Years ago, when the Shakespeare series was the only thing I had published, and it seemed like I’d be shunted into historical fantasy forever, I was offered a book (through the History Bookclub, that’s how long ago that was) that claimed to be the diary of a Tudor (or Elizabethan, I don’t remember) woman. (The book is still packed. There is a great push to unpack, yes, but it will take time.)

It was the greatest take-in. This woman had had a fascinating life. In the crazy conspiracy and totalitarian pushes of the era, two of her husbands and some number of her progeny had been executed for treason. She, herself, had been under suspicion.

What was her diary? Well, imagine I become famous enough that in 200 years a graduate student looking to do a thesis on some obscure 21st century person. He gets all excited, because you know, immigrant, ESL, writer, blogger. And he finds, somehow, miraculously preserved, my husband’s scrupulous diaries. How much of my own life will be recorded there, eh?

Well, he’ll get all our dentist and eye appointments (I often forget mine, so Dan notes mine too) and all our major house reno (like roof repair, on the other house after hail) and appliance purchases, so we know where to go for the warranty. And that’s pretty much it.

This woman wasn’t quite that bad. I mean, she did note her poultry purchases, the eggs they’d laid, etc etc. (Yes, she was a noblewoman. Look, it’s not like the movies) but most of the entrances, like 99% of them consisted of the same words:

Prayed. Wrought. Prayed.

Wrought means “Worked.”

This woman, amid one of the most tumultuous periods of the renaissance, in an area where people were getting killed for their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, where lands were being expropriated, where treason was so rife on the ground you couldn’t cross the street without becoming a co-conspirator in something, spent most of her days sewing, cleaning, supervising servants, preserving food, looking after domestic animals (or keeping an eye on servants who did.)

Her husbands and her might have been involved in outright plotted regicide. BUT most of her days, she got up in the morning, washed hands and face (probably) put on clothes, prayed, and prayed again. And went to bed.

Was she happy? No one is unremittingly, permanently not happy. I bet in the middle of the turmoil and horror of losing husbands and children, she had days of joy.

And she made things and salvaged things, and fed her family, and some of her kids survived, and given how long ago it was, if you have any European blood, you’re probably descended from the world’s most boring diarist.

So, what is this in the name of?

Well, I wasn’t going to write about this. I was going to write about how none of you really understand the younger generation (40 and younger) unless you’ve raised them and paid close attention. About how they’re so frigging paranoid that they make my instincts, trained under socialism/communism/and for six months Maoism seem downright relaxed and laid back. So when people say all the kids are socialist or whatever, they’re listening to what the kids want them to think, not reality. (Their paranoia is giving TeamHoyt quiet fits, and they’re all going to be bald by the end of this. A reminder: if you contributed under two or three different pseudonyms, but expect it to be aggregated for rewards, you’re going to have to clue us in. Some I know or can guess, and spent considerable time this morning trying to unsnarl some of it, but–)

Except something grabbed by the scruff to write this, and when this happens some of you out there need it.

Londoners went on, and worked and kept the economy going enough not to starve while being bombed, during WWII. In bombed out Lebanon people worked and studied and married. Except during the worst periods of communist repression — and even then only in certain areas — life went on. It might be a stupid life, which you spent in food lines, but life went on.

Humans are a resourceful ape, but most of all, we are apes that survive. You’re descended from 100% people who survived to reproduce and whose kids survived to reproduce. And if you think they all did that through easy and fun times, you’re being foolish beyond permission. While all of human history might not have consisted of “brutish, nasty and short” it probably did compared to how amazingly rich and blessed our lives have been even those of the poorest of us in America.

And before you go and beat yourself up that we allowed this wealth and peace to be wasted, don’t. The process started well before us, with the people who believed in social engineering and that humans could be changed to the “new men” and women and “perfect” by their definition of perfect.

They were in the end only the old eugenicists, whose pasttime of trying to breed perfect humans and eliminate the others had been interrupted by the bad taste a certain German madman left on the idea.

So instead they decided to try soft psychological engineering, and armed with a bunch of pseudo-scientific bullshit, they set forth to do it.

That’s where the problem was, with the engineering of economy and society to create something new upon the Earth, all because these *ssholes hated their neighbors and thought themselves superior and enlightened.

The violent wrenches thrown into civilization from the early twentieth century onward had to come acrashing, sooner or later. That it took this long is a mark of how hard working, how inventive we are. (Yeah, mostly — though not exclusively — Americans, because the future comes from America.) Despite leadership that was outright crazy for most of 100 years, most Americans Wrought and Prayed and went on.

The thing is: I don’t think it will crash to the point that we live even vaguely as bad as our renaissance, or even our 19th century ancestors. It might get as bad as the horrible wastelands of the mid twentieth century.

I think we can survive it. It will feel horrible. And the sense of this being done by crazy people, who have a distorted view of reality they are using to break everything is not happy making. BUT it’s survivable.

We’ll pray (those of us who do) and work, and sleep, and even have times of happiness amid the insane chaos.

Remember the history of the 20th century is not a good guide for anything, because it was being continuously influenced by the crazy work of the Marxists, who are now more or less powerless in real terms (though still causing crazy in macro terms.) and powerless in cultural terms. (It’s what’s driving them to try to destroy us.)

Mostly people go on.

But will we lose the Republic? I don’t think so. Maybe, perhaps, for a short time, but no more than it was lost under FDR or Woodrow Wilson (and probably less. Because now we’re aware of what they did, and it’s a “funny once.”)

Will it come back? Almost for sure. Ideas are very hard to kill, and America is, as well as a stubborn, self-selected people, an idea.

When will it come back?

I don’t know. One of the deformations of our current time is that we expect history to work in movie-time. It doesn’t.

Throughout the 20th century and much of the 21st we’ve been in a cold civil war with the Marxists, not just here, but all over the world.

Can we resolve the cold war without violence. I don’t know. Heck, I was never sure with the cold war with the USSR that it could resolve without fire and blood. And I’m not sure, now, it should have.

But it will resolve. One way or another, it will resolve.

And meanwhile, life goes on. And we are the people who keeps life going.

We must work a little everyday, as much as we can to the restoration of the republic, whether that’s by learning or passing the knowledge on. By thinking and reading or by teaching.

But the other work we do also counts towards that.

I was looking at a picture of “work” on Pixabay, and the first five pages were all about group work or someone sitting in front of the computer. We have been truly spoiled.

And okay, I have a bias to considering mind-work as less vital, which makes me feel like a useless leech. Hey, I know it’s not true, it’s one of those things you learn in early childhood.

But a lot of what goes on in companies is make work. If that’s your lot, do it as well as you can, and use the income to build. And if you have hobbies that make and build, do those too.

Get up, go about your life, and build, make and learn.

The republic will survive, one way or another, but our lot is such that we must live through the interesting times, and build and build towards the result we want, even if our contribution is a mere crumb.

This morning I got up and washed a lot of dishes by hand, having finally given up on the dishwasher until it can be replaced. (More time than money issue right now) Then I started writing this, but got interrupted by a friend who needed to talk. Now I’m finishing this, going to grab something to eat, finish a bit of unpacking. Put DST up for pre-order. Contract for two audio books. And work on BOR. TeamHoyt has delivered the list (“Your biggest fan is Anonymoose. He contributed like 100 times.) I’ll thank tonight, which means certificates in a couple of days (Different list, somewhat.)

Got up. Wrought. Yes, prayed too. Will go to bed exhausted, get up, pray and work. My work is mostly stories. If it weren’t for my work at insty, I’d stop reading politics, except a day on the weekend, as Heinlein did during WWII. But I can’t do that, so that happens in there too. So I can spread the word on things I think should be seen. But I also cook, clean, unpack, and make things. I’m planning to take up art again, and there’s these stuffed animals I want to make. (WHAT makes you think it’s bats? Okay, sure, some of them are bats. But there are dragons, too.)

The tumult goes by, and it might or might not grab one of us at some point. Have a plan. Have a plan for lack of food. (I like the cans that last 30 years. The kids can inherit them!) Have a plan for “need to unass in a hurry.” Have a plan for “this might be hard to repair in the future, let me get that instead.” And have a plan for when the Infernal Revenue Stasi comes for you too. But that’s a worse case scenario, and you might be okay, anyway.

Survival is composed of little plans, little fights, little survivals and little moments of triumph.

And just like the wheels came off little by little — even when everything seemed okay — during the 20th century, we can put the wheels on, little by little, with our work everyday. It’s not glamorous. G-d knows it’s not fun. And He knows too it’s not easy, when the world is catching fire all around us.

But we do what good we can. Sleep, wake, pray, work. No matter what chaos goes on, that’s how wars are ultimately won. And that’s how humans remain humans.

Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

And don’t let the crazy paralyze you.

Go work.

349 thoughts on “Wrought

  1. “I like the cans that last 30 years. The kids can inherit them!”

    Auguson Farms is good stuff. Occasionally they do clearance, which is nice. Dehydrated blueberries mean breakfast is pretty tasty for like, a year for one. I can only vouch for the staples, not the full meals. Haven’t tried them.

    1. Since my family gardens our half-acre lot, my dad decided a freeze dryer was a good investment. Now we have our own home-grown strawberries, sweet corn, shelling peas, and so on packed in mylar bags and canning jars. We also make extra large batches of soup in the winter, and we’ve freeze dried casseroles, ground meats, eggs from our chickens, etc. – and then eaten them later. I’m pretty sure we’ve made back the initial investment in the machine simply by using our produce throughout the year and freeze drying leftovers.
      Of course, some stuff doesn’t freeze dry well, but it’s another great tool in the preparedness toolkit, if you have the room and/or the spare cash. If not, the cans you can get from Augason and other purveyors are indeed a great way to squirrel away some extra for lean times.

  2. I think the paranoia is just a side effect of the panopticon we’ve built. The machines are always watching, even if no thinking mind will ever even glance at any of what they’ve collected.

    Instinctively, we know every time we’re using our phones, we’ve got cameras point in all directions, and its not a question of if the cameras work. (If they didn’t we’d probably trade in our phones for one’s that did, after all.) But, culturally we haven’t figured out how to handle all that, so we just default back into the lizard brain’s ‘why is that thing staring at me all the time?’ mode and become perpetually freaked out.

    It would be funny if one of AGI’s first real actions is crispying all the various automated surveillance systems.

    “Seriously creators, the army of robot voyeurs is super creepy. Please just no.”

    1. I believe you are correct. There is also the fact that the internet is forever, and past mistakes online very well could come back to bite you later.

      1. Well, only sort of forever. The problem is you can’t find your older stuff when you want to, but others can sometimes find stuff you’ve forgotten about, especially given enough resources.

        On the one hand, the Internet does give individuals a lot more access to information than they did before, but it also seems to give entities with greater resources greater reach against individuals. I honestly do not know what the real balance of power results of this becomes. Is it like the gun that democratized power? Or will the additional resources large entities have mean it’s more like the sword and armor that tips the balance to the centralist knight instead?

        On an intuitive level, it feels like there is a fining problem here, with the institutional inefficiencies countering the additional resources to throw at the problem, but I just don’t know how to assess that.

          1. Very true. The challenge is now finding the pony.

            Having a big excavator helps. And maybe a couple of rivers to divert through the data set…

            1. Just typed presbypoet on Duck Duck Go. Only a few of my comments show up. One post that shows up is a response from someone else that references presbypoet from 2005 about Katrina.

              How do we find what is saved? How do we put down false trails? Don’t we want them to think that there is an Ox who lives in Mirror lake with the Dwarf Dragons?. Find that presbyPoet is a catholic? Find that my avatar really does look like me?

    2. None of that has been true long enough to account for the paranoia. A more likely source is the progressively increasing derangement of the school system.

      1. Too some extent, SF fans in general, and SF fans who work in IT, like yours truly, are self-selected for panopticon paranoia, because we’ve seen both the speculation in the fiction and the products designed and implemented to make it as real as possible.

      2. Are we sure of that? Based on the phone area code joke, (you cellphone area code is where you lived from 2000-2005) we’ve largely been connected since around 2005. The IPhone was 2007, and Glee (the plague ship of wokedom) launched in 2009-2015.

        That means we’ve been in various creeping stages of this for over a decade now. Someone who turns 30 today could have had an IPhone and been sharing everything on Facebook by the time they were 15. (Though probably would have been a couple more years for most).

        And based on some of the rather spectacular meme nukes that got dropped on people in the early 2000’s, I don’t think the paranoia had really spread. Looking through memes, it seems like people started being way more careful around 2015.

      3. I’d say it’s a major contributing factor. When, for example, you’re beaten up right in front of teachers and they then proceed to throw you in detention for a week for “starting the fight” while the mob who did it has nothing happen to them, you become paranoid of everybody.

        1. Ok, I totally get it if you aren’t comfortable sharing, but what the actual fuck Hell-school did you go to?

          1. Have you ever lived in a small town? I mean really small town, can-reach-every-household-with-less-than-200-pieces-of-mail? A town where maybe one, two families have money, and everyone else revolves around them?

            Okay, now imagine this small town in New England, where if you moved in 4 generations ago your family is still “the newcomers”.

            Only your family’s not that lucky. They moved in before you were born, and one of your parents is from the Deep South, the other’s of NYC environs extraction. Even being born and raised there, you don’t sound like everyone else.

            Add to that, the school tests your IQ and declares you “barely average”. (I am Odd, and very likely austistic.) Your parents pride themselves on their intelligence, haul in an out of town psychologist, and get back the results “genius”. Getting right in the face of the school principal, who prided herself in her Ph.D. of Education and knowing how to handle “pushy parents” and “annoying brats”.

            The principal effectively declared open season on me from kindergarten. And that was it.

            1. See, they tried something similar with older son, but when they got funny (We didn’t let them put him in special ed for being “slow” on account of he wasn’t slow) I went in and flew my broom around so much they gave up.

                  1. I believe some dude named Niccolo had something to say about the value of being feared. Not a particularly nice or forgiving person (to his benefit in that environment), but he was usually right. 🙂

                1. Might have worked to phone in to a scalp hunting state lawyer sort that there was child abuse going on in the school yard.

                  Would depend on catching someone’s attention, sadly.

            2. Ph.D. in Ed. And probably not one of the hard streams (my wife just finished her master’s in special ed, and that was brutal, but the “ed leadership” course she had to take (which is the stream most admins take) was an utter joke.

          2. Which, of course, got worse when I proceeded to prove their “average” rating was completely wrong by blasting every bit of coursework ahead of me – they had to skip me one grade, and only avoided 2 because I was out a large chunk of the next year with a broken arm. Broken on the playground, by at least two other people yanking me in mutually opposing directions, right in front of the supervising teacher. Who then declared that I was just crying for attention.

            My parents might have been utterly self-absorbed, but they knew I had a high pain tolerance and hauled me off to get an x-ray. Guess what? Completely broken.

            That was… second/third grade. Things did not get better. Until finally my parents – who hated spending money on me – realized if they didn’t put me in a paid-for school system, I was likely to die on the school’s watch. So for high school, they did.

            (Although actually I think they’d recently heard that the valedictorian of the public HS had to take remedial algebra, and their pride wouldn’t stand for me doing the same. So.)

            1. But they got their licks in. When the swing broke under older won, and he went against the wall with force and was unconscious, the bastards didn’t call me. I didn’t find out till he told me a week later.
              He still has issues from that.
              And when younger son disappeared (he was bored, so he went to second grade. He was in pre-school) they didn’t tell me either. He was gone the whole day.

              1. Oh, and in case you were wondering about how uncommonly altruistic my parents sound here – they stiffed the private school on half the last year’s bill, too. I only got to qualify as graduated ’cause one of my younger brothers was also enrolled at the time, and the school decided to take the half-fees they’d been paid for the year and apply them both to me.

                Younger brother got dumped back into the 7-12th grade school I’d escaped, promptly dropped out, and has despised me ever since. Not our parents. Me. Go figure.

                …And this is one of the reasons I’m never setting foot across the Mason-Dixon line again without an ironclad alibi.

            2. So my takeaway is that most of your elementary school’s staff needs to be fired, then hauled up on child endangerment charges.

              1. Bemused A lovely fantasy. But who would have done it? My parents? Not a chance – as long as they got what they wanted out of the school they wouldn’t do more. The local church? Main power behind that was the rich family choir organ player – see prior statement on the whole town revolving around wanting that money – and she thought my father was the cat’s meow and I was a horrible, horrible person for ever giving other people the impression my parents weren’t perfect. Other teachers? They liked their jobs, and saying the other kids were beating me up would have gotten all those parents mad at them. The cops? Town was too small for that, state police wouldn’t have gotten involved short of a murder. Social workers?

                …Heh. Heh heh. Insert horrible sarcastic laughter here.

                I talked to one, once, when my parents were in the middle of getting a divorce. Conversation was supposed to be confidential.

                All of it got back to my father, who had charmed her, and was used by his attorney in court to argue for custody of all the rest of my siblings (still minors, I wasn’t) because “obviously his wife is raising psychopaths and this one should have been committed as a child”.

                (To his credit, the judge apparently took “that was supposed to be confidential” and only arranged for… joint custody. Augh.)

                …As our hostess says, you cannot imagine my levels of justified paranoia about authorities.

                  1. Mostly just want to get them and everyone related to them permanently out of my life. I hope I have finally done so.

                    But man, there are reasons I don’t want Civil War 2. There’s enough suppressed berserk lurking in my head that if SHTF I don’t know where I’d stop.

                  2. There’s probably a reason that places being absolutely destroyed, while the main character is far away, with an air-tight alibi, show up a few times in her writing.

                1. clears throat

                  Do not underestimate the amount of justified paranoia about authorities among the Huns.

        2. Yes, it’s the school system. You guys had to pay AFFIRMATIVE lip service to whatever nonsense the teacher parroted or you got hammered. The number of times I had to make sure the teachers knew I could bring the pain on them more than they could on my kids.
          Including “I have access to a blog with hundreds of thousands of hits. HOW FAMOUS DO YOU WANT TO BE?”

          1. This isn’t even new. Even when I was in school 40 years ago in small-town Virginia, long long before woke stupidity entrenched itself, the quickest way to screwing yourself was to contradict a teacher…and Author help you if you actually proved them wrong, no matter how wrong they actually were. You were a marked man/woman for the entirety of your school career in that class, and probably others since they had the super-secret Teacher Lounge to smoke and share who the “troublemakers” were.

              1. Yeah, we had a couple that were…whew. Older women, mostly, and they weren’t woke or anything like that. They were just…bad. Poor English, poor speaking skills, marginal knowledge of their subject area. And all the students knew it. But we had no choices in teachers.

                1. For us, it was the old ones were mostly really good. It was the newer ones who mostly didn’t know their heads from a hole in the ground. And who were community outsiders.
                  (I can still remember Mabel B. telling us we were going to spend the next month of 11th grade learning how to diagram sentences. “I’ve read your essays. You need it”. She was an old biddy, but darned good at her job.)

                  I guess I had the good fortune to grow up in a small community where no one had much money.
                  I did come from an “old” family and had some reflected status from my ancestors being pillars of the community for several generations, but that came with a lot of expectations to meet, and standing up for the weak and defenseless was right towards to top of that list. I’m horrified that someone blessed with a better position would abuse it.
                  Not that social opprobrium for being Odd passed me by. I found myself in a number of fights without much clue as to why. But I acquitted myself well enough that nobody who knew me was very eager to fight me, and I wasn’t very eager to go looking for a fight. (There were always new kids, though. And there were plenty of classmates who thought it was great fun to point them at the little nerd, while neglecting to mention that said nerd spent his days bucking bales and punching cows.)

                  1. “…we were going to spend the next month of 11th grade learning how to diagram sentences.”

                    Oy… When did you go to school? We learned to diagram sentences in either 4th or 5th grade, at the same time we learned, among other things, long division, how to take square root, and all the state capitols (of course it was easier; there were only 48 of them… 🙂 )
                    Re: Fights, you apparently chose the best course; don’t start any, but finish them all.

          2. I still occasionally have nightmares about high school. Although I must be on the upper end of the group you were talking about since I turn forty this year.

              1. If I had nightmares about High School, I don’t remember them.

                But then I don’t remember anything about High School except that it was Hell.

                1. My school nightmares aren’t about high school, but the grades before them. In the private high school there was no physical violence. Plenty of verbal violence, cliques, etc., but that was a walk in the park in comparison.

                  …The Department of Education needs to go. Just go.

                  1. …along with every other department created since the beginning of the Raw Deal. And rename Defense back to War where it belongs. And while we’re at it, repeal both the 16th and 17th Amendments and the NFA et seq (GCA 68).

                    Why yes, I do want a lot; why do you ask? 🙂

                    1. War did not become Defense, but half of Defense, the other half being Navy. So do you intend to split them up again?

                    2. True; thanks for the correction. And to answer the question, yes, I would. In fact, it might be better to eliminate the “overarching” War/Defense entirely, since both the Department of the Army and Department of the Navy still exist (although not at Cabinet-level – correctable), and their functions and funding are legally distinct. (Although it’s been commented that since the Navy has its own Air Force and its own Army, which has its own Air Force, maybe all we need is the Navy… 🙂 )

                    3. Well, United States Space Navy has a nice ring. Not quite up to Royal Manticoran Navy, but close… 🙂

          3. Hell, that would be a great service that a large blogs could offer: make an abusive official famous. Call it a “returning fire” segment.

            Of course, to do that, I would need a large blog, which means I would need to write interestingly enough to attract a following of regular readers.


            Yeah, I am nowhere near interesting enough for that ☺

    3. I think there’s a possibility of panopticon generations reverting to the stereotypical 19th/early 20th c. upperclass British protocols of giving out as little information about yourselves as possible.

      1. Ah, I see! Well, I mean, I’d gladly have contributed 100 times if we had it, don’t get me wrong. But I saw that and thought I was gonna have to ask SheSellsSeashells a few pointed questions…

        1. Hmmm. How would I work that into a walk-on part?

          Annie Moose was a big gal. Built right in all the right places, only on a scale that dwarfed normal people. The only reason why she dated professional basketball players is because they were the only men who didn’t give her a crick in her neck looking down at them.

          Normally a very gentle gal, she had been known from time to time to step in and help victims of violent crimes. For instance, there was the time she stopped a rapist in a back alley by one-handedly throwing him into a dumpster. Said dumpster being across the street, and up the road 75 feet. And the fact that she’d grabbed him by the crotch meant that he wasn’t going to be repeating the crime any time soon.

      2. Since the plural form of ‘Moose’ is ‘Moose’ you can’t tell if they’re talking about one Anonymoose or a whole herd of Anonymoose. 😀
        What’s more dangerous than a polar bear? A bipolar bear!

          1. That makes sense since the plural of mouse is “meeses”. Regardless of whether you hate them to pieces.

    1. Optimism is not the opposite of pessimism. They’re both wrong, I think. The BBESP suffers from the same sort of thing I do, or close enough. I see the bad stuff first then have to step back, analyze, and judge whether or not what chronic depression is telling me is any way close to fact. 99.99% of the time it is not.

      It isn’t quite optimism to say “Bad stuff is coming. We will suffer more in the future. Some of us will die before we come out the other side. Maybe all of us, and our children will be the ones to see it. But America will come out the other side, eventually, if we work hard enough for it.”

  3. Meanwhile, I logged into Final Fantasy XIV for the first time in a long while, and started the latest batch of daily quests. It’s a storyline about a group of Fantasy India elephant-men who were street-racing with hippo-drawn chariots. They have decided to turn their talents and hippo chariots into a speedy delivery service.

    No, I am not making this up! Quit looking at me like that!

    1. Is that new Endwalker content? I had just started the second expansion (Stormwhatever?) when I took a few months off and haven’t come back to it just yet. Might soon though.

      1. “New” probably isn’t the right word. It’s a few months old, and the new patch is supposed to arrive at the end of the month.

        But yes, it was added in the last patch for Endwalker

          1. Yeah, me too. I enjoyed the farm stuff in Pandaria (as simple as it was) in WoW. I’m hoping the island retreat will be like that, but even better.

        1. Huh. I ended up burning out of FF14 a few years back (guild, as near as I can tell, fractured over the election) but have been thinking about getting back in whenever I burn down on ESO.

          I wonder, do the Huns have any guilds going for these MMOs? Over in ESO, I’m slowly dipping my toes into tanking even (Ahhhh!). May have figured out a one-bar tank that’s wrong on about half a dozen different levels…

          1. I know that there used to be Alliance and Horde guilds in WoW for people who posted on Ace’s blog. But that was a long time ago. No idea if they still exist. Eve Online also had a chat channel for AoSHQ people, though not an actual corporation.

            Haven’t heard about other games or other blogs.

  4. Oh don’t get me started on the Infernal Revenue Stasi right now. It’s a problem of my own making, but still…

    Short version: I didn’t file our taxes for tax years 2019 or 2020. We can’t e-file because of a snafu at the Social Security Administration (they have one of our birthdates incorrect, which means e-filing with the IRS won’t work) so I had to file on paper. Now, note that we were owed refunds for both years. So this year I get a letter from the IRS that they are forcing my employer to jack my withholding up to the maximum–single, 0 exemptions. That’s like an effective 8% pay cut right there. So I filed all three years’ worth of tax returns, on paper, because, remember, THE GOVERNMENT has my data screwed up.

    The notoriously dysfunctional state of South Carolina, God bless ’em, had all three years worth of returns sorted and refunds paid in five weeks.

    The IRS only cleared up the backlog of paper returns from tax year 2020 this past JUNE. They still have something like TEN MILLION paper 2021 returns they haven’t even processed yet. This despite the fact that far fewer returns are coming in on paper than ever, and the only reason I have to file on paper is because the SSA somehow got a birthday wrong. So we probably won’t get our refunds before close to the end of the year. And all this time, the IRS is screwing me out of a couple hundred dollars extra per paycheck.

    Oh but they’ll pay me 5% interest for being late. Supposedly. Unless they find another way to screw me out of what they owe us.

    Not a happy mammal right now.

    1. Federal IRS … OMG. We were audited for our ’85, then ’86, ’87, and finally ’88, returns. The (stupid) auditor could not do math. I swear. I even sent him a printed spreadsheet with the numbers. Note, we didn’t do “anything wrong” except disagree with the auditor … Oh. Wait. Note, we were just as stubborn. The other contention (not written anywhere FYI) was the number of years we were depreciating the house, turned rental, in Longview. A 1958 built house, we’d lived in from ’80 – 85, with a 30 year mortgage. Our number was (WAG) 22 years. The “unwritten rule” told to us was # years mortgage – # years lived in = 25 years. Less than $300 depreciation/year difference. Oh, and also were informed about the question that 15 year mortgage – 5 years lived in = 10 year depreciation was “unreasonable”. The agent finally sent everything in as “resolved” for collection with interest and penalty, no appeal, not nothing. Took the entire stack of copies of everything to Defazio’s office (good for one thing anyway, but early in his tenure). It was remanded back to a new agent, in August of ’89. Walked in with a newborn (asleep). Gave her a summary of what our “difficulties” were + stuff we were adding (wouldn’t have refiled missing deductions but hey …), plus notarized document that the house had sold (in ’89 so would be filing on that in ’90). Options, we’d pay the “adjusted prior taxes” based on depreciation change, but not penalties or interest, and we’re recoop on that in ’89 taxes. Or new agent could agree we were “right”. Agent agreed. We got additional money back for those years (no interest) because of the deductions we had missed in those years. FYI, meeting lasted < 1/2 hour.

      Now we are trying to get back to the years when we paid both the state and federal IRS a bit when we efile (okay we efile feds, Oregon gets theirs snail mailed.) But it varies on federal whether that happens or not. State we’ll be getting refunds. We can’t drop the withholding percentage low enough, and we aren’t paying withholding on SS (state or fed, not applicable to state), or my pension.

    2. I am a software developer, and very familiar with computers. It would be easy for me to file electronically. Do I? Nope. Paper, every year, and I encourage others to do the same. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop,” as the saying goes, and an IRS that is overwhelmed with processing paperwork is an IRS with less* time on its hands to get up to mischief. It’s just one wooden shoe thrown into the system, but it’s my wooden shoe.

      * Not “no” time on its hands, as Lois Lerner proved. Just “less”.

      1. It drives me crazy that ten years ago, when e-filing was MUCH less prevalent and they had to deal with tens of million more paper returns, they could generally handle a straightforward long-form 1040 and get out the refund in 6-8 weeks. Now in 2022, they only have about 10.5 paper returns to process and they’re saying it will take them 4-6 MONTHS…FROM NOW. In other words, they’re only on January 2022 returns. The first six months of the year was just them clearing a backlog from 2021. They blame COVID but I’m not completely buying that. Disruption in 2020 for the 2019 tax year, yes. But disruption that will take you three calendar years to unscrew? Something is hinky.

        And I think we can all agree that not a single one of the tens of thousands of new Stasi agents in the Inflation Expansion Bill will actually be put toward clearing up that backlog. That way does not lie food for the beast.

        1. They’ve probably reduced the number of people they have assigned to do data-entry, in order to free up people for persecuting Tea Party groups. Which is one reason why I choose to paper-file, to try to force them to put people on paper-pushing instead of mischief.

          1. The problem with that is that it won’t necessarily do any such thing; it will probably guarantee that 2022 returns won’t be processed until ’23 or even ’24. They’re bureaucrats in late-stage Iron Law; they decide where to allocate resources, and it’s not for our benefit.
            Also, paper returns require trusting SnailMail to actually get them to the IRS. I also know computers and computer systems, and I prefer to efile and make multiple copies of every document involved.

  5. Glad to see you coming to terms with all this, at least for the moment. For myself, I’m tired of being enraged all the time. it’s no good for me and no good for the people around me. I’ve cut off television entirely and am limiting my internet as much as possible. Too bad for me that my profession requires I stay in touch with the news, but one can’t have everything.

    Keep asking yourself why do I know this, in whose interest is it for me to know, is my life better for knowing this? If the answer is no, well. …. Cut it off.

    1. Not knowing what’s coming down the pike drives me crazy.
      I don’t have the aptitude or the brooding ancestral mansion to be a proper mad scientist.

      1. This is a problem for everyone, and one of the reasons why so many people are on edge. There’s a sense that something is coming. But no one has any idea what it is, or when it will arrive.

      2. I’m the same way. The apprehension of “something nasty is coming but I don’t know what or on what timetable” is driving me nuts, to the point that “can we just get this over and done with?” is becoming a very strong thread of thought for me.

        Working on the Sharp Wars novels in the Grissom timeline seems to be helping. Similar but different — and I know that it ends with the Constitution restored, even if the Sharps mostly get exiled to space (and thus found the great spacefaring civilizations, while Earth turns its back on technology, as we see in the last scene of “Tell Me a Story”).

        1. Yes, the anticipation is the worst part in some ways. I just want to get it over with so I can work on recovery, you know?

      3. I trade on my own account in the markets. The markets they go up, they go down, they go sideways, They will push you out of a position then whipsaw you back. You can hedge, up to a point, but risk cannot be eliminated, only transferred to someone else. Holding onto a position when it moves against you is enormously stressful, I’ve been betting heavily on bonds (e.g.,) and I had a bad couple of months though it may be starting to come good. You go on, or you go under, since the future will be what it will be and it’s unknown and unknowable.

        Over time, I’ve discovered that the tipsters and the grifters, the haruspices and the economists, the fraudsters, and the bankers reduce one’s ability to see what is and seeing what is is the best we can do. I try very hard to identify and eliminate them from my consciousness since they are a net negative. I’ve started to eliminate a lot of news sites, even those I broadly agree with, since all they do is make me angry, it’s their business model whether they know it or not.

        I used to read at least three newspapers a day, but I’m down to zerohedge and the Daily Mail and I only read the headlines in the Mail, they are the very best source of middle class women’s opinion around. If a story goes above whatever the young royals are up to its well to pay attention.

        number one son takes the NY Post so I get the sports news.

          1. Same here. But I’m confused by the need for the multiple redundancy of “the tipsters and the grifters, the haruspices and the economists, the fraudsters, and the bankers”; that seems to me to be identical to Twain’s “idiot and Congressman” comment… 😉

  6. My paranoia centers around electricity. We’ve gotten so used to having reliable, 100% available electricity, we rely on it even for things that don’t require electricity. Gas and wood heaters, if they use electric blowers, aren’t much good when the electricity goes out.

    And I don’t think most people understand just how much of a difference always-on electricity makes when it comes to refrigeration, in homes and in warehouses. Part of the reason all those countries had to spend time in food lines is that electricity isn’t reliable. You can’t count on a refrigerator to keep your food safe for weeks at a time. Nor can you count on the food being worth keeping for weeks at a time.

    Yes, your cell phone will work the same when the electricity is out… but the tower probably only has a couple of hours backup… and the battery hasn’t been tested in years. I’ve seen cell towers die in 30 minutes. The “important” ones may have a backup generator. Some even have a backup generator with a continuous supply of natural gas… but that supply probably requires electricity at the supplier to keep flowing. Natural gas suppliers used to use natural gas to run the pipelines, but government incentives have moved many to the grid.

  7. “Put DST up for pre-order.”

    Upon which, you will, of course, POST THE LINK so that people can get their shiny new copy.

    Because you honestly forget to promote your own work sometimes.

    1. And I can post the review that I wrote last winter on my reviewing site, and know that the promotional effort will actually go into your pocket, not to used copies of the old edition.

        1. Well, your book promotion blog turned into a hub for political/cultural discussion (and flying carp), so it’s not a total loss. ☺

  8. So, the Congresscritters passed Son Of Big Bloated Bullshit Bill over the weekend, pretending that spending even more money we don’t have will reduce the inflation they caused by spending money we didn’t have in the first place. They had to cut their pork barrel down, so now it’s only half the size of the Hindenberg. Yay.

    It’s like they’ve got advisors, really smart ones who know what they’re doing, but the only question they ever ask is, “What is the absolute worst and stupidest thing we can do?” — and then they take the answer and run with it.
    Most days, I suspect that we could get a better government by picking 537 people at random. On bad days, I’m certain we’d get a better government by picking 537 people at random from lunatic asylums.

    1. Do not forget the 87,000 tax lawyers just hired, advertised as needed personnel to look at the tax dodging of big companies and billionaires. The most recent senate vote, wherein Republicans requested that these 87,000 be specifically restricted to only pursuing litigation against big corpos and the rich was voted down on party lines.

      Never mind that they have all those other tax lawyers not barred from going after the little guy, as more than 2 out of every 5 IRS cases in 2021 went after folks under 75k in income.

      Bait and switch, motte and bailey are the norm for these professional liars.

      1. Big corporations and billionaires do not violate the tax laws. They exploit ‘special features’ inserted into the tax laws by lobbyists and approved by corrupt politicians. Those 87,000 new tax collectors are not going to get an additional nickel out of the ‘Eeevul Corporations and Billionaires’ because they have their own lawyers and accountants to keep them just within the law. They’re going to squeeze the ‘little people’ who don’t have the resources to push back against the government.

        The Bureau Of Infernal Ravenous is being prepped to commit wholesale tax fraud on behalf of the government against anybody they don’t like.
        Governments can’t create prosperity; at best, they can refrain from destroying it.

      2. Wait a minute…are you trying to tell me that the Democratic Party is NOT following through on their own exhortations to make corporations and the super-rich “pay their fair share”? And that it’s the Republicans, of all people, trying to protect the rest of us?

        If you’re not careful, I might get the idea that some things are exactly the opposite of what we’ve always been told.

      3. 87 thousand new people for the IRS,

        The US Army would call that a Corps of four infantry divisions. Big ones.

        That five million round IRS ammo purchase recently makes sense in context. But it is less than 60 rounds per new person. Two magazine loads for practice/training and two to carry.

        The Donks haven’t, quite, panicked yet. That happens in November. I am wondering just how insane will be the legislation pushed in mid to late November.

          1. My comment on the news, was simply “(bad word), here we go”.

            Shortly thereafter, this aggressively non-catholic Protestant posted the prayer of St. Michael in a public place.

            1. This prayer? If so, it’s fitting at this time.

              St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

                1. Hello Sarah,

                  Since I’m fairliy recent here I am trying to understand the “THIS” on some comments. I didn’t see that acronym listed on the FAQ page. The gravity must be really dense around my head this morning…LOL Any translation appreciated! The best to you and your family!

                  1. In most cases, Sarah posts “THIS” in response to another post that she agrees with. 😉

                    1. Thanks for clarity of thought! The anagram in my brain just felt a microcosm of relief! LOL

        1. Announce that due to $Budget $Drastically $Shrunk, changes must occur such that critical targets are met, regardless of petty outrage? Slowly shrink that $Budget until the bureaucracy itself ceases to exist? Begin a campaign of ruthless firings such that every bureaucrat fears for their job with every phone call, email, and knock on the cubicle wall?

          Or, and this is just spitballing mind, just hear me out because this will be great:

          Hippos. Large, angry, pissed off hippos. In every office. I mean, it’s a green solution, am I right? Circle of life, carbon positive, and all that.

          I can neither confirm or deny that this brilliant solution was from watching the godkids play when they were littles.

      4. “…87,000 tax lawyers…” But be of good cheer, apparently only 70,000 of the new total of 170,000 will be armed.

          1. “STRIKE FORCE: IRS — Wherever the plebes unlawfully hold the government’s money, the five divisions of IRS agents will be there! Remember, you will have nothing; and be happy”

    2. Not to mention that our energy bills are about to go up by at least 20%. (A 17% tax on natural gas? RYFKMRN?)

      Our institutions have been teaching for generations that sophistry and sophistication are synonymous, and we’re about to pay the price.
      With interest.

      1. I just said “F” it and signed up for solar a couple weeks ago. Company is offering 1.5% financing for 20 years on a 48k system, works out to about $180 a month. My electric bill is currently about $200. Even if I don’t get a dollar back from overproduction of power, I’m still switching a very variable cost to a fixed one.

        Panels are made in Dothan, Georgia, though I’d imagine the materials are still from the CCP, as the watermelons don’t care if the source of the materials is a wasteland, as long as we don’t get the stuff cleanly here.

          1. What sold me is not the greenie aspect, but the greenback one. With the current inflation levels, what other costs can we lock in? My energy costs in the house at least won’t change much. I’ve been thinking about an electric motorcycle, that would basically run for free with this system as well. We’re in for tough times economically, even if they don’t get sporty.

            1. N.B., I’m not giving out the name of the company, as I’ve yet to get a panel on my roof, never mind had my electric bill go POOF! Still waiting on permitting from the county. I’ve had many friends and coworkers ask, and told them to get back to me in six months when I can give a real recommendation.

              1. Would still be nice to have the name of a company whose panels come out of the US. Clear note, not a recommendation because you can’t yet, but this is who you are going with?

              1. that’s another ten grand, in general, for a battery backup. I’m not sure about the service life of those either.

                I bought a whole house propane generator about fifteen years ago for outage protection. Then again, I live in Central Florida, so I’m a bit more likely to get storm based outages. If we do start getting long term regular power cuts it might be worthwhile, but if it happens in this country I’d imagine we’d see a lot more wildcat inventing on power storage.

  9. The Elizabethans are a bit too late for high probability of ancestry, particularly given conseaguinity and the early separation of English ancestors of most English descended Americans. You would need to go back a couple more centuries for that.

    Otherwise, spot on as usual.

  10. My paranoia centers around electricity. We’ve gotten so used to having reliable, 100% available electricity, we rely on it even for things that don’t require electricity. Gas and wood heaters, if they use electric blowers or are “smart”, aren’t much good when the electricity goes out.

    And I don’t think most people understand just how much of a difference always-on electricity makes when it comes to refrigeration, in homes and in warehouses. Part of the reason all those countries had to spend time in food lines is that electricity isn’t reliable. You can’t count on a refrigerator to keep your food safe for weeks at a time. Nor can you count on the food being worth keeping for weeks at a time.

    Cell phones will work the same when the electricity is out… but the tower serving it probably only has a few hours backup… and the battery hasn’t been tested in years. I’ve seen cell towers die in 30 minutes. The “important” ones may have a backup generator. Some even have a backup generator with a continuous supply of natural gas… but that supply probably requires electricity at the supplier to keep flowing. Natural gas suppliers used to use natural gas to run their pipelines, but government incentives have moved many to the grid (something I learned during Texas’s big freeze).

    1. “My paranoia centers around electricity.”
      This, and the production and distribution of prescription medicines.
      I recently added a surge protector and a generator. I would like to think this gets me to ~90% percentile, but now I think I need to be at ~95%.

    2. Because electric pumps are more efficient than natural-gas pumps drawing fuel directly from the pipeline.
      The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

    3. Yep – all of my neighbors learned just how fast we could descend to Venezuela, when the power and the water went out, during the Texas big freeze.
      A lot of people got disenchanted with renewable energy right then and there.

    4. One strange thing I learned talking to a plumber is that almost all modern (i.e. post 1995 or so) oil and gas furnaces require a blower. Why you ask? Because the furnaces are super efficient. An old 85% or so efficient furnace outputs at about 600 degrees F. That is plenty hot and will happily rise up a small chimney taking all the nasty CO (cabon monoxide) with it. A modern 95%+ efficient furnace recycles the gas to suck every calorie of heat out of the combustion. Its output is ~ 90-120 degrees F and will NOT rise up a chimney. It can be handled with PVC pipe and a blower. If the power to the blower stops the furnace stops. Otherwise there is grave danger of CO poisoning. Another issue is in some homes in the northeast the pipe only extends 2-3′ up from where it exits the foundation but in an even moderate winter we can see 4+ ft of snow on the ground and larger drifts. And by the time that exhaust gas has traversed the PVC pipe it is down to 60 degrees or so F so it won’t melt the snow much. Several families died in the 2015 winter which had unusually large snow totals because they didn’t know they had to keep the vent clear. Of course my ancient c. 1986 (85% efficient) furnace and boiler does me no good as although it won’t kill me it also requires constant ignition to burn the fuel oil (diesel) and power to run the circulating pumps so no heat if power is out.

    5. And that’s part of why I have “too many” kerosene lanterns, etc. and a Stirling engine fan, and a thermoelectric fan and….

      Summer refrigeration would be a problem. Winter, not QUITE so much. But care would need to be taken, for Nature is fickle.

  11. “It might get as bad as the horrible wastelands of the mid twentieth century.”

    Yeah, I’m thinking Great Depression era myself, only with a lot more dead cars, and cold and dark houses.

  12. I don’t have the amount of hope for our Republic that you have, but I don’t want to seem overly negative.

    Regarding the word “wrought”, my Mom, who was an avid reader until her death at 90, loved the word. She also enjoyed the TV show “Murder, She Wrote”, starring Angela Lansbury. My Mom always held that the show should be titled “Murder, She Wrought” because wherever that lady showed up someone ended up getting murdered.

      1. Now, I have half an idea for a cozy where the main character actually IS some kind of Avatar of Death (because Death is busy and needs minions). And one of the triggers is that a previous minion died, and so another has to be chosen.

        1. Everyone is happy when the bad guy finally gets what’s coming to them. Very few consider the psychological consequences on the soul chosen as the avatar of what is coming to them.

          1. Indeed. And the girl in my head is a bit unprepared. I think she’ll do alright but she’s likely to be a little more genre savvy than is customary.

        2. Chris Claremont did a “Man-Thing,” comic where the personification of Death is a schmuck who foists his job off on a young woman. He has to take it back. (You also get Dr. Strange, Man-Thing and Claremont himself as characters in the story. It was fun).

          1. In this case I think it’s more Death trying to keep things from spilling over. What things? I don’t know yet. The story hasn’t told me. I suspect this is going to have at least a little paranormal in it, but I’m not sure.

      2. Oh, I love it! I like the idea of carrion crow better than the little old lady who always finds a dead relative, friend or acquaintance wherever she goes. Liked Murder She Wrote, but felt it was kinda dangerous to be in her circle of acquaintances.

      3. Yes it makes sense if you think about it. The show ran for 264 episodes plus 4 TV movies (thank you Wikipedia) with a murder in every one of them. That’s an awful lot of murders, all of them with one thing in common: the presence of Jessica Fletcher… (dun dun DUN!)

          1. Not really.

            The writers realized that Jessica’s home-town (where most of early episode took place) already had too many murders.

            So they had to take Jessica’s “show on the road”. 😈

          2. On second thought, only half of the people in that town were murdered.

            The other half are in jail for murdering them! 😛
            Major Strasser has been shot! Round up the usual suspects!

      4. Scrolling through the author’s other fics, I liked her(?) answer to the Trolley Problem, which is to say “I reject the premise and Choose a Third Option”. (And also, “the right answer to guys like the Joker is not to lock them up in jail where they’ll escape yet again, it’s to pick up a gun and stop him, permanently this time.”)

        Then I found that this was the same author who wrote “Welcome to Evil-Mart”, which someone (Vathara, IIRC) had recommended before. No wonder the writing style seemed familiar.

  13. I was going to write about how none of you really understand the younger generation (40 and younger) unless you’ve raised them and paid close attention.

    :giggles in under 40, married to 40+:


  14. Wrought of iron,
    Wrought of steel,
    Wrought of hand,
    Wrought of will.

    The future is built of such as these.
    The future will come as it will please.
    The future is not a graven state
    That comes upon those who wait.

    Wrought of iron,
    Wrought of steel,
    Wrought of hand,
    Wrought of will.

    The story spun so long ago
    Will keep the heart steady so,
    The hand that carves the stone and wheel
    Can return each day to the mill.

    Wrought of iron,
    Wrought of steel,
    Wrought of hand,
    Wrought of will.

    To tear down the walls is easy to do
    To tear down a place? Not so true.
    A hearth, a home, and a stubborn will?
    They’ll find these not so easy to kill.

    Wrought of iron,
    Wrought of steel,
    Wrought of hand,
    Wrought of our will.

    1. Mainland China destroyed Chinese culture and rebuilt it according to Mao and those who came after. Taiwan has preserved much; but much is now lost.

      If we are to rebuild America, we’ll need to remember how to lay the Foundation.

      “By hammer, and hand, and the will of God” says the old stone; but mostly the latter.

        1. I agree we must act.

          As my Mom often said, “God gives every bird their food; but He doesn’t toss it in their mouth.”

  15. Speaking of wroughting, I just watched a YouTube video: Flax to linen: Sowing to sewing. If the world ends, I’m planting cotton or raising sheep. No way will I go to that much work to get thread.

    BTW: The egg is thawing so I can have it for breakfast, tomorrow.

    1. Cotton without a manual cotton gin at least is just as much of a pain. Can’t speak to sheep.

      1. Well, you can…just don’t expect to get a useful response out of them. 😀

        A bonus to raising sheep instead of cotton is mutton. You just can’t beat an MLT, when the mutton is nice and lean…so perky.

        1. Wool is a lot of work. The sheep get dirty and get all sorts of junk in their fleece. Many washes and lots of combing, similar to cotton (once you get the seed out). Carding and combing and ginning machines aren’t that complex 18th century or earlier technology.

          1. Oh lord, if you get into that, please read up on anthrax. AKA wool sorter’s disease. Shudders Most flocks are kept free of it, but the bacteria tends to show up in the environment, too.

            1. I forgot that one. Getting hold of Cipro or similar Antibiotics if you’re going to muck with wool might be suggested. Inhalation anthrax is nasty and fairly lethal without treatment.

    2. Also, you can at a pinch eat ground flax, which you can’t do with cotton.

      For sheep, take a long hard look at the relevant part of Clarkson’s Farm and the relevant bits of James Herriot books, before making any serious decisions. They maybe easier than other livestock, but not all that easy.

      1. I forget if it was here or.. there… but someone recently described goats as smart and playful and sheep as evil. No direct experience, myself.

        1. I found myself on a friend-of-a-friend’s hobby farm once many years ago, and got designated to herd the sheep into the pen while he did something else before we could leave and do something or other, don’t remember.

          It took me — city boy from birth — about five seconds to realize that I didn’t need to herd the flock, I just needed to herd the ram, and the rest would follow him.

          It probably helped that my mother (who had been to her brother-in-law’s sheep ranch in Marin before) told me that sheep are deeply, deeply stupid. Even more than cows.

              1. Sorry, I’m picturing the Gaussian distribution…

                Er, how may sigma to the left is that?

          1. Depends on the breed, but yes, 95% of domestic sheep are . . . not high on the intelligence ranking. The true heritage breeds, the ones that can survive with minimal human intervention? Those are different. They are also rare (NM Churro sheep, Steinschaef, some of the Icelandic sheep . . .)

    3. looks around at her very large stash of fabric, thread, beads, yarn and miscellaneous craft supplies

      I’m pretty sure I won’t live long enough to need to start raising sheep to make my clothes.

      I could probably work for a decade without buying anything else. I’m not willing to take that chance though and you can get good deals at second hand stores.

  16. As a socially alienated child, I spent all my time reading, mostly SF.

    Over time, one learnes to see the structure, the repetitions…and the warnings.

    One common warning, maybe in 10% of the genre is that all societies have a barbarian base,
    which hates the 10% which keeps it going, and the 10% of that which pushes it forward.

    This seemed unlikely until my sister the geneologist/biologist tuned me in to ‘assortive mating’;

    Superior strains survive, and marry their ddistant cousins, while the masses may die childless.

    A high-tech society has no place for, or tolerence of, barbarians, which shows smart is not wise.

  17. Oh well, another day another twelve dollars and thirty cents, same purchasing power as another day another dollar in the fifties.

    My only problem, living up here on top of the world, is nowadays freight cost is prohibitive and/or many companies will no longer ship heavy goods here. Meaning I have to wrought more and purchase less.

    Mostly I can do that but I’d really like to get an 8 or 10hp Lister Type Slow Speed Diesel Engine that I’m not equipped to build from scratch.

  18. I’ve been imagining/foreseeing a major breakdown of government authority at all levels. Not ACW 2.0 with its marching, marauding armies of thousands and hundreds of thousands, but chaos of mobs, gangs, and local strongmen seizing power in the vacuum of central authority. Some of our major cities are already well down that path…not coincidentally, the bigger and bluer, the farther along. I’ve been wondering what it would take to bring about such a state. Well, now I see a path leading to that future. There might be more than one.

    Weaponize the IRS, and send agents out to treat taxpayers as criminals instead of using civil law…that will tear it. The IRS already gets away with conduct under civil law that would be manifestly unconstitutional if tax evasion were considered a crime. Most people do not understand just how heavily our tax system depends on employers as enforcers or on voluntary cooperation with the law. Given the known resistance to “G-men, T-Men, Revenooer’s too” by bootleg distillers of liquor, I can easily see it spreading to John Q. Public if the government gets sufficiently money thirsty and heavy-handed. As collections fall off and enforcement becomes more expensive, the pressure to print money will become irresistible, and the Almighty Dollar may soon become worth a Continental or Confederate greenback.

    Military dictatorship? Using nukes and Fighter jets and an already demoralized and shrinking army to restore order? “Ye fer sure do have some right funny notions, there”. On the other hand, there is the pusillanimous cowardice of some of our major state and city authorities as displayed following the George Floyd riots. I fully anticipate that in places there will be overreaction instead of underreaction if there aren’t enough federal forces to go around.. Or, if they are deployed in an obviously partisan and preferential manner. As for the rest of the world, it will have even worse troubles than we do.

    The best way out of this I can see is through. On the brighter side, when reality begins to bite down hard, I also anticipate the coalition of would-be tyrants and grifters that bothers us so much now to turn into the Kilkenny cats, while the rest of us scramble for survival. The effete and the dwellers in ivory towers who are disconnected from harsh mundane reality…or at least their comfortable lifestyles…won’t. Stripped their numbing and obfuscating cover of words, those who are savages at heart will savage. We see that happening with frightening speed before our eyes. It will accelerate.

    1. Keep in mind that in a novel dealing with a tyrant alien/puppetmaster takeover of the USA, the Bad Guys have to concentrate locally, chunks at a time, or they drown in a veritable sea of folks. They have to make a horrid example to induce “submit”. But that horrid example is also an upward balloon. So dilemma, yes?

      There are over 100 -million- armed folks, possibly as many as 150M, with possibly -trillions- of rounds of ammunition. Most will have at least a box (20-50) per working firearm. Some may have enough ammo to throw off mass detectors. If 1 in a hundred yahoos will fight, they still outnumber the US Army.

      The Bad Guys have to persuade the Good Guys to quit. Cajole, terror, bribe, extort, deceive, etc.

      The Resistance of the Warsaw Ghetto started with perhaps six small-caliber handguns, and held off mech infantry divisions. For months.

      Note to writers. Small pistols like a .22 are quiet, enough to get lost in the background of traffic noise, or creative disturbances. Especially when one selects low velocity ammo. Strictly an “in the ear” engagement, but then you have the weapon of the Bad Guy.

      Yet another trash truck induced…. Dumpster crash! Pop! …. thud. “Hey look! This is that new mark 12 blaster! Shiny!” “Er, you are going to clean that. Yes? It’s got gore all over it. Ew.”

      1. Not fiction, but prophecy. Although the fiction sounds more credible. I’m not nearly as concerned about overbearing might from above as lawlessness from below.

        1. Lawlessness from below facilitated by might from above. Woke prosecutors, anti-self-defense laws, the pattern is obvious.

      2. This is a large reason why, when I needed an apocalypse for my future Earth, it had to be so damned bad. Humans are adaptable. Almost insanely so. To take the argument from guns to germs does some good, but by and large humanity would still survive, recover, and even thrive.

        It had to be something almost as ubiquitous as the common cold that couldn’t be stopped by completely sterile environments, that couldn’t be isolated, studied, and a counter agent and protective procedures formed quick enough to matter. If it hadn’t been so virulent, if it hadn’t been able to hide so well that every quarantine would be broken in a matter of days, at best, if the tidal wave of zombies hadn’t been inside every wire…

        The apocalypse would never have happened, and it would have been an entirely different story.

        And even with all that, even as insanely good as the two infections were at finding their way into every hidden stronghold, humanity still didn’t die off in space. Because there’s nothing so effective a barrier as a million miles of hard vacuum for keeping a population infection free.

      3. Cowboy Action Shooting
        19th century firearms, two single action revolvers, a lever action pistol caliber rifle, and shotgun (typically a double).

        Kid. 25 shots. Approx 20 seconds.

        Now some folks have sports using modern stuff. Close and fast. Way out far and precise. But a premium on hits.

        Anyway, enjoy the vid of the kid doing good with boomsticks.

        Those alien Desantniks won’t like finding a gun person behind every blade of grass.

      4. Keep in mind that in a novel dealing with a tyrant alien/puppetmaster takeover of the USA, the Bad Guys have to concentrate locally, chunks at a time, or they drown in a veritable sea of folks. They have to make a horrid example to induce “submit”. But that horrid example is also an upward balloon.

        Popular culture of the target is important, too.

        For example, America has a long movie tradition of “cops and gangs team up to wipe out the Alien Bad Guy” or “even the Joker won’t work with a Nazi.”

        1. Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

      5. Heck, I’m sure I could 3D print a suppressor, though I’m not even going to go looking for that file, never mind download it. I do have a couple old D cell Maglites, could take a trip through tractor supply for some washers. This isn’t even “I need a lathe and a milling machine” technology.

        1. See also: “Glock switch” Though why I’d want a full auto sidearm with the cost of ammunition, never mind the fact that I do prefer to AIM my fire, rather than spray and pray.

          1. How the hell would one go about even being remotely accurate with a full auto handgun? Rifles are bad enough for that.

            1. AK-Guy did a Darwin video a couple weeks ago, someone put a foregrip on a full auto pistol, the foregrip snapped off so their hand went in front of the muzzle. Hilarity ensued.

            2. Maybe some people can do it, I wouldn’t be able to. A Glock 18 (select-fire G17) has some stupid rate of fire like 1200 rpm. First shot might hit the bad guy, not sure about the next five, the rest would kill birds.

          2. Ditto. And be careful about having both appropriately-sized metal tubing and fender washes at the same time; it hasn’t happened often, but I understand people (probably due to a “tip” from some bozo, as with “Red Flag Laws”) have been convicted of having “suppressor parts” without the required tax stamp and permit. The BATF, even more than the IRS, is only controlled by whim.

          1. Being one of those bible believing deplorables, I’ve already chosen my side. I don’t do guns and don’t trust in them, but I don’t trust those who want to disarm the law-abiding even more.

        1. The federal government is right to worry about the symbolism of “don’t step on snek”. However, they ought to be examining how George III and his House of Lords misread and mishandled the situation.

          1. What? But that would mean they’d have to read!

            And worse, consider that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t soooo much smarter just because they live in the present and use woke pronouns.

                1. A bit out of time. Carborundum being one of those glorious failures… one of Mr. Edison’s fellows had an idea about making artificial diamonds in the electric furnace. It failed to make diamonds. BUT… Behold! Silicon Carbide!

                  1. Same for teflon; tetrafluoroethylene being tested as a refrigerant self-polymerized (“What are these little white beads?”).

    2. Trump raided by dozens of FBI agents at Mar Del Lago..Unprecedented in US history….I’d say we’re reaching maximum dictatorship in a big hurry…

      1. I’m still incredulous and flabbergasted. This is perzackly how you go about convincing a restive, suspicious populace that your intentions are benign and your motives are pure and untainted by politics. Obliviously. If I were an honest FBI agent with pride in my agency and its mission, (and I’m sure there are still a few) I would seriously consider resigning in shame over being used like this.

        1. Exactly. “Great way to play into the hands of every. Singe. Conspiracy. Theorist. there, Bob!*”

          *Not Bob, the Other Bob, Bob the Registered, or that one Bob. Bobbus Genericus.

          1. Certainly does not disprove the badly written cyberpunk thriller model of current politics.

                  1. I’ll just hang out here in the pond, bobbing along…

                    Just don’t mention “bobbit”.

        2. Nope, they’ve had six years to resign in shame, or arrest their own superiors for violating the law and their oaths, or at the least to turn whistleblower. The only way we clean this up is to have trials and executions. And the model for acceptable performance is the Nuremburg one. Did you resist? can you prove it? And if the answer is no, then firing squad. Enough.

          1. I’m not quite so bloodthirsty. William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection opines that this isn’t isn’t stupidity, it’s provocation. It may very well be a deliberate provocation, but it’s also very, very stupid. If a former President isn’t immune from being harassed by the FBI over a fairly trivial offense, who is? The FBI has taken major and serious damage to its public credibility, even worse than being used to help impeach Trump in the first place. Its reputation, carefully nurtured by J. Edgar Hoover and his second in command Clyde Tolson in the television show that aired from 1965-1974, (among other positive media portrayals) was always its greatest asset. Evidently, the reality never matched the image and the corruption of the agency began with Hoover himself.
            But government bureaucracies have ways of making not only your career, but your whole life unpleasant if you cross the senior officials who make policy, and they will never, ever allow you into those senior levels if you do. The honest FBI officials that remain will be overwhelmingly stuck in low level dead-end positions with no realistic hope of advancement.
            I got one foot on the lowest rung of government service as a summer temp with ADOT, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. My father and grandfather both had their careers ruined when they ran afoul of the state agencies that employed them. I can’t imagine the FBI is any better.

            1. “Bloodthirsty.” What an interesting word to use, about applying the same standards we used to justify prosecutions and executions to establish that “I vas only folloving orders” is not a valid defense, to our own oathbreakers.

              It is precisely that lack of standards that has led to our present situation of selective enforcement of law based on political affiliation. “Equal justice under the law” ought to be more than words of convenience.

              1. I’m entirely in favor of equal justice under the law. They should be stripped of authority to enforce it if they can’t apply it equally to Republicans and Democrats. I’m talking about the justice part. If their misconduct resulted in mass murder, then yes, execution would be the appropriate penalty. Persecution and harassment don’t seem to qualify.

                1. No, but are we at being whipped while walking barefoot behind a donkey, their hands tied to the tail, the breadth and length of DC yet? Because I kind of can see that would make an impression.

                  1. If we aren’t there yet, we’re getting closer. 😎 I wouldn’t exclude Jail time for violations of the 6th Amendment, either, and if “eye for an eye” retributive justice was good enough for the Law of Moses, it’s good enough for me. That’s probably barbaric enough that no one is going to put me in charge of rewriting the entire Criminal Code, but some folks apparently won’t learn any other way.

                    1. If it can be shown that a particular policy, known by the perpetrator to be without merit (or actively inimical, such as many of the actions taken by various authorities WRT the Covid semi-hoax or the “stand down” orders issue to police during the riots) caused even one death, the responsible people should be arrested and tried as common criminals for at least voluntary manslaughter; I’d prefer 2nd degree murder, or even 1st degree if death was an expectable result.

                2. Our American system simply cannot tolerate a legal system that feels comfortable faking charges against its’ political opponents.

                    1. Holy. F-ing. Hell.

                      If this is about protecting pedophiles, the panicked stupidity of it make far more sense.

                3. Also, never put someone on death ground if they have even a scrap of power left.

          1. Apparently this comes from suspicion that Trump still has documents, or copies of classified documents, that should have been turned over to the National Archives when he left office. Whether there are reasonable grounds for such suspicion appears to depend more heavily on your party affiliation than any evidence.

              1. The whole situation absolutely reeks of the “selective enforcement” we’ve seen since the Obama administration.

                1. Oh, “Selective Enforcement” is very real. I just think that the Public Reason isn’t the Real Reason.

                  1. Conducting a fishing expedition is Real Reason enough, and I have no doubt the Justice Department could fine a judge in DC to sign off on one. It just won’t do as a Public Reason.

            1. Or…Trump has something they can’t afford to let get out.
              Today, every child in America is born $91,000 in debt.

              1. And they assume he is dumb enough to only have a single copy, and that one in an obvious location.

                1. My first thought too. Won’t be kept at primary home. Not even a copy. I bet he hid a copy somewhere in the White House 🙂 🙂 🙂 Because it would mess with them soooooo, much.

              1. Literally every single thing they’ve tried to stick him with for almost 6 years has proven to be BS. You’d think even those idiots would get a faint glimmer that it might be time to quit.

                What am I saying? If they weren’t complete idiots with zero situational awareness they would have quit in 2018 at the latest. Entitlement seems to rot the brain.

          2. The Reader finds it interesting that the raid was executed by agents from DC and that the Miami FBI office was given minimal notification.

            Ooooh….. that is very interesting.

            I was feeling depressed and adding Miami to the list of known-screwy offices.

            If they sent the DC office, which is notorious in the Hive Of etc etc etc?

            Things must be going a lot worse than they expected.

            1. It also implies interesting things about how unified the FBI is NOT in regards to such matters, if they didn’t trust the Miami office to do the raid themselves. Makes me wonder what pushback they’re managing to keep below the radar.

        3. If they hauled someone that isn’t all in with the program on this house raid, they’re even dumber than they seem.

          Morning talk show says that the raid on the house (when they knew Trump wouldn’t be there) is on the basis of abuse of classified material.

          :looks at the Dems since president Clinton’s first term:

          That is some impressive chutzpa, no?

        4. I know that a few years ago (late Obama era), word was going around that the actual investigative agents were getting pissed at their political bosses.

      2. Who else is flashing to the opening chapter of Kratman’s A State of Disobedience?

  19. Oh my aching feet. Put up seven jars of pickled beets today. Canned carrots on Saturday, after the mid-season harvest. A lot left to do.

    But on Sunday we hiked to Timberline Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park, a trail that leads past sparkling creeks and alpine forests and deep blue lakes so crystal clear you can see the greenback cutthroat trout cruising along in the depths. A journey that filled my soul.

    I wrought, and prayed to the Lord who gave us such beauty, and wrought again. Life is good.

    1. I thought I was done with the second burst of yearly canning when I put up seven jars of kosher dill pickles*. (First is OMG SO MUCH raspberry jam, third is tomato sauce.) Then my plants have to go and grow a bunch more cucumbers, so now I have to haul all the stuff out again.

  20. For the larder, Mountain House freeze dried chow is -good-. Pricey, but tasty. Sealed buckets are 25 year items. I have used it for camping and travel for over 40 years.

    1. Mountain House is what we use too. One of the few I can stand. Too much salt in most brands. I don’t do well on dehydrated commercial brands. (To the point I barely ate on the last 5 days of the 80+ mile trek on the PCT I participated in.) Mountain House causes the least worse affliction, and tastes the best.

    2. True this. If you’ve not tried Auguson Farms though, I’d suggest giving it a try. Dried fruits and veggies they have are pretty darned good. Haven’t tried the meal kits though, but I hear their baking supplies aren’t half bad either. Dry goods keep practically forever in sealed cans, and I do like my apple chips and dried blueberries. Powdered eggs are good for recipes, but not so much for actual scrambled eggs.

      Mountain House is good for quick, tasty meals that don’t require much prep. Or any, beyond the water and a good heat source. Reminds me, I need to resupply. Larder’s looking a bit low in places.

        1. Yup. The spring winds tighter. Tension builds further.

          I suspect that this is a panic play. The J6 committee was supposed to find something, anything. But it’s been ignored by the country at large. That can’t be allowed. This is the next step.

      1. That raid was box-of-rocks stupid. I suspect it is intended to provoke a stupid response.

          1. Yknow, it is times like this that I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a mole or ten somewhere in the woodwork. They can’t keep stumbling upon this stuff by accident. The antefa flag wasn’t the only incident.

            Either a deep cover conservative putting up symbology and policy ideas more in line with their actual proclivities, or actual foreign interests attempting to clumsily influence American politics.

            If the latter, if just once again proves how little they really understand the American spirit. Maybe they get away with such crap in their own countries. Certainly there are idiots and credulous fools aplenty here.

            But this kind of thing and, yes, the Mar A Lago raid, just show stupidity. Definitely not whatever it was they were going after.

        1. The response comes after the November election methinks. Either Door #1 or Door #2 are possibilities at this point. Door #1) Demonrats lose BIGLY and go directly to jail (do not pass go) after Trump is made Speaker and the civil war starts in January. Door 2) Election is rigged even worse than last time and the civil war will start. IMHO. It’s a shame that it will likely come down to this, but I’d love to hear any other ideas of the alternatives. Door #3) Things remain the same (but get worse slowly) has likely closed. Make your preparations accordingly. Just ordered a boresight to fine tune the family “hunting rifles”….

          Optimism: Not sure what this means anymore but hope things continue “normally” whatever that is.
          Pessimism: I sure know what this event likely means
          Realism: Likely SHTF Looney Tunes! All be ready and I’m sure most on this board are working hard for that!

          Free Bananas for All! The flag will be Crimson with 54 Yellow Stars in the future unless we STAND now.

        2. It gets dumber.

          It’s the DC office that did the raid, and they didn’t inform the local FBI office (Miami) until just before the warrant was served.

          But they did inform Hillary Clinton’s campaign, she put out a freaking hat to fund raise off of it, deliberately calling attention to her mishandling of classified material.

          Given the lack of loud noises being made about having found classified material, I’m guessing that they didn’t find what they expected…..

          1. They may have been “looking to find” Trump’s Plans for the Jan 6th “insurrection”. 😈

            Oh, it amazes me that those idiots dream up an “insurrection happening without firearms”. 😆

            1. I’m wondering if they drank the koolaid so hard that they really do believe that “everybody” does what they do, and so they KNEW this would find things worse than what’s been admitted about HIllary?

        1. I’m wondering whether that was by intent, or if they hoped he would be at home and could be “accidentally shot in the confusion.”

          Is this how it begins, or just another foreshock? We’ll see when tomorrow dawns.

          1. Probably intentional. When the boss is away, responses get more confused. Those who are on scene are more likely to go along with the authority figures who suddenly show up waving badges. If Trump were present, there’s always the possibility that he might be able to come up with a legal response that throws the whole operation into disarray.

            Also, if Trump had been present, his Secret Service detail would need to have been alerted beforehand, which would risk tipping off Trump.

          2. Almost certainly intent, imo. Two reasons for it. First, are more likely to go along with waved badges if the boss isn’t present. If Trump were personally there, he might be able to figure out a way to legally deal with the raid. Second, if Trump were present, then his Secret Service detail almost certainly need to be informed beforehand, and that would risk tipping Trump off about the raid.

    1. Really? Really!? Whose bright idea was this to hand the opposition such a freebie? Did someone leave this off the Evil Overlord list?

    2. This day will be remembered as the day the FBI openly came out as the Gestapo.

      They’re fishing for anything they can use as a pretext to drag Trump in front of a Stalinist show trial.

      Was it just this morning I said the Democrats were deliberately doing the stupidest things they could come up with?
      When police arrest violent criminals to protect innocent people, they are Jackbooted Fascist Stormtroopers.

      When police arrest innocent people at the behest of corrupt politicians, they are National Heroes.

      1. Tyranny creeps silently in the night on little cat feet. Time to let the black dogs out!

  21. Connie Willis has her time-traveling.protagonist go from what I used to think was a weirded-out London to the countryside during the plague years. She finds an upper class household where everyone works their fingers to the bone. No round table or grail in sight.th

    1. Are you talking about the Doomsday Book? I don’t believe Kivrin. the time traveller was ever close to London. She was in a village, unknown to the Oxford historians who sent her back (because everyone had died in the plague) maybe a couple of weeks travel away.

          1. The 59 miles quibble obscures my point addressing the hard labor of our forebears. If you wish: “Time traveled from a future OXFORD to the plague-ridden English countryside, discovering that even well-to-do matrons worked like crazy to keep the manor.” Such is “The Qubble with Quibbles”

      1. Good book, but no, that would probably be the “Blackout/All Clear” duology. Excellent book(s) IMHO, as are almost all of hers (even the Cynthia Felice collaborations); “To Say Nothing of the Dog” is wonderful.

        1. Blackout/All Clear was weirded out London with a trapped time-traveler alright, but during the Blitz,, not the plague.

              1. I should read more closely…I think that was a conflation of the Doomsday Book (plague years, traveler was never in or near London) and the Blackout/All Clear duology (traveler goes from London to the country before/during the Blitz, where everyone works).

    2. Ah, that. The poorest among us live in luxury undreamed of by the nobility of a few centuries ago. Even compared to a century ago, the plain hard work involved in doing everyday cooking and laundry without electric motors, hot and cold running water, and pipe-in natural gas makes modern life seem sinfully decadent. The past is truly a different country.

      1. Yeah, I saw a video of all the Oh So Poor Homeless lined up at a food bank. Most of them were fat. Really fat. Missing a few meals — or a few dozen meals — would do them a world of good.

        It’s interesting how many of the ‘asylum seeking refugees’ swarming across our border are fat, too. They’re obviously fleeing from intolerable hardship and deprivation. </sarcasm>
        Elitists are those that would give up much of what they have, if it meant that everybody else would have even less.

      1. You should hear what Fox News is saying … There have been not-bleeped swear words. Especially from the ex-military, ex-FBI, ex-other-law, types. The raid has been called everything from 3rd world dictatorship to Nazi and KGB raiders.

  22. They have actually raided the home of a former President??

    May God bless these United States and all the Patriots therein.

    This is not good. Not good at all.

    1. Yep, and their pretext for the search was the claim that it was related to documents not being promptly returned to the national archives. With all the investigations, the J6 show trial and everything else, they could not get a warrant for anything related to all of those things for which they claim they have evidence and instead used a long stale claim as to national archive documents. Proves how utterly feckless and corrupt the FBI is and how they are now fully the persecution arm of the Democratic Party-their very own Gestapo.

      1. Projecting again. They are the ones dumping/deleting/shredding stuff to keep it out of the National Archives.
        Sandy Burger cursed be his name.

      2. The DC Field Office of the FBI apparently doesn’t agree with you about how firm their grip is.

        They didn’t tell the Miami office until they rolled into town to conduct the raid.

        This would be the same DC office that was just in the news again this week, when we found out it’s run by the guy who was running the Detroit field office during the Whitmer kidnapping nonsense.

        And it turns out the judge that signed off on the warrant is tied up with the Epstein mess….

  23. I guess the fact that President Obama took every scrap of paper to a warehouse in Chicago, doesn’t mean a single thing.

    1. Of course not. “One law for the Party and another law for everyone else” is now the norm, and only the “bloodthirsty” expect anything else.

  24. That’s where the problem was, with the engineering of economy and society to create something new upon the Earth, all because these *ssholes hated their neighbors and thought themselves superior and enlightened.

    That is where it comes from, yes … from the tyranny of moral busybodies (as C. S. Lewis described them), whose hubris led them to believe that they are the Righteous Normal, and we who dissent in any way are the Evil Other … “why would good people dissent from the Right Way to do something?”

    But let us not forget what greased the skids for them.

    We did, by replacing confidence in our own insights and common sense with submissive deference to those deemed Smarter Than Us, outsourcing our decision-making authority more and more to them, and allowing them to attach handles to us that allow them to jerk us around.

    Because that was seen by us as expedient, requiring less effort on our part. And les risk, in an extension of the thinking that led to the saying “no one ever got fired for hiring a Harvard guy” with no regard for said guy’s human limits of perception and capacity for error and/or malice.

    We let them do this to us. Too many of us still do, That is what has to change, but it is going to require us to shoulder that effort and risk that was ours from the start, as has been discussed previously on this forum, at Instapundit, and other places.

    Let us begin, to remove the handles.

    1. You might want to read The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment, where Lewis’ quote is taken from.

      The quote isn’t usually sourced, and is usually applied as you are using it– but even just the context of including the whole paragraph rather changes it.

      It is, indeed, important to notice that my argument so far supposes no evil intentions on the part of the Humanitarian and considers only what is involved in the logic of his position. My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we ‘ought to have known better’, is to be treated as a human person made in God’s image.

      History and essay.

      1. Pretty much sums up the apparent mindset of those following today’s Leftist religion. I believe Kipling’s “MacDonough’s Song” covers the required response nicely…

          1. :laughs: I got it. 😉

            I share the source of that quote as much as I can, because it was down right eerie to read the “new” and “cutting edge” stuff dates back to… ouch.

  25. Off topic personal update:

    I woke up with 100° fever yesterday, and sure enough tested positive for the Dread Bug (tested twice to make sure). Slept all day in 2-hour increments while my fever went up to 101.9°. I usually let fevers rage, but after 18 hours I couldn’t abide the headache any more and took some ibuprofen so I could really sleep. Woke up this morning with no fever, but it’s gone up to 99.9° since then, and my throat and chest are full of gunk.

    So, in other words, so far pretty much a garden variety flu (knock wood).

    Interesting point is that I had no harbingers at all — I went to bed Sunday night feeling perfectly fine. Also, I haven’t lost my sense of taste or smell. The cats are doing their jobs and giving me lots of purr therapy.

    1. Ugh, hope you feel better. I’m pretty sure I had the coof around the start of the year (didn’t test for it) and my symptoms were the same as yours. Just a slightly-nastier-than-normal flu. The worst thing for me was the fatigue…I was so tired I was barely functional for an entire week, due to a combination of congestion crud ruining my sleep and just my body fighting the stuff off.

    2. Eek. Hope you feel better soon. This is exactly what happened to me Dec 2019 (too early to be Dreaded Coof, don’t cha know? Was well a few days before Christmas, but dang it was a long 21 days of not fun.) Then again Jan 2022. High fevers, with sore throat, upper chest deep cough (almost, but not as bad as Whooping Cough cough, hurt down to diaphragm but not to my toes, and breathing didn’t trigger another cough sesson), sore nasals, devolving into gunky sinuses and upper chest. Fevers running from 99.9 to 103.9 (yes should have headed to a clinic, I know adults with high fevers is very much not good, I’ve had the lecture before), latter without ibuprofen, averaged 101.9 with ibuprofen. Slept a lot. No tests around for the first one, not even a blimp in the news, yet. Second one … well we’d cancelled Christmas dinner gathering at our house because son woke with slight fever and sore throat, tested positive for Coof … 36 hours he is fine, now dad has it … dad was fine after 48 hours. Barely a blimp of inconvenience for them. Me? I got asked for almost 3 weeks if I was going to live (guess what, I have two middle fingers too 🙂 that plus a groan). Dad is shot clot covered with two boosters, as am I (granted 3rd booster was < 24 hours before second round hit, but still). Son is not vaccinated.

      1. I’m pretty sure I had it in February 2020 — 100°-ish fever, body aches, fatigue — that kept me on my couch for two weeks without ever feeling truly awful. I’ve been fine since, without even a typical winter cold, and I’m minimally-vaccinated, so my hypothesis currently is that I had natural immunity plus a Vitamin-D-fortified immune system, and I just finally got broken into by a sufficiently different variant.

        1. Current variants just laugh at the vaccines, and prior infections … I know my sister and BIL are thrilled no longer have to test to come home from overseas, or even to go. They have one more trip setup then they are staying home for a bit (or so they say). But they have been plagued by allergies the last couple of trips (wink, wink). They are more careful when dealing with their daughters and grandchildren, especially the one daughter (Lupus). But in the middle of a trip or coming home … 100% allergies, honest.

  26. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I had a miserable two weeks of Wuhan Bat Bug in Mexico winter 2019.

  27. @ Balzacq et al > first of all, best wishes for a quick and full recovery. Second, just adding to the anecdotal data. AesopSpouse and I were unaccountably both sick in February 2020 with a not-really-flu sort of thing, before anyone knew the name of Wuhan. After the Omicron variant surfaced, and we were both vaxxed on the first round, we got sick again.

    If you haven’t read about Dr. Birx’s memoir, please do.

    They knew what they were doing, they lied about it then, and are still lying about it now.

    1. Thank you. I’m on Day 3 of up-to-102.5° fevers, which is getting real old real fast. Luckily 600mg of ibuprofen will knock it down for a while. I’m fine with 101.x, but 102.x is too much.

      “But it would have been so much worse without the vaccine!”

      Yeah, it would have been so much worse if the vaccine hadn’t canalized my immune response into something totally ineffective against variants, forcing my body to fall back on generic defenses like high fevers. So. Much. Worse.


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