I Don’t Know A Dream That’s Not Been Shattered

Yesterday, on my blog post, I got a comment that completely puzzled me.  I used an allusion, not even a direct quote, from Paul Simon’s American Tune.  For the record, right now, that song can move me to sobbing tears.

Anyway, this commenter, who thought she was liberal but was in fact extreme left – more on that later – was offended I used the song of a liberal song writer for something she considered a “conservative” blog post.

(Kids, explain to me, I must be getting old – when did loving your country, the only country on earth where citizenship is based on a common constitution become a conservative thing?  When do people who go around blogs stomping and tell you that you can’t do this or that become “liberal”?  I must be getting old, and someone hacked my dictionary.)

The comment was so out of the left field that I was ruder than I’ve ever been to a person on this blog – I think.  Part of me wasn’t even sure what she meant by informing me that Paul Simon was an unabashed Liberal and that I should “Stay classy” for using his lyrics.

And then I thought about it.  And I thought about it (and this is always bad.) and at last I figured out what goes on in far left minds.

These are far left minds, never mind that they call themselves “liberal.”  Their mental equipment is much the same that is found in Stalinist apparatchiks.  They are not the soft left, the people who somehow believe government handouts will go on forever, but who bear no animus towards those who think otherwise.  They’re not the center left which has the vague idea the government should look after everyone, but doesn’t really care how to accomplish it.

No, these are the people who, were they in charge, would make sure that no one could work without a political loyalty oath.  This is because they have – poor sods – confused politics with religion.  They think what they call “liberalism”( It reads closer to Marxism and in fact, as we’ve seen in the last couple of days, they get very upset when we say the Communist Manifesto isn’t a work of genius and the perfect blue print for society.  Which leads credence to the idea that communists took over the democratic party in the thirties, as Heinlein claimed.  As does the fact our current president was endorsed by Putin, Chavez and PC USA.) anyway, they think this ideology confers inherent virtue upon them.  It is, as I said, scripture, not a belief about society.

So if you believe in it with your whole heart, you’re one of them.  And if you’re one of them, they can consume your art in the certainty that it’s been “consecrated” by your beliefs.

Suddenly I understood the tsunami of cr*p that has poured out of almost every traditional publishing  house and music house, and the sad, joyless parodies of visual arts that fill the most recent rooms of our museums.

Expertise is not needed.  Intelligence is not needed.  Anything that touches the heart and moves the soul is not needed.  What is needed is the joyless and unimaginative adherence to a set of principles that – yes, I know Marx thought the state would eventually wither away.  His formula was Give more power to the government — ????? – The state withers away. And I actually don’t think he ever believed it.  Like al losers, his idea was that he’d acquire power through the government and lord it over better people than him – in human history have created some of the greyest, darkest, most human devouring societies.

So you either have to want that, or you have to willfully ignore history economics and human nature.  Of course, it doesn’t need to make sense.  It’s religion.

But once you’ve warped yourself to believe this, you are “good” and everything you create is good, even when it OBVIOUSLY isn’t.

It isn’t a great secret in NYC publishing.  The code term is “is one of the good people.” And the editors will tell you their duty is to “lift the consciousness” of the people – a Marxist term for filling them with communist ideas – not to sell books.

The problem is not that they’ve sold their birthright for a pot of message.  That is of course a problem, but not so much as the fact that they’re not even looking at the piece of work – even if they were capable of perceiving art – but at the creator.  And if they don’t know the creator, they search the book/art/song for “hints” of politics.  If you’re “liberal” (please read Marxist instead of that) then you’re in and your work is “good.”  Because good is not a matter of quality but a matter of “do you belong to the church of eternal collectivism.”

This is what upset the woman so much. I took the words of someone she perceives as a fellow co-religionaire (is he?  I don’t know.  I’d say he’s one of the hereditary democrats and now getting old and hasn’t re-examined his beliefs in twenty years or so.  And of course he moves in the same circles as the commenting critter.  BUT why should I CARE?) and used them for heretical works – wail – how dare I?

I’ll tell you how I dare.  Art – real art, done right – transcends time space and the mere mortal clay that created it.  I don’t think Shakespeare had a libertarian bone in his body (Kit Marlowe might have.  Stop giggling.  Yes, I used the word bone.  NO I don’t meant that.  Juveniles!) but I can be moved and transported out of myself by his plays.  Jane Austen was, I’m sure, a good monarchist.  She surely believed in a class system, but why in heck’s name should that stop me enjoying her books?  Agatha Christie had some shockingly obtuse political statements in her thrillers, but I still re-read her mysteries every year.  Why shouldn’t I?  ART ISN’T THE PERSON.

It’s perfectly possible, when an art piece touches you deeply, to find meaning in art that is sometimes the opposite of what the author meant.  I know I have communist fans who adore Darkship Thieves.  Fine.  I’ve released the art (I’m never sure I produce that, of course!) into the world, and now it lives in other people’s minds.  I can’t stop it.

And ALL the libertarian fans of Firefly and Serenity know that Joss Whedon is as the offended commenter would say “quite liberal.”  So?  They see another meaning in the art.

From this side of the desk, let me tell you, when I’m flying, things come through my fingers that I haven’t even thought much less shaped.  Subconscious?  Channeling of the source of shamanic dreams?  Who knows.  Art is what it is.  If you control it too closely it misses that divine spark.  (To whom it may concern, this is not an excuse to be sloppy in craft.  If you’re thinking that you don’t even know what I’m talking about.)

So, Joss Wheddon channels libertarianism, or maybe we just read it into it.  It doesn’t matter.  Art only lives when it meets the mind of the one experiencing it.  And if it’s really art, not sad collections of twisted kitchen implements made by someone with the “right” political convictions and therefore “good”, it touches you in ways you don’t expect, it creates a symbiotic experience in which your mind and the artist’s interact and the result can be quite unique.

Paul Simon is, I’m sure, a real artist (not always.  No artist has uniform production) just like Leonard Cohen, whom I also adore is a real artist (though I’m sure he’s also “quite liberal”.)  Joss Whedon is a real artist too, and I don’t mean to stop consuming his work, even if I might, in repulsion at some of his political work, buy stuff used instead of watching it in theaters.

You see, we perceive art as art and good as good and evil as evil.  Because politics is not our church, we don’t require oaths of fealty.  We just require that the work itself move us.  We’re odd that way.  Heck we can even like a PERSON as a person while hating their politics.  Because people sometimes embrace a superficial good without looking beneath, or want to belong to the “cool kid club” and refuse to believe that what is beneath is as evil as we say.  That doesn’t make them evil.  Only useful idiots.  What makes them evil is confusing politics with religion and going around stomping and demanding fealty.  Okay, mostly it makes them annoying and stupid.  BUT that’s a form of evil when it’s done on my blog.

Go listen to American Tune, if you haven’t.  At this time and this place, I challenge you not to cry when you hear it.

And as for consuming the art of “quite liberal” people – grins – yes, ma’am.  Art enriches the soul, when it’s good.  And unlike people who think “good” means “Believes like me”, I have a soul.

And, oh, yeah, I aim to misbehave.

369 responses to “I Don’t Know A Dream That’s Not Been Shattered

  1. Sarah, I am SO stealing that “sold their birthright for a pot of message” line. :D

  2. Their mental equipment is much the same that is found in Stalinist apparatchiks.

    Excepting, of course, that they just LOVE the products produced by capitalists like Steve Jobs, hence their incessant internal debates and pretzelized logic regarding the differences between personal property and private property.

    • Oh, that’s easy. You just ignore it. Hippies in the 60’s would look at you blankly if you noticed that their stereo system was one of those materialistic thingees.

      • But it’s worse than that. Watching some of the random youtube recordings taken during the height of OWS in New York, watching them argue about “personal property”, which is “perfectly okay and allowable”, said one of them referring to his iPad (…lol…allowable…”Come see the violence inherent in the system!”), but private property is evil. It was enough of a cognitive dissonance that I actually looked it up and read some threads on various forums about the topic. What really struck me is the pervasive lack of any original thought among those posting. Almost every other sentence was citing this authority or that.

    • The Steve Jobs paid tribute to the Combine and thus became “approved.” Marxism stops at the crony capitalists’ edge.

  3. What you describe is the same effect often seen when Christian “Sacred” music is “pulled” from the Church and given a secular lyric. But in such cases most of the faithful are happy to see the art used to move the heathens into a closer relationship with the Creator.

    And that bespeaks the difference between Right & Left. And it also explains why so many on the Left are so full of self-admiration over parroting their catechism and are utterly incapable of engaging an argument — they never incorporated the thoughts and reasoning, they simply “know” that uttering the pieties makes them “good” regardless of their actions.

    • /they simply “know” that uttering the pieties makes them “good” regardless of their actions./

      Sort of like those people that think that walking into a church makes you a Christian.

    • Oddly enough American Tune is itself an example of what you cite. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Tune. When I first heard it, I immediately recognized it as “Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded”, a Lenten song in my tradition, the music taken from Bach. I’m sure Simon’s use of the music was quite deliberate to resonate with those of us who know the other lyrics.

  4. Woot! YES!

    Captain Reynold’s answer to the person who questions why his ship is named “for a battle you were on the wrong side of”.

    Reynolds: May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

    That’s me.

  5. If Simon had meant the song to move only the hearts of those who agreed with him on every issue, he could have done that, he would have deliberately narrowed down the focus. “American Tune” occupies the same place in my heart as “Chimes of Freedom” by Bob Dylan, which Dylan seems to have written as a kind of benediction to all the wounded souls victimized by the awful Sixties. I know the song is claimed by Springstein and the rest as an antiwar song, but Dylan lays his blessings on all the injured, regardless of whether their hurts are politically approved or not. “For each and every underdog soldier in the night…” And at the end, he seems to grasp for the wounded who are most scorned by the hip: ah yes, “and for each and every hung-up soul in the whole wide universe, and we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.” I will continue to love both of these songs whether I am approved to love or not.

    • Another one that fits that mold is Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.” It accurately describes the current leftistmedia in most aspects.

      • The Hooters “Blood from a Stone”–I still sing “i’m getting tired of all this bullsh*t” with as much gusto as I did when it came out…. Might not be art, but it’s still truth (alas).

        • I have no idea what their political leaning might be, but Rainmakers have a few good ones. Government cheese?

          • Libertarian. Glenn Reynolds, BTW, is terribly fond of that song.

            If I were to choose artists only based on their political leanings, I’d be on a diet of country music and (some) metal. I’m pretty sure most of the prog-rockers I listen do don’t share my current politics (I am a recovered ex-leftist) but their lyrics tend to be just ambiguous enough that listeners can put their own meaning into it.

            Of course, Rush during their most creative period wrote quite a few libertarian anthems. “2112” is basically a rock-opera retelling of Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”, and [You can't have]“Something for nothing” (also from the 2112 album) is a simple and direct statement of TANSTAAFL.

            • Alice Cooper, Kiss, Ted Nugent. Ok I’m running out of rock musicians that are not leftist.

            • You could listen to a steady diet of U2 with Bono’s recent epiphany regarding capitalism and how it does indeed float all boats in the developing world. Or, speaking of prog-rock, Rush has quite a catalog and their inner conservative shows through quite a bit…more now that they are older.

            • My older kid was b*tching they had no metal at R/R rallies. Considering I’ve threatened to dive out of the car when he tunes to his favorite metal station, I’m glad they didn’t.

              • I worked at hard rock radio stations for almost ten years. I can’t stand today’s “metal”. It’s a lot of guttural, demonic screaming.

                • YES. Also, the kids should get off our lawn already. (Grin. I agree with you, btw, but I’m still running.)

                  • Hey…I have a problem with people parking their car in front of my house :) We have a neighbor with three teen-aged kids (all three of which now drive). Not only do we have THEIR cars, but their friends cars and their friends’ friends cars. I’ve taken to parking in the street in front of my house instead of using the two-car driveway, even when the driveway is completely empty.

                    This cuts down on the volume of flicked cigarette butts in my front yard.

                    Damned kids.

              • The Daughter did a short stint where she listed to German Industrial Metal incessantly. She now, thankfully, listens to more variety. But there one English group who sounds great, but if you pay to much attention to the lyrics you get to wishing they were just banal. (She agrees about the lyrics.)

                • Robert swung into this about a year ago. His other favorite is classical, which is what we’ve settled on for the car. He also likes classic Jazz and I love that. It’s just the metal that makes me want to plug my ears and slit my throat. I think part of it is that I have some measure of the same sensory issues younger kid had (I remember having the symptoms he had in first grade) and I think it distorts things just enough that it’s not just “I don’t like it” it’s like hot pokers driven in my ears.

                  • I have tinnitus and hyperacusis, and don’t listen to very much of anything, since it all hurts. When I do, on that rare occasion, want some music, I listen to classic, Celtic Woman, religious, or classic jazz. I’m not much into modern “pop”, and I don’t listen to ANYTHING that’s hard rock. That’s just me. You (collectively) are welcome to your own brand of noise. I live in my “man cave” (which I’ve had for far longer than that’s been a thread), in quiet.

                • I haven’t bothered to find out much about any musical styles and what is exactly what nowadays, I just go for what I happen to hear and like and that tends to run almost the whole gamut, from classical to swing to older jazz to some of the latest pop tunes to metal to country, and most of the stuff not on that list too. When it comes to metal, mostly older (70’s and 80’s), but I have to admit Rammstein is one group I do like. Maybe because while I understand some German, I don’t understand it well enough to be able to follow the lyrics. ;)

                  But I don’t often listen to anything sung in Finnish, and one reason is that I prefer to be able to ignore the lyrics if I want to. Which I can do, to some extent, even with English which I understand pretty much as well as I understand Finnish. But I can’t do that with Finnish. I always end up listening to the words and I find that, for some reason, usually irritating. Even if the lyrics are good, and saying something I agree with (not that common, and it gets painful when the lyrics are bad).

                  • The Daughter played me a lot of Rammstein, particularly during that year of German Industrial Metal.

                    When it comes to irritating words? Well hearing the translation of 99 Red Balloons did not do anything for me. The sentiment so completely overwhelmed the music and the beautiful voice of the vocalist. There are times I am thankful I cannot understand what is being sung.

              • Metal fits Sturgeon’s 90% rule like anything else. Unfortunately it’s the 90% of krep that gets the airplay.

                Thanks so much for your kind replies downthread :-)

      • “leftistmedia” Uh huh. I retagged the Media…I have tagged them with two new monikers. The MLPM, Militant Liberal Propaganda Machine and…the PPM. Progressive Propaganda Machine. They are now the sons and daughters of Goebbels and I wish them joy of the consequences.

  6. Being from the Austen fiction world I KNOW there are lots of readers and writers who would love to make her a feminist in their own image. Bet not.

    As for Whedon, Firefly et al, sigh. When Nathan Fillion Tweeted nasty things about Romney, I was glad to see Adam Baldwin responding. Mal and Jayne going at it in real time, priceless.

  7. There’s a mentality I see among my left-wing acquaintances – I’m with you, I want to take back the word “liberal” and return it to its original meaning – a need to GET someone. I know we all love the image of tilting at windmills and calling them giants, but, now I’m old and cynical, what I see is some poor miller getting up, finding his windmill has been destroyed by some idiot who’s now marching around, chest puffed out, talking about the evil giant he’s dispatched.

    It goes to something deeper though. This is a touchy subject, and I don’t mean this universally, but my left wing acquaintances are often people with deep inadequacies. A local person I’ve heard confronts every left-winger he meets with, “I’m sorry your father didn’t love you.” There’s some truth to that. A whole lot of leftist behavior is a way of compensating for a small soul, someone who wants to gain power, to sneer, or otherwise gain superiority over someone (often some imagined demon).

    Couple this with a generation of journalists brought up on Bob Woodward and you’ve got the modern media.

    Yes, there are less extremist lefties who are simply poorly informed – I have a number of friends, usually a little older than me, whose parents were died-in-the-wool FDR groupies, and our public schools continue this myth – after all, an activist politician makes for a lot better story. But I’m talking about the far-left.

    • In the words of some hack Left-wing politician: “… don’t boo, vote. Vote! Voting is the best revenge.”

      • They’re bottle coveys. How did Pratchett put it “They’ve been hating themselves since the day they were born” and something about taking it out on everyone.

        Of course, some of us are bottle coveys too. But we moderate it with rationality and we don’t take it out on everyone. It’s just very hard to stop us once you p*ss us off. And we’ll just keep coming. It’s best NOT to p*ss us off.

        • Yes, we are rational, they are not. So how to reach them? I’ve said, “But it doesn’t work” to I don’t know how many people, and they’ll nod and agree, but it doesn’t change a thing, because logic doesn’t give them a warm fuzzy.

          • I think we’re paying for ‘the wounded children of the 20th century” — humans need structure.

            • Demolition of the structure that was in place the first 175 years of this country was an achievement of the Left. Leave us not even get started on the many ways they wreaked their will, but almost every policy they pushed served to increase the immaturity of Americans.

            • Nature abhors a vacuum. Some people can live without religion, questioning anything and everything at all times — but it’s too forbidding an existence for most. The people I do know that can handle that tend to self-select to careers in the hard sciences or engineering and away from public policy.
              The remaining vast majority of people fill the void with secular religions masquerading as ideologies. As I often tell them: the difference between you and me is that at least I am aware that my religion (Judaism) is just that — a system of faith and observance.

              • being descended of conversos on both sides and having got the weirdest theology at home (It’s weird how legends and side-stories survive when the religion is gone) I’ve always felt very attracted to Judaism and somewhat uncomfortable in Catholicism, so I’ve careened madly to which one I feel most like, depending on… day of the week, often. It’s more like Judaism speaks to who I am, but Catholicism has the rituals I grew up with. That’s not clear, but it’s close.

                In either case, I’ve never been in doubt that He lives, though sometimes we’re confused about His plans and what it all means, and we do whatever we can on insufficient data.

                Because I’m caught between two traditions, I relentlessly examined all my own positions and I have the “I wouldn’t do it, but I think that people should be allowed to” for many of them where I can’t justify my recoil on rational principles.

                However, I’m religious enough that in the end, when faced with radical environmentalism, my immediate reaction was, “Go away. I already have a religion.” (One could actually say I’m rather over-endowed in the religious department, when all is said and done.)

                • Now, see, that’s seriously old school. Conversos! Just like St. Teresa of Avila! I gather there’s a lot of folks of that heritage down in the Southwest. (Though also bear in mind that Portugal had its own Rite of Braga, so maybe you’re just resisting the replacement of Bragan stuff with newish Latin/Roman Rite stuff after Vatican II.)

                  Over my way, I’m actually a little too apt to read Judaism as being exactly like Catholicism (except of course that whole matter of the Incarnation). Mostly because most of the Jews I know are on the very Orthodox side, and because they have rules that are serious, like the way I was raised. Also, there’s a lot of cousin factor that comes out when a lot of your other acquaintances in fandom are atheists, pagans, etc. But it may also be a German ancestry thing, because most of the Jewish people I know have the same ideas about cooking as my mom got from the German side of her family. And going to synagogue is a lot like going to church, even though the obvious critical sacrament is missing, and the centrality of the Bible scroll is totally totally different from the Altar and the Real Presence. But it’s so much in the same liturgical ballpark that it seems more like church to me than a lot of Protestant services.

                  However, I’m here to tell you that it’s amazing how many ways you can over-assume in a situation where things start to feel overly familiar when they’re not! And it turned out that the best way I could respect my friends’ beliefs was to keep the differences in thinking firmly in mind. Sort of a “good theology makes good neighbors” thing.

          • Slow creep indoctrination. Same tactic used by the socialists. If we could take over the entertainment… but if that happens, I think, especially to start with, we’d also need stories which do no preach to our choir, but seem totally acceptable to the liberal mind on the surface. Learn their language. Use it to spread our ideas.

            Most of my friends are liberals, and they are mostly very nice people who really want the best for everybody, but that means they will mostly listen to those people who will say things which sound nice. Think of the children. Take care of the poor. All that. Their own lives are fairly comfortable, they are not all that interested in how things work as long as they seem to work so they don’t dig. They read the papers, watch the TV and read in places associated with the ‘reliable’ news sources online, so as far as they know most of the people who say contrary things are either badly informed or some sort of nuts. The only way you might get to them up front would probably be if something catastrophic happens in their own lives, something which forces them to look deeper and perhaps then see the faults in the official structures. But lacking that, yes, I think some sort of slow, gentle indoctrination might work with at least some of them. Something which might make them think that they have changed their minds all by themselves, or not actually really changed their minds but really they have thought that way all the time but just now realized that some of the political parties etc they dismissed earlier actually do think the same way they do… Most people will never be willing to admit, maybe especially to themselves, that they have been stupid, or that they have been duped, except maybe several years after their change of mind.

            And honey works better than vinegar.

            Entertainment matters. People who fight for gun rights in your country have been able to make advances during the last decades. I think that may have something to do with the fact that guns are one of the things which are still shown as something mostly cool even in stories told by die hard socialists. Should work with other things.

            • “The only way you might get to them up front would probably be if something catastrophic happens in their own lives, something which forces them to look deeper and perhaps then see the faults in the official structures. ”

              Wait until Obamacare hits, and when we hit the fiscal cliff, and if we lose the Bush tax cuts. It’s started already – stock market crash yesterday, layoffs announced, and full time jobs downgraded to part time.

              • THEY thought we were in a recovery. The media never reported the employment numbers were cooked. Yes, this is going to get VERY VERY BAD. The corollary to “mid galt” is “Take care of your own.” Let’s get on it, people.

              • … full time jobs downgraded to part time.

                I foresee this happening a lot. I also foresee a lot of jobs moving to a cash-based, grey-market status. “Listen. On the books, you’re working 29 hours a week, and your paycheck will reflect that. But if you were to, say, stick around in the back room and restock inventory during your ‘free time’, well, who knows? You might find a few $20 bills lying around while you restocked.”

                • I foresee this too. It always happens. What drives me nuts about these college statists who are in charge now is that they think the law makes reality. “If I make a law doing this, people will obey.” Well, no. People will survive. However they have to. But it does destroy respect for law in the long run.

                  • Well this must be why I left the left I had been raised in. Somewhere along the line I realized that laws didn’t make it so. People rarely change their long held thinking patterns at a drop of a hat.

                    When a friend would say we need to make it against the law to be racist, I would reply, “I guess we could pass a law saying that on a certain Monday in August we would all wake up pink with purple pokka-dots so there would be no more racism. Know what? Come that Monday morning we would wake up, nothing would have changed and only a few Caucasians with measles or mumps would be legal.”

                  • The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit;and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

                    Adam Smith

                    • That Adam Smith, he was so sharp he could cut you. More sharp analysis:

                      The Democratic Party is mostly an incoherent amalgam of interest groups, most of which are vying for benefits for themselves and their members at the expense of other Americans. This kind of party is why America’s founders worried about partisanship and were, at least at first, eager to avoid a party system. It is a bunch of factions more than a party. The basic distinction between a faction and a proper party—a distinction proposed by Edmund Burke, among the first positive proponents of parties in the Anglo-American tradition—is that a faction seeks power over the whole for its own advantage while a party seeks power to advance its own vision of the good of the whole. “A party,” Burke wrote, “is a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavor the national interest upon some principle in which they are all agreed.”

                      Some of today’s Democrats do advance such a view of the good of the whole—a progressive view by which the national interest is served by replacing traditional mediating institutions with the more rational and technocratic public institutions of the welfare state, replacing what they take to be a stifling combination of moral collectivism and economic individualism with what they take to be a liberating combination of moral individualism and economic collectivism. It is this view that conservatives call “the Left” and which we oppose and resist. But the Democrats are not united by this view and are by no means all agreed in it. The party’s electoral strength is not a function of its commitment to this view or of the public’s acceptance of it. Its electoral strength is a function of a coalition of special-interest groups that provide both voters and activists in return for the party protecting their interests at the expense of those of other Americans when it is in power.

                      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/333010/election-and-right-yuval-levin

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  It’s begun. See here.

            • They have become the establishment they opposed and derided in the 1950’s and 60’s. Listening to their protest songs reveals they didn’t (for example) object to media bias, they were merely objecting that the media did not share their bias:

              They are such ignorant gits they don’t have a clue how ignorant they be.

            • Speaking as a ‘convert’ from Euro-style social democrat to conservative libertarian (small-c, small-l), I can tell you that breaking with the left was one of the most heart-wrenching things I ever went through. It took 9/11 and the events around it — and the craven reaction of the left — to finally release the cascade of two decades of accumulated doubts. I can imagine that the experience is too forbidding for many people, especially if they are socially invested. Being an introvert helps ;-)

              • What pulled me away was Clinton, weirdly enough. Just watching the pages and pages and pages of fawning on Clinton right after his election, as though he were some sort of redeemer made me deeply uncomfortable. So, I started paying attention. I’d always been anti-communist, but I was like you social-democrat. There were doubts at the back of my mind planted by Heinlein long ago, but it was not till 31 that the depth bombs started exploding and I started going “Now, waiddaminute.”
                Yes, in a way it was wrenching, but in another immensely freeing. Like, I stopped thinking we were going to die of overpopulation — among other things. I started feeling I had a right to be on the Earth (as much as any of them) and I started being able to read things and go “You and whose army?”
                It was almost as freeing as finally coming out politically.

              • I have been through two complete losses of faith, one from the political side, the other religious. No, having the rug pulled out from under your world view is not something that I class as fun and enjoyable. But living in delusion, particularly when it leads to living in a grey goo world, isn’t all that good either.

                • “Loss of faith” with politics is, sadly, a very apt comparison. One of the most brainless left friends I have started life as a extreme fundamentalist Christian, but lost his religion when he got to college. But he’s turned extremist left-wing politics into religion instead. Look at all these lefties, looking for an earthly savior in their politicians, and listening to the gospel of NPR.

      • We’re still in limbo even as to what his own people think he meant by that, aren’t we? Does that one get filed away “”We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” in terms of nebulous meanings?

    • The original meaning of “liberal” was “free.” You can read a nice chapter on this in C. S. Lewis’s Studies in Words

  8. Thanks Sarah– We need comics, artists, musicians, writers, and other types to reach them– Maybe we can plump up their souls– or at the very least pump up the souls of the center left–

    • yes. That can work. But it would be a case of us having a hammer, of course.

    • One of the most dismaying aspects of engaging in discussion with Leftists is their apparent inability to “hear” what is being said to them. Express concern over illegal immigration and they accuse you of opposing legal immigration, say that children are best cared for in homes with two loving parents and they slam you for hating single mothers.

      Art may be the only thing that slides past their conscious awareness and is capable of moving them — which is one reason their elites are hell bent on reducing art to politically correct grey goo. As Boss Tweed complained about Thomas Nast’s cartoons exposing the corruption at the core of Tamany Hall, “Stop them damn pictures. … My constituents can’t read. But, damn it, they can see the pictures.”

      This was part of Breitbart’s insight, and is a central aspect of Chris Muir’s work at http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/

      • Or they will listen, say, ‘yes, yes, yes,’ even repeating and acknowledging some of what you have said. Then they will turn around and add something like, if the subject is holding single mother accountable for their own actions, ‘but if you do that won’t it hurt their children?’

        • And pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, that the single mother’s poverty is the least of the perils she imposes on her children. Unmarried middle-class white women’s children have a higher infant mortality rate than those of married poor black women.

          We’d probably have to impose mandatory infant adoption on some social classes to break up their pathologies, although on the bright side, I dare say that facing such a prospect instead of free money would mean not very many adoptions before they discovered that they did not, after all, get pregnant as a bolt from the blue.

          • The girls know the facts of life, and it comes as no surprise, except, possibly for the young ones who are being abused. They can get birth control. For an eye opening read try Pulitzer Prize winner Leon Dash’s When Children Want Children: The Urban Crisis of Teenage Childbearing, written after living among his subject in Washington, D.C..

  9. Sarah, having only discovered you recently , you have very quickly become my favourite blogger. Been looking for a new Heinlein and PF Hamilton , whilst writing huge books, isn’t prolific enough on a day to day basis.

    Thank you.

  10. “and the sad, joyless parodies”

    That’s something I’ve been mulling recently.

    There is no joy in Mudville – or popular culture. When I listen to the music, watch the TV shows, or see movies, the thing I’ve been searching for is…

    Joy.

    There may be mild humor, or a certain bit of happiness, but there is so little broad-stroke JOY in modern culture it makes the soul cringe.

    The humor is, more often, angry – based on schadenfreude or embarrassment. The love is guarded or compromised (or flat-out broken). The music… does anyone know how to write unabashedly joyful music any more?

    Aside from a few reliable sources (Pixar and Disney leap to mind), there isn’t any habitat for joy in the modern sensibility…

    • But joy isn’t *kewl* (said in snotty whining voice).

      And yet, the wonder from the media types at how much money and how successful the joyful books and movies are. I remember when Star Wars came out, after years and years of boring, joyless pretentious grey goo movies, and how stunned people were at its success. Or Harry Potter, and suddenly kids actually wanted to read again (who knew that kids couldn’t care less about “I want to slit my wrists” and “Mommy and Daddy are divorcing” books.

      • I’ve listened to the Democratic campaign for weeks, and what bothers me more than the unfairness is the fact that there’s nothing there that could not have been written by a nasty, filthy-minded ten year old. I hated it when people like Roger Ebert screamed “Liar, liar!” when Romney just disagreed on proposition 459 or so forth, but at least he sounds like an intelligent grown man venting.

        • Yes, as I wrote and tweeted last week, BHOzo and his campaign make a group of middle-schoolers look mature and poised in comparison. Sadly, I am afraid that’s bulls-eye for a nontrivial segment of the electorate, with tribal identification and short-term self-interest (even if self-destructive long-term, as the unsustainable bills come due) doing the rest.
          And perhaps “middle-schoolers” is the key. It’s all about being “in” or “out” of the “clique”.

          • It’s been for a long time. And we’ve fostered it by not coming out of the closet.

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — come out, come out wherever you are — be not afraid.

            (I just didn’t expect my husband to go all combative!)

    • My novels are usually quite joyous, I think. Even in the middle of dystopian societies. Pratchett’s work has JOY. Dave Freer.

    • Joy has a spiritual aspect and requires a heart that can look at the world and beyond it to see the deep goodness of things and of people. Happiness is transient but joy can outlast both happiness and sorrow. How can you translate that into a 20 min. sitcom episode without knowing a great deal more about the human condition than I wager the majority of screenwriters and producers do? Joy requires quiet moments, and reflection. Sob stories and crude jokes take less time and are far easier to write and to test on focus groups.

    • The music… does anyone know how to write unabashedly joyful music any more?

      Well, some country songs– although the “sex, sex, and more sex, with some cynicism and bullying” theme is getting there, too– though CW does more silly or punny ones when it’s being cheerful.

      Steven Curtis Chapman has some very joyful songs– I Do Believe(not the best version, too much instrumental, he’s got a Voice, possibly enhanced in another version), or Dive. (I’m diving in/ I’m going deep/ in over my head I want to be/ lost in the crush, caught in the flow/ in over my head I wanna go/ the river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive/ so sink or swim I’m diving in)
      Religious, of course.
      Vince Nim’s version of the Canticle of the Turning. different version of it from youtube. (My soul cries out/ with a joyful shout/ that the God of my heart is great)

      The Maccabeats do really fun, Jewish themed parodies of popular songs.

      I love the Orthodox Celts’ Star Of The County Down, though the joy there may be just me.

      • The Hooters, mentioned earlier, I think they are all or mostly Jewish, you can see it in some of their songs. Check out the lyrics of “All You Zombies,” does not really have anything to do with the Heinlein story.

      • Brad Paisley. I think he is at his best when he writes about things like watching your kids play in the yard or about discovering that you can love your Spouse more and more or the value of a man who chooses to be a father, or about comradery. And he also writes a bunch of other stuff, like fishing.

      • That’s one of the things I love most about Celtic Woman, at least the first three or four of their CDs. I don’t have any of the last ones yet – maybe this Christmas. If you’ve ever seen them in person, or even a video of them performing, you cannot help but see they have a JOY in music. The best of the classic composers — Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, had a LOVE of music, and it came through their productions. I don’t think anyone could listen to Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, and not feel uplifted. Most of the junk sold as “music” today is whiney, bitchy, angry, or sullen. Who wants to listen to that? I have KIDS for that!

        • Oh my, can’t believe I didn’t think of it!

          Tran Siberian Orchestra! Especially… I think it’s “Mad Russian’s Christmas”? It’s their version of the Russian Dance, and a couple of others, I think.

  11. I don’t know about you, but today I actually de-friended/stopped “following”/whatever (something I rarely do over politics) an author who’s books I like (not you) on Facebook, because the author posted a condescending strawman (and half-truth)-filled monologue by Rachel Maddow (on the network that cropped a picture of a black guy with a rifle so you couldn’t see his skin, so they could talk about WHITE anger at Obama…) as if it was wisdom. And the handful piling on are already snarking.

    • My husband has one on a de-friending orgy. to put this in perspective, my sons have marveled that such an apolitical man and I are happy together. Dan is “think the best of everyone” “They don’t mean it” “but I like the show” apolitical center sort of right. I’m of course … mostly libertarian, I think, though it started in FIRE BREATHING anti-communism (seeing it up close does that) and my philosophy could be summed up with “leave me alone to do my thing.”

      Well, I haven’t been on FB in three days. Will be, yes, later, probably weekend, but while I was in the “cuss them out” mode, yesterday, I didn’t want to risk it, and today I’m catching up at work, and again “I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore” — they’re behaving as if they’ve won a soccer game, instead of messing with me and mine. (Something that’s very dangerous, let me tell you.)

      And they’ve managed to anger Dan. He’s gone on an orgy of defriending and he’s posting political stuff. Mind you, most of what he’s posting is stuff like “Why do you think you can tax corporations and they won’t got abroad” because he thinks that’s sensible (it is) not political. But to those sad, “commie-religious” nuts everything is political and the truth will not be allowed. So…

      • Corporations that relocate to avoid unbearable tax and regulatory and labor regimes are slammed as “unpatriotic” (as if those cretins know what patriotism is.)

        Corporations that raise prices to cover the costs of unbearable tax and regulatory and labor regimes are slammed as “greedy” and “soulless.”

        They think they can gain weight by eating their legs; they will find themselves unable to run from the wolves that will inevitably come, having scented weakness and blood.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Corporations that relocate to avoid unbearable tax and regulatory and labor regimes are slammed as “unpatriotic”

          Which is twice as funny (and stupid) when you remember that mostly, these are the same people who slam “Patriotic” as some sort of evil.

      • I’m sorry to hear that someone who stays out of it has gotten so angered over the mindlessness.

        I could deal with the “cheering” – etc. They think the better guy won. Heck – I’m a standout in my immediate family, and not quite the majority among my greater family, (though how a bunch of lithuanians can’t grok the nasty consequences of centralized control at times is beyond me).

        It’s the mindless parroting of half-truths, and raw, dripping condescension towards the strawman they think we believe, from people who are happy to define some action as good or bad based on which candidate does it. The simple inability to remember the last seven days of news reporting and statements while swallowing as whole and never previously-contradicted truth an utter about-face.

        Personally, I avoid explicitly posting or deleting over politics on FB as it’s tied to my professional life, and I’m in my job to help people and their businesses, not fight over what politician you hate. That said, that Maddow screed is not something I’ll accept. So rather than get in a public fight, I’ll choose to ignore the person and make sure they no longer affect my blood pressure.

        • You don’t have to defriend, you just have to block (though I’m not on FB much at all).

          • That’s what I do, and Dan knows about it, but he’s gotten VERY angry. And if you knew him — he’s the nice one in this family — this is not at all like him.

            • I realized a while ago that there’s no such thing as friendship with someone who despises what I hold good. It’s just me kidding myself. Just me pretending to be something other than I am.

              That’s not friendship.

              I’m with Dan.

            • Most of us who are conservative just want to live our lives, politics is not the central driving force in those lives. Business or family maybe, but not politics. When we are forced into a corner and have to fight in the cess pool of the political arena — well, we can be a bit like a grizzly bear angry because it has been poked out of hibernation.

              • G-d help them if we ever go on strike. I am not so worried about them going galt.

                • As Larry Correia is fond of saying, “When my side gets uppity, you’ll know it.” Granted he’s usually talking about guns rather than productive jobs, but the same principle applies: we have them, and our philosophical opponents often don’t.

                  • Master oyster, I invoked you else-thread, though I might have called you Free molusc or something — that school you want to start, if you need first-level French and/or German teacher, I can try. I’ve taught languages in community colleges and I can show you my credentials. No, not for money, but we need to actively move education away from the current model. It’s imperative.

                    • Mi’lady, I am overwhelmed with your generosity. Thank you. The stage I’m in now, I need experienced advice and guidance more than specific teachers. I had thought to ask you about particular issues I have or foresee, since you have experience, but I know how madly busy you’ve been. I’m badly behind in my planning, having been overwhelmed for weeks with family cares and adjusting to a new job. The discussions of the last couple of days pushed me to get things rolling again, but I’ve lost some momentum. Foreign languages will certainly play a part, and I will gladly accept your offer, I simply have a lot of work still to do before I can do anything about it. But it will happen!

                    • h’m! Oyster, it just occurred to me that I know of a person or two in the faculty of my old high school who would probably find your project interesting. I think I may drop them an email in the next day or so, direct them to your blog. Don’t know if anything will come of it, but it seems to me that you and they have some similar interests re: education.

          • It’s not the same.

            • You can “unsubscribe” from someone you don’t actually want to defriend and block (I think to actually “block” someone, you have do defriend first, I’ve had to do it before). You can then put them on a “Restricted” list, and they will only see your public posts, not your friends only posts. (I’ve done that for people I’ve only friended for some games).

        • That’s what I do, for the same reasons.

      • Yes, because basic math is racist, or something. (sigh) Echoes of Lysenko…

    • Don’cha jus’ love how they tell us to “stay classy”?

      So sorry to take the joy out of your rubbing salt into our wounds.

  12. I’ve been trying to substitute “leftist” for “liberal” in my own vocabulary. I’m sure I’m not the only one, either, especially here. Classic Liberalism is the exact opposite of what those who currently claim the name “liberal” actually are.

  13. So let me get this straight. Paul Simon posts a filk of Hassler’s “O Sacred Head,” (also known for the Bach motet of the hymn) and calls it “American Tune”, thus putting ordinary Americans explicitly in the position of suffering along with Christ on His Cross — and it’s _your_ liberal qualifications being questioned?

  14. I doubt that many people are willing to listen but there is a whole lot of religious thinking about ideologies and people think that because there is no god involved that they can’t possibly be a true believer. Not like those icky religionists. Consequently a whole bunch of political thought and policy support is almost entirely about the state of their own soul… are they *good*.

    Consider this statement I heard when I was calling into Nevada : “I voted for Obama… because I like gay people!”

    Compare that to my version: I’d like gay people to have jobs.

    Which one is about the moral virtue of the person making the statement and which one is about the people supposedly being “liked?”

    When ideology is about making yourself a good person, the end result for other people doesn’t matter quite so much. You voted the right way, you expressed the proper concerns, you defended the weak when you spoke with your friends, and you’d never ever cut spending on Sesame Street. You’re a GOOD person.

    Well, that’s good for you.

    Everyone else is still pretty much screwed.

  15. Oh pretty please? Can we start using the phrase classical liberal to mean John Adams, and not JJ Rousseau? One of them recognizes faults in self, and is willing to put in decades of work and sacrifice, and alienates his own supporters in order to hold to principle. (See: defender of Boston Massacre). The other is just wrong-headed and silly.

    • Adams admitted that he was obnoxious and disliked. One thing we have to do now we have to convince people that being liked is not a measure of the correctness of your views.

      • I THINK this weekend is a time to watch The Patriot and 1776 — what say you guys.

        Tomorrow I shall blog about “Where to Start” both for our seemingly genuinely puzzled enquirer and for the rest of us. We need basics on which to stand…

        Today I’m doing VERY uncomfortable chapters of Witchfinder (you’ll see) which is why it’s late.

        • In our contemporary post-literate society we might best ought be using Youtube to communicate with the unenlightened annointed. Five minutes, give ot take a few, seems about the extent of their attention spans.

          Here’s a very good starting place – Milton Friedman: http://www.commonsensecapitalism.com/p/free-to-choose.html

          • Is it time to crowd source?

            And before y’all start in on me, I know the Friedman videos are an hour each. But groups like Cato and Heritage and Encounter [http://www.youtube.com/user/encounterbooks] have developed some very good short videos that are marvels of effective clarity.

        • There is a lovely film version of the G. B. Shaw play The Devil’s Disciple produced and starring Burt Lancaster. It also had Kirk Douglas and Sir Laurence Olivier. Unfortunately it is not available in a disc format. I don’t know why, but it should be. (Yes, I know Shaw was a Fabian.)

          • Heinlein was a Fabian. They had some excuse. They didn’t know it WOULDN’T work.

            • Yep – but eventually the smart ones started to suspect there might be a flaw in the theory. Being a Fascist was not only quite popular up until about 1938, it was “the top”,
              It was an arrow collar
              It was the top!
              It was a Coolidge dollar,
              It was the nimble tread
              Of the feet of Fred Astaire,
              It was an O’Neill drama,
              It was Whistler’s mama!

  16. Of everybody who was a guest on Instapundit, your work stood out to me the most. I’ll be happy to be a new reader here.

  17. Wayne Blackburn

    Juveniles!

    Merely young at heart. ;-)

  18. Clark E Myers

    Don’t have to be card carrying to use Aesopian language and follow the party line. I’m not sure when failure of the Overton window to overlap made rational discourse impossible but it mostly has. To say I don’t think that word means what you think it means ends so many conversations. I’d be happy to furnish guns and ammunition some afternoon if your children haven’t played with guns lately.

  19. Sarah? – OT. And forgive me if I’m asking the obvious, or not knowing something that you may have posted on previously …but why can’t I just click a link in your sidebar and buy one of your books? Or perhaps, why aren’t there direct links to available titles to some site where I can place a purchase? – Is it some contractual thing?

    What am I missing here?

    I think you’re missing a bet. Some peep’s came here because of the recent stint at Instapundit and they don’t know anything about you other than their curiosity and inclination. Make it easy on ‘em. Make a buck. Win win.

    NOTE: I don’t mean a link to Baen. Or a link to Amazon: grant me the good graces to figure that I probably know how to get to those, and do a search. No. I’m talking about tiny little graphics of the titles, and a click to buy them (or a click to a click to buy them). They could just “live” in their own little library corner of the main page; low maintenance, high availability.

    • Mostly because I’m technologically declined and very busy. I haven’t figured out how to do it. Also, I have close to thirty books… and I’m trying to get back the rights to sixteen …

      There’s links under “My books.”

      I agree with you. I want to find time to do this stuff. It’s important. But there’s books overdue, and I don’t have the money to pay someone to do it. It’s a mess.

    • It’s not quite that simple. Here’s where I am so far with the equivalent page for my book. http://perkunaspress.com/wp/books/the-hounds-of-annwn/to-carry-the-horn/

      You see the problem is:

      1) I just wanna buy the book!

      2) OK, would that be ebook or paperback?
      2A) Would that be MOBI or EPUB?
      2AA) Would that be USA or somewhere else
      2AAA) Would that be on your favorite retailer site or mine?
      etc.

      It’s a long list with lots of choices. Unless you restrict it to Amazon which suite only a fragment of your audience.

      • The tax regime of her home state — Colorado — cause problems for her with Amazon. Minor, I believe, but she would have to forego the extra commission she could gain as an Amazon associate.

        • California is going to make things pretty bad, with the tax increases they just imposed. Hopefully, the main sites like Amazon will take care of it, but they want retailers to pay California income taxes now, based on the percent of goods you sell there. It means a whole lot of small businesses just won’t sell in California.

          • C.J. Carnaghan

            Amazon just built a huge warehouse here in VA to avoid all that crap. Fine with us. We’ll take the revenue. :)

          • What’s worse is that this will mean more people leaving California and not having the sense to leave their California views behind, so they try to bring down other states, too.

            • This has been an issue for years. All up and down the Rocky Mountains sensible places are having to deal with Californian refugees saying “You should do this like we did back in California!” It makes the few of us who are sensible and glad to be rid of the idiocy look bad by association.

              • Yes, two of the most common curses here are, ‘d*mn Californians’ and ‘d*mn Washingtonians’ I moved here from Washington, and have a friend that moved here from California, we both generally say, “I grew up on the coast” when asked where we are from, because we don’t want to be associated with the ‘d*mn Californians’ (which is what half of ‘d*mn Washingtonians’ really are, having moved out of California to Washington, and then after succeeding in screwing it up quite as successfully as they did California, moving on again)

  20. I’d be happy to do it for you, too. Free. I can provide reliable, verifiable business references. You have my one of my email address. Another “better” one is my name here with the same name and a .com after it (not to get all cryptic lol).

    …and I just purchased my wife a copy of Darkship Thieves at Baen a few minutes ago btw. Her introduction to you was my suggesting to her recently that 1) she should read your blog daily (for the writing/author/etc. gems), 2) Witchfinder, (she read to the current chapter in a single setting a week ago) and 3) your two recent free short stories, which went straight to her Kindle HD (and cinched her interest: she’s now a fan …and btw, when I introduced her to Weber’s Honorverse years ago – she didn’t grow up a sci-fi buff: it was all post-marriage – she’s purchased every new title upon release …hard copy …since: so she’s the kind of reader authors *need* lol).

    • Yes indeed. :)

      Well, part of this is that it might be better for me (for the next month or so) if my non-Baen books don’t show too much movement, if you know what I mean…

  21. LOL. Yes. There might be that, heh.

  22. I see the conversation has turned toward capitalism. Good :)

    I’ll try to steer it back a bit. My wonderful oldest niece, a fairly recent graduate of San Diego State University and, unfortunately, committed leftist has yet to contact me regarding the election results. I suspect she’s giddy with whatever joy she thinks is possible with the return of a messianic presidency. However, and just to illustrate further the leftist thought process, whenever we have discussions about any given topic, I know the conversation is finished/over/done/kaput when I hear her say, “I believe…”. There is no argument, fact, or logic which has the power to contradict that belief.

    The “I believe” statement is the problem with leftists. It also fully supports Sarah’s main point that leftists have replaced religion with politics. The only things which may eventually change a leftist’s belief are time and events, yet neither are guaranteed to do so.

  23. FB keeps give us code words. LOL.

  24. I try to understand, but I don’t.

    I read the post-Election posts fro, just two examples, from both you and Mr,. John C. Wright, and I just don’t recognize the America and the world you see through your lens and point of view. It’s unintelligible for me.

    Publishing houses full of far-left Marxists? American Republic doomed to die in 15 years? The impending destruction of the Church by the State? Dhmmitude for Europe?

    I just don’t see it. Any of it.

    It’s my failing, and I wish I could understand, even if only to more effectively disagree with your point of view, but I can’t manage it.

    • Uh… Where I’ve I said anything about the destruction of the church by the state. The Catholic church, sure, but they’ve been dancing with the devil a long time.

      As for the publishing houses — Look — I’ve grown up among Marxists. I studied Marxism in SEVERAL courses. I was brought up and raised in Portugal…

      These people in the publishing houses — and in our government, btw — are textbook Marxists. In fact, instead of hating Communism (and they should, it’s caused 100 million deaths or more. Buy Black Book Of Communism) they think it would be a wonderful system.

      Dhimmitude? Oh, heck, no. They’re already there. Sharia exists in several parts of Europe AS the law. it’s called demographics. However, what they’re going to fall to is invasion, probably Russian and Arab at same time. Again, demographics.

      The US? Economics. Fifteen years? You’re dreaming.

      We’re going to fall off the fiscal cliff. At least — I’m telling you this — one of our cities will get hit again and hit hard. I’m guessing NYC, in the next two years TOPS. Combine that with the stunning incompetence and lack of economic understanding of the people in charge right now (none of them are very good, but the current crop are mostly college-marxists full of dreams and mottos) … I don’t think we’ll survive four years as a UNITED land. Unless we work at it really hard and are ready to circumvent official incompetence. And if we survive, the next three/four years will be rough as h*ll. I’m going to assume you’ve never read anything about civilizational collapse and how fast it can be. You should.

      I’m also guessing you too might be permeated with Marxism, so that you don’t recognize it as anything but “what everyone believes.” Well, I don’t care what you think. I’m a writer, not a politician. There are too many people out there who won’t get it.

      But you will get it when we run out of money and there are no services, municipal or national. You’ll get hunger. Trust me. And then, maybe it will shake you. Maybe not. Russia is still full of true believers. With religion, one can’t argue.

      • Susan Shepherd

        Actually, would you be willing to list a few “Reading List” suggestions for books or articles about civilizational collapse and how fast it can be? I’ve read some Heinlein’s essays from Expanded Universe and I’ve read some things about Kosovo during the civil war (pretty sure that’s what it was, it’s been years) and a couple of fiction books about what might happen in the wake of a sufficiently horrible natural disaster, but I feel like that’s just scratching the surface (and the fiction, at least, might be wrongheaded in ways I’m not aware of).

        • Yeah, but it would probably be the weekend post — I’m coming down with something (there’s some throat thing going around — and my head is pure cotton wool.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            (speaking sternly) Woman! This is happening to you too much! You need to rest and recuperate, so you don’t burn out!

            (Now running from flying dead fish)

            • Dorothy Grant

              See, this is the difference between strawmen and reality. Leftists think that we’re telling all women to go into the kitchen and make us a sandwich. In reality, we’re begging particular women we care for to rest and take it easy from the frontlines because we worry they’re getting burned out and ill.

              Why are you running from the flying trout? Catch it and grill it for her so she doesn’t have to take the time to do so!

              • actually I’m making chicken soup. It isn’t the burnout. It’s the rage. I’m a berserker. Because I can’t let it out, it’s going inward and just the effort not to kill people is killing me. I’m trying very hard not to be nasty and uncivil to people, because I know I’ll eventually feel about about it, but almighty G-d, the freaking tw… twits who think that they’re voting for equality when they’re way more than equal are going to make me f… fluffilly beat them to death with asparagus.

                • As a personal expert in berserk rages and their exhausting aftermaths, I recommend a minimum of one hour of recoil therapy ASAP. Were you close enough I’d offer to assist, but the drive is a little more than I can swing at the moment. Does anyone here live closer and have access to the necessary equipment for that course of therapy? :)

                  • My friend Charles has offered, but I think I need to take a course first. On a good day, I hit the broadside of the barn, okay?

                    I was/am hoping when/if we move we get a punching bag for me. I’ve needed one for years.

                    • Sarah, did you see the Avengers movie? When we met Captain America in that movie he was hard at work destroying punching bags. [Wink]

                    • there’s the Project Appleseed deal that Bob Owens is always talking about. Registration fee for women is $10, and according to their website they’re doing stuff in Colorado the next weekend. (Byers and Pueblo. Don’t know much about CO geography so those may be on the far side of the sate from you). Mind you, I’ve no personal experience with them, but Owens thinks highly of them.

                    • Dorothy Grant

                      You know, putting the targets up close, like 10 feet away, and taking your time, concentrating on nothing but getting slightly better… you don’t need to be good to do that, and it transports you beyond rage and fear to a very zen-like state. When you’re ready, you can move them back to 25 feet, and do it all again.

                      I used to do that with a .22 rifle, sitting on a bench with my crutches propped to one side and the leg in a cast sticking out at an awkward angle, for hours, each five-shot magazine at a time. It made life much easier to deal with when I was in the limbo between “Well, you’ll get to keep the leg” and “We can’t promise you’ll be able to walk.” And good aiming skills are not required, though, like anything else you practice, they do come.

                  • Potato Cannon. I hear they make a really great splat.

                • Sarah, would writing a story help? The pure wish fulfillment kind. With stupid bad guys and their idiotic useful idiot lackeys, a few of whom (maybe the hot girl or hot guy, raised by the wrong side) may see the light and join the heroes before the evil side finally succumbs to their own idiocy?

                  Reading something like that might work as therapy too. :) Maybe I should dig out something by Heinlein – hey, wasn’t Nehemiah Scudder elected as the president this year?

                • What an image, but don’t waste a perfectly good vegtable on ‘em.

              • And my church, MY CHURCH chose to spend the last sermon before the election, NOT explaining bluntly how a second Obama administration would destroy them, but giving a “why can’t we all get along” bs speech. I endured the sermons on how Sarah Palin caused Gifford’s shooting. I endured the half witted prattle about social justice. I’ve accepted that the people are good and the leadership is screwed up, kind of like America.
                But this last, the last chance to hold horror at bay and they blew it, to talk of their kumbaya stuff — I’m done. For those who know what my faith means to me and how often I’ve depended on it to keep me sane, you know what I mean. I’m done, though. I still believe. I haven’t changed. But they’re now a state church. At a guess, the hierarchy was given promises from O. I hope they enjoy the results of making a pact with a man who has never kept his word EVER. I will not cross their threshold again till I see EVIDENCE the leadership has changed.
                It might very well break me emotionally. I know my family is baffled and will continue to go despite me. BUT I will not cross their threshold again until THEY change.

                • Ugh. I have enough trouble with my church eliminating all person pronouns referencing God in hymns, and changing scripture to support their interpretation, but at least they haven’t discussed politics from the pulpit.

                • It is hard to come to the decision to leave a church in which you have found solace. I understand. Just remember, people fail, Heavenly Father doesn’t.

                • C.J. Carnaghan

                  Ours is a predominantly white church with a black minister. Don’t know how that happened since I wasn’t there at the time. He supported the Great Pretender, but never said anything for or against either candidate. As Music Director I usually sit in the second pew in front of him so I can get to the piano quickly for the final hymns. The closest he came was a couple of months ago he started wandering off his prepared text and said we had to focus our efforts on “social justice.” I let out a very loud gasp (the acoustics are great in that place) and he stopped short, went back to his regular sermon, and never tried that again. Since I get paid to be there I’m still attending (LOL) but I’ve been in your position a number of times.

                • Had the same conversation with my sister-in-law yesterday. We’re done. We’re sick of the surrender to the new left. “Social justice” is a great-sounding word, but it in practice it leads to statism, and the 20th century is evidence of how that turned out.
                  Statism = fascism, communism, socialism, nazism = tens of millions die.

                  Not long ago I came across a reference to a century-old encyclical by Pope Leo explaining why Marx’s theory of revolution and re-distribution was wrong, and would lead to evil. I read the entire letter. All prophetic. All true. Our seminaries have been churning out clergy ignorant of common sense and historical wisdom.

                  Will there be a renewal in the CC? I’m not holding my breath. Why? The Catholic Church is getting too much money from the government now. For example, in my diocese, the Refugee and Immigration Services is paid a fee by the government, per person. Within 60 days they throw the refugees onto welfare, and they pocket the “difference”. Don’t blame the CC, though. The Presbyterians, Lutherans, and others do the same thing, and they all brag about their “charity” in the bulletin. I think the “self-congratulatory” justification for this is “we do it cheaper than the government”.

                  I read in a history of Germany that after WWII, in east Germany, the communists co-opted their Protestant churches by putting the pastors on the payroll. Pastors became employees of the state, really, social workers, and got better than average salaries, apartments, cars, vacations, education, etc. Of course, Jesus became a minor prophet, and Marx was primo.

                  I was horrified when the Cardinal of NY had the Al Smith dinner last month. He MIGHT have taken a principled stand, ala ,”Until he you keep your promise to respect religious conscience I can’t eat roast beef with you.” Instead every media outlet in America showed a photo of the Cardinal and the president laughing uproariously side by side.

                  In the meantime, my health insurance went up $200 a month in the past 2 years, but I got an $8 rebate check, per ACA. My increased insurance premiums pay for free birth control bills, free sterilization, free abortifacients, plus all the other” free” services.. Vocabulary words have no meaning when a woman born in 1949 is extorted for an extra $2,400, so younger people get “free” stuff. I call that theft. The voters call it Utopia.

                  • I was waiting for a sermon on Romans 13 which, frankly, is one of the more troubling verses in the Bible for yours truly. I’ve never been able to successfully wrap my head around it in the context of it being part of the Word.

                    What I got wasn’t an outright sermon against one candidate or another (I always thought the tax-exempt was at risk if they explicitly backed a particular candidate), but rather a broad, general appeal to vote for candidates that best represented the congregation’s values.

                    Weaksauce.

                    • BUT at least you got that. We got the “put away your weapons and kiss and makeup.” Like hell.

                    • That is ALWAYS the advice given to a conquered and occupied populace.

                      Whatever The State wants
                      The State gets
                      And little man, The State wants you
                      Make up your mind to have no regrets
                      Recline yourself, resign yourself, you’re through
                      I always get what I aim for
                      And your heart’n soul is what I came for

                      Whatever The State wants
                      The State gets,
                      Take off your coat
                      Don’t you know you can’t win?
                      You’re no exception to the rule,
                      I’m irresistible, you fool, give in!…Give in!…Give in!

                    • Exactly. The State, not the church, on a matter of principle. If they’re a state Church, I’ll have none of them.

                      And btw, does anyone else think “nation building” is what happens to a conquered people?

                    • The tax-exempt status is used as a cudgel, with the threat used selectively. There is a group of conservative Priests who are now challenging this.

                  • I wouldn’t give up on the Catholics yet. There’s still places like the University of Dallas, and we have more freshmen every year. as for the Presbyterians, bear in mind that there’s PCUSA and PCA. the PCUSA, yeah, they’ve kinda gone off a cliff, but the PCA is a)more conservative and b) doing much stronger. actually, several months ago I did hear some guy they invited to the college class talk about “social justice” – had me fuming in my chair until the last half of the talk, when he stopped taking about how important it was and got on to what he actually intended to do, at which point it became clear he wasn’t about the left social justice at all, but helping poor communities pull themselves up by their bootstraps and end their dependence on government handouts. I don’t know why he decided to call it social justice – must be trying to “take the term back” or something, but he sure didn’t do a good job of defining his terms. I tried to imply that the term had very strong political implications and they might want to call it something else, but I don’t think I got through.

                    • Most of the younger Catholic bishops in the US are spoiling for a fight, in a shepherd sort of way, and a lot of them seem seriously to be preparing for persecution while speaking out and evangelizing as much as possible before the evil day. The problem is that most of the older bishops, and a lot of the Baby Boomer Catholics, were raised with some kind of fuzzy leftist ideas. There’s also a bizarre mistrust of traditional devotion and traditional worship styles among these people, where prayer is something that you do all together while standing and being peppy (indeed, they do seem to think church is a pep rally for God, though they switch worship fads pretty regularly). Dealing with these folk is frustrating, and they have way too much turf, but they’re largely on their way out. The problem is that they’ve taken a lot of Catholics away from the Church by being so dippy, and they’ve wasted people’s time and brainspace by filling it with their contentless or harmful made-up faddiness.

                    • The problem is that they’ve taken a lot of Catholics away from the Church by being so dippy, and they’ve wasted people’s time and brainspace by filling it with their contentless or harmful made-up faddiness.

                      90% of my “being so religious” reputation is based on knowing what part of the stuff so-and-so’s aunt said was total bull pucky. Like Catholics not being allowed to play D&D, or like dragon art.

                    • OR…. Catholics don’t believe in evolution. Or…

                    • I’m not Catholic, but I admire G. K. Chesterton’s clear thinking and Fides et Ratio.

                      As to problems with certain activities and pastimes: I know their are people who make the mistake of attempting to impose their culture inclinations or personal preferences as part of their religion — it does not mean it is actually the religion.

                      Some years ago Neco-con was held in the same building as two other gatherings, one to celebrate the 50th anniversary of an abbey and the annual Marine Corps ball that was held for the Norfork area. Some of those who organized the con were fearful of upsetting the Nuns, but none thought there could be a problem with the Marines. Unfortunately, the ladies of the Marines were none to happy to have spent all the time and money to get prepared for this big event and finding their men were distracted by the cos-players. On the other hand the Nuns and the Bishop were asking about what we were about, how the costumes were made, complimenting the creativity being displayed. (I am sure some of the skin displaed was being ignored.)

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Well, realistically, Catholics are not particularly upset by moderate displays of skin, or discussions of sexuality, or what-have-you. They have some other things that make them twitchy, but not that. That’s more the far-out Protestant kind of thing, like Southern Baptists, Evangelicals of several flavors, and such. Catholics are a randy bunch.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Note that I am not a Catholic, either. That comment is based on the ones that I know.

                    • Two things. Some of the displays were a bit immoderate, even with our ‘family friendly’ policy. At least one girl was sent home that year, another seriously needed body glue, and a third, well, ya know…we now have a body stocking rule. The year before the con was across the way from Regents University and CBN while we waited for the new convention center in Hampton to be finished.

                    • On the bright side, there is a correlation between orthodoxy and fertility among Catholics.

                      Why is it that people who passionately want to teach evolution in schools don’t believe it?

                    • They like the “God had nothing to do with it” part (that is, the unscientific claims that evangelical atheists like to add) and the “excuse to remove the Defective People that make me uncomfortable and place demands on me” part, but not the part where you have to actually raise kids to be evolutionary successful.

                    • Of course they conveniently forget that Darwin himself was a Christian minister (Lutheran, I believe) and was not proposing evolution as a way to ‘disprove’ the existence of God.

                      By the way since we’re talking religion and procreation; I understand the arguements Catholics have against birth control, (due to the way most birth control works being by preventing implantation of the fertilized egg, thus being little different than abortion) but what is the reasoning behind declaring condoms unacceptable? (within the confines of marriage, obviously the popular idea that extramarital sex is OK as long as you use a condom goes against the teachings of the bible)

                    • You’re supposed to open yourself to the will of G-d. Sex is supposed to be viewed as a sacred thing, with the possibility of procreation and not just for recreation, which is bad even in the confines of marriage. This is of course not applied to non-Catholics, unless Catholics have to PAY for it, in which case it becomes personal.

                      Mind you, to me this is all theoretical. My WILL was to have eleven. We managed two. Sometimes the will of G-d goes the other way, clearly.

                    • Contrast the “hook-up” culture with the scientific studies that have found that the highest level of sexual satisfaction (aka: bestest orgasms evah!) occur far more frequently within the boundaries of a long-term, committed caring relationship (aka: marriage; if there’s no ring where’s the commitment?)

                    • If you have sex, you have to be open to life resulting from it.

                      It’s like… the life-giving aspect of sex is the goal of it, the meaning, the purpose. Man and woman become one, an echo of perfect unity, fully sharing themselves in the union which can create new life.

                      To mimic that, while desiring to block life, is a perversion of that gift.

                      Paying attention to the woman’s body, wearing tighty whities to lower a man’s sperm count, those are (generally) rational attempts to avoid pregnancy that still remain open to life. Rather like self-pleasuring is. (which, if you think about it, is what sex with a condom is– just that both of the folks involved are rubbing on the same chunk of barrier material, on opposite sides)

                      Preemptively: people who believe they are unable to have children can have sex with their spouse as long as they do so with the mindset that if it did somehow happen, it would be a blessing– not an “accident” to be regretted, or “fixed.” The inverse, someone that has sex while taking no steps but somehow expecting to not have a child result, and views the child as a bad side-effect rather than a blessing, is (duh) likewise acting sinfully.

                      Anybody who’s talked to folks who’ve had fertility troubles will hear dozens of stories about folks who spent years and buckets of cash trying to have a child, gave up and then had a kid. We really know next to nothing about who is “absolutely unable to have kids” when it’s not something obvious, like not having a womb. (even then, I wouldn’t bet against God.)

                    • SIX years to have first boy — infertility treatments. Had boy. Figured only. Four years nothing happened, then suddenly I find out I’m six months pregnant. Great rejoicing. “Now we’ll have one a year, yay.” Seventeen years. Not one more.

                    • Had you and a dear neighbor in mind. :) (They figured their boy would be the only, as well, then got another girl and boy.)

                    • I believe it’s based on Natural Law arguments, too.

                      *looks*
                      Catholic Answers with history on it,
                      and Pantheos (which you’ve got to be careful about double-checking, but is slightly better than Wiki and has some very popular orthodox folks who mostly don’t try to teach their views as cannon law)

                    • I believe there is a massive hazardous waste pollution suit waiting to be brought. Because of “the pill” we have been pissing a tremendous quantity of female hormones into the water supply. These hormones are not effectively filtered by standard water treatment facilities. Thus we are all being soaked in potentially carcinogenic waste with every drink of undistilled liquid. (Insert appropriate alcoholic jape here.)

                      I also wonder what will be the effect of all the viagra-type drugs excreted into the water supply. (Insert another appropriate alcoholic jape here.)

                  • Your mention of Pope Leo’s encyclical reminded me of this old sermon from a Mormon conference: http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1286 It makes reference to some other sermons that sound interesting, but I haven’t taken the time to look them up. I was excited to see a religious leader openly mentioning the dangers of socialism and communism. You’ll mostly find those bits near the end of the sermon. Money quote from the conclusion: “We should continue to speak out for freedom and against socialism and communism as President McKay has consistently admonished us. We should continue to come to the aid of patriots, programs, and organizations which are trying to save our Constitution through every legal and moral means possible.”

                    • Ezra Taft Benson was the best for that. here’s a whole list of quotes from him on freedom, the constitution, etc…

                      In 1970: “As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions.”

                      In 1979: “On what basis can we morally resist tyranny?

                      I say to you with all the fervor of my soul that God intended men to be free. Rebellion against tyranny is a righteous cause. It is an enormous evil for any man to be enslaved to any system contrary to his own will. For that reason men, 200 years ago, pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.”

                      On Sarah’s hot-button topic of Marxism:
                      “If we do not accept the existence of a Supreme Being; that God is the source of moral law, what more do we have to offer than Marx?…

                      Freedom is an eternal, God-given principle. There is no genuine happiness without freedom, nor is there any security or peace without freedom. After traveling in practically all of the free countries of the world and several times behind the Iron Curtain, I say that Marxism is the greatest evil in this world and the greatest threat to all we hold dear.”

                      The great quotes go on and on…

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Why are you running from the flying trout?

                She throws hard, and I’m expecting that the ones she throws are NOT fresh, if you take my meaning.

          • I was hanging out with Dan and Sarah the week the Soviet Union fell, quite peacefully. 75 years is the shelf life of a Communist state, by that time the Nomclatura has winnowed down to those too stupid to prevent a collapse, they sent troops to take Moscow supplied with no food. And a Communist state in collapse seems to usually turn out quite well. But we are already past the proven 200 year shelf life of a democratic state. And our Nomenclatura makes the Soviet crew look like the Manhattan Project scientists. I suspect we’ll find out soon what a democratic republic in collapse looks like. Judging from history, the fact that the US military is mostly native and from the heartland and held in contempt by the government is a good sign.

        • Dorothy Grant

          A place to start is ferfal’s video: I haven’t read his book, but as my husband is an expat from South Africa, What he says is very similar, in many ways, to what my husband says. (Although my husband will recall, if you sit and talk with him long enough, to a lot of bloodshed, communist-terrorist attacks, mass murders, socialist propoganda, corruption, and officially-sanctioned slaughter both from the apartheid government and the ANC government that never made it into the official history books. But it takes time to get him to open up; like mi mama, who is from south america, he prefers to focus on living in America instead of the bloody and violent past.)

        • You could try John Bagot Glubb’s “The Fate Of Empires”, a very interesting and illuminating pamphlet on the subject of the growth and collapse of societies:

          http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf

          You can also look at the ongoing collapse here in the USA, which I wrote about last night on my blog:

          http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2012/11/what-to-expect-during-president-obamas.html

          There are many resources linked there.

      • Re: The 15 year number: That I got from John C. Wright. He’s coming at this from a different sort of conservative point of view than yours, but the same thrust is the same–the 2012 election is the herald of the fall of America. “If this goes on…”, to quote Mr. Heinlein.

        I don’t consider myself permeated by Marxism, although I suppose if I was subconsciously inculcated with it in my education, I wouldn’t recognize it, would I?

        And no, you don’t have to care what I think. I was just expressing my inability to understand your point of view better. I was trying to engage. I seem to have failed to even express that. And so I quit the field.

        Best Regards,
        Paul Weimer

        • You COULD consider reading oh… try The Road To Serfdom by Frederic Hayek. Read about the finances of Rome before the collapse. Economics is your easiest way in, if you REALLY are trying to understand us. I’m sorry if we misunderstood your purpose. There seems to be a batch of paid trolls going around.

          No, you wouldn’t know you were steeped in Marxism. As anti-Marxist as I was reflexively as a kid, a LOT had got in under my radar. My way out was Hayek, and then studying economics. I can’t recommend Thomas Sowell highly enough, though he’s more of a social conservative than I am. However, for an intro-primer, what I gave my kids when they were eleven, try Eating The Rich by P.J. O’Rourke. (And if you like his style, do follow it up with All the Trouble in The World.) Meanwhile I’ll do a post on civilizational collapse, later.

          • Try reading Thomas Sowell. His Civil Rights : Rhetoric or Reality* is an excellent entry, but pretty much ANYTHING by him is worthwhile.

            *Review:
            Thomas Sowell’s Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality
            TODD WEINER (2001.03.04 ) POLITICS

            http://capitalismmagazine.com/2001/03/thomas-sowells-civil-rights-rhetoric-or-reality/

            In his work, Civil Rights : Rhetoric or Reality, Professor Thomas Sowell confronts the “rhetoric” of the civil rights establishment and contrasts it with the “reality” of the facts concerning American society.

            According to Sowell, the liberal establishment made a key blunder in the late 1960s. After the civil rights revolution became public policy, many assumed that there would be “statistical equality” between whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in all categories from family income levels to loan-acceptance rates. Needless to say, this did not happen during the heady days of the civil rights revolution. Even in the year 2000, this equality still has yet to occur. The only explanation, according to Leftist activists, is systematic racism. It would be nearly impossible for Americans to believe that — nearly 50 years after the Brown decision — we still live in a systemically racist society. But that is precisely the rhetoric that is force-fed to the American public.

            Mr. Sowell, on the other hand, states that discrimination does not explain the statistical variance. For example, Asian-Americans outperform Anglo-Americans on virtually everything from SAT scores to PhDs. Surely no one would claim that American society discriminates against whites in favor of Asians. We must take other factors into account if we are to explain this mystery. Family size, age, educational courses chosen, and savings rates are just some of the myriad ways that our races distinguish themselves.

            What Sowell shows is that when we control these factors, there is absolutely no divergence between the races. An African-American male and an Asian-American male of the same age, with the same education, in the same occupational field earns the same amount of money. The same is true of Hispanic men and white men. Incredibly, these statistics have been consistent since the 1960s when America was still supposedly a “racist” country!

            Of course, there were racists in the 1960s just like there are racists today. But Mr. Sowell points out that our nation is — contrary to the conventional wisdom — remarkably color-blind. This would shock most Americans initially but is largely consistent with daily experience. The vast majority of Americans are not racist and would resist the suggestion that they are secretly prejudiced. Mr. Sowell’s studies reflect this hidden truth.

            The author also makes important points concerning the feminist movement. Once you control for all other factors, a man and woman earned the same income during the 1960s, even before the feminist movement. Men and women still earn the same paycheck today, even amidst the whirlwind concerning “pay inequality.”

            If there is a moral to Mr. Sowell’s story it is that the original civil rights movement has become a hideous deformation of itself. The original movement was fought for the right reasons — equality before the law — and was remarkably successful as these statistics reveal. But — like most revolutions — this one didn’t know when to quit. The political goal of “equality of opportunity” became perverted into “equality of results.”

            The prescription of affirmative action, largely unnecessary, has only alienated the vast white majority and did nothing to close the quality-of-life gap between whites and blacks (crime, drug use, single-parent families, etc.) On the other hand, it has certainly fattened the wallets and enhanced the profiles of public figures who make a healthy living denouncing the alleged “racism” of American institutions, bullying private corporations, and winning elections. Most Americans — white, black, Asian, and Hispanic — suspect that these activists are wrong. Sowell’s book proves this.

    • Paul,
      When you have heard editors say in public, to applause, that their job is not to find books that will make money but to “enlighten” the masses about the issue du jour, you might understand. When you have read book after book that treats Marxist principles as the accepted norm while casting anything remotely businesslike as evil, you might understand.

      When you see a debt that exceeds the national GDP and continues to grow without check, you might understand. The only reason the USA isn’t already in the Greek basket-case file is that the USA is still the world reserve currency: and don’t believe anything anyone tells you about the Chinese economy being in better shape. China is run by communists who thought they could keep power by allowing a certain amount of economic freedom. They lie. Some of us remember Tienanmen Square. China would have you believe it didn’t happen. Russia? Putin would love that – and he is only technically former KGB. High-ranking KGB officers do not become ‘former’ officers unless they do so feet first.

      Dhimmitude in Europe, well, that’s already here with sharia being used in courts in Europe to avoid more riots from the “peaceful” Islamic folks living there. We won’t mention the 1 year sentence handed down to the person who made the video that was blamed for Benghazi. If you think that wasn’t dhimmitude in action, well… there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

      Destruction of Church by State? Well, every communist regime tries this. Communism is a godless religion and brooks no competition. Some churches are certainly trying to bring themselves down in advance, but that’s their decision.

      15 years? No. America might squeak out of this and go through the hard slog of rebuilding, or the collapse could happen tomorrow. Or anything in between. In my view it’s that tight. The thing about collapses is that they’re like white-anted buildings. It looks like everything is fine, then you discover that it’s just paint over dust and the whole thing goes down in a pile of dust.

      • Mind you, I think we survive this, but I think that the two-three years ahead will look UNCOMMONLY like collapse, and that what emerges will be very different and could be very, very ugly.

    • Kitteh-Dragon

      Paul, “you don’t see it”. Neither did Nelson when he held his telescope to his blind eye, because he didn’t *want* to see it.

      Be smarter than that. LOOK. Look around. How many businesses reported huge downturns in profits, and huge numbers of layoffs in the last two days?

      Do you have to work for a living? What if, every week, you spent ten times your paycheck for stuff? And then you got some credit cards, and kept doing that. How long until you’d collapse under the weight of debt?

      You do know that, internationally, the United States isn’t expected to keep being able to make payments on the money the Government has borrowed? That’s what it means when the “rating” gets lowered. We’re no longer the highest rated “debt repayment assured” country in the world. For the first time, ever, in our history. Our debt, right now, is 37% higher than *GREECE* — and you know what’s been going on in Greece.

      This isn’t a matter of “belief”. This is a matter of cold, hard, scientific math. It’s not “does candidate A “care more” about people (or at least project that appearance, details to the contrary) than candidate B” It’s “can candidate A handle math above seventh grade level, and be able to make realistic decision based on math? Can candidate B?”

      In the past election, Candidate A convinced more Americans that he “feels more” about them then Candidate B – despite Candidate B having, every year of his adult life, given more money to charity than Candidate B and the top five other members of his government had *in their entire lives*. Which means more to you, when you’re cold and hungry? The guy convinces you he really, really, really feels sorry for you, or the guy who comes up and drives you to the grocery store and buys you food for a week, then takes you to the store and buys you a coat and new shoes?

      Candidate A, who was re-elected, admitted on national television that he can’t do math above seventh grade level, and has never held a job that demanded he be able to balance income with spending *in his life*.

      Candidate B has spent his entire adult life turning companies around from bankrupt to profitable.

      Our country is bankrupt, and well past bankrupt. If 100% of the income and wealth of the “richest” people were confiscated and used to run the government, tomorrow – the government would be out of money by March, and there would be no more, because all the “rich” would be living on the streets and not able to have anything else taken from them.

      It doesn’t matter a flying fig leaf if “you can’t wrap your head around the idea” — it’s as immutable as the law of gravity. You might be able to wrap your head around the idea that a huge sinkhole could open in the middle of the street where, decades ago, a creek leading to the river was covered up and a street put there — but people have died ghastly deaths when just that happened to them. Didn’t matter if they understood it, didn’t matter if they believed it — they still died.

      Our country is undermines by a tremendous sink hole carved by a rushing flood of red ink. If nothing is done about it, regardless of *feelings*, the country will collapse into that hole. Look up “Zimbabwe” and “Weimar Republic” and “inflation” and see what I’m talking about.

      As to the Marxists in publishing. Just how many publishers do you deal with, on a day to day basis? How many authors? How many people who work professionally in New York Publishing houses as editors, acquisition editors, and the like? Enough to refute somebody who has dealt with them on a daily basis for twenty years? Or is it that you don’t *want* to think that’s what’s going on? It doesn’t *feel* good to you?

      Go into a store, any store, and argue about the price of something. “I don’t feel this is the correct price.” “Sir, that’s the price that’s marked. I can check it in our database … Yes, it’s correct.” “But I don’t like it! I don’t want it to be that price! I can’t wrap my head my head around why it would be that price!” — tell me if they change it for you. Tell me if your “feelings” trump anything in the real, hard, cold world of math, too.

      • I would note, that, if asked, the Marxists would not identify themselves as such, they might say “Progressives” or “Liberals” (what we call a political liberal, the rest of the world calls a socialist. What we call a political conservative, the rest of the world calls a liberal, in the true Jeffersonian sense).

        But editors mostly tend to the very far left, in Stalin/Hitler territory. Lit majors are required to do Marxist treatments of literature in college.

        • That is why I call them leftists, not liberals.

          That, along with statists, are the two most accurate terms. And the hard-core libertarians like to call anyone even slightly to the left of them “statists,” so I choose leftists.

      • Sometimes lately I’ve remember a few lines out of one of the Anne of Green Gables books (I’m thinking either Anne of Ingleside, or Rainbow Valley, I’m not sure which).

        Anne is looking at her sleeping children, and is thankful that she’ll never have to send her sons off to war. This is chilling, because LM Montgomery was all ready planning on writing (or had already written, depending on which book it was) Rilla of Ingleside, where both sons go off to WWI, and one of them is killed.

        And now I keep hearing people say the same sort of thing (“I just can’t see it”, “Fortunately we’re past that”, etc.) Gives me shivers.

        On another note, reading Rilla of Ingleside made me realize that intelligent people *really* believed all that nonsense about it being the “War to End All Wars”. Makes me wonder what sort of nonsense everyone is believing now, without question, that will make everyone 50+ years down the road shake their heads with disbelief.

        • It should have been the war to end all wars – or at least, wars of that kind. If you consider WWII the second half of WWI (it was certainly a direct result of the punitive Treaty of Versailles), that might even be true. The wars since then have been small scale more police actions.

          • Kitteh-Dragon

            Only from where *we* sit. Tell it to the people in Beirut. Or our people in Benghazi. When you’re in it, all that matters is your immediate vicinity. “There will always be wars and rumors of wars” is very, very, very true. My heart bleeds for the Sudan, for example.

          • That is a war that is still ongoing. WWI was the collapse of the established order (the Hapsburg Family Business and affiliates) and what is ongoing now is the battle for precedence and the right to rebuild the world. WWII was the effort by the Socialists (National vs Universal) to claim suzerainty, the Cold War was the Universalist Socialists trying to claim King of the Mountain, and what we are seeing now is the remnants of the Ottoman Empire trying to claw their way back on top, along with the Chinese Socialists.

            Before all is done, the 100-Year War will seem a picnic.

      • The only good thing about this election is Obama OWNS this chaos, the cities are going to look ugly and people who don’t know how to flush a toilet without running water are going to expect the president to save them.

  25. Sometimes I wish we could hit Washington with a common sense bomb. You know, one that didn’t hurt any buildings, or kill anyone, but just gave everyone within the blast area a triple dose of common sense.

    But I doubt it would really help.

    • 3 x 0 still equals…

    • I’d like to find a real, functional cluebat. It would get used prolifically.

      • I’d like to find a real, functional cluebat. It would get used prolifically.

        Just use a regular bat and wear a mask. According to popular lore, a liberal is just a conservative that hasn’t been mugged yet. The added bonus of this approach is that you will have a steady cash flow to replace cracked bats.

        • Uh. Scott it might come to that and with more than bats. I thought our chance to avoid that was in fact for Obama to be defeated. That failed… I don’t know anymore.

          • Well, in THAT case, I suggest that those of limited financial means at least mail order or go out locally and just buy a couple of lower receivers. You can get one that’s milspec, or might as well be, for about $100 + shipping right now. If the administration makes good on it’s desire to remove AR’s, that cost will jump severely along with the prices for mags.

            If you have a couple of lower receivers, regardless of whatever law ends up on the book, you can put together a complete M-4/M-16 AR with the numerous and varied after-factory parts dealers online. But you gotta have that lower receiver and that piece is the only one that is tracked/considered the “weapon”.

  26. I’m just posting to YELL MY HEAD OFF!

    There’s a discussion on the Bar and a certain female barfly is talking about why she didn’t vote for Romney. Apparently she’s worried about “reproductive rights”.

    TALK ABOUT THINKING WITH HER VAGINA!!!

    NOTHING MATTERS TO HER BUT “REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS”!!!

    Do people like that really think “reproductive rights” matter more than the survival of the US?????

    Oh I’m yelling here because I didn’t want to yell at her on the Bar. [Sad Smile]

    I’ll let you all get back to the usual discussion.

    • What boggles my mind is that leftists bash him for ‘flip-flopping’ on the abortion issue, and then in the next breath claim that if he was elected they would loose their ‘reproductive rights’. Huh? If he flip-flops back and forth repeatedly on the issue, why would you think he would take a hard line AFTER he was elected?

      • It is well known that the panicked Vaginal-American has no mind and is thus incapable of rational thought. Else they would notice that “reproductive rights” primarily mean the right to NON-reproduction.

      • It’s all insanity. The hardest line he could take would be punting it back to states, and frankly with the economy and all? NOT HAPPENING. But the press decided this was the issue starting in the Republican primaries (or the Obama Campaign did … if there is a difference) because they know a ton of women have been convinced that they can only be free if there’s abortion. This is MIND BOGGLING.
        Yeah, that thing “If men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament” makes me ill because …. what do they think abortion IS for? Ultimately it’s a way for men to know they can escape the consequences of knocking someone up even if contraceptives fail. (Yes, I know, there is also the fact if she chooses to have it the guy pays forever, but he has no say — way to make the relations between sexes better, gals.) So… their freedom is the freedom to be men’s play things. Some “liberation.”

    • I’ve missed that conversation. Either it’s in one of the conferences I don’t follow, or it’s not being forwarded to my email.

      BTW, would that person be named either Marjorie, or Friday?

      *Jasini

      Facts are stubborn things, but not nearly as stubborn as fallacies.*

      On Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

      > ** > ppaulshoward commented: “I’m just posting to YELL MY HEAD OFF! There’s > a discussion on the Bar and a certain female barfly is talking about why > she didn’t vote for Romney. Apparently she’s worried about “reproductive > rights”. TALK ABOUT THINKING WITH HER VAGINA!!! NOTHI” >

      • I prefer not to say which conference or give the person’s name. Our hostess has enough idiots coming here to post without me getting that “conversation” coming here. If you really want to know contact me off-line at drakbibliophile at comcast.net.

  27. C.J. Carnaghan

    I’m not happy with all the lefties crowing, but I’m not as angry as some are. I know they just can’t help themselves, any more than a cat can help purring when stroked.
    The ones I am really angry with are those who voted for Gary Johnson or didn’t vote at all because they’re just sooooo “principled” and Romney said he would “reach across the aisle.” Really? REALLY!!
    You are the ones who reelected the Great Pretender, not the people we knew would vote for him anyway.

    • Romney got fewer votes than the McCain/Palin ticket four years ago. The question is why? Did GOP voters in blue states like California decide there was no point? Were enough GOP voters in the NE dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy?

      Did many Evangelicals decide they’d rather have four more years of Obama than vote for a Mormon? Did somebody target a message to them about Romney belonging to a cult?

      We may never know. Surely a campaign as classy and honorable as President Obama’s would not do such a thing … unless it was really necessary, unless forced to it by Romney.

      • No. The Christians voted massively for Romney. It was the “principled libertarian” wing of the party, may they rot in the hell they brought down on our heads.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Romney got fewer votes than the McCain/Palin ticket four years ago.

        That’s what I REALLY don’t get. I’ve seen several personal reports of voter turnout at their own polling places, and they almost all said turnout was heavy. I’ve only seen one or two say that their polls had low turnout.

        • That means Obama must have gotten fewer votes, too, not if it was so close. If so, that says the country wasn’t enthusiastic about either of them.

          • Obama/Biden received 8 million fewer votes than in 2008. Romney/Ryan received 3 million fewer than McCain/Palin.

            It calls into question the significance of the huge enthusiastic rallies Romney had the last few weeks, and the lackluster attendance at administration rallies.

    • Oh, G-d yes. Talk about politics as religion.

      I’m heartily ashamed I was ever a member of/campaigned for the Libertarian party.

  28. I don’t think Shakespeare had a libertarian bone in his body (Kit Marlowe might have. Stop giggling. Yes, I used the word bone. NO I don’t meant that. Juveniles!

    I think Marlowe had several bones of various political stripes in his body, and quite enjoyed the variety. But that’s neither here nor there.

    Just remember: Your way is the one true way. You know what’s best because you believe it to be true (and now have your choice of media outlets confirming it all). Everyone else is evil, villainous and out to destroy all you hold dear.

    Never listen or compromise. That way lies death. The enemy must be crushed before true peace can be found. We must burn the village to save it! And all of it is justified because you know, you know, you’re absolutely right on it all.

    Up is down. Left is right. Freedom is slavery, and always twirling, twirling, twirling!!!

    • Okay. We were Orca, Robert and I. I have to say this — yes, it was screwed up. But by 10 am we both had working pins. WHY? Well, I channeled my mom, got on the phone, kicked butt and took no names. I called Boston and Denver alternately for an hour and a half until pins were issued.

      I told the woman to make this “procedure” and after that it worked. In face, the guy who spelled Robert benefited from it.

      Was it screwed up? Yes, but it was the intersection with CO GOP which is a mess. BUT I gave them sych a kicking, they fixed it.

      IF VOLUNTEERS can’t be bothered to demand results, we’re lost.

      Okay, and this shows something. Next time I take charge and take no names. D*mn it, all I want to do is write!

      • “D*mn it, all I want to do is write!”

        Does the walker choose the path or the path the walker?

        Of all the bloody quotes to pop into my head in response, why’d it have to be that one? I think I need to go to bed.

        • You’re lucky. This is where my head went:

          They’re pickin’ up the prisoners
          And puttin em in a pen
          And all she wants to do is write, write
          Rebels been rebels
          Since I don’t know when
          And all she wants to do is write
          Molotov cocktail the local drink
          And all she wants to do is write, write
          They mix em up right
          In the kitchen sink
          And all she wants to do is write
          Crazy people walkin round with blood in their eyes
          And all she wants to do is write, write, write
          Wild-eyed pistols wavers who ain’t afraid to die
          And all she wants to do is write
          And sail Darkships
          She can’t feel the heat
          Comin off the street
          She wants to party
          She wants to get down
          All she wants to do is
          All she wants to do is write
          Well the government bugged the men’s room
          In the local disco lounge
          And all she wants to do is write, write
          To keep the boys from sellin
          All the weapons they could scrounge
          And all she wants to do is write
          But that don’t keep the boys from makin a buck or two
          And all she wants to do is write, write
          The still can sell the army
          All the drugs that they can do
          And all she wants to do is
          All she wants to do is write
          And sail Darkships
          Well we barely make the airport
          For the test plane out
          As we taxied down the runway
          I could hear the people shout
          The said, “don’t come back here Yankee”
          But if I ever do
          I’ll bring more money
          Cause all she wants to do is write
          And sail Darkships
          Never mind the heat
          Comin off the street
          She wants to party
          She wants to get down
          All she wants to do is
          All she wants to do is write
          And sail Darkships
          All she wants to do is write

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Thing is, they talk about missing out on getting 500,000 – 700,000 to the polls. According to the results, Romney was down 3 million from the number who voted for McCain.

      It just doesn’t pass the smell test. Why was it down THAT much?

  29. Romney Ryan campaign GOTV election day depended on a fancy computer program that failed utterly, nationwide.

  30. Would any of you guys in your worst nightmares have expected this? I don’t think I’m exaggerating, the election was an own-goal.

    • Link to the story unspeakablelapses is talking about. That looks… bad. very bad. If that really cost us states… I don’t even know what to say.

      • or not. apparently my html-fu is weak. ah well. And apparently Sarah’s got first hand experience anyway. never mind!

        • I ALMOST tatled it election day. Now I wonder if I should have.

          • and they didn’t test it? Who the devil uses untested software for something that crucial!? For anything at all? gah! I’ve barely got half a semester of computer science under my belt and I know better than to turn in a program with out seeing if the wretched thing works!

          • I think you should definitely submit it to PJ Tatler. Right now, listening to the biennial mantra of media advice about the GOP needing to become less principled and knowing the massive Charlie Foxtrot that Orca caused invalidates that meme, I’m beginning to feel like this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuL2QwsNeM8

        • But we’d been telling people to get their friends to the polls, and I don’t think just yelling it again would have helped.

          Actually, pardon the paranoia, I wonder how much of it was “enemy action” — everyone at the call center, when I went, was complaining the lists in the last two weeks were “tainted.” They were hitting more registered dems than Republicans.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            If *I* were to consider “enemy action”, I would suggest that the software itself was “enemy action”. And I don’t mean because it was screwed up, I mean someone should be checking the affiliation of the software company.

            • Yes. That’s exactly what I meant.

            • Like all the chips and hard-drives that come pre-loaded with taps, malware, viri, and other goodies that the Chinese have not idea how it got on stuff made in China? Not that I’m a suspicious type, mind.

              • Well, I find it interesting this blight hit most swing states. Not to say that it couldn’t happen by chance, but the mathematician tells me that it’s ALMOST impossible.

                Perhaps we’re paranoid. Then again, as Terry Pratchett pointed out, being paranoid is sometimes a perfectly healthy reaction.

      • I’m sure it did. And I was harassing them to try it before election day, but who listens to crazy chick on the streets? As I said, by screaming I got OUR part working, but I couldn’t get them to standardize it, and when they did at last it was ONLY El Paso…

    • Given the demonstrated incompetence and stupidity of the GOP high command….

      • Part of the issue, Chris, is that our people aren’t professionals. We volunteer every four years, then go back to working real life. A LOT of the other side are professionals either paid to do this stuff or on welfare and devoted ONLY to this.

        The other part of this is that there are enough of us libertarians in the mix that… well… the individualists failed to organize.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          The other part of this is that there are enough of us libertarians in the mix that… well… the individualists failed to organize.

          Herd those cats!

          • See, I SHOULD have made a few batches of low-carb cookies since most of us seem to be trying to diet and got people to the polls for cookies. If you’ve been off sweets for months or years, it would have been enough…

            This is of course a joke and a take off on “Herding writers is like herding cats. All you need is food and they follow.”

        • Unions, SEIU, ACORN (and its bastard offspring) are all professionals at turning out their electorate and manufacturing their votes.

          And by “professionals” I mean trained, paid, doing it 50 weeks a year. In many cases the union vote-herders are paid for by the companies as part of the union contract (e.g., UAW), even though they do no actual labor for GM, Ford, whoever.

        • In this case, I feel lucky to be in the county I’m in. Because it’s one of the larger-population counties in Iowa, folks are *organized*, and not just once every four years. Don’t ask my story about being on the county committees for two different parties, ten years apart. Let’s just say that as I saw the future in my kids, I saw things a little differently. But monthly county committee meetings are not an optional exercise, and that made GOTV very straightforward, according to the friends who was doing a manual strike list at our precinct.

  31. 40,000 election workers who could have called or hauled in the winning votes spent election day fiddling with this lemon system just trying to make it work.

    • Oh, yes, and they wouldn’t let us just voice-report over the phone and have people note them at headquarters. That’s when I started screaming like a banshee. Ten minutes later a volunteer had figured out how to hack the system and give us a login.

      • I wish I could say this was unbelievable. I wonder if Romney’s campaign GOTV manager knows how to say D’Oh!

        I wonder if the MSM will cover this or if it will stick with its “Republicans lost Hispanics and Women and need to abandon their principles in order to be like the Democrats” meme. I know which way my bet is being placed.

        • See, I was very upset in the morning, but after I screamed and they got me a login (on the fifth time I called) I figured that other people would do the same. GAH.

          I keep forgetting other people are nice and polite and I’m a harridan.

          • The key point is that the campaign did not fail because of bad strategy or bad candidates; raising Obama’s lack of integrity in Benghazigate or his birth certificate or choosing Rubio instead of Ryan would not have stopped ot from tripping over its own two metaphorical feet after knotting its laces together in the GOTV drive.

            So the current media narrative is crap, and the pollster victory laps (and dining on crow) are unfounded.

            • C.J. Carnaghan

              Here in Virginia we were battling on two major fronts–three huge counties in No. VA where all the Washington DC workers live, and the black churches who loaded up their school buses and drove people around to the polls. We thought we could depend upon the military vote, but I think even a good part of them, being black, went Colin Powell on us.

              • CJ,

                How close do you live to Newport News? I ask because it’s where my MC and his people end up due to the shipyard and the nearby nuke plant. I can only get so much from Google Earth, though, and I’d like to pick the brains of a local :)

                • C.J. Carnaghan

                  I live in Prince George Co. south of Richmond/Petersburg. If I head to the Newport News/VA Beach area, I have about a five minute drive to Rt. 460E and then it’s an hour’s straight shot–sort of. I always get lost when I get there so I rarely go. Locally we have Fort Lee where the Quartermaster Corp is stationed. Everyone here knew there would be massive military and civilian lay-offs (I heard 100,000+) if the sequestration went through. This is not a big popluation area and that is REALLY going to hurt us.

              • And THAT is an indictment. They’re voting against reason, against thought, against self-interest for a man who has some black facial characteristics, but who is really mostly Arab. (All his facial expressions and demeanor are Arab.)

                Don’t tell me this racism is justified by their long oppression. I think it’s the result of Marxist brainwashing. Same thing as with women: you’re special and you’d rule the world just by virtue of specialness, if the OTHERS weren’t keeping you down.
                I don’t care what race people are — a lot of people consider us Hispanic and my kids sort of look it, due to the combination of Portuguese genes and Amerindian genes from their father — the result being that when we were in line for Ryan’s rally and Hispanic Republicans were recruiting, they stopped by us and asked my son “Hispanic?” (He looks like Marco Rubio’s baby brother. TRULY) and he said “Uh, the Feds way we are. My mom is Portuguese.” At which point the man glanced past me and said, “And does your mom support the republicans.” Robert pointed at me, and I got a double take. I come from the North of Portugal and my genetics got a STRONG infusion of Celtic/Germanic/British, which means when I lived there I was continuously mistaken for a German tourist. HOWEVER for the love of little chicadees who cares what your melanin count is? If you’re competent and you believe in the constitution, you’re a brother or sister of mine.

                HOWEVER the Marxist perversion has made black people into an internal enemy (with exceptions, of course, always) and we must figure out a way to change it, or we’ll end up with a racial aristocracy.

                • C.J. Carnaghan

                  Sarah, you’ll never change it. In my department at the state agency I am the token white conservative. Out of 30 people, there are only four white employees and the other three are liberals who brag about voting for BO. Day after day we see an endless stream of predominantly black “consumers” (that’s what we have to call them) seeking mental health services–read drugs. I work in the children’s division and it’s heartbreaking to see how many single black mothers and grandmothers are bringing in their youngsters to be diagnosed “mentally disabled” so they can apply for the additional $700 monthly from SSDI. Even the black liberal counselors are commenting on how many there are, but they still proudly display their support for BO. You can’t fight against that sort of intellectual blindness.

                • Of course the fact that he is HALF WHITE is always ignored. He is no more black than he is white, but hey, Americans finally voted in their first black President!

                  If we have any doubts about how racist our first family is we can always listen to Michelle Obama, who’s comment on how she felt the day her husband was elected as the first ‘black’ President, “Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.”

  32. Sarah, I agree with you for the most part — for example, if I ever got into a political discussion with Eric Flint, I’d be surprised to find that we agreed on anything — but I still enjoy his alt-history books, because he’s a darn good writer. Knowing about Peter Yarrow’s political beliefs (he’s the Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary) doesn’t prevent me from enjoying “Puff, the Magic Dragon”‘s touching story of childhood innocence and what happens to it as children grow up. (And to hopefully preempt a discussion I’ve had too often: no, it’s NOT about marijuana.)

    But for me, at least, there are exceptions. If an artist’s politics (especially if they’re politics I oppose) start leaking into his work, it will turn me off. For example: there’s one Baen-published author whose belief that the hippie movement of the 60’s was an unalloyed good thing is constantly leaking into his books. (I could be wrong about his belief, which is why I’m not naming him, but I’m guessing most people here can figure out who I’m talking about.) Result: despite the fact that he’s a darn good writer and I used to enjoy his books before I started noticing his beliefs, I now tend to avoid buying Webscriptions that include one of his books, because I don’t want to give him even a penny of my money. Which is a pity, because as I said, I used to enjoy his books, and still do enjoy them when I’m not feeling jarred by his politics — but I only ever read the sample chapters of his books these days.

    So while I mostly agree with the position you’re laying out in your post, I find it’s not entirely my position. There is some art that, while I still recognize it as good art, I’m unable to enjoy because of the artist’s politics. Is this elevating politics to the level of religion? Doesn’t seem like it to me…

    • Our beliefs always leak. And I’m sure I’m losing readers with the series of political posts, because well… I am. And we won’t mention my husband’s reign of terror on Facebook. The left of the field will now have us filed under E for “evil.”

      But there comes a time in the affairs of men…

      I know what you mean though. All my friends love Serenity, but to me the side-stuff WREAKS of “seventies” and I can’t take the seventies. It was bad enough first time around!

      • Side stuff? Like Inara’s contracts to bring in the twentysomething horndog demographic?

      • Seventies– were depressing, hungry, and unhappy– I was there too… I really don’t want to live through it again EVER.

        • I have said we were hungry — after the revolution our assets were frozen and it wasn’t “allowed” to hire any of us. We subsisted on my brother’s money from tutoring, which covered electrical (we had well water,) and on mom’s secret pact with a friend where she cleaned the friend’s supermarket at night after closing and in return got all the “expired” stuff. Sometimes VERY expired. I’ve told Dan I’d never eat green meat again, but I might have spoken too soon.

          The Red Cross — and I’m sorry this has changed — were the only organization that helped. Without them I’d have worn the same clothes from 11 to 16, through two growth spurts. Some of those Christmas’ … never mind.

          People at school were afraid to talk to me — I was a movable coventry.

          Hungry depressing and unhappy. Yeah, Cyn I was there.

          • My first job as an adult in1979, I worked for food. Yep– It took two years after Reagan’s election before my boss started to pay me in money. Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs too. Many of the women in are area would pass this pile of clothes around the community. Most of the kids in our community were wearing clothes from that pile. Plus we traded food from our gardens. The only protein I ate before I left home was eggs. (We had our own chickens).

            So yea– I understand completely– Oh yea– the gas crisis–

            • Well, until the Red Cross gave me a bundle of clothes, mom had started cutting down brother’s clothes for me. Which meant I wore cut-down dress pants and sweaters with leather elbows. I looked like an English School boy in drag. Or perhaps a girl in Drab as an English School boy. Worse, in Europe, as a teen, when everyone was always going out “for a coffee” I was stone cold broke. I mean, we scraped up my train-pass money every semester but only because students got a massive discount. At one time my mom and I shared a pair of shoes. If she was out, I couldn’t go out.

              I know poverty. I wish I could say it doesn’t scare me, but it terrifies the living daylights out of me.

              • It scares the living daylights out of me too– I may not have been as poor as you. I do have my stories–
                1. I was homeschooled from 8th grade on–
                2. Both my parents worked so I ended up being the teacher
                3. We didn’t have electricity or plumbing in many of the places we lived at– didn’t own property although my parents finally found a way to buy the piece they have now
                4. I washed our clothes in ditches, hand sewn many of our clothes, mom scrapped up enough money to buy underwear for birthdays and Christmas.
                5. I have eight sisters and brothers– we had only cloth diapers. It was awful washing diapers in buckets (did I say no plumbing?)
                and so forth–

                I was hungry from 13-19 until I started to make money. My mother considered my money, her money– When someone tells me that the 16th amendment makes my money the government’s money– I get ready to have an extreme meltdown– I am ready to cause havoc. Me, me, me– hey individualism is what made this country great. Individualism will make this country great again–

        • I remember the return of the two prices — cash and credit — for gasoline and thinking it was like old times.

      • I understand. Your heart is full, and you have to put the political stuff out somewhere or you’ll explode. And we’re the beneficiaries of that. ;-)

        And at least it gives some of us a safe place to vent as well.

    • I have really liked some Noel Paul Stookey’s solo work (esp. Building Block http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTr-PzfseeY) but Stookey is open about his politics and, more important, is content to keep them down low.

      I am saddened to learn that you avoid some darn fine authors in webscriptions packages because of Tom Kratman*.

      *N.B. – the innocent reader should be aware that, of ALL Baen authors, Colonel K is probably the LEAST likely to be the culprit cited above.

      • Okay, the mental strain of imagining the LTC as a hippie is making my head hurt. *glares at RES* Good night, Usaians. May the peace of the Founders be with you and Minutemen guard your dreams. :D

      • I must be tired — I actually thought you were serious for about half a second and went “Huh? How’d he get it that wrong?” before I read your nota bene. :-)

        Funnily enough, I don’t usually buy Kratman’s books either, but it has nothing to do with his politics — more the fact that the several books of his I’ve read have been not quite my cup of tea, though I’d be hard-pressed to analyse why I didn’t enjoy them. (Did enjoy a little on first reading, but not usually enough to re-read a second time — and with my budget the way it is, I want to get at least 2-3 reads out of a book before I spend money on it.) I have ended up with several of his books in my e-book collection anyway, because they’ve been included in a Webscriptions month that I purchased (I’m certainly not avoiding him — the guy I mentioned earlier is the only one I’m actively avoiding, at least of the Baen-published authors).

        Also, now that I think about it, avoiding certain months of Webscriptions is probably putting more money in the pockets of a few authors, because then I buy their books on an individual basis. Which means that, if Baen divides Webscription royalties the way I would (an even share to each author published that month because it’s impossible — and would be unfair — to guess which one “contributed more” to the reader’s decision to purchase), the authors I do buy are getting royalties off a $6 purchase, instead of $18/N where N can be between 6 and 9.

        Finally, I’ll note something that’s amusing me a little. Out of well-ingrained habits from computer programming, I write italics tags with a lowercase i — which means that Firefox is putting a tiny little read line two pixels long under all my <i> and </i> tags. It looks like some three-year-old who found a red pen has been playing around putting dots on the wrong side of all the i’s in my post. I don’t know why it’s amusing me so much right now, but there you go.

        • Whoops. A tiny little RED line, not a tiny little “read” line. What would that even mean, anyway? Something like those microprint signature lines on checks?

        • Wayne Blackburn

          I do the same thing with the italic tags, and it dings me all the time, too. I still like having the spell check, though, because my typing sucks, so I would look like I spell way worse than I really do if not for that little red line.

    • There are authors who were fun until I learned what they were like, and thus primed, began to see the axes grinding in their work.

      • My real problem is this — I had a plan when I broke in. I was going to pretend to be of them until I could get big enough to “come out” which would be interpreted as “late life conversion”.

        Most of my friends in the field who aren’t left — and who I won’t name therefore, since they are in the closet — had a similar plan.

        My friends are much better at it than I am. I could fake it just enough to p*ss of some people with say the Magical British Empire. BUT I recently had to go back and re-read some stuff and the libertarian chick whom I’ve buried under twenty years and a lot of chocolate kept breaking through in the details.

        Because I was raised in a Marxist regime, and all the books had “messages” I’m very sensitive to “message.” There are people even you guys seem to like whom I can’t read because I can see the thread of marxism and humanity-hating woven through.

        Stuff like Christie, though? Well, I roll my eyes at the passages about how humanity SHOULD have aristocracy or other some such nonsense, and go on.

        • Good thing, too. Orwell warned about the danger of shilling something you don’t believe in, and how it corrodes the soul.

          • YES! Even to the limited amount I managed it, I was popping anti-acid like candy, my hair was (LITERALLY) falling out (And female baldness doesn’t run in the family) and I couldn’t function.

            I’ve been so much happier since I came out, even if I fear it will lose me half my readers. I try very hard not to speak politics in public, because I want readers to read me for fun, not politics — but I don’t think there was ever a hope. As I pointed out in post, if you don’t sing from the right “hymnal” they won’t touch you.

  33. Glad I wasn’t exaggerating too badly. I was trying to tell this to Robert, and suddenly noticed he was going, ORCA, we know.

  34. This is Ann Coulter’s thesis in her book “Godless.” She argues the modern left is just the direct spiritual descendant of the medieval Church, complete with impassioned committment to dogma, a host of in-vs-out signs and signals and dog whistles, a conviction that everyone outside The Elect is going to hell, and of course an Inquisition to demonize and destroy heretics.

    I believe she argues a certain chunk of humanity — she would probably actually say all of us, since she is herself religious, in the conventional way — simply REQUIRE religion to function. Once the religion of the Middle Ages was demolished, or more precisely tamed, made into a nice cuppa of be nice to your fellow man and don’t swear on Sundays, no longer the kind of thing that could let you hang or burn your fellow man for backsliding, then they had to find a new religion. They settled on the curious mix of scientism, Marxism, and most recently Gaia worship that we have today.

    It clearly has its prophets, its bishops, dogma, rituals. The only odd thing is that it doesn’t really have a personalized god. But perhaps that is ultimately the least necessary component of a public religion.

    • Nope, that’s not medieval religion. Medieval Christianity was so nerdy, so rational, so logic-based, yet so gracefully allied with folk ideas, that most modern people really can’t get it. (Realizing how much medieval religious writing is based on classical rhetoric and mental organization of data schemes is a real revelation, also.)

      What you’re talking about is the bastard child of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, when everybody was fighting and everybody was dissing logic and traditional faith. And sure enough, a lot of leftist memes are descended from that, just like a lot of fundamentalist and neopagan and atheist memes are.

      • It really is amazing how many things start to make sense when you pick up even a bit of that…. kind of like the number-symbols cause stuff to make a lot more sense when you find out what they were “saying” by including so many random numbers.

  35. Sarah, somewhere up above you wrote: If you’re “liberal” (please read Marxist instead of that) then you’re in and your work is “good.” You were referring to artists, but if you look around, you’ll find that this extends much farther and (I believe) betrays both the true purpose of Marx and the true purpose of the Progressive movement, of which he was just a part.

    The Progressive movement arose in Old Europe 160 years ago because the intelligentsia of that time — the writers, the artists and musicians, the pioneer scientists, many brilliant and creative men who all too often died young in grinding poverty and only achieved fame after their deaths — got tired of watching the hereditary aristocracy screw things up and still get all the goodies, and wanted a society and a culture where they didn’t have to die before they achieved fame and fortune. Early Progressives argued (correctly) that blood was no guarantor of competence or leadership. They claimed that they, being educated and brilliant, creative geniuses, could run things better. But they didn’t want to overturn the old order; they just wanted to rearrange it so that they were the aristocrats — the ones who gave the orders and collected all the goodies. So they created a New Aristocracy based on the one criterion that they could define to their advantage: level of intelligence, as demonstrated by level and type of education. Those who didn’t have university education — which just happened to include most farmers, tradesmen, bankers, small businessmen, doctors, and just about everybody else who actually worked for a living — were excluded from the get-go. Only writers, artists, philosophers, and scientists were allowed, and even then only as long as they agreed with the New Aristocracy’s goals.

    Being genuinely smart in some ways, Progressive leaders did know one thing: how to control people. They still do. So they always have an effective army, whether you’re talking about armies of soldiers or armies of voters. But that’s all they know. Well, that and the fact that they want to be in charge and get the goodies. So they pay lip service to democracy and equality, but they don’t really believe it. Deep down, they want to re-establish the old feudal culture, with a ruling class of Intellectual Nobles and a working-class of obedient peasants, and zero mobility between the two.

    • I realized this sometime ago, too.
      Also I disagree with you on “smart” — the first set sure, but now they just have the brainwashed zombies.
      My friend Charles was talking of 75 years, but he neglected to say it’s been at least fifty since they took over the educational system in the US and using it to caste-select, which means with few exceptions who stealthed it and who are genuinely brilliant, most of the people in positions of leadership are dumber than the average Joe. Without the media and the media spin, they’d already have collapsed. Since I think this “regime” dates more 60 years ago (Even Reagan didn’t stop the slide. He just interrupted it, but the people who did really well under Reagan were just the yuppie middle class that is now in this administration) I’d say 15 years is the limits of our hope. HOWEVER because this batch is really, astonishing dumb because they’ve been better off than the average apparatchnick, and more divorced from reality, I’d say two. And then those of us who can have to make sure that civilization doesn’t fall when the social parameters and economy go.

    • I have long thought the goal of Progressivism was replacement of the old aristocracy with the “right” people.

      One important thing to remember is that prior to the post-WWII GI Bill higher education was essentially only for the economically secure, people who could afford four years of the opportunity cost comprised by lost wages and undeveloped skills. If an average bricklayer earns $35K a year, in four years he would have earned $140K AND become a better more efficient layer of bricks; instead he goes to college, acquires $100K in debt and a degree in Art History.

      • Actually, according to Owen Johnson in “Stover at Yale”, published in 1900, which, while fiction, was considered a handbook for attending Yale, a college education was obtainable, and affordable. All that took to get in to Yale or Princeton was passing the entrance exams, no high school degree required. One of the main characters, too poor to attend fancy prep schools, just read and studied and took the exams six times before passing. He worked construction jobs in the summer, lived in very frugal quarters, but was able to pay his tuition and survive. Of course, this was also back when a college degree was intended to prepare a student to go into the business world.

        • Or maybe tomorrow I’ll write “Arise, Sons of Martha.” The only way to escape the noose is to invent the future. The advantage we have over them, like men over elves, is that they CAN’T CREATE. They can only repeat the past. It’s part of the indoctrination process that makes them.

  36. Sarah, you grok that truth and art is transcendent. Propaganda, and all other forms of pornography, is not. If Simon’s expression were not transcendent of his politics, you’d not use it. We must aim for the transcendent if only to sell to those who’ll come along with different politics. (Just like we don’t share the Bard’s politics.)

  37. One more Pollyannaish comment, with a link to my blog: The US has survived a long list of financial collapses. Not prettily, but we’ve survived.

  38. I’ve been rather quiet the last few days because I haven’t felt well, not because I’m overwhelmed with the disaster of a second Obama term. I know the next four years are going to be difficult, but not totally devastating. One thing I see very well is that it’s time for the “revolution”.

    I don’t mean a “guns blazing, bullets flying, bombs exploding” kind of revolution, but one similar to what is happening with indie publishing. We — the TEA Party members, small-“l” libertarians, and Constitutionalists — need to join forces and work around the government at every level. They’ve taken over the schools – so pull back away from them, cut the funding for them, and make it hard on them, but offering the same information more cheaply, and without a deep leftist slant. They think they’ve taken over the medical profession — so work under the table, unite into religious combines, and do whatever else it takes to work around them. When we can’t work around them, we need to confront them, and FORCE them by their own rhetoric to understand that they’re wrong.

    There is one thing I am absolutely sure of: those of us who have strong Constitutional beliefs in what government should and should not be can no longer rely on EITHER political party to get what we want. As long as we have the ability to organize and confront our “betters”, I feel we should do it from without, since, as one person said, we have a choice of the Stupid Party or the Lying Party.

    Eventually, we may have to go off on our own, and leave the leftists to their own devices. Whether we do that as a “nation within a nation” or as a separate nation, the choice is OURS, not theirs. Of course, we will have to have the strength to back up our choices, either way. The Second Amendment is essential, but we should never overlook the rest of the Constitution for tools to use against those that would enslave us. I may die, but I shall NEVER be a slave.

    • I have 2 young children and have realized the disaster the public school system is in. I am seriously considering trying to open a charter school that teaches the old way, leaving politics out of the classroom (as it SHOULD be) and not teaching theories as facts (like they’re doing with global warming and evolution).

      I personally think global warming may not be real or caused by humans, I do believe in the theory of evolution but I think everyone has the right to learn ALL theories and make their OWN decisions.

      That’s what’s wrong in the public schools, they really are pushing their beliefs onto our kids. It’s disgusting and scary.. Look at what it has got us. Look at the kids nowadays.. Look who they voted for.

      • Evolution has variants. We know evolution took place, but to teach properly it’s probably above the level they can do in schools. However, when I taught the genius (#2 son) I simply gave it all to him as a research project and let him have all the materials, and let him come to his own conclusions.
        Not to teach them evolution is to send them into the world blind. Other people will make assumptions they don’t “get.”

        Frankly, when they’re in sixth or seventh grade, I’d do the same with AGW. Expose them to the WHOLE thing and let them figure it out. Mark, above is right — the more they learn the angrier they get.

      • Don’t forget to expose them to the global cooling and “coming ice age” craze in the seventies too…

  39. “(Kids, explain to me, I must be getting old – when did loving your country, the only country on earth where citizenship is based on a common constitution become a conservative thing? When do people who go around blogs stomping and tell you that you can’t do this or that become “liberal”? I must be getting old, and someone hacked my dictionary.)”

    I’m sure it has a real name, but I call it “Appropriating for misuse”. It is where they take a word that sounds good to them and add their own definition to it. It then spreads from there. It is one of those things I do blame the internet on. Not on its creating, but its ability to spread like a disease to others. It is like the commercial. It is true because the internet said so.

    “This is because they have – poor sods – confused politics with religion. They think what they call “liberalism” …
    …anyway, they think this ideology confers inherent virtue upon them. It is, as I said, scripture, not a belief about society.”

    Its fanaticism. I’m not sure if it happened to be a poor choice of words or what, but calling it religion kind of detracts from the problem. Blind adherence to anything is bad. Doesn’t matter if what you believe in is right or wrong.

    Its part of the reason I hate when people group themselves and others and/or base their decisions on said groups. If you are freely willing to label yourself Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, Socialist or Capitalist, and make your decisions based off a group then you’ve given over some part of your thought process to that group. I believe some of Democratic party has the right idea and some of the Republican party has the right idea. I have some Conservative ideas and some Liberal ideas. I have some Socialist ideas and some Capitalist ideas. I’m not going to label myself something because I’m not about to make any decision based off a group.

    • When “Liberals” go around saying that Conservatives are racist, Nazi, haters of women, haters of gays, you can expect a “backlash”.

      • What ppaul says. I used to have Liberal ideas (not Classical, but the liberalism of today) and then I finished my English degree. So the problem is very simple. I want minimal government and we can join together as private citizens to care for our poor–etc. The other side wants to give over compassion and everything else to a big government. Unfortunately– this group is forcing me to be a part of it… Give over beliefs? We are being forced into it.

        –which is where the blacklash come–

        • Exactly. They want to pay extra taxes instead of doing direct charity — their choice, their prerogative. BUT I DON’T WANT TO. and being force into a tyranny of the majority might be “democracy” — it’s not however a democratic REPUBLIC.

        • Oh, yeah, the other side also thinks we “belong” to the government, which is the opposite of the American idea and harks back to feudalism, and also that “government is the name of the things we choose to do together.” I don’t know about you but I don’t remember choosing not to explore our oil wealth and give money to the Arabs to attack us. I don’t remember making regulations so onerous that plants can’t be built. I don’t remember giving that much power to unions…

          I think government is the name for what their brainiacs (pfff Beat them with half my IQ tied behind my back. ALL of my IQ for Biden) decide to do and inflict on the rest of us. There’s a name for that… Oh, I know — TYRANNY.

        • C.J. Carnaghan

          I just got done talking with my friend Eric about this. I still can’t understand why people seem to think it’s more efficient to give money to a middleman so he/she can give it back to the needy.
          Then I remembered that most charities pre-government hand-outs were through religious organizations who might suggest some people change their behavior (i.e. alcoholics, prostitutes, drug users) to change their circumstances. That was JUDGING people and could not be accepted! How dare you tell me how to behave when you’re handing out free money. We’ll just have the governement take it from you and give it us with no strings attached. As long as we ignore the fact sin (insert your own definition here) exists, the system will never change and we’ll keep financing/encouraging bad behaviors.
          End of sermon.

        • “At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

          “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

          “Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

          “And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

          “They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

          “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

          “Both very busy, sir.”

          “Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

          “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

          “Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

          “You wish to be anonymous?”

          “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”

          • There are gradations between the poorhouse and workhouse and “they must have vacations or they’ll feel bad” (which operates in Europe.)

            I am all for giving people an assist in extreme need. I THINK it should come from private organizations because the government is VERY BAD at this, oscillating between punitive and lavish and paying no attention to individual cases.

            I do think assists be their religious or governmental (and my church disagrees with me on this, btw) should come with conditions “get clean”, “Work at learning something”, “work at being a mother.” or “Take your psychiatrist-prescribed meds” or…

            • It depends on the reason for the “charitable” support. Is it about helping the recipient or about making the donor feel good about himself? If the latter, imposing any requirement on the recipient is counter-productive.

  40. I truly believe those on the far left have a mental illness.