Get Up Off The Floor

Whenever I write anything about the insufficient attachment in society today to the documents that made us Americans – the constitution and the Declaration of Independence – I get half a dozen people who say that no, this isn’t true.

Sorry.  It is true.  If it weren’t true, I wouldn’t have reviews on A Few Good Men complaining that it’s “too libertarian.”  In fact, while I suspect it is that, or at least some of the characters are that, because the dang thing tends to leak into my work, the animating motive for the revolution in the book is the U.S. declaration of independence and a religious attachment to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

How can any American, born American, under the aegis of those great documents, have a problem with a book that makes the Constitution central to its principles? (And that was the problem in the reviews, not the characters’ peculiarity.)  Unless, of course, we’re so far gone that those words are revolutionary again.

And then there is the other side of this, those of you who are, at heart, constitutionalists, but who say “it’s all over, give up, they’ve won.  I’m just going to—“ and then follows a totally impractical decision: “fight it out on my own”, “go down fighting,” “Stock up for the civil war.”

You can’t fight it out on your own, and any attempts to do so will just give the opposition a chance to crush you and to say that, see, more supervision and policing is needed.  No?  Anyone remember Ruby Ridge?  These people were survivalist loons and, to be honest, weird White-Supremacy cultists – unless their family lied about them, which heaven knows isn’t even unlikely – but from these isolated nuts – who were entrapped, and yes, murdered by the forces of government – an entire “militia movement” was spun and a boogeyman made of all those who thought to restrict government.  Fighting it out on your own?  Bad for you, bad for us, bad for liberty.

“I’ll go down fighting” – if it comes to that, and I hope very much it doesn’t, I hope you do, and I hope I do.  It beats the way that most victims of over-reaching government went in the twentieth century: in the middle of the night, in silence and solitude, with a bullet to the back of the head, buried anonymously in mass graves.  But there’s a reason that happened, and a reason that’s more likely than brave lion going down in a blaze of glory in full view.   I’m not saying the last one can’t happen, but I know how to bet.  Yes, our being armed makes the bet more even, but what government does REALLY well is violence and suppression of dissent.  It’s hard for individuals to even come close.

As for civil war… I’ve written about what civil war would actually mean.  We’re not alone in the world.  While we duke it out, do you believe our enemies will be playing tiddly wink?

Civil war is the preferable scenario to the two above – but not by much and only because the others lead to unimaginable horror.

And right now you’re going “It’s all done, we’re done, we—”

Get up off the floor.  First, if you’re a believer, despair is a sin.  And if you’re not a believer, despair is spitting on the graves of all the men and women who fought in much worse conditions than you face.  The ghosts of Tiananmen Square rise up against you.  The men who in the Gulags carried a hope of freedom accuse you. The victims of communism point fingers at you.  The millions of dead at the hands of marching statism would like to remind you that to give up is to die. And that’s when you should give up.  Not a second earlier.

But worse than that – despair is a sin and an insult on the brave dead…  And it might be stupid too.

You’re going to point to the fact that the left – Marxists – control education and that even in Europe, even in countries that suffered under communism, they think socialism is great.  This is because the left has education and the history books have been revised.  I can tell you having been raised in Europe that people are taught to equate capitalism and monarchy, and all the crimes of monarchy are ascribed to capitalism, and socialism/communism is opposed to this.

Here is the problem for them, though – socialism doesn’t work.  As Thatcher said, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.  They are.  Yes, there will be fire and blood, but at the end of it there just might be sanity.  Voices that point out that communism/socialism in their end result are much closer to monarchy than capitalism ever was are needed.  People who hold aloft the ideals of individual liberty are needed. It’s not time to fall on your sword, yet.  It might never be, because…

Yes they control the education system in most of the world.  But education is already getting hit with the same sort of catastrophic change that hit publishing.  I’ve seen the signs.  I’ve seen the middle class kids who are home/online schooled up to the last two years, then go to school the last two years, just to establish records for college entrance.  In ten years we’ve come this far.  In another three or four, things will come tumbling down.  And it will be sudden, as it’s been for publishing.

They have mass media.  Yes, indeed they do.  But we have a million voices rising up in protest. We might each be tiny pebbles in an endless lake, but we ripple… More importantly, we have the ability to tell stories that subtly propagate different world views.  The uniform lie has broken.  There is no “what everybody thinks.”  They’re shouting really loudly through the remaining channels to give the impression they’re winning.  But the mirror has cracked from side to side and their doom has come upon them.  They know it.  That’s why they try to sound so confident and secure.

They are not.  Hollywood has the money and the great effects, but it is running out of ideas, and it shows in the endless remakes.  And the tech will catch up with them too.  They’re next, after education.

They have vote fraud – yes, they do – but even in Wisconsin where they had instituted the same rules they’re putting in in Colorado, if the people get riled enough, there isn’t enough fraud to wash that away.  Let’s get the recall going, and if that fails volunteer to watch the polls.  If nothing else, be vocal about what happened afterwards.  Daylight is a disinfectant.

They have the government.  I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, that’s a booby prize. The new technologies are personalized, individualized, mobile.  And more so every year. Their model works best on a unified society where the technologies are best used to serve/talk to/control millions.  When they try it on a modern society, not only doesn’t it work, it fails spectacularly.

They belong to the past.  We? We’re from liberty and we carry it with us. We’re from the future, and we’re headed there.  And despite brief disgusting localized intervals where it goes the other way, the future is always better than the past.

Besides, in the long run?  Guess who is reproducing?  Oh, yes, we’re buying a lot of low-skill, low-ability-to-survive babies.  But low ability to survive is low ability to survive.  Remove the support system, and that population will either break out of learned helplessness (my bet) or become much smaller.

Meanwhile, the responsible people who have strong beliefs about individual freedom (many of whom are religious) are having more kids than just about anyone else and, more importantly, raising them to be responsible people with strong beliefs about individual freedom.  This is because these people have hope for the future.  Thinking we’re all going to die screaming doesn’t encourage anyone to make babies.  And thinking you need someone to hold your hand all through life doesn’t either.

[Yes, you’re going to bring out Islam.  And you’re going to be wrong.  Even in our country, with the cleanest statistics/data collection in the world (okay, maybe Sweden and Norway are cleaner, I don’t know.  But Socialism also ALMOST works there.  Those aren’t – or until recently weren’t – so much countries as tribes with borders.  Things can fly there that don’t fly anywhere else) we guesstimate a lot of our population.  If you believe the birth figures coming out of Muslim countries, you probably also believed the figures coming out of the old Soviet Union.  Remember who benefits from reporting more births: the country which is a net aid receiver, per capita. I tend to believe the rumors that filter out about women finding enough information on the net to control/reduce their own fertility.  In their position, wouldn’t you?]

In the long run this story can only have two endings.

In one of them the entire world succumbs to the unreason of “equality” and controlled economies.  This is the end in which humans go down ululating into madness.

The only way communist systems can survive is the one of the aliens in Independence Day, “They’re like locusts, they destroy each place and they move on.”

If we fall, the rest of the world falls.  And we have no other world.  After the apocalypse (what do you call it, precisely?  It even collapses birth rates to way below replacement) there might or might not be enough to rebuild.  Perhaps it happened before.

But if it did, they didn’t go the way we have, with all this distributed, individually-centered tech.

I think the sun is setting on their world – which is why they bay so loudly, to convince us that the night is coming and they have all the power – and rising on ours.

I think in the end we win, they lose.

Get up off the floor.  This is no time to give up.

*A bit of business — the subscriber space will be updated, hopefully tomorrow morning.  However this is an odd week and there are a lot of appointments and things, so bear with me.  It will come.*

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit Readers and thank you Glenn for the link! (I am at a workshop this weekend and opportunities to connect are intermittent, so I didn’t get a chance to do this earlier.

Update: for my regular readers — remember this is not my regular job.  What I do for a living is writing novels.  I’m taking about an hour a day and a considerable amount of though away from that for these posts.  If you can, consider Donating or even Subscribing, so I feel less guilty about writing for free!

267 responses to “Get Up Off The Floor

  1. I aim to mis-behave …politely!

    • I’m trying to figure out WHY this was held for approval. Lately wordpress has been doing this, as far as I can tell randomly. Sometimes to MY comments.

    • I am not a gonna be polite. Or appropriate.
      We may not have many guns in NZ, but we do have a tradition of “acquiring” things from the “can’t fix it yet” pile on that there US base….

      • Kathy Kinsley

        And good for you. Bad for us – US base shouldn’t have a “can’t fix it yet” pile. LOL

        Oh, and if you ask them nicely, they just might give you some that work – they did to Mexico… :-/

  2. Personally, I aim to misbehave … politely, of course.

    • Of course. Well, I’m Latin and I have excuse to go all hot and bothered and impolite at times, but when I do, I’ll swear in Portuguese!

      • Kathy Kinsley

        Please do – Portuguese is one of the few languages I don’t know how to swear in (Spanish might get me by, but I doubt it). I’m always ready to learn…

    • William O. B'Livion

      So why was Captain Malcolm Reynolds in that position?

      Had something to do with losing a shooting war with an oppressive, massively centralized government?

  3. (shrug) It’s Chinatown….

  4. Birthday girl

    Preach it! Sarah, you make me wish I were half my age so I could have and raise more home schooled, American, religiously-respectful (both religions — civic and Biblical) babies!

    • A lot of families homeschooling today aren’t necessarily doing so for religious reasons, And a lot are not Christian based. I’ve met a couple of Hindii, a Muslim, and I’ve heard of several Copts who homeschool. And there are other groups. And this is a rather small, backwater part of Texas.

      • Birthday girl

        Yah, we took our kids out of church sponsored school to home school them. For academic reasons.

      • First homeschoolers I personally knew were a family of Wiccans…

        • Kathy Kinsley

          Same here… Despite the propaganda, not all home schoolers are Christian. The pagans got in early too. The non-fluffy-bunny school of pagans at least. (Read that one as “New Age” – no. They lurve them some idiocy. Sigh. )

      • Roger Drew Williams

        FYI Copts are Christians. Just saying. Pray for America, but keep working to right the ship.

  5. I think that the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressive Left’s rise peaked with Watergate. They had so redefined the political climate that Nixon was what we now call a RINO, and they chased him out of office essentially as punishment for opposing Helen Gahagan Douglas (as nasty an unrepentant Stalinist as the Old Left ever produced) and winning, way back in 1950, and for winning an election in which they had nominated an intellectual twit (McGovern). They wielded the political capitol that all their maneuvering had brought them, and in return got …. Jimmy Carter.

    I’m not saying they don’t have momentum. I think, though, that they have been spending more capitol than they get back, consistently, for a while. Like the Republicans circa 1930; they have no new ideas, and many of the old ones are coming apart in embarrassingly public ways.

    • Remember, Nixon also took out after voter fraud and investigated institutionalized crime in areas that lead to him losing against JFK: he was too dangerous to the powerful.
      But all in all, his greatest crime was that he had loyalty to the people he considered “his”.

  6. For those who wish to corrupt their children, er that is, inculcate more traditional American values, I have the Usaian/Libertarian Alphabet aka “A is for anarchist/ exploring in space. . .” about half done. There are some alternate verses that can be used to make it more Usaian or more current. No illustrations yet. I hope to have it more or less done by the middle of next week, barring unforeseen life rolls.

    Sarah, I know you and the Wandering Bivalve wanted copies. If anyone else is interested in a copy, contact me via e-mail at AlmaTCBoykin(at)AOL(dot)com.

    • Seems nifty. Email away. One thing I liked about A Few Good Men was the thought that the constitution and the rest of it had value. I thought it seemed rather live and let live sort of plan, as opposed to the Good Men controlling everything. Now I’m not sure about a libertarian streak (but then I’d probably not know it if I walked past, yeah?) but I think something with principles, trying to teach people, sure I will go that far (I googled Nathaniel Greene, I did). Wish there was possibly more discourse or explanation that I could relate to but it’s likely because I am young and still learning ;)

    • Another email on its way TXRed-wards from me.

    • email on the way. And I know all about the unforeseen life events.

  7. A lot of people, particularly in “elite” schools, never really get a civics and
    government class anymore, and a lot of people’s American history classes are severely lacking. What’s almost worse is that the traditional kiddie version of American history and government has been weakened; and so have the traditional state and county and municipal kiddie versions of history, and of world history.

    Now, it’s true that some of the traditional story histories were false, misleading, and even harmful. Nobody wants a ‘Black Legend’ directed toward their ethnic group or for stuff that’s evil. But in general, the great American stories are one of our treasures.

    And yes, kids should study the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration, and even stuff like the Northwest Ordinance, several times during their school career, getting more down to the nitty gritty and the implications every time. And probably kids should be reading the Federalist Papers in high school.

    • Rob Crawford

      I had a moment a couple of weeks ago when I caught myself wondering “Was Johnny Appleseed real?” Looked it up — yes, he was.

      Do kids today even HEAR about Johnny Appleseed?

      “Nobody wants a ‘Black Legend’ directed toward their ethnic group or for stuff that’s evil.”

      I sense there’s more of that in today’s schools directed towards white males than there was toward any group when I was in school. I don’t recall any part of school that was focused on what bad things some group or another did.

    • We read the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist papers. The Anti-Federalist Papers were voluntary, though you’d miss out on half the class discussions if you didn’t read them. Seeing as most of the kids in my class were in multiple AP/college classes at the time, too, I don’t think they saw a problem with volunteering for more homework so they could understand the arguments. Um, yeah, my high school was special.

      I remember getting to college and starting to quote stuff from memory from my English classes in high school. More than once, I had someone turn to me and go “You did this in high school?” My response was always “Did you not?”

    • Since I skipped back and forth randomly from ‘honors’ or ‘advanced’ classes and regular classes (depending on what I felt like taking, thought would be easier/more interesting, which teacher I liked better, etc.; that year) I managed to skip all sorts of ‘required’ classes. Those included ALL government/civics history classes, everything I know about those subjects I learned on my own.

  8. I was well read for my peers and always wished they had covered implications more. It wasn’t till college that I learned Washingtons involvement with the French and Indian War. Eye opening that lecture was.

    • Interesting as well– without that experience, Washington wouldn’t have been able to have done as well as a General. Ding dang– what kind of history do they teach in K-12 (I know I have been listening– but I have a hard time believing that the schooling is so degraded– even with the evidence…) *sigh

    • He may have been in command in the first battle in it. I have actually read people complaining that entire war was therefore his fault.

      • Wasn’t Washington known as something like “the kid no one could kill” in those battles? (By the opposing side.)

        On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > ** > Mary commented: “He may have been in command in the first battle in it. > I have actually read people complaining that entire war was therefore his > fault.” >

        • Well, Washington did kinda start things (the whole Fort Defiance thing), but he wasn’t the kind of guy who was going to scout a French fort (where the English would have said was outside French territory) and then just go home and report. He didn’t do super-well fighting the French all by his little group’s lonesome, but he was going to try.

          He did a lot better when General Braddock got killed, because he just sort of took command and went at it, when a lot of the English officers were dazed and confused. Of course, he’d also gotten in a lot more practice and learning by then, but part of his head didn’t expect an orderly European battlefield, even though having troops that could maneuver in an orderly way were one of his ideals.

          • David Drake, who has a habit of raiding History and salvaging plotlines, has a book based on the young George Washington:

            Into the Hinterlands–the first book in The Citizen Series– is a space opera built around cultural situations very similar to those obtaining during the youth of George Washington. John Lambshead developed the plot from my outline with a great deal of interchange between us.
            For more, see: http://david-drake.com/2011/hinterlands/

            The book is still in my TBR pile, so any commenter who has read it is invited to advise.

        • Birthday girl

          Along with holes in his clothes from near-miss shots? Or am I embroidering inside my mind?

          • No, you’re right. He was one of those guys who kept the troops calm by disdaining to take cover, and who got a lot of bullets passing very near his body but not quite in it.

            • One of the Indian chiefs had his men shoot specifically at Washington and all missed. The chief said that a spirit was protecting Washington.

              Faith and Freedom by Ben Hart.

  9. Oh FYI. Am 1/3 of the way through The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and finished Tunnel in the Sky, which I really enjoyed.

  10. Well, you brought me to tears this morning. Thank you for this.

  11. Robin Munn

    I’ve seen the middle class kids who are home/online schooled up to the last two years, then go to school the last two years, just to establish records for college entrance.

    That was me, precisely — though for practical rather than ideological reasons. I was so far ahead of my class in subjects like math and science that homeschooling, in a class of one, was the only way I wouldn’t be bored out of my skull 80% of the time. I still went to public school in France part-time while being homeschooled, because in subjects like French and history I was bright but still within the fat part of the bell curve, so the class’s pace wasn’t glacially slow for me. Then the last two years of my high school I spent in California living with my uncle and aunt and attending a public school there (I got lucky and got a *good* public school, so I have no horror stories to tell), because I figured the colleges wouldn’t know how to read a French transcript correctly. (A 75% average is a solid A average, and an 80% average is more like an A+ — at least that’s how it was when I was in French public school. No idea if grade inflation has caught up with France since then. But I’m sure colleges wouldn’t have known that, and wouldn’t have believed me if I’d told them that, since it would have sounded self-serving for me to be saying “Hey, that 80% average I got is the equivalent of an A+”.)

    • But that’s why these people are doing it. They don’t bring the kids home because it’s ideologically displeasing. (Well, not most people.) They bring them home because it’s dysfunctional. Like all institutions captured by the progs, it stops working.
      IF they still taught, they could keep control over the ideology being pushed on school children. But they no longer teach, including to read, so people are learning on their own, which means the left doesn’t control it. Which means it will slowly move out of “consensus” (Slowly because most teaching materials are still controlled by vile progs — but they can’t control EVERYTHING because kids won’t be at school anymore.) BUT ultimately that’s why we win, they lose. They destroy everything they take over, because their ideas are contra-reality.

      • *blood pressure alert* Oh, it gets better, especially for colleges. The DoJ released a letter saying that any speech or action that can be considered “sexually unwelcome” must be prosecuted by the college or university or the school will lose all federal $$. Yes, it is blatantly unconstitutional. http://www.volokh.com/2013/05/13/the-administration-says-universities-must-implement-broad-speech-codes-2/

        • If this enables F.I.R.E. and such groups to stop university star chamber, secret testimony procedures currently in effect it might yet prove a good thing.

          Like inducing fever to treat an illness, it is just so crazy it might just work. This proposed process is so extreme that it is bound to draw attention and may be sufficient to shock the conscience — which means conservatives and campus males must immediately start filing broad-based harassment actions against the universities.

          For one thing, given amply documented biological research on males’ visual orientation, all women on campus possessing more than “A-cup” breasts should be immediately required to wear bras at all times they are in any public space where males might be attempting to study. Short-skirts or, in fact, any exposure of female skin constitutes an unwarranted distraction and impairment of male students ability to effectively work at a college level. Long, full hair is widely acknowledged as representative of female sexuality and therefore must not be allowed to impair the ability of male students to effectively work at a college level. We should also note that the distinctive “sway” of feminine hips and “booties” are sexually provocative and impair the ability of male students to effectively work at a college level.

          As males are a campus minority we must assume discrimination and a hostile campus environment are the only possible explanation for their lack of participation on campus proportionate to their presence in the general population. Therefore it is imperative that remedial actions be undertaken to make the campus environment safe and welcoming to male students. Social Justice demands that ameliorative steps be taken immediately, thus the federal government should require that women wear burkhas whenever in public areas where they might meet male students, and additionally that their feet be bound in such way as to prevent distracting swaying of hips and buttocks.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Chuckle Chuckle

            Sorry RES, but according to Liberal Dogma men are never a *true* minority group requiring protection because men possess Male Privilege that protects them even when they are out-numbered by females. [Evil Grin]

            • Yes, Females are simultaneously “the equal of any male” and “ineffably delicate, fragile flowers whose spirits are easily crushed” while males are stupid brutes, coarse insensitive and inferior to the female in every way.

              With so many contradictory thoughts in feminist heads it is no wonder they explode so readily.

          • Birthday girl

            Digression alert …

            “Like inducing fever to treat an illness…”
            I don’t know how one would induce a fever, but … when my son was little, he got fevers and mild flu-like symptoms twice a month like clockwork, missing lots of school (this was pre-home schooling). Finally I read something and it got though about fever being the body’s weapons … so I experiemented with NOT giving Motrin or whatever, just focusing on lots of fluids blah blah blah … et voila, the fever periods were basically cut in half. What a revelation…

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to not treat a fever as long as it stays under about 101.5 (can’t remember exactly – there’s a little fudge factor in that number), because it helps clear out the infection. Higher than 102, however, and you start getting near (not quite into) the danger zone.

              • If the little ones go into febrile convulsions when their fever strikes, it’s nature’s way of telling you to pay attention. (We were! You just don’t expect a 3º spike 15 minutes after you check temp…) *Gently* cool the child a bit and they stop within a minute or less, and a little later there’s nothing but a low-grade fever that gradually goes away.

                Second daughter had a habit of doing this until she was about two and a half or three, then never again. Apparently takes while for the inner thermostatic system to finish development. Scared the daylights out of us the first time. Neither of her siblings ever had one, ever.

      • Ah, I see what you mean. My scenario is still a little bit different, because even in a well-run school, I was so far into the shallow end of the bell curve in science and math that it would have been hard to teach me along with other students.

        … Just realized that this may sound like I’m saying the French schools I attended weren’t well-run. As far as I ever saw, they were perfectly well run, and in classes other than math and science, I found them fine. (Except that I learned German from native French speakers rather than native German speakers, and still have a thick French accent when I try to speak German, but that’s a problem just about any country has: there are generally WAY fewer native speakers willing to teach language X than there students wanting to learn language X.) My point is, that had I been in a dysfunctional school, my parents would probably have withdrawn me entirely; but because my school was competent, they only withdrew me from the classes where I needed to set my own pace. Hence why I hit Calculus I by my 11th grade year.

        Anyway, getting back to Sarah’s general point rather than rambling on about myself: I wonder if Salman Khan may not be more responsible than anyone else for the success of the current alt-schooling movement. Thoughts, anyone? Any other names that should be held up there with Khan’s?

      • Rob Crawford

        “IF they still taught, they could keep control over the ideology being pushed on school children.”

        Except their ideology requires them to not teach. Educated people are not livestock, and tend to strenuously object to being treated as such.

      • When people are auto-didacting they tend to come up with questions that aren’t in the provided curriculum materials and go haring off after the information on their own. Which often has caustic effect upon the provided materials and narrative gluing them together.

        BTW – you realize that your last statement in that post boils down to “They are Sauron”?

        The Shadow that bred [the orcs] can only mock, it cannot make: not real things of its own. I don’t think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them; and if they are to live at all, they have to live like other living creatures.” (6.1.108)

        He can twist and distort things that already exist, but he cannot make “real things of [his] own.”

        http://www.shmoop.com/return-of-the-king/sauron.html

      • William O. B'Livion

        including to read, so people are learning on their own,

        Not for any significant value of “people”.

        • I have a total hippie secular progressive friend who does just that, and is connected to a large group of people much like herself here in Texas. She found herself having to make some common cause with religious fundamentalists, because they had all the good course guides. She still can’t understand where they’re coming from, but at least it broadened her horizons.

          Her son is about to turn 17, and is wonderfully educated. He’s never seen the inside of a public schoolroom, though he’s been auditing college courses for years now.

      • Jerry Pournelle’s blog (http://www.jerrypournelle.com/jerrypournelle.c/chaosmanor/ yesterday had this:
        “Today’s LA Times has two education essays. . . . The second essay isn’t supposed to be an essay but a front page story. My edition of the paper has it as “A Milder Way to Fight Defiance” by Teresa Watenade http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/12/local/la-me-adv-lausd-discipline-20130513 and it appears above the fold on page one. . . . And of course it’s another attack on the notion of schools as places of opportunity to get an education. They’re not that: a school is a place you are entitled to be at, whether you belong there or not, whether you behave yourself or not, whether you are capable of learning or not. . . . So long as the voodoo “education science” insists on transferring educational resources from those who can and want to learn, to Damien and others who are more concerned with their rights than their education, and who render themselves pretty well impervious to actual education, we are never going to have schools in which all but a very few learn to read, write, cipher, learn some civics, and generally have an educational foundation that helps them go out and find jobs or go to college.”
        Sorry for the long excerpt, and I recommend the whole thing (he calls it a rant, but it isn’t) to see how screwed up the education establishment (at least in CA) is.

  12. Sarah, I love and appreciate people who have been through hell (figuratively at least) and then discover the US. With all the faults our country has (and I am an American born abroad), there is no better teacher than experience to help people appreciate the treasure we have in our country. Just give a one way trip to those whose tendency is to exalt the virtues of other systems, and let them work their way back as TRUE Americans!

  13. It’s the comments I’ve seen by the multitude, who vigorously defend the IRS’s illegal scrutiny of conservative groups and don’t care that it’s unconstitutional because content-based that get to me.

    • What bothers me is that they should have a little self-interest (preservation?) because it could be any group now… one day conservatives and the next day– (pick group of your choice).

      • I felt a similar way when “They” were going after Chick-Fil-A (or however it’s spelled).

        On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > ** > Cyn Bagley commented: “What bothers me is that they should have a > little self-interest (preservation?) because it could be any group now… > one day conservatives and the next day– (pick group of your choice).” >

        • That’s the problem with schools that don’t teach you to read… you end up ignorant of history. Martin Niemöller talked about this decades ago, but none of those defending the IRS abuses seem to have understood the point he was making.

      • I think they view themselves as the vanguard of inevitable progress and they believe the counsels of common sense and history simply do not apply to them.

        In fact, I think they’re incapable of reading history without recoiling, which is why they concoct protective incantations like ‘dead white males’..

      • Rob Crawford

        “What bothers me is that they should have a little self-interest ”

        No. What they have is absolute confidence in their capture of the institutions. If a conservative administration attempted to use the IRS against leftist groups, IRS career civil servants — who, of course are apolitical professionals, right? — will scream to high heaven, the press will cover it endlessly along with long lectures about how “un-American” it is.

        A leftist administration using the IRS against small-government groups? Well, the apolitical career civil servants never said a word, the press is divided between a few who see a career-making scandal and the bulk who are trying to figure out the best defense — which seems to be solidifying around “they had to, because Citizens United”.

        • Go back and review the caterwauling over Bush ’43 efforts to introduce balance to the hard-leftward tilt at DOJ. The Left has a ratchet as well as a racket and they do not blithely accept rebalance.

          • As someone who has done more wrenching than he cares to, I can tell you that applying to much pressure to a ratchet (usually with a cheater pipe) strips the gears inside. Once that is done you can spin it quite easily, but it doesn’t accomplish anything. The left is in danger of applying enough pressure to strip their gears.

        • Yea– just shows how dumb they are– I know they think they are the elite– But — these individuals are in the same boat as we are (the leaky one)… unfortunately they won’t figure it out until they are being thrown to the sharks.

        • It appears worse than that. The apolitical career civil servants appear to have been passing the information gleaned from the reviews to a political think tank to forward to various media sources to write up articles to expose the bad faith dealing of various conservative groups prior to the election.
          Think of what they would have done if they were not apolitical!

      • I find it amusing (in a bitter and acrid way) that they so quickly dismiss as “conspiracy nuttery” stuff not one tenth as outlandish as their paranoid fantasies about Bush/Cheney.

        While I do not usually attend to Jon Stewart’s twaddle, this 6:47 should engladden some: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-may-13-2013/barack-trek–into-darkness

        • I tried to see it, but for some reason– maybe it is being overwhelmed, but I can’t get it to start–

        • Finally got it too work– WOW– Jon Stewart was on fire– so how many amendments did the gov. get caught defiling in the last week or so?

        • I know it’s hard for some of us to believe, but a majority of younger folk get most if not all of their news from The Daily Show. I am confident that this is the first time many have heard the word Bengazi, and if left to the rest of the media (excluding Fox of course, as no right thinking progressive would ever deign to watch their lies) would never have heard a peep about the IRS bias or the AP phone violations.
          This is a real crack in the media wall, and along with a growing concern from a lot of administration supporters, both media and low level staffers, that they will be thrown under the bus to shield higher ups from scrutiny will go a long way towards reigning the !@#$% in, if not bringing the bastiches down.

          • It’s a sign that MSM is starting to turn on the administration. Could it be that some of them realize that they’d be the second group up against the wall? After all, they betrayed the people of the United States, their duty as independent reporters of the news, their allegiance to the founding documents of the nation, and their own culture. The New World Order isn’t going to trust people like _that_!

      • Nonsense! Everyone knows that the right-thinking progressives do not get the same treatment as their troglodyte opponents.

  14. DungeonHamster

    For my part, while I prize the Constitution highly, I’m generally inclined to be glad the Declaration is not a legally binding document.

    That is to say, the Constitution, if anyone actually abided by it, would be as good a law as any I know of (even as is it’s pretty solid). On the other hand, I also believe that man has no “natural” rights (other than, I suppose, to eternal damnation, but not many wish to exercise that one). What we do have is obligations or duties, and limitations on our privileges.

    For instance, liberty does not inhere in a man. If you take it away, he does not become something other than a man. Neither has any government that lasted any length of time ever accepted that it is always wrong to imprison a man. The same with life, at least from the perspective of most monotheistic religions and quite a few others, and no government that’s lasted has ever accepted it’s always wrong to kill, either. As to pursuit of happiness, if you’ll allow me to paraphrase Lieutenant Colonel Jean V. Dubois, it’s not a right at all, much less a natural one.

    Of course, man doesn’t have a “natural” right to authority, or to murder, or to misery, either. Well, maybe misery, but only his own, not others’.

    Regardless, a big part of the sense of entitlement, the whole idea that we have “rights” to anything we want without paying the cost, that so many of our citizens feel seems to be, at least in part, supported by the Declaration of Independence. Considering that most of it is a list of complaints, beyond providing possible justifications for other revolutions, I remain unconvinced of its usefulness and reluctant to give it any of the reverence which so many do.

    Not that this actually undermines your basic point of “Be Not Afraid,” but I thought it worth mentioning.

    • Consider the Declaration an executive summary, the Constitution as the contract delegating certain authority to the government in its role as our agent.

      You have misapprehended the concept of natural or inalienable rights. They are those rights which are inherent in our existence and which we exercise unless acted upon by an external force. You have the right to liberty because nobody has the right (as opposed to having the power) to deprive you of that. You do not have a right to health care because that is an externality: somebody would have to provide it for you to have it.

      For the protection of these rights, Governments are instituted among Men and whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

  15. Have we yet really begun to fight? I know I haven’t. Not really.

    • So… what does getting up off the floor and fighting look like?

      • Funny you should ask: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2Q7YRDL90E

        Write Human Wave, Read Human Wave, Stand for Human Wave. When Life challenges you, stand it like a Man and give some back.

        • Well. Okay then.

          Dagnabit, it’s not bad enough I’ve got C.S. Lewis yammering on at me about good philosophy, bad philosophy, and the throwing down of weapons…

          NOW I have to deal with Ian McShane slapping my cortex around.

          Just when I get to the point where I’m okay not stepping into a fight, the universe just has to pipe up. Well… okay then.

      • Robin Munn

        Well, I don’t stay silent anymore: when I see something that bothers me, I speak up about it. I don’t usually share my full thoughts if the person I’m talking to is a “doesn’t pay much attention to politics” type, because that’s a great way to get those types to tune you out… but I say just enough that I sound quite reasonable. E.g., after that one line in Iron Man 3 about how “no fat cats ever came before a court” for a fictional oil spill, I mentioned to my friends afterwards that that line bugged me, because it presupposes that the world could be perfect, and that if it isn’t, someone is always to blame. Which is just not the case — the world isn’t perfect. And I left it at that.

        Another way that fighting back looks like is a guy whose story I was privileged to read, who occasionally comments at Ace of Spades. The day after Andrew Breitbart died, this guy saw a coworker (of the 20-something hipster-liberal variety) wearing a Che T-shirt. Normally, he said, he would have brushed it off, but after losing Andrew and seeing all the “Breitbart is here” and “Be Breitbart” slogans that were popping up, he decided to say something. The Che T-shirt guy didn’t take it kindly, and got a few of his hipster-liberal buddies to complain to HR, and an anonymous email (which later proved to have been from a liberal-leaning HR person) got distributed widely among the Ace of Spades commenter (hereafter called AoS guy)’s group — WAY more widely than company policy said it should have. AoS guy immediately stopped driving his nice car to work and started driving his junky car, which proved to be wise because a few days later, someone slashed his tires in the parking lot. He reported this fact to HR (to someone he was pretty sure was NOT the person who sent out the anonymous email).

        At this point, the powers that be in the company took official notice of the incident, and Things Started To Happen in a completely different direction: AoS guy was assigned a security guard to be his personal bodyguard (!) as he walked out to the parking lot (more on the bodyguard guy later, he becomes very relevant to the story), the IT department started scouring the company’s work computers for evidence of who sent the policy-violating email, and eventually the liberal-leaning HR person who sent the email was identified and promptly fired. (The AoS guy was never willing to give personal details, but he did say that the company did serious finances, had to comply with a lot of laws regarding information privacy, and Was Very Much Not Amused by people sharing private information (like HR disputes) publicly the way that HR person had.) At this point Che guy and his cronies got even more upset, and someone spray-painted a rude message on AoS guy’s junky car. This time, though, Bodyguard Guy (who was a young man in his 20’s) saw it happen, and tried to confront the vandals. I don’t recall what happened next, except that Bodyguard Guy ended up getting minor injuries (bruises or a sprained wrist or something) in the struggle, and vandals got away — but Bodyguard Guy got the license plate of the car. When traced, it turned out to belong to Che guy’s dad. This wasn’t quite enough evidence for the company to be able to fire Che guy, but they did something REALLY clever. The company divided up its finance guys into teams of about a dozen or so, as I recall, and it turned out that the team in which Che guy worked was turning in much poorer performance than a lot of the other teams. So they either fired or reassigned the team manager over that team, and promoted AoS guy to lead that team, with explicit instructions that he was to pink-slip whoever he felt he needed to in order to get the team up to speed. Several people in the comments were expecting him to pink-slip Che guy pronto, but he said “No, I’m going to give him a fair shake. He’s being young and stupid right now, but in some people that’s a curable condition.” One of Che-guy’s cronies actually came up to him in a private meeting afterwards and said, “I guess you won, huh” — and he told her, “No, that’s not how this works. I’m not going to hold anyone’s past behavior against them; I’m going to track your numbers, and see how you do — and the people that improve are going to stay, no matter who they are.” Well, she believed him, got a whole new attitude towards work, and her numbers improved greatly. Whereas Che guy (whose numbers and attitude had NOT been improving), one day walked into AoS guy’s office and did a “You can’t fire me, I quit — and now I’ll be getting unemployment benefits, so ha ha” number. The next day, AoS guy called his remaining team together (I think a couple others had quit, I’m not sure) and said, “As you all know, (name of Che guy) just quit yesterday. Which was a rather poor decision on his part, because: a) if he had been laid off, he would have gotten unemployment benefits — but because he chose to quit, he doesn’t qualify for them. And b), the team’s performance has improved so much across the board that I don’t think it will be necessary to lay anybody off.”

        Oh, and remember Bodyguard Guy? Well, while he was recovering from his injuries, AoS guy read him the riot act, along the lines of “Don’t put your life at risk like that. Cars can be replaced. You can’t.” and invited him over to his house, because he (AoS guy) had started seeing him as a promising young guy that needed mentoring. Well, Bodyguard Guy had an older sister who was single and also came along, and she and AoS guy hit it off pretty much right away. Within a few weeks, they were dating, and she was occasionally posting to the Ace of Spades comments section as well (from the same IP address that AoS guy was using) — and as far as I know they’re still together now.

        So standing up for his beliefs led this guy to get a promotion and a girlfriend, and I got to watch the whole story unfold in the Ace of Spades comment section. I am not making any of this up. Speaking of which, there were several times when various people questioned the veracity of the whole thing and said “No offense, (AoS guy’s handle), but I think you’re making the whole thing up.” To which he replied “Heh. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried — I’m not that creative.” I personally believe the whole thing: the details he mentioned were always consistent, the whole thing had the ring of truth to it, and when Bodyguard Guy’s sister posted to the comments section, her writing style was visibly different from his — and both writing styles stayed self-consistent during the entire month-long saga. I think I have a pretty finely tuned B.S. detector, and nothing in that whole saga ever set it off.

        So go ahead and stand up for your beliefs — you never know WHAT might happen.

        • Robin Munn

          P.S. This all happened a couple of years ago and I’m working entirely from memory, so I may have the order of events wrong in a couple of places. But I still have (some of) the links to the AoS comments in which the AoS guy told his story, and if anyone wants I’m willing to share those links privately. (Not publicly, since AoS guy said some of the details in the story MIGHT be able to identify him, and he didn’t want anyone collecting the entire saga where it could be Googled. Which is why I’ve summarised it rather than linked to the primary sources.) If you want to read the story first-hand, email me at (my first name) dot (my last name) at gmail and I’ll send you the links I have. Which will not be 100% complete, but if you’re interested enough to scan the AoS archives forwards and backwards and do a Ctrl-F search for the guy’s real handle in the pages you find, you may come across much of the rest of the story.

        • Robin Munn

          P.P.S. That gmail account is one I don’t check every single day (but it is an address I don’t mind posting publicly for the whole Internet to see), so don’t be surprised if I take a few days to get back to you. If you put something like “AoS guy’s story” in the subject line, you’ll increase the chances of my seeing your email.

        • What a terrific story. That’s the problem with despair: you never know what might have happened if you’d had courage. And stories reverberate among other people trying to face that same choice.

        • Younger son. Fourth grade. Other kid in class wearing Che shirt. Younger son threw issy fit and said “we’re not allowed to wear clothing with symbols of violence. THAT MAN was a mass murderer.” The school didn’t want to do it, but he turned policy on them, and they made kid turn shirt inside out, and Che on t shirts was EXPLICITLY forbidden the next year ;)

      • Well, would you care to write on that, young man?

  16. bretwallach

    Sarah wrote: “In the long run this story can only have two endings.

    I guess I have an overactive imagination because a lot more than two occur to me (and none of them are as black and white as you describe).

  17. BRAVO!!! Hear, hear!! Author, author!! And a whole bunch more acclaim!
    Reverting (briefly) back to my US Navy gunnery fire control days, Milady has laid a perfect salvo on the opposition…one short, one long, one on target.

    Uh, “wandering bivalve”??!!??? What???

  18. Attached to our Founding Documents? Then you are an extremist, and should expect the IRS to give you extra scrutiny while the DHS puts out memos about how you are a threat to our national security.

  19. Our founding documents are revolutionary in every generation. Why? Because they assume four things. 1) People tend to tyranny if they can. 2) Any government’s job is to guard against large and small tyrannies. 3) But the government itself will tend towards tyranny, so must be limited and must have safeguards built in. 4) The measure of tyranny is how people are treated who oppose the government and oppose one another, still as folk of good will, all in pursuit of happiness.
    The best summary of this set of contradictory impulses can be seen in some of P. J. O’Rourke’s work. The chapter “The Whore Is Us” in Parliament of Whores lays it out straight – at times, our interests will conflict with our neighbors. We get by the best we can. Anything else is wrong.

  20. Waaaaallll, some 40 or so years ago, I took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same,”. Only death can relieve me of that oath, and I ain’t dead yet! Yeah, I have a very FOND attachment to our Founding Documents. Extremist? Only in the adherence to my oath.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Some time in middle school the full implications of the pledge of allegiance hit me. For a while, I held off reciting it, because I was unsure. Eventually I came to the point that I would have no other nations in this life, and made the pledge. I consider it fully binding on me.

  21. Your writing and thought process continually reminds me of Heinlein. Today’s blog overall reminds me of him, and this passage:
    “[Yes, you’re going to bring out Islam. And you’re going to be wrong. . . I tend to believe the rumors that filter out about women finding enough information on the net to control/reduce their own fertility.”
    reminds me of a Heinlein essay about his travels throughout the Soviet Union that I read during the cold war. Especially today we need filter the propaganda from the truth, and our media isn’t helpful any more.

    • Were they ever? Not in my lifetime. Most media has always covered for the red fascists. Here’s the thing — I have friends who are translators/travelers/volunteers abroad. They, like me, think world population is being grossly inflated. it might already be falling, despite extended lifespans.

      • Probably because of extended lifespans. You see the people in my parents generation who waited to have kids (mine didn’t, they had us early) who are stuck taking care of aging parents and young children. The ones coming up behind them either choose to have children early or put it off even longer so they’re not stuck in the crunch between generations, expecting to be able to have kids eventually but their biology catches up with them. People my age see their aging grandparents and wonder about their quality of life; if you’re family has become the enemy because you don’t recognize them anymore, what’s the point?

        I have 2 kids, 7 years apart. Most of my friends with kids have 1-2 kids. My friends who want more than 2 kids have put off getting into serious relationships so long that they may have difficulty having more than 2 because they’re getting older rapidly. They’re well educated but they’ve given up their most fertile years getting that education and they’re going to resent what they’re going to have to sacrifice to have the kids they want. I think, as the education bubble pops, this will be self-correcting but it’s going to take another generation before it starts to impact the population and even then I don’t know that it’s actually going to do anything helpful.

        • The cute little gal that monitors our play group was talking about having kids starting at about 35 today… I tried to be subtle about explaining how only a handful of my classmates managed to get married by 30, because they wanted to “have fun” first.

          • My best friend, while a few years younger than me, is getting married next June. She wants 6 kids. I was joking with her fiance that they better get pregnant on the honeymoon. He nodded and said, “If not a few months before.” They understand that time is not on their side at this point and life is going to be *hard* for a while if they start their family right away but for every couple of years they put it off having kids, they’re gonna have to expect 1 less. On the plus side, they can always adopt and I do see her doing that at some point in the future.

            • We wanted eleven, part of the reason we got married at 22. It didn’t work. I’m grateful for the ones we have. HOWEVER if we win the lottery/go bestseller before 55, I’m not saying we won’t adopt.

          • Meanwhile I know people who married early, would like to have more kids but it doesn’t seem in the cards for them. Adoption seems like it might be an option, thank goodness.

            • Yeah, there’s no assurance in reproduction– but the gal is gaga for my little boy, but can’t get her head around “Waiting a decade after peak fertility is a really bad plan for having one of my own.”

        • some of us had difficulty finding a suitable other parent. sigh

  22. Randy Weaver (one of the victims of a violent federal attack at Ruby Ridge) was not a white supremacist. He was a separatist, who was innocent of any wrongdoing, and who was persecuted by an evil state.

    He survived the vicious sniper who shot his wife while she was holding their baby and was acquitted at trial of all counts except failure to appear. (And on that count it’s clear that his expectation of an unfair hearing was completely justified.) He sued. He won a big judgement. We need not rely on family recollections for this one. The US paid $3.1 million to settle the Weaver’s suit and $380,000 to another victim.

    • I was going on a bio written — I THINK — by Mrs. Weaver’s sister, who claimed they were white supremacists, etc. However, having seen this type of thing, I put in the beg that family lying isn’t even unusual.

    • I don’t know if Randy Weaver was a white supremacist or not, I have spent some time in the general area of the attack, and there are a number of white supremacists around. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter, being a white supremacist might be stupid, and you can argue it is immoral and wrong; but it is NOT ILLEGAL! They sent in a full team with shoot-to-kill orders on an FTA warrant, which is normally a bench warrant, meaning it is in the system, and if picked up for another violation they will be booked for it, but no manpower is wasted to serve it, even if they live two blocks from the police station.

      The ‘sniper’ managed to hit everybody but his ‘intended’ target. At relatively close range. If I hadn’t seen other ample evidence of police ‘snipers’ truly unbelievably atrocious accuracy, I would believe this was intentional.

      • I remember the Ruby Ridge debacle and considering who the sniper shot– it was pretty deliberate in my book. He was out to kill the women and children– all of them.

        Plus–my dad was sure that we were in the end of the US in the 1970s– thankfully Reagan brought a lot of hope back…

      • Yes. On it might or might not be true, but in either way it’s not illegal.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Given the claims of accuracy they had for that guy, I’ll go with intentional, even if it wasn’t.

  23. Because the sun is setting on their world does not mean it is rising on our’s.

    • BUT it is. The tech is on our side, and in the end that has a lot to do with what political system triumphs. (NOT everything. I mean, I’m not a materialist determinist.) There is the possibility of strong enough government interference that it does send us into the long night. But I’d gamble the other way.

  24. Sarah,

    I’m one of those you’re flailing; despair is a sin and I but a sinner. Wasn’t always. Had hope we could turn it around back in 2009. Chaired a Tea Party (dragged Celia into it). Thousands of people in front of the Alamo.

    Four years later? View the Tea Parties as a failure. Debt was about $10 Trillion then. Now? Yowie! We FAILED! The few “Tea Party Candidate” politicians we managed to elect across the nation have been disappointing, in the large. Especially a Senator from Florida…. Corruption is rampant, public, and even celebrated by many when it’s their side.

    San Antonio just re-elected an America-hating socialist as mayor. His identical twin brother is in the US House of Representatives.

    The IRS scandal? Lived it. Was still on the board when the implied threat of bearing the tax burden for $thousands in donations over three years hung heavy above our heads. People in high-places should go to jail for long periods. Will they? Hardly. Some underlings might. The real felons will get official slaps on the wrist and nice sinecures at liberal think-tanks as a reward. Corruption is rampant, public, and even celebrated by many when it’s their side.

    Any the American people will accept that, as they now accept much that is evil. For every child raised right, there are ten being brought up by those who hate America, and their votes are for ever-more bread and circuses. We’re toast. I tell you three times: Corruption is rampant, public, and even celebrated by many when it’s their side.

    An unlike in the story above about the guy from Ace & Che Guy, they commies don’t fight fair. Pretty sure having been a Tea Party leader is why I was suddenly jobless for a couple of months. The very politically correct HR people simply refused to be specific about what exactly I might have said or done, but my services were no longer required. Cost me over $10,000 in direct lost wages plus lost benefits so far this year.

    Not looking forward to when the shooting gets serious and broad-based. But I’m sure the commies will keep forcing issues until it does. Just don’t have the faith that this can be avoided anymore. Except for a while, by ducking. Sorry.

    • Yes, of course. I mean you tried once and for a whole year and the country did not rise up. I totally understand that.
      Why, the founding the fathers did exactly the same and went back home to huddle in their cabins with their ammo — which is why we are loyal subjects of her majesty’s.

      GET UP OFF THE FLOOR.

      • Robin Juhl

        In late 2000, I was out in front of the Alamo, sign in hand, because Gore tried to steal the election by throwing out military ballots and other shenanigans.

        In 2004, my small blog had some effect in fighting the made-up “memos” of Dan Rather

        In 2005, organized the San Antonio Blogfest, an attempt to bring some civility to our discussions.

        In 2009, was lead a Tea Party of six people and grew it helped grow it into a couple of multi-thousand-person events.

        Helped re-establish the Tea Party after my successor almost completely destroyed it.

        Kept it up into 2013, before resigning from the Tea Party board — AFTER we got our IRS certification.

        Guess I’m just a quitter. But I’m still buying your books (and why can’t I get them on my Nook?!)

        • because I’m dealing with B & N right now.

          I don’t think you’re a quitter, but your comment had a strong whiff of it. Look, I know we all sometimes just want to indulge in a little despair. I’ve been known to do it myself. But we shouldn’t spread fear and despondency. AND TRUST ME — please do — the tech is going our way. They know it too, hence the 2000 shenanigans.

          I recommend you read a biography of one of the founding fathers. The history books tend to make it seem much cleaner and all…

    • Sister, I have been there. In fact, I was there at the Alamo. My local 9-12 group got the IRS letter and I took the call when they were asking for our donor list and for a login to our website so they could see everything our members were doing behind the sign in.
      And I’ve been down. Out of work for a year. And every time something came up that looked like it would result in a job, it disappeared like haze before a morning sun. It happened over and over. I don’t blame my 9-12 affiliation for that, but in Austin? It didn’t help.
      And I’ve been discouraged. Written some very discouraged things.
      So I sympathize at least a little bit. Having said that, may I recommend re-reading the first paragraph – just the first graph – of The American Crisis?
      Or, for the TL;DR version, watch the YouTube link RES pointed me at earlier. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2Q7YRDL90E
      NSFW for language, but it’s still a darn good point.
      And remember that though we’re in a fight, we don’t have to be joyless about it.

      • Sorry. I might have sounded flip, HOWEVER keep in mind how many times in the revolutionary war all seemed lost — i.e. most of the time. Keep in mind people didn’t magically rise up behind the new hope. Even when the mercenaries were criss crossing the country perpetrating injustices, most people just wanted life to be “normal” again.
        To be discouraged now seems premature.

        • When we first got started, back in those heady days of the Alamo and whatnot, one of the things I did was remind people how long it took to get from Stamp Act to Revolution.

          Twelve years.

          And another eleven of war and chaos before we got to the Constitution. So while we I might get discouraged from time to time, I’m grateful for friends and neighbors and places like this where I can get a little recharge.

      • Robin Juhl

        “Sister,” you say? You didn’t stay for the last speaker, did you? I’m a guy.

        • <Sniffles haughtilly — we're all the same under the skin. (runs.)

        • Eeeep. I am so sorry.

          • I’m hooking here, because I don’t want to page back find your comment Robin — hopefully you’re following the thread.

            Kobo… not Nook. Sorry. What happened is that there’s a conference/workshop/class in town and I’m auditing it, and then the freezer died and I cooked half the world (it’s what it feels like.) So I was less than compus mentis.
            So — the Kobo. I’m going to be on it with all my indie stuff, it’s a matter of time to put stuff up. Baen, I don’t know, but I hope they put stuff there too!

            • Robin Juhl

              Ma’am,
              With the Nook, gift cards for Barnes and Noble are a gift all the family knows I’ll love. But your latest isn’t available there. Loved the short story collections, though!

              • If my latest from Baen… you have to ask them. If indie stuff, give it a month or so. I don’t like the new B & N contract, and I’m going to get to them via smashwords. but it will take a while to get there. However, for the record, my works aren’t drmed and you can use calibre to convert.

          • I’m a guy.

            Eeeep. I am so sorry.

            Totally out of context, but I lol’ed…..

            • So did I. ;-)

              On Thu, May 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

              > ** > Foxfier commented: “Im a guy. Eeeep. I am so sorry. Totally out of > context, but I lol’ed…..” >

              • Okay, in the cold light of morning (well, early afternoon, anyway) I can see how that might possibly be misconstrued.
                Now to stop using this shovel to dig the hole I suddenly find myself in and see if I can use it to extricate my foot from my mouth.

            • Sorry? What for? I LIKE being a guy!

    • Hey, I wasn’t dragged – I wanted to come!
      And it was a tremendous experience, which I would not have missed for the world!

  25. Socialism does not work and it falls apart sooner if people limit their cooperation with it. I predict that one of the biggest trends arising from Obamacare is that more and more people will make the IRS work harder and harder for their pound of flesh. Big Bro cannot succeed without our voluntary compliance.

    Whether we know it or not, the state has already made us felons. Embrace your inner outlaw.

  26. Robin Juhl has it — and it’s become even more obvious looking at the ’12 POTUS election.

    The Republicans have figure it out: The System Is Broken, Permanently And Irrevocably. The System will, inevitably, collapse — this America shall fall. Period, end of discussion, next case.

    But the Republicans have figured out something else along with that: The best place to be when the system collapses is “out of power” — when the system collapses, it collapses with The Other Side holding the reins… and the blame when the Mob comes looking for answers. Meanwhile, Their Side can point and say “See — *their* fault; *we* weren’t involved, and are blameless”.

    It’s worked before on a Leftist Democracy — Germany, 1933.

    “Apres le deluge, *NOUS*!”

    Myself: Well, one of my favorite historical figures is Joseph Fouche — served Louis XVI, served the Revolutionary governments, served Napoleon, served the restoration, died in bed. I look upon him as a model for such times — “honor is a think cloak against the chill of the grave”. (See also J. Edgar Hoover.)

    And Reality is outcome-based — in three generations, the only question anyone will ask is: “Who won?”. Better to be a relatively-anonymous winner than a famous loser.

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  28. I can just see you exhorting Marcus Aurelius, as he struggles against the forces of darkness on the Danube in AD 180: Get off the floor! They’re cracking!

    And you’d be right. A mere 1,400 years of darkness, and Michelangelo was born, and not much more than 200 years after that, Locke laid the foundations of government grounded on the consent of the governed, and the notion of individual liberty.

    Fight! Victory will be ours, not more than 50 generations from now!

    • It’s not even nearly that bad. SERIOUSLY. And Marcus Aurelius had his own issues!

    • Carlpham, I recommend you read “Barbarians into Angels” by Peter S. Wells. It’s a fast read. The “Dark Ages”, as it turns out, were not that dark. Yes, the western Roman Empire had collapsed. Yes, waves of migrating peoples made life difficult for some other people (not that it had been great under the Romans), and yes, the climate went to h-ll in a handbasket around 520 and didn’t recover for two hundred years or so. But the High Middle Ages came from that period. What vanished was the ability to organize large enough numbers of people to do big things or to generate knowledge, not the knowledge per se.

    • The term “Dark Ages” is used only for part of that period now, and the historians justify it on the grounds the paucity of records, making it very hard to figure out.

      It was in fact an improvement in many ways. Hard though the life of a serf was, would you prefer that over that of a slave? And many agricultural and industrial innovations happened in that time.

      • The transition is going to be ridiculously tough, but I hope relatively brief as well — decades, not centuries. We might not see the end, but working to make it good is important. Holding our breath and turning blue isn’t.

        • There are few topics (outside the scientific) in which I find myself in agreement with Doctor Asimov. That we have a duty to preserve knowledge against the Dark Times is one of those few.

          As to what knowledge should be preserved …

          • Heck, what qualifies as knowledge. Dr. Asimov firmly believed that if only Venus had had a moon, we would never have fallen into geocentrism, a belief so out of touch with reality it can be explained only by religious delusion.

            Nevermind that we all experience every day good solid evidence for it — namely that there is no sensation of movement when any other theory would hold we were whipping around the universe at a great rate.

            • Jeff Gauch

              But anyone who has spent any amount of time on a ship would recognize that you stop feeling the sensation of movement through the water fairly quickly, and the sensations of moving with the waves doesn’t last that much longer.

    • “Victory will be ours, not more than 50 generations from now!”

      Or never, if everyone gives up.

      I used to think the Soviet Union was inevitable.

  29. Marcus Livius Drusus the Younger

    I’d name my son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus in a heartbeat, as opposed to say Snoop Dogg, or any of the other names that pass muster in some circles. Your observation is parochial, and smacks of ignorance or Roman history and tradition. To a Roman of the time, his names were a roll call of great men. It is as if you named your son Abraham Reagan Jackson Washington. and some 2000 years later, under the reign of Emperor Barack Flava Prince Kobe Fluffer Boo-Boo RuPaul Osama Kardashian, someone thought your kid had a horrible name.

    • It was also a roll call of not-great men.

      Happens when you don’t have a lot of male names.

      Or you could recognize it as humor and just go with it…..

      • Sir, a little learning is a dangerous thing, Please enlighten me as to just which of his names, PRIOR to his reign, was held by a man not admired by a Roman of his day.

        I suppose you might dredge up a Marcus somewhere. It has been pointed out, the Romans had a very small pool of male names to choose from. But this Marcus will not have been an Emperor. There were several consuls of the Republic with that praenomen, but I would guess the three notables most associated with the name would be Cato, Cicero, and Mark Antony.

        There were some inferior emperors that used the name Augustus, but only because ALL emperors, upon taking the throne, universally tacked Augustus to the end of their name. in honor of the original Augustus, he who had been Octavian. A Roman of the time would have understood that name to be associated with him, not a Caligula or Nero..

        More related to the original thread, about the dissolution of a superpower, is that the decline of Rome is almost directly proportional to the increasing variety in both the names of the emperors, and the more diverse regions of their origins. Cause or effect?

        What this leads us to expect after the election of Barack Hussein Obama, born who knows where, and raised overseas, does not bode well.

        History does not repeat, but it does rhyme. I suspect we are about to enter the US version of the Crisis of the Third Century.

        • Marcus, the drunk ex-soldier day-worker-down-the-street, and uncounted thousands more that just happened to have the same name.

          Kind of like the pop-archaeologists that declare every “tomb of Mary” in the Holy Land to be that of the Virgin while ignoring that a huge portion of the female population was named “Mary”– that we know of someone with a name doesn’t mean that every use of that name is related to the currently-famous ones.

          Applying a bit of sense, what portion of the male population do you suppose might be named a derivative of the god of war’s name? A name that is still popular, thousands of years later? (I’ve got relatives named “Mark.”)

          • Well, today, there are a lot of guys named Washington. When I mention that name, do you think of George, or Kermit?

            • Irrelevant; you made a silly response to humor, it got debunked. Trying to change the subject at this point is just foolish.

              • Funny, I don’t feel so “debunked.” Care to point out which of the facts I mentioned was wrong?

                As a history teacher, one of the things I try to do is to get people to see things the way the people of the time saw them. To a Roman of the time, M. Aurelius had a fine name, as evidenced by the many emperors after him that chose to take up his name. I just saw a guy making a subjective judgement of an ancient culture through modern eyes. Perhaps it was to you, but I honestly didn’t think it funny. If you did, great. “De gustibus non est disputandum.”

                Or even factual. I can think of several with worse names. First one that pops in my head is Caligula. “Little Boots,” a childhood nickname given to him by the soldiers of his father’s legions, poking fun at the way he paraded around the camp dressed as a general at the ripe old age of six, barking orders. Unfortunately for him, the name stuck.

                But not too many after him, emperor, or even drunken day-soldier, chose to adopt that name Seems to me that makes it a much crappier name than M. Aurelius, but as I said, there’s no arguing taste. If you want to continue to flog this dead hobby-horse, roll on, brother, but I’m done..

                • You’ve confused the Roman manner of constructing names with their manner of using nicknames. Driven largely by the overlaping of names as a result of the finite number of names available to Romans. True, at times some nicknames became part of the name of an offshoot of the family (e.g., “Caesar” of the Julian line). But Caligula was just a nickname for Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.

                  Amusingly, the nickname practices of the Romans live on in modern times with the naming practices of Mafia families…

                • I don’t care what you “feel.” Nor do I care what authority you claim when you are wrong, nor does it matter which direction you wish to attempt to change the subject in.

                  Thus far, the main thing you’ve evidenced is a lack of reading comprehension and inability to make an argument that supports your prior claims.

  30. Yay! Love this post. And yes, public schools are failing spectacularly. So thankful we homeschooled as long as we did. Appalled at the state of dear daughter’s HS yearbook. Nice layout, but editing is abysmal! According to her “bio” her art and writing have “devolved” since coming to the school. In addition, in the clubs section, National Honor Society is referred to in bold text as “National Honors Society” and that’s not just the headline – throughout the text as well, so clearly there were no NHS members on the yearbook staff! All I can figure is that they allowed to two student editors free reign with little guidance. I would never have allowed this thing to be printed as it was. If this is the future of public education, we’ll all be writing/speaking text speak soon.

    • To be honest my kids’ art and writing always devolved through the school year. Then they came home to the maternal tyrant.

      • Hehehe, that’s beside the point – I kinda feel the same! But it does reaffirm to me that we did the right thing by homeschooling for the eight years we did. I’ve questioned over the last 6 years whether putting them in PS was the right decision or not – ultimately I think it was for our family, if only for the wake up call. I know from my own childhood that too much sheltering is not necessarily a good thing – but we did manage to raise two independent thinkers who apparently have learned when to open their mouths – and when to keep silent.

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  33. Giving up doesn’t necessarily mean dying. It might mean moving to Chile though.

    • I wouldn’t go Latin America EVER. They’re the land of the future and always will be. The problem is the Roman culture that remains, including nepotism etc is JUST impossible to break through.

      • I think it’s gotten worse with the infiltration of the socialists and communists. I’m not aware of anywhere in South America that isn’t overwhelmingly statist.

  34. Pingback: Sarah Hoyt “Shucks The Corn Clean Down to The Cob” | Extrano's Alley, a gun blog

  35. I confess I didn’t read all the previous comments. Did anybody call for civil disobediance?

    • and outright rude disobedience, yep. And that’s a given around this bunch ;)

      • I decline to engage in disobedience of any kind simply because somebody suggests it might be useful. Anybody seeking my obedience or dis must make a compelling case, else I will do as suits me.

  36. Well said, Sarah.
    When the Preference Cascade begins, the onslaught will not be pretty as people have their entire belief system destroyed before their eyes.
    It will be beautiful!

  37. TO: Sarah, et al.
    RE: Heh

    With the dysfunctional Republican Party—at ALL LEVELS—there’s darn little that can be done other than wait for an Act of God to chastise this society.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Be Prepared.....]

    • ALL LEVELS? You just made me start raging– no DS — in the top levels– how many times have I (every election when I could) vote for someone who turned out to be RINO? Many– many elections. You might not have wanted to make me mad– but I am–

      Plus while I was in the Navy and then my hubby and I were working to keep the military equipment running– where were you? letting the Country get run down and overrun… NO– I beg of you do NOT get me started.

      • Also– the precious parties of this country were doing their best NOT to count me and mine’s ballots because we were either in the military or supporting the military– sooooooooooooooooooooo– unless you are not counting the voters as part of the parties– and if you are NOT then you are making a big mistake.

      • Don’t start raging on account of Mr. Pel-to. He’s an agent provocateur bent on giving the right side a bad name.

    • William O. B'Livion

      And that is EXACTLY why we’ve lost.

    • Of course! And the other societies which are FAR worse? You know, perhaps you should get out more.

      (BTW< do you need my Mensa membership number again? Always happy to be of service.)

  38. Carrie Henry

    AMEN!! I’m reading this and wanting to stand and cheer!! Thank you for keeping the fire burning and kicking some that need it in the rear!!

  39. Kathy Kinsley

    Sarah, I’m fairly sure you’ll take this as I intend it. Sometimes, you remind me a LOT of Robert Heinlein. Thank you, because I still miss him.

  40. No need to go to public school the last two years – colleges are looking for home schooled kids because they have seen how they perform. Three of mine, educated at home K-12, are honors grads of top colleges which they attended on scholarship. (And they all have good jobs.)

  41. That one is true anyway– of course imh experience, there are some things you cannot prepare for– But we do what we can when we can– as much as possible.

    • Oh, and in case you think I’m being unusually harsh with this critter, this is the person who refused to get the JOKE in “Mad Genius Club” and demanded we tell him our Mensa card numbers. (As though that would prove anything, I say, even though I DO have one.)

      • Wayne Blackburn

        I wondered how long the trollhammer would take to come out on Chuckie. He’s been banned from more blogs than I can count.

        • I’m convinced he’s an agent provocateur. NO ONE is naturally that dumb.

          • I don’t know, I’m pretty sure I remember him from USENET. Never underestimate the depths of human stupidity.

            • But… How could he walk and breathe at the same time?

              • Jeff Gauch

                There is a class of people I am convinced have a notecard that says “inhale (turn over)” on one side and “exhale (turn over)” on the reverse. It’s the only way they can keep breathing, because I’m pretty sure their brain isn’t even powerful enough to run autonomous functions. Pelto falls firmly into that category.

      • Don’t think you are harsh– if you know this guy from some other place and he does this a lot then– I totally agree–

        Plus that sign off Chuck(les) hits my something is wrong alarm. It was dweep, dweep, dweeping.

  42. I’m sorry but the time has come to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. We had our shot at a republic and it lasted a while, but this one ain’t comin’ back.

  43. Way to go Sarah.

    …I think we win, too. I dunno, but I’ve been an optimist for awhile now, through most of the crap.

    Because I don’t see “sustainability” on their side.

    Jim Jones and Kool Aid I see in abundance. But sustainability? – Not so much.

    • because there’s none. I said on election night 2008 “They can’t govern. they don’t know how. And everything they think they know doesn’t work.” I stand by it.

  44. You want to fight back? You want to fight in a forum where the media has no control and spin has no answer?

    Well here’s a suggestion that seldom gets addressed. Turn off the spigot. These scumbags can’t operate without taxes (now euphemistically called revenue) for long. And I don’t care that we are a minority in a Presidential election.

    We are a large minority and we hold a substantial purse string.

    • We’ve been discussing that idea here for months at least. ‘Round these parts we refer to it as mini-galt. Unless you’re playing provocateur, trying to get people to openly defy tax law. In which case you’ll get a mild dose of sympathy, a huge dose of suspicion, and if you persist, a large dose of halibut delivered at near-relativistic speed.

  45. Who is WordPress, and why are they withholding my comment?

  46. Looks like I missed something. . . but the carnage of scattered replies makes much clear — like that I didn’t miss much!

    • Well, the world might or might not need a good spanking from a just and fearsome G-d — if one is a believer, when hasn’t it — but even if you believe HImself will get in a testy mood and do onto us as onto Gomorrah or even Nineveh the er… critter cited “sins” that are worse in Europe, MUCH worse in China, etc, but is convinced only the US will get whapped. This is what we like to call provincialism. Also stupidity. Since I had run ins with him before, I troll hammered. Meanwhile A. B. Prosper below is uploading college sociology textbooks, if you wish to amuse yourself.

  47. Thanks for the stirring words, Sarah. One thing bothers me, though: You seem to assume that widely-distributed tech will persist after the apocalypse. I fear that the tech infrastructure will disappear along with the state.

  48. Ya know, it’s been so long since I saw that . . . entity’s . . . handle that I thought he/she/it/blaaRRRRRRrgh had gone to the great SPAM filter in the sky. Foolish optimist am I.

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  51. Seriously– I agree with about 3/4s of what you said the second time— The first post just triggered my BS button. I agree that Roe vs. Wade is an evil thing. I still think we have a chance. AS many people have said here– we should not give into despair. IT is a sin.

  52. He’s asinine. He’s so bent on us being “the evilest ever” because he’s failed to look at the rest of humanity. I have no patience for idiots, not after a day spent cooking half the contents of the freezer, so as to save it from spoilage, when the freezer died.

  53. Sorry about the death of your refrigerator– ugh– we used to have electricity go out in Panama (every third day) so we had to keep a generator. As for the guy– I really think he really is in despair.

  54. Wayne Blackburn

    Who, Chuckles? No. Seriously, no. He’s an ass, and has proven it over and over again. If you don’t agree with him, you’re labeled a moron, and he also deliberately posts things to piss people off (or else he’s the world’s most socially inept person, which, coming from me, is saying something). I’ve seen him at at least half a dozen blogs over a period of 10 years, and he never fails to get banned at least once (some of them relent after 6 months or so, and then have to do it again later).

  55. I should have listened to my inner alarm–