Shoot The Black Dog

It’s very easy to become depressed.

It is particularly easy for me to become depressed because I have battled the black dog as long as I can remember.

The way to fight the black dog is to realize that he lies.  It’s very difficult to do it because the black dog is perfectly logical.  He presents things to you in an inevitable way.  But reality is neither logic nor inevitable.

No, that is not true.  Reality is logic.  It’s just not the sort of logic that fits into human minds very easily.  There is always some factor we didn’t calculate, something we didn’t think of.  And not all surprises are bad.  And sometimes surprises will be good.

Part of this, guys, is this more than any other era in history, we are surrounded by narrative (played, watched, listened to, read) and that we’ve been trained to look for foreshadowing, we make the error of treating reality as a story.  This means we can read trends and we tend to extrapolate them way into the future and assume they’re inevitable.

For good or ill, history has the ability to surprise us even now.

Most of the surprises we remember are bad, of course, but that’s because that also is a trick of the black dog.

I remember the late seventies.  yes, I was very young, but the smart money was either on mutual, assured decision or on the Soviets winning and taking over the entire world.  Our leadership was feckless.  The figures and facts coming out of the USSR were wonderful.  Obviously they were going to take over the world.  Bomb shelters were huge.  People were talking about going back to the land to be safe.

Then there was Reagan, and we found the USSR was a Potemkin village.  All of it.  And then the wall collapsed…

And it’s not the first time.  I read enough about WWII to find that by the lights of even the people in the free nations, all of them believers in eugenics and superior races, we didn’t have a chance.  And we entered late.  And the Germans had a well honed war machine, and… And our leadership frankly sucked, and our president had for years been engaged in driving our economy into the ground to gratify his crazy vision of life and economy.

But there are other instances, in more recent history, some good and some back.  Hey, anyone remember when George W Bush was going to be the “education president?” And then the towers fell.

Look, I know looking at a field in which the unindicted felon is the safest candidate on one side and the  socialist con artist the best poling one on the other, it’s easy to give up.  It’s easy to write our obituary.

I have a friend who despairs of the breeding rate of the various productivities/iqs.  This has nothing to do with race, but characteristics that inform success in the modern world are inherited from parent to child.  Did you know you can predict how late someone will procreate based on their IQ?  The higher the IQ, the later they’ll reproduce and the fewer children they’ll have.  There are exceptions, sure, but not that much.

What my friend forgets is that it can change.  It’s hard to recognize the Germans of late middle age in 19th century Germans.

Nothing is static.  The future is not written in stone.

Presidents often don’t govern as they promise or threaten to, or even as we’re afraid they will.  The world is vast and other things influence how a president works out than the president himself.

Things look bad.  I’m not going to deny that.  But it is very important to remember there’s a wide world out there.  Even very bad man’s plans can be thwarted.

We might get lucky yet.  And we might have the sort of luck that doesn’t seem like luck at all, but is, in the end.  Sometimes ills come for better.

I’d like to tell you exactly the things that can happen that can save our *sses, but of course I can’t.  In 1979 if I’d told anyone that the Berlin Wall would fall in  10 years, [yes, I did have 20, yes I can actually add ten.  It was late and the fingers had their own way, though.] would they believe me?  And if in 99 I’d tell anyone we’d be dealing with Marxists all through our structure of power?  They also wouldn’t believe me.

The world is not just more complex than we imagine.  It’s more complex than we can imagine.  It’s fairly easy for us to figure out our own lives, the consequences of our own actions.

But when you start computing a whole world? A whole civilization?  Black swans are inevitable.

Remember “necessarily skyrocket energy costs Barry?” Who’d imagine oil prices would plummet on his watch.  Certainly not him.

The black dog tells you that there is no escape.  The black dog tells you that trends are inevitable, inescapable, and it seems so logical.

The black dog is not all knowing.  It lies.

The black dog’s hope is that you give it up.  that you stop fighting.  That you stop caring, that you give up hope, that you think your life is in vain.

There’s always hope, and there’s always the possibility for things going very very wrong.  Liberty is a balance between those who want to seize power at all costs and those who fight them.  There are no guarantees.  but that means there are no guarantees either way.  No one can promise us we’ll win, but we can’t be sure of defeat either.

The black dog knows no better than you do.  Shoot him and go on with your life.

 

 

New Books, Free Books, Lotsa Books – Freerange Oyster

*A note before the promo: Snowmageddon arrived early (it wasn’t supposed to be here till tonight) so I’m going to hunker down and try to finish this book.  I’m trying to stay offline.  If you need me you either have my cell # or know someone who does. – SAH*

New Books, Free Books, Lotsa Books – Freerange Oyster

Joe Vasicek

Outworlder

Star Wanderers Part I

When Jeremiah arrived at Megiddo Station, all he wanted was to make some trades and resupply his starship. He never thought he’d come away with a wife.

Before he knows it, he’s back on his ship, alone with his accidental bride. Since neither of them speak the same language, he has no way to tell her that there’s been a terrible mistake. And because of the deadly famine ravaging her home, there’s no going back. She’s entirely at his mercy, and that terrifies him more than anything.

Jeremiah isn’t ready to take responsibility for anyone. He’s a star wanderer, roaming the Outworld frontier in search of his fortune. Someday he’ll settle down, but for now, he just wants to drop the girl off at the next port and move on.

As he soon finds out, though, she has other plans.

Free on Kindle this weekend

Cedar Sanderson

Vulcan’s Kittens

Children of Myth Book 1

12-year-old Linnea Vulkane is looking forward to a long, lazy summer on Grandpa Heph’s farm, watching newborn kittens grow up and helping out with chores. That all goes out the window the night Mars, god of war, demands her grandfather abandon her and return to Olympus for the brewing war.

Now Old Vulcan is racing around the world and across higher planes with Sehkmet to gather allies, leaving Linn and an old immortal friend to protect the farm and the very special litter. But even the best wards won’t last forever, and when the farm goes up in flames, she is on the run with a daypack, a strange horse, a sword, and an armful of kittens. Linn needs to grow up fast and master her powers, before the war finds the unlikely refugees…

Free on Kindle this weekend

Anthologies

Tales from the Otherverse

Other times, other places, other stories than the ones we know…These are the Tales From the Otherverse, where anything is possible and things never work out quite the way you’d expect. Some of today’s top talents in popular fiction turn their hands to tales of alternate history. Featuring new stories by bestselling, award-winning authors Bill Crider, Lou Antonelli, Scott A. Cupp, Robert E. Vardeman, James Reasoner, and more. Explore the Otherverse and see what might have been!

Weird Menace Volume 1

The Weird Menace pulps flourished for less than a decade, from the mid-1930s to the early ’40s, but while they were popular, they delivered adventure, excitement, and spine-tingling thrills in quantities rarely seen before or since. Mad scientists, deranged henchmen, damsels in distress, and stalwart heroes raced through their pages in breathless, over-the-top, never-ending action. A good Weird Menace yarn really is just one damned thing after another. Rough Edges Press asked some of today’s best authors of popular fiction to write Weird Menace stories, and they delivered. Settle back and let us spin a few yarns for you… But keep an eye out behind you. You never know when something might be sneaking up on you. Stories in this volume include: “Bodies for the Brain Butcher” by John C. Hocking “A Night on Madhouse Mountain” by Bill Crider “The Curse of the Monster Makers!” by Scott Dennis Parker “Farmhouse of the Dead” by Keith West “The Hideous Blood Ray” by Robert E. Vardeman “Blood Treasure for Satan’s Buccaneers” by James Reasoner

Weird Menace Volume 2

The Shudder Pulps are back! In fact, it’s like they never left in this second great collection of new stories inspired by the classic Weird Menace magazines such as DIME MYSTERY and TERROR TALES. Those pulps may have ended in the early 1940s, but some of today’s top authors give us the same sort of pulse-pounding, spine-chilling tales they might have published if they had stayed around.

World War II casts its looming shadow in Mel Odom’s “The Spider-God of Nauru!”

Hell comes to a tropical paradise in Keith Chapman’s “Lust of the Cave Spirit”.

American GIs encounter a horror unlike any they ever expected in Michael Bracken’s “Attack of the Nazi Snow Warriors”.

Weird Menace mixes with hardboiled detective thrills in Paul Dellinger’s “Ghost Writer”.

The protagonist of John McCallum Swain’s “The Hades Mechanism” confronts a legendary, undying evil.

And Ray Lovato’s popular character Doc Atlas returns to face a new challenge in “Howl of the Werewolf”!

These action-packed stories are sure to entertain. Editor James Reasoner and Rough Edges Press are proud to present WEIRD MENACE VOLUME 2!

Leigh Kimmel

The Moon Mirror

Chelsea Ayles dreamed of going to the Moon since she was a child. Now her dream job at NASA has turned into a nightmare, thanks to those many blood-sucking arachnids. Yeah, politics, as in a Senator accusing her of destroying America’s priceless heritage because she chose the moonrocks that were used to make a proof-of-concept mirror segment for a lunar telescope project. Now the mirror sits in her office like a bitter mockery of what might have been — until the day her reflection turns into a handsome stranger who calls himself the Man in the Moon and offers her visions of a world that might have been. Visions that ignite a longing of an intensity she hasn’t known since she was in grade school and watched videos of the Apollo lunar missions in science class.

Matthew Maynard

The Hand of Justice

The Dragonslayers, Volume 2

Scott Philipson fought the law, and the law fought back. Now he’s on the run – but with the police closing in, will those he left behind be able to find a cure for Colonel Reynolds before time runs out? Or will fear and government win out over freedom and individuals?

But Does It Look Good On The Wall

Some days ago some of you reprobates were bored.  I’m sorry I haven’t been amusing you regularly (or more regularly) but this is the year I catch up on overdue books and finish stuff that’s been lying around sometimes more than half finished and sometimes for years.  I need to do that to reestablish the habit of writing every day, ten hours a day.  Not just because (duh) in the day of indie this type of discipline translates into money, and I’m about to have a house to pay off, but because when you write that much you improve.

Don’t argue with me.  I was first told this by Kris Rusch and Dean Smith at their workshop, back when I was such a young writer [less than 35 in human years, too] that I’d only sold one short story and no one had paid me for it.  I mean, they were supposed to, but they didn’t.  They said that 90% of writing is practice and after you study and know what you’re aiming for, the best thing you can do to get there is write.  Write faster than you thought possible.  Write in a disciplined, regular fashion.  You’ll improve more than you can imagine.

I’m a stubborn cuss and also, as those who read me might know, don’t really believe in miracles.  This is how come my urban fantasy has ALMOST no magic.  Okay, they change into animals, and now Tom can command people with his mind, and I’m still not sure what the pearl of heaven will turn out to be (I’m sure all will be revealed, but I don’t know yet) but there are no spells, no wishing, no magic.

I believe in hard work, but I LIKE working with my hands (it is a sign that the Author has a sense of humor that my job — maybe my calling — only involves manual work as far as I wiggle my fingers on the keyboard) and seeing what I’m doing.

This whole “just write a lot of words and they’ll automagically get better seems like a miracle.  So “Trust the process” might as well go “hocus pocus” and I don’t buy it.  I didn’t believe it, but for various reasons, mostly to keep the writers’ group, which was my claim to sanity and a social life, together, I ended up writing a short story a week, as well as a few chapters on current novel.

I didn’t believe it made any difference until I had occasion a couple of years ago to go and read my back log, and I realized the stories before that year were SORT of stories, and after that they were immeasurably better.

So, don’t argue with me on the effect of hard work.  What you can argue with me on is: What does better mean?  What do you mean by aim to get better?

This brings us back to the beginning.  As I said, a lot of you got bored and took off on Twitter (really, it’s like a drug to you fractious types, isn’t it?  Particularly a certain raccoon) after one of the Puppy Kicker brigade who was pronouncing (heaven help us) on how she was shocked Baen readers could stand to read about someone over fifty having sex.  (This is rather puzzling as about half of us are over fifty and we have sex whenever we can.  In fact, one thing I’d say for the Baen readership in general, having met ya’ll at cons, and dinners and stuff, is that we’re ah… not just sex-positive, but positively sex-enthusaiastic.  Of course, we don’t often like it in books, because if you have sex in books you have all those paper cuts, and the pages get glued toget–  er… I mean, because written sex is not the real thing, and we know the real thing.)

Anyway, the discussion — “discussion” — which involved a certain were racoon devolved as such things do, and became mostly an exchange of insults.  (The Racoon wants me to point out that he didn’t start the insults!)

This would be vaguely amusing (look, I’m the mistress of huns, okay — not that type of mistress.  ew.  You guys are fine, but I’m monogamous — so insults and big spats obviously amuse me.)

Then the puppy kicker went and wrote a blog post about it, and something interesting emerged.  She thought we were accusing them of PRETENDING to like what they like.  Which is almost mind-bogglingly bizarre.  Of course, they do the vice versa (we’re all about the vice!) and think we only like what we do because we’re “stupid”.  We’re not.  We’re in fact smart enough to know you like the crap you say you like, and why.  And we don’t have to resort to “you’re stupid.”  At least I don’t.  In fact most of you are middling to high IQ.  It takes a certain amount of brains to train a perverse taste.  And no, golly, the “perverse” has nothing to do with sex, just with non-natural.

And now they’ll think “non natural” means I think they’re bad.  (Will someone please find my eyes?  They rolled off and onto the floor again.)  Tons of things aren’t natural and are over all good, like, oh, wearing clothes, sleeping in beds and living past of the age of thirty.  I’m a fan of those.

BUT training a non natural taste sort of requires us to examine it and see “is it a net positive?”

Look, in terms the left can understand, let’s say I’ve trained myself to like all highly processed foods (this is true to an extent.  When stressed I like sweet and otherwise tasteless food, like marshmallows, creme brule, and, in a hurry, just milk.  This is a recipe for diabetes.) that’s a taste.  It’s even a highly sophisticated, very civilized taste, since in primitive societies you don’t get these “tastless lumps of sugar, yum” things, or at least not amid the peasantry.  However any of my friends who saw me eating only that SHOULD intervene because such a diet is not a net positive and I’d end up with scurvy or something.

My first exposure to “people like different things” was over food and dad brought out that old chestnut “tastes can’t be disputed.”  Which is of course nonsense because most of what we humans do is argue taste.  Taste in the non-culinary sense, mostly.

And while arguing taste is an unproductive endeavor, I have studied literature as an endeavor (seven years.  Good Lord, the stupid things we do when we’re young.  OTOH it was the only way to also study languages.  Portugal pairs the two.) and I can tell you that normally, in a healthy civilization, there is a “theory of what is good” that imposes itself and which usually agrees with the tenor of the civilization.  This is why the middle ages is wall to wall Christianity even when the writer/artist lived a fairly pagan life. Because that was their theory of good.  In the Renaissance it became “good stuff most closely apes Rome and Greece.”

And btw these “tastes” for this “type of high quality” aren’t natural.  And some of it objectively from a ludic (referring to games and enjoyment of play, not lewd) perspective, a lot of the “good literature” of that period sucked.  And in the long run tends not to be remembered.  The “high Theater” of Shakespeare’s day was mannered in the French way, and to make sure refined tastes weren’t offended no deaths happened on stage, but were announced by messenger.  After a battle, messengers would cross on stage…  Anyway that theater was certainly enjoyed by the “high brow” or at least “virtue and status signaling” people of the day.  For one because it marked them out as better and smarter than those apprentices and low brows who went to Shakespeare’s plays.  But we don’t enjoy it now.  We tend to prefer Shakespeare because we — at least those of us for whom archaic language isn’t a barrier — engage with it on the same universally-human, ludic fahsion the apprentices and whores engaged with it when first presented.

This is normal, btw.  The “high brow” of every advanced civilization enjoy things that they’ve been trained to enjoy and that are so “mannered” they tend to not be accessible much less enjoyable to the general public.  Which is, btw, as far as devotees are concerned, a feature, not a bug.

The problem is that our left is a-historical, so they don’t recognize this cycle, nor the fact that the people who come after and break those rules, engage with the public and make a big splash, the revolutionaries, like say the impressionists after the French academic style, are usually reviled by the establishment as low brow, but pervail nonetheless because they are engaging the public.  And then, of course, eventually they too become “mannered” and are superseded.

Because the narrative of our day, as prevalent as Christianity in the middle ages is “Social critique” (a Marxist concept, for those — and apparently most on the other side — who do it/bought into it without knowing it.  It’s part of the whole Hegelian dialectic thing) “to bring about change” and that has become encoded into show “x number of minorities and victims.  Show oppression.  Show flaws in OUR society.  No, not those flaws, bu the ones the elite is obsessed with right now,” that’s what anyone who studied literature has learned to consider “good.”  It distinguishes them from the hoi polloi and they enjoy THAT immensely.  They enjoy tracking down all the markers that mean the literature has been done properly.  And they call the rest of us who don’t look for those markers “stupid.”  Because if we’d bothered to take a literature course and “really think” of things, we’d like what they like.

It never occurs to them that their “art” has become so mannered that it’s virtually indigestible to ANYONE not so concerned with status, or not so pliable as to have swallowed our post grad classes whole (not even with enough garlic.).

Look a refined taste is all very fine.  Oh, heck, “Social critique” is even fine, particularly if you’re writing one of those “slice of life” things.  But most people when they reach for a book (or movie, or art, or music or computer game) aren’t looking for social critique.  It’s not all about consciousness raising.  Anyone with half a brain knows the world isn’t perfect and what the flaws in society are.  And anyone with a full brain knows your proposed top-down solution is caca, and just whining about inequality, oppression and victims without a solution is EVEN MORE caca.  Enough to fill the Augean stables, in fact.   Which is sort of what you’re doing.

Your “social critique” aesthetics are old enough most of us had them force fed in school.  This is why you guys are now trying to be more extreme (post binary, yeah) to distinguish yourselves from all the crap you learned in high school.  But the distinction is ever more extreme and towards “Sophisticated palate.”  Which I always thought was a way to eat shit and like it.  But oh, okay, we’ll go Roman.  You guys are so into the stuffed humming birds in bear-spit marinade that you’ve forgotten objectively, common human taste, tends more to a decent sandwich, well made.  And that someone non-initiated will think bear spit is gross.

Or if you — by which I mean the “progressive” left — notice this, you just view it as “our taste is more sophisticated and those other people are stupid.”

I invite you to consider you’re the French court with the six feet high hair dos covered in lice.  I invite you to consider you’re the French academes drawing the same statues… with great sophistication.  I invite you to consider you’re pious middle ages intellectuals tearing up at the 100th description of the passion of the Christ… properly done and in an elevated way.

When art loses its way to that point, a challenge emerges, and it’s almost always vibrant and immediate enough to appeal to the popular taste, until it loses it way.  Each reset always goes back “but what do I ENJOY” or in art terms “does it look good on the wall.”

And that’s what the Sad Puppies movement is.  The funny part here is that a self-styled “progressive” movement fails to realize they’ve grown stuffy, stale, and that no matter how many victim classes they add and how much their trained palate enjoys it, normal human beings read it and go “it’s bear spit, and I say to hell with it.”

Their image of themselves as revolutionaries is so ingrained that they don’t realize they’ve become the aristos, in their walled palaces, with their jaded, over-educated palates, calling anyone who doesn’t like what they like stupid and uneducated.

They have lost sigh of the fact their aesthetic rules are not only arbitrary but totally unrealistic.  And that we’re the mob at the gates, the ones with fresh tastes, challenging ideas and the appeal to the basic human, ludic taste in entertainment.  Oh, yeah, they forgot literature (and particularly genre literature) is SUPPOSED to be entertaining too.

So… hey, huns, grab a pitchfork, read a novel.  Laugh in the face of their irrelevant over sophistication. Work on being more accessible and allowing people to get into your work more easily and enjoy it more.  Your message (if any.  And most of us have messages, even if it’s just “don’t be an idiot” because it’s part of who we are, an integrated part of our character and our art) will come through more effectively wrapped in “fun” and without counting “by the numbers” victims.

Write well, read well, enjoy it.  And laugh at the idiots who still think “good” is what their professors told them to enjoy.

Ca Ira!

 

Conjuring

It is a trope in magic fiction of all types (and times) that you should be careful what you conjure, because if you pronounce the wrong name, you could invoke the wrong being.

It’s funny because I always thought the left was particularly fond of fantasy literature, but I guess they didn’t pay attention to the cautionary parts of it.

For decades now, in shows, in books, and in ultimate resort by painting this image in the news no matter how unrealistic (like the creation of straw Brad, straw Larry and occasionally straw Sarah) in the media, the left has been making up a picture of those who oppose them.

The right was, in general, according to these media racist, sexist, homophobic white supremacists and nationalists.

That this picture had generally bloody nothing — or perhaps less than 2% , the two percent being that a lot of us were patriotic which is not the same as nationalistic in the sense the left sees it, but that’s something for another discussion.  Close enough for government service — to do with real people on the other side of the political divide did not disturb them.  To begin with few of the people who identify as left knew how flawed the picture was, because the picture was everywhere and so prevalent.  And those who knew, like reporters, or educators, or even some writers and script writers, thought they were acting for the greater good.  Oh, sure the people they knew — if they knew any — who were on the right did not fit that profile, but then they assumed their acquaintances were either misguided or fooling them.  (Which is where the whole crazy silliness of “code words” came up, as though if you wanted to insult someone you couldn’t just do it in plain language.)

Mind you to teach this in schools it required an extreme twisting of history, since eugenics and racism was the left’s pigeon (and no the left and right didn’t switch sides in a generation.  That is quite literally the most idiotic theory I ever heard — with apologies to any idiots out there — and requires not having read a whole body of political theory from then until now.)  Prohibition was the left’s pigeon.  The extreme drive for morality, purity and sticking your nose in people’s lives was a leftist project.  Getting us in foreign wars was a leftist project (Wilson, FDR, JFK) and in general everything attributed to the right the left did in its 200 years of history and did with gusto and verve and repeatedly, until they decided to white wash their image, rewrite history and create straw-enemies to attack.

They could do all of those things because, you know, they had finally achieved control of the media, the schools and, yes, entertainment and the arts.

All of which is interesting.  They could have made their case with that bull horn without resorting to straw men.  (Actually one wonders to what extent it was their Europhilia, since their distorted picture doesn’t match but has some resemblance to the right… in Europe, if not here.)

They could simply have said that they thought government control was more efficient, that it was the duty of government to look after everyone, that your freedom was something you had to surrender for being taken care of.

They could.

Did they fear the American spirit would rebel?  Or was it confusing us with Europe?  Or are the recent leftists really so ignorant they drink their own ink?

For whatever reason, they chose not to say “these people oppose us because they value freedom over government looking after them. ”  They chose not to say “these people are dangerously independent” or any of the other things they might legitimately have said.

No, they brought out the racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist, nationalist specters.

And for a while it went really well for them.  Why no one dared raise a voice in opposition lest the be tarred with heinous name calling.

And then… things changed.

One of the things that changed was that they lost their monopoly on news.  And part of what that meant is that how spectacularly badly they performed became widely known.  And most socialist economic systems perform atrociously.

The young people, those attuned to news on the web are looking at the mess people in control have made of things.  It doesn’t occur to them to blame socialism, quasi-socialism (mostly what we have) and social democracy because they have never studied any real economics and never read The Road to Serfdom.  All they know is that the people in power are failing and failing really badly.

And because they know people in power — who claim to be multiculturalist, equalitarian and internationalist — are failing, they don’t want to be like them.

Unfortunately, unless they’ve done independent reading or come from unusual families, the only models they know that oppose the failing one is the fake, straw model of the right: racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist and nationalist.

I’ve run across more people — most of them very young — who arrived at their politics by clinging to everything their teachers said the right was than I care to mention in the last six months or so.  FAR more than I ran across the entire rest of my life.

The left created this straw-image of their enemies because they thought it would be easily defeated.  They, in their arrogance, thought that history came with an arrow and that the arrow always pointed out in the direction of multi-culti, egalitarian internationalism.  (This is partly because they muddled history so much they don’t realize the internationalism of the left was always “Russian Nationalism disguised, to allow easier subversion.”  Or that their roots are not at all multi-culti, or that the result of their policies is never egalitarian.)  They couldn’t figure out how anyone could think they were objectively bad.

Until the left’s policies changed.  And a generation that knows no real history decided the fault was not with the socialism, but with these other characteristics.

And they’re embracing the characteristics of the left’s imaginary enemies and thereby becoming what had never existed before then.

The problems are three fold if this catches on: we’re still left with the failures of socialism.  the new prejudices are just as bad as the old ones.  And it leaves the rest of us who are for freedom homeless and bereft.

On the other hand there is a certain amount of schadenfreude in seeing the left’s magical words break, and in seeing them unable to face the fact that history doesn’t come with an arrow.

In some blog, long ago, in the comments section, someone said that if the left got what it wanted, it would backfire so badly we’d be hunting them with dogs and beating them to death with their “no blood for oil” signs.  I think it’s going to be worse than that.  I think it’s going to be so bad that the rest of us are not even going to enjoy it.  Even if they brought this on themselves, by creating an enemy they thought they’re prefer to confront, an enemy that didn’t exist outside their lies.

 

 

 

 

Nerves – A Blast From The Past Post, 9/12

Nerves – A Blast From The Past Post, 9/12

Like many people I hate insecurity.  Actually I suspect I hate insecurity more than most of you, and there’s a reason for that.  During the worst times in my life, things were… insecure.  I’ve said before that even in a revolution, even in turmoil, there is a lot of normality behind the chaos.

Possibly what I didn’t say is that there is a lot of chaos behind the normalcy, too.  For three or four years, while governments changed – I could tell that they’d changed because I’d come home and they’d be playing Green Acres.  See, the TV station in Porto was a relay station, one that dealt with mostly re-transmitting programs from Lisbon.  However, when tanks took to the streets of Lisbon, the program always required they hit first the TV station, then the radio stations, and then the government.

Until their people were in full control of the government, the two TV channels from Lisbon (years later they changed it so the second channel was from Porto, but not then) would be off the air, and the station from Porto would bring out Green Acres which in their minds kept the populace calm until they heard what came next.

Of course, we weren’t stupid and after a while, everyone knew.  If Green Acres was on the air, the kids who had morning classes (In Portugal you have morning OR afternoon.  I always had morning because my mom was convinced otherwise I’d just sleep the morning away.  I probably would have.  Until I had kids of my own and the only quiet time to write was early morning, I was a night person, and I can see myself shifting that way again as the kids get older/get out) and the men coming home for lunch (still mostly in Portugal.  They have two hours or so for lunch) would mill around the tv waiting to see who the new people in charge were, and whether we’d swerved to the crazy left (the rich-boy Maoist group) or relative sanity had prevailed and we now had whatever passed for a viable party in power.  (At one time, the socialists were the furthest right party allowed.)

To this day I  hear “Green Acres” and I cringe and every muscle in my body tenses.

Some scars go deeper than the skin.  Some scars go all the way down.

I think I was sixteen, though it’s hard to tell because after a while all your memories of a certain time run together and you group things together by “feel.”  (Like if it’s a happy memory of a sunny summer I think I was eight, even if I know from other things I was ten or six.)

Anyway, we had one of the crazy-crazy left groups in power.  Things were … weird.  The press was completely unreliable.  A rumor went out that they were about to suppress the socialists (the only non communist or ultra communist party still in existence) and their leader was about to be arrested.

I don’t know how the rumor got out, but someone heard something and called his friends.  And the friends called…

We got the call.

My mom and I were the political animals in the house (still are.  Like me and younger-boy in my family now.)

The call came.

Our group couldn’t get permission for a demonstration.  It wouldn’t be granted.  BUT a demonstration was people assembling and making speeches and yelling.  So word went out.  Absolute silence.  And a route to walk, from the center of town to the military installation on the other side of the city.

It was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen.   I’d never have believed it till I saw it.  At twenty two I tried to describe it to my husband and I failed.

It was raining.  It rains a lot in the North of Portugal.  You find it a lot in memoirs of the peninsular war by British officers.  It’s a peculiar rain, less than a downpour, more than a drizzle.  Umbrellas are ineffective against it and it gets everywhere.

I was wearing a blue windbreaker, with the hood up, tied around my face.  (Yes, a holy anorhank, symbol of involuntary sexual abstinence!)

Mom and I got downtown, and most of the people on our train started forward, in silence, towards the main plaza.  Where we met – thousands and thousands of people, in their overcoats and raincoats.  In utter silence.

Some more organized people had gotten things together and had signs and banners which they were distributing.

Organized is not experienced.  Being sixteen, I was recruited with another young person – a young man I didn’t know – to hold each end of a HUGE banner that said “The youth of Portugal demands liberty.”  Or something to that effect — it’s hard to remember these many years later.

They hadn’t punched holes in the fabric.  The drizzle was wind-driven.  As we started marching towards the military quarters, the wind pulled on the banner and about broke our arms.  But we held it up.  And we walked.  Thousands of people.  In silence.

And then we got to the quarters.  And we found they were on alert.  And the young troops were up front, with weapons trained on the crowd.

I won’t say anyone ran… exactly.  Perhaps they thought that being young, myself and this guy would – through the power of the cute? – be spared.

There was a … movement.  And there I was in the front.  The silent crowd behind us.  The men with scary machine guns in front of us.  Pointed at us.

If we’d run, what would have happened?

I’m no braver than the next person.  I wanted to run.  But I had a vivid idea we’d be shot in the back.  I still think that might have been right.

It’s very hard to ask soldiers to fire on civilians and I think the barrier holds, unless civilians are either running away (and then I’m sure they’ve fire in the air, or try to, but things happen, right?) or charging.

We were neither.  We stood.  Holding the stupid sign.  Water dripping down the banner pole and straight into my sleeve, under the elastic and all the way to my armpit and down the side of my body.

Because we held the adults couldn’t run away.  The crowd held.

I don’t remember how it broke from there, but the newspapers had to cover THAT.  People had seen us.  We were the people who had seen us.  Everyone knew someone who had been there.

Someday, if I become famous, someone will unearth the picture from the front page of a defunct newspaper of me at sixteen, in that very stupid windbreaker, my face unnaturally pale, holding the stupid banner.  Standing.  Breathing.  Waiting for death or reprieve.

I know things changed from there.  That was the last of the ultra crazy left governments, though frankly all the governments in Portugal are left/left/lefter until recently and recently might be a forlorn hope.  But they weren’t CRAZY left, trying to outlaw anyone who disagreed with them.  The route to normalcy started.

You can tell I’m all to pieces when I start thinking of that one march, of that one moment, of the stupid banner and the wind hurting my arm, and the rain dripping down.

You see, when everything goes bad; when it all goes wrong; when instability crashes over you like a flooding tide, people tend to assume all the normal conventions of life will be suspended.  Everything will be wild and woolly, and we’ll all be Mad Max with less cool rides.

It’s not like that.  Most of the time the pattern of normal life holds – even for dangerous subversives and troublemakers.  Getting rid of you is more trouble than not.

Most of the time routines just go.  A little more difficult.  Extended families cluster together because there are fewer jobs, and everyone is trying to survive.  You learn to cobble a living from what was once your hobbies.  The more hobbies, the better off you are.   You make clothes and jewelry to sell to other people who are broke.  You sell at a great discount, but make a profit, because you’re buying scrap fabric from someone who scavenges from the textile factory’s scrap heap.

No one can afford anything and, objectively, you’re all poorer than church mice.  But the shadow economy keeps people more or less okay.

It’s just sometimes the store shelves are empty.  And sometimes, you turn the corner of the street and find yourself in the middle of a full-fledged street battle and might be shot at.  And sometimes people disappear.  And you can’t trust anything you read in the papers.

And sometimes things go too far and sixteen year olds have to stare down machine guns.

Chaos over normalcy.  Normalcy over chaos.  You walk the fine line and you don’t realize you’re holding your breath.

And you don’t know there are scars there.  You’re walking wounded.  You don’t know you’ve been cut.  The instability and the fear have become normal.

You don’t realize as you’re decompressing through the years.  And you rarely think how bad it was.

Until you find yourself, years later, thinking of yourself at sixteen, holding the banner in the wind and the rain, and you realize you’re holding your breath; you’re pacing the floor.

Metaphorically speaking, you’re in your mom’s living room again.  You just came home and Green Acres was playing on the little dinky black and white TV.  And now you’re standing in front of it, your fists clenched, your breath held.

Waiting.

Stand up and be heard – Amanda S. Green

Stand up and be heard – Amanda S. Green

Last week, I asked “how far down the slippery slope are we going to go?” As the Iowa Caucus nears and the political rhetoric ratchets up another degree or three, that question becomes even more relevant. Do we vote for a man who denies that he is a career politician despite the fact he held his first elected office in 1981? Or do we vote for the woman who not only went shopping for a residence where she could be elected after her husband finished his last term as president but who also has shown she has little regard for the law of the land? Or how about we vote for the man who hasn’t met a dollar he doesn’t want, no matter whose back he has to step on to get it? This is the same man who, just a few months ago said there was no question about Ted Cruz being eligible to run for office and who, at the first sign Cruz might be gaining on him in the polls, now says Cruz needs to go to court to prove he’s eligible.

It is hard to get excited about any of the leading candidates right now. You have a statist, a socialist and Trump, who is unlike anyone else. Now there are rumblings that Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, might run as an independent. That’s right, the very same mayor who was so worried about his citizenry’s waistlines that he outlawed the big sized soft drinks – somehow forgetting that a person who wants to drink that much will simply buy two – is considering running for president. Won’t that be fun? We’ll get to hear how he wants to make us all healthy as he takes away our guns.

Add another name to the “oh hell no” list of candidates.

So how does this relate to last week’s post? It’s simple really. As more and more people reach the point of disgust with our political candidates, they contemplate not voting. After all, what is the good of voting when all you are doing is voting for the lesser of the evils? It’s a sentiment I’m familiar with. That’s especially true after some of the presidents we’ve had over the last generation or two, presidents who had no qualms about sidestepping the Constitution and the separation of powers by using executive orders to push their own agendas.

It would be very easy to give into that temptation to just sit back and not vote. After all, so many of us were taught that the president doesn’t have all that much power. Laws come from Congress and all the president can do it sign them into effect or veto them. If he vetoes them, Congress then has the chance to override the veto — if the required number of votes are there. Unfortunately, in this day and age, that separation of power doesn’t stop a president from trying to use executive orders to get his agenda pushed through.

So, as distasteful as it is, sometimes the lesser of two evils is better than sitting back and letting the worst evil gain power. But there is more we have to do. We have to keep a check on what our representatives in government are doing. It doesn’t’ matter if that person is the elected dog catcher or the President of the United States. If we don’t know what they are doing, that is on us.

So what do you do it you aren’t happy with what your elected representative is doing? You let them know. You let them know that you are keeping track of what they are proposing as new law and how they are voting. You let them know that you are watching their performance on the committees they belong to and you know when they make a vote and when the oh-so-conveniently miss it.

But you do more than that. You talk. You talk to your family and you talk to your friends. You talk to those people who come door to door and ask you to support their candidate. You go to the areas where early voting is taking place and you talk to the candidates. You ask the hard questions of the incumbent and the person(s) running against him.

In other words, you become an informed electorate.

Here’s the situation we are in in my neck of the woods. One of our state reps was elected several terms earlier solely on the basis of his affiliation with the Tea Party. He was a new face on the local political scene at a time when the electorate was tired of the same faces always running. A number of voters wanted a clean sweep of the government and this particular person was elected as part of that ground swell.

He could have taken that as an opportunity to really work for our community. Instead, he has done very little with his time in office except get in trouble. He continues to be elected based on his Tea Party affiliation and the power of the incumbency. I have seen him and his followers physically intimidate volunteers for other candidates. And I have stood up and campaigned against him.

Me. The one who doesn’t like stepping out into the spotlight. I have always preferred working behind the scenes. But I have stood out in the cold to watch the polls. I have stood in the heat and rain to campaign for candidates running against him. I have stood before this person and asked the hard questions and watched him squirm because he didn’t have the answers. I will continue to campaign against him until he either proves that he is representing the best interest of my district or he is defeated.

Resignation is as much an enemy of our freedom as is complacency. If we give up on our electoral process, we might as well hand the keys over to those who would destroy us. Universal healthcare sounds like a grand idea. But how is it supposed to be implemented and paid for? Those were the questions we should have been asking eight years ago. We didn’t, at least not enough of us did. So now we have this new health care system that is costing so many of us much more than what we had before. But we have universal health care – except we don’t. Insurance companies are pulling out of the pool, leaving people without insurance. We have a broken system we are being penalized for if we decide not to join it.

We have candidates promising to make drastic cuts in taxes in one breath and then promising to strengthen our infrastructure and military in the next. But how? Where are you going to get the money to pay for these programs – or any other – if you cut your income stream? Our debt is already too high. So don’t tell me you want to borrow more or issue more bonds.

Oh, I can hear some of you saying that can be done by cutting costs elsewhere. Okay, that would work. But where? What programs should be cut? I have more than a few I would love to see removed from the books. But we never hear about that stage of the plan from the candidates or, if we do, it is in such nebulous terms that there can be no way to really check if their plan would work.

So, at a time when we are all focused on who the candidates will be for the presidency, we need to also be looking at who will be filling the seats on Capitol Hill that will be coming up for election as well. These are the men and women who can and should act as a check on the President. They are the ones who can vet and veto his appointments. They are the ones who can take action when he tries to circumvent the Constitution and the laws already on the books through executive orders. They are the ones who hold the purse strings.

And a government lives and dies by those purse strings.

Here’s my question to you. How many of you can name your representatives and senators on the national level? My guess is that most of you can. However, here is where it gets a bit trickier. How many of you can name your state reps and senators? Do you know who your county commissioner, or equivalent, is? How about your city councilmen? Are your commissioners and councilmen elected at-large or by district? How about your state supreme court?

Yes, it does get to be a lot but that is our responsibility as an informed electorate. We need to know the who as well as the what. That is the only way we can begin to take back our country.

Stand up. Look around. Listen and, most of all, be heard.

51vv-ld8w2bl-_sx310_bo1204203200_

 

Borders, Immigrants and Invaders

Back when I was giving birth to second son (when I gave birth to first son, it took too long and I don’t remember most of it) I went to that hyper rational, coolly detached place I go when I start getting drunk. And I realized with blinding clarity that birth pain was necessary.  If we didn’t have that, what would it mean is that women might genuinely forget that they’d given birth.  So evolutionarily, birth pain serves a purpose.

I remember twenty or thirty years back, some kid died during hazing to a fraternity.  I didn’t fully get it and still don’t.  There is no Greek system in Portugal and my husband never joined a fraternity.  (What would a fraternity for mathematicians be?  The infinite Pi?) But one of the guys being interviewed said that if there was no “price” for entry, nothing to go through to get in, how would people value it?

I’m not sure about that because I don’t know how much one should value a frat membership (this is not a put down.  I just don’t “get” the whole system.)

In the same way I know a lot of what the military and other organizations does is to break you into their mold, but the rest is to make you value being a member.

What does all this have to do with immigration?  Oh, quite a whole lot.

First let me say right here, that yes, I think we should control our borders.  A country that can’t control its borders is not a country.  It’s Tragedy of the Commons on a grand scale.

But where I disagree with people who run around saying “the most important thing to do is to stop illegal immigration” is that they make me think of when my husband went to the doctor coughing blood and the the doctor told him “the important thing is not this pneumonia.  It’s that you gained 40lbs.”

Yes, that he’d gained 40 lbs was a serious problem and one that the doctor couldn’t deal with, because he didn’t realize there was an underlying problem and assumed we were eating butter fried in lard for every meal.

BUT the most immediate problem, and the one that would kill my husband faster, left untreated, was that he had walking pneumonia.

In the same way, we have a massive problem with illegal immigration, sure, but those huge numbers bandied about hide the fact they’re still a tiny percentage and that a lot left when the economy soured, so that now the statists are limited to the children’s crusade to try to have net positive immigration.

Our problem with LEGAL immigration is just as bad, both in what it does — mistake itself for a charity organization that brings in people from the poorest and most backward countries by preference, with no regard to the chasms between the cultures or their potential usefulness — and in what it fails to do — make it almost impossible to bring in educated people who will be a plus value, except via the subterfuge of workers’ visas that put these people forever at the mercy of their employers.

Both streams of immigrants present a danger to the republic, not because of their ethnicity or skin color — is it just me?  I’ve run into more neo-nazis in the last month than the entire ten years online before that — but because they are not only being encouraged never to assimilate to American mainstream culture, but because they are encouraged to see in every act of awkwardness, ignorance or passing stupidity an insult to their ethnicity or a contributor to their victimhood.

They’re taught to come to our country and join the victim Olympics, and claim how mistreated they are, and hold out their hand and think they’re owed.

In fact, any immigrant who assimilates is treated as if he or she is doing it wrong.  (Ask me how I know?  Officialdom despises people like me.)

And there we come to the walking pneumonia that’s killing our country.

Multiculturalism.

It’s taught in our schools.  It’s the church our elites pray at.  It’s what every immigrant imbibes from day one.  He’s asked where he comes from and encouraged to say how his land is better than America.

It takes a stubborn and determined person to hold off against the temptation to let memory and homesickness gild the place they came from with all virtues.  And it takes even more determination to acculturate despite the pressure NOT to.

I’m a stubborn cuss.  I have will power to spare.  Even so it was difficult and painful to adapt to a new way of living, of thinking, to a new language, to a new frame of cultural reference.  In a way it was like dying a little.

No one will do it without incentive, and we give them no incentive.

Our problem is not immigration. It’s that most of these people never immigrate.  They just come over and live here, and take advantage of our systems, but they remain loyal to “back home” and never think of themselves as Americans.

Most of our kids — at least if we don’t intervene at home — are taught to be ashamed to be Americans.  Most of the children of immigrants are taught to think of a place they never lived in as their homeland and think it vastly superior to America.  They’re only here for the benes, which you owe them, because America is responsible for every evil in the world.

Stopping the influx of immigrants won’t fix this.  Not only do the children and grandchildren of immigrants, to the seventh generation and more, not think of themselves as of us, BUT our own children don’t think America is so great or anything to protect.

To fix this we must first fix our education.  Yes, I did say we should not only abolish the department of education, we should whip it through the streets, barefoot and tied to the tail of a donkey.  But that’s not enough.  Even people homeschooling will come across Zinn’s historical lies.  Every school book is based on the People’s History of the United States and the man was a CPUSA party member and Soviet mole.  (As Sam Anderson said, the problem is that we lost the cold war.  Objectively he is right.)

The way to counter this nonsense is to stop being ashamed of being Americans.  Yeah, our nation has sidestepped, but a lot less than other nations.  Teach world history.  REAL world history none of this “cute clothes and interesting food” bullshit. Make kids understand what nations are and what they aren’t, and why they should be damn proud to come from the freest, wealthiest, most innovative nation on G-d’s green Earth.

Teach the kids well.  The ones who are ours and the ones who come from abroad.

And immigrants?  Require assimilation.  They want to be here?  They can be here.  I actually believe in

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It’s not in the constitution, as a lot of idiots believe, and it’s not even very good poetry, but it resonates.  Humans are a migratory/colonizing species.  And our ancestors, or us, ourselves, were once homeless and tempest-tost, looking for a home.

But there is another step to that.  SEND ME YOUR STRIVERS.

Look, immigration to America used to be a grueling process.  Even in the early twentieth century, when my grandfather went to Brazil, it involved a long an costly trip.  It limited trips back home.  If he could have convinced my grandmother to move, he’d have moved and never come back to Portugal.

In the same way the multitudes that came here weren’t just hours away; they couldn’t call home every week as I do.  They couldn’t go back whenever.  They came here, and here they were and they were required to learn the language and learn to get along and in those less sensitive times, no one made it easy for them.  There was real prejudice.  (Eh, thirty years ago, in NC I still got called — when they thought I couldn’t hear — sand n****r.  You know what, it didn’t kill me, though I found it a bit weird for their knowledge of geography.  At least the people who thought I was Mexican or South American made A LITTLE more sense.)

If you stuck it out, if you made yourself at home despite all that, if you didn’t run home, crying, to mama, you had EARNED your citizenship.  You had earned the right to call yourself American.  And likely you were d*mn proud of it.

The distances, the lack of communication, all of it conspired to form a system where the cowards never left, the weaklings died along the way (or went back home) and those who stayed where ready to start anew and be part of the American experiment with the other crossgrained cusses already here.

So — how do we fix the immigration system?  Make it difficult.  Make it very difficult.  If it had been easier, if we could have run, if I had the internet as we have now, even I might never have acculturated.  Even though I wanted to. Let alone a system that frowns on acculturation.

None of that.  To fix immigration it will take more than fences.  More than border patrols.  Immigrants don’t become Americans because they step on American soil.  And we already have plenty of people running around, born here, who aren’t American inside their heads, who don’t buy into our fundamental principles.  We don’t need more.

To fix immigration we need to believe and propagate the beliefs that make us Americans.  We need to demand new arrivals buy into them or leave.

And then we need to make the years before you can apply for citizenship difficult.  We need to demand they do things our way.  We can tolerate, yes, exotic food or cute dress, but where it counts?  Where it counts, they’ll have to act American.  No bribes, no shadowy pacts, no tardiness, no funny business with private property, no hatreds of other groups from back home, no killing of all infidels.  “We don’t care how they did did it in your homeland, bub.”

We need to require they support themselves and keep their nose clean.  Cleaner than any natural-born citizen. We need them to prove they can work and strive and not be sad sacks and victims.

When they’ve gone through the wringer, then we can question them about the founding principles, about our history, about what makes us.  And if they pass, they’ll have earned the right to call themselves Americans.

All of which is far more material and important than a wall which, if we don’t do this other stuff, will mean nothing in the end, but an empty barrier around a land ruled by ideological occupiers, tearing our most fundamental beliefs apart and shredding our constitution.

We are a nation of determined cusses.  One that any other determined cuss striver the world over would be proud to be a part of. Let’s start acting like it.

 

 

 

Enslavement of the Mind – Cedar Sanderson

Enslavement of the Mind – Cedar Sanderson

The human mind is capable of great complexity. It is entirely possible, to be happy and sad all at once. It is only in embracing that paradox that we can hope to fully understand our fellow humans and empathize with the past and present, while looking forward into the future. It is not easy, which perhaps is why some people seem to think that they can only possess one thought at a time.

This singularity of thinking lies at the core of political correctness, progressivism, post-modernism, or whatever label that school of thought is wearing today. For a movement that loves to change names like a chameleon changes colors, they are remarkably inflexible.

I was scanning through various news and blogs and came across yet another controversy over ‘diversity’ that has arisen surrounding a children’s book. The problem the scolds are having is that slaves are portrayed as smiling, loving, and being a family that serves with pride. As humans, we can encompass at the same time both longing for a better future and contentment in where we are, now. To do otherwise is to rend one’s heart and soul into tatters.

Resolution of the human condition comes only with the final march borne by six strong men to the grave. Before then we are a chaotic people. But in chaos, there can still be joy, and constancy. The story of the slaves who served with honor despite being compelled in that service can be an inspiration to the children of today who face lives as wage-slaves. To children who need to know that in true adversity smiles bloomed like flowers. And to children who need to learn that out of pain, triumph can arise.

I was studying history recently, nothing new for me, but it makes me think more broadly than my daily focus on family and the here-and-now. Slavery has been with us since the foggy depths of pre-history. The fact of a slave was not limited by color, origin, or religion. That we here on this continent live largely free of the shackles is not a ‘normal’ condition, it is in fact deeply abnormal when you gaze down the timeline of history and at the globe without the blinders of the ‘transnationalists’ to see the reality of it. Can we say that we are not superior to those who still own slaves? To those who traffic in their fellow men for profit? Freedom and the concept of personal liberty is heady drink and meat, that gives us the strength to build that which the progressives would tear down.

Do not mistake their intent. In reducing history and humanity to dimensionless tales told only through the accepted dogma, they would strip away the complexity of the human soul and enslave us once again. The thought police are just below the horizon, and behind them the bloody-handed men who shadowed Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin in their quest to kill the learned men and suppress the free pursuit of learning. Their advance is led by those who would exhort us to think as they think, do only as they would have us do. Speak only when we are told what to say.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Do we say those words too often? Do we strip them of their weight through familiarity? Do we teach our children what they really mean? They are not rights granted by our government, who seeks to erode them in pursuit of power. They are not protected by the scolds who would dictate what humor is allowed. If humor is allowed. Those words are the warp of the human soul, the support that the tapestry of life can be woven on, and they are not given by any human agency. People in power can only take the rights, not grant them.

I would remind those who seek to enslave the people through regulation that history shows a clear progression. The state that grows fat on the taxes of the people and ever-more restrictive is the one that falls, and in the time between that state and the rise of the next, that is when freedom flourishes. America is a fluke, a freak of nature, and a natural result of centuries of change all at once. Like the slave who also smiles and loves, we are a people who came out of the dark into freedom. We are unlikely to willingly put the shackles back on.

A soul can at once hope, and despair. History tells us that the slave was right to hope, that it was not in his lifetime, nor that of his daughter, but then freedom was opened before those who had kept living in hope. Despair leads to no doors. Discontent and desire for power erode the soul, leaving bitterness in their wake. Hope, love, and persistence will win through.

Remedium peius morbo

So, yesterday my friend, Larry Correia gave his reasons not to like Trump.  I will quote it here in full.  However my worries about Trump go beyond his, because so to put it I’ve seen this movie before, and I can see the makings of the same situation in Trump’s candidacy.  Is it intentional?  Is the plan the same? I don’t know.  Even if there isn’t a similar plan, it will have the same effect.

But beyond that, as with journolist, I’ve seen international coordination of plans and details (for instance, not only did Portugal and Iran both use red carnations as a symbol of the revolution, but they also used many of the same slogans “the people, united, will never be defeated” for instance.  And I’m sure both of the revolutions were coordinated by Moscow, admittedly in different ways and with different purposes [And for the idiots reading this blog, as usual, looking for evidence that I’m a “fascist” note that not approving of the previous regime doesn’t mean you have to approve of the revolution.  They were both varieties of leftist.])

I’ve seen other such similarities in the left in many countries, including similar electoral strategies.  (And before you tell me Donald Trump isn’t a man of the left, yes, he is, as Larry points out.  And if you tell me so was Reagan, I’m going to bust a vein.  Reagan changed WELL before running for president as a Republican.  He had changed, very publicly years, not months, before and could articulate why he changed, and could say it in ways that made sense.)

So, here is what Larry Correia had to say, quoted with permission:

In the spirit of that National Review pile on, here is mine to the Trump supporters. It isn’t as polite as National Review.

When Trent Lott, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Orrin Hatch would all prefer Trump over Cruz, you guys might want to reexamine who is the “anti-establishment” candidate. Duh.

When the dude donates to the likes of Clinton, Rangle, Schumer, and Rahm Friggin’ Emmanuel, and the only right side donation that comes close in dollars is to Mitch “Turtle Face” McConnel’s Great White RINO Hunt against the Tea Party Fund, that might be a clue who is part of the establishment.

But the banks own Cruz! Because he got a low interest loan that was fully secured with assets as collateral? Holy shit. Have any of you ever actually met an accountant? Do you even business, Bro? Meanwhile junk bond crony capitalist eminent domain deal maker dude who was in favor of single payer healthcare, TARP, and the auto bailout is going to save you from intrusive government?

But Cruz tried to hide it! No. You low information idiot. He declared it on one form and forgot it on another. That’s as fucking stupid a crisis as binders full of women and dogs on car roofs. Quit falling for meaningless diversions.

You are supporting a life long democrat. Period.

Trump is a populist clown, an empty vessel for the wishful thinking low information types to ignore his history and behavior to put all their fondest wishes on. Make America great followed by mumble mumble bullshit is just Hope and Change all over again. Yeah, we elected an unskilled narcissist once before and how’d that work out? There were plenty of clues how Obama would operate, and the wishful thinking types ignored them all too.

Pull your head out of your ass. The Planned Parenthood supporting, assault weapon ban supporting. deal making, wealthy Manhattanite isn’t going to save you. He is a populist telling suckers what they want to hear.

Oh, he’s really going to secure the border? Bitch please. He thought squishy Romney was too harsh on the border, until he discovered it polled well this election.

He stands up against the media? Whoop de friggin’ do. And that’s coming from somebody who has been slammed as a racist/sexist/homophobic hatemongery wife beater in the national media for not being a liberal in a liberal dominated business. That doesn’t mean you should hire me for a job I’m unqualified for. Sure. Reporters hate me. I’ll operate on your brain tumor.

The liberal media has hung on Trump’s every word and given him tons of coverage, way out of proportion to every other candidate. You think that’s a coincidence? Or because they always pick the republican who they think their candidate can beat, and if they don’t they are liberal enough to live with.

Even if Trump is telling the truth (he ain’t, but bear with me) and he actually converted on this giant list of issues where he has been a flaming liberal his whole life, he is still a loud mouth moron unsuited for the job.

So you give the populist hair piece a pass on this giant list of liberal statist big government positions, but then you nitpick the dude who has been an actual conservative, who has a history of pissing off the Hatch/McCain group you supposedly hate?

You StormTrumpers are pissed at the establishment? Fucking A. Welcome to the party. You are pissed about big government cronies bailing out their friends? Wonderful. Then pull your head out of your ass. The system you are mad at exists because guys like Trump bribe people like Clinton.

Remember that Bible verse about straining at a gnat but swallowing a camel? That’s you jackasses comparing Cruz and Trump.

Is Cruz perfect? No. But he has been a happy warrior with principles. Cruz actually gets the Constitution, so the establishment fears him, and the media slanders him when they can’t ignore him. Trump is Mussolini in a hair piece. The establishment doesn’t like him, but they figure they can make deals with him.

Now, to add to Larry’s points and his concerns, here is my nightmare: I’ve seen this before.

I haven’t posted about it for two reasons: the first is because I can’t for the life of me remember the man’s name or the exact date he was elected as president of Portugal.  I’m fairly sure it was the eighties (early) because I THINK I voted for him, and I turned 18 in 1980 [Bless my alert readers.  I kept thinking the man’s name was Eanes (the problem is I moved shortly after and was completely divorced from Portuguese politics because there was no internet, so I had to drop it. ) The guy was Antonio Ramalho Eanes.  I thought it was Eanes but kept thinking Gile Eanes who was a navigator.  And apparently snow flake started his own party which only existed for him to run.  The “Democratic Renewal” party.  Yeah.]

The second is because mentioning Trump on a blog is not only worse than mentioning a certain blogger, in that your comments will be invaded by crazy people screaming incoherently, BUT there is a real chance of reprisal against even little bloggers who diss the Donald.  What I mean is, if Hilary or Bernie come after me it will be because I’m a libertarian and as such I’m obviously scary. because of my politics.  But I can — and you probably can too — visualize Trump going personally after everyone who ever publicly came out against him, even a nobody writer with a blog.  The fact that THAT fear is credible to me, btw, is fricking scary.  Yeah, maybe I’m paranoid, but the man is more of a megalomaniac than Obama and I find that terrifying.

This was Portugal around the eighties, with Reagan and Thatcher in power and the people actually having, in a set of massive demonstrations, brought down the communist government which was threatening even the socialists, there was a restless desire to try something not-socialism.

People were angry.  They were upset about their kids being indoctrinated in the schools.  they were pissed over mandated prices, mandated salaries and massive government interference AND the attendant financial crisis.  So–

People were ripe to pick a government that interfered less with private rights.  Now keep in mind that the furthest right Portugal would go (then or now) is social democrat.  But people were pissed and primed enough to give the social democrats a landslide victory.

Only none of the social democrat candidates were saying QUITE what people wanted to hear.  They certainly weren’t reflecting people’s anger at them, and weren’t calling out the press which was pulling things left.

Mind you, of course, if they’d come out and said something against the press, the press wouldn’t have reported it, and if they’d come out… oh, against rent controls, say, they would have been called insane and destroyed.

And then this man showed up, running for one of two Social democrat parties.  He was fearless.  He said all the things people wanted to say that no one dared say.  He said them, and he got away with it.  I remember one pivotal scene, in which his demonstration was invaded by extreme left hecklers and he called them out.  He asked who sent them, he yelled that they were clearly paid, look at how they’d all arrived in a bus.

People cheered.  There were some rumors that in his previous career, as an army officer, he’d been a left-socialist.  We didn’t believe it.  He said he’d had a change of heart.  He stood for the things people wanted someone to stand for.

So he won in a landslide.  And he got in power.  And the press switched immediately to fawning.  He governed as a left-socialist.  Decision after decision, was what a left socialist would make.  And the press fawned on him, his private life, his upright nature.

Now, us — and yes, I was one of those people even then — who lived and died by politics knew EVERYTHING he did, and knew he was no right winger, but the low information voters?  Nope, no way.  Not even my grandparents would believe a word against him.  He still said the “right things” they believed in.  My mom’s dad died believing the country was safe in the hands of a “conservative” president.

His policies were protectionist, equalitarian and (objectively) insane.  Like socialist policies but worse because no one was keeping him in check.  The economy bombed badly.  REALLY badly.

And people voted in socialists.  And voted in socialists again.  And again voted in socialists.  For the next twenty years.  Why?  Because they’d tried the right and it was even worse than the left.  So they were going to the safe left, i.e. the socialists.

Low information voters don’t breathe, think and eat politics.  They don’t spend their entire life looking at every decision the president makes.  They live their lives and tune in around elections.  The one question they ask themselves is: Am I better off now than I was 4 or 8 years ago?

People like Trump because he’s saying things, things they think they haven’t been allowed to speak aloud.  They’ve been forced to pretend they believed the government over their lying eyes.

Most Trump supporters, those who aren’t burn-it-all-downers are OBJECTIVELY low information voters.  They’re angry and he’s the only person reflecting their anger back at them.  This is because he’s the only one the press reports as doing so.

I’ve seen on this very blog someone saying he was the only one talking back to the press, DESPITE Cruz’ taking on the press in the debate, publicly.  Because the press only publicizes TRUMP.

And if Trump gets elected, they’ll talk about how right wing he is.  HE’ll talk about how right wing he is.  And he’ll govern left.  And it will be a continuation of Obama’s disaster.

So, the angry people?  They’ll just say the right is even worse than the left (because the economic disaster will continue) and they will vote the safe left.  The Clintons, or perhaps Michelle Obama.  For twenty years.  Or more.  A slow slide down.  To leftist paradise, i.e. hell.

If this is what you want, then your support of Trump is justified.

If this is NOT what you want, then don’t tell me that the others are just as bad.  No one is just as bad.  Granted, the other Republican candidates aren’t perfect.  They range from “pretty good” to “almost as bad as Hillary”.  BUT if my scenario is right — and even if it’s not a conspiracy I think this is how it will play out — even Hilary is not as bad as Trump. Oh, don’t get me wrong, as bad or worse in governance, because they’re both incredibly corrupt and both a little nuts.  BUT electing Trump as a Republican cuts off the avenue of future escape.

Because the American system is rigged to defeat the emergence of a third party (no, seriously.  Read on it if you don’t believe me.  Some states make it almost impossible to get on the ballot.  I used to be a Libertarian official) if you convince people the Republicans are worse and more socialist than the Democrats, you’ve cut the one relatively easy avenue of escape.  People won’t care enough to fight against the press and the dems.

Yeah, if you elect Cruz or even Rubio, he won’t be your dream president, that I guarantee.  Either or both of them are likely to be to the right of Bush.  And we can halt the slide and start turning it around incrementally.  Note the incrementally.  It won’t be overnight.  The choice is never between cake and death.  It’s between living a little longer and death.

But if you INSIST on your dream president, and insist on it to the point of believing what Trump and the press are feeding you, what you’ll get is 20 more years of the left.

And if you say “good, then the republic will reemerge” I want to repeat what my friend, Sam Anderson, said yesterday “this is a myth.”  Freedom doesn’t arise like a phoenix from the ashes.  This is a myth communists and Libertarians share.  Chaos/collapse — ??????__paradise.  It’s never worked.  The communists create that myth retroactively, and the Libertarians are wishful thinking.  Out of destruction, the “strong man” rises, not liberty.

I have now spoken.  Listen or not.  But to me, it’s like watching a movie I’ve seen before, and not being able to escape.

 

 

An Epistle From Sam Anderson to the Defeatists

An Epistle From Sam Anderson to the Defeatists

[Lifted with permission but under protest from one of Sam’s comments in a private FB group]

Oh, damn it all, Mr.B., we’re STILL a proud people. We just lost the cold war, is all.

We thought to beat the Soviet Union all we had to do was, well, beat the Soviet Union. We didn’t appreciate that we had to beat the ideas that made the Soviet Union suck as bad as it did over the head, repeatedly, every time they came up.

We ought to have played the indoctrination game with the kids, but of course we never would have because the individualists failed to organize. We had other things to do. Meanwhile McCarthy, for all you can argue implementation or means, was probably right. [Heinlein thought so.  I know what others of you have said, but I’ll defer to Mr. Heinlein in this. – SAH]

Yeah, we fucked up. Even a proud people can fuck up. Remember that (and if you have kids, make sure they remember it too). But you can’t actually KILL us for the same reason we couldn’t kill the awful ideas of the soviet union. American is someTHING you are, it’s someONE, you are, but it’s not someWHERE you are. Long before occupy, the American people themselves were an occupied nation, ruled by an elite which wanted to cut off us and stick on us whatever made us look more like the home of their heart- Europe. Liberals do not hate the US. They hate *US*. Their fellow European expatriates-but-for-an-accident-of-birth living in DC they like just fine.

And that goes for you too, all of you who would Burn It All Down.

I respect y’all, but you’re indulging in my most despised of all myths, the “from the ashes” mythology- If only the mess gets big enough, then we can purge the demons and start fresh.

But no, more likely if the US ends up a giant mess, then what we end with is a giant mess. A giant, STICKY mess, the kind you or I aren’t likely to see the end of. Maybe the kind that no one who ever met someone who knew us will see the end of. Because to make the kind of mess that myth requires takes a swing so far the opposite direction that the effect is still Hell. In effect we kick Satan and get the Prince of Darkness, or perhaps the devil. Or if it went totally, completely and thoroughly tits up, and shattered like a glass vase, you’d get dozens of tiny, vulnerable Nation-States. Oh… and a vacuum of the magnitude that’d give Dyson engineers wet dreams and probably inspire a little crush in black-hole theorists.

None of which probably matters, because it’s an unlikely scenario, which is probably good on balance. You can’t just break something the size of the US, something around which so many political planets are spinning, and not have the whole solar system go shooting off into the void. Even when things got to rights, just as there was only passing resemblance between Roman civilization and Middle-Ages Europe, it’d never be the same.

I don’t think it’s going to go to those extremes. We shall likely be denied even catharsis. It’s not going to be good, understand, but there’s nothing to be gained in willing it worse.

Besides, here’s the bottom line, ladies and gentlemen:

1) YOU are America. You are the people that carry the torch and the ideas. We weren’t ever about land, and we weren’t about ethnicity, we were only ever about the ideas, and ideas are mobile things. PLEASE stop waiting for America to come around like this is some star-spangled production of “Waiting for Godot”. Don’t think of her like a promised land to be unlocked by the ultimate sacrifice. Stop looking for the spontaneous political process by which she’ll be magically reborn, let alone designing it. She did not leave. She lives, dies, exists, or does not exist, entirely on the weight of your actions.

2) Understand — and take to heart in — that you are the intellectual inheritors of a legacy of men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, for something that so far as they knew would burn out before their lives were over. Go back and read some of the things they said. That famous Ben Franklin quote, “A republic… if you can keep it”, was a pretty good gloss on the attitude.

There were a lot less of them than there are of us- they had reason to fear they could all be killed. This whole “America” thing was always edgy, always the cause celebre of rebels, always a little crazy and always going to be hard. If it peaks as a nation that does great things for the world for a while, damn it, the ideas can peak again if you’ll only keep them alive. If you’ll only KEEP the tradition. And Americans do not let it burn even if it seems hopeless. I know it seems pointless to fight. You know what? Maybe it is. But it’s also part of who we are, and if we lose everything else in this we can’t lose that. You can’t be free if you can’t stare down a well-armed tyrant.

BY THE WAY, and speaking of losing everything, remember a lot of those early Americans lost much of what they put on the line without the help of the fire, even though their little project survived the first buffets of history.

They didn’t just make the bet, as far as their lives were concerned a lot of them lost anyway. They didn’t even know if they’d have a proper country to despair of the prospects for, but oh, no, WE’RE the ones who have it bad. Now consider the mindset of a person in the continental army with next to no G*ddamned training facing down the world’s greatest army and the world’s most evil mercs with no help in sight, no supplies to speak of, and every expectation of coming out of this not just dead but VERY dead… who even so went on fighting. That’s the chain you’re at the proximal side of. And even so, you… you, of all Earth’s people, from this admittedly proud and rare nation… you’re not just admitting defeat but bidding it hastened?

I know this post is long. I’m sorry. I’ve boiled over. I’m sick of this. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but damn it, staying alive is a coherent strategy, even if it doesn’t inspire people to line up behind the banner. And it beats the Hell out of rolling over and dying.

[ And also I’d like to add to Sam’s rant above: DO NOT mistake the government for the country.  That’s the mistake the other side makes.  Yes, we might lose these elections, or any number of them.  Don’t give up.  Build under, build around, build over.  And teach your children well. Your life, your fortune, your most sacred honor, did you think they were just words?  Did you think it would be easy? Did you think this was just a game?– SAH. ]