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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 wish I had half this lady’s talent for snark. Oh, beautiful for drone-filled skies A tax code so arcane! A voting class on their fat ass From Houston to Fort Wayne! America! America! You voted stuff for free You … Continue reading
The walls were too wet to paint when I came out this morning, so I figured I’d better dig for a while.The little gully that empties into my front yard just needs some help encouraging the water to turn right. … Continue reading
Once in a while the desert chooses a propitious moment to remind you that it can kill you any old time it wants. Went to town this morning to buy paint. Stopped at the convenience store on the way out … Continue reading
Okay, a number of commenters suggested that I rig the live trap with only one side open, and although it clearly isn’t supposed to work that way it turned out it’s possible with just a little non-destructive rod-flexing. So I … Continue reading
If I get invited to a July 4 BBQ (won’t happen) and I meet a person who has taken this advice, I will kick him or her right in the knee and flounce my outraged ass right home. Tips for … Continue reading
Turns out I don’t have enough paint to finish the walls. Guy said two gallons would cover 600 sq. ft. so I bought three. I’m less than halfway through and more than halfway out of paint. Good news is I … Continue reading
I’m such a jerk. The part of this that most bothers me is that my oldest sibling actually hopped into a car and drove the length of the country to my father’s bedside. The thought of doing that never once … Continue reading
…that’s a good morning. No good pix, because the walls are still in shadow. But I started the painting today. I picture the Lair slowly disappearing into its background…
Last night we had one of those T-storms that spend hours building. You don’t know where it’s going to hit but somebody’s going to get blasted and you hope they have really good lightning protection. And that it’s not you. … Continue reading
Dad has gone downhill rapidly the last few days. We had a long and weird Sunday after he fell out of bed at the rehab facility. He was transferred to an ER (the one you know all too well), and … Continue reading
The second squirrel has apparently learned not to get all the way inside, so the door can’t latch down on it. It doesn’t always get the bait, but the trap never gets it. This morning I lay in bed thinking … Continue reading
This being the first of the month I made my rounds of the powersheds under my protection, topping off batteries with distilled water. First stop, since his shed gets the hottest the fastest, was Former Neighbor J. I went armed … Continue reading
or, “Can I have Greece, once it’s been emptied of people?” ATHENS — Retirees throughout Greece mobbed banks as they tried to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in pension payments on Wednesday, as the country teetered on the … Continue reading
The live-trap has been tripped three times so far today, with no prisoners taken. So I tried something different, having just finished baking bread. Less than half an hour later my foe managed to snag the bread without tripping the … Continue reading
I suppose these puny lifeforms think they get all the rights? Probably won’t be happy until we all burn up in their abusive atmosphere, will they? AIA* Is Rape! Yes, when I heard about “Asteroid Day,” I thought at last … Continue reading
The past several days have been free of Other People’s Cattle, a blessed state which ended abruptly yesterday morning. Before going to town I had to dismount Ian’s big propane tank and load it into the trailer, and this time … Continue reading
I’ve been hoping all season to get some new Rhode Island Red pullets, but the chicks at the local feed store are strictly first-come-first-served and I always missed out. Finally this past Sunday I talked with Landlady about having her … Continue reading
Words to live by, courtesy of Claire. I dunno where she found it.
The new trap, while difficult to set up, seems to serve its purpose. After this storm passes I’ll question the prisoner about his unit’s troop movements. I’m fairly sure a full and fair trial will subsequently find him guilty of … Continue reading