As of now, BHM is no longer paying me to write this blog. Just got word on Saturday.
They’re not closing the blog down. I can continue to write it on my own, if I wish. And Dave Duffy has offered me “behind the scenes” types of work and possibly print work to make up for the loss. (BHM is like a good family that way.)
Jackie Clay has also been offered similar terms. Only Mas Ayoob’s blog is unaffected, far as I know.
Of course, because the Duffys have always allowed me those wonderful Amazon links and occasional use of the PayPal donation button, I still have some income from the blog — just considerably reduced and not as predictable or steady. The weekend’s blow is compounded by the fact that my other online work, The Zelman Partisans, is strictly volunteer. Now I have to wonder about the best allocation of my time and effort.
Yet, I love what I do and would do it all for nothing if I could afford to. And you guys are a great, smart “social circle” I don’t want to abandon or do without.
So I’m contemplating what to do from here on and wonder if You the Commentariat have some suggestions.
I’ll be back tomorrow late morning with a regular blog post (and to catch up on overdue emails). Will check in with you then to see what you have to say about this.
This Looney Toon of a presidential election takes me back, gods forbid, to elections past.
It takes me to Nixon-Humphrey, the previous absolute-worst political pairing in my lifetime. Before that, I was political, but only because my mom was political and I took after her. All Democrats were good, all Republicans were Eeeeevil, and John Kennedy was the best Democrat of all because he was handsome and a Democrat and he came to our town campaigning and I almost got to touch him. Life was simple.
I was still too young to v*te when the major parties threw up Nixon and Humphrey. But it was the first time I knew something was rotten on both sides. And Mom’s adoration for the tubby hack from Minnesota merely made me wonder what she’d been smoking (or rather, not smoking, since the smoking people of 1968 were as horrified by Hubie the Mediocre as they were by Milhaus the Whining Retread).
I think I may have even declared my intention to leave the country — years ahead of Alec Baldwin and his ilk, but just as insincerely. The fact that I was too young to get a passport excuses me, right? And shortly after that, there were Libertarians and retreaters (the name back then for prepper-survivalists) and cool non-political newsletters from the heady combo of Rothbard and Hess, and many other things besides politics-as-usual to put hopes in.
But this utterly hope-less election of 2016 — with its likely pairing of two megalomaniacs who use government for incessant personal gain and whose “principles” are light enough to blow wherever the next breeze takes them — also takes me back to the one-and-only national election where I felt an actual stirring of hope.
Still sick. More than two weeks now. Whatever you do, don’t catch this thing.
It may also be that springtime is complicating matters. I don’t usually get hay fever, but Old Blue looks like Old Green every morning thanks to its daily dusting of yellow pollen, and I’m wondering whether things that normally wouldn’t bother me are affecting me now because my respiratory system is already sensitized by the virus.
Whatever this is, please don’t catch it.
I finally found a dose of OTC meds that knocks the symptoms down maybe 50% while only reducing me to stupid and dry-mouthed, no longer brain-dead. That’s something.
And today I trimmed out the back door, which means I can soon get down to one of the most pleasant of all DIY tasks, shingling the wall. Fun to do. Looks great almost from the first course. And I can pick the task up or put it down any time. My kind of job.
Books could be written on that topic. Investigative reporters could spend years plumbing the depths of how “they” — the ubergovernment and the deep govocracy, probably helped along by outfits like the Southern Poverty Hate Law Center — use our ‘Net postings to build dossiers on us. And how they use their postings on our fora and comment sections to provoke and undermine us. Kit’s only touching on a couple of things. But her points are well-taken.
IMHO, it’s overlong and repetitive. But it makes absolutely valid points about how “liberalism” became synonymous with snotty elitism and social justice pecksniffery (the very opposites of anything actually liberal, of course). Most salient point: The snottery was always there, but when the left abandoned the working class or the working class abandoned the left, nothing remained to hold the arrogance and contempt in check.
The “right” may have Donald Trump, but fundamentally the “left” is in a whole lot more perilous shape.
The most remarkable thing about the Vox piece is the source: Vox’s lefty credentials are as good as anybody’s.
The first was a classic by MamaLiberty (a piece I’d have been proud to write myself). Check the original out here.
The second, a new one from the prolific Carl-Bear Bussjaeger, looks at the question of whether Obama could regulate firearms out of existence. Ha! You know the answer to that one, but Bear’s last line says it with a hammer blow.
I’m prepping this blog Monday night, before Bear’s piece posts to TZP. But it should be there at the top of the TZP blog by early a.m.
A 24-hour round-trip drive. But a wonderful thing for friends whose next meeting can only take place “on the other side.”
If you haven’t yet sent Mike a gratitude offering for all he’s done for gun rights and freedom — for all the inspiration, ideas, leadership, and strength he’s shown even as his body betrayed him — this would be a good time. Even if you can afford only $5 or $10, it would be a great opportunity to say thanks to Mike.
And the thing I think Elias would most like you to know about (and contribute to): a a new movie he’s hoping to complete with a little help from friends.
Currently the site is a mix of the new and old, with navigation not always smooth between its component parts. But then, it’s a work in progress. Just like Elias himself. Just like me. Just like most everything.
I’ll ask Elias to keep me posted as he adds new features.
I got to thinking yesterday about how preparedness tends to get emphasized more in late Summer and fall. Heck, these days there’s even a whole month observed in prepping’s honor (September, of course).
Makes sense. Crops come in. Time to preserve food. Weather’s going south. Time to check the vehicle emergency kit. And so on.
But we who “think prep” in ways that go beyond canning and emergency preparedness have extra preps for this time of year, too. Replace stashed water supplies for those hot months. Check and use up the veggies that have survived in the root cellar since last year. Buy extra ammo for those liesurely summer plinking sessions. Make sure the winter-stored fuel is in shape for the mower and other summertime power equipment. Stuff like that.
So I’m asking: What special preps do you make (or what existing preps do you take care to doublecheck) come spring or early summer?
Barefoot Bandit boy, I’ve always felt kind of fond of you. As criminals go, you’ve got style and brains. You reimbursed your victims and you gave $100 to my favorite vet to help animals. But this is just dumbass stupid. Your mother smoked and drank herself to death on government money. Who, other than you, would want to bring her back to life? (H/T CB)
And it’s the same-old-same-old in the world of U.S. cops, too. So it’s okay to train a dog to potentially “rip the face off” any innocent person — infant, sleeping woman, hapless bystander — as long as it’s for “officer safety”?
Getting away from all that evil … Years ago, webmaster Oliver sent me a the catalog of the Museum of Bad Art. Smiling my way through it the other day, I wondered if the place still existed. Yes! And it’s growing. Here’s a portion of its fabulous collection, each piece worth as much as $6.50. And for those who simply must have these works prominently displayed on their coffee tables, the original catalog has now been supplemented by a collection of their masterworks.
Today it’s been exactly two months since I had home Internet. Four months to go and I confess that when Comcast comes back on August 20, I plan to binge my little heart out streaming Amazon shows, forum browsing, and even indulging in a whole bunch of disgusting news reading. I’ll surf until my brain turns soggy. When November comes, I’ll follow 16 live blogs of every dismal, depressing election result and love every second of it.
That said, I generally haven’t missed connectedness that much and am looking forward to a summer of getting lots of small things done on the house (no big projects this year) because I’m not chained to my computer.
There’ve been some inconvenient moments and a few minor aggravations, but mostly it’s simply been no big deal. And those house debts I need to pay down are getting paid just that much faster without that extra $40 going to Comcast every month.
The few PITAs have been unexpected ones. Last week when I was sick, I blogged less because I didn’t have the oomph to drag myself to the library and didn’t want to pollute the other patrons. If I’d had home ‘Net, I’d likely have blogged much more than usual because I’d be drowning my sorrows in cyberspace.
The library itself has sometimes been … interesting. On one of the four days its open, it hosts thundering herds of children. Not exactly an aid to concentration. And there are a few grownups whose company I could do without. There’s one man — he just left a moment ago as I write this, so the memory of him is vivid — who must pour a full bottle of cheap cologne over himself every morning. Now, I am not somebody who has scent allergies or even a particularly sensitive sense of smell. I rarely even notice people’s perfumes. But when this man is 20 feet away from me, as he was just now browsing a shelf, I’m not only assaulted by the reek of him, but can literally taste his chemicals with every breath I take. Worse, he likes to use the library computer terminal that sits just over the wall of my carrel. The one-and-only carrel for plugging in a laptop.
I swear, whatever he’s putting on himself must be outlawed by treaties against chemical warfare. Thank heaven I only encounter him about once a week.
Still, it’s mostly pleasant here in my little corner of the library. The librarians are nice when they talk with me and even nicer for leaving me alone. This is a good time.
But it’ll be nice as summer fades and fall darkness closes in, to warm myself with home Internet again. And enjoy the quiet and the aroma of wet dog and hot tea.
But shy hermit that he is, Joel neglects to mention one more personally important event that took place on April 19 some undeclared number of years ago. But within Joel’s own lifetime (which you can consider a hint).
Fess up, Joel. Or don’t, as the case may be. But I will say I personally consider it one of the few unqualified good things that happened on that date.
Yesterday The Wandering Monk came by to pry some lengths of 2×4 off the exterior walls of Ye Olde Wreck. They are among the last traces of the monstrous not-a-garage. I’ve never had any idea of their purpose. They had zero structural function. They were as far from decorative as could possibly be. The only use I could imagine for them was for hanging tools, but there was no sign they’d ever borne hooks or any other hanging devices.
They were just … 2x4s. Extremely long ones. Nailed high up on the walls.
It baffled me that I’d been unable to make headway prying them off myself. But since they were large and potentially dangerous if they crashed down from overhead, I figured I’d leave them to a pro.
Here’s the reason they were so hard to get down:
The nails on the left — some of them nearly 5″ long — were holding up those useless trim strips. Dozens of the things, pairs every couple of feet. This is only a sampling.
For contrast I give you nails of the size the geniuses who built my house used for crucial structual functions. On the right are 6d and 8d nails like those they used to attach both the enclosed porch and the entire back wing to the original one-room house. These are not the actual nails, which were all rusted and bent from the stresses of the house pulling apart around them. They’re just nails I keep on hand for light duty applications — like nailing up trim.
I don’t know when the cancerous not-a-garage was built. It was clearly a boozy afterthought. But the useless 2x4s the monk removed yesterday were true dimensional lumber, from back in the day when 2×4 really meant 2×4. That puts them solidly in the time when the original builder was still living there.
Somebody really had some amazingly whacky priorities.
Anyhow, now that the 2x4s are gone, the only remaining trace of the not-a-garage is 1/4″ fiberboard that covers the original tongue-and-groove siding. And those my prybar and I are more than capable of doing away with.
I owe Dr. Jim an apology. It must be two months now since he sent me a copy of his book for review. I meant to get on it right away. But you know, I just could not bring myself to pick up and read that book.
It’s not that there was anything wrong with it. On the contrary, at a glance it was obviously a solid, professional piece of work. I already knew Dr. Jim, an occasional Commentariat participant, writes clearly with an amazingly light touch given the subject matter. The book is lucid, well laid-out, and easy on the eye.
I just could not force myself to endure a rehash of the hash that politicians are making of what was once (and in some ways still is) the best medical system on the planet.
Once I belatedly opened the cover, I realized I had nothing to dread.