Debt Rattle December 18 2021


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    absolute galore

    Yes, I’m aware of the main uses for whale oil. Perhaps I was confused by this paragraph you wrote: “The quest for lard led men to Arctic waters and into oversized rowboats to harpoon Leviathan. Imagine, for comparison, taking on a grizzly bear with a Swiss army knife. Oh, I’m sure that Hercules or Sir Laurence Olivier could pull it off, at least against a man in a leviathan suit, but we’re talking about men in wooden boats playing picador/matador to the largest water buffaloes known to man. Lard was, in fact, so scarce that soap and bathing were largely ignored until recent times because of the scarcity of fat for making soap.”

    Reading that, and your confusion of lard with whale oil, and mentioning whaling in the same context, I got the impression you were linking sporadic bathing habits of the 18th-19th centuries (whaling times) with the scarcity of “lard” which you generalized to include whale oil. My point was, during this period and beyond (and before), it was common to make soap from actual lard.

    I’m also aware of the references to oil in the Bible.Talking about whale oil and Roman times is anachronistic. Although I believe they did make a soap from volcanic ash and…I don’t recall, maybe olive oil. It’s been a while since I did my soap story. I’ve since washed my hands of the matter.

    Soap didn’t need marketing? Silly soap manufacturers! Most people at that time made their own soap, as I pointed out. Getting them to consider using it habitually on their body took some marketing. Creating an aversion to and fear of our own bodily odors is a multi billion dollar business. All that soaping up then creates another whole market to replace all the natural skin oils stripped away and washed down the drain.



    I loved reading your “Orgins of Xmas” again!

    If only I had read it before studying ancient history. It would have made my understanding of history so much easier! Your understanding of the ancients is so much clearer than the history books!


    Here in Ontario, the media are hyping the increasing number of covid “cases” each day. 1,500, 1,800, 2,100, 2,400, 2,800, 3,100, and 3,300 today.

    Nobody seems to notice the falling death rate!
    Nobody seems to notice hospitals are not over-run.
    It is panic! Locker down! Locker down some more! Panic! Panic. Enstein’s definition of insanity working hard doing the same thing6 to get a different outcome!

    Being a logical person, I have concluded that the reason the powers-to-be are only letting the vaccinated roam freely, is for the sole purpose of better spreading covid far and wide. If the vaccinated had been locked up, and only the unvaxxed free to roam, the unvaxxed would have had been hard pressed to spread covid far and wide, and for as long, as the powers-to-be needed.



    Is the truth hidden

    Who, here, believe that the numbers of un-vaccinated are the majority in the hospital, and in ICU with covid
    ( did you noticed that I did not ask if you believe that the un-vaccinated are the majority of people getting the virus)
    I went looking for the % vaccinated by age groups
    (of course, you all know that world wide that the majority of people who are getting the virus and who are dying. (senior)

    Go to the bottom chart
    (add the partial and the full – for 20 nov (those with a 3rd shot not counted)
    80+ have more than 100% (99.54 + 3.220)
    70-70 have more than 100% (98.13 + 1.66)
    60-69 have 91.37 + 1.88

    Do you remember, that the herd immunity number, was suppose to be to give you protection from the virus. 70%
    Now …
    of all people, ( + 5yrs old) in British Columbia are fully vaccinated

    of all people ( +5) in British Columbia have received at least one dose

    Omicron arrived just in time to scare/convinced the sheeeepps to get another jab that only helps the rich get richer


    Noirette. I like your Santas although I might’ve kepy my distance too. Here’s a Santa I made 22 years ago but have never completed to my satisfaction, so will leave it trailing off without a conclusion:

    Air Mail

    Downtown Chicago. Xmas Eve. It’s still the 20th century but late enough for Y2K to be a household acronym. Home for the holidays and my Dad’s funeral, a combination sure to put a man in a bar. I’d hit three already, looking for a dive low enough to suit my mood.

    Staggering under the Jackson street L, an unruly Santa was hassling the hustlers, talked dirty as he fingered his red velvet crotch.

    “Hey darlin’! How’s about just you and me and a bowl full of belly-jelly! This Norwegian peckerwood’s the real thing. The North Pole South Hole Driver! Oh, Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you drive cuz’ Santa’s tight…”

    A guy in a Santa Claus suit can get away with considerably more effrontery than the rest of us, but he was driving off business. Before the cops hauled him off or a posse of pimps shoved him in a dumpster — I felt it wise to appease his drunk butt inside.

    “Can I buy you a drink, Nicholas? You look broke, and your mistletoe’s wilting”.

    So we went into the same dive where, thirty-some years ago, some guy had walked in, smacked a bloody paper sack on the bar, pulled out a women’s severed head, ordered a drink and said, “Give this bitch one, too. She needs to calm down ‘fore she loses her head.”

    True story. My Dad told me. Chicago fireman, saw a bit of everything. He said the bar was a hole in the wall under the Jackson Street L platform, and there we were.

    Santa looked bad and smelled worse. A shot of schnapps and a bottle of Old Style calmed him down. His face was more Mediterranean than any Santa I’d seen before.

    “What’s your story, Santa?” I asked him. Here it was December 24th, 1999, and he was a long way from home, drinking himself into what promised to be a millennial force hangover. “What are you doing here in the Loop passing yourself off as a bell ringer gone bad?”

    “Wanna scratch the other nut while you’re at it?”

    “Seriously, Kris. I wanna know or I ain’t buying.”

    A bleary eye through a curl of grey forelock told me I had him but not to push it. He was a lot to take in: really tall, really big. His suit wasn’t crimson, more carmine verging on maroon. It wasn’t velvet; it was thick felt. The belt was reasonably sized, the buckle real brass turning green. It had pouches on each side.

    “What is that lining in your collar? Yak fur?”

    “The fur is lama but the felt is made of yak wool. You’ve got a good nose. Put some money in the juke,” he said. “North to Alaska and I’ll puke in your pocket. Whispering Pines works for me.”

    Whatever. This wasn’t some fisherman’s bar in Dutch Harbor. We settled for no Smashmouth and no Xmas songs: a broken man needs shelter from the storm. Another schnapps and beer and he started talking.

    It was not anything I was prepared to hear.

    “It’s been years coming on. It gets old and so am I.”

    “It’s different now. They track a Santa who doesn’t exist on phony radar screens but since WWII I have to hug the tree tops to avoid radar. I can’t have people seeing me like that, not from their back yards or on a radar map. I can’t afford to be that real.”

    There were two empties in front of him already. He talked like a soda spritzer. I felt like a windshield wiper in a beer blizzard.

    “No you can’t, unless you want to end up in a psych ward,” I said.

    He started laughing. Not that satyr chuckle but the real thing. A Ho! and a Ho! and a Ho! again, heaved HO! like giant Yule log ICBMs from some missile silo in his throat.

    “Fuckin’ criminy!” I shouted, not that anyone heard me. The whole bar, the whole world, it seemed, shook like a bowl full of plastic explosive jelly.

    And it kept on going,”HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO” in arterial spouts like someone had sliced his jovial jugular.

    When it stopped, we (the bar was far from empty) peeled the white off our knuckles and dug our fingers out from the counter. It was the saddest, most majestically miserable jubilance any of us had ever heard, and we were scared. We knew. This was Santa Claus! And he wasn’t happy.

    “Listen, you snot-nosed little wannabe grownups. It’s over. Saturn’s back and I’m about done in. Cronus, Saturn, Father Time, whatever you call the bastard, he’s down on it all and I can’t raise the steam to put him back where it belongs.”

    “Where’s that?” I asked. Respectfully.

    “I don’t know. Jerry Springer, chain gang, the sands of forgotten time. Your ex-mother-in-law’s? Just out of here and away from your kids.”

    “Anything we can do?”

    “Try acting like you give a shit about being alive. Act like it matters.”

    “Yeah. Right.”

    And he laughed again, but this time the ho’s weren’t as loud, not so damning in their celebration of a life most of us had let slip through our fingers. He chuckled. It sounded like bear cubs in his belly. He looked at one of the hookers who’d earlier told him to piss off, patted his knee, and asked, “What do you want for Xmas, little girl?”

    She parked it sidesaddle and whispered in his ear. He whispered back, or maybe she let him chew on her neck, but I noticed her eyes were wet, and she kissed him on the cheek. “You come and see me anytime, Santa,” she said. “For free.” Looking at a guy with freckles over mahogany skin, wearing a leather vest, she said, “You hear me, Jemaine?”

    Jemaine nodded and raised his glass. He was being a good boy this Xmas. But then he dropped the other goody two shoe: “Yo! Santa! Where were you when I was a boy! Don’t get me wrong. I believe in you, bro. But I had some dry Xmases, man. You scared to go into the ‘hood? I’m just sayin’, y’know?”

    “I’m sorry, Jemaine. I’m just one man. Magic is just magic, that’s all. Do you really believe I visit every child every year? You think you’re big enough to wear this suit?” He patted his belly. It wasn’t really that big, just an average gut but on a very big man, maybe 6’6″, and what he patted sounded solid. “Even Zeus got his ass kicked a time or two. But I’m sorry, Jemaine. Got kids?”

    Jemaine’s head drooped. “Yessir,” he whispered.

    “Don’t know much about them, do you?”


    “Hey, don’t put all the blame on yourself. Life’s hard, you know?”

    “Yeah, but they’re still my kids. I’m just no damn good.” The glass broke in his hand and bled. He scowled at the whiskey sting. Miranda rushed over and fussed on him. “Oh baby baby baby…”

    “Jemaine,” said Santa, speaking his name like an order. Jemaine gave him a soldier’s stare. Jemaine had done the Gulf War.

    “You find out where those kids are. You hear me? You let me know. You tell this man here,” he said, nudging me, “and leave it with the management of this exquisite dump. You do your part and I’ll do mine. Reindeer turds and everything. Saint’s honor. Swear to fucking God and damn the rest.”

    Normally, going behind the bar of such a place was an invitation to examine the stereo-optics of a double-barreled sawed-off, but I went behind the bar and got a clean bar towel. Took it over to Jemaine and handed it to his girl. Gave him my card. Three of them.

    “We both heard what the man said,” I told him. He grinned and wiped his tears, careful not to snag his cufflinks. We were giddy with cooperation like schoolkids assigned to crossing guard duty.

    Not that anyone stopped drinking. It gets fuzzy after that. I know we had a mighty good time for awhile. I distinctly remember that someone with exceptional taste played ‘Cast Your Fate to the Wind’, and Jemaine, Miranda, Ramona and I did something like soft-shoe ballet, free-form interpretive dance like we were beatniks in leotards or hippies in tie-dyes. Jabba’s Hut is a friendly bar in its way, but this was different.

    Santa did the shimmy and the hippy-hippy shake and got a blowjob from some skinny blonde crackwhore, one of those heart-breaking waifs who’ll wreck your life if you don’t use a rubber much less try to care about them.

    I especially remember closing time. Four A.M. and lights up bright gets your attention. We didn’t want it to end. There was something like a group hug as we crowded near the door. Awkward, with folks keeping one hand on their wallet and the other squeezing your neck like it was a reunion for Holocaust survivors. It was 4:59 when the door locked behind us.

    Something had happened, something that might change our lives if we let it, but most of us wouldn’t, and we all knew it. And yet, I’m sure that no one left that night the same person they were before.

    He declined my offer of a couch to crash on at my folks’ house.

    “Your Mother just buried your Father and you think she can handle Santa Claus sleeping it off in her living room?”

    He was right.

    But he took me to a spot near one of those statues by the bridges over the railroad yards that run underground just east of downtown between Jackson and Monroe, and pulled — His Bag! — from under some bushes surrounding a ventilation grill.

    “Don’t look in there long, Robin,” he told me. “Not good for your mortal head.”

    I’d never seen a hyperspace before, much less one made of thick, dark purple velvet. Trimmed, he told me, in ermine and muskrat.

    We crawled inside and sat atop the ventilation grill – it blew warm air from the subterranean train yards into pre-dawn winter air cold enough to make ice crystals in his beard – with our heads peeking out like two pigs in a poke. The sensation of that bag’s interior is beyond description except to say it was neither too big nor little. It was just right.

    “Merry Christmas, Robin. You didn’t think I’d forget, did you?”

    It was a card. Hallmark. But the inside was covered with white construction paper painted over in highlight marker colors. It said:

    Dear Santa:

    I need a reason to believe in all this crazy shit.

    Harry Krishnas,

    Robin Morrison

    I’d mailed it a month ago helping my godchild write a letter to Santa. I’d slipped it in before sealing the envelope. She’d wanted to do it but little kids cut their tongue.

    I looked at him.

    “Uh, how do you do it, Santa?”

    “I don’t, son. ”

    “What do you mean, ‘I don’t’?”

    to be continued someday

    The Midnight Choir


    correction: 70-70 have more than 100% (98.13 + 1.66) should read .. 70-79


    If you are at a company with 100+ employees, the OSHA ETS is back in play.

    The Sixth Circuit’s decision was appealed this morning to the Supreme Court; however, this appeal does not alter the decision unless and until the Supreme Court rules.  In the meantime, employers should resume (or continue) preparations to comply with the ETS requirements. For a summary of the OSHA ETS and its requirements, visit here.

    What does this mean for employers?
    As we had counseled earlier, there are various steps employers should take to come into compliance with the ETS.  As mentioned above, OSHA has stated it will not issue citations for noncompliance “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance” with the rule. This means employers should, at a minimum, develop their COVID-19 workplace policy, begin to get proof of vaccination status of employees, inform employees who are not vaccinated that they will be required to mask and test, and begin determining how they will implement the testing requirement. (For a quick summary of the ETS, you can re-read our earlier post here.)

    “To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.” 

    “[f]undamentally, the ETS is an important step in curtailing the transmission of a deadly virus that has killed over 800,000 people in the United States, brought our healthcare system to its knees, forced businesses to shut  down for months on end, and cost hundreds of thousands of workers their jobs. In a conservative estimate, OSHA finds that the ETS will ‘save over 6,500 worker lives and prevent over 250,000 hospitalizations’ in just six months.”



    I am very surprised Santa didn’t keep his 2 meter social distancing!

    Naughty fellow he is! Must still be under the influences of Saturn!


    abs galore: you’ll note that all these adverts coincide with the development of petrotechnoculture.

    Marketing is a way of getting someone to buy YOUR soap, and that always require SURPLUS, otherwise you’d keep your soap for yourself. Not EVERY thing is some vast Bernaysian conspiracy, I swear. Mostly it’s just that we humans, leaders and followers alike, really are that stupid.

    Homemade soap used to be scarce. Really. Trust me on this. Heck, firewood was scarce for much of civilized history throughout much of the world. We live in a petroleum-driven reality based on our desire for light/warmth other than campfire and good greasy fat to eat and smear around our bodies. 1,000 years ago, for example. 2k, 3k, 4k, 5k etc. years ago, scarce. 200 years ago, scarce. 100 years ago, not so scarce. Add modern plumbing and running hot water, and suddenly everybody wants soap and baths and good smelling epidermis.

    from the wiki on soap: “9th century

    Ad for Soapine, c. 1900, indicating that it is made of whale oil
    Until the Industrial Revolution, soapmaking was conducted on a small scale and the product was rough. In 1780, James Keir established a chemical works at Tipton, for the manufacture of alkali from the sulfates of potash and soda, to which he afterwards added a soap manufactory. The method of extraction proceeded on a discovery of Keir’s. In 1790, Nicolas Leblanc discovered how to make alkali from common salt.[20] Andrew Pears started making a high-quality, transparent soap in 1807[42] in London. His son-in-law, Thomas J. Barratt, opened a factory in Isleworth in 1862.

    During the Restoration era (February 1665 – August 1714) a soap tax was introduced in England, which meant that until the mid-1800s, soap was a luxury, used regularly only by the well-to-do. The soap manufacturing process was closely supervised by revenue officials who made sure that soapmakers’ equipment was kept under lock and key when not being supervised. Moreover, soap could not be produced by small makers because of a law that stipulated that soap boilers must manufacture a minimum quantity of one imperial ton at each boiling, which placed the process beyond the reach of the average person. The soap trade was boosted and deregulated when the tax was repealed in 1853.[43][44][45]

    William Gossage produced low-priced, good-quality soap from the 1850s. Robert Spear Hudson began manufacturing a soap powder in 1837, initially by grinding the soap with a mortar and pestle. American manufacturer Benjamin T. Babbitt introduced marketing innovations that included the sale of bar soap and distribution of product samples. William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James, bought a small soap works in Warrington in 1886 and founded what is still one of the largest soap businesses, formerly called Lever Brothers and now called Unilever. These soap businesses were among the first to employ large-scale advertising campaigns.”



    Loved your Chicago Xmas story!

    You have the knack for the kind of writing my female high school teachers always tried to extract from me, but never succeeded once! While I admired Shakephere’s (what is wrong with spell check?) ability with words, I have even visited him, I can’t for the life of me duplicate him.

    I can only write about machines and robots, not about something as complex as people with feelings and emotions!



    Obviously, getting your mouth washed with soap is a rather new expression!
    Nobody could afford soap to until recently!


    Data Hesitancy

    Chris Martenson has come up with the label “data hesitancy” to describe the mentality of those who see the data but refuse to accept what it says. Spread it around!

    Veracious Poet

    1/Crushing Chest pains: ‘can’t fill my lungs with air properly’: Families’ Xmas Dinner & Gathering urns into Omicron Hell as an entire group of 35 are Infected: with the youngest having the most severe illness: all adults fully vaccinated — Chris Turnbull (@EnemyInAState) December 17, 2021

    Probably each & every one of these Brits has been vaccinated, including the children + a Vitamin D deficiency…

    There might be more to this illness for them than just the virus 😐


    V. P.:

    For us on TAE, this comes as no surprise.
    Clearly they were all vaccinated or they would not have been so confident to have gotten together in such a large gathering!
    We know the vaxxed are especially “enabled” to catch covid.
    The vaxxed are the ones who caught and spread omicron world wide!
    The powers-to-be must be really pleased with themselves for how the vaxxed are repeatedly spreading covid, wave after wave!


    absolute galore

    Thanks for wiki-schoolin’ me, Boz! And marketing was a by product of the petroleum age, you say? Fascinating. And the way you sussed out my penchant for conspiracies behind everything(!) just by me suggesting soap makers created a desire for their products generically while at the same time pushing their brand. Busted! Well done.

    Boz: “Trust me on this.” You got it. You’re now my official go-to expert on all things soap! It’s like an early Christmas present.Ho Ho ho!

    those darned kids

    i wonder which injectable product gary kelly chose for his two three doses.

    Gary is doing well and currently resting at home, he has been fully vaccinated and received the booster earlier this year




    Clearly Gary Kelly choose “Gin and Tonic”!


    @abs galore
    Since you live near Hudson, I have to suggest you stop in and say Hi to Kit at OUR Bookstore in Saugerties. It is probably the best used book store between Albany and the city. A real treasure. He’s an old friend; we grew up together in Woodstock. John aka straightwalker


    “There might be more to this illness for them than just the virus”

    Omicron? Or vaccine side effects?

    those darned kids

    V. Arnold

    those darned kids

    firefighters and police are the new athletes:
    so many, many more just like this…

    What I see from here (S.E. Asia) in the west, are the results of outright lies, propaganda, and intentional mis-information…
    After all this time (more than 1 year) it appears there are no lessons learned in any broad sense of that meaning…
    The new varients of this virus are just being rolled out, one after another, keeping the fear machine well primed…
    It seems that people are generally still buying the koolaide…
    The people I know are generally ignorant, knowing only what they read or hear on/from the MSM.
    VAERS and ADE are unknown terms…
    I have little hope things will improve in terms of people educating themselves about the facts (Covid)…
    As one born curious to a fault; the general population has always been utterly lacking in curiosity, IME, and this has forever mystified me…

    those darned kids

    “VAERS and ADE are unknown terms…”

    amongst so many others. i can’t even talk to most of my own family, for they just stick proverbial fingers in their ears and wonder why i’m always “this way”.

    V. Arnold

    …amongst so many others. i can’t even talk to most of my own family, for they just stick proverbial fingers in their ears and wonder why i’m always “this way”.

    I had to chuckle at that…and believe me, I understand. My sister (younger) just humors me and got two Pfizer jabs…so far so good, we’ll see…

    Fortunately my wife listens to me and realizes the mRNA gene therapies are poison.
    Due to peer/family pressure, she felt compelled to do something. I suggested that Sino-pharm is an actual vaccine and has a good track record here in LOS; so, she got 2 jabs with zero side affects, thank the gods.
    I remain unjabbed and unless Sputnik V becomes available, will remain so…
    IVM and HCQ, along with V-D3 are at the ready in any event…
    Thailand is doing an excellent job of dealing with the virus with very little in the way of surpressing human rights/freedoms…so far so good…

    TAE Summary

    A tree that is trimmed but not there
    Your mind’s playing tricks, so beware
    Expecting a shape
    You foolishly gape
    There’s a tree, but it’s made out of air

    Omicron’s spreading so fast
    The symptoms are mild and don’t last
    A wimp of a virus
    Will surely require us
    To panic and scream all aghast

    Joe Biden, his patience is thinning
    He’s losing and fears he’s not winning
    He’s serious, insistent
    The vaccine resistant
    Are guilty of mortally sinning

    A system as complex as life
    Will generate conflict and strife
    Don’t try to unbend it
    Instead comprehend it
    Accept that the unknowns are rife

    V. Arnold

    TAE Summary

    A tree that is trimmed but not there
    Your mind’s playing tricks, so beware
    Expecting a shape
    You foolishly gape
    There’s a tree, but it’s made out of air

    V. Arnold

    Nicely done…




    abs galore: if you can misread me, I can misread you. But consider this: you can’t market what you don’t have — something I previously mentioned.

    As for the idea that humanity had to be sold on the idea of not stinking being preferable to stinking, that we had to be bamboozled into believing that we preferred the smell of antisepsis over sepsis, well, how about you market that idea to me? Sell me, abs.

    But seriously, who the fuck cares? We were having fun until you turned it into a scholastic trivia contest. Yeesh. Cook your own goddam ham and stay the fuck away from my Xmas dinner, son.

    Good god awmighty, is there any trivial thing we won’t niggle each other around here?



    Your opening verse, which I too admire, reminded me of my fave Nabokov poem:

    Restoration (1952)

    To think that any fool may tear
    by chance the web of when and where.
    O window in the dark! To think
    that every brain is on the brink
    of nameless bliss no brain can bear,

    unless there be no great surprise —
    as when you learn to levitate
    and, hardly trying, realize
    — alone, in a bright room — that weight
    is but your shadow, and you rise.

    My little daughter wakes in tears:
    She fancies that her bed is drawn
    into a dimness which appears
    to be the deep of all her fears
    but which, in point of fact, is dawn.

    I know a poet who can strip
    a William Tell or Golden Pip
    in one uninterrupted peel
    miraculously to reveal
    revolving on his fingertip,

    a snowball. So I would unrobe,
    turn inside out, pry open, probe
    all matter, everything you see,
    the skyline and its saddest tree,
    the whole inexplicable globe,

    to find the true, the ardent core
    as doctors of old pictures do
    when, rubbing out a distant door
    or sooty curtain, they restore
    the jewel of a bluish view.




    Repeat War
    The enemy keeps repeating.
    The enemy believes in the childish game of repeat
    The looser stops repeating.

    Omicron doesn’t need money
    The sniffles doesn’t need an ICU
    Omicron will not need a time out
    Omicron will make a touch down

    Omicron will be your savior
    Omicron will go down the chimney
    Omicron will be under the Xmas tree
    Omicron will bring Xmas cheers


    Great Santa Stories bosco. 🙂

    WES, I guess Santas are above all the ‘rules’? Maybe their ‘beard’ is as good as a ‘mask’? Who knows. Anyway here they are allowed to roam free in supermarkets… 🙂 by special dispensation, as all we pleb customers have to wear masks.

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