I’ve been waking in the night not with the horrors, but with a dull, tired resignation, half wanting the worst to happen, so that we can move on… which will only matter if I survive.

This has been going on for two weeks, after a dream so bad, so dreary that I will not describe it for fear that will seal it into truth. I’ve told it to three of you. But I don’t know if I conveyed the sheer sense of resigned dread in it. The sense of something horrible after which life will never be the same.

This winter approaches rapidly and with a clarifying sense. I pray it will be just tight enough to wake people up, but not so tight we become…. something else. And I pray for my family in Europe. I think things will be harder there. Not as bad as in poorer countries, though. And I’m forever grateful that Portugal — though not warm in the North — is a Mediterranean climate, and not as cold as say Germany.

And I wait. And I feel dread, as though something dark and cold is moving in the world, something that doesn’t like humans or — truth be told — life at all. It has invaded people’s minds, the minds of a self proclaimed elite who’d rather destroy all of humanity than allow us to be free of their plans.

Northern Europeans are in the face of a cold winter and possible hunger trying to turn off their remaining sources of energy and stop farmers producing.

Our idiotic governing Junta is studying plans to dim the sun’s light. Because computer models show them the Earth has a fever. This despite the fact that warmth has never hurt humans, and cold always does. Despite the fact that their computer models haven’t proven right, ever, and are in fact as reliable as those that showed the Wu-flu decimating humanity. (I speak advisedly.)

And our idiotic titular “president”, the FICUS (Fraud In Chief of the US) has tried to bait four nations now into nuking us. He’s now reduced to baiting 2nd line nuclear powers, to wit Pakistan. Bets are open on who will be next. Israel I suspect, knowing the minds of these idiots, but India is a contender, and hey, England has a chance.


I don’t know. Because ruling over a decimated land appeals more than having his carefully constructed public image destroyed in public? Because what they’ve done is so heinous that humanity will rightly recoil from them, if they find out? Because enough consciousness of their sins and failings remains that they’d rather kill everyone than admit it?

Or of course because they hate us. They hate us for being us, for being individuals, for refusing to be manipulated like widgets.

It is a bright and clear day where I live. But it might well be one of those spectacular Colorado sunsets I miss just a little, where it looked like the world had been dipped in blood, and you heard thunder rumble just over the horizon.

The waiting is unnerving. And I don’t know if anything I do, if anything any of us does has any lasting meaning.

But I believe it does. I believe it will find echoes if not now, not far off.

I also don’t believe we will be nuked. Or if we are, it won’t be where the idiots think. I saw them bandy a map from the eighties, showing all the now closed/vacated silos in the heartland, as though trying to bait the enemy into nuking flyover. But I know how foreign minds work, and even they know we’ve decommissioned most silos. They also know — from knowing their own countries — the way to utterly cripple us: Hit the five or six biggest cities. Our centers of government.

It would lead very neatly to that dream I had. That vivid, grey, evil nightmare.

… it is not what I want. But it might not be mine to prevent. Just as the slow grinding of scarcity and anger and some precipitating incident that would lead to the same moment is not mine to prevent.

So… So I’ll do what I can do. And I’ll enjoin you to do the same.

Go forth, and seed doubt and discord. Oh, no. Not among our own, not doubt in America, and who we are.

Look, we live surrounded by people who not only believe things that aren’t so, but believe impossible things that lead them to commit horrible acts.

No, I’m not saying to confront them. I’m saying to be smart. Assume the superior sneer, the sarcasm. Strike when safe, and do it with a light hand.

That’s how they’ve been taking apart Western civilization. With stupid, but assured, and superior-sounding sarcasm. “Oh, Washington and the cherry tree? Don’t tell me you believe that.” Sarcastic voice “I cannot tell a lie” Snort.

Would it surprise you to know the only thing they have against that story is that it cannot be proven? No? Well, it did me, but it shouldn’t have.

So you know, when they say that the Earth will boil in twenty years… assume the superior smile, roll eyes. “That late? I thought it was supposed to be like 20 years ago. And we weren’t supposed to have any snow by now.” Shrug of shoulder, grin. “And wouldn’t that make my life easier in Winter.”

“Inequality of income is bad? Only if the poor can’t eat. Other than that, honestly why would you care?” Giggle. “Envy, right? Yeah. I wish I had my own jetplane too. But what the heck.”

“Overpopulation? Yeah. You’re right. We’re totally running out of space in the land. Quick, go tell all the small cities offering people money for someone to move there.” (No, really, look it up.)

And go forth and teach too.

We live in a time of profound ignorance. In some ways times are always of profound ignorance, but now the apparatus that should be devoted to education teaches only lies and made up nonsense, while resolutely keeping people from learning anything that might help.

Teach. Teach in small ways if you can.

One of you got nicknamed Anime at Fencon because she couldn’t convey her name’s spelling at registration. I now want her to do the eyes. (Grin.)

This reminded me that years ago in a Media… d*mn it, can’t remember the name of the store. It has closed now… the cashier wore a name tag saying Genesis.

Being a geek, I enthused, “Oooh, what a lovely and unusual name. Like the book in the Bible.”

“It’s a book in the Bible? I thought it was a band.”

So I explained. That the band was named for the book of beginnings. Quickly, and with a smile.

Do that. Don’t act horrified, don’t browbeat.

Slavery? Well, it is horrible we had it, given our creed, but the whole world had it, till the industrial revolution. We weren’t the last to abolish it in the west. It persists in Africa and the middle East. (Don’t argue, just inform. Shrug if they argue and say “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Not his own facts.”)

Colonization? Every species colonizes. Otherwise our ancestors would still be fish.

Indigenous people were noble savages? There are no noble savages. All humans are imperfect.

Say it. When it’s safe, when you’ll not be physically attacked or fired or– Just say it. Interject some truth in the fog of lies.

Truth and reality are coming back to the world.

I pray it not be in fire and blood. But I wake up with the dull certainty I don’t get what I want.

And what I — and you — can do might not be much. But we’d better do what we can to minimize the hurt and the loss.

Be not afraid. Fear solves nothing and makes everything worse.

This too shall pass. And the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. Don’t be ridiculous. Where would we get fuel for a train.

If we’re lucky, it won’t be all consuming fire either.

Go work towards a better outcome. Maybe it counts for nothing. Or maybe we get lucky. In either case nothing is lost and something might be helped.


322 thoughts on “Rumbling

  1. This is only tangentially related, but I’m convinced Sheev Palpatine was an evil combination of adrenaline junkie and OCPD control freak. Prove me wrong.

      1. I was thinking OT and Prequels, plus some background info I found on the Wiki. (‘Order 65,’ to be precise.)

        He’s deliberately chosen a career in the Senate, within an hour’s hovercar ride of the Jedi Temple. He worked to become Supreme Chancellor knowing that he’d be meeting with Jedi as powerful as Yoda and Mace Windu on a regular basis, and an even higher rate if the war plot was successful. Granted, one or the other would be off-planet fighting from time to time, but still. He’s running a flipping WAR and trying to play both sides against each other. He’s also trying to snatch the Chosen One out from under the nose of the entire Jedi Order. And then in the Original Trilogy he’s trying to turn the only member of the Rebellion who might pose any sort of threat to him, in front of a servant he should at least have had a couple of concerns about, while putting himself on the line as BAIT. Honestly, I get that the Rebellion could best be lured in by the information that he was on the Death Star, but why in the name of the Force was he ACTUALLY there?

        If disinformation wasn’t enough to convince them, show up in a shuttle and then leave a couple hours later as a passenger in a TIE fighter. No one notices TIE fighters. Granted the Dark Side tends to make you incapable of realizing that you can lose, still…

        1. For why Palpatine had to be on the Death Star, I’ve always preferred Thrawn’s deduction from Heir to the Empire: that Palpatine’s presence was augmenting the abilities of his troops and pilots.

          Besides, it wasn’t that big a risk: even if the rebels managed to take down the shield, there still would have been plenty of time for him to get off the Death Star before it blew. If Luke could get away while lugging Vader’s body, Palpatine could.

            1. Well, if not, blowing up the Death Star 2 should have finished the job.

              In Tim Zahn’s Star Wars novels, an imprint of Palpatine’s death remained there for years. Had quite an effect on Mara Jade.

            2. That’s my point: if Vader hadn’t killed him, he would have been able to escape the Death Star before it blew.

  2. Oh, and on another matter: ‘And the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train.’

    My next thought after reading that was roughly the following:

    “So what if it is? Maybe it’s the Heresy Train. (Which I still think looked awesome.) Step to the side and try to swing yourself aboard like Legolas mounting a horse. If you fail, the outcome is exactly the same as not trying. If you succeed, you look flipping incredible doing it.”

    1. I re-read that three times before I realized you’d written “the Heresy Train” and not “the Hershey Train.” Hershey does have a train, sort of: a two-foot gauge steam train that runs around Hershey Park. So I was thinking, “I wouldn’t wanna get hit by that; it’s big and heavy enough that it would probably do enough damage to make me miserable and put me in the hospital, but not big or fast enough kill me outright.”

      I’m severely undercaffeinated. Again. Or else I need computer glasses. Or both.

        1. Nah, it’s “heresy”. Gurgle (or DDG) “heresy train”; it looks like a steampunk version of something Schlock Mercenaries would love… 🙂

      1. I remember as a kid, way back when, that they actually had tours of the real chocolate factory. With samples at the end. Nothing like seeing kisses on a conveyor belt and the aroma of chocolate afterward on your clothes.

        Now they’ve got some tour “Chocolate World”. Not the same!

        1. I remember visiting Hershey as a kid and taking a tour, but I don’t think I ever saw the actual chocolate factory. I distinctly remember going on a tram that moved past different dioramas and replica machines, with The Most Annoying Jingle In The World being playing in the background for most of the experience.

          Further poof that I was born in the wrong damn decade.

          1. The Reader toured it twice growing up (we lived about 2 hours from Hershey). He was severely disappointed when he took his son – Chocolate World was a severe disappointment.

            1. Chocolate World was cool (aside from The Jingle from Hell) when I was really little). Going back when I was older…. not so much.

              We lived about 90 minutes away from Hershey, and my dad’s workplace would have some big annual meeting at some big resort/country club in Hershey, so we’d visit on a regular basis.

          2. At least I forgot the Jingle after the “Chocolate World” tram ride….Try doing that with “It’s a Small World” at the woke Disney parks! LOL

        2. I toured the real factory in 1969 with my high school senior class. Big vats of chocolate and workers not pleased with the tour groups impeding their work. I remember the Kisses line. An OSHA nightmare. Great fun…

            1. I somewhat soured on enthusiasm for Hershey when they required all their workers to recieve the covid vax.

            1. They could do tours like the Jelly Belly factory in Northern California had — glass enclosed raised walkway (10-15 ft off the factory floor).
              Probably a better view of the processes and no way for the tourists to interfere with the product or workers.
              And of course, a gift shop at the end.

                  1. Best and most interesting factory tour I ever was on was a company making semiautomatic “hunting rifles”. 😉 Pretty cool stuff.

                    That now brings to mind for some reason an old quote from the sixties? movie “The Fall of the Roman Empire”. That movie had Sophia Loren and Alex Guinea’s in it I believe at Marcus Aurelius. At the end of the movie, the narrator says something to the effect “A great empire cannot be conquered from the outside without first being conquered from within”. I’m sure some other famous person said that quote too likely. Seeing that factory reaffirms that view

                    1. My favorite line from that movie remains: (When the main character is offered the purple) “You would find me unsuitable. My first official act would be to have you all crucified.”

                  2. Best and most interesting factory tour I ever was on was a company making semiautomatic “hunting rifles”. 😉 Pretty cool stuff.

                    That now brings to mind for some reason an old quote from the sixties? movie “The Fall of the Roman Empire”. That movie had Sophia Loren and Alex Guinea’s in it I believe at Marcus Aurelius. At the end of the movie, the narrator says something to the effect “A great empire cannot be conquered from the outside without first being conquered from within”. I’m sure some other famous person said that quote too likely. Seeing that factory reaffirms that view

          1. 🙂 Yep.

            I probably disagree with Ms. Lackey on any number of things, but damn can she make the words jump

        1. Yup. That.

          Still looks awesome. Though chocolate (as mentioned earlier) would be a nice touch.

  3. Reminds me of that biblical line …seeing through a glass darkly”… when I go through periods like that I take great solace in my faith… that and my predictions for the future are usually so far off the mark from reality. Cheer up, do what you can about the future and take what good is in today and enjoy it.

    1. The other translation is: “through a mirror, in a riddle.” (“di’ esoptrou, en ainigmati” or “per speculum, in aenigmate”)

      “In a mysterious/riddling/parable way” is another way to put it.

  4. Why would I want a jet plane? I can already fly anywhere in the world I want to cheaply, at least before we made first officer requirements completely insane, and if I want to go fly? Well I’ve got dozens of the coolest most fascinating aircraft of all time that I can pop into a fly virtually, without having to stick my head in buckets of kerosene or red tape, and without getting overly bothered if I stuff it up and scatter my virtual components across the landscape.

    Sure the whole rig is an energy hungry 1250W when running at full load. Still cheaper than avgas. Especially something that want 100LL at 100 gallons per hour at cruise settings.

    Probably going to splurge on one of the new GPUs after the election, depending on what our financials actually look like come then. We’ll see if it’s an “end of the world going away special” or not. Who knows?

    And between that and work and writing stories about monsters, I’ll keep busy until what shoes drop do.

      1. I don’t want to park and maintain a real fighter jet.

        These I just have to push a button and it’s refueled, fixed, and the owner of the lawn it’s currently on isn’t chewing me out. 🙂

      2. I fueled two privately owned F104 Startfighters. The lead pilot (then training two of the owners, now passed away in a test flight) and they burn about what an old Lear 24 burns as long as you keep them off the after burner and under Mach 1. You just get there a lot faster, and have little luggage space. One was a two seater, so if alone, a few bits of luggage could go there. The landing Chute didn’t want to deploy on the two seater not coming out until 6,000 feet and they used every bit and then some of NOLA’s 10,000 foot runway, so there is that. They were able to do a Uey and get to the FBO but the tires had more hair than I do.

    1. If I traveled a lot, having my own jet plane would be…relatively nice. Renting it, so somebody else was paying for the costs of upkeep, you see. And no screaming kid behind me kicking me in my back-and his annoying parents getting upset at me because I’m growling at the kid to stop.

      After the election is when I’m upgrading my GPU and putting in a 2TB SSD, which will be my last upgrades before I get a new computer. Which I’m building myself (F(YAY!K Dell and proprietary parts).

      1. January is probably going to be the best time to buy parts. Zen 4 and Raptor Lake are expected to be extremely competitive, as are nVidia Lovelace and RDNA3. Mix in the used mining card glut, the recession, and the post Christmas buying a limb and I expect prices and availability is going to be exceptionally good.

        Also, if you’re concerned about power consumption, the Lovelace cards can be much better than their stock config. Turns out they were released way over their power consumption sweet spot, so you can use overclocking software to limit the cards to 50-60% their base power limits and you only lose about 5-10% performance.

        It’s going to be a wild generation for computer tweakers. Just wish it didn’t have to be during the winter of sickness and death we’re probably heading into.

        1. So, I’ll hold off on any non-emergency purchases until after Christmas. With the new power supply in (850W is nice), I can run a new video card easily. New SSD HD drive to replace the conventional drive (and larger, probably a 4 TB drive). Time to start socking away money in Amazon gift cards.

          1. Do not know where you are at, but local Fred Meyers (Kroger) has buy gift cards and get 4x fuel points on money spent. That adds up fast in today’s inflation. Halfway through the month, already had 400+ fuel points for $0.40 off per gallon. Note, this rarely happens normally. Too frequent now.

            1. I’ve been doing the gift cards for Home Depot since they had a “data leak” on the POS terminals a few years ago. Default fuel points is 2X for gift cards (prepaid Visa and MC are not eligible), with higher multiples at times. We’re doing a project (walkway to replace the old deck) and I’ve burned $1000 worth of Depot cost on supplies, so that’s $2.00 worth of discount (can only redeem $1.00 max per transaction), and I try to load such purchases early in the month when practical. (October fuel points are good through November 30 and don’t roll over.) OTOH, with the Bidenflation, I’m now gassing up every other trip, so trying to keep the gas gauge above 75%.

              Side note: If you have previous month fuel points, those cannot be combined, and some of the Oregon gas jockeys don’t know how to select the correct month.

              The digital coupons also have some other deals. Today and Tuesday, 3X for apparel and other non-grocery, and Friday it’s 5X for all purchases. I’ll see if I’m ready for another materials trip…

              1. Used to be able to build up fuel points for a quarter … We’ve hit $1.00+ that way multiple times. I miss those days. Normally build up fuel points during the month then use them first of next month. Bonus of doing it that way any clueless pump jockey gets called out immediately; because I say “use the points, there is “X” amount” (always get after shopping, so receipt does not lie). If they need to get help? Okay. I’m not in a hurry. But OTOH if we can get a couple fills of $0.40+, a month? I can handle that. Costco, one alternative, is generally $0.10 – $0.15 less/gallon. Cash options (Mobile in Junction City) are $0.15 – $0.30 less/gallon. Hubby can go through JC on the way to golf. Bit far for me to go. Son gets his fuel cash option at 4-corners, slightly better than Costco, most the time. I’d get Costco cards for son but it is miles out of his way, so why bother.

                Oh, and Gas Buddy has been wonky (inaccurate) lately.

    2. I’ve got that, plus a VR headset. Unfortunately, the headset needs a better video card than the one I’ve got. I’m hoping to get that taken care of late this year (or early next), which coincidentally will also happen to be when the new video cards should be available.

      1. Which headset, and which games? Also, you using the card for anything else? I’m very intrigued by what we’re expecting from the AMD side of things, but depending on the game, and headset you’re trying to drive you may want different things.

          1. If I had to buy right now, I’d probably look at the RX 6800 XT. I’m seeing them available for $550 now, and DCS ends up dodgy on 10Gb vram. The RX 6900 XT adds a lot of cost for not a lot of performance. Same for the 3080 Ti and 3090. From what I understand, the 3080 Ti and 3090 do feel smoother for the same framerates, but I’m not sure that’s worth 50% higher price right now.

            Also, MSFS is getting FSR2.0 in SU11, so in a few months DLSS 2.0 won’t be a differentiator. From Hardware Unboxed’s deep dive in DLSS3.0, you really need to already be at 90fps+ for it to help instead of hurt.

            Even though the Quest 2 is firmly in the mid range, MSFS and DCS will both suck up everything you can throw at it CPU and GPU side in VR, so both certainly can take an entire 4090 and use it all up. But that is a lot of money.

            That said, if you also have any interest in Il-2, I’d recommend waiting until RDNA3 hits and gets tested with that game.

            Il-2 has a really weird problem with all RDNA2 cards that hammers max frame rates, and no one’s really sure why. But RDNA2 has been rare enough in the wild that the devs haven’t actually gotten hands on a card to even start asking AMD reps what’s up.

            1. I’d wait til the 4070 ships, but then i believe that AMD drivers are tools oof evil incarnate.

              1. This is the current plan. I’ll check the pricing on the new nVidias, figure out how much money I’ve got in my accounts and how much I can spare, and act accordingly.

                1. as has previously been said, 30×0 cards are going to drop precipitously as they’re over-supplioed now

              2. I’ve heard they’ve gotten a lot better, and AMD has been heavily focusing on getting them much better lately.

                But there are cases where the AMD cards just don’t work well.

                Performance wise, I’d lean towards getting a 3080 Ti rather than waiting for the 4070. The “4080 12gb” is what should have been, and probably will end up being the 4070, but, aside from ray tracing performance the 3080 Ti should have similar or better performance overall, though it will be hotter and more power hungry.

                1. I’m using a lot of workstation 3d apps, both CAD and animation/VFX, so i am an unusual use case.

                  1. Ah. Yeah, their professional drivers aren’t there, and I doubt they’ll be putting much money into that until after they’ve established they can make cards that compete with nVidia.

                    I still think I’d recommend a 3080 Ti over a 4070. The 4080 12 GB was a 7680 core, 2.6Ghz card with 12GB GDDR6X on a 192 bit bus, while the 3080 Ti has 10240 cores at 1.8Ghz, with 12Gb of GDDR6X on a 384 bit bus.

                    Nominally you’ll probably see about the same performance, and a lot more memory bandwidth out of the 3080 Ti.

                    Unless you’re using tensor cores while I gather are considerably better on Lovelace.

                    1. I got a 3070 as soon as they became affordable. if i had the choice now, i’d wait for the 4070. The RTX cores on the 4070 would likely perform about the same as a 3080Ti at a much better price.

                    2. I’ll agree that the RT cores and tensors cores are going to be a big leap over the 3080 Ti. Price may not be better though.

                      Tech outlets are pretty sure that the “4080 12GB” is what was originally planned to be the 4070, and after the unlaunch, I think we can expect that to end up being the case.

                      I don’t know that the MSRP will come down though.

    3. Indeed I mucked around with Microsoft Flight Sim 2022 on my XBox Series X. Visuals are INCREDIBLE. Took off out of Griswold Airport in a Pitt Special. Buzzed Hammonasset State Park Beach (LOW less than 50′). Flew over the House I grew up in. Flew over to the Connecticut River turned up it, flew UNDER the Baldwin Bridge (I 95 crosses the river with it). Continued up to Gillette’s Castle and buzzed it, tried to buzz the Opera House while doing a snap roll but forgot there are some high ridges (oops). About 2 hours wet in a Pitt, I have NO idea what that would cost, let alone getting getting my private license with proper certs for the Pitt. And of course I wrecked the Pitt and flat hatted across large portions of coastal Connecticut so should I have had my ticket pulled presuming I survived my encounter with the ridge line (unlikely push 150 knots when I clipped the ridge). It’s not the top of a line GPU (but that costs more than a WHOLE Xbox Series X with all the fixins) but the visuals are far better than 1990’s professional simulator (worked with Evans and Sutherland when I was at DEC and got to see some of that hardware in action). I suspect if Xbox had Virtual reality hardware it would be enough to make me toss my cookies :-).

      1. The crazy thing is they’ve tagged everything that even looks like a runway.

        I was doing altitude tests in a F6F Hellcat, and decided to start from an airport in the Andes (10,000ft I didn’t have to climb) and aimed for a strip I saw in the Amazon basin. I don’t think it was actually a legal airport.

        Another flight around Tasmania and I found a small strip in one of the parks. What I though was a parking space is, I think the footprint of a building that used to be there. It looks like the runway is still left, and the foundations are there, but the rest of the air field is just gone. It’s even got a tree actually growing out of the end of the runway. (Was going to bug report it, except the satellite photos show one right about there.)

        Never in my life would I have seen or even heard of that place, but for MSFS.

  5. Cant sleep? Sharpen the knives.

    Visceral sense of doing something useful. (And it is.) Not terribly mentally challenging, but does focus the mind nicely. Dull knives are a hazard, easily corrected.

    And if it comes to a fight, you are all the better prepared.

    Mentally, the next dream-monster is gonna be sorry.

    1. In the years after 9/11, before I bought guns and learned how to use them, I used to have dreams about needing to defend my family against evil people. I had weapons in those dreams, but I couldn’t make them work. I’d end up fighting hand to hand and having no effect.

      I still have dreams like that—but minus the futility. These days, I put rounds center mass. Sometimes things still go wrong. Bullets may not have the effect they’re supposed to, and weapons malfunction. But instead of an exercise in futility, the dreams veer into problem solving. I’ve dreamt every tiny detail of clearing a malfunction, choosing a different point of aim, improving my marksmanship.

      Knife sharpening sounds like it could have a similar preparedness and mindfulness benefit. Plus they’re really cool.

    2. I have one of those triangle Arkansas stones that sits in a lovely wooden rack until I need it.
      What you say is very true.

  6. A guy named Moses, or possibly David, depending on which history one reads, was inspired to write the following*:

    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].

    I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”

    For He will save you from the trap of the fowler,
    And from the deadly pestilence.

    He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions,
    And under His wings you will find refuge;
    His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.

    You will not be afraid of the terror of night,
    Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

    Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.

    A thousand may fall at your side
    And ten thousand at your right hand,
    But danger will not come near you.

    You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes
    And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].

    Because you have made the Lord, [who is] my refuge,
    Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

    No evil will befall you,
    Nor will any plague come near your tent.

    For He will command His angels in regard to you,
    To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

    They will lift you up in their hands,
    So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone.

    You will tread upon the lion and cobra;
    The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

    “Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him;
    I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].

    “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.

    “With a long life I will satisfy him
    And I will let him see My salvation.”

    *”The Amplified Bible is an English language translation of the Bible produced jointly by Zondervan and The Lockman Foundation. The first edition as a complete volume was published in 1965

  7. From “The Red Knight” by Miles Cameron:
    Do well. Act with honour and dignity. Not for the promise of a future reward, but because it is the only way to live.

  8. “Hit the five or six biggest cities. Our centers of government.”

    So they nuke our biggest and best cities (or at least the ones they hear about on TV): DC, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, maybe Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami?

    Now I see the wisdom of having the state capitol not be the biggest and most prosperous city in the state.

    They really don’t understand how a federal system works, do they.

      1. Seattle’s a terrible target for a nuke, between the landscape issues and the military bases.

        I wouldn’t worry over anything but panic.

        1. Similar with Los Angeles. It’s also not a good nuke target. It’s too spread out. Dangerous for people living and working near Downtown. But otherwise the fallout would be the big issue.

        2. A sane opponent would take two dozen nukes and target all the West Coast port facilities; San Diego up through Vancouver. They wouldn’t have to be big ones either.

          1. And they would not have to hit Portland proper. Just take out the mouth of the Columbia. Wouldn’t even take a nuke. St Helen pulled it off shutting down Portland ports, for months. All she did was deposit some mud in the channel. None of the little ports south of Astoria past the southern Oregon border are worth bothering with. The big ships can’t be accommodated anyway (fishing fleets, research vessels, yes).

            1. Ilwaco doesn’t deserve that. (I’m not a big fan of Washington state, but I liked Ilwaco).
              OTOH, I would happily wave goodbye to the Astoria Bridge, assuming no one was on it when it came down.

              1. Hey. We like Astoria (& Longview, for that matter). It isn’t that I don’t like the area, just pointing out they don’t have to waste a big nasty nuke to take Portland shipping off the equation.

                Ditto on the Astoria bridge. I think I’ve been over it, at most once as an adult (we took a weekend loop from Longview to coast, over bridge to Astoria, and back on on old Oregon hwy 30 to Rainer, not long after we moved to Longview), and once as a child. Every time I’ve seen that bridge it gives me nightmares. There are a few bridges further east of Portland over the Columbia I am not fond of either.

                  1. It is a nice little town. The Ship’s Inn if still there is fantastic. First time learned a lesson. After that hubby got the Small Captains Platter, I got a couple of appetizers for dinner (I do that now at Red Lobster, most the time, and none of their dinners are as big as what Ship’s Inn sets up, or did). Last time we were in Astoria we drove up the coast to meet up with BIL and his wife (they were camp hosting). It has been a few years now since we’ve been back. Truth be told, views are great, but the Oregon coast isn’t hubby’s favorite place. Something about expecting nice warm beach and water (he was raised in San Diego) and discovering the Oregon coast has neither (most the time).

                    1. Warm water in San Diego? I took my daughter to grad school @ UCSD. We went to the beach and the water was cold. Give me south Georgia or Florida for warm water.

                    2. Comparatively. Oregon coast VS San Diego? According to hubby, 100%, San Diego coastal waters are “warm”. We didn’t go to the beaches the few times we were in San Diego. Me? Aren’t all oceans freezing? Aren’t all beaches windy? Don’t everyone bring warm jackets to wear when walking the beach when it is 90 degrees once off the beaches?

        3. I remember a dream once where I was in Seattle at a football stadium watching a game. A nuke went off in the distance and I saw the mushroom cloud. After waking up, I vowed to never move to Seattle or go to football games again!

        1. Families are so spread out nowadays (man, does that show my age? Who says “nowadays” any more? :D) that I’m sure there are many of us with family members in various would be targets. Praying for the safety of all…although that might be a pipe dream.

        1. Wait, people who want to nuke the U.S. base their targets on places where TV shows have been set? That’s crazy. Also I hope no one actually watched any of the reality shows set in Utah.

          1. I hope no one actually watched any of the reality shows set in Utah.

            But would they recognize that the reality shows were “set in Utah”? Not a bet I’d take.

            Question I’d have is would TPTB in other countries realize that applying one super big non-nuke to one of two super volcano locations in the continental US, is just as likely to screw everything up? Of coarse it’ll screw them up too, almost as bad or worse, even if US never gets a retaliatory strike in. When you destroy the food producer and dispenser to the world, the world starves (as pointed out by our host).

            Which is why I am not worried about nukes. They can defeat us that way, maybe (a very big huge maybe for the sake of argument), but they are committing suicide. I do not think even Putin is suicidal. I am sure the people around him are not.

            Of coarse if I’m wrong (about them actually using nukes, for whatever reason) I reserve the right to say …. “Well. S**T!”

            1. “…one of two super volcano locations in the continental US.”

              Actually, any one of the three (Yellowstone, Long Valley and Valles) would probably do it, although I have reservations regarding whether a non-nuke could do the job (Doc Smith’s cataclysmite, maybe 🙂 )

              1. I was thinking of Yellowstone. I’d forgotten there were 3 super volcanoes in the lower 48. Something to trigger Rainer or Hood wouldn’t be helpful to either US or Canada either (Seattle or Portland in particular). Heck there is that active “bump” on Sisters that would mess up the skies. thus other interruptions, around the north American continent without damaging any cities directly. Look what Helen did, and she is a baby volcano.

                I agree. It would probably take a nuke to trigger even Yellowstone.

            1. Well, they could listen in as a bunch of smart Americans discuss which cities are important on a blog.

              But what are the chances of that?

    1. I still think Huntsville would be a valuable target. Three major logistics commands, Marshall Space Flight Center and a major research center. And you KNOW some idiot up North would make a tasteless crack about Alabama and tick off most of the South.
      (Note: I live within probable frying distance of Huntsville. I’d really, really prefer to be wrong).

      1. Most of the world has never heard of Huntsville. Realize, the US is viewed via TV series and what our news talks about. Huntsville is, at best, a side note with vague ‘somewhere over there is a thing’ feel.

        1. Well yes,but….client of spouse once met his Russian counterpart, who was knowledgeable about Soviet target priorities. When he mentioned he was from Huntsville the guy blanched. Seems the Soviet military had assigned us three nukes.

          1. But Russia has declined to actually target us (and if the three assigned nukes still exist, I will be very much surprised.)

            Right now if we get hit it’ll be nutty little places like Pakistan or Iran, and they don’t think that way. Possibly North Korea, but they’re dealing with other things right now. To a lot of the world places like Huntsville don’t exist.

          2. I’m not sure that if they think they have three nukes, and target a place, that three launch attempts are enough to even generate one explosion near target.

            This is all statistical inference, and any information I can put into it is guesses at the very best.

            Throwing everything at LA might be their best bet for generating a hit, and that would not be a certain hit.

            It is simply that I do not have so much confidence in that conclusion that I would want to unnecessarily take on that small not fully predictable risk.

      2. If they were smart they would leave Huntsville alone. The acquisition and logistics commands here do more harm than good and MSFC can’t get their lego rocket to even work. Yes, I work and live in the area and have supported all the various commands at some point…

  9. I had to snicker at FICUS – about which I freely admit thinking “huh, that’s a good description. the plant (as in root bound inside a 10″ pot) in the white house.”

  10. Would it surprise you to know the only thing they have against that story is that it cannot be proven? No? Well, it did me, but it shouldn’t have.

    Especially looking at modern “debunkings”!

    Wait, a family story about a kid wasn’t in the news papers?! He didn’t put the obnoxious story that he was probably teased with for YEARS in an autobiography?!? You dno’t say!

      1. A simple “unsupported in contemporary accounts, first identified mention was ABC, it was popular because XYZ” would do everything useful from the claim.

  11. The thing about those 5 big cities? Mostly they’ll be taking out government institutions and a large subset of that which is killing us slowly.

    Many big businesses have fled those cities. Starting with having to set up separate operations after 9-11 and then fleeing the cities due to the crime and injustices being perpetrated by the power elite and their minions.

    Financial? Heh, Jacksonville, FL has set itself up as the new East Coast financial center. Seriously. Others have fled Chicago and NYC for safr pastures in The Evil South.

    Yes, a limited nuke war would be bad. And years of strife and depression and other bad things would ensue. But… there goes the power elite that have been destroying our nation.

    1. Honestly, I have come to think that the prog elite desperately want the US to be attacked with nuclear weapons … little reckoning that it would be the big and relatively dysfunctional cites that are likely to be targeted…

    2. Oh, I forgot about Chicago.

      Are all cargo rail lines required to go through there still?

      1. Only along the northern boundary of the US. There are now central lines and southern lines that cross the US.

        The whole Chicago thing makes sense when you look at its position. Easily brigdeable rivers, access to the Great Lakes, great position as a freight hub.

        Now we have bridged the Mississippi all along it’s length. Something that 150 years ago wasn’t really possible.

        1. Chicago is where and what it is because of the easy portage between the lake and the Mississippi valley. It was so low it sometimes flooded and was easier than the Maumee -Wabash route or the Erie – Oil City route, though longer if you were coming from the east. When the railroads came there was already a town.

  12. I’m pretty sure things will get batter (Not a misspelling) before they get better but I’m not bitter.

    Maybe I can’t change the world but I can, and do, rearrange it at least locally. Just in case I need a new local, I maintain egress options and routes to new localities (Why yes, I do own property on an isolated almost island and a sailing vessel that can get me there using nothing but wind, if I pay attention to the weather and tides.) .

    I might not be able to change the world but I can define and delimit in many ways how the world affects me and mine.

    I think that’s true for most everybody, if they take time to think it out, and realize ‘ya but’ is an invalid argument.

    Yep there’s a time to fight, a time for flight and also a time to freeze, disappearing unobtrusively into the background.

    1. There’s a lot to be said for the “Gray man” strategy…Don’t stand out in a crowd by being well fed while those around you are starving. Don’t wear camo when others are in rags…

      Flight is not so easily doable unfortunately for most stuck in suburbs and cities. Now is the time to do that if you have financial means and a place to go. If not, it will be likely fight or freeze. (or in Europe freeze to death).

      I’m reminded of that line in Starship Troopers… “Come on you Apes! Do you want to live forever!” That will likely be the siren call of the age should what we are collectively fearing or thinking about come to pass. I don’t want to live forever, and don’t want to go silently into that night. I will gladly sacrifice myself for my children to get them a chance to make it through to the rebirth of civilization. Remember, the Renaissance happened after the Dark and Middle Ages.

      1. “Come on you Apes! Do you want to live forever!”

        Heinlein was “quoting” Frederick the Great, urging his men forward, when the guards hesitated at the battle of Kolin.
        “Rascals, do you want to live forever?”
        (Ihr Racker, wollt ihr ewig leben?)
        – Frederick the Great, 1757.

        Someone else made the same connection, of course.
        You can find everything on the Interwebz.

  13. I seem to be between depressions at the moment — much as peace is defined as the gap between wars — and I feel pretty good. I share the wish that it would all break already and let us get on with it. That said, I’m fairly well hedged against just about everything where there’s an instrument to hedge with and we have food and water put by. Alas the boating accident did put a dent in my preparation, but all in all I feel pretty good.

    Of course, I’m assuming we don’t get nuked. Living as we do all of 20 miles from Central Park in NYC if that balloon goes up, we go up with it.

    the UK is in central bank created crisis and we should look very closely at how it’s playing out. The soi disant trailing class does very well out of the financial repression we’ve been under for the past 35 years and this is what they’ll want to do here should they lose their grip on the politicians. Watch very closely.

    That said, Germany is in dire straits and Europe still seems intent on suicide. Even that said, China is very, very bad. Much worse that you can imagine. They suspended even the official GDP report. If the lies are so bad, how bad must the truth be?

    We’re the one eyed man in the land of the blind. I like lady Eleanor’s notion. if they try to suspend the constitution then our obligation to go along ends — and we can just take one with us – if they don’t, we win.

    Noli timere and nullinsecundus.

    1. The Reader thinks a slight sliver of sanity may be showing in Germany. He is pretty sure the Greens were bought off but the fact that someone deemed it necessary to shut them up is encouraging. It is however too little, too late for this winter. The Reader expected the Germans to ‘surrender’ to Russia by now and cease all aid to Ukraine in exchange for winter gas, but someone removed that option. The Reader’s money is on the Poles if it wasn’t a poor maintenance incident.

      1. I lean toward the U.S. rather than the Poles. There seems to have been some rather unusual activity involving American assets immediately preceding the pipeline failures.

        1. The Reader saw that. He hopes the US wouldn’t telegraph something like that by moving flying a P8 and moving an amphib carrier through the area instead of using sub based mission. But with the current bunch you never know. The few contacts the Reader has left in the Pentagon paint a gloomy picture of current competence. The Poles have a greater motivation and probably more military competence at the moment.

          1. Interesting post in Bayou Renaissance Man today; Peter included some data which seems to indicate the explosion was internal, blowing outward (the pipe damage shows this) and was possibly/probably, in accordance with Lawdog’s theory (, “caused by methane hydrates, that congealed into a hydrate plug inside the pipeline”.

            Note that I’m neither an explosives expert nor a hydrocarbons engineer, nor do I play either on TV, but it sounds reasonable to me, and doesn’t require that some government went batshit insane, only that “methane did what methane does”, and that in typical Russian fashion maintenance was…ummm…subpar.

        2. Red State strieff has a counterargument to the US hypothesis, that may be pretty strong. He thinks IC would have leaked anything with that kind of environmental impact for the sake of scuppering the plan.

          I doubt the US hypothesis, first because I doubt the competence of anyone listening to the current senior democrats. Second, because I think that Biden might want to preserve the ability to stab Ukraine and/or Poland in the back. Third, I’m not hearing about a bragging effort to take credit, for the sake of partisan gain, which is the only possible motive if US bureaucracies are still under civil control. Fourth item isn’t evidence, because they are idiots, but screwing over Germany’s green energy stupidity makes the Democrat green energy stupidity look bad, and the Democrats are in enough trouble without scoring even more own goals.

          But, the way federal bureaucracy seems to operate, and the usual MO of the deep state/Democrat alliance, makes a US private entity much more likely to put together a viable sabotage scheme than a US public entity.

          I don’t think Trump did it, but he is both wealthy and an outside of the box thinker, so he would technically be a feasible possibility for a private actor model.

          The thing is, industrial accidents do occur. Avoiding them actually takes serious effort, and the right philosophy.

          Accidents seem to be higher everywhere, as a result presumably of all the idiocy with Covid.

          Some of the fires/industrial accidents in Russia this year look a great deal like enemy action, Ukraine or the US.

          But, gas pipelines can be complicated, delicate, and require a specialized skill set for safe operation.

          US BLS reports c 25k petroleum engineers employed in the US. Now, maybe other American trained American petroleum engineers are counted against the labor statistics of a bunch of other countries. PetroEs employed in the US are much smaller than a number of other discipline engineers employed in the US.

          There are very few petroleum engineering schools, and at least some of the good ones are in the US.

          What does American engineering expertise make up as a fraction of world engineering expertise for each discipline? I do not know. But, there are reasons to suspect that it might be a bit higher for petroleum engineering. Russia has GAZPROM, but that may be seriously screwed up by residual soviet effects, because it does not seem to be a big tech innovator in the oil field industry.

          Now, it may be that my own grasp of oilfield technologies is weak, and too heavily influenced by the US organizations.

          Certainly, at least one of the big European organizations has stupidly divested from stuff that works, and has preferred to go into green insanity.

          The Russian Air Force seems to have done a crap job of air support in the conflict. (With obvious results in forcing the Russians to rely on artillery and train based resupply.) One of the obvious possible explanations for the air support issues is that Russian maintenance cannot support much in the way of sorties/air time/operational tempo. This would naturally also predict bad maintenance and poor industrial safety in the Russian oil field industry.

          1. Accidentally posted mid edit:
            But, if most oilfield experts are tied to the US, if Russia declares a war, and in pursuit of that war tries to operate purely off of internal resources, why would it be surprising for Russia to experience legitimate accidents in the oilfield industry?

        3. P-8 are much more easily used for sub hunting than for getting explosive to the pipeline.

          You would probably need the explosive fairly close, like 10-30 feet maybe for a depth charge, and dropping means a fall through 300 foot of water. That might be difficult for a surface drop, and dropping from in the air at some height and speed would be more difficult.

          The easy explanation for any ‘unusual’ activity right now, involving P-8s or other sub hunting naval hardware, is that someone in the Navy is warning the Russians that we know where their one boomer with possibly working nukes is, and can find it at any time, no matter what they do. AKA deescalating from Putin’s stuff.

          The seeker heads are actually designed for sub hunting, so they are more likely to get lucky with sub hunting, then they are with whatever modifications to attempt to target a pipeline.

          The obvious explanation for ‘but the p-8 was doing weird things in a place where Americans have no business’ is that it was a rather stupid Russian information operation in an attempt to convince the politicians to restrain the US navy, and thereby restore some possibility of Russian nuclear deterrent.

      2. I’m pretty sure it was Russian maintenance, which is to maintenance as Amtrak is to schedule, but we’ll probably never know.

        1. The other thing pointing to it being RU maintainance is Putin really isn’t leaning nearly as hard on EU/US as he could over it.

          If it was RU non-maintainance that blew the pipe and a solid investigation determined that, he would immediately lose all leverage over it.

          1. More than that. If it was Russian “maintenance,” anyone living near a pipeline maintained by Russians should be very worried. Pipeline explosions ruin everyone’s day.

            1. Point. Though the NordStream pipe lines were apparently running at some truly ludicrous pressures. I’m told there are a few places in Africa and the Middle East that run that type of pipe, but I’m given to understand they are well away from habitation precisely because if they fail, they fail spectacularly.

              1. According to LawDog, 22 MPa (3,200 PSI) is not all that high for a gas pipeline, particularly one that’s almost entirely underwater. You have to put the gas under pressure to push it through the pipe, especially when the pipe is 760 miles long.

                The NordStream pipes were actually made in 3 sizes, with thinner walls in the middle third and the German-end third. When the pipeline was in operation, pressure at the German end was less than 18 MPa (2,600 PSI). Of course, when the gas stopped moving, pressure equalized throughout the pipe. The German end might have exceeded its design pressure.

                According to LawDog, the real problem was water. Water, methane, high pressure and low temperature caused ice-like deposits of methane clathrate to form inside the pipes. If the Russians were diligent about keeping their gas within the allowable water content, there would still have been around 22 metric tons of water in each pipe. If they weren’t so diligent, there was…more. Probably a lot more.

                That’s in addition to the 200,000 tons of gas in each pipe. If conditions anywhere inside the pipes caused the clathrate deposits to become unstable, and release the methane trapped in them suddenly, that could put extreme stress on a section of the pipe.

                Bear in mind, the Russian pipeline workers not only had to be competent and conscientious, the Russian bureaucrats had to give them the time and resources to do their jobs properly. Negligence, incompetence and corruption have never been in short supply in Russia over the last 105 years.
                People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

          1. Speaking of LawDog, there hasn’t been anything posted on his web site since October 7. I tried to post comments several times, but always get a ‘Bandwidth Limit Exceeded’ error. Looks like everybody else gets the same error.

            So, the left-wing attacks on his web site haven’t ended. The site is no longer down, but it’s not back to normal, either.
            ‘Progressives’ suppress free speech because they don’t have the means to suppress free thought.


      3. The Reader’s money is on the Poles if it wasn’t a poor maintenance incident.

        Oh good, I thought I was the only one who thought that the Poles were the most likely culprit. As I saw it, they had everything to gain and nothing to lose from doing it. Especially, on the day they announced a new pipeline to transport Norwegian gas to Poland.

    2. Walter Russell Meade had an article in today’s Wall Street Journal claiming many Germans are quite confident about the future. They figure the government will buy LNG from wherever and subsidize consumers so noone goes cold, and German engineering will solve all their future energy problems.
      Also, since Russia appears to be losing, that means Russia will be weakened, Ukraine will need rebuilding and so will Russia, and the Germans will be ready to step in and make tons of money helping,” both of them.
      Frankly, I’d like to know what they’re smoking.

      1. Given the 4/20 connection, they may be smoking hash.

        but, seriously, Merkel’s government went hard on gaslighting the Germans.

        They may be proud of their engineers, but they are not all engineers. Furthermore, when everyone around one is discouraging one from doing serious thinking, very few do.

  14. Being physically attacked I can handle. And almost to the point where I’m not concerned with being fired or not.

    Oh, and if someone asks you out of the blue, how to Keep America Great, or how to Make America Great Again, if you don’t have a ready answer referring to taxes, immigration, energy production, employment, or any other concrete answer; look at your questioner in the eyes and ask them what’s pi to the 12 decimal point. When they ask what that has to do with KAG or MAGA, just tell them that since they like giving pop quizzes so much, you’re just returning the favor.

  15. I enjoyed this one. The first half especially. Because, like a lot of people, I am ‘waiting for the fall,’ and I don’t mean the weather, as that’s already here. But based on all I see, hear, read, I believe there will be a collapse of some kind. Inflation of the money and crime, promotion of sexual perversion in schools and society, things like that are destroying families and the hopes and dreams of young people. Like you, I continue to go through my routines, writing, reading, promoting what I’ve written, talking to friends, yard work, but all while wondering, like the kids in the parlor game, when the music stops, will there be a seat for me? Or I ‘be out?’

    Had a meeting last night with the ‘writing group.’ Two stalwart members and friends and I got in an argument. First, I mentioned that books like, ‘This Book is Gay,’ were being promoted to junior high school age children, AND, that the book was ‘pornographic.’ Well, no, I was told, that’s not true. I’m not going to search and note every school in the country that makes crap like that available, or in the library, but there are lots of people that say that it is. The other firecracker in our discussion. Somehow we got to Jan 6. My two good friends both said that ‘five police were killed on that day in the riots. I told them that no, no police were killed that day. Stalemate. They believe what they have been told by ‘the gubmint.’ I left it at asking them to bring to the next meeting, the names of the five officers killed by the Trump protestors and the names of the people charged with their murders. Well, like I say, these people are friends and I had to leave it there. I did feel bad afterward, actually, still feel bad about that. But, like you advise in this piece, we should ‘educate’ them some. But not too forcefully. I don’t know if I was too forceful. I’ll know next week.

    Enough of that. In closing, I am having a hard time writing, starting a new book. What’s the point? How important is that, given all the unrest and struggle that appears to be headed our way. One bright note on my writing is that one little book of mine seems to be garnering modest interest. Crossing Over, my thriller/speculative fiction about a possible 2nd American civil war. It has a gruesome ending, but with a genuine dollop of hope.

    1. Right, not too forcefully, however I’d have offered your two friends a gentlemanly 10 dollar bet giving them hundred to one odds that they can’t find the dead cops. The change to turn ten bucks into a grand would, I think, encourage them to check their data.

  16. Off topic, a bit, for balzacq and anyone interested in the topic. Peter Zeihan has been writing about the capital investment wave in the US that he thinks is inevitable given what’s going on in China. Russell Napier, who is a far more temperate analyst, has just written about the same thing. Interesting to compare and contrast them.

    Russell Napier is always worth reading though I often disagree with his conclusions. he’s the founder of the Library of Mistakes, which is a real place in Edinburg with books and everything, so so how bad could he be?

    1. Zeihan’s books and videos are interesting as hell – and scary.

      The one from today should wake a lot of people up – he’s basically pointing out that the US and our allies have just torpedoed China’s higher-tech industries by effectively embargoing US workers from supporting China’s tech sector (“quit working for China or give up your US citizenship” is the gist of it). We also have a full-out trade embargo of high end chips and chip-making tech.

      It’s hard to emphasize just how extreme an effect this will have.

      The first thing I thought when I heard of this was “Gee, just like US shutting down the Japanese oil and resource trades in 1941…”

      1. I missed that. What happened?

        Given with what a lot of it seems to get used for, I can’t say I disagree with embargoing China’s tech consumers or Japan’s oil resources, but it does need to be done with awareness of the risks involved.

        1. Basically, what I said above.

          Someone in the Biden administration decided to take a VERY hard line against China, out of the blue.

          What’s interesting is the why, though.

          Personally, I think some political apparatchik saw what’s going to happen in the upcoming elections, figured out they can’t possibly cheat enough (and at enough levels of government) to win, and decided to try and make some ground with a “tough on China” stance, to try and scrape up some undecided votes in the closer races.

          This is a Homer Simpson-level move, especially with China currently pushing harder and harder to the “invade someone” stance. This would probably mean Taiwan as the “someone.” It would also make the recent government support of building a bunch of high tech chip fabs in the US seem like a good idea.

          1. When did this happen? Just recently? And what mechanism are they using? Usually you can’t compel someone to surrender their citizenship over commerce.

            1. Happened in the last few days. I wondered about citizenship too. Like most things, Biden probably fouled it up. The law doesn’t seem to matter to children.

              1. Could also be one of those things were they do something they don’t actually want, massively screw it uo, then sue themselves as set up a plea agreement to prevent anyone else from doing it right later.

                That would tie the hands of any incoming Congress to prevent them doing anything to limit China’s direct access to US tech, and could possibly be used to defacto open up stuff that’s normally restricted.

              2. Quite a discussion on this on another group discussion I follow. The essential view there is “Yes. Working for a hostile foreign government” (everyone, for the sake of argument, agrees working for chip manufacturing, which is the only group targeted, in China, by US citizens, is working for China, because China) “against the US”, a Naturalized citizen, can have their citizenship removed, If tried and convicted. Born US citizens, can be tried and convicted, but still can’t lose citizenship. Even this is presupposition that the individual (naturalized or born) does not quit the job after this edict. I’ll go along with “Biden Ficus fouled it up” (FIFY) …

                1. Huge escalation though. Yes, China is a hostile government, but then so is Germany when it’s all said and done. Coming out and declaring China actively hostile strikes me as …… unwise. F-ing idiotic in fact.

                  1. Yes, China is a hostile government, but then so is Germany when it’s all said and done. Coming out and declaring China actively hostile strikes me as …… unwise. F-ing idiotic in fact.

                    100% to all of it.

                    1. Yes. That has been the conversation. No legal or constitutional authority to revoke a natural-born citizenship. Also conversation, no bets on the current administration trying, no matter how illegal.

                  2. Yeah, I’m Team Nutjob.

                    There is a time and place to tell the rest of the world to go eff themselves.

                    The time to escalate with the PRC is probably /not/ when you are not ready and willing to go to the mat, and pay the costs of escalation.

                    So, a writer I follow has been doing some reading.


                    Key conclusion of interest, in comments, surprising circumstances can result in a lot of leadership, in many places, working at effectively much lower levels of skill and intelligence than they had previously assumed.

                    This kinda fits the current day ‘clownworld’ model.

                    US, Russia, PRC, etc., there are traces everywhere of absurdly low effective levels of decision making at high levels.

                    Frankly, same effects are probably hitting everyone, but the low level crazy may have been less present in the historical record.

                    So, even if my foreign policy philosophy is basically nuts, this citizenship/tech policy choice looks pretty bad to me.

                    Realistically, however, in the place of anyone at the policy making level, I might possibly be as bad, or even significantly worse. I can perhaps do a very good job of calming down, and analyzing, exactly because I am not responsible.

            2. Basically the government imposed export control restrictions on advanced chip development similar to those used for advanced defense articles. For example, the Reader couldn’t and still can’t work for any foreign developer of military radar or phased array technology for any application. See

              This was announced October 7th or so. The Reader is not sure the Export Control Act stretches this far but it will take a long court challenge to sort it out.

              1. Interesting. Thank you for the link.

                I expect the Export Control Act will stretch as far as the army of lawyers can push it on either side. It’s complicated and subjective enough that I doubt any lay person can navigate compliance. Definitely going to be some massive lawfare on all sides involved.

                1. The Reader knows from experience that even large defense contractors can’t always navigate compliance. The Reader once passed a paper published in an IEEE journal by a competitor of the Great Big Defense Contractor he worked for to a certain office in the Pentagon. The paper had no business being published outside a DoD forum. Got a phone call a few weeks later and was told that that contractor’s process for reviewing papers for public release was undergoing a corporate wide corrective action…

                  1. um, Ouch?

                    OTOH I was surprised that my last job did not require a background check, and finger printing. In fact, unlike prior jobs (I came prepared), my first day I wasn’t asked for citizenship status, and ID, to start the job.

                    Latter is self-explanatory, or should be. Why a background check & finger printing? Because all clients were governmental. City, county, and Federal, levels (mostly county). Two years after I retired, background checks and finger printing were initiated for all current employees. Software in question was Cost Accounting. Granted most of the results were public record in aggregate and methods, just not in detail. There was the possibility of SS and payroll numbers and stats. We constantly used real, more or less, current data snapshots. I did not care, as long as what I had, I could home in on the actual problem.

          2. I admit I’m suspicious of this move given the Bidenista’s general level of incompetence and corruption. On the other hand, were Trump doing it, I’d be cheering him on since all the CCP needs is one good push to be in serious trouble, perhaps done.

            Perhaps the Bidenista’s will illustrate, again, the truth of Theoden’s “oft evil will shall evil mar.”

          3. make the recent government support of building a bunch of high tech chip fabs in the US seem like a good idea.

            Recent? For Ficus administration, maybe. But like “Remain in Mexico”, “Build the Wall”, “oops we are too reliant on China for medicines”, and a few other recent Ficus light bulb moments, the Trump administration had already been pushing for exactly this. As usual Ficus is using a sled hammer and broadcasting what is happening backing China into a corner losing face. Trump’s administration just as devastating, ultimately, but less in China’s face.

            1. “Recent” as in “they dumped a HELLUVA lot of cash ($50 billion+++) into loans and tax breaks to various companies with the CHIPS act in August.”

              1. Oh. Not Trump’s administrations path. That route (likely same result but less direct) was tax incentive (which the usual suspects fought) … So, now Biden is “giving” 50+++++ Billion to build, but because corporation they want to tax the hell out of them …. (My head hurts.)

          4. Or someone is using it as leverage to make sure the CCP pays the 10% cut to “the Big Guy” as promised. They want the CCP to do something for them and are imposing the restrictions as leverage, with them to be removed once the CCP does what is asked (perhaps related to the recent news on voting machines, after all, Democrats still are all-in on trying to rig elections in their favor).

          1. In this rule, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement necessary controls on advanced computing integrated circuits (ICs), computer commodities that contain such ICs, and certain semiconductor manufacturing items. In addition, BIS is expanding controls on transactions involving items for supercomputer and semiconductor manufacturing end uses, for example, this rule expands the scope of foreign-produced items subject to license requirements for twenty-eight existing entities on the Entity List that are located in China. BIS is also informing the public that specific activities of “U.S. persons” that ‘support’ the “development” or “production” of certain ICs in the PRC require a license. Lastly, to minimize short term impact on the semiconductor supply chain from this rule, BIS is establishing a Temporary General License to permit specific, limited manufacturing activities in China related to items destined for use outside China and is identifying a model certificate that may be used in compliance programs to assist, along with other measures, in conducting due diligence. `

            1. Another pertinent document, the National Defense Strategy:

              From 2018, it identifies China and Russia as strategic adversaries.

              At a guess, the overwhelming impact of drones in the Ukraine war has made it obvious that the balance on the battlefield has changed. A drone, even an advanced drone, is very cheap compared to a tank. Precision everything changes the game–and it doesn’t happen without chips.

      2. <

        blockquote>The first thing I thought when I heard of this was “Gee, just like US shutting down the Japanese oil and resource trades in 1941…”

        But with the important difference of Japan at that time being a military and naval power.

    2. Great! We’ve had more than a decade of historically low interest rates and now that the cost of capital has increased dramatically, and will increase more with the Fed still raising rates, people decide to invest in onshore manufacturing. The Reader’s head hurts – more than it did when he was working for the Great Big Defense Contractor and had to struggle to hold critical supply chains together.

    3. I’m waiting until everybody that ‘invested’ in China all lose their shorts. Actually, they’ve already lost them, the money is long gone, but the losses are still being (mostly) covered up. Hope they’re proud of themselves for funding the Chinese army.
      Those who do not remember the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes. Those who do remember are doomed to watch everybody else repeat them.

  17. Off topic. Anyone near the Nakia Creek Fire (Larch Mountain) Washington State?

    Sister’s home is on 227 street Brush Prairie. Technically they are on Level 2 evacuation. The red line evacuation is only between 4 to 5 miles away. Particularly bad as their neighborhood has one vehicle way in and out (Powell Road). Sister evacuated yesterday with the cats (theirs and youngest daughter’s who was with dad in Seattle), papers, wedding and baby pictures, and a few moveable antiques, to oldest daughter and SIL home in Vancouver proper. Sister & BIL were afraid status would change suddenly during the night; didn’t, not the point. If still on Level 2 today, they may go and pull some other smaller items, JIC. Their place is 5 acres, half of which is cleared, rest (very) young Douglas Fir timber, replant, very thick. It is cleared around the house. Biggest danger is: Propane tank above the house, and uncleared timber of the neighboring uphill property to the north, and northeast. Properties directly to the east and southwest are cleared well around the houses themselves. If wildfire blows through the neighborhood, it will be a miracle if spared. Possible, and they have better than average chance, because wide clearance around the house, but … Wildfire.

    Her main concern now (short of losing everything), is the smoke smell damage that has already occurred. Suggestions, links, appreciated.

    RCPete, this is the sister and BIL who worked for HP for decades, retiring from Vancouver HP.

    1. Big ozone generators will deal with smoke smells. Disaster recovery companies use them all the time (the companies that you call in after a house fire.). Note: move out of the house while using. They will do a number on your lungs.

    2. The evacuation map for today looks more optimistic than yesterday’s, so that’s a good sign.

      When we had the dishwasher leak (for an extended period of time), our insurance called in Belfor. I was impressed and very pleased with their work. Because of reasons, we didn’t leave the house when the industrial grade dehumidifier & blowers were running. Not a happy experience, and I’d assume for smoke damage, it wouldn’t be viable nor safe to try it.

      FWIW, I’ve heard negative comments about ServPro. It’s a franchise, and at least locally, it wasn’t a great choice. YMMV, but I’d go with Belfor in a heartbeat.

      1. In Indianapolis, go with Total Restoration. Yes, they do use subcontractors, especially for specialized work like roofing, but if there’s a problem with the repairs, they make it right. And they’ll even come in the middle of the night to deal with major problems (had a roof repair go massively wrong due to hidden structural deficits, and not only did they come to deal with the major leak, they also worked with the insurance to get a complete reframing of the relevant part of the roof).

      2. Sister and BIL are back in the house tonight. Doubt they will unpack the critical items until full danger is over. Which won’t be until the area gets a lot of rain. Too low expect extended snow.

          1. We are suppose to be getting rain in the PNW. Polar stuff, if it comes with moisture, great. If polar does not come with moisture … that is not necessarily good. Latter will slow the spread, but won’t get it put it out.

            1. The NOAA weatherguessers say the moisture is likely to stay west of the Cascades, though with their record lately, I’m wondering about cleaning out the Jonboat. /sarc

  18. “So you know, when they say that the Earth will boil in twenty years… assume the superior smile, roll eyes. “That late? I thought it was supposed to be like 20 years ago. And we weren’t supposed to have any snow by now.” Shrug of shoulder, grin. “And wouldn’t that make my life easier in Winter.””

    Wait, wait, wait, wait! I thought we were supposed to be getting into an ICE AGE about now! That’s what everyone was crying about when I was a kid back in the ’70s, so what HAPPENED?

    Hmm. Rather interesting, isn’t it, that all the “global cooling / global warming / climate change” fruitcakes all seem to think that the temps from around the late 1800s to the 1960s (ish) are the “norm,” now ain’t it?

    1. Ice age was the rhetoric back as far as the ’60s at least through the ’70s. Not sure when they made the switch to the other way around. Was it maybe when our, and our parents, with the help of our grandparents, generations cleaned up the air, and waterways. Pretty sure there hasn’t been any burning rivers since then. But what do I know? Won’t say pollution is solved because some of the solutions were just bad money spent after bad to the point some recycling is now being reversed. (Sending recycling to China which then just dumps it into the Ocean? Or burns it without air burners. Bad money spent.)

      1. That brings back memories of an old poem…

        Some say the world will end in fire,
        Some say in ice.
        From what I’ve tasted of desire
        I hold with those who favor fire.
        But if it had to perish twice,
        I think I know enough of hate
        To say that for destruction ice
        Is also great
        And would suffice.

    2. It is also quite revealing that the general solutions to Global Cooling are identical to those for Gorebull Warming. (Full throated callout) “Give me all the power and All Will Be Perfect.”(soto voice) “for me, anyway.”

    3. Of course the “solution” to both the 1970’s “ice age” and the newer “global warming climate catastrophe” was the same; totalitarian socialism run by a small elite cadre. Its as if their pronouncements were based on imposing political goals that the public repeatedly rejects.

    4. Most of the self-styled “experts” seem to think(?) that climate is what’s happening outside the window when they happen to look.

        1. And any change is catastrophic, even though “change” has been a constant for at least 3.5 billion years.

        2. I like to point out the glacial carved lake hereabouts and remind them that the ‘normal’ weather for the region is 5000 ft of ice. 100k years of ice and 10k years of this weather. What were you saying was abnormal??

  19. I dunno.
    There are times when I reject inchoate worries as probably unfounded. There are also times, like with a headache, when I feel that there is probably something to worry. Or, I simply do not have the will for counterargument.

  20. “Why?

    Because a nuclear war is even better to “reset” us with.

    “The nuclear holocaust has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that individualism and captalism are an indulgence the planet can no longer afford . . .”

      1. Though, to poke a hole in my own theory, wouldn’t nuclear war kill off large urban areas i.e. the places their support is strongest? Not to mention destroy the high-tech infrastructure needed to oppress the populace?

        Of course, depending on how things shake out, China will likely be waiting in the wings to offer “assistance”. And maybe that’s the real threat here.

        1. And another thing: where are the hacktivists nowadays? You don’t see, for instance, Chinese government secrets getting dumped online. Nobody seems to be interested in leaking the contents of the WEF servers.

          Maybe they’re hanging out with the former anti-war movement.

          1. The WEF posts enough stuff openly that you don’t need to know what’s in their secret files to be seriously concerned about what they want to do.

          2. When y’all post WEF, I read it as WTF the first time or two. 😀

            Just like ‘Davos’ reads as ‘Davros’, creator of the Daleks. Maybe that’s not a mistake; they both want the same thing.

            Exterminate! EXTERRRMINAAATE!!

        1. So, I’m not sure how you’re coming at this.
          I’m not a leader, and I’m not saying it will be easy.
          BUT it won’t work the way they think. Because their map of reality is messed up.

          1. I was criticizing the same people you were. Politicians and such are always stupidly optimistic about their plans because they think in static terms when reality is dynamic.

  21. I loved “The Stand” by Stephen King. (What came back from King’s car wreck isn’t the same person, and the entity inhabiting him is a crap writer to boot.)

    The horror of the Stand wasn’t the virus, it was evil dropping the mask and trying to ascend to power over everyone. Randall Flagg had been around for decades, doing small “e” evil things. But when the world fell, the demon gained enormous power. If it hadn’t been for those pesky kids, he might have succeeded.

    I know I’m deeply worried when I start dreaming about the line of crucified on the highway to Las Vegas. I think I’ll go can some more tomatoes, and think about other things.

    1. Stay away from the updated, expanded version. Even then, King was tarnishing his heroes.

      Ironic that he’s become one of the caricature-villains from the worst-written of his own books.

      As for his writing, I’ll take your word for it. Last thing of his I tried to read was Under the Dome…and it was just painfully bad. None of it made sense. Not the interactions between characters, not the societal collapse, not even the overall cause of the Dome. It was just…stupid.

      1. I looked V2.0 at the bookstore, but didn’t see anything that made me want to spend more money. I rather liked V1.0, but the opening of Chapter 1 in 2.0 seemed like a huge step backwards.

        I had most (all?) of his books from the early years, though I think Pet Semetary turned me off his writing for good. I notice that none of his books remain on my shelves…

        1. The first four Dark Tower books (specifically the first edition of Gunslinger, NOT the newer ones with 19 all over them) and the books that hook directly into them are fantasy masterpieces – King repudiated and ruined the series with the final three and approved of the movie, which finished the job of invalidating it.

          The Shawshank Redemption – a great novella worthy of a great movie (ironic that King has become just like Warden Norton and the other corrupt old men in his work)

          The Shining wasn’t that great, but served as the basis for a brilliant movie.

          Best of all: all my King books were bought secondhand and used, so I’ve given that evil old man none of my money.

    2. The whole Randy Flagg thing was what I liked least about “The Stand.” It made no sense compared to what came before.
      Realizing I prefer Ringo’s “Black Tide Rising,” series even though we never learn who released the virus.
      (King’s strong point, to me, used to be his ability to drop hysterically funny bits into his horror. He used to know how to build tension, break it, then build again. But I must admit I admired his abilities and just don’t enjoy his work).

  22. We all know the psychic rebound from evil happening is teri le. It’s real. Evil ripples to hurt more and twist more and lead to more evil.

    But so does truth and light. Catholics see this in the Saints, who even if they were cloistered, did such good that they could perform miracles. Even JBP says what if true goodness rebounds and reflects and grows? Wwhat if we were all good and true? What could we do, with a resonance of good? Even if all we did was tell the truth and not lose hope and be good to those immediately around us? What outpouring of Good could come? Don’t think it can’t happen.

    Sarah, was someone in your life at the Miracle of the Sun? Surely, yes? Portugal will be protected. Our Lady promised.

      1. If you think that’s out there, try searching for Topolino Pride & Prejudice. The Italians, not satisfied with unleashing Rai television’s somewhat eccentric Orgoglio e Pregiudizio on the world back in 1957, decided in 2018 that the world really, really needed a comic book parody of the Jane Austen classic starring Paperino (Donald Duck).

  23. I, the champion sleeper of all time, have not slept a full night for over a week.

    No idea why, but I too, have an overwhelming sense of dread.

    But it just might be the change of seasons for me. I never do well with a change in seasons.

      1. I use a sleep mask and you are correct, they are very helpful.

        For me I am quite certain it is the lack of daylight that messes with me.

        I’m like a carnivorous plant. I need sunlight and meat.


  24. I get up every weekday morning with little energy, and a vague sense of dread.
    When I do my work, at a survey-taking call center, I feel like Indiana Jones running in front of that big ball. All day, you run, run, run in front of that big ball. The only way you can stop it is to destroy the game.

    My sense of dread about the Republic is tangible, and while I’m optimistic that Americans will restore the nation, I’m pretty certain this is going to be a destruction that takes us down to the bare metal (so to speak).

    I quit this job in my head about 40 times a day. Mostly I just want to wake up and have something to look forward to.

    This is a tough time for me emotionally, since the move I don’t have friends or even colleagues.

    1. I hope you consider this community filled with your friends. I feel like I am your friend. I wish you lived next door so I could pop over with a bottle of wine once in a while.

        1. Now there’s where I might shine. Let’s do this, when the storm subsides: I’ll host a table for a semi-formal (this is me after all) high tea for anyone here who can make it.

          I make an orange-cranberry scone that gets high marks, if I’m on my game.

          Sign up sheet is on the table in the foyer, next to the Welcome desk. 🙂

      1. Oh, goodness, I do! I’d never reveal this much angst and self pity in another setting. No one would understand.

        I wish we lived closer, too. But the warmth of the offer is profound. THANK YOU.

            1. Two main tricks to it.

              1) Cheddar is the win! But also use multiple kinds of cheese, with a little mozzarella in specific to make it stick better.

              2) Make sure you get a splash of the noodle water in the cheese sauce to emulsify it properly.

              A note for preppers: Cheddar freezes just fine, though the texture when it thaws will be more crumbly. So when you find it on sale, grab, freeze, and use later.

              1. Excellent, thank you. My sister and my brother in law are coming out to visit the week after Christmas, and they are Mac n Cheese experts.
                I shall elevate my status! 🙂

    2. I wish you lived by me.
      I could use a friend too.
      Nevertheless, I pray for you daily as if we’re besties.

      1. I feel shy about saying I wish we lived near each other because I think of you as a good friend, one that I could talk to about anything.
        And that means the world.

        1. Well, if you ever go on vacation, I live super close to some prime destinations such as The Black Hills, Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore and Devil’s Tower and you could come visit and I would put you up and feed you and we could tour around and see the sights and chat all we want. If you are a biker chick you could easily visit Sturgis from here too.

          1. I’m absolutely there! And also in awe of your lovely generosity. I have never seen Mount Rushmore. And Devil’s Tower? Smh. It’s a dream.
            Thank you!

            1. Consider it an open invitation to visit Stately Gnome Manor at any time.

              Although, winters here being what they are, I suggest summer. There is hiking and outdoor vistas galore.

              And I’m known as a pretty good cook hereabouts. So you shouldn’t starve.

              If you are interested I am sure we can figure out the deets.

              1. 🙂 I am so happy. And I have to say this, and I don’t mean to be maudlin or dark or anything: Viktor Frankl said the one thing that helped “guarantee” you would make it through the camps in WWII alive was to have something to really look forward to after you got out. Something you really wanted to do or felt you had to do before you died.
                It’s so nice to have something to look forward to, and I appreciate it. Thank you so much!
                (“… pretty good cook hereabouts….” is self deprecation taken to an extreme, I’m thinking. Happily.)

            2. Don’t forget Little Big Horn/Custer National Monument. The Battleground, both memorials, and the museum, need to be seen and walked, to experience. Well part of the Battleground needs to be driven. Ground needs to be seen. I had no idea there were cactus in the prairie. Prairie rattlers are there too, we didn’t see any, but supposedly there.

              1. My dream is to take an RV on a tour of the parts of the US I haven’t seen before or in some cases want to see again. I’ll add Little Big Horn to the list.

                1. But … taking an RV over the Beartooth, while doable, is hand to steering wheel clenching.

                  We saw the monument Sept 2022. Left Rocky MNP, took I-25 north to Sheridan, then the next morning into Little Big Horn. We stopped at the museum first to check with a Ranger that it was okay to have my service dog on the grounds (it is intermixed with the reservation different rules apply). That is when we were warned about the cactus and rattlers (she was NOT allowed off the pavement, my rules). Drove between the two major battle areas, slowly (lots to see and read on the way back). Saw wild horse herd. Came back and parked, and walked up to the two memorials, back to the museum to tour it. We left there for Red Lodge for the night.

                  1. I’m going to haul my Expedition behind the rig just for such occasions.
                    I used to exercise at a park in San Diego east county that was chock full of rattlers. Only ran up on one once, and turned right back around.

                    1. There were pictures with the Rattler warning at Little Big Horn. Invisible in the prairie grasses. Pepper was kept to paved walkways, IN the Middle! (Not standard, I usually keep her opposite of foot traffic.) Also, they are called Pygmy Rattlers, and do not always have rattles (WHAT the Heck?) Does not mean they are particularly small. OTOH the rangers there who have all seen them, rarely have seen any. The cactus, which is everywhere (how in the heck did anyone move around with just moccasins for footwear?) was more of a problem for Pepper, even if I’d put on her boots. We took the “prairie is fragile” to heart 😉 for practical selfish reasons.

                      It’s not like most everywhere we go we are not in rattler territory. Technically even here at home. I’ve seen two, in 66 years (66 on Thursday, so semi-official). One was smashed along the road. Mom & dad stopped to have us look at it (dusk, barely visible). Another was in the Deschutes river near where we were wading as kids. Saw a snake swimming. Could I ever identify a rattler based on either of these? Nope, not a chance.

                      Regarding the RV. Remember to 1) Inform CC you are traveling (even in the US). It is embarrassing to get out of your “area” and not have the CC work at a fuel pump. 2) Most (okay all of ours) CC cut off fuel at $100, regardless of whether you are full or not. Generally restarting the fuel is allowed. With fuel prices now? You will hit $100+ to fuel up. You think fuel costs are bad at home? The tourist areas are worse (ONCE, our Fall 2020 trip fuel was less expensive in YNP and Jackson than at home, that is not standard). 3) At least you aren’t us. We get out of Oregon, first fill up, and it is “What is taking them so long? Oh. Um. Yea. We have to do the fueling!” It isn’t we do not know what to do (hubby is from CA and we lived in WA), it is we aren’t used to being allowed to.

                    2. The last time I had to fill up in Oregon I swear I rolled down the window and yelled “Hey, buddy! What’er you…. Thanks yeah.” Or, that’s always what it feels like at any rate.

                      My plans are to do the big traveling roughly 5 years hence, unless my sister and I can work something out. Or maybe not. Anyhow, I’ve stored your travel notes. There’s so much of America I haven’t yet seen, I feel like I’m going to run out of time unless I win the lottery or just get going some other how. I’ve never seen Gettysburg for heaven’s sake.

                    3. Haven’t seen a lot of the US myself. We stick to western national parks: California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Alberta Canada. Probably one more trip to Canada, then will be haunting YNP and Tetons for seasonal and wildlife.

                      We did see a part of the Everglades swamps, if only because Kennedy Space Center sits in the middle of part of it 🙂 Been to DC Mall monuments, twice (not my fault the planes were full of scout troops after 2001 and 2005 national jamborees 😉 and it took 3 days to get me on a flight out (honest, the travel agent said so).

                      Hubby isn’t into the historical stuff. Did get him to tour guide all the California missions, and San Simon, early in the marriage. We’ve been to Disneyland twice, once with the mission trip (back when ticket rides and SIL had a pile of them), and again with our 4 year old. DisneyWorld, once on the 25 anniversary, with our 8 year old (same trip to Kennedy, what? Go to DisneyWorld and Not take the time to go to Kennedy? Not right, at all.)

                    4. The reenactment on the Creek reservation is worth seeing too. The town nearby does one, but the Indian version is better. Oddly, both versions used basically the same script – the cavalry are not the good guys. You make me wish we’d gone farther and actually visited the monument.

                    5. The monument and the two memorial have got a Feeling that is difficult to describe. What I felt standing at the Vietnam memorial in DC, but not. (Or I’m overly sensitive. IDK.)

                      It is a stop not to miss. Really want at least a morning (2 – 3 hours) to see. There is also a veteran cemetery onsite that is not accepting more internment. None of the 107th is buried there. The 7th remaining onsite are still buried under the 7th memorial, a mass grave. This does not include Custer, but did originally.

                      It was an after thought stop for us. We planned it. But originally we were going from RMNP to BearTooth pass. Glad we took the time, and an extra day.

          1. The Reader has a strong resistance to electrical engineering puns. And they can cause inductive surges in the carp canon.

        1. LOL. My grandpa on my Mom’s side would have loved you. And, you would have been here all night with “battling puns.” He was a master.

      1. Thanks. I do, really! It’s just that the blog is a bit limited, and I’m wary of letting go and writing about everything in full, living detail.
        It is a struggle to find the energy to do things I love to do, like fishing, or hiking, or anything that requires me to actually get out of the apartment. But I’m doing better, and you’re a big help.

      1. Booyah! You are on.
        Note: I do not like lemon curd, anybody wants some’s gotta make it for themselves. Just saying.

  25. There are a lot of scary things out there. We are some of them. But we are also the not-scary things to those who love America.

    “Find a safe harbor.” I’d recommend Christ Jesus and a Bible-believing church; but I know not everyone rolls that way.

    It’s okay. Just remember we’re here for you if you change your mind. And we support your freedom to choose.

    Find others of like mind who need help and help them as you’re able. We all have spare SomeUsefulThings and a shortage of SomeOtherUsefulThings. Maybe God designed it that way for us to need to join together.

  26. Teach people…no, I don’t think so, or only very, very cautiously. I don’t want to be on the hook for a billion.

    And Kanye’s next on the list.

    1. Speaking of Kanye, he’s apparently thinking of buying Parler. Wouldn’t it be nice if Elon ends up starting a trend?

  27. And the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train.

    An interesting take I’ve seen: The pessimist sees the darkness of the tunnel. The optimist sees the light promising eventual escape from the gloom. The realist (bear with me for a moment) realizes that light is probably an oncoming train. However (still in the take I’ve seen–not my own commentary yet) the real realist realizes that if he endures the darkness, avoids the oncoming train, and escapes the tunnel, what he finds is…another tunnel.

    One of the problems many of the non-left have is that we make some progress and think they’re done. They can return to their business and leave that nasty politics stuff behind. The only problem is the other side never stops. We get out of one tunnel and then get caught flat-footed by the next.

    The people who worry me are less the left than it is the people who seem to think that there’s some “solution” where we can stop and rest on our laurels. And I’ve seen it rise to the idea that if we just have the right forced exodus (or worse, massacre) then we have have “liberty for our time”.

    Unfortunately, it never stops. Until we quit this vale of tears and reach the shining lands (if I might mix a couple mythologies*), pass through the Ice Floes of Sicce to the sunny uplands beyond, then the battle will never end. We may catch a breather now and then, but never imagine that it’s more than that. People got complacent after Reagan, and that led to Clinton (Bush I was part of the complacency). People got complacent after the “Gingrich Revolution” and, well, now we have Pelosi.

    Be not afraid? Perhaps. But even once we win, never cease to keep striving.

    *Before anyone gets offended (I know, I know. Too late) I’m using “mythology” here in the sense of a set of beliefs/stories that form the core of a culture. It does not necessarily mean said beliefs/stories are false. For instance “give me liberty or give me death” and “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here” are part of the USaian mythology and are, to the best of my knowledge, true.

  28. I have an uneasy sense that things are going to go sideways. I’ve been doing what I can to prepare. I’m not too worried about me (70+) but for my wife, kids and grandkids.

    1. Similar circumstances. Over 70, still working to keep ahead of inflation, resigned to whatever happens. I live near Baltimore, so if DC gets slagged (talk about mixed emotions), things will be deadly here. I don’t care. I have no plans, just options.

  29. My biggest concern about this election is — if the Republicans eke out a win, and gain small majorities in the House and Senate, what would they do? Especially Vichy Mitchy McConnell, second only to Mittles Romney in being mocked by jellyfish for being spineless.

    I worry that they would mostly sit on their hands. They might temporarily impede the Democrats’ efforts to make the government’s encroachments into our lives even more intolerable, but would they roll back the abuses that have been accumulating for the last 114 years? Or would they just climb on the gravy train, and let the rot continue to fester?

    That’s why I’m wondering if it might be better in the long run if the Democrats ‘win’ this one through election fraud even more blatant than 2020, then use that ‘mandate’ to push their manifesto still harder while Dopey Joe’s rants get ever more incoherent. While the most thoroughly incompetent regime in American history pretends they are The Smartest People In The World while making the stupidest decisions possible. In 21 months, they have not done a single thing right.

    Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. — Thomas Jefferson

    Apparently the Democrats’ evils are not yet insufferable for most people. Maybe the only way out of this is for the Democrats to take enough rope and enact evils sufficiently insufferable to turn the great majority against them. It’s not enough just to stall them for now. Their evil has to be shoved in everybody’s faces until they can’t pretend it’s not evil.

    Until they can’t get the stink out of their noses. Until the average American is as mad as hell, and is not going to take it any more. Until We The People rise up, take a chainsaw and prune off about 95% of the federal government.
    The one thing we need more of from the government is LESS!!

    1. If the republicans only take a basic majority of the house and senate, then they are stalled. At best all they can do is not pass anything that the other side wants. Anything passed to roll back the madness, will just be vetoed. Without a veto breaking majority, they are stuck.

      One area they could do is out front investigations, bring everything into the cold hard bright light. Will that achieve anything, a wake up for those not woken up yet? Maybe. Anything else? With Ficus ready with a pardon pen? Not hardly.

      Incompetence and treason impeachments? Back to back. HRH Cackle can be first woman president and the first impeached woman president.

    2. I’ve been hearing people on the right say, “Maybe it would be better if the Democrats win this one election…” since 2008.

      Yeah, I’m getting a bit tired of it. And it never really seems to work out the way that those people claim that it will.

      The ideal solution is blatant Democratic cheating on a massive level that gets the cheaters exposed for all the world to see and institutes a wave of public anger that forces new measures to keep elections honest… and the Republicans still win by a landslide.

    3. I’ve been thinking longer game for a while.

      I treat elections as being legitimate when they will do the things that would allow one to demonstrate that they are legitimate.

      The basic fundamental thing, nobody can project force effectively enough to control all election processes by force alone.

      Election process is downstream of culture, work the culture.

      But, don’t turn up your nose at short term victories, simply because of taking counsel of fears. Just keep your eye on the ball for the long game.

  30. On nuclear weapons….
    The ones we have were built by low bid government contracts. The ones the Russians have were built by slaves who had been farming the previous generation. Newer ones are being built by people who still live by they pretend to pay is we pretend to work.
    Someone I knew way back got to go to underground nuke tests. All nuke tests in the US are specially built for said test. They are not limited by constraints on bomb or warhead requirements….and they still failed or under worked far too often.
    Also….for the first time in my life a world leader who definitrly has them and probably the technology to reach anywhere is threatening to use them. No one is publicly panicing. Something is very wrong.

    1. Nuclear war was overhyped, and may actually be appropriate in current circumstances.

      Issue is, the legitimate targets for a reprisal for acts of biological warfare might include the PRC /and/ the US.

      We would really do better to put our own house in order by less energetic means.

      I doubt anyone else really has all that much in the way of reliable delivery.

      But, America nuking DC, Maryland or Virginia might be a bit excessive.

    2. It would be the deepest of ironies if the culmination of Mutually Assured Destruction was a whole lot of fizzle and a number of underground explosions centered around missile silos.

      Imagine badly misfiring rocket engines, corroded fuel lines failing under pressure, missiles falling out of the sky only miles from their launch point. . . let alone whether the warhead would actually trigger a detonation.

      .. it occurs to me that out of everyone, Elon Musk has the largest potential for fail-proof weapons of mass destruction.. just needs to launch some titanium rods into space…

      1. Not Ti; too light, and too vulnerable to reentry heat. Tungsten. As one novelist designated them, “Rods from God” 🙂 .

  31. I have moved past the dread for the moment. Maybe I just wore it out and it’s sitting in my mental pressure cooker waiting for the heat.

    At this point I seem to be simply waiting. Not anticipation, but simply waiting for something that is coming, like the breathless pressure of a storm approaching.

    Still preparing as best I can.

  32. Two things:

    First “….the way to utterly cripple us: Hit the five or six biggest cities. Our centers of government.”

    Such would not be at all painless, but I can think of an urban center or three we could, if not do without, certainly benefit from less of. Were it limited so, I doubt it would be as crippling as it first appears.

    And, Second: My dream is to take an RV on a tour of the parts of the US I haven’t seen before or in some cases want to see again. “

    Kathy, THIS would make a good “group tour” for a moderately sized group, maybe a dozen or so RVs. A number of years ago I was between jobs for a couple months, but still being slightly paid, because of a corporate transition and wanted to do the 6-Week Full Lower 48 in an RV with the Whole Herd (MUCH cheaper than hotels & restaurants). For a number of reasons out of my control it did not happen and I’ve regretted it ever since.

    1. 6-Week Full Lower 48 in an RV with the Whole Herd (MUCH cheaper than hotels & restaurants). For a number of reasons out of my control it did not happen and I’ve regretted it ever since.

      As someone who has done both … wags hands. Definitely better if you are someone who does not sleep on strange beds, or traveling with any kind of pet. But based on cost? For us, it is a toss up. The longer you are out, then RV is more cost effective if not constantly moving about, and you’d better have a cost efficient smaller vehicle for the park RV, and move around site seeing portion. Parking an RV is going to be a PIA (especially these days).

      The cost comparison we did does not take into account actually buying or renting the RV setup. When one takes that into account, then the RV costs go up. When we made the comparison, we already had paid up RV, so the costs on that side were: 1) Trip Fuel; 2) camp costs (dry camping, i.e. no hookups, but we avoided boondocking), and our non-private camp costs are half price (now); 3) annual insurance (stored at home, self maintained) for RV. This is taking into account that half the “RV” was the pickup which (until recently) was something we were going to have anyway, so other than hauling fuel trip costs didn’t calculate in. On the flip side, our costs are: 1) Trip Fuel; 2) accommodations (least expensive option available); 3) meals – we picnic (actually a push because we eat out no more often than we did with the RV).

      Non-monetary considerations are: 1) Parking at destinations. 2) Travel time (ex: ID/WY freeways are 80 MPH for non-RV’s, it is 60 MPH otherwise, plus wind can sideline RV’s), parking between destinations (ex: it is a two day run between home and YNP/Tetons, rest areas big rig parking fill fast). 3) Maneuverability – getting fuel (a number of highway fuel options can be a real pain to get RV rigs in and out of, even some of off the freeway options). 4) Is there multiple drivers for the RV? Ultimately this tripped us up, I’ve never towed or drive a large rig (was willing to learn). Driving an RV is tiring, even with the passenger “helping” drive (watching for idiots, and other hazards). 5) Are your accommodations inside the destination boundary? The last is definitely on the RV plus side. It is horribly expensive to stay at hotel/lodge accommodations inside say Yellowstone or Yosemite National Parks. But no hookup RV/camping options are relatively inexpensive, especially with the senor or veteran life time passes (still less but Fishing Bridge hookup camping is a lot more than other campgrounds). It is a lot more convenient to not have to go through any of the park gates every morning and evening.

      Ultimately the switch from RV based travel to using hotels, came down to not costs but other factors. We RV’d for our personal (2 – 3 week national park) vacation trips, plus local weekends, between 1990 and and 2020. (We tent camped before kid. A lot of tent camping through scouts, even with RV parked at home.)

      Regardless of which way one chooses to travel, RV or hotels, when visiting the National Parks and Monuments, get the annual pass. If 62+, then $80 lifetime. (Or $20 for 4 years, last year turning in prior 3 year $20 annual passes. I missed the $10 lifetime cost by “this much” … a year). There is a veteran and disabled lifetime passes too, have to check the cost, if any. Both passes covers whoever is in the vehicle with the pass holder (which is why I do not have one, hubby does, his was $10). Annual pass even if not qualified for the lifetime pass is 100% worth it. Just seeing Yellowstone and Tetons on the same trip the $80 annual pass pays for itself. See all 5 Utah national destinations, annual pass is a huge value (note does not cover State parks). Thereafter all other entry costs for monuments and national parks are free for the year. Does not cover parking at Rushmore, or camping fees.

      1. Since we already had a vehicle that could tow a trailer, we actually paid off our camper in the savings from four years of family trips. Only dropped the MPG by about a quarter.

        …of course, we wouldn’t have DONE those trips if we had to get hotels, BUT!

        1. Depends on whether you have to get multiple hotel rooms and how far you are going.

          We had the tow vehicles too. Most places we went there were no hotels, so there is that.

          We didn’t “just drop MPG by a quarter”. Our RV (at least the last one) wasn’t that big. Too big to be towed by the smaller Santa Fe (Palisade would not be a problem). We had a 2010 Chevy X-cab with regular box and canopy (22 MPG rating). GVTW, trailer loaded, including full water was well under pickup specs. We lost 25% to 75% mpg. (What is it about Idaho? It is up hill and against the wind, both ways!) We have seen the trip mpg meter drop to 4 MPG (at the absolutely worse time). Trip over all averages were around 30% less. Then too, hubby does not spare the horse power even towing … Or my response to his “we aren’t in a hurry” is “yea, Rigggggghhhhttttt” with accompanying eye roll.

          cost comparison we did does not take into account actually buying or renting the RV setup

          The comparisons were recent. Note, our (new) RV was a lot less expensive than a new one now. Even used RV’s have been premium priced (if you can find one that does not reek … possible, but need to be lucky, at least locally). But yes, savings then, paid off the trailer. (Which is why did not do the comparison including purchase cost of the RV, it was a sunk cost.)

          Plus, until recent, Oregon does not have sales tax on RV’s (which we’ve never paid, technically the new “fee” is a “luxury fee” … it is a damn sales tax).

          We both do not, and do miss the RV.

          1. What is it about Idaho? It is up hill and against the wind, both ways

            :Grimace: Whoof, yes. My mom is still fussing at the very idea of us going over to Washington, given the elevation change.

            Just wanted to add another data-point on “is it cheaper? DEPENDS!”

            Oh, and there’s the additional issue of if you have a place to STORE the thing.

            1. Look, the wind is predictable, gotta give us that! And it’s not prone to causing napping semis, like Wyoming’s wind, so it isn’t THAT bad.

              As for the uphill both ways, that’s a feature to discourage and slow zombies, not a bug. Zombie prevention is very important.

              1. 🙂 🙂 🙂

                I’ll be sure to mention the zombie prevention to hubby next time we traverse through Idaho.

                Yes, Wyoming and Montana winds are just as bad.

                Anyone towing an RV? Strongly recommend sway bars, and the level bars. Difference between having to pull over VS not, given a choice. There are times when not given a choice (allegedly, we never ran into that, strongly suggested, but not flat out required).

                1. Did that on a motorcycle back when. Had to gear down from normal cruising gear and lay into the wind 25-40 degrees. Which made it interesting when the gust would abruptly fade.

            2. We had our own storage. Especially when we decided to check the costs.

              Selling the truck and RV gave us a base fund to earn travel money. Even then, it was a push. RV is less expensive, but not that much, for us. But our costs is not others costs. As you pointed out, I left some out on the RV side.

              Bottom line it came down to: 1) only one driver (lets be real, not like I drive a lot when hubby is in the car anyway, but RV, he is worse), getting to the age where RV travel is flat uncomfortable and stressful for the one driver. 2) Had a couple of bad scares – what happens if the driver cannot drive the RV, let alone get it hooked up? Part 2 of that is where Karma comes in, we’ve helped a lot of amateur RV’ers setup and level up in campgrounds. Someone would help me get hitched (rest of it I do anyway, so no problem). Then getting it home … Not only our own scare (hubby took a bad fall, too near a cliff, he was fine but “what ifs” …), someone else who obviously was IN that situation (came back to camp to find rangers and wife hitch and pack, because husband had sudden medical situation).

          2. Oh, and our horde, we were looking at THREE rooms to be able to stay legally, depending on where a place draws the line on “infant.”
            Even camp grounds, we’re frequently not technically legal, although they’ll ignore Obviously Kids since the rules are for preventing invasion by party bunches.

            1. We only need one room. We also do not have to worry about pet fees.

              Tell me about the campground limits. Getting sites situated together for BSA in National Park campgrounds is a royal PIA. Can’t break the rules. Also a matter of number of tents and tent platforms in some. All following the BSA rules.

              VRBO, etc. might be cost effective. But be aware the costs advertised not only do not include lodging taxes, or (per stay, not per day) cleaning, and any other fees they might add on.

          3. We use military/National Guard famcamps when possible. Cost about half as much as a regular campground and it’s a gated community to boot.(grin). Usually decent, basic amenities, which is all we want.
            When we’re on a volunteer project, the agency provides a site with hookup. We’ve done a fair amount of time in church parking lots.

      1. I keep telling you, I’ve arranged a tour guide who can show you the spot on Jams Madison’s plantation where his pastor talked to him about the need to preserve the rights of individuals… (and other things. lots of other things. She’s a history buff)

  33. Hopefully we have “a couple more years”. I need to get the wife out west, she’s not been, but there are a lot of great things in the east. Revolutionary and Civil War sites and just plain old neat stuff. Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on White Fish Point, the Soo Locks, Kentucky, the list is long. Hope we can all make the ones we want.

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