Comfort and Safety

Having grown up in a time and place where electrical supply was unreliable and people had an uncertain grasp on how to work with electricity anyway — yes, the once and future time, what can I say? — so that you might very well have to take a candle with you to bed (HOW I never burned the house down trying to read till all hours is a minor mystery) because the electricity was out, again, or where people thought nothing of replacing that darn fuse that keeps blowing with a penny, I grew up with a very real fear of house fires.

Having spent some time living in the curious level of apartments best described as “student housing” (where not only might the wiring be wonky, but the cabinets might be so low over the stove that a small oil spill can turn into “oop, there goes half the kitchen”) did nothing for this fear. In fact, this is the first time in thirty some years that I haven’t had a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and that only because I haven’t been in a place to buy one at the same time that I had money to buy it, but it’s on the list.

Add to this that both mom’s and grandma’s tales of the village in their lifetimes involved a manor house going up in smoke overnight. (Look, Portugal still has some structures that probably started life as Roman farmhouses. Knowing how much crazy I’ve found in Victorians where each new owner added a twist on “this will work for me, because” and then hid it in the walls, the amazing thing is how many Portuguese houses don’t burn overnight, even if most of the materials are stone and cement.) And in mom’s case, being a vivid storyteller, it involved the tale of six kids caught in a house fire while their parents were out, and being brought out as corpses “looking like roast goats.” Nightmare fuel, I tell you.

So, I have a healthy respect for fire.

If I could banish all danger of fire by not thinking about it, believing that fire didn’t exist, and disabling every fire alarm, I’d already have done that.

Why haven’t I done it? Because my thoughts and words, or even alarms don’t control reality. And my banishing fire from my thoughts wouldn’t make me less vulnerable to it, but more.

And not precisely a change of subject, but remember the late seventies, when Communism was the most stable and successful societal form in the world, and in the future — as every intellectual assured us — we’d all be communists? Heck, even the so called free countries recognized they had to add a little bit (or a lot) of socialism to their mix just to survive. Why! It was only sense, right? Planned economies were just more efficient. What kind of lunatic would build a house without a blueprint? How much more necessary was a blueprint and efficient top-down control of the build for an entire economy.

Just look at all the racial strife and economic suffering in the US with their pure free market (yes, I know, but bear with me) system! Do you want that? No. You want the stable, equitable, efficient Soviet Union’s system. Duh.

If you don’t remember this, you didn’t grow up in Europe (Or, curiously, in political and intellectual circles in the US) where what I stated above was not even vaguely controversial. Or in fact worth arguing, because everyone knew that.

Most of the people (unless geniuses and cranky) who opposed communism opposed it on the basis of its jailing prisoners, treating dissidents like cr*p and other moral issues. On that basis a lot of people “on the right” wanted “socialism with a gentler touch” or if you prefer “democratic socialism” (Strange ice and hot snow. They vote to despoil us, and we’re supposed to accept it because theft by the majority is somehow moral. And that’s not counting vote fraud, which is endemic in every socialist country, because of course those in power don’t wish to lose it at the whim of the unwashed.)

And yet, when people in power in the US said “Screw that, we don’t believe you, and we’re not going to appease you” the entire system of terror behind the iron curtain crumbled like a sand castle hit by waves, like fog when the sun shines.

Because of course none of it was true. The USSR wasn’t stable, efficient and prosperous. (The fact that Putin wants to revive it tells you what world-class intellect he ain’t.) It was a shambling mess, where people pretended to work where others pretended to pay them, and where you lost half your life to standing in line for goods, even goods you didn’t want because you could maybe, perhaps trade them for something you might want at some time. And if the supply issues weren’t enough, there was every single other issue. The medical care was worse than third world; the service economy was non existent; their defense industry was mostly smoke and lies; and their people were skilled in the art of double think. In fact, even with the black market they allowed to exist because it was often the sole source of food, I suspect they’d have lived in permanent famine conditions without overt and covert aid from the US. (Not to mention our letting them swallow up vast portions of South America and Africa, from which they extracted tribute.)

So why did they appear so successful and stable that non-insane people in the West hailed them as the future? Ah, because they’d broken the fire alarms, banned all mentions of fire, forbidden people to even think of fire. Or you know, revolt against the system. And if despite all this someone still mentioned fire, then they were declared insane and locked up.

Which not only projected an image of complete control and prosperity abroad, but also meant that the leaders thought — at least most of them — that they had perfect control and at least a minimum level of prosperity.

Until everything came crumbling down, fast and irreversibly, because someone dared (very dared) to question the image, and kept asking the non-existent system to compete with our flawed, wasteful, compromised but still somewhat free system.

The analogy with fire should be obvious. Rebellion and revolt (or even the sort of sullen non-compliance that acts like some wires smoldering in the walls) destroy polities the same way as fire devours structures.

And the best way to defend against either is both efficient alarm systems, and rapid deployment measures of control.

And when you think “But communism had that” you’re thinking of the Prague Revolt, or Tienanmen Square or the swallowing of Hong Kong, and you’re not precisely wrong. Not really.

There is a level of countering the threat that will prevent that which no one dares admit exist. If despite all your best efforts to banish even the thought of fire, a flame erupts on your stove, and you have a fire extinguisher to hand, you can hit it hard and fast. And then you forbid mention of it ever again.

It works, sort of, except that of course, if a bigger conflagration starts it can destroy you overnight and you’ll never see it coming. (Romania, Christmas 1989) Or an external fire, intentional or not can consume you, while your people run around screaming “What is this strange thing?” (I expect this is the failure mode of today’s totalitarians, because there is a conflagration worldwide. They’ve been tamping down individual instances and preventing people talking or thinking about it, but there it is.)

In a healthy polity which ours used to be, you had systems to both inform you when the people were getting seriously p*ssed, and mechanisms for making us considerably less prone to sudden revolt, not to mention to letting the kind of “fire in the walls” smoldering discontent and revolt.

For one, we had free speech, which meant, that yes, you knew when people weren’t happy. But you know, like having fire alarms throughout the house, that might give you false alarms, but also means you can get up and do something about the lamp the cats knocked down in the living room and which is making the carpet smolder, by fixing the conditions making people p*ssed.

We also had voting, which meant that if the wall was consistently getting hot, we could get it open and the wiring repaired; or we could realize the penny in the electrical panel had melted, and remove it, replacing it with a real fuse. Rigged elections don’t do that, of course. They’re much in the vein of putting the penny in instead of the fuse, and wiring the switch on “on” so it can’t take the electricity down, and stop the danger.

All we have left now is fire extinguishers in the form of corrupt police and/or military and a lot of hysterical ninnies who claim a small kitchen fire was the worst catastrophe since forever.

And this has extended to all levels of our once-free polity. They stop people talking freely on social media. In groups and associations, you have to keep quiet about any dissenting opinions, lest you lose job and family. People actively falsify their opinions, in order to stay in the good graces of those they need to continue surviving.

The problem is like disabling the fire alarm, it does nothing to prevent fires. In fact it makes it more likely that a fire will happen, because no one is taking the most elementary precautions.

And you — and I look at it — and wonder what the heck is in their heads.

Well, a great part of it is they know their control is precarious (at least at some level they know it) and that people are fed up. So like children afraid of fire who silence the fire alarm, they think if no one talks about it there will be no revolt.

They’re right to an extent (unlike with fire) in that there will be no small, widespread, annoying contagion rebellions. Well, except for things like Let’s Go Brandon.

And of course, we can’t vote them out. Ah. They wired that panel on, dare and take them down that way!

BUT all that does is set up the ideal conditions for an all consuming conflagration.

And the conditions are set.

Part of it, of course, is that the left has this strange dysfunction where they believe if you control the words you control reality. No, I can’t explain it, but it’s obvious in their obsession with controlling language (which always evades them) and their refusal to talk about anything that makes them uncomfortable. It’s not all crowd control. If you watch them carefully, there is a certain primitive belief that thoughts and words control reality. (Maybe it’s that so many of them work — if at all — in a realm of thoughts and words. Or maybe it’s the New Age affirmations movement gone wild.)

Take the social thing. They suppressed mention of anything counter narrative. They’re going insane at Musk buying Twitter, because they’re honestly convinced if things are never mentioned they won’t exist.

But of course people know things. If they lie with numbers and say there’s no inflation, it doesn’t make our household budget any better. If they say there are no supply problems, it doesn’t put food on the table. And their eternal obsession with Trump might make him exactly into the super-enemy they think he is.

The most they can do is make each of us feel alienated and desperate. But reality — let’s go Brandon — keeps breaking through. People talk in all sorts of places, and you don’t want to hear what I hear in the grocery store. (Or at least they don’t.)

But even fragmented and seemingly alone, desperate people do desperate things. We’re not desperate yet, but the pressure is going up every day. And pressure has a way of blowing.

The other part of why they do this, is that even in relatively free countries, the left has become the refuge of those who by inclination or stupidity believe in top-down, center-out. Maybe they just want power, and of course each and every one of these deluded idiots thinks he’ll be the Great Leader, or the Great Leader’s favored lapdog, or maybe they believe that things work better that way (perhaps they have a lot of Soviet Live magazines under the mattress, or have never studied real economics, who knows?)

Any command and control top-down system is subject to ass-covering. Yes, even (particularly?) corporations.

I’ve seen it time and again. People have a project and everyone reports it is going swimmingly. Because, well, of course they do. They don’t want to be fired. This means the project leader and every level up from that “knows” everything is fine and every goal is met.

So it was in the Soviet Union. So it is in Cuba, Venezuela and particularly China. (In case you wonder why China talked itself into the arrantly stupid one-child policy and why it took so long to correct and not completely, yet.) So it is with our “Great Leaders” the Biden Junta, and their infantile belief in “Climate Change” (Caused by humans. Of course climate changes. We’re in an inter-glacial period, for instance.)and their belief in auto-magic clean energy that will happen when we need it.

Because every level reports up that everything is fine. And only each person knows he or she is lying.

Look at what they say at every level of life interaction! Even in craft or social groups, people are all progressive. Theirs is the philosophy of the future.

No, they’re not actually aware of how many people have quit in disgust, or are silent, and getting angrier.

Everything they see and hear reinforces their belief that everything is fine. Why shouldn’t they be confident in their eventual triumph?

Sure, some woke corps collapse. And the bottom line on movies they bet on is weirdly low. But hey, it just means that people are gaming more and movies are a dying industry now. Or maybe they’ve been insufficiently woke, and need more paint-by-numbers socialism. Look, I heard this for years as an explanation for why print runs were falling through the floor. It was all “people don’t read anymore.” Till indie happened, of course.

You think the big advances on lefty biographies and books are bribes. And they are. But at some level, I bet at least 90% of the people involved in the projects are baffled at their failure, because everywhere they go, everyone loves these people and causes. So…. why are they failing? Oh, yeah, people don’t read anymore!

They’ve effectively stopped every possible fire alarm, and if you mention fire, they’ll descend on you with all their fury.

So they know they’re safe.

But of course, that’s not how any of this works. If you permit me to change metaphors from fire to flood, this is how it works:

“But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.”
― Plato, Timaeus and Critias

And the Earth is shaking.

428 thoughts on “Comfort and Safety

    1. I must commend your amazing job of foreshadowing the entire comments thread.

      Most impressive.

      1. The Reader agrees but prefers an alternate version.

        You can’t win
        You can’t break even
        You have to play

  1. a lot of hysterical ninnies who claim a small kitchen fire was the worst catastrophe since forever.

    That “kitchen fire” was just a single frying pan, extinguished by simply putting the lid on it and turring down the heat under it.

    1. Burned popcorn in the microwave was the main event when the Fire Dept was called in my suburb….

      1. Oh, don’t remind me…

        One day, sitting at my desk, I caught an unmistakable whiff of burning popcorn. Instead of fading away, it got worse, so I made a pilgrimage to the lunch room to seek out the source. I found it. Smoke was pouring out of a microwave popcorn bag in the wastebasket. I fished it out, peeked inside and saw a red glow. It was still burning!

        I took it to the sink and ran water into the bag to put it out. If you think burning popcorn stinks, try wet burnt popcorn.

        Nobody confessed. Best we could figure, somebody fat-fingered the microwave and instead of setting the popcorn for 2:30 they set it for 23:00 and left the room. Then came back, tossed it in the trash and split.
        They got a building down in New York City called Whitehall Street where ya go and get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and seeee-lected.

        1. Back in college, someone did something similar in the middle of the night, setting off the fire alarm. In the middle of finals week. We all had to go outside into the snow, most of us in our jammies. One poor girl was in the shower when it happened, and she was out there freezing.

    2. It took me a few minutes to decide perhaps you’re referring to 6 January. My first thoughts were Portland, millions of invaders welcomed into our country, Midnight, or at least 6 a.m. knock at doors by jack booted government thugs, hundreds of citizens in D.C. jails, lockdowns, travel restrictions, etc.

      6 January? Not even a fire in a frying pan.

  2. The market is a signal. Voting is a signal. Free speech is a signal. All signals are subject to entropy, but we’ve come to the point where people are actively aiding entropy.

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that entropy doesn’t exist.”

  3. Nahhhhh, Putin’s not a communist. We can know this because, if he were, the Democratic Party would sing his praises endlessly and, with a single voice, support the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and insist on aid for the Russian Army.

    Russian imperialist? Sure. Communist? No.

    1. Um… He has stated he wants the USSR back. Granted, as some form of Russian Greatness, but still.
      Also, sir, if you don’t mind my pointing out, the left drinks their own ink. They’ve convinced themselves he really did put Donald Trump in power. They think in circles like that a lot.

      1. Think, you keep using that word with respect to the brahmandarins. I don’t think that word applies. Newspeak’s bellyfeel is about all they’ve got. As for Putin, whether he is Stalin, Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible I don’t think he actually cares as long as he is getting his and is in charge. Likely given his upbringing he’d be happier with proles and party members rather than serfs and nobles, but he’d take either. And honestly if you’re the prole/serf the distinction matters little to you.

      2. I think you’ll have a hard time finding where he said he wanted the USSR back, as a communist entity, though I’d be interested in seeing a primary source. He wants the Russian Empire.

        If Putin were a communist they’d never let themselves think anything of the kind.

        1. He was the head of the EAst German KGB. He’s immersed in dogma. He also thinks that Russia has been done wrong by everybody and that Russia has done nothing wrong. He may not bring back Stalin’s version of communism, or even the version under Brezhnev et al, but he sure as hell wants to re-establish the physical USSR and regain the control and tribute of all the ‘stans along with all the (very unwilling) Warsaw Pact countries. Minor shift in ideology, but exact same outcome.

          1. Where did you acquire the notion that he was the head? He was a fairly minor functionary, yes, but not the head. He wasn’t even stationed in Berlin.

            He may think all of those things, though the evidence would appear to be somewhere between thin and non-existent. None of that really changes that Foxfier’s map is at idiotic as s/h/it is.

            1. Agreed. Putin as a tyrant wanting to reestablish the Russian empire is not the same as Putin as a communist wanting to reestablish the Soviet empire.

              1. …and for a somewhat useful example of an historical figure who abandoned communism for a different flavor of tyranny, consider Mussolini.

                    1. More likes Crips and FBI; rotten organizations worthy of being eliminated with extreme prejudice, but different philosophical underpinnings.

                    2. The FBI needs to be disbanded, the Earth salted, and their legitimate functions need to be handed to an organization more closely supervised which does not recruit from ivy leagues.

                  1. To hell with both, yes, but, Jonah Goldberg aside; fascism and communism derive from very different intellectual underpinnings. No, don’t mistake the tactical for the strategic. No, don’t pay any attention to what a fascist says; look to what they DO.

                    Fascism probably has the most accurate view of Man of major political philosophy, which is to say that Man is instinctive, unreasoning, and emotional. The problem for them is that, while that’s largely true, it doesn’t carry you as far as fascism insists upon.

              2. In this case there is no difference. He wants to establish the Putin empire with him at the top. And he’s a Marxist. If you’re going to finely dice between fascist and communist, you’re doing pointless work.

                1. I doubt that he really is, you know. Unlike, say, us, he saw the rotten system from the inside. Indeed, like most, if not all Russians, he may be said to be inoculated against it.

                  Now, the USSR as an expression of the Russian Empire; he’s a fan of that, I think, minus the communism. He’s not stupid.

      3. Hum, last Sunday he said “But nobody wants to believe us, nobody wants to believe that we’re not trying to bring the Soviet Union back,”

        I don’t know if he wants to do so or not but I can’t find any quote of him saying he does. A quick google I found 60-80 other folks saying he does but I couldn’t find a quote of him saying so.

        Czarist Russia is the direction toward which I think he leans and I suspect so do many of the Russian people, perhaps a majority. Remember they were one of the last groups to depart from feudalism and I suspect there are many tales told of how much better things were in great granddaddy’s day.

        1. OF coarse it was better in great-granddaddy’s day. Czarist Russia was pretty crappy for the peasants on the bottom of the totem pole. Communism made it worse.

      4. Are you sure it isn’t a majority minority, like the NPC covidiots of Russians who want “the good old days back”?

        Not sure what Putin wants myself, but he talks a good game. The invasion of Ukraine rhetoric was straight from the US justification for the war on Iraq.


        1. My read is that Putin wants to be the rich HMFIC, and he doesn’t particularly care what ideology he has to appear to subscribe to or official title he has to wear to make that happen.

          1. Whatever the failings of the Soviet government, the Soviet Union was feared, thus respected. That is well understood by most current-day Russians.

            “Nobody would dare”

            I believe that is what most Russian patriots want, and why they have fond memories of when the bootstrapmping of Russian soldiers struck dread into the hearts of their many foes.

            Doesn’t matter how bad was the rest. The Motherland was inviolate. Untouchable.

            Difficult for Americans to grasp that. Our current border issues are nothing close to the calling of the Reich, the Grand Armee, and that horde of Gengis. Etc. Etc.

            1. Difficult for Americans to grasp that.

              True. Because we haven’t spent our entire history being beaten down to the point where we are incapable of seeing anyone as something other than a potential oppressor.

              aka; we aren’t completely insane with cultural PTSD

      5. What amazes me is that they both argue that he is satan incarnate and the source of all the US’s ills, then call him in to help negotiate with Iran. And then they wonder why folks think they’re not on the up and up.

        Calling it circular thinking is charitable.

        1. AND they traded him one of his henchmen.
          Do you feel like behind the scenes, both Putin and the left are in bed together, and view a jolly old war as just what they need to keep internal dissidents under control?
          Because you know, the last few years have made me really cynical.

        2. What amazes me is that they both argue that he is satan incarnate and the source of all the US’s ills, then call him in to help negotiate with Iran.

          Why would this amaze you? For decades, if not longer, most of the left has used words not because they mean anything, but because they think that particular arrangement of words will get them what they want at that particular moment. Like any narcissist or manipulative sociopath.

          It’s the same reason they did the whole “TrumpRussiaPossibleCollusion” chant. Not because they thought it was true, only because they thought it might cause Trump to fall.

          So, Biden looks bad because of inflation? “Putin’s price hike!” Need someone to negotiate with Iran? Putin’s their guy. There is no contradiction there, because for there to be a contradiction they would need to have principles beyond the toddler’s shriek of “Mine! Gimme!”

      6. I don’t think Pootie Poot is a doctrinaire Marxist, but then again, I don’t think there’s been a doctrinaire Marxist in about sixty years. So-called “pure” Marxism ALWAYS gets twisted into the murderous mutants of Russian Communism, or Maoism, or Juche, or (fill in the blank), because Marxism cannot survive contact with the real world. It’s inherently BS.

        I think he wants to rebuild Greater Rossiya the only way he knows how, and since he came up in the CPSU, that’s the only way he knows how. Or is at least the most comfortable with. And yes, it’s extremely telling that the Left has turned Pootie into some sort of under-the-bed super-boogeyman when you consider how much they just lurrrrrved all over non-entities like Konstantin Chernenko and Yuri Andropov, never mind all those Gorbasms.

        1. I don’t think he’s a CONSCIOUS Marxist. Meanwhile the background of politics, pyschology, sociology, economics is now Marxism of some description. (Heck, even literary criticism.) So, he’s a Marxist. And by disposition an authoritarian.
          Red fascism, black fascism. Put it in a sack and throw it from the Tarpeian Rock already.

          1. Yeah, he’s…he’s not spouting stuff about the proletariat and class struggle and all that hooey, but he’s acting like a classic Soviet Communist–dictatorial, Russian nationalist, expansionist, paranoid. He’s Stalinmania, not the original, but an amazing simulation! (Not sure comparing him to Stalin is totally fair given the depths of Hell that Uncle Joe is burning in, but there’s more similarities than anybody should be comfortable with.) He sits at the Venn diagram intersection of oligarch and Communist, which is an odd one to be sure.

            Now I agree to a point that there’s a thousand years of paranoia baked into the Russian nature and not without some justification given their past, but it doesn’t mean it has to be acted upon.

    2. I’ll agree with the imperialist label for Putin.

      It also seems like he is the reaction to those that wanted to loot and export all the resources of Russia to the West for the benefit of certain lizard elites as well as the westward expansion of NATO. He can leverage the Russian fear of invasion and develop more loyal lizards of his own.

      The meddling of the US neocons and lizards hasn’t made the situation any better in Europe, with their schemes turning Ukraine into a blood bath of Slavs and destroying industry in Germany. Plus flooding Europe with millions of crisis and economic refugees.

      Not that they care, they are attempting the same in the US with the border and faux “Green Energy” movement. Servants of Ba’al indeed.

        1. Eastward expansion.

          And, ya know, even paranoids have enemies. Of NATO’s core countries, the US, UK, Germany, and France, how many have NOT invaded Russia? 0.

          1. How many have invaded Russia/USSR in the last century? Precisely one. That would be Germany in WW II a about 75 years ago. Admittedly the USSR took quite a beating (although some of it was their own fault for purges of the officers and various engineers) the current German army is ~60k members about 1/3 the size of the US Marines so isn’t a particular threat even if they called up all the landswehr. The support for the White Russians ended with troops out by 1920, 1922 by the latest in some of the disputed Japanese areas. Admittedly in the cold war US planes including RB-47, U2 and SR71 overflew them and if they had done that to the same degree to us with Bears and/or Bisons we’d have defecated a brick so one can understand some paranoia.

            But honestly if they want to look for trouble from a potential enemy they ought to be looking to their quondam ally of China. China is rather like Japan in WW2 as it has a deep need for various natural resources especially gas/oil. Russia has that in spades and has its many of its current forces deeply engaged in the Ukraine. In addition it has shown that its forces are less ready than might have been previously thought. Admittedly who knows how good the Chinese forces are? They’ve not done well against the Indian forces when they’ve clashed but that’s not been all out combined arms stuff, more sort of limited engagements from what little I’ve heard. I really dislike living in such an interesting world, but for the moment it seems to beat the alternative.

            1. When Germany invaded, Rumania, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Finland, and Croatia came along. Plus SS troopers from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Just 3 years earlier than your century the US, the UK, Japan, France, and Poland invaded.

            2. I don’t recall limiting it to the last century. Indeed, the Russians tend to think long term, where threats are concerned. But you’re also wrong. We intervened. The Brits and French intervened. And the Poles grabbed quite a large chunk of the USSR in 1921.

                    1. If we’re going that far back, what you are calling “Russia” is the city where the Mongols setup their thieving HQ for the region, plus all of the worthless territory around it.

                      When the Muscovites finally kicked the Mongols out they kept the appetite for rule by iron fist. Everywhere else that has been called “Russia” we now call by different names.

                      Given that history, why, exactly, should the city-state of Kiev not launch an invasion to subjugate their rebellious subject that is claiming to be the One True Russia?

                    2. If we’re going to go that far, I think EVERY tribe of humanity has invaded Portugal. Portugal needs Spain as a slave state to protect itself. The North of Africa too.
                      Has everyone lost their minds.
                      The Russians are paranoid, incompetent, and bring utter misery and pillaging to any place under their boots.
                      They’re the saviors of nothing.
                      They can go fish. And take our junta with them.

                    3. Don’t be dumber than God made you. That’s no more dispositive than is calling us the 13 colonies, or, indeed, less so. When discussing that map, it’s quite reasonable to go back to the last Russian invasion allegedly shown on the map, which would appear to be the Great Northern War, and which invasion, by the way, didn’t happen.

                    4. You wanted to go arbitrarily far back to find a justification for Asian Mexico to invade.

                      Don’t be surprised when everyone else goes back as well and starts digging up every inconvenient historical detail.

                    5. Oh, no!

                      One of the escaped areas “stole” another part of an escaped area!

                      Oh, wait, they already “stole” their own area!

                      Leaving Russia is not authorized!

                      Once taken, always Russia!

                    6. :nods:

                      It is a basic aspect of Islam; once Muslim, always Muslim.

                      And yes, I had noticed the overlap with “if Russia ever claimed it, then it’s theirs, how dare you.”

                    7. The truth is their appetite is larger than their competency Back in USSR days they had plans to take over all of Europe. Now that I know a lot more about what their real capability were, they’d have tapered out around France, and gotten royally drunk. Also have lost most people by then.

                    8. Yeah…go review those comments on you being a moron again; they obviously haven’t taken.

                      Dummy, Belorussia is one of the places that isn’t Russia that wants to BE Russian, even today.

                    9. Russis can kep on invading until the rest of the world decides en masse that they’ve had enough and there should no longer BE a Russia.

                      As for your other arguments, all I have to say is: Moo.

                    10. No, Russia can’t.

                      We’re painting Nigeria with Nukes as a great threat to us and the world. They’re not; they’re, as mentioned, just Nigeria with Nukes. Hence we are, generally speaking, overreacting and thus courting experiencing, ourselves, the one area in which they are still dangerous, those nukes.

                  1. Actually, Belarus’ dictator is kinda tired of Russia now, which seems to make it unanimous.

                    And arguably, Byelorussia was always pretty different. They even have very different local filksong styles, and that took some doing in Slavic fandom circles.

                    1. I’m honestly hoping that Russia ends up cracking up, so that her people have a chance to BE THEMSELVES. Don’t even care if it later reforms freely— but the whole “take over the neighbors” thing goes a long way to explaining why they think everybody is going to attack them.

            3. You appear to be making the classic American error od seeing a century as a long time, not as recent events.

              1. A century is 3-4 generations. By a century the original combatants are with rare exceptions deceased. Admittedly some folks don’t let go. Certainly my Dad from a family of Irish extraction had learned to hate Cromwell and the English at his mothers knee. We do not discuss the US civil war here because folks cant discuss a 150 year past even civilly. The Russians do look on a longer time scale than Americans usually. Our suspicion of the British is gone even though the Revolutionary War and war of 1812 were with them.

                The other reason I used a century is it is a long time in governments with Europe at least if that century is the 20th century. To wit:
                Germany has had a Kaiser, the Weimar republic, the Third Reich, the two governments of BDR/DDR and finally the merged Germany. Since Napolean invaded Russian France has had 5 republics and whatever Vichy France under Petain was. I’m not sufficiently familiar with Spain but it had a dictator, a republic, Nationalists led by Franco and is currently a Constitutional Monarchy. The 200+ years under a single form of government of the USA looks rather stable compared to much of continental Europe.

                For some reason the Russian Psyche has an IMMENSE paranoia about invasion. Given what WWII did to them and then sitting being told the evil Capitalist USA would bomb them off the face of the earth for 80 plus years probably didn’t help. The Russian psyche has also had an very strong inferiority complex since the days of the Tsars. Given the fact that the Soviet Union left them effectively a third world nation with nuclear weapons and a space program and not much else one can to some degree excuse that.

                That said most the old NATO members (Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey etc) would have been hard pressed to hold against an invasion of Boy Scouts without the US forces let alone the Soviet Army of the 70’s and 80’s. And an invasion was right out. The Europeans really got into the peace dividend (and not being on the receiving end of a likely large mass of Medium and short range ballistic missiles with various WMD) and so cut their military services WAY back. The newer eastern Europeans are far more sanguine about what a Russian invasion would be like having lived under the Soviets for the better part of 50 years. In truth however they are unlikely to be a threat to Russia. Nor are any of the old SSRs, especially since they gave up nuclear weapons. So instead of taking advantage of the resources Russia has in the form of fairly vast resources and a fairly inventive and creative population and building something useful Putin decided Russia needed its empire back to have any kind of credibility on the world stage. As if the SSRs weren’t mainly royal pains in the ass from the get go. He’s essentially got the gnome underpants strategy

                1) Retake the Old SSRs
                2) ???
                3) Respectability (and Profit)

                if it weren’t for the fact that Russia has Nuclear weapons and provides much in the way of energy to our European trading partners you could just let them fuss. As it is we at least need to pay attention, but the current administration is so FUBAR it can’t even deal with its own issues. I really am beginning to hate this timeline…

                1. “For some reason the Russian Psyche has an IMMENSE paranoia about invasion. ”

                  When the name of your country dates from a set of successful invaders, who were well aware that they were hated as invaders by the peoples they conquered, the reason becomes clearer.

              2. When arguing with Americans about whether a country is justified in its actions, you do have to allow for our ability to see the evil of perpetual grudge holding.

                  1. If you are complaining about misdeeds whose perpetrators are all dead, you are holding a grudge. And in the wrong.

                    1. You are apparently conflating issues and using words you lack the first clue to. Stop; it’s annoying. It’s also, like apparently everything else you’ve written in this thread, nonsense.

                    2. The other part of what I think is your error here is in assuming that it even IS grudge holding, as opposed to border rectification to reduce or eliminate a perceived threat. That latter does not require a grudge.

                    3. Then you would not have cited the grudge.

                      Also you just justified the conquest of Russia by any number of nations

                    4. Every now and again, Mary, one runs into someone either so unbefuckinglievably stupid or, in the alternative, so incredibly intellectually dishonest, that it’s not worth discussing anything with them. I am not sure which category you fit, only that you fit one of them. Ciao. Enjoy masturbating yourself with words you do not understand to your heart’s content. I lack the patience to put new batteries in your vibrator.

                    5. Since I know we’ve butted heads a few times– even before I ever found WordPress, much less this blog– I think I have a responsibility to point out you are neither intellectually dishonest nor stupid, Mary.

                      Stubborn, definitely, and dedicated to what you think is accurate, and unwilling to bend for anything less than directly supported facts. But neither of the other two.

                    6. What makes you think that’s what’s going on here, as opposed to say, border rectification to reduce or eliminate a perceived threat?

                1. This is not merely false propaganda, but incompetent propaganda. Why false? Because most of those also invaded Russia. Or are we pretending that the Russians were somehow in a worse moral position than we, the Brits and the French were wrt invading and terminating the Third Reich? That Charles XII hadn’t invaded Russia first? That Napoleon hadn’t?

                  And it’s incompetent for much the same reasons; that map also reads as a litany of places that invaded Russia. Any propaganda that can be turned around so easily is just flat incompetent.

                    Where is Portugal’s zone of safety? Or America’s for that matter.
                    No. The Russians are and have always been crazy paranoiacs. And we are not sacrificing other countries to protect their lilac scented feelings. The end.

                    1. Indeed? When did an invasion of Portugal by another European country kill 20 million people?

                      You may not realize it, but that history of invasion supports Russian paranoia. It does not refute it.

                    2. How many of the invasions you have complained of killed 20 million people?

                      If you are trying to argue that if any such invasion did kill that many, it makes everyone else’s invasions — including those earlier — so much more evil as to be of a different quality, you need to show your work more clearly.

                    3. When? The Napoleonic invasion of Portugal.

                      Led to the invasion of Russia too, unless I am forgetting timelines.

                      Seven million deaths, but that is not counting the other wars set off by Napoleon, or the deaths of refugees, and so on.

                      Of course, it also does not count lives saved by getting the neck out of Europe before the potato famine, so maybe we can adjust it back.

                      Now, if Napoleon had had cars and trucks and airplanes, I am sure he could have brought up the body count by twenty million or so.

                    4. Possibly, but Napoleon wasn’t a maniac. Oh, sure, he could sometimes be provoked, and sometimes felt provoked where he probably should not have. But, on the whole, Nappy was sane.

                    5. America’s zone of safety is “both American continents” (Monroe Doctrine). No near-peer is allowed to set up a power base in “our” third of the globe.

                    6. Quite, and we’d attack in a heartbeat provided it didn’t risk a nuclear war. And possibly if it would:

                      Newsflash: Today, 17 October, 1981, left wing Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, with encouragement from the communist leader with whom he shares his wife, asked the Soviet Union for Incorporation into the Warsaw Pact. So far, there has been no response from the Soviets.

                      Newsflash: 2 Jan, 1982: Fighting between Canadian Forces and anti-communist secessionists in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland continues, with Canada employing cluster munitions against the secessionists.

                      Newsflash: 18 February, 1982: Today, in a speech, President Ronald Reagan made clear his intention to prevent Canada from joining the Warsaw Pact.

                      Newsflash: 23 Feburary, 1982: Soviet Spetznaz are alleged to have arrived secretly today at CFB Petawawa, to begin training Canadian Forces on Soviet weapons. The weapons, themselves, other than a small training package, may be on ships, inbound from Leningrad and Murmansk…

                      Newflash: 24 Feburary, 1982: American tanks crossed over the Canadian border today, under cover of massive artillery and airstrikes. Canada’s Parliament building is in flames. Prime Minister Trudeau looked up briefly from between the legs of the teen aged girl he was eating, to snarl defiance…

                  2. Because most of those also invaded Russia.

                    Oh, good!

                    So now we’ve established that mutual invasion invalidates the “But they invaded us” thing.

                    So… Russia just lost the “but they invaded us” card.

                    1. We’ve “established” no such thing. Wherever you went for your education in logic, get your boxtops back.

                    1. That would not appear to have been the objective, Mary. Rather, it and its like seem designed to show the ever so wicked aggressiveness of Russia. My objection is that it doesn’t actually do that.

                      There is, you see, a difference, both moral and practical, to unprovoked aggression (see, for example, Finland) and ending a threat that has invaded your country and killed your people, which is nearly everything else shown.

                      In short, the map is a fraud and, maybe worse, a fraud that should only take in idiots and the historically illiterate but seems to be doing better than that. Which is sad.

                    2. Succeeding in fooling the easily fooled? No doubt. It’s not much of an accomplishment, especially when so easily turned around.

          2. Look at the practical aspects for a second. Anybody invading Russia would have to deal with all of Russia’s problems. Who’d want to take that on?

            No, invading Russia would be far more trouble than it’s worth.
            It takes two to make peace. It only takes one to make war.

            1. That seems to imply that you’d want to keep it. A sufficiently ruthless invader could just loot, burn, and rape his way across Russia and let the survivors fend for themselves. Only maintain enough infrastructure to keep your logistics secure, raze the rest.

              Now hunting down every last living soul would likely be an exercise in futility. But one could do a good bit of damage along the way, wrecking power, water, and manufacturing capability down to twisted scrap and rubble.

        2. At one time or another, Russia has been invaded by soldiers from every country in NATO except Portugal. Even paranoids have real enemies.

            1. You mean like when they wickedly invaded Nazi Germany merely because the Germans invaded them first and killed about 20 million of them?

                1. You mean like when they wickedly invaded France, merely because Napoleon had invaded them first? Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, either because those were allied with the Nazis or because they were liberating peoples who had been conquered by the Nazis. How wicked! Liberating the Poles and Czechs from the Nazis! Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Sweden – why the fuck does your map even show Sweden? They didn’t invade it? – merely because Charles the Twelfth invaded Russia first?

                  Are you sure you really feel up to arguing military history with me?

                    1. Again, the details are really important important here. You’re missing them.

                      No, tossing out some nonsensical, ahistorical bullshit like Foxfier and her current crew of white knights is not the same as actually looking at and understanding the details.

                2. You mean like when they wickedly invaded France, merely because Napoleon had invaded them first? Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, either because those were allied with the Nazis or because they were liberating peoples who had been conquered by the Nazis. How wicked! Liberating the Poles and Czechs from the Nazis! Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Sweden – why does your map even show Sweden? They didn’t invade it – merely because Charles the Twelfth invaded Russia first?

                  Are you sure you really feel up to arguing military history with me?

                3. You mean like when they wickedly invaded France, merely because Napoleon had invaded them first? Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, either because those were allied with the Nazis or because they were liberating peoples who had been conquered by the Nazis. How wicked! Liberating the Poles and Czechs from the Nazis! Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Sweden – why does your map even show Sweden? They didn’t invade it – merely because Charles the Twelfth invaded Russia first?

                  Are you sure you really feel up to arguing military history with me?

                  1. Russia and China are the only surviving imperial powers from the 19th century. Both have the same mindset of the British, French, Turks etc. had regarding the lands they conquered in the past centuries. It would do the world some good if both were forcibly broken up into bits.

                    In particular if the thieving hand of Moscow were removed from the necks of the rest of Russia I suspect the rest would thrive. Right now most of Russia is a money farm for the Muscovites (with help from their pals in St P). All the major businesses in most of Russia (Tartarstan is an exception) are controlled by Moscow. So is the legal system. So when a Moscow businessman sees something worth stealing he can take it with relative impunity, while he can enforce relevant laws against local competitors who try to take stuff from his businesses.

                    It is notable that contrary to FSB etc. expectations, very few people in Ukraine welcomed the invaders. I suspect that, in large part, this is because they had communication with their trapped fellow citizens in Luhansk and Donetsk which were systematically looted by the Russians and their proxy governments.

                    Russia is such a corrupt husk of a country that they can’t even equip their soldiers with winter gear.

                    1. Which may well be true, but doesn’t really refute that the map that idjit Foxfier produced is bullshit for the easily bullshat.

                  2. Alexander had violated several of the terms of the Treaty of Tilsit, much as the Austrians had violated treaties in 1809. Napoleon was a butcher, like all world conquerors are, but Russia was not blameless by any means. It’s not like Alexander wouldn’t have known what Napoleon did when treaties were violated, and violating treaties is a perfectly legitimate casus belli in any case. As you say, details matter,

                    Finland was part of Sweden and Karelia was part of Finland, hence part of Sweden. Big chunks of what had been Swedish territory are considered part of Russia. Yes, Sweden was the aggressor under Charles XII, and again under Frederick when the Swedes tried to regain the territories they had lost to Peter. The Russians were preparing to invade Sweden proper when the Treaty of Abo was signed. The Swedes did it all again in 1808, losing even more. Russia ended up doing very well out of Swedish aggression. I don’t see any sign of Russia returning Finland to the Finns, later the Finns ended up allied to the Nazis against Russian “liberators” as it happens. Again, details matter.

                    Simple narratives tend to be false.

                    Please stop.

              1. Incidentally, “they invaded the country they were allied with because that other country was faster to betray them than they were to betray the allied country” really takes a lot of wind out of the sails for the “but they fought against the Nazis” thing.

                    1. They were never happy with it. They were happy with buying time to prepare their own invasion. Ever wonder why the Germans were able to advance so well and easily? Because the Soviets had moved their logistics, but not yet the troops, forward in preparation for an invasion of Germany. Hitler just saw that and hit first.

                      And, now, I suppose, we’ll hear from the peanut gallery, “Bu’ bu’ but; they took half of Poland. Ummm…no. They took BACK what the Poles had taken in the Polish-Soviet War and largely stopped on that line.

                      As I tried to explain to you before, are you REALLY sure you’re up to arguing military history with me? REALLY?

                    2. And yet, interestingly, Belorus was part of Kievan Rus in the 9th Century.

                      How far back did you say that Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth goes…???

                    3. “they were happy with buying time to prepare their own invasion.”

                      So Hitler’s invasion was completely justified given that his ally was actually planning an invasion. That’s a far better justification that “you invaded me centuries ago.”

                1. This is in reply to your “to quote you” comment, which is in moderation for some reason.

                  You mean like when they wickedly invaded France, merely because Napoleon had invaded them first? Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, either because those were allied with the Nazis or because they were liberating peoples who had been conquered by the Nazis. How wicked! Liberating the Poles and Czechs from the Nazis! Or do you mean when they wickedly invaded Sweden – why does your map even show Sweden? They didn’t invade it – merely because Charles the Twelfth invaded Russia first?

                  Are you sure you really feel up to arguing military history with me?

                  1. Are you sure you really feel up to arguing military history with me?

                    Previously, no; I was only willing to point out aspects that you, well known for his knowledge of history and militarily matters, seemed to have momentarily forgotten.


                    You have very blatantly demonstrated double standard, for reasons I neither know nor care about, and inside of half an hour managed to violate standards that you put forth.

                    I don’t need to debate you.

                    You are devastating your own arguments with your own standards.

                    1. Get thos boxtops back, dummy; you may be able to trade them for some of the brain you lack.

                    2. :slow clapping:
                      Yes, that is definitely a winning argument. I give it a three point five, mostly because at least the boxtop thing is classic, and you managed to keep it short.

                    3. Who would care what score you give it? You plainly lack a functioning brain, and so any judgment you might make on anything – as demonstrated herein, over, and over, and over again, would be worthless.

                    4. Oooh,, and that takes away at least a solid point, maybe a point and a half.

                      Really need to avoid begging the question like that, especially when it was already pointed out that you’d burned the respect you previously had, and a very poor choice of groups to expect variations of screaming ‘stupid’ to hit to good effect.

                    5. We seem, by the way, to have a double case of mistaken identity here. You, in the first place, think you’re not an idiot, and, in the second, imagine for whatever reasons seem good to your tiny diseased brain that I am someone who cares what you think.

                      Why this should be is a question for the ages…or would be, if ANYONE cared what you think.

                    6. Sir, your judgement on this page is not of high enough quality for your attempted barbs to sting, much less sink in.

                      As Imaginos pointed out– you’re just being an ass, and not in a manner that is persuasive.

                      Good day.

                    7. Tom, I might not care for it when Fox goers into her “smarter-than-thou” mode and treats me like this, but that doesn’t mean I’m okay with you doing it to her either. And as it’s already hard to keep up with all the comments here these days I don’t appreciate opening my inbox and immediately seeing a dozen posts in a row of you engaging in digital dick-waving.

                      Either knock it off or I’m going to second Imaginos in calling for Sarah to step in.

                  2. A. Much can be said to explain Russian paranoia. It does not excuse it. “Sins of the Fathers” is merely an excuse for current bad action here. Otherwise, where are my hereditary reparations? I can NAME my slave ancestor. Keep your money, and stop blaming the sins of the living on the memory of the dead.
                    B. Nice credentials there, Mr. Kratman. Nice appeal to authority. Do you know what they mean to me? That you ought to know better, but are still defending Russian aggression anyway (and if you are not, and we are misconstruing you, then how in Hades are you a successful author? Talk about failure to communicate). I decline to argue military history, from the basis of this discussion, because you have demonstrated above that you either know nothing, or you know not how to communicate it. Because you DO sound like you are justifying and excusing Putin’s little Short Victorious War, here.

                    I think, from this short exchange, that I can safely discount now anything you say or have said, now, in past, or future statements, and without regard to credentials. For either you are defending that which should not be defended, or you are speaking so poorly that your words cannot be needed. Either way, I cannot trust any judgment or conclusion you convey.

                    1. I see. So your motto in life is “be all the moron you can be,” is it? You’re right about this much, though; someone is wasting his time on an epsilon double minus semi-moron. That someone would appear to be me.

                      As I said, whoever gave you your lessons in logic? Get your boxtops back.

                      Even so, internet argument is a spectator sport so I’ll keep on wasting it for a while yet.

                    2. To paraphrase that great philosopher and semanticist, Inigo Montoya, “Thees wort you is usink? Ah dunno thin’ i’ mean wha’ you thin’ i’ mean.”

                    3. No doubt your explanation of this would be most fascinating; bullshit, of course, but fascinating nonetheless.

                    4. Even so, internet argument is a spectator sport…

                      Which you have dragged down to the level of professional wrestling, or worse. The audience seems to have turned against you. Might it be time to stop digging the hole deeper?

                  3. I’ll debate military history with you. I have all the advantages because I know, more or less, what your credentials are but you have no idea what mine might be. Wanna see if yours is bigger than mine? Stop being a w-nker. this is an intelligent place and arguing from authority simply doesn’t work.

                    Now, liberating the Poles is interesting. Didn’t the Russians invade Poland too in 1939? Allied with the Nazi’s even, Following up your logic that being allied to the Nazis allowed everything that followed — umm mass r-pe, executions — And Russia was allied with the Nazi’s couldn’t it be said that the Russians should have liberated themselves from the Russians?

                    Further, the Czechs weren’t exactly liberated either, it was much more complicated than that, let’s leave aside the Slovaks. Certainly Skoda and the rest of Czech industry happily provided a large portion of German war material all through the war. Were the Czechs allied with the Nazi’s, or just the Sudeten Germans, but Skoda is in Pilsen and Pilsen was mostly Germans until they were expelled. But that’s OK because Germans bad or is it Russians bad or Czechs. it’s all so confusing. If only the Emperor Charles had succeeded ….

                    The point of this farrago is that it’s all more complicated than that. I’d add that I’m sick and tired of everything being tied to WWII and the bloody commies. I, for one, want to see Karelia returned to Finland from Russia since the Treaty of Abo (1743) was an unequal treaty — right after the Lenape Indians get my house back from me. It’s all the same thing so stop acknowledging and honoring Russia and move to the present. Russia invaded Ukraine and, to date, failed. Ukraine didn’t invade Russia. That, at least, is very simple. Once the killing stops, the historians can debate the causes.

                    1. Don’t be more of an idiot than God made you. I know one person in the world up to arguing military history with me. You are not he.

                    2. And how on earth do you know he’s not that one?

                      And then, how on earth do you know that your knowledge of possible debaters is perfect?

                    3. Mr. Kratman. Go fornicate yourself and the horse you rode in on. You know f-ck all about Central Europe or you’d point out where a counter argument is possible, there is one. If you weren’t an arrogant a—hole perhaps you’d learn something.

                      I now know for a fact that you’re a w-nker. I now also know for a fact that mine is bigger than yours. You know nothing about me, you don’t know where I studied or who I studied under. For that mater, you don’t know all the military historians or what they know, and you don’t know what all the dedicated amateurs who’ve read hundreds to thousands of books on the topic might know, You’re an arrogant w-nker, I Hope you’re a retired Colonel because arrogant a—hole officers tend to get their men killed, or so my da, who knew all about arrogant a—hole officers he having been pushed back into Pusan, always said.

                      Don’t bother responding, life is too short to deal with a—-holes, there’s such a plentiful supply after all.

                      I’m sick of these historicist arguments and Russian irredentism in particular. None of that BS matters. Russia attacked Ukraine thinking it’d be a short victorious war. Zelensky didn’t run and now Russia is stuck. I’m glad Russia is losing lots of senior officers since they and the politicians are the only ones who deserve it.

                  4. ‘Twould really help your case if you were using evidence and reason, rather than snapping and snarling and calling everybody who disagrees with you idiots.

                    I like your books, but right now you are making a very bad impression.
                    Pacifism will, at best, get you a nice peaceful trip to the slave pens. At worst — tell me, have you ever heard of the Aztecs?

                    1. I explained why the claim was wrong. Apparently you cannot read or, if you can, you cannot think.

                      How pathetic.

                    2. Which, interestingly enough, fuckface, has nothing to do with being wrong. And, yes, dipshit, I am annoyed at stupidity direct my way. Tough shit for you, huh?

                      So go eat a bag of dicks, why don’t you?

                      Oh, and please don’t read any of my books. The thought makes my skin crawl.

                    3. > “Which I request that Sarah remand to the jury for a verdict.”

                      Voting guilty as charged.

                    1. Don’t waste your time, Banshee. Tom’s looking for a pissing contest, not an honest discussion.

              2. I seem to recall that being after they innocently colluded with Nazi Germany to divide up goodly portions of Europe between them and mostly are upset that Germany beat them to the Betrayal Punch (Try it, it has cherries!)

                1. The Col is trying to argue that the Bloods were more virtuous than the Crips, which is all that Communism vs Fascism is. Just with more bodies.

                  1. I’ll be sure to let you know when you get to misquote, midjudge, and misstate me. Today, however, is not that day. Do go and look where I used virtue or virtuous. Can’t find it?

                    THAT’S BECAUSE IT ISN’T THERE.

                    What I argued was that the previous statement was largely bullshit.

                    1. Col, you may not use the word, but anyone speaking English can read what you wrote. I simply used the synonym.

                    2. The prior claim was that the USSR and Third Reich were allied. They were not allied, they had a non-aggression pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but these are not alliances. They both attacked Poland, but without much, if any, in the way of coordination or joint planning, nor did they attack at the same time or with the same goals.

                      So, the claim of alliance was bullshit.

                      Moreover, war was planned from the beginning by both parties. Hitler just hit first and devastated the Red Army for a couple of reasons, including the one I pointed out, that the combat trains, field trains, and higher log organizations and dumps had already been deployed forward in preparation for an attack by the Red Army on Germany.

                      You will not find – no intelligent person could find – any claim of virtue in there. It was all practical politics, strategy, and war. WITHOUT VIRTUE. Virtue was, indeed, irrelevant. So no, IT IS NOT REASONABLY INFERRABLE FROM ANY GODDAMNED THING I WROTE.

                    3. Responding here, because apparently your reply to my last reply to you hit the limit for sub threads.

                      I am not sure you realized it, but I am not Foxfier. Nor am I even a female. I am quite sure my wife would be amused though, and my children surprised, to discover that I am apparently a woman, judging from the manner of your response.

                    4. > “I am not sure you realized it, but I am not Foxfier. Nor am I even a female.”

                      How DARE you question such a titan of intellect! If Tom think’s you’re female, then clearly you must just be repressing your true gender identity! 😛

                    5. > “Look to snelson134’s comment, you idiotic shit.”

                      I don’t care who you were actually responding to. I just think your current behavior deserves mockery.

                      But I do note that I seem to be getting under your skin far more than you’re getting under mine. So I’ll tell you what: why don’t you just keep going off at me for a while? Your fire’s weak enough that I don’t mind drawing it, and maybe if you make enough of an ass of yourself Sarah will get motivated to do something about it.

                      Got any withering observations regarding my parentage or education you’d like to share?

            2. Never invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, the US or Sweden. Invaded France, Italy once but were invaded two or three times. Only invaded Bulgaria and Greece to liberate them from the Turks. Lots of invasions back and forth with Poland, Turkey and Germany. Hard to tell with the fluid borders. I will note that the Poles took Moscow 3 times.

              1. They tried to invade Sweden more than once but got bogged down in what is now Finland, but was then part of Sweden. Very effective part of the Caroliners the Finns,

                Let’s face it, everyone in Europe has invaded everyone else at some point or other. Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, all the German States, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, even the bloody Swiss were involved in the invasion of 1812. The only country I’m having trouble finding a record of invading Russia is Denmark and I’m sure they must have done at some point or other.

                To be excusing actions, or understanding actions because of ooo killed ooo one hundred years ago is rather pointless. What matters is what’s going on right now and Russia is the aggressor and thee why is interesting but not relevant to any response other nations might take.

              2. The fluid borders is a major aspect.

                Amusingly enough– Russia actually was in California at one point, and tried to claim it, not too long after the US was founded.

                They were told to buzz off, basically. 😀

                Their settlement was somewhere around San Fran, IIRC.

                    1. If they get it back, who cares what they clean up. Or don’t. No longer our circus or our monkeys.

                1. Ft. Bragg to be precise. And the Russians if any conflict would have occurred would have been against Spain, not the US.

                2. North of Frisco (they don’t deserve the full name) is the Russian River, going through Sebastopol. The mouth of the river is about 40 miles up from the Golden Gate, and I’m pretty sure that was where the settlement was tried. (No idea if Sebastopol was related to the settlement–good apples, though.)

              3. WP Delenda Est I seem to have been binned.

                Russia has tried to invade Sweden more than once but got stuck in Finland, which was part of Sweden as it happens,

                Portugal sent 9000 men into Russia in 1812. Spain, all the German States, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Austria, Serbia, there were even Albanians,

                If we are going to get into history though, it seems to me that we are doing unto the Russian’s what the Soviets did unto us in Vietnam etc., They send in their own blood and treasure while We provide arms, some “advisors” and some money and someone else does the fighting. Proxy war I think they called it back when I was studying that sort of thing during the Cold War. Very efficient.

                Just sayin.

          1. Oh? Have they? And have the people in NATO been invaded by every other country as well? Yep, yep they have. So, Portugal needs a safety buffer zone, stat.
            You’re beclowning yourself. Just because FDR handed the east bound to Russia, it doesn’t’ mean we repeat the mistake.
            Yes, they have enemies. And they make more and more every time they try to appease their paranoia.
            Do they at this point need to exist as a country, if it requires the sacrifice of other countries?

      1. This specific mess is a lot simpler than that. Russian’s economy is nowhere near actual super power status: it’s about as large as Texas or Belgium. The thing is, it’s economy is extremely dependent on oil and gas exports, and there only because most of Europe has shuttered its other energy production systems.

        However, the Donbas region in Ukraine has massive untapped gas reserves. And they are right by the current overland gas lines into Europe. That’s what all of the corruption was orbiting around; efforts to build up the gas pumping structure of that region, and they were finally getting to a point where they could start using it. Which would crash Russian buying power. So when the US basically gave them a green light for a limited incursion, he took it, There was never going to be a chance like that again.

        Granted, their army turns out to have been a fiction of the balance sheet, but noone knew that at the time.

        1. And in 2014 Crimea was starting to develop the undersea fields.

          It is almost like the country which has a long history of trying to destroy the energy supplies of anyone they see as a threat (which would be “Everyone not starving”) will also sometimes use military action on neighbors who are developing energy infrastructure.

          1. And it has been good business for them since they (probably) supported the founding of the environmental ‘movement’ in this country. The EPA – Tricky Dick’s worse than Watergate mistake.

              1. The Reader thinks that even the Russians would gag on John Kerry. Maybe with enough Heinz ketchup?

            1. No argument here; the EPA, OSHA and both DoEs never should have been born.
              But I’d argue that Tricky Dick (yes a jerk, but…) only made the same mistake during Watergate as the one made made by Henry II when he didn’t throw to the wolves subordinates who far exceeded their authority. At least I don’t think Henry did anything to them; I could be mistaken.

  4. The WSJ ran a column last week (“Why the Smart Party Never Learns,”) that pointed out there are no such things as “conservative bubbles,” because conservatives get progressive/leftist ideals thrown in their faces from every book/TV show/movie they see, while a liberal/leftist can go weeks or months without being challenged. So even mainstream outlets are beginning to notice, at least a little.

      1. I’ve been looking for older shows on YouTube and other places specifically to find stuff with less Woke. I need an antidote to what Hollywood is doing – with Willow, most recently. Augh. “The Unfettered Shogun” just feels a lot healthier for the brain than anything on TV lately.

        1. I’m at the point with tv that I was with music years ago. I cannot unsee the strings.

          By that I mean the motivations behind the writers, the poorly crafted narratives, the bad acting, the bad actors, the shoddy scene setting… I read. That’s all I have time for these days. When I have the time. TV is just an exercise in frustration.

      2. And it’s encouraging how hard the exceptions can resonate when we do get them. The Martian was unapologetically about man’s mind overcoming obstacle after obstacle to save a human life and people loved it.

        Speaking of which, anybody got anything else similar to recommend?

  5. If one lacks a fire extinguisher for the kitchen, leave the baking soda boxes out and handy. It makes a decent fire suppressant if “put the lid on” is no longer an option.

    There are automatic fire stoppers for sale, to be installed above the stove. If flame reaches them, they burst and drop dry-chem extinguisher stuff. Cheap insurance.

    Don’t scrimp on extinguishers. Get good ones and maintain them.

    1. I haven’t looked at them recently, but Costco had two sizes of extinguishers. The small ones (which we have in the pantry near the range and in the laundry) last a long time on the shelf, but are not refillable. The 5 pound units (with the hose) last equally long, and can be refilled if they are used. (Flyover Falls has at least two separate businesses that refill extinguishers, so they shouldn’t be that hard to find.)

      Another blog had an example of a Kidde CO2 extinguisher intended for kitchen use (circa mid 1950s). I’d give that one a hard nope. (I’m think I have two or three in the garage, and several (4 at least) in the shop/barn. Hadn’t thought about one for the garden shed, but it’s got gas-powered tools in there. One more item for the Costco list…

      1. Nice having the thing up near the ceiling, unlikely to be knocked over.
        Do you dislike the idea of a CO2 extinguisher, or just an old one?

        Mumble years ago, ended up with an asthma attack after spending hours in an environment where someone had discharged a large dry chemical extinguisher. I have a dedicated bug sprayer with soapy water for fire watch after welding, with a backup dry chemical in case the sprayer is not enough. (I have seen a recommendation to replace the wand with a kitchen sink sprayer for more volume. Haven’t tried that mod.)

  6. I think I have a hint why the left types think “if you control the words you control reality”. It is beecause they have bought in to an utterly ridiculous philosophy that there is no such thing as objective truth. They have ONLY subjective truth. That is to say there’s your truth and my truth and his truth and xir truth etc. ad infinitum and ad nauseum. Thus 1+1 is 2 for me but maybe not for you and maybe it’s even offensive that I show you with simple demonstration that it is so. They occasionally admit (at least in their own heads) that there are some things that are true. For example they tend to avoid stepping off tall buildings (drat it all) and similar potentially lethal actions. However, things that are less obviously clear (like that goading 70 million people with weapons by slowly trying to starve them to death or stealing their possessions and wealth) they seem to fudge around quite happily. I’m sure the Gods of the Copybook Headings will disabuse them of this notion, but as tempting as it would be to bathe in that schadenfreude I think I’d prefer not to participate in that.

    1. That, and toss in the idea (I use the term loosely) that the more intense the emotions of the speaker, the more true the words are. Thus you get the argument that the screaming, arm-waving ninnies are more correct than are the adults who are trying to put the batteries back in the fire alarm.

      It starts with the premise that emotion is more correct than reason, so emotion is more important than argument, so the stronger the emotion, the truer it is . . . No, it doesn’t make sense, but this is academia we’re talking about, with a dash of bad therapeutic psychology tossed in.

      1. Bad therapeutic psychology is partly a fruit of academia.

        Another parent to bad psychological theory is that human minds are weird, and theories of them are difficult even in the very best circumstances.

        1. Add to this there are vastly more ways to break a human psyche than to fix it. And the bad actors in the mix, both the anarchists and the (mini)Tru Believers. And hormones. And popular culture that includes things like decades old psyops, manipulations both carefully crafted and unintended, peer pressure, social bubbles, cult-like artifacts like trust in “experts…”

          It’s a wonder anyone calls themselves sane.

      2. Taking a model from Theology (hey don’t knock it we get things like Occam’s Razor from theological reasoning) we can look at the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
        Basically this is a model for a how you think about religious views. But to some degree the model applies to any framework of knowledge. The basic idea is that any framework of knowledge is based on 4 major principles

        Revelation/Scripture : That preexisting information provided to you, be it the Bible, The physical world or the 15 postulates of geometry which you use as a basis for your framework
        Reason: The tool(s) and rules you use to make inferences from your other information
        Tradition: That collection of knowledge and actions you use to inform your framework
        Experience: Those experiences and emotional inputs you use to color and guide your framework.

        Also important is how you weight the 4 factors and how you define them.
        As TXRed has noted the Tranzi/Brahmandarin faction has an EXTREMELY high weight on experience almost to the exclusion of the other parts of the quadrilateral. In addition their Revelation is utterly insane based on some seemingly random mix of Das Kapital, Freud, Jung, Kinsley and a thousand ill conceived poorly executed and attested social “science” input. Their tradition is poorly understood even by them coming out of some rather unpleasant sources such as Eugenics and a belief that they are meritocratic and they are that meritocracies best (“The Best and the Brightest” as it was framed around the Kennedy administration). Last of all their logic for Reason is NOT the same as ours. We assert that A can not be Not A. But they use some incomprehensible multi valued logic where A May be Not A under certain circumstances (for example if the person making the statement is from a protected class) and in fact that those statements have more weight and value than statements by others not of the protected class.

        It is no wonder we don’t understand the Tranzi’s and they don’t understand us. We have words we use that are effectively false cognates in their mental framework and vice versa. Its part of why one CAN’T reason with the left because they do not reason as we do. Not particularly sure how the heck we get out of this mess. I think in the long run as they stop breeding and the right (I’ll call it that for lack of a better name) takes back control of the education of its children they die out. But that’s 100+ years down the road, and right now they’re pushing hard to make that impossible. That I believe is the spark that will ignite things. People will put up with a lot, but endanger a momma bears cubs or a cats kittens and you are in for a world of hurt.

        1. Sees Wesley Quadrilateral, twitches Nothing personal, but catechism/confirmation was not one of my better moments. I ask too many questions. 😉 I’ll read theology on my own, but being given snippets and told that this is rede . . . I don’t do so well.

          1. Sorry about that 🙂 . Not of the Methodist persuasion (Congregationalist slowly moved to particular Baptist) myself but certainly for overall theology (Christian or otherwise) the quadrilateral is a useful model. And to be honest what the Tranzi’s have as a belief system IS effectively a theology. Oddly they are not consistent in the nature or even existence of their god(s), some are true atheists, many are various flavors of agnostic others are animistic Gaia worshipers even acolytes of Aleister Crowley. But in their zeal to enforce their view they make the Spanish Inqusition, Cromwells enforcers and the Taliban and its relations all look like pikers.

            1. Grins No problem, and the Quadrilateral does make a very good framework for looking at beliefs. I’m just at the point where if people ask my denomination, depending on the company, I either say, “Protestant,” “unOrthodox,” or “Heretic.”

              The “end times” aspect of the activists’ professed beliefs fascinates me. I’d love to get lectured at by one of them, then smile sweetly and point out that if you change a few nouns, they are espousing the same ideas as the Iranian theocracy. (Both seem determined to imminentize their eschaton, although at the moment I’d put money on the ayatollahs as being closer to trying to start the Second Coming of paradise.)

              1. Indeed the eschatological views of the Tranzis are interesting. Most of it is some variant of the communist eschatology where the state withers away combined with some limited human presence with the Tranzi’s running everything justified in this by their immense merit combined with their having been oppressed. It’s kind of like the New Jerusalem with the people sitting on the throne not The Author but them. Some of them view a return to their (idiotic and unhistorical) view of pre-history where everything is run by a Matriarchy. Others want us out of nature totally. Those folks I wish would hew to their own views and remove themselves from the issue post haste.

                And yes the mullahs of the Iranian Theocracy are explicitly likely to try to immanentize their eschaton. It is part of the reason the Israeli government is SO uncomfortable with Iran even trying to achieve nuclear weapons.

                And yes the tranzis are just as wonky as the mullahs in their own eschatology though they will never concede that.

        2. The Left does not care about experience. Only approved experience.

          Unapproved experience is false consciousness, unconscious bias, etc. Or just ignored and vilified.

    2. And Oregon thinks that by adding layers of hassle to purchasing firearms, it will eliminate the problem of Those Deplorables objecting strenuously to TPTB’s edicts.

      1. “2022 Gun Salesman of the year goes to ….” drum roll “Oregon Measure #114 and Kate Brown” and dead silence.

        Are there ANY gun shops in Oregon who have ANY guns left (that haven’t been sold)?

        Stay extended by Harvey County Judge on measure 114. Hearing on Dec 23 to determine another (indefinite?) stay on the permit requirement to own a gun. Plus added a stay on implementing the selling and limited use of large capacity magazines.

        1. Not sure, but Sportsman’s Warehouse (AKA the not-Cabellas) had a modest amount of rifles and shotguns, and the Wall-O-Handguns (not large, maybe 8-10 feet long) didn’t have any notable gaps.

          OTOH, they had a sign at the front door saying that deliveries of boomsticks and such would take 48 hours. (AFAIK, they’re headquartered in Utah, so that’s reasonable travel time.)

          Me? I needed treking poles for $SPOUSE and me. One slip with serious back pain was more than enough for her. My healed* knee from the 2021 fiasco gently forcefully reminds me that a repeat episode would be A Very Bad Idea.

          (*) Waggles hand. I have an effective built in weather sensor that doubles as a functional joint. Usually.

          1. I am not following details that closely, getting it second had through son, hubby, and BIL (who mentioned the gun show). We don’t have a Sportsman’s Warehouse closer than Salem. Locally the gun stores are out of unsold handguns, including Cabellas. BIL went into Cabellas, said the line to the gun area was “impressive”.

            1. I didn’t stop by the gun counters, but Bi-Mart and Coastal Farm & Ranch had long arms in the display racks as of Tuesday or Friday. There was a line at Sportsman’s shortly after 114 was deemed to have passed (SWIDT?), but not Friday.

              Around here, I suspect part of the thought process is “How many of X handguns do I have, and do I want another?” The pressure to form a line is lower when the gun safe is comfortably full. 🙂

              Cabela’s hasn’t gone to Oregon’s flyover counties, and the deal for them to buy Sportsman’s didn’t go through (I wasn’t aware of it until it had failed, so no idea of the details). I’ve been in the Cabela’s in Sydney, NE once, and the 5 minute tour indicated it wasn’t much different from Sportsman’s, beyond size. The one in Flyover Falls is fairly small, while the one in Medford is considerably bigger.

              1. pressure to form a line is lower when the gun safe is comfortably full

                Exactly what the BIL said. Although he is going to the gun show today.

                Know about the background check backlog and (at least Mazama) issues from someone whose background check took 3+ weeks. Constantly checking where in the queue. Was at 14k two weeks ago Saturday. Got the call the next day to come in and pick it up. Mazama is waiting for background okay to come in, not releasing after 3 days. The guys went to the range last Sunday …. I need to go. It has been over 35 years since I’ve actually fired a handgun, or rifle (for that matter). I’ve handled them. Just not gone to the Range with the guys. (Note they are safely stored in The Pond. The small safe is configured for electronics SLR cameras & gear, laptops, etc. I can’t be forced to give the combinations. Do not know them. I can still get into either.)

                1. Bi-Mart has a modest selection of rifles and shotguns, and their smallish handgun cabinet was fully stocked. So, no change from normal for them as of today.

                    1. Blink! No idea what you’re riffing off of. OTOH, I don’t watch much TV and haven’t been in a movie theater since we moved in ’03, so I’m culturally depraved deprived. 🙂

                      B-Mart is a smallish big-box club store ($5 lifetime membership) that sells a bit of everything, including boom sticks, freedom seeds, and when the moon is right, the elements to make more freedom seeds. [Makes note to check out the new offerings from Hodgdon and Accurate.]

                    2. The Evil Dead trilogy of movies: “The Evil Dead”, “The Evil Dead 2”, and “Army of Darkness” starring Bruce Campbell. The first one, IMO, was typical B-movie horror but the others were brilliant comedy-horror (a difficult combination to pull off) and Ash (Bruce Campbell) has become somthing of an icon.

                    3. Thanks! I’m familiar with and liked Campbell’s work in Burn Notice, but haven’t seen any of the Evil Dead movies. $SPOUSE and I liked BN (mostly, until it got kind of dark), but horror-anything isn’t to her preference, and I’d rather read than watch a movie alone. (Once a year, when my retina doc is done with my eyes, reading is impractical, so I’ll take a DVD and sort-of watch it at the hotel.)

                    4. “Ash. Housewares. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart!”

                      Yeah, ‘Army Of Darkness’ has to be the best bad movie ever made. It’s brilliantly bad.

                      Priest: “Did you say the words?”

                      Ash: “Well, okay, I might not have gotten every little syllable exactly right, but, basically, I said ’em.”

                      Priest: “Stranger, you have doomed us all!”

                    5. “Bi-Mart” – smallsh big-box PNW store. $5 lifetime membership. Has firearm sales, camping, fishing, automotive, pharmacy, small appliance, etc. Based in Eugene. Common throughout western Oregon, a few scattered across eastern Oregon and Washington, with a very few just across the Oregon/Washington eastern borders into Idaho. Employee owned as of a decade, or so, ago.

        2. > “Are there ANY gun shops in Oregon who have ANY guns left (that haven’t been sold)?”

          Honestly, after the last several years of sales I wonder what they even think they’re accomplishing by making gun purchases harder. At this point Red America must already have more firepower than God, and if we lose a civil war it won’t be for lack of dakka.

          P.S. – Yes, spellcheck, “dakka” is a word. Trust me, you’re not going to win that fight here.

    3. Don’t forget the Chinese proverb “Point deer, make horse”.

      Stating an obvious falsehood is a good way to find out who is likely to oppose you in a naked power grab.
      So you can eliminate them before they have a chance.
      Everyone knows dang well that calling a deer a horse does not make that deer into a horse. But supporters who will cross this ethical line without compunction for your favor, will also cross others as easily.

      IIRC, their philosophical touchstone also had a thing about the purpose of revolution being the rectification of language.

    4. “They have bought in to an utterly ridiculous philosophy that there is no such thing as objective truth. They have ONLY subjective truth. ”
      Yup– witness, for example, Governor Inslee of Washington state’s “progressive” take on where education needs to go in his state:

      “Washington State education officials attack objectivity and individualism, prefer slowness”:

      1. In short, they believe the universe itself is racist. That the principles of physics and mathematics are ‘white’ and don’t work for ‘indigenous peoples’.

        That is the most comprehensive paranoia I’ve ever heard tell of.

        Not to mention, there are no ‘indigenous peoples’ because humans are not indigenous to the Western Hemisphere. Everybody migrated here from somewhere else; some just got here earlier than others. And probably fought with the later arrivals.
        It is so much easier to check credentials and victim group status than to evaluate ability.

        1. Also the very concept of race is bunk. There is no race, as the racist racialist agitators use the term. The range of human variability is vast. Judging a man’s worth by his melanin content is utter garbage, unscientific, and is the source of many, many foolish problems that need not exist (save for the greed of the race hustlers).

          There are no “races.” There never have been. There is only humanity, and the overt bigotry of some humans in claiming that certain outward physical characteristics are the cause of all problems. That’s not science. That’s magic. Bad juju magic.

          1. /agree

            Race, in its most useful form, is a shorthand for “hey they look like they’re part of this ancestry.”

            As someone with children who are CLEARLY Sicilian, Irish, Scottish and German (wtf? neither of us have that!) it is useful only as a short-hand tool.

        2. > “In short, they believe the universe itself is racist. That the principles of physics and mathematics are ‘white’ and don’t work for ‘indigenous peoples’.”

          So, what, if a white man and an indigenous man each step off a cliff, they think gravity will treat them differently?

          Funny, I don’t remember that being covered in high school physics.

          1. Actually HS Physics did cover what happens to “if a white man and an indigenous man each step off a cliff”. Clearly Gravity is 100% racist. After all Gravity treats them exactly the same. (Thump & Splat.)

            1. Not only that, they will both hit the ground at exactly the same velocity, plus or minus any difference in ballistic coefficient. Does that mean the universe is ‘fat shaming’?
              Won’t waste my time feeling sorry for him
              I’ve seen the other side of being thin
              Roll us both down a mountain and I’m sure the fat man ‘ud wi-i-in.

            1. When you get to paragraph 4, the phrase ‘funded by the Canadian government’ tells you everything you need to know. 😛

              These clowns appear to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what ‘the laws of physics’ means. They seem to believe that (White! Racist!) physicists have imposed arbitrary laws on the universe in the same way governments impose laws on people.

              Somebody should break the news to them that ‘the laws of physics’ are detailed descriptions derived from observations of how various forces and phenomena act and interact. Our versions of them are incomplete, because we don’t know everything, but the parts we have figured out are absolute, independent of any ‘cultural context’ and the universe doesn’t care about their feelings.
              “They do not soar, so much as…plummet.”

    5. there’s your truth and my truth and his truth and xir truth etc.

      They changed the definition of truth. Changing the rules in the middle of the game is standard cheating practice of the Left. And Marxism thrives on confusion.

      1. Calvinball was supposed to be satire.

        No surprise the left does not get satire. They don’t get humor to start with, the humorless scolds. Who are also dumb.

          1. Dilbert is suppose to be satire of actual situations.

            Better comparison would be “Babylon Bee” is suppose to be satire, not a road map. Yet …

  7. Socialism makes folks poor, stupid, and fractious. Leftism wants to be Socialism when it grows up (and when it has all the power, of course). The erosion of rights is what’s pushing us towards conflict and the poverty and reconstruction that follows conflict. Property rights. Gun rights. And so on.

    We’re in a bind, and no mistake. But from these times clarity has come in places unlooked for. Best we encourage those little revelations of what really is. Save what and who we can. Because we’re not out of the fire yet.

  8. Sigh. I have an every-second-week Zoom meetup with a bunch of cousins – my mother’s fathers’ family. Raving libs, every one. All a twitter on the last session about how few people they see in the grocery store wearing masks, and going on and on about the next COVID wave, and the necessity of getting the Holy Vaxx, because … well, they are all my age, or older, and got universally scared out of their minds over the last few years I refrain from snapping at them, but it’s becoming an effort. I stick with it, in the hopes of being able to bring some of them to the Dark Side, where we have cookies. And a sense of reality about fire…

    1. Mask usage has gone up around here, though the flu has been impressive. I’m waiting to see if my regular doc goes back to trying to push the clot-shot again. That was a steady debate once the not-Vax came out, except last July when the “Death by Suddenly” started to hit the mainstream.

      (If he goes back to shot-pushing, I’m going to take another look at a clinic I used to use…)

      1. Flu and “the coughing stuff” (RSVariants) are behind the local mask increases. Mostly the elderly, the fragile (immune-weakened) and the Usual Suspects.

        1. Had to see the doctor for a periodic checkup, and the staff indicated that flu has been pretty prevalent for a while. I gather flu is fairly widespread, though there are patches of the country that have escaped it so far. I got it 2 weeks ago and pretty well shook it.

          I’m still coughing a bit, but it’s sinus drainage. This time of year, I expect it.

    2. “I have an every-second-week Zoom meetup with a bunch of cousins – my mother’s fathers’ family. Raving libs, every one.”

      why do you have this call? Not that it’s any of my business 😀 but, let’s just say I don’t have regular contact with certain relatives for the same reason I don’t bang my own head against a wall on a schedule.

      1. Same reason as a pastor goes into a prison full of the worst kind of sociopaths and psychopaths. “If just one soul is saved…”

        Can’t do it myself, mind you – but I have mad respect for those who can and do.

  9. The power twitched here today. It was out for a fraction of a second. I knew about it because the fridge went silent, and then instantly started back up again. Oh, and I also knew about it because my computer switched off and then back on. Since there was a boot up involved, that took longer to resolve than the fridge did. There are parallels to consider there, but I’ll leave those up to the reader to consider.

    China’s revoked One-Child, and is reportedly considering more drastic measures to increase the birth rate. But from what I’ve heard, the problem now is a combination of cultural – everyone’s just used to families only having one kid – and cost. Families are expensive, after all. Their society has adapted to only child families as the norm, and now is having trouble moving away from that.

    And perhaps that is the worst part of the socialist plague. Even after you reinstitute freedoms, the society is molded around what things were like when there was little freedom. And as a result, the elements within society encourage people to continue to live that way.

    1. Well, and the one-child policy was heavily weighted toward that one child being male, so they have a dearth of females. India has an even greater dearth, and they didn’t have any such official policy.

      It’d be an interesting setup for a romance novel (“Mars needs women!”) except that neither of those cultures are particularly friendly to women in the first place.

      1. Part of the difference is cultural– China has the One Child Policy, which saw an amazing :cough: spike in twins, or triplets, of very different development.

        (To be plain, China lies like a dog if nobody is checking. That’s why they have so many brutal, insane, stupid enforcements of their insane policies.)

        I have no data on if they include abandoned children in the sex differences, though.

      2. There are reports that the gender imbalance isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be in China, in part because of corruption on the part of officials willing to look the other way (“This is my niece. Her parents, who live on the other side of the country, just died, and I’m looking after her now.”). Also, the policy was somewhat relaxed much earlier (a full generation, iirc) in rural areas, where parents were allowed to have a second child if the first one was a girl.

        However, it’s irrelevant to my point. The gender ratio is a result of the one child policy, and is not one of the causes of the cultural shifts that have caused the practice to be continued even after the policy is no longer the law.

        1. Might not be for lack of trying in some cases. I’ve run across accounts (granted, could not verify) of surviving Chinese women who left the country, and found out later their grandparents had tried to kill them as children so their family would have a son instead. In one case, rat poison in a treat the little girl was told “it’s just for you, not to share with your parents!” In another, an adult woman was hospitalized and they found multiple pins that had to have been driven into her brain as when she was about 1 or 2…. Brrr.

          1. Oh crikey. Murder by nails or pins in the head is a classic Chinese detective trope, as being a suitable woman’s weapon that is hard to spot. It is in Judge Dee and a lot of novels and operas.

            But it is supposed to be a way to murder husbands, not kids.

        2. China has had gender imbalance problems before. Combination of female infanticide, permitting widowers to remarry and forbidding widows to, and elite polygamy (which varied from era to era in frequency).

    2. Chinese population has already started to decline in absolute terms. they’re in a race with South Korea to see who can depopulate most quickly. Europe might give them a run for their money, but East Asians do like to excel.

      The real estate crash doesn’t help. The women’s families require proof of solvency. The empty apartments were the only store of value available to the average Chinese. Now it’s all essentially gone. never was there in actual fact but you’d get a better return with Sam Bankman-Fried than Chinese real estate in secondary and tertiary markets, at least there when the moneys gone it’s gone and you don’t have to keep paying mortgage and maintenance.

      Poor b-stards are so f-cked.

      In other news, China has now classed WuFlu as about as dangerous as a seasonal flu. I had it there from the time of Pacific Princess but the CDC still hasn’t figured it out, so it’s nice to see China joining the numerate.

      1. Not quite on the COVID. If you’re asymptomatic, you’re fine. But if you’ve got symptoms and you get caught, it’s off to the quarantine facilities for you.

      2. > “I had it there from the time of Pacific Princess”

        Do you mean the Diamond Princess, or is this something else I haven’t heard of?

            1. There was something called Pacific Diamond, which The Writer In Black posted on around the same time. FAR less well known, same results (If I’m remembering right. I’m not in a place where I can do extensive searching, being on remote computer.) Might be that getting crossed in your head.

              1. > “There was something called Pacific Diamond”


                I hadn’t heard of the Theodore Roosevelt, either. Just how many of these ships WERE there?

                    1. You know your e-mail won’t take anything from me.

                      But I think I still have a Discord account under my old ‘nym (DGM). Give me a minute and I’ll see if I can get in there.

                    2. Hmm… Can’t post in Huns because it’s an unclaimed account, and Discord won’t let me claim it.

                      Does Everybodyhasissues require a claim to speak in there? If not, can you send me an invite.

                    3. Sorry, I thought it was a separate place.

                      But I already have an invite to Huns. It doesn’t matter. I can’t comment there without claiming the account and Discord won’t let me claim the account.

                      If you’re that determined to talk to me elsewhere, perhaps you can temporarily change the settings to let unclaimed accounts post?

                    4. > “three people Own that account….”



                      Okay, I know next to nothing about how Discord works, but that might explain why it doesn’t recognize the email I signed up with as mine.

                    5. > “Do computers hate you personally?”

                      Not generally, no. But as I’ve noted before, the universe seems bound and determined that you and I won’t be allowed to have a private conversation.

                      Perhaps making an entirely new e-mail account and signing up under my new ‘nym would work. Not tonight, though.

                    6. I have many accounts. All but 3 fully abandoned (one way or another).

                      (1) Comcast … once in awhile go in and clear things out.
                      (2) MSN (because windows) at one time required it. Have it set to pass everything to the account I actually use. Once in awhile go in and check spam trap, then clear things out.
                      (3) The google account because of phones.

                    7. > “Apparently there’s been hanky panky with emails of known conservatives, whatever that means….”

                      Hmm… If that’s all it is, then a new Discord account might do it.

                      Alternatively, you do have a substack. Is there any kind of private message feature attached to that?

      3. According to The China Show, the flip from “DEADLY KILLER VIRUS” to “It’s just the sniffles” was literally from one day to the next. One day you had to engage in all of the nonsense in order to keep you and everyone around you from dying horribly. The next day you were told to take your mask off, and quit bothering with everything. The sudden and dramatic change has not been good for the mental health of a lot of people over there.

        Also, the “dabai” – the guys in white outfits who were tasked with enforcing all of the numerous government edicts – literally went in a single day from “You guys have job security for at least another year or two, if not longer,” to “You don’t have a job anymore. Hand in your stuff and get out of here.” They aren’t happy. But the population at large isn’t particularly sympathetic.

        1. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

          Orwell commented on how flipflops like “Nazi Germany/the USSR are our evil enemy/our friends/our treacherous enemy” were quite possible in democracies, but both Germany and the Soviet Union could do them overnight, whereas the democracies took some time about it.

    3. Power goes out here usually about 10:00 AM weekdays. I think that’s when the local grid switches over to other producers. Occassionally it does more than make the lights dim. And I really hate having to reset clocks, and then go reset the furnace.

      1. I believe the extreme focus on hiring sexual deviancy in any form is to get the rubes to say “l done had enough” and react violently. They do believe anyone not-them is subhuman.

        1. The Reader believes that they are pushing every button they can find to obtain that violent reaction; sexual deviancy, economic distress, lack of affordable energy, election fraud in our face, millions of illegals crossing the border and crime being allowed to run rampant. And that sooner or later they will get it. The Reader thinks that it will start at the Texas border and spread from there.

          The Reader is sad that this happened in his state but it is happening all over.

          1. Bingo. It’s everywhere.
            Texas maybe. Title 42 goes away and boom. The flow quadruples. People are afraid to leave their houses.

            1. Gavin Newsom is now talking about too many immigrants. Either his presidentisl campaign focus groups are really giving him honest data or it’s gotten to bad for even the governor of California to ignore.

          2. I’m not going to bet against Oregon for another flammable focus. One party rule centered around Portland ideals and a lot of the state disenfranchised by fraud-by-mail fixed by law makes for some dry tinder.

            The gun control initiative isn’t going over well in the Red counties. Probably not in a lot of the Blue, either, “but it passed”.

            1. I won’t bet on anywhere there have already been 2020 riots in the “blue” cities like Chicago, or even Portland. If they don’t go beyond trashing their own neighborhoods, it won’t go anywhere. Already proven that. They tried, they failed. They can’t even go into the enclaves of Pelosi, or ilk, either. We’ll just laugh and point. It take someone nominally on their side (2020 riot deniers?) accidentally gets caught in a dangerous situation an in self defense lashes out. I know of people who I never thought would arm up, doing just that in light of Oregon #114. They just aren’t smart enough to not say they are (complaining on public forums about how long the current background cue is). The ones you can (almost) bet are NOT arming up are the ones complaining about the 3 day federal background check rules. Please note, Oregon has not closed that loophole. There are exactly Two gun shops that rumored to be adhering to that rule. Neither expect to be in business if #114 goes into law (without being shut down permanently). The rest, legal or not, do not want to make the mistake of selling to someone who can’t pass a background check, legal or not.

              Oh Saturday’s Eugene Firearm show ought to be interesting …

          3. I can wait until they go violent. That provides the justification of using violence to stop them.

            Disclaimer: I was the victim of a drive by shooting last month.

                1. Poor thing. I need to do some patching, but it should survive. Who ever did it probably shouldn’t come back, since I have a neighbor who’s a cop for the next town over, another who’s a former cop, and 5 others who are all vets like me. How did H.W. Bush put it? “Wouldn’t be prudent.”

  10. Just started reading, only two paragraphs in, but the universe’s timing is rather good.

    My power just came back on, only a short outage, 4 hours, but I’d started prepping for days (moving the generator, lining out extension cords, bringing in extra wood for the wood stove, disconnecting the powered garage door opener, etc., etc., etc.) , just in case.

    OK, back to reading C &S, if the power stays on. 😉

  11. There is a theory of controls, in the widget sense.

    The basic idea is that you have an uncontrolled plant, and put in some controls so that it is more predictable and consistent. Like a chemical plant, with tanks, pipes, and valves between them, and flow between the tanks such that you get a certain amount of chemical M out. Valves can be controls or actuators, and things like thermometers and pressure guages can be sensors. The sensor readings can be piped through some electronics, and sent to control the valves, and maybe the math is accurate to reality, and the result is stable and does what you tell it to, so long as you are not stupid about telling it to do things.

    There are also safety controls, that aren’t directly into the control loop. (Maybe indirectly, so that if you have safeties trigger, the control system tries to go for a controlled and safe shutdown.) Your control system damps some of the oscillations of your plant, but it would be stupid to trust it to keep everything working perfectly forever. Your plant/system probably has more degrees of freedom than your actuators allow you to adjust, and even with unlimited sensing and actuation, the engineers who make control systems can not possibly be intelligent enough to handle every case. (Handling every case would require the automation to have real intelligence, and be capable of making value judgements. Part of what controls engineers do is map value judgements to a relationship between the sensors and actuators. Needless to say, engineers working on a finite schedule write code that has limited capabilities.)

    So, for a chemical plant, you might calculate a pressure that is between the maximum the pressure vessels can contain and the expected operating pressure of the plant. You put in valves that will open if the pressure inside reaches that intermediate pressure. So if the controlled plant starts to shift to a ‘state space’ where it can explode, the safeties trigger, and maybe that allows the operators enough time to prevent disaster.

    One problem is that operators hate safeties that trigger frequently doing ordinary things, so they bypass them. Lots of industrial accidents have as prior cause management ‘operators’ or employee ‘operators’ doing stupid stuff, and bypassing safeties.

    The other problem is that if you don’t have a program of testing and maintaining safeties, they can fail, and then you are merrily operating the plant with a blind trust that the safeties will catch you if you make any mistakes.

    I would note that there are limits to these analogies, precisely because human behavior is wildly different from widget behavior.

  12. Bureaucracy can only resist the laws of nature for a relatively short time…Reality is already asserting itself in the US with November sales down .6% despite much higher prices…Stock market no likee….

  13. I’ve used it before (just above at the latest), but I keep thinking about my dad’s saying of how the left always says “How can we be wrong when we’re so sincere?” They really do believe that they can just wish their world, with its purple sky with pink polka dots, into existence and when that finally happens everybody will be deliriously happy and there will be no more problems evah!

    It’s not only a pipe dream, it’s a hallucination… from bad acid. They are like kids or cats – if I can’t see you, you can’t see me. They are willing to unperson us all to save their fantasy world and we must recognize that. We are not alone, although it may seem that way at times. If the left elites keep pushing, they are going to find themselves alone.

    1. As far as I can tell, they do seem to have come from a merger of the “everything is relative crew with the tech sector.

      And in software, pretty much everything is about whether or not you can talk a computer into doing what you want it to. It probably shouldn’t be that surprising that so many people thing they can treat physical reality the same way. :/

      1. The Reader believes that Moore’s Law is another factor in so many people’s detachment from reality on technology. They look at cell phones and believe all technology is subject to the same rates of progression ‘if we only try hard enough’.

        1. The thing is, most do, but its not a linear ramp; it’s an S-curve.

          Moore only postulated his law because semiconducters were in that early phase. He did not expext it to last nearly as long as it has, and it is finally slowing down. There appears to be an inflection in 2012, and will probably be another one in about two generations. (TSMC annouced that their 2nm will support only half the reticle size of their 3nm. Big step backwards for large chips.)

        2. Addendum: For an example of the S-curve, take a look at how long it took to go from the Wright Flier to the B-52 then take a look at how long the B-52 is planned to be in service.

        3. Technology and general tech “level”. I said at the beginning of 2020, that the covid panic came down to people believing that we had defeated disease, and were now faced with a new disease that didn’t conform to their expectations. Sure, we’ve acquired a bit more knowledge of what was going on with that, but the point still stands. There’s an enormous number of people who think that we’re close to paradise, we just need to remove the barriers (meaning people, laws, customs, etc) that prevent it. They genuinely believe that “the system” has been designed and built and has actual directors instead of it being an iterative agglomeration of billions of individual decisions.

          1. We were faced with a new disease that the authorities claimed didn’t conform to expectations. And the authorities threw out their plans for dealing with pandemics and smeared reports of early treatments being successful for the sake of not letting a crisis go to waste and sandbagging the Bad Orange Man.

      2. The description by Brooks in Mythical Man Month of software as magic is what led me into computers. He was careful to distinguish it from having to work in material reality. Lots of people are not.

        1. Sadly we lost Fred Brooks in November this year (17th says Wikipedia). “The Mythical Man Month” is a truly amazing piece of work.

          1. Yes we did. As an old engineer, the Reader recommends another of his works, ‘The Design of Design’ for a brilliant insight into the engineering mindset.

    2. Like how LL Labs just got some fusion ignition, with the proviso that industrial scale fusion production may be decades off, but the WEF is stating that a majority of baseline power will be provided by 2035, just a baker’s dozen years in the future . . .

      1. Fusion power is still 30 years away just as it has been for ~70 years now.

        Excited “experts” on the radio a couple days ago were going on about how fusion power would be “too cheap to meter”. Guess they’ve never actually looked at what it takes to turn heat into electricity – especially very intense heat which tends to lower the lifespan of the materials we have to make the generating equipment with. Even Hydro, with basically free fuel & over a century in which to optimize systems, has operational costs of around $40/MWh.

      2. …aaand if they do get practical fusion energy, what are they going to do with it?

        Boil water.

        Then use the steam to generate electricity at about 30% efficiency.

        Just like we’ve been doing for 200 years, only with an exotic heater. The reactor is nothing but a source of waste heat.

        Fusion plasma is full of highly energetic charged particles. Use magnetic fields to concentrate electrons around one electrode, and alpha particles around another one, connect them to an external circuit and voila! Electricity extracted directly from the reactor.

        There has to be a way to make that work.
        There are no FBI ‘special assets’ hiding under your bed.

        1. Patience Imaginos1892 we need to walk before we run. Unfortunately, we aren’t even crawling yet, I think we just got a leg to move under our own control… and Yes Fusion has been 20 years away since I was 5. I’ll be 62 when march rolls around. If we had any brains we’d go work with fission until we can get fusion going, but unfortunately people like the Turnip in Chief are running the joint. When you’re Head of Nuclear waste disposal is busily stealing womens suitcases to enhance his wardrobe you’re well and truly screwed.

        2. Whether you can use electrostatic gathering is a function of the reaction the reactor is running and the share of neutrons vs gamma rays vs charged particles.

          D-T fusion is terrible for that. Something like p-B11 is excellent.

  14. Thank you for putting into words what I’ve been thinking lately – these idiots think they are smart because they have kept little sparks from getting any bigger, but all they’ve done is set the stage for something that no one will be able to control.

    1. Essentially they are doing the social equivalent of what California has been doing with its forests. They’re letting the fuel build up and up and when the conflagration comes containing it may not be possible. Whether this is because they haven’t got the the brain capacity G*d gave an orange cat or because they WANT that fire like some insane pyromaniac is not clear.

  15. Faintly related…. the other day I took the kids out for Play Area with burgers.

    Which meant I had to figure out drinks for everyone… the gentleman ahead of me looked back and did the “oh! oh, excuse me, sorry” for being ‘in my way’ because I as looking at the drink fountain, trying to figure out what to do– and I made a crack about “oh, no worries, too many choices!”
    He said something about ‘yeah’ and… for the next hour, I was trying to figure out if he was making small talk, or really meant “yeah, shouldn’t have so many options, bad!”

    I strongly dislike this.

  16. OK, I finished reading C&S all the way through and many of the comments. A quote I read the other day; “The tinfoil hat crowd has more credibility now than the FBI.”, -Don Surber. I’d add more credibility than the media, academia, the Tech Lords and even, very sad to say, speakers for the medical profession.

    Call me blacked pilled if you want but I think we’re seeing the fall of Western Civilization. Of course it’ll rise again but, last dark ages, around 500 years. The coming one, how long? DamnedifIknow but I hope me and mine and you and yours are prepared for anything and anylong.

    I noted before having hard copies, books, especially early twentieth century engineering, construction and craft tomes on the shelves might make all the difference. Learning, relearning to use non electronic tools won’t hurt either. The Empire State Building was built with slide rules, not CAD programs and computers, much of the world’s earlier glory was built using story sticks and knotted rope measurements.

    I noted in a post here quite a while ago that, in my opinion, there more than enough information in 1925 editions of Audels Manuals to rebuild a late 18th century civilization from the rubble of the 21st. You know how to wipe a lead joint? Chapter 109 of Audel Plumbing and Steam Fitter’s Guide, explains how to do so simply enough and in enough detail that even an ex-Twitter employee could build a watertight joint, -with adequate supervision, of course. 18th century; I seem to remember Sarah noting, when I first posted about Audels, that those, by far, were not the best of times, who’s want to recreate that? If the fit hits the shand, me, for one, I’d much rather cruise along at 10 mph in my steam buggy than ride shank’s mare here there and everywhere and get a little light from hand blown incandescent bulbs than rushlights.

    1. :pushes glasses up nose:

      The Dark Ages were so named, and historians get all flinchy about it, because the places they looked for data didn’t have data.

      Not because it was “dark” like “bad.”

      With better data recovery techniques, the ‘dark ages’ are… not.

      1. wags paw It depends on where you were, how “dark” things got. And the climate splat in the 500s-600s was pretty rough on all of Europe [and swaths of Asia], even if you were in a relatively peaceful and well organized area. The coast of what is now the Netherlands and Germany comes to mind, since large chunks of it disappeared under the North Sea in the terrible storms, and marsh returned to formerly good farmlands. There’s some question if the legend of the Fisher King and the wounded king in the Mabinogion are folk memories of that period.

        But yes, once people stopped assuming that the only records were government records, and began looking at archaeology, then all of a sudden a lot more continuity and stability appeared between AD 400-800 CE, although in different places from before. If trade has stopped, there’s no need for a regional administrative center, and probably hostile strangers keep coming up the road, why stay in that town any more? Why not move to somewhere more suitable for defense, and out of easy reach of the strangers?

        1. Oh, yeah, and then you have the early-modern (and later) historians who venerated Rome and thought that anything between 476 and the Renaissance was dark, primitive, gaudy, and an unfortunate cultural episode best passed over in near silence. The Byzantine Empire was, at best, a decadent dead end full of corruption and excessively ornate religious fervor.

          Now we’ve got medievalists who decry the sexism, hetero-normativity, Euro-centricism, and overly pale period of history which they purport to “correct.” disgusted look in Cat And people wonder why I read German-language archaeology stuff rather than “cutting age” American academic monographs . . .

      2. > “The Dark Ages were so named, and historians get all flinchy about it, because the places they looked for data didn’t have data.”

        Bah, you’ve fallen for a coverup. They don’t want you to know the REAL reason:

      3. The Dark Ages were named by Renaissance scholars who wanted to vastly overhype the importance of Greek and Roman rediscovery, and overpraise their superiority to their immediate ancestors.

        It has been kept for part of the era they thus designated for that reason.

    2. Lucifer’s Hammer! The books to restart the world, carefully stored in a cistern. I loved that book. My sister and I solemnly swore to start collecting the same kinds of books in our libraries, so we can restart the world if it all comes down.

      That was, uh, forty years ago? We have quite a collection going now. (And many fiction novels because restarting the world requires both science and beauty.) The other day I was in my beloved library and the chill that I got wasn’t thinking about Lucifer’s Hammer, but about Fahrenheit 451. Am I the woman who burns with her library? Is my sister?

  17. Nicky Taleb says a lot of really stupid things, but he was entirely correct with his notion of anti-fragile. Goes back to Minsky: stability begets instability. Then again, I’m an options trader, sort of, so instability and volatility are my friend,

    The vast majority of the non psychopathic lefties are simply afraid of change. Thats the basis of the collectivism mentality and that’s the real allure of Marxism, you get what you “need” not what you “deserve.” You’re a child again living with mummy and daddy.

  18. The wokesters think they are winning because every time they walk down the grocery aisle they no longer see Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, or the First American Princess on the butter. Never mind that not one person was helped by these changes, and all it did was remove more images of minorities out of the public’s ( IE Guilt Ridden White Suburban Moms) eyes. Especially in this case successful minorities. Sure corporations own those brands, now, but they were started by minorities, well except the First American Princess, but it an odd twist of fate she was there to represent pureness, go figure. So now they can ignore those minorities easier. Besides they don’t have problems, I see them in Wally world every day. Besides everyone knows the First Americans are now all rich from Indian Casino’s…Sarc.

    1. Does anyone know of a good biography of Aunt Jemima. From what I have so far heard she is a super achiever, and a perfect example of a black female who bootstrapped her way to incredible success in a classic American success story.

    2. Yep. Erase the images of every minority from everything.
      “Comrade Child Care Giver, what’s a minority?”
      “Anything Big Brother says it is.”

    3. The evil is (perhaps accidentally) more subtle. Minorities in advertising are now common as nameless NPC extras, while being verbotten as named spokes-mascots. Because it’s racist to depict or think of minorities as people when GoodThink requires viewing them solely as members of their identity group.

      1. Though it does show them leading normal lives and indulging in shameless white supremacy such as fathers and mothers raising their children and even buying insurance.

  19. At one time or another, Russia has been invaded by soldiers from every country in NATO except Portugal. Even paranoids have real enemies.

    1. There was a division of Portuguese troops, about 9000 men, in Napoleon’s army that invaded Russia in 1812. They served in all the really big battles, Smolensk, Borodino, etc., and only about 1000 men survived to return to Portugal.

      1. And again, everyone has invaded Portugal at some time. Where is Portugal’s circle of slave countries to protect it from the meanies. WHAT KIND OF FOREIGN POLICY IS THAT?

    2. Again, take the clown nose off.
      Yes, they do. And every time they pound their shields and go abroad int he world, they make more.
      Never has such propaganda been married to such incompetence. I suggest we stop trying to prop up their egos and insanity.

  20. “What kind of lunatic would build a house without a blueprint? ”

    American colonists.

    But then they did measure, and lay out the foundations (when they put them in), floors, walls, and roof trusses all on the ground and then assembled them into components which they then held a house/barn raising to assemble.

  21. Well said, and one wonders today what ’embers’ are sitting there waiting for the right moment and oxygen to spring into flame…

          1. Agree. The only way for that to be possible is for us to stop having Anniversaries. I am not on board for either scenario that causes that to happen.

  22. To Wizard Guy:

    Oh, does the silly, moronic bitch try this regularly? She really hasn’t the intellectual horsepower for it.

    1. > “Oh, does the silly, moronic bitch try this regularly?”

      While she does sometimes let intellectual haughtiness get the better of her, she’s neither moronic nor a bitch. And it’s not like YOU are impressing me right now.

      > “Wizard, you do whatever seems good to you to do.”

      Fine. Sarah, would you mind putting this guy in the corner for a while?

      1. Just FYI. I already have. Anything coming across from him, on this topic, is getting automatically deleted. (I get email notices. Given WP’s recent delivery change, it is easy to know who and which topic.)

        Just saying. Note, does make reading other comments a lot easier (had over 100 this morning.)

        Note this comes under — “He” (presuming, since going by name) “has the right to write. I have the right to not read what is written by this person on this topic.”

      2. I promise to let you know, right here, the very second I think it’s important whether or not I impress you.

        It’s scheduled, right now, tentatively, for the 32d of Never.

        1. Heh. Fine. But it’s not me you need to worry about. It’s Sarah’s turf, and you won’t be the first she’s permabanned for this sort of behavior.

        1. > “this is not him at his best.”

          One would HOPE not. I’ve been mad at Fox a time or two myself, but I don’t recall ever treating her (or anyone else here) like THAT.

          And you’ve made me shut up over less. Why are you being lenient with him?

            1. Sad? I’m disgusted. I’d always thought you had a more uniformly brighter group of people here.

              But then the Russia-Ukraine thing does seem to bring out the idiot in people.

        2. Thing is, Sarah, when someone directs to me an argument that might satisfy a none-too-bright three year old, in other words when they treat me as if I were an idiot child, I find that personally insulting. And from Foxfier, Imaginos, Wizz, and a couple of others, that’s what’s been directed at me. Yes, their arguments have been that stupid and deserve the responses they’ve gotten.

          And then there’s the sickening White Knighting on display.

    2. Considering that you’ve been acting like a spoiled little SJW bitch for over a day now I don’t think you have much room to talk.

      And this is coming from someone who regularly has knockdown drag out fights with Foxfier….

      1. Oh, and yet another insect is heard from.

        Let me give you a little recent history lesson. Are you ready, dummy?

        The moronic bitch put up a map, a propaganda map, purporting to show one thing, Russian aggressiveness, but actually tending to show the complete opposite, to anyone with as grounding in military history of the last several centuries. I called her on it. And then you, silly turd that you are, decided to pipe in with more historically illiterate nonsense.

        I’m not sure, really, which of you is the more idiotic.

        1. …Which you could have argued against WITHOUT all the personal attacks and dick-waving.

          Even those of us who’ve had our own issues with Fox’s behavior are saying YOU’RE the asshole here, but you don’t seem to be catching a clue. So congratulations: being even more socially inept than I am is an achievement.

          1. See my comment to Sarah on the personally insulting aspect of directing an argument toward me that might fail to satisfy a none-too-bright child.

          1. If you weren’t too stupid to read completely, You would note that I already had, Sweden.

            But, you foolish, illiterate toad, I didn’t claim Russia didn’t invade the others. I pointed out that the invasions were either conquest of those who had made war on Russia first, or liberation of countries that had been conquered by, for example, the Nazis, or getting back, Belorussia from Poland, for example, something stolen from Russia. The sole exception to this was that part of Finland they took in Winter War and then retook in the Continuation War.

            One should not have to explain these things to an adult, even one as ignorant as you.

  23. Either knock it off or I’m going to second Imaginos in calling for Sarah to step in.

    Wizard, you do whatever seems good to you to do.

  24. Tom Kratman was my CO, way back when.

    Some folks can’t handle truth unless it is wrapped up in prettified bullshit. He won’t sugar coat stuff to placate “feels”. Also, I noticed that he is civil to those who don’t piss on his leg and call it rain. But if you want respect out of him, you better be prepared to earn it.

    1. Bullshit. Twice. Three times, even. Respect isn’t necessary (don’t want it, anyway. I do not require or desire respect from those I don’t respect). Civility is, and he couldn’t even handle that.

        1. Funny, all d said was that she had blocked out your comments on this topic and you mocked her for it. How was SHE uncivil to you?

          Oh, and speaking of: you tried to mock her in response to a comment in which she explicitly stated that she doesn’t see your comments. For someone who likes calling OTHER people idiots so much…

  25. Wiz:

    No, you’re not getting under my skin. You’re just being an idiot and I am calling you on it.

    1. Tom:

      Seems to me everyone’s getting under your skin right now. Calm and controlled people don’t act like this.

      But whatever gets you through the day, I guess.

      1. Clearly not everyone, Wiz. See comment from 11B Mailclerk. But, yes, all the idiots do seem to be. Because they’re idiots.

        1. The sycophantic “he was my CO” one? Yeah, the only reason that isn’t white knighting is because you’re not female. It’s the same sort of thing. Except even more pathetic.

          1. Full disclosure seemed appropriate. Of course I spoke up. He earned my loyalty a long time ago.

            I have seen this sort of thing play out on multiple threads. They think they are getting away with slick, and find they haven’t. Oops. Argue facts with cites is the best approach. Avoid snark. Like landmines. Lol.

            Poke a career Infantryman and expect him not to be combative? Expect not to hear the blunt language of a soldier? That seems detached from reality.

            Try to shame me for standing by someone from my unit? Me with a self-mocking alias? That also seems detached from reality.

            But it is a free country. Folks can fool around and find out. Bunch of folks did.

            1. We already have shown we reject double standards. Why do you think we will accept them applied to him?

        2. > “But, yes, all the idiots do seem to be.”

          Well, since you assert that I’m an idiot, that would be an implicit admission that I AM getting under your skin.

          But leaving aside the word games, my point stands: you’re not in full control of yourself or you wouldn’t be acting like this. And the only reason you’re getting away with it is because Sarah is playing favorites.

          I’ll repeat what you said to me: when I start being impressed with you, I’ll let you know.

  26. Sarah, I don’t know why you’re letting Kratman get away with acting like a bully, but it’s not doing the blog any favors. If you can’t bear to deal with him yourself for whatever reason, please pick someone you trust (and who knows the administrative side of WP) and give him moderator powers.

    1. FWIW, she contacted me- in my judgement, for reasons to not start a pissing contest….

      I forgive him. The form of “didn’t ask.”

      And I still thank you for honorable actions.

      1. Let me guess… Sarah’s letting him blow off steam because something bad happened? And that’s why she was trying to get in touch with me privately yesterday?


        Fine, but I hope she doesn’t plan to let this continue too much longer.

    2. There are other people with moderator powers. He’s not a newby here but a regular. We’ve had regulars go crazy before. I don’t kick them. I usually ask other people to ignore.
      Part of it is these are crazy times and sometimes people go crazy. And then come back from the insanity.

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