2022

First off: always listen to this on New Years Day.

That done: what the heck is it doing being 2022? One of my granddaughters turns 10 later this month…I do remember my 10th birthday very vividly. That was 1974. I was fascinated by the whole thing of being 10 years old. And I remember figuring things out – that I’d be 20 in 1984. That I would turn 36 in 2000. 2022? How the heck did that happen?

Now I get to figure out things like if I live as long as my Dad my expiration date comes in 2047. Of course, make it as long as Grandpa then I’ll be around 2052. As long as my Grand-aunt Alice, 2063. But, slice it any way you like, there’s more time behind than in front. This doesn’t disturb me. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. 57 years is already a long time: we’re just tacking on at this point. Will have to point out to the granddaughter that if she shakes my hand then she’s one handshake away from 1896, when my grandfather was born – that might be an interesting point for her to make with her grandchildren 40 or 50 years from now.

The country is a complete mess – the only thing that keeps China from attacking is the remaining uncertainty of whether or not we’d use nuclear weapons if our backs go to the wall. As of this moment, I doubt we could raise a military force sufficient to win against any 1st or 2nd rate power. We’re too divided and our military leadership is perfectly useless. I don’t know what they teach at the service academies these days, but it certainly isn’t whatever is needed to win a war. And any war fighting capacity which is imparted is shoved out by the time they rise to the top where the only concerns are pleasing their political masters and feathering their retirement nest. And the core military power of our nation – the lower and middle class people outside the deep blue areas: do they want to fight for America as it is right now? Do you want one of your family members to fight under these generals and admirals, with China Joe as CinC? It always astonished me how various parts of France, left and right, didn’t want to stand up and fight against Hitler – but these days I perhaps understand a little better. They should, of course, have fought: but at the time, it seemed to many of them that fighting for France merely perpetuated a corrupt and useless Ruling Class.

Earlier today I paid about $180.00 for $100.00 in groceries: I don’t know exactly what they use to judge inflation but I suspect that the numbers, like all government numbers these days, aren’t giving us the rock solid truth. It wouldn’t be in Team Pudding Brain’s interest to show inflation as high as I figure it must be…prices are getting out of control. Bad news: there are indications that we’ve only seen the start of the inflationary surge. Remember, these things take a little while to work into the system. From what I’ve read, for instance, the price of fertilizer is vastly higher…which means the farmers are going to have to charge more for, say, corn. That will make it more expensive to get your Doritos, but also more expensive for everything that uses corn…and its a lot of things. On and on it will go, pushing one thing after another. I hope inflation moderates: for me and for everyone, but I worry that it won’t, at least not any time soon. There is too much money out there right now and goods and services are getting harder and harder to procure.

Meanwhile, they’re moving what must be hundreds of thousands of illegals all over the country – sure, they are hoping that changing demographics will help them (but, will it? Polls show Latino voters aren’t keen on pronoun wars) but, still, what is the real point here? It could just be that they’re stupid…they just believe they can’t stop people from crossing and now they have to move them somewhere. They might do a vaccine mandate for air travel, but no vaccine mandate for crossing illegally. We’re in the Twilight Zone of a dead Ruling Class still holding the levers of power.

One thing I am fairly confident about is that they don’t know how hated they are. The Ruling Class, I mean. And not just by us: plenty of far left people despise them as well. Promises were made, after all. Stupid promises, in our view, but still promises – go Resist the Bad Orange Man and when he’s out you’ll get a cancellation of student debt and free college…and a host of other things as well. They aren’t delivering. Team Pudding Brain let a contract out for an $84 million facility to make Covid tests…which won’t start operating until 2024. Hunter is making bank selling his “art”. Nancy Pelosi just bought a retirement home in Florida…while in her San Francisco hard core liberals are starting to buy guns as police protection fails utterly (and not just because of “defund the police” – even the police they have are, apparently, turning a blind eye to crime. Why wouldn’t they? If they arrest someone and if it can be even willfully misconstrued as bad by the cops, their lives are ruined. Better to just drive by and pretend you didn’t see it). Everything is falling apart -but we see that they are doing well and are ignoring the Covid restrictions (AOC was caught in Miami this past week while her New York endured another round of Covid lockdowns).

What will come of this hatred remains to be seen – but we might get a very strong taste of it just 11 months from now. Polls are, as usual, nearly useless, but they are bad for Democrats. But for me, just looking at how things are, if I were Chair of the RNC I’d make sure I had GOP candidates even in D+10 districts. Literally anything is possible.

Meanwhile, I write – Kings and Queen will be out very shortly. That is Book V. But Heirs (Book VI) and Empress (Book VII) are 90% done. I’m about 1/3 done with The Crimson Blade (Book VIII) and I’ve already made a start on the still untitled Book IX. Meanwhile, still working on Aleste and the Icecrystal Dragons and putting ideas together for Survival (an end-of-the-world novel, which may turn out to have zombies in it) and Last Strand, the working title for a thriller about a Chinese plot against America. I write because I enjoy it. Because I believe the stories are good. And because when I’m in those worlds, I’m not watching the enslavement of the world and the destruction of the United States.

I hope you have your escape from today! If you don’t, get one – we’re in for a rocky ride. I think, with God’s grace, will come out the other side ok, but we are living in the Chinese curse of interesting times. Things are going to get stranger and perhaps far more dangerous – but with that faith in God, we’ll get through it all.