Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

No free ice cream!

Sorry about that, gang, but my internet connection has become so unreliable the last few days as to be considered almost non-existent: slow, intermittent dropouts, and the like have rendered sitting down to do a post or three pretty nearly unbearable. That said, though, it seems to be behaving itself for the moment, so for as long as that happy condition lasts, I’ll try to get some fresh posts up here quick. If I should suddenly disappear again, you’ll know why.

Update! And now I see that for some reason the third-party blog editor I use is throwing up the same posts repeatedly for some reason. Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrap.

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Heads up

Another thank you to my good friend and brother-in-arms Bill Quick for allowing me posting privileges over at Daily Pundit during the outage here. For those of you who didn’t know—and I can’t imagine that there are that many readers here who aren’t also regulars at DP—I posted several items over there while the domain-name issue was sorted out. Looks like Bill and I will continue doing some crossposting on both sites—which, as I told him earlier, ought to result in tears of outrage and horror from just about everybody on the internet. Hey, it’s a feature, not a bug.

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Thanks!

Many, many of them to all of you who participated in Ye Olde Fundraiser. I’m having problems with e-mail since last week’s server migration, so the personal thank-you’s are slow going out, but we’re getting there. As I’ve always said (but probably not nearly enough), you guys all rock, and I’m most grateful for your attention here, be you contributor, commenter, lurker, or just occasional drop-in visitor. Thanks again to each and every one of you.

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Hoodwinked, bamboozled!

In the course of digging through the archives for an old post I can’t seem to find, I ran across one from last year that I think is worth a repost, on Western civilization and its loss.

What the hey, we had a good run. And what the Left has replaced it with is not only not worth defending, it’s wholly indefensible.

Think of it: Western Civ gave us Huck Finn. Post-Western Civ banned it.

Western Civ gave us Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Post-Western Civ saddled us with Beyonce, Fitty Cent, and Miley Cyrus.

Western Civ gave us internal combustion engines, hot rods, Harleys, a Ford in every garage, and plenty of cheap gas to run ’em all. Post-Western Civ gave us helmet laws, high gas taxes, the “peak oil” lie, impossible CAFE standards, and the seventy thousand dollar Chevy Volt.

Western Civ gave us central heat and air conditioning. Post-Western Civ gave us brownouts and windmills. Although actually, it was Western Civ that gave us the windmills many centuries ago; Post-Western Civ just brought ’em back as “cutting edge” “green” technology. They’re so goddamned feeble even their “new ideas” were stolen from their betters.

Western Civ gave us the Concorde. Post-Western Civ would rather force you to walk, or ride a bicycle you don’t even own. Yes, even to Europe.

Western Civ gave us modern agriculture capable of feeding a hungry world, the tulip gardens of Amsterdam, and staunch, stout, stoic farmers as both benefactors and admirable role models. Post-Western Civ foists on us urban hothouse flowers copiously weeping to their shrinks over the trauma of discovering that the organic bok choi at Trader Joe’s was slightly wilted this week, and their insuperable anxiety over GMOs.

Western Civ gave us Charles the Hammer, King Leonidas, Charlemagne, Churchill, and Reagan. Post-Western Civ brought us Obama, the Clintons, LBJ, Slow Joe Biden, and John Effing Kerry.

Western Civ gave us Newton, Einstein, and Goddard. Post-Western Civ hoodooed us with Michael Mann and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Western Civ gave us William Wallace, the aforementioned Leonidas, Robert E Lee, George S Patton, and Audie Murphy. Post-Western Civ gave us Vagina Warriors, Hashtag Armies, flash mobs, and Bradley/Chelsea Manning.

We certainly got a raw deal on the exchange, and ought to be looking for a way to get our money back.

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Oops!

Sorry ’bout the outage there, folks. A database issue that was my fault entirely, fixed now with the help of the great Stacy Tabb and her team at Hosting Matters, which is simply the best hosting service out there as far as I’m concerned. Many thanks to them; for any of you who have ever thought of trying your hand at this blogging business, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

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Fundraiser!

Remember when I mentioned not long ago that another fundraiser was imminent? Well, here t’is, folks. The A/C is still out, I’m behind on the rent—and the hosting service and internet access bills too, among other things—work continues to be slow, and…well, no need to belabor it, times are tough here on the fag-end of summer at Casa CF. If you enjoy the work I do here (and make no mistake, although I do enjoy it, it IS work), please consider helping to keep it coming with whatever material expression of support you can manage.

There’s always the subscription links over in the sidebar too; with around 4,000 daily readers, if everybody kicked in for a one-dollar sub instead of the eight or ten of you who actually have, I’d be caught up financially and banging away at the ol’ keyboard in air-conditioned glory again in a mere trice. Heck, if even half of you did I’d be well on the road back to financial solvency. In fact, it would amount to a damned substantial monthly income, one approaching Andrew Sullivan levels. And that would surely be nice. Although the psychological toll of paying attention to and writing about politics full-time in this frustrating day and age would be steep, and the medication required to maintain some semblance of sanity would probably be expensive enough to eat up most of said income.

Oh, and speaking of banging away at keyboards, I actually managed to fix the MacAlly one mentioned in the above-linked post, so we’re all good there. Just in case anybody was interested in that at all.

As always, my sincerest and humblest thanks to all of you, contributors and non-contributors alike, for your kind attention to my rantings and ramblings. Without y’all, this place wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as it truly is.

NOTE: post is sticky and will remain at the top for a few days. Just scroll down for the new stuff.

Update! We’re up to about 400 bucks here on the old fundraiser so far, which is a good bit shy of a new A/C compressor but is plenty enough to cover the back rent on server space and internet access. Many, many thanks to all who have kicked in so far; I can’t tell you how much your support means to me, and that’s the plain truth. A lot of other bloggers say they’re uncomfortable with doing fundraisers, and I do understand the sentiment. But there’s nothing better for making you realize the obligation you have to your audience—your connection to them—than direct, material expressions of appreciation like the ones you get from a fundraiser. I’ve done ’em about once a year for a long while now, and I always more or less forget how humbling they are until I do another one.

It’s easy to get a sort of disconnect going with this blogging stuff; nobody, not even Glenn Reynolds, has anything near as many commenters as they do readers, and sometimes it can seem as if you’re throwing your thoughts out into a vacuum. A fundraiser brings you down to earth again, informs you about and puts you in touch with your readership, and lets you know just what impact you’re really having on people. That’s a good thing, I think.

Okay, enough navel-gazing, right? Direct e-mail thanks will be coming to each of you contributors starting first of the week, but in the meantime please accept my more general expression of gratitude yet again. Y’all rock, you truly do.

Anniversary update! A few further reflections on fundraisers and such, which I’ll tuck below the fold: Continue reading “Fundraiser!”

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Publick announcement

Apologies for the complete dearth of posting this week, gang; a couple of minor but expensive calamities knocked me offline and kept me there until now. It ain’t as if there’s not been plenty enough to rant about, right?

The least minor and most expensive of said calamities was the loss of central air conditioning at Casa Hendrix last Friday. Any of you who have lived in the steamy South in August know what a disaster that is; after working all week and spending money I didn’t have replacing the cheaper and more readily replaceable components, along with consulting with various friends-of-friends in the HVAC business, it’s clear that the compressor is shot. Those of you who have survived the financial exsanguination that accompanies replacing one of those won’t be surprised when I tell the rest of you to expect another Hail Mary fundraiser around these parts very soon.

And none of you ought to be surprised when I inform you that, according to one of said HVAC guys, the federal G has mandated a switch to a different kind of coolant next year—a coolant that’s both lots more expensive and way less effectual than the current R410. But at least Gaia will be saved…until the year after that, when they’ll most likely do it again. Some things never change, whether I’m here to post about ’em or not.

At any rate, for now I have a borrowed portable A/C unit cranking away in my living room, which is keeping things down to a cozy 85 degrees during the day, dropping to an entirely livable 78 at night. And that’s bearable enough to strip down to boxer shorts, grab a cool beverage (side note: one of the more minor catastrophes was spilling orange juice on my nice MacAlly keyboard, forcing me to recall its battered old Logitech predecessor from its retirement from service), insert myself between monitor and chair, and post a bit between bouts of catching up on the paying work I’ve also been neglecting while trying to restore a modicum of civilized comfort around here. So off we go!

Side note to the side note: the Logitech board is battered enough that there are a couple of barely-functioning keys that have to be pounded violently to make them respond at all, and the spacebar sticks sometimes too. So just ignore the annoying typos that are bound to slip by me here and there, ‘kay?

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Publick Notice

Sorry about the dearth of free ice cream this week, folks. Been sick as a damned dog, among other damned things. Gonna be an extremely busy weekend too, with four gigs in two days. But I’m back among the (relatively) living now, so we’ll see what I can squeeze in (or squeeze out, some would say) in between my occasional pauses for breath here. Onwards!

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A tip of the ni…no, I can’t say it

Many, many thanks to our good friend Chris Muir for that smokin’ hot custom image accompanying the DBD strip in the sidebar. I intended to start running it horizontally in a sticky post up top, but had trouble getting the embed script to work for reasons I can’t figure out. So to heck with it for now; I just stuck it back in the sidebar the way it used to be until I can get things sussed rather than continue depriving y’all of his always-excellent work. Enjoy, y’all.

Update! Holy crap, are you kidding me? I try the horizontal embed code just one more time for shits and grins, and all of a sudden it WORKS? Jeez. Okay, clearly I have work to do here. And some more self-educatin’ right along with it.

Updated update! Okay, I’m leaving that image over in the sidebar as a link back to Chris’s DBD site. It’s just too good not to use. Now y’all get your daily dose of the funny papers right up top to start you off, and the added bonus of some…ummm…stimulating visuals in the sidebar to boot. Don’t anybody say I never did anything for ya, hear?

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Publick Notice

Yes, I’m playing with the themes here. Expect weirdness, with my apologies for any inconvenience.

Update! Yes, yes, I know, I know. But I kinda like the theme otherwise. I’ll fix it, I promise. No hippies on the main page. Hell of a way for a swinging’ bachelor like me to spend a Saturday night, ain’t it?

Updated update! Okay, hippies gone, hopefully for good. Now to figure out the rest of it.

Update to the updated update! Just about done fooling about with this, I think. Everything seems to work except Day By Day, and I just sent Muir an e-mail to see if we can get that sorted out. Hope y’all like this look; it’s a theme I’ve used before here, with a few little tweaks. I think it’s pretty readable and easy to navigate, and hell, I was tired of the old look and just wanted a bit of a change without having to dig too deep and revamp the whole site. As always, if anything ain’t working for ya let me know and I’ll try to get it fixed.

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DIY, baby!

It occurred to me that at least a handful of you might be interested in–or may even find useful yourself–some info on the process by which I brought my beloved 24 inch iMac back to life this past week. I’ll just say this: the videos, forums, and links at this website are indispensable if you have a Mac (or just about anything else) that needs some attention and don’t want to endure the hassle of wading through the Genius Bar process, don’t have a good repair shop close by, or are just one of those masochistic lunatics like me who just generally prefers doing things yourself. In my specific case, this video was most helpful: clear, easy to follow, and with the added benefit of featuring a totally hot and personable geek babe who is in no way difficult to look at and/or listen to. in fact, I’d say it’s worth watching the vid just for her, whether you even own an iMac or not.

And on another DIY topic, Bill posts this, on restoring a great-looking Barbour jacket. Never have had one of these things, but I’d sure love to. Ah well; given the price, I’ll be sticking with good old Carhartt, at least for the foreseeable future.

Update! And for a preview of the next DIY project I’m working on this week, God help me, check this out: Camber, Caster and Toe: What Do They Mean?

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Publick Notice

Blogging will once again be sharply curtailed for a few days, while I deal with the power source having crapped out on the trusty old iMac. Not a horribly difficult swap to do, mind, but it ain’t entirely a day at the beach either–especially considering the presence of capacitors on the board that store enough voltage to kill a man–and first I gotta get the dang part.

Sorry ’bout that, folks. Apple power supplies are generally known for being extremely sturdy and well-built, from what I’ve read in researching the problem on my phone; in all my years of using ’em this is the first one I’ve ever had go bad, I must say. But go bad it did, yesterday morning as I was preparing a rant ripping into the GOPe’s utterly clueless and counterproductive move: sending out ever faithful and obedient perennial loser Mitt Romney to do their dirty work for them. The third-party blogging software I use on the iMac has an auto-save feature that I usually spend more time cussing at than praising, but in this fateful instance it proved itself useful.

Anyways, back when I get things straightened out here.

Update! The Mittens post is now up. And if you think it was fun finishing that post out on a cellphone after cutting and pasting it from the WP editor and e-mailing it to myself, I urge you to try it sometime. Ahem.

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Comments are back

Note the updates to the post below; I got the things working again, although I ain’t real pleased with how I had to do it, since it’s gonna amount to an open invitation to spam comments on old posts. But what the heck, they’re back for now, and I can figure a better method out later.

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Publick announcement

So the more observant among you may have noticed the GoFundMe link over to the right there, and I figure maybe an explanation might be in order. Yes, I’m a-writing a book–a big ol’ coffee-table style book, with plenty of purty pitchers, all about a grand old New York semi-dive called Rodeo Bar. A handful of you folks have seen my band play there (looking at you, Cap), which we did plenty of over the years. It’s gone now (article on its sad demise here), and on the increasingly rare occasions when I’m in NYC these days, I still don’t quite know what to do with myself without it. As with the best bars, it could feel like everything from a soothing refuge to a near-riot, depending on your own mood and wishes at the time. Lord knows some of our best shows were done there, and I had so many good times there, made so many good friends there, I couldn’t even begin to list them all.

Rodeo truly was a unique place; out of all the bars I’ve set foot in over the years, which is a lot, I can’t think of any quite like it. Or even close, really. So a couple-three weeks ago, I got to thinking about how it’d be nice if there was some sort of book out there to commemorate the joint, and then it hit me that I’d be the perfect guy to do it. It was a big part of my life for a lot of years, and I know a lot of folks who felt the same about it. I was and remain tight with a lot of the people who worked there, played music there, and hung out there, and it would just be a damned shame to let it slip beneath with the waves with nary a ripple.

So a-rippling I shall go. If any of y’all feel like kicking in for such a thing, wonderful; if not, well, it really is kinda off-topic for this blog, so feel free to ignore it if you’d rather. But I figure publishing the thing is gonna cost in the neighborhood of ten grand or so, and I’ll be spending a good chunk of the next year or so getting it put together. There’s gonna be trips to NYC to do interviews and such that will cost money, and my time and labor is worth something, or so I deceive myself. I checked around on Kickstarter and GoFundMe, and the average goal for a book project seems to be 25k, so that’s what I listed mine as. Doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable for a year’s work, but I may be wrong about that, and will no doubt find out soon enough.

Anyways, like I said, if you have any interest at all in seeing this project come to fruition, then by all means feel free to chip in. I’ll probably post an update or three here as the thing progresses; so far I’ve gotten one hell of a lot of positive feedback on it, so I got that going for me. Truth to tell, I’m pretty intimidated by the whole idea now that I opened my fat yap about it; I was considering “Hubris and Nemesis” as the correct category for this post, in fact. As I told someone the other day, one could easily do a thousand pages on the place and still not scratch the surface. There was a lot of life lived inside those walls, and it won’t be all that easy capturing it in print. But I’m gonna give it my best shot. I’ll let ya’ll know how it’s going.

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Cold fury? Try white-hot rage

First off, apologies if the writing in this post isn’t up to the usual standard (however you might feel about that standard in the first place–ahem). But the truth is, I’m so furious my hands are shaking as I type this. “Angry” doesn’t even begin to cover it; it barely even points in the right direction.

Update! Thanks to all you fine folks who contributed, and to Glenn and Bill who were kind enough to link this post, over the weekend we managed to recoup all the money my mom lost, plus a couple of hundred more which will serve as a cushion against the likelihood of the bureau-rats moving much more glacially to restore her money than they did in seizing it. I’ll leave this post up top here for a few more days, since God only knows how long it may take our wise and benevolent masters to put things right; that cushion might come in very handy indeed before this mess is all sorted out, I believe. I can’t thank you enough, people, and my mom says the same; she was simply astonished at your generosity, and your kind expressions of sympathy and support. I’ll say it again: you bigoted right-wing hatey-hate-haters are all right by me. Continue reading “Cold fury? Try white-hot rage”

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Annnnd….

We’re back!

The day began just before dawn, with the old man shaking me awake. “Boy, do you want to go with me?” Why, yes. Yes I did. It was always interesting when you were with him. The old man had an odd attitude; he judged you by what you could do, not how old you were. To him, if you could run the boat and read the river and keep off the sand bars and rip-rap and slow down so as not make too much wake past the houseboats and fishermen then, well, you were old enough to run the boat. He didn’t give a flip what the government or your momma or anybody else said, you were old enough to run his boat, even if you weren’t quite ten yet. I liked to run the boat.

We got on the water early and ran the nets, then took the keeper fish back to the live box. We motored on down the bayou to the Arkansas, then down the Arkansas to the Mississippi to talk to some old people that he knew. After lunch, while they smoked roll-your-own cigarettes and drank clear liquid from quart jars, I amused myself swimming until I got tired, then lying in the sun until I got hot, rinse and repeat. Late that afternoon we retraced our path back to the houseboat where the old man cleaned some fish from the live box, rolled them in cornmeal and dropped them, so fresh the flesh was still quivering, into the hot grease. Heat up some beans, fry two potatoes, cook a skillet of cornbread, and supper is served. You can pay a whole lot more, but you won’t eat any better.

After dark, while the old man listened to some god-awful country station on the radio, I toasted marshmallows over the flame of a kerosene lamp. He made no complaint about me catching them on fire, said nothing about the marshmallow I left burnt onto the glass chimney of the lamp (you try to clean it off. Not so easy). We chatted about this and that. I told him about what was going on with me, he told me a redacted version of what he’d been up to, then he finally asked me the question old men ask young boys. “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

I want to do this. What possibly could be better? I want a houseboat. I want to live by fishing, and hunting, and trapping. I want to swim, and build boats and float them on waters I haven’t seen yet. I want old friends who are glad to see me and are happy to visit and talk and laugh. I want to be able to shoot straight, and know how to put a shaving edge on my pocketknife. I want people to know that if I said I’ll do it, then they can go worry about something else because it is going to get done. I want to do this. And then the old man dashed my hopes, but told me something valuable.

Read on to find out what he said. It was indeed valuable, and all too true. And I can’t think of a better way to jump back into harness here than by linking this post.

Many, many humble thanks to John, Thomas, and Billy, too. They know what for. Y’all and a few others like you ain’t the entire reason I keep doing this after all these years, but you’re damned sure a huge part of it.

Update! Oh, and…”god-awful country station on the radio”? Lessee, in ’63 they would’ve been playing current hits from Ray Price, Faron Young, Ned Miller, George Jones, Stonewall Jackson, Hank Snow, Marty Robbins, Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline (who died that year, if I remember right), Mac Wiseman, Melba Montgomery, Jim Reeves, and…well, you get the picture. “Godawful”? Good LORD, man. That wonderful old stuff comprises most of the set list of my other band, the Parodi Kings. I can think of a lot of words for it, but godawful would emphatically NOT be one of ’em. But hey, when you’re a kid you don’t know what’s good, right? I know I didn’t. We’ll let ya slide this one time, ‘backer.

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Publick Notice

Sorry for the sudden curtailment of the free ice cream, folks; the vicissitudes of home ownership, single-dadhood, and a couple of minor shop catastrophes has rendered my cell phone account–along with my bank account–hors de combat. Since the phone’s hotspot function has been my sole means of internet egress for several years now, it all adds up to the big bunch of nothing you’ve been seeing here for the last couple of weeks, and most likely will be continuing to see for a couple more yet.

Seems like every time I turn around I’m getting bitten for another two or three hundred bucks for some damned thing or other, and while that doesn’t sound like much by itself, taken altogether it adds up to a steady drip-drip-drip of financial hemorrhage my piddling income is insufficient to stanch right now. But hey, it’ll get better, right? Back when I can, and as usual my most grateful thanks for your patronage.

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Hello, world!

Hi all! My name is Mike Hendrix, and I’m not at all new to this blogging thing, having started back at the dawn of the warblogger era in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/01. Anybody remember that? There was a terrorist attack on CONUS that occurred that day, and the first post here went up about four days later. It was kind of a big deal at the time, although admittedly largely forgotten now. The attack was, I mean. Not the first post, which was read by about ten people, if I remember right. Not all of the ten were relatives of mine. No really, I swear it.

Those of you new to this websty might be alarmed or disgusted at the frequent salty language here. Sorry for that, but…well, okay, no I ain’t. I’m a biker, a Harley mechanic, a somewhat professional rock and roll musician, an occasionally paid writer, and an all-around crusty old excrescence, and I write pretty much exactly as I talk. I will generally be fastidious about grammar, syntax, and spelling. What I won’t be is worrying much about expressing myself in the, uhh, vernacular, so to speak. I have no ambition to write for the more polite type of publication; you won’t ever see my byline in the Atlantic Monthly, Forbes, or New Yorker, although a couple of those have linked here a time or two. Even NRO would shy from my earthy prose like a startled mustang, and I have no problem with that; they got their thing, I got mine. I don’t pull any punches, ever; I call ’em exactly as I see ’em, and don’t care if it harelips every cannibal in the Congo when I do.

I don’t much like the Republican Party; I utterly despise the Democrats, who I always refer to as the Democrat Socialists, because it’s fucking accurate. I think most of our current political problems can be traced to two things: the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which did away with the idea of states having their own representation in the federal government, and the whole notion of “career politicians,” which flies in the face of pretty much everything the country as founded was supposed to be about. I think our national elections now amount to little more than theater, a way for conscientious but sadly deluded people to kid themselves into thinking that they have any meaningful say in their own governance. The people who run things don’t ever come up for election, and the ones who are elected do as their real bosses tell ’em. Hint: those bosses are assuredly NOT the voters.

I don’t think there’s really any way that the country will be saved and the Constitution restored without violence, and a lot of it. I don’t think said violence is any guarantee of anything but bloodshed and probably, eventually, an even more rigid tyranny, and don’t advocate it except occasionally and indirectly, when I’m really pissed off by some piece of monumental stupidity and am idly making one of those mental lists of people to shoot first. I think it’s foolish in the extreme to advocate for such on the internet in an age when the FBI spends way more of its time and energy tracking domestic issuers of said empty threats than it ever will keeping tabs on the jihadists who are far deadlier and more insidious enemies than any Threeper militia type ever will be.

I think the US government, far from being the guarantor of American freedom, is a dangerous and effective foe of it. I think this is so in large measure because the general populace, or Mitt Romney’s %47 at least, doesn’t cherish liberty, is almost wholly ignorant of our Constitutional heritage, and is at best indifferent if not outright hostile to both. Changing that–if it’s even possible, and I’m far from convinced that it is–is going to take way more than just heading to the local polling place and marking a ballot for yet another speechifying, self-seeking drone cut from the same mold as all the others.

I think the current static malaise, the grim decades-long downward spiral, will continue indefinitely; there’s a lot of ruin in a nation, and we are nowhere near peak ruin yet. We’re living off the seed corn put back by far better men than ourselves, and thanks to their almost unbelievable foresight there’s still a lot of it left. Too, the remarkable resilience of capitalism is still capable of covering over a lot of feckless tomfoolery, even hobbled as it currently is. Hey, anybody remember back about five to seven years ago, when Greece’s collapse into piss-broke anarchy was not only “inevitable” but “imminent”? Yeah, me neither. I think there’s a certain amount of wisdom in the approach to life that dictates paying little attention to politics, although I admittedly keep paying attention myself for some damnable reason. The revolution is not going to be televised; it very likely isn’t even going to happen at all.

I have a lot of fun cussing, bitching, and raising hell on this website, and am tremendously grateful for the five to seven thousand readers who still stop by here every day after all these years, and especially the handful who comment and hit the tip jar. I get almost no links from anybody else out there, and that’s okay too. I am way past seeking anybody’s approbation here; I do this pretty much for me, and don’t have any illusions about changing anyone’s mind or “making a difference.”

After, what, nearly fourteen years of doing this, I think I have very few illusions left at all, in fact, and don’t miss what few I ever had. What we’re doing here isn’t gonna be the vanguard of anything, it isn’t going to change anything very much. What we’re doing here is venting, and reinforcing each other in our own belief that America and the West has gone badly astray, and is in dire need of relief and rescue that show no signs of coming. We’re pissing into a quite strong wind, but we’re also comforting each other, mostly, and that is not without value.

Yeah, now and then we’ll kick up enough dust to get some vicious little miscreant exposed or even removed from a position of power or influence, and that’s certainly a good thing. But none of us should count on it. What we can do is inform each other, support each other, maybe enjoy the occasional good-natured argument amongst ourselves, and cherish what freedom we have left to express our opinions at least somewhat openly without too much fear of the sound of the jackboot on the stairs, of the kicked-in door and the forced trip to anonymous oblivion.

That freedom is more constricted with every passing day, and that will remain so as long as the current breed of vile political animals remains in at least nominal charge of our individual destiny. But in the meantime, we should keep trying to maintain the sharp, bright boundary the First Amendment draws around us. We should relentlessly guard the Second, which guarantees all the others, and without which they’re even closer to meaningless than they’ve already been rendered by our despicable “leaders.” We should note the depredations of the filthy few who run things as if there was nothing to fear from them; we should mock those who deserve it, scorn the contemptible, and deflate the arrogant, egotistical, and megalomaniacal who think New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and DC represent all of America that’s worth knowing or bothering about. We should shout when necessary, threaten when we must, laugh when we can, and enjoy fully what beauty there still is in our world. We should tell the plain truth, and stick to it no matter what.

And there’s still plenty of beauty out there, everydamnedthing else aside. I’ve had numerous requests in recent years to do more writing about music, cars, bikes and such, and I intend to try to do more of that in the days ahead. This is the longest absence I’ve had from blogging in all the years I’ve been doing it, and I’ve really missed you guys. The past several years have brought some staggering changes in my life, and not all of them were bad (not to say hellish nightmares). I tend to stay away from being too personal here, and that will most likely continue. But it doesn’t mean I have to stick to standard political-blog fare either, and I like the idea of taking this site back to the free-form sort of place it was for a long time. It’s all too easy to allow oneself to get bogged down in nothing but current-events blogging, and I think I’ve been guilty of that the last couple years. But politics ain’t everything. So you can look for a bit more eclecticism here in the days to come, as and when I can fit it in, and we’ll see how it all works out. If it turns out boring, what the hell, I can always just go back to cursing about Obama and his fellow barely-closeted Marxists, right?

To hell with Twitter and all that; for me, blogging is still the ideal outlet for my seemingly relentless writing impulse, and I’m going to go right on with it. Thank you all for sticking with me; I could never adequately express what that means to me, and won’t try lest I embarrass everybody unnecessarily.

in short: hold onto your hats, because I’m BACK, baby!

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Update

Okay, so the move is pretty much all done; nothing left but unpacking my packrat’s hoard of useless crap and doing a little repair, renovation, and cleanup work at the old pad. Back to whatever normal is around here real soon now; heck, the weekend might even see a post or three, ya never know.

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Publick Announcement

So it would seem, loathsome cliche that the phrase is, that today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Yes, I’m still alive out here. I mentioned a couple-three weeks ago that I was gonna be moving soon, and that move is nigh upon us, and I’ve been pretty damned busy with it. I’ve never had a more miserable and tiresome house-hunt in my life, which is saying something. The housing market in the town I live in has simply exploded; had four different likely and attractive prospects sold right out from under me, after having been on the market for just three to five days. But I finally stumbled across one that is literally within easy sight of the house I grew up in, and am working on closing out what amounts to a necessarily convoluted deal even as I type this.

Look for a major fundraiser in the near future here, since I’m gonna need all the help I can get with the horrendous expenses of the move. After that, it’s gonna be a brand new day for me–I have plenty of baggage from the last few years that is in need of jettisoning, both physical and emotional, and I’m a-by-God gonna do it. New house, new start, all that. Then, it’ll be back to some truly furious blogging; Lord knows there’s still plenty to rant about out there.

Thanks once again for hanging in there with me, gang; another week, perhaps two, and we’ll be back in business at this ol’ pop stand.

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Gee whiz!

Apologies again for the dearth of posting, guys; looking for a new house, trying to work all I can, and then the usual day-to-day have all combined to keep me away from the computer of late. On the other hand, all the stories I’ve wanted to post on have been utterly, almost tiresomely predictable–the EPA swooping down on your backyard BBQ to make you serfs snap to properly and remember who your masters are; Republican frauds acquiescing in another huge spending increase while trying to dodge out of the one commitment they made to reducing government that might have served to rein in spending a wee mite; Obama undermining allies and giving aid and comfort to enemies; yet another Clinton scandal being lied about, papered over, and pooh-poohed: color me shocked–and much as I’d love to be able to sit down and rant about ’em, what more is there to say, really?

Hell, there’s plenty I’d love to say about not having much to say, actually, but I gotta go pick up the young ‘un and look at some more houses here. Back when I can, folks.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution



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