Telling the Hard Truth – by Dave Freer

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Telling the Hard Truth – by Dave Freer

Hello. My name is Dave and I came from a shit-hole.

My friend Sarah Hoyt pointed me to a self-righteous fury spewing from the South African ANC (the political party which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid) about the idea of South Africa being a shit-hole and bad America was. I was born there, and eventually migrated to Australia, of which I am now a proud citizen, and which I love, and try my best to pay back for its enormous generosity in taking us in.  Now, South Africa is a beautiful country, with some fine people… but the ANC have presided over it now having one of the highest murder and rape stats of any country in the world not at war.  Corruption is endemic, and racial hatred – both white on black and black on white – if anything is worse than at the end of apartheid. Public Health is in a sad state, and education isn’t much to write home to mother about, principally because ‘writing’ might be challenge, and mother (adult education is a neglected disgrace) still can’t read. There are squatter camps, squalor, mud huts without toilets in the bush. Electrical grids are failing, potable water is a major problem. There are good patches of course. There are things which have improved. But it’s only not a shit-hole when compared to places like Zimbabwe. Any criticism from it is like a serial child rapist and murderer complaining about you saying ‘shut up’ to your kid.

Whether President Trump really said ‘Why are we having these people from a shit-hole come here’ or not… I would like say that I think it the most valuable statement about migration made in the last fifty years, and one that cried out to be said. What’s more I think saying it is not only refreshingly honest (because it is a common thought, but one no-one dared say it, and people need to hear it), but actually exceptionally good for both migrants and shit-hole countries. It’s a coarse, blunt statement, but it’s probably the only possible way to make the point effectively.

As I said, I am a migrant myself, and no, I don’t hate migrants.

But I do realize there is a problem that needs dealing with, if this is not to all end in tears. It is in fact VERY like alcoholism (which is why I used the opening line I did): you’re never going to solve the problem while you pretend it isn’t there.  Getting it out in the open, acknowledging the realities, both of how the people in the country migrants are wanting to go to feel about it, and of WHY the migrants move, is vital to the longer term happiness and well-being of migrants and the countries they move to.  It also is the only real chance that shit-hole countries will improve. It’s like ignoring a toddler’s tantrum in the toy aisle.  It’s not easy for a loving parent: but you’re no loving parent if you let the child have what they want. You’re just avoiding embarrassment and lots of noise – and possibly for that screwing your kid over for life.

Let us stop worrying about upsetting tender liccle feewings – which allow the situation to fester under a covering of ‘sensitivity’. Fifty years of trying that… have made matters a lot worse.

Reality: Almost no one migrates from a place to an unknown country if the place they’re in is not comparatively (at least in their minds) a shit-hole compared to the country they’re moving to. Anything else is like people pretending the alcoholic with the shakes and horrors doesn’t drink.  That doesn’t help the alcoholic or them.

The other vital point of ‘Why are we having these people from a shit-hole come here?’ that so many people getting affronted by the accurate ‘shit-hole’ part miss… is that this is first and foremost a question. WHY are we having them come here?

Let’s start with a basic premise. Your country and government’s first duty is to its own people. They, and their ancestors, for their descendants, paid – as the saying goes – in blood and treasure, for the shape the country is in now. It’s due to the people who live and lived there. I’ve heard various ridiculous arguments about wealth, security and comfort being due to almost anything else (from geography to mineral wealth to the legacy of colonial exploitation, etc.) None hold water, because there is a counter example for every one of them.  It comes down to the people and the culture of those people, which shapes that state. Sometimes it is put into form by a constitution, but that too derives from its people. The first duty any government owes – is to its own people.

So that ‘WHY’ is exactly what any country, what any citizen ought to ask.  And a good reason is not ‘because the migrant needs or wants it.’  If you’re going to include that reason at all, it has to come a long way down the list, well after ‘it will have no negative effects on my people’.

I’m going to stick my neck out here (for good reason, as I will explain) there are very few migrants from anywhere (particularly shit-holes, and remember I am speaking of myself) that are just a straight good bargain for any first world country to take, as is.  There are no jobs that Americans/Australians/Japanese just won’t do. They might not do them for the price you’re willing to pay, but that is a different matter. Working out if suppressing labor costs (and earnings) is a net good for a country as whole after the costs (in welfare, health, education and social cohesion just to name obvious ones, leaving out less obvious like ‘exporting money from the country to be spent elsewhere’) is a huge task, which depends mostly on the caliber of the migrants you let in. Here’s a clue: taking them from shit-holes has some big costs.

Taking skilled migrants… has some short term advantages. Your country gets years of training and experience for free. Whether it is really good for the doctors and nurses and the training of doctors and nurses born and bred there, is another argument, entirely.  Every country gets caught in short squeezes: but giving an easy out may be bad long term for its people.

That leaves a handful of those special, truly rare talents. Great sportsmen, mathematical geniuses… yep. They’re a win, no matter where they come from. But these are one in a million migrants. If they were all of the migrants… nobody would care or not welcome them.

Which brings me back to my statement that few migrants are just welcome, and why it is so vitally important for the migrants to hear the hard question: ‘Why are we having these people from a shit-hole come here?’ Because that does what we should always do: puts responsibility on the party who benefits. Being a migrant never can be ‘as is’ – because ‘as is’ migrants suck.

If – like me – you’re a migrant, then: ‘Why are we having these people from a shit-hole come here?’ asserts the most valuable lesson any migrant could possibly get to make that migration a happy, successful experience both for them and the country they move to. Migrants are migrating because their birth-country is, for some reason, a shit-hole to them.  They need the new country to accept them.  And that needs a two pronged approach that everyone has been too ‘sensitive’ and ‘kind’ to bluntly tell them. It’s like the alcoholic again. You’re not actually doing them any favors pretending they don’t stink and they haven’t fallen asleep in their own vomit. You can certainly help them by telling them if they give up the booze they can be a decent bloke. BUT they have to leave the booze behind and accept it was a problem.  The alcoholic that can’t do that, and the migrant that can’t do that… are never going to get any better. And just as not even the best effort in the world can do anything for an alcoholic who hasn’t decided themselves to give it up and change, not all the ‘kindness’ in the world will help a migrant who brings the shit-hole with themselves, telling themselves it is not a problem. All they’re doing is making a new shit-hole.

I still hold that migrants can add value and be welcome, no matter where they come from. But it’s a huge hill for them (not others, not their host country) to climb, a lot of blood and treasure to catch up on – and a shit-hole, and all that goes with it, to leave behind.  Anything else will end in tears.  Working hard on it, leaving your past –culture, country, language – behind, and embracing the new, will have the citizens meet you half way, help you along, and welcome you. Migrants need to know this, accept this.

Not saying this openly is not doing anyone a favor.

Dave Freer’s Amazon page is here.

Wrong Battle, Insane Tactics

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So I was reading Margaret Atwood’s article.  Yes, I know. What can I say.  It’s a very specialized form of masochism.

I wrote a post about it for PJMedia, which hopefully will go live today.  It’s about one of the things that truly annoyed me about the article.  Just one.  Mostly the fact that she doesn’t see the link between her actions and present insanity.  It’s like Robespierre stopping at the top of the steps to the guillotine and going “how did things get like this?”

But that’s only a portion of it.  There is more.  I realized reading her article, as she brings up the obligatory reference to Salem and in general the plight of witches (why are feminists obsessed with witches?  I want to take each of these new age twits who think that witches were some kind of feminist heroes, and make them read about Athenais de Montespan and the affair of the poisons.  Of course they might approve.  Most of the sacrifices were babies) and other things that are as ritualistic to feminists as the rosary to Catholics, it occurred to me (not for the first time.  There is an article about it here somewhere) that the problem with current feminism is that these women have gone to battle against the wrong enemy and therefore their tactics and their justifications keep spinning out more and more insane each time: because there is no way to win the battle they set themselves, since it was won before they started off and by means they don’t understand; and because they don’t understand how the battle was won, they keep fearing to lose again.

You see, Margaret brings up again the whine about how women couldn’t own property/weren’t considered fully adults, etc.  She also, of course, says that American courts discount accusations of sexual abuse/rape, and that American corporations ignore female complaints of misbehavior by males.

I’m not sure where she’s getting the thing about how courts and corporations behave, but then a person who could think of New England in current day as a theocratic state needs her head examined, because most of her ideas are coming from a highly improbable parallel world, and she doesn’t even realize it.

Sure, of course, Hollywood and publishing might ignore female complaints (and male too, look you) but that’s because they’re oligopolies, with those in power being able to do pretty much anything to their subordinates.  They resemble nothing so much as Ancient Rome.  Most sane businesses who do you know, real stuff, and aren’t bottlenecks dealing with artists and other obsessives aren’t like that.

But yeah, sure, there was a time (a very long time) when women were treated as something not quite as human as males.  I know why too, because unlike the feminists I know more of history than the cant about “couldn’t own property.  Were property.  Ahhhh, so scary.”

It’s a good idea when looking at historical oppressed groups, particularly those like women, to realize that a) well, the oppression might not have been oppression in the opinion of anyone living at that time b) there must have been a reason for such treatment that was deeper than “all men are villains and want to enslave all women” since patently most men aren’t villains, and most women are their mothers/sisters/daughters, and only a very few men hate all of those.

The reason… is survival.

Life for most men and women, even upper class ones, up to about a hundred years ago sucked rotten goat tit.

Everyone died young.  Okay, fine, if you were very wealthy and had damn good genes, you might live to your sixties or seventies, or, improbably, eighties.  (I saw my first eighty year old at 14, and he was what we’d now associate with 100.  And he was wealthy and from a long lived family.  My parents are now older than he was, but they look more like seventies then.)  Let’s not forget, ladies and germs that Shakespeare was “very old” at fifty eight which is staring me in the face, and which I have hopes (perhaps foolish) of exceeding and working past for twenty years at least.

But the child mortality was the most shockingly different thing from our own society.  It wasn’t even unusual to birth ten children and rear one or or two.  High class women in the regency (think the character in Pride and Prejudice) made two infant shrouds as part of their trousseau, because that was the minimum of children they could expect to bury early on, before they had the time to make more. Children or shrouds, now I think about it.

The risks were different for women and men, of course.  For men most of the risk was working outside or in dangerous jobs (then as now, statistically, most females did indoor, safe, boring work (though often backbreaking) and most men did outside, strength intensive, dangerous work.  For the upper classes this often involved going to war.)  For women it was pregnancy and child birth.  Even in our days there are so many ways either of those can go seriously wrong and hurt a woman.  And in those days, they couldn’t cope with or even diagnose “seriously wrong.”

So…. Think through the implications of this, okay?  Most women spent most of their lives pregnant and died young.

The myth of women not working or not being able to work outside the home is just that.  I have no idea why the feminists concentrate on a small sliver of the population during a narrow band of time (the Victorian age) except that they’re starting to imitate so many of the Victorian women (fictional) quirks (I need a safe room.  That man leered at me.  I am scared for life.  Give me my smelling salts!) that I think like women reading regency romances, they always imagine themselves as upper class ladies. (Go figure.)

Most women, even middle class women, worked.  For the middle class managing a house was at least as important as going out and earning money for such house.  Men looked for skilled housekeepers, because otherwise their wealth would be squandered.  And often — in my own family’s case — women helped with the business and the business management.

Lower class women often took work they could do in the house, and piecemeal.  You know, low paid, repetitive, but safe.

This was not because men didn’t want competition from women stevedores or stone masons.  (There were always some, though often they pretended to be men to avoid trouble.  Also they were the very extreme of body types for females, obviously.)  It was because they were PROTECTING and LOOKING AFTER women, trying to keep them SAFE.  Not because they looked down on women, or thought women were “lesser” but because women could do a very important thing that men STILL can’t do (and won’t be able to barring some truly strange science advances): give birth.

Because giving birth was such a high-risk enterprise, and because so many of the products of that enterprise died before pay back of the ah labor involved in bringing them to the world, it was THE most important work of society.  Those members able to do it had to be kept in such a situation that it allowed them to maximize that one thing they could do.

As for “the property of their husbands, etc, etc, blah blah blah” work was so brutal and hard, and providing for a family so difficult, that yes, a man wanted to make sure the children he supported were his own.

Also, because of very early (many women married before even 18) death in childbirth, etc, most women skewed younger than men as a population, which would encourage a certain degree of paternalism.  On top of that, hate to tell you, but women while hormonal are often not fully rational.  We can sort of compensate for it, but one of the pregnancy hormones is SUPPOSED to make you fat, dumb and happy.

I don’t know if most women need a minder while pregnant, but from both personal experience and watching friends go through it, I imagine many women do.

It is therefore only natural that in a society where most women are pregnant most of the time, men would view it was their duty to look after the puir confused things.

When feminists assume that back in a time with no contraceptive, high child mortality and an horrendous death toll of pregnancy, women should have been recognized as the equals of men, and that men were being evil villains for not doing that, they are demonstrating an astonishingly blind and ideological view of history.

In fact, even back in the middle ages and before SOME women were considered the intellectual equals of men.  (And sometimes the military equals.)  There are very few of them, again, not because The Man was keeping them down, but because the women attracted to intellectual or military pursuits are (like men) a minority and on top of that they tended to be either unmarried, childless, or the percentage of women not much affected by pregnancy.  I.e. a minority of minorities.

Women started making advances in what was considered, traditionally, male realms, like science or scholarship, (the others…. well…. there is a problem with upper body strength.  Sure.  Some women.  Again a minority of a minority) or being able to vote when two twin advances occurred: the first was the curbing of infant mortality.  When it became obvious (after a generation or so) that most of your babies would survive, it was possible for women to spend only a tiny minority of their lives pregnant.

The second was contraception that was cheap, easily available, and safe.  Yeah, okay, I have certain issues with the pill, because the medical issues of using it long term are only now showing up in the population at large.  That’s fine.

It remains that even the early “horse-dose” pill was safer than anything else anyone else had ever come up with for women to avoid getting pregnant all the time.

I allow and am amused by the handwavium of “some herbs” in fantasy novels, but most herbs were not contraceptives, but abortificients with the associated risks.  There was a berry that worked much like the pill, but it went extinct in Roman times.  (eh.)

Not having to spend the majority of their lives pregnant and not dying in disproportionate numbers in child birth gave women “equality” to the extent it can be had in this fallen world.

Because many reflexes remain from the aeons when women were so important they must be protected, in many ways it gave women the upper hand, particularly in social situations.

Which brings us to where we are now.

The “feminists” blind certainty that men oppressed women historically for no reason and “just evil I guess” is partly derived from idiot Marx who thought various parts of society were at odds for “no reason, except evil.”  But part of it is caused by both pig blindness and pride.  The pig blindness comes from ignoring historical fact.  The pride is in imagining themselves as virtuous victims, because their ancestresses were oppressed, and also in being sure that their present equality (to the extent they recognize they have it) comes from their virtuous “struggle” and shoulder to shoulder clamoring.

Because virtue feels so good, they refuse to admit the battle is largely won.  And because they think men oppressed women because “evil I guess” they are ever vigilant against a vast conspiracy of men turning around and dragging them back to the bad old times.  (Stupid I gu– No, wait, willfully stupid, for sure.)  Which leads them into misandry and revenge games.

That this more than anything might bring about a reversal (not likely since physical conditions have changed) as women are judged too petty and infantile to trust with serious business, never occurs to them.

They continue attacking the windmill, unaware of how it looks to sane people, or how society at large might need those windmills to survive.

And, as with most crazy of the left, those of us who are rational and female, are being dragged down along with them.

All because of blindness and pride.  If it weren’t likely to involve me and my female descendants, it would be funny.  As is, it’s more of a tragedy.

 

 

Sunday Vignettes Now With More Despondence by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: helpless

Thanks For Sharing Auspicious Paintings

Today I went into the bowels of the blog comments, to find a comment a friend said she had left, but which did not show as a comment.

Apparently WordPress has decided, randomly, to just start protecting me from comments by some of you by trashing them directly, putting you in the same bin as the troll that shall not be named.

Some old denizens of hundom like Mary Catteli, or TXR get put there randomly for a few comments, some which are something like “yeah, exactly.”

The ways of the wordpress are so inscrutable that I BET you we could make it into a devination instrument.  You know, like tea leaves.  “If the comment spammed by wordpress are about kittens, there is a chance a tall stranger from over the sea will arrive bringing money.”  Eh.  WordPressmancy.  It’s an idea.

But in the bowels of the blog there are in fact a bunch of comments by what appear to be robots.  This is the type of comment that’s left so that they can leave a link to something.  Perhaps they’re only fascinating as an example of mechanical translation, but they are certainly an endorsement of the idea that mechanical translation alone will never work.  I imagine the reason people in Star Trek got in so much trouble is that they went around saying things like “Thank you for auspicious posting of information sharing.”

Take this post, for example:

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you actually recognize what you are speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my site =). We can have a link exchange contract among us!

As all of you know it is a goal with me to share my posts with people who KNOW I’m speaking APPROXIMATELY.  I’m not sure how one speaks approximately, but I approximate like nobody’s business. 😀

Or this one, left, on, of all possible posts, the one that is entitled “I Am Alive” and which explains why there was no blog post earlier:

There are undoubtedly a good deal of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a fantastic point to bring up. I provide the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most vital thing will likely be working in honest great faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged about things like that, but I’m positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

the only question I brought up was whether I was still alive.  I’m obviously working in honest grate faith.  As for finest practices and my job being identified as a fair game, it’s full of idiocy.  As the master (RAH) said “Surely the game is rigged, but don’t let that discourage you.  If you don’t bet, you can’t win.”

On the fill in post by Havelock:

Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact
was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
However, how could we communicate?

I don’t know, buster.  Can you meow?  I warn you, this cat aspirates his meows.  He’s high class.  (And not I’m not joking, he aspirates his meows.  Which should NOT be possible.

This on the post announcing I can’t write because I have the flu:

whoah this blog is magnificent i love studying your posts. Keep up the good paintings! You understand, many individuals are hunting around for this information, you can help them greatly.

So…. individuals are hunting for information that I convey through paintings to help them greatly?  Dude, there’s an entire story in that.

Anyway, I’ve now rescued my friend’s comment, and as you can tell got completely derailed for the day.  Also, wordpress is as silly as ever.  If you notice a comment disappearing, please tell me, as it’s clearly more unaccountable than normal

Meanwhile wordpressmancy predicts a day of heavy coffee and decongestants, with a high probability of three non fic articles and hopefully an incidence of fiction.

The Man With The Golden Hat

November 7, 2016, in the wee hours of the morning with apologies to the late Terry Pratchett:

“The first interesting thing about angels, [Mr. Trump], is that sometimes, very rarely, at a point in a man’s career where he has made such a foul and tangled mess of his life that death appears to be the only sensible option, an angel appears to him, or, 1 should say, unto him, and offers him a chance to go back to the moment when it all went wrong, and this time do it right. Mr. Lipwig, I should like you to think of me as … an angel.”- all Terry Pratchett in Going Postal, save for the insertion.

Come on, tell me you haven’t thought of it.  The conman who gets one last chance.  The man who takes a dying institution and tries to turn it around (I think in this analogy Paul Ryan is Stanley.  I wonder who puts sulfur in his socks?)  The man who gets told it’s impossible and takes it one step higher. And the golden…. erm…. hat.

We were right to distrust him.  Everything in his past would lead us to distrust him.  Hell, I still distrust him, and every time he pulls his grand show man routine, I hold my breath, and I think “Is this the time he reverts to his roots?”

So, far… so far he hasn’t. But you know that’s the danger, right, that he’ll go back to his ways.  And it’s hair-raising never to be sure what part of this is Trump, and what part is showmanship.

And every time he’s told something is impossible he compulsively raises the stakes.  “I will ride to Genoa before a clacks gets there.”

EVERY time.

Are we to the “post office gets burned to the ground” o’clock, yet?  At what point does he get his temptation?  Is it now?  Will he succumb?

Did he get an angel just before the election?  And in this case I can’t even imagine who the angel would be.  (No, Putin doesn’t actually want the US to be more prosperous or stronger, guys.  Get a grip. That’s a lie so stupid only intellectuals would believe it.)  Perhaps his own inner self, someone he’d almost forgotten.  Did it say “I have a job for you.”

And will he remember that job?

It is only because I know the secret service aren’t likely to be Pratchett fans that I’m not sending him a gift basket of pineapples.

 

Intro to State And Revolution – by Amanda S. Green

Intro to State And Revolution – by Amanda S. Green

After a couple of months reviewing HRC’s book, What Happened, I needed a break. I’d promised Sarah I’d continue posting on Thursdays for her (I’m a fan of her fiction and will do just about anything to give her a little extra time to feed my reading habit). But that left me with the question of what to blog about next. I’d initially considered doing Donna Brazile’s book but, to be honest, I simply couldn’t look at another book related to the 2016 election. So that leaves out the latest book blasting Trump and his administration. So, what to do? What to do?

It turned out the question wasn’t all that difficult to answer. It also turned on the 2016 election cycle, not to mention some of our current headlines. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure the results of the election would have been the same if the fix hadn’t been in. If Bernie Sanders had been the candidate or if Clinton had been smart enough to share a ticket with him against Trump, we might have seen a very different result and that scares the crap out of me. Why? Because all those who fall to their knees at Sanders’ feet don’t understand the reality of what he’s preaching. They don’t understand that socialism doesn’t work. They fail to recognize it quickly becomes a society of more equal among equals.

And that, my friends, is what set me down the path of the next few posts.

No, I’m not reviewing the new book today. Instead, I want to explain why I’ve chosen a book I doubt few of you would have guessed would be in the running. That book is State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin. Yes, that Lenin. I first read it in the original Russian years ago. My Russian’s not that good any longer, so I spent time finding an older translation that hasn’t been updated to reflect modern “sensibilities”. I chose it so that the words of one of the founders of modern socialism and communism can be considered and discussed.

But those words need to be put into context. Russia in 1917 was rife for revolution. Tsar Nicholas II was anything but a strong, much less wise, leader. His wife, Alexandra, would do anything to save their son who suffered from hemophilia. The family fell under the sway of the “Mad Monk” Rasputin. At the same time, the country was going to hell in the proverbial handbasket and had been for some time. That is all historical fact and I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty detail.

Where our understanding of Russia and Soviet communism and socialism fail is in how it manifested over the years and the kind of force that was required to keep it alive. No one disputes the fact that Josef Stalin was a tyrant. Yet, to listen to many, you would think the Soviet Union was a social and economic paradise. There are claims of no unemployment. The state provided medical coverage to one and all. You got your education. It was wonderful.

This is the portrait of Soviet society so many of our young people have swallowed. It is the basic portrait of a society that we could have here according to Bernie and his followers.

And it scares me to death.

A friend of mine was born in the Soviet Union. She spent much of her formative years there before her parents managed to escape. A man I respected more than most anyone and who I would trust with the lives of my loved ones spent much of World War II posing as a Muscovite peasant – without the Soviets knowing. I’ve been behind the Iron Curtain and talked with men and women who had to watch as their countries were turned over to Stalin and his friends as part of the Pottsdam Conference.

Much of what happened is on us and on Great Britain. Our leaders sat down with Stalin and drew a line on the map, giving him what we called Eastern Europe – and East Germany. It didn’t matter what the people living in countries like Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia and others wanted. We gave Uncle Josef what he wanted. Whether as a means of thanking him for taking our side against Hitler or to appease him and protect our Western European allies, it doesn’t matter. It is up to us to learn from what happened to those countries and their citizens after 1945 and learn from it.

No matter what anyone tries to say, those countries weren’t willing partners in the Soviet bloc. When Hungary rebelled in 1956, the USSR acted swiftly and decisively. By the time the revolution was quashed on November 10, 1956, more than 2,500 Hungarians had been killed and more than 200,000 had fled. The new government, the Soviet backed government, made sure there would be no other such rebellions.

Czechoslovakia waited until 1968 to try to fight for its freedom. They failed. Overnight, troops from the Warsaw Pact (USSR, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and East Germany) rolled in. 137 Czechs were killed. More than 500 were wounded and the Soviet Union once more tightened its noose around the country’s neck.

Think about that. Think about having the boot of Communism bearing down on your neck, cutting off your pride, your freedom, your sense of individuality.

Let’s look at some of the misconceptions about life under Soviet communism/socialism. No unemployment. Pardon me while I call bullshit. What that meant was they had people sitting in chairs in museums sleeping. Or walking up and down the trolley lines with a stick. Sometimes those stooped old men and women might dig some dirt out of the tracks but mainly they trudged back and forth, a glassy look to their eyes. You had a job, but that didn’t mean you were “employed”. It just meant you were out of the house – maybe. And since all you had to do was show up and get paid, the USSR wasn’t producing much, so where did the money come from to pay all those “workers?” Well, sometimes they didn’t’ get paid at all, but salaries and resources were largely appropriated (read: stolen) from those considered “rich” who weren’t part of the “more equal among equals”.

Alcohol abuse ran rampant. Hell, you could buy vodka out of machines on the sidewalk, just as you could water. There is a problem when a country has the level of alcoholism the USSR did. The people used liquor to escape their miserable lives, and when they couldn’t buy vodka, they used whatever drugs they could get their hands on to forget where they were and how awful their existences were. By the time glasnost came about under Gorbachev, the USSR had one of the highest substance abuse rates in the world.

Medical care there was archaic compared to what we had here. The hospital I visited while there was one of the country’s best. Yet it reminded me of what our hospitals looked like 50 years earlier. Use of anesthesia for many surgeries was unheard of. My friend had both adenoids and tonsils removed as a child while she was awake and fully conscious. Think about that and tell me socialized medicine is something you really want.

But it didn’t stop there. Sanitization was a myth. I watched doctors and nurses performing procedures like changing dressings without gloving up. Heck, they didn’t even wash their hands after entering the room, touching the door, shaking hands, etc. I prayed I didn’t get sick while there because I did not want to risk Soviet medicine.

Of course, as with many nations with socialized medicine, there was another level, a higher level of treatment, available if you were high enough in the Party or had enough money (which meant being high enough in the Party). That medical care included things like anesthesia, better facilities, drugs appropriate to your symptoms and not having to wait until you risked death for treatment. It was another instance of being the more equal among equals.

Your quality of life in the Soviet Union, especially if you lived in the city, depended on your role in the Party. And, yes, Party membership was pretty much mandatory. But there was a Catch-22. Even though party membership was basically mandatory, it wasn’t automatic. If you were considered too bourgeois, or if your family had a history of being trouble for the Party, membership could and would be denied. That meant finding a job could be next to impossible. Want better housing? Forget about it. The Party had you by the short ones and there was little, if anything, you could do about it.

But even if you were “lucky” enough to be a member of the Party, that didn’t mean life was much easier. If you weren’t high enough in the Party, you got to join all your neighbors standing in line for bread or other things we take for granted. You couldn’t practice the religion of your choice. The only recognized religion was devotion to the State. Everything you owned was the State’s. Protests weren’t tolerated, and it wasn’t unusual for people to disappear from their homes at night, never to be heard from again.

This is the sort of world the Left wants us to move toward. Oh, they try to make it sound enticing by talking about all the “equality” and “freedom” we’d have. After all, who wouldn’t like to be worry-free when it comes to medical care, etc.? But reality is often very different from theory and that is especially true when it comes to socialism and communism. Why? Because people are people. Some of us have ambitions and want to do our best. Others want power and will do anything to gain it. Others are spiritual and want to be able to believe what they want and worship when and where they want without government interference. All of which means true socialism can never exist.

So, starting next week, I’ll do a couple of posts on Lenin’s State and Revolution. I have no doubt, I’ll be comparing what he wrote with what Bernie and his followers preach.

Until later.

[For raising the tone of this blog — ATH is culture! — and helping me with the exposing of the roots of the current mess — in her case with more facts! — if you decide to  Send the woman a drink–  And her Amazon author page is here -SAH]

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

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There is something that all writers are cautioned against (if they are lucky) is “drinking your own ink”, that is start to believe your own fantasies.

Look, when your stock in trade is making up lies so convincing that people will suspend disbelief at least for the extent of a novel, you’re going to be good at telling yourself lies, too.

I’m probably less at risk than most writers, just given the nature of what I write.  If I suddenly start believing that Darkship Thieves is prophecy, it doesn’t really affect my day to day life.  It might drive my family nuts (insert question of how we could tell) but beyond that, it’s no big deal, right?

And if I really believed the Musketeers investigated mysteries, how would you even know, unless of course, like Dan brown proclaiming the “truth” of his “history” I gave interviews to every cat dog and pony show?

For the record I don’t believe either of those, mostly because I’m aware of the danger of drinking your own ink.

But the problem is that normal people don’t get that warning.  Theirs is not to tell compelling lies, so compelling that they might be believed.  And when they hear something a lot, particularly from respected institutions and channels, they don’t always realize it’s fantasy.  And they don’t always ask the questions I always ask “Uh?  Why?  And what sense does that make?”

Which brings us to the fact that right now, not just in this country, but world wide, some portion of the population (impossible to know how many, given that the media kind of amplifies their voices) is drinking the ink of their own fantasies and spinning further and further from reality.

Which brings us to the derp of the day.  You thought that women accusing gay men of misogyny because they won’t sleep with women was crazy?  Ah.  There’s someone who wants you to hold their beer and watch this.

So, if you don’t want to follow the link, this is the gist of it:

From BET:

Singer Ginuwine has sparked a heated debate on Twitter after a recent episode of Celebrity Big Brother UK. In the latest episode, Ginuwine seemingly rejected fellow housemate India Willoughby.

The controversy stems from a conversation between Willoughby and the “Pony” singer, in which she asked whether he would date a trans woman. “You would date me, yeah,” Willoughby, who is a trans woman herself, asked. “Not if you were trans,” Ginuwine replied. After Ginuwine replied that he would not date a trans woman, Willoughby attempted to plant a kiss on the singer. When her advance was rejected, Willoughby stormed off.

Let’s leave aside the fact that someone tried to “plant a kiss” on someone who didn’t want it, which less I checked is sexual assault.  And that this then went public and incited hatred against the victim of sexual assault, which, last I checked, is sexual harassment.

Let’s talk sexual orientation. I don’t want a fight against this in the comments, and will shut it down if it starts, so let’s just establish that right now we down’t know what “causes” sexual orientation.

I don’t suppose it’s a simple matter of choice (though it might be, for some people) because homosexuality existed throughout the ages, even in places where it was forbidden, and it exists in fact, in all species where sexes are not radically visually different (No, I mean like peacocks and peahens, for instance.)

It used to be believed to be a matter of raising, now it’s believed to be genetic.  I believe like most persistent, complex traits we share with a bunch of the animal kingdom “it’s not that simple.”

But the left is full on, invested, all in on “it’s just genetic, it’s always genetic.”

And yet….

And yet, in one of those stunning contradictions only the left is capable of, they just believe there are no innate differences between the sexes, just different “social constructs” on how the sexes — oh, pardon me, genders — behave.  That is, your “gender” is what you learned to be, and there are up to — what was it? — 50 of them?

What this does in effect is deny sexual orientation.  I mean, you can’t say you’re gay — or straight — if there is no real difference between the sexes, except behavior which is learned.  No, not even genitalia, because as we’ve learned over the past several years, it’s what you feel “inside” that counts.  So, even if you still have the genitalia of one sex, you can dress as the other, do cosmetic stuff, and claim to be the other sex.

I UNDERSTAND body dysmorphism, and I always assume those who have surgery should be called by their new “sex” and treated as such.  No, it’s not right, and there are limitations to it, mostly because our sex change operations aren’t.  They’re more like sex-pretend operations, cosmetics and hand wavium.  And of course there are limitations, like in sports, otherwise “transwomen” will sweep all the women’s sports, because one of the differences that “don’t exist” between the sexes is that men are stronger and faster.  (And women endure pain better.  But there’s no sport for that.)

However over the last few years we’ve been told people are what they say they are — and dress as — so that we have people who are “gender fluid” and their gender varies depending on what they choose to wear that morning.  I would call that “clothing obsessed” but whatever.

Now, if you drink that ink, and put yourself in that reality, straight men should be attracted to anything in female clothing, right?  And gay men…. oh, man, they must be having such a hard time, now that women wear pantsuits too…   It’s okay, sweeties, you really don’t have to be attracted to Hillary.

If you’re inside that logic and drinking the ink till you’re poisoned, then yep, Ginuwine is transphobic, because he’s attracted to women, so he should be attracted to anything wearing women clothing.

But you say, how do we know that the transwoman hasn’t gone the whole way and had the operation?

Remember the thing I said above?  Right now all we can do are cosmetics.  And the perfection of the cosmetics varies, for that matter.  For instance, one of the ways to construct a vagina is with tissue from the colon, which brings with it issues of smell and others.

Also, there are a million ways of things not being “quite right.”  Even if the physical stuff is done flawlessly and everything looks right, there’s a ton of ways you’ll ring the wrong bell with the other sex. Including the fact that someone who grew up as a member of the other sex, with mannerisms and ways of moving, might not ring quite right to the back brain.  And back brain is where sexual attraction resides.  You really can’t argue with that part of the brain.  It is what it is.

There are mannish women, and men that acquired mannerisms from their mothers, who are straight and have a heck of a time attracting mates, because they have the hook baited wrong for the kind of fishing they’re doing.

Then there is the fact that someone might exclude all trans from the dating pool, not because they’re bothered, precisely, but because they don’t want to have to explain to family and friends, over and over again.  It’s a valid thing.  If you’re going to choose your life with someone, you’re allowed to choose the “least strife” route, particularly if your life is complex enough as is.

Or it could be a man wants biological children with his potential wife, something transwomen can’t provide.  This too is valid.

In the end, what people are attracted to is their own business.  You can’t really say if you’re not attracted to something you’re “phobic.”  I have yet to manage to see breasts as anything but bags of fat on the chest, or to think of vaginas with any kind of interest.  And yet, you know, I manage not to run screaming when I see myself in the mirror, and to take care of basic hygiene tasks without recoiling.  I’m not afraid of vaginas.  I just don’t want to sleep with people who have one.  (Well, I don’t want to sleep with anyone but my husband, but supposing I did.)  And if the person who has a vagina can grow a beard, this doesn’t make it anymore attractive.

Maybe it does for some people.  Maybe it’s all about the secondary characteristics.  There are even people who fall in love with a certain type of mind, and forget the wrapping.

But for the vast majority of people, sexual attraction is something very specific and in a very narrow band.  I’m not even attracted to everyone who has a penis.  Not even to everyone who has a penis in the right age group.  Not even everyone who has a penis and is a geek in the right age group.

If you now start demanding I also be attracted to transmen, or be shamed and reviled, you are out of your frigging mind and have been drinking your own ink too long.

If you claim there is absolutely no difference between the sexes, and we can all take on random characteristics of either sex or none, and then demand that everyone put up with us sexually assaulting them, or worse, show enthusiasm for it, you might be straight up insane.

And just because the insane are running the asylum, it doesn’t make them sane.

Sanity is that which accords mostly closely with and works best in reality.

And this ain’t it.