De-Constructing The Federal Government

This is basically a process that needs to be started – right now. The longer Trump waits, the harder it gets.

The first stage is to identify the Departments that more properly should be located in places other than Washington, DC. The best Candidates would be:

  • The Department of the Interior
    • Locate it in a relatively empty part of the Midwest, using federal properties that are no longer used. A good assumption is that those properties will need to be updated/rehabbed before they are ready to move in, so, in the interim, rent space in commercial buildings. DO NOT sign a long-term lease – 1-3 years max.
    • Move the Upper management first, with a SMALL staff.
    • Do NOT allow telecommuting – they have to physically move to the new location, or find another job.
    • After those people move in, transfer functions – phone support, report generation, customer service, paperwork, etc. If people don’t want to move, shake their hand, sign the departure paperwork, and replace them with local people.
    • The goal is to move as much of the activities of the Dept. as possible in the shortest time possible. Work to make this a one-way move – make it as difficult as possible for that Dept. to return to DC.
  • The Department of Education – perhaps in Iowa, the home of the famous assessment tests?
  • The Department of Labor – one of the Steeltowns – Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit?
  • Treasury – use one of the Mint cities.
  • Agriculture – pick a farm state.
  • The Services – Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.
    • Pick a city where they have an academy/base – move them there. Limit just how many people can be in Washington at a single time. The rest have to locate in another part of the country.
    • If they retire from the military, they may NOT receive their pension if they accept a job within 150 miles of DC.
  • HUD
    • Put this in one of the cities that has properties that they are administering. They can set up offices in one of the emptier buildings.
  • Transportation
    • Atlanta, or other transportation hub – NOT DC.
  • Energy
    • Someplace they dig energy out of the ground.
  • VA
    • Set up offices in the hospitals, satellite-style. Parcel out the essential functions to different ones.

The others get to stay, for now. But, they get reduced in size.

The most essential things to remember:

  • The goal is to reduce the size of the department. Some of this will be attrition – people will not move out of DC. Some of this will involve outsourcing of services – such as paycheck processing, HR, retirement benefits. These are all services that private industry does, cheaper and better than government.
  • Sell the buildings that house those agencies ASAP – take away their ability to just come back, under other administrations.
  • Get rid of functions. There is absolutely NO reason to have a GPO (Government Printing Office). The files can be sent electronically to where they are needed, and printed out locally. This both enriches the local economy, and eliminates a whole bunch of government employees. Save waste on storage of documents, too.
  • Engineers should be brought in to analyze the parts of government – don’t drag this out, just make a quick assessment. They should prioritize the changes, set them in motion, and Get ‘Er Done.

The longer Trump waits, the harder it becomes. Fund the change by ordering a 10% REDUCTION in the previous year’s budget – for EVERY department. Use that money to get the change made.

The Role of a Wife

Rush Limbaugh referenced Melania Trump’s comment about a White House staffer, who subsequently was removed from her post.

It’s the basic idea that a man has to take a subservient role in domestic disputes – “Yes, Honey – I was wrong”. That’s a common belief among men, and one that is encouraged by women who want The Final Word at home.

I’ve been married nearly 45 years (this January 12 is that anniversary). I won’t claim that we haven’t had some difficult times – we moved, for example 17 times in the first 15 years. We had 3 kids in 4 years.

We’ve endured the deaths of ALL of our parents, and each of us has lost a brother before their time.

We don’t always agree – for the last 10 years, I’ve voted differently than my husband, supporting candidates that he despised.

We’ve had “discussions” about housework, bills, and laundry.

In short, just like everyone else.

What we HAVEN’T had is me “pulling rank”, and insisting that the discussion better end in me winning. I do NOT enforce the “Happy Wife, Happy Life” philosophy.

Are there times when one person in the marriage should have more weight in some decisions? Sure – if the women has greater responsibility for household tasks, her method of doing them should be followed.

If one has a greater financial responsibility for paying the bills (must donate a larger share to the communal pot), then that person’s decision on whether a purchase should be made, and upper limits on that purchase, should be final.

This just makes sense. But, no person should act with disregard for the other’s opinion. Proper respect should be shown for that input, even if it doesn’t sway the final decision.

Melania had endured friction with the offending staffer before – this was not a tantrum, nor a sudden decision. She’s not generally a difficult woman, nor a complainer. The person had over-ridden her desire to bring along a few of her staffers on a trip, and was rather rudely refused, and that staffer’s people took the trip instead.

That she felt strongly enough to bring the dispute to Donald’s attention, led him to act. That shows a lot of respect for her judgement, as well as sensitivity to her concerns. That’s NOT buckling down to the Wifey’s demands.

Hopefully, other staffers will get the point – don’t unnecessarily piss off the boss’s wife. Show respect, and don’t make unreasonable demands on her.

She may be generally quiet, but she carries a lot of clout. Trump did NOT cave into his wife’s demands, but rather, once the problem was brought to his attention, acted in support of her decision.

Wait Until the Dem Throwdown Starts

Rush was talking about this today (I actually have NEVER heard his show – I generally read the transcript. As a hearing-impaired person, it’s just easier than straining to listen).

Apparently, he’s been talking to Lindsey Graham, and the Graham-Man says that he’s looking for the Dem solidarity to fracture – that’s the word, fracture.

I can’t wait. I just have this gut feeling that Occasionally-Cortex is gonna get impatient, and go mano-a-mano with The Queen, in public.

I swear, I’d buy tickets for that fight. Can’t you just see it, the Wild-Eyed Hottie and Skeletor getting in each other’s face?

Nancy: “Hey, Kid, why are you taking off those big hoop earrings? Oh, shi–!”

Not only is Nancy gonna get dusted, so are a LOT of Old Not-So Activists – Ayers, Dohrn, Clinton, et al. They’re gonna get chewed up by the impatient New Guard.

Hell, they might even try to take on Old Georgie S! Wa-Hoo! as we say in Cleveland!

The FL Election Fraud Seen as Prep for 2020

This concept does make a lot of sense. Years ago, I remember reading The Ugly American, which laid out the way that Leftists of that time built the framework for “grassroots activism”. They did so by posing as amateurs. They would use a few well-placed allies, get them to guide a crowd into a relatively small space, and get them working in unison. They did this through chanting, coordinated movements, and gradually getting the crowd to begin working as a unit.

They actively tried to get the government to act. If they could, it was a unifying force.

FL is this. The testing ground for future action, the place they are working out the processes for the next assault on our system of government.

On The Slopes of Mount Parnassus

Source: Wikimedia

At the beginning of the 5th century B.C., Xerxes crossed the Hellespont with an army gathered from every subject territory of the Achaemenid Imperium. Per Herodotus, this army may have numbered as many as 2M soldiers, with a logistical train of 5M. 600 warships and 400 supply barges supported the colossal host and shadowed its march down the Greek peninsula.

The Athenians knew they were a primary target and quickly dispatched a high level delegation to Delphi to consult with the Oracle. The supplicants performed the obligatory rituals and approached the temple with laurel branches sacred to Apollo in hand, along with a sacrificial goat and a monetary offering.

Within the temple awaited the Pythia, a purple veil covering her face as she sat on a tripod placed over the sacred vapors emanating from cracks in the floor. When asked by the supplicants what the Gods counseled concerning the Persian invasion, the Pythia removed her veil and spoke thus:

Now your statues are standing and pouring sweat. They shiver with dread. The black blood drips from the highest rooftops. They have seen the necessity of evil. Get out, get out of my sanctum and drown your spirits in woe.

Seeing the doom of their city in the words of the augury, the Athenian delegation resolved to approach the Oracle again. Asking her what the Gods could suggest that they do to save themselves and their city, the Pythia delivered a second divination:

Await not in quiet the coming of the horses, the marching feet, the armed host upon the land. Slip away. Turn your back. You will meet in battle anyway. O holy Salamis, you will be the death of many a woman’s son between the seed time and the harvest of the grain.

Themistocles of Athens, a skilled orator and exemplary strategist, deduced the meaning of the prophecy and convinced the Athenians of his interpretation. From this followed the evacuation of the Athenian populace to the nearby island of Salamis where, after witnessing the army of Xerxes burning their city to ashes, a combined Greek fleet led by the Athenian navy lured the Persian armada into an ambush near a cape of Salamis and annihilated them as the ShahanShah of the Persians watched from his throne atop a mainland bluff.

The prestige of the Delphic Oracle was at its peak in those days. But now the once sacred site lies in ruins, its purifying springs having ceased to flow, the thermal mists no longer rising from the floor of Apollo’s desolate sanctum. Yet the disorder, menace and tribulations of today rekindle memories of ancient crises and the ways in which our forebears confronted them.

People with advantages … come readily to define themselves as inherently worthy of what they possess; they come to believe themselves ‘naturally’ elite, and, in fact, to imagine their possessions and their privileges as natural extensions of their own elite selves. – C. Wright Mills

We know the nature of the crisis. The federal government taking a dominant role in the nation’s political affairs to win the Civil War but not relinquishing that authority upon the war’s conclusion has led step by step to a challenge of the fundamental makeup of our civilization – centralized control by our ‘wise elders’ driven thru collectivist group conformity/identity versus the freedom of the individual, constitutionally mandated decentralization of political power and respect for natural rights. Our civilization is on the verge of a breakdown, as birth rates further deteriorate, the internal proletariat increasingly loses faith in society’s institutions, and the current cultural leadership in political, economic and social spheres attempts to establish itself as a dominant minority, exercising power as a self-awarded moral and intellectual privilege while tearing down what is left of the current cultural infrastructure in order to replace it with people and frameworks that solidify and expand their preeminence.

Nassim Taleb believes the root of the problem is that our world is run by self-proclaimed ‘experts’ who are in fact not anything of the sort, since their ideas, efforts, programs, policies and principles are based in elegant theory, not reality; furthermore, the damaging consequences of their errors do not rebound on them, but on the rest of us, as these ‘experts’ have no skin in the game and thus suffer no consequences for their failures. Thus, they never learn from their mistakes and, contrary to the natural (Darwinian) ramifications of being found lacking in ability and merit, remain to benefit from their privilege and position, free to continue pontificating from their ivory towers on the intrinsically just precepts of Plato’s Republic while looking down their noses at the ‘ignorant proles’ who are too ‘common’ in their worldview and limited in their education and perceptive faculties to fully understand.

With all of this in mind: how did the Left manage to have a decently successful midterm?

Let’s be clear about one thing: the Left did not achieve its gains thru promoting a detailed platform with an appealing view of the future. MONEY BOUGHT THE LAST ELECTION CYCLE. Every victorious candidate on the Left – and quite a few of the ones who failed, including a far left progressive in Texas who had a $72M budget to contest a senate seat – had ‘anonymous’ donors who provided anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 of their budget. The DNC had almost nothing to give; for the last two years, their coffers have been empty and they have been effectively bankrupt.

We also know where that money came from – Soros, Steyer, Bloomberg and a handful of others who see an opportunity for colossal profit in the collapse of America by grabbing a tremendous number of assets at fire sale prices. Unlike the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. of the James Bond films, this loose fraternity operates in the open, leaving their enclaves in Silicon Valley and the old money archipelago of mansions in upper New York State to rub elbows with like-minded confederates at Davos.

Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers. – Camille Paglia

The money provided to turn the House to a small Democrat majority and flip 7 governorships incurred an obligation. We can already see the form its payment will take. The MSM, already disgusting before, is plumbing new depths of mendacity and vileness in its role as the Minitrue of the Progressive/Neo-Maoist left. House democrats have declared their intent to launch 85 ‘investigations’ against the president and his associates to contrive scandals and controversies with which to feed the MSM megaphone, like a round-the-clock “Two Minute Hate.” And the early indications regarding legislative priorities of a Democratic House are clearly intended to harm and inflame the President’s voting base.

The goal, of course, is chaos in the polity, economic disruption, tribalism and the “death by a thousands cuts” of the Rule of Law. It doesn’t go quite the full distance that would instigate a Civil War, but is more in the nature of a “Cultural Revolution.” Blood has already been spilled – the Republican House baseball practice that was shot up in 2017, the Antifa associate who sent out mail bombs last year that killed two and maimed four, the other Antifa acolyte who gunned down 26 people (including a 9 month old baby) in a church in a SE San Antonio suburb, as well as people who have been assaulted and injured (some permanently) at Antifa riots in Berkeley, Portland and elsewhere. But a Cultural Revolution targets only those who lead the polity and are in positions of authority, along with any of their followers in the internal proletariat who have the nerve to resist. The goal is to capture the polity intact but bereft of leadership, so that it can be herded and then shaped to Revolutionary ends.

This leads to an important question: how many acolytes are there in this Cultural Revolution? Not just the fanatical Red Guard, but others who believe in most or all of the same vision but aren’t quite as ‘enthusiastic’ in the efforts to implement it?

The view of the Establishment as promulgated by the MSM is that a new Mason Dixon line exists in America, with the boundary running between Urban & Suburban America and Rural regions. But logic suggests that this cannot possibly be the case. After all, over 81% of Americans live in urban & suburban areas; thus, the House of Representatives should not be anywhere close to an even split.

Consulting polls to gauge the political divide is a mostly fruitless endeavor. Polls can be quite slanted. Methodologies can be questionable. They can disagree quite dramatically. They can also be horribly wrong. And voters can also be very fickle. Perhaps the ancient Greeks understood human psychology far better than we do, as the divinities of the Hellenic pantheon that served as stand-ins for various aspects of Hellenic culture were often temperamental, vain, irrational, wanton, undependable, callous, sadistic, erratic and foolish – a rather accurate reflection of Ancient Greek society that has more than a little in common with our own. In the end, we can only characterize the American polity in broad generalities – rural areas are usually some shade of red, urban areas are frequently a lighter or darker shade of blue, and the suburbs are typically a battleground. Taken as a whole, Americans seem to be about 1/3 to the right and 1/3 to the left, with the rest waffling.

Trump forcefully appealed to them all, quite energetically and directly. That’s how states previously considered blue bastions turned to him in 2016 and how so many Republican congressmen emerged victorious in suburban districts. It was a highly inclusive message, intended to cross boundaries of race, creed, color, class and gender, and was recognized by many voters as a sincere appeal.

The Left, driven by their deep-pocketed corporate donors, has responded not by seeking to win back the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans, but by waging political, informational, legal and cultural war against political opponents and their supporters in an effort to energize their own base and demoralize that of their rivals. Theirs is not an attempt to revive their fortune thru the traditional democratic process, but to destroy the opposition and grasp absolute power.

If they are successful, what will follow, however, will not be the collectivist, redistributionist, egalitarian paradise of the left’s ideologues. They will become mortal enemies of the State just as much as the Right, as wealthy donors unite in common cause with the political and social elite to impose their oligarchic/plutocratic rule.

Like the Persian host of old, the forces arrayed against us are daunting and could easily provoke despair in even stout hearts. If we were to follow the example of the Athenians and made the journey to Mount Parnassus today in order to seek the counsel of the Pythia, what would she say to us?

There is a history in all men’s lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceas’d,
The which observed, a man may prophesy
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
And weak beginnings lie intreasured. – William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II

I believe the Pythia would recognize that we have a Grey/’Orange’ Champion already – a man from an earlier time, one who is defiant, resolute, unbending and more than a little ruthless. He does not wither, yield or merely defend, but attacks and counterattacks, always regaining the initiative with redoubled ferocity to keep his enemies reeling and unbalanced.

The seeds of our destiny may already be sown, and the Delphic Oracle was esteemed for divining the crop such a planting would likely yield. My guess is that the Pythia would say something along the following lines:

Honor your ancestors, who once toiled and sacrificed for your future; be steadfast and confident, for a mighty pilot has grasped the helm of your ship. Your allies are more than you know, and the helmsman shall steer your course true. You shall have revenge upon those who have usurped your house, like Odysseus of old.

Where Does The Money Come From?

A perennial problem for the Republican party is the fact that it is almost always out-funded by the Democrats. In recent years, it hasn’t even been close. Where does all this money come from? Folks have documented Leftist agitators getting paid, bussed in, provided with professionally-created signage and messaging. Where does that money come from?

Go on Instagram, and you will see a number of quasi-whores flashing their wares in expensive mansions in exotic locations, with some token Leftist message hashtagged below. Save the whales, maybe. Or they’ll talk about the right to flush your baby down the toilet (or sell its parts for a Lamborghini). How do they afford these exotic trips and stays at million dollar plus mansions? I saw one who said that her job was working at a dog rescue. But every other pic was a vacation photo to some new destination.

Chelsea Clinton has a wedding around the time a whole lot of funding for Haiti disappears. Where did it go? Who bought Chelsea’s surely-expensive designer dress? Where did the money come from?

Tom Kratman posted on ZuckerBook about UNICEF’s party “sizzle”, where they provided a video of their high-dollar festivities. Where did the money come from? If you’re running a fund for what is, ostensibly, a children’s charity, surely the money could be put to better use? How much of the money they receive really goes to the children? The next time we hear of another child sex ring involving the UN, maybe we can infer they really mean something else when they say “children’s fund.”

Think I’m exaggerating about this ‘Louis Vuitton’ and UNICEF shit? Think again. Because nothing says “children first” like blowing $10,000 on an outfit you’re going to wear once.

I’ve mentioned it many times before, because it really was an eye-opening moment for me. A series of Socialists, with Democratic-Socialist imagery in their profiles, descended upon my Twitter to make fun of the fact that I drove a Mustang, and not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini (did they sell babies to get theirs, I wonder?). Find an Instagram whore with a Gucci outfit or a Louis Vuitton handbag, and you’ll find a raging Leftist 9 times out of 10. Who is buying them all this shit? Because I can’t even figure out what it is these people get paid to do. We know how Trump made his money. How did the body positive Instagram girl get her vacation to some fancy hyper-exclusive resort in Cancun?

Most Rightists I know don’t care much for brands or fancy designer clothing – that’s all Leftists, in their dick-measuring contests. Or, excuse me, vagina-measuring contests, since everything from hats to Leftist political slogans are based on female genitals.

Ocasio-Cortez made sure to wear a $3,500 outfit when she took her campaign photos, but then tells us that she can’t afford an apartment in DC. When confronted about her fancy clothing, she explained that a fashion magazine gave them to her. Why does a fashion magazine hand out clothes to politicians, I wonder? And what tranzi bureaucrat or bankroll man forgot to stroke the ‘I need a fancy apartment in DC’ check to Ocasio-Cortez? Come to think of it, does Ocasio-Cortez have an Instagram account? That would explain a lot.

When Zoe Quinn wrote a crappy Word document about depression – which, presumably, everyone who has ever interacted with her has been afflicted with – and called herself a game developer, anointing herself with the Sacred Victim’s mantle (because, you know, everyone who doesn’t want to play a “game” involving a couple of shitty questions about depression is an oppressor), she somehow wound up in front of the UN, testifying on how evil gamers were. Who paid for all that shit?

I mean, I can write a crappy game right now and people will tell me it sucks. Where is my first-class ticket to a UN lovefest? Did Zoe get to stay in a nice mansion with proper modern architectural details and one of those zero-edge pools that’s all the rage these days? Did she get her obligatory Louis Vuitton bag?

Socialists are bizarre creatures. They complain about the rich incessantly. And yet they are gross materialists, sending out the good news to the oppressed working class folks from their iPhone X phones. Excuse me. iPhone XS Max. Who would have a mere iPhone X, these days? So passe. Does it come with a Gucci case?

Apple. Think Leftist.

But remember, folks, their student loans are a terrible crime. Why, someone wants them to pay for those lectures about cisheteropatriarchal oppression of poor transethnic genderqueer mentally disabled people?

Well, yeah. I guess I would be mad if I had to pay for that too. But still.

Still, where does all the money come from? Instagram whore vacations, UN shindigs, fetus-powered Lamborghinis, an army of buses for every Leftist protest about “orange man bad’ and some Yankee tart screaming about the wonders of Socialism in her $3,500 suit right next to a bar that is shutting its doors because of wage controls… who pays for all this crap?

Perhaps more importantly… what does whoever is writing these checks expect to get as a return on this questionable investment? Or is it enough for them to say “I’m better than you plebeian scum.” How positively Socialist of them, right?

Eternal Crusade Snippet

I want to try my hand at writing a novel I’ve had outlined for years. I don’t know that I am ready for it yet, but I wanted to share a snippet to see if it’s something that piques the interest of my readers. The following is the first scene of the novel.

On the night before the scheduled altercast to Madis, while most of his crew was out boozing and throwing money at strippers, an ancient priest came to visit Captain Kyle Rivera at his spartan apartment in Killeen’s outer sector.

As Kyle opened the door, the oppressive heat and lip-cracking dryness nearly overwhelmed him, and he motioned the old priest inside quickly. Even in Killeen’s spring season, the climate was near to intolerable. It would be a relief, he thought, to escape back into space for a few months.

Kyle sized up the priest. He was about the same height as Kyle’s own five foot eleven, though much thinner, without the burgeoning beer gut, and with hair so gray it was almost white. His eyes were green, generally a sign of Nova Roman ancestry, and were quite exotic compared to Kyle’s own far more common brown. Nova Romans rarely traveled to the fringe worlds unless they had no other choice in the matter.

“You said it was urgent in your comm, father.” Kyle slid a few empty beer bottles off the rarely used guest chair. “I apologize for the accommodations. I’m not exactly a man of higher means, you know?” Even on backwater Killeen, the only city worth the title on the planet of the same name, the sanctity of the collar was respected, even by a man who hadn’t seen the inside of a confessional in well over a decade. Kyle was quite genuinely embarrassed, but there had been no time to prepare for the priest’s arrival.

The priest shrugged, though there was a little hesitation as he sat in the proffered chair. “I won’t be long. You are the captain of the Santiago.” It wasn’t really a question.

Kyle nodded. “Yeah. But, I don’t see why the Church is interested in a standard gate build out on the galactic fringe worlds. Especially since it’s a corporate job. We do it all the time…”

The priest’s eyes narrowed slightly. “It’s not what you’re doing, it’s where. Are you familiar with the extra-galactic origin theory?”

“Vaguely. Being honest, father… I don’t pay much attention to that shit – pardon me. Somebody calls me, offers my outfit an altercasting job to build a gate in some dump, and if the money is good, I go. Not a whole lot of theorizing and such.” Kyle cracked open a beer and offered one to the priest, who politely declined.

Do priests even drink? Kyle wondered briefly, taking a sip. Their loss if they don’t.

“Humans aren’t native to this sector,” the priest gestured to the only window in the shoddy apartment. The lights of Killeen’s pitiful skyline dominated an otherwise dark, featureless desert void. “Nor are they native to Nova Roma – the very name suggests as much. Most think we arrived from elsewhere in our galaxy, and though the Church takes no official position on the subject, that is the position we… encourage.”

“I take it you’re not a believer,” Kyle said, his curiosity piqued despite himself.

“The Church’s records on the subject are extremely fragmentary,” the old man continued. “Forensic data archaeologists haven’t been able to piece together much from before the third century post-landing, and even that is quite scattered and messy. But, and this is why I’m here tonight, one of the oldest records we’ve been able to reconstruct mentions Madis, specifically. The coordinates, adjusted for a spatial drift, are a perfect match.”

“So?” Kyle mused, taking another pull from his beer. He frowned as, somehow, the beer was already half-gone. “The Church knew where it was for a long time. We know where a lot of empty planets are. I don’t get the significance.” Gate-building business had been slowing a little in recent years, Kyle reflected, but there were still plenty of known, unsettled worlds without gates. The trouble was justifying the enormous expense to build a gate, not any lack of known worlds to explore.

“Those of us who believe in the extra-galactic origin theory think it might be the first world visited by our ancestors, or at least the closest one we know of.” The priest pulled a tablet out of his bag and pointed to a flashing red indicator in Church Latin. “The ancestors also warned us not to return there in very emphatic terms.”

Kyle almost spit out his beer. “Look, and this is with all due respect, but if you’re here, telling me this shit, I’m guessing you took this to WorldCorp and they told you to go to… er… well, they said they’re doing it anyway. Right?”

A flash of annoyance crossed the priest’s features, and Kyle knew he had struck gold.

“If you’re trying to tell me to say no to two million credits then I’m going to have to decline your not-so-generous offer. And it won’t do you any good anyway, WorldCorp will just give the job to another crew. They want those mining rights pretty damned bad, father.”

“Two million, you said,” the priest asked, reaching into his bag again. He produced an e-paper certificate with the blockchain code flashing on the upper right. “I have a bond here drawn on the Church’s estates for five-hundred thousand credits. It’s yours if you call WorldCorp and cancel the contract right now.” Estate certificates drawn on the Church were better than gold in most places.

The mostly-empty beer bottle clattered to the floor. Five-hundred thousand credits, for doing nothing at all? Kyle was floored. Whatever he expected from the priest, it certainly wasn’t this.

“I… don’t understand. I mean, even if I said no, another altercasting crew will surely take the contract and then…”

“You’re the last one, Captain Rivera. WorldCorp will find there are no other crews willing to take the job.”

“You bought them all?” Kyle tried not to think of the enormous expense that represented. WorldCorp must really want the mining rights to that system, because surely the Church would have tried to bribe them directly before going to every altercasting crew in the Churchlands. Sure, it’s specialty work, but there are least a dozen other crews and… Well never mind that. Do I want five-hundred thousand credits for free, without months of my life getting flushed down the shitter? We can take another job, maybe that gig in Ravenna, and pocket the money as a bonus. Of course, if the Church is this desperate…

“One million.” Kyle demanded, trying not to betray his own anxiety.

“If you call WorldCorp right now, and cancel the contract with me as a witness, the Church will agree to one million.” He reached into his bag and produced a second certificate.

“Jesus… you’re serious. Okay, no problem…”

Mercifully, the priest declined to call him out on his casual blasphemy. Kyle stood and faced the wall comm, pinging the local WorldCorp headquarters. It was exceedingly late on board the orbital habitat, but if he knew his man…

Sure enough, Paul’s groggy, stubble-covered face filled the screen. His eyes were slanted in a fashion common in the Eastlands. The systems in the galactic east had been settled by a slightly different genetic mix than the galactic west. “Captain Kyle. This is unexpected. And… fuck. Not again.” He caught sight of the priest. “Whatever this man is telling you is bullshit.”

Kyle nodded his firm agreement. “Yes sir, it’s probably horseshit and then some. But his money is good. And I can exercise my opt-out clause.”

“You don’t want to do that. You do that, and you’ll never get a job from us again.” Paul frowned.

“Now who is full of shit? If every other altercasting crew in the Churchlands is out, then that means we were last on your list anyway. And you told me you called me first. Shame on you for lying.” He chuckled. Kyle had never believed that little lie. After that job on Cordova III, the whole crew had been on the WorldCorp shit list. Come to think of it, Kyle wondered, it was really suspicious that they’d even bother with us after all that. Maybe theres something to this priest’s claims.

“What’s he offering you?” Paul sidestepped the question entirely.

“One million. And that’s for doing nothing at all. And me? I like doing nothing. Been wanting to do nothing for years, in fact. I got a whole lot of plans for doing nothing.”

“We’ll do four.” Paul said simply.

Well, he doesn’t waste time. Kyle smiled, this was going very well for him indeed. His crew would be elated, he could finally offer full-bonus for the first time in almost ten standard years. With that kind of money, he could retire if he really wanted to do it. But there was almost certainly more room on the table.

“Six million or I walk.”

“Don’t do this.” The priest’s strained voice came from behind him.

“Unless you can beat his offer, I’m definitely doing this.” The priest’s silence confirmed that he either could not, or would not.

On the viewer, Paul stroked his chin nervously. There was a dangerous look in his eyes. “Fine. Six million. I’ll have the papers drawn up in the morning. Don’t be late, this does not alter our timetable, understand?”

Kyle nodded, and Paul cut the transmission. He turned to the priest, wondering what he could even say. It was awkward enough having a man of the cloth in his apartment, and now…

“I’m sorry, father but… I’m a businessman. Still, I wouldn’t have been able to do that without your assistance. So, you want a cut, maybe? Maybe I could donate half a mill to the Church or something. Call it a tithe.”

The priest angrily collected his things and headed for the door. Just before he slammed it, the priest cursed loudly in an unpriestlike manner. “Fucking idiot redneck.”

For a moment, Kyle was consumed with the thought that he had just made a terrifying mistake. But six million credits was six million credits, right?

It was only then that he realized the priest had never even offered his name.

Challenging DiFi’s Call for National Anti-Gun Laws

Bearing Arms makes some very good points today on Yet More Calls For Gun Control (YMCFGC). What I especially like is that he is not nasty to the CA politician, even pointing out why she feels so strongly, and showing some compassion for her history.

I don’t like Feinstein, but I have always understood, at least partially, where her gun control desires came from. Having found two dead bodies after a political assassination is likely to mess with someone a bit. I get that and I’ve given her just a bit more slack than I would most.

Then, he goes on to release the Whoop-A$$.

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