One Step

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

It is important not to attribute magical powers to the other side.

Yes, they do have plans, and they post them quite blatantly.

Part of this is to convince themselves and those on their side that everything is going fine. Look, there’s a plan!

The other part is that, as always, they’ve been so profoundly indoctrinated into their one-end-of-history paradise, that they think if you oppose them it’s simply because you have failed to be properly informed. Think about their war cry “Educate yourself.” Because if you only educate yourself, of course you’ll agree with them. (When in fact, to dissent from the “truths” proclaimed by the media-industrial complex requires quite extensive research and self-education, because it’s a hard step to take (agreeing with the mob is always easiest.))

Also think of what happens when they lose? Granted our side tends to go “I guess the people want stupidity now” which is…. stupid, particularly when we know the massive margin of fraud. But their side just goes “We need to explain to them better. The people are so dumb. We must educate them.”

Always with the assumption that if we only knew their full plan we would of course love it. Hence “You’ll own nothing and be happy” because they — rightly in this case — think “you’ll own nothing” and can’t make the leap to “and be happy.” So they have to tell us we’ll be happy. Everything we want or need will be provided by the kindness and care of supreme government. Why don’t we love that. (Mostly because if the government gives you everything it can take everything away, and that we’ve all grown up since kindergarten and want to take care of ourselves, than you so much. But they can’t imagine not trusting government see. Remember the creepy DNC interviewee? “We all have to belong to something, so we belong to the government.”)

Yes, they are quite amazingly good at breaking everything, but that’s not because they have a plan. It’s because we fail to act as they would/as they expect, and so they try to herd us towards it, one step at a time. And they never think further than that one step, because they know they’re smart and we’re dumb, see? If we were smart we’d be on their side, after all. All the smart people are!

And lately it’s all been blowing up in their faces, and they’re trying to figure out why, and of course it can’t be their fault, so they keep getting more and more outrageous.

Take the covidiocy and lockdowns. I’m not sure — precisely — what it was supposed to lead to, precisely. I think they honestly locked us down simply to ruin the economy and mess with the election. Remember that they were “praying” for a recession and trying to figure a way to smash the economy in late 2019. So, the one step thinking (Two, because the middle one is underwear gnomes) was: Release a virus — ???? — ruin the economy.

When people started protesting the endless two weeks, they were surprised. SURPRISED! And started cracking down and hitting us with more panic porn, because, d*mn it, if we weren’t going to vote their way, they had to keep us locked down till November, so they could fully establish the…. what was it Zhoe Bai-Den called it? “The most extensive network of fraud”? Something like that.

At the same time, the destruction of our inner cities with the effective removal of all vagrancy — and pooping or doing drugs in public — laws had already started, but at least in Denver they saw a golden opportunity and allowed the homeless to camp on sidewalks, while the tax payers were locked up.

I’m not sure this was even one step thinking so much as a result of two basic assumptions: “The bourgeois must be afflicted. Only that way will they care about the homeless” and “We’re kind.”

It never occurred to them — ever — that the ability to telecommute plus the profoundly unpleasant urban environments would contribute to an exodus from the cities.

Now they are trying — oh, so belatedly — to clean up the cities (Or at least Newsom, but as usual with a creepy overreach that will allow him to use mental hospitals for dissidents, as the USSR did) and begging people to come back.

Mind you the ability to telecommute has been there for 20 years, but management wouldn’t allow it. Now — well, as a friend said “Today was our third “you absolutely must come back and work in the office.” I think one person did.”

Managers and gregarious people absolutely want everyone back, but you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. A lot of people like myself — and at this point most of my friends — have taken themselves off to more rural and congenial pastures. (I’ll confess it’s also because we see what is coming, so we want to be near where the food grows.)

Which brings us to the next instance of one step thinking.

This is even more underwear gnomish. Gas prices. First of all they’re sure that we can stand much higher gas prices, because Europe has had them for years. Because, you know, we’re exactly the same as a scrap quilt of countries where to swing a cat you have to get it a passport. Second, they think it will curb pleasure travel. Since apparently making air travel even more unpleasant only caused the deplorable masses to drive everywhere. It never occurs to them the most important use of gas in the US is not even close to being people driving around in their cars. Just like it doesn’t occur to them that most people can’t afford and wouldn’t want electric or hybrid cars. But the most important use of gas is to transport goods, many of them essential, across our continent-sized nation. Well, that and to power our mechanized agriculture, so there’s food to transport.

You see, they only use power to drive around, so it must be what everyone uses it for. So, get an electric car, peasant. Or walk, fat. (Oh, yeah, they also almost all live in urban environments, where walking or biking, or renting one of those insufferable by-the-hour toy cars is an option.)

But now I’ve already heard the gloating, even while they’re begging people to come back to semi-abandoned, lawless cities. “With gas being so expensive, living in the city will be popular again.”

Care to lay a small bet, lefty one-step thinkers? I bet it won’t. You can’t squeeze that paste back into the tube. It’s going to go all over you.

You’re just going to encourage more remote work, and further fleeing to places where food and essential goods still reach. You’re also going to achieve making everyone — everyone — aware of your failures and stupidity.

And that’s how things blow up in your face.

So, guys, as I said before, if one of their five year plans ever works, it will be the first since…. ever.

When they had control of all the means of communication, they could erase their failures, rewrite them as “we meant to do that” and stigmatize anyone who pointed to the true as a crackpot.

That toothpaste is out of the tube, too.

Now all they have is panicked toddlers in charge of a complex mechanism, madly pushing buttons trying to get the desired solution.

And it’s not working — of course.

Yes, it’s destroying everything. It’s going to suck like heck. But on the other hand, we’ll manage somehow. And it’s making clear once and for all for those on the margins that this crazy stuff just doesn’t work.

There are no magic unicorn farts. Once people see that, plainly displayed, they’re not going to believe in the unicorn farts and magical government again.

If nothing else, this is giving people a salutary distrust and cynicism about government and all its initiatives and all its way. Even, or perhaps particularly, those dressed up as “science.”

We’ve seen the quality of minds trying to force us to go their way. We’ve seen where they think their way leads, and we want none of it (thank you, you’ve explained quite enough. It’s time to let other points of view display themselves!) And we’ve seen where these things actually lead, and we also want none of it.

Resistance is also fighting back. Stick your feet down and resist with all your might.

We’re not stupid, and we’re not going.

154 thoughts on “One Step

  1. For things to truly get better, some unpleasant, non-governmental things must happen to the prominant idiots. I don’t think that will happen. At best, there will be angry capitulation by the incompetent true believers, slightly less incompetent grifters will take power, and malicious fantasies will fester on the Left until enough people have forgotten, and then they ruin things again.

    It can be avoided with public consequences but that’s not in the cards.

  2. I honestly don’t think they can carry on with gas prices rising so precipitously – and it just doesn’t affect Mom and Dad buying gas for the commute, or for pleasure driving – it’s affecting truck transport, the transportation of practically everything. Goods from factory to store, from farm to processor – everything.
    Their bright idea to make gas prices the same as in Europe is guaranteed to be a dud. The only question will be exactly how furious Americans will get about it.

    1. And they have no, zero, clue what else comes from fossil fuels. Plastics, “vegan leather,” medical equipment, fertilizer . . .

        1. Well, as AOC once said, more or less, we don’t need farmers, we can just buy our food in a grocery store….AOC has a college degree in economics…..

          1. Alas, I have a graduate one. Á degree in Economics really ought to disqualify one from any serious discussion about economics.

          2. Her degree is in Economic Studies, iirc. A subtle, and yet oh so significant, difference.

            1. International relations and economics. Which means classes in the political economy of Marxist states in South America, most likely.

    2. Nah, they’ll cheer on the high gas prices, and then wonder “why is inflation getting worse?!?”.

          1. Don’t forget “price controls” and other more direct methods of government imposed and directed rationing. For people who claim to be smart the fact that they are simply incapable of understanding basic supply and demand. Those on the left who do understand these things believe in using control of supply and demand as a means to power for themselves.

    3. Nah, they’ll cheer on the high gas prices, and then wonder “why is inflation getting worse?!?”.

  3. Housing prices are getting stupid out here, in Tiny Town, Texas because we’ve got people fleeing all the way out here from blue states. A local developer is turning the cow pasture on the other side of the road into a subdivision, one to two houses at a time. He says Blackstone came by and offered to buy every single planned house from him all at once, but he had to build them all to their specs and timeline, which would require hiring a huge crew and firing them all when done.

    He told them to go pounds sand: he’s going to keep his current crew employed for years working on the scale they can manage… and besides, he doesn’t want to see what Blackstone would turn Tiny Town into, with a subdivision of pure rentals.

    Sometimes, cash isn’t enough to make the little people do what you want. They’ll own things, and be happy without the leftist’s help.

    1. Someone tried to buy RedQuarters out from under us. I was polite but firm. “Investor” my furry little hindquarters.

      1. We keep getting calls from “investors” who want to buy our house “cash on the barrelhead, no questions”. They seem a bit put out when I tell them the price I’d accept, which is about 3 times the current market. And tracking.

        1. Mom, and us, keep finding fliers on our doors with the same offers. I haven’t gotten any calls. Need to ask mom if she has. Will offer her up the same solution. $1 million should discourage them. OTOH she’d be afraid they’d say yes. Even at 4x’s what it is worth.

      2. Our very rural subdivision had two undeveloped parcels, a bit over an acre each. Neither one should be buildable, since you need 2.3 acres to have a well and a septic system in this area. (Well sharing is a thing, one parcel could if they could persuade the owner saying “hell no”, while the other would have to get creative and do a new well with another owner.) Rough estimate for the septic for each would be north of $30K.

        These are river frontage, but where it’s flat enough to build a house, it’s a flood plain. Both parcels would be of interest to the people living next to them, but inquiries were ignored. In short, these aren’t desirable properties.

        They both sold recently. For $27,000. Each. Two different buyers, one living in the county, the other

        My guess is that the lots will be sold sight unseen to some marks in California. One of them already had that history…

        So far, nobody’s contacted us to ask us to sell. Not yet, anyway.

        1. Seems to me that someone from CA should be able to make something of that. Homes built on a hillside are far saner when they aren’t in earthquake territory.

          1. aren’t in earthquake territory

            More of an aspiration than reality. We *think* we’re far enough from the Cascadia Subduction Zone to avoid the worst aspects of what it can do. Predictions range in the 8 to 9 on the Richter, though the quakes should be 200 or more miles away. The formal estimates say we’d be OK, though travel to destinations west of the Cascades would be ill-advised to impossible for a while.

            OTOH, local faults can bite. A couple of 6.0 quakes hit in 1993, doing a lot of damage to non-reinforced buildings in the city’s downtown. The fault systems are poorly mapped, so there’s lots of room for unpleasant surprises.

            The concerns on those properties remain the well and septic. The only way to get septic on those parcels is to get onto a neighboring well. We don’t have enough well to share, and I think one other owner is in the same situation, plus that’s a really old setup.

            Yeah, they’re river frontage, but there’s better ways to take advantage of that.

        2. Inlaws Oregon subdivision had that problem. The two lots they owned, one had a house built on it early ’70s, with well and septic. Sometime late ’70s they put septic on the other property before it couldn’t be done. Other property’s building setback wasn’t affected by the new riparian set back law, as the property already met those requirements. But the lot next to them became immediately unusable to build a home. The new owners of their place has since bought that lot to expand the property to 1.5 acres. Heck if the area were to burn (entirely plausible, Lodge Pole Pine central), IDK if they’d be able to rebuild. Area in question borders the Lone Pine State Park on the North Side, west of Lone Pine State Park Road.

          1. The people who had more river frontage tried to buy each of those parcels over the years. One, the sellers ignored inquiries (might have been a probate situation), while the acre from the tax delinquency (and possible hazmat cleanup site–looks like it was used as a place to clean heavy equipment) kept getting flipped. That one never showed up in the listings, so it might have gone without Realtor(tm) assistance.

            The latter one got sold to a couple who run wedding events. It might be used as a site for such, though it’d be missing infrastructure as well as parking.

    2. I noticed there are a whle bunch of empty lots out there in that area, too, often still in 100 acre plots. I don’t necessarily mind subdivisions as such, if there’s sufficient room between houses, but they carve them up into such tiny lots, there’s no room for a real workshop, and they’re way too vulnerable to Hoa-monsters. Like Gila monsters, but worse.

      Finding a rental that would take four cats long enough to build on one of those empty lots would be very not fun.

  4. It is amazing that they’re literally arguing that “all you hicks telecommuting from rural areas will have to move back to cities to work because your commute is too expensive!” That’s some top flight leftist delusion right there.

  5. Mostly because if the government gives you everything it can take everything away, and that we’ve all grown up since kindergarten and want to take care of ourselves, than you so much.

    The real issue is this is a 100% materialist world view, both in the philosophical and consumerist sense.

    Five things I want off the top of my head:

    1. To have had children.
    2. The ability to write so the story on paper matches the story in my head.
    3. A garage so I can have an actual shop.
    4. The ability to play guitar.
    5. Be a better housekeeper.

    At best they could do #3 and sort of #5 (by providing a housekeeper making my skill irrelevant).

    They cannot change the post or make a fertile woman in the present desire to have children with me. They cannot give me skills I do not have, although I guess they can pay for guitar and writing lessons, but they cannot do the work for me.

    That is their problem in the end, one they share with a lot of libertarians and objectivists in my experience, is they cannot see what makes humans happy beyond material goods.

    1. #4 is a matter of practice. A lot of practice, but nothing more than practice. There are endless video instructors and chord books.

      All you have to do is practice once a day. (And buy a guitar, and get someone to set it up for you.) You don’t have to be a guitar god to have a lot of fun.

      The main obstacle is building up calluses, unless you have weird hands… And there are ways to deal with weird hands, like using alternate body parts.

      1. Right, which I do. I’m already a decent clarinet and flute player, although in odd ways that proves to be a handicap.

        My point no matter how much freedom I give the government they cannot do that for them.

    2. Good luck with #2. One thing I’ve learned in a lifetime of writing is that the book on paper is never as shining and glorious a thing as the book that was in my head when I started writing it.

            1. *cough* Thou art G-d, I am G-d, all that grows is G-d

              Just saying


              1. You shall not surely die, for you will be like G-d, knowing good from evil . . . .

                1. G-d: Do whatever you like, just not that one thing

                  Adam and Eve: We did the thing.

        1. Oh, it’s worth chasing. The important thing is not to give up because you didn’t fit the story to the ideal… this time. I always plan to do better on the next book!

          As to how you convey feelings… that’s a big messy subject. I’d read some books on fiction writing, try whatever feels useful and ignore what doesn’t.

          1. Yeah. Might improve if I keep writing, but for darn sure I know I *never* will if I stop. And big messy subject, oh my yes. Feelings themselves are messy things. I’ve read and thought and tried to study it. It seems to matter most how you lay out things ahead of time. You have to build up to the big stuff, you have to lay a foundation for the baseline emotion and impression.

            There’s a lot of advice all over the place about how to write better. The only thing that I really *know* is accurate is “be entertaining.” Readers will put up with a lot as long as they stay interested and engaged in the story. Better if you can cut out the stuff that is bad anyway, though. I know I’ve got a long way to go before I know for sure what works for me and doesn’t.

          1. G-d knows how many times I have read it over the years At least a half dozen or so. Seriously liking the new series with the math magicians


            1. Thanks, I’ve ordered that. BTW, while looking around on Amazon, I found Margaret’s “Applied Topology” series, which is terrific!

              1. Yeah, I don’t even bother reading the blurbs on her stuff anymore. I know that it will be decently fun at the very least, and a wild (and crazed) ride at best.

      1. YES. There’s matter of things-in-head thought-stuff not being reliably translatable to words on the page. There’s the fact that I need to leave room for the reader’s mind to engage with the words on the page (and not overdescribe everybloodything). Right now I’m pulling on the threads of emotion and interest with ham fists, yanking away. Subtlety is not my forte- yet.

        How do you convey excitement, suspense, dread, contentment, or wrath? It takes more words to make that happen on the page than the feeling that simply exists in my head. Also, the things I instinctively know or understand as the writer get lost in translation to the page, often enough. I can’t simply *tell* the reader things, at least not always.

        I believe it is worth chasing, making the story fit the idea. Maybe impractical. But it will take a better understanding of the craft of writing to get closer to it. Study of better writers than me (pretty much everybody) and following through. I *think* I can get Dr. Z wrapped up in another couple of months, give or take.

        But to finish, one first has to start. And then make it through the middle bit. And stop when one gets to the end.

        Turns out, that is not so simple a task. Writers need a special kind of mental toughness, I think, to do it all. It’s a skill, sure. But not everyone has the knack. Maybe you can learn the knack with enough practice. Practice of the right sort of thing, I mean, because practice doesn’t always make perfect- but it *can* make permanent.

        1. When I write, I don’t think about conveying a feeling; feelings are the province of the reader. Nor do I think about conveying a picture in my head, because I don’t think pictorially. I think mainly about the words: what they individually mean, how they interact with each other syntactically, what their conceptual and emotional overtones are, what they would sound like if read aloud. I may go back and read what I’ve just written and think about what it says to me when I hear it, and change it if that isn’t what I want.

          I’ve read a letter written by Robert Heinlein, in which he complained that he had described the heroine of The Puppet Masters as “lean,” and H.L. Gold had changed the Galaxy serial version to call her “slender. Heinlein thought that gave a completely different impression of what the woman was like. I think Heinlein had a point.

      2. And this morning I was thinking about this and even though books are not always on paper now, my brain spontaneously adapted the “Brain blood barrier” into the Mind/Paper barrier.

  6. I can’t hear or read the phrase “one step” without hearing the Icehouse song, “Paradise.”

    One step that takes you closer to heaven
    One road that stretches out ahead
    One word that drives you to the point of decision
    One wave that closes on a drowning man

    1. well I think I’ve had enough of it all
      get your hands up
      up against the wall

      Apparently they’re still around. Hadn’t thought of “Walls” in years, but I remember how it made my hair stand on end first time I heard it.

  7. Hum. One problem is far too many, first and foremost, want, demand, security, the security of someone else being responsible, someone else deciding their fate, planning controlling their lives. I doubt we’ll change their priorities. I suspect they make up at least 70% of the population, please change my mind.

    More and more I agree with that ancient French philosopher, Albert Camus; The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

    Camus ancient? Hey he died 1960, for many today that’s prehistoric!

  8. They are of limited use as inspiration for villains because they combine dull with implausible.

  9. Trump was impeached for the first time . . . over Ukraine.

    The Biden family has significant business connections to . . . Ukraine.

    Our current crisis involves . . . yeah.

    1. The only ones more disappointed than Putin over Russia not swiftly conquering Ukraine is Team HarrisBiden.

    2. More specifically, it was explicitly stated that Trump was impeached because he was supposedly trying to twist the arm of the Ukrainian president to force him to dig up dirt on the Biden family.

      1. IE, the guy currently in office is the one that was investigating the guy that the Bidens dealt with, who was the guy that replaced Putin’s intended puppets.

        The theory I’ve seen floating around that Biden was doing such a horrible job of avoiding invasion because he wanted Putin to wipe out evidence gets more likely every day….

  10. “We all have to belong to something, so we belong to the government.”


    “Belonging” denotes either membership or ownership. In this case, neither applies. As a libertarian, I “belong” to exactly those associations that I voluntarily choose, and no more.

    This is the same kind of word twisting that used “sexual assault” to get us to the point where drunkenly patting a girl on the butt is morally equivalent to violent forcible rape.

        1. Off topic, but a family member who had eczema as a young child and still suffers from many allergies found some relief with hypochlorous acid (it was used to treat wounds during WWI but evidently only recently became fairly cheap to make and available OTC). The family member was having awful eyelid itching and the hypochlorous acid helped when the prescription stuff failed . . . then we asked a doctor and he said it was wonderful stuff (would have helped if he’d mentioned before we’d been dealing with the problem for months).
          It is also available in bigger bottles for skin problems and to aid in wound healing (I’ve used it on kitchen cuts and also a scar that stubbornly refuses to heal). I think the two brands that we have tried are SkinSmart and OcuSoft, but don’t have both bottles at hand. Neither are at all sticky, it is a liquid spray that dries pretty quickly.

            1. There used to be lots of testimonials on Amazon from folks who had used “horse paste” applied topically to calm down rosacea. None of our family has done so, and we all know that that stuff is verboten these days.

              Sometimes lotions/soaps/etc. with oatmeal in them seem to help a little.

              1. This time what finally stopped the cycle was anti-bacterial cream, which I think means I had a major infection going. my clue is the my arms were HOT. Like hot enough to fry eggs on.

  11. Candidate Joe Biden, August 2020: “We have assembled the most extensive, comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

    Minutes later: “What do you mean, I wasn’t supposed to say that?”

  12. Doing what works is a major form of fighting back– let people who can work from home and get at least as much done as they do in the office, do so.

    I’m hearing about folks all over the place whose employers are sacrificing productivity– and the relative value of the pay they’re offering for a job– by requiring in-office labor.

    Sometimes after they downsized to the higher productivity they were getting during lockdowns, and without hiring anyone new.

    1. Not only is my employer pushing people back to the office, they are removing offices and cubicals so everyone is open bay.

      They claim it is to maximize collaboration and training chances. I think it is to keep everyone under surveillance to ensure we are always working.

          1. My first job was at a big semiconductor company. Even the CEO was in the open-ish plan office, though there were dividers that reduced the noise a bit.

            The worst office I had was the last; cube farm, but in an acoustically live environment. Hearing all this noise, without seeing where it came from was pure hell. OTOH, for the previous 20 years there, I was in some flavor of open office. We’d usually wall things off so we’d have two to 4 people in close proximity, but usually about half of those were working elsewhere, usually in the test area/lab/computer room.

        1. Usually, but at one point my company went crazy with eliminating offices and required all new office spaces or major remodels to basically do away with offices even up to the executive level. The new/remodeled spaces included lots of glass walled rooms of various sizes for phone calls, meetings, etc. but no permanently assigned offices, only cubicles or desks.

          1. Good god… Were there at least permanently assigned cubicles or desks? If not, that’s hell. I’d quit — and that’s exactly what I told the management at a previous job when they were contemplating moving my dept. into an open-plan free-for-all. Luckily I didn’t have to consider making good on that. (I quit much later for different reasons.)

            Current job has us all working in cubicle farms, and although it’s tolerable, it’s still far too “open” for my liking.

            Worked from home for just over a year because covid. Didn’t really want to go back to the office, but now that I’m there, I don’t want to work from home again. I need the separation. It does help that my commute is exactly 4 minutes; the calculus might be different otherwise.

            1. Kid homeschools. Anonymoose telecommutes. We have a home office and a separate school/workroom…problem is, we’re all introverts and that’s STILL not enough dedicated working space. 🙂

              1. We’re all introverts at my house, too. Working at home kind of put us too much in each other’s way; too much sharing of space. Plus, working in a cubicle-farm building with a couple hundred other people reminds the lizard/monkey brain that the world really does have more than just four people in it. 🙂

                And when I come home, I don’t have the work laptop staring at me and work-related papers taking up space on my desk. It’s all MY work, and job-work stays in that cubicle at Company HQ, where it belongs.

            2. The open office I worked in didn’t have permanently assigned desks. You reserved your desk when you got into the office. Whenever I finally started to settle into a location, someone else who got their a little before I did every day would suddenly decide that they liked the desk that I’d been using for the last couple of weeks.

              It sucked.

              1. Before the buyout we did some large order and the refinery hired British Petroleum to observe the testing. BP guy said his “home” office was all open, no assigned desks, and his opinion got that very colourful flavour that only a Brit can impart.
                From what I see, it only assures everyone stops working early so they can leave on time, and though they might get there early to get a “good spot” they don’t actually start working until after “start time.

            3. Some companies use a process called “hoteling” in which an employee reserves a desk for the days and time he will actually be in the office. Other employees can reserve the space for other times. Even worse, IMO, is “hot desking” where the employee just picks a desk when he arrives.

              I work from home and I can attest it is difficult to separate home life from work. I don’t have a good solution to that. In my case, it actually benefits my employer. When I was working from the office, I very rarely logged onto my desktop workstation. I could if someone called but I did not do it as a general rule. Now, I will log on at odd hours to check on things and sometimes catch a problem before it becomes a Problem.

              Nevertheless, I hope to continue to work from home.

              I live in South Cali where commuting is a nightmare. I used to drive 50 miles each way when I worked in downtown LA. Now my commute is about 9 miles (or would be if I was still going into the office) and is a blessing.

        2. At $WeBuildScales (or maybe it’s $WeBuiltScales by now – the ‘indicator’ boxes are now all of Chinese origin, last I’d heard.) there was time when, instead of investing in people’s further education as it simply was NOT in the budget (which is NOT the same as “we don’t have the money” as will become clear) much was spent to convert several pairs of cubicles to full-walled offices. These were dubbed ECM’s: Ego-Containment Modules. And after a while, gee, what do you know? They had to be divided to no longer be private, but semi-private with dual occupancy. Hrmm… sounds like a lot of money was wasted.

      1. Our office folks who’ve been remote now must come in starting April 4. One I know said, “You know, how I have often been sending and answering emails as late as 7 at night and on weekends? Congrats, now I will only answer them when I am in my office monday through friday, 7a-3p.”

      2. So far, so good for me. (Crosses fingers, prays.) My company’s gone so far down the work-from-home route they’ve drastically downsized leased office space and gone heavy into virtual desktop technology so people can connect from anywhere.

        1. My sister’s office decided… we already do most of our work in the cloud, why are we bothering with the office? so now it’s mostly the storage space, and workspace for those who prefer it, or need model space, or the like.

      3. Surveillance might be a part of it, but there are actual “experts” who claim that open offices make people more productive. I suspect that your bosses have bought into that, and view ability to more easily make sure you’re not sleeping as an added bonus.

        Having said that, I’ve worked in an open office. *EVERYONE* there hated it.

        1. I’ve had my own office. I’ve worked in cube farm with high walled cubes, and then with short walled cubes, no one had an office. I despised the last. No office cube experience at least started with just our department. R&D Engineering had a huge room to ourselves, with tall cubes. Then we got bought out. Initially when we were integrated into the new company’s quarters, we got to have high cube walls. Didn’t last. Productivity suffered. I’m one who gets absolutely immersed in what I’m doing. It wasn’t the noise. It was Interruptions. Interruptions are not only unproductive, they are heart attack worthy. Other side of the coin. I talk to myself when coding. I sigh when code doesn’t compile, or doesn’t go as expected. Neighbors may not know what I’m saying, but they definitely hear the sounds. At best what they’d hear is “If I do this, it will do that, but if it does that then … well crap. Okay, now …” I understand it was a bit irritating. 33 years, I never once broke that habit. There was a solution. Put me in an office by myself. Or let me work from home. Oh well. No problem now. I love retirement.

          1. “I talk to myself when coding. I sigh when code doesn’t compile, or doesn’t go as expected. Neighbors may not know what I’m saying, but they definitely hear the sounds. At best what they’d hear is “If I do this, it will do that, but if it does that then … well crap. Okay, now …” I understand it was a bit irritating. 33 years, I never once broke that habit. ”

            I’m in this description and I can’t retire yet.

              1. The border collie pup runs and jumps on me when I start singing when I’m encouraging her to do her business. Considering the kennel songs are off-key parodies of ’60s hits (“Potty Safari” instead of “Surfin’ Safari”), I can’t say that I blame her.

          2. One of the advantages (so to speak) of working in our test area, was that privacy was created by a wall of sound. Between wafer probers going chunk-chunk-chunk, gasses flowing, and the air handler fans, muttering could not be heard beyond 6 feet away. Since at least one of the engineers had a tendency to sing off key (raises hand) with somewhat modified lyrics (Stealing from The Artist With an Unpronounceable Name, as I was hooking up a micromanipulator to check a transistor, I broke into “Purple Base”. Nearly got carped by my coworker, but nobody else heard me.)

          3. >> “I talk to myself when coding. I sigh when code doesn’t compile, or doesn’t go as expected.”

            That’s all? When my code doesn’t perform as expected there’s often profanity involved.

            1. >>That’s all? When my code doesn’t perform as expected there’s often profanity involved.

              Shhhh. I wouldn’t swear. Honest. More of a “Noooooooooooo. No, No, NO, No …” Wail. And then laughter was heard. I’ve also never, ever, not once, went “YES!!!!!!” with an accompanying little jig/dance, when a particular difficult set of pieces came together … well okay, once or twice, or more, maybe …

              1. “Shhhh. I wouldn’t swear. Honest.”

                Oh, of course not. I mean, it’s not like profanity is the one language EVERY programmer learns, or anything…

                  1. Na Uh. Nope. Never ONCE said one of these phrases.

                    “How in the H* did That happen?”
                    “How in the H* did you do that?”
                    “What in the H* did you do?”
                    “What the H?”
                    “Now what in the H
                    am I going to do?”
                    “How in the H* do I change/fix That?”
                    “Ohhhhh H!”
                    “What the H

                    Not once. A million times maybe. But not once.

                    1. I got the story straight by talking with my wife.
                      She was riding in E’s car when E called her husband (a programmer) to ask him something. Then she got really quiet and said “Ok we can talk later”.
                      When S asked E what had happened, E said “I know not to talk with him when he’s calling his program a FPOS.”
                      S broke up laughing because she has heard that exact phrase (not abbreviated) coming from my office many’s the time. 🙂

                    2. One time … I might have shutdown the AS400 with a program I was working on, on a PC Workstation connected to it (because programmed on the AS400 too). Should NOT have affected the AS400. All of a sudden a whole lot of doors opened up. Oops. It has been 35-ish years don’t remember the exact oops, but it did involve a pointer, or two.

                      Then there was the program I was hired to take over. How in the heck the original developer thought it was a **good idea to base, not one, but 4 DLL’s off the main EXE, which also relied on the DLL’s in return. (If your head hurts, how do think I felt?) Anytime an interface on any of the 5 critical pieces changed, it was a PIA. Which was every freaking release. VB4 allowed it. VB6 didn’t. Took 4 years to get the PTB to let me fix it. Finally came down to “we need this new feature”. My response was “Can’t have it. Unless …” Thought it would take 6 months to untangle it. Took *2 months. But from then on the releases went a whole lot easier. Which probably resulted in me getting cut faster when everything came apart, dang it. But, it was still the right thing to do.

                      Which was good, because it took me a programming minute or two to dig into the commercial C++ source code library to the undocumented C++ library function that let the program read/write multiple double byte character sets, to text, without changing the computer’s default character set code. Took me less than that to implement the process. But finding it was a PIA.

                      ** I think the developer was counting on company not being able to hire someone who would stay after seeing how it was pieced together. Thus keep the contract indefinitely. Developer was wrong. I might be a tiny, a little bit, stubborn when it comes to figuring out how things work. I had other clues as to why this might be a accurate presumption. FYI. I am NOT a hacker. That isn’t in my skill set (I’m too lazy). But give me the code, give me the tools, give me the job, give me the pay … I will figure it out. (Second FYI. Not Now. I’ll say No. I am retired.)

                    3. >>“Who the hell wrote this crap? [checks git blame] Oh. I did.”<<

                      Nope. Not once. I swear! 🙂

                      For 12 years between ’90 and ’02, some of the programs I worked on may not have been mine to start, but before being (both cases) force on, they were 85% mine. The first 6 years I had a dozen or so that were mine from design to delivery (not “concept”, that was someone else’s need).

                      Thus my mantra was generally “Why in the hell did I do that?”

                      Some of this was because I’d learned more of the craft. Some of it was whatever was the best method to do what needed to be done at that time. Sometimes the latter could be improved. Sometimes not, at which point, a lot of additional documentation went into the code.

                      Then there was the time that a tool upgrade fixed “a bug” that (I did not know it was “bug”) I was exploiting; big time, in a lot of programs. Difference between modifying programs every 3 months or every couple of years. A huge deal when you are the only programmer. Response to that? “Well CRAP!”

        2. When they survived 2 weeks into vivid when people would be ready to back I answered “today”.

          Now I’m joining the rest of my team in working on never when our floor is ready. I’ll be less productive by an order of magnitude than at home.

  13. A lot of them resemble-to my eyes-that cat that falls off of a high surface by accident, lands hard, gets up, and looks around quickly for anyone that might have seen it fall, then walk away like that was entirely a part of the plan.

    They claim to be great planners, that everything was “ordained” and that this was supposed to happen. Yet, nothing I have seen suggests that they even have something that looks like a clue, let alone a plan.

    Which might be the best thing that could happen to us all. They aren’t really and truly organized, not in the ways that matter.

  14. It is important not to attribute magical powers to the other side.

    Yes, they do have plans, and they post them quite blatantly.

    Part of this is to convince themselves and those on their side that everything is going fine. Look, there’s a plan!

    Important here, again, is that there is no singular Them™. There’s a whole lot of lower-case them-like people and groups and factions and intellectual fellow-travelers, some of whom are in concert and some of whom compete with each other and some of whom just happen to be going in the same direction, today.

    It’s like asking “who caused the Civil War?” Well, James Buchanan and Steven Douglas and John Brown and Jefferson Davis and Gen. Beauregard and Henry Clay and Daniel Webster and Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Thomas Jefferson and on and on and on in an infinite regress instantly recognizable to anyone who’s taken a college-level History course. But nobody met in a smoke-filled room in 1848 and said “okay, let’s figure out how to provoke a war over slavery because $$$$”.

    Just Say No to the Illuminati Fallacy. We can’t be honest and think that if only we reformed the universities, or bankrupted the MSM, or George Soros were to drop dead, or any other single solution, that everything would be alright.

    1. It’s like “Who invented radio?” Maxwell, Hertz, Marconi, Tesla(?), Armstrong….
      Then there’s “Who invented TV?” and it gets complicated.

      1. Loomis and Edison each have stronger claims than any of the above.
        Loomis succeeded at sending & receiving radiotelegraphy in the 1860s – before Marconi was born – albeit not powered and therefore only working when the atmosphere had a sufficient natural voltage gradient.
        Edison had a patent for the “grasshopper telegraph” (used to send telegraphy to and from moving trains from telegraph wires that followed the tracks) in 1886. Clearly a form of radio even though it was short range.
        Marconi could be called the inventor of reliable long-range radiotelegraphy.

        1. The grasshopper telegraph was not radio as we now understand it. It was “wireless,” but it relied on near field electromagnetic effects, not on electromagnetic waves.

          In the list of pioneers from Hertz to Marconi, I would want to include Bose.

    2. Well, there is a singular THEM! but I suspect ants mutated by atomic radiation probably don’t run much of anything.

      Big Formicidae does sound like a neat and nefarious group to blame for one’s ills, though.

  15. A surprising, to them, percent of the population have figured out that anything the government is trying to force you to do is probably bad for you, maybe lethal like the “vaccine” or Viet Nam….

  16. “We’re not stupid, and we’re not going.”

    The Gospel of Kerr Avon. 😉

    1. I think you missed something.

      “We’re not stupid, we’re not expendable, and we’re not going”

      Although it has been quite a while since I recorded Blake’s 7 off the Beeb. I wonder if the tapes would still play?

  17. My sister and brother-in-law own a hay ranch in Wyoming. My bro-in-law remarked that he needed Joey to deliver an electric swather, hay baler, tractor, and center pivot. Then we all laughed, because none of that equipment exists or will exist for years, if ever.

    Every single piece of the incredibly complex American engine of commerce is being hammered by brainless monkeys. I want to remove their hammers, and then remove the monkeys.

  18. Before the EU everybody had their own currency.
    It was common to have three types of currency in separate plastic bags in my pocket in the winter time when I drove south to go skiing. Very common to hit three different countries before you ended the day.

    The world has no idea what America is about, and as a result they don’t understand Americans. Not really.

    As long as we remember who we are, we’ll stand up at the end of this and keep moving.

  19. Just waiting and prepping. For people ahead of the curve like us the wait feels maddening. In retrospect it will seem to come quickly and suddenly.

  20. An interesting second order effect coming from Covid is possibly the end of the public school system reign. Things have gone from teachers are saints and the schools are perfect to”WTF is happening here?!!?!”. Even to friends who are very liberal. That’s one effect I can get behind!

  21. An interesting second order effect coming from Covid is possibly the end of the public school system reign. Things have gone from teachers are saints and the schools are perfect to”WTF is happening here?!!?!”. Even to friends who are very liberal. That’s one effect I can get behind!

  22. Update:
    The good news: I accepted a job with an engineering/manufacturing firm that is privately owned (no more government work for me), in a place close to family, far from big cities, surrounded by wheat fields.

    The bad news: I had to take a pay cut, the cost of living is higher there than where I live now, housing prices are insane, and we’re moving literally halfway across the continent.

    Now to sell the old house, which – God willing – will provide more good news, considering the insane prices.

    Thanks for the prayers.

  23. Congrats on the job. I think I know where and exactly what that engineering/manufacturing firm is. And if I’m right, may I also say welcome! 🙂

    Also, you’re welcome to look me up when you get there…although being pseudonymous on the internet might make that kind of hard.

    I think you’re going to enjoy it. Starting work at that particular firm, after 20 years in the cauldron of crazy that is higher ed, gave me a new lease on life.

        1. You’re probably right. It’s probably the same place. We’ll talk later. I bet Sara would be willing to do the electronic introductions, if you’re up for it.

        2. Spokane? (I went to college there, still have friends. May have a nephew going to that college next year, he hasn’t decided yet.)

  24. Phoenix house is all but sold, closing at end of month. I am the proud owner of 80 acres of Ozark wilderness. Packing for move to rental house in area, to live while building on property. This will take the rest of my life, but I will plant trees so my grandchildren and their children will have shade and fruit.

    1. The Ozarks area is one of the country’s best kept secrets. It can be a great place to live, the cost of living is low, and most Americans either still don’t know about it, or think it’s all “Deliverance” all the time.

  25. I was at a party last night with the most liberal ‘friend’ I have. We started talking around current events and it turned into her making a constant stream of ‘yeah, but…’ comments. Libsplaining why everything was wonderful, even though it looked, smelled, felt, and tasted like shit.

    There’s only so much denial of reality and obliviousness to cause and effect that a man can take.

  26. State-sponsored, weaponized fear is diabolical. Devolution and decentralization are the way out of this Kafkaesque trap.

  27. There are no magic unicorn farts. Once people see that, plainly displayed, they’re not going to believe in the unicorn farts and magical government again.

    You know better than that. They’ll believe the next huckster that comes along telling them what they want to hear. And the next. No matter how many times their delusions fail, they will Believe the pretty lies because they want to.

  28. The Left doesn’t get that civilizations are created from the bottom up not from the top down. When bands of hunters and gatherers settled down to become farmers they laid the foundation of civilization. It wasn’t until later that itinerant bands of rapists and pillagers settled down nearby and became a government.

    Civilization is always one or two calamities away from violent collapse. The best way to defer those calamities is a culture that promotes a broad and deep respect for human liberty. Free people have incentives to maintain their civilization. Slaves do not.

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