The Moment Before

Have you ever been in a car crash? I have. It was a nothing thing — okay, it totaled the car, but I walked away — but it’s at the basis of my driving anxiety. Sometimes I manage the anxiety. Sometimes I’m incapable to and don’t drive for years at a time.

Which is stupid, because I know what caused that crash. We’d moved an hour and a half away. We’d left my car at the old place, and drove back to get it on Saturday morning very early. So early I forgot my glasses on the bedside table. I have hellish astigmatism. In fact, back then I wasn’t nearsighted. I only wore glasses because of the astigmatism. I became aware I didn’t have my glasses on halfway there, and I drove back fine, being extra careful. Except ten minutes from the new home, a bunch of cars had got between Dan and I, and I was afraid he’d turn, and I wouldn’t make the turn at a light. So I rushed. And the experience of it is that a telephone pole jumped in front of the car. Of course, it was the astigmatism giving that illusion.

But the experience was everything is fine, everything is fine, oh, sh*t! And by then it was too late to do anything about it. In my mind, it is hours between realizing I was going to hit and there was nothing I could do, and actually hitting and destroying the car.

Sounds stopped, there was an unnatural silence, and time became taffy, extending indefinitely.

As a country, we’ve been locked there since 2020. Which probably also explains how you feel. Tired and anxious, and often hopeless.

Because you can tap the brakes and try to turn the wheel all you want to. It’s too late to change. There’s nothing you can do except anticipate how bad it will be, and hoping you walk away.

Only it’s more like a crash in WWI, which, yes, sometimes you could walk away from, but not often. And you could burn to death in the crash far more than in the car.

If you feel like what happened this week makes it more likely that we’ll be consumed by fire in the wreckage, you wouldn’t be wrong.

But there’s not much you can do. Except anticipate the crash and maybe make it more survivable by positioning yourself slightly differently, clenching or not clenching, moving slightly back so the airbag doesn’t kill you.

All you can do is think through likely — remember LIKELY. No, going back to the middle ages is not likely, unless we get hit by the Sweet Meteor of Doom — scenarios and anticipate what you’ll need, and what to do.

Looking at my experience with a car crash, above, some other things to take from it:

  • There is nothing you can do. There was nothing you could do due to the initial condition. In my case driving without glasses. In our case, FDR highjacked our system and made it vulnerable to this. This was done before most of us were born, let alone voted.
  • Time seems unusually lengthened. All those memes — the ones not made by glowies trying to get you to do something stupid — about the Founding Fathers and “Me and my homies would be stacking bodies” is because your sense of time is way telescoped. You’ve been aware of what’s going on before anyone “normal” was, because you’re a political junkie (the diagnostic circumstances are “you read this blog.”) The funding fathers were political junkies in their time too, granted. But they didn’t jump hot for a loooooong time. And they kept a toe in diplomacy to the end, so when war broke out they were still trying to petition the king.
  • As with a car crash, the tempo is ‘excruciatingly slow, then very fast.’ Once you hit that pole, you’re back to normal time, and you experience it as everything moving very fast, suddenly. Like coming out from a dark room into the light, you’ll be startled and blinded by the fact the light is magnified by your eyes being unprepared. Remember that, metaphorically, so you don’t lose your bearings/feel as if the world has gone mad.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. Sure, physically. But also mentally and emotionally. Prepare for what will be very hard though possibly/probably brief times when you might very well have to do what is for you unthinkable. We’ve lived ridiculously comfortable, easy lives compared to our ancestors. I don’t expect it to get to even 19th century level. But it will get tough.
    It has been noted in studies that people who think through possibilities experience less disorientation in a disaster or disruption, and are less likely to experience shock/depression.
    So prepare mentally. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Until then, hang lose. And pray the Republic doesn’t catch fire in the crash. And we don’t all perish in it.

307 thoughts on “The Moment Before

  1. Amen, Sarah. All we can do is prepare and anticipate at this point. It’s all in God’s hands. Always has been, and I’m thankful for that, at least. I just pray there are enough righteous men and women left for God to show mercy on, a remnant He deems worth saving. Otherwise, all that awaits any of us is destruction.

    1. A verse that I have often taken comfort in; Kings 19:18.
      “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

    2. Our comic opera is not happening in a vacuum. China is watching and is sharpening her claws.
      Our Socialist agents think that, once they control the reins of a demoralized and bankrupt nation, they will be in charge. If the nation cannot defend itself, the Chinese will make a move, and the US Socialist leaders will find themselves fenced in nice little villages learning how to be obedient.

      1. China has its own trouble, and its falling apart.
        Socialism kills fast or slow. China is just national socialism. And its dying.
        Also, America can’t be socialist/communist for long.
        we have no one to feed us.
        They can’t win.

      2. US Socialist leaders will find themselves fenced in nice little villages learning how to be obedient.

        IF they are unlucky. The lucky ones will be lined up in the ditch they dug for their own mass grave for China’s forces target practice.

  2. The Reader notes that this is DEFINITELY NOT an April Fool’s Post.

    The Reader has been playing catch up on preparing since his retirement. Before that, overt preparations would have endangered his security clearance and thus his livelihood. Since then, he has done the best to make up the difference. Still more to do. Hopefully we will be granted a little more time but you are right. A crash is coming.

  3. Amen.

    Considering today’s date, a story is going through my mind about what happens when someone plays an April Fool’s Day prank on a Dragon. 😈

    1. …plays pranks on dragons….

      “Flaming Idiot”

      Build an idiot a fire, keep him warm for a night. Set an idiot on fire, keep him warm the rest of his life.

        1. Some things are fire proof.

          Few things are idiot proof.

          Nothing is Infantry proof.


            1. Hence all the folks who go to sleep under a nice tree, in the heavy vehicle parking area.
              Or the guy who took the 60+ pound cylindrical antenna, which had spikes all around both ends, and decided he didn’t need a metal pole to erect it, a fiberglass pole would work just fine. That and three other, “Oh, ignore the instructions, just get it up there!” errors explain why we were discussing a fatal accident involving an antenna head acting like a pendulum.

              1. I see. So, making things one-idiot-proof is not enough. They have to be impervious to the compounded efforts of multiple idiots. Tough job.

                  1. Exactly. I used to have access to one of the Army safety/accident newsletters, and sleeping under a tree in the vehicle park is an excellent way to collect a Darwin award. Something about getting run over by a tank in the dark.

                    1. Oh, safety briefs.

                      My bosses’ mentor was a Cold War tanker – repeatedly told my bosses about a Joe who decided to sleep under a tank and then got squished.

                      One friend (11B/38B) had just gotten back behind the wire in Iraq after 20 hrs out when one of his Joe’s tried to take the Browning off the pintle with a hammer (aka a live .50 Round). Joe ended up with no hand.

            2. one of our departments at work had a supervisor who repeatedly said “Anyone can do this job.” and then would hire folks to prove his point. The hires seemed inclined to prove him wrong 99% of the time. Sadly his opinion seems to still drive things in upper management and they are now trying to split off part of the department, running the two who can do it right ragged, and annoying them greatly. Annoying me as well, as I am drawn in in part by the split being moved into what was my work area, and my knowledge of my department being about to be dead. Not a joyful life for me right now.

              1. You don’t work in the White House, do you? 😛

                “Any idiot can be Secretary Of [whatever]!”

                Well, they can be appointed to the position. That is all.

                1. The current White House is an excellent example of the issues with diversity hires.

  4. A bit of history to remember. The American Revolution didn’t go “hot” until the Brits sent troops around to disarm the colonists.

    1. And it took a decade to build. Both build the organizations (some of which had their roots in letter-writing information and news chains from the First Great Awakening)a and the sense that “Parliament’s not listening, and enough’s enough.” You also had to develop large enough local pools of leadership that when the fire finally sparked, people could take charge and keep things running on the township and village level (so long as no army marched through).

      There have been several good books in the past ten years or so about just that process, and all emphasize how slowly it took place.

    2. April 19th, 1775. The the colonists started shooting first. For anyone interested in rifle marksmanship and the history of that day, I highly recommend going to an event run by The Appleseed Project.

      1. The only thing known about the first shot was that neither commander had ordered it.

        1. Disciplined “regular” troops versus militia, the smart money says the “oops” came from the militia side. Accident or intentional, that is the most likely.

          Millita of that era were not big on floggings for indiscipline. British regulars routinely inflicted flogging, or worse. And that sort of thing does work.

          Might not be politically correct to say such about the “shot heard round the world”, but trained and disciplined is a big thing, and is why the redcoats were actually announced “The regulars are comming!” not “the British”.

          1. Also, reference the Second Amendment.

            “well regulated” Millitia is armed, trained, disciplined, and provisioned, thus made “regualar(s)”, thus able to go toe-to-toe wiht regulars in the line of battle.

            Yeah. Our founders in the second amendment wanted every swinging richard to be Infantry to the standards of Regulars. Dont ever forget that, folks. Every able bodied man a Regular-grade Millitiaman.

            1. I see the Second Amendment as being more about blocking what we now call militarized police. Standing armies in peacetime tend to get used for law enforcement, and the founders considered this to be a Bad Thing. They wanted militia to take on that job. But there would be a temptation to use a standing army, or something dangerously close to an army, if the militia wasn’t up to the job.

              Now one essential feature of “militia” as the term is used in the Constitution is that it’s armed only with weapons commonly and legally available to ordinary private citizens. By prohibiting limits on “legally available,” the RKBA part of the 2nd blocked law-enforcement whines of “but we neeeed better weapons than the ones private citizens can buy and carry,” and thus cut off that temptation to use an army (or today, a militarized police department) to do law enforcement instead.

              1. No. I have a book. currently in storage.
                The green mountain boys, not so much.
                Since Dan’s ancestor was in the CT volunteers this amused me GREATLY.

                1. If Dan’s ancestor was built like him, I can see someone flogging him for missing a button, and him sneering at the guy with the whip, “You call that a flogging? My old grandmother could do a better job.”

                1. How many bailed with “You demand DRESS CODE for a force that might to assemble in instant? How fscking STUPID are you? You can dress up and die. I’ll defend me and mine instead. You Enemy Agent.”

                  1. A force who often enough had rags for shoes, if they were lucky a blanket for a coat? Had a dress code? Seriously?

                    1. Most of the units involved in the opening battles of the Civil War were actually “militia” units organized by the respective states (20th Maine, for example)….. which is why you had uniforms patterned on the French Zouaves. They made a fine show on the parade ground…. and screamed “Shoot Me Now!!!!!” on the battlefield.

            1. Those make my point, “well regulated”. Many meant well. Many did well. Few met the standard of “regulars” from a Europe/pro point of view. But those were usually golden.

              By the end? Much different.

              Just getting a decent five-man fire team working right together is serious work. But from that nugget is built a world class army.

          2. Likely the militia, yes.

            But as noted, we don’t know for certain. The men were carrying muzzle loaders, and their commander likely hadn’t ordered them to load their weapons (he anticipated dispersing the men after a show of force in front of the British). How many of the militia men loaded their weapons anyway? The regulars were the ones dealing with an unexpected and possibly dangerous situation, and so more likely to have their guns loaded. It might very well have been a green regular recruit who got jumpy. Or maybe even a veteran whose experienced sense of “bad things coming” got the better of him.

            We don’t know. And it’s probably for the best, all things considered.

            There’s even one theory that the first shot might have been the one that struck down a prisoner of the British who was running away. Under this theory, the first shot had nothing to do with the stand-off. But jumpy troops misinterpreted it.

              1. Aha. It was that dancing cousin of the Good Idea Fairy, Charlie.

                Charlie Foxtrot.

            1. Well, I don’t attribute stupidity to them just because this was 200+ years ago. You don’t face armed opposition with unloaded weapons. That would be just plain stupid; unless you didn’t have any ammunition for them in the first place. Then it would be running a bluff. However, considering the ROEs that were placed on various military forces during my career, and the incidents I witnessed that never made the news, the stupid is VERY strong in our elected and appointed officialdom.

              1. Sure, if you think there’s a good chance that the other side will start shooting. But you also wouldn’t be lined up in neat rows on the village common, which is what the local militia members were doing. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. The militia commander figured that the British would march in and order them to disperse, using the overwhelming number of British troops present to back up the order. And the men would do so. That’s what had happened in the past. The last thing that the militia commander would have wanted under those circumstances was an accidental discharge by one of his men.

                The militia’s goal was to make a show and remind the British that armed opposition was a possibility. It wasn’t going to happen yet. But it would happen if changes didn’t take place. The British goal was to get in, destroy any weapons found (which would probably be moved before the British arrived in any case) at the target armory, and with a secondary goal of not starting any shooting.

                Both sides knew that. Both sides also knew that this was not the first time this particular song and dance had been carried out. Plans were likely made accordingly.

                But for whatever reason, a shot rang out anyway.

          3. Actually, the militia forces in those battles had more military experience than the regulars.

            1. “Who shot first?”
              “Ah, Lieutenant Smith, sir. Nobody fired. That was just old Jakes McIntosh passing gas from all those beans he had last night.”

        2. For that confrontation, this is true. There were a number of other confrontations that happened that day. A truly fascinating day in our history.

  5. For what it’s worth wrecks can be tricky. I was planning on my best sideswipe of the jersy wall and hoping maybe I could keep the frame. But I didn’t have to. The sine wave ebbed into a straight line and I was able to pull out after a cyle and a half. I didn’t even touch either jersey wall.

    1. And sometimes you’re caught up in someone else’s stupid decisions. About a year ago, we were stopped at a red light, waiting to turn right, when there was a sudden bang. I looked up to see a car flying at us at incredible speed. I thought sure our car would be totaled, and was just hoping we wouldn’t be hurt. (I didn’t see the collision because another family member was driving and I was sitting in the back seat, working on something).

      Near as I can figure out from the damage on that car and the minivan in the intersection, the car that hit us ran the red light just as the minivan was making a left turn from the cross street, which threw the red-light-runner into our car. Fortunately, we just took a few scrapes and a badly dented rear bumper, and were able to drive home (we had to drive our car damaged for four months while waiting to get it into the body shop). Amazingly, nobody in either of the other cars was injured.

      (We narrowly avoided a similar situation this past Saturday. We were stopped in the left turn lane of an intersection, and moments after the green arrow, a car blew through the red light on the cross street. Fortunately neither I nor the car in the oncoming left turn lane pulled out the moment the arrow came on, because it would’ve been ugly. From the frame-by-frame of the dashcam data, the red-light runner must’ve been going at least fifty or sixty MPH — with a speed limit of 35, since it’s a residential area).

      1. I’ve been in one accident that was slow motion, then “what happened” fast. Two really fast near misses.

        My accident, and yes still have anxiety when I go by that curve, the back end of the car slid left behind me as I came out of the curve (oil on water speculation), heading me directly across the other lane and into a tree. Over compensated, remember thinking “do not hit the breaks” (too late, but I did think it). Took the car into a clockwise spin and skid off the left side of the road, so that the driver side door post slammed into a (very expensive, apparently) tree. Tree came down, brushing the residential house. Dog and I were out of the car before the homeowners came out the door.

        The close calls. One was the drive west bound on Beltline just as approaching the Willamette river bridge, the road curves very slightly south that it can make the oncoming cars look like they are in the fast lane of the west bound traffic. I saw those lights and told hubby “to get over, now!” Next thing we know, there is an oncoming car, in The West Bound Fast Lane. The other one was an very early morning commute to work, where pulled up to left turn lane, and did not put car into first gear, which is something I (almost, obviously) do. So when protected turn light turned green, then after my standard, “one, two” delay, I killed the car. Just before I get started again, a car blows through at a high rate of speed. Both incidents long before dash CAMS, so neither incident saved.

      2. When I was living in Silly Valley, I had three accidents in snow or ice. Pilot error, including not realizing that the smooth water coming out of a tunnel was glare ice. Oops.) OTOH, nothing foul has happened since moving back to snow country. (Practice, practice, practice!)

        Had one very odd accident. I was in the left turn lane at a light, waiting for the arrow to turn green. In the fast lane, Mr. Clueless finally noticed he had a red light, and cars were going across the intersection. Brakes of emergency stop. He did a rather cute spinout, and came to rest athwart the roadway, but out of the intersection. At which point, he wiped his brow in relief, and took his foot off the brake. Gravity working as per specification, he promptly rolled into the side of my car, putting a nice ding behind the door.

        Oh well, his insurance paid up…

        1. > “Gravity working as per specification, he promptly rolled into the side of my car, putting a nice ding behind the door.”

      3. One wet morning I was doing about 60 down the last long hill on the way to work. A green pickup passed me on the right, changed lanes in front of me, and just kept going round and round.

        I took my foot off the gas, gripped the wheel tight, and watched him go. He wound up against the guard rail in the median, facing the wrong way.

        I said to myself, “Now there’s something you don’t see every day.” Followed by, “He’s either going to need a fresh pair of shorts, or a crowbar to pry the seat cushion out of his ass.”

        Southern California drivers, I tell ya. They see water falling out of the sky and they don’t have a clue what to do.

        1. They’re too used to being attacked from the ground (quakes, fires, mudslides) to handle aerial bombardment well.

          1. The best is the intermittent pre-dawn fog.

            70mph, unlimited visibility suddenly turns onto near zero visibility with pretty much no warning at all.

            Still not as bad as the 405, but only just. Seriously why do people have to cut off tankers with all the pretty placards open?

            1. Because they think they are for decoration?

              Last time I went down state, I noticed a semi with no one close to it. Even the other rigs would pour on the coals and get around him, or laid well back. I scooted past. He had ALL the hazmat flags flying, including “can’t put out fire with water.” I suspect he was hauling lithium batteries or something else equally fun.

            2. I was on a business trip to Guadalajara in the mid 90s… doing some training and computer setup at a manufacturing site there. My local team member was driving me around.
              Most mornings were foggy and to get from the hotel to the worksite we took a 3 lane divided road and needed to do a u-turn to get to the site entrance. Heavy speedy traffic both directions. But there was a dedicated left/u-turn lane, which we used. Other, more impatient drivers would stack in the leftmost traffic lane and u-turn around everyone in the u-turn lane.
              Then to my horror I notice a propane tanker pulling up on the shoulder… and U-turning across all six lanes of traffic. I’m still amazed there was not an earth (or car) shattering kaboom.

        2. Just missed witnessing an accident east bound on Oregon Hwy 126, just west of No Tie, as east bound traffic crests the pass there. It had been wet and cold with some snow frosting, so the highway was sanded. Car coming up behind long line of traffic out of the tunnel, starts passing. Most hang back until the passing lane starts over the pass and the multiple curves until last curve at the top of the summit. This car was Moving. What happened is the driver tried to straighten coming out of the turn, and wheels caught sand. Instead went straight, off the road and parallel to the road dropped into the creek bed, a good 40′ – 50′ feet, straight down. No perpendicular dive. No rolling. Landed upright. (Wylie Coyote, run off cliff visual.) Destroyed the undercarriage. Driver and passenger walked away. Everyone, both east and west, were still pulling over, getting out, when I came through, yes pulled over. No cell service. So some of us headed on down to call it in.

  6. When I got hit by a texting [driver], the time-crawl happened as I desperately tried to avoid her and minimize the impact force. Thanks be to Deity, no one was in the oncoming lanes, so I could swerve and get hit at an angle instead of a straight on T-bone. Still totaled the pickup, but I only got bruised. And a little singed from the airbag. And the truck was drivable enough that I could get it out of the road.

  7. Basset, rest his restless soul, and I have been predicting this shit for 20 some years. and those that know me, on the bar, not that I’ve been there in years, on facebook and IRL already know my opinion of “going hot”.

  8. Here in the South (east Tennessee, at least), people are shaking their heads at the idiocy that always seems to be going on elsewhere, but not around us (unless you’re in one or another of those large, essentially-no-longer-southern places like Atlanta). We still live our lives as we have previously, but we’re very aware that the leftist culture that’s been foisted upon us for our entire lives is now getting to the point where the culture mavens can no longer hide their deep-rooted insanity. On some level they realize that the rest of us (and yes, we’re a majority, don’t let anyone gaslight you on that fact) have finally seen through their facade and are rejecting them in stronger and stronger ways. They seem to know that things can’t go on as they have been, and they will either be overthrown in much of their craziness or will have to actually become the totalitarians they’ve been working toward being for so many years. In essence, they’re panicking. The real question is, will things get sporty as their heavy hand on the culture is rejected by more and more of the populace.

    1. Yep. Had Jeopardy on and the Nashville station was talking about “students and parents protesting for sensible gun control.” SO hard not to yell at the screen.

        1. You know that little X on the target in the middle of the 10-ring? It’s not “on the target”. It is the target! All the rest of the paper is for error analysis.

          1. This. Unless you are shooting on the International target (B-17 in meters, B-19 reduced for yards). The 10-ring on that beast is 40mm.

      1. Actually, the Nashville shooter’s mom was a gun control advocate. Conservative Christian, yes, but apparently not all that conservative, politically.

        That’s why the Nashville shooter (who was still living at home at 28) was hiding all those guns. Because of the gun control mom.

        1. I feel for those parents. They’re presumably in the midst of, “Where did we go wrong?”
          I feel worse for the victims’ families, watching their loved ones minimized and their killer being given sympathetic treatment. Still, the killer’s parents are watching the same hagiography taking place, both knowing their child was a murderer and they’re probably being cast as the villains who’s religious bigotry drove her….

          1. Or that their beliefs encouraged her to decide to declare herself trans rather than getting the actual help that she needed for whatever else was causing so many problems in her life (as she viewed it). “What if we’d insisted that she try [other thing] first/longer/gotten her help when we first sensed that there was a problem . . .”

            No, I don’t know anything about the shooter’s personal life, or her family’s life for that matter, but given everything else I’ve been reading/listening to recently, I do have to wonder.

    2. I suspect many of them have their identity and sense of self worth so tightly tied up in this that they cannot picture stopping and losing their “everything”. Even if they know it’s going to blow eventually, if they can just starve it off until they can get clear with their money, or at least their dignity intact.

      We probably need to figure out ways to make them off ramps from insanity, so when it does pop there are fewer of them so deeply entrenched.

  9. Back in 89 Mordor west had the World Series earthquake. I was driving, when it hit. I first thought the warranty had expired, since it felt like the shocks were gone. I almost instantly realized it was a bad earthquake, because when you feel the shock in a car, it is strong. Everyone driving came to a stop. When the 45 seconds of shaking,( I counted to see how long it lasted), ended, I started right up, because I knew what had happened, and was prepared.

    I drove home. No one else was moving. They had exited their homes. They stood outside, standing as though time was frozen. So be prepared for the unexpected. Imagine the worst, knowing reality cannot be anywhere near as bad. Be prepared to move, when all around you freeze in shock.

    1. BIL and sister were at work when the ’89 earthquake happened. With their new infant at home with the sitter. All their routes home were down or clogged with traffic. Not a fun time. They were fine as was their infant and her sitter. But still.

    2. ’89 Quake, was getting ready to watch the World Series and then everything started to shake.

      Dad left as soon as he had checked the house to make sure it was safe and still on the foundation (power didn’t come back on until 9 PM). He pretty much spent the next three or so weeks at work, handling access and security issues with the collapse of the Cypress Freeway.

      Don’t have OCD about it, but do have some preparations in place for the “just in case” circumstances. Build your own three-day kit (everything you need in case you have to bug out for three days) and keep it current (set dates to change things on your phone). Keep the batteries fresh on your flashlights. Keep your cell phone charged. Make sure you know where to find your weapons in the dark.

    3. My mother was driving back to the city when the quake hit. She told me she pulled over to wait for the shaking to stop and then continued home. She couldn’t figure out why, after things quit moving, nobody else got back on the road. Her off ramp had buckled and she bottomed out getting off 280, but no damage. Made it home fine and my parents ended up sheltering my best friend from college for a day or so until she could get back across to Berkeley.

      1. This is a thing with people who haven’t been through earthquakes. Once you’ve been through one, you get blase about them. They happen, and then they’re over. You don’t worry about it. Newbies, on the other hand… I remember one time when there was an earthquake down here in Southern California. It wasn’t a bad one. The ground shook, and I don’t recall anything serious resulting from it. But we had some visitors in the office from out of state, and they completely freaked out. Meanwhile, all of the local people blew it off. “Nothing fell. Back to work.”

        The first time it happens, it really screws up your understanding of how the world work. The ground is supposed to sit still. It’s not supposed to move.

        1. I remember a cartoon: ‘Spot the California native in this earthquake scene’

          Half a dozen people running around screaming and panicking. One guy in the middle, sitting at a desk, carefully holding his coffee cup so it won’t spill. 😀

          1. Kinda like Florida and hurricanes; the More Recent Migrants panic early and a lot, The Experienced, not so much – they’re the ones who have 10-year old pre-cut plywood for all the windows and the beer is still cold three days later.

            1. This.

              Panicked neighbor: “Aren’t you evacuating?”

              me: “Unless it’s cat 4 or more, I’m going nowhere.”

              me: (With longer time to talk.) “Look up Hurricane Opal in ’95. They ordered everybody on the NW coast to evacuate at 4 in the morning, and then all the routes were jammed. The emergency center looked at the reports and started ordering bodybags, because no one could get off the road.

              “I was in that mess. It took 14 hours to go 100 miles. The hurricane hit while we were on the road. We were lucky there weren’t tornadoes with it where we were.

              “Where I am I have stored food, water, supplies if the power goes out, I’m above the storm surge level, and I have reasonable confidence that trouble will not come looking for me. Unless it’s actively a Cat 5 and they drag me out, I’m going nowhere.”

              1. Floridians (the real ones, not the imitation ones) don’t even bother getting out of bed for anything less than a cat 3. We did 3 in 7 weeks in ’04 (Charlie, 1 MPH short of a 3; Francis, barely a 2; and Jean, a strong 1, followed by what was left of Ivan re-visiting as a tropical depression); by the end of September even the Newbies were showing signs of Having Adjusted.

                1. Oof, yeah, Ivan. Almost 2 weeks of no power and over a month cleaning up cherry laurel!

                  …And we were still better off staying put. Though the house just on the corner (built with a much more wind-catching profile) bit it. They evacuated beforehand, which was wise.

                  Their phone still worked, though. We ended up answering it for them.
                  “Are you X?”
                  “Nope, we’re the neighbors. They left and we haven’t seen them.”
                  “Then how did you get into the house?!?”
                  “Heh. What house?”

              2. My mother (a Floridian) slept through a tornado that tore through her neighborhood and destroyed several houses, narrowly missing my aunt’s, where she was sleeping. But yeah, though she moved to earthquake country, she still keeps extra water, food, and a storm lantern in the basement – just in case.

        2. I beg to differ. I’ve only been through Nevada level earthquakes which you probably wouldn’t even notice but even so I have no intention of ever being blase. No blase for me, nope, nada. I don’t run screaming out of the house or the office but I don’t like thinking about the things. Vegas tornados, NP, they’re eensy.

        3. Late fall 1980 St. Helen rattled enough to cause Longview to feel it. Just a little earthquake. I was raised in Willamette valley. My first ever, and so far, last. Hubby OTOH was raised south of San Diego. He was “What? Just a baby one.”

          1. My first earthquake was when I was in LA. I sort of grinned, because now I’d had a real California experience. My second earthquake was at RedQuarters, and I sort of half-woke and thought “why did the cat just launch?” Then the house jumped. “That was an earthquake. Huh.” The epicenter was in Oklahoma. No damage at RedQuarters, didn’t even knock over things.

            1. My only experience with an earthquake was the 2011 NYC Earthquake, which was to earthquakes as intelligence is to Biden. I was on the top floor of a 50 story building when one of the speakers mentioned they had just fired 12 lawyers. As he finished saying that, the building swayed back and forth a bit. Alas, I was the only one to burst out laughing,

              1. I felt the Maine earthquake. It was rather like a blustery day — a very blustery day — hitting the house with a few blasts — only it was still.

                A relief to hear it was an earthquake and not a balance problem.

              2. We’ve had a few in Missouri. Very small. Back in St. Louis we lived about a mile from a quarry. One morning my folks were listening to the radio and thought that the quarry was starting blasting early, until the guys on the radio said, “What was that?”

          2. My first earthquake I didn’t know it was quake until later. In an old rickety wooden building converted to a gym. Could feel the floor shaking from the basketball going on- and suddenly a little more shaking and everyone else ran outside… and I though all the pounding from the running was causing a little more shaking…

            Ship had gone into drydock that day. Moved 6 inches on the blocks. Next day NAVSEA and the shipyard had several meetings to decide if we needed to be refloated and repositioned. The day after the answer was “No.”

            I’ve felt two here in CNY. The first one I was sitting at home and the house swayed side to side. Picked up my son from a track meet a little later- he and the other people in the stands thought the swaying was from them stomping and stuff. Second one was in the middle of the night- got hit by the other kind of earthquake waves. The house shook violently up and down for only seconds. Both epicenters were >100 miles away- in just about exactly opposite directions.

            My wife felt more then I did. Because most of the ones in Sandy Eggo happened while I was at sea. She said she knew one was coming if the cat and dog suddenly huddled together under the stairs looking nervous.

            Tornados? Seen ’em from a distance- and would like to keep it that way, thank you. Hurricanes? Never been in an evacuation zone. When you’re at sea and in perfectly calm water looking at the edge of one- that you’re trying to avoid getting into- they are really impressive looking from a distance.

            Wind can be destructive in many forms. Had a linear wind- I forget what they’re called, come down our street- which is also come down our hill. Every tree that went down was pointed downhill. A pine copse at the bottom of the street had every tree in it snapped or blown over. A few houses lost a few shingles. And that came out of nowhere.

            Oh, the big one in CA around the world series time? Went over the elevated roadway that came down just a day earlier leaving Vallejo and going to Sandy Eggo before heading back East. Didn’t feel it at all at our apartment.

            1. No Hurricanes unless count Columbus Day Storm Oct ’62. It was bad enough but don’t think it was a Hurricane. No Tornadoes, unless you count the dust devils. Even had one in ’72 swing across I-84 as I was driving Uncle’s parents car (they were taking me to Uncles, let the 15 year old get some driving time. Just scary changing lanes without moving the steering wheel.) Oregon has had a couple of “real” tornadoes touch down causing damage, but nothing on the scale of back east. No flooding either. Now if any of the flood dams in either the Willamette or McKenzie river fail, we are in major trouble. We are just out of the 100 year flood plain by distance and artificial elevation. Not enough to avoid catastrophic water levels.

              Nearest catastrophe we’ve been near is almost getting stuck on Mt Rainer the day Mt St Helen blew, and again not knowing what the new plug on Spirit Lake was going to do (nothing), not to mention what the Toutle mud flow flood levels were going to be when hitting Columbia (not nothing, but not catastrophic).

            2. I slept through my first quake. I was three. This means I slept through being run around from one door of the house to the other by my brother who couldn’t decide whether the patio or the middle of the street were safer. hint the middle of the street. The pergola for the grapes over the patio was redneck engineering. Though it didn’t come down, and some houses in the village did.
              My second Earthquake caught me running down my mom’s polished wood stairs in socks. I was lucky. It took me off my feet midway and I landed on my butt in the front hall. Hurt for days, but could have been much worse.

    4. An amusing story about that quake –

      Apparently a radio announcer up in the Bay Area stated over the radio that the only way the Giants were going to avoid losing that night was if there was an earthquake. Lo and behold…

    5. When you’re not sure if an earthquake is going to have serious aftershocks, standing still is not the worst idea. I mean, “freeze in place” is an instinct for good reason, the same as “fight or flight.”

      1. Don’t freeze. But do look at where you are. I was at home at Travis AFB in 89 watching the news prior to going to class. Quake hit, and I just scooted over under the door to the kitchen and watched the wires dancing on above the street and riding it out like I was on a skateboard thinking, “this is cool.” Then I was laughing my butt off as the quake hit the newsroom and the anchors squeaked and squawked.

      2. What Mike said: “Don’t freeze. But do look at where you are.”

        We were living in SoCal when the 1987 Whittier Narrows quake hit. I remember standing braced in the bedroom doorway, watching the length of the house as it rippled in waves end to end. With the first aftershock, we thought we had best wait outside in the yard.

        So son, spouse, and myself were all standing quietly in the little pipe corral, when it occurred to us to glance up, and we realized that three good-sized power lines crisscrossed about 30-40 feet over our heads. We just looked at each other for a long minute, and then went back in the house to wait out the rest of the aftershocks.

    6. I was on 280 heading to San Jose when the earthquake hit. At first I thought the tires were going flat (I pictured caltrops in the road) then realized everybody was pulling over so I did too. It was only after I stopped that I realized it was an earthquake. Then I saw the empty freeway and started back up again to take advantage of the empty road. All the stoplights in San Jose were out so it still took a while to get home.

  10. The Republic is only Mostly Dead.
    The only times a Republic has been recovered from a slide into Oligarchy, have been in this country. With Jackson arguably Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, and the Church Commission.
    We’ll see if we can pull it off again, or if it’s truly pining for the fjords.

    1. Also arguably not Lincoln. Considering the dire circumstances he faced. Unless you consider Jefferson Davis a better champion of the American ideal that “All men are created equal”, which I for one certainly do not.

      1. Lincoln vs Jefferson Davis is a false choice.

        The choice was between a Union of member states and a top down federal government. Once Lincoln chose force, our current situation was inevitable. Slavery would have been dead in 25 years max, because of economics.

        The 10th Amendment was buried at Appomattox. States (or the people) have no reserved powers when the federal government can deploy its’ military to say otherwise.

        1. I’m not so much an alternate historian that prepared to say definitely what would and would not have have happened. Since rhetorically refighting the Civil War is forbidden here, I’m not entirely free to give counterarguments.

        2. Economically, you’re right that slavery should have collapsed in 25 years.

          But economically and legally, slavery should have never been a conflict in Kansas.
          Yet Bleeding Kansas was very much a thing.

          Before the ACW, the Irish potato famine had dumped a huge surplus of labor into the market, at a time when railroads had just made getting around the country feasible, and the telegraph had just made the scope of information national. Economically, slavery should have been obsolete at that point. But every “final compromise” was the basis for the next round of negotiation, and slavery kept right on expanding.
          The political classes, both North and South, were largely in favor of expanding the franchise. When Lincoln spoke of the house divided, it was not exaggeration. The Fugitive Slave Act, Dredd Scot, etc. were steadily encroaching on freedom, and America was on a fast slide down a slippery slope.
          “The best use of limited resources to fulfill unlimited wants” comprises much more than ownership of capital, profit, or productivity.
          For some people, “best” necessarily involves holding others in thrall.
          It is absolutely possible (and perhaps inevitable) that people of that persuasion come to occupy positions of power, and order public policy towards their own preferences.

          (Shrug) I’m nominally on the side of “The Lost Cause”, as the war set horrible precedents of federal supremacy.
          But that emphatically does not imply I’m a fan of Jeff Davis and his ilk.

        3. Hmmm. Depends on whether the military will follow the orders. Another point to remember is that there are usually 4 to 5 times as many veterans as there are active duty personnel at any time in this country. Granted, a bunch of those are nothing more than leftist squishes. But the quantity has a quality all its own.

      2. My understanding is that it is forbidden to discuss the not-so-recent unpleasantness on this site.

        1. Yes, and the above should be the end of the discussion. It’s one of the topics that gets so heated, and drags so many side arguments and problems into it, that it’s verboten.

    2. “With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.”

      “What’s that?”

      “Go through his clothes and look for loose change.”

      1. (Medi-scanner warblewarble)

        McCoy “it’s dead Jim!”

        Kirk “You grab its sidearm, I’ll get its wallet.”

    1. Exactly. Something I’ve been saying for a while.
      Mind you, others have thought the same thing.

    2. If they end up being correct about that, it still won’t work the way they want. Being “in charge” of people who will not obey is going to be highly frustrating to them. And all their desperate machinations to force people to comply will fall apart.

    3. They’ve been acting like that (and even crowing about it – remember the “We’re All Socialists Now!” magazine cover?) ever since Obama was elected.

      1. Well, they all know that they’re the smartest people in the room, and the Forces of History™ are on their side, and that even if the system collapses, people will look to them for leadership and wisdom because they are, after all, the smartest people in the ruins.

        Thus proving once again that Pride is chief among the “Deadly Sins” for a reason.

  11. It has been observed that those who make and write the headlines are in the business of exaggeration and trying to get publicity…and that includes the portion that resides on social media and the internet. There is a bias toward the sensational. The more closely you follow them, the more likely it is that you will get all wrought up because of overblown threats and hysteria. The media is a circus, (resembling the Roman variety more than Barnum & Bailey) and should not be confused with reality.

    No, the Republic has not ended because Donald Trump has been formally accused of a crime. No, it’s not going to automatically propel him to re-election next year, and no, it isn’t going recreate Germany in 1933 if he does get re-elected.

    1. Well, of course the republic hasn’t ended because he was accused. I do think there’s a good chance it WILL seal his election, if we can beat the fraud, which is highly questionable. No, I don’t think he’s Hitler.
      I DO think though that we’re exhausting our alternatives to reverse the color revolution iwthout force. And that the usurpers have lost their mind and are trying to destroy us. Which makes everything harder.

      1. I have noted a number of conservative/Libertarian hotheads who are convinced that the Republic is dead. Naturally, I disagree. Which of the various symptoms of illness are most dire I don’t think I can say. Alas, or perhaps fortunately, no one has appointed me physician to the Body Politick.
        It is evident that many of those in positions of power have no more contact with reality than “Super Genius” Wile E. Coyote , although their their failures are less entertaining than his attempts to catch the Roadrunner. The Author is biased against them, although He does seem to have a preference for keeping the audience in suspense.

      2. The Republic, if not dead, is definitely in the hospice.
        There’s nothing to stop another stolen election, why wouldn’t they? Of course it’s going to be Trump isn’t another Hitler, he’s not even a Franco, or a Pinochet. And it’s even past time for a Franco style solution, the military leadership has gone to the dark side, and the rank and file isn’t far behind. Not that I want that, because that’s just the flip side of the coin of tyranny.

        And the side that will win at any cost always is going to best the side that just want to be left alone and go along to get along.
        It’s a good news bad news situation.
        The good news is that the Commies can’t win, the bad news is neither can the good guys.
        The reds can’t win because their economic system is a parasite and it will quickly kill the host, in this case the US and world’s economy. The problem is that even though they are going to bring on an economic collapse, everyone else will.suffer as.well.
        But the reds need the big government leviathan to assert control and without the USD as the reserve currency, or the petro currency the whole
        shabang will collapse.

        I envision it being like living in Roman Britain in the period after the Roman Legion pulled out. Only happening much faster and one a larger scale.

        1. we’ve had stolen elections before. Since the fifties. It didn’t kill us. This won’t either.
          Stop that. They can’t win. This is their rearguard action. it will hurt like a mother, but it won’t kill us.

        2. Actually, as it appears now, Roman Britons were a bit less-than-unhappy about the departure of Rome. Yes, they now had to defend themselves. But they could also stop paying taxes to a distant government that didn’t do much about local problems (at the end). So people left the big cash-crop farms and moved to places where they could do mixed agriculture. Yes, some nice fancy things went away, and it was rough on the hierarchy of the local churches (as best we can tell. Sources are vague to the point of nonexistence), but it wasn’t the end of culture and civilization. The baths still worked, mostly.

          Now, the climate splat and the western edge of the Plague of Justinian? THAT was miserable. For everyone in Europe, not just Britons.

          1. “…paying taxes to a distant government that didn’t do much about local problems…”

            Why did Palestine OH spring to mind? 😦

  12. So, I did the retirement thing and we had decided that would include a new car to replace the aging one as that would remove an “issue” post retirement (no repair bills or break downs). Got the brand new off the lot car in 2022 – everything we wanted including the color, red! Then… after only 1800 miles and a few months – some fool blew the light just as we we entering the intersection and BOOM! With that, the car then did it’s best to protect us and every air bag in the world went off. It was done within two, three seconds but it seemed like five minutes.

    First thing (me driving) I check with wife person and dog companion in her lap – all report ok but want to know, WTF?? I and the rest appear to be “ok” and the emergency system is telling me it has detected a collision and should they alert 911? I replied to the nice voice in the sky – Yes, send everything but there initially appear to be no injury.

    Cops, Fire/Rescue and ambulance all roll up as I’m getting out of the car – remember those air bags? Yeah, you can’t see anything once they go off and the side bags do not deflate. I got out my trusty knife and cut away my side bags, deflated the other bags around us with a stab or two; went around to wife’s side and cut out those bags so she and the Boo dog could exit. Car was totaled and dead right there – the other driver was shook up but ok too. Several other drivers had stopped and made sure we were all ok and told us the offending car blew the light. Said offending driver kept saying she was sorry… Cops cite her and we are a done deal.

    Neighbor takes wife and pup home, cops have the two cars towed away and nice officer gives me a ride home. Insurance covered everything and about 90 days later we were able to replace (sigh, not red but now silver) the original with an identical make/model.

    Everything went right – the car gave it’s life to protect us just like it was designed. We had insurance (prep stuff you know) and were able to cope with the loss as only an inconvenient incident and not a disaster. I had ‘extra’ money on had (more prep stuff) which covered all the costs until insurance came through. My feeling about our current social/political situation (“That moment before”) is a lot like the car wreck… I’ve done what I can to prepare for the accident and hope it’s only minor but, if the accident totals out I have fall back resources. I try to keep updated and improve my situation when I can and recommend all do the same.

    1. after one of the Thule Fog pile-ups, an engineer (iirc Paul Van Valkenburg, race engineer mostly) was able to visit the yard where the cars were held afterwards. He said every car, no matter how mangled, had at least one door able to open enough for someone to exit it, and many opened with little effort. It changed his impression of how newer cars are built. Yeah, they tend to get totaled, but people do tend not to get injured. (I think his daughter might have been involved in the accident, but might be wrong there.)

      1. The safety design was one of the reasons we got the brand (Toyota) we got. I went to a lot of accidents ‘back in the day’ in both ambulance and cop car before such design was common and the wrecks then killed people that today they walk away from.

        1. When the speed limit was lowered to 55 there was great rejoicing over the reduction in highway fatalities. Then the speed limit was raised back up to 70 and highway fatalities continued to fall. The original celebration has been largely memory holed. Always remember that correlation is not causation, even though it is worth examining in greater depth.

  13. Irony is I’m listening to this as I read this:

    The thing that struck me about Washington was just how much he tried to avoid the American Revolution going hot.

    1. Washington learned quickly. He knew the colonies were not making gunpowder in mass quantities. (essential for war, eh?) On the day he took command, we had nine total shots per man, not even enough for a spoiling skirmish.

      It was said than when he was informed, he said nothing again for a whole day.

      He artfully evaded and avoided, until he was faced with the breakup of the Army due to expiring enlistments, winter, and no significant international support. He bet the future of America on a pair of fours, and broke all the rules to attack Trenton. Having surprised and essentially wiped out the garrison, everthing fell into place to keep going for a while. Men re-upped, and other countries kicked in. We now had a fighting chance.

      Ok, so the man started the Seven Years War (French and Indian war). Lots of new officers screw up. Good thing we gave him another chance, eh?

  14. All I see is the Left poking the frog with a stick and saying “Come on man, start the boog”.

    The latest “Orange Man Bad” legal shenanigans: Stick Poke

    Celebration of fashionable Mental Illness after Christians and their children are killed by the fashionable mentally ill: Stick Poke

    Bailing out the hyper-wealthy leftists and tech-bros that had deposits that were 5000 times above the insured limits with no haircut: Stick Poke

    Going after the Bill of Rights, especially the 1st and 2nd Amendments: Stick Poke

    The rest of us are prepping and telling the more excited: Wait.

      1. Exactly.

        I’ve had more “normal” people waking up and talking about said topics than ever before. Old neighbors, new neighbors, contractors, clients and everyday encounters…

        It’s more than just the congregation at church and the range talking about prepping and spiritual warfare.

        The new neighborhood has a watch and good activity community. Large enough number of work trucks in driveways and folks mowing their own lawns to give me the warm fuzzies.

        1. I and others at my local gun club recently spent a whole day teaching 50+ newbies how to shoot various gun games.

          Melanin-minorities outnumbered pale-folk 2 to 1, at least.

          There has been a large increase in gun owners in the last 6 years, and the shift in “who” is dramatic.

          And many of the newcomers are surprised by their courteous reception. We also get to correct some opposition propaganda.

          And it’s a gas watching a “no assault weapons!” person transition to ” where can I buy a Glock?” in a day.

      1. I’d be interested to see how that overlaps with the places you can have a Walmart, and those you can’t .

        Oddly, I think there would be less overlap than one would expect.

      1. I see your bass and raise you fried Asian carp. 🙂

        Seriously, though. Carp roe salad is fantastic, and more people need to know just how delicious it is.

  15. Can’t stop the world and get off so we have been preparing for most anything that can happen. Sitting up here atop the world, I’ve been long aware of supply chain disruptions and have planned accordingly.

    Mine, and my family’s Forging, foraging, mechanicing, casting, blasting, cooking, brewing, storing, etc., skills are pretty well honed.

                1. This. The word “badonkadonk” is puerile (which, admittedly, the song has a bit of a winking quality because of that, but it’s still cringissimo).

                  1. Or they needed something that rhymed and scanned with “honky-tonk”.

                    Over thinking is the death of humor.

                    1. “Over thinking is the death of humor.”

                      That would be news to Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, Jerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin, to name but a few comedians of the first water who thought very deeply about what they did and how to make people laugh.

            1. As a sage soul observed, country music is folk music and songs can be about anything in the human experience.


      1. You don’t need a separate comment for each video. If you go to a video’s YouTube page, select “share -> embed” and copy-paste the entire link text, it won’t count against the one-link-per-comment limit. I don’t know what the limit is, but I remember Fox posting six vids in a single comment one time.

        Of course, I remember that because she was posting six horrible AMVs at once specifically to torture me, but never mind. [rolls eyes]

        1. I put them all into a single thread so they could be easily skipped. Also, as I was basically picking them as I was going, one video per comment was actually how I was doing it. Pick, post, ponder the next one.

  16. If there’s a happy “fingers crossed” thought right now, it’s the simple fact that I’m hearing a lot of the stories that aren’t being reported on in the “mainstream media.”

    How a lot of the people are looking at the Trump indictment and saying that a first-year law student can beat it.
    How Disney tried to screw over Florida with Reedy Creek and while DeSantis might have some wibble in his wobble, he is going to want revenge for being tricked like this and he acts like a Democrat in this kind of thing.
    How gun sales haven’t dropped in the last few months, and how a lot of people are looking at the trans movement with serious “are you f(YAY!)king nuts?!?” expressions on their faces.

    It’s going to be a repeat of the ’70s. It will not be an enjoyable time for the most part. But as long as we don’t lose, they can’t win.

    1. If we’re re-doing the 70s I expect the Trans Liberation Army to show up any time, darn it.

      1. Give it time. I suspect that this planned “Trans Days Of Rage” they were planning was supposed to be their BLM-forming moment, but what happened in Nashville threw a wrench in this.

        1. IIRC, there was supposed to be a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court building. A little part of my brain is wondering whether something was planned against one of the conservative justices.

        2. In a dark moment, the Reader wondered whether the Nashville shooting was the trans equivalent of an Islamic suicide bomber. The response in several state capitols was immediate. He hopes he is wrong.

          1. I suspect that we’re seeing the “joys” of interconnectivity and a lot of these groups have highly leveraged Internet connections to make them seem larger than they are.

            I’m astonished at how quickly they responded as well and if this was planned

    2. On that note. Background checks from 1/31/2023 were just approved 8 days ago. Now the purchaser must go in and fill out the form AGAIN to pickup the paid for and approved firearm.

    3. Bragg just wanted to be first on the board. He can now be re-elected as “Got Trump!”, and not his fault if judges toss it. (And thusly, Trump is never declared “not guilty”)

      And the strategy uis “nibbled to death by ducks”. He will have to defend himself in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously. Conflicting overlapping gag orders. Multiple expensive legal teams. Always wondering when the next duck pops up.

      Example, He will get served a warrant at a rally.

      But “ducks” will soon invoke

      Global Thermonuclear Lawfare.

      Because they will next go after his family. Some fool is going to take a hostage, and then the wheels come off.

  17. Our BIG GOAL this year is to actually buy a house (I know, I know). But, we both will feel much better if we own the place we live. And much more able to hunker down and wait things out. Although if I’m honest with myself, our LL is a great guy and would not be likely to do anything rash. But, nevertheless, I don’t want to be dependent on him. My far-left leaning MIL is even recognizing the bad shape the country is in right now. Of course, she has a practical streak a mile wide that she’s been deliberately ignoring for the last couple decades. I think it’s starting to reassert itself.

  18. Folks, if you want to be happy, spend less time watching “news”. Stay informed, but understand toxicity is in the dose.

    And almost none of them are trying to calm you.

    1. Nwes is one thing … information is another. Gotta know what’s happening, connect the dots, think it through. Stay frosty, situational awareness locally and globally.

  19. I’ve been in two good car crashes, and been in a van that flipped over on its side. Plus several small fender benders. I was a passenger more than a driver. They are never fun.

  20. I won’t be carrying a firearm if we have a real SHTF time. I would just be in thd way. Aside from being a large, slow-moving target.

    I will volunteer to cook, roll bandages, tell incredibly bad jokes badly, or play the piano worse than that.

      1. Well, I am not sure what you mean. I live a block away from a mosque. The members range from pro-Trump to pro-Sanders. One or two firearms won’t help and might actually make me an attractive nuisance, like a swimming pool eith a poorly-locked gate.

        Wife and I are over 60 and unready for combat in the field.

  21. I’m curious to know whether any of you have NEVER been in a crash. Not including parking lot bumps, my wife and I have three each in over 50 years of driving. Your score?

    1. Hubby and I have had 7 in, 50 (me) and 55 (hubby), years. Three at fault (one vehicle accidents automatically at fault, the other, technically city’s fault but doesn’t work that way). Note, 5 of those in < 12 months. Two on same car that we’d just “bought” back (pick slipped) but barely any damage, at least the first bumper bump. Second one, really totaled (car turned directly in front of hubby, could not stop in time, did not have anywhere to go*). The other 3, that car we finally traded it in. People flat out did not see the color. The repair shops couldn’t find a way to get rid of the “hit me” invisible sign on it.

      OTOH I’ve had exactly one ticket in 50 years and that not until I was 50 (for not using the right turn signal turning on a red light! Really?) It was “Wait! What? That is for me? Now what do I do?” I’d been in the car when hubby got pulled over. He gets one about every 3 to 5 years. Funnest one we got pulled over for was truck towing trailer. Quip: “And they said the truck has not get up and go, when towing!” (Just starting the run up out of Oakridge on 58 to get up to speed. Started it too soon. He got a warning.)

      (*) When the second accident happened, I was in Longview for a two day trip. Called in once at the hotel for check in. No answer. Called again. No answer. Called my mom (who Lied) “No. Haven’t talked to (hubby).” Called again. No answer. Finally he calls me. Tells me about the accident. Can I just head home and forget the next day? No. Dang ice storm had hit Vancouver and Portland, roads were bad. I wasn’t going anywhere. Did leave a lot earlier after finishing why I’d come the next morning. But none of the “while you are here” happened.

    2. One. Hit fawn. Mama was off the road the the right. Semi was on the left. I ducked at the last instant, figuring fawn would slide over the hood into the windshield and beyond. Amazingly, that did not happen. Ford Festiva (rebadged Kia). Co-workers were astonished I showed up sans injuries, if just a bit late. Crash was only a couple miles from home, and there was the truck, so…

      1. We had a Ford Festiva back in the day. The parents bought it for teenagers to drive, and we all called it the Marshmallow — a little, round, white car that was so light it felt like the sidestream from a passing semi could blow it right off the road.

        One time, with it crammed full of people on the way to see Queensryche in SLC, I had to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident in front of me. They were…not up to the task. I swerved into the median and passed up the scene of the accident in a cloud of dust, finally coming to a stop 25 yards past it.

        Another time, my reckless little brother rolled it taking a corner too fast. He and his friend got out, shook themselves off, rocked it off its roof and onto its side, and then heaved it back over onto its wheels and drove it home. Parental units weren’t very happy about that, but the damage was only cosmetic.

        Ah, the good old days…

        Now, in the most current of days, the parental units have been repeatedly victimized by deer. Luckily they’ve never taken any damage themselves, but one car was killed. Its replacement survived hitting two deer, then getting hit BY two deer when it was barely moving (ran right into the side and smashed it up…was the damnedest thing) and then was technically totaled by yet another deer, after which they drove the car for another year with baling wire holding parts of it together. They bought a new car two weeks ago, and I shudder to think what those evil creatures are going to do to it.

      1. A year ago we were sideswiped by a box truck while we were both going 75 mph on the interstate, which forced me off the road. Fortunately we were almost to an exit and I made it off the highway at the exit but not quite to the pavement. I was on the grass and knocked an exit sign off one of its pins, totaling the car.

        The good news is that the air bags didn’t even go off and we had no injuries. Also I was able to skip my stress test for the year.

        We really loved that car, a 2008 Acura TL-S with very low mileage for its age, but it was not feasible to fix it. The insurance company paid us $9000 for it.

        We went to buy another Acura, a TLX, which was supposed to be the closest equivalent. It does have many safety features and has enough power to be fine to drive on the highway. However, we don’t like it very much because it’s big on the outside and small on the inside, and my wife doesn’t like to drive it because she feels as though it is ready to dart off the road at the slightest touch. I don’t have that problem but it definitely is not as nice to drive as the old one.

        1. We have a size test for vehicles. Too small for hubby and too big for me (unless it is a vehicle that is going to be big by definition, a 4×4 pickup), then no go. He is 6’2″. I’m 5’4″, I have to be able to see reasonably past the front of the car.

    3. None that I can think of.

      The closest I came was driving across the middle of Washington and stopping really quickly to let a herd of deer get off the highway. One of them might have kicked my bumper as he went past.

      I mainly scrape the side of my car on the next door neighbor’s dumpster.

      1. College quadmate had a deer jump off a road bank onto the front hood of her car. She drove an old VWBug. So, huge dent in the “trunk”. Deer hit bounced and ran off. Before she got fully stopped.

        We’ve been considerably lucky with wildlife collisions. As in None. As much as we’ve driven National Park and forest roads. A bison on the road is No Joke. Their hump is higher than a lot of vehicles. They can look in your window as the saunter by. Animal jams are a thing in National Parks. But mostly that is cars stopped all over because stopping to photo animals. But Yellowstone? That is often Bison jams with the Bison taking advantage of those nice wide paths we built for them. (How do you think I know that bison can be taller than some vehicles? Or they can look at you in your window?) Note, Grizzlies aren’t tiny either. But we’ve never had a Grizzly right next to the vehicle. Oh. Bison have been known to total vehicles, head on, and get up and walk away.

        1. And bison will NOT go behind a vehicle. They wouldn’t go behind trains, and they don’t like to go behind cars. BTDT on the back road between Black Mesa OK and Clayton NM.

    4. The Reader has been driving for 53 years. In that time he has been in only one. That was at 25 mph in a parking lot. His Honda Civic was repairable but never the same. He has witnessed many more.

      1. One we witnessed was in a parking lot at Yellowstone National Park. Someone took a 5th wheel into one of the geysers parking lots. Not recommended BTW. Really, really, not recommended. Unless Old Faithful complex parking, don’t, just don’t. This 5th wheel was a long one, couldn’t made the parking loop even without it being packed already with cars. Swiped at least 4 cars on the passenger side, despite hugging the driver side “curb” which was a central grassy indent, with scrub pine and a boulder or few. Truck skirted that side fine. RV didn’t. Tree took it’s toll down the side (without damaging the tree, those scrub pines are no joke). Trailer got stuck against the big boulder. We had a clear line of sight to the proceedings and the driver side damage (damage to other side vehicles obvious after RV passed). Driver already in over head as we came around the corner on the highway to witness the driver compound his first mistake (turning into the parking lot). While it wasn’t obvious driver was trying to leave without leaving messages on other vehicles damaged (could have gotten untangled then left messages. It is possible.) It was also obvious driver was NOT getting unsnarled without a lot of other tourists cooperation, or even require Ranger help.

        1. I watched an RV (all in one) Tip itself over trying to go up and over a dirt pile to get out of the line of waiting cars. Road construction on the highway between Yellowstone and Cody (main one). It was one of those wrecks that triggered thought-bubbles that appeared over all the other cars, and the road crew.

          “What’s he doing?”
          “No, he’s not going to—”
          “Oh [sheep]!”
          After the tip-over and crunch – “What a maroon.”

    5. Five in fifty years of driving.
      1)Went around a curve too fast (~35mph) on my Honda 175 motorcycle, caught a pavement edge and went down. Pushed off the footpegs while going down to end up 20 feet in front of the bike rather than under it. Pushed headlight back in and drove it home awkwardly due to slightly twisted fork – which I repaired that afternoon. Helmet, sturdy jacket, and situational awareness made that a minor incident.
      2) Was fourth in a line of cars in the left lane of a 4 lane highway when the first car stopped dead in the left lane (there was a left turn lane, she wasn’t in it) to make a U turn. Wasn’t going too fast or following too close, but couldn’t stop quite as fast as the car in front of me. Had minor front end damage. No damage to the other car. Driver had no insurance and was driving illegally with dealer tags. Cop didn’t show up at court. Judge was pissed. Sent a bailiff to tell them local Police Dept that if that happened again he’d haul the officer in for contempt.
      3) Was in a new subdivision, stopped at a (recently installed) stop sign checking my map. something made me look up at the rearview mirror. A car was speeding up behind me at highway speed. I slammed the car into gear and made a sharp left. He had slammed on his brakes and managed to slow to ~35 – 40mph by the time he hit but since the center of his front bumper hit the left corner of my rear bumper nearly all the energy of impact was converted into rotation and neither of us was hurt. He had a little V notch in his bumper and I had a flattened corner in mine. That was the scariest one.
      4) Was in a construction area with multiply painted over lane lines going into an unmarked merge from three lanes to two in my grandfather’s Suburban with the big side mirrors. A Semi took off the drivers side mirror.
      5) In Ft Myers Fl, the morning after hurricane Andrew, I was in a shopping center parking lot seeing if they’d managed to get a newspaper out (no they had not). Exiting the parking lot at a light I got a green and started to make a left, while the car in the road to my left also got a green light and started forward. Minor fender bender. I was deemed at fault because that shopping center parking entrance had been taped off due to modifications they were doing at that intersection so I wasn’t supposed to be there. I guess the hurricane blew the tape down.

      1. This one pissed us off. I don’t count as an accident as no damage to our car at all, or the front bumper of the car behind us. Was first car stopped of 4 at a red light, when a 5th car coming behind the stopped car, at full speed + 20MPH, slams into the 4th car back. Domino effect. But while the bump on us was “noticeable”, no damage. Not even a scratch. We stayed, did not give out our insurance to other parties, but did give it to the police for the accident report (it was a Long time ago), as witnesses. OTOH our insurance, as we found out later, tried to ding us for higher costs than reasonable when we moved because we were in an accident “we did not report to them”. BS. We changed insurance.

        Not the only time we didn’t report “not at fault”, no damage to us, accident to an insurance either. Second time felt the truck act like going into a major pothole with back tires. WTH? 1) No potholes on the road. 2) Stopped. How? A sports car put it’s hood under the truck back end (almost to the windshield, nice big groove, right in the middle). He got out and immediately started yelling at me. That I “stopped suddenly”. I’d been ridding my breaks for 3 blocks! (Only way for that automatic to go 5 – 10 mph.) 5 PM stop/go downtown traffic. FYI car’s profile was so low, I couldn’t see it in any mirror. Not that I’m responsible for what is behind me when traveling forward. Did not give him any information (not with that yelling). Did fill out a police report (including the yelling). Did not inform the insurance. Should have, should we had non immediate obvious damage to the bumper and towing mechanisms. Didn’t have any damage.

  22. I’m curious to know whether any of you have NEVER been in a crash. Not including parking lot bumps, my wife and I have three each in over 50 years of driving. Your score?

  23. On a different note entirely, Since the Orange man has been indicted, Does that mean Adam Schiff and all of those who had government funds in the form of a congressional slush fund pay to silence their sexual accusers will also be charged? Asking for a friend.
    And sorry Adam, I don’t think there is a statue of limitations on Child sexual assault, your victim was rumored to be 17.

    1. Aye, it would be HILARIOUS to see a scrolling list of indictments of Dems who did the same or worse than things alleged of DJT or the Jan 6 “rioters” of the Great Walking Tour… and have it mentioned by every R or such during any speech. EVERY. DAMNED. TIME. If they dunlike it, too fscking bad. Make it plain.

    2. “Wouldn’t you prefer a nice game of chess?”

      “No. Let’s play …. Global …. Thermonuclear…. Lawfare.”


  24. Reminds me of a story my uncle told me from WWII. He was a navy ordnance man (similar to a bombadier in the o
    D Air Corps) in a USN PBY searching for UBoats in the Bay of Biscay and the Med. (He actually was.credited with sinking two of them).
    Anywho the PBY he was flying in had mechanical problems, and while they managed to make it back to NAS Port Lyautey, the plane began to crash. My Uncle told me that the rest of the crew panicked thinking that they were all going to die. My Uncle said that in his flight training he was told to crawlnup up like a ball, he said he figured that was all he could do, he had nothing to lose by trying, so that’s what he did, he was the only one who did so, and he was the only one who survived the fiery crash, walking away from it. He survived the war, and lived well into his 90s.

  25. My real fear is they will try and use this to assassinate Orange Man when they realize all their blunders have just made him stronger and their guy weaker. If they do, that is the spark that will ignite the powder keg, and you can’t stop an explosion once they start. Nobody sane wants a Civil War, too many innocents would die, mostly young and mostly children.

    1. The real “brilliant (stupid),” move would be to assassinate DeSantis and try to throw the blame on Trump.

      1. Scary thought. Pence would be another target for such a false flag.

        1. Pence is on their side so I doubt they would do that.
          But on the other hand, they don’t care about human life, so maybe that is irrelevant.

          1. The Reader is sure the folks on the other side don’t consider Pence more than a useful, expendable idiot.

    2. I’m still waiting for an “Ultra-MAGA Extremist” to shoot the FICUS. And then the Fibbies vehemently deny any connection to the shooter.

      “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

    3. That is my only fear for the orange man: that he will “become despondent” in jail when all the cameras are broken and the guards asleep.
      I think the Secret Service has to be in there with him if he is indeed put away.

        1. That’s taking a page from the beginning of Tom Kratman’s freshman novel, A State of Disobedience. Although in that case, the former Prez was pretty clearly a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Bill Clinton, and was probably guilty of the crimes he was convicted of — which makes an even more compelling case for why it’s important to let outgoing Presidents retire to private life than a fictional Prez whose charges were probably bogus as well as politically-driven.

            1. I suspect that the Colonel (if he’s said so, I don’t remembering him saying it) would consider “A Desert Called Peace” first novel.

              Apparently, he wrote “A State of Disobedience” based on a plot out-line that Jim Baen gave him.

              I do vaguely remember hearing that Tom didn’t really like the end result. (IE A State of Disobedience”.)

              1. My problem (if one wishes to construe it quite that harshly) with Desert is that there was a noticeable limit to his invention. After setting up the colonized planet, he directed the history so that it would end up with an exact analogue of the Earth at the time it was written, while his future Earth itself had no variety of culture to it, it had become not just a mono-state, but a mono-culture.

                It served the story he wanted to tell well enough, but would have been more interesting (to me) if he’d varied his world/culture building enough so that I couldn’t point and say “that’s Space America”, and “that’s Space 9/11”, I would have enjoyed it a good deal more. I did get past it fairly easily, partly because it felt like a first novel.

                As a for instance, he had an interesting point about Arab/Muslim culture being of a nature that it created its own dire circumstances, as part of the future history of the colony world, but it would have had more impact if he hadn’t so transparently put his thumb on the future history scale for the express purpose of recreating 9/11 in Space America. So instead of being an interesting playing out of something I believe he thinks is inherent to the culture, it ends up as just another detail he had to arrange to get to the circumstance he clearly wanted for the plot.

                It doesn’t kill the book, it’s just a disappointment, and I felt like if he’d had three-four SF books under his belt before tackling it, he could have set his stage more subtly and gotten the story he wanted more effectively.

                1. I see what you’re saying.

                  However, there one major thing about this series.

                  The Colonel had originally planned for the series to be set on a Near Future Earth.

                  His main character was an American Army man who was living in Panama with Panamanian wife.

                  Then his wife and family were killed by some idiot decision of an American President.

                  So he was seeking Vegenence against America. 😈

                  I think this series is/was better than what he originally planned. 😉

        2. My understanding is that they take their protective responsibilities pretty seriously but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised at anything.

          1. Sure, but it’s like the FBI. The ones dedicated to ideals get sidelined and sent out to the boonies. Those who toe the line get put where they are useful. To suggest that any center of power in the centralized deep state has not been infiltrated by the corruptible is, at this moment in time, to confess a pollyannish optimism. If I’m proven wrong, wonderful, but that’s not the way I’m betting.

            1. “The ones dedicated to ideals get sidelined and sent out to the boonies. Those who toe the line get put where they are useful. ”

              Good Guys who continue to keep the trains running on time and other routine functions are what enable the concentration of enough psychopaths to fill the ranks of the death camp guards.

            2. All Secret Service agents assigned to former POTUSs and FLOTUSs are volunteers. Except for the ones for Hillary. They’re assigned- and they all put in for transfer as soon as eligible.

              At least that’s the stories I hear.

              1. And the ones assigned to Hillary warn the ones protecting Bill that she’s heading Bill’s way… so Bill’s “friend” can leave before Hillary arrives. 😈

                That’s another story that I heard. 😉

        3. Since protection is mandated by Federel law it would be interesting to see exactly how they would try to implement that.

            1. That’s okay. The Reader first thought you wrote Feral law.

            1. That’s true but the “People On The Line” in the Presidental Protection Teams are very likely to “To Hell With That! We Know What Is Our Job no matter what those idiots say.”

              1. Assuming their superiors aren’t loyal to the deep state, and give the Wrong Sort of People On The Line jobs investigating counterfeiting in Bumfuck, Alaska, sure. I don’t know that that assumption is tenable any longer. I hope I’m wrong.

          1. “Since protection is mandated by Federel law it would be interesting to see exactly how they would try to implement that.”

            Easy: Felon Trump forfeits that protection.

                1. Pretty much the way I read it. TPTB’s pronouncements are irrelevant when they violate the law, and the law says that he has SS protection; no caveats. Could be interesting…

              1. What statute? All they need is an excuse that LIVs will nod and say “seems right.”

                    1. The delusion that there is still rule of law is a hard one to break.

                      “If only Comrade Stalin knew!” as the gates of the gulag close…..

                    2. They’re possibly the only remaining Federal law enforcement organization that still operates ethically and by-the-book. I suspect that if their superiors tell them to ignore the law they’ll be so vocal about it that even the MSM won’t be able to keep it quiet.

                    3. Do tell.


                      “Current and former Secret Service agents and officers are worried that top officials at the agency are working to shield O’Grady from being fired.

                      They are worried that she will be transferred to another division of the Homeland Security Department and allowed to serve out her time until she can retire with a pension as the agency has done with other officials in the public crosshairs.

                      Haven’t been able to locate anything definite past a paid suspension.

                    4. Private security will have Zero rights to stay with President Trump should he be detained in a cell. The problem is TITB don’t think President Trump will be held up as a martyr. They are wrong.

                    5. > “I suspect that if their superiors tell them to ignore the law they’ll be so vocal about it that even the MSM won’t be able to keep it quiet.”

                      And if Biden orders LEOs or troops to forcibly separate them from Trump when they refuse the order to abandon him, what then? They can scream all they want, but that still leaves Trump in the deep state’s custody without protection.

                    6. See my previous comments about “interesting” and “vocal”. But I suppose we’ll just have to see, assuming he’s convicted of a just-discovered-to-be-a-felony, which is no slam-dunk even for a corrupt NY trial.

                    7. Re: The comment and link about Kerry O’Grady, you’ll notice that she was removed as a Secret Service agent even if she wasn’t fired, and that other agents (and their spouses!) wanted her removed (or preferably fired), so that supports my statement regarding the ethics of the actual agents, rather than the usually-corrupt-in-any-government-department bosses. But FWIW, I phrased that as an absolute when I intended it to be a relative, to specifically the FBI, Treasury and TSA (and somewhat to the IRS), almost none of whom seem to have any ethics or ever operate by the book; the contrast is striking. But mea culpa for lack of clarity; sorry ’bout that…

                    8. Let’s see:

                      Paid vacation. Check.
                      Still employed by SS / DHS, AFAWK, and has pension. Check.

                      I haven’t seen an 8th Amendment violation like that since the comfy chair.

                      Again: we entrusted them with authority. “To whom much is given much shall be required” is the principle involved.

                    9. “We” didn’t trust them with anything. The “social contract” is a fiction to make their rule seem legitimate.

                      And now they’re doing everything possible to make that obvious to anyone who is paying the least attention.

                    10. Just what in hell do you think “consent of the governed” means? The social contract is as real as gravity if we are to have any society at all.

                      If you are plumping for full anarchy, say so.

                    11. Add to those:
                      No longer in a position to cause a problem for the primary – Check. Which is the important thing.

                      And I’m trying, and failing, to discern an 8th Amendment issue in any of that; YMMV.

  26. That! Been done before and the money in play is orders of magnitude greater than it was in 1963. Corruption at every level of every institution. The idea of America lives but the government is corrupt to the core.

  27. Just checked- natural disasters include ice storms, yet no one else has yet mentioned their experiences with a widespread one. Travelled 200 miles to buy a 5500 W generator- that I had paid for over the phone and carefully explained to the sales person it had better be there when I get there… the last not pre-paid for generator was leaving Home Depots as I walked in… Ran it continuously for 4 of 5 days powering the boiler, well pump, freezer and fridge, one light, and any ONE cooking appliance. Everything else slowed down when the pump kicked on…

    Some people in the North Country were without power for more than 2 weeks while lines were put back up. In freezing weather. Big boxes were still a new thing- and we had the only Home Depot that carried 10″ rough-in toilets. Which we sold a LOT of during the subsequent recovery. Lot’s of cracked porcelain toilets as the water inside froze. And a lot of older homes in the North Country.

    Not a fast moving disaster like a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake. Or even a huge storm and flooding. But if you’re not equipped to heat your house for a week or more and the grid goes down- you’re in serious trouble. You’re going to lose a lot. And if you can’t heat your home and can’t get away- cold kills.

    I know someone who died in the aftermath of that storm. Her idiot husband put the generator in the basement…

    Got a call from the facility I worked out in the first hours after the power went out. “How much fuel do we have for the generators?” I replied- “Enough for 3 days before we have to refuel.” “That was going to be my second question…” For things like that- I didn’t think in terms of gallons. They ran for 7 days. State facility- priority for fuel drops.

    1. We’ve had ice storms that put the power out for almost a week.
      However, we have two generators, a couple of industrial-grade inverters/battery chargers, and enough batteries to keep the house going for eight hours until we go out and start one of the generators. There is propane to run them for months at 8 hours a day to support running a window air-conditioner.
      And even though we live in the South, we have four ways to heat the house, two of which don’t rely on any electric power.

      1. I am curious, what are those four ways? Or at least the two? Though Spring is (at long last) here, this IS the “frozen north” and even if I can’t make make immediate use of something, knowing about it is a good thing.

        1. Geothermal heat pump, which requires 220 volt power that is beyond the capacity of my backup power system.
          Propane burner backup to the heat pump, which requires only 110 volt power that my backup system can provide.
          Ventless propane mantle in the living room.
          Wood stove.

  28. Read Patrick Henry’s speech the ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Death’ one. The stuff that the British had been doing had been going on for 10 years before that speech.

    1. Yep. Things move faster today because information flows faster (and farther) today, but also, unfortunately, because more people today are into “instant gratification”. But it still isn’t time, and hopefully never will be if sanity breaks out in government (yeah, right…).

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