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The small people never resigned themselves to explaining scarcity and high prices simply by the weather. They knew that tithe owners and manorial lords who collected dues in kind had considerable stores of grain, which they withheld from sale while waiting calmly for higher prices. Even more bitterly they blamed the dealers in grain--the small merchants who went from one market to another, the millers and bakers to whom trade in grain was forbidden but who engaged in it fraudulently. All were suspected for withholding, or hoarding, to precipitate or encourage a price increase. There was the same suspicion of purchases made by the government and local authorities, who were thought to make a profit either for their budgets or for their own pockets. Louis XV, for having entrusted a business concern with the task of creating grain reserves for Paris, was accused of lining his own treasury at the expense of the peoples' food; there were few who disbelieved in this "famine plot". Necker was likewise attacked for having an understanding with the millers who ground the imported grains, and who, so it was rumored, dishonestly re-exported it in the form of flour. Freedom of the grain trade looked like a blank check given to those who grew wealthy on the hardships of the poor; and it is clear that, if the reasoning of the economists was correct, the resulting progress nevertheless benefited landowners and business interests, while the ordinary people, at least momentarily, bore the burden. The economists judged that the misfortune was the will of Providence, and frankly declared that social progress could come only if the poor were willing to make sacrifices. The people thought, and sometimes said, that they ought to be able to live by their work, and that the price of bread should be proportionate to their wages; if the government gave a free hand to business and property, in the name of the general interest, then it shuld also take measures to assure the right of everyone to a living, by taking from the rich the wherewithal to subsidize bakers or sell grain at a loss. But the method considered obviously the simplest by the small people was to return to the old regulation, apply it with rigor and not recoil from a system of requisition and price control.

The Coming of the French Revolution, Georges Lefebvre, first published under the title Quatre-vingt-neuf, in 1939 under the auspices of the Institute for the History of the French Revolution, University of Paris, in conjunction with the National Committee for the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the French Revolution. Translated with a new preface by R.R. Palmer, Princeton University Press, Bicentennial Edition 1989.
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Chapter VI: Cactus Country

Rudy Hale and his wife lived alone back of thier little store fifty miles east of Yuma, and there was no one else for miles. Three steps from their door and you were ankle deep in bare sand. The Hales caught live rattlesnakes for a living. To me that would be ten thousand times worse than death. But they enjoyed it.
The Arizona sands are filthy with rattlers. Rudy and his wife worked the desert for snakes as a farmer works his land for crops. Rattlers built them a place to live, rattlers kept them in food and clothing, rattlers provided the start for their little gas and grocery business. They loved rattlers.
Rudy Hale was born in Illinois of German parentage, and he still had an accent. He was brought up with the idea of being a surgeon. A relative sent him to school abroad and he studied medicine in Austria for years. When the relative died, his schooling stopped and his life turned.
He wound up in California, where he worked for twenty years as a master mechanic. Then carbon monoxide laid him out and he went to the Arizona desert for his health. It was after two years there that the Hales came right up against it and had to turn to snakes for a living.
They started out by advertising in a San Diego paper. Before they knew it they were swamped with orders. They sold snakes to zoos all over the country, to private collectors, to medical centers for serum, to state reptile farms, to the Mayo brothers. "They say there aren't any snakes in Ireland," said Mrs. Hale, "But I know there are, because we've shipped snakes to Ireland."
They didn't even use forked sticks to catch snakes--just picked them up with bare hands and put them in a box slung over the shoulder. They usually hunted snakes for an hour after daylight and an hour before dark. In eight years they had caught approximately twenty thousand rattlers. Rudy had caught as many as fifty sidewinders in one hour's hunting. They had the desert cleaned almost bare of snakes for twenty miles around.
There are twelve species of rattlers in that part of Arizona. The sidewinder is the most deadly, and the Hales specialized in sidewinders. They used to get fifty cents a piece for them. "I just wish I could get fifty cents again," Rudy said. "They're down to twenty cents now." The most he ever got for a snake was seven dollars; that was a rare Black Mountain rattler. He said the huge snakes didn't bring as much as the medium-sized ones. They were harder to keep in captivity, and zoos didn't want them.
Hale had caught rattlers as big around as his leg. He had caught them so big they'd overpower him and pull his arms together, and he'd have to throw them away from him and then pick them up and try again. "I'm careful not to hurt a snake," he said. "Any snake I ship is a good healthy snake."

"Home Country" by Ernie Pyle
Copyright 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, by Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance; Copyright, 1947, By William Sloane Associates, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Country_(book)
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Glad to see this back on the front page. I promise to add something tomorrow but tonight I'm posting in between painting cabinets. Wink
"Tell the children crush the hatred,
Play your ukulele naked."
-- Amanda Palmer

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"Are you the new boss now?"
Maybe. If Dino has really lost it. Which you said first, by the way. Everyone heard you.
"I meant no disrespect. But this is a very big step. We better be sure we know what we are doing. Otherwise it is a betrayal. The worst kind, He will kill us all."
"Time to choose up sides," the right-hand man said.
"Time for us all to place our bets. It's either Viking rituals or it's some out-of-towner's takeover bid. Which will kill us faster than Dino could anyway."
The guy didn't speak for ten long seconds.
Then he said, "What should we do first?"
"Put the fire out. Haul the wreck to the crusher. Then start asking around. Two cars drove in. One was a big shiny Lincoln. Someone will remember the other one. We will find it, and find the guy who was in it, and we will make him tell us who he is working for."

At that moment Reacher was four streets away, in the front parlor of a battered row house owned by a musician named Frank Barton. Barton was Abby's friend in the east of the city. Also present in the house was Barton's lodger, a man named Joe Hogan, once a U.S. Marine, now also a musician. A drummer to be exact. .........................
The white Toyota was parked on the street, outside the window.
Barton said, "This is crazy, man. I know those guys. I play the clubs over there. They never forget. Abby can't go back there, ever again."
"Unless I find Trulenko," Reacher said.
"How will that help?"
"I think a defeat of that magnitude would change things a little."
Reacher didn't answer.
Author, Lee Child, "Blue Moon", A Jack Reacher Novel, 2019. 356 pages.

I just finished reading this book. It is Lee Child's most recent release. Some of his books have been made into action movies. Jack Reacher is his primary character.
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(11-22-2019, 11:57 PM)Fritzy Ritz Wrote: Glad to see this back on the front page. I promise to add something tomorrow but tonight I'm posting in between painting cabinets.  Wink

I am not yet considering whether the total result of such ambivalent victories is a good thing or a bad. I am only making clear what Man's conquest of Nature really means and especially that final stage in the conquest, which, perhaps, is not far off. The final stage is come when man, by eugenics, by pre-natal conditioning, and by an education and propaganda based on a perfect applied psychology, has obtained full control over himself. Human nature will be the last part of Nature to surrender to Man. The battle will then be won. We shall have 'taken the thread of life out of the hand of Clotho' and be henceforth free to make our species whatever we wish it to be. The battle will indeed be won. But who, precisely, will have won it?

The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis, 1947
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Armstrong knocked down another incoming missile. But the next one was even more critical, seeing as how it was headed directly for their bunker. Everyone held their breath. "Isaac," said Armstrong, "maybe you should handle this one."
"No," he said, "you're doing just fine, Colonel." "Got it!" Jeremy cried. "Six for six. Isaac, are we a team or what?"
Arrow was proving its mettle. Barak had not yet needed his MIRACL backup system. But the trouble was, missles just kept coming towards Israel. Barak and Armstrong were successful at knocking down the first six, but the seventh eluded the Arrow.
It was headed for the Galilee region of northern Israel. Barak zeroed in on it with the MIRACL system.

"3,2,1--it missed!" he shouted. There wasn't time for another attempt by either Arrow or MIRACL systems. "I think it's the Tiberias area," said Barak near tears.

Hal Lindsey, Blood Moon, 1996
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