Monday’s Muse

Blog Post

 

 

**

Bullet Points

** It’s always better to be informed than opinionated.

** I was e-chatting with JohnD in Norway the other day about the climate. He’s of the same mind as I am. The last ice age, or the Pleistocene Epoch, started about 2.6 million years ago and lasted until roughly 11,000 years ago. As with all the others, the most recent ice age brought a series of glacial advances and retreats. Nobody knows why it started, lasted 2.6 million years, and stopped. The mile or so of ice over what is now New York City, Toronto, and Chicago melted, and the Oceans became less saline as they were diluted by melting freshwater ice (causing a change in ocean life, etc.). Normally, periods between ice ages on Earth, such as the one we live in, last about 10,000 +/- years. It gives one pause.

** Here’s a thought: Instead of relentlessly harassing President Trump with bogus indictments and frivolous lawsuits, Democrats might want to find a candidate who isn’t old, isn’t dimwitted, isn’t on the take, and isn’t wrong about everything all the time.

** Can’t make this up.

First Person Jill Biden gave a speech in Utah at Hunter High (School) in Salt Lake City, UT. There have been multiple accounts of it. This one comes from the NY Post via X-Twitter.

** I’m surprised that Utah is as woke as it’s become. What happened to them – outside and apart from fake Doctor Jill? Masks: During the COVID-19 Plague-Arizona, there were no masks to speak of except for tourists; Southern Colorado, there were no masks, NMEX – masks, and Utah – masks. Some sort of virtue signal?

** The current world population is 8,086,017,971 as of Saturday, January 20, 2024, according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometer. Taken as a whole (not so big of a deal in the developed ‘first world’), they have problems with the availability of fresh water and energy needed to accomplish household and industrial tasks. I’ve ranted about this before on the blog. A distributed and robust electrical grid powered by small modular reactors/generators that also desalinated seawater and non-potable groundwater would address those problems so that the investment would pay back. Again, I’m focusing on the global problem, not necessarily a regional problem, though what applies to one also applies to the other. Why don’t we fix it?

** The jet-setters at Davos have not been this upset since law enforcement closed Epstein Island.

** Ward Clark reported, “Federal Government to Spend $700,000 Reminding Girls Who Identify as Boys That They Can Still Get Pregnant.”

** In Yemen: Of note that the vast majority of incidents have occurred outside of Yemeni territorial waters, and many have taken place away from Houthi-controlled coasts. (h/t war mapper)

 

Do You Love Blackrock?

The War in Ukraine began for several reasons. Great Russia (and Vladimir Putin) wanted to incorporate the Ukrainian population of Russian-speaking Slavs, the industrial might of Ukraine, and the agricultural capacity into itself to address weaknesses that would lead to the ultimate breakup of Russia. The population is declining in Russia at about the same rate as it’s increasing in Africa. Additionally, NATO (meaning the US) was courting Ukraine. However, the big military contractors had other plans. Adding new countries to NATO means a captive market for specific companies like Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Lockheed (US Military Industrial Complex).

In March 2022, the U.S. committed $113 billion to the war in Ukraine. An additional $24 billion was committed two months ago, and now Pedo Joe Biden is seeking another $60 billion. (Does the Big Guy get 10%?) The funds aren’t all going to Ukraine; they’re going to American defense manufacturers, and who owns a significant stake in these companies? BlackRock.

Senator Tim Scott tried to ease concerns by calling the billions we’re giving away a loan. But it’s not a generous offer; it’s a tactic. By labeling it a loan, extreme austerity measures can be imposed on Ukraine. This includes selling government-owned assets, including its prized agricultural land, to multinational corporations. Ukraine’s farmland, the breadbasket of Europe, is a major target. 30% of it has already been sold to Dupont, Cargill, and Monsanto — all entities owned by BlackRock.

Pedo Joe Biden awarded the contract to rebuild Ukraine to BlackRock in December 2023.

How many former BlackRock employees work at the White House or in key slots within Pedo Joe’s regime?

 

History

Above: A Polish 7TPjw ( 37mm ) tank overcoming Czech border fortifications during the Polish invasion of Zaolzie in October 1938.

The Polish authorities played into the hands of the Russians and Germans. Instead of signing a coalition agreement with Czechoslovakia for mutual/common defense, Poland helped Hitler divide Czechoslovakia.

Together, Czechoslovakia and Poland might have been able to stop Hitler’s army (in 1938) – or at least have caused him to think hard on the subject of invasion. If the Germans hadn’t attacked Poland, the Russians wouldn’t have.

**

Fictional Short

I published this on Virtual Mirage about four years ago, republished it here, and now at the request of a blog reader for your reading pleasure.

(above) Nine European Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII in May of 1910, four years before the war began. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel II of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of Greece, and King Albert I of Belgium. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom, and King Frederick VIII of Denmark. 

 

1914

“He was her dark fairytale, and she was his twisted fantasy, and together they made magic.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Historical Context: 

On 12 August 1914, Austria invaded Serbia. They almost immediately grappled with and fought the Serbian Army at the battles of Cer and Kolubara. Over the next two weeks, Austrian attacks were repeatedly thrown back with heavy losses, which marked the first major Allied victories of the First World War and dashed Austro-Hungarian hopes of a swift victory. 

_______________________

The morning after brought a day that would be filled with grim irony and empty gestures, but that isn’t the way that my last night with her ended.

Yesterday, Miss Steinberg, the Ambassador’s correspondence secretary, told me of a meeting I was to attend. She has very tender nerves from a lifetime of insignificant fieldwork. I felt her to be completely unsuitable for delivering secret messages, so the Office recalled her to the Embassy. Miss Steinberg, prone to hysteria over small matters, somehow survived working for the British Secret Service long enough to be eligible for a pension. One should not be too surprised. We British always cherish the eccentric.

I sat in my office on the second floor of His Majesty’s Consulate in Saltzburg, chatting with Colin Ramsey, the third cultural attache, who, as you know, is not a spy. He’s precisely what his title suggests. As a large, heavy, convivial man in his mid-sixties, Colin made the most of what he had left, styling his thick white hair into a pompadour and wearing suits cut locally, remaining painfully within his means. You met him once, I think. Remember him from the Press Club? He always smells of bay rum and cigars. He has burned a secret flame for Miss Steinberg for years. She can’t abide him. He fantasizes about her cheap perfume, imagining filthy nights of lovemaking, and has confessed his love publicly in the past when he’s in his cups. It revolts the Ambassador’s correspondence secretary and the rest of us since he shares his feelings regularly with the staff now that he’s apparently reaching his dotage.

When she entered my office without knocking, Colin stood, the soul of chivalry, and she looked at him over her half-moon reading glasses in the same way as a librarian would if you spoke out of turn. She’d lost weight since I last saw her. Thin as a rail with caved-in shoulders and a mouth that had that puckered look that you can get from eating too many persimmons. When she saw me, a warm light radiated over her face, and the stress lines softened, even if only slightly. When she looked back at Colin, the light turned back to ice.

After Colin excused himself and he’d pulled the door closed behind him, she spoke. “You’ve been gone a long time, sir.”

She should have known better because a cue such as that inviting discussion about what one did or where one went was simply not done. Catching herself, she continued, “Carl, the Ambassador wants you to meet with that awful man, Otto, tonight.” She reached out and touched my hand softly, much as one would reach out to caress a cat, which shouldn’t be strange to you since you know that if Miss Steinberg loves anything on Earth, it is those damned Angora cats that she keeps cooped up in her flat. The place always has that lingering odor of cat piss because they’d flee if she left the window open.

The meeting required an evening stroll. Instinct required that I carry an umbrella. Local expedience required that I not. It simply looks far too British. Therefore, dressed in local kit, I set off. The local kit is a gray London suit, Homburg, and no spats for the shoes.

Every kiosk had recruiting posters pasted on them. The government decided to levy the population to compensate for heavy losses at the front. There is nothing like a profound defeat to throw a wet blanket on recruiting efforts. I didn’t endure sideways glances from people. You see, I’m too far past my prime to camp comfortably with an army. I did that during the Anglo-Zanzibar War, installing a pro-British Sultan, and then during the Anglo-Boer War, watching my men fall to sniper fire, and I didn’t like it much in either instance, which is why I joined the political service as a spy. Diplomatic cover offers a better grade of bed linen, better meals, and a more diverse choice of female companionship.

I had to walk past a small legion of prostitutes to get to the restaurant where Otto proposed the meeting that cycled through the Ambassador and down to me. The length of the war could be effectively measured by the length of the harridan’s natural colored hair, tipped by a few inches of blonde. As soon as hostilities broke out, all of the peroxide had been diverted to the effort.

The newspapers in Saltzburg still rested on their stands as the sun set. Nobody wanted to read about casualties at the front. It struck home very directly. Telegrams informing families of their personal loss had been delivered, and the front lines had turned from costly frontal attacks to a static defense as Austria reeled from the news that the Serbs thumped them again and again. It made us British less than popular in all the right social circles since, as you know, we are allied with the Serbs.

I met the contact in a seedy part of town, which is hard to find in Saltzburg. He called himself Otto, but I don’t think that is the name he was born with. As you know, I call myself Carl these days, but it’s not my birth name either. Fair is fair.

Otto looked very much the way you’d expect the tuba player in a Polish oompa band to look. He was muscle gone to flab, mid-way between 5 and 6 feet, and dressed like a salesman down on his luck. It made perfect sense because until hostilities broke out and war profiteering brought the promise of economic resurrection, he’d been a failed salesman. Things changed when the Serbian scoundrel shot Archduke Ferdinand.

Otto wore a tweed sports coat, an American import polyester tie with a hand-painted hula girl, trousers tucked along the bottom of his portly belly, and run-down heels on unpolished shoes. He’d greased down a few strands of dirty blonde hair over his bald pate. His woman wasn’t unlike Otto. She had the unfortunate genes that destined her to a life of obesity. Either that or she couldn’t take the fork out of her mouth. Whatever the cause, fat jiggled east, west, and south when she walked north. Maybe one day she had pretty eyes. Now, they squinted to see through a puffy face that topped three chins. They were feral pig’s eyes.

“Carl, you came. I knew that you would, you Alsatian bastard.” I spoke German with an Alsace-Lorraine accent, and Otto made the cultural leap. Otto greeted me grandly with a sweaty hug. The restaurateur apparently didn’t know that there was a war because he burned coal in the big stove in the back of the place as if there was no end to it. I had to take my coat off, and it revealed a brace of American-made Colt .32-20 revolvers. It wasn’t one of those restaurants where anyone took notice of them. “I’m surprised that the women of the town didn’t delay you.”

“Whores don’t appeal to me,” I replied somewhat confidentially. “A woman’s passion is the greatest aphrodisiac.”

“Of course,” Otto said, taking note of his wife’s beefy scowl. The scowl faded as she shoved a whole bratwurst into her maw. “As you know, I feel just the same as you. Help yourself to bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer.” He shouted to the waiter, “More bread for the table and my friend the count.”

I am not a count, though others used that title when referring to me in the past. Otto liked to use it to improve the service. Otto also thought I came from Alsace Lorraine and did not suspect my parents had birthed me in Kent. That he understood that I enjoyed some sort of tacit relationship with the British should be understood at this point in the narrative.

I forked a sausage and sauerkraut onto my plate. The waiter brought a large stein of beer. Otto conspiratorially leaned across the planked table, “And what do you think of the woman?”

Now would be a good time to fill you in on the whole matter since England favors Serbia and Germany favors Austria-Hungary. King George, Kaiser Wilhelm, and the Czar of Russia are all family, but as with many families, they are not on the best terms.

King Petar I, the monarch of Serbia, is not well and has backed off many decisions of state, favoring his son Prince Aleksander Karađorđević. All well and proper, but for the issue of royal children fathered out of wedlock. King Petar’s oldest child, a daughter, had been born one year before Prince Aleksander, and though tacitly acknowledged by her father, the king, who loved her, she steadfastly refused to leave Saltzburg. And that explains why His Majesty’s Secret Service sent me to town. The Serbians wanted her repatriated to Yugoslavia with or without her consent, and they reached out to an ally to accomplish the deed.

It always rolls downhill onto somebody. In this case, it’s me, which is why I watched Otto’s uncomfortably obese wife stuff brat after brat into the gash in her fat face that passed for a mouth. Otto was one of the few people who knew where King Petar’s issue, Maria Petra, lived at the moment.

As Otto and I ate our way toward a rendezvous with history, I recalled a clandestine meeting – between Maria Petra, the King’s bastard daughter, and me. Over three years ago, it occurred in a tea room next to the Seine, famous for Mont Blanc pastry and hot chocolate. She scooped a delicate spoon full of noodle strands of cream of chestnut that flowed over the whipped cream that topped her chocolate beverage. When she closed her lips on the spoon, it resulted in a dainty smear of creme de marrons on her upper lip that I leaned over and kissed off.

She dressed for the occasion in a pale blue blouse that matched her eyes. Strands of dark pearls circled her long neck and held a cameo. She wore her chestnut tresses back, twisted into a chignon. I delighted in removing her blouse fifteen minutes later but told her to keep the pearls on. We were in Paris, it’s what was done.

By the time we left her flat, tea time had passed, and the day had given way to the City of Lights.

I’d worn out my welcome between then and now, and she had worn out hers, so nobody knew how it would fall out between us. Back then, the Service would have used me and our relationship for Old England’s benefit if they’d read the tea leaves. However, at the time, she held no particular importance to them. There was no dead Archduke back then to change the world.

There was nothing but she and I, you see. Nothing but the two of us because, as a Serbian bastard with an adequate trust fund, she blended into Parisian anonymity. My anonymity is far more studied, but during our dance together, we whirled in a world without end until duty called, and I took ship to New York City as she entrained to Vienna.

And now, you understand why they didn’t follow normal protocol. You clearly grasp why the Ambassador involved himself personally as well as why His Majesty’s government singled me out to sit in a smokey gasthaus with Otto and his starving wife in a poor quarter in Saltzberg. People had begun hunting Maria and wanted me to do what I did and hunt better in those shadows at night that haunted the ancient streets and alleys. The hand of fate fits as snugly as a glove, if only for one night.

Portly Otto and I bade a farewell to his wife. She saw us off with a wet belch, which had not been followed by a napkin and a wave of one chubby mitt. After the wave, she slugged down half a stein of warm beer.

We synced into a leisurely pace down the pavement as Otto began his sales pitch. There was no way that he wouldn’t maximize our time together on the way to meet Maria.

“Have you heard of the Flammenwerferapparaten?”

I had not and told him as much. Doing a quick translation to English, I switched to my native tongue, “Flame thrower?”

“I am selling them for Herr Fiedler, for use by the Heer.”

“What does it look like, and how does it work,” I asked, switching from rescuer to spy on the fly.

“It is a single tank one meter long carried by a man. There are two sections within that tank. One contains pressurized gas, and the other contains flammable oil. When you depress a lever, the propellant gas forces the oil through a tube and over a simple igniting wick in a steel nozzle. It produces a jet of fire eighteen meters long–most impressive.”

“I take it that you think that the Allies might also be interested in this device?”

“Of course. I am a profiteer, not a nationalist. It’s all about getting a fair price.”

I put a comrade’s arm around Otto’s shoulder and told him sincerely, “That’s why I love you, Otto. Now tell me about Maria.”

“I spoke to her just yesterday and told her that I would bring you to her.”

“How did she take it?”

“Surprise, mostly. She asked if you had married. Naturally, I said that you had not, and I suspected you had been burning a candle for her these past years. She smiled, and in her smile, I saw her father’s smile. Warm, garrulous, and a bit mischievous.”

Now, back to you.

You predicted we’d find a way to get back together, but all of your card-turning and palmistry didn’t envision this, did you? A magnum of very fine champagne and then a quick tryst for old time’s sake that devolved into three hours of rough sex, followed by oysters and more champagne. A diplomatic car arrived, and I drove her to Serbia in the boot. The Americans call it a trunk — how quaint.

I sent a cable, and members of the Serbian Royal Household met her on their side of the border. People have different predictions. Some say that the war will be over in a week, a month at the most, as the Austrian army keeps hemorrhaging. Then I’ll see her again.

 

Identify the Aircraft

Can you have too many wings? Maybe.

38 thoughts on “Monday’s Muse

  1. Supermarine Nighthawk. Awfully snazzy-sounding name, for that thing.

    OTOH, maybe it was just designed to hang around late-night diners?

    – Kle.

  2. Politicians don’t want to solve the water problem unless and until they get enough money and power from it, a bit like the proposed(by outsiders) dam in Albania. It would have solved a lot of problems, but the graft-grabbers were asking for too much so it never happened. The Donkey Party specializes in secret meetings to concoct schemes of grandeur. Finding a candidate who is on the up-and-up would be too much of a stretch for them. At least the Stupid Party will occasionally slip up and let someone somewhat decent sneak past them and into the running.

    1. Exactly…they do not want solutions to common problems the private sector could solve in a heartbeat. Instead TPTB create a mess then swoop in for the “solution” photo op. Bums.

  3. ‘…Democrats might want to find a candidate who isn’t old, isn’t dimwitted, isn’t on the take, and isn’t wrong about everything all the time.’ Maybe they can find one that isn’t old, as for the rest, I doubt it.

  4. In East Texas, the trunk is called a turtle hull.

    In another bit of cultural enlightenment, you know you’re from East Texas if your mother doesn’t remove the cigarette from her mouth before telling the DPS trooper to kiss her backside.

    1. Explain the difference between East Texas culture and West Texas Culture (and where does the panhandle fit in).

    2. Being born in the swamps of S.E. Texas and having family spread over the “Big Thicket” I do recall the turtle hull reference. Also, remember some elderly women who could tell a DPS trooper and anyone else, to kiss their backside and never drip any snuff from their lip.
      Now that I live on the edge of West Texas, one of the most significant differences is that true West Texans aren’t born with webs between their toes since it’s so dry. East Texans who move to Central and West Texas have to soak their feet twice a week to keep their webs from drying out.

  5. Hunter High- Poetic justice for once. The Biden’s are white trash with money, always trying to show us their importance but failing miserably…because they have no class, only greed and arrogance. They are that house in the neighborhood.

    Hickenlooper was that kid (first hand knowledge), from money…only he was supposedly strange and no one liked him. Moves to Denver, opens a brew pub, then becomes Governor of Colorado while running in city high society circles. These people are all the same. Trump is not one of them (a good thing).

    Blackrock is a cancer of its own purposeful making…funny how Congress doesn’t break it up like they did with AT&T under anti-trust laws. Probably has nothing to do with kickbacks and money-laundering. Nah, nothing to see there. [Time For A Reset ™]

    New King of Denmark this past week, Frederik X. Queen Margrethe II abdicated the throne after 52 years running, and at 83 decided her tenure was enough, deciding to pass the baton to her eldest son. A class act…like Melania…not Jill. (Melania’s eulogy for her mother showcased from whence she got her quiet fortitude and grace).

      1. Allowances only for a certain speh-shall group…you or I did what they do we’d be another American Political Prisoner, or Epstein-ed.

        1. It depends. If I were them, I’d give Pedo Joe 10%, too. There is a realpolitik angle to things. It’s like Tony Bobulinski doing business with Hunter because Pedo Joe promised to smooth the path. Nobody would give Hunter Biden the time of day otherwise. In business, I do business with some people who annoy me. MRSLL hears me on the phone and asks, “Why do you do business with them?” I show her the bankwire and she nods her head.

  6. Does Blackrock actually own any of that or just manage the mutual funds that do? End their ability to vote shares held in street name and most of their influence disapears; provided they aren’t doing like SBF did but with pols who stay bought.

    Senator Scott’s labeling that money as loans is as transparent a lie as all the loans made to Hunter and Joe

    1. Money under management is control of the funds and it allows them to use the money as if it was their own. The corporate revenue from that system (in its multiplicity of streams) is significant in its own right.

  7. The problem with Trump is that he is not part of the Uniparty…
    In any normal election since the mid 1960s both candidates represent the Uniparty, their differences are minor (compared to the big things) but make a good distraction, with the distraction the big things keep going to where they are supposed to.

    “Why don’t we fix it” you ask? Things are working well right now for the people in charge… (who ever that really is).

    1. Things couldn’t be going better than they are now with a puppet in the White House who can’t recall what he ate for breakfast.

      1. Squinty-Eyed Joe, my new favorite country song…play it backwards and you get your Country, petrol vehicle, energy independence, male/female, Faith, Middle Class, and clean streets back.

  8. Frederik X? “Ecks”?
    OMG. OMFG! A negro is the new king of Denmark? How wonderful! Truly it’s a globalist’s world now.

    Flammenwerfers, eh? It’s a small blogosphere, innit. I recall flammenwerfer-guy saying that he knew Maura Healey in high school and that she was a dreadful person even then. So yeah, most of them ARE the same. Also, how is it that both CO and MA are governed by homosexuals? Seems statistically unlikely. (And it’s a weird frickin’ thing to change your surname to your mother’s maiden name at age 25.)

    1. “Ten!” “Ten!”…Americans, oy. If this were anyone but Denmark the former Queen would be righteously offended, but she’d probably laugh it off. Those Danes, nice people who, honestly, don’t really care what other people think, especially while having Afternoon Coffee or the evening Blue Hour “beverage”.

      Interestingly, “Mor” told #2 son he was not getting a shot at the Kingship, was divorced then remarried, which, unlike American Dems with that silly little tiny “natural Born” requirement , The Crown has enough self respect to take “infiltration” seriously. Fred (as he is known to his pals) is straight line more pure with less baggage, and Mary is rather elegant (ie. Melania, not Jill).

        1. Hey, one of my fav’s…especially the Wisconsin hopped-up tractor race (I mean, c’mon, who hasn’t put a string on the governor?). I like Ms. Stiles in that, even better as the tougher Bourne gal (they just had to kill her off, hated that).

          Prince Joachim and 2nd bride Marie…pfft, pfft…Danes prefer “Fred”. (heh)

          1. Fred AND Mary Elizabeth. Apparently even members of the soft-lefty crowd such as the cartoonist:

            https://satwcomic.com/fullroll/sister-australia

            Ah youth. Paige doesn’t understand that she could have so much more impact as The Crown Princess, and eventually HM The Queen than as some random MD, Medécins Sans Frontières or no. But a very charming movie and guilty pleasure.

    1. I write “shorts” for the blog from time to time. I have a collection of shorts that I have threatened to publish but haven’t. One of Old NFO’s friends is collecting short stories for an anthology and asked me to send him a story. So I e-mailed it off and never heard back. From that I take it that they’re not interested even though HE asked for one. The least he could have done is send an e-mail saying “thanks but not interested”.

      Shorts, as I term them, can be a few paragraphs or a few pages. Beginning, middle, and end with a general theme. Red Mist started as a short as did Broken Toys so I find some value in them. It’s like playing with a topic to see if you want to write more. The story I sent to Old NFO’s friend, “Vampire Moon,” was one of those shorts that I thought about expanding into a book but never did. Maybe it wasn’t that good? There is always that.

      Writers are like parents. They all think their kid should win the beauty contest. Stories like Broken Toys and the sequel, Hungry Ghosts, took time to develop. I could bash through the concept and hope the story holds water, but they’re always better if I take more time on them. Shorts aren’t like that. I can chop them out in an hour or two. Let me know if you or other readers have a topic you’d like me to take on as a short. I’ll post it here on the blog, and you can critique it. I have developed a thick skin. Because I have an hour or two into the story, if it sucks (and sometimes they do), the failed investment in time isn’t painful.

      1. Reading Baldalcci’s Archer Series (set after WW2), your short above is as good if not better, immediate draws one into the setting and story.

        Ps. I never liked The Great Gatzby, found it weird. HS Advanced English required it so one muddles thru, but nah, not my cup of tea. The Dicaprio movie didn’t do it justice either, but was worth a bowl of popcorn. That said, I really like Owen Wilson’s Midnight in Paris (theme and feel).

        1. I think that HS English ruined a number of books for me. Some I think I was not old enough to understand at the time. (I don’t mean creepy stuff about homosexual blowjobs that They are apparently pushing on pre-teens these days. I mean stuff about loss, for example.)

          What really annoyed me (as well as a bunch of my peers, including surprisingly one who was a real gunner, in the medical school sense), was being told “This is what the author meant” as if it were the Word of God. And this from a mediocrity of a teacher who probably never had an original insight in his life, who was teaching from a manual written by other mediocrities. [gimme a minute to wipe the froth from my lips. Grrrr.]

          I recall writing an essay on how Dali’s “The Pharmacist of Ampurdan Seeking Absolutely Nothing” was really a Cold War allegory. Obviously nonsense to claim that, but my essay was in the style of what we were told about other books. I don’t recall what happened, after all this time.

      2. I started to read that at breakfast and ran out of time.
        I enjoyed giving it full time tonight, savoring it.
        Yet, I’m having a it of deja vu with it, Have you printed it before?

        That quote is attributed to F Scott, but no one can say where.

        1. Has to be The Great Gatzby…but I too can’t locate a reference (thought it might a precursor tagline from Fitzgerald about the story but no online PDF shows it as such).

  9. From friends who live in Utah, they have two problems:
    External source: there are tons of blue-staters living there now along the I-15 corridor between Ogden and Provo
    Internal source: There has been a strong strain of the Mormon church preaching and teaching for decades now that good=nice, with a side of social approval instead of good=moral. The downfall of many families, wards, stakes, and the rest of the state is an inevitable conclusion that most are willfully blind to, as the Molly Mormons have their egos and social status staked on proclaiming their niceness, tolerance, and social virtue.

    That is, of course, hearsay, and worth what you paid for it.

    1. The Blue State Invasion, Californicating the rest of the nation, is a real problem. Of course, I can be accused of being one of those refugees with some painful degree of accuracy myself. I was chatting with a former DEA Special Agent-in-Charge from San Diego who moved to Cedar City, UT, where a colony of former feds lives in a development/suburb. I haven’t been up the I-15 corridor for a very long time. The last time I saw Cedar City (maybe 25+ years ago), it was significantly smaller than he says it is today.

    2. Having lived a good portion of my early years among Latter Day Saints, I understand they are obedient to a fault. Bishop to Stake President to Council to Church President. Overall, I respect them despite their faults.

      Old joke. “What is a lapsed Mormon?” “A Seagull that won’t eat crickets”

    3. Dorothy,
      In my humble opinion, Proposition 8 was a turning point for The Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, colloquially,The Mormon’s leadership.
      The church came out very strong in support of Proposition 8 which in 2008 made same-sex marriages illegal in California.
      Big Business ie. PG&E, Apple, and a host of others donated to campaigns against Prop 8. There were a lot of signs supporting Prop 8 in our rural area of Northern California (no, not the Bay Area…that is NOT Northern California).
      Prop 8 passed with about a 4% winning margin.
      The 9th Circuit.overturned the law as unconstitutional.
      The church received such a negative response to their support of Prop 8 that it has not since delved into politics as a way of legislating morality…
      The church stopped emphasizing food storage and preparedness shortly thereafter. The Relief Society stopped having classes on canning and sewing and began doing foo-foo craft projects
      I was told by someone supposedly “in the know” that the leadership plans a generation ahead and that in their opinion the leadership has “cried repentance”, food storage, loving your brothers and sisters enough.
      They seem to be focused on The Atonement of Christ, missionary work, and building Temples to facilitate work in the Temples for families.
      The impression I got was that the church is waiting.

      ” When you are the hammer…strike! When you are the anvil be patient.”.
      – Arab Proverb

      It is not lost on me that Christians look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as immoral people being punished.
      Jewish culture looks at the story as a cautionary tale about where one choses to live.

  10. Love that short! Re small modular reactors/generators, they are the answer to both the water and power issues, but the powers that be can’t steal money from them… And the left is deathly afraid of anything nuclear.

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