Kith And Kin

I would like to talk about finding your place in the world, loving it, fitting in and being ousted by it by politics, and political insanity and resentment.

I do this at the risk of being told to cry you a river, and in full understanding that at least I can still earn a living. It could, and for a lot of people it is, worse. You wouldn’t be wrong. Except…

Except that the left is a deranged cult, affirming things on fiat that have no contact with reality and demanding more and more that everyone agree with them, or be ousted, and it is part of what is contributing to a malaise of the soul for a lot of those of us already affected. But more importantly, it will come for you. All of you.

It affected the artsy and creative and academic communities first, but it’s hitting medicine, and engineering, and retail, and food service and honestly? everywhere now. And you need to know, you need to be prepared, you need to know what is headed for you and how you can jump or perhaps insulate yourself and your livelihood from them.

First the trauma.

It’s probably not news to anyone who reads this blog that the black dog has been very very bad. But it’s more than the black dog, it’s a malaise, an inability to pull up and deal with life. It’s not just writing not happening, it’s bookcases still taking up half the garage, not assembled. It’s my bedside table needing a coat of paint, it’s I haven’t called the handyman to deal with the leaking window, it’s–

Now part of this is physical. Don’t know much about it, yet, but tests are scheduled. The other part–

I was trying to reason my way out of it, because that’s what I do, right? And my reasoning goes something like this: Why am I so depressed? Yeah, we lost my father in law. It was a punch to the gut, but it was expected. And there is some trouble on the horizon, with a half dozen things, but they’re not as dire as they could be, and if they turn dire, we can deal with it. There’s trouble with the country, but man we’ve seen it coming since 2020. And —

And then I was watching a movie — I don’t remember what, just that one scene, because I don’t really watch movies or TV, I look up from the computer at whatever Dan is watching, and catch scenes –where the main female character falls in with a group of artisans and you can see her fitting in for the first time.

And… I remember that. It was a great part of my falling in love with America. There’s room for creatives here. There’s entire communities. If you feel a strong need to make things even if you’re a little strange, there’s space for you. And you fit in, and it increases everyone’s output. I think it’s part of the reason that the future comes from America.

Now, I’ve never considered myself an artist, but I’ve always considered myself an artisan. I might have been wrong on the artist thing. Watching it in the kids, and DIL and DIL in training, I might be an artist. It’s not the need to write as such, that defines it, it’s the sudden “Look, yes, I have to make a lampshade entirely out of crush eggshells! My brain won’t leave me alone till I do.”

In the US there are entire groups, and communities — we’ve lived in an entire small mountain town like that, and hung out in a part of downtown Colorado Springs where such people gather — dedicated to those like us. We don’t quite fit in, you know. We’re the Odds own Odds and being around our kind “feeds” us in some way.

The happiest years of my life I had such groups.

I do not have such a group now, though if the medical stuff isn’t as scary as it sounds, and things slow down just a bit (Did we really subscribe to the catastrophe of the month club?) I’ll start one. I have the beginnings of the making of one.

But things I used to love to do, like take art classes, or join craft groups are closed to me now for the same reason a lot of you have lost your D & D groups or your favorite little cafe. Because most places like that have gone crazy woke, and you can’t, you just can’t.

Even if they don’t make out who you really are, you’re surrounded by people eternally wishing death on those like you. It wears on the soul. Over time it drains you and makes it impossible to work.

So, instead you cut yourself off from that fun group, that cute little coffee shop, that bookstore you used to hangout at, that egg-shell-craft group that had such great ideas. And you feel a little less energy.

In the same way a lot of us had to leave our neighborhood or even our state behind, and if we loved it, if we were connected to it, it was like losing a chunk of our soul.

I know refugees of lefty progroms who used to work in the arts, in academia, in music, in theater, and yes, in writing and crafts.

We feel cut off, dislocated, exiled in the middle of strangers who aren’t like us, because even in the new places, those occupations and interests are likely to be left.

And if you’re saying “But there’s bound to be people like you”! Well, of course there are. And we’re re-establishing connections and networks, most of them on line, and eventually we’ll reconquer, but probably NOT in my life time.

And it’s not death or starvation, but it does suck. It sucks.

Creatives cut off from “their” circles die a little. And rebuilding takes time.

And this is coming for you. All of you. The left demands loyalty tests and vocal endorsement of their insanity. And if you don’t follow along they’ll cut you off from the places and things you love, from the kith and kin of the heart.

So… prepare now. Build alternative networks. Have plans b and c and d and e and f and while you’re at it g too.

And make friends and connections that will be your kith and kin and keep your spirit alive.

Because it might all boil over tomorrow, or it might be years and years in the desert.

But in either case the past isn’t coming back. And you are not secure in your niche, no matter how much you love it, no matter how much you think you are.

Hear the voice of the exiles: prepare your path of retreat, and your way back to kith and kin.

Be not afraid, but look before you fall, so the fall doesn’t kill you.

Go build.

240 thoughts on “Kith And Kin

  1. Oof. Yeah. I was thinking recently about “where do you go when the place where you fit in doesn’t fit anymore?” It’s a subset of “They only like me because they don’t know X.”

    I do still have some groups that work, but it was pretty quelling to realize that the last time I did something fun with my friends just because can be measured in years away. Yes, I’ve had fun with friends. But every single time was a scheduled activity, as in “I’m hanging out with these folk because our kids are doing Activity” or “I’ll take this break in fundraising sales to talk with my friend that I haven’t seen in a while. Whoops, another customer.”

    And it’s depressing, and I’ve been eating way too much candy since Easter. And social media, but that’s literally my point of contact for almost everybody.

    Where do you go when the group that welcomes everybody excludes you?

          1. I least have family. Sure, there is some divide. Especially extended family. But grew up on that. Learned to stay out of it, and bring the (metaphorical) popcorn. The fights over President Nixon were epic. Tame compared to the vitriol over Trump. Even Biden now, the worst anyone on the other side can come up with is pity. The anger is coming because they were thoroughly duped but not there yet. (Not only are they worse off now thanks to partial-not-totally-blameless-puppet-in-chief, but even with Trump’s personality, it wasn’t so bad.)

  2. Yes, it is like that. Depressing but true. The Internet has provided a gathering place of sorts, but it isn’t enough by itself.

    1. I need to speak to a human every day. Fortunately, saying Hi while walking by a neighbor suffices.

  3. Ouch. Yeah, that sucks.

    Hey, get yourself well on the medical side, at least, eh?

      1. Re. exams. Remember, there are some eeeevil sneaky instructors who will load an exam so that five in a row are all A or C or whatever, just to mess with you.

        coughcough Or so I’ve been told. Nudges faux halo back into position

        1. That kind of exam I can take. I used to be quite good at it, back in the day when such things mattered. Written work like essays and lab reports, well cough not so much. But I’ve never encountered published study guides for blood and urine tests.

          1. I’ve seen the latter in a chapter of a late-’60s book, but it was for ways to fail the US draft board physical. Didn’t buy the book.

              1. It got pretty disgusting; vile things that can be done with peanut butter and no inhibitions.

              2. Or two of you show up and sing a bar of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’. In harmony. 😀

                Whatever you do, don’t jump up and down chanting “Kill! Kill! Kill!” or some general will pop in and pin a medal on you.

                1. Actually doing bits from Alice’s Restaurant in military environments did not go as well as I had thought.

  4. $SPOUSE and I had this happen some years ago in $TINY_TOWN over various issues. One was a club where the leaders were the only ones who mattered, and new people were the serfs. Another was an organization where an attempt at reform had huge backlash, and for sanity’s (and safety) sake, I had to leave.

    The last was at the really small church, where the last leader was like those at the first club, but only his thoughts/feelz/word mattered. (The fact he had the people skills of a badger had something to do with it. Sigh.) $SPOUSE left a month before I did, and the (tiny) church lasted a few more years before collapsing completely. (OTOH, the regional synod imploded over gay marriage a year or two later.)

    Leaving/being forced out of these hurt, but we hung in there. We have seen three sets of toxic neighbors leave, and good people came in. We have local friends again, and are slowly getting more involved in the local scene.

    Yeah, it sucks. Sometimes it gets better more-or-less quickly. Prayer helps.

    1. The circumstances you describe are really similar, in broad terms, to what’s been on my timeline for the past handful of years.
      Rotary–as long as you buy into the woke, and don’t actually tread on anyone’s toes, all good. Otherwise….
      Church–turned into an arm of the State (WA) and refused to honor ADA accommodation for my doctor’s-note-approved reason for not wearing a rag covering my airways. Amongst other things.

      “Prayer helps” – oh, man, yeah. Yes. No matter what.

  5. Yeah, with retirement along with the last four years of crazy I have found myself being much more solitary. I’ve tried a couple of things like the “old guys coffee group” and working within the community groups where we live but no joy. I keep poking around to see if there is a group activity or such that I can be involved in and just don’t find anything. My individual interests keep me going with ideas and projects but they are again solitary.

    In a casual conversation with a stranger I lamented that there isn’t the neighborhood bar where folks go to have a beer, talk about everything and nothing just to be together. The guy agreed with me and said that those days are gone. That may be true but I keep looking! In the meantime, my internet connections give me outside contact.

    1. If I may be so bold, I suggest volunteer organizations. Some (many?) may be woke, but others are so desperate for people to help that if you’re vertical and breathing they’ll welcome you with open arms. (If you’re vertcal and not breathing, there may be an issue.)

      Case in point: before finding full-time gainful employment, I volunteered at a food shelf operated by a local Covenant church. Still do on occasion if I can wangle a Tuesday off. Good folks doing good works, and little tolerance for the woke agenda*. Did comply with WuFlu conditions, not so much due to conviction but that the county food shelf coordinating body mandated it. Bailed on said conditions ASAP.

      Welcome gay sandwich+ people warmly; tolerate or celebrate the lifestyle, not so much.

      1. With a warning, some of them profess to want people, but don’t.

        I’ve been bit by that a lot.

        I as the youngest by nearly 50 years…. they didn’t want me, I don’t know why, was even allowed to move cans between rooms. (No offense to the honorable gentleman of 95, but I do have some ability.)

        I later found out there were three cultures clashing– hawaiian, thai, and upper class seattle; all honorable in intent, but….

  6. So, instead you cut yourself off from that fun group, that cute little coffee shop, that bookstore you used to hangout at, that egg-shell-craft group that had such great ideas. And you feel a little less energy.

    And, thus, when I’m chatting with people at the rink, I’m deathly afraid of saying anything even the least bit political because there really isn’t any place else I can go.

    1. There’s a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) tournament in the Seattle area in June. HEMA is full of “odds,” due to the subject matter that brings them all together.
      But they only want people who are “vaccinated” against Covid to come. Well, I know where I’m not wanted. I suppose they don’t want me drinking from their water fountains, either…

  7. I know, I know…but if y’all want a place where us 3 degrees off vertical folks are accepted as pretty much just as normal as anyone else, you could do a lot worse than east Tennessee. We’re chock full of rednecks and hillbillies here, and you won’t find anywhere where folks are less accepting of being told “you can’t do/say/be that, it’s evil!” We just laugh at the Karens and go about our business.

    1. Yep, I suspect there’s still a lot of that.

      Where I am, up here atop the world at the end of the road, folks even 5-6 degrees off vertical cause no for comment. As I said, end of the road, crazies couldn’t go much farther.

      We do have our fair share of Karens as well as true believers in the latest directives from our duly appointed leaders. Yep, groups I enjoyed, water color painting group for example, went safe from killer China flu and I hence parted company, but I’ve no problem still finding folks that share my passions.

      Call me a pollyanna if you want (Just don’t call me Shirley.) but I find it hard to believe that there aren’t far more places like East Tennessee and The Last Frontier than most folks think.

      1. You have to poke and dig. I was surprised to discover that an artistic associate is vehemently conservative, because, well, artist. Who sells his work, and has to deal with contracts, and regulations on materials, and who collided with the county zoning authority. He’s become aggressively libertarian (“Leave me the heck alone!”) We’re not alone.

      2. A lot of Flyover County (and most of OR east of the Cascades) is much like that, reasonably Karen free. The Oregon medical stasi put the fear of Lucifer in the medical pros, but I only had one clerk object to my leaving my nose free to breathe. One other time, I was getting discharged from the ER for a particularly nasty nose-bleed, a passing person (nurse? CMA, dunno) told me to get a mask on. I was happy to be breathing through the working nostril, so didn’t snap. Still didn’t improve my looks.

        $TINY_TOWN seems to have no visible Karens, at least where I go. Some in Flyover Falls, but outside the technical college, few of them. (It’s a good tech college, but still.) Definite shortage of Biden voters, and almost no bumper stickers for B/H in ’20. Saw one on the regular roads, didn’t pass by the college parking lot. OTOH, the lumber industry got clobbered by the spotted owl fiasco, and memories are long.

        1. It must be infuriating for the lefty tech folks who come to Flyover Falls Tech to not be in a place so immersed in the crazy as the Southern Oregon University over the mountains.

          1. OTOH, there was that clapped out car with a bumper sticker saying it was the owner’s horcrux. Put the Harry Potter book down and we won’t have to shoot you!

            Yeah, and I haven’t heard of peace riots protests in Veteran’s Park. OTOH, Father’s Day, you have a choice (usually) of the steamup/living history at Regional Logging Museum, or the Human Powered Vehicle race in a different park. I’ve been to and worked at the former (running steam engines is fun!), but would like to see the latter. Looks like there’s a special prize for the most outlandish.

            (Not sure of the status of the Logging one; that park was the origin point of one of the “fiery but mostly peaceful” arson attacks in Sept 2020. I know the fish hatchery over the ridge was badly damaged.)

            1. Some lefty with a Ponderosa pine branch up its backside decided to torch Collier Park?
              Don’t they care how much carbon they just released?!boggled face

              1. Oh, it was a lot more than Collier, but the roadside stopoff was convenient. This coincided with a bunch of other fires that just so happened to happen on routes over the Cascades, all starting in early September.

                I don’t think they were caught, but I wouldn’t object if the tribes decided to re-enact some of the more unpleasant scenes from the Modoc War. FWIW, we had a small fire set near $TINY_TOWN, but it was caught before much damage happened.

                The fact that the St. George of Fentenyl peaceful protest in F-Falls was greeted by a bunch of AR-15 toting business owners, and their friends, and their friend’s friends (and was thus, actually peaceful) might have explained why Collier was selected. Pretty soft target, and near and dear to a bunch of us.

                1. Holiday Fire
                  Detroit Fire
                  Bueler Park Fire (not big enough to be named but intended to cut off Hwy 58)
                  Fire up north of Detroit but south of Portland (don’t know the name but despite the fire being east of I-5, and niece’s family living west of I-5, they were on mandatory evacuation).
                  North Umpqua hwy fire
                  (Somehow South Umpqua was missed that year, but then not many know that there is access to the Rogue River hwy through the South Umpqua corridor.)
                  The fire that shutdown Hwy 97 north of Diamond Lake (although that might have been the N. Umpqua fire).

                  All reported as “accidental” lightening. Um. As RCPete said, *strains credibility. Lightening caused fires don’t cutoff most the Oregon from I-5 to over the Cascade Hwy access. The 2003 Big Lake fire that shutdown hwy 126 was lightening caused. But it was the only fire to cutoff access.

                  (*) Will grant “possible”. Won’t grant any kind of high probability.

                  1. “Thrice is enemy action.”

                    In this case, sounds like “practice”.

                    Then again, could be a really, really big case of the unofficial Infantry motto and morale check: “This place sucks. Must be for us.”

    2. 🙂 To a great extent, I know what you mean. I remember Sarah talking, years? ago, about how we might restore the Republic and be more “American” than ever before. I think maybe we’re blessed to live in bastions of possibility.

      Not without a fight, even here at some point, but still.

  8. With the number of people who frequent this blog, most reasonably populated areas should have enough members to meet in person once in awhile at least.

  9. Number two son saw what was happening to me and dragged me out to help with the rugby club. the black dog, alas, is still there and really bad today but it’s really done me a world of good to get out among regular people who do regular things and hold regular jobs. Contrary to its reputation, rugby tends to be played by really solid people, you won’t find many lefties anyway what with the running and tackling and bruises and blood and all. What I really like is that it taps into the non-nerdy part of me that loves contact sport. Too much thinking is too much. We tend to be unbalanced and it’s no good for us.

    That and this place have been the saving of me. I really don’t know what I’d do otherwise. Exercise helps a lot and being able to line out for the old boys at 60 was my top achievement of the last year,

    I sympathize about your bookcases. Since the flood, my books are either sitting in cases in the garage or out in the sun drying out. Some, alas, were total losses and all the particle board bookcases are losses, but they’re just things. Still, It’s going to be months and loadsa money before it all goes back.

    What was it Cordelia Vorkosigan (I think) said, “you go on or you go under.” I ain’t going under.

  10. That’s one of the things we’re trying to create with Writers Cantina starting this summer, as some traditionally conservative (or at least apolitical) writers conferences and symposia in Utah have lurched leftward. We’re putting something together that, while it’s not wearing its allegiance on its sleeve to the degree that LibertyCon or BasedCon do, is firmly planted in non-left territory by the character of those behind the scenes.

      1. Yeah, I hear you on that — and it’s seen as “progress,” mostly by those who want a place at the Big Table of USA politics.
        But “niceness” and “acceptance” seem to be fundamental to Utah culture, so the leftism never withers.

    1. I hadn’t heard of BasedCon, so I did a quick search. Haven’t had time to read any of the sites that looked like good hits, but saw that Vile770 hateses it!!, so right there indicates it is probably GOOD!

  11. I current am on Immunosuppressant drugs and because of that I am very susceptible to infections. Because of that my daughter (29YO) has been avoiding any circumstance where she might pick up something. This is hard for a socially outgoing person. Her birthday was last week and about a half dozen of her friends came over that night with cookies, a huge balloon and more. They kept their distance in the driveway and stayed a about 3 hours. My daughter brought out drinks and snacks for them. They were not going to let her birthday pass. They knew about me and figured out a way to make it special for her but not putting her in a position that she had to chose.
    Those are friend and that makes the world go round.

  12. I loved “my tribe” that I had in Colorado. I miss them so much.

    Sarah, I know this wretched song quite well. I know how how hard it is. I have been at the bottom of that well, looking up for a VERY. LONG. TIME. Since 2009, to be exact.

    You have my very sincere sympathy and my prayers. Please do not give up hope. I hope–and pray–that you will be able to find people to connect with in ways that feed your soul.

    As for me, MEWE happened after I left Facebook. MeWe–bless its glitchy pointy-headed little platform–saved my sanity. I’m actually meeting people in real life now through MeWe, people who are genuinely OF MY TRIBE. We’re going to have to work on how to do this safely for me and my chemical sensitivities. I can’t repeat the adventures I just had again for a while, but–we’ll find safer places to hang out, and it will all work out.

    I pray that God brings a new tribe around you too ASAP. And…if you’re ever in Lincoln, Nebraska, I hope you’ll let me know. I would love to see you.

    1. And Lincoln is one of the most Liberal towns in Nebraska. The little towns that feed it aren’t too bad but they can be rather cliquey. There is a lot to see and do in those little towns, Elk City i think it’s name is has a rather remarkable bar. And some of those small towns have restaurants that are to die for. Of Course Runza’s are a nice change from other fast food.

  13. My wife is having difficulties transitioning. She feels lonely when I’m not in the same room with her. It hasn’t helped that she’s had two severe concussions in the last two years. Myself, I don’t mind being alone in the slightest. But on the other hand, I grew up having to entertain myself, and by junior high I had made peace with being an Odd who didn’t really fit in with the other Odds.

    But the transition from the “live and let live” attitude that has been a hallmark around here to an attitude where if you don’t give the correct platitudes in public you get locked out of your community has been weird. I don’t remember it being like this thirty years ago. Even back in ’08 it was common to have differences of opinion and still remain friendly with very diverse people. Something changed during the Obama administration, and it accelerated under Trump and again under Biden. Perhaps it’s how blatant the political corruption has become, driving a wedge between those who see it and those who refuse to. Perhaps it’s the viciousness of the rhetoric we see in the infotainment we consume. Perhaps we’re just moving from a high-trust society to a low-trust one.

    1. W. Bush seems to have triggered something in the left. Obama’s turn in power – and things like his “gun to a knife fight” comment – seem to have given those attitudes a veneer of respectability.

      Trump was both the right fighting back, and a temper tantrum from the left that Historic First! Hillary was repudiated by the voters.

      1. Impeaching Clinton, while morally justifiable, was very bad tactically- as in, don’t fight a battle you know you can’t win. Some of the left’s anger over W probably comes from that. Then Obama (or his backers) went balls to the wall on weaponizing the bureaucracy. The idea that the Left lost patience and every time they hit a delay they go a little crazier appeals to me, too.

        1. When Obama won in 2008, the news media crowed from the rooftops that the Democrats had a permanent lock on power, and the White House would forever be out of reach of the Republicans from then on. The rationale for this at the time appears to have been that the Democrats got both the White House, and congressional majorities in both chambers. And apparently a lot of lefties believed it.

          Trump was a wake-up call, but the response from many on the left appears to have been a temper-tantrum, coupled with a demand to crack down on any and all individuals who disagree with them. Fortunately, the latter has been waking up some on the left to the nature of the individuals that they’ve been working alongside.

          1. When it turned out that people could and would vote against them in very large numbers, the “progressive” left decided to burn everything down. The calculus seems to be that they’ll either capture power in the ensuing mad scramble — this time for real and forever — or, failing that, they’ll just squat on the ashes of civilization and take a dump on it.

        2. If I think about it, I can see why the Left cannot help but get crazier with each successive obstacle. It is a winning strategy in the short term but, a little like leveraging debt, each instance has to be bigger that the previous one. What I think they just don’t realize is it cannot last forever and, eventually, the targets of their bile finally stop retreating as start collecting.

          1. Stop retreating is already happening on the right. The Tea Party rallies were the initial phase of that. Trump was the next stop. We’re still at the Trump step.

              1. Won’t be a bunch of glowies in matching polo shorts, khakis, and shields. looking like the latest Quantico graduating class in mufti. Shields, wee round shields. 😂😂😂 What a bunch of maroons.

                off topic, latest data out of China is dreadful. These are Chinese official data so the real situation must be dire. What can’t go on, won’t. Any black pills about the death of the dollar need to understand this. As bad as we have it, everybody, and I mean everybody, has it worse.

                1. I noted the PF seems to be allowing a bit more variation in its marchers- still look fake.
                  I worry that there’s a hidden, and much better trained, bunch behind them and the PF’s entire purpose is to keep us underestimating them.

                  1. That’s always a risk, but I think this is a sign of the contempt they have for the great unwashed, you know, us. This is their view of how we might respond along with a bunch of Cosplay and dress up. Contempt makes you stupid, which, again, is a risk given my contempt for these bozo’s.

                    I was never in the service, but I did live just outside Belfast when I was a boy and spent a lot of time there during the troubles, I picked up a few things. if I were ever to be in active “resistance” I wouldn’t be walking around dressed up like Jake from State Farm with a wee round shield.

                    1. We wouldn’t be marching in formation with uniforms. We learned our lesson about that long ago.

                      It would be more like this.

                2. But… but… but… BRICS!

                  China’s doing a good job at the moment of presenting a strong front, from what I can tell. It’s frustrating when trying to figure out what they might do in the near future.

                  And on a related note, there are apparently a lot of Chinese coming in through our southern border right now.

                  1. It’s almost entirely just propaganda. China is a disaster. Shanghai, at best, was flat YOY. Last year was the lockdown. They’re flat to the lockdown.

                    Best estimate I’ve seen is that th e Chinese economy is only half the size they report, half. Everything else is lies. of course, in China if you don’t lie they shoot you so you,lie. My issue is with the westerners who shill for them. Many of them have sold their souls for $2000. Other, cough .. 10% for the big guy .. cough, charged more. The effect is the same.

                    My issue is with the black pill crowd though. Facts are obdurate, which is where our hope must lie because what can’t go on forever, won’t.

                    1. I just watched a video that – among other things – talked about salaries at Pudong Development Bank in Shanghaii. Jobs there were considered top-tier, and paid well. But the employees there have now been forced to take massive pay cuts of up to 75%.

                      And while pay cuts at other banks weren’t discussed, the video made it clear that all of China’s banks are suffering serious cash flow issues, and are taking steps to try and make it difficult for customers to withdraw money.

                  2. Some might be refugees, but most are infiltrators. See the efforts to set up Chinese ‘police stations’ in U.S. cities to ‘help the poor Chinese immigrants’. Never mind that they’re all run by the Chinese Communist Party…

                    But they don’t understand America, or Americans. They believe they own us just because they’ve bought off the scum that floats on top. One day they’ll go too far, and wake up the Normies, and then there will be Hell to pay.
                    “Oh, no. You can’t-a fool me. There ain’t-a no Sanity Clause!”

                    1. They believe they own us just because they’ve bought off the scum that floats on top

                      There’s also the amount of “public debt” that they own, but you know the saying: If you owe $10 and can’t pay, you have a problem. If you owe $10 million and can’t pay, the lender has a problem.

                      Now make it “billions”.

                    2. I’m well aware of the “police stations”. But first, those people probably fly into the US. And second, only a handful of people are needed for the the stations. Claiming that the bulk of the Chinese coming through the southern border is for the stations is like claiming that the entirety of a river is used to water a small family garden.

                      The majority of them are coming for economic reasons, and likely have friends or family already in the US who they think will help find a job for them.

                    3. I’m well aware of the police stations, and have talked about them in the comments here. However, I suspect that the people staffing those stations just fly instead of sneaking in.

                      The bulk of the Chinese coming through the southern border are almost certainly doing so for employment reasons, and have a friend or family member already here who they think will help them get a job. Given the numbers involved, saying that they’re coming over to man the stations and not to find work is kind of like claiming that the entirety of a river is being used to water a small family garden. The numbers are just too big to be explained by the need for station personnel.

                    4. The Reader suggests we embrace the power of AND here. There is no chance that Chinese in the migrant stream is happening independent of the Chinese government. We will have to see what the purposes are.

                    5. The CCP is horribly incompetent, and most government officials in China are very corrupt. My suspicion is that the CCP has little to do with most of the Chinese “sneaking” across our border. It probably has more to do with greasing palms than secret official schemes from Beijing. If nothing else, the optics of large numbers of Chinese citizens running away to the US for economic reasons is hugely embarrassing to the CCP. Remember that this is the same government that cracked down on a Chinese good Samaritan because he inadvertantly exposed in an online video how little pensioners get in government benefits. The CCP does not like anything that suggests China isn’t affluent. Because of all of the above, I’m skeptical that the CCP has much to do with the influx.

                    6. Of course not. The ‘police stations’ are for coordination, spying, and to keep the ‘immigrants’ under the Party’s thumb. “Your relatives are still back in China, and we know where they are.”

                    7. Official Chinese youth unemployment is over 14%. Actual youth unemployment is probably twice that. Unless you’re one of the gilded ones in Class A or B cities you have no job, no hope, and no future. The job you might find is a small step above slave labor. You don’t have any savings so you can’t buy an apartment, which means you can’t pay a dowry, which means you can’t marry. I’d run,

                      As bad as we have it, everyone else is worse,

                    8. The Chinese are leaving China, because the CCP want to send all the unemployed school/college graduates, and all the Covid cops, out to the countryside, just like Mao did.

                      Some get to be “agriculture police,” some get to be “clerks for the collective stores,” but most of them are going to magically become farmers — without any training or any place to stay or work.

                      There aren’t enough jobs, and the CCP is planning on them dying or being too tired to revolt. Somewhere out in the countryside, somewhere far enough that they can’t get back home by walking.

                      Meanwhile, the new “agriculture police” are confiscating cattle, chickens, the old freezer that everybody shared in the village, everybody’s tractor gas, etc. Because they have guns and numbers, and the locals don’t.

                      So it’s smart to get the heck out of China.

                      And apparently the cartels and coyotes provide a higher level of service for large numbers of people paying a good chunk of money to get into the US or Canada. Illegal as heck, and it’s not a great thing to have happen; but at least they have a good reason to sneak in.

        3. Impeaching Clinton, while morally justifiable, was very bad tactically- as in, don’t fight a battle you know you can’t win.

          Didn’t win the impeachment, but it did give a lot of ammo as far as preventing/reducing the weaponization of the harassment laws Clinton had signed in, because all those Dems took a big, public stand that it didn’t matter when THEY did it.

          A kind of prototype of the way that #MeToo shook out.

          1. Culturally, I know it made a really big impact on me, as a pre-teen girl, to see all the “women’s rights” bullies talking about how sexual use of women dependent on you for their job was OK if it supported an activist’s goals.

            I never bought in to them, because the first time I saw them do anything, it was throwing “me” under the bus.

        1. I suspect it was before that; that just cracked the shell. The blue model has been going further and further out of alignment for a long time.

          We’re just at the point where the model finally fails, and takes a lot of stuff with it along the way.

          Wrote and dumped a long ramble, but for one example, a good part of what set the stage for 9/11 was how Carter destroyed the US nuclear energy industry through both action and inaction. Which meant there was a much higher demand for 3rd world oil and gas than there would have been had he not done that. That wasn’t his intent, but ultimately the blue model drive. policy decisions weakened the country.

          We’re seeing this again with this administration with oil and gas, and in its own way, the tech sector too. And these are direct results of the blue model policy mismatch.

          And it is just going to get worse until either the leadership finally catches a clue, or they are replaced.

          1. Coupled with the near absolute refusal by the left these days to acknowledge that nuclear power exists, even as they scream about the need for “zero emissions”. In fact, the Greens in Germany used their share of the governing coalition to force the shutdown of all of Germany’s nuclear power plants.

            1. I’m putting nuclear reactor analogues in my next steampunk fantasy for pretty much this reason. Want people to stop clear-cutting forests and filling their cities with coal-smoke? This setting has an archaeotech solution for that, so long as you treat the safety protocols with respect and keep the hardware away from malicious hands at all costs.

            2. The “need for zero emissions” is a pretext to force the revolting peasants and bitter-clinging kulaks to suffer and die in the dark. This means hydropower and nuclear power must condemned as harmful and evil to the environment.

              And if rainbow farts from renewable unicorns were somehow to become an efficient source of abundant energy, then they’d immediately condemn those unicorns as a dangerous invasive species and call to have them banned.

              1. That’s going in a story I’m working on. My main characters build a fusion power plant using advanced off-world technology, which releases no radiation, generates no pollution, and has zero ‘Eeevul Carbon Emissions’. Indeed, the reactor chamber is made out of solid structural diamond, which will keep 900 tons of carbon out of the environment for thousands of years.

                So, naturally, all the ‘Green Energy Environmentalist Anti-Glowbull-Wormening Activists’ make it their Mission In Life to get the plant shut down by any means possible. Including lawfare, arson, bombs and casually murdering the employees, with the full support of the left-wing media and half-assed support from the Kalifornia state government.
                “You always said you wanted Clean Fusion Energy — but let somebody threaten to actually deliver practical, large-scale fusion power, all of a sudden you’re agin it.”

              2. hydropower

                They get around to removing the dams (also hydro) on the McKenzie and Willamette river basins, that will be the trigger to sell to the idiots who don’t know what that means and get out of the Valley. Those dams were not built for hydro. They are flood control and they hold back A Lot of water. As in historically there is a reason why Eugene was nicknamed “Mud City”. Downtown used to regularly have deep floods.

                1. In California, there were a couple of 19th-century winter weather patterns that turned the entire Sacramento Valley into one big marsh lake in the 1860s. For months.

                  There’s now a disaster preparedness plan out there in case of the worst-case scenario, which is a winter like we just had followed by a storm like we had in October of 2021, which dumped almost six inches of rain in Sacramento in 24 hours. (I was camping in that; estimated about eight inches where I was. Don’t know for sure because there are huge time gaps in the record for the area where I was, northeast of Chico, that indicate that the sensors were repeatedly knocked about.) There’s also a theorized dam break in there //cough// Oroville //cough//, and the end result is very like the 1860s.

                  The weather pattern is called ARKStorm. Because why not.

                  Anyway. The upshot is that there is only one “uncontrolled” (no dam) river in the Sacramento Valley, the Cosumnes, and sure enough, the New Year flooding had a (private) levee break and several deaths. (A lot of people were blaming the farmer who owned the levee, and I wonder if the farmer had been trying to improve the thing but didn’t have the money for proper repairs, or if maybe they’d been denied the materials or work to be able to fix it. California, man.)

                  1. Yosemite Valley has been evacuated two or 3 times now for flooding. Due solely to the amount & rate of snow melt. April 2018 (?) had the valley evacuated because of a pineapple express coming through – massive warm rain that triggered snow melt. Waterfalls were epic until we got kicked out. The waterfalls are epic now.

          2. Yes. The Three Mile Island meltdown (and the popular media reaction to it) put a stake in the heart of the nuclear power plant industry. The unfortunate coincidence (nudges tinfoil hat behind the chair) of the accident to the release of China Syndrome helped fuel the anti-nuke push. (A friend worked for General Atomic at the time. He saw the movie and on the way home, heard the news report on TMI. Wasn’t much after that that his section got laid off from GA.) That was in 1979. As I recall, RAH compared the total radiation leak to getting one chest X-ray. FWIW, the other reactors on TMI were unaffected and were still in operation. Not sure if they are still running.

            The silence of the Carter admin over the US nuke plant safety record was deafening.

            When Chernobyl happened in 1986, the anti-nuke hysteria got ramped up to 11. Never mind the fact that such a reactor design hasn’t been used in the USA for power plants since ever. (As I recall, there were experimental reactors in Hanford with a family resemblance. There was also a fatal accident with one, but no meltdowns that I read of.)

            I saw a chart of electric power plant generation types (don’t recall where, but it had power output by type). The US is seriously underrepresented in nuke plants, though the fossil fuel power output in the US is roughly the same as the world-wide nuke output. No big shock that wind & solar & unicorn farts is a small fraction of it.

            Still, the Blues (with their useful idiots in the watermelon Greens) seem to think that the world will be fine with wind & solar. At least for the elites. The Battleswarm article on the elite blue thinking seems dead on.

            1. It is more damning than that. Carter was a Nuclear Reactor engineer in the Navy and was familiar with the type of reactors used at 3-mile. He actually had the technical expertise to understand what was really going on and speak to it to stop the swirling panic.

              Yet he did not.

              1. A friend worked at Lawrence Livermore in the early ’50s, doing various nuke stuff. (Protip: if you get wet epoxy mix on your shoes, don’t drive in them. Great story that could have been his last…) He was familiar with J Carter’s role as a reactor engineer and was decidedly unimpressed with his Navy record.

                He was also quite unimpressed with Carter’s unilateral decision to “upgrade” the weight limits on Interstate bridges. Said friend’s main career involved a lot of bridge and other concrete work. Especially with the early I’state bridges in Oregon, we have been lucky not to have catastrophic failures, from his viewpoint. IIRC, the majority of bridges were Before Carter: 85K pounds, After Carter 110K. The Oregon bridges were designed to handle 60K. Not sure if they got the 110K or something slightly less insane.

                1. I think Oregon is still upgrading bridges.

                  Look into what Yellowstone is doing on a major bridge now (not related to last spring’s flooding). Bridge started dissolving, in chunks. Worse location ever. (Big surprise when we came through Spring 2021. Not that it was broken, just that it wasn’t in use.)

            2. The other reactor site at TMI was shut down in 2019, apparently because the reactor had been operating at a loss.

            3. While the TMI site is still there, the last reactor stopped producing electricity at the close of 2019. I was in high school when it was being built (less than 50 miles away) and thought I might work there someday. The increased bureaucracy that followed the accident made that no longer look so desirable. Since I was manning my first reactor, on my first Navy deployment, when the accident occurred, I did my best to find out what we could, but even back then, the media clearly couldn’t keep their stories straight. Hindsight gives a more reasonable view but I am STILL finding out new things even now.

              1. Short version: Management did stupid s*t, and the operators who knew better didn’t have the authority to stop them. Maintenance not performed, records falsified, procedures not followed…no surprise they finally had an ‘incident’ that damaged the reactor and contaminated the inside of the containment structure. Minimal radiation escaped containment, and almost none got beyond the power station site.

                Much like what happened at Chernobyl — central Party bureaucrats given the authority to order the operators to do Stupid S*t until it blew up. And then “It wasn’t my fault!” Any time up to the last minute, the operators could have safely shut down the reactor.

                Gee, it’s almost like nuclear power and government bureaucracy are a bad combination.
                There is nothing so simple that the government can’t f*k it up.

                1. Well, the containment structure is supposed to hold any contamination. At least that’s what the Bechtel engineers told us at Redacted Steel Company. There was a lot of paperwork that went with a load of steel parts to ensure that the parts would do the job. (On another project, RSC got underbid by a competitor. Said company had egg on their faces when the 7 truckloads they shipped were rejected. Seems somebody blew off the paperwork clause in the contract; which was why they underbid us. Oshit.)

                  Some time after the dust settled, IEEE Spectrum did an article on what was known then. As I recall, they got into some of the human factors issues in the control room. The article did mention that one plant (don’t recall if it was at TMI or elsewhere) the operators differentiated the control levers for the gross vs fine control with different beer tap brands. One set was long, the other squat.

                2. A somewhat reasonable short version. From the naval nuke perspective, the enforcement of maintenance practices was glaring. But when you consider the side effects of nuclear drill practice in the Navy vs what would happen in the civilian world, the original civilian drills were less silly. AFTER the accident, the need for an IN DEPTH simulation room became glaringly evident. In the Navy, they place a sticker on one of your gauges, you do EXACTLY what you would do if it were real. There is NO warning of the drill timing ( sometimes you get a clue as to the day, but the rest of the ship is NEVER told, so it will be as much of a surprise as possible.) If the correct response causes loss of 3/4 of electrical power to the ship, too bad. It is what you DO. OE division and others get to replace most of their fuses. Can you IMAGINE the reaction of civilian factories if you just dumped power to over half your customers?? Yeah, not going to happen. So that part I get.

                  But the failure to verify that all maintenance was completed correctly ?? All of us KNEW if we were ever to fail in that way, we would have a VERY good chance to take up residence in Leavenworth. The guys who verified the stuff we had signed off would be joining us. To have a vital backup system left offline, and nobody noticed? Mind boggling.

          3. We’re just at the point where the model finally fails, and takes a lot of stuff with it along the way.

            :nods in agreement:

            As it happened– even the specific folks involved was a result of Clinton applying their model. OSB wouldn’t have been alive if he hadn’t.

            It was supposed to make them love us. Instead, it just made them think we were easy to hit.

            We hit back, they back off; new guy gets in, starts backing off, we get hit again.

            All the Bad Stuff they say will result from the red side ends up being a direct result of the blue’s fix it actions.

      2. We didn’t start the fire.

        Comes down to religion, and magical thinking.

        Christianity’s practice is one of the foundations for what we considered sanity. The dissenters and fakers way back in the day were less far outside the bounds of sanity, because the ‘common sense’ and the ‘educated consensus’ were heavily shaped by practice of Christianity.

        The modern insanity is partly a result of an increase in practice of cults of reason. Rational thinking is a skill, that can be learned and used to mitigate false conclusions, if you do not take your results too seriously. Issue one is that the sort of thinking that is not magical is extremely expensive in terms of time. Issue two is that logic is only ever as good as your base assumptions. The people who trick themselves into believing that they practice pure reason are thus tending to bury their assumptions and magical thinking where they can not see it, and presuming that they do not exist.

        Mostly it is communists. The thoughts and mental rituals you think over and over again have a very strong shaping effect on your mind. The magical thinking and rituals of the communists drive them nuts by the conventions of Christian sanity. To a communist, everything happens by hurting people, so they are being harmed in some way, if they are not actively harming others. They have no peace in them, in addition to having little to no truth in them.

        The communists were nuts in the 1960s, they were nuts in the 1980s, they were nuts in the 2000s, and they are nuts today. In the 1960s, they were ‘bomb them, and the capitalists will submit’. In the 1980s, they were hugely angry at Reagan. 1990s were a result of the communists giving up on bombing, trying to fake sanity, and working ‘the system’ from the inside. Clintons get in, they figure ‘power forever’, and they hollow out the Democratic party in expectation of this.

        They were definitely upset about Bush 43, because they have very disordered minds fixated on ambition. However, that was personal, Bush thought a lot like them, and was very willing to collaborate. They had a problem with losing, and they had a problem with Bush’s supporters.

        So they tried harder, and some of them brought in Obama as part of doing so.


        Each stage has reactions that feel emotionally valid to the people acting.

        But, that does not mean that there is a chain of cause and effect where you can trace back the time line and identify an inciting event.

        If one has a leash on one’s emotions, and is very careful about trying to keep them from the driver’s seat, then one can make deliberate choices, follow a strategy, etc.

        If you do not have a firm way to order or at least constrain emotions, if you feel like escalating, you will escalate.

        If you do not have something in your emotional life beyond career, you will tend to be invested in career to the point where emotions may be the driver. Politicians with a very disordered emotional engagement with their careers and ambitions are one thing. Another thing is supporters who have a disordered emotional engagement with those politicians.

        The issue is that there are crazy people. Crazy people do crazy, often destructive, things.

        These people would not be well in any alternate course of political events.

    2. I’ve seen the same thing. And, even allowing for confirmation bias and a memory that writes its own stories, my memory is similar.

  14. We don’t find ourselves on the “outs” due to ideology, we’ve seem to “just fade away”. Keeps happening so must be us. We try to keep the friendships established. Just doesn’t happen. Most recent has been scouts. There were couples and individuals we socialized with outside of scouting. Some are still involved in scouting, some aren’t (we are not). Oh, if we run into one another out and about (dinner, wherever) we all inquire about what everyone is up to, what our children are doing, how everyone is. But nothing beyond that. Right now I have nothing on that scale. Never had anything at any of my jobs that approached keeping in contact after leaving. Hubby has golf. But I guaranty once he isn’t physically able to play, or stops going on the seasonal and annual road trips, it will happen again.

    If I go regularly to a coffee shop then I will be alone, no matter how many others there are regulars.

  15. Wow, Sarah you somehow are always able to express facets of what I see and feel. Amazing skill that is. I confessed to my son that I was really struggling with the black dog of late. due in part to very long and very fruitless hours running a store that seems resistant to change, to the point that i have now completely turned the staff and am starting from scratch. (oh joy) Also having the ability to reason and seeing what is coming with such clarity that my guts recoil at the thought just drives it deeper.
    We left the hellhole of Chicago to come to middle Tenn. Most is solid but have yet to build a group of like minded folks. Tis hard and energy is low. Kids fortunately are thriving, spouse back involved with the church in ways that was absent for nearly ten years. yet I feel adrift. I am less connected to the church as I was leading groups up north and engaged in organizing ALL the charitable work for a church of 400 members. Now So hard to connect, there were folks I knew well for 25 years. so struggling even though the need to connect is stronger and more urgent then ever.

    I know will pass and activity outside myself will help, just hard to take the first step.

  16. If you’re sufficiently Odd, you may get used to never really fitting in anywhere. It probably contributes to my advanced case of Hermit. I just peek out from my cave once in a while and observe that that while I may be Odd, some people Out There are batquano nuts, and the closer they get to politics, the worse it gets. As long as I don’t have to go out there and fight with them.

    1. Yeah, that’s pretty much me. Never fit in anywhere out in the world, really. Still don’t. Growing up, I could always trust my parents and siblings to love and support me, and even maybe understand me, which was a saving grace. Without that I’d have had nothing at all; probably wouldn’t have survived it.

      I’d like to be able to really fight in the wars like Larry Correia or our esteemed hostess, but I just don’t have it in me. So I keep myself to myself and enjoy the limited social opportunities that are available to me, and every once in a while put a stick in the spokes of woke if it’s small and slow enough for me to reach it.

      1. I wore myself out battling vicious attacks on my personality and character from my own family and some of my age-mates in school and church from the time I was about six. I doubt that I would have survived if there had not been kindly people sprinkled among them now and then. Sometimes, there is a need to take a stand, but I seldom see a need to Take Up a Cause with someone who has Something to Prove. I also have learned that most people will believe what they want to believe no matter what I say, so that’s another reason to avoid picking fights and Inflicting My Opinions on the deaf and uncaring. I find this particular corner of cyberspace to be more congenial to my brand of Oddness than most, which is why I continue to hang around.

      2. Patton only wins when there are Average Joe’s willing to fix bayonets and fight the very personal local fight. And more to obtain and issue the bayonets. Still more to make them. And all of them need to eat….

        We each do our part.

        1. The Average Joes already have at least 600 million guns. I’m sure quite a few have bayonets, too. I made a mace by welding six pieces of 1/4″ steel plate to a length of steel bar. USAians are an ingenious lot, especially when inspired to exercise that ingenuity by the unreasonable impositions of self-important ‘Authoriteez’.
          Nobody has so little that some asshole doesn’t want to take it. And the government is full of assholes.

          1. I made a mace out of a piece of maple with a 1/2 x 8″ lag bolt sunk into the end and several hefty washers for the head. It’s a shitty redneck imitation of the real thing, but it will hit things real hard. 🙂 I’ve been assembling materials to make a little paint can forge…maybe I’ll even make my own bayonet someday. Or a better mace.

      3. You’re here. By being here you prove that not only are YOU not alone, neither are we. Even the arguments here serve a purpose: We don’t get stuck in mental ruts as easily.

        There’s also the drip effect. A tiny bit here, a tiny bit there… and it all adds up.

        1. Yes, indeed. If I’ve ever fit anywhere, the group Odds that gathers here is probably it. It’s hard to alter the mental pattern that says I don’t.

  17. They media has created a world that has pushed politics into everything. Burning in hell would be too nice a result for them.

    They did this on purpose. I often think how much better the world would be without a satanic traitorous repugnant mainstream media, and the answer is it would be a much much better place.

    The irony is the only skill those fuckers have is to destroy good things. God damn them.

    1. And they actually suck at destruction. They just get some advantage from mass effort and spazzoid presstitutes. Don’t get me started, frikken amateurs, the lot of em.

  18. Our Dear Hostess said

    Yeah, we lost my father in law. It was a punch to the gut, but it was expected.

    Dear Hostess just because we KNOW something is coming doesn’t make it any less of a gut punch. Why is that ? Damn it Jim I’m a software engineer not a psychiatrist. In fact it sometimes seems to make the dread worse and the recovery slower. I don’t know why but I do know it is so. And it seems to be much worse for those already prone to depression. Somehow sharing grief helps, look around for groups like GriefShare (Christian, non denominational) or similar. My wife helped run and set that up at our church and it seemed to help greatly for a lot of folks.

  19. And if you’re saying “But there’s bound to be people like you”! Well, of course there are. And we’re re-establishing connections and networks, most of them on line, and eventually we’ll reconquer,

    And you also need to keep a close watch out for who shows up to join. Because they’ll follow. And at first – when they’re greatly outnumbered – they’ll genuinely have the most innocent of intentions. But as more of them join, the group will turn increasingly into the thing that you left

  20. …what social circles?

    Most of my friends are either far too deep in the Cult of Woke, have left the area (in some cases, to worse locations like Seattle or Portland), or are so busy trying to keep their heads above water that they don’t have any energy for what isn’t essential.

    I’m not essential to them. Never have been.

    Gaming groups? Last one I tried, pre-COVID, was a horror show. Dirty jokes and naughty comments? Oh yes, I can do that all day. Raunchy humor? Absolutely. But the dude-bro fratboy Pathfinder these people played, all excuses to be terrible human beings and somehow “forgiven” because they claim to be otherwise…

    It doesn’t help that all of the “big” tabletop games these days are Woke by default. And badly woke. And I got bounced off of two sets of gaming forums because I argued a “in the bowels of Christ, could you be mistaken?” opinion in the flame-board area about Trump, so that does hurt.

    Conventions? Even before this round of unemployment and having to be a family caretaker, I was seriously not considering going to the Memorial Day conventions. Why fight the crowds and the traffic and the lines? For a neutered shopping experience (our local con has pushed out anything adult that isn’t yaoi out of the dealer’s rooms and art rooms)? I like older anime and manga, and while there’s good new stuff…the translation studios are infested with people that will turn a solid and affectionate male friendship between two crossdressers manga into a pure “they’re just un-cracked eggs!” transsexual romance story (despite the creator saying in multiple places that it was a solid male friendship). Who will deliberately misinterpret Japanese storytelling tropes to ensure that bad American/Western political points get put to the fore-front…

    …and the less said about the gaming convention here, the better.

    Hell, even the local big SF/F convention in the area has moved from the Memorial Day weekend to the 4th of July weekend, and their “big guest list” includes people I wouldn’t want to meet anywhere except over gunsights.

    (And their webpage is crappy. A crappy webpage, in Silicon Valley?!?)

    I swear, if I have more black dogs of depression, I would welcome the local Humane Society coming over to claim them…

  21. Deep sigh here.
    I already lost a lot of writer-friends in the on-line circle that I was a part of in the late 2000s. A fair number of those turned out to have … incompatible social and political standards. But OK … the purpose of the group was to swap tips for creating, formatting, marketing our books. The last one who cut me off was on FB when I posted a perfectly innocuous link … she took exception to a light-hearted comment … oh, it’s just too tedious to go through the whole thing. I spent most of the late oughties reminding them in the yahoo discussion group that we were here for our books, not to get into political bunfights…
    Yeah, there was a sharp divide between political orientations.
    I do feel the loss, profoundly. It was a good group and we did amazing things, supporting each other in writing, publishing and marketing our books, IIRC, if you asked me to estimate the right/left divide, I’d guess that about 2/3ds were conservative, a third raving liberal.
    Still remember the writer who got all in a panic, as she had been offered a contract from an established firm. She wanted me as administrator of the website for the group to take down all mention of her book on the group website – suddenly we had become unclean, unmentionable, and she didn’t want anything to do with us.

    1. I’m having to create a “clean” social media profiles on the big platforms (Instagram and Twitter), because “you need to have one if you’re going to apply for a marketing job!”

      And cleaning up my blog from the usual complaints, because it is my “professional” blog.

      …I just want a job where I do my eight hours, earn a reasonably good salary, have benefits, and can just leave everything else at the door when I’m done.

      (And, the myth that “you can only be creative if you’re on the left” sucks horribly…I can’t fake being Woke, not for long.)

    2. I remain boggled at a writer friend of mine, who dropped me, blocked me, and made sure I could never see any of her previous content evar again because I made the wrong baa-noise about Elon Musk. While I realize I am technically better off, I am utterly boggled by throwing away a ten-year connection over one word. And furious because justdamnONCE I would like to have the last word.

      1. And furious because justdamnONCE I would like to have the last word.

        You did get it, without even having to SAY it– because you’re in her head, saying it.

        It’s never going to get out of her head until she matures, too.

  22. Well-put. I was never attached to my old home so leaving it for where I am now wasn’t an issue but finding geek spaces that don’t run the range from full raging woke to “Well sure all that makes sense but right wingers are so mean/so crazy/only care about big corporations” etc etc that aren’t here, MHN, and a few other places online? Yep, that’s a problem and offline isn’t looking to be much better either from what I’ve seen. Not that I’m not glad for the Huns within the area, including day and weekend trip distance, but it’s definitely tiring and hits you hard in a lot of areas.

  23. Sigh. We just left E TN for a career move to Greater Philly. Covid arrived there soon after we did, which prevented us from putting down any kind of social roots. Even there, Arts people (my own field, alas) kept me walking on eggshells. Not all of them, but enough.

    Hopefully, some likeminded souls will be found in the new area. Onwards and upwards!

  24. “Even if they don’t make out who you really are, you’re surrounded by people eternally wishing death on those like you. It wears on the soul. Over time it drains you and makes it impossible to work.”

    It does. I’ve been there.

    Getting out of the sphere of academia after 20 years in the gulag (it didn’t feel like a gulag when I started), and into our area’s only other really big employer (so far non-woke and rather conservative, knock on wood) gave me a new lease on life. It was like seeing open land ahead and eagles in the sky after ten years of slogging through the lightless depths of Mirkwood.

    Even the nominally liberal/prog folks I know who have recently left academia seem to have felt a bit of it. A liberal/feminist former coworker at the (relatively) new place who left for a snazzy job with the university-run regional NPR affiliate a year ago is now beginning to feel it too, 7:45 am panic attacks and all. It’s not easy being a decent human being in the presence of evil; even if you don’t recognize it and it’s not pointed specifically at you, it takes a toll on the spirit.

  25. Leftists always try to eliminate those who are creative, and are among the first lined up against a wall by leftist regimes, precisely because creative people are able to imagine what it is like to live outside the ideology and diktats the leftists impose and are able to convey what they imagine to others in a way that gets others to think for themselves. This of course makes the creative thought criminals and potential thought criminals that must be persecuted and destroyed.

    It is no accident that Mao’s Cultural Revolution started in the schools of CCP run China and it is no accident that the Cultural Revolution Redux going on here began in the schools and universities. They are the first front in the effort to destroy the creative and creativity.

  26. I had to move – only about a town away, but it means that instead of going to the library I could just get to in a few minutes down back roads, the closest is now about a half-hour away through two major highways. It’s difficult, it’s exhausting, and while the librarian at my old library was always glad to see me (still is, when I can get there), the one at the new one thinks of me as “that odd person who claims to be a writer but won’t show up to the writing group at Panera Bread.”

    This when I said I have a wheat allergy and can’t go in there.

    (I really can’t. The inhaled level of flour there is life-threatening. Last time I went in for just a couple minutes, I was lucky enough to be online later with someone who noticed “whoa, you really don’t ‘sound’ good”, and grabbed an antihistamine before the Black Dog went thermonuclear.)

    Having a friendly library easy to get to was really… load-bearing. Not having it hurts.

    Plus whatever Amazon’s been up to lately….

    And just exhausted in general. But trying to hang in there.

    1. virtual hug My Day Job associates and I have been observing that by the end of fall, we were in the same mental condition as we usually are in late May. It’s been that draining, for some reason. I suspect the miasma in the country at large plays a role. Other people have been twitchy (the drought’s a big one worry around here), and some have vented that on us. Several places of worship are having stress for denominational and other reasons (vandals, accidents).

      We all just want to go hide for a few weeks. I suspect the rest of the world does as well, aside from the Do-Goodniks who “have our best interests at heart.”

      1. I’ve been reading too many Scum Villain fanfics. You mention miasma, and my brain jumped to “resentful/demonic energy loose in the environment”… then again that’s exactly what it feels like.

        1. “resentful/demonic energy loose in the environment”…

          … Honestly, that would explain a lot.

          1. Not to be all tin foil hat, but… back when Fr. Z was saying exorcism prayers at the end of his online Masses, I used to run them on my tablet at work and kinda walk around.

            And it did seem to help.

            (This was in the depths of Coof time, though, so it might have just made me more relaxed, and hence able to breathe better.)

            All that said, I do recommend silent workplace prayer as a warmup for work. It might not solve everything, but it does serve as a sort of spiritual warmup exercise.

    2. My wife has the wheat allergy and can’t be near it. It means the only parties we both go to are outdoors, and while the puppy was too young, I’d skip or do a flyby visit. (Waves to ladyeleanorceltic.) (I’m seriously gluten intolerant; can handle the smell but ingestion is a big nope.)

      Kat-the-dog is growing up, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to do something for Memorial and Independence days. One of our neighbors has a big do on the Fourth, and the cooking is outdoors. Don’t trust Kat with strangers, so she’ll have to stay home.

    3. Plus, Panera Bread…eew. Maybe they bake a good loaf, I dunno. What I do know is that their sandwiches were awful when I tried them, and there’s something just flat wrong with a bread place that can’t even manage a decent sandwich.

      1. Soup’s good, salads are good (used to be better, but still good). Wi-fi usually good. I use them the way folks used HoJos – you know what you’re going to get in a strange area. Even so, this week when I have my day “off,” I’ll be hitting a more local place.

        1. Potato soup in bread bowl used to be my favorite thing there; along with some of the pastries. The one nearby has an increasingly lousy parking lot, so it’s been a few years. (And to the extent that I really shouldn’t be eating that level of carbs, probably should be a few more years.)

        2. That’s fair. McDonald’s and Starbucks fit the same bill for me. They’re not the best around, but they do have some food I can enjoy, and it’s always exactly what you expected it to be.

          1. I’m sorry Mickey D’s went away from the salads. They were a good pick on road trips, as in not so many solid lumps to induce constipation. At least that was my theory, and it seemed to work out in practice. Still, I understand; they’re a burger place . . .

      2. Panera Bread…eew

        Won’t say “eew”. OTOH. I was curious about Panera Bread because I’d heard so much about it. We have one at the Springfield mall. One day I was on my own for dinner (hubby had a golf thing, son was still working nights), so why not try it? I was underwhelmed by the menu choices. Don’t remember what I ordered (but it was without all the fancy sprouts). Don’t remember it being “bad”, but definitely both Subway and *ToGo’s are both superior.

        (*) Okay. To be fair while Eugene now has a ToGo’s out on W. 11th haven’t had one since 1979 when we were still in Corvallis. Until then, ToGo’s was a two day college meal (get the foot long no condiments with tomatoes and lettuce on the side to keep second half from being soggy). Hmmm. This Saturday I’m on my own again. Oops, nope. That is annual potluck day after cemetery cleanup, and annual meeting … (We get to talk about the stupid dead tree that sits just across the border. Someone will ask why it hasn’t been taken down. Answer: Not on the property. Legally cannot, sigh.)

        1. Until one day the tree is gone. Nothing remains but a stump and some sawdust.

          The Authoriteez: “What happened to the tree?”
          [elaborate shrug] “Termites?”

        2. I first encountered Panera when we were in Denver, and I only ever got their bagels. The bagel that I really really loved was called Trail Mix. It became “seasonal” and disappeared years ago. Pity. Someone ought to create a replica recipe, and then I will learn to make bagels.*

          *AFAIK, Panera doesn’t boil them for that proper bagel texture. I could fix that.

      3. Can’t say a lot about their loaf bread for sandwiches, because I always substitute a bagel. Their French Onion soup is pretty good.

        1. $SPOUSE and I bought a Panera package for my mother’s memorial service (2000 miles away, and traveling there was not an option). Older brother liked it, but it didn’t cost him anything, and that’s a major factor for him. Didn’t hear any other comments from the attendees.

          There might have been a Panera near where I used to live in San Jose. Ate there once or twice (before gluten issues really presented). It was OK, but the neighborhood business district had a lot of decent places to eat, with more exciting choices.

          Togo’s was a standard in Silly Valley since before I moved there. Good subs. Went on a short camping trip with a friend, and he bought a family sized sub for his meals. All of his meals. He is (was?) a really strange dude.

        2. Panera French Onion soup… depends on what you are used to getting.
          Still miss the baked french onion at Cashins in Atlanta.

  27. Yeah, me too. In my case, losing my brother; we weren’t close, but your younger sibling isn’t supposed to go first, and now I’m the only one left, of that nuclear family. My beloved is going through grief at being forced to step away from the business he founded. (The new owners, who he trained, are going the “expendable widget,” route, even with him. That’s not how he trained them). So his plans for fall and winter are changing. To his credit, he’s already got alternatives in mind.
    And the rest of it… can so many people miss the signs of a Party seeking power?

  28. All I need ro do is find where I belong…

    Sounds so simple when ut’s put that way. Real life isn’t often regular shapes with well-defined edges.

    I will keep trying. I need a place to leave my wife if my earthsuit expires before hers.

    “May God defend the right.” Not the way the CSA or KKK chanted it; but the way it was invoked before a trial by combat.

    I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer; but I will not give up while I have breath. And I hope that beating cancer twice is more than just “a good start”.

  29. THATs why it felt so good to do stop the bleed training at the local range. Because range. My people. (duh) I’m really slow sometimes.

  30. When I stop weeping silently at the painful
    recognition here I’ll try to frame a response.

  31. Apparently, if you don’t worry, be happy, and just have fun… your tribe will find you. I mean, I’m screamingly antisocial, Peter’s rather laid back and not very social, LawDog is screamingly introverted, LawDog’s lady is running off her feet with projects and doesn’t have time, and Jim Curtis… okay, he likes people. To a point.

    But when we just had fun, and were ourselves, people started showing up in Tiny Town. Jim bought a larger dining room table, and it only fit all of us for one week before the group expanded again. And more people are coming! One couple is closing on a house tomorrow, and another is actively looking…. and a third is passively looking, but asking very pointed questions about grocery stores and can someone look at his resume, and…

    If people keep coming, nobody’s house is big enough. We’re gonna have to move the North Texas Troublemakers dinner from every Saturday to every couple weeks, and rent a function hall. We might even have to go to potluck, or catering, because cooking for 6 was no big deal. Cooking for 12-16 is a challenge. Soon it’s going to be for 20+…

    1. When I say “don’t worry”, I’m including just hanging it out there and having a bumper sticker from LaRue tactical that says “God Bless Our Troops… Especially Our Snipers.”

      Because when you stop crippling yourself with fear of what others might think, then it’s amazing how rarely you have to deal with the Karens of real life, instead of the Karens of your imagination. Among other reasons… Karens pick on soft targets. If you’re wincing in fear of disapproval, you invite bullies. When I was apologetic for not wearing a mask, I got bitched at. When I didn’t wear a mask, smiled enthusiastically at everyone, wished random people a good day, laughed easily and made conversation with strangers… I didn’t get bitched at once!

      1. I used to claim that I was antisocial. Then I had a cousin remind my what antisocial really meant, and I found an example in a particular politician who was was avidly in favor of a cause I found morally repellent. Now I merely claim to be working on my Hermit skills.

        1. My husband is extremely introverted, with a side helping of anxiety. He has no trouble with me going out and doing gatherings, though people used to ask why he wasn’t there. I used to have long explanations, which still garnered confusion.

          Now I just say “He’s antisocial,” and they nod and move on.

      2. “…stop crippling yourself worrying with fear of what others might think…”. There ya go,.A philophy to live by.

      3. I have a winged hussar decal on my back window. I’ve gotten a few horns and smiles thrown in my direction (Sabaton fans!). Those who know, know. Those who don’t will wonder. And I occasionally get to go pester the introverts down state. Three introverts, one house makes for a quiet, productive weekend. Who’d have guessed? 😉

    2. I’m in north Texas too and would love to be involved in your community. D has my email address and may give it to you if you would be so kind as to contact me.

  32. In other news, I learned of a Robert Louis Stevenson work because it plays a part in the Agatha Christie novel “The Postern of Fate,” which audiobook I’m listening to. The Stevenson work is “The Black Arrow.”

  33. “But more importantly, it will come for you. All of you.”

    In 2002. Fox is right that 9/11 and more the Iraq war pushed us over, but you could see it from the “selected not elected” in 2000.

    Now I don’t know what to do, but more importantly, I’m trying to find a reason I should do anything. Angry and stubborn only get you so far.

    1. Do it for fun. If you’re having fun, they’ll hate you so bad they won’t be able to sleep at night.

      The only vengeance that matters is to live well in spite of all their efforts.

  34. Mrs Hoyt,

    Bless you for this site. It was such a joy to find it. Also thus discovery of your works. A shining beacon of what we are and what we can be.

    You are living proof of the undimmed and undaunted power of America to inspire and motivate the rise of new generations of Patriots, born to us or brought to us, to take up that Star Spangled Banner and hand it ever forward. Unstoppable. Free.

    Bless you. For you have certainly blessed us.

    1. I don’t even know what to say about this post.

      It has hit hard on a very tender spot. I have lost knit groups, library groups, colleagues, neighbors, church community members, and I have found that close family members would help load me onto the trains, (more in sorrow than in anger, true, but still).
      Hubby has been hit harder than me because he is a very social person, but I really needed what small social outlets I had. We are in as safe an area as you can be in, but even here there is social rot.

      I mean, I guess it’s good to know who you can trust out of people who had known for five decades or more, but, it hurts badly.

  35. Thanks for articulating what I’ve been feeling for some time. I meant to post more but had to change my password and all that crap so I’ll keep it short…. my husband and I are lifelong downstate Illinois residents and my job is with a small state agency. I don’t have any issues with the job itself or the people I work with, but anymore I feel guilty and ashamed to even be working for or living in such a corrupt leftist state. Plus it’s obvious that if our governor/legislature had its druthers, people like us (Catholic, pro-life, pro-traditional family, lovers of Western Civilization) wouldn’t be here and aren’t welcome here.

    Now I know that in the conservative blogosphere, 99% of the time the only advice given to anyone living in Illinois is “Get the hell out as fast as you can and if you don’t, you deserve what you get”. However, I’m only 7-8 years away from retirement, we don’t have a lot of disposable income, and we have absolutely no family or friend connections anywhere else, so I wouldn’t know where else to go. It hurts to think about it too much and it’s about time for me to go to work anyway so that’s all I have to say about that.

    1. I wouldn’t have left Colorado if it were politics alone. I wouldn’t have left if it were health alone. It took both to push me out. And I still miss it horribly.

    2. Would it change anything if you knew that the collapse of the dollar would erase all pensions and 401ks?

      1. No, it wouldn’t, it would mean we’re definitely stuck here forever because we’d be too poor to even take a weekend trip let alone pack up and move an entire household.

        1. Looks like you’ve thought it out. Vauguely similar situation here. Still diggin in for the inevitable. Too late to move.

          1. Thanks. Sorry to drag out this discussion some more but it raises another question . It is possible now for IL state employees to take partial or total pension buyouts….

            In one version you get a fairly substantial amount of cash (five figures) up front in return for a much lower annual COLA. In another version, you get an even bigger (six figures, maybe seven for some) amount of cash up front in return for giving up the pension completely.

            Now most financial experts would say that unless you are terminally ill and won’t live long enough to collect the pension, or are an investment whiz who knows exactly how to get a better return on the buyout money, taking a pension buyout is a VERY BAD deal that will leave you short of money when you really need it, i.e., when you’re 85 or 90 years old and likely in need of long term care.

            However, if the whole system is on the verge of collapse and there’s going to be nothing left if you wait, then taking the buyout and “getting while the getting’s good” would be the smart thing to do, right? But I’ve been hearing for years, actually decades, that Social Security and state pensions are on the verge of collapse and it hasn’t happened yet, so how do I know which is right?

            1. The only way I know to discern “right” in these matters is math. Predicting the future is hard, but some things are easy. You can know with certainty that a certain action will produce a certain result, but the exact timing can be extremely difficult, or impossible to know.

              The usual case with pensions and 401ks etc. is defered taxation. This only makes since when you have a graduated tax scale, as earning more per year can put you in a higher tax bracket. If you take that money in some future year when you would have no other income, less tax. So the problem with liquidating a pension or a 401k is that it all shows up as income in the same year. I’m not that familiar with the details, so there may be ways to spread it out a bit more (but still less than the original arrangment), or in the case of government (your case) they can make up special rules.

              Here’s the math I use: The US has been printing money (running a deficit) since well before I was born. This has caused double digit inflation for my entire life, such that a dollar today has the purchasing power of a single cent in 1914. But the math says it should have been much worse. It wasn’t, for three reasons:

              1) The oil driven industrial revolution greatly increased productivity, which is deflationary.
              2) We convinced Saudi Arabia (and then others) to sell oil only for US dollars, requiring other countries to stockpile US dollars
              3) The dollar’s history of being tied to gold, coupled with rising productivity (and military dominance), made it remarkably stable compared to other currencies, and made it the world’s “reserve currency”, again causing other countries to stockpile it.

              These allowed us to print vast ammounts and have it all sucked up offshore, instead of flooding the market at home causing inflation. Still we printing even more and got double digit inflation anyway.

              SA is now selling oil for other currencies, so buyers don’t have to hold as many dollars to buy it. Our productivity has been offshored, or crashed. And now we have greater inflation which makes people more afraid to hold it as their reserve, and we just confiscated any dollars we could find of private citizens of Russia, which scares the willies out of every other country holding dollars.

              So 50 years of money printing got sucked up offshore, and now it’s all flooding back to the mainland as fast as it can. Oh, and now we’re printing much, much more.

              So even if you manage to get control of your own money, you still have to find some place to park it that isn’t valued in US dollars, and is likely to retain it’s purchasing power in a collapse of the financial system (and whatever other collapses that will precipitate, or were happening anyway for related reasons)

              Ultimately, Sarah’s right: we need to be making things. Things of value that we can trade. But we are going to stop using their money, probably when they demand we use CBDC.

              What worries me is that there seems to be a concerted effort to generate a glboal food shortage at exactly the same time, and you could argue a nuclear war has just begun, as Russia just vaporized a store of British deplete uranium tank rounds so massive the the radiation is being seen in Poland. ( and DU emits very little radiation, it’s real danger is inhaling, eating or drinking it )

            2. … just wanted to add… technically, I don’t think Social Security will collapse. You’ll still get every dime of it, and your pension. You just won’t be able to buy anything with it.

              1. Thanks, your point about having to pay taxes all at once if you buy out a pension or 401K is well taken. The #1 thing I’d WANT to do with that money is pay off our mortgage and assorted debts before investing any of it, but then we’d be bumped up another tax bracket or two and the tax hit would probably cancel out the benefit. Might as well just expect to be destitute in my old age (despite what you may have heard, not all government employees get lavish gazillion-dollar pensions, particularly if they started working for the gubmint later in life) and if I’m not, consider it a bonus.

                1. I think I’d take the tax hit, personally… I just don’t like taking unknown risks. Just me though.

                  In the 20s, the stock market went wild…. and like the 00s where the housing market had never gone down, and folks thought it never would… so the stock market had never gone down, and everone knew it was a sure thing. So they put all their money in the market…. then they mortgaged their farms and put that in the market… then they margined their stock, to buy still more stock.

                  The people who used math, understood it was a “ponzi” or pyramid scheme: the market went up because people put more money into it, and they put money into it because it went up. That’s a feedback loop, which continues until the market it saturated (everyone is already in), then it stops.

                  One fellow became famous for getting out just before the crash. When asked, he said he had received a “tip” on what stock to by, from his shoe-shine boy. When the shoe-shine boy is in the market, the market is saturated. There’s no one left to go in.

                  In the crash, everone lost everything, because they went into debt to buy stock, and when the bubble popped (and the fed didn’t print enough to bail it out), money dried up and no one could make payroll, so no one could service their debt, and they lost their farms…. to the banks… hence the old “birdcage theatre” theme of the banker demanding your daughter or he takes the farm.

                  The ones who did alright in the 30s, were the ones who went into it debt free.

                  If you’re going to be in debt through what’s coming, you must have a way to continue servicing that debt, even if you lose your job. I paid down all debt before I tried to store wealth.

                  1. The ’30s depression wasn’t barely noticed by either set of grandparents. They were too poor to have anything to lose or be in debt. Paternal grandparents became aware of it because great-grandpa couldn’t come up with property tax payments for extensive timberland property. Nothing owed on it. He sold it for the amount owed on the taxes. The new owner then went on to make money off the land during WWII.

                    1. Yeah, that’s too bad… ordinarily being smart enough to be debt free would have been a win, but I guess you can think of property taxes as a debt… (sigh), you have to have some way to service it.

                      Because the fed didn’t just bail things out then (that came with the war) the depression was extremely deflationary… which means if you had cash (bank accounts didn’t count), then you were rich. Debt can force to to sell low (margin call), which is what happened to your land owning grandfather, even though his “debt” was just property taxes… which should have been miniscule, due to deflation reducing the land assessment, but as with wages risising in inflation, such things always lag serverly behind.

                      This could be an argument against land as a place to park your “money”, but you have to park it somewhere. Personally, I suspect that what’s coming is severe enough that it will make even property taxes irrelevant (for a time), at least for the land you occupy (and can therefore defend). Your mileage may vary… For this reason, I prefer land that is remote, steep, or otherwise inaccessible. It also matters what your neighbors are going to do, as there is always safety in numbers.

                      In remote areas, I’m expecting a sudden demographic shift: Lot’s of folks are old, infirm, and reliant upon banks (retirement funds, pensions, etc). When they’re told to move into the 15m cities, or suffer being cut off from “services” (including medical), many are going to leave…. Meanwhile, a bunch of folks have aquired a “bug out”, but are living in the cities where the jobs are. When things get wiggy, these two groups are going to change places overnight.

                      I’t hard enough to know who your neighbors are well enough to know what they’ll do, it’s even harder to know who they’re going to be.

                    2. Another way the depression hurt the poor, but debt free: Wild game all but disappeared. That’s why we have so many game laws today, but of course they’re like gun control laws: meaningless when folks are hungry.

                      In some places it was over a decade before deer prints were seen in the bush again.

                2. point about having to pay taxes all at once if you buy out a pension or 401K is well taken.

                  Point to bring up. Yes, if you actually cash it out. True. But, 401(k)s (not sure about *pension) can be rolled into an IRA of your own management. Then as you withdraw from the IRA you are taxed. Can’t before 59 1/2, without taxation and penalties (couple of other options that remove penalties but don’t know specifics). Mandatory minimum distribution is now required at age 72 (or 73? now).

                  (*) Should have double checked this on the IP pension that I got early. Even at the discounted bulk rate, rolling it into my IRA would have probably beat the monthly benefit, at least for the last 6 years. Taking the bulk and paying taxes on it OTOH was definitely not advisable (would have kicked us a couple of tax levels that year).

                  despite what you may have heard, not all government employees get lavish gazillion-dollar pensions, particularly if they started working for the gubmint later in life.

                  Mom gets 1000x less than certain former UofO coach. Her pers, now after *23 years of inflation adjustments, is up to almost $600/month. She wasn’t after the pension when she started with the school district lunch program at age 50. Or even the pay check. (Neither of which hurt, but not the reason.) She was after the insurance after dad had his stroke and couldn’t return to work, at just before age 50.

                  (*) OTOH. After 23 years, and counting, she has been paid a whole lot more than the system expected.

            3. one more point on inflation: it can be localized:

              If I print a buch of money, and then buy only coffee with it, initially, only the price of coffee inflates. Eventually the folks selling me coffee with spend the money and the inflation spreads.

              For much of our history, when the money was printed, the people who got it first would put it in the stock market. A suprising percentage of money in stocks will stay in stocks, moving between stocks. Folks are then amazed at how “the market is booming”, when in reality it’s just inflation.

              1. The Reader thinks it is funny how the Boomer’s 401Ks looked much better from 2013 -2020.

    3. FWIW, my advice is be prepared to bug out, be careful, and keep in mind that we are valid places to bug out to.

      We’re down near Des Moines, for example, and at worst we’ve got a nice shop and a camper. 😀

      1. I will tell you what, having a camper and a truck to pull it was -very- comforting in 2020, when things were looking extremely ugly here in Canuckistan. I had people I hadn’t heard from in many years contacting me for potential bug-out arrangements and self defense advice.

        Which scared the schlitz out of me. Great mother of pearl. The camper was looking pretty good right then, either as refugee housing or as my own get-out-of-Dodge solution.

        Doesn’t need to be a camper and a truck, could be a 4 season tent and a compact car. Whatever gets you out of the shirtstorm is good enough, you’re not going to live in it for 20 years after all.

    4. Live life by your rules. Know you are preventing some thug from doing your job with jackboots.

      Start exploring where you want to be when you retire. Make connections. Then, take your pension somewhere else.

      No need to rush things. And if you want to say, just have a plan B for elsewhere if things get sporty.

  36. Well, this is odd. I must be an outlier. I am on my local library board. There are lefties on it, but no Woke folk and most of us are conservatives (I think most of us originally met as part of the county Republican Party steering committee) and all of us work together civilly despite our differences. There is a local bookstore at which I hang. Again the owners are lefties, but not Woke. And we argue politics occasionally, but they are civil – like the political arguments back in the 1990s.

    I am in two model-making clubs where no one talks about politics or Woke stuff or discusses privilege and that kind of stuff. We talk about making models. I have drifted out of gaming, but my old gaming group is still about gaming, not social justice. Same with the groups I give talks about my books to. And my church (Orthodox Christian) is about traditional Christianity.

    Am I the only one in a sane corner of the world? Mind there are groups in my area that are crazy Woke. (The local MENSA comes to mind, but they stopped meeting after COVID because it was too dangerous and haven’t started up again. It’s what I expect from a group whose intelligence is exceeded only by their insecurities.) But I can easily avoid them and live a life connected to creative people who are based.

    1. Those are signs that there are enough Actual Grownups around to not indulge the Rules for Radicals types. (“Your politics are forbidden, mine are just common sense.” “Don’t challenge him, you’ll start a fight!” … that there already is a fight seems to bypass many.)

    2. “I must be an outlier.”

      No, you are a Normal Person.

      Some of us are weirdos. We seem to attract Karen. We be standing alone, minding our own business in our own front yard, and Karen will slow down to remonstrate with us about the length of our grass. No matter what length it is, Karen will have a problem. Or a problem with the dog. Or the car, or something.

      Used to be I would try to be a good neighbor and fit in with the others on the street. Now I just say “The dog bites.”

      Shudder to think how I’d make out taking a university course or an art class these days. Maybe if I take the dog with me…

      1. Last month some Karen complained to the police because my van is always parked in front of my house.

        So now, every three days, I have to drive my van half a mile, then park again in the exact same spot. It’s a waste of gas, a source of unnecessary pollution, and a pain in the ass. That’s Karen all over.

        1. That is the exact reason I live in the country and not the suburbs. In my former abode I started getting visits from the City Inspector for things like my car being up on jack stands in my driveway. Not forever, just for the afternoon, for a brake job. The inspector came by days later, and was apologetic.

          The response was to put a fence across the front yard and a gate across the driveway to keep the riffraff out. If you can’t see, you can’t complain. That was the theory.

          But then, they just kept on complaining. Weekly visit from the inspector guy, we were on first name terms.

          Final straw was them calling the cops because I was trimming dead branches off my trees in my yard. You can’t live next to people that crazy, its simply not safe. So we flogged the house and moved. Again.

          Out here is way better. In the country, no one can hear Karen scream. ~:D

          1. Had a crazy neighbor in Florida. The kind with a putting green lawn.

            We had some sort of landlord-provided “neo-grass” that was similar to that used on the sides of highways. Add rain and see 6″ of seed top overnight. Every time. Neighbor had inspector on speed dial.

            “Someone” collected every stray plant seed they could for six months, including a coffee can of sandspurs. (AKA FootF####rs). Shortly after deployment, neighbor had too much to do to pay much attention to me. Lasted for several months.

            Biological warfare isn’t just germs. Lol.

                  1. Privacy fence, too expensive. Wood prices, out of control.

                    Self-flying seed dispenser drone launched from a convenient parking lot while you lounge on your back lawn, beverages to hand, in full view of secret cameras.

                    Cheaper than a privet fence, and more science-fictiony. Also for sale at the hobby shop. Waypoint mission capable electric model airplanes, couple hundred bucks.

                    So petty, but so satisfying. >:D

        2. We run into the same on our street. It is an city ordinance. But the parents at the local grade school still complain (because it takes their overflow parking). The school is city property. Our homes, and street front, is not. Can’t point this out now because the trees are gone, but for awhile I could point out parking on the street in front of our house resulted in dented vehicles (tiny dents all over flat vehicle surfaces). Giant Sequoias have very hard golf ball sized cones. Between the wind and squirrels, all natural processes, the cones come down frequently and regularly. The squirrels are aiming for the sidewalk and road hard surfaces. (Didn’t take the trees out because of this. Took the trees out because the 2019 ice storm provided a few surprises. We were lucky. None of the surprises came down on the roof, through the attic, and onto anyone sitting in the living room; a lot of large heavy surprises.)

    3. One of the obvious questions wrt current current events is ‘What on Earth is going on?’

      The patterns of claims and of facts are /weird/. One of the possible takeaways is that the country is actually majority conservative. Less ‘Silent Majority’, and more drastically amplified fruitloops, and a few areas where they are concentrated.

      If ‘vocal here’ over-samples weird conservatives who are pissed off over an unusual dosage of wokeness, then there may be a lot of less-drawn-here conservatives of a more common flavor who are not massively overdosed on vicious woke lunatics.

      1. Have you been paying attention to the “disinformation protection” bills winding their way through the USA, Canada and EU legislatures?

        Full-up Ministry of Truth, turbo-nitrous version. Government can zap anything they don’t like, put up anything they do like, and we are meant to all sit and take it.

        You’d only do that if you were:
        And most important, a very small, very vulnerable minority.

        The purpose of something like that is to keep the majority off balance, panicked and running in circles. Unable to coalesce a functional opposition to The Party, as it were.

        China has been doing this as hard as they can since the Revolution, but this year they were forced to back off the Covid Lockdown BS anyway because the peasants weren’t having it. They very nearly had a general uprising.

        At a time when you can buy a waypoint-capable plastic aerial drone for a hundred bucks US from the hobby store or on-line, POV piloting plug-and-fly, not to mention everybody has a smartphone, no government has any hope of keeping an armed majority panicked and in the dark very long. And everybody knows it.

        But they’re doing it anyway.

        Which means they’re guilty, desperate, and grasping at straws.

        Yay, go us. >:D

        1. SneakerNet. And Samidzat. And alllll the other creative ways to get information around that long predate the internet, telephone, and telegraph.

          In case of a Carrington Event taking out the communications lines, of course. We’re probably due for one, alas. Or some idiot snagging an undersea cable again. Kitty Eyeroll

        1. From current WIP, when Plan FU turns to Plan O:

          “Incoming, from your left, ten seconds.” Alice sounded like she was talking while she was running. “Take cover.”

          “Duck in there!” Pimchan pointed to a spot where two towers met, a tangle of beams making an alcove. No sooner were they under the beams when the sun was briefly blotted out by something huge flying overhead. There was a deafening bang as a plasma beam struck close by, and a rain of building material. There was roaring from an enraged beast and more falling chunks of building. “Holy shit!” she exclaimed.

          “George is pissed,” commented Alice on the network link. “He found a demon and he’s beating the hell out of it.”

          “Cowabunga motherf… oh shit!” came Jimmy’s voice on the network then a ‘bababababam!’ string of rapid fire from his suit gun, then another ‘ZAP-bang!’ from his plasma gun. “Holy crap Alice, I jumped into a bunch of them!”

          “Dumbass,” she drawled.

  37. I can’t understate how important a hood church is to social connectedness for us – our church is a solid 2/3 of our non-family social connections.
    Weekly Bible Study Group – church
    Bi-Monthly Homeschool Group – church

    There’s even a gaming group and a craft group based at church, but they conflict with our home-based RPG group, so we’re not regular there.

  38. Mom is trying to sell their Fifth-wheel RV and I got a call about it Saturday (I’ll not get into the rant for Saturday) and the voice on the phone “We just want to get the hell out of Michigan!”
    I met them Sunday, and it turned out to be the little sister of a classmate and her significant other.
    Gotta say, I too am getting to the Get The Hell Out point.

  39. “The left demands loyalty tests and vocal endorsement of their insanity.”
    Absolutely. Their latest is “Silence is violence against us.”

    1. So, “Silence is violence”, and “Speech is violence” and also “Silence is consent” but “Lack of enthusiastic agreement isn’t consent” and I’m starting to hear someone saying something about believing three impossible things before breakfast.

      No wonder so many of them think they need psych meds.

      1. Compare what the leftists are currently saying about the man who died on the subway and what he was doing — to what they had been saying about “manspreading.”

    2. Just an idea, but they really, really, please, need to not convince folks like me that violence is needful. Really not a good idea. I very much want to live peacefully. And I shall.

      Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

  40. It has been painful to see so many things I believed in and trusted, even things I didn’t even realize I believed in or trusted, turn to mud and ash. It is enough to wonder if there is anything left that can be trusted at all?

    A bitter taste that.

  41. We’re a few hours away down here, but know that you and Dan ARE part of our weird little tribe… And we care about both of you!

    1. We are a little… verklempt still, but the plan is to drive down for weekend dinner once a month or so. Should life settle down a little more. WHich it should after september.

  42. Sometimes, the only thing that gets me through the day is the warm glow I feel when I realize how much some stupid and/or evil people hate my guts.

    It annoys them most pleasantly when one convinces them of it.

    1. I don’t actively try to annoy them by being happy and living my best life in spite of everything. But golly gee it sure does seem to get under their skin.

      It’s hard not to gloat at times.

      But then I feel sad for them being so absolutely miserable. And they do it by choice too!

    2. Apparently, Churchill did not say “You have enemies? Good! It means that, at least once in your life, you stood up for something.” Or, rather, no record exists of him saying it. Certainly sounds like something he would have said, though.

      1. I take that as a talisman, even if Churchill didn’t say it.
        You have enemies? Good – it means that you have stood for something.
        I’ve used the line now and again in a book.

  43. Huh. I just tried clicking on your ‘Darkship Thieves’ link and got a ‘Page not found’ error from Amazon. Might bear looking into.

  44. It is quite amusing to me watching the left sacrifice everything they once believed for the illusions of power. They are the minority and they know it, that little fact is making them more and more insane. I sit back and laugh as they burn their own cities to the ground, mainly through mismanagement. Their own citizens are fleeing their mismanagement, the Chicago Commodities Exchange has just threatened to leave the city. The large Democrat cities are self imploding and they can’t blame anyone but themselves. The Liberal King has no clothes on and their biased media can’t hide it anymore. It makes the liberals angry we live and breathe. Why? Because every time they look at our faces, they get a big fat ‘I Told You So’. So they have to surround themselves with yes men and force us, the truth away. I plan to keep living and breathing just to piss their fragile little Karen/Karl hearts and minds. Every time they see one of us happy and enjoying life, it pisses them off. Be Happy, Live, Love, Create, if only just to piss them off!!!!!!

    Be the Stainless Steel Rat in their nightmares.
    Be Happy

    It really pisses the left off.

  45. I haven’t really had a place or a people since college. First job was shift work with no set schedule, and I almost never had weekends free. So when my friends would want to do something and call me up saying “Hey, were gonna go to such-and-such tomorrow, wanna come?” and I’d have to tell them “No, sorry, I have to work.” We slowly drifted apart since I could never hang out. Me moving across the state a few years later didn’t help. Working overnight shift in Hell On Earth wasn’t conductive to laying down roots or having much of a social life, nor was night school while working pretty much full time.

    Then I met the 501st Legion. First time I went out with them, I came away thinking “These guys are crazy, but they’re my kind of crazy! I have found my people!” And I had… for a while.

    Then The Rise of Skywalker happened. And everyone I knew in the Legion was walking on eggshells lest they say something that went against The Narrative: i.e. “TROS is the greatest entry in the franchise and anyone who disagrees is a racist mysoginist homophobic evil deplorable!” until finally someone said, “you know what, IDGAF, it was a bad movie!” and (most) everyone realized that (most) everyone else in the chapter felt the same way.

    And right about then, COVID hit. So we couldn’t troop for a year. And in that time, Disney’s fan-baiting and outright hatred of long-time Star Wars fans became more blatant and more heated. Things got really bad after the Obi-Wan series, to the point where when the Bad Batch Season 2 and Mandalorian Season 3 trailers dropped, only reaction was indifference. I’d loved the franchise for nearly 30 years the overwhelming majority of my life, and would gobble up every morsel of it I could get, no matter how bad, but now I’m at the point where just DGAF.

    My local 501st crew are still good people, but I’m finding it harder and harder to want to act as a “Brand Ambassador” for a franchise and a company that makes it clear that they despise me and want nothing to do with me. So with me planning on moving back to the other side of the state in the near future, I’m seriously giving thought to leaving the 501st. I’m not sure whether I’ve lost my tribe or they’ve been taken from me, but either way I feel alone once again.

    1. Are the Browncoats still out there misbehaving? I do jhave a coat that’s kind of a brown color . . .

  46. Man, I have been kicked out of or drifted away from (or frigging well -run- away from) more “communities” than I can think of, just off the top of my head.

    In my youth it was because I was the kid who stepped on That Tile, the one you are not supposed to step on, that everyone knows not to step on. I was that kid. So I got dis-invited quite a bit, because when you step on That Tile nobody wants you around.

    But on the bright side I was popular with the young ladies, so that was good. Not -wildly- popular I hasted to add, just reasonably so. Good enough, at any rate.

    Thus, eventually, I made my own damn place to fit into, and carried it with me all over the place as our little two person unit sought… someplace to fit into. Again. But less difficult this time, because I finally had somebody to tell me where The Tile was.

    Until, at length, EVERY FRIGGING TILE was That Tile, and even my clued-in compatriot and partner-in-crime said “f- this, we’re going home.”

    The one advantage to Canadians that living in Canada brings is that bullies and Tile Police can’t get you so long as you don’t break the law. But they’ll certainly try.

    Presently, my “place to fit in” is online because exposing myself to enemy fire in a small Canadian town is stupid. All risk, no reward.

    But, bright side, I don’t have much to worry about. The blog-mistress lets me swear, say weird things, talk about my weird stories, that’s a pretty good deal. I’ll take it. ~:D

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