Pudding Heads

This morning I’m having loving thoughts along the lines of Heinlein’s “The Year of the Jackpot” but you know in the end SMOD always leaves us waiting with sandwiches by the phone.

Mostly to be honest I’ve had about enough of pudding heads. It didn’t occur to me till I perused the comments after doing righteous battle with the laundry this morning (Or “why is this so late. Laundry. piles and piles of it. I’ve tried to convince husband to be nudist but he pointed out then we’d have to wash upholstery, and he’s not wrong. Sigh.) that I am in a very weird position, not just because of where I grew up but when I grew up.

As Tom Simon pointed out — and the reason I keep screaming my generation and his are not boomers (never were, regardless of the boomers attempt to integrate us, so they can claim not to be older than dirt.) I remember when boomer stopped at around 56 and the real boomers called MY generation mean things and basically spoke of us as they now speak of millenials.

Look, the boomers by and large fell for the Soviet/commie lies. This was, in no small part the fault of the Greatest Generation (a name bestowed by boomers to appease their memory of how they treated their parents. Sigh.) The boomers were children of veterans who came home in horror at the war and also probably — at least the thinking ones — having trouble justifying our alliance with Russia while putting down the Nazis. (This apparently is because FDR liked the USSR and thought they had great ideas. And before you tell me we couldn’t have won the war without the USSR, let me point out given how communists operate and how effed up the USSR was, you might as well say we couldn’t have won the war without our foot in a bucket of cement.) So they were soft on communism, and allowed our already thoroughly infiltrated universities/Democrats (Heinlein said communists were in control of the Democrats already. I have no reason to doubt him) to indoctrinate their kids with the glories of communism. (Partly because our own CIA believed it. Question, were our intelligence agencies always working for the enemy? Don’t answer that. I like sleeping at night.)

And the boomers (no, not all) grew up with the idea that there was some kind of moral equivalence between us and the communists (at best. Those were the “right wingers” or center right.) And that in the end some kind of soft communism was the answer. Hence shows like Star Trek, which btw is what our idiots are trying to implement with their Great Reset. (The number of idiots on FB saying “Communism could be like Star Trek”. Yeah. Except it never is, because it can’t actually be. And yes, I liked Star Trek as a show, but I choose to believe it was just the military that operated that way. Frankly, until they ran their mouths on stuff like “There is no money” decades later, that’s how the show came across, because even in a show the idiocy in the writers’ minds wouldn’t work.)

No, not all the boomers. But generational culture has its own gravity, and that was the understanding at the back of the boomers’ heads. No big surprise they embraced various forms of chemical escape. Or at least the less moral did. Because I mean, what else were you going to do until perfect communism arrived and you became kind of symbiotic to a universal brain?

Note this is at a the back of a lot sf books of the time, and the only one that has an explicit rejection is Heinlein.

Our kind? We grew up when the summer of love had turned into the winter of STDs, when the pot smokers had turned to the harder stuff and become their families’ tragedies, or the world’s greatest hypocrites, who cleaned up during the week, but were still totes hippies on the weekend. We saw the devastation of collectivism lite, in the US under well, everyone from Kennedy to Carter, and in the rest of the world more so, with boots on.

So, much to the boomers’ shock and disappointment, we cut our hair (or permed it), put on nice clothes and went to work. We laughed at the communes, ignored the sit ins (or in my case once started a riot to end one. Shush you. I told you there were a few of those.) We rejected the leftist philosophy. Some of us were convinced by our teachers and universities that there was a “third way” of a little bit of socialism (akin to just putting the tip in, or perhaps “a little pregnant.) Or at least we pretended to to pass college. And some of us just grew more mullish and tired of the bullsh#t every day.

Add to this that I grew up in Europe. More than that, I grew up in Europe in a country being manipulated by the USSR.

Was the ancien Portuguese regime a horror? Sure. But honestly, most of its crimes were throttling the squid farms on Mars. As in, they destroyed potential and those with potential. (Or mostly they sent those with potential running to other countries.)

Mostly they squatted on the economy, preventing it from getting a breath, encouraged the predominance of the “old families” that were in their pockets, and kept the rest of us very very poor, under the excuse of keeping the foreign influences (and ungodly ones, too) out.

I.e. standard fascism (actually in the FDR mold, without the protections of a US Constitution. I swear to you Salazar cribbed FDR speeches. I know because I found old magazines and papers.) But without a military component and enforced in the usual haphazard Portuguese way.

Mostly we were very, very poor. Appalachia might have looked down on us.

On the other hand, there was worse in Europe, even in the sixties. Like the Soviet prisoners. And the USSR needed control over Portugal.

Oh, not for Portugal. They took a bunch of our stuff, sure, but mostly they wanted the African colonies.

And I watched how they went about it. And I saw how the US fell for the “But the African colonies just want to be free.” Which might have been true, of course. Some surely did. But they weren’t organized, and they had no idea how to be free. So most of the “movement” was by communists who were, yes, agents of the USSR, whether cognizant of being so or not. (And most of the African ones were cognizant.)

So when the USSR succeeded in their revolution (mostly, alas, a revolution by the Portuguese deep state, who were being cut back by Salazar’s successor. Not cut back enough, because that would involve shortening them. The man was no Trump. But he was kinder, gentler, and wanted Europe to like him. And thus the deep state was upset at losing a little bit of power, and hey! Communism. We could be kings. Yeah) in Portugal, it meant that Africa went from being colonies of the Portuguese to being saratrapies of the USSR and Cuba.

The hell of the seventies in Portugal was that Russia didn’t even really want Portugal. They just wanted Africa, and therefore were willing to pervert the Portuguese wish for freedom to get control. I was shot at as a sidebar in the history books. Gives me the warm fuzzies, it does.

But at the time, of course I didn’t understand any of this, partly because no one talked about it. I did understand stuff like science fiction books going up 500x in price. I did understand the store shelves being empty and us being told that it was the fault of hoarders and wreckers. I did understand that. Yes. I also understood forbidding opposition speech, while making speeches about Freedom. I did understand that my teachers worshiped the USSR while talking about internationalism. I did understand that they talked about the US being imperialist while Russia had an actual empire.

And other things, like noticing that the same slogan and even the stupid red carnations were the same in a lot of revolutions around the world. And that Jimmy Carter got his speeches word per word from the same writers that wrote the speeches for Portuguese communists.

Which means I look at Putin and I don’t see some kind of nationalist hero and defender of Christianity, as pudding heads do, but as a KGB man, deploying the same old, same old KGB tactics, and pretending he’s a nationalist and a hero of the faith. DO keep up. Some tanks going into Ukraine flew the old Soviet flag. That tells you where Putin’s heart — as far as he has one — resides. His speeches often let drop his continuing butt-hurt that the Soviet Union lost. Because he imprinted on the Soviet Union as a young monster, and he wants to restore it as an old monster. He’s still and will always be a monster. The closest he comes to loving something bigger than him, it was a corrupt, miserable empire that enslaved half the world.

Now does he deserve a US intervention? Sure, but which US?

Look, we have problems, right here in Libertyville, okay?

Boy, have we got problems. And for once, thank the good Lord, we have these problems in common with the rest of the world.

I’m not thankful that we fell enough for the communist lies to have the same issues. I’m thankful the rest of the world is finally joining us in “No, I won’t.” Sure took them long enough.

But they are, finally joining us. Partly because the communist/socialist/collectivist/centralist lies have finally become florid enough to be obvious.

Partly because they grabbed the US, so the US isn’t helping as much as it used to. And socialism is not self supporting.

Put it another way: They’ve been living in our basement, raiding our fridge, and daydreaming about how great their hippie commune would be if we let them move there.

Only now, we’ve run off to join the hippie commune, the fridge is empty and growing mold, and the basement is starting to look dirty. And they’re starting to wake up.

Or rather, the working class, the people who make things actually work — to the extent they do, in Europe — are starting to wake up. And they want the fricking college professors to shut up and hand back the economy.

It sort of makes you wonder how fixed the elections have been in other places for generations. Not as obviously as here, but I don’t think they needed to fraud as openly as here, because different cultures.

The truth is in most of Europe the normal people can no longer afford to live, and it’s getting worse every day. And the covidiocy revealed that the smile on the face of the tiger is just the better to eat you with.

They might not understand that socialism is a lie, but they do understand that globalism is. And that technocracy is and that “rule by experts” is long on the “rule” and short on real knowledge.

From what I understand even Russia is having problems with the real workers revolting.

Which is what Putin’s jolly war was supposed to help fix. The only provocation he had was thinking he could get away with it now, but maybe not next year. And the reason he thought a short victorious war would fix it all is because he thinks of the USSR past as “glorious” and “everyone was happy then” because he is also a delusional pudding head. Just one cunning enough and evil enough to be in power in the smoldering ruins the USSR left.

And the reason our pudding heads would love us to join in the jolly war against Putin is that this would give them a brilliant chance to stomp on domestic opposition too. (And the same for Europe. At this point there’s a great confluence of Pudding Heads.)

They don’t really give a damn about Ukraine. They don’t like freedom anyway, so why would they want it for anywhere? But a war of the powers would give them an opportunity to stay seated.

Yes, Putin is a horror. Yes, Ukranians should fight him with all their might. They know that. They know his kind. Yes, individual Americans are free to support it as much as they want.

Our pudding head Junta, which is in occupation of DC, should stay the hell out of it, and if they try to join officially should have their snout hit repeatedly with a 2×4. Made of titanium.

“But what if Putin nukes us?” Well, I wish I could say he wouldn’t, however note the Junta’s big worry — they’re honestly Pollonium Pudding Heads — is you keep your mask on in the bomb shelter.

However, there is a good chance that Russia’s nukes, like the rest of their military equipment is either defective or has walked away, or yes. And any improvised container nukes are likely to not be particularly efficient. (Because, you know, getting containers into our ports might take months. And a container headed for say NYC might end up anywhere else.)

But yea, we might lose a city or two (I wish I could say we won’t.)

Does that mean we should fall in line and go to preventive war?

Question for the class: Would it prevent the nuking or precipitate it. Yeah. Likely the second.

So, if we are nuked? First, if they take off DC (and I wish my friends nearby would work remote for a good long while) remember to send them a thank you note.

Of course, then thank you note should be on the tip of a missile that takes off wherever Putin is. (And if Russians are smart, they should take an extended vacation away from the old monster.)

Our answer to his bluster and screaming about nuking us should be “Don’t start none, won’t be none.” and that has a better chance of stopping the nuking for long enough till he can’t.

Till he can’t? See how the entire industrial world (I know nothing about Africa, but they only marginally fit that definition) is experiencing a workers revolt.

The oligarchs wouldn’t be acting this crazy if they didn’t know they’re in eminent danger of being toppled. And trust me, they have better sources of information than you or I or, of course, our very own pudding heads.

So, there’s a chance that if Ukraine lasts a little longer, the world will change. And very dramatically at that, in a reversal of the centralization of the 20th century.

Now, that means it will become an unholy mess, I grant you, because well, people don’t go rational all of a sudden. (Or often ever.) So lurching to a form of government that works will produce some terrible injustices, some horrors, and some reversals to the leftist model.

Here’s the thing: I hope the US can do this with a minimum of chaos, and that our defense and military will remain operational. I’m very afraid at this point we’re headed — at least temporarily — for a Starship Troopers model.

But I’m hoping we can avoid imposing it on the rest of the world. I’m hoping we can avoid sending our boys off to die for other people’s freedom.

Because that too is a centralized system. And what it does is give the statists of the world something to point the masses to as the source of their misery that isn’t the true reason they’re miserable. Because they’re not miserable, mark you, because of the US. They’re miserable because of technocracy, “rule by experts”, oligarchy, all under collectivist soft-Marxist philosophies.

The more they can get people to blame us, the less likely it is the whole Marxist illusion will drop into the midden of history. Where it belongs, if we’re to avoid mass dying.

Now, I do realize in a world with nuclear weapons, other people might feel we should intervene, etc. I don’t hate people who claim that. I think they’re wrong, but I do understand their concerns. And heck, I have more in common with them than with the pudding heads who think Putin is our fren. They are about at the level of the people wearing Che shirts, and they should examine who this person is. And realize what they think they know — unexamined — is just good old Soviet agitprop.

As I learned, in the Sad Puppies debacle, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy’s enemy, no more, no less. Unless they share your principles, and your honor, they are in fact more dangerous to you than an honest enemy.

Stop painting Putin in freedom colors, and finding justifications for him. He has entire departments to do that for him. And they send over enough trolls to do that on our blogs. If you pay attention (or have recently read The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, you sometimes catch the weird word choice and syntax (though not as obvious as in TMIAHM, of course.) You might also note most of the names doing that are either new, or– Well, let’s say I didn’t approve most of them, which means either they have a work around (unlikely) or they’re part of their troop who changes their name to spew the propaganda du jour.

(Hey there, Gospoda and Gospaza, I hope ten cents an hour you get keep you warm in the coming nuclear winter. May G-d have mercy on your souls.)

Yeah, we have our butts in a trap and no mistake. The only good thing about it is that so do the “elites.” And their butts are likely to be more bruised than ours. It’s small consolation, though, as we head into a few very difficult years.

You know the drill. Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. And prepare, prepare, prepare.

Sure, as an individual, if you are in a position to and are sure what you’re doing will help them, feel free to help the Ukrainians. Freedom lovers should help people fighting a big tyrant.

But as a nation? Smack the nose of the Junta before they make things unimaginably worse.

Expect the worst and pray for the best.

In the end we win, they lose. And if we’re lucky, we do it with a minimum of blue glass.

May G-d protect fools, drunkards and the United States of America.

He knows we need it.

493 thoughts on “Pudding Heads

  1. Every time I say “Gen X really started around 1961” somebody robotically responds with “that’s stupid, the Baby Boom was 1946-64”. Sigh. That’s technically true from the standpoint of pure demographics, but it does not correlate with common “generational” experiences and outlooks. Strauss & Howe pegged it at 1960-61, and my personal experience with friends born 1961-64 (I’m 1965) shows a lot more in common with them than with people born in even the late 1950s.

    1. Yeah. That’s bullshit. By 1962 the babies weren’t booming, and many of us were the children of the in-between generation, not WWII veterans. (Dad was in elementary when the war ended. Mom is technically a boomer.)
      I have more in common with X than with boomers.

      1. I tend to allocate 1942-45 to the Boomers anyway, based on “parents shocked and scarred by the war” and “grew up with TV at an early age”. The late Boomers are more “parents are reacting to massive postwar affluence” and “had TV from birth”.

            1. I’m not even seeing an attempt at false glamour with Brandon and the Babysitter. What am I missing?

      2. I was born in ‘62, the wife in ‘66. My da fought in Korea, her dad fought in WWII. I was the oldest, she the youngest. Her cultural experience was more boomer than mine was.

        The rate of increase in births peaked in the late 80’s the absolute decline began around 1965. I test the generations this way, when the boomers were in High School they had the Beatles, Woodstock, and Zeppelin when I was in high School we had Saturday Night Fever, the. Village People, and Boy George. My friend’s older brothers all went to Vietnam, I was in the second year cohort to have to register for the draft after registration was revived but there was never even the notion I’d be drafted. Makes a difference.

        I don’t feel a boomer at all and I definitely have managed my finances on the basis that I’m not one. The boomers won the generational lottery around growth, I don’t think we’ll be so lucky. At least we American not quite boomers had children though, the Europeans and Chinese are well and truly screwed.

            1. Born late ’56. Both parents are the in-between generation. Born during the depression, early memories of poverty and then rationing due to WWII. Their parents were the WWII generation (not veterans, both grandfathers were *frozen into their professions here in the states). Hubby’s parents were WWII generation (his father was also *frozen into his profession here in the states). Hubby is the youngest, older than me. I am the oldest.

              * Essential to the war effort on the home front.

      3. Yeah, my class (born in ’61) from elementary school through high school was the largest. It peaked with us and immediately dropped off behind us. There was no plateau.

        1. I think class size peaked in elementary school (born in ’52, but the town didn’t have more room for more housing). High school was segregated by year. First two were in one campus, with the other years a couple miles away. This had our year as the last one or two before drugs really started to get prevalent.

          A couple of the social sciences instructors were hard core liberal, but any marxist agenda was well hidden. OTOH, a lot of the faculty was nearing retirement age, so it could have rolled left really fast. (One class, we did a day trip to another high school–they had a far more liberal/prog appearance. Would have been 1968-70.)

          College was turning prog for the liberal arts, but solid right in engineering through 1974. Not sure what it’s like now at U of Redacted.

          1. I’d have sworn that my first college was not liberal at least while we were still there through ’79; redacted university as a whole, but not the actual degree program. But then I was a bit naive (not a whole lot better now). Now based on the career magazine, they have definitely rolled left. Dang it. Not a career I thought would. But then if the engineering schools have, why not the forestry ones? Second college and university of redacted? Liberal as they come. As hard as it was, good thing I was working half time or full time during my tenure there. Didn’t have time or the classes where my opinion was expected. Note. I’ll still associate as one mascot (besides seeing hats of that mascot sets off the locals), but if I’m hinting at both … Platypus.

      4. Yup – my parents were teenagers during WWII – I was born when Dad was away doing his draft Army duty in Korea. We didn’t have a TV in the house until the late 1960s. The only way I know of TV kiddie programs was from visiting the grandparents. Granny Jessie let us watch the morning kiddie cartoons until our eyeballs were red.
        We kind of regarded hippies as drug-sodden washouts, kind of like today’s homeless but without the good music. About the first place I really felt politically truly at home was once I had joined the military. And my motivation for doing that was having worked as a volunteer, helping to resettle Vietnamese refugees in 1975.

        1. I was born in 59. My dad was USAF out.of Air Base Osaka during Korea. His father, my grandfather enlisted in January of 42, he was so pissed about Pearl Harbor that he joined up eve though he was in his 30s with four children.
          But I grew up in the rural New Hampshire of the 1960s. Wood cook stove, well, no TV stations. It was more like The Waltons than Walmart America, so I am closer in attitude to the Depression Generation. A lot depends upon the circumstances that you grow up in.

      5. Here in Canada, the number of births hit an all-time high in 1961; but even here, people born in 1961 have much more in common with Gen X than with Boomers. The real problem is taking what was originally a term of art used by demographers and turning it into a stereotype of all people born in a certain period.

        1. @ Tom > “turning it into a stereotype of all people born in a certain period.”

          It’s Identity Turtles all the way down.

        2. Strauss and Howe were careful to point out that it was a landslide in election terms — but that means a large minority of difference.

      6. My Mom was a boomer, since she was born in 1947. My dad, OTOH, is not since he was born in 1945, a few months after Japan surrendered.

      7. Mom was a boomer, Dad was 5 at the end of the war. in the 70’s, 80’s I was not a boomer but now I am? but I had always assumed it was Gen x pushing people older them then into the boomer generation they can blame for all their problems rather then the boomer generation trying to make their generation more encompassing .1964 and not a boomer.

    2. I’ve state here before, Keep your intellectually lazy, convenient (for you) demographic labels off of me you dammed dirty statistician.

      Born in 1960. Mom and dad both born before WWII started for the US. I have nothing in common with the Woodstock/Peacenik/Hippy generation, politically, socially, culturally or even musically.

        1. To me the British Invasion started with Clapton, The Stones and the Who. My real dive into music started with Springsteen, Styx, Kansas, Boston, Steely Dan.. and I was vehemently anti-Disco. For the 80’s other than New Wave and Asia, I pretty much went metal to avoid the pop scene.

          1. For a good 5 or 6 years, Styx, REO Speedwagon and Journey were the three biggest bands in the world.

            I listened to Meat Loaf, Heart, Blue Oyster Cult (of course!), Dokken and Bon Jovi. The 70’s weren’t all disco.

          2. I was in CBGB’s watching the early punk bands underage in 78. My parents would have killed me. The punks used to make fun of us since we were Catholic schoolboys with short hair. most of those punks are dead, heroin mostly, we’re still here, mostly,

            Johnny Ramone remarked that most of the punks were poseurs anyway. They all held conventional opinions and voted for democrats. He said the only punks to vote for Reagan were him and a Iggy Pop. You can’t be anti establishment if you do what all the popular people do.

            1. I first encountered PC/Woke punks in an on-line hissing match about The Crüxshadows, of all things. I read the thing, rolled my eyes, and went back to listening to the music and ignoring the burning question of “was the female vocalist evil or just wrong to use [older correct term] instead of [term-of-the-minute].”

              1. I hie from the 1955 hatching, and… my favorite band for the past decade is Hocico. My younger self would be appalled.

        2. Boomer music is very much hit-or-miss for me, but you had to admit there was some very good stuff in a lot of places if you’re willing to look.

          The problem right now is that a lot of the “modern” music is very well pasteurized, focus-group and metric-analyzed to a terrifying degree.

      1. I came in close to the end of the Boom, Maybe I’m technically a boomer, but I was just old enough to watch what was happening to the Woodstock/Peacenik/Hippie generation. Not my scene.

        1. Yeah, 1955 vintage here, so old enough to be astonished when elder cousin married a hippie. (Perhaps more astonishing, they’re still married.)

          Of course now we know there was nothing organic about that whole movement; rather, it was part of the Soviet demoralization campaign (see Yuri Bezmenov). But back in the day they were fringe, hardly mainstream Boomers. And most of us outside of that fringe imbibed anti-communism with our mothers milk.

      2. I always considered myself ‘Generation W’, too young to be a boomer, too old to be X. Born in 1957. My parents were both 13 when the war ended. Dad did Korea, and Vietnam, and Gulf War I in the reserves. Me and my brother (1959) were like one generation in our family, and Mom had a lot of miscarriages between us, and the next 4. Yes, Catholic. Both parents youngest in their families, so all our cousins are older, a lot older, or dead. I liked some Boomer things, like music, but felt more in common with my parents generation than my own.

    3. I’ve long maintained that ANY 20-year generation assumption is fundamentally false. The sample rate is about half of what it needs to be to understand generational politics. Think in terms of 10 years, and you’ll start getting correct answers. The Brat Boom was 1946-1955, followed by the Baby Bust of the late 1950s to mid 1960s.

      1. I heard it referred to as the Baby Bust when I was a kid in the 1980s. Though I think it was from generational carryover of labels, because they’d already grouped everybody into a 20-year “generation.”

        Ha. It’s like saying that my Gen X (late 70s) is the same as my sisters’ Gen X (a decade earlier.) Ten-year segments almost make sense.

        Though of course, they forget to even mention Gen X half the time. Which might be better than the alternative of being noticed…

        1. A 20-year sample rate is too low. 10 years is about right. My analysis:

          1935-1946: Happy Days-ers. Have early childhood memories of the Second World War and Korea, but grew up in the very stable 1950s culture. Avoided the insanity of the late 1960s. Quiet. Have problems understanding how much the Great Inflation affected their children, the Baby Busters.

          1946-1956: Brat Boomers. Demographic pig in the python, accustomed to having their needs catered to by the marketplace. Grew up in the stable 1950s, then got bushwacked by the combination of the Sexual Revolution, Vietnam, and drugs. Half of them are pretty decent people…the other half need to be clearing mines.

          1956-1966: Baby Busters. Watched the mess of the 1960s and early 1970s from the sidelines. Saw the Great Inflation take the cost of a car nearly out of reach, make owning a house a fantasy. These were the kids that Carter told “you can’t expect to live as well as your parents.” Voted overwhelmingly for Reagan in 1980, then crushed the Soviet Union.

          1966-1976: Gen X. They watched the Great Inflation from the sidelines, but have memories of something called “penny candy”. Came to maturity in the 1980s when the economy was roaring and we were winning the Cold War. Then they voted for Clinton in 1992. Twits.

          1976-1986: Clinton Cynics. Childhood in the Reagan era, then saw the implosion of public morality in the 1990s. Tend to be cynical…but really don’t want to be.

          1986-1996: Gen Y. Remember 11 Sep 2001, but didn’t really understand it. Accustomed to a world with cable TV, a hundred channels, internet access, and WiFi. Willing to learn, if they can get access to reliable knowledge. Willing to work hard, but need coaching.

          1996-2006: Snowflakes. Very entitled…at least some of them. Remind me of the Brat Boomers, with some of them decent, others desperately in need of wall-to-wall counseling followed by assignment to mine-clearing duties.

          1. i’d shift gen x later, and put something between. I have more in common culturally with someone born in 1977, than someone born in 1967.

          2. Put me down as a Clinton cynic. Also the reason feminism has never appealed to me; I saw how bankrupt it was early on.

    4. I was born in 1960 and count myself as a tag end Boomer. My siblings are 2 and 5 years younger and seem to me like early Gen X rather than late Boomers. (I don’t know how they think of themselves.)

      So yeah, Gen X really started around 1961.

    5. Sometimes I get folks to think by saying “you know, it’s kinda silly to declare someone’s in the same generation as their kid. They way over-stretched that whole generation thing.”

      Then, depending on reception, I either suggest formative events (so you’d have the Challenger generation, the 9/11 generation, etc) or they’re off and running and I just listen.

  2. Heinlein wasn’t quite the only one. There were Poul Anderson and H. Beam Piper, to start.

      1. A very unscientific memory, The left wing nerd guys all loved Foundation, the right wing nerd guys all loved Starship Troopers. the stoners loved Stranger in a Strange Land. Myself, I loved, and still love, Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I went to a selective boy’s school so the proportion of nerds and science fiction readers was higher than average.

        I’m not really comfortable on the right, never have been. I find myself there because the alternative is being a Marxist or a Fascist and I will never be so right wing as that. I suppose, like Hayek, I’m a Whig. I’d be a libertarian but I don’t think humanity conforms to their requirements and we’d end up with warlords and other strong-men.

          1. We were all poor and all quite mad. Oh, and proud, so very proud.

            Number two son plays in a Sunday soccer league and, given where we live, a fair proportion of the guys he plays with are Portuguese. He was talking last night about how they all say that Portugal is the greatest place on earth, that the Portuguese are the bravest men, the best lovers, and that the Portuguese women are the fairest and best. He also remarked that they all lived over here. I asked him what that reminded him off and he said, Oh the Irish, absolutely.

            1. “His harp was carved and cunning,
              His sword prompt and sharp,
              And he was gay when he held the sword,
              Sad when he held the harp.

              For the great Gaels of Ireland
              Are the men that God made mad,
              For all their wars are merry,
              And all their songs are sad.”

              The Ballad of the White Horse

        1. Stranger made a huge impression on me, and was a really formative work—and it gave me some profoundly misleading ideas about human sexual behavior, which it took me a long time to give up on. I didn’t read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress till I was in college, so it didn’t quite sweep me away as much.

          1. I loved Stranger at 13. I loved TMIAHM at 15. And that second love only grew.
            I re-read Stranger three (?) years ago, as it’s not in my annual re-read, and found it’s not as fluffy as I’d come to believe, and it has some built in cautions that I ignored at 13.
            OTOH the best comment on it is Heinlein in Number of the Beast, talking about Stranger: “What some writers will do for money.”
            Now I’m a writer, I agree.

            1. I loved Starship Troopers at 13. I loved The Moon is a Harsh Mistress at 15, although I didn’t really understand it until much later. When I read Stranger at 16 I remember wondering if this was really the same author.

            2. I think the evidence of his letters and his biography suggests that he was pulling the readers’ legs with that remark. He started writing Stranger around the same time as “Gulf” (it was his original concept for a story that went with that title) and picked it up maybe three or four times, after getting stuck and putting it aside for a couple of years at a time. And when he finished it he had no idea if he could sell it at all, and certainly neither he nor his publisher expected it to become a runaway bestseller! It seems from his letters as if he was sick and tired of writing to fit the restrictions of the juvenile market (or even of the adult market of his era) and wanted to write something that suited him, even if he couldn’t count it making money from it. Personally, I think the constraints of the juvenile market made him a better writer; to me his juveniles are the peak of his writing—and while Scribner’s wasn’t polite to his about Starship Troopers, I reread it not long ago and I think they were justified in saying it didn’t live up to the standard of his previous juveniles.

              I think a case could be made that the real emotional heart of Stranger is Jubal’s speech to Ben about the fallen caryatid. That helped prepare me to appreciate Kipling’s “Hymn of Breaking Strain” a long time later.

            3. Around 13 Dad was reading Glory Road. I asked if I could have it and he said, “No, you’re not ready.” A few weeks later he discovered I had found Stranger in the junior high school library. He waited until I was finished and handed me Glory Road with the comment, “You’re ready.”

            4. SIL’s brother gave me his paperback RAH collection when he got his BS. Door into Summer and TMIAHM were the important novels to me. A combination of engineering and rebellion hit the spot.

              I sort of like the originally published version of Stranger, and reread it a few times. I haven’t made the time to read the latest version beyond a snippet.

              I need to reread TEFL. It was the first hardback Heinlein I ever bought, but haven’t read it for a long time. That resonated when it first came out.

              1. You have to read the two versions very closely, side by side, to spot where he cut the original version to arrive at the first published version. He did a very careful job. Most of what he cut had the beneficial effect of tightening up the prose to say the same thing in fewer words. The one thing I thought was a loss was that the longer version told us that Alice Douglas had modeled her political role on that of Eva Perón, a nicely creepy note.

            5. I had a similar evolution every time I re-read Orphans of the Sky. At 8 or 9, it was just an adventure, at 21 I saw the social commentary, and recently, I saw some aspects that I totally missed the first two times.

          2. I generally like Heinlein’s work, but neither he nor Asimov understood women. They both erred in assuming female satisfaction with “Free Love”, and failing to understand both the strong desire for children, and the massive inability of women to get along in extended family groups.
            Hence, neither could believe that women would not be perfectly happy to share husbands and treat all children, related or not, as their own.

              1. This is the perfect opportunity to drop in a reading recommendation (even though you’re probably familiar with it already, what with my luck): Anthony Boucher’s delightful Rocket to the Morgue was just reprinted in 2020 (thank you, Otto Penzler, you giant among men!) … and it’s the only mystery ever to boast Robert Heinlein as a suspect! (Under a pseudonym, of course.) Not to mention a unique murder weapon. Read it and return to 1941 for a little while. Your public library can get it for you.

                1. It’s in print again? I’ve read the Kindle version, but I didn’t think it was likely to be republished on paper.

                  1. Yes, actually. With a foreword by F. Paul Wilson. American Mystery Classics is the publisher. A tad pricey, but that’s one worth having a physical copy. Same for the Case of the Baker Street Irregulars.

                    There’s also a bunch of others from Mysterious Press/Openroad.com, so you may be able to read the Fergus Breen ones for free from your local library’s ebook collection.

                  1. The hypercompetent woman aspect seems to have been modeled after Ginny, though.

                1. And HONESTLY the problem were the pseudo scientific things being put out about how THAT was normal, and not wanting sex all the time was because civilization corrupted us.
                  He did … grok that not every woman who was naturally monogamous was stupid or broken, though, which is more than current idiots do. He just thought they were rare.

            1. These women EXIST, btw. But, because he was reading the psychologists of the sixties and seventies, which were bullshiters, he assumed they were the MAJORITY.

              1. I’ve heard that rumor and I had one or two in my youth tell me that. But I never found it true.

                I think all this generation thing misses class. Boomers etc always seemed to be those rich kids who went to college and Daddy’s mastercard pays their dues. (To paraphase the late Chris Wall)

          3. I never actually finished stranger. I still have my copy, so it didn’t get binned, but the book didn’t do anything for me. I loved Heinlein juveniles and his never assume you know what’s being measured from Space Cadet has been critical to what progress I’ve made through life and I use the doubt concept a lot. I love all his early pulp stuff,, even when he was still a bit squishy politically. I enjoy Starship Troopers, it’s a ripping yarn, but I love Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

            I can’t stand Foundation, though I did read them. My view of them changed as I thought about what they meant. Krugman wrote once that he wanted to grow up to be Harry Selden, which speaks volumes to me. That whole futurian bunch were essentially, in many case literally, commies. I can enjoy their books but one needs to be aware.

            1. speaking of, as much as i enjoy the stories, the Brainships series bugs me on a fundamental level because everything’s being centrally run and planned…

                1. in several of the stories, the planners are demonstrably incompetent. and yet no one ever strikes out on their own.

            2. I read the Foundation series in 9th grade, so age 14. I’d read every Asimov anthology I could get my hands on prior to that, so I was expecting great cleverness and wordplay, and the books just seemed … antiseptic. Like someone pushing blocks around on a map and calling it a story.

              Actually, thinking about it just now, I wonder if a game of Microscope would end up looking like the Foundation series — lots of high level exposition and cultural forces and descending into a scene with characters only to describe crisis moments.

              1. Ha! A game of Microscope…that’s exactly what those novels are like. I thought they were super nifty in middle school, but after rereading one of them a couple years ago, I scooped them off my bookshelves and traded them for credit at the local used bookstore. My brother is the one that bought Microscope, or I’d have traded that away, too.

            3. I’d read most of Asimov before coming to Foundation… and that’s when I stopped, because that’s when I realized that not only does he have only one plot, the joke is that the reader is too dumb to notice this.

              1. There’s a certain truth in that regarding much of his science fiction, but I remember his mysteries as a little more varied.

        2. Stranger in a Strange Land sort of bothered me, actually.

          Once it was firmly established that the whole world was a lower dimensional sim, and the real stuff happened at the higher dimensions, so much of what happened to Jubal felt kind of cruel.

          Of course I ended up reading it much later, and after I’d done some deep dives into human reproductive biology, so that may have influenced my thinking.

            1. I found Job one of the more enjoyable of the later novels, not least because it didn’t have Lazarus Long in it. What left me unsatisfied was the final chapter, which gives Alex a happy ending predicated on his having no clue as to what’s really going on. He might as well be lying in a bed in the Brave New World and getting dosed with soma. I think what we’re seeing in Job is largely the influence of Cabell, but Cabell left me with much more of a bad taste.

            2. Job completely missed the mark with me. It neither captivated nor bothered me. It’s still a decent novel for anyone else, but bah.
              I never re-read it.

        3. “I’m not really comfortable on the right, never have been. I find myself there because the alternative is being a Marxist or a Fascist and I will never be so right wing as that.”

          You know those political quadrant tests that try to match you with your best US party? I end up in the quadrant that none of the parties (including the fringe ones) are in. “You best fit is [party in the completely opposite quadrant].” Uh-huh.

        4. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Political labels are rarely useful if the goal is understanding. In fact, I’d go so far as to say their prominent use is for obfuscation. The left/right “spectrum” stopped being an accurate description of reality about year after it was invented. I think it only survived because the Pragmatists and their descendants, the Post-modernists, found it suited their objectives by constraining political discourse to an established set of pigeonholes they were comfortable with.

          OTOH, what do I know? I was born in 1952.

        5. I guess I’m a bit weird, since I liked them all, especially Heinlein (and Piper). I also, when I was in grammar school, liked Tarkington’s and Altsheler’s books, and quite a few others. My only requirement was/is that the story be interesting and well-told, with “real” characters, which leaves out most political agitprop, from *any* side; it’s usually just boring and empty.

      2. Totally fair. I discovered Heinlein in the fifties; I didn’t really grasp Anderson’s point of view till around 1970, and Piper’s a bit later than that.

        1. I remember reading Heinlein’s “Glory Road” and thinking Heinlein had finally discovered women! Silly me, I didn’t get to Stranger until much later. By the way, Glory came out as a serial in a slick.

          1. The others were juveniles, so no women. Particularly since they were for Boy’s Life.
            This might change now with indie, but you must always remember writers wrote for a market. Don’t attribute to the writer the requirements of the market.

            1. Supposedly Alice Dalgleish recommended that Heinlein put a girl or two into his third novel (originally planned to be about ocean ranching, before he had that accident while diving and Ginny said No More!): she’d found that a lot of letters were coming in from girls who’d read the first two books. But of course he couldn’t be explicit. John Thomas Stuart and Tom Bartlett get married at the very end; Rod Walker and Thor Rudbek have women allies they aren’t going to marry; Peewee is too young for Kip . . .

              Things have changed, and these days the April novels, for example, can be a lot more up front.

              But even so, the female characters in the juveniles are a lot stronger than was usual in boys’ books. I’ve always been impressed by the scene where Roger Stone tries to stop Edith from going to the plague-stricken War God, and she just looks at him and says, “Roger, I am a doctor.”

            2. I never thought about it like that. Some of his early juveniles could be described as Boy Scouts in the 25th Century (eg. Rocket Ship Galileo or Space Cadet) but he did have memorable, intelligent and compotent female characters in many of the stories — which was unusual for science fiction at the time. I guess I just processed them as part of the story and their femaleness was only a secondary concern. A few that come quickly to mind:

              Leda — Citizen of the Galaxy.

              Peewee — Have Space Suit, Will Travel.

              Jacqueline (Jack) and Caroline — Tunnel in the Sky.

              And of course, Podkayne Fries — Podkayne of Mars.

              He even had a compotent female villian (very unusual at the time) in The Door Into Summer.

              A note on Tunnel in the Sky. It was important to me but I did not realize how much until several years later. In High School my honors English class read Lord of the Flies and Heinlein’s insights let me see it a the elitist bushwa it is. Revert to savagery my sainted aunt’s cherry.

              1. Leda is a very interesting example. On one hand, Heinlein tells us that she can do enough arithmetic to balance a checkbook, slowly, which in Heinlein’s writing usually means “a subhuman that can be housetrained.” But on the other, he shows her putting Thorby in touch with people who can tell him what’s really going on at Rudbek, arranging for him to meet a high-powered lawyer in secret, and showing up at the Board meeting to vote her own shares—and hiding all of this from her scheming stepfather. And her motivation? When Thorby thanks her, she says, “This is for Rudbek,” and when her outraged stepfather says “Leda Weemsby!” she answers, “My name is Leda Rudbek.” She’s actually quite an impressive young woman, though Heinlein carefully keeps her talents hidden up his narrative sleeve.

                I want to add Isobel Costello, Hazel and Edith Stone, Betty Sorenson, and Janet Meers to the list . . .

                1. Oh, heck yeah. I did have to look up a couple but the above all belong on any comprehensive list of intelligent and capable female characters in Heinlein stories.

                  There were plenty of competent female characters in Citizen of the Galaxy. Leda was memorable to me *because* she was atypical for a Heinlein female. However, Heinlein seemed to understand there are several traits that make a person good or bad and Leda, while not a great mathematician, understood duty and honor tempered with prudence. I also suspect some of her dumbness was an act.

    1. Which is one of the wisest things I’ve heard this entire work week, other than “meow.” And the Voice from the Back of the Study Hall hissing to a neighbor, “Ya know, if you actually do the practice problems, you’ll see the steps.”

      1. One of the tougher but better instructors for my MSEE used old quizzes for homework problem sets. It was a ton of work, but highly worthwhile. (The only course he taught that I skipped would have been *really* useful a dozen years later. Oops.)

  3. I don’t like the expression ‘the working class’. I propose we replace it with ‘the productive class’. The people who actually create all that ‘free’ stuff the elitists want to ‘give away’. The stuff they need too, no matter how much they try to deny it.

      1. Real writing *is* productive. You are producing an entertainment product that people consume. No different than a brewer of beer, a baker of pastries, or someone who sews cat toys. Never doubt that your work is valuable, and valued by those whose drug of choice is story.

        1. And right now, people need escapism. And hopefully well disguised instruction on civilization.
          OTOH….. well, you know? I do most of my work on a laptop. I went to an excellent college. And sometimes I feel guilty about those.
          EVEN though there is a marked difference between “I write for a living” and “I’m an influencer.”

          1. *blink* Don’t do that. No, seriously don’t. Do not feel guilty that you worked hard enough to get into an excellent college. Your parents didn’t bribe your way in (like mine they were nobodies and too poor besides, I believe). If you did like I did in college and kept your head down and generally ignored the wilder ideas of fellow classmates, studied and put in the work to get halfway decent grades, that’s on you. You did that.

            For me, even the classes I fudged because they were required for my degree (African American studies was nothing but feminism, Marxism, Cultural Relativism, and racism- and it was a required class. You can imagine the course work. -ist Literary Criticism is the most intellectually bankrupt “idea” in the world. I might or might not have created a form letter/base code to create an essay using feminist or Marxist literary criticism because it is that stupidly predictable. And stupid. And wrong. But you can get easy grades when your teacher is stupid, the class is stupid, and the coursework is stupid). I earned every grade including the D in Calculus I got the first time. You earned your degree, never doubt that.

            A laptop is a convenience. I rarely use mine because the keyboard is tiny. You didn’t steal it, you bought it. Do not feel guilt for earning your place. That’s leftist bullsh!t. People pay you voluntarily for your work. That’s capitalism at its finest. Assuming they didn’t steal the money they pay you, of course (y’all didn’t, did ya? None of you are politicians so its better than even odds that money’s clean).

            Heinlein and Hemingway were writers, same as you. Your place is earned, Miss Hoyt, and honored. There is a vast gulf of difference between the parasite that begs for money she doesn’t need and the woman nearly too hard working and proud to accept help when she *does* need it.

            This is only the opinion of one man on the internet, but if it aids in clearing the smoke from your eyes I’d call it good. An influencer of the parasite kind you are definitely NOT. Now go hug your husband and tell him you’re awesome. He’ll know what I mean.

            1. Yeah, my parents weren’t even able to afford the tutoring middle class kids who aspired to college got.
              And yeah, some courses I had to at least not dispute their theories (the “Culture” courses.) But I went for the hardest humanities I could: Languages. And worked to afford the extra classes (by tutoring, weirdly. Oh, also translating. And on one memorable occasion — long story — posing for a clothing catalogue, over a weekend.)
              But I work in the mind, and can’t do the NEEDED to keep people fed and such…. And that worries me.

              1. Life ain’t lived by bread alone. You at least need salt. *grin* I’m in the situation where I’ve *done* the work needed to keep people fed, housed, and whatnot and I’m getting to the point that I can’t anymore. I get that feeling of not being a proper human meeting one’s responsibilities. Some of the skills I have, they’re just plain not needed any more. Like a boiler mechanic in the world of HVAC and computerized thermostats. I had arguments in my youth with other folks where I contended that we *needed* to bring manufacturing and production back to the states… in the early nineties. I was looked at like an alien then. I get it. We *need* the farmers, the plumbers, the electricians and those who build things.


                In the late 1700s, America needed a Thomas Paine, too. Little Sarahs and little Dans needed a Robert Heinlein. Littles of your sons generation and their prospective children need stories. Human beings are wired on a fundamental level to create and consume stories. Even leftists- the Narrative is nothing more than fiction writ large onto the canvas of politics (and it’s a crappy plot, let me tell you. A fifth grader could pen better).

                We are not so beaten down as a People that our continued subsistence will be put in dire straights by the lack of one old man at the mill or one soon to be grandmother (if I remember right) in the fields. What is needed, well.

                Many things. There is no place or occupation in this world that could do without one more person of good character doing their part to improve things around them in their little piece of the world. Writing stories that teach proper culture and civilization might end up being more important in the long run. Lord knows the schools and universities haven’t the slightest on what constitutes civics and a proper moral education for a citizen. Heck, my little zombie story is (in places) a thinly veiled introductory firearms course.

                Stories are culture influencing. Of course they are. Does anyone doubt the influence of Starship Troopers or The Moon is A Harsh Mistress or Star Trek or The Fellowship of the Ring? Culture is where the problems are. The job of a writer is to entertain, firstly. But beyond that, even unintentionally, your words reach other people. Just as music can inspire emotion, stories do too. That sticks with people when it resonates.

                Writers are important enough that I can’t conscience sparing even one that entertains well, and speaks truths in the cloak of fantasies. Even as bad as the economy is now, we’re far better off than we were in the seventies. Keep writing. The farmer, the plumber, the factory worker need and desire stories, too. You are not a leech or a parasite. You’re the author of stories that people want to read. That matters.

              2. Let me introduce you to this blind storyteller from a Greece so long ago that life was a lot closer to the bone . . . oh, you know him?

                Yeah. People always need stories. Even when there’s no electricity and gas, we need stories.

                And I happen to know you also cook, and sew, and clean, so pfui on your worries. You can do multiple of the needful things.

              3. Remember the creators who made the art book that fed your mind and heart when you could barely afford food?

                Makers are makers.

                Spreadsheets and committees and programmes and working groups with wossname statements….


          2. Well, let me offer what I hope is a word of encouragement.

            A recently deployed epithet is “the laptop class” to refer to non-productive people, especially those so-called elite who think they are our betters. I suspect that the “bureaucratic class” should be lumped under there also.

            I like to think I’m a productive person. I design and build real things, and I have to work within the real world (it does not accommodate me; I must account for it). I’m in the lab a lot, holding scope probes and soldering irons and even machine tools from time to time. I went to college and got a PhD in EE, which I consider vocational training because I am a frequent user of calculus. I use a laptop A LOT – I schlep it back and forth every day. I use CAD tools and do math on it – and I even write (proposals, reports, and so forth). But I don’t consider myself part of the group derisively (and justly) lumped together as “the laptop class.” We here all know what that phrase means, but short phrases with an equally short history often have not “saturated the market” so that everyone knows what they mean. I wonder if actual productive people sometimes feel a twinge of that guilt when they fire up a laptop…

            Neither one of us is a member of the laptop class. And I NEED Heinlein, Smith, and Hoyt for escapism. Escapism is entertainment, yes. It’s also ideas (yesterday’s fiction is today’s engineering). And at the end of the day…it’s SANITY. Especially during the Crazy Years, Stupid Years, or whatever historians wind up calling these trying times.

            1. I think “Virtual” is a better tag than “laptop.” Laptop folks often keep one foot in the real world, making things and aware that no lunch is free and that wishing don’t make it so. The Virtuals assume that everything is the Matrix, they control the Matrix, and if they say it often enough, loudly enough, it will be.

              1. I too am of the laptop class. I wrote software. No amount of wishing so will make code do what I wanted if it wasn’t accurate. No amount of wishing would make code work properly together if it wasn’t built to. All kind of nasty actions happen if the rules are not obeyed, if code runs at all.

                1. Trust me — the writers here will back me up — no amount of clicking my heels three times will make a hot mess a novel. (Glares at Bowl of Red.)
                  I got to do the work.

                  1. no amount of clicking my heels three times will make a hot mess a novel

                    I know. I can’t even get to a “hot mess” writing.

                    1. I can do hot mess of steaming crap. My default is pretty terrible. I’m working on ascending the writer ladder to somewhat terrible. They say there’s cookies once you get to halfway decent. Only way to get there is put da words onna page and keep trying to suck less.

                      The prayer for myself is probably going to be “suck less at what I’m doing” for a good while now. So long as what I’m doing isn’t vacuuming the carpet, that is.

                    2. There are no cookies. THe cookies are a lie. BUT there is money.
                      anyway, I’ll be offering classes in a couple of months. Not because I REALLY want to, but a ton of people need it. And have bugged me. Eh.

                    3. >> “There are no cookies. THe cookies are a lie.”

                      The cake was a bad influence on the cookies.

                2. Absolutely! I adopted a phrase early in my career: “Wishing won’t make it so” when confronted with managers who had no temporal or physical sense. A paraphrase of my parents’ “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” or my dad’s more pointed “You can want all you want.”

                  1. “How long until it is done?” Answer: “Dang if I know.”
                    “When will it be fixed?” Answer: “Probably/maybe not long after I find the problem. Now ask me how long to find the problem.” Answer: See Above.

                    I mean I also could look studious, scratch some stuff on paper, and state “36 months, or more” (for what I did, not too out of line). No matter what I said they were going to screech. But the answers above were more truthful.

                  2. My grandfather’s usual comment was “And people in Hell want ice water.”

                    1. I stole that one from my college roommate! When things get really bad, I bring that one out too.

              2. This! And eventually the step in front of a train. Of course it can’t hurt them (they think). Or perhaps it is because they have thrown away everything that makes life worth living for them.

    1. Productive gets abused the same way.

      Some way to describe the folks who try to leave things better than they were when they started?

      Not just get a slice, but to actually make things better— that catches the middlemen who give a service, without including the folks who are just skimming because they can.

        1. Goes too close to eugenics, and I know way too many folks who declare anything THEY don’t see a use for to be useless.

          Like more than one brand of detergent at the store.

                1. Feeding people who are working.

                  The safety inspectors.

                  Oh, regular mandatory medical care like dialysis!

                  I’m sure I’ll think of more.

          1. I remember a letter to Ann Landers lo, these many years ago, where the writer was describing her husband. He had her on a tight allowance and when she wrote a shopping list he read it and cut anything he deemed nonessential. I remember because one item was, “No shampoo, you can use soap for that.”
            I forget whether he bought stuff for himself, but I think he was basically a miser. And controlling. I forget Ann’s advice but I suspect it was, “Get out and get a lawyer.”

              1. You know… It’s kinda funny that we don’t teach girls about their beauty supplies and makeup in chemistry class or health class. Maybe boys wouldn’t be interested in some of it, but “how shampoo works” would be of interest to most people.

                For some reason, “shampoo bars” are currently a thing being marketed to women. Maybe there are too many bottles on the edge of the bathtub.

                1. I tried it, mostly because I was tired of the kids using my shampoo.

                  So far I’m 4 months into a single $10 bar, although it did take some diving into the comments to find what kind of hair the folks who said they loved it had– sometimes you have to look at the bad reviews and collect the ones that don’t match your hair. 😀

                  My *goodness* does it have a much stronger smell, too.

                  1. Hmm… I’m not personally aware of any, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a book or video series like that already out there. It feels like the sort of thing SOMEONE would have covered by now.

                    And if there’s not one single book/video series that covers all that you should be able to assemble a list.

                    1. I’ve seen individual bits, just nothing organized.

                      Heck, our homeschool style is basically “I sort of remember something on that-” and going to find stuff, then branching out.

                      We were lucky to get a teacher who hijacked sex ed for Life Skills, such as how to do laundry and balance a checkbook. (There was a LOT of semantics involved in that one, and it still only worked because 1/4 of the class was in driver’s ed each quarter.)

                    2. >> “I’ve seen individual bits, just nothing organized.”

                      Hence the need to assemble a list.

                      That reminds me: I’ve offered to maintain a list of recommend books/videos/etc. for the blog myself in the past. I don’t know why it didn’t generate any interest since it seems like the sort of thing people here would find useful – we could put together a “Chemistry In Life” series for you, for example – but the offer still stands.

                    3. That’s a fair point; I wouldn’t be able to curate it all myself.

                      But I could sort the recommendations in more than one way, and one of those ways could be according to who made the submission. Each person offering recommendations would essentially be their own curator and you can pick which curators you find trustworthy.

                      In fact, I can easily write a program that will let me organize the submissions in multiple ways – curator, title, subject, etc. – and quickly regenerate the list as new contributions come in. I do a more complex version of this already as part of my job.

          2. >> “Goes too close to eugenics”

            Well… If you want to have labels to distinguish between those who contribute to society and those who are a drain on it, I’m not sure you can avoid such implications. Seems to me it just goes with the territory.

            1. Not so much labels as description of behavior-pattern

              “Useful” is an inherent description.
              “Locally reduces entropy” is a behavior description.

      1. Oh, “leaves things better than they were” sounds a lot like “locally decreases entropy”! Non-dissipative? Tough to find a really good single word for that trait.

        1. I think I like “locally decreases entropy” better, that recognizes upkeep.

          One of the ways that “be productive” gets abused is that ‘just’ keeping things from going completely to hell gets ignored.

          1. >> “I think I like “locally decreases entropy” better, that recognizes upkeep.”

            Hmm… “upkeep” or “preservation” class, maybe?

            I don’t see any antonyms for entropy that sound particularly catchy, to be honest. I’m getting the sense that you might need to swipe a word from another language.

              1. Hey, Americans may respect property rights, but vocabulary ain’t property.

                Now hand it over, German language… 😉

        2. Problem, that brings a thermodynamics analogy into play.

          Thermodynamics is meaningful for real physical things. You can talk about the materials, and the state spaces of the materials, etc.

          Issue is that the thermodynamics analogy breaks down for human behavior, with a same fundamental issue with immeasureable stuff that makes Left thinking invalid.

          My thinking is too confused to locate an actual soft proof, so the following will have to do for now. One obvious figure of merit is looking at how often a person lies. The more of the average speech of a group is lies, the more dysfunctional the group will be. A lie is a knowing falsehood. The breakdown, from the outside it is not humanly possible to really measure knowledge of making a false statement. Views of truth can be subjective, it matters very much who is doing the evaluation of the group’s statements.

          Okay, real world measurements of thermodynamic states can be quite challenging.

          With humans, if you have basically infinity possible standards to test against, and get different results depending on the standard you use, it probably isn’t a state space.

          One of the more measurable types of human behaviors is bureaucracy. A lot of bureaucracy involves statements made on forms. Ceteris paribus, a bureaucracy with many false statements on its forms would be higher entropy than one with few false statements, if the entropy analogy was valid.

          1. Of course physics models humans poorly. But my fields are physics-based, so it’s my mental hammer 🙂 Bureaucracy is definitely one of the metrics I had in mind. People who, when they touch a project (ANY project), necessitate some rewinding of the Gantt chart… well, that’s another indicator. Or, you know, people who just generally accelerate the heat death of the universe. Or, if you prefer, they continually make the angels work extra overtime.

    2. ” I propose we replace it with ‘the productive class’. The people who actually create all that ‘free’ stuff the elitists want to ‘give away’. ‘


  4. Off topic (slightly), but I’ve thought that the hippies were mainly Rich Kids living off of Mommy’s & Daddy’s money.

    Middle-Class (and lower) Kids had to work for a living. 😉

    1. The Reader remembers plenty of middle class chums that got sucked into that morass. My personal acquaintance with one caused my first (Secret) security clearance to take 18 months in the mid 70’s. Some found their way out.

  5. Way I heard it (and take this for what it’s worth whilst calling me “Sgt. Schultz.” Ask your grandparents, kiddies) is that Putin got where he was as fast as he did basically by acting like an organized crime leader (a career that many ex-KGB types switched to after the collapse of communism), i.e. blackmail and bribes, and by currying favor and support from influential – and dangerous – people in exchange for money and power. And now Putin is starting to freak because his hold on power is slipping and he’s in danger of not being able to keep the gravy train rolling to those influential – and dangerous – allies like he was before. And he knows that if the gravy train derails, that’s it. He’ll be killed and replaced.

    He’s starting to realize that there is no way he’s going to get out of the Presidency alive, that there’s no quiet retirement in a luxurious dacha full of caviar and beautiful, nubile women waiting for him; only bullet to the head in a back alley somewhere unless he can somehow turn his fortunes around right quick.

    Which isn’t to say that Russia couldn’t have made an arguable claim of self-defense by invading the Donbas region (predominantly Russian-identifying area along the eastern Ukrainian border that’s been pretty brutally subjugated and repressed by Kiev since 2014 or so) and claiming he’s protecting Russians and people who want to be Russian. But IMO (and again, not an expert on international law here nor do I play one on TV), he lost that justification when he invaded Ukraine as a whole.

    1. This. So much this. I’ve been pushing Dawisha’s book, “Putin’s Kleptocracy” and that’s exactly what she discusses based on interviews and documents. The book is dense.

  6. I disagree…Prof John Mearsheimer at the University of Chicago predicted that NATO would cause disaster for the Ukraine 6+years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4, (15 million views) and NATO is 100% US run…Without our Deep State, UKraine might have complied with its Minsk treaty obligations, none of this would have happened, and much of the US population wouldn’t even know Ukraine existed..BTW, Putin has killed a lot fewer people than Fauci…And hell will freeze over before any of our kids or grandkids fight in foreign wars…

    1. I’ve tried to pass along the 2nd side of the story, not because of any love for Putin or as support for him, simply because, in my opinion rationally requires looking at the whole picture.

      However while doing such I’m fining myself, while not improving my opinion of Putin, wondering which is the greater evil, the greater danger to our rapidly disappearing Constitutional Republic, him or our own so called leaders?

      1. The Biden*, Putin, and Xi regimes are the top three threats to American liberty. Which is the greatest threat appears to vary from day to day.

        1. I hear what you’re saying but, more and more, the democrat,Xi and EU regimes seem, to me, the greatest threats. I see Putin as small potatoies.

      2. Our own so-called leaders are the infinitely greater evil and the greatest threat. They’re the reason we’re weak and confused enough that the evil regimes in Russia and China can pose any kind of real threats in the first place.

        1. This. But it is important to remember that those are threats too, and not safe to ally with. HOWEVER as I say on insty, we need to clean house soonest. And by that I don’t mean just the political ranks. “Communist” must become as verboten as “Nazi” and kids must not consider wearing a Che t-shirt, because it will be like Hitler. It’s time to take the culture back. FAST.

    2. It’s funny that Mearsheimer has come out of relative obscurity to prominence so much that he’s showing up on all the watch lists. Come the hour, come the man and all that but, well how’d that happen? Just askin, as one does. In my business the first question one asks when told something is why am I being told this, why now, and who’s agenda does it serve? Only after answering these questions do you consider what, if anything, to do with the information. Good practice in life that is, I’ve drilled it into my kids the way my Da drilled it into me.

    3. Minsk treaty…?

      Oh! That would be the one where Russia invades, then bamboozles everyone into writing Russia as the arbitrator for disputes over the territory Russia invaded.

      Nice work if you can get it.

    4. I’m about a third of the way through the Mearsheimer video. I may get back to it later, but he appears to be a bog standard top down power politics guy. He covers the so called deep causes of the conflict without once mentioning Taras Shevchenko. I had never heard of Shevchenko until I visited Ukraine twenty years ago. There was no other historic or current public figure I heard spoken of with as much reverence by Ukrainians. Politics is downstream from culture and the modern Ukrainian national identity is closely tied to the cultural influence of Shevchenko’s writing. I think the current conflict is partly caused by the mismatch between the Ukrainian desire for an independent state of their own and the desire of these top down power politics types to have nice orderly controlled governmental spheres of influence.

  7. As far as FDR goes, he told Churchill that he [FDR] could handle Stalin better the State Dept., Churchill himself, and Britain’s Foreign Office. Result of that hubris/stupidity? Alger Hiss and his brother Donald [both GRU agents] in the State Dept; Lackland Currie, one of FDR’s gnomes in the White House – NKVD;Gregory Silvermaster and his ring,and Undersecretary of the Treasury Harry Dexter White [who may have helped push the Japanese to Pearl Harbor].NKVD; Judith Coplon, FBI [NKVD]. Various other agents in various U.S Depts [Agriculture, propaganda organs, etc.], and probably [at least according to the KGB general in charge of the effort], FDR’s roomate at the White House, and head of Lend-Lease. The infiltration of government was so widespead [see Los Alamos] that the societal infiltration was hardly noticed [see the Bauhaus group]

    1. And look at the “China Hands” who pushed Truman not to support Chang Kai Shek. The bulk of them were all pro-Mao or pro-Stalin, or yes, if not actually on the Communist payroll. Chang wasn’t a saint, but compared to what followed . . .

      1. The fact that it is not well taught at any level just how penetrated the American government was by Communists during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, and WW II, tells me all I need to know about the current slant of academia. I got all the way through high school (1982) and college (1987) without learning about Silvermaster, White, Currie, etc. until I picked up some audiobooks on the Venona intercepts for my commute a few years back. That was an eye-opener.

          1. Thinking about it, I actually don’t know if the Venona intercepts were publicly released in the ’80s. So we may not have had that hard proof about some of the agents. But White was under suspicion when he died in 1946 if I recall correctly, Currie was fairly open about it (again, if I recall correctly). And let’s be honest, I doubt FDR was an actual Communist (socialist, yeah, but not Marxist)…but he probably saw Stalin as leader-for-life and was immediately jealous because that’s what he wanted, the ability to do what he wanted to do without those pesky elections every four years and without an opposition party to negotiate with.

              1. He was a born aristocrat from a long line of old New York Dutch padroons, who thought men like him had a right to rule, and the best way to rule in the Industrial Age was by as much big government/big industry cooperation/coercion (i.e. fascism) as could be foisted onto the American people.

                1. His family was broke. His Maternal Grandfather [Delano) repaired the family fortune by selling Opium in China. the Forbes in John Forbes Kerry did the same thing until little horse faced Johnny married the Heinz widow. An awful lot of the old NY and NE aristo families had made their money in China selling Opium. it’s said that FDR fancied himself a China Expert because of the family history and that led to all sorts of mischief since he didn’t actually know much of anything.

                    1. Technically, my mothers family are gentry, I have cousins who are genuine aristos. They’re all broke so yes he was an aristo. There are many broke aristos, they marry money typically. Don’t call it selling your daughters.

                      Still, he fancied himself a China hand, many of them did, their families were in the China trade so the errors of the US establishment around China are not solely around Marxism.

                      It’s an interesting line of enquiry if you’re interested in modern China.

            1. FDR idolized Mussolini. To the point of plagiarizing Il Duce’s speeches. I don’t call him Fascist Dictator Roosevelt for nuthin’. The ‘New Deal’ was fascism. Packing the Supreme Court was narrowly defeated by Congress. Bundling 3rd generation Americans of Japanese ancestry off to concentration camps and giving their property to his cronies. President Evil (after Wilson).

              1. We’re looking to do that to the current round of scapegoats in the National Emergency here in Washington State.

                It is already a felony to create a disturbance during a governor-declared state of emergency and we removed all legislative and judicial oversight of Tyrant Inslee’s declaratory powers.

                Across the country states are creating digital health passports, laws are being created to make questioning the medical narrative a crime, the surgeon general is demanding the names of any and all covidiocy deniers from the Googleplex, and Discord just made sharing “public health disinformation” off their platform a bannable offense.

                My employers have made it a violation for unvaxxed staff to go maskless in other venues.

        1. My dad talked about the communists in all levels of government a lot. Younger me scoffed. Older me knows he was right. But I don’t think that even he realized just how bad it was and is.

          1. I look at “Commies in USG” in the ’40s and ’50s about the same way as “fraud in the 2020 election”.

            We know it’s there, because we can see effects and induce their causes, but we can’t prove it, goddammit, because the people who control who can look where don’t want to look and instead throw shade at us for wanting to.

            We couldn’t prove Commies in the USG until the Venona transcripts became public, and even now there are those who deny it. How many decades until the 2020 debacle is revealed?

            1. Given the results of various state governments’ investigations into the 2020 elections, I don’t think we need to wait. The MSM merely decline to report on those investigations, or denounce them as illegitimate partisan witch hunts if they do mention them.

              1. We need some states to actually decertify, though. THAT will get people’s attention.

    2. Of course FDR himself, though not in the Soviets’ pay, was the most effective Soviet agent of them all, through sheer wilful ignorance. Excerpts from his letters to Churchill:

      “I know you will not mind my being brutally frank when I tell you that I think that I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all your top people. He thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to do so.’

      [Yeah, Franky. Every con artist likes patsies better than guys who are wise to the grift.]

      ‘You have four hundred years of acuisitive instinct in your blood and you just don’t understand how a country might not want to acquire land somewhere if they can get it.’

      [Sure thing, Franky. Four hundred years before you wrote that, the Principality of Muscovy – from which Tsarist Russia originated – was about the size of a postage stamp. That is a country that has never wanted anything but to acquiire land.]

      If Churchill had had any hair, he would have been tearing it out while reading those missives.

  8. For me, the most horrifying realization is that it is not lunatics who are most likely to cause a nuclear war, it is idiots who cannot comprehend the possibility they might get killed in the resultes of their own stupidity.

    And there is no limit to the supply of idiots who lust after power with every fiber of their being.

    1. The Capitol Steps had a tune (two versions) ‘Pakistani Bang-Bang’ with a bit sung by ‘Saddam’:

      My bombs have a switch in them,
      My fingers have a twitch in them,
      And I itch for World War Three!

      The original version pre-dated 9/11 (but not by that long…) and the anthrax-laced letters that showed up right after, and had the lines:

      Smuggle in some anthrax,
      Sneak it in your backpacks,
      Dump it in the water in O-hi-o.

  9. The Reader finds you a bit harsh in judgement on the Boomer Generation, Sarah. The Reader, who is unquestionably a boomer (1953) believes most of us skipped the silliness / stupidity of the hippies and went about our lives. As a point of reference, the Reader’s memory of 1969 is the moon landing, not Woodstock. We got married, had kids, voted in every election (in the Reader’s case following Heinlein’s dictum that it is easy to figure out who to vote against), breathed a sigh of relief when the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union fell and then woke up in the last 10 years, looked around and went WTF. The mistake we made is assuming politics was important enough to vote but nothing more was required. We will pay for that error and the Reader personally regrets it.

    1. Oh, sure. I said it was not all. But the d*mn thing was in the air. A lot of my generation got suckered into the great collectivism, too. Just fewer

      1. The d*mn thing was in the air in my parents generation as well. I remember my mother echoing the ‘soft collectivism’ and she was born in 1923. I believe the Depression left a ‘it would be nice if’ collectivist mark on a lot of that generation although my father never showed any signs of it. The Reader’s sister is still prone to it; its the reason we don’t talk much.

        1. Join your tears with mine. My very beloved brother took down his Che poster at 26, but still has the “paradise of communism” as a possibility in his head. And the thing to steer towards.
          I love him, but the more I became politically aware, and… well, American, the less we can talk. We’re down to two calls a year (his birthday and mine) for about two minutes each.

        2. I was young kid in the 70s and the older relatives were still moaning about the Depression – it was a vivid, frightening part of those years. No one much talked about WWII, but in my limited observation the men who came back all had repressed rage that they took out on their wives and children.

          1. My dad was born in 1927 to a dirt poor coal miner family in a flyspeck mining town in Arkansas. They were all Republicans, however, which I attribute to the family being most recently from Union-aligned East Tennessee, and which must have occasionally been … interesting … in the Jim Crow South.

            In later life, he was still definitely a Republican (and being in the oil business hated environmentalists), but believed things like the government should set a high tax rate on everybody and then give out tax breaks to favored industries. That one hurt my Reagan-era nascent-libertarian brain.

          2. The Reader’s parents, aunts and uncles (the Reader’s mother was the youngest of 8) all talked incessantly about the Depression and banged home the virtues of thrift and saving. To my memory, none ever discussed WWII, even though several of the male members participated.

            1. Both my parents locked onto the “Depressions happen, be frugal” they absorbed from their parents, so I grew up with a lot of cheap-but-filling meals and patched clothes as a kid. If it could be mended, it was mended, and Sib and I never, ever wore school clothes to play. That’s what worn-out school clothes, “play clothes,” were for.

            2. Within family, Dad (non-combat in the 8th Air Force on Okinawa–really!) and Uncle A talked a bit about their experiences. Unc was a beachmaster for the Marines in the Pacific, though the few war stories he told ran to the enlisted schmuck who didn’t clear his weapon before cleaning, and killed another a ways away. Busted in rank and fined $1.00.

              OTOH, my SIL’s uncles were in Europe and one had a frightening smile when he mentioned his team capturing SS officers and handing them to the French instead of American custody.

              1. That might not have worked as well as they thought. The French recruited a LOT of SS men for the Foreign Legion as opposed to killing them.

          3. Since I was born in 1947, nearly all the adult men I knew in childhood and adolescence had served in the war. I never noticed them taking out their rage on wives and children. What I did notice was that They. Did. Not. Talk. About. The. War. No chest-thumping war-hero stories from them.

            The closest they came was the time the visiting (Polish) professor of topology almost had a duel with the resident (German) professor of statistics in our living room. Watching the rest of the faculty talk them down was… interesting. And in retrospect, the German probably shouldn’t have mentioned that he had served in Warsaw. Not talking about the war might have been the result of trauma among the Americans, but it was more like self-preservation for the Germans who came here in the 50s.

            1. My mother was nearly brained by a slightly older Dutch lab assistant, when they were both working in the same lab early in the 1950s. Mom was humming the great Lutheran hymn in all innocence, mind you – she was in the church choir, I think – “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, Zion, City of Our God…” and was initially baffled, and then horrified upon learning that it was the same tune as “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles” …

              1. The non-Lutheran church we last attended had that in one or the other hymnals that they used. No surprise that said hymn never got used.

            2. I worked with an honest-to-goodness former Nazi soldier once. I knew only a few things about his wartime experience: 1. He’d been a tank soldier. 2. He’d been fighting on the Eastern Front, and became a Russian POW. 3. He thought that moving to America was the best decision he’d ever made.

              Aside from that, a big cloak of silence—and very much intentionally so, I’m sure. And by his actions, he’d rejected the ideology.

              1. Dad had two “bosses” that worked as a team, traveling from plant to plant, putting eyes on things and trouble-shooting . . . one served in the US Navy doing escort duty on a destroyer. The other served on a U-boat in the North Atlantic. “You’re lucky that torpedo was defective!” “I knew I shoulda fired just one more depth charge to make sure!” over beers at the kitchen table trading sailing stories with my dad (also Navy) though stories from both were mostly dealing with storms and bad food.

                1. Dad was supposed to have a combat role (chem warfare) until he broke a collar bone in training, at which point the Air Force decided his civilian role as a draftsman was actually needed. So, headquarters company, and he was *really* glad that the war ended without an invasion of Japan. Something about not wanting to go back to chem warfare…

                  So, his tales were more on life in the service. Green scrambled eggs from lots-o-chlorine in the water, and getting chewed out by the gunnery instructor on the troop ship. Seems he was supposed to aim for the target barrel when they were learning the M2 machine gun, but Dad not only hit it, he sunk it.

                  There was also a highly screwed up account of Bock’s Car’s arrival at Okinawa after the Nagasaki run. From the histories, Dad got some real information, conflated with a story of a Japanese flight into the cloud at Hiroshima (I think–the relevant book isn’t in the house, but the results were quite fatal to the people involved). Some other BS got mixed in, too.

                  OTOH, the Bock’s Car arrival *was* pretty dramatic; they couldn’t get access to their remaining fuel, the radio was out, so they set off every trouble flare they had to clear the approach. IIRC, that included “wounded on board” and “fatalities on board”. The engine had a few gallons of gas left when they landed, with all crew members alive and well.

        3. Fellow I know who was born in 1923 was and is a Democrat. Full-on FDR and all that. And even he was “I can’t vote for *that* woman” about Hillary. Don’t know how he voted or even if, but if a full-on dyed-in-the-wool since-FDR Democrat says “Nope!” that’s pretty telling.

    2. And more each year of the boomers moved towards “oh, shoot, this is nonsense.” But I would argue the majority was still collectivist. Heck, I’ve had to work like crazy to find the bits of collectivism pounded into me and figure out why they’re wrong.

    3. Boomer is a state of mind: to be born during the baby boom does not make one a Boomer, and to be born outside of the baby boom does not prevent one from being a boomer.

      I used to also say that Millennial was the same state of mind at a different age and direction of ire. But in recent months I’ve watched enough discussion threads of people arguing back and forth about wages and finding work and what they think/assume everyone else is doing that I can no longer hold my previous position.

      Boomer is in fact a special sort of asshole.

  10. “Mostly we were very, very poor. Appalachia might have looked down on us.”

    From a teeny height, yeah. We didn’t have quite so many communists. Most of our commies were in government, same as yours- but we were close to the rest of the US. We were just dirt poor. And had drug and alcohol problems, the some of us. But mostly honest, hardworking poor.

    As to the rest, agreed. We are indeed in a trap. Getting out ain’t going to be quick and it ain’t going to be painless. But get out we must. For ourselves, for our children, for our sacred honor.

      1. Yeah. Most of us guys went to the military if we wanted to get off the farm. A few went to the universities. And the rest stayed. But at least there was the *option* of going somewhere else that was still free. Y’all had an ocean to deal with.

          1. The Reader spent 18 months in Spain in the 60s (I was 11 and Dad was on field engineering assignment installing a transmitter for the Navy south of Alicante – https://www.navy-radio.com/commsta/guardamar.htm). You are correct about the lack of freedom. The Spanish kids I met all wanted to talk to me about America but would say nothing to me about Spanish current events. Never got to Portugal; it wasn’t on my parent’s bucket list for travel while we were there.

  11. Well. I’m…um…I’m chastened.

    I was one of those yesterday that mentioned that there were those who saw Putin as a nationalist and a defender of Christianity (and if you go over on, for example, Gab, they are vocal about it). I also called him a pragmatist doing what he thought was best for Russia and the Russian people. Not what was best, mind, but what he thought was best.

    Let’s just say I’ve run out of gauze and aloe vera to treat the first- and second-degree burns I received for typing that. Nothing life-threatening, but hoo boy. I stepped in it. And became a pudding head as a result.

    After reading the posts in yesterday’s thread and the source material, yeah, I was wrong and I’m man enough to admit it. I’ve always known Putin was Not a Nice Guy but he’s not what some folks are making him out to be, some sort of white knight come to save traditional family values. He’s an oligarch in a long tradition of Russian oligarchs. If his life had gone differently, he’d probably be a Vor (not the Lois Bujold kind, the covered-in-tattoos kind). If he gets some sort of comeuppance out of the overreach he’s performing now, as his people pay for the sanctions while he rides shirtless off into the sunset, that’s a good thing.

    But Putin, at least, is what he is and he doesn’t disguise it well. I don’t think he even tries. As opposed to our enemies internally, who at least paid lip service to America until 2016 sent them off the deep end.

    I still don’t think we should be intervening actively in Ukraine. Especially not with the current crop in charge of our civilian and military establishments. The bandwagoning in Congress toward confronting Putin is highly concerning. And some of the actions toward Russia–banning Russian cats from cat shows, seriously?–are asinine. The things that could really deter Putin are things that Joey Twoscoops and his ilk simply will not do, primarily re-promoting American energy independence.

    (BTW, I was born in 1966 so I guess I’m a half-hearted Gen Xer. I had a buddy in high school who was super gung-ho to go to VMI and then get out and join the Army so he could fly attack helicopters in Germany and die pointlessly trying to stop the Russian invasion of West Germany. The words “Fulda Gap” made everybody’s butthole pucker a little bit. And I’m not a Russian bot. The only Russian I know, I learned from YouTube dashcam videos and playing Call of Duty and Battlefield.)

    Now. Since I’m out of aloe, is pudding any good for treating mild burns?

    1. And my wife (SheSellsSeashells) just told me that because I’m a pudding head, she’s going to start calling me AnonyMousse.

      Kill me now.

          1. I have vivid memories of buying 30 pounds of fish at my crazy local bargain store. All was well until I thawed some filets for supper and the smell of bleach just about knocked me flat.

          2. Burger King now sells fake hamburgers.
            KFC is now selling fake chicken.
            Why would China not sell fake fish?
            Remember, plants are an important part of our diets. Then are after all what food eats.

                1. I’m with the cats on this. Plants are for feeding food. And no I am not interested long pig and even if I were most Vegans and vegetarians would make damn poor fare. Lean and stringy and with an oddly bitter tinge I’d suspect. And have you seen the proce of the organic Kale and Qinoa for feedstock?

            1. Eeep. Please don’t buy shares that way. I have shares in Olin as part of a long term value play on the specialty chemical space within a diversified portfolio with stocks, bonds, and option hedges. yeah, I bought it for the Winchester ammo brand, but you’d need a great deal of patience, a long horizon, and a fair tolerance for risk to make the bet. I don’t give investment advice, as I think I’ve written here before. That said, do what you’re comfortable with and if you don’t like the horizon, well cash is king. Better an opportunity loss than an actual one. Wait for the inflation to die down and look again,

              1. Sigh. Okay, let me explain:
                We buy occasional stocks that Dan knows about from his field. We’ve avoided my field like the plague, because we know there’s no future there.
                We withdrew everything we could get hands on when the crunch came down, BEFORE the gofundme.
                Now house sold, we’re looking to replace some long term investments. (LONG term. We intend to die with hands on the keyboard, but things happen, and 20 years from now one or both might need help and care and the kids (our biggest investment) might or might not be in a position to help.)
                We think we’ve found a stock to replace Amazon (which was VERY good to us, but I am as close to its being “my field” and I think it’s in the hands of pudding heads now. (However crazy Bezos is, he LIKED making money.)
                But I wouldn’t mind diversifying that a little.
                And yes, it was mentally retarded to get our money out of long term investments, before I could be convinced to even CONSIDER a GFM (And that after that money was gone. You know, former house truly was a money pit.)
                BUT I hate asking for help, and Dan didn’t think he could convince me.
                Right now, we surely don’t want to keep that, or any surplus there might be when the dust settles (situation unclear, since we’re also helping friends caught in this so-called economy — and yes, we’re being very selective, and mostly helping long-term friends.) in the one company Dan thinks will do well.
                I was half joking, but it never occurred to me that guns and ammo might NOT be a bad investment for bad times.
                We do have friends in the industry. Um…..

                1. and I think it’s in the hands of pudding heads now. (However crazy Bezos is, he LIKED making money.)

                  Amazon suffered an immigration crisis. Hard to make a company culture of trying to not be stupider than it is humanly possible to be survive when you expand to the degree that they had to over the last couple years.

                  Unfortunately most companies run on precisely that sort of stupidity maximization culture.

                2. Sorry. I have a thing about tipsters. OLN is the symbol and Winchester is only part of the business. I really like specialty chemicals as a group. I’ve held Eastman Chemical for a long, long time. It’s a value play with a long horizon. You’ll not get AMZN returns, though I did get AMZN returns out of Exxon and Chevron and Olin for that matter over the last year. You need to look past the hype,

                  In the gun space, Smith and Wesson got absolutely killed today, at one point off 20% though it rallied into the close. They reported that gun sales were slowing, they’ve been been absolutely torrid. I don’t have them. I do have a little Sturm Ruger. I had no expectation that the sales wave in guns would continue and there are a lot of slavering lefty lawyers looking to go all asbestos on the gun space. It’s risky.

                  If you don’t have a copy, buy the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

                  the investment advice I’m giving to the people I do give investment advice to is pay off debt, and pay down the mortgage. Things are risky, very very risky. Every large scale boom since the 70’s has ended with a boom in commodity prices followed by a general bust. This time might be different, but I, personally, am not betting that way. I’m not all in yet, and damn, things are scary; but the general level of fear has not gone far enough to cause me to buy much of anything. Buy when there’s blood in the water is what the boys say and there’s just not enough blood yet.

                  JP Morgan and Goldman are buying Russian assets with both hands. Lots of blood in that water. I had sorta planned to buy some myself if the ETF’s went low enough (under $1). But they’ve shut them down so only the big guys will profit. Davos strikes again.

                    1. Shocking, isn’t it? Notice that there’s no mention of it whilst they’re taking Dostoyevsky off the curriculum and pronouncing the capital of Ukraine the way everyone in the US did till two weeks ago will get you cancelled.

                  1. I was planning to pay off my car loan and start paying down my mortgage, until I found out my wife had spent all my savings buying merchandise to sell for her business. Hey, I have a couple months expenses in the bank again at least. Sigh.

                    1. We are paying down mortgage and car loans, just not in leap and bounds (little more than rounding to nearest $100 for monthly payments). We are at 1%, 2%, and 3.35%, respectably on two cars and the house. Paying fixed amount loans with inflation dollars. Baring accidents, not replacing cars, anytime soon. If we are forced to move … things will be a lot worse than walking away from an unpaid mortgage. We’ve been in this house for 33 years. Last crash didn’t even come close to putting us under water with the mortgage. If we were to decide to move then whatever we buy would leave the mortgage amount the same on the new place. Interest rates? That I haven’t been following, lately.

                      We’ve been there, with a house we couldn’t sell after being relocated, having to buy a new house, with high rate non-fixed interest, with balloon payment requirement, because we couldn’t find rentals to accept animals. This house in fact (yea for refinancing … last refinance was 10 years ago). Old house did sell, but we sure didn’t make any money off it.

                      We’ve also been to the point of only non-retrievable funds in the investments too. Coming up with next months expenses this month. Not quite robbing Peter to pay Paul. Not quite to the point of taking in the change jar to the bank to deposit to pay for food, not since college anyway.

                      Now we are to the point where the “save for us first” is paying off. Of an age where his accounts, my accounts, can be accessed without penalty, but not required. It helps. It really, really, helps.

                  2. Yeah. Fortunately I’m in a counter-economy field, and that seems to be holding true, but yeah.
                    What I was going to say is that it’s not “insider tips” we buy stocks of companies Dan has insight in because he thinks what they’re starting/making will take off. Because they’re in his field.
                    And I trusted Amazon, somewhat, so we put (quite literally) play money in it and multiplied it in 10 years. That wasn’t a ton, because what we put in was a couple months of “We’ll tighten belts, not go out to eat and not buy anything but food.” BUT without it, even with GFM we’d be dead in the water.
                    Yeah, paying down mortgage, maybe. Except we don’t intend to move for a while, and mortgage is right now maneageable. I’m targeting to pay off in 5 years from my earnings. Doing some improvements, simply because if we’re going to stay here a while some things need to be RIGHT.
                    The rest? Well, I don’t want to keep money as money, and once this stuff is done, we should put it into appreciating assets.
                    Yes, okay, used jewelry, but still.
                    While I might do “stonk” buying for giggles and grins at under $20 a month or so, that’s for GIGGLES AND GRINS. Like buying a lottery ticket.
                    And yeah, I do realize the stock market makes no sense whatsoever and might implode. We won’t put money in there which we might need.
                    Only reason we had to strip Amazon is that our saving had already got et by the house.
                    <savors relief at its being gone. No, seriously. Between how many repairs it needed when we move din, and how bad getting labor has and parts has got in CO last 2 years (which no one could have foreseen) it's been awful

                    1. I’m not a big investor. But I have been making steady money over the last 30 years or so by buying metal or metal producing companies. For example, silver. Silver pretty consistently moves down and stays down for a long time and then BOOM as the economy wobbles. Then you can sell stock you bought (SVM, for example) at under 3 a share for ten a share. Then it drops again. Re-buy the same amount after it drops…rinse and repeat. It’s not been a huge, fast money maker. But it has been consistent. Or you can just buy the metal. It’s often slow but something ALWAYS happens eventually to drive commodity prices up.

                    2. Invested heavily in AT&T stock as a reliable dividend engine paying annual returns between 5 and 9 percent depending on actual stock price. So of course they have just announced they will be cutting their dividend payments in half due to spinning off their media holdings. Will get a bunch-a-ton of the new media company in compensation, but am not at all pleased that a company which had maintained or increased their dividend payments consistently for over 30 years is now turning everything upside down.
                      Will hunker down and see how it all shakes out, but did not really need just one more major change in what continues to be year after year of interesting times.

                  3. I need to do something for transportation, as my old 98 Nissan 4×4 is making a few untoward noises. Egad is the used market stupid. Here has a lot of cheap stuff, but not a simple Pickup I’d replace mine with. And something I might consider? $15,000 or more, for “newer” than mine but at or over mine in mileage. Decided to just go get a new(remanufactured) engine, pull my trans apart and replace bearings, and other such work, for less than current market for a replacement vehicle.
                    So lets look at the 401k and take a loan from it . . . WTF? since January, it has lost $14,700 of value on a “safe long-term growth” investments setting. Screw it, pull twice what’s needed and add a year to the loan so at least that amount will earn 3.7% for the rest of the FJB term (I hope it is only 3 more years).

                    1. The used pickup market is very weird right now. I’ve been looking for a mid-size for some time, but there just hasn’t been anything with the features I want (mainly 6′ bed and 4wd) for less than $20,000.

                      So I ended up buying a Nissan Titan (full-size), which was only $13,000, several thousand cheaper than Tacomas and Frontiers on the same lot. Part of that I think is that gas is very expensive right now and it gets terrible gas mileage, but I don’t really drive all that much these days. And the larger size will make hauling stuff out to Tierra de Balzacq next summer a lot easier.

                    2. Used pickup market. We sold our 11 season (2010, purchased early 2010, sold late 2020), for $20k, and could have gotten more. Not bad for a pickup we paid $26k for (2010 $’s but still). But neighbor wanted it. Ten years newer than his and 120k fewer miles. We also sold our travel trailer fall 2020. $11k for a trailer we paid $16k for 13 seasons prior. Again could have gotten more, but while we have no problem getting good value for something we’ve taken excellent care of, we weren’t willing to gouge. Comments “Did you even use the stove?”, “Trailer still smells new!”, “Trailer looks brand new!”. Answers “Yes”, “Thank you” x 2. Both we got just under top used market value for (worth it). Trucks, that isn’t unusual. RV’s however, lucky to get low book used, no matter how well taken care of, normally. RV’s are now available locally. Pickups, or any vehicle, new or not, options are still limited.

                      With fuel prices the way they are now, it’d take a mortgage to pay for fuel to go anywhere. We’ve been on trips in the past where we’ve gotten cut off at the pump because we maxed out the $100 fuel limit, without the tank being full; answer: pull out a different credit card, because not being full pulling an RV in some areas Is Not Good. Fuel prices are higher per gallon now, than then.

                    3. Yeah, I would like a version of what I have, extended cab, manual trans, 4×4, 6 foot bed. The Toyota I saw and one newer Frontier that wasn’t a Crew Cab were less than $20,000 but the Toyota had more miles than my truck, and the Nissan was close to the same mileage, and both have more rust than mine. Originally a Louisiana truck then Texas, it’s only had 5 winters, and I coat the underside with a lanolin, peanut, and linseed oil/wax mixture. Most else with a bad is full sized, has issues (dodge engines that drop the valve seats) and tend to rust (benefit of living north of The Frozen Tundra™ nfl films) and WTF is it with a 4 door p/u and a nonsense bed? Get a fricken SUV and fold the seats down!. Oh and it ain’t like a 4×4 Frontier gets good mpg either. I know full size Fords and Chevys with better mpg (granted they’re 4×2)

                    4. WTF is it with a 4 door p/u and a nonsense bed?

                      I’m not sure, other than maybe dads who want a big brawny pickup but have to cart the family around. Since it’s just me and the daughter, I got the extended cab so I can put the EDC tools and survival stuff in the back seat out of the rain but still throw an extra passenger back there if necessary, AND have a bed big enough to lay down a ladder.

                    5. I do keep a Leer cap on mine, but it has often been pulled off to carry motorcycles. I got it to do the Sattelite installs and needed a ladder rack and keep rain off electronics, and it was better priced than the 4runner and Pathfinder on the lot, and the Explorer I was warned off of by the lot mechanic (Soc was a great guy I knew from my years in autoparts)

                3. Recently I’ve thought of throwing a few dollars at the Russian ruble in case it regains value down the road.

                  Fair warning: I haven’t proved very good at stock/crypto investment so far. Not only should this not be construed as advice, but may that God of yours help you if you follow my lead.

                  1. mostly I buy real things. I don’t have the knack for stock. Husband does.
                    Most of what I’ve done is real estate, and boy I flubbed it with this last one.
                    I’m considering hitting the pawn shops for used wedding rings. (Think about it.)

                  2. Mom was actually born in 45, but trust me, she’s a boomer. (Not politically, though in Portugal that’s complicated) There’s a lot of overlap in “typical mentality” at the edges.

      1. Hmph. It was a NOBLE act, dear, intended to distract the Dinerzens with the prospect of a thorough carping.

    2. LOL.
      It wasn’t intended as a burn.
      I stay out of gab, because it’s full of Russian trolls pretending to be American right wingers. And I don’t have time, patience or enough fly swatters.
      BTW one way you can tell those trolls is they’re ALWAYS rabidly anti-semitic (Russians are) and have a leftist view of race in the US, instead of realizing we’re all Heinz 57. Which most Americans do.)
      One of my favorites being “IF ALL your ancestors weren’t here in 1776, you’re not really American.” I mean, look, there are maybe 11 people in America that meet that. We don’t even meet the no immigrants in the last three generations standards, by and large. MAYBE 10% of people meet that, and they’re leftist blue bloods. MAYBE. I suspect it’s the same 11 people. Or maybe 20.
      I mean even husband — blue blood, from lefty family — has Irish immigrant for grandmother.
      So, you know? Just stupid. Or foreign. Because the things they say accord with how the MEDIA shows America as an apartheid state, so the Russians think this will get us at each other’s throats.

      1. Actually, there are some who are NOT in the Blue Blood group who qualify as “here at the beginning” of America – mostly hillbillies in the Appalachians or Smokies. My nearest ancestor not born in America is 4 generations back. Nearly all the others were here by the mid-1700’s.
        Not Blue Blooded, just Red-Blooded (in both senses of the colors)

        1. Some of MomRed’s maternal ancestors were dragged to North America as unwillingly indentured servants in the late 1600s. Something about stealing one cow too many after being “exiled” to the Ulster Plantations . . .

        2. That’s because of all those Highland Scots who liked Charlie, or Border Scots who liked other people’s cattle, getting shipped off to unpleasant places like America or Northern Ireland, when they weren’t getting shipped to the Caribbean as slaves.

          Outlander isn’t the greatest series in the world, but it has apparently done tons to introduce Americans to a good chunk of Colonial/Revolutionary history.

          1. Border Scots. Sort of like the other side of my maternal grandmother’s family came from France or Germany. It depended on who had won most recently.

        3. Like Dan I have English relatives came over mid 17th century, and Dutch that came over to be part of New Amsterdam (and headed upstate when the English got annoying). I also have Swede, French Canadian, Irish, Welsh, Scotts and perhaps Mohawk . My wife ads more Swede and A mix of Northern Italian and Sicilian (and yes the Sicilians had a “restaurant” in NYC in prohibition, My Wifes Nonna/Nanny could tell quite the tales, though unclear how much was embellishment). Mom used to say that my Fathers family married darned near anyone (Under his breath dad would reply “I married you didn’t I” in jest I think). I’ve known some “Blue bloods”. Some were decent folk with a fair bit of wealth but with a sense of Noblesse Oblige. Others (like ex sec state Kerry (spit)) were the sad little lizards that claimed to be dinosaur on there mothers side.

      2. One of my favorites being “IF ALL your ancestors weren’t here in 1776, you’re not really American.” I mean, look, there are maybe 11 people in America that meet that.

        I can’t speak for every single one of my 256 great^7grandparents, but I do know that my dad’s direct family line has been here at least since the mid-1700s* and my mom’s direct family line since the 1630s. The difference is that I don’t think that makes me more American than you, it just means that when asked my ethnicity I say “American” instead of “German” or “Chinese” or whatever.

        *(earliest record of earliest $DADS_NAME names him as a Virginia backwoodsman in 1770ish, and no known records of his birth or origin exist)

        1. That means you’re probably related to Dan (only so many here at this time.) A preponderance of his ancestors were here at that time, but at least two immigrants fell in in the 19th and early twentieth century. Well, and then me.
          And my ethnicity is AMERICAN. The stork just had a drinking party and put me in the wrong place.

          1. Not sure of maternal side. Do know Daughters of the Revolution applies, so goes that far back, anyway. Paternal side goes back further than revolution (also qualify for DOR through *Daniel Applegate a fifer for the main army). Plus the Applegate Oregon Trail cow train of 1843 (Oregon 1845). But great-grandfather came to Oregon through Canada from Scotland. Grandma jokes that her mother, and aunts, had to marry a “foreigners” as they were closely related to all the local peers. Further generations down, we joke we’re related to *1/2 of Oregon (paternal) and Montana (maternal). The 3 Applegate brothers and wives, brought 10 – 12 children, each, on the wagon train, only lost two before arrival (drowned Columbia River), had more after they got settled. That doesn’t count the 4th brother who came with his family later.

            * Might be slightly a little high. But when you go through HS with cousins that you didn’t know were **cousins until you all show up at the extended Applegate reunion years after HS … Or work with someone and topic of family history comes up and, yep, **cousins … It sure seems like half the state.

            ** 2nd – 4th cousins, but still cousins.

            1. My FIL went to college on a DOAR scholarship. Kids could have got it if they’d tried. (Rolls eyes. Seriously. They both have a morbid fear of paperwork. Of maybe they didn’t want that on record, considering what Universities have become.)

              1. DAR means your ancestor was a private soldier. My mother dealt with them when they tried to blackball us for being Irish. The Cincinnati meant your ancestors were officers and it included the French. My mother pointed out to them that her father was eligible as the direct male descendent of a captain in Dillon’s regiment who fought at Savannah. Shut them right up.

                The Cincinnati is primogeniture so I can’t get in

              2. I didn’t know about that option when I was in school. Should have made son apply. Sigh. The opportunities we miss out on.

                Don’t know who, if anyone, has the maternal paperwork required. But paternal side, I need to get copies, add our’s, so son will have it for his children. (Which is looking more and more like “and a miracle happened”. OTOH my cousin, age 43, is getting married for the first time, this April.)

                1. I’m also praying for “A miracle happens'” But my brohter got two grandkids this year, and his kids are around nine years older than mine and six years older than mine. So.

                  1. Younger sister’s oldest is getting married this July, just before she turns 33. Suspect baby will come within a year. She is 6 weeks younger than my only child. But son has to be dating too, and that sure isn’t happening either.

            2. Grandpa would Very Pointedly correct anyone using the ‘correct’ German pronunciation of last name. “We are AMERICANS! And it is *AmercanizedVersion*!” (Granted, he was born in 1910, his father died in the Real Pandemic of 1918, and thus at an early age he got to experience the excessive silliness of stateside Anti-German Everything sentiment from WWI. “Victory Cabbage” anyone?)

              1. Yup, it was … excessive, the anti-German panic associated with WWI. I’ve touched on it a couple of times as a blogger, and in my last novel – where it is mentioned that one of the heroines in it noted that her family legally changed the family name from Steinmetz to Stoneman at that time – because they were sick to death of being stigmatized for being of German descent.
                I wonder now and again, if China and Chinese-Americans won’t fall into that same situation, just as Russia and Russians have, over this latest war.
                Germans were widely settled in the US all the way from the beginning, through the fallout from the 1848 revolution; were well-thought of as immigrants and New Americans, patriotic to their new country … and still German conduct in the frightfulness of WWI and then again in WWII – soured Americans generally. The conduct of Kaiser Bill, and Herr Hitler burned through all that vast amount of good will and good feeling.

          2. *snicker*
            Yes, the stork got seriously mixed up with both of us.
            My late business partner was absolutely convinced that I should have been born in Texas, and not in California. That the stork mixed me up with another delivery on the same date; which would mean there is a hideously confused woman of my exact age who has been wondering for decades about how she finished up in Beeville, Victoria, or Plano, when she should have been delivered to Pasadena, San Gabriel or Santa Barbara…

        2. Geeze, all you long-time US residents!

          My maternal grandfather and family hit Ellis Island 1910-ish; he was a draft-dodger from the Tsar’s army.

          Good choice, Grandpa!

          1. About the same time as dad’s mom’s family.

            I *still* wonder what his reaction was to “Hey, you’re American, now. Sign up for the draft to go back to save the thus-and-such countries that made it so your family left Scotland to survive.” (Didn’t end up going, but he DID sign up.)

      3. I don’t know how long my family goes back here before 1919 (when my dad was born). I don’t know where they’re from originally. I’m just a Confederate-American mutt from several miles outside the middle of nowhere. If somebody’s family came over on the Mayflower (or since I’m from Virginia, let’s just say, if somebody’s family came over on the Susan Constant), congrats. They’re an American just like me, no more, no less.

          1. The interesting part is that MANY who track back to Mayflower track primarily John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. Why? Because that first season in Plymouth killed > 1/2 the colony, and the Aldens were prolific with like 10 children surviving to adulthood and many of the gaggle of grand children made it to adulthood and spread out across New England. Rabbits envied the Aldens fecundity.

      4. Ummm….I think that I meet that “no immigrants in the last three generations” standard. Hell, I’ve got ancestors on both sides that fought in the Continental Army…and had grandparents born in this country. I don’t stand on it so very much because you don’t get to choose your ancestors. So any virtue they may have had isn’t yours by inheritance.

        I merely take quiet pride in over forty years of flight test service to the U.S. Government.

      5. Mine were here back when New York was known as New Amsterdam. Does that count, heh, heh, heh?

      6. Yeah, I’ve got some here in the late 1600s, others fought on the US side in the Revolution. Then the Irish side started arriving during/after the famine.

        1. Right. I mean if they said “Has to have had ancestors here” meh, it’s stupid but fine. Means Dan and the kids are American and I’m supposed to be a bug-eyed alien. Stupid but not insane.
          But “Must have had no immigrants since then”? Yeah. That’s what tightens the screw.
          I mean, that’s a lot of people. Unless your family is super-inbred, one of your side-lines must have had some outside contribution.
          Even MIL, who came (her husband’s joke) from a town with two surnames, where you got a choice of which cousin to marry had some immigrants fall in.

          1. Oh, yeah. Lots of more recent immigrants since then. And, me, good Irish Protestant stock (my grandfather made a big deal of it) married an Irish-Croatian Catholic. Gramps is rolling in his grave. LOL!

          2. Not sure where in the stream it landed, but I mention that about g-grandma. Her choices were a town with very few different surnames. She and all her sister’s married immigrants (Scots and German). Most of her brothers never married. Grandma mentions that until she went to Normal School for teaching, all her classmates were cousins. She married someone from the “next valley or two over”.

      7. I enjoyed the Brazilian contingent and the Dangerous Ladies back when I was on Gab. I am grateful it exists, but it is just too much work. Not worse than Twitter or Facebook, mind, but hard enough.

          1. Truth Social? Instapundit said recently that he was on a waiting list for quite a while but finally got his account with them.

            TS is having some growing pains – which I understand is typical for a new service like this – but things are moving. Hopefully it lives up to its promise once the initial problems are ironed out.

    3. Linseed oil and lime water was a WW II munitions factory burn balm, seen it used and seemed to work quite well.

      However the burns you’re talking about, our best bet is to just grimace and bear it.

        1. And linseed oil soaked rags will spontaneously combust as the oil oxidizes. Fine Homebuilding mag once had a column about a house that burned down as finishing was near completion. And nearly burned again the second time, but somebody caught it in time.

          I’ll soak the rags in water, and if it’s not too many, spread them flat on concrete. Or, they’ll go in the wood stove when it’s running. (less the water soak).

          1. As linseed oil is likely non polar a week polar solvent like water isn’t going get the linseed oil out/off. Probably needs alcohol or turpentine to get it out, but thats not an improvement. Best to just make sure the rags ARE rags and burn them when done. They will burn vigorously so outdoors…

            1. IIRC the water isn’t to wash out the linseed oil (or other things like oil-based stains), it’s to keep them cool while the oil cures exothermically.

              1. Yes. The other approach is to put them in a small, airtight (more or less) container. Glass jars in a pinch, though small galvanized garbage cans would work. 1 gallon metal paint cans are too rare, so haven’t tried them. OTOH, if there’s a fire going in the stove, I’ll light it off. The main restriction is nothing corrosive or absurdly toxic.

                Summertime, it’s quite dangerous to burn anything outside, no to mention violating a slew of laws and regulations. We had a front row seat for a 400,000+ acre fire last year, and no desire to emulate it.

                1. Summertime, it’s quite dangerous to burn anything outside, no to mention violating a slew of laws and regulations. We had a front row seat for a 400,000+ acre fire last year, and no desire to emulate it.

                  Ditto. Even here in the Willamette Valley.

                  2020 was bad enough for “can’t get over the east mountains from here” with a good portion of the passes closed due to wildfire. While 2021 wasn’t quite as bad, it was bad enough. North Umpqua got hit again, and South Umpqua got hit really bad in 2021 east of Tiller. Followed both because North Umqpqua they were talking about campgrounds frequented every weekend spring and summer between infant and left for college. South Umpqua because I worked the Tiller district for 3 seasons. This doesn’t count the fires that shutdown Sequoia NP, etc. Both summers made me remember summers growing up when field and slash burning were still allowed, and before tightly regulated.

    4. Does it help any to know that I’d probably have bought into the idea that Putin was trying to strengthen Christianity if we hadn’t had a couple of very, very bad trolls show up over at The American Catholic?

      Donald is a history nut, so he pointed out a lot of the strings…..

      1. Yeah, Putin’s about as far from “strengthening Christianity” as you can get. He uses the Russian Orthodox church in Russia as a patsy to find dissenters just like the KGB did. The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia still owes its continued existence to the beneficence of the state.

        1. It’s the same tactic that Hitler used in Germany, and that all of us know from public life– the faiths are allowed as long as they’re useful for the leadership, and don’t get in the way of CurrentPoliticalUse.


    5. >> “Nothing life-threatening, but hoo boy. I stepped in it.”

      Heh. If you want to make yourself feel better about it, go check in on The-Blogger-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. If he were cheerleading for Putin any harder he’d need pom-poms and a skirt.

        1. >> “Yeah, but he might be obliged to. ”

          I don’t see why, though. He lives in Italy, not Russia, so why would he be beholden to Putin? Did he take favors from the wrong people or something?

          1. :points at last roughly century of Soviet manipulation stuff:

            There’s lots of ways to screw with people, although “physically living in Russia” is the biggest Stupid Move, right up on par with hooking up with the cute chick who is unaccountably attracted to you at the Crescent and Hammered bar.

            1. I honestly don’t think Blasphemous Pseudonym (trust me, dude, that is not who you are the Voice Of) required any manipulation. He fancies himself a blood-and-soil nationalist warrior, and just naturally creams himself at the sight of an organic potato like Putin.

              1. I got a bad mind-taste off of him, to no benefit, so never did a deep dive of any sort– but I’ve seen the sort you describe, and it’s depressing likely.

                1. His blog is occasionally useful, and he seems to know what he’s doing when it comes to running a publishing business.

                  But for the most part I agree. When he talks politics and religion I tend to gloss right over it.

                  1. “Occasionally useful” is the key for me. I’ll skim it; the Xi cheerleading and the boomer hate are tiresome at best.

                    “Show me. Where did the bad boomer touch your psyche?”

                    1. Agreed.

                      Oh, and I’m just remembering: didn’t Sarah say something about him getting his followers to threaten her at one point? No wonder Fox gets a bad “mind-taste” from him (although what Fox was doing licking his mind in the first place I’d rather not know).

            2. On a separate note: “hammered” is a great word to work into the name of a bar. Finding a chance to steal that just went on my bucket list. 😉

          2. I have it on indisputable authority he doesn’t live in Italy. My source had promised not to say where he lived. His publisher is in Finland…. He is beyond the risk of extradition. I can do math when the numbers are six feet tall and neon

              1. He got mad at me when I pointed out that, if you’re cribbing off Aquinas, your Latin is going to sound different than your Byzantine-analog-influenced character from-a-different-analog-historical-period should sound. (I mean, there’s nothing wrong with cribbing off Aquinas, per se, especially when you’re doing it openly. But he didn’t have a fictional character to be Aquinas and use language in that way.)

                People tend to believe all that BS about how “Latin doesn’t change.” But they only believe it until they have to translate a wide sampling of authors from different periods, writing in different genres.

                Shrug. A very hot and cold individual, largely irrelevant to the larger discussion at present; but the publishing business seems to be going well on the comics side.

      1. Yeah that wackadoodle has been off the charts for Russia/Putin for a long time. He is a VERY weird dude gave up reading him long ago as he went from amusing nutcase to just plain nutcase back late 2019.

      2. I’d ask who The-Blogger-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is, but since he/she/it/zhey can’t be named, I won’t bother and do my own investigation instead.

        1. Same effect that writing the phrase “Ron Paul” use to get– if you type his name the searches pick it up and the fanboys aren’t even enjoyable.

          Rhymes with the first half of my ‘nym, and second half rhymes with May.

  12. As far as not being able to win WWII without the USSR goes (sliiiiiiightly more knowledgeable here thanks to a minor obsession with WWII in my youth), the prevailing theory was that if the USSR fell or dropped out of the war, then all of the Axis forces that had been on the Eastern Front would’ve been transferred to the Western Front and fought against the Western Allies. And my understanding was that Hitler had committed the majority of his forces, including the majority of his “elite” units, to the Eastern Front.

    Now, knowing what we know now about the REAL state of the German Military (vs. the mythical “Best Most Technologically Advanced Force with The Best Generals that only lost because Hitler Was An Idiot” force that the former Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe officers created and perpetuated immediately after the war to make themselves look good), my personal opinion is that we could have and would have the war without the USSR… but it would have taken far longer and the Western Allies would have taken tens of thousands (minimum) more casualties.

    1. Yeah, Hitler had committed far more troops east than west or south (Italy). The sheer numbers involved on the Ostfront dwarfed the numbers in the west. I think we would have eventually won as well…but it might have involved nukes being dropped on Berlin and Frankfurt instead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since we were (allegedly) commited to a “Germany First” strategy, I expect Little Boy and Fat Man and the Silverplate B-29s to drop them would have ended up in the UK instead of Tinian. Interesting to imagine where that would have left us against Japan, though.

    2. The Reader agrees with you about the additional casualties. However, if the war in Europe was still on in August 1945 it would have ended with a couple of blinding flashes. We’d have waited to nuke Japan.

    3. Not more than a year longer, I suspect, given the nuclear bomb, but yes, the casualties from another 6-8 months in Europe would have been horrendous. Germany definitely gets nuked first. If Japan wouldn’t surrender after Germany got nuked, there might be even more casualties from another few months of conventional war against Japan until nuclear bomb production caught up and Japan could be nuked.

      1. Once the US knew that the atomic bomb worked there would have been no need to continue with invasion planning or further island landings. Naval blockade, mines and bombing would have kept Japan in check for a few months in 1945.

        1. I think you’re right that further major landings would have been avoided, but blockade and mining operations were subject to kamikaze strikes, and Allied forces were engaged with Japanese forces at several points throughout Asia. I suspect that the Japanese would have inflicted thousands of additional casualties on Allied forces, to say nothing of continued Japanese depredations against conquered civilians and possibly against Allied POWs.

            1. Thanks. I didn’t realize they used air-dropped mines, and figured they’d employed navy minelayers. Very interesting.

              1. Yes, but you were quite right about the casualties. People seem to forget(when they claim we shouldn’t have nuked Japan) is that several thousand allied troops died daily in the Pacific/Chinese theater just from wartime conditions. Not including the casualties from attrition in places like Burma. And this says nothing about civilian casualties. The longer the war dragged on, the more people died even without major campaigns.

        2. Not island landings. But there had been discussions earlier about a landing in Occupied China. This might have happened if the war had dragged on.

        1. The deaths from the Holodomor and the collectivization of Khazak farming happened before WWII (roughly 1931-1934, IIRC), so a prolonged WWII wouldn’t impact that.

          1. ’31-’35. Stalin wasn’t to blame for the drought in European Russia, but he sure didn’t help matters. He also gets no credit for the return of the rain.

            1. Yeah, but Stalin (and Molotov, and Beria, etc.) was to blame for thinking he could use the same kind of wheat in every area of the USSR. Heck, I seriously doubt you can grow the same kind of rosebush in every growing zone of the USSR, much less wheat.

              And they mostly got rid of the old strains that did grow, instead of breeding better wheat for each area, like sane people.

              1. They bought into Lysenko’s pseudoscience, too, which was part of the problem.

                1. Totalitarian regimes may have a tendency towards excessive trust in internally generated pseudo-science.

                  Admitting to central leadership screw ups is a no no.

                  Research that the central leadership decides to fund must always be the best research.

                  Prestige research areas may be almost certain to become choked with nonsense.

                  1. Later Eastern Bloc leaders appear to have realized some of that, or at least that Western scientists might discover things theirs didn’t, hence the number of their scientists who were usually here to “cooperate” with their Western peers (i.e. siphon Western discoveries back to the Eastern Bloc). Their scientists were almost universally happy to get such assignments, because they got to live decent lives in the West for the duration of their assignments.

                    On a summer job, my dad encountered a few Soviet physicists and talked with them, and though they wouldn’t dare speak about politics their description of daily life in Russia and their standard of living was enough to convince him that Communism was a really bad idea. A family friend basically grew up in the US because his father was a Romanian scientists who kept finding Western research opportunities to “cooperate” on to justify extensions of his assignment until Ceausescu met his end.

                    1. There are a lot of similarities. The main difference I can see is that under Stalin biological determinism was completely and consistently rejected, whereas under the bootheel of the Biden* Regime it is inconsistent.

            1. Indeed. The bulk of the deaths under Stalin occurred before and during WW2, but it wasn’t exactly sweetness and light in USSR after. There was the Soviet re-conquest/pacification of the Ukraine, similar operations against prominent non-Communist figures and organizations throughout Eastern Europe, disabled Soviet veterans who were made to disappear, and the normal deaths of supposed dissidents under any authoritarian regime like Stalin’s. Many of the German POWs who were kept as forced labor for the decade following the war were worked to death and never made it home. There’s probably other stuff I’m forgetting or just not aware of.

              1. My stepfather was Ukrainian, captured by the Germans, and survived slave labor on a farm. If he’d gone back, he would have been killed off as a “traitor” because he surrendered. So, he made it to America.

                1. Thank you for reminding me of another three groups of Soviet soldiers that I’d forgotten about. Those who’d been captured by the Axis, surrendered to the Axis, or worked closely with the Western Allies were generally either executed or sent to the gulag.

              2. And the permanent destruction of European culture through Agit Prop. They will have to start over at about the 100 year war. Pardon me the bleakness. It happens to be true.

          1. Are you positing a victory by Charles Evan Hughes in 1916, William Howard Taft in 1912, or something else?

      1. That is true.

        On the other hand, we would’ve had more equipment for our own boys and more ships available to send said equipment over to said boys on… but we’d still probably have the same (more or less) number of boys.

        1. Probably.
          It’s impossible to say, but I’m tired of commies running around saying “The USSR actually were the ones who won the war.”
          I think it might have cost less in lives if we’d also cleaned out Russia, but we can’t tell without a world to run the experiment on.

          1. Oh I agree. The USSR didn’t win the war by any metric unless you count who got to Berlin first, and my understanding is that was decided by mutual agreement between the Allies way far in advance.

            Patton was right: we should’ve chased the Russians back to Russia where they belonged.

            1. That would have been the tricky part. The Red Army had something insane like six or seven million men across what would become the Warsaw Pact (the DDR, Baltics, Poland, etc.) in May 1945, maybe more. All the rest of the Allies combined weren’t even close. The British had no stomach for a continuation of the war in Europe and we were turning our eyes toward Japan, which was the more clear and present danger at the time. I know the British mooted a plan to push the USSR out of at least some of the territory they’d occupied (Operation Unthinkable) but it just wasn’t feasible. The Soviets outnumbered the rest of the Allies almost 3:1 in infantry and 1.5:1 in armor. Don’t get me wrong, Patton was right. But even after 25+ million dead the USSR still had so many men under arms the US/UK just didn’t feel they had the strength to push them back. And that’s even with re-arming hundreds of thousands of German POWs.

              1. It would have been massively tricky, not the least of which would have been trying to move into the territory that the Russians had controlled. It didn’t help that wartime propaganda had worked far too well, and trying to explain to people why we were going after our Russian allies would have been strange. Especially if we did it alongside German troops.

                (Also, Patton made a mistake that Sherman never did-American armies were often armies of a season, and that season of war was over.)

          2. In the sense that the USSR ended the war with a lot more territory under its control, while just about everybody else returned to the status quo ante bellum or lost territory, you could say they won the war. In any other sense….

            Without the materiel the US provided, and diversions of forces provided by the Western Allies’ operations in Italy and France, it seems likely the USSR would have been conquered. It is entirely possibly the Western Allies could have defeated the Nazis without the Soviet Union, though at higher cost in lives – the USSR did keep much of the Nazi combat strength on the Eastern Front, rather than available to deal with invasion of France and then into Germany. I think it likely would have slowed the war enough that it ends with the nuclear bombing of Nazi Germany in late summer 1945 rather than a Nazi surrender in early 1945.

        2. And we’d have lost a hell of a lot fewer ships/merchant seamen on the Murmask run…

        3. Here’s an alternate universe idea:
          the places that were “liberated” by the Soviets instead got liberated by someone like England, nevermind the US.

          Be a neat way to teach history, pick a different year for the Soviet empire to fall…..

      2. And fueling. US 100 octane avgas was gold in the USSR. They had *nothing* comparable in performance or consistency. Pour than into an La-5FN and go to town on any German aircraft that got too close until you ran out of bullets and had to head home.

        1. For many years, the standard term for machine lathe in Russian was “Cincinnati”. Just about every lathe in the country came from Cincinnati Milicron, and had Cininnati molded into the frame.

      3. This. Very much. Without the massive amount of aid that was being sent to prop up the Soviets, the Red Army would have been hard-pressed to make it out of the Soviet Union.

    4. The thing that got Stalin butthurt about getting betrayed by Germany was that Stalin had been planning to backstab Hitler, but not for a while yet. Hitler got his backstab done first, that’s all.

    5. The Eastern Front was a meat grinder for both the Axis and the Soviets. Stalingrad cost the Axis an entire army, and effectively knocked the Hungarians out of the war (until the Soviets arrived on their border). The Italians also pulled out of the Soviet front after that disaster, leaving just the Germans and the Romanians (and I’ll note that the Romanians lost a good chunk of their troops as well; the initial Soviet breakthroughs that led to the encirclement of Stalingrad were against the Romanian divisions). Less well-known, but even more important, was Operation Bagration in the Summer of 1944, which led to the annihilation of the German Army Group Center, and the complete collapse of the German lines in central Russia and Ukraine. Minsk had been the ultimate goal of that campaign. But the German defeat was so complete that the front didn’t stabilize until the Soviets stopped at the Vistula (and watched the Warsaw Uprising…).

      So, yeah, without the Eastern Front, the fighting against the Germans likely would have been a lot more difficult and time consuming. The Soviets got rid of a lot of Germans that we would have had to otherwise fight. But also don’t let anyone tell you (as many Russians will) that American contributions weren’t critical. For example, without American trucks, which allowed the troops to keep up with the tanks, Operation Bagration wouldn’t have been the spectacular success that it was.

      On another note loosely related to the topic at hand, there were plans for an American invasion of Southern China, which would have landed troops in a region occupied by the Japanese (probably near Taiwan, iirc). The reason why this didn’t happen is because it got put off temporarily in favor of Europe. After Germany capitulated and the troops were available, Japan capitulated before it could take place. Assuming that the Soviets hadn’t been around to wipe out vast quantities of German units, the war might have lasted long enough for this landing to have taken place.

    6. The German army was an exceptionally good (i.e. skilled) army by the middle of the war, if only because they had been in so many crucibles that they couldn’t have been anything else and were still fighting.

      Tactically and operationally, they were good-to-great. Their biggest problems were ones that could be solved with good strategic-level leadership and ones that couldn’t be solved because their leadership at the strategic and political level was a phenomenal pack of idiots.

      The German military had no real, true over-arching strategic-level goals that could be reasonably fulfilled. There were several quotes by Rommel-if I recall-that with slightly more resources, he could truly cut off the Suez Canal from the British, gain control of the Arabian oil fields and that would do more damage than anything other than the U-Boat campaign to harm British interests. And, do so more easily than trying to take the Urals from the Russians.

      The Nazi policy of “Darwinian selection” meant that just about every level of Nazi authority was fighting for what it could get-and those fights got in the way of getting anything done. And often caused dangerous levels of duplication and poor policy planning. Or poor development work in a number of places.

      It didn’t help that Germany also had the single worst strategic-level leader in the entire Second World War, with only Tojo and Mussolini tied for second place. (It’s scary to realize what an AH would look like if Hitler was to choke on a carrot sometime in ’40-41, Goering got off enough of the drugs he took so that he was coherent, and managed to even slightly reorganize things. It would have made for a much worse world, in a lot of ways.)

      And, you got this continual feeling that for some reason, God hates Germany and clearly wants to make it suffer fully and completely, a’la the Book of Job but without that whole reward for good behavior thing.

      1. >> “And, you got this continual feeling that for some reason, God hates Germany and clearly wants to make it suffer fully and completely”

        So, Germany is God’s chew toy?

          1. >> “Authors always torture the ones they love.”

            Oh, is THAT why we torture each other with bad puns around here.

      2. “Tactically and operationally, they were good-to-great. ”

        They did have one glaring operational / strategic weakness: the German Generals were European and fully subscribed to “200 miles is a long way.” All their logistics and equipment were designed to handle Western European distances and logistics. Thus, the Luftwaffe didn’t have strategic bombers or long range escorts because all their targets were reachable with a 300 mile range, Their field repair facilities stopped at just above the oil change level because anything that required major work could be loaded on a train and sent back to the factory for maintenance, etc. And most of their opponents had the same mindset, the exceptions being Britain (because Empire) and America (because “sea to shining sea”).

        1. Yes, that’s one of the biggest issues and flaws, and that hampered a lot of their higher-level operational and strategic-level thinking. From interlaced road wheels on many of their tanks (which required multiple ones to be removed to repair/replace damaged ones) to a “strike and besiege as supplies are brought up” mentality for their logistics forces. It didn’t help that they had too much hardware that the only way it could be fixed was to send it back to the factory.

          We can even see that in the Russian invasion of the Ukraine right now-their logistics troops and a lot of their support equipment has suffered many catastrophic failures, from losing multiple tires on a single vehicle due to poor maintenance to equipment being abandoned-almost always the rest of it in good use-because something in the drive train broke down and there aren’t enough engineering units to either repair or pull the unit back to a depot.

        2. Millions of people in the U.S. owned cars. Knew how to fix them, even if the exact right parts weren’t available. Huge number of amateur car racers built their own cars using mismatched parts from different manufacturers. Lots of them wound up in the Army.

          In Europe, cars were for the rich. They didn’t work on their own cars, and they didn’t wind up in the armies anyway. The troops hardly knew anything about mechanical repair and maintenance.

          European troops: “It’s broke down. What do we do?”

          U.S. troops: “It’s broke down. Let’s take it apart and fix it.”
          People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

          1. Heck, there were guys who spent years driving around on motorcycles doing odd jobs. (my grandfather among them)

            There was a LOT of “figure out how to make things work” baked into the Army.

            1. There still is. A lot of problems got solved by some very frustrated grunts on the sharp end long before the “official” kits got to them. One of them was issues with the hedgerows in Normandy boxing tanks in, and before an official toolset was developed, a bunch of frustrated NCOs and junior officers built their own.

              1. That one dude in the Pacific who repurposed an aircraft machine gun set, from a destroyed plane, to be his personal mobile armament set. It must have looked ridiculous, but he did a lot of damage to the enemy.

                  1. BIG error in the article, though. The AN/M2 Browning machine gun is .50 caliber. The M1919 Browning used in the second or third Bronson ‘Death Wish’ movie is .30 caliber.

                1. Exactly! This is American problem solving in a nutshell. No six months of committee meetings, just pull a MG from a damaged plane, put some sights and a trigger on it, and go to town.

    7. My feeling is the same. Things would have been far dicier (e.g Overlord would have gone to near thing in our favor to likely failure unless delayed further), but ultimately Nazi Germany was logistically screwed. One thing to note is without MASSIVE Lend lease the USSR would have been far less efficient than they were (which is saying something). The import of Deuce and a quarters (mostly ones manufactured primarily by Studebaker) let them focus their limited output on tanks, aircraft and munitions. Without the supply provided by the trucks their long supply lines would have been untenable.

      1. Speaking of trucks, I’ve noticed a few photos/videos from the last couple days of what are obviously commandeered civilian trucks in Russian convoys. This isn’t “woo! Putin is losing!” but it does not speak well to Russian logistical competence, and/or competence at defending their existing truck park.

      2. So, without U.S. trucks the Russians would have had a much harder time moving their army through Eastern Europe. They still could have beaten the Germans at Kursk, but couldn’t have chased them back to Germany. We wouldn’t have had to split Germany with them, and they’d have had a harder time subjugating Eastern Europe. The Cold War would have been very different.

        1. Definitely Eastern Europe would be harder. But I think even Kursk (and Stalingrad and the defense of Moscow) would have been far less likely to succeed without the ability to move food, ammunition and other logistical needs at a fair pace

        2. Without US trucks, they wouldn’t have been able to build all those T34’s they threw at the Germans.

      3. Germany was always going to be screwed. Bluntly put, they didn’t have the numbers to really occupy and control any of the territory they had after Poland and France. Even those were “near run things” with a French puppet regime controlling most of France itself. And, they didn’t have the ability to really challenge the British navy beyond the Baltic and wouldn’t for years.

        And…once again the whole “social Darwinism” thing happened in the Nazi power structure hits again as well.

  13. I think you can define generations by two things. First, the music. Second, the tragedy. What awful event happened that everyone remembers in your generation? Here’s my thoughts.

    Boomers loved the Beatles and their tragedy was JFK’s assassination.
    Gen-X listened to MTV. (We waited all day with the TV on until “Thriller” played.) Our tragedy was the Challenger explosion on live tv.
    Millennials listened to X-box GarageBand. My son was playing air guitar to oldies like “Cherry Bomb” instead of listening to whatever garbage the studios were putting out. And their tragedy was 9-11.
    Gen-Z: Do they even have their own music? Their tragedy was the Great Pandemic Panic.

    1. Gen-Z: Do they even have their own music?

      Yes. Streaming services mean the back catalogs are a free for all, so the Gen-Z music is Video Games, EDM, and all the good stuff from the past.

      (and the first and last of those have considerable overlap)

      1. Did you know there’s a micro-genre called electric swing? I do now—and oddly enough, not because of the kids’ video games.

        But I did find out about musical artists like DJVI because of the kids…

        1. I like electric swing. It’s perfect walking music because of the really strong beat and once upon a time I could lindy hop.

          1. The funniest part is that I found it because of that cat drinking loop that got turned into a swing epic by a chain of musicians. Electric swing is the suggestion that came up from that.

                1. Neat! Not into the olde-tyme music style (sorry, Orvan), but it’s very cool how the internet can facilitate things like that.

                  Thanks for the link.

                    1. Heh. In fairness I’m old enough to favor mostly 80’s and some 90’s stuff, so I’m sure many in the younger crowd feel the same way about my taste in music as I feel about yours. To each his own. 😉

    2. I think bonnieramthun has the right of it. What defines a generation is shared experiences, particularly experienced as a youth/ young adult. The greatest Generation had the crash and the great depression. My parents generation had Pearl Harbor and WWII. The Baby Boom had Duck and Cover/ The Missile Crisis and JFK’s assassination, I think there’s a generation between Boomers and GENX that I fall into (and our Hostess perhaps?) that has the 1968 assassinations of RFK and MLK )and the tensions from that) followed by the Moon Landing and Watergate. my generations stuff is more US related from my view. There is music and media that is unique to each, though that is slowly shifting as stuff is constantly available.

  14. I’ve never been of the opinion that any Western power should send its military to Ukraine. I do, however, heartily approve of the idea of sending lots and lots of rifles and ammunition, and the kinds of materiel that will help the (Ukrainian) operators thereof stay alive, warm, and fed. Forty million Ukrainians armed for resistance easily trump a few hundred thousand Russian conscripts led by Cold War relics.

    Fortunately, this is already being done on a considerable scale, and miracle of miracles, mostly by Europeans. The Germans have rediscovered their spine, and the Poles, who never lacked a spine, know that they are the next target. I hope it is enough to stem the tide.

    1. As someone else said in the comments yesterday, all those billions of dollars of surplus we left behind in Afghanistan would sure be handy right now.

    2. I have no problem whatsoever with sending Americans to Ukraine to fight the Russians. Indeed we should send the following:

      Everybody involved in perpetrating the Russiagate hoax, from Hillary Clinton down to the FBI lawyer that fabricated the Carter Page document for the FISA court. Including media mouthpieces like Tater Steltzer, Joe Scarborough and the entire cast of “The View.”

      Everybody involved in the fraudulent Russiagate investigation, from Bob Mueller and James Comey right down to the judge that persecuted Gen. Michael Flynn.

      Everybody involved in perpetrating the fraudulent Trump impeachments, from congressional gasbags like Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, to the staffers of our embassy to Ukraine like Fiona Hill (who used their position to not only undermine Trump and cover for Joe and Hunter Biden, but also actively spied on opposition-party media figures and politicians).

      And especially send that mutinous prick Alexander Vindman. Indeed, he should be the first one dispatched. Possibly in every sense of the word.

      You can also send all of the congressional spawn that profited from Ukrainian graft, with names like Pelosi and Romney and Biden. (Well, maybe not Hunter Biden. It’s generally not a good idea to give guns to crackheads, and Hunter is on record as already having lost a gun.)

      Lindsey Graham is blathering about assassinating Vladimir Putin. OK, Miss Lindsey, here’s a bespoke Savile Row suit, a Walther PPK with silencer and Berns-Martin shoulder holster, and a ticket to Moscow. Good luck.

      Putin is not the only villain here. Our political class looted Ukraine; used Ukraine as a proxy against their enemies foreign and domestic, slow-walked the weapons they needed for their defense against Russia, and then tried to walk away from the Ukrainian war they helped start.

      By all means, hand each of them a rifle, a couple boxes of shells apiece, and send them to the lines outside Kiev. Kyiv. Whatever. If nothing else, they’ll draw some of the fire away from the people they’ve been using as catspaws and money-launderers.

      1. Can we send Code Pink to Moscow to protest? that would make my day. I could even tolerate Code Pink as Martyrs 🙂

      2. No, we don’t want to send that many useless mouths for the Ukrainians to have to feed (even temporarily).

        If you really want to help Ukraine, round up all the idiots you just mentioned and send them to Russia. They are a danger only to their own side.

    3. Having just read Trent Telenko’s article at Chicago Boyz, it begins to look like the Rus are engaging in a kinetic re-armament of Ukraine.

  15. “Third-way” (socialism)

    That is like saying “better with a little Gangrene”.

  16. I don’t know anyone in my age cohort who is soft on Communism who isn’t an academic. But, many of my friends in my age range are also former milbrats whose fathers were career military. So we knew the nature of the beast. Civilians? I have civilian friends who aren’t soft on communism either. Now, I don’t get worked up about Italian communism as it’s little c communism and has a hard time organizing a bake sale, but Russia and China? NFW.

    1. Italian communism is a corruption on everything the country is and thinks. It controls academia, same as here. So it’s the default “intelligent person” position.
      Marxism, in any form and everywhere is a macrophage eating civilization from the inside.

    2. Didn’t the Italian Communists organize stuffing the COVID-afflicted into nursing homes, thus increasing the death toll? Just like Cuomo? Wait, he’s an Italian-American Communist, so makes sense.

  17. I was born in ’59. Socially, mentally, philosophically, I don’t really fix in either generational category. I’m a very square peg surrounded by round holes.

    1. ’61 Mike, I concur. Not really a boomer, not really a Gen-x. In an earlier post I had said our big memories are Moon Landing, Watergate, and perhaps the summer of ’68 with the reults from the MLK and RFK assassinations. Any thoughts?

  18. Nobody has mentioned it, but I HIGHLY recommend Sean McMeekin’s book,”Stalin’s War”. It will shock you…and infuriate you as well. Short form:

    1. The Soviets were every bit as much guilty of starting the Second World War as the Germans. Stalin was bullying and grabbing land from Romania and Finland before the shooting started…then he seized a third of Poland and all of the Baltic States.

    2. Lend-lease support of the Red Army was 10-12% of TOTAL U.S. GDP during the war. Thousands of tanks. Tens of thousands of aircraft. 200,000 2.5 ton trucks. Plus more support from Canada (like the entire production run of Mk VIII Valentine tanks) and the UK…and WE had to get the stuff to them (meaning a hell of a lot of American, British, and Canadian sailors dying on those convoys to Murmansk).

    3. It’s likely that we could have invaded France in 1943…except that the hardware we needed to do it was given to Stalin for the Battle of Kursk.

    4. Stalin had the regime of Fascist Franklin Roosevelt thoroughly penetrated. Both with fellow-travelers and outright Soviet spies. It didn’t help that FDR was playing Old School Tie to staff his administration, shunting the experienced State Department Russia hands aside.

    Good book. Infuriating. Highly recommended.

    1. Re your point 3. Among the things we didn’t Lend Lease to Stalin were landing craft. In 1943 we barely had enough in the European Theater to manage the invasion of Italy. We could not have managed the English Channel with enough shipping and landing craft to support anything like Overlord in 1943. We would have had tanks and trucks but no way to get them to the continent.

      1. On the other hand, without having to provide an army’s worth of hardware to Stalin, I suspect the resources might have been found to build more landing craft. It’s debatable…but the fact that the war effort of the Western Allies was significantly hampered by the resources going to prop up the Soviets cannot be disputed.

        1. The efforts devoted to convoying that materiel to Russia were also substantial.

          1. THIS!!! losses on Murmansk run were huge until we finally covered the atlantic gap in like ’43

            1. It may be fiction, but from what I’ve read of the history, Alistair MacLean’s “H.M.S. Ulysses” captured the grueling nature of those costly missions.

    2. I’ve not read that book but am intrigued. I enjoyed McMeekin’s book on Russian involvement in starting WWI, but I’ve seen so many denounce it because they refuse to accept that any country but Germany (and maybe Austria-Hungary, if you push them hard enough) bore any responsibility.

      1. I’m reading that one now. My own opinion has long been that ALL the major European powers have a share of blame for starting that one…but the Communists circling like sharks turned it into a bloodbath. Nobody was willing to pay the domestic political price of asking for a peace. Especially with the Germans ahead on points until 1918.

      2. I like all of McMeekin’s work. He challenges you to defend the traditional story. Even if someone is able to poke holes in his thesis, he’s pushed research and forced people to return to the sources. Historians like that are worth more than their weight in gold.

    3. Your timing is off on your first point. The invasion of Poland was *first*, in September 1939. The Winter War was next, also in 1939. I believe the Baltics were next, in 1940, with the bloodless seizure of Besserabia from Romania later in the year.

      As for #3, it wouldn’t have happened. We didn’t have enough know-how at the time. The Dieppe Raid was in 1943, and lessons learned during that mess helped make the Normandy Landings the success that they were.

      In fairness, on point #2, the Soviets contributed a *lot* of warm bodies to the war effort. And a lot of those warm bodies were cold before the end. Now having said that, I have no patience for anyone (usually Russians online) who trivialize the American contributions to the War. In particular, those who mock the M4 Medium Tank, aka Sherman, get directed to a book written by the Soviet tanker Victor Loza, who drove a Lend-Lease Sherman throughout much of the War, and very much appreciated both the tank, and the quality of the work that had gone into it. There used to be an English translation of his book on-line, and it’s an enjoyable read, imo.

      1. Dieppe Raid was actually August, 1942. A lot of Canadians are still sore about being used for cannon fodder on that occasion.

        If the materials used to build transport ships for the Murmansk run had been used instead for landing craft, the Normandy invasion could very well have been moved up to 1943.

  19. And FWIW, even a Star Trek without money (ha!) would have history books! Which would describe money…so you have your matter-maker manufacture a few pounds of gold, which you trade for local currency.

      1. Nanoforges. Molecular assembly devices that build whatever you want atom by atom. All you need are a pattern, the proper elements, and energy.

        They can create alloys and composite materials that can’t be formed through bulk thermal processes — that is, by just mixing stuff together and heating it up.
        The original builders had been sufficiently alien that their rubble couldn’t even lie in a heap right.

      2. I’m playing with an SF story set in a universe that has Universal Fabricators. They can make almost anything. Damned expensive things, though. A colony might have one or two, you use them to make the tools you need to make other tools.

        1. Sort of like how people saved metals for special-use things for a long time, and stuck with stone and wood for every-day tools. Then they did the same thing with iron for special tools and bronzes for the every-day stuff. Bugged the heck out of archaeologists until they realized what the combination really meant. *evil kitty snicker*

          1. How long before we get a generation that does weird stuff JUST to punk future archeologists?

            1. And are we sure our ancestors didn’t?
              I figure if my remains survive, and if I have the funeral I want, I’ll be known as “The crazy cat lady” in some museum exhibit in the future. I want the cat urns to go into the coffin with me.

              1. I want the cat urns to go into the coffin with me.

                Not the only one.

                Cat and dog urns.

                If I could, I’d go dig up the dog remains from two other locations, and have the bones cremated. At the time cremation was just too expensive, and we had acreages to bury them. Property no longer in family hands.

                Current cat remains that have been buried over the last 43 years (excluding the last two who died who were cremated instead) are buried in the current back yard. Archeology dig to recover and cremate, after hubby passes. If we move he won’t let me. After all their bones aren’t them. Hubby isn’t wrong, but … OTOH not sure how much is left of bones after 6 to 30 years in our very wet alluvial Willamette valley soil.

              2. >> “And are we sure our ancestors didn’t?”

                That occurred to me, but I figured most people in in most prior generations lived too close to the bone to have time for such pranks. If we’re talking about a cultural phenomenon rather than the occasional rich oddball, this strikes me more as something modern/future generations would get up to.

                1. Granted fiction. But in the newest Outlander book, one iron item is offered up for under the new hearth stone for a house in N. Carolina in the 1780’s … A Sears Craftsman Chisel. Won’t that make heads scratching 200+ years in the future, a foundation “known” to be from the 1790’s.

        2. Why? A nanoforge, or a Universal Fabricator, is just a specific arrangement of atoms. One nanoforge can build another nanoforge, and another, until you run out of raw materials or energy. It’s one case where a copy of a copy of a copy is not inferior to the original because they’re all built from the same data set.

          In a story I’m writing, millions of nanofabricated industrial diamonds are identical down to the last atom because it’s actually simpler to make them that way. Variations would have to be programmed into the nano-assemblers.
          Edna Mode: “No capes!!”

          1. Because the gadget I have in mind can’t replicate everything. It’s VERY capable, but there are special components that require specialized tooling. It’s not a critical plot point. But it does fit in with the fact that the great fortunes from the Gold Rush weren’t made by the miners, but by the people who supplied the miners.

      3. If I ever get the RTS isekei novel idea off the ground, that’s what printers are for.

        They’re great for general purpose manufacturing, but a well-designed production line is going to beat the hell out of a large number of printers doing general printing work at a large enough scale. And, that large enough scale is pretty easy to hit if you have enough printers to create the specialized fabrication machines, and you have smelters bringing in the raw materials you need in enough quantity. Really, it’s all about industrial engineering at a certain scale.

        (There’s more than one reason why every starship lifeboat has two printer/smelter assemblies, and fifty-two Constructed Personas in storage. Given enough time, a single person can build a small colony society on a planet, sustainably, and have enough genetic variation to avoid bottlenecks. Even if you’re willing to throw away sleeving rules on double sleeving…)

      4. Schlock Mercenary had devices called fabbers that could build quite a few things. They were sought after by mercenary units since it allowed them to build new gear, ammunition, even vehicles and spacecraft if they had the right one.

      5. I’ve heard 3D printers (falsely) described as “Santa Claus” Machines. Not hardly. The “Santa Claus Machine” I first heard about required a working fusion power source – as not only a source of truly cheap power, but also crazy amounts of heat. AND then maybe also nanobots.

        The power & heat used to run ‘garbage’ through a mass spectrometer (element or even isotope separator) and then the nanos programmed by external computer to take the atoms of the just ‘refined’ elements and arrange them from “what you go” into “what you want.”

        1. I remember some people thinking that 3D printers would essentially make you an economy unto yourself, eliminating the need to trade with others at all.

          Well, no. You still need electricity to run it and raw materials packaged in a form the printer can use. Good luck picking that stuff off a bush in your backyard…

          1. technically? solar power, and using plant-based filament, growing all the plants yourself, etc… but you’d need to be able to 3d print replacement parts for your tractor 😛

  20. “You know the drill. Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. And prepare, prepare, prepare.”
    Survival and Austere Medicine

    Click to access 3b311a_6ef34fffc73447ce9a4d25a4d441b662.pdf

    Save Lives Save Limbs

    Click to access Save-Lives-Save-Limbs-Internet-2.compressed.pdf

    War Surgery

    Nuclear War Survival Skills

    Jennifer Rader has two prep books available on Kindle Unlimited and a blog https://prepschooldaily.blogspot.com/ which is the result of her decades of experience with LDS preps as a beginning basis. Her blog covers medicine and food storage primarily. She is the only woman I have read who writes about infant potty training from her own experience. [Laundry in Armageddon—Reducing the Load as Much as Possible Thursday, February 10, 2022] Her experiences inform in ways only experience can.

  21. N.B. I give up comments etc except for work and prayers for Lent (I know, I know. It snuck up on me. We got the last bit of carpet down today, so it’s been my Fat Tuesday). See you at Easter.

  22. File under “Ukraine is winning the meme war”: The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, 1891/2022


      1. @ balzacq > Totally love that meme!
        I already knew the backstory, which is fantastic on its own account.
        For some reason, Zaphod was going on about the Cossacks over at Neo’s place last year.

        1. “the enemy of your enemy is your enemy’s enemy, no more, no less. Unless they share your principles, and your honor, they are in fact more dangerous to you than an honest enemy.”

          Thank you for saying this. Too many people are into realpolitik and can’t handle morality these days.

    1. People who have been touting East Tennessee as a refuge might better look around.

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