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Malice, madness, malignancy, morons … and us

I’m sorry to have taken so long between blogs. Many excuses come to mind and fingertips: travel; tiredness; too much STUFF to deal with; a young, high-energy dog who thinks she should be the center of a world filled with entertainment and activity and who barks like an island full of seals when she doesn’t get her way, etc. so-on and so-on.


But the big reason I haven’t sat down to blog is … well, what does one say? Welcome to &^%$#@ing World War 3? How about I wish to heck they’d all just get it over with — whatever “it” is?

One group of nattering nabobs (thank you, dead VP Spiro Agnew for being good at at least one thing other than naked corruption) assures us that Ukraine is definitively winning in the crisis du jure, and they cite the evidence to prove it.

Another group of nattering nabobs categorically states that Russia is on the verge of victory, and they cite the evidence to prove it.

China and Russia flip hypersonic missiles hither and thither in displays of national machismo — weapons the U.S. apparently does not have and cannot counter while it continues to puff itself up by imposing sanctions that further damage western economies while pushing the other two Big Powers toward further de-dollarization and economic independence. Oh, but it’s all okay, because the U.S. military is now Diverse! Inclusive! and just full of Equity!

Meanwhile the former off-color comic and current puppet of warmongering neocons (but I repeat myself) running one of the two notoriously corrupt countries in said crisis seems quite confident that the entire rest of the world will fling itself righteously into nuclear conflict if all doesn’t go well with his side of things.

Do any of these people understand what the actual state of the world is? Do any of these people care that they share this planet with, you know, other human beings?

Oh. Yeah, they do care. Or at least they notice. And we know that. Because a significant faction of the “leaders” dragging us through this swamp of s**t have proclaimed their desire to rid the world of most of us. Good job, world leaders, good job!


All the while, the Fed is “fighting inflation” with itty-bitty interest bumps. And the fedgov is fighting the eeeeeevil American oil and gas producers by supporting noble and helpful Venezuelan government oil and gas producers

And this is winning women’s swimming competitions.

AND we’re told it’s not only fair, but it’s brave of Mr. 462nd-Place to shove himself into becoming Ms 1st-Place (and putting actual women back in their lesser place). And if we object, we’re haters.


I mean, seriously. What does one say?

Well, one thing one says is to get yourself and your loved ones as far out of this putrid, pustulent, pernicious, posturing and potentially fatal preposterousness as fast as you can.

Get yourself out of it locationally. Get yourself out of it psychologically. Get yourself out of it economically. Get yourself out of it morally. Get yourself out of it culturally. Disconnect yourself from both its benefits and its snares (which are often one-in-the-same) as much as you possibly can.

But one has said that before, for years, and now ones and twos and threes and hundreds are saying it, too. And some of you have been saying it and doing it, and mega kudos to you; may you live long and prosper.

But you know what? If you haven’t already made very substantial progress in doing that it’s too &^%$##ing late.

Oh yeah, you might still be able to score some big bags of rice & beans at Costco. You might still be able to pull your little ones out of government schools. You might still be able to withdraw your cash from the bank and invest it in metals (gold, silver, and lead). You might still grab that lot in the country and even some building supplies and some barbed wire to fence it with. That’s good. That’s all good. Anything you can do at this point might help.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that nothing you’ve done will help — this being the edge of WW3 and all. Rice, beans, guns, and little homestead in the Redoubt, poof!

But even if TEOTWAWKI doesn’t take the form of WW3, TEOTWAWKI has arrived. It’s here. Is it the apocalypse? Are we all going to be eating bugs or shooting zombies by this time next year? I don’t know; probably not. But the world as we knew it is over.

And our immediate future will be shaped by madmen and morons.

You waste your time if you try to reason out the catastrophes they’re causing. You grant them too much dignity and credence if you argue what they should be doing instead of what they’re now doing. You misdirect your life if you engage with them or their numerous useful idiots as if they were decent, sensible people. You’re laughable if you try to reform them. You’re delusional if you believe some Hero of Liberty will sweep in and drain the swamp. You’re pathetic if you still, after all you’ve seen and experienced, imagine that “electing the right people” will work for the good of the nation or the world. The “right people” (right in their own minds, that is) are already running things and you will probably never even learn most of their names.

Get that in your head if you haven’t already. The world as we know it is already gone, and now it’s time for us to move beyond it and — with some luck — help shape the world we hope will come.


I keep thinking about what Einstein said — that he didn’t know what weapons WW3 would be fought with, but he was pretty sure WW4 would be fought with sticks and stones.

BUT, my Pollyanna self (yes, she’s still in there somewhere, albeit huddled in the back of some mental cave screaming, “Go away! Just leave me alone!”) still says that WW4, and WW3 if we’re lucky, will be fought with culture.

Regardless of the form it takes, whether giant booms or giant busts or a cheerful combo thereof, ultimate war will be fought by the tough, sturdy, sensible, (hopefully) principled, and resourceful who survive and have the wisdom to grasp what’s happened.

And it will be lost — lost! — by malicious, malignant morons who manufacture madness in the belief they can use it to apply their “scientific” management methods and exercise their inherent “superiority” to rule the world.

Because Einstein may have been right, but so was Tolkein:

[E]vil labours with vast power and perpetual success – in vain: preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in. …

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. …

I do not know what is happening. The reason of my waking mind tells me that great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days. But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are light, and a hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny. […] I do not believe that darkness will endure!



  1. Simon Templar
    Simon Templar March 23, 2022 10:10 am

    “the U.S. military is now Diverse! Inclusive! and just full of Equity!” -> DIE

    I am sure I am not the only one who noticed this.

  2. Claire
    Claire March 23, 2022 10:27 am

    🙂 Good catch, ST. The wokesters who came up with the DEI acronym should have realized their terms could and would be put in a different order.

  3. Joel
    Joel March 23, 2022 10:37 am

    I haven’t checked my notes this morning, Claire, but if I read the last memo correctly I must now ignore all the substantive things you wrote and denounce you as a transphobe.

    Consider the struggle session concluded, and we’ll put that unpleasantness behind us. Honestly, I’ve been resisting the temptation to pat myself on the back for getting as far back in the boonies as possible as quickly as possible and learning how to live here. But I still have family and friends who will suffer if it all falls apart, WW3 or no WW3, and so I feel guilty for engaging in schadenfreude. Besides, I’m getting too old to live in a game of Fallout. So color me conflicted.

    But disinterested? Yes: I have mostly achieved that. I literally don’t care if Corrupt Eastern European Tyrant A or Corrupt Eastern European Tyrant B is a hero or a villain this week. I just know I wouldn’t send any of my children to die for either one. And I really hope the idiots in charge manage not to start the end of the world – but I have no faith in that, so I can’t stay COMPLETELY disinterested.

  4. Claire
    Claire March 23, 2022 10:58 am

    if I read the last memo correctly I must now ignore all the substantive things you wrote and denounce you as a transphobe.

    Yes, Joel. Yes, that’s absolutely true. You must now denounce me, cancel me, and unperson me. As in The Commissar Vanishes, I assume you must now Photoshop me out of all those volumes of group photos you have from my time in the Desert Hermitage.

    All that is only right and natural.

    I confess it pains me, though, that I’ve been waiting to be cancelled and denounced for literally years now, and when it finally happens it’s done by a hermit who doesn’t even have a Twitter account or a F*c*b**k page to do it properly. 🙁

    (Otherwise, yeah. The world will envy you soon, if they don’t already.)

  5. Granny
    Granny March 23, 2022 11:10 am

    This is why I love you so much Claire, even though we’ve never met personally.
    You put into words the raging that goes on inside my mind.
    Things have gotten so chaotic out there in LALA land that I’ve withdrawn further, even from my usual “news and information” website. Yes, there’s only one I trust at the moment.

    Thankfully it is SPRING!! The potatoes are going into the ground this week, followed by a planting schedule I just finished putting together. Now is the time of year when all the noise gets shut out and the real work begins. I’ll keep working until I see a mushroom cloud in the distance. And even then, I might keep on working.

    I still think there’s time to move to the country, especially for people still able to “cash out” of the big liberal areas. And if one cannot “cash out”, the cost of living is still much lower in rural areas and there are still plenty of regular jobs. The opportunity still exists, but I don’t know when that window closes. There’s no time like the present, as is said.

    They’ll keep throwing sticks in our bicycle tires and we’ll keep on keepin’ on.

  6. Claire
    Claire March 23, 2022 12:00 pm

    I still think there’s time to move to the country, especially for people still able to “cash out” of the big liberal areas. And if one cannot “cash out”, the cost of living is still much lower in rural areas and there are still plenty of regular jobs. The opportunity still exists, but I don’t know when that window closes. There’s no time like the present, as is said.

    I hope you’re right, Granny. It’s much harder now, but yes, it should still be possible for people who have a lot of commitment and a big dose of luck. Barring an outright Dr. Strangelove scenario, I suspect TEOTWAWKI will be more of a slow-rolling catastrophe than the “hour and a half” war Tom Lehrer sang of.

    And thank you once more for your kind comments. Even aside from the love you pour over me, you always have something upbeat yet practical to say.

  7. Robert Baird
    Robert Baird March 23, 2022 3:17 pm

    You are AOK. Keep up the good work!

  8. Granny
    Granny March 23, 2022 3:43 pm

    You deserve our devotion Claire!

  9. Comrade X
    Comrade X March 23, 2022 4:58 pm

    This makes me think of a quote from C. S. Lewis;

    “If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They might break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

    My intention fully till the very end.

    When I look at the Ukraine and Russia dust up I not only think about how easy it is to see the monster but also in how important it is to be careful not to run into the fangs of a snake that might be hidden by the shadow of that monster.

  10. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail March 23, 2022 5:37 pm

    Claire – I now often feel like the latter part of Ghostbusters where Zuul cries of “Choose the form of The Destructor – and perish” – and the Destructor is a giant puffed marshmallow man, full anger and rage and power and completely unexpected.

    This is TEOTWAWKI – not (at the moment) in cascading flames or climactic destruction or armed encampments, but simply in an ever expanding whirlpool of chaos. There is no “going back” – after all, at this point what would we go back to? So many have been hacking at the foundations of practically everything for so long, the house is begin to collapse even as those doing the hacking cry out “freedom”, not realizing that giddy moment of release is the free-fall before gravity and physics take over.

    The only thing left, I think, is for a far larger number of people to realize the “system” they are in cannot and will not save them and is, therefore, not worthy of support.

    In terms of worrying, I no longer do so. I work on what I can do for what I can control and work to let the rest go.

    “If you wish to have peace and contentment, release your attachment to all things outside your control. This is the path to happiness and contentment.” – Epictetus

  11. Stealth Spaniel
    Stealth Spaniel March 23, 2022 9:22 pm

    We are living in such crazy times, that it boggles the mind to try and name all of the insanity coming at us. I just try to keep to my goals of getting debt free, and doing what I can to maintain my household; now & in the future. Work on practical matters too. You just might need new orthotics or more socks. It’s all part of planning. Always enjoy your thoughts, Claire!

  12. Jeff2
    Jeff2 March 24, 2022 5:06 am

    I have taken to working on my understanding of the spiritual. This has provided peace of mind in these trying times. We are as prepared as can be reasonably accomplished.

    I take note of the fact that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been rebuilt and were habitable from just a few weeks after detonation. Short of direct hits, Nuclear war is survivable.

    But, the Spirit needs no reassurance. Our current illusions will evaporate like the morning fog as the truth of our being becomes more and more evident.

    The Earth has gone through many catastrophic periods in the past and she will survive the changes caused by the arrogance of humanity, as she has all others.

    We do not end with this incarnation. In fact we don’t end at all. Ever. Once we understand that, the trials of this illusion become much more educational.

    We, here, are birds of a feather and I look forwarding seeing all of you on the other side.

    Peace all,


  13. Centurion_Cornelius
    Centurion_Cornelius March 24, 2022 7:18 am

    HERE! HERE! Claire.


    You make some of us see the glimmer of light at the end of the very dark and dangerous troubles ahead.

    No way but through.

    We’ll make it –helping each other every step of the way.

  14. Jolly
    Jolly March 24, 2022 7:52 am

    Only thing I’d remark is that a real collapse will probably take longer than we think. Rome took what, two centuries to collapse? I know things go faster now, but I suspect it’ll take a while – and it won’t be at our convenience.

    With that in mind, keep looking for the plot of land, and keep prepping. Whatever you get will help, and if you don’t make it yourself, perhaps someone you love will benefit.

    It’s like when I’m fixing-up this ancient house – When I make something that’ll be hidden, like “blocking” behind a wall – I write little notes and jokes such as, “Greetings from 2022,” and “Yep, I had no clue what I was doing, but it’s still here, right?”

    This house has remained above ground since 1770, and my goal is to keep it that way another 30 years – and hopefully somebody else will appreciate it and take over where I left off. Maybe that’s a metaphor for our civilization? We’re doing what we can for people we don’t even know who might appreciate it – like planting fruit trees when you’re in your 70s.


  15. everlastingphelps
    everlastingphelps March 24, 2022 9:05 am

    The wokesters who came up with the DEI acronym should have realized their terms could and would be put in a different order.

    The next step is to realize that they knew all along and think that it makes them clever.

  16. sawman
    sawman March 24, 2022 9:30 am

    The world will not be punished for what it has become, the people shall be punished for what they have allowed it to become. Pushing 70 years old I miss the America that I grew up in or more explicitly the America that I was led to believe that I was growing up in. It is gone forever if it ever really existed at all. In the end that matters little and there is nothing that I can do about it all. So yes this spring I will plant more fruit & nut trees as well as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and vegetables and then sit back with what time God allows and watch them grow never knowing if I shall enjoy the fruits of my labor.

  17. Bob
    Bob March 24, 2022 11:19 am

    Not too much talk of competence these days, if at all. Everything seems to be about equality, affirmative action, quotas, etc. Too bad, as it’s contributing to the downfall of our country.

  18. frosty1056
    frosty1056 March 24, 2022 1:04 pm

    Excellent comment from all…..and each right out of my own thoughts. Its a miracle that I sleep at night.

    Claire, love your writings…..they are always thought provoking.
    If anyone needs me, I will be at the back of that cave screaming” Go away, leave me alone!” Best idea I have heard all week.

  19. larryarnold
    larryarnold March 24, 2022 7:09 pm

    The next step is to realize that they knew all along and think that it makes them clever.
    Somehow I doubt it. The statists are loud, persistent, and manipulative, but they would have to understand humor to be clever, and they don’t.

    Case in point, the “Women’s Network in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet” (of Australia) came up with a logo that was so hilariously, graphicly masculine it was immediately laughed off the internet.

    When I venture on social media, looking for the funny keeps me sane.

  20. John Wilder
    John Wilder March 24, 2022 10:14 pm

    Don’t worry – it’s bad, but before it gets worse, it will get worse.

  21. Bear Claw Chris Lapp
    Bear Claw Chris Lapp March 25, 2022 8:28 am

    Sometimes I hope it is Armageddon so atleast most of us will be fine.

  22. PrinterChick
    PrinterChick March 25, 2022 8:34 am

    I always enjoy your posts, Claire. You are extremely insightful as well as being quite funny. It makes reading the bad stuff that much more bearable, IMO. The way you phrase your thoughts and ideas always make me think more deeply about the topic than I might have otherwise done. You’ve given me tons of ideas (both good and bad, if you ask my family – they seem to think some of them are just nuts, but then the world is nuts right now so it seems fitting to me) that I attempt to put into action, and you always keep me thinking about what more I can do, both for my family and to throw sand in the gears of the country/world. Anyway, I think you’re amazing, talented, and perfectly wordy. Keep up the great work. And thank you for sharing it all with us. 🙂

  23. Claire
    Claire March 25, 2022 10:52 am

    I have no idea what goodness I deserve, but I do know (and am moved to remark again for the nth time) that I am blessed to be surrounded by the brightest, kindest, most thoughtful, most resolute, and most cheerfully pessimistic people on the planet.

    Frequently, these days, I think of giving up blogging. Although (Printer Chick), I fear I’m something other than “perfectly” wordy, I increasingly wonder what words accomplish. But then, I think about this merry band, members both old and new, and how much bigger we are than the sum of our parts.

    So, as Centurian_Cornelius says, “No way but through. We’ll make it – helping each other every step of the way.”

  24. Granny
    Granny March 25, 2022 2:41 pm

    “cheerfully pessimistic”
    That’s me.

    I got excited that my laying hens produced more than a dozen eggs today, that one of my little goats who I thought was mortally injured is bouncing around, and that my dogs are extra snuggly today.

    Sometimes I think the whole world will blow up and I’ll be fine. Wishful thinking. I just want to be left alone, but the Powers That Be want to be in everyone’s business because they think everything revolves around them and their world domination plans. All hail. And then there are all the brainwashed minions who plug into the media and let the craziness wash over them, then go out and inflict that on other people. It’s so odd, to be that way. I’m all for an Internet blackout, at least until people can get through their withdrawals of needing constant input so they know what to think. Maybe they will slowly start to think again for themselves if the Internet is wrenched away from them. I mean, I’ve stopped looking at the sky to see the weather and look at an app instead – how crazy is that? It would be total drag to have no Internet, but it seems that 90% of our problems would disappear overnight – potentially!

  25. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail March 25, 2022 9:28 pm

    Claire, to believe that there is a better system at the end of this one, one almost has to be “cheerfully pessimistic”. And (selfishly speaking for myself) I hope you keep writing. You and your words have made a difference in my life – after all, if words had no power, people would not be so quick to ban or bury them.

    “If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

  26. Padre29
    Padre29 March 26, 2022 7:03 pm

    Remote events, framed into a narrative are meant to dishearten. What’s really changed is even local and relational views have changed. No one is growing more Noble quite the opposite. No need for a horse to be a seated Senator the absurdity travels and niches down.

  27. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson March 27, 2022 4:38 am

    I come here for the articles; I stay here for the comments. So much positive in a time of depressingly ominous news. The chaotic intersecting vectors of stupidity and malevolence have, on some days, driven me to darker places than I have been to in many years. When hope seems foolish, how does one find the strength to keep on? Maybe it’s not strength. Maybe it’s inertia…or cussedness.

    I’ll plant my garden again this year. It’s not adequate to live on, but it is not nothing. I’ll also keep whittling away at my kayak project that will take months to complete, my house repairs to keep the roof over my head for another couple of decades, and my reading and writing to learn and pass down what I believe to be true to a son who has taken a different and wrong-headed path. None of these things will do me one lick of good if TEOTWAWKI comes today, so each is a small symbol of my hope in a tomorrow. Yet I don’t feel hope. Perhaps doing all of this is in the hope that hope can be rekindled.

    Hoping for hope. That’s either the most depressing place one can be, or it is evidence of the indestructible human spirit.

  28. Granny
    Granny March 27, 2022 7:55 am

    I’m voting for the “indestructible human spirit”!

  29. Those People
    Those People March 28, 2022 2:05 pm

    I just keep “going for it”–trying to live the remaining years of my life the way I believe in.
    Thanks, Claire and commenters, for this welcome island of sanity.

  30. Erin
    Erin March 31, 2022 12:06 am

    Granny, I’ve begun to call it the infernet…

  31. R R Schoettker
    R R Schoettker March 31, 2022 9:44 am

    “Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.”
    ― Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annals

    The current crop of arrogant yahoos have taken this maxim to heart and run with it.

  32. Sara+Wilson
    Sara+Wilson March 31, 2022 1:07 pm

    They’re doing it! So far I have raw milk, farm fresh eggs, grass-fed organic beef all produced right under the noses of those too arrogant to realize what is happening. I said to my adopted neice, “I was the silent generation; did nothing. I don’t know what you’re going to do.” She said, “We’re going to FIX it.” Wish them well, my friends.

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