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They say that Louis XIV had the inscription Ultima Ratio Regum cast into all the cannon of the French Army. It means "The Ultimate Argument of Kings," and that always struck me as one of the most honest and up-front things any ruler or would-be ruler ever said. "We can dress it up prettier than this, but when it comes down to the unvarnished truth this is what it's about: You'll do as I say or I'll send my goons to kill you."
I thought about that for a long time. If there's an ultimate argument, it seems only logical that there must be an ultimate answer. For years I thought the ultimate answer must be the bullets in my rifle, but it never seemed quite right. I've got bullets - he's got frigging Cannon Balls. I mean, if there were three hundred million rifles throwing bullets at him, then maybe. But we all know that's not going to happen. So if there's an ultimate answer to his ultimate argument, it sure as hell ain't bullets.
It finally came to me - and that's when I left the city, abandoned a goodly percentage of my goods, and gave all that was behind me a good, stiff Randian Shrug.
The ultimate answer to kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.
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Do you suffer from a lonely, unfulfilled, angst-driven existence? Do you often wish you could do something meaningful with your life, like end death or war or taxes, or maybe just read a really good book?
Then you need to buy the following novels immediately!
The Scroll of Jeremiah
The Last Faithful Man
Songs of Bad Men and Good
Author Archives: Joel
I’m pleased that Ghost has come to some new normal in the matter of the cattle. Unfortunately it does involve rolling in fresh cowshit and then coming inside to share the experience with me. But at least if he’s chasing … Continue reading
I don’t know what it is, but it’s my enemy just the same. For weeks now, Wildblue has decided that dialup speed is good enough for the likes of me. No, there’s nothing wrong with the modem or the satellite … Continue reading
There’s gonna be another one before long, the way things are going. You remember two weeks ago I said that cattle operation did something witless with their new well pump, and now they’re pumping water all over the ground? I … Continue reading
So last night around eight the boys got very interested in going outside. Since that’s about the right time for their last chance to empty the tanks, I thought nothing of it. Until Ghost launched out the door, and I … Continue reading
In the course of a long life I never had opportunity to personally use a “powder-actuated driver”* before yesterday. I’ve seen them before, of course, even seen them used. But I never loaded and whacked one. Now, through a serendipitous … Continue reading
Seriously, if I had to spend my days on bullshit photo ops, pretending to take seriously the people who are pretending to take me seriously… …I’d just flip completely out one morning and carpet-nuke Liechtenstein or something.
A cliche’ among us small hobby bloggers is the Tamalanche, in which Tam at View From The Porch links to something you posted and your page views spike briefly into big-boy numbers. It’s a rush. I don’t really know anything … Continue reading
So this afternoon I was playing with my new cordless drill, putting in some new upper handholds for the loft ladder. The originals weren’t terribly well engineered and had worked loosish, and some groggy morning one was going to pull … Continue reading
Got a care package today! Check it out… Oh, this is gonna get a lot of use this summer. In fact there’s an interior job I got the parts for yesterday that just went to the front of the queue … Continue reading
Found it on a sale rack at Wal-Mart. A cheap sale rack – somebody in store management apparently didn’t expect to sell them otherwise. Thanks to Ian I’ve already seen the first two installments: I reviewed the first one here, … Continue reading
And they lumbered out of the brush just as I was loading the boys to go do an early chore at J&H’s place. Everything stopped while Ghost ran off to explain a few things. To his credit he herded them … Continue reading
So this afternoon I arrived home later than planned, tired and frazzled and in a very bad mood because I had just learned I was somehow issued an old man’s eyes and then I spent an hour in a crowded … Continue reading
…is nothing to worry about, according to my offensively-cheerful ophthalmologist, unless it proceeds to a detached retina. Which ‘rarely’ happens. So don’t get all freaked out or anything, Joel. And when it happened to my right eye last month I … Continue reading
I’m off to the big town today and won’t be back for quite a while. Headlines having failed me, here’s something from a couple of years ago which I cynically put up last night to fill space this morning… There’s … Continue reading
And we’re back. Sorry about that, the host took one of its little vacations there for a few hours. Seems fine now, though. At the moment I’m on the lookout for the rodent from hell, which left me a little … Continue reading
Via Claire, a tale of How to live a middle-class life in New York City on less than $5,000 a year. Chapter One, in which we meet Marie the Freegan Frenchwoman. The opening scene… Marie was mixing basil for pesto … Continue reading
C’mon, you know the feeling. You need to get that wheel off your car and four of the lug nuts cooperated well enough. But the fifth one, hell, somebody must have welded that thing on. And you sweat, and you … Continue reading
A couple of years ago I piled tons of horseshit on a patch of land rumored to belong to the BLM, just because it seemed fair to give back to my great nation’s government as good as I got. After … Continue reading
Just got an email… “One thing I’d like to acquire soon is a reasonably good cordless drill.” The one from your Amazon wish list arrived at your mail drop on April 29. Your blog is faster than your mail, sometimes … Continue reading
Al Sharpton’s daughter sues city for $5M after spraining ankle She learned at the feet of a master. Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, … Continue reading