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Monday, June 30, 2008

FAR Future, Episode 40: What Comes Out of a Rump Congress?

Wow, episode 40… near the halfway point, I think. I appreciate everyone who’s stuck with it and left comments so far!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
What Comes Out of a Rump Congress?

About what you’d expect: crap. The oil companies are having a party though, after which they will start drilling pretty much anywhere they please. And to hell with environmental concerns, of course.

Their first act — and here’s something you didn’t need me to tell you — was to kill the rationing system. With gas taking a flying leap to $10/gallon, people aren’t exactly lining up at the pumps — it doesn’t stop gas stations from running out, though. The local stations are already putting purchase limits up: 5 gallons at a time for now, which of course is more than enough to fill a motorcycle…

We’re back to 4-hour rolling blackouts; with natural gas production falling, the junta wants to have it available for winter. I have to agree with that, but of course they’re simply continuing the policy of the legitimate government. Of course, I have to wonder whether they’ll actually follow through and deliver the goods. We went ahead and blew our budget to fill our gas tank, in case we need it for some reason this winter.

Are you seeing “Patriot Clubs” in your locales? Around here, they’re springing up like maggots on roadkill. “Upholding our nation’s moral standards,” which means they feel it’s their right to poke their noses in everyone’s business. They’re meeting in some of the local churches here, and Sammy says that’s pretty normal. We had a couple of them try to set up at our church, and I made enough of a stink about it that the board tabled it (permanently). That probably painted a big fat target on my back, but they know I’m somehow associated with the GCM, so they aren’t too keen on taking shots at me. Still, it’s a good thing Guillermo’s not huge… we took his truck down to the North Springs MARTA station, drained the last gallon out of the gas tank, and took the motorcycle (which rode down in the truck bed) back home with him on the back. Call it a hunch.

While most of us are lying low, The Prophet has emerged once more, saying what most don’t dare to say: “Alas for you, you Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you have more than a beam in your eye — how will you take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye when the whole roof is in yours? Woe unto you, for the judgement you visit on others will be paid back unto you as you stand before The Lord on that day! You accuse men, but God will accuse you! Repent of your pride and your false witness, come out of the belly of the wolf that wears the sheep’s clothing, and you will be forgiven. The wolf may devour you in his time, but you will stand with the worthy on The Day.” That has stirred up the local Pat-riots (as the opposition has started calling them) in no small way. I can’t count the number of times some Pat-riot Club has mowed down some poor black guy in Atlanta who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and crowed that they have taken “The Heretic.” This is not going to end well.

Speaking of not ending well, the big box chains are having serious financial issues. Stores are closing left and right — as much because they can’t get merchandise as not being able to sell it. In fact, the local Wal-Mart died (and there was much rejoicing, but quietly so as not to attract the Pat-riots). The only growth outside of food and fuel is RVs… sounds crazy until you learn that people are buying them, towing them to their parking lots at work, and living in them through the week so they don’t have to drive back to the burbs or wherever. The really popular sellers are “slot campers,” so called because they fit in a parking slot. The hitches retract or fold out of the way, and they’re comfortable enough (or can be made to be) for one or two. Some couples who are falling behind on their mortgages (yes, that’s still happening despite all the happy talk from official channels) are blowing off all their other payments long enough to pay cash for the RV, and leaving everything else behind. Sometimes intact, often not. Of course, you can about buy a used SUV for little more than what it would take to fill the gas tank, and some of the “drive-offs” are buying them to tow the RV to wherever it is they’re going. Often, they end up in the parking lots of closed big-box stores or vacated office buildings. Most office park managers let them stay if they don’t make trouble… in fact, the empty building next door to work has a couple dozen RVs in the parking lot and we have a dozen or so in our own lot.

Wonder of wonders, the cell network was up last night, and we were able to reach Daughter Dearest for her birthday. She now has official “refugee status,” which means she gets dibs on a cot in a gym, a shot at a residence (often an abandoned suburban house, shared by several refugees), and a job teaching in a refugee center outside of Seattle. There are several hundred kids in the school, and they organized it like the old one-room schoolhouses of old; the more responsible older kids help the teachers with the younger kids. There are a handful of other teachers, some are local and some are refugees like her. A few of the parents don’t have teaching degrees or skills, but volunteer as assistants… probably to give them something to do as much as any other reason. Refugees are still working their way west (or north), and the junta seems content to let them leave. Why not? Let the dissidents blow off steam from the outside, instead of making trouble at home, right?

Official story: weekend uprisings in NYC and Boston quelled. Sammy’s side: a coalition of gang-bangers, cops, and random interested parties blew the junta right out of both cities. In Boston, they managed to capture three of the junta’s local leaders, and the “Northeastern Coordinator” escaped New York with possible gunshot wounds. They’re supposedly fanning out to eradicate any remaining junta activity (i.e. rounding up Patriot Clubs) throughout the NY/NE region, although I suspect borders will be fluid for a while. Of course, the southeast and much of the southwest is safe junta territory. Outside of those places, people are starting to realize that junta has little muscle to impose their will much outside of Washington (which might be the whole point of the Pat-riots).

The country is balkanizing. And I’m in the wrong piece.



  1. I'm really enjoying your writing/storytelling. A few of the recent episodes have made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
    (I sure hope you're wrong. Even though I fear you're not.)

    Your accounts of abandoned trucks/SUVs made me wonder. Here/now lots of larger vehicles are coming in to auto salvages to be crushed since the price paid for metal is currently so high (according to a close friend who works at an auto salvage here in northeastern CO). I wonder whether that will be the case in 6 years or so ???
    Susan in CO

  2. Far, I agree with Susan, these are getting eery, and more and more realistic. A good installment.

    BTW, you may be in the wrong piece now but you can always come up to stay in NY when the junta comes-a-calling.

  3. Hi all!

    Susan, long time no type! I think that as things continue to deteriorate, that subassemblies in SUVs will become more valuable than the raw materials. That's something for a later episode.

    Boran, thanks for the invite! But I think even if the Antichrist itself set up its capital in town, Mrs. Fetched wouldn't want to leave her ancestral homeland.

  4. Hiya FAR, Susan and Boran.

    The country is balkanizing.

    I think the country has been trying to do that every since it was founded. Although I would hate to see it, it would be interesting to see in which path it would take.

    Another great installment FAR. Looking forward to the next one.

  5. Thanks, FM.

    You're probably right about "trying to do that ever since." I know I've heard people for decades saying, "if so-and-so wins the election, we're moving to Canada." People like to talk.

  6. Hey Far! Ha! ha! Think daughter dearest with her new refugee status will likely see "boot camp" duty soon?

    Thanks, yooper

  7. I don’t think that'll happen, Yooper. But we'll see.


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