience for her conformist views.
        Those who resist?
        Those who have family support. Those who have strong principles, and have learned to stand up for them. Those who never had much acceptance in social circles – natural loners. Those who populated the Appalachians and other remote mountain ranges. They were likely different in being attracted to such locations in the first place, but after a few generations, those that stayed were those whose natural bent was to be independent from the need for groups surrounding them, providing social approval.
        We’ve always had those who don’t seem to need much association with other people. Only in our time are they medicated, identified as a problem, and otherwise further isolated. I wouldn’t be surprised if such antisocial people were forceably sterilized in the future – keep “their kind” from contaminating the Happy Group!
        Hmmm. Could that be a reason that the “Hillbilly Heroine” epidemic was allowed to continue for so long? Because it destroyed those enclaves of dissident thinkers?

  5. I’ve noticed more and more that the public figures and reporters seem to be so tied up in the Narrative that there’s nothing else there. The have no other persona any more. It’s like the geronotocracy that is the (D) party—if they are not being politicians, they are nothing. They’ve done nothing else, they are hollow shells of political animal. I’d feel sorry for them if they weren’t causing so much damage. They remind me of the people who make one sliver of their identity their entire selves. “HI, I’m gay!” “Hi, I’m an animal-rights activist!” and so on. It’s boring, and pathetic, tragic in some cases. There’s nothing that is not the Narrative, the Cause.

    1. They are very boring, aren’t they? Number two son remarked yesterday that the campus lefties don’t know anything and don’t seem interested in anything, it’s all just sensation. Poor kid, he has the curse of seeing clearly.

      1. I ran into a few campus activists lately. They’re boring-there’s nothing there, massive vacuum bottles in their skulls where their minds should be.

        When I did my marketing certification class, the teacher just kept running on about how anybody outside of California, outside of the big cities, outside of the Blue bubble was horrible. Terrible. And, this was the guy in charge of our program. I just wanted to scream “how can we market to people if we are dismissive of them?!?”…but I don’t think he would give me an answer beyond a flunking grade.

        I wonder if the issue of dealing with people as we grow older isn’t so much that we don’t like people. Or that they’re somehow wrong or we want kids to get off our lawn. It’s that we’re seeing them be so massively stupid, stupid that we’ve gotten away from-one way or another.

        1. ‘I just wanted to scream “how can we market to people if we are dismissive of them?!?”…but I don’t think he would give me an answer beyond a flunking grade.’

          Agreed. Think of the most successful companies in the world. Who do they market to? The niche? Or the masses? Take a look at Coca Cola, Walmart, Budweiser, did they achieve success by only selling to the select few? Of course not.

          There is value in going lowbrow. You can get by on much thinner margins if your net is wide enough. If your potential buying audience contains absolutely everybody that eats solid food, and your product is tasty enough to merit the price point, you’re not going to go broke unless you’re especially stupid with your supply chain and manufacturing process.

          It’s the same way with marketing stories. Sure, we have our genre tags and what people expect from the cover and hook, but being popular is something that most authors chase. Why the heck would you voluntarily limit the number of people giving you money for your product?

          1. Why, so that you can boast of being a higher class of writer than those commercial hacks.

            1. …And he teaches marketing certification. Of course. *facepalm* This is one of those “the jokes write themselves” moments, isn’t it?

                1. Sounds like a supervisor I suffered from. He taught me more about how not to treat employees than has any business book I’ve ever read or any management seminar I ever attended.

                  1. Not a direct manager. But someone in marketing who ran projects overall. The only person who I have ever talked sternly to (I yelled at him) in a professional setting. Not because he went on a tirade rant, same meeting, at me. At someone else. My response was “No. If you yell at someone, you yell at me. It was NOT her responsibility on how, or that, the rewrite was done. It was ^mine. You coming back did not change that. AND this was discussed with the team that it had to be done. No. JUST NO!” After the meeting another member of the team, not directly on my part of the project (there were only two, me as software developer for the tool in question, and the writer of the manual) came to “talk” to me. His comment was “This would have never been approved if it had been known that asshole would be upset.” My response was. “This was approved at the last release, because of the problems found then. Reaffirmed when planning this release, twice. I’ll find the summary emails. Started as soon as (writer) came on board. Before asshole came back. Why would I ask again? There are two choices. Release with new manual. Or release with old manual, last release notes, and new release notes. Which (writer) can pullout. I don’t care which. It’s managers call.” It was released with the new manual. Nobody gets yelled at when the target should be me. Nobody.

                    The funny thing is. I resisted having the manual rewritten. I defended the manual through 3 releases (it is easy to find, search and see page #). Until it was my responsibility to tell the manual writer where to insert changes into it, in any shape or form. As the software writer, I should have been able to do that, even if I hadn’t actually written the manual. Ironically the “changes”, beyond the last two releases, were more reorganize and pull a lot of marketing material that was put somewhere else (they’d already bought the product).

                    But a teaching moment on how to NOT treat someone. Or act in a meeting? And yes, I could have handled it better too, maybe. Had more than one person take notice however. I’m not particularly vocal. I think I have mentioned before how soft my voice is, how it does not project. That it is an effort even to yell. My voice projected.

                    There have been other professional situations where I had an opinion on which choice should be taken. But it was only my responsibility to present those choices, with my opinion. But it wasn’t my choice to make. No ranting by either side.

                    ^ After the whole team agreed to the use of resources to do so. My responsibility to see that the writer could correctly change, write it, by the time the software changes were done, and ready to be tested.

                    1. Sounds like don’t-want-to-insult-donkeys was accustomed to getting folks to bend over backwards and cater to him, no matter how irrational it was.


                  2. One reason for my beloved’s success once he got into business for himself was he learned so much from the creeps/crooks/con artists (and one or two decent men) he worked for in New Jersey. Namely, what not to do and how not to handle people.

          2. They became successful by marketing to the masses. Many of them have abandoned that. The Ad people and marketing types are all THEM now.

          3. As I said somewhere, You might make a good living cooking gourmet food for a billionaire, but you can BECOME a billionaire like Ray Kroc by making decent, cheap food available to all.

  6. Yes, I feel so safe knowing the Secretary of State thought tweeting out his Spotify playlist was a good idea.

    Plus the usual fanatics (one of them being Alexander Vindman’s wife) linking the tornadoes last night to our failure to combat climate change. At least they were getting pushback.

    1. I’m sure that the Native Americans who worshipped Tornado Person would be really amused to find out that high technology and climate change causes all tornadoes.

      1. My former boss told the story that when Americans got to this part of Alabama/Tennessee, they saw a bunch of prime real estate right by the Tennessee River, which the local tribes weren’t using. The natives told them there was a demon living by the river. They laughed and moved in….and learned how tornadoes seemed to use the river as a conduit.

          1. Little mountain valleys, too. One hit my little town in the seventies I think. Tore the front porch right of my grandfather’s house, went right down main street. Not the only tornado in living memory. Next one hit about thirty five- thirty eight or so years later, only about seventeen miles Northeast of town. My cousin watched it tearing up cow pastures not a mile from her house.

            1. A meteorologist I storm-spotted for said he got interested in tornadoes when one wiped out the people in the holler on the back-side of the ridge he lived on growing up in West Virginia. His family just had wind and rain.

              1. You are right, there is often a reason that some property is not developed for housing or business. Often, that property is unsuitable for reasons of weather, flood, mud slides, or other disasters that could have been avoided by intelligent understanding of geology and meteorology.

                  1. Much of Berkeley north of the Cal campus is on what has turned out to be a slow slide. At least it will be a slow slide until the Hayward fault wakes up, and people find their house now sits on their neighbors property.

                    An interesting earthquake cluster 200 miles west of Eugene Ore, along the Blanco Fracture zone this past week. It is a transform fault from the Juan de Fuca ridge to the Gorda ridge, the two spreading centers that push the plate toward North America. A sign of the building up of pressure. A reminder of the coming quake on Cascadia.

                1. Or the stupid planning commission says the land can be used, provides permits, houses go up, are destroyed by a 10 year flood, the whole area wiped clean, and the process starts again.

            2. A couple decades back, I was overseas and some friends from the Midwest were talking about tornadoes.
              I made the mistake of saying that we really didn’t have those very often in Idaho.
              An hour later, one dropped the barn roof onto the MG I was restoring.

              The author is a bit sarcastic.

              1. I’ve said the same about the Willamette Valley. We do not have Tornadoes. Not exactly true. We do not have Tornadoes, regularly, like Tornado Alley. So rare we’d be standing there looking at it going “Is THAT a Tornado?” when it hit us. There have been three or so that have dropped in on Eugene and Portland. The first, on video, was a debate on whether it was really a tornado because it never hit the ground. Did take tree top or two. The other two weren’t witnessed but caused damage (Lane Community College parking lot had vehicles tossed and totaled). Nothing on the scale that Tennessee just experienced. Then the valley gets, all summer long, what locally are called “Dust Devils” spinning across fields, often multiple ones at once, and occasionally spinning across the freeway. Isn’t that fun … NOT! Reality check. Dust Devils are tornadoes, scale F0. Dangerous enough to take out a tree or house or barn? No. Dangerous enough to cause a vehicle to suddenly switch lanes on the driver, spin, or large moving rigs/RV’s to flip? Definitely. The last is bad news regardless. The other two, on I-5, in certain stretches? Potentially Extremely Bad News.

                1. Where I live (to the best of my knowledge), we’ve never had a tornado touch down. Ones have touched down in the surrounding areas but none inside our town.

                  Mind you, I feel the need to say “Knock On Wood”. 😀

                  1. We had a brief tornado touch down a couple of years ago, across the top of the neighborhood that I live in – much to everyone’s astonishment and shock. (To the ruination of a good few rooves and fences, in the main. The debris was strewn about a block wide along the path where it touched down.)
                    Generally, San Antonio is too far south of where such can be expected, as a general rule … but still, Mother Nature is a stone-cold b*tch, and will have her way with us…

                    1. The time I had to drive home from north of a tornado to south of one and the interstate had a tree flung across three of the four lanes — was interesting.

                      (I looked at getting off the interstate. That was worse.)

            1. Omaha, ’75; Decatur, GA, ’94; seen one from inside the storm while flying med-evac [do NOT try this at home!!!], was missed by 1/4 mile or less in 2007. I try to avoid that part of the world in April-July.

    1. Two recent prospiracies:

      1. The tormenting of the Tea Party groups in 2016. Nobody issued Lois Lerner orders, nobody told OSHA and the FCC and whoever else that they should do extra-harsh inspections. They just knew what they “should” be doing and did it.

      2. Russiagate. I don’t believe that Hilary Clinton sits at the center of a web of blood-oath-bound minions who pull all the strings. I think she just had to say “get me dirt on Trump” and her henchmen got some (albeit fake), and then all the henchmen had to do was troll it in front of media and FBI/CIA types knowing that they would all run with it under their own power.

      1. That explains 2020 election fraud, too. Pundits (not all progressive) were mocking the idea of, “You think there was some sort of vast, evil, coordinated conspiracy? Ha!”
        And the answer is, “Not really. All those city machines already knew what to do. So they did it.”

        1. It’s the Underpants Gnomes Theory of Election Fraudulents.

          Step 1: We cannot let the Trump Win! How can we stop him?!?
          Step 2: ?????
          Step 3: Profit!

          Where step 2 is fake votes, counting some votes twice, stopping when we’re ahead, ballot harvesting, mail in votes, and lawfare shenanigans when we inevitably get caught. That’s why there’s different methods in different places. They’re Underpants Gnomes. Steps 1 and 3 are always the same. Only step 2 is slightly different.

      2. Just a note – the Tea Party persecution by the IRS was around the 2012 election, not the 2016 one.

  7. It really seems that the powers that be have lost the plot. The alternative, that they are deliberately doing evil to our country, is just as likely but harder to accept..

    I think about my wife and me when we acquired our house 20 years ago. We were remodeling the kitchen and a powder room adjacent to it. Our contractors, after removing walls, discovered that prior do it yourselfers had cut every single structural support in the west end of the house. Halfway to the front of the house along the central beam nails were pulling out because of the lack of support. Next the tub in the bathroom on the landing was going to crash down into the powder room . We avoided the collapse by adding support columns the right way.

    The problem was caused by people working on the house who didn’t know what they were doing. This is exactly what is happening to our country today. All of us can only keep doing what we know is right and influencing those around us. Keep calm, keep doing the right thing. And good luck.

    1. When we were looking at houses in late ’80s, one of the houses we toured had a main bedroom/bath combo constructed over the garage, post original build. They had the permit posted in the room. We went up, felt the “spring” in the floor, went “nope”. The house we bought also has a room over the garage. No permit posted. BUT no spring in the floor, and we can SEE the beams in the garage. We have had the permits pulled and have copies (last refinance required them). But not because we were concerned about the construction. (Although in 2001, we did learn the difference of built to code THEN VS built to code NOW’ easily remedied inexpensively.) There is “built to code” and “built solidly to code”, even with permit. Granted your example doesn’t appear to be either.

    2. They are ABSOLUTELY doing it on purpose.

      Rand once wrote a letter that said she had to take literary license to accelerate the timeline in “Atlas Shrugged” because the country could not actually be destroyed in one generation.

      To which the D fascists said “Hold my beer”.

    3. One of the last renovations I worked on was repairing a similar situation. It was an old NOLA Balloon Construction house. Young couple with ideas has the contractor in, they make decisions and work crew comes in and does the work. Lady of the house decides to have a bath in her nice restored lionclaw bathtub, and as it is filling feels a bit of give in the floor, hears a crackle or two and drains the tub, runs downstairs to see a big crack in the ceiling. Everything was inspected and passed. Either the inspector was a moron and/or was bribed (It was New Orleans after all) or the work crew hid the cuts to the supports for plumbing etc before he got there. Work crew was fired by that contractor and we came in to fix things (our lead was a contractor and between jobs as he rarely looked far enough ahead to have a job ready to start once we finished and he eventually just worked for this contractor instead of contracting himself). So it might have been “Someone who knows what they’re doing” and even if it had been inspected, turned out to be as awful of a job.

  8. What James SE said – it’s almost impossible to wrap your head around the fact that the PTB (and their media sycophants) are knowingly doing evil … but that they are knowingly doing evil in order to impose an alien and destructive ideology on us because that will leave them sitting on top of the pile of ruin, with the luxurious dachas, and all the power that their shriveled hearts desire, over the deprived proles, struggling to get through everyday life.

    The mind is boggled.

    I am to work tomorrow on finishing off the shelves in the den, which will look properly build-in, when I am done. Paint and trim already on stand-by and a nail-gun borrowed from Neighborhood Handy Guy features highly in this. I am planning for the day when I can purchase the vinyl flooring and pay NHG and his pal to install it in that room. Making my home more comfortable and beautiful (not that it will ever feature as a cover story in House Beautiful) is my refuge in time of trouble.

    When my daughter was deployed to the middle east in 2003, I repainted the entire interior myself and ripped up the carpets and painted and stenciled the concrete floor underneath.

    1. … or rather, if history is any guide, who *think* they will be in their dachas, but will more likely be first against the wall.

  9. I have some new neighbors.

    Two nice, young, married ladies. Who are about as stereotypically lefty as you might imagine.

    …and a few minutes after meeting them, one dropped “and we just can’t trust the press about COVID” into the conversation.

    I think the script is being abandoned wholesale by both sides…

    1. One of our Nice Church Ladies had my husband and I over for after-Mass cookies, because my husband volinteers with the parish.

      ….they had Epoch Times sitting on the table by her chair. 😀

      1. The support in most of the country is Public, and about a millimeter deep.
        People don’t generally talk about their dissidence, as they are aware that it is Officially Unapproved.
        But, they really don’t buy the B$.

        1. I’m seeing more of this in my daily travels (rideshare driver in contact with <50 people daily). It encourages me. Especially on the fringes of what might be considered Right Territory — frex, African-Americans, LGBTQ, immigrants, college students, Yuppies.

    2. The people posting Twitter that the Rittenhouse trial left them wondering what other lies they had been told. . . .

        1. Fauxi needs to go on trial for crimes against humanity. Are the gallows at Nuremberg still there?

    3. But is it because they’re realizing the various rituals of protection don’t help, or they believe the press hasn’t been pushing vaccination hard enough?

      1. Living in Mordor west, there are a lot of true believers. Church is finally open, local Mordor “health dept” mandates masks. Last week, had mask, was doing my usual keep nose clear to breath, had usher complain I needed to have my nose covered. The irony was that last week was the advent week about PEACE. I realized that this was getting in the way of my being at peace. Ended up in the “praise song” time,(Worship leader leads crowd in multiple “praise” songs.) writing a poem to God thanking him for revealing to me how far I was from having true Peace.

        Later in week, got email from church secretary trying to guilt me into wearing mask. I DO NOT respond well to being guilted. When i arrived at church today, the head pastor stood at the church door, to warn me that to be admitted, I must submit to wearing a mask over my nose.

        I realized this was evidence of the power of my actions. The easy answer would be to just leave, and find another church. God had a few reminders for me during today’s “praise time” I find it a wonderful time to hear God. Today 6 poems came. Some fragments:
        I don’t promise you
        a perfect church….

        I sent Elijah to Ahab.
        Don’t complain where I send you.

        A second:
        Don’t complain.
        Ask those China enslaves (with Labron’s help)
        about true persecution…

        A third:
        To wear a mask.
        It is what I do with
        my internet icon.
        I don’t always speak
        the dangerous truth.
        Too often, too silent…

        When to hide from persecution?
        When to tear off masks?
        When to get out of the boat?

        So this time of irritation has drawn me into a deeper relationship with God. An example of finding Joy in suffering. (This is the week of advent Joy.) So their attempt at “silencing” my witness has just emboldened me.

        1. We’d all be dead if masks were needed. Hundreds of people at mass yesterday. NOT ONE MASK.
          I’m upset enough that they’ve stopped wine communion, even if it counts in either species. Not upset they don’t do the “handshake of peace” because it always annoyed me.

        1. Just picked up a thirty round magazine for my 10MM, filled it up and realized now I’m flat out. Ouchies, cost more to fill the thing than to buy it.

          Ah well, 22LR is best way to practice anyway.

          1. Try using those “laser firing” attachments. Not the full experience, but good for reducing use of now-expensive ammo. The dry-fire practice, with that ability to accurately sight your target, is one my sister uses regularly.

            1. I have a Mantis system that works well not only for dry firing, but tracks muzzle movement while using live ammo as well good for diagnosing flinch.

              1. Five minutes dry firing my 1911 with it made me change my grip on it, decreased the wiggle during the trigger press by about fifty percent. High up front cost, but how many rounds would it have taken me to figure out why my groups at twenty yards were over six inches?

        1. It takes effort to be evil and evil is rational. You can reason with evil and appeal to evil’s interests. Stupid is just stupid. You can’t reason with them at all.

          1. Depnds on the type of evil.

            Some evil men pursue it rationally, a nd will negotiate if it will accomplish evil.

            Others? The disordered appetite in the driver’s seat will not allow for a considered weighing of objectives.

          2. “It takes effort to be evil and evil is rational. You can reason with evil and appeal to evil’s interests.”

            Yes and no. Or rather, not always. Yes, I agree that it can and often does take some form of rationality (or twisted logic), and it can take effort. But not always.

            If one is strong, then simply taking what you want is dead simple. If one has strength, a strong will, and a strong stomach in addition to no moral compass, in some places on this Earth one can do a great lot of evil with very little effort.

            Stupid and evil might pluck the wings from butterflies, tie firecrackers to cat’s tails, lie as a habit and laugh at moral structure as simple minded foolishness. I’ve seen stupid and evil up close and personal, in all its reeking and squalid glory, in tidy business suits and clean meeting rooms, and everywhere in between. The two are not mutually exclusive.

            Many times, evil is the *easier* path to take. Yes, some work harder at acts with evil ends, or evil methods than they ever would with an honest job. But that isn’t the norm. Evil can be the lazier, more expedient method. It isn’t all organized, diligent, and sinister.

            The trailer park queen that beats her kids, burns her husband with cigarettes, lives off government benefits, alimony, and selling drugs is both stupid and evil. The grown up bully that spikes his scummy dates’ drinks, torments anyone weaker than him, and gets a thrill out of other folks’ pain is both stupid and evil, too.

            Generally, I’d say that there is more stupid evil in the world that rational, hard working evil. Petty and stupid acts are *simple.* They don’t require much effort to enact, by and large. Evil is often downstream from those stupid and petty acts. Sit through a few criminal court cases at your local courthouse. Chances are, you’ll see a few of the stupid evil sort there.

            1. The banality of cruelty is striking. It is very easy to become a part of something monsterous if you’re just a cog in a great machine.

              A large part of why the chambers were developed was it allowed most people running them to say “I’m just doing a little job. I’m not really the one responsible for all of this.”

              Last year I was applying for a management position. Another guy got it. At the time, I was a bit disappointed. It would have meant a nice raise and promotion, but honestly, the other person was the better candidate, so it didn’t bother me that much. But after this year, I thank God I didn’t get it.

              1. But after this year, I thank God I didn’t get it.

                I can say that about more than one job between Sept ’02 and Jan ’03, where I came in second. Four, or more times, what I made at the job I finally got. OTOH all were history well before I retired after 12 years at the job I did get. More than a few turned out to be toxic work environments. If you count regular reorganizing toxic (not just that, but an obvious sign).

                Seen recently: “Where I apply for work wants 3 work references. I want that too. Provide me with 3 employees who enjoy working there …”

              1. That was a great article.

                “Again, this is the true alchemy of the pseudo-realist program; it transforms normal, moral people into immoral agents who must perpetrate evil to feel good and perceive as evil those who do good.”

      1. *Gestures at Biden et al* I mean, it’s not like we’ve haven’t been having a live action demonstration of that for the past year and some, now is it?

    1. You can make a deal with evil you can’t with stupid.

      It’s a bad idea, though.

      Darth Vader put it best: “I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it more.”

      Make a deal with real evil? They’ll follow it just as long as it’s in their interests– but hold you to it, so long as they can fake it.

      1. Well, there are situations where cash on the barrel head dealing can be workable.

        Can go quite badly if the other party decides he thinks you are smirking, and ‘repaying’ that ‘insult’ is worth more to him than anything else in the heat of the moment.

        Complicated deals?

        With reasonably good people, you can still hit points where their priorities are wildly different than you expect. It is simply that if folks are decent enough for honest negotiation, they may tell you before things become a problem.

        1. Good distinction. Yeah, immediate ones where the opportunity for betray is minimal– not sure that counts as making a deal, exactly. More like an immediate exchange….

          With the right kind of recognitions of who you’re dealing with, you can work with Stupid, too. Depends on what kind of stupid is involved, I guess is the best way to put it.

  10. The magician’s table thing is a really good example of how it often works– once you see it, it’s a lot easier to spot it again. You have an idea of the shape, which makes it a LOT easier to spot again.

  11. When they tell me the script, I just can’t hear it. My head is already full:

    Take my love, take my land,
    Take me where I cannot stand.
    I don’t care, I’m still free,
    You can’t take the sky from me.

    Take me out to the black,
    Tell them I ain’t comin back.
    Burn the land and boil the sea,
    You can’t take the sky from me.

    … and …

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.”

    … and …

    Risk … risk is our business. That’s what this starship is all about. That’s why we’re aboard her.

    Sorry, but my voicemailbox is full … I am not open to ‘the narrative’

  12. From a fan-fiction story I’m still trying to finish:

    “Safety and freedom aren’t given; they have to be fought for, and won. He’s ready to fight. For himself, for his friends — and for us. It’s his right. We can’t deny it to him.”

  13. I don’t *do* narrative. My memory issues won’t let me deviate from verifiable fact. “Narrative” means “story” means “set of lies and moving goal posts I can’t keep up with even if I *had* the desire or energy to do so.” I’ll stick with facts and mind my own biscuits. Er…business.

    (even if I did recently find a gluten-free biscuit recipe worthy of the name “biscuits.”)

  14. To a greater extent than I had appreciated, people believe what they want to believe, often in spite of the evidence. Why do they do this? Because the false belief does something for them. Because a comforting lie seems easier to bear than a painful truth.
    So, I don’t try too hard anymore to convince people of “the truth”. Those who are ready to hear it, will, and those who aren’t, won’t. Trying too hard to convince others that my point of view is correct too often creates more problems than it solves.
    As far as the major media is concerned, the quest for attention, for views or rating points and the advertising revenue that it brings with it means that they are more interested in thrilling or shocking their audience than in informing them, Any concern for truth or accuracy has been thoroughly swamped. The idea that they are in the business of informing the public is one of the comforting lies that journalists and their managers tell themselves. With a few rare exceptions, they cannot afford to admit how partisan and mercenary they have become.

  15. The online game Final Fantasy XIV just had a new expansion go live, and I’ve recently finished the storyline for it.

    There are two overarching themes to the storyline. One is fighting nihilism. The other is the pernicious effects of achieving Utopia. The story makes the distinction that striving is good. But there is no such thing as a perfect world. And it’s explicitly stated that anyone who claims otherwise is almost certainly asking you to give up something that you’d best hold onto.

    *Both* of these themes seem appropriate right now.

    1. :geeky laughing: Oh, sure, YOU are the reason I sat in line for 4k people’s worth of log in to try to fix my poor Summoner’s hotbars!

      Finally got in today (was stuck in line behind *one* person for long enough that I got screenshots of it, much laughter in the FC) and just now finishing up the *prior* expansion, including the Exarch being scary. (Ahahaha, a spoiler that will only make sense in retrospect! And then probably only if you fangirl over that character!)

      The themes they pick are rather good, yes.

      1. Oh, geeze… sorry to hear still dealing with First World Problems.


        For what it’s worth, I’m on Balmung server which – the last time I checked (which admittedly was a while back) – still had far more people on it than any other server. Even during normal times I typically had a (very short) queue when I logged in.

        Shadowbringers has an amazing story, though. So you’re still dealing with good stuff. Endwalker starts slow, imo, but finally starts to pick up after the first trial battle.

        Also, it has Lopperits. And they are awesome (and incredibly cute)! I’m sure you’ll love them.

        Saying pretty much anything else about the expansion would probably spoil something.

        I was surprised by the changes that they made to Summoner. It was my first job in 2.0 (I mained BLM in 1.0), and the changes are interesting. I’m maining Machinist these days, though, and the only real changes to that job are the abilities and traits for the new levels.

        1. Oh, geeze… sorry to hear still dealing with First World Problems.

          :cackles: I am STEALING that. 😀

          We’ve had a usually twenties wait since WoW shot itself in the foot.

          Husband has gone to the moon; the Lala-bunnies have been seen, and triggered our daughters into wanting to game more…. 😀

          1. Be my guest. I stole it from Reddit, where someone clever posted it just before Shadowbringers was released.


            There is something ridiculously cute about the idea of a massive starship crew composed of friendly oh-so-serious two-foot high humanoid rabbits who sound like Brits sucking helium.

  16. But remember that you are but one twinkle in their reality. The company is not facing some “employees”. The company is facing years with the IRS/OSHA/etc. Once you are stompted into the dust, they will have a crowd of incompetent, useless “pets” to fill your “slot”. Of course, those can’t do the job, or they would already have a job. But the boss/manager/stockholder thinks that they can survive, some how. You will have to make it clear that they will fail when they play Brandon’s game. They (Capitalists), just like you (worker), are a mere “statistic”, that they plan to ignore. Stalin said it, so it must be true. You must be more terrifying than the “Party”.

    The Brandonites “hate” Putin, because he “stole” Russia from the Bolsheveks. That is their fear. They are bums who never built anything and fear returning to their Momma’s basement or the waiting tables. They are the Swamp Creatures who can’t even understand what it is that you do. Use that!

    1. I think it’s personal. Before the Sochi olympics we were best buds with Putin. Then the restrictions on gays became known. Obama intervened and Putin told him to take a walk. I suspect, very strongly, that Putin called Obama out on the whole Bathhouse Barry thing. From that time forward, it’s been Russia, Russia, Russia.

      1. It seems like there might have been a breakdown before then.

        The anti-homosexuality law was 2013, Sochi was carried out 2014.

        Russian senior officials are known to be a bit angry over the magnitsky act, which Obama signed in 2012.

        1. I suspect that the Russian laws only became an issue in the run up to Sochi when it became common in the press. Politicians aren’t known for taking on causes unless there’s something in it for them or when the press requires it and when you consider they’re OK with slavery in China, Russia being anti gay — as is China not for nothing — wouldn’t have been an issue for them. Still, Putin said something to Obama and everything went condition red. I think Putin called him gay and Obama didn’t react well. Alternatively he called Obama weak, which is entirely true as we know.

          1. It started with the Clinton administration when the Clintons and NATO sided against the Sebs in what used to be Yugoslavia. Putin considered it siding against a Slavic people and thus as siding against Russia and Russia’s interests.

        1. I thought it was China’s pocket. The FICUS is just too weak to stand up to Putin.

          Provided, of course, that he remembers who Putin is on any given day.

            1. And the approval for the Russian pipeline into Europe.

              Ace also had a post up the other day about a rumor that said Biden was basically going to push Ukraine to accept a Sudetenland-style deal between Ukraine and Russia.

              Something corrupt was going on in Ukraine (might still be), and we know that Hunter was involved in it. Putin might very well be tied to that.

  17. Why are there so many predators, pedophiles, and abusers in the “narrative” crowd? They got that way by embracing power as the totality of their moral existence. When a person like that exercises power over another, it gives them a pleasurable hit. Those hits become harder and harder to come by, because the sensation of power is dulled with repetition. (Unlike love, which deepens the bond and the experience. When my husband says he loves me, which he has done thousands of times, I am even more fulfilled and contented than the first time he said it.)

    So in order to keep getting the hit, the power must be exerted in more and more brutal ways. Thus the CNN producer gets arrested for sex with nine year olds. Jeffery Epstein. The Cuomos. Don Lemon. In history, the tyrants bathe in blood. Countess Elisabeth Bathory literally did just that.

    I do not think these people are merely stupid. They have accepted evil into their hearts. They are evil. And they hate that we are not bowing down, because once we are bowed we can be broken for their use.

    1. *wags paw* Eh, Countess Bathory. That’s not what the Hungarians I talked to say. Their version is that she was caught up in political games between several factions among the Hungarian nobility, and was forcibly set aside from her inheritance so that the crown and royal allies could break the power of her husband’s family. The story about her being a vampiress came later, to justify confining her in exile, sort of like the stories about Margaret of Tyrol (Margaret Maultasche) being sexually profligate.

      Now, I was told this by the historian at the Bathory-family estate and castle, so YMMV. I don’t have the language skills to hunt down the sources, and it wasn’t the part of history I was interested in at the time.

      1. Given the tendency of human beings to invent salacious stories given the slightest impulse and the speed with which the wildest rumors spread, I’d say it is possible. And given the practical difficulties in actually “bathing in blood,” i.e., the problem of keeping it in a liquid state long enough for a decent bath, the sticky, tacky sensation (it gets “gooey” for a time between liquid and dry), the problem of flies- *lots and lots of flies* in late 16th/early 17th century Hungary congregating around such things as, oh, a large quantity of blood… Possibly becomes a little bit more probably.

        It’s not a pleasant sensation, either, I would say. Hot, sticky blood spray is bad enough. A whole bath, even a little tub with a ladle? Yech. and it *itches* when it dries in all those little crooks and crannies of your body. You have to scour to get it all off if you let it dry on you. Not fun.

        1. Could be gotten around– at the same time one gets around the logistic issues of getting enough to bath in– by adding a fatality-level amount of blood to bath water.

          That would still be reasonably described as “bathing in blood.”

  18. January 6th proved exactly who the tyrants are.

    And while John Wilkes Booth was an assassin and a murderer, he was correct when he uttered, “Sic semper tyrannis!”

    It’s the only way you can be sure you’ve gotten rid of the pests.

    1. As much as I detest the darkly-romantic, Byronic vampire craze that she inspired, a LOT of people really liked her Lestat stories. I wish her peace. [As for her other stuff, well, this is a PG-13 blog, so we’ll pretend she didn’t write those.]

      1. Write whatever makes you feel good. Write whatever puts food on the table. Don’t write what makes you want to puke your guts out; unless it’s absolutely necessary, and even then, think twice about it.

        1. “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” — RAH

          I say, write what you want to read. Unless you are really, really weird, other people will want to read it too. Even then, I’m constantly amazed by some of the weird stuff that has an audience.

  19. ” (Mostly because it’s like a dark, dark olive, in a kitchen that has only one small window.)” Soooo, it’s like walking over a hole in your floor….Bummmmmmmmmmmer…

    1. Oh, you noticed that too?

      And of course, the response to the death of this fully-vaxxed person is to further separate the vaxxed from the unvaxxed and push everyone to get another shot of the shots that didn’t work in the first place.

      1. Which would have never worked in the first place, because the covids mutate like common colds, and outdated pathogen signatures are pointless to vaccinate against.

        It’d be one thing if this were a bioweapon. Developing and packaging a new strain of bioweapon /might/ be slow enough that vaccination development delay permit vaccines to be useful.

        The ‘new strains’ are apparently a combination of natural mutation with the disease modelers having their heads up their assess.

        1. Why do you say it’s not a bioweapon? Just because it’s crude and not very effective? Or because the initial release might have been unintentional?

          It’s a virus that was modified in a lab to make it more dangerous to humans, and after it got out the communist Chinese deliberately spread it all over the world. That is biological warfare by any definition. Everybody involved should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and strung up right next to Eichmann and Mengele.
          A good Zombie Apocalypse novel is at least as believable as anything we’ve heard out of the ‘Publick Health Authoriteez’ over the last year and a half.

          1. Partly, the intended audience for the argument isn’t assumed to be astute enough to work that out.

            Partly, it fizzled.

            Vaccination makes sense for a bioweapon that a) hasn’t spread already through the whole target population b) sits still long, or remains in arsenal stocks long enough, that the delay in distributing pathogen signature by vaccine isn’t important.

            It doesn’t hold if the opposition is making weapons faster than you make counter agents.

            The case of a natural mutation rate on a failed bioweapon is similar to that of opposition continuing to make weapons in terms of a vaccine not being a panacea. It is different in that you might not have a pressing need to take out the enemy’s weapon facilities.

          2. And, strictly speaking, I worded it carefully not to be saying that it wasn’t a bioweapon.

  20. I have decided that the phrase used by establishment media and the tech oligarchs that infuriates me most right now is the “what you need to know” tag they add to every “news” article where they are pushing the Democratic Party/leftist line. They are openly declaring that they view themselves the arbiters of what people should and should not know, and that if they don’t say you don’t need to know it, that you don’t. I can’t think of anything that expresses more contempt for one’s readers and the people in general than this phrase.

    1. Wow.

      That’s a long-standing phrase from Ag reporting. It’s where they give only the objective facts as they stand– IE, “there is a frost in Argentina’s soy bean area, and here’s the final harvest units for 2015 in the US.”

      That is an *impressive* hijacking.

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