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Open thread 8/30/23

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  • Casey Klahn August 30, 2023, 3:42 PM

    That photo could be right here in my county! The county where Covid deigned not to enter in the period 2020-2023. Because: we don’t believe in your bullshit.

    I still haven’t flown since the end of the lockdowns, because I have had this feeling that they weren’t done with their fuckery. I stated to my family, and I think on here, that I might fly again after the management at the airlines forget the powers and authorities they had during the Coofs. All of a sudden, here we go again. Biden needs the lockdowns as cover for much of his cheating at the polls.

    I’m putting grocers, banks, libraries, school boards, local police, my state government, airlines, doctors and medical facilities, all on blast: nobody believes your metric ton of horseshit and we’re still pissed from last time. Perhaps they slept through HS history, but I know from my own studies (much of my knowledge of WWII comes down by word of mouth) that Nazi or Fascist governments bullied and regulated private citizens and businesses into compliance. If you follow the state mandates and recommendations for public health, it is NOT an excuse for being ignorant. We are onto you.

    Meanwhile, the tards in these businesses and in the city and state governments use language about you, the American citizen, that includes terms like “Nazi,” “Christofascist” (my favorite), White Supremicist”. All the while, conducting themselves like 1930-45 Germany and 1960 Maoists. Lenin is rolling over in his grave at the outrage of this shit.

    Is this the hill we fight on? You tell me.

  • DT August 30, 2023, 4:31 PM

    You live in pretty country. Need to get up there more often.

    I don’t fly – rather drive the 30-40 hours to get cross-country (just returned from such).
    I could say I used to work for Boeing …

  • ghostsniper August 30, 2023, 5:03 PM

    Lot’s of old barns around here. The one in the pik looks in pretty good shape compared to many here.

    I’ll never fly again. I’ve criss-crossed the country several times using steering wheels and kinda like it.

    I think I like US90 better than US10 which gets boring for about 854 miles from El Paso to Beaumont.

    I could say I used to work for Martin-Marietta.

    • DT August 31, 2023, 3:30 PM

      “I could say I used to work for Martin-Marietta.”
      Then you understand

  • Anne August 30, 2023, 5:58 PM

    DT–would you care to provide insight to Boeing’s union group(s)?

    • DT August 31, 2023, 3:34 PM

      I worked for the Boeing that was HQ’d in Seattle long ago. I have no insight into the company using that name today (nor do I seek any) so can’t say if their workmanship standards have improved since then. Wouldn’t move to the Seattle area again for any salary. Wouldn’t work for Boeing again for any salary. I’m not the person to ask about unions.

      • Anne August 31, 2023, 6:28 PM

        Glad to hear you feel the same way about SEA and it’s unions as I do! SEA is the leading-edge horror show that this country and it’s feminist leaders so eagerly want us to become.

  • John A. Fleming August 30, 2023, 6:48 PM

    A picture of exceeding melancholy. The treeless prairie on the left is fallow but looks to be under recent cultivation. The land on the right is fallow, the grass and native plants if any look to be in early summer conditions. The right background may have a cereal or hay crop, hard to say, it’s just that the rows on the left are too close together for potatoes or beans or corn.

    At first glance I thought it was an abandoned farmstead. But now after examining the land use patterns, the barn was probably used for horses to cultivate the prairie, there looks to be a horse corral adjacent to the barn. The barn probably hasn’t had any horse tenants for a long time, the tractors took over in the 1930’s so it was no longer necessary to keep a team of six horses to work the 80 acres.

    It looks like the western Dakota’s to me, the home and farmsteads are thinning out with the lessening rainfall, and plots of land under cultivation have become large with our modern farming economies of scale, where the small family farms have disappeared, and have been consolidated into large farm operations, usually still run by a family business.

    I’m one generation from the farm, my mother grew up on the farm, my uncle farmed it until he retired, and now the land is rented to the local large farm operation, the one family that hung on and absorbed all the small farmsteads. My cousin still lives on the family homestead, but he doesn’t farm.

    The siding is probably too weathered, but I reckon the internal timbers might still have life in them if they could be reclaimed. It’s probably not possible to find new wood of that quality it likely is.

    Still, it’s a picture that makes we want to weep a little, a multi-generational family’s dreams and lives reduced to ghostly zephyrs stirring the leaves and dust, the wind whistling through the siding. A very quiet place, only the sun, sky, clouds and small critters for company.

    • ghostsniper August 30, 2023, 7:16 PM

      You have an eye for detail and a way with words.

      • John A. Fleming August 30, 2023, 9:19 PM

        Thanks gs. I try. Haven’t quite got the hang of it, with adjectives less is more, until/unless the right one is provided by the muse. Old farmhouses and barns just make me sad. My wife likes to go on photoshoots, seems like they are always going out to some ghost town somewhere, and working hard to capture the fading beauty.

        Instapundit had a link today for a Kurt Vonnegut quote: everybody wants to build, nobody wants to do maintenance. Yeah, he got that right.

        Everything falls apart, in time all things decay. I can’t let it get to me, every day is a gift, gotta get up and do some things to keep it going.

    • Casey Klahn August 31, 2023, 4:33 PM

      Melancholy, perhaps. I respect your background. My wife is the farmer’s daughter, and her family’s farm is still going. There are many corporate farms here, but also many family farms. But, they do slowly close up, and I’ll be damned if I can imagine somebody wanting to start one out of just dirt and no background. Actually, I take it back, apparently some new blood has begun a farm and my in laws are watching them with incredulity as they invest in the machinery (it’s expensive as you can imagine) and are planting crops you don’t plant here in dry land farm country. Foolishness.

      My wife is into genealogy a bit, and we visited her Great Great GM’s grave site, which is in the Columbia Basin area (irrigated farming). You never saw a more desolate cemetery than this one is. It rests upon a faint relief that looks gently down in all directions at farmland on all points of the compass. The few farmsteads are miles distant, and to the North lie Low mountains of North Central Washington and Canada, and to the West lie the North Cascades Range. No trees. Open entirely to the sun, and fenced in by Victorian-era cast iron fencing, and overgrown with weeds. The Welsh were brutalist farmers and they survived by sheer will and probably more than the normal amount of God’s Grace.

      Probably there were 30 graves in this small plot. There is one small grave that lies outside of the fenced square, and legend has it he was a horse thief whose demise was not governed by the law, if you get my meaning. The Welshmen buried him out side of the proper cemetery, out of spit. Later, the farmers needed to cultivate all the way up to the fence of the cemetery, and they unceremoniously chucked the headstone inside the fence, and farm the criminal’s plot.

      It’s an amazing place, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it for desolate ground but used by mankind nonetheless.

      • John A. Fleming August 31, 2023, 8:06 PM

        I read or was told that most graves are only visited for 15 years after the loved one has passed. In a hundred years, there’s no one left alive who remembers these people at their eternal rest. And so they sleep on undisturbed with their neighbors in both life and death, under the sky and the long roll of the seasons. I’d like to think that somewhere great-great-grandmother is pleased that somebody still remembers and came to visit her.

        I’m re-reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, and he imagines that the sinners in Hell are informed of the past and the future, but don’t know what is happening in the present, and so they hungrily query Dante about the latest news and the doings of their families.

        I recently visited my in-laws graves in the Midwest, in a once-prosperous factory town, now fading, even though there are lots of people still in the surrounding townships and the county. It’s an old cemetery near downtown, and many of the folks sleeping there paid for fancy headstones and monuments. The freeze-thaw of the winters shifts the stones around, and many are falling down or on their way to. That’s how you know that no-one comes anymore, or are willing to pay to have the stones re-set. I can already see that grandma-in-law’s stone is sinking into the grass and will be lost unless we raise it back up.

        There’s a section of the cemetery where the Civil War soldiers from that town are buried. I had to walk the line there and pay my respects. The stones are fading with time, but I think the cemetery caretakers make an effort to keep them upright. That’s as it should be, the soldiers ought to get a few more centuries in the sun than the rest of us before their names are completely lost to history.

        • Casey Klahn September 1, 2023, 1:03 PM

          Good on ya, John. Perhaps the closest cemetery to my country home is on the shoulder of a high butte. The view is territorial, and there are many veteran’s headstones. One is from a mexican-American War veteran, which predates Washington State by a damnsight. Also lots of Civil War vets, which also was well before this territory saw statehood. I particularly like one granite headstone, which has a spider-webbed bullet impact gouge out of the face. Someone no doubt lobbed one at a deer, and it fell onto this headstone. When? A hundred years ago?

          My own paternal heritage lies in a deep rain forest wood, over-watched by mist, old growth Spruce, and herds of elk. The Klahn central monument, which is a stylus type affair (think Washington’s Monument) and is about 5′ tall, keeps getting pushed over by a cow elk. There lie all my fore-bearers who pioneered the Olympic Peninsula, and only pioneer stock are permitted for burial there.

          It rains a lot there. In the distance are glaciers that flow to the lowest elevation of glaciers in the continental US.

        • LP September 1, 2023, 3:26 PM

          Not all graves are forgotten. Our family recently hosted a ceremony for our ancestor who came to the US from Ireland in 1850. We have lots of memorabilia and family stories that have been passed down over six generations. A family member interested in genealogy found his grave and had a stone erected. My brother wrote an article for the local paper. We arranged a Mass and dedication, a big family gathering followed at the pub across the street. The event was wonderful but I think it was most appreciated by the oldest generation who are in their 90’s and know how important it is to be remembered.

  • jwm August 30, 2023, 7:28 PM

    John A Fleming:
    Yeah, it is a forlorn sight. Fits right in with most everything going on right now. It isn’t hopeless-
    But it isn’t far from it. Right now things here are just barely getting along. I’m done with the sickness, but still trying to run at about 40% of what used to be normal. If I’m pulling out of it, it’s happening at a glacial pace. We had to get our bathroom rebuilt, and that set us back a bunch. Then Buddy the Cat had an expensive trip to the vet, and he’s not looking good either. Has to go back tomorrow. That’s the thing. The money isn’t money when it comes to my best ol’ pal, but numbers are numbers nonetheless. The one good thing that is happening right now is the completion of The Lost Era slideshow movie. I premiered it at Whittier museum earlier this month, and it seriously knocked some socks off. If any of you would like to see it, I have signed up for a file-sharing site, and can send out a download through email. I’ve sent it to several folks already. The file share works well. Ghost, Casey, or anyone else in the crew, here, I’d like for you guys to see. This could well be the finest work I’ve ever done. My sig still links to the World Famous Blog. Drop me a note there, and we can trade notes further. If by chance, any of you has Vox Day’s Unauthorized TV, it’s available for down load there, as well.
    With that shameless plug I’ll sign out for tonight. Hope y’all are well, and doing well.


    • John A. Fleming August 30, 2023, 9:24 PM

      Hey jwm, is that alabaster sculpture informed by your recent natural pharmacology-fueled adventure? That’s quite the objet d’art.

      • jwm August 31, 2023, 6:35 AM

        LOL, thanks.
        Like most of my stuff it started way back last April by taking a couple of tweets, and spending a long time staring at the rock. But I had some health issues come up that made me decide to let the smoking go. It was time, anyway. The bud was losing its magic, and I’m no kid anymore. My bout with the (totally not deliberately engineered nor deliberately released) covid bug sealed that deal, like it or not. As soon as I get some juice back, I’ll start in on the next project. Too, right now The Lost Era thing is on center stage. I’ll be hosting some viewings at the museum soon, and I’m sending out copies to on-line friends for review and feedback. I bought a bunch of SD cards to send out for those who don’t want to download the file directly. I have two left.


    • Casey Klahn August 31, 2023, 2:46 PM

      I’ll look for your e-mail, John. I look forward to it.

      Glad you’re better.

  • Jean August 30, 2023, 10:10 PM

    It looks like a Wyeth painting.

    • ghostsniper August 31, 2023, 6:32 AM

      If it had some shredded, diaphanous curtains in the windows you’d be spot on!

  • jwm August 31, 2023, 3:34 PM

    Hooray. I really want for you to see this.
    But I don’t have your email address. Send me a note:
    ruatha five two at msn dot com

    (five two =number 52) and the file will be on its way as soon as I get it. (Same for any of you guys & gals.)


  • Anne August 31, 2023, 4:17 PM


    Drove through McDonald’s today. It’s been about THREE months since the last time I chose McDonald’s over Freddy’s across the street. I was driving my everyday 2007 vehicle. Passed up the first machine, got to the second machine and when asked for my order by the nice voice, I announced “Two Big Macs Please”. I then drove on to the first window–the one where you give a live person your money. There was a little bit of a line in front of me so maybe the lag time between when I announced my order and when I got to the window with a live person was 2 minutes (+/-). When I arrived the live person confirmed my order: “two big macs, one with no onions”. How the heck did he know my standard order is two big macs–ONE NO ONIONS? I clearly remember not saying the “no onions” part because I was reminding myself to tell the live person when I got to the first window. No problem–the live person already knew and I suspect he knew because McD’s had my vehicle license plate in their computer system linked to my traditional order. Does that sound about right to you folks?

    • John A. Fleming August 31, 2023, 5:45 PM

      Hi Anne. Many things are done now because they can be done, and cheaply too. Software is additive, new capability is built on top of layers of older capabilities. The cost of the older capability depreciates. So license plate readers can now be reliable, cheap and ubiquitous. There are many sophisticated correlation capabilities (engines) that can be plugged into a business. With endless terabytes of storage, every transaction is now recorded and tagged. You made your usual order one too many times and the software decided that from now on the default was to give you what you want, it’s an invisible personalized service just for you that keeps you coming back. They are making your life easier, more convenient.

      Normally it ought to be harmless. The problem is, collected information about you can be sold and bought, with and without anonymization. It can also be subpoena’ed. Unscrupulous private, public, and underworld actors will create reposititories of everyone’s correlated information so that anyone can be defiled when needed.

      It’s the 21Cen. Whattayagonnadoaboutit? Don’t be predictable, don’t act in a pattern. Pay cash, change your order to confuse the software, go to the local vendors and stay away from the corporations. When you go to the grocery store, pay in cash and don’t use any frequent shopper cards to get the “discount”. Most of the time the cashiers will give you the discount anyway. Don’t give anybody your address and telephone number. When you order over the internet, never sign up, use the one-time-guest method of payment. Order direct from the original vendor, never through Amazon. Instead of your credit card use the one-time gift cards you can buy at the stores with cash and don’t give them your name and phone number. Don’t let the websites save cookies on your computer, or learn how to manage them.

      Thanks for the tip. Don’t go through the drive-thru, pay at the counter in cash. That will work for a while, until the surveillance capabilities catch up and they can correlate your face to your identity and the car they record you walking to, and scrape the license plate.

      That license-plate reading stuff started at the airports. You can’t get into or out of the parking garages unless the cameras can read and record your license plate. Several times the attendant had me move forward so the license could be read.

      It’s a problem. There ought to be a public consensus about how “you own you”, and nobody gets to track you and profit off you without your explicit consent. They do that for movie stars, why not everybody? We know why not, it’s called money and politics. You would never get a majority of elected politicians to pass such laws, and if they did it would be toothless and riddled with exceptions. The time for “you own you” laws has passed, and it won’t be possible again until after the discontinuity.

  • Anne August 31, 2023, 6:30 PM

    DT–see my response above!

    • DT September 1, 2023, 4:21 PM