Susan’s Salon: 2021 January 10/11

Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early Monday (Sydney time which is still Sunday in most countries) . It’s fine to be sad, worried, very worried, angry or maybe even happy (or all of those things at once).

Please feel free to post what you like (either troubling news or pleasant distractions) in the comments for this open thread. [However, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments.] Links, videos, cat pictures 🐈 etc are fine! Whatever you like and be nice to one another 😇

68 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2021 January 10/11

  1. Yeah and the arrests continue to mount. I don’t doubt that every single person that was involved will be arrested on some charge before this is over as there’s a lot of seriously pissed off LEOs out there. And woe unto any active military that took part — they’re in really deep fucked trouble now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish I could have your faith that all the guilty will be punished, Cat. I am encouraged that *some* of the guilty will receive *some* punishment, but I’m still fairly convinced that most of the ringleaders will get off scot free and most of the rest will get wrist slaps.

      I am especially incensed this morning because I read that there is video of at least one Capitol Police guard **fist bumping** one of the insurrectionists as he opened the door for them. This is in the video taken by the WEST VIRGINIA STATE REP who was stupid enough to record himself as he invaded the Capitol. I already knew about the selfie-taking, but this is just beyond the pale.

      Sigh. At this point I half believe that if our society is sick enough to come up with this sort of idiocy, then we all deserve to fall.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am between you two. I hope some of them will be punished. All probably not.
        Donald hopfully for some of the shit he did.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Based purely on numbers and how the law normally works, I’d say it’s pretty unlikely that everyone who was inside the Capitol will be identified and punished. And many will be found guilty only of some relatively minor offence – like trespassing and vandalism – and not for participating in a coup.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. They are reporting now that a second officer who was present has died died, off-duty, a couple of days later. Some sources are reporting it was a suicide. I’m wondering if he was devastated by the Capitol being overrun and felt like he had failed — or if he was one of the ones in the videos who high-fived, saluted, chatted, or selfied with the insurgents and subsequently regretted it, knowing that his part in it would come out as the people in the videos get identified. I expect we’ll eventually find out.

        So many things about this terrorist act are very horrifying and very sad. I’m kind of despairing for the U.S. right now, that 74 million people are so unintelligent or gullible or self-serving or unhinged that they would still support Tr*mp after all of his criminal and un-presidential behavior. That a significant number of the members of the House and Senate are among them is especially horrifying.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. They’re bing unusually wide casting in their nets this time so I’m more optimistic than I’m usually are that most of them are facing serious charges. There’s a now soon to be retired USAF officer who’s trying to claim she was acting as a civilian when she attended the insurrection but under the UCMJ she’s very much an officer and committed an gross act of misconduct that will most likely get her stripped of her commission, lose her pension and likely serve some time..everyone is taking this very seriously.


  2. When our stray cat stays overnight downstairs she doesn’t like being alone. Early Saturday morning she woke me up to come down and pet her. Early Sunday (today, here), the dog woke me up because it was having squirtle diarrhea. I am very sleep deprived (once I really wake up, going back to sleep is HARD).


  3. I have started writing again, this is probably the first time, that I started writting some bigger story since I was a teenanger.
    I managed 8768 words in this first week, not much for some of you folks, but I am okay with it.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I am usually happy with less than 5000 a week; I would be thrilled with 8768. I heard the fairly prolific Elizabeth Bear say once that she averaged about 750 words a day, which is not much more than 5000 in a week.

      (I did successfully complete NaNoWriMo last year for the first time ever, but damn that was exhausting. Slow and steady seems to work much better for me.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I start teaching this week. Our university is mostly full online, but I have three “alt.hybrid” classes, which means we meet once a week. Covid is spiking here, so I await the results with interest.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was going to suggest short reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but if the publisher’s taken it down except for Audible, maybe not worth the trouble.

        The mayo line is brilliant.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve also been greatly enjoying Empire Must Fall, the blog of Bradford C. Walker:

    Here are some of the predictions and observatiobshe’s been making since the election:

    Nov 22: “the freak-outs will culiminate in their deliberate attempt at assassinating Trump and as much of his Cabinent (and their families) as they can get… This failed assassination attempt will be the opportunity Trump needs, being handed all of the optics required for Trump to successfully invoke the Insurrection Act and get all of the public support required to call out the militia–that’s us–to secure the country”

    Nov 29: “The state legislatures can give their Electoral College votes to Trump. He wins. If this is denied, them no one has 270 and it goes to the House of Represenatives. There it is One State, One Vote; Republicans have the majority of states, so Trump wins. SCOTUS has good reason to fuck Biden, so they’re going to ultimately rule for Trump… Expect an assassination attempt before New Year’s Eve.”

    Dec 2: “We are looking at the imminent imposition of Martial Law in the United States, from coast to coast.”

    Dec 6: “It’s not a question of ‘If’, but ‘When’ for martial law now- and that too is beyond the enemies of the God-Emperor to stop. Trump knows it; that’s why he had those 700 SpecOps personnel repatriated from Somalia.”

    Dec 20: “Expect to see regular active-duty military in the streets this January. Expect to see military tribunals. We’ll avoid a second civil war, but just barely, and Trump will remain as President.”

    Jan 7: “What we see here is Trump deliberately recreating The Passion of the Christ as a means of forcing the American nation to shake off the Wormtongue-induced glamour and mind control; seeing someone you identify with get savaged, betrayed, and denied is one step removed from experiencing it yourself, and that is by design. This is what I mean by ‘Rhetoric-by-performance’; it directly engages the subject emotionally, bypassing reason via symbolism.”

    Jan 8: “The video released purpoted to be Trump purported to be conceding is fake and gay.”

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The shared delusion that they were the plucky protagonists of a fantasy novel lead these people to act like orcs at Helm Deep.

        And they still don’t see that.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I vaguely remember Walker from the Scrappy era, but I haven’t checked out his blog in ages. I remember that he used to be very upset about people playing D&D wrong.

      But that’s almost Hoyt level cognitive dissonance there.


  6. No short fiction recommendation this week as I’ve switched to novels and “sold separately” novellas for this month. I’ve almost finished The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, and it’s a shoo-in for my Hugo ballot. Love this one even more than her last. I finished my re-read of Levithan Wakes by James S.A. Corey yesterday so I’ll be starting a re-read of Caliban’s War soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone on File 770 mentioned a Meredith Moment on The Once and Future Witches, and it was 99 cent (Eurocent that is) in Germany, too, so it is waiting on my kindle.


    2. It’s funny cuz I really didn’t like that one – partly because Harrow’s prose doesn’t rub me right (but I did really enjoy the Ten Thousand Doors) – I found her use of the black witches was poorly done (the racial issues are basically completely abandoned halfway) and it just felt like she was trying to work with too many themes than she could handle and instead just wound up with the same family witch plotline that is more and more common these days – it’s handled fine, but otherwise kind of not special, or at least it didn’t seem to me.

      (As a book about girls coming together as witches by contrast, I did love Hannah Abigail Clarke’s “The Scapegracers”)


      1. That’s a good one! Even without the supernatural elements, it rings so true that I loved it. Perfectly written. The ominous slow buildup is great. And I like the more-subtle horror — have never cared for the splattering gore horror.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. So this was a week. Besides all the doomscrolling distracting me from work on Wednesday, I tried to distract myself with fun explicit romance works – from Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, which I consumed with speed – reading Books 5-6 and novellas 1-3 all this week. I also finished two short audiobooks, Julia Ember’s Ruinsong and Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo.

    But I also struggled this week trying to read and eventually DNFing after reading 300 pages out of 600, of Emily Danforth’s “Plain Bad Heroines”. I dont DNF enough books – i tend to give books a while before I demand being interested, and if I’m vaguely interested my own curiosity often makes me keep reading even if I’m not really enjoying (and I can read really fast). But this one, which is meant to be a queer (F-F or F-F-F) multi generational horror novel, I just couldn’t. Like i’ve read more than a few novels where the main plot clearly doesn’t start happening for a while – and that’s definitely the case here, with the modern generation of characters, who are the main focus, not going to the site of the horror for over 300 pages. And I can usually deal with that fine.

    But well, here not only does the horror not begin for 300 pages, but the romantic attractions don’t either? And the one romantic pairing of the modern couple (a couple of past generation couples have fatal romances in the first 300 pages, but not the main plot) that does show up is not only super awkward, but features one of the main trio just being an absolute asshole to the third party – the modern day story is of a trio of a writer of the tragic history being filmed as part of the plot, a celebrity actress/influencer, and a failed child actress with an embarrassing mother, and while the writer and the celebrity hit it off, the writer treats the child actress like shit for the first 300 pages (well the first 150 pages she knows her) and is just an utter asshole about it. And reading other reviews of this book suggests that this will eventually be a poly love triangle, but there’s practically no hints of that to start and instead we just get utter awfulness from her that is not possibly justified.

    And like I picked up this book from the library because I saw it praised for the relationships, but I just well – why would you write a horror romance where one of your PROTAGONISTS is an asshole for the first half of the book without justification? I’ve had this problem with other books as well – I just don’t get why anyone wants to read a book featuring assholes (and I mean assholes, not simply being snarky or jerky) as the heroes – it just make me hate what I’m reading.

    Anyhow sorry I needed to rant about that somewhere. But I suppose reading 300 pages of something I wound up hating fit this week’s events?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had it on my library request list, but as we’re only allowed to reserve five items at a time and the waiting list for it is long, I removed it. There’s other stuff I want sooner.


  8. I just came across a good quote posted on Daily Kos:

    “Are you a communist?”
    “No I am an anti-fascist”
    “For a long time?”
    “Since I have understood fascism.”
    ~~Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I’m vaguely wondering what stunt Trump will try to pull to take the shine off the 20 Jan inauguration. I mean, he’s been reported as doing stuff to sabotage the Biden admin like transferring appointees to permanent positions so they cant be dismissed, etc, but that’s all relatively low key stuff. A lot of people won’t even be aware of it, and that won’t be good enough for an egomaniac and malignant narcissist. He’ll need something big and flashy.

    But since his insurrection attempt, he’ll be watched more closely by the effective adults-in-the-room and kept away from the proverbial sharp cutlery, even if the shutdown of his social media accounts means that he no longer has as much direct access to the general public and his supporters in particular. In that regard I no longer have concerns that he might try and provoke a war – particularly a nuclear war.

    Now, despite threats to set up his own media platform, there just isn’t enough time to do that. Actually, It will probably be difficult to establish in the long term as well, considering the proliferation of lunar right wing media that are even nuttier than Fox will make it hard to grab market share, but I’m thinking immediate term here.

    My first thought is a media stunt, with an exclusive deal with some large and well established right-wing broadcaster, with the terms of contract including that they can’t cut away… No matter what.

    The problem is, I have nowhere near enough knowledge of the USAian media landscape to identify who (if anyone) would have the right mix of size, demographics and editorial leaning to find that sort of deal attractive. Any guesses? Alternatively, if real world logistics make that specific stunt implausible, what would you suggest would be a viable alternative for the demogogue who thinks it’s all about him?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pelosi called the general in charge of the nukes, and while his complete response was not directly given, he did point out that the Prez isn’t the one who can actually physically launches the missiles, and the go order has to come through actual career military officers. So I’m thinking the boys in the silos aren’t going to be turning any keys the next couple weeks, even if Tr*mp opens up the football. I hope the guy(s) with the football get some extra cash or a few weeks off — can you imagine having to be within shouting range of Agent Orange right now?

      The big loser’s been talking up OANN for months, so I’m guessing the RW money people will be agitating to get it on cable and satellite, then he’ll have his own pet network where no one’s allowed to cut him off. They’ll hire everyone who was too scummy for Fox Nooz — probably a lot of bimbos he’ll enjoy leering at. He’s got to have some source of income (before all the banks come for him) so he probably gets a show of his own to rant on.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Word on the street is that he’s going to have a farewell tour where he’ll plead persecution for being banned by social media companies.


  10. I will only be truly 100% happy if Agent Orange ends up in ADX Florence.

    That’s not gonna happen, but I’ll settle for the MAGAts who busted up the Capitol doing some time somewhere. Several of them have already been fired, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Meanwhile, in peaceful democracy news, I have signed up to vote for delegates to the state Democratic Party.

    They, of course, go on to vote for the party officers, who vote on endorsements, plus they can be on committees and do caucus things. Boring, but necessary and important.

    The slate I’m favoring has the stated mission of taking no money from real estate developers, fossil fuels, insurance, big pharma, for-profit prisons, etc. etc. and also in favor of human rights.

    Actual progressive liberals! I am so excite!

    (Fellow Californians registered as Democrats: look up your county and do it today or Mon. the 11th. It’s free, and the vote will be by mail)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t think that you can compare the events of January 6 with the Reichskristallnacht (though in Germany, it’s called Reichsprogrammnacht these days, because Kristallnacht was a Nazi euphemism). The many riots and insurrection attempts throughout the Weimar Republic would be a better comparison IMO.

      However, that was a powerful video, particularly the bit about the broken men. I’ve met those men, too, as a kid, though they were old by that point. Bonus points for the Conan sword

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks JJ. I don’t know if Arnold will reach many people with it, he was allways not a friend of Trump, but on the other hand he is Arnold.
        And I think it is important that someone voices that what Trump did is not okay. Someone who is a republican.


  12. Rotten, distracting week, obviously. Not happy that it is looking more and more likely that my vaccination time will not be until the July-Sept window, so basically another lost year. I’m really, really sad about it.

    I have lifelong policy of stopping for any and all drink stands run by little kids. Improbably, today, on a January winter day during a global pandemic, I passed an adorable kid in snow pants, standing by a table with two jugs of kool-aid and a cash box. Did my sister and I turn the car around, go back and get two cups? You bet we did. Left a $3 tip on a $2 tab.

    Little kid lemonade stands are one of my favourite things.


  13. We have been watching a native wasp build a nest on one of the hanging plants in our courtyard. It is a most industrious process as the wasp builds little round globes out of spit and dirt and then seals them up. Each cell is about 2cm across, but the wasp has built four in the last two days. That’s a lot of wasp spit.

    In other news, I have been bitten by a spider – again. Thirty years I have lived in this country and they’ve always left me alone, but I have been bitten four times in the last twelve months.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So my Mum back in the UK got the first dose of the vaccine on Saturday, which is a big relief. However, it’s been a bit fortunate as she wasn’t supposed to be in the first batch of people to be vaccinated, despite being 75 and somewhat frail. There is a temporary vaccination centre in the market town where she lives and apparently people in the highest risk groups haven’t been turning up to their appointments. So, the admin staff have been scrambling around to find alternative recipients before the Pfizer doses have to be thrown away.

    I’m not sure when international travel between Turkey and the UK will start again, but finally it’s looking like we may be able to take our toddler to visit his gran.


  15. Newsweek is reporting that several Capitol Police officers have been suspended for their actions during the deadly insurrection by supporters of President Donald Trump last week.

    “Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who oversees USCP’s congressional funding, further told reporters on a video call earlier in the day that the suspensions included an officer who was seen posing for a selfie with a rioter after they stormed the building and another officer who donned a red Trump hat who “started directing people around” in the sprawling, multi-level complex.”


  16. Hey, all you smart people —

    I’m shopping for a VPN. I want it to cover my Mac laptop (Mac OS), my iphone (iOS), and my Kindle Fire (Android OS). Possibly also an iPad that I don’t currently use.

    I’ve been reading reviews, and the top contenders appear to be NordVPN, SurfShark, and ExpressVPN.

    Anybody here got preferences for one or the other?


    1. We use NordVPN in our household and it’s fine on Android (phone and Firestick). Less good on iOS – the Turkish government is not keen on its citizens using VPN services so there are some extra steps we have to carry out to use NordVPN and Apple does not make this easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been using CyberGhost for a couple of years and haven’t had any issues setting up on Windows or Android. My brother had issues with it on Mac and iOS, however, and now uses ExpressVPN instead. From what I’ve heard from other people, ExpressVPN works well across different devices so I’d probably recommend that one.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My sibling and their spouse, who spend half the year in the U.S. and half the year in a country on the other side of the world, have been using StrongVPN for several years. They have some kind of streaming package which includes everything: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, CBS All-Access, Disney+, ESPN, etc. etc. and they have been very happy with their VPN service, so when I finally needed to get VPN a few months ago, that’s what I got, and I’ve been satisfied with it. I’ve had issues twice, and their online customer service reporting and chat work well and I got quick helpful responses from people who were clearly knowledgeable and articulate.

      Liked by 1 person

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