Hello, my name is…
1 - The Martian Affair
2 - The Martian Affair
3 - Charles - The Convention of States - The Convention of States Impeached the President of the United States and helped select a new President to replace him. The current President refused to leave the White House, so the Commandant of the Marine Corps called the Director of the Secret Service to the discuss the matter. That call resulted in a quick and non-violent transfer of the current President out of the White House by his own guards. He did not even realize what was happening until it was all over and the new President was sitting in his chair. The Commandant also called the Capitol Police Chief when the Impeached Senators and Representatives declined to leave their offices. The Capitol Police Chief was less cooperative than the Secret Service. He refused to accept that the Convention of States or its rulings had any legitimacy and promised his department would resist any attempt to enforce them. Not all of them did, in fact, follow his orders, but most did. And that trend crossed all major departments and agencies of the Federal government. Some department or agency heads followed the old President and Congress, while others accepted the new government, and most of their people followed the leaders. It became a most confusing situation for a time.
4 - Charles - The Convention of States - The various departments and agencies of the Federal government split between following the orders of the Convention of States and the old President and Congress. Many government employees were truly conflicted in their loyalties. Others were clear on where they stood. The confusion and chaos threatened to push America deeper into a civil war there would be no coming back from. But an interesting trend developed. While the softer social agencies proved nearly unanimous in their support of the old President, the law enforcement and military departments accepted the new President in greater numbers. Washington D.C. housed the greatest number of individuals loyal to the old President and proved to be the hardest nut for the new President and Senate to crack. The old Congress refused to leave, the Capitol Police defended them, and protesters and rioters surrounded the White House security zone. The new President eventually moved his administration to Camp David due to security concerns, where he put the military engineers to work on the next step of his plan to keep things from deteriorating further.
5 - Charles - The Convention of States - When the Convention of States Impeached the President and Congress, and brought a new Senate and President into the mix, the old President and Congress did not cooperate. And the majority of the Federal government employees working in Washington D.C. stood against them, to the point that the Capitol Police promised to resist any attempt to remove the old Congress from their offices. So the new President had the military engineers build temporary offices for the Congress at Camp David. He refused to give the media video of armed Federal officers removing the old Congress at gunpoint. Street fights with the Capitol Police would have been even worse. So he waited until the dark of night to send armed Federal officers to secure the IRS and other agencies that controlled or distributed Federal money. When the world woke up to what he had done, it was all completed. He had control of the money spigot, and “defund the crooks” had a nice ring to it in the press conference. Even if the media and old government accused him of treason and performing a coup against their “honest government.”
6 - Charles - The Convention of States - The old President did not accept his Impeachment at the hands of the Convention of States. He stepped out of Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews and ordered the military to close down the temporary offices for the new Congress at Camp David. The new President responded by stepping out of the White House and noting that it is an American tradition that the military stay non-partisan and not engage in political conflict. He uttered an order to follow this tradition for those willing to listen to him, but said that he understood the sense of duty that may require some to follow the orders of the previous President. The vast majority followed his order, though some attempted to heed the other orders, most from the various bases near Washington D.C.. The Marine Corps had to deal with nightly infiltration attempts at both the White House and Camp David, and both resembled war zones for months as the Washington Resistance used every weapon at their disposal in an attempt to drive the new government out of the district. Both perimeters held, but the rioters burned every building around them to the ground and scorched the very landscape down to bare earth.
7 - Medron - Law and Order - Our society is built on the idea of Law and Order. There are laws written to promote the public order, and those who violate them will be punished if found guilty. No matte who they are. Rich or poor. This system was built in answer to an abuse of Law and Order by the British, and is the foundation of the society we have built in America.
And yet some of our citizens protest now, saying that the system oppresses them rather than protects them. They point to alarming examples of abuse where they live, and demand change. And the vast majority of Americans agree with them. Such examples of abuse should be punished to reduce the chances that such abuses become acceptable and commonplace.
We do not want to see people getting killed in the street. Or people’s houses broken into without warning and their residents killed. We all agree that this is bad and that reforms must take place. For the good of all Americans. Because one of us oppressed is all of us oppressed.
That is why Law and Order works. If we all accept the law, and we all accept the consequences of breaking the law, then order for everyone is achieved. A civil society is achieved. A society where we all have a chance to succeed on our own merits. Our own plans. Our own initiative. Without someone else taking it from us.
The key here is to reform those areas where these abuses take place so they can rise to the level of those parts of America where they don’t take place. A rising tide raises all ships after all. I do not wish to see all of America sink to the level of these areas. I like living in a place where such abuse is rare and not tolerated. Where Law and Order is enshrined and accepted. I want all of us to live in such an America. I fervently hope we can make the needed reforms, in the places most in need of such reforms, to make certain the American Dream is extended to all of our people.
8 - Medron - The Martian Affair -
9 - Charles - The Convention of States - The Convention of States chose to deal with the Federal government by Impeaching most of the Federal government and reducing the roles it would be allowed to perform in the future. The States then selected new Senators, who elected from amongst their number the man who would become the next President. The Convention also called for new elections for the House of Representatives. Some regions refused to run or legitimize them, and multiple organized movements materialized to disrupt the State elections that did run. The vast majority of the elections managed to provide a result satisfactory to the their populations though, and a new class of Representatives moved to Camp David where the military had just completed their temporary offices. The new Federal government was complete. Mostly. Partially. Sufficient unto the needs of the day. Functional at a minimal level. It was a slap dash, barely constitutional, affair held together more by hope and the determination of the Convention of States that it had to work better than the previous Federal government had in the end.
10 - Charles - The Convention of States - The old Federal government did not accept being Impeached by the Convention of States and continued to meet as before. The old House passed bills in their chambers. The old Senate approved them in their chambers. The old President signed them aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, and the remains of the old Supreme Court passed down their rulings as before. They declared the Convention of States and all of its works unconstitutional and ordered that America ignore them. It was an audacious plan. Continue to meet as normal and demand everybody act as if they were still the official government. It could have worked, but they lacked the funding to support it, and relatively few parts of American actually followed their directives as time went on.
11 - Medron - I Remember - I Remember coming home from work to see one tower burning.
I Remember watching a plane fly into the second tower, live on television.
I Remember the realization that we were under attack.
I Remember watching people jump out of the buildings rather than burn.
I Remember the crowds of cheering people in the West Bank.
I Remember watching the towers fall with first responders still inside.
I Remember all of these things, and I will Never Forget.
And for my own little personal, very much not life or death, bit of 9-11 Memories…
I Remember going to talk to my online friends about everything that was going on that day. These were people I talked to every day about anything and everything. They were my friends. And I had long been one of the admins at that family of websites. I built P.R.I. to be part of that family, and I put a lot of work and time into making those places good places for people to go and talk about one of our favorite games. Only on that day, I found that the other admins had locked my admin account out because they didn’t want me to say anything on THEIR website. And for good measure, they closed the forum down because they didn’t want anybody ELSE talking about it either. In one move, the other admins made it impossible for everybody who came to that family of websites to mourn and grieve together, online, with their online friends. Such things are minor when it comes to a day like this. But they are also something I will Never Forget.
12 - Charles - The Convention of States - The old Federal government continued to operate out of Washington D.C. after the Convention of States Impeached and replaced them. Some parts of America followed its direction in the months and years that followed that. They declared themselves the last legitimately-elected government, and granted themselves their offices until they could run new Federally-controlled elections. Which they only managed to run in the District of Columbia and a few other districts that supported them. They met for years in the old positions of power built by America, until worsening economic conditions in the District of Columbia forced the city to evict them in order to receive American aid. Most accepted that final defeat of their movement, but a few declared themselves the United States in Exile and continued to meet in undisclosed locations. Some reflection of that old government still operates today if the rumors are true, planning for the day when they can finally return and recreate America in their image.
13 - Charles - The Convention of States - The New Federal government the Convention of States formed possessed one major advantage over the old government. The new administration used Federal law enforcement to secure the IRS and the other agencies that controlled the vast spigot of Federal funds. Money is one of the most powerful incentives in existence, and the new President controlled the largest single income stream of the era. He did work to dismantle much of it during his term in office, even more than what was no longer Constitutional after the Convention, but even a diminished IRS had vast resources under its control. The new administration controlled the purse strings of the Federal government, not the old one, and that gave the new President a tremendous advantage. He used that advantage in ways that many historians characterize as ruthless. In the end, the new Federal government he formed was the one that survived, so I consider his tactics to be effective.
14 - Medron - I Got My House Back - After over a year of going through eviction chaos, finally getting a final eviction order on March 10, and then having Stay At Home orders end all servicing of evictions for months, finally I have my house back. I am in possession of it. Along with all the trash, pet crap, and dead cats they left behind. And the floors that have had so much water flowing over and through them that they are a spongy to walk on. I am the proud owner of all I survey…
15 - Medron - Imagine - Imagine that you are the kind of person who would buy a house and then stop paying on it.
Imagine that you might promise all kinds of ways to pay the debt, but never deliver.
Imagine that when ordered to leave for not paying, you don’t really want to.
Imagine that you buy new trucks, boats, and guns to enjoy your vacations, but ignore all legal orders to pay up or move out.
Imagine that you show up to court in a hunting jacket and cap, and are told to leave within 10 days or the Sheriff will see you out.
Imagine that the governor puts a stay on all evictions before that 10 days is up.
Imagine that you have months more time to enjoy the free housing, and of course you take advantage of that opportunity.
Imagine that the governor finally allows evictions completed before the current emergency to go through again, and suddenly you are ordered out with one day’s notice.
Imagine that you leave beds, couches, trash, pet feces, and dead pets behind in the rush to get out.
Imagine that you leave behind floors and ceilings so sodden with water that they are spongy and drooping.
Imagine that you have spent the better part of two years doing everything in your power to cheat and steal from the man who owns the house you are freeloading in.
I suppose you would imagine that you are fairly important in that man’s life, wouldn’t you?
Imagine a man walking into your store a few days after you leave to buy a garbage can and some garbage bags.
Imagine that man telling you, offhand, that he just got possession of his house back, and is buying these garbage bags so he can take out the trash the other guy left him.
Imagine the realization that the man you’ve been stealing from for two years doesn’t even consider you important enough to recognize in conversation.
Yeah. I am the homeowner. I did that and walked away.
*Slips on shades with a smile*
16 - Medron - I Hear Banjos - I was hardly as cool in the store as I wrote yesterday for dramatic effect. For one, there were no shades involved. For two, I actually really didn’t know the evictee even worked at the store. I've bought things there for years, and it was bought out a few months ago. I have been there since selling the house, so I just saw new employees when I arrived and shrugged. Did my standard “I'm in town after evicting the guy who stopped paying his mortgage last January and am now here to clean up his trash” line that I normally do when people ask what I'm doing in town. I got told an hour or so later that he works at the same store, and started putting things together. Then I smiled, because that was a good burn.
But wait. There’s more burns were that came from.
Because today… today my neighbors caught a couple guys that did not belong in the neighborhood parked in front of my house and my garage. The guys were MEASURING the garage in broad daylight. And they were not anybody I’ve talked to about selling the property. The police got involved, after the two guys jumped in their truck and ran away from the neighbors, and talked to the recent evictee. He said he has no clue who they were. Of course he would. So I’m stuck here wondering if someone is actually measuring my garage to see what size trailer they need to haul it off. And I’m thinking that’s the most Redneck thought I've had all week…
17 - Medron - The Costs of Living in the Modern Crazy - You all know the story. Obamacare ended health care as we knew it. It ended my 100 dollar a month health care plan, and graciously offered me a 700 dollar a month plan that covered less than the old plan. I could not afford to pay for Obamacare, so when my appendix exploded four years ago I got a bill for around 40,000 dollars. The Mayo Clinic linked me up with various charities and hardship services that dropped the bill to around 10,000 dollars, but that was still more than I could pay.
So I took out every loan I could get, and sold my retirement home up in Northern Minnesota. The real estate agent I was working with up there negotiated a Contract for Deed with a buyer he found, and the 200 dollars a month I got for the next two years was often the difference between solvency and not. But the buyer transferred the Contract over to their cousin, and then their cousin stopped paying me anything at all in January of 2019.
In the nearly two years since, they squatted in my house without giving me any money. 200 dollars a month for nearly two years comes out to approximately 4,000 dollars in mortgage payments they have declined to send me. The Contract also called for them to pay me the amount of property taxes and insurance on the house. They have not. So we can add around 1,500 dollars in property taxes for 2018 (which they never reimbursed me), 2019, and 2020. Insurance runs approximately 200 every three months, so around 1,600 for two years.
Then there are the utilities. I happen to know that they have been playing fast and loose with the local utility company, often pushing balances of up to 2,000 dollars in fees without paying before the company would cut them off until they paid up. They have been doing this for years. This spring, they had pushed the balance up to 2,000 dollars again, and then the governor’s Stay At Home order came into effect. It ended all evictions, like the one I had just gotten approved, and ordered all utilities to provide utilities for people regardless of whether or not they chose to pay. Even those who had already been a problem. So while squatting in my house, they racked up another 2,000 dollars in utilities. Which debt goes to the property, and to me.
Rough math shows that they cost me well in excess of 10,000 dollars in the last two years, through a combination of them not paying me what they were legally contracted to pay me, or by simply racking up utility bills they never intended to pay. Aided and abetted by the Governor of my State who said I could not evict them after going through ALL of the legal steps to get them evicted.
I love to laugh and make jokes about these matters, that does not reduce the cost of living in the modern crazy.
18 - Medron - The Cost of Living Part Deux - I noted yesterday that the former purchaser of my property in Northern Minnesota has cost me in excess of 10,000 dollars. Totalling the mortgage he should have given me, the taxes, the insurance, and the utility bills he has racked up.
This does not include the 1,500 dollars in lawyer bills. It also does not count the thousands of dollars of damage done to the property. The floor and ceiling of the kitchen will have to be replaced entirely. I’m hoping the beams are good, but I won’t know until the floors come up.
So it would be most easy for me to say that this individual has cost me 20,000 dollars in the last two years. And the total could go higher. He is an expensive squatter. I’m keeping a list and checking it twice, so I can confirm that he is a very naughty little boy when Santa calls for a character reference…
19 - Medron - The Martian Affair - Lost in all this chaos having to do with my house, yes I have recently published a new story.
The Martian Affair takes place rather earlier than my other stories, in the near-future hellscape of colonial… oh… wait… I don’t tend to do hellscape dystopias, do I? In the near-future utopia of a united and peaceful Earth, the United Nations have colonized… oh… wait… ahem… I guess I really don’t do that either, do I? Let’s try this one more time.
The Martian Affair takes place in the near-future where the AI Council has colonized the Martian moon of Phobos. And the Chinese have claimed and colonized Phobos. And the Americans have claimed and colonized Phobos. And the Russians are getting ready to claim and colonize Phobos, while using the name its original Russian discovers gave it of course.
Martian space was an interesting place in those days. Then an object entered Martian space, crashed through a Chinese satellite, and impacted the Martian surface. Enter Sergeant John Christensen, United States Marines Corps, of Phobos Habitat. He watched the object arrive with his naked eyes. Then he went to retrieve it. This is his story.
20 - Medron - The Martian Affair - Preview post of Martian Affair
21 - Medron - Ruth Bader Ginsburg - We have all known that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in failing health for years. I was personally surprised she did not retire when Obama was president and could appoint her successor. But that did not happen. And now we have this.
For the second time in four years, a Supreme Court Justice has died in the middle of a campaign for President. In the very year the election takes place. Yes, that does happen to be one in four years, so in some ways it should not be a surprise. But there are only nine justices, and there have been only nine justices since the 1880s or something like that. At three dead in the last four years, it seems like they are dropping at a rather high rate at the moment.
So right now we have people on the far right saying that “Trump gets to choose, and isn’t that just gloroius.” Then there are people on the far left saying that “Trump can’t be allowed to choose, and if he does we will pack the court to override his tyranny forever!” And everybody else is saying “Oh God, not this again.”
Honestly, it would just be really nice if we can sit down for a day or two, maybe a whole week, and just reflect on the person who died. On what they thought, on what they said, and what they did. I think that would be a better way to memorialize their death than fighting over who is going to sit in their seat before it is properly cold.
22 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas did not exist until after the Convention of States dealt with the old Federal government. Texas was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the new Federal government, if Texas can be considered truly enthusiastic about any government that is not theirs. They had a great many reasons to want to make certain it did not stray from the mission the Convention gave it, and so made certain to give it their full support. I did not say “undivided support” because they did in fact divide their support. The original resolution admitting Texas into the Union had specifically allowed Texas to form up to five States, a contingency they activated after the Convention of States completed its reconstruction of the Federal government. Then the Five States of Texas signed an official compact with West Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona to bring the Republic of Texas into official existence.
23 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas’ greatest threats in the early years included those who did not recognize its legitimacy. Large cities like Dallas or Austin claimed every level of its government was fraudulent, and continued to send their own “legitimate” representatives to the old Federal government. Rather than fight them, the Republic declared them to be “In Anarchy,” pulled its resources out of the cities, and simply waited for them to wise up and join the future. But many agency headquarters were in those cities. Many of the agency heads followed the cities’ leads and ordered their own people not to recognize the Republic. This created a large number of moles in the Republic bureaucracy, people willing and able to use their positions to sabotage Republic operations at any time or place. They were an active threat for decades, and numerous “public servants” went to prison after their leaks or other operations endangered or cost Texan lives. Many believe some of these moles still exist today, working for whatever is left of the old government as it continues to hide and scheme.
24 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas sent Navy and Marine elements to join the American relief fleet the new Federal government sent to aid Australia. They helped stop the Chinese in Indonesia, and prepared for the full-scale war that would soon break out there. Then the Rogue AI nest in Singapore came to everybody’s attention. The Singapore Collective had plans for humanity, and those plans would not have left enough of us alive to complain. So those brave boys and girls worked with the Chinese, the Russians, and everybody else to end that threat once and for all. The world had come closer to destruction at Singapore than it had since Cuba, nearly a century earlier. So the world took a collective breath, and the assembled militaries of every great power returned home. The Texans came home to a heroes’ welcome, and the Republic began looking to space once more. Not that they had ever truly stopped, you understand, but the effective truce on Earth between the Western Alliance, China, and Russia had changed everything. Space was the future again, and it would be where the great powers would once again fight for dominance. Texas was never going to miss a fight like that.
25 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas did not have a strong navy when they came into being. They did have some very rich ports, but the major United States Navy bases had been on the East or West Coasts over the last century. So Texas had a very few ships in their small navy. But they had large Army, Marine, Air Force, and Space Force bases all over. It is perhaps no surprise that it was the Texas Space Force that forged their path into space when the time came. The Texas stereotype of rugged individualism was certainly more at home with the fighter-jock mentality the Space Force had inherited from the parent it rarely recognized. So while other nations sent up teams to explore space, Texas sent their very best individuals to see what was up there. And while some sent teams on one-way trips to planets or moons, with no plans to ever bring them back, the Texans brought their intrepid explorers home to smile at the crowds, shake hands with the politicians, and give candy to babies. It was not the most efficient way to explore space, but Texas had the natural resources to do it, and an ego to match. Which explains why the Texas Space Force and Navy developed the way they did in the centuries that followed.
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28 - Medron - The Audacious Affair -
29 - Medron - The Audacious Affair -
30 - Medron - Wallace 2020 - The results are in, and the winner of today's debate is…
It was a real bare knuckle brawl between Wallace and Trump, with Biden adding color commentary from the left whenever he could remember to open his eyes.
Biden did get in a few good jabs by calling Trump a clown, a racist, and Putin's puppy. He even told Trump to shut up.
Trump championed his record by saying that he's done more in 47 months than Biden did in 47 years, and other amazing feats of brilliance.
But most of the night was carried by Wallace bringing the verbal fisticuffs to Trump time and again, to keep him from landing the knock out blow on Biden.
The night ended with an amazing rendition of “the debate is over” by Wallace to cut off a series of final blows from Trump.
Trump finished the night by posing with his wife like a winner.
Biden was happy to shuffle off the stage with his caretaker.
And Wallace goes into the record books as… well… something…