Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A must-watch interview


If you haven't already watched Tucker Carlson's interview with Ed Dowd about the massive casualties being inflicted by COVID-19 vaccines, you really need to make time to do so.  I regard it as essential viewing.  It exposes the massive scale of the cover-up that's continuing to this day, and demonstrates why the "establishment" is completely untrustworthy when it comes to this issue.

Extremely American has published transcribed excerpts from the interview.  Here's a brief sample to whet your appetite.

The FDA has been wholly captured by the pharma industry. Seventy to 75% of the drug approval pharma arm of the FDA comes from pharma fees, directly from the companies, so this has been corrupted for a long time.

It’s now exposed primarily because [the COVID shot] is [injuring and killing] such a large amount of people. It’s hard to hide this one … This fraud is unveiled and out there for people to see, but it’s only in the echo chamber. Mainstream media is still beholden to Big Pharma because of all the ad spend and the government policymakers … [who] want this to go away.

There’s a giant cover-up going on as far as I’m concerned. The data that I’m going to talk about today is there for the global health authorities to see. They see what I see, and at this point it’s negligence, malfeasance, a cover-up and a crime.

That’s why I’m here, because I don’t believe anybody has a right to tell me what to do with my body, and I can’t believe this actually happened. The numbers I’m going to reveal to you are now a national security concern.

. . .

Something is happening to the most able-bodied amongst us, college students, those employed, those in the military, the frontline workers …

Those who are employed are getting disabled faster than the general U.S. population. That shouldn’t happen. The employed amongst us are healthier, generally speaking … If you have a job, you tend to be able to show up at work. Basically, the bottom line is this. The only explanation for this that I can see is mandates for experimental biological inoculations …

One of my whistleblowers from the insurance [industry] told me that as of August 2022, the millennial cohort of the group life holders is still experiencing 36% excess mortality.

People in Fortune 500 companies are dying at a much more excessive rate than those who are not employed there, so this has implications for years to come. It’s a national security concern as far as I can tell … We seem to have poisoned the most able-bodied amongst us through [COVID jab] mandates.

There's more at the link, and much more in the video below.

Please pass the word about this interview to your friends who may not have seen it.  It explains a great deal that the mainstream media are studiously ignoring, and highlights a very real danger to all of us.




Found on Gab.  Clickit to biggit.

Looks like a sort of icy version of the fiery, lidless Eye of Sauron...


Monday, February 27, 2023

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...


... certainly in economic terms, that is.

In recent months I've had an occasional e-mail from Amazon to inform me that one of our monthly "Subscribe & Save" items will be delayed.  Usually there's no reason given;  it might be that there's a shortage of supply, or a delay on the delivery side, or whatever.  I can't recall getting any of them prior to last year.  However, this month I suddenly got no less than three of them in one day, advising that the majority of our S&S orders would be delayed this month.  I've never had that before.  I've no idea why so many were affected this month, but it's a sign that something's not right.

Another thing about Amazon.  We're Prime members, meaning our orders are supposed to reach us within two working days.  More and more often we're finding that they take three or four days, or even a week or more - and Amazon is quite unapologetic about it.  When we place an order, we've learned to look hard at the promised delivery date, because quite often it'll show a longer period than it should be under Prime shipping.  I'm seriously considering canceling our Prime membership.  The only reason we have it is to take advantage of prompt and speedy shipping, and if that's no longer guaranteed, why spend over $100 a year on it?  Walmart and other suppliers can take up the slack quite adequately, and Walmart's Plus membership is looking better and better by comparison.

Spare parts are another example.  I'm waiting for one for my vehicle.  It was ordered a couple of weeks ago, and supposed to get to the dealership overnight.  Instead, two weeks later, we're still waiting, and the manufacturer can't tell us when they'll have more parts to send.  Fortunately it's not a critical part, so I can carry on using my vehicle, but if it were more important, I'd be without one until it arrived.

There are shortages, delays and difficulties all over the place in business and commerce, and they're getting worse, not better.  How are you finding it, dear readers?  Please let us know in Comments, so we can get a better feel for whether this is a general problem, and if so, how widespread it's become.


"The Future of American Policing"


Greg Ellifritz, whom we've met in these pages on several previous occasions, has written an article with that title in which he covers the current state of American policing and what that portends for the future.  It isn't comfortable reading.

As I see it, there are four primary cultural drivers that will affect police work in the future.

1) Protests/Police Hate- It’s becoming ever harder to be a cop ... Now every use of force is a complaint and/or a lawsuit. Now every police shooting involves threats and protests at the officers’ houses and a doxxing of his entire family.  Often these protests and threats are organized by uninvolved virtue signaling “community activists” who have no connection to the event and lack even a fundamental knowledge of the legal rules by which officers operate ... In most communities, the residents distrust the police.  Administrators now bow to community pressure to suspend or fire every officer who gets involved in some politically distasteful event.

2) General government “defunding” due to pandemic economic decline/collapse.  I think the economy will get far worse in the next couple years ... Government revenues are going to drop significantly.  That affects police budgets.  Then we have the active efforts to “defund” the police by cutting budgets even further.  Both of these conditions will reduce police numbers, police salaries, and police equipment budgets.  That will drive even more officers away from police careers.

3). Distrust for and politicization of all government entities.  Public approval of almost all government functions is at an all time low.  The generalized distrust of government  and politicians will further erode the public’s support of the police and young applicants’ desire to become part of the system.

4). The rise in technology (especially surveillance and AI facial recognition technology).  Within the next decade, we will see more surveillance cameras in public areas.  Use of drones and “shot spotter” type systems will increase.  Future criminals will not be caught by cops on patrol.  They will be identified by a guy sitting at a desk running surveillance video through facial recognition software. 

When I look at those four trends all occurring simultaneously, I can predict the generalized future of policing in America.  Here’s what I prognosticate…

Fewer and fewer people will want to be cops. That will further lower hiring and training standards.  Tax revenue losses and “defunding efforts” will drive salaries down and make working conditions more difficult.  The only folks who will become cops in the future are those people who have no other career options.

As more and more low quality candidates are hired, public trust for the police will further erode.  The police will become continually more corrupt and inept until they are almost useless.

The really good cops (and a lot of former soldiers) will move on to better paying private security positions. The rich will hire those security people as bodyguards and neighborhood patrols.

The middle class and poor well have to contend with the corrupt police system or take care of things themselves (either by vigilante or gang action.)

This is essentially how it works in many third world countries.

. . .

Most of you will be forced to take care of yourself and your family.  Unless you are wealthy or politically connected, the cops won’t be coming to help you in the future.  Your options are to improve individual skill levels to be able to personally handle violent actors, band up with friends or family to create a numerical advantage for vigilante action, or increase your economic status enough to live in a “protected” area.

I believe things are going to look very different in America 10 years from now.  Most of those changes will be negative.  I don’t see any way to stop it or alter the trends.  Most of our country will look more like the developing world than the environment we currently enjoy.  Be ready for when that occurs.  It will happen far more rapidly than you might think.

There's more at the link.

I can't disagree with any of Mr. Ellifritz's prognostications.  They're what I'm seeing myself, and what I've seen in many Third World nations over several decades.  They're also part of why I've repeatedly warned my readers to get out of big "blue" American cities NOW, while they have the chance.  These trends will make themselves felt most powerfully and most quickly in those cities.  It's already happening.  The further away you are from them, the less they'll affect you - and the better you'll be able to "take care of yourself and your family", as Mr. Ellifritz advises.

Forewarned is forearmed.


Memes that made me laugh 148


Gathered from around the Internet over the past week.  Click any image for a larger view.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday morning music


I came across this performance of Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto earlier this week on another blog.  I'm afraid I don't remember which blog, so I can't give credit for the link, but it was a lovely performance, and I thought I'd pass it on to my readers this morning.



Saturday, February 25, 2023

No Saturday Snippet this morning


Sorry, friends, but life got in the way of things yesterday and this morning.  No Saturday Snippet today.  Go amuse yourselves with the blogs in my sidebar.  They write good, too!


Friday, February 24, 2023

Tunneling with fire?


I was intrigued to read about a new tunneling machine that promises to bore through rock using plasma torches, much faster than existing technology.

Unlike conventional boring machines, which typically use massive cutting wheels to slowly excavate tunnels, Earthgrid's robot blasts rocks with high temperatures to break and even vaporize them via a process called spallation. 

The machine can run on electricity, meaning it can also be emissions-free, depending on how energy is sourced. Earthgrid also claims that its system, which doesn't need to come into contact with the rocks directly as it excavates, is so fast and cheap it will open up a whole host of possibilities. In other words, projects that were once deemed economically unfeasible will now be possible.

Earthgrid is currently operating on pre-seed funding, and it is developing its "Rapid Burrowing Robot (RBR)", a spallation boring robot with several 48,600 °F (27,000 °C) plasma torches mounted on large discs.

When operational, the RBR will fire up those torches and rotate the discs to blast the rocky surface in its way. The torches on the discs are arranged in a Fibonacci spiral, meaning they widen out away from the center for full coverage. Debris is collected in small pushcarts.

There's more at the link.

It sounds very interesting, but there are two issues that the article doesn't address.

  • How hot is the "debris" that the "small pushcarts" will collect?  If the plasma is operating at over 48,000 degrees, the "debris" is likely to be just as hot when it flies off the tunnel face - in fact, it'll probably be molten rather than solid.  What sort of "small pushcart" will be able to handle temperatures like that?  How long will the debris take to cool down, to the point that it's more manageable?  How will they stop molten debris from fusing to the pushcart as it cools down?
  • In deep rock mining in South Africa, one of the primary problems is methane pockets in the rock.  Gold and coal miners have learned to be very, very careful about drilling into them, because the methane can be ignited by any stray spark, leading to a catastrophic explosion.  I'd imagine that a superheated plasma torch will be more than enough to produce the same effect, making tunneling through rock more than a little hazardous.  How will the machine cope with that issue?
That said, it sounds promising.  I guess we'll see how it works out.


Artificial blood? Faster, please!


I was interested to read an article in Task & Purpose about how the US military is helping to develop artificial blood for use in battlefield trauma treatment.  It'll also be useful for civilian paramedics and EMT's at accident scenes.

I have a more specific, more personal interest in artificial blood.  Back in the 1970's, I was a blood donor in South Africa, and was invited to join the cell separation donation unit.  Briefly, they stuck a needle in each arm.  Blood would be withdrawn through one needle, then centrifuged to extract the specific blood component the hospital needed;  then the remaining blood would be reinserted (transfused?) through the other needle.  It typically took two hours to complete a cell separation donation.

In time, I "graduated" to a special team of donors on call to support heart surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital, where the world's first heart transplant was performed in 1967.  At that time, for certain critical heart surgeries blood components might be required that had to be absolutely fresh - they could not be extracted from stored or refrigerated blood.  We were on call anytime, day or night, to go to the hospital's surgery unit (not to the usual off-site donation premises) and donate blood components, using a centrifuge as described above.  The difference was that our donations would be taken straight to the operating theater and used immediately.  It made a difference to know that our blood was literally keeping someone else alive, right then and there.  I had several oh-dark-thirty calls to donate like that.  It was a bit surreal, lying on a gurney in the dead of night, a needle in each arm, hearing the centrifuge whining in the background and the clatter of carts and hurrying feet just down the passage, while watching cartoons on a TV set.  (Why they chose them for donor viewing, I have no idea... sometimes it was hard not to laugh so much that the needles in our arms started to hurt!)

If they can develop artificial blood to the point that it can be used to support life, I wonder if they can develop artificial blood components - platelets and the like - to the point where they might make such "live" donations unnecessary?  I think that would be just as much a step forward as would artificial life-saving whole blood products.

Here's hoping...


Diversity kills


Tucker Carlson has the story.  It's only five minutes or so long, and worth your time.

A tip o' the hat to Scott K. for the link.


Thursday, February 23, 2023



I had to get blood drawn this morning for my annual physical examination.  While I was there, a driver walked in for a random drug test.  I laughed out loud when I saw his T-shirt, and asked his permission to take a photograph of it.  He was happy to oblige.

Yes, he works for them . . .


What happens to a consumer-driven economy when consumers are tapped out?


In our previous discussions about inflation, we've focused on the (deliberately) erroneous figures provided by the authorities.  For example, in December the Consumer Price Index was said (officially) to be 6.5% higher than a year previously.  Those of us who use our hard-earned cash to buy what we need are fully aware that 6.5% is a laughably low estimate of the real inflation rate.  Using my earlier SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess) of multiplying the official inflation rate by 3.5 in order to arrive at approximately the real rate, that would make inflation last year plus-or-minus 23%;  and even that's low compared to Armstrong Economic's estimate of 32%.  My wallet tends to agree more and more with the latter.

This must inevitably affect our assessment of how the economy is doing.  Something like 70% of the US economy is driven by consumer expenditure.  However, when we measure what consumption expenditure is doing in real life, we have to factor inflation into the picture.  So, for example, we read that "Sales during November and December grew 5.3% year over year to $936.3 billion".  That sounds great . . . until we recall that inflation last year was officially 6.5%, and in reality several times that.  In other words, that year-on-year growth of 5.3% was a negative growth rate when compared to the buying power of the US dollar.  Consumers may have spent more, but their money bought less - in other words, fewer goods were sold.  Not much good news there.

That's also adding to the debt burden on consumers.  They no longer have enough cash in their pockets, so they're turning to credit to make up the shortfall.  "Total US household debt hit a record $16.9 trillion during the fourth quarter [last year] ... Credit card balances increased nearly 6.6% to $986 billion".  Trouble is, sooner or later those debts have to be repaid - and already-tapped-out consumers don't have the spare cash to do so anytime soon.  In response, credit card issuers are increasing their provisions for bad debt;  but such provisions eat into their profits, which means they need to claw back as much of those losses as possible . . . which in turn means they charge us more, to make more profit from those who can afford to pay.  In effect, we're subsidizing those who can't pay.  Feels good, doesn't it?

That's also why we see retailers contracting, shedding unprofitable stores and trying to build up their more profitable core business in areas where people at least have money to spend.

Retailers to Shut Down Over 800 Big-Box Stores as Inflation, Anemic Sales and Interest Rates Create Perfect Storm

Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Gap, and Party City are among the big names who will be downsizing. Bath & Beyond, which narrowly escaped bankruptcy proceedings earlier this month, is the biggest loser, aiming to cut its number of stores to 480 when it once had over 1,500 locations.

Next up is homegoods outlet Tuesday Morning, which will close 265 stores as it struggles to survive through bankruptcy proceedings. Once again, California will be hardest hit, with 30 stores shutting their doors.

Macy’s, Big Lots, JCPenny, and even Amazon Fresh grocery stores also have plans to shutter locations.

CVS, Rite-Aid, Kroger, Nordstrom, and Best Buy have also been quietly culling their stores over the last several years. Another factor: many locations are closing simply because they’re not safe to operate as lax laws and woke prosecutors have turned many spots into virtual free-for-alls for organized shoplifters.

There's more at the link.

That sounds good from the retailers' point of view:  closing unprofitable stores will mean they lose less money, and can add value to more profitable areas.  However, think about it from the perspective of consumers who lose their local store.  They have to travel further to buy what they need, which is more expensive for them;  and if they don't have their own vehicle, they become more dependent on public transport, which is increasingly crime-ridden, infrequent and unreliable.  (Also, from a purely practical perspective, try managing several plastic shopping bags on a bus!  I have.  It's a losing proposition, particularly when flimsy bags break and spill your shopping all over the floor.)

There's also the security risk involved.  Local law enforcement sources tell me that of all the Walmart stores in Big(ish) City nearby, one is much worse than the others in terms of shoplifting, muggings, panhandling, etc.  What happens if that one is closed?  The thieves and muggers aren't going to go away.  No, they're going to move to where their "target market" is:  the other Walmart stores!  That's going to make the crime situation near those stores that much worse, affecting everyone in the area.  It's gotten to the point that some people in higher-crime areas will only shop at Walmart if they can order over the Internet, and collect their goods at a prearranged place and time the following day, minimizing their exposure to that risk.

And all of those consequences flow, more or less, from the fact that American consumers in general are running out of money.

Makes you think, doesn't it?


When environmentalists run headlong into each other...


I couldn't help smiling at this headline:

On the one hand, you have all those well-meaning aviation engineers trying to figure out how to make and distribute and use sustainable fuel, rather than regular ol' aviation kerosene or gasoline.

So far, so good.

On the other hand, you have all the green "save-the-earth" types trying to cut back on human farming activities and discourage the eating of meat - which, in the process, will raise fewer animals, that in turn will produce less manure.

What happens when the green, reduced-manure farms run headlong into the demand for more manure to fuel aircraft, and vice versa?  I suspect someone hasn't thought this all the way through . . .

There's also the small issue of aircraft design in an age of sustainable fuels.

"This damn airplane's useless!  Who designed it, anyway?  It's full of s***!"

"Er... well... yes, actually it is... or, at least, its fuel tanks are..."


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Courage under fire


Task And Purpose brings us the heroic and historic story of an Army officer who is to receive the Medal of Honor, 58 years after the incident in which he earned it.

Early next month a decorated Special Forces colonel who disobeyed orders to save the lives of his men during a fierce battle in Vietnam in 1965 will receive the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in the White House. The award recognizes Col. Paris Davis’ courage under fire that day 58 years ago, but it is also a testament to the dedication of a team of veterans who took on the Pentagon bureaucracy to get Davis’ nomination package approved more than half a century after it was inexplicably lost in the system.

“We got pushback every single step of the way,” said Neil Thorne, an Army veteran and one of the key volunteers who helped resurrect the push for Davis’ Medal of Honor over the past nine years. 

“We could have given up at any time in that nine years and it would have gone nowhere,” he said. “So part of it was persistence and part of it was just getting people to understand what happened here.”

What happened was a larger-than-life story of unbelievable heroism, inconceivable negligence, and dogged determination — and that’s just the beginning.

There's much more at the link.

Click over there and read the whole thing.  It's heroism at its finest.  I don't know whether I'm more pleased that Col. Davis is to be honored at last, or furious that there were so many delays, obfuscations and just plain negligence in getting to this point.

Col. Davis can take a salute from me anytime.


A child could have seen this coming - so why didn't the politicians?


Vice recently published this video report on the dwindling water level in the Great Salt Lake in Utah.  It's interesting viewing.

We've also seen innumerable reports about the drought out West, and the dwindling water levels of the Colorado River and the dams it feeds.  All around gloom, doom and disaster reporting.

What bugs me is that the reason for the lack of water is plain to see, out in the open in everyone's faces.  Consider these numbers from the most affected states:

California population in 1970:  19,971,069.  In 2020:  39,501,653.  Increase:  97.8%.

Nevada population in 1970:  488,738.  In 2020:  3,115,648.  Increase:  537.5%.

Arizona population in 1970:  1,775,399.  In 2020:  7,179,943.  Increase:  304.4%.

Utah population in 1970:  1,059,273.  In 2020:  3,283,785.  Increase:  210.0%.

New Mexico population in 1970:  1,017,055.  In 2020:  2,118,390.  Increase:  108.3%.

Colorado population in 1970:  2,209,596.  In 2020:  5,784,865.  Increase:  161.8%.

(All figures courtesy of Microtrends.)

That population increase alone will account for a huge increase in water consumption.  Add to it the extra water needed for factories to provide employment, farming to provide food, housing construction, and all the other factors that go with increased population, and there's not much doubt about why the Great Salt Lake and the Colorado River are running dry.  Sure, there's an historic drought in progress as well, which isn't helping:  but with or without the drought, we're simply consuming too much water that isn't being - and probably can never be - replenished by Mother Nature.

How to deal with it?  The only way I can see is swingeing water restrictions on domestic and industrial consumption, and investment in more water-efficient methods of farming.  There's probably also going to have to be a serious ban on the construction of yet more suburbs to expand yet more cities.  Basically, if a developer can't show where the water for his development will come from, and guarantee that it's already there and waiting to be used, and won't deprive others of their water - he doesn't get a development permit.  It's as simple as that.  The politicians will hate it, because they make money out of population growth (through federal subsidies) and "growing" their states' economies to match:  but if they can't provide the water, they don't have much choice in the matter.

This is also going to suck bricks for water consumers.  Rationing on a permit system won't work - it's too easy to simply use more water, then apologize, or pretend to have a leak somewhere.  The only way I know that will work to reduce consumption is to charge increasing rates per unit of water, depending on how much you use.  A basic monthly allowance is reasonably priced;  exceed that, and your water bill goes up by the percentage you exceed your allotted quantity of water.  If you use 400% more one month, you'll pay four times per unit (or more) as much as you would have.  If that doesn't produce enough savings in water use, the surcharges can be increased.

If anyone can see any other way, I'd like to hear it.  Let us know in Comments.


"Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad"


That's a very old saying, coming to us from the ancient Greeks.  I think it's also a very good description of President Biden's brief sortie into Ukraine this week, and all the international kerfuffle surrounding the war between that nation and Russia.

Understand, I'm neither pro-Ukraine nor pro-Russia.  Russia is undoubtedly the aggressor, having broken treaties and promises galore to invade Ukraine last year;  and there seems little doubt that its forces have committed what are generally termed "war crimes".  On the other hand, Ukraine was (and probably still is) one of the most corrupt nations on earth, and is undoubtedly guilty of war crimes against separatists in its border regions, and is probably wasting (or redistributing, in the form of bribes to Western politicians) a very large proportion of the aid it's being given.  As far as I'm concerned, I trust neither party to this war, and wish a plague on both their houses.

What's deeply concerning to me is how the "establishment", both in the USA and in Europe, is treating the Russo-Ukraine war as nothing more than a political ploy, which might have been custom-designed to let them direct billions upon billions of dollars in "support" to Ukraine;  siphon off many of those billions by corrupt maneuverings to benefit themselves;  and treat the ordinary people most affected by the war as mere pawns on a geopolitical chessboard, of no value or importance in themselves.  As Sundance has pointed out:

In the bigger picture I don’t think many Americans outside the DC beltway give a flip about internal Ukrainian squabbles and Russia’s support for the Eastern Ukrainian independence effort.  However, inside the DC beltway Ukraine is very important, stunningly important, because Ukraine functions as the corrupt money laundry operation for DC politicians to receive taxpayer kickbacks from their financial support into Ukraine.

I think he's right.

Trouble is, chickens come home to roost.  What you've sown grows into a harvest you may not want to reap.  Actions have consequences - and we're the ones who are going to have to bear, and live with, those consequences.  Those pulling the geopolitical strings think (wrongly) that they've insulated themselves from that reality.  I suspect they're about to find out that they were wrong.

Big Country Expat has some profane thoughts on the matter.

Look, I know intimately how badly things are ****ed up.  Like irretrievably ****ed up.

. . .

Thing of it is, it's obvious that we're on some sort of precipice...

And yeah yeah... I know, we've been here before.  Thing of it is, and man, I hate going back to old saws so to speak, but "this time it's a bit different." (UGH!)  Back in the original good old days of the Cold War, we knew, (the Untied Staatz Whypeepo) and they knew (them damned dirty Rooskis) the Untied Staatzs' population believed that "Their Government was here to help and protect the cit-tie-zens of the US".... and that the Rooskis were "a bunch of dirty, back stabbing pile of subhuman Slavic Communist Sumbitches who'll enslave us and kill your puppy..." 

This time however, well, this time "Team 'Murica" isn't bright enough  to know the true depth of the 'game' they're playing mainly because... 

They've never been punched in the face.

Think about it.  Lots of these folks I see who're pushing oh-so-many-things to deepen and 'harden'? (not sure if thats a good term or not for it...anyways) the folks pushing to increase the whole Military Industrial Complex into mad overdrive for mad fun and profits?  They've never been on the end of a proper asswhupping.  Trust me, I know of what I speak.  I have had my ass kicked... professionally in Germany when I got into it with a former Golden Gloves Kickboxer who at one point was rated as the #1 Kickboxer for the state of Oklahoma.  He put me in intensive care for 4 days.  Man that sucked.  Apologies... to continue and re-interate

They've never been punched in the face.

Because of that, we're possibly in for a real-time ****-****festivus of epic proportions.

NONE of the characters involved, outside of Buttplug, served legitimately in the Armed Forces.  The very fact that the MAJORITY of these ****ing fools are all "nepo-babies", i.e. nepotism: (from wiki) ..."the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives, friends, or associates, especially by giving them jobs."  Look at Chelsea Clinton for a prime example of a ***** that they tried to elevate faaar above her intelligence and ability.  "Sons of/Daughters of" doesn't grant special insight, just as a shiny badge doesn't confer Godlike ability to pass judgement(s) on people of ALL colors...

. . .

So, yeah, gloves are coming off...

There's more at the link.

To see how the gloves are coming off, and what that might mean, look no further than President Putin's speech to Russia's parliament yesterday.  He may be as corrupt, evil and violent as any other dictator, but he knows he has nowhere to go but up.  If he doesn't win in Ukraine, he's going to lose power - probably terminally - and his nation will slide even further down the road to ruin.  Therefore, he doesn't plan to lose.  He's willing to go all-in, probably up to and even including nuclear weapons, if that's what it will take to come out on top.

Meanwhile, we have an utterly incompetent administration in Washington that can't figure out what date tomorrow is, much less deal with real crises like the Ohio pollution incident or a war in Ukraine that threatens to drag the whole of NATO into it - not to mention China as well, because China doesn't want to lose Russia as a major chess piece on its side of the geopolitical divide, and will get more involved if it has to.  Why should China heed "warnings" from the USA, after all?  It knows how incompetent and corrupt our leaders are, and sees no reason why it should pay any attention to their pompous blustering.

And we - the "ordinary people" in Russia, in Ukraine, in Europe and in the USA - will pay the price for such fecklessness on both sides.  That's already happening, right in front of our eyes, in so many sectors of our economy that it's almost impossible to miss them.  One example from England yesterday:

Vegetable rationing could last 'weeks' as Morrisons becomes second major supermarket to limit sales: NFU president warns shoppers face further restrictions on tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber and broccoli as UK farmers are forced to switch off greenhouses.

That's right.  The energy crisis caused by the Ukraine invasion, and the shutting off of supplies of natural gas from Russia, has caused a fresh produce crisis in Britain, and in many other parts of Europe as well.  It's happening in the USA as well, as we've discussed in these pages on several occasions over the past year.

Parts of the world are going to get "punched in the face" by food shortages this year.  The USA may well be among them.  Who among us trusts our current Administration to deal with them?


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A new anthology - and my wife's in it


Raconteur Press, the small publishing house started by our buddy Lawdog, Cedar Sanderson and C. V. Walter, has just released another short - very short - story anthology.  It's titled "Postcards from Mars".

The blurb reads:

During MarsCon 2023 the three Moms of the Apocalypse handed out images to anyone who wanted to enter the contest. The rules were simple: write down a complete story in fifty words, and then send it to us. These are the winners of that challenge!

There was a tremendous response from conference attendees - so good, in fact, that Lawdog has promised, "Raconteur Press will be doing it again at every con we attend in 2023".  This may become an annual event, which will be a lot of fun.

Far be it from me to say that my wife's contribution makes the anthology, and puts all the others in the shade - even if I think it does!


A warm fuzzy story out of Turkey's earthquake disaster


I'm sure many of my readers have seen it already, but for those of you who haven't, here's a heartwarming video from Turkey.  A firefighter there rescued a cat that had been trapped in rubble for ten days.  Now the cat refuses to leave his side, and he's adopted it.  It's also become the mascot for Turkey's mountain biking team.

I love happy endings like that...


The dangers of big "blue" cities from a different perspective


Last week I warned (again) of the very real and growing dangers to be found in large "blue" cities, and urged readers to get out of them at once.  Now Francis Porretto brings his own perspective to bear on the dangers threatening his peaceful life in Long Island, New York.

Two new developments are calling into question whether any part of New York State will remain at all safe, especially for us old farts. The first is the state’s determination to strip New Yorkers of their right to keep and bear arms, in defiance of U.S. Supreme Court decisions ... But when combined with this initiative, it grows geometrically worse:

Hochul’s biggest proposal, the Housing Compact, is another misguided attack on local control and single-family zoning. It would compel each town and village in the New York City metro area to increase its housing stock to meet a uniform, state-imposed target and rezone for high-density housing — apartment buildings — within a half-mile of every Metropolitan Transportation Authority train stop.

Say goodbye to quaint downtowns lined with two-story buildings and older houses.

If a town fails to meet state targets, the compact will allow developers to build big in defiance of local zoning boards in almost all cases.

. . .

New York City’s suburbs, most emphatically including Long Island, are opposed to Hochul and her cronies by a large margin. Therefore, we must be compelled to bend the knee. The Housing Compact and the state’s attempt to destroy the right to keep and bear arms are aimed at precisely that.

With single family zoning abolished, large multi-unit dwellings would swiftly follow. With those would come greatly increased traffic, pressure on local infrastructure, and crime. Predators would inevitably multiply, for Long Island’s residents are far more affluent per capita than those of the City. We would suffer an explosion of crimes against persons and property, for New Yorkers are already deprived by law of most of the means of self-defense. It’s close to absolutely illegal for a private New Yorker to acquire a handgun, and the state is moving against previously legal rifles and shotguns as well.

I’ve written on this subject before. My opinions have not changed since then. Neither have the statistics about the frequency of crime in population-dense regions, where multi-family housing is prevalent. But today they’re “coming home” for me in a most unpleasant fashion. My desire to live out my life untroubled might be cross-cut by New York’s vampiric ruling class.

There's more at the link.

Nor is New York state's attack on firearms ownership an isolated affair.  Many "blue" states are pursuing similar objectives.  They can afford to, after all.  They have their own taxpayer funds to call upon to defend those measures in court.  Even if they lose every time, they have deep enough pockets to simply impose new measures and enforce them until they're overturned, and so on, and so on.  They'll make it as difficult and inconvenient as possible to buy and own weapons, knowing that those defending our Second Amendment rights have nowhere near as much money to make their case in court every time.  They'll do their best to bankrupt us in the process.

The federal government, under the Biden administration, is complicit in this process.  We learned this past week that the ATF is now using any violation of federal firearms licence requirements, no matter how trivial or inconsequential, to revoke those licenses and shut down the dealer(s) concerned.  It's no longer a matter of bringing dealers into compliance;  it's making sure their businesses are destroyed.  It's as bad as that.

Think of this from a practical perspective.  If there's no licensed firearms dealer near you, where are you going to buy a gun?  Private transactions can be mandated to go through a dealer, so that a background check on the purchaser can be performed.  That's already law in some jurisdictions - but if there's no dealer available, that short-circuits private sales.  Also, if you need ammunition or other supplies, what will you do if there's no local source for them?  Sure, you can order them by mail, but that's slower, and if you need the ammo in a hurry, that won't do.  Furthermore, some states have already made it illegal to buy ammunition in that way, or imposed onerous bureaucratic requirements on the process.  The same could happen in any "blue" state at any time, or even be imposed by the federal government for nebulous (and almost certainly spurious) "security reasons".

Friends, all that I said in my earlier article remains true.  I'll add this to it:  if you live in a city or state that's contemplating similar anti-gun measures, act now.  If you haven't got a firearm, or enough of them (i.e. one per adult family member, preferably one long gun and one handgun apiece at a minimum), get them now while you still can, and lay in a stash of ammunition while you're about it.  Firearms and ammunition are like parachutes.  If you need it, but don't have it, it's too late to go and get it!  They're not your best defense, of course - that would be moving to a safer place while the going's good - but it's a whole lot better than nothing.

One last point.  If you've built up your collection of firearms over time, think of what will happen to them when you die.  I've seen some collections thrown away for pennies on the dollar because those who inherited them didn't appreciate what they had, or didn't care.  Why not determine in advance who will get them, and spread them around as widely as possible to people who'll value them - and, if necessary, use them to defend themselves and their loved ones?  You could even do this before you die, by passing on to others guns you no longer use yourself.  In this way, you'll leave a legacy of greater security and self-sufficiency to the next generation.  I've been doing that for some time, and I'll continue to do so.  At the very least, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to equip others to stand on their own two feet.


Monday, February 20, 2023

*SIGH* That gets it said...


Growing old isn't for the faint of heart, as Stephan Pastis reminds us.  Click the image to be taken to a larger version at the "Pearls Before Swine" Web page.

True dat.


Ammunition and magazines are worthless unless they're ready for use


Following my article last week on the imperative need to move out of "blue" big cities right away, I had several e-mail exchanges with readers.  Some said they were planning to move as soon as it was practicable for them.  Others said they couldn't move, for one reason or another, but they were buying more ammunition and supplies in preparation for whatever might be coming.

I asked a number of them how they stored their ammunition, thinking more in terms of how to keep it secure from thieves and looters.  Some of my correspondents said they were stashing it in odd corners, or hiding it in the bottom of boxes filled with other contents and labeled as such (e.g. "bedding" or "books"), in the hope that anyone looking for it would glance inside, but not waste time looking more deeply.  That's all well and good.  However, most of them also said they stored their ammunition in the boxes in which it came.

Friends, that's entirely the wrong perspective.  If you want to store ammunition, it's because you think you might need it one day.  If you need it in a hurry, you won't have time to load it into magazines before use.  Mobs, looters or home invaders won't give you that opportunity.  You need to have it ready for use right away, just in case.  Nobody ever survived a criminal encounter and thought, "Darn - I had way too much ammunition!"

Look at it this way.  You plan to use that ammunition sooner or later, right?  Then why not keep it ready for use?  You can grab a few boxes of ammo to go to the shooting range, or you can grab a number of loaded magazines and do the same.  The latter has the advantage that you won't have to waste so much time at the range reloading magazines before continuing your shooting session.  (When you're paying by the hour, range time can get very expensive, so why waste it by reloading mags?)

Some argue that you'll end up with a lot of empty magazines that'll have to be reloaded anyway.  Well, yes, you will;  but you can do that at your leisure, in your own free time.  I can watch a TV show while thumbing rounds into magazines without even looking at them, or use an Maglula loader to do the same thing.  The motions become automatic.  If I take several evenings to reload my magazines, a couple at a time, I've lost nothing that way, and I've used all my expensive time at the range for the reason I paid for it - shooting.

There's another reason to keep your magazines loaded.  If we hit a true SHTF situation and you have to evacuate, it's much easier to pack loaded magazines that are ready for any emergency.  Similarly, if you may need to arm your family and friends to deal with the situation, you can simply hand out loaded mags.  Saving that much time might save your life one day.

As we've discussed in the past, I recommend minimum magazine levels for every firearm.  For every defensive pistol, I suggest at least 5 loaded magazines;  for every defensive rifle, at least 5, and preferably the same as an infantryman's basic load.  In the US Army, infantrymen using the M4/M16 carry 7 magazines on their body plus 1 in the gun, for a total of 8 30-round magazines, or 240 ready-to-use cartridges.  That's a reasonable minimum figure for civilians too, IMHO.  Important note:  test every magazine, just in case.  Fill it, take it to the range, and shoot with it.  If any problems are encountered, fix or replace it - don't trust your life to it.

For longer-term storage, I download my magazines to reduce stress on the spring (a habit I acquired in the military back in the 1970's, one which I see no reason to change, despite all the discussion about it not being necessary).  In a 20- or 30-round magazine, I load 18 or 28 rounds;  in a magazine with fewer than 20, I download by one or two rounds, depending on the magazine in question.  In my experience, quality magazines can stay loaded for years like that without the spring losing its tension and "taking a set".  Cheaper springs may not be as flexible, so I tend to avoid them.  I also make sure to keep spare springs on hand, so that if any magazine has issues during loading, I can replace the spring to see if that fixes the problem.

Another recommendation:  if you rely on military surplus magazines for your AR-15, as some shooters do, bear in mind that they were supplied by the lowest bidder.  That supplier may not have used the best or most reliable components.  Therefore, it's a good idea to rebuild such magazines using higher-quality components.  The shell is usually OK, provided the lips haven't been bent.  Check them using a gauge, and if they don't pass muster, repair them or throw away that magazine.  If they pass, good, but the magazine's innards could still stand some improvement.  For example, I replace the follower with a Magpul anti-tilt unit (in yellow, so my magazines can easily be identified from a distance), plus a new, more powerful spring and (if necessary) a better-fitting floor plate.  I have dozens of such magazines, and so far they've never given me a problem.  I think the upgrades are worthwhile.

You can do the same for some pistol magazines.  Glock, for instance, has been through several generations of follower design.  Find out the latest generation number for your magazines, and replace the followers when you replace the springs.

Finally, check your magazines.  I recommend at least once per year;  others prefer more or less often.  I disassemble it, blow out any dirt or debris that's gotten inside, and (if necessary) use a silicon lubricant, applied sparingly, to reduce internal friction, before I reassemble and reload it.


Memes that made me laugh 147


Gathered from around the Internet over the past week.  Click any image for a larger view.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sunday morning music


In our sadly divided country, with liberals and progressives hating on conservatives and traditionalists (and vice versa), it's hard to see a way forward for a truly "United" States of America.  If anything, we're presently the Dis-United States of America, and it looks as if that's going to get worse before (if possible) it gets better.

I thought it might be worth remembering, this morning, what such disunity can mean.

Irving Gordon published his song "Two Brothers" in 1951.  It became widely popular, and was adopted by the Walt Disney Company as part of its "American Adventure" section of the World Showcase at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Florida, opening in 1971.

I first heard the version performed by the Johnny Mann Singers in 1963, and have loved the song ever since.  However, the version performed by Ali Olmo for Walt Disney World has a beauty and resonance all its own, and I thought that was probably the best version to bring to you this morning.

Listen, and think, and - if you're so inclined - say a prayer that we don't see this again in our country.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Saturday Snippet: Sailors, ships and albatrosses


Samuel Taylor Coleridge's life spanned the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, and the tumult of a remade Europe in the years that followed.  He lived in complex, convoluted times, and his poetry reflects that.  You can read a long and interesting biography of the man here.

I've chosen perhaps his best-known work this morning:  "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".  It's based on the seafaring legend of the danger to sailors of killing an albatross.  It's had a powerful effect on the English language, many of its phrases and couplets becoming part of our language as common expressions:  for example, "Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink" and "He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small".

How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.


It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din.'

He holds him with his skinny hand,
'There was a ship,' quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye—
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

'The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon—'
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.'

'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
Why look'st thou so?'—With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.


The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner's hollo!

And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!

Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.

And some in dreams assurèd were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,

When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist;
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call:
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in.
As they were drinking all.

See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!

The western wave was all a-flame.
The day was well nigh done!
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.

And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.

Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears!
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres?

Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew?
Is that a DEATH? and are there two?
Is DEATH that woman's mate?

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
'The game is done! I've won! I've won!'
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out;
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

We listened and looked sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white;
From the sails the dew did drip—
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The hornèd Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies fly,—
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whizz of my cross-bow!


'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.

I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.'—
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.

I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay dead like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.

An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

The moving Moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside—

Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charmèd water burnt alway
A still and awful red.

Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.

The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.


Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.

The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained.

My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.

I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
I was so light—almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.

And soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come anear;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.

The upper air burst into life!
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about!
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.

And the coming wind did roar more loud,
And the sails did sigh like sedge,
And the rain poured down from one black cloud;
The Moon was at its edge.

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The Moon was at its side:
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.

The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan.

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up-blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
We were a ghastly crew.

The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.

'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!'
Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest:

For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.

Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the Sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!

And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the heavens be mute.

It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.

Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.

Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid: and it was he
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.

The Sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean:
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion—
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.

Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.

How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;
But ere my living life returned,
I heard and in my soul discerned
Two voices in the air.

'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.

The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.'

The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:
Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.'


First Voice
'But tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing—
What makes that ship drive on so fast?
What is the ocean doing?'

Second Voice
Still as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the Moon is cast—

If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him.'

First Voice
'But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?'

Second Voice
'The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.

Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated:
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the Mariner's trance is abated.'

I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
The dead men stood together.

All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.

And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen—

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring—
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—
On me alone it blew.

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The light-house top I see?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
Is this mine own countree?

We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray—
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.

The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn!
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the Moon.

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.

A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned my eyes upon the deck—
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood!
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.

This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart—
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away
And I saw a boat appear.

The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.

I saw a third—I heard his voice:
It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.


This Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.

The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
'Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now?'

'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said—
'And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young.'

'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a-feared'—'Push on, push on!'
Said the Hermit cheerily.

The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.

Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.

Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.

Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.

I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.

I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
'Ha! ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row.'

And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.

'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!'
The Hermit crossed his brow.
'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say—
What manner of man art thou?'

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there:
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are:
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!

O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemèd there to be.

O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!—

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends
And youths and maidens gay!

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.

Another very well-known poem by Coleridge is Kubla Khan, with which I'm sure many readers are familiar.  Sadly, it was never finished, leaving generations since then to wonder what might have been.