random ruminations

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Rumor is the Chinese are fighting our aggression in Afganistan just we fought Russian aggression there a generation ago. This time we're getting help from the Russians. Unbelievable.

Israel and the Palestinians are gearing up for the last big fight. The UN is telling Israel to cool it, when they haven't done anything about it for over 50 years, and does anyone expect a positive response? Unbelievable.

Never mind third worlders have nukes and the fundamentalism to believe God might order their use. Un-freaking-believable. Heinlein predicted something like suitcase nuke attacks in a very old story of his. Everything that guy ever predicted has either come true already or looks more likely every day. Scary, unbelievable thought.

The anthrax thing is probably a civil war act ala "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross. If you haven't read the book, try to before it's banned. I was interested in the idea in an abstract sense. The prospect of the real thing is unbelievable.

Unbelievable is the word for the day. I finished Robin Cook's "Vector" -- about terrorists using anthrax, foreign and domestic terrorists working together, and read his comments at the end about how easily it could happen -- exactIy one week before 9-11 and I didn't believe him. I don't believe we're talking anthrax for real all over the place, that Congress ran away before they even knew if they had been exposed, that postal workers were left to die in the field with bland assurances that it is "hard to catch".

I don't believe the UN is talking about smallpox, that they're going to start vaccinating against smallpox, that they don't seem to care they could START a smallpox epidemic with the vaccinations.

I don't believe we're at war, that we took the first big hit, or that we can make war on one organization without involving the whole world in it. I don't believe I was told my part of the war effort was a trip to Disneyworld.

I believe in God, the rest of the details are pretty fuzzy, and last night I was crying at 3 AM because I couldn't take care of all the expected people if we have a nuclear incident. Feed them, keep them clean and happy, yes. Keep them safe from fallout or blast, no. I resigned from God's army and resolved to eat icecream and rock the babies until the end. I mother, I don't lead.

Then all at once the entire blueprint and materials list for a nuclear fallout and blast shelter popped into my head along with the best possible location for it.

Once that excuse was taken care of, the only thing left was to admit I'm too scared to take responsibility for it. I'm a mule-kissing fuckup. You don't want to lean on me. The only thing I ever did right was make some nice kids. Everything else has been a dead loss. This isn't depressive thinking, it's just stark triage. They wouldn't hand out vaccines to me in the first or even second round.

The most unbelievable thing of all is that there are people who are gonna show up here expecting a miracle, and the mule and I are gonna give it to 'em. Maybe. I hope.

-- helen (lead@me.not), October 23, 2001


I don't believe I just opened my mail outside...

-- helen (leadership@position.open.apply.within), October 23, 2001.

Jeez, Helen...for someone who's not interested in the lives of 5 billion strangers, you've pretty much come to the same conclusions that I have. [I loved that book, as well, BTW, and for several years counted on a friend in Chicago to let me know if NYC got nuked, as I'd have nothing to do with a TV or the news.] How life changes.

Perhaps the difference between us [well, outside of that snake thing] is that *I* never made any promises to others who felt they might be better off here than wherever they are. I've always been the Polyanna. I still am, actually. I think what I recognize about myself is that I'm a coward. Is that above or below a mule-kissing fuck-up? LOL. I suspect it's below.

I'm not at all worried about the Anthrax scare. I AM worried, however, about WWIII. My draft-aged son and I began discussing his studying in Bergen in February or March of this year. Unfortunately, the University of Bergen didn't go along with our plans, stating that American students needed first one year of University studies before enrollment. I'm not just a coward for myself, you see. I'm ALSO the self-appointed coward for my son. Neither of us, in our lives, have ever lifted a hand in anger or retaliation to ANYONE. I could probably do what some others do and suggest that if one were to threaten myself or my family, I would put his head in his anus [or whatever it was that Poole said his wife would do]. Truth is, however, I wouldn't know where to start. I got grabbed on the street once in my life, and I stood there with my mouth open. All the bravado in the world won't make me a hero. That bravery stuff must come from something I just don't have.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), October 23, 2001.


I have to disagree with your characterization of "our aggression in Afghanistan". Nonetheless, it is ironic that only 15 years ago we were helping Afghanis against the Soviet Union whereas now Russia (no longer the Soviets) is helping us against Taliban (which is not exactly the democratically elected government of Afghanistan). But the world is nothing if not ironic.

From what little I have read, China is playing both sides. The Chinese have a militant Muslim minority of their own.

-- (lars@indy.net), October 26, 2001.


"That bravery stuff must come from something I just don't have."

I wouldn't say that, I would be willing to bet that if someone was imperiling one of your kids you would pull out one helluva can of whoop ass on em', such is a mothers nature.Besides that, we are all capable of extraordinary feats of bravery and strength when the sitution amply dictates.Don't sell yourself short, the circumstance of such have thankfully not happened.


FWIW, I'm even lower on the ladder of vaccine gettin' than you suspect you are, as I haven't any kids to show for my time on this planet.Hmmm..... maybe that *is* my contribution to this ol' world.

But I got faith in you and Mike to do your very best and smile through the whole ordeal.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), October 26, 2001.

Helen, Capn, others over 30 . . .

There was an artcle posted at both TB2K and Currents entitled, "The Good News about Smallpox."

In a nutshell, the good news is that early studies indicate that the vaccination is good for over 50 years and maybe longer.

Now don't go stepping in front of any foreign guys carrying backpacks with tubes poking up out of them, but I think you'll outlive many of the obnoxious youngsters.

-- (Lurker22@home.now), October 27, 2001.

I didn't promise anyone that I could keep them alive, just that if they were scared, they could come here. However, I feel a certain responsibility for keeping them alive if they show up. And THAT is impossible in war time. A three day winter storm, yes, but not a ten year armageddon situation.

If any of you were to show up, tell me this: what would you want to find here? What would help you make it through this psychologically?

-- helen (camp@helen.run.by.maniacs), October 28, 2001.

I'd probably BMOB (Bring My Own Bottles)

And at some point I'd probably ask if I could do a lil gardening so I could help out everyone, psychologically that is : )

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), October 28, 2001.

A warm mud puddle ;)!

-- Jack Booted Thug (governmentconspiracy@NWO.com), October 29, 2001.

Okay, but would you be offended if I handed you a shovel and asked you to dig a latrine?

-- helen (the@thrax.is.getting.closer), November 01, 2001.

Anything to help out the cause, I'd be delighted.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 02, 2001.

Ok, capn, e-me for a map...

-- helen (building@my.legions), November 02, 2001.

Heinlein predicted something like suitcase nuke attacks in a very old story of his.

Hon, have you read anything by Spider Robinson? I suggest you beg or borrow one of his Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books. Lotsa fun. Lotsa pun. Lotsa end o' the world scenarios. But boy how his characters know how to stand tall in the face of armageddeon. Irish coffee is Callahan's specialty for when TSHTF, and do not forget to smash your mug in the fireplace. It's tradition. Did I mention lotsa pun? The man's characters are inveterate punners.

Oh yeah. As to why I quoted you on Heinlein above; Spider is frequently mentioned as the "next" Robert Heinlein. That there's the tie-in. And there ain't no "next" Heinlein, just as there ain't no "next" helen. Big guy busted both your molds. :)

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 07, 2001.

Oops! I called helen "hon". Sorry 'bout that helen. But hey. MAYBE in addressing you as "hon", I subconsciously MEANT it as a title -


Yeah, that's the ticket.

EXCUSE #2: I just completed reading Fred Pohl's Homegoing late last evening. In it, Marguery Darp calls protagonist Sandy - "hon" - incessantly.

Which gives me an idea for a thread...

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 07, 2001.

Rich, "hon" will do nicely. :)

Don't get enough time to read, will check out this Spider person.

-- helen (back@to.school), November 07, 2001.

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