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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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Author Archives: Joel
Stolen from Wendy McElroy, who has more information about lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Go run and play, kid. You can’t know it, but… …these are your good old days. Enjoy them while you may. Also stop screwing around with my game camera.
I am truly humbled in their presence, and feel compelled by the purity of their logic, the consistency of their morality, and their palpable benevolence. I shall disarm immediately! Or…not. Not is good.
Exactly one year ago this month, Big Brother sent me a dozen small bottles of crack sauce, the substance that can make even the most indifferent cook – like me – look like a genius. I received eleven intact ones … Continue reading
And I no longer compete, and sometimes I see things Ian’s been up to and kind of get down on myself. I barely even practice marksmanship anymore, because I hurt all the time and don’t like to spend money on … Continue reading
One is famous only for its extreme length. The other is seldom mentioned, but it’s my favorite. In fact I have it committed to memory. It goes like this… “Get the hell out of my way!” That was written a … Continue reading
She wanted a bench and bookcase for the corner of their enormous kitchen… …and he made her this mission style set out of old oak lumber he had gathering dust in the barn. Hung a nice new ceiling lamp and … Continue reading
Yesterday afternoon was a fairly typical Monsoon day. It barely rained at all but boomer cells passed to the north and south and it was hot and muggy. I live in the southwest high desert: I don’t mind hot so … Continue reading
Rained off and on all afternoon, then a big thunderboomer cell rolled in right at last light and after the big scary storm it settled down to raining steadily till after one ayem. Water’s beading up nicely on the new … Continue reading
…but who wants to bet he didn’t get his ass thoroughly kicked seconds after the events in this clip? Like a race driver, he’s not watching for the signal. He’s two steps ahead, watching the other guys’ treats.
Because I haven’t been able to, apparently because the server is FUBAR, since shortly after the morning post. And pageview numbers are low which suggests I’m not the only one, but still it’s clear some people are able to. It’s … Continue reading
So if I’m the bird, and the cat is Life… Sorry – I’m about to whine. I’m still kind of depressed over Little Bear. And I’ve had this chronic backache for – I’ve lost count – five weeks? Six weeks? … Continue reading
Went to the dump with D&L this morning, helping them load/unload smelly garbage in return for getting to pack along one of my own garbage cans and whatever misc. yard trash would fit in the relatively tiny cargo bed of … Continue reading
Gradually getting used to this “no bandwidth limit on the smartphone” thing, I’ve been spending my evenings with Youtube documentaries lately. I was perplexed by a saying that was apparently current around the time the Brits were planning for the … Continue reading
That was the extremely useful forecast today, and it’ll undoubtedly be the extremely useful forecast every day for the next two months. I didn’t believe it. We did get a night and day of rain a couple of weeks ago, … Continue reading
I really do intend to take an hour and brace that target stand. Just need to find a sharp drill bit and rummage up a couple of bolts. Bolts will stop being a problem once I score a couple of … Continue reading
So yesterday I tried to unbolt the pieces of that old fuel tank rack Landlady wants gone off her plaza… …with a humiliatingly total lack of success.
Kept smelling gasoline. Should have checked earlier, because this thing cost me more than half a can of gas. Under heat-induced pressure it has been pissing a very tiny stream of gasoline for a week and a half. No idea … Continue reading
I have found the heaviest thing in the world. Why did he think he wanted this? What did he plan to do with it? Was it only a practical joke on me, that took its sweet time paying off? Whatever, … Continue reading
Nylon strapping is useful. When I first set up the chicken yard outside the cabin, I needed some top cover against sun and raptors. First thing that came to mind was this big cargo parachute that T had dragged home … Continue reading