Virginia Madsen's age is showing, but she's still plenty hawt. I'm hoping the tattoo on her left shoulder was makeup and not real.
The show did an excellent job of setting up the characters and the story, but it looks like the story really begins in earnest in the next episode.
* * *
I cut the grass this evening. I had to fix the push mower; the belt for the self-propulsion had been thrown and got wedged between the crankcase and its crank pulley. Argh etc.
The right rear tire on the tractor has a leak, and it goes flat in a week or less. This time, I dumped 8 oz of Slime tire sealant--bought when I bought the flex pipe for the Escort--into the thing, inflated it to pressure, and then mowed the grass. We'll see how well this stuff works.
Then while the TV show was on, I finally got around to fixing my 8" box fan. The motor wouldn't turn; and as it turned out it had basically clogged up with dust and lint. I cleaned the bearings and switched their placement, so the one on the blade side of the motor was on the back side, and vice versa. Clean, lube with teflon lube, and reassemble: it works perfectly again. (No idea how long it'll work--every time I've done this with a fan it's only worked for a while before dying completely--but it does work correctly for the time being.)
Once my first load of laundry is dry and I have some clean clothes, into the shower with me.
* * *
Last night I couldn't stop thinking about the "Doom and Gloom" post, and I ended up having to take a Xanax to get to sleep. *sigh*
The notion that everything is about to go to shit was prevalent in the late 1970s. Everyone was convinced that war and famine and an ice age and worse disasters were coming soon...only then suddenly everything got better.
Can we hope for that this time? In 1980 we elected a strong, charismatic leader who knew what he was doing; how much did that help? With the next Presidential election still two years and some months away--and with no obvious replacement in sight--what will we do?
If we don't elect another Ronald Reagan in 2012, will that mean a disaster? Who could possibly fill that role? I love Sarah Palin to pieces but I don't think she's that good. She'd be better than a country club Republican and orders of magnitude better than another term of Barry Soetoro/Obama. But I don't think she's another Reagan. And the Republican leadership doesn't like her, because she's not a country club Republican like they are. This will make it that much harder for her to secure the nomination, even assuming she runs in the first place.
There is still some vain hope that Obama will wise the hell up and start doing things which make sense; but it is very unlikely that he will have any such epiphany: "Holy shit, the country's going down the tubes. I have to fix this, not make it worse!" The country going down the tubes works in his favor; the worse things get, the more government can seize control of. This is what he wants, and it shows in every new program, initiative, or policy that comes out of his administration. Even if he does care about what is happening to the average people of the US, he is more interested in expanding the role of government.
So Obama's not going to do anything to fix it. Congress? Congress is held by the Democrat Regime, and they are similarly uninterested in the human costs of their policies. They also care more about their own power than what their ideas are doing to the country, and they'll ride it all the way down to the bottom so long as they don't have to give up any power.
I don't see the Republican party doing anything about it, either. For the past ten years the GOP has been the party of "Democrat Lite" and hasn't done squat to try to balance the budget or to let people keep more of their money. The Bush tax cuts which the Democrats pissed and moaned about barely made a dent in the hideously high taxation the federal government has piled on us, and the Republicans treated the whole episode like it was something they weren't all that interested in: "We're going to cut taxes because our candidate promised it, but it's just not that easy to manage when the press is calling us such bad names over the issue."
No spine. The GOP has no spine, and I fail to see how it can magically grow one in the next six months. Particularly when they've historically been so worried about what the press thinks of them that they couldn't stand up for traditional Republican policies. What's the point of having two parties if one of them is so afraid of the press (which will never like them anyway) that they can't be different from the party the press loves?
* * *
There is only one thing which leads me to think it won't all end in disaster: that is the fact that big stuff is rare.
The really big bad events (and the really big good events) don't happen a lot. They only happen once in a while; and the worse they are, the less often they happen.
It looks like "luck" but it's not; it's just the law of averages. Something that effects a town is more likely than something which effects a nation.
Balancing this? The fact that "really big bad event" has not hit the US for quite some time. 9/11 was bad but not really big. NYC being nuked by terrorists would be "really big". An EMP burst over the eastern seaboard would be "really big". A shooting war on US soil would be "really big" (whatever the reason--revolution, invasion, what have you). The last "big bad" thing for the United States, really, was World War II...and the continental US was never in any serious danger of invasion or bombing. To get to "really big bad" you've got to go all the way back to the Civil War.
The United States has not faced severe civil and economic disruption for a very long time. This is a feature of a rich and industrialized society: people have too much to lose if they revolt. If the money goes away, though--if the freight stops moving--people will suddenly find themselves with nothing to lose...and if that happens, it's going to be really bad and really big.
So I've been depressed lately, and I can't see anything to stop the shitstorm that's coming down the pike. Certainly the federal government shows no sign of even anticipating such an event, not when they're spending money like water and running the printing presses at emergency maximum. The policies of the Democrat Regime seem designed to hasten the crash rather than forestall it.
That's not entirely correct. One faction of the regime is doing its best to forestall the coming crash, by playing with the numbers and trying to make things look better than they actually are. But the other faction is cranking up the presses and spending money the government doesn't have, and at a higher rate than any time in history.
Meanwhile no one expects the regime to hold onto a majority after this autumn's elections. If the crash can be staved off until 2011, then it can be blamed on a Republican majority. You see? It works in Democrats' favor for the economy to crash after they lose control of Congress. They'll get it back two years later if it does, and they don't care what happens to the hoi polloi in the meantime. The crash would render the Republican majority so unpopular that it couldn't get anything done.
And in 2013, with ObamaCare winding up, the new Democrat Regime can tighten its control over health care, and move forward with seizing control of whatever else suits their fancy.
* * *
Okay! So we're all screwed, and there's nothing we can do about it. What next?
Let's talk about cars instead.