Today We Kiple!

Today is one of those frustrating days when I sit down to do something, and get interrupted. But…. for…. reasons, I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading and re-reading this poem. The last stanza has a way of reducing me to tears.

Hymn of the Breaking Strain – Rudyard Kipling

THE careful text-books measure

  (Let all who build beware!)

The load, the shock, the pressure

  Material can bear.

So, when the buckled girder

  Lets down the grinding span,

‘The blame of loss, or murder,

  Is laid upon the man.

    Not on  the Stuff—the Man!

But in our daily dealing

  With stone and steel, we find

The Gods have no such feeling

  Of justice toward mankind.

To no set gauge they make us—

  For no laid course prepare—

And presently o’ertake us

  With loads we cannot bear:

    Too merciless to bear. 

The prudent text-books give it

  In tables at the end

‘The stress that shears a rivet

  Or makes a tie-bar bend—

‘What traffic wrecks macadam—

  What concrete should endure—

but we, poor Sons of Adam

  Have no such literature,

    To warn us or make sure!

We hold all Earth to plunder—

  All Time and Space as well—

Too wonder-stale to wonder

  At each new miracle;

Till, in the mid-illusion

  Of Godhead ‘neath our hand,

Falls multiple confusion

  On all we did or planned—

     The mighty works we planned. 

We only of Creation

  (Oh, luckier bridge and rail)

Abide the twin damnation—  

  To fail and know we fail.

Yet we – by which sole token

  We know we once were Gods—

Take shame in being broken

  However great the odds—

    The burden of the Odds.

Oh, veiled and secret Power

  Whose paths we seek in vain,

Be with us in our hour

  Of overthrow and pain;

That we – by which sure token

  We know Thy ways are true—

In spite of being broken,

  Because of being broken

    May rise and build anew

    Stand up and build anew.

151 thoughts on “Today We Kiple!

  1. Yet I’ll face another morn
    Endure another day
    For all is not forlorn
    If on the path I stay

    I’ll work upon awaking
    And rest when work in done
    The joy is in the making
    Something new beneath the sun.

  2. I really must get a good collection of Kipling. “Kim” was one of my favorite books when I was 10, and I’ve read most of the novels, but I only know the poems that I’ve accidentally encountered over the years (mostly here!).

    I’ve been struggling with feelings of stress lately for which I can’t identify the source — though I strongly suspect it might have to do with reading political websites every day… Should probably give up some of that and read poetry instead.

    1. Crying shame I’m not like these crazy church/mall/movie/school shooters who go out and kill dozens in one whack before getting themselves killed; or some Muslim terrorist who schemes and takes out thousands; where the commonality between them is people who can’t fight back who are only vaguely, at best, related to who they think is causing their problem.

      Then again, I have had 60+ years of learning and training not to break and go berserker on those who cause me anguish or harm. But that was built on a foundation laid by my parents and church.

      1. I suspect the establishment of atheism as state anti-religion has a significant role in these events. Faith provides hope that things will end rightly…in the next life, if not immediately. And that makes things somewhat bearable.

        1. That was fundamentally Marx’s complaint against faith and like 90% of Marxism is a small truth wrapped in a huge stupid/lie. It was in some ways the mirror of Rand’s complaint (which was against her mother if you dig deep enough, whose faith overwhelmed Rand’s impression of religion).

          Faith in the World to Come makes it easy to ignore the world here. That’s why “faith and works” is so common and why some distrust “faith alone” despite its theological soundness. The best answer I’ve found in modern times is Jordan Peterson’s idea you express what you believe in your actions, not your words.

          1. Indeed, as James said, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

            1. Perhaps the really interesting thing to note in that passage is that the faith/works relationship has been under discussion from the beginning of the faith. Because in other places it seems that the author writing (I’m thinking of Paul) goes to pains to point out the faith side of the relationship.

                1. Nod.

                  One of the Biggest “Fights” Paul had were with Jews who believed that to be a Christian you had to follow All Of The Jewish Laws (especially the Food Laws).

                  1. Kipling’s story “The Church That Was at Antioch” is a brilliant (and moving) dramatization of that conflict. Worth reading, if you haven’t.

          2. The words “by faith alone” appear once in the Bible. With a “not” in front of them.

              1. Sometimes I think the best thing I’ve learned from the Orthodox is the Jesus Prayer.

                I even surprise myself sometimes with how often I use it.

                  1. The entire prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

                    It is one of those things that said enough comes to you in times of trial and triumph. It is very grounding.

                    1. Amen!

                      I’ve heard versions of that prayer (including in a parable of Christ’s) before but wasn’t sure what prayer you meant.

                    2. I was looking over your shoulder the whole time because I didn’t know what it was either. Beautiful and powerful at the same time.

            1. Tell that to all the Protestants.

              There are a lot of reasons I moved from a mixed Presbyterian/Baptist upbringing to Orthodoxy. The separation of how you are in the world from the “Born Again” Baptists
              was a big part of it.

              1. I miss the small Missouri Synod Lutheran churches of my youth. Seems the large organizations has succumbed to the “woke-ism”.

                I’ve been intrigued by Orthodoxy, but I have yet to visit more than one church. I do know some great people that belong, so I may explore it more.

                One of my resources for exploring belief has been “The Ten Minute Bible Hour” on YouTube. I like the visits the host makes to various churches and has in-depth discussions on beliefs and doctrine.


            2. That’s too brief a summary. If you’re omitting Ephesians 2:8-10, you’re not being fully intellectually honest. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (verses 8-9). “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (verse 10).

              Any Christian who’s not producing works is disobedient, but Ephesians 2 is very clear that the works come after faith, not as part of it. This is why I could never in good conscience be a member of the Roman Catholic church, because they get this doctrine WRONG.

              And yes, I’m familiar with James 2:24. But putting together the entire argument about how James and Ephesians fit together would take a book, and I don’t want to get into the discussion here. I’m just saying that while many Protestants may look only at Ephesians and ignore James, many Catholics — and here I’m including you, at least temporarily — are making the opposite error, looking only at James and ignoring Ephesians. You need to look at both, and understand how they work together, to get the full picture.

              1. I was raised Roman Catholic, and the Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans all share the Nicene Creed, which is “I believe…” not “I do…” despite what may seem an over-emphasis on good works. Atonement for your sin may not be necessary, but it’s good psychology. Even atheists can do good works, but it’s easier getting through the difficult times if you know God.

                1. When my son was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him within 6 months, one of the first things I did was to offer my grief to God as a gift. I lived the next 6 months encountering divine appointments along the way.

                  I am presbyterian, married Catholic for over 50 years. Until the panic we would both go to both churches. So I know how both are split. The important divisions are within denominations, “social justice” has infected all, because it sounds like the right thing to do. You don’t need God to do “good”. The problem is that you do it in your own strength, so eventually you break. That is why elders in churches often leave after their time on session (elder board). Why so many pastors are victims of burnout. God invites us to join His plan, but that requires listening, which you may notice is very hard for men. I continue to be a work in progress.

                  Confess to be healed is vital. An atheist has no one to confess to.

                  1. The perversion of “Social Justice” is especially sharp with me– because, properly as created, it’s “make it easier to be just.”

                    So, don’t make it so someone has to fight the laws to respect property.
                    Don’t make it so someone has to fight the laws to give charity.
                    Don’t make it so someone has to fight the laws to …. yeah.

        2. I don’t want to get into a theological dispute, but I want to note that as a nearly lifelong atheist (since third grade, if I recall correctly), I have virtually no impulse to despair. I think this might be a matter less of belief than of temperament, or even of brain chemistry.

          1. I’m a Christian believer, and I’m really glad you don’t tend toward despair.
            And I do think temperament has an influence.

          2. I’m glad you’re not one of the ones who falls to despair.

            Simply as a data point for you. When I was in Iraq, they did a study and broke down the suicide rates of soldiers by religion (they didn’t report the full break down where I had access so I can only speculate beyond the highest risk group). Atheists were three times as likely to commit suicide as any other group. While temperament does play into it, so does faith. I have some strong ideas on why but that would definitely be in the realm of theological debates.

    2. I get to take a long break from political news this summer, and I. Am. So. Happy! I can ignore Politico, the Hill, et al for two months!!! Wheeeeeee!!!

    3. Kipling’s complete verse is still in print, but his short fiction is getting harder to find; I bought everything that’s available from Oxford World Classics late last year, but that only covers a fraction of his stories. But you can find pretty much everything he wrote online at . Including “As Easy as A.B.C.,” a science fiction story that seems increasingly and disturbingly prescient.

    4. A heavy diet of bad news can badly stress out anybody. Best to balance the reading between heavy and light, fiction and nonfiction. Plus music and exercise and sunlight.

      1. Let me recommend cold showers and breathwork. They are terrific tools to process anxiety, stress, and other assaults on the immune system.

        Wim Hof has an app that walks you through the routine, easy peasy.

  3. There is (allegedly, I’ve never even seen the original Gaelic) a Scottish proverb that goes, “God fits the back to the burden” — not (as Celtic culture and spirituality writer Caitlin Matthews remarks in quoting it) the other way around, which might be so ever much more congenial and comfortable to us (but also likely not nearly as effective in the long run, at least in our role as occasional human tools of Greater Powers).

    Perhaps the process Kipling describes here is much of how that works?

    1. One of the saints said something like, “God never gives us a burden we can’t bear, but sometimes I wish He didn’t have so much trust in me.”

      1. “I know we are your chosen people, but what have you got against the horse?” Tevye, Fiddler On The Roof

        1. Wasn’t there a line of “We’re your Chosen People but why did you choose us so much?” 😉

          1. I always liked the “Short Guide to Comparative Religions”, based around…well, that thing that always happens. The entry for Judaism is “why does the sh*t always happen to US?”

              1. You might like this:

                Is Lutheranism the True Catholic Church? (and other stuff with a Lutheran Theologian)

            1. I remember all 3. From Tevye “Fiddler on the Roof”

              OTOH been a long time since I’ve seen Fiddler.

          2. I think so but I’m going to have to watch the movie again. It was endearing.

          1. Me too. I watched Topol live in San Diego. He was 73 and flawless as Tevye.

          1. The live theater version brought out the humor and pathos even more than the movie. It was fabulous.

    2. Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
      Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.”
      “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
      “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”

      So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,
      Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
      “Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
      “But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

      Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
      When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;
      He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
      And Iron — Cold Iron — was master of it all!

      Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
      “What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?”
      “Nay!” said the Baron, “mock not at my fall,
      For Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all.”
      “Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
      Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
      “As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
      For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

      Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
      “Here is Bread and here is Wine — sit and sup with me.
      Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall
      How Iron — Cold Iron — can be master of men all!”

      He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.
      With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
      “See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
      Show Iron — Cold Iron — to be master of men all.”

      “Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
      Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
      I forgive thy treason — I redeem thy fall —
      For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

      “Crowns are for the valiant — sceptres for the bold!
      Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!”
      “Nay!” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall, “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all!
      Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!”

    3. That would fit well with my grandma’s urging that can be summarized as “for God’s sake, DON’T PRAY FOR PATIENCE!”

      1. He will give you lots of people to practice patience with. However, remember he will give you what you need, so even if you don’t ask, you may be blessed. Also, be vavvy careful when you pray for a gift of the spirit, that can include the gifts of suffering and martyrdom.

        You know it is God you hear when your response is:”You want me to do WHAT?!” Just ask Moses, Elijah, Jonah, Jeremiah, to name a few. I was talking about reading Genesis this month with a friend, and reminding him of the story of Joseph. His comment: “That sounds a lot like what is happen now”.

          1. Halftime of NBA finals with local fave playing up in SF. Cable has gone out. I wasn’t prying for patience. God’s sense of humor.

        1. @ Presbypoet > “That sounds a lot like what is happen now”.

          I’ve been compiling a list of scriptures in a folder titled “ripped from the headlines.”

    1. Oh, Leslie has whole CDs of Kipplefish. Our Fathers Of Old, The Undertaker’s Horse, and Cold Iron, plus several tracks on other CDs with other artisis. Undertaker’s Horse is here.

        1. Usually, that’s because they either use words / phrases that have changed meaning so her audience won’t recognize them, or they don’t fit the tune as well. Look up “bardic process”.

  4. Kipling got his military experience in Afghanistan:

    ‘I have written the tale of our life
    For a sheltered people’s mirth,
    In jesting guise—but ye are wise,
    And ye know what the jest is worth.’

    Rudyard Kipling

    1. Which explains “Arithmetic On The Frontier”.

      “One sword-knot stolen from the camp
      Will pay for all the school expenses
      Of any Kurrum Valley scamp
      Who knows no word of moods and tenses,
      But, being blessed with perfect sight,
      Picks off our messmates left and right.

      With home-bred hordes the hillsides teem,
      The troopships bring us one by one,
      At vast expense of time and steam,
      To slay Afridis where they run.
      The “captives of our bow and spear”
      Are cheap, alas! as we are dear.”

  5. Kipling got his military experience in Afghanistan:

    ‘I have written the tale of our life
    For a sheltered people’s mirth,
    In jesting guise—but ye are wise,
    And ye know what the jest is worth.’

    Rudyard Kipling

  6. Interesting, how some things are “in the air.” For the last couple of months I’ve been working on a novelette with the working title of “Breaking Strain,” about the struggle to repair one system after another on a moonbase. (I’ve used a lot of recent vignette challenge prompts as inspiration for segments of it).

  7. I was good until “With loads we cannot bear:” and then I cried through the rest.

    1. Kipling’s verse rarely breaks me up, but his stories often do. I’ve read “The Miracle of Purun Bhagat” and “A Church There Was at Antioch” and “The White Seal” aloud to C, and got choked up toward the ends of all three.

      1. I am so blessed by the literacy of everyone on this blog. I have read maybe … none of Kipling in its entirety. And I have struggled to like poetry at all. Everyone’s favorites are my introduction to Kipling’s work. Pretty neat deal.

        1. I knew Kipling not at all, beyond an uncle that would randomly quote bits of Gungudin.

          Found it in the school library, read “Female of the Species,” was hooked.

          Am understandably worried about various library purges.

          1. I’m excited to read him now. I can’t imagine what it’s like raising kids today, speaking of libraries. I loved mine as a kid.

          2. That’s why I lately bought multiple volumes of Kipling’s stories.

              1. I couldn’t find a complete collection of his stories. Is that what you’re referring to? If so, can you give me the title and the publisher?

  8. That’s one of my favorites of his. And it’s very SFnal.

    I’m also very fond of “The King,” where he surveys history (and prehistory) from the cavemen saddened by how stone weapons are taking the romance out of life to his own time:

    “Romance!” the season-tickets mourn,
    “~He~ never ran to catch his train,
    But passed with coach and guard and horn —
    And left the local — late again!”
    Confound Romance! . . . And all unseen
    Romance brought up the nine-fifteen.

    And I think it was prescient of him to see that railroads could be romanticized. Travel by train certainly is a romantic image now!

    Another poet who is sometimes SFnal is Robinson Jeffers. Take a look at “The Purse-Seine” ( or “Nova” ( for some good examples. Poul Anderson had Nicholas van Rijn use one of his lines, “Long live freedom and damn the ideologies,” as a toast . . .

    1. And the last line is from “The Stars Go Over the Lonely Ocean” — as republished in “The Survival of Freedom” edited by Jerry Pournelle (who included poetry, old and new, in a lot of the collections he created). His introduction, IIRC, said that Anderson (once in a long while) made that toast when they were togther, so not just a character thing.

      The poem’s last half, incl. the quote above, follows… and it’s something that’s kept occurring over and over to me, these current strange days:

      “The world’s in a bad way, my man,
      And bound to be worse before it mends;
      Better lie up in the mountain here
      Four or five centuries,
      While the stars go over the lonely ocean,”
      Said the old father of wild pigs,
      Plowing the fallow on Mal Paso Mountain.

      “Keep clear of the dupes that talk democracy
      And the dogs that talk revolution,
      Drunk with talk, liars and believers.
      I believe in my tusks.
      Long live freedom and damn the ideologies,”
      Said the gamey black-maned boar
      Tusking the turf on Mal Paso Mountain.

      Amazing how many things I didn’t look into closely, until they appeared in this SF setting or that, even if I’d (vaguely and theoretically) heard of them before…

      1. It’s from his fairly late collection Be Angry at the Sun, written during and about World War II. His publisher brought it out with a note saying that they did not endorse Mr. Jeffers’s views on the war but that he was a major poet and they defended his right to freedom of expression. I like the title poem:

        That public men publish falsehoods
        Is nothing new. That America must accept
        Like the historical republics corruption and empire
        Has been known for years.

        Be angry at the sun for setting
        if these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
        They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors,
        This republic, Europe, Asia.

        Observe them gesticulating,
        Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
        Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
        Hunts in no pack.

        You are not Catullus, you know,
        To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
        From Dante’s feet, but farther still from his dirty
        Political hatred.

        Let boys want pleasure, and men
        Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
        And the servile to serve a leader and the dupes to be duped.
        Yours is not theirs.

        (In a different vein, there is e.e. cummings:

        A politician is an arse upon
        Which everything has sat except a man)

  9. “The Centre Will Not Hold” poem by Qiniso Mogate – Came across this by accident and bookmarked to re-read. Sadly relevant for America today if substitute America for Africa in the last line.

      1. I know this is NOT the sense the above remarks reference; but to me “If you substitute America for Africa…” sounds immediately like a really, really far-out weird alternate-history concept.

        Of course Africa is smaller than the Americas, and burdened by That Huge Desert Up North, and far too conveniently placed for e.g. Arab slave traders; etc. etc. etc. But still… weirdly intriguing.

        “The United States of Southern Africa”…? Even my mind boggles at this one.

  10. I’ve always distinguished between what I do (software engineer) and what my father did (actual engineering) by exactly what Kipling had to say. My father actually did calculate “the stress that shears a rivet” by the table at the back of the book. My field is much less subject to tables of weights and measured strength of materials, but I still distinguish myself from those who are programmers, because I write well-documented, modular, maintainable, and efficient code. So despite my awareness of the differences between my work and that of those who can claim more certainty, I do call myself a software engineer with no disrespect to actual engineers. So thanks for the nostalgia.

    As to Kiplings actual point, yes, let’s remember that people are not bricks. We are much more flexible and universally useful albeit much less dependable and predictable.

    1. The thing with being an engineer is that we (I include myself) design and build products using our professional knowledge to protect the public from the consequences of poor design. A mis-chosen rivet, that causes a structure to collapse. A bad algorithm that stops an xray from traversing, so it burns into the patient, or a myriad other deadly software glitches I’m sure you can think of. Or ‘for me, an incorrect test procedure that misses a flaw in a titanium turbine blade, sending the blade out the side of the engine and into the wing tank. Engineers are the people who, by years of study, training and experience, know how some portion of the world works….or doesn’t.

      1. @ Geoff > “Engineers are the people who, by years of study, training and experience, know how some portion of the world works….or doesn’t.”

        Published 1992, never gets old.
        Why Buildings Fall Down: Why Structures Fail
        by Matthys Levy, Mario Salvadori
        “The book analyzes assorted structural failures. The collapse of the dome at the C.W. Post College of Long Island University provides an interesting example of how a dome that met and exceeded code standards could still collapse because of a failure to anticipate natural conditions. The assumption behind the design was that snow loads on the roof would be uniform. During the storm that collapsed the roof, an east wind blew snow in huge drifts on one side of the dome, stressing it beyond design limits.

        1. “met or exceeded code standards” – An engineer has to actually think! Before your father went to the table at the back of the book, he had to think about what the stresses on the rivet would be. The guy that spec’d that do e may have held a Professional Engineer credential, but he was really just a designer..

          1. Of course, the engineer doesn’t have the situation where the pressure is what creates the strength, if it is to be created, and the rivet gets to choose.

            This vale of soulmaking is creating, by human choice, rivets that fail or succeed.

          2. The problem with both engineers and those who design the code standards is that, being human, they have limited imagination. They cannot foresee all possible ways for something to fail.

            It has been said that the FAA aircraft regulations are written in blood. This is because, when something fails, the FAA comes in, figures out what happens, and then decides if a new regulation is needed to prevent something like that from happening again. I think it’s not unreasonable to suggest that both engineering and code standards are written the same way.

            Ideally, with computer models, it may be possible to emulate a snowstorm like the one described above — but again, human imagination is limited, and if you don’t think of a particular situation, you’re not going to create a computer model to test it. Some things just have to be learned the hard way.

            1. not unreasonable to suggest that both engineering and code standards are written the same way.

              “What in the heck was I thinking?” has been uttered by just about every software coder ever. I know I have. Multiple times. Sometimes even followed eventually by “Oh. Yea. That is why. Now what do I do?” But more rarely, and a lot further along in my career. My notable latter successes were because of the hard lessons learned earlier. I never worked on software where blood or even critical financial oops were a possibility. If something went wrong, go fix it, figure out why and not do that again.

      2. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a “safety margin” in software as there is in “real” engineering. Yes, you can design in supposed fail-safes, but you can’t make a program twice as strong as should be needed.

  11. I am inordinately blessed to have my Father’s original copy of “Barrack Room Ballads” by Rudyard Kipling. It is well over a century old, and smells of cigarettes and battle. I have it on a shelf, next to his copy of Robert W. Service’s “Call of the Yukon”…

    these are the stories of Men.

  12. I am inordinately blessed to have my Father’s original copy of ‘Barrack Room Ballads’ by Rudyard Kipling. It smells of tobacco and battle, and sits next to his copy of ‘Call of the Yukon’ by Robert W. Service…

    These are the stories of Men.

  13. When on a project I tend to quote, “There are nine and sixty ways of composing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right.”

  14. This Kipling poem is so appropriate for me roday. Although many apparently knew, I just found out a couple days ago that a fa orite author from my partially-misspent youth was a raging Not-Zee under his otherwise wierd gaming guy exterior. And I cannot enjoy his fantasy as much, knowing his association with Holocaust Deniers and that ilk.

    Yeah. We’re all sinners, I know that. Yeah. He followed a religion incompatible with following Christ. Et Cetera ad nauseum.

    I probably should have known; but I was content with the game he created and the novels he wrote and did not delve much into his personal life (tho’ I was once a guest at his home for a gaming session during a business trip trip in the late 1990s).

    I just thought he was eccentric, not a freaking monster.

    I wonder if that’s how most of the Not-Zees were in their normal lives?

    I guess I just need to ask more questions, be more communicative, etc. before I start hanging out with strangers.

    1. We can always pray for the souls of those who have been our associates or benefactors.

      There is literally no way that we can know the secret sins or vices of all the people we know. Because they are secret.

      I don’t know who you’re talking about, and there’s no reason I should. But it sounds like he was smart enough to hide his weird political fetish, although it’s also possible that he went nuts after you knew him.

    2. I have found that a number of my favorite authors are commies. But I’m not going to stop reading them anyway because I don’t see how reading them helps them with their insane vicious ideas, and it does contribute to my joy in life.

      I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, though, especially if “Edward Thomas” will release some more of his George McIntyre books. Those will keep me busy for quite awhile!

      1. Commies are currently socially acceptable, in spite of their massive oppression of dissidents (see the recent release of info from China on the actual concentration camps and sending children to prison for listening to someone read a religious book.

        1. Of course I realize they are socially acceptable. The question is whether I should keep reading them, which so far I’m doing.

          1. I have more or less one by one dropped them. The politics became too obvious even when when buried.
            There might be one or two who are hiding their politics really well, I don’t know.
            For the rest, if I want to read them, I’ll open their entrails.

            1. There is one writer whom I would never have guessed was a leftie because her storylines (both juvenile and adult) are all “good against evil” with “good” and “evil” defined in proper ways. It’s only because she has a blog where she was promoting Hitlary in 2016 that I have any idea of her leftism.

            1. Commies, Nazis: they’re the same thing.
              I’m not buying any more books by this particular author even though I like her writing a lot.
              I don’t see how it helps her if I reread the ones I have already bought.

              1. That’s accurate and fair. But in my case, the fact that the author–and our friends in common who knew–was able to dissemble so completely with me in his home for a meal and about 6 hours of gaming and conversation (not counting all the time spent around them before and after) just leaves me mentally worn out.

                1. I can absolutely see that. Besides the one author I’ve been referring to, there’s another who is a terrific writer who took a very long “sabbatical” after writing a couple of wonderful books in the 1980’s (due to not being able to make a living at it). When he came back into the field, he wrote two more, one of which was again terrific and showed no signs of progressivism, and the other where it was dripping off every page. Very disappointing.

    1. little chat with Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas about what agreements gave his Border Patrol agents the right to go and deal with the shooter in Uvalde…

      I’m guessing he throws them under the theoretical bus. That the Border Agents involved overstepped their authority and will be appropriately disciplined. Then we are going to learn they really were not Border Agents.

      1. As citizens, they had every right to do whatever blowy-uppy shooty-downy thing they wanted.

        If they used stuff owned by the Federal government, that’s an accounting problem; but otherwise it sounds like excellent inter-agency cooperation and volunteerism.

        I do think it’s probably unfortunate that the one Border Patrol guy had his picture taken while looking white and not having an obviously Hispanic last name, because otherwise the all-Hispanic nature of almost everyone involved looked like it was going put a monkeywrench in the usual SJW gears. But I probably have underestimated DC’s ability to mess up and be mean to heroes.

        1. As citizens, they had every right to do whatever blowy-uppy shooty-downy thing they wanted.

          I know that. You know that. But does DC? Or any of TPTB? Just had one trial on the Right to Self Defend. Any bets on another trial on the Right to Defend Others?

          If they used stuff owned by the Federal government, that’s an accounting problem; but otherwise it sounds like excellent inter-agency cooperation and volunteerism.

          Agreed. Also any bet on whether they try to make this a bad thing?

          Not that I’d bet on any particular direction.

        2. The problem is the police line established outside, that was not permitting ordinary citizens inside the school grounds. So they likely only got in after identifying themselves as Border Patrol. This is an odd thing to ask about, and I’m not sure what the Dem angle is here. I can’t see them being brazen enough to go after the officers that stopped the shooter. The only thing I can think of is that the committee has come up with a rationale that will allow for some sort of expansion of federal power in the name of increased security.

          1. The off duty BP guy seems to have gotten there first– the “how dare they stop people” thing seems to be largely centered around THE GUY LIVE STREAMING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER situation, which has been a really big Bad Thing for at least a decade now.

            I honestly cannot figure out why nobody is howling about it, that I’ve seen.

            But the Dems seem to be trying to make the argument for a nationalized police, and doing it badly.

            1. One woman has stated that she was handcuffed by the police after she said she’d go in by herself since the police weren’t doing so.

              1. If you are familiar with barricade situations, that is entirely reasonable.

                Worse, if you are familiar with the released kill pattern for this situation, that is reasonable. The crazy guy shot folks right at first, and then from released information shot at threats.

                It seems that asking for basic familiarity with situations is evil, for this situation.

                And they haven’t even gotten the radio traffic out yet.

                1. Given that the cops response to this was to form a perimeter and then wait around, and then subsequently blatantly lie to the Governor’s office about pretty much everything that happened…

                  I don’t care.

                  If they’d exhibited even the slightest shred of basic decency, then I might be willing to at least minimally look at things from their viewpoint. But they didn’t. Further, they’ve compounded their original mistakes by lying to state officials, and refusing to cooperate with state investigators.

                  And so I won’t.

                  1. That you are opening with a flat out, nationally known lie shows that while someone is lacking in basic decency, it’s not the folks who responded.

                2. “The crazy guy shot folks right at first, and then from released information shot at threats.”

                  Well, leaving out that the “released information” from UPD is being debunked, that sequence is exactly backwards, because all the casualties around the school (grandma was shot at home) were inside it. He shot at people in the area, didn’t hit any of them, and then went into the school and was way more effective given time to be so.

                    1. In this case, it’s the ISD Police Chief who ignored his training and ordered everyone to do the wrong thing who is receiving the contempt from most of us.

              2. All of that is, of course, assuming the cops have a magical way of knowing that someone headed in wasn’t an accomplice.

                It’s only been DECADES that we’ve dealt with obvious, homicidal terrorists, now.

                And there was a guy live-streaming information to anyone, like the guy barricaded inside.

                “Oh, let me in, my kid is in there!”

                Intro to social engineering.

                Make it so they cannot, emotionally, say no.

                1. Just an ID, a database of parents with photos, and computer search capabilities….. magical.

                  1. You really didn’t think about that response for even a few seconds, did you?

                    I know you work with computers.

                    I know you would not seriously want the police to have an instantly accessible database for all schools.

                    And I know you are familiar with what it would take to look up and verify everyone a crowd of people, which would still require crowd control.

  15. “You must choose between me and your cigar.”

    Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
    For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

    We quarrelled about Havanas — we fought o’er a good cheroot,
    And I knew she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

    Open the old cigar-box — let me consider a space;
    In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie’s face.

    Maggie is pretty to look at — Maggie’s a loving lass,
    But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

    There’s peace in a Larranaga, there’s calm in a Henry Clay;
    But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away —

    Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown —
    But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o’ the talk o’ the town!

    Maggie, my wife at fifty — grey and dour and old —
    With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

    And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
    And Love’s torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar —

    The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket —
    With never a new one to light tho’ it’s charred and black to the socket!

    Open the old cigar-box — let me consider a while.
    Here is a mild Manila — there is a wifely smile.

    Which is the better portion — bondage bought with a ring,
    Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

    Counsellors cunning and silent — comforters true and tried,
    And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

    This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
    With only a Suttee’s passion — to do their duty and burn.

    This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
    Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

    The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
    When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

    I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,
    So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

    I will scent ’em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,
    And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

    For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
    The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o’ Teen.

    And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
    But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

    And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
    Of stums that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

    And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
    But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o’-the-Wisp of Love.

    Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?
    Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

    Open the old cigar-box — let me consider anew —
    Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

    A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
    And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

    Light me another Cuba — I hold to my first-sworn vows.
    If Maggie will have no rival, I’ll have no Maggie for Spouse!

  16. Today we Kiple, tomorrow we overthrow the Woke-archy!
    Dyslexic sane people of the world, untie! You have nothing to lose but the Wokeness tying you down!

    (Further ranting omitted in favor of checking my blood pressure and checking up on my stock of exclamation points.)

    1. Speaking of the Woke-archy, has anyone else ever quoted Kipling and been told not to do that because your Indian co-workers don’t like you quoting a racist colonizer?

  17. Quite recently I was in a restaurant that was playing both background music and some cable news channel (not Complicit News Network or any similar truly odious propagandizer, likely some regional outfit).

    Slowly, waiting for my food, I became aware that this “news” was really a single continuing (for the better part of an hour) feature on “Coast to Coast Gun Violence” (sic) — but at least the sound coming along with their big-screen ‘have to Do Something!’ drumbeat was low enough you had to read the captions (badly automated glitchy ones) to ‘get’ the dialogue.

    So, you could ignore it totally if you wanted.

    (“We respect the Second Amendment” and “We are not trying to take away your guns” — but also “universal background checks” and “nationwide Red Flag laws” to give the lie to all the soft-pedaling. Wah wah wah wah, quiver on the horn’s mute at the last fermata.)

    But meanwhile, the sound you could hear, amazingly and most fittingly, was Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” — which made something of a running commentary and counterpoint to the above, even after the song itself had ended; and made the whole as an audio-visual presentation rather remarkable, almost self-interpreting, and far less unpleasant to eat by.

    “We didn’t start the fire
    It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’
    We didn’t start the fire
    Though we didn’t light it and we tried to fight it…”

    (And no, oh clueless over-age children, “coast to coast gun violence” is not a few deranged and usually heavily-medicated individuals going homicidal crazy, or even a few dozen rent-a-mobs burning down city blocks in “mostly peaceful” fashion over the course of a “summer of love” as a few brave people dare to resist the tide of vandalism and murder — it’s something far bigger and much worse. Pray you never see it.)

    Perhaps all Mainstream Media could be much improved by such a playlist. (Synchronicity, a la Jung? Grace? Surely a blessing, whichever.)

    Then and now I can’t help but contrast this with the up-front, practical, and time-tested civilized rationality of (Kipling) lines like

    If wars were won by feasting
    Or victory by song
    Or safety found in sleeping sound,
    How England would be strong!
    But honour and dominion
    Are not maintained so.
    They’re only got by sword and shot
    And this the Dutchmen know!

    (“The Dutch in the Medway”)

    or simply

    They do not preach that their God will rouse them,
    a little before the nuts work loose.
    They do not teach that His Pity allows them
    to leave their job when they damn-well choose.

    (“The Sons of Martha”)

    — both of which have been on my mind somewhat of late.

    1. My political track includes Creedence Clearwater’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” Jefferson Airplane’s “Law Man,” Rush’s “Free Will,” Steppenwolf’s “Monster/Suicide/America,” and the Who’s “Now I’m a Farmer” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

  18. The Sussman “trial” makes this especially appropriate:

    My soul! I’d sooner lie in jail for murder plain and straight,
    Pure crime I’d done with my own hand for money, lust, or hate,
    Than take a seat in Parliament by fellow-felons cheered,
    While one of those “not provens” proved me cleared as you are cleared.

    1. Ah, “Cleared.” A harsh poem. And you can sing it to the tune of “The Wearing of the Green,” which I expected Kipling realized . . .

    2. There’s also this when considering working for a Republican: the certainty that invented charges are in your future.

      “Actually, refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas is rather common. Remember when Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s “wing man,” did the same thing?

      And, of course, you remember when the FBI arrested Holder and put him in leg irons on the same charge that is being brought against Navarro. No, wait…

      Navarro told the court today that he would represent himself rather than hiring a lawyer. But the biggest problem he faces is not the absence of counsel, it is the fact that his case will go before a jury of D.C. Democrats.”

          1. And here’s a prime example:


            “But if he really had committed fraud, shouldn’t he be given a jury trial by fellow Americans? It’s easy to get left-wing run state bars to disbar conservative attorneys, because it’s not a jury of Americans that decides; it’s either a left-leaning bar judge or panel stacked with left-wing attorneys, plus occasionally a token member or two from the public.”

            “Jonathan Mosely, who represented Jan. 6 protesters, was disbarred by the Virginia State Bar. He represented Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs and Proud Boys leader Zachary Rehl, worked for Judicial Watch, and served in the Reagan administration, so he was a juicy target. The reasoning was more of the usual, vague, catch-all words; failing in “meritorious claims and contentions, candor toward the tribunal, fairness to opposing party and counsel and misconduct.” Politico bragged, “Moseley’s exit could complicate Meggs’ ability to prepare a defense.””

            But no one pleads guilty because they recognize a stacked deck, right? That’s what I’ve been told.

      1. I want to point out that all of these, including the canceling of writers for a wrong word have been going on as long as I’ve been in the country. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS NOW EVERYONE SEES IT AND SOME BRAVE PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO CHALLENGE IT.

  19. Is there a way to tell WP that I don’t want to see comments from certain commenters?
    If not, I’m sure I can just skip them.

  20. And before we end this session:

    As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

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