Everybody likes to think of themselves as brave. Right? I mean, some of us (raises hand) would fold quickly under torture; I don’t even like to watch it depicted in movies and TV, but my ego compels me to believe I’d do the right thing in a clutch situation, or even a non-clutch one.

Of course, I’ve never really been in one, so it’s all theoretical at this point.

Cowardice is the topic of the day. Let’s kick off with this great read on what happened when a man afraid of a black president prepared for the civil war he believed was coming. (Gift NYT link there. Let me know if anyone has trouble reading it.) It seems C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond, Ky. spent millions building his house, equipped with a literal bunker:

He had built the house in the Obama years, when he was convinced society was on the verge of collapse. Here his family could live in secluded comfort, and if the social fabric truly tore apart, as he expected it would, they could wait out the chaos in an abundantly stocked underground bunker. Now he couldn’t wait to be rid of it.

…On 200 acres of Kentucky meadow just outside of Richmond, his vision became a 14,300-square-foot reality. Nine bedrooms, three kitchens, a six-car garage, a steam room, a saltwater pool — the front entryway alone cost $75,000.

“My feelings were that we were going to have civil unrest because there was so much going on with Obama,” Mr. Morgan said. He believed that people were going to rise up against the attempts to overhaul health care and restrict guns, and that societal collapse would soon follow. He envisioned “roving bands of gangs” hunting for food and necessities in the aftermath. He bought riot gear, bulletproof vests and a small arsenal of firearms, so that “if you had to engage a band of marauders, you would have a chance to save your family.”

The roving bands of gangs didn’t show up, but one night a gunman did. What was he looking for? Dangerously mentally ill himself, he was looking for, well, a bunker:

(Morgan’s daughter), Jordan, 32, told her father she had come to feel unsafe at the house. In February of this year, she was hired by a law firm in Lexington and planned to move as soon as possible to an apartment in the city. “She must have sensed that she was being watched,” he said.

Someone had been watching, marking the house’s entry points and taking detailed notes on the family’s movements. Early on the morning of Feb. 22, prosecutors say, the watcher, Shannon V. Gilday, a 23-year-old former soldier who lived in the Cincinnati suburbs, climbed up to a second-floor balcony and began his attack.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, and I promise you it’s worth your time. One spoiler: This good guy with a gun grabbed one during the attack and emptied a 12-shot clip at the intruder. Missed every time.

After that, some comic relief, maybe? Here’s Haulin’ Josh Hawley, coward without peer, running away from danger, set to various theme music. Ha ha ha.

On to the Washington Post, who today published a piece on GOP candidates on the trail this campaign season, spreading dire portents to the faithful:

In both swing states and safe seats, many Republicans say that liberals hate them personally and may turn rioters or a police state on people who disobey them.

Referring to the coronavirus and 2020 protests over police brutality, Cox told supporters at a rally last month, “We were told 14 days to bend the curve, and yet antifa was allowed to burn our police cars in the streets.” He continued: “Do you really think, with what we’re seeing — with the riots that have happened — that we should not have something to defend our families with? This is why we have the Second Amendment.”

One example of a typical ad, from close to (my) home:

In northwest Ohio, a campaign video for Republican congressional nominee J.R. Majewski shows him walking through a dilapidated factory, holding a semiautomatic weapon, warning that Democrats will “destroy our economy” with purposefully bad policies.

I’m pretty sure I heard a radio ad for that guy when I was traveling last winter. He mentioned Trump about a million times in 30 seconds, and signed off with, “Let’s go Brandon!” I don’t know where he found that factory. Maybe it was Ohio Art in Bryan, where Alan worked for about a week during college; they sent Etch-a-Sketch production to China years ago. Democrats had nothing to do with it. Note the lead-in to that story: “The University of California Berkley uses Etch A Sketch as an exampleof the devastating effect of outsourcing and the New York Times ran a 2003 expose on the inhumane conditions at the factory where the Etch A Sketches were made near Shenzhen.” It so happens inhumane conditions were exactly why Alan lasted only a week; the tolulene fumes in that place made him dizzy and his dad told him it wasn’t worth it.

One more snippet from that Post story:

Rick Shaftan, a conservative strategist working with Republican challengers this cycle, said that the party’s voters were nervously watching crime rates in the cities, asking whether public safety was being degraded on purpose. He also pointed to government responses to the pandemic as a reason that those voters, and their candidates, were nervous.

Urban crime. Good lord. While it is absolutely true that violent crime has risen lately, it’s equally true that with rare exceptions, crime is still a matter of who you associate with and where you live. Whereas conservatives’ favorite violent crime, mass shootings, can find you anywhere. Church, school, the grocery store.

Paul Krugman had some thoughts on this, via Twitter. (J.C. said Twitter embeds may have been the cause of the loading problems some of you had a couple weeks ago, so just a link, sorry.) But this is, to my mind, the best of the thread:

I’ve believed this for years, that rural and small-town residents are the ones most out of touch. The people I know in cities travel whenever they can, read books not written by Sarah Palin and know way more about the farm economy than their counterparts in the boondocks know about how cities work. But never mind that.

So that’s how we start our (blessedly cooler) week ahead, then: Thinking about cowards. Hope yours is great. (Your week, not the nearest coward.)

Posted at 5:07 pm in Current events |

55 responses to “Cowards.”

  1. Suzanne said on July 24, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    I just finished reading the book I mentioned a few days ago “Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America” by Ryan Busse. Terrifying. The NRA has so taken over the gun industry that dissenting voices are intimidated and silenced. Money and influence are their only purpose, money made by ginning up fear. There is no red line they will not cross, no gun death they will mourn. It is worth reading.

    Our kids live in big cities; Phoenix & New York. People out here in rural IN ask me all the time how they are managing what will those caravans of illegals pouring over the border and riots and mayhem happening every day in the Big Apple. I generally get blank stares when I mention that they haven’t seen any of that. A relative was extremely surprised that our son hasn’t actually met any of the legions of Californians that are supposedly moving to red state AZ but mostly has met people who have moved there from the Midwest.
    It’s all so ridiculous.

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  2. Deborah said on July 24, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    Suzanne, I heard the author of that book on a podcast recently, I’m sorry I don’t remember which podcast so I don’t have a link. It was a real eye opener.

    I think it was Alex in the last comment thread who suggested real bacon that is precooked. Where do you get that? I looked for it with no success. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places in grocery stores.

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  3. susan said on July 24, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Deborah, here, real bacon crumbles, from Costco.

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  4. alex said on July 24, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Deborah, I’m sure your grocery store must have it. It comes shrink-wrapped and it’s in a box and usually sold in the meat department amongst salamis and pepperoni snacks and that type of thing.

    Here are some reviews of the various brands:

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  5. Julie Robinson said on July 24, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Speaking of rural violent crime, how about the family murdered at Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves Campground? Tiny Maquoketa was on the way to my grandparents’ farm; I must have passed through a hundred times during my childhood. Just another small town in Iowa, now added to the long list of horrific shootings.

    Mr. Bunker Builder should be suing the architect who designed his impregnable fortress to be, well, pregnable. That is one sad, deluded man.

    Susan linked to the Costco bacon crumbles we like.

    Aside from that, we spent a lovely evening with the fiancé and her parents Friday, then traveled to a nearby small town for lunch and a performance of Singin’ in the Rain. And if the actors weren’t quite Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, they were charming enough to carry it, and the Boylan’s black cherry soda charmed us all.

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  6. Dorothy said on July 24, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    My conscience has been bugging me. I apologize to the crowd here for what I said last week about being happy DJTJr was beaten by his mother when he was a kid. That was really shameful of me to say. I guess it was temporary insanity.

    I read that article about the bunker guy the day it published and whew – what a story. Very disturbing that there are people who build dwellings like that. Imagine the good that could be done with that kind of excessive money if it was put to a charitable cause?

    We finished watching Dopesick this weekend, about a year after every one else saw it. Another whew. And I’m curious if anyone here enjoyed Everything Everywhere All At Once. Any of you who know me on Facebook already know what my reaction was. I have to assume there was something redemptive at the end of the movie but since I found it unwatchable after the first 45 minutes or so, I’ll never know.

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  7. David C said on July 24, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve driven through enough dead and half-dead rural towns to know urban poverty isn’t one little bit different than urban poverty save many of the rural impoverished think they’re that way because “they send all our money to Milwaukee, Detroit Chicago,…” take your pick. They just can’t believe it’s quite the opposite. That rural America is subsidized to the hilt. I know a couple who farms, they also have very good day jobs. They almost were out of the farming business because the large meatpacking companies buy small processors and shut them down. A couple of Hmong families bought the abandoned processing plant refurbished it and pretty much by themselves made it possible for a bunch of small farmers to continue in business. The large dairy farms would go down the tubes without undocumented labor. Yet so many are anti-immigrant TFG voters. Go figure. They’re shooting themselves in the feet because they find LGBTQ, black and brown, and foreign born people less than they are.

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  8. LAMary said on July 24, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Both my sons participated in BLM demonstrations here in LA. Any looting that went on looked like well planned and equipped operations. I saw videos of a pick up truck with a winch pulling ATMs out of a wall, two guys with pickups smashing the windows of an athletic shoe store and loading their trucks with boxes of Nikes and Adidas. The thousands of people marching down Hollywood Boulevard or Santa Monica Boulevard were not stealing stuff. Opportunist thieves were. At least that’s definitely how it looked here. The crime in my neighborhood that I hear about most of the time is either catalytic converter theft or homeless people hanging out in people’s yards. Nothing violent.

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  9. Deborah said on July 24, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    Mail box theft is rampant in Santa Fe right now, also porch pirating and catalytic converter theft. All kind of low key stuff but irritating.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on July 24, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Porch pirating seems to happen a lot in the neighborhoods around us, but not this one. And we get something delivered pretty much every day. The kids are all buy local from one side of their mouth and I don’t have time to go shop from the other.

    We’ve never had mail box theft either. What we do get is no mail delivery at least once a week. When I put in our address change I was automatically signed up for informed delivery, so every morning I get an email with scans of all the mail that’s supposed to come that day. There are many days it doesn’t come until 7 or 8 at night, and I guess the poor guy just gives up and goes home on the others.

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  11. Sherri said on July 24, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    Violent crime increase faster in rural areas than in urban areas the last few years, but facts have never changed the narratives regarding the urban/rural divide.

    The per capita cost of infrastructure in rural areas is significantly higher than in urban areas, which is why in cases where said infrastructure is up to the private market instead of the government, it’s often not even available. Broadband Internet, for example.
    And rural areas always like to claim that without them, the urban areas wouldn’t ear, but a) most rural areas aren’t growing food, and b) actually growing the food is only a part of the supply chain, and farms don’t last without the other parts.

    The idea of the self-sufficient family farm has always been a myth.

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  12. A. Riley said on July 24, 2022 at 11:44 pm

    When I was first living in Chicago, age 22 (45 years ago, my god), fresh from little-town Indiana, my mom’s ladies’ club (Altrusa? is that still around?) had their national convention at the Palmer House or some such in downtown Chicago, and mom invited me to join her table at the awards banquet. Free food? Sure!!

    So we’re making conversation with the other Indiana delegates, and mom tells them that I moved to Chicago right after graduation and I’m living with a roommate on the north side. And this nice lady from Flora, Indiana, looks at my mother with horror and says, “Why, Carol, aren’t you scared?”

    Mom, god bless her, replied, “No, I did the same thing when I was her age. Will you pass the sugar, please?”

    They’ve always been afraid of cities. If they can’t admit to fear, they call it hate.

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  13. A. Riley said on July 24, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Oh!! copyeditor note. When was the last time you saw the word “crisp” in a food feature, recipe, or menu?

    Nope. It’s now always “crispy.”

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  14. Mark P said on July 25, 2022 at 1:26 am

    I frequent a question-and-answer site (Quora) that has a lot of Europeans and a number of Australians and New Zealanders. Their impression of the US and it’s gun culture is that everyone seems to be freaking terrified all the time. They don’t see carrying firearms as a sign of strength, but as a sign of fear. They all say how grateful they are that they don’t have to live in a place that makes everyone afraid of everything.

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  15. Dexter Friend said on July 25, 2022 at 3:26 am

    I live about half a kilometer from Ohio Art and drive past it several times a day. Etch-A-Sketch was sold to a Canadian enterprise named Spin Master who then set it up to be produced in Hong Kong. Much of the huge factory space has been rented or leased to paper cutting businesses and other smaller jobbers. I understand that lithographics is the business now that Ohio Art still operates here in Bryan. I really do not know for sure. The last big toy produced here was a doll named “Betty Spaghetty”, yeah…spelled like that. It was bendable and also available were Betty’s two friends and a wardrobe. My daughter was the perfect age and I bought all of it for her. Anyway, Ohio Art advertises for workers like every other employee, so something’s going on there. Across the street from Ohio Art, the old Pet Milk works is now a filthy mineral place. I don’t know what they actually do there but they shake the shit out of minerals and the dust is thick over the street and the connecting residential block at times. I live one more block away and the dust hasn’t visibly contaminated my property yet.
    Coward was what some adults called young men who ran from the military draft, for Canada and Sweden, mostly. I never looked at it like that; it took guts to voluntarily castigate yourself from family and friends and to stand for your belief that the war was wrong in the first place…we who allowed ourselves to be drafted were just going with the flow and hoping for a break, somehow.
    I’ll nominate just one anti-coward who never thought of himself as a hero. Warrant Officer Bielecki was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam who would fly into landing zones under fire to rescue wounded GIs. He must have done it a few hundred times or more. I witnessed this as I was “volunteered” into Medevac service a few times. It was scary but Bielecki never backed off because of the heat, he just went in. Yeah, he laughed off my comment when I called him a hero, and everybody has a different definition of a hero, but at least he was an anti-coward. I have yet to see bravery like he showed. And guess what…there were hundreds more like him.

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  16. Dorothy said on July 25, 2022 at 5:51 am

    Dexter I’m fascinated by that story about a guy named Bielecki. That’s not a name you see very often. We are friends with an attorney in Pittsburgh with the same last name. He lives next door to the house where Mike’s dad lived/grew up in. And he was my father-in-law’s attorney. When my father-in-law passed away in 2009, the attorney told us he had a guy renting from him upstairs in his house who was interested in buying my f-i-l’s house. So the attorney arranged everything and we sold the house the easiest way possible. Didn’t have to list it on the market!

    Julie does your mail get delivered to one of those large ‘group’ mailboxes? Ours does, and we have similar issues all the time. My next door neighbor and I both get Informed Delivery and both of us have experienced lost packages and mis-sorted mail. And I too have noticed on at least 5 or 6 occasions we didn’t get any mail at all even though Informed Delivery told me what to expect that day. About 3 weeks ago my sister Chris texted me to ask if I was going to attend the bridal shower for her daughter that is being held in upstate NY in early August. I knew nothing about it. Never got the invitation. Then again it never showed up in Informed Delivery so perhaps it just got lost in the mail. We still occasionally get mail that was sent to our previous address, but it has the yellow sticker label on it with the new address so it gets to us much later than it would have if it was sent to the correct address.

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  17. alex said on July 25, 2022 at 7:15 am

    Lucian Truscott IV is full of piss and vinegar where the Jan. 6 hearings are concerned:

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  18. susan said on July 25, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Yep. What Lucian says. Thanks for that, Alex. He puts it all in one concise package.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on July 25, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Dorothy, we have a box mounted on our house right next to the front door. I didn’t know they still delivered that way and it definitely slows things down for the carriers.

    We’re waiting for blood draws, fasting no less. Doc sent our orders here but no appointments available until now. In FW, we were used to waltzing in whenever we wanted. Maybe the Fort has over capacity and Orlando under.

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  20. Icarus said on July 25, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Deborah, you can even get bacon at McDonald’s at breakfast time and it’s not bad, though costs more than cooking your own.

    We don’t get much mail that we cannot live without waiting a day or two. In Chicago, if I got my neighbor’s mail or vice-versa, I’d walk it over. Out here I suspect if someone gets their neighbors’ mail, they put it back in the mailbox and let the post office handle it because walking more than a quarter mile is un-American.

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  21. nancy said on July 25, 2022 at 11:12 am

    There was a Twitter thread a while back on the concept of “walking distance.” Someone mentioned a Twilight Zone episode where one character refers to “about a mile and a half” as walking distance, and it touched off a bunch of replies with similar references from past years. In Detroit, people barely walk half a block. Hey, gotta support the local industry.

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  22. LAMary said on July 25, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Our mailman usually skips one day’s delivery and shows up at 8 or 9 pm for at least one other. I haven’t noticed any mail getting stolen and in the last four or five years I had porch pirates liberate something twice. Once it was a box of yarn, the other time a canvas tote bag. Total value of both items maybe 25 bucks and Amazon replaced both gratis.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on July 25, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    Maybe 10 or 15 years ago, there was a cable TV program called “Doomsday Preppers.” I saw one episode and was amazed at the amount of time and money on rich dude spent on an underground bunker, where he could program different landscapes for the fake windows and every room was designed to look like your average suburban McMansion. But what was scary was the giys arsenal…like a National Guard armory. One segment showed the construction company blasting the steel door to the bunker with high-powered explosives, to demonstrate the impregnability of the door. It was more scary than funny.

    I’d argue the conservative movement in the U.S. has nothing BUT fear, anger, envy and resentment to sell. It certainly doesn’t offer any real political philosophy other than fuck the libtards.

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  24. FDChief said on July 25, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    The Times is paywalled, but I kinda get the gist from your excerpts.

    I wrote a longer post about the GQP and what we’re going to get from them good and hard, but here are the nut grafs:

    “The United States has a massive, indigestible minority – something between a quarter and two-fifths of the country – that want caudillo-style dictatorship if the alternative is not getting all the guns, Jesus, tax cuts, and ability to call people they don’t like rude names they want.

    They’re not going to change. Nothing that we’ve seen proving the unparalleled shittiness of Republican “policy” (such as it is other than “whatever Donald Trump wants me to suck…”) or the hammering that Republican governance will give anyone not in a two-yacht family will persuade them to back anyone other than the reddest of red-meat Bircher Trumpkins.

    The institutions and political structures that empower these hayshaking fucksticks mean that they can rule the rest of us unless the other three-fifths of the country 1) gets off their collective dead ass and 2) votes against every one of these C.H.U.D.s…and this is a country where barely two-thirds of the eligible population bothers to even show up in the most important elections.

    They have a gajillion reasons, from ignorance to indifference to actual “reasons” (my personal favorite being libertarians, who seem to think that the opposite of “government regulation” is “freedom” and not “rule of the most rapacious and powerful wealthy individuals and groups”) but the overall effect is, again, to put these well-funded, rabidly active, right-wing nuts in power.

    I have no idea what the hell you do about this.

    It’s not like the danger is hard to see. It’s right fucking there, the iceberg not on a cold dark night but in broad daylight, visible for miles ahead. And yet the fucking U.S.S. Titanic seems determined to ram the goddamn thing, maybe just to see if letting these gomers put a massive hole in the Republic’s hull with fucking sink it.

    Maybe just for shits and giggles.

    Either way?

    Pretty soon we’re going to have to decide, those of us non-wingnut, whether to bend the knee to these fuckers, or fight.

    The only question is how willing I am to die on my feet.

    Because when your country becomes Bosnia, you have no other choices.

    I expect to see a Republican caudillo in my lifetime, and I’m 65.

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  25. Scout said on July 25, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Your words are chilling FDChief. I’m not sure I have it in me to fight. It’s becoming harder and more distasteful to contemplate living in a country ruled by a minority consisting of assault weapon wielding dumb fucks leading the charge back to the 19th century, especially as a gay woman married to a poc.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on July 25, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve mentioned this on this site before, but Sinclair Lewis saw the potential for this in the late 1930s with his novel “It Can’t Happen Here.”

    A demagogue named Buzz Windrip plays the populist to the rubes. He recruits an army of less intelligent, angry jerks –not unlike the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys– called Minutemen to serve as his street muscle.

    I believe FDChief is correct in his assessment of a significant minority of our fellow citizens who are truly a danger to the republic. And, like him, I’ve no idea how to deal with them. They ain’t going away.

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  27. Deborah said on July 25, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Caudillo is a new word for me, had to Google it.

    When I clicked on your Costco link, Susan, it told me there was no product. But the closest Costco is 60 miles away in Albuquerque so I won’t be going there. I so wish we had a Costco here, there’s a Sam’s but I won’t do that. There are 2 Walmarts in Santa Fe, the one closer in the city is bad times and the one way out is ginormous and impossible to find what you’re looking for. I stay away.

    I have never heard of informed delivery. I wonder if they even have that here? Amazon emails me when a delivery is due but not regular mail from USPS. I’ll look into that. Also our regular USPS delivery guy is a gem, the nicest guy in the world, we love him. Occasionally someone else delivers and they often screw up.

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  28. FDChief said on July 25, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    I should amend my post above; I know perfectly well what to do with these Nazis, theocrats, and racist dictator-loving swine. It’s what Bill Sherman did to them because, as old Bill said, fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    The downside of that is that it makes our cold Civil War a hot one.

    But, to paraphrase what Bill’s boss said, one side would make war rather than let the promise of a better republic with equal justice under law – for ALL – survive.

    It’s up to those of us who
    love the promises made in our founding documents to decide whether to accept that war rather than let that Republic perish.

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  29. basset said on July 25, 2022 at 3:52 pm

    Repeating what I said months ago… if we don’t get a full theocracy the way Heinlein described it, we will at least experience significant parts of one. Nehemiah Scudder is still out there somewhere.

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  30. Deborah said on July 25, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    This might make you cry, Joni Mitchell at Newport Folk Festival yesterday

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  31. Suzanne said on July 25, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    When the Mullahs took over in Iran, most Americans were shocked. Republicans saw it as a great way to run the country.

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  32. Colleen said on July 25, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Am reading Malcolm Nance’s book, “They Want to Kill Americans” about the Trump faction, where they came from and where we could be headed. Sobering.

    I agree about rural people understanding less about cities than city people understand about rural life. After all, many city dwellers started off in more rural areas. Rural people tend to be more parochial in their outlooks, and, well, fearful. There are exceptions, of course. I have a friend who lives in a tiny town in KS who is extremely well read and well informed. However, she got that way by leaving her tiny town for college, joining the Navy, and living in various places before returning to her hometown.

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  33. Dorothy said on July 25, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Informed Delivery is a USPS thing, not a localized offering from only certain zip codes. Everybody can have it. You just sign up online.

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  34. Deborah said on July 25, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    Dorothy, thanks for the link but when I went to it and put in our Santa Fe address I got this message:
    “Your address is not currently eligible for Informed Delivery. Please check back at a later date.”

    Maybe it’s because it’s a small city, only about 80,000 population?

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  35. Dave said on July 25, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Deborah, city size has nothing to do with it. We had it in Florida and we have Informed Delivery here. Both locations are considerably smaller than Santa Fe. I can’t imagine why you received that response.

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  36. A. Riley said on July 25, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    So we were actually sitting on the patio tonight discussing the wisdom of leasing a little apartment (or buying a little condo) someplace across the Ambassador Bridge just in case. *Just* in case. Keeping the passports updated is of course a given.

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  37. A. Riley said on July 25, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    And just the fact that we’re thinking about it scares the bejesus out of me. We’re old, we live in a lovely blue bubble, and if the shit hits the fan . . . I’m not worried about the Latin Kings over here or the Gangster Disciples over there, although prople like them are always ready to dart in (even in organized crews) and steal the wallet off the poor bastard who just got run over.

    I’m worried about the militias and the mindless mob they use as a cloak.

    My favorite weatherman talks about tornadoes wrapped in rain.

    Remember the pictures of the militia stack marching up the capitol steps through a crowd of excited nobodies? Yeah. That’s a tornado wrapped in rain.

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  38. Deborah said on July 25, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    The threat of political violence has definitely played a part in my needing anxiety meds. I keep having these thoughts of domestic terrorist from surrounding states driving down lake shore drive firing up into high rises with their AR15s. Seriously, I really think about that. There are a lot of gun nuts in New Mexico too, but I haven’t honed in on an obsessive scenario how it happens here yet. Santa Fe is the Capitol of NM and the Governor is a Dem as are 2 of the 3 representatives and both of the senators. I have to reel myself in when I start obsessing about this stuff but I think about it. I do.

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  39. Jeff Gill said on July 26, 2022 at 12:21 am

    Basset, hat tip & nod to your “If This Goes On…” reference. I wish he’d written out the sketch he had in his Future History of how Scudder rose to power.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on July 26, 2022 at 12:32 am

    Informed Delivery is still considered an experiment even though it’s been around for years. I don’t find it particularly useful since the mail pictured often comes days later. Bills are electronic so it’s rare there’s anything important. I wouldn’t find it a great loss if it went away.

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  41. basset said on July 26, 2022 at 1:38 am

    Jeff, good catch. If we see the far right start agitating to call the President the “First Prophet” and move the capital to St. Louis we’ll know we’re just about there. Spent way too much time reading the Grandmaster back in my formative years.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on July 26, 2022 at 2:45 am

    Probably because of bacon discussion I fried up a few strips in my cast iron skillet and had eggs over medium cooked in the grease yesterday morning, toast and coffee. I tuned in the Bob and Tom Show and Kristi Lee reported a story about a college football player who drew attention because he squirted “an ample amount” of mayonnaise into his coffee . It sounds so sickening , right?
    The Trump vs. Pence ‘knock down drag out’ competing rally deal was a fiasco, as Trump people showed up in great numbers compared to the rally Pence held for a competing candidate in Arizona. Trump holds that crazy party in his grasp and now I am convinced he is running in 2024. Merrick Garland is going to appear on one of the NBC stations for an interview today, but I didn’t catch what station nor when. In my worldview, Trump belongs in prison now for sedition and everything else he did, tampering with elections, the whole gamut. I guess Garland thinks he can wait until January when Congress turns red again and all Trump investigations cease on day one.

    Beware the sailfish…this one stabbed a 73 year old woman in the groin.

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  43. JodiP said on July 26, 2022 at 8:44 am

    I’ve shared that we had planned to ove to Europe upon retirement. It’s feeling ever more crucial now that so many rights are being threatened. The messaging that the right is doing about how Dems want to destroy them is really scary, especially of course with that population being awash in guns.

    The incredible world-wide heat wave also has me freaked out, even though I’ve assumed for close to 20 years not enough would happen and this was our future. I read a book around then stating that we’d already fallen over the cliff in terms of CO2 in the atmo and terrible things were going to happen.

    I heard about this a couple days ago, though. Promising tech fix for our situation: I usually see tech fixes as a way for tech a**holes to get rich off our predicament without actually being able to mitigate things all that much. Carbon sequestration needs huge amounts of energy, for example, so we need to find a way to do it efficiently if it’s going to not make things worse.

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  44. Deborah said on July 26, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I’m waiting for our Jeep to get an oil change and general check up, a woman pulled up with a car full of stickers on the back window. One said “God, guns, guts” yuck. One said LGBT so I thought ok that’s better but when I saw the sticker up closer the L was for Liberty, the G was for guns, the B for Bible and T was for you guessed it Trump. Gross. The driver looks the part too.

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  45. JodiP said on July 26, 2022 at 10:39 am

    I had also meant to recommend a podcast, Mother Country Radicals which is about the Weather Underground. The son of Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, Zayde Dohrn, goes back and interviews his parents and other radicals. I had heard of the group, but learned tons. I had no idea how closely they worked with the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army. 10 episodes and well done.

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  46. Sherri said on July 26, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    My husband and I have discussed whether we should be looking at alternative countries. My concern is, would we be uprooting our lives only to be jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

    Assume you could move anywhere in the world and attain citizenship. Where would you move to find the most stable democracy? That’s also best equipped to deal with climate change?

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  47. Sherri said on July 26, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    A good friend of mine developed this technology, and it’s amazingly simple and clever. He got screwed over by his startup co-founder, but he’s an amazingly creative and smart guy.

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  48. Deborah said on July 26, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    I think I’d move to a Scandinavian country if I could, but the dark winters would be depressing. I loved Helsinki when we visited, it’s awfully close to Russia though. I would absolutely love to live in the south of France but not knowing the language would be a bummer and at my age learning it would be a bitch. At this stage for us making a move like that would be a huge challenge, unfortunately it could get to the point where we’d have to find refuge somewhere though. Lordy, I can’t believe this is all happening in our lifetime, in the 21st century.

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  49. Mark P said on July 26, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    What I’ve seen about Sweden makes it seem like a good place to live, but it seems I would never qualify for permanent residence or citizenship. They apparently want younger people with a needed qualification. New Zealand also looks and sounds nice, but they also probably don’t want me.

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  50. Dorothy said on July 26, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    It could be they don’t have the technology/machinery in Abiqui to ‘read’ the envelopes and therefore send out screen shots of them. It does seem weird, though. I’ve been using it for a long time, so long i can’t remember when I signed up for it.

    My sister Janet uses Informed Delivery (lives in southern Virginia) A summer or two ago she had a view of a piece of mail that was supposed to come to her one day, but it never showed up. It was written in handwriting – an invitation to a graduation party for a good friend’s son. She could see the return address. When the mail never came, she contacted the friend to ask when the party was etc. She wondered if someone (not necessarily the mailman or mail lady) stole the envelope, thinking it was a birthday card and had money in it.

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  51. Icarus said on July 26, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    The whole “if you don’t like America, then leave” crowd doesn’t realize how hard it is to do that. Most countries have the good sense not to let us in permenently or make it extremely difficult to do so.

    Even as an ex-Pat you still have to file a tax return every year, unless you completely renounce your US citizenship. Then good luck trying to come to visit for a wedding or funeral.

    Speaking of American Exceptionalism, I’m probably in trouble…my FIL keeps sending me “helpful” articles on interviewing and job hunting. So in return, I sent him this:

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  52. Sherri said on July 26, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    There are countries you can buy your way into citizenship or permanent residency, though many of them are island countries and fail my criterion of equipped to deal with climate change. If you can round up €500,000 to invest or €1.5 million to deposit in a Portuguese bank, Portugal will let you in with the ability to apply for citizenship in five years.

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  53. Sherri said on July 26, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    What an ad this is.

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  54. Deborah said on July 26, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    Dorothy, I was using our Santa Fe condo address not the Abiquiu cabin address. Abiquiu village is tiny, pop 200, it has a post office but no mail delivery. Our cabin is not in the village but in the surrounding area. If you want to receive USPS mail there you have to have a PO box. Fed Ex and UPS do however deliver there if your place is reachable by their trucks. Our cabin would probably not be considered reachable. We don’t have a PO box in Abiquiu because anything we need delivered we send it to the Santa Fe address. We do have an official address however, in Abiquiu, we got to choose it depending on what numbers were already chosen in sequential order. We didn’t get our first choice, but we’re OK with the number we got as our second choice. Our neighbor to one side of us chose 50, the other side of us chose 100, so we wanted 75 but the powers that be said no, they did let us have 99 for some reason, even though the distance between us and each of those neighbors is about the exact same distance, about a 1/2 mile each. Who knows? The name of our road is Blue Earth Trail, it’s a private road so we have all have to maintain it. If you go to Apple maps and put in 99 Blue Earth Trail it shows up in the wrong place, way up on top of the mountain, no roads are even up there.

    edit: Google maps kinda show the correct spot but says it’s in Medanales the next town over, which is wrong.

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  55. Deborah said on July 26, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    This is the book I’m reading now I was reading it while I was waiting for the Jeep to get serviced and I was almost sorry when it was ready and I had to stop for a while. I like Louise Erdrich, my all time favorite book by her is “The Last Report from Little No Horse”. She won a Pulitzer recently for a book I haven’t read yet.

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