Now Gutfeld is Stealing My Best Gags

Here’s a Claudine Gay / Urkel gag from Gutfeld’s show last night

 

And here is my post from Dec. 21st 2023.  Below is the photo from the post.

Claudine Gay Accused of Stealing Steve Urkel’s Look

Coincidence?  I don’t think so!  Damn you Gutfeld!  The Urkel meme is one of my best.

Ah, fate is cruel.  Well, at least he steals from the best.

 

 

Update:

I’ve called Gutfeld out.  I’ve demanded on-air attribution.

https://x.com/orionscoldfire/status/1760764495721271703?s=20

Serializing the Uncompleted Novel Sniper – Installment 9

As part of my previously discussed plan to make my site more interesting to me I’m going to publish my ongoing attempt at a dystopic science fiction story, “Sniper.”  Part of my reason for putting it up on the site is to get feedback from sf fans and also because I hope at some future time to finish it and put it up for sale.  If anyone likes the story, I highly encourage him to spread it to anyone among his acquaintances or sites that he thinks would be likely to be interested.  After all the whole reason for the internet is mass communication.

Also, I’m encouraging all comments; positive and negative.  Feedback is greatly desired.  And away we go.

 

 

Link to Installment 1

 

The American Archipelago

Book 1 – The Sniper

Chapter 6 – The Plan

Bogey adapted to Cutter’s environment surprisingly well.  The older man was not overly sociable but he was adept at fitting oddly shaped personalities into a team matrix.  The world of software programming had habituated him to the reality of quirky personalities that, handled the right way, could produce amazing results.  Bogey was nothing like the introverted, almost autistic geniuses that Cutter was usually surrounded by.  But he was a talented and highly intelligent individual who was needed to accomplish the impossible mission Cutter had set himself to perform.

As they sat down together to begin defining their mission Bogey discovered that this strange man was not only a brilliant computer scientist, but he was also a highly trained strategist.  If Bogey had thought about it he might have realized that the logical skills that allowed Cutter to design a software architecture to efficiently accomplish the functions needed to run a business or control a factory were also the skills needed to orchestrate a complex plan.  What Cutter lacked was detailed knowledge of what could and could not be accomplished by an elite soldier trained in the techniques of modern warfare.  Bogey provided those details.  And between the two of them they built up the outlines for a number of types of missions that would be needed in their campaign.  Bogey explained the timing, resources, intel requirements and weaknesses for each type of operation and Cutter embedded those parameters into his model.  After a couple of weeks working together they developed enormous respect for each other’s skills and became much more efficient at modelling the operations they were working on.  And as Bogey learned how Cutter’s method worked and as he recognized the soundness of the plans they were making, he became caught up in building the plan into a bigger and bigger campaign with follow-on hacks of the media and social media sites to get out the reasons for the campaign to the general public.  He saw how the information war was just as important as the military strikes.

Cutter recognized that Bogey had become enthusiastic about the bigger picture.  So he started explaining more and more of his own long terms goals to Bogey and how the assassinations needed to be extremely selective and justifiable to the public in order to sway public opinion toward their side.  Cutter knew this was a delicate issue for Bogey so he approached it as an academic concept that was part of the planning method.  Bogey could tell what Cutter was doing and at the same time he began to understand the importance of the PSYOP portion of the plan to its final success.  He could tell that Cutter was telling the truth.  One day he decided to just say what he thought, “Cutter, I think we’ll need to get some things out in the open.  I know you’ve been talking around the question of assassinations and I know what you’re doing so let’s just put our cards on the table and get it over with.

Cutter nodded, “Sure, sure.  You’re right.  We can’t avoid the reality.  All these grandiose plans won’t happen if we panic the American people into supporting a full mobilization and martial law reaction to our campaign.  If we start out by killing the Attorney General we’ll be hiding under a rock for the rest of our lives and never see anything move forward with our plan.  We’re going to have to stage things and provide a PSYOP follow up at each stage to get our message out.”  “I understand that Cutter.  But there are two men who need killing before anything else happens.  And I can’t imagine they’ll lock down the country for their sake.  I mean that anarchist that slit my son’s throat and his handler.  I want them and I want them first.  There’s no leeway on that.  Agreed?”

Cutter thought about this for a minute before he spoke.  “If that’s your bottom line then let’s do it as a stand-alone.  We’ll get both of them in a single attack and then follow it up with a data dump and a message declaring why these two men died.  It will be a clear statement to the feds that you are the shooter.  They’ll come after you with everything they’ve got but it’s also the kills that will be most justified in the public’s mind.  But notwithstanding that, we’re going to have to pick the time and place very carefully to reinforce the guilt of these two men.  We might as well put all the other plans on the back burner for now and let’s get to work on this one.”

This satisfied Bogey and he now concentrated on the details of this first mission, night and day.  Cutter began to provide him with detailed intel on the two targets.  And he also learned all the tragic details of his son’s attack.  Cutter even provided him with the government video of the actual attack.  Bogey was horrified by it.  It haunted his dreams for a week.  Seeing Robert that way opened all the old wounds and filled him with pain.  But he watched it over and over again memorizing the minutest details of the attacker and how he moved.  Eventually he wore out the horror and it became just a deadened callous on his mind.  But it allowed him to get beyond his anger.  Eliminating the killers was a technical problem that he was solving.  Eventually he deleted the video and never asked for it again.  Even though the mission was not linked to any other follow-on missions it was large and complicated and involved a lot of placements of supporting equipment and extremely precise timing.  All this materiel had to be procured by Connors and some of it had to be assembled and tested by Bogey and Cutter.  But eventually it was all finished.  Now they waited for the perfect opportunity.  Cutter used his intel from the FBI to choose the event.  And the actual place and time would only be known a week before the operation so the complete schedule wouldn’t be available until then.  But finally, they selected the event.  And six days before zero hour Mel sent her final detailed schedule to Cutter and Bogey and they got together for the final run through meeting.  When it was done, they took a day off and rested.  After that they began following the schedule and in the blink of an eye the day arrived.

End of Chapter 6

Google AI Hates White Men

Google has an AI called Gemini that can generate images.  People have been trying to force it to create pictures of white men but it’s almost impossible.  It will make black people or any other race but white without a problem but white people are a big problem.  So you can get black vikings and a pope that’s an Indian woman or any number of interesting anachronisms like a 16th century French King who’s Chinese but no white men.  Fascinating.  Google says they’re working on it.

School Committee Calls for National Guard in Massachusetts

The Bay State, the center of DEI has finally evolved public school to its final form.

“Members of a Massachusetts high school committee sent a letter asking their mayor to deploy National Guard troops to rein in violent chaos on campus — ranging from daily brawls in the halls to frequent drug use and fornication in empty classrooms.”

But this is probably the quote that captures the reason for the request for troops:

“Another BHS math teacher, Cliff Canavan, had his arm broken in December when he was attacked while trying to restrain somebody who was kicking an unconscious student in the head.”

Brockton is a crime-ridden hellhole that somehow hasn’t been turned into a paradise on earth by the wise policies of Massachusetts politicians.  Very strange.  The city is 51% black and 27% white.  So I assume most of the students are non-white and most of the teachers are white and they just don’t know how to restrain their white privilege and lack of empathy for students just trying to break up the monotony of the day with some fentanyl and and … uh … coitus.

I think the school committee is on to something.    A platoon of soldiers with drawn bayonets could probably maintain order in the corridors between classes and possibly limit the amount of drugs and sex going on.  Or at least they could give it a try.  But I see the danger in some kid trying to shoot or stab a guardsman and the kid ending up dead.  Then the BLM contingent would show up and the Governor would mandate that the city of Brockton voluntarily burn itself to the ground and hand over its assets to the rioters.

Well, that’s the only way progress is made.  Let the kneeling and bootlicking begin.

Pravda is Worried.  The Proles Have Caught On.

There is a fear growing.  Donald Trump has been consistently leading Joe Biden in national and state polls.  And the lead isn’t going away.  And the leads in some of the critical swing states have him ahead in some cases by almost ten points.

The fear exists because even with this lead and with people sensing this lead, the Democratic party is gearing up to use bogus absentee ballots to steal another election.  And they fear the consequences.

The January 6th protest was a result of people’s outrage that rampant voter fraud was perpetrated and approved by the political establishment.  And four years later the knowledge that the fraud happened is widespread.  And the numbers for Trump are even stronger now than they were four years ago.  The fear is that if they steal another election, it will finally snap the last threads providing any sense of legitimacy to the federal government.

You might rightly ask does it matter at all?  Ultimately, I think it does for them.  A large part of the strength of the United States as a great power derives from the consent of the governed.  Americans have been willing to fight in great wars and small because the benefits of living in a free country were self-evident.  Even the urban poor in the United States felt that they were in possession of privileges that even the rich inhabitants of other countries were denied.  We could say what we wanted.  We could move around a continent-spanning nation and find a new job and a new life just by willing it to happen.  We could start a business and make as much money as we wanted and no commissar would come down the street and take it away.  We had fair and free elections.  And if the bums we elected did a lousy job we could kick them out four years later.  We were called an exceptional nation and being an American was a special thing.  And we had found that to be true.

And now none of those things is true anymore.  Obama told us there is nothing exceptional about us.  And Biden says that third world invaders are better people than we are.  And the freedoms we were given can be taken back.  Say the wrong thing and there will be a knock on the door, or a battering ram, and away you go to the gulag.  No one is particularly proud anymore.  And precious few want to fight in their wars anymore.

And when we try to throw the bums out of office, they print up fake ballots and stay in office and tell us to mind our business, or else.

But the people running things are nervous.  The economy is not doing so good.  And the wars aren’t going so well.  And no one wants to join the military.  China, Russia, India and Saudi Arabia have been using other currencies instead of the almighty dollar.  The crime-ridden cities are even starting to scare the Democrat mayors running them.

I can tell that they’re nervous because their scribes are starting to write things like this.

“In the spirit of my argument in this column, I should concede that things do get trickier when we are dealing with a deliberate lie that has been concocted and spread as a political weapon, and is now believed by a large number of people, such as the “stealing” of the 2020 election. We don’t want to legitimise disinformation. But even in these circumstances, it is important to find things to agree on. No, the election was not stolen, but yes, there were a tiny number of instances of voter fraud (just shy of 475 possible instances, according to an AP report).

If we can show we have taken all of the facts — no matter how unpleasant or inconvenient they are — into consideration, not only does it make our arguments more persuasive; it also allows us to get closer to the truth (which we often have less of a grip on than we might like to admit). And doing so makes disagreement less toxic and more productive. In my experience, when you give someone an inch, they often end up giving you an inch, too.”

You see how the writer is bending over backwards to be fair to us poor benighted proles.  Read how she admits that there were a tiny number of frauds.  The Associated Press said so!  How can it be false?  That extra week or two of counting votes?  Why what’s wrong with that?  Who ever heard of counting all the votes in one day?  Crazy talk.  So, they kicked out the Republican poll watchers?  Why shouldn’t they.  They were making the poll workers nervous by being there.  And the precincts that came in at over 100% voter turnout?  Why that’s just democracy fortified.

A few other nervous sentences in the article:

“A Monmouth poll last June found that only 21 per cent of Republicans (but 93 per cent of Democrats) believe Joe Biden won fairly.

We can see similar gulfs on all sorts of issues, from the effectiveness of masks and lockdowns in preventing the spread of coronavirus to America’s migrant crisis and the war in Gaza. We are talking, here, not just about divides in terms of what is morally wrong and right, but what is real and what is not.

The stakes are too high to continue in this splintered way. A 2022 poll found that more than two in five Americans believed a civil war was at least somewhat likely in the next decade, thanks to political divisions.

And a report by the Eurasia Group in January said the upcoming US presidential election represents the biggest political risk to the world in 2024. “The United States is already the world’s most divided and dysfunctional advanced industrial democracy,” analysts wrote. “The 2024 election will exacerbate this problem no matter who wins.””

Yep, they’re nervous.  And that’s because they plan to steal 2024.  And if four years after 2020 got us to where we are today, I think they know that another stolen election is going to finish off whatever good is left in this once exceptional nation.

And how will these scribes find a Starbuck’s after the fall of the empire?

Great Caesar’s Ghost!

Long ago, there was a tv show called the Adventures of Superman. Perry White, was played by the well-known character actor John Hamilton. And in one episode, after all of his reporters run out of the room before he can tell them what he wants them to do, he sits there staring into the space in front of him and says, “I know people say you’re crazy when you talk to yourself, but by Great Caesar’s Ghost, there’s no one else around here sane enough to talk to!”

Well, now I’m in the same situation. I’m talking to myself in order to use this program that Microsoft has on Windows called Voice Typing.  It works quite well. But what I notice is that it’s difficult for me to get used to the fact that I’m talking to myself.  I mean, when I type typically, I guess I’m silently talking to myself but this is a completely different thing. Uh, you have to think on the fly. Because I can speak a lot more quickly than I can type. So, I don’t have enough time to think of what I want to say.  If you see what I mean.

So, look at those last few sentences.  They’re pretty stilted.  That was me trying to dictate to the computer.  It’s not pretty.  And so, I’ll have to see if this works for me.  I’m guessing I’ll have to practice with it until I can think comfortably at the speed of my speech instead of at the speed of my typing.

But one interesting thing has come out of this experiment.  I can see now how some of the mistakes I’ve seen on other people’s blogs happen. They’re using a dictation program. That seems apparent.  The machine is mistaking certain similarly sounding words for others that have a completely different meaning.  And then afterwards, when the human edited it, he’s missed some of these problems.

So here we have a technological change.  Dictation replacing typing.  I remember reading that the ancients when they read something, they read it aloud.  I think it was something about Julius Caesar I remember, that he was able to read silently and at the time this was considered a radical departure from normal behavior.  Great Caesar’s Ghost!  Maybe I’m too old and inflexible to change how I produce text.  Maybe my brain is too canalized to change.  Well, it’ll be an experiment.

This has been an interesting week.  All the coverage of the Trump verdicts and the fines has further revealed the clear divide in the United States.  Once again there is no middle ground.  The Left has abandoned all pretense at objectivity.  Any and every attack on Trump is justified and reasonable in their eyes.  Even when the result of this thinking frightens even their allies.  The enormous fine against Trump’s commercial interests and the obvious fictitious nature of the “crime” has frightened other businessmen in New York.  The realization that prosecutors and judges can easily fabricate charges that will basically allow confiscation of all their wealth has panicked many of these ultra-wealthy individuals.  And Governor Hochul reacted by trying to soothe the nerves of the rich.

But if there’s one thing billionaires hate is the threat of confiscation of their wealth.  Recently Elon Musk was denied a huge payment from Tesla because the State of Delaware stepped in and forbade it.  Almost immediately Musk had the incorporation of Tesla moved out of Delaware.  I fully expect to see similar moves by many public and private corporations to preempt any possible chicanery by Letitia James or any of the other bloodsucking ghouls in New York State.

And this is on top of an already desperate fiscal situation in both New York City and New York State.  Things like the feeding and housing of illegal aliens is starting to put a real hole in their budgets.  So, could the lawfare against Trump hasten the unravelling of the Empire State?  Great Caesar’s Ghost!

NY Gov Reassures Rich: We Only Use Lawfare on Trump

Just look at that smile.  How could the rich worry that a state that twists the law into pretzels to bankrupt its enemies could possibly turn on them?  Just do exactly as we say and shut up and we’ll only bleed you dry a pint at a time.  We won’t go for the throat like we did with Trump.  At least not this week.

As the rich head for the exits Kathy Hochul can figure out how to keep  MS-13 from pushing her aside and planting its flag in Manhattan.  It seems they don’t respond to subpoenas from Letitia James except with automatic weapons fire.

Hochul tells NY businesses not to fear about Trump verdict: ‘Nothing to worry about’

 

Serializing the Uncompleted Novel Sniper – Installment 8

As part of my previously discussed plan to make my site more interesting to me I’m going to publish my ongoing attempt at a dystopic science fiction story, “Sniper.”  Part of my reason for putting it up on the site is to get feedback from sf fans and also because I hope at some future time to finish it and put it up for sale.  If anyone likes the story, I highly encourage him to spread it to anyone among his acquaintances or sites that he thinks would be likely to be interested.  After all the whole reason for the internet is mass communication.

Also, I’m encouraging all comments; positive and negative.  Feedback is greatly desired.  And away we go.

 

 

Link to Installment 1

 

The American Archipelago

Book 1 – The Sniper

Chapter 5 – Cutter (Continued)

Paul Connors got off the phone call from the man he had put in charge of moving the Boghadairs into their new home.  It was a full day since he left Grace and her sons to return to his office and he was relieved to hear that it had gone off without a hitch.  He would make a point of going to visit them very soon but for now they had enough to do settling into their new home.

Connors hit a button on his desk that locked the door to his office and then he keyed in the address for Cutter’s mail box.  After negotiating the site protocols he pushed the video link button and Mel’s pleasant face appeared on Connor’s screen.  “Hello Paul Connors, are you even another order of magnitude wealthier today than yesterday?”  Connors had to laugh and said, “No, no I think I’m only incrementally richer today.  But I’ll do my best tomorrow.  Is your friend Cutter around?”  The AI rolled her eyes and said, “Friend?  He’s a hopeless case.  Anyone as old, evil and rude as he is should be boiled in cocoa nut oil and fed to crabs.  But he’s around here somewhere, I’ll wake him up.”  Connors smiled and said, “Please just leave a message, I don’t want to wake him up if he’s sleeping.”  The young girl made a disparaging noise, “I’ve just sounded the emergency alarm in his earpiece.  He’ll probably hit the ceiling and come running but don’t worry he hasn’t got a heart so there’s no danger of an infarction.

Suddenly Connors’s screen split and he could see Cutter’s bleary-eyed face and hear him unleash a stream of invective at the virtual girl.  Her image disappeared from the screen and Cutter’s face noticeably calmed and his eyes settled on Connors.  Now Cutter’s face appeared slightly sheepish and he said, “Sorry Connors, she doesn’t usually act so irrationally but I think my own stress is starting to rub off on her.  I swear to you I’ve measured her psychological profile and there’s no chance of her endangering the mission or slipping up on anything important.  It’s just that her emotional algorithms are a little too strong.  I can’t afford to deconstruct and reconstruct her personality anytime soon.  I don’t have the time and she’s too critical to the work.  Just bear with me for the duration.

Connors shook his head slightly, “Cutter, I already know you’re daft.  How you amuse yourself with your shadow puppets is your own affair.  I’ve always had to trust that you can police your own eccentricities.  But I do want to know what’s going on with Bogey.  He was pretty low when he showed up here.  What’s the status of your mission with him?”  The older man frowned, “We’re at square one.  He’s just shown up and I’ve tried to explain how difficult his mission will be.  But he still knows nothing and has done nothing.  I intend to train him in the tools and techniques I’ve created and I’ll demonstrate how we can use your underground infrastructure to evade detection and capture.  But I’ll need his help to formulate the detailed plans.  His skills at providing real world results will determine what is realistic and safe and what is off the table.  Right now I’m trying to decide whether the first steps should be delicate and invisible or devastating and attention grabbing.  Both strategies have plusses and minuses.  My instincts say start big but I think it’s smarter to learn a few things at the microscopic level and use that knowledge to plan a major attack afterward.”

Connors nodded, “Sure, figure out your strategy.  The two of you are the logical team to figure that out.  Keep me in the loop so I can protect my people and plan our own steps to avoid blowback.  But what I meant about Bogey’s mission is have you figured out how to protect him from himself?  When he showed up, I could see he had decided to charge the gates and go out in a blaze of gunfire.  Have you talked him out of that?”

“Sure, I have.  As soon as I showed him that I can get real intel on his targets I could see that he was adding things up in his head.  He’s a smart guy and can see that getting results without dying is better than dying without accomplishing squat.  And I pointed out that, him getting caught dead or alive would jeopardize you and his family.  That got his attention.  But it’s going to take some time for us to work out a plan.  If you have any objectives you want to add into the plan hand them over soon so we can do a feasibility analysis on them.  Once we get going things are going to get very complicated and very dangerous.  Some objectives will be very time sensitive.  If we only think of them later, they won’t happen.”

Connors took this in, “I’ll send along anything I can think of right away but you two are the war department.  I’m more on the constructive side of things.  Just let me know if you need resources.  As you say, things will get tricky once they know they’re being targeted.  Better to get supplies and materiel in advance.”

Cutter scratched his chin with his thumb, “Yeah, that’s true.  I’ll have Bogey give me his equipment list and I’ll double or triple it as a safety factor.  Then I’ll get a list of IT components I’ll need and then we’ll buy some crazy things just to spend some of your money.  I think demolition supplies will be the hardest to procure without detection.”

“Don’t worry about that.  I’ve got a crew that can manufacture that stuff underground without the worry of detection.”

Cutter nodded, “Okay, I’ve got to go now.  I’ll send you the list and you can do the same when you have your ideas together.  Mel will send that stuff to me through the regular mail route.  And don’t worry about her.  She’s solid on business.”

The link closed and Connors sat for a few minutes thinking about the mad world he now inhabited.  Then he shrugged and hit the button to unlock his office door and resumed his busy day.

A thousand miles away, in a small town located next to a mountain lake, Grace Boghadair was finishing up her unpacking in the beautiful spacious house that Connors had sent her to.  The boys had been given leave to toss around a baseball in the enormous back field behind the house but warned to stay close to the house in case predators were a threat.  There weren’t any nearby but not knowing that, she had used motherly caution to try to do the right thing to keep her kids safe.

Grace was in a kind of happy shock.  All the cloak and dagger secrecy and the two-day car ride had been disorienting.  Their first night in the new house had been confusing and she had barely gotten clean sheets and blankets on their beds before she collapsed from nervous fatigue.  But since waking up every experience in the new location had been fortunate.  The huge modern kitchen was stocked with ample stocks of good food.  The dining room was cavernous but with the giant oval table arrangement the five of them had a cozy breakfast at one end.  The kids were loving the entertainment system in the family room and she had her eye on a padded recliner in the solarium.  There were speakers in every room hooked up to the audio system and the living room had a ridiculously large surround sound television area with stadium seating.  The whole thing felt like some kind of reality show where the host does a walkthrough so that the audience can hear the contestants oohing and aahing over the luxurious appointments of their dream home.

But if she was pleasantly surprised up till that point she was truly amazed when she found an accordion folder in the small study.  Inside was a typed list of the contents and a letter from Connors.  The list included two bank accounts with four hundred thousand dollars between them.  The names on the accounts were two women’s names Grace had never heard of.  There were two packets of hundred-dollar bills adding up to fifty thousand dollars.  There were two driver’s licenses with Grace’s picture but with the two names from the bank accounts.  There was also a spreadsheet with a list of websites and account numbers, passwords and balances in some currency that she did not recognize along with an equivalent in US dollars.  The total was more than thirty million dollars.

Grace shook her head and put the paper back in the folder and walked away from it with a little shudder running through her.  But she gave a nervous laugh and decided to relax for the moment in a temporary pool of serenity.  The sun was shining, the boys were shouting some kind of fake play-by-play over their baseball game and for just a minute she had no one reminding her that the world had crashed down around her just a few months ago.  She knew reality would set in when the sun set and the boys drifted off to sleep and the house became too quiet around her.  But for the first time in forever she started to think seriously about what the rest of her life would include besides raising four boys.  She still had no idea but at least she’d reached that much closure on the disaster.

Grace looked down at her left hand, at her wedding and engagement rings.  She whispered, “Sorry Bob.”  And took the rings off and put them on a chain she wore as a necklace.  Her boys would need a father and she would be looking for a good man for the job.  She owed them that.  She only hoped there was such a man out there.  Robert had been an exceptional father.  She would do everything in her ability to make it happen.  Of course, first she would have to find out where the hell she was and who the hell she was supposed to be called with all these drivers’ licenses and bank accounts and phony money.  And now she decided she knew what the first order of business was.  She would call up Paul Connors and get all of her questions answered.  But before she could do anything, the doorbell rang.

Grace was disoriented for a second.  Which way was the front door in this enormous house?  But she got her bearings in a second and sprinted for the door.  She looked through the peephole and saw a small woman with black hair and a big smile.  She opened the door and the woman said, “Hi Grace.  Mr. Connors asked me to check in with you.  I’m Kim Billings and I live in town.  Mr. Connors said you might be using Boghadair or two other names but I wanted to tell you about some of the precautions we take around here to avoid government snooping.  If you’ve got a few minutes I’d like to tell you about the way we do things here and how we can help you get settled.  I guess I’m sort of the secret underground welcome wagon.”

Grace hesitated for a second then let her in.  “Would you like a cup of coffee Kim?”  Billings nodded her head, “Thanks, I’d love one.”  Grace led her to the dining room then went in the kitchen, filled two cups from the fresh pot she’d just made, dropped those off on the table and came back with cream, sugar, and two plates of a pound cake she’d found in the refrigerator and spoons and forks.  “Grace were you an octopus in a former life?  How can you carry so many things without dropping them?”  Grace smiled, “No, in that former life I was a waitress in a diner.”

The two women fixed their coffees and took an appreciative bite or two out of the cake followed by a couple of sips of coffee before continuing their conversation.  “Grace, have you had a chance to look through the papers that we left you in the study?”  Grace nodded.  “Kim do know what’s in that folder?”  Mrs. Billings took a sip and said, “Yeah, I was in charge of packaging the money and identity papers with the other papers that Mr. Connors sent along.  Do you have any questions about what you found?”  Grace let out a small nervous laugh, “I have nothing but questions about all of it.  And that’s beyond the absurd amounts of money everywhere I look.  Fifty thousand dollars in cash, hundreds of thousands in bank accounts with fake names, millions of dollars on a list.  Are you people drug traffickers or spies?”  Kim put her cup down, “No we’re not criminals or foreign enemies.  We’re part of Paul Connors’ network.  We live in two different worlds at the same time.  On paper we have the same lives as everyone else in America.  We work for small companies in our local communities and own homes and pay taxes.  But we also are shareholders in the American Archipelago Corporation.  That’s the name Paul Connors gave to his company.  And as members of this organization we have great advantages over other people.  We have enormous resources available to help us if problems arise in our lives.  We also have additional income that does not show up in our outside lives.  This money doesn’t show up on income tax because it’s part of accounting that is done by the corporation and is banked and redeemed within the network.  AAC has internal access to most of the things that people need on a day to day basis and so we can do most of our business inside the network.”  Grace thought about this, “You mean like a company store?”

Kim took another bite of cake and answered, “Yes, if you consider that a company store could provide home building, most consumer products like appliances and groceries and also commercial and industrial products like office construction, engineering services and even most service specialties such as entertainment and food preparation.   Lately it’s gotten to the point that we have to do everything we can to keep up the illusion that our lives are made up of what the government sees of us in its documents and statistics.  But we’re like an iceberg, ninety percent of our reality is below the surface.  And our system is so much more efficient and since we don’t have to pay the government tax we make ten times more from the corporation economy than what we show to the government.  AAC credits aren’t pegged to the dollar but we try to maintain some kind of exchange rate so that we can explain the advantages of our economy to our children.  Those were the exchange rates you saw in the account pages that Paul Connors included in your papers.  That thirty some-odd million dollars in your accounts represents the current buying power of the AAC credits that Mr. Connors assigned to you.  You could even have it turned into US dollars through Mr. Connors’ bank positions but then you’d have to try to explain to the IRS where the money came from and that would be difficult.”

“Kim I’m trying to imagine how all this could exist and yet be completely hidden from everyone else in the country.  It seems impossible.  How could a secret this big be kept indefinitely?  Hasn’t anyone ever spilled the beans to the outside world?”

Kim shook her head, “Never yet.  We screen applicants for the community extremely thoroughly.  We only gradually allow outsiders to interact with our system.  We will have worked with prospects for a year or more before we decide to begin revealing some of the advantages of joining us.  Once we’re convinced of someone’s trustworthiness we never have a problem with someone wanting to leave.  We provide such a favorable environment that no one wants to leave it once he’s in.  I have heard that in certain extremely rare cases unpleasant methods were necessary to silence a deranged member but I think of these as outliers so rare as to be classed with other unavoidable anomalies like dealing with psychopaths.  Much more dangerous is the chance that the government will discover us through chance or a mistake in our precautions.”

Grace shook her head, “But I’ve never been involved with your organization.  Sure, my husband and his father worked for Mr. Connors for a number of years but we never made much money.  We could barely keep our heads above water.”   Kim smiled, “The cash money and those accounts represent the credit your husband accumulated while working for us.  You weren’t aware of the money you accrued but we were.  Your father-in-law also has credits with us but his case is a special one that Paul Connors is handling separately based on promises that were made long ago.  But your money is yours and all that you need to do is follow our rules of secrecy to live secure in our community.  Well, at least that’s how it would work if there weren’t special circumstances concerning your father-in-law.  But for your situation there will be additional safeguards.  Those driver’s licenses and bank accounts will help you disappear from the government’s eye.  That’s why you’re in this town.  You’re at the center of a circle that’s completely made up of our people and contains a number of countermeasures to keep out government surveillance.  For the foreseeable future you and your children will need to stay within a fifty-mile radius of your home.  Also, we’ll need to restrict your communications to only our people and using the phones and computers we provide.”

Grace thought about this, “It sounds like I’m a prisoner.”  “No, I’d say it’s more like you are being provided sanctuary.  If Joseph Boghadair does some of the things he said he wants to do, you and your sons will be hunted fugitives and if found you will be prisoners or worse.  Mr. Connors wants to prevent that.  And we are doing that at considerable risk to ourselves.  Hiding you increases the chance that our secret will be discovered while the government searches for you.  But as far as feeling like a prisoner, we can provide you with the freedom in our communities that compares with anything you might have had elsewhere in the United States.  This area is friendly and prosperous and there are any number of things to do and people to meet.  The local schools here are pretty great and the sports clubs are very popular and are enthusiastically supported by the parents.  The moms’ club in town is very supportive and if you want to work there are part-time and full-time opportunities that are begging to be filled.  You could do a lot worse if you’re comparing this to prison.”

Grace blushed, “I’m sorry if I sounded ungrateful.  I was just thinking out loud.  I am very grateful to all of you and Mr. Connors in particular for rescuing us.  I just think the whole situation I’m in is surreal and I’m trying to absorb everything that has happened to us since Robert was killed.”  She reached across the table and placed her right hand over Kim’s left hand.  “Thank you for what you’ve done and tell Mr. Connors we’ll do our part and follow the rules and try to fit in.  I promise that I’ll watch my boys and make sure that they know what’s expected of them and follow the rules.”

Kim read Grace’s face and eyes and nodded, “Good, then it’s settled.  My number is in the phones and when you want more information give me a call and I’ll help you out or give you the contact info of someone who can.”  She got up and the two women walked to the door.  Right before Kim walked away she said, “Smile Grace, today the sun is shining and you are among friends.”  Grace thought about that for a moment.  She walked around to the back of the house and saw her sons climbing a beech tree and dangling from the lower branches and daring each other to jump down.  The sun was bright in the sky and the air smelled sweet.  And then she really did smile.

End of Chapter 5

An American Spectacle

In the last week or two Donald Trump has been found guilty of civil crimes that added up will cost him $438 million dollars.  And that does not include the ban on doing business in New York State that will cost him untold amounts of money in addition.  And both of these trials are on transparently trumped-up charges that have been railroaded by criminally partisan prosecutors and judges.

I can’t say that I’m surprised by any of this.  But I do think it is notable that federal and state officials are nakedly using fraudulent means to attack Donald Trump’s fortune in addition to his person.  Not only are they trying to imprison but they also want to bankrupt him.  What I’m curious to see is whether this is completely without consequences for those in charge of these bogus prosecutions.

From where I stand, I think they will get away with it.  It’s possible that higher courts may reverse some of these decisions based on the outrageous procedures that were used.  The case that involved the allegedly overvalued assets is a complete sham that has no precedent.  An honest court would have thrown it out on the face of it.  But I don’t foresee any blowback to the New York Attorney General or the judge that oversaw the trial.

And the fake rape civil trial is a complete farce over supposed events that happened over fifteen years ago and never had any credibility in the first place.  Once again, if the decision is reversed there won’t be any negative consequences for the Manhattan District Attorney or the judge.  None.

Probably the only tangible effect of these witch-hunts will be on wealthy New Yorkers who think they might have Democrat political enemies.  Being stripped of their fortunes now probably seems a lot more real and incredibly frightening.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them start to rethink living and doing business in the “Empire State.”  Maybe there will be a stampede of billionaires heading for the borders out of New York.  Suddenly that name Empire State takes on a new meaning.  Empires exist at the whim of the emperor.  Justice isn’t a blind goddess in an empire.  She takes her marching orders from the boss.

And that’s what we’re seeing.  Justice is now doled out in Washington, Colorado, California and New York according to whether you belong to the right party.  If you don’t genuflect to the pieties, if you won’t burn incense to Caesar then you can expect that knock on the door and maybe you lose your money or even your freedom.

More than ever it’s important to think about the United States as separate states.  Some of them still seem to possess equal justice under the law.  But definitely not all.  Being a business owner or even a parent is a lot different in Florida than it is in California or New York.  And something like Trump’s railroading will make that crystal clear.

I guess it seems odd, me pitying Donald Trump.  He’s very wealthy (so far), has been President of the United States and is famous and popular with over a hundred million Americans.  I’m nobody.  Even if Trump has to pay off these bogus fines, he’ll still be many thousands of times richer than I am.  But I think of the spectacle of the supposedly “last best hope for humanity” rounding on one of its most important citizens and using the same tactics that you’d expect Saddam Hussein would have used against his enemies.

I think of what I would do in his circumstances and I have to admit I’d be overwhelmed.  Look at what the FBI has done to those people who were in Washington on January 6th.  None of the courts in DC are fair.  The jury selection is rigged.  Once government uses a partisan mob against its citizens, we’ve reached bottom.  This is no different from Robespierre ginning up the mob to “judge” anyone and everyone who fell into the hands of the Committee of Public Safety.

It’s not justice.  It’s just being fed to the lions in the coliseum.  And the knowledge that any of the elite can be subjected to this same treatment will alter the reputation of the United States as a safe haven for the rich and their money.  And that alteration will weaken the United States a great deal.  Something to think about.

Adapting to Post America

“We’re not voting our way out of this.” This is the mantra of the Dissident Right. And at this point it seems essentially correct. The powers that be can rig the elections and use illegal immigration to create a permanent electoral advantage to frustrate the will of the majority of Americans.
Well then, so be it. The real strength of the dissident right isn’t the specifics of the things they believe. It’s their escape from the false hope that somehow, we can wrest control of the government away from the elites. “The truth shall set you free.” And in this case, that’s exactly right. Being freed from a false hope is extremely valuable. It allows you to redirect your energy toward things that are not only possible but optimal. If you see the world the way it actually is then you can make informed decisions about how to navigate through that world. And that is how an intelligent person should live. And if you are perceptive enough your outcome should exceed that of the other choices available.
For instance, take the case of the conservative idealist. Take a concrete example. Look at that poor wedding baker in Colorado. For the last ten years he has been defending himself against various LGBTQ lunatics who are trying to force him to bake cakes for gay weddings, transgender transitioning parties and every other weirdo occasion that the queer community can think of. And the state of Colorado has prosecuted him to the fullest extent of the law. And even after the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, he’s back in court again.
Well, this is not my idea of smart. If his religious convictions forbid him to bake queer cakes then either he should move to a state that agrees with his convictions or he should find a different way to make a living. Living in a lose-lose situation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
And now look at the other side of the coin. How about the woke true believers. They’re currently living the dream. The federal government has their back. They’re getting everything they believe in. In California. they’ve got green energy, child castration and open borders. So, things are great. Except they have to live with green energy, child castration and open borders. And because they’re true believers they are susceptible to accepting permanent energy disruptions, high cost of living, high crime environment and possibly losing their children to suicide and the likelihood of no grandchildren. That’s not exactly a win-win situation either.
We find ourselves living in a funhouse world where the official policies of those in charge are askew with reality. Well, this isn’t the first time in history when that has been the case. Lots of empires end up that way. What seems most important is the ability to translate what is said in bizzarro world into what it means from a practical point of view and figure out the work arounds needed to avoid the pitfalls.
Now it may be the case that in the future, Post America will make it impossible for anyone outside the elites to live a happy life. In that case the two choices are leave or fight. Fighting is a big deal. It’s been tried before by a large group of states and it didn’t work. Leaving, of course, isn’t an easy or painless course of action either. From my point of view, we’re not near the point where that is an obviously better choice. So currently we have the red states as better places to look for relief and using your own savvy to avoid the worst of woke pitfalls. One of the ways to avoid the pitfalls is to maintain a personal circle of people who think the way you do and that you can trust. Within such a group you can be yourself and have the freedom needed to enjoy life. Admittedly it’s a sad remnant of the freedoms we formerly enjoyed but that’s where we are and pretending otherwise is leaving yourself open to the worst that the government can inflict on people like us.