Arise, You Sons Of Martha

First, let me explain that right now my reading is full of French Revolution, for the second book of The Earth Revolution: Through Fire. Second that I have a cousin who was raised in France.  His parents came back briefly to see if they could establish themselves in Portugal when I was nine and he was three.  (It was a forlorn hope, and they went back and only came back to Portugal when he was in his twenties.  Fortunately for them he married a Portuguese woman and so they have the family nearby.)

Anyway, for that year, while his parents went back and forth to France to do legal stuff, he lived with us almost full time.  Among his accomplishments at three was the ability to sing the full La Marseillese.  The song impressed me immensely with its opening “Allons Enfants de la Patrie.”

The verse translated as “Arise” (or less grandiloquently) “Come on” “Children of the Fatherland.”

Of course, in English it has a very off-putting sound and for Americans it makes no sense at all.  This land is not our fatherland.  It might have molded our people, starting with showing the Pilgrims that if you don’t work you’ll die, but it’s not been the place where our DNA culled, filtered and mixed for thousands of years.

Anyway, this all came to me while reading Roger L. Simon’s rather dispirited article after the election, where he more or less says it’s all done, we’re no longer a center-right country.

As much as I like Roger, I’ll beg to disagree.  Even if that were true, we wouldn’t be a center-right country by less than one percentage point.  And if after more than fifty years of school indoctrination, media control, entertainment filtering, the left has only that advantage, it means at the very least that we’re a people with a hard head and that most of us find the way out of the plantation sooner or later.  This is confirmed by the fact that what gave the victory to Obama was the legions of (unemployed) under thirty years old.  These are people who, like him, are ignorant of business and the facts of life (I don’t mean sex.  That they know as much as previous generations, though they think they invented it.)  To him his rhetoric, the cooked unemployment numbers, the whole nonsense of needing more time because it was so bad makes sense.  They haven’t broken out of indoctrination yet.  And a lot of them want to be part of what they perceive as the “cool kids” (which at that age inevitably is the ones that curse more, have tattoos and have no visible means of sustenance.)  Most of them will grow up.  But the age group will be replaced by yet more indoctrinated youth.

Which means Roger is right about the causes: we must take back education, entertainment/arts, and the news.

I’m not sure he’s right about the solution.  His idea is that we need to go back, infiltrate, start our own long march through the institutions.

I have two problems with that.  The first is that it’s been tried.  Roger, as a recent convert, might not be aware of this, but the right didn’t give up on these fields.  Some of us even tried to infiltrate them by doing what we called “stealthing”  (which can be defined as “walk like one of them until you’re secure.”)

I still have acquaintances and friends (some of whom would surprise you) doing just that.

There are two problems with this approach – one is that the left, being a mystery religion, has so many signs, counter signs and symbols that it’s very hard to imitate the whole unless you believe it OR want to bring about their result.  The second is that they demand constant tests of loyalty.  It’s rather like infiltrating a criminal organization.

I might flatter myself that I had as good a chance as any, with my background, but I couldn’t do it.  Art is to a great extent a thing of the subconscious and things broke through without my meaning.  I also wouldn’t undertake the tests of loyalty, such as writing a book on how America had ruined my life.

The right let themselves be infiltrated because at some level the right had bought the left was the future.  It wasn’t that the people coming in weren’t obvious, it was that their bosses shrugged and sighed and said “Apres nous le deluge.”  Which left us in this fine mess. But the left thinks we’re evil.  They fight our infiltration with all strength.

The other objection to the scheme is that all of those fields are falling apart.  I think Hollywood lives, these days, mostly on foreign sales.  Part of it is that entertainment and the news are creating product no one wants.  (Which means I’m convinced that most people are still center right – where it counts.  Their wallets.  A lot of them just don’t consider themselves political and still buy what “everybody says” – never mind, the tribulation that’s coming will fix that.)

The other thing that’s hitting these fields is a wave of technological innovation that demands they adapt and innovate, something they’re UNABLE to do.

All of us in writing have watched with almost awe as again and again the publishing establishment balks the challenge and tries to force things back somehow to “business as usual.”

And this is because they can’t do otherwise.  It’s not in their makeup.

This is not cheap pop psychology.  It’s merely the result of how people become hard left, or anything to the right of Lenin.  Hard to center left don’t have to do anything.  They’re the good boys and girls.  They receive “wisdom” in the schools and they know by parroting it they’ll go far.  They never doubt, never stray, never go out on a limb.

I’m not saying they’re dumb.  Some of them are brilliant.  Some of them are even true artists and their product gives their spoutings the lie because their subconscious knows better than they do.

I mean, they are more creatures of the group.  Social approval is important.  They never strayed.

So their ability to innovate is limited to “improving on how things are done.”  When faced with the type of catastrophic change hitting  those three fields right now, they are flabbergasted and most of their reaction amounts to hands over ears and screaming lalalalalala.

Then there’s us.  If I had a dime for each conservative who starts with “I used to be liberal, but—“  Now the left trolls try to mimic this with “I am a lifelong republican” and that’s bs, and we all know it, because that’s not how things work.  But we all start more or less liberal, at least those of us under 60.

Heck, I was always anti-communist, but I didn’t understand why guns shouldn’t be regulated or why we shouldn’t have universal health care, or why–   Heinlein cured me, though it was a slow cure.

For most of us, coming to our present beliefs involved one or more Damascus Road moments.  (For those of other traditions, that was when St. Paul on his way to persecute Christians met with the resurrected Christ and changed completely – and no, I’m not as pious as I sound.  I was raised in a country where Catholicism is a course from elementary through High School, though full disclosure, my dad got me dispensation in High School because the priest who taught it couldn’t put up with my arguments anymore. He was a liberation theologist and I’m not a good person.)

A Damascus Road experience of the political kind involves suddenly trying to integrate an event or a circumstance that just won’t fit your mental map, being unable to, and then starting to examine all your received wisdom until you realize it’s all – or most of it a lie.  (I’ve had three, and yes, 9/11 was one of them.)

It involves walking around for about a year, wondering if you’ve gone completely insane, because “everybody knows” and yet…  And yet you can no longer believe it.  This gives you an impression of brokenness and loss of faith.

Those of us who survive it and stay the course are independent cusses.  People who are independent cusses socially tend to be creative too.  Or at least we are so far out of the box that we can’t find it.

This makes it easier for us to adapt when catastrophic change sets in.  And because the status quo establishment hates us, we HAVE in self defense to take to the new tech.

We’ve been doing so.  In droves.

However, Roger L. Simon is right and it’s not enough.

It’s not enough because the inmates just got four more years to run the asylum.  And with tech and society changing as fast as they are, these people have set the course to the 1930s, this time with more bizarre multiculti which also endangers us from abroad.

Guys, this ship is going to go aground and go aground HARD.  My friend Charles says that he doesn’t know what happens when a democracy implodes, but we do know: Empire.  Yeah, it’s possible that by being a different type of democracy we won’t get it, but I think it’s more likely we’ll just get a different type of Empire.  (Which, BTW, Soviet Russia WAS.)

We don’t have time to wait for them to die off and us to replace them.  IF we can keep the republic, we must accelerate this buggy.

Hence the title, which is actually from a Kipling poem, The Sons of Martha.  Again, if you don’t want to click through, it’s based on the New Testament story of Martha and Mary sisters of Lazarus, who are entertaining Jesus and his disciples.  Martha is bringing out the food and doing all the work while Mary sits and listens.  It’s in there to illustrate the difference between active and contemplative devotion, but that’s not important right now.  The important part is that Kipling picked up the tale and wrote a poem to extoll those who do real things in society: engineering, creating…

I think most of those who call themselves Sons of Martha in modern times are Engineers or scientists.  BUT it extends further.  They’re everyone who creates – everyone who works hard, breaks the mold, brings forth innovation.

We’re the sons and daughters of Martha.  And we must take up our heritage.

There’s not much point infiltrating the dying model.  It’s difficult, if not impossible.  It stains the soul, till you don’t know who you are.  And in the end there isn’t enough time for that.

But just playing with the new model isn’t enough.  We must consciously and vigorously push the new model forward in all ways possible.

I’ll propose some points, upon which you may enlarge at will and pass on to your several groups, which will enlarge them and in turn bring them back to us.

1 – Entertainment:

TV/movies: there is STARTING to be stuff on youtube that can compete with the commercial stuff.  This is not my arena, I don’t know what to do, other than wish I were twenty years younger and had time to learn animation.  The tech for that to be a solo thing is almost there but not quite.  However, this is not my area.  Those of you who are in the field, look to it, and come up with ways to go indie.

Books: Yes, I know tons of us do that, but a lot of us do it almost passively because it’s there.  Well, it’s time to put teeth in it. Accelerate, innovate, improve.  Let your beliefs through without preaching.  Write more.  Write better.  LEARN covers.  Help each other.  Make the traditional stuff look like the gray goo it is. Go.

Games: Those of you who know enough to supervise a team, create a pitch, put it on Kickstarter, see if you get enough to hire a team to make the games for you.  Again – GO, you have work to do.

2- News:

We have pundits aplenty.  Here and there a bit of news breaks through.  BUT believe it or not journalism is a craft, even if not practiced any longer.  There are ways to gather, test and filter news.  I was trained for it so long ago that it’s useless now.  At any rate, I think I’m more of the integrator/pundit.  Though I wouldn’t mind knowing how to do it.  If any of you know, teach the others.  Let’s start a blog or more of news-gatherers and (local) reporters.

We NEED that.  And if you have a face made for TV (well, let me lose another fifty pounds.  Am losing again, on new hormonal regime.  I MIGHT be presentable, unless all my skin sags and stuff… :-P ) do your news in video format.  Make it professional.  GO.

3- Education.  I confess here, I expected to have more time and for tech to develop more.  It’s there, it’s coming, I expected my grandkids to be learning at home/online/self directed.

We won’t have that time.  Some of the entertainment and news have to cover for education.  I’m thinking a YA detective series set during the American revolution might help…  YA romances might help too.  (I don’t think YA erotica helps anything, but maybe I’m a prude.  But there’s sweet-romance, i.e. without sex, and let’s admit it, 11 yo girls dream of their wedding and the great love.  There’s a market there.)

However, for parents like me who can be home with the kids but lacked the time to properly homeschool, we need … Online homeschooling leagues?  Online schools?  Online resources that can help de-indoctrinate kids who went to public school.

We need this, and we need it to be good.  My expertise in the field is now so rusty as to be useless.  At best I can glimpse what it SHOULD be.  But there are many of you with training and expertise.  It is your duty, for the sake of our republic, to figure this out, get together, form groups, explore forms, work like h*ll and create serious competition to the state’s indoctrination machines.  Now GO!  You have work to do.

If we succeed this might be the weirdest revolution of mankind, but it WILL be a revolution.

Arise, Sons and Daughters of Martha.  Our only chance to keep our republic is to claim our individuality and work around the stifling government that would herd us back to the nineteen thirties.

Go.  Innovation is in your blood.  Creation is your heritage.  Claim it proudly.

Be not afraid.  Go forth and bring us the future.

230 responses to “Arise, You Sons Of Martha

  1. The other objection to the scheme is that all of those fields are falling apart. I think Hollywood lives, these days, mostly on foreign sales. Part of it is that entertainment and the news are creating product no one wants.

    That and occasionally, grudgingly, making product we do want, like Avengers and the Bond films. They don’t win Oscars, they don’t get respect, except for score and special effects, but they make money.

  2. Great post! I was thinking along these lines myself. Many of the former middlemen for the consumption of media, entertainment and fiction are disintegrating.

    I just started a new blog to discuss how to come up with “narratives” that can compete with the leftists. I’ve written and maintain a web program to support the local homeschool group, allowing the organization of programs and memberships, etc, and I’ve been thinking that maybe one way I could help is by cleaning it up and making it available to other groups.

    If we don’t lose hope and keep working, things have got to be better than if we just give up. I have children. I want to leave them a world that’s better than the gray, impoverished world the leftists will produce.

    • The fair chunk of the alternative news media is already out there. Another thing we have to do is consume it.

    • Hmm. I’ve also participated in a discussion recently where a man asked what old children’s books were best suited to form a child’s character well. We need to propogate the good old stuff too. As a sideline, that helps undermine the views of PROGESS! that leftists like to propogate.

      • Yes we do. We should make a list and post it somewhere. And to make them froth, we’ll steal another lefty’s song line

        Teach Your Children Well. :)

        • Huh. I just started a book list blog, the intent of which was to match books to people (“I’m looking for a book that…”) and just recommend good books, ones they might not have heard of. I’ve been wavering on whether or not to continue, but maybe I’ll keep it up for a little while, at least, and put some of those old children’s books up as well. Might as well throw some seeds out, I guess.

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I think Kipling’s “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” also discribes the current situation, but few read Kipling anymore.

    http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_copybook.htm

  4. Well said, Sarah! YES! OK, yes, I take the challenge. If Assassin’s Creed can have “the Reign of King George Washington” we have GOT to make technically excellent games with great stories that tell the truth!!!

    • Yes. The kids don’t know the truth anymore.

    • oh, *lord* don’t remind me. The first time I saw a trailer for that I honestly thought it was a joke. Only played the first one, and couldn’t finish it because the camera movement made me queasy, so maybe I just never heard enough of the plot to understand how medieval middle east and renaissance italy -> american revolution is a logical progression, but *still*…

  5. The inmates got their four-more-years the moment Mitt Romney clinched the nomination. From there on, it was a question of whether we were to go over the cliff quickly under Obama or slightly less quickly under Romney.

    I voted for the dude. I said, of my own free and conscious will, that I preferred “slowly” to “quickly”, if those were the only options on the menu. And I remain at least somewhat glad to live in one of the small number of states that actually moved definitively from a 2008 blue to a 2012 red. But it’s not like electing someone like Romney was going to save us, even if we’d pulled it off.

    It is a too-often-overlooked fact that the Titanic was almost as unsinkable as its designers thought it would be. If it has missed the iceberg, of course it would have made the trip all the way to New York quite safely. But it also would not have sank if it had RAMMED the iceberg. Just about the only way it was POSSIBLE to sink it was to do…well, exactly what the helmsman did, by trying to steer away from it at the exact moment it became too late to do so effectively.

    America and the American people will endure. The government as presently constituted may not, but it’s been at least 20 years since I last sincerely believed that it deserved to.

    • Romney MIGHT have managed it. Mind you, what we’d have got is a social democracy, not our real principles, but we’d have time to work on it. My thought was that we were buying time. But they chose war. They got war — if we can help it there won’t be blood, but this IS war.

      • I think at this point we have to assume our cold civil war will result in more blood (ask for example the Branch Davidian survivors if you think this is a bloodless one so far). We will strive to minimize it, but we should be fully prepared for it to get more bloody someday. I don’t see that in the very near future, but when the cake literally runs out, when the Federal government can’t borrow enough and printing money no longer works, well, we’ll see.

        In the meanwhile, put yourself in a posture where for example physical coercion from our enemies is difficult. If you aren’t in one, move to a state or if California/NY/MA to a part of a state where you can legally carry concealed. Get and learn to use a couple of carry handguns (2 because if you use 1 it’ll be confiscated during the investigation) and a serious rifle with a good optic. Maybe buy body armor. Stock up on ammo … even to excess, it’ll hold its value.

        As I was taught in the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared”. We don’t know exactly for what, but sooner or later we won’t have much time, maybe not much money.

        • “Get and learn to use a couple of carry handguns ”

          I recommend buying at least one used from a private party, that way there is no record of it, and if the gun banners get their way they won’t be able to confiscate what they don’t know you have.

          • You should, though, think about what you can then do with it.

            Self-defense on a dark and stormy night when you can leave the scene, or other variants of “shoot, shovel, and shut up”? Yeah, and better than ending up dead.

            Use it to prevent a government tolerated mob from exacting “revenge” on the kulaks of the moment? (Look up some accounts of what happened immediately after Castro’s gun confiscation.)

            Or as Jerry Pournelle put it in the ’80s, “I don’t plan on conducting a point defense against the government”.

            There are things you can do after a general gun confiscation (short of using them for counter-revolution), but in the meanwhile one would assume they’d be very dangerous to possess.

            And if the 20th Century has taught us anything, you’re far, far better never letting things to the point where the population in general is disarmed; in this context, genocide will almost certainly soon follow. With the amazing renormalization of guns in US society (at least to someone who came of age as gun control was really getting going in the early ’70s), I don’t think we have to plan that hard for this, at least not yet.

            • Growing up one of my friends dad told the story about his uncle in pre-WWII Germany. Guns were registered in Germany, and after Hitler came to power he confiscated all the guns (there is an oft repeated quote of his about how much safer the country will be now that the guns were taken away) The uncle had a rifle registered to him, and one night the SS (I’m saying SS it could have been another branch) came by to confiscate it, he swore up and down he didn’t have it, so to get him to talk they killed his wife in front of him and the kids. Then he went and got the gun, once he gave it to them they promptly killed him in front of the kids and left with the gun. My friends grandfather on the other hand gave up any guns he had (I actually don’t recall if he had any) then took a crossbow one night and shot one of the German soldiers on patrol, taking his rifle to protect his family (which now included his brother’s orphans). That rifle was registered to a dead soldier, and nobody knew he had it to confiscate it, and yes he did use it to defend his family, several times by all accounts while defecting with them to the Allies. That story always made an impression on me and combined with my general libertarian leanings has caused me to be very ant-registration (yes I do own several guns that are registered, but it is always a good idea to have some that aren’t, because after it becomes illegal to have them is when it will really become important to have them)

  6. Challenge accepted– Is there some good libertarian (classically liberal) reading I can sink my teeth into? I am going to get the Federalist papers — I think I need to feed the beast (creative muse).

    • Oh, yeah, and guys, I need suggestions for books on the revolutionary period. I have some, but I don’t think it’s enough. American Revolution, not French.

      • Don’t know where it stands now. I’ll look further. But:

        http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2011/nr11-190.html

        • Sorry for replying to myself. Here’s the headline:
          Press Release
          September 29, 2011

          Online Access To The Founding Fathers Papers
          [Quote] The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and its Documents Compass program are carrying out this three-year project. Documents Compass, a program specializing in documentary editing in the electronic age, will update and improve existing transcriptions of the papers of the Founders of the Nation and make them available online through a new web site. This work builds on its successful 2009 pilot project, funded through an NHPRC grant, which put online 5,000 unpublished documents from the Papers of James Madison and the Papers of John Adams.

      • Probably not the kind of thing you are looking for, but in context with good kids books about the era, I heartily recommend Robert Lawson’s Mr.Revere and I, a story of the American Revolution as told by Revere’s horse (who had formerly been a British Officer’s horse and total monarchist, but gradually sees the error of her ways and turns into an out and out revolutionary). It is fun and yet true to the times.

        • I MUST read that. link?

            • That was one of a series, if I recall. There was one about a mouse who lived with Franklin, Ben and Me and another that I cannot immediately recall, but can Wiki:Lawson was a witty and inventive author, and his children’s fiction is no less engaging for grown-ups. One of his inventive themes was the idea of a person’s life as seen through the eyes of a companion animal, an approach that he first realized in Ben and Me. Some of his later books employed the same device (which was compatible with his style of illustration) to other figures, such as Christopher Columbus (I Discover Columbus) and Paul Revere (Mr. Revere and I). Captain Kidd’s Cat, which he both wrote and illustrated, is narrated by the feline in the title, named McDermot, who tells the story of the famous pirate’s ill-starred voyage, in the process of which he is shown to have been a brave, upright, honest, hen-pecked man betrayed by his friends and calumniated by posterity. His artistic witticism and creativity can be seen in The Story of Ferdinand the Bull, where he illustrates a cork tree as a tree that bears corks as fruits, ready to be picked and placed into bottles.Kids books are a valuable revolutionary route and can be used to display the dead end that statism represents.

              • Botheration – I thought I had closed the blockquote so that this would end up separately:
                Kids books are a valuable revolutionary route and can be used to display the dead end that statism represents.

                • Yay! Robert Lawson! “Mr. Revere and I” is my favorite, but I always a horse nut and Sherry is a wonderful narrator.

      • Another good book on the Revolution is one that you might not know as an immigrant, though it was well known in the 70s Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. Quite good, I believe there was a sequel though, forty years later the name escapes me. A YA buy very good as I remember. It also fits into the good YA category mentioned elsewhere above

        • G. A. Henty is widely available through Homeschooling sources and writes ripping yarns – biographies of historical characters. Harold Lamb wrote excellent biographies of a number of Middle Easter / East Asian personalities, including Hannibal Hamilcar, Temujin Yesügei’s son and Timur the Lame. Conn Igulden has written fictionalized bigraphies of Julius Caesar and Temujin. Rosemary Sutcliffe has produced quite good historical fiction. All these things are effective ways of involving kids in history and conveying a backdrop which can be filled in later.

    • Once you get to secondary sources, try Bernard Bailyn. Almost anything he has is good, especially his essays, but his central work (IMHO) is “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution,” about the English Country-Whig ideas that encouraged the Revolution. Also T.H. Breen “The Marketplace of Revolution” about how consumption became a political act that allowed women, slaves, and laborers to participate in and influence politics.

      There are several collections of the anti-Federalists’ writings that provide the counter-arguments to the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists led to the inclusion of the Bill of Rights and provide the background for a lot of later thinking on federal vs. state laws concerning individual rights and the balance of political power.

  7. I am bad at marketing, but I am a pretty good instructional designer. If anybody with the appropriate marketing skills wants to work together on making educational materials for children, I’m game.

    • Ori, I need your expertise then. I don’t know about marketing, but I’m trying to assemble knowledgeable people to build a new online education system. I’ve been blogging about the process, looking for feedback. You can find it here. There aren’t a lot of posts yet, so it should be easy to catch up to where I’m at.

      • FRO–
        My hubby taught electronics in the Army and Navy and has been involved in all types of electronic repair since Vietnam War. He would be willing to talk about preparing lessons in math and electronics (hardware) if you are interested. Plus until recently he was an Extra Class Ham radio operator–
        If you are interested send me a note at cynbagley at hotmail dot com and I will send you his email–

        Due to work reasons he has to stay pretty circumspect on the internet–

      • I’ve taught computers for years, know computers, and have written computer courses. I’m in.

  8. Harry the Horrible

    http://www.mindspring.com/~blackhart/The_Sons_of_Martha.html

    Editor’s introduction to The Sons of Martha by Rudyard Kipling

    There is more than one kind of aristocracy.

    Luke tells us the story: Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were entertaining Jesus and his disciples. Martha rushed about the kitchen and household, seeing to the cooking, bringing wash basins, changing towels, and doing the other things needful when one’s home has been unexpectedly invaded by a celebrity and his entourage.

    “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

    “And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word.

    “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.

    “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou are careful and troubled about many things:

    “But one thing is needful: Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

    (Luke 10:38-42)

    Much has happened since then; but Rudyard Kipling tells us, we sons of Martha have yet to pay the final reckoning.

    Imperial Stars Vol. I: The Stars at War, Jerry Pournelle, ed. p. 227

    The Sons of Martha
    Rudyard Kipling 1907

    The sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited
    that good part;
    But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the
    careful soul and the troubled heart.
    And because she lost her temper once, and because she
    was rude to the Lord her Guest,
    Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without
    end, reprieve, or rest.
    It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and
    cushion the shock.
    It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that
    the switches lock.
    It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care
    to embark and entrain,
    Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by
    land and main.

    They say to mountains, “Be ye removed.” They say to
    the lesser floods, “Be dry.”
    Under their rods are the rocks reproved-they are not
    afraid of that which is high.
    Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit-then is the
    bed of the deep laid bare,
    That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly
    sleeping and unaware.
    They finger death at their gloves’ end where they piece
    and repiece the living wires.
    He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry
    behind their fires.
    Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into
    his terrible stall,
    And hale him forth a haltered steer, and goad and turn
    him till evenfall.
    To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till
    death is Relief afar.
    They are concerned with matters hidden – under the
    earthline their altars are-
    The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to
    restore to the mouth,
    And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again
    at a city’s drouth.

    They do not preach that their God will rouse them a
    little before the nuts work loose.
    They do not teach that His Pity allows them to drop
    their job when they dam’-well choose.
    As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark
    and the desert they stand,
    Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s
    day may be long in the land.

    Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path
    more fair or flat –
    Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha
    spilled for that!
    Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness
    to any creed,
    But simple service simply given to his own kind in their
    common need.

    And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessed – they
    know the Angels are on their side.
    They know in them is the Grace confessed, and for
    them are the Mercies multiplied.
    They sit at the Feet – they hear the Word – they see
    how truly the Promise runs.
    They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and – the
    Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons!

    Heck, the intro is even from a Baen book!

    • It’s an interesting passage. I’ve always preferred the interpretation that when one has a talent in an unusual direction, it is alright to dump the cultural expectations of ones sex/age/class/whatever and _not_ do what “One is suppose to do.” In that specific case, Jesus is saying that answering a call to serve God ia more important than maintaining a woman’s proper place in society.

      • Yes, but for our purposes, it means we DO things.

        • I’ve most often heard it used outside of religious discussions as “Ivory Tower Intellectuals” vs “Real Workers” but then I wasn’t raised religiously and didn’t encounter it until I was an adult. Personally I think you need to feed both body and soul, and think as well as do. The problem comes when you sit and think wistful thoughts _instead_ of acting.

          • To be fair to Martha, she shows up later on, at Lazarus’ death, as a tower of strength, fully believing in the Resurrection and that Jesus was the Messiah, and not afraid to point out the obvious to the Messiah. Like Peter’s mom-in-law, she’s a classic example of the “valiant woman” of Proverbs who prioritizes hospitality and the household. In medieval legendry, St. Martha not only beat the Tarrasque of Southern France, but collared it and trained it to be her house-dragon.

            But OTOH, Jesus upholding Mary’s right to prioritize learning over housework was historically crucial to Christian education for women. So you have to keep these things in balance.

      • Never, ever, ever heard that one. You must be younger than me and got the “womyn’s movement’ interpretation. I was always taught that Mary, by learning, was doing the more important thing *for the future* than Martha, who was ignoring an important thing while being ‘busy’ with stuff that really could have waited. After Jesus was no longer walking among them, having the knowledge was more important than what they’d eaten that day.

        And now the Founders are no longer with us, and their message is no longer being taught. So now we become sons and daughters of Martha to spread the word of Revolution, again!

        • But that’s the SAME MESSAGE Kitteh/ Mary, breaking the times expectations for women to engage in active, service oriented expressions of faith, instead took the disciple’s role of contemplative faith at the time that was needed. Same message.

          What Martha was doing needed done, but it would have waited until the lesson was over.

          Kipling, of course, wasn’t attempting to explain the theology. Kipling was a son of Mary, an intellectual, a poet, a wealthy person. He was expressing his ADMIRATION for the sons of Martha, and his gratitude towards them, and attempting to understand why they would do what they do.

          The poem is crappy theology. It’s quite GOOD psychology, and a lovely tribute to the children of Martha throughout time. Doers do because the doing needs done. That’s not to say that we want to be oppressed, we will strike, we will refuse jobs without sufficient pay, etc. But when it’s cold out, and the electricity is out, and someone has to climb the frost covered pole and re-connect the live wires that would burn him to a crisp, you check the straps on your spikes and wipe down the insulation on the tools and climb.

          For me, the most powerful line in the poem was always that the sons of Martha don’t expect their God will warn them just before the nuts fall off.

          • Thank you Rick. You got why I used it.

          • The real problem with Kipling as a praiser of men who get things done — as C. S. Lewis observed — is that he did not have a very strong grip on the notion of what things ought to be done, and which ones it is not praiseworthy to carry out. He is perfectly capable of describing a successful crime with the same enthusiasm as any other thing that gets done.

  9. Gosh, I really wish that we could make Kipling popular again … I adored the Jungle Books and consider Kim to be one of the most lyrically written descriptions of India ever written. One of the reasons that I started following Wretchard at Belmont Club (back before anyone had ever heard of him as a blogger) was that he loved Kipling also, and often quoted him.
    My gift that I bring to the table is that I am somewhat adept with media – that is, I am not intimidated by TV cameras and radio studios and all that, being a former military broadcaster. I handled media for a local Tea Party – and did my level best to make it sound very mainstream, reasonable and slightly boring. The downside is that I am closer to sixty and look like a very well-bred but dumpy principal of a girls’ private school of the better sort.
    But I can tell stories, and weave accounts of historical events that make them interesting. I have a planned book on the back burner, about a young cowboy who follows the Gold Rush to California in the mid-1850s. I can make that more of a YA, I believe, and squeeze in lots of free-enterprise and traditional beliefs and hopes as to what America was really about, along with lashings of adventure. Just give me about eighteen months more and I’ll have most of the first draft…

    • Celia – many of our newscasters in this area are older and dumpy BUT when the stations dumped them for the younger models, many people turned them off… Some of our older broadcasters came back. ;-)

    • Wayne Blackburn

      I handled media for a local Tea Party – and did my level best to make it sound very mainstream, reasonable and slightly boring. </i?

      I see one problem here. The trick would be in making it not-quite-mainstream, though not so far out that it sets off the screeching hordes, keep it reasonable, and yet make it NOT boring, but as interesting as possible.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Stupid fingers. A question mark instead of the right bracket? GAH.

        • Also… you have ITALICS! At least doesn’t seem to have spread to other comments. Where’s the Italics containment team?

        • No, the slightly boring worked very well, as an antidote to all the ‘omigod-the-racist-ignorant-obama-hating-rednecks-are-coming-for-yer-lady-parts hysteria. I sounded very reasonable and well-educated, so it dampened down a lot of the screechy screeding from the national media.

          • How much experience do you have with the latest video editing tools? We’re all so spread out that the meatspace work would be hard to help with (though maybe you could teach some of us), but digital editing is easy to centralize/delegate.

            • Not very much, actually – and that little is about ten years old – my background was in radio. I wrote, narrated, helped story board stuff, and organized shoots, but with video editing I’d have to start from the beginning and teach myself as I went.

            • You could talk to my hubby about that too–

          • We are -coming-for-your-lady-parts? Since I have my own, I don’t need theirs. Plus the guys in my circle aren’t interested in radical lady parts (okay– only if they can duct-tape the mouths shut– lol)–

            I was so disgusted, embarrassed, mildly amused at the “vagina” monologists.

            • If the aim is to make sex seem unpleasant, those monologues are doing one Hell of a good job.

              Even my most hedonistic male friends when I was young preferred topless bars to full nude bars. Make of that what you will…

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Duct tape is not sufficient for the radicals to quiet them. You have to stuff in a small dishtowel, THEN duct tape, then wrap the whole head in that self-sticking bandage that you wrap sprained ankles with. :-)

    • Glad you mentioned the history thing; I’ve been meaning to ask you about that. I know history is your thing, and I’m looking for books and other resources to teach me children accurate history. I was reminded because my boys came home from the state indoctrination center telling me what they learned about the first Thanksgiving, and so much of it just wasn’t so. It’s the same myth they’ve been teaching for years, but I don’t know where to find true stories. I remember Rush Limbaugh giving a great retelling of the real events of the time, but I haven’t got access to his archives. Can you point me somewhere, please? It doesn’t need to be children’s books – my kids can handle most things and I can read and adapt what they can’t.

      • http://mises.org/daily/336 This blogpost might be a good start–

        • Johnny Tremaine was the book I was trying to think of upthread when Sarah asked about books about the revolution. It has been years since I read it, but if I recall correctly it is eminently readable by adults as well as kids, much like Heinliens recipe for Juveniles: remove the sex and bad language, and write just like you would for adults.

          • This was supposed to be in reply to Celia’s comment below.

          • Oh, and to the person elsethread who said that the French revolution was a lousy model. Yes, it is. The Earth Revolution is not one revolution but several and it takes in account cultures. The second book Through Fire is things go disastrously wrong through confusing equality before the law to equality of results, and then the madness must be stopped and is, but the results are less than ideal.

      • Free-range, I’ll do some checking, but at a rough guess, practically any YA, kid’s book or historical fiction published before the mid-1960s would do. The Little House Books, Caddie Woodlawn, Rifles for Watie, All-of-A-Kind Family, Johnny Tremaine. A good few years ago I ran across a copy of William Kilpatrick’s “Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong”
        (http://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Cant-Tell-Right-Wrong/dp/0671870734/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352579004&sr=1-1&keywords=why+johnny+cant+tell+right+from+wrong ) and found it very interesting, and with a splendid list of books for kids and tweens.
        What my family had in the house and really sparked my own interest was an almost-complete set of the hardbound American Heritage Magazine – before they went to advertising and seemed to concentrate on the twentieth century to the exclusion of everything else – they were simply grand. Perhaps some of the older American Heritage published books would work, too. I bought a set of about fifteen of them at a PTA book sale about six months ago. Their archive is on-line – http://www.americanheritage.com/ – I’d recommend the older, pre-1975 or so articles, though. Mom also had a nearly complete collection of Bruce Catton’s histories of the Civil War – also very readable and gripping.

        • Bill Bennett has edited some terrific anthologies for this purpose. Try The Book of Virtues and The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood. Also try The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hall Iggulden, or their The Dangerous Book of Heroes — anything to subvert the dominant paradigm. Louis L’Amour probably converted far more people than did Karl Marx and was a far more entertaining writer.

          Andrew Klavan’s Homelander series also addresses the serious moral questions of democracy in an entertaining fashion.

        • There’s a new edition of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books out, aimed toward adults, with footnotes and such. According to the WSJ review, she wrote them in the 1930s because she saw Americans becoming so helpless and dependent on government and wanted to show how self-sufficient people used to be.

      • When I was in middle school, the library had at least dozens of the childhood of famous americans series. I loved ‘em, and they gave nice snapshots of history. The first that come to mind are the ones about Jim Thorpe and Crispus Attucks, but I’m pretty sure I read every one they had. Although, the horrifying thought does occur to me that if they’re still around someone may have gone all politically correct on them. I hope not, though.

      • C.J. Carnaghan

        Here ya’ go. A blast from the past during the Clinton years!
        Real Story of Thanksgiving
        From Rush Limbaugh

        If you were like me, what we were taught in school was that the Pilgrims came over, and they were just overwhelmed; they were swamped; they had no clue where they were; they had no clue how to feed themselves; they had to clue how to protect themselves; they had no idea how to stay warm; they had no idea how to do anything. They were just typical, dumb white people fleeing some other place they couldn’t manage to live in. And then, out of the woods came the wonderful Indians, who had great compassion, they were at one with the land, they were at one with the spirits, and they saw these incompetent, dupe white people dressed up in these odd, stupid, black and white hats and suits, and they befriended us, and they taught us how to plant corn and how to catch beasts and how to skin beavers to stay warm, and Thanksgiving is where we give thanks to the Indians.

        Of course the rest of the Thanksgiving story is that after the Indians saved the white people, who, after all, did what? They brought syphilis, sexually transmitted diseases, gongorrhea — as had one high school health teacher pronounced it — racism, bigotry, homophobia, all these things. Then what are we going to do to show our gratitude? Then we had the guts to swindle ‘em out of Manhattan for 24 bucks, and then we stole their land, and we stole their horses, and we moved ‘em away from the various things that they had used religiously, peyote and so forth, and they got sick. So then we put ‘em in reservations, and after awhile we felt guilty and let ‘em run all the casinos outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Well, that is not the true story of Thanksgiving.

        Now, the real story of Thanksgiving: “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible,” and this is what’s not taught. This is what’s left out. “The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims — including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.

        “When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well.” They were collectivists! Now, “Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

        “He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. … Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn’t work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson,” every kid gets. “If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.” Here’s what he wrote: “‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God,’ Bradford wrote.

        “‘For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense…that was thought injustice.'” That was thought injustice. “Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?” ‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Bradford doesn’t sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? … In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. … So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.

        “The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.'” Now, aside from this program, have you heard this before? Is this “being taught to children — and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this?” What if Bill and Hillary Clinton had been exposed to these lessons in school? Do you realize what we face in next year’s election is the equivalent of people who want to set up these original collectivists communes that didn’t work, with nobody having incentive to do anything except get on the government dole somehow because the people running the government want that kind of power. So the Pilgrims decided to thank God for all of their good fortune. And that’s Thanksgiving. And read George Washington’s first Thanksgiving address and count the number of times God is mentioned and how many times he’s thanked. None of this is taught today. It should be.

    • On the bright side, Indians and Pakistans have seized on Kipling as a writer. The University of Bombay brought out his works, for instance.

  10. I have an idea for an educational computer game that should appeal to players from about ten to ninety, but I don’t have the programming skills to develop it. If done right, it will teach math, science, navigation, economics, politics and history. I’ll donate the basic structure of the game, and much of the internals I’ve already developed, to anyone who will build the game into a final form, and contribute 25% of the income to supporting the rest of the efforts suggested here. If anyone’s interested, email me at mike dot weatherford at gmail dot com.

  11. The conventional wisdom is that fundamentalist Protestants have hurt the Republican Party. I agree, but for different reasons than the CW would have it.

    According to the CW, the American people want to party hearty, and hate the social conservatives who want to keep them from glorious sex. This is not, however, reflected in the polls: abortion is less popular now than it was in the conservative 1980s. In fact, I find it utterly offensive: I’m no prude, but I believe that there are higher purposes in this world than searching for the ultimate orgasm.

    Where fundamentalists HAVE, IMHO, hurt the GOP, is in their embrace of the theologically unsound Millennial philosophy: the view that we are in the Final Days, and that evil will continue to triumph until Christ’s return. It’s unsound because the Bible SPECIFICALLY states that the day of the Return is unknowable, and it’s seriously damaging because it undermines morale. I don’t care how much faith you have; you will not fight as hard if you believe your efforts are doomed as you will if you believe that you have a chance of success.

    To those of you who may buy into that philosophy, I quote Oliver Cromwell:

    “Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the Word of God, all that you say? I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

    • The reason I brought this up, which I didn’t make clear, is that it relates to your remark that conservative leaders bought into the Left’s claim to be the future. By the way, this is why I agree that Human Wave is important in a much bigger picture than just having good science fiction. Those of us who grew up reading Heinlein and other Golden Age Campbell-type sf did NOT buy into that, and that kind of sf NEEDS to make a comeback for hope to return.

      • On election night, I was caught between the Libertarians and the fundamentalists, each blaming the other for the loss and my reaction is “A pox on both your houses. If you can’t accept each other for the sake of your children, go away and let the rest of us fight.” There are religious people on both sides. No, I don’t think we should change our positions — it wasn’t the Republicans who brought abortion into it. The MEDIA brought that and contraception in. The republicans were never going to outlaw contraception. The democrats have imposed this cartoon view that is like no republican voter I know onto the public. You know “prudes, churchgoing, rich, greedy.” So, it’s the media that needs its toys taken away and smashed. Also, the time for silence is over. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: I think I’m losing readers with these posts. Weirdly I wouldn’t, if these posts were liberal, because conservatives would sigh and still read my books. BUT for liberals this is religion, and they’ll not read the works of an heretic. Fine. Y’all can visit me in my little cardboard box under the bridge. The time for silence is over. I won’t pick fights on my facebook page because that’s not my PERSONAL page. But I reserve the right to say what I very well please on my blog. Maybe that means I can’t reach the middle anymore. I don’t know. I know that if each and everyone of us came out of the closet and showed who we are, we might suffer for ten years, but after that the caricature of “conservative” won’t stick.
        The alternative is losing the future to dictatorship and soviet grayness. The alternative is losing Israel and seeing Japan and both Koreas under the boot of China. The alternative is poverty and subsistence living and millions dead from a collapse of civilization. The alternative is unthinkable.

        • Well, if it’s any comfort to you, suspecting that you lost readers for your blog through going openly libertarian-conservative … know that John Scalzi definitely lost me. I bailed on him the day he wrote that post as a rapists’ fan letter to a conservative politician who was unwary enough to muse publically that aborting a fetus that had come about through rape was still …aborting an innocent party. I was furious that he would trivialize a horrible situation that way.

        • Do realize you’re gaining regular readers as well. Or at least I am becoming one, because you’re suggesting actionable stuff. And your account of standing in front of those guns was stirring.

          Although I don’t know if you should assume so many of us in the US followed the neo-conservative path, that is starting liberal and converting when something caused you to lose faith. Maybe it’s my age (early ’50s), maybe it’s because I grew up in a part of the country that’s the reddest of Red State (and that for example never adopted the Whole Word “method” of “teaching” reading), strongly religious and part of the cultural South, maybe it was just those Reader’s Digests that I read when I was young with their stories of the specific, reified horrors of Communism, but I followed the paleo-conservative path, I never was a liberal/socialist/Progressive/man or boy of the Left. Always knew is was not just wrong but evil.

    • You are correct. But there are now A LOT of Christian fundamentalists on the other side, which I KNOW makes no sense, but there you are.

      • Same Kool-Aid that passes for Catholic Liberation Theology is what has given the Protestant Communion the flux. ANY time some twit mouths platitudes about “Social Justice” call them out — make them explain what their idea of justice is and tie them up in the inherent contradictions of their philosophy.

        BTW – we ARE in End Times, have been for over two millenia now and there is no sign that the plug is about to be pulled any time soon … do as you were instructed and carry forth His word so that those enslaved by the idols of this world can know the Truth and by knowing it become free. Or, if you’re Buddhistically inclined: the World is illusion, set yourself free.

  12. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    Actually he’s right. He’s also wrong. I think you are wrong too.

    The United States is a “Pragmatic” country. There you can say it. Americans go for what provably works.

    Religious Authoritarianism isn’t seen by most Americans as working (I.e. by the over 50% of the population who voted for Obama). The Republican candidates who came across as religious extremists lost in what were considered safe, Conservative districts.

    I predicted Obama would win this the day after he said that his stance on Same-Sex Marriage had evolved. This election was a victory for Enlightened Self-Interest.

    As to the candidates, neither of them could get elected dog-catcher in Canada with those policies. I really pity you folks, having to choose between the lesser of two evils. Did you know that the United States is the only first world nation with only two parties represented in its legislature?

    Makes Cthulhu look good (see Cthulhu.org for details). Or the Unspeakable Vault of Doom!

    Wayne

    • Wayne, fuck off. WHERE IS RELIGIOUS AUTHORITARIANISM but on the left, which is starting the day after the election with ‘carbon taxes” — an unproven remedy, for an ill we probably can’t affect and in this economy?

      FUCK OFF. You’ve bought the media’s idea of those who voted against this monstrosity. All we wanted was to stop the economic crash.

      WHAT part of enlightened self interest is to continue printing money until the economy crashes? Or are you an economic idiot? What part of Romney’s platform was banning contraceptives or abortions? At most AT MOST — and he’d never even attempt that, let alone get it — the abortion question would go back to the states.

      What other religous authoritarianism was there? Were we going to be forced to go to church? Who said that? Romney belongs to a quirky sect himself.

      And what part of enlightened self interest is piling on another entitlement on an economy already dying. They’re about to see “enlightned self interest” all right.

      http://effyouitsmyblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/time-to-realize-what-you-voted-for.html

      I apologize for swearing, but you have failed to understand ANYTHING I said. Fuck off.

      I try to be a rational human being, but if you’re not going to be well informed, try not to flap lips.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        First, I have a background in Chemistry, and understand the theory and science behind Global Warming. I also know that we can reverse it. It isn’t all that difficult technically, though there would be a lot of hard work. And Americans thrive on hard work. Americans of all ages, including youth.

        As to the “Economic Crash”, look at Europe, and tell me how following tight money policies is going to prevent a crash. Every economy which implemented tight money policies saw unemployment rise sharply, and GDP plunge.

        That said, wasting money is idiotic, and it must be stopped. The big question is where is the waste?

        And that’s the fun part. A huge chunk of it is in the military. Did you know that the United States has fourteen aircraft carriers (this includes three Marine carriers, which are called Assault Ships) in commission? The rest of the world has eleven, and they are smaller, carrying far fewer, and less capable aircraft.

        The United States has as many combat aircraft (non-naval) in service as the entire rest of the world. Do you really need that many? Boeing and Lockheed Martin think you need more.

        Romney wouldn’t solve this. He wants more ships, ships you can’t afford to buy. Heck, with the budget as messed up as it is, with problems dating back to the Eisenhower presidency, you can’t afford to keep the ones you have.

        FYI, I didn’t mention the remainder of your article, because you are 100% correct. I suspect the disaster may go further than you suggested, but hey, I read corporate annual reports for fun, and there are a lot of companies in really pitiful shape.

        Also I don’t mind the language, been known to use that word myself. I still stick to my guns about Americans being pragmatists. I’ve visited most of the lower 48, and talked to a lot of people. Sales Reps do that kind of thing.

        Wayne

        • Wayne – Anybody who can read a *triple* FUCK OFF directed at them, personally, from the hostess of the blog and totally ignore it is obviously so unintelligent as to render their thoughts (if your rantings can be labeled such) worthy of being kicked to the side, unread.

          Glaciers either form or melt. It’s obviously been warmer than this before, or else you believe space aliens buried farms under the ice in Sweden and Greenland just to confuse us?

          You want to reverse the warming? You **want** to kick off another Ice Age? You have studied stuff and it has slid off your teflon mind.

          I am serious. One more of these and I shall follow you to the ends of the Internet, praying for your eternal soul. In posts. Where everybody can see them.

          • He has “studied” — does he know about the leaked emails and “hide the decline”? I thought he was old enough to remember when the danger was global cooling and how the prescription was EXACTLY the same “take us back to the eighteenth century.”

            And Kitteh, you forgot to mention that it’s the first time I’ve used the eff off in this blog, EVER. And yes, I will get worse if this goes on, which is why I’m not answering him directly.

            • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

              Um, yes. I’ve actually downloaded and read the “stolen” emails. They don’t hide anything.

              What they do discuss is being harassed by Climate Deniers.

              FYI, check David Brin’s excellent article about the difference between Climate Deniers and Climate Skeptics. I used to be a Climate Skeptic, but the evidence lead me the other way.

              Wayne

              • I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Any of those words.

                You seem to have missed the following: open discussion of stacking the boards of formerly neutral scientific journals to keep any studies challenging alleged global warning from being published; “hide the decline” – concealing that in the past 20 years there has been zero measurable warning, and in fact the measurements dropped. This being independent of localized climatic effects like heat waves or the entirety of the UK being covered in snow two years running. And that observation occurred despite the urban encroachment rendering many recording stations unreliable sources of data.

                Oh, and wanting to see the math behind the models and the original data only counts as “harassment” to people who are trying to conceal that they’re lying.

                If the evidence led you away from skepticism, either you saw flawed or falsified evidence, or your ability to think is a disgrace to your science credentials. I make no judgment which.

              • Um, yes. I’ve actually downloaded and read the “stolen” emails. They don’t hide anything.

                Then you may have downloaded them, but you didn’t read them.

          • Don’t threaten something like that. I have been harassed like that before (well, not “like that”, but I have been internet stalked for an offense nothing more evil than having the misfortune to lose a friend over something she never bothered to articulate to me, so I can only assume was a reaction to having a gay character in the rpg we were playing). A cyber-stalker is not what any upstanding person wants to be and not something someone who disagrees with you deserves.

            • I think her threat is a joke — I THINK.

              • I hope so. I don’t want to really hang out somewhere where people threaten each other because they disagree. Call them out for being stupid and close-minded? Of course. But threaten? No.

                • Because I know Kitteh, it never occurred to me she was threatening that. It was more saying to the guy who wants to be cool “I’ll hang on your arm and say that I’m your girlfriend.”

                  She’s not young enough to think of cyber stalking. Heck, I’ve been cyberstalked and I’m not young enough to think of it.

                  • LOL. Oh man – okay, put it in a way that makes me laugh a lot, why don’t you? ;) (re: “hanging on your arm and say I’m your girlfriend” – I’m a horrible person who almost always thinks that’s hilarious when people do that in movies/tv.)

        • Chemistry isn’t enough for alleged global warming, Wayne. There’s also the physics involved in solar cycles – unless you choose to believe that the immense nuclear reactor a stones throw away in astronomical distances has no effect on the Earth’s climate – the math that uncovered chaos theory, and of course, literally incalculable inputs thanks to the number of independent and semi-independent variables in real climate science and the n+1 problem (combinatorial math, if you haven’t figured it out yet). Oh, and a ton of geological processes many of which suggest that increased “greenhouse gas” levels are the result not the cause. Oh, and the little fact that geologically speaking Earth is still in ice-age mode and the current interstitial period has lasted rather longer than most of them.

          Let’s not even touch the potential for disaster arising from fiddling about with processes you don’t understand. That’s something sane people avoid unless there’s no other choice. You know, not until you’re sure that your choices are try it and maybe kill several billion people or not try it and definitely kill several billion people. Alleged global warming ain’t close.

          On Europe, bear in mind that all news sources lean left. Reuters and AP have both been caught doctoring evidence to fit the narrative – and the narrative is that austerity doesn’t work. They never mention Iceland, which adopted austerity measures, had an ugly recession but is now very much recovering. Not languishing and dying the death of a thousand debts like Greece is or the US is. At least one of the former Soviet countries did the same – google that if you like. Not to mention in the 1980s Australia adopted austerity measures. There was a recession, then things began to improve to the point that when the latest crash happened the country was debt-free and had ten solid years of budget surplus to draw on. Of course, the idiot left promptly spent it all and are trying to undo all that sensible finance.

          As for US military spending being wasteful, that depends. The US has spent the last 60-some years defending half the world from the other half. The current regime is trying to stop that, and you can hear the screams from the other side of the planet. Sure, if all the US was trying to do was protect itself from invasion it could cut defense. But when it’s also providing Europe’s first-line defense against Russia and anyone else with ideas, and defending Japan, South Korea and assorted other Asian allies, and… That’s why most of the free world doesn’t need much of a military. The American military does the job for them, at America’s cost. Perhaps the US should send Canada a bill?

        • I’m not even going to attempt to be polite.

          Wayne, you’re a idiot.

          “And that’s the fun part. A huge chunk of it is in the military. Did you know that the United States has fourteen aircraft carriers (this includes three Marine carriers, which are called Assault Ships) in commission? The rest of the world has eleven, and they are smaller, carrying far fewer, and less capable aircraft.”

          First the three assault ships are not carriers. They do have some aircraft, but they primarily carry troops.

          Second, yes we do need all those aircraft. We also need more ships than we have.

          You moron, do you not realize that every western nation on Earth owes it’s safety and security to the US? Do you not realize that without our control of the seas the world would be a very dangerous place indeed? Do you even begin to understand that it is sheer fear of what the most dangerous and ruthless killers the world has ever seen _might_ do that keeps the bad actors in check?

          Think about what China would be up to if they didn’t have to stress intervention by the United States. Between them and the Resurgent Russian Empire the’d rule Europe and Asia.

          Dolt.

          We stabilize the world by _existing_, twit. You’re idiot enough to believe in AGW, do you have any clue at all what the environment would look like were the Russians and the Chinese in charge?

          Do you think they give a good goddamn about carbon out put? Have you seen what the Soviets did in places like Yakutsk and Siberia?

          Do you have any concept of the sort of Dark Age that will follow if the US falls? If we are not there to hold back the nitwits with dishcloths on their heads who’d like to use you for target practice?

          Jackass.

          Pull your head out of your third point of contact for a look around before you open that filthy sewer you call your mouth.

        • Wayne, Wayne, Wayne…we HAVE so large a military because to be quite honest about it…the entire world…including the communist and other bit’s I’d just as soon raze to the ground…have gotten used to letting America foot the economic and butcher’s bill to solve all their problem. Or have you missed the last 50years? Also because most of the world doesn’t like us. Hell some of the old timers I’ve talked to tell me that outside of the Scots…they HATE us. They are jealous. Why? because we became the home of people they scorned and those people took this country farther and faster in under 200 years than they could possibly have imagined. They LOVE our money though. So…no more money for anyone…outside of maybe israel and if their of a mind…give them one of our boomers…and tell them to USE it. Which should make the arab world shit themselves to my satisfaction, well at least the arab world that isn’t busy being dead. We are the only nation that after we FLATTEN someone..we help them rebuild. Japan is a historical example…Iraq a more recent one. So…no more rebuilds. When a natural disaster happens it’s almost invariably the american military, followed by private american intrests…that gets there the fastest with the mostest to help those who’ve been knocked on their ass by a planet that does it’s level best to kill us in job lots every single day. Personally I’ve come to the realization that we should do..to an extent, what Ron Paul suggested…and pull back….and leave the world with a warning. You come near us..You Die. We get attacked? We track it back, and then go in…kill everything living, scorch it and sow it with strontium-90 on our way out. Our military has one of the most RIDICULOUS rules of engagements out there and it gets too many of our boys killed. No more ROE. See Wayne…I’,m tired of my country being held in contempt and being called a bully, monster, satan and a host of other words when all we’ve ever done is try and provide a home, a sense of pride and a sense of purpose for the worlds rejects because they refused to bow down and kiss someones ass..

        • Funny, Wayne, I did my Ph.D. in computer modeling and have been following the science now for a number of years, and frankly, you don’t understand the theory and science of it; you know what people with an agenda — actually, several agendas — have told you. But while you weren’t looking there have been a number of odd things showing up:

          * Michael Mann’s dendrochronological studies on which the Inconvenient Truth powerpoint was based have been superseded, as bad science usually is, by later studies: first my McIntyre and McKittick, who showed that Mann’s statistical methods were deeply and essentially flawed; most recently by Keith Briffa and others, who showed that good statistics put the dendrochronolgical data back into agreement with several other data sources, resulting in a global Medieval Warm Period and in our current temperatures not actually being markedly different from previous warm periods.

          * Richard Lindzen’s satellite thermal balance experiments, which show that thermal radiation is in balance within limits of measurement with insolation — which means no net heat retention, which means there is no measurable greenhouse gas warming signal.

          * Research with which Roget Pielke, Jr is associated that shows there has been no increase in major storm or tornado intensity or damage over a very long span — while of course we’re told the opposite.

          That in addition to the frank misconduct that was clearly shown in the “Climategate” data — from non-reproducibility of results (the “harry_read_me.txt” file), to conspiracies to suborn the US and UK FOIA laws — for which members of the East Anglia staff were not prosecuted only because of statute of limitations — to collusion to prevent certain authors from publishing in the field, and attempts to publish journals that published studies in contradiction of the so-called consensus.

          So no, Wayne, you don’t know the science, and you don’t have a scientists attitude of examining the facts.

        • C.J. Carnaghan

          Listen, nitwit science person. The solution to GLOBAL WARMING is simple, beginning with you shutting down your computer/electric/heat/gas/phone and riding a horse. Second–the easiest–go back to the 1970’s, look up how they solved GLOBAL COOLING back then, and reverse the process.
          If you can tell me specifically HOW GLOBAL COOLING was reversed, I might–just MIGHT–considering listening to you about global warming.

    • Enlightened self-interest? What a joke. If anything, this election shows that the American public votes for president the same way they’d vote for a candidate on American Idol. We now have The American Idol President. Too many people really don’t want to do the hard part of actually thinking about the issues, so they vote on some kind of vague emotion, such somebody being ‘likable’ or ‘more like me’ or more ‘cool’. Or they voted for Obama because he’s already the president, so it’s easy to imagine him being the president (I said they weren’t paying attention, didn’t I?).

    • Wayne — How in the world can you look at places that forced the Republican election judges out of the building, after which they voted ***100%*** for Obama — and blame that on “Religious Authoritarianism”???? The drugs have melted your brain cells, Wayne. They have dribbled out your ears and been lapped up by that gremlin on your shoulder — who probably has waaay more sense than you do.

      I’d threaten to stuff your head up your ass, but it’s been there so long you don’t even notice it, any more. The excrement is caked in your eyes and ears, though, so all you see and hear are echoes of the lone thought wandering through the empty caverns of your mind, dying of loneliness. I think you should leave. Don’t forget to flush yourself on your way out.

    • Wayne,

      You’re wrong. Enlightened self interest had buggerall to do with this election result: enlightened self interest is about doing things that will be beneficial for all concerned. There is nothing beneficial about a debt in the multi-trillions and growing fast. There is nothing beneficial about a debased currency. There is nothing beneficial about more than 20 million people unemployed and more than double that off the bloody books because the way it’s measured hides real unemployment.

      Democrat policy is, as Sarah said, religious. There is no hard evidence that anthropogenic global warming actually exists. There is no hard evidence that banning frigging supersize soft drinks will have any health benefits. And there is certainly no evidence that the Marxist presumptions of the President and his cronies can ever benefit anyone but him and his cronies. There are 100 million and more corpses, many still buried in the mass graves of the hellholes that applied Marxism creates, to say that the only people who benefit from Marxism are the tiny handful in control. And then only as long as they keep control.

      And yes, the President is a Marxist. So are his closest associates. Since most of the media are wannabes, they’ve given him a pass and performed exhaustive character assassination on anyone who even looks like they might be thinking about opposing him.

      You don’t see it unless you go looking for it. Here, it’s everywhere.

      • Also, and incidentally, carbon taxes do NOTHING but give money to the government. They’re a crony capitalist scheme. they destroy our industry and allow India and China who REALLY pollute to be unfettered. What but religious zeal could do this? Okay, greed. And venality. There’s a picture of this administration in the dictionary under those words.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        Had to do some fast reading. This sort of problem is probably linked to the Electronic Voting machines. If you check out Black Box Voting and the Brad Blog, both sites have a lot of information about E-Voting issues.

        There are voting machines that don’t issue receipts, and don’t print acknowledgement copies. This makes recounts problematic, as a hacker could have accessed the machine…

        I don’t think that there’s really anything here, but let’s wait until the court challenges are complete.

        There is no hard evidence that anthropogenic global warming actually exists.

        Actually there is solid evidence, as good as the evidence for Evolution, and as good as the evidence for Relativity. For that matter, we don’t have hardly any snow (yes, I live that far north).

        There is no hard evidence that banning frigging supersize soft drinks will have any health benefits.

        Agree with you on this one. That is a really bad law.

        And there is certainly no evidence that the Marxist presumptions of the President and his cronies can ever benefit anyone but him and his cronies.

        Obama isn’t a Marxist. He’s a Corporate Fascist. So is Romney. Read a translation of Mussolini’s speeches, the parallel is obvious.

        Have you ever read anything by Karl Marx? I’ve got him on my wait list. Right now I’m working on Tacticus (but in an English Translation, my Latin is limited).

        My point is that you can’t identify a Marxist, unless you know what Marxism is. At the present time I don’t. I do however know what Corporate Fascism is. I’ve read some of Mussolini.

        Wayne

        • Wayne – you need to read this blog more closely. Our hostess lived in a Marxist applied country and was taught Marxism in school. Of us all, she has studied the subject, and lived under it.

          A Marxist under any other name is still a Marxist. (Progressivism, liberalism, etc. etc.)
          ;-) Cyn

          • It keeps changing its name like a bad restaurant that poisons customers, but it’s ALL the same.

            And no, Wayne doesn’t read, he pontificates, to show he’s smarter than us, see. It’s the purpose of his existence, poor guy.

            • Yea – I got hit with a teenager the last few days who thought he was hilarious using tired cliches– I was pretty gleeful when I started cutting. I have no patience with anyone since the election. I hope I can eventually get those emotions under control. My berserker has been out to play– and loving it.

              And you know that the berserker kind of scares me when he has full reign. Urp–

              • I think, Cyn, from what I’m seeing from friends who have studiously avoided politics in public life till now that we’ve not only come to the end of cake, we’ve come to the end of patience. They’re about to get treated the way they’ve treated us for sixty years. Something tells me they’re not going to like it. At first they’re going to try to whine and shame us into line. When that fails I don’t know. Perhaps they’ll hold their breath.

                Or maybe we’ll fall off the fiscal cliff before then. Like Whittle I see it months away, and I’m concerned with keeping me and mine safe. At this point having leftists think well of me is the very very very least of my worries. After all, I don’t think very well of people who want to regulate how I live, what I do and when I die, so what do I care what they think of me?

                • While none of the Christians I know or their sects think we’re in the End Times, like most observant people I’ve come to the inevitable conclusion the US Federal government as we know it is coming to its fiscal End Times … hard to escape that conclusion when our central bank (the Federal Reserve or “the Fed”) is monetizing so much debt, and the government is doing so much to decrease tax revenues. As you note elsewhere, there’s no one to bail us out, no Interplanetary Monetary Fund; we are the lender of last resort. Don’t know if it’ll happen within a few months, predicting the timing for these sorts of things before the first big discontinuities are very hard, they depend on actions of many many people. But one should be prepared for “soon” as well as within a few years.

                  And if you think the probability is within a very few years, then there’s really no point in “being polite”, AKA keeping your mouth and mind in the unnatural state of not causing offense to these all too easily offended sworn enemies of ours (the latter description is I think not too strong; sure, they may be nice people, but they’ve joined a religion of sorts and we are infidels (the paleo-con path) or apostates (the neo-con path)). All the energy that drains can be put to much better use, the morale boost can be amazing, and we’ll need all of that to help we and ours through the coming dark times.

                  • Could be tomorrow. We might last out four years and crash suddenly with a new administration. I’m sure they’re working as hard as they can on the last one, but they’re stunningly incompetent and hampered by a set of beliefs that just ain’t so.

                    Strap down. We’re gonna land hard.

                    • Before it slips my mind and because it is not wholly irrelevant to this discussion (at least, no more irrelevant than my typical comments) it is worth noting what the state of California has done this last Tuesday, when they increased their state income tax rate.

                      BECAUSE income taxes paid to the state are DEDUCTIBLE for purposes of calculating your FEDERAL taxable income, the higher rate levied in California essentially is a wash for California taxpayers; they pay more to their state, less to the Feds. This reduction in federal tax revenues (shortfall) must be made up by the taxpayers in the other forty-nine states. So you, even if you live in a state with no income tax, are being forced to directly underwrite the high tax regime of the state of California (NY, Illinois and others, as well.)

            • If Wayne is trying to show how intelligent he is and that he is superior to everyone else here, he is SOL on that one.

        • Wayne,

          I suggest you also google military voting. Thousands of paper ballots arrived one day too late. Oddly enough military votes lean heavily conservative.

          Re: alleged global warming, you are confusing anecdote with evidence, and imputing harmfulness where the the more likely effect of any global warming is going to be beneficial. Unless you think someone planted those Viking homesteads in Greenland. There is no evidence that any warming occurring is anything other than driven by natural cycles. Note that many weather stations have been in the same place for years – despite changing demographic patterns rendering said place a bad location for a weather station. If a station is now ten feet from the exhaust of a commercial AC system, it’s going to record a sharp rise in temperatures. That rise will be bogus. Unfortunately no-one can confirm the quality or otherwise of the data because the originals no longer exist.

          Obama is a Marxist. “Share the wealth” is lifted straight out of Marx’s playbook. As is the notion that “at some point you have enough money” and therefore should give the rest to someone else – here, let the Government sort that out for you. Not to mention, when the people who’ve had the misfortune to live in a Marxist regime say he’s a Marxist (including Sarah), I believe them. Oh, and yes, I have waded through his drivel. The man had no idea about how people work.

          Corporate fascism is simply the “business-friendly” face of Marxism. As GM found out, once the controls are in place, the gloves come off. Take the government dime, the government owns you and you can’t choose your own officers any more. Or did you perhaps miss the part where Mussolini says outright that corporate fascism is a leftist mode of government allied to communism? Or maybe you failed to notice China adopting a kind of inverse corporate fascism to hide its moral and financial bankruptcy?

          • and then there was the literal CARGO Planeload of ballot to be delivered. Gee what happened to those ballots? they were destroyed in a crash. how fracking convenient.

            • Point the first: be careful. The reports on “lost and delayed” military ballots appear to be hoaxes. Point the second: that so many of these are so readily believable bespeaks a serious level of distrust in the fairness of American elections.

              As far as governmental action to prevent AGW, where is the evidence these Einsteins could organize a two-car funeral procession? Most of their solutions are the Climate Change equivalent of slapping a sticking plaster on arterial wounds. And every dollar they waste trying to slow the oceans’ rise by an inch over a century is a dollar not spent innoculating third world villagers against typhoid, diphtheria, influenza and thousand other illnesses that could mutate and consume the human race (because I assume personal interest rather than humanitarian impulse is needed to motivate.) The prescription these clowns proffer against AGW is on a par with cutting off your hand to treat a hangnail.

              • RES..I’ll grant the first point.. Point the 2nd? Hell! LOL that one has been blindingly obvious with the last several years of open shenanigans..
                AGW…jeebus what a huge crock of a shit.
                Sigh….and people have the gall to wonder why I hold such a huge percentage of the human race in general, and a certain stripe of politician in particular in utter contempt..

    • Vast amounts of national debt “provably work”?

    • Wayne, you will understand that I am disinclined to take political advice from the nation that elected Pierre Trudeau to power for fifteen and a half out of sixteen years.

  13. Before you rip poor Wayne a new one, think about this: why does he think this? He’s probably a reasonably knowledgeable guy for someone who is in a different country. What would give him this impression of the Republican candidate? I have seen people who would not vote for Romney because “he wants to eliminate abortion and outlaw contraception.” Did Romney ever say anything that would give anyone this impression? Not that I know of.

    People are seriously being lied to out there. Some of that is word of mouth and/or internet but not a small amount of that is our media. It is *hard* for people of good heart but no great political interest to get an honest view of what either side actually stands for. I think *that* is the major problem we have as a nation, well, other than historic outstanding debt, foreign entanglements, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

    • This is why I’ve answered with fact and data. And logic. And tried to stay polite.

      It takes effort to get Sarah angry enough to tell someone to “fuck off” once, much less three times in a single comment. It takes severe lack of clue to keep at it after being told this.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      It’s not really that hard. If I can do it, almost anyone can. I say this, not to claim I’m dumb (I actually think I’m pretty smart), but as a person who is VERY lacking in people-reading skills. I am almost blindly trusting of people, by nature, and even I can tell that the leadership on the Left and much of the media is a bunch of lying douchebags who don’t deserve any respect. They put out propaganda to drive people into their pockets, then promise them treats and feelings of superiority if they just keep spouting the party line.

      The problem is that too many people are intellectually lazy. They fall for the easy out, and don’t think of the consequences of the things they are being told, and their own actions in supporting them.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        If Wayne were correct about Americans being Pragmatist, then we would have first of all, never nominated Romney in the first place, and second of all, would have thrown Obama out on his ass with a resounding defeat. His talk about the Military being one of the largest sources of waste is laughable. Our success in previous decades has made us hated in many parts of the world (yes, our success, not any of the BS that gets bandied about in the media), because the Leftsts’ propaganda has led enough of them to believe that we only got rich by making other countries poor, and out lifestyle has gotten us hated by the Islamic world. If we did not have enough military to take on the rest of the world, we could be subject to being attacked at some point by some country out to make a point (and I’m not talking about terrorist attacks, I mean military ones).

        Pragmatists would recognize that generational welfare is a bad thing, that creating an environment that pits one ethnic group against another is a bad thing, that pitting men against women is a bad thing, and that either stealing (via taxes and “fees”), or stunting (via regulations that slow growth without any real benefit, and cost money to ensure the compliance of) vast fractions of the wealth generated by the companies of the country is a bad thing. These people are not pragmatists, they are spoiled children and greedy ones at that.

      • Which is why I relabeled them from the MSM…to the MLPM or the PPM. Militant Liberal Propaganda Machine or the Progressive Propaganda Ministry. Giving serious thought to just calling them Goebbel’s Progeny and having done with it.

    • The assumption Wayne is moderately intelligent is undermined by his having in the past told us that running a program to remove all “ands” and such from a book constituted “editing”.

      The assumption that he’s in good faith is undermined by the fact that he didn’t bother to read anything of the last few days. Or read the current post and missed that neither I NOR ROGER were proposing any religious authoritarianism.

      I think he likes to believe himself on the side of angels, and at the same time wants to side with the part he perceives as “cool” because the media portrays it so. The result is not so much thinking as a sort of pavlovian reflex.

      And in answer to your question, yes, I know there are many like him, which is why we must get control of media, entertainment and education.

      And honestly, seriously, the phrase Religious Authoritarianism applied to Romney’s campaign still has me slack jawed in astonishment. The campaign talked economics, economics, economics. The media went on about lady parts. Wayne believes the media and doesn’t bother checking. As RES has said before Against Stupidity The Gods Themselves Labor In Vain.

      • I am in the middle of organizing a baby shower for tomorrow, so haven’t had time to read. However, this Wayne guy must have really tripped over his brain a time or two if you are as angry as you sound. There is no accounting for brains or the total lack thereof in most folks.

        I am still seething about the worm stealing the election. So I am not going to be very rational toward people who want to rationalize and pleasure pick the parts of the worm’s agenda they like. At the end of the day, I am looking for a place to live that will keep us safe and allow us to have the money we earn. Panama is at the top of the list over seas, Oklahoma or Texas for remaining in the US.

        • Look to the Mountain West, in the fastness of the everlasting hills. I have more specific recommendations, but those aren’t something to take from a stranger, or to discuss in public. :)

        • Well, if you want to get away from it all, the Oklahoma Panhandle is a good choice as is far eastern New Mexico. However, you really are away from it ALL and had best be ready for everything but tsunamis, large earthquakes, and CAT 4 hurricanes (they tend to weaken by the time they get that far inland. Usually.) Oh, and stampeding elephants. Haven’t had those for, oh, 13,000 years. :)

      • Economics is boring, and complicated. Freedom to decide things about your personal life is something most people value, and a perceived risk to that makes for an easy meme to grasp, whether it’s for real or not.

        • The “all we have to do is print more dollars to pay off our debt” argument is economic first cousin to the theory that “My checking account can’t be overdrawn; I still have checks left in my checkbook.”

          • “Oh, you’ll take a check? I thought you wanted money. Why don’t I just pay it all off right now?”

          • My point is mostly that it seems you can’t win elections now by assuming there are enough people who can be won by reasoned facts that all you need is to point out those facts. There probably aren’t.

            I think our lives in most of the western countries may have been too easy, too safe since the second world war. Most people feel safe, at least they trust that nothing will happen which would break down the structures of society so badly they might actually face something like the threat of starvation, or widespread social unrest, or lack of something like water or sanitation or electricity. In their minds if something like that sometimes happens in their country it will always be just in some limited area and help will arrive soon, at most in a week or two or three. Things have been safe their whole lives, so many of them are fully in the ‘can’t happen here, no way’ mindspace.

            When people feel safe they tend to concentrate on their immediate, personal lives, and things like those ‘reproductive rights’ may start to seem more important that something like economy because even those who may be worried about their own job still trust that if they lose it the government will take care of them, like they have been promised, because they do live in the rich part of the world, don’t they, so there has to be enough money, right? They don’t bother to think much about the wider issues because they assume that nothing much will ever change there, things have been pretty much the same always, there may be downs but they will always be followed by ups, right? So it doesn’t matter if they mostly think about the fine tuning instead of the big issues when they vote. Except as far as they are concerned that fine tuning actually concerns what now are the big issues, because those old big issues – like that pesky economy one – well, they will just go on the way they always do, no matter who is in charge. And the Left are, besides, well, they sound nicer because they talk more about stuff like citizen’s rights than those other guys do. Rights are always good. Everybody should have rights.

            Do your schools still teach civics? Ours stopped with that course 12 years ago.

    • Yep. You have to dig if you want to find out about things if you live where I do. Not much hope finding much that might differ from the PC explanations in newspapers or magazines or television. There are occasional exceptions, but they never seem to get any wind on their sails, unlike those stories which fit the narrative – anything new in that vein and suddenly at least every other paper has to write their own story about it, while they are usually very good ignoring the exceptions no matter how juicy the story might seem.

      And the general idea our news sources gives about your political parties is pretty much this: democrats are for helping the small people, and for individual freedom while republicans are for big business and mostly social conservatives who will try to regulate personal lives by putting up laws against everything they see as immoral, which, if they got fully in power, would mean a return to the times when women aborted with coat hangers, gays where either in closets or in jail and not aborting illegally but having that out-of-wedlock baby would make a woman a lifelong pariah and that same fate would wait her bastard child. If those are the ideas that have been sold to your own people no miracle so many people voted for the democrat guy. Or that most Europeans would have voted for him too. During the last months there has been not a beep about anything in my language which might even slightly besmirch the image of Obama as a virtual saint (no Benghazi questions, there has never been any stories about his former pastor and so on, and only a few very, very general mentions about the financial issues, and those have mostly been dismissed with the idea that he inherited a very bad situation and hey, things seem to be improving now even if slowly), while Romney’s gaffes got lots of stories. Not as outright ‘see how bad this guy is’ stories, mind you, but as ‘oh that was a mistake, makes him look bad’ ones. Some things like his contributions to charity were mentioned once or twice, I think, but it was also mentioned that most of them went to his church, so easy for our people to presume that means the money mostly has contributed to building big temples and sending out those missionaries, not helping people in need. So: Obama nice guy who grew up poor so knows the small people, Romney rich guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth and with no idea of how the small people live but knows how to make money for rich shareholders, and besides he’s some sort of religious nut.

      For me the triggers which originally made me distrust our media were the unanswered questions. Like global warming. I had studied geology, so my first question when ‘global warming’ stories started to appear wasn’t so much ‘true or not?’ but ‘what about the Holocene climatic optimum – it used to be a lot warmer where I live, so how come it’s now bad if the temperatures might climb back to those?’. And it took a couple of decades before I found first sort of explanation – that it doesn’t matter because it was a local phenomenon, and because what is happening now is global now it’s bad. Really? And it wasn’t just that climatic optimum, there have been a lot warmer periods in near history too, like the medieval warm period. Second question – I live in that part of the world which will be lost very fast if we enter a new glaciation. Again, so if there really is global warming, should we really be trying to curb it? As Kate said, this interglacial has already lasted longer than it should have… and then there is the fact that Mars seemed to be warming at about the same rate Earth maybe was. No connection? Are you absolutely sure? Correlation is not causation, but has that at least been studied, and if so where can I find the results? I would have a bit more faith in the whole thing if I could find more answers to questions like those, not have them brushed off as unimportant which seems to be the main strategy now. Gives a bad smell to the whole idea.

  14. I have read the story of Martha and Mary many times over years and I have to tell you that every time I confirm for myself that I am a son of Mar, not Martha. Go again and read what Jesus said to Martha’s complaints.

    One needs to get this right. Even if you get everything else wrong, you need to get this right.

    I pray that all of us do get this right, and I ask in the name of our savior and Messiah, Jesus, the Son of G-d.

    • You might be the son of Mary, but I am the daughter of Martha– Until I became ill with my disease, I did not have the opportunity to sit and listen. I was sent to make the food, clean-up, etc. So I don’t see why you have a problem with Martha– she was still a friend and supporter of Jesus. She also made sure he was fed. Someone has to do the feeding– We are material beings.

    • I’ve been thinking about how I want to respond to this for a few hours now and I think I’ve finally arrived at what I want to say.

      I don’t presume to instruct Jesus (and I’m not), but in my mind, it makes what Mary did even more selfish, doesn’t it? Martha did all the work so their guest(s) could be comfortable and fed and Mary sat and listened and didn’t help. If Mary had helped Martha, they could have both listened – or even taken turns working and listening.

      I’d rather be a daughter of Martha, who saw there was work to be done and when she saw she couldn’t handle it all by herself, asked for help to finish it.

      But, hey. I’m not a Biblical scholar. I’ve just been around enough Marys to know what happens when people just sit and listen. They get used to thinking that working isn’t important.

      • Again, I think the theology was supposed to justify the contemplative orders in the future — possibly. Probably. Or perhaps to show that in a theology where the world — the material — doesn’t count, the important thing is to think of Heaven.

        I have a feeling there’s Jewish context we’re missing, theology of the time. I find myself this puzzled sometimes by some of the old side-stories (my mind has gone blank and I can’t remember the proper word) that have been embroidered around the Torah, where it makes no sense till I hear the historical/theological explanation.

        At any rate, I wasn’t using it as theology, which is why I linked the Kipling poem which — rather unabashedly — extolls the Sons of Martha as those who do things and keep life running. AND that’s what we are to a great extent, because the philosophy we understand won’t give us a living.

        So, let’s do what we can do. Ours might not be the better part, but it is important.

        • The historical context is a bit complicated here.

          1. The Mosaic law is primarily about doing. Talking about the law is encouraged, but as a prelude to doing, not for its own sake.

          2. OTOH, the Mishnaic sages (called Pharisees in this period in history) spent a lot of time learning and teaching Torah, which means not just the Pentateuch but the Oral Torah that had to be memorized. This emphasis on memorization eventually turned into an emphasis on argument in the Talmud.

          So listening to Jesus, learning Torah, may have been considered better.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          IIRC Jewish “custom” at the time dictated that women weren’t to be educated in Jewish Religious Law. That was for men only. The message wasn’t about “contemplative orders of the future”. It was saying that listening to the Christ (who would be there a short time) was more important than the house work that would be there after He left.

    • It’s like Rick Boatright said earlier (scroll up to find it): “The poem is crappy theology. It’s quite GOOD psychology …”

      You’re only looking at the theological side of the question. Which means that while you’re entirely correct as far as theology — we shouldn’t let anything distract us from God — it also means that you’re talking about a different subject than the rest of the discussion here. Which is about the practical side of life. When you’re raising cows, for example, they don’t care that there’s a blizzard outside and you’d rather stay in bed — they have to be milked. Period. So you have to just suck it up and do it, because the consequences of laziness will bite you in the butt if you stay in your comfortable bed.

      That’s what the poem is about: the practical side of life, not about theology.

      (Though, on the theological side, I’ve always felt that Martha gets a bit of a bad rap. People remember the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10, but they rarely remember John 11, where both Mary and Martha had the exact same initial reaction to Jesus after Lazarus’ death: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” But it’s Martha who expressed her faith in Jesus despite the tragedy: “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” This much faith, at such a stressful time? Martha certainly isn’t letting worries distract her from what is important now, is she?)

  15. We must also starve the beast, I’m not talking about an organized, highly visible boycott, those always fail. Simply shop smartly, don’t support products/services produced, distributed or advertised by companies that fund progressive causes. Don’t write or email, just don’t buy. Buy used or second hand if possible. This will cause pain for our side as well, but it’s coming no matter what we do, so let’s accelerate the fail spiral.

    I’m a huge movie buff, so i hate to say this, but Hollywood & Big Entertainment is our enemy, stop supporting them. Get reacquainted with your local library, there’s a huge array of entertainment material and no residuals flow from your use. Support like minded film makers, writers and musicians who self-publish.Ditch the cable TV service. Take up a hobby or a craft rather than watch TV. We don’t miss it a bit and were pleasantly surprised how much calmer/happier life is without the one-eyed beast spewing negativity & propaganda into our home.

    We need to work & live smarter, network and prepare. Keep your tools and communication devices up to date, sharpen your skill sets and learn new ones. Become as self-sufficient as possible. Plan so you aren’t entirely dependent on the supply line in an emergency. Get as fit & healthy as you can. Try to stay under the govt radar as much as possible. Pay Caesar his due, but not a penny more. As Dylan once said “To live outside the law you must be honest”…that is the core difference between us and them.

  16. “… we’re no longer a center-right country…”

    We haven’t been a center-right country since the 1950s. The claims that were center-right mostly were based on flawed surveys about social issues. Those survey results were misinterpreted to support the center-right majority fallacy.

    The true measure of the political leanings of our population is the way people vote. The majority has supported the following: a national entitlement government, heavy regulation of all sectors of the economy, government ownership of parts of the economy, restrictions on personal freedom (the war on drugs; the “eco” restrictions on buying toilets, shower heads, light bulbs, and gasoline; the intrusive searches of the TSA and ICE), national government involvement with education, and a highly progressive income tax. This puts the majority solidly in the left wing.

    Republican candidates win national elections only because they have moved to the center: they don’t oppose entitlements, the Dept. of Education, the Patriot Act and other programs that restrict freedoms, the EPA, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

    Obama was remarkably incompetent, repeatedly untruthful, more divisive than any president since Wilson, more left-wing than any president in history, caused the longest recession since the Great Depression, and he was re-elected. So were almost all the Democrats in Congress. That should tell you where we are politically.

    • Republican candidates [who] win national elections … don’t oppose entitlements, the Dept. of Education….

      Which explains why Ronald Reagan won doing both?

      Of course, that was a long time ago, but I still can’t help but noticing that the Republicans won in ’80, ’84’, ’88 (false flag), ’00 and ’04 with conservative or fairly so candidates. Not ones proposing to roll back the New Deal, but certainly attacking things from the Great Society period and on.

      And they’ve lost elections with the following “moderates” and/or RINOs:

      G. H. W. Bush in 1992 after he’d unmasked himself.

      Bob “Tax Collector for the Welfare State” Dole in 1996.

      John “Amnesty” McCain in 2008, who attacked much of the Republican base after they didn’t vote for him in the 2000 primary, as well as the usual “moderate”, RINO stuff.

      Mitt “Romneycare” Romney, who was never a conservative in just about any significant political way and who wasn’t at all good at faking one (“I’m severely conservative.”…) nor making people forget how recent his “conversion” was.

      Maybe after two abject failures with moderate/RINO types we should go back to trying what actually has been proven to work? Doesn’t seem to me that it can hurt.

      • I am only going by memory here, but i believe that the last RINO or moderate Republican to win the presidency while running as a moderate was Richard Milhous Nixon. How’d that end up working out?

        It doesn’t matter what the Republican’s philosophy is, the Dems and the MSM (but I repeat myself) will caricature him as a extreme right-wing zealot. At least the real extreme right-wing zealots aren’t embarassed by it and know how to make the argument in support of their “extremism.”

        • He ran as a foreign policy hawk (few have ever had better anti-Communist credentials than he did (Alger Hiss)) and for example won the Vietnam War (a win of course thrown away when the ARVN etc. were defunded by the Democratic Congress before the North’s 2nd massive armored invasion after we’d withdrawn our ground troops), but indeed he was a domestic moderate, don’t remember if he campaigned as such since I was focused on the former at the time.

          And it ended badly: the gold window was closed, wage and price controls followed, the Great Society programs got to their really serious funding levels, he established the EPA and appointed as its head a man who ignored the scientific evidence and banned DDT, resulting in the deaths of millions of yellow, brown and black 3rd World people (out of sight, out of mind), he signed off on the creation of OSHA and I know I’m forgetting other regulatory excesses … that’s just off the top of my head and I became politically aware during his first term. Oh, yeah, he put on the Supreme Court Blackmun, Burger and Powell.

          Hmmm, he also didn’t fight the new presidential nominating system drawn up by a commission chaired by one George McGovern after the 1968 Chicago debacle (curiously enough, McGovern won the next nomination…). That system needs serious reform.

          • Lina, it’s worth noting that the McGovern Commission was changing the process for the Democrat Party. I’m not sure Nixon’s opposition would have had much effect.

            • Hmmm, as I understand it as the various states followed the guidelines this resulted in a massive increase in the use of state run and regulated primaries, which the Republicans were dragged into. This new system works as well as you’d expect anything designed by the New Left.

              Very much in the goo-goo (“good government”) Progressive model, and I suppose it would have been very hard for Nixon to speak or act against the general opening of the process that was involved. And he certainly did benefit from it in 1972.

          • Oh goodness; reading about each side’s foot troops (or lack thereof in Florida for the Republicans) and how the government pays for their’s reminded me of the Legal Services Corporation. Yep, signed into law by Nixon in 1974.

            He sure did a fine job of comprehensively funding our domestic enemies (the EPA, if you didn’t know, funds those who win lawsuits against it, plus of course lots in grants; this has been obviously collusive more than once, needless to say).

            • Thus a large part of the reason for the 50-Year Rule regarding history. It usually takes that long for a proper evaluation of the effects of a presidency. Few anticipated how corrupted the EPA or LSC would become, just as few apprehended how JFK’s authorizing public employee unions would so burden the public with unresponsive civil service and enormous unfunded pensions.

      • Yes, Reagan was so far to the right that he dismantled the entitlement programs, shrank the federal government, greatly reduced taxes on individuals and corporations, re-established an isolationist policy and pulled our military out of foreign countries, and reduced the budget of the Dept. of Defense. What? He didn’t do any of those things? That’s because his politics were center rather than right.

        • Mingo V— Reagan was dealing with a Democratic/left Congress– That he did what he did is a miracle–

          If you think Regan was center, I have some beachfront property to sell you in Nevada.

  17. Leigh Caroline

    Sorry, but while I liked your blog for the writing advice, you’ve gone too out in right field for me politically. The only thing that is “dying” is the false power gained from fear and hatred old, white people have for the “other”. This country is increasingly pluralistic, increasingly open minded, increasingly following Humanist ideas instead of judging based on blind faith of religion. This country has, among the founding ideals, the belief that no one religion should be forced on people who do not want it. It’s what has allowed it to grow and change repeatedly, if slowly. Romney relied on that fear of growth, and it blew up in his face, fed by the right wing thinking that it was going to be a blowout based on their own, skewed polls. The rest of us knew it was going to be close, and so we voted what our hearts told us to vote. For me, that meant voting for the man who believes I’m smart enough to choose what to do with my own body, who believes I am smart enough to choose who to marry for myself, who believes high quality education and healthcare should be available to everyone.

    Democracy works. If you don’t like the way something’s going, get out there and act to change it, with your own two hands. That’s what this country does. Look at what Occupy is doing with Sandy cleanup. There are people with medical training of all levels (EMS, doctors, nurses, health aides even) out there walking the storm ravaged streets, helping people without expecting anything in return. We aren’t a country based on hand outs, but on helping each other equally. We do expect people who succeed to feed it back to help others succeed. The level of income inequality, with wealth being hoarded by those at the top, is at unprecedented levels. They should be paying at least as much in taxes as people who work their butts off as teachers, bus drivers, firemen.

    I could continue, but I doubt it’d do any good. People who live by fear do not want to listen to why their fears are unfounded.

    • Leigh– I see a willful blindness in your post–
      I used to work on the copy machines in at the social services offices in Las Vegas Nevada. There were ten or more social services people who didn’t stop handing out food stamps and social programs five days a week. This was before Pres. Obama– I shudder to think how busy those offices are now.

      When more than 50 percent of the voters find out that they can vote themselves free stuff, then we are not a constitutional republic anymore. We are turning into a direct democracy– If you read about the first direct democracies, they ended up as “mob rule” and tyranny–

      • Wayne Blackburn

        No, Cyn, it’s not willful blindness, it’s that intellectual laziness and the willingness to believe that they are superior simply by spouting the platitudes and accusations of the Leaders, which I pointed out earlier. Poor Leigh has drunk the Socialist Kool-Aid so deeply that she won’t wake up until the reality slaps her in the face, and it might take two or three times.

        • It takes exquisite education to be that dumb. But she’ll wake. Hunger is a great wake-up. Although, who knows? There are still communists in Russia. Maybe Leigh thinks she’ll be rewarded with a position in the bureaucracy.

          • What she isn’t smart enough to deduce is that to get a position in the bureaucracy she needs to “come to the attention of powerful people.” Most of us do not have those kind of connections.

            • most of us are smart enough to not WANT to come to the attention of powerful people when they’re that dictatorial. Okay I really shouldn’t include myself in that “US” because like Louis Gosset Jr said in Iron Eagle “He’s demonstrated his inability to KEEP HIS BIG MOUTH SHUT.”

      • I’m old, I’m white, I’m female, and I do most of the buying for this family. I may be worried about the future with that worm in the white house, but hear this LEIGH, I am NOT afraid of anyone or anything. The worse has already happened to me, twice, and I survived. So take your snotty attitude and stuff it.

    • Unfounded fears?

      Well, if you feel I’m afraid of people who don’t look like me, or that my opposition to Barack Obama is because of his skin color, you’re sadly mistaken.

      I really don’t even know where to begin with you because the level of teh stoopid is beyond belief. It would take a professional deprogrammer to even begin to break through.

      We’ll just get into your “wealth inequality,” bullshit. Yes, I’m cursing at you, no this doesn’t mean I’m stupid, or have lost the argument by resorting to profanity — I’m using language I hope will filter through the granite you’re using for a skull.

      The top 10 percent of wage earners in this country pay something like 40% of the income tax burden. The top 50 percent pay it all. Forty-seven percent of the population pays no, that’s zero, income taxes. In fact, many of those, through things like the earned income credit, the first time homebuyer’s credit and the extra child tax credit actually see more in their income tax return than was taken out of their checks in the first place.

      This is leaving aside the roughly 8 percent of the population who is dependent upon unemployment checks.

      Unfounded fears?

      This man (he’s really a little boy in a man’s body, no one ever spanked his rotten little ass and told him he was being bad, apparently .He’s been told he’s a special little flower his entire life, as apparently you have) seems to think the money tree is endless and we can continue to spend forever.

      Let me see if I can find an analogy that you can understand. I’m going to assume for the sake of argument, that you’re married. Your husband has just lost his job. You have about $20,000 in credit card debt, a mortgage that’s running you about $1,000 a month, two car payments at $300 each and a few other various and sundry bills and payments. Now your husband says to you “hey honey, the way we get out of this is go on vacation for two weeks to Disney World and buy the kids all new toys.” You’d look at him like he was insane, and probably hit him upside the head with a frying pan. Or should. I’m not sure you would realize it was a bad idea either, based on your support of a president who seems to think it’s a good idea to double the national debt in THE FIRST TWO FUCKING YEARS OF HIS PRESIDENCY. The debt service alone is approaching 100 percent of GDP. That means we owe as much money as the entirety of goods and services this nation produces in an entire year.

      Unfounded fears?

      You utter and complete nitwit, we cannot afford the programs he’s already instituted. We’re the ones living off fear?

      Moron.

      You are the one who listed a litany of things you fear the Republicans would take away from you. “For me, that meant voting for the man who believes I’m smart enough to choose what to do with my own body, who believes I am smart enough to choose who to marry for myself, who believes high quality education and healthcare should be available to everyone.”

      Personally you’re not smart enough to pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel, but I have news for you, no one is going to take away your right to do what you want with your body. Whatever most conservative’s feelings about abortion, it’s an issue that no one is actually going to tackle. The sides are too entrenched and there will never be anything but a little nibbling around the edges. You say you don’t want someone else’s beliefs pushed on you, but you have no issue pushing yours on me. Contraception? As soon as it runs out the government can deny it. The Soviets did, you scabrous toady. As for high-quality education and healthcare. It’s the left destroying those things, not the right. If you idiots would get out of the way and let the adults work the system wouldn’t be in the shape it is. If Sarah, or I, or any other conservative disagree with you then we’re not just wrong, we’re evil. We’re racist.

      You know what? I have to echo an earlier post from our host.

      Fuck. Off. You are part of the problem in this country and the sooner you all get. the. fuck. out. The better off we’ll all be. Move to fucking France and live there, leave my country the fuck alone.

      • Doing the wave and happy dance for your post, Mr. Richardson! Bravo!!

      • Important correction to your “who pays income taxes” figures: your memory was off by an order of magnitude. According to the IRS, as of 2009 (after the wealthy became a lot less so), the top 1% of earners paid 37% of all income taxes. The top 5%, 59%. Getting down all the way to the top 10%, we see they pay 70%. The top 50% are at 97.75%, close enough for government work to be “all”.

    • Leigh Caroline,

      Have you ever actually looked outside the received wisdom you spout so extensively? Every line of your little screed could have come out of one of those somethingorother Studies courses.

      The only thing that is “dying” is the false power gained from fear and hatred old, white people have for the “other”.

      Which “other”? Black? You must have missed Condoleeza Rice (appointed by a Republican) and numerous others. Gay? Dick Cheney’s daughter might disagree with you, as would many others who gained their position in Republican organizations due to their abilities, not their sexual preferences. Other ethnicities? You apparently haven’t looked at who was running – it was a bloody diverse collection of all sorts. In fact, the biggest stronghold of old, white people afraid of the “other” that I can see are in the Democrat party, and most of them are incredibly quick to jump on anyone from their target groups who defects – and use language that would make a dock worker blanch.

      This country is increasingly pluralistic, increasingly open minded, increasingly following Humanist ideas instead of judging based on blind faith of religion.

      This presumably explains why no-one is permitted to question the secular religion of Marxism with multicultural highlights, in which it’s acceptable for an Islamic man to torture his wife or daughters to death to uphold his ‘honor’, but a white male can’t criticize a policy he thinks will harm everyone in this country. And yes, atheism is a religious position. Marxism is an atheistic religion.

      Romney relied on that fear of growth, and it blew up in his face, fed by the right wing thinking that it was going to be a blowout based on their own, skewed polls.

      Dear me. Someone has been spending too much time following only that which feels comfortable. Romney campaigned on economics. You know, the lowest participation rate in the employment market since the 1980s. The highest unemployment since the Great Depression – even with more than half the unemployed not counted because they’re out of unemployment benefits and still out of work. Precisely how is that fear of growth, madam?

      While you’re thinking about that, if you care to exercise your mind that much, you might consider this question: why did the media report on anything and everything but the Romney position on the economy? One might almost think that they wanted Obama to win.

      Oh, and you might google bloody handprints in Benghazi while you’re at it. Thanks in part to media complicity in not telling the story, a coordinated attack on an effectively defenseless embassy was allowed to be spun as “oh those Moslems, they can’t control themselves. You show a crappy video and they’re rioting in the streets”. I happen to believe that it’s racist to assume that someone with a different religion is incapable of self-control. The Democrat party, and the President, by their actions, apparently do not.

      For me, that meant voting for the man who believes I’m smart enough to choose what to do with my own body, who believes I am smart enough to choose who to marry for myself, who believes high quality education and healthcare should be available to everyone.

      No, it meant voting for the man who made you feel good about yourself because you couldn’t be bothered to look past the spin and past the lies and see for yourself what is going on. You voted for someone who is at best culpably incompetent, at worst a traitor. I use that word advisedly: he knew within an hour of the Benghazi attack starting what was happening, and he did nothing despite there being air support an hour away. He let those people die. By his refusal to act, he killed them.

      You voted with your ladyparts because you believed the bullshit about contraception. You believed the bullshit. Period.

      You say Occupy is helping with Sandy cleanup? Cites. Links. A quick google got me nothing – but it got plenty of damage Occupy has done. I’ll believe the people who crap on police cars are doing something useful when I see it.

      The level of income inequality, with wealth being hoarded by those at the top, is at unprecedented levels. They should be paying at least as much in taxes as people who work their butts off as teachers, bus drivers, firemen.

      Most of them are paying enough in taxes to pay the salaries of your teachers, bus drivers and firemen, dear. I suggest you consider this – the majority of extremely wealthy Americans did not have extremely wealthy parents. They might have had moderately well-to-do parents, middle class parents, or even working class parents. Most of them did not inherit their riches. They got them the hard way, by working for them. And you, because you lack the ability, the drive, and the plain cussedness to work for it yourself, want to take their work and their initiative and their creativity and turn it into a slush fund for others.

      Ask someone who escaped Communist Russia how that pans out. Ask Sarah. She’s lived in a Communist regime, remember? The last I heard her mention it, they’re still digging up the bodies.

    • Leigh, if you voted for “the man who believes I’m smart enough to choose what to do with my own body”, then you must have voted for Romney! It certainly wasn’t Obama, who wants your contraception and abortion decisions to be made by the entire country! Because that’s what public funding means. It’s only a short hop (and yes, it HAS happened in other socialist regimes, many times) to the government dictating how many children you’re allowed to have (China), or under what (often appalling) conditions your “free” abortions can be performed (USSR). The ONLY way you can truly choose what to do with your own body is if NOBODY else has a financial stake in it! Is this so hard to understand?

      It sounds like Leigh bought into the whole “war on women” campaign, which was total poppycock. While there are certainly some extremists (and Romney said NOTHING that would indicate he is; he DID indicate that he disagreed with Roe v Wade, but that’s hardly a war stance), 95% of conservatives don’t give a hang about women using contraception or having abortions — they just don’t think they should be paying for someone ELSE’S mistakes. Some are even willing to pay for ONE abortion — provided you’re willing to be sterilized as well, so they don’t have to KEEP paying for your abortions, because you’re too lazy or too stupid to use contraception when you don’t want to get pregnant.

      Publicly funding the practice of unsafe sex and using abortions as contraception is tantamount to REWARDING irresponsible behavior! Go ahead and have as much unprotected sex as you want! It won’t cost you a dime! Except that in the process, you’re essentially punishing the responsible people, and eventually they get upset and do something about it.

      You know, come to think of it, there IS a war — on morons who just parrot the media and don’t think! #waronmorons

      [Side thought for the lawyers out there: doesn’t anything that it is publicly funded technically belong to the public (I know software does, not sure about art, etc.)? Does that mean a taxpayer can take the remains of an unborn child (and DNA) without repercussion? Or sue for the unborn child itself? Don’t forget that the fetus is not a “person”, just a thing, legally, and thus subject to the rights of property — which were abandoned with an abortion.]

    • Sorry, but while I liked your blog for the writing advice, you’ve gone too out in right field for me politically.

      Then don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

      No, I take that back: do.

    • About democracy, Leigh: yes, it DOES work. But we no longer have a democracy at this point, at least not in terms of elections. Did you read the links Kate posted up-thread? There was MASSIVE voter fraud, and every bit of it was pro-Obama, just like in 2008. That’s NOT democracy.

    • It’s so easy to assume that the reason people voted the way they did was out of hate and fear of others, isn’t it?

      I am color-blind. I love people who love, no matter what their color, or gender, or religion. I believe in many of the ideals you think you’re supporting. Our hostess and many if not all of the regulars here do too, surprisingly. (Well, surprisingly to you, because obviously you haven’t been paying attention to what our hostess says.)

      But I also believe in economic/fiscal responsibility and the ability to decide for myself, not be dictated to by the government. But you think people are too stupid and hateful and greedy and must have the government tell them when it’s appropriate to do this or that.

      It’s so much easier that way, isn’t it? Not to think? Not to listen, but just to parrot whatever it is that gives you biscuits.

      Enjoy your biscuits. And your cage. I’ll be over here working on how to fly free.

    • Drop. Dead.

      And take the rotting, putrid corpse of Karl Marx with you. I see your hand shoved up his chest cavity and I see his lips flapping when you blather, but while you’ve got the voice right… you copy his arrogant, small-minded belief that he alone had the key to remaking mankind perfectly, G*d have mercy on your miserable, shriveled soul… he at least had the excuse of ignorance, while you are a willful dunce. Karl Marx repackaged the redistributionist ideas of the land reformers who were destroying the Roman Empire long before the barbarians rioted, and the horrific principles of the French revolution misbegotten by Jean Jacques Rousseau’s fantasies. How you can dare to stand with the souls of the MILLIONS your ideological beliefs have led to slaughter staring down on you, how you can feign your mealy-mouthed concern with the tides of their blood not yet congealed on the beaches of history, I cannot understand.
      ” The only thing that is “dying” is the false power gained from fear and hatred old, white people have for the “other”. ”

      Why the euphemisms, Ms. Leigh? The “other”? Marxism is not an other. “Spreading the wealth around” is a very concrete idea. So is now open-ended “quantitative easing”, known to non-bureaucrats as “printing money”, and favored by the very successful Marxists of Zimbabwe, just for example. $16,000,000,000,000 we owe are pretty concrete too… as concrete as an overshoe in Chicago. Because apparently Margaret Thatcher was not quite correct… socialism will stop as soon as it runs out of other people’s money AND other people’s credit. Do these things inspire fear? To those who can still recognize danger, perhaps. To the self-declared morally enlightened, who understand that it’s okay to stereotype fully half the country just so long as you have the assurance from your high-priests that they are “bad”, I suppose it is not. It’s always the way, isn’t it, that the threats inherent in intolerance just evaporate like smoke so long as you’re the one doing it? But then, you’re always assured your lies will be covered by the equally corrupted and unthinking.

      Of your sacred pluralism, I will say only this… if you mean it is open to other ideas of governance, you understand NOTHING of what America is. America is founded entirely and solely on ideas. We invite Americans to come to us from every shore, with the understanding that American is just what they are. We do not ask you be the same race, the same religion, the same creed… as many countries so many leftists are smitten with DO, by the way… but we ask buy-in for the ideas of the Constitution and most centrally for Natural Rights. And this should be obvious, Ms. Leigh, because the despots of the world have always far outnumbered the people of America. If we were simply called to import and use every bone-headed idea of governance that originated outside the United States, we’d get… well, we’d get starry-eyed dim bulbs who think that just because the rest of the world is doing it differently, it means they’re doing it better. Never mind that the ideas used abroad are drowning them in unpayable debt, and every step towards implementing them here has had the EXACT SAME RESULT. No, this time it will all be different because you have the great power of following blindly and never, ever, thinking. And then you throw stones at the religions of others because otherwise you might have to face that your own secular beliefs are worse than religion. The religious belief in that which cannot be proven, and you believe in that which has been repeatedly and bloodily disproved.

      Ah, but Romney relied on a fear of growth. Well, perhaps you are right. The fear of growing poverty, in the form of food-stamp and welfare lists? The fear of growing deficits, perhaps? The fear of the growing strength of China, and Russia, and Iran, all of whom president Obama has emboldened and even coddled (and who knows just how flexible Obama will be now that the election is over)? The fear of growing cash supplies that are not matched by actual value? A cancer grows too, Ms. Leigh, and these cells are on the brink of metastasizing, as I hope you find in the most painful ways over these next four years.

      As for your laundry list of things you voted for… your platform had better not be your proof of how “smart” you are, Ms. Leigh. Obama doesn’t believe you’re smart enough to choose what to do with your own body. He believes you’re too stupid to make decisions that might have adverse consequences, and make adequate preparations for those consequences on your own dime. I am beginning to believe he might have a point. But his position that Catholic and other religious institutions must provide the subsidy for your stupidity and lack of planning when the preferred stop-gap measures run in the face of everything they stand for is reprehensible. And incidentally, are you clear on the difference between the government not subsidizing something and the government banning something, or does having someone else be forced to buy your contraceptives just make it hotter? While we’re about it, do you understand the difference between allowing states to decide how they want to define marriage and pushing a one-size-fits-all definition down by governmental fiat? Look up “Federalism” some time… it’s one of those founding American principles you sneer at. As for believing that high-quality education and healthcare should be available to everyone, I don’t even need to ask you if you understand the difference between a commodity and a right, because your unbelievable ignorance is impossible to miss. A commodity is a thing you buy or sell, like a good or service. A right is something you are born with that is inextricably linked to you through being (ostensibly) human. A person offering ANY commodity for free… healthcare, education, candy, bread, circuses, you name it… is engaging in bribery and worse. Commodities have to be taken from someone to provide them to everyone, and insofar as everyone would already have the commodity if it were feasible within the context of a free market to provide it, they have to be provided by force. So, what you’re really saying is, you want doctors, for example, to become your slaves… reduced by the legal system to providing their services regardless of whether they want to or not, so that you can benefit from their servitude. More pitiable still, you expect people to continue seeking medical degrees in that environment. I sincerely hope you come under the knife in this system before I do and get the reward you so richly deserve for advocating this. And let’s not kid ourselves, Ms. Leigh, there’s no commodity in Heaven or Earth you can give away without beggaring someone, which is why commodities aren’t in the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers were infinitely smarter, certainly better read in history and much better acquainted with human nature than you raggedy, empty-headed “progressives” who think the future belongs to he who has the better slogan.

      I’ll let you go in a moment (and immediately seek some disinfectant, no doubt), but one more minor point. I would love to see your basis for the idea that ” We aren’t a country based on hand outs, but on helping each other equally.” No fair quoting an Obama speech. I want a source that knows what the Hell they’re talking about. I don’t recall seeing a right to be helped out equally anywhere in the constitution, and considering that that’s by definition what we’re based on, I’m assuming you are, as your ilk so often seem to, confusing the American Revolution with the French Revolution. “Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood” is NOT a saying from the American Revolution, and by no small accident, neither is the habit of decapitating hundreds, even thousands of dissidents something from the American Revolution. As for your equally stupid idea that “We do expect people who succeed to feed it back to help others succeed”, I would REALLY love to see where you got that, because it’s antithetical to the idea that you have the right to liberty and pursuing happiness and would kind of make the Constitution internally contradictory. If I don’t have the freedom NOT to help others at my discretion, then really my independent decisions are just an illusion maintained at the whims of the Government.

      And BY THE WAY, you mathematically challenged nitwit, rich people DO pay more in taxes. It works like this… if the country had a flat tax rate… and it doesn’t, not even close, but let’s be generous and say it does, then a man making $1,000,000 and paying 10% in taxes pays S100,000 and a man making $10,000 pays $1,000. Now, I know this is a simple exercise for a 1st grader, so I’ll give you twenty minutes, let’s say… which of those numbers is larger?

      Now get the Hell off this blog and don’t show your face again, or so help me, I’ll do math at you again. We’re not scared of you, we’re furious, and if you’d like to know the difference, keep pushing.

    • I could rebut, but I doubt it’d do any good. You and I only agree on a single point: “People who live by fear do not want to listen to why their fears are unfounded.”

      Look in the mirror. Look at how you have “otherized” “old, white people”, presuming them motivated by fear and hatred rather than the loving warmth to share such hard-earned wisdom as “Umm, you kids? You might want to find a better place to play than in the middle of that street; people are getting off work soon and the traffic’s gonna get heavy.”

    • Leigh,

      I’ve never met you, so I’m going to do you the favor of assuming that you’re willing to learn. Be warned, though: I only extend that assumption once.

      At any rate, this sentence right here is your biggest problem:

      The level of income inequality, with wealth being hoarded by those at the top, is at unprecedented levels.

      (Emphasis mine). Income inequality does not come from the causes you think it does. See http://americanexperiment.org/publications/reports/the-truth-about-income-inequality for a very detailed explanation why. The brief summary: those people in the lowest 20% and the highest 20%? They’re usually the same person, thirty years later. Most people can expect make more money when they’re 50 than when they’re 20. Do you think that’s a bad thing? Because if you stop to think about it, you’ll see that the other way around (you can expect to make the same amount of money at 50 that you did at 20) is an excellent description of economic stagnation.

      You have plenty of other mistaken beliefs, but there’ll be time to work on them later. Fix your economic ignorance* first, and then you’ll be able to understand the rest of what we would like to teach you.

      * Notice that I’m calling you ignorant, not stupid. The difference is willingness to learn. A person who’s ignorant but is willing to learn is not stupid, because ignorance is curable by finding the right teacher. A person who’s ignorant and is not willing to learn is demonstrably stupid, and their ignorance will never be cured. And as I said, I’m extending you the courtesy of believing that you’re willing to learn. But I also have enough experience with political debate that I’m only going to extend that courtesy once.

      P.S. You don’t have to agree with everything in that article to demonstrate willingness to learn. But if you write a critique of it, please do try to write an intelligent one. Hint: “Hinderaker and Johnson forgot to account for factor X, Y, or Z” would be an intelligent critique. “Hinderaker and Johnson are racist/sexist/whatever and therefore not worth listening to, so I won’t bother reading their article” would be an abysmally stupid critique.

      Okay, Leigh. The ball’s in your court. Are you willing to cure your ignorance?

      • Thank you, I tried to point that out yesterday, but my internet has been on the fritz the last couple weeks and wouldn’t let me post it (I am going to switch internet providers, but so many people are already doing that, that FirstStep is backed up quite a bit). I would also point out that America’s income equality is UNPRECEDENTED in the rest of the world (if you leave out a few tribal societies where everybody is equally poor). Preaching about income equality, and then preaching about how we should be more like Europe/the rest of the world is flaunting your ignorance.

  18. “I think I’m losing readers with these posts.”

    Umm, you’ve gained one here.

    Your blog now crackles with resolve and purpose. I am glad you ‘let your hair down’ with regard to your philosophical underpinnings. Knowing what your foundation is constructed of gives credibility to all that you build upon it.

    Thanks for the honesty and keep up the good work.

    • Me too.

      I was never interested in a “writing blog”, and had never heard of Ms. Hoyt before she started guest-blogging at Instapundit; but after reading this essay (and “Don’t Cry For Me”), I’ve definitely found a new Daily Go-To Site – even more so for the rare intelligence found among the commenters (which I hope humbly to become one of).

      I don’t know if I’m a “Son Of” anything (other than routinely being called an S.O.B. by Leftists of my acquaintance), but I’m surely on the side of the Makers (I’m a CNC Machine Tool Trainer), and becoming more and more a P.O.’ed S.O.B.…

      • My commenters are brilliant, brilliant people. They outclass me by far.

        Be aware there will be the occasional writing post, but it’s usually the intersection of writing, politics, where we are and my very odd mind…

  19. Hey guys, and gals, ever think that by responding to Wayne you are feeding the bear? The more you feed him, the louder he roars, growls, snorts, and threatens to scratch and bite. Just ignore him, eventually he will get tired of playing with hims . . . er, by himself and go away. We all have better things to do than try to educate someone who doesn’t want to learn.

    • Karron, you’re right. WHY are we bothering? I was thinking the same thing when responding to Leigh. If you come to this blog for writing advice, presumably you want to be a writer; Sarah’s blog is for indie publishing, which came about primarily as a backlash AGAINST the liberal bias in traditional publishing. Either way, if you don’t want the politics, don’t write!

      • Daniel, take a chill pill, would you? I have no problem with the politics. I am absolutely on the same page as Sarah. My comment was meant to remind all you folks that Wayne and Leigh will NOT listen to a single thing you say. It is like talking to a dead person, they can’t hear you, they don’t care, and all they do is lie there. I, in no way, discredit Sarah or anyone else who posts here. I like most everything I read here, unless it is by a troll like Wayne.

        You don’t know me at all, so let me clue you in. I have lived in 11 countries and all over the US. I am as pro America as anyone can get. I believe in the Republic, I stand firmly by the Constitution and all that the Founding Fathers of the country professed as necessary for the republic to succeed. I know, to my bones, that socialism and communism are simply modern day enslavement governments. Nothing makes me cry more than seeing the flag go by in a parade, or against the sky of our country, except for hearing the national anthem or holding one of my grandchildren. I love my country. And I am heart sick at the way that worm in the white house and his minions are raping her every day.

        • Karron,

          Dan is my husband and he was agreeing with you. I know it read ambiguous, but he was still gently steaming from reading Leigh.

          The “don’t write” was to her, not you.

          • Ah OK, I forgive and forget. I know it is hard to keep everything straight when you get so steamed up at some moronic person who simply cannot understand anything beyond what they find in their daily navel gazing.

            • He got his “you” mixed up. He happened to be checking my blog and saw it, and… er… well…

              • Sigh – I am CONSTANTLY cautioning Beloved Spouse about allowing disconnected pronouns to run loose. Somebody almost ALWAYS gets hurt.

            • Sorry about that Karron. I was using the impersonal 2nd-person, not you, personally.

              Under the old model, the mainstream media editors simply ignored you and actively un-promoted you (move your slot, tell the sales force NOT to push you, etc.) not only if you tried to avoid the politics entirely (as we did for 10-20 years), but if you didn’t actively push the liberal agenda. Under the new indie publishing model, if you just write how you REALLY feel, political or not, you can find an audience. I will note that the biggest successes using the new model seem to be either non-political or conservative.

              In other words, if you want to be a writer these days and you’re planning to espouse the liberal agenda (as Leigh indicated), Sarah’s blog, which is aimed at indie publishing, probably won’t do you any good, and pursing a career in the old model won’t do you any good since the publishers have lost their major source of cash flow, the mid-listers they so unceremoniously abandoned.

      • So that the innocent do not think we do not answer because we have been confounded.

        Remember there are those who have never seen such arguments before. This may be their first exposure.

    • I’ve been in too many writing venues where the leftists felt free to inject politics when it was off topic, and those who valued liberty never answered them, because they didn’t want to get into political flamewars. Result is, more and more writing venues became hostile places for conservatives.

      Progressives, in my experience, are bullies.

      So, no, I don’t think that by responding to any of them, we’re feeding the bear. In my experience, you feed the bear by failing to stand up to them.

      I think we’re showing that we have both answers and convictions, and they aren’t going to successfully appropriate every territory they walk into.

      • Yes. I’ve been there too. And too many editorial venues. And too many groups of any kind. They feel free to shout their nonsense, we don’t answer, they think they won.

        Well, kids, the free ride is done. I hate to be rude, and like C. Reaves I LIKE people, even stupid liberals. I can see where they’re coming from, like poor Ms. Marx, whatever her name is, so I tend to shrug and go “you’ll learn. Probably harder than you should.”

        BUT THAT has led them to believe they’re right and we’re hiding.

        NO MORE. I’ve come to the end of patience. Besides what they’re proposing is, by any definition, MONSTROUS. It’s an ideology based on envy and vengeance, and they preen with moral righteousness. It’s time to make them face the mirror.

        • They get away with it because of what I have named “The Drunk At The Party” syndrome. EVERYBODY knows the drunk is a drunk, but NOBODY wants to face the uproar necessary to toss the drunk out. So people try to stay out of the way while the drunk mouths off, spewing ignorant bigotry, spilling drinks on the good carpet and groping the host’s daughter. (IIRC, I first thought up this anaolgy back arounf 1998 — I can’t think what was going on in current events that would have generated such a metaphor.)

          Finally either the party comes petering to a halt, all life and joy driven out of it by the drunk’s boorish behaviour, or somebody steps up and bounces the drunk, accepting the calumny and name-calling of the drunk and the friends he invited to “liven the joint up a little.”

          It is best to address drunks early, before he’s invited his friends, Sloth and Avarice. He may be brieflky amusing but he will ruin any home that admits him.

        • Don’t forget revenge. “Vote, vote, vote for revenge”.

  20. Standing firm, saying what you think, being strong and conservative are all about being a true American. I am just saying that they will not listen. They don’t want to know. And no matter how long and hard you talk, using facts and logic and truth, they will still be the pathetic whiners and moaners – and yes, bulllies, they have always been.

  21. 1) defund enemies, did that in journalism and entertainment a long time ago. Trying to do that in education – will not let the kids go to a private school but not sure I can push the ‘non’ college path.

    2) fund our team
    a)buy amazon through instapundit and captain capitalism.
    b)support bloggers via subscription ,legal insurrection, ace and now Sarah get money – though the subscription model isn’t implemented yet some places.
    c) supported Atlas Shrugged, and Hunger Games (good small gov message)

    Probably more – what does it take to start a charter school? Probably lots of work. . .

    • If you’re a blogger and want to learn how to really do journalism, I’m planning a series of Web-based classes on how to become what the MSM is supposed to be.

      • I don’t read him any more for various reasons, but I still admire Stacy McCain for doing actual boots-on-the-ground reporting from a conservative angle. He is in many ways a good example of what we should be doing.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      I don’t know all that goes into starting a Charter School, but the first thing you have to do is make sure your State allows them. Kentucky has no provision for them, for instance, while Ohio does.

  22. A trifle long, but you need enough to see the direction this is going. Take any — ANY — scandal of the last four administrations and contrast the news coverage. Bush’s “16 words”? Compare that with Obama’s “youtube video” and tell me the media isn’t corrupt.

    Orson Scott Card, a life-long Democrat, writes:

    November 8, 2012
    Democracy Did Not Fail

    To you newspeople at CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC. To you journalists at the New York Times, the Washington Post, at newspapers all over America.

    You did it. You won. You were able to get Barack Obama his second term.

    You knew that if you told the American people the truth, they would not have reelected this man.

    Americans don’t vote to reelect a commander-in-chief who abandons our soldiers and agents and ambassadors when they’re under enemy fire.

    But you, confident that you are much wiser than the American people, you decided we had no reason to think about this during the election.

    When Romney questioned Barack Obama’s statements about Benghazi, you shouted him down. He learned his lesson — if he made an issue of it, you would merely attack him and distract the public from Obama’s wrongdoing.

    You knew that Obama lied to cover up this culpable negligence, and then lied about lying. You had the video, CBS, which you could have aired immediately after the second debate, exposing him for the liar that he is.

    Instead you held it back until two days before the election, when other stories predominated.

    And all the rest of you — you gave it minimal mention, you played it down, you treated it as nothing, though you know that if you had caught Romney in such a lie two days before the election, you would have played that footage continuously and condemned his lies in tones of shocked outrage.

    Barack Obama is still a liar — you didn’t change that, you merely hid it.

    Barack Obama is still the selfish, cowardly commander-in-chief who abandons American public servants — you didn’t change him, nor did you give him any reason to change.

    When Hurricane Sandy devastated a part of America, you showed Barack Obama only in a favorable light.

    Even though his administration, his FEMA, did at least as badly as the Bush administration did after Katrina, and with far less excuse, you did not run endless coverage of the people’s suffering, the way you did with Bush.

    We have an exact comparison now.
    [MORE: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2012-11-08-1.html%5D

    • Try the following thought experiment: Obama’s campaign spent over $100 million slandering Romney over the summer with such nonsense as “felon” & “vulture capitalist”. Imagine Romney had spent that same amount of money similarly attacking Obama — and he wouldn’t have had to lie, either; the truth of Obama’s mismanagement is sufficiently damning.

      How would the MSM have acted? (!@&*$ I am sooooo !*&#%ing tired of posing that hypothetical query.)

  23. Given what the French Revolution turned into: I suspect it’s not a parallel most people would be comfortable with (tho’ as one of my favorite historical figures is Joseph Fouché: ” o/~ Let’s talk of family values, as we sit and watch the slaughter… o/~ ” >:) ); can we stick with the (American) revolution which *didn’t* turn into a bloodbath? Otherwise we’re going to scare the straights. :)

    As to the “actually doing shit and receiving no credit; vs. sitting around listening to some Authority Figure’s speeches, accomplishing nothing, but getting all the goodies”, I invoke Goethe: “All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green”. IOW: One can talk about, and think about, projects as much as one wishes; but until an actual product results from it, it’s irrelevant.

    And speaking as a long-service gamer: I’m still trying to find a game designer who doesn’t design a WW1 or WW2 game which results in people at the gaming table saying, “Umm — how in *HELL* did the Allies manage to win the war, if the Germans [and/or Japanese] were so absolutely dominant?”. (Hint: Look at the kill-records of the triple-digit German aces in WW2 — notice how many of their kills are either Bombers — slow-moving, poorly-defended, unescorted — or Soviets — mostly ill-trained, uncreative incompetents. Now look at the kill-records of *Western* — particularly those “late to the party” American — pilots. Similarly, look at rotation-home policies — the Allies spent a year at the front, then went home; the Axis stayed in the game until killed or crippled — and some Axis pilots kept flying *after* crippling injuries). It’s bad enough even the “conservative” game-designers can’t be arsed to get their research right; add to this the crowd bleating “The Soviet Union won World War Two effectively on their own” (Really? I guess North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France — both North and South — were just propaganda, then; not to mention all the 2.5-ton trucks, radios, and 100-octane gasoline…), and — well, you figure it out.

    Eh — I notice how much of this stuff started going wrong in 1972, the year I was conceived and born; perhaps I’m supposed to play the role of the yellow-haired god from the old Indian myth of how corn came to be….

  24. Jeez, how much do I love this post! I wrote my own ideas in an obscene filled screed addressed to the Republican Party (not that they’ll ever read it) but it fires my blood to see you put your ideas out there. I’m determined to find a way to make a difference.

  25. Sarah, you wrote: “My friend Charles says that he doesn’t know what happens when a democracy implodes, but we do know: Empire.”

    Actually, I think some of us do know, and it’s not just Empire. Long and long ago, a certain High Lord of SF wrote a series-of-stories-that-became-a-novel called The Voyage of the Space Beagle. Buried within it is a notion that was in vogue at the time, known as “cyclic history.” It suggested that every major culture goes through a series of steps, ending in collapse, which sets the stage for the next major culture to repeat the cycle, hence “cyclic history.” Much of van Vogt’s version of “cyclic history” is glittering generalities that could be twisted to fit almost any culture… but there still seems to be quite a bit of truth behind it. If his vision of cyclic history is right, then the next stage for us will be … let me see, ah, here it is:

    Sooner or later, one group gains the ascendancy. Once in office, the leaders restore “order” in so savage a bloodletting that the millions are cowed. Swiftly, the power group begins to restrict activities. The licensing systems and other regulative measures necessary to any organized society become tools of suppression and monopoly. It becomes difficult, then impossible, for the individual to engage in new enterprise. And so we progress by swift stages to the familiar caste system of ancient India, and other, less well known but equally inflexible societies, such as that of Rome after about A.D. 300. The individual is born into his station in life and cannot rise above it…

  26. I’ve lost track of which sub-thread this really goes under, but I was just thinking today that the story of Mary and Martha would look very different if you assume that Jesus, et. al., sent word ahead that he and his entourage were coming, and Mary and Martha had adequate time (and help) to prepare, than if you assume that all of a sudden Mary and Martha had 13 large hungry men at their door, demanding to be fed.

    • In my experience, men never sent word ahead…

      • Yep – true– 13 men probably showed up hungry with no word… Plus I have four younger brothers and they can eat–

        • I have a more or less ten years older brother who did this to me routinely from the time I was about 11.

          At one time this led to the killer chilli which went like this: I was eleven, they wanted chilli, I made chilli. I knew next to nothing of nineteen or so year old men, so I didn’t understand that when they were talking to each other and going “this is way too mild” and “this is not spicy at all” they were — pardon me — d*ck wagging. I’d made it mom’s strength, which involved a teaspoon of this extra-spicy African chilli.

          Well, when they left and said they might come back for dinner, I thought, fine. When they came back with a group of friends to whom they’d told of this superb chilli, I started warming it, went to the jar, and put in a whole extra TABLE spoon of the powder. They still talk about that. I eventually had to make them rice to cut it with, so they could eat it.

          Yes, I was a little mad at them. I didn’t mind cooking for them, but no fair dissing my cooking to sound tough, particularly when it wasn’t true.

          So, as you see, my chances of sainthood as either Martha or Mary are slim to none.

    • I assume that they didn’t send word ahead, and that Martha really was going out of her mind with the work. But plugging women’s education and the contemplative life for the next 2000+ years was probably the real issue for Jesus, who also probably figured that a little slower meal was less of an issue than Martha did. (The good Lord had fasted forty days in the desert; fasting was part of Judaism too; and probably none of the Apostles had blood sugar issues.)

      It’s a good trick, to be able to run with both the Marthas and the Marys of the world. Most Odds don’t figure out the trick until they’re older and have kids, if they ever do.

  27. By the way, all the Kipling talk made me go dig up my copy of Kim last night, and start rereading it, again.